November 16, 2009

14 month (or so) update

Audia hit the 14 month mark last Sunday, and I realize that since her first birthday, I haven't really written a whole lot about her milestones since September. A big part of that is because she is growing and changing so darn fast that who has time to document it all?! But I will try, because that is what this blog's purpose really is. So that some day, when Audia is older and interested in such things, she can look back and learn all about how she grew and changed and developed into the amazing person that she is.

So, based on our measurements, she is 22.5 lbs and is still 31" long. She has been teething on and off for what feels like months now; about a month ago her upper first molars broke the gum, and we had a little lull in teething, and then about a week ago it started up again. As of today, both her right upper and right lower canines have broken through, and her lower first molars are trying their best to show themselves; her gums are super swollen and obviously uncomfortable, and as a result our sleep schedules have been a bit lackluster.

Aside from the past week, however, her sleep schedule has been awesome. She's been in a crib since I blogged about sleep training her, and now she has no problem letting me or Chris put her down at night; she's asleep in 20 minutes regardless. She goes down around 7 or 7:30 and gets up around 6, at which point we bring her into bed with us and she sleeps until 8 or 9. It would not surprise me if a lot of toddlers who are "early risers" would actually sleep in if their parents just brought them into bed with them for the early morning....Audia is up with the sun, but give her a little snuggle time and she's out like a light again for another 2 or 3 hours.
She's on a one nap schedule for the most part (again, ignoring the past week of torturous teething hell), sleeping for one to two hours around lunchtime.

Weaning has been a bit slower of a process than I was hoping it would be. We have successfully gotten her from 4 breast feedings a day to 3, but she still asks for a fourth feeding pretty regularly; we just distract her with other food items. She isn't really interested in whole milk; she drinks maybe an ounce or two before becoming bored with the whole thing. I don't want to make an issue of it yet, though. Age 2 is my absolute limit, but I am willing to go slow up until that point. She says "num num num num" whenever she is hungry, which totally cracks me up. She still LOVES her green vegetables; it is so funny to me that she loves the veggies that it took me a good 26 years to start enjoying. She is a carbaholic. She is constantly munching on cheerios, puffs, bread, pasta, and rice. She is a huge fan of meat, just like her carnivorous mama. She loves deli ham, organic nitrate-free hot dogs and bacon, chicken breast, my dad's smoked ribs, hamburger, rib name it! She also is a huge fan of pears, apples, and bananas (which she calls "bun"), but not such a big fan of berries. Stonyfield farms makes a line of yogurt called 'Yobaby' which she also LOVES. Her favorite is the 3-in-1 apple and sweet potato.

She is discovering new things every day. She is running now on a regular basis, and loves being chased...she will look at you and start running away from you while still looking and smiling at you to try to get you to chase her. This often results in her running into things because she's not looking where she's going. She is so close to figuring out both how to jump and how to do a somersault that it's scary. She really enjoys practicing going up the stairs from the basement to the main level; she has yet to figure out how to get back down, though! She loves taking the magnets from the fridge and putting them, one-by-one, onto the dishwasher, and then putting them back. She's obsessed with books. She will take one and will sit on the floor and flip through the pages while babbling loudly to herself (reading aloud, I'm sure!) She points at any clock she sees (analog OR digital) and says "tick tick tick!"; she loves when you hold one up to her ear. She calls all animals "arf arf"; we are working on teaching her other animal sounds but she really has locked in on the doggy sound. (Maybe because 99% of her stuffed animals are dogs??) She especially LOVES the outdoors. She is hating her stroller right now because she would much rather be running free around the back yard than sitting idly in her stroller while we walk around the block; we can be outside, playing, for 45 minutes in the 50 degree weather, and she will still throw a tantrum if we try to bring her inside to warm up.

Watching her grow and learn is so ridiculously fun. It just makes so many other things in life seem so trivial in comparison. She truly is my reason for living, my pride and joy, everything that is good and exciting and wonderful in life! She is a willful, active, curious, handful of a child and I am proud to say so!
Happy 14 month birthday, Munchkin!

November 13, 2009

Tag! I'm it!

I have been tagged by my friend Anita! I haven't filled out a survey in what feels like ages (but has probably, more realistically, been maybe a year), but here goes!

1) What were you doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago, I was a senior in high school. I had to consult my journals from that era (See, mom? There is a reason to keep all my old journals! hah!) to find out what was going on back then (and boy, what a trip down memory lane that was!) In November of 1999, I went to Ohio to visit Kenyon and Denison Universities (totally fell in love with Kenyon until I visited ASU, at which point the gorgeous weather became way more important than the school itself.....but hey! At least I admit it!) and I travelled with my HS sweetheart and a whole gaggle of our friends, (and the entire HS marching band) to Orlando to march at Disney World! Basically, I was having a total blast 10 years ago, in ways that high school seniors should be having a blast.

