Winter’s 11 Month Update

11months

BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 11 months old

Baby’s Age: 11 months old

Height: not sure this month

Weight: 19 lbs 5 oz

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: 12 months

(All as of September 10, 2014)

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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September 2014 – Last update before Winter turns 1!

Is it really only one month until Winter has her first birthday?!?  No, that is not possible.  It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant.  I was clueless as to what our lives would REALLY be like once our baby would be born.  I thought I knew, but boy was I CLUELESS!!  I didn’t know just HOW wonderful life could be until Winter was born.  Who knew there was a void until it was filled?  Here I was almost a year ago:

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First off, I am in denial.  Serious denial.  How could THIS baby:

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…already be turning one in a few weeks?!?  This picture was taken at the hospital, right before we brought Winter home.  To think that my little girl is soon to be walking and soon-to-be a toddler blows my mind.  DENIAL!  Here she is now at 11 months:

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Winter is a MOVER!  She loves to move, move, move.  She doesn’t sit still.  She is constantly on the go, whether she is crawling or cruising.  This momma doesn’t have much time to do anything besides chase a baby around anymore!  Ha!  I love it.

In the past month we have been busy getting unpacked and settling into our new home.  Winter didn’t exactly pull her weight around here by chipping in for any of our DIY house projects….although I’m sure she would’ve helped if she could’ve!  She’s sweet.  All joking aside, the dog nor cat pulled their weight around here either.  🙂  So, Eric and I have been busy whipping this house into the kind of shape we’d like to live in.  We have been painting like crazy, hanging pictures on the walls and whatnot.  The new house is actually FEELING like our home now!

Winter has been teething hardcore.  She is working on the top two center teeth.  They have been working on coming in for weeks.  Any second they will be cutting through.  (Update: As of Sept 25 they finally cut through.)  These two teeth are little boogers…they have proven to be more difficult and painful than her first two teeth.  Baby Tylenol, teething tablets and amber bead necklace have been our friends.  A friend recommended we switch from baby Tylenol to Ibuprofen or Motrin since she is old enough for it.  She said it is more effective and lasts longer.  I think I’ll be buying some soon!  Now, about these center top teeth, I have to admit…it’s going to really change how Winter looks when they finally come in.  She will look older and different with those teeth.  I bet she’ll be cute, but I am never a fan of change.  😦

While Winter is not yet walking on her own, none of us feel any urgency for that milestone to happen just yet.  I’m sure she will start walking within a normal time frame.  She pulls up on everything, walks along the furniture while holding on with one or two hands, walks while pushing her cruising toy, etc.  She is a mover!

Winter has started making a super cheesy face when she smiles.  She gives a big old toothy grin and squints her eyes–so cute!  She cracks us up.

Nursing is still going in full force around here!  At 11 months, I dropped her lunchtime feeding, bringing us down to 3 feedings per day.  She has done well with the transition.  Nursing only 3 times per day feels SO EASY!  It hardly feels like I’m doing it at all.  I am in no rush to wean her.  We will keep on nursing until I feel that we are BOTH ready to stop.  As of now, we are both perfectly happy to keep on going!  At this rate, we will be continuing past the 12 month mark.  I must say, she is pretty funny when she nurses these days.  She only takes about 5-7 minutes in total, but 1-2 minutes of that is her popping off to play with or pinch my nipple.  It’s hilarious…I laugh every time!  In addition to her “play breaks,” she also is such a mover that she does not just lie down to nurse, she stands up, crawls around and climbs all over me during the nursing process.  I’m like her boob jungle gym!  🙂

I am planning her first birthday party for the day after her birthday.  We are keeping the guest list short and sweet.  We have my sister and her husband coming to Colorado to help us celebrate!  We are excited to see them.  Also on the invitation list includes a few close friends as well as a few of Winter’s and my friends from our mom/baby group.  The theme is a “Winter ONEderland.”  I know.  Perfect!  I bought all kinds of wintery décor and am asking guests to all wear white attire.  I am also planning to do a cake smash photo-shoot.  My goal is to attempt to DIY the photo-shoot to avoid paying a hefty photography bill.  I will post pictures after we do the shoot!  I plan to do the photo-shoot a couple of days before her birthday.

Here is what Winter’s invitations look like (with the address removed, of course):

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Milestones: Crawling, pulling up on things, cruising, assisted walking (holding onto our hands), talking a lot (mama, dada, meow, da for dog, and other various sounds), clapping, has almost 4 teeth.

Sleep: Same as before, 2 naps (each 2 hours; 10am-12pm and 3pm-5pm) and 12 hours (8pm-8am) at night.  She rocks!

Best Moment: When Winter called ME “mama” for the first time.  Though she has been saying it for months, I felt like she finally associated the word with ME!

Worst Moment: Winter got her first boo boo.  She felt against our bedframe and busted her lip.  OUCH!  It was bleeding and she was hysterical.  I was too.  Mom fail.  I know this won’t be the last time she gets hurt, but I am not looking forward to future accidents!  😦

Health:  Excellent!  She is growing lengthwise it seems, not weightwise anymore.  She really has “thinned out” lately because she’s so active.  I haven’t measured her in a while, so I will be curious to see how tall she is at her upcoming 12 month appointment.

Eating:  She nurses 3 times per day (morning, before afternoon nap and bedtime).  She eats breakfast, lunch and dinner, all regular foods, no baby foods.  She is obsessed with raisins and bread.  I’ve been working to teach her the sign for “more,” but instead of doing the correct sign, she claps and says “mo.”  I think that is sufficient…

Likes: Eating, clapping, walking/pushing her crusing toy, jabbering, making cat “meow” sounds, getting into everything, feeling soft textures.

Dislikes: Diaper changes, getting dressed after a bath.

How Mommy is doing: I am getting a little emotional that my “little baby” is turning one!  I know every new mom says that the first year flies by in the blink of an eye, and they are right.  It can’t already be a whole YEAR since I gave birth!  You can find me sobbing in the corner looking through photos from last October….

Aside from being emotional about Winter growing up, I’ve been busy training for my half marathon (coming up 10/19), being a table leader at MOPS and doing activities with our mom/baby group.  I love my life and getting to spend my days with Winter.  It’s the best!

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Winter’s 10 Month Update

10months

BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 10 months old

(All as of August 10, 2014)

Baby’s Age: 10 months old

Height: 27.5 inches

Weight: 19 lbs

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: 9 months and a few 12 months

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Here is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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August 2014…We Moved!

Sorry this is posted so terribly late!  I have an excuse every.single.month.  This month I feel like my excuse is even more valid…we moved!  In fact, our moving day to our new house was August 10, the day that Winter turned 10 months.  So needless to say, I haven’t had a moment to spare for blogging.  Not only that, but we didn’t have internet hooked up until this past week, so there we go!

Why did we move?  Well, the true answer is this…our previous home was bought as our “starter home” aka “5-year-home.”  We owned it for 5 years and now have a baby, compared to just the two of us when we bought it.  Our yard was tiny, the house was tiny, and we were feeling cramped!  Since we plan to have another kid or two in the future (yes, I said FUTURE, not NOW!), we wanted to plan ahead and buy a house with more space and a bigger yard.  Done!  Our new house has 2600 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms (2 full, 2 half), a finished basement and a big back yard.  We are absolutely LOVING this house!  It has been very busy considering we are DIYers, so we have been tackling projects ourselves.

