Saturday, May 22, 2010

11 Months!


On Tuesday, Ginger turned 11 months old. This past month has been filled with little and big milestones for her, and it is amazing to watch her grow right before our eyes.

She now has two teeth (the second one came in about a week ago), with many more starting to crop out. Just a few minutes ago, I saw that her two top teeth, as well as a third tooth on the bottom, are starting to poke through!

This past month has been pretty rough as far as sleeping goes. I finally decided to stop worrying about laying her down for a nap or getting her to take one, even, since it was such a struggle and was just ending in tears for us both.

I've never been one who could let my child cry...I just don't have it in me. Earlier this month, I would try to lay her down for her nap, and instantly, she would wake up and start crying. A few times (two or three?), I soothed her and then left the room, hoping she would fall asleep on her own...but that never happened. Her cries would escalate over the few minutes I was gone, and all I was hearing in her cries were, "Why did you leave me? Why won't you pick me up? Where are you? What did I do wrong to make you leave?" obviously, that was distressing to me, as well.

I'm not judging anyone who does let their child "cry it out," by the way. The number one thing I've learned as a parent is that everyone has their own way of doing things, and you just can never understand why a parent does this or that unless you've walked a mile in their shoes.

Anyhoo- now Ginger takes her naps in the Ergo during the day when I'm holding/nursing her. She used to fall asleep in the Ergo, and then I would lay her down- but that ended last month, as whenever I lay her down now after her falling asleep in the Ergo, she wakes right back up and is mad, crying, and generally upset.

But as long as I'm carrying her in the Ergo, she takes her little nap...and we are both happy. It is working for us at the moment. Of course, just when you figure something out with motherhood, it all changes...but it's working for now, and offers us a lot of closeness.

During the nighttime, Ginger goes to bed around midnight and sleeps for a few hours (three or sometimes four) until she wakes up and then I go in and hold her/nurse her until the morning (between 7 and 9am). Because of her position when she sleeps (on the Boppy), I sleep sitting up- which I know sounds difficult, but I have to say that after 11 months of sleeping sitting up, I actually have grown quite used to it and know that while it won't last forever, there will be days when I'll miss sleeping sitting up because it will mean she'll be growing up.

Ginger's personality is really starting to emerge, and she is very clear about what she wants and doesn't want- what she likes and what she dislikes. She loves being outside. She loves "people food" (not babyfood). She wants to do whatever Paprika is doing. She loves other babies. She loves smiling and then being shy and looking away. She claps when she's excited, and loves to wave hi and bye. She is into everything!

She can say "mama", "dada", "duck"- and probably a lot of other words that I'm not quite hearing yet. She babbles constantly and squeals with fervor. She is very happy as long as she is close to me. It's a big bonus if Paprika or Daddy are closeby.

She doesn't like being separated from me, or sitting in the carseat (because she can't see me). She does not like teething - and it has been much more painful for her than it was for Paprika, whose teeth came relatively easily. I have always thought that Paprika had a really high pain threshold because she falls and never acts hurt, and she teethed and never batted an eyelash. So, watching a child in pain from teething (while normal) is a relatively new phenomenon for me.

Ginger is almost to the point of standing unassisted. She can crawl really fast, and can cruise really fast...and will probably walk in a month or two. She can climb up the stairs, but I'm not sure if she can climb down them yet (as I haven't given her that opportunity). She puts everything in her mouth- and so I have to watch her constantly (I do anyway)- because she does not discern between food and playdoh, for example...

I can't believe that in a few weeks we'll be celebrating her first birthday. What a wild ride this past year has been. The biggest thing I've learned is that as much as I love Ginger...she also loves me. As much as I need her, she needs me. I hoped and wished and waited and wanted her for so long, and she is a dream come true for us. I love her so much, and each day that love somehow magically expands. She is a treasure and I'm so grateful for this 11 months (20 months including in utero time) with her. Love her so. Happy 11 Months, Ginger-Bear!


Devon said...

happy 11 months ginger!! you are so adorable and such a cute girl!!

Brookeanne said...

Happy 11 months to your sweet girl! My youngest just turned one a few days ago and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they grow!

Have you tried swaddling "Ginger" in a light weight blanket? We still do this with Claire, and find it gives her that feeling of being held, even though she's well past the age of what most parents would swaddle. I also co-slept for quite a while, so I know the transition can be an adjustment for both :). I don't think crying it out is a good method, but I do think that even at this age infants know how to "work" their parents (and not necessarily always a bad thing). Just an idea :). Either way, sounds like you guys are doing great!

dana said...

so nice to see you today and your sweet girls. i am happy cam got a chance to play with paprika, what fun. thanks for chatting, i so enjoy talking to you.

ginger is a darling girl...happy 11 months and i know you cherish every moment, i am hopeful you have tons more!

~ d

waikikimum said...

Erika, I love that your parent your way. I did a lot of things the same as you and got a lot of criticism for it. By my third child I learnt not to discuss sleeping/ feeding/ pacifer issues with others as someone would always comment on the "right" way lol. My only advice is to keep loving and enjoying your babies your way as they grow too fast. Happy 11 months Ginger.

Courtney said...

I just cannot believe she is 11 months already. My goodness I remember reading about when she entered this world.


Talita said...

Awwww!! She's so lovely!! Love her eyes!

FourJedis said...

How sweet. I can't believe she's almost a year old. So cute and so exciting that her personality is emerging so explosively.