Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marathon Week

I feel like I've been running a marathon all week! There really hasn't been a moment to stop and even catch my breath until this evening, and that was only because we were driving back from a b-day party in West Virginia and I forgot to bring my school bag to work on lessons.

Somehow almost all of our big appointments/meetings/etc. landed on the same week and so it was running from one thing to another every day. We really tried to keep Emmaline on a schedule, but it was very difficult. We are really hoping that this week is easier. As of now, we only have things on Wednesday. I have a staff meeting after school and then Dan has Bible study at 7 so we probably won't get to see each other, but we will be able to get Emma home at a decent hour and keep her on schedule.

Adding lunch seems to be helping with her weight. We took her to the doctor on Friday because she'd been running a fever for 3 days. She was 20 lb, ? oz (Dan can't remember if it was 3 oz or 9 oz). Either way, it's up from 19 lb so may we're back on track. We'll see where she is in 2 weeks when we have her 12 month check up and shots.

We are still convinced that she's teething, but the doctor didn't feel anything new in her mouth. Luckily, she stopped waking up screaming in the middle of the night. She's still clingy and chewing everything. She won't let us touch her mouth and she's starting to reject certain foods.

I can't think of any new developments, other than a rash that appeared this afternoon. I think it's just a heat rash. We were in the car a lot yesterday and it was in the upper 90s. She was a sweaty mess everytime we took her out. Not sure why it would wait until today to show up, but she was wearing long sleeves (it dropped to the low 70s). She only said ma-ma one more time and we can't get her to do it any more. It's almost more disappointing now that I know she can do it!

Cutest thing tonight: I was packing the diaper bag for daycare tomorrow and she took her shoes out of the bag. She walked over to me and plopped down in my lap, pulled the velcro open on her shoe and held up her foot! I went ahead and put her shoes on (because, how can you resist that?) and let her wander around in just her shoes & diaper for a while.

I had lots of lap time with her today. We went to a birthday party for the baby we had Baby Signs class with. They had a guy there singing children's songs which was a lot of fun. Emma decided to park in my lap and just watch all the activities 99% of the time. She does this at the Little Gym sometimes too. I think she's just going to be the type of kid who enjoys sitting back and taking it all in. At daycare, she definitely jumps right into the middle of things. I figure it's because she's so familiar with the place and with those babies. Anywhere else she prefers to be an observer. Part of me wished that she'd gotten up and played, but a bigger part of me enjoyed the snuggly time -- especially since I've been so busy and don't feel like I got to see her much this week or Saturday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 24

SHE DID IT! Emmaline finally said "ma-ma". Granted, she only said it once, but we both heard it and therefore it counts! I doubt think it had any meaning, she was just mumbling it as we were in the car leaving for church this morning. She was also having fun just making the 'mmmm' sound. She also signed 'milk' before nursing this morning. And she slept through the night twice this week! Developments that I'm not thrilled about include discovering the litter box (and trying to eat the litter), throwing Dan's keys in the litter box, opening the lid of the new trashcan and throwing misc. things inside that. More positive developments: she is learning to follow directions. The other day I told her to come give me a kiss. She stopped what she was doing, stood up, walked over to me and gave me a kiss! She has been pulling books off her bookshelf for a while, but now she'll pick one and bring it to me. After I read it to her I can hand it back and tell her to put it away. And she does! (She takes it off again after she puts it up - but I'm still amazed.) Yesterday evening we were in the computer room which is right next to her bedroom. She walked out and came back with a book. She gave that to Dan and turned around and left. Then she came back with another book and gave that to me. After a couple minutes we gave her the books back and told her to put them away so she went back to her room and shoved them on the shelf. She has also become pretty helpful when it comes time to get her dressed or undressed. She will put her arm in if we hold the sleeve open. She sticks her legs out to put them in her pants/shorts/leggings/etc. She tries to pull the shirt/dress over her head if we have the arms out. And she loves putting on her shoes. She has been trying to put them on herself, but hasn't quite figured it out. It has made mornings much less frustrating!

