Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One Year

Elizabeth's first birthday was July 13. Of course I'm sharing this a month later. 

My Dearest, Loveliest Elizabeth,

You are a whole year old. I'm not sure what to make of this. Part of me thinks that you should probably be at least seven by now. Are you sure you still can't use a vacuum? I look at pictures of you from a year ago in loose-fitting onesies that you have long outgrown. Was that you? How were you ever that small? Part of me longs for the days when you would spend so much time sweetly sleeping on my chest. Part of me is ready to keep powering on until the day comes when you can use a vacuum.


I feel like I'm supposed to say something about how this past year has been the best year of my life. Yet any year in which I think, "I only got four hours of sleep last night but at least it was consecutive. I probably won't need a nap today." clearly can't be the best year of my life. At least I hope not.
When you were about three months old a mom with grown children asked me, with so much joy in her voice and a huge smile on her face, "Isn't being a mom the best thing ever?!?" I don't remember what I said, but I remember exactly what I thought, "I think a glass of wine and some alone time with Hulu sounds like the best thing ever."

My dearest munchkin, this has been the hardest year of my life: learning to care for you, trying to keep up with all the things, trying to take care of myself, pushing myself through crazy exhaustion, trying to stay positive when it feels like everything I attempt is met with resistance and frustration, trying to remember that you are more important than my to-do list.

(Sometimes I think Type A people shouldn't have children. But then how could we win at parenting?)

Yet I'm getting all misty, baby girl, because I want you to know that even with the sleeplessness and the stress and the puke and the poop and hair-pulling, every second has been worth it. Just one of your smiles. Just one of your hugs. So worth it. I have spent decades dreaming of you, my darling girl, and you are perfect. Better than I ever could have dreamed.


This past year is the year my heart exploded. I love you so much. In a couple years we'll watch the How the Grinch Stole Christmas and there's this scene where the Grinch's heart grows three sizes. I can be sad/frustrated/mad/annoyed/tired/allthethings, then you look at me with your gorgeous blue eyes and smile, and my heart grows three sizes. And I squeeze you. And you squirm. Then I set you back down so you can go back to pulling Zoey's tail and eating books.

Elizabeth's first birthday

I am honored to be your mom. Seriously. And I can't wait to see what the next year brings. I anticipate more dance parties and crayons. You're so close to being ready for crayons!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

11 months

Last month's sleep drama wasn't totally resolved like I had hoped. Elizabeth would wake up at 5 a.m. and I would nurse her before putting her back to bed for a couple more hours. Well, she started trying to squeeze a couple more late night feedings and in my groggy state I'd normally go for it, thinking it was probably a growth spurt. But pretty soon she was getting up every two hours again. For two nights Lee would go to her and stand by her crib and rub her back when she would cry but wouldn't pick her up. Now we're back to sleeping until 5 a.m.! Hope this sticks. Now if only she would go to sleep for me as quickly as she does for Lee.
And she's napping in her crib more! Have I also mentioned that the sun is brighter, foods taste better and the air is sweeter?


She is cruising all over the place and getting more comfortable standing on her own. She's so close to walking but we'll see how much longer she keeps holding out. 

She loves to wave and give high-fives. The way our bedroom is set up, the bed is right across from a mirror so you can see yourself when sitting on the bed. I usually feed her in our bed and once Elizabeth is done eating she likes to stand up and wave at herself. It cracks me up! 

I've had a difficult time coming to terms with this, but it appears that Elizabeth is no longer giving kisses. She's just biting my face (arm, shoulder, fingers...). Now to figure out how to get her to stop. 


