Friday, December 31, 2010

Steps in the right direction

I love the holidays - the true spirit of giving, the chance to spend time with friends and family and, of course, the yummy food!

This year, as we always do, we headed down to CT where both of our families are/were for the holidays. First stop was at my parent's house where Sophia was treated to a host of fun presents and goodies - her favorite (and probably our least favorite) is the little push toy that sang "Do you know the muffin man" over and over. She quickly found the button to play the song and all I have to say if you're ever of Drury lane and see the muffin man, please smack him upside the head for me.

Happily, this little gem is staying at grandma and grandpa's house. But she was spoiled with so much, both in material things (toys & clothes) as much as with love and kisses. Seeing the joy she brings to my parents makes me so happy. She is a little burst of sunshine for them, no doubt. Here she is enjoying some lovey time with Grandma.

Christmas is also my Grandma's birthday - she turned 88 this year. It was a great opportunity for the whole family to get together and get a 4 generation picture.
The picture includes: My Grandma, my father and his sister, my two cousins, myself and Sophia. It is so rare that we all get together in the same room, so this was truly what the holidays are about.

On Christmas Day, we did the shuffle up to Dave's dad's house, about an hour from my folks. It offered Sophia the only nap of the day (way too much excitement with all the family around - including my mother-in-law who came down from Cambridge and my brother-in-law Barney, who flew out from Seattle).

Sophia stole the show, though, with a late afternoon walk. Yup - 4 steps from her Uncle Cameron to me. Grandpa Ahouse caught her in action: (there were cute black patent leathers that complemented the outfit, but alas, like any good party, the shoes came off!) Note that we aren't considering her a "walker" yet - just a little one who has taken steps. She's still tentative about actually walking without holding on, but each day gets a little braver.

Finally, after the food was eaten and presents were opened, I was able to get a picture of the carnage as Sophia systematically exhausted the Ahouse men - Dad, Uncle Barney and last but not least, Uncle Cam. What a day! Bring on the New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Cause you gotta have friends...

'Tis the season to give thanks, so I'm going to be doing different posts about what I'm thankful for.

I am forever thankful for my friends. I am lucky to have such wonderful men and women in my life. Lately, though, I am especially thankful for my fellow baby mama friends. I am blessed with a group of women who I have become increasingly connected with since being pregnant and having Sophia. These women are all so very different from me and from each other, but they have been my "rocks" for the past 13 months. Some I've known since high school, some I met in the past year. Some live close by, others across the pond. What I know is that they have been there for me in so many ways.

Having children that are all the same age is very convenient for comparisons:

That 8am phonecall that starts with "Sophia's is being amazingly stubborn and not sleeping at all? Is it wrong to want to trade her in today? Oh, Frances is doing the same? Want to swap kids?"
"Sophia had a massive poop that destroyed multiple outfits. Will did too? That's so reassuring that our children are really talented!"

Seriously. These are real conversations. But above and beyond the discussions about our children's sleeping, bowel movements, mobility and teeth acquisitions, it's the conversations about ourselves as women, wives and mothers. The reassurance that no, we aren't crazy, yes it is entertaining to watch our husbands make a fuss about something that we do multiple times a day with nary an eyelash batted and maybe it's not the worst thing to snuggle on the couch in silence after the baby has gone to bed with a nice glass of wine and some bad TV.

So ladies, you know who you are. I just want to say thank you for being there and being amazing. I couldn't have made it through the past year with out you. Because you gotta have friends.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The great transition

I've quickly learned over the past 13 months that raising a child is all about transitions. They (or you) are always moving from one stage to the next: Eating every two hours to spacing it out. Sleeping on and off through the whole day/night to consolidating their sleep to the evening. Laying around like a sack of potatoes to crawling to walking.

Right now, our big transition is from 2 naps to 1 nap and from bottles to sippy cups. The nap transition is a big deal, more so for me, I think, than Sophia. She has been showing signs for the past month or so that she's kind of done with her morning nap. This used to be my precious down time to get things done - email, check the football pool, cook, for at least 45 minutes if not a full 90.
But it is really nice to have a full chunk of time in the morning with her to get out and play, do errands and not feel like we're racing against the clock to get home or can't leave until 11.

