Matthew is 10 months!

It’s hard to believe in just two months Matthew will be a one year old. I see his babyhood slipping away and we are getting a glimpse of the little toddler he will become.

I’ll start by saying he is now no longer nursing between 2-5 am. It just kind of happened naturally. I was fine with the one early morning nursing session as it would allow him to sleep until seven which is late in our household. But then one night he slept through and it just continued happening so I told myself if he did regress I would go in and comfort him but not nurse him. So far he’s been doing great. He has woken up the last two nights as he’s pretty congested and had a cough but has settled soon after my going in and comforting.

He continues to be a great eater. We are still nursing 3 to 5 times a day and with the exception of the first morning feed all of the sessions are extremely short. I’m hoping this lends itself to a natural weaning process over the next several months. I have always been an under producer and I am no longer pumping to keep supply up so hopefully we can make it two more months to the year mark. He out eats Luke and Olivia most evenings and will still pound down a 6 to 8 ounce bottle of formula before bed. He still hasn’t met a food that he doesn’t like. I think “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” theme will be perfect for his first birthday! We have a baby scale at home and the last time I weighed him it said 22.9 pounds. Thats more than Luke and Olivia weighed at 12 months. He’s rapidly outgrowing Luke’s hand me down winter clothing so I may end up needing to purchase some things for the colder weather,

I forgot how quickly babies learn things starting around this age. He can wave and is learning how to clap. He won’t do it on command but if he’s happy he will often clap (like when I let him taste whole milk). He can also give kisses and loves doing so to baby dolls and pictures of real babies in books. He mimics things we say and when there is a heightened sense of state in our house (whether it be tantrums or dance parties) he will often babble at his loudest. He says uh-oh sometimes after we say it when something is dropped and he started to say “more” if I give him a bite of something new but it’s very infrequent.

He’s crawling so fast, pulling up, and walking around furniture. Complete accident risk especially with older siblings but we are trying our best to baby proof just about everything.

He loves playing with Luke and Olivia, His favorite game is peekaboo or chase. He likes to go after one of them and then crawl quickly in the other direction. He’s really into the sensory baby books and things he can bang or shake (pianos, drums, maracas etc).

He seems to be pretty social when around other kids his age and will go up to to tap them on the head or try and give them a kiss. He’s still very bashful when adults give him attention and will give a big smile, blush, and lay his head on my chest.

Love this little guy who has competed our family so nicely.

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Matthew is 9 months

Matthew is now 9 months! And this last month has brought with it so many happy and challenging times.

I’ll start with with the challenging. Matthew had his first prolonged fever. He woke up at midnight early one Monday morning and was burning up to the touch. We took his fever with a head thermometer and it read 106. I quickly got the digital thermometer to do a rectal temp and it read 104.9. I know this is a very high temperature but not uncommon but to say I panicked is an understatement. We spoke to the doctor on call who told us to give meds and a tepid bath. Thankfully his fever was explained as the whole family has cold like symptoms. Long story short the fever lasted for 5 days. It continued to get lower and lower but it was a very stressful week. We were at the doctors office twice due to the length of the fever and even though we knew it was viral I worried there could be some drastic underlying issue causing it. I should also say (and I know you shouldn’t do this) that I compared our experience with Matthew to that of Luke and Olivia. Neither of my other two kids have ever had a fever above 101 or a fever that lasted more than 24 hours. I feel like I’ll be more prepared for this in the future as perhaps Matthew is my “high fever kid” but I still feel a little traumatized by that entire sickness.

On a lighter note Matthew is mobile!! And I mean like “hurry shut the gate, hurry shut the door, watch out for a blind snapping dog” mobile. He is crawling everywhere and pulling up on everything. He actually started crawling during the week he was sick and really started scooting when he felt better.

He’s also saying “momma” which started that same week too. I had suspected he was saying it the week prior but that week it became clear that when I was out of his sight he needed me.

Speaking of, he’s very clingy these days. He’s always been somewhat clingy but lately it’s only me he wants. I feel like we may be coming out of that a little bit but I know stranger danger and object permanence are at play.