Elizabeth has spent the past couple months often picking at her food, if eating anything at all. This is really frustrating because A. I spent time to prepare that and B. Zoey's tongue isn't as effective at cleaning the floor as I like to think it is. We've been taking the baby-led weaning approach and I don't know how many times I've read, "My 9/10/11/12/13-month old just wasn't interested in food and then one day it clicked," but I've still been paraoid that I would be the main source of nutrition for my two-year-old. (I'm totally fine with the idea of nursing a two-year-old, just not 6 times a day.) The past couple days though it seems that she's really clicking with the solids. Some favorite foods are watermelon, tomatoes, and edamame. You can also never gone wrong with Cheerios. And she loves water! Now if only the sign language wound kick in. It would probably help if I signed more often than 40% of the time. 


Elizabeth loves to dance which is the most precious thing ever. (Okay, everything she does that isn't whining, refusing sleep, pooping, peeing, spitting up, biting, hair pulling, collarbone pulling and resisting diaper changes is the most precious thing ever.) We used some rattles as tambourines and had a Call Me Maybe dance party. We like the Jimmy Fallon version best. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

10 months

There's been a lot of sleep stuff going on this month. To recap, Elizabeth slept as perfectly as one could expect for her age, and by around 4-5 months, would sleep 10-12 hours stretches. Oh the joy! Then she quit that. It was gradual, but the next thing I knew she was waking every 3 hours and I was super sad. Then this month we had a couple nights where she woke up every. 45. minutes. There was much distress. So I got a book called Good Night Sleep Tight (I think.) and it suggested we beef up her bedtime routine, separate nursing from bedtime, put her in her crib drowsy but awake, and then sit by her side and intermittently pet her if/when she cries. She cried for fifty minutes. Every 5 minutes or so I would rock her. Once she finally fell asleep I cried for fifty minutes. We weren't really letting her cry it out, but I still felt horrible. However, the next night I put her in her crib a bit drowsier and she went to sleep in under 5 minutes and the next thing I knew she was sleeping longer and longer stretches. Hallelujah!


She has four of the most adorable teeth. As long as they're not digging into your flesh. 

She will pull up and let go and stand for several seconds before sitting back down.


Her stubborn personality is starting to come out more and more. Diaper and costume changes are getting squirmier and squirmier so one night I gave her a cloth wipe to play with. She immediately put it back in the basket and pulled a handful of cloth wipes of her choosing. That's my girl! 


In my-baby-is-a-genius news, she can put smaller cups into bigger cups. 


The highlight of the month for me, and I'm sure for Elizabeth too, was running my first 5K. I had quite the cheering section. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

9 Months

Nine months! My darling girl has been in for as long as she has been out. I spent so much of her inside time thinking about how glorious it would be to finally have her on the outside. I did not enjoy being pregnant. At nine months outside, might be nice to have her back in for a couple days. ;)


On her 8-month birthday (It's that confusing thing where her nine-month post is a reflection on the time that she was 8 months old.), Elizabeth pulled up for the first time, and has been doing that repeatedly all month long. Now she's figured out cruising and zips along the furniture. Zoey is finding it increasingly difficult to hide.


In addition to putting all things in her mouth, she's learning to stick her tongue out. She often sticks her tongue to aid in concentration.



She enjoyed her first St. Patrick's Day and her first Easter. The Easter Bunny brought her some Indestructible books and froggy friend.


The big adventure of the month was surviving the UK vs. UofL Final Four game and the eventual victory by our beloved Wildcats as they became 8-time national champions. It was gr8!


Other big 9-month firsts: first bubbles, first trip to the park, and first teeth began to break through.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

8 Months

I think I'm almost starting to feel like I'm getting my to-do list back on track, but for today let's all pretend it's March 13 and Elizabeth turns 8 months old today!



This month began with our first Valentine's Day. We kept it pretty laid back with a heart-shaped pizza and Ben & Jerry's.

Elizabeth sort of said "mama" for her first word. For months she has been making a “ma” sound when upset. She will cry and wail, “mamamammammamamammammama”, which obviously doesn't really mean anything. I’ve been trying to encourage her to say “mama” with a smile and she is starting to lessen the number of “ma” repeats. But one night I was working on my computer and Lee was watching her. He was mostly playing on his phone though (which is something I do often as well, so no judging), and Elizabeth wasn't happy. She looked right at me and sadly called, “Mama. Mama.” Lee said it was questionable, and she hasn't really done it since, but counts in my book!