Sophia is also in a very mommy-centric mode (despite the fact that she only says "Da Da" - you can ask her - where's MaMa and she looks at you with this big smile and says "DaDa!"). This focus, though, makes me putting her down for naps really difficult. She just wants to stay and snuggle and not have me leave her. It's really tough, as I know she is exhausted and needs to sleep, but the excitement of me being around is too much to handle. She is quite a trooper though.

My sitter has been a rockstar in helping her to handle the transition and can put her down in a snap. Dave, too, has had good luck with it. It makes me feel really special that all she wants is to play with me :)

We'll make it through the transition, just as we have the others. There will be some tears, but in the end, we'll all grow up as a result.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gobble Gobble...

This year, I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. Last year, technically, I hosted, because it was at our house, but in reality Sophia was all of 15 or so days old and my mom did all the cooking and heavy lifting. And not until I hosted this year did I truly have an appreciate for her flawless delivery of all the courses and components on time and properly cooked! (Note to self - not the best idea to run a 5 mile road race in the morning before a big holiday cook and host!)

We had 12 people (including Sophia and our friend Frances, a fellow 1 year old) and 1 small lovable dog. It was quite the experience with lots of excitement between the Patriots game, all the people (especially her Grandpa Ahouse, Aunt Hayley and Uncle Cameron spoiling her rotten with love and attention) and the food.

Sophia took it in stride (or crawl - however you want to call it). Charlie the dog was quite happy about the array of food that ended up on the floor by Sophia for his consumption, but Thanksgiving really offers the perfect menu for babies:
Sweet potatoes - check
Mashed Potatoes - check
Stuffing (yummy bread!) - check
Cranberry Sauce - (the real stuff, not the scary canned crap my husband likes)
Bread - check
Pumpkin pie & apple pie - double check

Now as for the actual Turkey - forget about it. Sophia has no interest in eating meat in general. Or I should say, in attempting to swallow it. She'll chew it for ages but when it comes to swallowing it she spits it out. So I guess she's getting some protein out of it! Her favorite part of the day came when it was time to load the dishwasher. She's a master at getting the jet dry cap off and in her mouth in less than 10 seconds.

By 7:15pm, though, Sophia was toast. She took her bottle and curled into a nice little ball in her crib. Which is, essentially, what I wanted to do too. At least it's not for another 12 months.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cause you gotta have friends....

Last November was a busy time for a bunch of us. There are about 8 of us with little ones all born within a few weeks of each other. Some women I already knew, others I met through my pre-baby Yoga class at Karma Yoga Studio or through the Somerville Moms list.

We decided there was no better way to celebrate than have all the babies (and their parents) at our place last weekend for some fun, food and a little bit of bedlam. Unfortunately, not all the kids could be there (one is living in London and we would have Skyped her in, but alas, she decided on a late afternoon nap) and some were sick. But Dave created an awesome poster with all the kids pictures on it:Here are some of the shots of the other kids:
Gala & Lila (my little meatball buddy!)

Lee & Andrew:
Katina & Axelle (our next door neighbors and "younger" friend - Axelle's 9months, but we figured it would be fun for her to hang out with the "big" kids...

Matt, Allison & Charlie (our elder statesmen at 15 months) (Frances & Morgan are playing with the car):
And finally Sophia & Frances - officially first friends. There were born 10 hours apart at Mt. Auburn hospital. Frances was about a month early, so Morgan & I had no idea we were both in having the girls at the same time:

We knew the party was rocking because there were shoes being eaten:

And a sleepy dad when all was said and done:

An extension of me...

I always had heard (and witnessed) that around 1, toddlers get clingy. I could never figure out why this happened and honestly, always thought it had something to do with the parents and coddling. Not that there is anything wrong with lots of baby love and snuggles, but it felt to me like it was edging towards the "helicopter parent" category.

