Family Friday: Feb 22

24 Weeks Old

I'm not a morning person but seeing Cameron in the morning is one of my favorite things.  When she wakes up, she wiggles out of her swaddle and then happily coos, talks, and giggles to herself for a long while.  I'll always lay in bed and watch/listen on the baby monitor because it's so cute.

When I finally go into her room, I'll open the curtains to let in some light and then lean over her crib and talk to her for a few minutes.  She is non-stop HUGE smiles when she sees me in the morning.  It reminds how lucky and blessed I am to have her in my life.

There were two times this week that I woke to Cameron's usual coos and giggles over the monitor and when I went to her room, she was her usual happy smiling self...  but it was 4:30am!  She obviously thought it was morning and time to wake up.  I swaddled her a little tighter, turned her Sleep Sheep on, and thankfully she fell back asleep for a few more hours each time.  Crazy girl :)

Cameron is getting better holding her own bottle.  She grabs it out of my hands and puts it in her mouth before we even sit down.  She is also getting better at putting her pacifier in her mouth all by herself.  I really think that she simply aims for her face, hoping that it will hit her mouth, because sometimes things go up her nose or in her eye :)

Cameron is becoming mobile!  She's not technically crawling yet but she can move across the floor by wiggling her body and pushing with her feet.  She is a very determined little girl so it won't be long before she's crawling around.

Cameron will happily stay on her belly for up to 10 minutes now but still gets "stuck" and frustrated at times.  In the photo below, she started crying and Dulce came over and laid down next to her - perhaps trying to comfort her in some way?  It didn't help any but it was a sweet gesture :)  Watching the two of them together, it's obvious that Dulce respects and cares about Cameron.

This week we took Dulce to the Hickam dog beach.  It was low tide (late afternoon) and Dulce had a blast bolting around in the wet sand.  This is the first time I've been here since before Johnnie left.  Cameron seemed to enjoy the sights and sounds, looking out from her comfy sling.  It was good for all of us to get some fresh air and sunshine.

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."
~Karen Von Blixen-Finecke

Family Friday: Feb 15

23 Weeks Old

Love those chubby baby legs!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Johnnie sent me a dozen gorgeous red roses and I got to video chat with him which made for a pretty good day despite being alone :)

I had grandiose ideas for Valentine's Day baby photos but they didn't really happen.  Cameron was fussy and I didn't have time to try again.  I got a couple cute ones which is good enough for this year.

Cameron is a pro at rolling from her back to her stomach now and is getting better on her stomach every day.  She is now able to balance on one arm so that she can reach and grab things with the other. She still gets "stuck" on her stomach sometimes but she is starting to roll back onto her back more often.  Funny thing is that no matter how she rolls, she always rolls to her right.  The other day she tried hard to roll to her left and couldn't do it.  Dulce also only rolls in one direction (and probably always will) whereas I'm sure that Cameron will eventually overcome that obstacle :)

Dulce better watch out!  She is fair game for being grabbed if she gets too close :)

This week Cameron started grabbing her bottle and putting it in her mouth.  She can almost hold the bottle by herself but still needs help, especially when it's full.  She is also starting to show interest in what I eat and drink.  If I'm holding her while eating or drinking, she turns her head to follow my hand to my mouth.  One day after taking a drink from my water bottle, I held it in her reach and she grabbed it, touched it to her mouth, and then smiled at me.  She seemed so proud that she could do what mommy was doing :)

I know that Cameron isn't ready for solids yet but I thought we'd try just to see.  I got Johnnie on a video call so he could watch.  First food - avocado.  I put a tiny bit of mashed avocado on a baby spoon for her.  She did not want me putting the spoon in her mouth... she wanted to do it all by herself!  She loved gumming the spoon (no teeth yet) but I don't think she actually swallowed any of the avocado.  It all seemed to drool out of her mouth.

I'm in no rush for Cameron to start solids so we will happily wait until she is ready.  It is suggested to start solids at 6 months so Cam still has three weeks to go.  Many babies start solids before six months and some may actually be ready for it, but there are some good reasons to wait including that fact that delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.

Why Delay Solids? -KellyMom
6 Reasons to Delay Introducing Solids -Ask Dr. Sears
10 Tips for Starting Your Baby on Solid Food -Science of Mom

I am excited to make my own baby food when Cameron is ready for it.  Homemade baby food is easy to do, saves a ton a money, and lets you know exactly what your baby is eating.  There are a lot of resources available (books and websites) for baby food making.  I recently moved the food-related pins from my Baby Stuff and Kid Stuff Pinterest boards to create a new board just for Baby and Kid Food inspiration.  I'll keep adding to it and will (eventually) share the best recipes that I find.