Packing and moving with a mobile baby sure was an experience.  I utilized naptimes as much as possible.  Packing seemed like an endless job!  On moving day, we had some friends from church babysit Winter all day, so that we could focus all of our energy and effort into loading and unloading the truck.  That was so helpful to be babyless on moving day.  Unpacking at the new house was tricky for the first several days as there were many non-babyproofed danger zones to combat!  Thankfully, after we got a little more organized, put some outlet covers on and installed baby gates, the unpacking process went smoother.  We still have unpacking yet to do, but I imagine that will be the case for a few months to come!  One thing I love about our new house is that we have a 100% baby proof play room for Winter.  It is so wonderful to be able to let her play and make a mess to her heart’s content and not have to worry about her getting into unsafe things.  Every mom should have a baby proof play room in their house!

Winter is growing and getting smarter day by day.  She is very mobile.  She’s an expert crawler (started crawling at 8.5 months) and is pulling herself up onto everything.  She can also cruise (walking around while holding onto objects).  I doubt she’s close to walking just yet–I could see her walking somewhere around 12 months.  Since she is so mobile, she keeps me busy and on my toes!  I rarely have a chance to sit down.  I love it, though!

Her big thing these days is clapping.  It’s her favorite thing!  She claps all of the time.  Since Winter is such a happy girl, she expresses her happiness or joy by clapping when she likes something.

We were slow going on teeth, but now she seems to be catching up.  She got her second tooth, so now she has two teeth on the bottom center.  Her little teeth look so precious.  Thankfully, I have yet to feel a bite from those teeth while breastfeeding.  🙂

We were able to do Winter’s baby dedication at my parent’s church in Indiana.  It was really special.  Since we live in Colorado and don’t have our families here, doing the dedication in Indiana at my home church was really neat.  It was the church where Eric and I were married, and my youth pastor who married us was the one to do Winter’s dedication too.  How special.  Not only that, but it was extremely memorable to us that both Eric’s family and my family were able to not only be present, but joined us up on stage!  Every single one of our parents and siblings was there.  What a blessing.

Milestones: Crawling, pulling up on things, cruising, talking a lot (mama, dada, meow, da for dog, and other various sounds), clapping, has 2 teeth.

Sleep: Sleeping great!  2 daytime naps and 12 hours at night.  (Naps: 9:30-11:30am, 2:30-4:30pm and nighttime: 8pm-7:30am.)

Best Moment: Winter’s baby dedication at church.

Worst Moment: None.

Health:  Excellent!

Eating:  Winter is currently nursing 4 times per day and eating 3 solid meals.  She is a fantastic eater and there isn’t anything she doesn’t like (besides tomatoes).  It’s so nice to be able to feed her regular foods.  She eats what we eat, just chopped up into small pieces.

My breastfeeding plan has always been to nurse until a year old.  As that is approaching, I plan to get to 12 months and then reevaluate at that point what I’d like to do.  Winter is still as excited about nursing as ever, and I’m in no hurry to wean…so I could see us continuing past 12 months.  She currently nurses 4 times per day, and I plan to drop one feeding when she turns 11 months.  At 12 months, I will drop another feeding, so she will be down to two nursing’s per day (upon waking up and before bed).  I could continue with two nursing’s for forever, so easy!  Winter and I have such a bond, so we might go to 13 months or longer.  Neither of us is ready to say goodbye to this chapter!

Likes: Clapping, jabbering, making cat “meow” sounds, getting into everything, feeling soft textures.

Dislikes: Diaper changes, getting dressed after a bath.

How Mommy is doing: Not gonna lie, I have felt a wee bit overwhelmed these past few months.  Moving has been a lot!  Now life can slow down as we get settled.  Summer is coming to a close and Winter’s 1st birthday is right around the corner.  I want to cry just thinking about that!  Ha!   I am in training for my October half marathon.  Running is going well.  This race I am training for and running solo.  It is a luxury to be able to do my weekend long runs ALONE!  No stroller!  As much as I love my BOB stroller, it’s so freeing to be able to go outside and run without ANYTHING!  Woohoo!  Plus, since I’m training alone, I get to ulitize weekend naptime to go out and run while Eric is at home.  Overall, life is great.  Winter is great.  Being a mom is incredible.  I LOVE IT!

Winter’s 9 Month Update

9monthsoldBABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 9 months old

(All as of July 10, 2014)

Baby’s Age: 9 months old

Height: 27 inches

Weight: 18 lbs 8 oz

Head:

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: 9 months

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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 Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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July 2014 – This baby has gone through some ch-ch-changes… (Tooth, Crawling and Sleeping Through the Night Again)

(Written July 20, 2014) Looking back over the past month, from eight months till nine months, I’d say we have hit some big developments.  First of all, the “teething” that Winter has been going through for the past 3 months finally produced a tooth!  About a week before she turned 9 months, I started to see/feel the developments of the two bottom center teeth.  On the day she turned 9 months (July 10), her bottom right tooth finally began to cut through the gums.  It continues to make more and more of an appearance as the days go on.  Her bottom left tooth is on it’s way next, but has yet to cut through at this point.  It’s exciting for her to finally have her first tooth!  Took 9 months to achieve that goal, but by golly, it has finally happened.  Perhaps it’s better that it took until she was 9 months old to cut a tooth for the sake of breastfeeding and having yet to get a nipple gnawed off.  🙂  My friends said that biting during breastfeeding only became an issue once the top teeth made an appearance….  So at this rate, Winter might not have any top teeth until she is 12 months, and then she will be going through the weaning process anyway!

Another big development since last month: Winter is officially on the MOVE!  She was on the cusp of crawling for the past several months, getting on all fours and even rocking.  But finally, on July 3rd (a week before turning 9 months old), she finally took things to the next level and began arming crawling.  Not even a week later, on July 9, she upgraded from army crawling to regular crawling!  Just one day before turning 9 months old.  The more she crawls, the quicker and more efficient she has gotten.  No longer can I sit her down on the floor to play with toys and expect her to stay there…no, no.  She crawls all over the place, making me have to watch her like a hawk!  As exhausting as it is chasing her around, there is such a magic feeling to watch your child learn to do a huge new milestone!  Eric and I feel so proud of Winter!  It’s overwhelming how much joy she brings us.

In last month’s update, I remember I spent a fair share of time complaining about our sleep issues.  For about 7-8 continuous weeks, Winter went through a major sleep regression.  She went from previously sleeping through the night (12 hours), to waking 2-3 times every night.  I was beginning to feel desperate that my sleep filled nights were never going to resume.  At Winter’s 9 month pediatrician appointment, I explained our situation to her doc and hoped for some positive feedback.  Well, the doctor explained that by this point, Winter was in pattern of night waking and she was in a trained routine.  The best way to break her of this routine was to cut her off, cold turkey.  Oh boy!  I never thought I’d have to implement the “cry it out” method on Winter, as she was always a good sleeper.  But here we were, at a crossroads.  If we wanted to get our household back to a good sleeping routine, then it was time to give a new approach a whirl.  The doc said that it would take 3-5 continuous nights of letting her cry without going in to rescue and nurse her until she resumed a healthy nighttime sleep ritual.  Knowing myself, I knew that if I had to listen to her cry, I would cave and go get her.  So, we decided that it would be best to create a sound barrier so that it didn’t allow me the opportunity to cave in.  Night one, we made sure both her nursery door and our bedroom door were both closed.  We plugged in a huge (and very LOUD) boxfan in our room and turned it on the highest level.  That first night, she did wake up around her usual first wakeup (midnight), and we watched her on the monitor.  After approximately 15 minutes of crying, she went back to sleep.  That was the last we knew of her waking up!  I’m sure she has woken up and cried several times in those first few nights of sleep training, but we never heard her.  And that was wonderful.  She has always been happy in the morning, so obviously she was fine.  We have now gone 10 nights where all 3 of us have slept through the night and woken up refreshed, happy and healthy in the morning.  SCORE!!  Praise God that Winter is back on track in regards to sleep.  We went nearly 2 months with sleepless nights, and boy am I glad those are (hopefully) behind us.

