Wallace | Seven Months

Closer to a year than his birth, Wallace is officially seven months old. How? I do not know, my friends.

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It was a huge month for our little caboose: he went from army crawling, to four-point crawling, to pushing into sitting alone, and then pulling to stand. Yes, it's super early for him to be this mobile and I have no idea WHY he's this insane. We've done nothing different with him compared to our sweet Porter boy who didn't roll or crawl or pull to stand until almost a year old. It cracks me up to compare these two dudes, who are polar opposites when it comes to motor milestones!

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But anyway, Wallace is all over the house now and it's a whole new ballgame. He's pulled up on our bottom stair and stands there, looking over at me with a smile. He's trying to climb on top of our mini-trampoline (the centerpiece of our decor during winter months), and will stand at Porter's train table until he's tasted every train. We are doing our best to 'baby proof' the house but it's no small feat, when tiny Shopkins, miniature trucks, and other choke-worthy items seem to end up on the floor at all times. The big kids are really helpful with intercepting foreign objects from Wallace's grubby little hands, and I'm feeling more inspired to capture the dust bunnies living in our corners.

Was getting stuck under things for awhile, now can free himself!
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I'm going to schedule the regular cleaning lady soon, mark my words.

We had to drop the crib mattress this week, as Ace started pulling up in the crib and is a man obsessed with standing instead of laying down. He 'sort of' knows how to sit back down but not really, because he mostly just bails and falls to the side when he wants to move on. Once he masters sitting down gracefully he will probably be a lot happier and less frustrated.

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Because also, he STLL hasn't cut his first tooth, which seems to be a source of great irritation for him. I haven't looked back at the archives to be sure, but I remember the other three cutting teeth at 6 months. I keep jamming my finger in his mouth and praying I'll feel a little nub, but so far no dice. He's not THAT cranky but he has his moments, that for sure. I will continue to blame teething/a growth spurt for about....two more years?

Sorry, not sorry.
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Speaking of growth, this baby is moving into 12 month outfits. He's between 18-19 pounds and looooooves to eat solids now. We are feeding him purees 2-3 times per day and he can easily slam 4-6oz of baby food in a sitting. I think he will keep going if I let him! He can also grab puffs and Baby Mum Mum crackers and some yogurt melts, which is great because it keeps him busy in the high chair while I'm making dinner. I haven't been really strict with introducing new foods one at a time, because #fourthbaby, but so far he seems to love mangoes and bananas the best. I'm really into the Plum Organics brand of baby purees this time (not sponsored!) and some of their flavors seem  downright delicious. Raspberry, banana, barley? Turmeric and Cardamom? Yes, please!

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Henry is a huge fan of babies at this age.
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Because Ace is eating so much 'real' food, he's adjusting to his new poop schedule and has to really push them out now. I won't go into detail and don't think he is truly constipated, but he has to work harder than when he was only consuming breastmilk. And the diapers are much more offensive now, so sad!

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He's still nursing really well, although we are playing around with our nursing/pumping schedule and I think my supply is finally dropping down from where it was a month ago. Right now Wallace nurses around 7:30 am before I go to work, he takes a 5 oz bottle of pumped milk around 11-12am, nurses again when I come home around 2:30, sometimes a snack around 5pm, and now we do a 5 oz bottle of breastmilk before bedtime around 6:30pm. He also has solids at lunch and dinner, and then I pump at work one time and before I go to bed. I HATE pumping and am toying with the idea of dropping the work pump session, but we will see. I do still have about 250-300oz of milk frozen from my maternity leave/early return to work when he refused a bottle. I also find myself less psychotic about avoiding formula, because Porter had already self-weaned at this point and did just fine on formula. Of course, I worry Ace won't even drink formula if we offered because he's so darn picky, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, just celebrating an awesome nursing relationship for the past seven months!

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He IS starting to clamp down/bite my nipple and whip his head around in distraction, which causes me to scream in pain----not fun at all, and hopefully he stops that soon. I want to continue nursing as long as he wants to nurse, and I could see this guy nursing well beyond a year. We will see, I suppose!

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Now for sleep talk: I just finished the book Precious Little Sleep and seriously love it, you should definitely read it if you are struggling with sleep issues in your baby/toddler. I started off by devouring her blog and then her FB page, and then finally bought and read the book this month. I am a big fan of the author's take on sleep training---it gets right to the point, saying it's necessary to teach kids how to sleep independently so that they can be well rested and healthy, and she throws in a little bit of sarcasm/humor to lighten the topic. Really, it's a great read and I'm not sure why I haven't heard of this book before now!

