Saturday, July 15, 2017

eight months

dearest cecilia,

what an exciting month you've had! reading back over your seven-month post, i'm amazed at how much has happened in the past four weeks. first of all, you got your first teeth! your bottom left incisor made its appearance a few days after you turned seven months old, and the bottom right incisor joined the party about a week later. you like to stick your tongue out these days, so we don't actually get to see your teeth all that much, but they sure are cute!

you also went swinging for the first time and absolutely loved it. as soon as i put you in the bucket seat, you grinned and waved your arms in excitement. then i gave you a gentle push and you just about lost your mind with happiness, kicking your legs and laughing. it's so much fun to watch you discover the world!

i'm guessing you weigh about sixteen pounds. you are wearing 9 month clothes, and as soon as we use up our current stock of size 2 diapers, you'll be moving into size 3. you wear size 2 shoes, when you deign to keep them on, that is. i freely admit that your sparkly cherry sandals are just for show! 

you'll be crawling soon, but you're not quite there yet. you get up on your hands and knees and rock back and forth, and sometimes you keep one leg tucked behind you as if you're in a runner's crouch, ready to take off when the gun is fired. you are adept at scooting backwards on your tummy, but unfortunately this causes you much frustration, especially when you're trying to reach a toy!

you started waving just a few days before you turned eight months. you wave with your whole arm -- sometimes with both of them! i get ridiculously excited whenever you wave, or when you clap, which is your other new trick. whenever i say "yay, Cece!" you happily clap and wave those arms around again. 

currently, your favourite thing to do is to play with the basket of wooden blocks. you pick them up, put them down, take them out of the basket, and put them back in the basket. you clap them together and then clap them on the floor, experimenting with the different sounds. i have a feeling it won't be long before you figure out how to throw them, and then we may need to find a different game! for now, though, the blocks keep you occupied for a good half hour at a time.

one big milestone this month was that we transitioned you out of our room, into Greta's room. you truly love the extra space to stretch out in your crib, and so far everything has gone very smoothly. most nights, you're ready for bed around 7:30 or 8, and you are sound asleep by the time Greta is ready for bed at 8:30 (or sometimes closer to 9!). in the morning, you frequently wake first, and babble to yourself until either i come get you or Greta wakes up and talks to you. a few mornings, i've come into your room to find Greta reading books to you, which is just about the sweetest thing ever. your big sister loves you very much! 

another big milestone is that you spent the night away from me -- actually two nights in a row! you and Greta stayed with Nana and Pappy while i went to New York to visit your Auntie Kira and to celebrate my dear friend Julie's upcoming wedding with the rest of the bridesmaids. you did very well overall. Nana and Pappy took excellent care of you, but i was so ready to snuggle you when i came back! 

you continue to be a good eater. you love the baby food blends (chicken and rice, apple strawberry banana, macaroni and cheese with vegetables, mango and oatmeal), and you're working on your pincer grasp. i give you about ten cheerios to play with and you manage to eat two or three, while the rest end up on the floor. you are now drinking 6-7 ounces of formula four to five times per day, and eating between one to two containers of baby food as well. 

we love you, cecilia marie! 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

seven months

dearest Cecilia,

you've always been a happy baby, but this month, your sense of humor has truly blossomed. you laugh when we laugh, when i kiss your tummy, when we mimic your "mad dog" pant, when Greta plays peek-a-boo with you. and speaking of peek-a-boo, it's your new favourite game. if we put a small blanket over your head, you dramatically pull it off and laugh and laugh. you know your name, and you love the little song i made up one day: "Cecilia Bedelia, Cecilia Marie! you are my best Cecilia, and always you shall be." 

you are a pro at sitting up now, and sometimes when you're on your tummy, you scoot yourself backwards just a little bit. you love to spin yourself around in a circle to reach your various toys. you entertain yourself for long periods of time in the pack'n'play, looking at books, shaking your maracas, and chewing on your beloved Sophie giraffe. 

