Friday, December 16, 2011

15 Months Old

The month started out with a play date with Angelina. We picked her up from school and Alexa was happy for the rest of the night. Alexa learned to climb up the slide all by herself. Her slide is very large for a 1 year old. When she gets to the top she stands up very proud. I have been working on getting her to stay seated. She then goes down the slide and usually right off of it. Typically she lands on her back, but sometimes she turns and its her face. Either way she usually just laughs it off and starts again.

That Friday Alexa had to get her flu shot booster. Of course she was not happy about it, but took it like a champ. Saturday morning was a make up day gymnastics class. This was a new teacher and all new students. Alexa seemed to enjoy this kids and had a good time. Adam asked me to watch the girls this day as well. So they were all at gymnastics class watching. Ariel was not happy about having to watch us. After class I took all 3 girls to the commissary. The younger two sat in the airplane cart and played the entire time. Angelina would run ahead to get items for me. Later in the afternoon we went to Walmart. The little girls were in the double stroller. They were not nearly as happy this time around. We did end the trip with a stop in the toy department.

Sunday was a family day for just Alexa and I. I really needed the slow day after a busy Saturday. My favorite days are just time with Alexa at home playing. I love when she brings me toys to play with or runs up to me just wanting a hug. Sometimes I can even convince her to take a nap with me on the couch. Love our lazy Sundays!

Monday was our normal gymnastics class. Alexa was all ready to play but I was not feeling well. I had my work Thanksgiving lunch and must have ate something bad. I ended up throwing up at gymnastics class. I was able to finish the class but was exhausted. Fortunately Alexa made it easy on me. She ate her dinner by herself, took a quick bath & then went to bed. Not sure what I ate, but I felt much better the next morning.

On Wednesday morning we started our travel to Chicago. We made it to the airport in good time. When we were unloading the car one shuttle came by. When we got to the shuttle station to wait for the next one, it seemed to take an even longer than normal time for us to get a ride. We stood out there for 20 minutes. I knew it was going to be a busy trip from that point on. Checking in was just as busy & security was long. Once we got through, Alexa had a quick dinner & some milk. She then played for a little while. She found some friends and really had a good time. I think her favorite activity was pushing around the stroller. On the plane we were seated in the back (by choice). Alexa went to sleep fairly easily but woke up when a college kid sitting next to us decided to climb over us to go to the bathroom. She was not very happy for the remainder of the flight.

When we finally got to baggage we met up with my Dad & Beth. Alexa went to Beth after only a little hesitation. That evening was spent having a dinner with my Grandparents. Alexa kept looking around the table watching the different people.

Thanksgiving was really low key for us. GB, Alexa & I went to the park for a little while. It was VERY cold for us, but it was nice to get out. Alexa was heading down a slide & GB said turn around. So Alexa turned on her belly and went down. It was super cute. GB meant to say feet first, but I guess Alexa did what she was told. Funny moment for us. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying family. On Friday evening we went to Erin, Herb & Ethan's new house. We were able to see lots of family & even had a surprise visit for our out of town family, Marie & Tom. Alexa and Ethan had a really good time playing. They were even able to take a bath together in their really large bathtub. Both kids stayed awake WAY past their bedtimes. This was an all time late record for Alexa.

On Saturday we went out to lunch with some more family. Alexa did a lot of people watching. She sat for over an hour without fussing. After the hour we walked around the entrance of the restaurant and even got some gelato. She refused to try it. Oh well, more for me. Saturday evening we spent at the house with my Grandparents. We even did some funny photos with my Grandma. On Sunday morning we had a 6:40am flight. The airport was packed. I was very stressed until we made it to our gate. The airplane was next to empty. We had our own row. This is the first time in our 9 trips that we had 3 seats to ourselves. Alexa played for a little while but was asleep before take off. She did not wake up until after we landed. I will call that a success!

Monday the 28Th was another gymnastics class. Alexa was super adorable during warm ups. We were running in a circle and the instructor would tell us different things to do. When she said to bounce or jump Alexa would dance. She would stand really still and bounce her knees. She even got low to the ground before bouncing back up. She was not into stretching that day at all. As soon as I would sit her down she would run away. I guess she does not understand the concept yet. We did enjoy climbing up things and the trampoline. She did not like the bars, somersaults or back bends. After gymnastics, Alexa feel asleep in the car. When we got home I put her in the highchair thinking she would wake up for dinner. She ended up sleeping until 6am the next morning. She must have been exhausted from the traveling.

Alexa had a first this week that was long over due. She cried for the first time ever as I dropped her off at daycare. Of course I went in the room with her and even cuddled for a few minute. It broke my heart that she did not want to go to school that day. I was told later that she was fine the rest of the day. The rest of the week she went to school without any issues. I am not sure what that one day was about, but I am glad it has passed us.

The first Saturday of the month was an exciting one for us. We got up early and helped decorate the gym for Justin's homecoming. We were able to hang our sign right of the door. Besides that we really just hung out and socialized with all the other anxious spouses and children. The homecoming became very really on this day. We stocked up on some snacks for Justin and spent the rest of the day preparing the house. Of course it was raining outside so I could not hang our banners until the next day. Saturday night we headed to bed early. I woke up at 3am on Sunday to only find out that Justin was going to be delayed 3hours (1pm instead of 10am). I could not sleep so I got up and did some finally preparing. I hung the banners, put out the streamers, lite some candles (to make the house smell good) and then started my day. Alexa and I were dressed and ready to go by 8:30am. We were told that the gym was getting full so we decided to head over there. We arrived at 8:45 and found what I thought would be good seats. Alexa spent the next several hours running around playing with different toys, people, decorations, watching movies & eating. I was exhausted but running on adrenalin. Around 11am we found out the guys were not going to be arriving until closer to 2pm. Alexa took a nap on my friend Denise's shoulder for about an hour. It gave us both a much needed break. As the time went on the gym because increasing loud from all the families packing in. At 2pm all the excitement began. We were told they were in Leavenworth and getting close. They had motorcycles and police escorts. They did not stop at traffic lights but were driving slowly. When they made it through the gates we all got really excited. We could hear the loud noises but could not see anything. Once they arrived the company commander (our other neighbor) pounded on the garage and it all began. Apparently I stood up on my folding chair while holding Alexa and watched at the doors opened and the guys walked in. Justin did not see us until he circled back around. He was exactly in front of us but 3 rows back. It was really cool to watch. Alexa clapped for awhile and then got overwhelmed. We listed to a few cool speeches and then they were dismissed. Alexa was afraid of Justin at first. She went to him but was very hesitant. We had a Colonel offer to take pictures of us. I am really glad he was so generous, the pictures turned out great. We were all three ready to get out of there. We had to look for Justin's bags in the gym across the parking lot & then we were on our way.

Once we were home Alexa realized who Justin was. We spent the afternoon doing some playing before we went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. The evening was nice and quiet. Alexa was jealous when I was holding onto Justin and not her. We were all very tired and called it an early night. Monday was an interesting day for all of us. It was the coldest day of the year with a high of only 28*. We attempted to do some Christmas decoration shopping but were very unsuccessful. We had a nice brunch at the Lighthouse Cafe & then spent the rest of the afternoon decorating for Christmas. Alexa did not care much either way for the Christmas tree. I am glad the ornaments are not appealing to her. The high light of the day was watching Justin panic when he realized he caught tissue paper on fire in the candle that HE LITE. He took the tissue paper and ran to the front door. He opened the wooden door and ran into the storm door. This caused his to drop the burning paper on the carpet. Luckily no one was hurt & the fire did no damage.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday have progressed into our new normal. Justin and I both have been spending some time at work and Alexa has been at daycare. We have shared meals with friends and evening with our family. Justin has picked up Alexa all week & even dropped her off on Thursday. But he forgot her milk & had to make two trips.

Our first full weekend as a family was a challenging one. We are all three still getting used to the change in dynamic. Friday night we took our first formal family pictures in 11 months. Alexa had a great time. She was smiling, laughing and clapping the entire time. We ended up with some great pictures but we were exhausted.

On Saturday we went to "Pancakes with Santa." We arrived early with the Acred's and got in line to see Santa. Ariel and Alexa were terrified. I tried to snap a few photos before taking Alexa out of her misery. We went downstairs and waiting for the pancakes. It ended up being a REALLY long line so Justin and I took Angelina, Ariel & Alexa to IHop. I can tell that Justin was a little nervous with the idea of taking 2 toddlers to a restaurant. However, it turned out great. All three girls ate their meals and behaved wonderfully. I do not think it convinced Justin to have another child, but I also do not think it discouraged him. Saturday evening we had dinner at the Acred's. Like always we had a good time & Alexa was worn out when we went home.

Sunday we went to church with the Acred's. Alexa spent a few hours in the nursery and did alright. I was told she got upset for a few minutes and was happy the rest of the time. At one point the teacher held her up so she could look out the window. She then proceeded to blow kisses even though no one was out there. She also discovered a rocking horse that she fell in love with. I think we may need to get her one. After church we went shopping for some new furniture but came out unsuccessful.

Monday was our last day of gymnastics. Alexa was very excited as soon as we got into the gym. We could not get her jacket and shoes off quick enough. She was off running around in no time. Through out the entire class she was shouting in excitement and hard to keep up with. She still does not like to sit still for the stretching. She enjoys climbing the different mats, crawling through tunnels & jumping on the running trampoline. She does not care for the bars, hand stands or cartwheels. At the end of every class the teacher blows bubbles from the large fan. Most of the children chase the bubbles. Alexa walks over to the fan and sits right in front of it. She enjoys the wind in her hair or at least enjoys studying it.

