Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Milestone update

So what's Katen up to these days?

  • She's giving hugs. She's been doing this for about a month. Especially at night when she's feeling snuggly, she'll mush her cheek up to yours and throw her arms around your neck really tight. It's very sweet.
  • She's also giving kisses. Very wet open mouthed kisses. She'll study your face for just the right spot and then move in.
  • Katen is able to make it clear who she wants to be held by. She reaches out her arms for that person or if she's laying down, she'll point one arm up in the air toward you.
  • She's also very aware of our routines and how things work. When I set her carseat down, she's already moving her arms inside the straps of her buckle before I even get the release button pushed. Also when she's really hungry and I'm holding her facing me, she'll wiggle so that she's facing out, tuck her right arm behind me, and open her mouth like a hungry bird. Sometimes it's accompanied by an urgent "ah, ah, ah." She knows that this is the position we sit in when we drink a bottle.
  • Since she was able to roll on her tummy, (about 5mos) she's been adamant about sleeping on her tummy. She can be sound asleep when you lay her down and she'll still at least roll to her side. Most of the time she likes to sleep on her belly with her arms tucked under her holding on to her lovey and her knees tucked under her with her bottom in the air. She also likes to rub the lovey on her face as she falls asleep. It's just a 12 x 12 inch blankie with a fuzzy side and a silky side. I think we're going to have to buy a backup just in case.
  • We're this close to crawling. Two lengths is the most she's crawled but she's excellent at getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. She's also mastered a little frog hop where she'll keep her arms in one spot but hop her knees up behind her hands. It's hilarious.
  • Her new favorite sounds are blowing raspberries (usually while drooling. Where are those teeth?) and making this sound while rolling her tongue that's really throaty. Sort of like the sound you'd make when pretending to throw up. She's such a nut. If she gets excited about something she'll also make this assertive Hoa! sound. Her eyes get all big and her arms flail when she does it.
  • I just got done replacing her infant carseat with her new big girl convertible carseat. She's still rear facing but has grown out of her Snugride infant seat's height requirements. (wow!) That means we can't use the handy snap in stroller that goes with the infant seat so we also got a new umbrella stroller. We settled on the Quinny Zapp and it's great so far. It folds up so small that it will fit in an overhead bin on a plane (great for our upcoming trip) and it weighs about 14lbs so it's very light. We took it for a spin around the block today. So far so good! We love our Jeep Liberty Urbain Terrain stroller very much but we also needed the smaller Quinny in order to fit through the check out stands at the grocery store. The Jeep stroller is also very heavy, so its better for walks and longer outings. I miss the shocks and rubber wheels of the Jeep when using the Quinny but it's just for quick stops anyway and definitely serves its purpose.
  • We're currently working on easing into using a sippy cup. So far, Katen knows what to do with it and can hold it just fine, but doesn't quite grasp that she needs to tip it up to drink.
  • She's sitting very well and has been for about a month and only gets a little wobbly when she tips her head back for the sippy. She really seems to be happier now that she can sit up and play with her toys as well. We've retired the swing now, so her favorite activities are jumping in the jumperoo and playing on the floor. Oh and combat crawling after the cat!
  • Her latest achievement, just today, is that she's able to move into sitting position from all fours, so she can go from laying down to sitting up all by herself!

Stay tuned for updates on crawling. She's going to be a pro at it any day now.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Pretty Purees

Time to make more baby food. Our stocks are getting low. I learned a few things this time that I'll share.

1. One pack of organic blueberries creates about One 3oz portion of baby food.

Yep. One. So blueberries aren't going to be one of the cheaper fruits to make, but consider this. Blueberries are really good for you child, and you can rarely find a manufactured baby food puree that is simply blueberries. It's always mixed with something and I'm guessing there's very little blueberry actually in those mixes. Since I thought they'd make more, I ended up mixing my blueberries with plums. They turned out a beautiful vibrant purple.

