Tag Archives: Annabelle

Annabelle Lyn: 9 Months

8 Jan

Annabelle was 9 months old back on December 27 but just now had her 9-month checkup. Apparently, you have to wait a certain amount of time between shots and one of her earlier checkups got pushed back. We should be back on track now though!

At about 9.5 months, Annabelle is 19 lbs 11 oz (71%), 28 inches tall (57%) with a head circumference of 18.66 inches (99.5%!). At 9 months, Emma was 19 lbs 10.5 oz and 28 inches tall — pretty much the exact same!

Annabelle is wearing 9-12 month clothes and size 2 shoes. She has tiny feet and hands just like Emma did, but a big noggin!


As of 9 months, Annabelle has figured out how to drink with a straw and bite down on a sippy cup so there is hope for weaning her someday! I plan to keep nursing until at least a year, probably even longer. I think 18 months is my cutoff point though.
But before I can wean her, Annabelle needs to start eating a lot more solid foods! Ever since Thanksgiving when she got a stomach bug and we backed off the solid foods for a while, she has wanted nothing to do with them. She’ll eat a teething wafer here and there but refuses yogurt now and only tolerates a few bites of other purees she’s previously liked. Now that the holiday mayhem has died down, I’m going to focus on giving her more variety to see if she likes something else.

Annabelle did get two new teeth this month, so that brings her up to six! She got one on top and one on bottom to the left of the middle ones (when you’re looking at her). I would think that the right-side ones wouldn’t be far behind but who knows.

Because of teething, that stomach bug and a nasty, crudy cold with horrible cough and congestion, this past month has been the worst nighttime sleep of Annabelle’s life for both me and her. Most nights, she’s been up 2-3 times. Some nights, it’s been 4 or more. Thankfully, I can just nurse her for 15-20 minutes and put her back down but it’s still hard having my sleep interrupted that many times. Unfortunately, the week of Christmas when we were down in Rochester was the worst week of all. Annabelle had a horrible hacking cough and couldn’t go more than an hour at a time between fits. And Emma had a cold that triggered her (what we think is) asthma. And Travis was wheezing and sneezing from his cat allergies (even though my parents haven’t had cats for years and got their ducts cleaned). And we were all in one room. It was awesome. So needless to say, I would appreciate a break from sickness and teething!
On the bright side, Annabelle decided on her own that she was ready for the crib. A few nights when she was really congested, she took a couple hours to get down for the night and fussed whenever we put her in her swing. So finally, out of options, we put her in the crib and let her cry for 10 minutes. (I generally don’t do “cry it out” when they’re sick but we didn’t know what else to do.) She fell asleep and slept in there the whole night! And the rest was history. I am floored by how easy that transition was. We still do use the vibration pad in a pinch because it really helps lull her to sleep but even that isn’t a necessity like it once was! We did have to order a new one though because she burned out both the vibration on her swing and a vibration pad.

One benefit of Annabelle being sick this past month has been all the baby snuggles. Travis and I both (but him more than me) have gotten to rock Annabelle to sleep — something she hasn’t let us do since she was a newborn! Travis has especially loved it because it just creates a bond.

No matter how poorly Annabelle sleeps though, she always wakes up happy and smiley. Nothing gets this sweet little girl down! (Except maybe bonking her head.)

She still takes two naps a day, for about an hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.

Annabelle still has no interest in crawling, scooting, moving, rolling, whatever. She loves the jumperoo still and enjoys sitting up to play with toys. But she does not like her belly and does not appreciate being put on her hands and knees. Annabelle still tips over a decent amount while sitting up so we make sure to put pillows behind her. She’s not pulling up on her own, and can’t really hold herself up in a standing position either (she’s steady if we help hold her up). Our pediatrician has recommended that we get her evaluated by the Paul Bunyan Education Coop (same organization that evaluated Emma for speech) for delay in gross motor skills so we might do that. It’s free, they come to our house and we’ve had a good experience with Emma’s speech therapy.
At 9 months, Annabelle’s favorite things to play with are:

* Things that fit nicely in her mouth for chewing on, like spatulas and teething rings, made of silicone, rubber, plastic or metal (so, everything)

* Things that crinkle or jingle, like plastic or metal keys on a ring or chain — she likes to slap them against her leg to make noise

* Sippy cups filled with water (mostly just for chewing on)

* Anything that looks interesting and not like a toy, including paper, phones, baskets, boxes, straws, food containers and lids, tablecloths, glasses, plates with food on them (not interested in eating it though), and pens. You can’t leave anything within 2 feet of her or she will grab it!

