Baby Update – Averie Month 9 & 10 and first family vacation!

ImageLast time I checked, summer had just started.  Now it’s Labor Day and fall is slowly creeping in (although you wouldn’t be able to tell with the crazy LA heat wave recently).  Since a few months have flown by since my last post, this one’s going to be a combination of June and July, with August coming very soon.  I’m proud of myself for being diligent at documenting Averie’s first year for as long as I did…so I guess missing a few months isn’t too bad (right?)  Some milestones and events are already blurring together in my mind, so it’s best to write it all down ASAP before I forget!

Sleep: Nighttime sleep continues to be awesome, from 6:30-7:00pm – 7:00am the next day.  For the first few months of her life, the toughest part of the bedtime routine was actually trying to get both kids down at the same time when each had their own schedule.  Aaron was always in bed by 7:30pm, but Averie as a newborn was all over the place.  Until she was about 3 months, I think it was a struggle (it’s hard to recall exactly what I did those initial days).  I’ll have to write a post about bedtime routines with 2 young kids sometime soon to help jog those memories.  But I digress…these months were great and I definitely appreciated the consolidation of my own sleep too!  Naptimes also continued to be much more regular – morning nap ~9am for an hour or two (always the easiest) and an afternoon nap ~3pm for about an hour.

Eat: I’m so thankful that Averie is a great eater and so far, hasn’t had any allergies or problems with food.  She’s adventurous and so curious to try anything that we eat.  Starting around month 10, we started feeding her bits off our plates and she’s loved every single morsel.  This is great because Aaron isn’t so good with food.  While he’s not as picky as other kids I’ve seen, he definitely will refuse foods he doesn’t like (even if he loved something a week before) and is much more opinionated on what he wants/doesn’t want.  I’m sure it’s a stage he’ll eventually outgrow but for now it can be super frustrating:\

Milestones: Averie grew two more teeth in July, for a grand total of 4  by the end of the month.  While they’re really adorable, I do miss her toothless, gummy grins at times.  I was pretty lazy about assisting her with sitting up so she was a bit late on that front, but I think it was month 9 that she started crawling…and she’s never looked back.  This girl loves being mobile!  Although it’s wasn’t real crawling…more army crawling for a few months before being comfortable moving on her hands and knees.  Almost immediately after that, I found her struggling to stand in her crib one day, and so we lowered her mattress over July 4th weekend.  It was perfect timing because a few days later, she was standing up!

Imageoooh, I can reach for toys unassisted.  Life is good.
2013 374contemplating jailbreak

First family vacation!  So we went on our first family of 4 vacation in early June – a 4 day trip to Palm Springs.  Hubs and I are still too chicken to take these kids anywhere on a plane, so all vacations have been strictly driving distance.  And actually, all vacations have been to the same place – Palm Springs.  Haha.  I guess we should be more adventurous, but our outings there have been so great that we’ve turned it into a tradition of sorts.

Since we wanted to stick to their routines as much as possible, we stayed at the Westin in Palm Desert, which is an all-suite hotel.  Having a separate bedroom, living room, and kitchen was awesome.  Aaron was so excited to sleep on the pullout sofa bed in the living room (he kicked us out each night, ordering us to go to our room so he can sleep haha).  We placed Averie’s pack-n-play in the living room a little ways from his bed; after I nursed her to sleep (back when she still fell asleep at the boob), we put her down, told Aaron to be quiet because the baby’s sleeping, and that was it – both kiddos slept through the night.  It was actually quite amazing…we were prepared for bedtime drama, multiple wakings, etc.  but in the end, it was quite…uneventful.

Imagechillin poolside
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The best group shot of the weekend

Writing these memories down and reliving the past few months made me realize just how fleeting these early years are.  So much happens in a such a short period of time but somehow we miss the enormity and significance of these changes when living through our normal, day-to-day lives and routines. It always reminds me of a line from one of my favorite 80’s movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day off –

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you can miss it.”

Baby update – Averie Month 8

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I’m getting really good with pushups

I realize I say this every month (and I guess most parents do this), but Month 8 was the best so far.  Averie picked up some super cute skills and finally got into a predictable daytime nap routine, yay!  It only took…oh, 30-ish weeks, I guess?  And the timing couldn’t be any better because we’re planning a family vacation to Palm Springs next week.  This will be the first time going on a trip with both kids and I’m hoping things will go smoothly!

So here go the updates for this month –

Sleeping: As mentioned previously, Averie finally fell into a predictable nap schedule starting around week 30, and she did pretty darn well throughout this month.  She also started sleeping through the night too!!  It’s like something clicked in her brain that made her realize, oh yeah, regular naps + sleeping all night makes me much happier and energized during my awake times.  I was overjoyed, to say the least.

