Bye bye, pacifier!

After months of thinking about it, talking about it but ultimately putting it off due to one thing after another, we finally (finally!) said bye bye, pacifier. For Corban, mind you. Mara is still more than welcome to soothe herself through the long night with hers.

Ultimately it came down to the fact that I discovered dirt/mold inside Corban’s one remaining pacifier and I just couldn’t stomach giving it to him anymore. There’s no easy time to go through this transition, but with four weekends of travel in the past month behind us and another three weeks until we go camping, we had a window to take advantage of.

So last night we pulled up some youtube videos. First, the brilliant “Bye Bye Binky” song by Elmo (thank you, Elmo, for using your influential position among toddlers to make the world a better place for parents).

Then we trolled around for videos of other little kids saying bye bye to their pacifiers. This was enlightening. Apparently many parents tie them to balloons and send them off into the sky “for other babies who need them.” Some put them in a box and leave them overnight for the Binky Fairy to replace with a toy. Corban was enthralled by all this, but thankfully the video that resonated the most with him was one of a little boy simply throwing his pacifiers into a large garbage can in the garage.

We had been talking with him for months about someday throwing his pacifier away, and about how he doesn’t need it and he’s becoming a big boy, so this wasn’t a novel concept for him. We had even attempted a paci-trashing session a few months ago, but he genuinely seemed so disappointed to say goodbye to it that I relented and backpedaled. Maybe it’s my own memories of pacifier-sucking bliss as a child or just my reluctance to admit Corban is growing up, but even watching the darn youtube videos of kids saying bye to their pacifiers had me misty-eyed with compassion.

But this time it was happening. After all the video motivation, he was excited about getting in on the action (and possibly even more excited about watching the garbage truck come and take it away, which is a weekly highlight we enjoy together).

So we pulled out the big garbage can, let Corban sing Elmo’s binky song, and without so much as a second of hesitation he tossed the thing in. Bye bye, pacifier.

I did my part and posted the video on youtube to motivate other little ones who may be headed for Pacifier-holics Anonymous.

Of course, come bed time (a few minutes later) he was like an addict in withdrawal. Seriously. Kicking, fidgeting, crying, rolling around in bed. He begged to “put Mara’s pacifier in my mouth.” Sorry, sir. Our bedtime routine distracted him for a while, but when we left his room he would not stay in bed. After nearly an hour of whining and crying in the Pack N Play, I lay down with him in bed for about 5 minutes before he passed out.

Thankfully, he napped perfectly for our nanny today and tonight was better than last night. He only brought up the pacifier once and instead of crying he just lay awake singing and talking to himself in the Pack N Play, and eventually fell asleep on his own.

No matter what the next few nights hold, I’m glad to finally have the pacifier gone!

Some news

If you know me in real life or on Facebook, then this is old news by now. But if not, I’ve got some exciting new news!

I am 15 weeks along (holy cow!). This pregnancy has been quite different from my first so far, and not in a good way. I could barely eat during the first trimester — everything made me feel sick. It was so bad at one point that I stayed home from work one day, which I’ve never done before.

But right when I hit 13 weeks the clouds seemed to part and my second trimester came as a warm welcome. Now I’ve got newfound energy, a healthy appetite, and honestly, I just feel normal again. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!

Mini-bump beginning to emerge

Mini-bump beginning to emerge

There are some other differences this time around, in addition to the enhanced morning sickness. For instance:

  • I haven’t been journaling every day and recording symptoms/thoughts/etc.
  • I’ve only taken two official bump photos.
  • I ate a ham sandwich at the airport on Sunday and was like, eh, lunchmeat, I’m sure I’ll be fine
  • I drank a small glass of dry (alcoholic) cider while on vacation, and many sips of others’ wine and cocktails (this was after I hit the second trimester)
  • I haven’t read any of those “your baby is the size of a lemon” updates or downloaded any pregnancy apps
  • I’ve already switched to maternity pants and wore my first maternity sweater the other day (partially this is because my maternity jeans are really cute and comfy, and I want to get use of my winter maternity gear while it’s still unbearably cold)

Just a little bit more laid back this time. I think the main difference, though, is that the first time around I was all-consumed by the pregnancy and ME being pregnant. I couldn’t possibly understand or appreciate what life would be like when the pregnancy stage was over and we had a baby. In some ways, I enjoyed pregnancy because it was this grand anticipation of something unknown, life-altering and slightly scary. It was all I knew at that point.

But now that I’ve been through it all, I have a better grasp on the fact that the pregnancy is just one small part – and not even the most fun part. I will do my best to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I (yes) enjoyed my first, but now that I know how great the prize is at the end, it’s hard not to see pregnancy as kind of a burden to get through (especially when you have morning sickness or when you remember how swollen your feet were in the third trimester). I was just getting used to not being pregnant and not nursing/pumping around the clock when we found out I was pregnant again, so for selfish reasons I wish I could enjoy my normal body for a while. But we chose to have our second be close in age with Corban, and I know that is a good thing (for them if not for us).

