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Riley at 2.5

If I’m going to get back in the swing of writing, I’d really like to be documenting my big kid’s life more. Don’t get me wrong – her life is WELL documented from a photographic standpoint. But I find that I stopped writing things down when the “baby book” phase ended and she turned 1. (Side note: we didn’t have a true baby book, but had a calendar that encouraged documenting a few things each month along with all of the classic “firsts”).

So without further ado, Riley at 2 and a half is …

  • The sweetest, happiest little person I’ve ever met.
  • Insanely demanding, whiny, and unreasonable.
  • She loves: books, music, dancing, coloring with markers, “cooking” in her kitchen (usually sushi, pancakes, and pizza), playing in her sand table, playing on the playground, talking about her friends
  • She hates: trying new foods, eating full meals, being told “no,” naps
  • Some funny (or just fun) things she has said recently:
    • Momma, I help you blow the lawn?
    • Don’t put lotion on my haircut! (referring to her painted toenails)
    • This is you birthmark? We go to the store, you buy me a birthmark?
    • That’s so silly. That’s silly buying birthmarks at the store. We buy grapes at the store! Grapes and avocado at the store.
    • *pointing to my brother’s mustache that he has had her entire life* What’s this? This? It’s my mustache You mustache? Yeah *touching her lip* I no have a mustache. I only have eyebrows.
    • She calls Lucky Charms “yucky charms”
  • Her favorite foods are: Lucky Charms, chili, and Wegmans’ peach applesauce pouches.
  • She had a growth spurt in the last few months. Now she wears 3T clothing and size 5 shoes.
  • Her favorite color is pink (go figure)
  • She potty trained in 1 weekend and has had a grand total of 4 accidents in her life (it’s been just over a month). She stays dry at nap time and almost always overnight, though we still do pull ups overnight because she won’t poop on the potty and just waits for her pull up.
  • She is sick all. the. time. I am fairly certain she had fewer than 10 truly healthy days between November and May. We just recently got a week or two of healthy and now we’re right back in another cold/cough. Whenever she has a cold she goes on a preventative/steroid inhaler that makes her impulsive and a little angry. I can’t wait for her to have longer healthy stretches so we don’t have to worry about whether she’s going to impulsively smack us in the face all day.
  • She is so sweet to her baby sister. She reads her books, strokes her face, and hugs her at any opportunity.
  • When Kellan was born, Riley went through about an 8 week phase of being, for lack of a better word, bad. She was clearly reeling from the sudden decrease in attention. I’m glad she took it out on us rather than the baby but it was a tough season! She would throw food at every meal and say no to literally every request, but then she came out of it and was back to her laid back, happy, generally compliant self. Thank God.
  • She wants so badly to be independent, but still needs help with things like dressing and going to the bathroom. That’s hard for her but she gets more independent every day!
  • In April (2 years 5 months), she learned how to go down stairs by herself, and she has been gaining independence at a rapid pace since then.

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She’s here! 4 months later …

WELL I am obviously getting progressively worse at documenting these things with age. So though this is about 4 months late … it’s a girl!!

Kellan was born on February 6, 2019. She came via C-section and her birth story is something. I think I’ll put it up as a separate post for posterity. She’s a joy. Her sister is in love (for the most part). I can’t believe she is already 4 months old!

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Kellan is a happy little chunk. Like her big sister, she really struggled to get the hang of breastfeeding. She also took 3 weeks to get back to her birth weight despite eating well and getting supplementation the whole time. I guess my kids just take 3 weeks to bounce back. I suspect they both took on a lot of water weight during the lead up to my C-sections, so I think that inflated the weight loss quite a bit. As you can see, she’s not wasting away.

