Saturday, October 4, 2014

11 months

Oh my goodness! We are almost to Grace's 1st birthday and I can't believe it!  I feel as if babyhood is suddenly behind us as Grace turned 11 months. She is so active and trying to be more independent each day. It is getting harder to get a clear picture of her as she wants to move, move, move.

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I am often asked if there are any delays in Grace's development and judging by the fact that she is standing on her own and walking by pushing a toy among so many other milestones I'd say no. I ask her continually to please slow down and be more like her big sister who was content to sit still. However, Grace will not oblige me in that. Her little personality is showing its colors more and more and John thinks she is going to be a little stinker.

She loves to explore and as of the past couple of weeks climb onto little chairs and also climbs stairs. I discovered that feat when I found her half-way up the stairs to the attic. Oh, you can climb now, great! I am lacking in ways to blockade this girl. Our doorways in the living room are so large that gates do not work. I tried chairs on their sides with a pillow to block any openings. Well, she is wise and simply pulls the pillow out and proceeds to crawl through the opening. I wasn't expecting her to figure that out right away!

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Grace is babbling more and more and clearly says in a sweet high pitched voice "DA-ee" of course she is still at the age where it has a variety of meanings but it takes on a more excited tone when she sees John. The most common noise we hear from Grace is her growl. At times it can be really intense and if we try to duplicate it it hurts our throat. Here Tank comes in to try and help her growl. This is nothing compared to her normal growl.

The only thing that she doesn't do often is laugh out loud. The only time she will is if you blow on her belly which "Zippy" enjoys doing. He also loves to give kisses and still likes to "hug her head" as he did right from the start.

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We think her laugh is actually more coming from her nose as she makes this crazy face and blows in and out with her nose. I keep trying to get a video of it as it is so funny but the camera comes up and she stops.

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Grace is wearing size 12 months clothing and is 21 pounds (on a big people scale). 

She is eating most of the same foods we do just ground up. I have never really liked baby food and especially with Grace have skipped over the jarred bland food for the most part except for convenience sake when out and about and then use the pouches. My favorite baby gadget has for years been my baby food mill. Whatever we are eating I grind up and she gobbles up. Of course she does enjoy those freeze-dried yogurt snacks and can handle small pieces of foods quite well.

Grace wants to be everywhere we are and she enjoys hanging out on my back. Here we were headed out on a hike.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

9 months

A much awaited update. I am quite certain Grace is my most photographed child or at least a close second to "George". I didn't get her monthly photo with the chalkboard since it broke but I took some sweet ones outside that really capture her personality. I also do have new family pictures that I will one day add to the header since our current one is so outdated.

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Grace had her first fever which got up to to 102. I am always reluctant to treat a fever so we let it run it's course and Grace was very content to be held and cuddled for two days. It most likely was a sickness as some of the rest of us ended up with the same fever that turned into a cough. Thankfully it ran it's course quickly and Grace did not have that.

She cut more teeth so now has 6 teeth with 4 on the top and two on the bottom. I forget how sharp those tiny teeth can be. Ouch!

No longer content with just Mama's milk. I am always slow at starting solids but Grace is now enjoying puréed foods especially sweet potatoes or zucchini with leeks. It is always nice to have a baby starting solids during the time of fresh garden veggies. I prefer to make my own food which is simple with a handy little baby food mill. I will take whatever fruit or vegetable we are eating with a meal and grind it up. Grace also had her first taste of ice cream from her Grandma while at Dairy Queen. Her siblings were disappointed because their Opa (Great-grandpa) is usually the one to sneak that tasty treat to my babies.

Napping is still sporadic. But then we are busy and on the go so often it is difficult to get into a good routine. And she still wakes once in the night.

Grace is pulling up on everything! Just as she turned 9 months she began letting go for a few seconds while standing.

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This girl puts everything into her mouth. I wonder why some babies do while others don't. Most of ours haven't but she has eagle eyes and finds the smallest fuzz. For the most part she will move it all around in her mouth then work it to the front so we can see it and grab it. Drool is a tell-tale sign she has something in there. I have found lego pieces, a dice and who knows what all else in there. I am so thankful she never swallows!

