Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Eleven months old!

I seriously wanted to put a question mark immediately following the exclamation point in this post's title. How in the world is Charlotte eleven months old?!?!

This has been a full, challenging, busy month for Charlotte (and her parents!!). I'm actually quite ready for December 2014 to be over because it was a whirlwind. Phew. We had a LOT of activity and travel this month, and not much sleep to help us through it. 

Alright, enough of that. Let's get down to business. And by business, I mean Charlotte's eleven month update. 

This month Charlotte started waving, going up the stairs, and got a new tooth. She also JUST figured out how to clap! It's one of the most adorable things ever!

In the beginning of December, the activity of choice, all day every day, was taking things OUT (of the basket, the hamper, the toy bin, etc.) Then just two weeks later, we noticed Charlotte had taught herself how to put things back IN. She started to get the hang of putting blocks into the shape sorter and she would flap the clean clothes around before putting them back into the laundry basket. I found myself staring at her as she played... What a fascinating little girl she is becoming. 

We don't have measurements for Charlotte, but she barely fits in her medium sized sleep sack, which is for babies up to 32inches tall. She weighs about 19 pounds, we think. She wears 12-18 month clothing and just barely fits into size three disposable diapers. She has two bottom teeth and three on the top; we think one more top tooth will appear any day now.

This month Charlotte's hair grew A LOT! She seemed to be bald for so long and then all of a sudden she has this full head of soft, blond, sometimes curly hair. We love it!

For about two days this month Charlotte had a fever in the 100-101 range. She was waking up a lot at night and being super fussy and clingy. She had a runny nose, too, which made us think she was teething or had a cold. We don't know why the fever happened, but she recovered quickly and we all lived through the sleep deprivation. 

We are tired in this house! I think this month of sleep was the worst so far. Well, I guess we probably get more sleep now than we did last February, but it feels worse now... Probably because I thought sleep would be more consistent now. Argh. We went over a month without a full night's sleep. Since the middle of November, Charlotte has been waking up crying to nurse at least once, sometimes as many as four times a night. It has been rough! 

I can't really even say what time Charlotte wakes up, as it totally depends on the day. Sometimes she wakes up around 5 am, ready to face the world, and I can't get her to settle down again before our alarm goes off. On these days, we bring her downstairs to play while we eat breakfast and then her first nap starts around 7 am. If it's a good day, Charlotte will (sleep entirely through the night and then) get up around 6:30. These are easy days to manage because the first nap will go from about 8:30 to 10. We will have a big chunk of time mid-day and her afternoon nap will go from about 2-3:30 or something like that. Charlotte's best time of day is right after her first nap. She is alert and cheerful and has a lot of fun playing. The late afternoons are Charlotte's most difficult time; it's also the time where I'm the most stressed and least patient. Tough combo!

(Since originally writing this post, we've done some night-time sleep training. For the last two nights, Joel has gone in whenever Charlotte wakes up at night. He snuggles her and tells her he loves her and puts her back down into the crib. She SCREAMS and cries but falls asleep within fifteen minutes. As heartbreaking as it is to hear her cry, it's better for all of us if she isn't dependent on nursing to put herself back to sleep.)

Awesome stuff!
Charlotte is really interested in books nowadays. She used to tolerate only a few chosen few, but lately has really gotten good at turning the pages and she seems to pay attention as we read just about anything. She also LOVES to rip pages out of magazines and newspapers. She thinks it's the funniest thing to pull the pages apart and toss them around the room. Then she crawls excitedly through the piles of paper and rips them all again. We just sit and laugh at this funny girl. 

We are very happy that our little lady continues to be a good eater. She nurses 6 times a day and eats three solid meals. In the past, she would barely nibble at breakfast, but just last week she started to actually get some calories in at breakfast time. Dinner is definitely her best meal; she is usually very hungry when we sit down together at 5:30(ish). She usually has a snack after her afternoon nap, which holds her over until we eat dinner together.

As Charlotte grows and her personality develops, it becomes more challenging to parent her in a godly way. I find myself growing impatient and speaking harshly more often than I would like. When she disobeys or tests the limits, I have started telling her NO firmly and once or twice have given her hand or leg a light spank. She usually looks surprised and sometimes stop doing whatever she wasn't supposed to do. Other times, however, she goes right back to it and I have to tell her NO again and redirect her attention.

I'm trying to reserve a strong no for things that are serious and/or dangerous (standing up in the slippery tub, grabbing plants, crawling toward the stairs, etc.) and I do my best to word things in the positive, as I was taught in classroom management (ie: saying "we sit down when we play in the tub, Charlotte," instead of "don't stand up!"; or "come over here to play" instead of "stop going over there"). Parenting is awful and wonderful and crazy and amazing all at once. I think the word sanctifying is the most accurate description of this journey we are on...

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