Learning to Crawl: The Struggle is Real

September 12, 2017

Eloise is on the move… well not technically but she is really yearning to crawl.

I’ve been so preoccupied writing month posts from memory that I haven’t had the opportunity to write about what is CURRENTLY going on for us.

Perhaps all babies are like this but Eloise certainly isn’t happy with sitting in one place and just observing. This is particularly because she has hit the mark where she realizes that we can walk away and she can’t follow us.

The biggest problem with this is that she starts blubbering and crying out of frustration thus I end up helping her up which prevents her from learning for herself.

Something I have noticed is that she knows all the bones to sitting up but hasn’t actually done it yet. She can get on all fours from her belly, she can push back from all fours, and she can go from sitting over to a crawling position and end up on her belly. What she doesn’t know is how to tie them all together. I’m guessing it’s just a matter of days before this clicks for her.

Moreover, she can rock on all fours and move her hands forward and back but usually ends up sitting or on her belly.

Every one says she will, of course, learn this in her own time and not to force it too much. However, being that she is our first child and our attention is not yet divided, I love to watch her succeed and can’t help but urge her on.

One of the tips I came across to helping babies learn to move into a sitting position is sitting on the ground with them over your thigh, baby on his or her knees. Then slowly lifting your leg up so they end up moving back onto their bums. I think it helped Eloise explore her body being in new positions she may not have been able to get to on her own at that point in her mobility. 

Five Months Old

September 12, 2017

What a easy going happy baby you are. This was literally the first picture I took and it embodies who you are perfectly. You are a great traveler. You have pretty much mastered sitting and rolling every way and you are starting to scoot around. You’re never quite where I put you down.
You have been experimenting with all kinds of food and are soaking in everything like a cute little sponge. (Who knew you could describe a sponge as cute?) How lucky I am to be your mama. Simply saying “I love you” is an understatement. 

By five months Eloise started to eat all sorts of food since her four month check up. She got her passport for our upcoming trip, went into Lake Tahoe for the first time, and we spent two evenings apart but she was a champ for Grandma! She has been sucking her toes and giggling more and more.

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Four Months Old

September 12, 2017

Four months young! Your personality is starting to shine. You’re a serious, curious little girl who is always contemplating something. Luckily you are willing to share your smiles with us. You are very loquacious, you’re mastering your roll and are practicing your sitting skills. You got a blister toe from all your bouncing this month and are getting good at soothing yourself to sleep. I couldn’t have asked for anything more my little one.

In her fourth month Eloise went camping for the first time. Thanks to the Dock-a-Tot I’m confident she slept better than anyone there. She got to spend long days on the beach and started bouncing in her Jump-a-roo. She started to be more aware of her surrounding and was really taking everything in. She started rolling both ways and sitting up with a little help. Here are some pictures because it was in the past and you forget WAY too quickly:

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Three Months Old

September 9, 2017

“What an honor it is to share your three month birthday, little one. The past few weeks have been amazing, watching your personality shine through. You are so loving and cuddly but perfectly content being on your own. You sleep through the night on special occasions and only wake up once on regular days. I have loved watching you watch your hands for hours, –there’s some high quality entertainment for ya! You are getting close to rolling from your back to your stomach, are super talkative and getting better daily at using your hands. I even got to hear you full out giggle twice. Still waiting to get proof for everyone else though! Love you to the moon and back my sweet Eloise!”

Three months was the best. It was about the time that she stopped being a little blob and started being so much more aware of her surroundings. Eloise started to lose hair on the sides on her head and we had no idea what color it was going to grow out to be. Actually we still don’t REALLY know….

Eloise decided not to take a pacifier, despite what it may seem like in the pictures below. I did try really hard to get her to take it though! Maybe for baby #2.

BEST BABY PRODUCTS FROM A FIRST TIME MOM SERIES: Stuff for your Boobs

August 19, 2017

Being flat chested I have never been quite so aware of my boobs as I have become as a mother. They grow, they hurt, they leak, they give your baby sustenance. So what have been my go to products for the care and keeping of all things boobs?

Soothies: I don’t know about other women but those first couple weeks of breastfeeding hurt like a MOTHER, ironic because now you are one. Soothies make it just a little it easier to deal. They quickly cool down while you feed your babe and give you some relief when you stick them on after you are done feeding. I survived on one pair but maybe having a couple would be best.

Lanisoh Nursing Pads:  I specify Lanisoh because I have tried multiple other brands and have woken up many a time soaked in milk especially in those early days when I was particularly engorged or the days that you are just not quite in sync with your baby’s feeding schedule. This has never been the case with the Lanisoh Pads. I literally live in these bad boys.

