15/16 Months

Here it is – a 2 for 1 update on your 16 month birthday!

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The biggest milestone hit these past 2 months is definitely that you started walking. It’s funny – you spent so much time leading up to it, with months and months of standing independently, cruising, and using your walker to navigate the house – and then one day you pretty much just took off running and never looked back. It happened shortly after our return from Jamaica, but truth be told, you were almost walking prior to Jamaica but we hindered that progress by carrying you in our arms everywhere around the mostly cement resort.

You now spend your days at home toddling around, going through every open door and picking up any and every object along the way. It keeps you entertained for hours.

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You are happiest when you are naked, which happens about half an hour or so a day. You run around gleefully as if you are finally FREE, and evade capture when we try to come at you with a diaper in hand. I look forward to saving on laundry when summer finally comes around and we can allow you to roam freely a little bit longer without worry of you catching a chill.

You are still very comfortably in size 4 diapers. You wear mostly 12-18 month clothing but can still fit some 6-12 month outfits as well. You are 21.5 pounds, so on the smaller size for your age but still look cute and chubby for your height :).

You babble nonstop. You are constantly experimenting with your voice, in true McKenna form, by letting out a constant array of shrieks and squeals and testing out different tones with your voice. You say quite a few words – hi, puppy, bird, bath and book to name the more recognizable ones – and then a couple that I feel only your father and I really can translate. We do get a kick out of you walking into whatever room we are in an letting out a pleasant high pitched "hi!" as if you are just so happy to see us. We are always happy to see you too, little bug.. The feeling is more than mutual.

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Sign language is being used more frequently than before, because you are now seemingly starting to pick it up. It’s really exciting to see you sign when you’re tired, want more, or if you are all done with your meal. We are working towards mastering “milk” (which will be used as a general sign for all drinks) and “thank you”. You truly are learning things at such a rapid pace I’m sure we will have these signs mastered in no time!

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You blow about a thousand kisses a day. When people are coming and going, when you are saying goodnight, or when people wave or look in your general direction, really. You also like to give kisses, and they are now more like kisses than open mouthed drooly ones. You also like to kiss inanimate objects – such as my iPhone, your binky (blankie), the television, your books.. Etc.

You know where quite a few body parts are located, and know what sound a cow, chicken, cat and dog make. Old MacDonald is your favourite song of the moment.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but Curious George is still a giant hit and a nighttime staple around here. We watch it to help you wind down at the end of the day and it’s the only 20 minutes of the day you actually sit still. Put George on, and after dancing around like cray to the theme song, the rest of the world disappears for you. You have inherited your fathers knack for “zoning out” as it is impossible to get through to you at times like this. I call it karma for him :).
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^^that up there? that’s your Curious George face.

Still love the puppy, and our latest edition, our budgie Petrie! Every morning we say hi to the birdie together and you visit him at least 5 times a day to talk/yell at him.

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Still super attached to your binkie, but you have officially ditched the soother. Hurrah!

You still nurse about 2x a day – you had almost self weaned before we left on holiday and I panicked about not being able to confirm if the milk was pasteurized or not. Oh well, it will come soon I’m sure, as you drink milk from your sippy cup all day like a champ :).

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#100happydays

I cannot even BELIEVE it has been a whole two months since I have written a word in this space!

SO MUCH has happened – we took our family trip to Jamaica (which I still promise to recap), we continued and made huge progress towards our wedding plans (we are now just a LITTLE over TWO MONTHS OUT, people!), McKenna started WALKING and TALKING and made such huuuuge leaps in her development (she knows quite a few of her body parts and a couple of animal noises!), and I applied for, and received a great full time job to start a week from today.

Yes, that’s right.. I am returning to work as discussed and as promised. This was entirely my idea – Matthew was completely content, and even pushing for me to stay home with McKenna for a longer period of time. But as much as I love being a stay at home Mum and hope to be able to do it again in the near future, I felt a pretty strong need to contribute financially to the household (especially with the upcoming wedding). Two other reasons for my return – our feeling that McKenna will really thrive in a dayhome setting interacting with other children, and the fact that maternity leave is just too great a benefit to pass up the second time (here in Canada, we get an entire 52 weeks!).

I have a HUGE mix of emotions about my return, and depending on the day/hour/minute/second, I am either looking forward to my return to work ,or crying my eyes out over the moments I will truly, truly miss. It is going to be a huge adjustment for this little family of 3, but I think now is the time. I am also very blessed that should it not be the right fit for us, I have the option to quit at anytime and either return to being a stay at home Mum or search for something with a little less hours.

