Saturday, March 12, 2016

Linnea is 8 Months Old!

Oh sweet girl. You are so much fun.  This month you figured out how to move around, clap and you continue to bring more joy than we ever thought was possible.  Your dad is constantly saying "I can't believe how much fun she is!  Did you know how much fun she would be?"  Before I tell you what you've been up to this month I wanted to share a piece of my heart with others who might be struggling to get pregnant.

When we announced that we were pregnant and that it took us a while, 2.5 years and two attempts at IVF and a miscarriage, to get pregnant I had several people reach out to me telling me that they too were struggling.  Since then a few have had babies or are about ready to have a baby.  I could not be more excited for them.  But there are several others who are still waiting.  My heart aches for them.  I often think about them and pray for them.  I worry that they will lose hope which I did so many times but it just makes me so sad thinking they might actually give up.  Being on this side of the fertility struggle is great because I finally get to hold, rock and kiss my baby after so many tears had been shed for this baby.  It makes every little mundane task seem more exciting than it probably should :).  But I know the longing that others are still feeling.

I want to just encourage you, if you are still struggling to get pregnant, don't give up hope.  It is SO worth the wait.  I remember hearing that phrase "worth the wait" and thinking it was crap.  Sure, finally having a baby will be great but why do I have to wait.  I honestly don't know why you have to wait but once that little bundle of joy gets here you will be praying for time to slow down and wait for you so you can soak it all in.  If you are still struggling and want someone to talk to I'm still here.  If you talked to me about struggling to get pregnant just know you are still in my thoughts and prayers and please don't give up hope!

You won't have another well baby check up until you are 9 months old so I won't be able to get your official weight and height until then.  However, you did get your flu shot booster and I asked the nurse if I could weigh you since you hadn't been weighed since you started eating solid foods.  Around 7 months you weighed 14 lbs 12 oz (with a shirt and diaper on) which is in the 12th percentile according to the app I've been using.  You were in the 6th percentile at your 6 month check up.  I guess that means you are a fan of solid foods :) which we already knew.

You LOVE eating and get a little impatient if we are taking time feeding ourselves instead of you. You aren't that hungry for breakfast so you still don't really eat solid foods until lunch time.  I tried several times but you just seemed confused as to why you would be eating when you were obviously full from milk.  You nurse at 7:30, 11:30 and then eat lunch around 12:30.  For lunch you usually have 4-6 oz of vegetables or meat with veggies and a little bit of fruit.  I usually give you new foods to try during your lunch time then I can see if you have any reactions to them before you go to sleep or sleep through the night.  So far you don't seem to be allergic to anything and the only thing you still turn your nose up at is avocado.  We still offer it to you and most recently you pushed it all to the roof of your mouth and tried to keep eating without swallowing the avocado.  Working on your problem solving skills at 8 months old!
One night you thought dinner was hilarious.  For several minutes before this video you were laughing and making funny faces.  We caught some of it on camera.  It was so funny.

 Don't worry, we were supervising the balloon in your mouth.  You LOVED playing with your Grandpa's birthday balloon!

You nurse again at 3:30 and then eat dinner around 6:30 (I'd like for this to be earlier but it is hard to get dinner ready before then.) and then nurse again around 7:15-7:30.

You've added several new foods to your list this month including: peaches, whole milk greek yogurt, beef, turkey, mangoes, blueberries, zucchini, corn, oatmeal, pumpkin with cinnamon, kale, cucumber, beets, pomegranate and raspberries.  All of these foods have been in pureed form but I'm hoping to start you on table foods this month.  I'm not sure how that works if you don't have any teeth yet :).

You did try a puff on your 8 month birthday.  It was pretty cute watching you try to eat it.

We put you in your high chair while we are getting lunch or dinner ready and you like to throw your toys over the side and then look at us to pick them up.  We don't always get them for you and there are a few you will hold onto longer than others.  It is cute to see you look for them.

Your cousin Avery fed you.  It was so cute to watch!

