Sunday, September 27, 2009

8 Months and Growing...

Life's been busy. Elyana and I have had a lot of nights to ourselves this week. Jonathan's been hunting so we have taken the opportunity to go out. After being at home all day, she can get tired of what we've got to offer here. She loves what we do together, but she does enjoy seeing new things. One evening we went to TJ Maxx together. I wasn't sure how she'd do. Ever since the first of August, she has been going through a fussy phase. At stores, she's been way too fussy for me to want to even TRY to go alone. Even with Jonathan, I didn't like going, because the entire time in a store I seemed to be working on just keeping her happy! But just this past week, as I was writing down what she's doing new, I found myself writing, "I think we're past the fussy phase!" Five weeks! Not too bad. She is really an amazing baby, so wonderfully sweet tempered, happy, easy to entertain, loves me so much.

So we went out to TJ Maxx, and I think I was there an hour and a half! We looked at tons of stuff. She was in the cart, then in my sling, and did wonderfully! It really was like having a little shopping buddy! I'd show her things, let her touch them, identify them, point out "pretty" stuff. We looked at everything. I got her a toy, some great makeup and shampoo, a few presents, and.....

a pair of jeans the smallest pre-pregnancy size I have worn! When I tried them on, I didn't expect to even be able to zip them, but I wanted to see how they looked. I was so surprised at how amazing they fit. This was so encouraging for me. Ever since Elyana was 3 months old, I have worked and worked and worked my butt off! When Jonathan was deployed, I barely took a day off working out those 78 days. I was meticulous about my eating. And I felt like I only saw the tiniest of change. I worked out 60-90 minutes every day. It was more than discouraging. I really felt like my body too was working against me. I felt upset that everyone I heard from before I had Elyana told me that nursing would make the weight fall off... So not true for me! I was actually down to 1lb of my pre-pregnancy weight by 3 weeks post-partem (although I had lots of toning to do). Then, it's as if my body rebelled, and without changing anything, I went back ~6lb up. And stayed that way, no matter what I did. I even went to all the working out and ~800 calories a day. No Change. You can see how frustrating this was. But honestly, I just thought I needed to find the "key" to what my body would require to lose weight and tone up (although I figured I might not be able to until I stopped nursing). I am now more motivated than ever to work hard, never take more than 1 day concurrently off from working out, and watch my eating. When I see progress, I want to continue. When nothing happens, that's when I get discouraged fast. Ah but the pride I had thinking I would be back to my pre-pregnancy body by 3-6 months!!!

Georgia doesn't seem to know that it's suppose to be autumn. It's disgusting how hot, humid, and sunny it is all the time! There are gnats and flies and mosquitoes out still! I'm ready for a change of season, especially the gorgeous turning of the leaves!

 Elyana adores crawling and pulling up! She still has just two teeth on bottom, which melt your heart when she smiles at you. In the morning, when she wakes up, it's the most wonderful heart-warming thing to walk in her room, and have her beautifully cheerful smile flashed as she sees my face! She crawls over and pulls up to be held. Oh how I adore every time she wakes up to see this! She nurses 5 times a day, which I don't see changing until she's about a year old. She grew 1.5 inches and 1.5lb in the last month! At 8 months she was 29 inches long and 19.5 lb (by my measurements, that is). Whenever we go out, she gets oohed and aahed over about 3 times per store. It's adorable. She has developed this "shyness" where she'll smile, bury her face in my neck/arm, and then try to peek out in a few seconds. She'll do it a few times and then finally all-out smile. I feel like everything she does is wonderful! Never a nursing session goes by that I don't pray in thankfulness for her little life, and what a beautiful gift we've been entrusted with!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Somebody is Crawling All Over!

Oh yes - she did her first crawl where she actually moved all of her hands/legs more than once each back on Wednesday, Sep 9th. Now, 10 days later, she is a great crawler! She follows me into different rooms when I "leave" her. It's so fun! It is a new challenge, as the training we've been doing with "no touch" is all of a sudden so much more applicable! She is good at obeying it, but not 100% yet.

The whining suggestions in regards to signing helped. That's what I want - to help her understand sign language so that she won't be frustrated. Her whining I know isn't her being bad on purpose, she wants to communicate and she doesn't know how. I have been looking at different websites, and I decided I'd like to use ASL instead of "baby sign language". The thing I'm having to handle right now is that I'm trying to get her to learn an abstract (vs iconic) sign ("More"). It's a hurdle, but I believe consistency, like you guys talk about, is Key. The reading I've done is very encouraging! I even ordered a book with a quick-reference sheet and DVD to get myself acquainted (gotta love getting items 75% off on eBay).

Can you guys tell me when you were able to teach your children about being "quiet" or not fussing (basically, communicating to them "shh" or "hush" in a non-corrective/gentle way?). I know I've seen Susi's child understand and comply with that at 15 months.

I will post about our alternate vaccine schedule, and the whys behind it all, but I can't currently because I have lent out my vaccine book, which has all my specific info in it. But I'm getting it back in this next month, so I'll post then.

As many of you shared or confirmed with me, I have seen a trend now that with new stages of development her sleep gets disrupted! When we unswaddled her and she learned then to roll over in bed, for 10 days she got up between 3-10 times at night. When her 2nd tooth came in and gave her so much anguish, she woke 5-8 times a night. And now that she has learned to crawl, she has learned to sit up in her crib, and gets up an average of 3-4 times a night. Even though she can lay herself down, I think it's just different for her to relate a crib to sitting (i.e. playing!) so she gets distracted from what she should be doing (sleeping), and eventually cries. But this time, I'm less worried about how long this will take, since I do know it's just a phase!!! :)

Jonathan has been getting some hunting in, but not nearly as much as I wish he could get. Since he's deploying in Nov, he'll miss a good chunk of deer season, and so he really needs opportunities now. I love his hobbies (hunting, fishing, and gunsmithing are top). I think he's so smart and intuitive and good at what he does! I do miss hunting with him like I used to, but I'll get some chances in October when we're back with the family. Nothing like a few uninterrupted time in a deer stand together with a book and the glory of nature surrounding us!

