Kate 11 Months

Dear Kate,

I had it all planned out in my head. Today, you are 11 months old and tonight was going to be my last night nursing you. I’ve been holding onto nursing by a thread. We’re down to one session right before bed each night. I’m sure you’re barely getting anything but I’m having a hard time being ‘done’. You are my last baby and I’m never going to nurse again. There is a big part of me that is so ready to be done. For the last 5 years (minus a few short months) I have given my body up to you three babies between growing you inside or feeding you outside. I’m ready to have my body back to myself again. BUT there is another little part of me that can’t believe it’s over. I am proud to have carried you inside of me and nursed each of you for an entire year (minus 1 month for Kate). It takes a lot of work, dedication and sacrifice to do that. I never had the option to sleep through the night, unless you did. There was no taking turns between Daddy and I on who would get up with you in the middle of the night. I did it several times a night, every single night. But I also bonded with you and felt your little breaths against my chest when you feel asleep being burped. I smelt that sweet milk breath and listened to you snore in my arms. I heard the ‘hupe hupe’ noises as you gulped the milk spilling into your mouth. And because of all of this, I can’t just ‘be done’. I need to know, enjoy and savor the last time I will nurse one of my babies. And tonight just wasn’t that night. You bit me, were squirly, and kept crying as you were trying to nurse and I just can’t end on a note like that. So, we continue but will imagine that it will end at some point before your next post.

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Another huge milestone this month was crawling. You were army-sliding backwards last month and this month you kind of figured out forward progression by reaching for things from a sitting position. The crawl started out with the the dead leg pull, where one leg made no contributions to moving forward  but was just drug along. Eventually you figured it out and crawl everywhere pretty quickly. The bigger thing is you just want to pull yourself up on everything. You have no interest in toys but love to pull yourself up on furniture, my legs, sides of counters, tables and have even attempted the stairs. IMG_0154

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This month you cut a couple more teeth, another two on top and one on the bottom for a grand total of 7 teeth!

For as long of a winter as we had, the spring has been pretty amazing. We pretty much went from 2 feet of snow to 80 degrees. You love being outside and feeling the wind in your soft baby hair.

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Sleep continues to be awesome. You go to bed around 8 and wake up around 7ish. Still taking 2 naps a day, each one lasting 1.5 to 3 hours long! IMG_0144

Finding enough food to keep you full is a challenge. You just shovel everything into the good old hatch. You are obsessed with berries and avocado–like you diminish and entire container of berries in one sitting by yourself and just keep signing ‘more’

IMG_0167 Lately, I have felt like you are a twin to Lexi, just 5 years later. So I pulled up some pictures of Lexi at 11 months and then of William too and was SHOCKED at how similar you look to both of them. All three of you at 11 months. IMG_0268

Little Kate, we love you so much and are so thankful we have you all to ourselves. Happy 11 months!

Love,

Mama

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Kate 10 Months

Dear Kate,

I’m not sure to call it a quiver or the super shakes or what when you get really excited your arms and hands will shake like a hummingbird’s wings. This usually happens when you are about to eat, have a bottle, see Lexi or take a bath. At first, I was really worried that you had really low blood sugar or something like that, but I’m pretty sure it just happens when you get really excited.

For the amount of food that you shovel into your mouth, there is no way that you could have low blood sugar. During any given meal, you’ll easily down an entire avocado, fruit/veggie pouch, handful of crackers, cheese, couple of pickles and a bowl full of noodles. The only thing we’ve given you that you don’t seem to be a fan of are cheerios. Grapefruit, oranges, chicken, blackberries, raspberries, apples, broccoli, turkey, crackers, cheese, noodles, bread, peanut butter, toast, pancakes, sausage, eggs, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, cookies you name it, you love it.

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As a result of transitioning to table food so well, I think you’re starting to wean yourself from bottles. We give you a mid-morning and and afternoon bottle, both 6 oz and between the two, there is usually 2-3 oz that you don’t finish. My pumping sessions had gotten to be pretty pathetic, barely producing 3 oz total. So this past week, I cut those out and am just nursing in the mornings and before bed. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue to do that until your one. The frozen breastmilk stash was starting to get pretty low, so I bought formula for the first time ever and we’ll start incorporating that into the mix for the next two months to hopefully lengthen the amount of breastmilk you get. Because of the hoover status mentioned above, you had a huge growth spurt this last month and a half or so and are officially out of 6-9 month clothes. I think you were in them for a total of a month and a half–which is crazy considering you were in 3-6 month clothes for 4 or 5 months! Size 3 diapers are getting pretty snug too.