Annabelle is very tolerant of other people holding her but if she’s tired or hungry, she wants mommy. Several times, she’s been mildly fussy while others are watching her but once she spots me, she loses it. She has also started reaching/lifting her arms for me to pick her up.
Other things that happened this past month:

* Annabelle’s second trip via airplane, this time to Denver
* Annabelle’s first Christmas!
* Annabelle seeing and feeling snow for the first time (not a huge fan) and taking her first sled ride around the yard (no pic, Mommy fail)
* Annabelle started using consonant noises and said “mama” as her first word! She got on a roll for a while but then stopped. Now she says “dada” a lot.

And that’s Annabelle at 9 months!

2015 Recap

7 Jan

Last January, I said that I had two specific goals:

  1. Give birth.
  2. Start and finish the Northwoods Triathlon on August 8.

Check and check.

The other, less specific goals I mentioned (and an update):

  • Don’t let newborn sleep deprivation turn me into a raging b!t@h. (Trust God to provide sleep.) I have dealt with this much better!
  • Pray for and see my mom be healed. Still praying!
  • Spend more time playing with Emma instead of getting stuff done. Still struggle with this. Some days are better than others.
  • Support my husband more sacrificially and selflessly. Uff da. This is an area where I need to grow but I have had some victories this year!
  • Read more books and watch less TV. Currently sucked into Gilmore Girls, but I’ll be done with the last season soon and then I’m cutting myself off!
  • Go on bike rides in the summer. I biked during triathlon training, but that was it. We plan to get a bike trailer this summer and go on family rides!
  • Be more intentional about inviting people over, or getting together. I get together with friends for play dates on a regular basis, but we still would like to have families over for dinner more often.
  • Finish my book and either self-publish, or seek publication! Book is nowhere near finished. It is SO hard to find the time and energy!

Goals aside, this past year was challenging because of Travis’ working so much and my mom’s health situation. But it was also filled with lots of fun memories. I went through my phone and here’s a smattering of the Best of 2015.

2016-01-05_12.47.47(From top to bottom, left to right) 1) Pregnant! Due April 8. 2) Fun painting with Emma 3) It’s a girl! Annabelle was born on March 27. 4) Big sister + little sister. 5) New swingset from Nana Beth and Papa Al! 6) Spring’s in bloom! 7) Nana Sheri & Annabelle — we spent several weeks down in Rochester during the summer when Travis was traveling for work. 8) Emma at my parents’ cabin throwing rocks into the lake off the dock. 9) Kriswold family reunion at our place.

2016-01-05_12.52.271) Emma feeding a deer at Paul Bunyan Animal Land. We also went to the Safari North and Pine Grove Zoos. 2) Emma “painting” with yogurt all over the deck and sliding glass door. What a mess! 3) Annabelle’s faux hawk in full force! 4) At the beach, boy! 5) Emma holding baby on her lap. 6) We re-landscaped the planter in our driveway. 6) Lots of chalk drawing happened this summer. Other daily outdoor activities were playing outside on the dock by the river, picking wild raspberries on our property, pushing Emma down a small hill in her wagon or Little Tikes truck, and walking or riding her trike down the driveway to get the mail. 7) Sweet baby. Love this picture of her. 8) Emma taking her baby for a walk with no pants on.2016-01-05_12.56.301) Aftermath of the devastating storm in July. Picture taken just north of us a few miles. 2) I took Emma and baby to the St. Mathias corn maze by myself. One word: stressful. 3) During our trip to Evansville, we went to another corn maze / pumpkin patch. Almost lost Emma in a minion-shaped corn field. 4) Beautiful fall colors right in our yard! 5) Baby feet are the cutest. 6) Fall fun in the leaves! 7) Selfie of me and baby on our dock, enjoying the fall colors on the river. 8) One of Emma’s crazy outfits. 9) Dressed up as a fairy, 80s girl and Snow White at Pillager Fall Fest.2016-01-05_12.59.181) Annabelle sitting up in the cart for the first time! 2) Emma wearing stick-on earrings and the cutest top knot ever. 3) Sister love at Costco. 4) Family trip to Cabela’s in Rogers to buy daddy a muzzleloader. 5) Baby’s first Thanksgiving! Too bad it was followed by the stomach flu. 6) Diana’s bridal shower in Grand Rapids. 7) Snowman! 8) Annabelle’s first Christmas. 9) Travis’ and my trip to Denver for his work Christmas party.

