Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In our neck of the woods...

Sephira's naps are FINALLY getting more "predictable". She always needs a least a half hour nap around 9:30-10:30am, and then she's starting to take a 45min-2 hour nap in the early afternoon!!!! Yeah! Though it helps if Effie is home and not out running errands during that time too. Otherwise Sephira falls asleep in the car and that throws things off. Granted she doesn't always fall asleep in the car while we're driving, but if we've been out doing many activities like swimming or Baby Boot Camp, she'll fall asleep afterwards, later in the morning around 10:30-11am, since these activities disturb her 9:30ish nap. Up until 2 weeks ago she used to only ever take half our naps twice a day...so we're thankful for the progress. Her naps would be longer if Effie napped with her, which sometimes she did because she needed it too...but generally Effie is only able to have productive time with work, etc. when Sephira's sleeping.

Fortunately she does love her car seat and has taken to playing in it when we bring it in from the car.

We've really only been making good progress this last month on her night time sleep too. She's just not a good sleeper. She's finally starting to get 7+ hours of sleep in one shot, and wakes once between 2:30-5am for a feeding, then sleeping again until 6-7:15am. It seems like she's got a little timer that says 'any more than 11.5 hours of sleep and I'm awake'! No questions about it. That is until she started teething...again! Two molars are coming in this week...so anything goes.

Generally she has pretty good moods, and is already showing us what a wonderful and fun personality she has. She's definitely a morning person like her Dada though! And fortunately for Dirk he gets to enjoy that morning time every couple days with his work schedule. (Two days on, two days off.) He's very grateful for that because if he only knew her in the later afternoon/evenings he wouldn't think she was a very happy child. She tends to be more "transparent" with her moods in the afternoons between 4-6pm, and any time after 6 pm is "melt down" time when she's ready for her bath and bedtime. We usually bathe her around 6:45 and have her tucked in between 7:15-7:30 depending on how many stories she likes to read. Her current bedtime stories of choice are Goodnight Gorilla, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the 5 Wishing Stars. She's even starting to sign "star" and asking for the book by name! Eventually we just have to say "all done" (accompanied with signing) for her to understand that book time is over and she'll settle in to finish nursing while Effie recites "Wynken Blynken and Nod" and sings her to sleep.

One week after her birthday she started taking her own independent steps. Within one week we stopped counting steps and now only four weeks later she's figuring out how to run. Gee that happened fast!

She has over 40 signs she's doing now (everything from "eat", "hot", "helmet", "outside", "potty", "wash" to "mouse" and "butterfly"), and many verbal accompaniments to them as well, such as "iddy" for kitty, "dodo" for shoes, "eye" for eye, "dee" for keys, and she is also starting to provide animal sounds on queue, like horse (neigh), monkey (ooo), lion (roar), bumblebee (vibrating lips), and a few others that skip my mind at the moment. There is very little that is left to guessing about her interests and needs. Having the ability to communicate with her creates such a tremendous bond between all of us and it is very clear how reduced our frustrations are compared to other families we meet. Oh! And she LOVES babies! Baby, baby, baby is prime observation these days!!!

She has also started to respond REALLY well to "point to this", "where is that" (also showing the "where" sign), "pick up this", "hold my hand", "hands up/down", and she'll even show you her "left foot" and "right foot" when prompted, thanks to Dr. Seuss' "The Foot Book"! She's an incredibly smart and observant girl, and it's so fun that she's sharing our world to us through sign!

Due to time constraints with full time mothering Effie is making slow but steady progress through her Baby Signs training materials in hopes of offering Baby Signs classes in the next few months. Now having the experience and passion behind signing with babies she is excited to share this with everyone in our community! As thing become official you can find out more at Effie's business website: Tot2Sign, LLC! (biz website: www.tot2sign.com)

And to leave you on a fun note, here is a link to Effie's mother's blog that she is updating regularly: http://cookaroundtheblock.blogspot.com/. Cris has started a cooking challenge with some friends and is writing about it as a personal therapy since her car accident in March. We think you'll really enjoy the wonderful thoughts and recipes she is sharing here! Her most recent post includes a cute little video of Sephira teasing "Papa" with food! We've been learning new recipes thanks to her endeavors here, and have some new favorites to share with you as well. If you want any particular recipe, just ask! Another new favorite comes from a friend of hers who is also doing the cooking challenge: Oatmeal Sweet Potato Muffins!!! Delish! (Printed recipe is missing 1/2 tsp salt; don't forget to make note. We also add chopped pecans.) We just made a double batch of these tonight to enjoy and also share with friend whose husband is recovering from hip surgery.

Our recent visit to the pumpkin patch!

Pretty as can be!

Dada consoling his baby. She was having a sad afternoon...and she's LOVES her Dada!

Precious moments with Mama and daughter...