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You’ve also made some progress on the mobility front. You roll from back to belly more frequently and even slept on your stomach for the first time ever this month. We are putting you on your tummy all of the time and you have started to scoot backwards and spin around to get stuff you want, you haven’t figured out how to move forward. We’ve even tried to put you on all fours and move your arms and legs in a forward motion, but you just push yourself up to a sitting position and are as content as can be sitting and playing. You have no real interest in crawling at all. You do seem to enjoy standing up much more. You haven’t built up your guns enough to pull yourself up on anything but love to stand and wobble around.

No complaints on the sleeping front. You sleep from around 8ish to 5am-ish, nurse and go right back to sleep. Then you’ll nap around 9:30 and again around 1:30 for about 2 hours each time. You absolutely refuse to cuddle in anyway shape or form and it just kills me a little that my sweet babe doesn’t want to cuddle with me. On the flip side, you are the easiest baby in the world to put to bed. I lay you down awake, put a stuffed animal and your paci in your mouth and you roll over and go to sleep usually before I’ve even walked out the door. So I guess I’ll have to give up cuddling for good healthy sleeping habits, but promise me you’ll cuddle with me when you get older?

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Other monthly shennaigans: You celebrated your first Easter. The Bunny brought you some applesauce pouches and a new swimsuit! You also came down with your first sickness and fever on Easter. At first, I thought you were cutting teeth, but your fever spiked above 100 degrees and it lasted for several days. You were very restless and un-consoulable. One night, I was up with you for several hours as you just wouldn’t stop screaming. The only thing that helped was to get into a new environment, so we went downstairs and turned the fireplace on and you watched the flame flicker around. After day 4, I took you into the Dr. just to make sure you didn’t have an ear infection. Then, the following day, your fever broke and a rash appeared all over your body–tiny little dots. They weren’t raised or anything, but it was just a side affect of your body fighting the virus off.

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IMG_0019 You love to play parrot–in that you copy noises and gestures. You’ll make this noise ‘Ehha’ and we repeat the sound to you, and this goes back and forth sometimes 10 times. You also love to bring both arms above your head and then smack them down onto a hard surface. You will play this game with anyone who will give you the time of day.

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At the end of the month, your top two teeth cut through the skin. You were a little whiney and up in the night, but for the most part, they came in pretty smoothly.

IMG_0016 Sometimes when you laugh, it sounds like a machine gun. You love to take baths and splash around by banging your hands against the water or kicking your legs while you’re on your back getting you hair washed. You and Lexi are kind of obsessed with each other. She loves to climb in your crib with you, play with you, talk to you and be by you all the time. And I have a feeling the you feel the same. When she is around, your eyes just follow where she is going and she can get you rolling in giggles like nobody else. With that said, she also kind of gets up in your bizness more than  you would like and you have to shoo her out of your personal space from time to time. I hope this relationship stays just as strong as you two grow older.

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And that my sweet little Kate is your 10th month in a nutshell. I can’t believe you are going to be one in two months. In my mind, you are still like 6 or 7 months old. You continue to be the happist most content baby ever. Everytime someone comes over or sees you, they are just blown away how happy you are all of the time. You don’t have fear of strangers, you love your siblings, you love to play by  yourself, you are a rockstar eater and sleeper. You truely are too good to be true and your Daddy and I are so in love with you and the little family we have. God is Good and we are Blessed.

