I am constantly amazed by how much little miss can change in a month. I was visiting with my girlfriend, who recently had a baby (as in, 3 weeks ago), and I was chatting with her about how much can change within weeks. I remember when Harper was 3 weeks old and we were convinced that we would have to cancel our hotel reservations for a family trip we had planned for when she was 6 weeks. Yet, week by week she grew, and by the time 6 weeks rolled around we were confident that we would be okay. Now, sitting at 7 months I am taken back by her growth, our growth as parents, and the changes that have happened over the past months. With that, here is my 7 month update.
General Thought + Feelings: At the risk of being overly cliché, motherhood is truly one of the greatest joys and one of the hardest jobs… all at the same time. I am amazed, daily, at this little girl that I carried and birthed…. at her little facial expressions, her developing personality, and her sweet little rolls. I love watching her meet developmental milestones. Singing and reading with her is something I absolutely love…. She’s a sidekick….
Yet, at the same time, it’s a hard gig. If there is one feeling I’ve struggled with the most this month it’s guilt. Not a debilitating guilt, more of a small little voice that makes me question myself. If we do something that is outside of her routine, I feel bad… maybe I’m throwing her off. If I need to take a break and TJ takes over, I feel bad…. I’m not spending enough time with her … or if I have her engaging in independent play, I feel like I am neglecting her. Sometimes I can’t wait for her to be a tad older…. and then I feel bad for wishing that and not being fully present in the moment with where she is. We can all leave our 9-5 job for the evening and not have to worry about it for a few hours…. but who can leave the job of being a mother? It’s a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job… one that brings so much joy, yes, but one that, if I’m being completely honest, is challenging.
I don’t know if other mothers feel this way…. maybe it’s just me… I don’t think it is though. There is pressure to be a perfect mother…. not necessarily from others, but from myself. I know that’s not possible, and that giving myself grace is necessary. So, that’s my challenge for this month…. grace and acceptance that I am doing the best I can.
Sleeping + Feeding: Little miss is still giving us 11.5-12 hours of sleep, which I feel so blessed with. I keep her on a relatively consistent schedule, so she naps about 3 times a day. We recently dropped her late afternoon nap, so she stays awake from 4:30pm-7:30pm. I’ve been asked several times what her current schedule is, so I thought I would share it here:
7:30am-9am: Feed + playtime (this often consists of story time, songs, and tummy time)
9am-10:30am: Nap (this is getting a little shorter, so I am thinking we will need a shift in this area soon)
10:30am-1:30pm: Feed, Outing, Catnap or Full Nap (if we are out and about running errands, or out to lunch, she will often take a catnap in the car. If we are visiting with friends, she will go down for a nap).
1:30pm-3pm: Feeding, floor time (songs, story, independent play, tummy time)
3-4:30pm: Afternoon Nap
4:30pm-6:45pm: Feeding, outing (can be a quick walk, or a quick errand), independent play, tummy time… sometimes TJ and I go out for dinner or grab some pressed juicery during this time frame)
6:45pm-7:30pm: Bedtime routine: bath, book (great bedtime story), nurse
Since this schedule is pretty routine, I make accommodations when things come up and it doesn’t seem to throw her off much. I do look forward to the day when only one nap is needed…. but that’s more because I am an on the go person and love to be out and about.
As far as feeding goes, I wrote a few musings on nursing here, so I feel like that pretty much explains it all. We’re well under way with solids, and I love seeing what she enjoys…. although, there really hasn’t been anything she hasn’t liked. She’s particularly fond of a Kale, Avocado, Apple mix and I recently introduced Pumpkin, Carrot, and Apple…. which she pretty much went crazy over. Depending on what the day looks like, I either mash up some food or use these pouches, since they are easily portable and all natural. Since she no longer takes her evening nap, we love putting her in her high chair and having her sit with us at dinner. It’s a little family dinner, and I love it (baby screams and all….).
Fitness/Body: You guys…. I’m tired. With Harper getting older, she definitely demands more attention, and this momma gets tired. Yet, when that alarm goes off, I still get myself up and out… because I ultimately feel better when I do. As opposed to prior months, I am definitely starting to feel more like myself…. or, maybe I’m accepting things a little more. I was chatting with my girlfriend about that post-pregnancy body and I think that there is something to be proud of as well. My hips are not where they were, and my rib cage is still expanded, but you know what, I carried a baby, birthed that bébé, and there is something to be said about that miracle…. and the miracle your body was a site to (but, don’t get me wrong, there are still moments where I get frustrated).
