Friday, January 28, 2011

9 months!

Watching a baby grow up is a truly amazing thing. The first few months they go from not being able to hold their head up to rolling over to smiling. But as amazing as that was, I think I like this stuff better :)

Jade is crawling absolutely everywhere, pulling up on anything, and getting into everything. She's getting much steadier when standing and has even let go of things a couple of times and not fallen immediately. She can "walk" from one side of the couch to the other, turn around, and walk from one side of the coffee table to the other. Her curiosity astounds me. We keep her trash can, diaper pail, extra medicines etc in her closet. So, of course, we keep the door closed. But she knows there's something in there she can't have and every time I open the door she makes a beeline for it. I have to pick her up before I can close the door because she is FAST and can dart through my legs for the trash can in .02 seconds. It's kind of hilarious.

Strangely enough, one of her favorite things is paper. Particularly magazines. Chuck and I had to do some major cleaning because if there's paperwork somewhere, she's going to eat it. And yes, you read that right... eat it. Everything goes straight to the mouth, and she has definitely swallowed quite a bit of paper.

In the last couple of days, she has started clapping. It's absolutely adorable. Anytime I say "yay" she smiles and starts clapping. She's also started to give me "kisses". It's not quite as reliable, but if I put my cheek close to her mouth and say "can mama have a kiss?" about 50% of the time she leans in and slobbers on my cheek. It's really sweet :)

She's finally started to get more comfortable with other people. My neighbor has been watching her so I can go on runs, which has been a sanity saver. Jade is finally smiling at her! She smiles all the time at home now, but is still the serious baby when we're out and about or around people she's not familiar with.

I went to MOPS for the first time Thursday and she actually stayed in the nursery the entire 2 hours and fell asleep for them. Nothing short of amazing, and I know it wouldn't have happened 2 months ago.

She is still eating anything I give her. So far, the only thing she hasn't liked was beef lo mien. But she has eaten roasted bell peppers and onion and reached for more. She's cut back on nursing again, so we'll see if that stays consistent. Right now, I'd say we nurse 4 or 5 times a day, sometimes less, sometimes more. I'm still feeding her once in the middle of the night as well.

She has 2 little teeth. One is all the way in and one is still coming in. They're adorable and she's learning how to use them some when eating. She's actually eating her apple peels now (she used to just spit them out). She bites down and pulls hard until they break and then she swallows them. Every time we go out to eat, people are seriously impressed by her eating skills.

Her sleep is so inconsistent it's hard to say if it's better. But she does actually have good days now, so that is an improvement, and I'm grateful for that. We have set nap times now, and she actually sleeps during those times about 75% of the time, which is also a huge improvement over previous months.

Another thing she's gotten better about is playing by herself. I've been able to start taking showers in the morning while she's playing in her room. It's not a 100% sure thing, but she's definitely learning how to entertain herself a bit. But if I'm in the room, most of the time she just wants to stand on me!

Her 9-month well-check visit isn't until Feb 10, but I'm guessing she weighs around 15 pounds. She's definitely growing, but she's still teeny compared to other babies we know.

At that appointment, I'm going to ask the doctor about giving her dairy. I am extremely happy to report that I have been able to fully incorporate dairy back into my diet without any kind of a reaction from her. But I still haven't risked giving her any because I'm not sure when I should do that. So all of our meals at home are still dairy-free, which makes cooking a bit more difficult for me. It'll be nice when we no longer have that restriction.

(this picture was taken while the camera was lying on the floor... but I just couldn't not include it!)

I'm just amazed at how fast she's growing and changing. The time is flying by!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

39 weeks

Tomorrow, Jade will be 39 weeks old. For those of you thinking, "so what?" (which is exactly what Chuck said to me when I told him this), that means that Jade has officially been in the outside world longer than she was inside of me.

She was born at 38w5d. Today, she is 38w6d old.

Me at 38 weeks pregnant:

Jade at 38w6d (if you look really closely, you can see her little tooth!):

I think it's safe to say that she is much cuter than my pregnant {fat} self!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The nursery

Remember back when I was pregnant and I kept promising you guys pictures of the nursery and never coming through?

Well, I'm gonna do that again.

No, just kidding.

This past weekend, Chuck and I FINALLY hung up Jade's shelves. Yes, we know she is 8 months old. Oh well. She didn't seem to mind.

So here are a couple pictures. I really like the way the way the room turned out. Let me know what you think :)

Chuck would be very angry with me if I did not note that he replaced the quarter round and the baseboards AND put the chair railing up all by himself. Oh, and he painted the room all by himself too.

We put those shelves by her crib for the humidifier... it wasn't helping her at all from across the room. At first, it bothered me that they were empty, but I figure eventually she'll have enough stuff to fill them up!

We got the owl painting from Target. The rod with the cups came from Ikea... it's great for storing all of her medicine and stuff. The dresser was my grandfather's. Chuck added the handles.

When Jade was younger, we had a changing pad on top of the dresser. As she got older, she started trying to roll off the changing pad and I decided it wasn't worth fighting with her and I could use the space for other stuff anyways. So now we change her on the floor :)

More stuff from Ikea... which we bought 4 days before Jade arrived! The basket on top has a bunch of books that were mine and my brother's when we were kids. I want to get some bookends, but that will come.

The chair was donated by Chuck's parents- thank you!

A close up of the shelves. The toys we have in her room fit nicely :)

I love these cubes from Ikea. This is where we keep all of her blankets and burp cloths. Oh, and that nightlight says "Auburn Tigers" in case you were wondering :)

My aunt bought these letters from Etsy... I love them :)

View of the room from the door. The rug is from Land of Nod. Notice the shelves. Yup, they're on the wall- yay! Now, I just have to hang up some curtains... maybe before she's one ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

And on a lighter note...