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I started the #100happydays project 2 days ago, as a way to help me look for the silver lining of each day. For those who have not heard, #100happydays is a personal journey to photograph and share 100 pictures in 100 days of something that is making you happy. I am an Instagram ADDICT so I knew I would have no problem committing to such a project, and I am so excited to see my results 98 days from now!

You can follow me on Instagram to watch me take on this project, or you can visit the #100happydays official website to sign up and participate yourself!

I also plan to start writing again to get my thoughts and feelings about this new transitional time in my life into words. Writing always helps me sort my emotions.

So with that, I am happy to say A Little Baby Bean is back in action!Image

 

Your First Birthday (a recap)

Even though your birthday was nearly a month and a half ago, your Mum is waaay behind the times and has yet to post a recap from the fabulous day. This is just a recap of your birthDAY, not the wonderful party that followed on December 15th. I am hoping to get to that post this week too .. but to be honest, I just haven’t been in the writing mood! With our upcoming trip to Jamaica and the wedding 5 MONTHS TO THE DAY away, my mind has definitely been distracted. But these are important events that must be recorded for you to read in the future, so here I am, just for you :).

On December 1, 2013, I woke up at 7 AM so I could be sure to be awake before you (I never purposely do this .. it seems like cruel torture!). I started blowing balloons, and filled the hallway. You Dad and I had assembled your birthday present – an AWESOME play kitchen! – the night before. I wanted you to wake up, find the balloons in the hallway and make your way down to see your birthday surprise.

You woke up at 8:30, and that’s just what you did. Crawled out into the hallway and played with the many balloons. You were so enamoured with the balloons that you stayed in the hallway for close to half an hour before I grew impatient and moved them into the kitchen, so you would come that way. You finally did, and alas! There was your kitchen! You immediately crawled up to it and started playing with it, particularly fascinated with the buttons and all the different sounds they made.

I decided we would stay home that day. On most days, I bundle you up and we head out of the house to run errands or take part in an activity, but I thought you would like a home day to enjoy your presents. I was right, you played with them for the entire morning, had a special breakfast of smashed banana pancakes and then laid down for your late morning nap as usual.

After lunch, we had a visit from your Auntie Ethel & Uncle Emlyn, and your cousins Gillian, Collin and Jenny. Gifts were exchanged (a fancy new cash register to go along with your play kitchen!) and then we all sat and visited. We watched your One Year video together (and I cried) and shortly afterwards, they left.

The afternoon was spent once again playing with your toys while I baked cupcakes, and then I ordered pizza for our special dinner. Your Dad, your Papa, and your Auntie Vanessa all came over for your birthday dinner and you ate your first piece of pizza like it was nobodies business. We sang happy birthday (I cried again) and I presented you with your first ever cupcake, vanilla with chocolate frosting. You started eating the cupcake like such a lady, picking at the icing with your fingers. But that didn’t last long! Not a crumb was spared.

You went to bed (after a much needed bath) with a full belly and a smile on your face.

It was a relaxed, calm quiet kind of day.. just the kind of day I wanted to spend with you on your very first birthday. Even though December the first will always be a day celebrating your birth, and giving you presents, believe me when I say you are the best gift I have and will ever receive. December 1 will always be my favorite day, a day of reflection, celebration, happiness, and undoubtedly, more tears (the happy ones, of course).

13 Months

Well here we are.. another New Year, with a toddler!

I had anticipated I would feel like taking some time off from blogging for the Christmas season.. I did not however, plan to go an entire month without writing a thing! And so much happened that I need to recap, including your first birthday party with your family, your first birthday party with friends, our preparations for the Christmas season, followed by Christmas itself (which I have renamed “Pukemas 2013” – as we all were hit by a tummy bug sometime before, during and after Christmas). I hope I can recap all these events for you soon!

But first, your 13 month update must be done!