This is long enough... Pictures! Labor Day/Daddy's Birthday! :)

First, a family picture of us in Savannah.

Elyana playing in her new sandbox at Grandma&Grandpa's!

My sweet and beautiful (inside and out!) cousin Savannah holding her... Savannah is probably one of the most gentle, loving, self-sacrificing young lady you've ever met. And she loves children, is adventurous, and plays with them, regardless of their age! I want her to be our babysitter!

Karen holding Michael in her wrap! He loves this (duh!). Sweet Daddy next to her and Katrina in a towel.

This was Daddy's birthday and his cakes! Mary made him his favorite (vanilla with chocolate icing). I made him homemade Banana Pudding (a fave), and Karen made a strawberry cheesecake, because Seth likes them and well, more dessert!!! Granddaddy got to be there and it was so wonderful to see and talk to him. I miss him a lot! His presence there was like special old times!

Katrina being too cute for the camera!

My beautiful mother holding grandbaby #4, her first grandson!!! Is he not a cutie?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Autumn Should Be Here!

Right now, we're all struggling with some sort of sickness! Elyana had a cough and mild fever. She's mostly better. J had congestion and sore throat. I had sore throat and achiness. It's been since Wednesday, but still hanging on. I feel like it's so mild, it's just been hard to shake. Yesterday we all felt better, but J & I didn't wake up feeling too good. I'm grateful we've been so super healthy so far, and have very good immune systems. This is Elyana's 2nd illness, and her first was only 2 days of runny nose, fever, crankiness. I am thinking of buying her the Tri-Vi-Sol finally (a vitamin supplement of Vitamin D, A and C). They're great at boosting your immune system. I haven't gotten it for her yet, because she gets 30 minutes every day outside, if not more. (A walk is one of our non-negotiable daily activities, like music or eating!) But with the changing of the season, and her now getting immunizations every month, it's probably smart. (We're doing a very modified vaccine schedule, based roughly on Dr. Sears alternate schedule, but with my choosing to eliminate some and delay everything from starting until 6 months. I'll post more if anyone has questions.)

This Saturday was opening day of Bow Season for Deer. It's an exciting time for Jonathan! I have been practicing on my bow, but won't get to try until we go home and family can watch Elyana. We did go Labor Day weekend to dove hunt, and I got one. Yes, just one. I was only out about 2 hours, because of a small-group committment, but it was fun! J got 5 so we had our traditionally delicious sauteed dove-breast in salted butter, thyme, and marjoram. So good!

Once Labor Day is over, Jonathan feels like autumn is on its way. I have waited and finally got to put out my fall decor! I think it's my favorite (with Christmas coming in a close second)! I have all sorts of orange and brown flowers, foliage, etc around the house. Then of course there's my wonderful candle collection! I have different scented oils and candles in Mulled Cider, Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, Autumn Leaves, Harvest, Cinnamon and Cloves, and Creamy Caramel. They all add an ambiance and scent that I love! And ushering the day in with Pumpkin Pancakes with Hot Cider Syrup all the more convinced me that autumn will be here soon!

Elyana is such a beautiful, wonderful, precious baby! I love her so very much!!! She babbles a lot more, saying "dadada" "mamama" "bababa" "lelele" "gagaga" "uhgauhga" and other such noises! I love it! She is crawling around now, which we adore! But I don't think she realizes that if we're in the other room (and she can see us) she can get to us as well! It's more her way of getting to an out-of-reach toy! She continues to love being outside. At Grandma and Grandpa's they had a baby swing she could sit in, as well as a hammock and a sandbox! Can I say she adored all of those? We definitely need a sand box. She'd play for about 30 minutes, loving touching and eating the sand (I know, yuck!). Then we'd bathe off! She loves going HIGH in the swing. Same as when she sits with me on a big-person swing. If I'm not going high she's bored! :)

The eating thing she's gotten kinda funny about. Three times a day is more than she likes. She also now would prefer our food to her own. If we're eating or drinking something, she has no end of curiosity about it! But if it's her own mashed food, I'm good to get her eating a "full" (2-3 TBSP) serving of each at one sitting (oatmeal, fruit, veggie). She used to love it all. I'm not worried, because honestly I think babies are being pushed to start solids a lot sooner than they ever were, and the most nutritious thing for her right now is my milk anyway! It's more I have to stand my ground if I feel intimidated by other mothers who think my baby should be eating more solids. I am getting better at this and for the most part people are kind and non pushy anyway.

I still love cloth diapering!!! But I do wish I'd gone with Fuzzi Bunz, as my BG velcro holder seems to be wearing out. I have been putting off contacting them. Actually, I should be doing that instead of blogging. But what's more fun? Anyway, I know they'll replace it, but there's only a year warranty, and I know I'll just face this again with another baby. :( Ok, I just found out, I have to mail them my diaper covers, but at my cost (bleh). Oh well. I'll tell you how it goes!

We are training Elyana and she understands "no touch" although she doesn't always obey the first time (she understands though!). We realized she "whines" for things (toys, more food, etc) and so I'm working very hard to intentionally use signs every time this happens, and to not give her something at every whine. I try to let her stop whining, and tell her "more" (with the sign) and then immediately give it. Any success with this type of training?

Oh, and she's now quite the car traveler. She's done 8-hour car rides (or more) twice a month for the last 5 months, so she's getting very good in there. Minimal fussing! She plays, watches trees, and sleeps. I'm grateful for our little traveling buddy!