Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter!

We enjoyed a wonderful Easter with our family and hope you did, too.
Our girl will be six months old tomorrow - can you believe it? Big post coming soon :)

Peach's first Easter Basket 3-31-13
Alison and her Grandmas- Cathy (left) and my mom, Kris 3-31-13

Mom & Daughter 3-31-13

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Like mother like daughter

My mom kept my 1st Easter outfit and I thought I'd try it on Alison for a few smiles and laughs. On the left is me, Easter of 1987 at about 8 months old. To the left is Alison, just shy of 6 months. She's a much bigger baby than I was (but I had more hair ;) )!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend update - Milestones galore!

There is really nothing better than having a fantastic weekend.

Saturday we met up with a few friends to watch my alma mater,VCU play in the second round of march madness. They didn't do so well but it was great to see our friends nonetheless. We even got to see Adeline, our friends eight month old daughter. At one point, Adeline was playing with one of Alison's toys and our girl tried her best to steal it back (which she eventually did) and we all had a laugh about that.

Adeline and Alison interact 3-23-13
Dads and their daughters 3-23-13

After the game we headed to Shane's parents house and hung out a bit while we watched even more basketball and discussed our Easter plans for next weekend. Always a good visit. We finished up the day at the dollar tree getting some everyday objects like measure cups for some sensory bins I'm working on for Alison. To date, this was the longest amount of time we've been out of the house since Alison arrived - only took up (almost) six months to be gone about six hours.

Sunday was a big day for Alison as well. She started the day off by sitting up by herself (!!!!) and (because of that) she also tasted her first solid food --avocado! She seemed a little unsure of it at first but seemed to like the taste offer first food. Shane's not 100% on board with Baby led weaning (he's getting there, I think. So for now were just making our own puréed vegetables- I figure well get to fruits in a bit. All in all I'm very excited for all these new experiences. Alison is taking them in stride - making her parents proud:).

Dad feeding Alison her first Avocado 3-24-13

The Aftermath 3-24-13

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Video Saturday

I just wanted to make a quick post before I get ready to watch my alma mater play in the third round of march madness (GO VCU RAMS!!)

Alison is so super close to sitting up unassisted and this quick video makes me smile. She just loves her "box of fun" (thanks Megan!!)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Making me Happy: Getting out of the house!! Thank goodness Spring begins this week because we've been so cooped up. Lately we've been able to go to a few story times at our local library and we've also taken a lot of walks around our neighborhood. Alison's also gotten so interested in the world around her and it just makes me beam with delight. 

Excited For: We're getting ready to convert our under used office into a playroom for Alison and I'm thrilled to dig in. She's going to really mobile before we know it and this room is just what we need. I'm thinking a trip to IKEA is in order - and soon!!! We'll need storage, a craft table, and a good kid-friendly area rug. We probably should get an actual computer desk while we're at it - our computer is currently sitting on an old door and bar stools. Not exactly kid room friendly. In our defense we made a built in desk at our last house which is why we're desk-less at the moment. We will get there!

Thinking About: Alison is going to be six month old in less than two weeks and she's so close to sitting up, too. Shane and I have talked and we think she's just about ready to start solids. We've got to bring in her highchair from the shed and clean it off and decide what her first meal will be (Avocado? Peas? Sweet Potatoes?) I just can't believe she will be eating solids! Definitely bitter sweet. 

Reading: I'm back to reading some baby books like the No-Cry Nap solution and I'm going to start thumbing through Baby Led Weaning again now that we're getting ready to start solids.  

Watching: I know I'm a little early, but I'm really excited for March Madness to officially begin. This year my alma mater, VCU, is dancing again - this time as a five seed! We should even get to see their first  game in its entirety since its at 9:45 Thursday night! (Knock on wood) GO RAMS!!!

She makes my heart smile. I can't get enough of her little chatter.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Visit from Grandma

This weekend was nothing short of great. Actually I should amend that statement - Saturday was nothing short of great.
My mom came down for a visit and us girls went on a trip to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. She is a horticulturist by trade and I am embarrassed to admit that in the 8 1/2 years that I've lived in Richmond, I hadn't yet taken her to this wonderful place. The forecast was ominous but thankfully the predictions were wrong. We had a fantastic time checking out their Orchid exhibit in the conservatory and walking the grounds with Alison in tow. I only get to see my mom about once a month and this was a particularly good visit. I could tell Alison loved seeing all of the beautiful flowers and plants as well as her wonderful Grandma!

