Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy 28 weeks old, my magnificent lady!

  • According to my unscientific weighing and measurements, Finn is weighing in at a whopping 20  pounds!!  And she is measuring in at 27.75 inches.  The length was a difficult one to measure as she wouldn't STOP moving.  Her doctor's appointment that was scheduled for yesterday was rescheduled due to an out-of-the-country emergency by her pediatrician.  So I'll update you next week on her official weight & height.
  • Lady is sporting size 3 diapers!  We moved over to the size three about two days ago.  Her poor little chub was just spilling over the legs of the size 2's.

  • She is currently wearing 3-6 month clothes, but that's only because I want to get the savor the last bit of 3-6.  She has some clothes that will carry over into the 6-9 month clothing swap-out -- mostly clothing that is labeled "6 months".  I really need to get out the 6-9 month bin and make sure that we have clothes in there!  Because the switch is coming in the next two weeks and I don't want my baby to be without clothes.
  • We are still breastfeeding.  My goal upon her arrival was to make it to six months, anything beyond was bonus.  Well, we are in the bonus.  I really see us continuing until she is a  year old when she can start to have cow's milk.  Right now, it's super easy, she is very efficient and doesn't waste time, and it's also very comforting for both her and I.  I really enjoy it and am going to be sad when we are weaning.

  • We are officially eating solids, lots of solids.  Our list of fruits are bananas, apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, & plums.  And our list of vegetables are sweet potatoes, acorn squash, green beans, peas, & carrots.  We are not a green beans or peas lover at all.  Those two are usually combined with a more favored veggie (i.e. the other three).  She actually enjoys eating the sweet potatoes, squash, & carrots.  She usually gets rice cereal and a cube of fruit in the morning and a cube or two (if combining veggies) of veggies & a cube of fruit in the evening -- so about 4-5 oz of food a day.  I haven't started the finger foods yet as she doesn't have the pincer grasp quite down yet.  The minute I see that, it's on with the finger foods.  I have read that it's actually a myth that she has to have any teeth to eat finger foods -- as long as they are soft and mashable.
  • Speaking of teeth, there are none to speak of.  I think that I feel bumps, but there is no whites on her lower gums.  So no signs of teeth yet.
  • She is still rolling all over the place.  When we lay her on the ground, she doesn't stay on her back long.  She is starting to bring her knees up underneath of her with her face planted in the ground.  Tuesday night, she also started trying to scoot to get to the puppy who was out of reach.  She made slow progress, but her legs were kicking and kicking, trying to get a little forward motion.
  • She is sitting up like a big girl!!!  She loves sitting up!  When laying down, I'll do a count of "1-2-3" and pull her up on three, her eyes will get really big and she will start to smile every single time that she is pulled into a sitting position and left to sit on her own.  She is also pretty stable in her sit.  I haven't tried sitting her on the ground without pillows around her though.  We have hard wood floors and tiled floors.  So there are always lots of pillows.
  • We are still enamored with the pets.  There are lots of giggles, squeals and arm waves.  She loves the cats more than the dogs right now.  But I think that's because the cats are more aloof.  The pups will come up to her face and lick her or come up to us when she on my lap.  The cats generally will not.  There are moments when the curiosity of the cats will win out and they will come close.  But most times not.
  • Something that is relatively knew -- when she gets mad, she will say "Mmmmmmmmammmma" in between whines.  Now I'm no fool.  I know that she isn't calling for me...  Yet.  I always reinforce it with repeating back to her "Mama... Mama..." and coming in and swooping her away.
  • And at the age of seven months, sister knows how to play on my iPad.  We have three apps that she enjoys.  One is called, unsurprising, "Baby Rattle".  This is a sun that bounces around on a changing-color background, playing a note every time it hits a wall.  It goes faster if you touch it and changes directions if you touch the screen away from the sun, but your touch leaves a temporary animal complete with animal noise where you touched.  The second is called "Magic Piano".  It's an app that contains three variation of a piano keyboard.  You can also play songs by touching the screen, but that is way to advanced for her at this point.  She just likes to hit her hand against the screen and pound on the keys.  But her favorite, by far, is called "Peekaboo Barn".  It's an app that contains a barn that has a hidden animal behind the door.  When you touch the barn, the doors open and you see the animal.  The barnyard animal makes noise (i.e. cow moos) and a little kid says what the animal is.  There are 17 different animals.  She can open and shut the barn doors like a pro.  I like this app the best as well, because the kids that say the animal names sound so darn cute.
  • After posting for the past four months that we are transitioning her into her crib, it's official.  She is in her crib now.  We have our routine.  Sometimes she doesn't sleep through the night, but the co-sleeping through the entire night is over.  (insert sad face here.)  Last week, I move her into her crib and she slept until 5am when I had to wake her to feed her because I was in pain from her lack of midnight feedings.  This happened for the first four days in a row.  Then there were a couple of hiccups, but we are back to having the entire night in her crib.  (More on the sleeping transition in a separate post later.)
  • Another HUGE transition coming next week?  Daycare.  Ugh.  This is our last week with SaraBeth and daycare begins next week.  SaraBeth has brought her to the daycare on Monday to acclimatize her to her new surroundings.  SaraBeth even left her on the floor and stepped back to let her play with the other babies and toys.  Finn didn't even know that she was gone.  I think that her transition to daycare will be smoother than I anticipated, but think of me on Tuesday morning, as I'm probably sitting at my desk, anxious, teary-eyed, and counting the seconds until 3:30pm.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A week in the life (v.1.3)