Her sippy cup skills are improving but she mostly just wants my Camelbak.


Elizabeth can now bring herself to sitting and is pretty much crawling. She has also starting giving me kisses/biting my face. I love it!


My favorite moment from this month was one particular morning cuddle. We were smiling at each other and everything in the world was perfect. I mean, not actually perfect, but the imperfect was irrelevant with the perfect smiles and giggles and cuddles in my lap. I have often thought since Elizabeth was born that I wouldn't know what to do if we had another kid right now, not that we won't eventually, but at the moment it's terrifying. Partly financially and partly just the stress of it all. But in this moment of perfect snuggles, my only worry about having a second child was that my heart would burst from all the love. There is just so much love.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Homemade Bread. Finally.

I blame Elizabeth a lot for my love handles and to-do list that just won't quit, but really, those have existed long before she graced us with her delicious thigh rolls and squeals. Somehow though, I finally managed to bake some homemade bread. It's a little short, but otherwise very bread-like. Success!

mmm...cinnamon toast!

Homemade bread has been on my to-do list for well over a year, so long that I had to buy some ingredients twice because they expired before I used them. Whoops! Despite having read several easy-sounding recipes, I just couldn't shake the notion that baking bread would take me at least an entire day. But we've reached that time of the budget month where we should really stop buying things already, we were out of bread, and had a pantry full of bread ingredients. It was time to fulfill my bread destiny. Or something.

The Budget Bytes recipe I used was so easy and delicious. I'm determined to never buy bread again, but we'll see how that goes. Lee, in between compliments, mentioned that he misses the bread with all the additives. *sigh* 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Seven Months

This month was mostly consumed by introducing solids and face rashes. We do not believe that the two are related.

Here is a point that mildly confuses me and is not helped by my tendency to post these updates months after they happen: This "Seven Months" post is meant for the day she turned seven months old, but includes a reflection on all the things that happened while she was six months old which is her seventh month. Like how Jane Austen is a 19th century writer but I always want to say she's an 18th century writer because it was the 1800s. And how Hazel was 16 during her 17th winter. That's mostly to note that we started solids at six months, if you're interested in the debate on when to introduce solids.

Solids have been a lot of fun. I was kind of sad to introduce them because, despite those early weeks of being so eager to no longer be the sole source of nutrition, I was getting bummed about no longer being the sole source of nutrition. (I do this at bedtime too. I can't wait for bedtime and once it's here I just want to hold her longer. It's pathetic. And confusing.) She loves to play and smush food around and put it in her mouth and spit it back out. We're doing baby-led weaning which we think is really awesome. It's made some pretty big messes at this point, but Elizabeth loves to feed herself. She seems to have mixed feelings about bananas, but avocado, cucumber and carrots are popular.

She healed super quickly from her fall and for safety's sake, this month's photo session had a spotter. (Thanks Aunt Laura!) We never had to get her the prescription pain medicine and in a week or so she was back to rolling around like nothing ever happened. We did make some extra trips to the pediatrician though for her face. It was red and irritated (normal-ish) but then got scabby and leaky (not normal). One cheek got mildly infected so she was on antibiotics for a week -- which was not fun to deliver -- but still continued to have some problems. The pediatrician thinks it just got dry from drool and winter and she kept scratching it which kept it from healing. She's currently on a steroid cream and also getting lots of Aquaphor and coconut oil. It's finally starting to look better.

This is probably one of our favorite photos of her at this point. Lee took it because I won't let her get that close to my laptop. Is she taking after her mom or dad? Depends on if she's looking at Pinterest or Battlefield 3. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Six Months

This month brought the highly-anticipated first Christmas, although this month has definitely not been your typical holiday fun times.