Oh silly, silly mommy. How little I understood before having a one year old of my own!
Sophia has generally been a fairly independent little being - when she was very little, she'd happily play under her Rainforest for long periods (in baby time) while I could run around getting stuff done. Even still, in the mornings, she'll play in her crib for quite awhile before requesting our presence and her morning meal and even "read" some books before crawling out in search of us. None of these are the issue. What is becoming apparent is if anyone is to do any leaving, it is to be her, not me.

If I even so much as go to the bathroom, she chases me down at whacks on the bathroom door till I'm done, sobbing like I've left her with a pack of wild animals. (Talk about mastering the art of the 30 second bathroom visit. Another reason why women are moms and dads are guys. Enough said).

The worst part is not actually me leaving. There are occasionally a few tears and maybe some whining after I kiss her goodbye (Thank god for our sitter - she is amazing at distraction!). Rather, the drama ensues when I come home - whether it's after 45 minutes or 8 hours. The same response as she realizes - "Oh wow! I really missed her. I can't believe I didn't think of this before and now I shall tell her and everyone within a 2 mile radius exactly how I missed her." At which point she literally jumps into my arms and gives me a hug to end all hugs. It is quite possibly one of the best feelings ever (and, I'm not going to lie, occasionally overwhelming. Especially after coming in from a long car ride and having to go the bathroom. See previous paragraph). But it is a true testament to unconditional love.

Note the times that it is a bit much: when I meet her and Dave in Whole Foods after a run and she's been happily playing in the shopping cart and the sees me. Oh my - to all of my fellow customers, I'm really, really sorry for the racket. But what can I say, my daughter loves me and I her. (Thanks to the nice guy who works there for swooping in with some awesome dinosaur stickers.)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm 1 and I want to eat what I want to eat. Dang it.

There has been a lot of discussion amongst my mom friends lately about food: what are your kids eating, how are they eating it and when did they decide that throwing it off their trays was acceptable and/or the way to go?

We've been lucky - Sophia has generally been a good eater, but definitely shows signs of quirkiness. She'll happily try anything - and generally swallow it - assuming we're not at the table, in a formal high chair setting (Think - Whole Foods trial stations while in the shopping cart and you've got a winner. That's how she got hooked on taztziki sauce).

Meat has been our big struggle. For a girl who comes from two rather carnivorous parents, she shows no interest in meat (unless, of course, it's a random meatball at our friend's house or a chicken nugget from the guy at Whole Foods, but I digress). We've tried chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, you name it. Nada. Zilch. I think it's a texture thing because if it even makes it past the Fort Knox of her lips, she'll chipmunk it in her cheeks for awhile and then spit it out. So I've given up the battle, at least for awhile. She's getting plenty of protein from yogurt and cow's milk, and, when she's deems it worthy, cheese.

You see, we used to have a love affair with cheese - string cheese, Havarti with dill, Monterrey jack - you name it, she'd eat it. Copious amounts even. But ever since we had a rough "too much cheese in the car resulting in puking back up cheese" incident, she hasn't been so fond of cheese. Occasionally she'll have some, but it's rare and not with enthusiasm. Again, not a battle I'm going to fight. She'll get back there (in the mean time, I seem to be ingesting her rejects. Hmmm).

I'm searching for new things for her to eat all the time. It's quite easy to get into the same routine with her of rotating foods. But I think she's inherited her father's content in eating the same thing day after day. (Again, unless we are somewhere out and about and someone offers her something interesting). The other night we got into quite the battle royal - even the standard favorites (pasta, yogurt, broccoli balls, etc.) were getting tossed on the floor. She had no interest in dinner food at all. I coaxed, airplaned and did all the tricks I swore I'd never do in an attempt to have a healthy eating relationship with Sophia. Finally, I was done. After frustrated mumbling on my part, I popped her out of the chair and put her on the floor while I cleaned up the aftermath.
And what does she do? Crawls over, with much purpose, to the dog bowl. (We were sitting our friend's 125lb Newfoundland who, let it be known, was very, very well fed by Sophia during his stay with us) And before I could get to her: Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Yup. Dog Kibble. No people food for her. Just dog kibble.

