Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fun Family Weekends

We intended to write more last week, but things seem to be pretty busy. It isn't that a whole lot is really going on, but time continues to escape us as we struggle just to keep up with everyday stuff around the house. Part of the problem seems to be that we would rather get out as a family and enjoy the warm weather than stay in and do all of our chores. So we're really enjoying all of the quality time, but our house looks like a tornado hit it. Oh well. Last weekend seemed very memorable at the time, but now I'm having trouble piecing it together! Last Saturday Paul played volleyball downtown in the morning so Scarlett and I decided to head down with him and go for a walk. They play at the Lincoln courts -- only about a mile from Georgetown. We walked to Georgetown and all around waiting for the shops to open and then did a little shopping before heading back. We set up a campsite next to the volleyball courts -- the sportbrella that he got me for mother's day, a couple of blankets for Scarlett to play on and a chair for me. We had a great time outside. It was a really beautiful day and it was fun to watch Paul play for a little bit. Afterwards we decided to go to Taste of Lee Heights. It's sort of like Taste of Arlington or DC but with just the little row of shops and restaurants right by our house on Lee Highway. It was nice to attend a community event and we got a lot of comments about Scarlett as usual (including at the beer and wine tasting where she is a regular). That night we Paul made a nice dinner at home and we had a glass of wine after she went to bed. The next day we tried to get her 6 month pictures done again at Picture People, but we weren't very impressed with the photography this time. It was a different photographer who wasn't very interactive with her and the shots were very basic. There were a few cute ones, but we didn't even buy any out of principle. We're planning to use Paul's friend Julie Monticello again soon (she did our 1 month photos) and then try Ryan Hollaway for a few artsy pictures in July. We're hoping to get some cute ones before her teeth start coming in and we lose that gummy smile!

This week went to see Tracy and Dan at the hospital on Tuesday. Scarlett showed them her progress crawling and we brought them some pizza to give them a break from hospital food. Scarlett wasn't afraid of Dan's beard this time, so fun was had by all. We did the beer tasting at Arrow Wine again on Thursday. Friday we had dinner with Juli and Shannon at Spider Kelly's and then Paul and Scarlett took off so that I could have a ladies' night out. Saturday we did the volleyball/walking thing downtown again and then ran some errands. Sunday was a big day of firsts for Scarlett. We went to my first Working Mama's event, which was at Fort Ward playground in Alexandria. Most of the kids there were quite a bit older than Scarlett. The closest in age were a 4 month old (but she didn't do much yet) and a 10 month old (who just stayed in her mom's arms). Scarlett went on a swing for the first time and loved it -- the higher/faster it went, the more she laughed. She went on a slide for the first time with Paul, but she didn't really seem to notice that anything happened. She spent a lot of time playing with Emily (7) and April (3 1/2), a couple of adorable little girls whose mom frequently organizes the events. They were great with Scarlett; the older one held her on her lap for quite a while and they shared their toys with her and gave her lots of hugs. On our way back to the car Paul commented that it might not be so bad to have another girl. It was cool to watch Scarlett react to the other babies and kids. Very smiley and friendly. She crawled over to them and reached out to touch them. She was very interested in watching what they were doing. A lot of people have commented on how much she smiles at strangers. After the playgroup and a nap, we took her to Pennie's sister's house for Lea's 1st birthday party. There we tried to put her in a pool for the first time. She hated it! They had just filled it up with the hose, so it was very cold water. She wasn't having any of that. I guess we will try again sometime when the water is warm!

Today Scarlett and I went to the outlets while Paul is in San Fransisco. He will be gone today and tomorrow for a job interview. It's all good stuff, but we definitely miss having him here! In honor of his absence, I've uploaded a really short video of him holding Scarlett at the party yesterday. We have some great videos (e.g., of her swinging, saying da da, crawling) but most of the files are too big to upload here. We'll try to get another short one up soon!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quick Update - 6 month check up

This one will be quick but we'll write more later this week. Paul has a day trip to New York tomorrow so he has to be up REALLY early and I'll be flying solo with the little one, so I need to get up early too!

