Friday, February 17, 2017

nine months of mae

Happy 9 months, sweet pea!!

This has been a month of many milestones for Mae. Here's an update on all her progress since our last update.

Milestone 1: Waving. Yes, it's just as adorable as it sounds. Now she likes to greet us with a wildly flapping arm!

Milestone 2: Kneeling. There's a little yellow ring attached to the top of this walker toy, and she just HAD to get it in her mouth. That was enough motivation to pull up from a sitting position!

Milestone 3: Pulling up to standing! Dan had fun putting her toys away in her fabric storage bins and watching her pull up on the sides. She did pretty well holding herself up, but got SO angry every time the flimsy box wobbled. She also loves standing at the back of the couch to look out the window, especially if Dan is outside at the grill!

Milestone 4: Getting herself into a sitting position. She has two methods. One involves laying on her side and pushing herself up until she is seated. The other involves getting onto all fours (also new this month!) and pushing back until she can get her butt behind her feet. This works well on carpet... not so well on hardwood. She spent a couple days sliding backwards on the floor before she figured out how to pull her legs forward on the slippery floor.

In addition to her new milestones, Mae is continuing to develop her skills from last month. She is still working on her crawling technique, and she can now get onto hands and knees and rock back and forth. Then she plops down on her belly and takes off at a speedy army crawl. She LOVES chasing me as I crawl around the rocking chair in her bedroom. I wait for her to catch up and give a fake scream of terror as soon as she rounds the corner and spots me. She also continues to improve her pincer grasp and loves picking up things like cheerios, pieces of fruit, and little bits of crud from the kitchen floor. (I mean... umm... my house is spotless.) She also sprouted 2 new bottom teeth this month, bringing her total to 8. If she continues at this rate, she'll have over 300 teeth by the time she's my age.

This month, Mae has started to enjoy reading books! Actually, not books so much as one particular book. Just "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" She picks it up, holds it, babbles at it, flips the pages, and then looks to me to read it. After reading it for the 20th time, I tried a different book. She flipped a couple pages, then angrily shoved it from my hand. Same response to 2 or 3 more books. Then I picked up "Brown Bear" again and she snuggled right into my lap for the whole story. She also tolerates "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." Big Eric Carle fan.

I'm not sure how Mae's weight is doing, since we haven't had her nine month checkup yet. After speaking with a dietician at Children's who seemed pretty unconcerned about Mae's weight, we decided to switch pediatricians and get a fresh start with someone who will hopefully be more reassuring and less alarmist. We've also introduced soy formula and started weaning, which has taken a HUGE burden off my shoulders. Mae didn't resist the soy formula at all! I have to say... breastfeeding was crushing my soul. I have a million reasons why it wasn't working for us. I felt a huge amount of guilt giving it up, but I feel so much better now. I still nurse overnight, but all the pressure is off. Getting good news at Mae's next weight check will just be the final validation that we made the right choice. Fingers crossed.

January is usually a pretty quiet month, and I haven't written anything since her 8 month post! We had one busy weekend a couple weeks ago. Friday evening we got together at Ben and Jen's house for a play date. Mae had fun playing with her baby friends Anna and Elodie, and we got to meet Stacey and Raul's newborn boy Isaac! The next day, Dan, Christopher, Emily and I went to a talk by a Catholic author/speaker and Mae got the spend the whole day with Ollie and her grandparents!

Hopefully we'll have a few more activities this month and I won't wait quite so long to share our next update! Now here's the obligatory picture of Mae destroying her 9 month sticker:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

eight months of mae

Here she is... eight months old!

Just kidding, that's her stunt double. Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of an eight-month-old?? Especially when there is a STICKER involved??

Ok, here's one for real. These photos were actually taken during three separate sessions throughout the day. The first attempt resulted in a full-scale meltdown. Mae was in a pretty good mood most of the day, but we just could not coax a real smile for a photo!

This month has been all about babbling! About a week before Christmas, I was starting to get worried since she hadn't made any sounds (other than crying) in a couple weeks. I made a note to mention it to the pediatrician during our next visit. Then, just a couple nights later, I walked past while Dan was changing her diaper and she blurted out, "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!" Just what I needed to hear! Since then, we have been getting lots of fa-fa, ba-ba, and especially da-da. Da-da-da-da-da. All the time. I'm not bitter at all.

She also attempts to communicate with me through a complicated series of tongue clicks. I must have a funny accent or something because she thinks it's pretty hilarious when I try to click back at her.

Mae goes down for both naps and bedtime like a champ now. We zip her into the sleep sack, pop in a pacifier, and lay her in the crib. She falls asleep in minutes with minimal fuss! She sleeps well at night about 50% of the time. The other 50%, she chucks the pacifier (and the backup pacifier) out of the crib and wails until it's replaced. Someone needs to invent a sleep-safe, non-strangley pacifier tether.

Meal times are still a struggle with this girl, and the pediatrician continues to express concern about her weight gain. After an impromptu office visit today (for a weird rash that popped up this morning), we have even more tips to try to sneak calories into her. Everyone says, "Don't worry, babies won't starve themselves," but this one sure seems to be trying. She'll eat a few bites of anything that isn't green, but loses interest quickly. She has started giving me this face while I'm feeding her. I can't tell if she's mocking my fake smiles as I try to convince her that unseasoned sweet potatoes are actually yummy or if she's baring her teeth and threatening, "If you shove one more bite of squash into my mouth I will bite you. And I have six teeth now, so it's gonna HURT." (Teeth numbers 5 and 6 popped through two days before Christmas!).

She used those little chompers to crunch on puffs for the first time this weekend. Getting them from tray to hand to mouth is a very tedious process, and they stick to EVERYTHING. On the plus side, she seems to enjoy getting her pearly whites brushed. I'm not sure what a Bubble Fruit is, but it sure makes a delicious toothpaste flavoring.

Happy eight months, Mae!

Friday, January 13, 2017

new year, new socks

Don't worry, my New Years Resolution wasn't to abandon my blog. We've just been busy with things that aren't very fun to share (like the stomach flu). Instead, I'll share a little project I finished late last year: my first pair of knit socks! I was super intimidated by the thought of knitting socks, even though I've worked tricker projects in the past. Thankfully, these were much less difficult than I anticipated!

The yarn is the hand-dyed skein I bought from Neeley's Knits at the Kentucky Wool Festival last autumn. The colorway is called Chocolate Frog, and it even came with a mini-skein of silver to make a contrasting heel and toe. I feel like I'm in nerd stealth-mode with these, since they so perfectly capture the colors of an iconic Harry Potter prop (the Chocolate Frog packaging), but aren't quite as obvious as, say, Gryffindor socks.

I used the Wicked Simple Socks pattern and the Fish Lips Kiss heel. They are just a smidge big so I might use 60 instead of 64 stitches for my next pair. I am elated that my first socks turned out so well! Project details on my Ravelry page.

Another little project that I worked on over the holidays was this car seat blanket for Mae. It has a little hood and flaps to keep her warm on chilly winter mornings. I loosely followed a tutorial from Imperfect Homemaking, with a few modifications. In the back is a large, oval-shaped cut-out to reduce bulk and allow the car seat straps to be pulled snug. I also hand stitched the edge with embroidery floss instead of using my sewing machine. Stay toasty, Mae!