Saturday, May 31, 2008

Weekend at Home

Sorry I did not write much this week. It's been a very crazy, busy week. It just flew by and I barely realized it was over. Nothing too exciting took place. Thursday night I did go to a place called My Girlfriend's Kitchen. You go there and prepare meals and then take them home and freeze them. When you want to eat them all you do is defrost and follow the very simple instructions on the package. It was a lot of fun and so unbelievably easy. I think I want to do it again. They lay everything out for you, it's so great.

Alright, enough about me. Ainsley is walking like a pro these days. She's even trying to run some. That child is always on the go, go, go! I remember when she was still really little and we were all out to eat. Clif was holding her and she was squirming all over the place and he said "You know, once she can actually move, she's going to be gone." Boy was he right. We just can't contain her anymore. We really need to buy some baby gates, but seriously, those things are freaking expensive. All you people out there with no kids or pregnant with your first, take note. REGISTER for baby gates. Figure out which one's you need in your house (because there are about a million different kinds) and put them on your registry. I never even considered it. I actually said, "why would I need that, we're never upstairs." Stupid, stupid, pre-baby Jaime! Like you only need one when you are at the top of stairs?!?!? I am so much wiser now. I can not explain how wonderful it will be when I finally break down and pay 40-90 bucks for a gate to go between our kitchen and living room. And another 40-90 bucks for one at the bottom of the stairs. There will be a lot less chasing of Ainsley.

This weekend we are spending a nice quiet time at home. Lately these have been few and far between, they are so nice. Just the four of us doing fun, boring things's very nice. This morning we got up really early and went yard sale-ing. I know, people who know me are probably saying "What?" But, my friend Carrie gets all this great stuff for her daughter at yard sales. I mean really cool toys. And I am very in to reusing. No need to throw something away that was only used for a year or so by a toddler. Plus 5 bucks at a yard sale is way cheaper than 30 bucks at Toys R Us. Well, Carrie, I'm sorry to say that we hardly saw any baby stuff. We did get a swing. Not sure where we'll hang it yet. And then we got a small steering wheel toy.

After Ainsley took a very long nap, we all got ready and went to the Greek festival. I love, LOVE, LOVE Greek food! I could not make up my mind on what to get so of course I wanted to try everything and spent like 25 bucks on my lunch. Oh well, I have left overs for dinner tonight. Ainsley tried the (NOTE...I am probably not going to spell any of these dishes correctly!) Spanikopida (my favorite) and the Pistachio (it's sort of like a baked ziti with cream sauce). Unfortunately for her, she can't have the Baklava yet. Yummmy!

Now we are home and Ainsley's in bed (her bed :). Tomorrow we are doing some house cleaning and I need to find something to wear to my cousin's wedding next weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tasty Sand

Real is the picture of Ainsley eating sand. Poor girl. She didn't know what to think. Here eyes got all watery and she just had this horrible look on her face. She liked the sand, though, just not as dessert!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Baseball, New Friends and Baby Talk - Topped off with a taste of sand.

This weekend was very busy for the White family. Friday night we went to see the Richmond Brave's game with my office. Ask me how much of the game I saw...big ole goose egg. I don't even know who won, and I can't even tell you who was winning ever. To me, every time I gazed on to the field it looked like the Braves were out warming up. Ainsley was a firecracker on Friday night. She may act shy when she first meets people, but she loves attention. And she was flirting with everyone she saw. Ainsley picked the Braves stadium...which is mostly really practice her walking. She did not want to be held. And ever time I tried to keep her in the box, she took my hand and pulled me out to the concrete walkway. We had a good time, but Ainsley was up way past bed time.

Saturday morning we drove down to Chesapeake to visit our friends Carrie, Tim and Addie. Addie and Ainsley were born 8 days apart. Carrie was one of my college roommates, we were very excited to be pregnant together and have our babies so close. We wanted to get them together all the time...but living 2 hours apart with little babies and me working full time, it's tough to find the time. This was the first time Addie and Ainsley were together since they were about 2 months old.