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Gracie doesn't mind sitting on grass. It's just one more thing to pick and and put in her mouth!

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She is a mama's girl and I love it! She doesn't want me out of her sight for too long. Of course she loves her Daddy too and siblings if she can't have us. This stage is over in a blink of an eye so I'll take her any chance I can get. Grace is the most content when carried. Although her favorite thing to do when I am carrying her is to pull my hair. And it isn't the sweet, let me hold your hair while I sleep kind of thing. It is all out yanking! Here she was using both hands!

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We took some family pictures with John's parents as we haven't for years.

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Enamored with our dog Lincoln

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Our Happy Happy Girl!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

8 Months

8 months!!! How can our precious GEM be 3/4 of the way to 1 year?

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I keep asking her to please slow down as I attempt to savor these moments but she continues to make advancements each day. John is predicting that she will walk earlier than any of our other children. I'd really prefer her to be like her big sister who sat contently playing on a blanket and waited until she was almost 18 months to walk. Not this little girl! She has become quite the explorer not ever wanting to sit still. Silly girl!

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Grace learned to crawl last month but has perfected it over the month to the point where she is moving fast on all fours. I decided that I was going to try training her to stay on a blanket as I did with our first children. Well, that takes more time than I have so at this point I need to just get a gate to restrict her. Grace will spot a guitar or anything else on the other side of the room and make a beeline for it. I always wonder what the point of toys are. It is rare to find her playing with a "real" toy. We are back to trying to keep the floor super clean which is almost impossible with Miss Eagle Eyes.

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And speaking of eyes -- Grace's eyes are changing faster than I recall with any of her siblings. It makes me wonder if they will go brown like Thomas's. Although I am hoping for green like my own. Our hazel-eyed children's eyes didn't turn until much later and I can't remember with my "chocolate-eyed" Thomas. But we definitely know she is not going to have blue eyes like her sister.

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Grace is what some of her siblings call "little tiger" as she has a low growl. This morning when she saw her Daddy she flashed a huge smile and growled at him. For awhile there I was wondering when she would start to make more noises. She does a silent laugh and it looks like a belly laugh but with no sound. That was so strange to me. And usually by now the sounds of "g" or "d" are a commonly heard. But wouldn't you know it just in this past week suddenly Grace has found her voice and sounds are abundant I even heard "da da".

Gracie's favorite toy is my hair. Yikes! This girl is always reaching out to grab it, twirl it, and suck on it. Personally I'd think the flavor not too tasty but apparently that doesn't matter to a baby. Here is our selfie at Bay Beach arm reached up to grab hold of hair.

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Sleep is something that Grace does not do well. It is getting much easier to calm her and get her to sleep than it had been. This month she will relax a bit easier and will fall asleep by rocking and singing her a song or saying "ssshhh....ssshhh....ssshhh". She nestles into some shoulders a little bit better than others but we all take turns. Fuzzy phone picture but you get the idea. I absolutely love watching her cuddle up with her brothers.

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Of course it would be wonderful to sit and rock her all day. I do enjoy strapping Gracie on when I need to get things done and what a sweet view I have. What a little beauty!

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Gracie is still not sleeping through the night which is funny since she did consistently two months ago but that stopped and now she has been waking once usually around 3 or 4 a.m. She is still in our room at night and we toss around having her in her crib in the room she shares but don't want Katie waking up. Grace is in her crib during naps or rather "catnaps". The mattress was not lowered and suddenly we found her kneeling in her crib so John immediately lowered it. Did you think that funny little Miss? :)

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I am still nursing Grace every 3 hours and I suppose time between would increase if I would start feeding her solids. My take on that is the longer I can go without the added job of spooning in food the better. She is thriving and has enough chub that I know she isn't lacking. I did start giving Grace a banana in a mesh feeder and she does enjoy that. I tried putting in a cooked carrot and she wanted nothing to do with that. I then tried dicing it up a bit and putting it in with the banana but she figured out that trick and threw it down. In this picture Gracie also had a bit of pink eye or something like it. It never did get really goopy. Mama's milk in the eye and it cleared up wonderfully and never seemed to bother her.

