Saturday, July 13, 2013

Five Months

Allie is now five months old!  Wow.  It's hard to believe she's been with us for five months now.  In some ways it seems like longer than five months and it some ways it seems like it's flown by.  I think all new mom's have that same sense of time going by slow and fast at the same time, it's hard to explain.

It's been a wild five months with this little girl!

Allie is still rolling over like a pro.  I've actually seen her do a complete 360 roll a couple times, rolling from back to front to back again, but usually she rolls from back to front and stays propped up on her arms for a while.  You can tell she wants to crawl and go somewhere, because she often pulls at the blanket or play mat she's laying on, and rapidly kicks her legs and tries to scoot forward.  I think we still have a ways to go, but at the same time, with most of the skills she's mastered, one day she's struggling to figure it out, and the next she's doing it, so you never know.  We bought a fence for the living room to contain her in case she gets ambitious and starts moving.  It is also good for keeping Clyde away from her.  Though he isn't a threat, he does love to lick her and we try to keep that to a minimum.

We have been working on sitting.  She's still fairly wobbly, but I prop her up against me or with the Boppy pillow around her to get her used to the idea.  She doesn't seem to completely get it yet, but again, hopefully it'll be one of those things she just all the sudden can do.

Allie is less fussy than she was at four months.  Not that she doesn't have the occasional bad day or meltdown, but I feel like we kind of resumed less fussy behavior again, which is a relief.  The other day she was awake in the car for about a half hour and was even smiling and cooing without a pacifier, which is rare. She's definitely awake a lot more when I'm out and about with her these days, and that's something I'm still getting used to.  I feel like it makes planning outings a lot less predictable, so I find myself bracing for possible meltdowns.  Usually she surprises me and does fine while out, even if she's awake.  She doesn't like being confined in the car seat too long, so that's usually the biggest issue if she's awake while out for a longer stretch.  I try to be conscious of her need to be out and give her time to play, so outings are usually short for this reason.

Greg's parents were here for a few days recently, and this was their first visit with her since she was three weeks old, so it was fun to see them with her.  They are enamored with her like everyone else is.  Allie is pretty good about being held by and interacting with others and a few times Greg's dad had her laughing hysterically.  One thing I've noticed though, is that after too much stimulation she definitely gets upset.  Sometimes she'll be laughing and smiling and then a couple minutes later she'll start crying and I can tell she's had enough and just wants some quiet chill time.  I can also tell that I am her go to person for calming her down.  Others try, but usually as soon as they hand her to me, she immediately stops crying and is okay.  It doesn't surprise me since I'm with her far more than anyone else.  I definitely get a certain satisfaction in knowing I am her comfort person.

Daycare is going well, but we have yet to do a full day.  I'm starting work next week, but will only do a bunch of half days at first and will see how it goes.  I have been putting off planning out a schedule, but finally talked to my boss and decided on three partial days next week.  Probably the week after we'll do at least one full work day before I go back full time, just to make sure I have the flow of dropping her off and picking her up down.

As far as the emotional side of daycare?  I'm doing pretty good with it.  Probably better than I expected.  I think it's been good for me to sprinkle in some "me" time here at the end before I get into work and motherhood at the same time.  While we're getting used to some half days of daycare, I make the most of it- cleaning, grocery shopping, working on her baby book, working out, stuff like that.  Still, it's kind of like this quote, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body" -Elizabeth Stone.  Now, I can't spend anytime away from Allie without a little bit of ache.  She's always there in my mind.  She's my heart.

It seems that Allie misses me too.  The teachers asked if I could leave a shirt or something to see if it helped her feel more comfortable with bottle feeding, so yesterday I left the fleece jacket I had on.  They said she did a lot better than usual with the bottle with my jacket draped around her, and when I went to pick her up, she was sleeping in a crib clutching my jacket tightly like a lovey.  It totally melted my heart.  She missed me and was comforted by my smell...

When I'm with her, Allie still usually eats every two to three hours.  At daycare I think she's going closer to three hours between feedings, and then eats between 3-4 oz from a bottle.  I did switch her to the level two nipples on her bottles and the ladies at daycare are pleased with those (apparently it was taking them like 45 minutes to feed her a bottle with a level one nipple because the flow is so slow).  I think she eats less at an individual feeding from me, but I feed her more frequently, so we're kind of figuring out the whole daycare bottle feeding thing.  Pumping for bottles seems to be going pretty well, and I haven't felt like I have had any supply issues lately, but I'm also really conscious of drinking tons of water and eating a lot every day to make sure I keep my supply up.  I'm interested to see how pumping goes when I go back to work.

