Tag Archives: parenting

10 Months

6 Nov

Chloe is 10 months old tomorrow!  Double digits!  She is getting so big.  I’m not sure how much she weighs but I’m guessing around 22 pounds.  

She has really begun to show her likes and dislikes.  If she wants something, she points both her arms at it and moves her legs like crazy.  If she doesn’t get it or if you take something she wants away, she cries SO LOUD.  You can typically distract her with something else, but there are some times when she in inconsolable.  I guess when I thought about parenting, I didn’t realize I would have to begin with discipline and things until she was a bit older.  Hunter and I are having to be really consistent about the things she can and cannot have (she wants everything).  For example, tonight at dinner, she decided she wanted my fork.  She was losing her mind over it.  There were tears, snot and the works.  I gave her a spoon but she just threw it in the floor.  I finally distracted her with some orange slices, but it was rough. Teaching her that when we say no, we mean it will be an ongoing battle I’m sure.

One thing she has learned though, is that she can’t chew on our iPhones.  Since she knows this, she has made a game out of it.  She likes to play with them if you leave the screen on and we’re fine with that (although she has made a few accidental phone calls from mine) as long as she doesn’t put it in her mouth.  If you’re watching her, she’ll start to put it in her mouth and start laughing until you tell her no.  Repeat a thousand times.  It’s so cute!

Food:  Pretty much the same.  She eats what we eat and she (usually) likes it.  I’m in a bit of a rut with lunch food for her and need to find some recipes for things.  Starting tomorrow, I’m going to offer her breakfast every day (we have done it some, but she hasn’t seemed interested) and hope that she’ll decide to start eating it regularly.  Also, I’m going to give her peanut butter this month.  I’m excited to introduce her to the deliciousness that is peanut butter.  I got some peanuts, roasted them and made some PB with a little bit of sea salt.  Yum!

Breastfeeding:  The same.  5 times a day.  However, nights when she has trouble sleeping, she seems to nurse at least 1 extra time, sometimes 2.

Movement and motor skills:  She is into everything.  She’ll take off down the hall and dart into a room before I can catch her.  Typically, she only does that if she’s following us, but sometimes she just decides to go for it.  She’s also developed this weird crawl where she has one foot flat and uses her other knee.  It looks funny, but I think it’s because she wants to stand up.  She has pulled up to a stand a few times, but not too much.  She seems more interested in trying to stand without holding onto anything which terrifies me!

Communication:  As I said before, she is very vocal with her likes and dislikes.  She hasn’t really learned any new syllables, but I think she’s starting to understand dada and mama.  She still says them at random things, but I think when she says them to us, she knows what she’s saying.  She has, however, started making so many new fun sounds.  I can’t describe them, but she is constantly babbling away to herself.  I have a feeling we’ve got a talker on our hands.

Sleeping:  It’s been a rough month in the sleep department.  I’ve been at a loss for what to do.  Part of it was teething (that cold I talked about last time…not a cold.  It was teeth), weather changing, separation anxiety, etc,.  She has been waking up and will fall asleep the second I pick her up.  Then she’ll wake up the second I put her down.  There were many nights when I caved and just climbed into the recliner so we could both get some sleep.  I honestly think she might have been getting cold though–I changed her into new pajamas (pants, shirt, socks, fleece sleeper) and since I did that she has slept from 7-4:30, nursed, then til 6:30.  That’s been for 2 nights, so my fingers are crossed that she’s figured out the whole sleep thing again.  Naps are the same, but I’m going to try and cut out her 3rd nap soon.

Teeth:  She has 6 (2 on bottom, 4 on top)!  She got 4 teeth in about 2 miserable weeks time.  It was terrible but we survived.  No child should have to get 4 teeth at once.  Now, however, her top eye teeth and the next 2 on the bottom are a little swollen.  There is no end to teething!  Having all these teeth has really helped her eat, though.

It has been an amazing month!  I can’t wait to see what this month brings for our little goofball.

Pictures:

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This kid loves empty boxes.

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Playing peek-a-boo in the bathtub.

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She has been obsessed with the leaves falling.