Other things worth mentioning:

* Memorial Day was spent up at Travis’ parents’ cabin on Lake Namakan. The Fourth of July and Labor Day were both spent down at my parents’ cabin in Pine City. For the Fourth, Al, Beth, Matthew, Diana and Chris joined us too. Thanksgiving was spent up in Nevis with Trav’s family and Christmas was down in Rochester with my family.

* The girls and I played at the beach well over 2 dozen times, including several evening trips with daddy or by ourselves while daddy had Bible study. Annabelle went swimming a handful of times and almost always fell asleep in her carseat at the beach after I changed her into dry clothes.

* Emma loves dancing so we had many a dance party in the basement (many of them were with daddy while mommy was at Bible study).

* Other fun things we did (not caught on camera) were go to the Mall of America, Children’s Museum, Crosby Project Play, Family Fun Center waterpark in Nisswa and Timberlake Lodge waterpark in Grand Rapids.

The more specific things for each girl are captured in their monthly or quarterly updates (coming soon!). These are just the big picture things that I want to remember later.

Even though I mentioned that I’m not making any resolutions or goals this year specifically, I still am praying for and focusing on all the things I had mentioned last year, plus one other main thing: managing my time wisely. I’m going to do a separate post about that soon.

So that’s it for 2015!

Annabelle Lyn: 8 Months

12 Dec

Little Miss Annabelle was 8 months old back on Black Friday, November 27! I failed to take 8-month pictures of her that day because we were busy with preparations for my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower. Travis’ brother Matthew is getting married New Years Day!

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Even though this post is 2 weeks late, I wrote it on time so it’s an accurate description of Annabelle at 8 months. Here’s what Annabelle was up to:


Annabelle is still wearing size 3 diapers and 9-12 month clothes.

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Annabelle is still breastfeeding about 5 times a day and occasionally once at night (usually when she’s teething). She eats 1-2 meals of solid food a day but definitely isn’t as big a fan of it as her sister was at this age — which is unfortunate since she still won’t take a bottle and hasn’t gone for the sippy cups we’ve tried.

Annabelle now has four teeth (two on the bottom and two on top). The fourth popped through a few days before Thanksgiving.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Annabelle threw up for the first (and second, and third, and fourth) time. Emma threw up too so they must have caught a bug or something. But before that, Annabelle tried her first bites of pumpkin pie, watergate salad and mashed potatoes.

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Annabelle is a decent sleeper. From about 2.5 to 5.5 months, she slept a glorious 12 hours straight at night. Then she started teething and got some sniffles, and has only slept through the night a handful times since. Usually I’m up with her just once a night (the time of night varies quite a bit) but sometimes twice. I nurse her for 20 minutes and she’s right back to sleep.

Generally speaking, she naturally sticks to a schedule more than Emma ever did (though Emma has gotten better as she’s gotten older). Annabelle usually wakes up for the day around 7 am, takes her morning nap from 9-10, catnaps in the car around noon if we’re out somewhere (which we usually are since that’s when we run errands, have ECFE, or come back from MOPS), takes her afternoon nap from 1-3 pm, and goes to bed around 7. She wakes up to nurse between 3 and 5 am. I’m pretty much a zombie in the morning but I really can’t complain.