Wallace is most definitely NOT sleeping through the night but we have come so far from the days when he needed to be glued to my boob all night long. Having his own nursery was a huge step. And now we have solidified a bedtime routine to include bottle (so he stays awake during the last feed, and also gets really full), then bath, lotion and jammies, books and singing, then GOODNIGHT at 7pm! Sometimes he fusses around for about 5-10 minutes in protest, but some nights he goes down without any grumbles. This. Is. Huge.

Then he consistently wakes about twice at night to eat, around 12 or 1, and then again around 4 or 5. I'm starting to try the PLS method of night weaning by shortening our nursing sessions at night, and I won't feed Wallace if he wakes before midnight. Usually he will nurse for about 15 min and then I'll lay him down without issue, but sometimes he is super pissy to be removed from the breast. Last night he was only up once at 3 am, and he kept falling right to sleep nursing. I doubt he's truly hungry at night as he's plenty big/old to make it without night feeds, but I know he's just used to eating at night and loves to nurse for comfort. We will get there, as I'm more than mentally ready to sleep longer than 5 hour stretches. I'm super proud of Wallace for how far he's come with sleeping at night and can absolutely see a difference in his demeanor when he's slept well at night. It makes for a happier mom, happier baby, and happier family life when we sleep. Who knew?

Naps are getting more consistent, too. We try to follow the 2-3-4 rule, which means he is awake for 2 hours in the morning before his first nap. That puts him going down around 9 am, and then he will sleep anywhere from 45 min to 1.5 hours. Then we keep him up for 3 hours before nap number two, usually putting him down around 1-2pm. That second nap is usually only 45 min or so, but sometimes longer. Then he can make it for about 4 hours before bedtime, assuming he wakes from his second nap around 3 and bedtime is 7pm.

I'm sure this sleep talk is not nearly as fascinating for you as it is for me, but I'm definitely becoming obsessed with getting more sleep these days. I'm going to be 37 in a few months, and with four kids and a part time job outside of the home (and everything else in life), mama needs some freaking sleep!! Who doesn't, right?

What else? Oh, this past month Wallace also had his first double ear infection and therefore his first round of Amoxicillin. He was up from 10-2am one night and then the next night was just as bad, so I trusted my gut and took him in to the doc, hoping for answers. Sure enough, double ear infection. BOO. He truly hated the amoxicillin and spit most of it out for the first 5 days, then started to accept it better in the final 5 days.

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We've also been hit with a wave of illness in this house beyond the ear infection, as Truman had a fever and missed a day of school, then he started puking a few days later and missed two more days of school. My stomach has NOT been right since then and I've been kind of stressed about everyone else getting sick. I think about 1/3 of the kids are sick at home at the kids' school, as this winter has just SUCKED for sickness! Truman and Cecelia had their first ever snow day yesterday, though, which is very unlike Wisconsin to call it after just 5-6" of snow! But we will take an extra day at home, and luckily Tony didn't mind having them home while I worked my usual 5 hours.

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Wallace's personality remains the sweetest, happiest, and most curious little baby around. He loves watching his siblings and now follows them around the house. He sometimes cries when I leave the room so I think separation anxiety is beginning, but usually he's just fine as long as he's entertained. And he's a BUSY BOY, constantly crawling around, standing, putting things in his mouth, squealing, etc. His smile and giggle melt us and it's hard to feel stressed when starting at this face.

The month of January was a good one around here. And not related to the baby, the house addition is 99.99% finished and I expect we will officially sign the completion papers this week. Nate also turned in his notice at his job and is opening his own PT clinic through a Detroit-based company. We expect his new doors to open mid-March and it's quite surreal for him to OFFICIALLY go this route! It's been a long time coming and we are excited for all that's to come. I've been in my supervisor position for a year already, too. Time flies!

Back of house, cannot WAIT to have the entire thing painted this spring!
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Life is wild but it's incredibly good, too.
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Wallace | Six Months

As Truman says, 'It's Wallace's half birthday! I can't believe he's zero-and-a-half!'

Quilt shots getting really difficult. #ConstantBlur
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This baby is no longer a teeny tiny baby. He's officially army crawling, pivoting on his tummy, up on all fours and rocking, scooting himself around the house, and has discovered Porter's delicious trains and trucks and various toys/dust bunnies. He will plank, get up on all fours, and then plop down in satisfaction. He can move forward now and seems to practice his new moves in his crib, when he is supposed to be sleeping.

