Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy Half Birthday Linnea!

We, the girls, celebrate half birthdays in this family since we both have summer birthdays.  Technically I guess I should say we both have one summer birthday since Linnea was born on my birthday, July 5th.  I'm guessing lots of double parties will be in our future.

Linnea,
I cannot believe you've been here half of a year.  I feel like I will blink and it will be your first birthday.  I am not ready.  I try to remember to slow down and soak in your little baby stage while I can but you aren't a little baby any more.  You are growing and learning all kinds of things which is great and I love watching you discover new things but I wish I could bottle up this stage.  It is truly the best!
This picture pretty much sums you up.  Happy!  We are so lucky!
Stats
At your well baby check up you weighed 13 lbs 5 oz (6.03 kg) which is in the 6th percentile.  You were 26 inches long (66 cm) which is in the 52nd percentile and your head measured 16.5 inches (41.9 cm) which is in the 40 percentile.  You are petite but long and staying on your own curve.  The doctor isn't worried about you one bit!  I'm thinking you'll get some more fat on you now that you are eating some solid foods.  The doctor said you are acting more like an 8 month old according to the survey I filled out about you.  She thinks by the next appointment (9 months I think) you'll be pulling up on things.  I. am. not. ready. and neither is our house :).  You didn't get shots at this appointment because we are heading to Wichita to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family so we are going to go back next week.  The doctor did say she thinks your bottom right tooth is about ready to come in so that will be exciting!
 
 You LOVE being able to read on your own.  This indestructible books Liz gave you is perfect!  You can't rip it and chewing on it is encouraged!
Doing a little light reading.
You really like the goat, donkey and camel from your Little Peoples Nativity set that your Grandma Janzen gave you for Christmas.
Eating
You continued to eat 4 times a day this month at 7:30, 11:30, 15:30 and 19:15.  I am not a fan of covering up while breastfeeding.  It is hot and you aren't a fan.  In Sweden, moms don't use nursing covers.  In fact you get weird looks if you do use one but in the US it is the opposite.  I always thought I'd use a nursing cover but after having one on for about 30 seconds I quickly changed my mind.  Nursing makes me hot (or the change in hormones after having a baby which is why I'm still wearing short sleeve shirts in the winter) and the cover is just annoying.  If I'm in public and I don't know anyone at all I will nurse without a cover.  We've gotten pretty good at it so things aren't just out in the open.  If I'm around people who aren't parents or they are sitting directly across from me then I have an infinity scarf I can put on to nurse.  Thankfully nursing takes about 10-15 minutes now which is much better than 30-45 minutes so using the scarf isn't horrible.

On your 6th month birthday you tried solid food, sweet potatoes, for the first time.  Your first few bites were met with your hands grabbing the spoon and shoving it into your mouth.  We let you play with a spoon about two weeks before you started eating and you really liked shoving it into your mouth (along with everything else you can get your hands on) so you knew exactly where you wanted it to go.  After a few bites your dad started feeding you some bigger bites and then you started making some pretty funny faces.
Your first taste of solid food.


The only funny faces you've made so far when eating.
This face cracks me up!  You must have gotten a big bite :).

I know your dad is excited to see you try new things.  At least he was until we fed you for the first time and saw how messy our future looks like it will be :).  Your Grandma Debbie added some waterproof material to some bibs so that it tucks over your shirt collar to hopefully save your shirts from getting too dirty while you learn how to eat.  Your Grandma Debbie really is the best!
We need to get a high chair for you but we haven't decided which one to get yet.  We have a seat you can sit in until we figure it out :).  We have tried putting you in a high chair a few times at restaurants and for the first time ever I was okay with it and it made your daddy nervous.  I have no idea why we flip flopped our normal reactions but we did and it makes me laugh.

You started spitting up less this month which is fantastic!  Occasionally you will burp and lose a little liquid so we cup our hand under your chin for about 30 seconds after a burp but then you are usually good to go!

