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Ten Months

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April 15, 2014 by Amy

  The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Stats: You don’t go back to the doctor until 12 months (!), but I think you are still on par with about 50% for all the measurements. You seemed to have slowed down the height growth a bit… maybe no WNBA for you after all! ;)

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Sizes: Still 9 month everything. You have a few pairs of 12 month pants that you can wear if you have to, but they bunch a lot at the top. You can actually still wear 6 month onesies in a pinch, too. You wear size 2 shoes! Not that you need them, but you are past the point where I feel comfortable taking you out in public without shoes on, so you wear them. You are still in size 3 diapers, but I think once these run out we’ll try a size 4. They overflow quite a bit! ;)

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Eating: Still my champion eater!! I haven’t found anything that you won’t eat. If you are hungry, and there is food in front of you, you will eat. We tried peanut butter this month, and you loved that too! I put it on a piece of bread and then diced up the bread in really tiny pieces. A lot of people turn up their noses at the way that I let you have all foods, but I have done a significant amount of research and consulted Dr. Wong, and all is well. You also got fish this month! Just tilapia, but it’s a great food to eat whole, which you prefer. We put a lot of purees into pancakes and eggs so you can get veggies, and just find soft foods to chop up for you. As far as nursing goes, you are only nursing in the morning and I stopped pumping. Baby, I love you, I adore you, and I am so happy that I could nurse as well as I did, but putting away that breast pump and the six million parts that come with it was a big time high for me. You take formula now, about 14-16 ounces a day. In the morning, you get some mixed with prune juice, some mixed with vanilla almond milk in the afternoon, and some mixed with breast milk in your nighttime bottle. Which, by the way, is now a nighttime sippy cup!! I can’t believe you weaned yourself off the bottle. Daddy and I were beside ourselves because you just would not take milk at bedtime anymore. You don’t get a ton of milk as it is, and to forego those 6 ounces was driving us crazy (plus pouring breast milk down the drain is my worst nightmare). One night, Daddy brought up a sippy cup and you killed it right away. And that’s that! Your schedule looks like this:
7am: Nurse; 7:30am: 4 oz. formula (we use Earth’s Best), 2 oz. prune juice; 8:30am: eggs/oatmeal/fruit; NAP 9-11; 11am (or whenever you wake up): 4 oz. formula, 2 oz. almond milk; 12pm: peas/beef/avocado/veggie; NAP 2-3; 3pm: 4 oz. formula, 2 oz. almond milk; 6:30pm: 4 oz. formula, 2 oz. breastmilk.

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Sleep: So great! At 9 1/2 months you got your first cold, so Daddy and I were up with you about every 30-45 minutes. After two nights of this, we were reminded how blessed we are with you because you didn’t even do that as a newborn. You kicked it on the third day. The only thing that interrupts your sleep at night is if you chuck your pacifier out of your crib (on purpose, might I add), but other than that you sleep 7-7 without incident.

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Features: Three teeth! Blonde hair, very very blue eyes. Cutest baby bum ever (sorry). You still look markedly like me vs. your dad, but your facial expressions mimic his sometimes. You have a birth mark on your upper belly.

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Personality: Happy, funny, social, inquisitive, studious, adventurous, curious. You love mimicking and making people laugh (except Daddy, his super loud laugh makes you cry!). Very calm and content, and no wild streak like some babies seem to have. You just really prefer to sit in your play pen or play with one other person. You like being around other babies if they sit quietly and don’t really bother you. You don’t mind at all if one of them takes your toys, and I haven’t seen you take a toy from someone else (although I’m sure you will do this someday!). You do great at MOPS daycare too! You started throwing tantrums this month. When something gets taken away from you (electrical cords, phones, keys, etc.) you put forth the same world-ending cry that you do when you get hurt or scared. This doesn’t get you what you want, so hopefully you’ll knock that off before… high school? We are working on cause-effect relationships too. You have taken to chucking everything you have (sippy cup, food, pacifier) off of your high chair tray to see what happens. We let you do it twice, once on “accident,” one “on purpose,” before we take whatever away. We’re careful to remind ourselves that we aren’t punishing you, just helping you learn that throwing things on the ground means they go away. I think? Parenting is hard.

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Favorites: 10 Little Monkeys, counting, sweatshirt strings, zippers, snaps, buttons, my cell phone cover, your exersaucer and play pen, this music laptop thing you have, prune juice, puffs, the dogs (especially their tails), solid foods, fire, manufacturer tags, air or anything on your face, getting your face wiped, baths, water of any kind, laughing, taking walks, your crib (you won’t really sleep anywhere else anymore, maybe the pack and play sometimes), your DADDY, the piano, music, GOOOOO DAYON FLYERS, hugs and kisses. You give THE BEST hugs and kisses. Out of nowhere, you’ll just wrap your arms around our necks and bring your face to our face so so tight. That’s the reward we’ve been waiting for for all the work that is having a baby, and it was worth it tenfold.

