Monday, November 28, 2011

20 Weeks

This week marked Josie's first major holiday - one guess as to what I was thankful for this year ;) We spent Thanksgiving at Ryan's parents' house, along with one of Ryan's sisters and her kids, and Ryan's grandmother (who also just met Josie for the first time this week). We played a bit before dinner, with Josie getting to be "superbaby" and showing off her big smiles, and then Alyson also showed us how to prop Josie up so she could sit unassisted (although she didn't last very long!).

Josie was very good throughout dinner - despite being a bit tired and hungry herself - and just hung out in her swing next to the table with me stroking her leg between bites of food, which seemed to help keep her content. She then partook in a family tradition and laid on the floor with Ryan after dinner. However, she didn't quite get the part that she was supposed to be resting on the floor, and instead spent the time kicking around and blowing raspberries.

We took a feeding/nap break upstairs, and then when we came back downstairs for dessert, Josie got to lounge around and watch some football... and probably knows more about it already than I do ;)

We also did Thanksgiving Part II with my mom, aunt, brother, and his girlfriend this weekend, but I had misplaced my camera by then (...again) so unfortunately no pictures from Josie's first trip to West Virginia/Nana's house. We went out to a restaurant, and Josie fussed a bit at first in her carseat, which is a bit unusual for her now - usually she's quietly content or falls asleep when we take her out to eat. But I suspect she knew exactly what she was doing, because when Ryan turned around with her after getting her out of her carseat, she had the biggest grin on her face ;) So she got to spend the meal being held, smiling at everyone and generally being a happy baby.

Developmentally, this was a big week for hands. She did, in fact, remedy the situation from last week where she had sucked on every finger but her pinky, since Ryan caught her sucking on her pinky this week. He also caught her holding up and contemplating each finger before settling on sucking her thumb :) Hands are endlessly fascinating for her, and it's even better when we add additional hands to the mix - I can just hold my hand up for her or wiggle my fingers, and she'll usually gently touch them or grab onto a couple of fingers and play with them for a bit before they inevitably end up on a path towards her mouth. I also got her giggling just by singing to her and tapping each of her fingers like I was playing the piano. And sometime between this week and last, she figured out how to grab for her toys more effectively. She had been reaching for them if they were held up for her, but hadn't really been reaching for them on her own. However, I ran downstairs this week to throw some laundry in, and came back to this sight:

Josie is also still dealing with a cold, and compounded with the discomforts of teething, this was another week of not great sleeping. She had a couple of good nights of sleep, but besides that, she was waking more frequently - and earlier, so we no longer got a nice 4-5 hour stretch of sleep at the beginning of the night. Poor thing has been quite congested though, so having difficulties breathing probably isn't helping the situation. She's had more problems falling asleep too, since she normally takes a couple of deep breaths right as she falls asleep, but the sound of her stuffed-up nose (and likely the less than satisfactory oxygen intake) have instead woken her up a few times.

Miscellaneous cuteness for the week:
[The risk of being a deliciously adorable baby is that she may just get eaten up...]
[...she was spared this time though ;)]

[Josie just has so much talking to do]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

19 Weeks

This week was a rough one when it came to sleep. First, the good news: we are now swaddle free! We left Josie unswaddled last Saturday night, and although she kicked around and woke up more frequently, for whatever reason we decided to try again Sunday night, and she did much better. She seemed to sleep very well the next couple of nights, actually, except I couldn't enjoy it since then I couldn't sleep. I had been noticing that I seemed to have been losing the magical sleeping abilities I developed when Josie was first born (of being able to be wide awake instantaneously in the middle of the night, and also go back to sleep quickly after each waking), but then I suddenly just couldn't get to sleep. It seemed so cruel that Josie (and Ryan, for that matter) were sleeping so peacefully that I was excited to be able to get some sleep in as well, and then it ended up taking me over two hours to fall asleep Monday night. Then, when I started being able to fall asleep again, Josie appeared to have hit her 4-month wakeful/sleep regression/whatever you'd like to call it - basically, babies around her age can have some troubles sleeping as their brains are working overtime on some big developmental leaps. Either that, or maybe it's the full-blown cold she has now, since being congested is probably also not helping her to sleep well.

