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Let's Talk Babies!

As I mentioned in her birthday post, and as I mention every month when I do these monthly write ups, time is flying by at an incredibly pace. I truly can hardly believe my little baby is already a year old.

Weight: 18lbs 1oz (24th percentile on the breastfed baby chart)

Height: 28.5 ins (26th percentile)

Head Circumference: 18 ins (72nd percentile)

Nora is rocking the peanut status. As her doctor said at her well child check up the other day, she decided to grow her brain these last few months instead of her height and weight ;) .  Nora is almost exactly the same size Anna was at a year!

Nora’s well child check up went well. She is hitting or exceeding all her expected milestones. Like her sisters before her she is ahead on verbal communication. Apparently, Lorne and I breed talkers. I’m going to say they get that from their dad. The doctor said she looked perfect and the only small concern that came up after her finger prick blood screen was slightly low iron levels. Low iron levels are fairly common in breastfed babies so we left the appointment with a long list of iron rich foods to try and hopes that the next finger prick blood screen at 15 months shows improved numbers.

Nora has been busy this month learning to talk and making progress on the walking front. She is very chatty and already has a few words she says, or at least sounds she makes to mean certain things, including mama (mommomma), dada, balloon (boon), dog, bye bye (sometimes), hi, that and more. She also communicates well with nonverbal ques like pointing, out stretched arms when she wants up, etc. I have to say it is so nice to have good communicators at this age. It usually isn’t hard to figure out what she wants between her verbal and nonverbal ques.

But, she isn’t only working hard on talking she is also really trying to figure out walking. She crawls like a little speed demon and is quite the accomplished climber. Recently she figured out how to stand on her own without having to pull up on anything. You should see the pride on her face when she does. She stands there waiting for praise ;) She can walk pretty well holding onto our hands or pushing something in front of her and yesterday, while I was at a meeting at Maya’s school, she took her first couple of independent steps. It won’t be long now.

This is such a fun age. I love watching her explore and learn. She plays so well independently and with her sisters. She adores our cat Penny and our neighbor’s dog. She loves going for walks and pointing out all the trees and birds she sees. She loves to dance and will dance to any music be it the little tunes her toys play, someone in the house singing or songs on the radio. Her two favorite songs right now are This Is How We Do by Katy Perry and Knights of Shame by Awolnation. Both are guaranteed to get her moving! She laughs easily and loves when she makes other people laugh. She is super cuddly and loves to snuggle. She often ask to be picked up or crawl into my lap just so she can snuggle into me. She also gives kisses (those big open mouth baby kisses) and has started blowing kisses too. If I could pause time for a bit right now I totally would. I just can’t get enough of it all.

I know time is going to continue flying by and before I know it I’ll be writing a post about her at 2. For now I’ll just keep trying to soak it all up and tuck the memories of these moments away in my mind for later when I miss having a baby around.

On this day, one year ago, the sweetest little bundle of baby was born.

Sometimes in life we are given little gems. Little surprises that weren’t necessarily on our radar, or in our plan, but end up being exactly perfect. If I had planned for this baby and dreamed of her I couldn’t have ever imagined how perfectly she would fit in our family. She feels like she has always been here, though it still feels like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms for the very first time.

From day one she has been this calm, happy, inquisitive, snuggly baby.  Watching her grow this past year has been such a joy and a blessing. I am so incredibly grateful to be her mommy.

 

Happy 1st Birthday, Nora!! I can’t wait to see what the next year, and the many years after that, have in store for you.

 

I’m a bit behind on getting this posted this month. We’ve been busy enjoying this glorious summer!

Our simply irresistible Nora turned 11 months old a little over a week ago. I cannot quite wrap my head around the fact that in just 3 weeks she will be 1! This past year has flown by at crazy warp speed. This time last year I was hugely pregnant and worrying that Nora would decided to arrive early and interrupt Maya’s first day of school and now here I am making plans for the big First Birthday celebration.

Height: ~28.5ins (50th percentile)

Weight: ~17.5lbs (10th percentile)

What can I say about this gem of  a baby that I haven’t said already. She is truly the sweetest, happiest baby I’ve ever met. It is rare to see her without a big, beaming smile on her face. She hardly ever cries, and when she does she always has a good reason. One of her favorite things to do right now is to crawl up to you, give you a snuggle and then roll into your lap and lay down. She did it with my friend’s 8 year old son the other day, he happens to be one of her favorite people, and it was the sweetest thing ever!

This kid is an explorer. She is all over the place. She mastered the stairs and is always taking off upstairs. However, she hasn’t figured out how to come back down so she’ll sit at the top of stairs and yell “MAAAAAA” at the top of her lungs until I come get her. In the last few days she has started climbing onto our fireplace hearth and into the little kid chairs we have. She can even climb back down so I’m guessing she’ll have the down the stairs thing figured out before too long. Walking is not far away for her either, I’m sure. She can stand independently with no hands, for quite a while too! She can also walk while pushing something or holding onto someone’s hands. I’m so not ready to have a walker. I’m happy if she decides to take her time, but knowing her she won’t :)

Nora loves food. Eating is one of her favorite things to do and giving her something to eat is the easiest way to calm her down if she is fussy. Her favorite foods right now are fruit of any kind but especially strawberries, peaches and grapes, peas, bread of any kind, waffles and pancakes and pirate’s booty.  She loves pirate’s booty so much she can even recognize the bag and goes crazy if she sees anyone with a bag of it!

