Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year

Last year a friend of mine joined Project 365, with the goal of taking a picture a day. (Check out the description of the project at : As I looked back over 2009, and regretted how much I didn't blog, I decided to follow her example (Thanks Erin!). I'm not going to officially "join" anything, but I am going to be more proactive about taking pictures and blogging - if not every day, then at least more than once a week.

Like all New Year's Resolutions, this one is made with the best intentions, but we'll see how it goes! Here are some bonus pictures (taken by Denise Marshall) of my beautiful girl to end 2009.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Yes - it's been months and months since I blogged. What can I say? It just hasn't been a priority. But since this is a huge milestone, I figured I ought to blog it. Judith has begun to talk! Here is her current word list in alphabetical order...I count 46 words so far!

Note that her first word was Daddy, closely followed by hi, ball, balloon, cheese, cracker, banana and up. Her most recent word (as of last night) is "uh-oh" and she adds at least one word a day.

more (in sign language)
Nay-Nay (a nickname for our friend Nathan)
Pepe (spanish for pacifier)
Tigre (the name of her stuffed tiger)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Playtime with Daddy

Lance spends about an hour (or more) every evening playing with Judith. I took some pictures of them playing recently.

Here they're playing with the blocks I made (empty Kleenex boxes covered with contact paper). Lance built the towers; Judith knocked them over (of course!). Most of the time, Lance could hardly put one block on top of another before she smacked them down. But there was one big tower, and I got a shot of the tower falling! (If only it was a little more in focus :-).

Judith is also pretty fascinated by her stuffed animals (all shapes and sizes). Tigre, her stuffed tiger, is her favorite, but she plays with the rest pretty frequently too. Here she and Daddy are stuffing the animals into a plastic container putting the "lid" on, and taking the animals back out. Only Tigre's head fits, but she sure tried to get him in there!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Visit to Vacaville - including several "firsts"

Today we went to a party for Sean at Jenny and Steve's house in Vacaville. It's about an hour away, and so we timed leaving to coincide with Judith's naptime, hoping she'd sleep most of the way. At the same time, in case she didn't, we got out the new car seat for the first time. It's one of those that "converts" from rear-facing to front-facing once Judith hits the age/weight limit. She's definitely getting too long for her infant seat. It took Lance a good hour to figure out how it went in the car, but I'm sure that'll get better as we get used to it. It's been sitting unwrapped in the house for about a week, and Judith's shown some interest in it, although she didn't try to sit in it or anything. I thought it would be a good distraction if she decided she didn't want to sleep. (She didn't really react to it at all, and she went to sleep within 5 minutes of being in the car, so I guess it's just fine.) All-in-all, despite some occasional heavy traffic, the trip there was uneventful, although we discovered that the air conditioning in my car, usually ok when you go over 60, was pretty much non-functional in the 107 degree heat.

There was a 5-week old baby girl at the party - she was a couple ounces bigger than Judith when she was at birth, but to me it seemed like she must be a LOT smaller - hard to believe Judith was ever that small and fragile! There was also a 6 month little boy, whom Judith got to interact with a little bit. More and more she's learning how to deal with other kids.

The big first of the day was the pool! We weren't quite sure how Judith would react to a pool - she loves the bathtub, but that's warm water...etc. We've been wanting to try her in a pool for awhile, but our June weather has been strange, and a few weekends ago when we were up in Chico, it was too cold for swimming. So this was her first experience. Grandpa Tim took her out to see it, and apparently she tried to dive in. Once we all changed into swimsuits, Lance took her in. (We used the "hot tub" for Judith, because it was 86 degrees, several degrees warmer than the pool - besides, no one else was in it.) No question, she loved it. She splashed, dunked her face, stuck out her tongue to taste the water, "swam" back and forth between Lance and me, played with water toys, and had a great time! (See pictures throughout this post.) I was a little afraid that she'd protest getting out of the pool, but she was fine with that too.

