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)

 

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.

Best of Both Worlds

Right now I think I have the ideal situation for a mommy with a baby: I am working part time with very flexible hours.  This means that if Julia gets sick, I can call in and say I’m not going to be at work that day because I need to stay home and take care of my baby.  But, I still get time to myself to be a grownup, exercise my mind and talk about grownup things.  Or, if her daycare is closed for a day, I can stay home with her and have a fun Mommy & Baby day off.

Since Julia’s daycare is affiliated with a synagogue, they are closed for major Jewish holidays so Thursday they were closed for the first day of Sukkot, and this upcoming Thursday they will be closed for Simchat Torah.  This past Thursday, I decided that rather than spend the day at home getting bored and being lazy, we would go into DC for an adventure!

We took the Marc Train into DC (Julia fell asleep about 10 minutes into the train ride and slept for nearly an hour in her stroller!) and met up with one of the Mommies from the Pumpkin Patch Facebook group with her baby.  First we got some coffee at Starbucks at Union Station (which is currently undergoing renovations and has a lot of new restaurants/food stands and is very nice!) and then we walked all the way from Union Station to Georgetown (it was almost a 4-mile walk!)  By the time we got to Georgetown, we were hungry for lunch so we stopped at Johnny Rockets to get some lunch.  We put the babies in high chairs next to each other and they were too cute–trying to share food with each other, grabbing each other’s hands, etc.  They were adorable together!  My friends Holly & Cady met us at Johnny Rockets for lunch, too, and it was so nice to see them as well!  9.23.2013(6)

After lunch we walked over to Georgetown Cupcakes (from the TLC Show “DC Cupcakes”) for dessert, and then we walked around the neighborhood a bit before heading off on our separate ways.  It was a great day!!!9.23.2013(5)

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We also had a very exciting weekend, though it was fairly low-key, which was nice.  Friday after work, I took Julia to Happy Hour to celebrate the birthday of one of my coworkers.  We went to a bar/restaurant in Fells Point.  9.23.2013(3)

Saturday morning we had Julia’s swim class, which she absolutely LOVES.  After swimming, Ken had to head to the hospital to see some patients so Julia and I went to have breakfast at Pete’s Grill with my friend Rachel, who I know from college.  After breakfast we went home and Julia took a nice long nap before we headed out to get some errands done.  Saturday night was nice and low-key: we ate dinner at home and watched a movie (something we hadn’t done in quite a while it seemed).

Sunday was supposed to be another low-key day but instead it started with me ramming my pinkie toe into a chair.  It hurt like crazy and was off at a jaunty angle so we decided it was either broken or dislocated and figured the best course of action was to head to the ER since Ken is not trained to handle toes.  If it was my eyeball I had rammed into a chair, I would have trusted him to treat it but he’s not a podiatrist or an orthopedist so we figured it was best to let the experts handle it.  They took some x-rays and determined it was “fractured” and “moderately displaced” so they taped it to the toe next to it, gave me Tylenol, told me to follow up with the podiatrist and sent me on my way.  We spent the rest of the day at a small little neighborhood festival and just relaxing at home.  But first, we took this family self-portrait in the ER (those are graham cracker crumbs on Julia’s mouth! 9.23.2013(2)

This week we will be celebrating Julia’s Hebrew birthday on Thursday (she was born on Simchat Torah) and hopefully having a few more quiet and relaxing evenings as a family at home!  We definitely need more relaxing family time 🙂 9.23.2013

The problem with “Milestones”

On any website or blog about parenting you can find charts or lists of “milestones.”  These “milestones” are things that your baby “should” be able to do by a certain age.  The problem is that these charts generally stick to the average age at which babies are able to do certain things and they don’t reflect the huge range in which these milestones normally occur.  Take teeth as an example: some babies get their first tooth as early as 2 or 3 months (I’ve even heard of a baby who was born with teeth!) and some babies don’t get their first tooth (like our niece) until they are 15 or 16 months.  Getting teeth early or late is neither good nor bad, it just is.  It has to do with genetics.