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I love you sweet bubsy,

Love,

Mama

Kate 9 Months

Dear Kate,

I experienced my most scary moment as a parent to date with you. You’ve been doing pretty good with food over the past several months so I handed you a cracker from William’s 3rd birthday party the evening before. This cracker was a little bit harder than others you have eaten, but not that hard and I have you a pretty small piece. But you started choking on it. You couldn’t breath, weren’t making any noises or coughing and were starting to turn purple. Thankfully, I was holding you and tipped you upside down and started giving you back blows. Nothing was coming out so I flipped you over and did a finger swipe in your mouth to try and loosen things up. You started coughing a little so I flipped you back upside down and did more back blows but you still weren’t breathing. I asked Daddy to call 911 knowing that it can take several minutes for them to arrive and I know that every second counts when choking. I applied two more rounds of back blows and you finally started to cough and the cracker came loose and you spit up a little. In reality, I’m sure this little scenario was 1 minute or less, but it felt like an eternity in the moment, and my blood pressure and adrenaline were running so high I was shaking for a good 5-10 minutes. Many extra prayers were said in thanking God that nothing terrible happened, or ever will.

Outside of this scary incident, eating is going well. You like all foods and do a decent job of getting food into your mouth. You’re still figuring out how to actually get it out of your palm as you aren’t pinching it yet. You’ve figured out how to drink out of a sippy cup–which was a life-saver on the airplane, but haven’t realized that you need to tip it back to get something out of it.

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Nursing is going OK. You easily get distracted from any kind of noise. You’ll stop, sit up check out what is going on around you and then go back to nursing and you’ll do this like 5 times in one session. Pumping has become pretty pathetic. Although I am going at noon everyday, I’m probably pumping a total of 3-4 ounces and it used to be closer to 6-7. So we’ll see how much longer it lasts.

You’ve started to put your arms up for ‘So Big’ but it takes several prompts and someone else showing what you’re supposed to do.

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You love to swim and were so happy splashing and kicking your little legs around in the pool in Florida.

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You love to be tickled, receive raspberries and giggle. You’re ticklish on your belly, your neck, feet and behind your legs.

As a family, we went to go visit Grammy and Papa in Florida for a week and you took your first airplane rides. You did so awesome. For the first flight, I tried to nurse you during take-off to help with your ears and you had zero interest in hiding under a blanket or nursing for that matter with all of the nosies and action happening around you. I did have a sippy cup filled with water to help with your ears and that seemed to do the trick as you would drink the water during take-off and landings. You also kept yourself very entertained with the bag of peanuts and crackers they gave us.

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You loved Florida and getting loved on by your Grammy and Papa, playing in the sand, swimming and enjoying some extra vitamin D.

Kate 3 months 11 You love to sit and have NO interest in tummy time, crawling or rolling. Although I think you have the strength to roll-over, you never try. You do roll onto your side while you’re sleeping but that is as far as you ever try and go. Tummy time just puts you into a cranky mood so it doesn’t happen as much as it probably should.

You are the best little sleeper. You never fall asleep in my arms or cuddle. You always always always are put into your crib awake with your bunny and pacifier and you just rub your face against your pal, roll over and go to sleep. You never cry, chat or monkey around. You go straight to business. You still go to sleep around 8, wake up around 5ish to nurse and then sleep until 7 or 8. You also take 2 naps each day which are about 2 hours long.

My sweet Kate, you are the happiest baby ever. You are so content just playing by yourself with your toys and rarely fuss or make a peep. You always go with the flow and smile at everyone who glances your way. I love you so much little bubs! It is the best coming home from work everyday to see your sweet smile and squinty eyes absolutely light up and your legs kick excitedly when you see me.

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Happy 9 Months Sweet Pea!

Love,

Mama

Stats:

  • Height: 27″ (36%)
  • Weight: 19 lbs (69%)
  • Head Circumference: 17″ (84%)
  • Size 3 diapers (but getting small)
  • 6-9 month clothes, but they are tight and will need to transition to 12 month

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Kate 8 Months

Dear Kate,

In two weeks, we’re heading on an airplane to go visit your Grammy and Papa in Florida and I’m a little nervous about you. Although you are very stationary, you are a social little butterfly and have become less and less cuddly over time. You rarely fall asleep in my arms–even when I try and snuggle with you before bed. You prefer to be on your back in your dark room–none of which are going to happen on an airplane. We have a long day of  travel and I’m praying you’ll snuggle and sleep on my chest on our flights. Also prayers that nobody gets sick!

