Six Months

7 03 2012

Last night, my plan was to let you re-learn to sleep in your crib after your 3-week cold that had you sleeping in my bed again.  You woke up about an hour after I put you down, and started to cry.  I went upstairs and talked to you and sang to you and rubbed your back, and you just screamed louder, because what you wanted was to be picked up.

And you know what?

I picked you up.

Not right away.  I tried to let you cry so you would learn that you need to sleep, in your crib, without nursing ALL NIGHT LONG.  But I just couldn’t do it.

Because you wanted to be held.  And I was right there.  To hold you.

You are six months old now.  You are such a big girl.  When I cradle you to nurse, there is so much of you, such a substantial weight on my lap.  So different than the six-pound baby I first knew.

Now, when I nurse you, you look up at me and touch my face.  Well, really, you kind of maul my face, picking my nose and stabbing my eye and exploring my mouth with your curious little fingers.  But at night, when you are sleep-nursing, you just gently reach up and make sure I am there.

You are so interested in the world these days.  I wonder, all day long, what you are thinking now that you are aware of everything around you.  As I carry you upstairs for a diaper change, something will catch your eye as you are borne past it, and I know that it is just a short time until you find a way to reach all the little objects that now you only wave your hands at in hopes of being able to grab them.

You have developed a knack for attention-getting.  As your dad and I stood in the pet store debating what brand of cat food to get, you smiled and cooed at nearby customers until – they just couldn’t help it – they began to smile and coo back at you.

You enjoy squeezing handfuls of the cat’s fur and trying to get some of it into your mouth.

When you first wake up, you TALK and TALK and TALK.

Today, at a play date, I was adding some grapes to the plate of crackers on my lap, and in a nanosecond, you had two fistfuls of crackers in your hands and were trying to get them all in your mouth at once.  If you had tried just one, you would have been successful; your mouth just wasn’t big enough for two hands and three crackers, so you missed your chance.  And that is how you attack everything in life these days: you want it all, and you want all RIGHT NOW.

You took your first fishing trip with your dad.  I’m sure you had fun, but NOTHING compared to how much fun your dad had.  He can’t wait to share all his hobbies with you.

I’m so excited about the person you have become that I hardly have time to miss that little baby you were just a short time ago.

Six months ago, I was just meeting you.  It seems like YESTERDAY.  And it will seem like no time at all has gone by when suddenly you will have problems too complex to be solved with milk and a warm lap.

And so, right now, when you cry because you want to be held?

I will hold you.

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The Full Meal Deal

5 03 2012

Hazel has started solid foods.  I’m ambivalent.  I was pushing for the full six months of exclusive breast feeding, but Jason was really excited about starting food.  And since she won’t take a bottle, I understand why he wanted to try feeding her.

We agreed to follow the pediatrician’s advice and introduce food when she showed interest in what we were eating.  I’m not sold on that as an indication of readiness.  After all, she tried to grab the can opener, but nobody is suggesting she start cooking us dinner; and while she will happily gum her way through a whole roll of toilet paper, only the “elimination communication” experts are telling me she can start using the potty.

But once we made it to five and a half months, I gave in and steamed her some carrots and apples.

To my relief, she didn’t really take to the food.  She willingly sat at the table and mouthed the spoon, but we could skip a day and she didn’t seem to care.  She doesn’t swallow much of the food, anyway.

But.

I was nursing her and eating an apple.  When she saw the apple, she sat up.  So I let her suck on it and sink her little teeth into it.  She leaned back and nursed for half a minute, then sat up and went for more apple.  Back and forth, until I finished the apple and tossed the core.

She was in some kind of BABY ECSTASY: food AND milk!  At THE SAME TIME!

Apparently, if you’re 5 months old, it just doesn’t get any better than that.





Nature’s Way of Continuing the Human Race

4 03 2012

Throughout my pregnancy and Hazel’s infancy, I’ve wondered if my husband is going to agree to have another child.  You see, I like sleep.  And without sleep, I get a little… testy.  What with the minor discomforts of pregnancy and the subsequent minor discomforts of parenting an infant, I’ve been a little… ahem… irritable at times.  And it has made me wonder how people end up with more than one kid.  Surely my husband is going to remember the raging maniac I have been for the past year and refuse to go through it again, right?