It’s the physical/mental/emotional/language-development milestones that cause unnecessary worry though: your baby “should” be saying words by a certain age, “should” be rolling over by a certain age, “should” be doing x, y and z by their first birthday and a, b and c by the time they’re 18 months old.  If they can’t do certain things it “could” be a sign that they have this or that developmental disorder, and these days everybody is on the lookout for signs of Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder and other hot-button issues.  Again, the problem is that different babies develop different skills at different times and there is a huge range of what’s normal.  I’ve heard about some babies who crawl at 7 months and walk at 10 months but don’t talk until they’re 2 and I’ve heard of babies who are saying 10 words by their first birthday but don’t start walking until they’re 18 months old.  You never hear about the kids who do things within the “average” timeframe becuase they’re not news-worthy.  You only hear about the ones who are on the extreme ends of the spectrum.  When I really think about Julia’s development, I’m not worried.  My mama-instincts tell me that she’s fine and she’ll eventually learn to do all the things she’s supposed to do, but the doctor’s wife in me gets worried sometimes.

So anyways… there’s this list from the AAP of Developmental Milestones, that Ken pulled up this morning and started getting us a little worried.  Here’s a link to the list: LINK

At first I started to worry… but then I realized that a lot of these things are things Julia shouldn’t be expected to do or know because we don’t really do them with her.  We don’t shake our head “no” or nod “yes” when we say those words so how would she know how to do that?  We don’t frequently play a game of “let’s hide the keys and see if you can find them.”  And though she isn’t saying “Mama” and “Dada” with any meaning yet, she does babble a lot and say “Mamamama” and “Dadadada.”  Reading these lists does make me feel a little nervous but then I talk to other parents of babies her age and they reassure me that everything’s fine.  I also spoke this morning with Julia’s teacher at daycare and she said she’s not worried and that she would let us know if she was concerned.  I trust her because she spends her entire day with kids Julia’s age so she’s able to see how Julia is in comparison to other kids her age.  She may  not search for objects we’ve hidden but she does play “peekaboo” which is testing the same skill that hiding objects tests.  The only thing she mentioned is a little weird (not concerning, just weird) is that Julia won’t roll over from her back when she’s on the floor.  We know that she knows how to because most nights she rolls from her back to her side and eventually to her belly and we usually find her sitting up in the morning but she just doesn’t roll when she’s awake.  She’s lazy, or stubborn or something.  I’m not worried about that since I know she knows how to, she just doesn’t do it.  (And I certainly know who she gets her stubbornness from!)

So the moral of the story is… don’t use the internet as a doctor.  If Julia’s pediatrician is concerned at her 12-month checkup in a few weeks then I will be concerned but until then, I will continue to feel satisfied that Julia is doing just fine and meeting all her milestones.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some pictures from yesterday in the grocery store.  It started with Julia not paying any attention to me or the camera:

9.16.2013(6)But then when she saw the camera, she put on a big smile:

9.16.2013(5)and then she decided it was really funny that I was taking her photo, so she started laughing hysterically and putting on a show for those around us.  She was just having a ball laughing in the shopping cart! 9.16.2013(8)

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She’s just too funny sometimes!  I love that girl so much!

 

 

Birthday & Yom Kippur Recap

Last Monday was my birthday!  I had an absolutely lovely day.  At work, my coworkers got together to get me a birthday card that they all signed.  After work I picked up Julia and took her home.  She was in a particularly good mood that day so she didn’t cry the whole way home as had been her MO in the few days leading up to my birthday.  Then when Ken got home, he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses! 9.16.2013(2)

Julia went to sleep easily and then the babysitter came over around 8 o’clock (we had an 8:30 reservation).  Julia slept the whole time we were out enjoying a fantastic dinner at Woodberry Kitchen.  It’s definitely one of the most popular restaurants in Baltimore but for good reasons.  Their food is very creative and delicious, uses local and in-season ingredients, and there is something for everyone.  The ambience in the restaurant is also very nice–it’s kind of dark, warm and cozy–very romantic but I’ve also heard that it’s a great place to get brunch and that it can be very baby-friendly if you get the right server.  They have a wonderful wine list but also great cocktails and mocktails for those who don’t want to drink and their desserts are also delicious.

