4 Months – Happiest Holidays

MomNerd-4-months

Roree will be celebrating her first Christmas this month, which is pretty exciting. I’ll talk more about it during her next monthly update, since, technically, these monthly updates tend to talk about the previous month.

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The day before Roree turned 4 months old (12/19/12) I got some really unfortunate news from my “new” job that I LOVED. I was told that, from no fault of my own, they had to let me go unexpectedly. Everyone expressed their regrets and I drove home in tears, but honestly?

After seeing that little plus sign a year ago, I’m pretty sure I can get through almost anything.

I always need my moment of freaking out, then I tend to gather up the pieces from the explosion and start putting things back together.

The very night I found out, I immediately started job hunting and applied to 4 places that evening. Now, I have a few pretty good leads.

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Anyway, all is well. I’m confident things will turn out ok – not because I’m waiting for things to fall into place, but because I’m taking action and forcing them there. I have a family to take care of, after all.

Also, honestly, it’ll be nice to have some more time with Roree again for at least during the holidays.

On a much lighter note – here is the monthly update in the world of Miss Crabby Cakes / Pretty Pirate…

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- The Stats -

Roree hasn’t had a well check since her 2 month appointment. Her next one is on New Years day, but we recently weighed her and she’s up to 17.5lbs of cute baby rolls.

I’m not sure how long she is, though, so that will have to wait until next time.

Her eyes, I noticed recently in the sunlight, are a steel blue with the pupils lined with green and the outer rim a dark blue. I’m not sure if this will stick around, but I’m fairly certain she is going to have light eyes, whether they are blue or green, though, I don’t know!

As for her hair, sometimes it has definite red highlights (like in direct sunlight), but most of the time, it’s a dirty blonde. However, this is very difficult to tell because she is BALD as can be! She had more hair when she was born than she has now! Sigh.

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- Holiday Cheer -

We recently put up our Christmas decorations, far too late as far as I’m concerned, but that just means they’ll have to be up longer!

Roree, of course, LOVES the lights. On most nights, we go on walks as a family to look at neighborhood decorations, then she gets her bath, then her and I lay under the Christmas tree, look at lights and sing Christmas carols.

And when I say “we,” I mean WE. Roree likes to try to “sing” along and if I start singing loudly, she tries to overpower me.

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And by “sing” I mean go, “Uhhhhhh” in The Grudge kind of creepy way.

She USED to have a cute sigh-like sound to her speaking voice, and then my nephew started making weird noises, which completely enthralled her and now she makes imitates him.

- Interaction –

Roree is becoming so interactive it’s amazing! She grins at you if you smile at her (unless she’s really mad), she tries to shove her fist in your mouth if you open wide, she sometimes lets out one quick giggle when you give her “vampire kisses” or “eat her neck.” She likes being tickled and playing with her toys.

She is also Miss Grabby hands lately. She grabs at anything she can wrap her tiny little claws on. Including hair, neck veins, tiny painful pieces of skin between her sharp nails, etc.

She also gets a kick out of grabbing blankets and bringing them up to her face to chew on. She loves chewing on soft things like blankets and stuffed animals… and baby carriers… and shoulders.

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- Drooly Face -

She has been a total drool monster lately. To the point where, I’ll be holding her for awhile and I suddenly feel drool hit the back of my leg because it’s dripping all the way down my arm and off my elbow.

I’m not sure if she’s teething or what, but I got her an amber teething necklace just in case.

And as for “teethers” … she hates them. She doesn’t like chewing on plastic things. It has to be soft and preferably fuzzy… and something that she can suffocate herself with – which is alarming to say the least.

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- Night Time –

As most of you know and have mentioned jealousy over, Roree had been sleeping through the night like a champ.

Now?

Not so much.

I totally jinxed myself.

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It started a few weeks ago, she woke up at 2am, then every 2 hours after that until I had to be up for work. It was a rough day, but I’ve been finding, now that she gets up AT LEAST once a night, that I somehow was managing to exist without living in a constant state of zombie despite the lack of sleep.

Most of the time I’m able to fall back asleep pretty quickly and she goes right back to sleep after she eats, so I manage.

Every so often though, I have too many nagging thoughts or too many items on my to do list that it keeps me up and I never get back to sleep.

With the exception of a couple nights where she’s been getting up every two hours from 2am on, she typically only wakes up once in the middle of the night at 4am. At that point, I bring her into bed with me, feed her in the side lying position and we both fall asleep.

I don’t co-sleep 100% of the time because I am a much lighter sleeper when she’s next to me. Constantly jolting myself awake to make sure she’s not suffocating or anything, however it is easier for her to just be in bed with me if she wakes up again so I can just roll over, half asleep, and lift my shirt so she can eat.

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Lately, I’ve been feeding her to sleep as I usually do in the room, dim lighting, no noise and putting her down in the pack n play, then either staying up and working on whatever needs to be done in bed, or coming out into the living room to finish laundry or other chores.

This used to not be possible. I used to have to lay down and sleep when she did – she had to hear my even breathing – or she’d wake up in about an hour.

So, at least, that is progress!

Also, in complete and total honesty. I kind of like waking with her at night. I like those few moments when we’re both awake and she’s just started eating. It’s just us and it’s quiet and sweet.

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- Venturing out into the world –

I’ve been TERRIFIED to take Roree out ANYWHERE with me. Ever. Because she’s so crabby and so very unpredictable.

She no longer has “good” times of the day or one fall back thing that will always make her happy. Even having boo (breastfeeding her) doesn’t work 100% of the time. Because if she’s mad or not hungry – she WILL NOT EAT and you cannot force her or she’ll get even more upset.

Also, she hates the car, still, though she is tolerating it more now that she’s in an upright carseat and can look around. But, again, that isn’t 100% of the time.

