Monday, March 13, 2017

4 Months with Juniper

This month was both harder and more enjoyable than the preceding. Month four was all about attachment and rule breaking. I don't know how or why, but I became super attached to Juniper this month. I wanted to hold her all the time; didn't mind her sleeping in my arms; and felt overly protective when anyone else held her. It's also the month I broke every "mom rule" fed to me by the array of parenting books I consumed during pregnancy. She slept in our bed with me. I picked her up whenever she cried. I ditched the schedule. I let her play past her nap time. All in the name of survival. And, ya know what? I've never felt freer as a parent. More on my thoughts on parenting styles later though.

She hovers between twelve and fourteen pounds and really hasn't gained any weight this month. We'll find out if this is cause for concern at her next wellness visit on St. Paddy's Day. She is long and lean, although her cheeks say otherwise #chipmunkbaby

Oh how I love dressing my baby girl up. I've got online shopping carts packed to the brim with rompers and bonnets galore. We had our first accidental mommy-and-me outfit moment. Sadly, it wasn't matchy-matchy leggings and tunics, but instead matching oversized sweats and neon blue tops. 

Sleep Habits
Oh boy...
Where do I begin? 
We definitely had a taste of the four-month sleep regression this month. At its worst it lasted about two-and-a-half weeks. Week three is here and I think we're on the tail end of the nightmare. I know moms who were up with their kids every hour so I feel bad complaining and then I stop mid-sentence because I can't formulate words out of sheer tiredness and I stop feeling guilty about complaining. 

My eyes have been bloodshot for weeks now. I'm living on ineffective caffeine and practically sleepwalking through life. She fought me on every nap. She'd fall asleep in my arms and I'd go to put her down and from dead sleep she'd start screaming. What did I do? Slept with her on top of me or in my arms every single night. And, before anyone wags their finger at me and says "ba-a-a-d habit," please allow me to wag a finger back while you tend to your own perfect child. I'm following my motherly instincts and doing what needs to be done to survive and hold on to my sanity. 

Eating Habits 
Some days breastfeeding is so easy. I think to myself, I could probably do this for a year.
Other days I literally tell Erik, I'm quitting. I'm done breastfeeding.

I can't quite pinpoint what makes nursing so difficult. On one hand it's so much easier than making up a bottle and convincing her to eat. On the other hand, it's still so taboo to breastfeed in public so I always have to make sure I'm home when it's nearing feeding time. Covers are great but maneuvering a wiggling tot under tangles of cloth is no easy feat. 

Unfortunately, I've been having some major schedule changes lately and my supply has dipped to an alarming low. I was so hellbent on quitting nursing at six months and I feel like a complete jerk because now all I want to do is make it a full year and it's becoming harder and harder. While the regular bra and getting dressed without thinking about how easily I can nurse in it sound wonderful, I also feel strangely guilty and emotional. She's pushing away from me and getting frustrated regularly and it truly hurts my heart.

Size 2 Honest diapers

She's still a little strawberry blonde with big ol' blue eyes, hence the nicknames Little Red or Little Blue.
She's still got the chubbiest round cheeks and a little butt chin too!

Munchie, Juju, J, Miss Mae, Junie Bear 

Scooting! We practice this daily. I place a line of balls a few feet away and with hoards of effort and a little time she scoots right to them and snatches them up.
She seems to recognize her name now.
Y' baby girl has laughed! They're few and far between, but that hasn't stopped me from trying oh so hard for another one!

#1 favorite-when I hold her hands so she can stand and walk.
Playing Superman.
God Bless You and Goodnight, Grandma Wishes, Goodnight Little Love. She grabs onto the pages (and tries to eat them) and looks from page to page.
Being on her belly.
Kicking around on her play gym.
Watching the dogs do dog things.
Chewing on her fingers.
Her pink elephant luvy, Mr. Pinky.
The mobile my mom made her.
Mr. Wubzy her Wubanub.
Talking! She is always hollerin' about something!
I don't know if she likes me wrist tattoo, but she is always trying to grab it when spotted.

The car seat. I think she gets flashbacks to Florida haha.
Not being able to get to her toys. Scooting is still a real task for her.
Other than that, she is a pretty happy go lucky kind of gal.

Mama's Feelings
For the most part and most days, I feel good again-mentally (not so much physically).
I'm frustrated though by the lack of support for moms! Most of the help I get comes from my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and my dad and stepmom. But, they're not here on the day to day so it's tough for me to manage anything other than Juniper. The pressure to do everything else though-making dinner, keeping the house clean, looking presentable, giving attention to anyone other than her-is still there and it is hard on me.

Mu name is Mama now. 
Erik's is still Erik. 
We all adapt to parenthood at our own pace.

Favorite Moments and Things to Remember
When she gets bashful and buries her face in my arms after I feed her. 
Her wide open mouth smile when we play Superman.
The first time I made her laugh by taking a wipe and running it along her jaw and chin.
When I say Hiiii and she mimics me (*tries).
When she kicks furiously in excitement.
When she hears Erik or I's voice on the phone and stares at the device.
Reading God Bless You and Goodnight from memory because I've read it over one hundred times.

Looking forward to
I'm oh so excited for her to join us at the dinner table. The closer we get to a normal life the happier I am. 
Taking her up to camp this summer. In the process of booking our trips now!
Beach trips.
Every morning waking up with her.

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