Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Watch Me Grow - Seven Months

If have to start off by saying that I FORGOT to mention two of the most important/exciting developments in last months post (Six Months) - Lauren got TWO teeth AND she started eating solids. Woohooo!! Lauren's first bottom middle tooth popped up midway through the month and once that one came through it wasn't long before the one right next to it cut through as well. I'd like to blame her night wakings and short naps on the teething buuuut those haven't exactly stopped and no more teeth are coming through.

On Thanksgiving day Miss L had her first bite of solid foods - sweet potatoes! Basically she was disgusted at the actual taste of it, but for the most part she just pushed it around her mouth and spit it out. I was a bit slow at first getting her started (ahh sorry second child) but her first couple of foods included sweet potatoes, avocado and bananas!

Ok, ok - onto the current month!

Seven months old. We are officially closer to her first birthday than we are the day she was born. Insert all of the crying emojis here. And this has been a BIG month. Solids. Sitting up. Scooting. Apparently all the big developments start with the letter "S". A lot of exciting developments came right around Christmas time. After those first two teeth came in she must have started feeling a heck of a lot better as she started sitting up on her own much better than before. I still use the boppy sometimes to cushion her (if she isn't paying attention or turns around too fast, over she tumbles) but for the most part she is sitting up nice and strong. Around the same time she also started getting up on her hands and knees AND getting up on her hands and tip toes! This girl does a mean plank - don't let the chub fool you, she's got a six pack under that belly!

She's starting coming along with eating solid foods. It took her a while to actually ingest any of the food (most of it ended up on the walls, all over her face and/or all over me. I forgot how messy this stage is) but that is mostly my fault because for the first few weeks we were on a "try-solids-once-every-three-days" schedule. I just could not handle one more thing in my day! BUT! Now we are on track. So far she has tried sweet potato (puree and mashed), apple slices (in a mesh pouch), bananas (mashed and whole), sugar snap peas (raw), pears (puree), avocado (mashed), butternut squash (puree) and baby oatmeal cereal. I am doing a mix of baby led weaning and purees, depending on what I have on hand and how much time I have.

Sleep. Oh sleep. How I miss you. We did have a good run, for about four nights around New Years when she was sleeping from 6/6:30 - 5am and then back down for another two hours. But that was short lived. Luckily she is pretty much only getting up once a night, anywhere from 2:30-4:30am, and then will sleep until about 6am (she is usually in bed, asleep by 6pm). Naps are all over the board but are most likely to be about 35-45 minutes long. But the worst thing is that she is STILL sleeping in her swaddle during nap time!! I tried taking it away for a whole week and she literally only took 20-30 minute naps. It was terrible. She was exhausted, I was exhausted and her sleep deprivation started waking her up during the middle of the night. So, back in the swaddle she went. She might be going to college with her swaddle packed up with her extra long twin sheets.

And, as always, she continues to be such a ray of light in our family. Kaitlin and Lauren are still getting along great (although as Lauren gets to be on the move and discover Kaitlin's toys, Kaitlin is starting to suspect this might not be all fun and games). Her smile can light up a room and there is literally nothing she loves more than when her sister plays with her.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Watch Me Grow - Six Months

How are we half way to her FIRST birthday already?! Cue the tears - it's going by so fast!! This past month Lauren has grown so big, and is getting so strong. Last month she had JUST started rolling over constantly onto her tummy, and she is still pretty much doing that all of the time. She STILL hasn't really figured out how to roll back onto her back once she's there though. The few times that she manages to (or, rather, accidentally) do it she starts crying and I think gets really scared. During the day this is all fine but at night time. Ohhh at night time. This is a problem when she wakes up on her tummy and starts freaking out. She finally started rolling over on her tummy to sleep this month, though we have seen mixed results with it. Some days/nights she sleeps on her tummy all day and night long, with minimal problems. Some days it results in crying fits, 20 minute naps and multiple wake ups a night. I've said it from the beginning and it's still true - she loves to keep me on my toes.

Night sleeping has its good weeks and its bad weeks. A good week looks like sleeping from 6-6:30pm until 4-5am, a quick feed and then back down to sleep until 6:30am or so. A bad week looks like waking up at 1am, 3am, 4am, and then up for the day at 6am. Please send me all of the coffee those weeks. She has been swaddle free at night time for a few weeks now and still gets mixed results. Naps are a different story. Sometimes she is swaddled sometimes she is not. I wish I could say that swaddling = long nap and/or no swaddle = short nap but it's never really the same result. The good thing is that - most times - she wakes up happy as a clam whether she has had 25 minutes rest or 2 hrs.

Lauren has also started doing raspberries with her tongue, although they are a bit weak :) She is still the happiest, smiliest baby but no one can make her laugh like her big sister. Kaitlin loves to play with her and is so good at distracting her or trying to get her to stop crying. Any time Kaitlin pays attention to Lauren she just lights right up and starts smiling and laughing like crazy. I would be lying if I said it didn't melt me into a big puddle every time. 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Watch Me Grow - Five Months

Only a week late this time...that's totally acceptable, right?! Ladies and gentlemen - we have a roller! Within a week of turning four months old Lauren started rolling over tummy to back. A few days later she learned how to roll from back to tummy. I couldn't believe it! Just a week or two before and she didn't even show any interest in rolling over and then all of a sudden here she was! I will say, the rolling was very inconsistent for a while. Some days she would roll a few times, some days not at all. She kept this up for the whole month and then right on her five month birthday she started rolling over really consistently. Pretty much any time you lay her on the ground now she immediately rolls over onto her tummy. Unfortunately, once she is there it seems that she has forgotten how to roll onto her back so she usually ends up crying and getting mad. She also has yet to roll over on the bed and/or in her crib. I'm sure that won't last long though!