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And yet another accomplishment this month, she pulls herself up to STANDING!!! What? How can this be?

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Last milestone -- Grace now has 4 teeth! The bottom left was last week. Top right a few days later and the top left today. Can you see where it is swollen? What a sweet happy smile. No, Miss Grace isn't happy all the time although she does put on a good show. But we love our precious Gracie more than words can ever express.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

5 months

Our little GEM  is 17 pounds and is getting more rolls. The kids have fun talking about when Seppy was a baby and we called him the Michilin man. He had rolls unlike any of our other babies. Check him out at 4 months HERE. He got more as time went on.

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After all of the winter months of a screaming baby when traveling in the van thinking Grace didn't like the carseat, we finally found the true problem. Grace was getting too warm and when so covered up would end up completely wet from sweat. I had a cover on the carseat and when she'd start screaming the boys would unzip it. It sure did lock in the heat. That wasn't enough so they took the light blanket off of her. That wasn't enough so they started taking the entire cover off. And then the screaming stopped. The only problem with this is that we have to completely cover her up again to go outside. Being dressed in fleece also doesn't work for her. Too warm. Warm weather please come quickly!

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Grace is sleeping well consistently going down to sleep by 10:30 p.m. and waking around 6 a.m. I feed her and she falls back asleep for another hour or two. Occasionally she will still wake at 4 or 5 a.m. instead. Napping is still not her strong point but it is hard to get a routine of naps when she eats every 3 hours. It will all come together in time.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

4 months

I always have the best intentions but life does not allow me to do "what I want" and for the most part, I am good with that. I started this post when Grace really was 4 months. For awhile I was hung up about not getting an "official" 4 month picture taken but I gave up on that and then I simply got behind.

Here are a few highlights now for my sake. Nothing very

I try to put Grace on her belly to play more often but she isn't thrilled with that idea. Here Pete and Missy try to convince her that it is fun.

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Grace is sleeping 7 hours at night and occasionally takes better naps during the day, as long as she is at home in her own bed. Forget it otherwise. It takes a lot of effort to get her to sleep. Here is Daddy beginning the process.
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I really was hoping she would find her thumb to suck on since those have been my most content babies. She found it once or twice but she didn't keep that up.

Grace does not want to lean back but is always trying to lean forward and can sit for a few moments before loosing her balance. She is jabbering a bit more but we are still waiting for that laugh. Right now she just gives us a wide open mouth silent grin.

Grace startles very easily for instance when we change her diaper opening the crinkly package for the wet wipes makes her jump. And when I took her to ladies retreat with me and my sister would cough Grace would flail her arms and be startled each time.

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This is Zippy's favorite thing to do -- "I want to hug her head!" Which means putting his cheek to Grace's head. He does this countless times in a day.

For anyone who cares about what diapers work best, we have found that Huggies are not worth it and the same thing with LUVS (although they were a bit better). I have had quite a bit of washing out clothes due in part to major leaking. Target brand is by far the best diaper we've ever used.
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Our little girl is getting more filled out each week it seems. The boys weighed her in at 16 lbs. I look back at her one month pictures when she had that newborn loose skin and that clueless look in her eyes and I can't believe how fast the days are flying. I want to relish every single moment but it is so hard when she is not my only responsibility. I am so thankful for the ability to capture moments in time to help bring back memories when they fade with time.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3 Month Evaluation and Pictures

We took Grace for her 3 month evaluation at Children's hospital two weeks ago (if you wonder I back-dated this post). What a strange feeling to drive that familiar path again. So many memories come flooding back and looking at Gracie today I can hardly believe all that happened.

I am including 3 month pictures that I didn't have edited when I posted her last update. My Mom bought the bunny in the picture at the hospital this time. We would visit the gift shop on occasion when Grace was there and always were drawn to the super soft fluffy bunny. I wish I would have bought it earlier to take pictures with but now is better than never.

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Our visit was much like an ordinary well-baby visit with maybe a few more observations.

