A Very Merry UnBirthday to You! (Month 6)

Lady L is 6 months old!  Celebrating her half-birthday!  And this past month saw a LOT of changes.  Here’s an update.

Sleeping:  Boy oh boy has this changed!  So, Lyra started teething and started sleeping crazy erratic.  Now we know this is one of her tells before a new tooth because she will sleep horribly for a few nights and then a tooth will pop through (she has two now!).  The first time this happened she moved so much in her sleep that she made her way down to the bottom of the bed!  We were prepared for the sides of the bed but were not for the bottom, so we moved her crib into our room.  The first night I tried putting her down in her crib for bedtime was a huge success.  She went down well and slept crazily but she was safe in the crib.  She still got up to nurse in the middle of the night so once that she woke the first time I just pulled her into bed for the rest of the night and it worked out.  Her crazy movement sleeping is usually just at the beginning of the night when she first goes down and just before she’s going to wake up for the day.  So we started putting her to sleep in her crib, but she would still spend a good chunk of the night in bed with us.  This last week, she’s just been in bed with us because she hasn’t been crazy sleeping like she did before cutting teeth.  I think when the top teeth decide to make their debut and she gives us her tells, we will go back to the crib sleeping at the beginning again.  Her naps are the same as usual, although she is sleeping in her crib more and more for naps too — so it is nice that she is comfortable in that for when we decide to fully transition her to her crib in her own room.  Neither John or I want this to happen.  We love bed sharing.  The day we transition Lyra to her own room, John and I will probably both end up sleeping on the floor in her room.

Eating:  We’ve started solids!  Our nursing relationship is still solid and strong but we have introduced some solid foods into the diet.  She’s now, officially, had avocado, sweet potatoes, and applesauce and she loves them in that order — applesauce is a distant third.  She’s unofficially had bananas and peaches (just gummed on them and had some off our fingers).  I’m going to do peas this weekend and then probably introduce some brown rice to see how she does with grains.  She only eats her solid food for dinner and we sit down at the table to eat as a family.  (We always make sure to introduce a new food early in the day though to make sure she doesn’t have a reaction.)  I think in another week or two we will start doing lunch and dinner solids.  She also loves to drink a little water in her sippy cup with her meal.

Weight & Length:  Haven’t gone to the doctor yet (next week, I don’t know why we’ve started scheduling appointments about a week after her MonthDay but we have).  I don’t even know where to begin to guess her weight.  16lbs? More than that?  Length is 26″?  I truly don’t know and I haven’t done the step on scale step on scale with baby thing in a while.  After next week I will edit this post with her stats! ETA: 16lbs 9oz and 26.25 inches

Wearing:  A lot of her 6 month clothes are pretty snug, especially bottoms of her outfits because of the cloth diapers.  She’s mostly in 6-9 month right now but there’s still a few roomier 6 month rompers that she wears.

Likes & Dislikes:  Rory, our dog, is basically the Harry Styles to Lyra’s screaming/giggling teeny-bopper.  Rory is a celebrity in our home because Lyra loves dogs.  Big dogs barking in her face?!  The louder the better — the baby thinks it is hilarious.  We went to our friend’s house the other week and she has a 50-60lb hound dog that has never been around babies — the dog didn’t really know what to make of L so she barked her loud hound dog bark in L’s face which made her laugh which made the dog bark louder which made the baby laugh louder… it was awesomely cute.  She also loves when Rory sneezes and when Rory catches treats in her mouth.  And don’t even get me started on the level of excitement when we let Lyra climb on Rory.  When we look back on L’s life I think we will say that dogs were her first favorite thing.

As for dislikes:  she doesn’t have too many.  She hates teething, but who doesn’t?  She hates when she’s hungry and you don’t get food in her fast enough… but again, who isn’t like that?  She’s pretty good.  No weird dislikes, just the usual stuff.  We’ve not yet discovered anything she’s scared of yet.  So yeah :)

New Milestones & Developments:  She continues to crawl everywhere.  Everywhere.  Having an early mover is adorable but also a lot of work.  She’s a pretty fast little thing.  Let’s see… what’s new?  She has pulled herself up to stand on the back of the couch.  She sits unassisted for much longer than she used to.  She can cruise a bit on the couch (but I have to have hands nearby because she still topples pretty fast when cruising).  She’s EATING!  Woohoo!  And she has two new teeth!  The bottom two teeth have made their way through and they are sharp.  I don’t know when we will see the top two but I suspect in a few weeks they will start making their way through.  She has bitten my toe once (I had my leg up on the couch to block her while she was cruising and she side stepped right over to my foot and chomped down) and has bitten me once while nursing (OUCH!) but I think it was because she was so hungry and trying to furiously latch on.  She’s not tried to bite any other time — let’s hope it stays that way.