On Tuesday Maureen came for the final time. She released Alexa from occupational therapy. Maureen has been a true blessing to us. Over the last 3 months she had caught Alexa up on her eating and even gave us some advise on how to handle the toddler years (in terms of eating).

Next month we are looking forward to traveling for Christmas, Vegas & maybe seeing some family on weekend trips.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

14 Months Old

This month certainly feels like it went by the fastest so far. When I get asked how old Alexa is, I can no longer say "she just turned 1." I know it seems silly, but she is now moving her way into the toddler years. Moving is something she is certainly getting quick with. She is running around everywhere. If she is in the grass or on something that is hard to walk, she will just sit down. She will not get upset, instead she just watches what is going on. When she feels like trying again she will stand up & move slowly. She is such a thinker! When we are walking on a normal day she prefers to have me holding her hand. If I am not holding her hand she will just stand still. This is not something I or her school taught her. I believe it is more of a comfort thing for her.

This month started out with a visit from Megan & Matthew. When we got to the airport we met them by the baggage claim. Matthew looked like a wild man wanting to get out of his stroller. I took him out & quickly regretted it. He was trying his hardest to get down and run around. Normally this would not be a problem, but he was barefoot, in an airport. There was no way I was going to let those adorable little feet hit that dirty ground. So Matthew ended up back in the stroller.

When we arrived back at the house Matthew & Alexa were not real sure what to make of each other. Matthew cried when Megan left him. Reflecting back this is really funny to me. Who knew in a matter of 48 hours these two would be playing like they were siblings? Alexa just loves watching slightly older and more mobile children playing. Matthew was no different. He even climbed the latter to the slide & went down on his own. Alexa found this to be really funny. At one point in the weekend, Matthew went down the slide, right into Alexa who was there waiting to "catch" him. Alexa then proceeded to fall on her butt and then laid on her back to make a dramatic scene. Though no tears were shed at that time. The kids sure did play hard & slept really well both nights.

On Saturday we took them to Carolyn's Cousins Pump Patch. This is the largest farm in the area & a site you should not miss when in town. We drove the hour drive while both kids took a morning nap. When we arrived Megan and I had to assemble the wagon. We had to take the handle off to fit it into the trunk. Once inside we did every photo op. that was available. The kids were posed with a school bug, pigs, pumpkins, and MANY other adorable signs. Last year the first weekend we arrived we actually stumbled across Carolyn's website and went to the pumpkin patch. For a family who has moved more times then even I like to admit, having this small tradition was fun. We took Alexa's picture next to the same "How tall this fall?" sign. Last year, Justin held her tiny 8lb body against the sign an we snapped a quick picture. This year she was over the 2 foot marker & smiling like the toddler she is.

While at the pumpkin patch the kids were able to feed some goats, watch a pig race, dance to some banjo music, ride on the hayride (which Alexa fell asleep), pick some pumpkins and so much more. We spent a little over 4 hours there and we were all exhausted. So we took the wagon a part, load the kids in the car and headed home. About 20 minutes in to the drive, I was the only one awake. Later in the afternoon we took the kids to the Carousel Museum. I am not sure if either one really enjoyed it. However we were going to make the most of our weekend. That evening while eating dinner, Megan's phone rang. Alexa put her fist up to her ear and said "hello" then proceed to move her fist towards me and said what sounded like "here you go." Megan and I both thought it was super adorable. We tried to get the video camera but were not fast enough. That evening the kids worked on their spider craft project. We put two toddlers in a small baby pool with black paint. Why did we think this would be a good idea? At first the kids just sat there and looked at the paint. Eventually they got a little messy. Alexa threw one of the tiny foam balls at Matthew (or at least in his direction) and hit him square in the chest. It left a little splat mark. Like always Alexa decided to eat some paint. To make Matthew get a little messy I started playing with my lips while blowing air. Matthew saw me and repeated, getting paint on his face. Both kids left black hand prints on the carpet before getting carried upstairs for their bath.

Once in the bath Matthew who was undressed and standing started peeing on Alexa who was sitting in the bath with her onesie still on. Matthew had no idea what happened, but we all laughed. Sunday morning was hard to watch Megan and Matthew leave. We were able to take them to security & even talk to them through the security exit door by their gate (we have a TINY airport).

The next weekend was Halloween weekend. We started out by participating in the Halloween Fun Run for Kids. We had the option of doing a 1K or 5K. We opted for the 1K and brought Angelina with us. It was ~40* when we arrived at the run. Alexa, Angelina & I were all bundled up. We started out last & remained there through the entire thing. Alexa did her best to walk but did not understand the point. At one time I put her down and walked backwards in front of her. I think she was a little confused but also had trouble because of her 3 outfits I made her wear. We did finish the race in about 20 minutes. Alexa & Angelina both received metals and did a small trick or treating event inside. Later in the afternoon we had a neighborhood block party. Alexa and Ariel even had a chance to jump in the bounce house. Ariel enjoyed falling on her face, Alexa just sat and watched. Lastly that evening was Justin's units Halloween party. Alexa won 3rd place in the costume contest among ~30 children in her age category. She was certainly the cutest bug there.

On Halloween we did a few houses with Adam, Angelina & Ariel. Alexa was fascinated by her bucket and kept putting her head inside of it to make noises echo. When we were walking around, Alexa would clap for Ariel when she would walk up to the doors. Alexa came home with 2 small suckers. I did let her try one (I know bad Mom) but she did not care for it at all.

November started out with some exciting news about the deployment. We were told that we are officially in the home stretch. I am doing my best to not get all worked up and just try to enjoy the next month or so. We had our last Deployed Spouses dinner at the Chapel. Normally Alexa is very excited about playing with other children. This night was not normal. She screamed the minute we went in and cried until we left. I bounced between the toddler room and the dining facility. After an hour I just felt terrible that she was so upset, so we left.

Saturday was a much better day. I got up early to get my haircut. Alexa was in her stroller right next to me. When the hair would fall to the ground she would say "ut oh". It was too adorable! We then went on to Angelina's piano recital. Ariel & Alexa were being a little loud, so we played in the back until it was her turn. Ariel was trying to wave to Angelina & got upset when it was not returned. In the afternoon we went to the units Fall Festival. I went with Angelina in the bounce house to help with the little girls. That was one move I quickly regretted. The other children treated me like one of their own. I was pushed around and basically stepped on. We got out rather quickly. Oh well! That evening we went and painted our square for the Welcome Home quilt. I tried to get Alexa to help, but she just wanted to run around. She LOVED all the other children.

Alexa had her second to last therapy session this month. Maureen was very impressed with how far Alexa has come in the last two months. She gave us our last set of goals. If we achieve them all in a month then Alexa will be released from the program. I am confident that this will be the case. Alexa has become before attached to Maureen. When she left on Tuesday, Alexa waved and cried. It was cute. The Thursday before Veterans day we rushed to the airport to fly to Atlanta. Alexa pushed her stroller around the terminal and made a lot of friends. She did AWESOME on the flight. She played for a little while and then slept until we landed.

The three nights we were in Atlanta, Alexa did not sleep well. She would wake up ever so often crying. It was a rough few nights for us. She ended up sleeping in the bed with me and we still woke up very early. On Friday we went to Donna's school, the mall & out to dinner with Brandon, Chase & Austin. Late that night Jayson, Leah & JB arrived. On Saturday we took the kids to get their picture taken together. JB and Alexa look so much a like. They both really enjoyed each other even though Alexa is a "baby" as JB would call her.

On Sunday afternoon we headed back to the airport. The Atlanta airport is much bigger than the Kansas City airport. We had to check in at curbside just to avoid all the crowds. Then we had a 20 minute security line that was feeding about 10 different aisles. Once we made it through security we had to find the elevator to go down to the train, 5-10 minute train ride & then find the elevator back up. Once in our terminal we had a long walk to our gate. Of course it was the second to last on in the terminal. We made it with 5 minutes to spare until boarding. The flight was not as good as Friday. Alexa wanted to run around and play and then got very tired. Unfortunately she had a hard time falling asleep. The man in front of us got irritate every time Alexa made even the smallest of sounds. She fell asleep about 20 minutes before we landed.

The Monday we got back we had our first gymnastics class of the season. Alexa enjoyed holding the hula hoops & the running trampoline. She did not like sitting still for stretching or walking on her hands. Basically the class is set up into three different circuits. One had a bar & balance beam, one is set up for handstands & somersaults and the last is the large bars and horses. We were both very worn out after the class ended.

Overall we had another great month. Alexa is such a joy to be around. She never seizes to amaze me with her very social & happy personality. I am a little sad that all the big milestones are passed us. Next month we are looking forward to Thanksgiving in Chicago & Justin's homecoming.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

13 Months Old

The month started off with a quick trip to the doctor's office. Alexa had what I thought was excess drainage from her ear. The doctor said they looked good so it looks like I was just being an over protective mother.

Alexa's therapy is going great. She will now eat cheerios, puffs, crackers, small fruits & veggies and the occasional meat. She has made HUGE progress in the last few weeks. We are still working on a few things but overall she is caught up to her age level. Maureen will only be coming every other week.

Alexa's 1 year old photos were by far our hardest session. She refused to smile. She sat looking very serious at the photographer. The only time I was able to get her to smile was when I was holding her hands and she walking around.

