Monday, June 29, 2009

Halfway to 1 year!!!

Happy 6 month birthday to Sophia!!! I can't believe how fast the time has gone!!! Don't get me wrong, I love her growing, getting older, and her ability to do more things and interact more with the family!!!

So much has happened since I last blogged! Hope you have time for a long post with lots of pictures!!!

Thursday we went over to Michelle White's house for a playdate with her daughter Lila Jane! Lila was born 6 days before Sophia!! They are destined to be good friends! :) As you can see, they were sharing toys in the picture below!! Although, Lila is crawling now and liked to come over and get Sophia's toys!! :) Sophia didn't mind giving them up -- at least for now till she learns to "crawl back" to get them!!


Sarah said the caption should be, "Whatcha talkin' bout mama?"


Aren't they so cute? Michelle and I think so....


Thursday afternoon (after the playdate and a nap), Aunt Sarah came over to visit and play!! She does a good job of wearing Sophia out so she sleeps well!! :) We were reading books with Sophia, but as you can see, she was doing more "chewing" than reading!

On Friday Sophia tried green beans for the first time. They weren't her favorite, but at least she didn't spit them out. When I combined them with her sweet potatoes, she didn't mind them at all! :) Go figure right? These were fresh green beans that I made up in the Beaba babycooker. I know fresh green beans have a much stronger taste than canned or frozen green beans. We might have to try those at another point in time... right now we are just trying to get through 8 more cubes of the green beans we have! It figures that something "common" like green beans she didn't like as much as all the other "odd" veggies!!

Saturday Apryl and I drove up to Chicago and back for Leslie's shower! We left the house at 8:15am and got home at 8:30pm! We had a great time talking without kiddos in the backseat!! For once the construction and traffic weren't bad! Hard to believe for Chicago!! Leslie's shower was a blast!! She loves to scrapbook so her sister had the shower at Archiver's. We all sat in tables of 4 and working on a specific spread. My table designed a spread for the "First doctor's appt." The food was awesome and Leslie got lots of great stuff for baby Adelynn!! Can't wait for Sophia and Olivia to meet their new playmate!! Now we just have to convince Leslie and Chad to move back to Indy!! :)

Since I was gone all day Saturday, Nate and Sophia spent the day together! They went to Best Buy and Lowes in b/w naps to look around! Nate said Sophia really enjoyed looking at all the big TV screens in Best Buy!! In the evening, Nate took her to the Washington Township Park Rib Fest down the street from our house!! They both had a nice time!! No ribs for Sophia this year! :) She got to swing and people watch (which she is REALLY good at!)!

Sunday was the normal Sunday School and church routine! The weather in Indy was just awesome yesterday!! In B/W naps we got outside to do some yardwork while Sophia sat in her stroller and played! It isn't bad pulling weeds with cooler temps and a breeze!!! After her afternoon nap and solids, we headed over to the Avon Park to walk and swing!! Below you will find some pictures of our adventure!


I introduced the famous "sippy cup" on Friday! She has done awesome with it!! Although, she needs to learn to grab it with both handles to bring it to her mouth! I am sure in the next few weeks she will figure that out!! She loves ice cold water -- so that is the treat that goes into her sippy cup these days!!


Nate and Sophia both swinging!! She loved looking over at him and watching him swing!!


I had a nice time pushing her! We had to put her in the swing backwards to avoid the sun in her eyes!! Good thing she is small enough that it still works that way!! :)

An update on sleep training boot camp: Night's #3 and #4 were a bit rough, but we survived! Nights #5 and # 6 were much better -- she slept 11 hours and 10 hours straight! I am not counting this as success yet -- give it three weeks in a row and I might consider it a success!!

We have been busy as you can tell!!!

Hope you enjoyed the post and pictures!! Not sure what food we will try next.... my choices are butternut squash or peas!! Hum.... what to make???

