Huck | 11 Months

Stats:

  • Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz
  • 1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz
  • 2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz
  • 3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz
  • 4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz
  • 5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz
  • 6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz
  • 7 Months – no official weight check, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 lbs
  • 8 Months – 18 lbs even
  • 9 Months – 18 lbs 10 oz
  • 10 Months – 19 lbs 6 oz
  • 11 Months – 19 lbs 11 oz

Still wearing size 4 diapers and we finally moved on to mostly 12 month clothes. We also had to switch back from Luvs to Pampers because he kept having poop blowouts every single day. On the floor, on the rug, me, him, the couch, many toys… the list goes on. 😑

Eating: No major changes here, still doing Nutramigen formula and baby food/solids. Still eating quite a bit throughout the day and has finally dropped a couple of night bottles most nights. I started making sure I was tanking him up during the day and I think that helped for the nighttime.

Food Likes:

  • Puffs
  • Cheerios
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter is still his fave
  • Potatoes
  • Pizza

He doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of meat. He doesn’t make a face or anything but it’s like he’s not really sure what to do with it, like it’s not something you’re supposed to swallow. So he’ll chew on it and play with it but then spits it out at some point.

But he love love loves to eat anything anyone else is eating. Doesn’t matter if you’re feeding him the exact same thing, he wants your food.

Sleep: Lately we’ve been having the tiniest bit of progress with sleep. Like I said, I’ve been filling him up on food like crazy during the day and right before bed time and I think it’s helped him go mostly through the night. We usually put him down around 7:30 PM and he’s made it until 4/5 AM several times now. He usually still needs a bottle or some type of comfort and he’ll go back to sleep until 7/7:30. And the night we rolled over 11 months, he actually slept through the whole night for the first time since we’ve been home from the hospital!

Milestones:

  • Walking more confidently
  • Squats and stands on his own
  • Takes off from standing or from the furniture on his own
  • Can climb on things 🙈
  • Finally says mama!
  • Waves Bye Bye all the time now
  • Claps and says “yay”
  • Has become quite the little chatterbox, sounds like the Tasmanian devil when he gets mad and is talking his gibberish

Medical Milestones

We’re still going to physical therapy once a week but I think we’re alllllmost done.

Likes:

  • Maggie (our dog)
  • Any dog, really
  • Being outside, always
  • Being out at the shop
  • Banging objects together
  • Snuggling with his blanket
  • Whitlee’s Jeep
  • Walking
  • His little ride-on car
  • Turning faucets on and off
  • Flushing the toilet
  • Shutting the dryer door
  • Biting 😆

Dislikes:

  • Being cold
  • Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately
  • Getting his face wiped
  • Getting his diaper changed
  • Having something taken away from him
  • Physical therapy

My oh my, the personality that has emerged this month has been something else! Huck suddenly became the silliest, craziest, mischievous, snuggliest little boy. Lately if I catch him with something he isn’t supposed to have, he smiles and squeals, then runs from me! He’s also learned how to flush the toilet, so add that to his love for unrolling the entire roll of toilet paper and his sudden talent of climbing on Whitlee’s potty stool, he has recently been banned from the bathroom. He’s also started biting, not out of anger, but because he thinks it’s funny when you react to it! He’s wild, y’all.

Speaking of, his birthday party is coming up so soon. We’re doing a “wild one” theme, which I think is ridiculously appropriate at this point, but I seriously can’t believe it’s already almost been a year. So many things to reflect on, so many things to be thankful for, and so many things to look forward to.

Happy eleven months, big boy! You are almost ONE!

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Huck | 10 Months

Stats:

  • Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz
  • 1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz
  • 2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz
  • 3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz
  • 4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz
  • 5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz
  • 6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz
  • 7 Months – no official weight check, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 lbs
  • 8 Months – 18 lbs even
  • 9 Months – 18 lbs 10 oz
  • 10 Months – 19 lbs 6 oz

Still wearing size 4 diapers and 9-12 month clothes for the most part. Occasionally a bigger size creeps in there, depending on the brand. Seems like he’s outgrowing things length wise sometimes and then sometimes it’s his big tummy. So different having a bigger baby this go round!

Eating: No major changes here, still doing Nutramigen formula and baby food/solids. He usually eats quite a bit throughout the day and will sit in his high chair 2-3 times a day for real food. We basically have to either hold him or put him in his high chair if anyone else is eating because he will help himself to your plate. He’s not picky at all!

Food Likes:

  • Puffs
  • Cheerios
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter is still his fave

I haven’t found anything he seems to dislike yet.