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I need to write a bit of a disclaimer here.. and that is, December was actually a pretty difficult month for you. You fell sick on the 21st.. it started with two days of a really high fever that I managed with Motrin. On day 3, your fever had disappeared but you woke up in the middle of the night and threw up multiple times. This BROKE your Mama’s heart.. you did not cry, you simply cuddled your Dad looking white as a sheet and so, so sad as I called the nurse on duty and made sure we could continue to care for you at home. The next day, you seemed much better, but alas, that only lasted Christmas Eve and by Christmas Day you had a dry cough, runny nose, and were just so rundown. Of course, during these days our routine fell completely by the wayside. You ate barely any solid foods and slept whenever you felt like – usually taking 6 or so 30 minute naps a day, sometimes more. The rest of the time you spent cuddled on your father or I’s chest, watching far more TV than usual. You are now JUST on the mend and getting back to your cheerful self, with 4 more teeth than you had before this awful cycle started.

Sleeping has changed considerably this month. We are almost finished co-sleeping entirely. This is amazing because I had a little seed of doubt planted in my mind that it would never happen. It is also very, very bittersweet because I absolutely loved our days of bedsharing. However, as you were approaching your first birthday I made a promise to myself to allow you to become more independent. And independent sleeping is  a HUGE step towards this goal. Granted, we are still working out some kinks from our new sleeping arrangements – some nights you wake up multiple times just needing to be comforted, and others I fall asleep beside you rather then head back to our room across the hall. But generally, our night generally starts with you going to bed at 7:30. You wake up around 12:30 to nurse, and then sleep till about 6:30 or so where I nurse you again. Our day starts shortly before 9 most days.

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You still either take one big nap from 11:30 till about 2:30, or two naps of about 1.5 hours each.

Now that you have gained back your appetite for solid foods, you are eating 3 solid meals a day, and 2 snacks. You like a great variety of foods but don’t eat anything you do not like – that usually goes on the floor for the puppy. I think you consider puffs to be a food group because you would happily snack on them all day if we would let you (we don’t).

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You only nurse before naps and bedtime, and the rest of the time you are offered whole milk in your sippy cup. I am very happy we were able to skip bottles all together! Just one less thing I need to think about taking away from you in the future (because it feels there is always *SOMETHING* I am supposed to be taking away from you).

You have a TON of new toys from your birthday and Christmas last month, which has enabled us to start *toy shuffling*. This means we have toys, brand new and boxed in the basement that you haven’t even played with which we intend to switch in when you start getting bored of the toys you have in your play area. Right now, your favorite toys include the glockenspiel you received for Christmas, your walker, and your play kitchen that Mum, Dad, Nanny and Papa gave to you for your first birthday. I love watching you play with all your toys, but your kitchen in particular – just yesterday I watched you intentionally put food in a pot, close the lid, place it on the stove (which makes bubbling noises) then take it off the stove once finished and empty the pot. I am patiently awaiting to be served three course suppers and watch you wash and put away the dishes afterwards (great practice for the future, too)!

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With us being in the middle of the cold of winter, we have been spending MUCH more time at home than we did in the summer. As such, it has now become a part of our routine to start off the day with a quiet cartoon (while Mama wakes up and feeds/lets out the dog). You love Cat in the Hat and Curious George most of all – when the theme song comes on you break into a huge smile and wiggle your little bum to the beat. It is aaaadorable!

Not walking yet, although you have taken one or two steps several times on your own to transfer between furniture or your Dad and I. I was told walking qualifies as 5 unassisted steps so we are patiently awaiting for you to take the leap, but at the same time allowing you the time you need to figure it out for yourself at a time that is most comfortable to you.

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You say many words – but NEVER on demand. Only when you feel like it – another sign of your streak of stubbornness. Words you have said include – mama, dada, hi, bye, book, and bubble. You still think puppy is said by popping your lips together … but no sound is yet to come out.

Speaking of the puppy, if it’s possible you are even more in love with her than before. Half of the time (maybe a little less) the love is reciprocated as she runs in circles around you and attacks you with kisses, the other half of the time she goes into another room to get away.

You have an obsession with soft blankets. You have a green fuzzy one that is still hands down your favorite, but if you are in a room with blankets or even soft articles of clothing you will gather them all to surround you and bring them with you everywhere.

You also still love your books and sit quietly flipping their pages and looking at the pictures as if you are memorizing them by heart.

You also now have a new little quirk where you like to take objects such as blankets or clothing and put them over your head so you can barely see in front of you. You then crawl furiously around the room laughing. You do this with your Dad’s hat too. You especially like chasing the dog when you do this and you think that you are absolutely hilarious. It is the funniest thing to watch but I have to run interference quite often to be sure you don’t run into any walls.

