Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Lovely Valentine

Lemon's first Valentine's Day was so much fun.  She got to see her best friend, Livvy, went to a music class at Gymboree (I left school early and surprised her there and got to sing and dance with her), then her grandpa, Sir Greg, came over and brought us a gluten free dinner.  

I am so lucky I got to spend the day with this little lover.  :)

I got them matching pjs!

  My favorite video of these two!  I love when they look at each other!  (Courtesy of Melissa on Vine!)

Got them these cute outfits from Target and I made their bows and leg warmers out of a pair of adult socks from Wal-Mart!  Will post a tutorial soon!

The moms!

Lemon's favorite toy there - the big drum!

We were both starving after Gymboree so she got a bottle while I ate!

My first Valentine!

Family photo courtesy of my Dad.

Thanks to Melissa and Jason for bringing Livvy and Lemon to Gymboree, Elise for watching my class so that I could go, my mom for signing Lemon up and my Dad for bringing us dinner that night.  Such a lovely Valentine's Day with my two valentines!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our Very Busy 7 Month Old

We had a very tired grump on our hands a couple of weeks ago when we took these pics!

I have delayed writing this post (Lemon will be 8 months on March 2nd) because I lost my phone a couple of weeks ago (and then it was picked up and never returned, so stolen) and I am still mad about it.  I can't believe that someone would keep a phone that had a picture case on it of a woman and her newborn baby, and then still keep it after I put a locked message on it that said, "I don't even want this phone and will give it to you for free, I just want the pictures and videos of my 6 month old baby that are on it.  Please call."  I really had faith in humanity there, for a day, until my phone died at a restaurant at 11:30pm and never came back online (with the SIM card in it).  My mom and Ian even went to the restaurant (Oregano's in south Tempe) and called the police, who questioned the two people whose shifts started at 5pm, when the phone "walked" there, but no one turned it in and no one turned it into the manager at the end of the night either.  It was so depressing because I had not backed it up and all that was saved was 30 days of pictures on my photo stream, and it was my brand new iPhone 5 that I had gotten for my birthday in September.  Thank goodness I had just uploaded all of the "good" videos to YouTube but I still lost some, and days of pictures of our baby girl.  So so sad.  People are just unbelievable sometimes.

So, I have pics in this post but it doesn't include them all.  I hope you are following me on Instagram (@allisonpants) so that you can see them in real time because then you haven't missed some cute ones of our little Lemon this month. 
And, the 7 month pictures at the top were actually taken the weekend of February 8th (on our real camera), so that's where I thought I'd cut this post off.  So, everything included here is only up to that Sunday, February 10th, and I am saving the rest for Lemon's 8 month post which is coming faster then I'm ready for!  So, just pretend that I wrote this (and you are reading it) 2 weeks ago!  :)

I think that of all the time between all of my posts over Lemon's whole life, this is the month where Lemon made the most leaps and bounds.  My little baby went from being a baby to being a sort of crawler, mover, shaker and wiggler.  Feeding a 7 month old is beyond impossible; we actually have to sit in a quiet room and Ian has to not say a word or she will want to turn her head to find him (and he likes to either talk or sing all the time).  If she's not interested in eating she is tumbling all over me, climbing around and blabbing about nothing - doing everything but eating.  (Are you on the new app - Vine?  Find me for video of this - allisonpants.)  She truly isn't a baby any more, I look at people holding her and think - man, where did that big girl come from?!

Lemon is so independent, it just seems like she doesn't even need us anymore.  I was recently filling out paperwork for daycare and they asked, "What do you do if your baby doesn't sleep, how do you comfort her?"  I had no idea what to write, we don't comfort her anymore, we just go in and make sure she knows we are there, maybe rub her back a bit, and then leave, that's all the works for us.  Our baby would cry rocking in the rocking chair, before bed, with her daddy, cleaned and fed, so we had no other choice but to just put her to bed and let her cry, she'd cry no matter what!  The fact is, Lemon is a party animal and does not want to sleep, even if she is dead tired.  If we kept her up, out where it's bright and kept playing with her, she'd stay up all night.  We seriously have to do our routine (walk, dinner, bath, boob, bed) and wind her down and keep her in the dark while I feed her before bed, and sometimes I have to hold her tight (like when she used to be swaddled) to help her realize it's bed time.  She would never sleep if we didn't make her and that's her trick, everyone falls for it.  She is a happy girl, never cries during the day (unless she's overtired) and has a TON of energy so everyone that watches her for the first time says to us, "I put her down when I saw her rub her eyes or yawn but then she popped back up after 30-45 minutes - she must have not been tired."  But, in fact, Lemon was over tired because if you wait until she acts tired, it is too late.