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

Milestones: Lots this month! No more bottles, first cold (so sad), first front tooth, first ride on our boat. I also got a (very, very, very part time) job two days a month, so it was your first time with a babysitter for a whole day! You did absolutely great. We hired a babysitter/nanny for the rest of the days I work. I really loved the mental challenge the job provided but I sure missed you! I’m so glad I get to stay at home with you. You pulled yourself up this month twice! You try all the time. The stairs are where you have most success, greeaaaat. Time to get a gate! You are still army crawling, but look like you’ll be on your hands and knees soon. Won’t be long now until you’re mobile! You also put your arms up if we say “arms UP!”, clap when we say “yay” or “clap clap” or clap ourselves (and sometimes when we put our arms up – you’re proud of us too, ha!), and play hide and seek (“Where’s the baby? There she is!”) All in all, I’d have to say that this was the month that I first felt like I knew what I was doing. Before, I kind of spent all day looking around waiting for the Mom Police to come around and be like, “Ok, you had your chance. But you gotta go.” But at 9 months, I feel like it all finally clicked. Now, we have such a great rhythm going! Daddy is home for a whole extra month this time (THREE months together!!!! That hasn’t happened since 2012!!), so bring on the family time!

The Bulls' Nest | Ten Months

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Nine Months

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April 15, 2014 by Amy

    The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months   Stats: Doctor’s appointment on Monday! I weighed you yesterday on our home scale and it looks like you are somewhere around 17.5 pounds. This still makes you crazy skinny, but you are right on par with where you’ve always been! You have definitely shot up in height this month. I officially packed away all of your 6 month clothes. They still look big and blousy, but the length is too tight. It was kind of sad for me… your 6 month clothes are super cute!!

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Sizes: 9 month everything! This is a recent change. You were in 6 months until yesterday when we went to the park and I noticed that you were busting out of your clothes. It’s pretty perfect timing, actually, because we are pretty steadily in the 70s these days and all of your 6 month stuff is for winter. You are in size 3 diapers still!

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Eating: Oh, Bean. You eat like a kindergardener, and by that I mean all you want is real food!! You are still nursing when you wake up and at noon, but that’s it. Some days, getting that noon feeding in is a challenge. You just have no interest, and haven’t in a while. You are even less interested in formula. At night, you take a 6 ounce bottle, which is now 4 ounces formula, 2 ounces breast milk. That’s no problem, but the rest of the day is challenging. I’m definitely going to ask Dr. Wong about it at your 9 month checkup. I don’t want you missing out on any nutrients because you don’t want milk! As far as solids go, however, you are a champion. Because of your lack of interest in milk, I focus pretty intently on getting you a balanced diet throughout the day. Something protein heavy in the morning (usually an egg scrambled, and I sneak some milk in there), a double dose of veggies in the afternoon (at least one is kale or spinach or another dark leafy green), and some more protein at night (beef or chicken). Going out to lunch is my new favorite thing to do with you. Sometimes we walk to Kobe and I get a Bento box of sushi while you annihilate some fried rice with veggies. You are a DISASTER in restaurants, but we clean up after ourselves pretty well. You love to feed yourself instead of take food from a spoon, so I’ve been trying to come up with ways to turn purees into finger foods. One of my favorites is to pour the puree into pancake batter and make baby pancakes. These are by far your favorite thing to eat. You have had pretty much everything there is to have (except nuts, honey, and fish), and so far no allergies!!

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Sleep: You rule! Sleeping 11-12 hours at night no problem. Your naps are perfect too, with a few exceptions. Right now your front tooth is about to come through (it looks so painful!), so your naps haven’t been quite as awesome. Usually, you wake up at 6:30, nap 9:30-11 and 2-4, then bath at 6 and in bed by 7. As long as I don’t go over 3 hours of wake time, you go down so easy. I rock you to sleep for naps, but Daddy puts you down wide awake at night. Either way, you go to sleep just fine! We are so lucky.

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Features: Alright, so you are still my twin. However, when you smile or make other expressive faces, you look a lot like your dad. Your hair is still dark blond and your eyes are crazy blue. They are way bluer than mine or Shashas, so I think you might have Great Grandma Charlotte’s eyes! Lucky you. You have two teeth (bottom front), and the top left one is coming in any day now.

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Personality: Happy, happy, happy! You are showing a little bit of a whiny streak, but neither your dad nor I really respond to that so you soon find other ways of getting our attention. You are still so intense and such a little scientist. Yesterday, we went to the park with some friends, and while the other babies crawled around from thing to thing, you sat for close to 30 minutes studying my keys. You kind of like to interact with other babies, but you are definitely not the first person to say hello. I have grown to love myself as an introvert, but it is much more work than being an extrovert is. I hope that if you are an introvert that you learn how to be social anyway! You go to anyone and everyone though, and seem to have no signs of separation anxiety. I just joined a MOPS group (basically a non-denominational Christian prayer-centered moms group), and when I dropped you off at the day care for two hours you did not even bat an eyelash. I LOVE this adventuresome spirit about you! The woman you spent the most time with sung your praises (and mine). You are very sweet, so loving, and don’t have much of a sassy side. You are also FUNNY, and love to watch people laugh.

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Favorites: 10 Little Monkeys, counting, sweatshirt strings, zippers, snaps, buttons, my cell phone cover, your exersaucer and play pen, this music laptop thing you have, prune juice, puffs, the dogs (especially their tails), solid foods, fire, manufacturer tags, air or anything on your face, getting your face wiped, baths, water of any kind, laughing. You are just so easy and laid back, you love everything!

