2:09 PM
When Sofia turned 4 months old I told myself "oh, she's still so small, when she turns 8 or 9 months then you can worry.  That's when she's going to be considered "big" and my baby will be gone!" Well now Sofia is 8 months old and its killing me!

She is such a fun smart little girl who is constantly surprising me with her discoveries and know how.  Its amazing how she can go from one day not knowing how to do something and I swear the next day she has mastered it.
Sofia really doesn't care all that much for toys, she mostly interested in the simple everyday things around her. We've started to be able to play games with her where we will growl at her, and she laughs and tries to quickly crawl away from the parent chasing her (usually me) and seeks refuged on the couch with Greg. She's smart. She knows daddy will save her!  Her favorite toy is a clothes hanger and that can keep her entertained for a long time. Sometimes when I am putting her down for a nap and she's not wanting to sleep, I will throw a baby hanger in the crib for her to play with until she falls asleep. She has also started to want to pull her blanket or even a clean burp cloth up over her face as she falls asleep. It's pretty adorable.  Nap time however has been really difficult lately. She just stands there crying for a long time. and if I'm not watching the clock she will try and skip one of her naps altogether. However I need my mommy time so I try and make sure she gets it! When she does fall asleep her bottom is usually up in the air and it just makes me laugh.  She now goes to sleep anywhere from 8:00-8:30pm and will sleep straight to 6:30am, I feed her, and then she will go down until 8:30am.  Clockwork! And I can't remember if I mentioned this in my last blog post but her plugged tear duct finally opened up last month. It is so nice to to have to clean out her eye 10 times a day.
Sofia has finally learned to drink from her sippy cup and that makes me feel so much relief. I was stressed out there for a while because although I knew she could get a little bit from her sippy cup, I knew that most of her fluids were only coming from me. So I'm glad! Nursing is still going great. We have cut back to about 4 feedings a day, however she really gets her fill from her baby foods and love her instant mashed potatoes and gravy. And I can't blame her! We are working with her on trying to feed herself and her fine motor skills and are slowly giving her food from our plates.
Sofia's top two teeth are almost in and its so funny to see them when she smiles. She also is a good stair climber but hasn't figured out how to climb down the stairs. A big problem, especially when she tries to sit mid-climb. Basically nothing is safe anymore and she will use anything to pull herself up into standing position, and sometimes even lets go to stand on her own for maybe a second or two.  The DVD cabinet is where I find her most the time and its exhausting! She has had some big crashes and falls that just break my heart but I think thats just part of being a mom.
Sofia still loves everything she shouldn't. From remotes, to cell phones, ipads, computers, electrical cords, you name it.  i really think that because we don't let her play with these things it makes her want them even more.  She does like to Facetime with family but that may only be because she gets a chance to be close to her forbidden toys.
For halloween this year Greg and I dressed up as Ron and Hermione and I made an our costume for Sofia for her to go as Hedwig, which doesn't make a lot of sense since Hedwig is actually Harry's owl, but oh well. I'm over it.

Christmas shopping with mom.

Sofia's teeth marks.

Popsicle mouth. And that tongue is now a constant companion of ours. 

12:43 AM

Seven Month Update

As I sit and think about how much our little Sofia has grown, I just can't comprehend it.  It is amazing how fast newborn babies develop into little people who can communicate, manipulate, move, and help themselves. It makes me sad, but I also really am enjoying this stage with Sofia. I cherish the days we spend together. So often I stop and think "okay, I really want to remember this".  
I love trying to make Sofia laugh. It was so hard to get her to laugh. It wasn't until she was 5 months old we hadn't ever really heard a good hard laugh. She is tough to break! So when I can get her laughing I try and keep things rolling as long as I can.  For some reason, she thinks its hilarious when I dance for her.  I turn up some music and through out some ridiculously terrible dance moves and she just laughs and laughs. So of course, I dance a during a couple songs for her and am pretty exhausted by the time she's done.  Usually, its the silly simple things she loves the most, and it's Dad who gets her to laugh the hardest—of course. 

I love Sofia's soft skin and her tummy and love handles that hang over her leggings. They are my favorite. It will be a sad day when that girl thins up and her baby fat leaves. 

Sofia is a mover and a shaker.  She is crawling, pulling herself up to things- and then lets go in effort to stand on her own (make it stop!!), cruising, and her motor skills have improved so much. It is so nice (and adorable) that she can see her pacifier and then go get it and put it in her mouth. Lately, she has been having lots of accidents and it makes our days long and hard.  She seems to bump her head on everything and if something can topple over on her, it will. I have heard her "hard cry" way too much this week. I can't wait until she is a little more stable and I don't have to hold my breath as often.  Poor girl. 

Sofia is officially not being swaddled anymore and everything is going okay.  In the middle of her sleep she will sit up and even though she isn't really awake I think she is looking for her binky? But this always seems to wake me up and I go help her find it. She used to go to bed at 10 pm but we moved her bedtime to 8:30 and she sleeps to 4am no problem. Sometimes 8:30-8am nonstop if I am lucky, but more times than not, she wakes up at 4 am. I try and hold her off with her binky, but I usually end up just nursing her. Ideally, I would like that early feeding to go away.  Speaking of eating, she eats like a champ and is so easy to spoon feed.  I just wish she would stop spitting up.  I try and keep her baby food bland colors (no oranges or greens) so that it doesn't stain everything when it comes back up.  I look forward to the day when I don't have to worry about that. Sofia was born with a plugged tear duct and it FINALLY cleared up just shy of her turning 7 months. Glad thats over!