A few days after turning one we had Alexa's well baby appointment. The doctor says Alexa is doing great in every aspect except for her eating. They always seem to be impressed with her high vocabuluary. The doctor said 1 year olds should be associating 3-5 words and say about 7 in total. Alexa's vocab includes the basic Momma, Da da, hi, ut oh & then the harder ones hello, apple, banana (nana when she is being lazy), kitty, up, night night (ni night), and then anything we ask her to repeat. We have been working on body parts. She can point out her head, nose, eyes & shoes.

I gave myself a goal of getting Alexa's baby book order before the month was over. It was very time consuming & ended up being 66 pages long with over 300 pictures in it. It looks amazing & I am very happy with it.

The week after Alexa's birthday I had to work on Saturday for just a short time. Unfortunately the daycare center was not open that Saturday. Alexa stayed with our neighbors out of town guest & had a great time. They took her & Ariel (her 18 month old best friend) on a long wagon ride to all the garage sales. Later in the afternoon they even painted Alexa's toes. I am glad she is enjoys being around other people as much as she does. When I dropped Alexa off, Ariel cried that I was leaving & Alexa waved. :)

Alexa had her follow up ENT appointment. It went well overall. Alexa's ears looked great. The doctor put a small camera through her nose and down her throat to make sure nothing looked unusual. The doctor said her throat was a little red, similar to an acid reflect child. She gave us some medicine for that as well as to help her dry up her nose. She is hoping the combination of medicines will give her a better quality of life. I have filled the prescriptions but we have not started them yet. In the afternoon we had a nutritionist appointment. She said everything Alexa was eating was right on track. Her only suggestion was to increase her meat intake. She suggested adding meat to her breakfast (eggs) and trying beans for dinner. She LOVES the idea of keeping Alexa on toddler milk as well as whole milk. She says its a good balance to make sure she is getting all of the vitamins she needs. So we will continue using 4oz of toddler milk with 3oz of whole milk in each sippy cup.

This last Thursday Alexa's school called me to report a small bleeding diaper rash. I took her to the doctor and she gave us some medicine for it. It did not seem to bother her much, but we are at least being proactive with it.

This weekend was also my small surgery. After 6 years it was determined that the screws in my upper tibia should be removed. My Mom came in town to take care of Alexa and me. The procedure was a piece of cake. Alexa really enjoyed spending time with her Grandma. It was a HUGE help to me to have her here. This is the longest I have ever gone without changing a diaper. I started feeling better rather quickly so we were able to enjoy the nice weather. We went to the Farmer's Market to get some bread, out for coffee, to the Carousel Museum & had a snack in the park. Alexa's had a tough time walking in the grass.

Overall it's been another great month. This month we are looking forward to Halloween, Megan & Matthew's visit and then our weekend trip to Atlanta.

Friday, September 16, 2011

1 Year Old

The month started out rather slow. Alexa recovered from her latest ear infection and returned to her happy self. We spent the weekend doing the usual shopping & playing. Alexa is handling the transition into whole milk with ease. I also continued the use of only sippy cups. Her school finally agreed to warm up the sippy cups for her. So the bottles are still being used to measure the breast milk to whole milk ratio but that not for drinking out of. Alexa's sippy cups are soft tops that are essentially bottles with slightly different shape tops. Hopefully over the next 6 months we can transition into harder tops and then regular cups (looking forward).

On Tuesday we drove down to Children Mercy South in Overland Park, Kansas for Alexa's ENT appointment. Alexa weighed in at 18.3lbs. They put her on the "big kid" scale. She just sat there and looked adorable. The doctor asked many questions about Alexa's medical background as well as her eating habits. They were not concerned with her hearing. Hearing loss can become an issue as a result of frequent ear infections. They did clean out her ears to give themselves a better view of the ear drum. She tolerated the procedure with out any issues. After talking with the doctor she advised me that her recommendation would be for Alexa to get tubes. I went into this appointment fully expecting that recommendation. Fortunately they were able to get us scheduled for Friday. The doctor and I also talked about Alexa's eating habits (or lack there of) in more detail. She mentioned to me that children with ear pain tend to not want to eat. She believes the tubes could bring her appetite back.

The night before surgery was just like any other night for Alexa. We had to wake up earlier than normal for the one hour drive to the hospital. Alexa's surgery was the first of the day. The pre-op room had a small baby gurney, recliner and computer. We spent 30 minutes in there. I changed Alexa into hospital scrubs and we played with the few toys I brought with me. We met with the surgeon and a member of the anesthesia team. At exactly 7:29 they took Alexa back. I walked with her down the hallway until we hit the waiting room. I gave Alexa a kiss and watched her get pushed to the OR. She was sitting up on the gurney with a nurse support her back (as they were pushing the bed). I spent the next few minutes in the bathroom warming up Alexa's sippy cup. At 7:45 the surgeon came out and said they were finished. Alexa did really well. She had a lot of fluid in or behind her ear drum that he cleaned out. About 5 minutes later they took me back to see her. She was a little confused but looked OK. She drank her entire sippy cup & we were released. Alexa did awesome the rest of the day.

Saturday evening Alexa had a low fever and was up several times through out the night. I gave her Tylenol and some TLC. Sunday she was crabby and not eating like her normal self. I was hoping it was just some minor ear pain or teething. Monday morning Alexa went to school. At 1:30pm I had to pick her up after the teacher found her to have a fever. I took her to the doctor's office on Tuesday. They could not find anything that would cause the fever. She had to stay home from school the rest of the day.

The Thursday before Labor Day was Alexa's first occupational therapist meeting to discuss her eating (or lack there of). Maureen is the occupational therapist from TinyK. She came over and watched Alexa eat her lunch. She gave me some great tips but still seemed stumped as to why Alexa refuses table food. She feels Alexa is eating at a 6-7 month old stage and could really benefit from some therapy.

Labor Day weekend we flew to Cincinnati. As always I was very nervous for the traveling portion. We got to the airport on Friday and had no issues getting through security or boarding the plane. The flight was full so we did not have an extra seat. Alexa made a friend with the retired Navy man you unfortunately had to sit next to us. She slept through most of the flight and did not seem bothered with her ears. We spent Friday evening with Grandpa, GB, Maggie & David. Alexa showed them how she says Ut Oh and then drops thing on the floor. David picked up her food cap 3 times and then caught on.

On Saturday we saw Nikki, Ray, Brandon & Lorelai. It was nice to see how big the kids were getting & for them to meet Alexa. In the afternoon Megan, Matthew, Donna, David & Brandon arrived. We all had a good time being entertained with all the babies. I think Alexa enjoyed having other kids around. Each night Alexa was exhausted. She would fall asleep instantly when I would lay her down.

Sunday was Alexa's 1st Birthday party. Alexa received a lot of really nice birthday gifts. Alexa's outfit was designed & picked out by her Daddy. She looked adorable in her tutu. She did become overwhelmed with the amount of people picking her up and had a few minor melt downs. While opening her presents she really wanted to talk to her Daddy so she would not stay focused. Aunt Megan was a HUGE help during that time. Alexa's birthday cake was made by me. I am by no means a baker but I think it turned out alright. Alexa did not want anything to do with it. This was not a surprise to me at all.

Monday morning we had an early flight home. Alexa had a lot of energy and bounced around in her seat for awhile. She feel asleep about 30 minutes into the flight and slept the rest of the way. It turned out to be a relaxing trip after all.

The next two weeks were fairly routine for us. Alexa survived being at school without getting sick. She received birthday packages from lots of family members. She still does not grasp the concept of open a gift. She seemed to like the cards more than the gifts until I put the toy together.

The weekend in between we put together Alexa's wagon. She really enjoyed being pulled around the house. On Saturday we took Ariel on a ride with us. We only made it about three houses before it starting pouring on us. I did not realize it was going to rain. I heard the rain in the trees and ran. We are very fortunate that the wagon has seat belts. I ran as fast as I could down the hill, through the Acred's yard and unloaded the babies as fast as I could. The really were not upset by the ordeal. Ariel wanted to go back out in the rain. After about 30 minutes we were able to finish our walk.

Alexa had her first school therapy session. It started out with Maureen (her therapist), Jody (Training director), the school nurse, multiple teachers & Alexa. I watched on the monitors from the hallway. It was a little traumatic for Alexa. I ended up in the room feeding Alexa. I feel like Maureen had a lot of great suggestions to help the teachers at her school. On her first day after therapy she sucked on crackers until they dissolved and ate a little bit. So progress is being made. I am not going to write much more about the details of Alexa's therapies. Maureen however is coming to the ENT appointment to rule out any physical issues.

Alexa's birthday started out with lots of tears. She woke up at 5:45 (normally I wake her at 6:30). We video chatted with Justin & then did our normal day. It was a cold low 60's day with rain in the morning. At 2pm I arrived at Alexa's school for her party. I brought funfetti cupcakes with pink frosting & silver accents in animal print paper. Alexa was excited to have me there. She ate a few bites of her snack & then it way birthday time. Justin was on speaker phone and sang as well. It was a great moment for us all. When the singing was over Alexa clapped for everyone. She ate a few licks of her cupcake. After her party I took her to work with me. She LOVED all the attention. I wish I could take her everyday. In the evening we had dinner, another cupcake celebration, bath & video chatted with Grandpa & GB.

