Adventure, baby!

New York

Eloise – Month 6 – 7

Developmental

  • A lot more chatty this month, making new sounds like “dada” and “baba”.
  • Finer motor control. Able to touch things more gently rather than bashing things, like our faces!
  • Banging objects together.
  • Loves picking up objects and examining them, particularly pulling them out of her toy box.
  • Reaching to be picked up.
  • Showing a preference for Alec or myself, but generally really social and loves meeting new people.
  • Staying awake for longer periods during the day – up to 3 hours, sometimes longer.
  • Putting more weight on her legs.
  • Eloise is just so happy all the time! She’s just such a delight to be around all day now. She enjoys being outside and looking at people, and is pretty much a smiling, laughing little lady all day. 

Milestones/firsts

  • Eloise’s two bottom teeth came in this month. We had a super rough few weeks where she screamed and wouldn’t sleep, refused solids and didn’t want to nurse. One night she finally slept, and in the morning, there they were!
  • First swing this month! The weather warmed up and we started spending time in the parks.

Food
Eloise moved onto a feeding schedule – nursing 4 times a day (6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm) with 3 meals of solids in between. She loves yoghurt and fruit the most, but will also eat things like lentils and brown rice with vegetables, and with a bit of curry powder mixed in.

Sleep

  • Comes and goes. Bad nights of screaming, followed by nights where she will wake, feed and go back to sleep. A few nights with only one wake up.
  • We finally were able to move Eloise into her crib. We put in a wedge to prop up the end, and put in a vibrating unit under the mattress to simulate the bouncer. A few weeks of this and we took out the wedge and vibrating unit and she finally sleeps in a flat, normal crib. 
  • Major breakthrough with sleep during the day – Eloise now puts herself to sleep. When she shows tired signs, we put her in the crib and she goes to sleep by herself. So great.
  • Likes to sleep on her side!

Brooklyn Fave Places

We’ve been living in Brooklyn almost a year now and really love our neighbourhood.

Coffee – Alec loves Cafe Pedlar. Our weekend walks always start with a skim latte from here.

Cupcakes and baked treats – One Girl Cookie. Their spiky cupcakes are addictive, as are their chocolate whoopie pies and tiny cookie treats.

Pizza – Layla Jones. A rectangle pizza that we get heaped in plum tomatoes. Delish.

Hot chocolate – Bein cuit. It’s a bit sweet but not too milky and heavy.

Chocolate everything – the Chocolate Room. Delish desserts.

Croissants –

Brunch – Five Leaves. This is in Williamsburg, but that’s ok. Amazing pancakes. Wonderful eggs. Was also started by Heath Ledger.

Omelets: Le Petite Cafe. Tasty omeletes and an indoor garden that looks like spring in the middle of winter.

Takeaway – HopHap for Thai. Great fried rice and noodle dishes. Also great roti strangely enough.

Bagels

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.

Ice Skating in Central Park

On a beautiful winter’s day, the perfect activity is ice skating surrounded by the beauty of Central Park. It’s always been something I wanted to do, and it was really surreal to be skating around in the park.

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.


Thanksgiving 2011

On our first Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a lot in my life. I’m unbelievably thankful for my husband, who has proven patient, understanding and tolerant as well as kind, loving and generous. I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come up in my life, such as moving to New York and travelling the world. I’m unbelievably thankful for our healthy, smart, little girl, who brings so much laughter into our lives. I’m thankful for my own health and fast recovery from the birth, for my old friends back home who have stayed in touch and my new friends who have made me feel at home. 

Our Thanksgiving day was fantastic – my brother Tim and his wife Michele drove up to spend the day with us from Palo Alto, and we had our local friends also join us. The result – one big, happy group, with way more food than we could eat.

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.