After enjoying our meal, we decided to share a dessert, and they added a little message to the plate for me!9.16.2013(4)

9.16.2013Overall it was exactly the kind of birthday I wanted this year: quiet and low key, spent with Ken and Julia.  It was perfect!

This past weekend was Yom Kippur!  Since Kol Nidre was on Friday night, Julia’s daycare closed at noon on Friday.  Ken and I both took her to daycare and then I went to work while Ken got some errands done around town.  Then Ken picked her up at noon and spent the afternoon with her while I stayed at work for a couple more hours.  When I got home, we quickly packed up our stuff into Ken’s car and drove down to Aspen Hill, a small Jewish community in Rockville, MD.  I made the executive decision that one of us should sit in the backseat with Julia while the other one drove since I figured it would make for a more pleasant drive.9.16.2013(3)

The Synagogue set us up with a host family to stay with since we didn’t want to deal with driving back and forth Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday evening.  The family was a young couple with a little boy who was 20 months old.  When we got to their house on Friday, they had prepared a delicious dinner and Julia had fun playing with their son, Mason.  Ken and I went to services at Uri & Dahlia’s new shul and then came home and went to bed.

Saturday we spent the morning at services (luckily the synagogue got a babysitter so I was able to actually sit in services and enjoy myself for a while), then we spent most of the afternoon hanging out with our new friends at their house.  We walked around in the woods behind their house for a little bit, I tried to get Julia to take a nap (I was moderately successful but she’s just not a good day-time sleeper), and we played for a while.  Uri and Dahlia also came over (they were staying at a house just two doors down) in the afternoon to hang out with us.  Then after services were all over we all had a Break-the-Fast together, consisting of bagels with cream cheese, tuna salad, etc.  I tried to get Julia to go to sleep, but she just wouldn’t have it… so instead she joined us for the Break-the-Fast.  She had a few little bites of bagel and some onions.  She LOVED the red onion!  I was shocked!  After eating, we packed ourselves back into the car and drove home to Baltimore.  Julia slept the whole way and stayed asleep when we got home.  Next up on the Jewish holiday calendar: Sukkot!  Tomorrow night we are going to Chabad at Hopkins to have dinner in their Sukkah.  The last day of Sukkot is called Shemini Atzeret or Simchat Torah and that’s Julia’s Hebrew Birthday!

 

The 24-hour stomach flu hit our house!

Unfortunately I don’t have many nice photos to post from this past weekend because we didn’t really have all that much fun… there’s a stomach bug going around and hit our family pretty hard over the weekend.  It hit much of Julia’s daycare, too!  On Friday, 3 of the 5 kids in her daycare class were out sick, and I heard that the other 2 got sick over the weekend, lots of parents also got sick, and this morning when I dropped Julia off, her normal teacher wasn’t there because she called out sick today, too!

I’m not going to give too many details since nobody likes to read about that sort of thing… but let’s just say that from Thursday night through today around noon, at least one person in our family was sick at all times.  Julia got sick Thursday night into Friday and refused to eat any solid foods on Saturday.  I got sick Saturday afternoon and didn’t really start to feel back to normal until Sunday around dinner time.  And finally, Ken got sick Sunday afternoon and started to feel better today around lunch time.  I’m hoping that the bug is gone for good now and I’m happy to say our house is getting cleaned tomorrow, so I’m going to ask the cleaning lady to do an extra thorough job in the bathroom and kitchen in particular!

