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Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to Teach a Baby to Crawl


Caitlyn's never truly mastered the art of crawling. She's been able to "army crawl" for quite sometime, but for some reason, actually lifting onto her hands rather than her elbows has eluded her. But, I have coaxed her onto her hands, with one disorganized moment. The other night, a very sleep deprived mommy was getting ready to bath her daughter. In her sleepy haze, she undressed the baby before running the water. (In our house, we call moments like this rookie mistakes.) When the sleep deprived mommy set the naked baby down on the cold tile floor, the baby found the motivation she needed to lift up onto her hands and knees!

Learning to Sleep


Two weeks ago, we decided, now that she’s 9 months old, it’s time for our daughter to learn how to sleep.

We tried teaching her at 6 months, by letting her cry it out, but it ended with both or us in tears, so we decided to wait until she was a little older. Now, she’s eating more solids during the day, and she’s figured out crawling and standing, why not sleeping? She was waking every two hours like clockwork.

We decided to try one week of gentle sleep training. The plan was that we would only feed her if it had been five hours or more since she had last eaten, if she woke up in between, her daddy would go in and settle her down. Before our plan, I had been going in and feeding her every time she woke. But, over the last few weeks, she’s gradually started eating less and less at night, which has convinced me that she doesn’t need to be up every 2 hours. She takes a long time to settle down if I go in because, for the last 9 months, anytime I go in at night, she’s been fed. So, for 6 long nights, one of us would go in every two hours, tuck her back in and leave. We were hoping that by leaving her in her crib, and not offering her a bottle, she’d realize that it wasn’t worth waking up.

Well, It turns out that we must be pretty entertaining in the middle of the night, because after 6 nights, she was still waking every 2 hours. So, on Monday night, we decided it was time to try tough love sleep training. We moved our mattress downstairs, in the hopes of getting more sleep. We decided that if she woke before 5 hours, we would leave her and let her cry it out. Everyone I’ve talked to about crying-it-out has said it’s a really awful 2 or 3 nights, but then, it improves quickly.

The first night, there were 4 times we had to let her cry. The first one was the hardest, because I wasn’t sure if she’d settle herself, or how long it would take. I watched the clock while my little girl screamed like the world was ending. At 5 minutes, Steffan and I started talking about whether someone should go tuck her in, but as we were deciding, all of sudden, she was quiet. After that, it was much easier, because we knew that she could settle herself, and the crying wouldn’t last forever. The other 3 times, there was 5 minutes or less of crying.

Last night (night #2), we again slept downstairs, I fed her at 11:30, she woke up at 2:30, and we let her cry, and then, she didn’t wake again until 6:30.

It’s amazing how even 4 consecutive hours of sleep, when you’re used to only 90 minutes can make the world seem like a much better place.

Tonight, we're going to move back up to our bedroom, cross our fingers, and hope for the best. Already, there’s a huge improvement. Not only are we happier and more rested, but she even seems happier.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

9 Months Old!!

Caitlyn,

Your 9 month birthday was yesterday. You’re growing and changing so fast! In just the last week, you’ve started “cruising” along the couch & coffee table, and just last week, you made it up the stairs all by yourself. Every time you pull yourself up to standing, you look around and smile at everyone in the room and wait for them to tell you what a good job you’ve done. You’re adorable.

Your daddy is so excited for your first Christmas. We bought a new tree, because the old one was good enough when it was just the two of us, but it wasn’t good enough for his little princess. We’re going to decorate it this weekend. We also bought you a stocking. In our 11 Christmases together, I’ve never seen your daddy this excited! We’re also going to take you to Zoolights, your dad & I went, the very first Christmas we were dating, it’s hard to believe that now, we’ll be bringing our daughter!

You have six teeth now, four on the top, and two on the bottom. I call you “the toothy wonder”.

