Eloise – Month 3 – 4

Week 14 – Nov 19 – 25
Eloise graced us with another 5 hour night stretch, followed the next night by a 6 hour stretch (with a dream feed in the middle). Sadly it was followed by a week of no more than 3 hour stretches at a time …

We had our first road trip to Sonoma wine country. Of course, Eloise hated the car seat … we realised it was too much for her to deal with afterwards and in future. Strangely, after her good nights, she had several more bad days of screaming and not wanting to sleep. What’s up with that, baby girl?! After more trial and error, we realised that she didn’t mind the car if she went in just after she had been fed and was in her happy and alert period. As soon as she reached her tired period, she freaked out. No going to sleep in the car for this little lady.

Sonoma.

On the development side, Eloise is developing great neck and trunk strength, and is getting closer to being able to sit up on her own. She is grabbing toys and trying to stick them in her mouth. She loves LCD screens and can be entertained by putting the iPhone onto camera mode so she can watch herself on the screen.

Eloise experienced her first Thanksgiving this week. We had a fantastic day, with my brother, Tim, and sister-in-law, Michele, driving up to spend the day with us, and our local friends also coming around for lunch. It was a really merry lunch and so much fun. Eloise was also an angel and behaved beautifully. Almost no screaming, lots of naps and a very happy little lady during the day.

Week 15 – Nov 26 – Dec 2
We seem to have regressed into more screaming … now Eloise screams every time she has to go to sleep, including if she’s in the BabyBjorn carrier out on the street. Previously she would be lulled to sleep by this and no screaming. Now it’s wailing, plus wailing at home pre naps and bed time. We are trying something new this week – putting her down in her bed drowsy but awake, and rocking her to sleep. Monday went well – 30 mins of wailing and whinging for the most part, but she went down. The rest of the week really saw a difference. She was easier to out down as the week progressed and stopped screaming in her carrier.

Eloise has made huge leaps in development this week. She’s suddenly found her legs, and loves to kick and straighten them alternately all day. She is also putting things in her mouth, like our fingers, her fists and toys. Since she won’t take the dummy, we’re desperately hoping she will self-soothe.

The biggest thing that happend this week was Eloise sat up by herself, on 30/11. On the same day, she shoved one finger in her mouth, but has been unable to do it again since.

Her eyesight has also improved. She can see us smiling at her from across a room, and smiles back at us, and she can see graphics on people’s t-shirts. She loves Alec’s Twitter bird tee and is mesmerised by it.

Eloise has been making a funny new smile this week, a tight-lipped one instead of the open-mouthed one, and hasn’t been coo-ing and ahh-ing as much. Instead she’s grunting and making higher pitched squeals as she discovers her vocal cords.

We had a day trip to Alcatraz over Thanksgiving long weekend with friends. Eloise was not a huge fan – cycling between short periods of feeding and happy awake, then screaming to sleep, then sleeping for 45 mins to an hour in the BabyBjorn. It’s really tough getting out and about with her.

At Alcatraz.

We also had a drive around Noe Valley with a local friend, Greg. The car seat was not a winner, but thankfully she was in a fabulous mood when she was awake and we had a really fun brunch and tour of the neighbourhood.

Week 16 – Dec 3 – 10


Another couple of road trips on either side of this week. To Berkeley and to Mountain View. The Berkeley trip was a bit disappointing. The only noteworthy thing was an up-the-back poo that required us to get the little lady completely naked outdoors on the Berkeley university campus. Stay classy, Eloise.

Trying out a new hat in Berkeley.

The second road trip on the following Saturday had a great improvement with screaming in the car seat. The only screaming we had all day was when we were stuck in traffic on the way home. Eloise can’t figure out how to go to sleep in the car seat.

This week Eloise wanted to sit up all the time. She got a lot more stable, but still face-planted the couch a few times if I wasn’t fast enough to catch her. Her grip developed significantly this week. She is now able to really hold on to things well and put them in her mouth. Her favourite thing to shove in her mouth is still my finger, to chomp on her gums.

