Specifically, MY 8 month old.
Friends, you read that right. That baby is EIGHT months old. EIGHT.
I continue to still not understand or grasp these time warps, even after- especially after- 4 babies.
We’re good at this parenting a baby thing, and I’m owning that. It’s a fun place to be, and the complete opposite of how we felt when we had our first baby.
When Kendall was a baby, I constantly found myself telling people, “I don’t know. Don’t ask me. I’m not an expert. This is hard.” And he was hard. He was a hard baby, and we were rigid parents. The whole experience was hard.
But now, 4 babies into it, we’re broken in, and it’s fun. 90% of the time, it’s really fun.
Let me tell y’all about this almost-6-month-0ld, leading with the obvious WTF HE’S ALMOST 6 MONTHS OLD.
This one has gone by the fastest, and that’s a damn shame because he’s so delightful. The first 8 weeks of my colicky first-born’s life took longer than this. I’ve had progressively easier babies, so now that we’re on #4, we’ve managed to create an actual doll.
He’s sitting up now. As of last week he was, but only in the way that we could plop him in the sitting position and then watch him lean and fall over seconds later. This week, though, he’s a confident sitter.
And I think he may finally be closing in on weighing as much as Rosie. They are basically twins right now. I’d very much like to put them in a double stroller and take them somewhere.
I can only squeeze him into 12-month clothes if they are not one piece. It seems 12-month rompers are out of the question. He’s too long. His thighs too fat.
Despite their girth, though, he manages to get them up and over and around. He’s a log-rolling master.
And yes, I’ve found him stuck under the bed and the dresser several times.
He prefers to be held or for me to sit right next to him while he naps. I’m not fighting it. I’ve watched some great shows while snuggling his sleeping, rapidly growing, warm body next to mine. This is the face of a kid who’s watched me mourn Poussey and celebrate Moira all in the same week.
Here’s to you, you nearly 6-month-old, snuggly doll, TV binge watching buddy, you.
Sidenote, because I know some of you will ask- OMG MLB DIAPERS!
I saw these from the Honest Company and ran to order a whole box of them. I framed it as a “gift” for my STL Cardinals loving husband… you know, for Father’s Day. Diapers for Father’s Day! I am magic. They don’t have all the teams, but there are some popular ones- Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angelos Dodgers, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, and obviously the St. Louis Cardinals.
Other things you might love in these pictures- Both the shirt and the “Strong Like Mom” onesie are from Target’s Cat & Jack line. The necklace is by Lemonvines. The quilt was a homemade wedding gift from dear family friends.
A couple months before Wallace was born, I asked “Can this baby monitor change the game with our 4th baby?” about the Owlet Smart Sock.
I’m back for an update! Wallace just turned 5 months old, and I’m here to tell you the Owlet is, indeed, a game changer.
Owlet is sponsoring this post.
To refresh your memory, the Owlet Smart Sock uses technology called pulse oximetry to keep tabs on oxygen levels in baby’s blood – like when you’re in the hospital and they put that clip with the red light on your finger. And then it’s sending that information to your phone (with apps for both iPhone and a beta Android app), and also to the independent base station.
Wallace’s fat feet outgrew the size 1 and 2 socks pretty quickly, but the size 3 sock has a bit of extra room, so I’m hopeful it will last a long time.
This is the new Smart Sock 2, which is a universal fit- it can be worn on either foot so you can switch it as needed. It’s really easy to put on once you try it a couple times.
He doesn’t seem bothered by the sock at all.
He’s interested in it because, well, he has an obsession with his toes, but there’s no way he could pull it off, even when he’s not swaddled or in a sleep sack.
I’ve been very open about my postpartum anxiety and OCD battles and how sleep deprivation makes it so much worse. This time around, even though the PPA/OCD has returned (like I expected and planned for), it’s manageable, in part, because I’m getting sleep. What I love about the Owlet is the app that lets me roll over in bed in the middle of the night and quickly check to be sure all is well with Wallace without having to hover over him to see if he’s breathing.
If I want even more info, I can easily access his heart rate and oxygen levels within the app.
I’ve only ever heard a disconnect notification go off, usually when I’m feeding him while laying on our sides if it’s the side his sock is on. But that’s almost peace of mind, you know? Knowing that it’s actually working and picking up even the tiniest disruption.
So my official review is this: The Owlet Baby Care Monitor has helped ease my mind. The monitor itself is simple to set up and use, and the app is simple to understand.
This definitely makes my list of Good Baby Stuff. It’s not cheap (on sale for $299, regular price $349, and refurbished models $199), but they make it easy to register for one or for people to purchase you gift cards for one. It also comes with a one-year warranty and a 45-day “peace of mind guarantee.”
Is it because I’ve been through this enough now that I can sense these shifts? I can look at him and just feel and know that he’s grown. Not just that he’s bigger, and boy is he bigger- filling out 12 month outfits that finally let me buy both his and Lowell’s clothes from the same section so ALL THE MATCHING will be happening.
I can tell that he recognizes new things. I can see when he understands something for the first time.
I think with each baby I’m more and more acutely aware of the passing of time. Like the day I looked at Wallace and knew he was no longer a newborn, now I look at him and know he’s… what would I call it? A real baby? He’s always been a baby, obviously, but now he’s babbling and rolling over and teething.
