6 months old + Family Update

My sweet girl is 6 months old! You’d think that after going through this once before I’d be prepared for how fast time goes, but somehow, I’m just as surprised this time around at how quickly my baby is growing up!

Ellen is doing fantastic. She can sit up endlessly, can pass things back and forth between her two hands, is suddenly overjoyed by the idea of standing up (while holding your hands), and is capable of rolling over – as evidenced by her doing it one time each direction – but seems so content to be wherever you put her that she hasn’t repeated her rolling performance.

We’ve also been having a great time trying solid foods, all of them purees so far. Daycare has given her a bite or two of banana and avocado, but everything chewable that I’ve offered Ellen has been rejected. Lewis was similarly uninterested in chewable food until well after he turned one… I’m hoping Ellen gets on board a little sooner than that, but no rush!

Just after turning 6 months old, Lewis was already showing interest in crawling. Ellen doesn’t seem remotely interested. Lewis also got his first tooth on the day he turned 6 months – I still don’t see any teeth on their way for Ellen. Lewis had also been sick a bunch with ear infections by this point in his little life, whereas Ellen has only had a little cold, has never had a fever, and hasn’t had to have any antibiotics! So different, my two babies!

Ellen’s sleep saga continues, but I am feeling hopeful again. We’ve had a few good nights, but I had to break some sleep safety rules to get them. Long story short, Ellen seems to prefer a “squeeze” when she is sleeping, and she may have been cold too. I’m working on safer ways to accomplish those two “requirements”, and should have everything in place by Monday so those theories can be truly tested in a safer manner.

In summary – I am fully boarding the “sleep crutch” train, and I am OK with it. As long as Ellen is safe and we are sleeping, I do not give one single shit (sorry for the language, Granny!) if I am using crutches. Screw hardcore standards that require your child to comply with rigid guidelines. “Rigid” has no place in my parenting philosophy, so I’m going to take all the recommendations and adapt them to find what works best for Ellen. It is taking a while, but we will get there. And she won’t need those sleep aids forever, of that I’m sure.

OK! Update on the rest of the family!

My body has come a long way in the last 6 months. I have officially lost over 50 pounds since right before giving birth. I had intended to lose another 5 pounds this month, but only managed 3.5. Given how utterly sleep-deprived I’ve been, I feel glorious about the fact that I lost anything at all! Go me!!!! I even went down a pants size for the first time since getting out of maternity clothes.

Lewis is almost fully potty trained. Or maybe he is fully potty trained? I guess it depends on how you look at it. He is still wearing diapers at night, although to be honest, he makes it through most nights without peeing in the diaper, so he might be ready for nighttime training soon, too. And he has only had one accident during the daytime in the last week, and that was in the morning when his nighttime diaper got stuck on his butt after he had un-velcroed it and he couldn’t sit down on the potty because it was in the way. Result? Pee on the floor. Oops! If the diaper hadn’t gotten stuck, we would have been accident-free all week. That feels like fully (daytime) potty trained to me!

Last weekend Kyle (and Lewis) did a little home improvement project – our sink in the downstairs bathroom cracked all on its own (so weird!), so we had to replace it. Lewis was super into the repair process, and Kyle did an excellent job. We had a new sink installed within 24 hours of the crack showing up. Besides paint, this is really the only customizing we’ve done to this house, and it is fun to have at least one thing that we picked ourselves.

We got our federal tax refund the other day and paid off a chunk of the debt we had accumulated due to my maternity leave. Our state refund will be used for the same purpose. It feels good to be getting on better financial ground. Realistically, we had babies before we could “afford them” because we chose to have them when we wanted them, while we were young and healthy, and when our careers were on positive trajectories. We knew we had the earning potential to make up for jumping the financial gun eventually, so we went for it. Now that we’re (most likely) done having kids, and we’ve both gotten significant raises, we should be consistently making strides towards a debt-free life, with far fewer back-slides. I feel optimistic, and very proud.

I had a birthday this week. 31 years old! The occasion was marked mostly by spending time with family, and with a birthday pedicure with a dear friend. I also napped (hallelujah!). No great fanfare this year, since it isn’t a milestone birthday, but I felt adequately celebrated, and really enjoyed my day.

There has been off-and-on snow in Portland this week, which even led to daycare closing on Wednesday. I had to work anyway, deadlines being what they are, so I worked from home with the kids. That’s right! TWO kids + work. I can handle two kids, and I can handle work. But when you put the two together, wow. It was a rough day, but the kids were very well behaved, and we got through it. I felt like supermom, even though I was also superexhausted!

And finally, my house is a constant disaster area, but the slogan in our house is “full bellies and beating hearts, the rest is just extra”. So I’d say we’re doing great!