Friday, July 18, 2014

Five months

So far Ladybug's days as a five month old have been pretty chaotic and it will only get worse as she heads towards the six month mark. We've been busy going through all our stuff to decide what is being donated/sold versus what goes with us. Then the stuff that goes with us has to be sorted into what goes into suitcases, what goes on a plane and what goes over on the boat. I may write a whole separate post about all this craziness cause it's certainly been an adventure!
Meanwhile L and I are trying keep up with our normal routine of playgroups, swimming and the gym. She only has two more swim classes before she graduates and it feels SO weird because she's been going since she was 7 weeks. I'm more and more aware of how time is just flying by. 
Food: L is not as into nursing during the day, especially if she's on the verge of overstimulation. She pulls back with this dramatic suck noise and it does not feel good. However when she's tired and hungry she will totally curl into me, I'm talking feet up on my body, often clutching my finger/hand/arm. I feel like these baby snuggle days may be limited so I take full advantage, stroking her hair and sometimes singing softly while she nurses. 
She is doing so well with her solid food. I really want to try Baby Led Weaning after we get over to Germany but I admit I'm spoiled by the ease of purées. And by ease I mean ease of mind because I'm not worried about her choking. R is making a lot of her purées and he is so cute with all the thought and effort he puts into it. We have yet (knock wood) to come across a food she straight up refuses although she really does enjoy her oatmeal without something mixed in. It doesn't matter if I mix some fruit or a veggie, she happily eats it as long as it is not plain. We are also working on small sippy cups, with one of them she has no idea how to get the water out and the other she has figured out the spout and happily sucks on it, though she gets very little from it. The ped said no more than two oz of water a day and I doubt she does one. One of the moms in our playgroup suggested a straw cup that her daughter loves but for now I think I'm going to stick to what we have. I also got ambitious one afternoon and made teething biscuits - when she "bit" off a hunk I totally freaked out and then shoved the rest in one of her mesh feeders. As I said, so nervous about the whole choking/gagging aspect of food. 
Sleep: let's just not go there. It's a mess. She seems to have transitioned recently from three naps to two but this could be because of all the chaos going on. My mommy group friends say their little ones are also down to two naps, so who knows. She's been waking around 6 all week which is so rare for her and it takes both me and R to get her back down. Even then it takes 20-30 minutes but then she sleeps until her normal 8-9. 
Play: My little bug is so active now. She still loves her play gym and jumperoo. She outgrew her Bumbo weeks ago. She is enjoying any toy that rolls and stuff that makes music. I'm holding on to a few toys so that on our flight she has some new stuff to keep her attention. The only bad thing I notice with her playing is that she bangs her face with the toys she is holding. Apparently it is somewhat common but that doesn't mean I like it. She's also very vocal now and while I know that her saying mamamamamamama doesn't mean anything because she's exploring sound my heart melts a little every time she does it. Most of her sounds are vowels but we have some Babababababa mixed in with her exploration of M. I've been signing with her for quite a while but she is not yet signing back. 
As for me I gained back the weight I lost because between vacation and moving I haven't been too good about the gym and healthy eating. Sigh. I feel doomed to stay at this weight forever but instead of completely giving up I am trying to keep up with my food log and doing even little walks since it's better than nothing. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Let's talk about...(continued)

A while back I talked about my experience getting back in the saddle after getting the okay from my midwife. It's interesting because having Ladybug around certainly adds an element of challenge but overall I think now that we are 5 and a half months postpartum things are much better than they have been in a long time. I was fairly lucky during my pregnancy because I didn't lose my sex drive but after a while things cooled down mostly because it was hard to find a comfortable position. So goodness! No worries about navigating around the belly and finally no thoughts about TTC. Haven't operated under those conditions in about 3 years. 
Confession time - still haven't done anything about birth control and now that Ladybug is getting older it seems more of a necessity. I figured the newborn days would be the hardest but I find I am a lot more exhausted these days compared to back then. She's not even mobile yet so I can only imagine what those days will be like. After a LOT of hemming and hawing over it I think I want to go with something like an IUD. Last thing I need is another pill to worry about, even though there are good ones you can take while nursing and I hear it can be good with PCOS. The reality is I haven't been on the pill consistently since high school (pre-PCOS) so I don't have evidence for myself one way or another. Given our ages I feel like going on birth control closes the door on a sibling for Ladybug but most days I am feeling pretty good about it. Being an only (kind of, since she has half siblings) isn't as bad as some make it out to be, eg spoiled, unable to play with others, etc. Most importantly she will have parents that aren't stressing out about cycles and all the monitoring another pregnancy would require. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Who says you can never go home again?

