Monday, January 16, 2017

Twelve Months!

Goodness! Britta is turning 18 months tomorrow, and I'm realizing I never posted her 12 month post. Poor second child. :-( To be sure that I have record of her first year, I'm posting it, despite its EXTREME tardiness.

Britta Alice,
You are 12 months! A whole year. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...this has been, without a doubt, the fastest year of my life. I can't believe it. We had another great month to wrap up your first year, and love you more than ever (though I didn't think it was possible).

You teethed...big time...
We knew for a while that you were working on some teeth. You had had your bottom teeth for a while, and we knew you were due for some top ones. And then came the crankiness, and sleeplessness (worse than usual)...sure signs of teeth.

And then early in July, when we were at Lake Harriet taking in a concert, I was bouncing you on my lap and tipping you backwards (which you love). As you were laughing/shrieking, I saw your that your top gums were super swollen, and discovered that you were working on all 4 (!!!!) of your top teeth! Youch!  I could actually see all four teeth trying to poke through. Poor girl! No wonder you were crabby!

Around mid-month, the first one popped through. We lovingly refer to it as your "snaggle tooth," since it is not the middle one, but the one to the side (your right side). It looks a little silly now, but I'm sure the other ones will follow soon.

You started walking (with support)!
As I said last month, one of your big milestones was learning to pull to stand. You worked hard to improve your confidence, and got steadier by the day.

I knew you were capable of a lot more in terms of movement. Since birth you have been big, sturdy, and just needed to gain some practice and confidence. At the beginning of July, I encouraged you to try walking behind push toys. And sure enough, after a couple tries, there you went! True to form, you took off like a pro.

You still aren't walking on your own, but I'm sure you will be in a month or so. For now, you are very proud of how you can walk with the help of your push toys. It's so fun to watch you explore the world in new ways! Once you learn to walk on your own, there REALLY will be no stopping you. Watch out world!

You vacationed in Duluth...
This month daddy and I decided that we needed a little bit of a getaway. Magna was closed for a few days near the end of June, and we decided that was the perfect opportunity!

We headed up to Duluth for a long weekend to enjoy some time away just the four of us. We lucked out in terms of the weather - it was perfect for the majority of our time up there. It was just gorgeous!

The highlight of your trip was DEFINITELY exploring the rock beaches. I think you would have stayed there all day. Seriously. We had to keep a very close eye on you wanted to try to eat the rocks.

The only downside of the trip was that we had a poolside room in the hotel and there was a girl's soccer tournament in town. It was SO loud, and really disrupted your sleep the whole weekend. You handled it like a champ though...sleeping when you could, and keeping a pretty good attitude. We had a really fun weekend.

Up next is your first flight later this month! We can't wait!

We celebrated your 1st birthday!
We had a fun day celebrating your birthday! We spent the morning at the zoo - we rode the carousel, watched the bird show, and enjoyed the beautiful day.

After your nap, we had a star-themed party for you at Grandma and Grandpa's house. You were surrounded with lots of family and friends to celebrate. We were so thankful for the weather - we stayed outside the whole time.

You loved your cake. It took a little bit for you to get into it, but once you on!

It was a great day to celebrate a year of Britta Alice!

You've grown and changed a lot too...
You had a well baby check with Dr. Khan the week you turned 1. Per usual, you are doing great - growing and developing just as you should! You weighed in at 25 pounds, 10 ounces (98th percentile) and 31" long (96th percentile). You are continuing your trend of being big and strong!

Not many 12 month clothes are fitting anymore. You mostly wear a mix of 18 month and 24 month/2T clothes. The 24 month/2T stuff is still a little big, but it tends to be more seasonally appropriate. You haven't really been wearing shoes, but as you are starting to get more mobile, I'm thinking we should get some good shoes for you!

You're still in size 4 for diapers. They're fitting pretty good, so no switch it sight at this point.

For the most part you are still jolly and easy-going. As I said last month, your limitations are probably what frustrate you the most. I have a feeling that this is going to continue for a while. You are a determined little girl, who knows what she wants - and can get a bit frustrated.

Linnea continues to be enjoy being able to play with you more and more - and you love it too. Watching your friendship develop and grow is a HUGE joy to watch. I really hope you two stay friends forever.

You continue to love to eat! You are trying more and more foods, and will eat most anything! You have continued the bottle boycott. Some days you'll take it, and some days you just aren't having it! After last month I got a little nervous. I didn't remember Linnea doing anything like that. I looked back at my notes from when she was your age, and sure enough...she did! That made me feel a lot better. That, and that you are, as I said last month, obviously still healthy, happy, and growing. We're still working on the sippy cup (it's going better, but not super great). I'm thinking the bottle will be ditched completely very soon.

Bedtime is about the same - get ready for bed shortly after 7, down around 7:30/7:45 (after eating). You're still pretty flexible if needed, which is nice/

Sleep is still difficult. As I've said before, there's just no rhyme or reason to it. I try to pay attention to if there's anything that leads to harder sleep, and I'm not finding a connection. So I just ride it out - I try to have you "cry it out" a bit, but it doesn't seem to work for you. That, and I don't want you to wake your sister. Teething has definitely seemed to make it worse, which I guess I understand. So it's a work in progress. I remind myself that you will sleep through the night some day, and enjoy the snuggles.

You are pretty much always just napping once/day (unless you are at Grandma and Grandpa's or are REALLY tired). You can tend to get a little crabby around 10:00/10:30...but most days we can sort of push through it. You're still napping well in the afternoon (1:00-3:15/3:30).

I can't believe you are 1! It's been an amazing year watching you become your own little person. You have brought us more joy than we could ever have imagined. We look forward to experiencing even more with you in the year to come!

Mama (and Daddy and Linnea)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Eleven Months!

Now that Britta is just days shy from turning one (!!!), we are long overdue for her 11 month post. She turned 11 months on June 17th. Not as significant of a developmental month, but a great one nonetheless...

My Sweet Britta Alice,
How is it possible that you are nearly one?! This has seriously been the fastest year of my life. It's really incredible. Every day you are becoming more and more of a big girl/toddler and less and less baby. This month was mostly a month of building on your "big girl" skills. You've done great!

