Walter-6 Months

Walter-6 Months

Holy moly a half of a year with the chillest baby on the block!

Weight:  Welp…here I am again typing this out after Wally is asleep for the night. And I forgot to weigh him again. Did I contemplate waking him up so I could have his weight? Yes I did, but then I had better judgement.

Health: No health concerns this month. However, his two bottom teeth are starting to pop up. So while, there aren’t fevers or known ear infections yet, he has been a little crankier and a lot more slobbery this month.

Diet: Still going strong with breastfeeding! This last week, I did have to start getting into our freezer stash because pumping as usual starts to wane at about 4-5 months for me. I am shocked that I have made it this long without dipping into that extra supply to get through our days. I still don’t think we will need to supplement formula for awhile, but as I go back to campus more days a week in the upcoming months, I know that freezer stash is going to go down more quickly. I have however made a promise to myself that I am not going to pump extra this time around. It nearly killed my sanity with George, and I was always exhausted with Daphne because I was always trying to add more pumps to an already long day. I know it is not needed, and I don’t need that guilt put on myself. So my resolve is to only pump when I am at work on campus, and we’ll just see how long that takes us! Walt feeds 5 to 6 times a day, and on average it adds up to 2.5 hours of nursing. He is going around 4 hours between feedings during the day. My app says that we have had 168 feedings over this last month, and spent 3 days feeding him. I have also pumped 12 times over the month. We did start with solids just this weekend. We are choosing the baby led weaning way which means it can be a slow start as they get use to all the stimulation of it. We have only tried avocados, and he was really indifferent so far. Next up is sweet potatoes and black beans!

Clothes: He is in 3 month clothes and size 2 diaper. Although it is on my to-do list to change him up to 3-6 month clothes this week.

Sleeping:  We really lucked out with this kid and sleep. For the most part anytime we lay him down, he will eventually go to sleep. He goes to bed around 8pm. Then I wake him up around 10:30 pm for a feeding, and then he goes right back down. During the week, I get him up at 5:15am. On the weekends, we sleep in until 6:30-7:30 am. I am not changing the overnight piece still for awhile. I haven’t tried it in a few weeks to see if we could stretch. I am honestly too worried about my supply dipping. By cutting out a feeding at night, in theory it would really only save me a half hour in the morning since we stay up that late anyway. He typically takes two naps during the day, but they aren’t usually very long. He is still sleeping in a pack and play in our room overnight. I would say that 9/10 times, we are able to put him down awake, and he falls asleep within 5 minutes. We transitioned to the zipadee zip suit for sleeping, and he seems to love it. He has started rolling to his side in his crib, which is terrifying to me. He also has gotten his legs stuck in the crib bars a few times as he rolls around more. I don’t remember the big kids moving around as much as Wally does.

Likes:  He is still obsessed with Daphne. He loves to chew on cloth and his little wobbly toy. He loves to be rubbed like a dog on his belly and under his chin. He likes his activity jumper. He kicks his little legs around like crazy on that thing. He likes VocabuLARRY. He also loves Tom. They have little chats right before we all go to bed, and Tom gets the biggest smile out of him. To be fair, Wally gets the biggest smile out of Tom too.

Dislikes:  He has started getting really impatient with me when I am feeding him. It is really the only time he cries for the most part because I am too slow for his liking.

Nicknames: Walt, Wally, Wally Bear, Wally Olly, Butters, Sweet Bean, and Stinkerdoodle. We also have adopted most of Daphne’s nicknames: Waltie baby, Cutie baby, Sweetie baby, Baby guy, and Baby Walter. This last week she started calling him Wallace out of no where. I think the most common are Wally, Wally Bear and Waltie. We also really love to sing Wally Olly to same tune of “Body” by Megan Thee Stallion. Tom has created a whole remix to that song for Wally.

Milestones: He rolls in all directions now. However, he seems to hardly ever do front to back, but he can do it. He is starting to sit up better and better. He is starting to grab for things and is more intentional reaching and touching things. He is putting a lot more weight on his legs and likes to be helped standing.

Quirks:  When we put him to bed at 10:30 in the pack and play, he starts acting like he is paddling. He just throws his legs up and down as hard as he can and then laughs and coos until he falls asleep. It’s a little terrifying because he is so loud and then all of a sudden he’s not. (My anxiety is on a roller coaster when he is sleeping.) When he is changing his diaper he likes to pump out glute bridges, so it is super fun trying to do that task.