It was fun to see them together. There was no fighting over toys (and let me tell you, Addie's got plenty of toys) or hitting each other in the face (that would be Ainsley's bad habit). In fact, except for neither of them really going to bed before 10:30 on Saturday night, they were perfect little angels. Ainsley went on her first wagon ride, played with bubbles, got to swing in Addie's porch swing...and while playing in Addie's sand box, Ainsley shoved a handful of sand in her mouth. Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to get this picture, but Carrie took one.

I think the best/funniest thing was Addie and Ainsley's little "conversation." They were sitting between the living room and kitchen and all the sudden we noticed that they were "talking to one another." We were able to capture this on video, so enjoy, it's pretty funny.

We left Sunday afternoon to come back to Richmond, it was sad because we know we won't see each other for a couple of months at least. Thanks Carrie, Tim, Addie and Sally for entertaining us. We had a great time and hope we can do it again.

Sunday evening we traveled down to the South Side of Richmond to visit with some other friends. They have a 2 year old and one on the way. We just had a cook out and Ainsley slept in their crib for hours. So this tells me one of three things...she either just really hates her crib, she was completely pooped, or she's finally getting it. Let's hope its the later.

Well, I could of written a book with all the details but I think I touched on everything. Hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day Weekend. Back to work tomorrow. Blah!!

My First Baby

As most of you know, Ainsley is not my first baby...Gatsby was my first baby. And yesterday was his third birthday. I really wanted to do a post yesterday dedicated to him, but since we were so busy running around yesterday, I will post two entries today. This one is dedicated to my number one pup...G-Dog.

Here is a video of Gatsby's second day with us, he was such a little guy. Just a little ball of fur...

Gatsby came along on our trip to Chesapeake this weekend. He played with Carrie and Tim's dog Sally. They had a blast. Carrie and Tim have this really long back yard, so Gatsby was able to really get up some speed. And he chased tennis balls for hours. He was in heaven. For those of you that know Gatsby, you know that he really doesn't tire out. However, Saturday night he laid down in the middle of the living room with the babies playing around him and all the adults talking. I guess our little guy is growing up.

Happy birthday Gatsby, you are the best dog that we could of ever asked for.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bath Time

Here are some very silly pictures of Ainsley during bath time. The girl loves her bath. She has always loved it. I can remember being told in baby classes and in the hospital, that they scream during bath time because they're cold. I'm not going to say she never cried, but she definitely never screamed. She's always enjoyed it so much. One small problem is that I can not get her to sit down if she's decided to stand. I'm not really sure when babies start understanding the words that we say to them, but she either doesn't understand "No" or she chooses not to listen to me. Either is very possible. I'm pretty sure we have quite a little personality on our hands.
Nothing very exciting has happened this week, so I thought I'd just give some updates.
WALKING: Ainsley is booking along in this department. Last night I was standing at the stove making dinner and Clif was leaning against the island talking to me, while Ainsley played with a toy near the table. All the sudden Clif stopped talking and said "Look." I glance up to see Ainsley just trotting down the hall to her bedroom. I was so astonished by this. I mean, she's been walking here and there...but first of all, she's never walked that far. And second, it's like she had a purpose. Like she thought to herself, "I need to go to my room," and she did it. All of the sudden we have this real little person living with us who has likes and dislikes, wants and desires, opinions even...I guess it will be awhile before we hear them spoken, but she definitely makes herself heard! It's just crazy, but I won't say again how quickly time flies, because I think I mention that in ever post.
SLEEPING: I have to say, that I think we are making progress. She's a long way from sleeping through the night, but the last few nights have been better. I thought we were back to square one after being at my in-laws this weekend. She refused to go in the crib there, so she slept in our bed with us the whole weekend and barely took naps. She napped a few times while I was holding her for very short periods of time. However, this week has not been so bad in the sleeping department. She's going down fairly easy right around 8. She usually wakes up around 9:30 and I've been sending Clif in to soothe her. It seems quicker and easier for him. I think nursing has something to do with my problem. After that she's been sleeping for a couple of hours. So, we are taking steps in the right direction. They are little tiny baby lady bug steps, but steps none the less.
Ainsley also had a third tooth come through this week. I noticed the white nub this past weekend, but it finally broke through yesterday. It's her top right tooth, and her top left is not far behind. She'll be gnawing on steak in no time!
Ainsley has also developed her own little strange's hard to even explain, but I will try to get it on video tape. She's discovered that her tongue can help her make new and exciting sounds. So instead of the normal "Da", "mama", "Ba" and so forth...she now flicks her tongue so everything has kind of an under water sound to it. That's the best I can do. It's hysterical though! We sat out on the deck after dinner and Clif was down in the yard and she just stood there making these weird noises, trying to get his attention. She's actually making these sounds in the first picture up at the top.
Well, that's about all I got tonight. Tomorrow night we are going to a Richmond Braves game with my beer and food. Then Saturday we are headed to Chesapeake, VA for a visit with my very good friend Carrie and her family. Carrie and Tim's little girl Addie was born 8 days after Ainsley and unfortunately we have not had much opportunity to get them together. So we are finally doing it this weekend. I'm so excited to see them play together. And I'm so excited to see Addie...and Carrie and Tim. I will have pictures of Ainsley and her friend in my next post.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walking Video

