Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beach Portraits



I am still going through all the pictures from our trip to the beach.  There were just so many that it is taking me a while to get through them all. 
One evening we all got cleaned up and went back out to the beach to get some pictures.  I like a bunch of the ones that we captured.  I think she felt quite at home with her toes in the sand and the wind in her hair. 









Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Another Cold

I started with a cold on Sunday and now Sarah Graves has it.  It's not an awful cold, but it doesn't make you feel real good. 
Last night we were at the chiropractor and she noticed that Sarah Graves had a cold.  She recommended that while she is nursing or drinking from a bottle, we pinch her nose for just a second.  She said that it will help to move the fluid out of her eustacian tubes and works to prevent an earache.  As someone who still gets earaches as an adult, I appreciated the tip. 
I've never been to a chiropractor myself (this bothers our chiropractor) and so I'm not totally sure of how much it actually does.  It has helped Sarah Graves' spitting up so much that it hasn't been an issue for a couple of months now.  It is supposed to help with immunity as well as overall well-being, so I guess we will see how it works out this Fall and Winter.  The chiropractor did impress me when she told me that her 3 school age daughters have never been on antibiotics.  I would love to be able to keep Sarah Graves that healthy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baby Shot!


These pictures capture my girl.  She's sweet, but she is rough and tumble, too.  She will usualy leave her bow in, but it starts to slip down as she moves and dances around.  Sometimes it sits on her forehead like a headlamp! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheerios with Pops

I am still going through pictures from our trip.  I came across this one of Sarah Graves enjoying some Cheerios for breakfast with Pops.  She loves to be with Pops! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Letter Month Eight

Dear Sarah Graves,
I am not even sure where to start because this has been such a big month for you. I feel like your development has been on fast forward at times!
One afternoon you realized that you could pull yourself to standing and I am not sure that you have willingly sat down since. You have practiced it over and over again. You are so good at it that you can pull up on most anything, including the hair on Daddy's legs. At first, you couldn't figure out how to sit down when you were tired. There were a few times where I heard you crying in your crib and went in to find you barely able to stand up anymore while you gripped the side and looked so pitiful.  Now you know how to let yourself go down.
Once you figured out how to pull up, cruising around came quickly. One of your favorite activities is to move back and forth the length of the sofa or a bench. You are also able to move back and forth between two pieces of furniture that are close enough together for you to keep a grip on something. You are very determined to master these skills and practice them anytime you have a chance. Who knew that cruising along the pew at church would delight you so? It makes me so happy to see you so proud of your new ability. You work so hard to do it and are so happy with your freedom. Your freedom has also increased now that you are crawling very quickly on your hands and knees.

We also went on a vacation to the beach. You really enjoyed the sand and swimming. You tasted the sand and immersed yourself in it a few times. Going out on the balcony was one of your favorite things. The wind in your hair would always bring a smile to your face and Pops determined that you felt like you were sailing. You did really well with all the dining out and shopping that we did. I think you enjoyed having Lovie, Pops, and Aunt Nay there to entertain you.

The beach trip was hard on your sleep routine.  You fought your naps and woke up every hour or two during the night.  When we came home I made the decision that we would do something different.  Daddy and I decided that feeding during the night needed to stop and that I wouldn't go to you during the night when you cried.  I braced myself because that seemed really hard to me, but you didn't even wake up crying that first night!  You have now slept through the night for 2 whole weeks and I can't believe what a big girl you are.  You have also been going down for your naps with almost no fussing.  I never dreamt that sleep could go so smoothly! 

You have also been working on cutting your first teeth.  The first one to start pushing through is on your lower left, then a couple of days later we felt one coming in on the top.  You may have taken a little time to start to get your teeth, but you are getting them quickly now.  You are a little protective of them and don't offer for us to feel them, but we like to check for them when you laugh! 
I am just amazed by the little person that you are becoming.  You have some definite ideas and you definitely have a sense of humor.  Just this morning the sound of the fitted sheet snapping against the mattress gave you the biggest belly laugh.  Daddy and I were laughing just because you were having so much fun.  Seeing you enjoy the world around you reminds me that this is a wonderful world, especially with you in it. 