And I just sat down with her on the floor, moved her away from the dog bowl and laughed. You win some and you lose some, right? At least there was protein in there somewhere....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sophia's 1 year Portraits

We had Sophia's 1 Year shots done by the fabulous women at TwoMamas Photography. They did such a wonderful job with her 9 month shots that I was super excited for the year pictures.
(one of the shots was featured at their gallery opening at Bird by Bird in Inman Square!)

Dave & I joined in the photos a bit more this time - they were done on Prospect Hill in Somerville. It was a super windy day - hence the "active" hair by all of us.

Here are a few favs.

My baby is 1

Amazing how the past year has flown. I know every mother/parent says it, but to look at how Sophia has grown truly astounds me. But I've grown too, as a person, a wife and a mother.
This whole weekend I reflected on what I was doing a year ago - not knowing I was heading into labor, giving birth and the time following when we came home from the hospital.

I spent so much of this weekend cooking and cleaning, (which was well needed, as we were having our families over to celebrate Sophia's big day on Sunday) but so much of it felt like I was nesting all over again. The morning I went into labor, at 2am, I made sure to sweep the kitchen floor and straighten up everything before I went to the hospital. I prepped food in the fridge and made sure there was toilet paper in the bathroom.

This weekend's cooking involved making food for Sophia so it would be ready for the week. I start my new job on Tuesday - it'll be the first time I've been back in an office for almost 2 years. I'm excited, nervous and empowered all in the same moment. It's part-time, which hopefully will offer me a good balance of work/brain time and Sophia time. I'm not quite sure what to expect in the world of balance, but I know I will do my best to make it happen.

Sophia is getting closer every day to walking on her own. She has been walking while holding our hands for sometime now. Today, she began to walk with just one of our hands in hers. Soon, I know, she will take her first steps, without holding hands at all. And I am very aware that she may do this with the wonderful woman who is watching her. But I know that when she does it with me, it will be the first time I see her walk and that will be amazing too.

This year has brought me even closer to Dave. We take joy in the little things that Sophia does and in our special time alone with her. I love, respect and appreciate the man who is my husband and my daughter's father. We know each other and what it takes to be a great family. For this, I am lucky and thankful.

I am still breast feeding Sophia, and plan to continue for awhile longer. I am actually not sure, emotionally & physically, how to wean her. I know it will happen when the time is right for both of us. My goal was always to make it to her first birthday. While she is drinking cow's milk in addition to breast milk, I like knowing we still have our time together in the mornings. While my baby is getting so big, she is still my little one.

Happy first birthday Sophia. We have both grown and learned so much this year. Bring on the fun and festivities of the rest of our lives!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How a Halloween Costume came to be

Growing up, my mother always made me the best, most elaborate costumes. One year, I was a computer, complete with printer (and this was a desktop - none of this small, laptop stuff). Another year was a grandfather clock. One of my personal favorites was the Red M&M year (complete with red face paint and red shower cap). Mind you - all of these costumes were hand hand made by my mom. (I'll see if I can scan in some pictures of them - they were classic!)
Well, I inherited her creativity, but unfortunately, I'm a little lacking in the execution skills.

Being Sophia's first Halloween, I wanted it to be a fun experience and entertaining for all of us. After all, her first birthday is next Sunday, so I had visions of a cute, cuddly little outfit from Carter's. (I mean really, what baby isn't adorable in one of those little froggy or duck outfits. And warm to boot!)

Oh no. Not in our house. Unbeknownst (or blocked out) to me, my husband has a deep seeded belief that Halloween costumes are to be scary. Not cute, not fluffy, but scary. Even almost 1-year olds. We compromised on Sophia being a witch. Somewhat scary, somewhat cute. (I drew the line at any face paint!) The only problem - the commercialized side of Halloween doesn't provide any infant witch costumes. So I had to make one.

