Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hardships of Babydom...learning to walk and eat

These are new pictures, but these are not pictures from yesterday or last night. See, somehow we have misplaced the camera's charger. And the camera has died. So until we find it or buy a new one, you'll just have to see my favorite pictures. I just love the one of her in the yellow top and plaid skirt. She makes the funniest faces when you pull out the camera. She knows you're going to take a picture of her. We can probably thank my mom for that. For anyone who doesn't know my mom well, she always...I mean always...has her camera with her. Don't worry mom, I'm not picking on you. It's actually a very good thing, we have plenty of gorgeous Ainsley pictures to choose from.
I bought Ainsley a waking toy (you can see part of it in the second picture). It is this little contraption on wheels that stands up so little ones learning to walk can push it around and still have a little support. Then when they are way past the walking milestone, it turns into this little car type thing that they can ride. Anyway, very good idea, but not really thought out all the way. So Ainsley, as I've said before, is all over the place. She no longer stays where you put her. I can't take my eyes off of her for a second. This doesn't mean just crawling, she stands up every chance she gets. She can walk around furniture and stand unsupported...she just can't do the two together. So these little walkers are supposed to help with that. Unfortunately they don't really have a slow down option. Baby stands up and puts pressure on wheeled contraption and baby does not know how to move feet well yet. So guess what happens...right, she falls right on her face. Luckily, I realized this issue before letting her just have at it. So instead of this becoming a fun toy that will keep her occupied while I make dinner, clean the house, whatever; it has become a "mommy holds it steady and moves it slowly while Ainsley takes little steps" toy. I know she'll get there, and believe me, I'm not trying to rush her. I'm just trying to keep her focused on things other than the remotes, the phones, the mail, the dog food, the cords, the TV, the DVD player...you get the picture. Find the one thing in the room that you don't want Ainsley to touch and she's bound to already be there and stuffing it in her mouth before you can even consider moving it.
Aside from the walking, Ainsley is also making great strides in the eating department...but these milestones can be tough hurdles to overcome as well. After Ainsley's 9 month check up, we started feeding her real table food instead of just baby food from the jar. She still gets the strained carrots and peas, but now she eats just about anything we eat as long as it is somewhat soft and/or can be cut into minuscule pieces. She's only got two teeth, so chewing is not so much chewing as mushing with gums. With this new taste adventure comes the danting task of feeding herself. She's becoming quite good at it. No more raking food towards her or mashing it with her palm and hoping it sticks long enough to make it to her mouth. Oh no, she has just about mastered the pincher (for non mommies, or mommies who haven't had babies in awhile that's the technical term for picking things up with your thumb and pointer finger). I thought this would be a momentous occasion, finally we could sit down and have family dinners. To some extent we have, however with the pincher has come just a little bit of attitude from our dear Ainsley. You see, she no longer wants to be fed with a spoon. She would prefer to hold the spoon (when I say hold I mean, slap, throw, bang, etc) herself and gets very upset when forced into spoon feeding from mommy or daddy. This would not be a problem if we could get completely off the baby foods, but some things she's just not ready for yet, plus not everything can be picked up with the fingers (soup for example :). So for now we just fight with her. I guess its the first of many to come. Tonight we had spaghetti for the first time and Ainsley loved it. Who wouldn't right? I wish so much I had the camera tonight because you all would of loved these pictures. Spaghetti up her nose, red sauce on her ears, ground beef in her hair. It was a work of art.
Never a dull moment. It's happening so fast and she's growing up so quickly, I just can't believe it's been 9 months. I was just talking to my Aunt Linda tonight about her kids. Her oldest is graduating from high school next month and her youngest is 6 feet tall. I used to change these boys diapers, play basketball (which I hate!) with them, and play the same baby games I now play with Ainsley. It seems like just yesterday...it's hard to believe Ainsley will ever be that big. Of course, nine months ago I never would of thought we'd be here. I'm just trying to take every moment in as slowly as possible. Maybe every once in awhile I'll be able to make time stand still. Maybe.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend in Raleigh

This weekend we all went to visit my sister and her boyfriend in Raleigh. They have lived there for over a year, but since I put the kabosh on travelling in my third trimester and then we had a baby, we have not been down until now. Carolyn (Aunt DeeDee) and Mike live in a one bedroom just outside of the city. It's actually right on the Raleigh/Cary line. We got there Friday night and I'm happy to say that Ainsley seems to be warming up to "Strange Friends" (these are people that know and love Ainsley, but being that she's so young they are pretty much strangers to her...I know that a lot of these people don't like to be called strangers, so this is my new term for them. Plus most of them are strange :) sooner than she used to. She was kind of shy at first and she cried when I left the room but she was soon talking and playing with my mom and sister.

Saturday, Carolyn, Mike, Clif and I went to the World Beer Festival in downtown Raleigh. We had planned on taking Ainsley with us and carrying her around in the Baby Bjorn all day, but my mom doesn't pass up an opportunity to babysit. So she came to town and watched Ainsley on Saturday. We were only gone about 5 hours, which Ainsley slept 2 of...yeah, she never sleeps that long for me! But, mom got to take her for a walk and they went to a park.

We went to dinner last night where Ainsley had her first taste of Mexican food...re fried beans and rice. We left Raleigh this morning and are now home.

I'm glad we got to spend some time with my family. I feel like they are all so far away sometimes. I grew up living next door to my grandmother, so I had a constant family connection. Aunts and uncles and cousins were always around which was nice. Ainsley doesn't have any cousins yet, but when she does I hope that we can keep them close. Some of my best memories are with my cousins at family reunions or sleep overs or whatever. I really want that for her, and I hope that distance doesn't cheat her of that.

