It’s been an eventful month in the best way. Filled with new friends, milestones and lots of pirate giggles – my new favorite sound.
Had my situation been different, I probably would have mourned being laid off a bit more and for far longer if I didn’t feel like it was a giant billboard of a sign telling me that I should be home with Roree for these precious first months of her life.
There are so many things that I would have missed had I been away for 12+ hours a day, despite how much I loved my job, I love watching Roree grow so much more.
And she’s been growing so fast.
I can’t even begin to explain the miraculousness that is the first year of life.
The fact that she grows and progresses so much month to month – fueled by something only I provide for her – is more than incredible. It’s staggering.
Before we jump into updates, I’m starting a new tradition: compilation video of Roree’s previous month. Here is Month 5′s video:
93 Million Miles by Jason Mraz has been my “Roree Song” since I heard it when I was pregnant.
– Fun with Family –
Roree is has been more and more interactive lately and she is absolutely enthralled with her cousins. JT and I watch my sister’s kids Friday and Saturday nights these days, which is fun because I get to come up with entertaining things to do with them.
Roree loves watching her cousins play and she gets a thrill out of talking to them. Especially Jace. As soon as he walks into the room, Roree absolutely lights up. She squeals and stares at him – doing anything to get his attention, because once she has it, it’s like he is her world. Something about the goofy weird boy things he does is the best thing ever to her.
And Kayla is such a little mama. She’ll wear Roree in my wrap so that she’ll fall asleep and JT and I are free to get things done during that time. She watches her, plays with her, entertains her and soothes her when she cries.
There is something deeply heartwarming about watching my little girl with my big sister’s kids. I can’t explain it. It’s a whole new level of closeness – something I didn’t think Marissa and I could possibly achieve since we are so close already.
– Forming Friendships –
To be completely honest, I was skeptical about making new friends in this area. I supposed I would spend most of my time with my sisters and a couple old friends in town occasionally, but mostly just spend time with family and with friends who could make their way to visit us since I’d be working full time.
Now that I’m home, I made a bit of effort to meet some other mamas nearby that have similar MomNerdy interests: babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, peaceful parenting, etc.
What I didn’t realize was how many amazing people I’d meet and how much both Roree and I would enjoy meeting up with everyone!
In the past few weeks I seriously have met dozens of like-minded MomNerds with babies all around Roree’s age who like to get out and do things together.
Roree absolutely LOVES watching and interacting with other babies. She’s been getting a lot of fresh air since we tend to meet at local parks. I’ve learned some new wrapping techniques and even helped other mamas out with wrapping and cloth diapering.
I never realized how important it can be to have moms with similar parenting techniques. It’s such a sensitive subject, and though we try not to judge, it’s a lot easier to be surrounded by others those who parent the same way you do. Not that I wouldn’t be friends with those who parent differently, but it’s easier to have baby-related conversations when you tend to agree – not to mention you can help each other out and mutually inspire.
It’s also nice to have friends who also have kids. I always fear I’ll talk too much about Roree or parenting in general with friends who don’t have kids or just don’t want to talk about it. But, with this group, we can go out – even sans babies – and talking about our kids without feeling like we’re monopolizing the conversation.
Actually, just recently, we had a pretty eventful and fun MomNerd Night Out. We *attempted* a belly dancing class, but ended up getting lost in the process. Which, actually ended up being just as, if not more fun than actually making it to the class.
– Using Her Pretty Voice –
Roree has been talking, or should I say, squeaking a lot more recently. I think she just discovered that she can make all sorts of silly noises and has been utilizing it. She’ll be sitting in her car in the kitchen while I clean or make meals and she’ll just squeal and high-pitch scream, startling herself, then laughing at herself. It’s hilarious.
– Playful Pirate –
As I have been doing for a few months now, I keep a giant bag of toys in the living room for Roree to play with. Just recently, I’ve been laying out a big blanket on the floor so she can roll around on it from toy to toy.
Granted she only rolls back to front right now (it’s actually supposed to be the other way around, but she does things backwards apparently), she can turn herself clockwise.
Her favorites are her car, her “atom” ball (because she can grab it easily with her little hands… and toes), her rattle, her Spin Around the Sea toy, her robot and her jingle bugs.
She’s getting a lot better with coordination and just recently, within the past few days, found her feet. She’s like a little monkey now with grabby toes.
– Sleep Situation –
Roree is still waking up a few times a night, but instead of getting up for good at 5:30am like we were for awhile, I’ve been managing to get her to keep falling back to sleep until 7-8am. I found that if I let her talk to herself for a little while, she’ll eventually fall asleep.
