Monday, December 31, 2007
I looked back at some of my posts from a year ago. They are about how I was feeling during the pregnancy, preparing the house for Heather's arrival, and finishing up the Christmas knitting. None of that to write about this year, although we still have lots of presents for Heather to put away just like last year. I need to decide which ones should stay in her room, which ones should stay in the living room, which ones should go in the 'corral' in the dining room and what should go into storage. I also need to go through her clothing again. There are lots of short-sleeved shirts that can go into storage since she got a good winter wardrobe for christmas and there is some stuff from the past few months that needs to be labeled. It isn't as critical as it used to be since clothing changes at daycare are more rare (knock on wood), but it needs to be done.
I'm pleased to announce that I was right. :-) Heather's on-and-off crankiness of the past couple of weeks was due to a new tooth. Number three has broken through the gum and our happy baby has returned. There has still been some night-waking and co-sleeping in response, but I'm hopeful that it is partially due to our recent travel and screwy schedule. Our recent trip did give me some insight into Heather's nap needs. Based on our experiences, I'd say that Heather could do one nap per day and she can adjust okay to schedule changes. She can do a 2-3-4 nap schedule, a 3-2-4 schedule, a 3-4-2 schedule, etc. But, I still think that she does better with two naps each day and her first nap 2 hours after waking up.
Heather is also doing better with table foods. She still seems somewhat reluctant, but tonight, after being encouraged by daddy, she fed herself pasta with sauce, peas and carrots. And at one point she seemed to be shoveling it all in as enthusiastically as she does her cheerios. I have to keep reminding myself to be patient. It is a lot easier to feed her mashed food with a spoon, but I know she needs to get used to more table foods so I can stop making her food separately.
The closest thing I have to a resolution this year is the goal of cooking dinner on a regular basis. This includes planning ahead (sigh) and making a real grocery list each week. Not sure when I will find time to start looking for ideas in my cookbooks.
Now there are only 90 minutes left in 2007. Time to wrap this post up and try to relax a little. A note for the readers on Ravelry - I've finally posted some project pictures and there will be more on the way soon. Not sure when there will be time for blog posts about the projects, so the Ravelry descriptions might have to do for a while.
I'll end with my favorite picture from Christmas Day. :-)
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
My parents arrived on Saturday evening. Having them around to help entertain and care for Heather enabled R and me to finish wrapping presents, do laundry, make more food for Heather (me) and do some straightening up around here. On Monday, we had a pretty quiet day at home. It seemed like before I knew it, it was time for dinner to eat my dad's yummy chicken and noodles. And then we got Heather into her new Christmas pjs, attempted to read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" (I got through it, but she was nursing through the last few pages), and before too long it was time to head to bed so that Santa could come. :-)
We had fun on Christmas morning. Heather didn't really get into ripping the wrapping paper as much as I thought she would, but she was certainly happy to play with and chew on each new toy as it was unwrapped for her. Also, Santa left her walker wagon with a teddy bear and Raggedy Ann sitting inside. After a few presents, Heather noticed the wagon and went immediately over to it. She pulled the bear out for a hug and pulled up on the wagon to try to move it around. She can't turn yet, but she is stable enough now to push the wagon without help - it's very impressive for someone so small!
After a few hours of fun, Heather took a nice nap and the four adults had breakfast and a respite. When she was ready for her second nap, we got in the car for Johnstown to see R's family. The house in Johnstown was very full of people and dogs. Heather was a little clingy at first, but she warmed up to the place and loved watching the dogs and letting them lick her hands. She got some more great presents (and seemed to have a better idea of how to remove the tissue paper from the gift bags) and we had a nice evening. We left at her bedtime, so we had a little challenge transitioning her to the crib when we got home (note to self, next time put pjs on before leaving, not at home).
Today, we took a quiet day to unpack toys, do laundry, make food for Heather and prepare for the rest of the celebrations to come. More soon with pictures...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Some of you may not believe this, having seen the lengths we sometimes go to, to get Heather to sleep...but last night was the fourth time that she was left in the crib awake and fell asleep on her own! (The first time it happened was during the fall, at 11pm, when I was out of town for business. She quickly proved that that occurrence was a fluke.) I knew this day would come eventually, I just didn't dare to dream that it would happen before she turned 1... To be fair, it isn't totally consistent yet and I'm not sure what the best timing is (especially since her naps have been good but inconsistent lately), so we're just taking it one day at a time.
Here are my parameters:
- When I was home for a week at Thanksgiving I tried to focus on improving Heather's sleep schedule and routines. I got a pretty good idea of where here naps should ideally fall and I figured out that holding/rocking/nursing her in her room had a better affect than doing so in the living room. (We had tried this before, but when she was younger it didn't seem to make any difference where we were, so R and I stayed downstairs to watch TV).
- For the first week after Thanksgiving, I could usually get her to sleep within 30-45 minutes of going up to her room, but after we traveled to Ohio she was more resistant.
- I decided that I was willing to stay in the glider for 30-45 minutes trying. She could nurse, I could read, we could rock, but she needed to stay on my lap and try to relax. If she spends too much time trying to get off my lap or if she's just hanging out and having fun, into the crib she goes. I kiss her goodnight, turn off the light, turn on the bunny that plays music and leave.
- After 3 consecutive minutes of crying, I'll check on her again. If it stops and starts, I'll let her go longer. A few nights when I've gone back in she is much more conducive to nursing or rocking to sleep. And three nights I haven't had to go back in at all!
I'm sure that things will change again at some point, but I like that our evenings are a little more predictable and I feel like we're giving her the right amount of structure without trying to be the kind of strict bedtime parents that isn't in our nature.