Love,
Momma

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Consignment Sale

Today was the Fall consignment sale at Oak Grove Young Children's School.  I took the day off and Mom and Dad came with me and Sarah Graves.  SG was a trooper considering it opened right at naptime and I was thankful for Moby wrap because I could not have carried her in my arms for the more than two hours we were there!   I had hoped that she might fall asleep while we looked, but there was way too much activity and too many things to grab for her to fall asleep.  Pops entetained her for a while so that I could look at the clothes. 
We were there when it opened and we found some good things!  I was really excited to find a little activity table for Sarah Graves to be able to pull up and cruise around.  I also found a little tikes slide that we can put in the basement.  It's small, like 2 feet off the ground, but I know she will enjoy climbing up the 2 steps to slide down!  I am so thankful that we have a basement with a wide open space for some of these bigger toys!  I also found books, wooden puzzles, DVD, a toy camera (now she can be like Momma), a microphone (she's a ham!), something that looks like a cell phone or remote control that actually teaches numbers, and a toy that is like a top.  I tried to remember that Christmas will be here pretty soon, but she is growing and learning so much that I wanted her to have some new toys to practice her new skills.  New books are for our enjoyment because we sometimes get tired of reading the same ones! 
Mom and Dad bought some great things for their house, too!  They bought a big train table (a lucky find) that she can put all kinds of toys on and cruise around now and use for Legos and such later.  They also bought a great toy that she can walk behind.  Standing and walking are the only two things she can really think about, so they occupy most of her playtime!
Here's a picture of all our new things.   
I'm a little picky about her clothes, but I did find these 2 outfits that I like.  If we ever get out of the 90's during the day, she might be able to wear them!  They are in the picture above and a little hard to see, but I found a pair of red mary janes that hopefully will fit next winter.  They're a size 5, so I'm not sure!
Afterwards we all had lunch together.  Sarah Graves was pretty worn out, so she is napping now. 
Wish every day could be like this one!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guarding sleep

Now that we have been using our sleep routine for over a week and have had great success, I find myself guarding her sleep. I never expected to be the parent who planned outings around naps and bedtime, but here I am. Our routine has worked so well that I am afraid to stray from it and possibly end up where we were before. On the other hand, I am usually flexible and don't regard sleep for myself that highly, so this is very different. Running to the grocery between naps or heading home the moment church lets out to make her nap time feels very rigid to me. I have made some exceptions, such as tomorrow we are going to the big consignment sale and it starts during her morning nap. We will get back on schedule for the afternoon nap.
I guess I am just that parent who rearranges plans around nap time and leaves early to make bedtime.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peek-A-Boo

I am still going through pictures and videos from our trip and I had to share this one.
video
This is a really fun age.  She understands games and can really interact.  We were eating in a restaurant when she started using the napkin to initiate a game of peek-a-boo!  Fortunately, Jeanne' had the wherewithal to pick up the camera and capture it. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Shot!

I think these are my all time favorite pajamas.  They have ballet slippers on the short and little ballet slippers all over the pants with the tutu.  She doesn't sleep in her bow...she just puts it on as soon as she wakes up. 

Ipad

Sunday I went to the apple store and I bought my iPad. It is every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be. It is light weight so that I can hold it close and it is so small that I can look at it while watching TV or laying in bed. At the same time, the screen is large enough that I can show Aaron pictures and he can nod and go back to his frog game.
Sarah Graves likes the iPad too and even starts working her hands when she sees it. I'm a little scared of how comfortable this kid is with electronics.
Speaking of her, she is 8 months old today and has another tooth coming in on top. I will try to get her monthly letter written soon, when I get tired of looking at the app store!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Frustration and Bliss (all at the same time)

No, I'm not talking about Sarah Graves' frustration.  I'm sure she has many frustrations and I'm sure once she's verbal she will be more than happy to voice them, but this is my frustration.  I have two of them at the moment. 

Sand is hard on cameras.  I knew this when we went to the beach, but our extended service plan includes a cleaning each year, so I decided to use it at the beach and just have it cleaned when we came back.  When I dropped it off yesterday, I did not expect them to tell me it would take 4 - 6 weeks to get it cleaned!  I don't think these people grasp how much happens in 4 - 6 weeks.  In 4 - 6 weeks my cruiser who keeps letting go, will probably acquire the balance needed to stand.  In 4 - 6 weeks my little climber will probably find her way to the chandelier!  The problem is that I want the camera for Thanksgiving and Christmas so there is no better time to send it off.  Ugh! 
I hope you don't read this just for the pictures. 
I'm working on persuading Aaron that we need a good backup camera.  I'm not there yet.