We had friends in town very briefly and we went out to eat with them.  Finn passed out, clutching her links & her lamb. 

Who doesn't look cute with a bear head on their head? 

E likes to dress her up in the mornings -- this is his "Real Housewives of New Jersey" look. 

 Rings on her fingers, rings on her toes...

I replenished her baby food this weekend.  We started mangos, plums, & carrots last week. 

Videoing with Grammy -- we also got to talk with Uncle Cory and Cousin Owen (who is walking all over the place nowadays!  He is only five months older than Finn.) 

We have a bar fly already!
E found a back-organizer for the bar downstairs.  We spent Sunday, sitting at the bar watching him & our neighbor Bob do all the hard work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Daddy's girl

Anyone that has ever met E would probably think immediately that he was going to be a great father.  He is the type of person that can hold a rousing conversation with just about anyone on the planet.  He always the one that is knee deep in the middle of anything that is exciting and fun.  He was notorious for coming up with some of the greatest and off-the-wall ideas.  He can teach the most complex subjects to a lay person and have them actually understand what he is talking about (trust me on this one -- he can teach me all about miRNAs and human cytomegalovirus experiments and I understand exactly what he is saying.  Don't ask me to teach someone else though.)  Anyone that knows him would think that he truly anticipate having a constant partner in crime.

Earlier in our relationship, he had told me that he always wanted kids.  He said that he wanted to adopt instead of having his own.  He thought that there were way too many children without loving homes to not consider adoption.  When I told him that I really wanted to have our own children, he made me promise that we would foster kids if we weren't going to adopt.

When I found out I was pregnant, it was a big shock for various reasons.  I don't know a single person that doesn't doubt their ability at parenting during their first pregnancy.  I know that I was doubting my transition into motherhood.  And at that point, I think that E began to doubt the father that he thought he would become.  And when I found out that we were having a girl, the serious doubt began to creep in.  When questioned, he said "I'm a boy.  I know boy things.  I don't know anything about girls.  I don't know anything about tea parties and dolls.  I know grease and motors."

I responded that I know how to shingle a roof and how to side a house because of my dad.  I told him that he wouldn't have conform his interests into things that he thought she would want.  She is going to do anything that he does because she wants to spend time with him.  I told him that the vision I had for her as a woman involved him teaching her all about motors & grease.

I want her to be a better, stronger, more independent woman than I am.  I want her to be self-sufficient and confident in her abilities.  If her car breaks down on the side of the road, I want her to be able to fix it or at least understand what the problem is.  If she can't fix it herself and has to take it to a mechanic, I want her to know exactly what needs to be fixed so that she isn't taken advantage of as mechanics often do with women.  I want her to ride dirtbikes and wear ruffles all at the same time.