He also got to visit the beach for the first time! He loved the sand. Mostly crawling in and eating it. He slept pretty well there too which was much appreciated because Ms Olivia did not.

We have his appt next week but from what I can tell he’s near 21lbs. He seriously loves to eat and I’m thankful for that.

He loves turning pages in books, puzzles and toys with doors he can open and shut, listening to music, and playing with his siblings.

Matthew is 8 months old!

Matthew turned 8 months on the 3rd. Oh I just love my little cuddle bug so much!

Well he is mobile but not in the way he’d like to be. He’s been scooting backwards and turning himself around like a breakdancer for a while. And in the last week he will push himself onto all fours but then push his butt up like he’s doing a down dog in yoga. Walt said “in two weeks he’ll be crawling.” On one hand it would be so cool to see him all about but on the other hand I know this means trouble. Either way it’s cool to watch him figure it all out.

Man this boy loves to eat! We are still nursing….whooo hooo but he definitely prefers food to milk. He really hasn’t refused anything we’ve offered him and I find myself sharing my food with him after he’s downed his. He’s tried the top allergenic foods and done well. I have several friends with children with food allergies and I know how scary and challenging it can be so I feel very grateful we haven’t had any issues yet.

Matthew loves exploring all aspects and angles of new toys and books. He loves books with sensory pages and toys that light up. He’s fearful of our Curious George Jack in the box but also somewhat intrigued. He loves playing peek-a-boo and watching Luke and Olivia do silly things like jump. He’s also started his own version of dancing. When we play music he’ll bounce and bob along and I’m excited to seem him on music class this fall.

Sleep is going pretty well. Depending on our schedule and the length of his naps he’ll take two naps. The afternoon one is the longest by far averaging about 2 hours in length. His AM nap is in the carrier most days and is becoming reallllly short. I know he needs a longer one but I’m also not willing to be house bound every morning especially with Luke and Olivia ready to go. On the days we do stay home he will take a crib nap and I enjoy my “alone” time with the bigger kids. Still nursing around 4am and totally fine with it. Gets me up for the day and allows me the ability to have “me time”and workout, read, or just sit in silence.

He’s chatty and has really started to respond when talked to. Sometimes he babbles things that sound like “hey” or “momma” and “dada” but no true word associations yet.

Hard to believe he’s already 8 months. This year has flown past faster than any other.

5 years later

Five years. That’s how long it’s been since losing our first born son. It seems like so long ago but on so many levels I feel like it was just yesterday.

I remember feeling so connected to him when I was outside that August in 2014. I would often sit outside on our deck in Durham and look up into the trees knowing he was there with me but also feeling the deep ache in my heart that he was no longer in my belly.

It’s all still very fucked up what happened to us. I’m still angry and bitter but also just deeply sad. Sometimes I feel like I was better equipped to deal with his loss in the early months and years after it happened I’m not sure if it’s my other children or time but sometimes I feel like I can’t bear to think of what happened or what could have been.

I wish there was more time and space for me to continue on my grieving journey but daily life gets in the way. Despite the lack of time there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t think about my 1st baby boy. Some of these moments are sad. Luke is obsessed with numbers right now and will often say “there are 5 people in our family.” The number hurts and I think to myself “actually 6.” If I see a family with 4 children I think “my oldest isn’t living.” Among these sad memories are happy ones. I think about the time I did have him, the lessons he’s taught me, and the person he’s allowed me to be.

Im hoping to gather up some school supplies and donate them to a kindergarten public elementary school in honor of him. The idea came from my dear friend Danielle who did the same thing in honor of her son Stephen

The weight of your baby on your chest is a feeling like no other. I never got that with Oliver but the weight of his presence in my life is beyond measurable.

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Matthew is 7 months

I feel like Matthew turning 7 months old is the end of an era. I know that sounds ridiculous but my littlest is now on the second half of his first year.

He doesn’t seem like a baby to me anymore. Obviously I know he still is but something has happened to his personality in the last month and when I look at him I see a baby boy growing before my eyes.

