Friday, August 19, 2016

9 months: Crawling, teeth and general growing up-ness

Guess what??? Mah baybee is nine months! Nine months!! How?

She tried really hard to get some good photos, but... I mean between the ribbon on her outfit, her feet and her elephant...

It was a little difficult to get a decent picture.

And then finally...

Every monthly update I think to myself, I have too many pictures. I put too many pictures on her monthly blog update. But then I look through them and think Gah! I have to put this one on there! And this one! And this one! And then you get 40 pictures of my daughter in her August update. Sorry. This is a lot to scroll through. Maybe it means I need to blog more. Spread the photos out a bit throughout the month. I'm working on that. In the meantime, here is Olivia's 9 month update... with an obscene amount of photos.

I am in awe every single month at how fast 30 days can go. I mean, how is it possible I have a 9 month old?

How is it possible that she will be a year old in just three months? I'm still trying to figure out my feelings of sadness on all this. Like, my beautiful healthy baby is growing up before my eyes, and why am I feeling so sad about it when I should be excited, happy?

We booked a place for her birthday party in November. And I know I need to get planning because these three months will fly by and I don't want to rush this stuff. It's not going to be anything crazy but there will be a ton of people invited and some decorations to buy and party dresses to find and invites and cakes and a menu and presents to be bought for my little girl. Her one year photo session is booked by none other than our fabulous photographers, Erin and Andi who have been there for the last 9 years capturing our engagement and wedding photos, family photos, birth and newborn photos. It's such an honor for them to be there capturing Olivia's one year photos as well.

This month was much less busy than Month 8. No trips, nothing too crazy. Olivia finished the summer Storytime at the library as well as her last evening of swimming lessons earlier this month. I'm so proud of this girl. She started out kind of just laying there when we practiced her floating on her back and when the ball would come her way to practice leg kicks she just would struggle to pull her head up to glare at me out of the corner of my eye and at her last session she actually kicked her legs out at the ball! Submersions didn't really improve with her as she is the only one of the babies to keep her mouth open as I blow on her face before dunking her. Even her instructor would laugh and say that she only ever saw other babies do that when they were older and just being silly. So leave it to my baby. I'm not sure we'll continue lessons until next summer due to the cost, but it was fun and it's helped her so much in the water.

Other than that, we just went to two kid birthday parties and I've been busy helping plan my little sister's baby shower.

I also made it two nights flying solo while Chris was out of town at the beginning of the month. My best friend came to stay with me and Olivia and then spent the whole Saturday here to keep me company. Luckily, Olivia slept decently well, although I can tell she missed her Daddy and was just slightly off.

Nicknames: Livvie, Livvie Lou, Monkey, Monkey Chunks, Monks, Miss Olive, Ollie
Weight: 19lbs 13oz
28 inches

Head Circumference: 45 cm
Diaper size:
Clothing size:
Mainly 6-9 month clothes, but moving into 9 months and ironically can still fit into her 6 month dresses. I just packed away her 6 month clothes and have her 12 month ones ready to go. Wahhh.

Eating: She is nursing about every 3 hours during the day and just once at night. I've been trying to be really good at giving her two meals a day, mostly breakfast and dinner, but I admit, I haven't been very consistent. I've been mostly consistent, how about that? She's gotten so much better at actually chewing and swallowing food now and hardly ever gags anymore, so I must be doing something right. New foods tried this month: Hamburger patties, peanut butter, pancakes, green beans, taco meat, black bean quesadillas, chicken, celery, brussel sprouts, fajitas, Happy Baby puffs, those freeze-dried yogurt drops, and Cheerios.

Sleeping: She goes down between 7 and 7:45pm and will do one of two things: she'll either wake around 4am and then sleep until 7:30-8am (ideal and makes me the most happy) or she will wake between 1 and 3 and will be up anywhere between 5 and 6 (not ideal and makes me drink an extra cup of coffee). And I get it could be a lot worse, but it's also hard to function when she is up twice at night. One thing we figured out helps is if she wakes earlier, Chris goes and gets her and brings her to me in bed, I nurse her and then return her to her crib. I think that helps me fall asleep quicker again vs me sitting up in the glider in the nursery with her. We did get two glorious nights of her sleeping 7p-7a.
Naps have been going pretty well. She sleeps roughly two hours in the morning around 10am and then an hour and a half or so in the afternoon, about 2:30-3.

