Wednesday, February 22, 2017

7 Months Old!

Sweet Eloise Jane. today you are 7 months old! It's been a fun month filled with much better sleep and the beginning of solid food. You are such a happy, relaxed, joyful little girl... who also has a LOUD voice that you use to express joy OR frustration. You are really good at communicating exactly what you do or don't want, and as soon as a frustration is fixed you are over it and happy again.

Here are your 7 month updates!

How old? 7 months today!

How big? You are fitting into 9-12 month clothing and wear size 4 diapers. We won't have another 'weigh in' appointment until you are 9 months old!

Sleep? You are doing great! You go to bed between 7-7:30pm, and usually only wake up 1x/night for a nursing (often around 4:30am). Though the last two nights you've slept 12 hours STRAIGHT! Hallelujah.

For naps you'll take a first nap 1.5-2 hours after you wake, and this nap is usually either 30 minutes or 2 hours. Then about 2.5 hours after you wake from that one a 2nd nap occurs- and if the first one was short, this one will be long, and vice versa. Then there is typically another 30 minute snooze around 4:30pm.

You are a bona fide belly sleeper now- preferring to roll onto your tummy to sleep. You flip around a lot in that little crib of yours, going from belly to back to belly again. Having said that you still YELL during the day when you roll onto your belly and want to be flipped over but don't want to do it yourself! It's like you KNOW flipping back over will be onto a "not as nice and soft as my crib mattress" surface.

You also very often cup your cheek with the palm of your hand when you sleep. It's SO cute.

Food? This past month was a big one for you as you began eating solids! You've pretty much loved everything you've tried. We've done purees of sweet potatoes and carrots, and also let you explore and chew on celery, apples, bread, green beans, avocado, and sausage.

You have breast milk about every 3 hours, usually preferring pumped bottles to nursing- mostly because you get SO DISTRACTED! You pop on and off the boob to check out anything that catches your fancy: the ceiling fan, a toy, a mole on my arm, your sister, etc. At least with a bottle we can follow your moving head around while you drink! You nurse well in the middle of the night and in the morning likely due to being sleepy and to having a DARK ROOM and SOUND MACHINE, heavily cutting out distractions. We also haven't had to supplement with formula all month as my supply has been great (yay!)

 Avocado face

 You LOVE chewing on celery!

 Here you couldn't decide between the celery or the apple, so to simplify things just ate them both at once.

New skills?

*Sitting was a big one this month! You are now at the point where you can sit solo for long periods of time. You will occasionally still topple backwards, but this is becoming more and more rare.

*Starting to hug and snuggle. You'll often lean your head into my shoulder in a cute, shy way when others approach us. It's the SWEETEST thing.

*Not really a skill but still funny to me- you definitely are completely weaned of your pacifiers, but still love to chew on them. You'll insert your thumb into the nipple and chew away on that. When you are tired and ready for sleep your left thumb goes to your mouth, and that's how you self-soothe at night.

 I don't have a shot of you with the paci on your finger, but here it is next to you in a classic shot where Papa was trying to close his eyes for a moment, surrounding by kicking & climbing children.

*Holding your breath and going under water at swim lessons! You can now stay under for up to 3 seconds, and the count gets increased each week. You've never choked on water yet- you are so good at instinctually holding your breath.

Favorite things?

*You ADORE your big sister, and always have HUGE smiles and giggles for her. She has taken to laying completely on top of you when snuggling and at first Papa and I were like "Iyla! Be gentle! Be careful!" until we observed that you didn't mind at all, and in fact seemed to love it.

Here are some sweet shots of the two of you from Valentine's Day this year:

*You love being outside. You are so good on our walks now, and often I'll stop beside the water and put a blanket down for you to sit and play on.

*You also love your nanny Veronica! She comes on Tuesdays for a full day, and again for one evening per week. You are all smiles and snuggles for her.

*Toy wise, your favorite things right now are a black and yellow bee rattle, anything 'stick like" that you can bang together, little plastic egg shells that were Iyla's favorites (again with the banging!), and a little blue cup from Iyla's kitchen. She isn't too keen right now on your playing with HER things... little does she know this is just going to get worse once you figure out how to crawl!

 You also like playing in your walker and are just starting to realize you can move it around, usually going backwards.

