Liam- 5 Month Update

18 Jun

Yikes, this has been a busy month for us and for Liam! I haven’t had much time to blog.  At least I’m on time with this post!

Liam is the light of our lives.  I cannot believe how much he has grown and developed in the past month.  He is a happy, silly, active, easy-going little man.  How in the world did we get so lucky to be his parents?

Weight:  We haven’t been to the doctor since his 4 month appointment so I don’t know what he weighs, but I would guess around 17 pounds.  He is getting really long.  I can’t get over how long his legs are these days!

Temperament: Liam is happy and easy going.  He rarely complains about anything.  He gets frustrated with his toys from time to time.  He has finally stopped crying in the car when it is just the two of us.  He is starting to laugh at lots of stuff!

Activity:  Liam started rolling over all the time this month.  We can’t keep him on his back anymore.  As soon as I lay him down he rolls to his belly.  He can also spin around on his belly.  His dexterity has really increased.  He is grabbing everything within his reach.  Faces, phones, fabric, facuets…you name it and he has grabbed it.  He can hold his toys well and move them around wherever he wants.  He can pass them back and forth between his hands too.  He is getting better at sitting up and can tripod sit on his own.  I have a feeling he will be sitting up on his own soon.  He loves to stand (with assistance of course).  He kicks one foot like a bull sometimes when he is standing and it is so cute.  He is still wobbly and “dances” around, but he likes it.  Yesterday he stood up holding on to the laundry basket by himself for a few seconds.  He is still holding his feet and putting them in his mouth all the time.  Earlier in the month he stopped being as vocal as he was previously, but toward the end of the month he started chatting again. He blows bubbles, spits, squeals, and babbles.  He loves to watch his puppies run around and play.  He keeps his hand outstretched for them to lick if they get close.  He has started reaching his hands out for me some.  Last week he was having a bottle while I was at the doctor and I took it away to walk back to the room and he left his hand outstretched until he got his bottle back!  So cute!

Sleep: Liam is still sleeping great.  He did have a 4 month sleep regression (had most of the symptoms) that lasted a little over a week where he was waking up at 5:30 am (instead of 7:30).  Fortunately he would go back to sleep if I reswaddled him and gave him a paci.  Now he is back on schedule waking up between 7:30-8:00 am.  We dropped the swaddle a couple of weeks ago once Liam was able to roll from back to belly.  I was nervous that he may not sleep as well, but he actually slept better!  The second night of no swaddle he woke up on his belly and how is sleeping on his side or belly every night.  It made me nervous the first couple nights, but he is strong and can easily pick up his head or roll back over.  I think he needs a “king size” crib because he is all over that thing.  He goes from side to side and corner to corner and spins all around.  He takes a nap around 9 am, 1 pm, 5 pm, and a short nap at 7:30 when we are home all day.  When we are out and about he doesn’t nap as well, but it doesn’t affect his night sleep thankfully!

Diet:  He is still exclusively breastfed but he also started solids this month!  We started mid-month with some rice cereal.  He liked it but it was really really messy!  It took a couple of days for him to figure out the point.  We moved on to oat cereal after a few days.  Then, he got constipated so we added in prunes.  We stayed with rice, oats and prunes for about a week.  Next we introduced homemade butternut squash, which he loves!  It has been two weeks and he is so much better at eating already!  When I say “ah” and open my mouth he will open his mouth for a bite.  He likes to eat pretty fast and he likes big bites (just like Dad).  I am making his purees now and I love it being able to give him fresh, healthy food!  He seems to like the homemade better too!  Today we introduced pears and they were a hit.  The whole solid food introduction process has been a bit challenging with the mess and getting him to figure out how to eat, but it gets easier every day.

Outings:  We are taking him everywhere with us.  I don’t think we tried anywhere new this month that I can think of.  He is usually really good when we are out and loves to take it all in.  He has started this pterodactyl squeal thing and he has done that a few times while we were out.  It is hard because he is just talking, not crying, so there isn’t anything we can do to quiet him.  We used to be able to count on using the paci if he got loud, but now he pulls it out and plays with it while he “talks.”

