8 months

OY I have not been writing but anyway here we are at 8 months already !!! I can’t believe it.

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Likes:

  • SAYING MAMAMAMA WHEN SHE WANTS ME!  First word, people!  She really is referring to me when she says mamama, she looks around for me!  Or if I walk into the room she says it!
  • Army crawling EVERYWHERE … her little fingers grab everything!
  • Putting everything in her mouth (today I found a bandaid in there .. gross!!!!)
  • Waving!
  • Clapping!
  • Peekaboo!
  • Jumping!
  • Shaking shakers or banging on the xylophone
  • Being in the carrier / going on walks
  • Trying to catch the cats
  • “Helping” big brother and sister build their towers (much to their dismay)

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Dislikes:

  • Going to bed😦😦  Some real big tears about this.  Serious FOMO.
  • When I stick my finger in her mouth to get out whatever is in there (ugh bandaid !!!)
  • Being in the car seat
  • Spicy food (oops)

 

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Smushy is getting everywhere.  She must have had a leap because while we were traveling suddenly she learned to wave, clap, and became extremely mobile. She was army crawling before but now she is everywhere!  We had to move the cat food out of reach, and we need to buy a gate for the basement stairs because the old one broke a few months ago.  Otherwise we are mostly ready for this …

8mpics - 1 (1)Oh except I have to baby proof the play room which is a DISASTER.  Choking hazards EVERYWHERE.  And this baby puts everything in her mouth!  Apple and Banana did not do this!  Mostly because they were not mobile at this age, so if I kept choking hazards out of arms’ reach then they couldn’t do anything dangerous.  But she is on the move.  A few days ago she popped an entire plastic strawberry into her mouth, a thing I thought was too big for her mouth so I left it out, it was completely in there.  I squeezed her cheeks and it popped right back out but OH my heart.

I have to cut all her food into teeny pieces.  I never did this for the big kids.  But I can’t trust her to take bites.  My big kids always took nice bites, or if they didn’t they would spit it out.  Smushy stuffs entire things in her mouth, fillllls her mouth with food, and then gets upset.  If it’s soft enough she will sit there with her cheeks puffed out like a squirrel and eventually chew it all down and swallow.  But sometimes I have to go fish it out or she will sit there and cry about it.  So.  Tiny bite sized pieces of basically anything slightly mushy or totally soft.  She ate a whole bunch of strawberry and roasted zucchini tonight for dinner.

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Sleep is still what it is.  Usually one wake up.  When she is having a bad night it is 2-3 wake ups.  A few times she has slept through the night but it is not reliable.  Naps are whatever. If we’re home, she’s in the crib.  If we’re out, she’s in the car seat or carrier.  I have surrendered.

Maybe one day I will update on myself or the big kids… But it is still Pas.s.over and there is SO much cooking to do before Thursday night soooooo back to the kitchen I go.  PS I think Smushy is constipated from all the matzah she’s been eating this week😦  No more matzah for baby, and trying to get her to nurse a little more.  Fruit, veg, and milk that’s it!

7 months (and 2 weeks eek)

Okay Smushy is almost 8 months but let’s say 7 months …

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Smushy’s personality is really starting to come out.  I love her to pieces.  I have been working so hard at letting go, and sometimes my control freak ness comes out and I get frustrated and angry again and then I put my arms up on the roller coaster and away we go.

We had some people over for Shabbat dinner on Friday and it was time for Smush to go to bed, so I had her say good night and then took her up to bed.  That poor baby sobbed and sobbed like real sad sad sobs for missing the party.  She kept clamoring for the door, like trying to turn around and go back.  She saw all the fun people downstairs and came down with a serious case of FOMO.

She is just the happiest baby ever.  Today she was at her crankiest and it wasn’t so bad when Apple and Banana were around to cheer her up.  She had a rough night, and got a shot at the doctor, and ended up in the car seat for way too long today.  So she was pretty cranky.  But as soon as she saw big brother and big sister, all was well with the world once more.  She adores them and they adore her, they are her sun and moon.

