We Did It!

A LOT of big changes are happening around here these days, and all occurred in less than a month:

  1. We are no longer co-sleeping;
  2. McKenna is sleeping through the night consistently; and
  3. She is down to 3-5 nursing sessions per day.

Whew. Even officially writing that down took a lot of emotion out of me.

Nursing and co-sleeping were definitely two of the main attributes I used to describe our style of parenting that first year. It was great – I loved everything about it.

Co-sleeping was one of those things that worked, until all of a sudden it just didn’t. And in true McKenna fashion, she never does things slowly. Instead of doing a slow transition from co-sleeping to independent sleeping, one day it just STOPPED. I slept in my room and she slept in hers.

I mentioned we had a slight regression along the way – and after reading many words of advice on Facebook and speaking with other mothers, I blame that regression on poor timing. I strongly feel as though McKenna was going through a growth spurt at that time, and it had nothing to do with our new sleeping arrangement.

But now, DARE I say the words I at times I never thought I would? Dare I take it a step further, and write it down for the WHOLE WORLD TO SEE? That McKenna, is finally, consistently, sleeping through the night? ALL ON HER OWN?

Of all of the parenting challenges Matt and I faced in those first 365 days, sleeping was definitely the most difficult. It was SO up and down. We would have good months and bad months. Nights that had one or two wakeups and then nights that had sometimes upwards of 5. We struggled with what the books told us – that by 3 months, most children are fully capable of sleeping through the night (those children also likely fart rainbows). We struggled with what (some) of the experts said was the solution for those children who did not – the dreaded (in our household) cry it out method. We struggled with our own feelings of inadequacy anytime we faced a parent who spoke with pride about their babies who were in their own cribs, sleeping through the night at 6 months. It seemed nearly an impossible feat to accomplish, and as though it was nowhere in our near future.

But anytime the discussion was had, it was never decided upon that we should “Ferberize” McKenna. We do not judge those who choose this very effective sleep training method, because we are not in their houses when the sleep training occurs. We can only know what happened anytime we tried this method on our own baby – 3 or so times over the course of those twelve months in moments of severe desperation – and the result was terrified screams, shaking, and one dreadful, dreadful night when McKenna was ten months when she literally threw herself out of the crib. I thank God every day that our floor bed was beside to break her fall.

No, the Ferber method wasn’t for us. And thankfully, we were definitely on the same page when it came to that.

But yes, sleep. It was all over the place. I rarely complained – after all, I had an entire year off to nurture and care for her, and I had made a promise to myself that the first year would be all about McKenna. About establishing a comforting mother-daughter relationship wherein she felt secure and loved, and would truly trust me to take care of her needs. I still have no regrets about this decision, and fully intend to use this strategy with the next baby. And I honestly have to say I am amazed about how well I am able to function on broken up sleep. And Starbucks.

But at some point, that co-sleeping, nursing through the night relationship began to fail us. McKenna was no longer getting the quality sleep she needed, and instead of waking up and falling asleep immediately when nursed, she screamed and cried and reached for comfort, not milk, multiple times throughout the night.

That was when we knew it was time for the relationship to change.

I wish I could tell you an exact method we used to end co-sleeping, but there wasn’t really one. We simply stopped, and McKenna was ready. And trust me, we HAD definitely tried before, and she was NOT ready before. There was minimal crying (besides the growth spurt) and then there was just success. Continued success.

McKenna now goes to sleep every night at 7:30 PM after a consistent bedtime routine. She sleeps until 4:30-5:30 AM, awakes for a snack, and goes back to sleep until 8 AM. We are working at cutting out that last feeding, but if I’m being honest, I am in no rush.

Reason being is that although this is everything I wished, hoped and longed for.. I still miss those days. Those days where she was absolutely dependent on her Mama for sleep. I am really starting to think as motherhood as sort of a double-edged sword:  you are always wishing for something, and when that something comes true, you can’t help but long for those moments from before. In this particular situation, the moments I long for and will always miss are the late night cuddles. The nursing sessions, when it was just her and I awake in our quiet little household. Those moments of extreme bonding that I would never, EVER take back for ANYTHING.

But as I said before, my post about all of these FEELINGS (the feelings about the end of co-sleeping and the beginning of weaning) are to follow. They are too intense, and too important to not deserve their very own blog post.