I feel like a broken record with this category but I don't even care.  You rock at sleeping.  You sleep through the night and I think you have fewer "parties" in the middle of the night than you used to.  We've been letting you sleep in until 8 on the weekends (instead of 7:15-7:30) which means your schedule shifts by about 30 minutes.
You caught a little bit of a cold (sneezing and runny nose) towards the end of the month so I let you sleep as long as you wanted for your naps.  A couple of times you slept for 2 hours in the morning instead of just an hour.  Then in the afternoon you would take about an hour and a half nap instead of a two hour nap.  Your cold doesn't seem to be affecting your sleep which is great.
You wake up in the morning and from naps just as happy as can be.  We often hear you talking to yourself on the monitor.  Very rarely do you wake up crying and if you do it usually means you aren't quite ready to be up yet.

I love watching you sleep.  You are so cute.  You often have your bottom in the air.  It is adorable!

At the end of this month we finally started working on your nursery.  It turns out decorating a nursery is harder when you already have the baby.  While we are working on your room you have been sleeping in a pack n play in our bathroom and we moved your changing table and clothes to the hall bathroom.  It is kind of a mess but I kind of think house projects should inconvenience you so that you keep working on them :).

You are wearing mostly 6 month clothes but your pajama pants are 9 months.  You can still fit into some 62 size clothes and the 68 size are a little long in the arms.  I feel like you kind of stalled out in length for a while so you've been in the same things for a while.  You are still in size 2 Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra diapers.  I tried Luvs again because I like that the tabs go over farther on your hips but they smell and your dad hated it!
I love this picture because it shows how excited you were about your balloon.  You are wearing a squirrel pajama that we bought in Malaga, Spain, almost exactly a year ago, when I was pregnant with you. 

I'm excited to see you in short sleeves and dresses this summer.  I did a little bit of shopping for you recently and I definitely lean towards navy blue, turquoise, purple, grey, orange and other non pink colors.  I don't mind pink (and I typically dress you in pink if I know we are going out and I don't want to get asked if you are a girl or a boy) but I like seeing you in lots of colors.  Navy might be my favorite!

You LOVE your blocks that your Aunt Carmen bought you in Palm Springs.  Your dad loves building towers with them and watching you knock them down.  You just enjoy sucking on them.  You have a favorite piece but you will suck on any of them you can get your hands on.

A serious face.
 A curious face.
  A happy face.
 Your Grandma, my mom, made this quilt for me and gave it to me exactly 3 years BEFORE you were born.  She gave it to me on my 29th birthday and we weren't pregnant.  Here is the back story:  We were at a quilt store once and I saw the fabric and really liked it.  I said something like, "I like this fabric but by the time we are ready to have kids it will probably be long gone."  I was trying to throw her off.  We were actually going to start trying to have a baby but I desperately wanted it to be a surprise so I thought I could throw her off by making that comment.  Well, the joke was one me.  It took us almost 2.5 years to get pregnant and by the time you were born, on my 32nd birthday, I had the quilt in a drawer for 3 years.  I guess it was a good idea after all to get the fabric!
I love the block in the middle for so many reasons.  I love monkeys, the bicycle reminds me of Jake's dad and the fish (that Linnea is laying on in this pic - look at the pic above) reminds me of my Grandpa Otto who loved fishing.
 For some strange reason you love sucking on my jaw and cheek bones.  You prefer sucking on your dad's nose or ears.  Is it more strange that you like it or that we let you do it?  You also love sticking your finger in my mouth and giggle when I pretend to eat it.

You are starting to be just a little bit ticklish on your belly, under your arms and on your neck.
You still love your cups and rings.  Your dad often builds towers to encourage you to crawl over and knock them down.

You loved shaking your balloon.
You got this cute squirrel from one of my Jenny Becker.  I used to teach with her.  She is awesome and so thoughtful!
When we were in California you loved playing with our water bottles.  They made noise and they were fun to play with.
You are NOT a fan of your daddy's drill but he has to use it to get some things done around the house.  Thankfully you don't seem to mind wearing these and you look pretty cute!
The picture is blurry but your Grandma Debbie made this book for you and you love looking at it.