We parents are:  living the dream. I will say that work has been incredibly challenging this past month due to various projects ramping up and many extra hours trying to make it all work. I am also super thankful for the opportunity to work from home when I do. And I really do love my job, and the people I work with make it all worth it. I also had some good interactions with students in the past couple weeks that have been a great reminder of why we do what we do. Tom is loving work, and it is so great to see him so happy and with people that value him. We also have been putting in extra effort to get our yard looking better. Tom has taken down half our fence and been clearing out some overgrown areas to make our yard seem twice as big. We also have been getting our veggie garden in tip top shape, so we are excited to see what comes to fruition in the upcoming weeks. It is very rewarding to grow our own food.

Big kids are:  being as crazy as usual. School just ended for George, and I am excited for summer to start so we can just be outside as much as possible. I love seeing them play outside and create new worlds when they explore our yard. We have really expanded their play area this year with removing the fence, so it will be fun to see them engage in new spaces. They both still love Wally and are very excited to watch him start eating things. They think the mess is super hilarious. Daphne is very protective of him, and she loves to tell strangers that he came from my belly. She also sings the sweetest made up songs to him. George loves to try to dance with him.

Grace is: being her sassy self. Some days she acts like the 10 year old dog she is, and then other days she bounds around like a puppy again. She is also very excited that Wally is starting foods at the table. With all the seats full, I am sure she just sees more opportunity to have a buffet on the floor.

In case you are curious, here is George at six months and Daphne at six months.

It’s hard to believe that he has been here for half of a year.

You still seemed like a dream a year ago. And here we are Wally bear!

And on to the next…

And just like that, George is done with kindergarten.

There is a weirdness that is settling in from today. It’s like I know that we are done with kindergarten for George, but at the same time it doesn’t seem real that he is old enough to be a FIRST grader.

To think back to August and all of the unknowns of the year, it is hard to compile all the thoughts and feelings that we have gone through during this year.

George’s kindergarten experience will be so different than his siblings thanks to all that was 2020.

He had to wear masks. At the beginning of the year, I thought this would be our biggest hurdle, but he often choose to wear it away from school. The last couple weeks our county lifted those restrictions, and he still choose to wear it at times.

The parties, assemblies, field trips, and programs all looked different than “normal” or were non-existent.

There were several weeks of virtual school thrown in during the year. In the midst of these weeks, I honestly didn’t think either of us would survive.

Learning in some areas came really easy to George, and other areas we had to work as a team to identify new approaches. He started to see the school speech pathologist to help learn specific social skills. This kid just loves to talk and doesn’t always see the cues that he should stop.

On the other hand, he was recognized for his caring spirit and the way that he shows joy to others. He is such a light, even if his talking can be distracting at times. It was always great to hear the ways that he was filling others’ cups up throughout the year.

He learned a love for drawing, and even though he says he hates to write, we have books and books of hand crafted signs, doodles and charts to prove otherwise.

We saw his interests change due to peer influence, so we welcomed Minecraft and Pokemon into our lives. He also continuously was inviting his class to our house and planning sleepovers without cluing us in. (Mind you these never did happen, he is just the friend who likes to corral other friends for a good time.)

It’s been a wild ride, and it’s crazy to think still that we have a school-aged kid, but here we are celebrating our first year through.

I am so proud of George. He was able to adapt to being new at school, to the constant changing atmosphere, and also to becoming a big brother again through all of it. He is such a smart kid, and I loved seeing him make connections with his teacher and friends. And on to the next we go!

Daphne Turns FOUR

I always dreamed of being a mom, but I especially dreamed of having a daughter. Well, she is the challenge I never knew that I needed.

Looking back at my post from her last birthday, it is hard to believe how much she has grown in the last year. She is still as fierce and independent as she was a year ago, but she is a different child at the same time.

She is like a mirror to all of my insecurities and flaws. I see pieces of me in her, and I am determined to do right by her because of my own past. She is humbling to me in every way. I love my boys, but there is something about this little girl that makes me different.

She is already stronger than I ever was, and I hope that we never squash that fiery spirit. She always is very adamant about her feelings and feels them to their fullest. She is opinionated and strong-willed. I know that we are fostering someone who is not going to back down from making her voice heard. She is brave and fearless now, and I hope that we can continue to nurture that for years to come.

I mean, someone who can pull off wearing jammies days on end has earned some respect.

She is my sour patch kid though. She knows what she wants, and she will put her foot down and try to wear you down. This does come with its challenges, but I have to applaud her level of commitment.