Sleep: He’s still sleeping in his crib, in his room. We did a little bit of boot camp for sleep, per the recommendation from his cardiologist. In the hospital they make them eat on a 3 hour schedule, so once we came home that’s what he was used to. After he recently started only snacking on his bottle and falling back asleep instead of actually eating, we figured he was waking out of habit and not necessarily hunger. So we let him fuss it out a little and we’re now down to two night feedings with hopes of weaning the early morning one soon.

Unfortunately, because of the awkward layout of our little house, he and Whitlee pretty much share a room, so it’s hard to let him cry it out even for a minute because I’m so worried he’ll wake her up.

Milestones:

  • Cut tooth number eight
  • Took his first steps!!

This is so major to us because due to the time spent in the hospital and just the toll a heart condition and two open heart surgeries takes on the body, physical and developmental delays are super common with heart babies. But Huck has seriously not missed a beat since we’ve been home. I even went back and looked at when Whitlee took her first steps because it was pretty early. Well, she took her first steps the week before she turned 10 months. Huck’s first steps occurred…. the week before 10 months. What?! Since then, his confidence is growing and he’s taken many steps and will stand on his own.

He’s also started saying dog. So we have da-da and dog.

Spoiler alert – he does finally say mama but it technically didn’t happen until the next month!

Medical Milestones:

We have been going to physical therapy once a week in Houston and he has made excellent progress with his torticollis. They also started helping him engage his glutes when pulling up and showed me exercises for him to do at home to encourage it. I really think this is what set the walking in motion, just gaining strength and balance at physical therapy and the fact that I work with him on developmental stuff pretty much every day since he’s been home.

But he took a few steps for them finally and they said as soon as he’s walking well on his own, we’ll probably be done with PT!

Likes:

  • Eating big people food
  • Whitlee
  • Maggie (our dog)
  • Any dog, really
  • Being outside, always
  • Being out at the shop
  • Playing with daddy’s tools
  • Pulling hair
  • Baths
  • Trucks
  • Anything that lights up or makes noise
  • Snuggling with his blanket

Dislikes:

  • Being cold
  • Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately
  • Getting his face wiped

Huck’s little personality has seriously started to shine lately and he’s such a silly little guy. You can usually get him to smile with just a funny face and he’s very particular about what he wants. He’s obsessed with dogs and kids, will take you down for a bite of peanut butter, and can unroll an entire roll of toilet paper in about 3 seconds flat. Happy 10 months, sweet boy! You are the perfect completion to this already crazy family. ❤️

Huck | 9 Months

Stats:

  • Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz
  • 1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz
  • 2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz
  • 3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz
  • 4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz
  • 5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz
  • 6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz
  • 7 Months – approx. 17 lbs
  • 8 Months – 18 lbs even
  • 9 Months – 18 lbs 10 oz

Wearing size 4 diapers comfortably and all 9-12 month clothes. I feel like he’s growing like a weed, and is SO strong. Daddy says it looks like he has muscles.

Eating: Huck has been doing really well on the nutramigen. I’m always surprised at how decently he eats, because nutramigen smells like dog food, but he likes it, so whatever works! He’s also eating anything we give him – baby food or big people food. Seems to prefer big people food over baby food but the other day, put down two of the baby food pouches back to back. And then another later in the day. Plus all normal bottles. 😳 He’s still taking several bottles throughout the night, but I’m hoping to wean those soon.

Food Likes:

  • Puffs
  • Cheerios
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Peanut Butter is his fave

No major food dislikes yet. He makes funny faces for most fruits but still eats them

Sleep: The biggest change for sleep is that we just moved him to his crib. He’s still waking up 2-3 times a night to eat but I usually sleep a little bit more solid between wake ups since I don’t hear every little sound he makes anymore. I’m hoping he starts sleeping through the night one day.. this momma is so tired.

Milestones:

  • Can sit himself back up from crawling
  • Crawling on all fours occasionally
  • Army crawling super fast
  • Pulling up on anything and everything
  • Cruising the furniture
  • Can stand unassisted if you trick him into thinking he’s holding out to something
  • Just started walking behind the walker toy
  • Cut tooth number seven

Medical Milestones:

We went back in January to the cardiologist for a check up and another echo. He was super calm and they were able to enough to get a good look at his arch and they determined that it wasn’t narrowing and everything looked great! We got released to visits every six months and we weaned one more med. Which left us on one daily med, that he’ll be on long term.

We had our physical therapy evaluation for his torticollis and they confirmed he has it, but it’s very mild. We got some exercises for home and they recommended we see PT once a week for a few months. We haven’t started yet but I’m hoping it’s a fast recovery and a few months is a stretch.