2. I found some beautiful sweet cherries at the store, but they're a pain to pit. However, It doesn't really matter how they look so I just squished them. That made removing the pits pretty darn easy. Cherry juice, along with plum juice seems to be fairly tricky to remove from all of the surfaces I slopped it on though. Thank goodness for my buddy, the magic eraser.

I'd say if you can buy pre-pitted frozen cherries, that might be a better bet. Although then you might miss out on the awesome cherry pie smell in your kitchen. Yum!

3. Zucchini and yellow squash puree really nicely and don't require any extra liquids or cereal to thicken. It turns out a pretty bright yellow and smells pretty appetizing.

4. I received some 1/2 cup Gladware containers from a market research company to sample. I just have to tell them what I think of them. Nice! I do like these little containers for babyfood as well. They hold up well in the freezer and the lids snap on well. The only problem is that they do not stack so they tend to rocket out of the freezer randomly when you're looking for something else. Watch the toes!

Some people have asked me where I bought my other babyfood containers. Here's the info.

They're called Babycubes and I get them on or Once I found them at Marshalls but otherwise I haven't found them at a brick and mortar store. I like having the lid attached. I like that they stack well. I also like that you can pop them in the dishwasher or the microwave and the're BPA free. The only problem I've encountered is that if you fill them too full they will pop open and if you drop them when frozen they will crack. That's common sense though and would happen with almost any plastic container.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My kind of Perfect

I used to know it all about parenting. Then I had a kid.

As a first time mom, I tend to get a lot of parenting advice. Sometimes I've asked for it, but lots of times it's unsolicited.

Some of the well meaning advice comes from other mothers who only see things from their own rocking chair. They assume their own trials, successes, and failures will be exactly the same as mine, without considering that our family is different from theirs. My child is not the same as theirs. I have a different personality than they do. I get frustrated with their assumption that their way is the fix all solution.

Other moms seem to have a superiority complex and feel the need to critique. I often wonder how these parents find the time and knowledge to solve every problem, rise to avert any crisis, never lose their cool, always look put together in public, snap their kid into submission with a mere frowny nod, provide a daily cornucopia of educational experiences, have a wealth of knowledge in child development and all things medical, or where they gather that endless energy and organizational skills that it takes to be that perfect parent while not wearing spit on their shirt. Even June Cleaver threw up her hands in exasperation at the Beaver from time to time.

Then there's the media. It seems like every other day there's a new study that says this is harmful, and a contradictory study that says it's fine. This study says to do this. That study says to do that. Seriously, it's overwhelming. How can you not feel like a failure when half the products you use or the choices you make are deemed harmful or bad for development in one study or another?

Whether it's from here or there, there's no lack of information telling me how I can be better, more efficient, more perfect. It makes it hard not to doubt yourself. “Wasn't I doing okay? I try really hard.” As a working mom I have a lot of pressure already. I have to simultaneously perform well at my job and be a good wife while managing the household duties, and raising our child. There's enough of a challenge to juggle life in the fast lane without having to feel the need to be perfect in the eyes of others too.

In order to maintain some sense of sanity, I try to remind myself is that "perfect" is a relative term. What's perfect to me is not going to be perfect for the next person, and I don't need to live up to their definition of perfect. Only my own. If I try to live up to their perfect, then I'm just going to feel like a failure time after time.

For me to be the best mom possible, I feel like it's my job to develop my own parenting philosophy based on the needs of my family and learn to be flexible as those needs change. I have the privilege of knowing my child better than anyone else, which gives me a pretty good edge in deciding what philosophy will work for her. What works for a lot of people, may not work for us and that's okay. I hope you won't judge me for loving my child and parenting to her unique needs. If I do the best that I can, with the resources available in any given situation while keeping my child's best interest in mind, then in my book I have achieved perfection. ...or at least my kind of perfect.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

My bet is on Super Chick

Guess what we did this weekend!
We went to the Ostrich and Camel Races at the Horse Track. No I'm not joking. The track was running exhibition races between the horse races. It was extremely entertaining. The camels run just like horses do and amazingly fast. The ostriches are even funnier. They kind of bob and weave their heads as they pick up those long legs and book it toward the finish line. They had exercise jockeys riding them and most of the jockeys fell off into the very muddy track (I hope that was mud) before the end of the race. It was definitely worth a good laugh.

