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.