Breastes?

I previously wrote an article after my first daughter was born that was more or less my realization that breastfeeding was hard times. At that point, becoming a mother was so new to me and I just felt like I was running behind the struggle bus just trying to get on. Now that I’m two months postpartum with my second daughter, I’m captain of the struggle bus and here to give you all the tricks and trades of breastfeeding that I’ve learned in my nursing years.

Breastfeeding is like meditation, it’s something you have to work for incessantly to hopefully achieve the all and mighty great supply (I’m talking overstocked freezer-considering donating your stash, hindmilk rich supply milk). I haven’t gotten there myself, but it seems to me that it usually comes to the mother’s that a) don’t stress about it or b) don’t care about it, which I’m neither.

I.

The most important rule in breastfeeding is DIET. Oh gawd, I thought I’d get some slack with my second child since my first was super colicky, but nooope. Her intolerance was almost immediate. After two days of consecutive witching hours, I gave up dairy* I was stubborn and kept my splash of creamer in my morning coffee. However, the joke was on me–less than one ounce of creamer in my coffee caused about 2 hours of constant crying/screaming during the evening. Since eliminating these foods, I have given up caffeine, tomatoes (mostly cooked tomatoes like pasta sauce) and dairy (raw, not cooked-ie. milk, cheeses, etc). I’ve also tried to stick to whole foods and limit sugars as much as possible. Somehow I’m still one of the lucky ones to hold on to my pregnancy weight while breastfeeding even though my diet is on point (wahhh).

II.

Water. I can’t ever seem to keep myself hydrated so I try to cheat as often as possible. I started by hydration journey by adding Liquid IV to my water once a day but realized my sugar intake was high so I switched to Nunn tablets. Both are sold on Amazon, Nunn comes in tablet form and is 10 calories per tablet/5 grams of sugar where liquid IV is a powder form and has 50 calories./11 grams of sugar . Nunn is also gluten free and is made with plant based ingredients and has 13 flavors to chose from where Liquid IV comes with 3 flavors and has a new hydration technology that also includes daily vitamins. I order them subscription from Amazon for a discount. Liquid IV is also sold at Costco (major convenience).  Or you know, you can just drink water like a normal person. Momming two girls has me cutting every shortcut possible since I can never find where my water cup is or I’m stuck with a sleeping baby in my arms and don’t have access to any nearby water supply.

III.

Community. Sign up for a mom forum (Facebook has hundreds of groups) or get breast friends. Literally nothing has helped me more than bouncing my problems off another breast feeder. Am I producing enough? Why is her poop green this week? When and how much do I pump? Is birth control going to rid my supply? Do I have a clogged duct? Is this product worth it? Gah, the ladies who have shared their TMI stories, advice and problems-you rock. I whole heartedly thank you. My best, unsolicited advice is to find that breast friend, and if you don’t have one-I’m here for you.

IV.

Legendairy Milk. Thanks to my friend, Rebecca, for introducing them to me (hay girl). Can we talk about how amazing their product line is? I admit, it’s overwhelming at first, I lied, it’s still overwhelming to nail which product(s) are right for you, but there is nothing more gratifying than building a freezer stash. I have a 15 lb/2 month old child currently, for new moms out there, my second child is the same size as my first child was at her 4 month appointment. I can somehow continue to grow her AND produce enough for my freezer stash. I have about 60 oz from 10 minute pumping sessions 1-2 times a day from the past month. I started with their popular bundle (liquid gold, pump princess and milkapoolaza) then ordered their tea (tea-tas) when I was convinced my hormonal IUD was going to diminish my supply. I just got their Lecithin and I’m planning on ordering the pump princess and cash cow bundle and lactivist to bump up my hind milk supply (just take all my money). I’m determined to have a solid milk supply. Plus their orders come with a ton of helpful hints on breastfeeding and their Instagram handle is my absolute favorite right now. Promise me, you will at least follow them if you’re planning on nursing.

V.

