Category Archives: Lady Jr

One Year Old

We have a one-year-old.

It has been an amazing year. Some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life. Yesterday, on her actual birthday, I was thankful for all she has brought us.

Unfettered joy. Bright wonder. Sheer life. Hope.

I looked back on the older pictures of her and realized she’d been herself from the very start. Even in her newborn photos you can trace the shapes that will become her square jaw and expressive eyebrows and cupid’s bow lips. Once she noticed the camera, you can see her inquisitiveness and unabashed delight.

She is stubborn and she is persistent. She is observant and she is hesitant. She is engaging and she is curious. She is attentive and she is (just a little) mischievous. She is compassionate and she is gentle. She is strong.

She loves beets and egg yolks and bread. She’ll squawk indignantly if you don’t share what you’re eating. She loves the kitties and she loves her stacking cups. She’ll drag her elephant lovey across the room as she army-crawls. She’ll pull out all the books on the shelf and then sit and turn the pages of her favorites. She’ll spend an hour taking blocks out of a box and putting them back and then she’ll suddenly crawl over to mama and demand to be held, then just as suddenly demand to go back to playing.

She smiles with her whole body and she cries just as fully.

She likes the book on quarks. She likes to play on her xylophone. She figured out how to stack her rings and she can pull up to her knees.

Her laugh melts my heart and her smile brightens my day and her cry makes me wish I could move the heavens to make everything better.

I’m so excited to see how she’ll grow, how she’ll expand into a toddler, a child, a human being. How she’ll change. And how she’ll stay the same.

Happy birthday, Lady Jr.

 

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11 Months!

We’re officially transitioning to sitting up photos! I realized I should have started this sooner, since at 10 months I had a hard time keeping her from rolling away. Now she cries whenever we lay her on her back (unless she’s distracted as such).

Holy cow, we’ve almost got a one year old and it shows!

What’s new:

MORE TEEF. One has broken through on the bottom making a neat line of three. We suspect there’s another tooth coming on top. I hope this means she’ll be able to chomp on apples and other fruits soon.

FAST. She can now crawl from one room to the next if you turn your back for a second. The cats are wising up, but sometimes they’re still surprised. She’s army crawling ATM, but I’ve seen her rock onto her knees. She just hasn’t figured out how to turn that into forward momentum.

Sits and plays. We’ve got this box of blocks that she’s recently discovered and she’ll just sit there, taking blocks out and putting them back in, or putting them on top of the box, for quite a long while. It’s freaking adorable and her concentration is intense.

More and more varied sounds. I swear she’s said “maaaaaaa” and meant it. I’ve heard “k” a few times around the kitties, too. No obvious words yet, but it’s no longer just “dadadad” or “mwa!” We’re getting an assortment that sounds like her own little language more and more.

Bath time!! We finally caved and got a little bathtub that we put out in the living room for bath time. We used to just wipe her down but she started getting upset at us and wiggling away. We tried putting her in our bathtub, but it scared her. we tried holding her in the shower, and she was kinda okay, but it was difficult for us to hold an increasingly heavy, wiggly baby. But now she has her own tub and she friggin loves it. It’s so good.

Games! She’ll grab tissues/shower curtains/random pieces of fabric and play peekaboo with us. She likes to drop her ducky outside of the bath so that we can then make it pop over the side somewhere unexpected. She’s tried to do this with food, but I give her no reaction and I’ve noticed that she’s doing it less and less.

Favorite foods are still proteins. Eggs, chicken, ham, etc. She really friggin loves bread, though, and whines if you don’t give her any.

Sleep is unchanged. Sometimes she’ll sleep through the night. Sometimes she’ll wake at 3 or 4am. She’s been sick these past two weeks with first a fever then an ear infection, and now there’re the teeth coming through, so we expect that’s why. She still goes to bed easy peasy and her 2 naps a day are awesome. I am thankful every time she goes to sleep without a fuss because I remember how hard it was, and I know we still have sleep regressions to come.

– She’s started crawling into my lap when she’s upset, which is both adorable and sad.

