Sunday, 30 December 2012

Watch Me Grow - Thirty Two Weeks

Merry (belated) Christmas! We are finally back home in Houston after spending the holidays with family in New York. It was super fun, super busy and super crazy but we had a great time. Kaitlin LOVED visiting with all of her family and is now used to getting tons of attention. She has a rude awakening coming this week when it's just me and her at home :) We all had a blast celebrating her first Christmas with her - even though she had no idea what was going on it was still really special for us. It was also pretty cool for Brian and I since this was our first Christmas back at home with our families since 2007! It was long overdue.

Kaitlin has grown SO much over the last few weeks. Maybe she put on a few holiday pounds like the rest of us - probably because of all those Christmas cookies she ate (oh wait - that was me). Literally over night she felt like she gained a pound or two, which for her size is a lot. We weighed her today and she is about 16 1/4lb. I can barely hold her for longer than fifteen minutes or so now because she is so heavy! I'm going to get some major guns from holding her - bring on the biceps! She is comfortably fitting into all of her 6 month size clothes and all of her 3 month clothes are now put away (*sob*).

I think the biggest developments that she's had over the last couple of weeks in her insatiable urge to crawl/walk/stand. She is standing up like a champ. She is now pulling herself up to standing, usually on our fingers but she has also done it on an upside down laundry baskets and toys. If she isn't standing she is trying to stand at all times. She must be burning a ton of calories because she has been eating a ton of formula and a lot more solids than she ever has before. She has also been sleeping really well (hopefully I didn't just jinx anything). While standing you can watch her try and figure out how to grab a toy or lift one of her hands. She looks like she's concentrating really hard and then makes a weird grunting or yelling noise and then will lift her hand or grab the toy. It's almost like she's saying "Heeeerrrrreeee we go!!!!" A couple of times she even decided to let go of the laundry basket she was holding onto and stood all by herself! Granted, it was only for a couple of seconds but I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Her Grammy bought her this Stride-to-Ride toy and she is obsessed with it. We usually stand her up and let her hold onto the handle, and a couple of time she has actually pushed the toy forward and taken a couple steps!! This is happening WAY too fast for me. Her legs and ankles are still too weak to walk any time soon but as soon as they get stronger she is going to be off and running. Literally.

When she isn't trying to standup she is trying to crawl. She loves to bounce while sitting down and has learned that she can bounce and launch herself forward to reach toys that are slightly out of her reach. She has learned to push herself backwards a little bit and manages to get around by sitting up, launching herself forward, rolling and then repeating the sequence. She isn't covering too much ground yet but I know it's only a matter of time. The baby gates have been purchased and are going up as soon as possible! 

I can't believe we are at this stage seems like just yesterday she was an immobile blob sitting in her boppy. 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Seventh Month

That's it - it's all over. My baby is officially closer to one year old than she is to being a newborn *sob*

What? Am I being a bit dramatic? It must be the holidays. They get me all emotional and weepy anyway. Celebrating the holidays has been so much fun with Kaitlin, even though she has no idea what is going on and won't remember any of her first holidays. We started out her seventh month by celebrating Thanksgiving. She was still only eating baby cereal at the time but was doing so enthusiastically (even though it tastes like cardboard to me). We quickly moved her up to more tasty solids - sweet potatoes, peas, apples, avocado and bananas. She has loved all of them (at least she seems to like them) and gets excited about sitting in her high chair and eating with a big girl spoon. Grammy and Pop-pop came to visit for Thanksgiving and were able to get in on the action of feeding her. It sure is messy - but a whole lot of fun!

She continues to grow bigger and stronger every day. At her six month checkup she weighed 15lb 10oz and I swear she gains another pound every week. She is sitting up on her own without any help from the boppy or bumbo (who comes up with the names of these things?) and has been for quite some time. She started pushing herself up to sitting from laying down and has gotten on her hands and knees a few times. She acts like she wants to crawl so bad, but has only gotten as far as reaching really far for things - no rocking or crawling yet (although it's only a matter of time).