When we left, the sun had moved too far for the car to be in the shade any longer - so it was extremely hot (and see the note above about the non-functional air conditioner!). It was a very very hot trip home. Judith slept for about 30 minutes, and then sort of whimpered the rest of the way. We couldn't see her, but we were guessing she was hot. By the time we pulled into the driveway she was pretty upset. When I got her out of the car seat, she was very red in the face, and blotchy-red on the rest of her body. My first thought was that she'd gotten really sunburnt in the pool (I did put sunscreen on her, but was afraid it had washed off or something) and she was SO hot that I thought the only way to cool her down would be with a cold shower. So her third "first" of the day was a shower with Mommy. Then I got out the Aloe Vera. Turns out, though, that she had just totally overheated in the car, and wasn't sunburnt. The cold shower, and then crawling around with just a diaper on, made the redness fade pretty quickly. It sure was scarey there for a few minutes, though! We'll be careful to take Lance's car anytime we need to go on a trip in the heat again - his air conditioner works very well.

In other news, Judith now has six teeth. I'd been waiting and waiting for the next teeth to come in, assuming the would be on the bottom - but she's got two eyeteeth on the top just barely visible.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Judith just took her first steps! (at about 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 26, 2009) Lance had been playing with her, and when I sat down on the couch, he decided to see if she would walk to me. So he held her in a standing position, let her get her balance, and then let go - she took about two steps before she got hold of my hands!

(We repeated the experiment, but she just went down to her knees. So we repeated it around 7:00 too, and she did it again, with the same result when we tried to repeat again. I guess that goes to show that although she can walk, she's preferring not to. :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today, for lunch, Judith got to try pieces of banana (as opposed to mashed banana). At first, I cut it up into very small, bite size pieces. And she would eat them from my fingers, but she wouldn't pick them up herself. I don't think she could get a very good hold on them, slippery as banana is. So I decided to give her a bigger piece - a whole round, that was a little thicker than the other slices I'd made. I thought "she'll just bite pieces off of it, like she did with the strawberry." And she did, at first - and then I turned around to get something, and when I looked back, she'd put the whole piece in her mouth! That certainly made me a little nervous, but I watched her carefully, and she just gummed it and eventually swallowed it all. She ended up eating four chunks that way (all in all, with the little pieces that she ate from me, she ate about 1/3 of a banana).

I had also cut up some cheese, and she definitely preferred that over the banana. I had to actually hide the cheese to get her to eat banana instead. Guess she's a girl after her mama's heart!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Wednesday, June 10, 2009. We went over to Aunt Netty and Uncle Roy's house for dinner, because Grandpa and Grandma Ford are in town visiting. Grandma Sandy had gotten some wonderful organic strawberries at a farmers' market, and we decided to see how Judith would like one.

First Taste:
First Reaction:

Then...she decided that she liked it! At first, I thought she was just sucking on it a little bit, and then I realized she was raking pieces off the back of it with her teeth. I had to keep turning the piece around so that she had something to bite. And we got smart and put a bib on her!

"Drunk" on the strawberry :-). Notice the mess around her mouth!


I know, I know. It's been weeks since I blogged, again! I'm sorry. So here's an overall update, and there'll be a couple separate posts for the things that are exciting/interesting enough to need their own.

Judith has (finally!) started to eat chunks of things. I've periodically been trying to give her little pieces, but up until last Monday, she'd either spit out or gag on whatever I tried to give her. This Monday, at lunchtime, I tried small pieces of cheddar cheese - and she gobbled them right up! Thursday I cooked a carrot and gave her pieces of that with pieces of cheese. And last night she ate three slices of avocado (chopped up into bite size pieces, of course). I'm so happy about this - and hopeful that she'll soon progress to the point where I don't have to puree everything in sight. She's also been extraordinarily hungry the last few days - eating at least half-again as much as normal. I'm assuming that's a growth spurt, and I'm sure the last of the 9-month clothes will no longer fit. Fortunately, most of the 12-month stuff is still a little big.

During the last few weeks Judith has gradually begun to consistently nap 1 1/2 hours instead of just 45 minutes. And she seems to also have transitioned to just one morning and one afternoon nap, instead of three throughout the day. It's very nice to have the longer period of time to get stuff done (or to nap myself!), and she's much happier getting up from a longer nap as well.