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

Milestones: Still waiting on you to pull yourself up onto things and/or crawl with your belly off the floor. Some babies never do the crawling thing and just go straight to walking, so maybe you’ll be that kind of kid! Daddy and I were both “late” walkers but early talkers. You can stand, unassisted, for several minutes if you have your hands on something. You love doing that! You are also 100% ready to use the regular bath tub! I’m looking into how to section off part of it so we don’t use too much water. Other than that, this was a pretty quiet month milestone-wise. It is so fun to watch you grow!

The Bulls' Nest | Nine Months

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Eight Months

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April 15, 2014 by Amy

      The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Stats: We go to the doc next month! I’m terrible about weighing you at home. You look good to me!

The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Sizes: Still mostly 6 months. Some 9 month stuff, sweatshirts and sleepers and whatnot, but mostly 6 months. Size 3 diapers!

The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Eating: Mostly breastfed, a little supplementing with formula, and solids 3 times a day. You went on a nursing strike this month, which made me so very sad! You’d been crying after nursing sessions for a few days, probably because you weren’t satisfied when the milk ran out. One day, you nursed in the morning ok, but then at noon you nursed for about 2 minutes before you pulled away and cried. I pulled out the formula and gave you 2 ounces in a sippy cup, and you downed it. I was pumping 4 times a day to get that 7 ounces for bedtime, which eventually dropped to 6 ounces. Around 7 1/2 months, you are nursing great in the morning, and so-so in the afternoon, so I usually follow up that afternoon session with 2-4 ounces of formula. Sometimes you drink it, sometimes you don’t. At night, you get 5 ounces of breastmilk and 2 ounces of formula, and that keeps you full for a nice long 12 hour sleep. I will continue to pump and try everything I can to get my supply up so that you can be on 100% of breastmilk again. Oh, how I miss the days of pumping once at night and getting 8 ounces!! :) Weaning is a delightful roller coaster of hormonal emotions. On one hand, I’m happy to see you grow and develop and need me less, but on the other, I can’t help feeling like a failure. I’m working through it though! You are 100% happy, no matter what I do!

The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Sleep: Back to full on rockstar status. I would say most 8-month-olds sleep through the night, at least 8 hours or so, so people no longer stare at me in disbelief when I tell them how long you sleep. Your napping has gotten to be pretty great too. You still have days where you nap for 20 minutes at a time and days where you take two three-hour naps, but for the most part, you are right on schedule. We are moving you back to California schedule this last week in Ohio, so right now you wake up at 7am, nurse, solids at 9, nap from 10-12, solids at 2, nap from 3-5, bath and bed at 7pm. I am holding onto my hat for our transition back to the West coast. We are SO LUCKY that Shasha is able to come back with us and the dogs.

The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Features: At 7 1/2 months, your last little white dot fell off your face! You still look a lot like me, but sometimes like your dad. Two teeth!

The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Personality: Still the same! You are just so curious. Easygoing, not too much fuss, very sweet and loving. Everyone adores you.

The Bulls' Nest | Eight Months

Favorites: Sweatshirt strings, videos and screens, baths, mirrors, Skyping with Daddy, the dogs, Sophie the Giraffe (Rudy’s favorite too) and you just got into reading this month! You love smiles, waving, snuggling, giving kisses, my phone case, mixing bowls and cups, prune juice, and different textures. You also really love the Christmas book Daddy recorded for you.

The Bulls Nest | Eight Months

Milestones: Nothing too crazy this month. Just lots of fun and learning!

The Bulls Nest | Eight Months

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Freeze this Day

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February 12, 2014 by Amy

 

DSC_0250I love living in California. Not just for the amenities (and there are a lot), but the weather elevates my mood so much. After spending most of the winter inside the 2014 polar vortex, now that we’re home we’ve been making going outside a priority. Because we can. Today, I remember to grab my camera when Charlotte and I went out in the backyard.

DSC_0269

CK was the perfect subject as always. She’s such a ham, and lights up whenever the electronics come out. And lets her hair down with some extra drool.DSC_0268

I’m so mad this came out blurry. Charlotte just started giving kisses on purpose. I’m certain I’ll die from this.DSC_0267

Tooth #3 is due any day now.DSC_0260

Her hair shows up red in all the photos, but in real life, it’s actually dark blonde. I think it’s going to be pretty thick!DSC_0256

My favorite part about these days is getting unplugged and just enjoying being face to face. She is learning so much so fast, I can hardly keep up.DSC_0258

Rudy and Peanut were losing their minds and racing around the yard. This is obviously hilarious, at any age.DSC_0254

It’s also worth noting that we discovered bugs, dirt, and dog poop all at once. Big day!DSC_0252 DSC_0251

I hope I never forget days like this.DSC_0249 DSC_0248

Love you forever, my girl.

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Seven Months

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January 15, 2014 by Amy

Stats: We didn’t go to the doctor this month, so I’m not entirely sure what your stats are! I would imagine that you probably got a tiny bit taller, because of your clothing size, and gained probably about a pound or so, because of how you look. You are healthy and thriving! By the way, just a little update from last month… I ordered some custom-cut headbands for your sensitive nugget. Gender roles resume!

