And then suddenly, Roree is a real baby.
JT and I always joked saying, “When you’re a real baby you’ll eat real food.” or “When you’re a real baby you’ll be able to do more than just lay there and glare at us.”
Well, she still glares at us (and everyone else), however she can do a heck of a lot more! And it feels like it all happened the day she turned 6 months old (February 20th).
And it isn’t just Roree who has had an eventful, exciting past month… I have, too!
So, let’s begin:
- STAHM? -
If you’d asked me a year and a half ago, what I thought my life would be like now, I’m not exactly sure what I would have told you, but I’m positive it wouldn’t be, “A stay at home mom.”
The word “mom” was only ever used in relation to me when referring to mothering pets or following the phrase, “Bri will never be a…”
Nevermind a stay at home mom.
A year and a half ago, I was working 50 hours a week and had been employed full time for 6 years at the same employer and had been working since I was 16.
A year and a half ago, I didn’t work nearly as hard as I do everyday now.
Well, maybe aside from back in December when I was working full time and then coming home and being Mommy. That was rough.
The budget is tight, but it is definitely worth it to be the one with my baby girl when she needs me the most – and when she is hitting so many exciting milestones – seemingly one right after the other.
Especially now that my sister is working and if I were to go back to a 9-5 schedule, I don’t know who would watch Roree if I were to return to work!
- Ah La La La La -
That is Roree’s favorite phrase.
That and “mamamamamama” when she’s crying. That’s right. Crying. Not happily singing, “mamamama!” as I imagined in my head when she was in my belly.
She doesn’t say anything coherent yet, but she sure does talk a lot.
In fact, my 7am alarm clock is her little squeaks and squeals. She will usually talk to herself and play with the blanket in bed for a good half hour before I need to get up and get her ready for the day.
- The Family Bed -
Co-sleeping was also something I never pictured myself doing.
Not that I was ever against it, just that I didn’t think I’d be able to or find any benefit with it.
Boy, was I wrong!
Co-sleeping makes such a huge difference with the quality of sleep I get.
Roree goes down to sleep around 8pm every night and will sleep in her Pack n Play beside my bed until 12am – 1am.
After that she is in bed with us.
I nurse her in the side-lying position and we both end up falling asleep before she’s actually done.
I barely remember waking up in the middle of the night. In most cases.
She wakes up a couple other times throughout the night for a snack, she just rolls over and starts tugging at my shirt, which wakes me up, and I just latch her on and fall right back to sleep.
If I had to get up and pick her up, sit up, latch her on, stay awake until she was done and put her back, my sleep would be far more interrupted and I’m not sure how I’d make it through the day!
The downside is that lack of space in the bed.
We only have a queen size and I usually like to spread out when I sleep.
Roree, unfortunately, also likes to spread out and she usually wins that competition. I’m typically either stuck on my side unable to lay on my back between her and JT or I’m stuck between her and her pack n play on my side.
Either way, it’s worth it.
There is also something very sweet about feeling her little sleeping body right next to me.
Most of the time we fall asleep tummy to tummy, my arm draped over her, her arm draped over my boob
- Bunny Teeth –
Guess who has two bottom teeth!
I felt like Roree was teething since she was born, but it was only the middle of February when she popped her first tooth and her second one immediately after.
It was the bottom right, followed by the bottom left.
It’s super cute and exciting, however not so fun for my poor boob when she’s eating!
She has a tendency to bite down with those sharp little tooth-daggers when she’s getting lazy at the end of a feeding.
I’m still trying to figure out how to remedy this because it is one of the more unpleasant feelings… ever.
- Boo Time –
Breastfeeding is still in full swing.
I think a lot of nursing mothers look at the 6 month mark as a milestone in itself when it comes to breastfeeding.
I guess it is, but I didn’t really look as breastfeeding as a choice. It was do or die for me. I never thought to myself, “If I can just make it to 6 months…” I only thought, “I’m going to nurse Roree for as long as she wants… and if she is in college and still nursing, so be it!” LOL!
I truly have no idea what I would have done if I couldn’t breastfeed. I still, to this day, even though I haven’t had more than the regular issues, still worry that something may happen, because I wouldn’t even know how to give Roree a bottle! I fed her expressed milk once and it was super awkward. We were both like, “What is this thing and how do I use it?”
Thankfully, after a lot of hard work, Roree and I are still going strong with it! Maybe even stronger than ever.