Judith is more and more confident in her balance, and she will frequently now let go of things and just stand for a few seconds - and she doesn't hang on as tightly when she cruises around the furniture either. She still doesn't stand up on her own in the middle of the room, but she does frequently get up on one knee. She sit like that or sort-of bounce up and down like she's trying to stand.

She's recently discovered that she can put things together - for example, she got two Little People with cars from her Grandma Sjoerdsma. After a day of discovering each piece, she began putting the people in the cars (lining up the hole in the right place). She can't push hard enough to make them stick, but she certainly knows where they're supposed to go! And she has a plastic egg in the bathtub that splits into two pieces (I think it's an old easter egg). She tries to put the two pieces together; she can't quite get it, but she knows what's supposed to happen. It's very fun to watch her figure out things like that.

Not walking yet...but that's just fine with me! Instead, she's extremely quick in her crawling, and I often have to move her to the other room so that I can get to the oven before she does. She also has discovered that she can hold things in her mouth while she crawls, since it's so difficult to crawl with something in her hand...notice the little person hanging out of her mouth in this picture.

Judith spends all day talking. No, she doesn't say any recognizable words, although some of the sounds she makes come close. She just jabbers on and on and on, occasionally pausing for whomever is near to say something, but usually just talking to herself. She also sings along if the stereo is on, or if I'm singing. Again, no words, but definitely a tone that's different from when she's talking, accompanied by changes in pitch. And she will growl when a motorcycle goes by outside, and screech if she hears a siren.

Judith's getting curls! As you can see in the picture, the hair at the back of her head is getting long enough that it's starting to wave.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

growing teeth

I know, the last post was about teeth - but now I have the adorable picture that shows all four teeth SO clearly that I just had to post again. She's also apparently working on more than these four...she chews on her fingers and drools constantly, and she's been pretty fussy. I guess we'll have to wait for the next ones to come in until we get our break. :-)

She also continues to get more and more confident about standing on her own - she "forgets" and lets go about 2-3 times a day now, and she keeps trying to stand up without help. She goes up on one knee and sort of bounces up and down...never gets anywhere though :-).

Monday, May 11, 2009


Judith now officially has four teeth - both center top teeth have broken through. We're extremely glad about that, and hope that it means she'll be less fussy for a while! I'm hoping, too, that she'll discover chewing, and start eating more "chunks" of food. I'm not looking forward to grinding up chicken.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

9 month checkup

(It's hard to believe Judith was nine months old on Saturday - it's gone so fast!)

This morning she had her nine month checkup. Dr. Wolfrey said she's doing "very well." She's 29" long (92nd percentile) and 17 lb 8 oz (45th percentile). (I have to say that once again she weighed much less than I thought she would - sometimes, when I'm lugging her around, I'm sure she weighs 25 lbs!) She's also "ahead" developmentally - waving, pointing, pulling herself up on things and cruising, and repeating sounds that we make are things that you'd "normally" see at 12 months, not 9.

For the first time she reacted quite negatively to the doctor's office experience, starting with the weighing - she screamed when Lance put her down on the scale. And then again when she had to be put on the table to be measured and examined. The doctor said 'she's exhibiting very normal "fear of strangers".' She had one shot - her final Hep B innoculation, but since she was already upset from being back on the table at the point, I'm not sure she even noticed the shot :-).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"monthly" update?

I know, it's been forever since I blogged anything, and really I should have been, because Judith's going through a really fun phase right now where she's learning all kinds of things, and becoming more and more mobile as well. But, truthfully, I just haven't felt like blogging, perhaps because I've been so exhausted, and perhaps because I don't want this to become a blog full of angst or complaining.

The main "update" is that Judith still is not sleeping well. In the past few weeks her pattern has either been to be up every hour all night long or to be up for several hours in the middle of the night. The first time she was up for a long period, we tried to let her cry-it-out, but we discovered that she couldn't get down from the standing at the side of the crib. (Now we know she can get down, and last night we tried again...she cried pretty much for an hour straight, then slept for 1/2 an hour, woke up and cried for a while, then slept for another 1/2 hour - I fed her that time, and she slept for about 4 1/2 hours before waking again.) We've been trying all kinds of different "methods" to see if anything helps, but so far we haven't hit on a "magic formula" (not that I think there is one, of course). We know that she's teething, which is probably a contributing factor to the sleeplessness, and with our schedule lately we haven't been able to settle into a routine, which probably isn't helping either. Our newest "trial" is going to be a later routine (we've tried an earlier routine already) since it seems like we're constantly out past her bedtime. We'll see. Honestly it feels like I've failed as a mother because she doesn't sleep anymore...she used to sleep so well!