Now, this decision was made in September. You would think that would give me adequate time to get my stuff together. Nope. Thought about it for about 3 weeks and purchased the fabric two weeks ago. Measured Sophia last week (the plan was to just cut a hole in the top for her head and create something "poncho" style for her. (Thank god for my friend Morgan who spied a witch's hat at Target a few weeks ago and bought it for Sophia).

Cut to yesterday, the day before Halloween. I cut the hole (albeit a bit off center) and popped it on her. It was great - if she was about 2 feet taller. So I started to trim it while she was standing at her Zany Zoo. Then I safety pinned her sleeves (well, the fabric, thus creating sleeves) Then I trimmed some more. The final product is below: (I think the broom is my proudest accomplishment of the whole costume!)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Where did the time go?

As we are rapidly approaching Sophia's first birthday, I realized the other day that she is becoming a real little person, right before my eyes.

It's sometimes difficult to notice the changes when we're together day after day for all her waking hours. But something struck me this week - she is becoming more and more independent. Clearly, she still needs me for most all of the important stuff, but her desire to do it on her own is growing greater by the day.

From food, to moving around, even to playing, it's definitely on her terms. She is fabulously content to play in her room in the morning after eating amongst her books and toys. When she hears us in the kitchen being productive (usually, we're unloading the dishwasher and she has a very current love affair with the door!) she'll crawl on out and down the hall.

The crawling happens full force when she is motivated, but she loves to walk while holding your hands/fingers now. She even has begun to balance on her own for a good 5 or so seconds before plopping onto her cute tush!

On the food front, she had her first introduction to cow's milk. I introduced it earlier this week in a sippy cup at lunch & dinner. Just a few ounces to get her warmed up for the transition. We're working on the mechanics of drinking, as she hasn't quite figured out how to tip the sippy cup all the way back to get the milk into her mouth. But I'm sure it'll happen soon.

I am constantly amazed by her growth and development. I'm sure there are kids her age who are doing so much more, and others doing so much less. As far as I'm concerned, she's doing exactly what she needs to on her own time frame. And I couldn't be prouder.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mommy Musings - the Half Marathon

Running was a big part of my life before I had Sophia. While I was pregnant, I ran (or some form of it) until I was about 7 months and it just hurt too much (For the uninitiated, relaxing is released in your body so all your joints and ligaments stretch to accommodate the birth of the baby. This makes for a very unhappy pubic bone and hips while you're trying to run. But it's great for yoga!)

I started running right around 8 weeks after Sophia was born. I felt ok, but didn't really comprehend how much fitness I had lost and how tired I really was until I ran my normal 3.5 mile loop and was completely sucking wind. As always, it humbled and motivated me simultaneously.

I knew that I needed a goal to get me running consistently again. I wanted to complete a distance race before Sophia turned one. During the springtime, my former roommate suggested we run The Applefest half marathon in the fall. She had run it twice before and the timing was perfect, end of September. That gave me all summer to work up my mileage and figure out training with a baby (sleep - naps for all were my savior. Milk production - yup, definitely affected by running - and boob chafe. Thank god for glide and cw-x bras). The added fun was that Dave was going to train and run it as well.

Sophia & I did lots of training runs together - many with our friend Alison & her son Will. Running with a stroller was a shift - I had someone else to worry about on my run, where in the past, runs were all about me. Was she warm? Happy? Sleepy? It also changed my stride - much more of a "treadmill stride" with a shorter, clipped pace. Running with Alison, though, made it great. We were able to motivate each other and also share our roles of running mommies, scooting forward to make faces at the other's baby.

On weekends, I was able to get out for my long runs alone. Dave would run Saturdays and I would run Sundays. Without fail, Sunday turned out to be the crappier day to run, whether Sophia decided to teeth or fuss on Saturday night or it was torrential rain out. Either way, it provided me with a great challenge and only made my training more motivating.

Finally, race day came. Everything was lined up for success. My neighbors and mother-in-law were taking care of Sophia. We had our bag packed and the route mapped. The only problem: it was hot. Really hot. At the end of September, in New Hampshire, you expect cool. Fall. 50s, maybe 60 degrees. Nope - 85 degrees at 10am and humid. Oh, and some freshly paved blacktop and a course with hills that had some percentage grades similar to Mt. Washington in parts. But I was ready.