Unfortunately, she’s still sleeping exclusively in her swing. I will admit I’ve only made a few half-hearted attempts at transitioning her. My time is running out though because once she starts crawling, she’ll have to switch.

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Speaking of crawling, Annabelle has shown no interest or effort to become mobile. She hates tummy time, and now that she can sit up without help (though still tips over every once in a while), she no longer enjoys playing with toys on her back. She prefers to either sit up (on the floor or in a high chair) to play with toys or jump in her jumperoo. She also likes being carried around to see what’s going on.

20151123_070604 (Large)She sits up in the grocery cart now too!

20151101_185907 (Large)Annabelle is a very curious little girl — she always wants to see what’s going on and grabs for stuff faster than my mommy brain can register, leading to spills or hands in food.

For example, one afternoon this past month, me, Emma and Annabelle were out to lunch with Auntie Cari (Trav’s sister). As I was trying to get Annabelle out of her carseat, Emma spilled her full water glass all over the table and me. Then when our waitress brought our food out, Annabelle pulled her full container of baby food onto the floor. We were a hot mess.

Annabelle hasn’t started saying any “words” yet but she loves to squawk, squeal and screech, and blow bubbles with her tongue. She makes the funniest noises and loves it when we make the funny noises back to her.

For Halloween this year, we went to the Pillager Fun Fest with Annabelle dressed up as Snow White (her costume from our Disney-themed family reunion this past summer) and Emma as a fairy (though the wings lasted a good 5 minutes before she wanted them off… of course). I dressed in 80s garb and Travis was a dad. (ha)

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We also made a trip down to Cabela’s in Rogers a weekend in November for Travis to buy a muzzleloader. Emma had fun seeing all the (stuffed) animals and fish. Annabelle was a trouper, as always.

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And that’s Annabelle at 8 months!

Evansville Trip, Fall 2015

28 Nov

My oldest brother, Jeremy, and sister-in-law, Jen, live down in Evansville, Indiana. My (and Travis’) last visit to their house had been when my nephew Jensen was a couple months old — he’ll be 4 in January. So we were due for a visit.

Timing-wise, it worked out best for me and the girls to go while Travis was going to be elk hunting in Colorado during October — which obviously meant he wouldn’t be joining us this time. I had a hard time deciding whether we should fly or drive. Flying sounded challenging because I’d be on my own with two kids. Never mind Emma’s craziness or Annabelle’s dependence — the sheer logistics of getting all our crap into the airport by myself were mind-boggling.

But the thought of driving 13+ hours with Emma was equally intimidating. And I had a $100 credit for Southwest, and tickets were very reasonable. So in the end, I decided to fly. We would fly from Minneapolis/St. Paul to St. Louis, where my parents would pick us up and drive us the last 3 hours.

After much thinking and strategizing, I pared our stuff down to a manageable amount: I had our jogging stroller with Annabelle’s carseat (and Annabelle), a single giant rolling duffel bag with all of our stuff, and one larger carry-on bag that contained toys/markers/iPad/snacks for entertaining the kids during the flight, as well as my small purse that contained only the essentials. For Emma’s carseat (that we would need once we got to STL), we ended up buying Annabelle’s convertible carseat early and shipping it to my parents’ house, so they brought that with them in their car (they drove the whole way).

Thursday morning, the girls and I left the house right on time. My plan was to park at an off-site airport lot so that the shuttle would pick me up at my car and drop me off right at the door. Well, right as we were driving through St. Cloud (after we had been on the road about an hour with 1.5 hours more to go), Emma puked up the copious amounts of applesauce she had just ingested. I pulled over at a gas station (soooo happy we were right by one!) and spent about 30 minutes wiping off her carseat, changing her clothes, and rinsing the dirty ones.

I didn’t feel like we had enough time for the off-site parking anymore so I decided to just park at the airport. It would mean more walking but less time waiting. We made it to the airport without further incident and got our stuff unloaded how I had planned. As we were walking through the parking garage trying to find the entrance/elevator, Emma got freaked out by all the loud noises so I pulled over and ended up putting Annabelle in the Ergobaby, Emma in the stroller and carrying the carseat in the same hand I was using to push the stroller (the other one was pulling our duffel). It was tricky to say the least.