you blow raspberries and you love your sippy cup, although you don't actually drink much water out of it -- you just gnaw on the spout. this month, you've eaten all kinds of things: peaches, green beans, mashed bananas, peas, and oatmeal mixed with fruit. you chow down on rice rusks (which are marketed as a "no-mess" snack, but somehow you manage to get half-dissolved crumbs all over yourself). you sit with us at the dinner table in your little Fisher Price highchair seat (attached to one of our dining rooms chairs) and eat your food like a big girl! 

i don't want to jinx myself, but you are a fantastic sleeper. when you're getting tired, you rub your cheek with the leg of your little froggy Wubbanub and sometimes you rub the top of your head. you're still sleeping in our room, mostly because i'm afraid that if i move you in with your sister, you'll end up keeping each other awake! 

you're still wearing size 2 diapers, and you're well into 6-9 month clothes. you had some 6 month onesies and rompers that still fit until literally yesterday, when you outgrew them seemingly overnight. that might have something to do with the fact that you transitioned to formula this month. my supply just kept dropping (as it did around this time when i was nursing Greta) and so we gradually made the switch. you were not too pleased about taking a bottle from me at first, but after a few days you decided it wasn't so bad after all, and you now drink 5-6 ounces between four to six times per day. 

so many fun things happened this month! you attended your first wedding -- and such a special wedding, at that. your godparents, Jen and John, were married in a beautiful traditional Latin mass at St. Boniface Church. you were a good girl throughout the whole service and then Nana watched you during the reception. then, your friend Addie (ten months) and her mom Amelia came to visit for a few days. you two were equally fascinated by each other and i'm so excited to watch you two grow up together.

and finally, you went on your first plane trip -- across the country, no less! this was a very special trip back to Redmond for Auntie Krista's high school graduation. you met Grandpa Kyle for the first time, and loved snuggling with him. you also met Uncle James, Auntie Krista, and Great-Grandpa Bill and Great-Grandma Jo. we had a wonderful, albeit short, trip with family, and you were a trooper on both flights. i wore you most of the time in the Ergo, and it worked out so well! we hope to fly back over Christmas, and i'm afraid you might not be so keen to stay put for so long by that point when you'll be much more mobile! 

we love you, Cece! happy seven months! 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

six months

dearest Cecilia,

i remember when your sister turned six months old and i couldn't believe half a year had gone by already. and it's no less astonishing to me now. where have the last several months gone? it seems like just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital (in the same elephant hat that you wore to the hospital from home!). with your dramatic entrance into the world, i was sure you'd be high-spirited and demanding. but over the past six months, you've been nothing but pleasant. when you do cry (usually when you're tired), you settle down easily with some snuggles. 

you and Greta have a lot of fun together now that you're big enough for her to hold you without help (at least while sitting on the couch -- she can't carry you around just yet!). she loves playing peek-a-boo or dancing around the room to make you laugh. you reach out to touch her hair or her face, and you don't seem to mind her sometimes ferocious affections. she calls you "Cece-girl" and "Celia". i wouldn't be surprised if your first word ends up being "sissy". you sure love her! 

a few weeks ago, you mastered rolling from your back to your belly. you even figured out how to turn yourself around in a circle by pushing with your arms. and just in the past few days, you've started sitting unassisted for several minutes at a time. for the most part, you can regain your balance if you start to topple, but i still keep a hand close by to catch you if you tip over. you love your new vantage point for playing with toys and watching the general hubbub of life in our house! 

a few weeks ago, you started your first solid foods. so far you've had pureed carrots, sweet potatoes, and applesauce (introduced in that order). your favourite by far is the applesauce. Daddy says nobody should be forced to eat pureed carrots! 

this month, i started reading to you regularly as part of your nap and bedtime routine. you usually listen to us read Greta's bedtime stories to her, so you'll probably be able to recite One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by the time you're a year old, but i thought you needed some stories of your own. you love to help turn the pages, and you like to touch all the pictures. when you're trying to fall asleep, you shake your head back and forth in your bed, sometimes pretty forcefully. Nana says that Daddy used to do that too. you still wear your Halo sleepsack to bed, with arms unswaddled, and you're still in our room with us. but it won't be long before you outgrow the co-sleeper, and then we'll transition you to the crib and let you share a room with Greta! 

