Baby

I haven’t nursed Nora in over a week. She is officially fully weaned. She still asks for it on occasion but she doesn’t get upset when I say no or distract her with something else. Although I was completely ready to be done with breastfeeding I still feel a little sad, or maybe nostalgic is a better word, now that it is over. It feels a bit like the end of an era. Babyhood in our family is officially coming to an end. Our kids are getting older and more independent by the day. Even the baby of the family isn’t a baby anymore.

Being done with breastfeeding feels like such a huge deal to me. Donating my nursing bras and tank tops felt surreal. For close to 5 of the last 7 and a half years I have had a nursing baby or toddler. It was just so much a part of my parenting routine that to have it be done feels weird, and I must admit a bit freeing. I don’t feel so tied down or required anymore. We all like to feel needed, and all my girls still need me and prefer for me to put them to bed at night, but I’m not required. Being gone in the evening around bedtime is now something I can do if I want to!

Nora was by far the hardest to wean. Perhaps it is because I waited a bit longer to start the process with her, perhaps it was just such a comfort to her she didn’t want to willingly give it up. Maya and Anna were fairly easy to wean, with only one or two nursing sessions being a little more challenging. By the time I started weaning them at 18 months they were down to just a few times a day anyway and we fully weaned within a month or so. Nora was still going strong at 18 months so getting her give it up was a lot harder. We took it slow and I tried to let her set the pace as much as I could, although I was ready to be done so I tended to nudge her a bit when I could. It took about 4-5 months to finally get to the point where she was just nursing once or twice a day. Getting rid of those last couple of sessions was a lot easier than I anticipated. I figured she would put up a huge fight, but with a little distraction and the introduction of some new elements to our morning and nighttime routines she quickly decided it was okay to give it up.

I really enjoy our new nighttime routine. We read a book (the same airplane book every night!) and snuggle for a few minutes. We still get that quiet, uninterrupted time together and she still gets her much loved snuggles before getting into bed. It works well and both of us are happy.

 

Being the parent of three children, two of whom are stroller riding age, you would think I would have been the owner of a double stroller a long time ago. I’ve somehow managed to avoid it for quite sometime. Babywearing was my saving grace. I could wear one and push one, keeping myself happily in the single stroller owner category. It was a happy place. Everyone was content with. I love babywearing and only having to deal with a single stroller. Anna was happy to ride along in comfort and Nora was rocking the whole being worn thing.

But then one day Nora decided that being worn perhaps meant she was missing out on some freedom. And, being the good toddler that she was, she was not going to allow that any longer. One day she decided that when we went for walks, especially the walk to school to pick up Maya kind of walk, she was not willing to be worn, she HAD to ride in the stroller. For a few weeks I still managed to avoid the double stroller conversation and convinced myself that they could easily ride together in my single BOB, they loved it, right?! I found lollipops were a great way to convince them to work with me 😉

This sharing the single BOB thing worked for a couple of weeks. They even agreed to squish side by side in it most of the time. But they quickly got irritated with being jammed into a seat made for one and started to fight, yell, and generally make walks miserable. Ok, girls point made. I was being forced to suck it up and take the plunge into the world of stroller beasts, also commonly referred to as double strollers.

I did a bunch of research, although I already knew where my research would lead me. I had tried out a tandem, sit and stand style stroller last summer a couple of times but it was difficult to push and had zero maneuverability. After a few days of reading up on my various options I did indeed end up deciding on the stroller I figured I would, the BOB Duallie. The girls love it!! I must admit I do too. I don’t love that I take up the whole sidewalk now, but it maneuvers very well, is super easy to push and no one is yelling and fighting anymore!!

I mean, look at those smiling faces!! I can deal with pushing the beast if it makes them that happy :)

In the blink of an eye 18 months has flown by. Some how my baby girl, my smallest daredevil princess, the lovely Miss Nora is 18 months old. It feels like just yesterday that I was holding a tiny little bundle of newborn Nora in my arms for the first time, in awe of her perfectness. Then I blinked and she was suddenly an 18 month old toddler not afraid of anything and taking on the world one daredevil stunt at a time.

Weight: 20lbs 10oz (23rd percentile)

Height: 31 ins (24th percentile)

Head Circumference: 18.5 ins (70th percentile)

Nora had her 18 month well child check up this morning and was declared to be petite and perfect! Just like her big sister Anna she is still rocking her petite status with pride. After a thorough check up by the doctor that included lots of talking, since Nora is a chatter box, I was told she was perfectly healthy and way ahead of the curve with her verbal skills both with her ability to communicate and her ability to understand. It is always nice to walk away from a well child check up with a glowing report.

