Monday, September 17, 2012

The New Normal

Coming off of vacation is usually a difficult adjustment whether you have a baby, kids or not! Getting back to work, the normal schedule, meals, etc. is enough to tire out anyone and even bring on a bit of depression. Okay maybe not depression but just a little disappointment that vacation is over and basically with our vacation being over, summer is pretty much over here as well. We have had some beautiful weather, don't get me wrong, but there is definitely the fall-chill in the air in the mornings and evenings despite the really warm afternoons.

I feel like I have been doing just a terrible job of documenting the everyday happenings around here and I really hope that changes because we are in a really good place right now and finding our new normal. I'm pretty sure I have talked before about how Ben and I are pretty routine-craving people and that having a baby threw us for a loop in that department. It's like before you have a baby you know things will change, be different, unpredictable and challenging but you don't know quite how much until it is you.

These days we are embracing whatever "routine" or "schedule" we have for the day. There have been many low points in my days with Eleanor, I will definitely admit that, but I am focusing on the high points these days. All of a sudden, last week, it hit me that she is 9 months, well actually over 9 months, old and will be one in less than three months. Less than three months?! What in the heck have I been doing these past nine months?! Well, even though it has been a slow process, I have been adjusting to my new normal.

This past weekend was pretty great even though I was feeling a bit under the weather. Last weekend, we had arrived home from vacation on Sunday and kind of just hopped back into the week. This weekend we got to relax on Friday night, enjoy a leisurely morning on Saturday and celebrate a friend's engagement on Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning, again, started out slowly, enjoying family breakfast and lunch, a couple of naps for E and then Ben's birthday dinner. None of it was too fancy or exciting but that is where we are now. And we love it. Friday night, our friend's band was playing in the city and we considered going until we found out he probably wasn't going on until about 11:30. PM. Ben still thought about going even after heard that because he hasn't seen them play yet and he wanted to see our friends but after talking about it, we realized {and I think we already knew but were trying to feel somewhat social} that we just aren't in that place right now. And that's okay. Maybe next summer we will be able to make a late show like that but last Friday night just wasn't the night. We haven't stayed a night away from Eleanor as a couple and Ben has only been away for business and a wedding and he decided that wasn't how he wanted to spend a chosen night away from her quite yet.

If we have learned anything {I mean we have learned a million things} it is that each phase/stage is so fleeting. Each stage that I have thought couldn't possibly get any harder, could have been over the next week.  I know that people told me that at the time and it is so easy for experienced moms to tell me all that but at the time it is just really hard to hear. There have only been a few people that I have been able to just vent to and not get some sort of piece of advice. Sometimes you just need an ear, ya know? I am grateful for those people and over time, one of those people did become my husband. Ben always wants to be able to fix a problem or give a solution and I think he realized that wasn't always going to be the case. Sometimes, I just need to talk, vent, get mad or cry and he would just have to listen. We have always had strong communication but this experience has strengthened it even more. We have found balance between when to say something and when to not. When he is being super patient, I may not be and vice versa. I am by no means saying we have any of this figured out or that we are experts at all, but we are getting better and getting to a point where we have our feet under us a little bit more than we did.

I know this is all sort of random and scattered but I haven't been able to blog much and when I do it feels more like a journal entry of where my thoughts are on this one particular day. I know it will be nice to look back at when we are considering another baby and I need a reality check as to if we are really ready to head down that road again!

So, Happy Monday and here's to a good week! ;)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

8 & 9 Months

Dearest daughter of mine, Miss Eleanor,

Well, here we are again, combining two months into one letter because I just can't seem to keep up! It is all beginning to blur together and before this wonderful experience, I could not understand how moms couldn't remember exactly what date these wonderful milestones all happened on. How do you not know the first day you gave your baby food? How can you not remember when your baby started sleeping through the night? Oh, it's because it feels like there is something new every day!

My sweet baby, you continue to amaze us all the time. You are at such a fun age where you are just on the move and all you want to do is explore. You just love taking it all in whether it be roaming from room to room {with me close behind, of course}, outside on a walk or in a group of people. You are quite the chatterbox when you have the floor and it is hilarious. Right now we get a lot of "dadadada" and some "nyanyanya" and we like to mimic you and try to get you to mimic us.

You started to wave over the last month. It is adorable, of course. Your wave is an outstretched arm and open and closing of the hand. Melt my heart. I think you are also on the verge of clapping but not quite to full on open hands together. You get excited, shake your arms and sometimes put closed fists together. You also love to dance! Music comes on and you bed your knees and bop up and down.

As for your chosen method of getting around it is still crawling--fast. You stand up on everything and will try to walk if you are holding you up from behind. You can turn from one object of furniture to another and will sometimes change what you are holding onto. Your dad thinks you are close to walking, I like to think no. Partly because I am not ready for that step and I like to stay in denial.

You still have no teeth but some days I think I see the starts and some days I don't which is what I hear is pretty typical.

Right now you are doing really well sleeping at night. {I'm sure I just jinxed that by typing it ;) } We have your bedtime routine down and it seems to work well. We eat dinner around 530-6, if it's during the week you and I usually have to start before Dad gets home. We try to get you in the bath by 630 and reading books shortly after. Ideally I am nursing you by 715 but sometimes 730 at the latest. Usually I put you down after nursing but some nights we do have to let you cry or fuss a bit in your crib before you go to sleep.

Nap times have been a little trying as I think has pretty much always been the case for you. I think we are in transition from always napping while nursing and sometimes you will do great with two naps in your crib, sometimes just one, and on the not so great days, sometimes none! I really am trying to learn to be patient with this and just take it one day at a time but sometimes that is hard. I just feel so bad for you when you get so tired and won't go to sleep.

You are doing so wonderfully with food. I don't think there has been a single thing we have offered that you haven't eaten. We did give you some yogurt about a month ago and I think I gave you a little too much, 4 days in a row, and I think it was a little hard on your tummy. Since then you have a had small amounts of cheese here and there and it seems to be fine. We may revisit the yogurt soon or maybe not. You continue to love meat and scarf down any that is put in front of you. Fruits and veggies are always a favorite as is Mom's homemade hummus.

You are nursing about every 5-6 hours during the day which has been interesting for me. I feel like for so long I was so used to the frequent nursing but now with food added, you definitely skip one nursing session during the day right now. You nurse when you wake and then have food for breakfast and lunch and then usually nurse again sometime in the afternoon and again before bed. There are definitely times I can tell it's more for comfort which is fine too!

You love to be in the water and you also had your first boating expedition on Oma and Opa's boat. We went on our first family vacation and it was a blast. We went with our group of friends with your friends Addison and Freddie. We had five days of fun in the sun and on Lake Chelan. You were a little bit difficult in the sleep department but we pushed through and enjoyed ourselves despite that.

You are wearing mostly nine month clothes with mostly 12 month pants because of your diapers. We have your nine month check up next week so we will see what your measurements are.

You continue to light up our lives everyday and we are so blessed to have you as our daughter. Your personality continues to grow everyday and we love watching you learn, explore and discover every bit of the world around you.

Love you always, baby girl.