You learned how to pull to stand...and got a major ouchie!
You were close last month (pulling up to your knees), but this month you learned about to pulling to standing. Big girl!

Unfortunately, this new skill did not come without issue. At the end of May I got the dreaded midday call from daycare (oh man, does that immediately get my heart racing!). Magna shared the exciting news that you had been pulling yourself on one of her play tables...but after doing so one time you fell hard and bit your tongue. REALLY bad. Poor girl! Magna said it bled quite a bit, and wanted to give you some tylenol since she could tell it was bothering you.

It opened a up a couple more times that week when you ate anything really hard or textured. Each time it bled a little, but not as bad.

The sore itself stuck around for a LONG time...a couple weeks. It looked really painful...worse than any tongue bite I've ever given myself. Thankfully, past those first couple days it didn't seem to bother you too much. And the incident certainly didn't stop you from continuing to pull yourself up!

You became an absolute PRO at crawling...
Like I said last month, you learned to crawl right as turned 10 months. True to form, once you got it, you got it! (That's how you've always take a bit to get something, but then you're off and running - or in this case, crawling!).

More than ever you are in to EVERYTHING. You are getting FAST. You delight in pulling all the books of the shelves, crawling on to Luther's bed, and bee-lining for Linnea's room and the bathroom. Silly girl!

We still walking is a few months off for you. You still have a lot of confidence to gain in terms of supporting yourself, and standing up on your own. But for now you are really enjoying your new found freedom.

You are LOVING finger food!
Like I said last month, what a difference from a few months ago! We went for a couple months thinking we were never going to get you to eat food. And now, just a few months later, you are eating anything and everything! More and more we are just giving you what we are eating (or some sort of variation of it), and you love it.

We are still doing purees, especially if we're out and about and in a pinch, but you are showing less interest in them. You just want regular food! Some favorites recently: fish, mashed potatoes, chicken, pasta (especially ravioli), and avocado. More on this later, but more finger food means WAY less milk.

You learned to dance...
Don't get me wrong, you wiggled and boogied a bit before this. But this month you learned how to dance on command. It is quite the delight to your sister (and to me too, if I'm being honest). You genuinely seem to like to listen to music and move your body to the beat.

When you dance, you bob your head up and down, clap your hands, and wave your arms. Linnea loves to say, "Please dance!" to get you to dance. Love my little boogie baby!

You've grown and changed a lot too...
We still haven't had you weighed since your 9 month check. I can definitely tell your growth has leveled off. You are still growing (of course) by much slower than the last few months. You seem to be growing taller...stretching out. I'm really not quite sure what to expect for your weigh when we bring you for your 12 month appointment. Maybe 25 or 26 pounds? We'll have to see!

You're still wearing 12 and 18 month clothes, although fewer 12 months clothes this month (partly due to size, partly due to season - though some of Linnea's old clothes are still fitting you. I've actually started pulling out some 24 month and 2T clothes. Although sometimes a little big still, they often fit better than the 18 month stuff. It's nice because for the most part, those clothes are seasonally appropriate (Linnea wore them the Spring/Summer before she turned two). It's fun to pull some old favorites out of storage and see them on another cutie!

You're still in size 4 for diapers. They're fitting pretty good, so no switch it sight at this point.

You continue to be our jolly, sweet baby. Now that you are bigger (less fragile) Linnea is more and more rough with you. We try to remind her to be gentle with you, but you are good about taking it and holding your own. You love the attention from her!

Not much upsets you, though as you get bigger and have more freedom, your limitations get you frustrated.

Like I said earlier, you have really taken to finger food, which continues to create a dramatic drop in your milk intake. It picked up after last month for a bit, but then really took a nose dive. You've had some days at Magna's that you've basically had a bottle boycott. Again, it alarms me a little bit, but I know that it's all really normal. You're obviously still healthy, happy, and growing, and that's what's most important.

We're still giving the sippy cup a try, but you're not too interested. Magna's reported better success at her house, but still not great. We'll keep trying...

Bedtime is about the same. Most nights we start to get ready for bed a bit after 7:00. I feed you, and then you're down around 7:45 or 8:00. You have continued to show flexibility around bedtime if we're out doing something in the evening, which is much appreciated.

You had a GLORIOUS stretch of several nights in a row that you slept through the night! It was awesome! Silly me, thinking it would last. It didn't. It's frustrating because there's no rhyme or reason to what gets to you sleep through the night (i.e. it doesn't matter when we put you down, how well you eat before hand, etc.). I enjoyed the nights you slept through, but I'm happy (relatively speaking) to get with you in the middle of the night.

This month you pretty much dropped your morning nap entirely. It got down to 20-30 minutes. Magna said it always took you a bit to fall asleep, so she gave it a try without, and you did well. You still take a morning nap on Fridays with Grandma and Grandpa, and occasionally on the weekends (just as needed). You take a good nap in the afternoon...usually 1:00-3:15 or 3:30 or so. This is generally shorter on the weekends, but it never seems to impact you too much. On my birthday you showed great flexibility - we were gone for the day, and you managed well with car naps, and little snoozes in the baby carrier. Awesome! This will serve us well when we go to Seattle, I think.

You are simply awesome, Britta. You bring so much joy to our family. You are sweet, silly, kind, and curious. We all adore you beyond what I could ever express.

We love you SO much!
Mama (and Daddy and Linnea)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ten Months!

Yup. Still behind. But such is life when you are a working mama with two littles.

Britta turned 10 months (10?!!) on May 17th. It was a HUGE month developmentally. WOW!

Britta Boo,
10 months. 10. Double digits. Wow. I can't even believe it. Just a couple months months and we'll have a one-year-old. It's hard to believe. You had a HUGE month developmentally this month, and it was so much fun to have a front row seat. You are had such a fun age - so much change and learning happening every day. Here's a peek at what you were up to...

You learned how to wave!
I think waving is one of my favorite baby skills, because it is so darn cute. This one kind of crept up on us at the end of April/beginning of May. You started raising your hand, and reaching out (almost like a slow high five). I didn't think much of it, but all of a sudden you were waving!