She loves to grab faces now :) 3-16-2013

My two favorite ladies 3-16-2013
My world 3-16-2013

Sunday, however, was no walk in the park. Alison was refusing to nap and I was feeling down about my mom's return home. The weather was overcast and added to my sad mood. Alison tried to refuse a nap this morning but I pulled out my secret weapon, the Moby wrap, and she has settled down and is sleeping on my chest now. Hard to believe that my girl will be 6 months old in just two weeks - Where has the time gone?!?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tiny Buttons

Today, Alison has a guest spot on the baby fashion blog, Tiny Buttons. Hop on over to check her (and her friends) out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Week of Firsts

This has been a great week & another one for the record books.

Monday we went to our first ever story time at our local library. The story time for her age group is 9:30 am but we never get to go since that is (usually) smack dab in the middle of Alison's morning nap (ugh). Thanks to the time change,however, she was "off schedule" and not ready to nap until much later so we were able to go. It was so much fun!!! Unfortunately, she adjusted her schedule by Tuesday and the chances of us making next weeks story time is slim. Honestly, I was shocked there were so many "regulars" able to make the 9:30 time. All the baby sleep reading I've done suggests babies around this age form a morning nap beginning around 9 or 10. Beats me! There is another library closer to a friends home that has the same program at 10:30 which would better suit our needs. Hopefully we'll be able to go with them sometime soon ( or just on our own ).

Equally (if not more) groundbreaking, last night was the FIRST time Alison has gone to bed in her crib "tired but awake". A little voice inside my head said to really give it a good shot, which I did, and the pay off was phenomenal. As I've mentioned before, we've had to rock her to sleep and VERY carefully put her in her crib, otherwise there were countless tears. It pulled at our heart strings - we just couldn't let her cry like that. So, instead we followed her lead and gave her what she wanted. It appears there is a change in the air, now at 5 1/2 months old. Slowly, I shifted from rocking her to just holding. From letting her nurse to sleep, to pulling my breast away when she was done but still awake. It took about a week but I finally got her to go to sleep just by holding her, which I had been doing for naps as well as night time sleep. I seriously felt like a rock star. I got her to go to sleep without crying it out (not to say she didn't protest) and at her own will. The benefit was immeasurable - she didn't wake up several times before finally nodding off, which had been her habit since that dreaded regression some 8 weeks ago. She only woke up when her white noise turned off (but we fixed that problem) and gave us a nice 7 hour stretch. I can't remember the last time she did that!

What's more? We just did the same routine just now for a nap. She fought it more than she did last night (My guess is because she's not as sleepy as she is before nighttime sleep), but she still went down awake in her crib. I'm typing this entry now from her rocking chair as I promised her (yes I know.. It's not like she understood the promise, but I'm a mommy of my word) that I wouldn't leave her room as she slept. It's been 30 minutes now and I feel like I can mark this go a success, too. I'm one proud momma!

Also making me incredibly happy is reflecting on my love - I met my fantastic husband in a bar with good friends five years ago this evening. That man is one in a million- the most amazing spouse and the best father I could have hoped for for our Alison. I'll try not to be too mushy - but Shane is seriously the B.E.S.T. :)

My mom is coming down this weekend and I am really looking forward to it. Perhaps ill get to clean some during Alison's afternoon nap. I can dream, right??

Have a great weekend, friends!!
A girl and her Daddy 3-11-13
Big Girl! 3-14-13

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wonderful Weekend

We had a great weekend -how about you?? Spring is definitely around the corner and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.

Saturday we went shopping for some new shoes for Shane, visited with his parents, and I even got to get my haircut and see a dear friend, Rosalee. Sunday our little family packed up the car and went for a walk around the lake at the University of Richmond (where I go to school for teaching, although I've been on a hiatus until this fall), got Mexican food, and spent the rest of the afternoon playing and enjoying the wonderful weather.

Next weekend my mom is coming down to visit and we plan to visit a nearby Botanical Garden, if the weather cooperates. My mom is a horticulturist and so this outing is particularly up her alley.I've lived in Richmond for almost 9 years and have yet to take her. Oops!!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too!!

