Friday, December 16, 2011
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
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.