On Saturday we took Pickle to the Drive In Movie. We saw the Dark Knight. Great movie! Before leaving home we packed up the diaper bag, some sandwiches, pasta salad, snickers salad, and drinks. Then we topped off the gas tank and set off for the movies right around bed time for Katen. She fell asleep on the trip there, so she got a good 30 minute nap in before waking while Mom and Dad ate dinner.
It's amazing what a cat nap will do for that kid. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed so we played in the back seat for a while and ate some yogurt bites while Mom and Dad finished their dinner. Soon there was a tap tap tap on my window. It was the manager asking us to either move our vehicle or park straighter. We'd parked right next to a very large truck who was also a little catty corner so we'd just matched his angle. I got out and straightened out the vehicle just to have a scrawny little twit of of a kid come tell us that we had to move. Now we'd been there for quite a while and the parking lot was getting pretty full. Daddy told the twit to go get the manager. He did and yep, we still ended up moving. Apparently some bitty behind us in her Caddy couldn't see and was raising a stink. We went to the spot they told us to but the concession stand was in the way so we moved again. Third time was a charm. I guess. It wasn't an ideal spot but it was okay. A man from the truck previously next to us came walking up and asked what was going on. He thought it was just ridiculous too. C'est la vie.
By that time Katen started getting antsy so I took her out of her seat and bounced around outside the car. Daddy went for some popcorn and it began to get dark. Ummm really dark. And cooler. Then I saw people getting into their cars and turning them around. (Most people in SUV's watch from the hatch.) I looked behind me and "Holy Thunderclouds Batman!" (pun intended.)
Soon it began to rain and thunder and lightning. About the same time the movie started. We simply turned on the air conditioner and the wipers and had a decent time watching the movie until the field across from the drive in got hit by lightning and all power went out. They must have had a generator though because while the street lights, etc stayed off, the movie came back on after a minute or so.
Katen spent the first half of the movie rough housing and moving back and forth between mommy and daddy. Between the sound of the movie playing, the thunder, and the amazing lightning show you couldn't blame her for being a little over stimulated. Around 10pm she finally settled down to sleep in Mom's arms though. By the time the movie was over the rain had lightened up and it was a decent drive home. We didn't stay for the second movie and got home around midnight. It was a short night for Mommy but we had fun!
Going to the drive in is the best of both worlds. You get to watch a movie and you don't have to find a sitter.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Football, Sign Language, and Raspberries

Sorry, no snazzy title today. After Katen successfully slept all night for two nights straight, she returned to her old self last night. I'll remember those two restful nights fondly.


On Wednesday we watched Daddy play in his last regular season flag football game. Of course they won. They're that good. (for 30-something men.) Our friend Amy, who is a whiz with the camera, was shooting pictures of the game, so I had a little fun editing some. (above) She also snapped a few of Katen. This one melts my heart...

We really look forward to watching Daddy play and visiting with the other wives and kids. It's a nice mid-week break and the weather has been great so far.

Last night we had our "Singing Together" class again. Katen enjoyed it a little more this time and spent a good portion of the class sitting on the floor blowing raspberries REALLY loudly, drooling like a St.Bernard. I don't know how many people have asked, "Is she teething?" Who knows. We keep thinking so, but there's still no signs on those adorable gummy smiles.

Katen's friends Maya, Ella, and Jacob seem to be getting more out of the class than we are but they're older too. They shake their maracas and clap their hands. We... well we like to eat the maracas. I'm sure there's some educational value in that too though, right?