Big things have happened in the last 4 weeks. For one he is sitting up fully unassisted. I feel like this development alone makes him seem less babyish. Now he’s right there in the toys with Luke and Olivia and ready for action. He’s super grabby with things and has knocked down a block tower or two that his siblings worked very hard to build.

He’s also has two teeth! He got them at the same time as a pretty bad cold and boy did we hit a sleep regression. Poor guy. Speaking of sleep he’s now in his own room. We are doing some gentle sleep training as he was still nursing between 2-4 am but now we are trying hard to cut that out. I caved this AM and nursed him at 5:15 as I didn’t want him to wake for the day. His naps are getting better too and I can usually bank on at least a 1.5 hour afternoon nap. He’s trying hard to be on that 2-3-4 schedule and thankfully still naps in the carrier when needed.

He’s been a great eater and has tried just about everything except shellfish and done well. I’m much more inclined to give him a bite of whatever I’m eating unless it has added sugar or salt in it of course. His favorites are butternut squash, carrots, pears, hummus, plums, and beef short ribs. He’s even started to drink smoothies! Yay!

He loves books and balloons (like obsessively loves balloons) and has really stated to enjoy the water. He’s had fun at the pool and has even taken several carrier naps while I’m in the shallow end of the pool with the other kids.

Entertaining him is becoming more and more difficult. He’s easily bored and needs a constant change of scenery. He’s also started crying when I walk away from him which I feel like is coming a bit earlier than it did with Luke and Olivia.

He’s also really starting to babble. We here Dada dada all the time. Luke and Olivia things his chatter is hilarious and will try to hold conversations with him saying “mommy, he just said good morning!”

I am so thankful to have Matthew in our lives.

Matthew is 6 months old!

More like 6.5 months old. 🤦🏻‍♀️ between Olivia’s birthday, family being in town, and just life this post is much later than I had hoped.

Matthew turned 6 months on a June 3rd. His check up went well. He’s in the 50th percentile for weight and 80th for height which is pretty much where our other kids have been. I have always been a bit worried about him getting enough milk. When you are solely responsible for feeding a baby I feel like doubts will creep in but he’s growth is perfect and he’s a good eater. We’ve started solids also which has helped me relax a bit about his caloric intake. His favorites are butternut squash and banana. He’s still learning to like eggs and so far has been fine with some of the major allergens (nut butters, salmon, eggs, wheat, Etc) we do need to try shellfish some point soon.

Sleep is still a work in progress. I’m still nursing him once at night (usually around 4) which I’m okay with but I know he doesn’t need it. He’s still in our room which is going to change soon and when that happens I’m going to try to cut out that fees. Truth be told I cherish the quiet moments with him at that hour. I often dose off holding him and I know it won’t last forever. I feel thankful I’ve been able to process him as our last baby but also know we need to do what’s best for us all (having him sleep 10-12 hours and in his own space). Naps are better. His AM nap still seems to be short (even when we are at home) but he will constantly take a 1.5-3 hour nap in the afternoon. He’s still napping 3-4 times a day.

He continues to take everything in and lives watching his siblings play. He loves books especially ones by Jane Cabrera. Her baby board book “hello lamb” makes him light up.

He’s getting more and more demanding and is very easily bored. We are constantly switching out toys and scenery to appease him. He still loves to be toted around in the carrier and sometimes that all it takes to make him happy.

I’ll be updating again with all the fun happenings month 6 has brought!!

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Olivia is TWO!

Olivia turned 2 years old on June 3rd. It’s amazing to me that she seems so grown up all of the sudden. I look at pictures of her even just a year ago and realize just how much growing she has done in the past 12 months.