He’s really the best age… before we get to the next best age. None of this makes sense but also probably makes total sense to a lot of you.
He says “momma” now, I swear. It’s not often. It’s usually after he’s tried a lot of other ways to get my attention and then the sound slips out of his mouth, so of course I react then because he said momma! So I guess that’s how it will come to be that only the 4th baby says momma before dada.
And what’s funny is by the time you have a 4th baby, you really would rather them learn to say dada first and then only say dada because, honestly, the sooner they can learn that dada is equally capable of getting them a snack without them having to walk past him to come find you in a bathroom upstairs, well, really the better for everyone.
No hope for this momma’s boy, I guess.
All that growing the first few months is super important, but it’s so boring. Nobody gets excited about their head circumference blowing up in a week. They do all the important growing while they are sleeping, and that’s no fun.
But now? Now the growing happens in daylight hours. The rolling, the voice discovery as he lets out his first velociraptor screeches, the moments I rub my fingers on his gums in the morning to find fragments of razor sharp teeth that have shown themselves at last.
Goodness, I really like when my babies turn into real babies. I like when all that growing is entertaining, and all that feeding them all day and all night rewards me with cheeks on cheeks and rolls on rolls.
As annoying as it is for other people to tell me to “cherish this time” I think I will consciously try to cherish this time, while also giving myself permission to get annoyed at how little I get done while cherishing it.
None of this makes sense, but it probably makes a lot of sense to a lot of you.
One of the first things I bought when we were preparing to have our first baby 9 years ago was Burt’s Bees Baby® Nourishing Lotion and their shampoo & body wash. I remember smoothing the lotion onto Kendall when he was just a day old after I asked my mom to bring it up to the hospital. His newborn skin was beginning to flake, and I rubbed it on his little legs – that weren’t even chubby yet!
BAM! Instantly in love with the smell, and associating that smell with the feeling of a sweet baby in my arms.
So in love am I with all things Burt’s Bees Baby® that when they asked me to write a post for their blog about their products for baby’s first summer, I was positively giddy.
I hope you’ll head on over and read all about some of their products we’re totally in love with, and check out the super cute pictures of Wallace!
I just filled my prescription for Lexapro again for postpartum anxiety and OCD. It doesn’t really feel like a big deal, but I know that THAT makes it a pretty big deal.
The first time I drove home from the pharmacy with medication to treat my extreme irritability, anger, obsessive and intrusive thoughts, racing heart, and feeling of impending doom, I felt shame and sadness. I felt defeated. I vowed to stop taking it as soon as possible. I told myself as soon as I could exercise again, and as soon as I was eating and sleeping again I would be able to wean off of it.
This time, the 3rd time I’ve made that drive, I simply thought, “Okay, I’ll put this next to my toothbrush so I remember to take it tonight before bed.” And since I know that taking action helps ease my anxiety, I woke up today feeling GREAT because I knew my prescription would be ready to pick up, and I was taking some damn action and was going to fix. that. shit.
If you’re not familiar with my story, here is a very brief summary: I’m certain I had this after my first was born, but I never knew it was a thing, and since I never felt depressed or cried much or wanted to hurt myself or my baby I never got help. After my 2nd baby, I finally got help when she was 9 months old when I was in a really bad place and was lucky enough to finally learn that postpartum ANXIETY is a thing. I knew to expect it again after I had my 3rd, and was back on meds when he was about 6 months old.
So, of course, I knew to expect it this time, too, and I’ve been really paying attention to my mind and body. It seems it always sets in between 4 and 5 months postpartum, and that’s exactly what happened again. The last couple weeks have been more than my typical anxiety over stress and deadlines and having 4 kids, and some other big life changes we have planned. The intrusive thoughts and the obsessively worrying about things I KNOW are not true and not likely to happen have been my biggest warning signs, and honestly the things I just want to go away the most.
I spoke at the University of Texas, Austin’s Maternal Mental Health and Wellness Conference last weekend, and one of the questions I got was if I’d tried other ways to treat my anxiety before going on meds. I can confidently say I have. After having Wallace, I made a big effort to do all the things some well-meaning people say you should do to try to keep perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, like postpartum depression and anxiety, from setting in.
I’ve been going to Barre3 classes just as frequently as possible since my 6-week checkup. I’ve been making it a point to feed myself real, healthy food. We’ve been getting boxes of Hello Fresh delivered weekly so I didn’t have to stress about menu planning and grocery shopping. I’ve been drinking a lot of water. We’ve had a housekeeper coming semi-regularly. Scott has been a rockstar, as usual, and picks up, does the dishes and the laundry while I’ve been nursing Wallace and getting him to sleep. We’ve prioritized my sleep, and I rarely get less than 7 hours a night. I have an incredible support system.
And yet, my PPA/OCD does not GAF.
My baby is 4 months old, and this is just what my brain does when my babies are 4 months old. That may seem frustrating, but it’s also, oddly, comforting. There’s nothing I can do. It just happens. And I’ll just take the meds because I know they work. No big deal- not anymore.
I didn’t plan for this to coincide with the first day of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week because this is not a kind of thing you plan for, but indeed, it is. If you’re wondering if you’re struggling with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, this is a great list to reference, and the one that changed my life for the better.