And so very early on a February morning, little Finn arrived.  E became a father.  And he has done an amazing job.  Those first two days in the hospital, I would have been lost without him.  In fact, in the six hours before she was born, I would have been lost without him.  Or more importantly, Finn would have been born in the car without him.  I was adamant that I wasn't going to the hospital too early.  And as I'm laying in bed, writhing in pain during my contractions, he had the clarity to say "It's time to go to the hospital."  I refused and he wouldn't relent.  He was the one that "rushed" me out of the house and to the car, getting to the point that he was yelling at me that we needed to hurry.  I was in no big hurry -- and at one point during the drive to the hospital after screaming obscenities through a contraction, I told him that there was no need to hurry, that we had plenty of time.  E knew that we needed to be in a big hurry -- I arrived at the hospital at 9 cm and was fully dilated within 10 minutes of being there.

But getting back to those two days in the hospital, without him, we wouldn't have any photographs of her first two days.  I was so dumbstruck that I just had a baby that I would have forgotten to take photographs completely.  He has his phone whipped out and snapping photos, truly the proud poppa.

And I didn't change a single diaper for the first five days of her life.  E was a diaper duty.  His phrase was "She puts it in one end and I take care of the other end."  He stayed with me in the hospital, sleeping on a torture device that the hospital called a fold out chair/bed.  He only left to take care of the dogs.  He had taken two weeks off of work to help with the transition at home.  We took turns on night duty (as I was pumping).  He wanted to help with her as much as he could.

But when I started breastfeeding again, I think he thought that he wasn't needed as much.  He really couldn't do what he used to do.  And she started getting fussy as her digestive system was getting used to working.  He didn't how to help her or what made her happy.  Neither did I -- so we found ways together.  No one tells you that the first 8 weeks of your baby's life is simply the introductory phase, the phase where you both are testing each other out and learning who each other are.  It's the phase where you learn what the baby likes and doesn't like -- because she definitely did have preferences!

Now at almost seven months, she absolutely lights up when Daddy comes home.  When he looks at her, she smiles so big.  She loves their mornings together when she starts to fuss and she gets to lay on Daddy's chest to sleep in some more.  She gets to listen to his heartbeat slowly thudding underneath her cheek.  She got to listen to Mommy's heartbeat for nine months and now it's Daddy's turn.  She gets to feel the rise and fall of his chest as he comfortably sleeps (and sometimes snores), calming her into sleep as well.  She got to listen to Mommy's breath for nine months, now it's Daddy's turn.  Now it's Daddy's turn to bond with the amazing little person that we created.  And he is doing an amazing job.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Transitioning -- The Beginning...

 For the last two months or so, E has been saying that it's time to transition Finn to her crib.  And for the last two months or so, I've been putting it off.  We bought her really nice furniture, gave her a super cute nursery, hung cow photos and chandeliers -- all of this HAD to be done before she arrived in February.  And at 6.5 months, she has yet to sleep a full night in there.  We have used her room quite a bit, but never for long lengths of sleeping.

When she was born, we had her sleeping in a Moses basket that we bought at Goodwill for $5.  It was wonderful to be able to carry her all around the house in her sleeping quarters.  We started by placing the basket in a bassinet that my cousin let me borrow.  We were able to have her in our room, but not sleeping with us.  During those first two months, whenever she would cry in the middle of the night, I (or E before I quit pumping and started exclusively breastfeeding) would get up, grab the basket and head downstairs to the living room to feed her.  We would end up staying down there, with us sleeping on the sofa until the morning, Finn in her basket on the chaise of the sofa.  E & I were both of the mind that if it's his night, he didn't want me waking up and vice versa.  Only problem with that?  I had to get up either way to pump.  At about two month, we decided that we were going to "transition" her into her room.  We would place the basket in her crib.  We did this for a week or two and then I realized how easy it would be to just have her sleep with us.

