Erin Virginia

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fiona - 3 Months

Fiona turned three months old yesterday! Chris and I weighed her this morning, and she was 13 pounds exactly, about 50th percentile. Over the last month, she has amped up her smiling and cooing and started laughing a little. She grabs onto shirts, necklaces and hair and will grip and bring to her mouth any blanket we drape on her. She gnaws on her fists and fingers and would undoubtedly feel victorious if she could work her entire fist into her mouth. However, no pacifers for this girl - she immediately spits them out. Fiona loves batting at toys while lying on her back on her play mat/jungle gym. She really gets going grasping and hitting the toys with her hands and kicking with her feet. She pushes her head and shoulders off the ground when on her tummy and can bear some weight on her legs. Two days ago I discovered her lying on her side in her crib, so maybe rolling over isn't too far off in the future. One of her happiest places in the house in on her changing table in the nursery. She smiles at Chris and me there and is captivated by the trees and sky out the windows. Fiona continues to have cradle cap and has lost quite a bit of her beautiful, dark hair. To soften her scalp, Chris and I put olive oil on her head and then cover it with a hat for an hour before baths. We jokingly say we are "marinating" her. She likes baths but isn't too hot on getting dried off. Her eyes are still blue, but I am still suspicious they may change to hazel before her first birthday. Chris and I both have large birthmarks, but Fiona only has a small, reddish mark at the base of her head. She also didn't get my side's webbed second and third toes (I only have it halfway), but she may have Chris' sweaty, flat feet. Poor girl, Chris say.

Sleeping is getting better. Fiona still likes to stay up late, but she will predictably fall asleep by 10-10:30pm and will generally stay asleep until 6:30am when I wake her up to eat. She is happiest, i.e., least fussy, in the evening if we strip her down to her diaper and hold her/play with her on our bed. We have been watching TV in our room at night vs. in the basement because she gets really fussy when we're downstairs for some reason. Chris and I joke that we're scared to go into the basement with her at night. We moved her next door into the nursery a couple weeks ago at night and bought a white noise sound machine, which is probably helping her stay asleep. She still sleeps in her rock n' play tilted bassinet at night, but before my maternity ended, we were making good progress at having her sleep in her crib for naps during the day. I hope to transition her to her crib at night soon. When Fiona has a crying bout, Greta will often sigh and leave the room. As she slinks away, Chris sometimes calls after her longingly, "I know, Greta, I know." It's easier for me to calm Fiona in the evenings, but as I tell Chris, it's because I went to Fiona University full time for three months.

The biggest change for us is that I started work again last week. Fiona's first day of daycare was last Thursday, and it was a rough day for me. She is enrolled at the Edina New Horizons while waitlisted at a Montessori school. The providers at New Horizons seem very caring, and other parents have given us great reviews for the center. I don't have qualms about the daycare center - it is just rough being away from Fiona. She had trouble taking a bottle her first day (despite taking a bottle without too much trouble in the weeks leading up to daycare), but once we switched her from Avent to Tommie Tippee bottles, she's been doing better. I have been driving the five minutes to the center over lunch to feed her (I'm working from home these first days back), but I probably won't continue doing that much longer. A positive note for the transition is that Chris and I joined a small group at our church at what has turned out to be an opportune time. The group is composed of young parents, and many of the women work now or at least worked when they had their first child. They have been great encouragement to me.

Here are a couple recent pictures:
Ready for her first day of daycare

Monday, October 15, 2012

Up North and the Old House

Chris took a half day Friday, and we drove to Duluth for the weekend. Our friends Mark and Shannon also made the trip from the Cities. We stayed at Beacon Pointe Resort in a room with a balconey overlooking Lake Superior. Chris and I had hoped to hike Gooseberry Falls, but the typical rainy, overcast Duluth weather prevented us from the expedition. If we didn't have Fiona, we might have still hiked, but we didn't want to risk slipping on rocks with Fiona strapped into her carrier. The weekend ended up being lazy: we walked around downtown, had a couple decent meals and hung out at the hotel, enjoying the view. Fiona dipped her toes into a swimming pool for the first time - it didn't seem to leave much of an impression.

On our way to Duluth, we passed the Lake Drive exit to our old townhome in Circle Pines, and we spontaneously decided to drive past the property. We pulled along the house and noticed posted signs on the front door and garage. Evidently, the house went into foreclosure and painters were inside readying the house for re-sale. Chris knocked on the door, and we were able to look around the vacant house. I felt very nostalgic for when we moved into the house as newlyweds, remembering where we would watch TV together, how Greta used to hole up under the stairs and where Varsana and Malia would play when they'd visit us from Jamie's nearby home in Lino Lakes. The paint colors Chris and I had put on the walls were still evident (the painters had not finished), and the house was in great shape. I snapped a few pictures on my phone.

View from the kitchen sliding door to the patio - the shrubbery is huge now!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Minnehaha Walk

Chris and I drove to Minnehaha Falls park on Saturday. Minnehaha Creek which runs past the end of our street dumps into the Mississippi River via the small waterfall at the park. Unfortunately, the weather has been so dry this year that little water has been released from Lake Minnetonka into the creek so the waterfall was just a trickle - not even picture-worthy. Unlike our trip last year (see the waterfall in the background at the end of the post).
Nonetheless, the walk back and forth from the falls to the Mississippi River was gorgeous. The temperature was nearly eighty with a slight breeze that wafted leaves downward from the turning trees. Chris tucked Fiona into a front carrier, and she barely squirmed.