An 8 month update

 

Holly Hicks Photography.

Holly Hicks Photography.

It has been way to long since I have written. I apologize. Life has gotten in the way. But here I am.

So lets get on with it.

Today, baby girl turns 8 months old. I  marvel to think how this happened. It seems like yesterday Anderson and I were bundling her up to finally take her home from the NICU after her week long stay. Yet here we are.

She continue to be on the smaller side, though she is getting there. At the beginning of July, we were able to finally convince the doctor that she may have a lactose issue, and were giving the go ahead to switch her out to a lactose (and everything else) free formula along with the start of baby food. She grew a whole pound in four weeks, jumping from 9 Ibs 10 oz, to just under 11 Ibs. Considering in her previous every two month appointments she had only gained a pound each time, the pound gained in 4 weeks was great. We now have another weight checkup this  month, four weeks after the first checkup, I am assuming this may be the norm from now on. Though we are also just convinced that little lady will be a little peanut. A beautiful little peanut.

She survived her first trip to Walt Disney World this past week where she pretty much melted everyone’s heart. She had no clue where she was obviously, but every now and then I got to see the little spark of princess love. I know we are in for many more years of it.  The castle she will call her second home may not be recognizable to her at the moment, but give it time.

While she may be tiny, she is gaining personality big time. I adore her smiles and giggles, which she usually reserves for daddy and big brother. Her left thumb is constantly in her mouth, which means I am pretty sure I have a thumb sucker on my hands, and the beginnings of teething. No visible ones have made them selves known as of yet. But it is bound to happen.

She has yet to crawl, but she is a wiggler. And even though she has yet to master sitting up on her own, I know she wants to. The doctors did inform us that because she is smaller, and came a little earlier, some things may take her a little longer to do. While so many people may panic because it is not on schedule, the way I see it, take your time baby girl. Life goes by to fast as it is. The milestones can come at your own pace.

We have time. You have time.

 

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Here’s to 5 months!

13254434_10154136048105883_7358667956715727491_nThere is that moment you have once you have a kid when you wonder what life was like before the little one was around.  You can’t even remember those days anymore. Surely we have always been a family of 4.

I had one of those yesterday while putting little lady’s 5 month sticker on her outfit. When had this happened? She can not be that old yet. I just had her!  And while I admit I miss those precious newborn days when it was just her and I in the living room while I was on leave, at the same time. I am loving this moment.

These moments.

This month has seen a lot of big changes.  Her giggles are becoming more infectious with each passing day. Gone are the accidental giggles. They have been taken over with a cute little baby chuckle that has grabbed the heart and the attention of anyone willing to listen and play along.

She could also babble all day to daddy, Logan and myself.  At times, they are so deep and serious almost that I often wonder what is going on her little head of hers. Yet at the same time, a minute later she is all smiles and sweet talking you like a champ. Even if it is in her own baby language.

We’ve also noticed how much more alert and aware of things she has become. No longer does she like to be held so she can’t see anything! And if you put a hockey game, or a baseball game on she is glued to the TV.

You can pretty much forget tummy time these days. She was never a fan of it to begin with but lately she has figured out to roll from her tummy on to her back, though she has yet to master the other way around. She will get there. And sitting up? You can tell she wants to sit up a lot more these days. She may not be able to sit unassisted yet, she is working on it. Getting stronger by the day, it has been incredible to see her reach each new thing or milestone every week.

She has also discovered her wonderful little hands are probably the best chew toy ever. While she does not appear to be teething yet, she is definitely getting a work out on those jaw muscles.

Harper had to undergo a ultrasound for her port wine stain on her foot. Everything turned out fine and it only seems to be superficial at this point which is good news. It will still have to be monitored and evaluated to make sure everything is all right still, but for the moment it is good news.

And lets hear it, she is finally in 0-3 month clothing! Most are still a little big but we are glad to see that she is moving in the right direction. It also means I should probably go through those drawers and change out to the bigger sizes we have been hoarding for awhile now.

I find it hard to believe that a month from now she will be six months old! Honestly I am really beginning to wonder just how that happened. And yet, I can not remember a time when she was not part of our lives. Much like it was with Logan, she seems as though she has been part of the family forever.

Here is to 5 months!

Checkups and milestones.

13072812_10154080260310883_1626076372513260510_oWe were finally able to take little miss (and her big brother) to the doctors for their checkups. She would have her 4 month checkup, while little man would have  his 7 year checkup.