How cute is this?!  Her little sleeping, angelic face.

This is what happens when someone gets overtired and gets her second wind.  We call it "crazy baby shirt" because when she starts going nutso, Ian puts her shirt on her head like this.  It is hilarious but once it gets to this point she either crashes or won't sleep, so we try to avoid "crazy baby shirt" time!
Naps are still the toughest, some days we get 30 minutes for both and some days we get a longer morning or longer afternoon one.  The thing that has worked the best, for everyone watching her, is to put her down at 1.5-2 hours, even if she isn't acting tired, and she will usually sleep for awhile.  We do the same at home and it seems that every time we go over that 2 hour mark, that's when we are fighting with her for a longer nap.  It's silly, I know, because then it seems like this baby is running our lives but trust me, we know she is and if we don't let her then we are suffering all night when she's up and fussing because she didn't nap all day.  People often say that to us, "You can't let her dictate your life, she should be on your schedule," but we have a bit of a problem with this - you had a baby, your life is going to sync with theirs and you will have to let them dictate your life, that's what they do.  We don't rush home for naps, don't get me wrong, but I do watch the clock and think how long it has been since her last nap and try to plan for that.  And, after all of these months, we have learned that sometimes it's easier to go by her schedule because then everyone sleeps.  She is only 7 months old, we will have plenty of time to drag her around from place to place and keep her up, or encourage her to nap somewhere else, but right now - she is still just a baby and should be comfy when she can be.  We also don't have a baby that just sleeps while we are out or somewhere other than home, like I said, she likes to party and if it's bright and there are people around, she wants to be up and talking to them.

Speaking of liking to party, our girl is no longer cuddly.  Whoever said babies were cuddly was a liar, I don't really remember Lemon ever being cuddly, but she definitely isn't cuddly now.  My favorite part of the day is our nightly family walks, because she is stuck to me in the ergo and can't escape so has no other choice but to snuggle.  I also love our nightly feedings, before bed, because it is just the two of us, in a quiet, dark room, kind of snuggling (if I hold her tight) and then falling asleep.  I also love the middle of the night feed (yes, we are still getting up once a night) because the whole house is quiet and it is just me and my girl, loving each other.  I know she's not hungry in the middle of the night, I know it, she wakes up to cuddle with her mama, and I love every minute of it.

This baby has really gotten the hang of eating this past month too and we've moved from pureed food to chunks and she is loving it.  At first she couldn't really figure out how to get the chunks from the front of her mouth to the back of her tongue and then to swallow them but now she does it and hardly dribbles anything out.  She is also working on her pinching fingers and is getting better about feeding herself.  That moment when she grabs a handful of food and most of it makes it into her mouth?  Priceless.  It's amazing how in just a few short weeks they learn SO much.  Some foods that she likes?  Pears, sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, many flavors of gluten free puffs, strawberries, black beans and she really isn't a fan of oatmeal or applesauce with me but my mom says she eats it with her.  Her most favorite thing?  Oranges!  We hand her a slice and she gums and sucks them down to the peel, with juice dribbling all over her face.  She loved pureed green beans that I gave her so I tried double steaming some and cutting them up and giving them to her and I think she liked them but they still may have been too tough to eat.  Although, since the cooked carrot experiment at 5 months, she hasn't choked on anything so that's good.  Ian is still scared of her eating real food and it makes him nervous all the time but it has been so much fun sitting down and eating dinner together.  We give her a bit of water while she eats to wash it all down and I've tried some organic vegetable/fruit juice too but she really isn't a fan of either at this point.  We bought some sippy cups (I think they are Tommee Tippee brand) with a silicone spout (kind of resembling a bottle) and handles and she loves throwing them around and playing with them while she eats.

Puff leg!

Banana boobie!