I cannot believe my baby girl is one. On the other hand I cannot imagine my life without her. She is awesome & I am so blessed that god gave her to me. On a side note I did make a year on breast milk. VERY proud of this accomplishment. Nursing was hard, pumping was way harder.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

11 Months Old

The month started out strong. With Alexa's latest sickness behind her, she made it the entire week at school. Alexa and Jerrod continued their super cute relationship. This week they made everyone smile. They sat chris cross apple sauce & leaned towards each other until their foreheads touched. They were just as entertained by this as the teachers were. Sadly, Jerrod will be transitioning in just a few weeks. Alexa's other friends are Olivia & Riley. The three girls are all within a month of age, Alexa being in the middle. They started crawling the exact same week. If they are walking at the same time then their room will be a busy one.

Alexa started climbing the stairs just days after she started walking around furniture. She went from minimal interest in moving to making it her goal each day. She walks around the tables, couches & even her toys. She will take steps between items & stands alone for a few seconds at a time. She does not have the normal fear. At times she just let goes of whatever her support is and tries to go. As a result she has many bruises to show for it. When Alexa climbs the stairs it is terrifying to me. When she is tired she will turn around and want to walk down. I have to keep a close eye on her these days. I have not put up baby gates yet for a few reasons. One reason being that I want her to learn how to use the stairs safely. She has not mastered going down them yet, but we are working on it. When she is upstairs I do not leave her side unless the door is shut.

We had another sleepover with Ariel, but this time Angelina stayed too. We all got a fresh coat of toe nail polish and I also did Angelina's fingers. This was Ariel's first pedicure and she did awesome. Angelina told her she had to sit still and she did. Both of the babies were up later than normal but eventually did get tired. In the morning we all had breakfast around Alexa's new picnic table. It was a very exhausting few hours but definitely worth it.

Alexa had her first big fall this month. She has always believed she can do more than she really can. Walking is no different for Alexa. For awhile she would stand up and just go. Unfortunately her balance does not keep up with her drive. She ended up having a huge wipe out at school. They called me immediately which they are required to do with any head injury. They gave me an update about ten minutes later and I decided to let her stay at school. When I got there they warned me how bad it was going to look. Honestly it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. She did not have any long term effects from the bruise. However she did bump it on things for a few days which upset her off and on.

We went to the local farmers market as a field trip & shopping trip. Alexa made a lot of friends. We ended up getting lots of fruits and veggies for Alexa's meals and some honey butter & homemade bread for me. Alexa did not care for the homemade food as much as her jarred baby food. I did put some of the food I made into a jar and she did not seem to mind it. So maybe I just need to be more creative.

Last Saturday we went to the Carousel Museum here in Leavenworth. It is a hidden treasure around here. I discovered it after getting lost the previous weekend. The carousel seemed to be unusually fast. Alexa did not seem to mind but I felt a little dizzy. The carousel had baby horses for the smaller children. It was a fun experience that I am sure we will do again. We ended the weekend with a visit to the park where we watched the fisherman and then a quick trip to the pool. The baby pool is a little too deep for Alexa and she is not allowed to have her flotation device there. I put her in the infant life jacket, which she did not enjoy. So our pool trip ended up being a short one.

Alexa and I were supposed to have a four week session of parent child swim lessons. We went to the first class and really enjoyed ourselves. The next morning Alexa was not acting like her normal self. I made her a doctor’s appointment on our way to school/work for that afternoon. I thought she would make it the entire day. Not fully to my surprise her school called me at 10:30 to tell me she was sick. I picked her up and found out she had another ear infection. This is her fourth one in 8 weeks. We were given antibiotics and a referral for the ENT. Her ENT appointment is next week. We have heard great things about tubes. Hopefully the doctor is able to get her issues resolved. She will be a much happier girl if she did not get sick so much.

The next day Alexa was feeling a lot better. She returned to school and has slowly started returning to her normal self. One thing I have learned with Alexa is to hide her medicine in her milk. I put her antibiotics in her morning & bed time bottles and Tylenol in the afternoon bottle. She does not seem to notice & it allows me to avoid the struggle of having to give her medicine plain.

Alexa’s eating is still our biggest struggle. Some days she will eat the 6oz jars of baby food at each meal & still want her bottles. Other days she will refuse the solids all together. She has still not fed herself any food. At home and school she is offered finger food but she ends up throwing them on the floor. When I spoon feed her food that has chunks in it, she throws up. I was told the best way to cure this is repeat exposure. So far this has not worked. I do however add oatmeal cereal to most of her foods to thicken them up for her. She does not seem to mind this. Her favorite foods are sweet potatoes, peas & bananas.

I was not in a big rush to take Alexa off the bottle. However I was going to try to introduce the Sippy cup per the schools request. Alexa took to it like a champ. This weekend she went without the bottle completely. However she has trouble holding the Sippy cup. So I do still help her with it. I feel she is on a good track to be 100% bottle free by her first birthday. At school they are still using bottles during the day. Alexa also started whole milk at exactly 11 months. She will be having 1 ounce in each bottle with 5 ounces of breast milk. Each week we will change the ratio to add an additional ounce of whole milk. So far so good! Alexa does not seem to notice the difference & her body seems to be taking to it well. This is another thing we should have mastered by her first birthday.

I am starting to realize there are a lot of big changes happening this month. Her sleeping habits are where I consider ideal. She goes to bed between 7 & 730. I sometimes rock her, but usually just lay her down. She rolls around for a few minutes and then falls asleep. I usually wake her up around 6:30am. For some reason every weekend she wakes up at 6. Not sure why? She takes a nap at school from 1130 to 1 or 130 on the cot and then a short 10 minute nap on the way home. On the weekends she tends to take an hour nap at 9 & then again at 1. She has two very consistent schedules.

Alexa’s vocabulary includes Mama, Dada, Ut-oh, Dat (Cat) & Hi ya. Sometimes she gets creative and combines her vocab. We love when she says “Hi ya Dada” as she waves to Justin. She knows how to shake her head no and tries to sign more if I ask her if she wants milk. She knows Mickey Mouse means TV & when I go to the basement it means dinner for the cats. Instead of following me to the basement she goes to their bowls and waits for me.

This month we are going to be working on her walking, eating & transitioning from bottles to Sippy cups. She will also celebrate her birthday in Cincinnati with all of her Grandparents & most of her aunts & uncles. We are more than 7 months into our year long deployment. I am sure they last few months will go just as quickly as the first have.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

10 Months Old

The month started out with Alexa's 9 month photos. I decided to do a patriotic/ 4Th of July theme. It only seemed fitting. Alexa loves getting her picture taken. She sat where we put her & smiled every time the photographer held up the camera. I always wonder what is going through Alexa's head when she sees a camera. Can she really comprehend what a picture is? What is her reasoning for smiling? Anyways, I am glad she enjoys it. Saturday evening I noticed Alexa was not her normal happy self. She started coming down with a fever. This is when I knew we were in trouble. She slept most of the night but woke up looking weak. I gave her some Tylenol & went to Walmart to pick up some Motrin. She seems to quickly improve. Monday morning I took her to school. They called me around 1pm saying she was not eating & was not happy. At 2:40 they called back to say she had a fever and needed to be picked up. I took her back to work with me where she slept for a little while.

Tuesday morning we went to the doctor. Of course her fever was gone, she never has a fever when we get there. Her doctor heard wheezing in her lungs. They sent us to get a chest xray. This was the most shocking parental experience ever. Alexa was put on a bicycle seat that was in a cut out of a table. They then had me hold her hands over her head. They put a clear cylinder around her & strapped it closed. I was terrified & Alexa was screaming. It was the longest 5 minutes ever. All I could do was hold her hands & talk to her. The xrays showed pneumonia. I cannot believe it! Alexa was given a breathing treatment & two shots of antibiotics. We were sent home with an inhaler to help her breathe.

Wednesday we went back to the doctors for a follow up. Alexa's lungs were sounded better. We were given an antibiotics prescription that will last 10 days. Alexa seems to be doing great. I am sooo grateful to have such a happy girl. Although I hate her being sick, I have enjoyed the extra few days with her.

Forth of July weekend Alexa and I flew to Cincinnati. Our flight was at 7:30am which meant we had an early morning. Alexa slept for most of the flight and I had to wake her up when we arrived. I am fortunate that Alexa is such a great traveler. Saturday afternoon was spent at Coney Island. Alexa really enjoyed walking around the floaty in the shallow end & floating around in the deep in. Saturday evening we had a family dinner. Alexa is starting to get her appetite back, but is still eating like a bird.

On Sunday we had a cousin picture with Matthew & Jackson. All three babies were overwhelmed. There were lots of tears & fearful faces and a few smiles. They looked extra adorable in their matching orange outfits. Even though it was a very trying morning, I am glad to have the photo. We then proceed on to lunch. Of course Jackson slept for most of the meal. Alexa threw a fit because she wanted to be held & Matthew made a mess of the restaurant floor. Just another typical day for these babies. The afternoon was spent at Mom's neighborhood pool. The sight of three babies literally walking around the baby pool in their matching floaties was ADORABLE. They all enjoy the water & I think the Mommy's all enjoy the activity as well. Sunday evening we were off to Megan & Steve's to watch some fireworks. Their neighbors put on quite the show. I believe I was one of the most scared people out there. And of course I was hit by a "tail" right below my right eye. It scared me more than anything. But this type of thing is the reason I have my fears.

