Monday, April 19, 2010

New Parlor Tricks

Well, there it is! She's pulling up! She started pulling up on Brad and I about a week or so ago. As soon as she figured out that she could do it once, she's unstoppable! We had to drop her crib mattress down this weekend. We're still swaddling, which is a long story. Suffice it to say, she has had horrible allergies/pollen issues and hadn't been sleeping well for a few nights and so we re-swaddled. She's sleeping through the night again, so we're leaving her be for a few days. We'll start to unswaddle again soon. Anyway, she's rarely ever in the crib unswaddled, which is probably why it's taken her this long to pull up. We only put her in there when we're doing something in her room, washing hands after changing a diaper, or when mommy needs a minute to start laundry or something. It feels great to say that every single thing that this child has done that is new, I've seen it the first time. Every new sound she makes, funny face she makes, new milestone she hits. I was right there when she pulled up on her crib the first time. I was a proud mommy! Here's the video proof! This wasn't the first time, but one of the first.

Emma Pulling Up on Crib from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Did I mention that she's sleeping through the night? I'm not sure if I have mentioned that in previous posts, so I thought I'd brag a little. She goes down for bed between 8:00-9:00 and usually gets up around 6:15 to nurse and then back down until 7:30-8:30 or so. It's awesome. It's incredible. It's a miracle. How did it happen after 7-8 months of waking up anywhere from 2-4+ times a night?? Well, that's an embarassing story involving my failure as a mother.

I have mentioned before that we were going to do the "Ferber Sleep Method" which involves letting her cry or fuss for specific amounts of time before going in to check on her, never getting her out of the crib, and gradually increasing the time inbetween checks. It was going well and we had gotten down to 1 feeding. Then we had a set back or 2 and she was back to 4 times a night up and wide awake. It was a nightmare and I knew that we had to stop it. If we didn't, we were not only harming ourselves because of a lack of sleep, but harming her as well. It's our job as parents to teach her what night time's supposed to be like, and waking up 4 times to eat just ain't it! So we started to "Ferber" again. It was working slowly. One night I woke up to her fussing around midnight. I turned the volume on the baby monitor all the way down and set my digital timer for 10 minutes (an old one from several years of classroom use, and not incredibly reliable). I fell asleep. I fully expected the timer to wake me up 10 minutes later, to go in and put the passy back in, and go back to bed. Only the timer never went off. It died. I woke up at 6:30 in the morning and Emma was just starting to stir. I felt like the worst mother in the history of the world. I still feel like that. I'll never forgive myself for it. I know that it was just accidental, but I feel like crap that I wasn't awake enough to know that the timer malfunctioned. Anyway, you get the point. She was in a good mood, though she was tired. She didn't seem to hold a grudge, but guess what?? She slept through the night from that point on. She occasionally has a night where she wakes up once but puts herself back to sleep within minutes. So there you have it. I'm a horrible mom, but my kid sleeps through the night. She's well-rested and I.....well, not so much. Brad and I are night owls and just can't seem to get to sleep before 11PM or midnight on any given night. SO I'm exhausted most of the time, but we're working on changing that habit.

So I bought Emma a ride-on/push behind toy for Easter because it won't be long before she's walking at this rate! She helped me put it together today and then enjoyed a little ride. She pretty quickly figured out how to use her feet to scoot it backwards. Now if we can only figure out the "forward" part! She looks so big to me on this thing! Pardon the fact that it's fuzzy - she doesn't hold still for long!

She's crawling everywhere now, and FAST! I've baby proofed some of the living room, which is where her toys are and where we spend a majority of the day. However, she can quickly make her way into the kitchen or down the hall, which is not good. We also have a very sharp fireplace which scares the hell out of me. I decided it was time to put together her SuperYard XT, which is pretty much a pen. There's almost no way to find a baby gate big enough to block off the area between our living room and kitchen, so this was our only option. I picked it up brand new, in the box, at a consignment sale a few months ago for less than half of the full price. It's so nice to have somewhere safe that I can put her and know that I can do some dishes and that she'll pretty much be in there when I get done! She doesn't mind it much yet either. I'm sure this will change!
Can you see her in there??

Here I am!

