Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Nine Months, Sophia!

Well, they say better late than never, right? She turns 10 months old in just three short days!

The month leading up to when she turned 9 months old is a bit of a blur now. So this won't be a very detailed post.

I do remember that she began having stranger anxiety/wanted me only about mid month, which is totally normal for this age. 

She also started waking up at 5:30 in the morning, which is just too early in my book. So every morning, for almost 3 weeks, Ian would get up, take Sophia downstairs to the office (which was much darker than her room) and put her in her pack n play. I know it sounds really lazy of us, but she would fall right asleep and still be sleeping when we got up at 7!

I will tell you this: Sophia is not, and never has been, a great sleeper. Or she just doesn't need as much sleep as Grace. Or me. Or Ian. Or normal humans. 

I will also say, on the other hand, that it drives me crazy when people tell me that we are "lucky" to have such great sleepers. It's not luck. It was sleepless night after sleepless day of hard work and sleep training. We believe toddlers and infants need a full night of sleep (almost 12 hours or more,) that they should be taking multiple, two hour naps in the day, and that their bedtimes  should be hours before ours, in order to have some quality, grown up time together.

Stepping off of my podium now. 

So Sophia isn't the best sleeper but we try to remain flexible with her while still aiming at bettering her sleep habits. 

She really became a crawler that month, which was amazing to me and annoying to Grace. All day long we would hear "No, no, no, Fia. My toy." And poor Sophia would get whatever she was about to play with/slobber on taken from her. 

Sophia also got better at taking baths and was moved from her baby bath to the real tub with Grace. On the day that we switched her, (because she kept pulling up,) I slowly backed out of the room to grab my camera, which was just five feet outside of the bathroom. In the two seconds it took to take my eyes off of her, grab my camera, and turn back around, Sophia slipped under the water. Of course I immediately was there scooping her up, but it was so terrifying and an image I will never forget. 

Her ninth month was much more exciting and filled with firsts!

37, 38, 39, 40

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Heart Jogging and the Paradigm of New Stuff, New Passion

I'm really loving jogging right now, which is odd, because I really hate jogging. Or I did in the past. Even in prior attempts at running, I'd do it out of obligation but would never really love it.

This time is different though. And I blame it all on the new stuff paradigm. You know, like how you were always a more diligent student at the beginning of the year because of shiny new supplies. Or how you suddenly become an ace organizer after you get a new planner. 

Well, I got a new double stroller ( how have I been living without one for ten months?) that just so happens to be a jogging stroller. So, naturally, I decided to take up running, first of all, because I could. 

I can run out in public and it's not a big deal. I can run in shorts. And a tank top. And it's not a million degrees out. 

And secondly, because I had a fancy, new jogging stroller that I wanted to take for a spin. 

And I love it! I'm still no good at it but I'm working on it. And since I have to replace my shoes, socks, and athletic clothes while we are stateside, I'm hoping that the new stuff paradigm will work in my favor.

Maybe I should get a new planner to schedule out my purchases to optimize on the new stuff paradigm.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Catching Up...Again

Okay, ya'll. I'm so terribly behind I don't even know how to catch up. I'm having blogger guilt on a a daily basis. What if I pare it down to twenty phrases or so?

Okay, here we go.

Orlando, Florida
Ian's Family
Walks to the lake and park
Beach days
Saw tons of friends!
Participated in Cow Appreciation Day
Girls' Night
More restaurants than I can shake a stick at
I joined the iPhone world

Port Charlotte, Florida
My extended family
Copious amount of  presents for the girls
A failed attempt at a splash park
Meeting my cousin's fiance for the first time

Road Trip
We made great time.
Grace conquered the Chick Fil A playground
Picked up our loaner car for the next 6 months (yes, we are rocking a Buick Le Sabre. And no, I am not 70 years old.)
Arrived at my parents house!

Nashville, Tennessee
Sophia met her grandparents for the first time
Wagon rides
Started Couch to 5k
Picked fresh vegetables from my parents garden
Nashville Science Center
Got our first double stroller

We move into our (temporary) new home tomorrow. It will be nice to unpack our suitcases for the first time in almost a month.

*Sigh* And that is it. I think that just about catches us up. There are alot more stories to tell but this is going to have to do!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Moving Out, Moving In, Moving On

I really don't know where to start. I can hardly believe that it has only been 7 days since we arrived in the USA. It seems like we have been here for weeks.

It also seems like we had never left, but I am not sure of how that is possible.

I'll be brief and give as much of a synopsis as possible....

Saturday, June 29th, the movers arrived to pack up our house. I took Grace over to a friend's house for the morning and by the time I got back to our house it seemed like the movers were moving really fast and that they would finish in just an hour or two. Sophia and I visited with a neighbor one more time and I picked Grace up at noon and Ian texted to say that it was going to be awhile, so I literally drove in circles so that Grace and Sophia could have a nap (no cribs to sleep in anymore! and we couldn't check in to the hotel until 3.)

They woke up at 2 and we went to a mall to walk around for awhile and headed back to the house at 4 to pick up Ian. The movers were still working away so Grace ran around our empty house yelling "Where'd you go couch? Where'd you go bed?" or accusingly proclaiming "HEY!" and pointing at the movers like they did something wrong. Fun times.