At 4 months old, Kellan …

  • Is very smiley, especially when looking at faces up close. She laughs when you bring her toes up to her cheeks or when you do a gasping laugh.
  • Is SO chill. She only cries when there’s something wrong (over tired, over hungry, needs a diaper change, or is trying to work out a poop). She’s happy to be in her car seat (unlike her sister at that age) and generally doesn’t complain.
  • Loves her playmat just like Riley did! She can hang out on her back on the playmat for a good chunk of time, talking to, grabbing, and eating her animal friends. She seems partial to the zebra. I get it.
  • Eating: When she is with me, she exclusively breastfeeds. She is super predictable and eats every 3 hours during the day. We just weaned off of the nipple shield a week ago, and she suddenly got 50% faster/more efficient (cue the anxiety that something was wrong – but my boobs are emptying and she is satisfied so she must just be better at nursing now). She has had 4 colds already (ugh daycare germs) and really struggles to nurse when she’s congested. She does NOT like bottles and tends to hold out to nurse. She gets 3 bottles at daycare – yesterday they were 3oz, 3oz, and 2oz. Last week she took 4 oz bottles which was amazing. Prior to that, she was taking a max of 10oz while away from me for 10+ hours. She tends to eat twice over night – around 10:30 and then anywhere between 2 and 5. Sometimes she skips the early morning feed and will go straight from 10:30-6:30 or so.
  • Sleep: Kellan sleeps like a champ at night, in a bassinet in our room. We put her down sometime between 6:30 and 8pm (depending on her rest-of-the-day schedule), and she falls asleep on her own with minimal fussing. She naps 3 times a day, and will fall asleep on her own then too (in the Merlin suit). I nurse her to sleep at night but she isn’t reliant on it which is great. Here’s hoping we keep that up. She never took a binky, and recently found her hand to suck on. Jury’s out on whether she’ll turn into a finger/thumb sucker to self soothe. Either way, she’s able to self soothe to sleep when she has the suit on.
  • Play/communication: Kellan loves to coo and babble with people and with her hanging animal friends. She is obsessed with watching whatever her sister is doing, and tends to find her hilarious. She is very mellow and will just chill with her hanging toys and watch what’s happening around her.
  • Motor: Kellan likes tummy time if she’s propped up on a pillow (like putting the boppy under her arms). She’s not such a fan if she’s directly on the floor. She doesn’t really push up with her arms at all, but holds her head up well/has good neck strength. She is able to grasp hanging toys and bring them to her mouth, brings her hands together at midline, and can get her hand in her mouth to suck on pretty well.
  • Health: Kellan started out life with super sensitive skin like her sister. We were pretty worried she would end up with significant eczema and probably food allergies (Riley has a laundry list of severe/anaphylactic food allergies). I had to cut out dairy and soy as her poop tested positive for blood around 2 months. At this point, I’ve added back soy with no problem but am still avoiding dairy. We recently had her tested via blood test for all of Riley’s allergies (milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and fish) plus soy. And they all came back negative! Her skin has been relatively clear (she tends to get a little rashy with colds) – no cradle cap (knock on wood), yeast infections, or widespread eczema like her sister. She has, however, had at least 3 colds and seems to be starting in on her 4th. Riley was healthy for the first 6 months of her life, though I suppose that is because she didn’t go to daycare until 6 months. Kellan was home for almost 4 months, but Riley was obviously bringing the daycare germs home with her. Here’s hoping the summer season brings with it fewer germs and healthier kids.

Kellan looked SO much like Riley when she was born – they have the same giant cheeks, tiny mouth, and button nose. But it turns out that their eyes are very different! Kellan’s look a lot like mine. They’re blue for now but seem a little darker than her sister’s, and I wonder if they’ll change. She’s such a chunky, happy baby. She’s just starting to get some stranger anxiety.

Just a few weeks ago we started cloth diapering Kellan. We used disposables with Riley and with Kellan for the first few months, but I have been curious about cloth and had the opportunity to buy a used lot of diapers for a really good price so I went for it. It’s been easier than I expected! I don’t have any misconceptions about the fact that cloth and disposable actually have an almost equal environmental impact, just in different ways … but it does feel nice to be generating less waste. Also they’re cute.

I’ll be back with her birth story soon!

11 weeks-16 weeks

I’ve been meaning to write this for 4 weeks, but … toddler.

Anyway, things are still going well. The 12 week scan was a giant relief, especially after a miscarriage and then dicey start to this pregnancy.