Tonight we went to dinner with a couple of my previous students and their moms. We've gotten to be good friends! We had a great time, but it makes me feel so old! I have known Caroline since she was 2 and she is now 14!! I used to babysit her and then was her 5th grade teacher! And Jack is now taller than I am! It's so nice to be able to keep in touch. They were all excited to see Emma and she was an angel - she even stayed in her high chair through the entire meal and didn't scream once!! I was so proud! Here she is just after we got home. You'd never know she had fallen asleep in the car on the way home!

I'll leave you with one last precious video. Emma LOVES my parents' dog, Bailey. She busts out her biggest gummy grin every time she sees him. Bailey LOVES bubbles! This is what happens whenever we blow bubbles around Bailey. Unfortunately, he eats a lot of soap for the sake of her precious laughter, but I don't think he minds. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he thinks it's all for him! I wish that Lucy wanted to play, because we would do this at home all the time. Unfortunately, Lucy's a wussy and is terrified of bubbles. Just don't even ask.....she's not the brightest crayon in the box. :)

Bubbles from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Break!!

I've been taking a little blogging break this week because we've been jet setting, as we rarely do these days. We started the week of Easter with Emma's first Easter Egg Hunt at my good friend, Mary's house. We had a great time! Emma picked up a few eggs and had to be coerced into putting them into the basket, but she figured out the plan quickly enough. The basket was one that I got from Target after last year's Easter season. It was so fun to see her using the basket that I had envisioned her with last year when I was pregnant and anticipating my sweet baby girl's first Easter.

Making noises with Daddy's hand - a past time.

It was SO nice to have Brad home for the week. I will admit it, I'm spoiled. He often lets me sleep in on weekends and gets up and feeds Emma. It's so nice that she can actually eat "food" now and I'm not always required to be in the picture for every single meal. Brad has also confessed that he loves feeding her. They really bond as he makes airplane noises, wipes her mouth with goofy motions and voices, and cheers when she's "all finished." Emma thinks her Daddy's crazy!

Easter Sunday was great. We went to mass at Holy Cross and then had a nice Easter dinner with my parents. We had a great meal with Brad's family the night before. Lots of great food and great family. Emma loved her Easter basket! I decided to do something a little different with her basket. Well, technically, it's a bucket. I found a woman on that decorates and sells galvanized buckets. I had her make one for Emma with her name on it. It's bright pink with lime green polka dots. Each year, the Easter Bunny will fill the same bucket. I used a paint pen and wrote the date of her first Easter on the bottom of the bucket. I really want to make lots of traditions for Emma and keepsakes at the same time. I hope that she will enjoy the bucket for years in the future.

Emma LOVES her new doll that the Easter bunny brought her - can you tell?! He must have seen her talking to it at Toys R Us the previous week....

Pretty girl in her Easter dress. Hard to believe it was in our backyard....Brad cut the grass/weeds the next day!

We spent 2 nights in Carrollton with our best friends, Amber and Jason, and their precious little boy, Seth. We met in Carrollton when we were in school together and lived there for a year after I graduated and taught while Brad finished up his senior year. It holds lots of great memories for us, and is also where our best friends are. It was SO great to spend a few days with them, but has us all wishing we were closer to them. It is so nice out in the country and really makes you long for the peace and quiet and simpler life that just can't be found in the "big city."

Emma loves her Aunt Amber!!

Seth LOVED Emma and she loved him. He wasn't quite sure how to play with her though. There were lots of head rubs and shoulder pats! Precious.

We got to have a little playdate with a friend's new little girl, Ella. She is about 3 months old. Emma loved her!

It's hard to tell, but can you see that their feet are about the same size?? My girl's got TINY feet!

Emma enjoyed her first "big girl" bath at Amber and Jason's house. She usually gets in the tub with Mama, but loved her big girl bath thanks to a bathtub ring borrowed from a friend!

Emma slept SO great the first night. From 8:30-8:00. The next night, was a nightmare. She realized pretty quickly that as soon as she cried we were going to jump up and get her because we didn't want her to wake the rest of the house up. She milked it for all it was worth. We were literally up once an hour, if not every half hour. It was worth it though. By the time we got home, we were missing it. I have a feeling we're going to spend some more time there this summer, though we haven't been invited yet. ;)

We came back from Carrollton on Brad's 28th birthday. He's an old man! We spent the day trying to recover from not sleeping the night before. We also went to dinner at Pappadeaux with his family. Emma decided that she had had enough of the "being a good girl" thing. She started arching her back in the high chair, stiffening up and screaming UGLY screams when her food wasn't coming fast enough. We're starting to work on this because Mama's NOT going to have a rude little girl! She eventually stopped once she heard "no ma'am" a few times and the food stopped coming.