Milestones: Well, she officially crawled the day she turned 8 months! She's also been pulling herself up to stand, though she isn't cruising.

In fact, standing on things is probably her favorite thing to do, and if it's climbing up Mama, why that just tops the cake. She's also started to look for things when I hide them, like peeking her little head or craning it to see where it went. She's clapping her hands. Her pincer grasp is coming along so I think she can start handling smaller pieces of food now.  

Speech: The babble of the month has been "ahbaba!!" Still says "Mama!" and "Ba ba!" She's also doing some actual babbling/talking that use a lot of vowels. To Chris's dismay, she still refuses to say "dada."

Health: She had two nights this month of low grade fevers (well no temperature, but her head was definitely hot) and the second time she had the fever, she threw up about an hour and a half after her dinner. And then again while I was holding her while Chris was drawing her bath. It's the first time it wasn't just a baby spit up and it made me so sad for her to see her like that and also a little impressed with myself for handling it so well. I. Don't. Do. Puke. I brought this up at her 9 month appointment and the doctor thought she may have had a stomach virus. So that's strange.

Teeth: She haz them! In fact, I was sitting in the doctor's office on Thursday for her check up and was going to bring up her lack of teeth when I decided to give a feel on her lower gum. Lo and behold. I felt roughness. Her doctor felt and said she had two, in fact. One coming in slightly ahead of the other. So there you go. My toothless baybee is toothless no more.

Likes: Standing, especially climbing up me and holding on with one hand. Sometimes she plays daredevil and lets go and has been seen standing there alone for three seconds. Chewing on things. Being read to (this makes me happy because she is doing less chewing of the books and more sitting and actually listening). She's all about her Touch and Feel books right now. Crawling towards things she can't get into like dog food bowls and cords. Playing with Toby.

In fact, she's pretty much all about Toby. Or rather, Toby is all about her. I was going through the photos on my phone yesterday and... well look:

All these photos and Toby is Right There in all of them.
She also likes banging things together. Climbing under the chairs at the dining room table. Sitting outside on the grass. Think it's also safe to say she finally likes being in her Tula or Ergo. Woo hoo!

Dislikes: When you take something away from her. Getting herself stuck. Falling down (she really hates that). Waiting for you to serve her her food. Girl has zero patience.

Undecided about: Her baby jail. She used to like being in there, but I think she hates being separated from me. If I am in there with her, she plays happily. Strangers.

Looking forward to: Buying her convertible car seat. (Maybe I'm not looking forward to this, per say. More of an inevitable event that has to happen.) Her infant seat only goes to 30lbs or 30 inches and she has two more inches to go. I'm freaking out a little because while we may be able to get away with one convertible seat for awhile, we will need to eventually have two, one for each car lest we drive ourselves nuts switching it back and forth constantly. And they aren't cheap. But I am looking forward to our trip to Texas in 3 weeks! And I'm trying not to look forward to her first birthday. This year is already flying. I don't want to make it go any faster you guys.

35 weeks
36 weeks
37 weeks
38 weeks
39 weeks
 1 month

Friday, August 12, 2016

It's Friday. Mommy needs vodka.

I've learned a lot of things about being a parent in the last eight and a half months. Namely:

~People will give you all sorts of unsolicited advice about what's best for your baby.
~You will cry every time you put away something they've grown out of-baby swings, clothes, toys.
~Babies will always do their own thing and leave you feeling like a clueless asshole.

Mama, you know nothing about me.
Case in point. I've never tried really sleep training Olivia. I kind of just let her do her thing, and she's been pretty good in recent months. Then we had about two weeks of her waking twice a night before she turned around and gave us 12 hours of solid sleep! Then did it again the next night! But then yesterday, she decided she didn't want to take her (much needed) naps; what she wanted to do was climb all over me and scream in my ear. By the evening and into the night, she was a cranky, cranky mess. For several hours. It was slowly causing me to LOSE IT.

