More About the World’s Cutest Baby

-I’ve been saying for forever (months?) that I need to work on putting her down at night so that Christopher and I can have some time alone together (currently I get her to sleep, then hold her until he comes to bed at which time I go pump/have my me time). But I kept putting it off. She would have a bad night and I’d convince myself I don’t want to mess with it right now. Or my anxiety would be up and I needed the cuddles for my sake, even if she didn’t. Or I’d just forget and stick with the usual out of habit. But the last few days she’s gotten where she doesn’t seem to want to be cuddled after a little while. She’d get unsettled and wiggle until she was sprawled across my lap with her arms flung out instead of tucked up close like she prefers for naps. Maybe she’s just getting hot (since she wears a sleep sack at night but not for naps), but I put her down the last two nights and she’s been totally content to stay asleep. Maybe it would have worked out fine if I’d actually tried to do it sooner, but I feel really good about having waited until it seems like it’s what she wants/needs, instead of pushing her to sleep “alone” (I’m still sitting a foot away, just not touching her) before she was ready. Now it’s a matter of getting comfortable walking away. Not sure how that will go, since we don’t have a monitor and I hate to risk not hearing her and her getting wide awake with no warning. But we’ll see. For now at least I can go pee if I need to while I’m waiting for Christopher to go to bed and take over baby duties!

 

-We totally redid the layout of her room. One of her “dressers” has actual baskets (not canvas bins like the changing table and other dresser thing), and bits were breaking off when she messed with them, which seemed dangerous. Initially I looked into replacing the baskets, but we decided instead to move it into the closet. We wound up moving every single piece of furniture in her room! We want to get a couple more things, but overall I’m really happy with the changes. I’m working on reorganizing, since we still have things in drawers like swaddling blankets that we haven’t needed in months. And then there’s the humidifier, which is super cute (shaped like an owl), but we live in TN! It’s super freaking humid here. Why do we have a humidifier?! Pretty sure I got a little crazy with the scanner when we were doing our registry. 😄

 

Anyway, I’m really happy with her room now. It’s closer to a Montessori feel, where she can get to her own things instead of having them hidden away where she’s dependent on us. I sorted her toys into three sets, and I’m going to rotate them weekly. (If one is getting a ton of play still, I won’t pull it, but mostly they’ll get rotated.) I put each set in a bin, and will have the current one always on the bottom (see picture below) where she can pull what she wants. I also put a few books on the bottom (currently the Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, and A Christmas Carol from her Aunt Jes!), along with her rainbow blanket from Aunt Margie (I think she’ll like the colors and texture), and a puzzle from Aunt Casey (she’s too young to get the puzzle aspect but she likes it). And she can reach the rest of the books in the upper section when she starts pulling up, which should be soon. (She has more books in the closet, but these are the ones that are most age appropriate.) We just need to do something about the fact that the whole thing is backless so she can reach through to get to the lamp cords. So far she hasn’t noticed (and I’m pretty sure she can’t actually reach), but that could change at any time!

 

Ultimately I also want something like this (see picture) for her clothes. We were looking at a tall chest of drawers but I don’t want her to not be able to get things in and out herself. She may need a stool for this (or she may not, she’s so tall), but she’ll be able to pick out her own clothes. The closet can be for storage and non-everyday clothes. (I’m all for letting her wear what she wants, but if we buy her an expensive fancy outfit for special, I don’t want her wearing it to dig in the dirt. So until she’s old enough to really understand that, only play clothes will be easily accessible.) Now I just need to put some thought into getting her a section of cabinet cleaned out in the kitchen for her stuff, and getting her a learning tower (and maybe a small table and chair when she’s ready), and her independent setup will be good!