On the venting/pain/whining side of things, I am better now. I ended up going home half an hour early Monday because my clogged duct turned into my third bout of mastitis. :-( Not pleasant. I was already on Motrin, so all I could do was rest, nurse and wait for the chills and fever to pass. I was pretty miserable all evening, but the fever finally broke while I was nursing Heather to sleep. I took Tuesday off to fully recover and after sleeping in I dropped Heather off at daycare so I could take a nice, long, hot, relaxing shower and rest and pump and do things that I can't do at work (like massage the remaining lump in my breast :-). All I'm left with today is the leg pain and a little nipple soreness. Neither is great, but they are better than they were and having felt so miserable so recently, they are much more tolerable than they were. It's amazing how that works, isn't it?
And lastly, the holidays. Let me just say how thankful I am that I chose not to knit for anyone this year. I feel a slight twinge of guilt that I didn't knit a little something for Heather's teachers (and I still might as a New Year's Gift), but otherwise it is a great feeling of freedom. We've been plenty busy, and I know that holiday knitting would have just pushed me over the edge...and I have been pretty close to the edge a few times already.
I still have some photo printing to do, all of the wrapping to do (some online shopping hasn't arrived yet, though) and Christmas cards to finish. But with the timing of the holiday this year, there is still the weekend. And personally I've never felt bad about holiday cards arriving late. It is the holiday *season* after all. :-) My parents arrive on Saturday afternoon bringing two extra pairs of hands to contain the little crawler, so I think everything will get accomplished and maybe I can even finish Heather's winter hat and bake a batch of cookies, too!
p.s. Anna and Cara - no, "it" hasn't returned yet. ;-)
Monday, December 17, 2007
I vividly remember a few weeks ago (the first weekend in November, to be exact) thinking how happy I was that I felt like I had my body back. Despite the fact that Heather was still nursing, we were in groove that made everything feel almost like it did pre-baby, I could move all of my appendages like I used to pre-baby and I was even continuing to lose weight from breastfeeding (granted, some of this was just from being too busy to eat much dinner).
Well, all of that has reversed. The friday before Thanksgiving I got a clogged duct in my normally perfect and extremely productive right side. The Sunday before Thanksgiving my hip/leg pain returned. And the past couple of weeks I've been craving chocolate and sweets like I did pre-baby. (I haven't gained any weight, but the loss has stopped). I'm back on my motrin and not sleeping as well because of the hip/leg pain, and my clogging issues seem to be ebbing and flowing (ha ha), but not going away. The only good news is that the motrin I'm taking for my leg is good for the duct, too, so at least I don't have to overmedicate.
Add in a horrendous night last night, which was probably due to the beginnings of Heather's third tooth (Merry Christmas to us) and I'm pretty miserable today. I'm seriously just waiting for the clock to strike 5 so I can go home and put a hot compress on my sore breast. And the fatigue and stress are probably the cause of the clog (or the reason it keeps returning), so it's a catch-22 of sorts
I seriously hate being this whiny...but nothing seems to make me more whiny than being tired and achy at work.
To keep from being totally obnoxious, I'll end on a happy note. The inside of the house is decorated for Christmas and it looks nice. Heather loves the trees and the lights. :-)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Overall, I would call her a happy girl. She's generally only cranky when she's hungry or tired, although there have been a few brief moments that we've seen a little bit of a temper. I think she's going to be a handful when she's a full-blown, walking toddler. Honestly, she seems like what I expect from a toddler now, just without the walking. She's as independent as she can be and has so much personality. I can't really think of her as a baby anymore...except maybe when she's nursing.
The thing I've learned in this parenting thing so far is that as soon as you get one thing figured out and under control, something else will get harder or toss you a curve. In our case, we seem to finally have a handle on a more regular bedtime, so Heather has decided that she has no interest in lying still for diaper changes anymore. Whenever possible, we double team her so the extra person can distract her.
Things are progressing on the food front. We haven't tried a lot of new things in the past couple of weeks. Although we did try pumpkin last week and chicken tonight. I have to figure out if there is anything else that Heather needs to try in order to share in the Chicken and Noodles my dad is making for Christmas Eve. :-) A few weeks ago, Heather wasn't interested in self-feeding anything other than Cheerios and Puffs (and she refused to let any meal pass without getting some of them), but I tried a few more finger foods this week and she seemed more receptive. I can tell that she isn't ready for an entire meal of finger foods. She is just a little too impatient and hungry for that, but I'm happy to be making another stride toward table food. Now I just have to figure out if there is a good way to prepare finger foods in advance like the purees. :-)
Heather is still crawling and cruising. She'll also walk a little bit holding our hands...although it's kind of a drunk walk. ;-) Her favorite thing at the moment is crawling over to the Christmas tree. She loves looking at it - the lights and the ornaments. She's also very enamored with ceiling lights and fans. Just turning on an overhead fan can stop a cranky baby in her tracks.
Occasionally she gets close to letting go and standing on her own, but she isn't quite there yet. It seems like it is just a matter of time. She doesn't have much fear when it comes to trying new things. She also still loves going swimming and really enjoys her bathtime. Splashing mommy and daddy is lots of fun!
Oh, and she wasn't at all scared of Santa. She just stared at him!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
We bought a christmas tree on Saturday, but the christmas decorating is only half done. Christmas shopping is started, but none of it is finished.
My hip pain is back. After two weeks it is finally improving, but slowly. I'm trying to do my stretches regularly and taking my motrin again.
Over the weekend I got to meet Eleni and William which was awesome, but made for a very busy Sunday.
I just got back from a 2-day trip for work. (Only one overnight) It was productive and motivating, and there was lots of pretty snow.
I bound off a baby kimono on Monday morning on the bus, so the only thing I have that I can take tomorrow is my shawl. Lace isn't great bus knitting, but it is my only option.
I'm sure there is more, but this post is lame enough already. :-)