So although I’m not as excited for the physical aspect of pregnancy this time around, I think I’m more excited about having a baby (if that makes sense). Knowing how wonderful each stage of new life is makes me happy in a way that I couldn’t understand or imagine before becoming a mom.

Here we go again!

7-month update

What a month! I’ve been absent here because I’ve been so busy, but this month has brought lots of fun and some new milestones.

Age: 7 months
Weight: ~20 pounds (has slowed down on the gaining)
Clothes: 9-month onesies, but still wearing 6-month too (ok, even thought they’re a little tight…)
Hair: Light brown, super soft, bald spot has filled in
Eyes: Deep blue on the outside with golden brown around the pupil
Was sleeping through the night for a few weeks, then started waking consistently at 3:30 a.m.; Still usually takes 3 naps a day and cries for a few minutes at the beginning of each
Noises: Lots of loud laughs, grunts and high-pitched “Ah”s
Nursing: Still at least 5 times a day when I’m not working
Solids: Feeding himself soft pieces of broccoli, sweet potato, avocado, banana and cantaloupe once a day; sometimes we skip days
Teething: Two bottom teeth!
Sitting: Unsteadily, but yes.
Mobility: So squirmy and wishes he could crawl
Essential items: Play mat, plastic links

A closer look at the elusive eye color.

Teeth! Sitting! Solids! Lots of big developments this month, though after looking back on his 6-month update, it doesn’t seem like he’s changed that much. Corban is still a happy little dude who does well in almost any situation.

Case in point: Aside from all the drooling, you wouldn’t have known he was teething. No fussing for no reason or loss of sleep (though I’m not too happy with the recent resurgence of his 3:30 a.m. wakeup) and he never seemed to be in pain. The only ones hurting are Peter and me, as he still loves putting our fingers in his mouth, and those chompers are razor sharp.

I’m sure the teeth are helping at least a little with eating solids. We are not entirely consistent with his meals, as I haven’t had our nanny feeding him anything but milk, so we skip days here and there when things get busy. But he is getting pretty good at picking little pieces up and eating them. Or, more often, chewing them until they come falling back out of his mouth. Manners will come later.

With the super slippery foods like avocado, if he gets frustrated I will put a piece on the tips of my fingers and let him bring my hand to his mouth like a spoon. I finally gave him his first fruit on the Fourth of July (banana) and it was the first food that didn’t cause him to make a funny face when it hit his tongue. But even if he doesn’t love the taste of the vegetables, he still is eager to eat them.

He is getting more coordinated in endeavors aside from eating, too. He loves banging his hands on his high chair, legs or anywhere he can find a flat surface. He has become a serial hair grabber, and has a painfully strong grip. He even grabs his own hair sometimes. Corban also enjoys holding onto his toes and removing/replacing his pacifier when he doesn’t want to go to sleep.

23 seconds of banging:

Rockin’ the mom tankini.

This month I was away from Corban for three entire days, at my friend’s wedding in Virginia Beach. Thankfully I was so busy enjoying every minute with my college girlfriends and participating in all the wedding festivities that I didn’t have much time to miss Little C. He got to see all four of his great-grandparents on my side that weekend when Peter took a trip to visit my family.

Corban also attended his first wedding, which, oddly, Peter and I didn’t go to. While we were at my friend’s wedding in St. Louis, Corban went with Peter’s brothers and parents to his cousin’s wedding two hours away. He stayed up an hour or two past his bed time without getting too upset, and Peter and I spent our first night together away from C. It was a little strange being able to sleep in!

Dolled up for his first wedding.

Corban is becoming a little daredevil. While loud sounds tend to scare him (he sometimes cries when I use the blender – it is so sad!), he laughs when I hold him high up above me or lean him all the way backwards, almost completely upside down, in my lap. He also laughs at peek-a-boo, with an intense emphasis on the “boo.”

My bad mommy award moment happened the other week, just as C was getting decent at sitting up on his own for a few seconds at a time. I sat him down in front of me, then reached for my camera to take a picture. A second after I took my hands off him, he fell backwards like a tree, hitting his head on the carpet. Poor baby cried hard, probably more from shock than anything else.

He still isn’t fully stable sitting up on his own, but there has been marked improvement over the past week or two, and I know he’ll be sitting, crawling, walking (oh my!) in no time.

It’s really amazing to see Corban doing things that never seemed possible just a month or two ago. Babies grow and develop so quickly, and I feel privileged to watch it all unfold before me. Every time I see his sweet little lump of a body sleeping peacefully in his crib, I just want to freeze time so I can kiss his chubby cheeks, grab his soft toes and see that giant gummy smile every day forever. At the same time, I know each new stage brings new fun to be had, and I look forward to enjoying whatever comes next.