My other frustration is with a new pair of shoes that I purchased while in Florida.  I purchased new running shoes (no, I don't run unless being chased, but I like the way they look) at a store that we do not have in Atlanta.  This shouldn't matter because I tried them on and they fit and seem like they will be good.  The problem appeared when I took them out of the box and realized that the sales person did not remove the sensor.  You know the sensor that threatens to spew ink on everything if you try to remove it improperly.  I called the store's customer care line and got a nice person on the phone who understood my problem, but did not have a great solution.  It seems that the tool for removing these sensors is different at every store, so it's not a matter of working something out where I take the shoes and my receipt someplace else.  The solution is that she will ship me a UPS label, I will ship the shoes to them, they will remove the sensor, and ship the shoes back. 
So, sometime next year I will have a new pair of running shoes. 
Maybe by then I will be ready to take up running!

Now for the bliss.   Sarah Graves has slept all night for an entire week!  She actually slept until almost 7 yesterday and slept in past 7 today.  I have wondered if she is waking up and crying and I just don't hear her.  I still wake up a few times a night and I listen for her and fall back asleep when all is quiet.  Sleep is like a drug and the more I have, the more I want.  I had 9 hours of it last night.  I actually ran into the nursery this morning at 7:15 when I still hadn't heard her and she was fine sleeping away.  I woke her up (who would do such a thing?) because her schedule prescribes that she doesn't sleep past 7 so that she will take a nap at 9.  I was really surprised when we put her down at 9 and she went right to sleep with no protesting and slept for 2 hours. 
Babies are very fickle people! 
I cannot explain her behavior or what makes her tick. 
It drives me batty at times. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pulling Up

Sarah Graves has been pulling up for a couple of weeks now and she is getting so good at it.  She can pull up on almost anything now, including your pant legs.
  video

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Tooth, A Tooth!

Sarah Graves has cut her first tooth!  I was very naive and thought that the whole tooth would come up at once.  I don't know where I got that notion or how I thought an entire tooth would just appear, but that's how I thought it would happen.  Instead, you can just feel the little bump of a tooth coming through the skin on the lower right side. 

Update on our new routine

Last night was night 3 of our new routine and it went really well.  She went to sleep very easily a few minutes before 8 and I didn't hear anything from her until 4:30.  I went in, gave her the paci and her blankie, and then walked out.  She quickly started to fuss, so I went to the restroom thinking I may be up for a while.  When I came out a minute later, she had quit fussing.  I laid there for a few minutes waiting for her to start up again and she didn't.  I am so proud of what a big girl she is! 
I told Aaron that my one regret is that I didn't savor the last time that I got up to nurse her during the night.  I was so tired that I didn't appreciate it for how sweet it was.  He assured me that there will likely be another time when she needs me to comfort her during the night.  Selfishly I hope there is. 

Baby Shot!

I can't believe how big she is pulling up and wanting to stand on her own.  Yet she looks so little with her ruffled, padded bottom!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A New Routine