Every day, I look at you, and I’m so amazed that the fragile little bundle we brought home from the hospital has turned into a beautiful, pudgy, mobile little person. We had to practically beg the doctors to release you from the hospital on March 5. We had to promise to limit your visitors, and keep you nice and warm. The home care nurse told us to keep you in your jammies and wrapped in two blankets all the time. We were checking your temperature a few times every day, just to make sure you were staying warm. Now, just 9 months later, we don’t worry about your temperature, we worry about what you’ll get into next! I’m so proud of you, my little girl, and so grateful that you’re growing and strong.

The funniest thing you’ve started doing in the last week is to laugh whenever you hear us laugh. It’s so cute. We’ll be in the car talking, and if one of us laughs, we hear a little giggle from the back seat. You have no clue what’s so funny, but you just want to be part of the group. Of course, this makes us laugh, which makes you laugh even more. Your little giggle is such a sweet sound.

I love you Caitlyn,

Your Mama.

Caitlyn's First Christmas Party

Our company's kid's Christmas Party was Saturday. It was a lot of fun. Here's a picture of Caitlyn on Santa's lap, trying to figure out who the guy with the funny beard is:



The best part is, we get the cliche picture without having to wait in the awful line ups at the mall!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Making a Liar Out of Her Mamma!

The little princess just pulled herself up to standing using the couch!

I guess daddy needs to move the crib mattress down!!

Time Flies


I know I said I would try to post once a week, and I know I've failed miserably at that...but life's been very busy.

Our little girl has become uber-mobile. She still army crawls more than she actually crawls, but she's started pulling herself up on things. She can't quite pull herself up to standing, but she's getting close. She can crawl up one or two steps by herself.

She just woke up from a nap, and I went to go get her, I found her sitting in the corner of her crib. I didn't even know she could get from laying down to sitting up by herself.

We had our last swimming lesson last We had our last swimming lesson last Monday, and I'm proud to say Caitlyn passed Parent & Tot 1 with flying colors!!

I've spent the last few weeks trying to decide what to do about the fact that she's still waking up twice a night to eat. All the experts say that at this point in her life, it's more out of habit than anything, and that she doesn't need to eat during the night. But, every night, she eats between 12 and 20 ounces during the night, which I think is a lot. Also, I feel guilty for being gone from her all day, and I enjoy our middle of the night cuddle time. So, I've decided to keep waking up with her until she's a year old, then, we'll reevaluate.

It's so fun watching her turn into a little person. She looks at you when you call her name now, so she's officially smarter than the cat!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Eight Months Old

Caitlyn’s eight month birthday was Sunday. Wow, time flies when you’re sleep deprived! Our little princess is turning into such a neat person. Coming home to her sweet smile just makes all the problems of the day so small and insignificant. It’s fun to watch her play and explore things. She’s so curious. She loves to slide her toys across the floor, chase after them and then start all over again. She’s usually quite content to sit in her high chair and watch us make dinner or clean up the kitchen. We’re hoping that she’s making mental notes so that she can make dinner soon!

She’s still such a good eater. It seems like in the last two weeks her appetite has doubled. She’ll eat anything we put in front of her, except sweet potatoes. The first bite of everything gets a funny look, but after that, you better be ready because her little mouth will be open waiting for more before you can fill the spoon. When she was born, her legs were so small and scrawny, and now, she has the cutest chubby thighs I’ve ever seen! Here's her weight chart updated:


She loves sound effects and funny noises. She knows now what noises are “normal” and which ones are funny, and if you make funny noises for her, she’ll grab your face and giggle.

Caitlyn, my baby, I love you more than I ever knew I could love someone. It is such a privilege to watch you learn and grow. Happy 8 month birthday, princess!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In the Halloween Spirit

Somebody let the cat out of the bag. We weren’t ready to tell Caitlyn about Halloween yet, being as she’s not even allowed candy, but someone, somewhere must have explained it to her. How do I know? She grew a fang for the occasion. Caitlyn’s third tooth poked through on Saturday. She’s had the two middle bottom teeth for quite a while now. We knew that something was coming in on the top, the poor girl’s been miserable. She got a really bad diaper rash this time, I felt so bad for her. But, after all the work and tears, out poked her left lateral incisor I hope she realizes that even with all her effort, she’s still too little for candy!