Honestly, I think Katen just knows that the songs are dorky. She's smart that way. And it's true. The songs are totally dorky. And boring. And incredibly educational. Zzzz snooze. We're supposed to listen to the recorded CD every day in the car. Frankly it makes me miss Baby Mozart. I'm a horrible influence. How about we compromise with some U2 Lullaby's instead, Katen? (now you're talkin')

Speaking of education, sign language is going okay. Katen sort of knows milk and will do it for me when she's not tired. Singing more is a little more interpretive. You have to use your imagination a little. I've decided that maybe just this once I'll allow Katen to watch a video. I've downloaded some episodes of a show called Signing Time and My Baby Can Talk on my laptop, and I think I'll let her watch it. There's also a little song using the words More, Milk, and Please that I want her to see. She loves music and I think it will give her another avenue for learning the signs. I'll let you know how it goes.

...and one more picture. I tried to do a photo shoot at home and thought none of the pictures really came out well. Then I looked back and saw this one.

She. Cracks. Me. Up. Thhhhht!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Local Olympic Talent

Adapted from our local newspaper and WHO

Local Olympic qualifiers Shawn Johnson and Lolo Jones will be given an Olympic sendoff today. Jones qualified for the Olympic team by winning the 100-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. and Shawn Johnson won the U.S. Olympic Trials all-around championship in Philadelphia.

You may have read that Shawn's gym was under water at one point during the floods not long ago. Many people came to their assistance so that she was able to resume practice.
The sendoff, featuring a national anthem rendition by Simon Estes, will be open to the public.

We'll be sure to watch for them on TV. Both are expected to bring home a medal.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

You haven't lived until you've had spit-up between your toes

Katen was banned from daycare today. Looking back, I'm SO glad.

Yesterday she had three blowouts. Daycare rules say she has to be out for 24 hours after the last blowout so the kiddo and mommy had a fun day.

I really couldn't have asked for a better behaved little girl. She drank her bottles without rubber necking (she's a curious kid with better things to do than eat) and she napped when she was supposed to nap. We ran some errands in the morning. Got some water and formula. Then we picked up some bubbles.

How fun! Katen had a good time with the bubbles. The perplexed faces she made when they popped and floated away were so cute! Daddy had the camera with him at the golf tournament today or I would have snapped away. She really enjoys being outside and it wasn't as sweltering in the shade. I think the temp for today hovered around 90 degrees and it's pretty humid. Hopefully we weren't out long enough for her allergies to flare up. We'll do a dose of Zyrtec before bed tonight.

We had a good time inside too. Katen was pretty relaxed today and let me get a tiny bit of cleaning done while she played in her jumperoo and practiced trying to crawl when she was put down by her play gym. From time to time, I'd give her a few ounces of pedialyte. She's still a little poo machine so between that and the heat I wanted to keep her hydrated. Well sometimes she likes it a lot and drinks too much for her tummy to hold. This was one of those times and when I sat her up to burp, she spewed down my leg and between my toes. Now try to hold a squirmy baby and wipe spit from between your toes. It "ain't" easy folks. When I used to dream of motherhood, these were not the moments I imagined, but I love it anyway. You just have to laugh and I'm telling you... You haven't lived until you've had spit up between your toes. I hear milk is good for the skin, so I'll call it "a pedicure."

Shortly after cleaning my toes off she got my shirt too. This isn't an uncommon occurrence. It happens all the time so I wiped myself down and went on with my business. Honestly if I changed every time she puked on my I'd go through 5,6,7 shirts a day maybe. Plus I wasn't going anywhere. ....except an hour later when I remembered I needed to pick up a new shower handle. (Yeah, super mom here keeps pulling it clean off the wall. This is number 3.) I packed a quick bag of diapees, wipes, and my wallet and headed out with Katen. The kiddo got a lot of attention in the store. People were staring at her cuteness and one lady even pointed at her. I'm thinking Yes, thank you, I know she's cute. It's all thanks to her Daddy. The reality hits and I realize I am sporting a very fashionable (dried) puke stripe down my shirt. They are making fun of me. Sexy. Nobody can say I'm not a hands on mom. I have a puke badge to prove it!

