Julia’s 15-month Checkup

Yesterday we had Julia’s 15-month checkup with her pediatrician.  First, I just have to say that I love her pediatrician.  She really makes you feel like she’s giving you her full and undivided attention.  She answers all of your questions and she literally spent about 45 minutes with us yesterday.  At no point did I feel like she was rushing me or she was in a hurry to get out of the room.  She always is respectful, even when I ask seemingly silly questions.  It’s so refreshing to have a doctor who you trust so fully with your or your child’s care.  I can’t speak highly enough of her.

So let’s start, from head to toe:

First, her statistics: her head is 47 centimeters (75th percentile), she weighs 25 lbs. 3 oz. and is 32 inches tall.  Her height is in the 90th percentile for girls her age and her weight is in the 80th percentile.  The doctor said she was growing nicely and did not seem at all concerned.  It’s a nice change from those first few doctor’s appointments we had when we were struggling with breastfeeding and were happy if she gained even a few ounces from one visit to the next!

Teeth: The doctor saw that Julia has 5 teeth that have broken the surface and one more that is about to break through.  I asked her when we need to start brushing her teeth and when we need to think about taking her for a visit to the dentist.  She said that provided she’s not eating junk food (which she’s not), we can wait until she’s 3 years old for a visit to the dentist.  Before then she won’t have the patience or even the ability to sit still in a dentist’s chair long enough to have her teeth cleaned or examined.  We do, however, need to start brushing her teeth.  The doctor said at this age we should do whatever she’ll tolerate–if she’ll tolerate the toothbrush with toothpaste we can do that and try to get in there and brush or we can just let her chew on the toothbrush and use a washcloth with our finger to scrub them a little when she’s taking a bath.

This morning, after we had breakfast I decided to give her the toothbrush and see how she would do.  She LOVED brushing her teeth!  I sat down on the floor next to her and showed her how to do it and she just had a grand old time!  She even cried when I took the toothbrush away from her since it was time to go to daycare! Here we were, having our toothbrush party this morning: 1.10.2014(3)

1.10.2014(4)(Side note: those overalls are really cute, aren’t they?!  But they were obviously designed by someone who does NOT have children since they are totally impractical.  They don’t have buttons or snaps at the crotch to allow for easy diaper changing.  You literally have to take the overalls all the way off in order to change the baby’s diaper.  And they’re made for size 18 months.  I’ve never even heard of a baby who’s potty-trained by 18 months.)

Language Development: Ken & I were both getting a little concerned about the fact that Julia still doesn’t call us Mama & Dada.  She frequently says “dadada” and “mamama” but she never directs those specific words at us.  So I asked the doctor about where she should be with language development at this age.  She said by this age she should have 2-3 words that we know she is saying.  (She definitely does–she says “nice,” “cat,” “ball,” “nose,” and a few others here and there.)  And she said that more important than having actual words, is that she babbles with “communicative intent” and changing her intonation.  She DEFINITELY does that.  A lot.  So I’m not worried!

Nutrition: The doctor said that as far as toddler nutrition is concerned, you have to look at their intake of food over the course of a week and make sure they are getting in enough protein, fruits and vegetables, Vitamin D, iron, etc. but that in one day if she eats nothing but yogurt that’s okay as long as she’s making up for it on the other days of the week by eating more fruits and vegetables and less dairy.  She should be drinking 16-24 oz. of milk a day and we can also start giving her water more regularly to help with her occasional constipation.  Generally these days, on daycare days she gets 3 sippy cups (so about 15 oz.) of whole milk, and she nurses 3 times in addition to that, and on non daycare days she generally nurses 5 times and gets 2 (so 10 oz. total) cups of milk.

Motor Skills: The doctor saw that Julia was walking, trying to climb up onto chairs, could use two fingers to pick up small objects on the floor, helps with getting herself dressed by extending her arm when you hold her sleeve for her, etc. and she said that over the next 3 months we should start to see more and more independence.  We’ll start to see her successfully climbing up onto the couch and chairs, we’ll start to see her learn to rotate her wrist in such a way that she’ll be able to start using a fork and knife to feed herself, etc. The longer she walks and discovers how her body moves, the more graceful her movements will become, basically.