Likes:

  • Eating big people food
  • Whitlee
  • Maggie (our dog)
  • Any dog, really
  • Being outside, always
  • Riding in the car
  • Pulling hair
  • Baths
  • Trucks
  • Anything that lights up or makes noise
  • Snuggling with a blanket
  • Being held
  • Standing up
  • Screaming at the top of his lungs

Dislikes:

  • Being cold
  • Being fed, wants to do it himself
  • Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately
  • Getting his face wiped
  • His head being rubbed

I can’t believe it’s already been 9 months and that we’re rolling up on a year old so quickly. I’ve started planning his first birthday and we’re looking forward to moving out of the baby stage. We’re betting he’s walking pretty soon, which is a tad on the early side, but sister walked around 9 months, too.

Happy 9 months, little guy! We love you so much and you are the perfect completion to our family. ❤️

Huck | 7 & 8 Months

Stats:

Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz

1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz

2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz

3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz

4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz

5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz

6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz

7 Months – no official weight check, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 lbs

8 Months – 18 lbs even 🙌🏼

Finishing out our last box of size 3 diapers, and moved into size 4’s. He kept blowing out of the 3’s. 🙈 Fitting comfortably in 12 month clothes and got some 18 month outfits for Christmas!

Eating: We had been using the European Holle formula for a while and I swear there was something in it that was magic because Huck was the happiest baby on it. Then some time around 7 months, he had something weird happen. He ran a low grade fever and had a runny nose, seemed to be cutting more teeth, and then started pooping like c r a z y. Up to 13 times in one 24 hour period. Several times a night. Blowouts galore. And it wasn’t watery, just loose and super frequent. This went on for 3 days. Then I started seeing specs of blood late on a Saturday on day 4. I was immediately worried about NEC (he’s had it twice, before his Glenn), but I knew the likelihood was extremely low, plus he didn’t have any other symptoms. Wasn’t very fussy, wasn’t refusing feeds, belly was soft and normal roundness. I didn’t have the gut feeling to run to the hospital so we waited it out until Monday, day 6. I was thinking maybe so much poop had irritated him and caused a fissure. But by Monday morning it was still there, a spec or two in every diaper, so off we went to the pediatrician. Thankfully, almost immediately after seeing one of his diapers, she diagnosed him with a milk protein allergy and switched him to Nutramigen. I think it was two days in that his poop cleared up from blood, and the frequency started to decreased about that same time and now we’re back to normal! He eats quite a bit more of the Nutramigen too, sometimes taking up to 6 ounces at one time. This is big for him!

Sleep: I think really the only thing that has changed in this department is that he’s maybe the tiniest bit more predictable. He still wakes up several times a night to eat but I noticed recently he doesn’t eat very much before he rolls over and goes back to sleep, so I think it’s more habit than anything. He normally goes down around 6:30/7, wakes up every 3-4 hours and is up anywhere between 5 and 7. He usually takes a small cat nap in the morning not too long after he wakes up, which from everything I’ve read, is a sign he’s not getting enough sleep at night, but we haven’t been able to get that figured out just yet. Then he normally takes two solid 1.5/2 hour naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sometimes it’s two shorter naps for morning. He still sleeps in the co-sleeper next to our bed and I really think we’d be okay moving him to his crib, but if you’ve been around here a while, you know our house is old and awkwardly laid out, so you actually go through his room to get to Whitlee’s room, with just a doorway separating them. So I’m worried he’d either wake her up or vice versa, so we haven’t taken the plunge yet.

Also, he started flipping over to his tummy to sleep and prefers to sleep either on his right side or on his tummy with his butt in the air. So cute!

Milestones: Sitting up really solid

  • Can go from sitting to laying down on his tummy without crashing (usually)
  • Scoots around on his butt if the floor is slick
  • Standing if he has something to hold on to and acting like he wants to pull up on things he can get next to
  • Got his 3rd and 4th teeth – upper lateral incisors before his upper middles, so he looked like a vampire for a minute
  • 5th and 6th teeth also coming in – upper middle teeth
  • Had his first Christmas
  • Started real solids, prefers them over traditional baby food
  • Finally started babbling and of course, “da-da” came first – just like his sister
  • Got his first big boy haircut
  • Army crawling has started
  • Blows kisses intentionally (without the hand motion)

Whitlee never did the traditional crawl, up on her knees. I think it’s because our floors are so hard. Shoot, I don’t even want to crawl around on them. But she went straight from army crawling everywhere (fast!) around 7 1/2 months, to pulling up around 8 1/2 months and cruising the furniture and then took off walking around for good around 9 1/2 months. I’d say little brother is hot on her heels! This makes us so proud because we were told he would most likely have developmental delays and even possibly some severe delays but he seems to be pretty much on par with definitely what could be considered “normal”.