The rest of the day was just as great as the morning. We ate some pureed organic apples (which are delish!), had a fun bath, and Katen got to wear her first pair of big girl PJ's. Did you know that once they hit 6 mos sizes, pretty much anything up to 2T actually fits? Her PJ's are size 18mos. They fit fine thanks to "diaper butt." :) awww... my little girl is growing up.

She's laying peacefully in her crib now. We read a few books and snuggled with our lovey for a while before nodding off for the night. Aren't they precious when they sleep? Such innocence.

Daddy came home from golfing so I took the opportunity to install my new shower handle and, well, take a shower. Except... I broke the handle again. Yes. I'm serious.
I do things like that all the time. I'm perfectly imperfect, and I'll write about that another time. Right now, I'm going to take advantage of an early bedtime and say goodnight. Sweet dreams...zzzzz

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Songs and Signs & Katen vs the cat

Katen started her Songs and Signs class tonight along with her friends Maya,Ella and Jacob. We'll do this on Thursdays for six weeks. I'm not sure how much she got out of it. She was pretty tired but did some flirting with Jacob and gave hugs to Maya. The songs were very simple and repetitive which is great for Mommies who have short memories and to be honest it's great for the little ones too. I appreciated the mix of standing up, sitting down, dancing around, and playing with instrunments that Katen could hold. There was just enough movement to keep her from getting too antsy. ...and enough to make Mommy sweat. Great workout! Anyway, it's too early to tell if Katen is going to learn anything about very basic rythm and tone but the instructor assures us that babies of all ages learn it by the end of class. Sounds like a good challenge to me!

In other news...

Katen's newest trick is whining. It's like she's faking a cry. Her face doesn't indicate she's upset but she does this little quiet cry when she's getting bored or wants something. If she doesn't get what she's after, she'll up the volume to an all out cry. Who knew a kid started whining before they could even talk?

She's also become very communicative with animals and other kids. When she wants to call the cat she makes this "cah!" sound until Swiffer stolls by. I'm not sure how Swiff knows that's her cue, but she almost always comes when Katen calls. weird. To be honest I'm not even sure why Swiffer comes within 10 feet of our Pickle. The kiddo is absolutely fascinated with the cat and will pull her tail or her fur almost any time she gets hear enough. If the cat thinks Katen is going to play nice, she's got another thing coming. She'd also better watch out once Katen starts crawling because Pickle loves to stalk that cat.

[oohhh cat! scoot, scoot, scoot] [YES! I've got you....] [Hey! Where are you goin'?]

[ Come back!] [Was it something I said?]

The same sound is made when Katen sees another baby. She erupts in a wide smile and greets the baby with a "cah!" (Which tells me that Cah doesn't mean cat exclusively or that she's trying to say the correct word.)

A few mornings ago I left Katen playing with her activity gym and when I returned she was trying to communicate with the baby on the Pampers box I'd put in her nursery. I almost died laughing. She just kept talking to it and touching the baby's face. How cute is that!? I need to start cutting out pictures of babies and give her an audience of friends for her play mat. She'd have fun for hours! (Okay let's not kid ourselves. Katen has the attention span of a flea. Busy, busy, busy...)

Speaking of the play gym, this is what happens when the gym isn't entertainment enough. It looks like she got into a wrestling match when the boppy and the curtain ganged up on her. I think she came out on top though. ;)


Smoking Ban

I am happy to report that A ban prohibiting smoking in most public places goes into effect today across Iowa. According to the law, someone caught smoking in a public area must pay a $50 fine (which might actually be worth it to some addicts - just a thought.)
The new restrictions provide exemptions for casinos, veterans organizations and other areas such as fairgrounds.
Many business owners are angered by the exemptions, saying they don't seem fair. Some have been raising money to file a lawsuit that seeks to strip the law of the exemptions.
Under the new law, a person caught smoking in a banned area is subject to a $50 fine.
Businesses that don't enforce the law face a $100 fine for the first offense and the fines increase from there.
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, a lobbying organization based in Berkeley, Calif., said 13 states including Iowa now have smoking bans in workplaces, restaurants and bars.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunscreen and other "Dangers" ::wink, wink::

Have you ever tried to nail Jell-O to the wall? That's what it's like trying to apply sunscreen to my wiggly little pickle. You'd think from the shrieks and wails coming from our house that I'm subjecting her to turture. In reality I'm just trying to preserve Katen's lily white skin. That doesn't impress her though.

