Wednesday, May 30, 2012

46 Weeks

This week was another busy one for Miss Josie. She has gotten pretty quick at walking while holding onto someone with both hands now, and branched out this week to walking while only holding one hand. She's still pretty tentative, but her balance is getting better, and we suspect that it may be more of a confidence issue than an ability issue for why she hasn't ventured off on her own so far. (Not that we're complaining - I'm enjoying knowing that she'll stay more or less where we leave her for another few weeks, at least.)

Josie has also gotten more into her books this week - she used to merely tolerate them, unless there was a baby somewhere on or in it (then she would find it considerably more exciting). This week I pulled out some of her "peekaboo" books (i.e., the ones with stuff under flaps), and she not only was more interested in them when we read them to her, but she was also grabbing them and flipping through them/lifting the flaps herself when left on her own. The bibliophile in me was very pleased by this development :)

For Memorial Day, we took Josie to the pool for the first time. Since she hasn't had too many opportunities to splash around in water (she's still taken no more than a handful of "big girl" baths since we usually stick her in the shower instead), I wasn't too sure how she'd react to a lot more water, and it not being very warm to boot. I shouldn't have given it a second thought, though, since negative reactions are not usually her default :) So yes, she loved it.

[First steps into the pool]

Josie has been a bit funny with food the last week or so - while she had started to get mildly more picky about her food, she had still been pretty enthusiastic about feeding herself. However, lately she's fussed about her food, and sometimes would only start eating if we placed it in her mouth or ate a bit of it and then offered it to her. Last week, after she was fussing about her dinner and yelling at me instead, I offered her some of the pear I was eating. She went from fussy to thrilled with life after about one bite.... and I said good-bye to my pear, as she pretty much finished it off herself. So she seems to like to eat food closer to the source sometimes.

All this to say, after she had fun splashing and walking around in the water for a while, I sat her on my lap in the shade and offered a slice of watermelon to her to see how she'd take to it. She took one bite, and then proceeded to annihilate it - getting watermelon all over her, me, the chair, etc. She was a very happy camper, although I was a bit grossed out (little did I realize things could in fact get grosser, as she then demonstrated that swim diapers don't hold in pee at all).

And if you thought - as we hoped - that Josie would be tired out after her afternoon at the pool, you would be sorely mistaken. Instead, she proceeded to chatter - non-stop and with very little encouragement from us - for probably a half hour straight. And then when she finally wound down and went to sleep later that night, she cried out (sometimes in her sleep) about every hour and a half the entire night - yet again proving that 8 hours of sleep can still leave me feeling like I got run over by a truck the next day if it's continually interrupted.

[A 60-second snippet of Josie's monologue]

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[This is the compromise I've worked out with Josie - she gets to play with/hit things with her brush while I get to brush her hair with her comb without her trying to steal it from me]
[Snuggle time]
[Josie has gone back to sucking her index fingers again lately]
[Just waking up after a couple hours of napping on me]
[...and a couple of shots from my vantage point]

[Playing with her favorite baby]

[Showing off her waving with Nana]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

45 Weeks

First off for this week, here's a video I like of Josie running through every goofy little sound she could think of.

Josie is continuing to work on her walking every day, and has also been focusing on standing still lately too, which seems a bit harder since it's constant balance corrections. For whatever reason, she has also started popping her mouth open and closed, especially when walking - we like to call it her walkin' motor :)

[Yes, Josie does actually do something without an accompanying soundtrack of shrieking ;)]

As far as her fine motor skills, she's gotten quite good at flicking light switches on and off, and handing stuff to us when we ask nicely and hold our hands out (although she usually grabs it right back). Josie has also been more into playing peekaboo lately.... sort of. She'll occasionally cover her eyes with her hands and then pull them down and laugh, but also holds her hands up to her temples or over her ears before pulling them away and laughing :) She also was really into her blocks and stacking cups this week - she played relatively quietly by herself for close to an hour the other day with just a couple of blocks and her cups, mainly putting the block in a cup, flinging it out, collecting it, and doing it all over again.

Josie is still a happy and delightful little baby for the most part, but she is also getting more... opinionated, let's say. She discovered she could take her straw out of her cup and use it to drum on the cup lid, chew on, poke herself in the eye, etc., and erupted into outraged crying as soon as we took it away from her. She also, rather disturbingly, has been hitting herself in the face. It was mildly amusing at first when it seemed like a fluke, but then she kept doing it, and started hitting herself harder and harder. She's apparently done this at daycare too, when other kids took her toys away (since she's not exactly mobile yet, I guess she's a sitting duck for them), but has also done this at home when she isn't upset. I've been trying to stop her, but she either thinks it's a game or gets upset with me from stopping her from hitting herself... even when it's to the point that she's hitting herself hard enough that she seems upset by it. I see logic will not work here.
[Demonstrating her favorite way to sit in highchairs - sideways]

