Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 months!

My little baby has hit the double digits! I feel like every day she is learning new things, but here's where she is at now.

Food: This girl can EAT. She nurses about 4-5 times a day. I wish we could fit another time in but between playing and sleeping I haven't figured it out yet. Mostly I am just concerned that if we don't keep up good nursing habits my milk will dry up. Not ready for that yet. :( She does a mix of German jar food and table food. I hesitate to even call the jar food puree because the 10 month stuff is so chunky! For the most part she will eat anything I put in front of her. She did NOT like the swiss cheese I gave her when we were in France. She doesn't like the texture of broccoli florets so she won't pick them up, but if I put a piece in her mouth she is fine. So weird, right?

Sleep: I don't want to jinx anything, but sleep is going well. She goes to bed between 7-8 PM after bath and a story. She wakes up between 8-10 AM, depending on how her naps went the day before. She typically has two naps. Her morning nap is about 90 minutes to 2 hours after she wakes up, and then the afternoon nap seems to take place around 3:30. She's always been better with her nighttime sleep than her naps, so if she goes on a nap strike or we had a busy day she makes up for it at night.

Play:She still loves her jumperoo, and to be honest I take advantage of those moments she's in it because I know she's contained and safe! She has a gorgeous wooden walker that we bought locally but she's still too unstable on her feet. She loves standing and has just recently started lifting a foot if I hold her hand. She also loves playing with Little People. For the most part, since she's still fairly young to play with the sets I bought her I hand her one of the animals from the Farm set when I change her diaper so she doesn't roll all over the place. It really helps to have a special changing toy to keep her interested. I've been working on some sensory play pins from Pinterest and they have been hit or miss. She loves the jars but to actually touch stuff, she doesn't love that.

Milestones: She waves, signs a few words, stands, says mama, dada, and baby.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Follow up

I've been reading the comments on my last post and it got me thinking: Why do people ask questions about your morning sickness, your baby's sleeping habits or if they can write or read. After spending a few months in Germany I have come to a conclusion: Americans don't like silence. We will make small talk with anyone! This is just not the German way. Yes, you will be greeted with a "Hallo!" when you check out at the grocery store, but don't expect any small talk. In fact, when you accidentally ask a German how he/she is doing you either get a confused expression in return or a diatribe about everything that has gone on that day.

With that in mind I have resolved to be more deliberate with my conversations, skipping some of the fluff that Americans throw out there and not mean. Cause lets be honest: do you often care to hear the response when you ask someone how they are doing? Or are you waiting for them to tell you so that you can talk about yourself?

So I wonder, if you do feel the need to ask some sort of question then what kind of questions could you ask that lead to more meaningful conversation?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Microblog Monday: Word Watch, 2014 edition

As your child approaches the one year mark, what I fondly think of as Word Watching becomes your newest activity as a parent. Everyone wants to know if the Bug is talking yet. My mommy friends seem to be split about how this works: one camp believes that even a few sounds strung together could be a word and then on the other side you have the purists. The purists believe if the child doesn't say the word correctly, it's not a word. We had a doctor's visit (our first with our new German pediatrician) and one of the first questions was how many words does the Bug say. I went with two - she says Mama and Dada. However, the doctor also includes signs, which would then bump us up to 4 words, adding "more" and "milk."

The latest and greatest news from WW'14 is that the Bug has started saying "baby" - it would seem that nearly all my friends these days have a baby so we are often looking at pictures or watching videos of babies. We FaceTime with friends and their babies. Bug is still at a point where even if she is watching a video of herself she will exclaim about the baby, probably not realizing that baby is herself. When can I expect her to understand that her reflection or a video is her? Curious.

In any event, I know it's still early so when people ask about the big question I don't worry about it. I just think it's funny to watch the progression of questions:

Most common question when I was pregnant: How many weeks? Followed by: Did you/are you having morning sickness?
Younger baby: Sleeping through the night?
A few months ago: Eating yet?
And now it's whether she is speaking, how many words. I'm sure next up is whether she is walking. I am in NO rush for that! Haha!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Microblog Monday: Ladybug's first Thanksgiving

With our family and (old) friends thousands of miles away, my spontaneous husband thought it would be nice to get away to Strasbourg, France for Thanksgiving. We went away for three days and had our turkey dinner last night. Some interesting highlights include going to our first Christmas market (so much fun!), having steak in a French version of like an Applebees on Thursday night, and watching the look of joy on the bug's face as she tried cranberry sauce (my favorite) for the first time. Apparently getaways like ours are common over here among the Americans. Of all our friends only two families were actually here in Stuttgart on Thanksgiving day - and one of those families had their family visiting so I can understand why they stuck around. I think our next little getaway will be up to Nuremburg to see their Christmas Market - apparently they are well known for their gingerbread (yum!)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Microblog Monday: Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband's birthday. He took today off and with Thanksgiving he was chuckling that he only has two days of work this week - and likely Wednesday will be early release. He hadn't planned it to be that way, for some reason he forgets when Thanksgiving is. Just a few days ago he asked me, "Is Thanksgiving Thursday?" I'm going to assume he knows it is on A Thursday, and was just checking that it was this coming Thursday rather than asking if it falls on a Thursday. ;)