 -Just realized something that probably should have been obvious a long time ago. I’ve been tired from the fact that she still doesn’t sleep through the night, but not THAT tired. Not crazy exhausted zombie tired. The thing is, I’m not really waking up any more than I’m used to anyway! I have a TINY bladder, so waking up to pee multiple times per night is my normal. Add that I was pregnant most of the two years prior to her being born, which meant even more wake ups to pee, and waking up frequently is just not a big deal to me. I’m not saying it’s exactly the same, since clearly peeing is a lot faster than feeding a baby, but since we cosleep it’s pretty quick. Wake up, pop bottle in her mouth, hold it till she’s done, then she rolls over (onto Christopher) and goes back to sleep, so I do the same. This past week or two she’s been having way more dramatic wake ups (crying, not going back to sleep, etc- I think it’s a combo of teething and the 9 month sleep regression), and I’ve been WAY more tired. Now that makes more sense to me! Yay! (Now go back to sleeping well, please!) (Update: I slept in the other room last night so Christopher could do wake ups, and she slept 12 hours with only 2 wake ups! Hoping this means she’s back to normal!)
-Speaking of teething, she had 3 teeth break through last weekend! Eek! That had to have been painful. I feel guilty because we had NO idea there was one coming through on the bottom until my mom noticed it was already through! I mean, she was getting Tylenol for the top two that we knew about, but how could I have not noticed that?! She’s turning into a chompy little crocodile. Don’t let her get your finger in her mouth- you’ll regret it!


 -Do you ever get used to the intensity of the feelings that come with parenting I wonder? Like omg she’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and I just want to squeeze her so much I can’t stand it. Does that ever not seem a little weird?

 

-I’ve been taking to my cousin about it, and the more I think about it, the more I think I’d be in Hufflepuff. I’ve always said Ravenclaw (well, except in high school when I was pro-Slytherin, which has to be the lamest way to be a rebellious teenager ever), but now I feel like Ravenclaw is where I would have wanted to be, but I’d have really belonged in Hufflepuff and (assuming the Sorting Hat had the sense not to listen to me) I would have ultimately been glad to have wound up there. I grew up being “the smart one,” and I let myself tie too much of my identity/pride to that label. So I went to a magnet high school, took AP classes, took too many hours in (my one year of) college, etc. None of which ended well, because I got in over my head. Ultimately, I think I’d rather be part of the house that values loyalty and patience and true virtues, than one that just focuses on being smart.


 

-I’ve found I keep thinking of Lily as more of a toddler than a baby lately. Officially she’s definitely not a toddler- she’s only 10 months (8.5 adjusted), and she’s not even crawling. But somehow she just doesn’t seem so babyish. She just seems more.. intentional? I don’t know how to explain it. But it seems like there’s been some kind of shift and she’s more of an assertive, opinionated little person, even though she can’t even talk.

 

-I was wondering *today* if I should be worried about her lack of interest in eating any significant amount of solids, since she’s supposed to get to where she’s getting the bulk of her calories from it in a few months. (Another reason I’m angry about breastfeeding not working out. I planned to nurse well past a year, so I would always have felt good knowing she was at least getting that if she didn’t eat a lot. Still working on not feeling a lot of anger about that.) Then tonight we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner (yum), and she ate like a little piggy. She didn’t care for cornbread, interestingly. She spit that right out twice (so not an accident most likely). But she ate hashbrown casserole, green beans, pinto beans, chicken, and some biscuit. Not a ton of any of them, but significantly more than she’s eaten at a sitting before. Apparently she really prefers what we’re eating (or at least to eat at the same time as us). So I guess it’s time to implement family dinners! Though I need to clean the dining room, eek. I’ve made a mess of it with working on her birthday stuff and cookies.



 -I wonder if she’ll be upset when she finds out one of the songs I sing her to sleep with is about dying, not going to sleep. “Into the West,” by Annie Lenox, from Return of the King. The lyrics make a great lullaby (“lay down your sweet and weary head/ night is falling/ you have come to journey’s end/ sleep now/ and dream of the ones who came before/… why do you weep… soon you will see/ all of your fears will pass away/ and you’ll be here in my arms/ just sleeping” and on). But it’s not about sleeping. I wasn’t super thrilled as a kid to find out Eidelweiss is about a flower (what did I think it was about? Or what did I want it to be about? I’m talking about my own self and I’m still confused), and flowers are cheery. Oh well. Hopefully she’ll understand the intention behind it.

 -Our hot water heater went out the other day. Christopher had someone here replacing it in less than 24 hours, woohoo. And the expense sucks, especially since we just did a LOT on the yard that wasn’t cheap, but dude. The new one is SO much better. Took the loveliest bath tonight in our big master bath garden tub. I’ve never been able to before because the water would be cold before it got full. I’m so happy. 