Mobility wise, she's making giant steps. She's completely confident in her crawling, and would explore the entire house if we'd let her...we've started keeping all the doors closed down the hallway, so that she can only crawl up and down the hall instead of exploring the bedrooms. She's also pulling herself up on the sofa (and anything else that's even remotely stable) and beginning to cruise with confidence. In fact, she sometimes has a little too much confidence, because she'll try to move to places (or let go of things) when she's really not able to balance. She's taken quite a few tumbles in the last couple days, and her forehead is a little black-and-blue. She's also able to get down from pulling herself up on things - whether it's because Lance spent patient time teaching her to bend her knees and drop or because she figured it out on her own, we'll never know :-).

We've phased out cereal except for breakfast, and we've added whole milk yogurt. I've been making her baby food, for the most part, and freezing it in cubes. There's not a whole lot of variety right now in the organic produce that's available, so it may be a little monotonous for her, but she doesn't seem to mind. We've also gotten her to take a sippy cup, and least occasionally, with a tiny bit of juice mixed with water. We started out giving her that mixture in a bottle, but since she leaked it all over that way, we moved to the sippy. Mostly she chews on the "nipple" (can you say teething?!) but she'll also suck on it as well. I've also been trying, occasionally, to give her bigger "chunks" of food to get her used to eating it on her own (that's avocado in the pictre). So far my success in that endeavor has been mixed. Mostly she plays with the food instead of eating it.

Other "skills"
  • She's now mastered the pincer grip - at least with her left hand. With her right hand she mostly still "rakes."
  • She claps, sometimes randomly, and sometimes in response to one of us clapping.
  • She waves on rare occasions, although she now turns her hand toward herself instead of toward the other person.
  • She scrunches up her nose and sniffs in and out to make a funny's adorable!
  • She's recently started making noise while she inhales, as though she's really scared me the first time I heard it, but she's just exploring vocally. It's the sound she makes most when she's happy right now.
I'm sure there are a lot more things that she does, but these are the ones that come to mind right now. She continues to be an absolute joy, even though it's all currently colored by exhaustion.

Monday, March 30, 2009

trial run

Last night (Sunday) we did a trial run for leaving Judith home with Grandma Sjoerdsma while Lance and I go away overnight for our 10th anniversary (scheduled for Thursday, April 2). Unfortunately, it did not go well at all. Judith woke up to nurse just before we left, so she was still a little groggy, and got pretty upset when we left. And then she cried for pretty much the whole time we were gone. Grandma was able to calm her down/distract her at intervals, but once she started the bedtime routine, Judith got really upset. She ate all her cereal, but refused the bottle, and was crying pretty heavily. When Lance and I got home, Grandma was walking Judith around the house in the stroller.

So we've changed the plan for Thursday. Lance and I will take Judith with us on our overnight, and then Grandma will babysit on Friday (our actual anniversary) so we can go out for dinner. This makes everything a LOT less stressful, because Judith hasn't really gotten much better at taking the bottle, and now we know how well she does with someone else trying to put her to bed. I no longer have to worry about pumping and pumping trying to get enough milk for her to take a bottle, and the three of us (Grandma, Judith, and me) will all have a much less traumatic Thursday.

We're glad that we did the trial run on Sunday night instead of just "assuming" that Thursday would be ok!

In other updates: Judith is crawling like crazy...nothing is safe, and she's pulling herself up on whatever she can. Foodwise, we're going to be starting to introduce yogurt, oat and barley cereal, and possibly even some meats in the near future.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

crawling update

The house is no longer safe. I can't just put Judith down in one place and expect her to stay there anymore! Yes, she's officially crawling everywhere - and can get to places I thought were pretty well blocked off. It's amazing to see her move so fast, but a little scary too, because she often gets to things before I can :-).