So that’s the 6th month update!  I don’t have her unofficial official 6th month photo yet because it’s been a busy week around here.  I will edit this post and add the picture in either tonight or tomorrow.

ETA:  Pictures… Finally…

showing her teeth, and the scratch she gave herself on her forehead.

showing her teeth, and the scratch she gave herself on her forehead.

flapping her wings -- trying to fly away

flapping her wings — trying to fly away

I just love her. She's always happy.

I just love her. She’s always happy.

Excited to sit up for the camera.

Excited to sit up for the camera.

annnnd trying to crawl away.

annnnd trying to crawl away.

Childbirth and Baby Book Favorites.

My little lady is only 6 months old (today!), so I’m not too far along in this whole motherhood thing.   I am no where near an expert.   But I thought I’d make a post about my top books at this time in my life pertaining to childbirth and babies.

Let’s get a few things out of the way first.  I’m an advocate for natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and attachment parenting so obviously my choices will lean that way.  Everyone has their biases.  The good news is — there are so many ways to birth and raise a child and many of them produce happy, healthy kids.  Just because I think this is what is best for my family, doesn’t mean I think it is best for your family.  I understand that.  Nothing makes me roll my eyes more than these Mommy Wars I read on the internet.  Internet forums of any kind, not just birth/babies, are dark dark dark places.

Side bar:  In my experience, these “wars” only exist on the internet.  I’ve never personally experienced someone shaming me for deciding to have a natural birth and no one has ever said anything negative to me about nursing in public.  I’m sure this is not the case in every part of the U.S./world so I consider myself lucky.  In turn, I’ve not turned my nose up at friends that have chosen to have epidurals or formula feed.  It works for them and I’m much more interested in snuggling their baby and getting a good whiff of that baby smell — DIVINE — than their choices concerning their well-cared-for children.  Will any of this even matter to people when their child is 10? 18? 25?  No!

I will say, now, that “advocate” is a choice word for me.  Natural birth and breastfeeding were the norm for a long loooooooooong time.  Recently, they have become the minority.  These things need to have advocates now so women know all their options.  I’m choosing to write this down at the risk of sounding preachy.  Some women become “preachy” about these things because it is no longer common knowledge in the United States and we need to be more comfortable sharing our stories to pass on this knowledge.  It takes a village to raise a child.  I also understand medical interventions are sometimes necessary and thank God we have them — the same goes for formula, what a great thing we have at our disposal!  I do not care if a woman decides from the get-go that she’s not even going to try breastfeeding and wants to do formula right away, that is her choice and I would never ever want to take that from her.

I also hate that I felt the need to type all of that out.  Everyone should be able to write whatever the hell they want on their own blogs.  But this is the internet where people stumble on random things and if they don’t know you, it’s helpful to have a disclaimer.  I truly don’t want to offend anyone.

*PHEW*

NOW!  Without further ado… BOOKS.

Let’s start from the very beginning.  A very good place to start… Interested in becoming pregnant?  Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a book that has been recommended over and over again.  I have never personally read it because I have always felt very in tune with my body and have used the Fertility Awareness Method which has always worked for me as far as avoidance goes.  And we didn’t have any problems the moment we decided to start a family.  This is very TMI now, isn’t it?  Whatever, I’m not writing down anything that I wouldn’t say to anyone that asked me.  But, let’s move on.

1.  Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - this book is the bomb dot com.  I know MANY women that are pregnant right now and a lot have asked advice on what to read to prepare.   The first thing I say is “read birth stories.”  There are so many birth stories on the internet of every kind of birth under the sun.  Just google it.  Read them all.  Even if you know you want pitocin and an epi.  Even if you know you are going to have an unassisted home birth.  You do not know what will happen when you go into labor and it’s nice to read a variety of experiences.   If you read one horror story, try and read 10 more happy ones — keep in mind that people love to share things that went wrong so don’t let that freak you out, you’re more likely to have an amazing experience!  So, in keeping with the “read birth stories” thing, this book has tons of birth stories.  Half the book is comprised of birth stories alone.  The other half has great information for how to achieve a successful natural birth, including information on when to know that you might need some help (vital!).  I would recommend this to any woman, even those happily going the medical route, because it explains the birthing process so well and I think everyone should be informed about that.  In addition, I loved Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May as well.  She is the best.