  • How far along: 16 weeks 2 days
  • My due date has changed a couple of times, just due to different calculations. When I calculated it online, I thought it was February 15th. When my RE calculated it with her IVF calculator, it was February 16th. My OB has me at February 17th (maybe based on the date of my LMP? Who even knows). We seem to have settled on February 17th, which makes the most sense given that I have consistently measured a few days behind.
  • Back at 12 weeks 1 day, I had my 12 week ultrasound. Everything looked good, and the heart rate was 170 bps. Seeing the baby in there, moving around and everything, was such a relief I can’t even describe. The baby was measuring at 11 weeks 6 days, so 2 days behind (at our 8 week ultrasound, the little bean was 3 days behind, but that was using the 2/16 due date, so it’s really still the same amount behind). Given the consistent growth, at this point my OB team is not concerned about it.
  • I also had a visit to my OB sometime around 14 weeks. My actual OB (who I was with during my first pregnancy) has injured her foot … again. She had a broken foot at the end of my last pregnancy, which lead to her not being able to do my C-section (I’m totally happy with the section and really liked the on-call doctor who did it, so no harm no foul). Anyway, I haven’t been able to see her yet this pregnancy. I saw an OB who I have met though, and got to hear the heartbeat again (this time in the high 150s/low 160s apparently). I’m seeing another OB, whom I’ve never met, in a couple of weeks.
  • Food things: The smell of literally all food cooking made me super nauseous from somewhere in the 10/11 week range until maybe a week ago. 11 weeks-13 weeks were the peak (which seems odd and late, but whatever). I’m finally starting to be able to let my poor wife cook us dinner … and even eat it!
  • Other symptoms: Nausea really kicked in around 11 weeks, and didn’t start to get better until 13 weeks (and is maybe gone now? but likes to show up randomly … I vomited while eating lunch yesterday so there’s that). I have only gotten sick 1-2 times, which is far less than with Riley, but I have overall felt worse. The exhaustion is also starting to subside finally! Look at me – it’s already almost 9 pm and I’m happily typing away! Here’s a weird new symptom though … since about 10/11 weeks, my hair has been shedding at an alarming rate. I’m talking at a 4 months postpartum kind of rate. WHY?! The very opposite happened when I was pregnant with Riley and I was really looking forward to the luscious locks … I asked the OB (worried about a thyroid issue or something hormonally off), who said that it’s actually not uncommon. Apparently the hormone changes/surges caused my follicles to all hop on the same shed cycle. She said it’ll randomize itself again, and is a similar function to what happens postpartum. It is starting to slow but definitely is still on the normal or just above side (as opposed to WAY below normal when I was pregnant with Riley), so that’s a bummer. Here’s hoping I don’t develop a noticeably receding hairline …
  • Who knows?: We told our families around 8 weeks. I ended up telling work soon after the 12 week mark so that I could get my schedule sorted out. We had professional photos taken of our family when we were at Family Week in PTown (shout out queer families – totally go if you can ever make it! Such a blast), and had Riley wear a “big sister” shirt so that we could do a little announcement. We aren’t really the type to do a formal announcement with professional photos, but the timing worked out so we used our photo shoot for multiple purposes – why not? We put that out around 15 weeks, so now the word is officially out there! We did tell Riley – she knows that the baby is growing inside Mommy but not Momma or Riley, and that when the baby is big enough and read to come out, (s)he will come home and live with us. She will basically recite that script and I’m confident she has no flipping idea what any of it means.
  • Body and clothes things: I am now wearing maternity clothes. I feel like a full month ahead of myself in terms of my body growing and showing, and I’m not a super fan of it (no one likes the “I just look fatter and not pregnant” stage). I just did an Old Navy maternity splurge today. Mostly I just need maternity pants because anything else feels restrictive or falls down.
  • What’s next?: OB appointment coming up in about 2.5 weeks, with my fetal survey ultrasound about a week later!

Pictures!

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Look at that little bean. They have a head and a body and everything. Yeesh.

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Would you lookit this big sister, contemplating her big adventure? Photo cred: TDM Photography

 

 

Bumpdate: 9w4d

Alright folks. My posts are going to take a very pregnant turn from here on out I think. Feel free to not read or unfollow, I really get that.