 

-She’s started making this little pugnacious bulldog face and it’s hilarious. She looks so angry! She’s grinding her teeth (not unusual at all), which I don’t love (hate that sound!), but it’s stinking cute!


Cute baby!!

She’s hard on the mat lately!



Took her to the Aquarium (restaurant) to see the fishes!



She’s still not too sure about grass



Measuring cups are her most favorite


Took her to the park to swing. She could not have cared less. 😆

Middle of the Night Lessons

So last night was interesting. I got to bed late, because I was finishing up a cookie set (a mermaid baby shower set- not my best work because I just didn’t have time to have the level of detail I’d have liked (it needs more colors), but I’m pleased enough). I passed out, aaaand the baby woke up. And she was *awake* awake, not at all interested in going back to sleep, even after some milk. And I was just SO frustrated. I didn’t get my night to sleep with no wake ups this weekend, and I’d gotten to bed late a couple days in a row, and she’s been waking up way more (9 month sleep regression and/or because she cut three teeth at once), and I was just so damn tired. I was getting more and more frustrated and angry. I knew rationally it wasn’t her fault but I was so overwhelmed.  

By this point she was crying (overtired and unable to go back to sleep isn’t fun for anyone), so Christopher took her to rock her in the living room for a bit. I stayed in bed for a few minutes and just had a good quick cry. I was so exhausted and angry and guilty that I was angry and guilty that Christopher was being kept up even though he had to be up in a couple hours for work (whereas I get to sleep relatively late since the baby isn’t a morning person either). I was just over it. 

 

But after a few minutes I was able to relax and make that shift from “omg go the f*** to sleep” to “my baby is tired and she needs my help calming down.” I went and got her from Christopher, and sent him to sleep in the other room so he could get some rest. And I got us all settled in and cuddled her up close and she calmed down and I sang her lullabies, and after 15-20 minutes she was sound asleep. I laid her down next to me, cuddled up against her, and we both slept well the rest of the night. 

 

It was such a good reminder of how important it is to step away sometimes and give myself a chance to reset. I read articles recommending it when your toddler is being especially trying, but babies can be frustrating as hell. Sometimes we just need a minute to calm down and let the adrenaline settle before approaching the situation from a better place. 

 

Also? I wasn’t able to go straight back to sleep once she was out. I was wide awake and it took some time for me to settle back to sleep. Why should I expect my 10 month old, who hasn’t learned how to settle herself properly, to just instantly fall back asleep when she’s been woken up in the middle of the night (I think it was gas btw, and that can really hurt!), when I can’t even do it myself? I’ve had 30 years to learn how to best get myself relaxed enough to sleep, and I still don’t fall asleep instantly (Christopher does, but he’s a weirdo). Of course it takes her a little while. Someday she won’t need me in the middle of the night anymore (if we could get there sooner than later that’d be great!), but for now my baby needs me and I’m going to be here for her. And take a lot of naps.

9mo and Growing Like a Weed!

-Found a way she enjoys purées (since we still have quite a few)! Thin it down with some milk or formula, and let her drink it from her glass! (Which is a nice sturdy shot glass.) She loves it! We still need to work on not turning it over to chew on the bottom, but I’m happy that this is a more fun way for her to practice with a glass than just using water. 

  

  

-It’s fascinating watching her new skills develop! She’s been really working hard on holding more than one thing in one hand. Sometimes she’ll deliberately pick up two things with one hand, sometimes she’ll have one in each and transfer one over. Mostly she does it with her binkies, but she’s done it some with other objects that are small enough she can get her hand around them. It’s particularly amusing when we put a binkie in one of our mouths (which she thinks is hilarious), and she reaches for it with a hand that’s already holding one. 😆

 

-Also, on the skill front- earlier when we got home from target (looking for 12mo sleepers, because she’s getting too tall for the 9mo!) we left the diaper bag on the floor in the kitchen. She spotted it from across the room, rolled over to it (still not crawling, since rolling is so efficient for her!), pulled the empty bottle from the side pocket, and put it in her mouth. (And got frustrated that it was empty.) This from the kid that was barely holding her own bottles a few weeks ago!

