Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Season Brings New Changes for our Family

The new Autumn season is here and you can feel the cool air and it even smells different from just a couple of weeks ago. We're wearing longer sleeves, sleeping under blankets, and the heat is warming the house at night. October is my favorite month! My birthday is next Wednesday, too. I love birthdays. I embrace my age every year because it marks a new year to enjoy. Ever since I moved to the Midwest, I've enjoyed the Fall season even more. Especially here in Indy because our house is surrounded by trees so you experience all the seasons.

Ava is 6 and 1/2 months now and changes are happening every day.
  • Her two teeth have surfaced and we're passed the ugly teething pain from last weekend that kept her awake. She has bit me already once while breastfeeding, but luckily it didn't hurt too badly. I squealed and she jumped and pulled off. She feel asleep so it's not like she did it for entertainment. I can't for the life of me get these tiny teeth photographed. I'm sure other parents can attest that it's hard to get babies to open their mouths long enough!
  • She's sitting on her own now. Although when she's tired she throws herself back and we call it the "trust fall" because she falls back knowing she'll hit something cushy or we'll catch her. We put a pillow behind her and she does a little crunch to pull herself up, but she can't do it on her own. She entertains herself that way, which is scary because there won't always be a pillow behind her.
  • The biggest change is Ava graduated to the older baby nursery at daycare. She'll be in this nursery from now until about 15 months. There's a lot of activity in this nursery with the babies that are crawling, playing and walking. The fun part is that she has lots of friends there that she started daycare with in the newborn nursery. She has transitioned better than they expected, although she was pretty attached to her first set of caregivers. With the change, Ava is having a harder time with naps. Since she wasn't napping with the loud noise, I replaced her daycare blanket with a blanket with fresh home smells including a receiving blanket that I slept on the night before so it could have "mom smell." We put the thin receiving blanket on top of the crib sheet and she had 2 one-hour naps at daycare that day. I was very pleased! I think it's working. They don't have many breastfed babies in that nursery so they were unsure when to feed her. I told the new caregivers about Ava's feeding cues so they're learning to read her. I leave them instructions on feeding-on-demand, but they were still unsure when she was hungry because she doesn't cry much. So now, they are looking for her little signs, like burying her face in their chest and turning her head and opening her mouth. Check out my post about daycare tips for breastfed babies and about the working mom balancing act.
  • Another change is that we're leaving Bena outside during the day while we're at work and taking her to doggy daycare once a week to save on costs. She's doing great with it! She's been trained on an electric fence at the house and slowly we've been leaving her outside on her own while we're out on the weekends running errands. Since she enjoys the outdoors so much, Bena often spends most, if not all the day out in the yard stalking birds, deer, and relaxing in the grass. Aaron installed a dog door in the garage and we have a bed for her to lay on. The only downside is the post office and UPS like to drive up to our front door to deliver packages since we our house is set back from the road. Bena barks like crazy at them, which really freak them out! She's very protective. I've told them about the electric fence so if she's out and we're not there, they can leave the package on the other side of the wire. But just to be sure, Aaron found a fun sign that he posted on the driveway about halfway up. Here's the picture from today after our walk.
  • New role at work, still working at home 2-days a week. I started reporting to a new team in the Marketing group at work focusing on our Partners. The ironic thing is that the director of the group was the person that originally hired me at ExactTarget. My first week on the job last summer, moved from Product Marketing to Partner Marketing along with my current manager. I'm so excited to work with them again and I'm looking forward to making a big impact with our Reseller and Embedded Partners. I'm even trying something new, by owning lead generation campaigns. They both work out of their home offices in Portland and our team is very virtual, so we use Skype for video conferencing. I do my weekly catch-up meetings with my manager on Skype on Friday's when we're both working at home. I love it! The balance of work at home two days a week is amazing because I can have more time with my sweet Ava without the commute. With Ava having a harder time napping at daycare, I can keep her home longer in the morning so she can go there rested. Then I pick her up around 4pm. It makes a big difference in our day.
Loving the Fall colors: We took a family walk this afternoon on our street. It's a hilly walk and beautiful today with the Fall colors. Ava was snug in her sling. We both like the closeness of the sling and it's often times more convenient than a stroller. Since she's now over 19 lbs, it's a good workout for me to carry her around without it straining my back. I'm still slowly losing the baby weight. My body is different after carrying Ava, but I know I'll get there.

Don't forget to check out my post on making Steel Cut Oats in the crockpot. We had them for breakfast today. It was perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

Our family was in a video for our User Conference, Connections, acting as my coworkers family. Check it out, the video is called "Joel Book - Family."

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