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7 months

Between today and tomorrow, since there is no 29th of February (as someone with an affinity for numbers and days passed, it’s hard for me to imagine being or having a leap year baby).  It’s also hard right now for me to imagine have a SEVEN MONTH OLD… we’re creeping toward a year so so quickly, it’s mind boggling.

Food

  • Describe what and how your child eats: We have added broccoli, peas, spinach, and applesauce to her repertoire and she has also tried pickles when we have been out to eat.  As long as she isn’t too hungry (which leads her to prefer milk), she loves eating.  She likes being in her high chair, playing with her toys and then eating, and when she wants more food, she bangs the high chair with her right hand (we’ll have to break her of that eventually).  If we go out to eat and there is not food for her, she is constantly trying to get our food (even when there are distracting toys or other things with which she could be playing – she wants the food).  She can feed herself (and is getting better at using her thumb to grasp items) but she often prefers being spoon fed because, as it has all along, it provides her with more food at a faster rate.  We are still only feeding her one meal a day to have fun with solids… they have not become replacements for milk just yet.

Nursing continues to go pretty well.  I have been able to keep up with K’s demands and she seems to have evened out a bit in terms of how much milk she takes each day.  Some weeks, I am able to get a little into the freezer stash (last week was a banner week for that) and others, I’m just getting by.  The weekend after I was sick (and did not pump for three straight days while getting up and hoping not to get sick on the baby while feeding her), I pretty much decimated my meager freezer supply, so I have been pretty diligent about trying to get it back up (though I’m still “lazy” sometimes).  K is adorable while she nurses and if she hears anything, she’s pulling off my breast to look at it, flinging her body backwards so she can look and see and then using all of her momentum to fling herself back at my chest.  Despite two teeth, she is managing well not biting (we’ve had a couple close calls); her bigger issue is that she likes to grab the skin on my breast and on my arm, which can be painful enough and becomes even more so when she has claws for nails.  We’ve been working on the phrase “gentle” to help with that and she seems to be getting that “gentle” at least means unclench your little hands 🙂

Sleep

  • Where and how much does your child sleep? In the crib, though for a solid couple of weeks this month she was very congested and we had her sleep in the rocker, which is inclined and also a little more cozy.  We transitioned her back to the crib recently and she has been doing well.  K does not roll around and will sleep on her back all night, but the other night we went ahead and tried stomach sleeping and, while she is still up once a night, she is so. much. better. at going back to sleep and self-soothing (including kicking one foot up and down on the mattress to get herself back to sleep… we hear a gentle thud. thud. thud. coming from her room).  I am still nursing her right at bedtime, though I am able to put her down semi-awake with a fair amount of success and don’t feel like she requires the breast at bedtime.
  • Does your child have any sleep problems?  We still don’t have a ton of predicitability.  K will generally go down between 9 and 9:30, but is sometimes up again at midnight and sometimes not, sometimes wakes up at 1 or 2 or 3 and sometimes not.  She does sleep in a fair amount (it’s almost 7:40 and she’s still asleep), but not so much when you consider 12 hours would be 9 am.  She does seem to require (or demand) the breast in the middle of the night and if she has been wimpering and C goes to soothe her, she begins to scream angrily.  Fortunately, she goes back to sleep quickly most night with nursing.  She is doing better at her naps at daycare and sleeps in the crib.  She has not used the swing to go to sleep at home and – that I’m aware of – at daycare for a while.

Physical Development and Health

  • What is your child’s current size/weight:  She was 24 inches long and almost 17 lbs at her 6 month check-up in the beginning of February.  It seems to us that she’s lengthened since then, but who knows.
  • What about pee and poop? With more solids, we’ve gotten more solid poop, which has been fantastic because it means less diaper spraying and more just dumping into the toilet.  The most fascinating poop so far was after she ate spinach – it came out looking a lot like clumps of spinach.  We are working now on finding a good cloth naptime diaper as she seems to leak every day with longer naps.
  • How many teeth?  TWO!  The first came in in the beginning of February and the second was right behind it.  They are coming in more by the day and are super adorable!
  • What, if any, health issues are apparent: Ongoing congestion which she kicks for a while and then has again.