Hoping for a better weekend next weekend when Ken’s parents visit for Labor Day!  Also, I just realized that my birthday is 2 weeks from today!  My how things change when you become a parent yourself… I almost didn’t remember that I had a birthday coming up!

What a Weekend!

We had a very busy weekend which was lots of fun but left me feeling exhausted by the time Sunday night came around.  We got in bed at 8 PM last night to read and I heard some snores coming from the other side of the bed by about 9:45!  Though we had a lot of fun, I am left feeling like I need a day or two to recover from the weekend.  I’m thinking next weekend we will be sure to make NO plans and to spend a lot of time just relaxing and hanging out as a family at home (we also have the family picnic next weekend at Julia’s new daycare!).

My weekend started on Friday… I took the day off from work to go shopping with Miss Steffi and left Julia at daycare!  I decided ahead of time that I was going to buy nothing for Julia (both of her grandmothers recently bought her a bunch of new clothes), and only buy myself work-appropriate clothing.  I got two nice outfits, and luckily all the pieces I got can be worn together in various combinations.  After picking up Julia, I went home and met another new babysitter, Jessica.  She is a Hopkins and Kappa alum who is living in Towson while she studies for the GRE and applies to graduate school.  She has a lot of availability and has a lot of experience with kids.  She nannied for a family with 3 kids for 3 months, including one kid who was 6 and-a-half months.  Julia seemed to like her just fine, so we decided to ask her to babysit the following night.

Friday night we went to Shabbat services at one of the Modern Orthodox synagogues in Pikesville.  The Rabbi went to the same Yeshiva as our Rabbi from New Orleans so we figured they might be similar in beliefs, attitudes and personalities and we were right!  We enjoyed the services at the Shul, and then the Rabbi invited us over for dinner.  One of the other congregants offered to drive my car over to the Rabbi’s house so we could walk with him.  We met his wife, who is a dentist, and the older two of his 3 children.  His youngest is a baby boy who is just 2 weeks younger than Julia!  We ended up getting along really well with them and we stayed until nearly 11 PM!  Luckily Julia fell asleep nursing and stayed asleep in my arms for quite a while, then she stayed asleep getting into the car, on the drive home, getting out of the car, getting up the stairs and going in her crib!

Saturday morning we had Julia’s last swim class for this session (we signed up for the fall session of swimming lessons too, so we have a couple of weeks off before they start up again).  She did really well and didn’t cry at all!  I think the swim classes have really helped to make her feel comfortable in the water and it’s been a good way to meet other babies around her age.  It will be good to be signed up for the class again because, even though we’ll learn the same techniques again, it will force us to come to the pool once a week and without the class I don’t know that we would do it on our own.

After swimming, we went home and Julia took a 2-hour nap!  After her nap she got pigtails for the first time, and then we went to two different housewarming parties!  8.19.2013(6)

The first party was hosted by a girl, Lydia, who I met through the Hopkins Kappa chapter.  She and her girlfriend just moved from Charles Village to Hampden and they had a little BBQ gathering at their new house.  The food was delicious and they had a great group of friends.  Everyone was very nice about us having the baby with us.  She was happy crawling around chasing their dogs and being passed from person to person to bounce on their laps.

The second party was hosted by a guy Ken knew in college.  He and his wife have a daughter who is 17 months old and they are expecting a second baby in January.  All of the people at their party had kids ranging in age from 6 months to 6 years old, so there were lots of other kids for Julia to play with and lots of fun toys.  We had a great time!

After the parties, we went home, fed Julia dinner and put her to bed, then the babysitter came over.  This time the babysitter came over for us to go do separate things.  Ken went to see Corey’s band play a gig down in  Dundalk and I went to a Mom’s Night Out with 4 other moms at a Wine Bar in Locust Point.  We both had a great time doing our own thing and we agreed that, even though it was expensive to get a babysitter for 4 hours, it was well worth it for us to be able to go out and do our own thing.  It’s important that we both have friends we can go out with, and sometimes we’ll have separate things we want to do at the same time.