We discovered it by surprise. Linnea and I were playing/talking with you one night and were waving, saying hi, and generally being a bit silly with you - and you shocked us by waving back! I thought it might be a fluke, so I tested you a couple more times - and you waved again...and again! So sweet!

I had you and Linnea at Target together once this month and we were like our own little parade - Linnea was waving to you to get you to wave, and you were waving to...well...everyone and every thing! Way. Too. Cute!

Your waves are usually accompanied but one of your giant smiles, which makes it even better! Such a sweet girl!

You are sitting up on your own...
Magna saw you do this before we did. She said the first time you did it, she didn't even see you, you were so fast. One minute you were on the ground, and the next you were sitting up like a big girl!

It was spotty at first - just here and there, and not done without a little bit of work. But now you're getting faster and faster, and are doing it all the time. You love your new found freedom!

In addition to getting yourself to sitting up by yourself, you are pulling yourself up. You're not quite pulling to stand, but pulling to your knees at the very least. You are so proud of yourself (I am too!)

You started crawling!!
This month you did it! After being so certain that crawling was just around the corner for weeks, you finally got it right as you turned 10 months.

It started with just a couple clumsy strides forward, but within days you were crawling all the way across the living room floor!

Don't think you did it with a little drama. Linnea and I stacked a cup tower for you to crawl to. You made it there - eventually, but had to stop every few strides to sit and fuss. So dramatic.

I'm sure now that you are on the move you will keep us even more on our toes!

You've grown and changed a lot too...
The last time you were weighed was at your 9 month well baby check. You aren't due back to the doctor's until you turn 1! I'm guessing you weigh around 24 pounds, though I can tell your growth is really slowing down. Though others may not be able to tell, Daddy and I can see how you are slimming down - you are losing some of your baby chubbiness.

You are wearing 12 and 18 month clothes. Anything smaller tends to be too small. I'm putting away most of the 9 month clothes. As the weather is getting nicer you are able to wear some of the summer clothes that Linnea wore when she was a baby. We're also buying new stuff for you, which is fun. It's fun to see you in warmer weather clothes, after the long fall and winter season.

You are wearing size 4 diapers. They seem to be fitting pretty well. There was a short time where I wondered if we would need to bump up to 5s because of how they were fitting down your tummy. But I think as you've slimmed down a little bit, it's been enough to keep your diapers fitting okay.

Man, I say it every month, but you are such a sweet, happy, and content little girl, sweet Britta! There is not a lot that gets you too upset. You don't love being changed (or really slowed down at all). You still don't like having your nose or face wiped, but you're actually getting better with it. You don't like being too tired or hungry (though who does?).

Now that you are moving around more, you love getting into anything and everything you should! Somehow, even before you started crawling, you managed to scoot yourself over to shelves, cabinets, lamps, power cords, you name it! Stinker! It's hard to be too mad at you, since you are so proud of yourself, but man, you are keeping us on our toes already, Britta!

As expected, your eating has really started to shift. Your bottle intake is REALLY up and down. Some days you take your bottle like usual, and some days Magna reports only being able to get you to take an ounce or two. At first it made me panic a little, feeling like it was early to have such a shift. I looked back on my notes from when Linnea was a baby, and sure enough, same thing! Grandma always says eating is one of those things you just can't make babies do. All we can do is to continue to offer it, and trust that you will eat/drink when you are hungry/thirsty.

One thing that's contributed to your milk intake changing is your increase in solid foods - particularly finger food. You are loving the ability to feed yourself. You love puffs, toast, little pieces of fruits and veggies (especially banana and peas). We laugh, thinking back just a couple months ago when we thought we'd never be able to get you to eat solids. Wow, that's changed! It's fun to be able to introduce you to new flavors and textures. Your hand-eye coordination could use a little work -as a lot of the food ends up in your lap rather than your mouth, but I know you'll get there. We're also starting to introduce a sippy cup at mealtime. We fill it with water, though you mostly bang the cup rather than drink anything. Again, you'll get there.

Your bedtime is about the same - maybe a bit later. With our busy evenings, it can be hard to get everything done and get you down for bed, but you do just fine which we are thankful for. We start to get ready for bed around 7:15 or so, and you're typically down by 7:45 or 8:00. Admittedly, I take advantage of our nursing time to sneak in some Britta snuggles. I love playing with your hair (so do you while you eat!) and stroking your face, legs, arms, and back. It's a blessing to have those quiet moments just the two of us.

You're still up at least once a night. As I said before, I've mostly stopped trying to figure it out. There's not much consistency in terms of when or how often you're up. I do try to let you "cry it out" a bit when you are up in the middle of the night, but usually that just results in you getting more crabby. You always eat and eat well when you're up. I trust that "this too shall pass." And until then, I try to enjoy the middle of the night snuggles with you.

Your morning nap continues to shorten. It's down to about 40 or 45 minutes (though Magna does wake you typically). Sometimes on the weekend you go without (not intentionally really, but because it doesn't fit in with the activities of the day and you do just fine). I remember being nervous about naps when you were born - just how we'd make it work. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I appreciate your flexibility! You've made it a lot easier than expected to have a morning nap back in the mix of our schedule.

What a big month you've had! It's been so fun to watch you gain some new independence and skills. You are still a sweet, happy little girl. You bring daily joy to our lives and we love you so much!

Love you as big as the sky,
Mama (and Daddy and Linnea)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Nine Months!

I've officially been "lapped." But seriously...each month goes faster than the last. Britta turned 9 months on April 17th. We had another great month!

Sweet Britta,
How is it that you are already 9 months old? Each month goes faster and faster, and you just get more and more fun - and more and more sweet! Perhaps it's a bit cliche, but we can't imagine our life without you! You've had a great month!

You got the hang of eating solids!
As I said last month, you FINALLY started to eat solid food right as you turned 8 months. This month, you really took to it!

You still eat best for Magna - I think partially because by dinner time you are just tired and wanting your milk and bed - but you are doing great all the way around. After a bit of trial and error, we discovered that you are a bit particular with the texture and temperature of your food. I guess this shouldn't surprise me, since you are pretty picky with the temperature of your bottles.