My mom had always told me that as long as we were fed, changed, warm and comfortable that we would be fine when we were out and about. With Roree? Nope.

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If she’s in a bad mood – which can suddenly happen at any time – she’s inconsolable for a good length of time.

Mostly, I’ve noticed, she gets cranky right before she falls asleep and when she starts getting hungry. The problem is getting her to sleep and/or feeding her when we’re out. I haven’t mastered the art of feeding her while wearing her yet – and I’m not sure that she’d let me because she’s very curious and likes to look around at things when we’re moving around and, also, she doesn’t like when I move around and she’s trying to eat.

Either way, I’ve decided that the best way to “overcome” this – whether it be getting her used to being out or getting me used to being the lady with the screaming kid – is to just do it.

So, every weekend, I make it a point to take Roree out somewhere with me.

I’m not ready for a full grocery shopping trip, but just either to the park for a walk or to wander around a store – just so she gets used to it and I do to.

It hasn’t been easy.

The first time JT and I took her out shopping at Target she SCREAMED at the top of her lungs in the middle of the store and refused to eat even though she was hungry and refused to sleep even though she was tired and I was wearing her.

I finally had to take her into a dressing room (tried to feed her but she wouldn’t) and just bounce around with her, shushing before she fell asleep and I put her in the wrap. We ended up being at Target for over 2 hours, she slept for most of it, but for a short portion she was screaming.

Then, I took her to Ross with me by myself for the first time. I had the Ergo with me since it’s a little more travel-friendly and I didn’t have back up. She was really good for the first 15 mins or so, then she started getting tired and “singing” herself to sleep (which she does all the time when she’s about to nap).

Except… when she “sings” herself to sleep… she yells. It sometimes sounds like crying and sometimes just flat out yelling. But she’s not upset or mad, she’s just putting herself to sleep. It gets really loud if you sing to her because she tries to overpower you.

It’s funny, but not so much when you’re out and about.

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- Breastfeeding -

Roree is a curious little girl.

Sometimes she will latch on and eat away without paying any attention to anyone or anything.

Other times, she wants to talk and smile with a mouth full of boob, or she keeps popping off to smile up at me or look around to see what’s going on, then pop back on as she pleases… all the while momentarily exposing me to the world.

She also is very grabby while she eats now. She either claws at me, or grabs my shirt, so I’ve been wearing the nursing necklace that Jenn gave to me and she loves it.

Also… I LOVE breastfeeding.

I’ve seen a few friends bottle-feeding their babies and it seems like more of a fight than a bonding experience.

Maybe there are ways to bond with your baby while bottle-feeding, but I assure you there is absolutely NOTHING like breastfeeding your baby. There is a connection there that is completed by the physical touch, enhanced by the endorphins you receive.

I’m telling you, it is the highest high.

There is so much contentment on both parts and I don’t have to worry about stopping to burp her before, after or during.

It’s just so easy and one of those experiences that is irreplaceable.

That’s not to say that I do occasionally have to fight with her. For whatever reason within the last few days, Roree has been fighting the 4pm feeding even though I know she’s hungry. Eventually she’ll latch and she’s perfectly content, but at first she fights me on it. Not for any of the other feedings – just the one.

It is very possible that she is sensing the bit of stress from recent events.

In any case, I am going to miss it SO much when she weans! Whenever that may be.

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- Spreading the Word -

I’m such a huge advocate of breastfeeding, babywearing and cloth diapering that I love spreading the word in a round about demonstrative fashion.

My niece’s birthday party was last weekend and there were a few of her friend’s moms there with their kids. I made it a point to bring Roree’s cutest diapers & cloth wipes, the prettiest wrap and absolutely no nursing cover.

(Side note – at Kayla’s party last year, I was pregnant and didn’t know it. She had a bouncy slide and I was doing all sorts of tumbles and flips down it.)

I changed Roree’s diaper, right in the middle of the room on the floor so everyone would see the pretty cloth diapers, cloth wipes and coconut oil.. and see how EASY it is to cloth diaper. Even on the go. Not to mention how cloth diapers are not how you imagine them to be when you aren’t informed. They’re beautiful and functional.

I nursed Roree without a cover, too. I just wore a nursing tank top underneath a t-shirt (a trick I learned from Mama-Extraordinaire Jenny) so that my stomach was covered as well as the top of my boob. Half the time, people didn’t even realize she was eating, and when they did, it struck up a conversation about breastfeeding.

Also, when Roree got tired, I put on my beautiful new wrap and put her in it. She fell asleep in there and everyone was curious about the wrap, saying how they wished they knew about it when their kids were babies. I told them they could wear big kids too!

To me, it is so important, not necessarily to preach to people, but to expose them to it. Not just so they can see first hand how beneficial these things are, but so that it BECOMES the norm.

I hate hearing people bash breastfeeding or think of it as weird to do in public. It needs to be more widely accepted, but you can’t force people to do their research about it no matter how many articles you share. They have to SEE people do it in every day life in order to get used to it.

Same goes for baby wearing and cloth diapering.

It’s too difficult to get unwilling people to do any sort of reading – though it is still worth trying – the best way is to do it publicly.

So, I guess that is my own contribution to the world. Doing these things for Roree, being unashamed, proud and public about it.

Then maybe instead of being unique and surprising, it’ll just be understood.

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What ONE parenting topic do you wish more people were exposed to? Why?
I was lucky enough to have parents who were both advocates of breastfeeding, so, for me, it was a no brainer. However, I know a lot of families aren’t like that. Some people don’t even consider breastfeeding to begin with simply because they were never exposed to it. So, more than anything, breastfeeding would be the one thing I wish more people understood and were exposed to.


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