Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Routine, Part Deux

Since it's been close to a year since I last posted about our routine here, I thought it was time to do an update to document how we've been handling the day-to-day stuff over the last several months :)

We used to have to wake Josie up each morning around 7am to get her ready and off to daycare during the week, but the last few weeks she's been waking up for the day usually between 5-6:30am.  When that happens, if it's well before 6:30am, I usually end up bringing her downstairs so she can play and I can pretend that laying on the living room floor is as restful as still being asleep.  If it's right around 6:30am, then Ryan normally will take her on his morning walk so I can get ready in the meantime.  And if it's after 6:30am and Ryan's already gone on his walk, I stick her in her playard with some toys to hopefully keep her occupied while I get ready.  Only on the rare occasion now does she actually stay asleep all the way through to when we go in to wake her at 7am, so if I ended up keeping her in bed after her overnight feeding, then I keep the bathroom door open a bit as I get ready so I can make sure she hasn't woken up and attempted escape from the pillow fortress.

Once she's up, Ryan takes care of baby cleaning time while I usually try to pull together her daycare bag (with some diapers, wet bag, a container of fruits/vegetables for snacks, and her milk).  Then I go back upstairs to collect her and we say hello to Mirror Baby on the way out of the bathroom.

I get her dressed and attempt to do her hair (even though she's back to pulling any barrette or hair tie out of it again), in between all the kicking she needs to get out of her system in the mornings.

Then we head downstairs for her pre-daycare bottle of milk, which she usually barely touches but I still offer anyway, since I'd feel weird sending her off for the day without feeding her (even though she eats breakfast almost immediately after arriving at daycare... oh well).  Once Ryan's ready, he grabs Josie and their various bags of stuff, I attempt to elicit good-bye kisses from them (Ryan usually cooperates more than she does!), and then Ryan takes her off to daycare.

Once they're out the door, I gather the rest of the things I need for work (pump and bottle stuff, food for the day), then head back upstairs to finish getting ready before grabbing my own various bags of stuff and going to work.
[So many bags]

After work, I pick up Josie from daycare and head home, attempting to sing children's songs to her the whole way, but usually forgetting the words and making up my own midway through or switching over to Christmas music ;)  Once we're home, I usually sit down to take my shoes off and she used to do adorable things like cling onto my legs.  However, now that she can climb up the stairs, she usually just bypasses me and tries to make a break for the upstairs.

Ryan usually gets home a few minutes after Josie and me, so then he takes over baby duty while I eat dinner.  They'll normally do a few walking circuits around the living room and dining room and a few trips up and down the stairs, and then Josie comes in to eat her dinner with me too - usually consisting of some liver pate, yogurt, and/or some fruits and vegetables (especially her current favorites: watermelon, blueberries, cherries, and grapes).

After Josie is done with dinner, Ryan then takes her upstairs to do her baby massage and get her ready for bed.  Up until last week, I would then either nurse her down to sleep in bed, read for about 15 minutes after she falls asleep, and then move her to her crib, or nurse her until she flails around enough that it's clear she's done eating, then put her in her crib and wait about 15 minutes for her to settle down and fall asleep.  Now that I'm no longer nursing her at bedtime, though, Ryan is giving her a bottle and then putting her to sleep in her crib, which seems to be going well so far. 

While one of us is upstairs with Josie, the other one is downstairs washing all the pump parts and bottles from the day and prepping food for Josie and me.  We got a bit smarter over the last few months (and by "we" I mean Ryan), and ended up getting multiple containers for my breakfasts and lunches so we can prep food for more than one day at a time now.
[Josie's various fruits and my breakfast / lunch containers]

Josie normally falls asleep by 7:30pm, so then Ryan and I get a couple of hours together to relax.... nope, just kidding :)  Instead, he'll normally be doing some cooking or house or computer stuff or going on his evening walk, while I always seem to be doing laundry, although I sometimes have a half hour or so of free time to blog or work on other computer stuff.
[Surrounded by baby stuff - baby laundry, diapers, and a kid on the monitor]

