"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Friday, March 7, 2014

1 Year of Gemma!

I really wanted to get this post out before we announced our third little baby, but I succumbed to extreme pressure from my mom!  It turned out to be a good thing because it also took the pressure off of writing this post in a timely manner… and LESS pressure is something that I could use MORE of!

Our little treasure is already ONE YEAR OLD! How time flies. Her first year has gone by so quickly, but we have loved every second of it. She really is the sweetest baby and has such a sweet little temperament and her daddy and I just adore her! (So does big sis, most of the time).

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I took Gemma to the Doc last Wednesday for her one year check up and she is healthy as can be! Hooray! Also her weight it creeping up and her head percentile is creeping down so I’m thankful for that. She also had to have FOUR shots because she missed one somehow, even though she has been brought in on time. The older my kids get and the more kids I have, the more I dread shots! Poor babies. Gemma did great though. She did melt down right as she got the shots, but then quickly recovered and was smiling by the time we got home!

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Eating

We have been working hard to get Gemma’s weight up, although we have taken her off of Pediasure. We basically let Gemma eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants. So far she LOVES pasta – especially ravioli and lasagna. She absolutely adores smoothies of any kind, and SQUEALS whenever she sees us drinking anything from a straw because that is the way she drinks them and she wants what we have. She usually either gets a whole milk smoothie with banana and fruit or a glowing green smoothie. She also loves oatmeal, PB&J sandwiches, and Honey Nut Cheerios. (Yes she is on very different diet than Isla this age!)

I have started weaning her, which is sad, but my Doctor did not recommend breastfeeding while pregnant. I kind of agree. We are down to twice a day and occasionally I will nurse her during the day. I don’t want to rush her though, so I am just watching my nutrients and vitamins and slowly getting down to just morning nursings and then not at all. I had hoped to nurse her up to 2 years, but it was not meant to be.

I think of her as a good eater, but then the other day I had to coax her to eat strawberries. At first she was hesitant but then quickly seemed to love them! She does try most things.

Gemma has five teeth, two on bottom and three on top with a fourth on top very close to coming in.

Sleeping

Gemma loves her sleep! She naps twice a day and usually sleeps about 12 1/2 hours at night. Unlike Isla who can rock and roll all night, when Gemma is kept up past her bedtime – we know it and she gets very grumpy with us!

She is also SO EASY to put to bed! I just nurse her, give her her binky and blanket and she rolls right into bed. HALLELUJAH! That is SO different from Isla AT ALL AGES, who has never been easy at bedtime.

Movement & Motor Skills

Gemma is quite a climber! I am really impressed. The other day she kept climbing into Isla’s battery operated jeep without opening the door. She just hoisted herself up there, hitched one leg over the door and she looked like a little cat burglar. I tried to get it on video, but to do that I had to remove her from the jeep. I think she thought she was in trouble or something because after my second attempt she just sat down and started crying and I never could get it on camera. :/. She climbs on couches and a little rocking chair that my mom Santa bought her for Christmas. She is too little for the rocking chair really, but she loves to climb and stand up on the chair, holding onto the back and then rock really fast. Once upon a time I would have rushed to get her down in case she might fall (she really rocks FAST), but I have been reading that kids usually have a better idea of what they are capable of than you do and Isla has proven that time and time again. And you know what? So far Gemma has not fallen and is very careful on the the chair!

Her fine motor skills are excellent! She is already feeding herself with a fork if we put the food on it. She also pulls her cup with a lid and straw to herself and drinks that without knocking it over or spilling it.

Gemma is a very fast crawler and scooter! She is very fast when she is holding onto something and walking. I thought she would be walking by now since she has taken two or three steps between items (like the couch and the ottoman) but she isn’t. That’s ok little baby girl, take your time!

Talking

She is saying “Hi” so well and so proud of herself! She also says “mama” and “dada” and “night night”, but that’s about it. She is very vocal though and much more than Isla was at this age. She is full of squawks and squeals and they are very cute.

As for signing, she is only signing “more” and “finished”. We are working on others, but I think that I am not as dedicated as I was with Isla. I find myself responding without thinking to her little noises when I know what she wants. I think its because she’s my second and I know that her speech will come in time and I am not as motivated about sign language.

She is a big tongue clicker! She thinks she’s hilarious. She must have some African blood somewhere, somehow!

Temperament

Gemma is a sweet, happy, EASY baby. She may have ruined me for all other babies. I don’t know if I can handle a high maintenance baby after this one! Meet her minimal needs, and she is very content. She entertains herself well. She has the sweetest smiles. She is such a little cuddle bug! She will just lay her little head on our shoulders or chest and be still, heaven.

She is a shyer baby than Isla and more of a mommy or a daddy’s girl. She cries when we drop her off at church and doesn’t warm up to strangers that quickly when they want to hold her, although she does love to flash her adorable smile. She is also fairly sensitive and if she does start crying – WOW, it can take her a while to calm down. My biggest worry for Gemma right now is that she will not develop good coping skills so we will be working on that as she gets older. She also has a lower threshold for stimulation than Isla did, and when she is overstimulated she lets us know.

My mom wanted to do a photo session of the girls in these adorable dresses she bought them. Thankfully we got a few of just Gemma smiling in the beginning but the rest of the session was a lot of this!

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Sensitive or not, we ADORE our little Gem. She makes our lives so sweet! We are thankful and blessed be her mom and dad and sister. Gemma Elizabeth, we love you so and our family would not be complete without you!

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