Well.

The last few nights, Hazel has had a difficult time going to sleep.  As I settled onto the bed to nurse her, she wiggled and cried and fussed and writhed.  And I wondered what happened to make my little angel child suddenly hate bedtime.

After two nights of this, I really put some thought into what has changed and what worked previously.  And it dawned on me: for a few nights previous to this, she had an easy time going to sleep.  I sat down, nursed her, she fell asleep, I put her into her crib.

For a few nights in a row.

Which, apparently, became my impression of how my child “normally” goes to bed.

COMPLETELY NEGATING THE PREVIOUS 5 MONTHS OF DIFFICULT BEDTIMES.

Five months of pacing around a darkened room, bouncing on a yoga ball, laying down with her when she seems to have settled, only to have her wake up and start crying again…  I mean, the yoga ball is still in our room and I trip over three times a day, so you think I might have remembered that I bounced her to sleep on it LAST FRIDAY NIGHT.  Not, you know, a distant month or two ago.

This has happened at least once before, when she was three or four months old, and again, having a difficult time sleeping.  I was remembering with nostalgia the period of time when she would nurse to sleep, then sleep for about three hours on her own.  Which I remembered as being, you know, most of her early infancy.  But when I really thought about it, I realized that was from the time she was five days old and my milk came in until she was fifteen days old and the reflux kicked in.

Again: my mind turned “ten days” of good sleep into “most of the first three months.”

This, then, is the secret of multiple children: severe sleep deprivation, lots of hormones, and cute baby photos ENTIRELY OVERRIDE REALITY.

Mystery solved.

Luckily, I have this written record to prevent me from getting pregnant again.  At least for now.

Pictures like this one are part of the problem. They make you think, "Oh! Babies are so sweet and fun! And they just sleep all night and look cute all day!" and generally melt your brain and cause spontaneous ovulation. Note to future self: this picture was taken after the baby slept for three out of twenty-four hours. And you were very, very tired. But... she's awfully cute, isn't she? Oh, my god... See? It's already happening...





Someday, She’ll Know About Disney Princesses

3 03 2012

But today, she is the daughter of a fish biologist…

And a hopeless tomboy…

And nobody has told her not to play in the dirt…

Or that fairy wands are more fun than fishing poles…

Or that slimy things are gross…

And that’s just the way it should be.





Things We Love Right Now

24 02 2012

Disclaimer: Trust me, I got NOTHING from anyone to give my opinions on these products.  Not even free samples.  In fact, I spent money.  That being said, if any companies want to send me free stuff to review: I ACCEPT.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles

We continue to be very lazy about using bottles with Hazel.  But.  She HAS used her Tommee Tippee twice, which is two times more than any other bottle, and the only times we’ve offered her the bottle when she was actually hungry (due to her love affair with my boobs, it’s often hard to tell when she’s really trying to eat).  What I LOVE about these bottles, though, is that her latch looks almost the same as when she latches onto my breast.  NO WONDER she can figure out these bottles.  I would definitely recommend these for anyone doing a breast/bottle combo.

Kidco Go Pod Activity Seat

When my kid started using her Megasaucer a month ago, I was reminded of this piece of gear I purchased with a gift card before she was born.  I thought it would be great for camping but it actually is useful anywhere we go.  It is easy to unfold, just like a camping chair but with a locking pin.  Easy to collapse, and is about the same size and weight as a camp chair.  It comes with toy loops so you can attach whatever the current fave toys are.  Hazel doesn’t like being on the ground and sometimes needs some independent (not held by mom) time; she LOVES this option.