Scarlett had her 6 month check up on Friday. She weighed in at 16 pounds, 6 ounces and was 16 5/8" long. She was 75th percentile again for height, 60th for weight, and approximately 45th for head size. We had to wait for about an hour this time (!) and we weren't thrilled with the way the doctor (Dr. Clapp) dealt with it, but after the initial head butting she got much better. Scarlett has hit all of her milestones and is a bit ahead in some areas. The doctor mentioned that right now Scarlett is running about even in all of her developmental areas, but warned us that it could change. For example, sometimes they get so focused on being mobile that they don't develop vocally for a while but then have a surge. She is kind of surging in everything right now, but I guess we'll see what happens in the coming months. The doctor said that it is time to start baby proofing and we should watch for signs that she is ready for finger food (grabing things with fewer fingers as opposed to "raking") and soon start trying her on a sippy cup with just water in it. She already tries to drink out of real cups, so it probably isn't a bad idea. We asked about her chubby feet (normal) and her always wanting to be upside down (she probably just thinks it looks cool) but otherwise everything is great. The doctor said that her growth will probably taper off within the next 3-6 months as she starts crawling and walking.

In terms of where she is developmentally, she has made a lot of progress. She is moving around really well now. I wouldn't say she is officially crawling, but she can move in all directions and has gotten quite proficient at going forwards (she alternates between froggy hops and pulling herself forward with her arms). She passes objects between her hands and is grabbing at everything. The amazing thing to me is how focused she is. She gets fixated on something (like her bottle, a toy, the dogs or cats) and is so determined to get it. If you put something in front of her while she is in crawling position, she doesn't give up until she gets to it, no matter how many times she falls, but rarely gets frustrated. She is definitely testing things now. She likes to hold her bottle and play with the nipple. She pushes down on it over and over again with her finger and then puts it between her gums and bites down -- not drinking, just sort of playing with it. It's pretty fascinating to watch her explore her world. She is doing a lot of "talking" these days. Everyone (including strangers) thinks she says "hi" and "dada." She definitely says both of those things, but we're not sure if she is attaching any meaning to them yet. There was one point today where she was in her jumperoo and when Paul left the room she looked out after him saying "dada," but it could have just ben a coincidence. Cute either way though and he is eating it up! She is sitting up for pretty long periods on her own now (pretty straight up instead of hunched over at an angle like she used to) and loves standing. she can stand on her own for periods of time as long as we let her hold onto at least 1 finger. She is also getting much more needy... She will start crying if I leave the room and start smiling/laughing when I come back in. Same thing with being put down. She wants to be sitting with us most of the time now. She still doesn't cry much, but she is definitely using crying more to indicate her preferences. As for food, she has tried a very long list of things but will eat anything. Her favorites are bananas and carrots. She definitely seems to have inhereted her parents sweet tooth! I knew it was her demanding all of those cupcakes when I was pregnant...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

First weekend away :(

Yep, just as the title reads, Shonna and I spent our first nights together sans Scarlett. We went to Corrine's wedding in Cape Cod and left our daughter in my aunt Cathy's good hands. Its been tough! We are at the airport waiting for our flight, so as of now we still haven't seen her. We dropped her off Thursday night and spent many hours since looking at pictures and video to get our fix. We tried not to bother Cathy too much (3 calls on Friday, only one yesterday, and about to make our first today), although Cathy fully expected us (Shonna) to bombard her with calls every hour on the hour. We both know Scarlett is having a great time, especially considering there are 5 girls, not including my aunt, teens through early 20's (poor Mark, the only male out of 7+ 2 infants.)

We weren't worried about leaving her at Cathy's house, we were worried that Scarlett would start crawling and we'd miss it! She is getting sooooooo close and has all of the tools, but she can't coordinate her arms and legs together just yet. Well, at least not going forward. She can travel backwards although her intentions are to move forward. Apparently she has been making her rounds in reverse around Cathy's house, and Cathy has the video camera ready if she is able to figure out how to move forward. We hope this doesn't happen for 2 reasons. 1. We are selfish :) and 2. We are not ready for her to start crawling around the house just yet. It isn't baby proofed, and more importantly, as we mentioned in a previous blog, we enjoy knowing where she is at all times (I guess that is selfish as well :) ).