Luckily, getting our bags checked and going through security were both a breeze. We had plenty of time so while we waited for boarding to begin, we played at the kids play area they have in MSP Terminal 2.
The flight went well. Emma got a window seat and I sat in the middle with Annabelle. Emma started getting a little impatient on the jet way before we took off because she had to be sitting down and buckled in but I turned an iPad movie on and that solved that. It was tricky nursing Annabelle on the plane because the seats are so cramped and she really dislikes the nursing cover but we made do.

When we got to St. Louis, my mom met us at baggage claim to help with all our stuff. We got everything and everyone loaded up and hit the road after a quick lunch at Culver’s. Both girls napped almost the whole way to Evansville.

That night, we got settled in at J&J’s house, ate dinner and hung out. It was really warm that day — probably mid-70s — so our bedroom upstairs was hot that first night. Thankfully it cooled down for the rest of our trip and then it was very pleasant. Emma alternated between sleeping on the air mattress with me and in Jensen’s toddler bed.

The next day (Friday), we checked out the Evansville Fall Festival (what we Midwesterners call a fair). Emma went on the several rides, including the carousel, swings and train (Jensen was not interested one bit!).
Jeremy and I went on a crazy ride called Freak Out. It didn’t look that bad from the ground but holy cow, it was crazy. I’m not a fan of roller-coasters so my mom was surprised that I was actually willing to go… she was right. I screamed so loud that my throat hurt the next day.
We also tried a bunch of different foods at the Festival, including a deep-fried Monte Cristo, kraut balls, Creamsicle float, and deep-fried pickles. My stomach and esophagus hated me later.
Saturday, we stopped by Ruby Moon winery on our way to Cates Farm in Henderson, KY. The winery had some of the best wine I’ve ever had. My favorite was a white called Stellar White. I definitely need to get some more sometime.

Cates Farm had a little of everything. They had a pumpkin patch, sandbox full of corn kernels, rubber ducky racing, slides, bouncy house, hay rides and a corn maze. We spent our first hour or 2 doing all the kid activities. Emma LOVED this big slide they had, which was just a 50-foot-long black, plastic culvert pipe. We went down it 5-6 times. She also loved the duck racing because it involved water.
She did not love the bouncy house though. She wanted to jump in it but the two times she tried, she got scared by the bigger kids and had a meltdown so I had to go in and get her out.

The only bad moment of the day was when we couldn’t find Emma for about 10 minutes. We looked everywhere we had been in the kid area… she wasn’t anywhere. It felt very surreal. We started asking employees and other patrons if they had seen her; no one had. FINALLY, we found her. Apparently, she had wandered into the corn maze alone. A wonderful lady had seen her in there and heard me calling for her, and brought her back out. Thank the Lord!

After we walked through the minion-shaped corn maze (watching Emma like a hawk), went on a hay ride, and picked out our pumpkins, we called it a day.
On Sunday, we went to J&J’s church and then just spent the afternoon at their house. Jensen and Emma painted their pumpkins and spent the rest of their time doing what they had been doing the whole trip: chasing each other around, wrestling, screaming, jumping off couch cushions, playing with toys. They had a great time together.
Monday, we packed up, ate a quick breakfast and hit the road. When we got to St. Louis, we ate lunch at a hole-in-the-wall BBQ place called Mark & Wanda’s. It had great service, great prices and great food. We’ll definitely remember that place for the next time!

The flight home went well. My mom helped me get our stuff into the airport and stood with me in the security line until I got to the TSA person. We had just enough time after getting through security to buy Emma some candy (she chose Swedish Fish), change diapers and go to the bathroom, get our stroller tagged for gate-checking, and fill up my water bottle. Then it was time to board!

When we got on the plane, I was worried that I was going to have to ask someone to move because only middle seats where left. But there were two rows on one side in the back that had a middle and aisle seat open so we sat in the very last row. Again, both girls did well and it was definitely easier to nurse Annabelle sitting in an aisle seat and not the middle.

