Anna is very quickly approaching her first birthday, which is crazy! I’m really excited for her and proud of Patrick and myself for making it through one year of parenting. It’s been both the most rewarding and most challenging year of my life.
This past week had some major ups and downs. I’ll start with the positive:
- -Colleen was in town for Thanksgiving and stayed with us for 5 days! Now that I have Anna, it’s more difficult to make trips to see friends, so I was really thankful that she stayed with us for the holiday. We had lots of long talks, good girl time, and ate a ton of delicious food. I was so sad when it was time for her to leave.
- -Our friends welcomed their little boy into the world a few days ago .
- -Anna has gone from just learning to crawl a couple of weeks ago to climbing up entire staircases in our house. I think she’ll be walking before the year is over!
And the not-so-good stuff:
- -Anna caught a really bad cold on Thanksgiving and is still recovering from it. It’s hard to see her sick and she’s having trouble sleeping at night because of her cough.
- -Although overall things are getting easier with Anna, I still feel overwhelmed from time to time. Sometimes the stress/anxiety from when she was a lot younger comes back and I almost panic. Anna never took a bottle, so when she was really little I couldn’t spend more than about 30 minutes away from her. Now I can get out for the afternoon, but I still end up feeling guilty for asking for help from my parents or Patrick. I know that I shouldn’t feel that way because I need time away to recharge, but sometimes I can’t help it.
- -Sometimes I still obsess about when we’re going to have more kids. I’m definitely not ready right now, but I think it’s safe to say that we will eventually try for at least one more (Patrick wants three kids…I want to see how number two goes).
On an unrelated note, I need to decide what to do with this blog after she’s a year old! I’m certainly not going to continue counting the weeks of her life after 52, so maybe I’ll just do a weekly post about new things going on with our family. As always, thanks for reading!
I have so much to be thankful for…
- -The support of my parents during my pregnancy and first year of Anna’s life. I can’t imagine doing it without them!
- -My wonderful husband, Patrick. We’ve been together for over 10 years and still laugh together like we did when we first met at Virginia Tech.
- -Our wonderful, silly baby girl, Anna. I feel so lucky that I get to spend every day with her.
- -My amazing friends from many different parts of my life. Thank you for being there for me! My life wouldn’t be complete without you all.
Anna is now a crawling pro and has even started pulling up on things to stand. When she was younger, I remember feeling like she would never move (especially when our arms were aching from carrying her around everywhere) and now it really is happening very quickly!
In other news, we’re still working on helping Anna sleep better at night. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to me because she’s almost a year old and I really thought she would be sleeping through the night by now. Since she is eating more solid food and is nursing less throughout the day, Patrick and I have talked about me going out a couple of times a week without her after she goes down for her morning nap. I still work part-time from home for the concierge service, so I could go to a coffee shop and work, run errands, or just do something fun for myself. Overall I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I need some time away to recharge.
On a more positive note, I’m super excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow (my favorite holiday). We’re celebrating with my parents, my BFF Colleen, and our friends Matt and Megan who are expecting their first child next week! Megan is due right around the same time that I was last year, which means no traveling for the holidays. She and Matt were nice enough to let us have Thanksgiving dinner with her family last year, so now we’re returning the favor. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!
This week has been great for all of us. Anna has perfected crawling and is eating solid foods like a champ. On Sunday, Patrick and I had some friends over for an early Thanksgiving celebration and there were a lot of hilarious stories told, the kind where you can’t stop laughing even if you try, which is the best. I also got to have a girls’ day on Saturday for pedicures and lunch while Patrick watched Anna, which is something that I haven’t done in a long time. It’s really nice that Anna is getting more independent so that I can get out a little bit more now.
Pictures of Anna from a Cowboys & Indians birthday party
Anna is doing so many new things– scooting/crawling slowly with one leg tucked underneath her body, eating solid foods really well, and (sometimes) letting Patrick put her back to sleep in the middle of the night. She’s not crawling consistently and still gets stuck on her belly a lot, but she is definitely moving.