Back to the travel- Shonna and I went back and forth trying to decide whether or not to take Scarlett with us. As a matter of fact, we are STILL talking about it. We flew up to Boston with babies on board, and we are flying back with the same. Kind of adds to some of the guilt we feel, especially when we engage the parents in conversation and talk about kid travel. We also regret it because she might not travel any easier when she really starts moving/crawling. It is getting harder to put her down because she is so excited about her new movements, and the more she learns how to move, the more energetic she becomes when we try to keep her still. I guess in the long run, its good to know we can make it this long, and that we know she is in good hands.......

......Well we just returned from our trip with a healthy extremely happy baby! As it turned out, Scarlett had an audience consisting of NINE girls (my cousin Jenn had 4 college friends visit), my Aunt Cathy, and Mark the lone XY in the entire household. How did he do it???? :) Well he has his business to attend to, so I'll bet he spent most of his time in his shop next door... renting, selling, and servicing landscaping equipment. I'm sure he has his hands full with work considering the weather has been so San Diego like with the addition of plenty of rain. Anyway, back to Scarlett- we are sooooo blessed to have a baby this patient and awesome. She went out to dinner with us on the way home and was of course the center of attention from us and everyone who sat next to us. We are very lucky parents! Apparently the new diet of solids is catching up to us and her diapers. Blowouts are becoming the norm, and she didn't disappoint on our drive to the restaurant. Good thing we were stocked with plenty of clothes. Love you no matter how big a mess you leave us, Scarlett! She was REALLY fighting sleep tonight, but she still fell asleep really quickly. I think we are all feeling much more relaxed now that we are together again -- we will all sleep well tonight!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Six Months Old & First Mother's Day

My baby is 6 months old!!!! I can't believe how fast the time has gone... We celebrated her half birthday by meeting up with Tina at the Natural History Museum. We saw the hope diamond, the evolution exhibit, and best of all... the butterfly room! I didn't even know it was there. It is a separate exhibit that you pay to see, but it is a room full of butterflies from all over the world that just fly around you in the open. One even landed in Tina's hair! It was really cool and I think Scarlett liked it. She was watching them fly around for at least part of the time. We then went to lunch at Jaleo and got drinks at Rosa Mexicana. Scarlett was very popular all day long. Strangers kept making comments about her, wanting to hold her, and talking about how amazing it was that she hadn't cried or fussed at lunch. Most importantly, Scarlett is officially the only baby that Tina has ever liked. We consider it a big win!

Today was my first mother's day -- officially anyway! Paul and Scarlett gave me a menu of activities for the day. It started with breakfast in bed. We had a picnic at Iwo Jima and walked around a bit. We saw Arlington Cemetery, Iwo Jima, and the gift from the Netherlands (an odd statue type thing). We took a family nap and a pretty relaxing day in general. We sort of ran out of time, so I've got an IOU for a massage. :) When we got back from the picnic, a beautiful vase full of white and pink roses was waiting for me from my parents. It's good to be pampered!

My birthday was on Thursday, so we did a little bit of celebrating then as well. We picked Scarlett up from daycare, stopped at our local Thursday beer tasting (we go almost every week) and then walked to Clarendon to meet Claire and Kyle for dinner. When we got back, a dozen Georgetown cupcakes were waiting for me from Jacy... Delicious but definitely not going to help me on my quest to drop the baby weight! On Friday we walked to Virginia Hospital Center to see Tracy and Dan. Dan looked really good and we brought them each a cupcake. Dan is growing a beard which seemed to confuse Scarlett... she actually started crying after she felt it!