It took us over an hour to leave the airport after we landed. First, I thought I should try to nurse Annabelle a little more so she didn’t get hungry on the way home. So we stopped at the kids play area for a bit and met another little girl named Annabelle.

Then we made our way down to baggage claim but we had taken so long, they had already moved our bags back to their offices. We walked over there, found our bag and Annabelle’s carseat, and then Emma had to poop. So we stood around for 10 minutes waiting for her and then changing her diaper.

We were finally on our way to the car except then we took the wrong elevator, so we went up, got out, got back in, went down, walked to the correct elevator, got back in, went up and got out. All that while pushing a stroller, pulling a duffel and wrangling a toddler. Ugh.

Emma then discovered moving sidewalks, which she thought were pretty fun. So we rode it a couple more times than necessary (that part of the airport was dead) just for fun.

Then came the fun of finding the car. In the midst of the chaos of getting to and into the airport, I forgot to take specific note of where I parked. I knew the general area but we had to walk around a bit before finding the car. Emma was walking and wearing her backpack leash, and she kept whining “Emma’s car. Emma’s car.” I was relieved when we finally got loaded up!

Both girls slept the whole way home and it didn’t mess with their bedtimes too much either. So all in all, it was a very successful, enjoyable (albeit exhausting) trip!

Annabelle Lyn: 7 Months

2 Nov

Little Miss Annabelle was 7 months (30.5 weeks) back on October 27.


Annabelle is still wearing 6-9 month clothes and size 3 diapers. I only used cloth diapers for about 3 weeks before getting frustrated that they kept soaking through her clothes. Maybe I’ll try again but for now, we’re doing 100% disposable.
In the past month, Annabelle:

* Got her first two teeth — the ones in the bottom middle
* Started sitting up on her own, still with lots of supervision because she tips over a lot
* Went on her first (and second) airplane rides with mommy and big sis to visit her cousins in Evansville, Indiana (post coming soon)
* Hit her head for the first time 😦
* Got her first cold with a runny nose and cough 😦
* Started eating solid foods 1-2 times a day (new foods she tried this month were oatmeal cereal, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, apple blueberry and grape banana plum purees, and banana Baby Mum Mums — she’s liked everything but I did mix some of the veggies with applesauce)

Annabelle likes:

* Jumping in her jumperoo
* Sitting up and playing with toys
* Eating and nursing
* Watching big sister’s antics (she laughs at her often, which makes my mommy heart swoon)
* Taking baths
* Playing peekaboo
* Grabbing everything she can get her hands on (we call her Grabby McGrabberton)
* Playing with my hair and face while nursing
* Sucking on everything, including her toes (it seems like it took her longer to develop this habit than Emma but she’s definitely there now!)
* Smiling and sticking her tongue out
Annabelle does not like:

* Getting her sleep sack put on when she’s hungry and/or tired
* Sleeping in her crib (she’s still in her swing folks)
* Going to sleep sometimes (I think might be a result of teething and/or being sick)
* Getting her face/nose/hands wiped
* Sleeping through the night (she almost always wakes up once now to nurse, sometimes twice — ugh)
Annabelle is a favorite at the church nursery and MOPS because she is so easygoing and smiley. Such a little sweetheart. We love her to pieces!

My favorite moment this past month was when Emma was playing in Annabelle’s crib and Annabelle was playing in her swing (also in her room). I ran to the kitchen to jot something down but could still hear them. Emma said “Baby look” and then did something that made Annabelle totally crack up. It was the first time they had bonded without me present and it was so sweet!







Annabelle Lyn: 6 Months

6 Oct

Our sweet little Annabelle is already 6 months old (back on September 27)!


It’s hard to believe that much time has gone by already. At her doctor appointment today, she was a little over 27 weeks, 19 lbs 5 oz (91%), 26 inches long (50%) with a head circumference of 17.76 inches (98%). She’s wearing 6-9 month clothes, and has been wearing 9 month sleepers and shirts for about a month already. She has a long torso and short little legs!

