Spring oh spring where are you–as another snow storm lurks

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The last two months have certainly not felt like they went by fast, yet here we are, and I can hardly believe it. Winter has made this drag out far too long, and there is no end in sight just yet, as more snow is predicted for the end of March. With a baby who doesn’t like the snow, it’s really a challenge keeping her occupied and satisfied. She loves being outside otherwise, and we’ve been stuck in the house for far too long. It’s driving us all insane.

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Snow is okay as long as it’s only a pile here and there.

Anyway, Savina is absolutely remarkable. Okay, what mother wouldn’t say that, right? Still, I am more than proud of my little one. Her language is developing faster than I can blink my eye. Seriously, Savina can say over 50 words last I counted–she’s probably exceeded the 70 mark by now. At first, I was going to post a list of what she can say, but with that many words… um yea. She is adding more to her vocabulary almost daily now, and she’s still adding more signs as well. One of her new signs, “monkey,” looks like she’s rapping–it’s hilarious! And I love how Savina cheers for herself. Everytime she did or thinks she did something really awesome, she says “yaaay” and sometimes claps.IMG_6286

Some time ago we have started potty training with Savina. Yep, this baby is going to work on diaperless days. We decided to do it with the help of the Baby Signs program, which comes with a wonderful kit including a book for the parents, a lift the flap book for baby, a DVD for baby, stickers, and a conductor’s whistle. We picked up both a regular potty and a toilet insert, because we weren’t sure which one Savina would prefer–turns out she wants to train on both of them. From the DVD Savina learned to make a choo-choo train sound and to sign train, and since we’ve started potty training, she has learned to say “pipi” pointing at either the toilet when Mommy goes pipi, or at her own lady’s parts when it’s about her. Nope, unfortunately it doesn’t yet seem like she’s prompting me that she needs to go pee (as of the past weekend, she appears to have done so once so far!), but beginning to understand what pipi is, and that it has to do with our body and with the potty–that’s a good start. She has also begun to say “Klo” (German for toilet) since we started potty training. I think she’s getting the idea, but we do need to let her wear training pants more often. Need to pick up some more of those.

IMG_6230Making our home a safer place has been a priority for me since Savina was born, and our bathroom is an important part of that. We started long ago by replacing her Johnson’s shower gel/shampoo with an organic no chemicals one (we use Theraneem), and bought a much safer sun tanning lotion for the summer–yes that was far more expensive, but my baby’s skin will only see the best and safest products. We had a huge bottle of Johnson’s baby lotion, which was finally running empty, and we were thinking about replacing that with something much safer as well. It was around that time when I came across a company I hadn’t heard of before. Concerned as I am about everything related to my sweet baby, I did extensive research on their products for at least two weeks, making sure they really are safe. I have since fallen completely in love with their products, and have eliminated many items in our household that can be harmful, including my baby’s lotion, but also, for example, our bathroom odor spray. We used to buy Lysol, which is amazingly dangerous, and the funny part: they even state this on their label, believe it or not. Only through finding this awesome company and these new products did I learn about how toxic Lysol is. For the first time I checked their label, and there it was:

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Wow! Yep, that brand has been banished from our household. What also completely sold me on this company was their lotion healing my hand’s eczema within 24 hours, when the medical cream prescribed by my doctor could not touch it. I have since recommended it to friends, whose skins also improved. I love love love it. If you have a similar issue, or want to rid your home of toxins for safe, affordable alternatives, do leave me/send me a message. I can help you get oriented and educated.

IMG_6250Since my last post a lot has changed in Savina’s sleeping habits as well. As many of you may remember, we were bedsharing for a long time, and Savina used to get one night nursing, after which she would join us in our bed. However, for days and weeks Savina suddenly refused to go back to sleep after her night nursing, unless we rocked her back to sleep and put her in her crib. Yes, we even tried rocking her and then bringing her into our bed–didn’t work. I kind of miss sleeping in the same bed with my baby, but this had to change, and we all sleep better now. Especially because I’m pregnant–my growing belly would not do well with baby in the middle. So Savina was night-weaned and would not come into our bed anymore. It took all of one night to get her inner clock used to no more milk at night. She has since slept through the night (!!!!) nearly every night. We still get the occasional wake-up, especially during Wonder Weeks such as the current, from nightmares, belly aches and the like, but holy (!) do we sleep better now. All three of us–or four if you count peanut.

Okay, time to talk about number four of our wonderful little family. Peanut.

There is a lot I could say about pregnancy number three/baby number two. Where should I start?

This pregnancy has been very different in many ways, yet a lot the same in others. While still nursing Savina throughout the day, my body has become weak to sickness and other problems. I hadn’t been sick in years before this pregnancy, but ever since I got pregnant, I’ve already gone through four colds, and fought two others that were threatening to make my day a living hell.