We think Eloise has started teething. She is drooling like crazy, shoving things in her mouth, playing with her ears, disrupted sleep. Poor little girl.

Sleep-wise, we had a mixed week. A few nights of awake every 2 hours, but then a few nights of asleep for almost 6 hours (with a dream feed), followed by 3 hour or two hour blocks.

Week 17 – Dec 11 – 16
Lots of vocalising! Lots of loud noises and squeals. She’s loud and high pitched. She has greater control of her hands now, easily grabbing things and shoving then in her mouth. She has stopped the constant screaming and is now really happy while she’s awake.

This week we had an epic road trip from San Francisco to LA, then flight from LA to Sydney. Eloise was amazingly great on the flight, sleeping for most of it and being really content for the rest. No screaming on landing either!

Week 18 – Dec 16 – 19
We arrived in Sydney on Saturday and spent the day with family and friends who wanted to meet Eloise! What a popular lady! We also met Rosalie’s little man, Brandon, who was 4 wks old.

The Sunday after we arrived we had Adam and Davina’s wedding at the Royal Botanic Gardens – Eloise’s first wedding! It was a gorgeous day and Eloise was super well behaved.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Eloise is 17 wks and 1 day old.

Monday was her four month check up. She weighs 6.3 kg, is 61.5cm long and head circumference of 42cm. She is in the 50th percentile for weight and height, and slightly over 50th percentile for head. She also had her shots – sad panda 😦

A great new development is that Eloise is now able to entertain herself for short periods. She is happy lying on her back on the floor or sitting in a bouncer and playing with her favourite toys, the ring set and the princess doll.

Eloise is changing so fast. Every day now she seems to be doing something new. Thankfully she is now a super happy little lady except when it’s bed time, and is getting easier and more fun every day. She is really developing her own personality too. She is definite with things she doesn’t like already, and has a super short fuse!

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Eloise – Month 2 – 3

Week 10 – Oct 22 – 28


The night after the sleep coach came we had a breakthrough! Alec and I were able to both sleep in bed at the same time for the first time since E came home. She also napped well the next day.

Sadly the next night and day were a disaster. E had a terrible night, didn’t want to sleep, and the next day cried almost all day. Sigh. We still managed to get out to Central Park to see our friends the Sonegos one last time before they head back to Australia, and to have a fun picnic in the sun.

Picnic in Central Park. 9 wks old.


We had a disaster of a week sleep-wise. Eloise started waking up every hour during the night and only napping for 40 minutes tops during the day. I think this is related to the stomach bug I had two weeks ago – I think it lessened my supply. A this same time, Elosie decided she didn’t want formula anymore, so we couldn’t give her tops ups if she looked hungry. Thankfully, after taking herbal teas, my supply seemed to come back on Friday night, and she slept for 3 lots of 3 hour sessions. Praise be!

Eloise seemed to develop a lot socially this week. She started making new sounds, like a cooing noise, and sounds like she was trying to chat to things, like her favourite mobile. She also started to make a new whiney noise when sad instead of the high pitched screaming. With noticing her drowsy signals more and putting her to bed earlier, we’ve stopped a lot of the screaming meltdowns. Not all, but more of them, so we have a much happier little girl now.

She also likes to catch our eyes and look at as more, trying to interact with us, smiling and cooing. It’s just adorable. We also had a really fun mother’s group this week, where the babies all dressed in Halloween outfits.

Week 11 – Oct 29 – Nov 4

Baby’s first snow! It snowed on Saturday the 29th – very unseasonal. With a high of 4 degrees, there was no way we were going to leave the house.

We also had Eloise’s first Halloween this week. I had a variety of fun hats and outfits for her to wear for the numerous events over the week. She had her owl outfit for mother’s group, her bear outfit for the weekend, and her pumpkin hat for wearing on actual Halloween day. On the day there was also a parade in the local park, with lots of local kids and their parents dressed in cool costumes.

