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Her words so far:
mama = mah-ma
apple = app-poh
daddy = dad-djeee
doggy = duh-ggiee
door = d-hoo-r
socks = sh-ocks
shoes = shoo-oohs
what’s that? = wat-ss dat?
opposites = ah-poh-this
up! = ah-p!
I love the way she drawls out her words.. so soft and delicious! My own mom always looved to smooch me on the mouth growing up… and she even does it now though I’m a grown woman! I always go, “MOH-OM!!” but I just let her because I like to pick my battles. My sister NEVER let’s my mom kiss her like that and will say, “that’s disgusting!”. But gosh, I think my daughter is soo delicious that I can’t stop kissing her on the lips and cheeks and tummy and all over! I get the appeal now. She’s so eatable.
So you’ve made it through 12-months of updates with me – Congratulations! From here on out, I won’t be posting anymore monthly updates. My baby is growing up! We celebrated her 1st birthday last weekend and it was great! Separate post on that later. For now, let’s see what my baby girl has been up to this last month…
First Cold: towards the end of December, Noelle caught her first cold! She had a fever of about 100.3 for two days, but was still in good spirits. If it wasn’t for the runny nose, I wouldn’t even have thought anything was wrong. We fed her a low dose of baby Tylenol about once a day for 2 days to help ease the discomfort and the cold left as quickly as it came.
Feedings: I am still thoroughly confused about how to approach feeding my daughter. Now that she’s one, I’m supposed to gradually wean her from the bottle and transition her to whole milk. I cut down one of her bottles, so she only drinks from her bottle 3x a day and gets 3 meals of solids (breakfast, lunch, dinner) on top of that. I try to get her to drink whole milk from a sippy cup but she doesn’t like it and spits it right out once she realizes it’s not water. I’m nervous about getting rid of more bottles because what if she doesn’t get enough to eat during the day?
So I did what any modern-day mom would do – I turned to my friend Google. I weeded through several pages of Google search results, but these were the links I found most useful:
- Feeding your 1-to-2 year old (No more than 16-24 oz of whole milk a day)
- What to feed your weaning 1-year old
- Sample 1-year-old feeding schedules
Here’s a rough idea of what her eating schedule is like now:
- 7am (wake) – 6 oz bottle
- 8am (breakfast) – usually eggs, apple slices, and cut up PBJ.
- 12pm (lunch) – porridge, etc.
- 3pm – 6 oz bottle
- 5pm (dinner) – chicken/fish, yogurt, etc.
- 7pm (before bed) – 6 oz bottle
Sleeping: Some nights she sleeps like a CHAMP! But other nights, like last night… she wakes up crying/screaming for no apparent reason (almost always around 5am). The room was warm & cozy, she didn’t have a poopy, and she drank a full bedtime bottle so I ruled out hunger. She just wanted to be held for 5-10 minutes before knocking out again. She does this a few times a week. I guess like all things parenting, you never know what you’re gonna get. If someone has an idea why this is happening, I’m all ears!
Learning/Playing: She still LOVES playing peekaboo and has more interest in adult gadgets (like my tripod for one) than her colorful, cute toys. Here’s a blurry pic (kicking myself for not getting a clear picture) of her playing peekaboo with no one in particular… then she gets super excited and starts clapping to herself!
She also continues to imitate everything we do. Sometimes if she’s doing something, but I’m not doing it… she’ll grab and lift up my hand as if motioning for me to follow along with her. She’s also really good at imitating our words.
Recently, I read an interesting post about incorporating teachable moments throughout the day – I didn’t know there was a formal study on this, but I guess I was already doing some of this in my own way. When I do anything with her, I walk through what we’re doing – “Mommy is putting on your socks”, “It’s diaper change time”, “what’s that blue, round thing?”. When she wants to be held, as I’m about to lift her up into my arms I go “UP!”. Whenever she is about to do/touch something she isn’t supposed to, I use a very low, serious tone. Even if babies can’t understand all our words, I figure they can at least understand our intonations and body language. Thus, I try to be as expressive and verbal as possible when communicating with my girl.
