Well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but this is my favorite month ever… so far! Seven to nine months has always been my favorite baby age, and it’s exciting to see my own daughter in this fun and happy stage of life. She has so much spunk (as you can see from the outtake photos below) and can now actually play games with us, communicate in certain ways (kind of), and soaks in anything and everything around her with big, bright eyes.
Speaking of her eyes, it seems like the blue is here to stay. Neither Anel nor I have blue eyes so this is especially exciting for us. My mom and most of her family have blue eyes so that must be where it came from.
As always, her opinions are becoming stronger and stronger, but she’s able to express them in new and fun ways. She shakes her head no which is adorable because she doesn’t exactly no how to use her power of “no” yet. I’m sure that will change in the next month or two.
She got her first cold, first stomach bug, and Croup, so we’ve really been through the ringer this month!
Before I get into her full update, I wanted to let you all know that I am super excited to have started a community Facebook group for Lemon Stripes mamas who want support and uplifting in a judgement-free zone. If you’re a mom or a mama-to-be or just curious about what’s to come, I hope you’ll join us for interesting discussions on all things baby.
The page has only been up for three days and I’m already blown away by how many mamas are using it to help each other answer difficult questions about their kids. I feel so proud and humbled to be a part of this group of women!
Milestones this month
New teeth: Her bottom two teeth are almost fully in and when she gives a big grin, they are so cute. We had one really bad night of teething (I wrote about how we handled it last month) but it hasn’t been as awful as I thought it would be. The drool situation is quite out of control however so any tips are appreciated. Thoughts on amber necklaces?
Almost crawling: I realize that almost crawling isn’t a milestone but she gets up on all fours and can spin in circles and move across a room without actually crawling (see photo below). I’m guessing that at this point we’re a matter of weeks if not days away from the real thing. God help us!
First stomach bug: When we were in California last month Amalia, Anel and everyone else in my extended family (except me miraculously) got a nasty stomach bug while there for my grandfather’s funeral. I wrote about it before but it was terrifying to see her so dehydrated, listless, and sick for so long. But she was strong and relatively happy throughout it considering.
First change in time zones: Despite her being sick on the trip, she somehow managed to pretty much stick to her regular schedule in California. We landed so late that she was just beat when we got there and ended up going to bed at 6pm PST and sleeping until 7am the first day. On the way back, it took a few days to get back on track but she was also sick so I have no idea how this would have worked regularly.
THE BIGGEST LESSON I’VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
You will survive everything. When Amalia and Anel were both painfully, horrifyingly sick, I was at a loss. I didn’t know how to make them better and was going on three all nighters in a row. We had to fly back home the next day and I truly didn’t think I could make it, but a crazy mom superpower came over me and not only did I manage not to get their stomach bug, but I got us all home in one piece.
It took a full week for all three of us to recover but we got through it and I felt so proud of making it happen for my family. There was one point on the night we got home, right after her last projective vomit session (into my mouth no less) where I held her and rocked her to sleep and just felt stronger and safer than I have maybe in my entire life. I was keeping my baby alive and ok during something that felt really scary.
That might sound kind of insane but it was profound and made me realize that I’m a lot more capable as a mom than I give myself credit for sometimes.
Below is an ideal day. We added solids in a big way this month and that threw everything off in a big way. Some people told us to do solids in between bottle feedings, some said an hour after, some said before, and we tried it all. None of it worked. She ended up either being starving for milk (like 12 oz at a time!) or super fussy, tired, hungry, and just off. Her naps were short and she’d wake up hungry. She even woke up in the night once or twice starving which was when I realized we had to make a change.
Finally last week I looked up a couple of Babywise sample schedules for her age which for some reason I hadn’t thought to do. Babywise worked so well for us in the beginning of her life, and it did the trick again. Within two days of changing it up, she was back to herself, eating a good amount, and napping with more regularity.
We’re finally getting back on track so I’d say at this point, it happens 50% of the time exactly like this.
No matter what happens during the day though, we try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time. Sometimes she wakes up early, but we let her hang in her crib until 7am unless she’s really upset for some reason which means she’s starving.
7:00am- Wake up
7:15am- Feed 1 7 oz of formula (plus probiotics and Vitamin D) and solids (usually eggs or oatmeal/yogurt with applesauce)
9:00/9:15am- Nap 1- If it’s a day care day, she heads to school and takes her first nap there.
10:30am- Wake up and hang out/play.
11:00am- Feed 2- 7oz of formula and solids
12:30pm- Nap 2
1:30/2pm- Wake up and hang out/play/go for a walk until she gets hungry.