Here's the video I promised of Ainsley walking...apparently I just need to work on my patience ;) It's a little shaky because I was trying to help her avoid walls and such, but I think you get the picture. Enjoy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lobster Day, New Shoes and Speeding Along

This weekend we visited Ainsley's grandparents (Nanny and Popa) in Fairfax. For those of you that don't know, these are Clif's parents. We went up Saturday morning for my mother-in-law's birthday and came back yesterday evening. We also picked up Clif's grandmother (Non-Non) in Fredericksburg on the way. It was a very nice visit. My in-laws have a tradition - every spring they participate in something called Lobster Day. Apparently it was such a big deal that their youngest child (Auntie Caitlyn) actually thought it was a real holiday growing up. So Ainsley had her first Lobster Day...of course she is a little young for shell fish, so she had a hot dog and watermelon instead. But Nanny had this very cool lobster romper for her to wear on the occasion. She was actually in bed by the time we sat down for dinner, but she had a fun day none the less.

Saturday, we also shopped for new shoes. Unfortunately I did not get a very good picture of her in the new shoes, so I'll have to post that later. Nanny bought her two new pairs...a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of white sandals. They are very cute and very stylish. Her little tennis shoes are all different colors and match perfectly with a pair of striped socks we also got. With both the socks and shoes on, she reminds me of Punky Bruster.

We got home yesterday evening and Ainsley practiced walking again...

I have video of this, but I can't get it to upload I'll have to have my all knowing husband look into that.
Ainsley has gotten the hang of her push toy. She has so much fun with it now and just gets so excited. This is a great new way to keep her entertained while I make dinner. She doesn't quite get the concept of walls yet...she seems to think if she just keeps pushing they'll eventually move out of her way. She is just trucking along in the walking department. I know I say it over and over again, but it really is so amazing how quickly she learns things. She just took her first steps a couple of weeks ago and now she's doing laps around the kitchen. Amazing!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Playing at the Park

These are not the best pictures, they were taken with my phone...but I guess not too bad...

Yesterday I picked Ainsley up from day care and since Clif had a happy hour with work, we went to the park before going home for dinner. Ainsley had never been to the park, so she didn't really know what to think of all the things I was making her do. In this picture she is standing in a play train they have there. She was like "Ok mom, what do you want me to do here." She did love watching the other kids play though.

This is a picture of Ainsley on one of those springy bouncy toys. When I was growing up they were metal and in the shape of horses or lions or some other crazy animal. Now they are plastic, and I honestly could not make out what kind of animal this was supposed to be. She really loved this thing. She was a little small for it, so I had to pretty much hold her on there, so I couldn't get a picture of her really enjoying it, but just take my word for it.
And, I think this was her favorite. I figured it would be. The first time I put her in the swing she had a death grip on the metal chains. But she warmed up to it. The second time she giggled and talked and was much more brave. She'd let go and then grab the front again real quick.
We didn't stay too long, Ainsley is always a little fussy at night. Not bad, she just has long days and she misses seeing mommy and daddy and just wants to be held. So we were only there about 20 minutes. We saw one of Ainsley's little classmates with her big brother and dad there. It was neat because Ainsley seemed to recognize her. She looked over, then looked at me, and just let out this big belly laugh. It was like she was saying "Oh my gosh mom, look it's my friend! I don't believe it." This park is not very far from our house and they have a pond with ducks and geese, so maybe the next weekend we're in town we can bring Gatsby and daddy and have a picnic there.
I think I've decided that people have kids in order to do the things they liked to do as a kid, but can't now because they are grown ups. I can't even remember the last time I went to a park, I think I had more fun yesterday than Ainsley did. The only thing missing from this park was a merry go round. I remember having family reunions at this big park around where I grew up, and there was this big (at least it seemed big) metal merry go round that me and all of my cousins would pile on to. Then one or two of us would get off and take it round and round as fast as we could and jump on at the last minute to enjoy the ride. It was awesome! I know Ainsley's a little young for that, and I don't think they have metal on play grounds any more, but I loved it. I think it was definitely my favorite thing. When she gets a little older, we'll have to find one somewhere.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ainsley Loves the Phone and other Randomeness