This morning, after going out for breakfast with my parents, I brought a very tired, eye-rubbing baby back to the bedroom for a nap. Then she proceeded to scream bloody murder like I was ripping her tiny fingernails off one by one. And then I realized that Breaking Bad was on Netflix and ignored the laundry and dishes that had to be done because you can only listen to your little adorable preshus screaming for so long before you need to witness a little bit of meth cooking and violence to balance it all out.

Olivia is getting older, you guys. She used to lay on her back under her activity mat and bat at the toys. Now I have to run at her with wet, soapy hands from doing the dishes as she tries to grab the dog bowls, the Bose speaker cord, or those little decorative statues that I have yet to put up from the corner of the kitchen.  She loves climbing in the kitchen chairs under the table and getting stuck and screeching and then doing it all over again when I've freed her.

I feel like we are getting dangerously close to being required to actually...parent.  Which I find to be terrifying. Up until now, I've been pretty comfortable with the whole Keep Alive part of being a mom. But now, it's like everything is changing again and I find myself sternly in my Mom Voice saying, "Olivia Nicole, you put down that dog food." Which kind of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because I've always wanted to say that.

I'm doing a terrible job at teaching her the meaning of No. Or, maybe just that No is not hilarious. She's well aware of the meaning of No. It clearly means: do something not allowed, pause when the mother says no, smile toothless smile at the mother, carry on. Bonus if the mother laughs at the baybee because OMG SHE IS BAD AND SHE ACTS JUST LIKE MEEEEEE! HOW CUTE AND MUSHY! LOLZ WITH MY HAND OVER MY MOUTH.

Anyway, the baby-proofing of the house is still a work in progress. And I have yet to get back into the swing of things with this whole crawling and suicidal standing she likes to do where she holds on to something and then flies backward and screams her head off. I'm waiting for the day she does this over the wood floor and I'm not quick enough and her head bounces off the floor. Oy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Probably the last person ever to get Netflix


That is all.

Where has this been all my life?

We decided to cut our cable in the effort to save some money every month due to my new role as stay at home mom. I thought I would miss my Food Network and HGTV. It seemed like it would be a hard transition.

But Orange is the New Black. Making a Murderer. Fuller House.

I mean, come on. Fuller House. Which I may be watching right now while I am typing this. Probably has something to do with the inspiration for this post.

Again, I'm probably one of the last people to see these shows. Feel free to snicker.

But there is this scene in Fuller House that I heard about and wanted to see. It's where Stephanie tells D.J. about her infertility.

I grew up watching Full House. It was my favorite show. Never mind it was cheesy. (Never mind that the dance scenes in Fuller House is cheesy too.) It had good values; something missing in most "family" shows nowadays. But the infertility scene was so... not cheesy. In Full House standards. I sobbed my way through it. It's so rare to get a good glimpse of infertility in Hollywood. Besides for this show, the only other good infertility theme was in Downton Abbey.

The moment Stephanie tells DJ through tears, "I can't have children," I was in tears. Because oh I have so been there.

And DJ. She doesn't say any stupid crap like, "Just adopt! My friend's cousin did that and she got pregnant!" She doesn't put on a fake smile and say, "It will happen! Just believe!" And by God she doesn't mention Stephanie should, "Just relax! Go on vacation!"

Instead, DJ hugs her, asks if she's ok.

God, how many dumb comments could be avoided if the person just responded like that?

In my work as a case manager, we were trained in Motivational Interviewing. While the question, "Are you ok?" lends itself to be a bit constrictive and closed-ended, this was always such a relief for me when people would ask it.

"Are you ok?"

I could either tell them, yes, I was ok if I didn't want to get into it, or I could use that opportunity to open up and tell them how I really felt.

The one thing I still inwardly cringed at was when DJ tells her, "You should know that my kids are your kids. We love you."

I remember (I don't know exactly when this happened or who it was, but it was well into my infertility blogging) someone pointing to their rambunctious kids playing in the background after listening to me rehash my second failed IVF cycle and jokingly tell me, "You can have mine!"

So. Not. Helpful.