Medical Milestones: Nothing too major this month except diagnosing a milk protein allergy and switching formulas to alleviate that issue. We go back to the cardiologist in a couple of weeks for a check up and another echo. I’m hoping he’s calm enough to get a good look at his arch and they can make a decision on whether it is narrowing or not. We’re also praying his decreased function shows to be fully restored which we’ve been told can happen after the Glenn. His cardiologist will probably make a move on weaning his enalapril or tell us how much longer she wants him on it. We’ve been told he’ll be on daily aspirin forever (he’s on half now), but that the enalapril probably won’t be long term.

He also got a referral to physical therapy because he has some mild torticollis. I’m not sure when we’ll start PT for that, but it shouldn’t be too long and I’m hoping it’s not too bad. It’s not severe torticollis so maybe just some stretching or a tot collar for a bit. Our occupational therapist from the hospital said torticollis is super common in their cardiac patients. I guess maybe from being in a hospital bed for so long, but Huck has always preferred everything to one side. I don’t know if the torticollis came first and pushed the preference or if the preference is what caused the torticollis. Regardless, it can be corrected and should be while he’s still young.

Likes: Eating big people food

Whitlee

Maggie (our dog) – oh my gosh, he’s obsessed!

Riding in the car

Baths

Trucks

Anything that lights up or makes noise

Chewing on anything but loves Sophie the giraffe and his squeaky donkey

Snuggling with a blanket

Being held IF you’re standing up

Dislikes: Being cold

Being held if you’re sitting down

Being fed, wants to do it himself

Having a dirty diaper, he wants to be changed almost immediately

Getting his face wiped

His head being rubbed

It blows my mind that we are rolling up on a year old so soon! Things have started to settle down just a little bit but we hopefully have something good happening this year and things will more than likely become hectic again. But I was reflecting recently on where we are now. Life with Huck started out so different than your typical newborn stage and there was a lot of focus on “what needed to be done” and survival mode. I had heard that it takes a little while, but soon you settle into normal baby life, and the heart part becomes a little more distant. It’s always there, kind of like background noise, but it’s a little less front and center. I think we’re finally starting to get there, given everything goes well at the cardiologist next week. I remember looking back in the car the other day, seeing him in his car seat mirror and thinking how much I love him. It sounds weird, but for once I didn’t think about how thankful I was that he’s alive (of course, I’m insanely thankful), or wonder if he was breathing okay, or wonder what his heart rate or saturations were. I just looked back and thought, “goodness, he sure is cute. Oh, I just love him to pieces.” It was a nice normal moment.

Happy eight months, little boy. We are so lucky to be your parents and can’t wait for so many more normal memories with you!

Huck | 5 Months & 6 Months

Well it finally happened. The inevitable second kid problem where you don’t have nearly the time you had with the first kid and you almost miss TWO months of posts. But I’m finally getting 5 and 6 months posted just in time for 7 months.

Stats:

Birth – 3035 grams | 6 lbs 11 oz

1 Month – 3950 grams | 8 lbs 11 oz

2 Months – 4420 grams | 9 lbs 11 oz

3 Months – 5620 grams | 12 lbs 6 oz

4 Months – 5889 grams | 12 lbs 15 oz

5 Months – 6840 grams | 15 lbs 1 oz

6 Months – 7530 grams | 16 lbs 10 oz – 32nd percentile! 🙌🏼

Well since I last posted at four months, we went from size 2 diapers up to size 3 diapers and he pretty much blew right through 6 month clothes within a few weeks and we’ve moved on to at least 6-9 and a lot of 9 month clothes. Baby boy is growing!

Eating: Whew, so much has changed since my last post. We were still inpatient at that time and eating was Huck’s biggest obstacle to be discharged home. He was really struggling with acid reflux and vomiting large volumes of milk. He was still on breastmilk but my supply completely crashed a couple of months ago so he was on the back stash I had pumped for him. We finally ended up doing an upper GI study to check for a few things and another heart mom pointed out in a blog post, it sounds odd, but we prayed for a bad outcome. Because a “bad” outcome means there’s an answer and a reason for his struggles with eating. And a reason typically comes with a solution. In our case, Huck’s GI study showed that his stomach wasn’t emptying properly and he was actively refluxing at random times. This meant that his poor motility was causing him to reflux more and was most likely causing his disinterest in eating. We started him on a motility agent and slowly but surely, he started eating more, keeping it down, was able to come off tpn and lipids, and eventually ate enough to earn his ticket out of the hospital!