I would be able to feed her without getting up.  She would be right there and if she fussed, we definitely would hear her.  And so it began...  My mother had always advocated for co-sleeping, but the hospital had petrified us.  One of our nurses scared us with a story of a father who five days earlier rolled over his five-day old daughter, smothering her.  I had always thought that co-sleeping was for those weird parents who didn't have any boundaries, the moms who would "whip it out" in public without a cover whenever their baby was hungry.  A lot of perceptions change when you are placed in a sticky situation.  We became co-sleepers  and I enjoyed it.

I tell everyone who asks why we co-slept that I had to do what I needed to do to survive.  Sleep is a rare commodity when you are a new parent and I didn't realize until I had my daughter how much I need sleep.  So I was able to sleep better when she was sleeping next to me.  I was able to feed her without really waking up.  But I also could sleep well, knowing that she was right next to me, snuggled into my side.  I secretly loved our nightly routine of feeding, sleeping and snuggling the entire night.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and Finn would be laying in a huge wet spot.  At first, I thought she was spitting up, but then I realized that it was all head sweat.  She is a sweaty baby -- she sleeps better when she is stuck to your bare skin, head sweaty or covered in a warm blanket, head sweaty.  In fact, one time in the late spring, we were napping, her on my chest and I had covered her with a fuzzy blanket.  She was softly snoring for almost 45 minutes.  I lift up the covers to see her sweet face, and I see the beads of sweat, dripping off her face.  But she was sleeping so peacefully, I just lifted the blanket ever so slightly to give her a little fresh air.  She was awake within a minute or two after that.

But the real reason why we co-slept was because I enjoyed it so much and I was going to miss it when we had to stop.  I didn't want my little girl, sleeping away from us.  I don't enjoy sleeping by myself, how could she?  What if she gets lonely?  So I dug my heels in when E would suggest her crib.  I said that I would wait until after his trips away.  Why start something only to stop it mid-way?  I wasn't going to sleep by myself during his trips away and so we would wait until after mid August.

When E suggested the crib on Tuesday morning, after the third weekday morning of her waking up at 4:30am to sing to us for an hour, I hung my head in defeat, knowing it was truly time.  Parenting is really hard sometimes in that you have to do what is best for them and not for you.  I needed to give her the chance to be independent.  I needed to let go of my need to sleep with her and let her grow.  This is the first of many times where I'm going to have to put aside my feelings and let her stretch her wings, that I need to put my faith in her and see how far she can go.

So last night, we began the transition.  At about 8:30, the lady and I went upstairs.  I got her dressed for bed.  This was the first time in weeks, that she was going to sleep with 'jammies on.  Her usual pajamas when she was sleeping with us was simply her diaper.  We laid in our bed for our bedtime nursing session.  She fell asleep directly afterwards.  And I scooped her up and moved her into her crib.  I had put the burp cloth that she had been sleeping on in our bed under her head and left her my trusty pillow (the one that I had since I was born) to snuggle with, having read that the transition is easier if her crib smells like our bed.  I told myself that when she woke up crying, I would move her into our bed for the remainder of the evening.  I think that I was trying to ease the transition for myself.

I slept terribly.  I slept so lightly, thinking that she was going to be up at any moment.  At 2:00am, she woke up.  She started fussing and whining.  But she never cried.  I would flick on the video monitor occasionally, just visually checking on her.  You have no idea how hard it was for me to remain fixed in the bed.  I had made a promise to myself and I knew that I couldn't break it.  I could only go get her if she cried.  She whined for about 15 minutes and then was silent.  I suddenly got scared, turning on the video monitor to check on her.  "Is she breathing?  Should I go check on her?"  She put herself to sleep!

About 15 minutes of her falling back asleep, I must have fallen into a deep sleep because the next thing I hear was my alarm going off at 5:30am!  On night #1 of sleeping in her crib, she slept through the night!  E was right -- the reason that she wasn't sleeping through the night was due to our tossing & turning.  It had nothing to do with her inability to sleep for 7.5 hours straight.  I was the one that was holding her back for sleeping peacefully.