IMG_6237On top of that, tooth decay has set in since I’m pregnant. Found a huge cavity in one of my molars that, according to the dentist, requires a root canal. Well, not so fast. With lots of research, I have come to the decision that it’s worth a shot trying to heal the cavity myself and save my tooth (and $2500). It will take a long time, but I’m hopeful, and since I haven’t experienced as much tooth pain since I started as I did before I began my healing regiment, I’m confident that I can pull this through the rest of my pregnancy and through labor. Of course, this is all a fragile undertaking because I can not take heavy medication to soothe pain, and once I go into my third trimester I’m stuck with my choice until after I give birth. Luckily, the pain has become very managable, supporting my optimism (often, in the last few days, I don’t feel it at all–as long as I avoid hot, cold, and some sweet touching the tooth).

We’ve had our second, and final, ultrasound at 20 weeks, and I succeeded in burying my curiosity about our baby’s gender. However, since our peanut had his/her legs crossed the whole time, and was happily snoozing on his/her belly during all of the ultrasound, there was no way for us to find out gender even if we’d wanted to. Wink of fate? I do have it in my guts though that it’s a girl, and still have my hopes up for a boy.

IMG_6251I had to go to the appointment by myself with Savina, so it was rather difficult. She was tired and hungry at the time, so she became upset fast that I was preoccupied and could not attend her needs. At the end I lifted her up and let her sit on my chest for a few minutes. She looked interested at the u/s screen. And I do tell her a lot lately that there is a baby in my belly, yet I don’t get the impression she understands that yet. It will be interesting to see how this develops and how she will react when the baby is born, or at birth itself for that matter–if she happens to be awake at the time.

A few quick general updates and then I will wrap this up, as it is getting lengthy. I have been able to see baby move in the last week or so, can feel baby move often now with my hands, and am already experiencing braxton hicks contractions since a week or two. I can’t remember when those started during my last pregnancy, but I have a feeling that it was later. I’m using the same belly oil again that my loving midwife Becca made me, and so far no stretch marks! I do need a back support though, my pelvis feels like it is falling apart. My body is finally catching up in weight gain–not that that really concerned me. I’ve gained 7 1/2 lbs overall so far. In comparison: with Savina at this point in pregnancy I had gained 15 lbs. Also, my belly now at 22 weeks is much larger than it was with Savina at that time–at least it seems like it. But see for yourself:

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This has been a post in the making for a long time–sorry it has taken me so long. Thanks for reading and until next time.

This face is so kissable!

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It has definitely been far too long since my last post. I can’t keep up. Being so busy with my Savinababy makes it nearly impossible to write my blog regularly. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to talk about all of her progress this time, because there has been so much.

Just to keep this short, I’m not going to say anything about the holidays other than that it was wonderful, and that on Christmas Day Savina said “sit” for the first time. Have I mentioned that I love this baby?

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Since that day Savina’s communication has literally sky-rocketed. She’s signing more than ever. I couldn’t even count how many signs she makes now. And she says many words, or tries to. These I can still count, but they are getting up there in numbers:

Savina says:

  • “da” (German for “there”) when pointing at something.
  • “coco” for “cookie”
  • “ba” (+ball sign) for “ball” (and she says that one in German)
  • “ba ba” for “Papa” (Daddy)
  • “sit”
  • “so”
  • “no”
  • “yes” and “ya”
  • “hi” and occasionally “bye”
  • “Mama” (yes she says that again, yay!)
  • “a-ße” (sometimes) for “Katze” (German for “cat”)
  • “ho ho” for “hoch” (German for “up”)
  • wow
  • oh oh (when something falls on the floor)

I can say with certainty: her learning to sign has not held her back from learning to speak. In fact, I believe quite the opposite is true: since I’m teaching her German and English, signing has helped her understand both languages, because the sign is always the same, regardless of which language I say the word in. So for example, when I say: “Möchtest du nach draußen?” she will sign “outside.” And when I say, “Do you want to go outside?” she will sign “outside.” I’m asking her the same thing, only in a different language, and she understands. And by showing me the sign, she’s showing me that she understands. I do feel that the signing helps bridging the connection between the two languages, and is thus helping her to learn both equally well and at the same rate.

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She did not like the snow. Too wet, too cold, too slippery.

You can have quite the conversation with my baby now. If I ask her a question she will with the seriousness of a toddler answer: dagabasidokabadama. It’s not just meaningless babble; she’s really trying to say something–it’s only as if she was speaking another language. Well, in a way she is. It’s adorable.

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As for her crazy progress in signing, check out this video:

Savina signs

At the end there is a list of all the signs she can do, but I did forget to include some (e.g. bunny, sun, pain), so those listed are just a good portion of what she can do, but not all.

IMG_6069I love how obsessed Savina has become with books. As a writer, that makes me really happy. Sometimes I could just watch her “read” endlessly. I find it fascinating, when she sits down with a book (especially in the car), and holds it up, and looks at it (even a picture book without words) as if she was reading a novel. So concentrated, so immersed in the book. She turns the pages and looks again like a girl reading the most exciting story. Of course to that itty bitty baby it probably is just like reading a novel, but as an adult you just watch in amazement by how captivated that little baby is by her book, studying each page thoroughly.

