5 Month Baby Update

I keep telling myself that I am going to write more frequently on my personal blog – once a month surely isn’t enough. However, a great deal of my ‘blogging’ time is currently spent editing and co-managing Fort Worth Moms Blog, so writing here just seems to escape me until Piper’s month-date rolls around. I’ll continue to hope I can improve, but let’s be honest…pictures of Piper are far more entertaining than any musings I might have.

Piper 5 Mo

So here we are, 5 months in, and what social little girl Piper is becoming. She is incredibly aware of her environment and surroundings these days, which is fun and challenging all at the same time. As I prepared to write this post, I started looking through pictures of her birth and first months. My how much these little babies change in such a short time! It’s hard to believe what things she has learned to do in just a few short months. This month seems to have a lot of highlights:

P 9.03.13ROLLING: sweet p has learned how to roll back and forth, which has also resulted in becoming a tummy sleeper. This is a game changer, especially when dealing with a reflux baby.

P 9.04.13An extension of rolling –> sleeping through the night! This is where full-disclosure comes in. In a strong culture of Babywise and scheduling babies, I found myself feeling like I was a failure when  my little one wasn’t sleeping through the night at 12 weeks. There have even been nights these past few months that we tried to push her to do so, with varied results. Now I don’t mean to say that babies just naturally become good sleepers – I do believe that this is learned.  But I also know that babies hit milestones at different times, and the battle against comparison is so strong. Piper wasn’t ready until now (even if mama was!), and that’s okay! She came around in her own time.

P 9.01.13 10    P 9.01.13

We’ve loved getting to watch her take in more and more of the world, but as a somewhat sensitive personality, she gets rather overwhelmed. She loves smiling at people, but if they get too far in her face – waterworks. We have also started to have quite a ’bout of separation anxiety, such the mama’s girl these days. Unless your name is mom or dad, she’s not to keen on letting you hold her. Part of the challenge of moving to a new town has been exposing her to people. We run errands, but hang outs and play dates are somewhat rare, so she is still getting used to being handed off to other people. But we’re workin’ on it… (and we hope the church nursery is ready for us!)

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New Toys: she is also starting to be able to interact with her toys more. Of course everything she can get her hands on goes directly to her mouth, but she loves watching her toys light up and play music. She is still a bit too small (and needs just a little more head control) to be able to use things like bumbos, jumparoos, etc., but I’m sure that by her 6 month mark we will be spending lots of play time in them (she was standing on some textbooks for the picture above, which allowed me to get a quick picture before she got tired of the jumparoo)!

P 8.22.13

This month was big for FWMB – we hosted our very first play date! We met at Oakmont Park here in town with 35 other mommies and their kiddos for a morning to play. I was a little nervous about it, seeing as how the play date was right in the middle of Piper’s nap, but she did great! Stayed awake (and happy!) through most of it, took a little catnap in her car seat, and then had a solid 3 hour nap that afternoon! It was such a great time meeting some other moms in town!

Sweet Piper-girl,

P 9.04.13 6This month has been so exciting! We are so thankful that some of the “challenges” we were walking through the past couple of months are starting to bring us some relief (and you too, I’m sure!). Your budding personality continues to come through, and we love the active, wiggly, vocal little girl that you are becoming. I am confident you will continue to be our little fireball. Your smiles, coos, and increasing laughter fill us with such joy, and each month we get a little more confident at being your parents and taking care of you. Life is so sweet and so fun with you in it. We can’t believe that in a just a few short weeks we will be celebrating your half birthday! I tear up thinking about how quickly time is moving. We love you little one!