Annabelle has rolled over from her belly to her back a half dozen times but a week will pass between rolls, and she hasn’t done it at all for the past 3 weeks. It’s like she forgets that she knows how to do it. (Our doctor said that she is probably just choosing to not do it, and that we won’t worry about it until 9 months.) She has good neck control during tummy time though and is getting close to being able to sit up on her own. She’s also stronger standing up. No attempts at rolling from back to belly, though she does roll onto her side quite a bit.


The best part about the past month is that her personality has really started coming out.

Things she loves:

* Making funny noises with her mouth — squawking, gurgling, sighing, spitting, farting
* Hearing other people make fake fart noises — one of the things that has made her laugh the most so far was the air being let out of a partially inflated balloon. We did it over and over to hear that cute giggle.
* Watching big sister’s antics
* Having raspberries blown on her belly and (almost nonexistent) neck — this also makes her laugh, but only sometimes
* Hanging upside down
* Swinging and stroller rides
* Taking baths — she splashes herself in the face because she’s so excited
* Nursing
* Chewing on rubber/plastic spatulas and spoons
* Jumping in her jumperoo — it took probably 3 weeks but she’s finally doing some jumping!
* Sitting in the Bumbo or bouncy seat watching mommy do stuff in the kitchen
* Playing with toys that jingle and/or are a good thing to chew/suck on — she’s gotten good at seeing toys she wants and reaching for them. One of her favorite toys is a jingly blue and yellow ball that reminds me of a cat toy.


Helping mommy with laundry

Annabelle does NOT like:
* Being put down when she’s tired or hungry (she’ll be fine being held for a while though)
* Solid foods — so far, we’ve tried rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, banana, avocado, applesauce and rice rusks. 99% of it came right back out but she really liked the applesauce. We’ll keep trying! Next up will be probably sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
* Bottles — still won’t take one. I’ve pretty much given up on that — we’re going straight to a sippy cup instead!
* Sleeping flat — she will now sleep without vibration so we have made some progress (though I do still revert to vibration on occasion because she definitely sleeps better/longer with it on)!


Annabelle is still such a happy, easygoing sweetheart. It takes a lot for her to get worked up and when she’s starting to get upset, her pitiful little whimper just pulls at my heartstrings! There have been a handful of times when she was tired and hungry as we were driving home after eating dinner at a restaurant. She would cry for about 5 minutes and then just fall asleep. In contrast, Emma at that age would’ve screamed harder and harder and harder all the way home, falling asleep right as we were pulling in the driveway. 😉

She takes 2 good naps a day, and sometimes a third catnap in the evening. I can almost always time her afternoon nap for when Emma is taking hers so I get a glorious break! She had been sleeping through the night up until about 3 weeks ago, but now she wakes up hungry between 3:30 and 4:30. She goes right back down after nursing though. She also might be teething (who knows?) because she’s had a few nights of waking up 3-4 times and being unhappy (which is unlike her). She still squawks instead of crying 90% of the time. When she actually does cry, you know she has HAD IT and needs to nurse/sleep NOW. What a sweetheart.


Annabelle likes stroller rides!20150902_192848

Annabelle fell asleep with me holding her during dinner one night. We didn’t realize it until Emma looked over and said “Baby’s sleeping!”

Annabelle’s passport photo attempts (for our trip to Mexico this coming Feb) — the top one was the winner.


And that’s Annabelle at 6 months!

Annabelle Lyn: 5 Months

1 Sep

Annabelle was 5 months (22 weeks) on August 27. At her well-child visit on August 11, she was 17 lbs 2 oz (90th percentile) and 25 inches (59th percentile), with a head circumference of 17 inches (99th percentile!). To compare, at 6 months, Emma was only 16 lbs 6 oz and 26 inches. Annabelle is a cuddly little chubbers!


