Tag Archives: Annabelle

Annabelle Lyn: 15 Months

27 Jun

Annabelle was 15 months back on June 27.20160607_112132 (Large)Size

Annabelle had her 15-month appointment last Friday and is now 22 lbs 7 oz (67%), 31 inches tall (62%) with a head circumference of 19 inches (98.8%). She’s still wearing 12-18 month clothing and size 4 diapers.20160613_162601 (Large)Eating

Not much has changed here from last month. She’s still nursing 3-5 times a day, eating 3 meals and a few snacks, and drinking water and occasionally peach tea from a sippy cup.

Annabelle does have all of her teeth now (minus her 2-year molars) and can feed herself with a spoon and fork (an ability she was more than eager to learn– she’d whine at meals until we gave her a utensil of her own).IMG_20160615_085131 (Large)IMG_20160621_123217 (Large)Sleeping

Annabelle’s sleeping has changed over the past month… and not for the better, unfortunately. She has developed what we think is separation anxiety, which means she wakes up whenever we try to put her in her crib and screams at the top of her lungs. Putting her down awake is just as bad. Since her crying is so intense and crying-it-out isn’t my thing to begin with, I usually only wait 10-15 minutes before going in to comfort her (and sometimes not even that).

One reason we think it’s separation anxiety is because she calms down the second we enter her room. But she doesn’t stay calm if we don’t also immediately pick her up. After a week or so of rocking her or holding her for 30-60 minutes (long enough for her to be sleeping deeply when we put her down) and feeling frustrated and exhausted, I moved a mattress into her room and have been sleeping with her on the floor for the past couple of weeks.IMG_20160625_111323 (Large)Another reason we think it’s separation anxiety is that she cries immediately if I try to put her in the crib, but goes right to sleep if I put her down on the mattress on the floor–I think because she associates it with me being in there with her. (She’ll also look to see if I’m still there when I put her down on the mattress.)

Anyway, I’m hoping this is a phase that runs its course quickly so that I can get back to my own bed. Though I will admit it’s kind of fun snuggling with Annabelle. In the morning, she’ll crawl over (she’s usually sleeping on a separate blanket on the floor by then with all the rolling around she does) and snuggle with me. She loves rolling around, burrowing, snuggling, cuddling, even when she’s awake. She often lays her head on her shoulders when we’re holding her. She’s just such a sweetie.

IMG_20160623_160722 (Large)Development

Annabelle is so. close. to walking but just doesn’t have the confidence or boldness quite yet to really try it. She is starting to let go of her support while playing with things, can walk if we hold her around the waist or hold one hand, but is just extremely cautious. She’s had a few minor tumbles while trying to walk that have impeded her progress even more. The gross motor expert we’re working with, though, says another reason for her delay could be because Annabelle’s feet naturally fall inside onto her arches, causing her to work extra hard to maintain her balance, and that she would benefit from wearing supportive shoes almost all the time. We haven’t been very good about having her wear shoes since she’s not walking and it’s summer (hello sweaty feet!), but I’m trying to be better about it since it’s the best thing for her.

She still loves pushing her alligator clacker around, and she can finally turn it on her own too! She loves funny noises and ripping paper, and is in full-blown mess-making mode. Her favorite thing by far, though, is climbing. We move a small stool in front of the couch (it’s just a little too high for her without it) and she amuses herself for 15-20 minutes going up and down. She also loves climbing stairs and slides.

Annabelle also does a lot of talking and babbling, and her favorite word(s) by far right now are Dada (used for almost everything) and Dawdee (Doggy). She also says “Oh” with her little mouth in the shape of an O (especially when seeing something new or interesting), “ah da” (all done), and “uh oh” regularly. She now associates the sign for “more” with the idea of eating. Her receptive language has increased a lot too–we can ask her to come over to her chair to eat and she will (when she wants to eat). We can talk about going outside and she’ll go to the door, or at least look in that direction. She’ll be upset about not getting food right. now. and I can explain that I’m just going to get her tray, or cut the food up, and she’ll settle down momentarily. She can also point to doggies in books. It’s so fun watching kids learn new things!