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 Here’s to another month and a brand new year!

xo

One Sunny Autumn Day…

On a sunny autumn day just before Halloween, we asked our close friend Dave to come and take some shots of our little family.

Dave normally specializes in nature photography, but we are so thankful he was able to come and take these beautiful pictures of us! Growing up, I would always drive by these trees and be in awe of their beauty in the autumn months. People would drive from all areas of the city just for the photo opportunities, and I am so happy that I now have photographs of my own little family surrounded by these stunning trees. We could not be more pleased with how they turned out! Thank you Dave!

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All photos are credited to Unique Light Photography. Check him out!

White Padded Walls

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We are getting you a helmet.

A helmet, and perhaps, a bubble made of impenetrable material with which to surround you at all times (you may, in fact, get a break from it come nighttime, but don’t hold your breath on that one).

I kid, of course. But with that being said, I am having a hard time adjusting to the amount of times per day you hurt yourself. And you are not even walking yet, for goodness sakes.

We have had no major injuries thank the heavens (and can everyone reading knock on wood/say a prayer please!!!), but this whole learning how to stand/walk thing? It is one dangerous activity. In less than 24 hours, you have scraped your toe, bonked your head and done a face plant in the carpet. I feel like a terrible mother.

I will say one thing though, you are tough as nails, McKenna. When you hurt yourself, you cry.. I pick you up and comfort you, for maybe a mere minute or two, until you push yourself out of my arms with such force and move onto the next dangerous explorative adventure. I am quite certain that in a matter of weeks, days maybe, we will be living in an empty living room. And maybe installing white padded walls to help with your mother’s sanity.

I know this is all a learning process for you, but as your mother I am having a very difficult time with not hovering over you every second of every day. I know that all I can really do at this point is ensure that I do my part to keep you safe, and help move you in the right direction. But it is hard. I just want to protect you from everything; from every cut, scrape and bruise. But I know there is likely not a single child on this earth who learned how to walk without gaining some battle wounds along the way.

I can’t even begin to think of what’s to come – the days of falling off your bike and jumping off structures in the playground are soon to come. I have no idea how I am going to deal with the first time you need stitches or (heaven forbid) a cast.

But I do promise you one thing, my sweet, brave, angelic girl.. I will always be here to scoop you in my arms and kiss the tears away. As much as you may grow to dislike it. Us mothers? Our kisses have healing powers. So you’re just going to have to learn to deal with it.

Sigh. I tell ya… This mama thing? Really not for the faint of heart.

xo

9 Months

91I would say you are now “officially” sleeping through the night – meaning 6 hours or more, about 90% of the time. I think there were one or two days this month where I had a full 8 hours sleep, which left me feeling like a whole new woman. There are still the odd rough nights, like when you caught your first cold (:(), but they are few and far between these days. This makes for a very happy baby and a well rested mama.

Your naps are also almost completely predictable, which is also making our days easier. You wake up anywhere between 7:30-9, and are ready for you first nap a mere half an hour later. This is usually just a “top off” nap – you only sleep another 30 minutes or so. I think you may cut this nap altogether in the very near future. You then wake up, eat your breakfast, have some playtime and are ready for your second nap come noon. This is your longest nap of the day, and lasts anywhere from 1.5 – 2 hours. You take one final micro-nap around 4:30 or 5, which is only another half hour. Sometimes you skip this nap, but when you do, you end up fussy and tired by 7pm. With your Daddy’s new work schedule he now comes home at 7pm, so I do what I can to ensure that you have this micro-nap so you at LEAST get an hour with him once he gets home.

You nurse 5-7 times per day and eat 3 solid meals. Your favorite foods this month include watermelon, chicken, yogurt, cheese and broccoli. Everything else is questionable as to whether you really like it, or you just simply like to play with it. You are your father’s daughter in the way that you will eat EVERYTHING off your tray, and tackle the vegetables when there are no other options left. Breakfast and supper are almost always self-fed. We spend a lot of afternoons out of the house, in which case we give you a pouch. You have no real preference between the two (self-fed and pouches); just as long as you are not being spoon-fed. You are an independent woman (or so you think).

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You are frustrated by your limitations daily. This has caused you to show a little bit of your temperamental side this month, as referred to in this post. You have been pulling yourself up to stand on whatever you can – coffee tables, the TV stand, toys, my leg.. and you succeed about 50% of the time. The other 50% you plop down to your bum and let out an exasperated sigh.