Allyson and Sophia

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sleep training boot camp, night #2 RECAP

Last night was much better!! Thank heavens!! She had a great day yesterday of naps and playing! She was in bed by 7:15pm... woke up about 2:41am (isn't that like an anal type-A mother to look at the digital clock and remember the exact minute??)... she fussed for only 10-15 minutes, lots softer than the previous night... and went back to sleep until 5:23am!! Yipee!!! (I know, don't get my hopes up for night #3, right??)

Also I started thinking about some of our problem: her moving around and ending up with her head against the wooden slats. I rolled up some cloth diaper burp rags and tucked them in b/w the crib mattress and the slat to create a little 1 inch of padding! I am thinking that might have helped last night too!!

Although, when I went in to get her this morning she was turned around 180 degrees. I have no idea how that child turned herself ALL the way around in the middle of the crib!!! It is nights like last night that I would love to have a little video camera in there so I can see the movement!! Probably worth some good laughs too!

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and words of wisdom! I appreciate them all!!!

More updates on Sleep training boot camp to come...

Allyson

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet Potatoes, Smiles, and Sleep!


Sophia is all smiles after eating her sweet potatoes! She really enjoyed them!! You can watch her first experience with them in the video below! Sorry about my arm/hand in the view most of the time. That was the first time I used that angle -- didn't work out real well!! At least you can still see her face!

video


Tuesday I had to work a shift at the Greenwood Meijer Pharmacy, so Nate and I rode down to my parents together, he dropped Sophia and I off, and headed to work in Columbus. When we carpool, it means we have to leave our house by 5:50am so he can get into work at a decent time. When we went into get Sophia to put her in her carseat, this is how she was sleeping!! We both laughed so hard! I had to take a picture of her, and the flash didn't even wake her up! Wonder if she is dreaming about the ocean she has never seen!!! Hummm....


Speaking of sleep, I feel I must blog about our struggles with sleeping at night!! Maybe someone out in blogger land will have the answer.... the silver bullet I am waiting for!!! Throughout Sophia's life, she has been VERY easy to get down for the night... I put her down drowsy/awake, she hardly ever fusses, goes to sleep on her own...but recently she keeps waking up early in the morning (1:30a-3:30ish). Last month she slept 8-11 hour stretches for almost 1.5 weeks straight. I thought we were on the road to a full night of uninterrupted sleep!! Nope -- I was dead wrong!! I feel that at 6 months she should be at least sleeping 8-10 hour stretches, consistently. She doesn't need to eat --- she has proven that many times before!! Also, when she wakes up in the morning for the day, she is always happy and full of smiles.... plays in her crib before she even fusses.

However, I think the game she is playing is this..."I know if I cry when I wake up, mommy will come in and feed me." Well, I am not playing this game b/c I don't want to create a bad habit that will take more time to fix in the future!

We decided it is time to start BABY SLEEP BOOT CAMP! I have read Babywise, Baby Whisperer, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. I really liked the last book the best -- seemed to be the best for the baby and he has done tons of research on pediatric sleep cycles. Dr. Marc Weissbluth's main method is cry-it-out to teach the baby to self-soothe and get back to sleep alone. I know that when I go in there and don't feed her, she gets really mad and cries more. We decided to have Nate go in there (bless his heart, he is willing to get up with me at night!), move her to the center of the crib (usually with all her fussing, she moves herself to the edge of the crib and her head against the wooden slats), and turn on her white noise bear. Last night she cried off and on for almost 3 hours!! (So much for most books saying babies cry it out for 20-30 minutes, then off to sleep! Yeah right, not my little pistol!) I just about died!! I had Nate in there 3-4x adjusting her. She finally gave up and went to sleep at 4:19am!! I know to some reading, this may sound harsh -- but the other methods (which I haven't tried) seem like they all create a crutch to go to sleep -- making me a vital part of Sophia getting herself back to sleep!! That is the last thing I want!

Some are probably thinking -- she probably needs something which is why she cried that long. I just don't think so and here is why.... (1) She wears special cloth diapers (lined with fleece) to bed so she can't really feel herself "wet!" (2) I know she can go without eating b/c she has done it mutiple times in the past! (3) She hardly ever poos at night -- we can smell it when we go into her room if she has! (4) I really think she just wants attention!