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I know you’re only 8 months old and there is a whole lot of life to live but the bond you have with your sister has exceeded any expectations that I could have ever imagined. You whole heartedly love Lexi to death. I’ll start to raise my voice at Lexi to knock it off and leave you alone cause I think she’s going to irritate you, only to start hearing you giggle hysterically. She honestly will just look at you and start to laugh. Your head is on a swivel looking for her. I’ve started going into your room and closing the door (opposed to sitting on the couch downstairs) to nurse you as you’re so distracted by her. I pray that you continue to be the peanut butter to her jelly because sisters are awesome.

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Sleep

Your fairly regular sleep routine has been disrupted this past month with the two little teethers that have popped through. The first one came about two weeks ago and then the second one came over the past two days. Overall, you have done really well and are still our super happy Beatle, but I can tell they have caused you some pain. You’re waking at night 2-5 times and the ONLY thing that will calm you down is to nurse. I’ll try and rock you and put your blankie next to your face and sing you songs but you just scream and squirm around in my arms like a limp noodle. You’ve also been taking some amazing naps 3+ hours twice a day! We’ve been giving you some medicine to help with the pain and that has made a big difference. However, you haven’t spiked a fever and haven’t been nawing on everything like you had in the weeks leading up to this. The only ‘symptom’ I would say you had was watery eyes. You must have a clogged tear duct because you always have gunk floating around in your eyes and they get excessively watery while teething and get some build up around your eyes. Bedtime is still around 7:30 and includes changing diaper, putting jammies on nursing and then being put down in your crib. You’ll sleep until somewhere in the 4-6 range, nurse and then go back to sleep. You’re down to 2 naps a day and the length totally depends on if Lexi has school or not. If she does, your naps almost always get shortened as you have to go get her but if it is a non-school day, you’ll snooze for 1-2 hours.

Development

You started sitting up last month and have continued to strength those muscles and are now a master at it. You love to play with toys, banging things together, chewing on them and just touching and feeling the different textures and sizes of things.

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You love love love bath time. Now that you’re sitting, you go in with your big brother and sister from time to time. We’ll put about enough water in the tub that half of your ears are covered when you lie down to rinse off the soap.

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With the addition of table food and the amount that you’re eating, you’ve started to poop everyday. They are pretty hard and painful for you. We’ve started to put an ounce or two of apple juice into your bottles to give you some extra fiber and for the most part it seems to be working.

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This month you’ve learned to take your pacifier in and out of your mouth very consistently and will find it while you’re sleeping and pop it back in. You were pretty reliant on the paci for the first 6 months or so, but now, we’ve started to take it away a little bit more often so it isn’t always in your mouth.

You have yet to roll over and show no signs of doing it anytime soon. You are just so content sitting I don’t think you think there is a reason to learn to do anything else.

Happy 8 months little Kate the Great! We love you to pieces.

Love,

Mama

Stats:

3-6 month clothes

size 3 diapers

I did nothing and I did everything

This past weekend was fairly typical for us, which means we didn’t have any events scheduled, just the way I like it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time with other people, it just means that all of the other stuff that HAS to get done gets sacrificed.

Let me explain. This weekend I:

  • Thought about, planned, ensured I had the ingredients, prepped and cooked 7 meals + had to consider of all those things, what could we feed Kate and what we she need to get fed separately
  • Loaded and unloaded the dishwasher 3 times
  • Washed and put away 13 pots and pans
  • Washed 10 bottles and 4 sets of pumping equipment
  • Washed, sorted and put away 7 loads of laundry
  • Swept the kitchen 9 times
  • Cleaned the counters 11 times
  • Soothed 5 owies
  • Cleaned 3 toilets (2 of which were cleaned twice because William is 3 and he is a boy)
  • Meal planned for next week, by coordinating evening activities and work schedules to determine what is realistic
  • Grocery shopped with two out of the three kids
  • Nursed Kate 12 times
  • Put kids in 3 time outs
  • Spent a night sleeping with her in a rocking chair as she is teething
  • Soothed teething baby, constantly by carrying her around
  • Played Magnatiles, Legos, 15 rounds of Disney Eye See It card game, did a massive toy clean up 4+ times
  • Gave 5 baths
  • Changed 12 diapers, including 1 blowout
  • + a couple of bonus things that don’t typically happen including painting the basement, visiting Lowes to pick out carpet by myself with 3 children and then going again to actually purchase it
  • + I did most of this by myself as Bill is focusing on finishing the basement so this doesn’t even include all of the awesome stuff that he was able to accomplish.