Along with crawling has come the desire for pulling up on things.  We dropped Winter’s crib down to the lowest level after we realized we were long overdue for that.  She is so strong and she constantly tries to pull up on everything.  She is really good at getting up on her knees, but she still can’t always pull up to her feet.  She has done it a few times, but she’s still working towards that.

In mid June (June 20th to be exact), when Winter was 8.5 months, she spoke her first word.  “Mama.”  I was thrilled!  She now says “mama,” “dada,” “baba” and various other sounds mixed together.  She calls our dog, Koda, “a” (as in “ah”).  So cute.  We love hearing her speak her mind now!

Another big change in our family….we are MOVING!  When I say moving, I mean, moving out of our current house and into a new house.  We are staying in Denver, just buying a bigger home.  Mid June we officially put our house on the market, and received multiple offers within a weekend.  We accepted an offer and have been under contract, set to close soon.  Meanwhile, we had been house hunting for a while, but could officially begin putting offers on houses once our house was under contract.  After putting offers on 3 homes, we were finally able to get one of them.  Yay!  We are SO excited about our new house.  It has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths and 2 half baths, a big back yard, and is in our desired neighborhood.  We couldn’t be happier!  These past few months of getting our house staged and ready for the market, selling, house hunting, and now buying a house have been quite the adventure, to say the least.  We are exhausted.  We can’t WAIT for closing day so that we can move and get our lives back to “normal”….whatever that means.  Let’s just say, we hope to live in this next house for at least 20 years.  We’d like to avoid buying and selling again.  🙂  But we are so happy that we found a house that we can grow into.  Winter will have more space and she’ll actually have a yard to play in!

My brother, sister in law, and their two kids spent about a week with us at the beginning of July.  It was fun to spend time with them.  Winter really enjoyed playing with her cousins, David (3 years old) and Emily (17 months old).  Emily and Winter look a lot alike and could almost be sisters.  One day, the two of them were in a stroller together, and someone asked me how old they were.  After spouting off their ages, I quickly explained that they were cousins, not sisters!  🙂

Milestones: Crawling, pulling up on things, clapping, got her first tooth, back to sleeping through the night, and learning how to wave goodbye.

Sleep: After cold turkey sleep training, Winter is back to sleeping through the night.  She goes to bed around 7:30-8:30 pm and wakes up in the morning around 7:30-8:00 am.  She takes two really good naps, usually from 9am-11am and from 2:30pm-4:30 or 5pm.

Best Moment: Watching Winter crawl for the first time.  Also hearing her speak her first word: “mama.”

Worst Moment: Feeling like our sleepless nights were never going to end (thankfully that’s better now).

Health:  Very healthy!  She’s continuing to gain weight and reach her milestones.

Eating:  Lots of changes in regards to her eating once she hit 9 months.

1. We increased to 3 times per day of solids (breakfast, lunch and dinner).  We used to do only twice per day.

2. I dropped one feeding and now we are doing 4 nursing’s a day (instead of 5 and sometimes 6).  Dropping her to 4 liquid breastfeeding’s and increasing to 3 solid feedings, she has really done well with the transition.

Maybe I was a little dumb to drop a feeding at the same time we were sleep training her, but hey—it all worked out!  She’s 9 months old and she doesn’t need to be nursing every 2-3 hours anymore.  I realized that if I was going to drop a feeding that I needed to be consistent 100% of the time with 3 solid meals per day.  When it comes to solids, she doesn’t want “baby food” anymore.  She is totally OVER the purees phase.  She wants “big people food.”  So that’s what we give her.  She eats finger foods (ex. black beans, corn, chopped fruit, cheerios, chopped turkey/chicken, etc).  In addition to finger foods, she is obsessed with yogurt.  SHE LOVES IT!  She can eat yogurt nonstop all day long.  The pediatrician said that is perfectly fine, but just make sure she is getting the full-fat, full-calorie yogurt, not the low cal Greek yogurt I eat.

Here’s her current eating schedule:

7:30am – Nurse

7:45/8:00am – Eat breakfast (ie, yogurt, cheerios, prune juice)

11:30am – Nurse upon waking from nap

11:45am – Eat lunch (ie, chopped turkey, chopped strawberries, yogurt, puffs, water)

2:30pm – Nurse before nap

6:00pm – Eat dinner (ie, black beans, corn, peas, yogurt, water)

7:30pm – Nurse before bed

Likes: Smiling, laughing at herself, crawling, getting into things, standing up.

Dislikes: Lying still while getting a diaper change.

How Mommy is doing: As I mentioned, we are feeling exhausted with all of the house stuff going on these past few months.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!  We close on our new house in a few weeks.  I know that once we move and get settled into our new house, life will feel a little less exhausting and there will be fewer elements of stress.

Overall, life is great.  I’m beginning my half marathon training for my Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon (Oct 19th).  The first few weeks of training are always easy as I have maintained running and the distances are what I’m used to already.  In about a month from now, I’ll be running a little longer distances that always are a little intimidating, but that is why I progressively work up to them!

If you missed her previous updates, you can check out:

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

4 Month Update

5 Month Update

6 Month Update

7 Month Update

8 Month Update

Winter’s 6 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 6 months old

Baby’s Age: 6 months old

Height: 25 1/2 inches (34th percentile)

Weight: 16 pounds even (50th percentile)

Head: 42.2 cm (43rd percentile)

Diaper Size: Size 2 (we are about to move up to size 3)

Clothes Size: 6 months and some 6-9 months

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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April 10, 2014 – How on earth has half a year already passed by since Winter was born?!  It seems like you blink and you could miss it.  I’m constantly begging my little baby to stop growing and for time to slow down.  But somehow my wish hasn’t been granted.  🙂

Winter is doing so well.  She sits up all by herself.  Her main activity that she enjoys is sitting on the floor with toys all around her to play.  She grabs a toy and plays with it for about 30 seconds to a minute and then moves on to the next toy.  She is constantly wanting entertainment!  She loves to pick up a toy and shake it really hard, or wave it around.  She has started throwing things, though I think it’s still unintentionally!  When we are at play dates with her baby friends, she grabs toys away from other babies.  She sees a toy she wants, and she takes it.  I guess I’m going to have to introduce the concept of sharing.  For now, sharing doesn’t happen.

I experienced Winter’s first jealous moment.  I babysat all day for a friend’s baby (who is only 10 days younger than Winter) so they could enjoy a day skiing together as a couple.  While I fed the baby her bottle, Winter started getting really fussy and kept reaching her arms towards me!

Winter still has no teeth.  I love her gummy smile.  She is showing no true signs of teething, aside from constantly putting everything in her mouth.  Honestly, she is so darn cute toothless that I am in no rush for any teeth to make an appearance!  I want my baby to stay a baby.  🙂  Plus, I am not looking forward to getting bitten during breastfeeding with those baby teeth!!

Winter is so goofy sometimes.  She makes the funniest little faces and expressions!  My favorite face she makes is when she sucks her bottom lip in her mouth and purses her upper lip while blowing raspberries.  So cute!

She loves playing in her Little Einstein jumper/activity center.  She bounces up and down endlessly!  She loves that thing.

