Monday, August 13, 2012

My Darling Evelyn

Edit: going through the draft posts that I never posted, I found this from a year ago and I have to share. Brings tears to my eyes.

To my sweetheart,

I have been wanting to write this for a good month now. A letter to you for your first birthday. This has been a gradual work in progress.

I cannot believe it has been a year from when you entered this world. One Whole Year. I have cherished and held onto every second with you. I cannot believe how much you have changed. Looking at your clothing that you were swimming in a year ago and now looks oh so very small.

We have started going to Le Leche League meetings lately, after some battles with biting. Made me reminisce about our breastfeeding relationship. From not being able to latch, syringe feedings, what felt like constant pumping. To the nipple shield and still more pumping. To finally getting a hang of it just in time to go back to work. To pumping at work and still nursing strong. To starting to wean the daily sessions. To us happy with our morning (wake up) and evening (before bed) sessions. But we made it a year breastfeeding! And we are going strong still. A very rough start, that we made it through. I absolutely love our time nursing. You staring up at me, playing with my hair, your smiles, your cuddling into me, your nursing while you are starting to doze. You getting ready for bed but still want to nurse, but then want your pacifier, then decide that you want to nurse more. Loving every second.

Yes the worst part of this past year has been me having to work full time. I know we both want to spend more time together, but that is how life unfortunately is. In the perfect world, I would love to be able to work part time and spend more days with you. This thought has crossed mommy's mind many many times, and as time goes on, I am starting to look into it more. But with that, you have really enjoyed day care. You really enjoy your teachers. You are happy going into the building. You sometimes dive out of my arms into your teacher's arms (very cute and makes me happy you love them!). You have recently moved into the toddler room **tear**. You are still adjusting, but I know you will love it just as much, especially now since you have so much more play room! You love the socialization, the change of scenery.

Your sleeping patterns have become wonderful over the past 4(ish) months. You sleep from 10-14 hours at night! I know, who would have thought when I was a zombie mom waking up every 3 hours to nurse you / cuddle. Sleep training you was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But you sleep so much better because of it. You know you are safe. You know you are loved. And you learned that one of your favorite things in the world is close by and you can sooth yourself any time you want (your pacifier).

Oh the pacifier, or Ba as we call it. You love that thing. Many times you will have one in your mouth, and one in each hand. You like to clank them together or bang them on the railings of your crib. It makes you happy. You are taking after your aunt (but I will not let you use one till 5). We are starting the process of weaning you from it. Trying to not have it during the day and only during nap and bed time. But some how you are able to sneak one downstairs after a nap and you keep finding the ones you hide around the house. It always gets me to laugh. You even like to crawl around with one in your hands....

Speaking of crawling, you are such a mover now! Not walking yet. But a crawling machine. A cruising machine. And a climbing machine (if we let you..). You are a kid who doesn't do something till you know 100% sure you can do it. You rarely rolled. The night you learned to crawl, you did small / slow crawls for a minute, then you were off! When you learned how to pull up, you just did it! We didn't have to teach you how to get back down, you already figured that out.You are standing well (letting go of what you pulled up on). I know walking is a month or so away. But you love your freedom to get what you want.

And little missy, YOU HAVE TEETH! Looking back at those gummy smiles and now the teeth. Such a difference. You got your teeth a little later than most kids, at least the ones we know. They have come in interestingly. You got your front bottom teeth first. Then your 'vampire' top teeth (a month apart per side). Then the middle front teeth. Then a fun nursing biting two weeks. And now you are working on your top molars. The bottom ones were slightly popping out, but I think they went back down. So you have 6 on the top and 2 on the bottom...

And with those wonderful pearly whites, you love to eat! Really. You will eat almost anything, depending on your mood. You love pasta, meat, pancakes, eggs, fruit (apples, blueberries, cantaloupe), veggies (spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas). You are a pro at feeding yourself. You didn't have purees very long, maybe 3-4 months total. Once we started you on finger foods, that is all you wanted. And everyone is so surprised about how much you eat, and wonders where it goes since you are a peanut!

And speaking of your size, you handled your first year appointment well. You had to do a finger prick blood draw. You were so tired, and everyone was anxious to get it over with. And you didn't even flinch. Not what we were expecting. Your check up went well. You are doing wonderful. The doctor told us to get you off the bottle by 15 months, and to start weaning you from the pacifier. She also confirmed (as a lot of them have) that yes you do have eczema, and a good moisturizing after baths helps wonderfully with it.