We’ve started doing our own version of sleep training with her and are having some success. This week, we wanted to get her used to having Patrick get her back to sleep during a couple of her nighttime wake ups. When Patrick goes into her room he either sings to her or plays Raffi songs through his phone and he’s been able to get her back to sleep that way without picking her up! She’s gone from about 4-5 wake ups per night to 2-3, which is a big improvement. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll try to reduce the amount of time that we have to spend getting her back to sleep and it would be wonderful if we could get her down to only waking up once at night. We’ll see how it goes…
Another update is that Anna had a great time at childcare at the YMCA today! I was worried because I hadn’t taken her there in a few months so I thought she might be scared or upset without me. She had a great time, though, and when I came to pick her up she was happily playing with a doll and waving at the other kids. She’s such a social baby .
We’ve also started planning her first birthday party!! Where has the time gone?
Guess who just crawled for the first time? This baby!
She made it three or four “crawls” on her knees before collapsing on her belly. I think she’s going to be moving all over the place soon, which means it’s time to finally baby-proof the house. Between her crawling, learning new sounds/words each day, and her sudden interest in solid food, I feel like she’s growing up really quickly!
On a not-as-happy note, Anna’s sleep at night has been bad for a long time. For almost the past 3 months, a typical night for her includes 4-5 wake-ups, which is slowly driving me crazy. At first it was teething, then a growth spurt, and now I think it’s just habit. Each night I tell myself that this can’t possibly keep going on much longer, but somehow it does. We’re going to have to change something soon so that I can keep my sanity.
Baby shark attack!
Anna had fun walking around to look at the other trick-or-treaters and Halloween decorations in our neighborhood. I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We certainly enjoyed being in an area with a lot of kids this year.
This week was really fun. We had a lot of family in town last weekend, including Teri, my cousin’s six-year-old daughter. Even though she’s a good amount older than Anna, it did give me a small glimpse at what having two children would be like. Teri loved playing with Anna and even entertained her while I did some housework, which was great!
The last time I wrote about it, I was seriously considering having Anna be an only child. I was (and still regularly am) so exhausted that having another child seemed like it would be too much. I was thinking about how I couldn’t possibly get any rest since with two kids it would be harder to nap when they nap or get them on the same sleep schedule. Now Patrick and I think we are going to try to have another child, but not in the immediate future. I still need a little bit more of a break before thinking about taking care of a newborn again.
Part of the change in thinking is just that I can imagine myself being really happy (and more rested) with more than one child several years down the road, like when they’re both older than two. When I picture our family ten years from now, I definitely picture more than one kid running around. My mom also comes from a big family (she’s one of five) and I see how much fun they still have when they get together. Taking care of young kids can be very tiring, but I think that Patrick and I both agree that we just have to figure out a way to make it work for us now so that we can have a larger family in the future. For now, we’re just going to enjoy our time with Anna!
Anna has been really interested in solid food recently! I’m excited about it because up until the past couple of weeks, it was a struggle to get her to take any food other than breast milk. Celery is not typical—she just saw my parents eating some and reached for it, so I let her play with it for a little while.
First pony tail .
We went on a trip to Virginia and Anna met her Great-Grandparents and second-cousin!
We also stayed with Patrick’s best friend from middle school for a night. Patrick said that seeing this picture of the two of them together with their kids made parenthood seem real.
Then we stayed with my best friend since middle school and I think it’s pretty cool that we’re all still so close after so many years! The trip was great because we were able to see so many friends and family, but also exhausting because Anna decided that she wanted to have an all-night party every night with me and Patrick. Now that we’ve been back at home fora couple of days, she’s been more relaxed and is getting back into her normal routine.
Thanks for reading– time has been going by so quickly recently that I can’t believe I’ll be writing about Halloween next week!
All of the sudden Anna wants to crawl really badly! She’s just not quite there yet, though. She can flip over onto her belly fairly easily now and scoot a little bit, but can’t figure out how to lift her torso up. We finally need to baby proof the house because I think it’s going to be any day now!
This week has been really fun. We took Anna to the pumpkin patch, decorated the house for Halloween (well, my mom decorated it), and Patrick and I did a triathlon over the weekend. Patrick is off of work this week and we’re doing a stay-cation with a quick trip to Virginia to see friends and family. So far, it’s been wonderful! Next up—how to survive a long car ride with a 10-month-old baby. I hope she sleeps…