Beauty and the Slow Blink

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I never considered postpartum hair loss until a friend mentioned it to me on Instagram five months ago. I said I liked some new hair products I tried, and she said,

"Let's see how it does with your postpartum falling out/ baby hairs. They are awful." 

I chuckled in the way that smug people pat others on the head and thought, Oh, please. Everyone said my hair would change while I was pregnant, too, and that never happened. Lies! She warned that it wouldn't start until 3-6 months postpartum. I shrugged. At only four weeks postpartum, my ego was still slightly inflated from delivering naturally. 

Postpartum hair loss? Pshhh. Please. I just pushed a baby out sans drugs, muthalovuh! The rules of mere mortals no longer apply. 

Oh, how humbling parenting can be. The day Press turned four months old, my hair started falling out. By "falling out," I mean shedding like a homeless cat mid-day in August in Texas. I was in the shower combing conditioner through my hair with my fingers when I realized my hands were full of my own hair. (Did Cousin It have hands? If he did, that's what they would have looked like.) I was used to some shedding, but I started to wonder if I was going to have bald spots. To keep it all from clogging up the drain, I've always been in the habit of putting my hair on the shower wall and then wiping it off and throwing it away afterward. Do you do that too?

For the last two months, my hair has been everywhere. Like, everywhere. On the floor of every room of the house, the seat of my car, my office desk, my purse, the hair tie around my wrist, the sink, my clothes. I told S that I was losing my hair, and he said, 

"I know. I threw away the wig I found in the shower yesterday." (Oops!) These are the romantic one-liners we exchange these days. Despite losing what seems to be a third of my hair, it is still as thick, wavy, and frizzy as ever, so... RIDDLE ME THIS. I'm so confused.

* * * * *

As if losing all of my hair (and none of it at the same time) wasn't bad enough, my child gave me a little taste of her future pre-teen self. Zip-a-dee-do-da! 

Presley is very alert and follows the conversation when S and I are talking. Her eyes bounce back and forth between us like a tennis ball. Her eyes stare very intensely, and her lifted chin exposes her precious little neck which is usually hidden beneath that scrumptious baby fat. Recently, she decided that she wanted to join the conversation. With much determination, she let out that dreaded scream-talk I mentioned yesterday. With a low, soft voice, I said, 

"Presley. Please do not do that. Nobody likes that. It hurts Mama's ears." She slowly turned her head from S to me, held her stoic glance for three seconds, and then blinked her eyes. My child slow-blinked me. I was utterly taken aback. Before I could even react, S was practically wheezing with laughter. I gasped.

"Excuse me? Did you just slow-blink your mama?" Then I started laughing. And then Presley started laughing. 

It was so well executed that I wanted to slow clap her slow blink.

Sweet P: 6 Months Old

Monday, August 31, 2015

15 lbs., 14.5 oz.

25.25 in.

  • We were surprised she wasn't even 16 lbs. at her last appointment. Our arms could have sworn that our healthy girl had grown much more than that! She is right on track and wearing size 6 months clothing (a few 9 month pieces too).
  • She sits up completely unassisted and is much more independent in playing. But still hates when we're out of view.
  • She rolls and scoots a lot. Look away for ten seconds, and she's on the other side of her play area. She is getting closer and closer to crawling (although we're not expecting it too soon). She pushes up onto her hands and knees, and then lifts her tummy. Core muscles! (Insert flexed arm emoji here.) It is so fascinating to watch her learn how to control and maneuver her body.

  • She now has two bottom teeth that make her grin that much more irresistible! On August 15, she took two full naps in her crib in one day (a first!), but then we had the most hellish night. She was scream-crying until 3:00 AM, we slept for about two hours, and then she was back to being inconsolable. The culprit? Her first tooth. Fortunately, that terrible night has been the worst of her teething. No fever, no heavy drooling. Just some fussiness. (Insert praise hands emoji here.)
  • She holds her own bottle now. #boss 
  • She begins every night in her crib and then moves to our bedroom during the night/early morning. Yeah, yeah. I know. You probably want to tell me that we're making her a "bad" sleeper and that we'll totally pay the price when we have to sleep train her later. We're doing what works for us. Like much of parenting, we'll figure out what "our way" is as we go.

