Wednesday, 20 July 2016

One Year!

It's the end of my baby's first year and it's been the best year of my life. Okay, I admit that I haven't loved every minute of it. There was a night in January when Husband away and she decided to cry from 1-4 AM, that I wasn't really digging. Also wasn't really loving the night I got showered and puke and was soaked to my skin. But for the most part, I've enjoyed this year immensely. I'm so fortunate to have a baby, I'm even more fortunate that she is healthy and I'm blessed beyond belief that she is such a delight. I've been asked if I can imagine my life without her. Yes, I can. It's quite easy. I lived 39 years of my life without her. I can't imagine myself with any other baby that her. Sometimes it strikes me that if any of my prior transfers had worked, or if my prior pregnancies had been successful, I wouldn't have my Kate in my life. It's yet another bitter pill of infertility that is hard to swallow.

Nicknames: Button, Kater Tot, Cup Kate 

Stats: 21 lbs 15 oz. 28.75 inches

Teeth: We seem to be cutting a new tooth every two months. Just after her first birthday, the front two teeth began to emerge. 

Sleep: Still sleeping though the night, although we did have a slight set back. While she was sick, she was so inconsolable. We would rock her, get her to fall asleep, and she'd wake up in hysterics as soon as we put her back in her crib. As she was sick, we decided to make an exception and let her sleep with us. This went on for three nights, but once she no longer had a temperature and was otherwise back to normal, we were determined to get her back into her own bed. I put her down and let her fuss for about twenty minutes before she started to doze. Husband went in to check on her and walked out of her room with two board books in his hand. "Why did you leave these books in her bed?" he accused. "I didn't" I replied. She reached through the slats on her crib and grabbed the books off her table. Such a clever girl. Naps are a bit sporadic. At Day Care, she usually sleeps between 9-10 and 1-2, but sometimes on weekends, I'll try to push her to 11 AM and then she may sleep for almost two and a half hours as her only nap of the day. We've moved her bedtime out a little bit, tending to get her to sleep a little closer to 7:30. In turn, she's been waking up a bit closer to 6 AM, sometimes even a little later, but she still throws the occasional 5 AM wake up in the mix. I was supposed to start swimming at 7 AM on Tuesdays, but last week she feel back asleep with her head on my chest. I had my husband sleeping next to me, baby snuggled in my arms and Tyler was curled up by my feet. I never felt so happy. I was surrounded by everyone I love. Such a memory to savor. Next week, you're getting your lazy ass out of bed and into the pool. 

Eating: I'm concerned that she may blow up as a giant blueberry, much like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the way she can put away blueberries. I've been making more squeeze packets for her, often copying the flavour combinations of store bought packets, usually two vegetables and a fruit. She doesn't quite understand the concept of squeezing the packet, and will get frustrated when she gets to the end and often drops it on the floor. I gave her some pieces of cut up chicken, which she enjoyed, so we're doing a little better with self feeding. One night, I had her in the high chair while I was trying to cook, and as I didn't have anything ready to give to her at the moment, I handed her a green bean while I heated her food. It kept her quiet for a long time as I observed that she just seemed to be gnawing on it. When she was bored with it, she threw it on the floor, and as I picked it up, I noticed she had bitten into the shell of the bean, and sucked all the little bean pods out! Again, such a clever girl! 

We fed her both breast milk and formula in the last month as we were counting the day until we could introduce cow's milk. As sad as it was to recognise the final nursing session (which will always be a beautiful memory, even it it was under the haze of my 103 fever) it was much worse to watch my supply dry up while pumping exclusively. I was still producing 4-5 oz per session while I was on the antibiotic, but that dropped to 3-4 after I finished and could use the milk again. Even while I was producing 2-3 oz per session, I was still able to get two bottles of fresh breast milk and I felt pretty good about that. We were only using 3-4 bags of frozen milk per week, which was helping to preserve my stash. It was harder to keep up with pumping. While I was recovering from the pneumonia, I cut out my middle of the night pumping session, claiming that I needed the rest, and I just got so used to having a full night's sleep again. Work was busy and I would sometimes miss my lunch session. I also found it hard to pump in front of her. By the time I was only pumping 2-3 times per day, I was barely getting an ounce per session. I would take almost three days to get one bottle. Just not worth it. Especially as formula is so easy! You just scoop add water and shake... Presto! There's a bottle already for you! No mindless Tetris games while pumping. Cleaning bottles, storing milk, worrying if I forgot to defrost bags. I can't believe that I never forgot to defrost the milk, until we started on the formula. No problem, just make up bottles of formula for Day Care! Formula is a bit deceiving, when you look at that little scoop in the big container, it seems like it could last forever, but I was astonished how quickly we went through formula and we were only using it part time! 