Since we have been home, we transitioned from the last of my breastmilk to Enfamil Gentlease. We had a good experience with EG with Whitlee, so it was familiar territory to us. Huck did okay, but he still seemed so uncomfortable while eating and I know him well enough to know he was still silently refluxing. He had stopped spitting up but he still had all of the signs. Another heart mom had told me that they had tried a European formula and her daughter loved it. I did some research on the difference in European formulas and American formulas, how to actually get it, and decided to give it a try. In the first week, Huck’s entire disposition changed. He was much happier, seemed so much more comfortable, stopped looking so reflux-y and his bowel movements even changed back to looking like breastfed baby poop. We have been on this formula for a while now and loving it! I’ll probably make a separate post about the details but if you’re curious about anything, feel free to ask! We chose to go with Holle Stage 1 and tried the Stage 2 but he seemed to prefer the Stage 1, so we went back.

We also started baby food between five and six months and he loves the vegetables and does not care for the fruits at all. He really likes to eat but I’m a little worried about the constipation that seems to be coming with it. I’ve been reading up on probiotics and we may start that if we get the all clear from our doctor and cardiologist.

Sleep: We finally seem to be making some progress in this department. At our first visit with his cardiologist, who is very well versed in single ventricle babies, she asked about his disposition and certain behaviors. We told her about how fussy he is and that you really can’t leave him to play for even a couple of minutes without him losing his mind. She reminded us that in the interstage for single ventricles, they absolutely cannot let them cry (their BT shunt is so dependent on different variables and crying can cause restriction to his lungs), so any time he ever made a sound, someone was always there to comfort him – rock, pat, shush, bounce, etc. So when you are post Glenn and stable, there’s a whole new world for these babies where they can actually cry without it being life threatening. She said that it’s one of the most common concerns she hears from single ventricle heart parents, that their babies cry so much and it’s exhausting having to constantly console them. So she not only gave us permission, but encouraged us to start letting him cry it out a little. Self soothing and entertaining themselves with toys is a learned behavior from a very young age, and he never had that opportunity, so here we are at 5/6 months with a baby that has no idea what to do with himself. We attempted the same mild version of cry it out that we did with Whitlee and he at least will put himself to sleep now. He still wakes up one million four-six times a night to eat, but it is what it is. Whitlee didn’t sleep through the night until 18 months, so I guess that’s evidence that we’ll get there eventually.

Milestones: Rolling like crazy

  • Standing with support
  • Sitting unassisted longer stretches
  • Self weaned his swaddle (thank God for that. Weaning it with Whitlee was a nightmare.)
  • First baby food
  • First trip to Galveston and rode on the ferry
  • First Halloween – he and Whitlee were both puppies, per her request!

Medical Milestones:Finally discharged from the hospital just before 5 months!

  • Had our first outpatient cardiologist visit and echo – ventricle function has remained the same (mildly depressed), but his arch may be narrowing again. We go back in January to check again.
  • Weaned several medications
  • Got his first round of vaccinations
  • Got his flu shot at 6 Months
  • Got approved and received his first synagis shot (rsv prevention)
  • Had his first hospital readmission for a random virus that had him running fever and a high white blood cell count, the day of 5 months. Thankful to report it ended up just running its course and being done. Sats and blood pressure all held steady throughout.

Likes: Being held

  • Eating
  • Whitlee
  • Maggie (our dog)
  • Riding in the car
  • Baths
  • Vegetable baby food
  • Big people food – constantly trying to eat my food
  • Chewing on anything!
  • Snuggling with a blanket

Dislikes:Diaper changes

  • Lovenox shots
  • Being strapped into his car seat, totally fine once he’s in and the car is moving
  • Fruit baby food

Whew! Life has been so hectic. Actually, I think hectic is the understatement of the year. But even on our craziest days, we are so incredibly grateful for the gift of our two babies.

Happy 1/2 Birthday, Huck Inlow! We are so proud and so blessed with every day we get with you. Forever thankful for life at home together as a family. ❤️

Five & Six Month Photos

Whitlee | 5 Months

IMG_4737

I’m a little behind once again, but I’m sure any mom can attest to how busy you are with a small child. She is getting to the age where she plays with us a lot more, so we spend all of our free time playing or napping. Momma is tired a lot too, so I like to squeeze in some naps with Whitlee while she’s still little enough to snuggle. Aint mad about it either.

IMG_4745

Stats:
We don’t go back to the pediatrician for a well visit until 6 months so I don’t have any official stats, but we went last week for an ear infection and she was 13 lbs 12 oz! Goodness that girl is growing!