"For you see, each day I love you more;
today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow."
~Rosemonde Gerard

Valentine's 5K

Every so often there are free 5K races on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.  They start at the fitness center which is only a half mile from our house so I plan on running every one that I can while we live here.  This past Saturday was a Valentine's 5K.  Cameron and I put on our pink clothing and went running!

The first time I ran postpartum was when Cameron was 8 weeks old.  It felt good but it was a challenge.  I ran a Jingle Bell 5K in December and then stopped running and started the Beachbody Insanity Challenge.  Last week I started jogging again, 1.5 miles a day.  The 3.1-mile race was so EASY despite taking so much time off (7 weeks) from running!  The Insanity videos are great for toning your body and building muscle.  I've done an uncountable number of squats, lunges, and jumps for the past eight weeks with those videos so I really conditioned my legs despite not running.

Cameron has been sitting up in the Bob stroller for walks but I'm not completely comfortable running with her sitting up just yet so for this race, she was in her carseat attached with an adapter.  I will let her sit in the stroller for the race next month (she'll be six months then).

My friend Meghan ran the race with me, along with her husband and their dog.  Her husband and dog were doing circles around us the whole time and he was nice enough to slow down to take some action shots for us.

It is challenging to run with a stroller, even with my smooth riding Bob.  Swinging your arms while you run is important for energy distribution and it helps determine your stride.  If you are pushing a stroller, you can't swing your arms naturally.  You can swing one arm at a time, but that still feels really awkward to me.  When you don't swing your arms, it takes more effort and energy to push your body (and the stroller) using only your hips and legs.  I like to think that running with a stroller burns a ton more calories.  It certainly slows me down some despite my best efforts.  I'd honestly rather run without the stroller but I do love having Cameron with me and I also love having a place to put a bottle of water and my phone :)

I recently found The Running Mom blog that has some great tips about running while pregnant and running with kids.  If you're a running mama, check out her post Tips for running with the stroller.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is a gorgeous military base with palm tree lined streets, sidewalks everywhere, and a running path along the water.  Being in Hawaii, the weather is just as gorgeous every day of the year... it's a runner's paradise :)

Cameron did great!  She was wide-eyed and happy the entire time - just enjoying the ride!

We finished the race in 35:15 - not bad for pushing a stroller and being five months postpartum.  By the end of the race, we both had wet shirts... mine from sweat, hers from drool :)  I'm already looking forward to the next race!

"I don't run because I love the feeling of running.
I run because it makes me love the feeling of living."
~Bonnie Pfiester

Family Friday: 5 Months Old

 22 Weeks (5 Months) Old

This coming Tuesday is Mardi Gras so we had fun with beads this week!  The mask is Photoshopped :)

Cameron's cold lasted exactly one week (Sunday to Sunday).  She still coughs once in a while but otherwise she's completely back to her old self.  I had a couple days where I felt that yucky I'm-getting-a-cold-feeling but luckily it never developed beyond that.

Five months old already?  Days are flying by!

Cameron is now sleeping in her crib every night and goes to bed easily for night and naps.  She still sleeps between 11 and 12 hours straight every night and takes three naps during the day.  Ever since she was born, we did the feed-on-demand, baby-led schedule which has recently developed into a perfect 4-hour schedule for eating and sleeping on it's own with minimal guidance from me.  Cameron is doing wonderfully on formula and has dropped the "snack feed" in the early evening.  She now takes four larger bottles almost exactly four hours apart.

At 5 months Cameron loves watching Dulce, playing with my fingers when she drinks her bottles, looking in the mirror, bringing things to her mouth, rolling over, being upright and looking around, "talking", making noises, and bath time (though she hates the actual "getting washed" part).

  She really is a generally happy and content baby.

Cameron learned to roll from her back to her stomach last week and now she does it constantly!  I took video of her efforts on multiple days and actually captured her first roll on video as well.  Johnnie picked out a song, Don't Give Up by Bruno Mars featured on Sesame Street, and I combined the video clips to make a short montage... enjoy!

The problem now is that half the time she forgets that she knows how to roll back onto her back.  After a few minutes of happily looking around, she gets very frustrated that she is on her stomach.  I always let her cry for a few minutes before I "rescue her" so that she has some time to try to figure it out on her own... and sometimes she does.

Two weeks ago I wrote that I was going to start weaning Cameron from swaddling.  When Cameron is swaddled for nighttime or for naps, she literally falls asleep within minutes and stays asleep.  When she is not swaddled, she tosses and turns for 15+ minutes before falling asleep and wakes herself up often with her flailing arms.  We tried "no swaddle" sleeping a few times that first week with no luck.  Last week she slept unswaddled in her swing (being inclined helped her breath while sick) but she woke up often from coughing/stuffiness anyway.  Once she got over her cold we tried a few more nights unswaddled but again, no solid sleep for either of us.