Annabelle Lyn: 13-14 Months

2 Jun

I keep falling behind on Annabelle’s monthly updates–each month goes by so fast! Annabelle was 13 months on April 27 and 14 months on May 27.20160414_150436 (Large)

Annabelle is at such a fun age. She’s learning new things everyday, getting into everything, and will be walking any day now. But first things first…IMG_20160416_093614 (Large)

Size

Annabelle is still wearing some 12-month clothes, but she’s mostly in 18-month clothes now (partly because they’re the warmer weather ones). She wears size 4 toddler shoes and size 4 diapers. The 12-month sunhat that we had for Emma at this age doesn’t fit her noggin though, so I had to buy her a 12-18 month size (and even that *just* fits).20160501_170207 (Large)

Eating

Annabelle is still a good eater and I think she went through a growth spurt a few weeks ago because she was packing away the food. Her favorite foods right now are: avocado, banana, blueberries, puffs, toast, crackers, noodles, tomatoes, mandarin oranges/clementines, pears, peaches, pineapple, kiwi, and cheese. She has several other foods that she will eat a small amount of as well. But banana, avocado, cheese, and oranges are the mainstays of her diet.IMG_20160415_183855 (Large)

Annabelle is still nursing, mostly because she has been getting teeth left and right! She now has all 4 molars (the 4th is halfway through the gum) and is getting the 4 canine teeth (between the incisors and molars) all at the same time. She’s been a little crabby, to say the least. She gets a dose of baby ibuprofen every night before bed, and that seems to keep the pain at bay during the night.

20160509_112048 (Large)If Annabelle wakes up during the night (which she still does once on average, though some nights she sleeps straight through and some wacky nights she’s up 3-4 times), I nurse her. I also nurse her right away in the morning, and before her naps and bedtime. Otherwise, she’s just eating food and drinking water. She doesn’t drink cow’s milk really at all… I haven’t tried very hard to get her to, but she doesn’t seem to like it much. I’m not too worried about it at this point.

IMG_20160512_152046 (Large)Sleeping

I really have no complaints about Annabelle’s sleeping habits. Would I like Annabelle to sleep through the night consistently? Of course. Will she eventually? I have no doubt. Am I going to try to sleep train while she’s cutting 5 teeth? Mmmm, no. Since she’s getting all of her teeth (minus the 2-year molars) right now, the end is in sight! And then I will work on weaning, which will hopefully mean her sleeping through the night too. Or maybe without teething pain, she’ll sleep through the night and kind of wean herself. **here’s hoping**

IMG_20160422_084041 (Large)Annabelle waffles between one and two naps a day. I try to get the girls to take their afternoon naps together as much as possible (giving me a much-needed break) but some days, it just doesn’t work. I’d say it’s about 60-40 (nap together-nap separately). If I can see that the naps aren’t going to overlap, I have Emma watch her iPad in her room for 20-30 minutes while Annabelle is napping, so I at least get a teeny break.

Because she still nurses and won’t take a bottle, I still haven’t spent a night away from Annabelle since she was born. But! The weekend of our wedding anniversary (May 19), Travis’ parents watched both Emma and Annabelle for an entire day. Annabelle took a 3-hour nap without nursing. I did end up nursing her that afternoon (so that I didn’t have to pump, and we were back at the house getting the boat anyway), and before bed. But it was encouraging that she went down easily and took a good nap without me. Next up is trying a whole day and night without me… but that might be after she’s weaned. Can you tell that my approach is Less is More?

20160524_151828 (Large)Development

Annabelle still isn’t walking but she’s oh.so.close. Similar to how long it took her to start crawling, I think she’s just being very conservative about things. She pulls herself up on everything and LOVES climbing (she’s gets very upset if she sees stairs and isn’t allowed to climb them right now). She has mastered the art of going down stairs too, and can turn around at the top to go down backward. That is also her strategy for going down the slide on our swing set. One of Annabelle’s very favorite things to do the past couple of months has been push her alligator clacker up and down the driveway. She can walk pretty fast doing it too!