Teaching Sophia to sleep has been the most difficult parenting task thus far. I talk to so many of my friends with babies much younger than Sophia and they are consistently doing 8-11 hour stretches. All those her age are doing 9-11 hour stretches -- on their own -- seems like without the parent doing any "sleep training." I have to admit I want to find a magic bullet -- solve the sleep problem in 1 night -- I know that isn't reality -- but it would sure be nice!!

I have a feeling God is just teaching me patience and refining my type A anal character. I am a person that likes to fix a problem in a flash and move-on. I am not used to having to work at something so hard to get a problem fixed. I know the parenting to come (discipline especially) is going to be even harder than this, so I best learn patient, persistence now -- HUH?

Game Plan: I am going to give Dr. Marc Weissbluth's method a shot for the next full week. Hopefully her crying sessions will be shorter each night. Nate is willing to stick with me to do whatever it takes to get her to sleep!! If that doesn't work, I am going to start putting her to sleep on her stomach. She takes naps on her stomach and does (for the most part) and excellent job -- I know this is the cardinal sin.... but I need my sleep and sanity!!

I welcome any advice, techniques, personal experience, encouragement from my blog readers!!!

Thanks for reading my novel!!

Allyson

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Happy Father's Day!!

We had a wonderful Father's Day this year celebrating Nate's FIRST one with baby in tow!! :)
We had my parents over for a brunch. Sophia slept the whole time they were there -- until my mom begged to get her up! I figured she could go in there after Sophia slept 2.5 hours for her nap! (She was tired from church and Sunday School!) When mom went in there, she was already awake with her neck craned up looking around!! Mom, Dad, and Aunt Sarah were all on the floor playing with Sophia. She just loves it when you get down with her and play with her! (My) Grandpa Kiesel was watching from the couch -- although he couldn't wait to get his hands on her and give her some lovin'!! Check out the precious video below of Grandpa Kiesel singing to Sophia!! It was so special to watch and brought much joy to my heart to see his love for his 6th great-grandchild, in the midst of all his health/memory problems! It will be a video we cherish and show Sophia when she is older!!!

After my parents left, Nate's parents arrived. They got to watch Sophia eat her solids! She made some pretty cute green avocado faces for them! :) We were going to go on a walk, but it started raining!! We all gathered in the living room and played with Sophia! We had some yummy ice cream, to which Sophia was checking my bowl out.... by the look on her face, I could tell she wanted some!! Not yet baby girl!!

Here are some pictures from the day....

"I am ALMOST sitting up all by myself!" Just need a little help!


Waving at Grampie Kiesel while he takes my picture!!! I am used to my picture being taken!!


Sophia and Great-Grandpa Kiesel (He's 90!)


Sophia and her daddy!! She loves when her daddy holds her!



Nate's Dad, Nate, and little princess!

The video that will bless your heart..... ENJOY!

video


Allyson and Sophia

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mommy's Little Fish

Today we had another first.... POOL TIME!

Jennifer, a friend from church, invited Sophia and I over to go swimming today with her and her little sweet boy!! This was her first time in a pool and she had a blast!!! As many of you know, it was soooooo hot today!! Perfect swimming weather!! She finally got to use the swim diaper and matching swim hat that Grammie Kiesel picked out for her!!! I enjoyed all the adult conversation as well!

Sophia stayed in the water for 2 hours with me today! She just looked around, talked to herself, and smiled at all of us!! She just kicked her legs in the water as we moved around in the pool. Another friend from church gave us a baby swim float. She enjoyed it, but has lots of room to grow!! She was an excellent baby!! We tried to snap a few pictures, but most of them didn't turn out due to the harsh light outside! Here is one we tried to fix up a little! :)


Have a great Father's Day weekend!!!

Allyson and Sophia

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mmmm Mangos

Since I last blogged, Sophia has tried two more foods: Zucchini and Mango. She loved them both!! I was actually pretty surprised that she liked the zucchini since it has a pretty strong taste. Although, I think her Acorn Squash is her favorite veggie thus far! I bet she will like butternut squash too!! Haven't tried it yet. It is on my list of foods to purchase to cook up and prepare!! Sometime I will get to the green beans and peas!