 Haakaa. I wasn’t sure I needed this at first but then my friend told me how much she saved from her leaky boob in two months, and I had ordered it before she could finish the conversation. I don’t know if she would want to be named in this article considering I just told you she had a leaky boob, but I ordered this and I plop it on my other boob while I nurse if I begin to leak and I’ve saved up to 5 oz in one cluster feeding sesh alone. Best of all, it’s like $13 dollars on Amazon and is the perfect tool to help get out a clogged duct, if you end up getting one. I consider a clogged duct to be a breast feeding badge of honor, so better to plan ahead IMO.

VI.

Learn your pump. I got the Spectra and tbh I had no idea what I was doing. I finally got my groove down, apparently you’re supposed to change the suction and duration during the feedings? I had no idea. I also didn’t know that you can pay the difference from the health insurance covered Spectra for the cordless Spectra (which is like a difference of $30.00), wish I knew that earlier. I have the Medela pump from my first pregnancy but I heard the suction was better on the Spectra, and so far I’m a fan. The plan I follow for my pump sessions is what I got off Legendairy Milk’s IG:

70 cycle for 3 mins

54 cycle for 6-7 vacuum 

38 cycle for 7 vaccum for 3-4 minutes, or until milk runs out

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I also just ordered the Willow pump, so I’ll let you know how that pans out in a later post. I was stressed out about how I would find the time to pump before/during work and find time to take care of the kids, nurse and find time to work out since my maternity leave is running out. It’s a wireless pump that will allow me to pump in the car and at my desk and I’m hoping this will change my life, but as most baby products you buy, it’s like a 50/50 shot, ha. If I can pump 3x a day at work or during work hours plus work out on my lunch since I’m not leaving my desk 2x a day for 40 minutes, it should be a total game changer.

I also have researched formula, too. I supplemented with my first when I went back to work but managed to still breast feed for 15 months. I confuse myself on why I’m so determined to breast feed, truly, since it 100% consumes my life. I just know it’s a miracle milk and if I’m one of the lucky moms that can do it, no reason why I shouldn’t? I just figure I have an extra year of pregnancy, because I’m counting down the days until I can use retinal, inject Botox, and have endless margaritas by a beach. Until then-I’m just sharing what I’ve learned since it’s the absolute most confusing part of motherhood minus the actual baby part.

Moms, feel free to contribute. Thanks for reading.

xx

 

P is officially a 1.5 year old!

 

Once upon a time you have a baby & you think to yourself that you simply could not love her or him more & then, your heart explodes every day when your baby becomes a tiny little human. Now it seems like I’m in a constant state of this all consuming love.  This stage is amazing to watch and experience as a parent. I just fall again every time she says a new word or does a small gesture. I remember when she learned how to say “please,” hell, she could be asking for a steak knife and I’d give it to her as long as her tiny little voice said “please.”

With that said, I figured I’d celebrate this half birthday since I sort of stopped documenting her every move, milestone and stage. So let’s see if I can be a super mom & sum up the last six months.

Walking-I remember she wasn’t walking at her 1st birthday but she took steps here and there. She really started to walk around 13 months. Since then, it’s walking first. She doesn’t spend much time in her stroller, so basically,  if she’s not walking, I’m holding her.

Teeth-She got her molars in like 3 months ago and her incisors are peeking through now (just the tip). Her teeth came through early from the beginning, and in this moment she loves to bite. I mean, today–just today, she started to kiss instead of bite so I’m really hoping that sticks. Otherwise, I need help! I told the pediatrician today, and she thought it was due to frustration for not being able to communicate. I just think growing teeth sucks but she knows not to bite–she just thinks it’s funny to do so.

Traits- She now boycotts bows, headbands and any hair accessories. She refuses pony tails, pig tails, etc. I literally leave her with her wild curls, every day. She also tells me which shoes she’d like to wear, so no matter the outfit, she’s usually wearing her orange burkenstocks.

She can say words like: please, I love you, more, all done, no-no, and thank you. I got her to say apple and broccoli once, but never again :).

P loves books, she usually makes me read her about 56 books a night. I’m not kidding, I have to read at least 6 before I can call it a night. If I can’t find her, she’s usually in a corner in a pile of books. I think I’ve read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? like 4,504,050 times. I actually know the sequential order of the animals by memory.