Now I recognize that it was a single night and that tonight could be her waking up at midnight.  But I also recognize that she can do it.  She can sleep by herself and that she sleeps well by herself.  Are there going to be nights where she still sleeps with us?  Absolutely.  But is tonight going to be easier on me to put her in her crib, knowing that she sleeps well in there?  Absolutely.  As much as she is growing up and becoming more independent, so am I.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A week in the life (v.1.2)

I had to prepare a frozen dish for one of our friends who just had a baby.  Finn was getting a little cranky while I was trying to get cooking.  So what's a Mom to do?  I smeared ricotta cheese on her high chair and gave her a measuring cup.  Boy, did sister have an awesome time!  

Obviously, playing & eating ricotta cheese is some seriously hard work.  Finn fell asleep on the car ride over to our friend's house -- less than 15 minutes away.  

And she was so tired that she fell asleep with her head on her chest.  Poor girl...

 So I still have about 5 pounds of my pregnancy weight to lose.  And I'm determined to shed the pounds before the beginning of winter.  So Finn and I are starting to jog.  And I use the term jog very loosely.  My view during our "jogs".

It's perfect because the "jogs" always put her to sleep.  So I get a workout and she gets a nap.  Both very refreshing. 

Sleeping angel 

Wide awake!  Hey, gimme that camera!

I'm holding one of our cats, Lucy and trying to video her reaction to the cat.  The dogs are old hat now -- the cats and their tails are her new obsession.

Speaking of Lucy, it appears that she also enjoys baby snuggles just as much as I do!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

She's got style, she's got grace, she's a winner.

 Because she's a lady.  Whoa, whoa, whoa -- she's a lady...  Nothing to really do with the post -- it's just one of my favorite songs and being that I call Finn "lady" all the time -- I figured I'd just throw it in here.

Yesterday, she hit her half-year birthday!  Holy crap!  These last 26 weeks have flown by!  Today I was cleaning out my inbox and started reminiscing through past e-mails starting on the date that I found out I was pregnant and reading up to the day that I was having contraction all day at work with her arriving in the wee hours of the next morning.  Is it strange to say that it seemed like another lifetime ago?  I was so immersed in re-living those 9 months that when I stepped away from my desk, I felt like I was transported into the wrong place (have a new job since my pregnancy).  And for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel sad -- I didn't feel sad that my pregnancy with her was over.  I definitely felt nostalgic and dreamy as it was one of the best periods of my life thus far.  But the overwhelming sadness that I felt right after bringing her into the world of the loss of my pregnancy has diminished.  I'm turning the corner!  And I feel that the major reason for that is sitting right in front of you in these photos!

How can you NOT smile when looking at this cherub face?!?!

And sitting she is!  This week marked her entry into the sitting-up-unassisted world.  And let me tell you, lady is so proud of herself.  Each day this week, I put her on the bed, sitting up now as I changed out of my work clothes into my comfy home clothes.  And each day this week, as I was sitting her up on the bed, she would look down at the bed and then up at me.  And suddenly a grin would burst across her cheeks, almost as if to say "Holy crap! Mama, look at me!  I'm a big girl!!!"

And a big girl, she is!  It is such a stark contrast to the baby that was laying down on the bed.  It's almost as if overnight, she suddenly blossomed into a baby.  No longer an infant, but a baby.  I look at her differently now even when I'm holding her, almost like she looks a little more grown up.

She amazes me every day.  I know that sounds cliche, but it's true.  Last night's amazement?  An "I-want-to-do-it-myself" moment -- it was our first (of many, I'm sure).  Every evening after eating her veggies & fruits, I give her an empty bowl to chew on all Marty-Stouffer's-Animal-Kingdom like.  Well, last night's fruit was bananas (girlfriend can't get ENOUGH bananas).  E claimed that she didn't have taste buds, until I showed him the difference in her facial expressions between acorn squash (which is a favorite veggie of hers) and her bananas.  Well, I gave her the empty bowl of bananas and realized that the side of the bowl she was chewing on didn't have any bananas on the side.  So I took the bowl from her and tried to move it around so she could chew on the side dripping in bananas.  Let me tell you -- little missy was hearing none of it.  She squawked like an mama bird being separated from her baby chicks.  Little Miss Independent...

