17 August 2016

Zoe's Transforming at 11 Months

Zoe at 11 months
11 month olds don't sit still
11 months is such a fun age. There are so many big developments taking place and I can almost see the changes take place on a day-to-day basis. Zoe seems to understand a lot of what we communicate to her and she uses a combination of sounds and motions to tell us what she wants. We've been using some baby signs, mainly just "more" and "all done", and Zoe sometimes flaps her hands together when we are eating. I'm not sure if she's telling us she wants more, or if she's just clapping at us. Being able to communicate is one of the most exciting milestones.

Playing Peek-a-boo

Standing and cruising like a big girl
The other very exciting milestone that we are so close to is walking. Zoe still cruises a lot and may take a step here or there. Over the past week or so, I've worked on having her take a few more steps. I expect that at the 1-year update she'll be walking like a pro. 

You can't turn your back on an 11-month-old
The two stresses of this age both relate to eating and food allergies. Because Zoe is not yet a year, her school still requires us to provide milk for her. On the days she is with me, Zoe does still nurse fairly regularly (like 4-6 times a day). On the days she goes to school, I try to send three bottles with at least 4 ounces each. At school they tell me she likes a bottle for her nap and she's been alternating between 2 and 3 naps a day. To get 3 bottles, I have to pump 3 times at work during the week, plus pump before bed every night (7 days a week). So many times I want to go to bed at 9pm after putting the girls to bed, but I have to stay up to pump one more session. Since we are now so close to a year, the end is in sight, which is what keeps me going. The major milestone that I look forward to is not having to pump anymore!

All dolled up for a wedding, and wanting out of her car seat
I'm not quite sure what we will do when we do get to a year. It's hard to know if Zoe drinks more breast milk because we don't offer as much solid food to her, or if it's because she just likes mommy's milk. Zoe has had skin reactions to a variety of solid foods, like dairy, eggs, and some nuts. She was fine with a cashew packaged bar, but then broke out in a rash when eating a similar bar that had almonds and walnuts. Most of the reactions result in patchy rashes on her face that look like hives. She'll often scratch at her face a bit, making it look worse, but once we wipe her down, the rash often clears within a few minutes. The cheese still continues to be the only food that made her throw up. We've given her very small amounts of cow's milk and most times she gets a little rashy. The pediatrician told us we could go straight to water and skip milk. To do that, I think we'll have to get better at giving her more food (and a variety) throughout the day. With it being summer, we've relied a lot on snacks (like fruit, cheerios, granola bars), and/or eating meals at the pool. I don't know how she does so well eating solid food without any teeth! We'll have some scheduling changes starting in October, which corresponds with the end of the summer from the perspective of the pool closing down. I expect we'll get back on target with cooking a variety of entrees that we can all enjoy. We stopped doing our community-supported agriculture (CSA) share last year because it was hard to keep up with it while having a young infant. I'm hoping we can rejoin for a winter share that will include produce and eggs.

Being a ham at snack time

This past month we also had to start double-stuffing Zoe's cloth diapers because she had been leaking through them so much at school, resulting in several clothes changes a day. Other than that, we haven't had many changes to her cloth-diapering routine. 

In preparation for Zoe's entry into the 1-year-old class at school, she has started taking her naps on a cot instead of in the crib. I wasn't sure how that transition would go, but she's done great with it. For the most part, she still prefers a morning nap around 10 and a long nap mid-day (12 or 1). Many times, she also wants a nap at 4. Because of our summer schedule, she's been going to bed fairly late, between 8:15-9pm, which might be why she wants that 3rd nap during the day. She has a consistent 6:30-7:30am wake up time.

Zoe did a fair amount of sleeping in the car seat in July
We did a lot of traveling in the car during the month of July, and both girls did fairly well. During a quick weekend trip to New Jersey, we drove almost 1000 miles in two days. We left Saturday morning at 2am and arrived home Monday morning at 2am. It took a long time for us parents to recover from that trip. Because the girls got to sleep for most of the drive, they did just fine!  

I know that time passes too quickly and before I know it, the girls will be grown, but there are a few milestones that are coming up soon that I look forward to. In addition to not pumping, being done with bottles, and seeing Zoe walk and start communicate, I also look forward to slightly cooler weather. While I do like summer, this year has been oppressively hot in North Carolina. We've had 45 days reach over 90 degrees. I hate that indoor spaces are freezing (like my office) and then it's so hot outside. I think my favorite time of year in North Carolina is September-November. The weather is comfortable and there are so many kid-friendly fall activities. I basically want to get to mid-September and then freeze time for awhile. Who can I talk to to make that happen?