So was it the perfect infertility scene? The one that was true to life, that showed the pain, the heartache, the anger? No. But it was close. And that's a start.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A day in the life: Summer 2016

It's time for another Day in the Life post! My last one (and only one) was when she was three months old. Actually my goal was to do them at 3 months, 6, 9, and 12. But... that didn't happen, which I'm kind of sad about. I know I am going to love going back to these someday and wondering what we did with her during the day as she grows.

A day in the life of Risa (30), Chris (33) and baby Olivia (8.5 months)- Friday July 29th, 2016


4:00 am- I hear Olivia wake up on the monitor, get up to go nurse her, thankful she made it this long.

4:28 am- I get back in bed, but I can't fall back asleep. Story of my life. Start thinking about anything and everything. In some ways, I miss bed-sharing in the early morning hours because I used to be able to go back to sleep when she nursed in bed with me.

5:00 am- Chris's alarm goes off. He gets up to go shower. I know this because I'm still awake and thinking about the menu for Olivia's first birthday party.

5:45 am- I think I fall back to sleep.

7:30 am- Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.

7:44 am- Get out of bed, go see Olivia and give her a kiss or four. I give her some toys to play with in her crib while I go shower.

8:00 am- Take Olivia out of her crib, change her and let her crawl around in her diaper.

 I finish getting ready.

My mirror. 'Tis dusty. One of these days I really need to wipe it down. Also, this was the best selfie out of nine photos. Apparently I suck at this too.
8:23 am- Check the weather from my phone. It's supposed to be in the low 80s. Dress Olivia and brush her hair. She was NOT happy I wouldn't let her munch on my boobs instead.

8:28 am- Nurse her properly up in the glider where my back won't kill. Meanwhile, I'm dying of thirst.

8:46 am- Finish nursing and head out to the living room.

8:53 am- Make breakfast for myself. Cereal, Greek yogurt and OJ. Pretty run-of-the-mill.

8:55 am- Take pity on the baby so I give her a sweet potato and banana wafer while she plays on the floor.

9:00 am- Olivia makes a mad dash to Toby's food bowl, so I put her in living room and find wafers stuck to her butt. Pick off the big pieces and resume breakfast.

9:04 am- Finish breakfast, start loading the dishwasher.

9:06 am- Olivia makes another mad dash at the dog food bowls.

9:12 am- Dishes finished, I brush my teeth while Olivia makes a mad dash to the lamp cord. It's only just started, hasn't it?***

But Mama I just want to bite this cord a little, mmkay?
9:18 am- Pack her in the car and am all ready to go, but I can't find my car keys. Fly through the house.

9:19 am- Found them in diaper bag. We're off to run errands and shop with my friend, Amanda and her son.

Mama, I knew where your keys were the whole time, but you wouldn't let me chew on the lamp cord.
9:26 am- Olivia sneezes from the backseat. I squee a little to myself because ZOMG IT'S THE CUUUUTEST THING EVAH!

9:34 am- Pull into Target. Meet Amanda and baby by customer service. Olivia greets her boyfriend.

Hai boyfriend. There are too many bars separating us.
10:28 am- I went in for a birthday present for my little cousin. Somehow I also came out with a shower curtain, a sippy cup with a straw to try and some baby suction bowls. Damn you, Target. We finish shopping.

10:39 am- Buckle her in to her car seat and follow Amanda to the kids consignment store where they are having a massive sale.

10:44 am- Arrive at the store and put Olivia in the Tula. Amanda has done the same with her baby. We joke about needing to take a picture of them.

11:10 am- We left the store, sans adorable picture. Boo. But I did buy two outfits for my soon to be born nephew, two big and probably obnoxious toys for Olivia and several outfits for $24.

11:29 am- Olivia and I arrive back home and she is asleep.

11:33 am- Bring her to her room, turn her lullaby on, change her diaper and nurse her.

11:56 am- Lay her down. She is completely milk drunk and falls asleep right away. Turn on white noise and head outside to pick basil and onion for dinner tonight.

12:12 pm- Come back in from picking vegetables and start prepping dinner.

12:45 pm- Finish making the bruschetta topping for the grilled chicken and I hear Olivia crying. She usually does this as she cycles through her REM sleep, so I wait it out and sure enough she is back asleep in just a few minutes. I make lunch: The rest of these amazing Black Bean Avocado Quesadillas from the night before.

