Alexis 5 Months in Motion

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, FUN TIMES, LIFE, Monthly Updates, VIDEO

Here is what you’re about to see:

  • her first crawl-like move
  • lots of playing
  •  attempting to grab kitty’s tail and laughing her butt off
  • hilarious peekaboo
  • talking to grandma over skype
  • stealing mommy’s drink
  • first swing ride
  • and more more more

 

The video is pretty long and was not made for the blog but for us, so if you sit through the whole 10 minutes, I’d be surprised. I did leave the funniest thing for the ending.

{all music is by Disney}

Letters to Lexi: 5 Months

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Letters to Lexi, Monthly Updates, PHOTO, VIDEO


Dear baby girl!

This is getting serious! You are one amazing curious wonderful determined hilarious fun bundle of energy! I don’t know for how long I’ll continue repeating that it just doesn’t seem like you’ve been here for mere 5 months and yet I can’t believe how much you have grown in such little time.

You’re getting more and more fun to be around. Everything makes you laugh, you’re interested in everything, you want to touch everything, you want to move, move, move. I just love you so much more with each and every day. You are a true joy to us!

This month it has been picture overload here because you’re just the cutest little thing and you’ve been doing so many new things. I have not been able to capture even 1/10th of your charm and sweetness and character. The way you look at me when I carry you or nuzzle me and give me open mouth kisses when we lie next to each other is just not something I will ever be able to properly describe or capture on camera. It will be something special for me to remember forever.

Here’s what is new this month:

at 4 months

You all of a sudden started reaching out and touching things when we carry you. We can’t go past a blank wall, let alone an item, without you reaching for it, or running your hands down it. Our bedtime routine has evolved from “saying good-night” to windows,pictures, lamp and monitor to “touching good-night”. Your favorite are our lamp and the monitor. When the routine starts, you are barely paying attention to windows and armoire, your eyes are on the lamp. Once we get to it, you grab the hanging switch and turn it on, then look at me in amazement, and then pull on it to turn it off and look at me again. You used to love touching the toy we call “no-fall-downer” (nevalyazhka), because you can’t tip it over, it just keep popping up. But you’ve moved onto the lamp. You love the monitor because you can attempt to get it in your mouth, though, of course, we don’t let you. (see video)

You have noticed our kitties. You stare at them in wonder like they are the coolest things you’ve ever seen and I can see your mouth curve into a smile and you yelp “Ah!” Of course, you always try to touch them whenever they are close enough AND put them in your mouth which is pretty much impossible. Initially you’d tentatively copy how we pet the cats, you’d gently stroke their fur, but now you just go and grab them with your hands full of fur. It’s so cute! Putting that hand in your mouth before we managed to wash your hands- isn’t so cute! The cats are strangely ok with you. They let you pet pull their fur.

You ADORE playing peekaboo. You laugh until you start hiccuping. When I hide and say “Where’s mommy?” you quiet down waiting for me pop up with “Here I am!” (see video)

I can’t tell whether you hate not being around us or you have started the whole “separation anxiety” but there are times (most of the time) when, if we leave your side, you crane your neck and follow us with your gaze and as soon as you can’t see us, you start crying. There are other times, when you’re so consumed with a toy, that you don’t notice it, until you do and you start crying. I hate the idea that until you have object permanence if you don’t see us, it’s like we fell off the face of the earth.

A couple of nights you have been waking up with your eyes wide open, ready to play and wouldn’t go to sleep. You’d fuss and fuss and fuss, until you start crying. Sometimes even the boob won’t put you to sleep. So daddy gets up and rocks you until you’re asleep again, unless you won’t go to sleep and then he wakes me up and I try to rock you, too. You usually fall asleep, but often it takes us 1.5 hours and neither one of us gets to sleep. Then other nights you wake up every 2 hours to be comforted by the boob or just my hand on you. I realize that you will not be sleeping well for many months. You’re not a sleeper and right now there’s just too much going on with you to sleep. I’ll wait, I’m in no hurry.

Your favorite activity is still scooting with leg support. If we don’t give you leg support, you somehow squirm yourself around the mat to face whatever it is you want.

4.5 months

Your hand coordination spiked up. You can now hold small board books and flip pages (but mostly shove them into your mouth). You can hold and pick up everything in your reach: calculator, bottles, toys. It’s so much fun carrying you around because you reach out and try to touch everything in sight and you’re just so interested. I love curiosity- that’s the cornerstone of learning.

You have now figured out the concept of purposefully calling for attention. Daddy was folding laundry while you were sitting in a swing one day (the hope was that you’d get rocked to sleep). Then suddenly you make a “fuss” sound. When daddy looked up to see what’s wrong, he saw you staring at him with a huge smile on your face. He was so excited to tell me about your new milestone.