Clothes:  He is wearing a myriad of sizes.  He has mostly outgrown all his 3-6 month clothes and is in 6-9 month or 6-12 month (depending on the brand).  He definitely got a lot of wear out of his 3-6 month clothes so that makes me happy!

Postpartum- I had an appointment with my obgyn for my annual visit and she checked my scar.  She said it was starting to look like a keloid scar and I’m now using a steroid cream on it twice a day.  It is hard to remember to use it, but it looks a little better already.  Otherwise I am doing great.  I’ve still got 2 lbs to lose and a lot of toning to do.  I’m trying to start watching what I’m eating and exercising more.  I have been afraid of doing too much and losing my milk supply, but at this point it should be pretty well established.  Speaking of milk, I’m still struggling with clogged ducts on my left side.  It has become a frequent occurrence.  I get so frustrated and depressed when it happens.  I start thinking I am going to have to stop nursing because I can’t handle it anymore.  And then the clog goes away and I’m fine again for the next few days.  I don’t want to stop nursing because he is doing so well with the breast milk so I am going to keep pushing through as long as I can!  I have adjusted to life as a stay at home Mom and absolutely love it!  I can’t imagine not being home with him every day!

Special Events:  We celebrated Father’s Day this month!  We didn’t really do anything special, just spent time together as a family.  Liam and I gave Jason a new watch and lots of cards!  We are getting ready for a vacation to Destin over the 4th of July so that will be covered next month!

Liam, I cannot believe it has been five months since you were born.  Time is flying by so fast, and I can barely keep up!  I love seeing you develop and grow, but it also makes me sad.  I am LOVING having you as my baby.  I wish I could freeze time and keep you in my arms forever.  Your sweet gummy grin melts my heart.  Your Dad and I smother you in kisses every day (sometimes we compete for who can give you the most kisses in a day).  We love you more than life itself!

 

 

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Liam- 4 month update

28 May

This is a wee bit late due to our trip to LA to visit Auntie, Uncle Droid and Bella. Liam turned 4 months old while we were in Cali!

Liam is such a happy, easy-going baby and we love him to pieces! I would describe him at 4 months as happy, funny, silly, inquisitive, outgoing, laid back, determined, and independent.  He has the biggest grin that covers his whole face! This last month seems to have passed a little slower than the previous three thankfully! I think his schedule with only 5 feedings per day has really helped slow things down a little. I feel like we have a lot more time now for playing, getting out of the house, and chores (unfortunately for me).

Weight:  Liam had his 4 month check-up on the 13th and he weighed 15lbs 12 ozs and was 26″ long!  He gained over a pound in the last month. He has grown so much in such a short time!  He isn’t really a chubby baby, more long and stout.

Temperament:  He is still a happy, happy baby.  He loves to smile at people (I think he loves the attention he gets from others and smiling gets him more attention).  He almost never cries (except sometimes when he is by himself in the back seat or when he got his shots), but does whine when he is getting tired or his gums are hurting. He started laughing this month and laughs more and more every day (especially when he is playing with Daddy).  He is very independent already.  He wants to bring his bottle to his mouth and hold it by himself (when he gets one) and hold his own toys.  He gets aggravated when he can’t get toys in his mouth just the right way, but doesn’t want me to help him.  He still doesn’t have a need to be held and often tries to squirm away if he is in our arms.