2.  The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger – This is a La Leche League book.  And I think it gets a little judgey and really preachy about breastfeeding.  I rolled my eyes a lot.  BUT, it has so much good information and no one can deny that breast IS best.  Breastfeeding is HARD and if you want to be successful you will have to be informed.  Women used to learn from seeing their mothers and aunts and friends nurse their babies since it was the norm.  This is not common practice anymore and if you breastfeed longer than the first few weeks you will be in the minority.  Because we do not see it commonplace anymore, you need to research and seek help.  (If you know you are going to formula feed, skip this book and opt to research all the ingredients in the different formulas available – or research how to make your own!)  There is a rumor that is going around that says “if breastfeeding hurts, you’re not doing it right.”  And this is false.  Breastfeeding hurts at first.  If you are in excruciating pain, then something IS wrong, but if you are in a little pain, you’ll have to power through the first week (for me, something clicked after the one week mark and it got so much easier) and seek help from nurses or lactation consultants.  In order to be successful at breastfeeding you will need tools like this book and a supportive environment.  And let it be said, some women try everything under the sun to make breastfeeding work and, sadly, it’s just not in the cards… once again, it’s awesome we have formula so readily available.  I’m a big fan of people feeding their baby, however that food gets in — there are pros and cons to both formula feeding and breastfeeding. :)

3.  The Baby Book by Dr. Sears – this is the Baby Bible as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve already stated that I’m an attachment parenting advocate so keep that in mind.  But this book is so comprehensive and such a great resource for every single thing that will happen to your baby from pregnancy to toddlerhood.  It has tips and tricks for every stage and I’m so thankful it’s in my arsenal at the ready.

4.  Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron – the previous book is the Baby Bible, but this is the Baby FOOD Bible.  This book is everything you need to know about starting solids for your baby.  I was toying with the idea of Baby Led Weaning as opposed to making our own baby food and what we are actually doing is kind of a hybrid.  Letting L experiment with some foods on her own but mostly I am making her food.  It’s working for us so far.  This book covers first foods, when to introduce certain foods, how to make them, food schedules, just everything in general.  It’s awesome and unless you are hardcore Baby Led Weaning, I would get this book.

5.  Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand – If there were one book that I would say every parent absolutely positively NEEDS, this is the book.  This book is the best resource for any kind of ailment or illness that may arise.  It is easy to navigate and it breaks down everything symptom by symptom, letting you know how to properly proceed.  It also breaks down each ailment/illness by homeopathy, supplements, acupressure, and conventional treatment.  This is great for someone like me that swings towards the crunchy side of life.  Modern medicine is often over used, but, like all things, there is a time and a place for it.  If you feel comfortable trying some natural remedies first, this will break it down for you but will also tell you how to treat it conventionally so you can be completely informed.  I love this.  I try and research all points of view before making a decision and I love that this book does it for me — one stop shop.  Thankfully, L has not gotten sick yet, but I know that there will come a time when we need this and I’m happy it’s in my library.

a series of unrelated paragraphs. a life update of sorts.

This morning I found myself saying “The next time I need to scat I’m just going to memorize the parts of  this song from The Jungle Book.”  I knew once I started that sentence that I didn’t need to say it aloud, but since I started I figured I would just continue with it.  When will I need to scat???And as John pointed out, if I do find myself having to scat, there will probably be a Nothing from The Jungle Book Rule.  Hmmmph.  We were listening to “I Wanna Be Like You” on Disney radio.  We listen to Disney radio every morning, it’s part of our routine.  I leave the baby and John in bed while I take the dog out and feed all the animals, then I go for a walk in the neighborhood, I come back in and grab some coffee, water, and breakfast and head back upstairs to the bedroom.  By this time the baby is usually awake, I sit quietly & play on my phone until she does if not, and then when she’s up I change her into fresh clothes and diaper and put on Disney radio for the rest of the morning, about an hour, until I have to leave for work.  It’s really hard to have a bad day when you start out your day belting out “Under the Sea” or “Circle of Life.”  Really hard… try it sometime.