Sleeping
You are consistently sleeping through the night without putting up any fight at bedtime and you don't need us in the middle of the night anymore.  It is glorious!  We noticed you would sometimes have a party in your crib sometime between 4:30-6:30 but you didn't invite us to join you (aka cry) and then you would fall back to sleep before we woke you up around 7:15.  When we slept in the same room for Christmas and our trip to Florida we heard you party more than we did at home.  You seem to wake up for about 30 minutes to an hour and just play and talk to yourself before falling back to sleep.  You don't cry for us at all but if you see us then you will start crying.

You still take an hour long nap in the morning and a two hour nap in the afternoon along with sleeping 12 hours at night.  Sometimes you'll take a short nap in the evenings.  We've noticed if we are just at home you won't need one but if we are around lots of people (like we were during the holidays) then you need a quick nap to make it through the evening.
You can find your pacifier in the middle of the night or at nap time and put it right back in like a champ.  We no longer have to go in and give it to you.  It is awesome!

We went to Florida to see Chelsea and Johan and for our first family vacation.  You slept great at night even being in different places and in the same room as us.  I had a harder time letting go of your nap schedule than you did.  You still ate at the same times as you do at home. (Adding an hour for the time zone difference which meant you ate at 8:30, 12:30, 4:30 pm and 8:15 pm so we got to sleep in on vacation!  It was AMAZING!)  Before we left Jake said that we couldn't let your naps and bedtime keep us from enjoying our vacation aka we weren't going to stay in the hotel for an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon just to keep you on a schedule.  You did great.  You slept a little less than normal during the day but you did take two or three naps during the day.  Sometimes they were in a pack in play but most of the time they were in your car seat or stroller.  We did put you down at 8:30 every night and a few nights we had to move you from Chelsea's parents house back to the hotel but you did great going back to sleep if you woke up during the transfer.

I'm going to brag about one night in particular.  The night of Johan and Chelsea's baby shower we put you down at 8:30 pm and you woke up about an hour later which isn't normal. We figured out I had forgotten to make sure your nose was cleared out so you couldn't breathe and suck on your pacifier at the same time which didn't go over well.  You woke up and we tried sucking out your nose and then when we went to lay you back down you spit up all over.  At that point I knew it might take a little while to get you to fall back to sleep and it was already 9:30 pm.  I didn't want to put you back to sleep only to wake you up 15-30 minutes later to transfer you to the hotel.  So we decided to call it a night and head to the hotel.  We made the mistake of bringing you out into the living room so then everyone wanted to tell you goodbye which just woke you up even more.  You stayed awake all the way to the hotel.  Once we got to the hotel we weren't sure if you would think it was bedtime or party time after you just took an hour long "nap."  We put you in the pack n play and you cried for 3 minutes and right when we would have given you your pacifier you started calming down and two minutes later you were asleep.  It took you 5 minutes to fall asleep and then you were out until the next morning.  Way to go Linnea!

You've started sleeping on your side and stomach more now that you have been rolling over more.  I am not a fan.  The first few times you did it I went back in and rolled you back over which would sometimes wake you up but you would fall back to sleep.  Seriously, you are the best.  I used to think that tummy sleepers were babies that didn't sleep well on their backs but that isn't the case with you.  It makes me nervous and it makes your belly monitor go off occasionally which isn't good!
For a week or so it seemed like your naps were either both great or both short.  That was kind of rough but the rest of the month was back to normal for your naps.

Your cousin Jocelyn was super cuddly as a baby.  When I watched her one summer I would always wake her up from her nap about 15 minutes before her older sister Avery so that I could cuddle with her.  I'm trying to teach you how to be cuddly but it isn't really working :(.  After you wake up from your nap I try to get you to cuddle with me in the chair.  It doesn't usually last long which makes me sad but I keep hoping you'll think that cuddling is part of your day and you'll like doing it more :).

