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Victorian Baby

We didn’t get many photos of our reenacting extravaganza last weekend but nabbed a few good ones. The weather was much cooler than it normally is this time of year so we were very cold all weekend. We temporarily switched back to cosleeping so we could make sure that Ben stayed warm enough. The first night dropped down into the 30s!
Ben was very, very good all weekend. He had a harder time taking naps but that was to be expected in a new place with lots of noise and activity going on. B graciously decided to help Ben sleep by napping with him!

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All of Ben’s clothes turned out adorable. I could get used to dressing babies like this!

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This is our newest family photo:

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8 Months

We are already 3/4 of a year done! That is pretty crazy.

We gave Ben a bunch of new foods this month. He thought broccoli was funny since a floret feels different on the tongue than any other veggie. Roasted carrots with paprika were a huge hit. I love cooking one thing and feeding it to the whole family and the carrots are equally well received by B (which is awesome since he usually refuses to eat cooked carrots). I roasted zucchini and rutabaga the same way as the carrots and he likes those too although I think the zucchini is overcooked since he can squish it in a loose fist. Sweet potato fries are a new favorite. The first time we gave him sweet potato fries he ate better than we had ever seen. We’ve cheated on baby led weaning a bit. If he is allowed to help feed himself, Ben usually will eat puréed squash, peaches, applesauce, mixed veggies, sweet potato & green veggie combos, and bananas off a spoon or rice rusk cracker. It’s helpful to be able to just throw jars of food into the diaper bag if we’re going to be gone all day. The month started off with him taking a couple of meals to get through a jar of food but there have been times he’s scarfed the whole thing down in 10 minutes! It’s so adorable to see his little mouth open like a baby bird when he’s ready for another bite.

He has figured out how to correct his balance while sitting up within the last week so he can finally sit (with supervision) and would roll across the house if we let him. Ben has learned to grab toys and play while on his tummy so it doesn’t matter that we don’t use his gym anymore. He still spends hours in his jumper. If he is having a really rough morning, for the last 40 minutes before nap time we’ll cuddle on the couch and play an episode of Mythbusters on Netflix. We don’t know why he is captivated by this show but its nice to have a “last resort” tactic up our sleeves. His favorite new game is to play “what is inside.” I filled an Elmo Easter basket with small toys that he can fit in one hand: wooden eggs, little people, small teethers, wooden balls. When I give him the basket, he immediately tries to get the contents out. This simple activity will amuse him for a lot longer than you would believe.

We changed the rise in his BumGenius diapers because poo kept shooting all the way to the back waistband but started experiencing leaks from around the legs. I thought they fit better but apparently not! I got to the point where I would pick out clothes based on whether or not I’d mind if Ben pooped on it so we changed the diapers back. The contents of diapers are changing, especially the poop. For a few weeks they were more of a paste than anything else and those diapers were nasty! it has solidified since the but it definitely made diaper changes interesting! B and I were oddly fascinated by his diapers. Anyone else talk about poop all the time?

Now that the weather has warmed up, we’ve been taking lots of walks. It helps that Ben loves being in the stroller! No matter how whiney Ben is before leaving the house, he barely makes a peep while we’re outside. The library, post office, coffee shop, several restaurants, cemetery, creek, 2 antique stores, a Christian book store, and 2 parks are within easy walking distance. I started using an app on my phone to track our routes and distances. The library is 1.6 miles round trip and a nice neighborhood walk is around 1.25 miles. We usually get at least a mile in if we can go for a walk.

I have been doing a time of sewing for our first Civil War reenactment of the year over Memorial weekend. I was starting to get panicky because Ben did not have anything to wear at the beginning of this week except for a half finished dress. Since then, I have finished the first dress, made a second, sewed 3 pinafores, drafted and sewed a coat and a high chair, and bought the supplies for all of his underclothes. Ben has been struggling a little with me being so busy lately but has learned to play in the sewing room with me if I have to keep working. We leave on Friday so I still need to keep moving! If I finish his clothes this coming week before we have to leave, I get to make him some toys, which I am looking forward to. We will definitely be taking a ton of pictures!