Here is a little video I shot while I was feeding her the mango's for the first time. They cooked up really nice in my Beaba Babycook.

When Nate and I were up at Trader Joes, I found some organic sweet potatoes, so I made up 12 cubes of those. They are in the freezer as we speak. I will try those in 3-4 days!! Sure hope she likes them since we have 3 lbs of potatoes!! Interestingly, organic potatoes are lots smaller than normal potatoes. :) Too bad you can't just buy 1 or 2. Oh well, Nate loves them too!!

video


Hope you enjoyed!

Allyson and Sophia

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend of Fun with Daddy!

I worked this past weekend at Meijer, so Sophia and Nate were able to spend some quality time together!!! Thank heavens it was a nice weekend, and they were able to get outside!! Nate took Sophia to the Washington Township Park in Avon. They just renovated the kids playground area and it is top of the line! Our tax dollars to use I guess!!! Here are a few pictures Nate took during their weekend together!!


Next summer she will probably be climbing up on this playset. He said she LOVED watching all the other kids play on the playground!


Wow, she looks kind of small huh?? :)


This was taken on the Historic Bridge next to the park. Nate said Sophia was able to see ducks up close and personal for the first time this weekend.

Sounds like I missed out on some fun times, but I sure enjoyed the 20 hours of adult contact and conversation!!

Today we went to our BF'ing group and Sophia weighed 15 lbs 15.5 oz. Almost 16 lbs!! She is getting to be so big!!

Allyson and Sophia!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sittin' Pretty


Sophia was a hambone last Saturday before our walk!!! Here is a cute clip!!

video


See ya around peeps!!!


Allyson and Sophia

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Peaches... hum??

Yesterday we tried a new food: peaches. I got two organic white flesh peaches in my Farm Fresh Delivery this week. I thought.... hum... Sophia has been eating bananas as her only fruit for the last month, why don't I try these? They were ripe, so I used my babycook machine and steamed, pureed, and froze them. We tried them for the first time last night. Of course Nate wanted to sample them first and he said, "Wow, those are a little tart. I am not sure how she is going to like them." To which I said, "Of course she will, I think they taste awesome." Well, here is a video -- I will be anxious to try them again tonight and see if she is used to the tartness. The funny thing is she kept opening her mouth for more of them, but the facial expressions were priceless. Nate said it is like she was sucking on a lemon!!

video

Allyson

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm a big girl now!

Sophia is such a big girl!!! On Saturday, we took Sophia for a run in her stroller minus the carseat!!! She LOVED it!! She talked the whole time and looked around at all her surroundings!! Every time I looked down at her my heart fluttered... my little girl is growing!! How exciting!! When we were running, it felt like we were a family doing an activity all together as opposed to Nate and I just running with Sophia along! It is hard to communicate the feelings I have.... but I am just thrilled!!!

Last night we thought we would do it again since it was a huge success!! This time we had a camera to snap a few pictures!!


Sophia really wants the rattle toy that I have in my hand!!! Can you tell?


Sophia and Mommy in the middle of our walk in our neighborhood!!

"Oh yeah, I'm hot stuff!! Check me out!"

video

This morning Sophia was cracking me up!! She has started playing with her toes!! You can tell on the picture below she is trying her best to pull the toy down with her toes!! She even lifts her legs up to her toy and uses her feet to push it down!!! Gymnastics in her future?? Quite possibly!!!


All for now!!! Happy Monday!!!

Allyson and Sophia

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reading with daddy

Nate and Sophia always have fun father-daughter time reading books. She LOVES the animal book that Abby got for her!!! It has great big animal pictures and lots of bright colors!!! We always make the animal sounds with each page and she just gets a kick out of that!! She even likes to help turn the page....although lots of times she tries to close the book!!! Silly girl!!

Focusing really hard.....