Sleep is still fairly good.  Not much has changed.  She goes down around 7:30pm and is almost always up once a night to feed (the time varies anywhere from like midnight to 4am), then usually sleeps til 5:30am to 7am.  We have some mornings where she is up before 6am and those are a little rough- seems to be a trend lately.  I probably need to go to bed earlier, but I kind of enjoy my couple hours after she goes to bed, and rarely go to bed much before 10pm, often later.  I really shouldn't complain though, I know this is a lot of sleep for both me and the baby compared to what a lot of people get.  It's going to be interesting to see what it's like once I go back to work and she's at daycare for a full day.  Allie still sleeps in the Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit, but I've been thinking about trying a night without it to see how it goes.  She takes naps without it at daycare in a crib and seems to do okay, and sometimes it seems like the suit is preventing her from sleeping in a position that might be more comfortable and might help her sleep better, so it might be worth it to try it without it.  I just have to work myself up to it, like I did switching her from the bassinet to the crib and all the changes we've made.  My fear is that she'll sleep worse without it or that I will because I'll be watching the monitor all night to make sure she's okay, and I haven't been willing to deal with that yet.  Baby steps!

Watching the baby monitor with a glass of red wine.

Weight- 13lbs 8oz (by my scale)
Still size two diapers, and I don't see us moving to size three for a while still.
Mostly 3-6 clothes, depending on the brand.  She can fit in to some 6M stuff, and actually can still wear some of her 3M stuff too though, so there's kind of a wide range right now.

What else?  We aren't starting solids til closer to six months.  Our pediatrician said she doesn't think babies digestive systems are completely ready til then, so we're waiting.  We're also going to skip rice cereal and may do oatmeal, but we're going to discuss at the six month appointment.  Honestly, in my opinion she doesn't seem to be showing much interest in food in the way they describe babies who are ready for it anyway (grabbing for it, etc...).  I feel like she's still all about the boob ;)  Also, she can't sit on her own yet either, so I'm not in a huge rush.  I did buy the Sage Spoonfuls cookbook and containers for when the time comes though.  I think I'll probably do a combo of Baby Led Weaning and purees.  Allie has tried teeny tiny amounts of two foods though- Breyer's vanilla ice cream and applesauce.  Both went over okay.  I think she was confused about it more than anything else.

Allie's likes:
-Repeatedly making the sounds of different letters of the alphabet
-Being talked to in silly voices
-Being tickled
-Being kissed on the cheeks
-Being sung to
-Her Taggie blanket
-Rolling onto her belly
-The Rock N Play (well, better than any other baby holding device)

Allie's dislikes:
-Not being talked to, played with, or looked at enough
-Being held sideways unless she's tired (she prefers upright on the shoulder).
-Too much stimulation
-Being confined in the car seat

Nicknames:  Sweet Cheeks, Little One, Baby Girl, Allie Girl, Little Allie, Little Peach (We called her this more when she was first born).

I feel like Allie and Greg have bonded a lot more, and that really makes me happy.  I think it helps that she's getting bigger and smiling and laughing more, he sees that she can be fun now and she will give him a big smile if he tries to play and interact with her.  I hope their bond continues to grow.

As for me?  I was thinking the other day about how when you have a baby, it's like you start life over.  You experience life from the beginning again, through a baby.  It's neat.  You think about how life and everything in it must look for someone experiencing it for the first time- flowers, people, places, holidays, everything.  Surreal.  For me, I feel like I left a bunch of stuff behind, and while I do sometimes miss it, I'm completely okay with it at the same time.  I used to be really social and loved going out to dinner, which is something I pretty much never do now.  I'm still in touch with my social side, but it's more in the form of mommy play dates now.  Running was one of my big passions prior to pregnancy, and it's just not right now (although I did get in a two mile run while Allie was at daycare the other day).  It's mainly due to life with a baby, but also partly due to weather (I hate running in the heat), lack of desire, and lack of motivation.  Life has changed.  Priorities have changed.  My ability to do certain things has changed.  I'm happy, but I also look forward to Allie being at an age where we can interact differently- talk more, go more places, do more together.  That will be fun.  At the same time, I love her at the stage she's in.  She's just super cute and cuddly, and it's so easy to love her in this phase.


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