Sizes: Ok, ok. I’ll put the 3 month onesies away. You are pretty solidly in 6 month clothes. You can fit into 9 month sleepers and a few 9 month pants because you are tall, but 6 month clothing is where it’s at for you. I’m pumped for the next Just Between Friends sale in Folsom so that I can stock your closet with new clothes! You are still in size 3 diapers as well, and probably will be for a while!

Eating: You eat mostly everything… except formula. Not that I can blame you, the stuff smells and tastes awful. I started giving it to you in your nighttime bottle because I don’t have a freezer stash in Ohio, and I was having to pump 3-4 times every day just to get 7 oz. for the bottle, plus nurse you, take care of you, take care of the dogs… nope. After a mild nervous breakdown I bought some formula, and you hate it. I can sort of get away with adding an ounce or less into a full bottle of breast milk, but you sleep way better if you get an entire 7 ounces of the good stuff. You won’t be switching to formula, and I probably won’t even take it back home with me, but it was worth a shot! It is soy formula, so I may try dairy-based, but since you don’t really need it I just might not bother. As far as solids, you are good to go with everything! You like fruits and meats and some vegetables. If I really want to hit a home run with veggies I’ll mix it with some fruit. For some reason, you started hating avocados. I find this hilarious. The look on your face when I give you the green stuff is one of straight betrayal. You have been having a few (ahem) regularity issues, so Dr. Wong advised giving you prune juice in a sippy cup. Peanut butter poop commence! It really helps and you really like it, which is a relief. You are pretty good at the sippy cup if you are laying down, but haven’t quite mastered tipping your head back and hands up yet. You’ll get it soon, I’m sure! I’m still making about 95% of your baby food. Your schedule looks like this: 7am nurse, 9am solids, 12pm nurse, 3pm solids, 6:30pm bottle.

Sleep: I think it’s safe to say that this has been your worst month as far as sleep consistency since your first month of life. I’m not sure if it’s the change in the routine, the weather, the fact that we never get out of the house… but you aren’t having it, whatever it is. Once or twice a week you’ll sleep all the way through the night, but most of the time you have 1-2 night wakings, sometimes more. Lately you’ve been waking up around 10-11pm for an hour or so, then up at 5ish, then up for the day at 6:30 sharp. It’s making me count the days until we get our normal routine back… although, I have news for you, sweet baby, “normal routine” is kind of a fake thing in the military. I hope you get a little more flexible as you get older! I of course don’t like getting up in the middle of the night, but you are so damn sweet and cuddly and I am so lucky to be your momma, it’s hard to be mad at anyone. I know it’s totally normal for babies your age to night wake, so I just keep trying and hoping you’ll stay down. Napping, however, has gotten SO much better. If I hit it right at the 3-hour wake time, you’ll sleep for at least a few hours twice a day. We’ve been reading books before naptime too, and that seems to help relax you.

Features: Everyone remarks how much you look like me. It’s true, you are a little twin spawn! You have been exploring your hands and feet lately a lot, which is SO CUTE. Your hair is getting really thick too! You spend most of your time either sitting or on your stomach, so it’s stayed nice and even on the back of your head. You still have your birthmarks on your forehead and base of your skull, but the doctor said those should fade with time. Your left canine has receded (or something), so you only have one real tooth on the bottom. You’re pretty great. :)

Personality: You have been a touch grumpier lately, presumably because of your lack of good sleep, but even a grumpy you is happier than most babies. You are intense and content. I could leave you alone on the floor for hours and you will entertain yourself. You are very inquisitive and want to touch everything and put everything in your mouth. You are still a studier, and just recently began intensely studying your primary food source (hilarious). I’m already trying to guess your Myers-Briggs type… I’m thinking ISTP, “the mechanic.” Logical, analytical, practical, adventuresome, fearless, technical, loyal, introspective. Your personality is a lot more like your dad than me, but I do think you’re a bit more introverted than he is. You love your routine and you do have preferences (like the avocado, ha), but you are pretty flexible most of the time.

Favorites: Sweatshirt strings, videos and screens, baths, mirrors, Skyping with Daddy, the dogs, Sophie the Giraffe (Rudy’s favorite too) and you just got into reading this month! You love smiles, waving, snuggling, giving kisses, my phone case, mixing bowls and cups, prune juice, and different textures. You also really love the Christmas book Daddy recorded for you.

Milestones: In one day, you CRAWLED for the first time, held your own sippy cup, and pushed yourself up into a sort-of sit. You can sit by yourself if you want to, but you still like to have the support of the bouncy seat or Bumbo most of the time. You are using an exersaucer like it’s no big thing, and even though the thought of bringing one more giant baby contraption into our house makes me cringe, I’m thinking we’ll have to get you one in California when we get home. You army crawl if you really want something, and you can get ANYWHERE by rolling around on the ground and pivoting. You are only taking a pacifier to sleep, which I think is a big deal. It’s been a banner month for you in terms of milestones! I always hear people say that babies grow up too fast, but I’m trying not to think that way. Rather, I’m trying to just see every day and every new event as a gift, instead of wishing you’d stay small forever. Keep growing, keep doing, keep experiencing, my girl. I’m so glad I get to be here to watch you.

 

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Six Months

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December 30, 2013 by Amy

(I forgot the month-by-month onesies in California. I have photos of CK that I’ll Photoshop later, so for now, you’re pictureless.)