Now, if my hair could stop falling out that would be great. I’ve read that it’s normal, that nursing contributes to it, but it’s not easy when you pull out a handful of hair every time you wash it. I’m utilizing vital collagen protein in my morning oatmeal and smoothies in hopes that it will help with growth (although, I have some baby hairs sprouting…. so I’m thinking that’s a somewhat positive sign….). Any tips and tricks, send them my way!
Relationships: I added this section last month, and think it’s a good one to continue with. Yet, I’ve expanded it to relationships in general….
I think as women, there are so many different hats we wear. We are wives, mothers, entrepreneurs or employees, and then we want to be friends to those friendships we so value. In all honesty, that can be hard. Ever tried to wear 4 hats at a time? I have (I posted it on snap) and some of them started to fall off… Which I think resembles what happens when we try to be all things to all people. One of my oldest girlfriends and I played phone tag for a month before finally connecting and catching up…. I sent her text messages about how horrible I felt that it was so hard to connect…. her response to me was so gracious and understanding. She simply stated that she understood, and that with all the responsibilities we have, it’s difficult to connect.
For me, personally, this was something I wanted to work on this past month. I value all of my friendships so much (many I’ve had for 10+ years) and sometimes feel like, at the end of the day, when I’m tired, I just want to veg and not talk. At all (anyone else??… or is that just the introvert in me??). I’ve been trying to set aside a little time each week to reach out via text message, or phone while driving (of course, hands free). I feel blessed to have friends who are all in the same place, so we all have a general understanding of where the other is coming from. Amen for good girlfriends!
TJ and I continue to enjoy our wine and music evenings… and weekend outings as a family. Just like friendships, the marriage has to constantly be attended to. I so appreciate our ability to openly communicate our feelings to one another… because let’s face it, being a parent isn’t easy… yet, I think we’re doing a pretty good job navigating this adventure (because really, that’s what it is). We frequently have conversations about how we can better meet the other’s love language and fill the other’s bucket…. not that anyone intentionally neglects the other, but it’s always important to let the other know how much you appreciate them.
Favorite Moments: I don’t even know where to begin here. As she grows, her personality blossoms right along with it…. and let me tell you, we have a little bit of sugar and spice on our hands. I’ve loved watching her start her crawling journey…. little miss’ planks are superior to mine (if you follow on snap… you’ve seen those skills). She shows preferences for certain items (which naturally go straight in the mouth) and lets you know when she isn’t happy about it being taken away (as in loud screams… piercing). Her smile is absolutely infectious and I hope she never looses that quality!
I recently started going to story and music time with her. It’s short, 20 minutes, which is about all she has the span for…. it’s a great way for her to be around other little ones, and I love the books that are read and the songs that we sing…. more importantly, I love seeing her smile throughout the class.
She sprouted a tooth…. but somehow we have escaped the nighttime teething fussiness (knock on wood!!). She definitely had shorter naps and woke up fussy when she was teething, but continued to sleep throughout the evening. I found that getting outside helped to reduce some of the fussiness.
TJ discovered that she loves riding on our shoulders! She has a perma smile on her face when she’s riding high… must be the new view!
We nixed the solo flight for me to meet up with TJ in New York, and instead opted to head to Hawaii again in October. I can’t wait to see how different it will be this time around!
Favorite Products: I’ve become quite the product junkie since becoming a mom…. I feel like I have to test it all out…. and I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favorites with you.
BabyBjorn High Chair: (c/o) This high chair is amazing. It fits her perfectly, is incredibly easy to collapse and hide, and there aren’t any crevices where food gets stuck. It’s lightweight, and she seriously loves sitting in it. It comes in three different color options too.
BabyBjorn Baby Bouncer: Another excellent item. She graduated from the mommaRoo, and loves this little mesh bouncer. Again, light weight, easy to store, and something that she loves to hang out in! It’s win win for us all.
Highchair Cover: This is one of my favorite new products for her this month. Taking her to a restaurant and having her sit in the high chair is so fun. It’s so much more inclusive and she loves hanging out with us. It also makes it so much easier for us to enjoy our meal, since we don’t have to have her sitting in our lap. I have yet to use it in a shopping cart, but I am sure it will be just as great!
Battery Pack: Okay, I know this seems so basic, but I recently purchased a battery pack for my pump and it changed the whole complexion. It makes it portable, and since I don’t need an outlet, I can pump anywhere (if she decides to take a bottle consistently).
Boyfriend Tank: For me, this has been my most worn and absolute favorite top. It hangs perfectly, the material is super soft, and I own it in several colors. If you’re wanting a casual tank, that can work for some many different occasions, check this one out!
Vintage Track Pants: The. Most. Comfortable. Sweatpants…. for those evenings where I stay up too late sipping vino with TJ and wake up too early for a morning run. You’ll love them.
Wish us luck as we embark on this 8th month!!