So this video is pretty long, but it has some fun things in it if you're interested. Ainsley's walking is progressing rapidly. It's so amazing how quickly she picks things up. She's actually starting to use it as a mode of transportation now not just when we prompt her to do it. Then of course there are the stairs...she loves the stairs, I can't keep her away from them.

However, my favorite part of the video is the phone!! How funny that she knows what to do with a phone? She has always been fascinated with our cell phones and remote controls. She'd rather play with those than any of her toys, so I'll play telephone with her on her play phones, but she's never really interested in that. She always wants the real thing. We ended up giving her one of Clif's old cell phones (We are on no short supply of old cell phones...for those of you that know my husband, you are not surprised that he must keep every gadget he has ever owned no matter of it's size, usefulness, or working ability. Love you Clif :). However, she seems to still really like our cell phones. So she found both of them sitting on the end table last night and she decided to "talk" into them. Very cute, cracked me up! We tried to call Aunt DeeDee (wasn't sure who else would be up, it was about 10 pm), but she didn't answer, but Ainsley was very mesmerized by the voice mail message coming out of the phone.

My favorite thing about this phone obsession is that apparently I had the same obsession as a baby. So my daughter who shows zero resemblance to me, actually does have a little piece of me in her. That does worry me a little that she will end up with more of my personality, I'd much rather she be like Clif. I am way more high strung then he is. He's so happy go lucky. I'd like her to live her life that way, more carefree, not always worrying and stressing like I do.

Well, enjoy the video. I'm typing this at work and probably shouldn't be :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So Tired...

This is going to be short, because I'm pretty beat and I still have to make bottles before I go to bed. So just a quick update...good news, Ainsley is sleeping in her crib right now and she has only awoken once since 8:30. So far, so good. As of right now she's been in there for an hour asleep, I'm going to stop talking about it now so I don't jinx us! Oh my gosh, you're not going to believe this but she just started crying!!! I knew I shouldn't have written about it! Oh well, still an improvement over previous nights. Clif is on crib duty for a few nights, I've been putting a lot of time into the class. I actually think she responds better to him in that department. I think most things get more complicated with me because I'm nursing and she uses it as a comfort so that's what she always wants to do.

Another update, Ainsley started eating real food at daycare this week. That is exciting mostly because she is starting to cut out some of her bottles. I still pump ever day at work, twice a day, and my milk supply is just really dropping. Especially since she started eating table food. I am bound and determined to make it a year breastfeeding with no formula, so her cutting back is a good thing. Hopefully, soon it will just be morning and night and NO MORE PUMPING!!! YES!!! I love nursing...HATE pumping.

Ok, like I said, I'm so tired. So I'm done for now, off to bottle making then bed. Take care all my loved ones. I hope I get to see you all in person soon, not just in cyberspace. XOXOXOXO

