Well the little munchkin had her 7th month birthday last Friday. I can't believe I haven't blogged since she turned 6 months... well, actually I can.... since I was having issues keeping up with my blog anyway...
Alot has changed in the past month! We finally closed on our house, March 17th. It was the best St. Patrick's day ever. I can't even describe the relief I felt signing those papers. It felt so good to close that chapter and put that behind us. The villa has been working out okay, although we are already ready to move again. We have a 6 month lease, and we are really thinking we might move again when its up, which is at the end of June. I love the neighborhood that we are in, mainly because when me and the munchkin go for our walk each evening, we stroll through beautiful streets with very different and unique homes that all wrap around a huge lake that you can see for a good chunk of most of our walking routes. There are also so many different directions we can go in and different things to see, which helps to keep things interesting. The court our villa resides on, however, is not the best location. There are about 100 kids that live on the same court and they are usually all outside for most of the day. When we come home, their bikes are laying in our driveway and we have to sit and wait while they move everything out of the way. I am not kidding, they are everywhere. And they are rude. Nothing like walking out of your house and getting dirty looks from a kid standing in your drive way. Yep... time to move on. And before the munchkin is old enough to meet any of these little shits.
We also have a new babysitter. Our third one. And I am really hoping that this one will be for a long time. Our first one told us she couldn't babysit the munchkin anymore. We were devastated, but one of my good friends, Laura, stepped up and told us she would help us out and start watching her and for the same very discounted price that our previous sitter was watching her for. We were so relieved. We were still paying all of the utilities at the other house and had zero room in the budget for any more expenses.
Things seemed great at first, but after a while I began to realize that it just wasn't a good fit for us. Laura also has 3 beautiful children that are turning out great, so obviously she is a great mom, but she just has a completely different parenting style then I do and different ideas of how things should be done. And maybe my little one just has a totally different personality then her kiddos, but whatever the case, it wasn't working. Our main issue was with her naps. Half of the time when I would pick up her up, Laura would tell me that she didn't get a nap in that day. I then had to prepare myself to spend the evening with a very crabby baby. Often she would pass out in the car as soon as we got in it and I would find myself driving around for over an hour just so she would get a good nap in before we got home. This was getting expensive in gas money alone!
I guess I was hoping she would be on more of a schedule. Not a strict schedule, just a loose one... where she would get her bottles in and take a good nap (or two) and have lunch around the same time each day. She really thrives on this kind of schedule and when she is on one, it makes each evening so much better and she is in such a better mood. When she eats more solid foods during the day she also sleeps better, and sometimes Laura's busy schedule didn't have time to get all of this stuff in. The munchkin was more along for the ride when she was at Laura's house, and Laura is a very busy person, so there was really no way to have her on any kind of schedule. Plus it was really hard for the munchkin to sleep over there. She likes it to be quiet and dark, and that was just impossible at Laura's. Between her kids being home from cycle break or just off from school half the time, her dogs barking at the wind blowing outside, and there not being her own space to take a nap, the odds were just against it.
Last Friday, was when I finally decided it was time to make a change. Laura's daughter had strep throat and she took the little munchkin with them to the doctor and had her sick daughter giving her a bottle in the car on the way there. She called me and told when when they were already on their way to the doctor's office. I was freaking out! When I came to pick her up, I asked her if she would call me earlier next time so that I could come and get her because I didn't really want her around anyone with strep throat. She kinda laughed at me like I was being paranoid and said that it wasn't like her daughter was drinking out of her bottle. All weekend I was worried she was going to get sick. It's scary for a little baby to get strep throat. It's highly contagious and although infants don't usually get it because of their small tonsils and the antibodies they are born with, it can cause alot of problems for a baby, especially if it isn't diagnosed right away. Then munchkin is 7 mos now... so she is kinda moving out of the "infant" age anyway.
So last Thursday was her last day at Laura's. And all though it was sad to say goodbye, and very hard to tell her, it is very obvious already that we made a very good decision. And she is still at an age where the transition wasn't very bad at all. Infact, she seemed to not mind one little bit. I am glad this happened sooner rather then later, because as she gets older, uprooting her from her babysitter and sending her to a new one is going to be much more difficult. It's amazing how fast things can change. Starting last friday, I began working on "her" schedule. And I really do mean her schedule. She has been wanting one so bad and now that I have been following her lead and sticking to it, she has been so incredible happy. With her getting better naps and eating more during the day, I have been going in and rubbing her back and giving her a binky instead of a bottle during the night and she is now sleeping through the entire night! She is now sleeping 11.5 hours straight! Every night! And we are going on 5 nights in a row! I am so freaking happy about this. We are all getting sleep and every one is so much happier.
So here is a rough outline of her schedule:
7:30am - 6 oz bottle
8:15am - breakfast, oatmeal
10:00am - 6 oz bottle
10:15am - nap (1-1.5 hours)
12:00pm - lunch, veggies and fruit
1:00pm - 6 oz bottle
2:00pm - nap (1-2 hrs)
4:00pm - 6 oz bottle
5:00pm - dinner, veggies and fruit
7:00pm - 6 oz bottle
8:00pm - down for bed
I have been waking her up at 7:30am and giving her a bottle. I leave at 8 and Joe feeds her oatmeal before he leaves to take her to the sitter. Who knows how long this will last, but I gotta say she seems incredible happy about it. She seems so giddy... like literally bursting with joy half the time. It is so funny. She finally switched to 6 oz bottles once she started sleeping through the night too. Before that she was getting a 4 oz bottle every 2 hours. Its so much easier having a 3 hour window now between her bottles.