I've been asked if she's pulling herself up on things, to which my standard reply is that we don't really have anything for her to pull herself up on. I'll have to change that answer now - today she started pulling herself on anything she could: the box I've used to block her into the living room, the bench, the chair, her pack-n-play wall...she's ready to stand up!

Sleeping isn't going too well though - Thursday night she was up every two hours; last night it was every three. And she's "too smart" (or maybe just too strong-willed) to take the pacifier when she wants to nurse. So I'm really wrestling with the best way to get her to go back to sleep!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


At approximately 4:00 p.m., Judith crawled across the living room for the first time - by "crawl" I mean the classic crawling position of hands and knees. She lifts her knees up quite high, but I think that's probably because it's so difficult to get a purchase on the slippery laminate floor. She was pretty pleased with herself. And I'm going to be carefully evaluating what things need to be moved in the next day or so!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Five ounces!!

This afternoon Judith drank five ounces of milk (slightly watered down so there'd be more) from the bottle - from Lance. This is a huge breakthrough. Earlier this week she had a complete meltdown when I tried to give her the bottle at all. Then, out of the blue, yesterday she took a bottle from me at 3:00 and another at 6:00. I've been watering down the milk because I can't really express enough in a day to be able to feed her each day. So I'm hopeful that our overnight away will go ok (eating wise).

Sleeping-wise she's still waking up at least twice a night (usually around 2:00 and around 6:00), and she's only sleeping for 11 hours (instead of the 12 I've been told she needs). I'm feeding her at both times, mostly because every other night or so she wakes up earlier than 2:00, takes 20-30 minutes to go back to sleep, and then wakes up in another hour anyway. I'm afraid if I don't feed her, she'll be up every hour!

She's definitely crawling forward now - it's not quite the "classic crawl" motion (on hands and knees) but it's pretty close to that. She certainly gets around as much as she wants to.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

tooth #3!

Today, as Judith and I were playing together, I noticed a white spot on her upper gum. On closer inspection, I discovered that it's tooth #3, making its appearance quite soon after tooth #2 (yay, less teething time!). This one is upper left front.

In other news: my "plan" to get Judith sleeping through the night was rudely interrupted by a near-fire (lots of smoke) and a night at a friend's house. I'm trying to get back on track tonight.

And today she drank 3 ounces from the bottle! That's the most she's had from the bottle since October. It was all breast milk...I'm working up to half-breast milk, half formula.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Update

I have, rightly, been chastised by a friend of mine for not updating my blog (how did three weeks pass without my noticing?!?). My excuse is that the last three weeks have been rather overwhelming, between Judith teething, not sleeping through the night, and learning how to take a bottle.

So here are the updates:
Judith's second tooth (lower right) broke through yesterday morning (exactly three weeks after the first one). She was pretty miserable for most of that time. MUCH crabbier than normal, and not sleeping well at all. According to what I've heard, she should get the next two teeth (upper middle teeth) "relatively" soon. I'm hoping (though not optimistic) that they'll come in sooner than three weeks each.

We're pretty sure that Judith's been waking up because her teeth hurt. And they wake her up enough that she recognizes that she hasn't eaten in a while, so she's not willing to just take the pacifier. (In fact, she'll clamp her lips together so that she can't take the pacifier.) Just before this latest tooth came in, she would be up three-four times a night--not enough sleep for her, and not enough sleep for me! To compound the problem, I've been taking the easy way out and feeding her because that way she'll go right back to sleep and I only have to be up for 10-15 minutes. Trying to get her to go to sleep without eating would mean being up for 1/2 an hour. Starting tonight, we're going to try to let her cry for a little while to see if she'll go back to sleep on her own. I'm really not looking forward to it, but I know it'll be worth it if it works. (She also
continues to only nap for 45 minutes at time.)