Eating: Pretty much the same as previous months – she eats everything I place in front of her, though I’m still unsure if she’s getting enough breastmilk, especially because she’s been very distracted at the breast the last few weeks and won’t nurse more than 5 minutes at a time.  Still, she has a good amount of wet diapers and seems satisfied after each feeding, so I’m assuming she’s getting enough for now.  I did notice though that ever since she started STTN my supply has taken a huge hit – down about 30% compared to last month.  I try nursing as much as possible on weekends and days off with her, but should I start supplementing with a little formula?

Milestones: Averie mastered sitting up and she loves playing with toys, especially her stacking rings and shape sorter.  She also started practicing her pincer grasp and learned to feed herself dry items like puffs this month, While she learned to roll from back to stomach pretty early on, it took her a long time to learn to roll the opposite way, which is interesting because most babies learn to roll from stomach to back first.  Anyways, the great thing about this is that now she can roll herself onto her back in the middle of the night, instead of getting stuck on her tummy and crying until I come over to help her.

Oh yes, and she got two teeth this month! The cute factor is just overwhelming.  I want to bite her all the time.

Yeah, I can sit up and chill like the adults.

Yeah, I can sit up and chill like the adults.

I’m seeing signs that she’s getting ready to start crawling soon, so we’re going to enjoy this time of limited mobility as much as possible until the day she starts scooting around.  Can’t believe we’re already at this point…!

Baby update – Averie Month 7

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Aaron and Averie showing their poker faces

Wow, we’re already more than halfway through the first year!  Averie’s definitely becoming more and more responsive to her surroundings and other people and she’s regularly picking up new skills.  Lots more laughs, smiles and coos came from her this month, so I’m hoping she’ll be less serious as she gets older!

Sleep:  Not much has changed – naps were still a bit inconsistent in terms of timing and duration, but I tried establishing a routine at least for her morning nap, so this month she was going down at 9am and at times without a fuss.  She was usually nursed to sleep when I was home but I’ve been trying to break that habit over the last few months and we were starting to see some progress.  I nursed her down, usually when she was overtired, but she was starting to get the hang of soothing herself to sleep with the help of her paci and soother.  Bedtime was still 6:30pm-ish unless we’re out somewhere, with one nighttime waking between 2-4am.

Eat: I can’t recall how much Aaron ate when he was this age but I sense Averie definitely has a bigger appetite for solids.  Then again, she’s always been a good eater since birth.  She’s liked everything I’ve given her, from veggies to fruits to meats and so far, hasn’t had any allergic reactions (keep fingers crossed!)  I still pumped about 2 times at work during month 7 and at home, nursed her about 4x/day and once in the middle of the night.  My supply started going down this month so I’m not exactly sure how much milk she’s getting.  I usually leave three 5 oz. bottles of milk for the nanny for the day, plus I nursed her once before work and once at bedtime, so I assume she was getting at least 20-24 oz. each day?  Since she’s always game to eat food, I wonder if I should start supplementing with a bit of formula, like a bottle/day.

averie beach day

first time at the beach -she loved watching the water and seagulls circling about!

Milestones: I love the months when babies can sit up but not yet crawl – they’re so cute and curious about their surroundings, but aren’t at the stage where you need to keep a constant eye on their movements!  She’s a bit late on sitting up and only truly started to do so for a minute at a time without assistance right before she turned 7 months.  Watching her admire her hands, play the baby piano toy, or trying to chew the heck out of Sophie never failed to make me smile or forget all the irksome things troubling me at work.  She definitely knows who mommy is – the best part of my day is coming home and seeing her smile and wave her arms excitedly.

Baby update – Averie Month 6

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Oops, this post is super late given we’re almost at the end of month 7 but now is better than never, I guess…right??

It’s been another hectic month but work has slowed down to a manageable pace a few weeks ago, and I’m so happy to have a chance to recharge and spend more quality time with the family.  I’ve been so focused on work that some key milestones were overlooked which I’m still very sad about.  Plus, Averie is such a mild mannered and quiet little girl that it’s easy for her more boisterous older brother to outshine her, especially when he’s being defiant and throwing major tantrums.  Poor girl…

So onto this month’s highlights:

Sleeping: Averie’s still a great nighttime sleeper and naps are slooowly getting better.  We started seeing some improvements towards the end of month 5; she’s still inconsistent but seems to be trending towards 2-3 naps/day.  Some days the morning naps will be good and afternoon naps bad, while others are the opposite.  She instinctively knows that 6:30pm is time for bed and starts to get really cranky around that time unless we’re out somewhere.  She still averages one middle of the night feeding.  Her wakeup time varies anywhere from 6-7am, which sucks on weekends when I just want to sleep in.