She is getting bigger and stronger, but she hasn't made much progress on sitting up yet. She could probably use a bit more time in the jumperoo and bumbo....slacker mom over here! As you can tell, this time around I'm not in any rush for her to reach these milestones :)

We have had a lot of success getting her digestive system back on track over the past month. She remained pretty much symptom free all month. I had cut all dairy and all soy products out. I am just now starting to incorporate soybean oil and soy lecithin back into my diet, as most people who have an intolerance to soy can actually handle them (something to do with the way the soy protein is broken down?? I don't really understand, but OK!) This is pretty exciting for me - for now, I am waiting with baited breath - as a ton of processed foods contain one of these two things or both. Everything from regular sandwich bread to enchilada sauce to granola bars. It has definitely been eye opening to read ingredients lists for nearly everything that I buy. It has easily doubled my shopping time and you wouldn't believe some of the things listed in the every day foods you buy.

Laurens naps and night sleeping are still all over the place. Lately she has been on a streak of terrible sleeping for two nights (like, up every 1.5 hrs) and then having an awesome nights sleep. Two more terrible nights then one awesome night. It's as if she knows juuuuuust how far to push me before I am totally loosing my mind from sleep deprivation and then she gives me a break. This one. She is going to be the one we have to look out for ;) I have managed to get her feedings down to one time during the middle of the night, so at least that is an improvement! We are starting some minor sleep training (more like...adjusting her sleep habits) to see if that helps at all with the night wakings.

Once she hit four months old the drool started and it hasn't stopped! Drooly McGee over here now needs a bib constantly and is always chewing on her hands, feet and/or toys of all shapes and sizes. Her little squeaks of laughter are now turning into full on giggles and that bright, cheerful smile hardly ever leaves her face. She is just so dang happy and it makes me so happy. She brings a smile to all of our faces and it is impossible not to give her a million and one kisses every day.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Watch Me Grow - Four Months

Eeekkkkk - and we're halfway to five months before I had a chance to write and post this.

Lauren's fourth month certainly was an interesting one! I decided that we needed to cut the cord on using the swing for her naps. As much as I LOVED having her nap for a really long time, multiple times a day, I needed her to start sleeping in her crib in her room for naps. She was starting to become more and more awake and aware of things and the magic of the swing was starting to wear off. We were able to successfully wean me her off of it within about a week. Naps in her crib have been all over the map - sometimes they are 30 minutes, sometimes they are 2 hours. I'm trying to relax about the 30 minute naps and accept them as the new normal, and then whenever they go longer I do a little happy dance. 

Speaking of sleeping being all over the map, her night sleeping as been the same. We have gone from waking up every 2-3 hours all night long, to sleeping 8+ hour clips at a time. Often within the same week. It's a bit maddening, more than the naps for sure, but I'm trying to remain positive (this too shall pass - or so they tell me!) She is now at the age when we can sleep train her, although this time around it is a bit harder since we have a toddler that sleeps right next door and LOVES and excuse to wake up and not go back to sleep. Instead of letting her cry it out, just yet, I am trying to wean her off of the night feedings one by one. Usually a quick belly pat and a pacifier will buy me another hour of sleep before she is begging to eat. Sometimes that also backfires on me but I'm giving it a try. 

In addition to all of this, we discovered that Lauren has a bit of tummy trouble that we have been trying to correct over the past month. For some reason the 4950824309584 servings of dairy that I was consuming every.single.day did a number on her sensitive tummy. Over Labor Day weekend we discovered some blood in her stool. After a consult with her Pediatrician and looking at some events surrounding the blood in her stool (green poo! spitting up a lot more than normal!) we decided that she has a dairy/soy intolerance. Now, we cant actually check for this, the only thing we can do is eliminate the dairy and soy from my diet and see if her stools and spit up improve. She may not even be intolerant to soy but it is easier to cut both of them out at the same time since so many babies are intolerant to both. It has been challenging for me, as I mentioned I was consuming copious amounts of dairy all day every day, but I am starting to find a groove with substitutes and new recipes. I was beginning to get really discouraged as it seems like her symptoms were getting worse instead of better but, low and behold, the day before her four month check up her stools returned to a normal color. Hopefully we have turned a corner and she gets better and better from here on out. If they go back or get worse our next step is to see a GI specialist.

Apart from all of the up and down sleep, green poo for days and many trips to the doctor, Lauren has remained one of the happiest and laid back babies ever. She has the biggest, most contagious smile ever. She is starting to squeak out little laughs here and there and they melt my heart. She LOVES, loves her big sister (even though Kaitlin nearly steps on/falls over/dances on top of her 94538905284 times  a day). She is talking up a storm and loves to have little conversations with you. She only really cries when she is hungry or overtired. She loves baths and doesn't even mind getting her clothes or diaper changed. She pulls herself up to standing when she holds onto your hands, loves to sit up with someones help, thinks the bumbo is hilarious and even started to twist around and pretend like she wants to learn how to roll over right on her four month birthday (she totally has no interest in actually rolling over. Homegirl is so happy just to lay there and stare at the ceiling fan).

Little Lauren, you are such a blessing. I can't wait to see what next month brings!