#OperationHotMother is still in affect!  I’m down about 8 or 9 pounds since June 1st and keeping my healthy habits.  I feel great!   Even though the month of June was supposed to be my strict month, I’m still going with it and John is joining in.  We are having a challenge for the month of July — whoever loses the most percentage of weight gets a weekend.  We did this bet for our March Madness brackets (I won!) and we loved it.  The winner gets to pick every single thing we do for 48 hours.  It’s a sweet bet and it’s a motivating one too!  We also have a new workout space in the garage… John pimped it out and with a push of a button a tv comes on (we got one at the PTA for $10) and the Wii, or Playstation, or whatever your workout thing of choice is, and two fans come on and hit you so you don’t die of heat exhaustion, and then you can exercise on the big area rug — I like to Just Dance it up in there.  John prefers to ride the exercise bike while playing video games.  Tonight I’ll probably do some yoga.  I’m so glad we have the dedicated space now!

Last night the horrible cat was being too nice.  The horrible cat, Penny, is not always horrible… often she goes on MVP streaks in our house.  However, she is currently not in one of those streaks.  She is the opposite of the streak.  But last night as I was lounging in bed with the baby she kept coming up to purr loudly in my face and be pet.  And then when John came to bed and we were talking she did it to him too.  This is suspicious behavior at night (but not for 5AM… she loves a good Face Purr at 5AM).  Why was she being so nice?  John went to check on the food sitch in the cat room (aka the laundry room) and Penny bolted to the room before he could get there so we figured she must be out of food.  But nope, John found food in there.  A little while later we had a sweet and cuddly Pennycat back in our faces purring.  What was it?  John checked on her food again to see if it needed fluffing.  Penny complains and acts like she is starving to death from lack of food when there is still food in her bowl but it is not fluffed up.  John jokes that she says, with a snooty accent, “Garcon, the food has gone flat” and insists on one of us fluffing it up.  So John fluffed the food like a dutiful Cat Servant (It’s Penny’s world, we’re just living in it).  But STILL the Pennycat just came and purred in our faces.  “Maybe she’s just trying to be nice?” I said, unconvinced giving her a side-eye.  We pet her for a while but couldn’t shake the feeling that Penny wanted something more.  Finally, John had a lightbulb moment.  I had been doing laundry all day and it was still going.  Remember, the cat room is the laundry room.  John went in and turned off the dryer.  HALLELUJAH the Pennycat exclaimed.  It was what she wanted all along.  She did not do the Face Purr the rest of the night and happily ate her food in silence.  She just didn’t want to eat her fluffed up food with the annoyance of the dryer noise.  Oh that Penny.  I often say I love her because if I didn’t no one else would and I can’t have that on my conscience.  It is my duty in this life to love that cat, perhaps penance from some wrongdoing in a past life.  John reassured me last night as I was drifting off to sleep by saying “Rhianna, I just want you to know, if something happened to you, I would fight my first inclination to dump Penny out into the wild where she would surely perish.  I would take care of her.  I would take care of her for you.”  And that, my friends, is love.  True love.  I slept easily last night, knowing that my Pennycat would go on if I did not.  I better get to be a Queen in my next life.

What did we do this past weekend?  I can sum it up in one word:  MULCH.  Our sweet next door neighbors ordered way too much mulch.  I’m talking a Mountain of Mulch.  They mulched every mulchy part of their yard they could and then offered us the rest.  We happily obliged and John mulched all the mulchy parts of our yard and then created more parts to mulch just to mulch.  And now I’m having one of those times where you say or write a word too much and you start doubting that it means what you think it means or that you are saying/spelling it right or that there’s even a word for it at all and then you realize letters are so arbitrary but it’s so cool that we have language and can communicate with it.  MULCH.  So, yes, we have mulch.  We have the lot of it.  All in our yard.   Thanks neighbors!

Cheers to you if you read this!  Hope your Fourth was good and hope this week goes well!  Have a picture:

Patriot Lyra, with her Martha Washington-esque hate, reporting for duty.

Patriot Lyra, with her Martha Washington-esque hat, reporting for duty.

 

First Solids

L is a little over a week shy of 6 months and current recommendations are to not start solids until 6 months old AND when baby is showing all signs of readiness for food (sitting unassisted, loss of tongue-thrust reflex, interest in food/eating, doubled birth weight, etc.).  Lyra has been showing all signs of readiness and then some for many weeks now so we figured it wouldn’t hurt to start her a bit early.  When L was about a week old, I ordered THIS BOOK on amazon and read through it to prepare, knowing that solids weren’t for a while but wanting to do some research.  It is awesome, the Baby Food Bible, if you will, and I would 100% recommend this to everyone.  It is one of my Top Five Baby Books (maybe I’ll do a post on that?).  So for a long time, I’ve known that avocado would be L’s first food.  Skipping over the nutritionally deficient rice cereal that people used to give 4 month olds (this is not recommended anymore unless baby has a specific health problem like severe reflux).  Avocado has a lot of healthy fats that are so great for babies (and everyone).