Clothes
You wear size 62 and 6 month tops and bottoms.  There are a few size 68 tops from ├ůhlens that you can fit in.  You finally started wearing size 2 Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra diapers towards the end of the month.

You got to wear a few cute outfits in Florida that you hadn't worn before since it was warm :).


I found some fun bows on Etsy that I've been putting on you.  I think they are super cute!

Silly girl!
Playtime
You love rolling onto your belly.  This month you didn't last long on your back before you flipped over.  Most of the time you roll towards your right shoulder and at least once you rolled from back to belly to back to belly!  You stay on your belly for quite a while playing but sometimes you get tired and frustrated and you don't always remember to roll back to your back.  Sometimes you spit up when you are on your belly and now you've started noticing the spit up and playing in it.  Gross!
You started sitting up this month.  We signed up for Parents As Teachers which is through the Olathe School District and they come to our house once a month to give us ideas of things to do with you.  When Becky, our PAT lady, was here she asked how you were doing with sitting up.  I said you did well in the Bumbo and with the Boppy around you and she encouraged me to put you on the floor with pillows around you but not touching you so that you could fall over without hurting yourself.  She said it was good for you to learn that you had to catch yourself instead of relying on the bumbo and boppy to hold you up.  After you started practicing that you were able to sit up on your own for a lot longer.  You still need the pillows around you to make sure you don't bump your head when you fall but you can sit up for several minutes before falling over.



You might have fallen over after the last picture :) but for the most part you are doing a great job sitting up on your own!

You've started reaching for toys that used to be out of reach and sometimes you can get to them by turning in a circle or rolling.  You haven't done much scooting yet but I have a feeling it is in the near future!
When I left the room you were on the quilt where the blue block was but when I came back I found you here :).

You LOVE pulling my hair!  Another favorite is sucking on our faces, usually our noses, but also sometimes our cheeks.  Sometimes we say we will "eat your face" and apparently you took that literally :).

You like playing hide and seek/peek-a-boo.  Sometimes you play with us but you also like to play with a blanket on your face or by just closing your eyes.
Sometimes you play hide and seek with a blanket . . .
and sometimes you play without one :).
We borrowed an exersaucer/jumper for you to play with.  You like hanging out in it sometimes during the day.

You also like sitting in this seat to play with toys.



Don't worry your dad was right there to catch you.

You might give Mama your best smiles but you give your Daddy your best laughs.
Oh my heart!
Our Days
I am still loving our days at home.  It is so great being able to spend so much time with you.  You might be a bit of a mama's girl when you are upset and need some comforting but in general you will still go to anyone who wants to hold you.

Activities and Outings
We stopped in Topeka for fika with Jake's cousin Sarah and her family.  It was so fun hanging out for a little while.

You are an awesome car rider!

We also hung out at Ryan and Kelli's house during one of the football games and Luke was there with us too!
Jake wasn't having any fun!
 This month we had Luke and Linnea day!  One of my best friends and college roommates, Kelli, went shopping with her mom in KC and left Luke, her 8 week old, with us for the day.  We had a great time.  You loved holding his hand and watching him play.

This video is so cute.  They both try to hold hands.  They are about 3.5 months apart.

 We got an Ergo 360 baby carrier this month and you really liked going on a walk in it.
We have been taking full advantage of the public library.  I am constantly putting books on hold to pick up.  It is so much fun having such a big English selection!

This book was adorable!  This lady set up these scenes and then real squirrels walked around and hung out in them and she took pictures of them for her book.  You could say I was a fan!

 Sometimes your dad brings you to me in the mornings after he gets you dressed if I'm having a hard time getting up.  Playing with you is the best way to wake up in the mornings!

We cleaned out your nursery this week!  It isn't decorated but it is cleaned out which is the first step.  Now we just need to paint, decorate and put up a ceiling fan!

