Baby

Baby #2 is on its way!

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I let the secret out on Instagram and Facebook a couple of days ago that I am expecting! Our new little family member is due February and so I’m just about to finally flee the first trimester.

I say flee because the first trimester is of course never fun – but in truth the past three months were no where near is bad (like not even anywhere close) as it was last time around. When I was pregnant with Sophia I spent those terrible weeks pretty much exclusively indoors and horizontal force feeding myself bananas, raisins and risengrød.
So this time I braced myself for the week 6 trauma, cleaning the toilet every day just in case, but all that came was mild nausea, loss of appetite and real fatigue. I’ve been able to keep on with my life and thankfully to go on our (more…)

Baby girl is 18 months!

I have been a mother for 18 months. I seriously feel like I should be going on 30 when I watch this little squirt bouncing off the walls. I swear the experience of motherhood + marrying someone a few years older has made my mental age skip ahead a good five years… And for some reason I still can’t believe I’m already turning 25.

I usually don’t really notice her growing and when her grandparents marvel at how big she’s getting I usually just laugh and shake my head. And then there’s usually a day when I suddenly see the light.
We’re in Stockholm on vacation and I had one of those moments when I watched her sitting in my mother-in-law’s lap. With my mental eye I remembered how much smaller and slightly less attentive she’d been just 2,5 months ago. The difference was startling.

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7 things to teach my daughter before she turns 10

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The city has for a while been full of reminders that Irish Mother’s Day is coming up next week.
So happy early Mother’s Day Ireland!

 

1// Remember who you are

This is what my own mom would say every day when we left for school. Remember who you are is still a phrase that I give a lot of thought to as an adult. Remember that you are loved. Remember that you are valued. Remember your principles. Remember your talents. Remember where you come from. Remember your dreams.
It meant a lot to me that my mother thought it important that I keep all those things in mind throughout even the most regular boring days. I think that it is during the uneventful unchallenging times of our life that our true selves are revealed. (more…)

Motor skilling Monday

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That moment when you seem to wake from a deep sleep of repetitive baby routines and realize that your child is nearing 18 months and needs physical challenges to improve her body in other ways than sitting and walking. I feel deeply embarrassed that I’ve been so bad at actually challenging her during play time, now that play time itself isn’t a challenge any more. Most of the time think she’s pretty much the same as she was 3 months ago until out of the blue I’m hit in the face by the obvious truth.
I had one of those wake up calls today. I went to our poorly stocked kitchen wondering if we had accumulated enough household knick-knacks yet to construct some mobility challenging toy. Surprisingly I didn’t waste too much time. A couple of weeks ago we’d bought some ground cinnamon that turned out to not at all taste like the cinnamon we were used to back home. Why it was not yet in the garbage I wasn’t sure but now I picked it up, dumped the contents in the trash and rinsed out the glass bottle. I also dug out some cocktail skewers I got the other day to make these!
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I grabbed my daughter out of her chair, put her on the floor and presented her with her new toy. Mama made it for you! I dropped a few of the skewers on the floor and made sure she was watching as I picked one back up and dropped it through one of the tiny holes in the lid of the shaker. To my great astonishment she picked one up herself and after a few attempts pushed it through the lid. The next half hour she stayed there on the floor with her tiny lips pursed experimenting which hand made the activity easier.

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14 months old – an update on the toddler

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I was just reading through my old weekly pregnancy updates – Ugh! I love that this blog allows me to easily rewind to and study past events, it’s seriously a bigger help than I thought! – and I realized that I’d documented my daughter’s development for almost 2 years, and then I just stopped 3 months ago.
So here’s another update to catch you up – and for my future self to laugh about.

I remember being so addicted to studying up on every tiny milestone she should be reaching during her first months that it seemed like she wasn’t changing at all. I can’t say the same for the first months of her second year. I’ve probably lost my Pinterest-addiction a little but she’s definitely changing every single day. I’m so amazed at how quickly she picks up on things – and especially the things that I’m not by any means trying to teach her.
If we’re watching a show or if Marcus and I are having a conversation she’ll just randomly repeat sounds or words she hears. She mimics my workout exercises and especially my exasperated exhales. She always, – and this one almost freaks me out – always knows when to start waving bye-bye even before she’s encouraged. After close observation however I have a hunch that she might pick up on key phrases like “I love you”, “I miss you” or “see you soon” that indicate that a conversation is coming to a close. Genius!