1:00 pm- Finish lunch, start cleaning the kitchen, load the dishes, and head downstairs. The baby is still passed out.

1:44 pm- Realize I was suppose to FaceTime with Celina earlier today so call her up to chat.

2:23 pm- We apparently can talk for a long time. I guess that happens when you live across the country from each other. Olivia wakes up so I go get her from her crib, and text my mom that we're coming over as planned.

2:32 pm- Buckle her into the car, head over to my parents. My mom has bought some new toys and clothes for Olivia. I should have taken pictures. Wah wah.

3:50 pm- Change her diaper. Olivia is having a blast playing with the new toys and climbing on Grandma.

4:09 pm- Say goodbye to my parents and pack her back up in the car to go home. I take the roundabout way home to avoid rush hour.

4:27 pm- Arrive home, bring Olivia into bedroom and start up her lullaby music and pull her shades. She knows it's nap time and automatically rubs her eyes.

4:37 pm- Nurse her quick and lay her down in the crib. Start picking up living room because we are having people over tomorrow. I don't want them to think we live with a baby. Madly clean house.

5:00 pm- Chris walks in the door. We sit on the couches and talk for a bit about our day while I clean.

5:34 pm- We hear Olivia awake on the monitor, so Chris gets her while I start dinner. He comes out with her and then goes outside to start the grill.

5:45 pm- Give Olivia a second wafer while she plays on floor.

I dice a mozzarella ball and add it to the bruschetta mixture I made this morning.

6:00 pm- We sit down to dinner as a family- Grilled Chicken Bruschetta (which is amazeballs in case you were wondering), brussel sprouts (more for Olivia's benefit than ours), green beans with lemon juice from the farmers market and Olivia also has some leftover corn cob. I thought she would like eating strips of chicken, but no. No she didn't care.

6:30 pm- We finish dinner and Chris cleans up while I play with Olivia in the living room.

6:50 pm- Nurse on the floor in my lap after some serious Shirt Pulling.

6:53 pm- Decides she is going to be done so she could climb on Daddy who finishes the dishes and came to play.

7:16 pm- Bath time! We do have her own bathtub, but for months now, I have gone in there with her and it is SO much easier to wash her and hang on to her amidst her kamikazes into the water to retrieve bath toys.

This turtle is SO worth trying to drown myself repeatedly.
7:37 pm- Olivia tells us she done with her bath by giving us an ear-piercing shriek. Chris takes her to dry her off and get her into her pajamas while I get out and get into my own pajamas.

7:45 pm- She is ready for bed, unfortunately later than usual, and I nurse her in the glider while Chris draws the shades and turns her white noise on.

8:12 pm- Put her in her crib and say goodnight. She is almost asleep.

8:30 pm- Grab her laundry basket that Chris took from her room and throw her clothes into the washer downstairs. Join Chris on the couch.

8:50 pm- We turn on the movie The Revenant while I catch up on this blog and write an article that needs to get submitted.

9:56 pm- I go upstairs to get my Juice Plus chewies, and see the extra chicken we had grilled for my salads still sitting there on the counter. Ugh. Since I am a germaphobe, I throw it in the garbage, dying a little inside. Stalk downstairs to start a fight with Chris over forgetting to put it in the fridge when he was cleaning up the kitchen.

10:09 pm- Her laundry is done, so I fold it and put it back in the basket where it will probably sit for four days. Continue writing.

10:30 pm- The movie isn't over, but I need to get to bed to read and "calm myself" for sleep otherwise I will be up for hours. Head upstairs and Chris starts playing his video game. I brush my teeth, turn on my own white noise, take my heartburn meds and vitamin and get into bed to read.

10:40 pm- Chris surprises me by coming to bed with his book he is almost done reading.

11:03 pm- Lights out! I hope Olivia sleeps a good stretch like she did last night.

And there you have it: a riveting Friday, everyone.