But above all these feelings, I am so incredibly proud of my little. Proud of her father and I too, for never feeling forced to doing anything that was outside of our comfort zone. For sticking to our guns, listening to advice when necessary but only taking the particular parts of said advice and applying what we felt would work for our family to our real life situation.

Well done family. We did it :). Here is to many more nights of amazing sleep!

wedidit

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Our First Halloween

Last week, we celebrated your first Halloween!

It was a smashing success, as was the week or so leading up towards it. We visited Prairie Gardens, and got lost in a corn maze, watched people fire the pumpkin cannon, attended a petting zoo and a magic show, and all in all just had a great family day. We carved pumpkins, you my little assistant as I cleaned them in preparation for your father’s return from work. You only tried to eat the pumpkin guts once – once, and then it never happened again (yuck). We shopped for costumes for your father and I – the first time either of us had worn a Halloween costume (the last time being when we went to the Howler in 2009 with your Auntie Chrissy and Nikki; when your Dad dressed as Jack Skeleton and I as a ladybug.. but that is a story for another time, when you are much, much older :)).

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When the big day arrived, it started out like any other Thursday., until I dressed you to leave for your music class and placed your Tinkerbell dress over top of your normal outfit, and placed your wings on your back. We went to music class and had a fun time with Batman, a princess, a pumpkin and a sheep, and headed home to prepare dinner for your Dad’s arrival.

Once we had all had supper and were dressed (your father and I dressed as pirates to fit with the Tinkerbell theme) and ready to go, we headed out for some trick or treating. The temperatures were unseasonably warm this Halloween, but we opted to just visit friends and families who lived close by. We visited a total of 5 houses, and let me tell you, that was ENOUGH candy wise! You sure cleaned up! We have put your candy away somewhere for safekeeping (our tummies) for when you are old enough to enjoy it (hey! Isn’t that one of the major perks of parenting?).

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It was a fun day for all of us. The ones we visited truly loved seeing you in your costume and we had a great time showing you off. I’ll be honest – Halloween has never been one of my favorite holidays (I am much more particular to Christmas and New Year’s) but having you around has definitely renewed the spirit of the holiday. I look forward to partaking in many more Halloween’s and continuing these traditions and creating new ones as you grow older.

I also feel it is important to mention that you slept 8 hours straight that night – reason enough for me to wish Halloween occurred several times a year, and not just once! 🙂

Love you forever, my little Tinkerbell.

xo

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10 Months

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We have had an ‘okay’ month of sleep. When you have your rough nights, you have your rough nights. A good night causes me to get 6-8 hours straight of sleep, a bad night usually results in about 3-5 wakeups. I notice you sleep your best on days where we have activities – for example, days that are spent in the pool always results in a great night’s rest for us both.

You are, however, napping like a champ. We have cut out your morning “power nap” and instead you now wake around 8 and are ready for nap time come 10:30. You generally sleep for 1.5-2 hours, and are then ready for another nap between 3 and 4, which is usually another 1.5 hours. Bedtime is anywhere between 7 and 8, just whenever you show general signs of sleepiness.

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We are still sleeping on the floor beside your crib, and you have a new habit that when you are finished napping you simply open the door (we leave it open a slight crack) and crawl out into the hallway, yelling to make your presence known. It’s pretty damn adorable.

Still exclusively breastfeeding, and you still love it, as do I. My original plan was to have this month (October) as our last full month of nursing, and allow you two full months to wean off so as not to upset you (or me) but I am now in a funny place where I am unsure if I really want to wean at all, or try and make working and nursing work for us. I better figure it out soon though, as January looms above my head like a dark cloud (always with the dramatics, I know).

As for table food, you are still a little unsure. Somedays, you eat everything off you plate and others, less than half. It’s not that you are picky I don’t think.. it’s just that you are a typical woman in the way that you don’t know what you want/like. One day you love plums and eat the whole fruit, the other, you suck on it for a few seconds and toss it aside with a look of absolute disgust. Regardless, you are offered and eat (at least some of) 3 meals and a snack or two throughout the day.

You love the TV. You would be perfectly content to sit in front of it and watch cartoons all day if we let you. We don’t. TV is reserved for half an hour each morning as I drink coffee and we both sit in silence, and if I am having a hard time getting it together to get out of the house. At those times, it is a welcome distraction.