In other eating-related news, her bottom two teeth are still working their way into position - which, unfortunately, is pretty crooked (looks like she got my teeth!). We suspect she may be working on some other teeth, too, because she's been a bit fussy and especially drooly lately. Josie also had meat for the first time last week. For whatever reason, I had felt a little odd about giving her meat (even though Ryan and I aren't normally vegetarians), but I was eating a wrap with portobello mushrooms in it, so I gave her a bit of the mushroom. She ate it right up, so I gave a bigger piece to Ryan to cut up, and as he did so, he was shocked to find that it was steak - not shocked that Josie had eaten meat, but shocked that I apparently couldn't tell the difference between mushroom and steak :(

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Sometimes eating is very serious business]
[Luckily, Josie now finds it much more amusing than she used to when Ryan blows in her face]

[Happy baby!]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

44 Weeks

This week was my first Mother's Day where there was no confusion about whether I "counted" as a mom or should mark the occasion, since with previous years, I was either pregnant, trying to get pregnant or dealing with losses.... or, going further back, trying to figure out if I even wanted kids - and how things have changed! Now, nearly every day I look at Josie and think some variation of "Josie is the best thing ever." I'm so happy to be able to add "mom" to my list of appellations, and Josie has been a great introduction to motherhood :)

So, onto the Mother's Day festivities... Josie celebrated Mother's Day by wearing shoes for the first time, although she wasn't too sure about them at first:

We went out to brunch with Ryan's family, and enjoyed some good food (although I'm still kicking myself for missing out on the banana butter that was supposed to go on the already-delicious Bananas Foster french toast). Josie showed just the slightest hint of fussiness while we were eating, and Ryan's family was on top of the situation - she had a choice of being held and/or entertained by six different people in addition to her usual two, and I think she was quite happy with her options :)

She also had watermelon, raspberries, and blackberries for the first time... and then promptly rubbed them into her hair, so I'm not sure if that's a win or not.

That last picture shows one of her new moves from this week. As she's eating, she's starting to fling her head back - the better to laugh with? I'm not sure, but when she first did that this week, it was right after I tried to give her a Brussels sprout leaf. She threw her head back and laughed at it, and then I laughed at the absurdity of it (a baby throwing her head back to do a proper belly laugh? Are Brussels sprouts really that funny?), which prompted another round of laughing between the two of us :) Also funny to her this week: umbrellas, poking her in the belly with my foot, her baby doll "kissing" her on her tummy, sneezes (just her own), and me blowing my nose, stretching, or yawning. I also sing her a song that is almost guaranteed to get her to laugh... I recorded it to post here, but while I'm getting used to my speaking voice on the various videos, it turns out I'm not there yet with my singing voice ;) So instead I will describe it: the lyrics consist entirely of her name, repeated, over and over, with the last "Joooo-SEE" ending on a high-pitched note. Each time, she does a tiny little giggle (really, just enough to keep me going), and then I do it again on repeat just to get that little giggle out of her.

So we're trying to teach Josie how to give kisses and high-fives now, and she's making some progress for both. She will occasionally hit our hands, but without a whole lot of power behind it so far. And for kisses, she's starting to kiss her baby doll, but hasn't quite worked out what to do with herself when receiving kisses.... so she usually opts for open-mouthed laughing (which is her default, I'm realizing, as she does this while walking/falling too). She also has found a whole new level of loudness, and has really improved upon her pterodactyl impression, with lots of screeching peppered with the occasional scream.
[Josie wasn't exactly cooperating here]

[A little bit of screeching]

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Josie woke up too early, so she got to hang out with me in the bathroom while I got ready for work - she seemed fine with this arrangement :)]
[Pirate baby - and yes, Ryan has a mohawk again :)]

[Checking the wall for sturdiness]

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

43 Weeks

The big news for this week is that Josie is finally cutting some teeth! A bottom tooth starting coming through last week, and I just noticed a second one a couple of days ago. It just took 6 months since the pediatrician first noted that she was teething at her 4-month appointment ;) I tried to get a picture of them, but since they're still just barely through her gums, you can't really see them quite yet. So here is probably one of the last pictures of Josie without readily visible teeth ;)

She's done pretty well with cutting these teeth, though, and that's on top of the congestion/cold she's had for a few days now too - she's generally still as happy as can be, although she's had a bit of trouble at night, waking up a few extra times with sad crying :( So she's been spending more of the night than normal in our bed, since she tends to sleep better and wake up sad crying less there - which is fine as long as she doesn't flail around and hit me, which she's been doing better with lately. However, she has developed a rather unfortunate way to soothe herself to sleep: pinching my throat or scratching my teeth (which I normally don't let her do - turns out I do have limits). So as long as she has her thumb to suck and my throat to pinch, I've been able to get her back to sleep lately (if she's not hungry) with just snuggling with her in bed, if patting her back while she's still in her crib didn't work. Although I did reach my tolerance limit the other night with the throat poking and prodding, so I finally blocked her from getting at my throat and she fell asleep grasping onto my cheek instead. Good enough :)