Activity and Motor Development

  • Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how she moves around, grabs things, etc.): Still sitting and sitting well enough to be able to lean over and grab things and get back to a sitting position.  She also will lean over enough to get onto her tummy and seems to be doing that more purposefully (rather than just falling into that position).  She can maneuver herself backwards and around in a circle but has not done a whole lot of forward motion (though she has done a lot of forward reaching).  If there were rings tied to the ground that she could grab and use to pull herself forward, I’m sure she would do that (and would be great at it).  She rolls from front to back when she finishes with time on her tummy but does not often roll from back to front.  She can feed herself much of the time (and tries to use the spoon to do it as well) and is getting better at using her thumb to grasp items.  She has learned the sign for “milk” (responding enthusiastically when I make it and/or say milk) and has started to make attempts to sign it herself (opening and closing her little hands) when she wants some.  She can grasp your hands and pull herself to a standing position and she will put all of her weight on her feet.
  • What can your child do for himself? Feed herself, grab items that she wants, manuever herself to get items, bend over and sit back up.

Language and Communication

  • Describe your child’s language abilities: New this month: sign language!  She knows the sign for milk (as mentioned above) and has started signing it to us in a more simplistic manner.  She has also made the sound “mi-” when she is wanting milk but it’s hard to tell if that’s intentional or my wishful thinking. She says occasional consonant/vowel sounds but has also very determinedly been trying to blow raspberries when you blow them at her, making a bvvvbvbvvv sound after scrunching up her face and putting her lips together.  Super adorable.  I am trying to translate that to MMMMAAAAAAA but no luck yet 😉  K does continue to sing in the car from time to time.

Social Development and Environment

  • Can your child follow simple directions? No, but she does respond to her name.  And to the word “milk” 🙂
  • How does your child react to family outings and visitors? She still likes everyone and she smiles super big at anyone at the store who gives her attention.  That being said, she also often looks to C or I for affirmation before engaging with many people.  She will be held by anyone still with little problem (though she has more preference for C or me)
  • Does your child play with other children?  Yes, with the other children at daycare.
  • In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others?  Not applicable (yet)
  • Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? She prefers me in the middle of the night, hands down, and will scream angrily if C tries to take care of her.  She also prefers me anytime she wants milk (obviously).  And maybe other times, too, as tonight, when she showed clear preference for C, there was a lot of exictement (from C)

Toys and Play

  • List your child’s favorite toys and describe how she plays with them: She likes her shape sorter – picking up the shapes and shoving them in her mouth, putting them in the sorter (without the sorter part), putting them in the sorter (with the sorter part) with support.  She likes tags and strings on sweatshirts.  She likes the metal bowl that she and I “play drums” on.  She also likes her ocean friends toy (which signs some truly obnoxious songs), her books, and the little penguin that we often sit on her high chair.  She enjoys the top ring of her ring stacker still, as well and the spice jar that I have in a box I made for her.
  • What are your child’s favorite games? Peek-a-boo and “Where is Thumbkin” are two favorites (she begins looking for Thumbkin as soon as you start singing the song).  She likes any kind of “parents repeat after me” games, like squealing and us squealing back or banging and us banging back.  She likes hitting her hand on her high chair tray.
  • Does your child have a lovey? Not a particular one, though she does have a stuffed monkey that she really likes to play with.