IMG_20160515_133945 (Large)IMG_20160531_155019 (Large)IMG_20160516_161515 (Large)Unlike her sister, Annabelle does not like swinging very much. She seems to enjoy it for about 5 minutes and then wants out. (Emma could swing all the day long.) She hasn’t been a huge fan of grass or sand so far, but each day she gets a little more adventurous. Just today she was crawling around on our driveway and the grass in front of our house (which means filthy pants for mommy to wash!).

20160518_202307 (Large)Annabelle does love water like Emma does, though. She loves being in the pool and tub, and the one time we went to the beach so far this year, Annabelle walked in up to her diaper (I was not preparing for swimming). My parents bought Emma a water table for her birthday and Annabelle has really enjoyed that too.

IMG_20160422_083319 (Large)Annabelle has a handful of words now–dada (dad), dawdee (doggy), uh oh, ma (more), uh (up), ah daw (all done)–and we can tell that she’s comprehending more too. The other night, we were playing in the bathroom and I asked Annabelle if she wanted to take a bath. She looked toward the bathtub, said some gibberish, and crawled over to the tub. She’s also learned the sign for “more” and has used that a handful of times to request more food. She also loves blowing raspberries, just with her mouth and also on my arm. One night, I was trying to put her down for bed, and she just kept blowing on my arm for almost 10 minutes. I was laughing pretty hard.

20160518_203901 (Large)Annabelle still puts up with a lot of rough play from Emma. It is the most frustrating part of parenting right now. Seriously, the choices a toddler makes defy logic. The other night, we were playing with the big lego blocks while watching a movie. Emma took a stack of blocks and dropped it right on Annabelle’s head. WTH?!?! We’ve started using the 1-2-3 Magic discipline approach, but when Emma purposefully or even sometimes negligently hurts Annabelle, she immediately gets a timeout. Is it working? Who knows. Emma has a really hard time keeping her hands to herself. Poor Annabelle gets pushed, pulled, dragged, hit, bit, shoved, hair pulled, toys stolen, head covered with blankets–you name it. I think Emma views Annabelle as her life-size doll to play with. Annabelle also gets a decent amount of head bonks and bruises from her own exploring as well. Thankfully she hasn’t gotten seriously injured yet.

IMG_20160520_142721 (Large)IMG_20160413_135330 (Large)Right before Annabelle turned 14 months, she went on her third airplane ride, this time to Cleveland, Ohio. She did really well! I nursed her on the flight from MSP to Cleveland, and she slept most of the way. More details coming in a separate post about our trip…

And that’s Annabelle at 14 months!IMG_20160414_201231 (Large)IMG_20160406_115553 (Large)IMG_20160407_155607 (Large)20160510_092412 (Large)20160506_184527 (Large)20160503_094602 (Large)20160501_192127 (Large)20160429_130529 (Large)20160422_085150 (Large)20160422_085141 (Large)

Annabelle Lyn: 11-12 Months

1 Apr

Annabelle was 11 months on February 27 and 12 months on March 27 (Easter Sunday). I can’t believe she’s ONE!20160327_131923 (Large)Annabelle has changed so much in the past 2 months!

Size

Annabelle is still wearing almost all 12-month size. Through 11 months, some 9-month things still fit but a few days after her birthday, I boxed up everything smaller than 12 months, and got out her 18-month stuff (which is still a little big on her). She’s wearing size 4 diapers.

Her 12-month checkup was today and she is now 29 inches tall (53%), weighs 21 lb 5 oz (72%), and has a head circumference of 19 inches (99.3%).

20160327_125457 (Large)Eating

Annabelle is still nursing about 3 times during the day and a couple times at night (just because of teething). She has figured out how to suck on a sippy cup and tip it up so we’ve started giving her whole milk in an effort to move toward weaning but she seems to prefer water (and nursing).