My sweet baby just turned 15 months day before yesterday–time flies. And what I love most, is that she’s still nursing soooo much. We both enjoy it tremendously, and I love how healthy it has kept her all this time. She’s never truly been sick!

IMG_6059I finally gave in and cut off Savina’s last strand of original hair. It was the one she had in the back. The last bit of hair she was born with. The reason I cut it was that it was thinning out. So if I wanted to save some of her original hair, it was now or never. Since that little strand really defined her, it made me a little sad. I used to always brush through it with my fingers, and now I can’t anymore. But I’m getting used to it.

I could go on and on about my sweet daughter, but it’s time to get to the big news, which those of you who follow me on facebook already know about.

This little Savinababy is going to be a big sister. Well, we all knew that already, right? What we didn’t know was that she’d be a big sister in the making already. Her sibling is due to arrive July 28, 2014. We are thrilled!

Now, you might wonder, why did I not announce it right away as I did with my previous two pregnancies? What makes this one different? Well… I don’t know. We just decided to do it this way this time around. My rule was, if someone straight out asks me, I won’t lie. Therefore, very few people found out before the big announcement–mostly family, and friends who knew we were going to TTC last fall.

Here is another thing we will do differently this time: For as long as I can take the suspense (and I think I’ll be able to make it all the way), we will not find out the gender this time. The reason I, personally, wanted this change is that I’m fairly sure this will be our last baby (yes, unfortunately), and I just wanted to experience the thrill of someone calling, “Elli, it’s a boy” or “Elli, it’s a girl” Think me weird, but I really itch to find out what that feels like. We are hoping for a boy, but we are both okay with having another girl. And as everyone knows, obviously, the most important part is for the baby to be healthy.

So what has been happening during this pregnancy so far? I’m almost 13 weeks along, and I feel like pregnancy symptoms are just piling up with this one:

  • First off: nausea. Yep, I got it. Didn’t have it with my m/c and didn’t have it with Savina, but this one, let me tell you, made me feel quite sick in the first trimester. Luckily, I never threw up, even though I got close a few times. I’m still getting nausous occasionally now–mostly when I eat too much or not enough at one given time. But it’s definitely improving.
  • Food aversions: this definitely didn’t help with the nausea. Just as was the case with Savina, I can’t stand the thought of having tomato sauce. We had a vegetable lasagne for dinner a few weeks ago, and the smell of the red sauce alone made me almost vomit. Contrary to my pregnancy with Savina, cheese and creamy products, including sauces like Alfredo, are just fine. However, most meats are completely out. With Savina it was only poultry–with this one the only meat I can take is ham, and deli meats (which I’m mostly avoiding because you know why). At least there’s the ham. Uuunfortunately, since a couple weeks or so I also can’t really bring myself to find an interest in eating eggs. Another restriction I haven’t had before. It does become a bit frustrating, especially at dinner time.
  • Smell: good lord! With my first pregnancy I had an increased sense of smell, but I wasn’t nausous. With Savina I had neither. This time I have both. My sense of smell is out of this world, guys! I can hold Savina and smell the pee in her diaper even when there’s barely any pee in it. I can smell dinner hoooooours after we’ve cooked it–that’s the worst part. Most smells make me so sick, and they are the top reason I got so close to vomitting several times. I had to open windows and run fans to get the dinner smell out of the house at 30F or less outside. Ugh. Our boiler says thank you.
  • Fatigue: soooo tired these days. Again, something I did not experience with my previous pregnancy. It’s only natural now, of course, since Savina keeps me on my toes, and I have not only much less time to myself, but also get less sleep. I’m now finding that even when I sleep during Savina’s naps, I still feel tired at the end of the day. I’m so exhausted most days that I sometimes can’t even bring myself to play with Savina. Often I just sit there and comment and hope she will keep to herself. Yes, I feel guilty about that, but I can’t help the circumstances. I know this will get better soon. Well, I sure hope.
  • Urination: oh my god, my increase in toilet-visits is beyond belief. I need to go 4-6 times an hour during the day, and during the night I wake and go 2-4 times total.
  • Ligament pain: nothing new there.
  • Occasional cramps.
  • Cravings: while with Savina I was craving cherries, with this one I’m into apples. Finding that quite interesting. The first couple of weeks I was craving zucchini.
  • Occasional dizziness.
  • Constant hunger. I can’t stop eating, and yet, until today, I had not gained a pound! Some of this is due to Savina still nursing about every 3 hours, and some is probably due to my dinners falling short. Since I used to have large dinners, and now can’t finish it most of the time because my stomach is all scrunched up, kinda, I’m probably missing out here. I’ve never been so hungry in my life. Waking up to pee at night, feeling like I haven’t eaten in days! No fun!
  • Occasional heartburn.

