Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alice: Seven Months

Dear Alice,

It's August and you turned seven months old this month. I just can't believe how fast the time is going. This past month has been so busy, busy, busy. There have been trips to the zoo, feeding the giraffes, swimming, walks, new books, just so much that you've done. You're sitting up so well by yourself, and you seem so proud too. You can roll to your tummy, scoot backwards, and sit up like a big girl. We've had to move your crib mattress down because you're able to pull yourself up to your knees.'re totally mobile - crawling. You're still somewhat slow and you get frustrated pretty easily but you are working hard. You also LOVE to stand and get mad sometimes when we sit you down because you want to hold onto us, or the side of the bathtub, and try to pull yourself up or stay standing. I foresee an early walker, not that I'm anxious for you to be even MORE mobile than you already are.

You're absolutely adorable and get tons of compliments and smiles whenever we go out somewhere. You smile a lot and are generally a very happy little girl - smiley, laughing more, playing well with your toys....every day is pretty much a joy. There are exceptions - this month was another first and it was not a fun one: you got your first cold, probably because of that whole being adorable and people loving to talk to you and unfortunately, touch you. Some stranger at the Farmer's Market thought it would be okay to kiss you and we think that's how you got sick. You were pretty miserable with a fever and a runny nose, and you couldn't breath you were so congested. We had to prop up your mattress and run the humidifier at night, and you had so much medicine in you and on you. Your naptimes were okay because I'd hold you upright on the boppy and rock you so you could breathe. I think it also helped because you needed the extra cuddling. But we got through it and you were still a pretty happy baby throughout.

The sleeping at night is still going very badly. Daddy and I have tried a lot of different things, but we've finally decided that we'll probably have to use the Ferber method and make you cry it out a bit. Believe me, it will be harder on us than you I think - I really didn't want to make you cry at all, but you're still so tired, even after good naps and you're only sleeping at most, 2 hours at a time, sometimes 3 on a good night. That's just not good enough for you anymore. I know you won't remember it, so just know that this was so hard on us. We hate to have you cry.

You've also got two teeth this month - both of your bottom teeth have popped on up and it's making you pretty unhappy: at night, we'll give you Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but during the day I try to make sure you have lots of stuff to chew on and suck on, especially cold washcloths. I wasn't looking forward to this particular development, but you're so cute. I think so far we've handled it pretty well. I am not looking forward to the many more months of teething, but I think we'll all survive.

This has been a whirlwind month and so much has happened, but I'm really looking forward to this fall with you - mommy's birthday, your first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas....we have so much to look forward to. I love you, my sweet sweet daughter and I can't wait to see what you will come up with next. You are my sunshine.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Alice: Six Months

Dear Alice,

Remember in my last post, how I said I was dropping the ball. Well, I still am. I will try to do better!

This last month you turned six months old. WOW! You have already been alive for half of a year! And you can do so much now. You've mastered sitting up (for the most part, there are still times when you'll tip over, but usually it's because you've reached too far) and are able to get from sitting up to lying down. I still am not sure how you do it, because you have some kind of radar and only do it when I'm not looking. But I'm impressed, just so you know. You LOVE to play with your toys and the Fisher-Price stack-up rings are your favorite. You like blocks, especially when mommy or daddy stacks them up and you can tip them over. And you recently got a puppy that talks and sings and does the alphabet and counts and you LOVE it. You can make it work all by yourself, and you grin at it, just like it's talking to you. And you talk back too! So adorable. So thanks to your great uncle and aunt, because that gift was a major hit!

This month you had your check-up and you weighed 18lbs. 5oz. and 1/4, which puts you in the 90th percentile for weight. But we were amazed that you were in the 95th percentile for length at 28 inches - you're TALL. Of course, we shouldn't have been surprised because you have outgrown so many clothes this month. Not that mommy really minds, since then she gets to take you shopping for more cute clothes, but it's so strange that you're in 9 month clothes (for the most part) and even 12 month clothes, when you're only 6 months old. The shots weren't as bad as before - we gave you ibuprofen beforehand and I nursed you right before and right after and you fell asleep on the way home. I wish you were one of those babies who could sleep it off, because I think that would be easier on you, but you are unique.

