Friday, January 10, 2014

8 Months and Picture Overload!

On one hand I'm thinking, "wow...already?!?", but on the other hand, this last month I have been thinking it feels more like 9 months! I feel like she has progressed so much quicker with her skills, in comparison to Lyra, so it makes me think of her as a few months older. I was looking back at her pictures on my phone from when she was born and I suddenly missed her as a little tiny baby that I could cradle in my arms, hold her close, and rock her to sleep. Now she fights me if I try to cradle her because she wants to be held up to see everything of course, but I can still cradle her to nurse her to sleep so that makes me happy.

And while we are on the topic of nursing...yep, still doing that! I didn't nurse Lyra, so when I decided I wanted to give it a better try with Elyse, I figured at most I would only be committing to three to six most! Little did I know that my child had a different plan FOR ME! We are at eight months and still EXCLUSIVELY nursing. I stopped trying to give her a bottle after she turned 6 months and she still didn't want anything to do with it. I decided to just stop stressing out about it and accept that this was going to be a much longer commitment than I anticipated. Yes, it's still hard on me because I am the sole food provider, for the exception of a few solids here and there, and it sure would be nice to get a break when I REALLY need it, but it's actually a ton easier than dealing with formula and bottles. So, I'm just going to stick it out for the next four months and when she turns a year old, I'll attempt to give her whole milk and see what happens. On a good note, she has been doing much better with drinking juice/water from a sippy cup. She just recently began to actually "suck" from it. Before she would only chew on it as if only a teething toy. What I have found to work best is the "Take and Toss" sippy cups because they don't require as much sucking action to drink from.; consequently, it spills easier, so I have to keep a good eye on it. As far a solids, she usually has a small portion of whatever I am eating or Lyra is eating. I had began to use the Baby Led Weaning method last month because she would take from a spoon or eat any baby food, but I have gradually been attempting to feed her myself by hand or spoon and she has been doing well with it. I couldn't handle all the messes of her self feeding, so I have been giving her foods such as cheese, bananas, and muffins and anything thing else she will immediately squeeze into her by hand. I'm a clean-freak, I can't help it. Ha.

*Sigh* Still not going all that well. The last month has been the worst. After a two week fail of attempt at sleep training, I caved in and brought her into bed with me. It worked out pretty well at first. It took a while to get the hang of it, figuring out the best way to sleep, but it proved to be more beneficial that getting in and out of bed. The last month has been the worst because she wants to wake up every half hour or so to either nurse or use me as a pacifier, so I spend most of the night tossing and turning and of course don't feel rested at all. I actually began to feel bad about complaining about waking up every two hours when she was sleeping in her pack and play before!! What I would give for a FULL TWO HOURS! lol! So...I knew it was time for another attempt at change. I figured I would put her back in her pack and play by the bed in hopes that she would wake up less if I was less accessible to her. The first night went better than expected, waking up several times, but I only picked her up to nurse a few of those times and the other times she only fussed for a minute and fell back asleep. Last night was the second night and she only woke up four times which is pretty good for her. I ended up nursing her three of those times because I was just to tired to fight the fight. And since then, (because I am still adding to this post a few days later), she has only been waking up once or not at all. It's been great. Now if only my body can adjust to being able to sleep without waking so much. My hope is that each night gets a little better...key word "HOPE"! Most ask me often how I do what I do, you know, getting so little sleep. Honestly, I have no idea. I guess my body has just become accustomed to surviving on such little sleep. Yes, I'm absolutely exhausted each day as I hit the ground RUNNING trying to keep up with my two girls and I'm ready to pass out at 9pm at the end of each night, but I'm still thankful to be at home with my girls. Just like everyone says...these days won't last forever and I WILL get to sleep through the night again. Just not right now. lol.

Alright, enough of the complaining, right?!? There is always something to complain about because Motherhood is the toughest job in the world and it's the complaining/venting that gets us through it...BUT it's also the most rewarding job that allows me to brag non stop about my precious girl because in spite of all the hardships, I love her more than words can ever express!!

As I always say, she is the SWEETEST baby. Not many would know this because she won't let anyone else hold her, seriously, not even Aaron sometimes. Everyone always wants to hold her and I give them a chance with the preface that she WILL cry...and she does. lol. That girl will not let me leave her sight. Yes, I am definitely guilty of spoiling her with my attention and not leaving her with other people, so I'm definitely enabling her, but so be it...I LOVE HER! LOL!