I’m probably missing something, but this is quite the list as it stands.

The greatest thing about this pregnancy so far: Three days ago I felt the baby move for the first time, little flutters wayyyyy down near my pubic bone.

I will close this post with the excitement of any pregnant mother: I can’t wait to hold that little one in my arms!

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Birthday, anyone?

Savina First Birthday Selection

Well, that didn’t work out… I never got around to posting about Savina’s party right after her party, so the blog post will be cluttered with non-party stuff after all.

Look at that picture above… can you believe it? That little baby October 16, 2012, next to that big grown girl October 20, 2013. It happened so gradually that to me she still looks the same when I don’t put the contrast into perspective. I can’t believe she was this little once! And I can’t believe how she’s grown so much so unnoticably, so sneakily. And yet, that face remains just the same.

So Savina’s first birthday party was October 20th, and obviously, someone up above didn’t want this to go smoothly–at first. My in-laws were going to get here early to help decorate, but they got stuck in traffic, so they arrived later than anticipated. So not all of the decoration actually got done. The flag-banner was never put up. I forgot Savina’s birthday wand, never lit the “1″ candle, nor the monkey candle. As I was putting the finishing touches on the cakes (the cake for the guests as well as the smash cake for Savina), I noticed that my home made frosting (a vanilla pudding, butter, marzipan-creme) had become hard in the fridge overnight (should have figured… with butter in it).IMG_5480 I had started baking on Friday, and was going to finish Sunday morning… well not so fast. First I needed to resoften the frosting for Savina’s smash cake. Of course, with everything being a bit hectic, I didn’t pay much attention and it all turned liquidy… oh boy. Luckily, the frosting I made for the cake for guests (same recipe, same ingredients) had not hardened overnight. Difference? —-that one had pudding sent from Germany in it, while the smash cake frosting had pudding from the US in it (I didn’t have enough German pudding powder for both). That is the ONLY difference. I used the same butter, same marzipan, etc. Wow! So in the end, Savina’s smash cake frosting was still a bit runny, after I had put it in the freezer for a short while. To top off our bad luck that day, our friend and musician Meryl, who was supposed to play music for the babies at the party, got sick.

Savina 1st Birthday-10Luckily, two things saved the day. First, John, a musician working for Meryl, was kind enough to step in for her on extraordinarily short notice. Thank you so much, John! I don’t know what I would have done otherwise! Next time I’ll have a contingency plan in place. Second, after the weather had started turning more into actual fall weather the week leading up to the 20th of October, and a forecast of rain for the 20th, I was so delighted to experience a summer-like day for Savina’s birthday party! It was beautiful! Warm, sunny, simply enjoyable. We made music outside, played with instruments, and babies had fun in the sandbox.

After our merry music making, we moved inside to unwrap gifts. Savina was spoiled! After that, it was time for the smash cake. I was surprised by how Savina reacted to that. I mean, considering she’s a delicate little girl, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, because on her actual birthday, the 16th, she totally smashed her mini-cake: an apple cupcake I topped with nougat, whipped cream, and a raspberry. See below. When I brought out her smash cake, instead of going at it, she carefully picked off the raspberries. It was funny indeed, watching her probing forward. She did not want to touch the cake itself much at all. I suppose it may have to do with the frosting. I’m guessing she didn’t like it. (maybe that American pudding…). Instead, her friend Lucas decided that he was quite a big enough boy to step in and show Savina how it’s done. He had so much fun, we had to wash him in the tub afterwards.

I would have said some things about Savina’s actual birth day, but I’ll just leave that to the video I cut together:

Savina’s first birthday

Savina turns one

On to some development-updates and other stories.

Motor skills/problem solving:

Savina can “walk” so fast now, she can keep up with me when walking at a normal pace. When she wants to, she can “run” past me. I would say Savina can actually run when she chooses, but is not yet ready for a sprint-like run.

IMG_5719She can climb the stairs leading to our front door without a problem (and we never practiced it…), and otherwise wants to climb as much as possible. Any ideas how to give her opportunities to climb? Please do share. We don’t really have anything for her to climb on in the house!

Savina likes to spin around a lot.

Savina has finally started to put things into other things! Yay. She is also very intently trying to take off lids and caps and put them back on. When she fails repeatedly she becomes frustrated, but not for long. Then she tries again, when I show her how it’s done. She’s getting into opening and closing as well, especially doors.

Communication/social skills:

Signing

Savina returned to using the sign for “milk” to ask to nurse, right after pointing at my chest. It is interesting how she has gone through phases on that. At first, she signed “milk,” but quickly abandoned the milk sign for “drink,” then abandoned that in favor of only pointing at my chest, and now she points at my chest and then signs “milk” again. Also interesting: while she signed “drink,” she did sign “milk” only at night, when Daddy changed her diaper in the middle of the night just prior to bringing her into our bedroom for a nighttime nursing, after which she’d sleep in our bed with us the rest of the night.