She eats about everything, we’re slowly introducing things I’ve held back from her like juices and chocolate milk, she still loves milk and water so I’m happy with that. She’s still weird about eggs, though.

She hates high chairs. She LOVES her bellybutton (as if it were her pacifier)

I read a quote, or several, from Ryan Reynolds, which sort of sums this all up:

“I used to say to [Blake], ‘I would take a bullet for you. I could never love anything as much as I love you.’ And then the second I looked in that baby’s eyes, I knew in that exact moment, if we were ever under attack, I would use my wife as a human shield to protect that baby.”

See more funnies here

12 months with P!

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What She’s Wearing: Baby Gap Sweater (here) & Red Riding Onesie Dress (here) on sale!! & Fox Socks from LittleSaylorShoppe that I found on insta!

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Her aunt Danielle got her this book, I didn’t mean to incorporate it in to the photos but it was next to the glider and P picked it up–& who can control a determined 1 year old? In the event anyone is looking for a super cute gift idea, this book is personalized for the birthday girl/boy & includes a spot to add a photo! #yourewelcome

Clothing Size:  18 months fo’sho. 12 months is pushing it these days with P’s chubby legs. I just recently purged P’s closet, aside the obvious heartbreak from putting aside clothes that she never wore (mostly due to AZ weather not permitting long sleeves/pants), but it’s just really difficult to put aside clothes that she grew out of. I had 6 month clothes lingering in her closet & going through her closet made me realize that little one is a toddler now 😦

Diaper Size:  Still 4’s, but changing her diaper is the worst. It’s like the blind leading the blind now-a-days. She moves, fiercely, as I try to wipe and change her. 9 out of 10 times, I fasten her diaper mid air because she refuses to lay there for the 4 seconds to swap a diaper out and wipe, respectively. If I potty train next month, it’s because of this “issue,” also anytime I wipe/bathe P, I think of Amy Shumar’s opening SNL monologue and laugh at my inside joke with myself.

Milestones: P officially stands & has taken around 4-6 steps at any given time, howevs she’s not fully committed to the idea of walking but girlfriend is a lot more comfortable with it & will walk to me if I encourage enough (aka have a popsicle waiting for her). As for talking, she chats all day long, she says the basic words like MaMa, DaDa, etc, but she jabbers in her own language that is a series of sounds a clicks. I love her language, it usually makes anyone around her laugh.

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Sleeping:  My sister gave me a copy of The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman because obviously, P’s sleeping or lack there of, has been an ongoing issue. I’ll report back once I implement their logic & let you know if I’m still waking up every couple of hours. Coffee, Thank YOU, for keeping me awake this past year! Wish my luck with the CIO method, aka worst parent duty ever.

Teeth:  8 teeth, no signs of any newbies coming in.

Favorite Activities:  Eating! She’s enjoying straws and food pouches. She loves her toys, opening cabinet doors, putting anything/everything in her mouth, she likes toys that allow her to walk/ride on them, she likes to bounce, loves to crawl like a maniac, walk along bordering objects, playing with a kitchenette (best kid purchase, ever!), anything involving water and discovering the world one day at a time!

. . .

So, one year & 9 months ago…

I had phoned my sister after finding out I was pregnant (at the time, I was around 7 weeks along) only to come to find out we were both expecting! Initially, our due dates were about 2 weeks apart, but I went in to labor early and our daughter’s ended up being less than a day apart! My sister (& the rest of Canadian family) came out when P was 4 months & we took the photos of the girls, & this past weekend I went to Canada to visit them so we decided to take the same picture (or tried to at least!) ❤ ❤

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Anyway, first time flying with P so we could attend my niece’s adorable Halloween themed birthday party, here’s a pic of the birthday girl below! 🙂

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P also got  the chance to meet some of her family for the first time, here are her great grandmother’s and great grandfather and great aunt & uncle. I’m so happy she got to meet them all, these people have been such influential people in my life and not everyone is fortunate to meet their great grandparents and P got to meet 3 of them! It really gives you perspective on life having your daughter meet your grandparents & how quickly 30 years can pass.