20160224_114520 (Large)Annabelle’s favorite foods are purees (though we’re trying to be done with those), yogurt, cheese, toast, puffs, strawberries, green beans, mandarin oranges, raisins, pears, peaches, and applesauce. She has tried and liked grapes, cottage cheese, broccoli, corn, peas, and cooked carrots (but we haven’t fed them to her very often). She’s not a huge fan of blueberries, rice, black beans, or butternut squash. When she doesn’t like a food, gets sick of eating it, or is done, she starts throwing her food on the floor behind her. If she wants more, she wails for a bit and then waits to see if you’re listening before continuing. She also gets a kick out of feeding the dogs, and pretending to give you a piece but not letting go of it.

Annabelle has eight teeth (the four in the middle on both top and bottom) and has been working on her bottom molars for what seems like forever (it’s probably been 3-4 weeks). They’re just now starting to peek through her gums.

20160227_121527 (Large)20160302_181722 (Large)Sleeping

Teething means that Annabelle’s sleep is not the greatest. She’s up 2-3 times a night, usually the first time about 3 hours after we put her down, then again 4 hours later, and then up for the day between 6 and 7 am. There has been a night here and there that she has slept through the night, but that is definitely not the norm. The fact that she does is occasionally though gives me hope that once teething is over (or at least stops for a while), her sleep will improve. PLEASE!?!?!?!20160229_130737 (Large)Annabelle is moving toward dropping her morning nap and only takes one nap a day about half the time. If she does take a morning nap, it’s short — 20-45 minutes. When she only takes one nap, she’ll go down around 12:30 or so, and sleep until 2:30 or 3. Which means that Emma and Annabelle no longer nap at the same time (single tear). Emma is moving toward not napping at all, so some days, I just have her do an hour of “room time” (usually 15-30 minutes of reading/playing, and then 30 minutes of watching the iPad) so that I still get a chunk of sans-Bisk time.The benefit of Emma not napping is that she goes to bed at 7:30 instead of 9:30, so Travis and I actually get an evening together! Some days, that’s totally worth no break during naptime. And if I’m taking care of one kid, I might as well be taking care of both of them and have them both go to bed early!

IMG_20160308_145014 (Large)Development

Another potential contributor to Annabelle not sleeping well is that she has exploded in gross motor development! Around 11 months, she started leaning forward on her hands and then sitting back, so that she could sort of scoot in a circle doing that. Then she spent 2 weeks getting in a crawling position, and sitting back down. Then she spent about a week getting in the crawling position, inching forward a bit and sitting back down. Finally, about a week before she turned one, she started crawling for real! Now she’s all over the place and into everything. It’s about time. 😉IMG_20160315_164426 (Large)

She has also gone from sleeping in one position all night, to sleeping on her side, to rolling on to her stomach and getting mad because she (thought she) couldn’t roll back, to sleeping on her stomach 80% of the time by choice. In the past couple of weeks, she has started to sit up in her crib when she’s unhappy, and just this past week started pulling herself up to standing in her crib (and pretty much everywhere else she can).

20160327_184133 (Large)In addition to pulling herself up, she can climb stairs, cruise furniture, and take steps when you hold her hands. She did NONE of this a month ago, and had been so “plateau-ed” in that area, so it is seriously amazing to see her take off in gross motor development!

Annabelle loves to squeal and say “dada” — in a loud voice, normal voice, or whisper. She also likes to whisper “ssss… ssss…” and shout “ha… huh…” noises. She has said “mama” (but doesn’t often) and loves to say “uh oh.” Similar to her sister, she loves being held upside down, spun in a circle, dropped on her back onto a bed, steamrolled, and pulled/pushed in a stroller, wagon, swing, laundry basket, sled, you name it.IMG_20160322_191514 (Large)

Her personality is mostly mellow but there are definitely times when she gets wound up and shows similarities to her boisterous sister.

Annabelle puts up with a lot of rough play from Emma, and has a pretty easygoing personality about most things, but does not like being held up or thrown high in the air. She is also very hesitant about different textures. In the past 2 months, she’s experienced snow, grass and sand, and didn’t like any of them. I also showed her a wire heart covered in garland and she wouldn’t even touch it. These things haven’t really been a problem yet, and hopefully they’re just like her reactions to food — once she experiences it a few times, she warms up and it’s no big deal.12779106_1084627788234209_8896076473531583942_o

Annabelle tasting the frosting on her birthday cake:

She ended up eating most of the frosting, but hardly any of the actual cake.