Also, on the hair front -- sister has it!  And it is growing!  The crazy part of other than the fact that she is finally getting hair is that the hair that is coming out of her scalp appears to be blonde.  I was never blonde as a child.  I had light brown to brown hair while growing up.  I asked E what color his hair was as a baby.  He didn't really know.  But my mom is a blondie (as is my brother) and E's nephew was really blonde as a baby.  So it obviously runs on both sides, but wasn't something that was even on my radar in dreaming about my future child.

And another thing that wasn't even on my radar?  That she was going to be SO tall!  When we went to our last doctor's appointment in mid July, the doctor said that the measurement was probably a mistake (as the nurse does the measuring), so that I shouldn't be surprised if when we got back in Finn either stays the same or shrinks.  But in my unofficial measuring, I got the same measurement and I did the measuring exactly as the office had done it.  Little Miss has another appointment on the 29th of August, a day before her 28 week update, so I'll have "official" results for her weight and height from that appointment.

Due to her height, we are also going to be moving her out of her infant seat within the next two weeks.  Having to pack away the cowmooflage seat will make me sad.  As will now having to unbuckle her to take her every time we go somewhere, instead of just unclipping the base and carrying the car seat around.  It also means that I have to put the actual stroller seat in our stroller (as the infant car seat would clip in the stroller base) and the stroller will take up more space in the back of my car.  Someone that E knows whose two kids were too big for their car seats actually gave us their two car seats and amazingly they were the exact models that I was going to buy for our cars!  Being that I'm going to miss the cowmooflage and that we got both seats for free, saving us over $500, I think that I'm going to see if they sell the cowmooflage cover to replace the one that goes in my car.

All of this sitting is tiring work...

But even though I dread a lot of these things because it means less space or she isn't teeny anymore, I'm so thankful that she is healthy and happy.  I wouldn't trade any of my complaints at all.  I've got a robust, healthy, hefty baby girl on my hands and I love that fact.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A week in the life (v.1.1)

Okay, so a lot of blogs out there are doing "photo dumps", which are basically posts filled with the photos that they took on their phones.  I had never thought about doing something like that until my friend did one.  Then I was like "What a great idea!  My friend is sooo smart!"  Anyways, I really don't like the term "photo dump" for obvious reasons -- so I did a little thinking and came up with "A week in the life", which is a play on one of my favorite songs "A Day in the Life".  Warning! Some of these videos might be boring to some -- if you consider rolling babies boring, totally skip over them.  And this "week in the life" has a LOT of videos -- I guess I wasn't into taking actual photos this week.  Okay, on with the week recap...

****Tip for the videos & photos seen here on the blog -- You can enlarge any photos in a post by clicking on the photo (it will make it full screen of your internet window).  And you can enlarge any video to full screen by clicking the button in the lower right corner that looks like two arrows going opposite directions.***

So this is what we do now when we are placed on the ground.  Constantly.  Rolling, rolling, rolling...  Keep them babies rolling...

Also of interest, sister is learning to get her knees underneath her.  Her butt is starting to shoot up in the air like a flag.  I see crawling in our near future (near meaning two months, I hope)...

Just because she is too stinking cute...  I mean, come on -- who doesn't love a baby with food on their face?

So I was out to eat with some friends on Sunday and one of them asked if Finn had tried lemons before.  I thought that it was as good of time as any.  It appears she is a sour patch kid!

Okay, I promise I don't do this all the time.  But it happened once and it was amazing!  It was one of the first movies that I loved as a child and it makes my heart smile that she is infatuated with Sleeping Beauty as well...

This is what our weekend morning usually consist of.  She is looking at herself on the video as I am filming it. I have quite the narcissist on my hands!  She loves to show-off for herself.

And finally -- I'm not quite sure what is going on here.  But I think it's absolutely hilarity.  Even if she has no idea that she is doing exactly what I'm asking her to do.  She has a serious issue with showing on her belly.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

At first I was afraid, I was petrified...

