Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas with Baby

For months leading up to Christmas, I was sad that we wouldn't be at my parents' house for Christmas. After all, in the 28 Christmases I've lived through, I've never been anywhere else for that holiday! It was time to go to Steven's parents for Christmas since we never have (as a couple; obviously he has plenty of times :) ), but I was so afraid I'd be bummed all day not being "home" with our traditions and with what's familiar to me. But I realized a few weeks befor Christmas that I wasn't sad anymore. I'm not really sure when it changed, but it hit me that I was so excited for Felicity's first Christmas and our family time around the tree that we'd have that morning. I was so relieved to be feeling a positive emotion about the day! I kept picturing my little family of 3 opening gifts Christmas morning, seeing Felicity playing with her gifts, and eating breakfast together. 

Sadly, I started feeling sick on Sunday night and am just starting to feel better today (Saturday), so there was a bit of a damper on the holiday as I was feeling particularly rough on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Monday I went to the doctor and she said it was a virus and to wait it out. Well by Friday when I went back, I had 2 ear infections, 1 and possibly 2 ear drum ruptures, and possible pink eye. Oh, that explains the paralyzing ear pain. Anyway, Christmas Eve, Steven met us at church. We were packed in like sardines for the children's Mass. Felicity did amazingly well, only needing to be taken out for the last 5 minutes of the 2 hour pageant + Mass. The pageant was done musical style and was SO cute. We were lucky to be sharing intimate space with friends versus strangers, at least, but it was hot and we had no room to even adjust our positioning. Next year we will do what we said we were going to do this year- go to Mass on Christmas day! We got home and put Felicity to bed and then Steven and I had our traditional Christmas Eve snacks (which is carried over from my childhood). This year's assortment was pizza rolls, fruit, cheese and crackers, Happy Birthday cupcakes for Jesus, and fudge. Yum! 
All dressed for church

We woke up the next morning around 7 and came out to the tree. We had Felicity's activity cube and train unwrapped and she went right to her cube and played with it a bit. We would have her open a present and then let her play with the item, box, or wrapping paper while we opened ours. It was leisurely and fun and everything I imagined. I made a breakfast casserole and we ate before getting ready to go to Steven's parents' house. I considered staying home because I was feeling so rough, but I knew I'd miss being with my family all day on such an important day. Luckily I held it together until we got back home, and Steven took care of Felicity the rest of the evening so I could lay in a lump and do nothing. At his parents' house, we ate a yummy Christmas meal, and exchanged presents. Felicity had a ball playing with ornaments, the tree skirt, and a stuffed penguin they keep at their house for her to play with. We stayed a little over 2 hours before heading home. 

Opening a present with Dada

It was a simple day, but a really nice one. Had I not been sick, it would have been a perfect day. I love my little family so much, and I love making memories with them. Christmas may have been really different this year, and I missed my family a lot, but it was such a sweet day with my husband and baby! 

Our best gift!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Early Morning Musings

Felicity slept incredibly well last night, which led to a 5:10 am wake up, so you're all get treated (hah) to some of my thoughts this morning as I anxiously await her crash and fall... nap time for mama! I have done 7 Quick Takes in forever, so I guess this is kind of that style.

  • Being sick as a mom is no joke, especially with a husband who can't take time off and works long days. I was rarely ever sick pre-baby, so it's not something I'm used to in general. Now I get most everything she gets and/or brings in the house. And obviously I still have to function and take care of her, so there's no lounging on the couch and just waiting it out. At one point yesterday, I was in so much pain with my ear (the eardrum has since burst, I think. Sweet relief.) that I was sitting with a warm compress on it trying to survive until Steven got home and she was tearing apart an entire roll of toilet paper. I figured the clean up was a small price to pay for 10 minutes of quiet while I held my ear and cried!
  • Felicity almost always sits with her legs crossed at the ankle. I find it to be one of the cutest parts about her. She laid like that as a teeny baby, and it has carried over to her sitting. I will look over to see her entranced with some toy, ankles crossed. Sometimes she falls asleep like that. So dang cute!
  • So I've mentioned before the neighbor that we walk with and I babysit for. I was thinking the other day how it's seriously a dream come true to have a neighbor friend. I see her more than I see almost anyone else besides Steven and Felicity! We walk probably 4-5 days a week and I go over twice to babysit, plus we trade date night sitting. I have always wanted to have a friend in my neighborhood, and when we'd lived here over a year and it hadn't happened, I figured it wasn't going to. Thankfully our babies born 3 months apart gave us a reason to put our antisocial tendencies aside :). 
  • I think we are finally on the downhill side of this round of separation anxiety. It was exhausting! For probably 3 weeks, there was a total melt down if I was more than about 5 feet from Felicity. She still freaks out when I shower, but I'm hoping that will resolve itself soon, too. She's back to playing by herself some which I'm so thankful for. For a while, either I had to be on the floor with her, or she would just cry/whine at my knees when I was on the couch. I like playing with her, but even I have my baby toy limit! However, she still prefers non-toys, but that's cool with me if it keeps her busy. This morning she has entertained herself with a cat toy, the cat's stocking, and one of my scrapbooks. Have at it, kid. 
  • The last 2 weekends we have made it through church without having to take Felicity out. It's been such a nice break! Hoping the trend continues for at least a while, though we'll be at church extra long tonight for Christmas eve so I won't hold it against her if she doesn't make it all the way through without a trip to pace around the confessional.
  • Speaking of, I am so, so, so excited about her first Christmas!!! We are going to open presents and have breakfast at home before going to Steven's parents. I'm so excited about opening my presents and so excited about helping her open hers! I love "baby's firsts"!!! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Felicity Marian: 10 Months