*Socializing. You appear to be a very social kiddo. We had a reunion with your little baby group this week, and you were SO happy to engage every Mama and baby there, chatting away loudly the entire time. So far no real "stranger danger" has set in.

 Little Finley wasn't as interested in socializing as you were!

 Your baby crew when you were about 2 months old

 And this week when you were 7 months old! We were missing 3 babes here, and it was SO HARD to get this shot, as you all starting melting down within 30 seconds

The meltdown! Ha.

*Music! You seem to really respond to singing (The Wheels on the Bus and Annie songs seem to snap you out of any fuss) and also have been loving your weekly music class with big sister Iyla:

How's Mama?

Overall I am doing really well! Still feeling more fatigued than usual, but I think I've felt that way since Iyla was born. ; )

*My sprained thumb is slowly but surely getting better with the addition of my thumb brace.

*I am only 3-4 pounds (depending on the day) from my pre pregnancy weight and starting to need belts on my pre pregnancy pants!

*My hips have been behaving better this month and I've even gone jogging for short periods of time while out on walks. My instinct is to strengthen and use those 'running' muscles toward helping the entire pelvic area get back into shape.

*I'm in a strange place where I am so longing for a baby/kid free trip both solo and with Papa, but am not.quite.ready to leave you with someone else. It's hard to know when "that" time will be, and then even harder to find help for overnights with two kiddos! I'm thinking that maybe Papa and I can plan ahead for a couples trip early this fall, as I hope by then the stars will align with you being weaned, me being ready, and help being secured!

*I'm still loving being home with you. I continue to help clients on a case by case basis with market analyses, phone consultations, etc, and just taking things one day at a time. I feel SO much gratitude to be able to be home right now, and to have the privilege of that choice. That being said- my baby savings will expire this month (BOO!) so either I'll have to hit the ground running to secure more work (and more help with you!) OR we will have to pretty significantly make some not-so-fun lifestyle changes while we live on Papa's salary alone (bye-bye eating out, pedicures, massages, buying all the new baby and kid clothes). I know, I know.... First World Problems.

Here are a few more photos from your past month!

We love you sweet Eloise Jane! 
Happy 7 months to you.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


We depart for our annual trip to Wimberley in 3 weeks.  As part of the preparation I'd purchased and hidden a few new toys for Iyla that were meant to be revealed once we arrived to our rented log cabin home. This is something I've done every year, so she has some fun new items to enjoy while we are gone (and while I pack up pretty much ALL of her toys at home in anticipation of our SXSW renters!)

This year I'd hidden all items (a collection of small doggies, a collection of baby figurines, and 3 new books) in the back of our closet under several hats and behind a small toy chair.

While getting ready this morning, I noticed Iyla had disappeared and was nowhere to be found. It was SUSPICIOUSLY QUIET as I made my way through our bedroom searching for her. And lo and behold I finally found her in the back of the closet, staring with wonder at the package of small doggies.


As I walked into the closet I remarked something along the lines of: "oh no! Oh Iyla, those items were hidden because they are being saved as a special surprise for another time."

Her little face- I wish I could accurately capture it. She was quickly and keenly aware that she was into something she was not supposed to be into. She high-tailed it out of the closet with an expression of confusion and awe- and what I thought might be regret and possible sadness. So serious and stoic and wondrous was her face! I took her in my lap and explained that for special times like birthdays and trips sometimes Mama gets gifts ahead of time and has to hide them, and that I now realized I didn't do a very good job with choosing my hiding spot. I explained that we'd need to wait until our trip to Wimberley to play with those toys (which I qualified was still a long time away. Three weeks is a LONG TIME to a 4 year old!).

I asked her if she was feeling sad and she quickly defused the situation with a poop comment and giggle. She was obviously not damaged by the events! She appeared blown away by the fact that there was an incredible NEW TOY she really LOVED and WANTED hidden away that she had illicitly discovered and couldn't yet have.

Iyla is such an observant, intelligent kid. At Christmas she was already onto the fact that the Santas she saw around town were DIFFERENT PEOPLE and asked me if indeed there were a lot of Santas. I told her that yes, there ARE a lot of Santas! To which she matter of factly replied: "yes, but the Santa at the Driskill is the NORMAL ONE."