Like always we both very much enjoyed our trip to Cincinnati. The only fear I really have about traveling is having Alexa scream on the airplane. Monday morning it was time to face the inevitable. We arrived at the airport with enough time to get a quick snack, change & feed Alexa and then board the plane. Alexa would NOT stop crying. I gave her a bottle & then another.. I was really getting nervous. She took 12oz of milk in a matter of 30 minutes and I did not have anymore for her. Then the announcement came... we were delayed. They were not sure how long it was going to me. I really started to panic. Fortunately it was only a minor maintenance issue and we were ready to board. Alexa did OK for most of the flight. There was a small child behind us, I am certain she was under 2. She screamed for most of the flight. There were many rude people who were making comments and giving death stares. Most of these people were not parents & had no idea that the parents were already embarrassed and having a hard time. I wish people would understand that parents do not want to have their child screaming, but they are unable to stop them. The little girl was grabbing her ears and clearly in pain. When we got off the plane people were looking at me like it was Alexa making all that noise. I was quick to say "it was not mine." I know it was not necessary since these are complete strangers, but I was embarrassed.

The next day was my birthday. I spent most of the day working, but left 2 hours early to give myself a "treat". We ended up doing some grocery shopping & cleaning stuff around the house. I made myself some birthday cookies & called it an early night. The rest of the week was quick & uneventful.

Alexa has a few new words this week. To add to her vocabulary of Mom, Dad, Ut Oh is Dat (Cat) & Oh yah. She tries to make other sounds but is still learning. I love watching her crawl around after Bengal & Carson saying "Dat". I am sure she will keep them young. She has also discovered their food & water bowls. She loves to empty out their food for them, even when they are eating out it. I do not believe they appreciate this jesture. She enjoys splashing in their water bowl until she is completely wet.

One thing this month that I have been working on as a mother is figuring out my parenting approach. I was very much into attachment parenting while she was an infant. Now we are starting a new chapter and I feel I need to get a plan in place. I started reading "Attached at the Heart" & "Unconditional Parenting." I am looking to find guidance on parenting by creating a "yes environment" and teaching Alexa how to make decisions for herself. This is certainly a more difficult approach to discipline, but I believe it will teach her how to be a proactive adult. I am trying to move away from the No's (by creating a yes environment) and the because I said so's. I am sure we will be experiments with a few approaches until Justin and I can figure out what works best for our family.

On Monday I went to the orthopedic. We are taking the approach of "getting through the next 6 months" with my wrist and knee. My wrist is really doing better. Of course the cyst is still there, but it is manageable. I am going to continue to wear my wrist brace when I can. The doc also gave me another option for when I am typing. I am hopefully that this will get me through the deployment with out too much of an issue. My knee which has been a pain for almost 8 years has been bothering me quite a bit lately. She I am no longer pregnant we can start treating it again. I was given synvisc injections to help with the pain. This can help up to 6 months, which again in the timeline we are aiming for. After a few days of wearing gym shoes I am almost back to my preshot self. I will not feel the full effect of the injection for a few weeks, but again I am hopeful.

Tuesday was Alexa's follow up pneumonia appointment. She weighed in at 17lbs 3oz. This is by far her biggest number! The doctor believe she was clear of all of the pneumonia & told us she will see us at her 12 month appointment. Right after she said that I knew were were in trouble. I do not really believe in jinxing, but with Alexa's health I do believe something is going on. I took Alexa back to school & went on to work. I received a call at 1:05 saying that Alexa has a fever and needs to be picked up. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing at home. On Wednesday I decided to take her back to the doctor just to see if there was anything going on. Of course she did not have a fever, but the doctor did see a little red in her right ear. This is the third ear infection in her right ear (June 1st, June 21st & now July 13). The doctor did not feel it was anything serious but gave us an antibiotics because of Alexa's history. She returned to school & her normal self of Thursday.

Today Alexa is 10 months old. I guess she decided to celebrate in a big way. This morning she crawled over to the couch, pulled up completely & started taking steps around the furniture. This is a huge advancement for her. She was a little slow on crawling but it right on schedule with walking. I am very proud of her. She is not only an adorable little girl but also very happy. I hope she continues to have a great outlook on life.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

9 Months Old!

Alexa has officially been alive longer than I was pregnant. Every month I say it, I cannot believe how old she is.

We had our first trip to Chicago this month. We left after work/school on Friday. Alexa did great on the plane. Grandma & Grandpa McKinney picked us up at the airport. I think we surprised them on how much stuff we brought. When we made it back to their house Alexa was exhausted. Grandma rocked her to sleep. It is a great feeling to see my Grandparents love my daughter as much as I do. On Saturday we went to my 2nd cousins house to visit. We were able to see a bunch of family that we do not normally get to. Alexa did not have much interest in her cousin's Matthew or Ethan. Her independent personality comes out when she is in group settings.

On Sunday we went to Brookfield Zoo. To our surprise it rained on us. Not the normal rain but the storm, flooding cold rain. Even though it rained and we all got colds as a result, it was nice. I am glad we had the opportunity to go. Alexa and I had to go home on Monday (Memorial Day). Alexa did a good job traveling once again. She even made a friend on the airplane :)

When we got home from Chicago, Alexa was a little off. She ended up getting an ear infection. This is her first one. We had to find out in a tough way. Her school called me saying she had a fever and needed to be picked up. I took her to work with me for 2 hour. We then went to urgent care since I could not get her into the doctors that day. Urgent care took her temp and it read 104.5 I about fell over. They sent us straight to the ER. They told me they were afraid if it went any higher she could seize. I did my best to stay within the speed limit but got to the hospital quickly. They took us back right away. Alexa was given Motrin & some medicine for her ears. We left with an antibiotics prescription. She recovered in just a few days. She then went on as though nothing happened.

A few days before Jackie's wedding I started feeling guilt about not going. Luckily we were able to get it worked out for us to be able to go. We had a lay over on each leg of the trip. Although Alexa did OK, the lay overs made it tough. She was not able to get on the ground and play for several hours. Charlotte was a lot of fun. Alexa was able to meet her Great-Great Aunt's & Uncle as well as many other family members. Alexa embraced them all with smiles & giggles. She went to anyone who wanted to hold her. Alexa was able to do a little bit of swimming with Matthew. She was a bit shy but enjoyed the water. During the wedding Alexa stayed with Matthew. He is a 13 year old 3rd cousin of mine that has very minimal babysitting experience. They had a rough few hours but once I put Alexa to bed there was no more issues. I am certain Matthew will not be babysitting by choice anytime soon :)

It was finally time for Alexa's swim lessons. We did them here on post. The pool water was freezing. This made the classes a little tough on both of us. We did the condensed version of class. We had class Monday through Thursday for two weeks. It made our schedule a bit challenging but well worth it. Alexa had a lot of fun with her friends. Her class was made up for 5 kids aging 9 months (Alexa being the youngest) to 18 months. Alexa's "boyfriend" Nathan was also in the class. Alexa did really good with humpty dumpty. The kids sit on the low ledge as we sing the humpty dumpty song. They then fall in (only to their chest) & then turn and reach for safety. Alexa totally understood this. I would help her turn & she would grab the wall. It was actually a joke because she would not let go. She also really enjoyed playing with the pool toys. She held the ducks in her hand during most of the classes. I took the teachers advice of not putting Alexa's face under water. She said although most children do not have problems with it, it can cause ear infections. Since we were just getting over one I decided not to risk it. Alexa "graduated" swim lessons. We are planning on doing the August session as well.

Alexa started crawling this month. It is not a mastered skill but she has certainly made huge progress. I do not believe she will ever use crawling as a way to get around but at least she knows how. She turns her butt and scoots around. She seems to prefer this over crawling. She has also started pulling up on tables & couches. She has a hard time with the glass table. Its as if she cannot fully focus on it & then her hands slide. This is very new to her but she works on it each day. I am certain it will not be long before she starts inching her way around things. I guess I need to start thinking about child proofing the house.

Alexa has grasped the concept of talking. She does not say a lot of words but she makes a lot of sounds. When she has the cell phone in her hand she will babble. She also talks to her toys at home and in the car. It is great to hear her voice. I am afraid she is going to be a chatterbox like her Momma.

Alexa also had her 9 month well baby appointment. She is 27 1/4 inches long, 16lbs 10oz & her head measured 17 1/2 inches. So she is doing great. She is average in height, a little low on her weight & has a big head. I could not be more proud :) I have really stopped worry about her weight. She eats until she is full & seems happy. I am sure she will be just fine. If she happens to be over 5ft tall then she is lucky.

One of Alexa's favorite things to do is video chat with Justin. She gets sooo excited when she sees him. She crawls over to the screen and tries to type. Sometimes I have to pull her back because she gets so close all Justin can see is the top of her head. I love watching the two of them interact. I cant wait for Justin to come home so our family can be back together. Though the technology is making it a bit easier.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

8 Months Old

So much has happened in the last month. We started the month off with Easter Egg Hunts. When we arrived at the first post hunt Alexa was sound asleep. I ended up driving back home and letting her sleep. The next day we had the neighborhood egg hunt. I took a blanket with us. I would put Alexa on the blanket next to an egg and encourage her to find the egg. I learned very quickly that it was not going to happen. I ended up putting a few eggs on her blanket and she was happy.

Alexa started at the CDC full time. She is the butterfly room. Her teachers are great. I really like her lead teacher, Ms Carolyn. Her classroom has 4 infants (6months-12 months) and 5 pre-tots (12months- 18 months). It is a very interesting dynamic. The first few days Alexa was over stimulated and had a lot of trouble sleeping. I am told she really enjoys going outside, which they do every day weather permitting. Since she has started there she has learned to wave. Its not the traditional wave but more of a flapping of her arms. On her second day Ms. Carolyn told me Alexa had a great time all day but when she put her on her stomach she gave her attitude.