10 month pictures were rough... Usually she tries to tear up the number but is generally happy with the process. Today she was not having it! I decided rather than get frustrated or keep trying, I would just snap the pictures because that's what life is like with a 10 month old :). Especially a teething one! The above picture looks like she's cheesing, but Felicity is actually about to make her disgruntled face which is a scrunchy face looking upward. 

Weight: We have a 20 pounder on our hands :). Our little chunk is solid! 

Height: 27 inches...still a shorty.

Medical issues: Felicity had some kind of funk- a bad cold, I guess, about a week after her first cold cleared up. She was also teething at the same time. It was rough for about a week! I feel so bad for our pitiful girl when she's sick.

Sleep: Sleep has been decent this month. She went from waking up at 6/6:30 most days to now back to 7/7:30. It's funny; I'm almost bummed because I was getting so much more done when we got up early! But I do like sleeping until 7. She is going down 7/7:30 and we have gotten back into Steven shushing her back to sleep, now that she's feeling better, between her bed time and ours (usually she wants to nurse right around our bed time). Felicity has also started taking some longer naps, which is bizarre for her. She went from napping 2 30 min naps a day to 1 1-2 hr nap and 1 30 min nap some days. She still sleeps better in the car than anywhere else. 

Clothes/Diaper Size: Size 3 diapers, though I feel like she could go to size 4, which is bizarre since she is 20 lbs and size 3 goes up to 28lbs! I'm guessing because she will slim out when she's walking? Anyway, she is still fine in size 3, I'm having to change the rise snaps on her cloth diapers finally, and she is in almost all 12 month clothes. That was so emotional pulling out clothes for a ONE YEAR OLD! 

Likes: clinging to mommy's feet, when I'm on the floor with her, stacking cups, "reading" books on her own, Little People (finally! our addiction  collection is paying off!), green beans, tomatoes, and yogurt, banging on the mirror on her changing table, playing with ornaments on the Christmas tree (she likes taking off the bottom ones)

Dislikes: Having her face cleaned/nose wiped, when Mommy sits on the couch, being in the stroller more than about 30 minutes (we go on 45 minutes walks), when I walk out of the room... major separation anxiety! 

Nicknames: Boo, Baby Girl, Wicitah (mostly in a song about her), Stink, Puddin' Pop

Milestones: TWO TEETH! They are barely through, and they are canines, which I find hilarious for her first teeth, but they exist! I'm glad I don't have a totally toothless 10 month old.... I was starting to think I should be worried. The first one came in on 11/28 and the second one came in on 12/8.

Felicity does tricks demand.... well, mostly. Usually if I'm trying to show someone else, she refuses. But otherwise, she's a clapping, dancing, waving, high fiving fool! :) 

On 12/2, she walked across the room with her farm walking toy and now she does it multiple times a day. She has gotten really fast! I took her outside with her zebra bike/walker, and she went from our porch to the far side of the culdesac. She is a good cruiser! Also on 12/2, she brought me her favorite book "Who Says That, Cat the Cat" to read to her. Felicity has never brought me a book but has multiple times since then. I love it! She also sits and "reads" books on her own both at home and the library. 

 Felicity made up her own dance this month (12/6). This was so cool because, so far, everything she's done is because it was taught to her. But this particular dance (hands in front of her, and swinging her arms left to right around her body) was totally made up by her. Now when we say "dance! dance!" she does HER dance instead of the one we taught her. Too cute! 

On 12/10, Felicity WALKED! Ok, it was only 1 step, she only did it twice, and hasn't reproduced it since, but she did it! She was sitting on a step and, when I stood her up, she took one step towards me. Exciting! 

I don't want to forget this: 

St. Nicholas Day was SO much fun! She was sick, so most of our plans got scrapped, but we opened stockings after my parents got here and Steven got home from work. She pulled stuff out, and played with everything we took out. I was trying to prepare myself for the fact that she might not care about any of it, but Felicity really enjoyed seeing her new things! We read her some of the books right away and she sat and listened. It has made me so excited about Christmas! 

Felicity tried to give the neighbor's baby his pacifier. Granted, she steals it constantly, but I was so surprised when she tried to put it back in his mouth. I'm constantly amazed at what she understands that I don't give her credit for! 