The big thing next week is that Paul and I have to go to Cape Cod for Corinne's wedding. We will be leaving Scarlett with Paul's aunt Cathy for the weekend. I know she will be in great hands, but I'm not sure I'll be able to handle almost 4 days without her! She is REALLY close to crawling, so I'm worried that we're going to miss her first "steps". Who knows, maybe she will start crawling before we leave!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poker face

For this week's blog, I figured I would start with our little munchkin's latest... She is becoming more like a person by the minute- a goofy person, that is, with a crazy sense of humor. Today, she discovered how much she likes various parts of my face, and how fun it is to poke, grab, and munch on my mouth, nose, and eyes. She started out cute enough. She grabbed both of my cheeks and starred at me while she smiled and giggled. It was pretty darn cute. As this game went on, she started talking a little more, getting more excited, and began squeezing my nose and grabbing at my eye sockets. All of this was fascinating to her and even more fascinating to Shonna. This went on for 5 minutes or so, then an hour or two later it was time for round 2. Round 2 included the same actions as round 1, but she also decided it would be fun to treat my face like it was made of bananas and butternut squash. Scarlett was trying to eat my face!?! The funny thing is that if I pulled my face away, she would reach out with both arms extended and try to grab on and pull my face into position for another bite. I wish I could have filmed it. Don't worry, she didn't leave Shonna out. Soon after, she decided it was time to take a bite out of Shonna's cheeks and grab her teeth... Same excitement and entertainment for her, and since mommy was holding her, she was the perfect target! She was just giving Shonna an early birthday gift:).

Speaking of birthday, we started Shonna's 29th celebration a bit early. Saturday night we had a nice lobster dinner and bottle of red wine we brought back from our trip to Napa last spring. Today, Bonnie and Leila took Shonna out for a birthday brunch. We met in Kent Narrows at Annies, and Scarlett got to hang out with her future best friends Kazia and Caroline and they picked up the check :) Thanks! Apparently we have to celebrate as much as possible this year because next year is the big 3-oh (although there is talk of a group celebration so that the focus is not on one individual I assume...)

Shonna here... I have to say that whole thing was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life! It wasn't just all of the grabbing at and eating his face. She was really just gazing at him and smiling as big as she possibly could. It seemed like she just realized how great she thinks her daddy is and couldn't get enough! She got so excited and started squealing as she reached for him. They were also just looking at each other about 5 inches apart and laughing. Paul would laugh and then Scarlett laughed... back and forth. It was really just so sweet to see! In between she was stopping to snuggle into his chest. Paul is right. This weekend she seemed to all of the sudden become more like a real person. Her personality just continues to evolve.

The other thing that happened this weekend was that she seemed to get a lot more interested in Bacchus. Yesterday she started petting him for the first time. She was doing really well being very gentle until all of the sudden she got really excited and started banging on him. He was a good sport about it and just tried to get away from her by pulling away. Today he jumped up on the couch right next to her (she was on my lap) and she got really excited and started squealing and slapping her arms up and down. Bacchus looked pretty startled but he stayed put! He seems pretty patient with her, considering!

One of the big things this week was that we had another rookie mistake. We went out for one of our long evening walks on Friday and got all the way to Clarendon (after about 3 and a half miles) when we realized that Paul forgot the diaper bag! We had to run around to three different stores trying to find diapers, wipes, formula, and a bottle. The only problem was that they didn't have the kind of bottle she uses and she had no idea what to do with the one we got. She kept trying to eat but the milk just poured out of her mouth. Poor thing got pretty frustrated after about an hour of trying to eat! We finally broke down and got her some store-bought baby food to get something in her stomach.

Scarlett went to her first Capital's game outside of the womb on Wednesday. It was game 7 of the first round of the playoffs. We were a little anxious about trying it because we knew it would be ridiculously loud at the Verizon center. Paul put his huge rifle headphones on her and they worked really well! They seemed to protect her from the noise. So well, that she actually slept through most of the third period (fell asleep at her normal 9 PM bedtime!)! She did great at the game and was a big hit with the crowd. The only problem was that she kept wanting to bounce on my lap and I was worried that she would impede the view of the folks behind us. She also wanted to be upside down a lot and a worried that she wold hit the people in front of us in the head.

The big thing is that Scarlett continues to display more and more of her personality. She has such a great sense of humor and is always smiling and laughing. Paul is right that I think she is manipulating us a bit more these days and she seems to be getting pretty spoiled in terms of wanting attention all of the time, but she is so darn cute that it makes it impossible not to give in because we want to be with her all of the time. Hard to believe that she hits the 6 month point next week. I cant wait to see what new tricks she picks up by then!