Sunday, 20 November 2016

16.5 Months

How can we be merely weeks from the end of the year?  It's a weird facet of toddler life, the days can seem long, but weeks and months fly by. Once Kate and I returned from the east coast trip, we survived a week of solo parenting and settled into our familiar routine. Baby swim on Saturday morning, sign class in the afternoon. Sunday morning, we hit the Farmer's Market and go grocery shopping before returning home to do meal prep. We have baby music on Tuesday mornings, swim practise and errands in the afternoon. We did some family activities such as touring a pumpkin patch and watching Daddy umpire at the America East Championships.

While I love our routine, it dawned on me that we're a bit isolated. As an only child, I'm quite comfortable in my own company and I often prefer to do errands such as shopping by myself. As my parents were the only one of their friends to have a kid, I didn't have much contact with kids my age while I was growing up. I actually found it easier to interact with adults than my peers. I don't necessarily want that for Kate, so I need to work on setting up playdates for her. Enter Operation Make Some Mom Friends. I was hoping to meet some fellow moms at some baby activities, but at baby music most kids are accompanied by a nanny or grandparent. Our Day Care has a social event for kids and parents once a month. It's usually at 4 PM on a Friday afternoon, so Husband attends while I'm at work. I was able to attend the Halloween party in October, as I was out of the office attending a medical education conference that day. However, it really wasn't conducive to mingling with other parents. They combined all the classes (infants through pre-K) and involved both locations, so it was a big gathering. Many parents were in costumes, which made it hard to identify anyone from Kate's class. I ran into one of my swim teammates who was there with his 4 year old daughter. It turns out that we don't have much in common other than swimming. I recently reconnected with my friend Amy, who has a son just two weeks younger than Kate. I've exchanged numbers and I've been texting with some moms from  music and sign classes, but it's hard as they'll often suggest activities on a Wednesday or Thursday. I have to explain that I'm not a real SAMH. I only play one on Tuesdays.

Stats: 31 inches 24 lbs 14 oz

Teeth: The Molars are erupting! It seems that she cut all four molars (right and left, top and bottom) at once. She is finally cutting the lower right front tooth

Hair: Her hair is getting thicker in the back and she has a little whispy curl. It's starting to remind me a little bit of my mother-in-law. My MIL has very thin hair (she's practically bald) and she does a bit of a comb over from the back. I know I'm very fortunate to have naturally thick hair, but if I didn't. I'd invest in a good wig.

Sleep: So in my last update, I was fretting about switching from her infant seat to her car seat as I enjoyed taking advantage of all those times she fell asleep in her infant seat. I returned from my east coast trip during the last week in September and I was planning to do the car seat trade in before October 1st. It was unseasonably warm during the week I returned, and when I went to the pool on my first day off after my return (with Kate sleeping in the infant seat) It was one of the most glorious days I can remember. The warm sun was shining so bright, the water sparkled. The main set wasn't too painful! Must-hold-on-to-this! So, I bailed on swapping the car seat that weekend, I was determined to utilize the infant seat for as long as possible. However the next week when I took her to the pool, she wouldn't fall asleep. I placed her in the stroller and gave her some toys, a bottle and some snacks. My coach would check on her every now and then, but she was content in her stroller watching my team practice. I got to complete the entire work out! I relented and went to get the new car seat the following weekend. So far we're 5 for 5 transferring her sleeping in the car seat to stroller, but we're 0 for 2 transferring her from the car seat to her crib.

Overall sleep is still going well, but changing the clocks back from Daylight Savings Time totally kicked our ass. It took over a week to get her to sleep past 6 AM. Seriously, let's not do that again. Gain an extra hour of sleep? Not if you have kids. Actually, I couldn't get her to go down for a nap on Sunday as she was overtired from being awake at 4:45. I would put her down in her crib and she would scream and if I picked her up she'll fall asleep within seconds. I was so tired that I decided to break my rules and I saw in our rocker and let her fall asleep in my arms. I dozed off and enjoyed a delightful afternoon nap. I think it was the first in 16 months that I napped when she did.

