Adventure, baby!

USA

Eloise – Month 5 – 6

Week 23 – Jan 21 – 27

Eloise’s first winter snow! We had a great snow fall and went for a walk in our winter wonderland.

First winter snow. 22 wks old.

After several more days of having a lot of trouble with Eloise and sleeping, I decided to try and increase her awake time, since it was taking over 30 minutes, up to an hour, to rock her, screaming, to sleep. Amazingly this seemed to work! Keeping her up around 2 hours at a time then putting her down not only resulted in her going down easier, but also her staying asleep for longer. And, wonder of all wonders, she also started to sleep better … An almost 5 hour stretch followed by two more good nights. No more waking up with gas. We also tried her in the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit that my mother’s group rave about.   Again, amazingly, she had a great night, only waking up twice to feed on the last night of this week – almost 6 hours after being fed for the first feed, then a four hour stretch, then awake at 6 with a poop. Damn the 6am poos.

We tried her second solid this week – mango puree. She liked it a lot better than the cereal.

Eloise keeps getting easier and easier, and so much more fun. She can entertain herself now for periods of play on her back or in the exersaucer. She is starting to like more interactive toys so we are starting to look at the 6mth and up toys to get her soon.

She also loves her feet and spends a lot of time holding them and shoving them into her mouth. Now she has discovered her fingers, she loves to stick either her thumb or first finger in her mouth and suck on them.

Eloise’s personality is really starting to show now. She is happy and smiling the majority of the time, only crying when there is something wrong – like if she’s hungry or has a shock or something hurts. If she’s bored or doesn’t like something, she squeals and tries to talk to us.

She really loves best when we play with her. I do a few exercises most days using Eloise as a weight and she just loves them. She smiles and laughs her head off.

Week 24 – Jan 28 – Feb 3

Had a nice weekend out, to the Brooklyn Flea market and Le Petit Cafe on Saturday and skating in Central Park on Sunday.

Family day out in Central Park. 23 wks old.

Solids: avocado, carrot, butternut squash. Eloise didn’t like the avocado, loved the carrot, and tolerated the butternut squash.

Her sleep is FINALLY improving, with some almost 5 hour stretches and less waking up with gas. She even napped in her crib.

Eloise is outgrowing her toys. She is now interested in investigating things. She loves the exersaucer, blocks, toys that spin, rattles.

After doing really well for about 5 nights in a row, Eloise seemed to regress a bit. I think she had a bit of a stomach bug, as she was obviously feeling off, and started waking up multiple times a night again …

Week 25 – Feb 4 – 10

Solids: Peas! Loved them. Increased her solids intake to twice a day. and stretched out the breast feeding to every 4 hours.

Solids. Butternut squash. 24 wks old.

We had a great lunch at the Plaza food court. Eloise’s second visit to the Plaza since she was born.

Eloise is sitting really well on her own now. She is also putting more weight on her legs when held up.

Eloise gets bored of things fast, so we are rotating through her toys and activities frequently to keep her entertained. The exersaucer definitely entertains her the longest.

Week 26 – Feb 11 – 17

We started crib training this week. We rigged a vibrating unit to he crib that vibrates for 20 mins then switches off. The first day, we had good success for her naps, but then at night time she woke, screamed inconsolably for 2 hours, and we put her back in the bouncer. Day two was much more positive. She slept the night really well, only waking from 12:30 – 1:15 am with gas and to feed, then sleeping till 6:30. Amazing.

We are trying a bit of controlled crying as she screams when being put in her crib (she also screamed when being put in the bouncer, so this is nothing new). First attempt – 10 mins of crying and she fell asleep. Victory! After a few days, it’s working well. We gave Eloise a little lovie toy and she uses it to comfort herself and send herself to sleep. It seems like she wants to put herself to sleep now, as she pushes our hands away if we try to rock her like we used to.

Solids this week: Peaches! Really enjoyed them.

Eloise is so close to rolling over from back to front. Any day now. She is also pushing things away that she doesn’t like and interacting with other babies more and more. She’s also sitting really well and taking more weight on her legs. She loves kicking her legs, and tries to sit up in the BabyBjorn bouncer.

First Valentine’s Day. 25 wks.

First Valentine’s Day this week. Alec worked from home and we went out for lunch to Le Petite Cafe. 

Week 27 – Feb 18 – 19


Solids: Fresh banana – not really a fan. Yoghurt: LOVED it.

