18 months old! (3 days late)

Wasn’t sure I’d do one of these again, but it is a milestone in my mind!

Health: Nervously waiting to see how she fares when she goes to school next month. Moving from exposure to 3 kids to exposure to more than a dozen is definitely going to bring on more colds and not so fun stuff. She’s been on daily Miralax for a couple months now, I don’t want to back down yet because she still has a tendency to hold her poop (seriously, she can wait 2 days while on the stuff, then have a giant diaper!) and her new school pushes for early potty training. That plus constipation could equal disaster.

Growth/Feeding: This kid can EAT, but her growth has definitely slowed down as expected in the second year of life. She’s about 21.5 lbs and 31″ tall, a bit below average for our ethnic background. Her feet finally seemed to grow in the last few months, so there were a couple pairs of shoes she never even wore, since she had such a delayed start to walking. She’s only gained 2 teeth in the last 8 months so a grand total of 10. The bottom molars have looked swollen for 5 months but they still haven’t broken through yet.

She still nurses in the morning and right before bed. I am definitely ready to stop the morning feed, but any attempts I’ve made recently are met with screaming and non-stop tantrums. She is just not ready. I honestly think the only way we’d be able to stop those is for me to not be home when she wakes up, and that just won’t happen anytime soon. She is thankfully not terribly picky, though certainly has a preference for pasta, bread, and fruit, like many toddlers. I don’t stress about the almost non-existent dinners these days since she often eats double helpings at Mrs. K’s. We’ll see how she likes the lunches at her new school. Getting her to drink water is still an insane struggle. She gets 12 oz of cow’s milk a day, only because she sees the other kids drinking it at daycare, and it’s the only surefire way of getting Miralax into her.

Sleep: Bedtime is still pretty consistent, from 7:30pm-6:30am, though she usually rolls around in her crib for a half hour before she falls asleep. We’ve been dealing with more night terrors in the last couple months, thanks to sickness and fighting naps, so I sucked up the cost and bought a Lully Sleep Guardian 2, which has worked beautifully, and takes the guesswork out of scheduled awakenings, without risking her not going back to sleep. Naps are usually 12-2pm, occasionally until 3pm if we are really lucky.

Development: I’d say she has maybe 30 words or phrases, I don’t keep track that well. We have to be really careful around her now, because she does pick up and understand so much more. She sings along to her favorite songs (in tune!), loves to dance and play on our piano, and is super affectionate, very generous with hugs and blowing kisses. She can feed herself decently with a spoon, but still likes us to feed her or uses her hands for speed, ha! She’s getting more confident with walking in the last couple weeks, but still likes to drop to her knees, and is hesitant to stoop and recover. Physical therapy has been really helpful, even after just 4 weekly sessions. We have 2 more left this year, and sadly we learned her therapist is leaving at the end of the year. Unfortunately they do not know if they will be able to find another therapist who can take her, so I’m debating how much to push them, since the visits are covered by our insurance through April. Our local My Gym recently reopened, and she loves going there Saturday mornings. It is helpful, but certainly not the individualized attention she gets from PT.

Daycare: C has 2 more weeks at Mrs. K’s, though with Mrs. K’s appointments for her knee prior to her surgery, C will end up attending only 8 out of the remaining 10 days. She’ll start at the new Montessori in January, along with her 2 best girl buddies from Mrs. K’s! Not too surprising, since no other facilities had openings available. That should hopefully ease the transition for all of them. I’ll be taking her for a quick meet-and-greet with her teacher in a couple weeks before the winter break, when I drop off all her forms and pay for lunches. Food isn’t included in the tuition cost, but thankfully there’s an option to order lunch, which I will gladly try for now! We just have to provide one class snack every month too. I’m most nervous about the requirement to only send training pants, and no diapers. I bought a pack, but haven’t tried putting them on her yet. Guess we’ll try the last week of the year, and hopefully they’ll fit OK.

Parenthood: I’ve finally ventured back into aerial. It’s wonderful to be back, and my body remembers so much more than I thought it would. I have more strength left than I thought I would, being gone a year from any physical activity, but my endurance and tolerance for pain definitely need to build up. Hoping I can go twice a week sometimes on my reduced work schedule. I’ve only managed to make it back once a week because it falls on a Sunday at nap time.

I am officially cutting back to 8/10 starting next Monday. It doesn’t mean much this month, since I’m working a full extra Saturday in a couple weeks, am on vacation the 3rd week, then will be working overtime (12/10!) the 4th week while the other half of my colleagues takes their holiday break. Thus is health care. Is it any surprise I would discourage C from going into this field?? Rewarding, yes. Exhausting, unfortunately. Worth it… if you can find the right balance. And that’s what I’m hoping will happen, but of course guess who was asked to work 2 more weekend shifts in January. Seriously. I’m so f’ing over it!! If I could convince hubby to move somewhere cheaper where I could work half-time, that would be lovely. But then he’d be up a creek trying to find a job he loved as much as his current one. So here we remain. Maybe his company will continue to do so well, that he’ll get a massive raise and I could cut back to 6/10? Ah, to dream…