Activity:  Liam has learned to roll over!  At the beginning of the month he rolled over on the bed for the first time.  He rolled from back to belly and then back to his back.  Then later that day he rolled from belly to back on the floor.  Then he went about a week before he did it again.  He doesn’t do it all the time, but when he does do it, it is always in multiples.  He hasn’t rolled from back to belly on the floor yet, but gets really close all the time.  Liam loves tummy time now.  He can push all the way up to straight arms.  He can look at books and play with toys.  He can probably be happy on his tummy for 15-20 minutes.  This month Liam also learned how to grab his feet and put his feet in his mouth (where they have resided since that day).  He is just obsessed with his feet!  It is so cute, but gets a little frustrating during diaper changes! He also chews on his hands (and anyone’s hand he can get to his mouth) all the time.  Teething is hard on a baby!  Early in the month he learned a strange, loud yelling sound.  It didn’t hang around long so I’m glad I got it on video.  It was pretty darn funny.  He also learned a tongue clicking sound that he did for about a week (also got it on video)!  He loves to blow bubbles and spit and makes all kinds of bubbly, spity noises.  He hasn’t been cooing and “ah-googing” as much this month since he has been busy exploring what other sounds he can make with his mouth.  I am amazed at how much his motor skills have developed over the last month in regards to grabbing and playing with toys.  He can pretty much do whatever he wants with his toys now.  He loves his baseball mit taggie blanket so much.  He likes to chew on it and snuggle with it while he is napping in the car seat.  He likes toys that crinkle like his fluffy chick book and he likes his red obi ball football.  Oh! And Liam really started noticing the girls this month!  He is reaching out for them, grabbing their beards, opening his hand for them to lick, and opening his mouth if they get to his face for kisses!  Maddy loves him and is usually close by.  Miley, well she is still a Daddy’s girl.  She usually stays a safe distance away from him, but every now and then will come up and give him kisses.

Sleep:  This month Liam slept from 9:30pm until 7:30 am consistently.  We are truly blessed!  He takes a 2-2.5 hour nap at 9am, a 1.5-2 hour nap at 1:00 pm, an 1.5 hour nap at 4:30, and a cat nap for about an hour to 1.5 hours at 7:30pm and then we do bath, feeding and bedtime.

Diet:  This month his diet consisted of 100% breast milk.  I am still having problems with clogged ducts and recurrent mastitis, but I am trying my best to push through it.  Right now my goal is to make it to 6 months (I would love to do it the whole year, but I don’t know if I will be able to if I keep getting mastitis).  I do believe that breastmilk is best for him and he is doing so well with it, so I am going to do everything I can to make it as long as possible. We are going to be introducing solid foods next month on the pediatrician’s advice (and the two books that have been my baby bibles), which should be fun!

Outings:  At this point, we got out and about all the time.  We can do just about anything we used to do except the movies.  The hardest thing for me to do with him by myself is grocery shopping because his car seat doesn’t fit well in the upper part and takes up too much room in the cart.  We spend a lot of time at Target and the mall.  During the week I try to keep our outings within the schedule, but we are more flexible on the weekends.  We got out to eat at least once a week and he is almost always content (and often sleeping).  When I think back to the early days, I remember how difficult it was to go anywhere and I can’t believe how far we have come!  Thank goodness!  Liam decided he doesn’t like being in the backseat by himself so that has made car rides a bit torturous at times when it is just the two of us, but it does seem to be improving the more we got out.  He also had his first plane ride at the end of the month!  He was incredible.  He slept most of the time and enjoyed looking around at all the people while he was awake.  we made candy bags with ear plugs for the passengers around us, but he didn’t make a peep other than some spit bubbles and a few coos.  I will do a separate post all about our trip.

Clothes:  He wore 3-6 months clothes (and a few 6-12 month onesies and shorts) and 6 month sleepers.  He has a few things that are 9 months that he wears as well (Polo runs small apparently).  He is starting to move up to 9 months sleepers too.

Postpartum:  I am fully recovered from the c-section at this point.  My stomach muscles feel normal again and the feeling has almost completely returned to my scar area.  I still have my linea negra, but it is fading away slowly (the doc said it would be gone around 6 months).  I am 2 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body looks really different.  I am thicker in the middle (waist and hips) than I have ever been, so that makes most of my old tops and pants too tight.  This made me do a big closet clean-out though so that was a bonus!  I am adding new pieces that fit to my wardrobe, but trying to find inexpensive things since I plan to get back into my old shape (or better!) at some point after I’m finished nursing.  I am scared to exercise or diet too much due to milk supply.  Exercising consists of walking at this point.  I think I am out of the postpartum depression risk now.  I never felt any depression and am so thankful for that!  I am loving being a mom, maybe too much if that is possible.  I cry any time I think about him growing up and not being my little baby.  I’m not going to lie, there are times when I’m tired or frustrated, but it never fails that he will shoot me a big smile and I will immediately forget all what I was even frustrated about.