We tried making our own baby food for you (which is what we did for Linnea), and you just weren't taking it well. Magna consistently said you were doing great for her, so we decided to give store bought a try. Sure enough, success! In addition to the food being store bought (read: really, really smooth texture), you like it heated up just a bit. Initially we mixed in a little breast milk with it to thin it out a bit, but as the month went on that became less necessary. Your food at Magna's is usually a puree with rice or oatmeal mixed with a little milk.

You've tried quite a few different foods in the last month. Some favorites are: bananas, berries and oats, carrots, and apples and chicken.

We think you're ready for some finger foods, so we'll start adding those soon as well.

You celebrated your first Easter
At the end of March, you celebrated your first Easter. We had a great weekend! On Saturday we ventured out to an Easter egg hunt in Excelsior. While you didn't really participate (more just along for the ride), I think you still had fun watching all the kids and activity.

On Easter Sunday we headed to church for a quick breakfast before the service. While it was a little exhausting (as usual) to make it through the service with you, you did pretty well. We went home for lunch and naps. After nap we went back over to Eden Prairie - this time to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Easter dinner. In addition to Uncle Steve, Aunt Cindy, and Chris, Kirstyn, Dave, and Jack were there. It was fun for you to have a little playmate (Jack is exactly 4 months older than you)!

Your big sister spent her first Easter in the hospital - we are so happy you had a MUCH better first Easter than that! You wore the same dress that we intended her to wear on Easter. We did a little photo shoot with her shortly after Easter, and did a little one with you too on Easter. It's fun to have pictures of you around the same age wearing the same dress.

You tried out swings!
Right before you turned 9 months you tried out a swing for the first time. We were over at Grammy and Grampy's house to dye Easter eggs, and decided to walk to the park for a little play time. You loved swinging right away. Huge smiles and lots of giggles.

After that experience we decided that it was time for us to get you a swing for our swing set. You absolutely love it. Like your sister, I think that you could swing all day. Speaking of your sister, she loves to push you. It's so fun to watch both of you enjoy it.

I'm certain your swing will get a lot of use this Spring and Summer!

You got SO close to crawling
Oh sweet girl, you want to be moving SO badly. For the last couple weeks we've been so sure that crawling was right around the corner for you, but you're still not quite there.

You can get around pretty well with rolling, and you have a REALLY good reach. You love sitting up, and actually get quite upset now when you are on your tummy.

From the sitting position you ALMOST get to a crawling position, but one leg gets stuck. That gets you quite frustrated.

I'm sure you'll be crawling in no time, and I have a feeling that when you do there will be NO stopping you.

You've grown and changed a lot too...
We had your 9 month well baby check right about the time you turned 9 months. Dr. Khan says you look perfect! You continue to rock the upper 90th percentiles on all measurements. You weighed 23 pounds, 9 oz. (98th percentile) and 29" long (97th percentile).

You are wearing 9 and 12 month clothes - mainly 12 month stuff. There really aren't any 6 month clothes left in the regular rotation. I feel like I'm packing up clothes that are too small nearly every day. I anticipate I'll be pulling out 18 month clothes before too long. Although it's still a bummer that much of Linnea's 12 month stuff won't fit for summer, it's been fun to buy some new things just for you.

Other than a few stragglers in the diaper bag, you are firmly in size 4 diapers at home. Magna and Grandma and Grandpa are finishing up their packs of 3s, which still fit, but not great. Any diapers than we buy for you moving forward will be 4s.

You are still a fairly content and happy girl, though you have gotten increasingly crabby that you can't move around like you'd like. I am grateful that you are so "go with the flow." It serves all of us pretty well!

Your likes and dislikes remain pretty consistent. You love moving around (as best you can), sitting up like a big girl and playing with your piano and other larger toys, jumping in your Johnny Jump Up, watching Linnea be silly - or do pretty much anything, and being outside. You dislike getting your face or nose wiped, being changed (i.e. stuck on the changing table), being "stuck" on your tummy, and being over tired or over hungry.

Your eating is still consistent, although I anticipate bottles/milk may level off or go down soon as you eat more solid foods. 3 bottles per day with whatever is left over after Magna mixes milk into your food (usually about 4 oz.). You nurse once or twice before bed - and as needed during the night (still!). Depending on when you were up in the night, you may or may not eat when you wake up in the morning.

Your bedtime has snuck just a bit later..we're usually getting you ready for bed shortly after 7:00, and you're down for the night around 7:30 (unless we're out doing something a little later). No matter when you are down for the night doesn't seem to help you sleep through the night, or greatly impact your sleep overall. You're still up once a night, sometimes twice. I've given up trying to figure out what's going to get you to sleep through the night. Nothing seems to make a difference. I'm trying to just remember that this is just a phase, and it will pass.

You still are napping well. Your morning nap is starting to get just a bit later and a bit shorter. You continue to be a little more flexible on the weekends, which is helpful! I'm glad you are fairly consistent in this area!

Britta, you are 9 months old! How can that be?! It has been so fun watching you this last month. You are developing your own little personality. You  are sweet, happy, content, and loving. We love having you in our lives, and look forward to the month ahead!

We love you, Britta Boo!
Mama (and Daddy and Linnea too)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Eight Months!

The months are just going faster and faster. Despite best intentions to post this in a more timely manner, I'm once again basically a month late. Britta turned 8 months on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day!). She's doing great, and continues to be such a joy to watch learn and grow.

Boo Boo,
You are 8 months old! I can't believe it. Despite my desires for time to slooooooow down, it's just going faster and faster. You are growing up so fast, and changing so much. We love every minute with you, sweet girl! Overall, it's been a fun month.

You finally started liking solid food!
As I said last month, it's been been a bit of a battle getting you to get going on solid foods. Although we were certain you would love adding food to the repertoire, it did not go as planned. You just weren't into it! We tried several different foods (peas, green beans, pears, bananas...), and the result was the same - you'd just close your mouth, and turn your head. The running joke in our house has been "Britta puts everything in her mouth - except food."