Ikea – Made in China

On Saturday, we went to our favorite Swedish shopping destination for the best, most affordable breakfast in town, and to pick up a few little things for around the house. For just the second time in my memory, we left without buying ANYTHING.

How could this happen?

Over the last little while, we’ve been making a conscious effort to avoid buying products made in China. Since the single most important thing in our lives performs taste tests on anything within her ever-expanding reach, I’m just not comfortable with having Chinese products, which all seem to be laced with melamine, where they can be grabbed by little hands. Every item we looked at in the store was made in China.

So, for the short-term, our boycott is saving us money. When we actually need to buy something, it may start to cost us a little more, but by preventing our impulse buys, hopefully we’ll still come out ahead.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thanksgiving (Better Late Than Never)


On Sunday morning, my baby girl fell asleep in my arms for the first time in months. As good as it felt, and as peaceful as that moment was, I’m grateful that it doesn’t happen often, because that means my daughter is good at sleeping on her own in her own bed.

I’m grateful for the clothes I pull out of her drawers that are too small that she hasn’t even gotten a chance to wear because it means that my daughter is healthy and growing like a weed and that we are blessed with more than we need for her.

The alarm went off too early this morning, but I am grateful because it means I have a job to go to where I earn a paycheque that will pay our bills and allow my husband to be the one at home raising the most precious thing in our lives.

On the weekend I tripped over a toy, but I am grateful because it means my daughter has lots of things to play with.

My daughter is still not sleeping through the night, she still wakes up twice to eat, but, I am grateful because it means that she is eating and growing.

Our lives are very different now than they were last Thanksgiving. A year ago, we were just telling people about this bundle of joy that was about to invade our lives. We were talking about how our lives were going to change, but we were so wrong in so many ways. Our lives have changed, turned upside down really, but we are having so much fun watching our little girl who was so small and fragile turn into a little person.

In just the last week, she’s become so much more mobile. She’s scooching all over and rolling like a little log. She’s still not crawling, but she’s getting close. If you hold her hands, she’ll walk all over the house with you. Whenever she’s working to get to a toy that’s just out of reach or to get some food into her mouth, she gets this look of intense focus on her face that is just hysterical. She’s already such a determined and stubborn little girl. (I can’t imagine where she got that from!!) The changes are so amazing to watch.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, but mostly I am grateful that my little family is together and healthy. We laugh together everyday, and as long as the three of us can sit in the middle of the chaos and laugh, it’s a good day at our house! The best part of my day is coming home to Caitlyn’s chubby little cheeks. She usually lets out a big laugh when she first sees me, how can anything else matter?

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 Months Old!!


The princess turned 7 months old last Thursday. In some ways it’s hard to imagine our lives before her, it feels like she’s always been a part of our family. I’m loving this age. It’s so much fun! It’s so neat to watch her play with things and try to figure them out. She’s so curious about everything. We were shopping on Saturday, and Steffan picked up a package of light bulbs. Caitlyn grabbed for them and they almost dropped to the floor! We really have to start being more careful about what’s in her ever-expanding reach. Even though she’s not talking yet, she’s got her own way of telling us what she’s after. If I’m holding her and she wants her dad, she’ll lunge her whole body in his direction, it’s adorable. She’s VERY rambunctious. She’s constantly on the move. Her dad & I keep saying that as soon as she can crawl, we’re in big trouble!

She’s sitting really well on her own now, she rarely tips over. When she does tip over she grunts and struggles and tries to get back up. She stands really well now, as long as we hold her hands. Sometimes she even walks. She’s getting one foot in front of the other. It’s so cute to watch her focus.

