I can't believe I am writing this post already! Our sweet Bean is officially 1 year old! It is hard to believe it has been a year since Bean came into the world. In some ways it seems like just yesterday we were in the hospital meeting her for the first time, but in other ways, it seems like f.o.r.e.v.e.r ago!
This past month has been quite the doozy. All that great progress we had made on sleeping through the night seems like a distant memory. We are back to a child who is up multiple times at night. I keep holding onto the hope that "it's just molars", but beginning to lose hope. Although, I do actually feel a molar in her bottom gum. I keep thinking "any day now!" it'll just pop through, but so far it's just bulging in the gum.
Steve has really stepped up and has helped out a ton in getting Bean to sleep and taking turns with her in the middle of the night. I miss my uninterrupted sleep. On Saturday's, I let Steve sleep in. On Sunday's, it's "momma's morning". I don't really get to sleep in, but I get to take care of myself and get ready for church in peace while Steve tends to Bean. It's nice to have a break on the weekends! Helps me recharge my "mom batteries" and ready to face the new week!
So back to Bean and her not sleeping -- not only has she decided to wake up multiple times at night, she's also figured out how to put up the fight for naptimes. We've had our phases of her fighting naps, but typically a tooth pops up or we realize she has a fever and there's a justified reason for the sleeplessness. However, we're going on a few weeks with no obvious reason. She did have another little tooth pop through, but that didn't help in her hatred of sleep. I'm beginning to fear that she's getting too big for rocking, but I'm not ready to let go of that one! We always read a few stories, and she'll typically snuggle down, suck on paci, play with blankie and eventually drift off while I'm singing to her. However, when she's fighting sleep, she'll push away from me, rip paci out and throw it on the floor, and babble loudly. When she does this, I put her in her crib, turn on her glow worm (sings for 10 minutes) and leave her be. Sometimes I'll have to go back in and rock again. It may take awhile, but she usually gives in.
I know she's getting close to giving up her morning nap, but I'm not fully convinced she's ready. Last weekend, she went 3 days in a row with only 1 nap a day, and by day three she was a completely different child - cranky, whiney, defiant. The next day, I made she she got 2 naps in and she was an angel. So I'm not giving up the morning nap yet! Although, I don't stress about her getting 2 naps every day. A couple days a week, when I run, she'll take a short morning nap in the stroller; a couple of the other days, she'll take a bigger morning nap; and at least one day a week (Sunday) she gets only 1 nap. So we're slowly transitioning to a 1 nap a day schedule. I pretty much let Bean dictate what she wants, but there are certain times I abide to (like she has to be up from nap #1 by 11am, and up by 4pm for #2). We shoot for bedtime by 8, but when she fights us, it can take up until 9:30. Ugh.
Now the positives of the month -- this girl is learning and growing everyday! She'll do things, and Steve and I are amazed at where she's come up with some of the stuff she does. One of her current favorite things to do is shove random objects in her ball toy (you put balls in, hit the hand, it lights up/sings and the balls roll out). We'll find blocks, Weebles, rings, pens, and even crackers in there! What a goof! She still shoves things in her snack cup, too. She also is developing a love for books. She's constantly turning their pages and playing with them.
She's babbling a bunch, and has added "mama" & "ball" to her "dada" & "duck" vocabulary. Although, this past week, she's discovered some pacifiers in her toy box and prefers to suck on them while she plays. I never let her do this until now. I think she chews on them and it helps her gums. So once this molar does pop through, the paci will disappear ;-). She's constantly making squeals, shrieks, and growling noises. Sometimes she'll try to mimic me and sing with me.
She's still not walking, but getting closer. She cruises a lot around furniture and is getting much faster. She'll also hold our fingers and walk around, but she won't last long before going to her knees and zooming off. I'm thinking she's gonna be one of those kids that just stands up one day and takes off. Maybe not, haha. She's figured out how to crawl into her toy drawers and I often find her trying to stand up on toys too. She is fearless and definitely doesn't get that from me!
We love watching her cute little personality come out. She definitely knows when she is the center of attention and how to work the crowd. She'll cock her head to her shoulder and do a crazy smile, she'll make herself laugh to get you to laugh, and when that doesn't work, she'll blow raspberries. She is quite the sweetheart -- She loves to share her food and gets a kick out of trying to feed us. And if you discipline her with a stern "no!", she immediately breaks out sobbing. Steve and I definitely have to work on not laughing when she does this. She's just so stinking cute!
I'm not sure what her weight and height are (she goes next week for her 1 year stats) but I do know from the bazillion doctors visits in the past couple months that she's around 20 pounds and probably around 28" long. Her favorite foods are still mac'n'cheese (from the box, not homemade!), bananas, and cottage cheese. I'm having a hard time trying to make dinners that she'll eat. I don't cater to her at dinner. If she doesn't like what I serve, she'll get her cottage cheese and a fruit, but I won't go out of my way to make her something else (okay, maybe if there's leftovers she'll get that). This past week, we've transitioned her from formula to whole milk. I wanted to transition her from bottles to sippy cup at the same time, but she won't drink the milk from a sippy (although she'll guzzle water down in the sippy and she'll guzzle the milk in a bottle). So I guess I'll keep cleaning bottles. I still offer her milk in the sippy each day, and hoping one day she drinks it.