Photo Aug 17, 11 07 40 AM

P 9.02.13 2      P 8.23.13

4 Month Baby Update

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Holy August! I can’t believe we’ve already made it through most of the summer.  Thankfully this has been a much milder summer than last – fewer 100+ degree days, fewer cases of West Nile. That being said, I am still super eager to for Fall to arrive. P and I love going on walks and getting fresh air, but it has been just too hot to do so (unless it’s first thing in the morning), and we are getting a little cabin fever as a result.  I know the employees at Buy Buy Baby and Target sure have enjoyed seeing us on a daily periodic basis.

photoAs I sat back and thought about this past month (which I am a little late on the update), I have to admit that it was a little challenging coming up with a list of favorites.  In an age of social media which can breed comparison and insecurity, we can often find ourselves believing the lie that everyone else has a picture perfect life while we struggle.  I thought the body-image struggle was tough – motherhood is a whole new ball-game of comparing one’s child to someone elses. I know our images portray a sweet and beautiful baby, and she is!  But this month has also been hard. Health issues have brought on a whole new slew of challenges to parenting, and I have never felt so humbled in my whole life.  I am independent – sometimes to a fault.  My dad would probably describe it as “hard-headed” (M probably would too).  As a result, I often find myself (always in retrospect, of course) disregarding the Lord in tough times. I reject being in a place of dependency upon Him, though my conscious mind at the time wouldn’t see things that way. I tend towards a “head-down, let’s get this done” self-reliant mentality, moving internally when things get difficult and letting my analytical mind get moving to figure out a solution.

I’m sure I am not alone on this. Mommyhood has given it a new look and taken it to a new level. The breadth of books and websites on babies has been the end of me, causing me to struggle to hear the voice in my head, my “mommy gut”, and instead rely on some textbook answer for what appears to ail us that day. Though I don’t believe it is His purpose, I know the Lord is using this to do a work in me, to remove any sense of self-reliance I might try to run to and instead allow me to run to Him.  I have never prayed this fervently before, having days where I feel like I am at the end of myself.  And as a friend reminded me the other day, we haven’t even gotten to the first driver’s license yet.

I don’t mean to be a downer – I LOVE being a mom.  Even in the most trying of circumstances we have encountered, I continue to be thankful that we are now a family of three. The Lord has been faithful to us as we fumble around, working tirelessly to protect, care for, and raise this little munchkin.  The joys we have experienced in our time with our sweet girl are an incredible gift from Him.  I want to share what is real, not to hide behind a facade, but also use discernment and discretion with the details. Again, I LOVE being Piper’s mom. So I’ve decided to change things up a bit this month, and instead capture my memories in a note to our sweet P.

Dearest Piper,

photo_5We cannot believe that we are 1/3 of the way through your first year – my how you’ve grown! Despite your age, you continue to be a rather petite little lady (at 3 months you were mistaken for 3 weeks, though frankly I don’t know of any 3 week-olds that can hold their heads up), but you are growing! Your daddy was quick to note that you don’t come from very big or tall ladies, so petite is perfectly acceptable.  Mom is just desperate to get you in those cute cloth diapers, but that tiny heiny insists on still wearing newborn-sized! We are barely making it into 3M clothes now, which we are thankful for because we sure do have some cute ones for you! Many of the sweet ladies in Fort Worth got you some adorable smocked outfits from Zoe + Jack that I’ve just been dying to dress you in.

We love the coos you give, and you have recently started blowing lots of raspberries at us (which is cute and messy all at the same time). Last month your hands found your mouth, and now they have found one another – and we love how you hold them together as you are taking in the world and how well you can hold on to your toys now. You are FINALLY starting to enjoy your mamaroo, especially when you can be in the kitchen and keep an eye on mom cooking, so a little movement and a toy to put in your mouth gives us some great playtime during the day..

photo_4But the biggest thing of all – you are rolling! The first time you rolled from back to belly I squealed! It was so unexpected – from that point on I knew the swaddle had to go.  Just this past weekend you finally discovered that sleeping on your belly IS enjoyable (and mom discovered that naptime can be salvaged). With all the reflux issues you have been battling, we think this could be just what you need to help you stay settled.

Mom and dad were also forced to move your bedroom this month (that’s right, moved the nursery.  This nested mama had a hard time with it, but when it’s best it’s best).  Leave it to a rental house to be poorly insulated with an A/C unit that isn’t big enough for the house, and well…you get the picture.  Your new room is cozy, cool, and dark, and though it isn’t really decorated, you don’t seem to mind all that much 🙂  Hopefully the next time we move it will be a bit more permanent!

