Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simply breathing her in

That's what I've been doing lately. Evalee has become such a grown up little lady lately. I live in a whole new world now ever since she has been sleeping so well at night. I feel a little more like myself and a little less like the high strung crazy person I have felt like for the last 9 months. It seems like every day she finds a new way to amaze me, whether it's in the giant hug she gives me when I pick her up after school, the ridiculously huge dinner she consumes each night through gummy grins covered in juice and Cheerio bits, or the new things she figured out how to do. Small things that only a mother could get excited about. For example, tonight, when she started putting her stackable boxes inside one another for the first time. I found her to be a big enough genius that I had to call my mom just to brag on her. She has also built up enough stomach muscle to be able to push her Christmas toys around the house, walking around like she owns the place. That is, until she runs into a wall, veers to the side and gets the wheel stuck on something, or runs over a toy. Then it's a look of desperation until help comes. So okay, maybe not TOTALLY independent yet. With how well she can walk with her toys, I can not wait until she can go play outside! I think as soon as she can, she will be off and running. Literally. She is just too impatient to sit any longer :). I daydream about the days where we can just have fun together outside -- going to play at the park in Orion, using our season passes to the zoo just a few minutes away, and playing with all the outdoor toys I have already bought in my imagination for her for the summer!

Her front teeth are getting more and more prominent. You still can't see them when she smiles, but when you give her a good tummy tickle you can see both of those little pearly whites. I think her teeth have given her a little bit of a, shall we say, upset tummy this last week or so and as a result she has experienced her first really bad case of diaper rash. On Tuesday this week she felt so crummy all she wanted to do was cuddle with Mom in our chair, which sounded like a good night to me, so that's what we did. She is still going through this phase of insisting on being with Mommy instead of being her usual gregarious self, but I suppose I'll take Dr. Moen's stance on it as well as just call it emotional development. :)

We got two big bags full of hand me down clothes last week -- lots of it was adorable summer wear in the size she's in now, so we'll see if she gets to wear any of it. Clothes are getting awfully tricky to predict for her these days. Luckily we got nearly her entire wardrobe at yard sales, on clearance racks, and from bags of hand me downs from friends so it's not too much of a loss when sizes don't work out just right :). She loves to play with her clothes (I use the word play loosely... more like take them out of the laundry basket one by one, feel them, and then see how far she can throw them) so she was a great help to me when I was getting all of them sorted into sizes and boxed up!
Wearing her "one size fits all" hat we got in our bag of hand me downs. It's just a tad big still, but she wore it as a rally cap for the Bears.
Are you taking my picture or trying to steal my Cheerios when I'm not looking? Because it's the second one I'm not falling for it.
I see her and I think Naturally dainty. Flower-like. We should start the ballet lessons now.
Headed to the bathroom to see if she can't convince bathtime to come a little sooner...
"Hey, are you coming?"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mama ain't no hairstyler

Today I attempted to get Evalee's hair off her ears because she's always pulling on it and getting frustrated because it tickles her ears. Anyway. It was unsuccessful. But she looked cute for a few minutes. We captured it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

ch ch ch changes

This weekend I feel like Evalee has made so many great steps. I felt a little more confident to start giving Evalee more table food after talking with the doctor on Friday. Wow can that girl eat. On Saturday, we went out to lunch because we TRIED to go to the DMV (closed on Saturday for MLK Day? Come on. ). Since kids eat for free at Steak and Shake on the weekends, we figured we had nothing to lose giving it a try. She ordered macaroni and cheese, applesauce, and water and had the best time eating and playing with her kids meal stuff. On Sunday she ate a whole bunch of softened apples, too many cheerios to begin to count, an entire banana, her leftover macaroni and cheese, applesauce, a jar of sweet potatoes, a few bites of Jello.... she was like the hungry caterpillar or something. We took off her shirt and let her feed herself for dinner. I think 80% of the meal ended up in her lap and smeared into her belly, but she had a great time.
Then this morning she ate a huge serving of oatmeal with applesauce and a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. Travis was actually in the mood for breakfast food, so I made pancakes from scratch. I made us 3 pancakes and a little one for Eva, thinking she'd have to be full but would still probably want a couple bites just because we were eating. Wrong. She ate her entire pancake and bites of mine until the pancakes were gone. I'm not sure we would have ever found the cap.