There is so much I could say about our sweet baby girl and yet it is hard to find the right words to describe her. She is full of life and energy. She is a total daredevil and not afraid to try anything. She loves playing both on her own and with her big sisters. Her favorite toy is her baby dolls. She pushes her doll around the house in the stroller and hugs her and pats her back and gives her kisses. It is so sweet and cute. She also loves to play dress up, especially with hats and shoes (one of her current favorite words!). She also loves to color and read. But, her favorite activity is climbing anything and everything! I had to move our bar stools away from the counter because she figured out how to use them to climb on to the counter and I couldn’t not keep her off of it. She is a fun one 😉

Nora is a busy little girl. Busy growing, busy learning, busy talking and busy keeping us on our toes. She has a great vocabulary and can communicate very well with both words and gestures. I’ve lost count of how many words she knows. It seems like she is adding new words daily now. She can say, hi and bye, mom and dad (but mostly mom, she uses mom for a lot of things), dog, cat, bird, duck, meow, quack, tree, truck, bus, shoe, fish, this, that, nose, belly, bum, bike, hat, boot, blanket, bath, bubble, balloon, outside, help, cheese, juice, snack, lunch, park and plane. I’m sure there are more but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. There is rarely a time that I don’t understand what she means. She is very good at combining words she knows with gestures to make her point clear. She also understands an incredible amount. She will answer questions and follow directions.

This is one of my favorite ages. There is so much exploring, learning, growing and changing taking place it is almost like there is something new or different about her every day. I love seeing the world through the eyes of a curious toddler.

Nora is not a good sleeper. There I said it. It is the first time in my 7 year career of motherhood that I have utter the phrase “My child is a bad sleeper.” Not because I had bad sleepers and didn’t want to admit it. I have been able to avoid it because my girls are good sleepers. Well, at least until the last 6 months or so with Nora. The last 6 months or so have been rough to  say the least. Nora isn’t sleeping well, which in turn means I am not sleeping well. A sleepy Lisa makes for a grumpy, impatient Lisa, which, as you can imagine, makes things a little crazier around this already crazy house.

When Nora was a wee baby, really for the first 9 months or so, she was an excellent sleeper. She was sleeping through the night, like 10-12 hour stretches kind of sleeping through the night, at 6 weeks old. She always went down easily and sleep like a charm all night, rarely waking and if she did usually only once and then right back to sleep. She even slept in a bit in the morning a lot of the time. It was fantastic. It made me so incredibly grateful and I didn’t talk about it much for fear I would jinx the perfectness of it.

When she started teething things began to take a turn. She began to wake at night more often but at first she always returned to her good sleeping habits. Then something happened. I don’t know what. It began one week when she was working on her first molars and had a cold all at the same time. She was so obviously not feeling well and was grumpy pretty much all day long. I did what I could by giving her tylenol for her teeth and setting up the humidifier for her stuffy nose. It didn’t help much. She began waking up 2, 3 and even sometimes 4 times a night. It went on for weeks. Long after the cold went away. I figured maybe it was the teeth more than the cold. The frequent night wakings continued. Month after month, tooth after tooth.

And here we are a good 6 months or so later and Nora is still waking up 2, 3 and sometimes 4 times a night. It is beyond exhausting. Now that she is fairly vocal she no longer cries, she stands up in her crib and screams, I mean screaming at the top of her lungs kind of screams, for me. I am rudely awakened by the sound of a blood curdling “Mooooommmmm!” at all hours of the night. She won’t let me just rock her, I have to nurse her every time. It is maddening and exhausting.  She is hard to resist though in all her cuteness!

I’m ready for something to give. Something has to give, I need more sleep. I know at some point I’m going to have to play the bad guy and refuse to nurse her or let her cry it out or something. I obviously haven’t hit rock bottom yet because I’m not quite ready to do that.  Plus, given the volume of her screaming if I let her cry (or rather yell) it out she is bound to wake up the rest of the house and the only thing worse than being up with one child multiply times a night is being up with more than one child multiply times a night! So, I guess for now we will carry on being sleepless in Seattle until she final returns to sleeping well (I secretly hold out hope that she will) or I hit by breaking point and force nudge her in that direction.

 

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.