As much as this sounds like a rant and me complaining, it is in fact the opposite. I’ll go into work tomorrow morning and totally downplay my weekend and say ‘It was pretty low-key, we didn’t do much’ because we didn’t have an ‘event’ but let me tell you my weekend wasn’t anything close to ‘not much’. It was constant all day long, and I’m exhausted. Now I am sitting down (for the first time all weekend: going to the bathroom, falling asleep, changing diapers and feeding a baby don’t count) at 9:00 on Sunday evening and am giving myself major two high fives. To my fellow mom friends out there: You are rocking this too and give yourself the credit you deserve because no matter what you’re doing, it is never ‘not that much’.

Kate 7 Months

Dear Kate,

Sitting up is one of my favorite milestones from the first year as it is a total game changer and you are doing a pretty good job at it! You’re pretty laid back as it is, but your ability to watch what is going on around you and sit and play with toys makes life so much easier. I can regularly clean up the kitchen after meals or cook without you in my arms. Granted, you want me in eyesight but I am so much more efficient with two arms instead of just one. And you love to play with toys and your fine motor skills improve everyday.

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This month you also learned how to give kisses. You’ll open your mouth like a baby bird and slobber all over me. This messy act of affection is one of the few ways you can show how much you love me and as gross as it is (because lets be real) I love it and will gladly accept them at any point.

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Your sleeping patterns are pretty stable and consistent at this point. You sleep from 7:30 to about 5 am and take two naps in the day that are about 1.5 – 2 hours each.

Girlfriend, you love to eat. Whenever we put you in your highchair, you widely kick your legs and hoot in excitement. You have eaten sweet potatoes, squash, peaches, pears, green beans, blackberries, eggs, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt bites, puffs and mum-mum crackers. With the exception of the mum-mum crackers we need to feed you everything.

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Nursing is still going pretty good. You nurse on both sides for each feeding and pumping sessions are OK. I’m barely producing enough for you and I’m hoping I can make it the full year.

Earlier in the month (before you learned to sit), you would were really working on building up your ab muscles. You would completely lift your head off the ground as if you were trying to sit up or just do some crunches. It looked like you were doing the 100’s exercise in pilates. With that said, there is 100% zero interest in rolling. You are so content on your back sucking on your toes and you don’t even attempt to roll to your side. I have a feeling that you might never roll over or for that matter even crawl and could go straight to walking. You despise tummy time like big time and its hard to put you into a sour mood by going on your tummy when you’re happy as can be just sitting.

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This month, you also celebrated your first Christmas and New Years. You loved playing with the wrapping paper and looking at the lights. You slept through the entire gift opening Christmas morning, but the big kids saved you a couple of gifts to open. Santa and all your relatives spoiled you!

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Another big milestone was spending your first few nights away from me. Daddy and I went to Arizona for a wedding and you got to spend some extra time with Grammy and Papa. You did awesome and I’m sure you barely noticed I was gone. I am so grateful you are the most amazing baby every and was barely worried. You are such a happy, awesome sleeper and eater that I knew there wouldn’t be any problems. My biggest fear was about pumping enough milk to replenish the stash you would go through while I was gone. And everything worked out just great. I never did a comparison of how much milk you drank and how much I brought back, but it seemed close enough.

Sweet little Kate the great, I love you to pieces. Your smile and sweet natured personality are going to move mountains someday. I love you and am so grateful you are mine.

