Likes: flashing her gummy grin at anything that moves, eating her hands, trying to eat a few newly introduced toys, the iTunes visualizer, nursing to sleep, her handsome big brother, nightly baths, watching Thomas cartoons with Truman, and being outside.
Dislikes: consistency with nighttime sleeping. (please note that this category is SO MUCH SMALLER NOW!!!)
Biggest achievement of the month: Taking the bottle!! (Cue the angels singing). I should have made this an entirely different blog post, but here's the watered-down version: Cecelia's first week of daycare was a good one because she did, in fact, take 8-10 oz per day there. But she hated it and was really mad and screaming for about 10 minutes each time and it would take 45 minutes just to get 3-4oz in her. And obviously, that makes it really hard on both Cece and Lori. So over the weekend, I knew it was time. I decided to pump from the hours of 8-4pm, just like daycare days, and only offer bottles during that time. The first day sucked and it took 2.5 hours of fussing on her part before she even latched on. I didn't force it on her if she got really mad, and we'd just take a little break and I'd try to sweet talk her into the idea of taking a bottle. Lots of praise and positive talk from mommy while I tried to remain strong on the fact that she NEEDED to take a bottle occasionally. And finally, after those first rough 2.5 hours she did it. She sucked down an entire 4 oz bottle, I got her a refill, and she took another 3 oz. Peacefully. Without a tear. And she even smiled at me while I gave it to her. Thank you, God. The rest of the weekend got progressively easier with each bottle and now I'm planning to give her one bottle each day that I'm off. And thankfully, she has still shown obsessive love for the boob and this bottle stand-off didn't affect her ability (or willingness) to nurse. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be able to give her a bottle...or to feel like I can leave the house for more than a few hours if I needed to, and I know she probably won't freak out the entire time. Yes. She is now taking a bottle without much of a battle. Life is good on this front.
(couldn't take enough pictures to commemorate)
(so freaking proud of her after the bottle!)
And she has also taken a pacifier twice this month--once at Lori's and once for us. Hope this trend continues as well! The site of her with a pacifier in her mouth is almost as exciting as the bottle. Never thought I'd see the day.
Biggest challenge of the month: Random, epic meltdowns--the worst one being featured here. But since those meltdowns are really quite rare right now, I might say that the anticipation of sending CC to daycare was the biggest challenge this month. The reality has not been bad at all, but the anticipation of it was horrible. And as I was composing this post over the past week, we had our first real 'sickness' spread through the house. Cecelia and I had a case of the stomach flu (after Truman gave it to us, I think) and it was HORRIBLE to see my baby sick. She handled it like a champ and was still happy and smiling---but those diapers were a nightmare and she barfed twice at Lori's. So glad she kicked the bug quickly (and I did, too---might need to write a blog post about that ridiculous day at some point. Pretty dramatic)
(video of Cecelia's voice---quite the talker already!)
Secret tricks of parenting: Honestly, Cecelia has really turned a corner in the past two weeks and is just so happy and easy-going (for her, at least!). But there are still a few tricks up my sleeve that I can try if she is fussy.
1. iTunes visualizer, set to anything but preferable DMB.
2. Nursing. If especially fussy, will only nurse as we walk around her nursery.
3. BOB rides without her car seat. Scandalous, I know.
Nicknames: same as last month and we are totally digging 'Cecil' lately. So much so that Truman now goes, 'NO, Cecil' when we call her that. Like, 'No, idiot parents. That is not her name.'
(loves her baths outside in the summer)
The Mecca (aka Sleep): This month came with a few major milestones in the sleep department and some ridiculously amazing stats. Like the night she slept for 8.5 hours in a row. And then 11 hours in a row. And then the Best Night Ever when she slept for 12 in a row (!!). That night she went down at her now standard 7:15 pm and we had to wake her up at 5:45 am. My boobs were literally ready to pop but I did not complain because my God, that felt amazing! Then she continued to sleep until 7:15 am when we had to wake her up for the day because it was a work day for me. Ridiculous!
But then, of course, those amazing nights are not our norm just yet (but oh, so cherished). She will usually wake around 1:00-1:30 am for the first time (which makes her max stretch about 5 hours) and then again around 4-5 am to nurse. Sometimes she will even throw in another session around 2-3 am but it's hard to say since I am still bringing her to bed with us once she wakes up the first time. Her mornings are never predictable---she will either wake for the day around 5:45 am when Nate and I are getting up for the day, or she might snooze in our bed alone until nearly 8:00. If I bred a 'late sleeper' I will seriously be beside myself with giddiness. And if she is actually a good sleeper? Can't imagine.
I'm praying that daycare continues to wipe her out and causes a lot more of those amazing looooong stretches at night. Because when we have those really rough nights of 4-5 total wake ups I get discouraged like she will never 'get' the sleeping thing. Sleep deprivation does weird things to your mind, you know.
She's napping really well both here and at daycare, thank goodness. She usually takes about 45 min or an hour long nap in the morning, then a nice 2ish hour nap around lunchtime, and then a couple of cat naps in the afternoon and evening. Those are the ones that she will only sleep while being held but otherwise most of her naps are in her swing. Not really feeling naps in her crib just yet, mostly because I am lazy and don't want to walk all the way upstairs just to use the monitor while she snoozes. It's so much easier to have her down on the main level with me as I do things around the house.
Temperament/Personality: If I had written this post 2 weeks ago I would have still been talking a lot about epic tweak-outs and baby drama. But the past few days have been so amazing with Cecelia...dare I say it? Ever since she started daycare she just seems so content and happy and peaceful. I have no idea if it's just because she is now 3 months old and out of that pesky 'fourth trimester' or if she really loves spending some time away from good old mom. But she is like a different baby all of a sudden. And it's awesome.