Josie normally sleeps pretty well at the beginning of the night now and she'll stay asleep until sometime after midnight, or, if she does wake up before that, she can usually get herself back to sleep on her own (unless she woke because she banged her head on the crib - if that's the case, she usually needs a bit more help getting back to sleep).  So I go to bed around 9:30pm and can get a few hours of sleep in before she wakes to nurse, which is usually sometime between 2 and 5am.   If she's awake afterwards, then I'll put her back in her crib where she'll normally fall back asleep (eventually).  But if she falls asleep after feeding, I'll leave her in bed until she wakes up for the day - 1) because I really don't want to risk waking her up by moving her, but also 2) because I still like her there, even if she does wake me by kicking me or ominously giggling just before trying to eat my nose :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

13 Months

It turns out 13 months kind of snuck up on me - I had still been saying Josie "just" turned a year old, even up until she was 4 days away from turning 13 months.  Oops.

So, lots of changes are afoot with Miss Josie.  She is still not really walking (on her own) or talking (using actual English words), but she's making progress!  I believe she moo-ed along with me last week when I was reading/making animal sounds for her, and she possibly also said "bacon".

Josie willingly has started taking a few steps on her own now - so no longer only when we yoink our fingers out from her hands when she's already walking, or by propping her up just right so she can walk between us.  She is still very, very cautious though.  She cruises around the furniture much more now, so when she decides she's going to walk over to us, she'll cruise along the couch until she's a couple feet away, then will ever so carefully turn herself around and walk the one or two steps left to get to us.  And then she claps for herself :)  She also has figured out stairs in the last few days, so she can climb all the way to the top of the stairs now, although she's not quite as good at getting back down.  Unfortunately, now that she knows how to go up stairs, the one step down into our living room is no longer sufficient as a baby barrier, so we can't put her in the living room and expect her to stay there for long.
[This is the face she gives me when she really just wants me to come save her - but only with two hands!  She had refused my help when I only offered one hand for her to hold onto ;)]

Josie is starting to mimic our actions more now, which is really neat to see. She tries to help comb her hair, or put shoes on me (or on herself), all with very limited success so far though.
[Trying to maneuver her feet into Ryan's shoes didn't go too well]

We also gave her one of my old phones to play with, and she is just hilarious with it. She has progressed from saying "eh?" (which I believe is her imitation of "hello") to now having full, rather animated conversations - punctuated by plenty of fake laughter - all on her own.

After meeting my goal of nursing for a year, I'm also almost done weaning Josie. There were several factors - and plenty of thoughtful consideration - that went into this decision, and yet that hasn't stopped me from being sad about it. It probably isn't helping that she hasn't been taking to this transition too well - I've started mixing whole cow's milk into her bottles over the last few weeks, and she has alternated between seemingly tolerating it to flatout refusing to drink it (to the point where one day last week she refused to drink any of her milk at daycare). But then today she drank two mixed bottles (which is as many as she used to drink before I started mixing her bottles, but she had dropped down to maybe one a day at daycare since then) and then had some straight cow's milk after that when she was still hungry. So hopefully she's coming around on this - that would probably help alleviate some of my stress with the situation. I may be overthinking this, but I've been trying to make this a pretty slow transition by dropping a feeding a week over the course of a month, and I've been watching for any signs of stress in her. She has been more huggy lately, but I think it may be coincidence and she's probably still ok - it seems more that she just happened to get mobile enough recently to get herself over to us on her own when she wants some attention.

Although Ryan took over nap duty for Josie a few weeks back, I'm still putting her down at night for the next couple of weeks.  Then, once she is weaned, Ryan will start putting her down at night too, since I'm assuming she won't be too happy if I try to put her down myself with a bottle instead of nursing her.  She may prove me wrong (and hopefully she will!), but I suspect we'll have some rough nights when she realizes I won't be nursing her back to sleep when she wakes up overnight (which she still does, usually once a night around 3 or 4am), although I think she'll do ok initially going down for the night without nursing since she hasn't been falling asleep while nursing lately anyway.  I've been putting her in her crib awake more often than asleep over the last few weeks, and although we usually seem to have to go through a couple minutes of (fake) crying before she settles down, she's been going to sleep pretty well if I just stay in the room with her.  She is still in our room (she'll be moving into her own room once we move into the new house), but is sleeping in her crib very nearly full-time at night now, except for maybe a couple times a week when I leave her in bed if she's asleep after her overnight feeding.