Friends and people are continuously mentioning to us how “good” of a baby she is.  We agree, she is such a joyful, happy little girl!  We feel so blessed by her in our lives.

Milestones: Rolls over constantly (rarely stays on her back for longer than 30 seconds), sits up unassisted, picks up toys and shakes them furiously, sleeps 11-12 hours non-stop each night, has gone 6 months exclusively breastfed.

Sleep: Winter sleeps for 11-12 hours at night without waking up.  This has been extended from a month ago when she was usually sleeping more like 10 hours straight, but I finally got brave enough to drop her late night “dreamfeed.”  Instead of waking her up around 10:30 pm to feed her, she goes down for the night around 8:00 or 8:30 pm after her last feeding.  Her usual wakeup time is around 7:45-8:00 am.  In addition to being excellent nighttime sleeper, Winter is a fantastic daytime napper too.  She usually takes a 2 hour nap every morning (9:30-11:30 am typically) and a 2.5-3 hour nap in the afternoon (usually 2:30-5:30 pm).  I LOVE that she is such a good sleeper!  Mommy is in heaven!

Best Moment: Lots of best moments.  I love how she always smiles at me when I come into her nursery in the morning to get her out of her crib.  She beams when she sees me, and I beam when I see her after missing her for 12 hours!

Worst Moment: Can’t remember any 🙂

Health:  Just shy of a month ago, she somehow caught a cough that lasted for about 12 or 13 days.  It wasn’t anything serious (no congestion or anything too terrible), but it was a lingering cough.  It’s amazing how these germs gets spread around during cold/flu season!  Hopefully we are DONE with sickness for a while!

Eating:  Now that we are hitting her 6 month mark, we are going to begin introducing some solids.  I still need to figure out our exact game plan, but we plan to start with pureed vegetables.  Our doctor said that we could skip rice cereal if we wanted.  As of her 6 month mark, she is still exclusively breastfed.  She has shown much interest in food, so it will be interesting to start feeding her solids!  (Because I am delayed on posting this by a week, we have now been trying to some vegetable purees once per day for the past several days.  We have tasted carrots, avocado and squash.  She isn’t so sure about actually SWALLOWING anything until last night, she finally seemed to get the idea a little bit!  Our pediatrician said that she might be getting vegetable facials for a little while until she actually grasps the concept of EATING.)

As of now, her current nursing schedule looks like this: 8:00 am upon waking, 11:30 am after her morning nap, 2:30 or 3:00 pm right before her long afternoon nap, 6:00 pm after her nap, and 8:00 pm before going down for the night.  5 feedings per day, occasionally 6 if she gets cranky and I put her on the boob (many times around 1 or 1:30 pm she tends to have a “hunger moment” where I just feed her an extra time).  It seems that no matter whether she has just eaten hours ago or 5 minutes ago, she will NEVER turn down the opportunity to nurse.  She loooooves milk!

Likes: Jumping up and down in her bouncer, sitting and playing with toys, rolling all over the place, pulling hair, putting anything & everything in her mouth, smiling, laughing, singing songs, sucking on her wabbanub pacifiers, reading books, putting her hands in her mouth, playing with toys, putting ANYTHING into her mouth, taking a bath, feeling textures, getting tickled, standing up, looking at her reflection in the mirror, getting her hair brushed, getting thrown up in the air, watching the dog & cat.

Dislikes: She occasionally gets scared at loud sounds.  Like one time Eric sneezed really loudly and she started crying!

How Mommy is doing: I’m doing great.  Eric is doing great.  Winter is doing great!  We are enjoying parenthood very much.  We adore Winter and can’t get enough of her.  As a stay at home mom, I am so grateful that I get to spend all of my days with her, so I don’t miss anything.  We are staying very busy with activities with my mom’s group (play dates, park days, stroller walks, swimming pool, runs, etc.).  Life is great!

Twice in the past month Eric and I took an entire day away from Winter to go up to the mountains to ski together.  Though both of us dislike time away from her, we know that in the big picture, 8 or 9 hours apart isn’t going to kill us.  And we know that those times together as a couple are very important in our marriage!  Skiing is our most favorite hobby and we LOVE doing it together.  We plan to take one more day away before ski season ends this month.

As a couple, we trained for a half marathon together over the past 3 months.  We just completed the race together!  It was so much fun training for this race with my husband and daughter!  It was really exciting to run side by side with my wonderful husband and cross the finish line together.  I’m somewhat sad that the race is over, but we are grateful that we get our weekends back since we don’t have to go for long runs that take up a lot of time anymore.  🙂

If you missed her previous updates, you can check out:

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

4 Month Update

5 Month Update

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

Winter’s 4 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 4 months old

Baby’s Age: 4 months old

Height: 24.75 inches

Weight: 14 pounds 7 ounces

Head: 41.2 cm

Diaper Size: Size 2

Clothes Size: 3 month & some 3-6 month

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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If you missed her previous updates, you can check out:

1 Month Update

2 Month Update

3 Month Update

Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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What Winter is Like at 4 Months: Winter is the epitome of a happy baby.  She is always in a good mood.  This girl rarely has fussy times.  Don’t get me wrong, she does occasionally get cranky and fuss a bit, but as a whole she is a happy spirited gal.  When she starts to get tired and it’s nearing naptime, she rubs her eyes and starts to whimper a bit.  People are always commenting on how pleasantly tempered Winter is.  Eric and I feel so blessed to have such an “easy” baby.  At the same time, I don’t think it’s purely luck — I think that she has been trained to be happy because we have her on a schedule that allows her the gift of getting GOOD SLEEP.  I think this is so important.  I sometimes wonder if she would be such a happy baby if we didn’t follow Baby Wise.

At this age, she has really discovered how fun it can be to play with toys.  EVERYTHING goes into her mouth!  She always sucks on her hands.  She picks up her toys and instantly puts them into her mouth.  She shakes her rattle and keys.  She bats at toys hanging down.  We have some ring links on her carseat that she always holds on to.  She even falls asleep with a firm grip on her rings.

Winter has quite the personality.  She loves getting attention from anyone and everyone.  She loves to sing songs and read books.  She loves to watch mommy and daddy be silly.  We dance around and act crazy because she likes it.  She babbles a lot and often talks at a volume that almost makes us wonder if she is screeching in happiness or if it’s a cry, lol!  She has got a LOUD volume to her talking.

She is going to the church nursery regularly now.  She really has a fun time away from mommy.  She LOVES other babies.  It was hard for me to leave her the first few times, but I realized I need to be able to enjoy church again.  I now can sit down and pay attention and fully enjoy the time at church without entertaining a baby.  I miss her, but I think the time she is in the nursery is beneficial for both her and I.

We are really enjoying this age.  Winter is so much more interactive and playful.  She is so interested in everything she sees in the world around her.  It’s fun to watch her learn and do new things.  She is so smart.  I feel like she is smarter than other babies her age…but maybe that’s just the proud mommy in me.  Playing with her is so much fun.  We always are being silly and goofy to make her laugh and giggle.  She is so much fun in our lives!

Milestones: At the end of January she rolled over for the first time (tummy to back)!  She also laughs & giggles.  On her tummy she can lift her head really high and put her weight up onto her shoulders.  She “talks” a lot — and she has discovered how LOUD her voice will go!  She is overall very strong, but her favorite position is to stand.  I can hold onto her hands and she stands for an endless amount of time without her knees buckling.