You rolled again (tummy to back). There was no problem or hesitation in you. You just looked up at me, and rolled, as if to say “Silly mommy! You forgot that I had already rolled twice at 2.5 months, I can do it, I just don’t care to.” So that’s that. You like being on your tummy, so there has never been the need to roll more than a few times. And obviously, you’re much more focused on crawling, that rolling seems boring to you. Point taken. Moving on.

UPDATE: I keep having to add to this post, as days before turning 5 months, you keep reaching milestone after milestone. As we were reading the cloth Peekaboo book, for the first time ever, instead of try to chew on it, you actually kept reaching out and opening the covers to see what’s under them. I don’t know if you really got the concept of hiding or it’s just a coincidence but it’s pretty cool either way.

And here’s a big one: you can sit unassisted. You can’t get into a sitting position on your own yet, obviously. But if you are sat up, you’ll sit for as long as you want or until you decide that you’d like to move now, at which point you’ll roll into a crawling position. You really dislike being stationary. Sitting is a new thing to you, so you’ll do it for a few minutes or more if there are toys involved. But otherwise, you just want to go, go, go. You still tip backwards once in a while, though, especially when mommy is behind you and she starts talking, you HAVE to see what she’s saying, so you look up and bam! I always catch you, of course.

You are slowly working on rolling from back to tummy. Obviously, you’re more interested in that type of roll since it would put you on your tummy and into crawling position. You can’t do it yet, though. You get as far as your side and you haven’t figured out that you can go further. But you have plenty of time, you’re only 5 months, little girl. I do love watching you figure things out, though. All I ever want for you is curiosity and determination. And then success in everything will follow.

A new thing you’ve been doing is vigorously shaking objects in your hands. Whether it’s a rattle or a cloth book, you’ll grab it and just go crazy shaking it. I really want to get it on video, but so far I haven’t been able to. Sometimes, you’ll shake your arms when there’s nothing in your hands and it looks like you’re beating your chest like a gorilla. It’s kind of funny! :)

At almost 5 months

Your first crawling motion. You’ve been trying to crawl, but you haven’t had enough strength to pull yourself up. That is until 1 week ago, on Father’s Day, when you started to pick your butt of the floor just a little bit when your scoot with leg support in an effort to get on your knees. It’s so much fun to watch you try to do it. AND I managed to catch on video your VERY FIRST ATTEMPT at REAL CRAWLING! You pulled yourself up all by yourself and moved forward! YAY! It’s funny because I was so excited, that I would be walking around all pumped and then forget why I was so excited, until I’d remember “Oh, I caught Lexi’s first “crawl” on video!” {the joys of first time moms!}

Now after that first crawl attempt, you’re much more efficient at moving around. If I leave you on the mat to go grab a cup of tea or throw in a load of laundry, I always come back to see you a foot or two further than where you were facing a completely opposite direction. I think with this kind of determination a few more weeks and you will start moving on your own, which means we have to begin baby proofing. Hey, at least you’re super adorable in your knee pads.

UPDATE: Things seem to change daily now. You have been getting up on your knees pretty well all day today (6/28/12) and trying to move. You still need leg support to move or you get frustrated,but you have grasped the main concept for crawling. You flail your arms and legs and when that gets you nowhere you try to pick your belly and butt off the floor by getting on your knees. Keep up the good work!

You’re losing your hair, girl! We cannot wait to see what it’s going to come back as. I am sad, though, because I LOVE your hair! And I also cannot even picture you as a blondie!

 

It’s very apparent to me that you’re growing and changing in more ways that we can see. We finally installed a new convertible car seat ( to hell with that infant one that was too hot and uncomfortable) and you love it. You spread your legs like a baroness and enjoy the ride. We went out to get some food and walk around with daddy the other day and you didn’t mind riding in the car one bit. You had so much fun being out and 4 hours after your previous nap, you blissfully fell asleep in your new car seat. That has NEVER happened before. We’re so excited to be able to take you places now and now that you are comfortable enough that you can fall asleep in your car seat.

You now look for fallen objects. This is HUGE, girl! You drop your toy and look down to see where it went! You actually understand the world. I love all the thinking going on in your brain.

You have developed a sense of humor too. Besides, laughing at pretty much anything, from a goofy face to a sound , you now crack up at specific things like the first time you put your toe into your mouth sent you into a laugh, or when one of our kitties sniff you, or when mommy carries you around in a funny way. I love that!

And just a few days before turning 5 months, you’ve developed a pincer grasp. You know what that means? That you are officially ready for solid foods, since that was the last thing we’ve been waiting on. We won’t do solids till your 6 months birthday anyways and we’ll be trying Baby Led Weaning method, but it’s still fun to reach that milestone. (which means I need to hurry up and research high chairs, safe dishes and read the book on BLW)

You’re not really crazy about playing with toys (you do love to chew on them, though), you’d rather socialize with mommy and daddy, but lately since you started being able to move on your own a bit, you’ve been giving me 2-5 minutes at a time to do things while you try to crawl and squirm around the mat.

