Our Family Has Grown by Two Little Feet

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy 4 Month Birthday, Julia!

Julia is 4 Months Old!

4 Months old! My baby is growing fast! It really is amazing to me to think about how much she has changed and grown in just the last month or two. There are mornings that I take her out of her crib and really do think she has grown overnight; she suddenly will feel longer and heavier!

New things this month: Julia is ever so curious about everything! Her vision and hearing must have really matured now because she looks at things with such great wonder and it completely lifts my heart to witness her learn the world around her. She has become really good with using her hands and "inspecting" everything by grabbing ahold of it then shoving it in her mouth. She started sleeping with a "lovey/thumbie" lamb and she loves feeling the silkiness on the edges and shoving the little lamb head in her mouth. I should probably try and capture this on film, because it's quite entertaining. She loves standing (and this is something that she has shown a love for since about 6 weeks old!) - most mornings after I get her dressed I carry her over to the bathroom where there is a large mirror and I let her stand on the counter and admire herself. The faces she gives me are hilarious - she's a diva even at such a young age, and is already in love with "dress-up!" Julia has rolled over a few times on her own, but I think it's mostly been on accident - she's sure to get that skill soon, and then... look out, Delaney! :) Crawling is something else that she's working towards - I'm in no rush to have her moving around, but when placed on her tummy now, she tries with all of her might to get in motion. This month she has become a lot more vocal. She still says the typical "goos" and "coos" and "gaas" - but she now has added in some other shrieks, squeals, and grunts and it's even more entertaining to listen to her communicate. This morning she was in her Exersaucer and was letting off steam in frustration because she could see the tiny balls and rotation mechanism inside a "rolly-rattle" part, and no matter how hard she tried spinning it, she couldn't get those balls out of there. When Julia was born, Andy and I, more or less, cut out the "entertainment" portion of our budget because we knew most of our nights would now be spent inside at home.... and it's moments like watching her in the exersaucer that totally justifies that reasoning!

I really cannot believe how strong she seems - She's standing just by herself, more or less, with just the support of my one hand! My big girl!

We had two outfits for this "shoot"...

Julia's new "trick" she learned this month... sucking in her lips.

Another version of the "lip sucking"

Her expression here cracks me up - what is she doing!? Miss Attitude!

My Monthly "I Love it When You Do This" List

Dear Julia,
I love it when you...
1) watch your hands slowly meet up to find each other, and then together they search for something to grab or pull, or when all else fails, those hands just get shoved right in your mouth.
2) suck your thumb, and as a result, you poke yourself in the eye with the rest of your four fingers - you'll catch on one of these days!
3) cry, then laugh, then cry again, then laugh some more.
4) scrunch up your nose (and sometimes smile along w/it) - I'm still trying to get a picture of this one!
5) are talking away in your crib in the morning and then finally notice that we're there standing over you, ready to pick you up - your face completely lights up and you get a huge grin. It's adorable.
6) gurgle and coo with excitement and relaxation as I put lotion on you after your bedtime bath.
7) make sucking motions in your sleep.
8) watch yourself on videos and in pictures on our computer and get the biggest thrill out of it.
9) practice your new "trick" of sucking in your lips so it looks like you're an old man who has misplaced his denchers.
10) study every texture and terrain of my face with your hands, and stare at me with such amazement.
Mommy loves you, Julia!


In other "BIG" news this week, Julia turned 17 weeks old!
(She's really thrilled about it)
(This adorable little romper outfit was handmade by a close family friend and is ever so cute!)

This was before we headed out for a day of errands at the mall - sunhat in tact for our hot, Texas weather!

Daddy and Julia before Julia's bedtime bath
(That face!)
Julia in her bumbo seat.... she doesn't seem to be as big of a fan of it as I was hoping for - I think she's too anxious to stand and not sit. Maybe we just need to give it time though!

Waking up from a nap showing me her "big girl" sleep sack that she uses now, and no longer a swaddle blanket

I'm sure she was still tired, but anything more than napping for 30 minutes these days would just be nonsense in Julia's opinion!

I have a few videos that I really wanted to share, but I think something is not functioning right with "blogger" and they're not uploading. Check back soon, and hopefully I'll have them posted!