My group held a really good seminar on preventing physician burnout recently – one of the most helpful and practical I’ve attended. Implementing some of the techniques has helped with my happiness at work, though honestly it could just be that we’ve hit an odd lull around Thanksgiving. I actually left work today with all my charts completed! Anyways, the lecturer urged all of us to schedule 2 date nights a month. I can’t even remember when we had our last date night. September I think, for hubby’s birthday. I did buy tickets for the Total Package Tour, but that’s not until June. When I looked at my schedule this month, I’m either working every Saturday, or we have other obligations. So we’re going to take advantage of free babysitting while visiting my parents for the holidays – I bought tickets for a fancy dine-in movie theater to watch Rogue One. Then maybe we can convince C’s godparents to watch her once a month next year. That would be lovely.

1 YEAR!

Health: She came down with a cold on Mother’s Day, then later that week developed an ear infection. Thankfully the Amoxicillin worked pretty quickly for her. The sad part is I probably gave her the cold, and it’s been almost a month and I’m still hacking. Yay, allergies and asthma! She’s unfortunately developed some pretty persistent constipation, thanks to not drinking enough water while eating solids like crazy. I found a concentrated prune juice extract that’s easy to get into her, but even then, she cries and strains a fair bit if we aren’t careful.

Growth/Feeding: She’s likely 21 lbs now, we don’t have her checkup until next Tuesday so nothing official yet. 8 teeth are fully in, and she seems to be working on some molars now. I ended up still pumping 3 times a day through this past Friday, though would stop short of 15 minutes each time, since I was naturally producing less and less over the last couple weeks, sending just 5-6 ounces a day to daycare as I tried to get more water into her. She had her last planned bottle Friday, and from here on out we’re working to just give cups. Hoping she picks up with this soon. Already have a crazy collection of 5 different cups trying to figure out what works best. She loves her solid foods these days, and had her first real taste of sugar Friday at daycare, when Mrs. K baked her a cake. Then she went all out with the sugar at her party today, and is still rolling around her crib over a half hour after I laid her down, lol.

Sleep: She sleeps pretty consistently at night from 7:30pm-6:30am. Of course today she decided to wake up early to celebrate, I think due to her teeth bothering her. Daycare naps are still an hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. At home, I can usually get her down for an hour morning nap a bit after 9am, but afternoons are inconsistent – and we are still having to hold her or at least lay next to her for these. I was shocked she slept a good 90 minutes after her party today, but she was probably worn out after all the activity.

Development: She says “dada” and “mama” specifically for sure, says “hi” and “bye” while waving, and lately after just sounding like she was humming it, actually says “uh oh” at what seems to be appropriate situations! She did finally pull up to stand starting a month ago, but definitely isn’t that interested in cruising or walking yet. She is the only non-walker in her Little Gym class, so it’s a little intimidating to watch all these kids running around her, but she seems to enjoy it. She’s very fast with crawling and can certainly go up a step without a problem. Recently she was able to maneuver a spoon with guacamole into her mouth successfully!

Daycare: Probably the best thing that happened in the last month is Mrs. K telling me I could stop sending food for lunch! C eats along with the big kids, and Mrs. K is an amazing cook – the kids eat crazy amounts of veggies thanks to her. I just send along some fruit, a few crunchy snacks, and any leftover pouch from her breakfast.

Parenthood: There is no question – I am exhausted and ready to cut back at work to 8/10 Timing is tricky though. Even if I request now, it likely won’t happen until we are able to hire more, but I think better to go ahead and ask so that I don’t regret it and work crazy overtime again in the winter. I’m tired of missing all our friends’ kids’ parties – I looked around today at all the kids happily playing in our house, and realized I’d missed every single one of their birthday parties in the last year because I had to work.

Our anniversary is next week, and we have some serious relationship rebuilding to work on. I can’t imagine not being with hubby, and he is an awesome co-parent, but we definitely need to focus on us again.

I’m not sure how often I’ll continue to blog here. As it is right now, I’m procrastinating with the 60 charts I have left open from last week.

11 months old!

Posting a day early since I have a decent cell connection right now, and our internet has been out since Tuesday!

Health: The month when Norovirus took the entire family out – enough said!

Growth/Feeding: She’s over 21 lbs based on our home scale, otherwise no official measurements until her 1-year checkup. Her 8th tooth is just peeking through the gum now. We’re on our way to a year of almost exclusively breastfeeding, something I didn’t think was possible last June. I think I will start cutting back on pumping duration next week, with the last day of pumping to be May 27. Thinking I can still manually express if I become uncomfortable. I doubt C will take the thawed breast milk by itself, but I’m thinking about using the frozen sticks to make smoothies with berries, and see if that encourages her to drink more from the cup. She continues to love solids, and it’s pretty easy to dump food on her tray and let her go for it. She’ll take the spoon and pouches also, but forget trying to give her any meat-based pouch.