I will be honest and say I don’t know what to expect when it comes to these appointments. We know she is running small still, but for a preemie we expected that. That being said, we have seen her grow, we know she is. Still would it be enough? Would they be happy? Time I suppose would tell.

We first had to checkup on little mans progress. As expected he is doing well, chatting with the doctor about his allergies, his karate practice and how he is learning to ride a bike (with a helmet!). He hoped he wouldn’t need shots, and was thrilled when she said he wouldn’t for a couple years. Then it was time for his measurements and to see how much he had grown. Turns out, quite a lot.

He is 48 and a half inches tall, and weighing in at 50 Ibs. She told us he is right on track, 42% on the weight an a little over average (52%) on the height.She said, she expects he will be hitting a growth spurt in the near future. Something tells me I should be prepared to go through a lot of pants in the next couple of months. Thankfully, with summer coming up he can live in shorts.

As he was finishing up, we were anxious to hear about little lady.  We listened as she went over things, during which she got to see little miss in action as she attempted to roll, she made it to her side. She smiled and cooed right on time. Yes everything is looking good. And now for her stats…

She is 22 inches long and 8 Ibs, 9 oz..Just about doubling her birth weight! And amazing for her standards. We were told once again that she is on her on track, her own path and that is alright by them as long as she is growing. She will eventually catch up, it just may not be as fast as the other 4 month old babies. But progress is good.

And while big brother didn’t have to worry about shots, it was another story with little lady. Is there anything worse than sitting and watching while your little one gets shot after shot? I think not.  I hated that she had to go through it, but at the same time know it was necessary.

Next up, an ultrasound to check out the birth mark on her foot before her six month checkup. But otherwise, my little lady, and my little man are doing well and are perfect in their own way.

 

All good things must come to an end.

And so begins the week I have been dreading since I left out on Dec. 15th. The return to work week. For the first time in three months I have had to get up, dress in something other than leggings and over-sized t-shirts and make my way in to the city.

I had to return to traffic. And Metro. That thought alone made me want to cry. I didn’t even want to think about returning to work until I absolutely had to.

I truly enjoyed my time off. I did a lot, or rather I didn’t do a lot. I stayed in, read to my daughter. I went and saw my son in his debut acting performance for his class. I stayed home with both of them for various reasons and loved it. Things that are often so hard to do with a 2 hour commute. I even kept the house up for the most part. I felt accomplished while I was home.  I hated to see it go.

Yes I knew it would have to come to an end. I had even been trying to gear myself up for it for awhile. I told myself I was not the only woman to go back to work after a kid. I in fact had done so once before and while I hated it then, everything turned out just fine. Give it a week or two and it will all be OK once more.You will be OK. Having my mom watch her meant I could rest assured knowing she would be in good hands.  She will be OK

Still the thought didn’t make it any easier to get out of bed.

I managed to get through yesterday (my first official day back) with very few break downs. I avoided the clock in attempts to not be thinking what we would be doing about this time. Was there a show on?  I tried not to think about the moments I may be missing, that smile she is throwing around a lot more often now. I even held out as long as I could before breaking down and calling my mom for a check in. I made it to 12:30 in the afternoon.  I did everything I could think of to get me through the day. Knowing that is exactly what I may have to do. Take it day by day. Little by little. We will adjust. I will adjust.

And wouldn’t you know, somehow I made it through the day. Miraculously. Maybe I didn’t get a whole lot done other than cleaning out my email, most of which was old and irrelevant at this point. But I made it through. I did it.

It was a start.

I will be OK. She will be OK.

2 month checkup

IMG_5127Little lady had her two month appointment this morning. I find it hard to believe we have somehow already made it to this point. Everything checked out well, as expected.

She came in at 6 ibs 15 oz. and is 19 3/4 long. Yes small on most scales at 2 months but considering she is a preemie, she has her own scale to go by.

Also as expected she isn’t fond of shots. Then again neither is her big brother. I suppose no kid is truly.  I admit I couldn’t watch them give her shots. I had Andy do it. Which is funny considering I myself would rather get a shot any day over swallowing pills.

We discussed a rose mark on her foot, should be nothing but pics are being sent to the dermatologist just to make sure. We are told it will be monitored but they don’t seem concerned. Then again we have been monitored for just about everything

Other than that all looked well, and she is doing really well.  As for Anderson and I, we are just happy to see she is finally moving in to all those newborn outfits!

Six Week check in.