July was also a big month for your family – Scoutie turned 2 and daddy turned 30! There is no better gift for any of us than to have you around to celebrate.

photo_3It has been so much fun to see you grow, hit various milestones, and become more and more observant and attuned to the world around you.  We are eager to see more and more of your little personality shine through, and hopefully more red hair! Mama is hoping to (finally!) give the nursery at church a try this month – so we’ll see how that goes. I have a feeling it may be a bumpy start, but we’ve got to start somewhere. I’ll just reserve a spot in one of the swings for you.

3 Month Baby Update

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Sweet baby girl is 3 months old, or as Happiest Baby on the Block might tell us – out of the 4th trimester (that might be confusing if you haven’t read the book or seen the video)!!!  We cannot believe how quickly time has flown by, and at some point I will stop saying that.  I know it will only continue to do so.

Some memories from this month:

  • You’ve found your hands (as the picture above indicates), and they have subsequently found your mouth!  I am pretty sure it is only a matter of time before you become a thumb-sucker.  Thankfully your Poppy (the dentist) feels okay about that, and mama does too – sucking on your hand has become a new self-soothing technique, and when we are riding in the car it helps prevent some meltdowns.
  • We think we heard your first laugh this past week.  Perhaps it is too soon, but it was a coo that lasted much longer than usual.  In either case, we loved it, and it has just made us eager for the day when you will laugh.
  • We took you on your first road trips this month – we started with a wedding in Boerne (fail) and followed it with a week at the beach in Galveston (moderately successful).  We now understand that when it comes to kids we don’t vacation, we just travel.  Or as my friend Emily put it, I do the same job somewhere else but with less of the things I need.
  • You are starting to enjoy our weekly routine of going to Stroller Strides!  When we launched Fort Worth Moms Blog, we brought on a wonderful contributor (shout out Anna!) who runs Stroller Strides, and this has become a great addition to our week.  Mom gets exercise and an opportunity to meet other moms and watch them love on their babies, Piper gets time outdoors, we both get out of the house – I could go on about the benefits, but let’s just say that this has been a HUGE win for us.
  • Drool, drool, drool, drool, drool.
  • You aren’t quite close to sitting up on your own, but you are getting stronger each day!  I can sit you in the bumbo for short periods of time and you will hold that head up high!  The nurses at the pediatrician’s office even commented on how “advanced” you are.  That may or may not be true, but what mother doesn’t love hearing that!
  • Daddy got to celebrate his first Father’s Day – we love our Papa!

IMG_2681 2Though the list of sweet things about our dear Piper could continue, I must admit that this has been the most challenging month we have walked through thus far.  It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is going on, but we have hit a phase of reflux/colic/fussiness – something.  We have had many doctor’s appointments, convos with nurses/lactation consultants/other moms, and we can’t seem to get a grip on it.  At times I feel overwhelmed, struggling to trust my mommy instinct and reading far too many books and articles on the subject.  In many ways, I know her little body just needs to grow and get accustomed to this world, but if I am going to be candid, I must admit that I have never felt so helpless.  Though most of the time unwelcome, it has been such a reminder of my dependence on the Lord in ALL things.  As we use our intellect and faculties to try to figure out what may be bothering her, I am being reminded each day that my first step each morning is to entrust her over to Him, knowing he is the great Healer, her Protector and Provider, and we are called to be faithful and pray this season will end soon while continuing to love and provide for her the best way we know how!

Stroller Strides

those pants are now in the “too small” bin.

Belly

hand. to. mouth.

Bath Dad

dad’s favorite time of day.

bumbo

hanging out in our bumbo! (notice scout keeping watch in the doorway)

Sleeping at Beach

napping at the beach.

Poppy

hanging out with Poppy.

Jean Outfit

my cute jean outfit for the 4th! thanks J!