Sunday, May 11, 2008

First Mother's Day

So first I will say, I know I have not kept up with my 3-4 times a week goal, but I do have a very good excuse. I have been working very hard at trying to get Ainsley to sleep in her crib for the past two weeks, and it takes a lot of time. Between that, trying to keep my house clean and my class, I have not had much time for blogging. Plus I'm exhausted, so my creative juices just haven't been flowing. Ainsley is still not sleeping in her crib very well. We can usually get her to go down around 8, but she's up every 20-30 minutes. So if anyone has any ideas that I haven't already tried, I am all ears. Today we spent 2 hours just trying to get her down for a nap, and guess what, no nap. I'm willing to build my day around her naps and bed time, however, it makes it very difficult when it takes a better part of the day just to get her down for a 20 minute nap. So again...any ideas...anything...I'm willing to try just about anything. We've been doing this for a week and a half now and I actually think it's getting worse. Anyway, most of the time I just think she looks so tired...see above photo. I just want to help her sleep, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get her to sleep without holding her.
Well, on to other topics. Today was my first mother's day, and it was very nice. I had cards and gifts when I woke up this morning...a great way to start any day really. Then Clif, Ainsley and I went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Clif and I got married at the gardens and we hadn't been back since. Ainsley slept in the stroller for most of the adventure, but she still seemed to enjoy it when she was awake. It did rain on us a little, but it was really only a light drizzle. We spent about 2 hours there, just wandering around, taking pictures. It's really beautiful. They also have a children's garden there. I can't wait to take Ainsley there when she's older. Motherhood is such a dilemma of emotions. On one hand, I want her to stay little for as long as possible, and sometimes I look at her and I can't believe how big she is. How have I not just video taped every single moment. How do I not just sit and stare at her for weeks on end, not missing one single change. On the other hand, each new milestone is so exciting and I can't wait until she can do the next thing. I can't wait until we can play together in the children's garden, I can't wait until she is running around the yard. But there's always that worry in the back of my mind that she'll grow up too soon and I'll wonder where all the time went.
After the gardens we went to Short Pump to try and eat at The Cheesecake Factory. We thought that since it was only 4, we'd beat the dinner crowd. No such luck on Mother's Day. There was an hour and a half wait. That would have been fine had we been able to walk around the mall while we waited. But no, the little vibrating pager does not allow for that. You must stand within ten feet of the door. Seriously, someone smarter than me needs to invent something like that. A roaming pager that will work at farther distances. No more complaints about waiting for tables. Problem solved.
We ended up eating at Tara Thai, which we love and which was not jam packed. The waitresses loved Ainsley. She was making friends all over. Good thing they weren't busy, because these girls barely left our table. Ainsley was laughing and talking to them...trying to feed them rice. It was very cute, and Clif and I got to eat our dinner without her crying to be held. Also very nice...we'll have to go back there more often.

And introducing Ainsley's newest trick...climbing stairs. Ainsley discovered the stairs a couple of weeks ago, but until yesterday she really never paid them much attention. Now she's fairly obsessed. The moment she's free from me or my sight, she makes a mad dash to the stairs. Last night she climbed all the way to the top, don't worry I was right behind her. It's amazing how quickly she learns a new trick and it's even more amazing when she realizes she can do it. She just giggles and giggles all the way up the stairs. It's the funniest thing in the world to her. She has such a personality. Crazy how quickly she went from staring at ceiling fans to making herself laugh. It makes me wonder what kind of person she'll be. Will she be shy or outgoing? A tomboy or a princess? Will she like sports or music or both? It's so strange to think that all of that is just inside her little head just waiting to jump out. I can't wait to see it all unfold.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Best Friends

Those of you that know Gatsby, know that he is not really the cuddly pup. He is so hyper and loves to jump and run and play and tug on toys. He'll run laps in our back yard for an hour straight and when someone other than Clif or me enters the house he doesn't stop jumping until one of us physicaly holds him down. However, he is pretty gentle with Ainsley. I will not say that she is his favorite person in the house. And I won't say that he wouldn't prefer to still be the baby. However, he does seem to know that she is smaller and weaker than him. And I think that they will be best friends yet! The other night they were passing a ball back and forth. It was in Gatsby's mouth and Ainsley would grab it and he'd let go. No tugging what so ever. Those that know Gatsby are all gasping in disbelief. I could hardly believe it myself. Then Ainsley would put it back in Gatsby's mouth and they went back and forth like that for awhile.

Now tonight, Ainsley wanted Gatsby's big, deflated, red ball that just randomly showed up in our back yard and now seems to be his favorite thing. NO WAY! Gatsby was not having that. But he never growls or snaps, just moves to the other couch or runs out the screen door. He's such a good puppy. We love him.