Her doctor appointment today was just for two booster shots, it was short and sweet so they didn’t even do any stats.  I think also because we showed up 45min early and they wanted to get us in.  I secretly weighed her on the scale so I got her 7 month weight at 20.5lb which seems to still put her up at 93%.  She’s wearing 6-12mo clothes, closer to the 12mo size.  And she is getting super heavy in the bucket car seat but since she hasn’t outgrown it I am really resisting switching to her new seat.

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Likes

  • Apple and Banana
  • EATING. But no teeth yet !! So it is hard to find food she can mash with her gums!  Favorite food right now is strawberries, though she also loves raisin toast with vanilla yogurt on it.  She eats the kids’ crusts in the morning with yogurt haha.
  • Army crawling to get my phone… she gets tired quickly and frustrated, but she will scoot herself forward if there’s something she really wants.  But really, she would prefer …
  • Being worn or carried all the time!  I got a new carrier, the B.ec.o Gem.ini and she LOVES it.  More than any other carrier actually.  I put her in one I was borrowing and immediately she was kicking her legs and giggling. So I bought one and she loooves it.
  • That game where you pat her mouth and she sings and it sounds like bwah bwah bwah.  But she has figured out how to do it to herself, and now doesn’t really do it for you anymore, just pats her own mouth with her fist and goes bwah bwah bwah
  • Other babies!  She reaches for other babies and totally steals their toys!  Weird to be the mommy of a toy stealer because Apple and Banana were always on the other end of that at playdates!
  • Banging things onto other things to hear what sound it makes.
  • Games where I make her clap, but she hasn’t quite figured out clapping yet.
  • Giving amazing slobbery kisses:):)  My favorite.  She gives kisses to other people too, especially big brother and big sister.
  • Bouncing in her doorway bouncer.  Sometimes I think she just likes it because she’s upright and more part of the action.  She doesn’t always bounce, sometimes just hangs out looking around.  Banana always BOUNCED.  Apple was never in the doorway bouncer, he had a different thing with toys on it, so he didn’t always bounce.  It’s funny watching Smushy kind of hang there and watch everyone and then periodically break out into serious joyful bouncing.
  • Cheesing for the camera!  And trying to steal my phone!!

Dislikes

  • Taking naps or going to bed, especially when people are around and she knows it.  She’s also hard to nurse when people are around.  Busy bee has serious FOMO.
  • Being more than one foot away from me EVER
  • Food that she can’t mash up that gets stuck in her mouth.  She will whine at me until I pull it out.  I know technically according to the book I’m not supposed to pull food out of her mouth, and she will spit it out eventually, but she wants to chew and swallow and gets frustrated when she can’t.

 

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Smushy is really a wonderful, joyful baby.  You can see her list of dislikes is very short.  I am just learning that I need to go to bed earlier so I can get enough total sleep to not be a zombie during the day.  Last night she woke up extra times, I think from a bad dream, she was really upset one of the times I went in.  Usually she’s just grunting and I haven’t sleep trained overnight or else I might leave her, but this time she was upset and took some doing to calm her down, which is unusual.  Then she woke up because she overflowed her diaper.

I realize at some point I will probably have to night train her but I am still hoping that eventually the night wakings will go on their own.  Sometimes she doesn’t wake up, which is wonderful, but rare and unpredictable.  Usually she wakes up once in the middle of the night and then wakes for the day sometime between 5-6am.  Sometimes she wakes up twice.

Trying to keep my zen.  TRYING.  Sometimes successfully and sometimes not.  The big kids stayed up late on Friday night and we are still recovering from that lack of sleep, and it is hard to be zen when you’re solo with two exhausted 3.5yr olds and a baby that’s sick of being bored all day.  Lots of deep breaths.  But life is so good.  Apple and Banana should get their own update soon, if I get another moment …

Lessons in flexibility

This morning I did yoga at sunrise.

Because my darling baby woke me at 5:30am.  And I can’t get in the bathroom until my husband is done at 6:30.  And it was 6:15 when Smushy was done nursing.  So… I put her on the floor with the bin of baby toys I keep in the bedroom (I have bins of toys in every room in the house and mix them around periodically) and did 15 minutes of yoga.  My old 15 minute routine.

Ah.

