Saturday, September 17, 2016

four months of mae

Here she is... 4 months old!

You may notice that she is not wearing her 4 month sticker. That's because this happened:

Each month it gets a little more complicated to take a good photo! Mae was all smiles today... except for the 30 minutes where I was holding the camera. At least we got this nice glamour shot.

And this was the closest thing to a smile. Still pretty cute.

This month, Mae perfected rolling onto her tummy which she does almost immediately when laid down... even in her sleep. Sometimes when I check on her at night, she is laying completely face down with her mouth and nose smashed against the mattress. I think she does this just to freak me out, since there's no way it's comfortable to sleep like that.

She definitely knows the right motions for crawling but doesn't have quite enough arm strength to lift her belly off the ground. She can inchworm across the floor on her face by scrunching up her legs and pushing off. If she's not rolling over, she's either sucking on her toes, chewing on her fingers, or generating enough drool to fill a bath tub. We joke that she is like a snail creating a trail of slime so she can slide across the floor. Are teeth in her near future??

Mae enjoys playing with (and chewing on) this water-filled mat that Grandma bought. Poking it with her hands to move the little floating sea critters helps make tummy time a bit more bearable. She's learning to use her fingers and loves scratching them on different textures like the mesh sides of her Pack 'N Play and my skin while she's nursing (ouch). Sometimes she's downright abusive, smacking me on the jaw or strangling me with my own necklace!

The biggest accomplishment for the month was getting through Mae's first few weeks of daycare. She's still not great with a bottle and will only take it for one lady at the center, Ms. Barb. She's continuing to struggle with gaining weight, is still pretty fussy, and is continuing to show signs of digestive issues. Hopefully month 5 will bring some answers and improvements.

Until then she'll keep trying to jam this whole rattle ball into her mouth!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

work it

I survived my first day back at work, and Mae survived her first day of baby school (day care). Many tears were shed throughout the day, but surprisingly none were from me! I stopped by at lunch to feed her and was pleasantly surprised (shocked, actually) that she'd taken 2 ounces from a bottle without much fuss. The afternoon was a different story as I received a call on my way to pick her up that she wouldn't eat after multiple attempts and was quite upset. She calmed down after I arrived and we had a pretty giggly evening together.

I spent my day sorting through my 1200 emails and checking the day care webcam to see if I could figure out which pixels were my baby.

I also successfully located the mother's room in my building. However, my biggest success of the day was definitely being able to button my pre-pregnancy work pants. Hooray! Another highlight was finding this cute little note tucked into my lunch box. (I think she had some help from her daddy.)

My last few weeks at home were somehow both excessively busy and impossibly slow. The weekday hours dragged on and on as I carried screaming Mae around the house, but somehow 16 weeks of maternity leave just flew by. Four weeks ago I couldn't have imagined sending Mae to day care, and now I am actually looking forward to a bit of grown-up time.

We crammed a lot into the days since our vacation. We bought a membership to the zoo and visited the new hippo exhibit and the baby giraffe. We went to a baby shower for Ben and Jen that almost turned into a birthday party (but Jen was able to keep that baby cookin' a bit longer). In family news, Kevin and Kelsey celebrated their 21st birthdays. Even though Kevin's birthday breakfast was interrupted by a seizure and a brief trip to the emergency room, he recovered quickly enough to visit Kelsey at college for their birthday dinner. What a trooper!

Over Labor Day weekend, Mae got her first taste of college football. Fortunately since Penn State and Notre Dame played on different days, Dan and I didn't have to fight over which clothes she would wear. We received a couple ND outfits at my shower, and Aunt Colleen sent the little PSU onesies and leggings just in time for football season!!

We are still trying to resolve Mae's weight gain issues and I've started a total elimination diet, eating mostly chicken, potatoes, rice, apples, pears, and squash. Oh, and I added chocolate after a week of suffering without. Dan has been eating very boring dinners in solidarity with me. Then, I got this silly text message from him during his lunch break at work one day last week:

*Excited to go out for lunch and get some variety of food*
*Goes to Wendy's and gets usual order*
*While eating, realizes usual order is basically chicken and potatoes*
*Dies of shame*

We'll see if the diet makes any noticeable difference. Her weight gain does seem to be picking up, and her feeds have definitely gotten longer and more relaxed. We are keeping our fingers crossed for another good checkup in a few weeks!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

three months of mae

Happy three months, baby girl!

This month brought lots of firsts for Mae... first flight, first visit to the beach, and first visit to Lake George. She also let out her first laugh while we were at the mall with Grandma. We had taken a short break from shopping to feed and change her, and she let out a little yelping laugh while we played!

She first rolled from her back to her tummy just a day shy of 11 weeks, and she rolled from tummy to back on Monday! She had been working at rolling from her back so hard the previous few days and getting pretty frustrated by her shoulder being in the way. Then one day, I laid her on the play mat and walked into the kitchen to get a snack. When I came back to check on her, she was on her stomach... and very unhappy about it! I don't think she considered the consequences of rolling over... more tummy time! She doesn't love it, but she is getting a bit better at tummy time and even smiles sometimes! She also likes when I lay on my back and place her on my shins like an airplane.

Over the last couple weeks, Mae has become much more interested in toys. She reaches out to grab them and tries to shove everything in her mouth. She's gotten a hold of her feet a few times, but hasn't managed to pull them all the way to her mouth yet!

She has really discovered her voice and makes lots of new sounds. I think she learned some words from Oliver last time we visited, since he is so vocal!

Instead of sucking her thumb, Mae prefers to suck on her forearm. She still refuses a pacifier, but she can really go to town on her poor wrist, even to the point of leaving little baby-sized hickies! I let her latch onto my arm while trying to settle her down once, and she left quite a bruise on me!

I'm going back to work in a few weeks, so we've been trying everything to get Mae to take a bottle (different people, different temperatures, different bottles, different locations, different times of day, etc). Auntie Em FINALLY had success getting her to take a bottle while we were at Lake George. She's such a pro. Now we know she CAN take a bottle but is just incredibly stubborn about it. Dan was successful this week too, though it was pretty emotionally exhausting for both him and Mae. We'll have to keep practicing!

Though she's hitting her development milestones, Mae is having some digestive issues and weight gain troubles. I've eliminated dairy and soy from my diet per the recommendation of her doctor, and she seems to be doing better. I have a lot of practice with the dairy-free diet because of Dan's allergy, but soy is in soooo many things! Oh well, maybe this will help me lose a bit more of my stubborn baby weight. (Probably not, since I take this as an opportunity to buy every dairy/soy-free dessert I can find at the grocery store!)

Yesterday we traveled for a girls night with Kelsey, Mom, Emily, Aunt Ruthann, Erin, and Courtney. We had so much fun at dinner! Mae was very well behaved, and it was a fun way to celebrate 3 months!