This last month has been a bit of a blur. We've been planning our vacation, trying to finish the garage, and generally keeping heads above water. Athena's six month check up went well, but she never quite got back to her usual sleep schedule after the vaccines. This is a bummer for us, but par for the course with a small baby. She's really been struggling to get to sleep at night lately, frequently stretching it out to 11 p.m., and then waking up around 7:30 when she sleeps through the night. She's also waking up at 5 or 6 a.m. frequently, needing a diaper change and feeding. So, we're getting a more average baby now, and getting used to that is a challenge. I know other parents have little sympathy, but as we approach becoming a family with two full-time jobs, I'm a little dubious about how we'll make it work. I can only function on 5 or 6 hours of sleep for about 3 or 4 days in a row before everything becomes hard and I get really grumpy.
Athena grows more interactive day by day. Folding laundry is a lot of fun now, even if it takes more time. Sometimes we have to stop for a snack of fresh baby ribs:
She's happy to sit on the bed and watch us do it. If she starts getting bored, we throw clothes at her.
So far, her favorite word is "ptttthhhhhbbbbt!"
She usually does it on command. When she's on the verge of melting down, I can usually stave it off for a few minutes by blowing raspberries. Sometimes when we're driving home from somewhere, I have to keep raspberrying the whole way. My lips get numb, but if it keeps her from crying, I win!
I had a moment of brilliance a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to figure out how we could get a babysitter for Nate and Roo's wedding AND how we could fit in a visit to her great-grandparents before our vacation. Since the wedding was in Novato, that's about 70 miles from home, meaning that travel time plus event time equals OMG expensive babysitting! Of course, it's also about 70 miles from Sacramento, where her grandmother and great-grandparents live. Mwah ha! So, we made a crazy trek up to Sac on Saturday, then dropped her with my mom who promptly took her over to see her great-grandparents. Then we headed on to the wedding and ~almost~ made it on time. (So close!) We had a truly fabulous time at the wedding, dancing like crazy, giving a good toast, and enjoying the company of good friends. Then we headed back to Sac and crashed at my mom's place. Then something unbelievably awesome happened: in the morning, I woke up at 9:43 a.m., not because the baby was crying, but because I was done sleeping. Turns out, my mom had gotten up with Athena and was cheerfully entertaining her in the kitchen until we woke up. It was... magical. We had a lovely, leisurely brunch with my mom and my grandparents and Athena was pretty darned charming. Then we headed back to San Jose.
This past Sunday, we needed to prime and paint the garage. Somehow, whenever Athena started to nap, she fought it. All. Day. Long. So my big plan to put her down, then go help, got badly thwarted. Instead, I was trapped inside with an increasingly cranky baby. First, she cried when we put her in the swing. Then later, I figured a short nap was in order since it was getting late, so I tried laying her down in her crib. You'd think I'd laid her down on lava for all the screaming that brought. Another attempt at the swing later was again thwarted. By then, there was pretty much screaming unless I was actively holding her AND entertaining her. By 6:30, I was exhausted. I went to check on Erik. After some debate about how and when to finish the painting, I said, "Wait, I'm tired of the baby and you're tired of painting. Switch!" So we did. He went and got some food for him and managed to feed Athena and then came back out with her and her Exersaucer. I looked at him like he was crazy. She'd been screaming about being stuck in the Exersaucer for hours. This would never work. Right? Yeah, no. Baby girl LOVED it. First, there was a light casting shadows on the walls. This was the Best Thing Ever. She'd giggle and giggle at her own shadow moving around. Then she was getting to hang out with both Mom AND Dad, so that was great too. Also, there was music to bounce along to. Basically, painting the garage was the happiest place ever for the baby. Go figure. I'm pretty sure the only way we could've made it better would have been if there had been a cat within reach.
Speaking of cats, we are probably terrible people, but we're training Pepper to equate hanging out with the baby to getting treats. She's a fat, lazy, and very food-driven cat. Tossing a Greenie cat treat down at Athena's feet means that she'll actually go for it. This means Athena occasionally manages to grab Pepper pretty well, sometimes pulling away clumps of loose fur. When Pepper tires of this, she's more likely to fish her treat out with a paw rather than leaning her head in to get it. Still, she won't walk away from the treat, so we do this in moderation. Recently, Pepper has come up to the baby of her own free will and rubbed up against her lovingly. I think this is really going to work out for Pepper over the next few years as Athena becomes more likely to drop food. Pepper will totally be there to help her out.
death trap apparently. The night the warnings hit Facebook and all, I decided that she was probably good to sit up on her own on the floor. Good in theory, til she got excited, overbalanced, and smacked the back of her head on the floor. With supervision, the Bumbo is totally safer than sitting on her own right now. That will totally change soon, but in the meantime, ow. Poor baby girl.