Alison & her Daddy 3-10-13
Alison & her Mom 3-10-13

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Up All Night

I sure have gotten behind on just about all non-essential tasks. These days I'm focusing on keeping the house somewhat in order, making sure we're all fed, and taking what little me time I get to zone out or nap.

I've been hoping for Alison's sleeping habits to improve but unfortunately they have gotten even worse and I'm depending a little more on some caffeinated assistance because of it. We're putting her down after her bedtime routine around 7pm and she wakes just about every half hour until 9 or 10 pm when she finally sleeps (her longest stretch) she gives us until maybe 1am before she's up 2 or 3 more times. I never thought I could be so tired. I know it was completely ignorant, but I thought we passed the up all the time stage (except for teething) and that we had a great little sleeper. It's been 7 weeks since she slept longer than a 5 hour stretch. It's just a phase. It's just a phase. It's just a phase.

I have a few friends who have suggested we try CIO (cry it out) methods or. Aria tons to get her to sleep longer. It just makes me uncomfortable right now and I truly think she's just too young for that. We don't jump up the second she starts fussing, but Alison has a tendency to go from 0 to 60 in no time,and,man does that girl have a set of pipes. Every few days we try to get her to tolerate longer stretches but progress seems to be inching slower than molasses. I keep telling myself that no too babies are alike and there is just no point to try to compare her habits with another child.

Needless to say this lack of sleep has me a bit cross eyed and when I DO have a moment to post, I can't think of two words to put together. I want to try harder though because these posts have served as a nice reflection on times gone by. Soon, I hope, I will regain some sanity.

What's that, a Yawn?!?! 3-6-13

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Months Old!

Alison is FIVE months old! 
Today I woke up with a five month old. I'll save you the shock and awe of having a child this old BUT I will say she has grown monumentally over the last 28 days.

This month saw her rolling over (back to tummy), becoming mobile (!!!), sleeping in her room overnight(that system still isn't perfect), noticing our dog Rudy, pressing buttons on toys, passing toys between hands with ease, grabbing her feet, and (my favorite) her personality has just been blooming. She is such a happy, sweet, and sassy little girl. She knows what she wants and loves to laugh. I've always loved her (of course) but I am starting to feel that real bond. I thought the bond was strong before but, in reflection, I'm feeling it so much more now.

She's at such a fun age, too. I love watching her discover the world around her and its wonderful that she can entertain herself while I get a few things done around the house. I could leave her for a few minutes (a few feet away) on the play mat before and I knew she had visual stimulation but her ability to interact with her toys gives her such joy now. I love to hear her laugh and sometimes it even makes me smile to hear her get frustrated when a toy doesn't fit in her mouth the way she'd like (does that make me a mean momma? ;) )

The sleep regression we faced is more or less over but our champion sleeper is a memory of the past. In February she went down from 4-5 wakings a night to 1-3. I can't really complain though because she goes right back down after a minute or two, but it's nothing like the sleep she (and we) got before she was 15 weeks old. Naps are more consolidated- instead of 5 40 minute naps she's sleeping 2 MAYBE 3 times a day with times ranging from 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. The sacrifice is she. Is back to napping in the wrap- but as I've read from other moms, if its not a problem for your family it's not a problem. Some moms have said their child slept on them for awhile and once they were ready they stopped. It's difficult to want to stop because the rest she gets on me is SO restful. She wakes up smiling, ready to play and learn. When I was laying her down and she was sleeping those short bursts and waking up cranky and rubbing her eyes within 20 minutes - made for a grumpy baby and momma. I've learned to take it one day at a time and as my wonderful friend Megan reminded me the other day - one day you'll realizing they are no longer doing that thing you worked so hard on and they'll be on to something new. In addition, I find solace that no kid ever went to collage needing to sleep on their mother(maybe Alison will be the first ;)).

As far as her dislikes, she has little interest in sitting up (further affirming our choice to wait on solids) but I have a hunch that will change. She's also not a fan of reading books (shed rather out them in her mouth) so I've had to be creative in that department, reading books while doing tummy time. Lastly, Alison doesn't like when she can't get toys into her mouth. This is especially true when in the Jumparoo - she loves to be in it but all of the attached toys are just within reach to play with but she's not able to pull them I any closer. I've had to attach more toys with plenty of links so that she can explore some textures with her mouth. Other than those things, she's a pretty content little girl!

I can't wait to see what this next month has in store for us. Spring is nearly here and with warmer weather the activity possibilities broaden.