Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Can you even believe it's been a whole year? A whole year! It feels like just yesterday, I was sitting at my mother's kitchen table, updating about how I was going to have to be induced. And here we are - a whole year later and I have a sweet, loving, hilarious, brilliant little toddler girl.
First, we'll start with some stats. She had her one year check up and vaccinations and she is now 19lbs 9.5oz and 29 inches long. Tiny little pixie! (To put that into perspective, my 4 month old nephew is 15lbs and 27 inches long, LOL!). She didn't triple her birth weight but hey - she's still growing and gaining and that's all that matters to me. Someone has to be on the lower end of the growth chart, right? Right. She's fitting into 12-18 month clothing a bit better now - they're not as baggy on her as they were last month.
She continues to amaze me every day with the things she learns and the things she knows. Every so often, she will do something that shocks me. Yesterday, for example, her pants were falling down a bit (stomach flu = disposable diapers = her pants don't fit anymore) and I said "Charlotte, come here and let me fix your pants". She tugged at the waistband of her pants, snapped it a couple of times, and giggled. Now when I ask her "where are your pants?" she grabs at the waistband. I had no idea she knew what pants were! She will also stick out her tongue if you ask "where's your tongue" and will point to eyes and hair if you ask where those are. Today I asked her if she wanted some water and told her to go to the fridge and I would get her some. Up she went and walked right over to the fridge. Smarty pants.
She's been learning a bit of turn-taking as well. If she has something in her hand and you ask "can I see?" she will gently give it to you. We've been encouraging this and will go back and forth with the same item doing the whole "my turn/your turn" thing. She's still too young, I think, to really get it but there's no reason we can't expose her to it now! She's gotten back into signing "all done" consistently after having a bit of a signing stand-off recently. She still won't sign "more" for us, even though she knows how. She'll just point at whatever she wants. Silly goose. Lately, she'll sign "all done" in the bath tub when I drain the water - last night she even signed "all done" before I drained it and started to pull the plug herself!
She's moving from the "baby" toys to more "toddler" toys now. She still adores her books, of course. Her current favourite items right now are her books, her Peek-a-Block train, her wooden xylophone, balls, her Sock Monkey, and balloons (left over from her birthday party!). And, of course, walking around, playing peek-a-boo, and pointing at things saying "da". I'm pretty sure she's asking "what's that" when she does it. In fact, we had a pretty funny "conversation" last night:
Charlotte: *thrusts a shape at me from her shape sorter* "Da!"
Me: "You found a shape!"
Charlotte: *gently places it in my hand* "Da."
Me: "Mommy's turn? Thank you."
Charlotte: *points at it repeatedly* "Da!"
Me: "It's a shape!"
Charlotte: *continues pointing* "Da!"
Me: *counts the sides* Uh, it's a hexagon!"
Charlotte: *removes it from my hand and walks away*
Apparently, "shape" wasn't a good enough answer for her!
She has recently upgraded from eating food off her highchair tray to eating food out of dishes. She was starting to protest at mealtimes and kept pointing to our plates/bowls. It only took two nights of gentle reminders, but she no longer attempts to lift her plate or bowl up or throw it or anything like that. We have a couple of "baby" dishes for her, but otherwise she just eats off of one of our smaller plates. We're still attempting to transition her onto whole milk but she's not overly enthusiastic about it. At this point, we're just trying to get her to drink ANYTHING that isn't water out of her cup. If it's not water, she looks at the cup with a puzzled look on her face and just lets the milk dribble out of her mouth. We're working on it. I'm really looking forward to getting rid of bottles. Right now, she's down to one - maybe two - bottles a day. She has one when she wakes up from her nap and one at bedtime, depending on how much dinner she ate and when she ate. Most times she hardly drinks any from her bedtime bottle anyway.
She is also, on normal days, down to one after-lunch nap a day and sleeps for a good few hours (right now, for example, she's been asleep for almost 2.5 hours - she should be up soon!). She goes to bed a bit later now that I'm back at work but also sleeps in a touch later as well. She goes to bed around 7:30 and usually sleeps until 7-7:30.
I still can't believe she's a year old. What a whirlwind of a year it has been! I am so lucky to have my beautiful little baby girl. She is the light of my life, my everything. My best little friend. I can't wait to see what the future brings for us. I love watching her grow and learn. She is my entire world. I love you, Charlotte!!
(...and she's awake, I just heard her turn her music on! Ha! My kid!)
Friday, October 14, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
I can't believe it but my baby girl turned 11 months old on the 14th. 11 months. She's going to be a year old in the blink of an eye. Wowzers!
So what is new in the life of 11-month-old Charlotte? Well, this kid is mobile!! She's not only walking now but she's practically running. I'd say she's walking about 90% of the time. She really only crawls now if she falls down and has to pull herself back up to be able to walk. She's still not able to just stand back up without assistance but she'll get there in time. She's a walking pro and it makes her SO happy! She was born wanting to walk and now she's finally achieved her goal :) Thankfully she's not the type of kid (right now) to get into everything so her walking isn't a big deal. She loves walking around the corner and playing peekaboo with whoever she finds on the other side. She just likes to walk around, usually carrying a pompom or a puzzle piece, and is just happy to be moving - she doesn't care about destroying the house! She also LOVES to climb the stairs and is really good at it. She likes opening and closing cupboards but hasn't really shown any interest to what's inside.
She has four teeth (bottom two and top two) and her eye teeth seem to be coming in. Her hair is getting longer and curlier at the bottom. She's sort-of talking - mostly things that only we understand. She knows what sound a duck makes and will "quack" (cough) when we ask her what the ducky says. She also likes to wave at us when we ask "where's the baby?" or "where's Charlotte?". She says "dad" ALL the freakin' time, "mum" occasionally (sounds more like "ma'am" haha), "duh" for dog sometimes, and is working really hard on saying "fan" and "fish". She can make the "f" sound but that's as far as she gets. Boyd heard her say "bird" this morning as they were watching the birds out the window. I love love love hearing all the new things that come out of her mouth! I can't wait for the "I love you, Mummy" :)
She's outgrown all her 6-12 and 9 month clothing and is now in 12-18 even though it's slightly too big. I'm not sure her stats as we don't have another doctor's appointment until October but I think she's close to 20lbs now and people tell us that she's tall.
Charlotte is ALL about the social games lately. She adores peekaboo, pattycake, and anything that we can do and giggle together. She's still loving her books and will sit quietly and look through them ALL. She empties out her whole bookshelf and then picks through them. She loves the pompoms, her space puzzle, and her PeekaBlock train. She's also started kicking her ball and will chase it all around the house, giggling.
She's still eating and sleeping extremely well. Her bottle intake is going down pretty significantly. She's down to three bottles a day and quite often she doesn't finish it - she'll pull it out, look at it, say "da", point at it, etc. We're hoping that the transition off bottles will be an easy one since she really doesn't care about them much at all. There's definitely no bottle attachment! She's a pro with her sippy cup so it should be an easy switch.
I still can't believe the next Charlotte update will be her birthday update. Where did this year go?! Wow...
Monday, August 15, 2011
Days here are certainly not wasted when it comes to her learning and growing lately. She took her first steps on Tuesday and she was so proud of herself. She's continued to take steps and she really just wants to run! I think as soon as she realizes that she needs to hold her body up straight and slow down a bit, she'll be walking everywhere. She looks so adorable walking around! She has also learned how to climb stairs which is certainly a lot of fun when we're visiting Gram and Grampie's house - all she wants to do is climb the stairs from the family room up to the kitchen. She hasn't been overly interested in toys lately because she's too busy exploring the world. We have had some success with homemade toys like pompoms in an empty cream cheese container :)
We are still signing with her. She signed "more" a couple of times and will still sign "all done". However, in typical Charlotte form, she'll only do it when she feels like it. She waves if we have to her. She claps. I think she may have said some words but I'm not totally sure. What amazes me most lately is that she appears to have quite a bit of self-control. I've watched her at least three or four times already start to do something that I've told her not to and stop herself (i.e. I told her to keep her hands away from the fan and she reached for it again but stopped herself mid-reach). She's a surprisingly good listener for being a baby.
She still absolutely adores books. She will crawl over to her bookshelf and pull out books to happily sit and read by herself. We read a TON throughout the day. Her favourites right now are "Kisses Kisses Baby-O", "Peas and Thank you", "I Like Fruit", "The Ways I Will Love You" and any of her first word type books that have faces to look at. She even notices if certain books are upside-down and will turn them right-side-up before she continues on with the book. So cute!
She has no new teeth yet but her top two are on their way. Her top right looks like it is going to pop through any day now and the top left isn't going to be far behind. She's officially on three meals a day of solids and still takes four bottles. She's been drinking less and less from her bottles lately, though. She's still a GREAT eater and is all business when there's food in front of her. She really loves grapes and mango lately. Fruit, pasta, and meat are definitely her favourite foods.
And that's ten-month-old Charlotte in a nutshell!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
A few weeks ago, I came across a blog posted in one of my formula-friendly Facebook pages from a breastfeeding mother desperately seeking help. Her blog brought me to something that I had never ever heard of before: abnormal attachment of the maxillary frenum. I read about it, looked at the photos, and a light bulb went off in my head. In the very early months of Charlotte's life, I clearly remember looking at her smiling and asking Boyd "do you think she's going to have a gap between her front teeth because of that bump there?" That "bump there" is where her maxillary frenulum connects to her gums and goes all the way back to her soft palate. We all have upper and lower frenulums, but it's how they're attached that makes a difference. Just like some babies are tongue-tied (i.e. their lower frenulums are too tightly attached) there are some babies who have an upper lip tie (their upper frenulums are too tightly attached). And I was positive my baby was one of them.
I immediately made a dentist appointment for her to have her checked out. I brought her in, the dentist and nurses oohed and ahhed over the cute baby, stuck a finger in her mouth, and proclaimed her fine. "See you when she's three!" Mother's intuition kicked in and I really just didn't think she was "fine". Perhaps if they had spent more time examining her rather than cooing over her, I might have been able to accept their diagnosis. But I didn't. I didn't really know what else to do until I came across a "Contact Us" form on Dr. Lawrence Kotlow's website. Might as well go directly to the source, right? This is exactly what Dr. Kotlow specializes in. I sent him a request to have a look at Charlotte's mouth and hoped that he might take the time to do it.
I sent him this photo that I was able to quickly snap one day:
and I immediately got the following reply:
"Without a doubt according to my criteria a class 4 lip tie which can cause breastfeeding problems due to a poor latch. Dr.K"
The emotions that I'm feeling right now are overwhelming. A strong mix of relief and anger all at once. Until you're a mother who has "failed" at breastfeeding, you can never understand the feelings that come along with that. Thankfully, I've done my own research these last nine months and I have a very different outlook now regarding infant feeding, but it's still very difficult to hear things like "everything about your baby is unnatural" or "you're too selfish to give your baby the best" and not feel bad about yourself and your ability to be a good parent. Even though I know that we made the best decision we could, I would still often wonder in the back of my mind whether or not we had "given up" too quickly, would it have gotten better as time went on, would we have been successful had I stuck through the pain?
The answer, as I know now, is no. No. Unless someone had discovered this when Charlotte was a newborn and we had had it fixed, no. Her latch would not have improved. Every feed would still have been torturous. She would still have been ripping my nipples to shreds every time she ate.
There's nothing that can be done now. Had I known about this nine months ago, things would have been very different. The thing is, I had no idea this was even a thing. Upper lip tie? Not even on my radar. No doctor, nurse, midwife, public health nurse, or lactation consultant ever made mention of it. Googling it brings up a handful of results. Even kellymom.com, one of the best breastfeeding resources online, makes ONE mention of it in the "tongue-tie" section ("This story is about a child who had a tight upper (labial) frenulum, which can also cause problems.") It's not well-known as a possible breastfeeding issue but it is a very real issue. So even though I sought help in the early weeks of Charlotte's life, no one helped me because it seems no one knew.
I'm just happy that I have some closure now. I know, without a doubt now, that we did what we could. I know that there was a very REAL, physical reason that my daughter could not breastfeed. It wasn't because I was "lazy" or "selfish" or too stupid to not fall for some "booby trap" like some lactivists like to believe of all formula feeding mothers. I recently posted my story to one of my favourite blogs, the Fearless Formula Feeder, and what the author wrote of my story is so very very true. She wrote:
"Lisa's FFF Friday submission is superbly written (her last paragraph is one of the most beautiful things I've read about formula feeding), but beyond that, I think it speaks powerfully to the common misconception that women who "fail" at breastfeeding were simply lacking support, motivation or information. However, there's a caveat to Lisa's story, which I have included, and this suggests that the biggest booby trap might be a refusal of the medical profession to acknowledge rare, but very real, breastfeeding difficulties."
Our breastfeeding struggles boil down to a mother that wanted to but a baby that couldn't. I'm happy to finally put an end to the emotional turmoil this whole thing has caused and I really wish that, in the future, all babies have their whole mouths examined when breastfeeding issues are present. I'm sure it would save some women out there a whole lot of heartache.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Charlotte's first steps - 9 months, 3 weeks, 5 days old
She's been walking holding onto our hands and furniture for a while now. All day today she has taken two or three steps at a time when we stand her up in front of us and every so often we'll get five or six in a row.
Monday, July 18, 2011
My apologies for the lateness of updating. I always seem to be out of town when the 14th of the month rolls around.
Charlotte turned nine months on Thursday! We had her 9 month well baby check-up on Friday. She is 17.7lbs, 27.5" long and is doing fantastic!
These last few weeks weren't as explosive as the few weeks before she turned eight months, but she still continues to learn and grow all the time. She's an expert at cruising now and has learned how to smoothly go from standing to sitting. She can stand alone for a short period of time and LOVES to walk while holding onto someone's hands. She recently learned how to clap and has been signing "all done" consistently at meal times. She now has two teeth: both bottom.
Her favourite activities these days are cruising, patting surfaces (patting the coffee table, patting the couch, patting the laptop when I'm trying to type, etc.), playing at her standing activity table, playing with shoe laces, and trying desperately to get into Maggie's food/water dishes. She also love her books and can pull books out of her bookshelf all by herself these days.
She's a total water baby and is SO happy going into the pool. When we bring her into our backyard pool, she kicks her legs like a little frog :) I've also noticed that she's started splashing a lot more in the bathtub now that she's had more water play outside of bathtime. I think that might be why she's so attracted to Maggie's water dish. I've brought out dishes of water to play in on hot days and she has a blast.
She's still eating and sleeping well. She's had some new foods these last few weeks as her pincer grasp has gotten a lot better. I've noticed she tends to bite off pieces now, spit them out, then pick them back up later. It's like she's breaking her food into smaller pieces by herself. She loves Cheerios, mixed veggies (the little ones with peas/corn/cubed carrots/etc), and pineapple lately. She had steak and sushi recently as well. This kid eats WAY better than I do!
And I think that's it on our end! We're just spending as much time together as possible before I go back to work and getting out there and enjoying summer!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Charlotte met the Atlantic ocean back in March, but this time she was able to get a much closer look.
You'd think the 14 degree water would have bothered her or at least deterred her from venturing any further. Nope. The kid wanted nothing more than to walk as far as she could into the ocean.
We had such a great time. I love being at the beach, especially when it's really hot out and the water is clear and calm like it was that day. Perfect beach day!
I hope it's a nice hot summer because I want to spend as much time at the beach as humanly possible. I'm pretty sure my little beach baby agrees.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Okay, now that I've posted it says that it was posted on Tuesday, June 14. Apparently we've all gone back in time...
Charlotte turned 8 months yesterday and what a month it has been! She has pretty much exploded with reaching milestones and I'm so proud of all that she has accomplished in the mere weeks since she turned 7 months.
First thing's first is that she learned how to pull herself to standing! She's only done it a handful of times lately, but she can do it and it's very exciting!
Secondly, she's on the move now! She is officially a crawling baby. In the course of about a week and a half, she learned how to get up (and stay up) on her hands and knees, push herself back into a sitting position from her hands and knees, pull herself up onto her knees, and pull herself to standing. It was a crazy amount of gross motor development all at once. It took about another week and a half for her to finally get the crawling thing down, but now she's an expert. :) She's SO much happier now that she doesn't have to rely on us to move her from one thing to another. She doesn't seem overly keen on the whole crawling thing, though - she gets up on her hands and feet and looks like she just wants to get up and walk. It's like she's thinking "ugh, this crawling thing is so degrading, I just want to walk like you guys!" Soon, kiddo, soon.
Thirdly, she finally cut her first tooth! I know, right? FINALLY. Her bottom left tooth popped through on Thursday (same day she learned to crawl - busy, busy!) and her bottom right is on its way. Her bottom left still hasn't come ALL the way into a full tooth, but it's broken through the gums and is popping out, so the hard part is over.
She had a cold at the end of May and was a little crankier than usual, so I'm not sure if the crankiness was from the cold or from the tooth. Regardless, she was perfectly pleasant the days leading up to her tooth coming through, so I feel confident enough in her amber necklace. I think it worked, personally. I'd recommend one to anyone!
So those are the three biggest milestones that have happened in the last month.
She is still hilarious and sweet as always. She has started initiating games and trying to be funny. She played peek-a-boo with my mother on the airplane coming home from Boston and she's been doing this silly head-tilt thing that makes us all crack up. I love watching her trying to engage us. It's really sweet.
Her favourite toys are her doll Bill (she gets a HUGE smile on her face when I bring him out and do the "Bill" voice [a deep voice that says "Hi Charlotte, it's me Bill!"] and will hug him and kiss his face), her LeapFrog caterpillar that plays music, and anything that she can bang on. She likes holding two blocks and banging them together. She thinks it's pretty fun! She also just started putting toys into containers. The other day, Boyd handed her some blocks one at a time, and she put them into a bowl. Smart kiddo. She also LOVES to read books with us and knows how to turn the pages on her board books. It's so cute. You have to sort of tip the page up a bit so she can grab it, but she'll take hold of it and flip it over. Love it!
This photo was taken in mid-page-turn so that's why the rhyme doesn't match the illustration, LOL!
She's still sleeping and eating really well. Nothing has changed in the sleep-through-the-night department. She's still taking two naps a day, but since she's learned how to pull up and has developed object permanence, naps can sometimes get tricky. She likes to sit up and play and will sometimes get really upset that we're not in the room with her. She eventually settles, but it's just a new phase that she's going through. I keep everything as consistent as I can so that she knows that it's still time to sleep, even if she can sit up and look around her room now. ;) Thankfully she doesn't do this at bedtime and all the new stuff she's learned how to do hasn't interfered with her night sleep whatsoever (knock on wood!).
She's eating three meals a day with us now and is definitely ingesting a lot more food. She's started spitting up again after her bottles so we've decided to reduce her bottles by one ounce. We figure that she's filling up more on food so her belly is too full for ALL that milk. She always gets her bottles before her meals, but it still seems to be helping her to have one ounce less in each bottle. She's also figure out how to use her sippy cup without our help! She's an old pro at it now. Yesterday, she picked it up with one hand and drank out of it that way. What a show-off, haha! I'm really hoping that since she's taken so well to a sippy that it will be relatively easy to cut out bottles when she turns one. I hope so, anyway. I can't WAIT to be rid of bottles!
Here's what Charlotte is doing on the 8-12 month developmental checklist!
-gets into sitting position without assistance (8-10mos.)
- assumes hand and knee position
- creeps on hands and knees
- gets from sitting to crawling or prone position (10-12mos.)
- pulls self up to standing position
- bangs two one-inch cubes together
- puts objects into container (10-12mos.)
- takes objects out of container (10-12mos.)
- pokes with index finger (I love when she does this - she usually pokes at the faces of her toys that have faces or she pokes Bill's hands)
- explores objects in many different ways (8-10mos.)
- finds hidden objects easily (10-12mos. - I tested this the other day by hiding her toy under a blanket - she knew just where it was and how to get it!)
- shows specific preferences for certain people and toys (8-12mos.)
- repeats sounds or gestures for attention (10-12mos. - the squealing, my god, the squealing!)
- finger feeds herself (8-12mos.)
After 8 months, I've also FINALLY started finishing up her bedroom. That's on my agenda for today. I've already put up her wooden letters that spell her name and I was in the middle of putting up her wall decals when nap time rolled around. Once she wakes up again I'm going to get back to business and, hopefully, I'll have a new post tomorrow with nursery photos! :)
That's all the news on our end!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Really, it should have started with the clock saying 1:14, then 2:30, then 3:42 because my cat kept waking me up. That darn cat.
Drag myself out of bed to get this silly little goose.
Charlotte tells Bill all about her night's sleep while I prepare her bottle.
Morning feed for lovey.
Morning feed for Mommy.
I get reacquainted with the internet while Charlotte decides to practice pulling up on the only pieces of moveable furniture in the living room...
She decides it's not worth it and settles in with a book.
I get breakfast started.
Charlotte engages in one her favourite activities ever: watching the ceiling fan.
Double-fisting the peaches. Atta girl.
Also finally figured out how to use her sippy without my help. Atta girl x2.
Maggie wakes up and decides to join us.
Charlotte beats up Piglet while I load the dishwasher.
8:41 am and someone's getting sleepy. It's time for a nap.
Diaper change and choose a story. Sit down. Turn the pages.
Diapers need folding.
Ah, much better.
Quick baby check. 9:04, out like a light.
Time to get ready.
Done and done.
Time check. What to do now?
Quick sweep and mop.
Tidy up the living room.
Hooray, the sun!
Update the ol' FB with my plans for the day and check email/LJ/blogs/etc.
Waiting (im)patiently for the baby to wake up so we can get going.
Hooray! Wake up!
Take a moment to laugh at her Conan O'Brien bedhead.
Diaper change, dressed for the day, and smacking that "other" baby in the mirror.
Feed numero deux.
Sisterly love before lunch.
Quick lunch - leftover roasted chicken sandwich and watermelon. We won't even talk about the crap I had for lunch.
Half-assed kitchen clean up.
Ready to go!
Stop for gas first...
"Ugh traffic" turned into "ugh construction" which turned into "dammit, I'm going across the bridge, I don't want to do this!" and a pit stop to get change to get back across the bridge and downtown like I wanted.
We meet up with Leah and watch the boats go by.
We meet a cow, stop for ice cream, and enjoy the accordion dude.
Then it's time to head home.
Tired baby falls asleep before we even pull out of the parking garage.
Home sweet home.
Tired baby wakes up after only 30 minutes of sleeping. She's not happy about it.
Feed number three with sad, tired eyes.
Time to play!
I laugh at her as she tries so hard to pull these links off.
Climbing Mt. Mommy!
Maggie takes a nap in the sun.
I think it sounds like a fantastic idea.
Charlotte plays while I prepare supper.
"All done, Mom!"
Quiet play while I keep an eye on the news.
Grumpy baby is tired.
Change into jammies, settle in with some junk, close up the kitchen, and figure out my night of TV.
7:06 and fast asleep.
Chat with the hubby and apparently make a dumb face.
Top up Maggie's food and water before bed. Maybe she'll let me sleep tonight. Ha, wishful thinking...
Cheer for Boston even though I can't stay up to watch the whole game.
Brush teeth and off to bed...
10:56 (or, judging by this photo, L:7c). Book and bed, there's nothing better.