Saturday, August 28, 2010

long time, no post!

hi everyone! i know i haven't posted in a long while. since my last entry, where anna jae took her first steps, a lot has happened. first, work has gotten quite busy for me. i launched my new website, released a new line of ready-to-order wedding invitations, and have been getting in new custom orders. yay! i also work after anna jae goes to bed at night, so i have little extra time for posting to any of my blogs.

but of course, the biggest time-taker has been anna jae. she is a full-on little girl now. we can hardly get over how much she has grown. she is learning about a word a day now, though not all very clearly yet, and has opinions on EVERYTHING. she loves to draw and even has her own art desk now, right next to mommy's desk. we have taken her to sesame place, she will start swim classes in a couple of weeks, and she is quite boy-crazy. every day is new and exciting for her, and it's so much fun to hang out with her now.

we have had a few rough patches, of course, as you would with any toddler. her 15th month was particularly difficult -- she had a lot of behavior issues, and acted out specifically toward me. plus, she really wasn't saying much yet, which was starting to worry me, especially since she had always been a babbler. after a weekend upstate with her daddy and her nana, she came home to me happy to see me and our relationship was back to normal. clearly i needed a break, and she needed to be reminded of how good she has it. =)

on mother's day, the words really started to flow. first she pointed out a window and said, "tree!", completely unexpectedly. then after dinner, she pointed to my name written on a bag and said, "C!" so she knew tree, AND the letter c! the best mother's day ever. =) and ever since, the words come quite easily. we're anxiously awaiting her first sentence.

there was an intense round of separation anxiety that popped up a few weeks ago, that thankfully ended fairly quickly. but there's a bit of attachment leftover. she's quite jealous of my desk and constantly tries to take me away from it.

i will share new pics as soon as i get the chance. and i will try to be back here more often. got to keep a record of our girl!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

first 2 steps!!

ok, i know i'm in trouble for not posting more... but i just wanted to tell all of you anna jae fans that she TOOK HER FIRST TWO STEPS today!!! very excited! walking is just around the corner. and we can't wait. =D

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

almost one! and today, it's all about the mommy. =)

wow. as of tomorrow, a year will have flown by faster than i ever could have imagined. anna jae will be one year old at 8:20 in the morning tomorrow. she was 6lbs, 13oz. when she was born, and 19.5" long. now she is 22lbs. (we think), and i have no idea how tall because she just went through a big growth spurt. she's crawling everywhere, *this close* to walking, babbling a mile a minute, telling people she's one year old with her finger. she is funny, opinionated, strong-willed, adorable, loving, independent... hmmmm... sounds like someone else i know very well. =)

my birthday was last week. and to be honest, the thing i thought of most was that my birthday marked almost a year of the best and most challenging year of my life. i'm so proud of this year. i'm proud of the job we've both done as parents, and i'm very proud of the job i've done as anna jae's mommy. i breastfed for the year! i keep her on a steady and successful schedule! i've made it through with very few emotional breakdowns (relatively speaking), with my marriage in tact, with my career still going, and most importantly with a smart, happy, healthy, giggly, ridiculously wonderful child. ::patting myself on the back::

every mom should give herself a pat on the back for a job well done. this is, by far, the HARDEST job in the entire world. we sacrifice our sleep, our privacy, our alone time, our whole body if we are breastfeeding, even our mental and physical health. we sacrifice the ability to take a walk by ourselves, holding just a purse and a bottle of water, to go to the store or do window shopping (shout out to my fellow mommies!). we sacrifice our social lives. but you know, we do it knowing not only that we must, but we should, and that we and our children will be better off for it. in the end, we do it willingly and, sometimes, happily.

i'm happier in most ways than i've ever been in my entire life. i'm fulfilled in ways that i could not have been before. it may not be glamorous, it may not be easy. but it's so incredibly worth it.

tomorrow i'll celebrate anna jae's first year of life on this earth. today, i'm going to celebrate my first year of life as a mommy. a good mommy. go me. go mommies everywhere (and that most especially includes my mom).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

holiday card photo session!

we decided to do our own little at home photo shoot for our holiday card this year. out of 565 photos taken, these were the only decent ones! the last one shown was our choice for the card. =)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

10 months old: shock and awe

i know i keep apologizing for not posting more often. truth be told, i actually think about my posts daily... what i should write about, how i should phrase it, etc. but life just keeps getting in the way of recording life. which actually is too bad -- i truly enjoy writing all of this down, to re-read in years to come (and to remind myself in the near future what we went through in the past!).

life here simultaneously gets easier and harder, day by day. easier because anna is more self-sufficient, more fun, more easily entertained. she just crawls around most of the time, examining everything in our home that she can get her hands on. she pulls stuff out and makes a mess. and she laughs about it! she laughs pretty much all the time now... at least during the day.

harder because anna now needs constant supervision. no longer can i sit at my computer and work while she rolls around a 6-ft space on the floor with her toys. i don't exactly have to chase her around the apartment -- we have an open plan, so i can see everywhere she's going and everything she's doing -- i still have to keep my eyes peeled at all times so that she doesn't fall or get into something that can hurt her (or, more often, that she can hurt!). it's wearing on me, since i'm trying so hard to work at the same time, and so i wind up working until 3am or so these days.