Likes: Music. We usually listen to Billy Joel Radio on Pandora, but one night we decided to switch it up and listen to Bruce Springsteen. The song Glory Days came on and she started tapping her leg and bobbing her ahead, almost perfectly in rhythm. Then a few days later, we went to Baby Yoga and the instructor played ABBA's SOS and she absolutely went nuts over it. So now we've been listening to ABBA on Pandora, which plays all things ABBA. The original ABBA, the New York and London soundtracks to Momma Mia as well as the motion picture version. Any band who has covered an ABBA song. Then Pandora throws in Metallica's Nothing Else Matters. It's a great song, it just doesn't really follow Dancing Queen. Anyway, I can't wait until I can take Kate to see Momma Mia on stage. What is the age where she'll just enjoy the music and not realise that the story line is inappropriate of her age? I think I was 7 or 8 when my parents let me watch Grease on TV. I just loved the music and dancing. It wasn't until I saw it again in my teenage years that I learned the story line and couldn't believe my parents let me watch the movie when I did. She also really enjoys books, but does not want anyone to read to her. In fact, if you try to read to her, she will grab another book off her table and start reading herself. Oh well. I just love seeing her with a book in her hands. 

Dislikes: I was so grateful that Kate didn't make us go through many different brands of formula or different bottles, but she was saving it up for sippy cups. After our pediatrician told us to start introducing the sippy, my mother bought her this very pretty one.  

As she wasn't used to anything with handles, she figured their purpose was to help you hold the cup upside down and let the non-screwed cap fall off and spill water every where. Next we tried one with a straw, but she dropped it on the floor and cracked it. 

I visited with my friend Amy, her baby (who is two weeks younger than Kate) and another mother over Memorial Day weekend. One of the boys had a Tommee Tippee sippy which Kate drank out of a few times. I was mortified, and apologised that my daughter just shared all the germs in the petri dish of her mouth, but I was so happy to know there was a cup that she seemed to prefer. I had to stop at IKEA on my way home and I saw they had a similiar sippy cup (experienced moms are shaking their heads at this point in time).

adorable, but a piece of crap

Yup. Threw on the ground and spilled water every where as the lid doesn't screw in. 

Lesson finally learned, must have a screw-on cap. Found this one on Clearance at Target and it has held up to her attempts to destroy it.  

Milestones: Getting much better at walking! At first she was much like Maggie Simpson. Step.Step.Plop! Step.Step Plop! Now, she's managing to walk longer distances. Sometimes when I want her to walk to a specific place, like her room or the bathroom, I'll hold her hand and we'll walk together and it just melts my heart. Sometimes she'll carry either my purse, my lunch bad or her day care bag. She's definitely saying "Mumma" and "Dadda" but not consistently. When she sees Tyler, she is really trying to say either "-at!" for 'Cat' or "Ity" which we think is 'Kitty'. I must confess that I've been slack about signing with her, partly because I'm a little frustrated that she hasn't displayed a little more progress. I know I shouldn't give up and in fact should increase my efforts. One day while we were busy running around doing errands, I noticed she seemed to be gesturing with her hands quite a bit. It took me a while to figure out that she was probably trying to sign, and I felt guilty that I wasn't paying attention. Then one morning, she started flipping through her cloth picture book (which was a great IKEA find) and made the cow sign upon seeing a cow. No prompting from me. She recognised the cow and made the cow sign. I was bursting with pride. She's still not too consistent with it, but she'll put her hand in front of her lips, which I think is her attempt to sign 'water'. She'll sometimes touch her face near her nose when she sees Tyler, which may be her sign for cat.  

Clothes: It always seems that the first thing she outgrows is her jammies. It may be because they get washed most frequently. She's absolutely busting out of her 9 month size PJs; but when I went to Carter's, I discovered that the 12 month size PJs are in the (gasp) toddler section of the store! The 12 month size is huge! There is such a big jump between 9 and 12 months. Fortunately, there have been a few nights where it was so warm that I put her to bed in just a onesie.  I've been sending her off to Day Care in more dresses lately; just because it's an easier process. 

Diapering: She's become a little less wiggly, but we've improved the method of diapering while she's standing. Previously, we've had her stand toward us (where she would often pull my hair) but we've now adopted the 'frisk' position, where we have her face the wall. Yet she's still determined to make diapering challenging for us, so she's figured out how to un-velcro her diaper covers after we've worked so hard to get her changed. 

Health Issues: As mentioned in the section on sleep, she had her second ear infection.

Looking Forward to: Our next activity! We had to move on from Baby Yoga. I'm so gutted as I really loved the instructor, I started hanging out with some other moms after class and we had developed a good routine on our Tuesdays together. I was warned that kids will outgrow activities just as you seem to get into them. We signed up for a free trial of a music class, so we'll see how that goes and if it will be our new Tuesday activity. We're also finally starting swimming lessons this weekend. My parents are coming for a visit next month! We had planned to have them come out during the two weeks when Kate's Day Care is closed for summer vacation, but now it looks like they'll be here for almost five weeks. Date nights! Gym time! Help with meal planning and dinner prep! A pedicure! Oh yeah, and it will be nice to spend some time with them too, but let's be honest. They're really coming to see Kate. I'm also looking forward to her first birthday party. Actually, I'll clarify that statement. I'm looking forward to her first birthday party being over. The following week after Kate's party, we were invited to a first B-day party for a boy from sign class. Then, the week after that it's a first party for my friend Amy's son. My cousin's son has a birthday party on the first Saturday in August. Ten years ago it seemed like every weekend was filled by someone's wedding. Such is our life now.  

Her official birthday photo
The other was staged a week earlier