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On an afternoon walk with Mom’s water bottle.

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Waving at everyone at the grocery store.

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Watching a squirrel on the deck.

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Fascinated by the dryer.

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In her Halloween costume–a spider!

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Helping Daddy fix the plumbing.

 

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7 months!

16 Aug

Little Chloe turned 7 months old on the 7th and I’m just now getting around to writing her update.  Not too much has changed since her 6 month update, but she’s definitely learning and growing every day!

I weighed her on a home scale last week (weighed myself and then weighed me holding her) and she weighed 18.8 pounds.  I’m not sure how accurate that is, but there’s no doubt that she’s packing on the pounds.  I swear she gets longer every day.

  • Food:  She is doing great with Baby-Led Weaning.  Just in the past week or two she’s started really eating instead of simply inspecting her food.  She still isn’t eating a lot but she’s getting the hang of it.  So far she has had: banana (not a fan), sweet potato, apple, peach, pear, orange, melon, green pepper, brocolli, asparagus, spinach, kale, onion, tofu, greek yogurt, blueberry (her favorite), raspberry, strawberry, cheerios, puffs, lentil stew, soup beans, cornbread, mushrooms, toast with hummus, scrambled egg yolks, potatoes…and a few more that I’ve forgotten.  Her pincher grip is awesome now so she can eat small things now which makes it much easier for her to swallow.  BLW is exceptionally messy though!  Here are some pictures of the aftermath:

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  • Sleep:  We recently, like…last week…dealt with what I’m now certain was a combination of a sleep regression and teething.  Girl would not sleep.  She was up more than she had been since her first couple weeks of life and wasn’t interested in going back to sleep.  Thankfully, I think it has subsided.  The past three nights have been back to “normal.”  Bed between 7-7:30, up between 4:30-5, back to sleep until 6:30ish.
  • Naps:  Naps are still touch and go.  I’ve accepted the fact that my baby doesn’t take long naps.  I read about all of these Mother’s who have babies that take 2 hour naps during the day.  What?!  I’ll occasionally get an hour out of her but most of the time its 30-45 minutes.  She still naps at 9, 12 and 3:15.
  • Breastfeeding:  Still going strong.  I have to say that I’m really proud that we’ve been able to keep it up for this long.  My goal was to make it to one year and we’re over halfway there.  We still haven’t decided how long we’re going to continue after that, but we’ll see.  It just depends on how interested she is at that point.  I have officially stopped pumping though.  Chloe never took a bottle and it was just getting frustrating.  Right now she’s just drinking water from her sippy cup, but eventually, we’ll try to get her to drink breastmilk out of it.  Then almond milk.  And then we haven’t decided if we’re going to do cow’s milk at all…. oh the woes of being semi-hippies (me) and crazy paranoid about chemicals (Hunter).
  • Teeth: She has her two bottom front ones and they are adorable.  She’s currently working on the top two on and off.  Hopefully they’ll come through soon.  Teething is no fun for anyone.
  • Mobility:  She can finally roll both ways.  Tummy to back and back to tummy.  She’s figured out that she can roll to get things, but rarely does it.  She’s gotten up on all fours a few times but honestly, she seems content to sit and play.  I see all these 6 month olds that are crawling and I get paranoid that she’s behind, but I know that every baby develops differently and I need to cherish this time because soon I’ll be chasing her all over the house.

Likes: Removing each toy from her basket one by one, cell phones of any kind (but iphones are the best), running with Mommy in the jogging stroller, drinking water out of her sippy cup, plastic cups, still loves Sophie the Giraffe, music, music by Fun, Gotye, Adele, Rihanna, etc,. (all of this much to her Father’s chagrin…I need to start playing a lot of classical stuff during the day so that he’s happy), being outside, rolling around, baths, yogurt, blueberries, when Daddy comes home, watching people brush their teeth, dogs (Dixie particularly), cats (Charlie), puffs.

Dislikes:  Getting her diaper changed, putting on clothes, going to bed, her 3:15 nap, being by herself for more than .2 seconds, getting wiped down after meals.

I have a great video of her giggling but can’t figure out how to post it into this (any wordpress users who can help me out??). But here are some pictures from the past few weeks:

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Ready to run!

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Hanging out at Stir Fry

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Progress?

29 May

This weekend was an adventure.  An adventure in when not to try to figure out some sort of napping schedule.  Seriously.  Don’t do it when your child is teething.  It will make both of you miserable.  

But we persevered.  I wouldn’t say any progress was made in the napping front (although today is looking promising–already had one 1h 15min nap!) and I’ll do an update on that situation once I have been a little more successful.

We spent a lot of time outside and with family and friends.  Here are some pictures to recap:

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I went to run some errands and come home to find this…

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I keep finding her in this position when I sit her up with the boppy. Thumb in mouth, bib in hand, giraffe in reach.

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Dancing with Daddy. She is absolutely loving having Hunter home more since school is out.

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Poor thing had a hard day yesterday (teething) and passed out after gnawing my hand off. Memorial day was just too much for her!

She also finally laughed at someone other than me!  My Dad got a chuckle out of her on Sunday and Hunter got one out of her yesterday.  Thank goodness.  I was beginning to think that I must just be really funny looking.  

Attachment Parenting a la Mullins

23 May

Ever since the Time article came out and attachment parenting hit the chopping block, I’ve looked a lot closer at our evolving parenting style.  I’m not going to give you a run down of the article or critisize the implications of the cover and the story; you can find a billion of those kinds of reactions in numerous blogs and articles.   Instead, I’m going to talk a little bit about our take on attachment parenting and the parts of it that we are implementing and those that we aren’t.

Let it be known that before Chloe was born I didn’t have a plan for what kind of parent I was going to be.  I wanted to do what worked best for her and not go into it with preconceived expectations and ideas that would only result in disappointment when those things didn’t work out for us.  I was only 100% sure of a few things:  1) I was going to have a baby. 2) I would love her unconditionally. 3) I wouldn’t get to sleep for a long, long time.  I say all of this to provide a sort of disclaimer.  I don’t believe there is a “right” way to parent.  Each family is different and you have to do what works for yours.  I’m not with Alanis Morissette and the whole “attachment parenting will keep them out of therapy later” thing.  This is what is working for us right now.

Dr. Sears, who seems to be the strongest advocate of AP, outlines it with the 7 Baby B’s.  This makes it easier to talk about because I’ll have something to refer to as far as the “expectations” of attachment parenting.

1. Birth Bonding. I missed out on the “initial” period of bonding because I had a c-section.  It was unplanned and it took them a while to get Chloe to me.  I was fairly upset about it, but I knew that it was for medical reasons.  Once everything was checked out and both she and I were given the green light, they placed her on my chest.  And we bonded.  Honestly, I didn’t see any issues because we weren’t skin to skin right after birth.  I think it could be very important when it comes to breastfeeding, but I lucked out and got a baby that didn’t have any trouble.  So there’s one of the “B’s” that we did not partake in.

2.  Breastfeeding.  This one was very important to me.  Not only is it a great bonding experience for mothers and their babies, breastmilk contains a lot of nutrients that formula does not.  (Here’s where my disclaimer comes in:  I realize that formula fed babies turn out just fine.  I did.  It was important to me to try my best to breastfeed, but if I was not able to, I wasn’t going to be too upset.)  Breastfeeding has been the most difficult and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  I watch her grow and I watch those adorable baby rolls develop and I know that I made that.  I am able to sustain another life with just my body.  I don’t know how long we’ll keep it up–at least a year–and I’m not ruling out extended breastfeeding.  America has placed some kind of stigma on breastfeeding (over-sexualized); in other countries, weaning a baby at the age of one isn’t necessarily the norm.  The benefits a child gets from breastmilk continue for as long as they receive it.  Anyway, that’s another post for another day.

3.  Babywearing.  I’ve done my fair share of babywearing in the past 4.5 months.  When she was tiny, it would calm her down instantly.  Put her in the Moby wrap and she’d go to sleep.  There were nights when she wouldn’t go to bed and we’d put her in the Ergo and do laps around the house.  Now, she doesn’t always go to sleep, but it does always calm her down.  I feel like I learned her cues quicker because she was always so close to me.  This didn’t make her over-clingy; she’s becoming more independent everyday.  However, we do have a stroller and I use it often to take her on walks.  I think we’re pretty well in the middle on this one.

4.  Bedding close to baby (or co-sleeping).  Chloe slept in a bassinet beside me for the first 4 or 5 weeks of her life.  I wasn’t comfortable bed sharing with something so small and fragile.  It worked for us then.  Ultimately though, we decided to move her to her crib at a fairly young age.  Chloe was a loud sleeper (not so much anymore) and I was so tuned into her noises that I couldn’t get any sleep.  When we put her in her crib, she slept longer.  I guess the girl just needed her own space.  I think the idea of co-sleeping and bed sharing would be very convenient, especially during those early days when you’re getting up every 2 hours (or more) to feed.  It just wasn’t in the cards for us.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel right to have her down the hall, but in the end, I think it’s been the best thing for our family.

5.  Belief in the language of your baby’s cry.  This is one that I’m a stickler to.  People told me I should just let her cry, etc,. etc,.  But to me, her cry was telling me she needed something.  Sometimes it was to be fed, to change a diaper but sometimes it was simply to be close to me.  I felt like ignoring that need, whatever it was, was cruel and unnecessary.  I want her to trust us and there was no reason for us not to respond to each and every cry.  This helped me learn what her different cries mean and now I’m able to quickly figure out what she needs.

6.  Beware of baby trainers.  I know that some people swear by baby trainers.  Whether it’s Ferber, Babywise, Healthy Sleep Habits, or whatever, I know that they work for some people.  Chloe isn’t on a schedule, or at least not one I came up with.  I’ve tracked her sleep habits and feeding habits and we’ve gotten on something that resembles a schedule some days.  But Chloe is in charge and I try to pay attention to what she needs.  Again, this is just what works for us.

7.  Balance.  This is the point that I struggle on the most.  Obviously, I hadn’t been out with my husband for 4.5 months until last week.  Finding balance is going to be my goal for the next couple of months because I think it will make everyone happier.

With all of that said, I think our parenting style is a moderate form of attachment parenting. We’ve taken some of the facets outlined and modified them to fit our lifestyle.  I think most things about AP would’ve been impossible if I wasn’t able to stay home with Chloe.  And that would’ve been just fine, too.

Mother’s Day and a Mess in the Car

14 May

I had a very nice first Mother’s Day.  Chloe didn’t let me sleep in, but she and Hunter had some good presents ready for me after breakfast (hers, not mine).  I opened hers first–an adorable card with Cookie Monster on it that she signed herself, haha.  And some cordless phones for the house.  We finally got a home phone and I was refusing to use the old school phone Hunter had hooked up.  Hunter got me these:

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Every new mom needs purple Toms, right?  I love them.

We hung out around the house and then went to my Mamaw’s for a late lunch.  Chloe played in Nana’s lap.

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And played in the floor:

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She and I are going to have to talk about the most lady like way to lay in the floor.  Girl loves to pick her dress up and eat it.

Today, it was just us girls again.  Nana came for a short visit and brought some new toys.  A tray for the Bumbo and a “book” for Chloe to eat read.

She wasn’t so sure about it at first.

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Then she decided to read it.

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But finally, she did what she really wanted to do…eat it.

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After all of that fun, we made a trip to Kroger.  This is usually an easy trip.  It isn’t far, so I don’t have to worry about any breakdowns.  

This trip was different.

We made it to the store, got our groceries and got back in the car.  I noticed a little bit of traffic, but didn’t think anything of it.  Then we came to a stand still.

Being stuck in a car with a 4 month old when you aren’t moving is a recipe for disaster no matter what circumstances.  She was playing happily in the back seat, so I thought she might be okay.  But then I heard the noise that no parent wants to hear when stuck in traffic.  Her face got red and then I heard it.  A giant poop.

She’s not one to get all fussy over a dirty diaper so I thought we’d make it home without too much ado.  Boy was I wrong.  30 more minutes of not moving and she let me know that she was not happy.  But really, would you be happy to sit in your dirty diaper for 30 minutes?  I sure wouldn’t.

I let her cry for a bit, but then decided that since we hadn’t been moving, I might as well turn on my hazard lights and change it so we’d both be happier.  

I get her out of her car seat, start to change her diaper and of course, traffic started moving.  A few people honked, but I was able to get her safely back in her seat and get us on our way.

I guess I got a true taste of parenthood today.  It isn’t always easy, but it’s so worth it.

At the end of the day, I got to see this:

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and that’s all that matters.

P.S. I had written a beautiful Mother’s Day post out for my Mom and managed to accidentally delete it.  Sorry, Mom!  Just know that I get it now.  Being a Mom is hard work.

Rainy Days

9 May

On rainy days, there is nothing better than curling up on the couch with a good book.  I used to love to read and nap on days like today.  She may look like her Daddy, but today, at least, Chloe is taking after her Mom.  

She slept all night, but then wanted to sleep more so we cuddled up in the bed for an extra hour and a half.  And since then she has (mostly) been content to snuggle and hang out.  

Before having Chloe, I just assumed that my kids would love the same things that I do.  My Mom loves books and reading; so do I.  My Dad loves changing into his PJs right after work; so do I (Haha, Dad, sorry!  I took more than just that from you, I promise!).  

Hunter and I were having a talk about Chloe’s future the other day (oh, the possibilities!) and I realized that I am going to have to instill a love of reading into her and accept it if she is like her Dad and can barely stand to read a magazine.  I credit my love of a good book to my Mom because she read to us everyday.  I grew up on Roald Dahl, Louisa May Alcott and Norton Juster, to name a few.  The Phantom Tollboth and Little Women are still two of my very favorite books and I can’t wait to read them to Chloe.

I’m starting off small with her, but we are definitely reading at least one book a day.  I hope this helps with her language acquisition, as well as sets her up to share my passion.

(I’m pretty sure we need this, this and this.)

Hunter is already priming her to love music, as well.  He puts in on the Bach station on Pandora every night and has made her listen to The Planets many times.

Thinking about all of this has made me realize what one of the hardest parts of being a parent is going to be:  letting her make her own choices, good or bad.  I always got so irritated when I wasn’t allowed to make my own mistakes and learn from them.  Now I understand why parents never want to let their kids do things that way.  I don’t want to see her get hurt, disappointed, etc,. like I have been at times.  I want to protect her forever.  But, I know that eventually (obviously, I’m getting ahead of myself here…she’s only 4 months old) I’ll have to let go and let her figure it out.

Until then, I’ll enjoy this joyful little girl who doesn’t know that her Mama isn’t always right.

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Naptime

8 May

You can read a billion books and a billion blogs, but your baby will still do things that don’t fit the mold with any of them.  Babies do what they want and it can, on occasion, drive their parents absolutely insane.

Chloe is sleeping through the night.  It’s fantastic.  I assumed that when she got the hang of night time sleep, she’d stop wanting to nap every 1.5 hours.  I’ve tried my best today to keep her awake for at least 2 hours between naps, but it’s useless.  She’s tired and she lets me know. 

I even took her out, thinking that interaction with other people would make her stay awake, but at exactly 1.5 hours, she got cranky.  Ten seconds after I loaded her into the car, I got this:

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My baby loves to nap. It doesn’t help that she still won’t nap in her crib on a regular basis.  

Is this normal? I feel like at this point she should be taking 2-3 naps during the day and be able to stay up longer.  But then again, I’m usually wrong.  

This whole parenting gig is hard.  Sometimes, I feel like I know everything and that I’m doing things right, but most a lot of the time I feel like I’m completely clueless and doing things wrong.

As far as getting her to sleep in her crib, I have a game plan.  I’m going to order the black out curtains and give that a go.  If that doesn’t work, I’m going to try putting her in her nightgown when I put her down.  She absolutely loves getting into it, so maybe that will work?  We’ll see.

Pictures from the day:

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Gnawing on her toy.

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Feet!