Very dangerous place to be now.
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On that topic, we are still working at the sleep thing. Ace is finding his groove with a solid bedtime routine at 7pm: bath, jammies, playtime in the dimly lit nursery, then nursing and bed. I want to move the nursing up in the schedule so it's not the very last thing he does before snoozing, but we aren't there yet. He usually wakes up about twice at night to eat and sometimes goes back to sleep easily, sometimes NOT. The new fun is when he wakes up RIGHT when I fall asleep for the night, around 10:30, for the first time---then again around 2 and 4. Yawn. I'm pretty sure he's old enough and large enough to night wean, so I will put that on our To-Do list.

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We took an epic nap together over Christmas and it was the greatest.
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Naps are decent, usually taking his first one around 9 or 9:30 and it lasts for about 1-1.5 hours. Then his second nap is a little harder to come by, but usually happens after he's been awake for 2-3 hours. On my work days he is rocking the bottle now, taking about 5-6 ounces no problem. He still prefers to nurse at least twice in the evenings when we are reunited but it's much improved from last month. YAY. I find myself being able to set him down and he can play on the floor while I cook dinner. Gone are the days when I was nursing and carrying a fussy baby while eating/wiping butts/etc.

Oh, my heart.
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I think Wallace will cut his first tooth really soon, based on the constant red cheeks and hands in his mouth non-stop. The others all cut their first teeth at 6 months so I'd be surprised if mister man takes much longer. His cheeks were so red and seemingly chapped this month that I thought maybe he had Fifths Disease, but now I'm thinking it's just from drool and dry air. I've been putting Aquaphor on the baby's sweet skin and that seems to help a little bit.

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Also enjoys sucking in his lower lip.
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The other really big event from this past month is that Wallace is eating solid foods! His first foray into anything other than breastmilk went well. I baked and then pureed some sweet potatoes mixed with water and breastmilk, and he was immediately impressed. I love the look on his face, like, 'Why have you been holding out on me this long?' We also tried an avocado and then a banana in the mesh teether, and both seemed fine but I doubt he actually ingested much. The thicker, store bought version, of baby food in a squeeze pouch did NOT got over so well---definitely too thick for the texture, I guess!

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Nightly baths in the bumbo are now a must, given his love for holding his own spoon full of sweet potatoes. He loves his jumparoo and his playmat, although he won't stay ON the playmate for longer than a minute before he is across the room, getting into trouble.

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Yellow water from color changing tablets, not pee (I think).
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Timehop told me that three years ago, Porter completely weaned himself from breastfeeding at this same exact age. Combining this fact with the memory of Porter refusing to roll or crawl or move at all until one year of age? These two boys are complete opposites. Ace loves to nurse and for that I'm really grateful. I haven't had to supplement with him, mostly because he has amped up my supply with frequent and efficient nursing this whole time. I'm still pumping once during my work days, getting about 5-6 oz at a time, which is exactly what he's taking while I'm gone. I'll feel random let downs (even at home) if I go more than 3 hours without nursing/pumping. This seems sort of crazy to me, at the six month mark, but I'll take it. At the advice of many IG friends, I started taking Sunflower Letchin, and (knock on wood) I haven't had mastitis or a bad plugged duct since. Hooray! Mostly very grateful to have such a wonderful nursing relationship with this babe, because the snuggles are intoxicating. He's more distracted now than he was a few months ago, which makes nursing a little more challenging (ripping my nipple off as his whips his head around? No thanks). But for now it's working and he is a big nurse for comfort guy, too.

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Wallace is still just the smiliest, most laid back baby. Strangers comment on how HAPPY he is. They also say he is Nate's spitting image, which is sweet except that Wallace is super fat and bald and has big ears ;) Ace has his six month appointment this Friday, but he's probably at least in the 50th percentiles for everything. Wearing 9 month clothes, size 3 diapers, and still boasting some mega arm rolls and thigh fat.

He loves his big siblings and is highly entertained by their antics. The love is reciprocal because Truman, Cecelia, and Porter all have their own ways to interact with Ace in the most awesome ways. Truman enjoys carrying Wallace around the house and talks to him in a high pitched voice, announcing to his class at school about every little milestone Wallace hits. Cecelia requests to lay with Wallace on the couch and she 'babysat' him once for me, in the nursery, while I gave the big boys haircuts in the shower across the hall. Granted, she did let him crawl inside of the closet where he started pulling out diapers from a box but hey, it worked! And Porter has a big heart for his little brother, frequently telling me that he doesn't like Wallace to cry, and he will provide numerous toys to keep him distracted if the baby is upset.

