Friday, October 23, 2015

Sweet P: 8 Months

Communicates her frustration before she has a meltdown
Animal lover
Suuuper sweet (Not sassy like I thought she'd be)

She is probably about 18 pounds.
She wears 17-inch headbands.
She wears size 9 month clothes.
She wears size 3 diapers.

Her mouth being wiped after she eats
Getting dressed
Wearing shoes

Petting Amelie and Boone
Watching football
Being slowly raised above our heads
Me singing "Bright" by Echosmith
"Brushing" her teeth with her training toothbrush
Seeing the world up-side-down
The sound of coughing (She's thinks it is hilarious!)

Crawling like a speed demon. (Remember's last Friday's post? Ha!)
Pulls herself up to standing using anything and everything.
"Crawls" on her hands and feet (not knees) and does a mean downward-facing dog.
Can now climb which takes "watchful parenting" to a new level. The stairs are her rock wall.

Food: Her favorites are...
Milk (Nursing and bottle-feeding make her happy.)
Black beans
Pinto beans
Water out of her sippy cup

She is a tummy sleeper.
She has slept through the night all but three nights since October 6. HALLELUJAH!
She takes two naps during the day. (Never really at the same time or for the same length of time.)

Sign Language We Use:
Thank you
I love you
Cat (which we also use for Amelie and Boone)

She is usually missing her right sock.
She kicks her right leg a lot, even when she's nursing.
She pats things (see photo above) -- an ottoman, my chest, Daddy's arm, her walker.
She still whispers ahhhhhs back and forth with us.
She uses her thumb to push the top of her shirt into her mouth to soothe herself.
She loves to feel material and textures under her feet. #shoelessflowerchild

Fun Moments for Mom & Dad:
Taking her to her first big event (an Alzheimer's Association event with Mommy's co-workers)
Pushing her in a cart at the grocery store
Taking her to the Kids Harvest Festival
Seating her in a high chair when we dine out
Seeing her stand up without assistance
Seeing her in headbands (that I made!)

So much joy and wonder is packed into your being, Presley! 
We love you so much!

Past updates:  
1 Month, 2 Months, 3 Months, 4 Months, 5 Months, 6 Months, 7 Months

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kids Harvest Festival

This is Presley's first autumn and Halloween season earth-side. We wanted to celebrate by taking her out to see some pumpkins and enjoy the cool weather sweeping through Memphis, so we hit up the Kids Harvest Festival at the Agricenter. I wanted to get a great photo for our Christmas cards, but Baby Girl wasn't having it. There was far too much to look at, and it was approaching nap time. Watching her take in everything around her was so sweet. She is a people watcher. She studied a single piece of straw in her hand. She kept her Daddy close but wanted to look everywhere but at him. Seeing young kids decorating pumpkins and boarding the hay ride made me wish she was older to enjoy the fun, but I loved our short time there anyway. The simple act of observing was her fun.

Presley in pink arygle is a new fave. Also, fatherhood looks reeeeeeeally good on this guy. Ow ow!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Presley Noel's Great Escape

Presley: Hi, Amelie! (waves hello)

Amelie: Hey.

Presley: I'm coming over!

Amelie: It's cool. You can stay over there. We can chat like this.

Presley: Just give me a minute.

Amelie: No, really. It's cool.

Presley: I've just... gotta... Come on, legs!

Amelie: I think Mommy and Daddy built that wall of things for a reason, little girl.

Presley: I'm... almost...

Amelie: Crap. (exits stage right)

Presley: Hey! Buddy! Where are you going?

Amelie: . . .

Presley: It's all good. I'm right behind ya, man!

Happy Friday, friends.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Our Sleep Training = The Internet + Gut Feeling

Let's talk about sleep training.

Really, who has all the answers to sleep training? I've been banging my head against a wall since, basically, day 1 of Presley's life trying to figure out how this whole sleep training thing is supposed to go down. How old should she be? How will we know she's ready? How the heck do you do it? If I love snuggling her so much, will I ever be ready? To be honest, I haven't laid a finger on a book about sleep training, because...
  • looking at the Google search results alone was already overwhelming, 
  • I secretly bargained with God that she'd be a "good sleeper" without any issues whatsoever,
  • it seemed time-consuming, and I'm already exhausted from work and home life, and
  • friends had so many different answers, because... "every baby is different"... which made me wonder why I was even trying to decode sleep training in the first place.

Excuses, excuses.

Until last week, dear husband and I have only loosely talked about Presley's sleeping. He would ask me questions since I've had more experience with babies, but I had little more than tidbits of information that I read online. Having a lot of family and friends with babies isn't the same as raising a baby. In true millennial fashion, I crowdsourced on Facebook to get some first-hand advice. As expected, everyone offered different approaches.