Loving yoghurt. 26 wks.

First trip to Alice’s Tea Cup for high tea on the UWS. Can’t wait to take her back when she’s a little older.

The past few days Eloise has started making a new whiney noise when she’s bored or tired. She also makes high pitched squeals around the same times.

Feeding wise – I now only feed Eloise four times a day (roughly 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm), and twice at night (10pm dream feed and during her night waking which can be anywhere from 12:30, 2:30 or 4:40am) . I’m trying to cut out the night feeds but so far it’s been proving challenging.  We feed her solids in between the mid morning and mid afternoon breastfeeding.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Eloise – Month 4 – 5

Week 18 – Dec 20 – Dec 23 

We had a baby nurse visit us to give us help with Eloise’s terrible sleep habits. Amazingly, we were able to get her to sleep in the crib for two naps during the day – something she had been unable to do up until now. So fantastic. I was also told that I was feeding her too frequently, so have to cut back to during the day, no oftener than every 3 hours, and at night, no oftener than every 4 hours. This means some pain for us as we will have to settle her back to sleep at night when she wakes instead of the easy path of me feeding her back to sleep …

The rest of the week we tried to keep up with the advice, but it was hard when we were going out so much and couldn’t keep on a schedule.

Development-wise, this week Eloise spent a lot of time on her back on the floor happily watching us or amusing herself. Her grip improved dramatically. She now reaches for objects and examines them, usually shoving them in her mouth.

Christmas in Sydney Hyde Park.
Hyde Park 17 wks.

 Week 19 – Dec 24 – Dec 31 

Eloise’s first Christmas! She was spoiled by her family. It was so lovely to celebrate with her – looking forward to the next Christmases as she gets older and can open presents and understand what it all means.

 Santa! 18 wks.

Christmas Day.

Developmental changes this week: Trying to roll from front to back. She lifts her legs and can roll to her side, but can’t quite get over. First finger and thumb constantly in the mouth.

Eloise has also started to develop a pincer grip with these fingers, using them to grab her ear, her nappy, and more. She reaches for us all the time now, particularly our faces. She has also started blowing raspberries! She blows them non stop 🙂

First swim in a pool this week. Eloise really loved the water and was in for over an hour. We also took her to Balmoral Beach and put her feet in the sand and in the water. She didn’t know what to think of it all!

First swim! 18 wks.

At Balmoral Beach.

Week 20 – Jan 1 – Jan 7 2012

Our last week in Sydney. After doing way too much and going out too much, Eloise was finding it hard to sleep, frequently waking up after we put her down to sleep.

The big event for this week was Eloise’s naming day. She was a bit overwhelmed by all the people, but was really good natured and managed to put her toes in her mouth for the first time. It was such a fantastic day, with our friends and relatives coming down from Newcastle, over from Perth and all over Sydney.

Cutting the Eloise cake at Eloise’s naming day.

Developmentally, Eloise is changing so much. She rolled over for the first time from front to back (3/1/12). She is really interested in everything we are doing, especially when we are eating or drinking. She also loves touching our faces and following out voices. She is chatting a lot now – even during the night when I feed her, she happily chats away.

Eloise is suddenly so interested in everything. She reaches for our faces frequently, as well as anything we are eating or drinking.

Last big event for the week was the trip back to New York. A huge 24 hours – 12.5 hour flight from Sydney to LA, a four hour layover, then a 4.5 hour flight from LA to New York. Eloise was pretty fussy and didn’t sleep much on the first flight, but was in a fabulous mood and slept for most of the second flight.

On the Virgin flight from LA to NY.

Week 21 – Jan 8 – 13
JETLAG. This week is all about jetlag. Eloise was hit really badly by it on the return leg and hardly slept for nights.

Eloise is really enjoying putting her feet in her mouth. She is also loving our water bottles and reaches for them frequently. She is constantly reaching for things now, so curious about everything in the world. Her co-ordination is improving as well. She really loves Sophie the giraffe now. The toy is the perfect size for her to grab and put in her mouth.

Eloise and Sophie.

Eloise is trying to roll from back to front. She’s slowly getting there … a great improvement is that we can now put her down on the floor and she happily plays there for a while on her own.

Trying to roll.

Week 22 – Jan 14 – 20
First solid! Organic whole grain rice cereal, mixed with formula. I think she enjoyed it – at least, she was very curious about it, and didn’t spit it back out. (16/1/12).