I do believe that some type of entertainment is in her future. She loves to sing, dance, tell stories, and put on comedy routines for anyone who will pay attention. She lives to make other people smile by her performances. I want to just bottle her singing up forever.

And, while she is independent, she is still our little girl. She is an expert in procrastinating bedtime and finds any and all excuses to come talk with Tom and I after lights are off. Then in the middle of the night, she crawls into our bed so she doesn’t have to sleep alone-most of the time I don’t even realize she is there until I wake up in the morning to see that she sneaked in. She has a neighborhood of stuffies that keep her company at all times. She has a descriptive name for all her bunnies: green bunny, scraggly bunny, clean bunny, mommy bunny, baby bunny, snuggly bunny, swaddle bunny…So many bunny stuffies.

She loves all things princess, purple and pink, dinosaurs, and unicorns. She loves to create with tiny things like miniature tea sets for Calico Critters, Legos, and her fairy garden. She hates to be wet but will spend hours at a water table and playing in our mud creek. She has been planning a “flower festival” for the better part of a year with the planning committee ever changing directions. She loves to be outside, but she hates when I make the family go to the trail. She loves to bake, but only chooses to eat butter bread, fish sticks, and fruit. She fights me going to gymnastics, but she has the biggest smile while doing beam and loves to show off her bear crawl.

The brain on this child is also astounding. She is insanely smart, and I am constantly amazed at her vocabulary. It is astonishing that we had her assessed for a verbal delay 2 years ago. I cannot wait to see what she does at school next year. She loves to read and learn, and she will spend hours with art and craft projects. She will sit still just meticulously drawing “maps” of our house and city. It makes me wonder if she will be a city planner or architect some day.

My favorite thing to have come out of this last year is watching her become a big sister. She is by far the best sister one could ever ask for. She is always helpful and caring with all things Wally. I am loving watching her mature through their relationship. She takes care of him and spends a good deal of her day making sure he knows how much he is loved. To say she is obsessed with her new best friend would be an understatement. My heart swells just watching them interact and play together.

This girl is going to turn this world upside down some day. She sure changed mine the day that she was born. It was love at first sight. I am glad to have a front row seat to see all that she can do and see who she becomes. Forever her cheerleader I will be. I am overwhelmed when I look at her and see all the possibilities for her and the world around her. I adore her with all that I am. A smile is imprinted on my heart because of our Daphie Girl.

Walter-5 Months

Walter-5 Months

Weight:  He finally seems to be filling out and getting those baby rolls. I admittedly forgot to weigh him, and he is already down for the night. Whoops. My guess is he is around 15 lbs.

Health: I think he may have allergies like the rest of us. He has had a runny nose and a little cough the last couple weeks. Other than that he is doing so well.

Diet: As I reflect on my breastfeeding experiences, this has been the best feeding journey I have had between the three. While it was rocky for a while there in the beginning, now it is just smooth sailing. I don’t feel like I am fretting about it as much as I did with the other two. He is growing, and I am not feeling like I am bending over backwards to make that happen. We still have all of our freezer stash untouched as well, so I feel good about that and the possibility that we will not need formula as quickly as we did with the others. Walt feeds 6 or 7 times a day, and on average it adds up to 2.5 hours of nursing. He is going 3-4 hours between feedings during the day. My app says that we have had 175 feedings over this last month, and spent 3 days feeding him. I have also pumped 12 times over the month, and I am pumping just enough on the days I am at work for the next time. We have not started the solids yet. He still is a little too bobbleheady for me to feel like he is ready, even though our pediatrician did give us the “all clear.” We’ll just continue with only breastmilk for probably the next month.

Clothes: He is in 3 month clothes and size 2 diaper. I have to say it has been fun getting out the clothes that his older siblings have worn and jumping back to their baby times. I also love babies in rompers and seeing the baby thighs.

Sleeping:  This kid is a dream baby with sleep. For the most part anytime we lay him down, he will eventually go to sleep. He goes to bed around 8pm. Then I wake him up at 10pm for a feeding, and then he goes right back down. I get him up at 5:15am. I am not changing the overnight piece for another little bit. He has either woken up around that 10pm time or he has started waking me up around 4:30/5, so I do not think I could skip that 10pm feeding. And honestly this isn’t a big deal since I am usually still up at that time. He typically takes two naps during the day, but they aren’t usually very long. He is still sleeping in a pack and play in our room overnight. We may stop that soon so we can use the pack and play when we are all outside to give him a little freedom without us holding on to him. I would say that 9/10 times, we are able to put him down awake, and he falls asleep within 5 minutes. We are still using the magic merlin suit, but I think this may be the last month for it.