Feelings and Moods

  • Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression/sadness) and how she expresses them: Lots of joy and excitement (as evidenced by smiles, squeals of laughter, and foot kicking).  She screams when she is upset, moans when she is bored, screams differently if she is hurt or negatively surprised.
  • What is likely to upset your child?  Sometimes when I walk out of the room.  When C tries to soothe her first in the middle of the night.  When she’s hungry and doesn’t get her food right away.
  • Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: Crying, moaning, nursing.
  • What makes her feel better? Being picked up, talked to, distracted; nursing

Books

What books does your child enjoy? All of them still!  She has some sing-songy rhyme ones that she seems especially fond of, but mostly whatever we like, she likes.

Highlight of the Month

I love that she is responding to the word milk and trying to sign it herself – communication will open a new world to us (even as it makes our world more complicated).  I love how enthusiastic she is at different times throughout the day and how happy she often is in the morning, hanging out in bed talking to herself and beaming from ear to ear when one us enters the room.  Her fierce determination to get what she wants makes me proud and her snuggling up to me melts my heart.  I like when she bangs on her high chair – the first couple times she did it, she seemed surprised by herself  and now she seems so certain.  I like that she is becoming more of who she is and I love spending each day with her helping her discover just who that might be 🙂

6 months!

I can’t believe that we have had a baby for a whole half year.  I mean, I can believe it – I have the body, mindset, messy house, and exhaustion to prove it – but I can’t really believe how fast it has gone!  I love love love this age and am excited to see all that comes next (though I can’t say “can’t wait” because I could wait.  And stay in this lovely stage for a while longer.

Food

  • Describe what and how your child eats: We started solids in early January because K was showing such an interest in everything we were eating and was a good supported sitter.  We have been implementing a hybrid of baby-led weaning and I guess what you would call “traditional” weaning.  K has eaten primarily mashed varieties of foods that are still together enough to be “grabbable.”  We have gone step by step to introduce new vegetables and now some fruit, not for any strong reason, I don’t think, just made sense to us.  We started with mashed sweet potatoes, then moved to carrots, avocado, banana, and butternut squash.  K enjoyed all of the foods except the avocado, which she made faces about but continued to stuff into her mouth, albeit slowly and clearly with the hope that it would turn into something more palatable.  K struggled at first to use her hands to get the food to her mouth; when a spoon of food was offered, she figured out how to use her hand to sweep the food into her mouth when the spoon was held close.  She then preferred to be spoon fed for a while because it was way more efficient at getting the food into her; she would bang her tray to get more food (C yells “hit me!” when she does that).  We only offer the spoon sometimes and if she refuses in any way (including showing disinterest), we stop.  Now she can use a pre-loaded spoon and has also gotten significantly better at seeing the food, grabbing the food, and getting the food (mostly) to her mouth.   Dinners are a fun treat and it’s neat to see her developing a relationship with food.

   Nursing is still going well and pumping is going okay.  I pretty much have enough for her every day and despite    reaching the magical six months, I have not been able to add to my stash, which is at a low 20 ounces.  Which means I am pretty much constantly anxious about pumping (though still not always anxious enough to add more sessions, maybe because historically they have been fairly disappointing).  K is getting increasingly distracted during meal  times, which has made for some soreness as she pulls off and then goes right back on when whatever had her attention moves away (Wonderdog) or becomes less interesting.

Sleep

  • Where and how much does your child sleep? Still in the crib, still with the same routine, though lately she has been sleeping in her rocker because she has been congested and being upright seems to help.  K generally sleeps from around 8:30 pm until 8:00 am with at least two (sometimes three) night wakings (see below).  When she was feverish and very sick, I pulled her into bed with me, partly for her benefit but also, admittedly, largely for my own.  K takes naps during the day, though today she only took a 30 minute nap ALL DAY.  Thinking it might be a growth spurt??
  • Does your child have any sleep problems?  Not major ones.  She can go down awake some nights and gets back to sleep quickly in the middle of the night if she is nursed.  The bigger issue is that despite our attempts at a routine (same bedtime and almost same wake-up time daily), she has not gotten back into a predicitable night time pattern like she had when she was a newborn.  Some nights she has a midnight wake-up, some nights 1 am, some nights 2 am.  Some nights she wakes up more times, some nights fewer.  Definitely a challenge!