You also started sticking out your tongue and keeping it out. So for the past few days, all your photos look like this, you silly girl!

It’s clear how much you love your mommy and daddy and how much you enjoy our company. We have inside jokes already and it’s so much fun that you get them. When I put you on your tummy on top of my chest and you start crawling forward, you always end up with your slobbery mouth on my nose or eye or cheek and I start screaming saying “Ne kushai moi nosik!!! Ne kushai moi nosik!” (Don’t eat my little nose!) and you laugh and purposefully put your mouth on my nose and try to eat it. Same thing happens with the eye once you’ve moved past the nose!

You also have the most precious relationship with your daddy and he’s just SMITTEN by you!

You have no signs of teeth. Zero. And I am happy to keep it that way.

Your favorite toys currently are this Apple Park Organic Bunny teether & rattle (since you love it so much, I just ordered a Bunny Lovey from the same company) and Wonderworld Twisty teether and there are so many awesome things that we’ve discovered you love that I cannot wait to write about. But it’s definitely trial and error with you when it comes to baby products.

Soon we’ll be going to see grandma on daddy’s side in Orlando, so that will be a lot of fun and I am a bit scared since it is a 3 hour drive and we’ve never really driven that far with you. I hope you’ll do good.

I’m not sure how I feel about all these milestones. You’re going through them way too fast, I already miss my little girl. You are really something special. I am starting to see how you’re so much more than we ever imagined you’d be, so much better. And do you know what I love the MOST about you? That you have such a a STRONG personality! You know what you want, you demand it, you go for it, you’re curious and interested in everything. You have determination and drive, along with a fun spirit, even at this early age. These will be your best gifts when you’re older, trust me!

It was almost impossible to get a good picture of you this time, because you wanted to wiggle your way into a crawling position. I ended up with 2 decent pictures: one way – too serious, another – cross eyed. I chose crossed eyed because you can just see your personality shine through it. So when you read through this in many many years, remember- you didn’t give me much choice! LOL

I’ve put together a 4th month video illustrating a lot of what you do these days and I’ll try to do one each month until you stop changing so fast. I’ll post it in a few days, if you nap well. :)

For my readers:

While I will be writing about all the things we’re discovered that have proven to be useful or that Alexis loves, since I get asked a lot about things you see in the photos, here’s a list of everything I can think of:

Tiny Love Gym
Tiny Love Supermat ( the best freaking thing EVER)
Tiny Love Sunny Stroll Arch
Infantino High chair cover
MiYum Cat in the Hat toy
Brown Hairband from Etsy
Maxi Cosi Pria convertible carseat.
KneeBees red knee pads
Crawlings yellow knee pads
Fisher Price Excersaucer
Lamaze Cloth Book
Mutsy 4Rider Stroller
{if I missed something, feel free to shoot me an email}

Letters to Lexi: 4 Months

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Letters to Lexi, Monthly Updates

Dear Baby Girl!

I’ve been searching for ways to talk to you and tell you the story of how you grew up and nothing I come up with seems significant or important enough. While this blog is a mix of my journey to parenthood, our life events and discoveries, I still feel there’s something missing. Something that is coming from deep within my heart, that makes it so easy to write and express my feelings about being your mommy. And what I realized is that what’s missing is me talking directly to you, so that some day when I am not even there, you could read these words and know your mommy loved you and did everything to ensure the best life for you.

So I’d like to start Letters to Lexi, as a way of talking to you through time. Maybe you will be able to go back to these when you have children of your own, when you’d be able to relate better.

4 months…

I feel like an eternity has passed since you came along. An eternity of knowing you, being with you, kissing your chubby cheeks, enjoying your smiles and struggling to put you to sleep. So much has changed in these 4 months. You’re a different baby, you’re a PERSON.

You light up every morning when you see mommy. You’ve developed a clear preference for me, something I tried to avoid by including your dad as much as possible, but secretly enjoy and am happy for. I know that in just a few short months, you’ll become a daddy’s girl, so I savor these moments of being the favorite.

From the moment you wake up till the second you go to sleep, I crave to be around you. My most miserable days are the days when I have to be working and your daddy is with you. I walk over to you every few minutes, I listen for your cries and squeals, I long to hug you and rock you to sleep. I hate my work days and I wish that all I could do is just spend time with you.We both still can’t believe we have a daughter, that YOU are our daughter. Honestly, I feel it’s such a HUGE privilege to be your parents. You’re an extraordinary little girl and you show that daily. The processes and thoughts that go on in your brain are fascinating to me. I see you looking everywhere, trying to make sense of the world, searching out our faces for emotions, waiting for a smile so that you could squeal in delight. It takes but a second for us to meet your eyes when you light up, as if you’ve been waiting for us to look at you for centuries.

