Sunday, September 1, 2019

Marigold, Five Months

Marigold is 5 months old!

17 lb 4 oz the day she turned 5 months old. That's the 88th percentile! Yes, I'm proud of every last ounce.

One day I will measure this and actually have this stat. But she's def long.

The TLDR version is I cannot predict this girl's sleep.

Naps are consistently getting longer, and we even had several days in a row where she reliably took 2 solid hour+ long naps. But then there are days where she just takes 30-minute naps all day long and it's crazy making. Those dinky-nap days seem to be happening less often, so let's hope she trending toward 2 solid naps a day, plus a catnap around dinner time. Because that seems to be more normal for a 5-month-old.

Nighttime sleep is usually one wake-up, sometimes no wake-ups, sometimes several wake-ups. No rhyme or reason to it as far as I can tell. And getting her to sleep for bedtime is quite the marathon. At least an hour of snuggles and nursing. If I try to put her down earlier than that, she just screams until I pick her up and start over so it's not worth it.

And the SNOO has lost it's magic because *I think* she's outgrown the need for the rocking motion to help her sleep. It will still occasionally rock her back to sleep, but more often then not, the escalating sound and motion just upsets her when it's supposed to be calming her. I've even turned the motion off altogether a few times and that actually helps her get back to sleep better. Safe to say, I think she's ready to transition out of it. Now we just have to transition Jude out of the crib to free that up for Marigold. Wish us luck!

-Blowing raspberries.
-Holding items and bringing them up to her mouth on her own.
-All the drooling and vinegary poops because teething (no teeth to show for it yet, though)
-Really getting her full chest off the ground during tummy time.
-Moving around more on the floor; wiggling around until she's facing a different direction.
-Rolling from belly to back just a few more times. Not the other direction though because she doesn't like being on her tummy much so why try?

Margo, Margs, Meergs, Margo-rita, The Silly Girl

-Marigold does not like her carseat. This has been true since day 1, but it was officially proven true when I needed to take all three kids on a 1-hour round trip to a neighboring town on my own, and instead of napping in the car (because she was exhausted) she screamed/cried the whole ride, both ways. Hopefully she learns to love it over the next month (wishful thinking?) because we're going on a very long ride up to Rhode Island to visit my family at the end of September. Pray for us.

-I'm enjoying that she can stay up a little longer between naps, about 2 hours now. It's fun to have more awake time with our baby girl. We can actually get out of the house every once in a while! ;)

-Margs got a double ear infection this past month. It was pitiful! And can you believe it, it was the first ear infection we've ever had in our house! She had to take 2 weeks of amoxicillin, and the whole time I was drooling reminiscing about the delicious bubble gum flavor. Such a blast from the past! Meanwhile, Margo was not interested in it at all. She got REALLY good at spitting it out, no matter where I dropped it into her mouth. So then I would push it back in and she would spit a little more out and repeat repeat repeat until she at least got some of it. Thankfully, her ears are back to normal now. Here's hoping it was a one-time thing!

-My postpartum anxiety is still a thing. It's definitely better now that I'm on oral progesterone, but it's not gone and my worst time of day is the afternoon, no doubt. By the time lunch hits and for a few hours after, I'm at a low point. It's weird that it's so predictable, but I guess that's hormones for you! My friend, Emily, recommended a self-help book for anxiety, so I'm going to give that a go once the audio version is available from my library. The good news is that the oral progesterone has not affected my milk supply, so at least that's going well. :)

-Marigold is still getting nightly baths, which is new for us because we have always been once-a-week kid bathers in the past. But ever since she had some pretty gnarly acne at 2 months old that would not go away, and her ped recommended nightly bathing to get all the ickies off her skin, things have really cleared up. So she gets a luxurious nightly bath and she loves it! Even if she's cranky because she's overtired, she'll still calm down once she's in the water and enjoy herself while the bath lasts. One night I used her old soap (Honest Co soap, which is what we were using when she had her bad acne, so we switched to unscented Dove hoping it would help, and it did), and she broke out again the next day! Wow! Maybe it was a coincidence, but I don't think so. I went right back to using Dove and the acne cleared up within a few days. And I thought Honest Co. was supposed to be stripped down and "safe!" Suffice to say, this little lady has sensitive skin! 