Right after Thanksgiving we started getting ready for Christmas. She has loved looking at all the pretty lights on our tree and she loves Christmas music. Our town had its annual tree lighting ceremony and you could meet Santa. We weren't sure how she was going to react to meeting the big guy but it turns out she reacted how she usually reacts - with a blank stare. She just stared and stared at him and pulled on his beard a little (to make sure it was real, I'm sure). In Texas Santa gets to wear his casual clothes - a red polo and shorts for him! Considering it was 70* out I don't blame him.

During the seventh month she went to the park for the first time and discovered how awesome the swings are. She loves them and I try to take her a couple of times a week. She also loves "flying" in the air, especially with Daddy. We did some more real flying as well this month, taking our second trip with her up to New York to see family. I had to fly with her by myself for the first time, and while it was frantic and stressful she was a rockstar and did a great job. She got to meet her second set of great grandparents and has had a great time hanging out with her grandparents, aunts and uncles. She is getting used to having a lot of people around!


I thought for sure she would have several more teeth by now but they have proved to be illusive. Teething is at an all time high though so I hope that they come in soon. She has been drooling like crazy and everything goes in the mouth - if she can fit it in there she will chew on it. And if she can't fit it in her mouth she sure as heck is going to try and get it in there. 

A few more things I have learned...

Milestones are awesome annoying as hell
It has been really fun watching Kaitlin learn new things and start to hit her first milestones. She amazes me every day and I am her biggest cheerleader. However, with every new milestone she reaches it puts a major kink in her routine. Luckily (knock on wood) they don't interrupt her night sleep very much, but naps pretty much go down the tubes. When she first learned to roll over that's all she would do while in her crib for a nap. Now that she has learned how to sit up and how to get on her hands and knees, all she wants to do is practice those new skills when she is supposed to be taking a nap. It's hard to get mad at her considering she greets me with a huge smile and you can tell she is so proud of what she has been practicing, but by the end of the day she is usually super cranky and she ends up having to go to bed really early. We have been trying to move back her 5:30 bedtime to be closer to a normal 6:30-7pm but when she refuses to nap all day it's a little hard to do that. The good thing is she is usually so exhausted by the end of the day, she goes right to sleep - and stays asleep for at least 9-11 hours. I know we have many more milestones to hit - and a lot more teeth to come in - so I am trying to learn to be patient with her lack of naps. I see a lot more wine in my future.

Oh wait, I was already supposed to have learned that a few months ago. Now that Kaitlin is even more on the move, and especially during this busy holiday season, I have learned again to write everything down. I definitely learned more than one thing this last month, and yet I have nothing to show for it because the only thing I can remember is that milestones are a pain in my butt. This serves as your friendly reminder to write as much as you can down when it happens. Because come tomorrow you might not remember a thing.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Great Grandparents

The last time we came to New York with Kaitlin she met her first set of great grandparents, my maternal grandparents. This time around she was able to meet her second set of great grandparents, my paternal grandparents. Until recently they lived in Arizona, and I know I speak for the whole family when I say that we are all so glad to have them back in New York (even though, now, I am not in New York). Kaitlin is their fifth great grandchild - how amazing is that?! They have seven children, ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Just amazing. I hope I am as blessed as they are and have a big, full family. 

Although I cannot imagine for one second having seven children. 

Two is a stretch. 

The more I think about it I'm pretty sure Kaitlin will make a great only child. So much for a big family.

Anyway - back to my story. 

They have been anxious to meet her from the day she was born. Their love, joy and excitement was immeasurable. It had been at least three years since the last time I saw them so it was exciting for me as well. Out of all their great grandchildren Kaitlin is the first girl. And there is just something different about little girls.

I told my grandma about how Kaitlin loves music. She loves music boxes and her xylophone and the album of classical music that I play for her. Grandma had the great idea to let Kaitlin play on their organ, and she loved it. She didn't quite understand what was going on at first but quickly learned that when she pressed down on the keys that it would make a noise. Grandma played a couple short songs for her and Kaitlin just loved it.

I feel so very, very blessed in this little life of mine. And during times like these I feel so blessed I could just about burst. I am so thankful that Kaitlin has had an opportunity to meet all of my grandparents, her great grandparents. Although she won't have memories of meeting them (or anyone) during the first couple of years of her life, I will have these pictures and there will be stories from me and my parents. Hopefully she will meet them many, many more times and they will be a part of her life for years to come.