Sleep: At this age and especially with all the teething going on, it’s normal for her to be woken up in the middle of the night or even to wake up at horrible times (like 5:30 this morning) because her teeth are probably quite painful.  But the doctor was pleased to hear that the average night of sleep for Julia involves her sleeping through the night from about 7:30-6 and that she normally gets a 1-2 hour nap at home or at daycare.   1.10.2014

Overall the doctor was very pleased with how Julia is doing!  She also got 3 shots yesterday: the second part of her flu shot (for babies they divide it into two parts), PCV (pneumococcal), and her first MMR shot.  She screamed for about a minute after the shots but then she quickly calmed down and was back to normal by the time we left the doctor’s office!

It’s hard to believe that the next time we take her to the doctor for a well-visit, it will be for her 18-month checkup!  Where did my baby go?  1.10.2014(2)

 

We’re Back!

We’re back from our trip, and a wonderful trip it was!  We left Saturday morning around 9 AM and drove drove drove… unfortunately, Northern Virginia is notorious for having HORRIBLE traffic and we definitely experienced that.  We got as far as Richmond before we were all ready to get out of the car to eat lunch and stretch our legs.  Julia did surprisingly well and my plan was to let her run around to burn off some energy.  After lunch we got back in the car and drove until Julia just couldn’t take it anymore, at which point we stopped for dinner in South Carolina.  Our initial thought was that we should find a fairly quick and easy place like Olive Garden, so we found one close to the highway and went in… only to find out that the wait was going to be between 2 and 2-and-a-half hours!  A quick Google search pointed us in the direction of a local brewpub so we went there instead and had a lovely meal.  The wait-staff was very friendly and the other diners were all very happy to have a baby running around saying “hi” to everyone she saw.

After dinner our plan was to keep driving until neither of us felt safe driving any further so I drove as far as Savannah and then Ken took over and got us to Jacksonville, FL, at which point we were both exhausted so we found a hotel off the highway and spent the night there.

That first night was a little rough… Julia thought it was time to play once we got into the hotel so she did NOT want to go to sleep.  I basically just nursed nursed nursed until she finally caved in and fell asleep in bed with us.  We woke up around 6 AM, had a quick breakfast at the hotel and then got back in the car to drive from Jacksonville to Delray Beach, FL, where Ken’s parents have a house.  We got there right around lunch time and were able to just relax and enjoy the afternoon with Ken’s parents.  Florida16

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Monday we enjoyed some time at the pool and then in the evening, some of my inlaws’ cousins came over to meet Julia and to have a little family evening.  They were all very interesting and had some funny stories to tell.  We had a great time getting to know everyone.   Florida15

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Tuesday was New Years’ Eve… during the day, Julia went with Ken & her Zaydie to a nature preserve to walk around and see some animals (they saw an alligator and lots of birds!) while Mona & I went shopping.  In the evening, we all went to a delicious Kosher Chinese Restaurant for dinner and then after I put Julia to sleep, Ken and I went out for a New Years’ Eve Date night!  We went to see Anchorman 2 at the movie theater and then came home to watch the Ball drop and go to sleep (after all, our human alarm clock still wakes up between 5:30 and 7 whether we stayed out late or not!)  Florida12

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New Years Day was when everyone was leaving and since Mona, Robert & Ken had a lot of cleaning to do to prepare the house for our departure, my job was to keep Julia occupied.  I arranged to meet one of the Pumpkin Patch Mamas with her two little girls at a local playground for the morning–it was so much fun to meet her and her little girls.  Her older daughter is 3 and her younger one was born in October, just like Julia!  We had a great time and now that we’ve had one play date together, we will likely get together again the next time we come down to Florida!  That’s one thing I love about the Pumpkin Patch–it means we have friends with babies all over the country!  Florida17

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After our play date and cleaning the house was all done, we all went to brunch at the home of some family friends.  Their son and daughter-in-law have a 1-month old baby boy named Mason so we were all looking forward to meeting him.  Brunch was quite tasty and then when we were all done eating, I had a chance to hold Mason!  Julia was NOT happy about me holding another baby.  It didn’t help that she was already getting very tired and fussy but she was not a fan of this other tiny human taking any of my attention away from her.  After I handed off the baby, I nursed Julia and she fell asleep in my arms.  She stayed asleep getting back in the car and slept much of the way to Orlando.