This past weekend was the date I set for starting solids.  We bought two nice and ripe avocados from the co-op, busted out our Baby Bullet and baby spoons, and set up the bumbo in the kitchen.  We don’t have a high chair yet, but will probably need one soon because chunky L is getting a bit snug in the bumbo already – the cloth diapers don’t help the matter any… baby got back… you know what I’m sayin’? Anyway, I blended up the avocados in the bullet and put most of it in the pods to freeze for future meals and put a little bit in one of the cups to try with her.

And she was… confused.  At first, at least.  She ate the avocado but didn’t know how she felt about it.  However, she did keep going back for more.  We made sure to cheer for her with each bite and smile a lot.  She ended up getting a lot more down than I expected.  I’ll post some pictures below.   The next day, Sunday, I fed her some avocado again and it went down a lot easier and she ate a great amount.  Later this week we will introduce sweet potato.  If you are unfamiliar, you have to introduce baby foods one at a time and wait several days in between a new food to make sure there is not a sensitivity or allergy.  After sweet potato we will probably do some banana.  I can’t wait until we’ve introduced a good amount of foods so I can start getting creative with my blending of foods for her.  I also think we will be quickly working our way up to two meals a day because of how much she’s wanting to eat already.  So crazy!  L is growing so fast!

Here’s a photo dump for you to enjoy:

avo 1avo 3avo 4avo 5

 

Once again, I don’t know why they are so pixelated… sometimes when I post pictures from my iPhone they look amazing and other times they just look like I have a crappy old phone. Le sigh.

Play Date!

I have so much to catch up on!  Most of it I’ll just save and cover in Lyra’s upcoming 6 month post.  But I wanted to do a post about her first real play date.

We hosted the sweet B Family the other weekend.  We got to know each other a little better and we let the babies play.  They are so much more interactive than when Lyra and Baby A saw each other last time.  It was really fun.  L was a bit… aggressive… with her playing.  It was really fun to watch them interact with each other.  They mostly tried to eat each other because they are 6 month olds.  Ha!

Here’s some pictures below that K took (I already asked her if I could share them here!).  Head on over to her blog to check out a video she took of the babies playing!

play date 1 play date 2 play date 4 play date 5 play date 6 play date 7

 

Baby A is so sweet and has the best facial expressions — and FOUR TEETH already!  We hope to have many more play dates with them in the future.

#OHM check-in

OHM

It’s a little more than halfway through the month of June – aka the month of #OperationHotMother.  Let’s do a lil checkity check.

I’ve lost weight.  6 pounds to be exact – not much, but the month’s not over yet and on my frame I can see a visible difference.  But here’s the important thing:  I feel so much better.  So I know I’m doing something right in the food department.

I have “cheated” a few times with the no sugar thing, but I’ve picked specific times to do it and never go overboard.  I had a slice of homemade cake at a friend’s baby shower.  I had a small amount of ice cream on John’s birthday.  I had a glass of scuppernong wine just because.  You get the idea.

The fitbit is great for motivating me to get in 10,000 steps a day.  Aside from the last three days (we are doing different sleeping arrangements with L, so I’ve been staying in the bed), I’ve walked every morning before the baby wakes up.  With the morning walks and just in general getting-ready-ness of the mornings, by the time I got to work I was already over halfway to my goal.  However, now that I know what a 10k Step Day feels like, I haven’t really been checking in as much on my fitbit app to see my progress.  I also stopped using it to log water & food rather quickly as I was easily meeting my goals there and didn’t feel the need to log it.  As a nursing mom I drink a TON of water.  And I also eat as much (healthy, clean) food as I want guilt-free.  I liked to monitor my sleep patterns with the fitbit — that was pretty interesting to see.  I was “restless” many times during sleep… obviously… #cosleeping.  But I stopped doing that regularly too.  So most of the things the fitbit offers, I’m not really utilizing anymore.  It was great for the first week, but now I’m pretty set without it.  I won’t mind giving it back to John at the end of the month and probably will not be purchasing one for myself.  Someone like John is super motivated by it and that’s awesome — but it just doesn’t work too much for me, not that it doesn’t work, it’s just I could take it or leave it and still get the results I want.  There is one thing that I will miss a lot when I give the fitbit back and that is the silent alarm function.  You can set an alarm and it will vibrate to wake you up — this is great because it only wakes me up and not John or the baby like an alarm with sound would do.  I would actually consider buying a fitbit JUST to wear at night so it can wake me in the morning.  I need to find a cheaper alarm that will do this.  So all-in-all, the fitbit is fun, but I’m not someone that needs it to be motivated — which was actually an interesting lesson I learned from wearing it.  I’m going to continue to wear it for the rest of June though, just to stick with it and because of the alarm.