She also LOVES climbing the stairs. She is SO good at it and can climb super fast. How they do that? We finally put gates on the top of the stairwell.
“Neener neener neener… Catch me if you can!”
Words: So far she can say – Apple, Socks, Up, Opposites, What’s that? (including the question mark tone), Hi, Bye, Doggy, Daddy, and Mommy.
This month, her growth and height somehow evened out and she’s now around the 50th percentile for both. She must’ve inherited her Daddys’ korean head though because it’s still at the 75th percentile. Hope she doesn’t topple over, lol! (Korean’s are stereotypically known for their big heads).
A sneak peek of her in her 1st birthday outfit:
Her growth – revisited:
4-months: 15 lbs 10 oz (90%) | 25 3/4 inches (92%) | 41 1/2 cm (50%)
6-months: 18 lbs 2 oz. (90%) | 27 1/2 inches (95%) | 44 cm (75%)
9-months: 19 lbs 2 oz. (50%) | 28 1/2 inches (75%) | 46 cm (75%)
12-months: 21 lbs 4 oz (50%) | 29 1/4 inches (55%) | 46 1/2 cm (75%)
All I can think about lately is the 9-month sleep regression my baby is going through. She’s been waking up at night again for the last week, and she’s also going through a round of teething. We think the teeth next to her two top teeth are growing in, but I can’t be sure because she’ll bite me hard if I try to stick my fingers in her mouth.
Milestones: she is really good at maneuvering herself from belly to sitting to standing. She likes to “cruise” (with mama’s help) from location to location. She’s quite the active little fireball. One morning, we found her standing in her crib so we had to lower the crib to the lowest setting. My MIL told us that when S was a baby, he climbed out of his crib and plunged headfirst into the floor once. I might have a heart attack if that happened to Baby N.
She started waving “hi” and “bye” shortly after she turned 8-months and now does it nonstop. It’s safe to say that her first word is “bye”. She understands “hi”, “bye”, and “no!”.
Usually I’ll take her on a short walk around the block when I come home from work and she’ll start waving at a random stranger or dog or tree (lol) that she sees from afar. She is mesmerized by nature (just like mama) and she’ll quietly murmur to herself as she gently touches flower petals, tree bark, and leaves. She lifts her chin up and closes her eyes whenever she feels the wind come by. It’s become one of my favorite times of day. It’s interesting observing life from the perspective of an infant… everything is new and wonderful and enchanting.
We know she understands the word “no” because whenever she goes near cords or something she shouldn’t, we’ll say “no, that’s dangerous” in a very serious, disapproving tone. She’ll hesitate for a few seconds as if weighing her options, then turn away and find something else to preoccupy herself with.
Eating: she’s still eating anything and everything we give her. We implemented a combination of Baby Led Weaning and purees in her 8th month. For breakfast and lunch we’ll let her feed herself a variety of solids (apple slices, scrambled egg yolks, tofu, toast…). In the late afternoon we’ll still spoonfeed her fruit/veggie purees.
Compare the two different feeding experiences. BLW in a high chair on the left and purees in her Bumbo on the right. Since she insists on grabbing the spoon, feeding her purees have become no easy feat.
One thing’s for sure though… she loves food and so far she hasn’t been picky about anything we’ve given her.
As happy as can be!
We went to the pediatrician’s today and was surprised to hear that N’s weight dropped to the 50th percentile. She’s still a tall one though and remains in the 90th percentile for height. All that crawling, climbing and exploring melted the chubchubs away. So she can fit comfortably into 6-month and 9-month sized onesies, but when it comes to pants or PJ’s with legs we have to size up to 12-months.
This month she wised up and is showing PoohBear who’s boss! She knows her place in the circle of life now…
19 lbs 2 oz | 28.5 inches | 46 cm
50% | 90% | 75%
I started my full-time job about 3 weeks ago, so blogging has fallen by the wayside. The question I get asked the most is, “how has it been adjusting to full-time work? Has it been hard?”. It wasn’t “hard” per say, but the first week definitely wasn’t easy and I missed her like crazy. I think about her every minute of my day, and as soon as I’m off I rush home to be with my baby. Though I’ve found a rhythm and working has brought a good balance to my life. These days, every minute I get with her is that much more meaningful.