Sleep: She is a pretty solid sleeper.  She still sleeps through the night, typically 9-10 hours straight without waking to eat.  She occasionally wakes up around 5:00 am and fusses a bit until we give her the pacifier and she goes back to sleep until about 7:30 am.  She doesn’t do this all the time, but at least once per week she wakes up like that.  Her usual routine is sleeping from 10:00 pm to 7:30 am.  During the day she takes naps.  She gets at least 2 or 3 solid naps (around 1.5 or 2 hours) and maybe a few shorter cat naps (45 min to an hour).

Best Moment: Snuggling in bed after our first morning feeding!!  When she wakes up each morning, I always go get her from her crib, bring her into bed with me and I nurse her in the side lying position.  This is my favorite nursing session of the day.  After she finishes eating, we lie in bed and cuddle for a little while and I just love this time together.  After we cuddle, I get out the breast pump and she hangs out with me while I pump (we play and I sing songs to her while pumping)…then we get out of bed and start our day!

Worst Moment: Shots at her 4 month appointment.  It is SO HARD for me to watch my baby scream because she is in pain!

Health:  Her pediatrician couldn’t stop praising Winter.  She says that Winter is in excellent health, is strong, smart, growing fantastically and doing superb.  Winter is such a healthy and happy little girl.  She is always content and is easily brought to a smile.

Eating:  Breastfeeding is going great!  We are nursing 6 times per day.  She typically eats at 7 or 7:30 am, 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, 5 or 5:30 pm, 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.  She usually eats every 3 or 3.5 hours, though I think she is probably ready to push back to at least 3.5 hours and sometimes even 4 hours.  I’m going to adjust our schedule soon to dropping to 5 solid feedings with consistently 3.5 and 4 hour intervals.  I think she is ready for that.  As far as nursing goes, she is very efficient at draining the breast quickly now.  She usually finishes eating within 10 minutes tops.  She eats about 6 or 7 minutes on the first side and 3-4 minutes on the other side.  What a great eater–nursing is SO EASY!  We have not introduced any solids.  I want to hold out to closer to 6 months.  As of yet, she is 100% exclusively breastfed and has never once received any formula or food.

Likes: Smiling, laughing, singing songs, sucking on her wabbanub pacifiers, reading books, putting her hands in her mouth, playing with toys, putting ANYTHING into her mouth, taking a bath, feeling textures, getting tickled, standing up, looking at her reflection in the mirror, getting her hair brushed, getting thrown up in the air, watching the dog & cat.

Dislikes: She gets tired after too long on her tummy & gets mad.

How Mommy is doing: I am doing great!  Life as a stay at home mom is really going great.  We have a good routine going.  Every day I always do some sort of exercise (mostly running these days since I’m training for my upcoming half marathon).  I’ve gotten involved with a lot of other moms.  I am going to my MOPS group and getting together for playdates.  I’ve joined another moms group that is for moms of ONLY babies, which is so awesome for me!!  I love having other new moms to hang out with and talk to about baby related things.  We get together for stroller walks and baby playdates.  It is such a good outlet for me.  I love making friends with other mommies and watching Winter play around other babies her age.

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

Liebster Award Nomination: 10 Questions

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Thank you TwinMomLife for nominating me for the Liebster Award!  It’s a fun way to discover new blogs.  I am honored to have been nominated!

Upon accepting the Liebster Award, there are a few rules that need to be followed (of course, if you read the origin link above, feel welcomed to adjust as you please):

*Link back the blogger that tagged you

*Nominate ten others and answer the questions of the one who tagged you

*Ask ten questions for the bloggers you nominate

*Let your nominees know of their award

TwinMomLife asked these questions for the nominees:

1. In which country/state do you live?  What is one positive and one negative about your state?

I live in Denver, Colorado.  My husband and I are originally from Indiana, and moved here 5.5 years ago after graduating from college.  We absolutely love Colorado!  Positives: skiing in the mountains, gorgeous scenery, beautiful sunshine 300+ days per year, active lifestyles.  Negatives: Nothing!  Ok, the only negative is living far away from family.

2. What brought you to the blogging world?  Has your blogging changed course at any point in time?

I started blogging exactly a year ago (February 2013) when I was newly pregnant.  I had seen others who have documented their pregnancies on a blog, so I decided to do that for my own pregnancy.  It started as a completely secret blog that no one knew about.  Now, it has transitioned from a pregnancy blog to an “all things mommy” blog.  Oh, and it’s no longer a secret.  In fact, I have made a lot of friends who are fellow bloggers! 

3. What is your favorite baby and/or pregnancy and/or comfort item?

My favorite baby item is the Wabbanub pacifier.  Winter truly loves the 3 of these “friends” she has.  We have a monkey named George, a frog named Frederick and a lamb named Lana. 

4. What was the highlight of your 2013?

My highlight of 2013 was the birth of my daughter, Winter Elizabeth.  Hands down.  She is such a joy and blessing in our lives.

5. What is your big goal for 2014?

I have a goal to run a half marathon in April 2014.  I have run 7 previous half marathons, but it would be nice to beat my best time and set a new PR (personal record) post partum.  I want to know that I can be just as fit (or FITTER!!) after having a baby than I was before I had a baby.  Another goal is to be the BEST MOM I can be to my growing daughter. 

6. You’re stuck in major traffic.  What are you listening to for stress relief?

KLove.  I love Christian music.  Any good worship songs (like Chris Tomlin!) will always lift my spirit and get my mental focus on what really matters.

7. What’s your idea of a great date night?

Right now it would be amazing just to HAVE a date night.  With a newborn, it’s tough to get away.  I love going out for dinner.  I also love to ski with my husband, so a day of skiing is always something we love doing together.

8. Is your blog anonymous or do you tell your friends & family in the real world about it?

When I was newly pregnant, this blog was a complete secret.  Once I entered the 2nd trimester, I told my family about the blog.  Slowly I started linking some of my blog posts to facebook so others could be involved too.  One thing I love about blogging is all of the other fellow bloggers who I have become friends with on WordPress.  Many of us were pregnant at the same time and now we are going through mommyhood together too!

9. Who is your hero?

My hero is my mom.  She is a truly incredible woman.  She and my dad raised us 8 children and did it flawlessly.  My mom is humble and has a beautiful spirit.

10. What’s a topic you’ve been wanting to write about but just haven’t had the time, or weren’t sure how to write it or if it was “appropriate”?

One topic that I will probably never write about (because I don’t know how appropriate it would be!!) is about intimacy (or lack there of) between spouses post-partum.  I know from word of mouth that other new moms have struggled to get back in the saddle again.  It’s something that is on my mind a lot and I am curious to know how other new moms cope with this topic.  I probably won’t ever write about the subject because it’s WAY too personal though!

My 10 Liebster Award Nominations Go To:

1. Sparkley Pink Lemons

2. Girl Evolving

3. Let There Be Light

4. Kearney Keepings

5. Beer, Bait and Books

6. A Curious Katie

7. Midwestern Musings

8. The Baby Doctor’s Wife

9. Popcorn and Pandas

10. A Helping of Home

10 Questions to Answer in Your Blog:

1. What is your favorite part of being a mom?

2. If you could go anywhere in the world (expense-free!), where would you go?

3. When and why did you start your blog?  And do your friends and family know about it?

4. What is your most memorable activity you have experienced with your baby?

5. What is your most prized possession?

6. If you could give your pre-baby self (when you were pregnant) advice, what would it be?

7. How do you work to feel confident in your postpartum body?  What’s your fitness routine?

8. What websites or apps do you use a lot?

9. Who is your inspiration?

10. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

Breastfeeding – THEN and NOW

Breastfeeding has been a journey for us.  It started out very complicated.  There were so many unexpected twists and turns.  I wrote a post a while back explaining some of our early struggles (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/breastfeeding-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/feeding).  For a while I was almost exclusively pumping.  Even when I was nursing, I always had to use a nipple shield.  My best hope for where we’d end up was some sort of a pumping/breastfeeding combo.  I doubted I’d ever get to a position where I would be able to only breastfeed and not have to use bottles.