Sleepy Wrap

We lived in our Baby Hawk Mei Tai for Hazel’s first few months.  I thought we’d transition from the Mei Tai to the Oh Snap (just like an Ergo, but cuter) when she hit the requisite 15 pounds, but we got to an awkward time when she was between the newborn hold and the front carry.  I thought we would never be able to walk the dog again, but then someone reminded me of the wrap – I have a Sleepy Wrap, but it is similar to the Moby and others.  IT CHANGED MY LIFE.  It’s super comfy, as it has some stretch and bounce to it, and goes wide across my shoulders.  The best part is that Hazel can start out facing forward, checking everything out and feeling the wind in her face, and when she gets cold or sleepy, I can easily flip her around so she can snuggle against me to nap or nurse.  Also, it lies snug against me when not in use, so I can tie it on before we get in the car and be ready at our destination.  With the mei tai, I had to deal with long ties dragging in snowy parking lots – ugh – plus take my coat off in frigid weather to get the baby in.

Citrus Lane

“Care Packages for Parents”?  I mean, really, what parent doesn’t need – and deserve – a care package?  I ordered one for my friend, and then, because I got a screaming deal (50% off), I ordered one for myself.  Each month, Citrus Lane sends out a gorgeously-wrapped box of 4 or 5 baby products on a theme.  This month was “Play to Learn.”  Month-to-month and 3-, 6-, and 12-month subscriptions are available.  At $25 per month, it’s a good deal because they are packed with items totaling twice that amount.  They are customized for the age of your child (0-3yrs), so my friend 20-month-old got a different toy than we did.

Our box contained: a Rainstick Ball, a CD of children’s folk music, a caramel corn snack (for mom), an issue of Babybug that is almost as sturdy as a board book, and a pretty illustrated ABC poster.  Our friend got the same items except for the toy.

For $12.50 (half off, and NEVER any shipping cost), I got more than my money’s worth.  And as for the gift, it was definitely worth $25 or more, especially since I never know what to get for this kid (his mom is one of those wonderful gift-givers who always gets Hazel something wonderful, then I go out to Old Navy and get her kid a Bart Simpson t-shirt).

I have to admit that if I were going to spend $25 on products for Hazel, I wouldn’t have picked this group of items.  We already have a similar toy, and kids’ music?  Well, Hazel seems happy with a mix of Journey, They Might Be Giants, and Colbie Callait ($3 on itunes).  The baby magazine is cute, but I would just go with one of our favorite Sandra Boynton books ($6.99).  And the snack, well, if I am grocery shopping with my husband, he picks up the tab ($0.00).  That would leave me $15.00 to buy whatever toy most interested Hazel on our next shopping trip.

But, looking through past boxes on their website, I think that if you did 3 or 6 months, you would come out ahead most months, and overall get more than you paid for.  Also, they give you hint about what the next box will contain by telling you the theme ahead of time, so you can always purchase a single month if the theme sounds interesting.  PLUS you have the anticipation of the coming box, which is worth a lot, in my opinion.

And for gift-giving, it is stress-free and a great value.  And right now, they are being very generous with promo codes – 20-50% off.

Speaking of gift-giving, for slightly older kids (3-7 yrs), Kiwi Crate offers a similar monthly package but with 2-3 craft projects instead of baby stuff for $20 a month.

Obviously I am just a big kid, because the allure of a monthly surprise gets me every time…

No picture for this one, because my kid has been sick for a week, and all of the pictures would include unsightly snot bubbles.

*

I recently read on a blog that the writer/mom was DONE with zip-up pjs because she had to take the whole thing off for nighttime diaper changes, whereas with snap pjs, she could just undo the bottom half.  I had to laugh, because Hazel has decided she HATES nighttime diaper changes, and trying to snap snaps in the dark on a flailing, screaming baby is nearly impossible.  My current recommendation for pjs would be ZIPPERS, or better yet, the two-piece style with bottoms you can just yank off.  So here’s a second disclaimer: if you purchase these products, your child will likely hate them all.





To the Monster Who Is Sleeping For At Least This Minute

21 02 2012

Someday, these feet will demand expensive sneakers. But for now, they are just so darn cute.





Gourmet

20 02 2012

Wood dish and spoon from Grandma Julie

Home Made Organic Carrot Mush

Anticipating the Bite

Almost There

Success!

Not Sure About That...

Trying to Decide How to Feel About This Food Stuff

Delicious!








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