Monday, June 24, 2013

5 Months

Oh my goodness, this baby is 5 months old! Truly cannot wrap my head around how fast time is passing us by.

It has been a busy month! We went on a disastrous vacation, started solids and married off my little sister. Baisden has been through some fussy periods, but mostly she is a precious doll baby that we fall more and more in love with each and every day. She is grabbing everything she can get her hands on. Touching Josh's stubbly beard and squeezing the front of my neck. She has discovered her feet and gnaws on them when I change her diaper, smiling the whole time like she knows she is being a silly goose. She loves to be naked (uh oh, this could be a problem later). Her giggle is a tad devilish and 100% precious. She is stingy with those belly laughs so I try to relish them when she gives them. She is working on sitting up, tripod style. She falls forward but we are practicing when we can. Baisden is intense. She has this stare that is just captivating and so focused. I love it.

This little one is a side sleeper, all the way. We have struggled a little bit with nighttime sleep this month. Typically, Baisden can sleep her heart out but we've regressed some. I can't put my finger on exactly what triggers her to wake up but when she wakes up, she is tough to get settled back down. She may settle down for an hour and then be right back up. Feeding doesn't solve it. I've considered teething and gas as the culprits but I'll probably never know.

After our beach trip, the doctor put her on Zantac for excessive spitting up. She has never had trouble gaining weight, so it's not a huge concern but they thought it wouldn't hurt to try it. Well, I honestly don't think it does a thing. And I don't love the idea of her being on medicine. Just a personal thing, but I sometimes think we use medicine as a crutch. I even hesitate to take Tylenol for a headache. I opt for a big glass of water rather than going straight for the pills.

Solids. This girl is a great eater! We started with rice cereal in the mornings when she was about a week past 4 months old. The next week we went to oatmeal. Neither of those excited her but she wasn't turning them away either. Next we tried pears. Then apples. Both of those motivated her to learn how to eat from a spoon. Now we have added in bananas, carrots, squash and peas. Carrots and squash are her favorites. She can eat the entire 2.5 ounce jar in one sitting and then about half a jar of a fruit. She sits in her Bumbo to eat and she is much more amenable to this now that it is associated with food. I started her pretty early based on a motherly hunch that she needed more than just milk. She takes anywhere from 6-8 ounces in a bottle during her daytime feedings...the last feeding of the day is about 11 or 12 ounces! I found this out when Josh and I went on a date night and she got a bottle. I knew she was a hungry girl but I didn't know just HOW hungry. Have you looked at an 8 ounce bottle and imagined that plus another half?! That is a lot of milk to guzzle down.

I am not a schedule Nazi, although I don't like to stray too terribly far from it. We let her wake up on her own from naps, so that's the only time this is really thrown off. Or if she is hungry ahead of her scheduled time to eat, I feed her. Typically, the day looks like this:

7:00AM Wakes up and nurses
8:00AM Rice cereal or oatmeal and some fruit
9:30AM Nap (usually only 45 minutes)
11:00AM Bottle (usually 6-7 ounces)
12:00 Noon Veggie & fruit
2:00PM Nap
3:00PM Bottle (usually 6-7 ounces)
4:00PM (sometimes she gets sleepy after this bottle and eats later) Veggie & fruit
6:30PM Bathtime
7:00PM Last feeding, read a couple books
8:30PM Usually asleep

Being a parent teaches me something every day, and it has forced me to work on some of my own neurotic tendencies. I've learned that baby books are just suggestions. You will go crazy if you rely too heavily on them and you will think your baby is "abnormal" at one point or another. I've learned that every baby is incredibly different and what works for your friend's baby is not necessarily going to work for yours. I loosely follow Moms On Call and like them mainly for their schedule ideas.

I find myself looking for a reason for fussiness or irritability, when maybe, she just wants to cry for no other reason than to cry. I finally have given up on trying to solve her every complaint. Don't you have days where you just want to be in a bad mood, or mope around about something? Well, I do and so I figure that babies must too.

Parenthood has also forced me to live more in the present. I am a planner by nature and have always looked forward to that next thing. At one point, I found myself saying things like, "I can't wait until she can sit up!" or "It will be so much easier when she can hold her own bottle!" If we live like that, we'll be wishing her little life away...and what's the fun in that! I can honestly say now that I am enjoying every stage and even mourning some of the things we have left behind. They grow up way too fast.

Happy 5 months, my sweet B!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Our First Family "Vacation"

Let's be very real here...what in the H-E-double hockey sticks were Josh and I thinking when we decided to venture to the beach with a finicky 4 month old and no form of babysitter?! New parent blunder! Our first "vacation" as a family of 3 has left Josh and I feeling like we need an actual vacation, pronto. 

Everything started out much like a fairy tale.  Baisden was so well behaved on the car ride down to Amelia Island. We only had to stop twice. After we got the 189650368 baby things situated in our hotel room, we put B in the Bjorn and started exploring. The whole first day, she was a complete angel! Taking in all the new scenery, giggling at the breeze, stealing everyone's heart with her cute face peeking from behind her sun hat. Josh and I even talked about taking more vacations if she was going to be this perfect creature. Naive, naive, naive. 

By the second day, we were feeling it a little bit...and something flipped in our "angel." She was all of a sudden fussy, irritable and had absolutely zero interest in sleeping at night. Since I didn't feel it very neighborly to let her scream for more than 30 seconds in our hotel room, we were basically up with her half of the night, every night. Poor baby, nothing seemed to console her. Because Andrea reared her ugly head, and J & I were completely exhausted and probably about to rip each other's heads off, we decided to come home a day early. As I type, B is peacefully sleeping upstairs in her crib after an inconclusive doctor's visit as soon as we returned to Atlanta (which we were late to because she went #2 in her car seat...I mean up her back all the way to her neck, requiring a full on bath with wet wipes). Not an ear infection, not teething, not constipated, no fever. Maybe it's my diet, or the organic oatmeal I've been feeding her...or her temperament. Yes, the doctor actually said that to me. I was so offended! Side note, multiple nurses at the office kindly pointed out that Baisden has a very loud cry. Yes, we are quite aware, thank you very much. Anyway, now she is sleeping...I gave her a good feeding and a nice ol' dose of Tylenol before turning the white noise machine on LOUD and saying a little prayer for sleep for all!

I disclose all of the above for a couple reasons. First, I want to be able to remember our first family vacation  debacle as it really was. I wouldn't have changed it for anything! Second, from looking at the adorable pictures of the little one below, you would think we had an utterly perfect getaway. Social media has a way of making lives look so put together and in order, don't you think? We can cherry pick what we share. Well, I want my blog to be more honest than that. Although I have countless things to be incredibly grateful for, my life is in no way picture perfect...and neither is my child! Nevertheless, I wouldn't change a thing.

We "met" so many kind people at the beach...all of which looked at us with an "I've totally been there "sympathy look and several of which offered to take a family photo for us!

The first day. Sleeping angel!

Those legs...ham hocks.

The second day. Pool = fail.

The next two are some of my favorite pictures of Baisden ever. She LOVED the breeze. We took these in the evening...the walk on the beach really cheered her up.

And there it is, our first vacation as parents. Remember, don't let the pictures fool you :) Next time we will call in for reinforcement but I'm glad we have this memory in our book!