So we tried, and we tried, and we tried. Nothing worked. But then, just as you turned 8 months, things changed! At 8 months, Magna is required to at least offer you solid food - it's part of her nutrition/food program with the daycare. We warned her that it hadn't been going great, and gave her a list of what we tried.

And of ate for Magna! Seriously, that Magna. She is a miracle worker. Once again, she saves the day with something that had been so frustrating for us. Now she did say it was a bit of a struggle at first. But with a little patience, you started eating! Magna said that first day that by lunchtime you were opening your mouth like a little bird.
You stinker! Ha ha ha! Oh well, I'm just glad SOMEONE got you to eat. Here's hoping it continues to go well...

You caught a really nasty cold...
Tis the season, huh? Although you've had a few little colds here and there over the winter, this one was a big one.

It started mid-February, shortly after Linnea had a bad cold (the joys of germ sharing). Though you never ran a fever like your sister did, you got a horrible, horrible cough. Poor girl. When we went on church retreat near the end of February you struggled a lot, particularly at night. You'd cough and cough overnight and then cry (presumably because it hurt). You were so congested that you'd gag and cough up mucus.

We felt so bad for you - and there was nothing much that we could do for you. When we returned from the retreat I took you in to urgent care to see what was going on. No ear infection. Lungs were clear. The doctor said it was just a really bad upper respiratory infection.

We ran the humidifier overnight for a week or so. I spent a few nights getting up with you so you could cough junk up. We also would do some steams in the bathroom. That seemed to help a little.
Slowly but surely you got better, but man did it take a while - with lots of less than stellar nights of sleep.

I gotta say though, sweet girl, you were such a trooper. Even when you were super sick you were still our happy little girl. Magna mentioned several times that you were in such good spirits for the cough that you had. Such a strong girl. Proud mama.

You got your second tooth...
I mentioned last month that I thought a second tooth was coming in. Sure enough, at the very end of February, your other bottom tooth made it's appearance!

It came right in the middle of your cold (mentioned above), so it's hard to tell what symptoms were your cold, and what were from teething.

We've been on the lookout for more teeth, and though we've thought the top ones have been coming, nothing yet.

You learned "So Big"...
Early in March you quite quickly picked up a new "trick" - "So Big!" It's interesting, because you were almost exactly the same age as Linnea was when she learned it.

You have been so enthusiastic about it - you get the BIGGEST smile, and through your arms up over your head. We laugh because sometimes you are less into it, and will only put up one arm. It's like you're saying, "Alright, mama and daddy, I'll do it..."

This is a fun age for this type of stuff. Next up...patty cake?

You've grown and changed a lot too...
Once again, we're between well-baby visits, so I'm not exactly sure how much you weigh. When I took you into the clinic for your cold bug, they did weigh you, though I can't remember exactly what you weighed - somewhere around 22 pounds? It seems like your growth is leveling off a bit. You are still big, no doubt about it, but it doesn't seem like you're growing in leaps and bounds quite like you have been. I'll be interested in how much you weigh when we take you in for your 9 month check in April.

You are almost exclusively in 9 and 12 month clothes. There are just a few 6 month stragglers, but more often than not when I pull those out, I realize they are too snug and they end up in the pile of stuff to pack away. The 12 month long sleeve onesies we bought have served us very well. Since a lot of the other 9 and 12 month stuff we have is short sleeve, we've been doing a lot of short sleeve shirts over white long sleeve onesies. I'm super bummed  knowing for sure that the 12 month summer clothes we had from Linnea are not going to fit during the right season. I'm certain by the time summer weather comes around, you'll be wearing 18 month stuff (crazy!!).

So much for size 3 diapers fitting for a while! They still fit okay, but we won't buy them anymore. The next diapers we buy will be size 4. We have some size 4s from when Linnea was little (that was the last size she ever wore!). We've been putting those on you at night to help so you don't soak through. We're trying to use the 3s up, but like I said will be buying 4s from here on out.

You are continuing the trend of being a happy little girl. We often use the word "jolly" for you. Even when you are sick or tired you don't get horribly fussy. You let us know when something is wrong, but for the most part you are just happy and content. Everyone who spends time with you is surprised with how content you are and how intent you are on the world around you. It's so interesting to see your personality come through. And actually, you've been this way since birth - content and intently taking in the world around you.

You love sitting up, grabbing anything remotely in your reach, playing with your piano, rolling around and reaching every which way, jumping in your Johnny Jump Up, Linnea, and being outside. Your major dislikes? getting your face/nose wiped (this did not go well for you when you were sick), being overly tired or hungry. That's about it.

Your eating remains super consistent. Your cold and teething affected things for a bit there, but generally speaking you take 3 bottles during the day (5 oz. each bottle) - breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack after nap. When you're home for the night you nurse once (sometimes twice) before bed. Depending on when you are up in the night you nurse a bit in the morning before Magna's

You're usually ready for bed by 6:45, and down for the night between 7:00 and 7:30 (sometimes later if we are out doing something). Yay for you being so flexible.You're consistently up once - sometimes twice a night. Rarely more than that - just when you're sick or something else abnormal is going on. I tried to just enjoy my quiet nights with you. I'll admit it is nice to have a little one on one snuggle time!

You continue to do great with your naps at Magna's, and pretty good at home too. I'm sort of hoping we'll start to be able to wean you off your morning nap sometime soon so we don't have to worry about it.

Oh Britta Girl, how are you 8 months old already? You are such a joy to have in our family. It's cliche, but it's hard to remember what life was like before you were born. We love watching you grow and learn. We are delighted by the happy, spunky, jolly, curious, sweet girl you are becoming.

We love you so much Britta!
Mama (and Daddy & Linnea too)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Day in the Life

I have always enjoyed reading these types of posts. Perhaps that means I'm nosy? I hope not...I've just always liked learning and understanding other people's experiences. It's interesting to step outside of what's familiar to me, and look through a different lens.