(Sorry for the gross picture first, but let's get it out of the way. Bean was sick at the beginning of the month. Constant runny nose, snot galore, etc. I took her to the doctor, but they said ears looked good and chest sounded good. So we just had to ride it out. Took awhile, but she eventually got over it.)
(I really hate using the snot sucker. I also know it can cuase more problems than good, so typically I just use a qtip to clean out her nose. However, being sick brought on serious snot. So I had to use it. She hated it and would constantly hit and fight me. So I devised a "fun" plan. We'd wrap her up in the blanket. She would think it was hilarious and didn't even care that I'd clean her nose out while she was wrapped all snug.)
(Dad got in on the blanket action.)
(Still from when she was sick. She took an epic nap and woke up like this, haha.)
(Check out that sweaty hair! Bean gets really hot when she sleeps and having an off/on fever didn't help!)
(There's no way she's this big!! Okay, really, she's leaning back in her chair and it makes her look huge. We'll go with that anyway.)
(Oh, and this happened. We were sitting in the living room and when all of a sudden, Steve jumps up, grabs Bean and says "What do I do?! What do I do?!" I had no idea what was going on until he turned her around and showed me the poop coming up out of the top of her shirt. Disgusting. We immediately put her in the tub. Steve actually stayed around for emotional support as I wiped up what I could before just turning the water on and spraying her down. This was by far the WORST diaper. EVER.)
(Why yes, that is her snack cup IN the top of the ball toy.)
(We don't typically feed our child socks, but if that's what she'll eat. . . )
(She loves playing with my headband and actually put it on herself.)
(Mmmmmm, cottage cheese - notice that NONE of the noodles have been touched.)
(Bean was having a hard time figuring out how to "take bites", so I started to give her crackers and she'd have to nibble on them. Only a couple times did she shove the whole thing in her mouth. Now she's a cracker pro and loves eating them. She beams with pride when she has one.)
(It's hard to tell in this picture, but she's eating a cracker. I gave her one on the way to church. It takes about 10 minutes to get there, and when we got there, she still had 3/4 of the cracker. I guess she was trying to make it last?)
(How she watches tv. No joke. I let her watch a couple cartoons in the morning and a couple in the afternoon. She will stand and watch them like this. Her current favorite show is Curious George - oh and Arthur in the afternoon!)
(Such a ham! She got really quiet while playing over by the toy drawer. When I looked up, this is what I saw. She had tried to do it earlier that morning, but got one leg stuck in and one leg out and holding on with her hand. It was quite comical. I've been told that she does something similar to this in the nursery at church. She'll take all the toys out of the little bin and climb in. All the ladies say she provides the Sunday morning entertainment. I'd believe it!)
Back in February we got our Nest ("smart" thermostat). When I had painted the dining room, I had painted around the old thermostat. It was much bigger than the Nest, so when Steve installed it, there was a section of old paint and wallpaper showing.
He had asked me to paint it back when he installed it, but I kept forgetting. It's located on a wall in our dining room, that I wouldn't see until the end of the day. Then the next day I'd forget to do it. Ha. Then Bean has become more needy and needs more attention, so I just put on the back burner for a project to be done when Steve is home. A vicious cycle of forgetting and 8 months later, I've finally gotten to it!
My mom popped in for a couple days (pretty much to babysit Bean while I went to the dentist) and I was able to take advantage of her being here to focus on this project! It took an entire day from start to finish, but now you'd never know a different thermostat used to be there!
(The thermostat is located on the inner wall of the dining room that faces the foyer/stairs. It is so easy to whip around the corner and not see it - at least that's my excuse for forgetting to fix it!)
(The room was originally wallpapered, of course! I am not about to undertake another wallpaper removal, plus, I had already painted over it when I did the dining room. It's hard to tell, but there was a lot of textural differences between the green paint I did and what was behind the thermostat.)
(First I popped off the outer part of the Nest - oh and turned off the power to the wires! Then I unscrewed the back part, taped it up - and put a piece of cardboard inside the tape to prevent dust getting into the wires.)
(Same as previous picture - just a little more focused showing the different layers. I took a putty knife first and scraped off some of the paper and paint. Then I took sand paper and smoothed it all out. I forgot to take a picture of the next step, but I puttied in all the holes, let it dry, and sanded that.)
(I had taken out the anchors and patched up the holes for the Nest, haha! I wasn't thinking when I did it and there were multiple anchors and lots of holes. Oh well, I was able to just poke the anchors back in the spots with minimal effort. This is the back part that I had covered up so it wouldn't get dust. Look at all that old school wires. Ha.)
(All finished! Now I think it looks a little weird with the Nest just chilling on the wall, but it's better than the old wallpaper showing. My mom asked me when I was going to take the wallpaper out of that room. . . uhm. . . never??)