I’ll consider getting some sort of Bumpdate format going like I did with my daughter, but for now I’ll just free ball it:

  • How far along: 9 weeks 4 days
  • I had my first OB appointment today, with a midwife at the practice (my practice does a combo program for everyone – I get to choose who to deliver with though).
  • I got to hear baby’s heartbeat! It didn’t even take that long to find. I have been sooooo so anxious about this and I remember it taking a minute or two with my first pregnancy so that was a major relief. The little one’s heart is beating at a respectable 177bps today.
  • I got a bunch of bloodwork and tried to give a urine sample but failed. I got like a half centimeter’s worth of liquid in the damn cup so we’ll see if it’s enough. Talk about embarrassing first impressions (new midwife …)
  • Food things: The smell of food makes me nauseous. But also I want to eat all the carbs. I’m starting most days with some kiefer and a sausage/egg/cheese sandwich. That’s been working pretty well (I do get nauseous before that sandwich gets in my belly).
  • Other symptoms: My nausea exists and comes in waves – usually a wave before breakfast, a wave or two at some point during the day, and any time I’m a passenger in a car. I’m also exhausted. I fall asleep most nights between 8 and 9 in my chair, then head to bed at like 10:30 for the night.
  • Who knows?: We told our families around 8 weeks. 3 of my coworkers/friends have known all of the treatment details so they knew right away. I just told 2 of my closest friends this past weekend. I’m going to have to tell work soon because my patient schedule is getting really close (I’m booked through late January at this point). I’m thinking that’s a convo for next week. Sigh.
  • Of note, we have not told Riley yet. Mainly because she’s a blabbermouth/parrot. We’ll tell her when we’re ready to tell everyone.
  • What’s next?: I will get a call in the morning to schedule my 2 ultrasounds (1 at 12 weeks, 1 around 20 weeks), and then will see my OB in about 4 weeks.
  • Right this second, just after hearing the heartbeat, I’m feeling excited and relieved and I’m thinking about the future. I’m sure as time passes I’ll slip back into anxiety mode, but I’m enjoying this for now.
  • Confirmed

    My hcg came back 74 on Friday morning. That’s quite a drop from 1200! It certainly confirms that what I experienced on Wednesday afternoon was indeed a miscarriage. I feel weird for feeling relieved about it. It obviously comes from a place of not wanting to have to have a D&E or experience a miscarriage further into the pregnancy … but still is a weird emotion to be feeling about a miscarriage.

    So this pregnancy ended at 5 weeks 3 days. I feel fortunate to have gotten pregnant on the first try (second time around), and to have felt supported and mostly at peace through this process. I’m disappointed that this attempt didn’t result in a take home baby, and that we have more hoops to jump through. It sucks to be back at the start. I’m going to try to enjoy my “time off” with the breastfeeding/pregnancy no-nos that I’ve been avoiding for like 2 years. A little drinking, a lot of sushi (ok I haven’t been avoiding that one for 2 years but I have for the past few weeks!), etc.

    The plan moving forward? I’m getting my hcg checked again in a week (honestly it feels like it’ll probably be “negative” for pregnancy in sooner than a week? But whatever). Once it’s negative (below 5 I think), they can submit to my insurance for the frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle. They want to do another SHG to make sure my uterus still looks good and nothing sticks around from this pregnancy. That means a cycle “off” before trying again. I also have no idea when to expect my next period – what was the timeline for those of you who’ve gone through this? While it doesn’t make sense that I’d be having a period right now (2 days after a miscarriage), I did start bleeding in a period-like fashion last night. I do find it odd that the initial bleed from the miscarriage only lasted a couple of hours, but I suppose that my lining wasn’t as thick as it should be given that I essentially had a full heavy period before the miscarriage itself. This shit is weird and I hate not knowing what to expect.

    In happier, non-TTC/miscarriage/IVF news, we are excited for what I think is our first holiday not spent with extended family tomorrow. We usually go to my MIL’s for Easter, but just decided not to this year. We’re not religious, though our families are (my parents are very catholic as is Em’s Mom, and her dad is Jewish), but are excited to celebrate Easter from a cultural and “making traditions” kind of place. We got Riley a cute little basket and non-edible surprises (eggs filled with finger puppets and tiny train cars and stickers), and are gearing up for an it’s-finally-warm-outside Easter egg hunt in the yard.

