Olivia: 15 Months

Stats

20 lbs 12 oz (25th percentile)

29.75 inches (50th percentile)

Size: 18 months

Tooth Count: 4.5 top, 3.5 bottom (cutting first molar!)

Nicknames: Via, ViaVia, Doodle, Liv, Luvbug

*disclaimer: this post is now OVER a month late… but still mostly relevant ūüôā

Loves: Being Outside in the backyard or at the park, Water “Agua” (Drinking, Splashing at Klyde Warren, Playing, Swimming) , Balloons, Balls, Babies, The Swings, Popsicles, crushed ice, animals, cars/trains/ things with wheels, the Durch, reading books before bedtime, plants, dirt, music, blocks.

Favorite Foods: Tomatoes, Oranges, Grapefruit, Peas, Strawberries, Kiwi, Generally anything “Ball” shaped, Mac n Cheese, Hot Dogs, beans, broccoli, Cheerios, Bunnies, Chicken Stir Fry, Spaghetti, Ham. Occasional Treats: French Fries, Ice Cream, Popsicles

Favorite Books: Baby Bodies, Where’s Spot?, Daddy Hugs, peek-a-who, Duck & Goose 123, Beep, Beep Car Book, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Head to Toe

Favorite TV shows: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Calliou, Dinosaur Train

Cranks: seeing mommy at the chiropractor, going to the nursery at church, having her face wiped, Balloon Envy, long meals out, being contained, leaving the park before she’s ready, sleeping in her own bed.

Words:

  1. Baby
  2. Ball
  3. Dog (sometimes “hi dog”)
  4. Agua (Water)
  5. milk (“miilll”)
  6. Cheese
  7. Peas
  8. Please
  9. Giraffe (“gee”)
  10. Bird (“Bees”)
  11. Belly Button (“Debbie”)
  12. uh-oh
  13. Taco
  14. Avocado (cag-oh)
  15. beans
  16. car
  17. goodnight (“nigh-no”)
  18. bunny (“mummy”)
  19. banana (“nanny”)
  20. NO
  21. Zoo
  22. plane (“lain”)
  23. bug
  24. flower (“bah-lor”)
  25. choo-choo
  26. diaper (“biper” or “bumpah”)
  27. hat
  28. nose
  29. shoe
  30. elbow
  31. eyeball
  32. cherrio (“ohs”)
  33. tomato (“maymo”)
  34. blankie (“Beebee”)
  35. All Done
  36. Berry
  37. Blues (AKA BlueBerries)
  38. Open (“oh-pee”)
  39. Teeth
  40. Hot
  41. Hotdog
  42. Leaf
  43. Toes
  44. Goose
  45. Ice
  46. Ice Cream
  47. Bus
  48. Chicken (“Chicky”)
  49. Coffee (“Cah-Cah” – Actually refers to any adult beverage… coffee, beer, or soda)
  50. Blocks

People

  • Mama, mommy, maaahmee
  • Dada, Dayda
  • “Bayo” BFF Paden
  • “B” Bethany
  • “G” Gramma G
  • “Papa” Papa G
  • “MAW-MAW”
  • “EEEM” Auntie Em
  • “Pip” Uncle Chippy
  • “Hold Me” Holden

Sounds

  • Snake (“ssssss”)
  • Horse (“nay”)
  • Duck and the duck says “Ka-Co”
  • Cow (“boooo” or “moooyah”)
  • Cat “Me-ow”
  • Bird (bees) says “tee tee or beep beep”
  • Fish (“blub blub blub”)
  • Lion (“ahhhhh”)
  • Tiger (“OWWW”)
  • Sheep (“baah”)
  • Pig ( Actually, no sound, just an “oink” face… and it’s the cutest darn thing in the world)
  • Elephant
  • Squirrel

Can find:

  • nose
  • eyes
  • tongue
  • hair
  • belly button
  • ears
  • hands/fingers
  • feet/toes
  • elbow
  • mouth
  • teeth

Still not sleeping through the night… much less in her own bed. Quite attached to mommy and daddy. Slowly warming to friends/family and gaining some independence. Nursing 2-3x a day and usually once in the middle of the night.

Spring 2013 Highlights:

March

Walking! (At around 2 weeks after her first birthday!)