On 12/13, we went to the Christmas parade the next town over (we missed ours because Felicity was sick and it was rainy). She did incredibly well throughout the 2 hours we were there, especially since she'd napped for a total of about 30 minutes that day. At the very end, we saw NC's largest marching band, which was all the high school bands of that county together marching as one. Felicity froze as they walked by, with her hands out (like she was going to clap, but her arms didn't move) and a smile plastered on her face. The instruments were LOUD and she was in heaven! She stayed like that until the gigantic band passed us by. Our girl loves band music! 

One of my most favorite things to do with Felicity is play "chase". She giggles the hardest with Steven plays it with her. We crawl after her, loudly slapping our hands on the floor and she LOSES it laughing and trying to get away. Sometimes when Steven walks over to her at some other random time, she smiles huge and starts flapping and burying herself against me because she thinks he's initiating chase lol. 

On Tuesday night, Steven and I had been sitting on the floor reading library books to Felicity. She crawled over to her puzzle bin, stood up, reached in, and crouched down with a puzzle piece. All of a sudden it hit me... she is more of a toddler than a baby! It was so bittersweet. She is doing SO MUCH now, and that's exciting, but it's also sad how far off she is from that little lump of baby we brought home! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Figuring Out Christmas

So let me start this post by saying this loud and clear. What you do for your family is what's right for your family, and what we do for ours, is right for ours. When I talk about what we've decided/want to do surrounding Christmas for our family, that in no way negates what you've done/will do and it should not make you feel defensive. K? Just putting that out there because mommy wars be rough, yo. We've all got enough going on without having mommy guilt because of what someone else is doing that is unrelated to us ;). I thought I'd share our journey to the Cash family Christmas experience and some of the thoughts/ideas that have gone into it. It's a work in progress.

We've talked a LOT about Christmas over the past year or so to try to decide what we want it to look like in our home. Here are some of the things we've come up with:

  • I have always been drawn to the "something to wear, something to read, something you want, something you need" idea. However, I know I am unlikely to stick to that, but I want to use it as a *guide* to help us have small but meaningful Christmases. One of my fears is doing Christmas big and then realizing in 5 years or something that it isn't sustainable, and then our children noticing the stress we have and the change the next Christmas. So we really want to keep Christmas more about other faith, family, food, and fun with gifts being a perk, and hopefully avoid that problem. 
  • Stockings are done on St. Nicholas Day here, since that's where the tradition comes from. The first year it was a bit hard on Christmas day not having a stocking to open, since that's a great memory from growing up, but it's also fun for me that the stocking gets it's own "show" and it fits in so great with the story of St. Nick. I love the chance to talk about a saint and work fun into that! Steven and I have done it this way the last 2 years and are looking forward to doing it this year with Felicity (December 6th if you were wondering).
  • Speaking of St. Nick, we haven't solidified this yet, but we're leaning towards not doing secular Santa and doing St. Nick instead, but with more of a historical and less of an imaginary slant. I think we'll phrase it like St. Nick is bringing things for the stocking, but also sharing the story of why the tradition is place, coupled with the fact that he's a saint in Heaven. If their imaginations run wild so be it; if they ask questions we'll answer honestly. We aren't anti-Santa at all, but I prefer the St. Nick is Santa Claus (since he actually is!) way of doing it. It might be a bit confusing since St. Nick will have brought our stockings and then we'll still see him in malls and stuff after, but that's a bridge we'll cross when children are old enough to question, I guess. I certainly don't want our kids ruining Santa for anyone else, but I also don't want to feel pressured to "do Santa" simply for that reason. I have fundamental issues with using Santa as a way to make kids behave, but I do recognize that we could do Santa without the manipulation factor. I think there's enough excitement in Advent and Christmas that we aren't ruining any Christmas "magic" by not relying heavily on Santa. But who knows. We reserve the right to change our minds as we have a few years before we really have to stick with what we're doing. So, for now, St. Nick brings stockings and mommy/daddy bring Christmas gifts. 
  • At some point we'd like to establish a "1 toy in, 1 toy out" routine. I don't say rule because I know it won't always work that way. But say Felicity gets 5 toys for Christmas, I don't think it's unreasonable to thin out 5 toys, whether to storage, to sell, or to donate. If she gets 5 and we thin out 3, I still call that a win. Our toy storage space is finite so it's kind of necessary, but I also feel like she plays with things more the less clutter we have around. Plus, we can work in all kinds of lessons around giving, having excess, etc.
  • Besides the first few years that Felicity won't remember (probably just this year and next), we want to have Christmas in our home. We always stayed home when I was little, and it was so nice to hang out in our jammies and play with our new toys until it was time to eat. We will likely go to church on Christmas day most years, but other than that I want to just stay home. 

(pictures not related to the post except that they are of my precious baby and the post is about Christmas for our baby :P) 

With that being said, here are my Christmas planning tips and trip ups! I have to add both because I am clearly not a seasoned pro when it comes to shopping for little ones. So I figured I'll share both what has worked, and what's caused some head scratching!