Aside from that, she has also been getting so good at traveling around. She can take a few hurried steps with her push toys she got for Christmas before the wheels get away from her, and she's so darn proud of herself when she does it! She has also started taking an interest in trying to say words, although I won't make believe she's close to talking yet. She does make the "ahh" sound when she sees a picture of her Daddy and the "eeee" sound when she sees a kitty. But her concentration in facial expressions when she's babbling tell us she's letting us know something.

She has also started dancing when she hears music. Not always, but almost always if songs come on on TV she will stand up, hold onto whatever is nearby, and bounce. Her favorite song appears to be the iPad commericals' theme song. Good musical taste, her Grandpa should be proud. It's practically the Stones.

The one thing that we don't care for that seems to be happening lately is her clinginess. Lately she has been a total Mommy's girl and no one else simply makes the cut. Not even Grandpa. I know it's starting to frustrate Travis, but it isn't much better on my end either, constantly feeling guilty when I have to leave the room or hand her off. I am hoping it's been because she is cutting teeth (We are thinking both front teeth seem to be coming now!) and she will be back to her normal social self soon.

Like taking a picture with Daddy is pure torture.

Cheering on the Bears and sportin' a borrowed number from cousin Alex.

It takes sheer concentration to shovel macaroni in your mouth.

I DO have a Jello goatee.

A sleep update.

Tonight will be night four of letting Evalee cry herself back to sleep. The first night was awful. She woke up at 12:35 crying, and I followed all of my rules set before me. After 5 minutes, I went in and rubbed her back and told her she was okay, and she threw her arms around me and sobbed into my neck. Walking away broke my heart. She then proceeded to cry until 1:13. I know it was 1:13 because I stared at the clock through watery eyes, thinking "Dr. Moen assured me she'd be fine in under 30 minutes." He was close. I cried twice as long as she did.

She then woke up again around 6, and since I was allowed to give her a bottle after 4 or 5, I pranced into her room, snatched her up, and soaked in our cuddle knowing as soon as that small bottle was gone I'd have to lay her right down and let her cry again. Fortunately for all of us, the bottle put her back to sleep. She then slept until 7:45, quite the record for the last few months.

On night two, I went in a little hesitant because Saturday Eva spent all day in a funk. She obviously did not feel well, and I wasn't too keen on letting her cry in the night since I thought she'd be in pain. I also didn't want to take one step forward and two steps back. Fortunately, she woke up only once and Travis got her back to sleep quickly. Church time came and we had to wake her up to get her dressed (always sucks haha).

Last night she didn't wake up at all until 6 a.m. Seeing Travis seems to go better than seeing me, so I sent in my troops armed with a pacifier and a quick back rub. While she continued to cry a tired, half-hearted cry until 7, it was much less painful as it was clear she was barely upset enough to continue making noise.

We shall see what tonight brings us.

Friday, January 14, 2011

9 month check up

Today Evalee went to see Dr. Moen for her nine month well baby check up. Although she enjoyed taking off her clothes to get weighed (18.75 lbs) and measured (27 inches long), she was not pleased when she had to lay down and get examined. Of course, Dr. Moen said we needed to take her screams as a good sign of emotional development, since he was a stranger. I just smiled, knowing if she had been in only a slightly different mood she probably would have gone home with him. He showed us how she is still in the 50th percentile for height, between the 25th and 50th percentile for weight, and around the 50th percentile for her head still. We talked a lot about food and sleep, as those are our major concerns right now. With her tooth breaking through, she hasn't been the best at either lately. We found out that we can feed her pretty much anything we can mash up small enough except eggs, peanut butter, and honey. We even got a couple of table food ideas to try we hadn't thought of, so that was good.