Weekly Wednesday play-dates with Paden

NIce Weather means lots of afternoons at the Park (Favorites: Exall, Scottish Rite, Abbott/Coffee)

¬†Haley’s Wedding // weekend trip to the Omni

Rakowska Family visit

Easter at White Rock Fellowship

Easter Egg Hunt at Great Paw Paw’s House

GG visits for Great Grandaddy’s 90th Birthday

Arboretum Visits

 April

The Dallas Zoo Membership

Lots of chiropractor visits

New pediatrician – Dr. Agrawal

Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease

NO MORE PACIFIER!

SCG Sundays with the Shus

Canton

May

B’s graduation from TCU

Mother’s Day

Gramma G / Papa visit Dallas

Baby Dedication @ WRF

Justin and Cass visit Dallas

Patio Lunches // Dinners: Chicken Scratch, Stack house, Good 2 Go Taco

Splashing at Klyde Warren Park

Sweet Via Via, 

In the past few months, your dad and I have really started to feel like we’re getting to know you. You are starting to grow into your big personality. You are so gentle and kind, just like your dad. I’m starting to see so much of his temperament in you. You don’t like to be rushed or hurried. You do things in your own time. Sometimes I wonder if you’ll be introverted like your dad or extroverted like me. You are frequently happy in your own little world, talking to yourself, imagining, and learning. You’re very inquisitive. You like to figure out how things work… you’ll stay captivated by mechanical things for several minutes – wheels, water, whatever. You love animals… and can identify too many to count. You make the most adorable sound when we talk about fishies “Blub, Blub, Blub…” And you witnessed first hand what sound a tiger makes… not “RAWR”… “OOOOWWW.” And you say it with such confidence. You love your Dad more than anything and he adores that you wake up asking for him every morning, “Dayda?” “Dayda?” You’re still nursing like a champ… 2-3… sometimes 4 or even 5 times a day… and several times at night… Your pediatrician has advised me against continued nighttime nursing and cosleeping… but your Dad and I are confident that we’re doing what is best for you. In fact, I love nursing as much as you do. I cherish our quiet alone time more and more each day. You’re a pistol when it comes to eating… sometimes you shovel so much food in your mouth that I wonder if you’re actually a gerbil… more often than not though, you feed most of your meals to “The Durch” – speaking of – you love the Durch… you’re learning to be gentle with her, but you’ve got a ways to come before you’re ready for a little brother or sister (#notanannouncement). Paden Shugart, “Bayo” is your bestie… and you ask for him EVERY.DAY. Going to the grocery store with you is almost impossible, you love to holler out the names of all of the fruits and veggies as we roll past… You’re getting more and more confident on your feet. You love to play in the backyard, at the park, in the fountains at Klyde Warren Park but you’re still somewhat timid when bigger kids are around.

You’re quite attached to me… and for the moment, that’s wonderful.

You are such a special little soul and I can’t imagine life without you.

I love you.

Mommy

Mom Life: Sleep Diaries

I do truly look forward to the day when this “series” concludes… until then. An update… the continuation of our sleep diaries… Started Here… Progressed Here

A friend recently posted a link to this article, Sleep: A Misguided and Unhealthy Obsession¬†that really resonated with the way I’ve been feeling about our family sleep situation lately.

After almost 2 weeks in California, and the obvious de-railers that come with traveling, getting back into a routine has been a difficult transition. In addition, we were all sick on vacation for at least 3-4 days each… overlapping to span basically the entire trip. Basically… our California Christmas was spent snuggling co-sleeping in a full-sized guest bed. Actually… most nights Daniel ended up on the couch… I guess Liv and I take up too much room.

So… where are we now? Co-sleeping? … Only Co-sleeping the half of the night that Olivia refuses to sleep in her crib. Nursing only once… Nursing as much and as frequent as Olivia wants… I can’t say that I really know. All I can say is… I’ve definitely started this series with the “If Momma Ain’t Happy” argument… and I’ve made it 180 degrees. My happiness or ability to be a good mother has little to do with the # of hours or consecutive hours of sleep I get. If I’m totally truthful… I’ve actually gotten pretty used to getting up in the middle of the night… nursing in the middle of the night. Going to bed early… waking up late. Occasionally I’ll even indulge in an afternoon nap with Olivia.