So as it turns out, Josie's chatting is much cuter at 7pm vs. 12am. And 2am. And 4am. And 6am. Because the last several nights she's gone back to sleeping about 4-5 hours at the beginning of the night - sometimes waking after the first 30-minute sleep cycle again too - and then waking every 1-2 hours after that. It's amazing how much harder it is to function with such interrupted sleep when I don't have the luxury of being able to try to make up the lost sleep via afternoon naps with Josie. I've been in a bit of a daze at work the last week, but I guess there's not much else I can do except try to get her back to sleep as quickly as possible and for me to get myself to bed as soon as I can after she falls asleep. Thank goodness for A/C-powered swings though, too, since we put her in that last night to see if being more upright would help her with her congestion, and she seemed to sleep very well in that for about 6 hours.

Josie is also very close to rolling over from back to tummy now - she can get everything over except for her bottom arm. She's so cute when I go to feed her now - she'll roll over to meet me, and usually laughs as she does so.

Josie has now decided that it's not enough to have two thumbs to choose from, and she's branched out to sucking on every finger on her right hand except for her pinky so far (I think given another week, she'll remedy that oversight).
[Sucking on her index finger]

I also finally pulled out some teething rings for her, which she actually grabbed for and got in her mouth a couple times, but I think she didn't fully understand the purpose quite yet ;)

Josie is now consistently eating an extra 4oz each day at daycare - I'm not sure if 24oz in a 10-hour period is a lot, but it seems to keep the weight on her ;) I also made it out to a La Leche League meeting for the first time since I returned to work, which was timely since the topic was Vitamin D supplementation. Josie's pediatrician had just recommended we start Josie on some Vitamin D drops, so that was good to have some confirmation from other like-minded moms that Vitamin D supplementation is not only fine, but highly recommended, given the latitude we live at and that we're heading into winter now. Especially since our at least once-daily walks with Josie that we were doing all summer for some exercise (for us), sleep (for her), and Vitamin D intake (for all of us) are now down to one, maybe two walks on the weekends.

We've also had some more success with getting Josie to laugh - apparently the perfect combination for some serious giggling is for Ryan to lift her over his head in "superbaby" pose, and then say "zschew, zschew, zschew" - that's my best attempt at spelling the following sound:

As a sidenote - yes, Ryan currently has a mohawk.... he hadn't shaved (or gotten a haircut) since the beginning of August, and then decided last weekend that he was ready for a haircut and shave. For some reason the shave didn't happen (which I think Josie is happy about, since she likes to hang onto his neck beard :) ), and it only took a little bit of peer pressure to agree on him getting a mohawk ;)

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Josie is ready to take on whatever you're dishing out]
[Second time on a forward-facing walk = excitement...]
[...followed quickly by sleepytime]

Monday, November 14, 2011

18 Weeks

Ryan was on a work trip this week, so Josie and I were largely on our own - we both survived, and only slightly worse for the wear ;) It really helped that Josie had another good week sleeping, since that was one of my main worries since Ryan normally takes over when she has a rough time sleeping. Instead, she went down fairly easily each night, didn't even wake up fully for her 5am feeding except for Friday morning, and then slept through until I woke her at 7am every morning but one.

She does seem to have a cold again, though, since she had woken herself up coughing around 4am on both Thursday and Friday morning... and then managed to get herself back to sleep on her own despite being wide awake then. And after starting to take an extra few ounces of milk each day at daycare, her appetite had been down towards the end of the week and she's been spitting up more again throughout the week, so we'll be keeping a close eye on her to see if we need to go back to the pediatrician again. She was still happy and smiley for the most part and spit up a lot less on Thursday, but then was spitting up again Friday, so I'm not quite sure if it's from a cold or food sensitivities. I think the likely candidates if it was a food sensitivity were walnuts, pineapple, and/or asparagus... the latter two I've had multiple times before and she was fine, but maybe being prepared a different way than before somehow makes a difference.