You laugh so much! It’s the sweetest sound in the whole world to hear that rolling laugh and boy, have you been rewarding us with it. All I have to do is tickle your cheek with my nose, or pull on your legs and you burst into laughing. I thought you laughed a lot before for your age but this is beyond anything I could have imagined.

You have the most birlliant smile I have ever seen in my life. The way your eyes light up and your face becomes so girly and sweet, it just melts my heart. You become a completely different person for those seconds when your mouth is open in a wide grin and your eyes get those little wrinkles on the sides.

You’re really too much fun. You’ve developed this high pitched scream, that is different from your earlier squeals. This one is so full of energy and so full of YOU that it can’t be ignored. It’s an “O-M-G-I-A-M-S-O-E-X-C-I-T-E-D!” kind of scream. And when you’re unhappy, you scream too, just in a more demanding way. I think you like how it sounds and feels and I love you experiencing it. I promise you that I will not tell you to stop, that I will not set unnecessary limits on your happiness and self-expression because of social expectations and norms. Not now, not later. You can count on that, girl. You can scream and squeal and be as happy as you want to be and you’ll never hear from me “Sh! We’re in public!” (well unless we’re are in a place that requires silence).

You’ve been lifting your head up (looking up) for a few months now and that makes you look like such a grown girl. When you sit in my lap and you hear me talk or just get bored, you lift your head and look up at me with a sweet smile and I just really really really love that.

You love when daddy puts your on his arm tummy down and “flies” you all over the house. There’s just a hint of a smile, but mostly a serious face and you scan your surroundings from a different perspective.

You’ve developed so many preferences. You’ve always been very particular about things you don’t like, but now I see specific things that you LOVE.

You get sooo excited about going for a walk in your stroller. The second I put you in your Mutsy, you start laughing and your eyes sparkle. And when we pass trees, oh, how you love them- your legs start kicking and your eyes get soo big. You get incredibly quiet and content when I sit you up face forward in my Nordic Carrier and you will not make a sound as long as you’re facing out.

You’re even more passionate about things you don’t like. If I flip you to face me in a carrier- oh watch out! You are not going to have ANY of that.

You get so frustrated when you can’t get a teether in your mouth and you belt out a yell of anger and your hands shake from frustration.

You dislike nap time so passionately. You now know our routine and as soon as I walk up to the last item we say “Good night!” to, you KNOW and you start fussing. (update: for the last week, you’ve gone down for a nap almost without a peep, such a great progress)

Tummy time has become a favorite activity of yours. Again there’s lots of squeals and smiles and looking around. It gives you a different perspective, doesn’t it? You don’t seem to be interested in rolling over, you get all the way on the palms of your hands and look around, then balance yourself on one of them. And man, do you army crawl like a pro. Just give you some leg support and you’re off at a speed of light (sometimes you drag your arm underneath you and that’s no fun). If you find no support for your feet, you just scoot around the mat. You can turn 180 degrees in a matter of seconds.

Anything that touches your hand goes in your mouth. I have been trying to replace some questionable hanging toys with organic ones, so that I could let you suck on them with no fear and you love those even more. You love Sophie and your Lifefactory silicone teether and you just got some new organic toys from Apple Park and judging by how you were eyeing them as I was taking them out of the box, we’re going to have a new favorite.

Bathtime is probably your most favorite activity of the day, except for nursing. You wiggle and smile and scream and bounce in our arms the second we undress you. It’s so much fun to see the anticipation of your favorite activities in you.

We’ve also developed a few games that you love to play. Any time you grab a piece of cloth in your hand (be it a blanket or your sleeve as I am dressing you), and I try to tug it away from you, you laugh and squeal with delight and tug back trying to shove it back into your mouth. Sometimes a simple act of a blanket dancing on your belly sends you into a rolling laugh.

You LOVE nakey time and I really need to give you more opportunities to wiggle like worm. You start your “nakey” dance when I lay you down on the bed naked, you thrust your hips and move around and dance and smile and squeal.


You’ve also suddenly and unexpectedly grown out of swaddling. What a surprise for us, as we recently found just the perfect swaddle for you. But you’re a big girl now and you want your arms free and over your head. I get it!

You also found your thumb just a week ago, but don;t know to suck on it for comfort yet. You just put it in your mouth and lick it or hold it there.

Nursing has become an entertainment for you. You lie there in a craddle hold with your one arm behind me, scratching the chair by my back and the other arm in a fencing position floating in the air. You’re as distracted and distractable as can be. You get such a kick out of pulling off my boob right as it starts letting down and you get hosed with several sprays of milk while your mommy scatters to grab something, anything, to cover it up so that both of us wouldn’t get soaked. I always fail and we end up needing a change of clothes. Yeah, lotsa fun, isn’t it?

You’ve discovered that you can see a lot better if you arch your back and look up and now pretty much any activity means you’re arched all the way out, my gymnast. I can’t feed you without your unlatching and arching your back to see if it’s daddy who passed by. Oh and if someone utters a word, let alone carries a conversation when you’re eating, you drop everything and arch and turn to see who’s talking. You’re so cute!