NOW… If we could just figure out how to get Olivia to stop being such a sleeping squirm worm… I think we’d all do just fine.

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Mom Life: Sleep Diaries

I admit I’ve dragged my feet with this long overdue update to our Sleep Diaries.

Almost 2 months ago, Daniel and I agreed that we needed to embrace some kind of sleep training. Obviously our ultimate goal of having a child who would sleep through the night (ideally 7:30 PM – 7:30 AM) in her own bed. The first few nights were rough… but really, it was nothing as bad as I expected. Not nearly as many tears as anticipated (hers or mine) and fairly successful after just a few nights…. AND THEN… An ear infection happened…. AND THEN… A fever/cough/cold/snotty mess happened…. AND THEN…. more teething…. and it seemed like all that hard work all that tearful training was for nothing. We were back at square one.

Fast Forward to present. For the past few weeks, Olivia and I have both been fighting a bit of a cough/cold… ¬†VERY mild symptoms (luckily) but caused an unfortunate dip in my milk supply… READ: results in attempting to nurse as often as humanly possible… even in the overnight hours to help increase production… thus causing our most recent set-back with sleep training. And we arrive at today… Recovering supply.¬†Happy baby. Tooth #6 completely popped. Cough/Cold almost crushed… and ready to get some good sleep… All to be thrown by a 2 hour time change in less than a week when we fly to California for Christmas.

Lately it feels like it’s ALWAYS going to be something… Although sometimes¬†most of the time I envy my friends who have babies who have been sleeping through the night since they were 6-weeks old… I’ve come to terms with the fact that my precious baby girl… is just NOT an excellent sleeper… and I’m OK with that.

Just a note. Tonight, Olivia crashed while nursing around 8, woke up at 11:45 PM (I nursed her back to sleep)… and almost 2 hours of pump/shop/blogging… I’m still awake. Maybe Momma has sleep issues too?

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Mom Life: Ain’t Nobody Happy (Sleep Diaries)

5:10AM Olivia is finally asleep in her crib… I think.

Am I asleep? No. I’m wide awake. Coffee Brewed. Googling… “Alternative to Cry it Out Method.” Several message board posts later – I feel horrible about ignoring my gut instinct to ALWAYS comfort my baby when she cries. I talked to our pediatrician, and consulted many friends about their experiences with sleep training and developing healthy sleep habits for/with their babies this past week. Everyone has an opinion about what works – but it all boils down to the baby. (I don’t think I like using the word BOIL and BABY in the same sentence). ¬†I never really fully backed the Ferber-type method for sleep training; never judged those who did, just didn’t think it could work for me (and Olivia). Most of my friends made suggestions like, “quit nursing her at night,” and “let her sleep with you until she decides she’s ready to sleep in her own bed – cribs are prisons” and of course, the flip side, “you just need to let her cry it out!” We were at the pediatrician on Tuesday for an ear re-check when Dr. Diaz encouraged me to try the CIO method. She made arguments like, “It’s your responsibility to help your baby develop healthy sleep habits in the same way that it’s your responsibility to help them develop healthy eating habits” and “Babies cry, that’s just what they do.” I really couldn’t disagree with these statements more – It’s not like I’m encouraging POOR sleeping habits! and I certainly don’t think that letting your baby cry just because “it’s what they’re supposed to do” is acceptable. Babies cry because they NEED something – food, diaper, cuddling… etc. (We’re switching Doctors, by the way – more on that later).

OK – So I’ll set the stage. To help paint a picture of what the past few months have been like… and show you just how sleep deprived I am.

At around 6 months – Olivia’s sleep habits changed… and I have a feeling it’s mostly my fault. (This is where I do agree with owning the responsibility of developing healthy sleep habits.) Pre-6 month old Olivia would nurse to sleep in the evening, go down in her crib… wake up to nurse once, maybe twice, but generally sleep for 10-12 hours in two 5-6 hour stretches. During her nighttime feedings, she frequently fell asleep within a few minutes of nursing – a big sign that she probably wasn’t REALLY hungry, just needed a snuggle. Here’s what I should have done at this point – Slowly eliminate nursing at night, instead just rock, cuddle, sing her back to sleep. Instead, at 6 months, when I was so totally sick of the zombie feed, I started bringing her to bed with us, (BIG MISTAKE family cuddling is kind of the best) where I could roll over, nurse, then fall back asleep. Just as I was convinced that I needed to be the one to break this habit and let Olivia start sleeping in her own bed again… we had 4 straight weeks of cough cold/ ear infection/ cutting teeth… and my plan was shot. So here we are (Oct. 31)- a typical night (for the last 2 months) for us looks like this:

8:00PM I nurse Olivia then usually rock her for 15-20 minutes, sing, say prayers, etc. until she’s pretty much konk’d out

10:30PM We usually get to sleep – It’s really nice to have that extra couple of hours alone!

1:30AM (or so…) Olivia wakes up, I nurse her in the rocking chair in her room, then rock her for 15-20 (sometimes 30 minutes) then put her down in her crib… and her little eyes POP open… like, “BUT MOM! I want to sleep with you!”

2:00AM So I usually make a second attempt to get her to go back to sleep… Another 30 minutes of rocking… and I put her down… and her eyes POP open.

2:30AM Occasionally I make a third attempt – but usually I’m frustrated and tire by this point so I usually just let her come to bed with us – where I give her a pacifier and she crashes pretty quick.

3:30AM Somebody squirms, coughs or rolls over and Olivia wakes up – so I nurse her back to sleep.

5:00AM Daniel gets up for work, Olivia starts to squirm so I give her a pacifier and pray that she’ll go back to sleep.

5:30AM Still squirming, I make another attempt to feed Olivia thinking that it might help her sleep a little longer.

5:30 – 6:30AM I endure an hour or so of kicking and squirming… which gradually escalates to hair-pulling and poking (She really likes to poke my nose and eyes and stick her pointer finger in my mouth)…

so by 6:30… I get up.. make the coffee… turn on the news, pump, etc.

So basically, I get a 3 hour (or so) stretch of sleep, then am up for an hour and a half, then get another 2 hour stretch, then an hour and a half of “half-sleep.” NOT ENOUGH SLEEP.¬†I do feel guilty that I don’t want to share our bed anymore with our squirmy baby. HOWEVER, “Ain’t Nobody Happy if Momma Ain’t Happy Rested.”

So last night. Actually… this morning. or today. We let Olivia calm herself back to sleep – I won’t really say we let her cry it out – because I definitely didn’t follow all the rules to Ferber’s method. We had a bit of an off night, ¬†(Olivia boycotted her afternoon nap yesterday then fell asleep at 6:30 while we were out trick-or-treating) so we extended her bedtime a bit. When she woke up at 3:30AM (actually much later than usual!) – I went in and fed her, we cuddled for 30 min or so then I put her down with a pacifier (eyes popped open), tuned her mobile on (I don’t usually do this – but figured maybe it would help her drift off to sleep) and walked out of her room. She fussed a bit (not even real crying) for about 10 minutes then I let her cry or 5 minutes before I went in to find her standing in the crib. I gently kissed her head and helped her lay back down, gave her a pacifier, rubbed her tummy a bit, turned her mobile on and again walked out. Tears definitely welled up in her eyes (mine too) as I was going through the process… and she started to cry as I walked about again. I waited 15 before going back in and repeated the processes. When I walked out this time, I set my stop watch for 30 minutes… thinking, “there’s no way I’m going to be able to endure this!” – ¬†but she cried for less than 5 minutes.. and that was an hour and ago.

So I’ve been awake since 3:30AM. Not the desired result but I do see more sleep in my future. And a more rested Momma (and Olivia) will make for a happier family. Stay Tuned for night #2 of “Healthy Sleep Habit Building”… that’s what I’m going to call it.

UPDATE: Night 2 was much easier… Olivia, again, woke up around 3:00AM – I fed her, rocked + snuggled her for a few minutes then put her down in her crib with a pacifier + mobile on. She cried for about 20 minutes (which was much less heartbreaking on the second night since it was more of a whine than a cry). I checked on her, rubbed her back for a minute or two then left her room. She cried for 12 minutes (I’d set my stopwatch for 45 minutes this time) before falling asleep. Again – she slept much later than she would have if she was in bed with us… until around 7:15AM. Go Liv!

 

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