We have had Ariel over for three play dates recently. Alexa and Ariel have a good time playing together. Alexa loves that Ariel brings her toys. We did some finger paint & lots of playing. We even had one sleep over. The girls slept in separate rooms but enjoyed their breakfast together. Alexa sleeps really well after her play dates. I think we will need to have Ariel over more often ;)

Easter weekend we flew to Cincinnati. The flight there was wonderful. The plane was less than half full. Alexa played in the seat next to me and was very happy. Everyone complimented me on how well behaved Alexa was. It is a great feeling when people compliment your child. Our weekend in Cincinnati was brief. We spent Saturday with my Dad. We took Alexa to see the Easter bunny & out to lunch with Megan & Matthew. In the evening we saw Maggie, Jeff & David. Alexa slept on the car ride to my Mom's but woke up to play for a few minutes before going to bed. Sunday morning we were about to see Heather, Jan and her children. We spent the afternoon at Megan's with the rest of the family. I am glad Alexa and Matt were able to have some time together. I am sure they will not remember it, but we took pictures.

Sunday night we were scheduled to fly home at 8:40pm. The flight was delayed a few times and we did not take off until after 10pm. Alexa was TERRIBLE on the plane. She was overly tired and was not happy. She screamed for a few minutes straight. It was not a normal cry, instead it was a high pitched yell. The man who was sitting next to me was someone I was talking to while waiting at the airport. He offered to try calming Alexa and out of desperation I handed her over. She went to sleep after a minute of him rocking her. He has 4 boys at home, two of which were 1 year old twins. Clearly his experience was appreciated by our full plane. Alexa slept the rest of the flight in my arms. After a lot of small delays we made it home just after midnight.

The next week was all about catching up on sleep, chores & FRG obligations. Alexa continued to thrive in her new daycare. It is very relieving to pick up a happy baby & hear all the great things she did that day. Alexa's teachers took pictures of her playing and napping for me. I was pleasantly surprised with Alexa's first piece of artwork. It was a cloth that was painted & colored on. That Friday was Military Child Appreciate Day. Alexa's class was participating in the parade. I walked with her class for the entire thing. Alexa was asleep during most of it, but it was still adorable. Who does not love a baby parade?

Alexa continues to get the hiccups fairly regularly. Recently she has started making the sound of "ut oh" while she hiccups. I did get a few minutes of it on video. I have not been able to get her to say "ut oh" outside of the hiccups.

Last Wednesday I received a phone call at 11am from Alexa's daycare. They told me she had a 101 fever & was lethargic. I told her to the doctor and was given an antibiotics for her eyes & told to give her Tylenol for the fever. We stayed home on Thursday and tried to go back on Friday. I made it 2 hours at work before getting called again. We spent the weekend taking medicine every 4 hours and trying to rest. For some reason Alexa did not want to be on her back. She slept on me for her naps and woke up every few hours during the night.

I also hit a huge milestone this month. I moved Alexa's crib back into her bedroom. When Justin left for basic training over two years ago I really struggled living alone. I slept with the TV on and the bedroom door locked. Over the 5 months he was gone I got to the point where I was able to shut the tv off but still kept the bedroom door locked. We he deployed I knew I would have some trouble but gave myself the goal of putting Alexa in her room before he returned. Alexa has been in our room since she was born. Even though she is a great sleeper I have always enjoyed her being in there. I liked being able to check on her whenever I needed to. On Mother's Day I felt ready to make the transition. It did feel good to final get her nursery put together.

The last week Alexa has returned to her normal self. We jumped right back into our routine. We both made it a full week at work/school. The weather was in the 90's and then down to the 50's. We had very few days were it was not too hot or too cold to go outside.

This month we are looking forward to our weekend trip to Chicago as well as Alexa's swim lessons.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

7 Months Old

The last month has been one of our best. Justin arrived home on March 19th. After a long day of waiting for his flight to arrive he made it home just after 9pm. Alexa and I were dressed in knee length dresses. We waited right next to the security door. Alexa went right to her Daddy. The next day we went to the Kansas City Zoo. Alexa had a good time riding around in her stroller. Having Justin home was a great change of pace.

On Monday morning I went back to work after being home with Alexa for a week. Justin and Alexa spent three days together. It was a learning experience for them both. They came every day for my lunch break & were always waiting for me to get home. Thursday started off with Alexa's 6 month appointment. Our little peanut weighed in at 14lbs 14oz & 26inches long. She was in the 20% for weight, 30% for height & her head was 65%. So she is continuing to grow well. The doctors only concern was her ability to push herself up. She gave us a card for an organization to come and evaluate her. The occupational therapist came 3 weeks later. Alexa tested right around her age group in every category. The therapist reassured us that she is not behind at all. We did get some suggestions on how to encourage her to use her arms more.

After Alexa's 6 month appointment we took her for her 6 month photos. She was laughing and smiling the entire time. She sure does make it hard for us to only pick a few. In the afternoon we took Alexa to her dermatologist appointment. The doctor said she graduated and no longer has to come back. We were sooo excited about this. The dermatologist believes Alexa's hemangioma will completely disappear over the next few years.

Friday morning we headed to St. Louis. We met up with my Mom, Megan, Matthew, Donna & David (Justin's Mom & her husband). Alexa and Matthew went swimming together at the hotel. We also went to the St. Louis Arch & Budweiser Brewery. Alexa and Matthew both passed beer school. Alexa had such a good time playing with Matthew. Friday night she had trouble going to sleep. She was laying in her bed laughing as though she was too excited to sleep. It was a great weekend & I am glad Justin was able to see some family while he was in town.

Monday morning we packed up and headed to Miami, Florida. It was our first official family vacation. Alexa did OK on the airplane. She enjoyed riping the pages out of the Skymall & even gave Justin a dirty diaper to change in the tiny bathroom. Alexa's first time on the beach was something we will never forget. She sat in the sand and smiled. Then she went face first into it with her eyes open. She had sand in the whites of her eyes, in her mouth & everywhere in between. I felt TERRIBLE! For as bad as it looked she really did not get that upset. We were able to flush her eyes & clean her off. The rest of the week she stayed on a towel or blanket while in the sand. She really did not care for the bright sun. She wore sunglasses & a hat but still seemed bothered.

Tuesday we went to Jungle Island. It is similar to a zoo but it is just jungle type animals. There were birds, monkeys, alligators, and all sorts of fun things. Alexa really really really enjoyed the shows. We did our best to sit in the front row & she enjoyed seeing the animals up close. We decided to watch the monkeys playing. After a few minutes one monkey which seemed very nice decided to throw dirt at us. It was crazy! We were all in such shock. Alexa was covered. Once again we had to clean out her eyes & mouth. Later in the day Alexa was able to hold some birds. She enjoyed watching them eat & even tried petting them.

Later in the week we did an Everglades tour. The tour was a little longer than an hour and was on a wind boat. Alexa had to wear a baby life jacket. It was adorable! She did not care for it but eventually she got used to having it on. We were able to see a total of 7 alligators & a ton of wild life. The captain called Alexa his little Co-Captain.

Over all we had a great time in Florida. We did our best to just enjoy the moment. The flight home was rough. Alexa was tired, hungry & not wanting to sit still. But we made it home with a lot of good memories.

Justin was suppose to leave Monday morning. Sunday evening he was having some kidney pain. We decided it was better for him to get it checked out before he left the States. The doctors prescribed a medication that would make for a very uncomfortable plane ride. He was able to change his flight to Wednesday. Although he was not feeling well, it was nice to have him home for a few extra days. Wednesday was bitter sweet. I did not want Justin to go back but I knew that the sooner he went back the sooner he would be coming home. We are now into the second part of the deployment. Since Justin has only been gone 3 months we know this second half will be a lot longer. Of course we are hoping for an early homecoming sometime in the fall. For now we are keeping the January date on the calendar and anything sooner will be an early Christmas present.

On Thursday, Alexa and I started back in our normal routine. In the afternoon Alexa's sitter told me she was becoming overwhelmed and no longer interested in watching Alexa. My Mom offered to come and watch Alexa until she started in the new daycare center. On Sunday we went to the zoo. Alexa had a good time with the sheep. There were around 10 sheep wondering around in one part of the zoo. I bought food to feed them, but they were more interested in Alexa. One sheep was licking Alexa's legs. She thought it was funny. It was a good time, but I had to wash Alexa down in the bathroom right after.

Alexa spent Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday with Grammie. I was told they had a good time. In the evenings we went out to dinner. I really enjoyed having my Mom here. It helped me catch up on a few things around the house. Thursday & Friday Alexa was in hourly care. This is located and ran by the same people she will be with full time. I got a good report both days. I was told I have a very happy baby.

This month we are looking forward to our Easter egg hunts, Alexa starting full time in daycare, and hopefully many days of warm weather.

Friday, March 18, 2011

6 Months Old

So much has happened in the last 2 weeks. The biggest milestone is Alexa turning 6 months old. This is a bitter sweet moment. Over the last 6 months Alexa has changed so much. She now sleeps through the night, eats things off of a spoon instead of just through a bottle or on the breast. She sits up (more on that below), rolls over, repeats Ba Ba, stands and maintains her own body weight. She has grown more then 6 inches & gained more then 9lbs.

I do want to take a moment to list things Justin and I have accomplished since she was born. We have both lost our baby weight (and then some), learned to change a diaper in like 5 seconds flat, learned how to cook dinner while holding a baby, learned to shower while singing the ABC's as loud as we can , learned not to get embarrassed when everyone is staring because you have the crying baby, but most importantly have been able to balance our new family of three.