Physical Development and Health

  • What is your child’s current size/weight:  Don’t know – we go to the doctor next week.  It seems to us that she is in a lengthening phase again.
  • What about pee and poop? Her “poopy streak” from last month slowed down after the new year but we replaced that fun with solids.  Which has made for interesting cloth diapers (highly recommend a cloth diaper sprayer).  It’s not so terrible that I would give up cloth diapering, but it’s definitely not the easy dump-in-the-wet-bag-and-go that it once was.
  • How many teeth?  Still none (I’ve been predicting this for months now).  Not over-eager but am curious when they will come in.
  • What, if any, health issues are apparent: None.

Activity and Motor Development

  • Describe your child’s gross and fine motor skills (how she moves around, grabs things, etc.): K is officially a sitter.  We supervise closely because she does tumble over now and then, particularly if she is reaching for something, but overall she’s awesome at sitting and that has allowed us to play new games without extra “furniture” like  a bouncer.  What I’m noticing the most, though, is that K has moved this month from “sometimes-I-grab-things-and-it’s-surprising-and-fun” to “I-see-what-I-want-and-I’m-going-to-do-my-best-to-get-it.”  She has become so purposeful in her actions and it’s a real treat to watch her set her sights on something and go for it with fierce determination.  This focus has also been helpful at dinner time because K can now get her hands in her food and get the food to her face.  K is doing well with tummy time and can now scoot around in a circle on her tummy (she’s been doing that on her back for months).  She is highly focused on Wonderdog and will maneuver herself so she can see him.  She also has made attempts at moving herself forward but often ends up rolling over onto her back.  She can roll from back to front but usually doesn’t bother.  She has been able to hold her own bottle when C is feeding her.
  • What can your child do for himself? Feed herself!  So neat!  And grab things that she wants off of the ground (and bring them to her mouth).  Maneuever herself around a room at least to be able to see everything.

Language and Communication

  • Describe your child’s language abilities:  The singing in the car has died down, but consonant sounds have sprung up.  “Ba” “Da” and my favorite (of course) “Ma” which she sometimes says in succession “mama” though she has no idea what she is doing.  In the past couple days, she has been especially chatty and I love-love-love hearing her little voice try out new sounds.  We are also starting to do some basic sign language with her (“more” and “milk” to start) and she watches us, interested, when we use it.  Her cries have also changed and she now has quite a demanding cry when she wants something.

Social Development and Environment

  • Can your child follow simple directions? No, but I like to imagine she can.  Like when I said “High five” and she hit my hand or when I said “Can I have a hug” and she leaned into me.  She is starting to respond to her name more and more.
  • How does your child react to family outings and visitors? She pretty much likes everyone.  If it’s the evening and close to her bedtime, she sometimes gets a little fussy.
  • Does your child play with other children?  Same as last month, with the other children at daycare.
  • In what ways, if any, does your child behave aggressively toward you, his siblings, his playmates, or others?  She did grab my lip pretty ferociously this month, causing it to bleed 😉
  • Does your child have a strong preference for one parent? No?  She definitely knows who brings the milk (and in the middle of the night, if she’s fussing a little and I enter the room and get close to her, she begins wailing in a way that says “give. me. the. milk.”  She got super excited and flailed her arms today when she saw C at daycare.