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But let’s talk about the obvious like how my grandmother  (pictured right) is almost 87 & she’s more fly than I am.

P’s First Birthday

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Happy Birthday my sweet little girl!

I had so much fun planning this party for her! For her baby shower, I decided on a Madeline theme & I thought it would be fun to continue using book themes in hopes  little P will appreciate reading. It’s weird, having a kid makes the things you loved at their age nostalgic. I love rereading the books I had as a little girl. Although reading to a one year old feels like I’m reading to a deaf ears 🙂 Everyone talks about how important it is to read to a child but EVERYONE fails to tell you how little they listen. If the book has textures, P will like it, otherwise she’s hitting it out of my head or crawling away from me (yup, still no walking for this one year old!)

Thanks to Pinterest & sleepless nights, I pretty much set up a board with ideas from other creative moms and began planning with Laura (her grandmother) which definitely gave us a head start. If I could offer any advice (#BOOmomadvice), giving yourself a couple of months to plan makes it a lot cheaper & really gives you options–it’s when you’re running around last-minute you’re having to spend a lot of money.

Luckily, Dr. Seuss was in the dollar buckets at Target! We scored a ton of decorations from there around back-to-school time. Lunch boxes, bags, clocks, the hat, Loardy–dollar buckets are your best friend for kid parties! I also scored some great prizes for the party, too!

My favorite part was asking everyone to sign Happy Birthday To You by Dr. Seuss for Presley to have as a keepsake.

Here are some photos of the party decor & food:

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((blue raspberry jello w/ swedish fish)) make as normal, let it sit for an hour and then add the fish
((dyed noodle pasta salad))

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((dollar store napkins/cutlery, paper tape = cute bow ties)) stole that idea from my family friend Lisa!

((YooHoos (from the dollar store!!)), Costco applesauce packets for the tots, Lorax decorated Nutterbutters (add yellow icing & candy eyes), Strawberry/banana skewers (make Dr. Seuss hats))

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The AMAZINGLY talented cake maker (SugarMama Cakes) and Lorax Lemonade

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P’s outfit: Dr. Seuss Shirt from Amazon and Romper from Belle Threads

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As party favors, I used a mustache mold from Hobby Lobby (in the baby shower isle) and yellow confection chocolate and gave those to guests (or kids mostly 🙂 ).

To keep the kids entertained, I bought the $5 dollar play dough & printed a couple of copies of Dr. Seuss b&w clipart and had a coloring contest, seemed to keep the little ones occupied and got a ball pit on Amazon (cheap find)!

We had shirts made from Brand X in Tempe,  they have a ton of fun options for customized shirts!

I’d say the party was a success & now my little girl is a 1-year-old!

THANK YOU to all our family & friends that celebrated with us, hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

10 months with P!

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What She’s Wearing: Osh Kosh Top (here) & Osh Kosh Pleather!! Skirt (here), oh & her hair clips (similar here)–all from Target!

Clothing Size:  Definitely 12 months now, I can squeeze her in some of my  9 month favorites but def more on the 12 month size. She’s a butter ball, it’s all I ever hoped for!

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Diaper Size:  4’s, I try to make it easy on myself and give myself more to work with when changing a diaper on a squirmy baby. It’s so funny, not that I would ever bring up poop in a conversation, but here I am, bringing it up, it’s super funny when she poops! She just stops in the middle of whatever she’s doing, like STOPS & makes sure to look you square in the eye & then poops. Maybe it’s even accommodated with a grunt or loud noise. As for her poop (am I really having an entire conversation about this?), it’s getting to the stage where cloth diapering is  going to be MUCH easier. I’m coming back for you, clothies! Safe to say, I’ve only had to buy maybe one or two boxes of diapers since girlfriend grew out of newborns, so even if I’m failing on cloth diapering, I’m still #winning. /PoopRant

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Milestones: Okay, she says “da da” and means Sergio. I’m so bummed it wasn’t mama first :(. I’m still not sure if her “mama” means me, since she usually only says it when she’s crying and chances are I’m the one tending to her because I can’t handle it when she cries. Oh, I tried the cry-it-out method to see if she would go to sleep on her own (& lasted a whole :38 seconds). She has also begun to use P’s to say Papa and I think she can say “yay” and “hi,” obviously she’s babbles and makes a lot of “dub duba dub” sounds. As for other milestones–she’s def about to walk, she pulls herself up on anything/everything and crawls like a maniac. She’s too fast! Like so fast, I don’t know how I’m going to get anything done. As for her next milestone, we’re still working on waving and high fives, because to me that’s more important than  animal sounds people. She also dances (to Harry Belafonte)–not sure what that’s about. Cue: Jump the Line.