I started swaddling her in the first place after reading the book and watching the video, The Happiest Baby on the Block (which is a must for all new parents!), so I looked to see what the author, Dr. Harvey Karp, had to say about ending the swaddle...  "Your daughter may not be ready to be weaned from the swaddle just yet.  Many babies need swaddling up to 8, 9 or 10 months.  If she is waking often, she still needs a full swaddle.  Every few weeks try a one-arm-free swaddle and see how she fares.  Eventually she will sleep just as well with the one arm out and then you can try and stop the swaddling altogether."

After reading that, I realized that Cameron just isn't ready to be unswaddled yet.  So we are back to swaddling and we are both sleeping great.  I was actually really nervous about swaddling her now that she can roll over but when she's in her Miracle Blanket with her arms pinned to her sides, she can't roll over.  I tested that with naps for a few days before doing it at night.

Only a couple more months to go before Johnnie returns.  Cameron has accomplished a lot already but I'm thankful that she'll save some of the bigger milestones (such as first steps and first words) for daddy to see and hear in person :)

"Focus on quality and ease of movement, not on the age a milestone is accomplished."
~Magda Gerber

Family Friday: Feb 1

21 Weeks Old

This. week. was. hard.

In the past few weeks, I've oddly had numerous people ask if Cameron had gotten sick yet.  I happily responded that she had not.  In last week's Family Friday post I wrote that babies raised with pets during their first year are less likely to get sick and have allergies.  (That's less likely, not unlikely.)  Therefore, I shouldn't have been surprised when Murphy came knocking at our door this week with a cold for Cameron.

Last Sunday she developed a fever of 101.6 and a little cough.  Our pediatrician was closed but luckily one of my amazing neighbors is a doctor.  She came over, gave Cameron a little check up, and put my mind at ease.  Just a cold virus coming on, nothing that looked serious.  With some acetaminophen, the fever stayed around 100.  Sunday night, Cameron slept in her old bassinet on my bed so that I could keep an eye on her.  I must have woken up and taken her temperature a dozen times that night.

By Monday morning the fever was completely gone.  I thought we lucked out with a 24-hour bug... I was wrong.  Monday was pretty good but from Tuesday on (including today and most likely the coming weekend) is a blur of mucous, coughing, congestion, and sleep deprivation.

It is so hard having a sick baby because there isn't much you can do to help them.  You can't give them any medication, you simply have to wait it out.  I'm doing all that I can do... I have a humidifier in her bedroom for naps and nighttime, I'm using nasal saline drops and a suction bulb for her nose (which is a futile battle), and we sat in a steam shower together a few times.  Laying flat for sleeping is difficult for her.  Her nose gets extra congested causing her to violently toss her head from side to side and rub her face.  So at 3am Tuesday morning I lugged her swing from the kitchen up the stairs to her bedroom so that she could sleep inclined.  It helps considerably but she still has a rough time sleeping through the night.  That means that I'm not getting much sleep either.

I have to drink a small pot of coffee every morning just so that I can minimally function through the day.  When she naps, I usually nap as well because I'm exhausted.  I even fell asleep on the kitchen floor this week (on the carpet at least).  I am sneezed on, coughed on, and spit up on all day so now I'm afraid that I may be catching what she has and I'm quite sure that I look as bad as I feel.  This week and next are the final two weeks of my Beachbody Insanity challenge and it's just not happening.  I didn't have the energy to exercise at all this week and I'm not sure how next week will be.  I suppose getting Cameron and myself healthy again is much more important.  Exercise can wait until we're better.

Nose bubbles... gross but funny :)

On a more positive note:  Cameron has been trying so hard every day (despite being sick) to roll from her back to her stomach and tonight she did it!  She often got frustrated but I kept myself from ever helping her.  I feel that it's important for her to achieve things on her own so that she can feel proud of herself and build self-confidence.  I took took video of her efforts all week and actually got her first successful roll on video as well.  I will edit the all of the videos together and post it next week.  Since her first roll this evening, she rolled twice more before bedtime... she is so proud of her new ability!

Cameron also had her first laughing fit this week.  This wasn't just normal giggling which she has been doing for quite some time, this was full-out loud body-shaking belly-laughing!  Cam was sitting on my lap on the floor and Dulce came over and sat in front of us.  I had Dulce lay down and roll over, which is nothing new.  Cameron had seen Dulce do this many times before, but suddenly she thought it was the funniest thing ever!  I had Dulce roll over at least 10 more times and every time she did, Cameron exploded with body-shaking laughter.  It was hilarious!  I wonder if she is amazed that Dulce can do so easily what she has been trying so hard to accomplish :)

“Infancy is a time of great dependence. Nevertheless babies should
be allowed to do things for themselves from the very beginning.”
~Magda Gerber