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We stayed Wednesday night and Thursday night in Orlando with my cousins, Morgan & Mendy and their kids Alivia & Sam.  This was their first time meeting Julia and they seemed to have a lot of fun with her.  One thing that was really nice about this visit with them was that, unlike other times we’ve visited them, we didn’t have anything else in mind that we wanted to do in Florida.  We weren’t there to see baseball games or to go to Disney… we were just there to see them.  We spent Thursday at their house just hanging out and playing!  We also took the kids on a walk to a lake where we fed the ducks and played on the swings for a little while!  Florida10

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Mendy also happens to be a professional photographer so we did a little photo shoot with her in the afternoon.  I can’t wait to see how some of the pictures turned out!

Friday morning we got up and had breakfast (delicious homemade waffles, thanks to my cousin, Morgan!) and then we got back in the car to drive up to Savannah.  Neither of us had ever been there before but we had both heard wonderful things about the city from our parents.  We checked into our hotel and then walked to a restaurant, Vic’s on the River, for lunch.  They had a traditional southern menu which included fried green tomatoes, grits, po boys and other delicious items.

After lunch, we went to visit an old Synagogue in town… it’s the oldest Congregation in the US outside of New York.  They had a lovely museum with great historical information and artifacts.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the displays since I was busy keeping Julia out of trouble but I still got a taste of the place.

After the Synagogue we tried unsuccessfully to get Julia to take a nap, and then we found a great place called the Crystal Beer Parlor for dinner.  They were very baby friendly and the food and beer were great!  After dinner we went back to the hotel to sleep!  Our very short visit to Savannah definitely gave us a little taste of the city and made us both eager to plan a trip back at some point in the future.  It’s a beautiful city and there is clearly a lot to do so we would definitely like to go back at some point.

Saturday morning after waking up and packing our suitcases, we got in the car and headed to a local breakfast place called Henry’s.  After breakfast it was back in the car for the long drive to Richmond.  We also stopped for breakfast in North Carolina, where we met up with another Pumpkin Patch Mama and her baby boy!  I’m telling you… we literally have friends all over the country we could visit, thanks to the Pumpkin Patch!Florida6

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I have some cousins just outside of Richmond so we went to their house and had a very nice time chatting with them.  We had dinner there and then made the decision that rather than spending the night there and continuing the drive on Sunday, it would be best to just get home.  We got home around 11:30 PM, at which time I put Julia in her crib and we unpacked the car. Florida7

Sometimes the best part of a trip is coming home… and Sunday morning it was definitely  nice to wake up in our own bed.  I was able to get some meal-planning and grocery shopping done on Sunday while Ken got some studying done and we are now settling back into our routine.

I’ve decided that after all the junk from the holidays, I am taking on a Whole30 Challenge for the next 30 days.  I started with dinner last night, and made two new recipes.  I’m hoping to learn some new recipes and new ways of eating “clean,” and I’m also hoping the Challenge will help curb some of my 3 PM sugar cravings that I inevitably get most afternoons when I’m at work.

Rough Day

Yesterday was a rough day for Mama.  It started out with Julia sleeping in until 6:45.  While the extra sleep in the morning was lovely, I can always tell something’s not quite right when she sleeps in that late.  She was in a very good mood while nursing and immediately afterward.  Then, I put her in her highchair for breakfast.  She was fine until I had to run upstairs for 1 minute.  While I was gone, she started crying.  Normally if she cries when I leave the room, she’ll calm down once she sees me again, but this time she didn’t.  She kept crying.