Bottle Feeding:
Grandma and Grandpa Sjoerdsma are coming at the end of March to visit, and Grandma will be staying through the beginning of April. Lance and I will get to go away for our 10th anniversary (April 3), and Grandma will have Judith overnight for us. Unfortunately, Judith hasn't tried a bottle since November (and hasn't taken one successfully since the middle of October). So we've been doing everything we can think of to get her to take one now. To complicate the issue, I've been getting very little when I pump, so we decided to start trying with formula. Not a good idea - she hated it. Then we tried a sippy cup and differently bottle nipples, without success. Over the last 10 days, I've slowly pumped enough to put a couple ounces in a bottle (it helps that my sister sent me her electric pump instead of my little hand one). We are now to the point where Judith will drink about 1 1/2 oz of my milk from the bottle, if I give it to her - so far she hasn't taken anything when Lance tries. I'm trying to see this a positive step, because at least it means she's associating the bottle with food. We've got three weeks to get her to take more and take it from another person.

Judith has progressed through a number of vegetables (beans, peas, carrots, and sweet potato) as well as some fruits (apple, banana, pear). I've now started pureeing my own stuff, which she seems to like pretty well. I try to mix some rice cereal in with whatever veggies or fruits she has, so that it's a little more substantial. So far she likes what she's tried (she didn't like the peas the first time around, but ate them just fine when I tried them later).

Judith has progressed from rolling around the room to a combination of rolling, backwards scooting and army crawling. She'll also get up on her hands and knees and rock and rock and rock. Right now she's constantly getting stuck under the futon with just her head stuck out because she's scooted backwards underneath it. Army crawling forward only happens when she has sufficient motivation (like Lance using some toy as a "carrot" for her), probably because it takes so much more work than rolling or scooting backwards. It's no longer a good idea to leave her on the blanket in the middle of the floor, because she'll end up in some other corner of the room chewing on something.

She'll also sit for long periods of time (up to 1/2 an hour if she's engrossed in a toy) before eventually falling over to one side.

Normally, when I shop with Judith I just take the BOB stroller into the store, and put what I need in the bag I carry. That works fine unless I have a lot of stuff to buy, in which case I've generally put the carseat in the back of the cart. For Christmas "judith" asked for one of those cart-seat covers so that I don't have to put her in a yucky seat. This past Friday was the first time we used it, and she didn't seem to love it or hate it. She did tend to slide to one side or another trying to reach things, because it only straps around her waist, which isn't quite enough to hold her upright. But I was happy with how it worked, and we'll use it plenty in the future.

So there - the last three weeks summarized in this blog (with lots of pictures). I'll do my best to not go so long between updates next time!

Monday, February 9, 2009

first tooth!!!

Yesterday morning Judith's first tooth broke through. She won't let me see it (so there're no pictures). Well, I'm not sure there's anything deliberate about my not seeing it - it's just that it's on the bottom, and she won't move her tongue. I almost got a glimpse of it when she was screaming her head off, but otherwise she keeps her tongue over her gums. I can feel it though - a little razor poking through in the middle. Another milestone!

Yesterday was also Judith's first day in the nursery at church. She's been getting to antsy (and loud) to stay in the service, so after the opening worship I took her in. Unfortunately the worker wasn't someone I know very well, and I don't think Judith had even seen her before. Apparently she (Judith, not the worker) cried for the last 15 minutes...although no one came to get me until the 15 minutes was up! So Judith was pretty hysterical by the time I got to her, and I'm really hoping that she doesn't remember the nursery as at traumatic place. My plan is to wait to put her in again until our friend Denise (whom Judith knows quite well) is working. We'll see.

Other updates: Judith now sits on her own (unsupported) for several minutes at a time before losing her balance. She also scoots herself around backwards (pushing with her hands) when she's on the wood floor. And she likes carrots but not peas.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Other updates

It's been SO long since I've blogged, that I probably should add a few more updates :-).

Judith is still loving rice cereal. She's up to eating 1 1/2 Tablespoons of rice cereal in the mornings, and 2 Tablespoons in the evenings (before bed). It almost affected her sleep patterns - for two nights last week she slept 9+ hours straight, but then I think her teeth started waking her up, instead of her belly! (Last night she was up at 2:30, 3:30, 5:00, 6:00, and 7:15!) She now sits her in high chair (instead of being held by one of us) while she eats. And, excitingly, the doctor said she can start on vegetables today!

She's definitely teething seriously now. She is pretty irritable at times, and chews on anything and everything. The doctor pointed the "bumps" to us on her top gums where the teeth are growing in, but she wouldn't move her tongue so that we could see the bumps on the bottom - I can feel them though!