Toys and Play

  • List your child’s favorite toys and describe how she plays with them: Probably one of her top favorites these days is tags on any of her stuffed animals or taggies.  But not the taggie tags, oh no.  She likes the REAL tags, will find them on any given toy, and stares at them like she’s looking at the materials.  And then, of course, mouths them.  She likes all of her various stuffed animals these days and her soft itsy bitsy spider book.  She really likes the red ring on her ring stack, which she grabs and shakes and mouths.  Much of her time with toys is spent passing them back and forth between her hands, mouthing them, and grabbing them when they get away from her.
  • What are your child’s favorite games? She likes peek-a-boo and all of the “in your face” kinds of games where she is surprised, just like last month.  She likes when we “eat” her neck, making nom-nom sounds.  She likes to clap, be bounced in the air, and to dance with me.  She likes to make sounds and have us make them back at her (she sometimes flails delightedly when we do this).
  • Does your child have a lovey? Not a particular one.  She snuggles with her various small stuffed toys, including a stuffed monkey from C’s dad and the stuffed dog I wrote about last month.

Feelings and Moods

  • Describe your child’s range of feelings (comfort, discomfort, pleasure, joy, anger, affection, fear, hostility, depression/sadness) and how she expresses them: More and more of them that are noticeable.  My favorite is what I guess you could call an anticipatory feeling.  The look on her face when she knows she is about to be tickled.  She has also gotten more demanding and has a very demanding cry when she is hungry or wants attention (one that is much less adorable than her newborn nyahnyah hungry cry).  Her pained cry, like if she is surprised in a not-so-happy way or if she gets hurt is the saddest sound still.
  • What is likely to upset your child?  Being hungry, sometimes being alone.  Sometimes tummy time or trying to get to something and not being able to do so.
  • Describe how your child copes with discomfort, frustration, or other distress: Crying, sucking on fingers, nursing.
  • What makes her feel better? Being picked up (sometimes), being talked to (sometimes), nursing (pretty much always)

Books

What books does your child enjoy? All of them!  The same books as last month.  She generally likes reading though she is definitely more and more distracted these days.

Highlight of the Month

The big highlight for me is having a more independent baby who is still so dependent.  That is, she can sit up, reach for things, look at things, interact, but she is still very much a cuddly, gummy, adorable baby.  I love watching how determined she gets and seeing her confidence grow.  I like when she first learns a new trick and then watching her remember the trick and make attempts to repeat it, with varying success.  I like seeing her try foods  and getting to see C interact with her while feeding her.   I wish everything in the world made her giggle, but I like that she has likes and dislikes and things that make her laugh and things that make her stare like “that’s not as funny as you think.”  I am really enjoying her excited flails, which are new for her and super adorable.

Probably my favorite moment from the whole month was when she said “mama” – and then did it again a few seconds later.  I was SO EXCITED, more than I imagined I would be.  Every time she accidentally stumbled across those syllables again, I am thrilled 🙂

25 Weeks

Almost half a year!

We skipped last week thanks to overall busy-ness. But we’re back!

K is pretty much a full-fledged sitter. She does not get up to sitting on her own and she sometimes wobbles or face plants, but she gets more balanced every day.

Eating is going well. Her daytime milk intake is definitely lower than it was before Christmas, but I think she’s making it up at night. We have introduced carrots to her eating routine and each night when we are home, she gets a heated ice cube of one of her foods – either sweet potatoes or carrots. While she prefers someone helping her eat (my girl loves to eat), she has figured out the mechanics of hand in food, food to mouth.

Sleep has been better. As in, when K was a newborn, we got way more sleep. She is up at least once a night but more often twice or more and she seems truly hungry with each waking. We try at times to get her back to sleep without eating, but that primarily involves C because if I’m around, K wants to eat. We try to leave K alone for as long as possible, but often that involves up to an hour of moaning, talking to herself, making noise followed by increasing hysteria and I am not interested in CIO (yet) when I feel strongly that I can solve the problem and that she is actually hungry/eating.

K continues to roll here and there and scoot around here and there on both her back and belly. She’s good with her hands and likes to grab at almost anything. If she’s on a lap at dinner time, her hands are on anything she can reach (and then to her mouth, though she almost never has anything and is caught before anything can end up in there). She talks to us quite a bit and has thrown in more consonant sounds though she still relies on her high squeals as her primary communication. She likes when we blow raspberries into the air and tries to emulate that (with some success).