You’ve also had this weird episode twice now. Whenever daddy or grandma leave to run errands and are gone most of the day, you act like you don’t recognize them when they come back and your lip comes out and you have this sad face and you look to me for reassurance. That hurts daddy a lot, I am sure. It takes you a few hours to “remember” who they are and smile back at them.

You absolutely adore bouncing on my knee or my head or being thrown (or more like lifted, because we’re afraid to actually throw you) into the air. If you’re upset with something, one of these activities are sure to put at least the tiniest smile on your face.

You’ve gotten this new habit of arching your back at everything. I carry you around like a little baby and you arch your back and look at everything upside down and you just love it. I think you’re loving the new control you have over your body so anytime I hold you, you look like a curved C.

You’re on the move, girl! In just a couple of days you’ve been crawling (army crawling, not hands and knees) non stop. If you are on your tummy, you no longer want to passively lie there looking around. You grunt and complain trying to move forward until one of us gives you something to kick off of and you’re gone. You crawl and grunt and speak so loudly but you love it. You get from one end of your tiny love mat to the other in 3 pushes. We need to get you a Supermat.

You still don’t get why you need to roll somewhere if you can belly crawl there. You’re kind of skipping it completely which not good, baby. You need to learn all the skills. Hope you figure out rolling at least after you start crawling. lol

You’re also all over me. You love it when I lie down and lay you tummy down on me because you’ll wiggle and roll (yes you’ll roll on me) and crawl and arch and are just so much fun!

{I can’t help it but laugh at this picture}

You like:

  • Itsy Bitsy Spider (especially when the rain comes down)
  • Tummy time and crawling (i.e. squirming)
  • Circus McGurcus 1,2,3
  • Gumming things, especially our knuckles
  • Bun Massages
  • Baths
  • Getting strapped into a stroller
  • Facing out in a carrier
  • Trees
  • Watching mommy and daddy eat
  • Mommy
  • Touching mommy’s ear while sleeping
  • Laughing with mommy
  • Looking around (that’s an understatement)
  • saying Ah-goo
  • being thrown in the air
  • when I hug you really close
  • standing up from a lying position as opposed to sitting up
  • your bouncy entertainment activity center (or whatever it is called)
  • nakey time
  • Looking up while arching your back

You don’t like:

  • Sleeping
  • Getting dressed
  • Getting your arms massaged
  • Scary bearded strange men
  • Facing in in a carrier
  • Fast let down

I love you so much little girl, you’re our world!

{Wearing in this post from top to bottom:

Picture 3: ModSwad
Picture 4: Polarn O Pyret
Picture 5: Sage Creek Organics
Picture 6: Boob Design
Picture 7: Green Baby 
Picture 8: Estella-NYC }

Happy 3 Months Birthday!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Monthly Updates


I am so excited to know that my baby girl is now officially out of her fourth trimester. She is no longer a newborn, she’s a baby! A cute, smart, adorable, inquisitive, serious, challenging baby. There has been so many changes that I honestly haven’t been able to keep track. All I’ve been doing is enjoying our time with her and holding on as tight as I can on this rollercoaster ride called LEXI.

TODAY is also the day that Alexis is really 1 YEAR OLD. She’s been out in the world for 3 months, but alive for 1 year. Last year on May 5th, she was conceived. {I am not a Pro-Lifer. I am Pro-Choice. But for us, Alexis was our baby the second those two cells joined}

These are the new things she’s been doing since the last time I updated here at 2 months, but most of them happened at around 2-2.5 months mark. There has been little change from 2.5-3 months. So here we go.

Belly Laugh

Our baby now belly laughs. They aren’t long or frequent, but the first time I heard it on April 23rd, I couldn’t believe it. She laughs in response to games and infant massage (someone is obviously ticklish). The first time she laughed, she sort of surprised herself, because she proceeded to make herself cough and squeel to repeat the sound she just made. I cannot wait till these laughs are more frequent. But for now she laughs about once every couple of days.

Cough

Speaking of coughing, she does that on purpose. She likes how it sounds or feels, so she’ll stick her tongue out and cough and smile.

Talking

Remember that video of her cooing at 3 weeks? Well, the second she hit her 2 months mark, it exploded. She would coo and agoo non stop to any stimuli. We’d have full blown conversations with her. It sort of subcided by the end of this month, which I read is common when they are focused on mastering other skills.

She now yawns like an adult by making a “yawn” sound. She usually agoos while yawning which is sooooo precious. “Aaaaaaggggoooooouuuuu!”

Rolling over

If we’re basing her future performance on current achievements, this girl will be a social linguist or an artist, but not a sporty one. She’s been way ahead on social and visual development, but her motor skills have stayed behind ( behind her other skills, not behind the norm). She’s not a fan of rolling over or even attempting to roll over. She did it twice on her own and have really kind of given up on the whole thing.