Plus, I get to come home to this greeting every day:
Did you see that initial smile and how she leaped onto her belly towards me? Makes me feel so special and loved! It’s our reward for those endless feedings and lack of sleeping.
This month, both S and I were in the bridal party for a wedding in SF, so we left N with my in-laws for 4 days over Labor Day weekend. It was the longest we’ve left her to date! Before I had a baby, I didn’t understand when parents would say they missed their children and couldn’t wait to get back to them. I wondered, “wouldn’t you want some downtime away from your kids?? Isn’t it freeing?”, but now I get it! I totally get it!
One tough thing about going on a trip without N is that I’m still breastfeeding, so it was a challenge pumping and trying to bring all my milk back with me. It didn’t help that I brought only a manual hand pump (not to mention I hate pumping). I dumped the first 6 ounces cuz I had nowhere to store it. It broke my heart and I couldn’t get myself to do it again. That stuff is like precious precious gold!! I was determined to bring every last ounce back with me. At one point I was sitting on the bathroom floor of a nail salon pumping away cuz I had nowhere else to go. I even skipped a session or two because of time constraints and I really had nowhere/no time to pump – that made me worry that I was going to lose my supply! Whew, that was stressful.
Here’s the lovely couple practicing for their big day at a beautiful winery – the bride is a big sass, can ya tell? ;)
Milestones: this has been my favorite month to date, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get better. She’s so much more independent now. I can set her on the ground anywhere and watch her as she plays on her own while I sit back and enjoy. She still likes to be in my arms, but not for very long before she’s off again exploring on her own. She’s a super fast crawler, but she doesn’t crawl on all fours. She crawls on her belly with her forearms leading the way – army style! Check it out:
Her top two teeth are also fully grown in! So now she has a total of 4 teeth. Here’s a big smile from my girl:
Playing with grandma…
I managed to come home from work and snap a few photos for this month. Since it was the end of the day, she was out of it. Good thing there’s still summer daylight. Hope I can keep up with the photos as we head into the fall/winter season!
You are so loved Noelle.
I’m a little behind on this month’s update! I’ve been busy trying to keep up with the little one. She’s more active now and needs less daytime sleep… meaning shorter naps for her and no naps for me! Wah. I’ve been trying to sleep earlier though – I try to go to bed by 11:30pm at the latest, which is a big deal for me.
It’s great that munchkin has a full head of hair, but the problem is that it’s so hard to do anything with it. Headbands don’t seem to look right and she’s sportin’ a mullet these days. She loves my crappy pink computer – I can’t wait til it dies on me, but at least it’s good for something (keeping her preoccupied)!
Milestones: She’s sitting better now. She can sit unassisted for brief moments before toppling over, but still needs some guidance. She’s a strong one and can even escape the Bumbo despite her chunky thighs! Geez!! She can’t crawl yet (though she tries), but she can maneuver herself around the room by rolling this way and that. She also wants to climb everything… see Exhibits 1 & 2:
Spider-girl in the making!
My little explorer. I don’t know what it is about this table that she loves so much.
Look at the determination and focus on her little face! She’s persistent when it comes to reaching her next destination.
Her two bottom teeth have fully grown in, but no signs of other teeth yet. I tried to take a picture but failed. We’ve been brushing them with water twice a day to keep them strong and healthy.
Foodwise, she’s not picky. We started her with Earth’s Best rice cereal, and have since then added cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, green beans, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and avocados. She eats it all. We often mix and match. I haven’t introduced any fruits to her diet yet. Along with the purees, I’ve also been teaching her how to drink water from a sippy cup. She’s slowly getting the hang of it.
She’s so tall… I bet she could pass for a toddler if only she knew how to walk! At least I know all those nutrients are going somewhere.
It’s so easy to get her to smile/laugh now. She is also learning to string together consonants. I’ve admitted defeat and have to say that her first words were “baba”, which means dad in Chinese. She’s also been saying “umma” a lot, which means mom in Korean. SO FUNNY because her dad is korean and I’m chinese… so she’s got it all backwards! However, in the last several days she’s been using varying forms of “mom” – mama, oh-ma, um-ma while reaching for me. It makes me think she might actually know the meaning to the word!