Halloween! 10 wks, 2 days old.
We had a sleep breakthrough this week – she slept for 4 hours 15 minutes in one stretch. It might not sound like a big deal, but it made the world of difference to me and my sleep!
Sadly every other night she didn’t sleep longer than 3 hours, but she did get a lot easier to put back down towards the end of the week. Instead of taking an hour to two hours to put bak after she woke up, it was only taking 15 – 20 mins to feed and put her back down. Victory!
We also had a baby sitter for the first time this week, to give me a break to run errands and to give me and Alec a night off to have dinner together. Our sitter is lovely and fantastic with Eloise. Pity Eloise is such a tough baby! She’s decided she hates the bottle and screams when our sitter tries to give it to her. Sigh.
 
Week 12 – Nov 5 – 11
 
We had a great meet up with the other mother’s group mums and their partners for a Saturday get together. It was so lovely seeing everyone’s husband, as well as really feeling like we are part of the local community now. The more I’m here, the more I really love living in Brooklyn.
I also made a solo trip with Eloise this week into Manhattan to meet Alec at Twitter HQ, and then to walk to Central Park to see the fall colours. Eloise handled the whole thing like a champion – no crying or fussing. Her eyes were as big as saucers the whole time she was awake, staring in wonder at the subway, the office buildings, and then at the amazing colours in the park.
Central Park fall colours. 11 wks 5 days old.
An even bigger day was Friday, Nov 11, when we took Eloise on her first plane trip to San Francisco. She also surprised us by being a perfect baby the majority of the time. She barely made a noise the entire trip, but started crying when we descended and her ears hurt.
Week 13 – Nov 12 – 18
A great week in San Francisco! The first few nights were rocky, as Eloise had bad jetlag. She did however get in a 5 hour sleep at night during this week, a great first.
Our apartment was near the Bay Bridge, right near the waterfront, allowing us to take great walks every day. Eloise started to bat and grab at her toys this week, mostly with her left hand.
12 wks old in San Francisco.
After our great first night we had a rough week with Eloise regressing. She had a few days of not sleeping much at night, fighting going to sleep during the day, crying more and fussing a lot. It was pretty bad, but also coincided with some new developmental skills. As well as batting at her toys, she started grabbing them, then trying to shove them in her mouth. She also started making some new noises and her head and torso muscles became stronger.

Alec’s Birthday – Washington DC

We celebrated Alec’s birthday this year with a weekend trip to Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The weather was sadly gray-er than originally forecast, but we still had a fantastic two days exploring the nation’s capitol.

First up was the National Air and Space Museum, where we saw cool things like the lunar landing modules, the first airplane, moon rock. We also checked out the American History Museum where I was delighted to see the original ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and Julia Child’s kitchen.

We spent sunday wandering around the cherry blossoms and war memorials. The blossoms were in amazing abundance everywhere!

Happy birthday husband!!

Air and Space Museum
Cherry blossoms

Melbourne Weekend

We had booked a weekend in Melbourne to watch the Australian Open looong before we knew about this New York business. It ended up falling on Alec’s last weekend in Australia, so it seemed to be a good way to see him out with a bang.

Sweltering in the tennis. Don’t be fooled, the clothes are for sun protection. It was boiling.

We also spent a day wandering around St Kilda and the CBD, just hanging out.

St Kilda boardwalk.

Luna Park!

The Victoria Art Gallery. Thumper!

We had such a lovely weekend – the perfect way (bar a weekend at the beach!) to spend our last weekend together for a while. Next time we meet, it will be in New York, baby!

California and NYC Trip

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so this is a brief account of my recent USA trip. It was mostly for work, but I managed to squeeze in a trip to NYC and Monterey. Most of the trip, when I wasn’t working, I was catching up with friends and family.

First stop, San Francisco.

Catching up with Isis, Mansi and baby Maya.

Dinner at Greens Restaurant in SF with Jamie, Lisa and Isis.

One of Mansi and Jason’s Abyssinian cats. 

Another of Mansi and Jason’s pets!

Filming an AdSense video with Victoria in Mountain View.

Drinking the Koolaid on campus.