ok, updates!

our little miss anna jae has gone from starting to crawl to full-on cruising in a mere 3 weeks. once she got the hang of the crawl, she seemed to have this newfound confidence and joy. she immediately started pulling herself up on furniture, to balancing with only one hand, and this past week began cruising (which means she's using the furniture to balance herself as she walks along/between objects). walking is clearly on the horizon. we are LOVING this stage. yes, it means more trouble, but really, she has responded very well to discipline so far. so it really hasn't been very difficult. just tiring. =)

anna is still quite the jibber-jabber. she loves to talk, and imitates our speech more and more. no new words since mama and dada, but her babbling is really amazing. she talks to us, she talks to herself, she talks to her dolls, she just loves to talk.

she is pointing at people with what i call her "lounge point", which means that she's doing that sort of cocked-gun point that lounge lizards do in their acts. it cracks me up. she also points at things she wants and then makes sounds, which is pretty crazy. she waves hello, though not goodbye yet, motions her arms to be picked up, and truly enjoys being able to pinch everything. that last one is not so much fun.

and i know i'm her mom, but i really can't get over how smart anna jae is sometimes. she remembers everything. she can play games (or attempt it). she actually knew that the examination room in the doctors office was a bad place for her, and went from being extremely happy in the waiting room to screaming before we even got her ready for her shot in the exam room. ok, so maybe her smarts are too much sometimes... hehehehehe... more on that in the discipline section...

anna is eating like a champ!! though she's still petite, our girl can really chow down. she's gone from hating to eat to trying anything (and so far seems to love almost everything). she actually gets mad at us now if we don't give her our food to eat, so it's actually getting a little difficult to eat in front of her. but really, we're just happy she enjoys it so much.

umm... none yet. teething? yes. actual teeth? nope. ok, guess i covered that one...

in some ways we've actually started disciplining anna. i guess this started somewhere between 8 and 9 months, trying to teach her to respond to the word no. she understood "no" pretty quickly, though sometimes would make a game out of it so that i would come after her. but now it's really going quite well. if she's not supposed to touch something, i usually just need a firm "uh-uh" and shaking of my finger. actually, it's gotten so good that often she just responds to "the look" -- i give her a firm no-nonsense look and hold up my finger, and she just backs off without me having to say anything. sometimes it does take a solid "no", or me having to pull her away, but really not often these days. i always end with a "thank you" to remind her that she's a good girl. i get a smile. it's pretty incredible.

she did start throwing tantrums before the 9-month mark, throwing herself into the floor and screaming. dave and i discussed it, and decided to answer it quickly rather than waiting until these tantrums got worse. so i would tell her that she wasn't getting what she wanted and she could stay there until she stopped crying, and then when she did stop crying i would pick her up and hug her. responding this way, without getting crazy or the other extreme of trying to make her happy really has worked well so far. the tantrums are far less frequent, once in a blue moon now, and usually it's because i take food or a toy away. but i don't give her anything else, and when she's done, i give her lots of lovin'.

of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we'll have to face in the future. but we have a very smart and willful child, and we know that we need to put the kabosh on it right away before it gets worse -- and before we get too frustrated and snap.

did i just mention snapping?

anna started what i just found out was a 9-month sleep regression at, well, 9 months. at first, it was no biggie... 1-3 night wakings, which were easy to soothe away by a couple minutes in the rocking chair, and then back into the crib she went. then she wasn't so easy to get back in the crib, and it took a few tries before she went back down willingly. then her crying got so extreme and so forceful that we thought something was wrong. maybe teething? maybe nightmares? who knew? rocking her in the chair wasn't working anymore, so both of us took to laying down on the couch with her -- she was fine if she was in our arms. so she would pass out on our chest, and we would put her back in her crib. this was happening a couple times a week.

then it started happening three times a week.

then four.

then it was every night... and not just every night, but twice or more a night. it was a mess. last night anna woke even earlier than she usually did, at 11pm, and aunt loren had to leave so that i could get her back to sleep. then she woke again at 2:30, and dave went out for that one. he fell asleep completely on the couch with her until 5:45, when she woke up and consequently woke him up.

so we decided that we needed to get back to where she was, and tonight we started re-training her. she woke up before 11 tonight (fun!), so i went in, sotthed her for a bit, and then put her back down, when she would promptly cling to me and begin screaming, as though her crib was filled with acid. this continued every 10-20 minutes for the next 2 hours. she finally passed out at 1am.

dave is increasingly uncomfortable with letting her cry, since now her cries are much more intense and it sounds so awful. i feel the same way -- it's heartwrenching to hear -- but i do have a slightly easier time with it. mostly because i know that her awful, screaming-on-the-top-of-her-lungs cry is actually a tantrum cry, and i know it's because we both let her sleep with us on the couch and now that's what she wants. we both believe that CIO is our correct option here, but it's just not easy to do. especially now that she stands in her crib and wails. ugh.

anyway, that's my wrap up. i should take the opportunity to sleep, so i'm off. i hope this sustains everyone until my next entry.

Monday, November 2, 2009