Every summer there is a trip north to see family. Sometimes I go alone but last year R made the trip and we told our family and friends the good news we had almost given up on. 
So now, with our sweet girl here and an impending move across the Atlantic we were even more excited about the yearly adventure. 
As soon as we crossed the state line into Maryland (about twenty minutes into the trip) L started crying and from there on out I stayed in the back seat with her. I missed the long talks R and I would have when we drive long distances but we quickly realized that road tripping with a baby was a whole new ball game. 
Thankfully when we stayed in NY we stayed with friends so it was easier to stick to her routine. Unfortunately as we crossed into MA I realized R had left
our new umbrella stroller at our friends house. He actually toyed with the idea of just buying a new one because it would add at least two hours onto our trip to retrieve it. Back to that later. 
While Ladybug did not enjoy the car aspect of our vacation she loved the attention and was remarkably well behaved during brunches and dinners we had with various people. At one brunch I swear I didn't hold her for at least an hour as she got passed from one person to the next. In this particular branch of R's family tree there aren't many babies so as you can imagine she was a big hit.
Having grown up on the Cape I had hoped to take L to one of the many beaches but unfortunately you couldn't get anywhere near one without a beach sticker. Womp womp. I'm still holding out hope that L can experience sand in her cute little toes before we leave in late August but it seems like time is just flying by. We had dinner with one of my oldest friends, her husband, and sweet baby boy who was born in late November. She was such a godsend in those early days - checking in about breastfeeding and always there with a supportive word. Her son is a tiny peanut - despite being two months older L is taller and weighs about three pounds more. We often Skype so the babies have seen each other but it was even more cute to watch them in person. 
The ride home unfortunately was absolutely dreadful. We had slowly made our way to the Cape, stopping every four hours or so to see friends/family and stay the night. But R had the idea that we should try to drive home from the Cape which normally takes 8-9 hours without baby stops and don't forget we had to stop back in upstate NY which was not on the way home and retrieve the stroller. 
I think it took about 15 hours. That's all I will say about that. 
But in the meantime, here's my baby doll in NY. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Four months

I swear, I have the best of intentions of doing these posts in a timely manner but it never quite works out. In my defense R has been gone the last ten days so my free time has been nonexistent. Without further ado..

I posted last time about our adventures with food, so fun!

Stats: 26 inches (90th percentile), 16 pounds, 3 ounces (80th percentile) and whatever her head was I remember it was 85th percentile. Most people are shocked when I say she's four months because she's such a big, alert baby!

Sleep: I'm sad to report that the 4 month sleep regression is real and it is terrible. We are still dealing with it. My kiddo that slept 6-7 hours before a feeding is replaced by one that wakes quite a few times during the night. If I wasn't already addicted to Starbucks, this month pushed me over the edge! I actually earned gold status on my card because I have been going so often!

Play: Ever since rolling from tummy to back quite a while ago L has given up on rolling and prefers to work on moving her legs in an effort to scoot. She hasn't quite figured it out yet. Her feet finally touch the ground in the jumperoo and she loves it! She seems more interested in books now and LOVES her Fuzzy Bee cloth book. She also chews on her Sophie for long periods. Otherwise she doesn't seem too interested in some of her other toys. 

Major events: We are going to see some family in a few days and we are excited for them to meet L and take lots of pictures!

As for me..I kinda slacked last week and didn't weigh in but today I noticed I am down 2.5 pounds which means only
5 to go til my pre-pregnancy weight. Some of my shorts are still pretty snug but I've incorporated some running into my workout and I think overall the big impact has come from lifting weights. 


 After a lengthy discussion with our pediatrician we decided to start solids. She's such a big girl and the dr emphasized just trying it out and seeing how she responds. Well, she kinda hates the oatmeal with breastmilk, which breaks my heart since I figured it would be a good use of my stored milk. Out of
curiosity I tried the cereal with my milk and some food mixed in and it was a hit. We started with dinner time and just yesterday added in a "lunch" time feed. But I only do cereal at dinner. So far she's had: peas, green beans, apple, banana, sweet potato, carrot, spinach and mango. Some of the food R has steamed and puréed himself, some is Gerber good we got from our shower and then the mango is from Target. They have a great selection of pouches. We like making her food but some things are easier to just buy. I've been loving the Plum Organics pouches and pick up a few on sale - mostly ones that have grains mixed in. But those won't be until later. 
Since the movers come for our stuff in three weeks (eek!) we did not unpack our high chair and choose instead to use the Bumbo we are borrowing from a friend. At first I used bibs with her, even the plastic kind but found by now that it's easier to just strip her down to her diaper. 

Interestingly enough she's so hungry at lunch time she makes less of a mess so
I don't have to worry about multiple baths. But some days at dinner...good grief! 

In other food news we were also encouraged to introduce a sippy with water - L is allowed up to two ounces of water and while she is getting the hang of the cup she is not drinking even an ounce. She loves it so much though and we practice maybe twice a week. 

In terms of nursing we are still doing well. I've pretty much given up on pumping because it's inconvenient and I don't really use a whole lot of my stored milk. I'm not away from her long enough! Sometimes on weekends that R is home I have to pump when I go to the gym  it that's about it. Ladybug has been pinching me during the day when she nurses and that has been driving me nuts! Some mamas have suggested a teething/nursing necklace so she has something to play with but now that my paid leave is over I find myself more picky about what I spend money on just because it's not mine technically. R has been great about things so I know if I really wanted it there wouldn't be an issue. In the meantime I try to give her other things to grasp like my finger or a blanket. Sometimes it works!

Friday, June 13, 2014

And then it happened

I thought about taking a picture, but what infertile needs visual of a HPT with a BFN? 

Over the last week or so I found myself experiencing some weird stuff that made me wonder/worry that perhaps I was one of those infertility unicorns that becomes pregnant naturally soon after having a baby. There are a few sets of Irish twins floating around in the family and since Ladybug is four months old it's certainly not unheard of. I spent the week alternating between moments of glee - (yay! A sibling for ladybug!) and moments
of sheer terror (I haven't lost all
my baby weight! It's too soon! We are
moving to Germany!) I may have even spent some time online looking for a big sister shirt. Not a lot of time though because L keeps me very busy. 

Finally I broke down and bought a test. Target brand but digital. The checkout lady looked at me like I was crazy since I was wearing L in the ergo when I bought it. I've used very few HPTs during my time TTC Ladybug, preferring to let Aunt Flo's arrival announce the failure of a cycle. But since my period hasn't started back yet I needed to know one way or another. 

Waking up Thursday morning to take the test brought me right back to last June when we had our BFP but alas we had a different result this time. I'm not sure how I feel about it but I know I am not ready for the rocky road of TTC 2. This week was too stressful!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

GR is leaving for 10 days this Saturday
so we celebrated Fathers Day yesterday. Last year we already knew we were pregnant on Fathers Day so I had done a card and we went to breakfast. But this year I knew I wanted to up the ante a bit. The only challenge for me was that I didn't want to buy something for him. As a new SAHM I felt weird in essence spending his money on him. So I decided that Ladybug and I would make something. This is challenge because I am not a crafty gal. Yet I set off to Pinterest for ideas. Once I narrowed down the ideas I then turned to my new moms group for ideas. 
I went with a frame that had L's footprint and handprint along with a sweet poem I found that basically spoke to how small her hands are now and all the things they would do together. Very sweet. Then Target had a section of cards from little ones so I wrote about some of the things they like to do together and on the back I wrote about how there's been this whole new dimension to my love for him when I see him interacting with L.
Those first almost three weeks he was home was a blur of adjustments, no sleep, recovery, and him preparing to leave. And then he was gone for many weeks. When he finally came back he had a hard time adjusting to her. She was in this fussy period, and I swear it was like he had his own version of PPD. He really struggled with her and it was obvious that he was unhappy. 
Thankfully with time it has gotten so much better. He has started making baby food to freeze for when the time comes, they read together and of course he plays with her in such a daddy kind of way. That rough and tumble kind of way that moms don't tend to do but that kids need. He's also expressed that he feels left out because I breastfeed (his older kids did formula) so I try to pump even though it's uncomfortable so that he can do a bottle or two on the weekends.
I feel so fortunate that L has such a great daddy!