  • We are easing into baby led weaning right now, but right before she turned six months old, we did let her try a blueberry since I was going to be out of town on the actual day. Her expressions had us rolling with laughter, and we caught all of it on video.
  • She reaches for everything which can be both a nightmare (grabbing food off my plate) or adorable (touching my face and leaning in to kiss). 
  • She "scream talks" which is wildly unpleasant for everyone in the house except for her. We may have a future Broadway beltress in the making.
  • We started number and word activities with her, because every parent thinks his/her child is a genius in the making, right? We won't know for a long while whether or not it's working, but it can't hurt to try.

  • I was away from her for the first time for four days (!!!!), and we all survived. S was sure to videotape my return home, and you guys. Her reaction to me made me heart explode into a million pieces and then sprinkle down like glitter in a snow globe. GOD, I LOVE THAT GIRL.
  • Weekend IHOP family dates are totally our jam these days. Casual, baby-friendly, New York cheesecake pancakes. Boom.
  • Our song is Echosmith's "Bright." If I start singing it, she's totally with me. Forever and always, one of my favorite Baby Presley moments will be when she looks up at me when I sing "You make me sing ooooooh, la la laaaa, You make a girl go oooooooh, I'm in love, love."
  • The easiest way to make her smile is to chant "Goomba," her nickname.

We love you, Presley Noel!
Say it with me: Goomba! Goomba! Goomba! Goomba!

Past updates:  
1 Month, 2 Months, 3 Months, 4 Months, 5 Months

Sleep is a Many Splendored Thing

Friday, August 28, 2015

** The nice people at Merino Kids sent us a sleep sack to use in exchange for a product review. The opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this post.

When Presley was two, three and four months old, I naively started to believe that we knew her sleep routine and that we had a great sleeper on our hands... and then she kindly jolted me back to reality.

Usually, she would be up once or twice during the night, but I had her back to sleep within 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, she slept for 7-hour stretches. Those nights, I celebrated quietly to myself while biting my bottom lip and pumping my fist in the air. (Not really... or did I?) It was fun while it lasted, but I eventually learned that I was not destined to be one of those cool moms who would get to plaster her child's bedhead all over Instagram with proclamations of parenting a child who sleeps from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM followed by ten "praise hands" emojis. It just wasn't meant to be.

Figuring out baby sleeping patterns and routines can be tricky. There is a lot of information on the internet which is helpful and overwhelming at the same time. Friends and family share their experience, but it doesn't always work, because all babies are different. We have tried slumber music which grabs her attention initially but doesn't lull her to sleep.

S knows her nap schedule really well since he is with her all day. I've tried to establish a bedtime routine so that she knows what to expect and understands that it is time to sleep. Now that she is teething, she may or may not be cranky in the evening, so we roll with whatever mood she is in that night. We focus on keeping her comfortable which means holding her just the way she likes, nursing her, and dressing her so that she is cozy but won't overheat.

Keeping her from getting too warm is something that we've been conscious of since she was born. Being a February baby, she was born when it was still very cold outside. It snowed and rained a lot the week she was born, so naturally, I was really focused on keeping her warm. Well, it turns out that when it comes to body temperature, she takes after her daddy, not her perpetually cold mommy! This summer has been hotter than usual in Memphis, so we limit the amount of clothing she wears. While I have friends in cooler climates dressing their babies is cute ensembles, I'm like, "Yeah, a diaper and short-sleeved cotton onesie will be just fine... or maybe just a diaper?" Ha!

We sleep with a fan on at night, because we like the feeling of air circulating in the room. Since Presley can't sleep with a blanket yet, it's the one time of day that she actually wears clothes (long-sleeved shirt, socks, and leg warmers or pants). She has a habit of using her shirt as a teething toy, so her belly ends up exposed. I looked at sleep sacks online for a very long time, but to be honest, I didn't want to fork over the cash for a good quality one. What if she didn't like it? What if it made her too warm?

Merino Kids, a company which I had already heard and read so much about, sent Presley a sleep sack, and hello! I get the whole organic cotton sleep sack thing now. It's true that you get what you pay for. It's a wearable blanket that she can wear for at least another year. She doesn't get tangled up in it, she doesn't overheat, and it is soft yet durable. We haven't had to do middle-of-the-night diaper changes for a few months now, but if we still did, it would be a breeze since the sleep sack unzips from the bottom. It's easy to get her in and out. And! And! It is designed so that it can be used while a baby is secured in a car seat. Why didn't I think of that? So smart.

Keeping her comfortable means better sleep for her which means better sleep for Mommy and Daddy. Yes, please!

Merino Kids has sleepwear like THIS, THIS, and THIS in addition to sleep bags. If only there was a sleep bag with magic sleep dust that makes babies sleep through the night. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they come out with that soon. ;)

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