For you sun babies out there, the EWG recently published a report rating the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen. You can use this link to see if your sunscreen measures up. (Or to pick out a new one!)
We use California Baby sunscreen which seems to be a winner. Whew!

I also learned that babies don’t sweat in the way that adults do, so you shouldn't slather thick layers of sunscreen on them. (Oops! who knew? Maybe that's what Katen was trying to tell me.) The recommendation is to use a broad spectrum sunscreen and an SPF of 45 or higher. It's also recommended to avoid PABA containing products. In reading the findings, the thing that worries me most is that the FDA actually hasn't set standards on sunscreen and there are a few major brands who make sunscreen that can absorb into the baby's blood and raise toxicity levels or act like estrogen when broken down by the sun and cause hormonal imbalances. Double yikes!

Seriously. If it's not one thing, it's another. Be sure to check out your sunscreen, I guess. ...and your bottles, and the wipes you use. Oh and the containers that hold those items, and... You get the idea.

I hate to make light of a serious topic but honestly what can you buy off the shelf without reseraching its safety?

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Independence Day

We started off the 4th of July with some muffins from My Favorite Muffin. Only the crumbs remain. Yum! For those of you who don't have one nearby, you're missing out. With flavors like Cherry Cheesecake, Pumpkin Spice with a big dollop of cream cheese frosting piped on top, deep dish apple pie with real apple pie filling in the middle, and more, these muffins are definitely something special. We're hooked.

After a trip to the muffin shop we started making the side dishes we'd be bringing to the BBQ's. The original idea was to bring taco salad but a quick talk with Daddy confirmed that we were going directly from the BBQ at Grampa's house to the BBQ at our friends' house. Chopped lettuce wasn't going to last that long. So... this new recipe substituting pasta was born:

Taco Pasta Salad

1/2 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of rotel - pick the heat of your choice
1 can of Mexicorn - it's corn, red peppers, and green peppers
1 pkg of colby jack cheese crumbles (or mexican shreeded cheese is fine too)
1 lb of ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
2 Cups of small shell pasta (or whatever you have in the pantry)
Doritos (optional)

Start pasta boiling until al dente. (about 10 mins)

Brown the beef along with the seasoning packet.

While the beef is browing toss the beans, rotel, and mexicorn into a bowl.

When they're finished add the drained pasta, the browned beef and stir.

Then add the cheese crumbles right before serving and crunch up some doritos to put over the top if you want.

Katen had a good time watching the kids run around at our friends' house and really thought her sparkler was pretty neat. She kept staring at it and smiling now and then.

The one thing she didn't like was the screamers. Our friend Toby set of three sets of screamers which were just too loud and Katen cried. We have a running joke that if someone makes your kid cry, you own them a dollar. (I think it started when Mike made Toby's daughter cry once actually.) So Toby offered up his dollar for Katen's savings fund.

The firworks were pretty good and Katen really enjoyed them too. She was completely still as she sat with me in her Moby watching and every once in a while she'd just grin at them.

After a while she looked around and noticed our friend DJ was sitting next to her. If you don't know DJ, he loves kids. He's kind of like the pied piper of children. They're always drawn to him. Katen is no exception. Once she caught sight of him, she started flirting. She's smile at him and when he noticed she'd let out a loud giggle. It was so cute!