Stats: At your 6-month appointment, you were 26.5 inches tall (81st percentile) and 15.5 pounds (43rd percentile). Your BMI is also 15.5, which is in the 17th percentile, so you are still a skinny mini just like your daddy, and me if I lay off the booze and taco dip. You are totally healthy though, and I love that it takes you a lot longer to grow out of clothes than I expected! I just started paying attention to head circumference, and while your head is perfectly average (40th percentile at 16.4 inches), almost all of the bows I buy you leave a mark on your head. Sorry world, looks like my kid’s sex will remain a mystery to you! (This is dripping with feministic sarcasm, Charlotte, just in case you read this in middle school when sarcasm still eludes you. If that’s true, don’t do drugs. And look both ways before you cross the street. And close your sock drawers, that really bugs your dad.)

Sizes: Welp, those 0-3 month onesies are still hanging on. Have we gotten our money’s worth on those! Be advised, they are consigned, so by “money’s worth” I mean about $1.50 total. Your momma is cheap. They are getting a little short in the arms, though, so for the most part, you wear 3-6 month clothes. In length alone, you could probably stand to wear 6-9 months, but they are just too big in the body for you. You do wear 9 month sleepers though, which I’m SO glad about because you have the cutest powder pink sleepers that I’ve been dying to put you in. I can’t get away with sleeve ruffles, tiny bows and embroidery anymore, so please, live out your momma’s dream. You are still in size 3 diapers.

Eating: Oh, man. This month has been a real trip! Dr. Wong said to put you on solids for about 50% of your calories by 9 months, so we are working up to that. You like EVERYTHING! I have some weird block against baby cereal. I can’t explain it, other than you will have enough processed foods in your lifetime to make up for it. Because I don’t give you baby cereal, you have to get iron from other places, so I try and give you foods with lots of iron in them. This usually means meat, which, when I can get the texture right, you love. I make probably 95% of your baby food, and the rest is from those organic pouches. You just had your first pouch on our flight to Ohio, which you ate and loved. At the beginning of the month, you were just eating solids for flavor, but by the end we replaced your 3:30 nursing session with solid foods. I was keeping track of what you were eating like a crazy person, but I’ve relaxed a bit. You’ve had avocado, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, chicken, turkey, bananas, strawberries, wheat bread, and a host of other foods that I’m sure I’m missing. For the rest of your intake, you are still breastfed! Your bedtime bottle is between 7 and 7 1/2 ounces, but I’m not sure how much you are getting otherwise. I know I have to watch my supply as we slowly wean, but I don’t see you getting formula anytime soon. I can safely say that I don’t hate breastfeeding anymore. I’m not going to go so far as to say I love it, but I think “like” is a term I’m comfortable using. A few things I do love? Your stinky milk breath, the way you touch my face when you are nursing, and how it is an instant cure all for you.

Sleep: It’s seriously not fair. You spent 100% of your 6th month (and your 5th!) with no night wakings. Some people would still consider your 5-6 am wake up time a night waking, but I truly do not mind getting up that early. Daddy needs to get up for work anyway, so he goes to bed around 9 or 10, so it’s no big deal for us to follow his schedule. My favorite times are when we get to eat breakfast together or he and you (is that grammatically correct? You guys. Y’all.) play the piano in the morning. Your naps are getting more and more consistent, although I hesitate to put you on an actual nap schedule, since our routine changes every day and I can’t guarantee that you’ll go down at the same time. You usually get about 10-12 hours of sleep at night and then another 2 or 3 during the day between your two naps, which is awesome. I’m not one for participation trophies, and you won’t always be the best at everything, but are the best sleeper out of all the other babies I know.

Features: Still a mini me! Although, the older you get, the more you look like your dad. You have his smile, his temperament, his expressions, and his forehead. Get your schmaltz guards out, but I have to say that I never realized how much I love some of the things I love about that man until I saw them in you. It makes my heart sing when I see you do something that I know he does, too, because I want you to grow up and be just like him (but with prettier feet). You are totally, completely, perfect.

Personality: Friendliest kid ever. You are just now becoming aware that everyone isn’t mommy and daddy, and so you are definitely more fond of us than anyone else, but you are certainly not shy. You are patient, intense, curious, not easily distracted or bored, and really content most of the time. You are not all that picky, and except for when you are tired, you aren’t very bossy. I am happy you aren’t a demanding baby. Honestly, the dogs are more work than you are! You’re going to be a great team player in this family.

Favorites: Daddy’s piano, the “pop” noise, your play gym, BATHS, the dogs, walks in the stroller, your pink bouncy seat, anything Taggies, manufacturer tags on everything, diaper changes, lights, mirrors, when Daddy comes home, going up and down of any kind, rolling around on the floor, putting things in your mouth, and getting picked up after a good sleep.