We have also gotten more in the swing of things with who is watching her on which days and that is nice.  She has gotten used to day care but still has only gone twice a week at the most so we are trying to figure out a schedule for March - May so that we don't have to pay the $550 (for 3x a week) and can just have my mom and Melissa split watching her.  I think they are on board and we seem to have a schedule I just hope no one gets overwhelmed because once we leave the infant room at the daycare place, Lemon loses her spot.  But, Christine has offered to fill in and a former student of mine (from like 11 years ago, eek!) has offered to help so it should be ok.  It is just so silly to keep paying for all those days when she isn't using them but once or twice a week, and I wish we could pay by the day but we really like the place and like that it's part of the school district.  Ugh.  But Lemon and Livvy are besties (whether they know it now or not) and Lemon seems to love being at Melissa's and playing with Livvy.  And of course Lemon loves being at home with her Nani, there's nothing better!

We send her 3 different places each week so I had to buy a whiteboard calendar for the front door so I could keep them all straight.  I also have different totes for different places because we have to send her cloth diapers, milk, coconut oil, sound machine and clothes with her so it gets crazy.  After Lemon goes to bed at night we pack up all of her stuff, it is truly exhausting.  The days my mom keeps her at our house I LOVE, because I know we will actually be on time to school and we can relax the night before!  Different places have different bags and I've started to get multiples of things, like wet bags, so that I don't have to keep shuffling things from bag to bag.  Now we know that the green bag is Melissa's, the tan is daycare, the purple is the diaper bag if someone is picking her up from daycare to take her somewhere fun and then the rest in this picture are our school bags, including my pump.  So many bags, seriously!

And waking up the muffin to take her?  It sucks!  Some mornings she is up but some mornings she's not and waking her up is just so sad, I hate it.

Melissa tells me to send clothes so that Lemon and Livvy can match on the days she has her.  It is the CUTEST thing and these pics are courtesy of Melissa.

Melissa and I even went in on a double stroller for the girls that she found on Craigslist.  She and Jason, her boyfriend, took the girls to the aquarium one day and they loved it.

And Lemon is getting more and more used to the ladies and babies at daycare.  She doesn't seem to mind being there and is sleeping better while she's there.  They even do little crafts with the babies!

Our little fish is getting so good at swimming it's unbelievable!  There are times when I hold her and let her go a bit and she swims on her own, for reals!  She even prepares to plop in the water either by catching her breath or closing her eyes, it's amazing.  Ian and I take turns swimming with her on Saturday mornings for swim lessons and it is super fun, I wish I could go in every time but I know her daddy has to have a chance too!  And she absolutely loves it.  Sometimes the other babies cry but never Lemon, she has only gotten fussy once when she was tired but that was it, she really adores the water.  I can't wait until we are home with her this summer and can take her swimming every day, it will be so much fun!

Dressing a little girl is what I've always dreamed of.  If you know me you'd think that I don't really dress up a lot but when I'm at school I do and it's my favorite.  Finding cute outfits to wear, matching accessories and doing my hair (usually as big as I can get it) are some of the things I love about being a girl and now I can do the same with my little mini me.  Almost every other week a package shows up at our door full of cute (discounted, always) stuff for Lemon - usually in yellow, white or an actual lemon pattern (she really does fit her name and looks the best in those colors!).  I have been making bows for her headbands to match her outfits and even started making legwarmers (maybe I should post a tutorial on those too) out of adult sized socks to wear with leggings.  And did I mention baby belts?  I die!  I took some little girl belts, cut the end off and Ian put more holes in them so that Lemon could wear a tiny belt because sometimes your outfit just calls for one!  It is the cutest thing and she rocks all of her accessories.  I can't wait to get her ears pierced, maybe for her birthday, so that she can accessorize even more!  Shoes are a whole other ballgame (we have some but her little, fat feet don't fit them very well) but I can't wait for those too!  And hair?!  I totally can't wait for hair to clip so many cute bows in!  Although as time flies by I try to not say, "I can't wait for this," because then I miss what is happening now, and being in the present is oh so important, especially with a babe who is growing so fast. 

Our girl is up on all fours getting so ready to crawl but just can't figure out how to move her hands and knees to get anywhere.  She succeeds in rolling everywhere and down dog up on her tip toes is her favorite move (in her crib before bed too) but can't control where she goes just yet.  She doesn't seem to get frustrated though, like I've heard some babies do, because she is content with just sitting and playing or laughing with us - she loves people and loves her family most of all.  Her favorite move is to go from laying on her stomach, which is how I put her to bed, and then pushing up to sitting and then going back down on her stomach (maybe).  We often look at the monitor and see the back of her big head in it, just sitting up and crying.  She recently figured out how to lay back down but for a couple of days there I'd have to go and lay her back down.  She hasn't tried to stand up in her crib yet, thank goodness, but I'm sure there will be a couple of days where she'll stand and not be able to get back down either.  I am not ready for that!