And then we talked about sleep. I knew what he was going to say about her getting up. At least, I was pretty sure. Every parent around me assures me that I need to be toughening up at night and letting Evalee figure out how to soothe herself to sleep. In other words, I have to let her cry. And I have had logically reasons why to avoid doing it all along -- she was still getting hungry until very recently, she had a cold and was having trouble breathing, she's teething and in pain... but ultimately, I know I will always be able to come up with an excuse. Truth be told, I simply don't want to go through it. I know that sounds selfish, but I don't know if I can sit through listening to her cry. The thought of her all by herself in the dark of her room panicking because the parents she could always rely on in the past are suddenly abandoning her in a confused, tired state is enough to make me feel like I could throw up. I love that baby more than anything in the world and knowing I could quell her and making an effort to not do those things seems against nature itself. If something is unreachable, I hand it to her. If something hurts, I kiss it. If something is poopy, I clean it. The natural responses I've had for the last nine months seem so automatic that they've become a part of me. I know I'm probably being dramatic and blowing things out of proportion, as they say it usually is harder for the parents than it is for the babies (but how the hell do "they" know that anyway?). But it's hard to talk about rational thought and unconditional love in the same paragraph.

So, we shall forge ahead and see where the weekend takes us. "Most babies are sleeping through the night after 3 or 4 nights," he said. We'll see Dr. Moen. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

9 months and never slowing down

Sorry for the long wait for a new post, but things have been a little chaotic for the last couple of weeks. Evalee and I very much enjoyed our Mommy/Daughter bonding time after the whirlwind of Christmas week was over and we could relax and bring some normalcy back into our routine. It has been really fun to watch Evalee with her new toys and books she got for Christmas and watch her discover and learn how things work. The toys, however, have still failed to distract her from her two favorite loves: her books and her cats. She is tireless when it comes to her pursuit of the cats every night. She has kind of given up trying to catch Gizmo, who is afraid of her own shadow let alone a 9 month old so she scrams at the first sign of an attack. Gadget, however, is just the right amount of lazy that sometimes, she lets her get close enough to touch. Eva figured out one night that Gadget liked her new Christmas toy, so she was trying to entice her to come closer (which is pretty clever, if you ask me). She also likes giving her her treat for being a good kitty and letting her pet her fur.

She has also really started getting daring when it comes to travel. She loves to be standing, although she still can't quite stand on her own yet. She has started to master "cruising" and gets very proud of herself when she can navigate around the couch and the coffee table with no help. This week she has also been pushing around the walker that Santa brought her, and although she prefers to push it sideways it has helped her get around the living room. We have, however, had our share of bumps and bruises as a result of this daring nature. I've been looking into getting one of those padded leather benches to serve as our coffee table in place of the one we have now, since she has bumped her head one too many times on it for my taste.

We have also been trying our best to transition into better eating habits and better sleeping habits. It's been hard to get her used to anything with all of the excitement and busy-ness of the last month or so, but we are finally now starting to settle down. She has recently started screaming her head off when she sees a jar of baby food, almost offended by the idea that we would feed her such things. So, she has been eating a lot of mixed fruit oatmeal, Gerber crunchies, Gerber puffs, and even a few Cherrios. She wants our table food, but she's still not very good at getting it down. We tried to feed her some ground spaghetti and meat sauce this weekend when we were eating, and she ended up coughing it up and throwing up everywhere. Fortunately, a top tooth is breaking through so hopefully she'll be able to eat a little easier soon.

She has also started making it through the night without a bottle in the middle of the night. She still wakes up once each night, usually (though sometimes a couple times) but we can usually coax her back to sleep with a little snuggle, rocking, and pacifier and be back in bed in 10-15 minutes. She spoiled us this weekend with TWO nights in a row of sleep from bedtime until around 6:30. I long for the days of a full night's sleep. But I know they are a light at the end of a tunnel I have barely begun to start trekking through.

She goes in to see Dr. Moen on Friday for her nine month well baby visit. I can't believe she'll be a year old in less than 3 months. We have quite the celebration to plan, as we definitely have a lot to be thankful for in the last year!

Come here Gadget, I have a secret for you.
Just chillin' with my buddy.
Giving the cats' treats a little shake before facing the music and realizing they are not for her.
Here kitty, kitty, kitty....
You know you want it...
Lovin' life.
All dressed up in my new outfit from Grandma Kershaw and ready to head to church. Watch out, whoever sits behind us.
She's still my daughter even if we look nothing alike.
I'm sorry, future Evalee, but this had to be remembered. After the puke explosion mentioned earlier, we attempted to change her quickly so we could get back to our dinner. She was not interested in food. Or clothes. Or diapers. Only toys.
So we relented only long enough to have a good laugh and to snap a couple of pictures. I hope the play time was worth the future humiliation, Ernie. :)