...that I don't even know where to start! Whenever I contemplate writing a new post, I've been freezing up because it's been SO! LONG! since I last posted. Lots to tell, and like I said, I don't know where to start.
So I think I'll start with a photo essay of sorts, entitled "Cereal!"
But not till I send out HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the many dear women who are currently pregnant! Not limited to four IRL friends of mine, Jenni, a wonderful SMC-to-be, Shiloh, who is now three months along after having endured a loss last fall, Amanda, pregnant with a girl after their first, a boy, was born three years ago, and Amy, who is pregnant with twins (and she and her husband have decided to NOT find out their genders until they make their appearance!). SO many prospective SMC's are pregnant as well--congrats to all of you! You won't regret it!!
Back to the featured photo essay:
Here she is, warming up with one of her new spoons, of course...
[drum roll please] The first spoonful...
Ooooh, not so sure about this stuff...
Hmm, maybe it's not so bad after all. Might I have a little more?
Here we go again...
So this is that spoon-thing I keep hearing about!
And the verdict is in: YUMMY! (or at least worth another taste or two tomorrow)
How I absolutely love that gleeful smile! Her whole face--no, make that her whole body--lights up with a smile that big. When she wakes up in her co-sleeper and sees me, she grins, kicks her little legs and waves her little arms just like she's dancing. How can you be in a bad mood when you get to wake up to that?!
And yes, we're still struggling with a blocked tear duct in her left eye. That's why it looks so red in the pictures. I just got a referral for her to see an opthalmologist about it, but I keep hoping that it will resolve itself (like her right eye did) on its own, with the help of warm compresses, massage, and eyedrops to eradicate the infections that keep reappearing.
Her latest stats: height, 95th percentile (that's my girl!), weight, 38th percentile (just short of fifteen pounds), and head circumference, 61st percentile. I don't know about that 38th percentile...I don't know how they figure these things, but she doesn't look below average to me at all.
K turns six months on September second. I can't even wrap my brain around it. We only started rice cereal a week or so ago, so we're moving on to oat cereal and barley cereal this week and next. Interestingly enough, the pediatrician recommended (also) starting with meat for the iron, since she's been breastfed exclusively. I just can't envision cooking and pureeing meat finely enough for her, so tonight I did buy some of the prepared meats from the baby aisle in the grocery store. I do want to make vegetables and fruits for her, though, and freeze them in ice cube trays. A weekend project, I'm sure. What I'm stressed out about now, though, is the idea of feeding her cereal in the mornings...I'm so not a morning person, and I'd prefer not to rush her in any way if at all possible. So I might just give in and buy a little of the prepared cereals, too. I don't know. Things feel crazy enough in the mornings without adding baby cereal to the mix. I'm also feeling down about the fact that I just can't keep up with all the pumping each day. She's taking about sixteen to twenty ounces of breastmilk on any given workday, and I simply am not able to pump that much each day in addition to nursing her full time. I have now officially burned through the stash in my freezer, having gone back to a new school year only about two weeks ago. And I paid quite a bit to ship the frozen stash back to Colorado from New York via overnight FedEx, on dry ice no less. Was it worth it? Not sure, considering how quickly I went through it. So...it looks like I'll be doing formula at daycare and still nursing her when we're together. As long as I can, anyway. I still plan to pump while I'm at school, and either send one or maybe two bottles with her to daycare each day, or simply feed it to her when we're at home. I'm trying NOT to be sad about it, but I fear that my supply is going to dwindle anyway, what with starting solids and being back at work.
Our trip to Virginia and Tennessee went really well. She was such a trooper (trouper? sp?) when we flew. I, however, didn't do so well whenever we'd go through what I considered to be terrible turbulence. K sat on my lap since I didn't buy a separate seat for her, and even though she did wonderfully, whenever there was turbulence, I'd wrap my arms around her that much tighter and shut my eyes. Let's just say, a lot of prayers were said. My Uncle Paul's memorial service was absolutely beautiful, and I'm so glad I was able to be there. Jon's wedding a week later was also wonderful. When they had the "official" mother-son dance, though, I got really emotional thinking about how unfair it was that Uncle Paul wasn't there, and also when the four adorable flower girls were dancing with a couple of adult family members up on the stage...I felt overwhelmed that now I have this beautiful little girl to raise, and I feel SO LUCKY.
But I was SO ready to come home and resume my life here, even though it meant returning to work and daycare and hectic days.
Right now K is enrolled at a church-based daycare and I'm not convinced that it's the best fit. She's definitely well taken care of, but there are a total of nine babies there, and I often feel like just another number when I bring her in each morning. I know they take great care of all her physical needs, feeding, changing diapers, keeping her safe, but I'm not sure about how much attention she actually receives. Does anyone actually PLAY with her? Interact with her beyond said physical needs? I'm not convinced. Plus it's on the expensive side. And if I'm spending extra every week to have her there, I want some sort of return for the additional money I'm putting out. I think we need to find a place with fewer kids and a more individualized approach.
I think I'll end this *novel* with a few more pictures from this summer...there is more to say, but I'm tired and off to bed.
New Bumbo, new jammies (no feet!)...