Corban’s first solids

At Corban’s four-month checkup, our pediatrician gave us a bunch of information on starting solids (purees) and gave us the go ahead to start whenever we’re ready.

Three days shy of his 6-month birthday, we finally started.

I knew C wasn’t quite ready at 4 months. He didn’t show any interest in food and was doing just fine on breast milk alone (and by just fine, I mean he was gaining weight like crazy, had chipmunk cheeks and sported sausage link thighs.) Additionally, based on the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization, I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months.  I was surprised to learn that only 10-15% of American babies are exclusively breastfed until 6 months, but nevertheless, I felt this was right for us.

For the past few weeks though, it has become clear that Corban was ready for some real food. He started grabbing for food when we would eat with him in our laps, and would stare us down while playing across the room when we had food or drink in hand.

Because he is so grabby and loves putting things into his mouth, I started researching baby led weaning (BLW), which I’ve heard a lot about in the blog world. Basically, baby led weaning skips purees and starts your child on finger food right from the start, but the start isn’t until he can sit up on his own, so usually at least 6 months of age. The child then feeds himself (with parental supervision, of course). This lets baby control the feeding experience and helps him learn to chew and swallow at an early age. There are a lot of other benefits, including not having to puree foods or buy baby food, and being able to eat alongside baby instead of spoon feeding.

I am definitely sold on giving BLW a shot, but since Corban still can’t quite sit up on his own, we decided to start with brown rice cereal from a spoon and see how that goes before trying baby led weaning.

Did you know you can make your own brown rice cereal? It’s really easy! I’ll post about it tomorrow.

Now the fun part: feeding time!

His first reaction was that of curiosity. He was excited to put the spoon in his mouth, but didn’t quite understand what was coming off the spoon.

To stick with the BLW concept of baby learning to feed himself, I tried to let Corban control the spoon. This was fun, but he wasn’t quite coordinated enough to get the food off the spoon and into his mouth. It just kind of ended up everywhere, so we helped him out quite a bit.

I think he liked playing with the spoon more than actually eating the cereal.

There were lots of fun faces though.

And a big mess at the end.

We’ve had two more cereal feedings since, and he doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of brown rice. I’ll continue for the next couple days with it, but probably switch to something more exciting like sweet potato or avocado slices by the end of the week. I think he’ll enjoy picking up chunks of food and tasting them himself.

Here’s a video of our first feeding – probably only entertaining to our family, but there’s a cute kitty interaction in the beginning (before we kicked Biggles out so he wouldn’t try to steal Corban’s food).

Question: If you have kids, how long did you exclusively breast feed? If you have future kids, how long do you plan to exclusively breast feed? I know there are conflicting recommendations and studies on this subject and everyone has their own preferences, so I’m just curious!

All the Pregnant Ladies

I heard yesterday that Beyoncé faked her baby bump at the MTV awards. Not that she’s not pregnant, just that she added a little padding so she would look a little more preggo than she is.

Who can blame her? You don’t want to announce your pregnancy and just look slightly bloated (like the rest of us) with no cute bump. Especially when you’re Beyoncé.

On a related Beyoncé/pregnant note, there’s this video.

Put your feet up! Ha.

‘One on the way, actually’

This morning was my week to go on The Morning Blend (local NBC morning show) and talk about what’s happening this weekend for Tap Milwaukee – an experience I’ve only done once before, and so was feeling pretty nervous about.

I sat on set going over all the locations and days and times in my head while waiting for my turn, and started chatting with the two women who were up before me – an organizer and a participant in the Dirty Girl mud run. Somehow they started talking about their pregnancies, and how they were so huge and tired at the end that they just wanted to give up on life.

One of them said, “In the last few weeks I remember just resigning myself to the fact that this was going to be my life from now on. I’d just wear mu-mus and have my husband help me put my socks on every day.”

The other woman said, “At one point, I was lying on our bed and I just told my husband, if our house starts on fire right now, I just don’t think I can get up to leave.” We all laughed.

Then she turned to me, “Do you have any kids?”

“One on the way, actually,” zing!

We all laughed again and they apologized for possibly terrifying/traumatizing me as I head into those long weeks of gigantic-ness.

The absurdity of the ill-timed conversation actually helped calm my nerves before my segment, so for that I thank them.

Here’s the segment. It went smoothly and I didn’t say anything ridiculous or inaccurate – hooray! I also think I successfully did not look obviously pregnant for yet another week (I do this every three weeks).

In other news, I made it to Body Pump again tonight! I was sore from Tuesday, but managed to keep the weights at the same level. Squats and lunges were particularly hard on sore muscles. I literally was on the verge of tears during lunges – and I’m not one to use the word “literally” and mean “figuratively.”

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a post for you on our final painting project from last weekend. I saved the best for last!