Sunday, March 23, 2014

6 Months Old

We hear Adalyn's little happy waking noises through the monitor, and Juliana runs in shouting, "She's awake!  Her little eyes are open!  I'm here baby Adalyn!  Don't cry, I'm right here!"  Adalyn looks up from examining her hand or talking to the shadows to give a giant sisterly smile.   Her chubby little cheeks are pink and the tired lines around her eyes are gone, even after a standard 45 minute cat-nap.  I pick her up and kiss her soft chin, which always makes her giggle.

At six months old, Adalyn is just as sweet as ever.  She is generally quiet and contented, and she charms everyone with her smiles.   Here is what is happening in her life at six months.

Sleep: Adalyn usually goes to bed around 7:30pm and wakes up around 7am. We've had some rough patches lately, but right now she is back to normal, usually waking up twice a night.  She nurses and usually falls back to sleep pretty easily.   If she is restless in the early morning, I bring her into our bed.

Naps: Adalyn is still a pretty consistent 45 minute cat-napper.  She has taken several longer naps recently, and while I hope it is a pattern, I think it has more to do with a bit of a cold.  She usually ready to nap after about 2hrs of wakefulness, so she takes 3 or sometimes 4 naps a day.  I'd like her naps to be longer, but it seems to work for her.

Nursing: I'm not really sure how often Adalyn nurses during the day since I really don't pay that much attention.  It seems like usually she can go for 3hrs or more without complaining, but many times I will nurse her more often if she needs to nap or we are going out.  While there is definitely less spit up than there used to be, Adalyn still spits up quite regularly.  I can't remember how long I should expect that to last!

Solids: I've been waiting until after 6 months to start solids.  I was really eager to start with Juliana, but this time I don't feel such a rush.  We are thinking about doing "Baby Led Weaning," a sort of strange name for giving your baby pieces of "normal", age appropriate food instead of purees.  The idea is for them to get used to textures from the beginning, thus becoming more accepting of a variety of foods.  It also helps them to self-regulate - and it sounds easier than making lots of purees!

Playtime:  Adalyn loves to eat her toys.  She lies on the floor playing with them and at mealtimes sits in her highchair throwing them on the floor.  Her favorites are probably a set of plastic keys, a plastic bath book, and a play food ice cream cone.  Juliana also enjoys Adalyn's toys and frequently takes them.  We are already having many talks about toy sharing.

Motor skills: Adalyn is getting better at sitting up, although she still only lasts for a short time before losing her balance.  She rolled over once almost two months ago and still hasn't done it again!  She gets close, but she still seems happy with rocking from side to side on her back or “swimming” on her belly.  I guess that's what comes of having a very contented baby!  While rolling doesn't seem to be a priority, Adalyn loves standing!  She doesn't have the balance, of course, but she can support herself for long periods of time.

Biggest challenge this age: Well, you know, not enough sleep is always a challenge!  Otherwise, I feel like at this age Adalyn gets frustrated by not being able to sit up well and be more adventurous in her play.  It seems like Juliana was a lot happier when she could sit up and play and when she got more mobile.

Favorite part of this age:  I enjoy seeing Adalyn's personality continue to develop.  She loves watching her sister play and gives her lots of smiles. She also puts up with a lot from her!  Juliana likes sitting on Adalyn (straddling her stomach), which seems like a bad idea except that Adalyn just smiles and laughs.  She is very interested in different people and either gives them big smiles or intense stares.  And she is still very interested in examing the world with her huge eyes!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Super-mom in China

Today I got the kids all dressed up in their abundance of winter gear so we could go out for a walk.   We try to get out most days since some small person gets a little stir-crazy and since we haven't yet figured out how to fit "real" exercise time for me into the schedule.  We only had about 45 minutes until Adalyn would be ready to nap again, and since it takes approximately 40 minutes to get bundled up and out the door, I contemplated whether it would really be worth it.  But since I had already brought up the idea to Juliana, it was too late for backing out.  She wanted to stop and play with Little People for just a few minutes and really needed to do a bit of coloring before we went and oh, look at the stickers!, but I finally convinced her it was now or never.

I've just about gotten the bundling process down to a science.
1. Ask Juliana 5 times to go potty and wash hands.
2. Set Adalyn on the living room rug near the floor.
3. Get everyone's coats, gloves, and hats and pile them by the door.
4. Find Juliana from wherever she has gotten waylaid and put on her coat and hat.
5. Put on my own coat and hat.
6. Set Adalyn inside her winter outfit with the legs in but arms still out so she doesn't get upset.
7. Help Juliana with her boots.
8. Try to keep Juliana in dirty boots near the doorway (we don't wear shoes inside in China).
9.  Zip up Adalyn's winter outfit and put on her hat.
10.  Quickly put on my own boots while Adalyn cries.
11. Find Juliana's hat which was just on her head two minutes ago!
12. Check for keys and walk out the door,
13. Unlock the door again because I have forgotten the rag and Adalyn just spit up all over me.
14. Head down the stairs counting for Juliana on the way down (approximately 64).

Usually I have Adalyn in the Ergo, which involves a couple of other steps in the middle, but we just got a new stroller for Adalyn so I decided to try it out today.  Naturally, since I was bringing a stroller Juliana also wanted to bring her dolly and dolly stroller.  Fine, whatever.  One large stroller, one dolly stroller, one dolly, one baby, and one 3 year old who wants to hold a hand down five flights of stairs.  No one was injured.  I might be Super-Mom.

Of course the sight of a big eyed foreign baby in a stroller alongside a blond haired foreign girl walking her own stroller was quite a hit.  We generated lots of attention.  Juliana didn't mind.

I realized that in the past three weeks we have been back not one person we've met outside has told me Adalyn isn't wearing enough clothes.  Either my parenting skills have drastically improved since Juliana, or this is not really China.  I'm starting to think they don't really care about her!  Someone, please scold me!  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.