*** If anyone has any stellar baby-proofing advice on this lamp cord, please share.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Baby Linguine

I always think of these blog posts I want to write about but they always come to me when I am driving or in bed sleeping or some other inconvenient place. And then I try to email things to myself so that I can remember them, but by the time I look at it again, I've completely forgotten what I meant. But I really need to write more before my blog grows over. Like an ear piercing or a 90 year old vagina.

In an effort to blog more than just monthly updates on here, I've decided to share with the Internet how Baby-Led Weaning is going.

Not to be confused with baby linguine and LOLZ here is a story for you.

So back when Olivia was four months old, I was talking to my friend Amanda about how I wanted to do this thing called Baby-Led Weaning to feed Olivia instead of starting with rice cereal and purees.

Me: So I've been thinking about doing baby led weaning.

Amanda: Oh really? That's sounds good! Do you have a recipe for that?

Me: Er-what? What do you mean a recipe?

Amanda, understandable confused: Did you say "Baby linguine?"

And then she sent me a screen shot later that day of a blog post titled Baby Linguine? and I LOL'd for a long time after that.

Anyway, baby led weaning. In short, it's skipping purees and going straight to table food. That's right. Sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, strips of NY steak. The best part is, babies don't have to have to have teeth to eat this food.

(Which is a good thing, because my 8 month old has yet to cut a tooth.)

We started out at six months giving her avocado and sweet potato fries. We've are those people that do wait to introduce new foods every three days to watch for allergies, but she has now had strawberries, peanut butter, and eggs with no issues. Next week I am going to give her shrimp and then I think we have the major allergens covered.

Here are pros and cons of BLW:

~It's cheap. Think about those containers of purees. They are what, a dollar each? I bought a pound of sweet potatoes, sliced them into sticks, roasted and froze them for a fraction of the cost. I've done this with squash, broccoli and asparagus. Each meal, I pull out what I want, thaw and heat them up and voila! Dinner. Also, BLW means you serve baby what you are eating and nothing is off limits except watching sodium and not giving them honey until one. And sure, foods that are packaged are probably not the healthiest but when Chris and I are eating, say, a pizza, I just pull out my frozen foods for her and she eats that. But tonight, I am making these Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas and she will be getting a wedge to eat. Easy.
~Lazy parenting. No slaving before or during dinner, spooning strained peas off your preshus baby's face. We stick her in the high chair, get our food ready and then plop her meal down on her tray. We all eat together. (Which is a huge plus in my opinion, because I HATE cold food and I know I am a mom but seriously, I hate cold food.)
~It teaches them how to maneuver food around in their mouth. Babies are born with their gag reflex close to the front of their mouth and as they grow, it moves toward the back of their throat. This is a survival mechanism, so in the beginning your baby may gag as she learns how to chew. Gagging is way different than choking. It's so important to learn the difference. Olivia has been doing this for two months now and in the beginning, did her share of gagging and some pretty gnarly ones too. But I always remained calm and praised her when she got it up and now she hardly ever gags. She chews and swallows like a champ.
~There are some studies saying babies who do BLW are less picky when it comes to food. We will see how Olivia turns out.
~It helps with social skills. Olivia loves eating with us. Looooves it. She likes to quietly munch her food while looking back and forth at each of us as we talk about our day.

~It's messy. This is probably the biggest downside. Babies explore food by... well squishing it everywhere and OMG IS THAT LAST NIGHTS PESTO PASTA IN YOUR HAIR??? Dogs come in handy for this.
~It takes you being strong to handle the gags and be ready to step in if there is true choking. Chris and I took an infant CPR class and we mentally run through how we would intervene if she was choking. I had a friend who started out doing BLW but quit because she couldn't handle the gagging. Yes, it's concerning to watch. But I have to have faith that Olivia knows what she is doing and gagging is her body's way of protecting against choking. And the thing is, babies can choke on all sorts of stuff, including purees and tiny toys. So don't let that fear stop you. Infant CPR is a good thing to know regardless.

All in all, I'm glad I did this and stuck through it. It's so much fun watching her try new foods.

And so in conclusion...

Here is a picture of mah babybee because SQUEE she's so cute!!

Actually, unrelated fact. Today Olivia is 36 weeks and one day out of my body so we had to do a 36w1d in/ out photo:

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