A few habits Annabelle has that I do not like are scratching my chest and grabbing/pinching my chin while nursing (it seriously hurts!), and also biting me when she wants to nurse.

Annabelle also had her first scrape in the last two months. We were at a local pool and I had placed Annabelle, unstrapped, in her carseat under the watch of my friend while I went to the bathroom to change clothes. Annabelle leaned forward and fell out on her face on the rock floor, got a bruise on her forehead, and a scrape on her chin. Poor baby and mommy fail!IMG_20160304_101758 (Large)

And that’s Annabelle at ONE YEAR!

Annabelle Lyn: 10 Months

28 Jan

How is it time for another monthly update? Miss Annabelle was 10 months old yesterday on the 27th!

10monthsannabelle

Size

Annabelle can still wear a few 9-month things but she’s mostly wearing 12-month clothes. She’s bursting at the seams of her snowsuit (it’s 6-9 months but runs big), so I’m guessing we’ll have to buy or borrow a bigger one for her before winter’s over.

I’m also thinking about going up to size 4 in diapers for her… will have to do a test run soon. It would make things easier because that’s the size Emma wears too!20160128_111903

Sleeping

This month was still rough in the sleep department, though it has gotten slightly better in the last couple of weeks — slightly better meaning her waking up only once or twice a night. It seems like Annabelle is perpetually sick or teething, which makes for some rough nights!

Annabelle has also started boycotting her morning nap. She’ll fall asleep nursing but then when I try to put her down, she wakes up and won’t go back to sleep. So then I either keep her up until Emma’s nap or she grabs a quick cat nap in the car running errands. She’s still in such a good mood even when her morning nap is short or nonexistent though so it’s not too bad.

Another change this past month is that Annabelle is not nursing to sleep as often as before. Sometimes she’ll let us rock her to sleep but other times, she just isn’t having it even though we know she’s tired. So then our only option is to put her in her crib with the vibration pad going and let her cry for 15-20 minutes. Most of the time, she’ll fall asleep on her own doing that, but occasionally we have to go back in and try getting her to sleep again. I feel bad when my girls cry themselves to sleep, but sometimes they just need to. I really appreciate having a video monitor during those times.20160123_142717

Eating

Annabelle got one more bottom tooth and has been working on another top tooth all month (slowest tooth ever!), which will bring her up to 8 teeth.

She’s been doing a LOT better with eating solid foods this month, though she still is a picky eater. Her favorite foods are puffs, fruity purees, applesauce, strawberry banana oatmeal cereal, apple, cheese, and toast. She dislikes yogurt, green beans, banana, avocado and especially mandarin oranges. Most days, Annabelle eats 2-3 meals. It’s a great way to keep her happy and occupied while I make food for the rest of us.20160122_091310

Development

Annabelle doesn’t like the jumperoo as much as she used to, and since she’s still not mobile in any way, she’s pretty much limited to playing with toys that we give her. We have been trying to be more intentional with helping her have tummy time (even though she’s not a fan), stand up and kneel, as well as get some time on her hands and knees (which she also does not enjoy). For most of her 10th month, Annabelle was still pretty tippy sitting up but in the past week, I have noticed that she is a lot more stable, and she is even starting to pivot a little when she’s on her belly, so that’s something!

We discovered this past month that Annabelle loves being pulled in a sled and pushed in a laundry basket. Emma pulled Annabelle in her sled up and down our driveway all by herself.

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20160118_170348Annabelle’s favorite “word” by far is “Dada” and it is the. cutest. noise. ever. Her cuteness is out of control.

Poor girl also gets lots of rough affection from Emma — lots of sideways hugs (like she’s going to give her a noogie), pulling, pushing and general rough-housing. Annabelle takes it like a champ though — it takes a lot for her to get mad. 20160109_13385520160123_13581020160101_180826

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!
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Size

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!
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Eating

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.
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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.
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Sleeping

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!
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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.
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Development

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.
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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.
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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:

Size

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

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Eating

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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Sleep

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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Development

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!