Eating: I need to be a bit more adventurous as she really surprises me with what she can eat. She loves eating orange slices (and will sometimes try to eat the rind). One day when I was holding her close to our fruit bowl, she reached out and grabbed an apple. At first she just seemed to play with it, but then started biting into it and ate about half of it. Going to the Farmer's Market is much more fun as she can sample the produce. Eating at Chipolte has became a regular stop while doing our weekend errands, as it has to be one of the best menus for a toddler. She's getting better at using a fork. She'll hold the fork in one hand and load her food on to it with the other, until she gets frustrated and throws the fork on the floor and starts shoveling with her hands. Still, it entertains her for a while while I'm trying to cook dinner while she's eating. We're gearing up for the sippee cup transition. I think I finally have the cups in place. Somedays if she's in a good mood, she'll drink her milk in a cup; if she's cranky, it has to be in a bottle. ...This is going to be fun...

Milestones: She's picked up a few more words and signs. One of those words is 'dirty'. When we go to the park, if her hand gets some sand on it, she'll hold it out for me to brush off and will say 'dirty'. I'm still a little concerned about her having OCD. Husband actually has a mild expression of OCD. One of his issues is leaving doors open. It drives him nuts to see a door ajar. Even if you may be cooking, and you open up a cabinet and leave it open as you're going to put the olive oil right back... nope. Door must be closed, even if you're going to open it again ten seconds later. I've threatened that if I die before him, I'll haunt him by opening all the cabinet doors. I've twice caught Kate pushing closed a door that was barely cracked open. She's really mimicking our behaviour. As Husband has been working a lot of umpire assignments and I haven't been able to go to the gym, I decided to do some push-ups one morning while she was playing in her room. I looked over to see her doing baby mini push-ups. One day, she spilled milk all over the floor (my bad for not tightening the lid) and as I was wiping up the milk, I looked over to see that she had also grabbed a tea towel and was rubbing it on the floor. Finally, I can put her to work! She is starting to help with laundry. If I hand her items, she'll load the washer and she'll empty the dryer for me. She also likes to collect my bed clothes from the bathroom and bring them into my room to put in our hamper. Yeah, my kid totally has OCD.

Likes: We're lucky that there are a few different baby gyms and play cafes in our area, but it always seems that when we have a free day and try to go; they're closed for a private event, or closed Sundays. I saw this play tunnel at Ikea and thought it would be a way to bring a play structure home. It has been the best $25 I have ever spent at Ikea.

She also likes her Magnet doodle. I thought it was time for her to work on holding a pen and scribbling and this is the cleanest toy to achieve that objective. I've been recognising that I've had to upgrade some of her toys to match her new developmental levels (she's probably going to learn how to play that card when she gets a bit older).

Another good Ikea value
I'm sure this is meant to be a smock for art projects;
Right now it works for us in lieu of a bib

Dislikes: She does not like being in the stroller for an extended period of time. You can only keep her pacified with a bottle or some snacks for so long, before she absolutely looses her shit and wants out. She'll kick and she's figured out how to free her arms from the straps. I've been working on letting her walk out in public a bit more, but it can't be in a store (she'll pull items off the shelf) or near cars (she's been turning away when I try to hold her hand and twice I had to run after her). I may have to get one of those backpacks that has a l-e-a-s-h....

Clothing: She still has a few 9 month onesies that still fit. Yes, I am totally clinging to those as a way to keep her as a baby. Some of her clothes are 18-24 months. 18-24 months. I just got used to her clothing sizes being in double digits. I picked up some adorable shoes from Carter's, only to discover that while Carter's makes good clothes; their shoes are of the same quality standards. They fall apart quickly, they seem to be full of sand. I decided I needed to get shoes from a proper shoe company, so I bought two pairs made by Stride.Rite. One cost $29.99, the other $19.99. This is more than I would spend on shoes for myself. So far it's been money well spent as these shoes are high quality and just as adorable. (see the boots in the top picture)