Another thing that surprises me is how feminine she is already now. I haven’t really encouraged this either, mainly because I thought she was too young to pick up on it. But she looooves dressing up! In pretty much whatever she can find. A typical “outfit” right now is her winter boots (she’ll bring her boots to me about 3-4 times a day exclaiming “tsch!” (shoes), hand them to me with a smile, neatly sit down in my lap and lift one of her feet), a kui kui nut lei we brought home from Hawaii, and her Halloween pumpkin bucket (and she doesn’t just hold it in her hand, she wears it on her elbow with her hand and fingers strutting up in the air). She’ll walk around like that, maybe swapping the necklace for a random clothing item she finds, like her father’s tie or one of her onesies, and stop and admire herself in the mirror. Like.. is she really old enough for this??

She is pretty strong-willed, but I guess we’ve suspected that for a while. It used to just be cute and we’d just laugh and shake our heads when she’d scream a high-pitched squeal when she didn’t get her way or she demanded assistance. But I’ll admit I’m starting to find it a little embarrassing. I want her to know that’s not a way to communicate. And soon!

More than anything she’s growing so fast physically. She can reach more and more things and unfortunately also climb up on more and more things. It’s not uncommon for me to turn a corner, tear through the room to barely grab her hand as she’s falling off one of the chairs with a move so swift that Spiderman’s jaw would drop through the floor.

Being the mother of a toddler feels strangely empowering as opposed to having a small baby, I think. I’m getting a glimpse of what it’ll be like to teach her manners, morals and standards and it’s forcing me to set higher standards for myself too. It’s making me really curious how being a mother is going to change me as a person.

And now I’ve made myself miss her so much I just want to run to the bedroom and wake her up even though it’s 11pm!

We had a magical day, you and me

It’s been another one of those days. I’m just leaning back and taking it all in. You’re like my little fairy guide. A patient one, even though I can be pretty boring and clueless you’re always stubborn enough to get me back in the game. Recently you learned that you had the power to take my hand and lead me to the things you wanted to show me. I’ve seen a lot of stuff since then, thanks. Sometimes you’ll even drag me to the front door. I think it means you want us to explore beyond our apartment. I know I’m right when you patiently sit down in my lap and hold out your arms so I can put on your coat and shoes.

I carry you down the stairs and open the heavy doors but once we’re outside you don’t need my help anymore.  We almost run across the lawn. We’re so eager that it’s difficult to watch out for rocks and branches. We only stop when we reach the edge of the playground and we take a minute to carefully climb down the steep hill onto the sand. It’s a lot faster if we don’t lose our balance so it’s important to get down on all fours. Once we’re safely down we can go anywhere we want. The feeling of freedom gets to our heads and we set out for the farthest corner of the patch first. We quickly forget about our goal though because you show me all the small pebbles and pine cones we come across. If only we could fit all of them in our hands. We have no choice but to put down the old ones to make room for the new. It’s very important to hold them tight in our hands so we don’t drop them.

We approach the slide. I suggest we slide down from the top but you prefer climbing up from the bottom. It’s difficult but in the end I agree that it is fun – especially with the loud sound our shoes make on the hard plastic. There’s a panda nearby. We know it’s a nice one because it’s smiling. It wants us to ride its back but we’d rather just talk. You tell me it says ‘mooh’.

A lady comes around the corner with a dog. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for and it is so exciting that we forget what we were doing and start our pursuit. The dog is pretty fast though and it takes too long to climb back up the hill onto the grass. The dog is gone and we feel a little sad. We walk back to the swings and talk about the dog for a little bit to try and cheer up. We sit there swinging back and forth for a bit. It’s soothing and we start to feel tired. I turn to you and suggest we go home and take a nap. You understand and agree that that would be nice.