I took these photos for “Why my child is crying” posts on our Pumpkin Patch group and then I took her out of her highchair to calm her down with some nursing:11.20.2013(2)

11.20.2013She calmed down a little bit but once we went outside and I strapped her into her carseat, the crying started again: 11.20.2013(3)

We drove about five minutes from our house and at that point, the screaming was so intense that I pulled over and took Julia out of the car to try and see what was wrong.  I smelled her tush to see if she had a dirty diaper (nope).  I checked her forehead to see if she felt feverish (nope).  Given where we were, I couldn’t just nurse her right there… and it didn’t seem like that would help (since she had already nursed and eaten breakfast).  So I just held her for a few minutes and we walked around the car a few times, then I put her back in the car.  She then proceeded to cry the whole way to daycare.  I tried singing.  I tried talking to her.  I turned the radio on.  I turned the radio off.  I tried jazz music.  I tried classical.  I tried rock.  I tried children’s music.  Nothing worked.  By the time we got to daycare, even I was in tears!

When we got into her classroom, Julia struggled to wriggle out of my arms and went over to sit in the lap of her daycare teacher.  But the crying continued for about 10-15 minutes while I sat there and watched her, tried to engage her in activities, and was just generally concerned about what was bothering her.  She finally seemed to settle down enough that I felt comfortable leaving, so I left to go to work.

An hour after I got to work, Julia’s daycare teacher called to say she had been crying on and off since  I had left.  She also mentioned that they used a thermometer that checks the temperature behind the ears and that one ear was hotter than the other.  So I called Julia’s pediatrician and made an appointment for 2 PM.  I picked Julia up around 1 and took her straight to the doctor.  Sure enough, she has an ear infection in one ear.  Poor thing!  At least we know why she was so fussy yesterday morning though… even with that knowledge, yesterday was an emotionally exhausting morning.  The hardest part was when Julia crawled over to her daycare teacher and didn’t seem comforted by me at all.  Guilty mom thoughts started swimming around in my head: am I working too much?  Does Julia spend too much time at daycare?  Should I be a stay at home mom?  Does she not love me as much as she loves her daycare teachers?  Does she like it better at daycare than she does at home?  I mentioned these concerns to one of the ladies at work and her reply was, “she’s just getting you ready for her becoming a teenager when she’ll start to tell you that she hates you and you’re the worst mother in the world.”  Good points… but it was still hard to swallow.  I’m looking forward to the next few weeks when we’ll be spending a bit more time together as Mommy & Baby (since daycare closes for a few days over Thanksgiving and a few days over Christmas).  I think we need some more  time together just the two of us when we’re both awake and happily playful.

 

Short & Sweet

Last night we got back from a short but very sweet trip up to Connecticut (sadly I didn’t take a lot of photos myself so most of the pictures in this post come from other people)!  After work on Friday, we finished our packing and we drove to the airport for our 8:45 PM flight to Providence, RI.  Julia fell asleep about 2 minutes after take-off and slept until about 2 minutes before landing.

Here she was sleeping in my arms on the plane: 11.18.2013(14)

She then fell asleep in the car on our way back to Ken’s parents’ house from the airport and when we got home I was able to put her directly into the crib, where she slept until 6 AM the following morning!  We stayed up chatting and catching up with Ken’s parents until almost midnight!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early.  After having bagels with lox and cream cheese for breakfast, we drove an hour to Ken’s (and Adam’s) old high school, where we met up with Adam & his girlfriend, Jen.  Ken talks very fondly about his days at Boarding School, and there were so many teachers who were very influential for him, so it was exciting for me to meet some of them and see the place that had so much to do with his deciding how to spend the rest of his life.  We spent a good deal of time talking to the Nurse in the Health Center who quietly told me that Ken has always been one of her favorite students.  She told us that we have a beautiful family and that she’s so proud to see how successful and happy Ken has become.  It was very special to hear that!