I'm going to admit, I looked through the meager card selection we have at our post exchange and nothing popped out to me in terms of a Happy Birthday from a child card. I had long ago pinned and shared with R the idea of doing a journal instead of cards so we do that for my birthday and other special occasions. So my question is: What do you do for your significant other (from your child) for birthdays/Christmas when your children are too young to do anything on their own?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

parents day out

Now that we are here in Germany I am more tuned into events on the bases, which seems a little ironic to me since before the Bug was born I worked on our post. Anyway, every month there is a parents night out and then during the holiday season the child development center also offers a parents day out. We had friends watch the bug on two separate occasions back in the states but there isn't really anyone like that yet here so I look forward to these events so we can have some just-us time.

This weekend's parents day out couldn't have come at a better time. R's birthday is Monday so we took the day to go have a burger and beer before going to see the new Hunger Games movie. It was such a fun day!

The best part was going to pick up the Bug and watching through the window as she played with two other babies. She's been fascinated with those Busy Poppin Pals - that toy has been everywhere we play lately! The funny thing is we actually have one but since she has so many toys I haven't pulled it out of the closet yet.

Which brings me to a question: what do you do with toys? She has such a short attention span so nothing is played with for a long time so I feel like we need a slew of toys to keep her happy yet I don't like the explosion of toys in my living room. So do you swap out toys now and then to keep it interesting?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ladybug at 9 months

Ah, nine months. Officially on the outside longer than she was in my belly. I have to say it again friends, the further the pregnancy memories are the less desire I have to repeat the experience. Maybe it's because L keeps me so busy during the day I cannot even imagine being pregnant while I am running around with her. But don't misunderstand, while she's quite the handful and I miss her snuggly newborn days I am enjoying this month.

Sleep: I don't want to jinx it, so let's just say...there are no complaints here. She takes about two naps during the day, depending on how early she wakes up and averages about 13 hours at night. We had to co-sleep while visiting a cousin about a week ago and that was just insane. I don't even know how we did it for 8 months. We get lots of snuggles in when she nurses before her naps/sleep and I am so thankful to have some time to get things done around the house or just relax.

Food: We are still loving the German baby food so we do a mix of purees and table food. She will eat anything you give her so we are thankful that table food is going so well. But our reluctance to ditch the purees stems from the fact that the German food has a lot of variety and we know she's getting a healthy meal. Last night for dinner she had spaghetti bolognese - I can't even imagine what my dining room would look like if she had that for real. Anyway, after dealing with a lot of frustration and leaks we moved away from the sippy cup and use one of her sippy cups without a lid. Someone had recommended the Tilty and it's perfect for her. When we go out with the jogger she does use a sippy cover on her water bottle though. My biggest issue with food at this point is that this girl can EAT! When she wakes up she has a nice long nursing session - oddly enough I don't get that engorged feeling anymore which at first made me nervous because hey, shouldn't my breasts be full of milk after 12/13 hours? But anyway, she nurses for at least a half hour and I have her nurse on both sides. She plays for a little bit and then she is either hungry for a snack or ready for her first nap. I nurse her before her nap, even if it hasn't been too long since her wake up feed. After she wakes up she sits in her chair for "brunch" - I throw a few puffs on her tray while I prepare her food. She has fruit or a fruit/yogurt mix at this meal. Later she will nurse and nap again. Between 5-6 (after second nap) she eats dinner, which is usually a few puffs while I prep her puree, then she eats the puree and if R came home early or it's a quick/easy dinner for us she will graze off our plates too. She never signals that she is full. But as you will see in her picture down below, she doesn't quite have the baby belly she used to have.

Play: Her latest favorite is pulling herself up to a standing position so any toys that can help her do so are her new favorites. I snagged her one of those music table things that I hated pre-baby but I have to admit it's really cool. I was reading a post on MamaOT about how to use it, and one of my favorite things is to take two of the legs off so it leans. That way it can sit in front of her or she can grab it and stand. She also has one of those Fisher Price walking things but I find on our floors it's very slippery. My all time favorite is her wooden activity cube. It's so heavy that it can handle her wobbly weight. Plus since every side is different when she gets bored with a side I can just turn it to something else.

Milestones: She has been recognizing baby signs for a few weeks now but she is finally signing back. She says mama and dada but an interesting new thing is when I say "up" she repeats the "p" sound. She isn't crawling too quickly yet, probably because she still does more of that low crawl/drag your belly across the floor kind of thing - for which I am so thankful because I'm still sad that my baby is mobile! She would rather stand than crawl at this point.