Likes:  His favorite person is Daphne. He is always scanning the room looking for her, and he laughs so hard at her. He has this one teether that he loves more than any others. It is like a tiny barbell that he can hold on to really well with a bunch of knobs on the ends. He likes VocabuLarry. He also love his activity play yard. He moves all around it and likes kicking all the toys around. He will only snuggle with my mom.

Dislikes:  He still isn’t so happy about baths. He does not like being held laying down. If you cradle him, he will wriggle around to get in a more seated/upright position.

Nicknames: Walt, Wally, Wally Bear, Wally Olly, Butters, Sweet Bean, and Stinkerdoodle. We also have adopted most of Daphne’s nicknames: Waltie baby, Cutie baby, Sweetie baby, Baby guy, and Baby Walter. I think the most common are Wally Bear and Waltie.

Milestones: He has rolled from front to back twice. He seems to be like, “I did this thing so the pediatrician won’t worry but now I am content never rolling again.” He does get to his side from his back, but he doesn’t completely roll over. He will completely turn himself around in circles on the mat. We also put him in the activity jumper for the first time this week.

Quirks:  He is still pretty stoic. It is like he is trying to take in everything before he thoughtfully makes a reaction. He definitely has a fear of missing out. Lately when we have been doing stuff throughout the day, he does his best to stay awake to watch everything.

We parents are:  hanging in there. Tom has been on the midnight shift this past month, so we have all been just kind of existing. It has been tricky to get the quality time as a family since we are trying to just make it through this month. I am excited though for the upcoming month with the potential for more time outside and our garden. Today also ends the spring semester at my institution, so I feel like summer is here which makes me happy. I also have been reflecting a lot lately with the end of the term how far things have come in the last year. It was about this time last year that I found out I was pregnant with Wally bear, and then to do all that we have done during a pandemic….what a time!

Big kids are:  really great siblings in their own ways. It is hard to believe that George is in his last month of kindergarten. He is also having a ball with soccer, even though he is such a space cadet about it. Daphne does things on her own schedule, which is a blessing and a curse all together. She is just the best big sister. She loves making up stories and songs for Wally, and she lives for his reaction. She is a performer for sure!

Grace is: just living her best life. It has been really interesting watching her transition back to being an only dog again. She seems to be a little more frantic and actually gets up during the day to check on all the people and things. We think it is like she realizes she was taking a backseat to being a dog when Crosby was around. He was such an alpha, she didn’t really need to do anything. She has definitely filled in barking at all the things and being more present. She still is fairly lazy, but she doesn’t just lay around the couch for most of the day anymore. It’s a happy thing and sad all at the same time.

In case you are curious, here is George at five months and Daphne at five months.

Thank you for being the calm in the craziness of our lives. I can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for you Wally!

Walter-4 Months

Weight:  He is feeling a little heftier these days. He is exactly 13 pounds. We have almost doubled his birth weight.

Health: We are no longer giving him medicine for his acid reflux. Some days he is doing well being off; other days he still spits up a lot. I do notice that it typically happens more in the morning than other times of the day, so I am not sure if it is related to me being more full in the mornings and the flow is higher.

Diet: Breastfeeding is going really well. I have no thoughts around needing to supplementing at this point, which feels really good. Walt feeds 6 or 7 times a day, and on average it adds up to 2.5 hours of nursing. He is going about 3 hours between feedings during the day. My app says that we have had 190 feedings over this last month, and spent 3 days feeding him. In addition to that I have pumped 12 times. I only go into the office one day a week, and it is so nice not to have to pump every day. It is doing so much for our breastfeeding journey to be the one to actually feed him 24/7 6 days out of the week. Looking back at both of the bigs’ journeys, I am in a much better position this time around. I was already supplementing with formula with George at this point. And with Daph, I had to pump extra times each night to make enough for her. I truly think a big reason why it’s not even on my radar to need to do either is that I am nursing him most days completely. I am truly thankful to be working from home this much to allow for this. I am not a good pumper, so it has been nice to need to do that very minimally.

Clothes: He is solidly in 0-3 month clothes, but I would assume we would move up to 3 months before his next update. He is still in size 1 diapers.