Emily, Jana, Linnea, Kara, Allyson, Amanda
We went to Dream Dinners in Kansas City to pick up a K-State Cheerleading poster and to see these girls.  I used to babysit these girls when I was growing up.  Allyson (who is in the green top on my left) and Emily (in the grey dress who is a K-State Cheerleader) were about 2 years old and 9 months old when I first started babysitting them.  They were my main babysitting family.  I LOVED watching them.  Their parents were awesome and they were the best girls.  I lay Linnea down awake for naps because that is how I used to put Emily down for naps.  Thank you Jana!  Amanda is about 5 years younger than Emily so I watched her as a newborn but shortly after that I went off to college and then they moved to Kansas City.  When I found out they were in KC a few years ago we met up and have stayed in touch via Facebook.  Now that we have Linnea I would love for one of the Day girls to watch her but they just moved to Wichita and Emily and Allyson are going to school at KSU.  Bummer.  It was great seeing them and being able to keep up with them on Facebook!

Christmas
Linnea met Santa Claus at Bass Pro Shop.  She didn't cry at all which is what I was expecting.  

She really liked his beard :).

We celebrated Christmas with your dad's side of the family on Christmas Eve which is their family tradition.  We already had Christmas with the Haverlahs in Texas over Thanksgiving but we celebrated with your grandparents and Uncle Bob on Christmas Eve.




Grandma Debbie was sick and then we were supposed to get bad ice and snow so we had to reschedule family Christmas with my side of the family.  It was really hard not being at your Grandparents' house on Christmas Day and not seeing them even though we were only about 5 minutes away.  We did Skype with them a few times which seemed lame being so close to them.  We went over to Robbie and Missy's house on Christmas day.  I really wanted to see someone from our family that day and they weren't sick and didn't have other family already in town so it was perfect!

We went to a park on Christmas day to just spend a few minutes together as a family of 3.  We opened a few Christmas presents and just spent time together.  I think this would be a fun tradition even if it will mostly likely be a bit chilly.
 You take the BEST pictures with your dad.

This Christmas didn't go as planned with sickness and bad weather making seeing my family out of the question but it was SO great having Christmas WITH you this year.

You also went swinging for the first time.  It was really slow but you seemed to have fun.
We went to Oklahoma to visit the Knox Family (your Grandpa Ken's side of the family) at Christmas.  It was so great seeing them!  

 You could say the girls really enjoyed playing with you.
 I remember Chloe's first Christmas.  She was about your age and she cried a lot but your Grandpa Ken walked her around and that helped.  It was so strange seeing her hold you.  And Chloe is in 3rd grade which is the grade I used to teach.  She is such a sweet girl.
 Teaching Linnea how to play Moon.  I love playing games and Moon is definitely a favorite at family get togethers with the Knox family.
Ken has one sister, Kathy, and she had four kids and they also had a few kids :).  We have a BLAST with the Oklahoma cousins.  I am so thankful to be part of their family!

Firsts and New Skills
Your Grandma Janet and Grandpa Ken put you to bed this month while we went to the Garth Brooks concert with your Grandma and Papa Jones.  It was kind of hard because you were sleepy and you don't take a bottle very often so you kind of forgot how to take one but you slept great that night even without taking your whole bottle.

Your Grandma Debbie also put you to bed one night so we could go to the movies.

I started carrying you on my hip sometimes which you don't mind but your favorite way to be carried is facing out.

We went on our first family vacation which I will hopefully blog about in a separate post!

Remember
I want to remember the rare occasions when you fall asleep while nursing right before bed.  It doesn't happen often but when it does I take full advantage and hold you for a long time before laying you down.  One night I rocked you to sleep.  It took you about 10 minutes to fall asleep.  I think you were confused as to why you weren't in your bed.  I love holding you.  Your dad and I often fight over who gets to hold you.  I can't believe you are getting so big!
I want to remember your sigh.  It is so cute!

I want to remember your little giggle.  You aren't ticklish but I can usually get you to laugh when you are in your stroller by pulling you towards me and saying hi.  It is so cute.

You are so, so loved.  I hope you always know that.
Love,
Your Mama

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