Eating:
Whitlee is now eating 4-6 oz every 4 hours during the day now and occasionally eats 7-8 oz. We’re still using Enfamil Gentlease and all is well. We’re also still mixing to 22 calories. We did try the Parent’s Choice version of the Gentlease, and Whitlee started pooping kind of weird, like not very much at one time so I started researching it. Turns out Enfamil Gentlease is made up of something like 80% partially broken down proteins so that it’s easily digestible, and while the Parent’s Choice is comparable to the nutrients, it has ZERO broken down proteins. What even. So we switched back and now she’s back to pooping like normal. Well, except right now, because she’s on antibiotics for her ear and both times she’s been on antibiotics, it gives her a looser stool so she’s pooping like 4 times a day right now. Goodness!

We haven’t started Baby Led Weaning (solids mentioned in my 4 month post) yet; we’re still waiting on 6 months and some signs of readiness, like being able to sit up on her own. Giving solids before they can sit up on their own is the leading cause in choking during BLW. We did give her a teething biscuit to chew on that was supposed to be quick dissolve and appropriate starting at 4 months, but she choked on a piece that I guess didn’t dissolve enough (?) and we haven’t tried it again since. And I don’t mean a gag, which is to be expected with BLW, it was a full on choke – like her face turned blue and I yanked her out her highchair so fast and whacked her on the back. She threw up and was right back to normal. And actually got mad when I wouldn’t give her any more of it. Sorry kiddo, sit up on your own and you’ll get the good stuff! I do let her taste stuff on my finger occasionally just to see what kind of face she’ll make, but its mainly just for fun.

She’s tried: organic applesauce, a lemon (which she actually liked – no face…so uneventful), greek yogurt, refried beans, spaghetti sauce, and ranch dressing. She seemed to like the lemon the most and the greek yogurt the least. I’m so looking forward to letting her start eating real food!

Sleep:
We’ve actually moved Whitlee’s bedtime up just a tad. I read a lot about sleep stages and transitions and I think she might have been going to bed too late. We tried bumping it from her normal bedtime routine of about 9:00/9:30 up to 7:00, but she was restless until 9 and then fell asleep so I think that might have been too early. Now we start the bedtime routine about 8:15 and she’s usually asleep by 9. Usually she sleeps in her crib at that point until about 3 AM, when she s t i l l wakes up for some reason. Then I bring her to bed with me and she sleeps until 5 or 6. I have no idea why she’s waking at 2 or 3 in the morning. And she pretty much will not go back to sleep in her crib at that point. It’s just not worth the struggle for me to force her. We get much more sleep if I just bring her to bed with me at that point. We’re still swaddling, and we’ve tried weaning. It’s just nightmarish every time we try. This girl’s startle reflex is insane. We watch her do it at the most random times while laying on her back – even during playtime, she’ll suddenly throw her arms out and startle herself. She still normally naps two really good naps a day like 2-4 hours, usually in the morning and in the afternoon, and she catches a couple of 45 minute to hour and a half naps randomly throughout. We’ve discovered she is such a morning person though. Super happy all the time in the morning!

Milestones/Firsts:
-First Easter
-First time to stay at KK’s house
-Met Heston (cousin), Aunt Courtney, Uncle Craig, and Uncle Travis for the first time
-First time to wear jeans (and my eyes exploded hearts out of them)
-First ear infection
-Reaches for toys and brings them to her mouth
-Can hold toys for extended periods of time now
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She’s still trying to sit up on her own but hasn’t quite gotten there yet.

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She’s still wiggling all over the place. She’s trying so hard to roll from her back to her belly, but hasn’t rolled all the way over yet. She’ll rock really hard to one side, then roll back. She can work herself completely off the plain mat now and on her tummy is starting to try to army crawl. If she can get a hand full of the mat and pull herself, she’s on the move.

She’s wearing mostly 3 months in Carters and some 3-6 months in certain brands. She can still squeeze into a few 0-3 months but they’re mostly too small. We’re still in size 1 diapers, but may be moving up soon. I’m going to check how they fit after this next package of diapers is up. She’s got a tiny little hiney, but getting some chunky thighs!

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Likes:

-Still loves bath time .. the splashes are getting CRAZY.
-The TV .. so much that Daddy will turn it off if he wants her attention.
-The swing at KK’s house
-Her outside swing .. we have it set up out at Daddy’s shop
-Stuffed Elephant toy .. we have two just in case one is unavailable (i.e. being washed because momma dropped it in the parking lot)
-LOVES other kids
-Being outside
-Her activity mat
-Lamb Teether

Dislikes:

-Being forced to lay down for a nap, even if she’s super tired and really needs one. She fights it so hard and is usually out in 30 seconds.
-Pacifiers .. I know I mentioned this is in our 3-4 month favorites, but it was premature. It’s now officially a fail. She’s just not a pacifier baby.

That’s really about it. We say all the time that she’s really such a good baby. She only cries when she’s sick or overtired. We’ve had a few busy busy days where she doesn’t nap well and then we pay for it later. But other than that, we got lucky!