Basically, she’s more and more fun every day. We crawl together and play with blocks and read. Usually I just let her do her thing. She’s enjoying the stroller more often than not, so we’ve been taking advantage of the gorgeous autumn weather and going for more walks. She’s stopped crying when we drop her off at daycare and seems to be having fun with the other babies.

While she hasn’t yet pulled up, she’s started pulling on various things, so that’s on the way. Man, she only just learned to crawl and I can see her walking by the end of the year. We’ll need to get her little snow boots. Omg.

As for me, I almost feel like my old self. I’ve also accepted that my body will never quite be the same, so for my birthday I got some new clothes in a bigger size. My hips are just going to be bigger than they were, and that’s all right. Unfortunately, that also means a lot of my skirts don’t fit right anymore. So my goal for the next year is to replace any that make me feel less than fab with new ones that fit. Life is too short to shove yourself into too-small clothes.

My supply is even more abysmal than before. I suspect it’s because of my increased activity and decreased carb intake. I’ve decided to stop pumping next week and just see what happens. When it takes 60min a day to get 3oz, it just doesn’t seem worth it. And we’re already supplementing with formula on the weekends, so it won’t be that big of a change.

As for work, day job has been more stressful than usual with clients being slow/petty and projects backing up. Writing, however, seems to be going fine. I got edits back from my editor on books one and two and I don’t have to set everything on fire and start again, so that’s always a plus. If anything, the edits are way less substantial than I’d feared/expected and we’re on track to get book one done and out the proverbial door by February. Of course, it’ll still be a full ‘nother year until publication, but. Well. Publishing is slow, man.

Okay you made it through all of that have some more baby pics. ❤

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10 Months

10 Months (Clap clap)

New things!!

– As you can tell from the photo, clapping. She’s also figured out she can make adults clap. It’s the best game.

– Her sitting is stronger than ever. We’re to the point where I can plop her sitting on the floor and not feel like I have to be right there in case she topples over. She’s started doing controlled topplings herself, although they’re less than graceful.

– Her mobility game in general is so strong, they’re moving her on to Infants 2 at daycare. She still doesn’t crawl efficiently, but she can get wherever she wants to go and she is strong enough to stand without support, even if she never wants to. Diaper changing has become increasingly difficult, though, as have the monthly photos. I haven’t decided just yet when we’re going to stop doing floor photos and start doing sitting ones, but it’ll be by 12 months definitely.

SLEEP IS AWESOME. I’m going to regret writing that I know, but she reliably wakes only once a night and we’ve even hit two all-nighters this past week. So that’s what it’s like to feel well-rested. Holy wow. One night I even got to stay up until 10 and then get up at 5.30 and I still got enough sleep. I’ve been looking forward to this day because it means I’ll be able to have a more routine wake-up time and be able to get my writing in and maybe (gasp!) a little lifting before she gets up for the day. We’re so close. So close!

– She has gotten so big. She had another appointment 2 weeks after her 9 months to check her ear infection and she’d gained 1 pound. She has a follow up tomorrow (the fluid wasn’t completely drained) and I suspect she might have gained another. She’s quickly outgrowing all of her 9 month clothes and a few are even too tight on her arms. o.o

– Stranger danger has arrived. Our friend came to stay with us this week and arrived after Lady Jr had already gone to bed. While Lady Jr was eating breakfast the next morning, friend came in and she started crying. It only took about a day for her to get used to our friend, but daycare did mention the week before that new/unfamiliar people scare her. I’ve also noticed more hesitance in public, although as long as she’s in one mommy’s arms, she’s usually fine.

– Do we have the beginning of tantrums? Sometimes Lady Jr will just arc her back and start screaming for no discernible reason. It doesn’t appear to be pain because we can often distract her out of it, but she did it when I interrupted her playing once and another time when Dr Lady was taking her to the car to leave for daycare. She’s done it when I’ve taken my keys from her (she loves the keys) and she’s done it when we put her down to change her diaper. Her face scrunches up and her back goes rigid and she lets out this long, keening wail. She’s going to the dr tomorrow for the ear follow up, so I’ll ask about it there, but I have my suspicions…

– Favorite foods include chicken (a perennial), cantaloupe, cauliflower tots, anything mama-Kai is eating, and whole fried eggs (yes, even the whites now *fistpump*). She still won’t touch avocado and has started to eschew sweet potatoes.