Smushy is a lesson in flexibility that I am learning every. single. day.

With twins I was so so rigid.  We had The Schedule.  We had The Routines.  It was important to survival that every day be exactly like every other day.

Smushy is all over the map.  Every few days my husband or I try to find a pattern to her behavior and then the other one of us says HASHTAG NO PATTERN and makes the hashtag finger sign like that SNL sketch with Ju.stin Tim.b.erlake.

THERE IS NO PATTERN.

So… without a pattern, there is no schedule.  Without a schedule, there is chaos.

Wet, fat cheeked, kissy faced chaos.  Oh Smushy I love you so much but you are making me so crazy with your hashtag-no-pattern.

When I say “gimme a kiss” she leans in all romantacally with her hooded eyelids and opens her slobbery mouth wide and then plants a wet fish-mouth sucker kiss right on my cheek.  IT IS LITERALLY THE BEST THING.

Every day I am learning how to be flexible.  I have NEVER been a flexible person.  Having twins and the rigidity that came with that was very very natural to me.  But now I have to be flexible.  Sometimes she naps in the car, sometimes in the crib, sometimes in the carrier, sometimes not at all.  Sometimes I get to make art, sometimes I get to poo alone, sometimes I get to do yoga, sometimes I get to nap, sometimes I don’t do any of those things and I shove cookies in my face hole.

I’m learning how to be flexible.  I’m learning how to be okay with that.  I’m learning how to find a way to make plans with friends and not be a huge flake.  I’m learning that maybe she doesn’t get as cranky as I’m afraid she will, and she’s only one baby, and maybe it’s fine if she naps in the car for a while until we are down to fewer naps, or maybe whatever.

This is a hard lesson.  I find myself getting wound up and angry and frustrated.  Like, a lot.

WHY IS EVERY MORNING DIFFERENT.

WHY DO I NOT KNOW IF I AM GOING TO EAT BREAKFAST ALONE.

WHY DO I NOT KNOW IF I AM GOING TO BE ALONE _AT ALL_ TODAY????

Breakfast today:

Photo on 4-4-16 at 7.31 AM

Futsing on the internet, playing with a bead maze, eating my yogurt, holding Smushy.

I was telling someone about this and she said she was impressed I ate the yogurt.  Hell yes I ate that yogurt.  Do you know if I don’t have time to eat my yogurt before the big kids wake up, when I go into their room I warn them that I haven’t eaten yet and they need to be fast, because they know … MAMA GETS HANGRY.  So for everyone’s sake, I eat my yogurt, whatever it takes.

I’m learning.  I’m learning how to prioritize.  I’m learning how to create small routines that can be shuffled around, so one disruption doesn’t create cascade failure.  I’m learning I’m learning I’m learning.

This is one of the biggest lessons of my life!

Overbooked day

Today we had swim class, P.urim carnival, baking hamentashen, and also grandma was here.

BUSY DAY!

But good day, just busy!

Our costumes are: Monkey (Apple), Owl (Banana), Sunflower (Smushy), and two butterflies:)

I can’t believe she let me keep that sunflower hat on her for so long.  I took it off because she got fussy and I thought it was because of the hat, but it was actually just because she was getting hungry.

This is my favorite holiday because of the dressing up.  The costumes are sweet and fun and silly.  I used to like Ha.llowe.en because of the dressing up but now I think I like P.urim better, even though the holiday has some dark and tragic roots it is pretty joyous and generous vs menacing and haunting.

Anyway had to share the costumes … back to normal life tomorrow … but more costume wearing later this week when it is actually the holiday!

Going to be honest

We are backsliding quite a bit on the sleep training round these parts

  
But what a snuggly boo.

I don’t even know anymore. Life!! Whatever!!! It’s spring and I went on a 1.5hr walk around the neighborhood and Smushy was happy to be in the carrier and I feel good and now she’s napping on me because even though she fell asleep in the carrier it apparently wasn’t a real nap for her. That’s good info to file away.

I can only do my best for her and her sleep. I may never get to the place where I can put her in her crib and know I will have 2hrs to make art, the way I did have with my big kids. But I almost never used that time to make art because I had to be silent as a mouse.

