Ellen is 5 months old! Isn’t she cute?!
I haven’t posted a ton in the last month, so there are quite a few updates I’d like to share. This will likely end up being a very long post, so brace yourselves!
This month has included a lot of “firsts” for Ellen, most of which have already gotten some mentions on here. But let’s recap and expand.
- Tried solids – This has been a lot of fun. We started earlier with Ellen than we did with Lewis, and we’re going straight for purees with her. She always makes hilarious, disgusted faces that make you think she doesn’t like it (see video above), but she will always open her mouth for another bite. We did decide to stop/go easy on solids for a while though, because her digestion suddenly went all out of whack when she started them. She went from multiple poos a day to no poos for almost a week. After a couple days without solid foods, “the cork” came out and we had a major laundry day. It seems like her little belly might just need a tiny bit more time to be fully ready. But looooook at my adorable pea-covered baby!
- High chair – Along with trying solids came sitting in the high chair for the first time. Ellen loves her high chair! She will sit happily in it for ages just looking around at everyone. It can put an end to her grumpiness in an instant!
- Laughing – Ellen laughed for the first time this month! She lost her mind at Lewis throwing a parachute army man, and we caught it on video. Lewis enjoyed making her laugh so much that he did it so long he broke the parachute and it had to be thrown away. Without that hilarity, Ellen hasn’t laughed again since that day. She has gone back to sweet little giggles, which are adorable, but not as satisfying as those belly laughs! We’re crossing fingers for more big laughs soon.
- Weight – Sweet Baby Girl passed 20lbs (by our bathroom scale’s measurement) for the first time. She’s wearing 12 month size clothes in most brands, but is already in 18 month size in a couple. It is wild to watch her grow and grow and grow at light speed. Just look at the comparison above (5 months on the left and a couple days on the right)! On the one hand, I’m so proud of my big, healthy girl. On the other hand, she is (most likely) my last baby, and it is painful for my soul to fast forward through everything like this. I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that she’s already so gigantic!
- Babbling – Ellen moved on from vowels yesterday! She said, “bababababa”. So cute! That means we’re that much closer to hearing, “mama” for the first time.
- Raspberries – Little angel learned how to blow raspberries and has been doing so nonstop ever since the skill developed. It’s drooly and adorable! And noisy!
In addition to her “firsts”, Ellen has been doing all kinds of other baby things!
- She has patterned herself into a two-nap-per-day schedule, which is lovely and predictable, but she is sweet and flexible if we’re out and about at her normal nap times. (I hope I didn’t jinx it by saying that…)
- She has developed some pretty hardcore separation anxiety. If she is left alone with anyone besides me or her daycare teachers, she loses her mind. Even Kyle doesn’t make the cut! She’ll hang out with whomever, as long as I’m there, but as soon as I depart… game over. This is making it quite difficult for me to leave her, because she ends up screaming, refusing to eat, and being generally distraught for hours on end until I reappear. We have lots of willing caregivers who will tolerate her screaming so I can get away, but I can hardly bear it. I’m hoping this phase passes very, very quickly so I can have time away without my soul being crushed.
- Ellen seems to love music/singing. When my mom babysat the other day, Ellen screamed nonstop, unless my mom sang to her (and put her in the high chair!). Kyle always plays the guitar for her to bond with her. It’s pretty cool to see how focused she is on the source of the music. Lewis always enjoyed it, but didn’t have such a strong reaction/draw to music. These kids are their own little people, with their own preferences! I love watching those preferences come out, and I love learning more about who my babies are!
- Rolling over is a hot topic at our house these days! Ellen rolled front to back when she was… 2 months old? I can’t remember. But she only did it that first time and hasn’t done it again since. She’s perfectly content to just hang out on her tummy! Now we’re waiting for back-to-front rolling, which seems very close. She grabs her toes and rolls to her side constantly. It’s only a matter of time before she gets all the way over, which means we have to stop swaddling her when she sleeps. We started that process last night, setting one arm free. We’ll let her get used to that for a week(ish), and then set the other arm loose after that. Verdict after first night? I’m tired. But it wasn’t a complete disaster, and there is hope.
- Speaking of sleep – Night sleep has been very inconsistent. 10.5 hours and 8+ hour stretches are newsworthy, because they’re definitely still not Ellen’s norm. Most nights she’s still waking up 1-3 times (sometimes even more!). Twice is her average, but it feels like 3+ is coming back into style lately, and I’m not enjoying that at all. I’m toying with the idea of night weaning to see if teaching her that food isn’t coming will stop her from waking up to eat, but nursing her is such a sure-fire way to get her to fall back asleep that I’m not 100% sure I’m ready to give that up. We’ll see where we go with that… I’m just tired. That’s all I know for sure.
- Ellen’s dark hair is only hanging on in a few little spots, being replaced by blond underneath. The transition is resulting in a strange look of overall baldness, since you can’t really see the blond very well up against what remains of the dark hair, so it just looks like she has a very small amount of very thin dark hair in random patches. Add to that the fact that the dark hair is all quite long, and the blond is very short underneath and…well, she looks goofy!
- The new diapers we’re trying seem to be making a big difference in blowout-town. Plus they’re cheaper. So I cancelled our diaper subscription from the old company that we got Lewis’ diapers from. Those ones worked best for Lewis, but they clearly aren’t the right fit for Ellen, so time to move on!
What about me? Well, I continue to lose weight slowly but surely. I didn’t really work out in the last month, and I still lost about 3.5 lbs. I had to order smaller pants because my old pants were falling off, but the new pants are too small, so I’m in a funny in-between phase. My solution? Instead of buttoning my new smaller pants, I thread a hair tie through the buttonhole and wrap it around the button to keep my pants closed while also giving myself the tiny bit of extra room I still need before these pants really fit. Changing bodies are so tricky!
This month I plan to pay attention to my eating a little more, and I’m hoping I’ll be successful with eating less cookies/candies now that the holidays are behind us and the temptations are fewer. Shooting for 5 more lbs before 6 months postpartum! Wish me luck!
Also, postpartum hair loss has taken over in the last month – almost the exact same timing as with Lewis, peaking at 5 months postpartum. I pull out fistfuls of hair every day, and as a result, I mostly keep my hair up to try to minimize shedding all over the place. Unfortunately, this time around I have ended up with a bald spot on the left side of my head from all the hair loss, right where I have a big red mole! When I pull my hair up, that spot is on display if I’m not careful to pull some hair over it to cover it, comb-over style. So glamorous…
Overall, we are getting into a pretty good rhythm with Ellen, figuring out who she is, what she likes, how she works. Other than her separation issues, Ellen is one of the most cheerful babies I’ve met, and I just can’t get enough! Kyle struggles to bond with her as thoroughly because of her dependence on me, but as she gets older and more interactive, he’s connecting more, and it’s very sweet to watch.