– As soon as she’s comfortable/feeling safe somewhere, she gets so chatty. It’s da-ba-da this or mwa-mwa-mwa that or one long, concentrating aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. It’s so good.

– She has favorite books! Basically anything with something to touch, but she also loves Max’s Bath which is… not something I expected. That and Baby Loves Quarks, which is def one of my faves.

 

As for Speck… things are going fine. Chipping away at Book 3. Trying to fit everything in. Enjoying (almost) every moment with Lady Jr. Letting the chaos just… be sometimes, which if anyone else is Type A and/or a virgo, you understand is a big deal.

I turn 31 in just about two weeks and I’m trying to grapple with that and all the changes of the past year, but that’s more than enough for it’s own post.

And now…

The pictures.

First, a blast from the past (well, around this time last year):

 

Then our first time visiting the Lake Michigan shoreline:

 

And now some random life photos:

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Diary of a Strong Mom: August

What!

Why yes, that is a sub 20min 2 miles. The first time I’ve done that in, well, ever. At least that I’ve been tracking. I am well on track to run my 3.1 miles in sub 31 minutes. Hell, I could have slowly jogged the rest of the last mile and still hit my goal.

So of course, the competitive side of me wants to try to hit sub 30min. My fastest 5k ever was 30min and change, so that would be an epic PR for me. And even more empowering because I weigh the most now (outside of pregnancy) that I’ve weighed in well over 15 years. So to be able to PR my 5k time right now? Yeah, that’ll be the best birthday present to myself.

Aside from running, I’ve also taken up a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts aka Fighting 101) class three times a week. It was largely in response to all the anger and frustration that I’ve felt with the news and a certain president lately, but it was also a present to myself to help me Get the Fuck Out of the House. I work at home and, while this is absolutely amazing and gives me time to work out and write, it’s also incredibly isolating.

So now three times a week, I help get the baby into bed, pull on some shorts, and head 2min down the road to a studio where I’ve been learning how to kick, block, grapple, and punch. It’s a lot of fun, except I somehow pinched a nerve the first week and so had to ditch the last two classes. But I’ll be back tonight. Just, maybe, I’ll take it a little easier.

And for reading all that you get ONE BABY PHOTO because tomorrow she will be 10 months and then you will get ALL THE BABY PHOTOS.

August DITL

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Strong Mom & Blueberries

july-88

First, blueberries.

Ever since I knew we’d be moving to Michigan, I was excited about picking berries. AZ is great for a lot of things – hiking, sunsets, bat watching – but its produce is abysmal. Still, we made the 2 hour trek out to the orchards every fall just to pick apples and pretend it wasn’t 90+ degrees.

July hit and with it the realization that, well hot beans, summer ain’t gonna be around much longer. Last year the warm weather stretched well into October, but I know the north is fickle and there’s no guarantee we won’t get an early frost this year. Plus, berries are only in season for a few short weeks (see: weekends). So we’d better hop on it.

We hit up a patch that was supposed to be an hour away, but due to random construction, ended up being two hours. By the time we got there, the clear day the weather forecasters had promised had become cloudy and misty. We pulled into a muddy parking lot still speckled with other cars and figured we wouldn’t melt and, well, it was better than a hot, humid day.

july-92

Aside from my shoes getting drenched, it was perfect. We took turns holding Lady Jr & an umbrella and picking blueberries. It misted and rained and misted again. There were a few mosquitoes, but far fewer than there could have been.

The blueberries were perfect. Lady Jr kept stretching for the leaves, so I guided her to a clump of blueberries and she pulled one off and ate it. Then she ate another one. And another. She just kept plucking blueberries and eating them and I was so amazed I didn’t stop her. In hindsight, I should have, because she ended up puking blueberries all over my shirt. Whoops.

