Friday, October 31, 2008

Amaya Sleeping

Sometimes, seeing Amaya every day like we do, it is hard to see how much she has changed. It's fun to take a look back...

The first picture is of Amaya within 24 hours of her birth, at the hospital (held by Jan):

The second picture is of Amaya (at 9 months old) in our hotel room on our recent vacation, sleeping on the bed:

What Can Amaya Do?

These are just a few of the things that Amaya has learned this past month.

1. Plays peek-a-boo
2. Makes "da-da", "ma-ma", "ba-ba", "oh" sounds (We're not counting these as her first words, since she really hasn't said them in reference to anything)
3. Claps her hands
4. Waves hello and bye-bye
5. Stands holding onto something with only one hand
6. Eats Cheerios (instead of swallowing them whole)
7. Climbs up a stair! (She's done this on two occasions! Exciting, yet at the same time very frightening!)

We're still trying to master "So Big." Every time we raise her arms up to do "So Big" she wants to stand up. We're also starting to teach her sign language in hopes that this will help her communicate her needs and minimize whining. (We'll see how this goes... my expectations are low.)

Fall Fun in the Leaves

When I was little, I remember making "leaf houses." I'd rake the leaves and make different rooms and I'd also make "stew." I would mix water, dirt, sticks, leaves, rocks - anything I could find outside to make this delicious stew. Dinner anyone?

Anyway, yesterday was absolutely beautiful outside - mid 60s and sunny! Amaya and I went outside and played in the leaves (and we have A LOT of them). We didn't make a leaf house or any stew, but we sure had a blast. Enjoy the pictures!

While she had a little difficulty crawling in the leaves at first, she figured it out.

It was really windy, and the leaves kept flying on her face - I love this picture!

Once she found the fence, she wanted to stand and play there the rest of our time outside.

Amaya discovered that she still doesn't like the taste of leaves. (After eating this one, she didn't eat anymore - lesson learned!)

Our little pumpkin... Have a Happy Halloween!

Our Weekend in the Cities

Last weekend, Steve, Amaya, and I packed up and headed to the cities. We ran out of time to do everything that we wanted, but had a great time. I got a good start on Christmas shopping already - we currently have nine nieces and nephews to buy for plus our immediate family, so I was excited to get started. We went to Mall of America, IKEA, the Galleria Mall, and Albertville. She was a good little shopper.We stayed at our "usual" hotel - the Hilton Garden Inn at Eden Prairie. It's typically quiet on the weekend and we're usually the only ones in the pool. Amaya LOVES the water, and if the pool water was a little warmer, she probably could have stayed in there all night!

One of the things we wanted to do was go to the Children's Museum. There was a special room designed specifically for 6 month olds up to 3 year olds. There were different areas where they could crawl and explore. Each area had a different theme - "by the pond", "in the forest", etc. We spent a majority of our time there. She especially loved standing by all the different mirrors.

At the Children's Museum, there was a special exhibit where the kids could touch a Fox Snake. She was much more brave than I was!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jan's Favorite Picture of Amaya

Since Steve posted his favorite picture of Amaya, I thought I'd better post mine.

Steve's Favorite Pic of Amaya

Another Favorite Activity...

Sometimes, Amaya just enjoys pulling her toys out of her toy basket, and pulling toys and puzzles off the shelves in the living room. Other times she actually plays with the toys...

One of Amaya's Favorite "Toys"

In an earlier post, Jan mentioned that one of Amaya's favorite things to do is stand up against the banister guard in the living room, and promised some pictures of her in action. Here they are!

Reading and Umm... Eating Books!

Amaya really enjoys her books. She likes to turn the pages, look at the pictures, and yes, sometimes chew on the pages. She must be trying to get those top two teeth to show up!

Grandma G's Birthday

Amaya had a great time at Mike & Arwen's while celebrating Grandma Gustafson's birthday... she spent most of her evening playing with a farm toy, and refrigerator magnets. She LOVED the magnets!

Monday, October 27, 2008

How Big is Amaya?

With winter rapidly approaching, we pulled out Amaya's snowsuit that I originally bought for her to wear over her "going home outfit," when she was born. I bought the snowsuit thinking that since she was a winter baby, we'd need something warm for her to wear. Little did we know, we'd be bringing home a "little peanut." We'll use it this year, for sure!