You are officially crawling on all fours, until you get tired and revert to the good ol’ bum scooch. Either way, you are getting places, and fast.

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You make the STRANGEST noises. My experience with babies prior to you was very limited – but this past month I have been assured by several friends and family members that the sounds you make are unique to you, and you alone. I wish I could explain these sounds to you but it would really be too difficult. All I can say is you are the master of experimenting with your own voice, coming up with noises that I don’t think many of us adults could even recreate. I hope to put together a video montage soon so I can show it you (blackmail you) with it later. You say mama and mumumum and dadadada frequently, and today, I SWEAR you said “hi” to me as I was changing you bum in the morning. But you haven’t done it since (in 6 hours) and I am now left to believe maybe I was just hearing things.

You love music. You love your KinderMusik classes and are fascinated by instruments. You may become a drummer because of your apparent passion for banging things together and making a lot of noise.

One of your favorite things is when I scoop you up in my arms and we dance around the living room.

You still only have your two bottom teeth, and I haven’t seen any real signs of teething as of late. This is fine with me as there is nothing more adorable than seeing you smile with those two adorable bottom teeth poking out.

You weigh 18 pounds 8 ounces, wear size 3 diapers, and fit comfortably in 9 month and 12 month clothing.

Your favorite days are the days we spend outside of the house, BUT as long as you are not confined to your stroller too long. You HATE being confined. I almost think you’re borderline claustrophobic – if something so much as prohibits you from rolling over, you lose your marbles. I also think this may contribute to your EXTREME aversion to your crib. Anyways, yes. You like being outside of the house but as long as you are free to roam about. This has led to us spending a lot of time at spray parks and playgrounds as of late, which is always a lot of fun, seeing as you are a total water baby.

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We love this about you.

As for toys, you will play with anything within your grasp. You pick everything off the floor (including things that should be swept) to examine it. 9 out of 10 times it ends up in your mouth.

You will go in your jolly jumper and excer-saucer for a VERY short period of time before you demand out by screaming at me. Once again – confined spaces.

You are OBSESSED with the pets. They unfortunately, do not usually share the same sentiment. I am still dreaming of a happy house where pets and babies not just co-exist, but play together and cuddle together.

All in all, it’s been a great month of development. You are becoming less my baby and more your own little person each and everyday. We love watching you grow!
xo

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Temper Tantrums

It’s been a bit of a trying week around these parts – we seem to have entered a phase where temper tantrums are becoming a commonality. It started on Tuesday, when I found McKenna playing with a bobby pin she had found on the bathroom floor – I did the good old ‘grab a toy and replace’ method, but instead of being easily and happily distracted by new found toy, she erupted into a shriek and dissipated into tears in a matter of milliseconds.

“What the heck?” was my first thought – this has never happened before. I had no clue how to react. This was one of those situations I didn’t think I would be dealing with until a much later age, not when my baby was a mere 9 months – 9 MONTHS – of age. Needless to say, I stood there shocked for about a minute before I regained my senses. I then walked out of the room.

At first, she was shocked with my reaction – it was her first premeditated cry, and therefore the first time in her existence that I have essentially walked away from her while upset. But in about two minutes, she relaxed, and I went to her, asked her if she wanted to come “up”, to which she reached her arms towards me. I stared into her blue eyes and she gazed into mine. And just like that, we made up.

The second tantrum came at bedtime. Just as she was peacefully drifting off to sleep, she rolled over and was completely outraged to find that a blanket in her way making her incapable of doing so. Her face immediately went red, and she once again erupted into a series of shrieks and tears. Once again – what the heck? What is going on here? And most importantly, HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

When I was younger, I was infamous among my family for my temper tantrums. I’m actually surprised they still talk to me, after all those years of bratty-ness. I remember several conversations on the phone with my Auntie pre-holidays where she would tell me to be good, be kind to my mother, and that she would be checking in on my progress once we returned. Try as I may to be good, I had a very short temper and a flare for the dramatics. I cringe when I think of those days, those days of throwing myself on the floor and crying in a state of absolute fury – for basically no reason. My poor mother.