  • Shop consignment sales, stores, and b/s/t groups. There are tons of consignment sales in the fall, consignment stores are always open, and areas like ours have sooo many kids' buy/sell/trade groups on facebook. You can find really amazing deals from people who are wanting to get rid of toys before they get new ones for the holidays! I would say maybe 80% of Felicity's toys are used, and of the 20% new, we might have bought 5% of those. We LOVE used stuff in this house! Most of her Christmas gifts are used or, as I like to call them, pre-loved :).
  • Shop online around black Friday. Cyber Monday isn't the only day for online deals. They happen all around the week of Thanksgiving. If you're looking for something that you're running out of time to find used, or you really want to buy a particular thing new, this week is a good time to do it. There are all kinds of things on sale! Try not to get sucked into the problem of finding things you didn't know you needed. ;)
  • Buy long lasting toys like wooden toys or books. I didn't want much plastic stuff in our house originally but, practically, most toys given to us are plastic and plastic doesn't hurt when Felicity bonks her head on it like wood does. I've learned that plastic isn't evil :P, but I do prefer to get quality, wood toys when I'm going to spend more (like for Christmas). I think they encourage a bit more imagination than their battery powered counterparts, and I just love the timeless look of wood toys. We got Felicity a used B. Zany Zoo cube for $15 for Christmas this year, almost perfect condition when they sell in the store for $65. So we got a bargain AND a good wood toy that will last through many babies. And books don't need an explanation. You can never go wrong with books, except with where to store them. But I find that a good problem to have :). 

Trip ups:

  • Buying TOO MUCH from consignment, etc. It's sadly easy to get wrapped up in the "more, more, MORE" attitude of Christmas. Let's face it, it's fun, even! But deals stop being deals when you're going broke buying them lol. I try to only buy stuff that I was already looking for. So, for example, if I want a specific toy for Felicity, I scour sales and groups for it but try to not buy other things on impulse. Sometimes I'm more successful than others. 
  • Buying something for a young child months in advance and then their tastes change. I got Felicity a small, wood bead maze over the summer that I thought would be perfect for her stocking, because she was LOVING bigger bead mazes. Can I just say how lucky I feel that she still likes bead mazes? In the scheme of babyhood, 5 or so months is a LOT. It's hard to predict what a child will like months from now when you find a good deal, so it could turn out to be  a bust. I hope this gets easier to predict as she gets older! 
  • Buying everything early, and then seeing more or still wanting to shop. So I mostly had Felicity's Christmas done by early October, but that doesn't stop me from wanting more when I see awesome deals on great toys! I have mostly been able to talk myself out of purchasing more, but have added a few small things. The fact is, though, that if I keep buying and buying, things are no longer a good deal and I ruin that whole "wanting to teach my kids that Christmas is more than gifts" thing! If I can't do it this year when she won't even know it's Christmas, I'm doomed when she does "get" Christmas! I'd say I get a B- this year... room for improvement, but I didn't do terribly.  

And, last, you may be wondering what to put in a stocking for a baby. I was wondering, too, but I accumulated a nice collection of items over the past few months of looking!

Filling a stocking for a baby:
  • Small toys that are good for the diaper bag, car, or church. I find Felicity is entertained longer if she has toys that are only used for those situations. So, for example, she has a paci and "cell phone" that she only gets in the car, and a chew bead rosary she only gets at church vs having all the toys available to her at all times. Those smaller toys are great to put in stockings! Try to avoid just buying stuff to have something. I purposefully look for something I think Felicity will like and use, like the small bead maze since she loves big ones. 
  • Bath toys are often small-ish and fit well. We don't have many bath toys so I picked one up at Ikea a month or so ago.
  • Board books. These may not actually fit in the stocking but I felt like Christmas related board books were perfect to give towards the beginning of advent. Next year, I want to get her the Story of St. Nick for St. Nicholas Day but it wasn't in the budget by the time I thought of it this year (trip up!).
  • Squeezie pouches. I'm not doing any of these this year because I have plenty of other things, but a good space filler would be a new flavor (or heck, one they've already had before) of squeezie pouch food since they can't have candy. Along the same lines, teething biscuits or puffs would work, too.
  • Special ornaments. This year we are putting a "Happy Birthday, Jesus" ornament in Felicity's stocking. I hope it helps her to remember what we're actually celebrating as we put it on the tree each year! 

Anything you'd add to any of the categories? Clearly I have way too much fun with this stuff :). Happy Advent and, if you want to celebrate St. Nicholas day, you still have a few days to get some things together. It's a lot of fun! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Watchful Waiting

Last year, I was about 7 months pregnant during Advent. I had all these idyllic thoughts of a super spiritual Advent, being that I was waiting the birth of my baby while we were awaiting the birth of Mary's baby. I had a book (which was wonderful) of reflections connecting my pregnancy to Mary but, honestly, that was about all I did besides the penance service. We did a fairly secular advent calendar and generally busied ourselves with life, instead of taking the time to slow down. Advent finished up and I felt like I had wasted an opportunity to grow closer to Mary and to God.