You’re asleep now. I don’t think I will because I like to watching you. Your pine cone and rock are on the dresser. I should throw them out but I’m not sure I want them out of our lives just yet.

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Baby girl is 10 months!

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Hello funnest age ever! It’s 10 months and it’s a whole new world!

Motherhood all of a sudden became a completely different ball game. Up until now I’ve marveled at the fact that most moms can actually take care of a baby AND keep a house clean AND run errands AND put dinner on the table AND still be alive to tell the tale. But just over the last few weeks I see something at the end of the tunnel and I’m pretty sure it’s a light!

The new stuff

She plays! Oh she plays! Like right now I’ve got her breakfast on the table all set but she’s too busy playing with her toys. I’m not picking her up, cause THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! My time as a full-time entertainer is finally over and I can take a seat with the audience for a few stretches a day.

She has taken her first three steps – withOUT falling! She was so startled that she did it that she stopped and sat down. Scary stuff!

She waves. All the time. At anyone! She does understand that “hi” or “bye-bye” means it’s time to wave, but it is also her default action if she gets that we’re clearly asking her a question but she’s not entirely sure what. We get a lot of waves.

She has a total of three teeth now and one that’s gonna surface any day now. I know. Because the week she’s discovered how entertaining it is to bite her mom and giggle when she screams and jumps. And not just when she’s eating. She bites my hands, my stomach (that’s a fun one!), my face.. and I’m still trying to figure out how to best react so she’ll realize it’s not okay – or at least not funny. Any tips are very very welcome.

Generally speaking actually she’s getting more violent every day. Other than biting she hits, smacks, scratches and throws herself on you. It’s fun that she’s getting more playful but.. makeup can only do so much to cover the scratch marks on my face and neck!

She imitates and it’s so fun! Whenever someone laughs she does her own little fake laugh, she waves, she follows, she talks back, she goes “Mmmmm!” when she eats..

Peek-a-boo is the funnest game ever! And she’s really good at coming up with the most creative ways of playing it. With a blanket, under the chair, behind the bed, without a blanket, behind her arm, with her forehead on the floor. Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually a game of be guessing when we’re actually playing Peek-a-boo. I must say she outsmarts me half the time!

The hates

The vacuum

The blow dryer

The door bell

She cries whenever either of these come on. Hysterically! Although the other day when I was cleaning she seemed to be examining the vacuum. Patting it, feeling it. After a while she stopped crying and was more fascinated that it seemed to be moving of its own accord.

 

Before I know it I’m gonna have a one year old on my hands!

Baby Girl is 9 months!

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Nine months in, nine months out! The nine months out were definitely more pleasant. I can’t believe this huge child ever fit inside me. It’s incredible to think that 18 months ago she didn’t exist in this world. And she’s already learned so much and is developing skills every day.

 

The new stuff

She has teeth! I honestly think she got the first one like the day after i wrote her 8 month update. So she has two now and the next ones seem to be coming out any day now! She wasn’t incredibly whiny when they came out but she did get sick with a fever a couple of weeks before.
This has also made it easier and more fun for her to eat solids. She’s still not very excited about food but we’ve come a long way since we started. By now she does open her mouth when the spoon comes but I’m not sure mealtimes are something she looks forward to yet.
She stands up for several seconds now without support, and she could definitely stand up for longer if she didn’t chicken out when she realized she was doing it all by herself. Neither myself nor my siblings walked till we were 1 but I expect that she’ll be on the go any week now.
She doesn’t quite wave or do the gestures for itsy-bitsy spider but she does lift up her hands and wave them around whenever we do either. Also, her vocabulary has reached beyond the letters A, B and M. Every day now she throws in a G, L, D or even an E! It’s so fun to hear her try to talk!
We think she is actually giving us kisses now! When she’s in a really cuddly mood she’ll snuggle up and give you a big slobbery kiss just about anywhere in the face – although she still prefers noses.

 

She loves

Walking! All the time! Everywhere!

And stairs! She’ll gladly crawl up the same flight several times in a row. And she’s as impressed with herself every time.