Other than that, we play music when we are at home. You love watching me dance, and love when I pick you up and we dance together. You’ve started to wiggle your booty a bit when I ask you to dance, and whenever music is on you love to clap your hands and squeal.

Your favorite activity is pulling all the DVD’s off of the shelf. We considered putting them downstairs for the time being, but you can’t really hurt yourself doing so and it keeps you busy. So, the DVD’s stay. You always give me a death glare when I put them back, where they belong… as if you had put them just there, on the floor, with intention. You do the same thing with the shapes on your walker. Anytime I put them back, you pull them off. It is an entertaining game for both me and you.

You are a standing machine. You pull yourself up on any surface you can and hang out for a long duration of time. Sometimes you cannot figure out how to get down, and whine till I come help you out. You haven’t really started furniture walking yet, but you are using your walker (which is umm.. harder I think? More balance required. I hope you do not inherit my knack of always making things more difficult for yourself than they need to be). Your days of being on all fours (and easier to catch) are definitely numbered. I am preparing as much mentally as best I can.

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A recent development is you ABSOLUTELY despise getting dressed or having your diaper changed. It is cooler here in Edmonton, so you are wearing your fall jacket most of the time, and you scream as I put it on and when you notice it is still on you scream again. Winter is going to be a ton of fun (sarcasm).

You say “mamama” “dadada” “hihihi” and sign “more” and “all done” – but, seeing as the sign for “done” is really just waving your arms in the air, I’m not sure if “done” is really what you are going for. Or if you are indeed, just waving your arms in the air.

You now officially crawl on all fours 100% of the time – and you are FAST.

You understand the word “no” although we try to say “uh uh” instead. The last thing I want is a two year old telling me no all the time. You will start heading towards the dog’s dishes and look back at me and smirk awaiting for me to say “uh uh”. Half of the time you change direction, the other half, you continue and crawl faster than the speed of light to said water bowl. Stinker.

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You are starting to be a little nicer to the pets. You pat them for a good 20 seconds before you try to eat their tails or yank at their fur. Hey, it’s progress.

You weigh 18 pounds 12 ounces, so your weight gain is now verrrry sloooow but steady. I am told this is normal with breastfed babies, and the fact that you are so mobile is definitely another major contributing factor. Your hair is still blonde and your eyes are still the bluest of blue. You are the prettiest little creature I have ever seen… but I am a bit biased.

You bring joy to anyone who meets you. Be it on the bus, at music class, at the library, walking down the street – you smile at strangers and always put on a show. I have a feeling you will grow to be quite the entertainer, as you seemingly love the attention.

My silly girl, I love you so.

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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

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. :)

7 Months

Yesterday my love, you turned 7 months! Now that summer is here, I find that the time is flying by faster than EVER and you are growing and learning so much every single day that it is getting hard to keep up!
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You are still being nursed, so we have now made it 7 WHOLE MONTHS! Although you can still be a royal pain to feed sometimes because you are so easily distracted these days, things are going really, really great in that department. We have now stretched out your feedings to happen every 3 – 4 hours, versus the usual 2 – 2 ½…. Largely due to the addition of solids into your diet. This is nice – it has allowed for a more flexible schedule, just in time for these hot summer days we spend together outside, adventuring.

Solids are going OKAY. We still feed you a breakfast meal around 10 or 11, which is generally a fruit mixed with oatmeal, along with a protein (you’ve had egg yolk and chicken so far). Then at 6, we feed you a veggie puree for your supper. I say things are only going OKAY because about the time you mastered your sippy cup (we introduced it at 5 ½ months, but you have only started using it on a daily basis in the past 2 weeks) you no longer want us to feed you. Anything. Ever. Don’t be fooled by the picture below – you fuss and you scream and close your mouth until we give you the spoon and the bowl, and you make an attempt to get what you can into your mouth, but most of the time you end up wearing most of it (as most babies do of course – but you defiantly reject it and do it on purpose). The only time you will ever take a puree, is when we give you one of the prepackaged pouches and you think you are feeding yourself – in reality, you are putting your mouth on the spout and mama is giving tiny squeezes (tricky, tricky, mama!). This has caused me to do some more intensive research the past 2 days into baby-led weaning, and today, we put that research into action, and gave you some chicken breast and apple slices for dinner and stood by and watched as you fed yourself EVERYTHING – happily. I think it’s safe to say that our days of baby food are pretty much behind us, and I will be doing some more research as to how to conduct this method of baby led weaning in the safest, healthiest way for you.
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Sleep-wise, things are going pretty good. You still wake up once a night most nights, and that’s fine with me. I feed you and you promptly go back to sleep. BUT whereas bedtime used to be easy, it has now grown increasingly difficult to put you down at your usual 7pm. You do take a nap at 7pm, a nap that lasts about half an hour, and then you wake up and stay up till usually 10 or 11. I am struggling with whether I should try to keep up with the 7pm routine, or keep you up at 7pm in hopes that maybe you’ll fall asleep at 8:30 or so? I don’t know.. as is the case with mothering, the plan just keeps on changing.. it is definitely important to be flexible!