Chubby baby arm

Oh well. I bundled her back to the car, cleaned us both off, then put her in the carrier. Together we walked up and down the rows of blueberries and she fell asleep with her head back and her arms crossed under her chin.

Two hours later we were home again and I was rinsing off the blueberries (nine pounds!!). I offered one to her, but apparently it wasn’t fresh enough. Fair.

july-89

And now, a strong mom update, because finding time to update in general has been tough, y’all. Mostly I just wanted to say

I ran a 9:13 mile! Aaah!

I haven’t run a sub 10min mile in easily 2 years. I am not a speedy person. I am a lifter and I am tall and I am big. So getting that close to 9min is a big achievement. Now to hit my goal of 3.1 miles in 31min, I just have to do that twice over. Considering I had to warm up with a 10.50min pace and then had to walk for a bit after, I’m still a ways off, but…

That’s what goals are all about, right? Pushing your limits and being surprised at what happens.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stuff my face with blueberries.

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Nine Months, Wot Wot

New Things !!:

TWO TEETH! They’ve broken through and if you peer closely, you can even see them in our gaping smile. It’s so good. She’s starting to figure out how to use them to tear chunks of food apart, which is great. Today peaches, tomorrow – the world.

Crawling is happening. She’s got arm-over-arm army crawl and can progress in a straight line when she’s sufficiently motivated (see: mommy has her laptop open!). Occasionally she gets her butt up in the air, but hasn’t coordinated that with her front yet.

Standing is not so much. At her 9 month appt, the dr encouraged us to hold her and help her stand more, but she just isn’t interested. I have to hold her by the armpits, even though I can tell she’s clearly strong enough. Every baby in their own time, I guess.

Favorite foods still include eggs and sweet potatos, fish and chicken and pork. But now: watermelon! She friggin loves watermelon. It’s so pure.

Sitting?! Sitting!! Finally!! I don’t know if it’s from practicing in my lap or what but this weekend I just propped her up on the floor and she managed to stay that way for several minutes, correcting herself without over-correcting. She still gets super excited and topples backwards sometimes, but she doesn’t tripod or really need to hold herself up with her hands any more. She also can’t get to a sitting position on her own, but one thing at a time.

Sleep regressed for a while between the teething and the traveling and then an ear infection. But she’s getting back to two easy wake-ups again and is no longer waking up at 5am for the day, so I’ll take it.

– Her 9 month appt went really well. She’s up from the 3% for weight to 15%. Which, you know, we guessed once she seemed to gain a pound in a week and now that her ribs no longer show. They had us fill out a little questionnaire to see where she was and that was actually really helpful, because I’d been worried about her being behind, but mostly she’s only behind on gross motor. Her fine motor skills, her social, everything else she’s doing really well. And now, of course, she mastered sitting since that appointment, so she must be working on gross motor finally.

– I don’t know what’s happened (hint: solids), but she went from little to no change for three months to chugging along towards toddlerhood like a friggin freight train. Is that normal? I knew there’d be some leaps and bounds, but this feel like one huge month-long bound.

– She’s eating so much and progressing so fast that I can’t help but wonder if she was getting enough calories before she figured out solids. I’m trying not to feel guilty, but should we have been supplementing? :/ Oh well. What’s past is past and I won’t be breastfeeding again.

– Speaking of, my supply is dropping like a rock. We started supplementing a bottle of formula at daycare a month ago because I was having difficulty keeping up with 3 bottles a day by pumping, and now I’m barely able to get a bottle a day. My original goal was to make it 6 months, then 9, and stop by 1 year, but I suspect I may stop pumping pretty soon now. It’s pretty demoralizing to only get 4oz over 3 sessions, especially when each one takes 15-20min. That’s an hour out of my day for a single bottle and change. Granted, continuing to pump means I can still feed her on weekends etc, but actually… even then it doesn’t seem like she’s getting enough. :/

– Anyway.

– As far as my non-baby-related life goes, things are slightly less hectic after turning my book in. I have another book to write, but I’ve got till April, so easy peasy, right? 😛 Before things get crazy again (and my editor drops edits on me), we’re going to take a few weekends and actually, you know, try to see some of Michigan. Maybe even go berry picking, since Lady Jr can sit up now. I’d love to plop her on a blanket in a blueberry field.