I wanted to write "A Day in the Life" post of my own for couple reasons...mostly personal. I'm 8 months in to being a working mama of two kids (when is that going to stop feeling weird to say that?). Admittedly, our days feel crazy more often than not...and yet it feels like I never manage to get anything "done." Hopefully that juxtaposition makes sense...lots of day to day activity...but nothing that feels productive. I know I do more in a day than I give myself credit for, and that most days working full-time, being a mama, wife, and managing to keep the house somewhat put together is probably "enough."

Additionally, I know that I will look back on these days some time in the not so distant future, and the craziness will be a distant memory. I want to be able to remember what these days are like - the good, the bad, and everything in between.

When choosing a day to "track," I wanted to pick the most "typical" day I could. That meant weekends were out, as well as Wednesdays (I work a later shift those days). It also meant Thursdays were out, since we currently have swimming lessons for Linnea after work. Fridays are always a little easier in the evenings, since we don't have to prep for another work day. Mondays are always a little rough as we get back into the swing of the week. Which left us with....Tuesday (yesterday).

So without further ado, here's my day...

4:22 AM
My day technically started at 4:22 AM when Britta woke up crying. Yes, I know my clock says 4:36. I set my clock ahead, to make it seem later than it really is. The intent is to help motivate me to get my butt out of bed...but now I just adjust the time in my head, and figure I have more time, so it's kind of pointless.

Anyways...I wake up and am actually pleased. Britta was up about the time I was headed to bed last night, but slept soundly through the night until now (which is good for her). I count it as a win.

I lay in bed for a while, seeing if she'll quiet down and settle back to sleep...

4:34 AM
After waiting her out for 10 minutes, Britta's still crying, so I figure it's legit. I make my way downstairs (we live in a story and a half - our bedroom is the 1/2 story and the girls are on the main level) and into her room, hoping not to wake Linnea (she sleeps pretty soundly, thankfully).

4:53 AM
I'm done feeding Britta, and she's settled back into bed. I wander into the kitchen to check quick on the dishwasher. It's ancient, and has started to not drain after the rinse cycle. We end up running it several times in a row to get it to drain (which is does eventually), while the dirty dishes pile up on the counter. Super annoying. I curse under my breath when I see it hasn't drained. I start it again.

At this point I wonder if this is when I "should be" running. I've been a runner since high school, but just haven't been able to make it part of my schedule since Britta was born. But right now sleep wins out. So back to bed I go, in hopes of getting a few more minutes of shut eye before the day really gets going.

6:00 AM
After laying awake for a bit listening to my snoring dog and snoring husband, I did manage to fall asleep for a bit...but then I slept through my alarm, and kept hitting snooze! Doh! Jeromy woke me up, asking if I was okay. Yup, I'm okay. Just tired. I head down to the bathroom to get into the shower. I'm not really a morning person. I don't like to be up early, and I don't like having to be rushed in the morning...I have to do both right now. So this is my "fake it 'til you make it" smile...

6:13 AM
I'm out of the shower. Jeromy has gotten Britta up, and is working on waking up Linnea. Linnea is not a morning person either, so we have to proceed cautiously. We joke that Britta is our "therapy baby" - if we bring her into Linnea's room to wake her up, it goes much better. Here was the scene I came in to...

Luther (our chocolate lab) is underfoot, as it's Linnea's job to feed him. He's ready for her to get up too!
6:19 AM
After some sister snuggles, I tell Linnea to get up and get dressed, and take Britta back in her room to get dressed. It's nice that she was up in the 4:00 hour because then I don't need to worry about feeding her again. It buys us a bit more time.

6:22 AM
Linnea's up and dressed, and much more bright-eyed and bushy tailed. She comes in to greet Britta again before heading to the kitchen to feed Luther.

6:27 AM
Both girls are dressed and happy (woot!). They hang out in the kitchen while I get stuff ready for the day. Linnea is hungry (she always has a "snack" before heading to daycare - where she'll have breakfast), so I make her a waffle (read: heat up a frozen waffle in the toaster).

Linnea didn't want her picture taken at first, but was willing to do silly faces with me...

6:30 AM
Jeromy's out of the shower, dressed, and getting his stuff together. The girls keep each other entertained while I pack everything up - fresh milk (pumped yesterday at work) and clean bottles to send to daycare for Britta, and my pump to bring to work (so she has fresh milk the next day!)
6:42 AM
The girls and all their stuff are packed into Jeromy's car, ready to go. Since we have a detached garage I always help Jeromy get everything into the car so he doesn't have try to carry it all. This is still one of the saddest parts of my day. I know the girls are happy and thriving at daycare/preschool, and that this arrangement is what works best for my family, but I still miss them all a lot during the day. I give last kisses, and I love yous, and they are off. I stand by the back gate and wave goodbye (I do this even in the dead of winter) until the car drives away. I head back to the house - now it's time to get me ready!
6:51 AM
I'm back in the house, and after packing up the rest of my stuff for the day it's time to make myself presentable. I'm thankful in this moment that I'm not a makeup wearer. I would never be ready on time! It's a quick dry and go, and throw on clothes routine for me!

(This is super picture heavy already...I had a lot of fun taking pictures. I love pictures!)

7:20 AM
And I'm off! Hair dry, dressed, and I have all my stuff (purse, lunch, pump, and a book). This post was a good excuse to try out my new selfie stick! I don't know why people dog on them so much. It's like a tripod/timer for your cell phone. Awesome! (The look on my face tells you I'm still sort of getting the hang of using it.)
7:25 AM
I commute to work via light rail train, which I love. We live really close to the light rail, but not quite close enough to walk. It's a short drive to the station. On the way my current guilty pleasure song (Flo Rida's "Welcome to My House") comes on. I do a quick dance party at the stoplight (This is meant to document real life, after all, right? This is total real life for me. I'm a major car dancer.)
7:31 AM
I'm parked at walking to the station (a few blocks). I'm happy to have three possible trains to catch - one gets me to work early, one gets me there right on time, and one gets me there just a little late. I'm on track to catch the one that gets me there right on time - works for me!