Tomorrow it's back to daycare and work :/ Next weekend we plan on working on our sleeping issues, I'm not looking forward to it. I am, however, looking forward to a couple weeks of quiet...if we can get her sleeping that is.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Baby Needs a New...First...Pair of Shoes

So, I finally caved...I've insisted all along, babies do not need shoes. And everything you read now is "babies learning to walk should go barefoot" or "bare feet give them more stability" or "let them feel the different textures of the floor, grass, sand, etc." Well know what they don't tell you...crawling babies work up friction on their poor little toes and they get blisters! So I bought Ainsley some shoes...I have a bunch of shoes for her, but at this point they are either too small or too big. So I went to Target and bought two pairs of $9.99 shoes. Grandma Livingston would scold me for this (For those of you not familiar with my grandmother, she was always adamant about a good pair of shoes. Just about every year for my birthday, my day with Grandma consisted of a new pair of "very good, supportive" shoes and ice cream. Grandma was very serious about shoes...and ice cream :)

So, hence the pictures of the new shoes. They are pretty cute though!

Last night Ainsley had a taste of a new delicacy...dog food. Yes, my child is obsessed with Gatsby's food and water bowls. I have always been able to pull her away at the first plunging of the chubby little hand into the pellets of dog morsels. However any of you that know my dog, know that he is a bit odd. Rather than just eat his food, he prefers to carry it piece by piece and leave it in strategic places all over the house...the living room carpet, the kitchen floor, under the table, down the hall...wherever he thinks it will come in handy later. So while I was trying to put together a new toy for Ainsley, she was constantly moving towards the dog food. And I was constantly pulling her back declaring a very firm "NO!" What I didn't account for was the piece of dog food sitting on the kitchen floor that I placed her right next to after about 15 of these "NO's!"

I look up at her and see her chewing with a horrid look on her face (because as fun as dog food looks, I assume it does not have the best taste based on the nasty smell), and I immediately know what she's done. My heart drops thinking "oh no, she's going to choke on dog food!" which is way worse than choking on regular food. So I scooped it out of her mouth and instead of thanking me for getting that nastiness out of her mouth, she proceeds to scream like I have just beat her. And nothing can console her, not even the new, semi-put-together toy.

Clif and I also installed Ainsley's new car seat in his car last night. We are headed to Raleigh this weekend to visit Aunt DeeDee and Uncle Mike. For any of you that don't know, car seats are pretty much a nightmare to install. I'm not sure why it's so difficult but it is. And Clif and I have a conspiracy theory about them. The car seat manufactures and the inventor of the mini van are in cahoots...yes it's true...car seats do not fit correctly in any regular car or SUV. You must have the biggest, clunkiest, gas-guzzlingist vehicle around. It's a conspiracy to have us all driving mini-vans...I'm refusing as long a possible. Right now in Clif's pathfinder, which is not a small SUV, the front seat must be all the way up. No normal sized adult could possibly be comfortable in that seat for any length of time.

So Clif installed the car seat, but because she's still rear-facing, it's not installed at the correct 45 degree angle, so we have to take it out and shove this foam thing under the front of it. This foam thing is sold at Babies R Us in the car seat isle. It is basically a triangular swimming noodle. I say, let's just buy a few noodles, but right there on the box it has a picture of a swimming noodle with a big red X over it stating "This is NOT safe." So even though I know this is a gimmick, what can you do? You don't want to regret it after an accident. So you pay 10 bucks for the "modified" triangular noodle. They have us hook line and sinker.

Well, I guess it's just all part of the job.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First Time

Hi friends! So, I am totally copying my friend Carrie. She started a blog about her daughter Addie, and I have read it every day so far, and it looks like fun. So, here I am. I'm not sure how well I'll keep up with this. I am very slow at work this week, which is not always the case, but I love to talk about my little Ainsley Bug, so hopefully that will keep me motivated.

As most of you know, probably all of you know, Ainsley Lynn was born on July 9, 2007. I can not believe she is already 9 1/2 months old!! I always thought time went by so fast, but nothing compares to this last year. I just don't even know where the time went. Ainsley is quite a handful these days, she is all over the place. She crawls and cruises around furniture and now she is standing on her own. Last night, she discovered the stairs, and guess what? She can get up them. Maybe we should start baby proofing the house...maybe start with a baby gate at the foot of the stairs!

This past weekend Ainsley started saying "uh-oh" and "bye-bye". In Ainsley speak it sounds more like "ah-ah" and "dy-dy", but we are still pretty excited! At first she just repeated after us when we said "uh-oh" but now she actually says it when she's supposed to. She drops her toy, "ah-ah." She spills her sippy cup, "ah-ah." It's really very cute.

Ainsley's also eating grown up table food now. So far, her favorites are baked potatoes and hot dogs...not necessarily together. I wonder if she's really eating much of it, considering that most of the pieces are in her seat or fall off of her when I pick her up. Gatsby is really enjoying this new stage in Ainsley's life. He'll be 10 lbs heavier next time we go to the vet!

I am amazed every day at how much she changes and grows. It's so hard to believe that we brought her home as this helpless little creature and now she's talking and eating and almost walking on her own. It can be bitter sweet at times, but all in all, it's been the best year of my life.

That's all for now. I'll try my hardest to keep up with this.
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