Now that you’ve survived all of that, have some pics:

9 Months

Great Omaha Weekend 2017

Great Omaha Weekend 2017
(Lady Jr with her cousin, who’s only 9 months older)

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Eight Months!!

june-29

Day in the Life with an Eight Month Old

1.30am Baby starts babbling to herself. I go in and nurse her back to sleep.

4.30-5.15am Baby starts babbling to herself. I get up and pump lefty, waiting to see if she’ll go back to sleep. 80% of the time, she rolls around for 20 minutes and then goes back to sleep. If she’s still awake when I’m done pumping, I go in and nurse her back to sleep.

5.30am-6.30am I write/edit, keeping one eye on the monitor. If Lady Jr wakes up before 6, I let her talk to herself for a little while – unless she starts crying.

6.30am-7.30am I make breakfast and prep bottles while Lady Jr hangs out with me in the kitchen. Usually I have to find something for her to eat while I’m still making her breakfast. She friggin loves sweet potato and soft egg yolks. She’ll eat almost any kind of protein, but fruit? Bah.

7.30am-8am The last hectic push to get Lady Jr and Dr Lady out the door by 8. We have a pretty flexible schedule, but life is easier if we get Lady Jr to daycare before 8.30. This push involves everybody getting dressed, nursing Lady Jr, changing her into a disposable for daycare, and Dr Lady packing up. We’ve been getting better at it with practice.

8.10am-9am With Lady Jr and Dr Lady gone for the day, I finish cleaning up the kitchen and get some exercise in. T-F, I alternate runs and lifting.

8.50am Shower.

9am-6pm Work at home. On Tuesdays, I write, so my day is a bit more free form and interspersed with chores for breaks. W-F, I work for my day job and spend 90% of my time chained to my desk for meetings (okay maybe not quite 90%).

5.30pm Dr Lady picks up Lady Jr and brings her home. I pretty much stop working whenever Lady Jr gets home, but some days Dr Lady takes her into the kitchen and starts dinner time while I finish something up.

6pm – 7pm Winner winner chicken dinner! We try to give Lady Jr whatever we’re eating that night, but she’s been getting pickier, so we have some backup veggie purees in case she refuses everything. After dinner, we clean her up and start bedtime, which is some version of boob-bath-book, not always in that order. Then we put her in her crib, kiss her forehead, and tell her good night.

7pm-9pm 90% of the time, Lady Jr rolls around for 10-20min talking to herself before falling asleep. We usually return to the kitchen to do dishes and clean up. If she’s not asleep by the time we’re done – or gets upset – we go in and check on her. After dishes are done, we sit together on the couch and – you guessed it – work. I write/edit, Dr Lady runs generations and/or annotates genomes. I’m in bed by 9, if not sooner.

11pm-12am Lady Jr wakes up and I go in and nurse her.

 

New Things I’ve Noticed:

– Lady Jr has developed Intent. She does things with focus and purpose now and has invented a method of rolling and rotating to get to things she wants.

Crawling is still in the proto leg kicking stage. Lady Jr appears to have 0 motivation to learn how to crawl since she can already get wherever she wants to go by the aforementioned roll & rotate method.

– She’s making more and varied sounds, although I don’t hear any consonants yet.

– No teeth.

Sleep is pretty darn good. She goes down really easy and usually only wakes me up twice. Once a week, she only wakes me up once.

– Her core strength is pretty awesome. She loves being flown around the room.

– She is so friggin happy. She smiles and laughs and sticks her tongue out all the time.

– She also flips to breathless sobs without any warning. Most of the time she just doesn’t want to be put down.

– I didn’t know I could love her more than I already did, but I do, and I continue to love her more each day.

 

My life right now in a nutshell: work work work. But there’s an end in sight: July 1st is a major deadline for both my day job and my writing. Once that’s passed – and I turn my book in – I’ll be able to breathe again. Just don’t remind me that July is right around the corner. I might just hyperventilate instead.

 

And now, for some baby pics:

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