You weigh 17 pounds, 9 ounces. You are still in comfortable in size 3 diapers with room to grow. For clothing you fit in anywhere from 6-12 month clothing or 9 month outfits.
You are sitting unassisted like a champ now. I STILL keep watch and stay super close when you are doing this, but I think that’s just the overprotective mama bear in me coming out.

You are PRETTY MUCH crawling. We lay you on the floor and if there in an object in front of you, you lift your bum high up in the air and scooch towards it. We can tell it tires you out though, but in a few days or weeks I am sure you will get the hang of it and we will be chasing you everywhere!

You also stand while supporting an object, something you have been doing for almost a month and a half. You like to play with your walker while sitting unassisted, and have tried to pull yourself up to standing using it as support a few times. I, of course, stay VERY close by when this happens!

You have been SO busy this month. You are constantly figuring out ways to entertain yourself, grabbing everything you can get your hands on, babbling like crazy, and overall just being your happy baby, curious self. You are fascinated with zippers and strings, Daddy’s glasses, and have taken a recent liking to banging your hands against objects and taking delight in the loud noises you make. You love to try and grab noses. When you notice you won’t be able to pull them off with your hand, you open your mouth wide and try to grab them with your gums. I thought we were supposed to be the ones to steal YOUR nose?
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You say “MAMA” and “MUMUMUM” and it melts my heart. No “DADADA” yet, but we are working on it. I think your next word after that will be puppy, because you spend a lot of time watching Shiloh and all she does (which also makes mealtime increasingly difficult, because the dog never leaves your feet, causing you to be distracted with your head down the whole time while I ATTEMPT to feed you).

You still like your exer-saucer, your playmat (until you roll off it) and just laying on a blanket outside with a few toys. We put away your jumparoo for the month because you are just too short . I will try and bring it out again this week and hopefully it can be put to good use!
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Still love storytime, bathtime, going on long walks with your mama, baby laptime at the library, and in general, being out of the house and in the sunshine. We took you swimming this past month and that too, was a big hit. You laid on a mat while your father and I pulled you around the kiddie pool – definitely going to be doing that more often! We will also be enrolling you in your first swim classes shortly.
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Your eyes are still as big as marbles and as blue as the ocean. Your thighs are so chubby I just want to squeeze them, all day, everyday. Your cheeks are so pinchable you’re lucky they are still attached to your face. You have no teeth yet, but soon I am sure they will make their appearance.

You laugh several times a day, sometimes when provoked (like tickling those chubby little thighs) or at random things (the other day you spent 20 minutes laughing while I called you a “turkey burger” – another nickname that looks like it’s going to stick. Don’t ask where it came from. Couldn’t tell ya.). You still love to smile at everyone – strangers, friends, family, and always Mum and Dad. We know we are your two favorite people, it’s written all over your face by the warm smiles you give us multiple times a day. It’s an amazing feeling, being loved so much by you.

So there it is, another month in the books. My baby is growing so fast! I have moments of extreme sadness where I think of the moments we cannot get back, but 95% of the time I am so excited for what the future holds. You are more fun to be around each and every day, and I am so lucky to be in the first row of watching what life has in store for you. And it’s big things McKenna – big things.
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I love you forever.
xo

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*A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013*

*A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013*

This picture was taken the VERY first day you sat by yourself (for longer than 30 seconds). Since then, you have been mastering these skills and can sit by yourself for upwards of 5 minutes. I’m still not quite comfortable leaving the room when you are doing this, but in no time, I certainly will be. Just yesterday, we put you in front of your walker and not only did you sit perfectly straight, you leaned over and pushed buttons with ease and then even proceeded to try and STAND without any assistance from your father or I.  You have been able to stand with your hands supporting an object for a few weeks now, but this is the first time you moved yourself from a sitting to a standing position ALL ON YOUR OWN. I could hardly believe my eyes. You are my strong, determined, soon to be crawling and then WALKING, perfect little girl. I love spending all of these moments with you, and watching you grow.