Special Events:  My first Mother’s Day was this month!  The three of us went to lunch and out to the park by our house to take some family photos.  It was a perfect day with my two favorite men.

Liam, these past four months have been the best months of our lives.  You are the best, sweetest, and cutest little baby and you have completed us in ways we could never have imagined.  We still stare at you in amazement.  I cannot believe that we created you and that you grew into this beautiful baby in my belly.  It still doesn’t seem real!  We are honored and blessed to be your parents, and we love you with all our hearts forever and always!

My First Mother’s Day!

13 May

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend. I know we sure enjoyed it.

My parents came up on Friday and I cooked dinner for us. I don’t know that I have ever cooked dinner for them before. I made a baked spaghetti recipe from Pinterest and it was delish! It was accompanied by herb focaccia bread and Cesar salad. hEveryone cleaned their plates. I attempted my first home cooked angel food cake (I used a boxed mix so I can’t say homemade). I didn’t realize that you had to use a special pan and just used my bunt cake pan. I also didn’t know how much it would rise. When I opened the oven to peek at it I found it billowing up through the upper rack of the oven. Whoops. Jason had the task of removing it from the oven and pan since I was feeding Liam when it was finished. When he shouted to me upstairs that it wouldn’t come out of the pan like I said it dawned on me about the bunt pan situation. Ah another cooking lesson learned. Luckily it wasnt in too bad of shape to serve and tasted really great to boot! I served it with strawberries, whip cream, and blue bell vanilla ice cream. Blue bell is seriously the best ice cream you can buy at the store. Especially for vanilla. Mmmm.

Saturday morning we went to our fave breakfast joint and had a yummy breakfast. We hung around the house so Liam could rest and eat. I took some pics of my Mom and Liam that turned out pretty nice. Then Jason and I cooked lunch! I made the ham sliders from Pinterest. I couldn’t tell you how they were since I didn’t try them, but the meat eaters raved about them! My parents are really picky eaters so to cook three things that they liked was a huge accomplishment in my book. I considered maybe they were just being polite, but they cleaned their plates so I hope that means they really did like it!

That afternoon we went to downtown Franklin and walked around the little shops. It is such a cute downtown. There were musicians out playing which added to the charm. Lots of people were stirring about and Liam had fun looking around at everyone.

We had J. Alexander’s for dinner that night and then hit the sack after Liam’s bath. My parents left Sunday morning shortly after breakfast. We exchanged Mother’s Day gifts before they headed back. Mom made me two beautiful photo books. One is a Liam book with photos of my pregnancy, his birth, and his first weeks at home. The other is pictures from our wedding photo shoot last summer. They are both just wonderful keepsakes and I love looking at them! My gift to her paled in comparison (iTunes and amazon gift cards, nail polish and mascara).

After they left we got ready for the day. Jason and Liam gave me a gift and cards. They got me a day at the spa for massage, facial and mani/pedi! So very sweet! The spa is just around the corner too so I will feel better about leaving Liam for a few hours! Cannot wait for some pampering!

We went to McAllisters for lunch, which happens to be next to the golf store. Jason said Liam really wanted to go look at golf stuff so of course we had to. Somehow that ended up with Jason getting a new club and me finding a Father’s Day gift for my dad! Then we went to Homegoods since it was right there too. After our shopping outing we picked up my favorite froyo because I saw they were doing a Mother’s Day special. All moms got their yogurt for $1! Nice $6 savings! Being a Mom is awesome! Lol! We followed that with going to the park by our house (Percy Warner) and snapped some pics which I have been wanting to do so bad! They turned out really cute. I had on the brightest pink shirt on the planet. No, really. Ill tone it down next time! That is the great thing about having a nice camera- we can take more photos any time if we aren’t happy with them! Liam was distracted and looking around at all the people, dogs, and bikes so we didn’t get many big smiles from him, but we finally captured his pretty blue eyes!