We are pleased with his progress in sleep training but he has gotten so good at getting out of his swaddle blanket that we decided to quit using it cold turkey on Saturday night. I would spend up to 45 minutes rewrapping him or flipping him back over when he rolls onto his belly and can’t fix it himself. It has been simpler for us to let him roll around his bed and play for 30 to 45 minutes instead of constantly having to rescue him when he gets stuck. The first night was rough! He woke up a half-dozen times and fell asleep when I was nursing him for breakfast on Sunday morning. Sunday night was much better and it has only taken him 20 minutes to fall asleep for naps today. B and I get a huge kick out of peeking at him when he is sleeping to see what positions he has ended up in!

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Taking Things Out of Things

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I’m too cute to ever get in trouble!

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Ben wasn’t too sure about an 8 AM farmer’s market trip

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Our boy loves playing with Daddy’s recliner (no idea why, he’s just weird!)

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Snuggling on Mommy’s lap and watching Mythbusters

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Rutabaga!

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What carrots?

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Ben decided that he loves books. A boy after my own heart!

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Playing video games with Daddy before work in the morning

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Ben’s favorite place (other than the cat bed)

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Look at that posture!

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Turns out that Ben is a tummy sleeper

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Sleep Training Update

Ben’s sleeping has improved greatly in the last 8 days! I cobbled together tips from Ferber’s and Giordano’s books based on what I thought would work well for us. The tips on reducing night feedings from Ferber were helpful and much of what Giordano wrote in The Baby Sleep Solution was applicable, except for the fact that we started sleep training at almost 8 months instead of 8 weeks.

Ben moved into his own room and even though I really miss having him close to me, I don’t wake up from his tossing and turning nearly as often so I’m not tempted to feed him just a little to calm him down. I’m fairly certain that a large portion of the sleep training techniques are to train the parents, not the kids!

For the last few days, Ben has slept from 7ish until 4 or 5 AM with a half wake up where he just needs a pacifier around 10 and then another 1 to 2 hours after a quick feeding. Giordano teaches that babies need to be taught to stay in bed for the full 12 hours, even if they wake up before their get up time. Ben has woken up anywhere between 5 AM (horrible, horrible day) and 7:15. If he wakes up before 7, we unswaddle him and give him a few quiet toys to play with until it’s time to get out of bed. We leave the monitor on so we can keep an eye on him but he normally does well playing by himself in the morning.

If we pushed him, I think we could break him of that last feeding at 4 or 5 AM but my breasts are having a hard enough time as it is. They’ve forgotten how to last 12 hours without nursing and I’ve forgotten how hard it is to get comfortable enough to sleep while that engorged. I don’t mind the one feeding too much so my plan is to give myself some time before taking away that last feeding. He doesn’t eat much when he wakes up so it shouldn’t hurt me too much when we do.

I don’t know why things are working but I’m thrilled they are! Ben is such a flexible baby; the perfect kind to put up with newbie parents trying to figure things out as they go!

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Begging for punishment

So, B is gone this weekend and I’m getting desperately tired of Ben’s insistence to be fed at night. Last night he woke up every two hours like a flipping newborn! He actually slept better as a newborn than he does now.

I must be asking for punishment because I’m going to jump into sleep training tonight. My goals are to decrease the number of times he is fed between my bedtime and 6:30 AM to 0 (which he can do since he used to sleep 12 hours a night for several months!) and help him learn to fall asleep on his own without assistance.

He does pretty well falling asleep already (can fall asleep without nursing, rocking/snuggling) but we are pretty dependent on the pacifier. He has always loved sucking on it and falls asleep quickly when we give it to him. Before taking it away at night though, I’m going to work on cutting down his use during the day to just nap time.

Ben falls asleep in his crib every night and then I move him into his cosleeper in our room when I go to bed. I’m wondering if by having him so close to me, I’ve woken up and overreacted to stirrings or noises that I wouldn’t have heard if he slept in his own space? I’m a very light sleeper anyway so perhaps I gave him these bad habits? To test this theory, Ben is going to sleep in his own room all night tonight.

Wish us luck!

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To The Mother With Only One Child

One of my dear friends, who has a 2 year old and is expecting their second this summer, shared an essay she had read that meant a lot to me as the mother of one child who is completely overwhelmed by the idea of multiple children and wonder how much of myself will be left at the end of the day when we are blessed with Baby #2.

If you’d like, check it out here. I cried when I read it; partly from exhaustion but partly because the author was able to express exactly how I feel some days. Apparently I’m not the only mom of 1 who is bored during the day and is extremely excited for when Daddy gets done with work.