Your 1 year measurements are:

And speaking of the bottle, since mommy is writing this a good month late, I am happy to say that we are done with the bottle! Moving to the new room, they no longer held your bottle. So you didn't get much out of it. So one day I made the switch to a sippy. And they were surprised how well you did. That gave me encouragement to be done with them and we have not used one for over a week!

This has been the best year of my life. And each one will just get better. We have had a fantastic summer together. Trips to California. Visiting lots of family. Lots of play time outside. Lots of play dates with your (and my) buddies from mom's group. It has been one busy and wonderful summer.

And the best weekend of the summer, your first birthday. It was a fantastic day. Warm, but not hot. The back yard looked good - we had grass growing just for you. You had your splash mat out, your water table out. Lots of toys were out. You and your friends had too much fun playing. and you LOVED your own personal cake!

I love you Evelyn. Oh so very much. I look forward to the next and next year and next. You are the highlight of my day. You make any bad day end wonderfully. You are the absolute best thing in your dad's and my lives. We love you.

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are greay
You never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Monday, August 6, 2012


I have been doing the Couch To 5K (C25K) training program for the past 5 weeks. I realized I needed to step up my work out routine a bit, and wanted something I could 1 - do outdoors 2 - do with Evie 3 - do easily from home. So running was perfect.

I have always hated running. That is why I choose swimming in high school. It was the sport I liked, and I didn't have to run. I just always felt uncoordinated and could only run a short distance before getting exhausted. But I could swim for a while fine. Could roller blade forever fine. Just hated running.

But was time to put that behind me and I started the C25K program. I was lucky I had built up my cardio on the eliptical machine at work (was doing 30 minutes at a time) so I knew I could do a time with my heart rate elevated. But the first day sucked - 60 second jog 90 second walk. Every week it would up the time of jogging. Easing me into running/jogging for a longer period of time ( i use those two terms interchanging, since really what is the difference? I am kicking butt to run as long as I do and dripping sweet but going slow so....).

Now I can run for over 5 minutes. Actually longer - did 8 min Saturday and a 20 min total on Sudnay which included walking up a hill, there was no way I would run up that hill.I am quite surprised at my progress running. I am enjoying it. Enjoying being outdoors. Enjoying training myself to take deeper breaths (helps SO much). Enjoying the neighborhood and seeing other people out. And enjoying how I feel after a run!

I have not seen much improvement on the scale, but I am also building lots of muscle mass - I am also weight lifting 2x a week. My arm flab is less and not as giggly. I have muscle tone on parts of my arms (hello shoulders). I see some abdominal definition. My legs are looking smoother. But my weight is the same. Ehh I am seeing progress and feeling better so that is what matters. Also I am hoping running will help slim me down.

Also this weekend I started running with Evie. I have a baby jogger city mini. Great stroller. It is not a technical running stroller, but is working well for me. It does not have a running strap, but I made one out of a dog leash. I also added running with a dog. So much harder to run with a stroller than running alone. Then add a dog into that and yep. My arms get more of a work out with a dog and a stroller than single. Penny was the dog I choose on Sunday and she did good. Was exhausted but she needed it. She was a bit confused at first but got into it fairly quickly. Next week will alternate Penny one weekend day then Luna the next.

My work out routine is the following:
Monday - Work out Dance Class
Tuesday - Run
Wednesday - Weights
Thursday - Run
Friday -Weights (or off)
Saturday - Run with Stroller and Dog
Sunday - Run with Stroller and Dog

Monday is almost an off day since the work out isn't till the evening so I have over 24 hours between my work out on Sunday morning and my work out Monday night. But I feel good and am happy where i am right now :)

Adventures in Potty Training :)

We never pushed Evie to potty train. We wanted to go on her schedule, like we have done with most everything with her.

Around 18 months we got her a baby bjorn potty chair. I knew a lot of people who recommended this brand for a potty. I decided to get the one with the bigger backing (more chair like) so she could lounge in it since she could be sitting in it for a long period of time. We kept it in the bathroom. Every time I went, I would bring her in. She would sit in the chair (clothing and cloth diaper still on) while I went to the bathroom. Then she would watch me wipe and put it in the toilet. I would then give her some toilet paper to put into the toilet too (she loved this part) and I would let her flush.

