Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sweet P: 5 Months Old

Presley's fifth month of life has been my absolute favorite so far! She has grown and changed so much more than the months before. She's gone from being a cute infant to an active little human with a personality. I realize that this happens with every single baby, but to watch it unfold with a human that I helped create is kind of like watching a magic trick.

She really takes notice of everything around her now. She seems to understand how mirrors work and will make every effort to look at us and the room through the mirror. Of course, she loves to look at herself too! She loves to grab her feet and chew on her socks. I try to steer her away from chewing on her clothes, because I can't imagine that soggy socks feel good at any age, but for now, it's a battle I'm fine with her winning. A few weeks ago, she started sucking her thumb, but she dropped that like a hot potato. Passing fad, I guess.

She reaches for a bottle if she is hungry and recently started grabbing and holding it by herself. No one warned me about how many things I'd feel the first time she grabbed and held a bottle on her own. For starters, I was amazed at her coordination, relieved that she's becoming more independent, and a little sad that she suddenly needs me a little less. See? Active little human!

She hates being alone. If we are out of view, she starts whining or crying, even if we continue talking to her from the kitchen or bathroom. Sometimes we can sneak away if she is occupied in her jumper. When she gets upset, we try to distract her and make her laugh instead of picking her up right away. I can't tell you the number of times I've said, "Press, make like Elsa, and let it go!" before breaking out into song. I've started tap dancing which makes her laugh. Should I be offended?

Dada is still her best buddy. She keep tabs on his whereabouts at all times. Even when I am playing with her, she will occasionally look back at him as if to ask for his permission or to make sure he is watching her. I can already hear her little toddler voice saying, "Daddy, watch! Daddy, look at me! Daddy, watch me do this!"

Her favorite game is what I call "Dada's Thrill Ride." He makes a beeping sound, first slowly and then with increased frequency and then shoots her into the air like a rocket. She loves the anticipation. If he starts beeping while she's whining, she gets quiet, smiles, and turns her head toward him to wait for the launch. We have it on video, and I watch it on repeat. So precious!

There were a lot of "firsts" in the last month!

She grew into her jumper which suddenly made her seem so much more independent. She doesn't care to jump in it, though. She likes to stand most of the time with brief sitting breaks. Might we have an early walker on our hands?! Maybe?! (That would be both exciting and scary.)

We heard the first light giggle of hers on May 27 but it never got beyond a breathy smile. On July 4 she giggled when her dad poked her belly. Naturally, we kept playing until she was all giggled out, because we wanted to hear it as much as possible. We finally heard a full laugh on July 22 which was pretty exciting for us. It was like winning the lottery! Now we will do anything to make her laugh. We must look and sound so silly. Oh, to be a fly on our wall!

She rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time on July 5. I have a ten-minute video of her working on it the day before. It was so cute to see her trying over and over again. Something must have clicked over night, because the next morning, I greeted her and her dad downstairs, and boom. She rolled to her tummy!

She sits up and can control her movement forward and back up. (See next photo.) We're still working on her independent side-to-side movement. 

She grew a lot last month, but man. Her sleep was a joke. She dove into four month sleep regression like a synchronized swimmer. Sometimes she was wide awake at 3:00 AM and ready to play and chat. I sure do love a smiley baby, especially my own, but for the love of god -- 3:00 in the morning? I only survived, because my husband is the MVP of this team and took her downstairs to let me go back to sleep. Insert "praise hands" emoji here. We've now moved on from those early morning parties, thank goodness. She generally sleeps from 8:30 PM to 6:00 AM with a very brief middle of the night feeding. At that point, I put her in bed next to me in bed until morning.

We're doing our best to get photos and video of her, because she is growing so quickly and we don't want to miss these sweet moments.

Happy five months, Press! We love you!

Past monthly updates can be found HERE.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It Hit Me

For two days, I was absolutely positive that I was in need of nose surgery. The slightest touch while washing my face or blowing my nose made my eyes water. Generally, I'm the type of person who ignores things that might cause others to, you know, actually address the issue. Paper cut? I'll get to that in a sec. Burned my finger? Let me finish flat-ironing this piece of hair first. You get it. I did my best to ignore the pain at first. I'm not sure that I even gave much thought to what was causing it. I just assumed it would go away or that my nose would fall off.

On the second day, it felt like worse, and I was sure it would be black and blue by the end of the day. Short of digging for gold, I sandwiched my nostril between two fingers in an attempt to figure out why my nose was acting like an engorged boob (because that is also a terrible feeling, for the record). I promptly reported to my husband that I must have a piece of loose cartilage floating around the tip of my nose. How that would happen, I couldn't tell you, but it seemed like the only explanation. Have you ever wondered how many times you touch your nose in a day? Injure it, and you'll soon find out. All I had to do was think about my nose, and my eyes would well up.

It had been awhile since I felt pain that brought tears to my eyes. Was I birthing a child through my nasal passage?