Eating: The rolls are as rolly as ever, though she’s stretching out more so they aren’t as prominent compared to her early months.  We started solids a week before she turned 6 months.   I tried waiting until she officially reached the half year mark but felt bad because I could tell she was developmentally ready and eager to try something other than breastmilk.  How did I know?  Well, every time we’d eat in front of her, she’s crane her head, following our spoons and opening her mouth, with the most eager and curious expression on her face.  I knew then it was time. From the moment she took her first bite, she was was a champ – unlike most babies with their first taste of food, she didn’t dribble food out of her mouth with a quizzical expression on her face.  Every single bite went down.  Hubs and I were amazed,

Playing: Averie still loves her play yard and all the toys attached to the bars.   She rolls from stomach to back constantly and towards the end of the month, started doing tons of baby airplane poses which never ceased to crack me up.  Our routine typically consisted of rotating between play yard, jumperoo, exersaucer, and high chair with lots of cuddle time in between.  I think I’ve carried her a lot more compared to Aaron at this age.

201301-04 133concentrating on activating those stomach muscles!

In retrospect, I wish Month 6 could have lasted longer.  Averie was so much more engaged with us and her surroundings, and I wish I could’ve spent more time with her during this time.  I’ve been mulling over writing a post on being a working mom and the conflicting thoughts I have about continuing to work vs. staying home but I’ve been to chicken to do it.  I think it’s time…

Baby update – Averie Month 5

imageUnsurprisingly, the month flew by and I’m late on my 5 month update.  Averie has continued to  grow way too quickly and no matter how much I try to enjoy our time together, I still want more.  It’s especially tough because this is also the busiest time of year for me at work, so even on weekends and days off it’s hard to fully immerse myself in the moment and enjoy her company because I find my mind drifiting off to work-related issues more often than not.  How do other working moms deal with this?  I’m having a hard time trying to maintain some sort of balance.

Anyways, back to updates.

Sleep: Not much to report except that naptimes were still a struggle for most of the month.  However, we reached a breakthrough at the end of month 5 (late February/early March) where her daytime sleep took a turn for the better.  The routine I tried establishing of 2-3 naps ~9am, ~12-1pm, and ~4pm started to work.  Before, she’d cry and cry if she wasn’t rocked or nursed until passed out, and even then oftentimes she’d wake up after 10-20 minutes and start wailing.  Magically, something clicked and she started going down more and more easily starting this time.  Though things are still not perfect, it’s getting better by the day. Nighttime sleep continues to be good – down around 6:30pm with 1 night waking and up around 6:30-7am.  She had her first sleep through the night the first weekend of February (yesss!) which got me super excited.  It’s happened only a few more times since, but honestly I don’t mind our nighttime nursing sessions…they won’t last much longer and I’m going to miss them😦

Eat: Averie continues to be a champion eater via bottle and breast.  Fortunately she’s been amenable to both and hopefully this will continue.  Pumping is still a pain in the !@#$%^ and I worry that my supply is decreasing but I’m going to plug away for at least another few months.  Developmentally she seems ready for solids and I think I’m going to try her out on cereal this weekend, even though or pediatrician recommended waiting until 6 months.  Close enough.

Milestones: I’m amazed by how much she’s changing on a daily basis.  She’s getting better at playing independently, though she gets anxious if someone isn’t nearby and will start fussing a bit.  She loves the playmat and grabs at the little toys attached to the arms.  Her funny “huh-huh” laughs never cease to crack us up.  Towards the end of the month, she started rolling from back to tummy and it’s just so darn CUTE to watch.

imageEveryday I think there’s no way I can love this baby more, only to find myself even more in love the next day.

Baby update – Averie Month 4

Image(celebrating her 100th day)

Happy Valentine’s Day!  A bit later than usual for Averie’s monthly update but work’s been quite busy and by the time the kids are in bed, I can barely think.  So let me rack my brains and recall what happened developmentally in Month 4:

– Sleeping:  Averie’s nighttime sleeping has continued to be awesome.  Starting the first week of January, she went down between 6:30-7:00 (sometimes even earlier!) and she’s been sleeping until about 7-8am with 1-2 wakings at night (mostly 1).  I know we’re truly blessed with great nighttime sleepers – Aaron goes down around 7:30pm and sleeps like a rock until 6:30-7am.  I can’t recall the last time he woke up at night on his own.  However, we’ve been hit hard with..