Finally, Judith is getting more and more mobile. She's sitting up for up to a minute (or so) unsupported. She lasts longer if she has something right in front of her that she's reaching for. She also rolls over (and over and over) and can eventually work her way to whatever object she's trying to reach. Occasionally she will raise her head up even farther and look like she's about to crawl. She has the arm movement down, but she doesn't quite know what to do with her legs yet.

Our little girl changes so fast!

6 month checkup

Today is Judith's half-birthday, and so, in celebration (ha) we went to the doctor. Judith is "very healthy" - she weighs 16 lbs, 2 oz (70th percentile) and is 27 1/2 inches long (95th percentile!). She got three boosters today (very nice - we were expecting 5!) and she did quite well with them. She only cried for about 5 seconds. She's a little sore now, I think, because she's been whimpering a lot, and she's pretty tired as well.

All-in-all, I'm quite happy with the appointment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rice Cereal!

At her 4 month checkup, the doctor told us that we should wait until she was six months old to give Judith any solid food. And that he'd give us guidelines for doing so at her 6 month checkup. That's only 10 days away, but lately Judith has been SO hungry (eating as often as I'll let her, and waking up twice in the middle of the night because she's so hungry) that I called this morning and asked if I could feed her solids a little early. They said yes! So today Judith and I went out and bought some organic brown rice cereal, and we fed it to her at dinner time.

The cereal itself was different than I expected, because I was equating rice cereal with grits, in my mind, and so I was expecting it to be quite thick. But it wasn't - it's really runny, which makes sense when I think about it! I was also expecting that Judith would eat a few bites and be done with it, but she kept wanting more...and wanting to hold the spoon for herself. It took her a little while to figure out how to actually eat it - mostly she sucked it off the spoon - but toward the end we were both getting a little more coordinated. She ended up eating about 3/4 of the bowl, and I think she'd have finished it if she hadn't got sick of being "held down" on Lance's lap.

So we're off to a good start, and we'll see if this helps the hunger problem!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trip to Michigan

On January 7, 2009, we flew to Grand Rapids, MI, for a week to visit my family. Judith got to meet her aunts and uncles (and cousin Jada!) for the first time, and she got to spend some more time with her grandparents. Here's how it went:

Wednesday: I had day-mares about how the flights would go for at least a week ahead of time. On the trip out we had three flights (and two layovers) to get to, and a total travel day of about 14 hours or so. And it started out well, even though we left the house at 4:30 a.m. Judith was happy on the first flight and content to be entertained by us in the seat. And the five hour layover in Atlanta was ok too. We put her down on a blanket on the floor for a while and she and Lance played. The flight to Cincinnati wasn't so good. It was much shorter, but it also was the worst pressure-change flight I've ever experienced. Our ears were popping for a good 45 minutes before we landed (and the flight was only 1 1/2 hours) and Judith really felt that. She was eating for the first part of it, so that wasn't so bad, but she fussed until we landed after that. And we got off the plane to discover that our flight to Grand Rapids (the last hour of our day!) was cancelled due to weather! So we had to stay overnight in Cincinnati without our luggage and without a crib for Judith. We got a room with two queen beds, thinking that we'd put Judith in one bed and sleep in the other. But it was so cold in the room that I put her between us in our bed for the first few hours. (Which of course meant that I didn't get any sleep and I moved to the other bed in the middle of the night.)

Thursday: The next morning we got our flight to Grand Rapids. It was a tiny plane, but Judith did just fine. Judith got to meet her cousin Jada (she's 3) - which was way more fun for Jada than for Judith. Jada had a great time showing Judith how all the toys worked! Judith also got to see snow for the first time!

Friday: Judith got to meet her great grandparents (my dad's parents) when we went to their house to celebrate Great Grandpa Sjoerdsma's 80th birthday.

Saturday: We really just hung out at home all day, which was great. Judith got to play with everyone (and I got a break from having to entertain her!).

Sunday: We visited my parents church in the morning and showed Judith off to their friends. In the afternoon we spent some time playing in the snow! (Ok, we spent like five minutes playing and just took pictures.) Judith used a snowsuit that Jada had worn. She looks adorable sitting in the snow, and she certainly was fascinated by the stuff falling on her face.