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Miss Whitlee is seriously the joy in our life. We both look forward to getting home to her every work day and spending all weekend with her. I feel like we tend to soak it up and just play a whole lot as opposed to how I was on maternity leave. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I question if I’m doing the right thing, or days where I want to quit and make it work as a stay at home mom, but it’s not every day and I hope it will eventually get more routine. Since I’m posting this a little late, she’s become even more fun in between 5 and 6 months and I can’t wait to fully share our family pictures we took this past weekend!! I shared a sneak peak that the photographer sent me for Mother’s Day and I’m in. freaking. love.

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Annnddd.. don’t forget Southernly Ever After’s very first giveaway is coming up. I’ll be posting about it very soon! There will be multiple ways to enter!

1 2 3 4 5 Months

Best Laid Plans

Warning – long post alert. Get your popcorn now! 🙂

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

So I mentioned in a previous post our plans for when I return to work which included details about my work schedule and our overall plan. You can read the full post here. The gist of it is that my mother in law wanted to keep her some, as well as my mother, but we thought day care would be good for her in a social aspect and this was her basic schedule:

Monday – Daycare
Tuesday – MawMaw (my mother in law)
Wednesday – Daycare
Thursday – MawMaw
Every Other Friday – YaYa (my mom)

We carefully selected a daycare based on location and I actually went to that daycare and previewed it. I was very impressed and thought it would be a great fit. Whitlee’s number one priority is healthy weight gain since she was 6 weeks premature. She is actually on the growth charts now, which is great, but she definitely needs to continue a steady weight gain.

Today was the start of my 6th week back to work and we thought everything was going really well on all counts. Then all of the sudden several things happened that bothered me, two of which really upset me.

1. They didn’t tell me that her “teachers” rotate. We still don’t have any proof of this, but my husband said he finally noticed that every time he dropped her off and every time he picks her up, it’s a different person. Different person from one morning to the next and different person from one afternoon to the next, then randomly it’ll be a familiar face. So with separation anxiety looming in our near future (I’ve heard it kicks in about 6 months), I wasn’t comfortable with this at all. Plus babies are creatures of habit and how was someone supposed to get her routine down if it was someone new every day?? This wasn’t major, but still made me a little concerned.

2. This is one that really upset me. Again, I don’t have any confirmation of this, but that momma intuition was fully ablaze. Whitlee wears Pampers diapers and that’s all we send with her to daycare. Daycare also numbers their diapers for some reason…maybe for identification, but Whitlee’s always have a 3 written on them. (Which is also weird to me – you have to assign my child a number?? *Side-eye*) Well when we were in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, the IV antibiotics she was on gave her diarrhea, which led to a little bit of diaper rash. They also provided Huggies diapers in the hospital, and when we were discharged they sent the remaining diapers of an open package home with us. So we put them in her diaper drawer to use up first so that we could be done with them. We didn’t put any in her diaper bag. We started using Desitin on her diaper rash and it seemed to be helping. That next Monday, she went back to daycare and when Nolan dropped her off he informed them of the hospital stay, and let them know I’d be picking her up at 2 instead of him getting her at 5 so we could go back for a checkup. He was supposed to tell them about the diaper rash and let them know there was Desitin in her bag, but when I picked the car seat up from him just before 2, he realized he’d forgotten to tell them about the diaper rash. I thought it wasn’t a major deal, I’d just let them know for Wednesday. So I picked her up and we went to our appointment, where I changed her diaper while waiting on the pediatrician. I noticed two things and was immediately bothered – 1) she had on a Huggies diaper. An unnumbered Huggies diaper. Which could have only come from home, unless they accidentally gave her another baby’s diaper, but then it most likely would have been numbered. And 2) there was still a little diaper rash cream on her butt. So I asked Nolan if he changed her diaper before he took her to daycare (yes) and did he put diaper rash cream on her at that time (yes). Then I asked him if he put a Huggies diaper on her, but he said he couldn’t be sure. But daycare didn’t know about her diaper rash and didn’t know we put Desitin in her bag because when I mentioned it to them at pickup, they said, “Oh, we didn’t even notice it.”  I have this gut feeling that she was in the same exact diaper Nolan had dropped her off in, which would have been about 7 hours in one diaper. NOT okay. And not to mention her diaper rash got WORSE after that day, but I’m happy to report is completely cleared up. Momma win.