This year, though, I think things will be different. We're in a very different place spiritually than we were last year. Last year, our "norm" was much more intense, despite what I just said about Advent. We were going to daily Mass at least once a week, I was volunteering in the church, we went to confession at least quarterly, we did a weekly rosary, and we did quite a few other things to keep us connected to our faith. I would say that I was the most connected to God during my pregnancy (but unrelated to being pregnant, if that makes sense) than I've ever been. I knew it would change when we had a baby, but I didn't realize how much I'd feel like I was losing on the spiritual front. We didn't say a rosary for MONTHS. I haven't been to daily Mass a single time in the last 9 months. I've been to confession once. Parenthood has of course connected us to God in other ways, like learning sacrificial love in a big, big way, but I lost a lot of those tangible things and activities that I felt kept me connected.

 This Advent feels like a breath of fresh air and a chance to begin reconnecting, or strengthening, our faith. We received 2 different daily reflection books and I'm so excited to go through them. I feel like a daily reflection feels so doable and not at all overwhelming, and is the perfect place for us to start, or re-start. We decided that instead of our typical Advent calendar (where we put some type of activity be it a prayer, board game, show, movie, walk, drive to see lights, etc) for each day, we are going to simplify this year and make the daily devotional be our Advent calendar. After all, isn't that a lot of what Advent is about? Simplifying our lives so we can focus on watchful waiting, instead of adding more busy-ness to our already full lives. I want to share with Felicity that prepping for Christmas is good and fun, but that taking a step back from the holiday chaos to focus on God and each other is so important! So we don't have "big plans" this Advent, but I think that's exactly what we need.... a time to slow down and reconnect with God in comforting, familiar ways. A time to invest in ourselves after 9 beautiful months of investing almost solely in our baby, as we wait for the baby Jesus. Happy and blessed Advent!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Felicity's First Thanksgiving

Felicity's first Thanksgiving was a smashing success. I was worried, I will admit, because we were hosting it this year. My parents graciously offered to come here with my sister since Steven was working until 11pm the day before and at 7am the day after Thanksgiving. I was so happy to not be doing a whirlwind trip to SC for a few hour visit, but I was also nervous about hosting! My mom, again so graciously, offered to bring Thanksgiving to us. She got the Publix dinner so all I was responsible for was some Thanksgiving Eve snacks, a pie, creamed corn, and rolls. I was nervous, though, because my mom makes holidays so special and one thing I knew I'd miss about not being at her house was how everything is decorated within an inch of its life. It's impossible to not feel in the holiday spirit when you're surrounded by her awesome decorations! For Thanksgiving, I just have a few things here or there, but I tried to up my ante with a pumpkin pie wax melt lol. Anyway, it was definitely different this year being at our house instead of my parents', but it was just an amazing day. Of course Felicity makes most days super special, but she really outdid herself during their visit. She was charming, personable, and just so sweet. We all had a blast with her! My normally go-go-go girl sat on my mom's lap for about an hour at one point! It was so sweet.

Though it was somewhat different, we kept elements of family tradition. We watched Planes, Trains, and Automobiles during Thanksgiving Eve snack. I let everyone vote between that, Ernest Saves Christmas (a childhood favorite), and White Christmas a la 1954. Dad voted Planes, Mom voted White Christmas, and Rachel voted Ernest. I broke the "tie" with Planes because the Netflix description said it was about him getting home for Thanksgiving and I wanted a Thanksgiving movie! It was slap-stick funny, which is perfect for our family, and we enjoyed our treats. I was sad Steven was working, but glad to be with my family.

Thanksgiving morning we also kept the tradition of staying in jammies all day, and watching the parade and dog show, with our annual dog show contest which my mom won, which she almost always wins!!! Then everyone pitched in to get everything warmed up, made, the table ready, etc. Felicity woke up JUST in time for food, and we all sat around the table stuffing ourselves and talking. It was so, so nice. Felicity required a bath after her feast, and then we relaxed some more before having pie. Then, all too quickly, mom, dad, and Rachel were headed back to SC. It was such a great day and we had so much fun hosting!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Felicity Marian: 9 Months

3 more months until her BIRTHDAY!!! How can that be???

Weight: From our scale, she's still about 19-20 lbs, so very similar to last month. I think her weight hasn't changed much since she is crawling so much. Since Felicity has lots of delicious pudge, I'm not worried :). Her 9 month check up is tomorrow so we'll find out her weight for sure! 

Height: No clue! We find out tomorrow. 

Medical issues: Felicity has had her first cold and, while she seems to not feel bad, I am so ready for the runny nose to be gone! She HATES having her face/nose wiped, and absolutely freaks out at the nose freida. Which by the way is the most amazing and most disgusting thing ever. I think she may FINALLY be getting teeth! I can see one under the gums for sure, and possibly the one beside it. Other than that, Felicity hasn't had any issues this month. 

Sleep: Oh good gravy. On 11/1, Felicity began about 2 weeks of waking up to play around 4 am. Luckily some of those days Steven was getting up for work anyway, so I could stay asleep. But man that was rough! It seemed to coincide with her getting really good at crawling. 