3pm- Feed 3- 7oz formula and solids
4:30pm- Rare cat nap- Usually only on days when she doesn’t sleep well at daycare.
5:00pm- If she naps, she wakes up pretty quickly.
6pm- “Nakey baby”- We have her roll around naked on a towel to give her butt some room to breathe before her bath.
6:20pm- Feed 4 (9 oz), then right to bed
When she was off track with her schedule she was fussier than usual, but now that we’re back on track she’s a happy, excited, curious, and effervescent baby. She’s constantly moving and kicking, and I’m legit terrified for the day that this kid starts walking.
On top of that, she’s funny. She and Anel joke around with each other and she actually knows how to make us laugh.
We had one week where whenever I would leave the room she would scream. I looked it up in our Wonder Weeks app/book and it said that 29-30 weeks is when babies learn that their moms can leave and not come back. It was heart breaking to see her eyes fill with tears even if I just went to get a glass of water. True to the app, however, it lasted exactly one week and then ended.
Her favorite foods
Eating with her has become so much more fun this month. She has tried a ton of different foods and definitely has her preferences. My favorite eating moment was when we took her out to lunch with us last weekend and I ordered her a pureed butternut squash soup off the menu and fed it to her in the high chair. It was as if she had grown up overnight… And she ate the entire thing.
Eggs: I scramble them with ghee or butter and a little sea salt for her breakfast a few times/week. Sometimes I add veggies or cheese and she loves it all.
Hummus: One afternoon I was snacking on carrots and hummus and she wouldn’t stop reaching for it so I gave her a taste. She was hooked! I feed it to her plain and it’s probably her favorite all time food right now. It’s messy, but so worth it.
Guacamole: After three failed attempts at trying to get her to like avocado, one of our day care teachers suggested giving her guacamole. It was a win! Clearly this girl likes foods with flavor.
Yogurt with fruit: On the days when she doesn’t get eggs, I miss grassfed unsweetened yogurt with applesauce or pureed fruits, a little cinnamon, and sometimes ginger powder. I try to change up the flavor as much as possible so she tries different fruits.
Beef: She loves chopped up ground beef that I cook with olive oil and some tomato sauce or veggies.
Earth’s Best Pouches: When I don’t have time to cook/make her something or if we’re on the go, Earth’s Best pouches are our go-to. She likes most of the flavors and I think the consistency is her jam. We’ve tried a few other brands, but these seem to be her favorite.
We still haven’t tried peanut butter or any other nuts yet, but our doctor suggested doing that sooner rather than later so that will come this month. Her tip was to do it in the morning on a day when we’ll be with her all day so we can keep an eye on her for reactions.
HER FAVORITE THINGS
Little Nomad Play Mat– We still live on this pretty play mat and I often get asked what rug it is. I’m going to be sharing a bunch of photos from our play room tomorrow and giving away two mats on Instagram so stay tuned for that!
Bath Time– I thought she used to love bath time, but we got a new bath seat and now splashes around laughing throughout the entire thing every night. It’s so cute. I love the new seat because it keeps her sitting up and I don’t have to hold her body or worry about her falling while I wash her.
Mirrors– Amalia could stare at her own face in a mirror all day long. I mean I don’t blame the girl, look at that face!
Peek-a-Boo– Finally she’s into this age-old baby game and it’s hilarious. Anel or I will hide behind a pillow or wall and pop out to scare her. She laughs hysterically and hugs/snuggles into the other parent and it’s pure heaven. If you do it alone with her, she rolls away on the floor or our bed laughing, then rolls back for you to start again. It’s the cutest thing ever.
Hand Puppets- this photoMy aunt gave her a set of farm animal hand puppets for Christmas and she loves them. We sing Old MacDonald to her with them and she goes bananas. It’s how I got capturing her smile! Of course I didn’t think to bring them out for this photo shoot… #momfail.
Books– Just as she was last month, she’s a little book worm. She loves cuddling in for a few good reads before her naps and will flip through books in her play room often instead of toys. Hey, I’ll take it!
This is an easy one. The first morning that she woke up sick in California and it was as if the life had been sucked out of her eyes. She then proceeded to projective vomit and I’ve never been so scared in my life. I just kept praying that I could have it instead of her, that I could take away her pain.
Before that moment, I hadn’t really experienced wanted to take a bullet for another person so badly.
We have these moments on weekends when we all play the peek-a-boo game I mentioned above on our bed. She is so cute, happy, cuddly, and giggly and my heart soars with love when we do this. Bootsie sits by our feet and watches the whole thing, and I feel so complete.