11 Months

Shit. Guys. Only one month left of Ellen being a baby. Shit.

I was about to write that I have “so many feelings” about being thisclose to having a toddler and (probably) never having a baby again. But that’s not actually true. I don’t have so many feelings. I have one feeling: Sad.

I’m destroyed! Ellen isn’t going to be a baby much longer, and I can’t cope! I know it is a cliche, but it is just going too fast. I want to lay on the ground and throw a fit, screaming, “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

Enough of my despair about Ellen getting older. Let’s push that aside and look at the baby herself… because I also only have one feeling about her – PROUD.

My god! I’m so proud of Ellen! She’s my favorite little girl and she has all kinds of new tricks this month.

She has a small handful of words (dada, book, mama, whoa, and I swear she tried to say “cheese” the other day). If you give her a cell phone, she’ll hold it up to her ear and say something that sounds like “hello”. SO CUTE!

She is crawling, cruising, walking around with a walker toy, getting into everything, and eating anything she can get her hands on, except blueberries (favorites = cheese and pasta).

We’ve been introducing a variety of sippy cups with water or formula in them, getting ready for her big girl transition away from bottles and boobs. She thinks they’re so fun, and I can’t wait until I can give her cow milk. I think she’s going to love it!

Sleep has been mostly good! What a lovely thing to be able to say! A “bad” night with Ellen now is one where she wakes up 1 time. I remember how recently that was considered a “good” night, so you won’t catch me complaining!

We are having a stretch of “bad” nights right now, I suspect due to teeth. She just popped her 4th tooth the other day, and I can’t see where the next one is coming, but she is definitely acting like she did with her left top front tooth, so I am keeping an eye on the right top front…

I did an unofficial weigh-in for Ellen the other day at home, and she was 23.6 lbs. Still a big girl, but very little weight gain in recent months. She has lost a lot of her arm rolls as she just gets longer. I can’t wait to see where she comes in at her next doctor’s appointment in a month. My prediction? A huge drop on the weight percentile, but still in the upper 90’s for height. We’ll see!

I haven’t written recently about my own body. Mostly because there isn’t a lot to say! I finally dropped into the 170’s, which means I have less than 10lbs to go to pre-Ellen weight. That was a really satisfying accomplishment, but it hasn’t changed much since then. I’m putting in a little effort, but not a lot, and the progress is proportionate to that effort.

With only 1 month to go until Ellen’s birthday, I don’t think I’ll be hitting my goal of getting to pre-Ellen weight by the time she’s 1. But I’m going to be pretty close! On bad days, I beat myself up over my lack of self-control and excessive laziness. But on good days, I’m able to choose to celebrate the fact that I have already lost 53+ lbs in the last 11 months. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

I also had a realization the other day when I was feeling panicked about not meeting my goal – there isn’t an expiration date on when I can lose the weight. The goal I set was made up by me. There’s no penalty for not meeting the goal. And just because I don’t quite get there by a specific date, it doesn’t mean I’m done and it doesn’t mean I failed. The challenge for that time period is over, but life goes on!

Plus, I’m not gaining weight. The little effort I’m putting in is still easing the scale the right direction, it’s just slow! So I’m going to lose it, and I just need to stop my relentless mental beat-down!

So, ultimate goal is to get to pre-Lewis weight. 19 lbs to go. When do I want to accomplish that? Tomorrow! When will I do it? In my own time. As long as I’m trending the right direction and not backsliding, I’m going to cut myself some slack. Wow… what freedom.

Tooth #4

Ellen has her 4th tooth! The top left side of her mouth is now fully loaded, while the top right side of her mouth has no signs of teeth.

Funny lopsided girl!

Best thing? She didn’t even fuss about this tooth.

Worst thing? That top center tooth has been out for a while, but it is still working its way down, and it made her gums bleed last night!

Winding Down

Ellen and I seem to be winding down our breastfeeding relationship.

My milk supply has been dropping pretty drastically, subsequently decreasing my freezer supply of breastmilk to take to daycare as I struggle to keep up with what Ellen has been drinking from her bottles while we’re apart.

This has been happening because Ellen has been shortening her feeds universally (yay solid foods!), as well as sleeping the whole night (11 hrs at a time!) most nights. The decreased demand has taken a toll on my milk production, as expected. Adjustments to daycare bottles are also being made to reflect her at-home habits.

The post-afternoon-nap feed has been cut entirely, and we are down to only 4 feeds a day (morning, before both naps, and bedtime). I realized that the time had come to cut the late-afternoon feed over the past weekend when she would eat for a mere two minutes before biting me and refusing to latch back on. Ellen does not have any issues with gaining weight at a healthy pace, so I do not feel obligated to force her to continue a feed if she doesn’t want it.

