We're appriaching a major transition. Not a big milestone like first day of school, or first trip away, but one that will have a big impact on me. It's time to upgrade from the infant seat to a convertible car seat. We've loved our Brit.ax combination unit. The person who came up with the idea of attaching the infant seat to a stroller is a fucking genius. As she's been getting bigger, I've started putting her in the "big girl" stroller, rather than attaching the infant seat, which was sign #1 that we were ready to move on. I even picked up an accessory tray, which requires that you remove the supports for the infant seat (sign #2). Her feet have now reached beyond the edge, so they're just hanging off, but she's not yet touching the seat in my car. She's only 29.5 inches, but Husband is such a Dudley Do-Right that he wanted to make sure we moved her into a new car seat before she reached 30 inches. We figured it would be a project after we returned from visiting the east coast, but a local baby supply store was offering a 25% discount on a new car seat, if you traded in your old one during the month of September. A price reduction and you take away the old one so I don't have to deal with it? That's a win-win!
Except I am finding it hard to part with the infant seat. The infant seat allowed me to be a mom who didn't work her day around her baby's nap schedule. Well to a point, I would often take advantage of the fact that she easily falls asleep in the car and could just transfer her in the infant seat to the stroller when I needed to get some errands done. If she fell asleep on the way home, I could just drop the infant seat off in her room and carry on unpacking groceries. [as I am writing this, she's sleeping in her infant seat]. Once we move to a convertable car seat, I'll have to risk waking her as I move her from the car seat to a stroller and hope she'll fall back asleep. It's going to put a crimp in my carefree mom life style. [I do acknowledge that this is going to be less of an issue, especially as we officially transition to a one day a day schedule]. There was just something else about the infant carrier. I admit I felt that it gave me a sense of status. I have one of these! I'm in the club now! I'm thinking the same thing you are; Jane, after all this time, do you still need validation that you're a mother? Well, no. Yet, I still enjoyed it. Of course it was easier when I was carrying around an 8 pound newborn and not a 23 pound toddler. I won't miss lugging that thing back and forth while dropping her off and picking her up at Day Care [Husband and I alternate Day Care duties, so we needed to leave it with her. We also need two convertable car seats for this reason]. I have brusises around my mid thighs and knees that might finally fade. Still there are aspects that I'm going to miss. It's going to be hard to hand it over; but it needs to be done. Otherwise, I might try to repurpose it for hanging plants.
Stats: Weight 24 lbs 13 oz, 29.5 inches
Teeth: She was a little late on her two month schedule of cutting teeth. At first she seemed to be on track as she was especially irritable when she turned 14 months, but the swollen gums didn't appear for another two weeks. At press time, another tooth on the lower left has started to emerge.
Hair: Getting longer, but it will be ages before she'll be ready for a barrett, let along a pony tail. As she's been following me into the bathroom while I'm ready in the morning, I'll use my rotating brush hairdryer on her. I think she likes the way it feels, and I'm envious that she can practically get a blow-out with just one pass.
Sleep: We're still so blessed to have a great sleeper, yet I fear this will come back to bite us in the ass once she can climb out of her crib, or moves into a big girl bed. She has had a few nights were she'll wake up in the middle of the night screaming bloddy murder. This is not her just stirring, but will go back to sleep cry, this is full on panic mode. We're guessing maybe it's a bad dream? She'll fall asleep quickly if you hold or rock her, but wakes as soon as you put her down. So, we've taken her back to bed with us on these few occasions, as they seem to correspond with the nights before my long days at work. However the last time we did, neither Husband nor I slept well as she kicked us all night. I think the next time it happens, we'll have to soothe her, but then let her cry it out. A funny thing occured a few weeks ago; she woke up around 12:45 AM with some light cries. Husband asked what I wanted to do and I told him to wait it out, as I thought she would likely go back to sleep. Well, Husband and I definately fell back asleep as we were woken up five minutes later with a 3.5 magnitude earthquake! We quickly ran to check on Kate and found her sleeping peacefully. We joked that the quake rocked her back to sleep.
While she's an angel once she falls asleep, she's become more difficult to put down for the night. Our routine has been; change into a fresh diaper and jammies, read a book while having a bottle, go brush teeth, [turn lights out, set white noise machine and sleep sheep] have a cuddle with Muma (or Daddy) and then go into the crib. First, I had to cut out the story as it was too stimulating for her as she wanted to turn the pages herself. (cue freak out that I'm not reading to her enough during the day) Then one night she was squirming on my lap and dropped her bottle. I picked up the bottle and placed in on the end table as I prepared to re-adjust her on my lap, but she jumped down and grabbed her bottle, tucked it under her arm and headed out of the room in a business like manner. This occurred while my parents were visiting, so I suspect she was aware that everyone else was staying up and was having fun without her (which I imagine will only get worse as she gets older and more aware). Since then, I've changed her routine. We turn the lights out as soon as we're changed into jammies and the white noise and sleep sheep go on while the lights go out. We drink the bottle in [near] dark and I bring a loaded toothbrush into her room to give the teeth a wipe, and then it's a few minutes of cuddle before putting her down in her crib. Then it's usually 5-10 minutes of crying before she falls asleep.