Dear God. The horror. Such a terrible visual of that. I'm sorry.

So I went about my usual post-work routine: drive home, unpack and prep breast pump for the evening, change my clothes, play with Presley, eat dinner, bathe Presley, put Presley down for the night, shower, set clothes for the next morning, brush and floss teeth, check e-mail, pump, and go to bed. I just couldn't figure it out! The unsolvable riddle! Hoooooooow did this happen?

At 2:00 in the morning, it hit me! Literally, it hit me. Presley's foot, that is.

She currently sleeps in a co-sleeper in the middle of the bed, and her cute little feet happen to lay right next to my face. She kicked my injured nose, and it took everything in me to keep from screaming. I'm no longer a soprano, but I could have been in that moment. As it turns out, Presley had kicked me in the face a few nights before and then kicked me again in the exact same spot. I'm sure there is an "in your face" joke in there somewhere, but it's too soon, people!

Press is really making me work for this whole motherhood thing, as if birthing her wasn't enough.

Ninja Baby: 1
Mom: 0

Monday, July 13, 2015

Dear Presley: I Want You to Know

Dear Presley,

It's been three weeks since we laid on the guest room bed and napped together for the first time. Your legs hugged mine while your gaze danced between my eyes and your hands, by which you had recently become so fascinated. We talked -- you with your varying intonation of vowels and me with questions of how much you enjoyed our trip to visit my co-workers that morning. I carried on as if we were engaged in the same conversation, and I laughed that you were obviously babbling about the wonder of fingers while I gushed about how irresistibly cute you are. The sun gently shone through the closed blinds, and the sounds of the neighborhood were soft and calm. As time passed, words became quieter; eyelids became heavier. We napped for three hours, but what you don't know is that I woke up twice. I stared at you and took note of all your baby-ness before drifting off to sleep again.

I want you to know that I didn't know it then, but I know now that it was a special day. That afternoon with you gave me so much comfort after several weeks of trying to figure out how to be a good full-time working mom and how to love you and be loved by you as much as your dad who spends all day with you -- who gets to be your greatest influence right now, your first love. I hope you felt just as comforted by me. As you grow up, I want you to know that no matter how busy I am or how old we become or how many times we disagree (which will be never, because you'll always listen to your mama, right?), you are my greatest treasure and accomplishment.

Know that. Always.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Who Wore It Best?

I'm adding a little #ThrowBackThursday flare to the blog today.

My grandmother made this dress for me 30 years ago, and Presley tried it on last week. What's old is new again! There's not much to say other than... who wore it best?

When she was a newborn, I thought she was my mini me, but now, she is so clearly half-him/half-me. Well, until we realized she is 100% Amish.

BAHAHAHAHAHA! But really, how cute is that bonnet? Homegirl makes Amish chic look goooood.

Monday, July 6, 2015

"It's Been One Year Since Daddy Found Out About You!"

July 4 is a special day in American history, but it is especially special to my little family. As I dressed Presley this morning, I said to her, "It's been one year since Daddy found out about you!"

* * * * * * * * * *

Spring was a busy season last year. My MIL visited, my parents visited, and then I drove across the state of Tennessee with my parents with stops in Nashville and Memphis. In early June, S and I drove to Kentucky to see the Broadway tour of The Book of Mormon, and that was our last hurrah before he set out for more business travel. He was gone for a few weeks, and when he returned, he was sick... for awhile. He just couldn't kick the crud. For almost two weeks, he was trying to rid himself of it. At one point, I thought, "Oh, great. I think I have whatever you brought home from your trip." I spent a day nauseous and passed out on the couch. I anticipated two weeks of sickness, but miraculously, I was better the next day. A bullet dodged! Right.

It took a few days for me to realize that the one-day yucky feeling wasn't a contagious bug. It might actually be caused by a person... growing inside me. Every day, I looked at my Kindara app as my "time of the month" approached. I felt different, and I felt so sure, but I didn't want to say anything until the almighty pregnancy test told me it was so. That "time" came and went, and I started getting really antsy and excited.

I was so sure that I was pregnant that I didn't want to spend the money on a pregnancy test. I only told a few people this, but I bargain shopped for pregnancy tests! I went to CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Kroger to a) look for the smallest package of tests ("Why can't I buy just one or two? I don't need four!") and b) look for the lowest unit price. It sounds so ridiculous, but it's completely true. My cheap ass didn't want to spend a lot of money to be told what I already knew. Pregnancy tests may as well have been fortune tellers to me. For the record, the best deal I found was at CVS.

I peed on that stick of a fortune teller on June 25. I was still, ahem, taking the test when a plus sign appeared. It happened almost immediately! I wanted to scream and cry, but instead, I looked at myself in the mirror and whispered, "It's happening! We're having a baby." Do you know how hard it is to keep something like that a secret? I do. I did it for ten days! I didn't want to tell S when he wasn't feeling well, so I waited.