2) What five things are on your to-do list for today?

Well, today is almost over, but I'll list them off anyways.
A) Do laundry! *Check!*
B) Put glitter on the pretty snowball ornaments I started last night *Check!*
C) Bake dismembered Friday the 13th cookies *No Check....what with Audia waking up late and a surprise play date with N and A, alas, I did not have time to bake my cookies.*
D) Edit photos from my shoot this past weekend to put up on my ECB site *Not checked. I will do this tomorrow, though!*
E) Watch a scary movie in honor of Friday the 13th. *This will happen. Audia's not in bed yet though, so it will be a while yet.*

3) Snacks you enjoy:

Hmmm. I'm not a huge snacker, admittedly. But I do like Planters dry roasted peanuts, pistachios, warm, roasted hazelnuts, sunflower seeds.......I'm a big nut lover, I guess! LOL. I also like occasional Cheetos and cheddar popcorn. And buttered popcorn at the movies :-)

4). Places you've lived:

I grew up in South Minneapolis, which I loved. Spent 6 months of 5th grade living in Stockholm, Sweden, which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life; it is a HUGE part of who I am today, without a doubt. My teenage years were spent in Edina, MN (aka the bubble), and from age 18 through age 26, I lived in various parts of Phoenix, AZ. We're back in Edina for the time being, but I am totally open to living in various parts of the Twin Cities, as well as moving to Toronto or Stockholm.

5). What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire?

Gosh, wouldn't that be nice? LOL. Let's see...
A) I would pay off all of our debts, as well as any debts our immediate family members may have.
B) I'd buy us a house.
C) I'd put away enough money to ensure we, our parents, and our kids will have a full education, if wanted, and a secure retirement.
D) I'd purchase a cabin near Chris' family cabin and pay for any repairs or upgrades needed at the family cottage.
E) I'd put away a good amount to be donated anonymously throughout the years to various charities and people who may need it. More so families than charities, honestly, because I think it is easier to gauge the level of need and whether or not your money is going to be spent wisely when it comes to individuals than when it comes to organizations.

So, time to pass the ball! I'm going to tag my friends Janice and Sarah, both of whom I am sure are way too busy for such shinanigans, but who I hope will partake in the fun regardless :-)

November 8, 2009

The world's best paying job

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love." -Mildred B. Vermont

It was implied to me recently by someone that being a stay at home parent isn't having a "real" job. And thus, stay at home parents shouldn't ever feel like they need a vacation.

Now, obviously the person who said this does not have children. However, I don't really feel like it should take having a child to understand that being a parent, stay at home or not, is a HUGE job. All it should take to understand this is a little bit of thought. Just think for two seconds about it! It is a bigger responsibility (or, it should be) than anything else in the world. Before we had Audia, I didn't realize how big of a responsibility it would actually be, but I did know that it was a big responsibility. How a person could not know that is beyond me. I am torn between feeling really sorry for these people and being really PO'd. (I am also torn between hoping that they have children so that they understand and hoping that they never have children because what if they still don't understand what a big responsibility it is after they have kids??)

When I say that I feel like I need a vacation, I am in no way saying that I wish I weren't a mom or that I have any regrets about having a child. I am happier, as a mom, and especially as a stay at home mom, than I have ever been in my life. I feel more fulfilled, more in love, more rewarded, more appreciated, and more grateful than I ever felt pre-child. But I also feel more worrisome, more anxious, and more exhausted than ever before.

Being a parent (especially being stay at home) is constant. It is every second of every day, eight days a week, 365 days a year. There is no leaving work at work when you are a stay at home mom. And I take my job as a mom very seriously. I am more invested in it than I have ever been in anything. That's why I am a stay at home mom! Because I do not feel comfortable having a child and then, in her most crucial years, paying someone else to bond with and teach and play with her. (This is not to say I do not understand why some people choose to put their kids in day care; I totally do. It's just not my choice for my child.) So we have made sacrifices in order to ensure that our daughter is as well taken care of as humanly possible. They are sacrifices I would make 20 times over. And, yes, they are our choices. But that doesn't mean we don't get to feel like we need a break every now and then. Good grief!

I heard a celebrity (I can't remember who) say recently that when she had her first child, it was like every cell in her body woke up to love that child. And it's true! I totally feel that way. It's like the day Audia was born was the day I was born again - as a mother. Everything I do is for her. Every choice I make boils down to what I think is best for her. For anyone to imply that my choice to be a stay at home mom is 'easy' or 'lazy' is not only completely clueless, but it is incredibly insulting. They're fighting words, and I dare you to find any other stay at home parent anywhere who wouldn't agree!

"All mothers are working mothers." - Author Unknown