The only other major milestone here is that we are in the midst of our first illness. When I went to nurse K last night, her cry was different and her head felt wayyyy too warm. Cue temperature taking (with four different thermometers in four different locations because we trusted NONE of them) and a quick call to the pediatrician (wouldn’t have called normally, I don’t think, but the flu has us both extra worried). K has maintained a fever throughout the day today with a little bit of coughing and runny nose (though not much) and has stayed in good – if quiet – spirits. We had a quarantine day at home, the two of us, and she snuggled and slept while I held her and watched bad television. She still has a fever now, though it seems to have gone down some, and we are grateful that tomorrow is a day off for our family since we can’t send her to daycare with a fever.

Hope all is well for all of you!

23 Weeks

I liked four months and five months is just as fun!

This week was New Years – relaxing – back to work – getting stuff down around the house and K was a champ through most of it.

We had our first real “baby makes us too tired to do much of anything” adventure on New Years Eve.  We usually cook a nice dinner and dessert but instead chose to cancel the festivities and head to my mom’s house instead, where we ate a really rich and delicious meal, followed by random cake that we had purchased.  We watched a tv show marathon before watching the ball drop – while K slept on my mom’s chest in another room, making my mom and dad the first to wish her a happy new year.

On Wednesday night, we introduced K to her first real food – mashed up sweet potato.  We had planned to wait until she was six months old, but she is currently able to sit on her own (with supervision) and has been showing interest in food for over a month (eating “imaginary food” whenever we eat).  We brought the high chair up from the basement, wiped it down, and sat her in it with toys while we made dinner.  We put the sweet potato right on the tray and let her play with it.  Well, let her look at us and play with her toys and the spoon we had given her, as she did not go for the food right away.  When she accidentally got some on her hands, hands went to mouth (as usual), and she ate!  And began sucking on her fingers like it was her job, as though more sweet potatoes would come from those fingers.  Two nights later, we tried again, and this time she was semi-interest but became more so when C put some of the sweet potatoes on a spoon and offered them to K (which was not how I had wanted to approach food but was a middle ground between force feeding and letting her get to the potatoes herself, which was difficult for her because her arms aren’t that long in the high chair).  Tonight, K ate with her fingers but then become fussy.  C offered her the spoon and K grabbed her arm, pulling the spoon to her mouth, where she used a finger to hook the food off the spoon and into her mouth.  She ate the whole couple tablespoons of sweet potatoes that way and only cried when C tried to put down the spoon at one point.

Besides the food, which has been fun, K has been pretty smiley and pretty giggly, both of which are great.  She has also been pretty awake in the middle of night (well, at least pretty-waking-up-multiple-times), leaving me pretty exhausted.  I think she is reverse cycling as she seems hungry in the middle of the night and has been taking less milk during the day.  I also seem to be producing less during the day which means my entire freezer stash is almost gone and I need to get serious about doing multiple and extra pumping sessions.  I had planned to pump more over the holidays but K’s sleep schedule changed and my normal high-yield pumping times became eating times for K.

After a chunk of time off with K, I was very sad to return to work.  It’s getting better already (because it has to and because there is something nice about working hard and playing (“playing”) hard), but I really miss our chunks of free time together.  Add to the mix that C was home with us for four days in a row and it was a sad night New Year’s Day night.

And as a final note and an aside, I’ve been following along with all of the various blogs and trying to comment here and there but also more exhausted than ever with K thanks to the weird sleep.

20 Weeks (1 day)

Hard to believe my baby has been alive for the equivalent of half a pregnancy!  I remember how long those first 20 weeks of pregnancy seemed to be, full of hope and uncertainty and it is hard to believe how fast these 20 weeks seem to have gone.

