I’m late. Are you tired of hearing that yet? I gotta tell you, in real life I am crazy about being on time. I do not like to be late. I stress out so much over being on time everywhere. And yet in this space I am always running behind. This month I have every good excuse…the weather. It rained and rained and rained. There was never enough natural light to take a decent photo. And then Ru was sick. And then it rained for another two weeks. And then my camera battery was dead. And then it rained some more (If you think I’m joking, I’m not- it seriously rained forever!)
Finally I am here with some updates of my sweet Ruthie Jeanne. In the last two months she has sprung to life. Everyone comments on her happy personality. She rarely cries or fusses and if she does we know she is hungry or tired. She is hilarious and keeps me laughing and smiling all day. Her facial expressions, her noises, her actions- they are so funny. I think she knows she is funny too.
She is fully mobile (but not walking or standing unassisted yet). She is quick and crawls after her sister from room to room in the house. She is into everything and can open cabinets and drawers and loves to open and shut doors. She pulls up on everything and can surf the furniture. Ruthie is incredibly sturdy but refuses to stand on her own. If I trick her into it she will quickly notice and drop down to her bottom.
Ruthie loves having your attention all on her. She will reach in for kisses, snuggle up to your shoulder, smile coyly and tilt her head, and act shy. She waves and says bye-bye, nigh-nigh or hi. She can also say mama and dada but doesn’t say it often. Today it sounded just like she said mommy! She jibber jabbers all day in her own little language. She knows how to sign “all done” and “more.”She loves to crawl over legs and objects on the floor and doesn’t quite understand the consequence of falling off the bed or couch.
Since her eight month check-in we have been incredibly busy. We celebrated Halloween (she dressed up as a bumble bee), and Eleanor’s third birthday, Thanksgiving and took a road trip to Missouri. She goes with the flow but doesn’t always love being trapped in her carseat.
We play “peek-a-boo” and I put her on my knees to play “Horsey-horsey.” When I do it to Eleanor, Ruthie will line up right behind and wait her turn again. She is funny with Eleanor and teases her while they are in the car. If Ruthie has a toy or object she will pretend to offer it to Eleanor and then pull it away just in time. If Eleanor ends up grabbing it from her Ruthie always looks so surprised and then makes the best grump face. These are the things that keep us cracking up. Without even talking she is witty and charming and a complete crack-up.
A typical day in the life for Ruthie looks like this:
- 6:15am- wake up and nurse
- 7:00am- breakfast (usually a banana, sometimes pancakes or sweet potatoes and sausage)
- 8-9:00am- quick morning nap
- 9:00am- nurse and pack up to leave the house
- 9:30am- I attend boot camp and the girls enjoy childcare
- 10:30am- errands or park before returning home for lunch
- 11:30am- lunch (leftovers, sweet potato, pouch, fruit, olives) or sometimes she goes straight down for a nap when we get home if she is too tired
- 12noon-1:30pm- afternoon nap
- 1:30pm- nurse, play time
- 3:30pm- Eleanor usually is up from her nap around this time so we will venture out to the park or for a walk while we wait for Alex to get home
- 4:30pm- Alex arrives home, we all play together
- 5:15pm-5:45pm- cat nap
- 6:00pm- dinner (Ruthie almost always eats what we eat
- 6:30pm- bath, nurse and bedtime, always in bed by 7pm
Ruthie is great playing independently. She cruises around the apartment and plays with books, lego duplo, the play kitchen and food, blocks and other Fisher Price toys. She loves anything Eleanor loves. They fight over toys everyday. They play together with the legos and it is adorable.
We really struggled with Ruthie’s sleep this month. Between a week of travel and then being hit with illness, Ruthie’s sleep schedule was all over the place. We took four nights last week to sleep train again (for the third time). It has gotten harder and harder every time we have had to sleep train her but I am happy we are all finally sleeping through the night again. She sleeps a solid 12 hours at night and 3-4 hours total in naps throughout the day. I think getting her on a good sleep schedule really helps her moods throughout the day. There is a reason she is such a happy baby!
When she was waking at night we were also nursing close to eight times a day. Now with a better sleep schedule we are just nursing four times. I remember cutting down to three times when Eleanor was this age but I’m not sure Ruthie is ready for that yet. And since I am with her all day I don’t really have a reason to anyhow. Ruthie loves to nurse and when I start getting ready she kicks her feet and snorts in excitement. She also eats three solid food meals a day. The only foods she doesn’t like are eggs and avocados, but we keep trying them.
Ruthie loves her mama and dada equally. While she will prefer me when she is tired (just because she wants to nurse) she goes to Alex and loves on him just as much as me. We all love the time right after she wakes up in the morning. After I nurse her we play in bed for a while and she bounces back and forth between Alex and me, showering us with kisses and smiles and snuggles. Eleanor usually crawls in a few minutes later and Ruthie kicks her feet in excitement to see her big sister.
At some point over the last two months her two bottom teeth have grown in. She has an adorable and perfect baby smile and those two little teeth just peek out of her lips. She can eat a large variety of foods now and is definitely more efficient eating. She also just looks perfectly cute.
I am suddenly very aware how fast her first birthday is approaching. I can’t handle the thought of Ruthie growing up! Of course I want her to. I know each age and stage brings more joy and fun. I know that her growing up means learning more about her and her personality. But I also know that it means more tears and frustration. Life with toddlers is challenging, this much I know. And right now Ru is just incredibly sweet and fun and I’m not ready to move forward. Somedays I wish time would just stand still. At the same time, I am eager to be out of the baby stage. I don’t think we will ever go back to it. This past year has been equal parts difficult and joyful. As we enter the holiday season and near the end of 2015 I am incredibly reflective. What an amazing year we have had with this little girl. We have been blessed so much by her!