I also am still working on posting my photos from our trip home.... I have an overwhelming amount of photos and because of that, can't seem to get motivated to start posting them in the small amounts of time I have available during the day. Soon though, soon!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

We're baaaaa'aaack! Whew-wie... what a trip!
It proved to be quite the "adventure" traveling across country (by car) with a 3 month old Julia and a month long stay in NY! In conclusion from this trip, we have made the executive decision that this would be Julia's first and last road trip home to NY. She did AMAZINGLY well - I really could not have ever expected a 3 month old baby to be more well behaved and more or less self-entertained in the car for such a long period of time (we're talking roughly 2,000 miles here...), but it was a looooong, long haul, made even longer with 'round the clock frequent feeding/diaper changing/let the baby stretch breaks. We miss our home in NY a ton, and all those who inhabit there, but we were beyond anxious to get back to our home here in TX with all of our stuff by the end of the trip. I never realized how much easier it is with a baby to be close to (or better yet, IN,...) your own home. All of our very welcoming and generous accommodations back in NY were as good as we could have hoped for, but it's just not the same as being in your own house. We've been back for nearly a week now and are still, settling in, but it's good to be back - I think all four of us can agree on that. Andy is happy sleeping in his own bed again, Julia is happy to have her comforting nursery (and along with it, her ceiling fan!) back, Delaney is happy to have her big fenced in backyard back with birds to chase every morning, and I am thankful to have my wardrobe (what fits of it!), as well as Julia's, and all of the things that we use on a daily basis right here at my fingertips where I got used to them being - most of all, I am looooving my changing table, rocker, and crib more than I have before - life with a baby is so much sweeter with those things!

In the midst of going "wild" and trying to squeeze as many dates and meetings with friends and family as possible in while back home, we were dealing with a very unrested and routine-confused (I'll call it) little baby girl - oh yeah, and add a time zone change on top of that, too. She really dealt with it all very well, but along the way decided that she no longer needed (or wanted) to be wrapped in a swaddle when sleeping and that she needed to wake up 3-4 times (sometimes more) at night... often being about every 2 hours... and wanting to eat. I was exhausted and spent, to say the least, from this. So, upon arriving home, Andy and I made the decision that now would be a good time to try "sleep training" Julia. We're basically just teaching her how to put herself to sleep by letting her self-sooth herself in her crib with a predictable routine everynight...... it has been an exhausting week home (mostly mentally and emotionally due to this training), after an exhausting month away. God bless us! :) Training Julia to sooth herself involves us "letting" her cry herself to sleep and it has been VERY heart wrenching on me... we're on day 5 now and she is doing remarkably well.... our best night was last night where she put herself to sleep after just fussing (not even really crying) for 15 minutes and was out for a solid 10.5 hours straight. That's the longest she has ever slept before! But, she seems to be very inconsistent and tonight it took her a full hour to settle down before she fell asleep. She gets such a better sleep with doing this training/routine, and I know she needs it after the crazy month we just had - so I keep telling myself that it's for the best. Hopefully she will start really getting the hang of it soon and we will all be well rested together! Please cross your fingers for me on that one!

Well, without further ado..... I, ofcourse, have some new photos to share! You will have to bare with me, however, on the photos from our trip home.... as I'm sure you can imagine - I took about 2,000 (and that's not an exaggeration). I'm still trying to figure out how I'll be able to post all of the ones I'd like to on here - so those will be forthcoming soon, but in the meantime I have some photos from this week that we returned home. Enjoy!

Julia waking up in her crib the morning after we arrived home and rediscovering her lambies above her. (It's been really fun watching her "re-discover" everything around her here at her home).
"Oh yeah, I remember this crib!"
"In my dream, I caught a fish THIS big!"
Julia cozied up in our beloved rocker chair
This is a new face that she is making all the time right now - it cracks me up. She must have just learned how to pull her lips inward.


Snacking on her hand, while Mommy shops at the store for other snacks.
(I'm in love with this little hat on her - Thanks Grinnell family!!)
Playin' in her PJs.. there's the lip thing again!
We tried out Julia's exersaucer for the first time the other day - she was totally in awe of it the first day (here) - and Delaney was totally scared of it...

See Delaney checking it out from a distance... she then ran away from it to the other side of the room.
This is Julia's second time in the exersaucer - and she looooves it so far! I'm surprised at how much she can actually "do" herself right now sitting in there. I think I can safely say that this toy will entertain her for months to come!

And, here is a video! In the last few weeks she has started to laugh! It still is sometimes hit or miss - and you have to do the right thing at the right time to get her to give you a chuckle, but it's apparent that the girl likes to laugh! I've been trying to catch her on video for a while now, but she always seems to stop as soon as I pull out the camera. Today, however, success was mine - I finally got it!

I still find it amazing that after spending such a long time in her carseat driving to NY and back, that Julia still manages to be in a happy mood while riding in it!