My 20 week old laughs and plays. She is in the 90th percentile for weight and the 50th for height according to her doctor’s appointment last week.  She has rolled over but is not particularly interested in it (and her mamas are mostly okay with that, a little less management!)  She likes to eat and has been showing a ton of interest in the food that we are eating, using her hands or a spoon to put imaginary food in her mouth and then smacking her lips like it’s the best thing in the world.

Her favorite toy this week is her pink elephant rattle and her favorite game is when the rattle is slowly bounced toward her.  She anticipates each bounce and the eventual tickle and her mouth gapes open in enthusiastic delight.  When the elephant does reach her, we are sometimes lucky enough to get giggles, though she reserves those for only the best tricks, making them super valuable.  She enjoys her bouncing activity seat and any time she gets to be “super baby, flying through the air” above my head.  And, when her diaper is off and her legs are super free, she loves grabbing her feet and putting them into her mouth.

We read to her all the time and she has started to turn the pages of her board books. We did (and do) wonder if some of the turning isn’t an attempt to get the books, like everything else, into her little mouth, but it appears she most readily turns the pages after her mama finishes reading a line.  And she is deliberate, using her left hand to start the page turning and then her right hand to push it into place.  She generally stays interested throughout entire books, which makes reading even more fun!

She definitely has an attachment to her mama and I.  Others have noticed it (“look at the way she looks at you!”) but it was most evident when the pediatrician pointed out that while K would look at the pediatrician, she repeatedly looked back and C and I for some kind of reassurance.  And when C smiled, she looked back at the pediatrician and gave a half, I-sort-of-trust-you-if-my-mama-does smile.  Very cool to watch.

K is reaching out more than ever to people.  If I put my hands out, she will sometimes lift hers, depending on how motivated she is to leave the area she is in (or get food).  She also reaches out to pet the dog sometimes, and is much more aware of where he is (and a little confused about what he is).  Wonderdog, for his part, does his best to lick her feet or face on a regular basis no matter how hard I try to prevent it, but K doesn’t seem to mind.

The only major ordeal we’ve been having lately is sleep.  K has started night waking much more than she ever did before, meaning I’m getting blocks of 2-3 hours of sleep at a time for the first time in her life.  (I know, I know POOR ME with my WEEKS and WEEKS of okay sleep).  I’m just hopeful that we can get her back on a good track because a tired mom is definitely a grumpier mom and we don’t need grumpiness this close to Christmas.

 

16 Weeks / One Year

A year ago on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I hung out with a friend and her daughter.  We went to lunch before driving many miles to what is usually an amazing playground but what was actually a closed playground.  I fell asleep in the car while we were driving – unheard of for me – and cut the day a little short so that I could come home and nap – something I only used to do when I was too sick to do anything else.  Our friend came back to our house for dinner and she encouraged me to test, saying “I can look at it and not tell you what the results are” (yeah right).  Having had two negative tries before, I wasn’t really interested in testing early at 12 DPO and seeing another blank line.  So even though it was very hard, I declined, saying to myself that if my temperature showed anything promising the next day, I would test.

The next day, my temperature spiked. And I tested. And the rest is… well, not history, but 16 weeks of real life, asleep in her swing while her mom takes a couple minutes to write here.

This week was my second full week back at work (I’ll now have a couple of short weeks again) and man, it was EXHAUSTING.  All the motivation I had the previous week seemed to have disappeared as I trudged through the days, particularly toward the end of the week.  It did not help that K has suddenly taken to waking twice a night (once in the middle of the night, once in the early morning) versus just her early morning wake-up and that with so much work during the day, I have taken to staying up to have some alone time at night instead of falling asleep with cuddle bug.  She also is eating ridiculous amounts at daycare and I have had to find extra times to pump to keep up with her.  Could this be the 3/4 month growth spurt?  Likely, as she seems to be settling back down, though it’s definitely not as short as the earlier growth spurts.