Sleeping:  She naps (2-3x day) and still doesn’t sleep through the night. We just bought a temperpedic cover for her crib mattress, I am hoping my pretty penny will help her sleep through the night now. Her stroller and our mattress are temperpedic so I think she’s been spoiled & I hope that it will work. The nice thing about her getting older is, even though Presley has yet to sleep through the night, people FINALLY stopped asking me whether she sleeps through the night the second they find out I had a baby. “If I had a dollar for every time..”

Teeth:  She’s definitely still teething, just not sure what teeth to expect next. She has her same FOUR top and TWO bottom, but she’s back to ear itching and drooling so I imagine something’s happening below the gums. Usually I don’t notice until her teeth poke through. Bless her teething necklace.

Talking:  Girlfriend is definitely talking up a storm! She screams (mostly she competes with loud noises/noisy places) and makes all sorts of sounds otherwise. She mimics people & sort of has conversations with people (cue hand signals). Very Italian of her.

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Favorite Activities: Mean mugging (see picture above). She likes to be out & doing things. Doesn’t matter what things, she’s even perfectly content with being outside (& it’s a kajillion degrees in AZ right now). We went to the children’s museum earlier today–I think as long as she can be entertained, she’s happy. This past month we went to a baseball game. She had so much fun until that dreadful 7 o’clock hour when she begins to turn in to a pumpkin (which means we left after the 50/50 raffle & had to skip the fireworks). Other than that, girlfriend LOVES the water (swimming, bath time, splash pads, etc). She loves to dance (to Rastafarian 70’s music nonetheless)! She just likes to be with people, as long as “her people” are around (stranger danger in full effect), overall, this little one is a happy camper.

Foods: Presley pretty much eats it all. She loves yogurt, eggs and oatmeal in the morning. Snacks usually involve fruit, cheese, veggies or meat and dinner is usually whatever her grandmother makes her (or what I happen to be eating). She’s still nursing & drinking formula. At this point, I’m ready to be done nursing (so ready), but I figure what’s another 2 months? I don’t know. I’m going to see how the temperpedic helps (see above) & then I can have a little more freedom.

Mom Brag: I’m first to admit, I don’t have it together. Kudos to you moms who do. Since I was about 6 months pregnant, I have been making a photobook for P of my pregnancy and as of 10 months postpartum, I have finally completed it. YAS! For all you expectant mothers, you should look in to making one here. I just hope it doesn’t take you as long as it took me!

8 Months with P

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What She’s Wearing: Gap Baby Top (similar here)  Gap Baby Bottoms (similar here) & Headband (Hobby Lobby)

Clothing Size:  Only buying 12 mos now, she’s growing TOO fast! Although girlfriend’s shoe size is still not quite a 2, yeah as in 3-6 mo size, which means she’s basically a size 1 still. True def of baby feet.

Diaper Size:  3’s for now–but I’m sure I could do 4’s anytime. I installed a sprayer to wash the cloth diapers, hoping that it makes it easier–still a hybrid diaper mom. I think it just depends on the day.

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Milestones: She makes kissy sounds,  says “mama” and “dada” but her “mamas” are always mixed in with  her cries. She can stand up, but bareeeeeely pulls herself up with help from a person or with pillows. She hasn’t crawled yet but she leans down and stops because I think it scares her, & she cannot sit still (hence these in-motion snapshots).  She babbles, sings, and knows how to kiss (with an open mouth). She really likes the mirror & seems to gets sassier by the day, I love it.