IMG_5683A few days ago, Savina signed “more,” quickly followed by “milk,” after she had just nursed. Such a smart baby!

Savina has played with some new signs as well: she tried “sun,” “Daddy,” “diaper” and “please” once each, signed “hat” a few times, as well as “brushing teeth,” and “hot” when we get close to the stove when making dinner, and she consistently signs “outside,” when she wants to go out.

It seems like she’s trying to sign “washing,” has tried “bunny” a few times, and she’s trying to sign “all done.” I’m also getting the impression lately that she tries to sign “where” when I ask “wo ist…,” and sometimes she says “do” or “bo” when I ask “where is” and raises her hands (for the “where” sign). I wonder if she’s trying to say “wo” while signing it.

She has completely abandoned “drink,” and “eat,” and instead signs “more” like a crazy baby. When she signs “more,” she’s either requesting “more” of what she just had, or she means to say “I want.” For example, we’ll sit at my desk, and she’ll look at something like a piece of mail or whatever, and sign “more,” meaning, “I want to play with this.” Cries of defiance start, when I don’t allow her to have it.

Speech

IMG_5577Sadly, Savina stopped saying Mama since my last post, but at least she looks again when I ask her to look–well most of the time, anyway. Savina has also begun to say “no” since last Thursday. It’s so cute–how can you resist, or remain serious? Especially since she doesn’t just say a quick short “no.” She stretches it, and goes “nooooo” very casually. Soooooo adorable.

Check out her “no:” Savina says “no”

Quite some time ago she attempted to say “mehr,” which means “more,” but she hasn’t tried it for a while now. She was getting pretty good at it though. And then she tried it in English once, but hasn’t since.

Savina’s babbles have changed a lot at least twice if not thrice in the last few weeks. Sometimes she sounds as if she’s wearing braces. She babbles much, really trying to communicate.

Our little one is still good at listening to Mommy. She will stop most of the time when I say “no,” and has also recently learned what I’m asking when I say “please let go.”

Savinababy is also kissing again. Lots and lots, and almost every time we ask for one. Feeling so loved.

IMG_5839Now, you all know Savina is very used to the camera, since I’m so baby-photo/video addicted, but she has grown so used to it, she actually poses sometimes, and most importantly: once I took a picture of her, she leans forward and bends around, trying to see her photo on the display of the camera, as if to see if I did an acceptable job. It’s too cute.

I’m probably missing something, but oh well. It’s been soooo long since last I wrote. I just haven’t found the time. Anyway, there was one last thing I wanted to put down in writing and let my frustration out one more time:

This is about health care. Yes. Again. So, Savina’s lead test came back with slightly elevated levels (5). We happened to switch pediatricians at that time (for other reasons), and they wanted us to redo the test anyway, so we did it at the new pedi office. The test came back with again slightly elevated levels (6). So then they wanted to draw blood from a vein, to make sure the little prick in the finger/toe tests were accurate. That alone was a horrible imagination, but what had to be done had to be done, right? We went to C-Lab and waited for our turn. When we were called in, we sat on a chair in one of the rooms, Savina in my lap. The nurse came and I recognized her. I’d had her before, drawing my blood, and I remembered that I never felt a thing. I said to her: “I’m so glad it’s you!”

The nurse said, “Oh, I’m only here to assist her.” And she pointed at the other nurse. “She is far more experienced with drawing blood from babies.” I said, “I was really hoping it would be you, because when you drew my blood I felt nothing at all.” She was flattered, and the other nurse said, “Really? I trained her.” Yes, that reassured me, and maybe it shouldn’t have. The younger nurse really felt better if I let the other one do it, but the other nurse felt it was okay for her to try. So she felt Savina’s arm and concluded that she couldn’t feel her vein, so she was not confident enough to do it, and asked for the older nurse to do it instead.

Okay. The older nurse got ready and then said that we should move her to the other room, where they can strap Savina to a table.

Let me repeat that:

strap Savina to a table

Uhm…. no…?!! I said, “she stays right here in my lap.” The older nurse replied, “I’m only telling you what my supervisor is saying.” I said, “I’ll gladly talk to your supervisor.” So she brought her. The supervisor explained that it “will be easier and quicker” if we strap Savina to a table, and that I could still be there and hold her hand. I said, “I think it will be easier and quicker if I hold her right here–and less traumatic!” “Okay,” said the supervisor, “You’re her mom and it’s completely your choice, but know that if you can’t hold her still enough, we may have to poke her more than once.” I was okay with that, because I was confident in my ability to hold my baby properly.

The supervisor left and the nurse proceeded to prep Savina’s arm. She put the little armrest down to steady her a little more, and told me to hold Savina’s shoulder–that’s the most important part. I held her pretty well and still. She felt for the vein, put the needle in. Savina screamed.