Towards the end of the week, the jetlag seemed to finally wear off, and her sleeping returned to normal – waking at around 9:39, then 12:30-1am, 4:40, then 6am. Blergh. So tired.

A great first this week was Eloise falling asleep in her stroller, not once, but twice! Uh-mazing.

She is really loving exploring our faces and mouths, particularly our teeth. She is so fascinated with everything we are wearing and doing.

Loving my teeth.
This week was our first outing in the cold.

First outing with Daddy. Minus 2 degrees C.


Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Eloise – Month 3 – 4

Week 14 – Nov 19 – 25
Eloise graced us with another 5 hour night stretch, followed the next night by a 6 hour stretch (with a dream feed in the middle). Sadly it was followed by a week of no more than 3 hour stretches at a time …

We had our first road trip to Sonoma wine country. Of course, Eloise hated the car seat … we realised it was too much for her to deal with afterwards and in future. Strangely, after her good nights, she had several more bad days of screaming and not wanting to sleep. What’s up with that, baby girl?! After more trial and error, we realised that she didn’t mind the car if she went in just after she had been fed and was in her happy and alert period. As soon as she reached her tired period, she freaked out. No going to sleep in the car for this little lady.

Sonoma.

On the development side, Eloise is developing great neck and trunk strength, and is getting closer to being able to sit up on her own. She is grabbing toys and trying to stick them in her mouth. She loves LCD screens and can be entertained by putting the iPhone onto camera mode so she can watch herself on the screen.

Eloise experienced her first Thanksgiving this week. We had a fantastic day, with my brother, Tim, and sister-in-law, Michele, driving up to spend the day with us, and our local friends also coming around for lunch. It was a really merry lunch and so much fun. Eloise was also an angel and behaved beautifully. Almost no screaming, lots of naps and a very happy little lady during the day.

Week 15 – Nov 26 – Dec 2
We seem to have regressed into more screaming … now Eloise screams every time she has to go to sleep, including if she’s in the BabyBjorn carrier out on the street. Previously she would be lulled to sleep by this and no screaming. Now it’s wailing, plus wailing at home pre naps and bed time. We are trying something new this week – putting her down in her bed drowsy but awake, and rocking her to sleep. Monday went well – 30 mins of wailing and whinging for the most part, but she went down. The rest of the week really saw a difference. She was easier to out down as the week progressed and stopped screaming in her carrier.

Eloise has made huge leaps in development this week. She’s suddenly found her legs, and loves to kick and straighten them alternately all day. She is also putting things in her mouth, like our fingers, her fists and toys. Since she won’t take the dummy, we’re desperately hoping she will self-soothe.

The biggest thing that happend this week was Eloise sat up by herself, on 30/11. On the same day, she shoved one finger in her mouth, but has been unable to do it again since.

Her eyesight has also improved. She can see us smiling at her from across a room, and smiles back at us, and she can see graphics on people’s t-shirts. She loves Alec’s Twitter bird tee and is mesmerised by it.

Eloise has been making a funny new smile this week, a tight-lipped one instead of the open-mouthed one, and hasn’t been coo-ing and ahh-ing as much. Instead she’s grunting and making higher pitched squeals as she discovers her vocal cords.

We had a day trip to Alcatraz over Thanksgiving long weekend with friends. Eloise was not a huge fan – cycling between short periods of feeding and happy awake, then screaming to sleep, then sleeping for 45 mins to an hour in the BabyBjorn. It’s really tough getting out and about with her.

At Alcatraz.

We also had a drive around Noe Valley with a local friend, Greg. The car seat was not a winner, but thankfully she was in a fabulous mood when she was awake and we had a really fun brunch and tour of the neighbourhood.

Week 16 – Dec 3 – 10


Another couple of road trips on either side of this week. To Berkeley and to Mountain View. The Berkeley trip was a bit disappointing. The only noteworthy thing was an up-the-back poo that required us to get the little lady completely naked outdoors on the Berkeley university campus. Stay classy, Eloise.

Trying out a new hat in Berkeley.

The second road trip on the following Saturday had a great improvement with screaming in the car seat. The only screaming we had all day was when we were stuck in traffic on the way home. Eloise can’t figure out how to go to sleep in the car seat.

This week Eloise wanted to sit up all the time. She got a lot more stable, but still face-planted the couch a few times if I wasn’t fast enough to catch her. Her grip developed significantly this week. She is now able to really hold on to things well and put them in her mouth. Her favourite thing to shove in her mouth is still my finger, to chomp on her gums.