For now, I have promptly re-hidden all Wimberley toys in a spot that hopefully Iyla won't be able to find and that hopefully I'll remember to locate when we are finally packing for our trip!

I'm sure this won't be the last time hidden treasures are prematurely found- I'll definitely be upping my hiding game from this point on.

Oh Iyla Grace, you keep us on our toes in a good way! Now stop digging through Mama's things. ; )

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jammed and Tired

BC and I were talking the other night about what a toll kids have on us physically. He's been suffering from tennis elbow due to carrying our Giant Baby around, and I've got the whole gamut of postpartum fun:

*Hair loss & increased graying of hair
*Extra weight (and clothes not quite fitting right)
*Continual hip issues (on days my hips feel normal I'll go for a walk, then without fail that walk messes them up again)
*Constant fatigue

And now, adding to this list, I have the pleasure of a jammed (or sprained? strained?) thumb. I'm pretty sure the injury occurred during Eloise's first swim lesson, as holding a Giant Baby throughout a 30 minute lesson is NOT for the weak of thumb.

Me: 0
Giant Baby: 1

It turns out being able to use one's (dominant) thumb is critically important in ways I hadn't realized, such as:

*Twisting baby bottle tops on and off
*Brushing teeth
*Pushing the home button on a phone
*Doing a child's hair
*Wiping one's bottom, or someone else's bottom
*Holding a Giant Baby and switching said baby from side to side for nursing
*Undoing the clasps on a nursing bra
*Undoing the back of a pumping bra
*Squeezing ANYTHING (toothpaste, face wash, dish soap, diaper cream, etc)
*Using a pen or pencil
*Turning a key in a lock or ignition
*Turning a deadbolt

To add insult to injury, last month in a Feng Shui induced frenzy I deep cleaned all of our bathroom cabinets and in the purge threw out both of the thumb/wrist splints I had stored from back in my Mommy Thumb days.


This did NOT bode well for my hoarder-esque personality, as now I am seriously cursing that cleaning purge and questioning what else I might be throwing out that down the road might be necessary (because isn't having 50+ gift bags stored away absolutely necessary?).

On top of the jammed thumb, I've also been SO TIRED this week due to the Giant Baby starting to sleep through the night.

That may seem ironic, given "sleeping through the night" typically means, well, everyone is sleeping through the night. However, Eloise's "sleeping through the night" equates to sleeping 7:30pm-5:30am.


A time at which I fully believe no normally functioning human should be awake, at least not in this family.

Work that coffee cup kid! We both need it with these early morning wake-ups.

So the other night I decided to fight fire with fire and put myself to sleep at 8:15pm.

Yes, 8:15pm. Desperate times, you know?

I was 4 hours into this blissful head start on my night's sleep when I was SCARED SH**LESS startled by a small human standing beside my bed, stating through tears that her knee hurt.


After comforting, medicine, & putting her back to bed, I finally climbed into bed ready to get back to my beauty sleep.

Not so much.

That little human reappeared 15 minutes later saying that she now had to go potty. Ironically enough, BC had JUST given her a flashlight earlier that evening toward helping with this sort of thing, speaking in earnest with her about being able to use it to take herself to the bathroom at night. And as we groggily made our way to her bathroom together, she cheerfully remarked: "good thing I have my flashlight so WE can see!"

Us: 0
Tiny Human: 1

Then there was much comforting & re-settling her into bed AGAIN.

Aaaaaaand, 15 minutes later she reappeared by my side, saying that she missed me.

Very sweet, but NOOOOOO.

 It's a good thing she is SO CUTE. I mean c'mon, braids and dinosaurs? 
Fine. You can get up all night long.

We then commenced 2 more hours of snuggling and trying to sleep together in my bed (lest she keep coming back in)- which historically NEVER works for either of us and proved yet again true.

Eventually I was able to convince the tiny human to go back to sleep in her own bed and happily returned to mine, only to be awaken 2 hours later- promptly at 5:30am- by the Giant Baby.

Me: 0
Giant Baby: 2

SO TIRED. And my thumb hurts.

***UPDATE: The tiny human is actually sick, as upon school pick up yesterday was complaining of body aches & running a 102+ temp. Poor buddy! Now it's all hands (minus a thumb) on deck to make sure the rest of the family stays healthy and (knocking on wood) mostly rested.