The nurse could not find the vein. She poked around in her arm for what felt like at least a minute! I was already outraged at that but remained quiet, because I was hoping she would eventually find it and wanted this to be over with. Eventually the nurse gave up and removed the needle. She immediately put a bandaid on it. Savina was beside herself, seeking the comfort of my arms.

The nurse needed to try the other arm, and Savina knew what was coming and screamed before the needle even entered her skin. This time the nurse was able to find the vein and she drew the blood. Savina screamed further. This time the nurse did not immediately put a bandaid on. And of course at this point Savina was massively struggling to turn around so she could rest in her comfort zone, her chest against mine, her head against my shoulder. I couldn’t let her because I was holding the “bandage” or whatever it’s called on her arm. She struggled so much that I could hardly hold it down, and when it slipped, blood literally sprayed out like a fountain. I said to the nurse, “Could you please put a bandaid on her???!!!” Blood was on her clothing, and I literally had my baby’s blood on my hands.

When all was done, I hugged Savina and nursed her. My poor baby was so terrified. Can you imagine all this while being strapped down?!

After a while (we had received some water, and Savina drank from a cup for the first time!), the nurse returned, with another woman in tow. She didn’t look like a nurse–she was probably the office manager or so. She said to me that she just wanted to come and personally apologize— “we didn’t get enough blood.”

Let me repeat that:

we didn’t get enough blood

What?! I was furious. I asked why not enough blood had been drawn in the first place, and the woman turned to the nurse and said “that’s a question for you.” The nurse looked at me and explained that she thought she had enough, but when she left with it, she realized it wasn’t. I suppose she was afraid to take too much blood from Savina, because while she was drawing the blood, she had asked me how much Savina weighs.

The other woman then asked politely if they could draw more blood and whether I wanted the nurse to do it or “our outraged supervisor.”

I answered, “Honestly? I don’t know.” I could not really think clearly at that point. Put Savina through this horror a third time??? I did agree, but that was about all the decision-making I was capable of at the time.

The woman also suggested to take Savina into the “pediatrics room,” and I asked her what that was. She proceeded to tell me about the table to strap her down on. I couldn’t believe it! I said, “Oh that thing–I already refused that before.” Oh, okay.

They decided to have the supervisor do it. Savina screamed murder before she even got anywhere near her with the needle. The supervisor didn’t put the armrest down and the nurse asked her “you don’t use this?” The supervisor didn’t answer. Savina was steady enough, too. I held her well. She felt for her vein (on the arm the nurse couldn’t find the vein) for a long time. Then she stuck the needle in quickly, and deeper than the nurse had by what I could tell. She let go of the needle, released the rubber band, and picked up the needle again. The moment she picked it up, the blood started flowing. This went far more smoothly than with the nurse before.

The supervisor kept apologizing very dearly. I could tell she really meant it, really felt bad about what had happened. I told her I was about to cry myself. I also thanked her for letting me hold Savina.

Luckily the test came back as a 5, and no further testing is needed–there are no concerns.

Below is a picture of how the wound on Savina’s arm looked, where the nurse couldn’t find the vein. This is a day old, so it was much darker at first. I’m disgusted by the work that nurse did and will never have her service me or my daughter again.

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So, this is my horror-story. Sorry for the long post, but I really had to catch up on some things, and I haven’t even touched on everything. Thanks for reading through all this–I love you guys! Until next time.

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Ready, set, go!

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I realize it has been merely 11 days since my last post. The one word that comes to mind in regards to Savina’s development recently is “rapid.”

I just wanted to give some quick updates before her birthday, so I don’t clutter my next blogpost with this when it really should be just about her birthday and her birthday party.

I’ll try to go through this quickly, because time is shoooort right now.

Motor skills and communication:

IMG_5394Savina continues to walk faster and faster. Today she is getting really close to a slow run. If I walk slowly beside her, she can keep up. She’s also turning well now. On my own birthday, last Thursday, the 10th, she had a massive sugar rush after we had allowed her to eat some of the strawberry shortcake we bought to celebrate my round 30. She started running around, well not running, obviously, but walking quite fast, in circles in the kitchen. I swear she just kept going around and around, and forth and back between Peter and me. After about 10-15 minutes I started videoing her. And I recorded for another 27 minutes. Then she became tired, and you could tell, because she began to fall on her bum a lot.

Here is some of the video I took, as well as a little video from this morning, which is almost the pace at which she can walk now (she can go faster than that).

Crazy Savina

IMG_5385Has Savina turned the house upside down yet? Naaah, not really. Well, it depends on your definition of “turning the house upside down.” She certainly goes around and explores, and naturally leaves a mess with toys and things she turned into toys, but we’ve baby-proofed the house so well that she is allowed to do all that, and it does not annoy us one bit. The only place we are cautious is in our bedroom (where she only gets to play in the morning and with supervision), and in our office (where she only gets to play under supervision). We keep many of her toys in both those rooms to offer her alternatives to the no-gos. I still hardly ever say “no” to her though. There is no need for the most part. Plus, I’m lucky. She’s a really good kid, who has yet to venture forth into territory we don’t want her to get into, like our bookshelves. The shelf we created for her, with her toys in it, is still sufficient to keep her away from my own precious books on the opposite side of the room.