Besides that, I would say maybe her sleep has improved a bit? She seems to be sleeping a bit more/nursing a bit less in the middle of the night, so I'm more rested. She wakes up earlier now, usually between 6-6:30, but still goes to bed at 7, and some mornings will sleep til 7. Felicity dropped a nap this month so we're down to 2. It makes life SO much easier! She usually wakes up around 6:30, goes down for a nap around 9, up around 9:30, naps again at 1:30/2, up around 3-3:30 and then is up until bed time at 7. If she naps past 4, even just by 10-15 minutes, she will not go to bed until at least 8 but doesn't sleep in any later, so I try to always have her up by 4!

Clothes/Diaper Size: She's still in size 3 diapers and 9 month clothes. I may start working some 12 month clothes in as some of the snaps are getting a bit tight on a few outfits. I'm also having to raise the "rise" snap on some of her cloth diapers. 

Likes: Puzzles, balls, Buttercup, computer cords and keyboards, eating, her musical activity table and walker, playing "chase" on the bed or in the kitchen, pulling clothes out of drawers

Dislikes: Having her face cleaned/nose wiped, having her diaper changed, not getting what she wants (trying to reach a toy), when Mommy sits on the couch

Nicknames: Big girl, baby girl, boo, the tickle

10/28 Felicity now throws balls and round objects (the lid to her play kitchen pot) and 'chases' them
10/30 pulling up and taking a few steps while holding on (kind of cruising)
11/1 starts giving me kisses when I say "can I have a kissy?". Sometimes she absolutely pelts me with kisses when I ask, and I die of cuteness!
11/3 can get to a sitting position from laying. She rolls to her belly and then can sit up. I've been dreading this moment for nap and bed time lol! Felicity also started giving high fives this week! 
11/5 really cruised at library story time!!!
11/10 Felicity is waving! She mostly did two hands for a while, but now seems to have the one handed wave down. She cracked some older ladies up at church this past week when they waved at her and she surprised them by waving right back! 
11/14 Felicity walked about 5 steps with her walker toy!
11/16 She stood on her own for a few seconds, and has done it about 5 times since then! 

I don't want to forget this: 

Steven's parents came to visit us and brought this little zebra riding toy. Felicity loves it and is so good about holding onto the handles! She will hold on and I push her all the way down the driveway. It seems like such a big kid thing to do!
Steven was out of town for work from 11/3-11/12. During that time, Felicity had a lot of trouble with sleep because usually Steven "shushes" her from when she goes to bed until when we go to bed. If I do it, she wants to cuddle and/or nurse, but for him she'll go right back to sleep. So on 11/4 when she'd woken for the 9 billionth time, I picked her up and rocked her a bit (which is something we never do... just not her thing). For about 10 minutes she cuddled me with her head on my shoulder. Then when I laid her in the pack n play, she held my hand until she fell asleep, but never cried. It was beyond sweet! 
We took Felicity to Marbles Kids' Museum on 11/13 to celebrate "38 weeks in, 38 weeks out" and had SO much fun! We mostly played in the 2 baby areas, but Steven and I got to see all the cool stuff Felicity will get to do when she's bigger. We are definitely going to go there a lot!
Tonight Steven and I got home from a date night (our wonderful neighbors trade sitting with us) and i was getting a few things done around the house while Steven was working on printing a "9" for Felicity's picture. He was on the bed on the computer, and I was getting something out of the bedroom. Felicity went in the closet, stood up to my shoe bin, and began emptying it one by one. Emptying drawers is her new favorite thing, and something just struck me so cute and sweet about us all doing our own thing in the same room. It's probably a "you had to be there moment" but I just happily sighed, thinking how nice life is with my family :).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Life These Days

The days with my baby girl lately are very sweet. Also maddening and exhausting. But mostly sweet. Felicity is crawling very quickly, and I've never been happier with our decision for a modest sized house-a decision that was made knowing we'd be giving up our income, but it's a bonus with a curious crawler! So far, we haven't had to put any baby gates up indoors, though I'm considering one in the bathroom since she was sucking on the toilet while I showered the other day. I did put one up outside on the deck, which was an idea I got from my genius neighbor. We only had one nice weather day since I got it, but it was so nice putting her on the deck to crawl around as I sat in a deck chair and enjoyed a book on a slightly cool, but sunny afternoon. I'm looking forward to doing that a lot next spring, with an iced drink in hand and the umbrella up.

I'm babysitting my neighbor's two boys each Monday and Wednesday afternoon. It's great for many reasons. I get experience with multiple small children (I pray to never have twins lol). She has a 3 year old and 1 year old, and the 3 year old and either baby is pretty easy, but the 3 year old with both babies proves challenging. Sometimes her little one is napping and other times Steven is off so Felicity stays with him, It's good for Felicity to have play time with other babies, and probably even to have a short amount of time each week where my attention isn't completely on her. It's also a great opportunity for me to help our finances a bit without having to leave my baby. I was looking for something like that anyway, so it was perfect timing since my neighbor is also my friend, and I'd rather spend time with her kids than a stranger's! I have a feeling Felicity will grow up as fast friends with her boys, as we are there 2 afternoons a week, but we also all walk together about 4 days a week. I need the push to exercise, and I try to get Felicity outside for at least a little while each day, so having a neighbor keep me accountable to walks has been a blessing. It's also really fun to have someone to chit chat with while we walk! I always dreamed of having a friend with kids in the neighborhood, so this is truly a dream come true.