this month, you celebrated your first Easter! you got spoiled with Easter baskets from Mommy and Daddy, Nana and Pappy, and Grammie and Grandpa! you slept through the Easter egg hunt in our yard, though. there's always next year! 

you also went on your first little vacation to Splash Lagoon in Erie. you liked splashing in the water and playing with the little fountains, and they even had jumperoos set up in the kids' area so you could jump in the water. i think you liked the family whirlpool the best, since the water was closer to bath temperature. you spent a fair amount of time napping in Nana's arms, and i'm not sure who enjoyed that more, you or her! 

i'll update your weight and length after your six-month well visit next week. you're wearing all 6 month clothes, and i anticipate you're still around the tenth to fifteenth percentile for weight. our little peanut, indeed! at five and a half months, you weighed 13 lbs 15 ounces, and i know that because we unfortunately ended up at the pediatrician's office after you fell off the changing table onto the hardwood floor. i was standing right there when you fell, but when i reached for your new outfit, you flipped all the way over before i could catch you. you had a goose egg on the left side of your forehead, so even though you didn't lose consciousness and were acting fine, the pediatrician ordered skull x-rays. thank God they came back normal, and you've been absolutely fine ever since. i felt so horrible about the whole incident, and have been extra careful to keep a hand on you at all times since then! 

baby girl, you bring us so much joy. we love you forever and always! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

five months

dearest cecilia,

as i write this at ten p.m., you're snoozing in your swing with your pacifier and your silky owl lovey. you'll sleep for another hour and a half or so until i'm ready for bed, and then you'll nurse one last time before settling in for the night in the co-sleeper. a few times this month, you've actually dropped that last feeding and slept in your bed from 8:30 pm on til morning. but most of the time you eat 5-7 times per day (you still drink 4 four-ounce bottles while you're at daycare). you just started wearing 6-month clothes this week. i just love the rolls on your little thighs (and i tell you so on a daily basis). 

your pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start solid food anytime after you turned four months, and i think we'll have you try out some vegetable purees within the next few weeks. you crane your head to watch us while we eat, and you're sitting like a champ with some support (both of which are signs of readiness for starting solids). 

you love to sit up in the boppy so you can see all of Greta's shenanigans, and you sit straight up now in your bouncer so you can reach all your toys more easily. you actually haven't rolled much in the past few weeks, and you tend to get stuck on your tummy and start screeching after about 10 minutes. you're loving the exersaucer more and more, now that you can turn yourself around in it and reach all of the toys. Kaiser likes the exersaucer too, because it makes you the perfect height for him to sneak over and give you a kiss. yuck! 

on a more positive note, you've mastered transferring toys from hand to hand! you really love exploring the little ribbons on the Taggie toys we have (your ball, hedgehog, and blanket). and you beam at the big orange octopus that Greta gave you whenever you're getting your diaper changed. you also love shaking the O-ball car (a Christmas present from Nana), and you love chewing on your Sophie giraffe (especially her soft little ears). i think your favourite activity is bathtime, though. i had to start putting your infant tub inside the full bath tub last week (instead of sitting on the bathroom counter) because you kick and splash so much!  

speaking of chewing, i've been wondering when your first tooth might make an appearance. you've had a few cranky days, and a few episodes of low-grade fever with a little congestion. i think i can see something below the surface of your lower gum, but it's hard to get a good look and i certainly can't feel anything erupting yet. 

your latest trick is to gasp very dramatically. i think you're just experimenting with your voice, but i'm sure part of it is the fact that it gets you a lot of attention because sometimes it sounds like you're choking! sometimes you gasp five or six times in a row and then that makes you cough. silly girl! 

the highlight of this month was meeting Auntie Kelli and Uncle Colin! they flew in from California to spend a week with us, and even watched you and Greta while i had to work. you also got to meet Auntie Rebekah, and you just melted all of their hearts. we had a wonderful visit -- i wish they didn't live so far away! 