Sleeping:  She’s been pushing her bedtime and waking up earlier. I set my alarm for 5:30 and sometimes she wakes up with me or quickly thereafter. I try to tell her about how amazing sleep is, but she continues to wake up early 😦

Teeth:  TWO bottom teeth! They are just adorable (but sharp as hell) and making me want to quit nursing. As for now, I’m pumping at work so the idea of pumping exclusively sounds exhausting. Oh, also, warning to new moms: trying to teach a 7-8 month old not to bite is tough, I’ve made her cry a couple times and then I’m left feeling like a jerk because I know she’s just in pain from teething.

Talking:  She talks, about what, I’m not sure. She screams, too. She’s very vocal. Today, she had a class and she was the only baby chatting and singing in the class. I hope she always stays fearless.

Favorite Activities:  She loves the water, in fact, she’s been swimming a lot with her Mimi! It’s super hot in AZ so it seems like she really loves splash pads, the waterpark or playing in any kind of water (bath time, too). She’s also a frequent visitor of the zoo, aquarium, and Children’s Museum–she’s very active in Phoenix. I work full-time, so her Mimi (or grandmother) takes her to all these fun places.  She still loves animals, & tries to feed them so they love her just as much. Oh and speaking of, she loves eating!

Foods: She’s had every fruit/veggie I could think of (today she had beets) and I’ve introduced yogurt and cheese. I have yet to try meat, but I bet her meals will change a lot in the next month once we introduce “meals.” She loves apples & pears, so I usually mix those with everything (beets, kale, carrots to name a few), she finally gave in to peas, has yet to like green beans though. She seems to eat anything we give her. We give her celery to teeth on, and I think the funniest thing I’ve seen her eat is pickles! SHE LOVES PICKLES! She also enjoys those yogurt snacks, kale teething biscuits, & those O snacks. It’s the best to try and watch her feed herself. Sprouts has amazing/healthy/organic snacks, I buy most of her food there.

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7 months with P

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What She’s Wearing: Koala Baby Top (here)  Bottoms (here) & Old Navy jellies (similar here)

Clothing Size:  Onesies and Jumpers are about all of the 6 month clothes she can still wear, and  I’m running out of room for her outgrown baby clothes.

Diaper Size:  Okay, first & foremost, THANK GOODNESS girlfriend poops less because breastfed poop is SO much easier to deal with than real food/formula poop. I’ve experienced a whole new world of blowouts, two times I pretty much threw her in the bathtub still strapped in her carseat (just kidding, CPS). One day was after avocados (never again) and I had just picked her up after work and we went to Sprouts to grab stuff for dinner. After shopping, I went to put her back in the carseat and there was a brown puddle in the carseat base. Which means I had been leaving a trail the entire time I was there (sorry)! Another time at Sprouts (I want to love you Sprouts, but you make it hard), I went to take her out of the carseat and my hand was covered in..well, you get it..It’s gross. Cloth diapering is much harder than before, but I’m staying strong.

Milestones: Still can’t flip front to back, but she can sit up, sit, and stand for short periods of time. She can grab things, pass them between hands and I’m hoping she claps soon. Her godmother is teaching her sign language, so I’m hoping to jump on that bandwagon and sign away with her.

Sleeping:  She sleeps pretty regularly. She’s sleeping on my arms as I type this, swoon. I know I’ll miss these moments the most.

Teeth:  One nub, it’s out completely but it’s yet to come up (it’s been like 3 weeks). It’s also huge.

Talking:  She has her consonants down, a whole lot of dada going on. Which if you ask me is rude, but whatever–haha. I just keep throwing the M’s at her.

Favorite Activities:  She loves dogs (apparently all animals), she giggles at them and when the wind blows on her face. She loves putting everything in her mouth and loves iPhones, iPads and even computers. She threw a tantrum today because I wouldn’t let her a) chew on the wire b) punch the keyboard or c) pull the power cord out of my laptop. Other than  that she loves being outdoors, and playing with her toys. She seems to enjoy her bath time and spending time with her family. She got a chance to go to the beach last month, and she loved that, too.

I’ll leave a behind the scenes on how hard it is to get one good picture, enjoy ❤

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