I have no idea how much she weighs, but I bet she is pretty close to Lyra by now. For being an exclusively breast fed baby, she looks well fed and actually looks a little chunky...for being one of my kids. I think she takes after her Daddy and will be built like a "Robilotto"...those Italians like to eat! Ha! She's wearing size 6-9 month clothes and a size 2 shoe. She mostly wears all of Lyra's passed down clothes, but lately I have had to buy her a few more things because the seasons of Lyra's clothes aren't quite matching up. I just recently moved her into a size 3 diaper and now both girls are wearing the SAME size...funny and awesome! It's nice to only have to buy one size diapers now.

And last, but not baby girl is MOBILE, yep, crawling! A bittersweet milestone of course. I miss the days of her staying in one place when I put her down, but it's also nice that she can move herself to get where she wants to go so that I don't have to carry her as much as before. She hasn't quite figured out that she has two knees that she can crawl on so she has only been scooting on one, but it works well for her! It won't be long before she is standing on her own...she is trying SO HARD! I just know she wants to be a big girl like Lyra!

I love that she is growing up, giving her a little more independence, but I also already miss her as a tiny baby :( Before I know it, I'll be planning her first birthday...crazy!

Loved her outfit on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving fun in The Woodlands

Pretty in Pink

Play date at City Centre

Nap Time!

Play date at Great Play

Christmas party at Suzanne's

Tis the season for Xmas PJs!

On the verge of tears...

On the move!

Determined to conquer the ottoman!

Big girl carseat!

Mac and Cheeeese....they're favorite!

Lyra is a big help, sometimes ;)

Photo op before going down the slide

It was a slow walk back to the house from the park. lol!

Christmas morning...waiting for Sleeping Beauty to wake :)

Bed head and PJs...just a typical morning in our house. lol.

They loved this at Randalls!

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fall Family Pics 2013

What a difference a year makes....
Fall 2012
Fall 2013
 So the below pic was of our FIRST scheduled photo you seen from Lyra's face, it was an EPIC FAIL! lol. That's what she looked like in every shot. It was a crazy morning with the daylight savings time change, so Lyra woke up extra early of course and by the time we were out to take pictures, she was melting down for her nap. It was just a little bit stressful! Thankfully our photographer Sarah was willing to work with us and set up another day for a re-do! As I look back now, all I can do is laugh at this photo! This is REAL LIFE...this is OUR LIFE with Lyra and her meltdowns. This picture will definitely be printed out and hung up in our house and it will forever be a great story to share with Lyra and her friends ha ha!

Our re-do photo shoot turned out much better! Lyra still wasn't very cooperative, but at least she wasn't crying! Thank you to our photographer, Sarah, for always being calm and understanding while we stress over Lyra. lol.

Monday, November 25, 2013

5, 6, AND 7 Month Catch -Up!!

I'm not doing so great at keeping up with my blog. Each month would pass and I would think, oh well, i'll just combine two months together, then another month would pass, and another, and now we are at 7 months...well, about a week shy, but close enough!!! It's just been too difficult to find time to sit down and use the computer....alone. As I type now, I'm fighting off Lyra's fingers from touching my keyboard. The ipad isn't enough for her to use next to me, the keyboard is of course much more interesting. Aaron tried letting her play with an old laptop of his and it only took a few minutes for her to discover she could break off all of the keys, so needless to say her hands are staying off of mine! I could use my phone, but it's too much to type on a small device, I'd rather use the computer. Ok, rant over...lets see what I can remember what has happened over the last several months. It's goes by so quickly, it seems like a blur!

Sleep?!? What is that?!? Ay yi yi...this child of mine has turned my world completely upside down. I only THOUGHT I was sleep deprived with Lyra. That was nothing and actually what seems now as a piece of cake compared to the lack of sleep I get now. At least with just Lyra I had the option of napping when Lyra napped if I needed one, but now with two, that's completely out of the question. It's very rare to have them both be asleep at the same time, unless we are driving.
She was doing fine until the teething symptoms started at which point she began waking up EVERY TWO the dot...sometimes it would only be an hour and a half. I kept thinking it was just a phase and eventually she would begin to sleep longer, so I waited...and waited...and waited...and before I knew it two months had passed and nothing had changed! Finally at her six month check up, I expressed my concerns to her doctor and he suggested moving her to her room and begin "self soothing". So I tried it. I tried it for two weeks. It was frustrating and exhausting. I ended up doing the one thing I said I would NEVER do...I figured she would just sleep better and a little longer if I let her sleep WITH me! The main reason I didn't want her to sleep with me was that it's just not comfortable and I don't sleep well, but I guess it's slightly better than what I was doing before. Now at least I don't have to get out of bed and I can still be half asleep during middle of the night feedings.