7:33 AM
I know exactly when I need leave my house to catch each train. I hate having to wait too long, because it just feels like wasted time. I get to the platform just in time - the train is just pulling up!
7:34 AM
Settled on the train. I love commuting this way because it's low stress. I listen to the radio, check social media, or just take a few moments to relax.
7:52 AM
I'm off the train, and walking in to my building downtown. Isn't it pretty?
8:00 AM
Tada! Right on time! It took me 8 minutes to get into the building, ride up to 10th floor, and get to my desk and logged on for the day. I enjoyed chatting with a few colleagues as I came in. I'm really thankful to work with awesome people. I love my co-workers, and it's fun to catch up as I make my way in.

I open my e-mail, and do a little triage for my day. I'm an Academic Coach, working to advise students in the first year of their Psychology or Criminal Justice undergraduate degree. I've been at my job for 6 years as of last week, and I genuinely love it.

8:28 AM
Now that I've done a bit of settling in, e-mailing, etc. it's time for breakfast. This is one of my go-to's - waffles with peanut butter. I'm sure I could be healthier, but it's easy in a pinch, and I suppose I could do a lot worse. I'm not a coffee person, but I do have a similar vice. The drink pictured is Strawberry Crystal Light. It's delicious and caffeinated, and my version of my morning coffee.
8:43 AM
I'm full and caffeinated, so it's time to make some calls! Because I work at an online university, most of my work is done over the phone and via e-mail. At full capacity, I support around 400-500 students at any given time. I'm working back up to capacity after being on maternity leave, so I'm probably around 250-300 currently. Either way, lots of people to check in on and support! Better get calling!

9:24 AM
Pump break #1. I'm thankful there are clean, private rooms available for me to pump in, but it's frustrating to have to stop working to do it -especially when I'm in a good flow. I try to make the most of it by watching Netflix (although now I'm all done with Parks and Rec, Parenthood, and Fuller House), catch up on social media, or just relax.

I'm in therapy right now for PTSD/anxiety issues stemming from my sister's illness and death (a post for another day, I suppose). My therapist and I have talked about working on mindfulness, so I've actually started using a daily app to work on mindfulness/meditation. I listen to a session while I pump. How's THAT for multi-tasking?
10:19 AM
I'm back to my desk (have been for awhile), and am enjoying a unusually quiet day. I work a lot by phone appointment, and I don't have any today! I was scheduled to have a meeting during this time, but it got rescheduled last minute, so I'm using the time to think through a couple of projects I'm taking on. I'm really happy to have the time to process through everything. It feels so good to have my ducks in a row.

11:30 AM
I have a 1:1 meeting with my supervisor. We spend most of the time talking about submitting an application to start working from home. This hasn't ever been an option in my position before, but they started offering it while I was on maternity leave. I've been working towards it for the last few months. It was a really encouraging meeting - for the first time it feels like it's not a matter of if, but when. I'm so excited about this possibility. Again, probably a post for another day...

12:43 PM 
Back to my desk after my 1:1 and heating up lunch. I'm having leftovers from the previous night - a steak penne dish that is one of my favorite meals that Jeromy makes. It's not as good reheated, but still tasty. I eat my pasta - and apple - while I catch up on e-mails from when I was away from my desk, and do a few other things I can do while I eat.

Is anyone still reading? Gold star if you are! I'm realizing how long winded I'm being...

1:09 PM
I'm flying downstairs to another floor to find a "wellness room" available for pumping session #2 of the day. I'm late and tried to reschedule, but there weren't any rooms available for a while. I don't know what my face was doing...this is my frazzled look. Again, it feels hard to pull myself away from my work flow (even though I love being able to provide for Britta in this way!)

1:55 PM
I've been back to my desk for a while getting back into my groove. I enjoy some dark chocolate M&Ms I have stashed in my desk. Mmmm....chocolate. I have such a weakness.

3:25 PM
Yup, I'm still here! There's nothing exciting to take pictures of, I've been making calls, helping students, scheduling appointments, and sending e-mails. This is a hard time of day for me...I start feeling tired, and my motivation dips a bit...but I'm pushing through!

4:09 PM
One last pumping session for the day...thinking about my ready to head home!

4:45 PM
After finishing my last pumping session, and wrapping up my work for the day it's time to head HOME! I log out, noting that I'll be back in the office tomorrow at 11:00 AM (I work late on Wednesdays and don't start until 11:00. I'm looking forward to a slightly more laid back morning tomorrow.)
4:52 PM
I'm two for two in terms of catching trains today. I arrive to the platform just in time to catch my train home!

4:53 PM
I'm settled in, and starting a new book. I feel cool by association because I know the author personally. One of my best friends used to be her nanny, so I've been to her house, and have hung out with her and her family. I read the first chapter while reminiscing about fun times with my friends. (I like that I caught City Hall in the background. It's one my favorite buildings downtown. It reminds me of Hogwarts.)

5:15 PM
Off the train, back to my car, and needing to stop for gas for my car, Large Marge, so I can do my crazy Minneapolis - Eden Prairie - Minneapolis commute tomorrow. I suppose that means nothing to anyone who's not local. Long story short - I drive all over the place on Wednesdays in order to take advantage of time with my girls, and to be able to get to be the one who drops them off at daycare/preschool, since I don't get to do it otherwise.

5:28 PM
I get home, and my family isn't home yet (usually they are, or we're coming home at the same time). Jeromy calls as I'm walking in to the house. They are running a little late, and he needs me to start dinner. We joke that at our house it's either soup season or BBQ season. It's nice today, and snow is coming tomorrow, so we're grilling! He needs me to take out brats and get them soaking in beer. I steal a sip of beer and laugh taking the next two pictures...

One for me...

And one for my homies...
I am super productive for a few minutes while I wait for Jeromy and the girls to get home. I run around like crazy, trying to take full advantage of the time alone. I start the dishwasher again (arg!), wash some dishes by hand, pick up a bit, and watch out the window until Jeromy pulls up front (he's dropping the girls off because he needs to stop at the grocery store of a few things for dinner).

5:34 PM
My family's home! Yay! I run outside and am greeted by a very bewildered Britta, who fell asleep on the way home and I unintentionally startled awake.
5:37 PM
Jeromy's at the store, and I'm playing with the girls. On my way home I had hoped to get outside for a walk, but with dinner on the stove, I can't venture too far. Instead, the girls do their favorite activities - Britta plays her toy piano, Linnea reads a Star Wars book (Daddy is so proud).