Never did I expect to get to where we are today: 100% breastfeeding AND nipple shield-free!  It feels SO AMAZING.

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Ever since the early part of December, I have been 100% breastfeeding.  Pumping all day long is a thing of the past.  It feels great to finally be there for the past month and a half.  The last piece of the puzzle was this: having to still rely on using a nipple shield to get Winter to latch.  I have been wanting to ditch the shield for a while.  It’s an inconvenience to have to rely on a prop to feed.  I have to make sure I always have one on hand, washed and ready to go.  When I nurse in public, it’s just one extra thing that makes feeding more complicated in addition to using a nursing cover.  For weeks I’ve been trying to wean Winter from the shield, doing things like removing the shield halfway through nursing.  It never worked.  She would just get frustrated and scream until I put it back on.  Then BAM–on Saturday I tried nursing without the shield and she latched perfectly!!  I was so thrilled.  She literally stopped using the shield cold turkey!  We have been successfully nipple shield-free for 6 days now!  I am SO PROUD of her!  It is such a joy to be able to breastfeed my daughter and not have to worry about using a nipple shield.  We are finally 100% natural now.

One of my friends, Bree (http://littlemissprepared.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/breastfeeding/) did a post recently about how much she loves breastfeeding.  I could TOTALLY relate to her in this post.  In the beginning, I dreaded nursing sessions.  I was tired, my nipples were infected, when I was able to nurse, I had to use a nipple shield, and I had to rely on pumping almost exclusively for a long period of time.  For a glimpse  of time, the only thing that kept me from throwing in the towel was my stubborn nature not to GIVE UP!  I knew that breastmilk was best for Winter, so I was bound and determined to keep going in hopes that “it gets better as time goes on,” as I was promised by other nursing moms.

Well, guess what?  It DID GET BETTER!  In fact, I have done a total 180 from where things were.  Instead of dreading feeding my baby, I now look forward to it!  I absolutely LOVE breastfeeding Winter.  It’s such a special time.

Let’s take a look back at where we’ve come from.  Here is a comparison of the early weeks compared to now:

THEN: Breastfeeding took 40+ minutes every 2 hours in the beginning.

NOW: Nursing sessions are every 3 hours and she is finished eating in 15-20 minutes.  She is much quicker and more efficient at the breast.

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THEN: My nipples were infected, cracked, bleeding and caused excruciating pain.

NOW: I’m fully healed and experience no pain.  Hallelujah!

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THEN: For a period of time, I was having to pump almost exclusively and feed her bottles.  I had dim hopes that I’d ever be able to fully nurse her naturally.  My goal was to move to a 50/50 breastfeeding/pumping combo.

NOW: I am 100% breastfeeding!  The only time I pump is in the mornings after her first feed to pump and store extra milk.

THEN: I had to use a nipple shield to get her to latch on.  She got confused and angry when I tried to take it away.

NOW: We have been nipple shield-free for an entire week!  It’s amazing to not need a prop.  This was the last piece of the puzzle that I wanted to resolve…and here we are today, shield not required!  It’s an amazing feeling.

THEN: I hated breastfeeding in public or around other people.  I felt self-conscious and awkward, even with a nursing cover.  Because of this, I would always pump ahead of time and give her a bottle to avoid nursing in front of others.

NOW: I fully embrace when it’s time for her to eat and I’m not a home.  I use my nursing cover and will feed her without worrying about what other people think.  Breastfeeding is completely normal, natural, and it’s perfect FINE to do in public.

THEN: I dreaded breastfeeding in the very beginning because I was so tired, in pain and didn’t like it.

NOW: I look FORWARD to when she is ready to eat.  I love the bonding experience of nursing her.

It is truly a miracle that we are in such a good position today.  I never understood moms to said they “just loveddd breastfeeding.”  I thought they were wackos!  Honestly!  But as time has gone on, problems have resolved, I now understand.  I have actually become one of those moms who “just lovesss breastfeeding!”  Who knew?!  I am so blessed and grateful that things turned around for us.  I know that I’m not the only one who has had a rough road and had to stick it out.  If you are still in a rough patch, I encourage you — DON’T GIVE UP!  It will get easier and it will get better.  It’s so worth it.

Winter’s 3 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 3 months old

Baby’s Age: 3 months old

Height: 23 inches

Weight: 12 pounds 7 ounces

Head: 41 cm

Here is a look back at the past few months:

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Here is Winter in her Bumbo:

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It’s amazing to see how much she changes in these month by month photos!

Milestones: Winter is such an incredible baby.  She has very great head control.  She loves looking around from side to side, taking her surroundings in.  Many people have commented how strong her head is.  She also laughed for the first time a couple of days after Christmas.  That was so much fun and so special!  She has laughed a few times since then, but we are always trying to do things to get her to laugh again. 🙂  She is really improving in neck strength from tummy time – she gets her head a little higher each week.

Sleep: Since she turned 9 weeks old, Winter has been sleeping through the night like a champ!  The only hiccup we have had was when she got her first cold this past week, she struggled to sleep well at night because of congestion, poor baby.  Now that she is better, she is back to sleeping normally.  Winter typically falls asleep about 10:00 or 10:30 pm after her last evening feeding and wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 am ready to eat.  She also takes naps throughout the day.  She takes at least 2 long naps (approx. 2 hours), and many 1-1.5 hour naps throughout the daytime.

Best Moment: Hearing Winter laugh!  It was amazing, and we are always being silly to get her to laugh again 🙂

Worst Moment: Experiencing her first cold.  Though it was pretty minor — just congestion and a little cough — it was still tough to watch my baby feel sick.

Health:  Winter is growing and doing great!  I mentioned she caught her first bug, but even throughout her week of a cold, she was still very happy and pleasant.

Eating:  At this point, Winter is 100% breastfeeding.  YAY!!!!  She is doing fantastic!  She eats every 3 hours, between six and seven times per day.  I am ecstatic that our breastfeeding relationship has turned a total 180 from a couple of months ago.  It is truly amazing to be able to nurse my baby and not have to worry about pumping all of the time.

Likes: Winter loves to interact with people.  She is such a smiley girl, and she is impossible not to smile at.  She likes when you sing songs to her, read books, rock in the rocking chair.  She lovessssss to nurse!  She prefers nursing so much more than a bottle!  Winter loves her pacifier.  She loves to be either standing or sitting, never lying down.  She likes bathtime!

Dislikes: She still doesn’t like tummy time very much.  We work with her every day, but she gets fed up pretty quickly.  Hopefully she will like it eventually.  She also doesn’t like to lie down unless she is tired.  She always wants to be standing or sitting to see the world around her!  She really hates getting lotion on.  She doesn’t like using the suction bulb to remove mucous from her nose (while she had a cold).

Memories from the Past Month:

–We travelled back home for Christmas via roadtrip.  We drove 18 hours each way to Indiana.  That was a memory!  Winter did great, she slept a lot.

–Because we were home for Christmas, Winter got to spend time with her family: grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.  It was so fun to see her interact with our families.

–Our family went to an indoor water park and Winter got to go swimming for the first time!

