Thursday, September 11, 2014

Elsie Lou at 6 months.

Something about 6 months feels like such a milestone! I have survived half a year of motherhood. Elsie has survived half a year of me mothering her. And  frankly I adore her to pieces.

Elsie Lou is a going machine, which was perfectly illustrated at her 6 month visit today. I stood her on the table and she instantly discovers the crinkly paper under her little feet and starts stomp dancing it to pieces! She proceeded to yank and try to eat the stethoscope and grab everything she possibly could! "She's a goer!" Her Dr. Says. She screamed during her shots, but I picked her up and gave her a bink and she was comforted. Until I tried to put her in her car seat of course. It's a bit of a wrestling match these days. That is what people notice. One, her giant blue eyes, and two- this girl is on the go!!  In the words of my mother in law , Els is "kind of a full time job." So excuse my perpetual laundry pile. Her main goal in life is to take off walking with no prior training. She wants to be upright like a big girl. She has about mastered sitting up! It felt like an all of the sudden kind of thing. Like one day she was wobbley and the next day, she didn't need any help at all! I love to watch her sit and pull her toys out of her basket. It is so cute how concentrated she gets playing with her little duck taggy and trying to get her little chubby fingers to pinch one little tag. She is a determined little thing.

She is observant. She likes to watch people and cars and animals. Elsie LOVES animals. Especially when she can grab big handfuls of fur before I can stop her. I have had to pry my mother in law's cat's tail out of her clenched fists a time or two.

She is very social! She smiles at everyone at church, and when they come to chat with her she sometimes hides her face in my chest all bashful. It's pretty adorable. She has got some spunk and she has got some silliness like her momma. She is getting more and more talkative! Especially to other littles.

On a smellier note- For the love of stinky diapers can we please go back to breast milk only!? But seriously. You momma's know what I am talking about. But Elsie Lou loves her little pureed meals, and I love watching her face as she tries new things and chomps down on her little spoon. Her favorite so far- pears. A perfectly ripe pear blends up to perfection for baby food! I have had a few people ask when I am planning on weaning her off breastfeeding,. I don't know why people ask me this. But I tell them I will quit breastfeeding when she is embarrassed by it. Ha! Breastfeeding has gone well for us and as long as it is working out then we will keep that stuff up. I have had two instances where my supply dipped scary low- once when I got sick and one weekend where my grandmother had passed away and I had to speak at her funeral and got super stressed. But it snapped back. It's just easy. No bottles. No fuss. Got that baby food? Oh yeah, it's in my shirt. Obvs now we have to drag along some solid goodness, but I like to keep things simple around here. Best place to breastfeed on the go?  Nordstrom's ladies lounge. Hands down.

The girl just loves food. Just tonight, she was sitting on my lap at dinner and swiped a handful of green beans off my plate and stuffed them in her mouth pretty successfully. It was so sneaky! So I started to laugh and then instant panic mode set in as I fished those green beans out of her chomper. She knows what to do with a plate of food, people.

 I always wonder what effect different things will  have on her. In a way your first kiddo is a great experiment- there are so many choices to make. I worry about little things. And then I tell myself not to. There are so many different kinds of mommas and we all have different strengths. While we may not be perfect mommas, we are the perfect mom for OUR littles.

She had a really rough week teething and love felt heavy. So very heavy. I would pray for patience for my sad babe, and to have patience for my husband. I felt so by myself with Elliott working from before we get up to after Els would go to sleep. I have my happy girl back and I know that I will have lots of ups and downs through motherhood and I just feel so grateful to my family and friends for helping me and keeping me sane ( mainly ; ) )

yep she owns a controversial baby mobile. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

love/hate swaddling

          Swaddling. I am unsure if it's the only way we would have ever got any sleep, or if it has ruined her for sleep. Every time I think to myself, "I should try weaning Elsie off swaddling again", I then ask, " do I hate myself?". Unswaddled in her crib, Elsie rolls from side to side, crashing into the bars in her sleep. When it finally wakes her up, she is either super enthralled that she is free to scoot around and scream like a pterodactyl in the dark, or their is instant crying. Neither of which are very conducive to MY sleeping.  Ideally you would wean them off by swaddling with one arm out, until they master that without bashing themselves in the face too many times, and then you let the other one free, until you have a baby who doesn't flop around like a fish out of water in the night. Or, you can gradually loosen it, but then you have the issue of this loose blanket in the crib. Swaddled, Elsie sleeps from 8 pm to 8am, and only starts grunting when she gets hungry. I then can feed her, change her ( I won't let her sleep in some 3 pound soaking diaper) and wrap her back up and we both sleep like rocks. So you can see why I have stuck with it for so long- Generally we sleep FANTASTIC ( excepting teething, growth spurts, etc). I need to wean her off because it is clear that she is over it and I think babies need that freedom of waking up in their crib and entertaining themselves and being independent little people. I am weaning her off with a method that I have not read about ( and I have read all the methods) called " Swaddle your baby till she is super asleep and then undo it" which has been semi successful. When her hands get crazy and wake her up in the night I do what I call a faux swaddle, where I take the blanket under her and tuck it over her arms and under her bum loosely, just so her arms don't get too cray. Which I also didn't read about anywhere. I feel like you kind of have to reinvent the wheel for YOUR baby, because they are all their own little sleepers. Right now she is currently asleep IN HER CRIB with her arms OUT of her swaddle so obvs I am feeling on top of the world. Little victories!
Elsie's "I am over being a baby burrito" face