Here are a few photos from our morning at Loomis:11.18.2013

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I had to leave Loomis around 12 so that I could drive down to Yale to give a presentation at their chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.  I had a wonderful time meeting the lovely women of Kappa at Yale and talking to them about Chapter Image & Membership Growth.  While I did that, Ken and Julia had lunch at Loomis with Adam and Jen and then they went their separate ways.  Adam & Jen were planning on attending a jazz concert in New York City that evening and Ken drove back to his parents’ house with Julia.

I got back to Waterford just in time for dinner (and for Julia to ride around on her Zaydie’s shoulders)!  11.18.2013(13)

Ken’s mom made a delicious dinner of Stuffed Shells, Broccoli & Garlic Bread.  After dinner, some family friends came over for dessert and to meet Julia.  One of the friends who came over is a friend of my mother-in-law’s (who just so happens to read my blog!) and she came over with her daughter, Charlotte, who is 8 and-a-half months old.  She was so adorable!  Julia was kind of being a bully to her while she was playing with blocks, but it was still very cute to see the way that the two little girls interacted.  Charlotte would cry and Julia got a concerned look on her face, and would get down right into Charlotte’s face to see what was wrong.  This, in turn, made Charlotte more upset.  It was interesting to watch, at the very least!  Unfortunately, I had to put Julia to sleep part of the way through dessert, but she ended up sleeping until 6:45 AM the following morning!

Sunday morning we all got ready to go and then we drove back to Providence.  We got together with a big group of family & friends at Ken’s grandmother’s house.  Julia got to meet some cousins and an Uncle she had never met before, and she also got to meet some of Nana’s girlfriends.  Julia always has great fun playing with her Cousin Paige:11.18.2013(10)

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Around 12:30, Julia even took a nap (we had to improvise a little since we didn’t have a pack n’ play or crib in which to put her down, but I nursed her to sleep and was able to put her down in her carseat with a blanket):11.18.2013(12)

As much as we miss New Orleans, it’s so special that we are close enough to our extended families that we are able to make short weekend trips like this happen.  Here’s a 4-generation photo we took of Julia with Ken, her Zaydie and her Nana:11.18.2013(15)

From New Orleans, we would not have been able to make such a quick trip but now that we’re in Baltimore, it’s much more easy to hop on a plane Friday after work and be up in Connecticut for the weekend.  We were then back at work this morning without too much trouble.  And if it had been a holiday weekend, it would have been even better!

Part of the way through our afternoon at Nana’s, Ken & I both got a text message from Southwest Airlines telling us that our flight was going to be delayed by nearly 3 hours so we quickly called the airline and got rescheduled onto an earlier flight.  Sadly, this cut our visit a little short but we made it to the airport with time to spare and we flew back to Baltimore a little earlier than planned.  Here we were waiting for our luggage at the Baltimore airport:11.18.2013(11)

When we got home we gave Julia dinner and a bath and then put her to sleep!  After she went to sleep, I went grocery shopping All. By. Myself.  This was definitely one of those “you know you’re a mother when…” situations.  Going to the grocery store without a baby in tow feels like a vacation.  I even got a cart without a baby seat just to make my time alone feel extra special!

And now it’s back to the daily grind for a few days… I do have Thursday off this week since daycare is closed, and next week is Thanksgiving.  This Thursday, I’ll be spending the day with my dear friend Sabrina & her son, Koren!

More on that later in the week 🙂

Happy Monday to all!

Old Wisdom

Sometimes old people have the best wisdom, even if they do seem crazy at times.  My mom’s told me that my Grandma used to say, “One good sleep brings on another” and I’ve heard several people say, “Early to Bed and Late to Rise.”  The idea behind this is that the more tired you are, the harder it is to sleep and the earlier you will wake up.  Well last night, we inadvertently tested this theory and found it to be true.