When I picked her up from Stacy's, our new sitter's house yesterday, she had the munchkin sound asleep for her 2nd nap in her pack n play in their spare bedroom. The room was nice and quiet, dark and with a fan going. It was perfect. I could have kissed her. She was sleeping so soundly infact, that I ended up staying and waiting around for 45 minutes while she finished her nap. When she woke up, I gave her a bottle and we were on our way! And we had such a good evening. When she gets her 2 good naps in at the sitter's house, she is wide awake and in a good mood the rest of the evening until it's time for bed. So the time I get to spend with her in the evening is so much better then her being crabby and me having to fight to get her to take a nap, and then she doesn't go to bed as well either. I had given Stacy the outline of her schedule and she was able to follow it with no problem, because really it was what the munchkin wanted all along. Stacy also watches another little girl that is about the same age as her own little boy, who is about 1.5 yrs. She has the other two napping at about the same times already, so the munchkin seems to fit right in with their schedule too. So she has a total of 3 little children there now. I think it will be more fun for her there, having the other little kids to entertain her.
Our new sitter is also more expensive and since we are looking to find a house to rent, in a better area for us, and maybe something a little bigger and with a yard, I had to go pick up some more hours at work. I am also working again on Wednesdays and although I am going to miss having this day off with her, I am happy that it is all working out for the best. I am now working 8:30 - 3:00, M-F (I was previously working 9-2 with Wednesdays off). Picking up the extra 12.5 hours a week is making a big enough difference in my paycheck so that we can afford the new sitter and spend a little more towards our rent. Now we just need to find a new place! And it has not escaped me how fortunate I am to have a boss that is so flexible with me and willing to work so well with my ever changing schedule.
The munchkin is now sitting up like a pro and has started to work on her crawling. She is so interested in her toys and is handling them really good back and forth with her hands. She will sit on a blanket and play with her toys forever. She still lets me know when she wants me to pick her up though. It's still her favorite place to be. She has her bottom teeth starting to show through her gums but they haven't broken all the way through yet. She has been getting much better at eating her solid foods, but she still doesn't quite get what they are for. If she is hungry she gets mad and lets me know that she wants a bottle... so still doesn't realize that the food serves the same purpose. Her favorite veggie right now is a mixture of butternut squash and corn and her favorite fruit is pears. She is not a big fan of sweet peas. She is still in the 95th percentile for her height and is in the 75th for weight. She is a big girl! Her feet are still super small though. She is still wearing the hand me down socks that her younger cousin grew out of months ago! She loves to laugh and will squeal with delight if you tickle her or bring her in close and make noises in her ear. She has really become such a happy baby. And for the most part, unless she is tired or hungry she is usually in a really good mood.
We have been walking in the evenings around 5 or 5:30 and will usually walk for 2.5 - 3.5 miles. The munchkin loves to look around and see everything. Sometimes she will fall asleep half way through and sleep the rest of the way. And if the sun is in her face she will get really mad and let me know right away! Luckily, our stroller has a great shade on it that can be adjusted to block the sun from pretty much any direction. Sarah, our original babysitter, and her little girl Ada join us for many of our walks and will often stay afterwards to hang out and eat dinner. This has been great, especially the nights Joe is at school. Sarah's husband is usually at school in the evening too, so it works out well for both of us really.
The past weekend I finally got to get out and get some adult time... and I really had a blast! Friday night I left Joe at home after I put the muchkin to be and went to a party at a friends house. I only had 3 drinks but I couldn't drive, and had to leave my car behind while a friend took me home. What a lightweight! Then Saturday night, my mom came over to babysit while Joe and I went to a friend's 30th bday party at a bar. The Captain and Diet Cokes were flowing and I couldn't even tell you how many I had! Some of my girlfriends came up to meet us and we tore up the dance floor. It felt so good to let loose and not have to worry about anything but having fun! And since my mom was at home with the baby, I didn't have to worry about her at all. When we got home, she said that she went to bed around 8:00 really well for her and hadn't heard a peep from her since. 7:30 am came quick though and it was really rough getting out of bed... good thing she was sleeping through the night now though.... no more middle of the night bottles.... Yay!!!!
Here were some pics taken by others throughout the night. Yes, I was completely out of control.
There's me and my gal Toni on the far right.
It was our friend Cort's 30th bday and there's his fiance Brenda between us.
Here I am motorboatin' Toni...
And here's Nicole, me and Toni. I am a little intoxicated as you can tell.
This is what happens when you don't get out enough!
Sorry for this very long-winded catch up.... but there has been so much going on and I really wanted to try to get some of it down. And with my new hours at work, I am here longer, so it's not so crazy busy and I actually have some time to blog again. Woo Hoo! I am going to work on a photo update tonight!!