Since yesterday's post was a bit uh... intense, I thought I'd throw some pictures out there to keep you guys coming back in case you're starting to think I'm nuts!

Unwrapping her big gift from mama and daddy. Yes, this is about 3 weeks after Christmas. She didn't seem to mind...

Oooo, I can chew on it!

It held her interest for a minute...

But then she wanted the dog's presents...

And she has since realized that she can stand on it backwards. This is great until she tries to sit down and slides off :)

Am I a bad mama for thinking it's hilarious that she goes cross-eyed when she gets too close to me?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I can't be the only one...

When Jade was about 2 months old, we had one particular really rough day. I don't remember specifics, I just remember lots of crying for no apparent reason. It seemed that no matter what I did, she cried. By the end of the day, we were both in tears and I felt like I had been hit by a train.

So I did what I always do: got online and did some research. Not long after that, I talked to her doctor and gave up dairy, which helped her mood immensely, but she was still a fairly demanding baby.

I talked to other moms, and the question that kept popping into my head was "am I the only one?".

The only one that doubts my ability to parent because she is always fussy?
The only one that has periods of time where I have to put my kid in her crib and walk away because I'm just... done?
The only one that became a parent and then completely understood how people can shake babies until they die?
The only one that wakes up every day wondering "what kind of day will today be?" because my kid's moods are so unpredictable?
The only one that is proud of herself when she manages to shower and unload the dishwasher in a day?
The only one who has a kid that fights sleep like it's the ultimate enemy? Whose kid doesn't fall into any nice, neat category with step-by-step solutions?

Well, it turns out I'm not. It just seems that every mom in my circle of friends had babies that slept through the night early, loved their bouncy seat or swing, or would just hang out on their tummy time mat. That never described Jade. We had to work up to 10 minutes in the bouncy seat because she screamed bloody murder every time I put her down. She pretty much slept on my chest for 3 months because most of the time that was the only way we got any rest.

So of course I doubted my abilities to parent, when I was surrounded by kids that were so different than mine. Of course I thought that I did something wrong.

So I bought a book called "The Fussy Baby Book" by Dr Sears. I read a few pages... and freaked out. I remember reading one section saying that "high-needs babies" get easier when they get mobile around 8-9 months and I remember thinking "I can't do this that long". So I put the book on the shelf and left it there until this past Monday. And I really wish I would have read it sooner.

Reading the letters written in by moms felt like reading my own diary. Moms with the same concerns I have... that I did something wrong, and that it will never get better. Moms talking about all the advice they receive from others just making them feel worse because nothing works.

Now, I'm not posting this to make people feel sorry for me. I know that Jade is not as demanding as many other babies. I just also know that she's more demanding than some, and that she's very persistent about having her needs met. When she was 2 days old, the lactation consultant said "man, she's stubborn" and that still describes her.

Rather, I'm posting this on the off chance that some other mom reads this and realizes that they're not alone.

I don't want anyone to think that I don't love my kid. I love her more than life itself. Seriously. She's the best thing that ever happened to me (other than Chuck of course.. he had to come first haha) and I wouldn't trade her for anything. But parenting hasn't been this rosy experience and that tends to be all anyone talks about so I wanted to share MY experience just in case someone else feels the same way :)

Things get better daily... I am loving watching her personality develop as she truly turns into an amazing person. I am learning to celebrate her good and stop focusing on the negative. I am learning to take each day as it comes and not to worry about what tomorrow holds. I am learning to rely on God's wisdom and His grace and ignore advice from other moms. I am learning to treat her challenges as blessings... I am learning patience with myself and with her. And I've never really had patience with myself. I have learned that perfectionism has no place in parenthood.

I am trying to branch out in my circle of friends so that I can surround myself with supportive people that understand a little bit better. This parenthood thing has caused me to totally change who I am... and I think I'm changing for the better. Jade is forcing me to become the person that I've been trying to be for a long time... more outgoing, more sure of myself, more patient. Hmm... I think God knew what he was doing when he gave me this one :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Big day!

Yesterday was a big day for Jade and mama for TWO reasons.

First, our wonderful neighbors from across the street (different neighbors than the ones that shoveled the driveway.... I told you guys I have awesome neighbors!!) offered to watch Jade for a little bit yesterday morning to give Chuck and I a break. Jade's only awake for about 2 hours in the mornings before her first nap, so it was only for an hour and a half, but it was wonderful. That was the first time since she was born that we were in the house without her. They have offered to watch her basically anytime we want, which is simply amazing. They have 2 little girls that are 4 and 3 and they love Jade and Jade loves to try to follow them around, so it works out for everyone.

Second, Jade made it the whole church service in the nursery. The whole service. It was amazing. I spent most of the service staring at where my number would come up when she had a meltdown, and it never came. You know what saved the day? Puffs. When I dropped her off, I told them to give her puffs if she got fussy and to try that before calling me. Well, my kid loves to eat... so it worked. Maybe it will continue to work and I'll be able to relax in the service!

Just had to share about our good day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas in Indiana

So I know I'm really late with this post, but things have been nuts since we got back into town. Jade has a sinus infection AND is cutting her first tooth, so she has understandably been a little fussy and the blog has been on the back burner.

Since I don't have much time to write, I thought I'd just share pictures, which is really what most people want anyways...

Almost caught a big smile.

Climbing on daddy... big fun. I wish you guys could see her face in this picture!

Typical serious Jade :)

Climbing under the tree.

Love it!

Wearing her new hat from Auntie Beth. And eating one of her presents...


I have 15 of this pose on my camera. I don't have a single one where they're all looking at me. Oh well. Four generations!