So we are into one week of trying to get Ainsley to sleep in her own crib, and I have to slay it is slow moving. We have encountered a new obstical...throwing up...every single night...the moment I lay her in her crib. Now, it's hard to imagine that a baby could correlate throwing up with being taken out of her crib, however I'm beginning to think that's the issue. Clif said that's way to sinister for a baby. And I said, well, all she knows is what she wants. She doesn't know about right and wrong...she only knows that when she throws up mommy picks her up and takes her out of the nursery. Now, I'm not really sure that this is what's going on, because she has also been throwing up every morning around breakfast time. Breakfast time and bedtime are each 2 hours after she takes her antibiotic (for the strep throat). So that could be a contributing factor. However, she did throw up a couple of times this weekend when she was on a different antibiotic. (Yes, we went back to the doctor on Monday because she still had a fever and she had managed to get an ear infection on top of the strep throat, so obviously the antibiotic was not woking, so they switched it.) I am allergic to a wide range of anitbiotics, so it's not unlikely that Ainsley will encounter the same issues. But, I digress. The point is, every single night she pukes in her crib within seconds of me lying her down. Some nights I switch sheets, but some nights, like tonight, extra sheets are dirty and I'm so tired...probably because I spent close to 3.5 hours trying to get her to sleep longer than 15 minutes in her crib last night. Plus, this time it soaked through to the mattress cover, which I do not have extras of. I really don't know what to do. I'm feeling very down hearted about it right now...probably because I'm so tired. I'll call the doctor tomorrow and they'll probably say to bring her in...whoopee another copay for them to tell me she's got a virus or some other thing that they can't do anything about and have you tried just letting her cry?

Sorry, I'm ranting a bit. When I get this way, I try to tell myself "Jaime, just let her sleep with you. She's so little, and one day she won't want to sleep with you. One day, she won't want much to do with you at all. She'll only be little for such a short period of time." That always maks me feel better, see feel better already. I rationalize the fact that I can not get my child in her crib and I feel better. All's good :)

Oh well, this too shall pass I guess...and maybe I'll be sad when it does.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And the Oscar goes to...

As promised, here is some video of Ainsley trying to walk.

So there you have chasing Gatsby yet, but it's a start.

I'm happy to report that the sleeping thing is I will say that under the circumstances, she's actually doing pretty well. See, I got a call from Day Care on Friday, Ainsley was running a fever. Turns out she has strep throat. And, now I'm sick too. So between a sick baby and a very tired, sick mommy...the sleeping thing is going as well as can be expected. She has been going down in her crib at night to sleep, but she does end up coming to bed with us sometime in the middle of the night. And I've yet to get her to nap in the crib. Part of the issue is due to the fact that she's been throwing up some and twice now she's been asleep in her crib and then blah...and I have to get her out and change the sheets. Which sucks, but like I said, it's going pretty well under the circumstances.

I have to tell you about our little drama queen at the doctor on Friday afternoon. The doctor ordered a strep test, a flu test, a RSV test and a blood count. The strep test was first...swab the throat...crying. Then the flu and RSV tests...swab way up the nose...screaming. Then the blood count....finger prick...inconsolable sobbing. So we're finished and waiting and she's just crying on my shoulder and I'm feeling so bad for her when finally she pulls away from me and stops crying. Until she looks at her bandaged finger, looks back at me, back at the band aid, and full on drama queen, "pity me", sobbing. Every time she started to feel better, she'd look at her finger and start up again. I felt very bad for her, but I have to admit it was kind of funny. Maybe one day we'll see her on the big screen with skills like that!

Ainsley is feeling better today...unfortunately, I definitely have something now. Let's hope it's not strep.

Well, I'm just too tired to write any more today, and Clif has hurt his back so I'm kind of on solo duty with I'll write again soon.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

One GIANT Step...