 

-This whole sleeping all over Daddy thing is having some unexpected benefits. Last night was my night to sleep in the other room so that he could do wake ups, and she slept better than she ever has for him. She still woke up the usual number of times, but she went right back to sleep. In the past he’s had trouble with her staying awake for extended periods in the middle of the night. And then tonight when he came to bed the dogs started barking and woke her up. She seemed wide awake, and I was sure she’d be up for a while, but as soon as he laid down and pulled her close, she closed her eyes and went to sleep! I’m not gonna say it doesn’t make me a little jealous, but mostly it’s so sweet! When I came to bed the other night she had turned horizontal, and he had his arm out so that she was laying up against it, and they were sleeping forehead to forehead at right angles. So adorable.

 

-Parenting is weird (or maybe I am). My sleeve smells like the baby’s sweat (she has the sweatiest dang head) and it makes me smile. If it were Christopher’s sweat I’d be totally grossed out!

 

-I love when she’s fighting to wake up and one or more limbs are waving in the air, then she falls back asleep and they just drop. Bonus points when she’s holding something (usually a binkie) and drops it.

  

  

-I’ve found that at different times, different things about the Lils will catch my attention and just seem unbearably cute. At one point it was the spot where her nose and cheeks meet. (It’s chubby, like her cheeks are so chubby that it melts over into her nose!) For a long time it was under her chin, where it’s so soft and kissable. And her chunky thighs! But lately it’s been her hands. She’s working so hard to learn to use them well (she’s almost managed the pincer grip properly!); they’re moving more and more like big girl hands every day. But they’re still fat little baby hands. The contrast is fascinating and adorable.

  

 

-I’ve been reading a lot about unschooling and project based learning (which I LOVE, and which can still be applicable even if she goes to school), and one thing that’s really big is leaving out “invitations to learn.” Things like, if your kid is into bugs right now, set out a jar, magnifying glass, book about bugs, and maybe a journal or sketchbook on a shelf. Don’t draw attention to it, just let them find it and if they’re interested they’ll run with it. I was thinking that seems intimidating, how do I come up with good ideas to set out? But I realized, I already do it without thinking about it. I don’t put all of her toys out every day. I set out the ones I think will suit what she’s interested in right now. And I put them together in various ways to keep her challenged and interested. Like I put a bunch of blocks in an empty tissue box today. Nothing big, just opportunities for her to keep stretching her abilities, with no pressure from me to do anything in particular if she’s not interested. 

 

-Arg. She won’t keep doing the cute thing once I get the camera out! She can’t pick up the phone I gave her (my old one, no power or anything) off the hardwood and she REALLY wants to put it in her mouth, so she keeps just reaching with her mouth. And stopping as soon as I try to get a picture, no matter how quick and discrete I am.

 

-I’ve been doing surprisingly well with not being sad about my baby growing up so fast. She won’t be a baby much longer! Mostly I’m really excited for what’s to come. I’ve been reading a lot of homeschooling blogs and there are so many fun things we can do (even if she winds up in school)! But I happened to look through the family photos we had done when she was three months today, and oooh it made me sad. I love love love watching her grow and change, but she’s not my itty anymore!

 

-Speaking of not my itty, little miss tall and skinny had a doctor appointment today. She’s 65th percentile for weight, and 95th for height! That’s based on birth age. Adjusted age I think she’d be off the chart for height. 😄 It’s so weird because Christopher and I are almost exactly average, but we both have some very tall family members. Guess she got their genes! The doctor even commented that she’s gonna be tall. Family photos with my dad are going to be hilarious. Already all of them (my dad, stepmom, 16yo sister, and 14yo brother) tower over both of us. Someday she might too!

 

-She’s started shaking her head back when we shake ours at her! I’m honestly not sure if she learned it or we did; she’s been shaking her head occasionally for a while, but I don’t think any of us have tried to get her to do it in response to us. It’s so stinking cute!

 

-It’s funny how unpredictable babies are in what they love. She has this one Pooh book from her aunt, and she LOVES it. It’s not sparkly, or interestingly textured, or anything else that you’d think would make it stand out to her (it is personalized, which I think she’ll love when she’s bigger, but she neither knows nor cares about that at this point), but she has loved it since the first time she saw it. It got put away (during cleaning) and didn’t get pulled back out for a bit, and the instant she saw it again she went right for it. Best book ever, apparently!

  

 
Random picture time!