* * * * * * * * * *

He worked on July 4. When he got home, I could tell he was feeling much better. I asked, "How was your day?" He launched into a story about something that happened that day. He was feeling good and in a good mood which meant it was time.

I put an envelope in front of him on the kitchen counter when he wasn't looking.

He thought it was mail but then realized it wasn't stamped. "What's this?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean you don't know?"

"I guess you have to open it."

He read the card... and then he read it again, because he was trying to process what he was reading. It was a card to him from the baby. He looked up at me. I stood up and pulled up my shirt to expose a package of yellow rubber gloves tucked next to my belly; he always joked that he wouldn't change a diaper without rubber gloves. "Surprise!" (It sounds weird, but it was supposed to be like the baby inside my belly was giving him the gift.)

Our future child had been referred to as "Banjo" since we were months into our relationship. It was a joke that then became commonplace. It was never "when we have a baby," it was "when we have Banjo."

"Wait, what?" This is where I started tearing up. "Are you pregnant?" I nodded my head, let out a laugh, and started crying. We spent the next five minutes crying and laughing and hugging and swimming in "oh my god"s.

* * * * * * * * * *

It was a truly wonderful day. I hadn't planned to tell him on the Fourth of July, but that's how it panned out, and now the day is extra special for us.

Side note: July 4 also happens to be Boone's birthday. When we met him at 5 months old, his name was Sam (as in Uncle Sam), but the name just did not fit. Because of his adventurous spirit, we renamed him Boone (as in Daniel Boone). Just another reason why July 4 is special to our family!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Our Favorite Baby Items: Months 2, 3, and 4

It's been a hot minute, but I'm back our favorite baby items from the last three months. (You can see our favorite items from Presley's first month HERE.) Let's dive in, shall we?

  1.  BioGaia Probiotic Drops w/ vitamin D: We started using these drops when she was about three weeks old, but I wanted to put them to good use before I shared my thoughts. I'm happy to report that they've been great! Early on, we worried that Presley might have colic, and we were ready to take any and all tips from people we knew. My sister told me these drops were really helpful for my nephew and although a bit pricey, they have been totally worth it. $30 per bottle may seem like a lot, but when it comes to keeping your baby happy and well, no price tag is too big. After trying a few things, we found that they were the most effective option for us. We've been using them for three months and will continue to use them!
  2. Leg warmers:When I received leg warmers as a gift, I was a little disappointed. They were so cute, but she wouldn't grow into them until we were approaching summertime in Memphis. Heat and humidity. Yuck. But to my surprise, they came in very handy! She wears a long-sleeved shirt, socks, and leggings to sleep every night. They keep her just warm enough, and they make changing her diaper in the wee hours of the morning much easier than a onesie or pants.
  3. Boogie Wipes: These wipes are gentle on her nose, and they make clean up easy. We keep a pack at both changing stations in our house. They're usually used in conjunction with #5 on the list. :)
  4. Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra: This is obviously a mommy item, but it counts. I would be lost without this thing. Whether I'm pumping at home or at work, I can continue whatever I'm doing (like typing this blog post right now!).
  5. Nose Frida: When you can't teach a baby how to blow her nose, the struggle is real. In our pre-baby married life, I was completely fascinated with this product, and S was completely repulsed. But guess who uses it all the time? YEAH. He sings the praises of the Nose Frida now. At the sound or sight of a single boogie, he is the first to say to her, "Time to Frida!" It works so well! Presley seems to find it funny. She smiles and holds still while we suck out the nose monsters.
  6. Kirkland baby wipes from Costco: Hands down, the best baby wipes, in my opinion. They're strong quality and easy on sensitive skin. The up&up brand at Target is slightly cheaper, but they're thinner and smaller, so we end up using more of them at a time -- which means we're not actually saving money. Costco to the rescue! (We also use Kirkland diapers.)
  7. T.L.Care Mittens: Press was in mittens consistently for the first two months. We stopped putting them on her when she was about nine weeks old and I was able to trim her tiny baby nails without worrying I'd cut off her entire finger. The T.L.Care brand mittens are the only ones that would stay on her hands. I know there are Velcro mittens or babies, but these were much cheaper, and they worked perfectly.
  8. up&up brand from Target: Other than the baby wipes, I'm all about the up&up baby items at Target! We buy diapers, diaper pail refills, and breast milk storage bags at Target. Same quality as the big name brands but for less money. It's a no-brainer.

With three close friends and two co-workers expecting right now (four of which are first-time parents), I know I'll be asked what our necessities were for Presley. I know, because I asked my sister and friends questions all the time when creating the baby registry. Instead of racking my brain to remember, I can refer back to these "favorite" posts.

That's all for today. I get today off from work in observance of July 4th, so I'm going to get back to lovin' on this cute little baby that now rules the household. Party on, and be safe this weekend!

* This post contains some Amazon affiliate links. If you would like to purchase those items, I would appreciate the commission. Thank you!