After talking with other mothers and her pediatrician at her 9 month appointment yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that my daughter is not only highly intelligent and using this intelligence to test her boundaries (cause and effect; if I drop my sippy cup on the ground, will Mum always pick it up again? If I cry, will Mum always come and comfort me immediately?) ; she is also most definitely beginning to feel frustration over her limitations. She is craving independence; she has made it clear by her endless attempts to pull herself up on furniture, which will be followed by a huge milestone – walking (seriously. What the heck happened to my newborn baby!). McKenna has been seeking more independence from the day she was born – she always hated being rocked, doesn’t really like to cuddle unless tired, was holding her own bottle by 5 months, and has always preferred to self-feed versus being spoon-fed. Now, more than ever, she realizes how close she is to that major milestone of independence – walking – and she just wants it to happen. And happen NOW.

I understand her frustration, and I foster her desire to be independent. Being able to understand where she is coming from when she loses her temper is helping me with my patience. Although I do not give into her when she is throwing a temper tantrum (especially seeing as this would require me to allow her to play with things that are choking hazards), she is nowhere near the age where discipline is necessary or required, in my opinion. So for now, I have elected to react by simply walking away and allowing her those few moments to regain her composure, and returning to her once she has settled to make sure she knows everything is okay, and that her Mum still loves her. And always, always will.

That being said, I can’t help but think of what is without a doubt in my future – a time where discipline will be required. I also can’t help but think of 5 letter word – karma for all I put my mother through in my childhood days. My only saving grace may be the fact that Matthew’s family tells me time and time again about what an “angel” child he was. Quiet and content. Maybe the two will cancel each other out? Time will tell.. but I can’t help but wonder if there is a certain angel up in heaven having a good-natured chuckle about what lies in the days ahead. :)

8 months (and a week)

Another late post! McKenna turned 8 months on the 1st, but due to general busyness around here and an emergency dental surgery, her 8 month update fell by the way side unfortunately. But here it is :). Enjoy!

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Such major milestones have been hit this month. It’s hard to believe you have almost spent more time OUTSIDE of my belly than inside. We are seeing more of your beautiful personality every single day and let me tell you this – you are an adventurous, strong willed, busy busy baby. You are giving us a real run for our money with your new crawling (yes, CRAWLING!!) skills, and there is never a dull moment. Here’s a bit of what you have been up to this month:

Sleeping-wise, we were kind of all over the place this month as a result of teething, camping trips, and overnight stays. Now that the busyness has slowed down a bit I am really working on getting back on track with getting you on a schedule, and I have to say, even just sticking pretty close to home last week has really seemed helped. You have now established a reliable nap schedule, and we are back on track with your bedtime routine. I am planning on doing a post soon about life on a schedule and how well it is working for us, but for this 8 month update regarding sleep I will just say this for now – things are still improving, but you are still not sleeping through the night. This doesn’t bother me, as long as I still get my initial 5 hour stretch, which I do the majority of the time, I am able to function just fine with you waking once or twice. Your father and I are confident that once you are ready to hit that milestone, you will do it on your own. For now, you go to bed at 7:30(ish) and sleep until I join you at around 11pm. At this point I dream feed you, and you generally sleep till 4 or 5 in the morning, eat or just take your soother, then wake up again between 7 or 8.

Eating-wise, I will also need to do a more detailed update. You are still nursed, and things are going great as usual. I am having a bit of a supply issue as of late (the past 2 days) due to the aforementioned dental surgery – the reduced calories combined with the antibiotics I am taking have lead me to worry a bit. But I am working hard to bring it back up, so we can continue on with our goal of reaching one year. I won’t give up, I promise!

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As for your adventures in solids, we have been doing a combination between BLW and purees. All of your purees come in pouch form so you get the feeling that you are “feeding” yourself, but I think we are near the end of purees and close to having you be 100 percent self fed. You are having two solid meals a day, one at breakfast and one at dinner, and you are still nursed on demand, about 6 times a day. We are likely going to be adding a third meal this month, but in all honesty, your interest in solid foods isn’t much. You still much prefer to be breastfed and this is just fine for me as we truly follow the philosophy that “food under 1 is just for fun” around here. You have had a large selection of fruits and veggies, and are now eating proteins once a day at suppertime. Often times you will just suck on a piece of chicken and not really chew or swallow, but I have been told that you get just as much nutrients from food that way as you would should you have eaten the whole thing. Like I said, we are taking a very relaxed approached to solids and seeing as you are thriving, healthy and happy, I am confident we are doing it in the best way for you.

You now weigh 18 pounds 1 ounce so your weight gain has slowed down considerably, largely in part of your desire to motor all over the place all day. You wear size 3 diapers and 6-12 month old clothing. You are still very short for your age – 25 ¾ inches to be precise.