Milestones: Solid foods for real, and your first Thanksgiving! You also had your first barf fest this month. I’m not talking spitting up, I’m talking the heaving, sweat-inducing kind of vomit. About two hours after you went to bed, we heard you shriek on the monitor. I usually just peer at the screen to see what you’re doing, but I went full on mommy instincts and raced up the stairs to find you covered in it. You were shivering and delirious and freezing cold. You threw up two more times, once in my arms and once over the sink in the bathroom. I–and I hope you are laughing at me–actually said the phrases, “Dial 911!” and “Call an ambulance!” Listen, I don’t like when you’re sick. Thank God Daddy was there, or I may actually have called 911. Surely I can’t be the first mother to think that way? Anyway, you got yourself bath #2, a change of sheets, and you went right back down and slept all night like nothing ever happened. I, on the other hand, slept for approximately 45 seconds that night. You are rolling over with intent to actually get places, which is fun but also exhausting. You can sit up on your own and stand on your own with a little support, which makes me think that you’ll be crawling and/or walking very soon. We kissed Daddy goodbye for Deployment #2 this month, too, which was sad because you really know him now. But, we talk about him every day, and I really think you recognize him on the screen when he calls. He loves you so, so much, Sweet Bean, and so do I.

 

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Five Months

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November 15, 2013 by Amy

The Bulls' NestStats: We haven’t been back to the doc, so I’m not totally sure about your stats this month. However, you seem to be growing like a weed! You are still a string bean, but you are happy and so perfectly healthy. We are grateful for that!

The Bulls' Nest | Five MonthsSizes: For the most part, you are still wearing 0-3 month onesies, which surprises me because you are so tall! You do wear 6 month sleepers and 6 month pants, however. Most dresses are 3-6 months, too, although I don’t put you in dresses too often because you go through at least two outfits a day! You have two pairs of shoes, size 0-6 months, and you can go either 3 months or 6 months with jackets and sweaters. You are in size 3 diapers.

The Bulls' Nest | Five MonthsEating: Still breastfed! We have a pretty sweet system in place, and the predictability is making me enjoy it more. You eat 4 times a day, around 7, noon, 3:30, and a 7 oz. bottle at 6:30. Again, I would have no problem feeding you more often, but you never ever cry to eat, so you must be satisfied! In BIG NEWS, we started solids this month! On Nov. 8th (mine and your dad’s dating anniversary–11 years!), you had rice cereal for the first time. It did not go well! I tried it again the next day but you were just not having it. I gave you a whole carrot a few days later to munch on, which you were way more excited about, so on the 12th I gave you some pureed carrots mixed with milk–that you liked! You had avocado on your 5 month birthday and you absolutely loved it. You prefer feeding yourself way more than me giving it to you. I think we are in for some messes in our future! :)

The Bulls' Nest | Five MonthsSleep: We ditched the swaddle for good right after we got back from Big Bear Lake, and you haven’t had a night waking since, except for twice around 4am. I really don’t mind those times at all. I don’t like getting out of bed, of course, but all you seem to need is to be rocked and cuddled, and I have no problems doing that!! I don’t worry about it being a bad habit because you put yourself to sleep at all other times. At night, when Daddy puts you to bed, he puts you down wide awake and you get comfortable, roll over, find your thumb, and calm yourself into sleep. You take two pretty predictable naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I usually get a workout in every morning, and you take a nap right after that, and then your afternoon nap comes after some playtime or reading.

The Bulls' Nest | Five MonthsFeatures: You still look a lot like me, I think. Your hair is coming in a little lighter, somewhere in between dark blonde and strawberry blonde. You have so many great facial expressions, too. It’s possible that you could be left handed, because you always suck your left thumb, but you reach for things with both hands, so I’m not sure yet. Two of the three tiny white dots underneath your right eye have fallen off, but other than that, you don’t have any marks or scars. You are beautiful!

The Bulls' Nest | Five MonthsPersonality: You are still the friendliest baby ever, and still so studious. You will study something for the longest time, and you are not easily distracted. You are easy to make happy and honestly only cry when you are tired. You smile and laugh at everyone, especially yourself in the mirror. You are going to be a very social girl!

DSC_0115Favorites: Bathtime, diaper changes, looking at people’s faces, Rudy, the Bjorn, your pink bouncy seat, your Taggies gym, playing piano with Daddy, screens, being lifted up in the air, sleeping, music of just about any kind, putting things in your mouth, and having lotion put on your face. In fact, you love just about anything on your face, including the dog’s tongue (yuck!).

The Bulls' NestMilestones: I feel like you do something new every day! Solid foods, of course, and no more swaddling. You also cut two teeth this month!! They are your upper left canine (don’t ask me!) and your bottom right front tooth. You are holding your head up perfectly, sitting with support, tummy timing like a champ, and rolling over with intent all ways. I absolutely swear you will talk any second. You can stand with lots of support, and you have totally figured out how to get everything in your mouth. Basically, you’re brilliant.

The Bulls' Nest

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A Family in Photos

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November 13, 2013 by Amy

Last weekend we met with Mandi at Mandi Pol Photography for some family photos. Is there a husband in the universe who is into paying for family photos? Cuz mine is not. But, he dutifully humored me as I chose an outfit for him and made him wake up at 6:30 on a weekend, as I assume he will dutifully humor me when I spend a fortune on Christmas cards and stamps.

Only my dear friends can attest to this, but I’ve had my Christmas cards picked out in my head since college. I love sending them and I love receiving them even more. Not everyone is on social media and not everyone reads my blog, but everyone has a mailbox, and I just love the step back into simplicity of sending cards to one another acknowledging the happiest time of the year.

