Thursday, March 26, 2015

Life With Kate: Tummy Time Art

When you are home all day, every day with your baby you start looking for interesting things to do with them. In our particular case, Kate hasn't enjoyed her tummy time much. She used to love it and was rolling over really well and then all of a sudden she didn't want to have anything to do with it!

Her pediatrician told us that we need to continue to push her in this area, so I decided to research pinterest a bit!

Today we tried Tummy Time Painting. I've seen this idea floating around the internet and thought it would be a great sensory activity while making a miserable activity more interesting. It was really a fun experience for her!

You start by putting drops of paint on a piece of paper and then putting the paper inside of a ziplock bag. Then it's best to tape it to the ground. I tried putting it in a sheet pan and then just on the floor but it bunched up and she just wanted to pick it up and eat it! So I pulled out some tape... worked great.

The more paint you use, the more fun it is because there is more to squish around. I ended up adding some more to what we started with. I'll be honest this did not hold her attention for a super long time because she just doesn't like being on her stomach. So I'd let her sit up for a while and play with it, then move her back to her tummy for a few minutes. I talked to her about how it was cold and squishy, and of course, the colors!

After she'd had about all she could take of being on her tummy, I taped the bag to the back of a sheet pan and propped it up so she could study it and kick it with her feet. She really liked this. I sang her Thomas Moore's song, At The Easel, and used the colors we had in our own picture. (If you'd like to hear a sample of the song click here: Song Sample ) We also sang some other Cradle Roll songs like "There are So Many Colors in The Rainbow". 

After she lost interest with that I moved the pan down to her lap (resting on the boppy pillow!) and showed her how to beat the pan like a drum. 
So we sang some more songs and beat on our "art drum".
Oh, that was fun! 

All in all, we spent maybe 25 minutes with this activity, which is a pretty long time for Kate! Especially since all she wants to do these days is eat her toys! 

Afterwards, I cut the plastic bag to remove the picture. (I tried to just pull it out but it tore a bit.) I hung it with some chip clips on the fridge to dry. We have her first painting! 

Of course, we don't always do extra activities like this but I'm trying to do it at least once a week. It really is a lot of fun watching her discover new things! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life With Kate- 6 Months Old

Has it really been six months? In so many ways it feels longer than six months, but at the same time it feels like only a few weeks!

(Kate's in her mommy's overalls this month!)

 How can life change so much in such short time? Blake and I are figuring things out right along with Kate. So much is new! I find myself on my knees, or rather on my couch with my prayer journal, more now than ever. I'm convinced that prayer is the best fuel to have behind parenting! Be it asking for wisdom in specific ways, or simply breathing out, "Help me, Father God!" prayer has been my greatest tool. 

The past month started out a little more difficult, but ended on a sweet note, as Kate has been so happy the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure what phase she was going through, but we are happy to have a little break from it! She caught her first cold toward the end of February, we think she probably picked it up at church because that's the only place she went. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad. I was able to talk to her doctor over the phone and got some helpful advice. With our humidifier, Nose Frida, and the occasional dose of Tylenol she was back to normal pretty quickly! 

We tried peas this month! Oh my was that hilarious. Here is a little glimpse of the experience...


She did in fact eat them the next day and enjoyed them, especially when I mixed them with carrots (which I found out later I was't supposed to do yet) but her stomach wasn't quite ready to handle peas. So we are taking a break from them for a little while! She also tried butternut squash that I made for her and she LOVED it! We had to take a break from food for awhile because it was getting her pretty backed up, but I've been trying to give her about 1 ice cube of food per day. Other than that it's just momma's milk 5-8 times per day depending on her mood. 

She also tried plumbs (to help her digestion out a bit). She loved those too! 

The tartness threw her off a bit though! 

She is getting bigger- nearly 17 pounds! Her cradle cap is starting to get better, but she has a bald spot on the back of her head still, which she got when she started sleeping in her crib. She enjoys tummy time occasionally, but not very much. She prefers to be sitting up or standing up (with help!). She loves her exer-saucer. She'll play in that for a good 30 minutes on her own- usually a couple of times during the day. She will play in it longer when we are there with her though! 

This month I've become fixated on her little details- her little hands, toes, her nose. I can't get enough of just looking at her. Watching the way she lays with her feet up. Listening to her little noises. I don't want to forget any of it! 

A big milestone she hit this month is sitting up! She can sit up unassisted for a few minutes at a time. She is doing so great! She is also starting to discover her feet. That has made sitting go a little better!

I'm amazed at how much better she can grasp her toys these days. She loves her teether type toys, but just about everything she touches is going into her month now. Her favorites this month are her Sophie and this other toy we call her "feather". 

She continues to love books. She will let me read 10 books to her in a setting, and not just little short board books. She enjoys the pictures, but she also loves the interaction. I'll let her put just about anything in her mouth, but I'm working patiently to teach her that books do not go in our mouth. So far it hasn't caused too much grief for her. I've been trying to incorporate music with books by singing or shaking our little Gymboree instruments along to it. She loves that! 

She's gotten used to our bed time routine, which usually begins around 7:30. Bath, lotion, books, feeding/ singing, sleep. She is usually asleep between 8:15-8:30. Sometimes she wakes up and sometimes she sleeps until 4:30/5. She almost always goes back to sleep after a good feeding. She'll take a couple of naps during the day, but there isn't much rhyme to them yet. Sometimes they are long, and sometimes short. Different every day! Her doctor told us that at this point it's more beneficial to focus on getting good night time sleep. Nap schedules and routines can come later. 

We ended the month with a visit from Grandma Jesch! Kate enjoyed getting to spend time with her! We took a trip to the zoo on Friday and also took Kate for her first train ride through Memorial Hermann Park. We had a fun weekend!

We also got to see Uncle Jake, who was (and still is) home on Spring Break! 

We celebrated birthdays at my parents over the weekend as well. Me (26) and Dad (53). Kate is the life of our parties, that's for sure! 

God is truly showing me some amazing things, and I feel so blessed to be our sweet Kate Marie's mommy. At times the task is difficult. I feel isolated, unbalanced, and I struggle to get things done. I'm thankful to an amazing husband who listens to me and offers emotional support every day, and I'm thankful to an awesome heavenly Father who strengthens me and grants me new mercy and peace every day. There is this powerful bond forming between me and my daughter. I can't even begin to describe it. I'm so thankful for the good moments, for they FAR outweigh any moment of difficulty. When I watch her smile, oh, how it melts my heart. More than anything I want my sweet girl to know that she is loved by her heavenly Father. I will continue to be there for her in the best way I know how so that she can have a glimmer of understanding for how HE loves her. That is my purpose. Some days I long for more, but if Kate grows up to love the Lord and have a relationship with Him, then my life work is fulfilled- truly.

(PS.... as usual... please forgive any spelling and grammar mistakes. 
Not my strongest subject and I'm a bit distracted by my babe as I write!)