2 Month Baby Update

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Two months with our sweet baby girl!  What a whirlwind it has been.  With each passing day we become a little more comfortable with our new roles as mama and daddy, and though I can’t fully say that we’ve “arrived”, with each milestone that Piper hits I think that M and I hit one ourselves.  So here’s some fun facts about month 2:

  • SMILES SMILES SMILES.  nothing warms your heart more than having your little one give you that big ‘ol toothless grin.  She loves when we talk to her, especially when she’s lying on her changing pad.  She’ll stare out the window or up at us and give us the sweetest baby grins.
  • She has also started really cooing and laughing when she smiles.  I wish I could bottle up those sounds forever (yes, I know that my iPhone practically can do that – y’all know what I mean…)
  • Though mama continues to spend the majority of time handling the feeding, Piper and daddy have a dream feed each night that just the two of them share.  I love getting to hear Mason talk about that time with his girl – it’s just up, bottle, burp, and back down.
  • We are ALMOST sleeping through the night!  P goes down for bed around 8-8:30pm, gets her dream feed a few hours later, and now can usually make it until 5 am – not bad!  She’ll go right back down after that and usually sleep until 8-8:30am, giving mama several consecutive hours of sleep.  I’m feeling pretty confident that before long, she’ll be able to make it to all night!
  • Sweet P is not a fan of the car seat unless it is in continuous motion.  Walks?  Great – she’ll sleep right through them.  Riding in the car?  “No thank you, mom.  Every time you stop at a stop light, you can be sure I’m going to cry.”  Hopefully she’ll continue to get more adjusted to it.
  • P continues to love being swaddled, and though I am grateful for how well it can calm her down and get her ready for nap or bedtime, I am just a little worried that she might struggle when the day arrives when we’ll need to transition out of that.  I know it is fast approaching.  Any mamas out there with great tips?  Please share!
  • Piper and I finally did a FULL grocery store run all by ourselves.  I cannot even begin to describe how accomplished I felt – I never knew the store (or any errand for that matter) would become so daunting.  But thanks to the Ergo baby carrier, P was out within the first 15 minutes of our trip, allowing me to peruse the grocery aisles in a relatively normal fashion to get everything we needed!
  • P does NOT like tummy time.  We can barely do 3 minutes without her fussing.  The good news is, she continues to grow and get strong.  In fact – she rolled over to her back for the first time at her 2-month appointment!  Made this mama look REAL good in front of the doctor.  Thanks, P.
  • PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE: Piper’s hips are completely normal!!!  We had a second ultrasound last week after getting a second opinion, and it showed that she is growing and maturing just as she should.  So no harness for Piper!  Though I know the Lord would have given us the tools and strength to walk through that should it have been necessary for her, we are so grateful that it won’t be necessary!

As an encouragement to many of my soon-to-be-mom friends, it seems to me that there is something that happens at around 6-8 weeks, something good.  Both in baby and in mama, a shift occurs and you just find your rhythm.  Piper, with her smiles and increasing time awake, seems to be more at ease with her body, more inclined to sleep when she is supposed to, and easier to soothe and understand what she wants when she’s upset.  As a brand new mom, I continue to grow in confidence in my care for her each day, and just like the grocery store, I continue to try and tackle something new each week, making me more confident to get back out there with sweet P on my hip!

The lifestyle change was difficult for me, being so used to working outside of the home and freedom with my free time – there certainly has been a mourning of my former life and flexibility.  But the Lord is good and sweet in what at times can feel so mundane.  He is teaching me new ways to pursue Him and find Him, reminding me that though this new role can at times seem to be an endless cycle of laundry, changing diapers, and unloading dishwashers, is in fact a role of raising up this little one to be a young lady who we pray comes to know and love the King.  This is kingdom work.  Wiping her spit up is eternally significant.  Even when it feels mundane, it is purposeful.  I by no means have it conquered or all figured out, but when I can quiet my heart in those truths, there is joy to be found.  And along the way He gives sweet smiles, coos, and cuddles that make each mundane task completely worth it.

So here’s some pictures from the past month!