My goal was to finish under 2 hours, and mentally was prepared to not meet it because of the weather. I don't enjoy the heat, and, having run a 1/2 in Virginia Beach in the past, had not had particular success. In the end, though, all the training through lack of sleep, rain and Newport heat did me well. I passed Dave around mile 11 and just kept trucking. I finished just under 2 hours and felt good. I finished a half marathon and Sophia was just shy of 11 months. Hooray!

While I'm not the speedy runner I used to be, I like to think I'm a new, hybrid runner. A little slower, but mentally tougher. And definitely enjoying the scenery.

My next race: Tufts 10k - an all-Women's 10k race in Boston, which happens Columbus Day - Monday, Oct 11th.

And Sophia's first race (well, second, because she did the Feaster Five last year at 2 weeks old) will be Paddy's Road Race, being pushed by dad, next Sunday.

11th Months on the Outside

Sophia hit the 11 month mark this past week - funny that we mark every month of life early on, then, as we get older, years and then decades. But when growth happens as quickly as it does in these early months, there is lots to celebrate.

The little miss has been playing the role of "Dora the Explorer" lately. She's investigating every space around the condo and pulling herself to standing on anything she can find. She recently discovered we had a porch, but hasn't quite figured out the hurdle to get out on it. She has mastered the stairs and is making big leaps (no pun intended) in propelling herself forward while we're holding her hands (a.k.a walking).

She is also very aware of personal space now. If someone horns in on something she is doing (adult or small child) she'll make it known that they are invading on her. But at other times, she will happily play and interact with other babies. It is really cool to watch.

Her friend Frances came over the other day to play. Frances is an excellent crawler and loves to be chased. Sophia enjoys crawling, but can't be bothered unless there is something to go after. So needless to say, the girls went all over the condo with Frances leading, checking back for Sophia as she "tony pena'd" her way chasing Frances. Good times were had by all.

She's eating new foods every day - some she likes a lot, others, she humors me by trying a little and then making it obvious she is done. We're still at 5 teeth, though it's been a month since our last one, so I feel like we're due for another one (or 3) soon.

Finally, Sophia has also taken an additional characteristic to her now infamous "lion roar" - the attack and pounce.
Here she is prowling and attacking her prey: (the humble giraffe didn't stand a chance). :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall is in the Air

I haven't blogged in a bit because we have been embracing Fall and all it's weather full force.

Our days have been filled with lots of outdoor time - riding along in the stroller for a run to the park, going to the Farmer's Markets for fresh veggies or riding in the Burley trailer around town.

I'm definitely loving the trailer, and it seems like Sophia is too. It makes life much easier than trying to drive and find parking everywhere around town. And, we can stowe a bunch of stuff in there.Somerville just put in great new bike lanes down Somerville Ave, a huge plus on the safety front.

We've had a few cruddy weather days, but luckily we're members of the Children's Museum
so we can sneak in there for an hour of crawling time in the toddler room. It's great, because there is a specific area sectioned off for crawlers - full of pads, mirrors and this cool waterbed thing. (And no, the waterbed didn't burst, her hair looks like that as a result of the rainstorm we got caught in while walking to the museum!)

In terms of indoor time, we broke down and got a Zany Zoo - Sophia was totally digging her friend Charlie's ZZ,and it's perfect for pulling up/standing at and lots of fun open and closing options. Here she is in action:

Thanks to our friend Lee & her son Andrew, we acquired a tunnel. Sophia really enjoyed it!

Finally - a quick video clip from this morning - Sophia is exploring all over the condo and getting quite adept at the "Tony Pena" crawl - right leg out straightish for pushing off while the other leg is bent.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Moving & Grooving

At 10 months, Sophia is definitely finding movement. As you may recall, her preferred method of movement was to crawl backwards. I'm happy to report that if there is something motivating enough (another baby, my cellphone, a "little person" toy) she'll happily crawl forward.
She has been employing the "Butt in the air" crawl often - it looks something like this:

Last week, when this video was shot, proved to be fun, if not frustrating for her. But she has since managed to get where she is going.