That pretty much recounts our whole weekend in probably more detail than anyone needs! Haha! It was a special and perfect family weekend that reminded me how truly blessed I am!

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9 May

Just a regular day here the last two days. Cleaning, organizing, changing diapers, feeding, etc. Jason has been working around the clock this week so I’ve basically been a single parent. He didn’t even see the baby yesterday. Wah!

Liam’s new thing is scratching. Anytime he is laying on something or can reach something, he is scratching it. He also seems to have lost interest in eating. I’ve spread his feedings out again and feed him in a darkened room but it isn’t helping much. I’m interested to see what his weight is Monday (4 month check up). I’m concerned about it. His pee and poop has been normal so hopefully he has just gotten super efficient. I fear my supply is dwindling due to his lack of feeding well.

Otherwise all is good on the home front. I got my DSLR back out finally and I’m practicing with my new model. Indoor shooting is so tricky.

That’s about it for today!

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All Clogged Up

8 May

I wish the title referred to a toilet or the drain. Heck even my nose. Instead it is much worse. Milk ducts. Argh. Clogged milk ducts have been the recurrent theme of my breastfeeding life. I have an over productive side that has given me fits since the beginning. I’ve spent wee hours of the morning sticking needles in my swollen, aching, hard as a rock breasts while watching my baby sleep peacefully on the monitor. I’ve come to accept that if I want to continue breastfeeding this is just something I have to put up with every couple of weeks. Fortunately, I’ve only gotten an infection twice (mastitis).

And that’s my breastfeeding horror story. Lots of people have them. Despite the unpleasantries that often come with it, lots of us Moms keep on pushing through and shout to the rooftops about how great breastfeeding is. I know, it seems absurd.

I despised the thought of breastfeeding. It made me nauseous. I terrorized myself throughout my pregnancy worrying over it. I cried in my breastfeeding class. Yep cried. I read everything I could get my hands on about it, the good, the bad, the nitty gritty details. I really didn’t want to do it for purely selfish reasons. I also felt it was anti-feminist movement. Yet, I believed it was best for the baby so I felt it was necessary to give it a try (even though I knew I would hate it).

Fast forward to the evening of January 18th. I held Liam in my arms and the nurse asked if I wanted to feed him. I was nervous but knew looking at him it was the right thing. I broke down in tears as despite all my research I had no idea what to do in that moment with my real little baby. I had SO many cords coming out of me at that point that I could barely hold him much less latch him. It didn’t go well but left me determined to figure this thing out. The first few days were rough as we both navigated the waters. It was painful because I didn’t know how to latch him and he didn’t know how to latch (but not as painful as I expected). A different lactation consultant came by every day at the hospital and they all had some different idea. It was confusing. And they all latched him for me so it was great as long as she was there. But on my own I couldn’t get it. Frustration set in, but so did determination. After a few days things started getting a bit easier. I remember telling Jason one tired morning while watching Liam eat that despite how hard it was, I loved breastfeeding my baby. I was so glad that I gave it a chance.

We had struggles for the first week, things got better as I defied my lactation consultant who told me to use the nipple shield for 48 hours only and I kept on going to 5 weeks. That’s when my first round of mastitis hit. Ouch. Horrible. Using a shield puts you at higher risk for it. Oops. I lived over it. I weaned him from the shield which was no big deal at all. I had to go through the initial pain again as my nipples toughened up. But we trudged on. Since then things have been pretty smooth.

I am fortunate that I can breastfeed my baby. I feel blessed to have a milk supply that sustains him without supplementing (so far anyway). I love the bond that we share. It is the most empowering thing I have ever done. Quite the opposite of the anti-feminist thoughts I once felt. I am so thankful to my sweet friends who encouraged me to try it but were supportive of any decision I might make. They said “give a chance and if it doesn’t work out, so what!” It took the pressure off. On top of all those wonderful feelings, it allows me to be lazy! We’ve given him bottles of pumped milk and it is such a pain! The warming and the cleaning! Ugh! It is so much easier to just give him the breast! Haha! I never in a bazillion years thought I would be telling expectant moms to give it a shot, but here I am saying just that! No judgment to those who don’t at all because it is a very personal decision. But it truly is the most amazing experience, second to bringing the baby into the world, that I have ever experienced.