Yes folks, she has taken her first steps!! It is unbelievable the thrill you can get from watching a baby take her first steps. I wish that I could of captured the look of excitement and pride on her chubby little face in that split second that she stumbled towards me. It was a thing of absolute beauty. Let me tell you just how it happened. It was a beautiful day when we got home from daycare and work so I decided to walk Ainsley down to the mailbox. Usually Clif gets the mail, but any excuse to be outside on a day like today. So, I took her hands and walked backwards and kind of pulled her towards me. When I got to the curb, I let go of her hands and voila, one foot came up and she lunged forward. I know that you are all saying "Jaime, that's not really walking, that's more like falling." Whatever, I was still excited...but what was more exciting was when she took 2-3 little shuffles 10 minutes later on the deck while Clif was watching. I was all excited about the one step, fall routine so I instructed Clif to watch and stood her up on the deck, backed up then said "Come to mommy Ainsley." And she did! She picked up her little left foot, stomped it twice, then step, step, fall. So she has officially walked...I don't think she'll be following me around the grocery store or running laps with Gatsby in the back yard anytime soon, but it's a start. We tried to get it on video camera, but she wasn't really interested in doing it again, so we have a couple of the step, falls which after I look at, I may post. Hopefully we'll get some good footage of her walking this weekend and I'll post it on here for all to be as proud as me.

In other happenings...Clif and I are desperately trying to get Ainsley to sleep better. About two months ago, she started refusing to sleep in her crib. She had a bad ear infection with fever, she was teething something awful and it was the time change weekend. I chalked it up to too many changes at once and figured she'd pull out of it. Until then, she was not a perfect sleeper by any means, but I could put her down around 8 pm and she'd sleep until 2 or 3 when she'd wake up to eat. Well, here we are two months later and still she's sleeping in our bed. It's not so much the sleeping in our bed that we mind, although we don't want her sleeping with us until she goes off to college. It's more that we miss the down time we used to have. We used to put her to bed at 8 and then we'd have a couple of hours to eat, talk, clean the house, whatever before we went to bed. Now it's all Ainsley all the time. So we decided that the next available weekend we had where we weren't travelling and we didn't have any visitors would be "Focus on Sleeping" weekend. We began the weekend tonight. HORRIBLE!!! I can not stress how miserable this evening was. I know that I am not the only parent to go through this, so I will not pretend that no one understands my pain...but seriously!!! Is that how it's supposed to work?

Let me start this little story by saying, I did not want to use the cry it out method. Not that I fault anyone for doing it, just my own personal feelings for our situation. I feel like her whole life I've tried to become someone she can trust and depend on. And I want her to know that I will always be around and I want to be the person she feels safe with, the person she can turn to for a soft place to land...ok I'm getting too emotional. Anyway, I feel like letting her cry it out is just reversing all of that. But she also needs to sleep and she needs to have a healthy relationship with sleep. So I talked to every mother who would listen. And I listened to every mother that would talk and pretty much everyone told me the same thing..."You've gotta let her cry. It won't be that bad. Three nights tops. An hour each night tops." Plus, I feel like I've exhausted all other options. I've rocked her until I've fallen asleep. I stand at her crib and shhhhh her until I'm almost hoarse. I put her to sleep in my bed then try to move her. None of this has worked. So tonight we tried the CIO method.

I started the bedtime routine with my own little prayer..."God, please help me be strong, but most of all help me do the right thing." I put her down...immediately the crying begins. I walk out of the room and I stare at the clock. 1 minute...screaming. 2 minutes...screaming louder and gagging. 3 minutes...even louder and oh, I think she just threw up. 4 letting up. 5 minutes...back in the room to lay her down. She has definitely thrown up, but luckily it is just on the carpet and her chin. So I wipe her face and lay her back down. Still crying, still shaking. And we do it again. I'm not going to write this whole night out, because truth be told, I'm mad at myself for doing it. I'm mad at myself for going against my instincts and what I've thought all along. After getting to the 15 minute time block and hearing her gag and possibly throw up for a 4th time, I gave up. I said to myself "This is not right." But now I have to defend myself so everyone doesn't think I'm weak :)...she never once stopped screaming. She never once even laid down in her crib. She never once gave the slightest indication that she was letting up. So, I don't think the CIO method works for my daughter. We spent a total time of 40 minutes trying. No good.

However, here is the good news (at least so far). I picked her up, tears streaming down my face now, and I rocked her. And it took awhile, but right now as I type this, she is sleeping in her crib.
So here's what I've learned tonight. Follow my gut...and a screaming crying baby has way more patience than an unsure mom.
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