She loves trying to feed herself, and the look of intense concentration as she tries to get the cracker into her mouth makes me and her dad laugh.

Steffan has adjusted really well to being a stay at home dad. He told me last night, “I feel like this is what I was meant to do”. I’m so grateful that my little girl has such a fantastic father who loves her so much and has the patience and the personality to take care of her all day so that I can go to work knowing that she’s in the best possible hands having a great time with her favourite person in the world!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Great Weekend

It's been a great weekend so far at our house. For now, I'm still not working Fridays, so we took advantage of the day off to have a date day. We dropped Caitlyn off with her grandparents and went for lunch at a fabulous East Indian Restaurant. They have a lunch buffet which was great, we got to try all kinds of new things. We've decided to aim for trying a new restaurant with a new style of cooking once a month.

After lunch, we went to play some pool. We used to play a lot of pool, but obviously we haven't played much in the last year and a half. It was really nice to get out and have some fun. Steffan said it best when we got home. He said "I love Caitlyn, and I love spending time with her, but that was refreshing". That's exactly how I felt.

When we went to pick up Caitlyn we realized we still had the stroller in the car, so Caitlyn and I walked home through the beautiful fall leaves. It was great!

Yesterday, Steffan went to help my LITTLE brother with the nursery for his coming bundle of joy. It was the first time I've been home with Caitlyn on my own for any real length of time since I went back to work in August. It made me realize that I love my little girl, but I'm very glad to be back at work. I'm definitely not cut out to be a full time stay at home mom. Luckily, I married a great man, who loves staying home and taking care of our precious bundle of joy.


After Steffan got home, I tried out a new dinner recipe, and it turned out fantastic.

It's been a really great weekend at our house, hopefully yours is going well too!

Swimming!!!



We took Caitlyn for her first swimming lesson on Monday night. It was a lot of fun!! She did really well. We did a bunch of songs and she practiced floating on her back and on her stomach. She likes being on her stomach, but we haven't figured out yet that even though the water looks really neat, you have to keep your head up or else...


But, for the most part, we had a lot of fun practicing going in & out of the water!

I'm glad Steffan came with us, I can't imagine the logisitcs of getting myself & a baby ready and into the pool and then back out, all while keeping her warm and the dry clothes dry.

It was a lot of fun, and we're really looking forward to to going back tomorrow!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dear Caitlyn

Caitlyn,

You are becoming such a neat person. It's such a privilege to watch you grow and change and discover the world around you. You hate to sit still, there's just too much to see & do. You can't crawl yet, but it doesn't stop you from trying. When we lay you on your belly you move your little legs and try so hard to get where you want to go.

We've started feeding you solid foods now, and you're eating like a pro. We started you on rice cereal, but you've already had green beans, banana, chicken noodle casserole, and mashed potatoes. You really would like to use the spoon yourself, but for now, you have to let me help you, even with my help, we get green beans up the nose and chicken casserole in between your toes!!


You've started trying to brush your teeth and it's adorable!

We took you swimming for the first time on Sept 1. We took you to the wave pool and you did great!! The first time you got splashed, you were a little scared, but after that you were having a great time playing in the water. You're going to start swimming lessons Monday night.

Right now, your daddy's staying home with you while I'm at work. You two have a lot of fun together. Your favorite part of the day is when daddy takes you out for a walk in the Snuggli.


When I get home and you see me for the first time, you usually give me a big giggle, and it totally makes my day.

One of your favorite things to stare at is the fish tank, you love to watch the plants move in the water. You've just started to realize that the cat exists, and you like to pet her soft fur.

You already like books, which makes me very happy.


You LOVE your exersaucer and your jolly jumper, anything that will let you move around.



You're a very precious little girl, and your daddy and I love you so much. When I think about how different our lives are now compared to a year ago, it's like comparing night and day. I still love my job, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. All that matters is coming home to my amazing family and seeing your beautiful smile!