If you can't tell, things have been pretty busy around here. All the things going on at home pales in comparison to the things at work! It was quite a week. I think I'm going to enjoy my class this year, but it's going to take a while to get them to stop talking! Right now it feels impossible, but I have to stick with it because I'm tired of coming home with headaches. This week is going to be even crazier! We have appointments or meetings pretty much every day. It is going to make it very difficult to stick to Emmaline's routine.

Things have been going well with just having 1 car now. I think it helping us communicate better since we have to make sure the other person knows exactly what we've got going on so we can figure out who should drive that day (basically, whoever can get to Emma the soonest after work is the one who drives). Most days I've been driving since Dan has bus duty after school until November, but on days when I have meetings he takes it. It's a pretty fun car to drive, especially because you always have the challenge of keeping the car on battery as much as possible. We compete to see who can do little things like make it up certain hills or accelerate the quickest without kicking it over to fuel.

With everything that's been going on, I haven't had much time to worry about Emma's weight. We started giving her lunch everyday at daycare in addition to the bottles/nursing. That seems to be going well, but she is a picky eater. It's not that she doesn't like foods, it's just that she only likes them in certain orders. We're discovering a hierarchy of foods and you have to work your way up. If she sees the 'better' food, she will refuse to eat what you've already given her. For example, tonight she was happy with mango.... until she saw the hamburger. Then she was happy with the hamburger (although she kept picking out the mushroom).... until she saw us eating corn. We hadn't planned on giving her corn tonight because she had it like 5 times this week, but of course we gave in to her whining. Usually we would just let her whine, but she was extremely cranky today and we just wanted to enjoy dinner.

The craziest thing is that it is less than 3 weeks until her 1st birthday! I've been trying to think about what I was doing 1 year ago. I know I was exhausted, my feet were ridiculously swollen, and my blood pressure was too high. I was miserable. A friend at work has the same due date that I had (Oct. 14). I watch her and I don't miss it one bit! I'm definitely NOT one of those women who say "I loved being pregnant". Heck no, it sucked! I am excited for her to have her baby though - Emma's instant BFF. I'm already planning to buy the girls matching outfits :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 23

So tonight I had to try to remember what the weeks in the post titles were actually counting. It is the weeks since I've started this blog, which correspond to the weeks since Emmaline started solids.

Up until this week, I had felt pretty confident about the route we took with solids. My approach was to make sure that breastmilk was her primary source of nutrition and that all other food was secondary. Solids were to be more of a fun activity than a requirement. We took things pretty slowly. Started with just 1 meal every couple days, waited a while before making it a daily event, waited a while longer before introducing the 2nd meal, and we were holding off until close to a year to begin a 3rd meal. She's still nursing 5-7x/day (depending on how often she wakes at night to nurse). Her bottles at daycare still have 5 ounces each and of course, I can't tell exactly how much she is getting when she nurses, but it takes just as much time as it has for quite a while. Anyway, my bubble was burst when we went to the doctor this week (her cough has not gone away and now is waking her up throughout the night). She has lost weight. She's back to the weight she was at the beginning of May. The doctor wasn't terribly worried because she's still around the 50th percentile, but did want us to start giving her 3 meals a day in addition to breastmilk. She has her one year appointment in a month and we'll see what to do at that point. I know there are a couple factors that could be responsible for the weight loss: being sick all summer with colds and ear infections; starting to crawl and then walk. But I still feel like I'm responsible and that I should have been feeding her more or something. I started spacing her bottles out every four hours this summer, maybe I should have kept it every three.

I also feel horrible that she is still sick! I can't remember the last time when she was healthy for any decent period of time. The doctor couldn't determine if it's the tail end of a cold or environmental allergy (ragweed). If it's a cold, it should disappear in another day or so. If it's ragweed, it'll last a while. Either way, there's nothing to do. The one positive thing was that her ears look great! (Her lungs were very clear and that was a relief too.) And to top it off, whatever she has - Dan and I are starting to come down with it too. Good thing we have a ton of kleenex in this house with all the runny noses and sneezing going on!

