Louisa: Weeks 32 & 33

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Shortly after I wrote Louisa’s last post, she started crawling in earnest. She gets across a room in no time now, and we had to put up a baby gate at the top of the basement stairs.

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IMG_1000 IMG_1001And no sooner had she mastered crawling did she try her hand at pulling herself up to standing. So now, whenever she gets to a low-lying piece of furniture, she pulls herself up and then laughs and laughs at the sheer pleasure of her new vantage point!

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Unfortunately, more mobility means she’s more prone to bumps and falls. She took a big tumble this week and managed to get her first baby bobo. Right on her forehead, too.

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And while you might assume that with all this new activity and energy expenditure, Louisa would be more tired and sleep better at night, you would be WRONG – she’s just too excited about all the new things she can do and therefore has NO TIME for sleep. She sleeps very little, going to bed later and waking up earlier than usual. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m certainly not coping well.

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She’s also got her first tooth, which may account for some of the sleeplessness. One of her bottom incisors popped up late into week 32, and while it has broken through the gum, it’s taking it’s sweet time in fully coming out. She’s been chomping on everything in sight.

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Louisa continues to eat very well, gladly accepting most things that we offer her. Her hand-eye coordination is also very strong, and she can manage to pick up cut up pasta from her tray and get it into her mouth with relative ease. She really enjoys cucumbers (mostly because they’re cold and crunchy – great for teething) and she’s now eating a little something at every lunch and dinner.

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As for Louisa’s personality, it has really emerged in these last few weeks. All of a sudden, we have a little person living with us, someone with thoughts and feelings all her own. She is such a happy girl, tolerant of her rambunctious brother, and never happier than when she’s in our arms. She has kind eyes and as my mom would say a bonne facon. She gives us big open-mouth kisses, grabbing our cheeks to get better leverage, and eye contact is enough for her to shine her winning smile on us. Now that she’s mobile, she follows me from room to room, and will start to cry if she loses track of where I am in the house. She loves to play with Nico’s die-cast cars, and just the other day I caught them playing a game of peekaboo around the ottoman in the living room. She has learned how to play with her rough older brother, and laughs and laughs whenever he does something to amuse her (which is often).

I remember the 8-9 month period as being a golden age with Nico, and I’m really looking forward to this continued development with Louisa.

I love you so much, Baby Girl!

Louisa: Weeks 30 & 31

Week 30

Louisa made great progress in terms of mobility and crawling. She “gets” crawling, but she is still hesitant about it.

IMG_5762It’s funny, with Nico, once he learned to move his hands and knees together to crawl, that was it, he crawled straight across the room and never stopped. But Louisa is different: she knows how, we’ve all seen her do it, but she’s more interested in working out all other types of movement at the same time, so she’s not torpedoing across the floor. She pivots a lot, raising her right leg so that her foot lays flat on the floor for traction. Then she can either swing her left foot out behind her to get on hands-and-knees, or she can swing herself around to face a new direction. She manages to move enough to grab any toy that’s just out of her reach, and she’s happy to return to sitting up whenever she needs a break.

I’ve let her struggle a bit with the crawling (she does cry out in frustration a bit when she gets “stuck”) while encouraging her to try. I’ve also enlisted Nico to show her how to crawl, and he’s happy to oblige!

Sleeping: I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with sleeping this week. Here’s the thing: Nico is potty trained. Did you know that? After multiple attempts over that last 6 months, we finally tried again (back in May) and it just *clicked*! It took no more than a day or two and he was clean! No incentive, no treats or stickers, no cajoling or coaxing. It was just his time. There was no sense thrusting it upon him until he was ready, and that’s the best advice I give to anyone asking for it now: just wait until they’re ready!

And that’s exactly how it is with Louisa and sleeping in her crib. I try and try, and she just HATES it. She wakes up alone in her crib, and she cries like I’ve BETRAYED her. I tried to let her cry-it-out one night (what an awful experience!) and after breaking down and bringing her into my bed, she was asleep in UNDER A MINUTE.

So she’s back in our bed with us, and she has been sleeping for longer stretches. Last night she only woke up ONCE. ONCE guys. Do you get how huge this is??