While we were at the beach Sarah Graves had some nights that were just tough.  She sleeps in her pack'n play fine, but there were some nights where she was up many times and sometimes she was just plain unhappy and nothing helped her go back to sleep except getting up and playing for a bit.  This persisted our first night home and I knew it was time for me to do somethng different. 
I pulled out my book on sleep and started reading on Sunday morning.  When I first read the book, I put it down because they suggest that you let your baby cry it out.  I read the section on her age and I actually picked up several things. 
First, I am trying to get her to nurse too frequently.  This book suggests that babies 5 - 8 months old only need to nurse about 4 or 5 times a day.  As I mentioned before, I have been nursing 7 times a day.  She isn't always super interested and tends to be easily distracted, which frustrates me some.  She hasn't been wanting to nurse much during the day and then of course at night, she wants an open buffet.  Not exactly the direction I was hoping we would be moving in.
I also read that at this age most babies have 3 naps a day, but they will give up the 3rd nap by 9 months old.  Sarah Graves does a pretty good job with naps.  The problems are that she sometimes wants to sleep late in the afternoon meaning she has to be woken up when it's time for her to come home and she gets a little cranky (can't say that I blame her; who wants to get up from a good nap), and sometimes her naps are very short and sometimes very long.  Their recommendation is that you lay them down for a nap at the set time and leave them there to go to sleep on their own and let them cry for as long as an hour.  At the end of the hour, if they haven't gone to sleep you go to them to comfort them and make the decision to pursue the nap or give up until the next time.  That part is hard to think about, but I think they are right because sometimes she is very tired, has her eyes almost closed, and continues to fight the sleep until she cries for a few minutes and drops off.
Then, I got to the part where it recommends that you train your baby to sleep at night by not going to them and letting them cry.  This is the part that I have such a hard time with.  However, her nights of waking up crying and not wanting to go back to sleep with any amount of consoling have made me feel like we have to do something different because she is clearly unhappy and I am exhausted.  There are stories from parents and most claim that their baby only cried for 20 minutes before going back to sleep.  20 minutes is a long time to lay there and want to comfort her, but it's also a long time to be up trying to comfort her and have no success.  Most parents said that within a week their baby was sleeping through the night, so I found this encouraging. 
So, I made a plan and Aaron agreed that it sounded worth trying.  She gets up at 6 AM and nurses, she eats breakfast at 8, she is laid down for a nap at 9, she nurses when she wakes up, she eats lunch at 12, she is laid down for a nap at 1, she nurses when she wakes up, she can nap in the late afternoon if she needs it (sometimes on the car ride home), she has dinner around 6, and she has a bath and nurses before bed at 8. 
We put our plan into action last night and took the book's advice and turned off the monitor knowing that I would wake up if she was really crying.  I laid there not falling asleep, dreading listening to her cry during the night.  I finally fell asleep after a while, but woke frequently to listen for her.  Every time I woke up it was quiet.  By 4:30 I couldn't take it and snuck in to check on her and she was fine.  At 5:30 I heard her wake up and went in to her.  She greeted me by putting her hands on my cheeks and giving me a big baby kiss.  She then proceeded to nurse peacefully for the next 20 minutes!   
She had a good day today and went to bed easily.  I have been saying prayers all day that she will sleep tonight and that I will have the resolve I need to get us out of this cycle of waking up many times a night.

More Beach Pictures

We may have over done it on the pictures.  When I uploaded from the camera it said that we took 917!  That doesn't mean they were all good, but I like a lot of them.  Here are some we took one afternoon.
The water was so pretty with a clear sky.

Mom tried to keep Sarah Graves from ingesting the entire beach!



I gave up on trying to keep her on a blanket and just let her be with the sand. 
I buried her in the sand up to her chest and she stayed put for quite a while.  She didn't get mad when she was tired of being there.  She just started kicking her legs until she was free. 
She loves to pull up and now she tries to climb, too!
Sometimes I think she might be attached to me!
That's our sandy girl covered from head to toe.
She was starting to slow down after being in the sand and water.  I love those pretty eyes!
We sat outside and watched the sun sink low and wished our days could go on like this forever.

Today I was back at work.  We're already looking forward to our next trip back at Thanksgiving. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sandy Days

SG has taken to the beach quite easily!  She doesn't love putting the sunscreen on, but she really likes the sand.  I bring a blanket out for her, but she imediately crawls to the edge and begins grabbing handfuls of sand to put on the blanket!  Her pacifier becomes coated in sand, it gets in her hair, and it is in every roll on her thighs!  She is perfectly happy with it, so I try to go with the flow.
Aaron found this shell and gave it to her.  Of course, if had to be tasted!  She doesn't care if she gets sand in her mouth. 
We are really enjoying our time relaxing down here. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time in the Pool






SG loves the water.  She loves being tossed around and playing motor boat.  The pool is a great time for her to be a little more free.  I'm a little nervous to toss her around and do too much in the Gulf.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beach Day One


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

That's right, it's the most wonderful time of the year..to my husband, at least.  Saturday started the college football season for LSU and Louisiana Tech.  He's a happy guy!  We were all sporting our LSU gear, even Lucy.  Lucy declined the opportunity to be part of a picture.  Sarah Graves hasn't caught on to us yet and willingly posed with her Daddy.
I'll get some beach pictures posted soon!