On one of those nights when she had a nightmare and slept with us, she slept late the next morning. Husband (wanting to take advantage of this, so he could get some extra shut eye himself) suggested to let her sleep and offered to take her in later that morning (as he also had help available from my visiting parents). When I picked her up that evening, I saw on her report that she only took one nap, which I explained was due to her lie-in. "Oh, she'll need to be on one nap when she goes to the toddler room [at eightteen months]" My least favourite attendant informed me. Just as I was thinking that we still had 4 months to work on this, she also informed me, "Grayson is on one nap per day. So is Lilly." She has such an amazing way of making me feel that I'm doing everything wrong. Fortunately, Kate know what she's doing, as she has been starting to take only one nap at Day Care.
The other sleep related issue is that we had to make a decision about crib bumpers. We placed a mesh, breatheable bumper around her crib once she started sleeping in it nightly. A few months ago, I discovered that she was able to put her foot above the crib bumper and she trapped her foot between the slats of the crib and the wall. So we bought a second bumper to place on top of the first one. Then we discovered that could loosen the velcro on the bumpers and still manage to wedge her feet between the bumpers. So since the bumpers aren't really serving their purpose, we decided to remove them. I spent some nervous nights getting up multiple times to check on her hands and feet. Then it became colder and I started putting her back in her sleep sacks. Problem (partially) solved.
Her appetite can sometimes be hit or miss. Our pediatrician wanted us to try to cut down one bottle per day, by giving her more food. Yet I would find that sometimes if she's too hungry, she'll be too frustrated to feed herself and if I give her a bottle, she'll be more interested in eating. Although I've found sometimes that can backfire; if she has a bottle too close to meal time, she won't eat. Somedays it just feels that I can't win. I used to be able to get her to finish her protein by dumping some cut up fruit on her plate, but now she's savvy enough to pick through the pile and pull out want she wants (and throw what she doesn't want on the floor). I do worry a bit about her becoming a picky eater, as both her parents are picky. Well, I've become a bit better with age. While I don't go out of my way to eat tomatos, mushrooms, green peppers or onions, I won't push them to the side of my plate anymore. Husband refuses to admit that he's a picky eater, which makes him the worst picky eater of all. We also tried having baby eat what we eat, when we eat it. While we were on vacation visitng my parents, we were able to eat early enough to have meals with her before she went to bed. I think she seemed to enjoy the socialization (there is a no phone at the table rule when Kate is dining with us) of being a part of the table, which is probably much better that sitting alone in her high chair while Husband or I wash her Day Care bottles and containers or work on cooking our meal. Yet it's still logistically hard. I work late on Monday. Wednesday is Husband's gym night. Thursday is my gym night; three nights out of the week, one of us is alone with her. It's not easy to cook while she's underfoot. I try to arrange Monday's dinner to be reheating Sunday's meal and we use the slow cooker at least once a week. We'll keep working on it.
The sippee cup saga continues. I was using the sippee cups only for water, figuring that if she was going to be spilling the contents, I'd rather it be water. It also helped when she started signing to distinguish between milk (bottle) and water (sippee cup). Then one day I filled her sippee cup with milk, just to see what would happen. She drank it without any issues. Around this time I had the opportunity to meet up with Kimberly Q and pick her brain about when and how to make the switch. She offered that whenever you have the opportunity for a drama free transition, you have to take advantage of it. So I really should do this sooner rather than later. Yet when I went to shop for more bottles, I noticed that smaller ones tend to have handles (which would not fit into her current lunch bag). Ones without handles hold twice the volume I need and are a bit large for her to handle. I looked to see if her current brand of bottles make a sippee top (because that seems way to logical) and they do make one... for a cup with handles. The tops don't work with the current collars and aren't sold separately. So I could buy the cups, and use the tops on her current bottles. Maybe. Actually those shitty cups from Ikea seem like they would fit the bill, except they don't have a screw top and would waste a lot of milk while making a complete mess. It is also possible that I am overthinking this.
I've been trying to let her walk more when we're out in public, but I'm still so nervous. I feel I need to wait until she really understands and response to commands before letting her walk near a parking lot. She's getting so quick when she walks/runs and she'll sometimes turn away if I try to take her hand. However, she is frickin Houdini in her stroller. We may have set a bad prescident. She could easily slip her arms out of the over the shoulder straps in her high chair. As she was still rather secure with the lap belt and tray, I stopped re-attaching them, especially as I felt that having more freedom with her arms would be better for her self feeding. It was helpful for eating, but not so much when she popped her arms out and tried to escape from her stroller while I was in the queue at Chip.olte. We may be using the Bjorn carrier for a long time. I also got one you can wear on your back that can be used up to 45 pounds.