When we arrived Grace was asleep and I knew once she woke she'd be hungry. The doctor said not to worry she was usually able distract baby enough to get the info she needed. Grace woke, stretched and gave the doctor a sweet smile. But as soon as she was put down her screaming began. And each time the doctor picked her up she was content. I wish I would have had chance to feed her before the appointment as she wasn't exactly at her best. But I fed her while we talked and the doctor did get one more smile from her.

I didn't realize it but being that Grace was premature her age is adjusted and she isn't compared with a normal 3 month old. So based on that she is in the 85th percentile for weight, height, and head circumference.
13.5 pounds (7.5 at birth)
23 inches (19 in at birth)

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Grace is developmentally on track as far as the doctor could see at this stage. The only things she observed is that we should work with Grace on being on her belly. She definitely does not enjoy that position but then I didn't think many babies do. The other thing was that when Grace makes a fist to make sure her thumb is out instead of tucked as she does. That will help with grasping. If you look at the previous post where Grace is grasping for her toys she has her thumbs tucked. That is something I never took notice of and it makes me wonder at what age a baby typically un-tucks the thumb.

The highlight of our day was having Dr. Scott paged to come and see Grace. He was the doctor on-call when Grace came to Children's from St. Joseph's the Sunday we will never forget. We are forever grateful that he was there taking care of our precious girl along with all of the wonderful staff we worked with. He said this is his favorite part of the job. Seeing growing and healthy babies.

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Grace starting early with her roundhouse kick. :) 

Friday, February 14, 2014

3 Months

Three months old already! Amazing how quickly life can change in those few months. Thankful that our God doesn't change and is still on the throne and is in control!

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Grace you are doing well and are progressing as normal as far as I can tell. I love those sweet forehead wrinkles and your big eyes.

You now weigh 12.5 lbs. and have moved up to size 2 diapers since you leak too often with size 1. Clothes size varies but usually 3-6 months with some 6-9. You are filling out and getting a few rolls and chub in your cheeks. I guess the newborn days are behind us now.

Your personality is more demanding. You are not very content and can go from happy and laughing to screaming within a matter of seconds. So when you are hungry, there is no waiting. You are not an "easy baby" as people often ask but that's okay. It can't always be smooth sailing.

We now have you sleeping on your belly. Yes we know all about the "back to sleep" campaign but our babies sleep much more soundly on their bellies. And you can lift your head up and move from side to side to breathe just fine. All that to say you are sleeping better. At night you consistently sleep 5 hours which technically means through the night. So to bed by 11 p.m. waking around 4 a.m. I have always found that not letting my babies fall asleep during the day while nursing helps distinguish between night and day as at night you do fall asleep while nursing and then go to bed. Daytime napping is mainly frequent catnaps at this point.

For some reason you do not like to go shopping. I have no idea why but almost every time I walk into a store with you you give it maybe 5 minutes and then proceed to scream. It doesn't matter if you are in a car seat, in a carrier in front of me, or being held in my arms. One trip to Target I had to leave and go back later that day but you still screamed. Crazy! And people do not want to hear a crying baby let me tell you. I feel as if I am a first time Mom the looks and sometimes comments I get. Typically you are gassy which causes your screaming but why it happens consistently in stores is beyond me. Could you try to give me at least 20 minutes? Haha!

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You smile so much more these days which makes the rough patches all the more tolerable. And we love how your face lights up from ear to ear when we "talk" with you. You can't see it in these picture but you have a bit of a dimple in your right cheek which is just like your brother "Pete". Which made me look closely and realize that while they are identical "Re-Pete" does not have that same dimple.

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We are borrowing a swing from Aunt Sara and you tolerate it but you let us know when you've had enough. And the same is true for the bouncy seat. But you have started to notice the toys hanging on your bouncy seat and are starting to grab for them and just as you turned 3 months could also grasp hold.

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You love to be held and our arms is your favorite place to be. Your favorite position these days is a football hold across our arms. I only wish I had nothing else to do and could sit and enjoy you all day long. These days are flying by so fast already and I am having a hard time with that.

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