I know she’ll move to her crib eventually. But right now, she’s not ready. Just like Nico wasn’t ready. No amount of training, cajoling, or Shhhh’ing will change that. I will try again, but not now.

In other news, I’m really loving her hair these days. It’s so cute, and getting long enough to stick up on the top of her head. SO CUTE!!

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Louisa and Nico have been playing more and more together. I caught Nico “reading” her a book the other day, and my heart actually exploded!

Week 31

This week was more of the same. Louisa continues to crawl and be more mobile, she continues to sleep in short stretches, and she continues to try new foods with ease. If she’s a terrible sleeper, at least she’s a pretty good eater!

She lets me feed her with a spoon, opening up for whatever I have to offer her. The first bite is always a taste test, but she accepts almost all foods well enough. The one thing she really doesn’t like? Mashed bananas. Go figure.

We’ve been spending a lot of time out and about, enjoying the summer weather, either at the park, in our yard or at the cottage. It means I don’t get the camera out much, since I’m too busy having fun with my kids. I’ll try to get a few good photos in before the nice weather is gone again, but until then, you’ll just have to settle for these quick phone pics.

Happy summer!!

Louisa: Week 29

 IMG_0951 IMG_0965 IMG_0969Oh Louisa has been full of funny faces this week! Her smile is radiant, and it’s always lurking on the edge of her mouth. She smiles so easily!

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This week seemed… lighter for some reason. The same pressures and responsibilities were there, but it was somehow easier to manage. And I realized it’s because Louisa was on a big upswing this week. And if you think about it, if you look at any given year in anyone’s life, there’s bound to be some low times and some high times. So without giving it too much more thought, I’m just going to chalk up the last few weeks as a bit of a low slump for the girl, and hope that this breezy feeling we’ve got going lasts for a while!

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She’s so close to being mobile, it’s not even funny. She’s very methodical in testing out her own physical boundaries. She can also go from hands-and-knees to sitting up, which is great. She can move around quite a bit, but she hasn’t mastered straight-ahead crawling yet. It’s only a matter of practice.

She’s also eating egg yolks. Though she makes a charmingly funny face when I feed it to her, she masticates it and swallows, with hardly any mess at all. Hah, can’t say the same for some of the other foods we’ve been feeding her!!

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Sleep is still awful, though I definitely notice an improvement on days when she eats well. That means I MUST make more of an effort to get food into her every day. I feel as though we’re slowly moving towards that.

And lastly, I want to mention that her affections have turned towards her father in a way that warms my heart SO MUCH. Seriously, she LOVES THAT MAN! When he comes home from work, she lights up and smiles and wants to be in his arms. She stares at him constantly and wants him all the time. I’ve started referring to him as “your favourite person” because it’s so clearly true.

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As our neighbour noticed today, it shows just how good a father he is!

Louisa: Weeks 27 & 28

Week 27 was all about kicking!

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Louisa kicks her legs when she is on her stomach, getting closer and closer to crawling. She kicks her legs in the tub because she loves the big splashes it causes. And she kicks her legs in her crib as a protest to being put to bed.

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Yeah, sleeping wasn’t any better last week. She has a four hour sleep period from about 8pm to midnight, but then she’s up every two hours after that until 6am, when she’s up for the day (so up at 12am, 2am, 4am, and 6am for good).

It’s HARD!

She also seemed so much heavier this week – everyone who saw her commented on how much she’d grown, so perhaps a growth spurt is responsible for the many night wakings…

Week 28

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Food! Louisa has been eating solid food for a few weeks now. It’s amazing how much more laid back I am about feeding my baby this time around. Basically, here are the things I learned from Nico:

  • Baby portions are TINY! I buy one extra sweet potato, and it feeds her all week. I can’t believe how much baby food I made for Nico, only to have most of it go to waste because babies that size only eat a TEASPOON at any one sitting.
  • I’m not even worry about variety! Seriously, She’s still getting ALL her nutrients from breastmilk, so I’m not even attempting to give her a balance of things.
  • And since she’s still getting ALL her nutrients from breastmilk, I’m not even concerned with having her eat every day. If I can’t get it together to feed her for a day or two, I don’t let it stress me out (most of the time).