We think Eloise has started teething. She is drooling like crazy, shoving things in her mouth, playing with her ears, disrupted sleep. Poor little girl.

Sleep-wise, we had a mixed week. A few nights of awake every 2 hours, but then a few nights of asleep for almost 6 hours (with a dream feed), followed by 3 hour or two hour blocks.

Week 17 – Dec 11 – 16
Lots of vocalising! Lots of loud noises and squeals. She’s loud and high pitched. She has greater control of her hands now, easily grabbing things and shoving then in her mouth. She has stopped the constant screaming and is now really happy while she’s awake.

This week we had an epic road trip from San Francisco to LA, then flight from LA to Sydney. Eloise was amazingly great on the flight, sleeping for most of it and being really content for the rest. No screaming on landing either!

Week 18 – Dec 16 – 19
We arrived in Sydney on Saturday and spent the day with family and friends who wanted to meet Eloise! What a popular lady! We also met Rosalie’s little man, Brandon, who was 4 wks old.

The Sunday after we arrived we had Adam and Davina’s wedding at the Royal Botanic Gardens – Eloise’s first wedding! It was a gorgeous day and Eloise was super well behaved.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Eloise is 17 wks and 1 day old.

Monday was her four month check up. She weighs 6.3 kg, is 61.5cm long and head circumference of 42cm. She is in the 50th percentile for weight and height, and slightly over 50th percentile for head. She also had her shots – sad panda 🙁

A great new development is that Eloise is now able to entertain herself for short periods. She is happy lying on her back on the floor or sitting in a bouncer and playing with her favourite toys, the ring set and the princess doll.

Eloise is changing so fast. Every day now she seems to be doing something new. Thankfully she is now a super happy little lady except when it’s bed time, and is getting easier and more fun every day. She is really developing her own personality too. She is definite with things she doesn’t like already, and has a super short fuse!

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Eloise – Month 2 – 3

Week 10 – Oct 22 – 28


The night after the sleep coach came we had a breakthrough! Alec and I were able to both sleep in bed at the same time for the first time since E came home. She also napped well the next day.

Sadly the next night and day were a disaster. E had a terrible night, didn’t want to sleep, and the next day cried almost all day. Sigh. We still managed to get out to Central Park to see our friends the Sonegos one last time before they head back to Australia, and to have a fun picnic in the sun.

Picnic in Central Park. 9 wks old.

We had a disaster of a week sleep-wise. Eloise started waking up every hour during the night and only napping for 40 minutes tops during the day. I think this is related to the stomach bug I had two weeks ago – I think it lessened my supply. A this same time, Elosie decided she didn’t want formula anymore, so we couldn’t give her tops ups if she looked hungry. Thankfully, after taking herbal teas, my supply seemed to come back on Friday night, and she slept for 3 lots of 3 hour sessions. Praise be!
Eloise seemed to develop a lot socially this week. She started making new sounds, like a cooing noise, and sounds like she was trying to chat to things, like her favourite mobile. She also started to make a new whiney noise when sad instead of the high pitched screaming. With noticing her drowsy signals more and putting her to bed earlier, we’ve stopped a lot of the screaming meltdowns. Not all, but more of them, so we have a much happier little girl now.
She also likes to catch our eyes and look at as more, trying to interact with us, smiling and cooing. It’s just adorable. We also had a really fun mother’s group this week, where the babies all dressed in Halloween outfits.
Week 11 – Oct 29 – Nov 4

Baby’s first snow! It snowed on Saturday the 29th – very unseasonal. With a high of 4 degrees, there was no way we were going to leave the house. 
We also had Eloise’s first Halloween this week. I had a variety of fun hats and outfits for her to wear for the numerous events over the week. She had her owl outfit for mother’s group, her bear outfit for the weekend, and her pumpkin hat for wearing on actual Halloween day. On the day there was also a parade in the local park, with lots of local kids and their parents dressed in cool costumes. 
Halloween! 10 wks, 2 days old.
We had a sleep breakthrough this week – she slept for 4 hours 15 minutes in one stretch. It might not sound like a big deal, but it made the world of difference to me and my sleep!
Sadly every other night she didn’t sleep longer than 3 hours, but she did get a lot easier to put back down towards the end of the week. Instead of taking an hour to two hours to put bak after she woke up, it was only taking 15 – 20 mins to feed and put her back down. Victory!
We also had a baby sitter for the first time this week, to give me a break to run errands and to give me and Alec a night off to have dinner together. Our sitter is lovely and fantastic with Eloise. Pity Eloise is such a tough baby! She’s decided she hates the bottle and screams when our sitter tries to give it to her. Sigh. 