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McKenna, SIX MONTHS

I am still in awe that we are now here, writing your 6 month post. It’s amazing how fast time is flying – and as I am nearing the half-way point of my maternity leave, I am growing increasingly aware of how quick a year really is when you have a baby.

I was over the moon yesterday – we had your six-month pediatrician appointment, and he told me what an amazing job your father and I are doing. You are the perfect image of health – growing beautifully, developing right on time and sometimes ahead of the curve, and even he complimented you on what a happy baby you seem to be. I know I say this far too often, and sound like a broken record, but – I cannot believe how blessed we are to have you in our lives.

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This month has been full of developmental milestones for you! First of all, eating-wise, you are now eating solids twice per day. You have a fruit or veggie puree right around lunch time (sometimes a fruit and veggie mixed) and eat 1.5-2 tablespoons of organic barley cereal before bedtime. You handle your solid meals like a champ.  It is our goal to start you on proteins this month, based on the encouragement from your pediatrician, who says you are more than ready. I am excited to continue this adventure with you, and hope to develop a little foodie!

You are still exclusively breastfed – which means, we have officially surpassed our original 6 month goal! Hooray! The goal is now to continue nursing you throughout the rest of my mat-leave, and begin the process of weaning you in December, in anticipation for my return to work in January, and our family vacation in February (Jamaica!!). That being said, should something happen in the meantime that causes us to wean earlier, I am not going to be hard on myself, instead I will be proud of what we have accomplished. But so far, we are 6 months and still going strong. 🙂 That being said, with your growing awareness and interest of the world around you, nursing you is becoming increasingly difficult. Everything distracts you – the pets, the television, the radio, the wind, my bra, my rings… the list goes on. It is becoming impossible to nurse you in public without the constant threat of being exposed. I would be interested in knowing by the end of the year just how many people I have flashed….

Sleeping-wise, things have been going great. We can count on an initial 5 hour stretch, but the other day you slept 8 STRAIGHT HOURS, which is a new record! When you do wake, it is hardly to feed anymore, you simply take your paci, roll over and go back to sleep. Bedtime is at 7, and your routine is pretty much set in stone. You eat your cereal at 6, then Daddy gives you a bath for 6:30, then we each read you a story, say goodnight, and put you in your playpen. You end up in bed with us every single night, but we are still in no rush to break this habit, as we are still loving the family bed. Ever since you started log-rolling, you have been napping in your playpen as well, with the exception of your first nap, which I usually take with you. This is one of my favourite times of the day – you are super cuddly in the mornings.

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Developmentally, you are growing faster than we can keep track of. I feel as though I am writing in your baby book daily. You mastered the log-roll back in early May and I feel as though crawling is just days away. The pets motivate you more than anything – whenever they are in the room, you move those little leggies as fast as you can to try and catch them. You’ll get there baby girl – and those poor pets have NO IDEA what they are in for!

You are now sitting unassisted for minutes at a time, however, we never leave you alone when doing so, as you have not quite mastered this skill. Although yesterday, I think you were trying to show off at your doctor’s appointment cause you sat for a whole 5 MINUTES. He was just as impressed as I was.

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You are in 6 month clothing, but can fit comfortably in most 9 month outfits as well. You are in size 3 diapers, and there to stay for awhile. You weigh 17 pounds, 4 ounces. This places you in the 70th percentile for your weight. You are in the 25th percentile for your height, which makes you my short little chubby baby monkey <3.

You are laughing more and more, and your father and I are learning the buttons to push to get you going – like tickling your chubby baby thighs… It is our favourite sound in the world. You still smile a thousand times a day – and have been smiling at strangers recently. You are the sweetest little girl, you bring such happiness to all you meet.

You still love your excer-saucer, but I think your playmat is back to being number one, due to your determination to crawl. You don’t mind your Jolly Jumper, but you are too short for it so we need to stack two books underneath – and you have yet to realize that you can jump. I cannot wait till you make this discovery!