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This is markedly different to my attitude with Nico, where I obsessed quite a bit about feeding him. And of course, Louisa’s been a better eater so far, gladly munching on lettuce leaves and other green foods. We’ll see how she progresses…

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She had her 6-month well-baby checkup this week, and she’s now 16lbs 14oz and 26 3/4 in. It puts her around the 70th percentile for both height and weight.

She is now pretty good at moving, either by pivoting around on her stomach, or going backwards in an attempt to crawl. I feel that crawling is days away, and it won’t be too soon, either. She wants so badly to get places and discover new things. Baby girl’s growing up!! ;)

2014 Hintonburg 5k Race Recap

Well, this year’s Hintonburg 5k is in the books.

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I was nervous about the race the night before, nervous about busting a knee, crashing hard, or generally feeling lousy, but none of those things happened. I woke up with Louisa at about 6:30am and we began our morning routine. By 7:30am everyone was up and we were focused on getting Nico pumped for HIS race. He was underwhelmed, though. When we told him it was finally “RACE DAY!” (we’d been playing it up all week), he answered with: “Noooo, stay back home.”

Uh, uh-oh. So the day didn’t go quite as expected, but isn’t that the norm for every family with young children??

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Oh yeah, and it was raining. Womp. When we left the house at 8am, it was just a drizzle. We headed down to Parkdale Market and got our bibs.

That’s when we encountered problem number one: Nico’s bib would cover the Thomas on his shirt, and that just could. not. happen. We ended up pinning his bib to his back instead, and he tolerated it.

Problem number two was more major, and one I totally should have anticipated: his race started ten minutes AFTER mine. That means that he had to watch me run away from him. This lead to an epic breakdown, apparently. We should have spent more time explaining to him that I’d run before him, and then he’d go for his race, but honestly, I’m not sure that any amount of explaining would have helped. He likes it best when we’re all together, so there you go.

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By the time the 1k start was announced, Nico (who had agreed to line up with the other kids) was still upset and wouldn’t run. And so all the other kids took off, and Angelo and Nico were the only ones left standing at the starting line (which is when Ange snapped the picture above). What could they do but head over to the banana and bagel table and wait for me? Just as well, really, since the skies totally opened up at that point and it started to rain BUCKETLOADS!

Aside: My mom came out in the pouring rain to stay with Louisa while we were all on the course. Thanks, Nic!

My race: I ran the first .5km at a 5:10min/km pace, and though that seemed way too fast, I kept it up as long as it felt comfortable. That first kilometre I was surrounded by young kids (like 9-12 year olds) and thought that was actually pretty awesome, if not a bit humbling. There was one mother-daughter duo who was just ahead of me, and I kept pace with them for most of the race. Kilometres 2 and 3 were fine, just slugging along in the rain, which was falling hard at this point, but then the course went more uphill, and things started to get hard. I looked at my Garmin and I still had 1.5km to go, so I just tried to not self-destruct in that last third of the race. I walked through the last water station, gulping water and trying to catch my breath. It was a good call, because I picked it up after 15-20 seconds and felt okay. I took another walking break at the 4k mark, and was passed by that same mother-daughter team. I thought, I can’t let them get away from me, so I picked it up and kept them close.

I had nothing left in me for the sprint to the finish, but I was already going to post a better time than I thought I would, so I didn’t care, I just focused on the shortening distance between me and the finish line.

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Meanwhile the rain just poured down on us. I was completely drenched from top to bottom.

After the race, I found the mother-daughter and told them that they kept me in the race. They were super appreciative and we all hugged it out! That’s pretty much the vibe at the Hintonburg 5k, lots of families, and lots of good cheer. It’s always such a fun race. Rain or shine!!

I ended up finishing in 25:12, HOWEVER, the course was only 4.75km, so while it certainly helps my time look good, it’s not entirely accurate. Whatever, it’s a good ego boost to keep me motivated to run for the rest of the summer.

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Stats:
Chip Time : 0:25:03
Place: 75 (out of 487)
Div. Pl. (F30-39)
 : 11
Gender. Pl. : 26
Pace/KM : 5:01

I feel super bad about Nico, like I let him down or something, but really, there’s always going to be another race, with better weather, and we’ll have lots more opportunities for smiles and race selfies.

So thanks again to the race organizers, the volunteers, the other racers, and my great family for supporting me, even in the rain!