Let’s talk about eating!  Eating sugar and dairy free honestly isn’t that bad.  It is very easy to do when I’ve taken the time to prepare meals and make sure to eat at least every two hours.  I didn’t experience my first… we’ll call it… Hunger Rage until the first weekend.  Which isn’t surprising, because I didn’t have meals prepared and I didn’t have work to distract me and I had the freedom to eat All The Things if I wanted to.  Eating clean has reminded me of being First Trimester Pregnant when eating was a chore; I had to eat something every two hours because if my blood sugar dropped or I allowed myself to feel hungry, I got sick.  This time, instead of getting sick, I got Hunger Rage.  I’m a much better eater and happier person when I make sure to have healthy snacks aplenty so I do not get Hunger Rage — then it’s pretty easy to eat this way.  My stomach, overall, is so much better.  I’m not experiencing any of the troubles I had in the past, thanks mostly, I suspect, to the no dairy aspect.  It’s also allowed me to see how foods affect me.  I’m not going to tell you what I’ve found cherries and eggs do to my system. :)
Other take-aways halfway through — Larabars are the bee’s knees.  Apple Pie is my favorite, but omg all flavors are delightful (though I have not tried any of the flavors with chocolate because they have added sugar).  I’m more productive throughout the day when I take my “me time” in the morning and go for a walk.  Apples & almond butter taste like candy.  Bananas are so versatile — a quick & filling snack, can be made into fake ice cream (great for “milkshakes”), and are a vital ingredient in my favorite (clean or not) pancake recipe.  Real foods are so flavorful and delicious if you actually take the time to cook.  We all know this.  Obviously.  But… America… so… yeah.
I’m hoping to be down ten pounds by the end of #OperationHotMother and I think I will get there.  Then I will be SO CLOSE to my healthy ideal weight.  I’m just gonna pat myself on the back now *pats back* … *brushes shoulders off* … I’m rockin this!
***I just want to address something right quick.  I’m calling my post partum weight loss journey Operation Hot Mother because I love Arrested Development and think it’s a funny title.  But no worries on my self-esteem… I already think I’m a “Hot Mother.”  I’m just on a journey to getting healthier.  Just clearing that up… super sweet coworkers and friends have expressed concern about how I view myself when I tell them what I’m calling my journey.  OHM is the title because it makes me laugh… all mothers are Hot Mothers to me because they are freaking rockstars!

Photo Source

 

Month Five

Baby girl is now five months old.  She is so fun to hang out with now.  I mean, obviously I always thought she was fun, but for other people it was probably boring when all she did was eat & sleep and they didn’t want to creepily stare at her constantly like I do… especially when she sleeps.  Edward Cullen and I have a lot in common.  My baby is my drug.  Or my anti-drug — remember those campaigns with the lines between letters for whatever was your anti-drug?  They did things like “shopping” or “video games” or something else.  Mine would be this:

 |L|Y|R|A|
my anti-drug.

or
|B|R|E|A|S|T|F|E|E|D|I|N|G|
(because everything I drink/eat the baby drinks/eats
& I don’t want her on drugs.)
my anti-drug.

Right-o… now that that’s been established.  Let’s do an update.  I’m stealing a new format for these monthlies from Ms. K.  She’s the mom of Baby A.  I wrote about them some posts back.  I already told K I was stealing them — Hi K if you are reading!

Sleeping:  I feel like L’s sleep habits haven’t changed since she’s been a month old.  She’s a good sleeper.  She takes a couple naps during the day and goes down to sleep at night anywhere between 7:30-8:30.  Once she’s down for the night she will usually nursenurse once in the middle of the night.  I say nursenurse, I mean actually eat.  Sometimes she just latches on to comfort nurse for 5 seconds before she’s out again.  It’s hard to know when she nursenurses or nurses in the middle of the night because we bed share, so neither of us fully wake up — she doesn’t make noises or anything, she just squirms some and we are like weirdly connected so we just know when that needs to happen and gravitate towards each other.  We get long sleep stretches so I think she’s sleeping up to 6/7 hour stretches before that nursenurse feeding but I’m not totally sure because after 2.5 months I stopped looking at the clock.  Regardless, we are both well-rested so it works out.