It's hard for me to believe that 10 months have already flown by, and nursing her is already winding down. I would happily keep nursing until Josie self-weans, if not for the pumping (I hate it, and my "break times" are only officially protected by company policy for 12 months) and the fact that I'll likely need to go through IVF again if we hope to have another kid anytime soon, and I can't nurse while taking the medications needed for that. I just realized this morning that, although I've been fussing about how I'm going to go about weaning Josie after she turns one for a while now, the process has likely already begun. Josie has gone from drinking 24oz each day at daycare to 18oz maybe a month or two ago, and lately has only been having maybe 9-10oz a day as she's increasing the amount of solids she's eating. We had been sending some multi-grain cereal with her to daycare and giving her some solids at night for a while now, but we just gave daycare permission this week to start giving her the same breakfast the other kids get (a soup made out of potato, dal, and squash), and this morning we sent along some mango, cantaloupe, sweet potato, and grapes for her to get at lunch-time too. I had been worried about what we'd switch her to after I weaned (e.g., cow's milk, goat's milk, etc.), but I'm slightly less concerned about that now that I'm realizing she's doing pretty well with her solids intake, and my stash of frozen milk (currently just under 400oz) should keep her going for a little while after I wean too.

Speaking of solids, we just introduced Josie to her new favorite food item of the week: yogurt. When she first starting eating solids, she didn't seem to distinguish much between the different foods we gave her (they all ended up in her mouth eventually, and she seemed about equally excited about them), but she's definitely starting to show some preferences now: favorites include mango, pear, and cantaloupe, but yogurt has now superseded at least cantaloupe, since as soon as she had her first bite, she dropped the cantaloupe she was double-fisting and excitedly flailed around until she got more.
[Josie and her soon-to-be new best friend, yogurt]

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[Proof that Josie is not always smiling - I think she was yelling at me because I took away the comb she was chewing on]
[That's more like it ;)]
[Swing time!]
[Playing with her new toys]

[Talking to her baby doll]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

42 Weeks

Last week, Ryan took his long-delayed trip to Dublin for work, so my mom stayed over for the week to help me out / get her Josie fix / enjoy a shorter commute.  It worked out well, and now I'm much less apprehensive about Ryan having to be away :)  Although Josie had decided to forgo most of her morning nap on Sunday when Ryan came  back, so she didn't provide a very enthusiastic welcome home for him in the afternoon:
[What is her little fist doing? I have no idea]

Before Ryan came back, though, Josie and I met up with one of the ladies from our childbirth classes and her little girl for lunch.  It was so fun to see the babies interacting and squealing at each other, and I'm afraid to say I squealed along with them because they were just too cute.
[Stealing Josie's sock]

There are definite differences in how Josie eats different foods now.  She chews (in a very exaggerated fashion) on cantaloupe, and does what we've dubbed "fists of rage" to eat her sweet potatoes... which consists of squishing them in her fist (bonus points for when she is shaking from the exertion), and then she attempts to eat the (squished) sweet potato from in between her fingers, usually by trying to shove her entire fist in her mouth.

Josie is definitely an odd little duck though - one day last week she was being very quiet on the way home, so I checked in the mirror to see if she was falling asleep... only to catch her licking her car seat.  She then sneezed, smiled a little Mona Lisa smile to herself, and finished up by pointing at her foot and yelling at it :)

Last week also marked the first time she did something based solely off a verbal cue - in this case, clapping.  One morning, before Josie had started doing her cute little baby claps for the day, I said "clap clap clap!" to her, and lo and behold, she actually did it.  Cue high-pitched squealing from me, which I'm pretty sure scared her, but she did it a few more times throughout the week so it doesn't appear to have been a fluke.  That does seem like a pretty big step that she's able to do something based purely off an unrelated verbal cue (as in, she's not flicking her tongue or babbling in response to us doing the same).

Josie is still not crawling, although Ryan usually devotes part of the time while I'm eating dinner to working with her on walking, so her standing and walking skills are continuing to get better.
[Not crawling, but maybe getting a bit closer?]
[Recovering from her efforts with some thumb-sucking, which always follows the "eat Daddy's shoulder" part of the routine (note the wet spots on his shoulder)]

And finally, Josie slept through the night (technically) for the first time last week - at least, in the sense that she did not wake up between when she fell asleep and when she woke up for the day (although she did go down a bit late and then woke almost an hour early, so she may very well have actually slept for a longer stretch on a different night).  And this was coming on the heels of a pretty rough night of sleep, and our renewed dedication to not push her into sleeping through the night.  We have been trying to follow her lead when it makes sense (re: sleeping, eating, holding, etc.), as she's more tuned in to her biological needs since she hasn't yet learned to ignore or second-guess her instincts the way adults tend to do.  So we have been trying to just let the sleep situation work out naturally, since she has gone to fewer wake-ups and being able to get herself back to sleep better (now with mostly very little help on our part, except for some back patting and shushing) with just some support and patience on our end, so this was a pretty exciting development.  I know it will still be a while before this is a consistent occurrence, but it's still good to see she's capable of it (and this without crying or sleeping training (at least not yet), and with her back in her crib for most of the night), and I'll look forward to her doing this more in the future ;)

Miscellaneous cuteness: