Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Steps!

11/1/11- a day I won't forget! Ruby decided she was too antsy to wait until her birthday to take a few steps all by herself. She's been cruising around on the furniture for weeks, and even standing on her own for a few seconds at a time, but yesterday she decided to take a risk and walk from Daddy to Mommy! The girl is only 10.5 months old- how is it possible that we are already at the walking stage?

Ruby is SO SO SO much fun these days. She can totally interact with us now- we play this little game of eye contact, where I'll look away, and then swing my head back and look her right in the eyes. She thinks this is hilarious! She'll turn her head away too, so that we both are playing 'who looks at who' first. It's adorable.

Ginger is the BEST big sister! And SO smart. She is already demonstrating a pretty obvious talent in art. She's drawn to drawing, painting, chalk outside, anything that allows her to express her creativity, she loves. She loves crafting, and is so proud of her artistic accomplishments. I come home from work every day to something new that she's created.

Ginger also is showing an interest in soccer, and basketball. Mostly soccer. The girl takes her soccer ball with her wherever she goes. Outside, inside, she's always looking to kick and dribble the ball around. She gets to go outside and play basketball with Paul while Ruby takes her morning nap, which is a big treat to her.

Ruby sleeps and eats like a CHAMP. Wants nothing to do with baby food anymore- thank goodness. She eats whatever is put in front of her, and isn't fussy at all about food! She's sleeping really well now too- for at least a month now she's been sleeping through the night without waking, and sometimes sleeps in until 7:30-7:45am! Plus two 2-hour naps during the day! I have been blessed with 2 great sleepers. We are so fortunate.

That pretty much catches us up for now. I am right in the middle of planning the girls' combo birthday party on 12/3. It's been so much fun to find different Minnie Mouse decor, balloons, treat ideas, etc. Stay tuned for more on that next month!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As I was driving out of our neighborhood this morning, I watched some of my neighbors walking, exercising, taking their babies for walks, etc. and I wondered what their lives must be like, to be able to have the ability to have that time each morning. To be honest, I was downright envious that I was making my way to 'work', while others are able to be free each morning.

And then, I pulled into my 'work'. At 9:15am. I chose the Starbucks I wanted to work from today- the one with the big cozy chairs (and great plug availability for laptops and phones). I got a big (for here) cup of Verona coffee. I looked around for a moment, and saw the men and women rushing in and out in business suits and felt an immediate sense of gratification. Though I might not be at home, with my kids, I have a great job that allows me to have a flexible schedule (I try to be home by 3:30pm, and then jump back on after the girls go down after 8:30 for another hour or so).

I get to eat breakfast, see the girls, get them dressed and fix their hair, and play and giggle. I'm home in time for ballet class, or swing set time, or taking a walk around the neighborhood before dinner.

Thank you, God, for granting me perspective this morning! I needed it. (Still a mommy-in-training, in case anyone was wondering :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Month 7

Aww, Ruby, we just can't get enough of you. Month 7 has been a month of developing new routines and you've become more consistent in your behavior, personality, and likes/dislikes. You LOVE your sister. She is probably your favorite thing in this world. There are times when Ginger can meet your needs, when Paul and I can't. She can sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to you anytime you are crying or whining, and you will stop and smile at her. Ginger loves you so much too! She gets the biggest kick out of making you laugh. She will push you in your swing outside on the swingset, and you two will just giggle and laugh, and she'll give you a kiss and it's like you both need nothing more in this world than each other. For this brief moment in time, you two just adore one another. Soon, things will change, if I know anything about anything. :)

Month 7 has been the month that you've started sleeping really well. Only waking once or so a night for a quick bottle, then back to bed. You are determined(!!!) to do your own thing, and are not easily influenced. Though it presents a ton of challenge as a mother, I will try to foster your ability to navigate this world on your own terms. As long as you also have a strong sense of compassion and empathy.

You are starting to get 'over' pureed foods. You never really loved purees, prefering any kind of soft finger foods instead. Which is fine by me- I love watching you take your first bites of rice, banana, peach, etc.! I think it's because you watch Ginger eat all of her yummy food, and you just can't watch and not participate. These days, you have decided to just spit pureed foods all over your face, the high chair, mommy, whereever, in favor of using your little fingers to pinch and place fun foods in your mouth. Determined, I tell you!

I love both of my girls so much ♥

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Month 6...

Dear Ruby,
girlfriend, this has been another big month for you! You are SO SO SO much FUN to play with these days- you smile and laugh all the time, and I just love the sound of your giggles. You want to stand whenever someone will help you. You are a great sitter, but really are more interested in standing- most of the time when I try to put you down to sit, you arch your back, indicating 'NO Mom, I want to stand!'. It is so cute! You still love to watch your sister run and jump and dance and sing, which she does quite well these days :) You've taken a big interest in Woody, and Grammie and Opa's puppy, Gracie. You are enthralled watching their big tongues and wagging tails and you stare at them anytime they are close-by. You have also started swimming in the pool, and as expected, you love it!

There are a few things that you don't like, starting with food. Well, it's not that you don't like it, it's just that you like to take things at your own pace. You probably consume about 10 bites at most and really act like you could take it or leave it. Fruits are your favorite, and you hate HATE oatmeal, and are indifferent with vegetables. No surprises there :)

You also don't like to sleep through the whole night yet without having a bottle and getting to see Mommy or occasionally Daddy. I'm really hoping that you'll start to value your overnight sleep more and just sleep on through...any day now would be just fine! But I can't complain, you take 2 BIG naps during the day (between 2-2.5 hours each) so you're still getting the good sleep you need.

Recently, you've started holding on tight when I'm holding you on my hip and you don't want to let go. It's like you're giving me a long hug and I just love it. I could hold you forever, baby girl!

You are just about ready to start crawling, I think in the next week or two you'll figure it out. You're up on all fours, and rock rock rock then BOOM faceplant, cry, and mommy picks you up. Once you figure out how to pick up your hand and use it to move, I know you'll be on the move! And I love that stage, regardless of all of the warnings people give me about it. I loved it with Ginger, and I'll love watching you scoot and crawl around too!

That's it for now, you are almost 7 months old so soon enough, I'll be writing the next entry! LOL

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Months 4 & 5

Dear Ruby,
What an exciting few months with a rollercoaster of highs and lows! There are so many leaps and bounds you are taking, it is incredible to watch and learn. You are a tough cookie in so many ways, and that will take you far in life, I just know it. In Months 4 and 5 you have learned to sleep in longer blocks, have perfected your rolling and push-ups, and have had MANY giggle sessions with your big sister Ginger! You love to watch her dance and perform and laugh, often laughing when she laughs even though you don't always get the joke :) You also cry when she cries, and vice versa these days too. I can already tell that the two of you will share a special bond. Just remember that when you're bickering or whatnot!

You share your sister's sensitivity to teething, which have made for a few painful nights. But it is so clear that you share your mommy and daddy's strength in determination- almost like you don't want to deal with the sensitivity, but boy, it HURTS! Last night was the roughest teething night on record for you- your usual bedtime of 6:45 was extended until 11:10(!!!) after we finally loaded you into the car for a trip around Lake Mathews. It was a full moon (or at least appeared that way) so I just enjoyed the drive and you crashed from exhaustion. Dang teeth!

Your Dad has made the journey in these months to care for you during the day, so that either he or I are always caring for you and Ginger. He has such incredible courage and is loving spending time with you. Although he would also say that it's ok to save your diaper explosions for me. Which you like to do JUST for him. :)

You are 95% there on sitting independently, with just the occasional topple. You like to be entertained. You are fascinated with sitting in the high chair and playing with cups and lids. You LOVE LOVE LOVE bouncing in your jumper or activity bouncer. You are just a happy, content little baby with the occasional meltdown, usually due to teething. Pretty normal reaction in my eyes. But otherwise, there is nothing 'normal' about you- you will always be extrordinary in my eyes! I heart you, little miss Ruby :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This is it...

Today is my last day at home, on maternity leave with Ruby. She turns 18 weeks tomorrow, so I know that I'm truly blessed to have had the extra time to stay at home and bond with her. Today is the day I will say that I have a perfect baby- nobody could possibly tell me different. Sure, we've had our challenges with the bottle, sleep, reflux, etc. but today, well today she is just perfect. I just put her down for her morning nap, and instead of 'working' towards getting her to sleep, I just enjoyed the moment. We rocked, cooed, smiled, she now touches my face with her hand, runs her hand through my hair, and just smiles and is happy. There is nothing more wonderful in this world than looking at your child looking at you, with pure happiness. I didn't rush her to sleep today, we took our time. She is perfection in my eyes. I am so blessed with Ruby, and am so excited to watch her grow. With Ginger, it was all new to us. We didn't know what to expect, and that was definitely fun. But with Ruby, we get to take our time and enjoy where we are at the moment, instead of wondering what's next, in front of us. Ruby is definitely our little gem, heaven on earth in my eyes.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mission Accomplished: Swaddle

Sure does feel like I'm accomplishing a lot these days! We have finally (FINALLY) broken free from the need for a swaddle, and I am happy to report that Ruby has let it go without too much of a fuss. We have been in between for a few weeks now- her fighting the swaddle, but needing it to calm and fall asleep. We took the 'book smart' approach- one arm out for a few days, then both arms, then yesterday she spent the day at my folks house (who always are bewildered that children these days are swaddled past a few weeks of age). That means that there was no swaddle at all, and the girl did great. So we decided to just give it up completely and last night she only woke up once (at 2am, to nurse) and then slept nicely until 6:45am. Not bad! She takes a little more rocking to fall asleep, but all in all, I am SO happy that she no longer needs to be straight jacketed to fall asleep. One more vice we can get shed!

On another note, I went back to trying the playtex drop-ins (bottles we used for Ginger) despite having some success with the MAM bottles, and Ruby now loves them! Well, for Ruby, anyhow, which means she will latch and take 2-3 ounces without much of a fuss. Still working on getting her to take 5-6 ounces (which is the recommendation for her age) but she'll occasionally go to 4 oz if she's hungry enough. Our big word for Ruby continues to be: PROGRESS. She's not the easiest baby in the world, but she certainly is the most beautiful! :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mission Acomplished: Bottle

Who knew that there were so many babies who refuse bottles out in this world?!? It's very much an unspoken conversation with doctors (and especially lactation consultants!), but I have come to the realization that I will notify every new mom I meet to not hesistate in getting baby adjusted to a bottle sooner than the recommended 6-8 weeks old, especially if they are planning on returning to work.

Ruby really, really struggled with the bottle. And even at this point, while she will take it, she's not terribly happy about it, and it takes a ton of work to get her to take it. She needs to be getting sleepy, the breastmilk needs to be very warm, she needs to be swaddled, she can't be facing me directly, so she needs to either look over my shoulder, or away from me completely. I have to sing her twinkle twinkle over and over and over while she chugs the bottle. But she chugs it, finally.

This has impacted my enjoyment of the last month of maternity leave, I'll be honest. All I've wanted to do is snuggle, love on, and enjoy Ruby, but instead I've had to work on this mission, and it's really tough! But I will feel so much better going back to work knowing that she will take a bottle, I just felt awful about handing her over to someone and saying "FYI- she's not on a bottle yet".

So, I can proudly say Mission Accomplished with our little diva. Good thing she is so unbelievably adorable, because even though it's "work", when she flashes me her dimple smile after a feeding, or when she wakes from her nap, it makes it totally, totally worth it. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Month 3

Well, I can officially say with confidence that we have a little diva on our hands! Month 3 has been yet another month of learning for us, starting with Ruby's refusal to take a bottle. I have been BF since birth without issue, and most doctors and books recommend waiting until weeks 6-8 to introduce a bottle, so as to not cause what is called nipple confusion. Well, what has happened is bottle refusal as a result. I will never, EVER wait to introduce a bottle again- what a load of cr@p! It has been extremely wearing to not ever, ever be able to leave the house or her for more than 2 hours at a time. We have tried when she's sleepy, awake, my mom has tried, Paul has tried, my dad has tried, we have tried 7 different types of bottles. We have tried holding her nursing style, in her boppy, in her bouncer, and NOTHING. We have finally made it to her allowing about an ounce to be dripped into her mouth, but she is still not latching to the bottle and sucking.

All of this is causing me a great deal of anxiety, as I must return to work in less than 4 weeks. I am working with her every single day with taking a bottle, but I must tell you that this little diva is wearing me thin with her insistence on nursing from ME and ME only!

Week 12 was particularly difficult for us as well, but since having scavenged the internet for answers, I've learned that a 12 week growth spurt is typical. She has been the 3 C's- clingy, crying, and cranky! Yes, I told you this girl is a DIVA!
We are back to waking up 2-3 times a night, and only sleeping again by nursing- that is similar to Ginger and once I'm back to work, we'll need to nip that down to just 1. But we'll get there.

I suppose I should have started out this blog with all of the fantastic, wonderful things that Ruby is learning and demonstrating. Both because she will probably read this one day (ha!), and because I don't want anyone to think that I'm not L-O-V-I-N-G this girl with ALL of my heart!

She is incredibly vocal, just like Ginger. She will chit-chat with you at any time- lots of coo's, oooh's and aaaah's. Giggles and laughter abound from her. So she is extremely playful and fun to tickle and kiss, that's for sure! Yesterday, at 13 weeks and 1 day, she rolled over from her back to her tummy! It was amazing to watch- she almost seemed too little to have mastered that skill already! She is a crib incher- meaning that by the time she is done with a nap/sleeping overnight, she has moved from the bottom of the crib to the top of the crib. Already? I swear this is all going at lightening speed!

We are still addicted to the swaddle, which I am trying to wean her from but both her and I give up too easily. She falls asleep so nicely all swaddled up, but she fights it so much now that I almost think she would sleep better without it. But she won't actually FALL to sleep without it. So this month we'll need to work on it, one arm, then both arms, then legs, etc. Which will mean a few sleepless nights for me, if it goes the way it did with Ginger!

All in all, it has been an amazing experience to go to a family of 4. It is not for the weary, I am actually in shock that so many others do it (and even more, like 3, 4, or 5 kids!) because it is a HANDFUL with 2! But we are enjoying every minute of it. Sleepy-eyed and all :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Magic of Disney

What an amazing time we had on our family's first visit (together) to Disneyland! Our nanny works PT at Disneyland on weekends, and had provided us with tickets to cover myself, Paul, and my mom and dad (thanks Maureen!). So, the tickets were burning a hole in my pocket for months, but I wanted to wait until I thought Ginger was really ready to take in and create a memory of her first visit to Disneyland.

We all packed up and left the house at a decent time, ready to get there when it opened. However, silly me, I forgot the tickets of all things, and we had to turn around and come back to get them! Luckily, we had only made it about 15 minutes out by the time I remembered, but it did cause the morning to kick off a bit later than expected :)

We arrived and entered Disneyland to be greeted by Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, and Snow White. It was amazing!! I was nursing Ruby on a park bench with my mom and watched Ginger interact with Pluto and Goofy from afar. Then once we were done we all walked over to see Mickey, and took a few family photos with him. Of course, Ruby was already starting to doze off so she missed out on the first few family pics.

We walked the entire park, practically, and rode several rides! Here's the rundown: Peter Pan, Carousel, Dumbo, Teacups (2x), Small World, Space Mountain (sans children), Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Carribean, Disney Railroad.

Ginger's favorite ride was the teacups, with a close 2nd going to Dumbo. She had a permenant smile on her face the entire day, with the exception of a few moments waiting in line, prior to lunch where she was getting a bit tired. But as soon as we had some fuel in us (mac-n-cheese for her, pizza for me, pastrami burger for Dad, and of course, mommy's milk for Ruby :) we were back in action.

We were so, so, so, so grateful to have my mom and dad join us! Two extra sets of hands were helpful, especially with Ruby since she decided that she no longer enjoyed riding in the bjorn. Funny enough, I took her out 2 days later to an outlet mall and she loved being in the bjorn. Go figure!

We made it to 6:45pm, and honestly, it was more the adults that were "done" than Ginger. She was still skipping, running, and raring to go on more rides. She did SO well on our trip, that we're thinking about returning in a little bit to explore California Adventure. Maybe once Ruby takes a bottle, which is a whole other story!