We’ve mastered the side-lying position and we’re starting to nurse while she sits up on my lap facing me. I’m hoping this will lead to her getting more comfortable nursing while she’s being worn in something other than the Ring Sling. So far, I’ve only nursed her a handful of times in the Ergo.
This may be TMI, but I haven’t had my period since December when I went back to work. Though many people disagreed with me when I blamed my pumping more often than not for my period coming back then, I STRONGLY believe that pumping so much is what brought my period back for that one month while I was at work.
Because I haven’t had it since I’ve been home! And I will be perfectly happy if it stays that way!
- Omnoms -
It’s official, Roree is eating real people food!
We mainly stick to the trifecta of baby led weaning: Sweet potato, banana and avocado.
BLW is extremely messy and scary at first, after all you are giving babies large pieces of food instead of purees and letting them feed themselves, but it is such an invaluable learning experience and, honestly, it’s fun to watch!
While Roree truly only eats a small percentage of the food, she is feeding herself, learning to chew and discovering textures.
By the end of it, both her, myself and the dogs have some sort of remnants of whatever she ate on us.
Speaking of the dogs, they LOVE this baby led weaning stuff just about as much Roree loves reaching her hand down and letting them lick her fingers.
Roree only eats once or twice a day. We always strip her down to her diaper since it is such a mess, sit her either in her booster seat at the table with us or in her “car” that has a little tray and just give her the food. She squishes it between her fingers, slaps it, throws it and sometimes puts it in her mouth and eats it… or spits it back out.
It’s amazing how just in the couple of weeks she’s been handling food, how she’s already learned to bring it to her mouth, chew and swallow.
When we first gave her food, she barely nudged it around and only brought it to her mouth a couple times and when she got a piece she gagged it back up.
I don’t force it, I only will occasionally feed her small bits directly, but most of the time I let her do it herself.
What is becoming more difficult is eating around her. She wants EVERYTHING I have and reaches for it, often times grabbing it and trying to eat it herself.
My policy is, if it isn’t dangerous, I usually let her have whatever it is she’s grabbing at. I figure it’s a good learning experience.
When it comes to food, I find it helps appease her if I give her a taste of whatever I have. Like a cracker or even italian ice.
- We Have Lift Off! –
Roree is finally mobile!
No, she isn’t crawling or walking… she’s rolling just like her Daddy did when he was an infant.
She now can roll front to back, so that is her main way of getting around. She also somehow manages to wiggle and scoot enough to move around as well.
She’s been trying to crawl for a couple weeks now, she’ll get up into several Yoga positions: Table Top, Plank and Downward Dog.
She can only kind of crawl backwards, but not so much forward.
She is also being much more insistent about holding my fingers so that she can “walk.” And by walk, I mean bounce, wobble and take steps backwards.
She’s a very backwards baby, apparently.
Roree is also able to sit upright on her own! Granted, I keep a boppy, pillow or person behind her so that she doesn’t fall backwards. She does occasionally fall sideways or forward which reaching for a toy or one of our pets.
I’ve found that if I don’t make a big deal about it, ignore it or just say, “Uh-oh! Did Roree fall?” She is fine. It’s when I gasp or yelp that she starts to cry.
- Fashion Sense -
Roree is still a staple in my wardrobe.
Honestly, I have no idea what I’d do without babywearing.
Between helping her calm down enough to sleep when she’s overtired, being hands free to get pressing things finished and avoiding having to shove around a bulky stroller, babywearing is essential to remedy these things!
There are times when Roree is so fussy, nothing will soothe her, she’ll only nurse for a second before popping off and crying again, she doesn’t want to be held or put down… I’ll pull out my wrap and wrap her snugly against me, do a few squats and … boom … sleeping.
I’ve also just recently had success with wearing her in the Ergo while Zumba-ing! Talk about an extra work out!
Speaking of fashion, Roree is still rocking her cloth diapers.
I’ve decided that prefolds and covers are my absolute favorite. I find I’m using them more often than my pockets throughout the day.
For night time, the best non-leaky combo for our heavy wetter is a fitted diaper with a cover over it.
I definitely feel like I’m finally getting into a groove with this “new life” of mine.
I’ve made some incredible friends who have become very close, I enjoy being so near to my sisters and hanging out with them all the time, helping out at my sister’s restaurant, doing freelance work and spending plenty of time with Roree and JT.
My new world is different, but better than I could have ever imagined it could be.