Monday: We had lunch with Kim Verbrugge Groenenboom (a high school and college friend of mine) and her family, which was a lot of fun for me, and somewhat less fun for Judith and Lance. We said goodbye to Auntie Jen and Cousin Jada :-(.

Tuesday: We had originally planned to head up to Cadillac on this day, but winter weather (and our own colds) prevented us from going. So we hung out at home again. That night we said goodbye to Auntie Lis and Uncle C. J :-(.

Wednesday: Judith started the day by starting another growth spurt. She ate every two hours the whole way back to Sacramento! We said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa :-(. (Grand Rapids was setting records for low temperatures - our plane left Grand Rapids at noon, and the temperature was 7! We were very glad to be going home to Sacramento where they were setting records for high temperatures.) I was anticipating that the travel home would be better than the travel out to G.R. (especially after our flight was cancelled). At the same time, we did have a two hour flight followed by a 5 1/2 hour layover, followed by a 5 hour flight. And it wasn't so nice. Judith did fine on the first flight. And the layover in Atlanta, while long, wasn't too bad either. But by the time we got on the plane to Sacramento, it was almost Judith's bedtime. But I'd estimate that she didn't even sleep half of the time on the plane. She slept through takeoff, and then was awake for at least two hours. The latter part of the two hours she was pretty fussy - wanting to sleep but finding it difficult with all the distractions. I finally stood up and "rocked" her a little bit, and she drifted off. She slept the rest of the way home, which meant that both Lance and I had sore arms by the time we debarked! Judith woke up as we landed. Uncle Tim drove us home from the airport, and Judith fell asleep, but when we reached home she woke up and wanted to be awake and playing! After a good 45 minutes of fighting with her, I decided to feed her again, which calmed her down enough that she could drift off. Unfortunately she was awake every hour crying for her pacifier!

Today she seems a little jet lagged - out of sorts, and is still eating every two hours. I'm really hoping that she'll sleep better tonight because I need it as much she does!

Sleeping Update (day unknown!)

Right after I blogged the last sleeping update (like two weeks ago) Judith went through a growth spurt. And since I knew that would just throw everything off, I completely stopped any effort at getting her to take longer naps. Two days later she slept almost the whole day because she caught Lance's cold and was sick. And then we flew to MI (see next update) for a week, and her sleeping "schedule" went completely down the tubes. Last night (our first night home) she was awake every hour crying for her pacifier! And today she's going through a growth spurt again (how that's possible after just two weeks since the last one I don't know), so everything's off.

I'm kind of thinking that I'll wait to try any sort of "schedule" until after her six month checkup (I need to call and schedule that) since she gets to start solid food then, and it's my understanding that will also impact her sleeping. Right now I just take it day by day, and am trying to really follow her tiredness cues closely.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

sleeping update - starting day four

So, the sleeping thing is not going so well. In the three days that we've been doing this, Judith as only actually slept for the second 45 minutes twice (I think...might be once). (I've also discovered that I can't rely on my memory for how she did each nap all day, and I'm starting a sleep journal again.) Her general pattern is to sleep for exactly45 minutes (you could set a watch!) and then to want to get up. She will make noise in her crib until I get her up. She is absolutely excited to see me every time I walk in to give her the pacifier back, and if I get her up and rock with her a little she will quite down and almost go back to sleep. But she doesn't sleep (the longest she's slept during that second cycle so far is about 15 minutes). Yesterday I know she didn't sleep any of the "extra" time, and it further proved the underlying theory (that she'll sleep better at night if she sleeps better during the day) because she only slept 8 1/2 hours last night (9-5:30). At 5:30 it took me half an hour to get her to go back to sleep...and then I woke her at about 7:00 to eat.

So I'm not really sure what I think about all this now. She gets SO upset now, if we leave the room when she's in her crib. Am I traumatizing her? (I'm sure I'm traumatizing me!) yet I really really want her to get enough sleep! I don't know what the answer is, and it's driving me crazy.

To top it all off, we leave for MI in less than a week, and I know none of this will hold up then!