We will see. In the meantime … I’m enjoying my snuggles. Look at these lips:

  

Health challenges

I feel like I remember reading somewhere it takes 3 weeks to form a habit. So I’m trying out some health challenges to form better habits.

First I challenged myself to floss every day in March. I had a dentist appointment in Feb with a brutal cleaning and decided from now on I’m flossing. But a “from now on” goal is too daunting so I picked March and hopefully it will stick. I’m already automatically grabbing the floss when I go to get ready for bed. I have never been good at remembering to floss, but now I am going to put in real effort.

I tried making art every day in February but it was a big fail. Sleep training plus growth spurt, I did art probably half the days.

My next challenge will be doing yoga every day again. I’m not sure how it’s going to happen but i did it before and I can do it again.

Meanwhile baby woke up early from a nap and I’m disproportionately angry and dismayed. I had set up to paint, literally just dipped my brush in, and she woke up. I left her to cry a minute while I did the very short thing I wanted to do, prepping a frame for a crochet piece. Maybe another day.

So frustrated. I only give myself time to do the laundry or grocery shopping. I want to work….!!!!!!! I feel a sense of urgency I can’t explain!

Wishing away time

One of my hiking friends was talking to me yesterday and was saying how she missed going on our walks and hikes and maybe soon Smushy would outgrow this phase and I can get back to hiking.  Soon she’ll be big enough to do this or that, or whatever.

In the same breath she was also talking about how she can’t wait for her baby to do this or that or whatever.

I don’t know if Smushy is my last baby but she probably is.  And I don’t want to wish away any of her time.  I am struggling right now with feelings of isolation and frustration but I don’t want to wish away her time.  I’m not waiting for her to outgrow this.  I just want to figure out how to make the most of it.

Her babyhood is going by so fast I can barely breathe.  I can’t believe she’s 6.5 months now.  I can’t believe she’s sitting up and isn’t even a newborn.  I saw a newborn on Shabbat and was like OHHHHHhhhhhh that feels so long ago, even for Smushy, and it was only a few months, but ohhh.

I keep thinking about summer and all the things we’re going to do and I think ohhhh… she will be almost a year old.  I keep planning for the future because it’s what I do and oh. Time.  It’s going fast.

Everyone told me time would go fast but when Apple and Banana were babies time went excrutiatingly slow and I didn’t believe them.  But I believe everyone now.  I see it.  I see how they are so different.  I hold my big kids and wonder how could they ever have been smaller than Smushy.  How could they ever have been babies.  How could I ever have had life without them.

I can’t wish away her time.  She wakes up and is so happy to see me, and nurses and then spends 10 minutes hugging and kissing me.  I don’t want it to ever end.  YES I want to sleep.  But I love right now.

I said to my friend, I love every phase.  It’s hard but I feel like every phase they go through is better than the one before.  But I would be sad to miss it wishing for the next phase.  When she’s walking and talking and off playing with her big siblings.  When my big ones are in school all day and have their own lives.  When they won’t want my hugs and snuggles.  When they will be totally over me and won’t want to do random targ.et runs with me in the afternoon.

I don’t want my babies to grow up but I know they will.

6 months

Smushy was 6 months old a couple of weeks ago but finally got her stats today at the doctor so thought I would do her 6mo post.

SIX MONTHS!!!! WHAT!!! How has this baby been in my life this long?  How has she not been here forever?  I can almost not even remember life before 6 months ago, certainly not before 3.5 years ago.

Six months, Smushy! Look at this punim.

LIKES

  • Eating everything!
  • Sitting up all by herself
  • Pulling things out of her toy box
  • Banging on the xylophone
  • Giving me wet slobbery snotty kisses
  • Saying bababababababaaaaa
  • Being in the carrier
  • Whatever the big kids are doing
  • Splashing in the tub
  • Pulling off her socks and putting her toes in her mouth
  • Bouncing to the Wil.liam Te.ll Overture Finale

DISLIKES:

  • Falling asleep not on the bo.ob
  • Being alone for even a second
  • Not eating the thing that I’m eating
  • Being in the car seat for too long
  • If she sees me getting dressed and isn’t immediately fed hahaha she’s like what do you MEAN you’re covering those things up?!!?!

