With this last month, I think we've graduated from bulleted lists to describe current circumstances. She's made the transition from baby loaf to an actual interactive little person, thereby confirming my hypothesis that babies get pretty awesome at around 5 months.
She still hates tummy time with the fire of a thousand suns. She starts out okay, with her head up, looking around. But five minutes later, she plants her face directly on the floor, refuses to lift it or turn it to either side, and screams into the mat. If we don't pick her up immediately, girl will continue to scream for the next 20 minutes, even if you're holding her and profusely apologizing. Clearly, she got the Nestor gene when it comes to holding a grudge.
Her eyes have really started to change over to a darker grayish-brown. I've said all along I thought they'd end up brown, and so far, it looks like I might be right. Her hair has finally started growing in. It's still a dark brown, with just a few lighter highlights. For the moment, it's staying short and just filling in, but maybe it will start getting longer here soon.
She's starting to really play with different sounds. For a while it was loudly talking to ceiling fans and toys, but now we've graduated to the patented pterodactyl shriek. Todd finally got the mobile Amy handed down to us working, so we set that up on her crib and she loves to chatter at it. When she's excited, she sticks her arms straight out and waves them in circles and shrieks with happiness. Whenever Todd or I enter her field of view, she starts kicking her legs and waving her arms, all with a giant gummy grin and happy chirps. At 3 in the morning, we've both been known to grumble at her to stop being so gawdayum cute.
Speaking of, this last month saw the return of occasional night waking. Around the start of November, she hit a growth spurt and suddenly we were trying to remember how we ever survived on only five hours of sleep. In response, I tried her a few times on a bit of cereal, just to see if maybe she was ready for solids. Turns out, no. She's a milk girl for the foreseeable future. Also, rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, air-cooled, then sprayed directly into your open mouth is pretty nasty. Just sayin'.
This month I also marked my first-ever experience with pumping on-the-go. I had to travel to Cherokee, Alabama for a job, which is only a four-hour round trip plus three hours of field time, but still well past when I'd need to pump. Which is how I found myself sitting in a Dollar General parking lot hooking up bottles and tubes under a nursing cover, while curious passersby double-taked on their way to and from their cars. I parked in the back, where I thought traffic would be light, but it turns out that's a very desirable location for your average Dollar General patron. Anyway, it wasn't the most comfortable experience in the world, but it was easy enough. The main issue was keeping the milk cool and cleaning the pump parts afterwards, both of which require a bit of extra planning, but are perfectly doable. It's nice to know that I can still travel to jobsites if I need to. Although, next time I'm stopping in a church parking lot.
On the daycare front, things are going pretty well. We’ve got a good schedule down, I'm having no problems keeping up with the demand for milk, and I'm still able to go over every day to nurse her at lunch. As of last Wednesday, Aerin's main caretaker, Ms. Altman, left to stay home with her own grandchildren. She was there back when Micah was an infant, and I specifically asked that Aerin be placed in the room knowing Ms. Altman would be one of her caretakers. It's sad, and more than a little jarring, but I think her replacement will be fine.
Of course, we won't know until Aerin goes back to daycare, which she won't for a while because last Wednesday, just as were arriving in Atlanta, Aerin came down with a rip-roaring case of RSV. She started out coughing a bit, then she started getting congested, then she stopped eating, and then suddenly she was having trouble breathing. I took her to the doctor yesterday morning where she got a breathing treatment and a diagnosis of RSV, a double ear infection, and an eye infection. They sent me home with a nebulizer to do breathing treatments at home, an antibiotic for her ears, and drops for her eyes. Apparently RSV symptoms can last for up to three weeks, but she should be able to return to daycare once she no longer needs the breathing treatments. After only a few hours, we could already see a huge improvement in her comfort level, but we're still having a lot of trouble getting her to swallow her meds. She's a bit like a cat, in that as soon as you squirt the stuff into the back of the mouth, they start hacking and spitting, and next thing you know, you've got medicine and spit all over your face and your arms are clawed to bits. Actually, it's easier to give medicine to cats, because I don't feel bad about sitting on them and prying their jaws open with my fingers.
Oh, and she's also teething. At her five-month checkup on the 17th, the doc confirmed that the white spot we've been seeing on her bottom right gum is in fact a tooth. The amount of drool has been ungodly and she chews on everything in sight, but it doesn't look too swollen or red and she's not complaining too much yet. So there's that.
I think that kind of covers where she's at lately. There's always something new going on, and I'm trying to document most of it somehow. I'd like to work on putting more up here, since I've found I really enjoy going back and reading my archives about Micah. Of course, that requires time, and if there's one thing we seem to be missing these days...
Friday, November 18, 2011 - 03:23 p.m.
For Halloween, we were lions.
Aerin wore Micah's costume from his first Halloween, although she dealt with it much better than he did. Micah wore Daniel's old costume. I wore a hat Todd got for Micah this past spring in Breckenridge. It fits me because I have a teeny tiny head.
Time flies when you're going nuts
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 02:22 p.m.
October was a hell of a month. Not bad, per se, but it was definitely a change of pace.
After a month and a half, I'll say that going part time has made the weekdays much harder, but the weekends easier. This whole new dynamic is completely different from anything we've done before. During the week, the mornings are crazier, the work days are longer, and the evenings are given entirely to feeding children, bathing children, and washing a seemingly-endless array of bottles and pump parts. But the whole point of the exercise was to free up our weekends and it’s working. Of the last six weekends, we've had family staying with us for three. We've also had friends over for dinners, and spent a lot more of our Saturdays outside playing with Micah. It's nice to be able to spend time with people we love, instead of worrying about chores.
To add to the insanity, on October 28th, Todd left his job in private industry to return to the Corps of Engineers. He'd been unhappy there for a while, mostly because he was directly responsible for keeping his people employed in an economic climate that was steadily going to shit. That's a whole different level of stress, and one that just isn't a factor at the Corps. The move means a not-insignificant pay cut, but in return he gets job security, peace of mind, and a LOT less stress. It's hard to put a price tag on that.
So. We're ticking along and slowly settling in from all the recent changes. October was a blur, but November's been better so far, and we're in a good place.
Rewind: Favorites from Tate Farms
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 03:56 p.m.
I know this is old news, but Tate Farms is awesome. They're only open during the month of October, although you can hold birthday parties there for a couple hundred dollars - you know, if you happen to have that lying around. They have all kinds of things for the kids to do: hayrides, slides, a petting zoo, a jumping pillow, swings, a corn train, face painting, tractors to climb. You really can spend the whole day there.
This year was our first time to visit during the day. I posted pictures of our trips on Facebook forever ago, but never got around to sticking them up here. So, here are some of my favorites. The rest are on Flickr.
He just wanted to ride the tractor behind me, but I wouldn't let him until we got some pictures. Hence the sad face.
I had a lot of fun practicing shooting in manual. I'm slowly getting better at figuring out weird lighting conditions!
(Except for when I'm rushing and forget to adjust the ISO and end up with a really grainy picture.)
Micah liked the jumping pillow a lot better when we were there at night and it had fewer people on. They didn't seem to bother his cousin, though.
Fake tractor or real, it didn't matter to Micah. They were all fun to climb.
The kids all decided to fill up their shirts to make corn bellies.
This was taken just after we got there, when Micah was still trying to figure out where he wanted to go next. There's so much to do, he couldn't decide.
Micah kept calling the irrigation equipment robots. "Mommy! Look, another robot!"