Sleep: We fought through a few rough nights of crying it out after we all recovered from Noro, and OMG I’m so glad we did before hubby left for his work trip! We go through her bedtime routine, ending with nursing. She doesn’t usually fall asleep on the boob anymore, but will lay her cheek on my shoulder afterwards and I’ll just cuddle her for several minutes. Then I lay her in the crib with the white noise machine on, and she eventually falls asleep on her own after I leave the room. Naps are a completely different ball of wax still. I’ve given up hope on getting consistency at home, what with my crazy work schedule, grandma’s visits, and meeting with friends. At daycare she takes 2 naps totaling 3 hours, but always has a similar-aged buddy in the same room, so she apparently expects the same at home. Doh!

Development: Her strengths continue to be social and verbal. She loves to wave bye and sometimes hi, says “dada” and what sounds like “hiiii” frequently. She adores the 2 other little girls at daycare, and it’s really cute to see them interact. She can crawl up a step, and sometimes makes her way back down also. I’ve seen her push up into downward dog position a few times this week. Feeding herself blueberries is her favorite fine motor skill these days. She can support herself in a standing position, but we have to place her there. I still have no idea why she doesn’t pull up, and we’ve signed up for classes at The Little Gym to see if we can encourage more upright mobility.

Daycare: Going back after she missed over a week while we went out of town then Norovirus was tough. She cried every morning at drop off for a week, though Mrs. K said she stopped 5 minutes after I left. She’s become good friends with all the kids and especially the other 2 young girls.

Parenthood: Can’t wait for hubby to return home tomorrow. This was a rough week though I have to admit I’ve slept well due to having nothing to do with the lack of internet. We resolved to go on more frequent date nights, and hopefully this will bring back some much needed spark to our relationship. C’s godparents moved closer to us recently, so I’m hoping this will allow me to work more evenings and thus avoid having to work most Saturdays. The pace at work is easing up a little after the end of cold and flu season, but I’m still struggling to finish charts. Our internet is actually out at home right now, so it’s forced me to do as much as I can before picking up C from daycare. Oh, and of course we’re planning her birthday party – what was supposed to be a “small” family gathering of 20+ people is turning into a circus of 40 guests. Good thing we have the space in our house!

10 months old!

Health: Ugh, March was definitely not kind to us, with C having bronchiolitis. That was the sickest she’s ever been so far, even though the fever didn’t last longer than 24 hours. Never imagined that I’d have to call out of work 3 days in a row – it was bad timing with hubby not being able to take off any of those days, and sick kids care being full. I’m glad I stayed home with her, but I could not shake my guilt over missing so much work – especially after taking off so much just to conceive her!

Growth/Feeding: Everybody keeps commenting on how big and chubby she is, even though she’s proportionate and just a bit above average. I guess it’s because hubby and I are pretty small, lol. Her 3rd and 4th teeth made their appearance in the last week, and tonight I realized her right lower lateral incisor is peeking through also. Definitely a rough week! She continues to be a very distracted nurser, and is acting the same with bottle feeds. My pumping volumes did finally start to come down, but I’m still making enough, especially since she’s down to taking 6-10 ounces while we’re apart. The freezer is starting to get full, and I’m debating how much longer I want to deal with the time-suck of freezing in trays and sorting into bags. I’m thinking about cutting back on pumping starting in a month, just haven’t figured out exactly which session I should drop first. I’d dropped the dream-feed, but I’m debating picking it back up again since currently I manually express just so that I’m not uncomfortable overnight, and she’s been waking up really early in the last week. She’s totally into solids now, mostly table foods though she’ll take a pouch of purees if it’s mostly fruit. The girl loves her carbs, which I’d been limiting until Mrs. K told me she would stretch her arms out after finishing her snacks and grab her buddy’s snacks right off her tray! So I begrudgingly increased what I send to daycare. This of course leads to issues with constipation, which isn’t helped by the fact that she’s not consistent with any sort of cup – the spoutless, regular sippy, or straw are all in rotation right now. She actually is the best with a regular open cup but that’s obviously very messy and tough to give to her throughout the day.

Sleep: We definitely had a regression with her getting sick, and had just been back in a decent groove until the new teeth started to push through in the last week. She fights going down more, and will bang her head on the side of the crib so hard, I can’t believe she doesn’t start crying from pain! As a result, I’ve fallen asleep on the bed in her room multiple nights in a row, since if I leave and she’s not quite fully asleep, she’ll immediately sit up and wail until I come back. I don’t need to hold or touch her, but she apparently just wants me in the room, even if I’m completely ignoring her. That is, until last night when her 5th tooth started to bother her a lot, and she woke up every 3 hours 😦 Her naps at daycare are still good, but we are hopeless at home given the lack of consistency and schedule on the weekends. I fear we will never have her nap in her crib. Her best naps with us are always on the car or in the Tula with daddy :/

Development: She is definitely cautious with strangers, but usually lets them hold her if we are close by. We ran into my OB recently, and she totally let him hold her, and even laid her head on his shoulder as if she were going to fall asleep (I wish!). With family and close friends, she loves to babble, scream, and laugh. She’s a really fast crawler, especially when trying to keep up with a pet. I’m shocked she hasn’t really pulled herself to stand – hubby swears she’s done it at least once for him, but at most, she’ll get to one foot down, then changes her mind and sits. She certainly has the strength to stand but just doesn’t seem interested at all. I’m not concerned, and honestly can live with her not walking for a little while longer. The house is full of accidents waiting to happen! She’s saying “dada” and “mama” specifically pretty often now.