So far so good. For the most part. Little lady seems to be growing as we are finally getting in to newborn clothes. They are still a bit big but at least we are making progress. She experienced her first big snowstorm, 30 inches of it to be exact. I doubt she will remember it and because of her size and the fact she is so little the better part of the storm was spent in doors. Even Logan wasn’t all that impressed with the snow, in fact it took him a bit to go out and enjoy it. One more sign that he truly is my son.

Back to Harper. She has been a bit of a fussy pants lately. Yes babies do tend to be fussy from time to time but this was exceptionally so.  I began seeing a pattern with her feedings.  She would eat like she was hungry but would soon puke the entire thing back up. While I knew spit up was typical, this was not. I ended up calling the doctor at which point we had to change her feeding times to a lot more often with not as much amount.  Whether it was a stomach issue, or not it helped as she has once again seemed to be one happy little camper and is back on track.

She is also really picking up her head, and looking around, I really wish I would know what she is thinking. I would love to know. Every now and then I catch her cooing and a tiny smile. Though she has yet to allow me to capture it on the camera!

As for me, I am just trying to enjoy every little moment with her during the day while I can. I spend my days not on the computer but talking, singing and really trying to capture the time as best as I can.

And that is enough.

The two kid juggle.

Thus begins another week. Somehow we managed to make it through the first week back for Andy, and mine with just little lady and I. Though I confess my mom came over a couple times last week to sit with us. Even still with the visit I believe we are settling in quite nicely. While Andy and Logan are off to school and work, my days are spent enjoying time with Harper, attempting to clean during nap times-which depending on the day is easier said than done- and watching hours of endless junk TV. Yes I had forgotten how much crap is on in the middle of the day. But it is mindless and with a newborn I don’t need something that will make my brain hurt.

My evenings seem to be a little more hectic than they once were. We may have a newborn but we also have a nearly 7 year old first grader with homework that needs to get done.  Who still loves to curl up with us and  deserves just as much  of our time and our attention. I considered it a huge success when we managed to set up and get the invitations out for his birthday party in a few weeks.

I will admit trying to juggle between both of them and making sure I get to everything is some what of a work in progress still. We have however started a new tradition. Once a weekend after we put Harper to bed, Logan pulls out a board game that he wants to play with Andy and I. It may not be much, but it his time with us. A time when all of our focus is back on him and him alone.

I have also been trying hard to include him in on things, letting him know that we did a lot of the same things for him when he was a newborn. It is hard considering back when I was expecting with him and the first little while of his life Pinterest, Etsy and even Twitter were not what they are today. Yes I still did the hand prints, the footprints and have thousands of pictures but now with social media in the mix comes a thousand more creative ideas to do.  There is absolutely a certain amount of guilt when it comes to making things and keepsakes for her. Afraid that Logan will think I am going overboard for her and did nothing for him.

Though I am pretty sure if you asked him he would tell me everything is fine. Because that is the kind of kid he is.

Adjustment

1917085_10208342595581472_257251312139074414_nIt was a relatively quiet holiday season for this family. Unlike most of the winter breaks in the past, this one found us staying home a lot more than normal. No, we did not spend the two weeks locked away in the house entirely. We managed to see family, did a little shopping and celebrated the holidays and got out, even if it was just to drive around. Yes we were advised to take it easy, but at the same time we were told to enjoy the holidays and with a soon to be 7 year old, staying wrapped up in the great indoors for two full straight weeks is not as easy as thought.

Especially when Star Wars came out. There was no way they were going to miss it.

I have been asked how we are adjusting to being a family of four. How Logan is adjusting to being a big brother. So far so good (though ask me after this week when Anderson goes back to work) I will admit, you tend to forget how much stuff you have to lug around when you have a newborn and how much extra time it takes. I think that may be the biggest adjustment on everyone’s part. Logan is so used to just going going going, now that Harper is in the picture we have to plan things out. He has to wait for things a little more, put up with a little more.

Still he is doing really well. He has managed to get the whole pacifier thing down in the car when neither Andy or myself can exactly do it. And he adores her, I am amazed at just how much so. He is also becoming quite the protective one over her.

The one thing he doesn’t like is looking at anything girly. After years of nothing but looking at Star Wars, and trucks, cars and anything boyish, he doesn’t quite get the whole looking at things that aren’t the things he is interested in. But he says maybe they can come to some sort of compromise.

What that compromise is he has yet to say. But knowing my son as I do, perhaps I should be afraid whatever it is.