To prep for my cards, we always take family photos, but this was the first year that I could actually talk Art into dropping the cash to get them professionally done. Usually we just get lucky with a shot taken by our family, and one year the squadron actually hired a photog for all of us. But with our gorgeous baby and all, and the fact that the photographer we chose was running a great special, we went for it.

Oh man. It looked like it was going to be a total disaster. We were only able to stay for one of our two hours we booked because this. baby. was. MAD. It was naptime, the dogs were all over the place, and all we could really do was laugh and embrace the chaos. Miraculously, the photos turned out great.

The Bulls Nest

This one is THE shot. We got the highest percentage of family members looking at the camera!

The Bulls' Nest

Hey! Check out this super photogenic family with the well-behaved dogs!

The Bulls' Nest

Annnd this is more like it. I actually really love this shot though. In fact, it might be my favorite one, because I think it really captures who we are as a family, whacked out pups and all.

The Bulls' Nest

Or maybe this is my favorite. Dumb and Dumber.

The Bulls' Nest

The baby steals the show on this one, although that handsome man in red runs a close second.

The Bulls' Nest

This melts my heart. Best dad ever.

The Bulls' Nest

Exit smile, enter thumb. PS – how gorgeous does my husband look in that red sweater?? It gets cold here for approximately 14 seconds out of the year and I forget about his cold weather wear. Fingers crossed our next PCS is to a cold climate! (Don’t listen to me Air Force Big Brother. I don’t mean it.)

The Bulls' Nest

Now with the tears. Charlotte, I don’t understand why you’re crying, your headband matches your fake shoes!

The Bulls' Nest

The only semblance of a smile we got, but it’s a good one. That bracelet belonged to my grandma and says “Charlotte.”

The Bulls' Nest

Am I bribing my baby with YouTube? Yes. Yes I am.

The Bulls' Nest

Did you say you wanted a princess castle? Momma will buy you a princess castle.

The Bulls' Nest

And a pony.

The Bulls' Nest

Good glory. I cannot believe how much more attractive this man gets every day. I married up!

The Bulls' Nest

Smell ya later peaceful trail, CK’s got things to do, like sleep!

I’m off to choose a Christmas card between three trillion designs. See you in 2057!

Stay tuned until tomorrow… Charlotte’s got another milestone to share!

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Four Months

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October 9, 2013 by Amy

What’s that? Four months? As in, 1/3rd of a year old? Does not compute.

The Bulls' Nest | Four Months

Stats: You are 25.5 inches tall (88th percentile), 14.1 pounds (49th percentile), and your BMI is 15.3 (17th percentile).       The Bulls' Nest | Four Months  You are still mostly in 0-3 month clothes because you are still a skinny mini. They are pretty snug in length, so I’ve started to pack some of them away (I have two organizers with labeled compartments, of course) and put you in 3-6 month stuff. You are in 6 month sleepers, though, because you like having some wiggle room at bedtime. It is getting cooler out, and you don’t have a lot of cold weather clothes, so I think a trip to the consignment store is in our future!

The Bulls' Nest | Four Months

Eating: Still exclusively breastfed! You finally cut out that rejecting the bottle business, just in time for daddy to come home. Oh, I was so worried that you would cry and make him feel like he was doing it wrong. What I forgot was that you ADORE your daddy and would pick up your relationship right where you left off! It’s like he was never even gone. For most of the month, you ate at 6am, 9am (ish, whenever we returned from our walk or Stroller Strides), 12pm, 3:30pm, and 6:30pm, then you were down for the night. We are on vacation in Big Bear Lake right now and I don’t know if it’s sleeping in the play yard or what, but you’ve started night waking again. We have a one-bedroom condo so we are all in the same room… nightmare. I adore you, I really do, but this family is not meant to cosleep. Get your own room. You could stand to put on a few pounds, so if you’re hungry, I feed you! You take about 6-7 ounces in your night bottle.

The Bulls' Nest | Four Months

Sleep: Now that you’re back in the swaddle, you are back to sleeping 10-12 hours, minus this week. We are so lucky! Usually you wrestle your arms out of the swaddle and sleep on your side. Even on your bad nights, I feel like I get plenty of sleep and don’t feel all that tired during the day. Last night was particularly rough, and eventually I just pulled you into bed with us. You passed right out. I hope getting you back into your normal crib will do the trick this weekend!

The Bulls' Nest | Four Months

Features: You are still so serious, when you aren’t laughing. I love your serious brow, your pouty lip, and your rosy cheeks. Your eyes are getting bigger and bluer, and your hair is getting redder and lighter. Your roots are very light, so you might turn out to be blonde after all. You still have a red birthmark on your forehead and at the nape of your neck, and three tiny white bumps under your right eye. One thing is for sure–you are breathtakingly gorgeous!!

The Bulls' Nest | Four Months

Personality: You might look like me, but you have so much of your dad’s personality. You are mostly happy, sometimes serious, very focused and very studious. You are crazy friendly and will go to and smile at anyone. I LOVE having a social child. You are actually happier running errands than staying at home all day. You can get a little grumpy when you are tired or hungry, but rarely. I just love you.