Too much of the duck song as she is starting to look like a duck...

Oh, no, not I -- I will survive!  So we are sitting in the middle of our second weekend without E.  He had a conference that he left for on last Saturday (the 4th) and came back at midnight on Wednesday, only to leave again for a wedding on Friday morning at 4am.  I would be lying if I said that seeing him go on Saturday was easy.  My mom left on Thursday night and it was really hard to say good-bye to her.  So we basically went from a full house to a completely empty one in the span of 48 hours.

We are going well though.  Doing a lot of cleaning as I have realized that a clean home is also a key to my sanity.  I don't like living in a dirty home and so whenever I feel down, it always helps if I'm sitting in a fresh clean kitchen.  In fact, last Sunday was my birthday and we spent the day deep cleaning the kitchen.  Let me tell you -- there is no better feeling than walking into a clean kitchen after a long day at work (besides seeing the little lady).  So we have been spending our alone time, deep cleaning.  The last time it was done was when I was nesting in preparation for her.  So that's about 7 months of living in our house with five pets.  During that time we had been cleaning of course -- just not what I classify as deep cleaning (i.e. scrubbing base boards, window sills, dusting places that you don't normally see, steaming the floors, etc...).  It feels really good to see my house coming back together.

She is a character, as always.  She is absolutely enamored with the dogs & cats.  When she is in her jumper, she loves that she is at eye level with them.  They come up to her and sniff her and you would think that it's Christmas morning based on her reaction to them.  She starts to bounce higher and higher and squeal.

She also loves to "pet" them.  I'm trying to teach her gentle -- she'll get it.  And we are very fortunate to have pets that will allow for the pulling of the fur.  Even the cats will let her "pet" them for a minute or two before they decide they've had enough and walk away.  She loves when she is sitting on my lap and Munk comes up to us.  He sniffs her face and she laughs.  But she likes it when I take her hands and pet his muzzle.  She giggles and giggles.

This is what it looks like in our house all the time.  I know that it's going to get worse when she actually starts crawling.  But the girl is in constant motion.  Her legs & arms are never in one place, always kicking or flailing.  And that's what Bishop always looks like during her squeals and screeches and flailing and pounding on the floor -- she couldn't give a hoot.

Lady has learned to cough now for attention.  When no one is paying attention to her, she will do a couple of coughs.  Everyone will turn and look at her and she will start to smile and talk to you.  It didn't take her long to realize that when she coughed, whoever was present would quickly turn and look at her, thinking she was choking.  She's just a faker.

She has also learned to scream, much to E's chagrin.  She is just learning all about the power her little vocal chords can give her.  That night I shot the video above, she wouldn't stop squawking like that.  I thought it was pretty funny.  She wasn't upset about anything.  She just wanted to see how loud she could yell.

We also went out and bought a high chair for her -- as you could see in the video above.  She loves sitting in her high chair.  It gives her a view that she never had before.  She can see what's going on on the kitchen counters.  She also knows that good things (like food) come from sitting in the high chair.

She is learning how to chew.  And it is pretty funny!  She looks like an old man, gumming her food.  I also have been reading a lot about baby led weaning.  BLW is a method of giving them larger chunks of food and letting them explore the food and feed themselves.  My only fear is of her choking on her food.  The studies that have been done actually say there is less choking with baby led weaning than with pureed food because the baby is moving the food to the back of his mouth once he has learned to chew as opposed to someone shoving a spoon of liquid in his mouth.  I'm not sure yet.  The examples that I have read include large sweet potato fries (as she has already tried sweet potatoes and slices of peaches (we just started peaches this week).  I gave her a larger slice of peach when I was pureeing her other peaches and she wasn't ready yet.  She has to have her pincer grasp (which is when she puts her thumb and fore finger together).  So she couldn't even really pick up the peach -- she was trying to clumsily pick up the peach slice with her whole hand as it slid all over her tray.  We are definitely going to give the baby led weaning a try.  I'll post more about BLW in the next week or two.

I'll leave you with an absolutely adorable photo from my phone of my little lady.