Yesterday we tried a new food: acorn squash. She LOVED it!!! I got one at Meijer for $1.20, cut it up, cooked it in my new babyfood maker (WHICH I LOVE!!), and scooped it into my babyfood freezing trays... total time <15 minutes from start to finish -- end result = 12 servings/cubes of acorn squash for $1.20. Talk about some serious cash being saved!!!!

This morning I made some organic yellow squash and zucchini to freeze, and we will try each one over the next few weeks!!!

I know everyone probably thinks making your own baby food would take forever, but seriously folks... this babyfood maker is THE BOMB!!! All you do is cut up your food, steam for 7-10 minutes, blend it up which takes <1 minute, pour in your freezing trays, and you are done!!!

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!!!!

Allyson and Sophia

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Little Ladybug!"

After a crazy day yesterday, we decided to have a somewhat "lazy" day today!! The morning weather report warned of PM storms, so I figured we should probably get our walk in early!! After walking for an hour this morning, we were both VERY HOT!! I forgot to bring a bottle with water in it for Sophia, so I let her drink out of my water bottle! I have to admit she does an excellent job!! I think I might get out her sippy cups soon for practice. Much easier to cart around than a bottle!!

After her morning nap, Sophia was excited to play in her favorite exersaucer!! Have I said how much she LOVES this toy?? I put it in front of our sliding glass door in the kitchen so she can see outside! She loves watching the trees blow in the wind, the cars drive by, the birds in the air... She is a very happy camper!!


I have a feeling this little blue arch piece is going to get broken off sooner or later... she pulls on it so hard! Hope it is "Sophia-proof!"


We also got out her Bumbo tray!! (Thanks Erin A and MMG clan!) This wa such a great creation!! I am able to put books, toys, etc on the tray for her to play with!! Although, she loves dropping them off to the side!!


"Little Ladybug!" Sophia received one of THE CUTEST OUTFITS EVER in the mail today!! It came from one of the doctor's wives that I used to work for!!! She has a grandaughter that is always dressed in such adorable clothes! She has killer taste!! She got it at Jack and Jill Children's Shoppe in Zionsville. I think I might just have to make a trip to Zionsville this fall and check things out!!! How adorable!!! I just LOVE IT!!! She will be wearing it tomorrow to Grammie and Grampie Kiesel's house!!!


That is all the news on the Long front!!

Enjoy this HOT weather!!
Allyson and Sophia

Monday, June 1, 2009

Banana-cado!

Our weekly trip to the Breastfeeding Support Group brought us great news: Our little baby isn't so little anymore! She weighed 15 lbs 8.5 oz. This is up from 14 lbs 3.5 oz two weeks ago!! I knew she was getting bigger, but had no idea she would gain 1 1/4 lbs in two weeks!!

She continues to grow in length too b/c her little feet are hanging over the carseat. I have to start being really careful that I don't catch her toes when I swing her carseat into its base!! I need a new method to put her carseat in its base without killing my back. She is getting so heavy these days!! (Never thought I would say that the way things started out!)

We had a nice weekend. Saturday we went with Apryl and Olivia to a few garage sales in a really nice neighborhood in Avon. We were both hoping to find some adorable name-brand clothes at bargain deals...but no dice! We both did find a little bargain for our husbands!

Saturday evening we went to Aunt Sarah's annual cookout. Sophia LOVED all the attention!! She was a very good girl and enjoyed watching everyone!


Yesterday we had a nice time at church. She got to see her little friends in service that will someday be in her kiddy Sunday School class. Sophia always seems to enjoy watching other little babies and little kids!! Last evening, Nate and I took Sophia on a run before dinner!! She just "talked" up a storm!! When we got home, she ate a cube of homemade rice cereal. Next, I gave her a cube of avocado and she didn't seem to care for it as much as last time .... so I mixed a tiny tiny bit of bananas with it and she LOVED the combo!! I found a recipe on wholesomebabyfood.com for banana-cado! Guess babies really do love it!!! Personally I find it strange!! Whatever it takes for her to eat her "brain food," I am willing to do!! Nate is ready to feed her homemade guacamole ... I told him we have to wait a few months for that! :)

Until we type again!
Allyson and Sophia