Speaking of food, that was another big concern I had while Ryan was gone - would I have enough food for the week? Ryan cooked up a bunch of food before he left, and even with my brother cooking up a big batch of risotto for me mid-week, I only had about about one meal's worth of food left by the end of the week from all of this:
[Includes a large container of cereal, an acorn squash, butternut squash, pineapple, salad, asparagus, four containers of salmon cakes, and beef brisket]
[Includes two bunches of bananas, yams, a second container of cereal, rice, eggplant, and zucchini and summer squash]

The main difficulty I had was my evening tasks - there are just not enough hours in the day, apparently, and I was pretty rundown and exhausted by the end of the week. And yet all I did each day was pick up Josie from daycare and get back home around 5:45pm, scarf down dinner, feed Josie and get her to bed (usually by 7:30pm), take a nap (since she seems to settle down into sleep better when I stay nearby for the first hour or so), get back up at 9ish, and wash bottles/pump parts/food containers, prepare bottles/diapers/my meals/our outfits for the next day, shower, pump, and then go to bed. For whatever reason, it was taking me sometimes more than two hours to do everything I needed to once I got back up from my nap, and I have no idea where the time was going since it really only should have been taking just over an hour. And then in the mornings, I was still getting up at 6:30, packing up my bag for work and all the bottles and pump parts I had washed the night before, getting myself ready for work, then waking Josie up, changing and then nursing her in attempts to be out the door at 7:30am... which never quite happened, since while she would be happily playing in her bouncer while I finished getting ready after feeding her, she would manage to make it necessary to change her again. Every single day. (Realizing I could just wait to change her first diaper until right before we left, but I couldn't bring myself to have her sit in a wet diaper for that extra hour.)

Josie also continues to be Crazy (yes, with a capital "C"). To illustrate, here is a series of pictures from when she first woke up Friday morning - these are all in order and only one is missing from the set (which was too blurry to keep):

This week was also all about Josie making some noise. She made the music go on her bouncy seat repeatedly, she's laughing and squealing much more, and she's apparently more talkative now too. We were only able to get her to laugh before by imitating other people (e.g., the way Ryan's dad laughs for her, the way our daycare provider leans in and taps Josie on the chest), but now she's laughing at more things, like just being held or poked or me saying "arm up!" and lifting her arms. Apparently this is hilarious. She has also been squealing more, and squealed the whole way to daycare the last couple of days... and I'm even blaming her cuteness for making me late to work Friday morning, because it was hard to pull myself away from playing with her when she's being so funny.

And now that she's mastered sucking her right thumb too, Josie has moved on to redoubling her efforts to suck on our fingers - she's getting more sneaky too, since she'll play with my fingers while subtly drawing them towards her mouth until she can grab on and start gumming them to death ;)

Josie seems to be more observant now too, and is starting to watch us eat and drink with an interest. We're planning on doing Baby-Led Weaning, so we expect to start her on whatever solids we're eating once she starts reaching for them (vs. starting her on rice cereal or purees), so it's encouraging to see that she's starting to pay more attention to what we're ingesting now, although we're still likely a couple of months away from having her eat anything other than milk (the time I gave her an apple to lick notwithstanding). She also seems to be happier to be in the middle of things, and although she was content playing on her activity mat at Ryan's parents' house over the weekend, she seemed to light up more sitting at the table with us while we sang happy birthday to his mom and had some cake. Now she needs just a little more head control and we'll be able to start putting her in her high chair :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

17 Weeks

We had Josie's four-month well baby appointment on Friday, and she is officially an enormous baby: her length (26 3/4") and head circumference (17 1/4") are off the charts, and her weight is in the 95-98th percentile (17lbs 8oz). She apparently is hitting all her milestones, as she basically ran through most of them during her appointment (holding her hands together, chatting, laughing, holding her chest up when on her belly). The pediatrician confirmed that she is teething, and said that Josie will begin to grab at everything to put it in her mouth - my hair included. She's already started on that though, and I really, really need to start putting my hair back I think, since a haircut does not appear to be in my near future (I was supposed to have one the day I went to the hospital, and so I'm now four months overdue...).