October 2008 - Amaya now weighs almost 17lbs

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008 - Amaya weighed 5lbs. 1oz

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Have a Great Weekend!

Steve and I took tomorrow off (Friday), so we're heading up to the Cities to do a little shopping, do a little swimming, go to the Aquarium at Mall of America, maybe hit the Children's Museum or the Zoo (weather dependent). So... Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

9 Month Stats

Amaya met her new doctor today - Dr. Marc Matthews for her 9 month well-baby visit. Our old family medicine doctor left the Mayo Clinic a few months ago when his wife accepted another job in Michigan. We miss Dr. Berlanga, but Dr. Matthews was very nice.

Amaya is still considered a "light-weight", and now that she's crawling her weight may drop a little, but he wasn't concerned because her weight has been consistent. I'm amazed at how quickly she's growing. I finally packed away the last of her 3-6 month clothes. (I think she has one 3-6 month pair of PJs that still fit.) We've also just started noticing that some of her 6-9 month pants are getting a tad bit short.

Weight: Almost 17 pounds (7.7 kgs to be exact) - the 19th percentile
Height: 2 feet 3 inches - the 36th percentile

She got the first of a series of 2 influenza shots. She'll go back in 4 weeks to get the second one. She also got the polio vaccine. Amaya cried while the nurse gave her the injections and shortly thereafter, gave the nurse a great big smile. We also had to take Amaya to get some blood drawn. Since she spends a fair amount of time in houses that were built before 1978 (my parents, Steve's parents, and Steve's grandparents), they wanted to check a blood level for lead exposure and also for anemia. There were two lab technicians - one to draw the blood and another to "play" with Amaya during the procedure. Steve and I held her down and I looked the other way. Again, she did surprisingly well!

Amaya also has to have an opthamology consultation on November 3rd. She's had a blocked tear duct since birth and while it hasn't bothered her any, our doctor would like us to meet with the specialists and have them decide if there needs to be any intervention. Most blocked tear ducts will "work themselves out," but since hers hasn't, we'll get it checked out. I'm glad to hear that this shouldn't affect her vision either way. Steve has PERFECT vision and I'm blind as a bat, so I'm hoping that she has daddy's good eyes!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Best Husband Ever

Yesterday, Steve and I were watching the movie, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days." At one point during the movie, Kate Hudson's character receives 100 white roses from her love interest -Matthew McConaughey. The card says, "100 times more beautiful than 100 roses." I told Steve that it had been awhile since I had gotten flowers.

This afternoon, while my co-worker and I were anxiously awaiting the possible arrival of JCAHO (the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), someone comes in the door and asks for Jan Gatzke. Egads! Does JCAHO need to question me personally?!? NOPE! My ever so thoughtful husband, sent me a dozen red roses and a cute teddy bear!! What a surprise! Today I am the envy of all my co-workers! Thanks Steve! You are the greatest - love you!

Rules for Halloween Candy Calorie Counting

There are NO calories in candy if...

1. It is eaten from your child's bag while the child is sleeping.
2. It is left over from the candy you bought to give out.
3. You bake it into another food item like a cookie.
4. It was bought at a half-price sale.
5. You swallow it whole without chewing.
6. If has nuts in it, because nuts are healthly.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Few of Amaya's Favorite Things

Amaya has discovered a lot of things that can keep her occupied for hours!

1. Mirrors - (lets hope she's not already becoming vain)
2. Water Bottles
3. Furniture - if she can get her hands on it, she pulls herself up
4. Cabinet doors (or anything that has a knob on it)
5. Paper Shredder - I'm not sure if she just likes the sound or watching the paper "disappear"
6. Our new banister guard - click here to see an example - it provides her with hours of entertainment... pictures coming soon!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grad School Update

So the first month of grad school is done already! Where has the time gone?

The "Integration of Psychology and Worldview" class is interesting, but the "Research Methods and Treatment of Data" class will get progressively more difficult as the semester goes on. The Research class is painful but necessary - by the end of this class I will have a research proposal written so I can begin my Master's thesis.

For those of you who are morbidly curious, here is an example of the articles we are required to read and critique each week for the research class:

Therapeutic Alliance and Treatment Progress in Couple Psychotherapy

The article is actually interesting, if you can make it through the mathematical-type formulas and information.