5:46 PM
We've had a new box of Usborne books in our closet for a super long time, and hadn't given them to Linnea yet. Jeromy and I finally had time to go through them the night before to decide which ones were for her Easter basket, which ones we wanted to save for our trip this summer, etc., so I decided it was a great time to give her some of the others. She LOVES books, so she was super excited to check them all out.

 5:47 PM
Britta is still happy at her piano. Gah! This girl. Such a sweetie.

5:55 PM
Linnea's delighting in reading her new books, and since Britta is getting a little squirmy I pull her over to check them out too. I read one, and then Linnea "reads" one to Britta. So sweet.

6:03 PM
Jeromy's home and working on dinner. Britta starts to get fussy. This is not her best time - a little hungry, a little tired. Not anything a little snack can't fix...I nurse Britta for a bit while I read Linnea one of her new books.

6:29 PM 
Dinner is served! Grilled brats, pears, and some pasta salad...yum! Dinner together as a family is something we do every night. It's always a little crazy, but it's so important for us. Look! We got all of us in the picture (Selfie stick win! Jeromy is the one who suggested using it! Double win!).

6:32 PM
Jeromy and I take turns trying to get Britta to eat her green beans in between eating our dinner. She's getting better at solids, but she is still pretty finicky.

6:42 PM
We've given up on getting Britta to eat her beans, so she's moved to her jumper. She LOVES it, and even when she's getting cranky, she'll happily bounce for a few minutes. This also allows me to finish my dinner before I have to get her down for the night.

6:55 PM 
Linnea's done with her dinner, and plays with Britta for a couple minutes while Jeromy and I finish up. I love hearing the two of them giggle together.

6:58 PM
Now the jumper isn't even keeping Britta happy, so I know it's time for bed. I take her into her room to change her for the night. She still has some sweet smiles for me. She is such a grabber - she reaches for anything she can. One of her favorites on the changing table is the wipes container. Ooo, crinkly, says Britta!
I get Britta into her pajamas and sleep sack, and take her out to the living room to say goodnight.

7:14 PM
Britta is sleepily nursing, and I'm listening to the sounds of Jeromy and Linnea reading Star Wars coming from the living room. Jeromy is loving passing on his love of Star Wars to Linnea. They practice pronouncing the characters names.

7:25 PM
Britta's switched to the other side, and is slowing down tremendously. I have a bad habit of putzing on my phone during this time. I put down my phone, and just spend time soaking her in. I love how she runs her hands across my chest and face, watching her fall asleep, and feeling the weight of her falling asleep in my arms. I want to remember every bit of this - it's going to be over too soon (both tonight and overall).

7:33 PM
Britta's totally out. I hate that I feel guilty lingering in her room. I want to spend time with Linnea too, and there's not much time before her bedtime - I hear Jeromy telling her to put her pajamas on. I kiss Britta, lay her down in her crib, and sneak out quietly.

7:47 PM
Linnea's ready for bed. Jeromy has read her stories and brushed her teeth, and now I get some great one on one, snuggle time. We sing songs together, and my cheeks start to hurt because I'm smiling so much. I love this girl so much. We talk about our "peaks and pits" (best and worst parts of our days), giggle, and talk about the next day. I try and soak up every minute.

8:17 PM
I tucked Linnea in a little while ago, and am working on cleaning up the kitchen. In our house Jeromy cooks, and I do the dishes. A good arrangement, if you ask me! I love listening to Linnea read in bed while I clean.

8:20 PM
I do some more dishes by hand, and then finally outsmart the dishwasher and just stop it before it does the rinse cycle, so it's drained properly. I set it to dry, wishing I would have done that several cycles ago.

8:38 PM 
After doing a bit more pick up in the kitchen, I wander down to the basement and suggest that Jeromy and I watch Modern Family, which is on the DVR from last week. We have very few shows we like to watch together, but this is one we both really enjoy. I make him take a picture with me, and he's willing to cooperate.

9:19 PM
Modern Family is done. Both girls are quietly sleeping. And the dishes are dry! Rejoice. I empty the dishwasher, and then fill it with the dishes that I haven't washed by hand yet.

9:31 PM 
I suddenly remember that there's a form we're supposed to fill out for Linnea's preschool conference tomorrow. Kindergarten readiness...say WHAT??! I bring the form downstairs to fill out with Jeromy.

9:48 PM
I'm prepping milk for Britta's daycare bottles - 5 oz. in each so it's ready for our daycare provider to prepare tomorrow. I bag and freeze the extra. I'm really happy to have had extra - we have really good friends who adopted around the same time that Britta was born, so all the extra goes to them for their little guy.

9:57 PM
Time to wash pump parts. Ugh. Such a pain, but's all part of the process.

I'll be home for breakfast tomorrow, and lunch is provided by work tomorrow, so I don't have to prepare any meals for the next day. Usually I pack my breakfast and lunch the night before so it's ready to go in the morning. Small win to not have to do that tonight.

9:59 PM 
Old Man Luther says it's time for bed by standing at the door upstairs, waiting for us to let him up.
10:01 PM
I brush my teeth and use the bathroom, then head up for bed.

10:10 PM
I take a few minutes to write in my journal (I'm starting my third year of a five year daily journal. It's perfect for me because you just write a couple sentences per day, so it's manageable to do every day). Friends, one of my all-time favorite shows, is on in the background. I know every episode, but I still never get sick of it.

10:34 PM
The episode of Friends I was watching is over. I lay awake for a bit longer to see if Britta is going to wake up (this tends to be a time she's up fairly regularly), but she remains quiet, so it's time for bed! I gotta get some sleep before Britta gets me up!

10:35 PM 
One more peek at the monitor. Yup, she's out. Goodnight!

So there you have it! Anyone still reading? This post turned out to be WAY longer than I thought it would be, so thanks for hanging in there if you did. Leave a comment if you enjoyed it! I'd love to hear from you.