At the start of December we learned that my grandpa had leukemia and did not have much longer to live. His goal was to see Elizabeth's first Christmas and he did. (He even saw her first New Year's!) We have a rotating holiday schedule with our families, so since we were staying in Louisville for Christmas, we went to Owensboro the weekend before to see my family. It was bittersweet, but we tried to focus on the sweet.

We learned that Elizabeth is pretty good at opening gifts if you give her something to pull.

This was her favorite gift of course. Santa has excellent taste.

Between heading to my hometown to see Grandpa and the flurry of holiday activities, Elizabeth's sleep got all messed up. She's had some spurts of waking up every 2-3 hours again. I keep thinking it's teething but still no teeth. I think it's finally starting to work its way out to something more acceptable.

She is getting extremely good at sitting, so much so that I can even walk away and she can hold her own. And if she teeters over she's getting better at not having too terrible of a melt down. 

At our six month appointment we weighed 16 pounds and 14 ounces. (75th percentile) and were 25 inches long (25th percentile). I think we have a shorty!

The six month photo shoot was actually a bit of a disaster. I thought that placing Elizabeth in the middle of the full-sized bed would give her plenty of room to roll. She rolled once and I kept snapping away with the camera, not realizing that she had used up her room to roll, and the next thing I knew she was on the floor. The hardwood floor. It's a drop of 2 feet and 7 inches. After our first trip to the ER, first CT scan and first X-ray, we learned she has a broken clavicle. Not how I wanted to start our sixth month. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Months

On November 20, Elizabeth was baptized. She was very squirmy while we traced the sign of the cross on her forehead but other than that she was pretty happy. Lee's brother Brian and my sister Laura are her godparents. Lee's mom sewed this beautiful gown for her to wear.

Her first Thanksgiving was spent in Owensboro. She got to meet most of my aunts and uncles for the first time. Thanksgiving dinner was spent scooting my plate farther and farther from her grasp. Still a bit to go before we start solids!

Our realtor had a holiday open house with a Santa for photo ops. I was hesitant on standing in line at the mall to overpay for crappy awkward photos so we jumped at this chance to meet Santa for free! And there were cookies! Double win!

We started to put the tree up during Elizabeth's fifth month but didn't put the ornaments on until her sixth month. It was a bit of a hectic month. She did enjoy helping us fluff the branches.

Lee's sister got married in Cincinnati and I must say, with the exception of the lovely bride Elizabeth was easily the best dressed there. Not wanting to let her aunt and new uncle get all the attention, she spewed all over the pew right when Aunt Catie was about 3 steps away from the altar. There was very entertaining to everyone except Grandmommy, whose fur coat was almost a victim. The spit-up stayed in the pew though so was a really easy clean up. It was really the best possible scenario for massive wedding spit-ups.

Picnik collage

In development news, Elizabeth has found her feet and enjoys sucking on her toes. This adds a new level of challenge to diaper changing. Once the diaper comes off, the toes are so much easier to grab that it's hard to get her legs back. She is giggling more and more. Lee has the easiest time getting her to giggle and blowing raspberries on her belly/side are generally the most direct routes. Shortly after mastering rolling from front to back, she discovered rolling from back to front and is now a rolling machine. Elizabeth is also increasingly aware that she is not the only creature in the house under our care, and so far the pets seem to be accepting of her pets, grabs and tugs. When she pulled the cat's tail Reagan did not retaliate. She just meowed pathetically. I think they'll get along well!

This might seem totally crazy, but the first few months of parenting can be a lot of giving with little show of appreciation or affection out of the wee one, which can be a bit of a bummer. However, there was a moment this month where I had my hand resting on her belly and she placed her hand on top of mine and it felt like she was saying, "I love you, mom" as opposed to "I want to eat your hand now" or "Entertain me, slave." Cue the heart meltage.