We spent Friday morning at Yellow River Game ranch with Mary and Jack (from the egg hunt!). We had a great time, though they were packed, pollen was everywhere, and we had to park down the street and walk! Gorgeous weather that day.

The child hates her stroller. She made me get her out shortly after we got there. SO I carried her and pushed the stroller. I missed Brad :(

She LOVED the goats! She fed this one carrots.

She got so tired! Unfortunately, she's not as light as she once was and my back was screaming at me after we walked through the rest of the park and all the way to the car.

She's such a big girl these days. She's eating a good bit of table food. This week alone she's tried deviled eggs, pimento cheese sandwich, cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, bread, cake, chicken, turkey, ham......I'm sure there's more. She loves trying new things, though she mostly wants to feed them to herself. She likes it when things are "her idea." Hmm....wonder where she gets THAT from???

She told me "mmmmmm" over and over today for "more" when she was eating puffs. She's making LOTS more noises and has started to imitate! I knew she would, but am relieved to see it. She makes the "b" noise, "d" noise, and "m." She makes others throughout the day, but those are the most often heard ones.

She wears size 12 month clothes. There are a few 9 month outfits that still fit, but most of them are 12 month. I had to break down and buy a couple of pairs of skorts from Target to go over onesies this summer. They had to be big and stretchy enough to fit over her diapers, as most clothes aren't cut that big anymore. They were size 24 months. But hey, at least they fit!

She's crawling SO perfectly these days. She's not racing with it yet, but it's coming. She's gotten into dog food, remote controls, name it. We're starting to baby-proof as we go along.

We're starting to un-swaddle. It's about time, but she really wasn't ready for it before now. We've been leaving one arm out of the swaddle and it only took her one nap to get comfortable with that. She's been like that for 2 days now. In fact, yesterday she slept with both arms out and only her legs swaddled for both naps. She showed us last night that we were moving a bit too fast though, so as I type this, she's got one arm out. We'll take it at her pace and see how it goes. Sure will be nice not to have to man-handle her into a swaddle blanket before nap times by myself!

Brad heads back to work tomorrow and is dreading it. I've gotten a lot done this week in terms of housework, but still really need to find the time to get into her closet and clear out the stuff that's too small, which is most of it. I cleaned out her drawers today and filled a rubbermaid box. The closet will make box 3 so far, and that's only her clothing newborn-6 months. Think she has enough clothes?? ;)

Emma's had a hard time with the pollen these last 2 days. A little runny nose off and on and she's just generally fussy. She doesn't seem to have a cold. It's just some sneezing and we have to wipe her little nose 2-3 times a day. Hope the pollen calms down soon. It's been well over 1000 today. I hope that she doesn't end up with her Mama's horrible allergies. Time will tell.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We have liftoff.


Here are the videos, as promised! She's getting better by the minute!

Only in the south can you get a girl to crawl for some sweet tea! (She didn't really drink it, just loves to chew on the straw.)

Emma Crawling from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Emma in the Dog Food! from Susan Gilchrist on Vimeo.

Original Post:

So for quite some time now Emma's been moving and shaking. I can't leave her in a room unattended for more than 2 seconds without coming back and finding her across the room and into something. It's nearly impossible to change her diaper without a huge fight - her life's mission is to flip over onto her belly. If you've ever tried to cloth diaper a baby upside down, you know how tough it is. She's DEFINITELY learning the meaning of the word "no" right now, but it's tough to have a huge fight everytime she sees the changing table :( She rolls, scoots, pulls herself with her hands, gets up on her hands and knees and scoots name it, she does it. Well, today my big girl did it. She crawled! When I say she crawled, I mean she moved her hands one at a time and her knees one at a time. She's NEVER done that before! She showed off for all of the ladies at my mom's office and performed perfectly each time, like she'd been doing it forever! I hesitate to tell you what she was crawling FOR......well, she's a southern girl, so I'll tell ya. Chick-Fil-A sweet tea. And yes, I let her try it when she got it. Technically, she chewed the straw and never even got to taste the tea, but the straw was worth crawling for over and over again! I can't wait for her Daddy to get home and see her! I'll make sure to get some video later and post it as soon as I can. I'm so proud!! :)