– Napping: Nothing’s perfect and Averie’s napping (or lack thereof) definitely attests to that.  She’s never really been as consistent a napper as her brother, and this past month has been pretty bad.  She can go anywhere from 20 minutes-2 hours, but it’s usually about 30-40 minutes and then she’s up.  And she fights naps more and more throughout the day, getting crankier and crankier until she finally passes out at night.  It’s so strange to me how babies can sleep so well at night but poorly in the day.  Short naps seem to be a pretty common occurrence in babies this age, and even has a nickname – the nap intruder.  In a nutshell, she’s having a difficult time transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next, which is why she keeps waking up even though she isn’t completely rested.  Despite trying various tactics, none seems to really jive with her, and I think we’re just going to have to wait until she outgrows this.  I know I shouldn’t complain since she does sleep well at night.

Eating: Judging by the number of her rolls, she’s apparently getting enough to eat and I haven’t had to supplement with formula in weeks.  I’ve been thinking about when to start solids but our pediatrician recommended we wait until she turns 6 months since she’s gaining weight well at this point.  Speaking of rolls, I l-o-v-e them so much!  :D

Other: Developmentally, Averie seems to be hitting most milestones at a good rate.  She’s a champ at holding up her head so we’ve been putting her in the exersaucer, Bumbo, and jumperoo in addition to letting her do tummy time on her playmat.  She grabs at toys (so cute!) and makes funny little faces.  She’s also laughing a lot more now, though her laugh sounds kind of like what a baby linebacker would sound like.  Though she was cooing a lot last month, she’s gotten much quieter this month and doesn’t make as many sounds, perhaps because she’s too busy observing the world around her.  I have a feeling she won’t be as gregarious and outgoing as her brother.

At her 4 month checkup, she was 15.5 lbs and 24.25 inches – growing at a nice rate.  Lately while nursing, she’ll stop and just look up at me with these big, curious eyes and my heart melts.  Watching her grow is such a bittersweet thing – it’s amazing to see all the changes she’s going through, but sad because the time is going way too quickly and soon she won’t be my little baby anymore.  Parenthood brings such mixed emotions!

Baby update – Averie month 3

2012 041-2Wow, 2013 is already here??  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years were all one big blur, and little Averie is not so little anymore.  At yesterday’s 3 month checkup, we found that she’s a whopping 14.5 lbs and a short 23 inches long (though that measurement seems inaccurate as her legs are getting too long for some of her pants!).  She’s a super cute, super chill chubster who’s becoming more alert and interactive.  Here are some milestones to share this month:

  • Eating – Averie continues to impress us with how much milk she can put down in a day.  Obviously, she’s getting enough to eat as evidenced by her many arm, belly, back and leg rolls🙂  Aaron was a pretty lean infant, so I’m totally enjoying having a Michelin tire baby.  One wrinkle in all this was that she suddenly started to refuse the bottle around week 9…right before I was supposed to return to work.  This caused a lot of anxiety and frantic web researching and I tested out a couple of different bottles  to see if they;d make a difference.  She’s now taking the bottle, though reluctantly.  Bouncing gently on the exercise ball and using the Tommee Tippee bottle seems to help.
  • Sleeping – Nighttime sleep is still pretty good.  We’ve gradually moved her bedtime earlier and earlier, and her bedtime throughout month 3 was typically 7:30pm.  Just 2 days ago, I experimented with moving it even earlier, and I’m happy to say that now she goes down at 6:30pm!  Unfortunately, daytime naps are still a struggle.  All the activity during the holidays made it difficult to establish a regular naptime schedule so her naps are still all over the place.  I just started her on a schedule in the new year so hopefully this will help get her to nap longer and more regularly.
  • PlayingAverie definitely became much more alert and aware of her surroundings this month!  I think she recognizes who mommy is since she thrashes her arms and legs more energetically when she sees me.  This month was also the first time we saw “real” smiles, starting around week 10.  She’s a big coo-er and talks a ton when she’s awake.  It’s so cute I can’t stand it!
  • Returning to work – the last 2 weeks of maternity leave were so bittersweet.  I dreaded leaving my baby even though I was able to reduce my hours to 4 days a week plus I can work from home 2 days/wk as well.  I think it was just the idea of not being home with her all day like I was used to.  It’s funny because I was itching to get back to work when Aaron was this age, and now looking back I regret not truly enjoying those first few months with him.  Luckily, I only had to go back for a week before our school closed for winter holidays, so I got another week and a half off before heading back.  I think both kids sensed something was off that week because Averie woke up 2+ times each night and Aaron’s been crying out in his sleep.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that week, which probably contributed to the cold I caught that’s still lingering to this day.

Month 3 was full of developmental milestones and changes.  It’s so crazy to think that a quarter of her 1st year is already over!