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Nine Months, Wot Wot

New Things !!:

TWO TEETH! They’ve broken through and if you peer closely, you can even see them in our gaping smile. It’s so good. She’s starting to figure out how to use them to tear chunks of food apart, which is great. Today peaches, tomorrow – the world.

Crawling is happening. She’s got arm-over-arm army crawl and can progress in a straight line when she’s sufficiently motivated (see: mommy has her laptop open!). Occasionally she gets her butt up in the air, but hasn’t coordinated that with her front yet.

Standing is not so much. At her 9 month appt, the dr encouraged us to hold her and help her stand more, but she just isn’t interested. I have to hold her by the armpits, even though I can tell she’s clearly strong enough. Every baby in their own time, I guess.

Favorite foods still include eggs and sweet potatos, fish and chicken and pork. But now: watermelon! She friggin loves watermelon. It’s so pure.

Sitting?! Sitting!! Finally!! I don’t know if it’s from practicing in my lap or what but this weekend I just propped her up on the floor and she managed to stay that way for several minutes, correcting herself without over-correcting. She still gets super excited and topples backwards sometimes, but she doesn’t tripod or really need to hold herself up with her hands any more. She also can’t get to a sitting position on her own, but one thing at a time.

Sleep regressed for a while between the teething and the traveling and then an ear infection. But she’s getting back to two easy wake-ups again and is no longer waking up at 5am for the day, so I’ll take it.

– Her 9 month appt went really well. She’s up from the 3% for weight to 15%. Which, you know, we guessed once she seemed to gain a pound in a week and now that her ribs no longer show. They had us fill out a little questionnaire to see where she was and that was actually really helpful, because I’d been worried about her being behind, but mostly she’s only behind on gross motor. Her fine motor skills, her social, everything else she’s doing really well. And now, of course, she mastered sitting since that appointment, so she must be working on gross motor finally.

– I don’t know what’s happened (hint: solids), but she went from little to no change for three months to chugging along towards toddlerhood like a friggin freight train. Is that normal? I knew there’d be some leaps and bounds, but this feel like one huge month-long bound.

– She’s eating so much and progressing so fast that I can’t help but wonder if she was getting enough calories before she figured out solids. I’m trying not to feel guilty, but should we have been supplementing? :/ Oh well. What’s past is past and I won’t be breastfeeding again.

– Speaking of, my supply is dropping like a rock. We started supplementing a bottle of formula at daycare a month ago because I was having difficulty keeping up with 3 bottles a day by pumping, and now I’m barely able to get a bottle a day. My original goal was to make it 6 months, then 9, and stop by 1 year, but I suspect I may stop pumping pretty soon now. It’s pretty demoralizing to only get 4oz over 3 sessions, especially when each one takes 15-20min. That’s an hour out of my day for a single bottle and change. Granted, continuing to pump means I can still feed her on weekends etc, but actually… even then it doesn’t seem like she’s getting enough. :/

– Anyway.

– As far as my non-baby-related life goes, things are slightly less hectic after turning my book in. I have another book to write, but I’ve got till April, so easy peasy, right? 😛 Before things get crazy again (and my editor drops edits on me), we’re going to take a few weekends and actually, you know, try to see some of Michigan. Maybe even go berry picking, since Lady Jr can sit up now. I’d love to plop her on a blanket in a blueberry field.

Now that you’ve survived all of that, have some pics:

9 Months

Great Omaha Weekend 2017

Great Omaha Weekend 2017
(Lady Jr with her cousin, who’s only 9 months older)

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Leaps & Bounds

Quick & dirty because I am supposed to be at work:

1) Somebody has TEETH. No, not me. Lady Jr’s naps were shittier than usual last week and Sunday morning Dr Lady noticed that what she’d thought were those little white cysts had grown and were unusually sharp. As of the last time I was able to peer into Lady Jr’s mouth, two bottom teeth had broken through her gums, forming a little ridge like mountains. And she is NOT happy.

Thank goodness she can have ibuprofen now, because the tylenol is no longer cutting it. Of course, teething coupled with several days of very late night and very loud fireworks (wtf is wrong with you, Michigan??) have made us all crotchety as fuck. Poor baby was up for 2 hours sobbing and pulling at her ear last night, and after we finally got her down it was just loud booming firework after firework until 12.30. I officially hate this holiday.

2) But in less cranky news: Lady Jr has consonants! As of Saturday she’s started going “mwa mwa mwa” and “dadada” and, occasionally and to Dr Lady’s absolute delight, “BWAH!” It’s kind of really freaking adorable.

3) Lady Jr is very haphazardly army crawling. She would reach with one arm and push herself up on her toes and kind of topple forward, but now she’s coordinating that into two, even three topples and is making movement forward. She fixates on computers and phones, probably because, aside from her, that’s what her mommies pay the most attention to. ^^()

4) We’re up to three meals a day and she demolishes pretty much anything and everything. She’s now eating a meal at daycare and I am pleased as punch at how impressed the daycare ladies are with her and her eating. She may be behind on everything else (or at least it feels like it sometimes), but at least she eats. One daycare worker tried to cut up her chicken for her, but Lady Jr grabbed it and shoved it into her mouth before she could and then it was gone.

5) Probably because of all the solid food, she has chunked up and definitely gone through a growth spurt. Yet she’s still the runt at daycare. Her 9 month appt is next week and I am super curious to see how big she is now.

Have some baby pics:

july-9

june-46

I cut & dyed my hair last week, so figured it was time for some updated author photos. Of course, what do you do with a baby during pics? I held her through all of them, although not always as prominently as here. This was just one of my favorites:
july-18

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Eight Months!!

june-29

Day in the Life with an Eight Month Old

1.30am Baby starts babbling to herself. I go in and nurse her back to sleep.

4.30-5.15am Baby starts babbling to herself. I get up and pump lefty, waiting to see if she’ll go back to sleep. 80% of the time, she rolls around for 20 minutes and then goes back to sleep. If she’s still awake when I’m done pumping, I go in and nurse her back to sleep.

5.30am-6.30am I write/edit, keeping one eye on the monitor. If Lady Jr wakes up before 6, I let her talk to herself for a little while – unless she starts crying.

6.30am-7.30am I make breakfast and prep bottles while Lady Jr hangs out with me in the kitchen. Usually I have to find something for her to eat while I’m still making her breakfast. She friggin loves sweet potato and soft egg yolks. She’ll eat almost any kind of protein, but fruit? Bah.

7.30am-8am The last hectic push to get Lady Jr and Dr Lady out the door by 8. We have a pretty flexible schedule, but life is easier if we get Lady Jr to daycare before 8.30. This push involves everybody getting dressed, nursing Lady Jr, changing her into a disposable for daycare, and Dr Lady packing up. We’ve been getting better at it with practice.

8.10am-9am With Lady Jr and Dr Lady gone for the day, I finish cleaning up the kitchen and get some exercise in. T-F, I alternate runs and lifting.

8.50am Shower.

9am-6pm Work at home. On Tuesdays, I write, so my day is a bit more free form and interspersed with chores for breaks. W-F, I work for my day job and spend 90% of my time chained to my desk for meetings (okay maybe not quite 90%).

5.30pm Dr Lady picks up Lady Jr and brings her home. I pretty much stop working whenever Lady Jr gets home, but some days Dr Lady takes her into the kitchen and starts dinner time while I finish something up.

6pm – 7pm Winner winner chicken dinner! We try to give Lady Jr whatever we’re eating that night, but she’s been getting pickier, so we have some backup veggie purees in case she refuses everything. After dinner, we clean her up and start bedtime, which is some version of boob-bath-book, not always in that order. Then we put her in her crib, kiss her forehead, and tell her good night.

7pm-9pm 90% of the time, Lady Jr rolls around for 10-20min talking to herself before falling asleep. We usually return to the kitchen to do dishes and clean up. If she’s not asleep by the time we’re done – or gets upset – we go in and check on her. After dishes are done, we sit together on the couch and – you guessed it – work. I write/edit, Dr Lady runs generations and/or annotates genomes. I’m in bed by 9, if not sooner.

11pm-12am Lady Jr wakes up and I go in and nurse her.

 

New Things I’ve Noticed:

– Lady Jr has developed Intent. She does things with focus and purpose now and has invented a method of rolling and rotating to get to things she wants.

Crawling is still in the proto leg kicking stage. Lady Jr appears to have 0 motivation to learn how to crawl since she can already get wherever she wants to go by the aforementioned roll & rotate method.

– She’s making more and varied sounds, although I don’t hear any consonants yet.

– No teeth.

Sleep is pretty darn good. She goes down really easy and usually only wakes me up twice. Once a week, she only wakes me up once.

– Her core strength is pretty awesome. She loves being flown around the room.

– She is so friggin happy. She smiles and laughs and sticks her tongue out all the time.

– She also flips to breathless sobs without any warning. Most of the time she just doesn’t want to be put down.

– I didn’t know I could love her more than I already did, but I do, and I continue to love her more each day.

 

My life right now in a nutshell: work work work. But there’s an end in sight: July 1st is a major deadline for both my day job and my writing. Once that’s passed – and I turn my book in – I’ll be able to breathe again. Just don’t remind me that July is right around the corner. I might just hyperventilate instead.

 

And now, for some baby pics:

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10 Things on a Friday

May DITL

I’ve been more quiet than usual lately, even with my Strong Mom posts. While once a week seemed like too often to post about Lady Jr, once a month doesn’t feel like enough. But I’m also not sure how to group things, because she (and we) change in fits and bursts. So I’ll just randomly jot down my musings for now.

1) I think we’ve entered a leap. Someone is super fussy and only wants to be held and has started crying when we do diaper changes / clothing changes again. Which is unfortunate, because the whole eating solid foods thing has necessitated more clothing changes than usual. She reaches her hands towards us when we swoop in to pick her up, though, and it’s just… ah. My heart.

2) Eating! Literally, from one day to another she went from kinda sucking on things to actually eating. Lady mentioned that she’d devoured most of a beet slice one day and I was, mmm, doubtful, but then Lady Jr chomped off a piece of avocado and *ate it*. Then she devoured most of a piece of chicken. And slurped down some apple sauce. And the next day ate two big pieces of chicken and wanted nothing to do with anything on her spoon. So she went from occasionally eating a teeny piece here or rather to devouring most of what we give her, then poking around her plate for more.

3) Oh, but her poops though. Man, we were warned, but solid-food poop is rank. It’s also so much more, well, solid and obviously difficult for her. I hope she gets used to it / it gets better soon. We’re trying to make sure she gets some veggies and fats along with all that chicken (geez girl), but I imagine her microbiome also must adjust with her intake.

4) She can sit up for a full 3-5 seconds unsupported now. Soon. Soon.

5) Sleep! Twice now, somebody has slept 6ish hours in a row. She’s reliably doing only 2 wakings a night and I think she may be dropping one of those. I actually slept 6 hours one of those stretches – the longest I’ve slept since, well, probably June or May of last year. It was amazing.

6) Somebody also sometimes likes to wake up at 2am and start running her pacifier along the bars of her crib like she’s in jail. >>

7) I am really loving 7 months.

8) Not baby-related, but life-related: I finished the latest draft of my WIP last week and it’s going out to betas soon. If they don’t hate it, then it’ll just need some light edits before I turn it in to my editor. Translation: omfg I’m going to make my deadline! YAaaaaass. I’m still not entirely sure how I actually wrote a novel with a newborn, but it happened and hopefully it is never that hard again.

Ahaha, who am I kidding, it will be.

9) There is no 9.

10) Life is actually really good right now. I miss having friends in town, but it’s not been as bad as I’d expected, especially since I’m really effing busy between baby, wife, day job, writing, cleaning, cooking, and, well, occasionally exercising. I count my blessings every single day, because I am so so lucky to be able to work from home, to have the job I do, to have the wife I do, to have all of this. I am content, but I also have things to strive for, and that is the best place for me to be.

 

One more pic for good luck:

May DITL

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Seven Months

It’s a Lady Jr update!! Someone is seven months. Hint: the baby. Someone also has a double ear infection, mild bronchitis, and the saddest coughs. Hint: still the baby. Because moms don’t get sick. Duh.

Lady Jr started out with sniffles, progressed to fever, and then on Wednesday was both very sleepy/sluggish and full of green snot, so we panicked and made a doctor’s appointment. She slept almost 13 hours straight that night (almost: she was very woefully coughing/crying at 1am and probably would have fallen back asleep on her own, but I wanted to check on her and feed her, so) and looked a lot better Thursday morning and we almost canceled the appointment. But it was a good thing we didn’t, because poor baby’s ears. So she’s on her first round of antibiotics and she’ll be back to the ped in two weeks to make sure things are better.

This morning she looked/sounded a lot better and her fever’s been gone for 24+ hours, so she’s back at daycare. I always feel bad sending her when she’s under the weather, but otherwise she’d be home half the time and I’d never be able to work, so. :/

Okay! Seven months. What do we have here. Lists!

– Lady Jr is in her own room! And by own room, I mean she’s sharing my office. And it’s going really, really well. I am getting more sleep. She is getting more sleep. She’s waking 2-3 times a night and I am already used to this. Maybe too used to it. Already worrying about future nights where she’ll be waking up more often.

No teeth! The ped briefly got us excited when she was like, “is that a tooth!” but then she realized, no, no it wasn’t. Still no sign of teeth and I am OK with that. She can wait until 1 year to teethe if she wants. That’s cool.

Food! We’re doing mostly BLW with a little bit of puree thrown in here and there. She will actually hold the spoon herself and suck whatever is on there off, so it’s spoon feeding but not? IDK. She’s had sweet potato, egg yolk, avocado, chicken, pork shoulder, pea puree, chicken broth, naan, carrot, broccoli, chicken liver pate, roast parsnip, roast beets, hummus, and probably some other random things that we’ve handed her. She looooooooves beets, it’s so friggin cute. Everything else she’s pretty happy to suck on, too, but avocados maybe not so much.

Right now we try to give her something in the morning and the evening, although not so much the last few days since she’s been sick. Also evenings are hit or miss because sometimes she’s just too tired when she gets home from daycare. But we’re trying! Really! She just seems more interested in sucking on things than actually eating them.

No crawling! But she’s starting that process, for sure. She’s rocking back and forth and occasionally pushing up with her back legs, but she hasn’t figure out that she has to lift her chest, too. Idk how much longer we have before we have to start baby-proofing. A little afraid of that, TBH.

– Overall, she just seems more aware. She’s always watching us pretty intently and I feel more and more like she’s observing instead of just staring. I think we’re even learning object permanence. Yesterday Lady was holding her at the ped and I was trying to distract her with a doll. I hid the doll from her sight and she actually craned forward, trying to find it. She’s legit never done that before, so: yay!

– Physically, since we got to visit the ped yesterday, we know she’s 13lb 8oz, which is like, teeny for this age. 3rd percentile, says the internet. Welp. I guess somebody’s gotta be on the edge of the bell curve. Her eyes are still blue, but her hair is turning white-blonde. Which was somewhat expected, since I had white-blonde hair until I was 7 or 8. Still a little weird and it makes her hair look patchy, since the white blends in.

– I love this baby so much. ❤

 

 

OMG HOW COULD I FORGET I HAVE A PIC OF HER EATING BEETS HERE HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY

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Six Months!

april-9

Six months?? Six months!! She’s no longer a squish, that’s for sure. She is a ham and a delight and I know I’ve been saying that since January, but omgosh every week she’s so much hammier.

She had her 6 month check-up this week. We have a 13# 4oz baby, which is somewhere around the 5th percentile (they marked 13# 14oz on her sheet and said 15%, but like, I watched them weigh her and that was not 14oz – also she’d been 13# 2.5oz the week before when she went in for fever/cold/rash). I think they also marked her height wrong, because she dropped from 70% to 50%. Oh well. It doesn’t matter in the long run, but she is a looong skinny baby and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.

Otherwise: ear infection cleared up on it’s own, cough is almost completely gone, basically in one of her rare, non-cold instances and feeling 99% healthy – so perfect time for shots! Yaay… boo. Our happy baby quickly became unhappy, but I think we’re through the worst of it.

Sleep

…ahahah.

Well. She’s doing a few 2 hour chunks each night, but she’s refusing to go back to sleep unless nursed, which I have only been reinforcing because a) she was sick and had an ear infection for a week or so and b) my wife was sick and needed as much sleep as she could get. But now we’re on the other side of both of those, so we’re committed to soothing and letting her cry and *not* feeding her back to sleep every 60-120min. She’s six months old. She absolutely does not need to eat 6+ times a night.

But even with just getting those 2 hour chunks most nights, I feel 100% better. More like my usual self. I’ve been able to start organizing the house and even think about cutting down on some of the clutter we’ve accumulated since we moved and some of the clutter we brought with us and really shouldn’t have. Time is still scarce, so we’ll see how much I can actually get done.

So. Sleep currently looks like this:
7pm bedtime
9pm wake up, feed
11pm wake up, feed
1am wake up, feed
2am wake up, try to soothe back to sleep, feed
3am wake up, try to soothe back to sleep, feed
4.30am wake up, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Feeding does nothing. Usually goes back to sleep after 30-45min
6.30-7am wake up for the day

Blrgh. Not ideal, but still so much better than it was. I’ve mostly accepted our lot. Problem is, there’s no room for a backslide. If she does any worse than that, my day is ruined. So we really need to work on this, I just… listening to her cry at 12am is difficult.

Anyway. Enough about sleep.

 

Solids

The doctor encouraged us to start solids, even though Lady Jr isn’t really showing any signs of readiness – she can’t sit up unassisted, she’s not very good at the pincer grasp, she’s uninterested in what we’re eating, etc. I thought that was weird, so we’re compromising by making food available, but not forcing baby to eat it. We’ve put avocado in front of her twice now and she mostly mushed it around, but once she stuck her avocado-covered fingers in her mouth, so… progress?

Idk, I think I need to do more research on baby-led weaning, since that’s the approach I want to take. Just… how much mashing, how much purees, how much gnawing? Idk.

 

Stroller

But my favorite part about six months is we’ve been cleared to go running together! I ordered a running stroller off of Amazon last week (the week before?) and we’ve been… getting used to it while just walking. Man, strollers are such a different experience from baby-wearing. For one, she’s so far away. For another, I can’t feel her falling asleep or getting upset. There’s a little flap on top of the stroller cover to peer in, but I can’t see her face, so I still have to stop and go around to check on her.

She’s been… less than thrilled so far. She’s gotten upset both times I’ve taken her out in it. I assume all I can really do is keep taking her out on short walks, but I miss having her snuggled up next to me. But, alas, can’t run with a baby carrier. And I want to run with her…

Any tips on how to make the stroller less of a scary experience for a baby? It might just be that both she and I need to adjust.

What else, what else…

 

Milestones

She grabs for anything and everything and can almost always get it. She’s started reaching, too – reaching for cups and faces and cats. She wants to touch the cats, which is new. She seems interested in them.

She can turn the pages of a board book. We’re 99% sure daycare taught her this neat trick.

She just started rolling belly to back (again), at least at night, while she’s half asleep. I don’t think she knows she can do this, yet.

High-pitched shrieking. Yeah. Not enjoyable.

Can occasionally sit unassisted for a few seconds before toppling over, vs immediately toppling.

Has started rolling over and sleeping on her belly at night. Usually this turns into a longer stretch of sleep than usual.

 

And now that you’ve made it through all of that, have some pics:

april-24

april-22

 

Daycare wanted a family pic, so…
april-17

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Sleep Training: Night 5

Ugh.

We pushed through last night. She went down without a hitch around 7.10pm. She rolled over and we watched her eyes slowly close on the monitor. But we didn’t celebrate. We knew better.

8.50pm she woke up crying. I’d been about to go to sleep. Instead, I poured myself another glass of wine and put headphones in. We started the soothing waves. No pacifier this time. 3min. 5min. 7min. 7min. 8min. I was near my breaking point. She was still crying. I said one more wave. And, as if she was just waiting for it, she fell asleep after another 2min of crying.

Lady and I stared at each other. It had taken 40min, but Lady Jr had fallen asleep. I dream fed her and went to sleep myself.

And then she woke up two hours later. An hour later. And then every hour after that. I got up at 5am to pump and write. She woke one more time at 5.30am and I helped her get back to sleep – then she stayed asleep until 8am.

So: no change. Maybe I should have let her cry when she woke up each time but after the first one I wasn’t awake enough to remember what time it was or how long it had been or if I’d fed her or not.

And now I’m sitting here even more exhausted than usual because at least usually I go to bed before 9pm. The line between functional and not is very very thin for me lately and I’ve been straddling it most days, but something as stupid as getting one less hour of sleep is enough to throw me off. And so I frantically googled for advice, support, anything this morning, but every time I read that someone’s baby “only” slept three hours or omg, maybe you shouldn’t expect baby to sleep for 10 hours at this age, I started crying. I don’t want her to sleep 10 hours. I want her to sleep 3.

Lady urged me to take a nap during my lunch hour today, but I have so much to do. And what’s 40min in the grand scheme of things when really I need a week’s worth of sleep? I need to be stronger. I have to be stronger.

I told myself we’d be done if we couldn’t get through last night, but we did. Now I’m telling myself we’ll be done if nothing improves after two more nights. I can’t think any further out than that. I’ll just keep coping as I was coping until she’s old enough – and it’s warm enough – to move her crib to the office.

Or, according to some wise soul on the internet, most sleep issues resolve around 15 months. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but only 10 more months, right? Right?

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