Chit-chatting and screaming. Yes, screaming is back. I don’t think she’s screamed this much since she was 3-4 months. The stairway in our building is especially echo’y and she loves shouting and screaming whenever we walk in the door – and aaaall the way up the stairs to our apartment. I swear the neighbors always know when we’re home.

Uhm, I think I’m going to mention being rocked to sleep here too. Up until about a month ago I’ve pretty much always breastfed her to sleep. It was the only way. But from one day to another she just wouldn’t anymore and Marcus was forced to wrap her, pick her up and rock her to sleep. He’s done that almost every night ever since. I hesitate to claim it to be one of her favorite things, because on some nights she definitely hates it. But then there are a lot of nights where she lies down and let’s him wrap her, smiles when he picks her up and calmly falls asleep in a few minutes.
Generally speaking she’s been a lot better at sleeping in her own bed this last month than the previous.

 

She hates

Waking up in her own bed. As well as she has slept this past month, she has learned that most often she finds herself alone when she wakes up at night. This means that she wakes up all the way and certainly does not just go back to sleep on her own – even if she actually wakes up between us in our bed.

When anyone she knows leaves the room. She really seems to dread being left alone more than anything else. She’ll start crying even if her grandparents or aunts or uncles leave the room. And even if her mother is holding her.

She really just hates being alone. She always follows me around the apartment and hardly ever leaves the room on her own. I guess I don’t actually have an independent baby yet.

Baby Girl is 8 months!

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The other day I sent my mom a random picture of Baby sitting in her high chair drinking water from a bottle. My mom’s reaction was, ‘she looks so different!’. We’ve only been gone for what.. three weeks?

It is insane how quickly she develops. Sometimes she’ll do a face or bust a move or make a sound that for a terrible second makes me think she’s turned into a toddler before time! Then she loses her balance, rolls over and takes a while to work her baby abs into a proper sit-up – and I know all is well.

 

Favorites: As she is on the move, now faster than ever, she absolutely loves being left on the floor to explore   anything.

She loves her toys! And most definitely the ones that aren’t actually toys. We keep her stuff in a little bag, and its contents are everything from rattles and balls to bag clips and measuring spoons. A few weeks ago I bought her a new binky (in our desperate attempt to teach her to take one – any good tips?) and ever since she has played much more with the box it came in than the actual binky.

I’d have to say that her absolute favorite thing to do is standing up and walking. She stands up everywhere now! She’ll grab hold of whatever’s close and try to hoist herself up – even with things that don’t support her weight (like my hair). Getting to her feet is something that is sure to always bring a triumphant smile to her face.

 

Hates: Uhm.. I honestly don’t think she has any major hates for this month.

She got sick a few weeks ago and she absolutely hated having her nose wiped. But who likes that?

 

The new stuff: I can’t even remember.. did I write that she was crawling already last month? Let me check real quick…

It appears that she was army crawling a month ago. But folks, she is crawling for real now! We got all excited the first few times she did it, but then I watched her the other day and it kinda looks like she doesn’t really move her legs much. It’s like she only uses her arms and her butt just kinda wiggles along behind her. Not quite sure, that might just be when she’s in a hurry. She was venturing into my sister-in-law’s room for the first time at the time. Pretty hyped.

Just the last few days she’s actually sat patiently and opened her mouth at the right times when we’ve fed her. To say that I was beginning to lose hope is an understatement. I’m not sure I even ever had hope. – I haven’t been the biggest fan of spoon-feeding her. I might write a blogpost about that later.
I guess I just expected that she’d be more excited about eating by now. At least some things. Granted, there are some things she will eat more of, but so far it seems that eating pureed food is more of a chore for her than an exciting part of her day. Is she my daughter? I guess she hasn’t tried cake yet…

A new thing that especially her parents have noticed is that she is tons more cuddly now than she’s been since she was a newborn. Especially when she’s sleepy she doesn’t mind lying on us. She’ll even (on purpose!) crawl up in our arms when we’re in bed and lie down her head and even fall asleep! Oh my tender little mommy heart! It’s the best feeling ever! When will she learn how to give me hugs and kisses??