We successfully completed the first week back to school with students. It was long and exhausting. I'm praying that we won't still be putting in 10 hour days this week. I miss Emma so much! It seems like we get home with just enough time to feed her, bathe her, and put her to bed. Even the weekend flew by and it doesn't seem like we got much play time (partly because I had to go into the school to get some things ready). I know I wouldn't be a good stay-at-home-mom, but I wish there was some kind of balance in between that and being at work allllll the time.

No major accomplishments or developments. She has started wearing shoes occasionally. She's learning how to run. And I also caught her trying to climb up her bookshelf today. We really need to get around to baby-proofing the house!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weeks 21 and 22

Once again, I missed a week! Beginning of the school year = crazy busy and stressed parents. Kids start this Tuesday and with the new middle school opening (and totally not ready), I'm the more prepared one this year.... which doesn't say much. I think that last Monday I realized I'd forgotten to blog, but didn't have any new pictures to post along with it and so I didn't bother. This week, I made sure to take a couple pictures of Emmaline so I wouldn't have any excuses.

Emmaline's 8th tooth finally broke through and we've managed to have a week of good sleep! Unfortunately, I can see the gums swelling around her lower right molar and I'm expecting the cranky baby to return very soon. Keeping my fingers cross though that we can make it through the first 2 days of school before it happens. She is also officially walking! She's been taking steps since the beginning of August, but now she seems to be much more confident about letting go of tables and just heading off. She gets so proud of herself, it's adorable! Today we bought her a pair of shoes and she loves them. You can tell it's a different feeling and she stumbles more, but she gets pretty mad when you take them off. (I'm going to enjoy that while it lasts, because I'm sure that by next week she'll be yanking them off every five seconds.) She's also consistently waving hello and bye!

We had kept her in daycare this summer on half-time hours (9-2) to try to keep her in a routine and allow us to get things done during the day. Because of that, I didn't think it would be difficult to 'leave her' once school started up again. I was totally wrong! Going back to 7-4 (closer to 5 this week) hours has been really tough. I do fine for a good portion of the day, but as the afternoon wears on, I really start to miss her (and Dan). Coming home and barely having time for dinner, bath, and bed stinks. I miss our afternoon play time and trips to the pool or park.

I am going to start cutting out pumping sessions so that I can be done with the pump by mid-October. I'm hoping that will give me back my planning time at school and allow me to leave work at a decent time (and maybe even go in closer to 8 instead of 7). Last year I pumped at 8, 11, and 3. Now I'll just be pumping at 11 and eliminate that one in about 6 weeks. I still have a decent freezer stash so she'll be getting 1 fresh bottle and 1 thawed bottle. After her birthday we will continue with BM until the stash runs out and then switch to organic cow's milk (in a sippy cup). By that point, the goal is to give her 3 solid meals and a snack. The thought of switching to a solid diet is freaking me out. I really liked breastfeeding because I was able to trust my body to provide all the nutrients she needed. Then I really liked BLW because the focus with solids has been to just provide her the experience of flavors and textures, but the nutritional emphasis remained on breastmilk. I just don't feel ready to trust solids to provide for her and even though I'm still planning on nursing her in the evening/morning, I'm still nervous about it. I think part of the issue is that I feel like she already eats so much when we give her solids. I can't imagine how much this kid will scarf down when it's her main thing every day.
Pic this week comes from The Little Gym. We started taking Emma there 2 weekends ago. She loves it and we enjoy having a fun family activity on the weekends. We decided to go ahead and have her birthday party there. It's a little pricey, but it takes the planning and managing off our hands and therefore seems worth it! Basically, we provided the guest list (addresses) and the cake - they do the rest.
In other news, tomorrow (God willing) we will be trading in both our cars and buying a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid. We have already talked with the dealer and made arrangements. They are going to NoVa to pick it up in the morning and it should be ready in the afternoon! Hopefully, the pic next week will be of us with our new eco-friendly suv!
*Apparently, I have too many tags this week so here's a list of (most of) the foods she had in the last two weeks: avocado, apple, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, pasta, corn, kiwi, green beans, peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, tomato, chicken, english muffin, flax/bran flakes, puffs, yellow squash, blueberry, broccoli, cauliflower, button mushroom, pears, peaches, plum, pumpkin pie. I'll just put tags for new foods!