Next destination, NYC! I stayed with Masa for a few days in Brooklyn.

View from the Brooklyn shore.

Making a new friend in the park.

One of seven bridal couples I saw having photos taken in the area.

View from the Metropolitan Art Gallery rooftoop garden.

Doing what I do best 😉

Goofing off with Masa.

Dinner with Janice and Calman.

Hello Jersey Shores!

At the Google NY office with Olah.

And Nadia …

… and Isa!

Then it was back to Mountain View…

On campus, taking in the sites.

Nom nom nom.

My friendly tour guide, Gus, and giant green Android.

Making a new friend! Meeting Zoe Pollock.

Alec met me in Mountain View. We were able to spend a long weekend in Monterey.

My favourite animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the jellies!

Drive down the coast to Big Sur. Amazing scenery.

Gorgeous water.

Gorgeous, jet-lagged, husband.

Beautiful!

Admiring the view.

The red woods in Big Sur.

Small husband…

Tiny wife.

Meeting the locals.

My brother and Michele drove down to nearby Carmel for the end of the weekend.

Back in Mountain View with the Ring family – Jeannette and little PJ.

Making more friends on campus! Meet Lola.

Birthday in Melbourne: Day 3

My birthday fell on day 3 of our Melbourne trip. We had a sleep in, breakfast in the hotel, and then sauntered off to the Tim Burton Exhibition.  I’ve always admired his films, so seeing his artwork on loan from personal collections was quite amazing. I found it entertaining picturing him as an animator for Disney, seeing as his personal style is quite the opposite.

I felt most inspired seeing the exhibition, as Tim Burton has clearly worked extremely hard to get to where he is. For every success he has had, he’s had more than double the amount of projects go nowhere. His passion and skill have taken him to where he is, also his tenacity. It reminded me to be stronger and not give up on my dreams.

Hello giant blow-up scary person.

“Nananananananana BATMAN!”

My favourite quote of the day, overheard in the exhibition: “Did he do Shrek?” Lol.

After the exhibition we wandered around some more on the river banks until the sun went down.

The Yarra.

Very scenic.

As CBD as it gets.

Pretty bridge makes for nice photos.

Baroo?

It’s my birthday and I’ll pose if I want to.

And make my husband pose too!

Another graffiti wall.

Outside the ACMI building – such a cool design.

I lurve you blob!

Raaarrr!

We didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye, lol.

Run, husband!

Blobs make for handy seats too.

And then SHE said …

After much wandering, we had dinner at the very funky Fifteen. I love Jamie Oliver, so was keen to try his restaurant.

The restaurant was excellent. Stylish, great vibe, fabulous service. The food was really great, interesting recipes rather than the stock standard type, particularly for the veggo options.

What is down the stairs?!

Happy birthday to me! (This may have started out as “happy birrhday” …)

Another year older …

One more pose for the road. Happy, well-fed and slightly tipsy.

Even the restaurant had graffiti art …

I’m on a tram!

Back at the hotel – Alec and the frog, together at last.

I wore out my husband …

Thanks so much for the fantastic weekend away Alec 🙂 xox

Birthday in Melbourne: Day 2

Day 2 kicked off with brunch at Di Bella in north Melbourne with an old friend, Dana, and her bf Karl, an ex-intern at Google and who joined our netball team while she was in Sydney. Dana moved back to Melbourne after her internship ended and is moving to Seattle in the near-ish future to join Google there, where I’m sure she will take the Seattle netball team to new heights of victory.

I enjoyed the breakfast at Di Bella immensely, even more so because we were introduced to Dana and Karl’s brunch technique of ordering food, then eating cake while the breakfast was being cooked. Breakfast of champions. Amazing.

Pear and chocolate danish. Divine.

Netball yay 🙂

After brunch (and an unscheduled drive to the bus depo in Footscray to pick up the wallet Alec left on the airport bus – PS Sunshine street is NOT sunny people) Alec and I walked around Melbourne and ate more food.

I’d like a purse THIS big.