We are still doing story time once a week at the library. Speaking of which, the lady who does story time is also a neighbor of ours! We were going twice a week, but the baby one is two days in a row, so I backed us down to once. If they ever split up the days, we'll probably go twice. I take Felicity 30 minutes early every other week to return books, and play with and check out new books. They keep the board books on a low, non-tippable shelf so the babies can get to them easily. Felicity sits and pulls books out with glee, as I choose some new ones to take home. Then we go to story time and she is usually pretty ready for a nap after that!

We are considering joining a weekly play group. I've done a few different group things in the past, but haven't stuck with any. I'm debating this one only because it's on Thursday, which is almost always one of Steven's days off. This week we are going to go and let Steven have a little "me time", but I will probably only go every other week if he keeps having Thursday off. We meet at local malls (during cold weather) so the babies can crawl/toddle on the soft play structures while the mamas talk. I just found out one of the ladies lives in Garner, so we may set up play dates individually too, since everyone else lives about 30 or so minutes away.

Felicity got a zebra "bike" (ride on toy) from her grandparents, so we have been taking it outside each day to play on. I bundle her in her precious pink jacket with bear ears (can't handle the cute!) and out we go. She impressively holds onto the handles, so I can push her without holding on, though I stay close by just in case. She smiles and coos as she flies down our driveway on her "bike". Sometimes she crawls through our yard, tasting and crunching leaves. I love this time with my girl!

In case you think it's all fun and games :D, I'm still learning to keep house with a baby in tow. I used to religiously clean the house once a week (Steven and I each did half). It's all but impossible to get the whole house clean at once, for now anyway, so I have adopted more of a "clean as I go" policy, even though it pains me to not have that one day each week where everything is clean at the same time. I've gotten laundry under control as Felicity will play in our room long enough for me to sort, fold, and hang clean clothes. Dinner is still a work in progress as it's her most needy time of day, so I'm making mostly simple dishes for now. I try to make more fun, involved things on Steven's days off. Felicity especially loves cat food right now, so doing anything in the kitchen is challenging as she constantly goes for Buttercup's bowls!

Basically, I'm trying to absorb all this time while she's little. It's going so, so fast and (hopefully) we'll add to our family in the next few years, so I want to immerse myself in these one on one memories while I can. I love this little girl so, so much and I'm beyond thankful for the opportunity to spend my days with her. Felicity may be tempermental and demanding, but she is cute, loving, and hilarious. And now I'm off to feed, bathe, and read to my sweet baby!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nursing My Girl

So, it's been forever (5+ months... close to forever) since I've updated you on my breastfeeding journey with Felicity. And as I said before, I know you all sit there like "hey, whatever happened with that!?". Or, more accurately, I'm writing it for me :). 

Felicity is a nursing champ! When she was a few weeks old, I never thought I'd say that. She LOVES her "nursies"! She continues to nurse before naps and bed, but just over the past month has begun to initiate nursing at other times. It's so sweet to me because Felicity has always enjoyed the pre-sleep nursing sessions, but it's been something I offer and she accepts. Now, she lets me know that she wants to nurse! Felicity will do a few different things to signal this to me. Once, and one time only, she did the sign for "nursies", which was pretty awesome. But otherwise, she either attempts to nurse while I'm fully clothed, or she will bury her head in my chest. I've learned that both of those things signal her wanting to nurse (and yeah, I'm working on her doing the sign instead lol). It's generally when she's getting sleepy or is upset, but sometimes she just does it for (seemingly) no reason and we have a good cuddle and I nurse her. Then we go back to playing. I think those times might be my favorite because I always thought the pre-sleep nursing was about as good as it was going to get- and I was perfectly happy with that, don't get me wrong. But for her to basically say "mom, I want to nurse!" rather than "oh... you're offering the boob? Well, sure!" makes me a happy mama. 

The other good news is that I'm basically not pumping anymore. I thought I'd be pumping until she was 1, so it has been a huge relief to have that burden off my shoulders! Since she was nursing more, and because she basically sat on the floor and cried any time I tried to pump, I slowly began to cut pumps out around 5-6 months. Felicity also spends the majority of the night in bed with us and nurses on and off, so then I naturally cut out my 2 middle of the night pumps. At one point, around 7 months, I was still pumping at 10pm, and then she went through a phase of nursing then, too. So I cut that one out, even though that phase did end. The only time I pump now is if she naps in the car, since she would normally nurse before then. Basically, if she's missing one of our normal nursing sessions, I pump. I find that's only 1-2 times a week, generally. SWEET RELIEF. It is so nice to not be tied tot the pump all the time! My quality of life has shot up big time. And the exciting part? The rare times I do pump, I get the same amount as I did before. Small as it is, I'm extremely excited that she's nursing enough that my supply didn't dip by cutting out like 6-8 pumps a day! 

I think all the time about the breastfeeding journey for someday-baby #2.... sooo many details like will the baby be tied? Will I have to pump around the clock for months? Do I want to even give the SNS a try again after how much we hated it this time? Do I want to try domperidone for a full supply and not having to worry about donor milk, even with the probable weight gain? Will I make more milk the 2nd time around?