Sunday morning we went out for pancakes at Pete’s Grille and then we went to the Orioles game with Corey & Steffi.  Julia got to meet the Bird (she didn’t know quite what to think of him) and we also made an appearance on the Jumbotron!8.19.2013

After the game, we headed back to Corey & Steffi’s house for a little while, where Corey pulled out one of his guitars to treat us to some music.  Julia was in awe watching him, and she also enjoyed banging on her drum (aka shoe box).  It was really cute to watch them! 8.19.2013(3)

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We then went to the Synagogue again for their annual BBQ Dinner, which was a lot of fun.  We met a few young families with kids and got another chance to talk to the Rabbi & his wife.

This morning I dropped Julia off at her new daycare!  She wore a new outfit and had a pretty bow in her hair: 8.19.2013(4)Drop off seemed to go pretty well.  I met her teachers (who both seemed really nice) and the other kids in her class.  For now there are 5 kids in her class: one boy and 4 girls (but in November they might get one or two more who will be babies moving up from the younger baby room).  Julia is the youngest in her room for now, but only by a couple of weeks.  The teachers said they really work on getting the kids onto a good schedule with just one nap in the afternoon, so I’m hoping that Julia will just slide right into that (I’m keeping my fingers crossed).  I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Ken is on call this week, so keep your fingers crossed that there aren’t too many eye injuries between now and Friday morning.  Next weekend, like I mentioned, we have the family picnic at Julia’s new daycare.  The following weekend is Labor Day, when Ken’s parents are coming to visit!  We have a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks!

Happy Anniversary to my Love! (A few weeks late)

Tonight, almost 4 weeks late, Ken & I are finally going out to celebrate our anniversary!  Our actual anniversary is on July 5th, but because we had just started our new jobs and had not yet received our first pay checks (and because Ken was on call!), we decided it was wise to put off any celebrations until we were both paid.  We also decided it would be nicer to go out and celebrate without bringing the baby with us, which meant we had to find a babysitter!  We love Julia and love taking her out to eat at very family friendly places, but we decided it would be fun to go somewhere a little special.  So tonight, we are going to Petit Louis Bistro, a very classic French restaurant in Roland Park!  We used to go there for special occasions when we lived in Baltimore back in the day.  I’m looking forward to getting dressed up and having a special night out just the two of us!  Maybe we’ll even go out for a romantic glass of wine afterward… ooohh la la!

Our babysitter for tonight is a girl, named Geena, who is going to be a senior at Hopkins.  She’s also a Kappa and we met her through the Chabad House at Hopkins.  Hopefully tonight Julia will go to sleep before Geena even comes over and she’ll be able to just read, watch TV, and relax.

Lately, we’ve had a really great bedtime routine with Julia… around 6:15 or 6:30 we feed her dinner (which these days consists of usually a jar of baby food as well as some pieces of whatever we are eating–last night she had a jar of baby food and some pieces of beef, carrots and potatoes from the beef stew I made).  Then when she starts to show signs that she’s getting sleepy (usually around 7 o’clock), we take her upstairs for her bath, then we’ll read her a story or two, and then she nurses mostly to sleep and goes in her crib.  Usually she goes right to sleep.  On a “bad” night she’ll cry for maybe 15-20 minutes before going to sleep.  These days she generally sleeps through the night and wakes up sometime between 5:30 and 6:30.  Once a week she wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse or because she has a poopy diaper, but usually she just sleeps right through till morning! Julia after bath