I love how Melbourne has random sculptures scattered around it. Like the giant purse. Or the men waiting for a tram.

Like CityRail in Sydney, trams can take a while to arrive. This poor fellow has been waiting a looooong time.

I practice my tram-waiting face while waiting for the tram, of course.

Melbourne also has a lot of graffiti art. I enjoyed the little alleys with oh-so-cool cafes, jam-packed with trendy Melbourne-ites, and covered with bright designs.

Even the dumpsters got the art treatment.

The husband loves a good alley.

The wife loves a good Tiffany store 😉

Lindt gets arty.

Birthday tulips! Thanks husband!

Melbourne Central shot tower in the middle of a shopping centre. So cool.

More graffiti.

Dinner at Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar for home-cooked, simple, Italian food. 

After dinner it was off to Mary Poppins at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Alec was fabulous and booked us great seats with a package that included wine and a goody bag (ooooh more gifts!).

“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag!”

The show was fantastic. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so it surpassed any expectations I might have had. I adored Mary Poppins the movie when I was growing up, so the musical brought back lovely memories. The singing, dancing and set were all fabulous.

Birthday in Melbourne: Day 1

For my birthday this year, Alec took me to Melbourne. We were blessed with lovely weather. A full three days of sunshine, wheee! We stayed at The Olsen, a fabulous new hotel in South Yarra, decorated with the artwork of John Olsen.

I love this – I did take one home with me!

Stylish room with artwork by Olsen.

Morning light – hitting the shops.

We had a lazy Saturday morning before wandering down Chapel St to grab some brunch and shop. Fun for me, perhaps less fun for Alec.

Feed me!

Coffeeeeee!

It was then off to the Melbourne Museum to see Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition

Who knew Melbourne would be so sunny!

The exhibition was great. It contained a lot of artefacts that had been recovered from the wreck as well as telling many personal stories of people who survived and perished. It also had sobering facts about the sheer number of people who died.

“I’m the king of the world!”

Snack time at Koko Black.

Nom nom.

One more coffee for the road.

Heating from the inside out. Brr Melbourne is cold.

Tasty pudding.

Mousse martini. Looks amazing. Made me feel ill afterwards.

Walking through Melbourne in the fading light.
Tram!

Hip hop dancers in Federation Square.

Dinner – a local Thai joint.

Yay, we’re in Melbourne!

Hawaii Honeymoon: Maui Part 1

A delayed honeymoon is a great idea for several reasons. 1. It’s practical as you can save up after the wedding for your trip. 2. It extends your wedding celebrations even longer. Our honeymoon was delayed because we wanted to go to Hawaii and the rainy season extended until the end of March.

We decided to visit two islands we hadn’t been to before – Maui and Kauai, with a day on Oahu at the end for shopping.

First stop on our trip was Maui. Each hotel gave us a complimentary bottle of Champagne with a really sweet card congratulating us on our wedding and honeymoon. The funniest was the last hotel, who address the card to “Mr and Mrs Knight”. *snigger*.

Free champagne? Yes please!

Lovely bedroom in our suite.

Mai Tai? Don’t mind if I do!

Celebrating with cocktails. Yay we’re married!

We stayed just outside of the main town of Lahaina, on North Ka’anapali Beach. The town is a bit touristy, but has the most amazing Banyan tree. It’s impossible to capture how large it is in a photo – suffice to say it’s worth visiting the town just to see the massive tree.

Biggest tree ever.

We bought this pineapple for a dollar on the side of the road.
During our stay we drove the road to Hana, which stretches along the coast. We stopped off at many parks and waterfalls along the way. 

No idea what this is. Love Hawaii and the weird and wonderful things lying around in the national parks.

One of many falls on the side of the highway.

The most beautiful waterfall was right at the end, called the seven pools of Oheo. It’s basically seven waterfalls that stream into each other – amazingly beautiful.

Photo op!

Sunsets on Hawaii are just amazing. We pulled over while driving a few times to photograph the sunset on the side of the road.

Beautiful view on the side of the road!

Just another perfect day in Maui.