    Speaking of Easter eggs – Riley’s daycare had a little egg hunt. It looked super cute, but this was my first hair pulling experience as a mom to a kid with severe food allergies. I can’t remember what I’ve said here but she’s in a new daycare as of last Monday, which has been SO awesome about her allergies (refresher: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, gluten, dairy, egg). They are also already peanut, tree nut, and egg free, and all families provide their own food. Great. Perfect. Until Thursday. They had the egg hunt and encouraged families to bring in nut free candies to fill the eggs. We expressed concern that Riley would accidentally ingest or touch (even her milk allergy is contact, so she would likely get awful hives just from touching milk chocolate). They assured Em (who does drop off and pick up) that she would just be picking up the eggs and putting them in a basket and that none of the kids would be opening eggs or eating the treats at school. Okay. I still don’t love it because it’s putting allergens into her little hands, but I trust them and know that they’re super conscientious and on top of the allergies thing so I let it happen. And you know what? She was fine. This time. No accidents happened, and the staff was appropriately attentive and watchful. But accidents happen sooo easily. Next year I think it’ll be harder to keep her from eating things that are already literally in her hands, so I’ll do some education and push for non-edible treats for everyone. BUT this was the thing that really made me pull my hair out: they sent her home with a little Easter bag with a stuffed bunny and a plastic octopus and 6 eggs … all FILLED WITH CANDY SHE’S ALLERGIC TO. Like, how hard would it have been to set aside a few eggs with just stickers inside and stick those eggs in her bag? Also, what toddlers eat M&Ms and chocolate eggs? They hardly have sufficient teeth for those things! I can’t imagine any of her classmates were enjoying the treats. She couldn’t even play with the eggs. I mean, it was nice that I got to eat some chocolate but we had to throw out the eggs because they had chocolate all up in them, so it was just a waste for her. Sigh.

    Happy Easter and a solemn and respectful Passover to all who celebrate/observe. And for those who don’t – happy spring. Here’s to new beginnings and edible-free celebrations.

    I guess I’m going a year between posts now …

    You guys. I can’t believe I fell off the blog wagon for an entire year. Actually, I totally can believe it, but I’m a little bummed about it. I really like going back and being able to see where I was at different points in time. It’s cathartic.

    ANYWAY I felt like I needed to do another update. Let’s see if I get back into the swing of things again. First of all – is anyone still out there? Or is this going into the internet black hole? I’m not sure that it really matters to me, but I am curious.

    Okay onto the goods … Riley is 16 months old. I can’t believe my last update was when she was 4 months.

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    Those blue eyes get me every time

    She’s amazing and I am obsessed with her in every way. I love this transition from babyhood to toddler hood. Don’t get me wrong – I miss baby Riley so much! But it’s so fun to watch her learn new things so quickly. For her first year, I used an app called Moment Garden to hep me keep track of her “baby book” moments. It was actually really great, and I was able to create a baby book when she was 1 using that. Let me see if I can do a quick milestone recap …

    • 5.5 months: first food – sweet potato
    • 6 months: started responding to her name, sitting unassisted
    • 6.5 months: finally rolled over (on Mother’s Day!)
    • 8.5 months: mobile by rolling
    • 9 months: scooting backwards, clapping, understanding some words
    • 9.9 months: crawling! (she crawled literally the day before turning 10 months)
    • 10 months: first tooth (upper right – so weird), started pulling to stand
    • 11 months: pulling up, cruising, babbling up a storm, pointing, waving hi/bye (when she felt like it), first word: “done”
    • 11.5 months: first steps a week before her first birthday!

    Riley is now walking, running, climbing (ugh), and dancing. Her favorite things to play are stacking cups (the Ikea ones = gold) and stacking rings. She loves to read books but sometimes only 3 pages before she’s on to the next. She is so chatty, and this speech language pathologist mom LOVES it. I think she has around 35 words. Her favorites are: all done, more (sign), different (sign), duckie, night night, bye bye, uh oh, baba (bottle), yeah, no, up, down, and agua (she goes to a Spanish speaking daycare).

