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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Norah Grows: 8 Months

Little Miss, you were 8 Months old on Christmas Day this year! What a special day to celebrate :) We are in the midst of moving into our condo, and so Christmas kind of snuck up on us this year, but we made it special and festive even if by last minute preparations! 

You loved scoping out the scene from Santa on Christmas morning - stocking, gifts in paper, gifts in bags, gifts in much to look at and feel and crinkle and taste! You pretty much put everything in your mouth lately, and you got a Christmas tooth out of the deal this year! Third tooth to come in, your top left incisor, and you've been having more trouble with this one than you did with the bottom two.  

You cruise around furniture like a pro now, and there is no holding you back anymore!  If there is something you want, you cruise/crawl/shimmy your little booty over there at top speed.  You are so curious, and I think you have a bit of a mischievous streak as well! When one of us tells you no, you look over your shoulder, grin, and boogie even faster towards the forbidden object! 

You love bathtime, and this year bath toys seemed to be the big hit.  You got a set of stacking cups which are fun to play with in or out of the tub! 

You are learning so much about the things around you, and it's almost like we can watch the wheels in your head turning as you figure out what things do and how they fit together.  You also have a pretty strong sense of "object permanence" now, and you know when something is out of sight but you still want it.  Lainey's dog bowl is one know you like to play in the water and try to sample her food (ick!) and even if we move you around the corner and out of sight, you cruise your little self right back if you want to! 

Christmas night we went to Grandma's house, and boy did you get spoiled! You weren't even sure what to make of all the things that were for you! You love your little piano and all the cute, cute clothes from your Grandma! 

You are babbling and "talking" more and more, and sometimes it's really starting to sound like you are saying "Mama" and "Dada".  I can't wait until we know clearly that you are using words to communicate with us, but I am not wishing away your babyhood just to get there sooner! 

Your biggest trouble right now is your night time sleep pattern. You are still in bed with us, and I love co-sleeping so much more than I ever would have imagined.  If someone had told me before you were born that I'd have you in our bed for your first year, I would have laughed and told them they were crazy.  But, that's where you sleep, and for you it works wonderfully.  The only problem with the arrangement is that you think being right next to mama means an all night, all you can eat buffet for nursing, and some nights you wake almost every hour to nurse. This is resulting in a very sleep deprived, exhausted mama. I have finally reached a breaking point, and we are starting to reign in your bedtime routine and try to "take back the night" so that we can all get a little more sleep.  I'm nowhere near ready to wean you completely, but I'm also aware that you are not nursing for satiety but rather for comfort many of the times you wake at night, and those are the feedings I'm looking to cut back on.  I'll update with progress if we see any soon! I'm reading the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and so far, I find it very much in line with my thoughts on raising you, so I'm hopeful that some of the ideas from the book will help us improve our night times. 

You got to meet your Aunty Abby this holiday, and I'm so glad that she could finally hold you! She was here the week before you were born, and we were all hoping you would decide to arrive before she had to leave, but it wasn't meant to be.  Now, 8 months later, she finally got to see you in person! Can't wait for her to be a part of your life growing up!

Beauty, I am so in love with you and with being your mama. I cannot believe you will be a year old in 4 months. I am just enjoying the process of watching you grow and develop, and I know we are so lucky to have you and be able to say that you are ours.  I love you, Boo! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Magic

Here I am, awake at 3:45 AM on Christmas Eve, probably the only year out of the next decade or so that my child doesn't even know it's Christmas and thus I should be enjoying my sweet sleep. But, after her last wake-up around 2:00, I just couldn't fall back asleep, so I'm up, watching A Christmas Story and pondering Christmas magic and remembering the joy of Christmas mornings from my own childhood. I so want to make this season magical and memorable for my kids. I need it to be a special time of year that will always be a warm spot in their hearts when they look back.

This season, our lives were a little bit crazy to say the least.  Our dream of becoming homeowners ended up being postponed due to issues we could not control with the home we had chosen, and the current owner.  We decided that we at least needed to take this time to step out on our own and get a place we could call ours, and so we moved into a rental condo...the weekend before Christmas.  We have boxes and piles all over, but we at least found the stockings and my Mom brought over the small tree and even though we never got around to getting any ornaments on, the twinkle of white lights makes it feel a little festive in here.

I know that Norah won't remember this particular Christmas, but I wanted to start the traditions that will shape what this holiday means to her as she grows up, and we just didn't make much happen this year.  I wanted to read special Christmas books to her every night. I wanted to have our house filled with the smells of treats that make their annual appearance every December.  I wanted to have Christmas music playing as we decorated our space with objects that she will look forward to setting out year after year.  But, circumstances being what they were, we didn't get a lot of those things done this year. What we did, though, is enjoy each other tonight as we all fell into bed.  Norah celebrated her first Christmas Eve with the Smith family at Paul and Julie's.  It's hard to believe that my child is now one of the "littles" that gets to circle around the tree and accept the generosity of loving family members.  And for that, this Christmas Eve, I am so grateful.  Merry Christmas Eve, friends and family! Hope you all have a magical Christmas morning filled with love, happiness, good food, and the company of those you love!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Norah's Christmas Photos

I set up a photo session in our room this weekend and took some holiday photos of little Norah.  For those who haven't seen any on Facebook, I thought I'd post some here.  Enjoy! 

We are still waiting for news on a closing date for the house...hoping to hear something this week! It's been a very stressful process, and we are just exhausted.  There are 5 adults, one baby and one dog under this roof right now, and a kitchen remodel underway.  My last remaining grandparent passed away 2 weeks ago, and I'm adding Zumba classes every week.  Needless to say, we have a lot going on, and it was a much needed break to spend some time with Matt, our girl, and the camera!  Hopefully, the second half of December will be more relaxing and enjoyable for us!