First off, Olivia is now no longer in diapers!!! She started showing interest around the same time that Luke did (18-19 months old). She LOVED accompanying Luke to the potty (seems odd but hearing Luke say “Olydia, do you want to come poop with me?” and her replying “YEAH!” was kinda cute in it’s own weird and disgusting way). We would put her on the potty and she thought it was fun. Looking back I probably could have started training her around that time but since she had never physically gone pee or poop I was hesitant. I know that Luke potty trained early (self intiated) and I didn’t want to push Olivia to do something that her body may or may not have been ready to do. I told myself I would wait until around her 2nd birthday to start and it was clear by that time she was ready. She’s been diaper free for almost a month (except for a pull up at nap and night) and she’s doing great. She started verbalizing she needs to go WAY sooner than Luke ever did but struggled with going when I prompted her. Thankfully it’s getting a lot better and easier and having her no longer wear diapers makes me realize her babyhood is truly over.

In other news oh have we hit the terrible twos. Like it seems to be WAY more intense than I remember Luke’s terrible two phase being. I think that partly has to do with the fact that she’s also dealing with him through this challenging phase whereas he didn’t have to deal with an older sibling when starting to assert himself. On the positive side of this stage she is really independent. She wants to dress herself, go down the stairs by herself, climb in the car and buckle herself in, etc, etc, etc however the independence is TERRIFYING to me. She is extremely accident prone and I’m constantly worried she’s going to hurt herself. I’m starting to find a happy medium between letting her do things by herself but doing it in a way that I feel more relaxed about. I hope her independence sticks with her throughout her lifetime. I would like to raise a daughter who is strong and independent and truly believes she can do anything if she works hard and believes in herself. She has inspired me to more independent too and I find myself doing more and more things I would have had Walt do (put together furniture, fix broken toys, etc).

My girl LOVES to read books all the time. I constantly here “Mommy, read a book!” and she could read the same one over and over and over again. Her favorites are Pout, Pout Fish, anything with a firetruck, Little Excavator, and all things animals. She has a broad range of interests which include the color pink, spiders and ants (she loves going on bug hunts), accessories (especially my necklaces), music and singing (her favorite songs are Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Mary Poppins and Let It Go), and bubbles.

She is such a nurturer and loves to take care of Matthew. I often tell her “Olivia, he doesn’t need his paci right now” and she is always down to help with a diaper change. I hope that she has the ability to mother a child when she is older (if that’s what she wants to do) because I already know she will be very good at it. I sometimes think about what would happen if she were to experience the loss of a pregnancy or baby like we have and the sadness overcomes me.

She’s a really silly little girl and loves laughing. She finds the oddest things hilarious and I continue to want to bottle up the giggles for when she is older. There is no sweeter sound that the laugh of a child or baby.

I’m super proud of her as she has come into her own in many ways but especially in her relationship with Luke. She isn’t afraid to tell him “NO” or to tell me when he has done something he shouldn’t. She even bit him once which was not good but I have to say I wasn’t too upset given their past. Luke has learned that she is a forever playmate and sharing and taking turns has become a bit easier as he understands why we have to do those things (she on the other hand does not).

Olivia is starting preschool in September. I have such mixed feelings about this. She is totally ready and I know if I didn’t send her I would be holding her back. However, she is on the younger side (due to his January birthday Luke was almost 2.5 before starting) and Olivia will have just turned 2. That being said, I think it will be a good thing for her and hope that she blossoms like Luke did. I already envision her having a close little girl for a buddy (she loves being around girls her age).

I am so thankful Olivia and I am looking forward to seeing what her second year holds. She is a doll, for sure!

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Matthew is 5 months!

Wow! And how is it I almost have a baby that is half way to a year?! Like I just don’t understand how time passes so quickly with these babies.

And oh how so much can change in a month. I’m happy to report Matthew is sleeping MUCH better despite some very big changes we made in the last month. In addition to dropping the swaddle we moved him to a crib at night. The crib is still in our room (AAP says sleeping in the same room as baby for at least 6 months is safest) but he’s in there which is WAY earlier than Luke or Olivia. He also started rolling from back to tummy which means he can now sleep on his tummy. I live for this day!!! He usually gives me at least a 6 hour stretch now. Sometimes he wakes around 10:30-11:30 but a quick paci or pat on the back settles him. I’m fine with this for now but know we will probably have to sleep train at some point. His naps have also started to lengthen a bit. I have been letting him fuss a bit and then if it escalates to full on crying I’ll wait 5 minutes and go in and soothe. I’ve had to do this several times but usually only have to soothe twice. If that means he naps longer than 30 minutes I’ll do it! His AM nap is still often short but that’s fine as we are almost never home for him to take a crib nap in the morning.