    So the major update since my last post is that we obviously figured out what was going on with her skin. As it turns out, she has multiple severe food allergies, which is a big fat bummer. Right around the time of that last blog post (4 months), the pediatrician ran some allergy blood tests just to “rule out” food allergies since there is a family history (I am allergic to tree nuts). At that visit, she tested very positive for peanut, milk, egg, and dog, and borderline/unknown clinical significance for wheat and soy. I kept breastfeeding (started to wean at 12 months and fully weaned by about 14.5), and ended up cutting out dairy, eggs, soy, and peanuts. By the time she was 9 months, I was able to add back soy and by 10 or 11 months I added back dairy and eggs. I wasn’t able to add back peanuts per our allergist. We’ve since done further testing and dealt with many reactions to foods as we started to introduce real food, so the current/updated allergy list is: peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, dairy, eggs, wheat/barley (gluten). She is able to eat soy, which is great. But she is definitely a very allergic kid. Sesame was a recent discovery that ended in using her Epi Pen and a trip to the ER. It’s scary and a big fat bummer, but we are learning to live with food allergies. Up side is: she eats a very healthy diet of mostly whole foods (processed foods always have something she’s allergic to in them). She drinks Ripple as a milk substitute, which is a plant-based milk made of pea protein. We love it – it has more calcium, Vitamin D, and protein than most other plant-based milks like soy and coconut. She loves avocado, applesauce, veggie straws (may as well be crack), and homemade risotto.

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    Can you even handle the cuteness that is kids being tossed in the air? 

    So I think that’s our update! Oh, the other fun thing is that we are working on making her a little sibling … I just saved that for the end there 😉

    We had planned to start trying for number 2 when she was about a year old. I knew we’d be doing IVF again, and am lucky enough to have coverage for IVF this time (now that I spent 2 years proving I’m really for certain infertile), so we needed to wait until Riley had weaned to get anything started. We didn’t have any frozen embryos from last time (Riley was our only frozen embryo from that cycle), so had to do the whole thing again. I knew it would take a while to get the ball rolling, but didn’t know how long it would take to wean, so I didn’t call for an appointment with my RE until I had actually weaned. They didn’t have anything until the end of April! Luckily I’m a good squeaky wheel and she was able to squeeze me in that week.

    Long story short, this process has been the polar opposite to our last process in every way. Mostly in that it is happening in a timely manner. In fact, it’s all going VERY quickly. I think I’ll make a separate post for those that are interested in the facts and figures. If there’s anyone still out there, that is. I hope a few of my old buddies are still on here – give me a shout if you are! And happy Friday 🙂

    4 months

    4 months

    Riley was 4 months old on Saturday. I CANNOT believe it has been 4 months. It simultaneously feels like she has been a part of our family for my entire life, and feels like I was squinting at a line on a pregnancy test literally yesterday (side note: that was actually just over a year ago! Holy shit!).

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    The thing that is at the forefront of my mind this month (or maybe just this week? Today?) is her skin. She has always had super sensitive skin. She’s just kind of a rashy baby, and clearly would get contact dermatitis whenever someone who was wearing a fragrance or wool or anything irritating would hold her. Over the past month or so, she seems to be having more significant allergic reactions to something and I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS. I think about it all day long and my gray hair is spreading rapidly because it is all I think about and I worry all the damn time. The rashes come and go and this is a kind of dramatic picture because it is basically the worst it’s been plus I took the pic right after I rubbed lotion all over her so it’s kind of extra red.

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    We tested her poop for the possibility of an allergy to something I’m eating (apparently if that were the case there would be blood – possibly not visible) and it was negative. I don’t think that means that it is definitively NOT something I’m eating, but I think it is less likely. She has also been having liquid poops (like, not that “seedy” look, just the yellow color and totally absorbed into the diaper) for a full month as well. The doctor isn’t concerned about the poop given that she doesn’t seem dehydrated and she is gaining weight, etc. She has never had a fever. I think it could be the dog? But we are being super vigilant about vacuuming all the time and keeping Riley’s things off the floor etc etc etc. I also cut out dairy anyway and that hasn’t helped at all (it’s been almost 3 weeks). My working theory is that it’s the dog and we just have to get an air purifier and be even MORE vigilant, but the poop changes throw me off. Ugh. Anyway, that’s all I think about so, any theories are welcome. Of note, we have already done the following things:

    • We use a free and clear detergent for her things and ours (duh)
    • We use an “extra rinse” cycle on the laundry
    • We bathe her twice/week and use a sensitive soap (Aquaphor baby wash)
    • We hydrate her skin multiple times/day. We used to use Aquaphor but the doc said it has lanolin in it which sometimes irritates skin because it is a sheep product, so we switched to Hydrolatum at her suggestion. That actually helped for like 2 days – she totally cleared up. And then it came back. We use coconut oil on her head for cradle cap/dry skin there
    • I vacuum a lot
    • We got the dog groomed
    • We try to only dress her in 100% cotton and only wear it ourselves.
    • I cut out dairy

    Sigh. Anyway I’m sure you didn’t come here for an obsessive mom waxing poetic about baby skin. So let’s talk about Riley at 4 months old.

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    She is at such a fun age! She’s learning so many new things

    • She is WAY more aware of everything going on – and very distractible (especially when nursing)
    • She can reach and grab toys and loves to play with her O-ball and little dangling animals on her play mat.
    • She has her hands in her mouth all the time. She has taken to sucking on her index and middle finger and it. is. very. cute.
    • She brings her toys to her mouth and tries to eat them too.
    • She can almost stay in a seated position all by herself, and really likes sitting up (between our legs, in a Bumbo for a few minutes)
    • She likes tummy time for about 5 minutes and then she doesn’t anymore.
    • She is almost ready to roll from front to back. She can do it if I tuck her arm under and kind of coax her to start (she’ll kick her leg over and roll the rest of the way).
    • She smiles and giggles and is just the most fun baby to talk to in the world.
    • She has full-on conversations that are passionate and serious and full of eye contact and awesome facial expressions.
    • She loves music and songs.
    • She is mesmerized by sign language.
    • She loves to facetime and seems to actually recognize people on video chat?? Or at least, she smiles at people on facetime despite not being the type of kid who smiles at the phone when it’s not on facetime. And she’ll have little vocalizing conversations with the phone too. GUH.
    • She recognizes and prefers her moms 😍

    Also, on a less exciting note, she is certainly struggling to learn how to sleep effectively as her little brain grows and grows. I hesitate to use terms like “4 mount sleep regression” because I really feel like those things are kind of made up and in general serve more to give parents anticipatory anxiety than to help describe a developmental phase but… Her sleep has suddenly taken a dive. (and she happens to be 4 months old…). She has always been such a good sleeper! And she still does an awesome job of falling asleep- I don’t have to nurse her or rock her to sleep or anything. She goes down awake and swaddled with a binky (my least favorite part but ya win some ya lose some I guess). So she’s still doing that, but now she’s waking between sleep cycles and having a hard time getting back to sleep on her own. We are kind of sort of if starting to sleep teach? We’re doing some extended waiting before going in to give her the pacifier at night. So far I can stand to listen to the fussing and crying for like 7 minutes before I cave. About 50-70% of the time she will fall back asleep in that time, but will often wake back up crying again like 20 minutes later. We’re working on it. She’s also added back in a 2am wake up which I am so not having. She was on a pretty good steak of sleeping about 6:30-10 or so, then nursing, then back down until 4 or 5, eating again, and back to bed until about 7. I know we’re lucky but also that’s our reality so this new habit of crying and walking up in the middle of the night is rough and I don’t really know what to do about it. Sigh.

    So aside from my current all consuming worry about her skin (oh, and did I mention she might be coming down with something today? Her little cry is all hoarse and scratchy, her lymph nodes are swollen, and she has a low grade fever of 99.7), this is such an awesome age. She learns new things every other day and is generally so happy and playful. I’m so happy Wednesday is finally over because I get to spend the next 4 days with my little love before I have to go back to work. We are looking forward to her 4 month doctor visit tomorrow (maybe we’ll start to figure all this out) and my parents visiting this weekend! Grandma is on daycare duty next week. Any and all positive thoughts about her poor skin are appreciated! Happy hump day. 

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