C and I went on our first date without the baby this week to celebrate C’s birthday.  It was fun, but I was a little melancholy, probably because I felt like I had had so little time with the baby this week.  In fact, we were going to go out the day before as well (had someone ready to watch K and everything) but I ultimately couldn’t stomach the thought of two nights of coming home from work, nursing and cuddling for half an hour or so, and going back out, not to see the baby again until the next day (or the middle of the night, same difference).  It probably didn’t help that earlier in the week my mother told me about the baby laughing a little and we have yet to hear more than a short “heh heh.”  And it didn’t help being tired.  Or working another full week.  Did I mention working a full week put a damper on things?

Three day work week this week and then six days of freedom / heaven.  Not sure how I’m going to do when the holidays are over and I really am back at work. All. The. Time.

 

 

14 Weeks / almost 100 days!

Not many earth-shattering updates this week.  K and I had our last day home alone together on Monday and ended up spending much of the day with C, who came home early due to some intense weather.  K got to spend her first Halloween with her cousin (she was a little jackolantern) as we visited a few houses in search of candy (because of a neighborhood event earlier in the week, only one house was giving anything, but that was okay for us!).  On Friday, we took K to the polls and voted, which was exciting for all of us (well, C and I mostly; K slept in the carrier throughout the hour and a half wait).  We spent time with friends Friday night, took a great walk together yesterday, and last night I went out for the first time on my own at night while C stayed home and had great success getting K to bed with the help of our bedtime routine (bath and books), a bottle, a swaddle, and some rocking.

K continues to be a “talking,” moving, happy baby.  We are having a little more trouble than usual getting her to bed lately but I think that’s because now that the seasons have changed and our room is so cold and so dark at night, I end up laying down to nurse her and we both get so warm and cozy that she especially does not want to leave.  C has come upstairs more than one night this week to find us both passed out asleep; on nights when we’re not asleep, she takes the baby and I end up falling asleep… and it. is. glorious.  So much for “adult time alone” in the evenings!  To be fair, though, I do wake up at least once, usually in the early morning, to feed the baby and I’m getting up before everyone so that I have time to pump and get ready for the day in the morning.

Speaking of pumping, this week went really really well.  Daycare did not need to use any of the frozen stash I had given them, my production was good when I pumped at work, and, since I’ve pumped this weekend, I am now ahead for the coming week.  The solution for me (so far) was being very consistent at work – not so much by pumping at the same time but by trying to pump the same number of times and trying to find an afternoon pumping session even if I was going to be the daycare pick-up person (because K tends to have a bottle about an hour before I get to daycare and then only nurses a little when I arrive / when she arrives home, so it seemed like wasted milk to not pump).  I also dropped the night pumping, which did not yield a whole lot, and added a morning pumping session between the early morning feed and the just-before-daycare feed.  Because it’s been cold and because it’s delicious, I’ve also been eating daily oatmeal, but I can’t say whether that’s done a lot or not.

Tummy time is going well – our daycare provider thinks she’s close to rolling and we see that, too, as she gets her body very high and really would only need to push off with one hand to accomplish the task. She is better than ever at grabbing for things and attempting to get them to her mouth though nine times out of ten she still only ends up with fist in her mouth.  She talks and smiles and still only sort-of laughs — I think we might have a bit of time before we get the baby giggle I’m so excited to hear.  She is significantly better at focusing on books and other objects (and when she and I read together I think about a support group we went to early on where a baby about her age now was so able to focus on a book her mother was holding… and thinking how nice that would be… and it IS nice!).  We are encouraging supported sitting and her balance gets better by the day.  Our biggest challenge these days tends to be keeping her entertained as she does get bored fairly easily (though even that is getting better as she is figuring out new ways to explore the world).

Just shy of 100 days in, I can say that we have officially left the “fourth trimester” behind, that we have an infant rather than a newborn, and that I am loving most moments of parenthood.  K is a delight to watch learn and grow and I can’t wait to see what fun things she’ll do next!