Mar 21, 2010

I'm a Big Kid Now

Not to be trite or cliche, but time does really fly quickly. Kate hit her seven month birthday last week and has crossed a few milestones off her to-do list in the last few weeks.

J flew home from his annual "guys weekend" in Vegas yesterday. On the plane, he sat next to a seven week old baby. When he got home, he told me about the baby and said, "I know I said I wasn't going to miss that age, but he was so cute and little. I miss that." He has since wised up and changed his tune a bit once he saw all the exciting things Kate is doing. Every day seems to be something new and fun and we are anxiously awaiting the day when she begins to crawl. So far, she has managed to scoot backwards and roll around a lot, but we have yet to see any forward progress.

Fortunately, though, we have a few new things to share.

My mom and sister were down for the weekend and Kate decided, to Grandma K's delight, that it was now time to start "talking" incessantly. They had a very nice, albeit loud, conversation. I will try to get a video in the next few days so that everyone can get a feel for the nonstop noise and motion.

Kate has recently started holding her own bottle. Although this doesn't seem like a big event, it is nice not to have to hold her bottle constantly for her. Though, I do sometimes feel that she is needing me less and less. It'll be just a blink of an eye and she will be driving herself places and moving out to go to college.

Kate has always been a really strong baby and she was able to stand fairly early on. Although she isn't crawling, we thought we would try her walking legs out just a little. More importantly, you can see how tall she is. At our last check up, Kate was significantly above the 100% line on the growth chart. We fully expect her to be tall like her Daddy and, hopefully, the next Kerri Walsh winning an Olympic gold in volleyball.

It seems like Kate has been teething since she was about three months old. We were sure that she was going to be an early teether based on her constant need to chew on everything she could get in her mouth. Four months later, she has finally gotten her first tooth. It has come with it's share of teething fun (runny nose, fussiness, and drooling) but she is sporting a new pearly white. You do have to look closely as it just barely broke through her gums on Friday. I'm guessing the other one will be following very shortly.

Kate has been going to daycare every other day since January. We are thrilled with the experiences Kate has while there. We love that she is able to play with other kids and that she gets used to spending time with someone other than us. She has yet to show any signs of stranger anxiety and loves meeting new people. Most importantly, Kate is cuddled, loved, and cared for as well as she is at home. Every so often, Kate tries out her artistic side while at daycare. Here is her first attempt at finger painting.

I always figured I wouldn't be one of those parents who got all excited over every piece of artwork done by my child. But I was so excited to proudly display her first painting; maybe because it is her first one, or maybe because I actually am that parent.

It's amazing how fast they grow and change. I know we have many years ahead of us, but every new change is so fascinating and makes us so happy and we look forward to sharing all of them as a family and with you, our family and friends.

Mar 18, 2010

Seven Months

Aside from being St. Patrick's Day, yesterday was also Kate's seven month birthday. She had a couple of green beers to celebrate. More of the pictures we've taken in the last month are available on our picture site...I uploaded almost a hundred new ones:

Kate's been going strong for the last month, and she just gets cuter every day. Someone told me the other day that nine months old is the pinnacle of child cuteness, and that it just goes downhill from there. If so, I'm really looking forward to the next two months. Obviously we are incredibly biased, but we also hear all about how sweet she is from random people we run into in restaurants and stores. Beyond her appearance, her personality is fantastic (if I do say so myself). She spends a good portion of her day smiling and laughing, she's very well-behaved and mellow, and even her worst outbursts are generally very manageable. She's definitely not frustration free, but we've been very lucky.

We've continued introducing Kate to new "solid" foods, though solid is somewhat of a misnomer. After steaming and blending various fruits and vegetables, they all end up as a similar consistency, and it's far from solid. At this point, Kate's tried sweet potatoes, peas, peaches, pears, green beans, butternut squash, avocado, banana, prunes, and oatmeal. I say "tried" because not all of them were a success. The banana was a little too solid, avocado was less than a hit, and the peas were interesting all around. When D made fresh peas, Kate had a grimace on her face through her entire meal. The second time she tried them, she gagged enough to make herself was a real Exorcist moment. I think perhaps the flavor was too strong, because she doesn't mind Gerber's version of organic green peas. D has made almost all her food from fresh, organic ingredients, but peaches aren't in season and Kate's been clear on her pea preference.

With the new food comes some new challenges. Aside from steaming, blending, storing, freezing, thawing, and feeding, we also have to worry about what comes later. Sweet potatoes are, shall we say, a constipating influence.....maybe that's what they mean by "solid" foods. We've read about several analogies for what diaper contents are supposed to (or not supposed to) look like....peanut butter, Tootsie rolls, rabbit droppings, etc. [Author's note: I just realized how disgusting this conversation is. I apologize for my candor regarding random parenting issues and I hope you're not eating while you read this, but I will continue.] We've been playing catch-up with Kate's digestive system. When she gets backed up, we give her extra fruit and bottles with a prune juice/water mixture. Then she clears up and we go back to a normal menu.....and then the cycle starts all over again. We'd rather not give her natural laxatives all the time, so we're still trying to figure out the right balance.