She picked up a new sign, as she's become obsessed with dogs. The proper sign for 'dog' is to tap your hip and then snap; Kate just starts tapping any part of her body, but she has been doing it consistenly whenever she sees a dog. Recently, I had an opportunity to do some shopping while Husband was watching Kate. I saw a couple walking their dog and I exclaimed "Look! Doggie!" [while doing the sign]... before realising that I was by myself... She was starting to get really expressive with the milk sign. When she was becoming impatient, she would raise the hand in the air and pump her little fist quickly. Milk.Now. MILK!!!!. She hasn't been using the milk sign as often as she was while we were home with her when Day Care was closed. I think I know why. The director at her Day Care informed me that she would make the milk sign whenever she saw other babies with a bottle, so I think she's learning that she doesn't always get milk when she signs for milk. She wasn't grasping the sign for 'all done', but she would clap to indicate when she was finished eating, so I had to accept that as close enough. However, at press time, she's just started doing the actual 'all done' sign. I signed us up to reapeat another 6 week series of sign classes, so hopefully she'll pick up more signs and applications.
She has become quite talkative, but it's completely in her own language. The most consistent word she uses is 'kitty' and almost every animal (a dog, a bird) is "Kitty!" She's picked up a lot of new sounds into her bables. The most recent one has been "oh eh oh eh", which propmpted me to recall that I have been listening to an all-80s radio station. I think this is the influence of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. The rhythm is going to get you. Both our pediatrician and Isabelle (everyone's favourite Speech and Language Pathologist) feel that she is right on track and don't have any concerns about her language development, but as her mother, the doubt always creeps in. My cousin's language delayed son was saying the words "bubble" and "turtle" (with very clear diction, although absent context) just before he turned 16 months, so I'd feel more comfortable if she had some actual words by next month. Yet, as I remind myself not to compare the children, I'm also reminding myself that his developmental delay wasn't with where he was at 16 months, it was the fact that he was pretty much at the same place a year later.
We also had a bit of a breakthrough in Baby Music. Previously, when the instructor would bring out the big box of instruments, Kate would find a padded drumstick and start chewing on it. She had little interest in the instruments. During her recent classes, she has finally started using the drumstick to tap on a drum. I felt like I was in the scene from Mr Holland's Opus, where he finally succeeds in teaching a football player to keep a beat. Since then, she has started trying to drum on everything she can, and according to my dad, she actually has some rhythm. My dad's side of the family is very musical. His brother was a pianist, my dad sung in a touring choir for many years. My cousins both played piano and my other cousin's kids play percussion and saxaphone in the jazz band at their school. Actually my cousins from my mother's side were both members of the marching and pep bands while they were in high school and college (yes, the went to band camp too). This trait certainly skipped over me as I am hopelessly tone deaf. One of the objectives of Baby Music is that all children are musical and all children can achieve basic music competence. Their parents on the other hand, are still a lost cause.
I am becoming slightly obsessed with shoes. It's been like Cinderella trying to get the perfect fit. Cart.er's has some really cute shoes, but the quality isn't as good as their regular clothes. I purchased a sweet pair of grey flats, but after washing them once, I went to put them on her and found they were filled with sand! I thought she may have worn them went she went to the park, but my mother confirmed she hadn't. Seriously, it was like we had been to the beach. I had to throw them away. She has another sweet pair from Cart.ers that she's only worn a few times and they're already starting to look worn. Or maybe my daughter just wears the hell out of her shoes quite quickly.
Highlights from our New England Trip
First trip to Boston and visit with a Doggie!
First Carosel ride
(Mom got in trouble for trying to ride too)
Meeting 'Salty' the beach cat and substitute Tyler
So adorable to see cat paw prints in the sand
Wading in the Atlantic Ocean
Another canine dining companion
Visit to Aquarium with Little Myrtle
Husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on the day it was announced that Brad and Angelinia were divorcing. I thought back to when it was announced that Brad and Jennifer Anniston split. "When these two are tired of having sex with each other, what hope do the rest of us have?" asked Tina Fey on Weekend Update. (this was before some sketchy details about the Brangelina situation emerged) Actually, we celebrated on the night before our anniversary as Husband had to umpire a hockey match on our actual anniversary. When we travelled to Australia and New Zealand for our honeymoon, we talked about going back down under for our 10th anniversary. Instead we bought a house that needed renovations, did a few rounds of IVF and spent our anniversary at a cottage in Rhode Island with my parents and our amazing daughter. Living the life of dreams.
Looking forward to: My next update! So, as you can see, (if you made it to reading the end of this) I've become a bit obsessed with update writing. I had to keep jotting down notes and I actually had the bulk of it written weeks before the deadline. I'm looking forward to the holidays and am trying to grasp on to the fact that by the end of the year, my baby will be a year in a half.