This little girl is so smiley and happy. It seems like she loves everyone, though if a bunch of toddler strangers surround her carseat, she’s not afraid to voice her disapproval!
This past month, Annabelle had a few ‘rough’ evenings of not wanting to go to sleep. She usually nurses to sleep for naps and bedtime (I think it’s mostly just a comfort thing because she nurses plenty of other times too) and every once in a while lately, she is too squirmy or distracted to nurse. I chalk some of it up to her age and just being more interested in what’s around her. But other times, it seems like something’s bothering her. I remember one night, I couldn’t get her to nurse anywhere except when I sat on the floor, so I thought maybe she didn’t like feeling cramped. But the next day, she seemed fine with nursing in a chair where her feet touch the side, and has seemed fine since then, so who knows.
Speaking of nursing to sleep, that’s the main way she likes to go to sleep. Emma wouldn’t fall asleep nursing to save her life, but Annabelle prefers it over bouncing, rocking, anything. She doesn’t have to nurse to fall asleep, but does about 90% of the time. Proof that the child’s personality and temperament really make a difference!

I am slightly embarrassed to admit, though, that Annabelle still sleeps in her swing with the vibration on for her naps and bedtime. My plan had been to get her used to sleeping in the swing without the vibration first and then transition her to the crib, but she hasn’t liked that idea much. Plan B was buying a vibration pad to put under her crib mattress to see if we could get her to transition that way, but she hasn’t been a fan of that either (she’ll wake up after only 15-30 minutes). We’re going to keep trying because I just think she’s too old to still sleep in a swing. Seems like she might be missing out on some developmental benefits or something. She has ditched the swaddle, so at least there’s that. (It helps when they find their hands.)
These days, Annabelle usually wakes up around 7, takes an hour nap around 8:30, take a longer afternoon nap (1.5 – 3 hours) around 1, sometimes takes a short catnap in the evening (depending on how long her afternoon nap was), and goes to bed around 8:30. She sleeps straight through the night 99% of the time. A few times, I’ve had to nurse her around 5 am, but that’s not typical. I have appreciated her going to bed earlier because that means I can get her to bed and then focus on getting Emma to bed. Putting them both down at the same time is usually a disaster!

Annabelle has gotten better at tummy time — she can hold her head, neck and shoulders off the floor — but has only rolled over from belly to back once. She hasn’t rolled the other way (back to belly) at all. I’m trying to be more intentional with mat time but it’s hard with a toddler! That’s another reason I want to move her out of the swing.
We like to joke about how mild Annabelle’s crying is. She just has the cutest, most pitiful little cry, and it takes a LOT for her to get worked up. She’ll be woken up from a nap early, kept up an hour past bedtime, wait 45 minutes to eat, play by herself while I chase Emma for a diaper or clothes change, chill in the Bumbo watching me make dinner, swing in the infant swingset swing while we go down the slide with Emma and just take it all in. She squawks a lot (especially when she’s getting tired), laughs and coos at Emma’s antics, and reacts with surprised disgust when anything plastic or rubber goes in her mouth…

Which means she won’t take a bottle. Her only flaw. We’ve tried a handful of times now with a few different bottles — no luck. Since I stay home full-time and she’s on the verge of starting solid foods, I’m not too worried about it. I gave Annabelle a taste of mashed banana while making banana bread one day and she revolted. So I might try baby cereal mixed with breastmilk in a few weeks.
One other notable thing, we finally bought an Ergobaby. Zulily had them for half off, which motivated us to pull the trigger. So far, I love it. It’s comfortable to wear (no more hurting shoulders!) and Annabelle seems to like it fine. It’s a little tricky to get on by myself, but I think I’ve figured it out. I didn’t get the 360 version because I didn’t think that being able to wear her on the front facing forward was a big enough reason for me to pay more (the Classic still has 3 different positions).

At 5 months, Annabelle:

* Watching Emma and the dogs
* Swimming / taking baths
* Sleeping in her swing with vibration, or in the baby carrier
* Sticking her tongue out
* Squawking and cooing
* Grabbing whatever’s in her reach
* Sucking on her fingers
* Drooling

* Spending very much time in her carseat
* Being left alone (in a safe place) for very long
* Getting her feet tickled, nails trimmed or face/neck washed
* Tummy time, for longer than a few minutes
* Sleeping flat on her back