–My brother Paul spent some time in Colorado visiting with us.  Winter really liked Uncle Paul.

How Mommy is recovering: Recovery is definitely a word I wouldn’t use anymore.  Recovery is long overwith…..  Now I am still just learning to how be a mom and adjust to my new life.  I feel like being a mom is going great.  I am feeling like I have things under control.

As far as post baby body goes, I have been (for the most part) been meeting my goals to exercise and stay within my calories.  Over the week of Christmas, exercise and calories/healthy eating were totally thrown out the window.  I’ve been back on track since, working out 5-6 days per week and eating a healthy diet.  To date, I have lost 28 pounds.  I’m still not feeling like I am in the shape I want to be in, but I know that I’m a work in progress.  I officially begin my half marathon training this week!

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

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Winter’s 2 Month Update

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BABY WINTER’S MONTHLY UPDATE: 2 months old

Baby’s Age: 2 months old

Height: 21.25 inches

Weight: 10 pounds 13 ounces

Head: 38.5 cm

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Look how big this girl is!  She isn’t quite ready for the Bumbo yet, but I took some comparison photos of her in it:

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Wow, it’s incredible how much she has grown!  She is over 2 pounds bigger this month than she was last month!

Milestones: Winter has a really strong neck.  She is excellent at holding her head up!  She also has really strong legs and kicks in a cycling motion constantly.  She is coo-ing and trying to “talk” and have conversations with us.  Precious.  She smiles so much!  When you smile at her or a make a face, she instantly responds with a smile.  She is really good at tracking things with her eyes.  She loves playing with her hands and putting them in her mouth.  She is really in a learning-mode—-trying to discover how things work!

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She’s great at head control.

Sleep: Once we got to the 8 week mark last week, she started giving me a 7 hour stretch of sleep at night!  That is so fantastic!  Before that, she was typically going a 5.5 hour stretch.  I think we will soon be “sleeping through the night” officially.  Or I hope so.  She typically has her last feed at around 10:00 pm and then wakes up between 4:00 and 5:00 am.  I’d like to eventually stretch her sleep until 7:00 am.  (***I don’t want to jinx myself by saying it, but she officially “slept through the night” last night for the first time!!  She ate at 10:15 pm and then didn’t wake up to eat again until 6:45 am.  That was amazing!  I hope this is the start of something!)

Besides her nighttime sleep routine, she has definitely fallen into the pattern of taking naps throughout the day.  She usually sleeps for 1.5-2 hours during her naps.  I love naptime, because it gives me a chance to catch up on things!  We are on a typical 3-hour Babywise routine: she wakes up to eat (“eat time”), then we play for a while (“waketime”), and then around 1 or 1.5 hours after she wakes, she starts dozing off again & I put her down for a nap (“sleeptime”).  We repeat this cycle all throughout the day.

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She still sleeps in our bedroom at night in the bassinet portion of the pack and play.

Best Moment: I know last month I said the best moment was seeing her smile…and that is my response again this month!  Smiling is the best!  And now that she is trying to “talk” by cooing and making sounds, it’s so much fun to play with her.  Smiling makes me feel like I’m doing my job as a mom and that I’m succeeding.

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Worst Moment: Worst moments are rare these days.  Life is getting to be less complicated and much more beautiful!  Our previous weight gaining issues are behind us, and Winter is a wonderful little girl.  I’d say the worst moment was watching her get her 2-month-old vaccinations this week at her pediatrician appointment.  Poor baby didn’t like that…and Mommy felt sad for her!  It was brutal for me to watch my little baby in pain.  I started tearing up during her shots.

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Mad baby!  This wasn’t the day she got her shots, but she looked even madder than this when she did.

Health:  She is so healthy and happy!  She has been gaining weight like a champion!  She is very alert, eats well, sleeps well, and is hitting her milestones on time.  In fact, her doctor said that she is a “very smart baby” and is reaching a lot of milestones that are typical of a 4-month-old baby.  Way to be an overachiever, Winter!  Just like Momma! 🙂

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Eating:  At 2 months, she is eating 7 times per day including her middle of the night feed.  Once she sleeps through the middle of the night feed (which is somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00 am), she will drop into a 6 times per day feeding routine.  Because I breastfeed as well as pump, I know that she typically eats an average of 4 ounces at each feeding (though sometimes only 3.5 ounces and sometimes as much as 5 to 5.5 ounces). When she is more hungry, she will eat 5+ ounces.  The most she has ever eaten at once is 6 ounces, and that was only one time.

Currently Winter is doing more nursing than bottle-feeding (pumped breast milk).  I am thrilled about this!  It was my goal to move to the 50/50 mark, so the fact that we are MOSTLY nursing is amazing (she nurses 5 or 6 times out of the 7 total feeds).  Before we were very heavily on the pumping end, and only breastfeeding a small portion of time.  But now nursing is becoming more and more of a regular thing.  Lately I have been breastfeeding throughout the daytime and pumping/bottle-feeding in the evening & middle of  the night.  She is becoming much more efficient at breastfeeding as she gets older.  What used to take her 45 minutes now takes her 20-25 minutes to nurse.  Because I go to a breastfeeding group that does a pre-weight and post-weight to track her milk consumption, I know that in 20-25 minutes she eats approximately 4 (+/-)ounces.  This is seriously making me SO HAPPY!!  Overall, I’m very pleased with her progress she has made in regards to eating!  She is a breastfeeding champ now!Here is what our typical feeding routine looks like on any given day (keep in mind it’s not a STRICT schedule, but a flexible routine like the book BabyWise suggests):

Her typical feeding routine generally looks like this:

4:00 to 5:00 am – Her middle of the night feed I always pump and then bottle-feed (I store the extra milk that she doesn’t eat)

7:00 am – Breastfeed & then pump to drain the remaining milk to store it (I tend to produce most milk at the middle of the night feed and this first morning feed)

10:00 am – Breastfeed only

1:00 pm – Breastfeed only

4:00 pm – Breastfeed only (or pump/bottle depending on what we are doing)

7:00 pm – Breastfeed only

10:00 pm – Pump/bottle-feed.  I pump while Eric feeds her (I want to make sure my breasts are completely drained before our long-stretch at night).  Also, it gives Eric a chance to bottle-feed because he likes to feed her after being gone all day at work

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Big girl trying to hold her own bottle!  So independent!

Likes: She loves when you smile at her.  She likes singing songs — she even tries to “sing” with you!  She loves to kick her legs in a cycling motion.  She likes to be swaddled.  She loves her hands — especially sucking on them.  She likes bath time, surprisingly — because she used to hate baths.  She likes her pacifiers.  She likes eating (Eric said he thinks she is more soothed from nursing than bottle-feeding).  She likes her play gym — she is fascinated with the toys that hang over her.

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Dislikes: She hates shots!  (Duh!)  She doesn’t like to lie down during playtime…she wants to be propped up, standing or sitting (obviously assisted standing and sitting).  Although if she lying in her playgym, she doesn’t mind lying flat.  She HATES tummy time….she will do tummy time for a few minutes and then start crying because she is over it.

Things I want to remember: 

–If I make faces at Winter (like sticking out my tongue), she mimics me and tries to copy what I do.

–When it’s time to feed, as soon as she sees a breast or a bottle, she gets really excited and starts cooing in anticipation.  So cute!

–She kicks her legs constantly!  Eric always says, “Winter, where are you going on your bike today?”