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Love,

Mama

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Kate 6 months

Katelyn,

I have been trying to figure out a way to write the first paragraph of this letter for over 3 months. I’ve written and deleted something probably 15 different times and nothing seems quite good enough. This month we had the honor of baptizing you and officially welcoming you into God’s family/church. And I’ve been attempting to put into words how Gods work is imprinted into the sparkle of your eyes, the soft touch of your cheek, the smell of vanilla on your hair, the roll of skin on your thighs, the calmness of your babbles, the love your siblings have for you and the awesomeness of God that I’ve seen in my life and hope you will too. After umpteen times of writing and re-writing, I’ve figured out that no words or story could possibly summarize the strength and importance faith can have in your life. I see, experience and thank God for his miracles in my life everyday. I pray that as you grow up, you too, will choose this path. Baptism, is the first of many, I believe my role is in being your mom. I promise to do my best to live a life of example and set a solid Christian foundation for you as well as pray that you will allow Jesus into your heart and that someday YOU will choose to put God at the center of your life.

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Everything about you is a little miracle from God my sweet girl. Your tender heart, your calmness, your adaptability, your sleeping and eating patterns are all little sprinkles of miracles from the big guy upstairs.

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Most nights you sleep about 10 hours straight each night (7:30pm – 5:00pm). The first time you wake up, I’ll pop your pacifier back in and you’ll sleep for another 30-60 minutes. The second time you wake up, you’ll usually be happy and chatty as a bird. As soon as I enter, you quiet down and light up with a huge smile and squinty eyes once you see my face. You’re still not rolling over from back to front so we’ve continued to swaddle you. For bedtime, you’ll nurse and then I’ll swaddle you up, turn off the lights, put a blanket next to your face and snuggle with you in the rocking chair and you’re out in less than 5 minutes. If I’m in the middle of putting the big kids to bed, I’ll just put you down awake in your crib and you fall asleep, without a peep. Naps range from 2-3 a day and anywhere from 20 min to 2+ hours, in your crib swaddled in a muslin blanket. IMG_9384

Nursing is still going well. Each morning, I’ll nurse you on my left (non-dominate side) and then pump the right as I’ll get 6-7oz. Then for the remainder of the day I usually nurse or pump both sides. The morning session, I’ll usually get 5oz and 3-4 in the afternoon. Most nights, I’ve still been pumping before I go to bed around 11 or 12 and will get another 6 oz. So all up, I’m producing an extra 6-10oz of milk each day that I’ve been stock-pilling in the freezer. With all that said, I’m still super stressed about it, more so than I remember with the other two and I’m not sure why I can’t relax about it. Moving on. This month you started to show a ton of interest in my food. I started to give you little pieces of bread and then spontaneously decided to give you some baby squash one night and you LOVED it. You ate the entire container and would open your mouth every time I brought up the spoon. Considering we skipped the rice cereal, you did a pretty amazing job keeping the food in your mouth and not spitting it all out.

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You’ve FINALLY started to roll from your stomach to your back–it doesn’t happen very often, but you can do it. You love to lay (on your back) on you playmat and play with toys hanging from it. We also brought out the exersaucer this month and you do pretty good in that (as long as we have a blanket behind you to prevent you from flopping around like a fish.) This month you’ve also started to take your pacifier out of your mouth and put it back in with 50% rate. Your favorite place is in mommy’s arms and are as happy as can be just leaching onto me and tagging along wherever I go. If we put you down and walk away, you throw a fit, but are as happy as a puppy when we’re back within arms reach.

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As far as the details go for your Baptism, the actual celebration was on Sunday, December 3rd. We celebrated at St. Andrew’s Church in Mahtomedi, same church your brother and sister were baptized at and that Mommy and Daddy were married at. All of your extended family was there to celebrate and you are blessed to have Uncle Dustin as your Godfather and two Godmothers, Auntie Beca and Auntie Rael. You were a total gem throughout the ceremony and wore the family heirloom baptismal gown, and the 26th baby to wear it! Following the ceremony, we headed over to Grammy and Papa’s house for a dual celebration for your baptism and Lexi’s 5th Birthday! _MG_3016

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1st’s for the month: Thanksgiving, Snowfall, Food, Christmas celebrations (school concert, dance recital, music, decorations, shopping! (including Black Friday shopping!) sibling birthday party.

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6 month stats

  • Weight: 15.1 oz
  • Length: 25″
  • Head circumference:
  • Clothes: 3-6 month
  • Diapers: size 2

We are so blessed to have you be a part of our family and I thank God for you and all of your little blessings everyday. You are perfect in every way possible and I love you to pieces little Kate the Great!

Love,

Mama