We finally left the house at 6 pm and checked into our hotel and crashed at 8. Grace slept in a big girl bed for the first time ever and she LOVED it. Sunday we mainly ran errands, swam in the pool a couple of times, and took naps at the hotel.

Monday came and I could hardly believe it. It was the day I had been waiting for for months! Travel day. We swam in the morning while Ian was trying to get some of our accounts closed up and tied up some loose strings. The girls had their nap and then we checked out of the hotel and went to our friends house. Honestly, that afternoon was a blur. Before I knew it, it was dinner and bath time for the kids and they were in bed before 7:30. Our friends had set up pack n plays in their room and the girls slept while we took a nap in the guest bedroom.

Our alarms went off at 10:30 pm and I took a quick shower before we got the girls up, loaded the car, and headed to the airport at 11.

Everything went well at check in. We got all of our baggage (5 suitcases, 2 carry ons, 1 diaper bag, 1 pack n play, 2 car seats, and our stroller,) through security and then got checked in at the ticket counter. We headed through with just our carry on things (2 carry ons, 1 diaper bag, Grace's car seat,) with Grace sitting in the stroller and Sophia in our Boba carrier. We got a snack at McDonald's and by the time Ian and I took turns going to the bathroom and changing the Sophia's diaper and taking Grace to the bathroom it was time to board the plane.

Just like that, the gate opened and people with small children were asked to board. We weren't using the bulkhead seats or bassinet and we got to our four seats pretty quickly. Ian was able to install Grace's car seat without a worry (no one even asked if it was airline approved,) and we all buckled up and took off pretty quickly after that. Sophia fell asleep while we were taxiing out and slept in my arms for the first hour or so, and then after that took another hour nap or so. The first flight was 6 hours from Abu Dhabi to Frankfurt, Germany.

When we landed in Germany we were tired! We walked to the right terminal and then got more McDonald's (real pork breakfast sandwiches! much better than turkey sausage!) and then spent an hour at one of the airport's playgrounds. We then set up at one of the gates. Sophia took a bottle and then fell asleep in the stroller while Grace was set up on two chairs with a pillow, blanket, and her pacis. We used our carry on luggage to provide a wall of sorts around her to make her feel secure. I sprawled out on some chairs with a pillow too (I would highly suggest anyone traveling with babies to bring their own pillows!) but couldn't fall asleep. Ian finally took a nap and Grace slept for 3 straight hours on those chairs!

Finally we woke up, got some lunch, and could check in at our gate, 7 hours after landing. Whew. We boarded our next plane with a sense of doom. We knew Sophia was over exhausted but there was nothing we could do about it. Grace watched an endless stream of Mickey Mouse between cat naps and Sophia cried off and on throughout the next 9 hours of flight. At one point I cried silent tears because I was just so exhausted and my baby was so tired.

Just being real with you.

I also think the German family who watched our whole debacle had a new sense of appreciation for their teenage kids.

If you can avoid flying with a 6-12 month old for a long distance (5 plus hours,) that is really the best thing. They just don't understand why they are being cooped up and they are too little for upright car seats and there is no where for them to roll around. It's just a hard age.

Finally. FINALLY we approached Orlando, Florida, and got ourselves cleaned up and made a half hearted attempt at eating some food. When we landed, we went through customs, claimed all of our baggage, then went through immigration and had to send our luggage on to the regular baggage claim area.

We road the tram to the main terminal (I love Orlando International Airport. It's just great!) and when we came around the bend I saw my father in law, brother in law, and his wife waiting for us. We gave hugs and introduced them to the girls and then this loud yelling noise and running bodies came straight at us! It was my best friends, Courtney, Jessica, and Katie, who were at another area waiting with my mother in law and brother in law. My mother in law had gotten a text saying we were there and my friends took off running and screaming through the airport. HA! I don't think I'll ever forget that.

We re claimed our luggage and headed to the car. We said our goodbyes to my friends and then the family went out to dinner. One car had to return to the airport because we had forgotten the pack-n-play but we had a nice dinner at Logan's Roadhouse and went home and slept.

Actually, I remember very little from the restaurant as I was entirely overwhelmed and overstimulated by the sights and sounds!

I couldn't even eat, ha.

I wish I had kept a better account of the last couple of days but to the best of my memory, our week was like this:

Wednesday- slept until our normal time and got up and got showered. Headed to Target with my mother in law while Ian went on errands with his Dad.
Thursday- Celebrated the 4th of July with the family! Went swimming, smoked ribs, and hung out as a family.
Friday- saw my girlfriends and had Chick-Fil-A for the first time. Made another trip to Target and did some clothes shopping. That night we left the girls with his parents and went out with his brothers and sister-in law and her family to dinner and a movie (saw Bring The Heat- hilarious but dripping with profanities.)
Saturday- stayed home? This day is a bit of a blur. I think we went to lunch with his family at Sonny's barbecue
Sunday- beach day with the family! It was gorgeous and we had a great time. We got home, put the girls down, and Ian's dad and I went to see The Lone Ranger- I loved it!
Monday- Had an early morning with Grace, walked to the park, went for a swim, all before noon. My friend Katie came to hang out for a little and then Ian and I went out on errands late that evening.

Our days have been jam packed and we have been spoiled by friends and family but we are loving just having family and friends around! What a treat! And I am so shocked by how green everything is and how NOT hot it is here!