Other than that…
We’ve been dealing with baby eczema on her face for all 7-months of her life now. You can see that it’s really only on her cheeks:
The flare-ups come and go and we have no idea what triggers it. Since it’s only on her face our pediatrician ruled out food allergies. She thinks it’s a topical problem from detergent or fragrances.
I’m skeptical that the eczema could be just a detergent thing though cuz then wouldn’t she be getting it on her body too?? Her arms and legs are just as exposed as her face! I don’t get it. Right now we put some medicine on her face on an off-on basis. After we wash her face we’ll put on some Elidel, followed by CeraVe.
She’s so squirmy now, it wasn’t easy getting a pic of her sitting still. Here she is playing tug-o’-Pooh
She’s practically double Pooh in height now! Was there really a time when she was smaller than him? Where did my baby go?
No pediatrician visit or stats this month.
I continue to get BabyCenter updates long after my pregnancy. These days it tells me what the average baby her age should be able to do. As I read what was in store for my 6-month, 2-week old, it reminded me of my own childhood:
Your baby may favor one hand for a while and then switch to the other. But you can’t really tell whether she’s a lefty or a righty until she’s about 2 or 3 years old.
Don’t try to influence your baby’s hand preference (it’s determined before birth). Forcing a child to use one hand when she’s inclined to use the other may confuse her and lead to problems with hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and handwriting down the road.
I was born a natural lefty, but my grandma forced me to become a righty. She would sit there breathing down my neck until I was able to write and use utensils with my right hand. My grandma was a BIG disciplinarian and scarryyyy. Not all grandma’s are cute and cuddly – she was a fierce one!
I vaguely remember her saying how being a lefty would make things like eating at the table with other people more difficult (knocking elbows and all), or how it could be seen as unattractive. The last thing I wanted as a child was to not fit in, so I diligently worked on improving my right-handed skills.
However, there are still a lot of subtle things that my natural left-handedness can’t shake. I’m surprisingly stronger on my left when it comes to things like snowboarding (goofy), shooting pool, skateboarding, and snapping my fingers (can’t snap AT ALL with my right).
S is a big history buff, so he told me that if you notice, all politicians are right-handed because it was once considered a handicap to be a lefty. I guess there were major stereotypes against it! He told me you can figure out which politicians were true lefties by the hand they waved with. It’s such a subconscious learned behavior that people don’t consciously work to correct it. After he said that I became more aware of what hand I wave with, and S is so right! I almost always wave with my left hand!! It feels way more natural to me.
So when I read the last sentence of that BabyCenter update I can’t help but chuckle – exaggerate much? If you saw my handwriting, you would never guess that my right-hand is actually my weak hand. Also, I’m not the most coordinated person in the world, but my dexterity is far from “bad”. I’m not saying you should go and change your child’s hand preference, but sometimes we gotta take these blanket generalizations with a grain of salt.
What the… where did half the year go?? Where did my itty bitty bugaboo disappear to? The rumors are true. They really do grow up SO FAST! It’s like I blinked and here we are.
Here’s a video of her today at exactly 6 months – she laughed so much! I think she’ll be a happy one =)
If I had to use one phrase to describe this month, I would say that it was a month of give and takes.
Good: Sleeping through the night from 7pm-7am. In the last few weeks I haven’t had to wake for a night feeding. It just happened one day and she kept at it. I hope I didn’t just jinx this by typing it out.
Bad: Her NAPS were shot! For 2 weeks, she went from amazing 2-hour naps to 45-minute naps. She’d wake herself up by rolling over! We’re finally getting back on track in the nap department, but it’s still not as good as before…
Good: She’s an expert roller and way more mobile now. Meaning she can entertain herself for longer periods of time. She’s much more independent and wanting to explore on her own without mommy by her side.
Bad: She’s an expert roller and way more mobile now. Waking herself up from all the rolling is no bueno. I also have to keep an eye out in case she rolls herself into a compromising corner somewhere.