You love to watch the pets, you are absolutely fascinated by all three of them! We are still working on teaching you not to pull their hair, and I really think you are getting it. 8 times out of 10 you pet them nicely. Those other two times, you grab them and don’t let them go until we forcibly remove them from your death grasp. It’s a work in progress.

Looks-wise, we are still getting comments that you look like both your mother and father. Your eyes are still perfectly blue, which means they are here to stay (YES!). You have the biggest bottom lip and when you get upset, you stick it out and make the cutest pouty face. I think that’s going to come in real handy in the future.

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You make all sorts of noises. You squeak, you moan and groan, still love to blow raspberries, and now love to shriek. I have to admit – the shrieking? Not my favourite. But I know you are just testing your voice, so shriek away my love. I just may have to invest in some ear plugs in the future!

So there you have it. Another month of milestones! I look forward to what June brings – possibly your first tooth, crawling.. and who knows what else. I can’t wait to see.

 

Adventures in Solids – Part 1

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I had mentioned prior on the blog that I was having a debate on whether to introduce solids via baby-led weaning (bypassing purees and spoon-feeding, giving McKenna tiny finger foods and allowing her to feed herself and be in control of her eating) or the traditional way (purees, cereals, gradually increasing in texture).

There were many things about baby-led weaning that were attractive to me – it required no extra food preparation on my behalf, it would teach McKenna independence by allowing her to be in control of her own mealtimes, would encourage meal time as a family, and also encourage us to eat healthier – as everything we ate would essentially be served to McKenna also. There were also benefits to the traditional ways of introducing solids via purees – less mess to clean, the ability to introduce solids slowly, thereby ensuring that 95% of her nutrition was received from breastmilk, and, the tipping pont for me – no risk of choking.

Anyone who has done baby led weaning or researched, knows that it is very rare a child actually chokes – they moreso gag, as we do, out of reflex. Regardless, I just could not get the picture of McKenna choking on a piece of food out of my head. I was terrified of being alone and unable to help her should something happen, which has lead me to ultimately go the traditional route.

I introduced sweet potatoes first, on May 2nd. Each additional food has been introduced three days later. To date, McKenna has had (in order of introduction): sweet potato, butternut squash, avocado, carrots, pears, rice cereal and most recently, apples. She loves mealtime. She knows as soon as we put her in her highchair what is about to happen. She has even started to take the spoon from us and make an effort to feed herself. She will try anything, and has taken a liking to everything BUT avocado and apples (go figure). We are waiting to see if she simply has an aversion to the letter “a” (I will keep you updated). 🙂

All in all, I have found this route to be easy and successful for us. I make all of McKenna’s baby food – with the exception of carrots (risk of nitrates when not using jarred) and her cereal (but I intend to – I do not like the list of ingredients I read on the back of the processed baby cereals). It takes no time at all for me to make the food, and 90% of the time I bake the veggies/fruits until they get soft, mix it with some fresh breast milk, and puree it with my Magic Bullet. It takes me a total of 20 minutes to get a batch of baby food, which I then freeze in individual ice cube trays for easy access for the week. 

I generally feed her one meal of a fruit or veggie a day, at around 11am, after her nursing session. She is still getting 95% of her nutrition from breastmilk, and it will continue this way until she is a year old, however, I anticipate adding a second solid meal by month 7.

 All in all, our journey to healthy eating has been a success. With the introduction of solids, McKenna has been sleeping longer (6 hours straight every night for the past week – hooray!) and is still consuming the same amount of breastmilk, which leads me to think my decision to introduce foods at 5 months was a good one. This is a huge milestone for us, and I love making food and feeding McKenna. I look forward to many   healthy family mealtimes to come.

Anytime I had thought about introducing solids, I planned to do baby lead weaning,  to wait until 6 months, and to skip cereals entirely. Once again, it has been reconfirmed to me you can never make too many plans when it comes to how to raise your baby – you will be proven wrong, almost everytime.

We’re in Trouble Now…

My little troublemaker has been rolling from tummy to back for several weeks now (since April 22nd, to be exact), but it’s only been for the last 2 days that she has learned the new skill of rolling from back onto her tummy.

So imagine my surprise this morning, when just like every other morning, I placed her on her playmat while I let out the puppy and made my coffee, and came back to see her in the position of the first picture. Twenty seconds later, she was in the position of the second picture.

Guess what I will be spending part of my long weekend and next week doing? You guessed it – baby proofing.

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We’re in trouble now.