You're growing up so fast. It's hard to believer that just six months ago, you were this little:
...and now, you look like this!
You're such a precious little girl, and we're really enjoying getting to know you. Thank you for making us a family!!!

Caitlyn's Growth

Here's Caitlyn's height & weight charts. I found a website that graphs it all out for you. The math geek in me thinks it's really neat!









Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program?!?!

So, obviously, I've been a very neglectful blogger. What can I say? Life got busy.

For June & July we lived the dream. Hubby & I both stayed home with Caitlyn. It was a lot of fun. We spent a lot of time at the zoo and just hanging out as a family.



Then, in August, since we hadn't won the lottery or found our stash of wealth, I went back to work part time. I was happy to go back to work, but it was a big adjustment for all of us. Caitlyn had never spent a full day away from me and it took her & daddy a few weeks to get into a groove, but eventually it happened, and now things are running pretty smoothly.

I'm going to try to update the blog about once a week. There's so much happening that I want to remember, I just have to make the time to jot it down.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

One Month Old


Today is the princess' one month birthday. It's hard to believe. In some ways, it seems like she's always been here, and in other ways it seems like she was just born.

She's doing really well. She's consistently sleeping for 4 hours straight each night, which is fantastic!!

Our little family has kind of settled into a routine. We're starting to figure out what she likes and doesn't like, so there's less crying.

We had her one month doctor's appointment yesterday and our little girl is 6 lb, 13 oz. She's gained 2 full pounds in a month, so we're ecstatic about that. She's growing up so fast already! When she's on her stomach, she can lift her head and turn it. She loves to be free to kick and move around. She's trying desperately to crawl and gets frustrated when she can't get anywhere. Once she figures out how to move, we're going to be really busy!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Eight Glorious Hours!!!

The princess let me sleep for eight glorious hours last night!!!

Okay, so it wasn't eight hours straight. It was four hours, and then a hour and half of rocking and soothing, and then four more hours, but it adds up to eight hours!!

Of course, who know when it will happen again, but for today, I'm feeling great!!

Steffan was off of work today, so I took the opportunity to have a bubble bath. I LOVE hot bubble baths and haven't had one in waaaaay too long. It was fantastic!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Routine


So, the princess and I are settling into a routine quite nicely. This morning, she even let Steffan & me eat breakfast together before he had to go to work. She's waking up on her own to eat now, which is great!! There's something really unnerving about setting your alarm for 2:30 in the morning, and then, as you blearily stumble back to bed at 3:15, setting it again for 5:30. So, now, we're alarm free, well, not really alarm free, just instead of a mechanical beeping, it's more of a grunting and groaning that escalates to wailing if not answered in time!

We're still going for walks every day. Yesterday, we went to the grocery store on our walk, and she slept through the whole thing! I've decided it's time to roll all the coins in our spare change jar. This should be a fairly simple thing to do. I have the change, all I need is the rollers. Well, yesterday, we went to the dollar store, the pharmacy, the post office, and the grocery store, and nobody had them. So, that means I get to postpone that job for a little while longer.

Tomorrow, my girlfriend is bringing over her 6 month old son. That should be a fun day. I haven't seen her in a couple of months. Her son is going to make our little princess look sooo tiny!

Monday, I went to the registry to order Caitlyn's birth certificate. I walked up to the counter and said, "Hi, I need to order a birth certificate." The helpful lady said, "Is it for yourself?". to which I replied, "No, it's for my daughter...holy cow, I have a daughter!!". In some ways it still doesn't seem real. It's like we're babysitting and waiting for someone to come pick her up. I wonder when it'll really sink in that this is our life now.

Monday evening, I drove a friend home, and came back to find this:
Somehow, the sleep deprivation is all worth it!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Day 1

Steffan went back to work yesterday, so Caitlyn and I were on our own for the first time.