Yesterday morning at breakfast she licked off the liverwurst from her bread and attempted to put a piece of ham on it. So cute.

She has tried to sign “berry” this weekend and actually did pretty well. “Berry” is a difficult sign for itty-bitty’s fine motor skills in my opinion, but it looked almost correct. She also signs “eat” consistantly now, “dog” occasionally, has signed “tree” once, is signing “more” fairly often, and attempted to sign “book” tonight. She even wanted Daddy to show her again after he and I had shown her several times. It was such a delight to watch her. And, oh yea, she has combined “eat” and “more” a couple times.

She also points consistently now at things she wants. Recently she points at my chest rather than doing the drink sign when she wants to nurse. She hasn’t abandoned the sign entirely, but she is pointing at me a bit now.

There was a short period during which Savina looked either at me or something I was looking or pointing at every time I said “Savina, look!” She doesn’t do that anymore, unfortunately. As so many things, babies pick something up, do it for a while, and then not for some time.

A little over a week ago in the morning, I asked Savina and signed to her at the same time (in German): “Will you give Mommy a kiss?” I didn’t expect anything from it, because I never asked her that before, and last I showed her how to kiss, in front of the mirror, she didn’t seem to understand it yet entirely. But she surprised me, leaned forward and rested her lips on my cheek. I was melting away! She then kissed me like that after every nap, when I asked her. Then after a couple days she slowed down, but I did receive one for my birthday, which made my day! I have not gotten a kiss from her since.

IMG_5372My asking her to say “yaya” when she wants something and I’m absolutely certain she does, is paying of. I was trying to make her understand that when I ask her if she wants this or that, she needs to answer me in whatever way, signing, talking, anything. So I’ve been telling her to say “yaya” every time I knew for sure she wanted it. She now occasionally answers without my prompting. So, for example, if I ask “do you want more blueberries?” because she’s been pointing at them, she’ll say “ya” or “yaya,” or if I ask “do you want to go outside?” Sometimes she also answers “ya” to questions that do not require a choice to be made, such as “did you find your bear?” or “Are you hungry?”

Savina says “Mama” a lot now, and I can tell she fully means me by it 99% of the time. Sometimes she runs to me, calling Mama Mama Mama. And when I ask her, “Who am I?” she answers: “Mama.” I love it!

Savina’s third tooth is about half way out and came way faster than the other two. Had I not checked, I would have never known when it broke through. It didn’t bother her one bit, and I fully attribute it to the new amber necklace we got her. Before we replaced her necklace with a fresh new one, she’d had some teething pain off and on, and we even had to use Hyland teething gel a few times. Since she wears her new necklace, I have not needed to even think about the gel. Her second upper tooth cut through this morning or some time last night, well part of it did anyway. Again, hadn’t I checked, I would have never known. I love amber!

Lastly, Wonder Weeks have started up again last week. Lovely. She’s very clingy again (for example: doing laundry in the basement, I walk 2 steps away from her to put the basket back, and she walks after me as fast as she can, crying “Mama Mama”), she’s fussy, and difficult to transition from chair to crib. I was hoping she’d start it late, like after her party, but noooo. But hey, she’ll be fine. She’s usually fine when around company, because she gets too distracted to be fussy.

Can you believe all of this progress happened in the last 11 days? Wow!

Okay, this became a little longer than anticipated, phew. Until after the party! Thanks for reading!

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Almost a Year???

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I can’t believe it’s October already! And I can even less believe that since my last blog post a whole month has passed again! So much is happening. A year went flying by like never before. Savina is turning one in less than two weeks. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. She was inside me. I pushed her out. She was a tiny peanut who couldn’t move much on her own. Now she’s a grown little tyke, who is walking, and wanting to run! Really?

IMG_5268While we’re talking about walking… talking about walking hoho, Savina has improved so much since my last post. She’s a good walker now, starting to cross rooms and going faster and faster. I can tell that she wants to run, but she’s not quite there yet. If I lend her my fingers to hold on to lightly, she goes off flying.

Much has also changed in Savina’s understanding and communication. She understands a lot of what I say to her now. She opens her mouth when I ask her to, so I can brush her teeth. A couple of days ago I asked her if she wanted to listen to music because she was looking and pointing at the cd player. She got all excited. I asked, “Do you want music?” When she got excited, I said: “Say ja ja.” And she said in return right away: “Ja ja!” looking at me expectantly. She’s been pointing at the cd player several times since and always gets excited when I “notice” it and offer to turn on the player.

IMG_5301The other day she looked at her stack of books on the table during breakfast. I said, “You want to read a book?” I then placed the books next to each other in front of her and said “You pick. Which one do you want to read?” I didn’t expect this, but she looked for a short while and then pointed at one! (It was “A Mother for Choco” by the way).