Speaking of sleeping, I don't know what has happened lately, but it's almost as bad, if not worse, than it was when you were brand new. A week and a half ago, I was all excited because I put you down for two naps (in your crib!) and you had great naps - 90 minutes each and you were in a good mood. But then that night all hell broke loose - you were up after only 30 minutes after our bedtime routine and wouldn't go back down for three hours. And while it's gotten slightly better, you are still having a major problem there. We'll put you down, just like always (we have done the wake to sleep for months now, so you know you're in your crib) but you always wake up - sometimes it's 30 minutes in, 45 minutes in, or if we're lucky, 2 hours in....and you're not always hungry either. And you're going through a major mommy phase - at night, I'm the only one that can comfort you and get you back to sleep, which makes it hard on me, Daddy, and you.

We don't want to make you cry it out; we agreed even before you were born that we didn't like that, but some nights we feel desperate and think maybe we should. Of course, we don't know why you're waking up - separation anxiety? Teething (probably partly)? Because you like to sleep on your side and then roll onto your back while you sleep and wake up and can't seem to settle on your own (which is weird, because you CAN do it, you do it maybe 50% of the time later on at night). At any rate, while I feel frustrated and tired and I know you're tired too, I also have hopes that this too shall pass - a lot of other tiring things have and you're getting older.

But right now, you have to take naps on my lap on the boppy. To be honest, while this cuts into time to get things done, I kind of enjoy it. I read books on my Kindle and we cuddle and I know that I won't get to do this with any of your hypothetical younger siblings because I'll have you to take care of also. So unless you take an ultra short nap for some reason, we're doing good with that. And you go to sleep just fine at night, it's just a matter of staying asleep that you're bad at - but you'll get there.

Other than the sleeping thing you are the BEST baby ever! You are babbling even more and love to make spit bubbles. You play with your toys with us and by yourself. We take you swimming at the pool and you LOVE water. You kick your legs and everyone just loves to watch you because you're so cute. I can't wait until this fall when we can take our parent/tot swimming class (I hope that we'll make some friends). You and our cat Leo are major pals - he'll come and sit next to you and he's so patient when you try to eat his tail or pull his ears and you watch him intently whenever he comes by you. And he stays with you, I think to protect you. We have to keep the door to your room closed at night so he won't come in and sneak under your crib. It's wonderful - we were really worried that he would be jealous or try to hurt you.

You smile all the time and laugh (although you're not a laughing baby - you are very particular) a lot. You rarely cry, although you can get fussy. And when you do cry, it's so sad - you get pouty lips and tears come down and your face gets all red (much like me, actually). You love music and hearing me sing, so I tend to sing a lot! And even Daddy sings. You and Daddy love to cook together - it's like watching a cooking show whenever you do, and it's so funny and wonderful. We actually have something of a schedule - we're up by 8 (usually 7 or 7:30) and we get dressed and play and make the bed, etc. You're sleepy about 2 hours after that and so we have a nap. After that we play some more, have lunch, go swimming, or run errands, and then it's back for another nap. By 6 you're ready for dinner, bath, and bed.

This month we did have sad news - your great-grandma Judy died. We couldn't make it to the funeral, but I am so glad that you got to meet her when you did. That was special and worth the trip up there. I can't wait until we get to take another vacation together, preferably for a more fun reason than an ill grandma. Every day I hold you in front of a map of the world and I ask you to 'point' to where you want to go. Funnily enough, you point to Kazakhstan an awful lot, but I prefer to think it's because it's bright orange! But you've also picked out Australia, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, California, Alaska, Germany, France, and England. I'm up for it, we just have to win the lottery.

Your sixth month was amazing and fun and I can't wait to see what you do next - you're so close to crawling, so I'm sure that will be in your next post (if I write it in time, of course!). I love you so much, and I just love being your mother.