I know I brag on my friend Sara a lot, but seriously, that girl amazes me! At 8 months pregnant, she is still a cupcake baking machine. Our church just celebrated its 60th anniversary and Sara was asked to supply around 650 cupcakes for the event. She rallied a group of ladies to help her out knowing that with two other big events booked for the same weekend, she couldn't do it all.
I of course jumped at the chance to help her out and maybe learn a trick or two about cupcake making! Sara is always super organized and had everything all printed out and bagged up in batches. We started at 1, just the two of us! She and I were all on our own for the baking portion (there were a couple of ladies who bailed last minute, and a couple who showed up later once they got off work).
I had Bean with me, which made things twice as hard. She didn't want to nap right away, and wasn't happy about playing in the play yard. So for a little bit, I had to hold her AND make cupcakes. I, of course, reminded Sara that this was just a glimpse into her future, ha! Bean finally did nap, and we found a baking groove.
I stuck to mixing up the batches. We had 4 Kitchen Aid mixers in use throughout the day. I'd pick up a bag of a specified dry mix, follow the recipe to add in the wet ingredients, mix it up, and pass off to Sara. She'd scoop into all the cupcake pans and bake. When I was tending to Bean at times, she'd have to do double duty. Just as the last batch was baking, the rest of our help arrived and we switched to icing mode. Sara did a quick icing making lesson and let a couple of us make the icing while she iced all the cupcakes. Another lady followed behind and added the toppings. We all took turns on cleaning up the dishes!
(Sara trying to convince me that we can totally bake 630 cupcakes all by ourselves. And I'm pretty sure this picture was after she realized if she worked on the opposite side of the table, she could face me so that we could talk. Only took about 30 minutes to figure out!)
(Look at all those mixers! Sara owns the two on the left, we borrowed the red in the middle from our friend Candace, and my orange one on the right! We had all 4 going at one point - but we had to move one due to it holding peanut butter and one of the ladies being allergic. ha.)
(I brought both the pack'n'play & playyard with me. Bean napped in the pack'n'play for about an hour in the pantry room next to the kitchen. Then when she woke up, she wanted to be in the kitchen with us, so I just pulled the pack'n'play in there.)
(More help arrived!)
There were 3 different icings being done, so we assigned a specific icing to each mixer. Then, as Sara needed that icing, we'd just make more. My favorite part of the day was when Sara said I made PERFECT icing. Sara is a perfectionist and isn't one to give over control. So her letting me just make the icing and not shadow over me was HUGE. Haha!
(I had the playyard set up in the fellowship hall right outside the kitchen. Bean played in there a little bit while the cupcakes were being iced, but then she wanted out of jail. One of the ladies ended up playing with her for awhile until she had to leave. That's when daddy came to the rescue to take her home!)
Steve was able to cut out of work by 5, pick up dinner for a few of us, and take Bean home with him. It's amazing how much easier it is to do things without her. Just having to check on her, worry about her, etc takes up time and side tracks me easily. We finally finished up all the cupcakes and cleaning around 6. Our goal was to be done by 7 - Awesome! We could have done it all on our own, but so thankful for the other ladies who showed up and helped! Definitely made things go quicker :)
I was able to take a few things that I learned from our huge cupcake day and cranked out some gluten free cupcakes on my own. There are a few ladies in our church who are gluten free and one of them was supposed to supply cupcakes. However, she got injured so I stepped in to help. I first had to make sure to deep clean my kitchen (and mixer) to get rid of all the gluten and not cross contaminate. It made for a stressful day, but in the end, I was pleased with the outcome!
(My gluten free cupcakes! I borrowed an icing tip from Sara. This was my first successful piping bag experience, haha!)
(Proof I had made and packaged the cupcakes. The box was really big and wobbly when you picked it up. So I wanted proof of perfect cupcakes before the "treacherous" ride to church. Okay, really it wasn't treacherous but I may have panicked a little over some stops. Sorry Steve.)
All year long, Steve has been telling us he's going to have to go to China on a business trip. It was originally slated for May, but then got delayed until end of summer, and then it got delayed until fall. Finally a date was set, tickets were purchased, and Visa was approved for trip in the middle of October.
The trip was going to fall right over Bean's real birthday. So we had to delay her birthday party to the end of the month. I had set up plans to go visit friends, stay with my parents for a few days, and even set up to host a baby shower (with Steve gone, he wouldn't have to figure out where to go all afternoon).
With less than 2 weeks away from departure day, Steve got notified from his boss of a change in the project he was working on and to cancel the trip because what he was going for is no longer needed. Steve was frustrated that what he had been working on all year was sort of pointless and sad he wouldn't get to go experience China; however, he is thankful to not have to leave his family. Boy are we thankful too! Although, now I've had to cancel my plans (which I was really looking forward to some visits). I'll just have to sneak away for a few days!
Before knowing that his trip was cancelled, we went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant to educate Steve on how to use chopsticks and get ready for the cuisine (because American Chinese and real Chinese are totally the same, right?). So now we are all chopstick masters (even Bean helped us!).
(What good technique daddy! Bean loved eating the rice from the chopsticks. And for the record, she ate ravioli that I brought from home with her hands, haha.)