And then I make myself turn my brain off, I cuddle up with my girl, and nurse and look at her sweet little face (and facebook because, hey, she is amazing and precious and beautiful, but I get bored sometimes. Just keeping it real).

Monday, November 3, 2014


Steven left today for 10 days for work. Technically he might be able to come home a day or two in there, but we don't know for sure yet. Felicity and I will definitely be going there for a few days! As he was preparing to leave, I began to think about allll the things he does around the house. It's easy for me to get into the train of thought that I do almost everything since a) I chose the vocation of SAHM and homemaker and b) he works 10+ hour days so it makes sense for me to do most of the home stuff. Sometimes I can get a little woe-is-me about it. But as I listed off in my head all the things I will be responsible for while he's gone, I realized he does a lot around the house. I also started having those mushy love feelings. You know, the ones you have a ton while dating, occasionally when married, and are almost too busy to experience with a new-ish baby around the house. Yeah, those! I was flooded with how much I'll miss his hugs, cuddles, company, and conversation. I would never choose to be separated from him for something like a work trip but, I must say, there might be something to that whole "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing! Or, in my case, "Impending absence makes the heart grow fonder". I told him it's a great opportunity to step back and work on not taking one another for granted.

As I've dreaded these 2 weeks arriving, I have often thought of how fortunate I am. So many military moms (or in some cases, dads) are home with their kids while their other half is gone for months, or even a year or more. I cannot imagine. I have one kid and I'm whining about 10 days while there are moms with many children going many months. My own mom had us by herself a lot while my dad would be in different countries for a week at at time for work. It's crazy how all of that sort of flies under your radar until you get the teeniest taste of it and then you're like "wow... those moms are amazing". If you're one of those moms, seriously, you are amazing. I will try to remind myself these days that Steven is gone that there are people in much more difficult solo parenting situations than I. Felicity may be a handful and have rough nights here and there, but I have it pretty good!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

After a couple of particularly rough parenting days (mainly involving sleep, but also separation anxiety), I'm having a blissful one! I thought I'd check in and put a few words together since I'm sitting here in my clean living room, cat pans clean, laundry in the dryer, while my baby naps by herself. I love, love, love napping with her, but I do enjoy the occasions where I can slip away and she stays asleep for a while (currently an hour!). It's her first Halloween, and first holidays always make me a bit sentimental since it's her last first of said holiday. Yes, it's her first Halloween but it's also her last first Halloween! Feliciy is wearing a precious outfit given to her by her Gammy that says my first halloween and has a little tutu on the pants. Then, this evening when we give out candy, she has a little outfit with a big cat face on it that she'll wear. It's regular clothes, but as close to a costume as I wanted to deal with when she's too little to want to put up with the real thing. Depending on how chilly it gets, I'd like to sit outside as a family tonight and hand out candy. Steven and I carved our pumpkin last night after Felicity went to bed. We almost skipped this year; time just got away from us! But around 9pm (which is usually when we do an hour of "together time" anyway), I got emotional that how could we have carved pumpkins the last 3 years and not on Felicity's first Halloween!? So to the table we went for, as tradition holds, me to scrape/de-seed and Steven to carve. We didn't end up roasting pumpkin seeds this year because there was some green and water inside of our pumpkin (blech) so I wasn't sure if they were ok to eat. And Steven skipped his traditional (and impressive) Marvel carvings and did an old fashioned jackolantern face. It was fun! 

Back to my day. It's been a simple day, and so nice. In fact, both yesterday and today were great! Yesterday we went on a 2 hour play date with about 5 other moms at the play area of a local mall. It's made for crawlers/walkers, so it was perfect. The company was nice, Felicity napped on the way there and way home, and she had a blast. When we got home, she slept a bit more (!), and then we went on a walk with our neighbor. We walk probably 4-5 days a week, and I love it because it's exercise + company + time outside for my outdoor loving girl. When we got back, we ran and got traditional Halloween Krispy Kreme. Then the same neighbor dropped her 2 boys off (almost 3 and almost 1) so her and her hubby could go to dinner. You'd think going from 1 to 3 kids would be hard, and sometimes it is, but yesterday for about 45 minutes they all 3 played happily and I SAT ON THE COUCH. Since Felicity has been so clingy lately, I'm either on the floor with her, or on the couch with her whining/crying at my feet. So to just do my own thing while they all 3 played was amazing! And Felicity slept great because her friends wore her out. 

Today we started the day with our neighbor walk, then leisurely got ready, Felicity had a nap and I had coffee, and then ran to Target after lunch. We played a bit when we got back and now she's napping again. Technically this is her 3rd nap, as she was up at 5:30 am (cries) and we napped together in the best cuddle ever from 7:30-8:30 before our walk. I've gotten a lot done around the house, which is really not that easy for me most days, and the breeze of the windows open is glorious. 

Tomorrow may be rough, she may cry a lot, I may get nothing done.... but today... today I am living up the simple life :). 

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!