You grew not one, but TWO teeth this month. The first was a MISERABLE experience for both you and I. I have never seen you so unhappy. You were constantly crying, refusing to nurse due to pain, and hardly sleeping. I felt terrible all day everyday that I was unable to help more than giving you Tylenol on a consistent basis and offer you cold teething toys, freezies and face cloths to gnaw on. It was an awful 3 days, but we pushed through. Upon recommendation of your Auntie Leah, we then invested in an amber teething necklace, which SEEMS to be working like a charm! When that second tooth came it was much more manageable – you drooled a bit, had a mild fever and runny nose, and tossed and turned a bit that night. But there was no miserable crying, no pain meds needed. I truly think the necklace has done wonders for you, so it is now permanently attached to your body.

You have been crawling since the day after your 7 month post was published. You are not on all fours however – you have adopted a style of crawling which I lovingly refer to as the “bum scooch” where you moreso drag your body across the floor, generally motivated by a four legged creature. I have read that some babies simply stick with this technique – while some do move onto crawling on all fours. It has yet to be determined what you will do my dear, but I can tell you this – you can get places, and fast!

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Since you have discovered your ability to crawl, toys such as your playmat, excer-saucer, and jumper are pretty much a thing of the past. I can put you in them for maybe 10 minutes at a time before you fuss to be on the floor, crawling and exploring on your own. You can keep yourself entertained for hours this way, especially on a nice sunny day outside! So much to see!

You still have a fascination with details – zippers, buttons, glasses and the like. You also like to pull noses, lips, eyelids, ears, and generally abuse your parents. We have begun the process of trying to correct this behaviour so when you enter preschool you are not a hair puller. You also have a fascination, as all babies do I’m told, with outlets, plugs, and wires. This gives your mother a heart attack on a consistent daily basis.

You now clap your hands, and get thoroughly excited whenever music comes on. We enrolled you in KinderMusik this month which has been a HUGE hit. You love interacting with the other babes and experimenting with instruments and moving along to music. I see a real desire within you to perform, as you love to be the centre of attention, and you demand the spotlight!

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You also love being in the water – be it in the bathtub, your pool in the backyard, the swimming pool, or the lake. You had your first lake adventure last month whilst we were camping, and baby, you LOVED it. You squealed with such delight as we let you float on your back and splashed around. I don’t think I have ever seen you smile so big! This makes me and your Daddy EXTREMELY happy, as we are both huge water people ourselves! I look forward to many beach vacations with you!

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You babble non-stop when you are at home, but should we ever venture out of the house, it takes you awhile to warm up to your new surroundings before you begin making any noise. This leads people to say what a well behaved and quiet little babe you are, and I nod and smile while thinking in my head “if only they saw you at home”!

You are so much fun to be around these days my little Roo. Each day holds new surprises and I wake up with a smile thinking about what may come. You have brightened my life in every way and I thank God everyday I am given this opportunity to be your mother. You are my greatest blessing.

McKenna: 5 months

Holy bananas.. where do I even start to begin my little love. Month 4 was a CRAZY month, a crazy month of development for you, of growth, exploration, of firsts. I debated splitting this post into TWO because it is so insanely hard to keep up with you and your rapid growth these days! Okay, here we go….

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Eating-wise, not much has changed. You nurse approximately 6 times a day, every 2 1/2 hours during the day, and at night, we can almost count on you getting an initial 4 or 5 hour stretch, after which you continue to wake every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to be fed. We have been seriously considering introducing you to some veggies in the VERY near future, as you have shown such an interest in what Mum and Dad have on their plates and are even reaching for our food when it is about to enter our mouths. All signs point to you being ready, it’s just up to us to now settle on a real plan of action (baby-led weaning or otherwise).

Things have been a-changin’ in the sleeping department, that’s for sure. And for the better! We started off the first half of the month with you waking every 2 hours… for comfort, for your paci, and sometimes to eat.  Your nighttime schedule goes like this: Daddy gives you a bath every second day at approximately 6:45. At 7:15, you crawl into bed with Mama who reads you two cuddly bedtime stories (sometimes Daddy reads one too – always Green Eggs and Ham, I’m sure you will be able to recite this by your second birthday if things keep up this way) and then I nurse you. Once you are almost asleep, I give you either Nugget or your taggie blankie, say our little goodnight poem, and you close your eyes and drift off peacefully. I can’t remember the last time you fought going to bed at night. Mama then turns in for the night between 10:30 – 11, at which point I dream feed you (dream feeding is a LIFESAVER, post to come soon) and then you sleep until 3 or 4am :). After that initial stretch, we generally go back to wake ups every 2 1/2 hours until you are up for the day between 8:30 & 9. We are loving this schedule and will not be changing it anytime soon! Unless of course, you’d like to sleep a little longer for your Mama – I wouldn’t complain Baby Roo :).