Josie also got more vaccines, and now has had two doses of DTaP/HIB/Polio and Rotavirus (we split the normal 4-month shots again, so I'll be bringing her back in a month for her second dose of Pc and Hep B). She did much better afterward this time - just cried for a few seconds after the shot, then had a very slightly elevated temperature the second day and didn't sleep so great that night, but appears to be back to normal now. What a difference it makes to not have her fighting an ear infection at the same time!

Except for the second night after her vaccines, this week was probably Josie's best week yet for sleeping. We continued to swaddle her with one arm out, and every day during the week she was able to get herself back to sleep with sucking her thumb, and would go to sleep around 7:30pm, and wake up the first time around 5am, and then wake up again for the day at 7am. She seemed to be sleeping more soundly than usual, and was barely moving around - so maybe we finally got her temperature right. We had been dressing her in a onesie with her swaddler over it, and then switched to a long-sleeved footed sleep n play once we were swaddling her with one arm out. But her arm would still seem too cold in the mornings, so we now have her in a short-sleeved onesie, a heavier material sleep n play, a swaddler, and then a blanket tucked over her lower body, and she feels like she's at the perfect temperature now - and given how well she's been sleeping, she seems more comfortable now too.

Josie also is continuing to hone her skills at being able to sleep under more unusual (for her) circumstances. She's apparently able to sleep in the middle of the chaos in the playroom at daycare. She also fell asleep basically everywhere we took her last weekend - out to eat, grocery shopping, etc. And she fell asleep nearly every day this week on the way home from daycare. Which is less than a 10-minute drive. I'm starting to think I'm boring her - I set a goal for myself to talk to her the whole way home, since otherwise I tend to lapse into silence as I think about all the stuff I need to do at home, at work, etc., and I have such limited time to engage with her during the week as it is. So instead I regale her with songs (usually about her squishy feet or baby poo) and stories (ranging from when I used to baby-sit for my neighbor to Ryan's facial hair to our couches)... although maybe boring stories are just what she needs, since it does seem to take the edge off for her to get a quick nap in before I start putting on all her layers of clothing so I can nurse her down to sleep.

For developmental stuff for the week, Josie is now sucking her right thumb too. She had still been forcing the whole fist in her mouth, then got it down to one digit (her index finger, which wasn't too effective), and then shortly after figured out how to get just that thumb in her mouth instead. So now she can suck either thumb... or apparently both at the same time, which she likes to do too - she'll interweave her fingers and then stick both thumbs in her mouth. It seems to entertain her (and us), but isn't very effective at soothing her to sleep since it's a slobbery, loud mess when she does that. She also held her bottle for the first time all by herself! I didn't get a picture of that, but here is one of her at least assisting with the bottle-holding:

Josie has also started to roll to her right side too - she had been rolling to her left side the last couple of weeks, but now is getting better at rolling to either side. And while she hasn't rolled all the way over yet, she certainly is starting to put more effort into it - she was most of the way over to her tummy last night, feet scrabbling away to try to flip herself over, but I think her playmat+socks just wasn't working for her. And I wasn't much help either - I was cheering her on but simultaneously watching with horror, since I love to freak out over every little indication that she's growing up ;)

Sadly, Josie is starting to rub some of her hair off, so her little rattail that she was working on is no more. Instead, she's sporting a bald patch at the back of her head, and very short hair on the sides, which naturally seemed to lend itself to a faux hawk. We then attempted to tame her hair with a hat (Ryan's normal method for his own hair), to limited success (but look how cute!).

We didn't even get to take Josie out for Halloween, although we may still dress her up at some point for pictures, since I'm sure she'll be adorable in her little pumpkin outfit :) We were going to take her to a community event on Saturday, which got rescheduled to Sunday due to the weather (first snow of the year!). Then on Sunday we learned that the last tenant at the rental house had moved out, so Ryan spent most of the afternoon/night over there instead, working on the remaining rooms so that we could get the house on the market this week. So instead I stayed in with Josie, and we had a fun-filled evening of me watching her watching her mobile... :)