I wish I could say she has taken to a bottle and loves baby food, but NOPE, not my child. She is and will definitely continue to be a "no bottle, no way" baby. I guess I can't blame her...she's very smart, she knows what the good stuff is and isn't settling for anything less! It use to really bother me, ALOT, but surprisingly I have adjusted to the exclusive breastfeeding lifestyle. Once I finally accepted it, I stopped stressing over it and it's made life a little less stressful. The hardest part of it though is being the ONLY person that can feed her, so I get frustrated at times when I have to stop what I'm doing feed her, instead of Aaron or anyone else doing it for me.
I started giving her baby food at 4 months and she hated it...ok, fine, i'll try again at 5 months...nope, still hated it, UGH...ok, fine, by 6 months she will love it, right?!? HA! Six months rolls around and I'm thinking ok this should be better....nope, not even a little bit. She was even smart enough to pucker her lips together so I couldn't get the spoon in....what a stinker! Needless to say I was very frustrated. At her 6 month check up, her pedi was a little concerned with her not wanting to eat baby food so he told me to keep working on it and if it didn't get better to call him, so of course this made me a little nervous and stressed. The idea of Baby Led Weaning had been in the back of my head for a while, but I just hadn't had the time to read about it, so I wasn't even sure how to begin with that. One day, I was eating pizza for dinner and as I ate, Elyse was grabbing for what I had, as usual, so I had the instinct to give her a small piece to hold....she started chomping on it right away...and thats when I realized, with the help of friends, that I had already begun Baby Led Weaning! Sweet! This made me feel relieved to have a new plan for her eating and she has been trying new things ever since. Most things I give her she doesn't try, but some things she will at least "gum" it for a while which helps to give me a few minutes to scarf down my own food without having to entertain her.

She has become quite the "grabber" and reaches for everything...nothing is safe, especially if it's in my hands. Lyra is not a fan of Elyse becoming more interested in her toys. If I had a dollar for every time I said the word "share"! She has also become very good at sitting on her own, of course with a little assistance, but for the most part she does very well with it. She isn't a fan of laying on her back or being on her tummy, so not sure what she will do as far as rolling and crawling...she may just go straight to standing, who knows.

She is growing out of her clothes much quicker than Lyra did. I have had to sort clothes...out with the old sizes and in with the new sizes. I was sad to store away all the newborn sizes because those are the sweetest, so tiny! I even put away the 0-3 month sizes and she has been wearing size 6 months. It wasn't all that long ago that Lyra was wearing that size. Elyse is also about to be in the same size diapers as Lyra is NOW, lol. She is currently wearing size 2, but as soon as we finish out this box of size 2 diapers, I'm moving her up to size 3. She already wears size 3 at night to give her more room.

Her hair is starting to fill in nicely...a light/dark brown. Her eyes are a shade of brown, sometimes they look dark and sometimes lighter, so they are probably not done changing.

No teeth yet. Her teething symptoms began at 3 months and was manageable till 4 months at which it became super stressful. Nothing seem to help. I finally made a desperate purchase (and by desperate, I mean like my life depended on it!) of an Amber Teething Necklace and it has definitely helped. I even bought Lyra one. I'm a believer!

So, aside from all the stressful moments, she still is my sweet baby. She is a "momma's girl" ALL THE WAY! She doesn't let anybody hold her but me. She has become better about letting Aaron take her for a few minutes, but it's not long before she is crying for me. I love this very much about her, I do, and I'm constantly reminding myself to enjoy it as long as it last, but it would be nice to have a small break time to time. She can be very chill and laid back at times, but she can also be just as high maintenance as Lyra! She is very smart and knows EXACTLY what she wants, she can't be fooled.

1st time on our new playground!

Pumpkin Patch visit

Wearing Lyra's outfit from last Halloween. lol!

The cutest Minnie Mouse I've ever seen!

1st grocery cart ride!

Nom Nom!

Family Picture Day!

When she takes her first drive, this is what I will remember!

Hi, Baby!