Savina points a lot now, wanting me to name everything she points at. She can find more than just the cats in books, too. A couple weeks or so ago we were reading a book about the alphabet. When we got to “p” for pigs, I asked her where the pigs are. She looked at both pages (there is one pic and letter per page with a short sentence). She scrutinized the pages, then looked at me completely baffled and shook her head. I showed her where the pigs were. We finished the book and started over. On to the pigs again, I asked once more, and this time she pointed at them. Such a smart girl. On the last page, the letter “y,” there is a mirror. I asked where Savina is and she pointed at the mirror.

IMG_5251My little girl has started to give me things. Toys, mostly. She also gives me her spoon when she ate from it and wants more, sometimes with and sometimes without me asking–too adorable. And she not only started attempting to feed her plush dog, but a couple days later also tried feeding me. And when I get close to her hand and actually take some, or pretend to, she laughs or smiles.

Savina has become more aware of herself. When she eats, she does now notice when food is not entirely in her mouth, and she will use her hand and/or wrist to push the rest in.

IMG_5297A couple of days ago, as we were eating breakfast, I gave Savina a piece of my liverwurst bread she was eyeing. She also had a piece of bread with butter. She munched away, but didn’t finish the piece I had given her from my bread. So she was holding that liverwurst bread in her hand and continued eating the other one. After a while she looked at my bread, then at me, expectantly. Before I could say anything, like pointing out that she still has a piece of my bread, she noticed it herself, and with a sudden “oh, right” expression, she stuffed her liverwurst bread in her mouth, satisfied. This morning we had a similar situation, except with the bread being on her tray instead of in her hand. It amazes me how conscious of everything Savina is becoming lately.

Savina’s favorite word these days is “jajajaja” and she shakes her head to say “no,” and sometimes it seems as though she is shaking her head to say “yes” because she hasn’t quite figured out how to nod yet.

IMG_5234This little peanut has recently rediscovered her growl. Back in March she first discovered it and growled endlessly for a week, maybe longer. It was hilarious listening to her bite into her plush toys and go “arrrrggghhh grrrraaaa.” This time her growl is more advanced and she practises all kinds of ways to growl.

I’m so happy Savina is out of her latest set of “Wonder Weeks” since a couple of weeks or so. I’m still baffled by how precise this can be predicted. I notice such a huge difference with her. While she’s in her leap week she becomes so clingy and fussy, and I can hardly move an inch without her bellowing as if I had left the house without her. Cooking dinner becomes the most difficult task of the day during that phase. When she’s not in her leap week she happily plays at her “toy stations” around the house all by herself, while I can very well be at the other end of the house. If she wants me, she’ll crawl to me instead of crying for me. And when she comes crawling, and I say “Hi baby,” she gives me the biggest smile.

IMG_5313I can not recommend the book “The Wonder Weeks” enough. It has helped me understand the changes in Savina’s behaviour and to accept what is happening. It has helped me find patience and understanding when Savina is going through a mental development phase. Every time the book predicts a fussy phase Savina exhibits most of the signs mentioned, including clinginess and fussiness. Every time the book predicts that the baby has succesfully completed a develpmental leap, Savina’s behaviour turns around 100%. Thanks to this book I know what to expect and when to expect it. Right now she’s between leaps and wonderfully independent. I love it.

Last weekend she was with Daddy in the office while I was still snoozing. After a while I could hear her on the move, Daddy right behind her. Then I saw her. She crawled into our bedroom. Daddy said she crawled in a straight line from the office to our room (one end of the house to the other). She pulled herself up at the bed and Daddy helped her get on the bed. She didn’t pause then, but went straight up to me, and her mouth found the breast instantly. She knew what she wanted, and she knew where to find it. No fuss about it. I thought that was so cute.

A final thing I wanted to mention: Just as unwanted “advice” is tiring, as I talked about last time, so is the constant negativism from people around me. I can’t put it more clearly or more beautifully than this woman: Joy Or Just Wait

Please stop telling me things like “oh, just wait until she gets running, and into all sorts of trouble” or “just wait until she takes your stuff and flushes it down the toilet” etc. This is negative and stupid, I’m sorry, but I really don’t need to hear this.

Instead, tell me things like “Just wait until she wraps her arms around you when you come home” or “Just wait until she says ‘I love you’ for the first time.”

Can people not think about the beautiful things in this world anymore? Have they become so stressed out that all they see is black in raising their children? Where are the joys? Why aren’t you telling me about the good things to come? You need to wake up and appreciate life again.

I certainly do. Whatever stones are thrown in my way, or whatever mountains we come across, we shall master them. We will endure. We will deal. And we will enjoy the easy paths all the more.

I love parenting. I love my baby. There is no room for negativism.

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p.s.: Here is the quirks video I announced: Savina’s Quirks