Looks-wise, you are turning into more and more of a little lady every single day. I am happy to announce your eyes are still as big as marbles and as blue as the ocean. You now weigh 15.5 lbs (as of yesterday when I went and weighed you) and have just recently moved into size 3 diapers. You are quite short still, only 23 inches, but great things come in small packages :). You wear size 3-6 months in most of your clothing but you fit some 6 month stuff juuuust fine.

Your physical development is where we have seen the BIGGEST of changes this month. You can pre-occupy yourself for up to an hour at a time, sometimes longer. You still love your playmat, but Mama had to rearrange some toys and add some new.. as you were getting a little bored with the same toys all the time. Smart little girl. You now LOVE your exer-saucer, and squeal and play and keep yourself entertained and busy for long periods of time. When you are finished, you let me know by moaning and groaning, and I come over to you and ask “up?” to which you now respond by lifting your arms up towards me. Siiiiigh. Be still my Mama heart <3.

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You love being outside, which is lucky for me because we spend a fair amount of time walking these days (makes for a veryyy happy puppy dog). You always nap better on the days we are on the go. With the weather growing warmer I have a lot planned for us, and I am happy you are such a content little traveller. You love your carrier most of all, and are perfectly content being pressed against my chest and looking at the big world surrounding you.

You love to grab your feet, with both hands. You do it when you’re awake, falling asleep, and when you are completely asleep. Silly bum.

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You haven’t quite completely rolled over, but I can leave you on your playmat on one side and in another ten minutes you have wiggled your way to the other side, and sometimes off the mat completely. This is why safety straps – in your stroller even when walking, in your swing – are now a necessity. You love to wiggle. You still love tummy time for 5 minute periods and then you get frustrated, flailing your little legs and not quite getting anywhere, yet. Soon baby, soon.

You love to stand so much that I am afraid you may bypass crawling altogether (I only say afraid because geeze kid, slow down with the growing already!) and just start motoring around this place on those two adorable feet. You are curious and reach and grab for everything in sight (toys, glasses, noses, hair, lips, chins… whatever), and it then promptly goes into your mouth. You have taken a huge interest in the zoo as of late, and we have been reinforcing how to pet the puppy and kitties nicely, versus grabbing hold of their fur and not letting go. I think you are getting it 🙂 (and  I sure am happy to have such chill pets who take it all in stride).

You are getting pretty creative with the sounds that come out of your mouth. Your obsession with squeaking last month has now turned into an assortment of moans and groans that last upwards of a minute. I like to joke with your Daddy that you are auditioning to be a zombie in The Walking Dead. You love babbling, and love it most when Mama copies and babbles back at you. We are working on a few key signs – “Mama” “Daddy” “Milk” and “Baby” – and everytime I sign to you, you look at me with such a look of thought that I think it’ll be no time before you are signing all over the place.

You love bathtime with Daddy. You used to scowl quite a bit and have such a serious expression during bathtime, as if you weren’t quite sure whether you liked it or not.. now it is official, you love the bath. Daddy likes to let you “swim” and you look so relaxed while you float around in the tub. You also love when Mama sometimes crawls in there and has a bath with you. We have a lot of fun when we do that.

You still smile a thousand times a day.. and I’ve said it before, it lights up the entire room. You are just such a happy little girl. We can literally go days and days without crying (not fussing, crying.. important to mention!). As previously mentioned, you let out your first, real genuine laugh last week. You have done it one more time since. I think it shocks you when the noise comes out of your mouth, so you have yet to master this skill. By the end of May I am counting on having a giggly, happy little girl on my hands.

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You are a little uneasy around people other than Mama and Daddy these days, which I think is just a phase. You are happiest with people when Mum and Dad are close by… and not too fond of when we leave the room. It’s just a phase baby, it will pass. I want you to be comfortable with other people than your parents, as it is an important life skill to have, to be resilient to new situations. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t flattered, however.

 

Here’s to another beautiful month of moments, my Little Love! xo mumandme