Head Control

The same can’t be said about head control and her incredible need to be sitting up at all times. I honestly believe it’s only that good due to the fact that she is UNBELIEVABLY curious about her surroundings (and has been since day 1). She HAS to see things, which brings me to….

Over-stimulation

We’ve been having a bit of a problem with over-stimulation lately. She won’t stop looking around (her head whips side to side like she’s watching a tennis match) with a super serious expression. She gets very excited looking at toys and sky and trees and books and humans. She starts getting tired every 50-60 minutes, but will refuse to go to sleep. So there’s a lot of crying every time she has to go down for a nap, which is hourly. A lot of frustration for mommy and daddy. Putting her to sleep earlier doesn’t help, so I just try to do my best not to let her get too excited about all the sights she is seeing and put her to sleep at first signs of tiredness.

Books

She loves reading books. We’ve been reading mostly Dr Suess and a few russian books and you should see her face and the legs kicking. It’s so cute! She stares intently at every illustration until the book is over and then follows it with her gaze as it gets put away as if saying “Is that all?”

Nursing

Breastfeeding has been absolutely wonderful. This is what they refer to as the “reward period” and it’s a very fitting name. It has become a breeze to feed her any time anywhere. The most heartwarming moments occur during breastfeeding when she stops nursing to smile the widest grin at me and then playfully chomp back at the boob. Or when she grins and sticks her tongue out while panting and looking at me with a face full of adoration. For a while there, she’d coo with a nipple in her mouth. That’s actually how she squealed for the first time- while nursing!

Sleep

Her sleep patterns have not changed. She still wakes up 2-4 times a night to eat and naps poorly here and there with an occasional 2 or three hour nap once a week. Sometimes when she sleeps for too long without a feeding, she wakes up outright crying, which breaks my heart into a million pieces. Otherwise, naps are hard. The second you put her down, her eyes pop open. Sometimes she’ll sleep for 5-10 minutes. On good days, she will have 30-40 minute naps, but she ALWAYS wakes up as soon as she cycles back into her REM sleep.

Grabbing

She is yet to be interested enough in toys to reach for them, but daily household items? Fascinating! She will grab anything that touches her hands, be it my necklace (forget about those now), my hair or the railing of the changing table that she attaches herself to with a death grip and pushes whoever changes her with her foot. Funny girl!
Sophie is her best friend, as well as the Lifefactory’s silicone teether ring that she just can’t get enough off. She has learned to grab onto it with two hands and shove it in her mouth, and then gum, gum, gum. If she misses her mouth and instead shoves a fist into it, you can hear her discontentment in an array of angry aghoos and screams she produces. Any time anything touches her hand, she grabs it or lightly touches it with her fingers. It’s so sweet when she runs her fingers along whatever part of our body she comes in contact with, pinches it, strokes- so sweet.


Bath Time

If you read the bath post, she is a major soccer star with her baby wash bottle. She has so much fun taking a bath now. Just today, she was laughing her little butt off at a dancing wash cloth courtesy of me. I’d shake a wet wash cloth over her naked belly and she would just smile and laugh non-stop. I’ll try videotaping it next time, if she still has the same reaction to it.

Hair

I think her hair is slowly falling out and blonde hair is growing in. I’m not sure of it, but that’s what it looks like. If it does fall out, I know I will miss her dark hair. She was born with it and it is very dear to me.

Teething/Drooling

Her hand sucking and drooling is out of control. It’s gotta be her favorite thing – suck on her fingers. She hasn’t shown any preference to her thumb, she just puts her whole hand in her mouth and sometimes both.

Outings

It’s still really rough. Every time we go somewhere, she cries. Since she doesn’t sleep for long, she tires out quickly and she can’t fall asleep on her own (she’s not of those babies that just drifts off ), especially outside of home. So there’s usually a lot of crying when we go out and it’s time to sleep (it’s every hour, so I can’t even time outings around her nap time). I am hoping it’s a phase and as soon as her daytime naps even out, she’ll be a happier camper :) {I will write a separate post about this whole issue}

Reflux

I am so happy to say that it almost subsided. She still has some spitting up and milk coming back up occasionally and but it doesn’t seem to bother her at all. She doesn’t wake up much from it anymore either. YAY!

;

So this is as much as I can remember. I gotta say that even with the fact that Alexis is a challenging baby, we are having a great time. As cliche as it sounds, we both can’t imagine our life without her and feel that life didn’t exist until Alexis came along.


Pediatrician Appointment and Vaccinations {2 Months}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience

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Last week was our 2 months check up. We struggled with the idea of having to give Alexis her vaccines. 5 in one visit, doesn’t it sound ridiculous?