Pulling up & standing are also big on her list. The coffee table (our trunk) is a personal favorite of hers. Here she is (sporting her new baby legs tights).

She also figured out how to crawl up stairs this week! This is a big feat, as we don't have stairs in our condo - we have to put her purposefully on the stairs in the hallway and help her work her way up. She got it pretty quickly, and as you can see, my keys are a good motivator!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Breastfeeding - Approaching a transition

It was always my goal to breastfeed Sophia through her 1-year birthday. From what I've read, and with the routine we've got down, it's the best option for us. I particularly enjoy our morning time together - it's a nice way to ease into the day for both of us. With 10 months down already, I've started to think a lot about the transition.

Right now, I feed her directly 3 times a day and she gets a bottle of pumped milk before bed. We started the bottle before bed because my supply was at its lowest at the end of the day (as is most women's) and we wanted to make sure she had a nice, full tummy for sleeping. It's also a great opportunity for Dave to participate in the putting to bed process. The other two feedings occur when she wakes up after first and second nap. She is eating lots of solids, so the stress from the beginning of her life of not being quite sure how much milk she was getting has eased up entirely.

What is funny is that the more active she is become (crawling, pulling up), the less interested she is in eating. Yesterday, we made it about 8 minutes before she was completely distracted and disinterested. (Note that we were sitting quietly in her room with nothing really to distract her - no music, people or anything. She manages to distract herself! with trying to move all around) I ended up pumping and giving her about 3ozs because I knew she was still hungry. We're working on beefing up the solids even more, but much like breastfeeding, it's hard to know exactly how much they're eating (vs throwing on the floor!)

One thing I won't miss is the pumping. I've been fairly dedicated to pumping 3 times a day. Once in the morning after her first feeding and twice at night - when she gets her bottle at bedtime and once before I go to bed. That has covered the nightly bottle with some extra to increase our freezer supply. My hope it to be able to stop pumping the end of this month, with enough "banked" in the fridge to cover her nightly bottles through the 1-year mark.

Come November, the plan is to move her onto cow's milk for 2-3 feedings and to continue to nurse her for the morning feeding for awhile longer until she's ready to give it up. We'll see how it all plays out. We'll probably start with a nice half mommy milk, half cow milk transition and go from there. I do love the fact that I can soothe her at a moment's notice (especially in the middle of the night with teething) so I'm not willing to give up breastfeeding entirely. Breastfeeding truly has formed this bond that we'll never lose; it will just evolve.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

10 Months - how big? Sooo big!

Today is Sophia's 10 month birthday. I honestly can't believe it's September already. She has changed so much over the summer. To look back at the photos when we first got to Newport on Memorial Day and to look at today - what a difference!!

No doctor's appointment this month, but she is definitely gaining weight. With all the tasty "solids" she eats, how can she not? Besides loving most every fruit, we recently started cheese, homemade turkey meatballs, scrambled egg yolk with pasta and olive oil, mashed potatoes, broccoli & cheese balls, pieces of turkey from my sandwich - well, anything from what I'm eating she will generally try - as evidence, her first bite of lobster from my lobster roll yesterday! She loved it.

On the locomotion front, she is figuring out forward crawling, but would much rather work on her standing. She gets all over the floor, wherever she needs to go, but it is in a crawl, sit, scoot & full layout combination that is adorable. Here is a quick video of her working on standing:

She is up to 5 teeth now - her latest came in this weekend - upper right incisor. It always takes me a bit to realize that she is teething. But I'm catching on. She's been a good sport about them. She actually chewed one of her puffs with her two front teeth the other day - it was so cool to watch! We also started brushing her teeth and gums. No cavities here!

Finally, her newest trick is clapping. She does this when she gets really excited or is proud of herself for accomplishing something new. My favorite clapping incident happened today in the car - I guess I took a corner at a decent rate of speed and from the back seat I hear her squealing with delight and clapping! When I looked back in the mirror, she had a big smile.