DSC_0069

Favorites: Screens of just about any kind, much to my dismay. I was hoping to protect your little eyes a little longer, but it didn’t work out that way. You actually watch cartoons with Daddy and of course, your favorite video ever, “Animal Sounds” on YouTube. Oy. I’ll hear that song until I’m dead I think. Aunt Kessia had a similar song, not on YouTube, called “Anemone” that was equally soul crushing. But you love it, so we play it. You still love the Bjorn, even though you are almost too tall (!) for it. Some other favorites: MAM pacifiers, bath time, being rocked, your Taggies dolls, those plastic infant ball toys, white noise, and things touching your face.

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Milestones: SO MANY this month! Your first laugh, rolling over both ways with intent, your first trip to the beach (Stinson Beach), your first boat ride (in San Francisco), your first family vacation (Big Bear Lake)… and the most important of all, the end of Daddy’s first deployment! We made it!

DSC_0071

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Three Generations in San Francisco

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October 9, 2013 by Amy

We had one of the most memorable days today. One of those days where you want to stop and memorize exactly what you see and feel so that you don’t forget it. It’s 11pm and I should be sleeping, but I wanted to record our fun day, because there were lots of firsts to be had!

First of all, let me say that Charlotte is back in the SwaddleMes. Her sleeping had been getting progressively worse, and finally peaked at 2 hour wakes at night. I wasn’t really worried, because babies have sleep regression and growths spurts and whatnot, but man I missed my 12 hour baby. My mom had been commenting how she thrashes her hands in her sleep and it wakes her up, so after several nights of going downhill in the sleep department, I broke the swaddlers back out. Turned into a 6-hour sleep session and the next night into an 11 hour nighttime snooze. Hallelujah, girlfriend will be swaddled until college.

Anyway, back to today. It started out pretty crummy. A few days ago, the front spoiler in my car finally fell off (it had been dragging/falling off in pieces for a while). This morning, after pumping a full tank of gas, Scarlet the Saab wouldn’t even start. After cursing the dealership and used cars in general, I finally called a tow truck and hauled it in, telling the mechanic I’d slip him a hundred bucks if he’d drive it off a cliff for me. Operation convince Art to buy me a new car, commence. (Considering I contribute $00.00 to this family financially, and Art would rather drive himself off a cliff than make another car payment, I’m sure it’ll be an easy sell). Anyway, fortunately my sweet friend Kara picked us up, and since Art isn’t here to use the truck, we still made it to the bay, albeit two hours late.

The first thing we did was eat, of course, after a high blood pressure drive through downtown. I am a marginally adequate truck driver at best, and put me in the streets of San Francisco where the general public disregards traffic rules and their own safety… hello cold sweat panic attack. We had planned to lunch at the Swan Oyster Bar and picnic in the park, but the line proved to be too much for us and the baby so we found this little mediterranean bar instead. It had three people inside and plenty of room for the stroller, which was delightful.

Since both my mom and my aunt had never been to San Francisco before, we decided to walk Pier 39 and take a bay cruise, both nauseatingly touristy and absolutely can’t miss. The tour was Charlotte’s first time ever on a boat, and she was a champ! We started out sitting up top for the sights, but that didn’t last long due to the wind so we spent the second half of the tour indoors. The tour was an hour and spun us around the most memorable landmarks along the bay. It was a gorgeous day and so worth the money. I have been on the tour before, but never as an adult where I could actually appreciate the sights and the narration. Definitely recommend! I accidentally bought a Groupon for another tour of just Alcatraz, so I’m sure the three little Bulls will be back for that.

After getting off the boat and a quick ice cream snack, Patty mentioned she still hasn’t seen the Pacific Ocean since technically we stayed in the bay the whole time. So we decided to risk a Bean meltdown by staying out way past bedtime and drove up Highway 101, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and along the Pacific Coast Highway. What they don’t tell you about this road is that you risk death about every thirty seconds. (Do you remember that we’re in the truck and not the Saab?) Muir Beach was closed so we kept snaking along the mountains until we arrived at Stinson Beach.

Um, why don’t people talk about Stinson Beach more? It was deserted, gorgeous, and exactly what we were looking for. Bean, Shasha, and Aunt Patty all enjoyed their first view of the NorCal (ish) coast. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and the views along the drive are so amazing. I forget sometimes how beautiful this part of the country is, and I wonder why we don’t spend more weekends along the coast.

As amazing as all that was, when we got back to the car, CK laughed for the first time. Not the single baby giggle she’s been doing for a few weeks, but a full, multi-syllable laugh. I was singing the song from a YouTube video that’s been on repeat for days (Animal Sounds for infants on YouTube, go ahead and go wild if you’d like to hear that in your head for the rest of your adult life)… and apparently she found my tone deafness hilarious. It ended up dissolving in irony, as I burst into tears and stopped being funny. I don’t know why laughter from your baby is so special, but it is the best sound in the whole world.

(I then got shit on by a seagull. I’m sure that was funny to someone.)

We crawled back down Highway 1 just at sunset, and were able to meander back toward Sacto without retracing our steps too much. It was a banner day, one for the memory books, and one I’ll remember for a long time.

Lucky.

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About Me

I'm Amy, and I run the nest! Wife of an Air Force pilot, momma to our sweet Bean. Dog mom, wine lover, DIYer, quilter, butcher, baker, candlestick maker. Grab a glass of wine and stay a while, I can't wait to get to know you!

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