Even though she is eating big people food like a champ Nora is still getting most of her nutrition from breastfeeding. She is still nursing about 6-7ish times a day and showing no signs of slowing down. I nursed both other girls until they were 20 months old so I’ll likely do the same with Nora. Since she is my last baby I am in no rush to speed up the weaning process. As long as I am nursing her I can pretend she is still my little baby and not growing up super fast right before my eyes.

Photo: No hands!

This last month of her first year will fly by in the blink of an eye just as the 11 months before it. Before I know it we’ll singing Happy Birthday to our little 1 year old and watching her make the biggest mess ever as she dives into her birthday cake. I get a little teary eyed thinking about her leaving babyhood behind and becoming a toddler. I’m not ready for the baby phase to be over. In the beginning when you are sleep deprived and rocking a helpless newborn to sleep their first birthday seems so far away but then you blink and they are suddenly these little independent beings who are learning to walk and talk and it is hard to remember them as that tiny little helpless buddle they were such a short time ago. Sigh.

I’ve been on a bit of a blogging vacation the past two weeks. My mom was in town so it seemed like a good time to take a little break. Now, of course, I have a million things to write about!

We were busy, busy, busy while my mom was here. We had a ton of fun adventures including some hiking, a couple of day trips in and around Seattle, and the piece de resistance, a trip to the Oregon Coast.

Our trip to the Oregon Coast was perfect. We spent 3 glorious days in a rental house in Oceanside, OR, a small little beachside town of a couple hundred people. Our beach house was perfect and had some great views of the beach.

As soon as we arrived we quickly unloaded our stuff and headed down to the beach. Oregon beaches are known for their wind and there were lots of people flying kites in the heavy ocean breezes. We walked the beach, put our toes in the very chilly water, checked out the tide pools and flew a kite for a bit. We all had a wonderful time. It was so fun and relaxing.

We were able to catch a little of the sunset that evening from our balcony.

The second day of our trip was spent trying to catch our dinner. Lorne, Maya and Anna, and later my mom, headed out in a little boat with some crab pots to try to catch some yummy crab for dinner. The girls were a bit grossed out but had fun. After a couple of hours Lorne came back with one little crab (they caught a ton but had to throw most of them back because they were female or too small). But, one isn’t bad for a first try :) We picked up a couple more crabs to go with our little crab to complete our dinner. It was delicious!!

After our super yummy dinner we headed down to the beach for a nice evening stroll to end our second day. Some clouds had begun to roll in and it was a little chilly but it was still incredibly beautiful.

We woke the third day to some pretty dense cloud cover and a little rain. We didn’t let that slow us down. We went into Tillamook and did a tour of the cheese factory there. We checked out how the cheese is made and packaged, tried a few samples of their very yummy cheeses and enjoyed an ice cream.

After a quick lunch back at our beach house we headed up to Cape Meares to see an old lighthouse and the famous octopus tree. Though the clouds and fog were pretty heavy the views from the cape were beautiful. The octopus tree was amazing. The fog actually made it look that much cooler!

The fog and dense clouds stuck around for our final evening at the beach. We didn’t let that slow us down. We headed down for one final walk along the beach. It was still cloudy and foggy and pretty chilly but we had fun anyway.

The Oregon coast is stunningly beautiful. We had such an amazing time. We will definitely be heading back again.

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. I thought I’d take a moment to talk about my own breastfeeding experience and to share a few words of wisdom I’ve pick up a long the way.

I’m in the 10th month of breastfeeding my third baby. I’ve now spent 50 of the last 84 months breastfeeding. That boils down to a lot of moments spent snuggled up with my babies. That boils down to a lot of breast milk. That boils down to a lot of nourishment with both actual nutrition and quality bonding time with all of my babies.

I always knew I would breastfed. Before I became pregnant with Maya the idea of breastfeeding and what it would actually entail were abstract thoughts. I knew it was something that was important to me, but other than that I didn’t give it much thought. During my pregnancy with Maya I was like any other new mother. I researched by butt off. I soaked up all the knowledge I could get my hands on about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and how to care for a baby. My stack of books was ridiculous. The number of tabs open on my internet browser that related in some way to babies was in sane. I wanted to know everything. Most of the books only seemed to touch on the breastfeeding, much to my dismay. When I saw the hospital I was planning on delivering my baby at was offering a breastfeeding class I jumped all over it. Taking that class was the best thing I ever did for myself and for my children. I learned so much in that 2 hour class, stuff that wasn’t even mentioned in the books I read or mentioned by the people I talked to.

10 months into my third round of breastfeeding and I feel a bit like a pro. Those early weeks this time were easy. I knew what to expect, I knew how to power through and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I have loved nursing all three of my babies. It is an incredibly empowering feeling to see what your body is capable of doing. I wish everyone had the chance to know the feeling of sitting quietly, in the middle of the night with a sleepy baby weighing heavily in their arms as they nursed him or her back to sleep. There is nothing like it.

What I would tell a new mom with questions about breastfeeding is…Take a breastfeeding class if your hospital or birth center offers one. Breastfeeding takes work. No one really tells you that. It is natural and once you get into a groove is very easy but those first weeks are hard, especially with your first baby. A lot of learning, by both mom and baby, takes place in those first weeks. Newborns need to eat all that time. Exhaustion will make you second guess yourself. You will feel like nothing more than a milk machine. The first few weeks are tough but they will pass and when you come out the other side you will feel empowered and will love yourself and your body for doing such an amazing job.