Week 12 – Nov 5 – 11

We had a great meet up with the other mother’s group mums and their partners for a Saturday get together. It was so lovely seeing everyone’s husband, as well as really feeling like we are part of the local community now. The more I’m here, the more I really love living in Brooklyn.  
I also made a solo trip with Eloise this week into Manhattan to meet Alec at Twitter HQ, and then to walk to Central Park to see the fall colours. Eloise handled the whole thing like a champion – no crying or fussing. Her eyes were as big as saucers the whole time she was awake, staring in wonder at the subway, the office buildings, and then at the amazing colours in the park.
Central Park fall colours. 11 wks 5 days old.
An even bigger day was Friday, Nov 11, when we took Eloise on her first plane trip to San Francisco. She also surprised us by being a perfect baby the majority of the time. She barely made a noise the entire trip, but started crying when we descended and her ears hurt.
Week 13 – Nov 12 – 18
A great week in San Francisco! The first few nights were rocky, as Eloise had bad jetlag. She did however get in a 5 hour sleep at night during this week, a great first.
Our apartment was near the Bay Bridge, right near the waterfront, allowing us to take great walks every day. Eloise started to bat and grab at her toys this week, mostly with her left hand. 
12 wks old in San Francisco.
After our great first night we had a rough week with Eloise regressing. She had a few days of not sleeping much at night, fighting going to sleep during the day, crying more and fussing a lot. It was pretty bad, but also coincided with some new developmental skills. As well as batting at her toys, she started grabbing them, then trying to shove them in her mouth. She also started making some new noises and her head and torso muscles became stronger.
Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

Alec’s Birthday – Washington DC

We celebrated Alec’s birthday this year with a weekend trip to Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The weather was sadly gray-er than originally forecast, but we still had a fantastic two days exploring the nation’s capitol.

First up was the National Air and Space Museum, where we saw cool things like the lunar landing modules, the first airplane, moon rock. We also checked out the American History Museum where I was delighted to see the original ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Julia Child’s kitchen.

We spent sunday wandering around the cherry blossoms and war memorials. The blossoms were in amazing abundance everywhere!

Happy birthday husband!!

Air and Space Museum
Cherry blossoms

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.

California and NYC Trip

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so this is a brief account of my recent USA trip. It was mostly for work, but I managed to squeeze in a trip to NYC and Monterey. Most of the trip, when I wasn’t working, I was catching up with friends and family.

First stop, San Francisco.

Catching up with Isis, Mansi and baby Maya.

Dinner at Greens Restaurant in SF with Jamie, Lisa and Isis.

One of Mansi and Jason’s Abyssinian cats. 

Another of Mansi and Jason’s pets!

Filming an AdSense video with Victoria in Mountain View.

Drinking the Koolaid on campus.

Next destination, NYC! I stayed with Masa for a few days in Brooklyn.

View from the Brooklyn shore.

Making a new friend in the park.

One of seven bridal couples I saw having photos taken in the area.

View from the Metropolitan Art Gallery rooftoop garden.

Doing what I do best 😉

Goofing off with Masa.

Dinner with Janice and Calman.

Hello Jersey Shores!

At the Google NY office with Olah.

And Nadia …

… and Isa!

Then it was back to Mountain View…

On campus, taking in the sites.

Nom nom nom.

My friendly tour guide, Gus, and giant green Android.

Making a new friend! Meeting Zoe Pollock.

Alec met me in Mountain View. We were able to spend a long weekend in Monterey.

My favourite animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the jellies!

Drive down the coast to Big Sur. Amazing scenery.

Gorgeous water.

Gorgeous, jet-lagged, husband.

Beautiful!

Admiring the view.

The red woods in Big Sur.

Small husband…

Tiny wife.

Meeting the locals.

My brother and Michele drove down to nearby Carmel for the end of the weekend.

Back in Mountain View with the Ring family – Jeannette and little PJ.

Making more friends on campus! Meet Lola.
Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby! She loves cake, her tolerant husband and her busy preschooler.