Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our Little Extrovert

I just realized that since my own blog doesn't come up in my search bar anymore, it's probably time to write! We've been so busy this past month! We are just coming off of Steven being off of work for 10 days. Talk about an adjustment now that he's back.... :P. We went to New York to spend time with my sister and sister in law, and Felicity's Godparents/our dear friends. It was fun but also a lot of work. Traveling with a baby is no joke! We ended the week with a couple days to just hang out, get a few things done, and spend some good family time together. And now we are back to life, back to reality. 

Anyway, last Saturday we were meeting with our NFP practitioner who said something that should have dawned on me long before. She asked if Felicity is always so happy and we laughed as we told her that she tends to be happy anywhere BUT home. She responded "Oh! She's an extrovert!". And it was like a lightbulb went off in our heads. Now that you mention it.... yes, our child is a TOTAL extrovert. Cue total and utter panic in her introvert parents. So I started doing some research. First, we talked about how we want to encourage Felicity in whoever she is, but that we hope her extroversion sticks around because we both wish we were less socially awkward and more outgoing. But then we looked at each other like deers in headlights because we have no clue how to appreciate and work with her extroverted nature. So I went on a quest to learn how to encourage and support my child's personality when it's so foreign to me. I found a couple of articles online that I'll be pinning including this one, this one, and this one. I'd really love more of a parenting book though so, if you know of one, please leave it in the comments for me!

Next, I decided that I need to really roll with her love of being out. Of course, being out of the house all the time isn't realistic or practical, but going out once a day most days is doable, even if this homebody could spend a day or two doing nothing but hanging out in my jammies! But she thrives on being around people, especially children, and clearly I can't provide her with that here (and the cat begs me to not try). My life is easier when I meet those needs. If we stay home all day, she CLINGS on me and cries if I'm not right with her. If we go do something out of the house, especially something with other people or children, she will sit and play alone when we get home because that need has been met. So my next quest was finding free or extremely cheap activities to do with her so that we have something to do regardless of the weather, while sticking to our budget. I reached out to a local mom's group and they gave me such great ideas! Currently on our roster are story time at the library, going to the library just to read/play with books, running errands, playing/walking at the parks, walking with the neighbor and her kids, and going to visit with friends. What I came up with to add is a children's area in the natural sciences museum, a children area at a local park's nature center, $5 tumble lessons, and $35 a year open play at a kiddie gym (the last 2 are once she can walk). We're also going to pony up and get a membership to the local children's museum at some point. If those things don't fill our weeks to the brim, I don't know what will :).

Any tips for supporting our extroverted baby? I found it fascinating to read that you usually know if your child is introverted or extroverted by age 2. And I find it funny and very typical of Felicity that we are finding out before 7 months ;). I love this little girl and I know she is going to make me stretch and grow outside my comfort zone, and one day I will thank her! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Felicity Marian: 6 Months

How in the world is that itty bitty baby that we brought home from the hospital already SIX MONTHS OLD!? Oh boy, life is going to fly by (insert one third life crisis here). Felicity's personality has really peaked in the last month or two and we've been having so much fun with our darling daughter. We were talking yesterday about how she just fits seamlessly into our family now. She's a part of us <3. It's been a wonderful month!

Weight: Our home scale says 16 lbs!!! I don't believe it! I mean, I do but... 16 lbs!

Height: I never attempt to measure her because she's wiggly and I'm lazy. I'm still going with the guesstimate of 25 inches and we'll see at her appointment next Monday.

Medical issues: Bad diaper rash this month. Hate it for her! Felicity also got sick for the first time and it was a doozy. Just a fever, but she felt so crappy from a Tuesday through a Sunday. Lots of cuddles and sleeping for our girl. And cabin fever for mommy. Luckily she bounced back quickly once the virus cleared her system. 

Sleep: Thanks to aforementioned sickness, Felicity has probably slept worse this month than any other except her first month. She has been up from 3-10 (!) times when normally she gets up 1-2 times. Not every night, luckily, but we have definitely had less sleep this month. She is going down easier though in general and she's developed a nap routine. It's cool to see her own routine emerge since we haven't put her on any type of schedule. She generally naps from 9-10, 12-1, 3-4 and goes to bed around 7 or 7:30. It's all a bit flexible but falls pretty close to that each day and makes planning things easier. 

Clothes/Diaper Size: She's in 3-6 mo/6 mo clothes and size 2 diapers in disposables. However, I just put on an outfit today that she won't be able to wear again so she is on her way to 9 mo clothes here soon! Her cloth diapers are still on the smallest rise, but I'm thinking soon they might go to the 2nd rise. 

Likes: Stacking cups, johnny jumper, vtech cube, the little wire maze thing with beads (just scored her a zany zoo cube for Christmas for $20!), patting our faces, stroller rides, the ring sling and FINALLY the ergo!, being able to sit up (me too!!!!), watching Buttercup, patty-cake, bath time, crinkling paper, watching other babies

Dislikes: sitting alone on the floor (baby girl likes mommy close by), tipping over when sitting, the baby swing (*cries*), staying home all day

Nicknames: Minky has been the most used and stuck around the longest (from Stinky Minky/Stinka Minka, both of which we still sometimes use). It'll be interesting to see if it sticks permanently. We also refer to her as "the boo" and "boo tickle". We are a strange set, I tell ya. 

Milestones: Felicity can sit for like 20+ minutes now! She sometimes tips over, but I'm really amazed at how long she can sit and play. Not only that, she can reach out to the front and both sides to get toys and often times keep her balance. Felicity is such a strong baby! She also had her first food today... avocado. She played around with it for a bit and then stuck her fingers in her mouth, and she seemed to enjoy it. She also drank from the sippy cup like a boss seeing as she's only ever had a bottle.

I don't want to forget this: Sooo many this month! We really just had such a great month with her!
1) 8/8 was her first time sitting in a shopping cart. I needed to get a bunch of cat food, so I thought I'd see if she was sturdy enough for the pet store cart. It's a smaller cart and was just perfect for her! She was SO in her element riding around the store sitting up!!! She looked at fish and rabbits, and had a blast taking it all in. She was so darn cute sitting there and I reached for my phone for  picture, but it was in the car. This memory will have to stay in my head :). 

2) We went to the NC history museum two weeks ago for a 'family date day'. Felicity was so happy there! The only time she fussed was when she was hungry. I had her in the ring sling, so I just fed her while wearing her around the museum. We saw about half of the NC exhibit and can't wait to go back again since she was so agreeable to being there. 

3) Yesterday we celebrated her half birthday (a day early but Steven was off). It was an amazing day together. We started out with lunch at Pie Bird where the main course is savory pie and dessert is, of course, dessert pie. She sat in the most precious high chair and played until the end when she needed to be held by mommy as we finished up because she was sleepy. Then Steven and I rode around some of our old haunts while she napped, and then we took a trip to the mall for some walking and shopping. We ended the day with play time and stories. The only downside to the day was that it took TWO HOURS to get her down for bed. Apparently we were just having too much fun for her to want to sleep! 

4) On 8/17 Felicity initiated nursing. Now you might be like ok.... she's 6 mo old... of course she initiated nursing. But I kid you not when I tell you she's NEVER done that. When she nursed the first few days of life, I offered but she never rooted or anything. Then she didn't nurse for about 2 months. And then when she did start nursing again (which has turned into before naps and bed), she just nurses when I offer. It took me a bit to figure out what she was doing, but she'll scoot close to me and plant her mouth on my arm, and doesn't give up until I let her nurse. And it's not before bed/nap; it's just because she wants to! Made my heart so happy :).

She got both water and avocado in her mouth at her very first meal! We were so excited!

Stay tuned for 7 months! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Enjoying My Sweet Baby

I keep having thoughts about picking back up blogging more, but my life is so full right now that I'm just focusing on living it and enjoying it :). Blogging will always be here, but my cute baby will grow up quickly! I'm working on just being present in every day as much as I can.

Looking back on the past few months, I think I had at least a little post partum depression. During it, I really thought my feelings were just part of the crappy circumstances surrounding all our feeding issues. But in hindsight, I can recognize that some of my feelings weren't "normal". I joined a new breastfeeding support group (Joined at the Nip- how cute!) and actually seeing and hearing some of the new moms there is what helped me to identify it. I had many, many days where I felt like I couldn't be a mom to my baby and that the job was impossible. I know now that feeling overwhelmed is totally normal but multiple days of feeling like I just can't do it is a red flag. Thankfully, I feel like I've come through to the other side (before even recognizing that PPD was an issue, ironically), but at least I know what to look for for next time.

 I think the 4mo+ age range is a sweet spot for me. The first 3 months were just plain hard. I loved my baby but didn't particularly enjoy her most of the time. Now I find myself enjoying her most of the time, with a few rough moments mixed in from time to time. I think that's how it's supposed to be. She's at an age where I can do stuff with her, which has helped a lot. I love to watch her experience firsts- first time feeling the rain, first time in a shopping cart, for example. She's so expressive and we spend our days playing, singing, dancing, roughhousing, reading, and having "conversations". I finally feel a breath of fresh air, like "ahhhh.... this is what motherhood is supposed to be like". And I'm eating it up. I know I'll never have the pleasure of giving all of my attention to one baby again, so I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Felicity is my little buddy; I love doing everything with her. Things I do for her, like take naps with her because she doesn't sleep well otherwise, I won't be able to do for subsequent babies (since I'll have a toddler on my hands!), so I'm just reveling in the fact that I can do it now. When it feels a bit annoying- after all, I COULD be using that time to get stuff done- I remember that this is so short lived, and I cuddle up on my precious, sleeping baby. The days can still be long and sometimes I look at her and just. want. a. break. already., but over all I am completely enamored with Felicity and trying to drink in every moment of babyhood. She is such an adorable little girl, and growing faster than I care to admit. I love my little minky!!!