Ken and Julia reading Pat the Bunny

Saturday we are leaving on a jet plane for a family trip to San Francisco!  We will be there for a whole week and we are very excited to see lots of friends and family while we are in town.  This will be Julia’s 4th Plane trip already, and she’s not even 10 months old!  I don’t want to jinx anything by saying that so far, flying with her has been relatively easy.  She nurses during take-off and landing, she usually sleeps for a bit while we’re in the air, and she’s generally happy to play for a bit on my lap.   This time we will probably also take a jar or two of baby food with us so that we can feed her some solids on the plane (though that might mean having to bring several extra changes of clothing as well in case she gets food everywhere!) and we’ll probably be taking several walks up and down the aisle of the plane to let her smile and wave at everybody, look out the window and distract her from the boredom of sitting on a plane for hours at a time.  I’m also planning on bringing my breast pump this time, along with a couple of bottles of breast milk, in the hopes that we can go out and about on our own for a little while in San Francisco and leave Julia with my parents for some Julia & Grandma/Grandpa bonding time!  I’ve heard that some of the TSA Agents make you take the breast milk out and sniff it or taste it to prove to them that it’s not explosive but hopefully that’s just a rumor and they’ll just let it through without any issues.  This time I’m a little nervous about flying with Julia because she’s much more active and vocal, so I’m hoping she doesn’t disturb people too much but I just have to remember that chances are we won’t know anybody on the plane and most of the people on the plane we will never have to see again so it’s not the end of the world.  Also, most people are generally pretty tolerant of babies, and especially cute ones like ours!  The one thing I am a little worried about is that the 3-hour time change is going to throw things off and that it will be hard to get back into a good routine with bedtime.  I think the most important thing is just that we stay as consistent as possible, and hopefully she’ll just adapt!

When we come back from our trip, Julia has just one more week at her current daycare and then we are switching her to a different daycare where she will (hopefully) be for the long run (at least until we move out of Baltimore or move her to a preschool).  Here she was at daycare the other day eating some cheesepuffs:Julia eating cheesepuffs

And I have one last IMPORTANT thing to mention…

remember a few months ago when we entered that contest through Parents Magazine to have Julia chosen as the Kid of the Week?  Well… we didn’t win.  But, we entered the contest again this week and as of this morning she was in 7th place!  With your help and vote, she might be in 1st place by the end of the week!  You can vote once a day every day this week, and the contest ends on Sunday.  So PLEASE cast your vote using this link:

http://www.parents.com/photos/kid-of-the-week/2013-07-29/102vo

and vote for Julia!  This is the picture we submitted this time: Julia at wedding in instagram

Isn’t it all so bittersweet?!

Most of the blogging I do is from work… and since Monday is going to be my last day at work, blogging might take a back seat for a couple of weeks while we move and get settled into our new home.  I’ll probably write one last weekend update entry on Monday, but after that things will probably slow down a bit as I won’t have as much time at a computer.  We sold my big bulky desk (which I have had since my junior year of college) a couple of weeks ago but once we are settled in our new house in Baltimore, I’m hoping to buy myself a little writing desk.  Once I do, and once I set myself up with a nice little spot to write in the new house, I promise there will be more blog entries but for now, blogging may become somewhat sporadic.

For now I will leave you with some pictures of our little munchkin, who is almost 8 months old!

The other night at dinner (we went out for Vietnamese Food!): photo

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Reading bed-time stories with Daddy: image_1

Playing in the kiddie pool with our neighbors’ daughter, Zoey:image_3

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And… first time using a sippy cup with water (most of which ended up on her dress rather than in her mouth!):image_2

I also will tell you some things that make me really happy about this upcoming move… 1) For pretty much the first time since Julia was teeny tiny, Ken will have more than a week off from work and we will have a lot of time to spend together as a family!

2) My parents are helping us with the move and it will be nice to have some time to spend with them!  It will also be nice for them to get some good play time in with their Granddaughter!

3) Road trips are fun!  This will be our first family road trip!

4) I just discovered some great Children’s Music stations on Pandora so it will be fun to listen to some Raffi and other great Children’s classics while we’re driving up to Baltimore!

And one last thing before I sign off for the day… DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR JULIA!!!!