STATS:

19lb, 27.5″ … Growth slowing down now, she is dropping percentages on the growth curve, but still very high.  Doctor is not concerned.  Her proportions are the same, her height and weight are parallel, and she’s still enormous!

Life with Smushy is pretty great.  Still figuring out the sleep thing obviously.  I realized because she has a car nap in the morning at school drop off and again in the afternoon at school pick up I basically can’t go out because I need to let her have one nap in the crib.  And that is the reason I’m feeling isolated by her sleep.  And if that nap isn’t good I get so frustrated.

But when she gets enough sleep she is happy and playful and so so snuggly and loving.  We are having a good time with her.

The big kids are so amazing, they love her so much.  Their connections to her are very individual.  Banana is definitely big sistery, comes over and tries to direct games with her, gives her toys, I caught her trying to get Smushy to high five.  She’s very high energy and very interested and caring.  Apple is more low energy, he comes over to her and smiles and sits still and lets her pull his hair and touch his face with her slobbery fingers.  He wipes her chin when it’s drooly and pushes toys closer to her so she can reach.  Sometimes he tries to “read” to her.

When I tell people I have 3.5 year old twins and a 6 month old they say it must be crazy over here, and it is in small bursts, but mostly it is really really wonderful.  (I guess you wouldn’t know it from here but I mostly use this place to vent so you get that side of it more than the happy side … the happy stuff is mostly for inst.ag.ram and fa.ceb.ook haha)

Me 6mo postpartum … I don’t even know … haven’t weighed myself in a long time and have stopped taking those pictures.  I’ve kind of hit a serious plateau.  Mostly I feel okay about myself but now the big kids are in swim and I bought a new bathing suit top and it looks horrendous and now I am spiraling badly this evening.  And spring is coming, which I am so enormously excited about, and it was so warm today, but then I realized I have NO CLOTHES … and the winter wardrobe I worked so hard on will be obsolete soon and I will somehow need to buy things that don’t make me feel disgusting … all without being able to shop because of Smushy’s naps ………………………

Anyway, like I said, mostly wonderful, just these things (my body image issues, my sleep or lack thereof).

It’s 9:20 and therefore late, as we have to clean and unpack grocery delivery and hopefully get to bed in less than an hour so I can hope for a good chunk of sleep.

Sleep again, resigning myself

Well her sleep is what it is.  I’ve written several times to the sleep consultant and her only advice now is maybe give up on the sleep training and try again in a few weeks because it’s stressing all of us out and maybe not working so well right now.  ERRGGGG….

She cries before sleep still.  A lot.  Like last night she cried so long and so hard that my husband went in for a visit after 15 minutes because it was just hysterical crying, and then almost went back in but after another 12 minutes she stopped being hysterical and then was asleep more than 30 minutes after we put her in the crib.  That’s not how it’s supposed to be 3+ weeks after sleep training starts!  She had a great night I don’t want to jinx ptu ptu ptu, but it is totally random.  We can’t say, well, she went to bed early so she slept better.  Or, she cried more and slept better.  It’s just NOT CLEAR.

We gave her a lovey.  It feels early (she is 6mo) but she can roll and is very mobile in the crib.  She knows how to play peekaboo very well, so she can remove anything from her face or move out of the way if anything is making her uncomfortable.  It’s one of those an.ge.l dea.r loveys, a little gray cat.  I slept with it for a week to get my stink on it.  The first night she slept with it, she woke up at 5am (second wake up) and wouldn’t go back to sleep because she was playing with it.  Sigh.  I put her in the crib awake and she played with the kitty until after 6 and finally passed out.  I mean is that even considered a wake-up when it lasts almost an hour and a half?

We installed a camera over the crib so we can watch her and see the reason for going in before going in … sometimes she wakes up a little from a nap and it’s because her foot is stuck in the bars, and maybe if I knew that before going in I could be more stealthy?  And also it makes me feel better about the lovey.