Sitting up. Alexa learned the balancing act of sitting up on her own. I knew this day was coming for a few weeks now. She kept getting closer and closer & now she has mastered it. She looks so big sitting by herself on her toy gym. I do believe she falls over on purpose sometimes. She will start rocking until she ends up on her side.

So last Thursday night Alexa would not sleep. This is completely out of character for her. She is not one of those babies who has rough nights several nights a week or even several times a month. Alexa has been sleeping through the night for months and has not had any issues since. She will occasionally wake up hungry. But she will take a bottle and go right back to sleep. Well Thursday she was up crying and was not a happy baby. Friday morning I took her to the sitters and explained the situations in hopes that she would sleep there with no issues. Madelyn kept me in formed on how Alexa was doing. At 11:30 she told me she needed to be picked up. After talking to the on-call nurse I was advised to go to the hospital. Alexa tested positive for RSV. Luckily the ER doctor did not think it was too serious. He did compliment me on breast feeding (pumping). He even went on to stay that she will heal faster on breast milk. It is rare to hear such a compliment and I really appreciated the acknowledgement after all the work I continue to put into it. I was given instructions on what to look for and told to take her to her pediatrician on Monday.

The weekend was tough on both of us. I came down with a bad cold but had to put myself on the back burner to take care of Alexa. She stayed in great spirits all weekend long. She continued to have trouble sleeping. I caught her a total of five times asleep in her jumperoo. She slept in the bed with me at night. We spent most of the night cuddling. She has been sleeping inside her boppy in an elevated position.

Monday finally arrived and we packed up and went to the doctors. Alexa had to wear a mask inside the waiting room to prevent the spread of her RSV. She was not having it. How do you convince a 6 month old to do anything? Never the less wear a face mask that she does not have any interest in. So I would put it on her, then she would pull it off, so I would put it back on and she would take it back off. Eventually she got bored and feel asleep. The over head announcements would wake her up but I was able to rock her back to sleep.

The doctor spent a long time counting her breathes, listening to her coughs and then decided to do a breathing treatment. Alexa was NOT happy about this decision. There is nothing painful about the treatment, but she did not like the steam one bit. The doctor ended the visit by cleaning out her nose. She told us that Alexa was highly contagious and needed to stay home all week. I needed to watch her breathing very closely and come back on Thursday.

We spent the next few days talking to Justin and enjoying our extra time together. On Thursday the doctor said she looked a lot better. She gave us Benadryl as a last resort to help clean up her nose. I have only given it to her twice, each time before bed. It has been great & Alexa has sleep 12+ hours.

Justin has had a heck of a time trying to get home. He left Iraq very early Wednesday morning. Once he arrived in Kuwait he was told he would not be leaving until Friday. Once Friday came around he realized it was more like Friday night & he will not arrive in the states until Saturday afternoon. We are scheduled to pick him up at 11pm on Saturday. Luckily all these travel days do not count against his leave. So it looks like he will be home until the 3rd or 4th (our anniversary).

We are looking forward to our next door neighbors 1st birthday party, Justin being home & all the family time we will have.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

5 1/2 Months

The last few weeks have been a little crazy. We had yet another snow storm come through our area. I really believe that it was our last one for the season. Justin and I both agreed on a new stroller. We love our travel system for walks but need something we can take on errands thats a bit smaller. The new stroller arrived on Wednesday & I am very eager to get to use it.

Alexa has started sticking her tongue out. She just lets it hang there through out the day. Its adorable! I am still trying to get a photo of it. Her interest in her jumperoo has increased even more. She LOVES jumping and watching tv. It works out great in the morning when I am eating breakfast.

Alexa has been having a rough start at the sitters. On Monday she took 3 20minute naps. Tuesday she took a 3 hour nap in the morning and 2 20 minute naps. Wednesday she slept for an hour an half in the morning and not at all in the afternoon. It was her first day only taking 1 nap. Luckily she was excited to see me and stayed in a good mood before going to bed at 6pm. She still usually goes to bed anytime between 6 & 7. The good thing about the sitter is that we will eventually get on a schedule. I have not pushed Alexa into a schedule and she has still seemed to have some consistency.

Our new schedule:
5-5:45 Pump
5:45-6 Feed the cats, clean liter box, make lunch, prepare Alexa's bag
6-7 Shower, get dressed, hair, make up, Feed & change Alexa
7-715 Play with Alexa, eat breakfast, pack the car
715-730 Pick up the mail, talk to Justin on the phone, drop off Alexa at sitter and get to work
730-12 Work
12-12:30 Eat lunch in the car, while talking to Justin & pumping
12:30-4 Work
4-420 Leave work, pick up Alexa & head home
420-430 Unload car, empty lunch box, clean out Alexa's bag, feed cats
430-5 Play with Alexa
5 Feed Alexa her dinner, while cooking mine & clean bottles
5:30 Alexa takes a bath in the kitchen, I eat my dinner & clean up her dinner
6-7 Alexa takes a bottle & will fall asleep sometime between here
7 (or whenever Alexa goes to sleep) Pump, clean up Alexa's bath, clean anything that needs it (laundry, trash est.) catch up on phone calls, tv shows, blogging
8 Bedtime

So yes we are very exhausted. I really miss my Alexa time. I cannot wait for the weekend when we can spend the entire day together. Justin will be home in a little more than 2 weeks. I cannot wait to get some help & some quality family time. If only he could pump for me :) Wow I realized if I did not pump I would have SOOO much more free time. Well I guess that will be sometime to look forward to in just 6 more months.

Friday, February 18, 2011

5 Months Old!

Our little girl is officially 5 months old.

The other day while getting Alexa ready for her bath, I stood her up in the water. She immediately started smiling... and then started to pee. I am very fortunate she is a girl or I would have been sprayed. Then again a few days later I had another close call. I put Alexa in her frog robe to take some photos. She smiled and gave me a few cute shots and then I picked her up and realized she peed not only on her robe but on my bed. Oh well she knows how to make me laugh.

This week was Alexa's first week at the sitters (Madelyn). She went Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 8-11am. I got great reports from Madelyn each day. Alexa came home and took really long naps. I think it will take them both a little time to get used to each other but I still feel this will be a good fit. Alexa will go back next week for 3 days & then start full time on the 28th.

We had a great week. Alexa and Justin had lots of time talking on video chat. I love watching them interact, its really a special thing. We were able to go outside on Wednesday. Our walk ended up lasting over an hour, it was sooo beautiful outside. I tried to push Alexa in the baby swing, but she did not care for it.

Alexa also started solids. She rotates between whole grain rice & oatmeal. She definitely prefers the oatmeal. She takes 2 tablespoons of cereal with 1 ounce of breast milk. She has not had any negative effects with the food & seems to really enjoy it. The only issue now comes when I am eating my own food. If I eat anything out of a bowl, Alexa will open her mouth and sometimes starts crying. Haha.. I just love her! In another month we will start introducing baby food purees into her diet.

Things I never want to forget:
*Alexa's high pitch scream as she is sneezing
*Alexa shows a very concerned look when you move her around in the highchair
*Her singing in her crib and then laughing

Thursday, February 10, 2011

4 Months Part 4

On Sunday, Alexa had her first experience with solids. My plan is still to wait until as close to 6 months as possible before making it apart of her daily routine. This weekend she was having some issues having a bm so we took the advice from Megan to try some stage 1 prunes. Alexa had no spoon issues and ate half the container. Unfortunately she still did not go to the bathroom until the next morning. But I did at least learn that she can use a spoon and the practice stage of rice is not necessary for her.

Alexa's newest trick which makes me laugh every time started this week. When she is tired she will not only tries to dig her face into my chest but now she turns her head up and tries to suck on my chin. The first time she did this I thought she was giving me a kiss (which she does, but with her mouth open). She has continued to do it at least once a day. I don't know why she thinks my chin is so tasty.

Super bowl Sunday! I tried to make it fun for Alexa, but she was very tired and barely made it to kick off. Oh well.. I see us having many more super bowl parties in the future and I am sure she will remember those more.

Tuesday was our last infant massage class. We learned the techniques for the face & back. Alexa enjoyed the back massage but refused to stay still for her face. We ended up just playing during that part. We made some really good friends in the class & I will really miss our weekly gathering.

We also found a sitter for Alexa. Her name is Madelyn and she has a 2 month old son named Adam. She lives about a mile down the street from us. Her husband was just moved here this week to join Justin's unit. They are both 22 years old and have been married a year and a half. I really feel comfortable in their home and believe Alexa will have a good time there. She will be starting next week for just 3 hours a day until I start working full time. I figured a slow transition will be good for all of us. Madelyn has expressed an interest in watching an additional child once Alexa and Adam are a little older. So for now it will just be the two of them.

I feel we have been very successful with Alexa's sleeping routine. She knows what to expect when we go upstairs and she has been really easy to put down for both her naps and bed time. I really hope when she starts daycare she will have any easy transition & will sleep well for them.

This weekend we are looking forward to our visit from Grandma, Aunt Heather & Jackson. Bengal and Carson will also be returning home. I have really missed my fur babies.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

4 Months Part 3

Alexa rolled over from her belly!!! I made such a big deal out of it she looked terrified. She also started giggling on her own. She has been laughing for quite some time now. The difference is that she does it even when she is alone. She laughs at her toys or hands or really anything. My favorite new activity is "standing." Of course she does not do this on her own but she really loves being on her feet. We practice leaning against the couch & she just smiles away. Her new favorite song is "There she was Just a Walkin Down the Street." These all kind of come together when we do our dance parties. I love my little girl!