A while ago we decided that we would vaccinate her. We’re pro modern {safe} medicine, pro vaccine people. However, we are also pro “educate yourself before you do anything” people. For once in my life I wanted to do something blindly, without the research that I normally do. Just follow what’s accepted, rather than challenging the norm in favor of what’s best for us. I totally get the people that vaccinate and I completely understand the people that choose NOT to vaccinate. I had ignored the looming vaccination appointment and then finally gave in the day before. I sat at the kitchen table with my husband and asked: “Are we really vaccinating her?”

I absolutely love that my husband is health conscious as well. And he’s SUPER protective of Alexis. “Let’s figure out whether we should and what the dangers are”, he said.

Alexis: 2 Months

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Monthly Updates, PHOTO

I can’t believe it’s only been two months! I wonder when I’ll stop saying that. I feel like we’ve known Alexis for years.

So much has changed in two months. I will try and catch this blog up on it all, starting from first bath to videos and walks, all the way to our breastfeeding journey, beach trips and loving talks.
But today….well today is exactly 2 months since Alexis made her arrival and turned our world upside down.

I won’t be writing this update in any coherent manner, because you can’t make sense when you have a baby. Babies don’t make sense (more on that in a different post). {All the photos below are taken in the past month}

Personality

She has grown so much. Both in weight/height and mentally. From day 1 she’s always been a very aware, serious, alert baby. But this month it has taken on a new meaning. She wants nothing else but to be propped on your shoulder and carried around like in the picture above. She looks around like it’s her job. She’s so incredibly serious all the time.  She has a face that says “I am thinking about the solution to the world’s problems”. It’s calm and collected and serious and curious. I can almost see her little brain taking it all in and processing the information. Her favorite are pictures of mommy and daddy. She can stare at those for hours. Well, no, not hours, because she gets bored of one thing too soon.  But she will smile and laugh and coo at them and it’s amazing to watch. Sometimes after a feeding, she will fall away like a little monkey and I’ll put her on my lap facing me and after a few smiley faces she’ll redirect her attention to a picture of me wearing a red dress and my husband on a cruise hanging over the glider. She will laugh and smile and coo at it like it’s nobody’s business.

 

She also LOVES to smile. Her smiles come from two things and two things alone: interaction with people (preferably ones she know) and pictures of people. And when she smiles the whole world lights up. She transforms from this serious little baby to an adorably silly girly girl. There isn’t an time when she sees me that she doesn’t break into a big toothless gummy smile. She loves her mommy (or mommy’s boobie). Oh the smiles she gives me. Every morning, at every nap time, any time I lock my eyes with hers and smile, she laughs right back :) She’s starting to respond to “I’m gonna get ya!” type of games. I almost got a belly laugh ( it lasted all of 2 seconds) from her playing the game today.

Daddy and grandma have to work a bit harder to get her affection, but when they do, she loves them right back. Alexis has even smiled at strangers. We went to my 6 week OB appointment and she smiled and cooed at my doctor who delivered her ( and proceeded to fuss right after that).

She doesn’t really cry for no reason, which I am grateful for. She has all her needs catered to and if we’re not prompt enough in reading her cues, she lets us know with a little short yell “Ah!” and then again “Ah!” And if that doesn’t get our attention, the fuss train arrives. She fusses/cries for 4 reasons only: diaper needs to be changed, it’s time to eat, she’s sleepy and sometimes she needs an activity change. She has started not digging clothing and a few times would really get upset at it, but she quickly calms down when we are done.

She likes her gym but only a few minutes at a time, same with tummy time, though she hasn’t been too big of a fan so we do tummy time on my chest. She holds her head up sooo well that we almost don’t need to support it when we carry her (but still do just in case). She adores looking at clothing catalogs ( taking after her mama), especially if the model is blonde and is wearing a red dress. She talks at them like they’re real people.

Sleep

Because her nap routine has been so random up until now, it was hard to tell when she was fussy because she was overtired. I think I got it now that she’s been napping more consistently and boy is it much easier, but I am sorry it took me 8 weeks to nail that down. Her naps are hit or miss nowadays. She gets fussy/tired every 1.5 hours or so and some days she’ll only nap on us and will wake up the second you put her down and other days (more rarely) she’ll go down for a 1 hour nap.

The nights are geting so much better. Just this week she started sleeping an initial 4 hour stretch. It started with a 2 hour stretch which was amazing, then a week later we got a 3 hour stretch, a week after that we got 3 hours and 2 hours stretches, and now this week she’s been sleeping 4 hours when she’s first put down and then wake up every hour from then to eat like before. For some reason she won’t go down until 10 pm. Her bedtime used to be 8 pm before the time change, but now she wakes up every half an hour if we force her to sleep at 8 or 9pm and won’t go for her nightly sleep till 10.