Eating: Homegirl likes to eat.  She’s a very efficient eater so she takes around 5 minutes to eat — once again, not much has changed since she’s been a month old.  She eats 5-6 times during the day and once in the middle of the night.  We have not tried a bottle for two months now after I gave up torturing her with one.  She is showing all the signs of readiness for solids but I still want to wait a couple weeks before we give her some avocado.  I think when she starts solids we will try and introduce a bottle/sippy cup hybrid with milk to her to see if she’ll take that.  It might go over well because if she’s near when I am drinking out of my water bottle she grabs it from me and puts it to her mouth — she just didn’t have time for baby things, she wants to be a big kid.  Next month’s eating update will probably be super different with the introduction of solids.

Weight & Length:  No doctor’s appointment until 6 months.  But I’ve done the step on the scale and then hold the baby and step on the scale thing a time or two and I know she’s at least 15lbs.  No idea about length.

Wearing:  Yesterday I packed up all the 3-6 month clothing in her closet.  She is officially wearing only 6 month clothing.  There were a few 3-6 month pieces that she could still wear but since I packed up the majority that didn’t fit, I took those things out too so I could keep all the sizes together.  She has even worn a few 6-9 month clothing but she has lots of room to grow in those things.

Likes & Dislikes:  She likes — the dog, the cats, my camelbak water bottle, our cell phones, the tv remote, staring at herself in the mirror, squealing & laughing (usually at the dog/cats), smiling ALL THE TIME, putting everything in her mouth, putting her hand in your mouth and Peek A Boo is her JAM.  She laughs so hard at Peek A Boo.  So much laughter.  Oh and jumping in the doorway jumper — she goes so hard in that thing.  She dislikes — when she’s hungry and you can’t get your nursing bra unfastened fast enough, being in a cradle hold (she’d rather stand in your lap, thank you very much, she ain’t no baby), laying on her back for diaper changes (just let her flip over and crawl away from your repressive diaper), and that’s kind of it.  She’s pretty dang agreeable.

New Milestones & Developments:  We have a mover!  She doesn’t classic crawl too much, but she does do it for a foot or two, mostly she gets on hands & knees and rocks back and forth a lot while huffing with anticipatory delight.  She army crawls everywhere and does this inch-worm thing.  I keep asking John is we can technically say she is crawling yet and then we look over while having that convo and she’s moved 8 feet away from where she was and he says “yeah, I think so” and I agree.  She crawls really well and fast when she has motivation in the form of a dog waiting to lick her head, a cat’s tail to pull,  a water bottle to claim as her own, or an iPhone so she can take selfies.  She moves!  Other than that:  Her hair isn’t growing too much, but what does grow grows on a little tuft at the top of her head and in the morning it sticks up and looks adorable.  No teeth — but I don’t anticipate those until 6 months+.  She does a tripod sitting thing, so technically unassisted sitting.  And showing all signs of readiness for solids so that will be starting very soon!

month 5

month 5 outtake1

month 5 outtake2

Alright, alright, alright.  Onto 6 months!

Texting With J&R

John and I constantly say that we want to preserve some of our text conversations.  So, I’m going to start doing that.  It’s too hard to go back into our iMessage convo to get old messages because the good ones are buried by now, so here’s a recent one.  John also wants to start preserving a few of our bedtime conversations — be on the lookout for that.

Here we go… keeping all cases & grammer the same as on the phone.

 

R:  Mike just gave me Thai Lime Cashews and they are the best thing ever. From trader joes. We need them in our life all the time.

J:  You put that in a way only you could. But ok.

R:  What?

J:  We need them in our life all the time.

J:  Is what you said.

J:  About cashews.

R:  Yeah.  I still don’t understand. But they be good.

R:  Also, I love you*

R:  That’s from me*

J:  I just love your instant and comprehensive adoration for the cashews. Like- what do we need in our life all the time? Love? Charity? Compassion? Companionship?

J:  Nope.

J:  Nuts.

J:  But I love you too!

R:  Not just any nuts. Thai lime cashews! So EFFIN good!

R:  Also my phone autocorrected EFFIN to all caps

R:  See it did it again

R:  Hermione Granger Weasley** knows what’s up

J:  She’s learning!

R:  She’s the most smartest

 

*The Office reference. We speak in those often.
**my iPhone’s name is Hermione Granger Weasley.

#OperationHotMother

Let me hit you with some science:  Eating out a lot and having a fairly sedentary lifestyle makes you gain weight.  Getting pregnant makes you gain weight.