Alexa's daily schedule:
5am Bottle
7:30am Wake up
8:30am Bottle
930am-10am Nap
11:30am Bottle
12:30-1pm Nap
2:30pm Bottle
3-4pm Nap
5pm Bottle
7pm Bottle & Bed

Alexa had to go back to the doctor to get a physical for her childcare. Since this one is off post we had to get a new one filled out. I cannot believe how much we go there & she has not even been sick yet. Doctor said she looks good. She now weighs 13lbs 5oz. She went from the 20th% to 28% in just 11 days. She told me that there is no reason to continue to the formula. We are now back to just breast milk :) I am glad I have made it almost 5 months & only have 7 more to go. I really feel I will make it to a year.

We survived another snow storm this week. We had to spend 3 days stuck in the house. Once Friday came around we went out to face the cold weather. Alexa really enjoyed people watching in the PX & shipping birthday gifts to Justin. We are looking forward to our play date this weekend. That's about it for now!

Goals from last week:
*Getting Alexa on a better napping schedule: She takes 3 naps a day. I am soo proud of both of us for meeting this goal. I think she could take a little bit longer naps, but I think she will do that on her own. She does take all of her naps in her crib. Big success with this goal!
*Spreading the daytime bottles to 4hours: Well we are not to 4 hours, but she does go 3 1/2 for a few of them. We will keep working on this.
*Night time routine. Well we are moving in the right directions with this. But for now I prefer to do her bath in the afternoon & we do our books through out the day. So until we start our new schedule of work & school we will just leave this alone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

4 Months Part 2

This week started off with a dinner for the spouses of the deployed soldiers here on Fort Leavenworth. I was not comfortable pawning Alexa off on the church staff so I had her chill out with us. After 10 minutes the host of the event took Alexa to the kitchen to hang out with some of the staff. She did well for a little while and then had a major melt down. She has recently started realizing when I am around and when I am not. As flattering as it is to have someone want you so much it has really turned into a challenge.

Monday morning was Alexa's 4 month well baby appointment. The doctor said Alexa appeared to be hitting all of her developmental milestones. She weighed in at 12lbs 12oz, 20% tile; height 24.75inches 55% time & head circumference 16.5inches, 66% tile. So we have an average height skinny baby with a big head... haha! I really do not focus on the percentiles anymore. I have quickly realized how much babies changes and how different they all grow. The important thing to me as that she is growing at an appropriate rate. I discussed with the doctor her eating schedule. She was surprised that Alexa is actually eating more than average (36oz a day) and only gained 1lb in the last month. She gave me the suggestion of putting formula powder in her breast milk bottles. I started doing that on Tuesday. I put 1 scoop (enough powder for 2 oz of formula) in her 6oz of breast milk every other bottle. After 3 days of this she put on 6oz (dermatologist weighed her). So we will see how she does and go from there.

We also had Alexa's shots on Monday. This was the first time I had to take her alone. It was rough on both of us but we survived. Alexa slept most of the day & all night long.

Tuesday morning was our weekly infant massage class. We both really enjoy this class. This week we learned stomach techniques & boy do they work. Alexa was letting out gas right on cue.

This week we interviewed two potential child care providers. The first one lives on post & has two daughters of her own. I got an OK vive from her. The big negative is that she is taking a 2 week vacation the first week of March. The second person is an off post home about 10 minutes from us. They currently have 2 babies & 4 toddles with 2 teachers. I know Alexa would have a good time here and get a lot of attention. The big negative of this one is the commute. I will have to sit in gate traffic twice a day & will spend approximately 60-70 minutes each day in the car. So I am really hoping we get another option next week.

This week we also had Alexa's dermatologist appointment. The measurements showed no growth & the coloring is more gray. The doctor said it appears to be healing quicker than expected and she has no reason to be concerned. Just to make sure it is still moving in the right direction we will go back again in 2 months. As long as it is still improving we will not have to return.

Goals from last week:
Getting Alexa on a better napping schedule (3 or 4 longer naps instead of 6-7 catnaps) SUCCESS, we are down to 4 naps a day.. usually 2 of them are in her crib and last at least 45 minutes. We will continue working on this.
Spreading the daytime bottles to 4hours FAILED, Alexa still wants to eat every 3 hours
Night time routine. HALF WAY, We are not quite to the routine I would like but Alexa does go to sleep in her crib & soothers herself to sleep. We will continue to work on this.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

4 Months Old

We survived another big snow storm this week. This also means that we had a few days trapped inside the house. We made due but were glad when we were finally able to get back out.

Tuesday was our first infant massage class. Alexa LOVED it. She stayed on her back and smiled through the entire class. There is a little boy in the class who is 2 months old. Alexa would look over at him & he would kick his legs. I guess She was flirting. (Don't tell Justin) I am really looking forward to our class this week. I am hoping I can fit it into my schedule so we can complete the course. Our music class was canceled again because of the storm. We will not be able to continue in this class with my new work schedule. Hopefully we can join a different class on the weekends.

So I got a job. It is actually the first job I applied for & the only one I interviewed with. I am really looking forward to the work. The idea of leaving Alexa makes me sick to my stomach. I have LOVED every minute of the last 4 months. I know the next few week will be tough. But I am going to give it a good try & hopefully it will be the best decision for us.

Alexa continue to work on her rolling over skills. She is really good at going from her back to her tummy, but has made very little progress on the reverse. She also likes to blow raspberries (spit bubbles) out of her mouth. She finds it really funny if you do it back to her. I know it is teaching bad habits, but it is adorable.

This week we will be running a ton of errands. I have to find Alexa a sitter this week. It is much harder than I thought it would be. Leavenworth is such a small town that there is no chain centers & the church daycares are very limited.

Goals from last week:
Getting Alexa on a better napping schedule (3 or 4 longer naps instead of 6-7 catnaps) FAILED
Spreading the daytime bottles to 4hours FAILED
Increase tummy time to 4 times a day (at least 5 minutes each session) SUCCESS

This week I want to continue to work on the first two goals & also work on a nigh time routine.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

17 Weeks

I am starting to feel a little silly making the title of my post in weeks. Its crazy to think that Alexa is almost 4 months old. This is the week, one year ago that Justin and I found would we were expecting. Things have certainly changed a lot since then. I never could have imagined how much I would enjoy being a mother or how quickly I could fall in love with Alexa.

This week Alexa continued to improve with her eating. She has kept all of her bottles down & does not seem to be getting upset from gas. Our happy little girl has returned! Up to this point Alexa was drinking a five ounce bottle five times a day and one seven ounce bottle before bed. I decided to try and cut out one feeding. I started giving Alexa 6 ounce bottles in hopes that this would stretch out the time between meals. I am not sure if she is going through a growth spurt or just really likes to eat. She is still wanting to eat every 3-3.5hours. So we are still at 6 bottles a day, but now she is having 37oz instead of the 32oz.

The big milestone reached this week is rolling over. Alexa can roll from her back to her stomach with out any problem. Once she gets to her stomach she gets really mad & starts to cry. Hopefully this will encourage her to flip herself back over. She still hates tummy time. We do attempt some tummy time 3 times a day and have made it up to 5minutes before the melt down begins. We started doing a daily craft this week. This can be very challenging with a baby of Alexa's age but it is something we both really enjoy. Our craft usually involves some sort of paint or water & always ends in a bath. So far we have made some adorable artwork to send to Justin.

This week was our last few days home with Justin. One thing I really wanted to do was to get a new family photo. Our last family photo was several months ago when Alexa was only 6 days old. We ended up really enjoying our photo session & fell in love with most of the pictures. This was the first time Alexa smiled during professional photos. She made the selection process very difficult. On Sunday we had to say good bye to Justin. I am sooo glad Alexa is unaware of the situation. I would hate for her to have to go through the heart ache of missing her Daddy. This was a difficult day. In a strange way I was ready for it to be here. We found out exactly 1 week before Alexa was born that Justin would be deploying. Ever since we have been dreading the day. So now we can move past it. I know it will be a difficult year, but there are great things ahead of us. Now we can start the count down to his safe return.

The phrase "When it rains it pours" best describes Monday morning. I woke up feel a little blue about not having Justin home and then I looked out the window. We had 3-4inches of snow and it was still come down hard. We ended up getting more than 6inches in total. Usually this would be a welcomed experience. This particular storm brought out new challenges for me. First off I do not own a shovel. While Justin is deployed the housing department on post will shovel the drive for me. But it does take them some time to get to all the houses. Secondly we were stuck inside all day. Alexa and I are used to getting out at least once a day. We both enjoy walking around the PX or running small errands. Tuesday morning we went out on the snow covered roads to get some fresh air.

Justin has been great with keep communication with us. While he is in Kuwait he has to use to USO phones and computers. This is a great program & we appreciate the communication that is available. The only complaint would have to be that Justin has to wait up to an hour to use the phone and then has a time limit. The 9 hour time change is something to get used it. We are both awake at the same time roughly 7 hours a day. I offered to wake up in the middle of the night to talk to him. I was exhausting but it was worth every minute. Once he moves to Iraq we will have more regular communication.

My goals for this week include:
Getting Alexa on a better napping schedule (3 or 4 longer naps instead of 6-7 catnaps)
Spreading the daytime bottles to 4hours
Increase tummy time to 4 times a day (at least 5 minutes each session)