Good: She’s curious and constantly exploring her environment. It’s so much easier to distract her and keep her occupied.
Bad: This same curiosity can be frustrating when breastfeeding. I used to look forward to these quiet moments with her with my eyes closed and head laid back, but these days she’ll want to pull on my hair, touch my face, de-latch at other people’s voices, etc. Ahhh.. FOCUS little one. FOCUS.
I’m sure there’s much more to list, but my foggy mom brain is still not fully checked in!
Milestones: TEETHING. It’s official. Bits of sharp, jagged ridges are making their way through her bottom gums. She hasn’t really displayed any unusual fussiness. She was a bit cranky for a week, but no night wakings, fevers or anything like that. We only noticed the teeth because she was chewing on my finger one day and I felt something sharp.
She is putting EVERYTHING in her mouth – books, cardboard, plastic, my phone. Give her anything and the next second, it’ll be in her mouth. See what I mean?
A friend gave us this adorable organic “bowling” set… and instead of playing with the toys, she went right for the cardboard container it came in!
We also started solids shortly before her 6-month mark. I’ll do a separate post on that, but it’s been fun! I really like making food for her. I also enjoy seeing her reactions to new tastes and textures.
There were so many great things about this month, but do you know what the greatest thing was? It’s this…
It’s the way she reaches for me. It’s the way her face lights up the moment I enter a room. It’s the way her ears perk up the second she hears my voice. She is so very aware that I’m her mommy and she loves me most. =) It makes it ALL worth it. I can’t emphasize that enough… ALL of it. Worth it. Worth every bit.
I thought this was an appropriate picture given that chewing on inanimate objects was a favorite pasttime of hers this past month. :P
Just for kicks, I made a fun photostrip of Noelle and her BFF…
18 lbs 2 oz | 27.5 inches | 44 cm
(90% weight | 95% height | 75% head)
Noelle has been fussy all day… starting with a 6am (very unusual) waketime and continued with horrible naps all day long. I’ll assume she was just too excited about celebrating her first Father’s Day with the man of her dreams.
S, on the other hand, woke up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a ready made breakfast all for him! On the menu was a mushroom cheddar omelet and sausage links courtesy of Farmer John. It was a big eating day for Noellie too! As daddy ate, Noellie also took her first stab at solids! I sat her down in her bumbo and started with a few spoonfuls of rice cereal. She enjoyed it so much and kept widening her mouth for more!
Though it looks like she got more ON her mouth than IN her mouth…
After everyone (Noelle) was cleaned up, we presented Daddy with the gift we worked so hard to make:
Little hands+feet imprinted in baked clay! Daddy was so happy and surprised!
We continued to celebrate with Daddy’s fave foods for dinner… nom nom nom…
SUSHI! There’s a sushi place near our house that has excellent quality fish made by Japanese chefs. Not only that, but the portions are huge and the prices cheap. It can’t be beat for what you get!
RED VELVET CUPCAKES! Courtesy of Martha Stewart. My SIL and I have been talking about taking a cake decorating class at Joann’s or Michael’s over the summer… and one of these days I’m gonna buy a Wilton decorating tip set to make my cakes look more presentable. For now, all I do is just scoop frosting into a ziploc bag, cut a hole in the bottom, then swirl the frosting on top.
I’m pretty pooped from Noelle’s fussy day. She even threw her Giraffe at one point! I think the little fighter in her is coming out, uh-oh…
But look how she adores her Daddy
This last month was tough in terms of sleep. I’d read about the 4-month sleep regression but was hoping Noelle would bypass that and let mommy rest. Yea, no such luck! Almost immediately after she hit her 4-month mark, she started waking up 2x a night again.
This regression can also be labelled Wonder Week 19 (occurs between 14-17 weeks and peaks at week 19) – this term came from a book called The Wonder Weeks. It identifies 10 significant developmental leaps your child will likely go through and how to deal with changes in behavior as she learns and acquires new skills.
