I'm very tired and have some other things I want to do on line before bed, so I don't think this will be a marathon post like some from last week.
We had a busy weekend. Traveling with Natalie at the age of 7 months requires a lot of timing. When we make the two hour trip to my parents, we leave at 9 -930 to make sure she is sleepy and will take a nap in the car. This means having a couple of hours in the morning for the two of us to get ready, get her ready including one nursing and one solid meal, finishing packing, load the car, as well as keeping Natalie entertained and happy. I always feel I'm rushing around until the last second worried we aren't going to get everything ready on time and Natalie is going to start freaking out because she's tired, grumpy, and being ignored. This doesn't ever seem to happy to us though. The worst that happened this trip was that I forget to pack my blanket and Snuff Bear.
For the visit at my parents', Natalie did great on Saturday, which was when the whole family was there. There of course was fussing and crying, but most of it was because she wanted us to help her walk around or because she was tired. She did great socializing with the family, even letting herself be passed around and stopping a fussing fit while we ate dinner. The visit with the family was nice. There was a lot of time for conversation, even with Natalie around, but also after she went to bed.
This morning though, Natalie woke up early (5 am). Mike jumped up to get her because he wanted his real Mother's Day gift to me to be that I didn't have to do all the things I have to do on a normal day. I was okay with nursing her though because my left breast was painfully engorged. (I think I might have cut her last session on that side short because she was pinching). I figured Natalie would fall back to sleep like she often does on a regular morning, but she didn't. So after more than half an hour of nursing, Mike took her upstairs around 6, and I tried to sleep some more. I think I got a little bit, but it was mostly feeling like I was on the edge of sleep and then a noise from upstairs would wake me up. The rest of the day was up and down, with more down than up overall, I'd say. The happiest she was all day was just after arriving at Mike's mom's house when she had a two hour nap and had eaten. She was very happy playing on the floor with her toys for a while then, chatting and shrieking. But as the afternoon wore on, she really just wanted us to help her walk around. She was off schedule and in a house she hadn't been to before, so she had a little bit of trouble taking a nap and all of her feedings seemed to be squeezed into the second half of the day.
I felt a little bad that Mike was doing most of the looking after of Natalie when I was right there, especially when he was trying to watch the Celtics game, but at the same time, there is no law written that I have to jump in all the time and he had said he was going to try to really look after her. I offered to help several times. And, of course, I did help out some because sometimes she just needs a different person, or wants me.
We did most of her bed time routine before leaving his mom's, but we didn't think that her sleep sack would get in the way of the car seat strap, so we had to wake her up more than we liked putting her in. As we were driving away, we could hear her walking to herself (working on her new "f" and "th" sounds) and playing with a toy. When we got home, she woke up coming into the house because it was still a little light out and there was a very cold wind. I moved her into the crib, and she cried a bit for a few minutes, then she was out. That was about an hour ago and we are still doing alright. Mike had said at his mom's that it was too bad that we couldn't just transport her from nursing with me right to her crib because she was so peacefully asleep, but I guess it has turned out alright.
I felt a little guilty today about us helping Natalie walk. Mike's mom was talking to Natalie about her learning to move on her own. I'm not sure how serious she was being, but it sounded like she was being serious to me. She basically gave across the message that Natalie isn't crawling because we give in to her crying too much, both crying that she doesn't want to be on her tummy and that she wants us to help her walk. That made me feel a little bad because I don't want to be spoiling her and hurting her development in the process. But, crawling is an optional skill and it isn't a big deal if kids never do it, and I feel that Natalie is making good progress on crawling since she can slide backwards and move in a circle. If I am remembering correctly, I thought it was that most kids crawl closer to 8 or 9 months, though 6 is the early end. Meanwhile, Natalie can run with our help and walk a few steps with us holding just one of her hands, while walking is usually closer to a year. Besides, the way we treat Natalie when not at home is different than at home. At home we have plenty of things established that we can do when Natalie is grumpy - go outside, play at her music table, play at her shelf in the living room, play with her books in her room, play in front of a mirror, watch a TV show, etc. When its just me and Natalie, I don't walk her around the house all day. If I did, I'd be a hunchback by now. We usually walk when we are going to the bathroom or to change diapers or to get in the high chair. And recently, I let her walk around the yard a couple times a day and around the house a few times, but it isn't all day long. And, when she puts herself on her tummy, I usually let her stay there a while unless she is really being loud about how unhappy she is there. So, she gets a fair amount of tummy time considering its supposed to be a few sessions of 5 minutes or so and sometimes she dose a lot longer. I think that this bothered me because its really the first criticism of our parenting that we've gotten, and coming from Mike's mom it is a source I want to please.