Archive for June, 2014

Milestone Tuesday: 57

Small steps towards big things this week.

She’s getting frustrated at her inability to communicate. The other night during dinner she kept putting her hand on top of her head, but I could not for the life of me figure out what it was supposed to mean. I eventually decided it must mean “more” because every time she would pick up a frozen pea and eat it, then look at me and grunt and put her hand on her head. She did it 4 or 5 times. Eventually I got her some more peas (there weren’t a lot on her tray) and she stopped doing it. Whether she was distracted by new peas or I was able to get her what she wanted, it’s hard to say.

She’s been nursing a whole bunch in the evenings before bed, to the point where I have been supplementing with some frozen milk. Sometimes she won’t want the bottle but I’ve clearly got no milk left for her, and those nights involve some frustration for both of us! I asked them to start giving her more milk at school and that seems to have helped. By 18 months she should be getting (approximately, of course) about half her calories from milk and half from solids. Increasing milk intake at school from 6-8oz to 8-10oz has helped considerably.

Tonight I tried something new and offered dinner before her home-from-school snuggle session. Bedtime was pretty fast and easy, so I might start trying solids before nursing more regularly.

Separate sleeping is also going pretty well. Some nights are better than others, but on average she’s sleeping for about 3-4 hours between wakings, and going back down very easily (within 15-20 minutes). I’ve found that I’m sleeping much less, partly because now I’m waking up a couple times a night and partly (okay, mostly) because I’m staying up later than her and getting up earlier, whereas before I was tied to sleeping on her schedule. In the mornings, this means a lot more sleep for her because I can get ready while she’s still in the crib. Not sure if it’s related but her naps are lasting about 60-90 minutes¬†instead of 45-60. It makes everyone happier. Oh! And weekend naptimes are SO PRODUCTIVE now. This coming weekend, Papa T. is going to start trying to put her down for second nap.

That’s all I can think of :(.

Milestone Tuesday: 56 weeks

Okay, so I keep missing Milestone Monday, and I only chose it for its alliterative properties. Since J was born on a Tuesday, that means I’m always a day shy of the next week. So I missed it, so I’ve decided to start writing updates on Tuesdays, which are the day she was born anyway. So here we are at 56 weeks, which would have been 55 weeks yesterday. Whee!

– She’s started trying to use objects the way they were intended. She will hold a phone up to her face and say, “Hi!” She will hold a sock up to her foot and look at me as if to say, “like this, mom?” She will try to put hats on her head and my sunglasses on her face.

– Her cousins came to town for a few days. J was a big fan. I think it was Jim Gaffigan that said cousins are like celebrities for kids. All the cousins seemed to like each other. We took J to the Thinkery, to the nearby city pool, and to a couple restaurants. It took 4 days of screwed up nap/sleep/eating/nursing schedules before J started to get too fussy

– She fell asleep in the car without screaming! That’s an awesome first.

– I think it’s because of the biggest change: We’ve stopped cosleeping. It’s been hard on me in some ways, easy in others. She’s not waking up more at night, but I sure am. Last night, I only got 2 hours of sleep. So we still have to work that out, but she’s doing pretty well in the crib. She is waking up about 2-4 times a night, usually only for about 10-15 minutes except for one big one that lasts about 30-50 minutes. Otherwise she’s sleeping from 7:30-8pm until 6-8am. It’s a little unclear, since I started this a week ago today but her schedule started getting weird from the cousins’ visit on Thursday.

Milestone Monday: 54 weeks

Well, it didn’t so much work to stop doing “milestone” posts and just doing regular posts. Although last Monday was particularly rough. J was going through a very difficult phase of not sleeping, and I wasn’t getting any sleep or time to myself. I was overwhelmed and had no time in the evening to post. I actually ended up taking her to the doctor because the daycare was concerned about how fussy she was being.

Anyway! This week is going much better. She magically stopped being fussy and hard to put to bed just as suddenly as she started.

Recent things:

– She hugged Fee! He wasn’t very happy about it but she was very gentle (and VERY excited) about it

– Attempting to put on socks. She will take a sock and hold it on to her foot. She hasn’t figured out how to put her foot inside the sock, but she definitely knows where it goes.

– Signing is getting clearer.. “more” looks more like itself and “all done” is definitely getting clearer. I think she wants to know way more signs than I know because she will point to things in her book and then look at me and seem frustrated with me saying the word. I feel the urge to sign it for her too. Every time she sees milk in one of her books she signs it to me.

– Walking backwards. Happening early!

– Turning lights on and off. If you hold her up to a light switch, she’ll turn it off and on! It’s a small thing, I know. But exciting for me. It’s amazing to me that you only need to show her something like that, a simple digital manipulation task, a few times and then she’s got it figured out! I think I turned the light on and off twice before she reached out and did it.

– Using utensils. She can frequently get food from a spoon to her mouth, and has the idea of dipping the spoon into food. She gets really excited for forks and always wants to play with mine. The other night we had sushi (she had a california roll) and she was fascinated by my chopsticks. She kept picking up a piece of rice and trying to stick it to the end of the chopstick, then putting the chopstick in her mouth. She will also consolidate foods on to a plate, if you give her a plate and a bunch of food next to it.

– Disappearing baby! She’s gotten good enough at moving that this has happened once to me and once to F: We have looked away for a second and she has disappeared! In my case, she had wandered from the dining room into the kitchen. Poor F looked away for about 10 seconds and then couldn’t find her anywhere… she had made it all the way to the master bathroom!

Napping in my arms

Her lashes, grown long and full, flutter against her cheeks. Her smile has relaxed into crinkled lips. Her hand is limp on her lovey’s edge, where not long ago she held it tightly in her pudgy fist and rubbed the soft cloth across her cheek. Her hands still smell like this morning’s cheerios. Her breathing is even, soft and sweet and milky. I brush the curl of hair resting on her forehead off to one side. She has the softest hair I’ve ever felt.

These moments are coming to an end, too soon too soon. It’s time to start moving her out of my arms, gently but steadily. Our afternoon naps will soon be in separate beds. Our nights connected by electronics rather than the warm, soft touch of my hand resting on her leg.

In my head, in my heart, I knew that the drops of blood that spilled as I cut the cord with her were symbolic of a lifetime of growing further apart. From that point on, we would be like taffy stretching, always recalling when we were a single being but growing further and further away. Some day, she would be able to walk away from me, tottering off to her own adventures (that day is already here). Some day, I will offer to nurse and she will say, “no thanks.” Some day I will send her off to camp and she will forget her sunscreen and bug spray and come home scraped, burned, bitten, and full of excited stories of all the cool things she did without me. Some day, she will move out and there will be entire days, weeks, where I don’t hear from her.

I have always tried to cherish the time I spend with her, even when it’s hard. When she was just a few days old I would walk outside in the middle of the night, singing endlessly and tunelessly to this screaming, exhausted, helpless being. Despite my own exhaustion and pain, I assured her that I would love her through every moment, that some day I would look back and miss those nights. And it’s true. I miss them. She is growing more independent by the day. And it’s time for the taffy to pull a little tauter. It’s time for me to give up watching her open her sleepy eyes, smile up at me, and give me her sweet, “hi” before settling back into sleep. It’s time to night wean, sleep train, move her into her own bed.

I will miss this. I am grateful that my husband and family and daughter have given me the emotional space to do this the way it felt most right in my heart. So I lean down, kiss her sweaty brow, whisper that I love her. I will hold the memories of my sleeping infant daughter as tightly, lovingly, and protectively as I now hold her.

And, because it’s best for her, I’ll let go a little bit more and feel my love stretch a little further, like taffy.