After work yesterday, I picked up Julia and then we had a few errands to run.  We didn’t get home until about 6 PM.  I nursed her and she fell asleep by 6:30.  11.6.2013

I figured she would sleep in my arms for 15-20 minutes and would then wake up for dinner and her bath and then I’d put her down at her usual time of 7:30 PM.  So after 20 minutes, she was still sleeping.  I did the little test to see if she was sound asleep (picking up her arm and letting it drop)–her arm dropped like that of a rag doll.  So, I repositioned her since my arm was falling asleep.  She stayed asleep: 11.6.2013(2)

And 15 minutes later, she was still asleep: 11.6.2013(3)

So I said to myself… “Okay, I’ll take her upstairs and put her in her crib.  If she stays asleep, great.  If she wakes up, I’ll bring her back downstairs for dinner and then she’ll go to sleep at 7:30.”  Well, I brought her upstairs and put her down in her crib and she stayed asleep.

And then…

she slept until 6:30 this morning!!!!!  She woke up briefly at 5:30 but we watched her playing with her hands on the monitor and then she went back to sleep.

So maybe all those old people really are wise and I should start listening to them!

We’ll try this new 6:30 bedtime for a few nights but to be completely honest, it will be very hard to maintain.  Ken often doesn’t get out of work until 6:00, and with traffic he sometimes isn’t home until 6:30.  It will be very sad for Ken to not get to see Julia before she goes to sleep at night.  Also, I sometimes don’t even get home from work until about 6 PM, which would mean having to immediately give Julia dinner and a bath and then put her to bed.  But… if it means that she’ll get 12 solid hours of sleep and will sleep in until 6:30 and be in a better mood in the morning, it may be worth it.  I’ll keep you posted to let you know if this works!

And on a completely separate note, I saw this car this morning on my way to work and had to take a photo of its license plate.  Apparently the driver (who I sneaked a peek at, and was not particularly attractive) is too sexy even for spellcheck!11.6.2013(4)

Frustrating

Most of my posts on here are about how much I love Julia and how cute she is and how much fun we have together.  Reading this blog, you get a glimpse at a certain slice of our life.  And while the majority of the time she is a joy to be around and she really is a very happy baby overall, there are times when Julia can be very frustrating to deal with.  She’s in this funny transition right now where she’s not really a baby anymore but she’s not yet a toddler.  You can tell that there are times when she wants to communicate or wants to accomplish something, or has a preference about something but she doesn’t yet have the ability to communicate and she gets very frustrated.

One time this frustration manifests itself frequently is during mealtime.  Julia is not a baby anymore, so she likes to feed herself but in a lot of ways she’s not yet a toddler, and she sometimes needs us to feed her.  She also doesn’t have any teeth yet so she still needs things to be soft and cut up into small pieces (we can’t give her a big piece of something and have her take bites out of it yet).  We are still using purees–either pouches or jars–especially during breakfast or for meals when we are out and about or on the go.  Unfortunately, Julia can’t yet eat directly from the pouch (since she ends up squeezing it all over herself) so we need to feed it to her with a spoon.  We also need to give her purees once a day because we are able to mix her vitamins in with them.  Here’s where the problem arises: sometimes she’s okay with us feeding her purees and sometimes she wants nothing to do with them.  It’s very hit-or-miss.  When she doesn’t want to eat them, she will stick her hand in her mouth immediately after you put a spoonful of food in her mouth and she will proceed to scoop the food out of her mouth that you have just fed her.  (Of course, it then gets all over her hands, her face, in her hair, on her clothing, etc.)  When this happens, I usually wait a few minutes and try again but if she does it a second time, I give up and move on to a food I know she will eat (strawberries are always a hit!)