How am I?  I am feeling more like a mom and things are getting a bit easier although I am more exhausted now just because this little jelly bean just wears me out with her constant moving!  If you think about it, 7 months isn't really that long so it has kind of taken me until now to really feel like I am someone's mother, it's the strangest thing.  (Have you read this post?  This is how I feel my journey into motherhood has been - an amazing post.)  I am 34 and Ian and I were together for a long time before we had Lemon, so it has been an adjustment on many levels but nothing I would trade for anything else.  I think we just have to be honest sometimes and say that it is tough adjusting to your new life as a mom and we should share this sentiment more often because then so many of us wouldn't feel like we were alone in this very new, very different journey.  I love being a mom, am so lucky I get to be a mom, thank God (or the many in the sky) every day that I am a mom to such a wonderful little girl, but it is all new to me and at times it has been tough.  (Just read the post, seriously so good.)  But, it is getting easier and we have a routine down and leaving her isn't as tough as it used to be because I know she is in good hands and I know summer is just around the corner.  We are so lucky to have such an entertaining, happy and healthy girl - she just constantly keeps us on our toes!  I am getting more sleep, thank goodness, am finding it easier to pack her up each week to take her places and teaching is awesome and as much as I miss her I love my job too.  Life is feeling more normal again and Lemon is definitely feeling more like a permanent part, she felt semi-permanent there for awhile, an unbelievable entity just always around.  ;)

I try to hang on to who Lemon is right now - a super funny baby who wants to be up and with people, who loves exploring, who likes doing "mommy gymnastics," who laughs out loud and yells for no reason, who still needs her mommy when she bumps, is "over it" or when she's tired and who lights up whenever her daddy enters the room.  But, it's tough, because it goes by so fast it seems like every day is something new.  One week she will fall asleep in my arms, all week, and then won't wake up when I plop her in her crib but then the next week she will be awake, rolling around when I put her in and it will take an hour to finally get her to go to sleep.  Every day is something new and every time I look at her it's like I see a different baby, it's hard to stay be in the moment.  Being away all day doesn't help either because I can't dress her in all of her cute stuff before she grows out of it, can't snuggle her enough because I only see her about 2.5 hours a day and it just keeps flying by - time.  Time, time, time - my little girl will be walking before we know it and I really and truly can't believe it.

 My mom treated me to a much needed pedicure this month!  I almost fell asleep!

Every Saturday we meet our friends Ann, Ben and Ellie at a bar we can walk to, after they go to the zoo, so that Ellie and Lemon can see each other (Ellie is only 3 weeks younger and Ann and I were pregnant together).  Here is Ian holding Ellie and Ben holding Lemon (who wasn't happy, she just doesn't like guys, only gals!).

Lemon pjs!

Nani likes to put Lemon in funny spots when she watches her - baby in a basket!

Weekend snuggles are my favorite!

One weekend Lemon didn't nap after swimming, something that usually always wears her out, so we took her to Shake, Rattle and Roll at the library to tire her out and it worked!  And she LOVES it.  All they do it play music and sing songs but she screams and yells the whole time, it is hilarious!  Every Saturday we have swimming at 8:30 and this starts at 11:30 so we hardly ever make it to this, but I wish we could!

Do you ever want your baby not to eat strange things that could have the flu on them?  Put her pacifier in and then she can't stick them in her mouth but still can play with them!

And she's . . . out!

Bath time with daddy is still Ian's favorite time.  (Don't worry, she's not really drinking it.)

Static hair after a walk wearing a hat!

After the aquarium I met the girls at lunch, Lemon was so happy to see me, and eat my clicker apparently.

We try to see Sir Greg every weekend so Lemon gets to see him, she loves it!

Nightly walks, my fav.  Ian gave me his bandana because my ears were cold.


Best friends! 

Swinging at the park with her Nani.

 At 2nd Friday in Mesa with my Dad.

What?!  Cutest rolls ever!! 

Happy 7 months to our little muffin, we couldn't love you more.  You crack us up every day and are the highlight of my day when I get to pick you up from wherever you are.  I keep working and working knowing that as of May 24th we will have months off with you, that's what keeps me going!  Little Lemon, you are my most favorite thing.