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Someone had his first Christmas and got maybe one gift!
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Also had his first cold and rocked it, too. Definitely threw off any good sleep training we did but whatevs. Watery eyes and stuffy nose, so sad.
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Oh, duh. ALSO, Wallace got baptized this month! We had Nate's brother, Jon, and his wife, Brittany, as the godparents while they visited us from Oregon over the holidays. Wallace did amazing, considering he hadn't napped that morning before the 11:00 service. He wore the same white outfit that my mom made for Truman and also Porter wore. Ah, seeing all three boys in the same clothes does something to my heart.
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His nursery is nearly fully decorated and I love it so so much. Sneak peek of my view in the glider, at those Swiss cross decals that nearly killed Nate and his brother to apply:


I don't know what else to report about our caboose who is a half of a FREAKING year old already. He is pretty much smothered in love at all times and brings us an absurd amount of joy daily. We love you, Waller Baller!

Wallace | Five Months

This is going to be a short update, FOR REAL THIS TIME, because life is nuts but I just can't let go of the monthly posts.

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Wallace is five months old now. He is rolling all over the place, pushing up close to the All Fours position, scoots around on his tummy in a circle, and has already tried to eat our Christmas tree a few times. How is this happening so early?!!

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He was on that mat when I walked away, then I returned to this:
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He's a happy dude and loves to stare at the big kids. I'm thinking he's an early mover simply because he knows he has to get the heck out of the way of these three other kids---or at least keep up with them.

He's grabbing at our food and looking at cups like they are the most fascinating thing ever. Kid wants to eat, but mommy just isn't ready yet. Not ready for the changing poops or the mess, but I guess I better suck it up and go for it soon. The others all started solids around 5.5-6 months, so yeah. It's time.

Oh my heart.
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First picture I took on my real camera since his birthday...yikes. But DIY Christmas cards were calling!
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Wallace is still an excellent nurser and is even taking the bottle while I'm gone now!! Usually he drinks about 5-6 ounces while I'm away, and then nurses non-stop from the time I get home until bedtime. This is actually a point of contention with me, because I'm reaching my breaking point like woah. I cannot sit on the couch and nurse from 5-10pm even though that's what Ace would love. It's hard not having any break time to breathe, and no--work doesn't count as a 'break'. It's work and it's something else to manage/think about/focus on other than myself. I do not get to relax at work, although I usually manage to have a hot cup of coffee from my thermos, so there's that;) I could go on and on, and really---things are going well, but we need to find a schedule for nursing and sleeping ASAP.



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Last night I finally said that it's time to implement some sleep training, even though I HATE HATE HATE it. I also despise being sleep deprived and stressed out and not able to give my family the best of me. So we are sleep training and last night went really well so far. Wallace still loves me and is smiling at me right now, so I'll remember that when I'm wavering tonight against his cries.

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We are striving for two naps each day, around 9 and 1. Admittedly, we have been failing greatly at this but I have high hopes for the next month. And instead of finally laying him down at 10pm and then crashing into bed myself, we are going to stick to a 7pm bedtime. Here goes nothing!!

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He's wearing size 9 month clothes and a size 3 diaper that I found seemed to fit much better than size 2. Baby Wallace is not an infant anymore, you guys. He's growing up so fast and is still so squeezable and edible.

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Hands are ALWAYS in his mouth and his cheeks get super red lately, drooling constantly. He has to be teething? He also seems to have a little bit of a cold but he's not letting that affect his outlook on life just yet---dude is super chill and just the best.

Plus, I have another diaper changer in the house though, so it's all good.
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And Ace has two mommies, didn't you know?
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OH yes, and he is taking a bath with Cecelia and Porter by using the old Bumbo trick. I have to hold him down so he doesn't float but he freaking loves bath time now.
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I'm forgetting 90% of what I wanted to blab about today, but duty calls. And by 'duty' I mean gathering up snow gear to walk across the street and get the big kids from school.

(ALSO, our addition is basically done! Remember that time we broke ground in June? And signed the contract with the architect back in January? Yeah, the project is still continuing but it's so close to being 100% finished! The outside still has a good week of work left to complete, but the inside? It's so amazing! King bed for us, new beds for the kids, all of us have our own personal space....someday a blog post will follow. We went from 3 beds/1.5 baths to now 5 beds/2.5 baths and it's glorious. But when I say life is nuts for Wallace (and for all of us), the addition is a big part of that statement.)

CRAZY TOWN = our house
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It's crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way with these buggers.
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Help me, ma.
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And, okay, a sneak peek of the master bathroom Untitled
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