3. And the final straw. Whitlee was eating 4 ounces every 4 hours and I’ll be honest, it was usually a struggle to get her to eat that much. Then she got sick and was barely eating 2-3 ounces at the hospital, but she was getting plenty of IV fluids + unflavored pedialyte as well. The Wednesday evening after discharge (so a little less than a week later) she was suddenly ravenous and wanted more than her normal 4 ounces and we gave her 6 ounces a couple of times but I wasn’t sure it was going to stick, so we played it by ear. The next day at my mother in laws, she said she acted hungry after each of her 4 ounce bottles, so that evening I fed her 6 ounces at 5 PM and 6 ounces at 9 PM. She took both bottles amazingly! So Friday, Saturday and Sunday we fed her 6 ounces at every. single. bottle. And she ate basically 5-6 ounces like she’d been doing it her whole life – didn’t fight us, didn’t need to stop and burp a dozen times, didn’t spit up afterwards. So I would definitely call that a permanent increase. It was about that time anyway. So when she went to daycare on Monday, my husband let them know she was now eating 6 ounces. When he picked her up, her little report sheet said she’d eaten 4 ounces that morning and 3.5 ounces that afternoon! Seriously?? I worried maybe it wasn’t permanent; maybe we’d gotten a growth spurt and it was over… then she continued to eat 6 ounces at home that evening at 5 PM and 9 PM, and all day the next day at my mother in laws, and again at home that evening. Uh, okay, so 6 ounces. For real. Nolan let them know again on Wednesday that she eats 6 ounces now. When he picked her up, her report sheet said she’d eaten 3 ounces, and 3.5 ounces – and that she “was extremely fussy all day”, with a sad face. He went straight Poppa Bear on them. He told me he is already noticeable because he’s the only dad that does daycare duty – and then he raised his voice and people were like coming out of classrooms to stare at him. She cried pretty much all the way home. At home she drank 6 ounces so fast that she puked, and then ate 2 more ounces. My poor baby was so hungry!! Again, NOT okay.

I was really upset with everything. An infant literally depends on other people for survival. It is ours and the caregivers we choose responsibilities to make sure she is clean, fed, and happy. They failed at keeping her clean (possibly, not proven) and keeping her fed, which resulted in a not happy baby! She continued to eat 5-6 ounces consistently with my mother in law the next day, with my mom the day after that, and with me all weekend. Nolan had every intention of going in on Monday (today) and raising 10 kinds of hell and demanding that they call him and tell him what she ate at 9 and 1, then if she didn’t eat enough he was going to leave work and go down there to feed her the rest – then give them more hell and threaten to pull her out. But I think we knew in our hearts that it just wasn’t going to go well. We had a gut feeling they would just start lying to us about what she ate, and that definitely wouldn’t be healthy.

My best friend, Kaitlin, actually keeps a few kids at her home, which is a half mile from our house. We’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of our best friends. She has her own child (almost 3 years old) and keeps a 6 month old full time and a 1 year old two days a week. She has offered to keep Whitlee a few times also but I had reservations about it because we wanted her to have the social aspects of daycare and originally Kaitlin only kept the one kid, plus I had first time momma anxiety that as much time as we spend with her and her husband, Whitlee would prefer her over me if she spent considerably more time with her. Now that I’ve realized Whitlee knows I’m her momma and she loves me in a special way, I’m pretty much past that part of the worry.

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We grilled burgers yesterday with Kaitlin and her husband and let the girls play in the swimming pool and later we got to talking about day care and the problems we were having. And she mentioned again she had room to keep a couple more, especially since Whitlee was only part time and the other little girl was part time too. We talked about what she charges and their schedules and the more we talked, the more it just felt right. So when we left, I told Nolan where my head was with it and while it wasn’t something I wanted in the beginning, I feel like it’s a good move. We weighed the pros and cons and honestly couldn’t come up with any cons.

Pros:
-Close to our house
-I get text updates all day since Kai and I text all the time anyway
-She actually cares about Whitlee’s well being and has the patience to feed her what she needs to eat
-Social interaction with another baby close in age
-Less germs since less exposure to so many other kids
-A little less expensive (but I’ll go ahead and be obnoxious and say that good child care is seriously priceless.)

We pulled the trigger today and moved her to what I like to call Aunt KK’s mini daycare. Turns out, it was the right thing to do.

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She ate 5.5 ounces this morning and 5 this afternoon. She said she’s napped really well and has been super happy all day. She and the 6 month old like to sit and smile at each other, and Whitlee tried to eat the other baby’s foot! Maybe that’s a good sign lol. They’ve been around each other many times before anyway, so it’s a familiar environment for her. My heart finally feels like all is well in the world of the working momma.

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So lesson learned. Plans with a baby are usually anything but. Thankfully we have great friends that give just enough push that it ends up being a great situation!

And as a reward for reading this far – more pictures of us and Kaitlin and our kiddos!

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