December 20, 2016

Adelaide is 11 months old.

Month 11
November 19th - December 19th

At 11 months, she:
  • eats everything in sight
  • celebrated her first Thanksgiving
  • is learning to wave
  • is not sure how she feels about Santa
  • only wakes twice at night
  • moved in with big sister
  • is cuddly as ever!
We were getting no sleep at night so Michael and I decided to sleep in the living room for a week. A pull-out couch may not be the most comfortable, but in our sleep-deprived state, it was perfect. Without us being in the room with Adelaide, she started sleeping so much better at night! She went from 4-6 wake-ups to only 1 or 2. So after a week of seeing how she did, we decided to make the big move and put Adelaide's crib in Genevieve's room. Of course that first night she woke up more times than I could count and big sister was confused as to why she was up all night, but we are pushing through. Hopefully by the start of the year everyone will have adjusted and I will have my room back!

It's been a fun month with this girl.
We are a couple of weeks into her new diet and somehow we have managed to find something for her to eat. It's been super hard but now that we have a plan we are adjusting to her new food. In case you missed it - she can't eat: gluten, rye, dairy, coconut, honey, banana, tomato, cashew, peanuts, almonds, pineapple, lemon, soy, sesame, barley, bran, malt, green peas, dill, and mustard. We haven't noticed a huge difference yet but hopefully a few more weeks of clearing this food out of her diet, she will feel so much better.

Genevieve had her Christmas performance this month and that was the highlight! She did such a great job standing still and singing, "Rocking around the Christmas Tree", "Feliz Navidad", and "We wish you a Merry Christmas". Her teacher noted how much of a rule-follower Genevieve is and how she gave all the children the stink eye when the other children were running around during rehearsal.

She is also becoming the sweetest big sister! She gets very frustrated when her little sister grabs her toys, but she is learning to say in a calm voice, "No Adelaide, this is my toy. You can play with this one." She has learned to give Adelaide a new toy to play with. And now that they are sharing a room, I can see their relationship blooming. I love it! :)

Other Happenings:
This is the season of holidays and family and lots of events!

We celebrated Thanksgiving with both sides of the family, which is always my favorite. It really is special that we live 45 minutes from ALL of Michael's and my immediate families. I have a feeling that a few years from now that might not be the case, so for now we are just soaking it all up!

Michael and I took the kids to the Farmers' Market for lunch and sitting at the table next to us was a group of tourists. Genevieve and Adelaide were giving smiles and so one of the ladies approached us and asked if we wanted four free tickets to see ICE at Opryland that night. These are like $40 tickets so we quickly invited some family and made a night of it. Although the ice sculptures were pretty amazing, it was absolutely freezing and I am thankful it was free. But memories were made and the older girls loved seeing their new favorite character - Rudolph.

I also celebrated Christmas with my work team. We have been together for a year and it was really special to get together with all the spouses over a meal and fire. I truly love every doula on our team and I am so thankful that this company has given me purpose, friendship, and joy this last year.

And of course we have been in Christmas preparation mode. Genevieve is entering into a new season of understanding holidays a little better. We had fun picking out our little tree (table tops are essential with a crawling/pulling baby), decorating our tree, and listening to Christmas music. We also met Santa Clause. Genevieve was very timid meeting him but now she can't stop talking about him. But then we decided to try a second Santa sighting. We have a family friend who looks like Santa and has the costume, so he came by my parents house to surprise the kids. What a treat! Genevieve sat on his lap for 10+ minutes singing songs and chatting with him. She loved it. I know she felt so special! It's been pretty magical. I didn't grow up with Santa Claus, neither did my husband, but it has been fun to watch Genevieve find the magic of Christmas with Santa. We aren't going to tell her that he is real (any more real than Mickey Mouse), but we are letting her just experience Christmas as it comes.