Sleeping:  He is so go with the flow with his sleep, which has been a godsend since our schedule never seems to be the same from day to day. We started putting him down for the night around 8pm. Then I wake him up at 10pm for a feeding, and then he goes right back down. He typically doesn’t wake up until I get him up at 5:15am, and often times sleeps until 7 on the weekends. I had been thinking of knocking out that 10pm feeding to just let him completely sleep through the night. But the couple days I have thought to test it out he has woken up by 11 acting hungry, so we’ll keep with this schedule for awhile. He typically takes two naps during the day, and he is taking those in his crib fully now. He is still sleeping in a pack and play in our room overnight. I am thinking we will keep him in this for awhile now so when we go on vacation this summer he will be used to a pack and play and it wont be a complete mess to his sleep. I would say that 9/10 times, we are able to put him down awake, and he falls asleep within 5 minutes. Oh and we are doing the magic merlin suit for the day naps, and a swaddle with both arms completely wrapped overnight. I do think we will have to stop with the swaddle here soon because I think we are close to rolling.

Likes:  His favorite place is upright with his face to our ears. We have this little vibrating bouncy seat that he loves to get crazy in. He seems like the best listener and loves to hear all of us tell him stories. He also love playing peek-a-boo, however it looks like it startles him at first then he just laughs and laughs.

Dislikes:  He despises baths. Honestly it is really the only time he cries.

Nicknames: Walt, Wally, Wally Bear, Butters, Sweet Bean, and Stinkerdoodle. Daphne still has her own names that all include Baby in the title: Waltie baby, Cutie baby, Sweetie baby, Baby guy, and Baby Walter.

Milestones: We put him in the bumbo for the first time this last week. He is doing so well with his neck control. I think we are soooo close to him rolling over from front to back. He did start laughing this last month, and my oh my does it warm the soul. He had his first road trip yesterday to the zoo in St. Louis.

Quirks:  He has started chewing/sucking on his thumb. The drool is coming in as well. Whenever a camera comes out, he deadpans it. He can be laughing so hard, and then I try to document it, and he almost immediately goes stone face on me. I have to work really hard to get these smiles on camera.

We parents are:  drained. This has been a pretty heavy month. I can hardly believe all that has happened in the last 30 days…I had all four of my wisdom teeth taken out at the beginning of the month, which I am still recovering from 4 weeks later. I do not recommend this while breastfeeding, but it was a must for my own dental health. For me it was worse than when I had knee surgery. Then, I went back to work full time. It’s mostly been good and a fairly easy transition. I am more tired, and there is always work to do. I feel like I am processing things much better now, and able to ward off most of my negative feelings. It is also an exciting time at work with a few things that have been added to my plate and the new teams that I getting to be a part of, so that definitely adds to the mix of making it worthwhile to leave me kids every day. I have been keeping up with working out 5 days of the week, which is so helpful for me not only physically but really mentally as well. Then there was Crosby. Losing Crosby was and is really hard on us emotionally, and we are still dealing with the aftermath of that. Tom has been crushing it at work, but it also comes with using a lot of his energy physically and mentally. We are also prepping ourselves to get our gardens ready and making plans to really use our outside space the best we can.

Big kids are:  doing pretty well. Daphne got into our district’s preschool program for next year, so we are really excited for her. Daph and George will be at the same school for the next couple years which is great! George started soccer, and we’ll see how it goes. It is entertaining for us all at least. They have been great with Walt, and they both have their ways of showing him love. George does it in quiet small ways like stroking his face to help calm him or helping shine a light for him when we are in a dark space. Daphne however is loud and aggressive with her love towards Walt. She is always telling him how much she loves him and that he is her friend. She always wants to be next to him, and has become the alarm whenever anything is awry as far as Walt is concerned. She also announces to anyone who meets Walt who he belongs to (her).

The dogs are: As I mentioned, we are still in a daze from Crosby’s passing a week ago. There are moments where it just doesn’t seem real yet. The kids mention missing him almost every day. George’s teacher went above and beyond and got the kids a framed picture of our family with Crosby to put next to their beds. He was such a big part of our days that they just feel a little empty. Grace is moving along in her charmed life now as an only dog. We are able to give her a little more freedom out of the yard because she wasn’t our runner, so she is loving that. It still makes me so sad that Walt won’t have any memories of our Crosby.

In case you are curious, here is George at four months and Daphne at four months.

Walt you are the perfect puzzle piece to our family. You are the chill to every one else’s crazy. Thank you for these past 4 months of loving on you!