Miscellaneous cuteness:
[These coupons were her preferred form of entertainment last weekend]

[Sometimes she's an odd little duck]

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


July proved to be a very busy month for us.  The week after we got back from the lake, Josie had her 12-month well baby appointment.  She had a cold at the time, but besides that, they said she seemed quite healthy and was continuing to hit her milestones.  She weighed in at 25lbs 3oz, and was 32" tall - they didn't give me the percentiles for those measurements this time, but did mention that she's about the height of an 18-month-old... which seems to make sense, given that she's wearing 18-mo clothes now anyway :)  She got her MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, although we delayed the other two recommended vaccines (chickenpox and hepatitis A) for the time being.

Then that next weekend, we headed off to Pittsburgh for my brother's wedding.  Turns out my rather negative impression of Pittsburgh (based on a rest stop I must have taken in the outskirts of the city almost a decade ago) was unfounded - the area we were staying in outside of the city was quite nice, and downtown was pretty cool.


I wish we had more time to explore, but we were on limited time because of work and the kid - maybe someday we'll make it back up there to poke around the city more :)  The wedding was also very nice, and it was great to get to spend time with family.

[With my dad before the wedding]
[My brother and new sister-in-law]
[The happy couple!]
[Ryan did his hair up for the wedding ;)]

Josie started getting a bit fussy towards the end of the wedding dinner, which we chalked up to being off her routine since we kept her out past her bedtime for a couple nights in a row... that probably was a contributing factor, but she also started to feel warm and had some GI stuff going on, so it seems there was more going on than just being tired. So she had a low grade fever at the beginning of the week, which started to go up mid-week, and with her worsening congestion and cough and some rash showing up on her, I ended up bringing her in to the pediatrician on Friday.  It turns out Josie has an ear infection :(  We've been keeping up with her "baby massage" (as first mentioned here), which I think has helped her not to have any ear infections since December... but I guess the cold(s) she has had for the last couple of weeks finally caught up with her, and her right ear was pretty infected, and she possibly has a sinus infection too.  So she's on some antibiotics now and already seems to be doing a lot better.

However, the pediatrician thought that her rash was just mosquito bites... which I guess could be the case, but Ryan and I think it's highly unlikely.  Especially now as more bumps are popping up on her arms, legs, and torso, and she has a different pattern of the rash across her upper lip.  Methinks this is a reaction to the MMR vaccine she got the week prior, although I'm not sure why the pediatrician discounted that theory...



Miscellaneous cuteness:

[Josie, keeping it classy since 2011]
[Josie with her favorite playmate]

Sunday, August 5, 2012

House Update

So, we now have a basement at the new house - that's a step up from an empty hole in the ground, like in the last update I posted about the house :)  Because the house is very close to floodplain, they had to first dig the hole, then put apparently several tons of gravel in.

Once all the gravel was in place and all the right people had inspected and signed off on it, they then were able to get the precast parts of the foundation in place.  We came back from our vacation at the lake to see our house looking much more like the start of a house:

P1080672 [Stairs to the basement] P1080675 [The back of the house where the bonus room/deck will be, with the concrete footers poured]

The flooring was still gravel inside the basement up to that point, but a week later, they were able to pour the flooring and start taking care of some of the other odds and ends.
P1080683 [The front of the house, with the flooring for the front porch installed] P1080685 
[Basement egress window] 
P1080686 P1080687
[Garage in the front half, then the studio/in-law suite will be in the back half]
It's definitely starting to feel more real now that we have a tangible start to our house that we can walk around in rather than just looking at some plans.  I had a little thrill of excitement when I stepped foot on our garage floor for the first time - and the really fun part is still to come!  There's not much else to do at the site for now, so we're just waiting for the house to go into production at the factory (which should happen this week), and then for it to be shipped down from Pennsylvania (watch for some wide loads on the highways later this month ;) ), and then put into place on August 24th (which also happens to be our 10-year dating anniversary).  More house pictures to follow then!