Diapering: I've been joking that between her drooling and peeing, Kate can solve California's drought problem. She's been wetting through her cloth diapers almost hourly and often will soak through her clothes. At least two or three nights per week, she'll soak through her super absorbent disposable night time diaper. I just recently picked some some absorbency boosters to use with her cloth diapers as well as over night, so hopefully they will help. Speaking of help, in the early newborn days, Husband was great about being on diapering duty. As she got older, it was seemingly less so. While we were on vacation in Hawaii, I took note that he wouldn't do any diaper changes on his own. He would help me at times. He would identify if she was poopy and needed a change (which he would insist required both of us), but never did he change a wet diaper on his own. While my parents were visiting, he observed "Your Dad seems to get out of diaper duty -that's supposed to be my trick!". He will change her, but he needs prompting. Unless there is an obvious odor, it just doesn't register to him 'oh it's been a few hours since she was last changed, I bet she'd like a fresh, dry diaper.' Anyway. Our Day Care was closed on Columbus Day, so he took the day off to look after her. She pooped five times that day. Really messy ones too. He had to change her all on his own. I've never been so proud of her. Twice, she has actively shat on the changing table while he's been changing her -something she's never done for me.

Health Issues: After months of really good health (last ear infection was in early August) the streak was broken by Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. On Thrusday, we got the call from Day Care reporting that she had a fever. She had received her flu shot on Tuesday, so I thought it could have been a delayed vaccine reaction, but when I got home, she really looked poorly. She didn't want her night time bottle and instead just cuddled in my arms. Friday morning, she was afebrile and back to her usual self, so we sent her off to Day Care. As he was getting her dressed, Husband noted a blotchy patch on her thigh, which he thought may have been a reaction to the band-aid from her flu jab. I thought it was possible, but I was pretty sure the nurse injected her in the other leg. Plus she has had multiple band-aids applied from her vaccines and never had any reaction. A few hours later, Day Care called Husband to report that she likely has HFMD. We're on day 2 and so far she seems to be handling it okay. We had a rough night sleeping, but she seems to be eating and drinking okay. We're just waiting to see when she can go back to Day Care.

Looking Forward to: Well, I was looking forward to having a day to myself. Once a month, our Day Care provides baby sitting service. It's usually in the evening, but there are a few times a year when they offer child care during the day. I was planning to use that time to finish some of the renovation projects we started in August. We had to do dry wall repair in the master bath room and for the past four months I've been staring that the primed spots on the wall. The roll of toilet paper is on the floor as we're waiting to finish the painting and re-install the holder. I need to caulk and touch up the trim in the guest room and Kate's room. I need her out of the house to get these things done. Thanks to HFMD, nothing is getting crossed off my to-do list, as I had to keep her home. Focus Jane, your kid is sick, this isn't about you anymore... Still, Damn You HFMD! 

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, we'll be going to my aunt's house. We're going to try to run a 5K on Thanksgiving Day and on the following Saturday (thus so we can earn the Thanksgiving Weekend MEGA medal, as that's what it's really all about) We'll see how she does in the stroller, I'm thinking I'm going to have to try to run faster as she does enjoy people watching while strolling. She's going to be able to participate in the kids Turkey Trot (a 100 yard dash, which features the race's mascot -a Big Bird Sized Turkey who finishes last every year). It will be a bit emotional for me, as for three years (2012-2014) I was newly pregnant watching the kids race and was wipinng away tears as I wondered if I'd ever have my own little turkey to watch in the race. We're also excited about the return of the Gilmore Girls! Oh yes, we will be breaking the no TV rule that weekend!

I'm also getting excited for Christmas and I've already started shopping for her presents. As she likes to push things, I got her a doll who has her own umbrella stroller (and some other accessories). I also discovered that Fisher Price is remaking some of their 'classic' toys, so I picked up the record player, which is probably more for my own nostalgia as I had one. Plus as kids today aren't even going to know what CDs are (let alone cassette tapes or an 8-track!) I figure I need to introduce her to the antique that is a record player. Wow. I just realised how old I am. We also got a starter tricycle that she can use up to 3 years old. As she's been trying to work the zippers on her shoes, I purchased a doll with loads of snaps, zippers and buttons to practice, because you know she needs to work on her dexterity! I really have to reel it in before I go overboard.

"what is this stuff called rain?"