Sofia is in all 12 month clothes and I'm worried I am going to have to start shopping for more winter clothes in 18 mo sizes. She is just so tall and that squeezy tummy of hers is getting snug in some outfits.

At the end of September, Sofia and I flew home to Basin City, WA to attend my grandmother's funeral. It was wonderful to see so many of my cousins and family members! I am so grateful I was able to go home and be apart of such a grand reunion and celebration of the life of Joan Casper.  My grandmother was an amazing woman who was so accomplished and talented. She raised 9 children, has 52 grandchildren and 50+ great grandchildren, and as I have reflected on her life it has made me question what kind of mother I am/want to be? What kind of habits and routines do I want to instill in my kids and what do I want them to remember me for?  As I was singing the primary song " I am a child of God"  to Sofia the other night- a song that I have sung since my childhood, I realized that although I am a child of god, my role in that song has now changed and I see how important my role is to Sofia's eternal salvation. It is my responsibility to help lead and guide her and teach her the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Talk about pressure!  My grandmother was a righteous woman who loved our savior and I strive to be like her. 

The day after I got home from WA, Greg flew to Madison, WI for an interview with University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, a large academic medical center, for their two-year Administrative Fellowship position.  He was one of five finalist that were flown out to the on-site interview.  Not 50 minutes after Greg left the hospital's campus he got the call and they offered him the position. And... we accepted it! We will be moving to Madison next May/June and will be there for at least two years. We are excited and feel so blessed to have scored a job at one of our top picks.  Greg worked so hard over this past year to make this a reality, and I am so proud of him.  It is fun to know we now have plans for after school and definitely frees up more of Greg's time so he can spend more time with us.

So much personality!

Again with the personality!



Look at those eyes! Still not sure what color they will be, but this transition color is so pretty!

11:48 PM

Sofia 6 months Old

If your reading this blog I will assume one of the following...

a) You aren't yet tired of all the Instagram or Facebook pictures I post of my baby and actually enjoy following our little family
b) You stumbled across my blog by accident and are about to be overwhelmed with all things baby OR
c) You are so tired of my posts and poor writing that you can't resist the chance to be annoyed yet again just one. more. time. I totally get it.  

Either way, welcome to my blog. 

Today, I am writing about Sofia and how today is her half birthday. She is 6 months old. So much has happened in the last year and more specifically in the last six months.  I can't believe how fast time as flown and how big Sofia has gotten.  I look at pictures of her and am shocked at how tall and big she is. It makes me so sad sometimes, but really I am just so proud of her.  I love her so much.

Sofia really is such a sweetheart.  I recently have discovered how cuddly she is and just how much she loves her mom and dad.  While sitting on the couch this week she would put her hands around my neck and pull me in tight for hugs where she rested her head on my shoulder or she would pull me in for big wet kisses all over my cheeks, neck, chest and shoulders. She cracks me up. 
Sofia eats every 4-5 hours and we have just started feeding her baby foods and rice cereal.  I chose to just start with peaches and she downed all that I gave her.  When feeding her, I put her in her walker and she would stand up with both hands grasping the tray while leaning across the tray with her mouth wide open begging for more food and to get it to her faster. Such a big personality. Then other times she is so distracted by her dad in the other room she can't face forward long enough to realize food is on her spoon.  She loves watching Greg and keeping tabs on him. And of course, everything is more funny, interesting and better when Dad does it. 

Sofia is so smart, alert and oh, so curious. She is always exploring and checking things out and doing whatever it takes to get there. Sofia rolls, jumps in johnny jump up, scoots, and the past few days has been getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth which I hear is a precursor to crawling.  Heaven help us.  All along our families have teased that because Sofia is so big and already so mobile that she will be walking by Christmas and I thought that there was no way but now I am starting to believe them and kind of hope that doesn't happen. Slow down Sofia!

Sofia is wearing 9 and 12 month clothing and an occasional 12-18 months.  She is also now sleeping in her crib in her bedroom which was a big thing for us. We had a hard time separating.  She goes to bed around 8:30 or 9pm and sleeps until 8 or 9am with a morning snack around 4 or 5am

Sofia loves..
Johnny Jump Up
Crinkle noise toys, such as her ABC book or even her wipes packaging
Chewing on people's hands
Warm pools
Her cell phone, mom's cell phone and mom's ipad.
Bath time & her rubber ducky
Going for a walk in her stroller
Recently has enjoyed posing for the camera
Watching Mom eat 
Watching Dad do anything
Being carried around on mom's hip while meticulously watching everything mom does. 
Squealing and screaming nonsensical babbles

Right now Sofia's schedule has been really nice. I was nervous that when we visited the west coast that it would throw off Sofia's schedule but it actually helped us get into a better schedule.  Sofia now goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 (previously 10pm).  She wakes up around 5 am for a snack and then will go back to sleep until 8 or 9am with two more naps in the day.  She is a happy baby and only cries or fusses if she is tired or hungry, which is fine. I can fix both of those things.  We did sleep training at four months and after two nights of crying it out, it worked beautifully. I can now put Sofia down for a nap or bedtime and she quietly drifts off without a peep. Music to my ears. 

While we were visiting Colorado, Sofia got to meet her cousin Jayden. They became fast friends and we enjoyed watching them play and seeing their different personalities.  Sofia also has a new friend named Reese who is probably her motivation for crawling. We might need to not hang out as much with Reese.... ;)

We also visited Washington and went to PL. A fun time was had by all and we were sad to leave. Our trip to WA and CO included Sofia meeting many of her Aunts and Uncles for the first time and I think they were sad to see her go also
Hanging out with Grandpa Casper

Soaking up the sun

Pearl Street, Boulder, CO

And now I present, Sofia.

Playing with her cell phone