I guess my daughter has the need for speed. Hmm, wonder where she gets that from???

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where has the time gone?

It's been a very busy August for the Ahouse clan. From our trip to New York & Connecticut to our weekends in Newport and Maine, we kind of feel like the traveling wilberries. But I'll take it.

This past weekend, we spent some time up on a lake in Maine with the Ahouse clan. Sophia thoroughly enjoyed the attention from her Aunt Hayley (and "auntie" Kiera).

Sophia spent some quality time exploring the lake (so nice and calm and perfect for baby sitting!)

She also had a great bath time photo session (Thanks Grandpa Ahouse).

What's even more entertaining - she appears to be acquiring the "Ahouse look" check this out:

Finally, I got some down town, complete with a nice little massage. (highlight on the "little" part)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend in the City

Dave & I had our first overnight away from Sophia this past weekend. We headed to my parents in CT on Friday and then left Saturday morning for New York City, sans Sophia. We had a big agenda for our 24+ hours alone - running, music, sightseeing and good food.

This was the longest time I had ever been away from her since she was born. (I think previously I had been out for about 5 hours or so at a Red Sox game). I knew she was in good hands with my parents and I was really looking forward to some QT with Dave.

I'm waiting on the pictures from my parents, but I know there will be tons of good ones. Here's one I snapped of Sophia "walking" with my dad:

There is always an interesting challenge when you leave - a balance on how much you check in. Call too much and you're not really "escaping" for alone time, but call too little and you might get worried.

I decided that barring any major disasters (which I highly doubted would happen - and did not) I would text with my dad when we got to the city and he would give me a wrap up text Saturday night. My major concern was whether or not Sophia would sleep through the night - she's had a serious case of teething lately and while I knew my folks wouldn't mind, I didn't want them up and exhausted with her all night (really, no one wishes that on anyone!!)

The lone phone call was Sunday morning just letting my mom know when we were going to hit the road. Happily, Sophia had slept through the night with no sign of teething. My parents had done a great job of tiring her out on the beach all day Saturday and taking her to the park. Knowing all that made the weekend even more enjoyable.

Dave and I checked out some great places - Top of the Rock, Birdland Jazz Club, ran around Central Park and Magnolia's Cupcakes (Black Forest - YUM!) but most of all, we reconnected with each other. Sure, we talked about Sophia (and noticed all the cute babies wheeling around NYC - something we had never really taken into account before) but we also vegged in Bryant Park and read the Sunday Times by the river. We even found a breakfast place that made Dave an omlet with nothing he was allergic to involved - hooray for The Barking Dog!
We didn't bring any computers and the TV in our room didn't work. I got to read part of the Tour de Lance book I'd had on my nighttable for months.

The most interesting time for me was when I went for a walk for cupcakes while Dave took a nap. I had no blackberry, no baby, no husband. So I just walked, looked and took it all in. Sure, I got a little misdirected (dang grid system!) but I found the cupcakes. And it took longer than I expected, but even without a text, Dave knew I'd make my way back. Of all places, New York City is the best to just look around and take it all in. It was very freeing.

We got back to my parents mid-day on Sunday and there was nothing better than seeing Sophia smiling and kicking when my mom brought her down from her nap. She just wanted to snuggle and hug us. That makes it all even sweeter.

Can't wait to do it again.

Sophia's Portraits - 9 months

We finally got around to getting professional shots of Sophia done. I so wish I had done it earlier, as the "Mamas" from Two Mamas Photography were amazing. The best part - they are very affordable and give you the CD of photos when you're done. They'll clean up 10 shots they like best, but you get all of them.

The 20-minute session was done on Cambridge Common (my choice); Mandy and Renee jumped right in with Sophia. It was fun,
entertaining and we got some great shots. I've posted a few; you can check the rest out on my facebook page.

We did most of the shots in a beautiful dress given to us by my high school basketball coaches (thanks Web & Mary!)

We also did some fun diaper shots - gotta love the gDiapers with ruffles - an outfit in a diaper:

And finally - my personal favorite: