Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Felicity Marian: 8 Months

Wow, month 7 went WAY faster than month 6! And I'm a day late because we were out of town visiting my family :). 

Weight: Up 2 lbs from last month, which is funny since I thought the other day that she didn't look as pudgy! She's right at 19 lbs.

Height: Not even trying to measure her lol. We'll find out at her 9 month check.

Medical issues: Felicity keeps getting diaper rashes :(. We just can't kick them for good. I also can't figure out if it's cloth related, like a sensitivity to synthetics or something. We keep going back and forth between cloth and sposies and trying various creams. Her hemanigoma is probably 40% skin colored now! Oh, she also threw up for the first time :(. She was sick on 9/21 and seemed to just have a 24 hour bug. When she fell asleep on me at church, just laying on my shoulder, I knew we were in trouble. She developed a fever and then later puked in the high chair (thankfully over the kitchen floor!). But luckily Felicity woke up totally normal the next day. 

Sleep: Pretty much the same as last month. Up a few times between her bed time and ours, and then nurses on and off for a big portion of the night. She usually takes one bottle in the middle of the night, and every once in a while she wakes up wanting to play, so we have Steven watch her while he's getting ready for work and then Felicity will get back in bed with me until 7/7:30. Honestly, it's all less stressful than it was last month because it's our new norm. Ironically, she napped on her own in the crib on 9/22 but that was the end of that lol. We don't mind her being in our room, but the cosleeper is quickly being outgrown, and I don't find the pack and play comfy enough that I want her in it every night. But I also don't want to disassemble the crib to set it up in our room (sidecar or otherwise) so.... we're still figuring out what we want to do! So far she's fine in the cosleeper and bed with us, still. 

Clothes/Diaper Size: Felicity is in 9 month clothing, with not a lot of room to grow! This is so weird for me because shes's always spent quite a few months in each size of clothing. I think she's going to grow out of the 9 month stuff the quickest! 

Likes: Baby rice cakes, cheeseburger rice casserole, Little People, a whisk, a wooden animal puzzle, playing clapping games, watching babies, being outside.

Dislikes: diaper changes, when I walk away from her if she's feeling needy... that's about it! She has strong feelings, but is generally pretty happy. 

Nicknames: Tickle, Stinka, Baby Girl....various others 

Milestones: Felicity crawled the first time (one "step") on 9/20 but then didn't repeat it going forward until this past weekend. She has been crawling/scooting backward this past month and gets herself backed into corners, and becomes very angry! On the week of 9/22 she started giving me hugs, and on 9/27 she danced to music for the first time on her own. On 10/2 she initiated a game of "pea-pie" (peekaboo) which was the CUTEST THING EVER and we have video of. She also signed "nursie" a few times that day, although she hasn't done it since. The week of 10/6 we noticed at meal time that she had developed the pincer grasp. Felicity has started holding her own bottle if she's laying kind of propped on a pillow. I don't like it... I want to hold my baby!, but she has other plans and will eat way less if I try to hold and feed her. On 10/19 she SAID HER FIRST WORD while we were GONE! My parents were watching her and she started saying "Dada". Now she says it constantly and it's more cute than 2 people can handle. 

I don't want to forget this: 
We've done a lot of blanket time outside as a family, and it's so sweet! We put a big duvet out, bring out books for us, and toys for Felicity. We've spent as much as an hour and a half just enjoying time together in the beautiful fall weather. Felicity tries to eat weeds, grass, and leaves, but it's so much fun :). 

We went consignment sale shopping (aren't we always?), and we found Felicity a little grow with me kitchen. It is so cute to see her play with! It's the perfect height for her to stand up (with our help) and play at, and then it grows another level for when she gets taller. 
I took Felicity to see Steven at work for the first time. His store is 30 minutes away so it just generally doesn't make sense to go to, but we were dropping something off for a friend nearby so I drove over to do our shopping. Felicity looked very confused as to why she was seeing Daddy at this place! Cute girl. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sacrifice in Motherhood

All through my pregnancy, Steven and I prayed a weekly rosary for couples dealing with subfertility and infertility, keeping a (sadly) ever-growing list of names, but also joyfully marking them off when they would become pregnant. I had a romantic notion of praying the rosary during my labor for these couples, so that I could unite my sufferings with something bigger than me. It's one of my favorite parts of Catholicism- redemptive suffering; the idea that suffering is never pointless and always fruitful, whether we can see the fruits now, or ever, or not. I have a group of women who set beautiful examples of this for me by often mentioning something they're going through and then asking what they can offer it up for. To give suffering, pain, and struggles a purpose and to be able to focus on something outside of yourself can be so fulfilling, and a blessing to both you and the person/situation you're praying for. So I thought what better time to do that than during labor, in the throes of contractions? A little birdie (or a big Birdie?) put the idea in my head the night before Felicity's birth, while I was laying in the hospital bed attempting to sleep and Steven was sawing z's beside me, that maybe, just maybe I wouldn't be able to pray the rosary during labor. So I decided to do it then. I didn't want to wake Steven to get the rosary out of our bag, and I didn't want to call the nurse to disconnect me from the fetal monitor, so I just used my fingers and prayed the rosary for the couples on our list. It's a good thing, too, because my labor was insanely fast and I never did pray the rosary during it. Anyway, I thought later about how my sufferings brought me closer to Christ, how praying the rosary as I laid there helped me to do something besides just focus on me. What I didn't know, and didn't realize for a few months later, is that the coming months of motherhood would unite me to Christ way more than a rosary I prayed laying in a hospital bed. 

Now that I've been a parent of an ex-utero baby for 7 months now, I say to Steven very often how much I feel like parenthood has brought me closer to Christ. I have never in my life experienced sacrifice to this degree. I spent the first 25 years of my life (before I met Steven) largely doing what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted... you get the idea. When I met him and we got serious, I had to sacrifice in order to involve another person in that. That was hard in a way, but I would say generally I fell into it pretty easily. Well, it's not been that easy with motherhood. The late nights, early mornings, never ending middle of the night nursing sessions, whining, crying, poopsplosions, messes, more crying, all the things my fellow mom friends experience day in and day out with their babies, too. As much as I love that little bundle of pudge, there are days, many days, where I feel like I've sacrificed just about everything I have. By the time Steven gets home, there is nothing left. I'm spent and need a good 15 or 20 minutes to myself to put myself back together again. My story is not unique or unusual; I know many moms feel this and the experience is somewhat universal. But it's given me a chance to think about how much was sacrificed for me because I am loved so much. And what better way to reflect on that than by sacrificing myself for another person, a person who, at this point, is nothing without me? Jesus literally gave His life for me, and I'm asked, not in words, to give mine for this sweet baby (and of course any others that may follow!)... to give up my sleep, what I want to do, my days of lounging on the couch watching tv, when I want to eat, time with my husband... to give that life I once knew up for my sweet girl. 

Felicity has brought me many experiences and emotions in her short (and fast!) 7 months, but I will always be grateful- as tired as I am, as worn out as I get :)- for her teaching me to put myself aside for the good of another. I recognize my selfishness every single day and I have countless opportunities to improve upon it, and to revamp who I am to who I want to be, who I wish I was, and who God wants me to be. And to realize the beauty, even a midst the struggle, that comes when you put another person and their needs completely above your own. Thank you, baby girl. I'm a different person because of you. 

Those knees. I die!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Felicity Marian: 7 Months

Guess who's 7 months? We are on the down hill slope to ONE! Ahhh! I mean, I know we still have 5 months but I'm kind of freaking out over here! It's a cross between enjoying her getting older and wanting to cry because she should only be maybe 4 months old by now. How do you people do this??? Make her stay little! 

It's been a really busy month, in both good and bad ways (but way more good!). Steven said he feels like it was so long that she should already be 7 months lol! So I guess we got one appropriately long month in there! 

Weight: 17lbs. This little girl who started off in the 5th percentile with skinny limbs and a flat stomach has SO MUCH DELICIOUS PUDGE! It takes me by surprise every single day. The fluffy cheeks, creases for wrists, knee pudge, and thunder thighs... I could just eat her up! I love when I look in the mirror in the car and see her sticking her leg straight up. ALL the rolls!

Height: 25.5 inches; she's consistently in the 25th percentile for height so I guess she might be a bit of a shorty. Which is weird because she's in the 50th for weight but I feel like she always outgrows stuff by length first!

Medical issues: She finally kicked last month's diaper rash which turned out to be yeast. Treating her diapers was kind of a nightmare and she spent the month in disposables so I could just be once and done with that process. Of course, she started pooping up to 10 (!!!) times per day so we about went broke in diapers, but that seems to have calmed down. Otherwise Felicity has no medical issues going on; praise the Lord! Happy for our healthy girl!

Sleep: Nights are still kind of rough. But compared to what I hear other parents talk about, not that bad. Just rough for us, I guess. It dawned on me yesterday that either naps are good or nights are good but, so far, never both. So we're in a good naps (meaning she takes them, goes down easy, and I can leave which is a first! They are still on the shorter side but I have no complaints about that) but crappy night phase. She goes down easy for bed (right at 7) and will wake up anywhere from 6:45-8am, usually falling somewhere in the middle. Where she used to wake up once to eat at like 3am, and then get in bed with us at 5am to nurse until wake up, she now (*catches breath*), goes down at 7, wakes up 1-2x before we go to bed at 10:30, wants in bed immediately when we get in, wants to nurse the majority of the night, rarely wants to go back in the cosleeper, may or may not take her middle of the night bottle, and gets up normal time. So basically, it's more work for me because she's attached to me most of the night. I will say there is an upside... when she is nursing on and off all night, I skip my pumps. I'm just not stressing about pumps anymore. So it's good and bad. I don't have to get up twice a night when she does that, but I don't sleep as well either. Every now and then she spoils us by spending at least a few hours in the cosleeper. This is a big sleep month because I'm not done! We're slowly, gently working on transitioning her from napping in our bed to napping in the crib. So far I'm working on nursing her down in bed, then moving her to the cosleeper. Once she can be moved without it being the end of the world, I'll move to the nursery and nurse her in the chair and work on getting her down in the crib. We don't mind her being with us when we're in bed, but she's getting way too mobile to be in bed without us. So it's going to be a slow process, but I think we both need it to be that way! 

Clothes/Diaper Size: Felicity is in 3-6 mo/6 mo clothes and size 2 diapers in disposables- same as last month! However, as soon as she gets back into cloth full time, she will easily be in 9 month clothes, I think. I just went in the other night and packed up some of the 6 month stuff and put the weather appropriate 9 month stuff out. So I guess I should say she's on the brink of 9 month clothes. I thought I had more than I do, so I'm going to buy a few more things at a consignment sale this weekend and she should be good to go. Oh, she IS in size 3 diapers in Seventh Generation, but they run small. All other brands she's still in a 2. 

Likes: her favorite toy this month is a whisk lol, board books, the Vtech sit to stand learning walker, she loves eating but even more loves her straw cup!, outings basically anywhere, attempting to climb things, car rides if she's sleepy, having us sing to her. 

Dislikes: being by herself.... with her definition of "by herself" being not having someone 1-2 feet away; staying at home, being on her stomach, being in the car seat if she's not sleepy. 

Nicknames: We've shortened boo tickle to just Tickle and have used that and Boo most of this month. This poor kid will never have just one nickname! We also call her Wiss-i-tah (trying to spell it phonetically) which I don't know where that came from, and I hate it, but yet I do it daily. Actually I think I do remember.... it fit in a made up song some how and then semi-stuck as a nickname. 

Milestones: She is sitting really well, rarely tipping over. Felicity is on the brink of crawling. Watch out!!! She gets on her hands and knees and rocks. She can move her hands out but hasn't yet coordinated her legs going, too, so she ends up on her belly (which infuriates her). She is also pulling up to her knees. As of this week, Felicity can clap, give hugs (just to me so far *MELT*), and will sometimes say "mmm" while smacking her lips to indicate that she wants food. On 9/19 she started 'dancing' to music spontaneously :). So dang cute! Felicity is eating SO much!!! I thought it would take her a lot longer to get the hang of food, but she started on her 6 month birthday, and has eaten SO much since then! She drinks from her sippy cup multiple times daily (she LOVES water!), and has eaten all kinds of fruits, veggies, and a few grains and meats. Our girl is a good eater! She does really well in restaurants because she gets to try yummy new things. The Ruby Tuesday salad bar was a huge hit with her. And wouldn't you know it? I had to come back to edit. She celebrated her 7 month birthday today by CRAWLING. She only went two steps (?), but she did it!!!

I don't want to forget this: 
Fake coughing! It cracks me up. She fake coughs ALL the time. 
We went on another trip to NY to see fam and friends and she did very well. We drove overnight the way there, and during the day on the way back. Our day driving added 5 hours due to extra stops and traffic, but Felicity only cried probably a combined hour out of the 15 (!) so I still call that a win. We had a lot of fun time outside because the weather was so deliciously mild. When we got back, we still had 4 days to relax as a family. It was wonderful!
9/14 is when she started giving hugs. She will lay her head against me with one arm "around" me and oh my goodness, my heart just wants to explode. Also on the same day, we went to SparkCon with is an art festival downtown. As we walked the street looking at the chalk drawings, I was wearing her in the mei tai and she took my hand and held it as we walked. Neither of us had a phone with us for a picture, but it was kind of sweet to just enjoy the moment. 
On 9/15 we went for a walk in the woods at a local park. I had Steven put her on my back in the ergo for the first time so she could see out better and I could see my feet on the uneven ground. SHE LOVED IT! She giggled off and on the entire time and was in such a good mood. The 3 of us were just walking through the woods giggling. It was one of those moments where all I could think is how blessed I am to have this little family of mine! 
This may sound weird to others but on 9/17 Steven got home about an hour early (technically on time) which gave us enough time to all 3 play on the floor before dinner, eat dinner leisurely, and then go on a family walk and read books before bed time. Most days when he gets home, we rush to the table to eat before Felicity needs to go to bed and that's about it as far as our evening goes with her awake. So to have all that time was just heavenly!