Daycare: Hubby took C to meet up with the old provider Mrs. N last week, and it turns out the nanny position didn’t last long – the mom wanted more of a personal assistant than anything else. However, Mrs. N sounds like she’s looking to head back to teaching instead. Thankfully C continues to do well at Mrs. K’s. It’s just really wearing on me to do both drop-offs and pick-ups every day.

Parenthood: This was a really rough month. Despite missing work for sick days, I still managed to get behind on everything, and in fact I’m now on vacation but still have 40+ charts and a slew of results to deal with before I can tackle the house. I really need to see if working part-time is feasible, because I’m currently signed up to work extra through May, and it’s looking like it’ll be more of the same until I’m caught up with everybody else by end of the summer. I need to do my self-evaluation for work soon, which will be interesting since I plan to be brutally honest. That I feel stretched too thin between work, motherhood, and the positions I’m supposed to be doing for work as well – for which I’ve barely made it to meetings for a while now. I’m really ready to give those up. We are now at that point where people are asking us about a second, and I’m not as against it now as I was, but at the same time I don’t even know how we’d swing a frozen transfer cycle with work. And of course I’d HAVE to work full-time just to make sure we could cover our bases for that. Then we’d also have to seriously consider a nanny, which I’m not enthusiastic about after hearing my friends’ horror stories.

9 months old! (a day early… whoaaa)

Health: Not a bad month all, I feel like we dodged a bullet with flu season peaking in the last few weeks, though I know we still have a ways to go, and RSV is also on the rise. She caught a cold a couple weeks ago, but at its worst, just had some thick nasal mucus. Nothing that kept her out of daycare, though of course she passed it onto me and now I’m dealing with my usual post-cold asthmatic cough.

Growth/Feeding: At her checkup this week, she was 19 lbs and 28″ long, 70%ile for both weight and height. Head is still 85%ile, thanks to her dad 😉 Her first tooth popped through on the bottom about 3 weeks ago, and its companion came a week later. Now her gums are puffy over the top central incisors AND the bottom lateral incisors. Other than gumming and drooling a lot, they haven’t seemed to bother her much at all, thankfully! Nursing is still going strong, though her sessions are much shorter and she’ll often just take one side. I’m surprised my pumping volumes are still holding strong despite this, but we’ll see what happens since I just recently dropped the dream-feed, and I’m not pumping to make up for it right now. I pump on the way to dropping C off at daycare, at lunch, and after my last patient if I’m finished early enough – otherwise it’s on the way home after picking her up. She is still taking 9-12 ounces breastmilk during the day, and just wants to hold the bottle herself to eat. She’s really taken off with solid foods, eating and loving just about everything except purees. For a while, Mrs. K was able to get her to take purees consistently, but lately it’s been hit or miss. I may just end up donating a bunch of pouches to the food bank. Nowadays, I send a lunch of soft scrambled eggs mixed with bites of steamed veggies, or bite-sized pieces of whatever my dinner is. She loves teething crackers, Cheerios (which I had no idea are iron-fortified – score!), and even dried seaweed for her snack, but her favorite things to eat are definitely fruits. The girl can suck a slice of clementine dry, and will eat raspberries until she’s ready to pop!

Sleep: So funny that just last month I wrote that she hated sleeping on her tummy. Because guess what, we have a full on tummy sleeper, though really, she sleeps in any and all positions, including with her legs crossed while propping her feet up the side of the crib, lol. She moves all over the crib in her Zipadee-Zip. And since starting the new daycare a few weeks ago, she’s transitioned to putting herself to sleep at night. We still nurse as part of the bedtime routine, but she generally doesn’t fall asleep doing so anymore. She’ll push off, and I’ll just hold her against my chest as a last snuggle before I place her in the crib. She might fuss and toss a bit, but she’s now out within 5 minutes. I’d still been dream-feeding her before I went to bed, but in the last few days I’ve stopped , and she’ll actually go 11 hours overnight without crying loud enough to wake me. I know she wakes up and often will sit up and fuss a little, based on the monitor history, but after a few minutes, she just lays back down and passes out again. Do you know how scary it is for me to write this? I feel like I just jinxed us… She naps well at daycare, about 2 hours in the early afternoon, sometimes a 30-minute nap in the morning but that’s hit or miss. I wish I could say the same for when she’s at home on the weekends, but we still haven’t been successful there. This can be exhausting, but we will take the good nights over good naps!

Development: Somebody’s stranger anxiety is finally developing, though she’s more quiet and cautious than anything else with new people. She is very mobile now, able to crawl forward, though she still prefers to sit and then launch herself forwards. Once she did this off the bed in her room 😦 Thank goodness we’d already lowered it to just a mattress on the floor. We haven’t made many other advances in childproofing the house, since we pretty much keep her in her Super-Yard or in her room – we upgraded our patio room, and there is still crap everywhere! She’s almost pulled up to a stand just yesterday, but I’m definitely in no hurry to rush her! Her pincer grasp is quite good now, she’s able to feed herself blueberries, puffs, and Cheerios without a problem.

Daycare: C has been going to Mrs. K’s for 3 weeks now, and she transitioned very quickly. While I don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling as I did for Mrs. N, there is no question Mrs. K is great with kids and they are very well-cared for. Of course, being right across the street from my office is a huge plus, though the burden is now on me for drop-off AND pick-up. What’s really cute is that C and the girl who’s just a month older than her are like BFFs already. Mrs. K has their pack & plays next to each other at nap time, and they are always giggling at each other for several minutes before they both crash. C is always much more cheerful at drop-off if her friend is already there too.

Parenthood: We’ve settled into our new routine, which unfortunately still doesn’t include much intimacy. I know we will get there, but something at my work has to give soon. I keep thinking about quitting and working per diem, but the loss of benefits is huge, and I’m too nervous to do something that drastic yet. Not to mention I take care of a good number of my friends’ kids now, and it pains me to think about not caring for them the way I do now. But at the expense of time and energy for my daughter…?  I was keeping myself afloat thinking all these extra work shifts would go away once flu season was over, but the schedulers just asked for me to sign up for 2 extra shifts a month AGAIN for May. I’ll be working most weekends all the way until then, with only a couple Tuesdays off a month. I’m getting very close to burn-out, and it’s frustrating. I know I’m not alone in this feeling – my whole department has been under a huge stress for the last 6 weeks, and everybody is working extra.  I think for now I’m going to see how things pan out once I “make up” for my maternity leave – I’m hoping that by then we’ll have more staff and more per diems to take the extra shifts, and I won’t always be at the bottom of the list, being asked to work extra again.

8 months old! (a day late)

Health: Despite flu season kicking into high gear around here, C has had a pretty good month health-wise (*knocks wood*). Hubby hasn’t been so lucky, though I think it’s mainly allergies or man-cold. I am super paranoid about bringing something home from work, so have started masking up frequently, even though it probably puts off some parents.

Growth/Feeding: Guessing she’s around 19 lbs now, she is fitting some 12-month clothes, though most of her 9-month stuff still fits. She is taking the bottle better now, I think because she realizes she can hold it herself. Averaging 9-12 ounces during our 9 hours apart now. She eats a little oatmeal at daycare, but is definitely more into finger foods and bites of food off our plates. Other than shellfish, we’ve had her try all the common allergens now, so just have to keep giving her small amounts each week. I really need to figure out a way to get her some shrimp, crab, or lobster soon. The other difficult thing is making sure she doesn’t overdo it on foods that constipate her. We gave up on the multivitamin, which went everywhere but in her mouth and stains like crazy. I feel like she’s taking in enough iron sources now to let that slide. Will ask her doc for an anemia check at 9 months just to make sure.

Sleep: She’s out of the Magic Sleepsuit, since she was able to move a lot in it. The Zipadee-Zip seems to work OK for her, if only to keep her from rolling onto her tummy as often, which she hates. No idea why she doesn’t try to roll back over. Thankfully we are back to at least 6-hour stretches at night, though her schedule is really off. She hasn’t been wanting to nap at all lately, getting an hour total at daycare. So then she crashes on the drive home, and doesn’t wake up until after 6pm. This means trying to get her in bed by 8pm is impossible. She fusses while nursing and just wants to talk, grab my face, pick my nose, etc. I’ll leave her in her crib to get a break and let her cry for 5-10 minutes, then go back in and she finally settles herself on the breast after being worn out. Ugh. Really hoping this phase passes soon.

Development: She is still a social butterfly, grinning and talking to anybody who pays attention to her. We’ll see if the stranger anxiety starts soon. She is crawling backwards, rocking on her hands and knees a lot, and has crawled forward a little bit. We finally put up stair gates, lowered her crib and the bed in her room (just a mattress on the ground now), and created a play area for her in the living room with a Super-Yard. Her pincer grasp is improving, and she’s managed to get some small puffs into her mouth by herself. Her bottom right tooth has just started peeking through the gum line.

Daycare: I thought for sure I wouldn’t have to think about this again until she was ready for preschool, but alas, Mrs. N has decided to take the nanny position that she was offered for a special-needs family. This week has been really stressful, trying to find another option. I cold-called at least 10 different places, and we put in an application at the large daycare center ($150 fee alone to apply!!). Even the large center said they couldn’t let us know about availability until after we applied and they reviewed staffing over the weekend. I’d lined up an interview next week at a larger in-home daycare near my office, a recommendation from a friend of a friend. However, when I looked them up on the state’s licensing website, I learned they’d had 3 type A safety violations (immediate danger to children), so quickly called to cancel. Every other in-home daycare was full or only had an opening for toddlers, or wanted pick-up by 5pm which is impossible for me. It’s tougher looking for smaller in-home daycares due to privacy reasons, so I signed up for a daycare referral site, and was able to find a few other listings on there. Called one named Mrs. K, and she actually had an opening for an infant. When I was writing down the info for our interview next week, and Mrs. K gave me her address, I realized she’s directly across the street from my clinic! I mentioned this in passing to Mrs. N, who asked for the name, and she told me she’d sent her own daughter to Mrs. K when she was younger, and loved her! I’m really looking forward to meeting her Monday, and really hope that we have a good fit.

Parenthood: Still status quo here. It doesn’t help that flu season is killing me at work, and I’m working most weekends because of it. I haven’t completed any of my charts from this week, and am about to accumulate 15 more when I head into work this afternoon 😦

7 months old! (a day late)

Health: C caught a cold with fever a few weeks ago, and passed it onto my hubby. Those were some rough days and nights, between calling out from work and using sick kids care for her. She’s having another cold now, but so far thankfully no fever. Just hope it doesn’t turn into the awful cough I’m seeing in many kids these days. I HATE cold and flu season!

Growth/Feeding: She was 17 lb 3 ounces at her 6-month visit, so must be about 18 lbs by now. Not much change with nursing, and I’m doing OK pumping on the way to work and at lunch. Sometimes I’ll pump before I pick her up, depending how much she’s eaten that day. She still only takes 3-6 ounces during the 9 hours we’re apart. With solids, she much prefers to feed herself, but I’m still hoping to get some purees in such as lentils or chicken, or I’ll be starting her on a multivitamin with iron next week. There’s just no way a baby can get enough iron if they’re breastfed and only doing baby-led weaning at this point.

Sleep: Uggghhh, definitely our toughest issue right now. It’s a combination of increasing separation anxiety and her being sick, along with her routine being thrown off with my sister visiting. The last few nights either she wakes up every 2-3 hours, or won’t even allow me to put her down in her crib. So beyond sleep-deprived, and thankfully my sister is driving me to and from work. We’re still using the Magic Sleepsuit at night, but she’ll outgrow it in a couple months, and then we’ll need to see how she does with just a sleepsack. She was starting to finally take some longer naps at daycare for a while, so hopefully when she goes back next week we can get into a good groove with that again.

Development: She is really chatty, and will talk to herself, her toys, and just about anybody! She thinks peek-a-boo is the most hilarious game ever, especially with daddy. Her separation anxiety is increasing, so it can be hard to walk away to do something during the day. She’s starting to try pull up to sit from laying down, so we’re going to need to lower the crib. She often gets into pre-crawling position too, and we are way overdue to do some childproofing. Really dreading installing gates for the stairs. She’s enjoying swim class with hubby so far, though mostly she just wants to hang onto a toy boat and chew on it!

Daycare: She still does really well there. Will be curious to see her reaction when she sees Mrs. N after being gone for over 2 weeks.

Parenthood: The sleep deprivation is killing us, or me in particular. We did at least have another date night yesterday. Beyond that, we’re exhausted. Hopefully one day we’ll get that spark back?

6 months old!

Half a year already?!

Health: C’s caught a couple minor colds in the last few months, not surprising given her daycare attendance and my profession. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for how miserable she’d be with her first real non-vaccine related fever. Mrs. N had warned me at pickup last Wednesday that she seemed off that day, not her usual happy self. She continued to be cranky on Thursday, and we attributed it to possible teething (still a little gum swelling and not much else). She had a very restless night, and by Friday morning when I was feeding her, I realized she felt really warm and had a runny nose, and measured a rectal temp of 101.1. She was super upset and didn’t love the acetaminophen, but managed to keep most of it down and then proceeded to nap in my dad’s arms. Thankfully she woke up feeling better and the fever never returned. The runny nose seems to have cleared up also. I can only give credit to breastmilk, I think!

Growth/Feeding: Her check-up isn’t until this Thursday, but we’re guessing she’s close to 18 lbs. She’s pretty much outgrown most 6-month clothes except for H&M, which seems to run bigger than Carter’s and other common brands. We’re still on the same feeding schedule on my workdays, and feeding on demand on the weekends. Nursing is getting tougher now because she is so easily distracted, and tends to play around and bite when she’s done or not really hungry. On Tuesday I’ll be dropping my pump times at work, and transitioning to pumping on my drive in, at lunch, and right after I finish seeing my last patient. It’s the last one I’m nervous about, since if I’m running late, it could be pretty late before I can leave to pick her up from daycare. Alternatively, I could pump on the way home after picking her up, but then that would leave me pretty empty when we get home for her feeding. We started solids last week, and so far she’s tried avocado, banana, sweet potato, and apples. So far it’s mostly purees, when I tried to give her pieces to hold she just smashed it everywhere and surprisingly had no interest in putting them in her mouth (unlike everything else). She seems to like sweet potato, but not much else. In fact, she gagged 3 times and actually regurgitated with the apple today :/

Sleep: She is still sleeping well at night, thank goodness! That is, until my parents came for Thanksgiving and she’s been in the travel crib in our room. We had a couple rough nights, and I’m hoping tonight is better since both hubby and I have work tomorrow but my parents are still here. I’ve given up hope on naps right now, I just put her on the boob or in the carrier to get her to nap when she’s showing signs of tiredness, and she’ll usually go 30-45 minutes, with the occasional 1-2 hour  stretch if we’re very lucky.

Development: She still loves to talk and adores when people talk to her, smiling and laughing up a storm. We feel really lucky that she is overall an easygoing baby – she spent 3 hours at my hubby’s team banquet without one tear or meltdown, just content to hang with me in the ring sling or be held by a few of her beloved aunties. Separation anxiety is starting to show though – during the day she cries and screams when we put her down and go to another room, even briefly. The pets are a constant source of entertainment for her, and she loves when one sits close and lets her pet them under our watchful eyes. Her sit has become really strong, I no longer feel the need to be ready to catch her from behind all the time, and she loves banging on her high chair tray. She has managed to scoot backwards while on her tummy, and sometimes I see her lift her butt up into a pre-crawling position. Her grasp has become very accurate – bath time is much more fun now that she can sit and reach for toys in there. Hoping to start parent & me swim classes soon, we haven’t heard back after I signed her up on the wait list.

Daycare: C still loves going, she’s happy both at drop-off and pickup, thankfully!

Parenthood: I wish I could say that we’ve progressed out of our rut, but not much has changed. I think I need to just suck it up one night and make a move on hubby, because it’s getting rather ridiculous. My period still hasn’t returned, but I’m still nervous, and thinking we’ll use the sponge, which I’ve used in the past.

5 months old!

How is my scrawny newborn a chunky 5-month-old already?? Will try to organize these posts a bit better from here on out, more for my own benefit.

Growth/Feeding: Another month until she has her next well child exam, so I’m guessing her weight is 15-16 lbs. There are a few 6-month onesies that are already too tight on her! Nursing is still going pretty well, while bottles are unpredictable. Schedule when I’m working is nurse at 7am, then she takes anywhere from 6-11 oz at daycare over 4-5 feedings from 8am-5pm (so thankful for a patient daycare provider!), nurse at 6pm, nurse before 8pm bedtime, and finally a dream-feed at 11pm before I go to bed. On the weekends I just nurse on demand. This seems to keep my supply up, and I average 12 oz over 3 pumps at work. Hoping I can maintain supply when I drop my blocked-off pumping times at work starting next month. C is definitely showing lots of interest when we eat, so I’m debating starting her on some solids at close to 6 months. We’ll likely do a combo of purees and baby-led weaning – really just play it by ear and offer her as much variety as possible by the time she’s 1 year old. Hoping she hasn’t inherited any of her dad’s childhood seafood allergies.

Sleep: Hallelujah for a good night sleeper – for now at least! The above night feeding routine has led to consistent 6-8 hour stretches. I can see on the monitor history that she’ll wake sometimes for a half hour or less at 4-5am, but she just whines or talks, and eventually falls back asleep on her own. She is still a crappy napper – even her daycare provider is amazed at how she gets by on such short naps. We all cheer when she naps for an hour, and that’s usually with somebody holding her! I’ve started preparing her for fall back this weekend by shifting her bedtime 15 minutes later each night starting yesterday. We’ll see how that goes. The dogs and cats will still wake up early though, ha!

Development: Where to start? She’s become very chatty, and has even repeated “ma” over and over non-specifically, but does seem to do this more when she’s upset 😛 Tons of squeals and screams, and she just loves blowing raspberries! She’s now rolled both ways several times, but is much more interested in sitting up, and can hold a tripod sit for several seconds. Anything she can get her hands on goes in her mouth, and one of her favorite tricks is to pull off her socks.

Daycare: We seriously could not be happier with Mrs. N. She’s very patient despite C’s nap and bottle quirks, and C is always really happy to go to her house. It’s really adorable how much the older boys love C – one of the other mothers told me how he refers to her as “his baby”.

Parenthood: Hubby and I are constantly struggling with the work-family balance. I hate working Saturdays, but that’s part of the deal with not having to work any evening shifts, which works out better for child care. I also basically end up on call every Friday evening since we have no back-up care options Monday-Thursday. Hubby does his best to get home by 7pm, but sometimes last-minute meetings and traffic ruin good intentions. We are content, but exhaustion and lack of time have really taken the spark out of our relationship. I’m out like a light after dream-feeding C, and hubby’s not one to wake me for anything since I sleep so deeply. The whole contraception issue still makes me nervous too, though I still haven’t seen any signs of a period since the really light flow 3 months ago. Maybe we’ll take advantage of the extra hour this weekend? HA!

4 months old!

The last month seemed to move even faster than the previous, with my return to work. In some ways, it feels like I never left, but in others I definitely feel out of it. I’ve been excused from department meetings to allow myself time to pump, so the only coworkers I see are those at my clinic. Thinking once I go back to a regular full schedule of patients in December, I’ll feel a bit more in the groove. I’ve been assigned to mentor our new doctor, and will be attending meetings for a committee I sit on soon also. I definitely do have more to say to parents of younger babies now than before, just sharing my experiences with the first few weeks, nursing/bottle difficulties, and sleep problems. Today was even more interesting with a new set of parents, who tried to have a baby for 6 years, and were finally successful with an IUI with donor sperm after having tried several IVF cycles! I shared my own experience with them, which was nice to be able to talk about.

At her checkup last week, C came in at 14 lb 5 oz (65%ile) and 24.5″ (65%ile). My poor nurse had to give her shots, but C did pretty well, and was easily consoled with nursing afterwards. She wasn’t as fussy afterwards this time, but did have a fever the next morning, which responded well to acetaminophen.

C is doing well at her daycare, being fawned over by 3 older boys and Mrs. N. She’s still not consistent with bottles and naps, but Mrs. N. insists it’s nothing out of ordinary and she continues to work with her. I’ve resolved to try and establish more of a schedule on the weekends with her, in hopes of getting her to nap for more than her usual 20-40 minute bursts. Longer naps are only possible when holding her, wearing her, or with motion (car or stroller). We need to hang blackout curtains in her room (the shutters aren’t cutting it), and I’m trying to avoid taking her out when she needs to nap, since I want her to get used to sleeping in her crib both day and night. I still try to swaddle her during the day since naps are short.

Swaddling doesn’t hold her long enough at night, but Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit seems to work the best then. Luckily I found it used on eBay. Her bedtime is now 7:30-8pm, and we had some very rough nights lately when she regressed and kept waking every couple hours. I hadn’t been that exhausted since she was a newborn! Last night we attempted cry it out, but she’s just too young still, and we stopped after 20 minutes and her fussing was getting louder and turned into all-out screaming. I nursed her down, then decided to sleep in my own bed rather than in the nursery, and put hubby on baby duty if she woke up before 2am. Lo and behold, she didn’t wake up until 4am, and my boobs were about to burst! Thankfully she settled very easily once she was fed, but then she woke up again at 6am, so at that point I nursed her until it was time for us to be awake for the day. Going to attempt to dream feed her before I head to bed tonight, and see if I can get her to stretch through MY 8 hours of sleep. Ha, if only!

Developmentally, she continues to truck along with tummy time, and really loves to look at herself in the mirror on her toy. She surprised herself and us by rolling to her back a couple times from her stomach, but hasn’t tried again in a week. She has no trouble spinning herself in a circle on her back, and unfortunately this is often what wakes her when she accidentally jams her feet into the crib bars. Just about anything she grabs has started making its way to her mouth, and she especially loves gumming on burp rags. It used to be only daddy could make her laugh, but now she is laughing more consistently, such as when I blow raspberries on her belly or tickle her. She is always on the alert in new settings, wanting to check everything out, and smiling at people who talk to her. We’ve heard a few “ba ba” and “ga ga” sounds, so hoping “ma ma” and “da da” will come soon!

Breastfeeding is still going strong. I’m able to pump more than enough at work, so I have to scald what I pump Thursdays and Fridays, and froze 12 ounces at the end of last week. She just isn’t consistent with the bottle, sometimes guzzling all 3 oz in one sitting, other times taking an ounce every hour. Yesterday when I picked her up from daycare, she hadn’t taken much at all, so I ended up nursing her before we left to go home. I have a feeling Mondays will be rough as she adjusts from nursing all weekend, even though we still offer one bottle a day. She takes it very halfheartedly then just wants to nurse as much as possible the rest of the time. Granted, even nursing sessions are tougher now, because she’s so easily distracted. She’ll turn to grin at one of the pets or daddy, while still keeping my nipple in her mouth – ow!

Finally, a lot of random blather about mysef. After making a surprise appearance at 8 weeks postpartum, I have not had another period again. Bladder control is better other than with exercise and sneezing. We still haven’t broached having sex, but maybe now that I’m sleeping in our bed again, we’ll find the time when we’re both in the mood? Frankly I’m terrified of how it’ll feel, but I need to just do it to get over it I guess. I’ve been holding steady at 5 lbs above pre-fertility treatment weight for the last couple months, and still much prefer dresses to pants, though I can fit my pants from when I was on Clomid and hormones. I was pretty mortified to be asked by somebody how far along I was recently. I doubt I will lose any more weight until I stop breastfeeding, since it makes me very hungry. I feel like I’m eating more than I did in my 3rd trimester! We are making it to one stroller class a week, and I walk the dogs with C in a carrier when I have the time and energy. I tried weightlifting once a few weeks ago, and just felt too loose everywhere to really maintain good form. So weird that I feel more loose now than during pregnancy! As for aerial, one class is moving to Sunday evenings in mid-November, and I already told hubby he will be on bedtime duty those nights since I’m aching to get back to some flying, even though I’ll just be conditioning in the beginning to get strong enough for air time again. And while I don’t have any bald patches, my hair is definitely falling out very rapidly these days, and I have thinning at the temples. I went in for a much-needed haircut this afternoon, and my stylist gave me long side-swept bangs, and chopped off a few inches too, giving C a little less to hang onto. I do get me time in the form of a massage once a month, but for now that’s it. And with that, I need to shower and feed C before I go to bed!