Some raved about The Sleepeasy Solution.
Some talked about some level of crying it out.
Some cited all the ways crying it out may ruin a child.
Some mentioned diffusing essential oils.
Some proudly stated that they are happy to co-sleep until further notice.
Some shared that their baby was in the crib from the beginning and didn't need sleep training.

WHAT THE HECK. I was left feeling more informed but more confused.

After a few solid weeks of climbing Mount Frustration and nearly drowning in Lake Is This Real Life, something had to give. It seemed like Presley's sleep was getting worse each night. She was waking more often and for up to two hours at a time. As I tried to soothe her back to sleep, she screamed inconsolably. We attributed it to teething and her rapid development from sitting up independently to crawling and standing. I pleaded with her.

Then, we made a decision. We had talked so much about how much she'd grown and changed. Maybe she was ready to try sleeping on her own. We felt ready to dip our toe in the water and committed to doing whatever it took to help her stay in her crib for a full night. I warned that they (baby sleep experts) say we might be up all night, but "we have to start somewhere."

We have had eight consecutive nights of Presley sleeping in her crib and almost sleeping completely through the night from 7:45 PM to 6:30 AM -- a far cry from the last two months! We learned that she wasn't sleeping through the night, because we never gave her the chance to try. The second we heard her whine on the monitor, we rushed to her room. The middle-of-the-night transfers to our bed only left her rolling into one of us. Whenever we changed positions in bed, we disturbed her sleep. Whenever she woke up, I popped a boob in her mouth. Now when I hear her on the monitor, I look at the clock. I give her five minutes to put herself back to sleep, but her whimpers usually trail off into silence within 1 to 3 minutes!

I know this isn't the end. I know there will be rough nights in the future with teething, illness, or crummy moods from missing nap time. But right now, all of us are enjoying better sleep at night and happier moods during the day. It took the internet and some gut feeling.

Presley, we apologize for ruining your sleep all this time!

** I do not claim to have all the answers about baby sleep training. If anything, this post proves that I support whatever feels right for any given family.

Friday, October 2, 2015

MySpace Throwback

Happy Friday! Happy October! Are you jealous of the popcorn machine that now lives at my house? (Priorities.)

We're throwing it back to the MySpace days of surveys. Be glad that I'm not bringing back some of my old MySpace profile pictures. Too bad for you. They were so artsy and emo and "look at how carefree I am at 19." (Selfies before there were "selfies" and edited with a heavy hand.) Ahhh, those were the days. Anyway, here's a little A to Z Blog Survey.

A – Age: 31.

B – Biggest Fear:  Snakes!

C – Current Time: 9:32 PM

D – Drink You Had Last: H2O

E – Easiest Person To Talk To:  My dad. We have an easy time talking, and admittedly, we have an easy time getting on each other's nerves if there's a full moon and our moods are just right. ;) But that's what makes it so easy, I guess. We always know we can move past it.

F – Favorite Song: For months, it's been "Bright" by Echosmith, because Presley gets really quiet and looks up at me while I sing it. Her gaze makes me feel all the mama feels. She smiles when I sing "You make me sing oooooh, la la la, You make a girl go oooooh, I'm in love, love." It melts me heart every time. We showed my parents on FaceTime, and it was simply precious!

G – Grossest Memory: My first reaction was to type "Stepping on a snail," and then I thought, "Nope! CHILDBIRTH. And all the fun that happens afterward." TMI?

H – Hometown: Chula Vista, California

I – In Love With:  S and Press, of course!

J – Jealous Of: My former self who got more sleep and fit in all of her clothes.

K – Kindest Person You Know: Man, I've got some really kind friends, but if I have to narrow it down, I'll say Summer, Caitlin, and Annie.

L – Longest Relationship: 9 years (and counting)!

M – Middle Name: Legally, I have two. Marie and my maiden name.

N – Number of Siblings: 2.

O – One Wish: I chuckled as I thought about typing "I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller. I wish I had a girl who looked good. I would call her." (1995 called. They want their lyrics back.) I'm so easily amused these days. I wish I had a million dollars, because... need I explain?

P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: My co-worker talked about a training we're leading next week.

Q – Question You’re Always Asked: What are you? (As in "What is your ethnic background?")

R – Reason To Smile: I have this little girl named Presley and this tall man called S in my life. You may have seen them around this blog a time or two before? ;)

S – Song You Last Sang: See letter F above!

T – Time You Woke Up: 12:55 AM, 3:30 AM, 5:30 AM, and 7:05 AM. Yay, motherhood!

U – Underwear Color: Turquoise.

V – Vacation Destination: I want to go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Paris, London, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Farm Sanctuary.

W – Worst Habit: Saving things. Great for when I need a receipt. Bad for when we have to move.

X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Dental and chest.
Y – Your Favorite Food: Husband's zucchini cakes.

Z – Zodiac Sign: Libra.

Did you learn anything new about me? If you've been dropping by here for awhile, maybe not. But maybe. Enjoy the weekend!