Piper bed Piper tummy time

Piper Doctor Piper car seat

Piper cherries

And since I can’t resist this sweet face…

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1 Month Baby Update

Piper 1 Mo

I cannot believe we are already celebrating that fact that our sweet pea is already a month old! This month has flown by, and yet at the same time it has felt as though each day moves so slowly. Here are some memories I want to make sure I hold on to from this month.  We will go to the doctor this week for her 1 month check-up, but if her two-week appointment is any indication, I am sure her doctor will tell us she is continuing to gain weight like a champ (I mean just look at those wonderful baby rolls)!

  • Like most newborns, P was super sleepy the first two weeks, but her periods of wakefulness have begun to increase everyday.
  • She is such a good little nurser, but I have to admit it hasn’t been smooth sailing in that department.  Every soon-to-be-mom needs to know that it can be difficult, so reach out for help EARLY!  I have been SO thankful for the Baylor healthcare system and their LCs.  Sometimes you just need a little help “troubleshooting” 🙂
  • With that same point, though many would tell you to wait at least a month before offering the paci or bottle, we introduced them both to her about a week ago – and it has been great!  From Day 1 she has had a strong sucking reflex, so she LOVES her Wubbanub, and inserting the bottle into our feedings has allowed Mason to take over her late evening feeding.  I am so grateful for this, as it gives the two of them such sweet time for them to bond, as well as give mama a little break (and the freedom to enjoy a glass of wine every once in a while).  Soon we’ll be able to go out on dates without a worry about her!
  • I have struggled with the balance between flexibility and starting sleep training.  We have tried to mesh various opinions/schools of thought on this, but overall she is a great napper and nighttime sleeper (she was pretty quiet at night while in the womb, so it has been an easy transition thus far for her to adjust to a proper day/night schedule).
  • Piper loves sleeping on our chests (especially Daddy!).  The first few nights we spent switching off sleeping in the glider with her until she got accustomed to her bassinet.  We now do nighttime sleep in the bassinet by mommy and daytime naps in our own crib!
  • The best way to keep her swaddled is with the Miracle Blanket.  It lives up to its name.
  • We have come to love our swing, but the Mamaroo is still an adjustment.  I have a feeling that as she gets older she will like it more.
  • Bath-time was no fun the first time, which was merely a water issue.  Once we increased the temperature just a bit the tears went away (well, until we take her out of the tub)!  Bath time is a fun family event for us now, and we can tell it sure is easy to do baths with two people.
  • P is crazy strong – pushing with both her hands and feet with force that I didn’t know was possible for 7 lbs.
  • The doctors have a little concern about her hips – we had an ultrasound last week and determined that she has a shallow socket on one hip, so we may have to put her in a harness for a little while (though it could just be something she needs to grow out of).  Say a little prayer for her as we work with the doctors to determine the best path forward.
  • I am super excited to be able to celebrate my very first Mother’s Day this year!  Since it is also Mason’s graduation weekend, P will get to have both her grandmas (J and Mo Mo) to celebrate it with!
  • Sneezes and toots usually come as a package deal.  Who knew that could be so cute.

bath timeOur first bath – notice the distress

P and BevoWe love our Bevo Wubbanub

P in MamarooA calm moment in the Mamaroo

Piper carseatWaiting to see the doctor

Play mat PP loving her play mat

Pretty PLove that sweet face

I dropped the ball…

On those last two months of pregnancy updates.  Sorry.  Something tells me I can make it up to you by providing some baby pics!

In case social media had not already alerted you, our sweet Piper Elyse was born on April 5, 2013. I won’t go into the details of our birth story (I know that only interests a handful of you, and likely those few are currently pregnant and wondering what their own story might look like), but I’ll give you a few highlights of what stands out in my memory:

  • My water broke around 10:30pm on Thursday, Piper arrived at 3:02pm on Friday.  You do the math.
  • Mason felt my water break.  Weird.  You can imagine my doctor’s surprise when he told her that over the phone – she’d never been told that by a husband before.
  • We had hoped for a natural childbirth, but with a slow progression and a long night of labor with no sleep, we opted for plan B.  No regrets here, it was absolutely the right decision for us, and we are thankful the Lord allowed us to be open-handed with the whole process so that we could walk in freedom in that decision.
  • With that point, an additional grace was granted to us a 7am in the form of a shift change – just as things were getting most difficult for mom.  Her name is Heather, and she is hands down the bomb-dot-com of nurses and friends.  She also helped these two new and anxious parents get their newborn into the car seat to head home a few days later (as we freaked out that this little munchkin couldn’t possibly be able to breathe sitting in a car seat WAY too big for her!).  We will never be able to repay her for everything she did for us.
  • Doulas are the best.  So thankful for Stacy – we couldn’t have done it without her either.
  • I love my tender-hearted husband.  Gentle and loving through the whole process, and a basket-case of tears when Piper arrived.
  • That turkey sandwich after labor was INCREDIBLE.

Headed to the Hospital

So here we are, the final preggo pic as we headed to the hospital!  In retrospect, at the time I didn’t think I looked crazy pregnant, but now I realize that I was, in fact, CRAZY pregnant.  No wonder people were making all kinds of comments to me that week!

But I’m not pregnant anymore, which means we are overjoyed to have welcomed to the world our sweet Piper Elyse!

Piper Elyse King

April 5, 2013

3:02pm

6 lbs, 14 oz

19.5 inches

Piper 4.5.13So long preggo updates, hello Piper updates!

It sure is a unique season of life, being a SAHM.  Though I am grateful to be a ‘Mompreneur’, working my Rodan+Fields business as well as my latest mommy venture, Fort Worth Moms Blog (to be expounded upon in a future post), both of which keep me occupied and connected to the adult world, it is strange not getting up each morning, putting on my business casual attire, and heading out to the office (or cubicle, if you will).  I was blessed to have about 6 weeks of no work before Piper arrived, which really just felt like a vacation, or as my mother stated one day, being a lady who lunches 🙂 Well let me tell you – the vacation is over!

A few things that have characterized our past few weeks:

  • The house now smells like baby mixed with a little side of milk.
  • Boys are not the only ones who could use peepee-teepees.  Grateful that I had friends who suggested getting extra changing pad covers.  We go through multiple covers each week.
  • Daddys of daughters are the sweetest.  My love for my husband has grown EXPONENTIALLY as I watch him love and adore our little girl, and serve the two of us with every ounce of his being.
  • Sleep deprivation isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I am thankful to have friends with babies Piper’s age because I know they are with me in the 3am club.
  • The body of Christ here in FW is incredible – couples and families that we hardly know that have served us in bringing meals, sending text messages, letting Scout makeout play with their dogs, and just being incredibly kind to and excited for us – strangers.

One other thing that seems to have hit me in the past couple of weeks is the burden l feel to repent of all the times I judged other mommys – specifically those I would encounter in Target who were still in their workout clothes and clearly had not put themselves together for the day.  I realize now that (generally) it is not that these women do not care about their appearances, but rather there is nothing so significant to them now as the commodity of TIME.  Yesterday as I was getting cleaned up for the day during Piper’s nap, I found that the extra 15-20 minutes it took to simply do something with my hair felt like such a waste of time in comparison to all the things I wanted to do with that time before Piper woke up and my hands would be full again.

Even now, my sweet little girl is swaddled up and laying on a Boppy next to me asleep.  I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to have multiple children, whose naps are likely to cross instead of overlap, thereby giving mama very little “me” time throughout the day.  Walking into marriage taught me a lot about selfishness – if ever something would continue to work out those roots in my heart, it is sure to be parenthood.  But in all of it, I am beyond grateful that the Lord has given us this gift, to shepherd her little heart as she walks through life.  My heart melts at the very sight of her – all the things I am writing I had heard from other parents before Piper was born about how rewarding but challenging parenting is.  It carries all new weight and meaning now.

We’re almost at a month (WHAT?! We’ve been parents to this girl for a month now?!), so I’ll give you a few teasers to hold you over until the 1 month update!

Piper and DaddyPiper and Daddy snuggling

Piper post feedingWhat I lovingly call ‘Drunk Piper’ – she typically looks like this after getting a full belly 🙂

Walk like EgyptianWalk like an Egyptian

P in towelAfter our bath!