Another new favorite this month has been a ball that I've been using in the mornings to exercise.
The big one freaks you out but you love the little one.
You've been scooting towards books which is fun to see.  We usually have about 30 books checked out from the library but I don't want you to stick those in your mouth.  This month you've been reading Goodnight Moon to yourself.

Your dad's boss in Sweden, Bert-Åke, gave you a toy that we called your candy cane man and you love it!
You started tilting your head when you are sitting up or on your belly.  It is hilarious.  I often wonder what you are thinking when you do it.  The first few times you did it while sitting on your bottom you fell over to the side but then you figured out where you put your head so you could tilt it while sitting up without falling over.  Smart girl!

Our Days
We've been going to Rhyme Time at the library at least once a week.  It is fun getting out of the house and singing songs with other kids.
We've had some really nice days in February so we went to the park by ourselves or with friends.  You love to swing or play with sticks and rocks while watching the other kids play!


Weekends have always been great but now I love them even more because we get to spend time with all three of us!  Since moving back from Stockholm our weekends have been packed!  We either spend it traveling to Wichita or Manhattan or having visitors.  It was started to be a bit much especially since we were used to living in seclusion for the last two years.  We decided during the month of February we weren't driving anywhere and we weren't having any house guests.  It didn't necessarily go over that well, especially with the grandparents, but it was a much needed break.
Please look past my awesome outfit and check out that cute face!
You are not very cuddly but this morning you cuddled with me on the couch.  It was so great!

Activities and Outings
We went on our second family vacation to Santa Monica, CA and Palm Springs, CA this month.  It was awesome!

Firsts and New Skills
You can clap.  It is so cute!  I think you even know the word clap because if I say it or if I say "yay" then you'll clap.  It is adorable!

The biggest new skill this month is probably that you are on the move!  I feel like it happened so suddenly.  One day you couldn't move forward, only in a circle and the next day (February 15th) you figured out how to pull yourself forward.  You aren't fully mobile yet but you do move for some of your favorite toys (a ball, your blocks, candy cane man) or if you spot something and you want to investigate it (your dad's desk).  You are getting faster but still mostly doing a version of an army crawl.  You have started tucking your knees just a bit more but you haven't really gotten up on all fours (unless you are asleep) and started rocking yet.
You found the bathroom drawer the day after you figured out you could move forward.  I see lots of baby proofing in our future!  Thankfully we have a door to our basement so we won't need a baby gate there.
I was able to catch one of your first forward progress moments on video!

A new discovery.
Playing with cups on the floor.

You love this ball . . . too bad it won't stay in one place.

You won a photo contest this month!
We started giving you baths with you sitting up.  It is a little slick so we've been putting you in a laundry basket that way if you do tip over you'll hit the side of that which is plastic instead of the side of the tub.

You were born with dark hair and there was a patch on the back of your head that wouldn't lay down flat.  It used to bug me that it stood up but now it is starting to lie down and I miss the spiky hair.  It just means you are that much farther away from being a newborn.  One night after bath your dad blew on your hair to get it to dry and he let it stay spiked up and it stayed that way for two days.  It was cute!  I finally got it wet and combed it before rhyme time.  I was afraid people would think you were a boy.
You had your second flu shot (booster) and cried for maybe 5 seconds.  You were a champ!

I want to remember the feeling of you needing me.  If you fall over or get overwhelmed at the end of the day all you want is me.  I love it.  (Your dad isn't really a fan of it but he understands.)

I want to remember the feeling of you asleep on my chest.  You fell asleep on my chest two days in a row.  I think I've said this every month and I probably will say it again next month.  It is the best!
You sometimes sleep with one eye cracked open like in this picture which freaks your dad out.

Oh sweet girl we love you so much.  I can't believe you are getting so big.  Every time I write one of these posts I think you look normal until I look at another monthly update and I realize how tiny you used to be.  You won't ever be this little again.  I am trying to soak it up while I can.

Your Mama

Here are her other monthly updates: 1 Month, 2 Months, 3 Months, 4 Months, 5 Months, 6 Months, and 7 Months.

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