I think we did pretty well. I didn't nap, but we went out for a walk. I'd like to try to get out for a walk with her everyday. I think it's important for us both to get some fresh air, and it's definitely important for me to get out of the house. I definitely don't have the stamina I had before I got pregnant, so the walk yesterday was fairly short, but at least I got out there. I also made dinner and cleaned up the kitchen. I think for a first day it went really well.

Today, I went back to bed after feeding her at 8:30 and slept til her 11:30 feeding, so I'm feeling good about that.

With all the excitement having her early, I totally forgot about a book club that I'm in. We're meeting to discuss Northanger Abbey on Saturday. I finally started the book yesterday, so I have a lot of reading to do over the next couple of days.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

One Week Ago


The beautiful Caitlyn Alyzabeth was born a week ago today.

I was induced early because my kidneys were acting up. They started the induction at 12:30pm on Saturday, and our little princess was born at 3:59 Sunday morning. I was released from the hospital at 9:00 Sunday night. Since she was so tiny (4 lbs 13 oz at birth) she had to stay in the NICU until Thursday afternoon. Leaving her in the NICU those four nights was hard, ut it let me get some sleep which I really think has helped me to recover faster. The nurses in the NICU were absolutely amazing, they took such good care of our little girl.

It's amazing to think that she's a week old already. It doesn't even really feel like she's ours.

Tomorrow's our first doctor's appointment, hopefully she's back up over her birth weight.

Since she's a preemie, I have to wake her every 2 1/2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night to feed her. Mommy & daddy are both starting to feel a little sleep deprived.

I feel like there's so much to say, but I don't even know where to start...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Great Parenting Advice


What's New

I feel like I should post, but really, not much has changed. At my OB appt. at the end of January, my blood pressure was higher again, so I'm only working half days right now. Honestly, I'm so tired, that it's really been nice. And, it must be doing some good, because my blood pressure has gone down.

The nursery is DONE!!! It's really exciting, and I'm thrilled with the way it turned out, but I can't post and pictures yet, because my family's coming to see it for the first time on Sunday.

I'm going for ultrasounds every two weeks, and everything's looking really good. The baby's growing well, and moving around like crazy.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know that everything's still going well. Just a few more weeks to go!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who Knew?

I really didn't think that work was stressing me out. Monday morning I had a meeting with my boss and my manager. I proposed coming in an hour and a half later every morning. They're fine with that. It helps that things are so slow right now.

I feel like a huge weight's been lifted off my shoulders, and I didn't even know it was there!

I'm excited to be able to sleep in. I find I'm getting my best sleep after about 5:00 in the morning, so hopefully this will help. I'm still feeling really good, just tired.

I also let them know that my last day will be February 29, that seems so soon. I have lots to do!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's All Coming Together

We have just 10 weeks to go, it's hard to believe!! Steffan wrote about our latest ultrasound. At the ultrasounds, I'm always turning my head back and forth, because, watching our baby is amazing, but watching the man that I love fall in love with this beautiful baby is amazing too. The look on his face when he sees this baby melts my heart.

The nursery is coming together. The painting's almost done, the flooring and mouldings are sitting in the living room. I'm so lucky to have Steffan and his dad working so hard on this project. It's making the idea that we are going to have a baby in our house that much more real.

I had an OB appointment Friday morning. I don't have gestational diabetes, so that's a good thing. My blood pressure was about the same as two weeks ago, which is a little high. Because my blood pressure is a bit high, she's recommended that I cut back my hours at work, so I'm talking to my boss about that tomorrow.

We had our first childbirth class Tuesday. It was really interesting. I think these classes are going to be really helpful.

Other than that, not much is new. I'm hoping the nursery will be done by the end of this month. I've been putting off shopping for baby clothes, diapers, etc. until the nursery's done so that we don't end up with stacks of baby stuff everywhere, so I'm looking forward to being able to start that.

We had a freezer delivered on Saturday. Until now, we've just had the freezer compartment in our fridge. I'm so excited, it's hard to buy ice cream in the 4L buckets without a freezer!!