But overall, it is what it is.  Some nights I get no sleep and lie there so frustrated and exhausted and just wishing she would sleeeeeeeeeeep.  Some nights I get great sleep and I feel guilty for all the anger and frustration surrounding this issue.  I don’t know.

I still trust that eventually she will sleep through the night on her own and we won’t have to refuse night feedings in order to get there.  She does sometimes do it, which to me says she can do it and will eventually do it.

I’ve decided the only thing I can do is be as consistent as possible.  She will have a nap at around 9, again around 1, again around 4.  This is what our weekday schedule is because of drop off and pick up.  So even on the weekends, when she wakes up at 6am, even though officially according to sleep training she should be going to sleep around 8 we keep her up until 9.  Her morning nap is in the car most days, on the weekends it can be in the crib.  Her second nap I’m trying to be in the crib always.  Her third nap is often in the car, and if not in the car then on my bo.ob after the big kids come home while we sit on the couch and watch TV.  So on a weekday, she has two car naps and one crib nap (or one car, one crib, one bo.ob nap).  It is what it is.

My experience with babies and children is that the more predictable you are the better it is for everyone.  So not only is the routine around going to sleep important but also the timing seems to be important.  Yes we read a book and sing a song.  But we do it at the same time every day.  At first I thought it would be enough if the routine was the same but I think that’s not true, I think the rhythm of the whole day has to be the same, even if that routine means keeping her awake longer than I’m “supposed” to every day.

Smushy is a sweet, snuggly, happy, smiley, lovey baby.  But she needs her rest or she gets clingy and needy and grouchy and – surprisingly – drooly.  The more tired she is the droolier she gets, I’ve noticed.  So this is what I can do for her.  We’ll see how it goes this week, and if I’m right and this is what she needs, then this is what I will do.  And once the chaos that has been the last several months of sleep disaster finally settles, I’ll go see people outside of the house again.

AND THEN THE NEXT SLEEP TRANSITION WILL HAPPEN WHEN SHE DROPS THE THIRD NAP IN 6 WEEKS.

Swim class

Until now I haven’t been able to give the kids much exposure to the water because of the unsafe ratio of parent to child.  We went to the pool a few times over the summer and it was a disaster.  We went to Florida on a family trip and that was much better, we convinced them to wear their life vests and they were excited to go in the pool with their older cousins.

But this morning they had their first swim class.  At summer camp they will be going to swim lessons every morning.  This is part of the reason I’m sending them to that summer program.  But since we have been stuck at home on Sunday mornings for Smushy’s naps, I figured we could sign them up for a class those days and I can take them out for some time with my big kids.

Long story short, I just bought myself a new swim top online so that next Sunday I can go in the pool with them.

Banana actually was great, and was happy to jump into the pool even though they weren’t supposed to be jumping in.  But Apple was so terrified, and the teachers were kind of just yanking them off the side and having them go in, so that made it a lot worse for him.  After they unexpectedly pulled him in, he almost didn’t want to sit on the edge of the pool anymore.  I don’t blame him.  He was terrified.

Thankfully at least one of the other parents will need to be in the water next time, too.  But I had to buy a new bathing suit top because the only one I have is from pre-nursing days, and also pre-three-children days.  So it is a tight tankini top that rides up and shows my belly, and is also too small for my chest.  And seeing as how all the other parents there are dads, I felt like maybe I should keep my girls a little more contained.  Just like how I told Banana she can’t wear a too-small swimsuit in public anymore, I also maybe should cover myself a little bit …

Also had to buy different swim caps.  The ones in the picture, while super cute, are really tight and pulled their hair.  And I assume if I’m going in the water they will want me to wear a swim cap too, even though my hair is so short.  Lycra swim caps?  Crazy new swim cap technology right there.

I am excited for swim class.  I really hope that it helps Apple and Banana feel more comfortable in the water.  I want them to enjoy swimming.  I want to take them to the pool this summer with Smushy (I’m going to buy a water-approved baby carrier for her I think).  I feel bad that I haven’t been able to give them swim lessons before this, when they were younger and less fearful.  It makes me want to make sure Smushy gets in the pool a lot now while she is still a baby and doesn’t know to be afraid.

Here’s hoping next week is a better one…