Another thing she’s been doing recently, that’s also very frustrating is this: she’s been waking up between 5 and 5:30 in the morning for the past 2-3 weeks or so.  (Prior to this she was waking up closer to 6 or 6:30).  When she wakes up, we go in to get her and change her diaper (80% of the time she poops first thing when she wakes up, so we can’t follow the advice of some people to just leave her in her crib until 6:30 AM), and then we bring her into bed with us and I will nurse her.  10% of the time she will nurse and go back to sleep nursing until my alarm clock goes off at 7.  These mornings are lovely.  They’re cozy and relaxing and wonderful.  But 90% of the time, she will nurse for about 30-45 minutes and then sit up, and start screeching.  I wouldn’t call it crying or screaming, but screeching.  She screeches and starts flailing around.  She inevitably will flail around so much that she’ll bang her head on my head and that will make her more upset.  So then I’ll nurse her a little more and then she’ll flail around and screech a little more.  I don’t know why she does this and I don’t know what to do about it, but it’s getting to be very frustrating.  If I nurse her long enough (an hour and a half sometimes), she will eventually go back to sleep, but by then it’s usually time to get up and get ready for work/school.  She often will then fall asleep in the car on our way to daycare.

So… the moral of this story is babies are lots of fun and we love them lots but they can also be very difficult at times and sometimes engage in very frustrating behavior!  When you ask other mothers for advice, they all have suggestions that they think are helpful but the best advice seems to be that you have to remember that “this, too, shall pass” and that “this is only  a phase.”  So that’s what I keep reminding myself.  This, too, shall pass.  It’s only a phase.

Fully Transitioned

This week will be my last week pumping breast milk for Julia.  For the past few weeks she has been getting a combination of breast milk and whole milk in sippy cups but I have seen that she will take whole milk by itself without a problem.  I’m feeling somewhat bittersweet about completing this transition.  I’m sad that this stage of our breastfeeding relationship is over, but I also am feeling very liberated from the breast pump.  I am feeling relieved that I will no longer have the pressure on me to provide a certain number of ounces of milk each day.  After this week I am going to slowly use up the frozen breast milk that we have saved in the freezer and then Julia will drink only whole milk when she’s at daycare while I will continue to breastfeed her when we are together.  The plan is to continue breastfeeding when we are together either until she self-weans or until I decide that I have had enough.  Another reason this is bittersweet is that it means I may (in fact probably will) get my period back in the somewhat near future.  As it is, I have not had a period since January of 2012–it’s been almost 2 years since I have had  a period!

I have known for months now that I needed Julia to be fully transitioned by this past weekend, or if not fully transitioned, at least willing to drink whole milk by itself.  The reason this past weekend was a cutoff for me was because Saturday I spent the whole day in DC for the Mandatory Course on Professionalism required by the DC Bar.  11.4.2013While I was in DC, Ken stayed home with Julia for the whole day.  This was his first time spending a whole day by himself with Julia and, from what he said, it went very well!  They played at home all morning, which wore Julia out since she started falling asleep eating her snack in her high chair.  Ken then put her in her crib and she took a nap for 2 and-a-half hours!  In the afternoon, he gave her lunch and then they walked over to the Hopkins campus and watched the end of the Hopkins football game.  When I got home, she was in a very happy mood!  I’m just glad that the day went so well since it means that now I’ll be able to leave Julia with Ken much more easily.  Next step: Ken putting her to sleep at bedtime so I can go out before 7 PM!

Saturday night, once I put Julia to sleep, our friends Praem & Shannon came over to hang out for a bit.  While they were over, I baked 3.5 dozen pumpkin muffins for a party we were invited to on Sunday.  The pumpkin muffin recipe came from my friend, Kathleen!  They are delicious and are very similar in taste and texture to the pumpkin muffins from Panera.  Thanks, Kathleen!  11.4.2013(2)

Sunday morning, I took Julia out to go grocery shopping so that Ken could get some work done.  When we got home from the grocery store, Julia ate lunch (in her adorable new bumble bee hat!) and then we got ready to go!11.4.2013(3)

Like I mentioned, we were invited to a party on Sunday–it was a “Holiday Cookie Exchange” party hosted by our new friends Sam & Mark, who have a little boy, Lincoln.  The idea was that everyone brought 2-3 dozen of their favorite holiday treat and then everyone got a little plastic baggie to fill up with treats.  People also had printed out the recipe of their treat so that you could ultimately go home and recreate the delicious holiday treats!