I recall forcing breastfeeding for Lewis (at the doctor’s request) when he was disinterested (and I was too!) because of his weight issues. I managed to stretch out nursing him for two extra months with great effort. It is difficult to continue nursing a baby who doesn’t want it, especially when you, yourself, also feel done.

I am sinking into this familiar feeling of being finished. It’s comfortable. I think we’ll hang onto a few more feedings at least until her birthday, but I don’t mourn the loss of the feedings we’re cutting, feel bad for supplementing a bit with formula, or worry about the loss of my milk supply anymore. It’s a nice feeling.

Ellen has taken to solid foods like a pig to mud (so different than Lewis!), so I have no concerns at all about her still getting the calories she needs. Stopping breastfeeding whenever just feels… fine. And I’m thrilled that Ellen and I are on the same page.

The only negative feeling I have is the nerves regarding possible physical discomfort as I scale back. I know that it will be fine, because I’ve done this before and – you guessed it! – it was fine! But for some reason I can’t help but worry about throwing off my body’s hard-won equilibrium.

I go through this every time I adjust breastfeeding schedules, and every time it is (literally) painless. I wish I could turn off the anxiety, but boy… something about breastfeeding always causes such emotional reactions in me!

Anywho… I’m two days into cutting the afternoon feed (AKA pumping at work), and there’s no turning back now! I’m looking forward to normal bras, dresses, freedom to be away from Ellen without worrying about a pump, ownership over my body again, the pump disappearing from my desk… and perhaps the cessation of our breastfeeding relationship will also help Ellen to accept other caregivers at bedtimes and naptimes a little more willingly! Who knows!

Current status at our house:

Lewis must be fed constantly. If he is not fed, the risk for uncontrollable screaming is through the roof. Tantrums run rampant, but they stop as soon as we get the kid’s blood sugar up.

Complication- he is still difficult to convince to eat (although improved).

Meanwhile, in Ellen-town, sweet girl is working on her 4th tooth. According to predictable “norms”, the second top center tooth is on-deck. According to Ellen, the top left side tooth is next up!

Hilariously, it appears that Ellen will end up with two bottom center teeth and the top left center and side teeth for a short duration.

In grown up news – our home improvement project starts a week from Monday, and I am SO EXCITED.

Remember

As I go into my second hour of rocking Ellen tonigh, who is very obviously awake due to teething pain, my mind is wandering.

I have been reflecting on things I don’t want to forget about my kids. I’ve got two memories in particular that need to be jotted down – one per kid.

Ellen

Today Ellen was sitting in her high chair having some dinner when Kyle walked in the back door, having just arrived home from work.

She turned her head at the sound, saw Kyle, broke out in a grin, and yelled, “Dada!!!!!”

*melt*

Lewis

Ever since he could talk, Lewis has had trouble with the name of the song “The Wheels on the Bus”.

His name for it?

“Down Down Round on the Bus”

So cute!

Top tooth

Ellen’s 3rd tooth came in today! It is the top left, and it is going to be a whopper.

Just a tiny little corner of it is out, and I’m glad to see it. Her gums have been very swollen – more so than Lewis’s ever were, and her sleep has been disrupted (less than Lewis’s ever was! Hooray!).

We got through the weekend with ibuprofen and tylenol, and here we are! 3 days later, a big, fat tooth.

P.S. next month Ellen turns 1 and I cry every time I think about it. 💔

Lasik

I did it! I got lasik eye surgery! It happened back in June 20th, and I waited this long to write about it because I wanted to give myself some time to heal before reporting on the results.

I thought I would be blown away by crystal clear eyesight the next morning, as advertised by many people I spoke with. That wasn’t the case for me, and it had me worried.

However, the doctors reported 20/20 vision the next morning, which surprised me. Everything was hazy, but they assured me that was normal due to swelling and that I actually had clear vision under that.

For a couple days after the surgery, it felt like I was seeing the world through a window that someone had breathed on – it was all just a bit foggy.

That went away, but I still didn’t see great when looking at a computer screen for a few more days after that. Every time I blinked, my quality of vision changed. I think that was due to dryness.

The dryness was arguably the toughest part. The day of the surgery my eyes felt like sandpaper, and all I did all day was lay on the couch with my eyes closed listening to podcasts.

I survived that, and although my eyes felt dry and scratchy for about a week, they were only insufferable that first day.

After 9 days (AKA this last Friday), I finally felt like I could see and my eyes were comfortable. The only lingering effects I notice are dry eyes first thing when I wake up in the morning.

So, final verdict, I can see and I’m so happy!!!!