Weekend Recap

6 May

We had a lovely weekend here in Nashville. The weather was cold and rainy but we enjoyed the time together. We did a lot of the usual weekend things like going to the mall and Target. Liam finally got his toes in his mouth over the weekend. Hooray!

We also went to a fun derby party that our friends hosted. We enjoyed some yummy food and got to catch up with friends. We all drew a horse to cheer for but none of ours did any good. Liam was great at the party. He was smiling at everyone and loving checking out new people. There were several young kids at the party and he watched them intently. One little girl was so sweet to him and rubbed his arm and head and he just smiled at her so big! It is still hard to believe my baby will be a kid someday.

Speaking of growing up, I had a break down at one point over the weekend over Liam growing up too fast. I cried and held him while asking him not to grow up so fast! I’m loving every minute with my baby boy and want it to last forever. He isn’t a very snuggly baby and holding him usually brings little comfort when he is upset. Although I know it is good and healthy for him not to want Mama all the time and to be independent, part of me regrets having not held him more when he was a tiny baby. We didn’t do as much skin to skin as i planned due to the csection and my complications. Everything just got so overwhelming. I can’t help but think that is why he isn’t snuggly now and it makes me so sad. I saw a quote on Pinterest a bit ago that said “‘i wish I had held my baby less’ said no mother ever.” I think of that often. I so hope that I’m doing the right things for him and that I’m being a good Mom. Tears.

Oh becoming a Mom has made me so sensitive and nostalgic! If I had known how much I would love it, I would have done it years ago (well 3 years ago anyway).

Lunch party

3 May

Yesterday Liam and I drove up to Goodlettsville for lunch with my previous co-workers at Dollar General. It was so nice of them to want to see us and they surprised us with presents! Liam got some fun toys, A&A swaddle blankets, meds, boogie wipes, a precious smocked outfit, and a gift card to the cutest baby store. So incredibly thoughtful and nice, especially considering I quit to stay home with Liam.

I never really talked much about my job or quitting my job. After Liam was born I knew deep down that I had to stay with him. I had never been so fulfilled and happy as I was taking care of him. When push came to shove and I was a week away from going back, I broke down and told Jason I couldn’t do it. We looked at our finances and decided that we could make it work with some sacrifice. My boss and my co-workers have been so kind and supportive through everything. I was really blessed to have a great job with good people. Maybe when Liam is bigger I will try to go back to DG if we are still in Nashville. I feel so incredibly blessed every single day to be home with my baby boy. I am thankful for my husband who is willing to work so hard to support us.

I honestly think working moms and single moms are super women. I do not know how they do it! Just amazing in my opinion. Im going through a bit of an adjustment period now that I’m officially at home. Taking care of Liam is a lot of work, but add in taking care of the house, laundry, dinner, errands, etc. with Liam is proving so much harder than I ever imagined. Babies are a time suck. His wake time flies by. I hate to do anything but be with him when he is awake. But I also don’t want to wake him up doing chores when he is asleep! That makes for quite a conundrum.

I started a home management binder with timelines, chore charts, menu planners, etc., but I have yet to actually use it (making it and finding all the inserts was fun though haha). I really want to do a spring cleaning of all our rooms, closet, pantry, etc. and organize everything the way I want it. Like I said I had no clue how much time babies take up. I’m going to have to start doing things at night when Jason is here to play with Liam and after he goes to bed. So fun… Not.

I just remembered I was supposed to take Jason’s pants to the cleaners this morning. Crap.

Well anyway, Liam is 15 weeks old today. I can’t get over how much he has grown. He lights up the room (and my heart) with his big, radiant smile. He is a happy, beautiful, wonderful baby and I cannot get enough of him!

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