Signs look out for in Wonder Week 19 (“The World of Events”):
- trouble sleeping
- shy with strangers
- demand more attention
- head needs more support
- loss of appetite
- less lively/ less vocal
- mood swings
- needs more physical touch during nursing
- sucks thumb more often
Personally, anticipating milestones helps me to be more aware. This awareness allows me to be more patient because then I know munchkin is just going through a phase, and that these “rough patches” are likely the start of something quite exciting (a new skill, a growth spurt, etc)! Almost like clockwork, once we hit Week 20… munchkin went back to her usual long stretches of sleep with only one night waking. What a world of a difference one less night waking makes!
We’ve also been teaching her some Baby Sign Language. We gotta give babies more credit. They understand a lot even before they have the ability to talk, so encouraging non-verbal communication can reduce tantrums and outbursts in their toddler years. I bought the Baby Signing Time DVD to help us visualize the meanings of different signs together. So far I’ve only taught her the basics like milk, eat, diaper, mommy, and daddy. I can’t wait til she starts signing back to me one day!
In other news, my husband and I just came back from a mini-trip to SD this past weekend. It was our first time away from munchkin for more than a few hours, which is why I stressed all month over getting her to take a bottle. For weeks, every time the artificial nipple entered her mouth she would cry like a hyena so I’d resort to just popping a boob for her.
We introduced a bottle back when she was 4 weeks old and she took to it just fine, but because I preferred to breastfeed over pumping + feeding, she didn’t get the bottle on a regular basis… and now that she’s old enough she knows what she likes (and doesn’t like). Anyway, we left for the trip and hoped for the best… imagine my relief when my SIL texted me this:
I guess she knows when mommy’s around and when mommy’s gone! Only a day away and I missed her so much! I love how her hand is just gently resting on her pudgy thigh in this pic.
Here she is, not quite cooperating with the camera again.
Noelle Olivia | No stats this month
This month presented a lot of firsts for Noelle. She celebrated her 100th Day and went on her first airplane ride! Granted, it was a short hour-long flight from Orange County to San Francisco, but it felt like a big accomplishment. Getting on the plane was easier than expected since we can take the stroller all the way to the gate and check it in over there. It was also nice to have priority seating. My friend recommended that I nurse/feed my daughter as the plane takes off because sucking will help her cope with air pressure. It worked because Noelle didn’t let out a single cry.
An interesting occurrence happened while we were over at our pastor’s house this past week. While my pastor was holding Noelle, she started crying but he insisted on holding onto her. Usually people like to give her back immediately, feeling flustered at the thought of a crying baby. When she finally calmed down, he returned her to us and said, “it’s better to give her back when she’s not crying so she doesn’t get used to crying to go back to mom”. Good point! A lesson learned.
Favorite Toys: she loves the same toys as last month, with the addition of a few others. I’ve been trying to help her with her grabbing skills by shaking her rattle, dangling rings, and getting her to bite into Sophie the Giraffe… and she finally took interest in Sophie! It was the first time she actually pulled a toy to her because she wanted to play with it some more. I don’t know what it is about this $20 giraffe, but kids love it! We also opened the Rainforest Jumperoo our friend gifted us and Noelle’s been happily bouncing up and down in it. This thing allows her to be upright (her favorite position) and has all sorts of toys around it that she can play with.
Milestones: as I mentioned in previous posts, Noelle can now roll over from back-to-front and is in the process of sprouting the first of twenty chiclets (or so I thought). I just came back from our Pediatrician and she said that the white dot I thought was a tooth is actually a Bohn’s Nodule. I’ve never heard of this but apparently they’re harmless and go away on their own.
She babbles furiously now, but I can tell there’s still a shyness to her. How? Whenever I introduce her to her “friend” (it’s just her reflection but she doesn’t know that) in the mirror, she smiles a little then shies away by turning her head. If I didn’t know better I would think she actually blushes! It’s amazing how much of her personality is already showing.
You’d think that now that she’s 4 months, she’d be able to sit up properly for a quick photo, but nope. One second she was up, the next second she was loungin’ on Pooh’s foot.
15 lbs 10 oz | 25.75 inches | 41.5 cm
(90% weight | 92% height | 50% head)