Haakaa Pump: I have only recently discovered this pump and it has been amazing. I have the Medela automatic pump as well but I don’t find myself using it often because it throws my body out of sync. I start producing more than I need, and then I end up feeding Eloise the bottle I just pumped. The Haakaa works great because it is just one piece and you can use it easily without a bunch of accessories. Even better than that though, you can attach it to your other breast while you feed your little one and it catches anything that is leaking when you let down. PERFECT way of not wasting the milk that is going into your Lansioh pad lol. I have also considered just wringing the pad into a bottle but eh… not quite that desperate lol!

Two Months Old

August 17, 2017

“I blinked and two months flew by. What a treasure you are; our little fluffy haired smiler. You’re a great sleeper at night and have been rolling over since week one. You’re bearing weight on your feet and I swear you get more beautiful everyday. You bring me more joy and fulfillment than anything in the world. ✨”

Eloise started smiling for us within her second month and it was the best thing ever. It is still my favorite thing in the world. Every morning when she wakes up she looks around contently until she sees us and gives us the biggest smile ever. OHMYGAAHHH so heart melting!

She was sleeping wonderfully, waking up at most once a night and even then it was mild fussing. I would just pick her up, feed her and put her back in the DockaTot and she would doze off until an acceptable hour. We spent many hours with her on the couch just practicing core strength and napping.

Our biggest struggle was the witching hour –about 6-8pm. She would be particularly fussy and make it really difficult to prep and eat dinner etc. This was the time that Andrew would be getting home but she would still just want me specifically to hold her. He didn’t get to see the bright side of her until after that 8pm time. She would have an hour of being back to normal before bedtime.

There were also quite a few times where she threw up everything in her stomach. I would attempt to catch her puke in my hand, which is what I have always done with Sophie. It is much easier to wash your hands than trying to clean up all the bed sheets etc. but she obviously consumes much more than Sophie does so I would just end up with a dirty hand and having to clean everything anyway. This is why she is naked in her carseat a few pictures down. (Don’t worry we were only a few minutes from home.)

The Easter rain may have ruined our outfit plans but it sure is making our garden green!

So excited to rediscover our planet Earth through our baby girl’s eyes. -Starting with it’s beaches, of course. ✨Happy Earth Day everyone!

Our ceiling isn’t short, my husband is just really tall, like our little babe. I love watching them together.

Sweet happy Eloise

My little dolly with her little dollies. -I’m so excited to play make-believe with her. ✨

Baby doll, how I love you so.

My, how quickly you’ve grown, little girl. Time surely is a thief, but if it’s possible, I love you more each day than I did the last.

One Month Old

August 16, 2017

I always wanted to have a blog to document Eloise’s growth in lieu of a baby book but ended up using Instagram instead to document these things. I have decided to update the blog because as Eloise grows it is easier to have a LITTLE time to write on here too. So the months are back dated but it hasn’t been too long that I have forgotten a lot of the experiences and sensations. So here goes:

“Oh my! How have you been a part of our lives for one month, yet I can’t remember life without you? You are our wide eyed scientist, observing and learning so much every day. There is no greater joy than watching you explore, which is a talent you acquired as you grew out of your sleepy state. We love your eye contact, and while we get a kick out of your expressionless face, we are eager for you to grace us with your smile. Love you to the moon our sweet little Eloise Wesley. ✨ “

Our first month was so wonderful. Yes a challenge to go from 0 babies to 1 but we were so enamored that it was hard to be upset about the difficulty.  The Dock a Tot definitely helped us figure out the sleep thing. Having both my mom and Andrew’s mom stay for a week made a huge difference. That first week I would wake up, feed Eloise and hand her off to my mom to change so I could spend a few minutes getting ready for the day.

We tried to keep our lifestyle as normal as possible, so were going out to picnics at wineries, and the beach within a week. I think this has helped Eloise stay content being on the go and honestly, helped us get through the day too.

Eloise has always loved being on her stomach and within the first week was accidentally rolling over to her back from pushing up on her arms.

Something that I heard a lot before Eloise was born is that a lot of parents say “Oh our baby hated the swing, or bouncy chair, etc.” I never really noticed this with Eloise, one moment she would be into something, the next she would be over it. I guess it is to be expected, how long can the same thing keep you entertained anyway?

One week since you joined us earth-side and one week since my whole world turned upside down. I’m not sure how I was walking around with what was clearly only half of my heart for the past 28 years. There are no “I can’t wait till you can ___”s here because every moment is so precious that I’m afraid of losing each one. Maybe that’s what they call the baby blues. I love you forever sweet Eloise, welcome to the planet. #littlesthelms

Two weeks old and you’re a dream. ✨ Really nailing the whole breastfeeding thing without shredding mom apart, always making sure your diaper is nice and clean, and mom’s coffee is perfectly piping hot; additionally you are riding a bike like a pro and debating Ayn Rand’s philosophies in between naps. We are so proud of your accomplishments! ☕️#stilladream #proudparents #littlesthelms

I made myself a best friend. 