  
  
  
  
   
 
  
  
  
  
  

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes March for Babies is rapidly approaching! We got off to a late start fundraising (funny how a 9 month old will do that), but we’re still hoping to be able to raise a bit! Last year we were walking for River, who would have been born at 34 weeks and spent a long time in the NICU if she had survived. This year it’s doubly special to us, because Lily was a preemie. Thankfully she only needed 15 days in the NICU and has always been very healthy. But having seen as much as we have, it’s very important to us to continue to work to help end prematurity and help families who are going through it. Thanks in advance to anyone who donates, walks with us, or just shares our page!
https://www.marchforbabies.org/Fundraising/Personal?personId=6448214&participantId=8042335&user=LizAndChris&f=fb&bt=15#.VwxnyefONo4.facebook

  

Growing fast!

-I take back what I said about hating the baby belly sleeping. She puked (all over me) big time tonight right before bed. Copious amounts, repeatedly. So I’m happy she isn’t sleeping on her back right now, because at least if it happens again she isn’t likely to choke. Hoping it was just a fluke anyway, and there won’t be any repeats, but we’ll see. I was complaining of not feeling well not half an hour beforehand, and she’s running a slight fever, so it could be a bug. Really hope not! (Update- She never showed any further signs of not feeling well, so I guess it was nothing!)

 

This is just when I briefly set her down during a nap, but look how sweet

 
 

-I’m just gonna say that puking all over me was not one of Lily’s firsts that I was looking forward to, inevitable as it was. Here’s hoping the second time is a long ways off.

 

-She found her hair in the last week or two. She normally rubs her eyes while she’s drinking her bottle when she’s really sleepy, but lately she’s been messing with her hair. It’s finally long enough (on the sides) for her to get a little grip on it!

 

-Reading about women going to prison for abortions makes me literally sick to my stomach. Sometimes I hate being aware of the news. But sticking my head in the sand won’t help.

 

-In the last few weeks the baby has discovered her feet. Not as something she can stick in her mouth; she’s been doing that for forever. But now she’s aware that they can do stuff. It started out with kicking things, apparently to enjoy the noise. Lately she’s been trying to use them to hold things, like her bottle, and the other day she actually picked something up with them. Pretty sure it wasn’t entirely intentional, but she was pleased about it!

  

 
  
 

-Baby sneeze farts will never not be funny.

 

-I got so lucky with this kid. She’s not a spectacular night sleeper, but other than that she’s so easy. She normally isn’t up till 9-ish and has a 2-3 hour nap in the morning/midday. Today she was up at 7 and by 3 had had only one 30 minute nap, but she was still happy. Super sleepy, and she literally fell asleep in less than 10 seconds when we settled for her nap, but she didn’t cry or anything. She cries maybe an average of 3-5 minutes per day. Maybe a lot less. I’m grateful, but if we do have another I really hope they’re as easy.

Happiest dang baby

-We haven’t really been brushing her teeth like we meant to. Whoops. I put a reminder in my phone today, so we should be able to remember to incorporate it into our routine more! She loves it.

  

 
  

  

-For some reason lately Lily has decided that she doesn’t want to sleep unless she’s laying all up on Christopher. It’s adorable, though he says it’s annoying (but I’m pretty sure he likes feeling all loved and stuff). Usually I come to bed to find him sleeping on his side facing her, and her laying on her back half on top of his arm with her arm flung across his neck/face. Love it! Plus it actually is helping me get more sleep. She’s far enough away that every little twitch doesn’t wake me up. And I think the daddy cuddles are good since he’s at work all day so they don’t get as much time together.

 

-I think I’m going to have to go back to more baby led solids after all. The choking thing freaks me out, but she’s started losing interest in purées. She’s super excited when we give her a bite of our food, but zero interest in baby food most of the time. Even pouches, which she can sort of do herself, aren’t interesting her. I made her some more little pancakes yesterday (just an egg and a banana mashed together and cooked), and she was so happy. Back to “real” solids it is!

 

  

 

And some extra pictures cause she’s too cute not to share! 

 

Darth Vader and a tutu, best outfit ever


 

The one exception to my no light up toys rule- my dalek


 

Vacuums are for eating, right?

  

I let her see the clippers when I finished with her nails, and it was SO EXCITING

  
  
 

She loves the mirror!


 

Still obsessed with going under the chair