I am really excited for our family celebrations this next week!
My Sweet Adelaide, 
You are almost a toddler! What?! You are cruising, crawling, and pulling up on EVERYTHING. You are much more adventurous than your sister, which keeps us on our toes. You still smile for everyone and you are starting to wave and squeal. I already miss not having you in our room at night although watching you and your sister giggle at bedtime melts my heart. You are so loved, my little one. As I'm putting together a video of your first year of life, I am reminded about all the amazing moments we have shared. This time last year I was almost full-term anticipating your arrival and here we are with just one month away from your 1st birthday. I am going to cuddle you extra tight this holiday season. 
Love, Mama

November 20, 2016

Adelaide is 10 months old.

Month 10
October 19 - November 19
At 10 months, she:
  • finally broke 4 teeth and is not a happy crying for hours at night;
  • is eating so much more now that she has teeth;
  • still has not slept more than 3-4 hours at once...ever;
  • is much more adventurous and daring than her big sister;
  • still beams when Genevieve walks in the room;
  • has twice as much hair as Genevieve at this age;
  • is cruising and even walking while assisted;
  • squeals and shrieks with happiness all day;
  • and gives smiles to everyone. 

Genevieve turned 3 this month! What?! Check out her birthday blog here.

The biggest news this month is that we got her results back from a food sensitivity test. And we found out she has sensitivities to 29 things... These include: all dairy, soy, most nuts (cashew, peanut, walnut, and almond), all gluten, bran, rye, green peas, mustard, coconut, tomatoes, banana, pineapple, honey, dill, barley, malt, sesame, safflower, and lemon. 

Ugh. I have a new part-time job: trying to feed my 3-year-old. So we can't do typical dairy alternatives because she can't eat almond, cashew, soy, or coconut. And I had no idea safflower, honey, and lemon were in so many things, like so many gluten-free options have safflower oil. Genevieve is the pickiest eater and unfortunately the only food she will eat contains all the things causing inflammation.

My only hope is that once we figure out the food she can eat and will eat, we will start to see behavioral changes. Her verbal skills are not super great yet and she is very stubborn about things like potty training. I hope that once she doesn't have headaches, tummy aches, and inflammation she will emerge as a much happier little girl. But it's going to be a rough road. 

Other Happenings
Words cannot express the range of emotions this month brought. As I was writing this post I was surprised that so much could possibily have happened in 30 days. 

This was our second year going to Boo at the Zoo. We decided while the kids were so little that we would go to this Halloween event in lieu of Trick or Treating. It was a blast and we loved being with some of our favorite families. We asked Genevieve what she wanted to dress up as and she decided "a doc". So we followed suit and dressed up as a nurse (Michael), a skeleton/x-ray (Adelaide) and I dressed up as a Midwife from the show "Call the Midwife".

My coworkers have become some of my best friends. And this month we attempted a sleepover with three families: crafting, dinner, and late night fire talks. It was chaos, but it was really good. We also celebrated all of Nashville Doula Services' clients. It was great to have so many sweet babies and pregnant mamas together. Although I can't attend many births in this season of my life, I love that I am still part of so many in a small way. 

Those are the high moments of this month, but goodness, this month brought some low moments, too. The election results hit us in a way we did not anticipate. Along with half of the country, we are still in a state of shock, trying to figure out what to do now. It has fired us up to really explore how we can get involved in local politics and activism.

But that paled in comparison to doulaing my dear friends through labor as they learned they would be saying hello and goodbye to their baby boy. Grief is intense. The last 3 weeks I feel like I've been walking in a cloud of shock, trauma, and pain, while simultaneously celebrating my daughter's lives. In the grief I am so glad Michael and I have been able to spend lots of time with our friends. There is a peace that surrounds heartache and I count it a huge honor to be able to simply sit and process and rest with our friends. I am exhausted, but I know tomorrow is a new day. 
My Sweet Adelaide,
You have been my joy and slice of hope during this last month of so much heartache. The all night feedings have turned into the sweetest times and I don't find myself wishing them away anymore. I feel so attached to you and I had no idea how healing it is to cuddle you through my tears. Baby girl, we've got lots of happy exciting days ahead. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and your first birthday are around the corner, not to mention you will be walking before we know it! But I am grateful that you just let me hold and snuggle you as I heal. You are so precious to me.
Love, Mama