Kate still isn't crawling, but she's definitely more mobile every day. After setting her on a blanket on the floor, she could end up several feet in any direction. Most of the movement is turning, reaching for things, and rolling's a little bit of controlled chaos. She's much more dexterous with her hands, and enjoys grabbing at anything in reach (even in stores, from her stroller or shopping cart). She's even reaching for the camera when I take close-up shots...the other day she caught the strap and tried to reel me in. You can see a couple of her reaching/playing poses in the's one.

It's softball season again, and though D is only teaching every other day and has Kate to worry about in the afternoons, she's trying to help out as much as possible. She goes to practice after school on work days, and has gone in a couple of times on her day off. There was a tournament last weekend, and we packed up Kate and headed out to Poway for a couple of games. Kate enjoys seeing all the other people in the stands and interacting with the softball girls, though she doesn't pay much attention to the game itself. She especially liked the four year-old brother of one of the girls, and he enjoyed Kate as well.....he followed us around all day. Check out what a great time Kate was having...

I had to go to Hawaii for work last week.....and I can already hear you now, "Oh you had to, did you? You poor baby." Trust me, it sounds more glamorous than it really is, and the majority of my time there was spent in meetings in basements of government buildings. Of the four full days I was gone, I had two short afternoons to actually enjoy myself. Fortunately, I was on Maui at the time, and it was my first time there....I was able to go whale watching one day and take a drive on the Road to Hana the next. I might post some whale pictures in a few days.

Anyway, this wasn't meant to be about me. I was away from home for four days, and Kate managed to change while I was gone. Her face looked a little bit different when I got's much harder to see the changes when you're with her every day. She also learned to fake-cough and fake-laugh. She'll start to "cough" and then it will turn into a little chortle. It's still very cute, though I can see us getting tired of it over the course of the next couple of months. She also has plenty of genuine smiling/laughing moments....when I catch her eye from across a room, when she sees Willow, when she looks in a mirror, when we play peekaboo, when we clap and cheer (for anything), and even when she sees a picture of herself. Looking through pictures on my computer the other day, she noticed herself and started's hilarious.

Kate used to enjoy herself just a bit when we put her on the ground on a blanket, and only as long as we put a toy right in front of her. She's now getting a little more independent and a lot more mobile, and she can sit up unassisted for long periods of time. She'll reach out and grab any of her toys and play with them for a while, so we've tried to offer her a variety of playthings. I bought an electric keyboard on Woot a couple of weeks ago, and pair of bongos a week before that. Since banging on anything in reach is another favorite pastime, Kate has turned into a pro. Maybe we'll post a video sometime soon.

We want to expose Kate to as many new experiences as possible, and also take advantage of the great weather we're having in San Diego. The "winter" storms seem to have passed for now, and last weekend was gorgeous...we decided to go to the beach to take some pictures. Kate really enjoyed sitting in the sand and playing with it. She squished it between her fingers, dug down into it, grabbed handfuls to "throw," and even tried to stick it into her ear. Fortunately, we minded the ear (it didn't get all the way inside) far less than when she tried to put it in her mouth. She got a tiny taste, and realized pretty quickly that it doesn't have the best flavor. She mostly avoided her mouth after that. There are a lot more on the picture site, but here's one shot:

Even with the great weather, the California Current ensures that our ocean water will be freezing, and it definitely felt that way when we waded in a bit. However, we wanted Kate to feel the water, so we dipped her feet in. She was definitely intrigued by the waves, and didn't seem to care about the cold at all. As the water lapped at her legs and feet, she smiled and laughed....success!

Sleeping is still going well, and we've only had to go comfort her once or twice since we focused on it a month ago. In fact, we've been putting her to bed even earlier, around 6:30pm, and she continues to sleep until 6am. When she wakes up earlier, she's usually able to keep herself entertained in her crib until we come to get her. Naps are still more of a challenge, but we're glad that she's getting enough sleep at helps with her mood, because a tired baby is not a happy baby.

It's been a busy year so far, and it appears the spring and summer will be even busier. We're already looking forward to get-togethers (like Easter), vacations (Phoenix, Mammoth, etc), and other fun summer events. D and I are looking into heading back to Bora Bora (one of the stops on our honeymoon cruise). I have enough airline miles and hotel points that the transportation and lodging should be cheap/free, so we can't pass up the opportunity. We haven't booked it yet, but we're excited by the idea.

It's been a long time since I've written this much on a blog post....thanks to D for picking up the slack. I'd like to start posting more, but they might be shorter and less encyclopedic entries. I want to be able to post quick thoughts as well, since not everyone is on Facebook and I'm not a Twitter fan. So, if you can handle lighter comments on more mundane subjects, we'll try it out. Until then, I hope everyone's well!