Needless to say Katen went to bed waaaay too late. I got her down around 11pm and at 12:00 on the dot some neighbors lit off a bunch of fireworks setting Katen into wails of terror. It took me forever to calm her down and she refused to sleep in her crib so it was a long night. She slept on my chest most of the night. I love to snuggle with her but I don't get a lot of sleep that way.

I did luck out and caught a second wind when she took a very rare three hour nap in the afternoon. We were just refreshed enough to head to Lake Red Rock for another BBQ Saturday evening.

Overall, it was a good weekend. :)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

6 month pro picture slide show

Ohhh baby pickle was in true pickle form so there aren't many good ones, but it's done. Six month pictures - check!

I think I'll do another photo shoot at home maybe this weekend. I seem to have better luck when it's just pickle and me at home. My awesome camera (that Daddy gave Mommy for mother's day) makes it look easy too. It all but takes the picture for you. Stay tuned!

Improving sleep: upate

Yep. I jinxed it.

Here's how last night went down...

8pm asleep
10:45 awake
11pm asleep

1:45 WIDE awake, not hungry, fussy. We eat. We bounce. We rock. I pat. She fusses. She throws a tantrum in her crib. I'm not keen on it, but I let her cry for a bit. For a second it's quiet and then WAHhhhhhhhh!

3:45 FINALLY back asleep in mom's arms as we "sleep" in the rocking chair.

Katen -1, Mommy - 0

Now back to my regularly scheduled caffeine...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Improving sleep :)

I'm sitting here eating the breakfast of champions. --A 20 oz Pepsi (no, not diet) and a fun size bag of peanut M&M's. They spoke to me. I don't even like peanuts, but it's protein, right? I do generally have a better breakfast than this, but today I'm too tired to put effort into eating well.

However... It's Not Katen's Fault This Time.... YAY!!!

[Okay, knock on wood] The past three nights, Katen has slept so much better. She finally ditched the insane cold/allergies that were making her rival Daddy in the snoring department and she's taking a few more ounces from her bottle (sometimes all 8 oz!) when she does wake. That seems to be helping to tide her over longer.

She's FINALLY ditched the 11:30pm feeding which was silly to begin with since I know she's totally capable of sleeping a solid 6 hours initially. Her schedule (I use that term very loosely) has changed too which might be contributing to better sleeping habits in some way. She's now taking a nap at 5pm when she gets home from daycare and then going to sleep between 8 and 8:30pm instead of 7pm sharp. The only problem with that is that she's whiny between the nap and bedtime so we'll work on that.

I tried taking her to the park last night after her nap and she wasn't having any of it. She didn't want to ride in the stroller and she was not impressed with me at all when I tried to entertain her with toys. So, we took a really long bath. If all else fails, Kate the Great loves her bath. Maybe it's the serious concentration she uses to grab her toys from sitting position that diverts her attention. Or maybe its the intoxicatingly good smelling baby wash we use. mmmmm... There's nothing like the smell of a baby after a bath. (We're using Burt's Bees babywash. It smells like vanilla, honey, and baby goodness.)

After the bath we said goodnight to the baby in the mirror, and goodnight to Daddy. At that point she actually decided that she'd rather hang with Daddy. She reached out her arms and pushed her pudgy little toes off of my hip in Daddy's direction. (Which is new for her!) He gave her some snuggles and then it was off to dreamland.

She slept from 8pm to 1:45am, took a whopping 8oz of bottle (usually takes 3-5 oz) and then with some encouragement, she fell back asleep until 5am. I generally consider any sleep after 5am a bonus and actually got Katen to extend her slumber until about 6:20am when she started singing from her crib. I-O-ahh... ahhhh... Ggooo-bap. (I'm pretty sure that means "I want to go to college at the University of Iowa. Go Hawks!" but I could be projecting a little.)

Anyway, I'll take this night as a win in the sleep category for sure! Let's hope it continues!!!!!
Oh, why am I tired then? Well... I still wake up every 2hrs, 45mins waiting for her to cry for me and then can't get back to sleep. Isn't' motherhood great? Eh' I'll take it. It really is. :)

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