We got to a point where she wanted her diaper off too when I went to the bathroom. So off it came. Then she wanted to wipe herself. And she did and threw it in the toilet. Then we could not get the diaper back on, so she just started to go naked around the house. Seemed easier to get her to go naked. Then the potty chair moved from the bathroom to the living room. She would eat on it and watch something on TV. This seemed to work well. She would sometimes poop on it. Yes we got poop before pee. She was getting to a point where she would say poop run over and sit on it. Awesome! To keep her on it we were trying stickers, m&ms, snacks, whatever. Nothing really worked for her, but we found praise worked the best.

Her day care room was great.  She would tell them when she wanted a change - right after she went in her diaper. Then they started to notice when she had to go (grabbing her crotch or her bum). They took her to a real potty and put her on. They let her sit there for a good 5 minutes and cheer when she went. Since she was going on the big potty at day care, we decided to do the big potty at home too. We got a toddler toilet seat at Lowes. The smaller seat is integrated into the regular toilet seat so she is always on the big potty and does not have to worry about falling in.

Every time she peed we would cheer. She would get to wipe herself and clap. Big smiles all around. Her day care room kept up with her and she would pee / poop 3 times a day. They were not a potty training room so they could not always take her to the potty. She wore trainers to daycare once and a while if they had the manpower to take her to the toilet. She was doing good.

Finally she moved to the potty training room (they have a potty room inside the room). She went in trainers all day. The first week she would have maybe 2 accidents a day (during nap and maybe once in the day). That quickly changed within a few days to dry during nap. Now she is having maybe 2 accidents a week at daycare! 

About 3-4 weeks ago, we started venturing outside the house in underwear. We would put her in thick trainers so if she did have an accident it would be absorbed. We put her potty chair in the back of the car so we always had a potty with us. I put prefolds under her when she was in her car seat to help absorb any accidents. I brought so many changes with us as well as a diaper in case we gave up. The first week was on and off of accidents. She would use her toilet seat before we got in the car when she saw it. She would maybe have an accident in the car and sometimes not. The past 3 weeks she has been amazing and holding it and using the seat if she has to once we reach our destination. I love having the seat in the car, you never know where you will be and if they have toilets and training toddlers cannot hold for long!

This weekend we had a good day and an ehh day. Saturday she had a few accidents. She didn't want to go on the potty after breakfast so I didn't push her. Then she peed while playing. Oh well. She had one more I think. But was good for daddy when mommy needed some time outside the house (the two year molars another post...). Sunday she was great. She would tell me when she had to go or run to the bathroom. SO PROUD!

She does get distracted sometimes and does not want to potty and would rather play. That is when she has accidents. This only happens at home for some reason. But she is getting better. I would say she is 80% there.

We still do a diaper at night. She loves to have a sippy of water in bed with her. I need to wean her off this and wean her off her massive amount of water she likes to chug before bed. But she isn't 2 yet, so no pushing the bed time training (think we will wait till she is in a big girl bed and we put a potty seat in her room for her to use).

But yeah I didn't believe I would have an almost potty trained kid before she is 2! I really attribute this to her cloth diaper usage. She became very aware of when she would pee and poop and wanted to train herself early.

Some needed potty training items
  • baby bjorn potty chair
  • AquaDuck faucet extender
  • toddler toilet seat
  • Baby Bjorn Stool (or whatever stool works for you, I liked the matchyness and Evie likes the bear on it)
  • potty seat for the car (we use the chair we used at home since she uses the toilet)
  • Many MANY rags to clean accidents (we are lucky we have hardwood and tile downstairs)
  • Cloth Trainers - we did a combination of cheapy Gerber and our favorite Blueberry trainers. The blueberry trainers are cute, fit my petite girl well and are VERY absorbent. I wish we had more than 3. I have heard great things about the Hanna Anderson Trainers. I would say no to pull ups, they still pull pee away from the kid like disposable diapers and it just means more laundry but hopefully a quicker training period.
  • Underwear (I had the hardest time finding non character ones, finally found some good ones by green dog at Macy's)
  • Many books to read while on the potty (worked for my kid)