we love you, sweet girl! 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

four months

dear cece,

it's so much fun watching you grow -- mentally, physically, and socially! your personality continues to be the epitome of chill. you nurse every 3 to 3 1/2 hours during the day, then one last time around 11 pm before I go to bed, and sleep through until 7-7:30 a.m. (although as the days get longer and mornings get brighter, you start to stir earlier!). you love your sleep, although you're happy to stay awake for 90 minutes, sometimes up to two hours before you nap.

in the past few weeks, you have started playing with toys, especially your Sophie giraffe, your green rattle, and your soft books. you also love looking at the mini board book attached to your carseat handle. you sit on my lap and look intently at the book when I read aloud. and you found your feet!

you're making all kinds of new noises, too: growling, blowing raspberries, and laughing! all the noise we make in our house doesn't seem to bother you. even when Kaiser barks, you just blink, unperturbed.

this week, you mastered rolling over from your tummy to your back. you're actually enjoying tummy time more now, and will play with your crinkly soft books for up to 10 minutes before rolling, or sometimes just squawking for help. you haven't quite managed to roll from your back to your tummy yet, but you're close -- you'll flip your whole body over except for one shoulder. once you figure that out, we'll have to stop swaddling you, and i'm a little nervous that that transition will ruin your phenomenal sleep. oh well!

you absolutely adore Greta. you crane your neck to watch her as she plays, and when she talks to you or sings to you, your face just lights up. sometimes I still have to remind her to be gentle with you, but you don't seem to mind when she hugs you a little too tight. she calls you "Cece-ceece" and "little darling". 

you weigh 12 lbs 6 ounces (13th percentile) and are 24 3/4 inches long (62nd percentile). for as small as you are according to the growth charts, you are definitely getting some chub! you're wearing 3-6 month clothing now, and even some 6 month sleepers in brands that run small. and you're drooling up a storm!

you love when we sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and do the motions, especially the dramatic arm movement for "wash the spider OUT"; and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"; and your eponymous song "Cecilia", although I use Grammie's substitute lyrics ("you're melting my heart" instead of "breaking my heart"). and before every nap, I sing "All the Pretty Little Horses" while rocking you. as soon as I sing the first phrase, you smile up at me and then your eyelids start to get heavy.

we love you so much, cecilia marie!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

three months

dearest cecilia,

you are, quite simply, the happiest baby i've ever met. when i wake you up in the morning, you open your blue eyes and immediately smile up at me. your whole body wriggles with delight when strangers say hi to you. and you absolutely melt when Greta talks to you. although when you're displeased with something, you make that very clear (you screamed at your poor daycare teacher once when she didn't warm up your bottle quite enough, and sometimes when i put you down for a quick diaper change before you eat, your whole body goes rigid and you yell until your face goes red). 

you're starting to hold on to toys for longer periods of time now, and when you shake your rattle, you kick your legs in triumph. you're still not a huge fan of tummy time, but you tolerate it a little more when i set up your mirror so you can see yourself. and you've started laughing, the cutest, happiest little laugh. 

at your two-month well check, we discovered your growth rate had dropped to the 12th percentile for weight (from the 40th percentile at one month). you also started to fight nursing, refused to stay latched and seemed to be uncomfortable while eating. so i scheduled a consultation for us at the Breastfeeding Center in Greenfield. they got us in the very next day, and we spent an hour at the center with a lactation consultant and then a physician. it turns out that i wasn't keeping your body properly aligned using the football hold, so your little GI tract was twisting and making you feel like you had gas pains. poor baby! in literally thirty seconds, the lactation consultant identified the problem and showed me how to latch you properly using the cross-cradle hold, and you love it. she also recommended that i nurse from both sides each feeding. i had previously just fed on one side because you seemed content, but ninety percent of the time now when i offer the second side, you chow down. so we'll see how your weight looks at your appointment this week! {update: you weighed 11 lbs 5 ounces, up to the 25th percentile!} i'm so grateful to have such wonderful resources close by! 

you do crunches just like your sister did at this age -- we call it "doing your Pilates". and you love to chew on your hands, and grab at my hair. you're talking up a storm, complete with dramatic facial expressions. 

we love you so much, peanut!