Good morning world! We love our coffee cold with a lot of milk on the side; can’t have it any other way. ☕️☀️ #momlife #littlesthelms

Know how moms always seem to think their kids can do no wrong? Starting to understand why….

I am certain my heart now lives outside of my body. Here is a picture of it; who knew it would be so darn cute? #littlesthelms

“Ma that bath wasn’t actually as bad as I thought” #littlesthelms

Best Baby Products From a First Time Mom Series: Moses Bassinet

August 6, 2017

Moses Bassinet: This bassinet is so beautiful. Plastic things have their place but when it comes to something that is going to be taking up space in our house and that my baby is sleeping in I prefer natural materials like wicker, wood, cotton, etc. and if it’s a piece of art an even bigger bonus.

I was hoping the bassinet would create a positive sleep association for our baby but at night it simply didn’t work for us quite like the Dock-A-Tot; though if you wanted to fold the bottom of the DockaTot it would probably fit in there.

That being said, it is awesome. We would put Eloise down for naps here and it would rock back and forth on it’s own as she moved.

Unfortunately, babies (especially mine who is really tall) outgrow their bassinets far too quickly. Luckily I now have it in Eloise’s room as a doll bed, or boat, or whatever else her imagination comes up with, until the next baby.

Here is the base I bought for it.

Best Baby Products From a First Time Mom Series: DockaTot

August 4, 2017

DockATot: For whatever reason I thought I needed two different kinds of feeding pillows but held off on the Holy Grail, of baby products; probably because of the high price point. Guys this thing saved our lives. I’m sure it is completely dependent on how you choose to parent but the bassinet just wasn’t working for us at night. As soon as I started sleeping with Eloise in my arms at night we started sleeping so much better!

My thinking is that, these poor little babes have been in a cozy little cocoon for their entire existence and then they are whipped out of there and put to sleep in a bed on their own without mama’s heartbeat, body heat etc. As soon as I gave her those elements again she was so much better! Unfortunately, sleeping with your newborn isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I was so concerned about the covers and my pillow that I was sleeping in this very protective position all night and would wake up with my completely asleep. And who can sleep without tossing and turning a little at night?

The Dock-A-Tot is perfect for so many reasons:

1. I am able to have her in the bed with me and not worry about the hazards that are presented when trying to co-sleep at such a young age.

2. When feeding I don’t even leave the bed, especially since she started sleeping through the night without a diaper change.

3. This one is great even if you’re not co-sleeping, it creates a positive sleep association. I can literally dock my tot in the Dock-A-Tot anywhere and know she will sleep comfortably. We took it camping and she definitely slept better than Andrew and I did.

Even with the four month sleep regression it helps build that positive sleep association that is so essential for getting a baby to sleep better. I haven’t tested it out yet but as we start to travel more I will try to put it in a vacuum seal bag to fit into my suitcase more efficiently.

PS if you buy it at Target and use your Red Card you get an additional 5% off and free shipping.

Best Baby Products From a First Time Mom Series: Breastfeeding Pillows

August 2, 2017

Shopping for a baby when you’ve never had one is incredibly hard. You get advice from all avenues, including mothers, grandmothers, marketing etc. I remember my mom saying how I didn’t really need anything because when I was growing up they were able to find a lot of ways to make things work with things you could find at home. For example tying a baby to a chair using a towel in lieu of a high chair. LOL Sorry mom! For the record I did have a high chair, but I think it was my mother’s way of trying to curb my spending on things I may not need. Which I appreciate!

I have created yet another source of advice for you based off of what I love and has worked (and not worked) for us and Eloise just in case it helps someone. We all know there isn’t enough advice out there without this post ;-).

Breastfeeding Pillows: I have both the Boppy and My Breast Friend. In the beginning I liked using My Breast Friend, just because the snap in the back helped keep the pillow upright a little more and stay put. I now occasionally use the Boppy when I am in the yard so Eloise can be propped up and look around while we tend to the garden. That being said, while I used these several times in the beginning if you’re looking to pinch pennies I think you could skip these. With my almost five months of experience, I have ditched the pillows long ago. If you are willing to feed anywhere (which is what is convenient for us) it is inconvenient to have to drag a pillow around with you. And your babe is only going to get heavier so might as well start building those arm muscles while they are light! haha

I know that you will probably not take my word for it and I know my sister-in-laws both got a lot of use out of theirs. I am curious to see if anyone else agrees.