-Speaking of her sensitive skin, she's also way more prone to diaper rash than my boys were. If we skip the diaper cream for just one diaper change, she will have a red, turning-rashy bummy by the next diaper change. It's wild! So she gets diaper cream lathered on like cream cheese at every change. And while I've always liked Boudreaux's Butt Paste, I've found that Triple Paste works way better for her hyper-sensitive skin. Clears it up and keeps it rash free all day every day. Now you know.

^^Queen Margo says, "I am merely putting up with these kisses."

-At 5 months old, Marigold is transitioning out of 3-6 month-old clothes! I just pulled out all the 6-9 month clothes that I borrowed from my SIL (we were able to swap baby clothes since we each just had a baby of the opposite gender as our first(s)!). And it's always bittersweet to pull out a new, larger wardrobe. Sad because you're putting way all these clothes that you've come to know and love, that have defined her style of the past few months. Happy because it's a sign that she's growing and thriving and it's fun to play dress up with new outfits!

-Our knuckles are her favorite chew toy. She must be working hard on teeth because all she wants to do is gnaw on our fingers! It's hilarious to watch her ATTACK them. She will lean her whole body forward with mouth wide open if she thinks she has a chance of latching on to your finger.

-Margo loves it when we sing her her. Her face lights up! I hope she always loves it, though I'm pretty sure all kids go through a, "NO! DON'T SING, MOM!" phase. Jude is in it right now. So while I'm singing to Marigold, he's demanding that I not sing, and John Paul is singing along. Yes, we are a circus.

-Marigold has her own emoji, as determined by my husband: 🐣.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Marigold, Four Months

Marigold is 4 months old!

15 lb 15 oz, woop woop! I mean, look at those thunder thighs!

Will report back after her 4-month appointment.

Naps are so much better! Typically she'll take at least one 1-2 hour nap a day, many days two! And then her other naps (usually for a total of 4 naps a day) are quick 30-minute cat naps. She's still not on a strict schedule; it all just depends on when she's up for the morning. But I'll take the longer naps, because this means happier baby overall! Oh, and her wake time has gotten longer! She can usually stay up 1.5 to 2 hours between naps, which means lots more play time with us.

Nighttime sleep has definitely regressed, which is sooooo normal for a 4-month-old, but also poorly timed because my husband has just started working overnight shifts in the hospital. Whew. Thankfully it's only about 6 overnight shifts a month, but man is it tough when I'm on my own with two toddlers and a sleep-regressing baby. We had one night where she woke 3 times, but currently we're back to about 1 wake-up in the middle of the night, which honestly is manageable. Hoping to get back to those 8-hour stretches again real soon though.

And just so I have record of it, I'd like to note that she is always nursed and/or rocked to sleep, for bedtime and all naps. We tried the drowsy-but-awake thing, where you put the baby down before they're fully out, but it always failed, so we get her fully asleep before we put her down and that has worked like a charm. Sure, it takes a lot of time and snuggles, but it makes for a happier household (me included), so I'm totally down for it. The hardest sleep of the day is bedtime, where she usually has to be rocked and nursed for 1.5 hours straight before she'll let me put her down. She's typically finally out by 10pm, but sometimes as late as 11pm. We're hoping to slowwwwly inch that back closer to 8pm over time.

-Rolled from belly to back three times! But that was a few weeks ago and she hasn't done it since.
-Lifting her chest off the floor during tummy time.
-Clasping her hands together.
-Grabbing toys that are hanging above her.
-Holding on to her rattle and shaking it by herself. 
-Rubbing her eyes when she's tired. (One of our favorite cues that she's ready for a nap.)
-Screaming cutely.
-Giggling so easily! Especially when you kiss her cheeks or neck, or when you bounce your head from side to side and smile at her.
-A few new consonant sounds like gggg and others that I can't remember now. #thirdchild
-Making this weird but adorable Chewbacca sound.
-Splashing in the bath.

Margo and Margs are the big ones this past month, but also Mare Bear every once in a while, because how can I not? 

-The things Margo loves, in no particular order: staring at us while we eat, smiling at her brothers, bath time, facing out in the ergo carrier, the sound of her own voice, standing up while you're holding her on your lap, being distracted while nursing.

-The things Margo does not love, in no particular order: when mommy leaves the room (this only upsets her on occasion right now, but I think it's going to become a real thing over the next few months), being held by not-mommy when she's fussy/overtired, the carseat, the pacifier. 