I've been able to eat dinner with the rest of my family, while the food is actually hot, more nights than not lately. Now she is totally fine with chilling out on her activity gym while we eat. And she will let me set her down to do things with her brother, or go to the bathroom, or just breathe a second....without melting down. That might be the second biggest accomplishment this month---her ability to be left alone for a few minutes at a time without making us pay for it. I've actually caught her smiling at the walls, and smiling at the TV. Apparently everything is just fascinating to her right now.
Her evenings are nothing like they used to be, because she is really not even fussy during those witching hours anymore. And the car seat that she used to despise? No big deal. KNOCK ON WOOD but she has not cried in the car one single time for the past two weeks. I can feel myself relaxing a little bit more with each trip we make because it's just so pleasant when the baby isn't freaking out in the back seat.
(squeaky clean after a bath!)
Eating: She is now eating about every 3 hours instead of her previous 2 hour stretches. Roughly she will nurse about 8 times in a 24 hour stretch but sometimes more often when she just wants to nurse for comfort. She usually just takes one side and I'm guessing it takes her 10 minutes or so before she either falls asleep at the breast or pulls off. But I think I've had to pull her off a lot more than she's voluntarily stopped a session, because the girl would probably be hooked up to the boob all day long if I let her. And until I grow a third arm I'll have to keep unlatching her so that I can go about my day.
The superficial: She still rocks The Hair but admittedly, it's a little thinner on the sides now. Still long in back and on top, though, so basically she's wearing a baby toupee most of her days:)
She definitely had cradle cap this month but with a little baby oil it came right out (and it didn't pull out too many of those precious hairs, either!). She is mostly in all 3-6 month clothes now simply due to the length, but some of her 0-3's still fit if I really push it. I did the oh-so-accurate weight check by weighing myself and then weighing me holding her. And seriously? She might be 14.5 pounds already! Almost doubling her birth-weight! No wonder those chunky thighs seem so hefty.
Motor milestones: Baby girl is doing an amazing job with head control, and one evening right at 11 weeks she actually held her head up WAY high during tummy time. I was floored and had to snap a million pictures of course. Ever since that random event she is sort of hit or miss with how high she feels like lifting up the old noggin. I can't wait until it's no big deal to keep her face off the ground and we are definitely getting there!
But when we sit her up she is all over the head control department. It's adorable to see her upright like a 'real baby' and I love to see her holding her neck steady enough to glance around the room. The bumbo is finally appropriate now and she sorta kinda loves it.
She is even attempting to roll already which freaks me out because I'm SO not ready for a mobile baby. I love being able to set her down in one place (since I've only been able to set her down at all for a few weeks now, without paying for it with baby screams). But I've noticed that she can roll onto her side really easily and keeps trying to pull those legs and shoulders on over as if she was going to move onto her tummy. Wow, baby girl. You are WAY ahead of your brother's milestone with side rolling already. Slow down!
And finally, the other big motor achievement that makes her PT parents so happy is that she's getting the hang of putting things into her mouth. Her hands are still number one, but now she can usually coordinate the act of putting her blanket, dress, or even a stuffed animal into that adorable little mouth. It seems too early for this, too!
Social butterfly: Little lady is thisclose to laughing now, and I'm pretty sure I will die of the cuteness when it happens. Now she will smile really big and kind of go 'huh'--like the laugh wants to come out but it can't quite surface yet. Cecelia is just so alert and into her surroundings now that she's becoming a social butterfly, for sure. She loves to make eye contact and seems so purposeful with her gaze. One of my patients asked to see pictures of Cece and when I showed him, he said,' She is only 2 months old? She looks a lot older than that---about a year old or so! She is just so alert and awake.'. Um, obviously she does NOT look like she's a year old but it was still an interesting comment to hear that she looks mature for her age. Someday she will not appreciate looking older than her years (months).
(loves all of her friends!)
Out and about: The biggest accomplishment here is that our family of four enjoyed our first dinner out at a restaurant this month! Well technically it was ON Cecelia's 3 month birthday (when this post should have gone up), because that was also Nate's 31st birthday. We decided to risk it and ride the recent high of 'our baby is so chill in the evenings now!' at a public establishment. And sure enough---she stayed in her car seat like a happy little baby for nearly the entire meal. I pulled her out of there at the very end and almost shed a tear at how beautiful it was to spend that time with my family....without her crying. There is no way we could have done a dinner out with Cecelia a few weeks ago. Thank you God for this new child of ours!!
Favorite baby gear:
-our new Ergo carrier
-her pink bunny for chewing fun
-nuk brand bottles (aka the fake nipple that reigned in my daughter's hatred towards falsies)
-iTunes visualizer. Thank you, Steve Jobs, for this amazing baby soother.
Little sister and big brother:
At three months, Truman was a hefty 16+ pounds, bald, and super chunky. Cecelia is still proving to be a dainty version of big brother...with a lot of red hair. But as I read back over Truman's three month post I just smile at all of their similarities: love for the outdoors, smiling a ton, the visualizer, and eating their hands. I vaguely remember this stage of Truman's life and I really do love getting past the 'fourth trimester'!
With both of my children at Lori's for daycare, I can definitely say that I am just so proud of these two siblings. Truman is protective and sweet with his sister and she seriously loves the big guy in her life. Anytime he enters the room she will just stare at him in wonder, and then he'll say, 'Oh, hi, Cece! See my train?' or something like that. It's adorable. I'm definitely getting to the point when I am loving having two kids. Not that I didn't love it before, but it was just really freaking hard in those early weeks and looking back helps me to be even more grateful for our present-day Cecelia.
We love you, baby girl. Can't wait to watch you grow.