Let me hit you with a Rhianna Fact:  I did both of those things and I gained weight.

Before I got pregnant, I was already weighing in more than I ever had in all my young life.  I blame John entirely. ; )  Let me assure you, he blames me for his weight gain too!  We met each other when we were both our unhappiest selves.  After we met and started dating we started our journey towards being our happiest selves.  That was, and is, still, awesome.  But along that journey, the scale started creeping up.  We packed on some weight at the beginning of our courtship when we were going out to eat for almost all of our meals.  By the time we had settled in at our little red house in North Carolina, both of us were probably around our heaviest.  From there we went on streaks of trying to be healthy and we had mild success — we’d prepare only healthy meals, we wouldn’t go out to eat, we’d work out and – lo and behold – we’d lose weight.  But then something would throw a wrench in the plans, usually travel or having visitors, and we’d go back to our unhealthy habits and gain the weight back.  After awhile we stopped really caring too much because we were happy.  Very happy and we loved each other so whatever and stuff, right?  But we were unhealthy.  Wedding planning and then baby planning got in the way, yet again, of us being healthy.

Pregnancy kinda jump started something in my brain though and I realized I wanted to be healthy.  I tried to be good during my pregnancy, always conscious that I was growing a human, and I did a pretty good job — I gained the weight “allowed” for my body type and didn’t go overboard, but like I said, I started at the heaviest weight for me.  So at the peak of pregnancy, I weighed… a lot.  If you think I’m one of those people that is going to tell you what I weigh and all that — I’m not.  Nor will I ever.  You will get no stats from me.

Once Lady L greeted us Earthside, I continued to try to be my healthiest self.  I still had a human depending on me for all her nutrition.  I want her to be healthy, so I have to be healthy.  As it turns out, exclusively breastfeeding is amazing for weight loss.   By 6 weeks postpartum I had lost all the baby weight and then some.  Even more by 8 weeks postpartum.  By the time I was three months postpartum I was weighing in at least 10 pounds lighter than before I got pregnant.  And just a week ago I saw the smallest number on the scale I’d seen since moving to North Carolina (I’ve been here three years).  I’m continuing to steadily lose weight and I’m only a passive participant in this loss, I credit it all to breastfeeding.  I have been eating fairly healthy but I have not been counting calories nor denying myself treats.  I didn’t want to be a calorie counter for the first few months of motherhood, I had too many other things on my mind plus I wanted to establish a good supply of milk for my baby.  I’ve not really been exercising, but I have been going for more walks because I enjoy it.  Now that L is almost five months old, I’ve decided to become an active participant in this weight loss.  I’m going to start #OperationHotMother.

The weight-loss is still very steady, but it has slowed down a lot.  Starting June 1st I plan to help it along and get it at a faster pace again.  I’m going to be eating clean — no sugar whatsoever, nothing processed, and no dairy.  The no dairy part is mostly because I’m very sensitive to it and for my own comfort I need to quit it all together, not as much for weight-loss.  I don’t actively seek out dairy, unless I have a (rare) craving for ice cream, but it’s hidden in so many things that I will now start avoiding.  I’m also going to continue walking every day (when I walk I do 2 miles in our neighborhood) and some toning workouts 2-3 times a week.  The main thing I’m focusing on first, though, is no sugar for the month of June.  None – AT ALL – unless it’s naturally occurring.  June is only 30 days long so I think I can do it.  I also have a co-worker doing this with me.  I’m at such a better place mentally to be starting a weight-loss path.  I have such a great respect for my body after creating, carrying, delivering, and now sustaining another life.  I used to be so mean to my body, but now I am so happy with it, if I become healthier and I still look as I do right now I will be just as happy.  I’m truly, for the first time in my life, trying to lose weight to be healthy and not for any other superficial reason.

John is doing extremely well on his weight-loss journey, but that’s his story to tell.  It’s nice to see a real lifestyle change in both of us since L was born, so our healthier habits have stuck since January (way longer than our streaks of the past).  Something that has helped John out a lot is his Fitbit Flex.  He’s letting me borrow it for the month of June though – I’m excited to try it out.

So here’s to #OperationHotMother!  Starting Sunday I’m going to be super strict about my diet and exercise.  I’ll update about it periodically throughout the month and hopefully it will continue after June ends.  I’m writing about it here because it will help encourage me and keep me accountable.  I’ve also made sure to tell all my coworkers that I’m giving up sugar and they are very supportive.  I’ve read the best way to make a change is to tell people what you plan on doing so you have that motivation to stick to it.  Here we go!!!