We haven’t started solids yet so I’m fine with still nursing at night as he’s not a super big baby and often in the 50th percentile for weight. I think we will start in the next week or two as he’s super interested in meal time.

He’s outgrown all of his baby products (Swing, rock n play, etc) so we’ve introduce the jumper which he has taken to 100% but he’ll get there. He’s happiest on his tummy exploring and looking around.

And holy cow! This baby moves SO much in his crib. Like he’ll be at the top corner of his crib and then horizontal in his crib. It’s crazy but I’m happy he is strong enough to move about since he is a tummy sleeper. I have a feeling he’s going to be an earlier crawler. Just last night I witnessed him push his elbows off the ground and scoot backwards.

He’s also gnawing on everything. His fingers my fingers, toys, and his slobber game is strong. Hoping the teeth can wait a little while longer.

He continues to love to watch Luke and Olivia. He is so content watching Luke play basketball or ride his bike. And he loves to lay in Olivia’s crib with her when she wakes up from a nap.

I feel like things are becoming more manageable but also bracing for a setback. Such is life i guess.

4 months with Matthew!

We no longer have a newborn! I can’t believe Matthew turned 4 months on the 3rd.

Matthew is doing well and growing. He seems to be very long and lean. All of his clothes are too short in the arms and when he has naked time I’m always surprised by just how long he appears.

I’ll start with the challenges….sleep. Yep, no progress on that front. We’ve gotten some long stretches here and there but on average this boy is up 2-3 times. And I’m tired and *almost* ready to start sleep training. There has also been zero improvement on the day time sleep. His cat naps paired with Luke no longer napping is really hard on me.

He got hit with his first ear infection…years before Luke did. We’ve all pretty much had a constant cold since the winter and both boys got ear infections within a week of one another. Antibiotics has cleared it up thankfully and he’s feeling well again.

He’s a happy little guy who loves to cuddle. He’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t want to “play” on his back anymore and prefers to be sitting (supported of course) to see what’s going on around him. He giggles and grabs and loves to play with his feet.

I continue to feel blessed to have him here with us. Even through the challenges I feel lucky. I also know things will get better soon (or at least that’s what I choose to tell myself) 😉

Matthew is 3 months old!

Matthew turned 3 months old on the 3rd of March. It’s crazy to me that the end of the 4th trimester is upon us.

He’s such a happy baby. He smiles so easily and has even started to giggle. Sometimes when I’m nursing him or he’s supposed to be asleep I’ll look down and he’s looking up at me and gives me the biggest smile. In this moments I can see just what a sweet soul he has already.

He may be our worst sleeper but that’s okay. It looks like we will have to sleep train him when he’s of age. Right now we are dealing with chronic short naps. He can no longer connect sleep cycles during the day and like clockwork starts to wake after only 30-45 minutes. This is TOUGH. I know it’s just a season but it would make a world of difference if he would take 1.5-2 hour naps. One day he’ll get there….I hope! In the meantime we do A LOT of baby wearing to turn those short naps into longer ones.

He started to role from tummy to back around 2.5 months. He actually really likes to be on his tummy so rarely purposely does it but there are some cute videos of him rolling and Luke saying “MOM! Did you see what Matthew did?! He rolled!!”

He loves his play-mat and looking at pictures of books. His favorite toy is a handheld baby Einstein music toy that both Luke and Olivia loved as well. He’s started to grab onto things like my hair and his clothes and I’m seeing the beginnings of what seems like trying to manipulate toys that are hanging.

He prefers to be held in a seated position and watches Luke and Olivia like a hawk. I’ve caught him cooing at them both and his big siblings enjoy making him smile.

Still can’t decide if he looks like Luke or Olivia. Either way we think he’s really cute! Happy 3 months Matthew!

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