-In case you were wondering how mom gets things done with two toddlers and a young baby in tow, see above photo. Thank goodness she doesn't mind being put down under her playgym for a little while. This is how I'm able to cook/clean/do laundry most days. It helps that the boys LOVE when she's on the floor and will flock over to her and chat with her, sing to her, tickle her, or hold toys above her to keep her happy.

-Little Margo had her first trip to the water park! Look how cute she was in her totally unnecessary bathing suit!

-HOLY BUCKETS OF DROOL! Pretty sure the teething process has begun. Drool, funky diapers, and she loves to gnaw on our knuckles. Sounds about right for teething. No other signs of any popping through yet though.

-Y'all. Postpartum anxiety. Again. Super lame. I'm working with a NaPro doctor to find the right dose of progesterone to treat the anxiety but not dry up my milk supply. So far, the dose I'm on is helping big time, but isn't enough to take the anxiety away completely, so we're still tweaking it. Man, anxiety stinks! Simple things like trying to cook in the kitchen, or taking a kid out to the grocery store, or listening to whiny children are near impossible when anxiety kicks in. I'm thanking God that progesterone works so instantly for me! Now here's hoping we can get the right dose in place over the next month.

-Our friends Amanda and Jonathan and their three girls came to visit this past month! You might remember them from the True, Good, and Beautiful blog, or from their company Wallet Win. They spent the night and the kids got along great! It was really neat to make the realization that just 5 years ago, we had zero children and were both in the throes of infertility. Now we have 6 children between us! Amazing! Look at four of our cute goofy children . . .

 -John and I celebrated our 8-year wedding anniversary this past month! 8 magical years with the best guy I know. :) We brought Margo with us on our date because she's still so little. And she was so very well behaved. Yes, we were THAT couple with a baby at the bar. I think that makes us cool. ;)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Marigold, Three Months

Marigold is 3 months old!

Another 2 pounds gained puts her right over 14 pounds!

Will weigh again at 4-month appointment, but def getting longer!

Naps have been the bane of my existence this past month. Without fail, little Miss wakes up 30 minutes into every nap. I hear her stir, look at the nap timer, and it's anywhere between 28-32 minutes on the dot! Sometimes her SNOO rocks her back to sleep, but most often she's just ready to be up. Which means all day long it's up for 1-ish hour, rock her to sleep (which takes a while), then finally down, but only for 30 minutes, repeat repeat repeat. Whew! Thankfully, we are now trending toward longer naps, and sometimes she even naps for 2+ hours! I'm ready for her to have a more consistent schedule.

Overnight sleep, on the other hand, has been a DREAM. Lolz, pun intended. Marigold sleeps about 8 hours straight at night on average, but sometimes up to 9 hours straight, sometimes as short as 6 hours. After her long stretch, she wakes up for a feeding, then goes back down within an hour and sleeps another 2-3 hours. She usually isn't officially up for the day until 10am. It is bonkers amazing and worth the trade off for the not-as-stellar daytime sleep. Now say a prayer that all this doesn't go out the window with the upcoming 4-month sleep regression. Please and thank you very much.

-Social smiling SO easily. Just make eye contact with her, grin, and she's ALL smiles, ear-to-ear adorable. 
-Lifting her head a little longer and a little higher during tummy time.
-Sitting up in the Bumbo!
-Loves chatting. So much cooing!
-GIGGLES!!! Like real belly laughs. It takes some work, but usually bouncing around and making silly noises at her will do it, or tickling her armpits or toes or thunder thighs. SAH CUTE!

Margs and Margo Moo are the two most frequently used, with Sissy occasionally thrown in for fun.

-John has been working like crazy this past month (to "pay back" all the time he took for paternity leave), so it's been me and the three kiddos hanging at home lots. I'm still not brave enough to take all three out on my own, so we just hunker down and find fun things to do around the house. I promise I'll take you places some day, Marigold. :P We do get out when John is around to help, and we've enjoyed all those outings. But when it's just me, I'm nervous about keeping the big boys out of trouble while I tend to little sis, so for now, we're hermits. So far, I don't actually mind. 

-When we do take her out and about, Marigold reeeeally doesn't like her carseat. We can sorta keep her happy with her pacifier, but only sorta. She mainly wants to scream and cry the whole time. And when she cries hard, she sweats hard. I can count on one hand the number of times she's calm or sleepy/napping in the car. Otherwise, it's all fight. 