They also invited people to stick around after the party to watch the Ravens game.  So of course we were wearing our Sunday best (i.e. football jerseys!)  Here’s Julia & Daddy in their Patriots football jerseys:11.4.2013(4)

And I snapped this (rather adorable) photo of Julia playing with a football at Sam & Mark’s house.  When we first got there, their son was napping so Julia had the living room full of toys all to herself for a while.  She loved this football, in particular!  11.4.2013(5)

Sadly, my New Orleans saints lost their game (as did the Ravens) but the Patriots won by a landslide so Ken was a happy boy at the end of the day!

By the time we got home, we were exhausted–Julia had some turkey and broccoli for dinner and then Ken & I watched “A Mighty Wind” before going to bed.  I was probably asleep by 9:30 last night, but then our happy little alarm clock woke us up at 5:22 this morning!

Fun Fall Festivities!

I forgot to mention our trip to a Farm last weekend!  I love fall activities–hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple picking, etc. and really wanted to start a family tradition of going to do those activities together.  Last weekend we met up with some friends and their little boys at a farm outside of Baltimore.  We went to their petting farm, where Julia had a fantastic time seeing the goats (and grabbing at their faces!), the sheep, the cows, the bunnies, and the chickens.  We then did a hayride, and decided to skip the pumpkin patch since the pumpkins they had were not particularly impressive.  We did have a great time, though, and I definitely want to make this a yearly family tradition!

Here was Julia checking out the goats: 10.31.2013(8)

10.31.2013(9)(notice the look of pure joy on her face while she was watching the goats?!)

And here was Julia on Daddy’s shoulders in the petting farm area: 10.31.2013(6)

They had a little playground area that had a fairytale theme, so each play structure was from a different fairytale.  They had one of the little scenes of Cinderella getting the glass slipper put on her foot, so here’s Julia as Cinderella:10.31.2013(7)

And Mommy & Julia on the hayride:10.31.2013(10)

And finally, a picture of their pumpkin patch (with their not-so-impressive pumpkins): 10.31.2013(2)

 

Happy Halloween from our Little Skeleton!

Happy Halloween from our Little Skeleton!  Here she was last year and this year.  What a difference!10.31.2013

I showed this picture to Julia’s Daycare teacher and she said we should make this a yearly tradition.  I love that idea!  From now on, even if she dresses as something else for Halloween, we should at least get her a pair of skeleton pajamas that she can wear for a picture.  Such a cute idea!

BOO!

Roseola

Last night was one of the worst nights we’ve had with Julia since she was born.  She went to bed at 8 PM but proceeded to wake up at 10, 12, 3:30, 5:30 and then at 7:30 she woke up for the day.  Since she usually sleeps all night long, I was concerned this morning that something could be wrong and I called the doctor as soon as they opened at 9 AM to make a sick appointment for her.  They scheduled us for 10:30.  At 9:30 when I started to get us ready to go, I noticed a rash on Julia’s back and the back of her neck, so immediately my Mommy-Brain went off and said “Ah-ha!  I know what this is… Roseola!”

I told the doctor about the past few days–fever all day Saturday with a spike of 104, treating the fever with Tylenol and Motrin, etc. and told her my “Doctor Mommy opinion” was that it was Roseola.  She took one look at Julia’s back and said, “Yup!  It’s Roseola.”  Luckily for us, it’s one of those viruses where the rash comes after most of the other symptoms, so this is probably the tail end of the virus for her.  The rash isn’t supposed to be itchy or uncomfortable and it should go away on its own within a couple of days.  If Julia does seem uncomfortable, we can put cortisone or benadryl cream on the rash but other than that it’s just a wait it out kind of deal.

At least she was happy playing in the doctor’s office before our appointment!10.1.2013

It just feels nice to know that there’s a real reason for Julia’s fussiness over the past couple of days and that it’s not just the elusive teething.  Now hopefully she’ll be her happy self again within a day or two and she’ll be all better and healthy in time for her birthday next week and her party next weekend!