Side lying breastfeeding is definitely my life saver for nights though. I usually fall asleep before she’s finished and wake up just long enough to put her back into her pack n play when she’s done. After JT goes to work, though, I just keep her in bed with me until we wake up for the day.
I’ve been a bit better about regulating her naps, now, too. Before, they were kind of sporadic and I never really knew when she’d sleep, but now it’s a little more routine.
She’ll usually take her mid-morning nap and afternoon nap in her pack n play. I can tell when she’s getting tired, so I’ll nurse her to sleep, then lay her down with the vibrate and sound machine on. They can range anywhere from 20 minutes to 2.5 hours, so it’s hard to know exactly how long I have to work or do stuff around the house.
If her naps during those times are short, I know she’ll probably take one or two more before her evening nap that she takes on her daddy. Those she’ll usually take in the wrap.
– The Car Seat Wars –
Here is my warning to new moms: despite what others always say, not all babies love the car.
Roree hates it.
She gets bored very easily and I think she just hates being confined and doing only one thing for extended periods of time.
It was worse when she was in her bucket car seat. Now that she is in her convertible car seat, she’s a lot happier. She can see out the window and I have a better view of her with the safety mirror.
Cracking the window, singing to her and even listening to audiobooks have helped the situation, however, I recently learned that the best way to make it on longer car rides is to schedule them around her naps so she sleeps in the car.
And ALWAYS breastfeed and change her diaper right before we leave.
I’m also proud to say that I’m no longer afraid of taking Roree places thanks to my mission of forcing myself to bring her out over the weekends. I’m pretty confident that I can soothe her if she gets fussy, and I try not to go anywhere with her in the evenings when she’s a bit fussier.
– Speaking of Going Out and About… Babywearing! –
The Ergo is my best friend for shopping trips because of the buckles and the pocket for me to put my money, keys and phone in.
As far as parks or things like that, I’ll usually use a wrap or my Mei Tai.
It’s amazing the amount of attention I get whenever I’m wearing Roree out. It’s like I’m pregnant all over again – people are always approaching me and starting conversations, or at the very least commenting on whatever I’m using to carry Roree.
Person: “I wish they would have had that when my kids were babies!”
What I want to say: “Babywearing has been around since, like, the beginning of time.”
What I actually say: “It’s definitely convenient!”
Person: “Can she breathe?!”
What I want to say: “Nope – I like to publicly suffocate my child.”
What I actually say: “Yep, I can feel her breath on my chest.”
Person: “She looks so peaceful!”
What I want and do say: “Thank you – we both love it.”
– Having Boo –
I’m a huge advocate for nursing in public, but I have to admit, I’ve never actually done it by myself without other moms around without a cover. Until a couple days ago.
As it would be, my first experience was at a public library. Roree and I drove an hour and a half to get to the library book sale and we arrived early. There was a line forming outside and only a man sitting at the outdoor cafe. I haven’t quite mastered the art of nursing in my Ergo, so I settled into a seat in the cafe, near the back corner, facing outward and nursed Roree.
I had my favorite BFing shirt on – a tube top with a shorter shirt over it. It was discreet, and I’m pretty sure most people couldn’t even tell what I was doing.
Well, except for the semi-creepy guy in the cafe area who kept looking over at me looking scandalized.
I also kind of feel like he may or may not have taken a picture with his camera phone before he was “texting” on it when he first noticed me there.
Whatever. Spread the word, dude.
I think I was secretly anticipating someone saying something to me because the entire time I was going over what I would say and memorizing the law that says that I can feed my baby wherever I want with or without a cover.
But, nope, no incidents.
It was definitely a different experience being by myself. I’ve whipped out a boob plenty of times at meet ups with other moms.
No shame in my game.
– Grabby Hands –
Roree has become more and more interested in what I’m doing while I wear her. Her new favorite thing is to assume that whatever it is I’m handling, or anything that crosses her path for that matter, is obviously hers. She will immediately reach out and grab at whatever is within arms reach.
Most of the time, if it’s not dangerous or too messy, I just let her hang on to it for a little while.
Of course, what goes along with this is her newly found love of throwing things as well. It has obviously become a game she likes to play – throw toys repeatedly so that mom can pick it up.
When we were at the library book sale, I found a mini book for her to hold and the entire time she kept shaking it, then throwing it to the ground. To her, it was the best game ever.
– Changes Ahead –
Things are going to get interesting around here within the next few days. Not only because we’re about at milestone overdrive (6 months), but JT’s work schedule is changing dramatically, as is my schedule.
And, I don’t know if you know this, but Roree is my complete opposite in that she LOVES a set schedule.
These next few weeks should be pretty interesting!
Friends with kids: If you nursed, what was your first experience with breastfeeding in public? Have you ever had any confrontations?
Friends without kids: What were some highlights from this past month for you?