–She loves Frederick, her wabbanub frog.  She is getting another wabbanub for Christmas…a white lamb.  We are going to call her Lana.  I’m sure she will love Lana and Frederick equally 🙂

–Whenever I turn on lights, she instantly closes her eyes…guess her eyes have to adjust just like anyone else, but it’s just so cute.

–She gets startled easily!  If someone closes a door loudly, or sneezes, or anything — it startles her.

–Winter used to be able to sleep through any noises…but now I put her in her room in her crib for naptime because noises (like the dog barking or the doorbell ringing) wake her out of sleep.

–She loves to stand up.  She has super strong legs (the doctor says she is ahead of “schedule”), and she loves to stand up and look around.

Things we are using a lot:

We couldn’t live without the following items:

–Baby Scale. I bought a baby scale at Babies R Us to track her weight gain.  Now I use it more to do pre-weights and post-weights for when she nurses to see how many ounces she consumed.  It’s nice that the scale is digital and converts to kg, so it’s more closely accurate when I do my feeding calculations.

–Snap & Go Stroller.  You will rarely see me carrying around her car seat because I always use the snap & go stroller when I’m out and about.  It’s so much more convenient.  It’s practically a frame with wheels (and a little storage basket on the bottom).

–Nipple Shield.  Yes, we are still using the nipple shield.  I’d like to eventually ditch it, but it is still helpful at this point.

–Medela Pump.  Though I’m mostly nursing, my pump is still getting used once or twice per day.

–Her crib.  Now that she is on a schedule, she actually takes naps in her nursery.  I make the room dark, turn on her space heater (she loves a warmmmm room!), grab the monitor and shut the door.

–Video Baby Monitor.  Because of naptime, this thing is getting used a lot.

How Mommy is recovering: I am doing great!  I posted earlier this week about my post-baby body thus far.  At 6 weeks, in addition to running, I added the gym back into my routine.  I feel great when I workout.  I’m getting more and more energy from it.  I also notice I’m getting stronger and my stamina is increasing.  My lower abs and my tendons/ligaments in my pelvic area used to feel really weak & loose, but those areas are improving and getting stronger.  I’m hoping to whip my body back in to shape!

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My infection in my nipples is pretty much healed!  My left side still has a little bit of healing left since it will still bleed, but overall things are looking MUCH IMPROVED!  My right side is completely good to go.  I use lanolin cream, and this has really helped tremendously. I have noticed better results using lanolin compared to APNO (all purpose nipple ointment — a prescription that is a steroid cream).

As a whole, I feel great!  Around the 6 week mark, I started to feel like a human being again.  My feelings of being frazzled, stressed out and overly emotional are all in the past.  My morale is high and I feel like “I’ve got this”…motherhood is getting to be more and more fun!

Photos of Winter and Our Family:

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Winter was almost 6 weeks here.

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Travelling with Mommy to Florida via air travel (6 weeks old)

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Our family down in Florida for Eric’s launch into space

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We got to see the REAL Atlantis shuttle!!  Amazing (6 weeks old)

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Daddy and Winter

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Mommy and Winter in Florida (6 weeks old)

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Atlantis exhibit

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Napping with Daddy (6 weeks)

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Moby on the beach

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Beach

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Family walk on the beach

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Daddy and Winter in Florida

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Watching TV (6 weeks)

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Happy girl (7 weeks old)

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Somebody loves Frederick, her Wabbanub froggy!  (7 weeks)

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Winter’s getting a little chunky!!  (7 weeks old)

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Pretty girl! (7 weeks)

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First Thanksgiving!  (7 weeks)

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Family run with the BOB

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Family run with the BOB (7 weeks)

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Happy little girl! (7 weeks)

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Winter smiles all the time for us!

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Mommy and baby girl (7.5 weeks)

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First time ever wearing a dress!  (7.5 weeks)

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She is the happiest baby ever!

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BRRRR….bundled up for a freezing cold day! (8 weeks)

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Wearing her Purdue jammies!!  Gotta represent our school!

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Trying to help hold her own bottle!

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Snuggling on the couch with her toy from Grandma (8 weeks)

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Winter loves Daddy

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She enjoys looking at us and smiling at us

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First Christmas tree!

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Bunny hat on…don’t worry, she did wear pants that day 🙂

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Taking photos for our Christmas card!

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Brrrr…winter is here now!

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Christmas

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Our little family

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Merry Christmas — soon!

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Mommy and Winter

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Sleepyhead…she actually takes naps in her crib now!

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Tummy time

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Not too happy, but she looked adorable in her bunny outfit!

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2 months old!

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Can’t believe she is already 2 months old!

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Happy girl!

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She loves playtime in her playgym.

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Winter and Koda.

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Waking up in the morning.

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2 month doctor appt.

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2 month doctor appt.

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2 month doctor appt.

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First time wearing jeans…well jeggings really!

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Somebody likes toys!

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She officially moved up into 3 month size clothes!

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Sorry for the photo overload this post!  I think based on the amount of pictures, I might need to do some in-between photo posts 🙂  Happy 2 months, Winter!  We love you!

-Katy (Mommy)

I will NOT fall off the blogging world:)

Just a quick update!

Our lives have been a bit hectic lately.  Having a newborn is NO JOKE!  Taking care of this precious little life is a 24/7 job, and I am finding it hard to have much time for other things at the moment.  In the moments I have in between feedings, I try to make sure to get at least these things done….

Daily priorities that are taking over the top of my list:

-Feeding Winter every few hours so she can be healthy (obviously!) — this is my MAIN ROLE right now.

-Take a shower EVERY single day — this is important for me to feel sane.

-Get some form of exercise EVERY single day!!  Sometimes it’s only a walk, other days it has been running outside or inside on my treadmill.  I have yet to make it back to the gym, but I try to do some squats/etc at home in addition to cardio exercise.  Exercise is very important for me for controlling my mood.

-Try to sneak in at least an hour nap at some point during the day (to make up for broken sleep at nighttime).

-Weekly on Wednesdays I make it a priority to go to the breastfeeding support group at the hospital.  This has been amazing because I can get weight checks on Winter and also see how many ounces she consumes during a breastfeeding session.  I also am meeting other new moms.

-Drink at least 10 glasses of water a day.  It keeps me healthy and keeps my milk production high.  I also take Fenugreek and Mother’s Milk tea to assist with milk production.

Here are things I WANT to do, but have taken a bit of the back burner:

-Writing thank you cards for meals & gifts that have been generously given since Winter’s birth

-Blogging: responding to comments, writing new posts, and reading other people’s posts (I hope to get this moved up into the priority section very soon!)  I miss my daily reads!  I feel so out of the loop.

-Going to the store.  We are running out of food like crazy here!!  Thankfully we have amazing friends who have been bringing us meals for dinner nearly every day.  I eat the leftovers for lunch, so I’m getting plenty to eat thanks to our friends.  Without them, I’d be scraping by.

So much to write about, so little time….

I am really loving motherhood. I love being Winter’s mom.  It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!  When I have a bit more time, I will have to write about some of our struggles that we are going through.  We have had a lot of challenges when it comes to my health (infection, sickness, etc), breastfeeding (having to use a nipple shield, infection, having to pump, etc), Winter’s weight gaining issues (which I think we are finally getting on a good road now!), and the baby blues/my emotional rollercoaster.  All of these things are areas I want to write about to keep you updated, but I just don’t have time at the moment.  Please just be praying for us!  My stress level has been INSANELY high.  It’s just been one thing after the next.  I know that God only gives us as much as we can handle, but I feel like God is trusting me to handle too much!

Love to you all!  I hope to catch up with some of  you soon!