So our night looks like this:
10pm-2am- sleep
2am-2:45am-  nurse, change, nurse, rock back to sleep
This sometimes proves to be difficult, as she tends to be wide awake around 3 am
3am-4am sleep
4am-4:20am- nurse
4:20am-5:20 am sleep
5:20-5:40 am nurse
5:40-6:40 sleep
6:40-7:00-nurse
7:00-7:30 sleep
7:30- she’s up for the day.

This is a welcome change for us, because before we had to get up every hour and now we at least get a decent 4 hour stretch. So now we’re down to 3-4 wakings or less sometimes. Our little girl is growing and I can foresee her sleep getting longer and longer.

 

Preferences

She still won’t take a pacifier, but LOVES to suck on her hands or MY knuckles for that matter. It almost makes me think she’s teething, because of all the drool and the gusto that she gums my knuckle with if I only get my hand near her mouth. But I know it’s way too early for that.
She’s also trying to sit up. Whenever she grabs a hold of my fingers, she tries to pull up and succeeds. She loves looking around in a sitting position and starts fussing as soon as you put her down. My mom gets really mad at me for letting her pull up, because older generation/Russian people have this thing about sitting babies up before 4-6 months. I couldn’t find any information about that, except for to encourage babies to sit up to get their muscles working and get them sued to the feeling, so I am going to ask our pediatrician about it next week.

She’s finally liking her stroller walks and starting to not mind carriers (though those can be hit or miss). I still can’t get her to do any one activity for longer than 20 minutes and I don’t like leaving her to her own devices, so there’s always someone interacting with her (mostly me), with occasional bouts of bouncy chair (when I need to pee or eat) and toys, but even then I try to talk to her about the toys she’s looking at (Did you know to maximize language development you need to say 30,000 words directed at the baby A DAY? Isn’t that insane?)

Health

Speaking of development, I also make sure to take at least 3 grams of DHA ( or eat 3 grams of DHA in fatty fish) a day, since that has been found to be extremely beneficial in nursing mothers (for baby’s brain development). When it comes to dietary restrictions, I don’t do dairy due to cow’s milk proteins and their negative effects on digestive system and allergic reactions (which is possibly why she hasn’t had ANY problems with lower intestinal pain and/or gas). I have also excluded tomatoes, citrus, onion to improve her reflux ( I didn’t realize how hard it is to NOT eat tomatoes or onions)

Speaking of reflux, it doesn’t seem to bother her much, except for on occasion when she really needs to burp. She does spit up, but it’s not of a big concern unless she’s lying on her back. So at night she sleeps on her side and during the day naps in bouncy chairs. I wonder how common mild spit up/reflux issues are… Is there anyone out there who ISN’T dealing with it to an extent? It’d be super awesome to just lay her on her back and not worry about food coming back up her throat. We both cannot wait until it eases up at 3 months (if it does), so that she’s more comfortable.



Eating

She still eats very frequently. During the day it’s pretty much every hour. Though for the past two days she’s gone more like every 1.5 to 2 hours between feedings most of the time, but it is not something I can rely on yet. One thing is clear. She’s growing and her eating and sleeping habits are changing for the better and all we had to do is wait for her to grow up a little bit. She does this adorable thing now when she eats: she runs her hand up and down my boob and when it’s well moisturized you can see the deliberation in it- she loves the feeling of her fingers sliding back and forth.

{Lexi is up from her 30 minute nap, so I’m going to give her some smiles and feed her and hope I can still get back to this post today (…) Daddy took her for a stroller walk so I’m back}

She’s has grown physically as well. Hourly feedings are definitely showing in her chins and cheeks and rolls and folds. She is a BIG BIG breastfed baby. She’s pretty much grown out of 0-3 months clothing and fits right into most 3-6 months. As a matter of fact, I got this adorable 3-6  bamboo romper from an organic Chinese  company via Zulily and it was too small (see picture below)

 

Appearance

Her baby acne is starting to disappear, her angel kiss (the forehead mark) is fading a bit, though both come out full strength when she is fussy, crying, or trying to poop, as well as at some other random times. Her diaper rash is gone, thanks to Lavanila and her body rash has cleared up. All her dry skin is gone and slowly her skin and body are adjusting to the life outside of the womb. I think her hair WILL lighten up (or fall out) and become blonde, because her eyebrows are super blonde like mine and her skin is fair ( I almost lost her nipples on one picture, I couldn’t differentiate her acne from her nipple). Her hair get sweaty so fast, because she’s constantly in our arms and when it’s wet, it gets this cute curl to it.

 

All in all, she’s a happy girl, who gifts us lots of smiles, a few fussy periods so that we’d treasure those smiles and a hell of a lot of personality! I am just dying to see how it develops over the years and months and cannot wait to go on adventures with my little girl!

HAPPY 2 MONTHS, baby girl! We love you!

 

To celebrate her 2 monthaversary, I’m going to run a BIG giveaway from organic baby clothing companies (1 clothing item each). I am going to try to get it out by tomorrow, but not sure if that’s going to happen. So look for it in the next couple of days.