-John occasionally works night shifts, and when he does, bedtime by myself with 3 kids is a s t r u g g l e. So I did the smart thing and hired a teenaged neighbor to come help me from 8-9pm every night John is away. Best $10 I can spend! She gets the big boys settled with pajamas, teeth brushing, books, songs, and snuggles, all while I give Marigold the undivided attention she needs to settle for sleep. We went from being utter chaos without help (imagine all 3 kids crying at the same time for a whole hour because I couldn't meet all the needs) to a happy peaceful home with help. And the boys love Miss Abigail. Win win win! 

-She also only tolerates being worn in the Boba or Solly wraps. I love the convenience and cuddliness of wearing her, and she will take a nap in there if I time it right. And if I walk her around and around and around until she passes out. But once the nap is over, she's READY to bust out. Like fights and cries and squirms until she's out. I've never had a baby who doesn't love being snuggled in a wrap, so this one's new on me.

-I can't even express how giddy her chunkiness makes me. I love her leg rolls and chubby cheeks and tubby belly. Fat babies are my favorite!

-We went blueberry picking this past month! The boys did most of the picking while Margo and I hung out in the car and she nursed a bunch. For the few minutes I had her out in the fields, she got to wear her adorable yellow sunhat and it was so cute. Looking forward to having her join in on the blueberry picking and eating next summer!

-Marigold is an expert at breaking out of her swaddle at night, so we decided to try arms-out swaddling. The first night, she slept like normal! It was great! But the second day, it completely messed with her naps, so back in her arms went. We've continued to swaddle her with arms in ever since. :P Maybe we'll try again in a month or two?

-My sweet girl definitely looks more like John Paul than Jude. See pic below for reference. On the left is John Paul at 3 months, and right is obviously Margo at 3 months. They're not identical, but the resemblance is definitely there.

-Speaking of resemblance, I think Marigold looks a bit like me! The following picture is me at around 3 months old, at my Baptism. What do we think?

-John Paul and Jude continue to love on their sister. John Paul can even cheer up Marigold when she's feeling cranky, just by talking with her. It's so sweet to see! Jude loves her a bunch too, but he often likes to push limits, and has gone so far as scratching and pinching her to purposefully make her cry. Eep! That has thankfully slowed down in the past week, and there have been far more kisses and snuggles than injuries. Phew! Every month, she can interact more and more and it makes me look forward to the day she's walking and talking and really keeping up with her brothers. Siblings are the best!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

John Paul is 4!

Look at our big 4-year-old!!

This big kid is a lover of vehicles, Pixar movie soundtracks, model train videos, and family.

If he gets your attention, he'll chat your ear off; he especially likes telling stories about the most random details of the happenings in his life. Example: "They're knocking down the Chick-fil-A and building a new one and that's so sad!" Followed by a play-by-play of how it's being knocked down and what it will be like to go to the new one. Little chatter box!

Speaking of CFA, one of his favorite foods is their nuggets, and also pickle cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, pizza, and tofu pho.

His siblings are his favorite people. Jude is his built-in playmate and a few months ago they became roommates! While Jude is his play bud, Marigold is simply the target of all his kisses and hugs. She (mostly) doesn't seem to mind.

His favorite toys are the ones that involve building: magnatiles, duplos, wooden blocks, and Thomas train tracks. It's always fun to see what he comes up with, and to watch his mind at work. He especially loves using his resources to solve problems, or looking at something and figuring out how it works. It's very possible he'll be an engineer someday.

John Paul's language is just insane. I know I said that when he turned 1, but gosh is it even more bonkers awesome at 4. He says things like, "I assume Jude is done eating his lunch." Or "Mommy, actually, I don't think it's going to rain today because the sky isn't gray!" He cracks me up with how many times a day he says "actually," actually. I wonder where he got it from. :P

He has a huge heart with lots of feelings, so he loves real big and he feels real big too. It's a joy to watch his personality blossom, and I'm looking forward to seeing even more of it as he gets bigger.

To celebrate turning 4, we hosted a birthday party at the local train museum. We decided to out-source the party since I wasn't ready to throw a birthday bash with a 1.5-month-old at home. And that was the best decision ever since they did all the set up and clean up and the birthday boy loved all the train stuff.  

My parents came into town to meet Miss Marigold and celebrate John Paul's birthday with us. Awesome double whammy!

For lunch, we ordered two massive pizzas!

The birthday boy requested cookie cake for dessert. Yum!

Happy birthday, John Paul Fulton! We're so glad God chose us to be your family. We hope you enjoy every bit of being 4! So happy to be on this adventure with you!

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