Friday, September 30, 2011

Already the life of the party

I think my daughter is already more popular in "school" than I ever was. Lila is a natural extrovert so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that she's the life of the party at daycare! I dropped her off this morning (which is rare - I usually just do pick up) and you should've seen the reaction. The other babies flocked to her and hugged her and couldn't stop talking about "La-la!"... "La-la is here!" Of course she just grinned and laughed and waved hello!

One of the daycare teachers even said, "Can you tell Lila is the class favorite?" Another one of the sweet teachers at daycare has been making bows and headbands for Lila and leaving them for me to pick up every once in a while... just because she'd look cute in them!

I love that Lila is outgoing and has a nice personality already. I really don't know what I would do with a shy child. I've heard from other moms who sort of struggle with a son or daughter that has a different disposition than they have. I'm pretty outgoing and Neil is even more sociable than I am so we are really excited to have a little social butterfly on our hands!

I had to laugh the other day when I was walking in to the daycare and a little boy who I'd never met asked excitedly.. "Are you Lila's mommy? She is so funny!"

Yep. That's me. Lila's mommy. And I couldn't be more proud!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Seven Months Old Today!

Yep, little Lila is 7 months old! How is that possible? I'm sad that she's growing up but so excited to watch her grow and learn new things. This is a great age but I know it's fleeting. The other night she woke up about an hour and half after her bedtime (I think it was gas)... and I rocked her and sang to her and she fell back asleep with her little arms wrapped around my neck. I lost it! I sat there and cried! I love this little girl so much!!!

No doctors appointments this month, so no weigh in. I think she is 17.5 lbs or so. She hasn't gained as much as she normally does in a month... I might call and ask the pediatrician about that. She seems fine, but I usually expect a gain of at least a lb per month.

Sizes: Same sizes as last month. 6-9 months in mostly everything, some 12 month pants and sleepers. Size 3 diapers.

Eating: Lila usually eats 4 times a day, sometimes 5. I’m trying to slowly wean off of pumping and eventually nursing all together. Right now: I nurse her if she’s hungry overnight (hasn't happened in a few weeks), in the morning around 7:15, then she has one pumped bottle and one formula bottle at daycare, nurses after daycare and then a bedtime bottle around 7. Sometimes the last two feedings are right after another. I feed her and then Neil tops her off with the bottle. I’m down to pumping once a day at lunchtime - often while I’m eating! I'm thinking we are going to be done nursing soon as my supply is dwindling and I'm not doing much to help it. I feel SO PROUD to have nursed her for 7 months and pumped for 3. Well beyond what I thought I could do, especially with our rocky start. I'm sad to stop, but I think it's for the best!

Solids are a challenge. Lila does NOT like baby food. She doesn't like baby spoons. She doesn't really like her high chair either! I've tried different purees but she's not into it AT ALL.

Purees we've tried: Sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, pears, oatmeal/fruit mix (spit up a lot the day after so I stopped), peas with brown rice, rice cereal. Verdict - EH. Not interested! Some days she does better than others. She does the best with applesauce, but some days she will not eat at all. The girls at daycare can’t get her to eat purees either, so it’s not just me! I’m trying not to get bent out of shape about it.

On the other hand, she loves feeding herself and LOVES big people food. She still loves Baby mum mums. And this month has started with puffs and yogurt melts. She does a good job with the pincer grasp (finger and thumb) but doesn’t always get the food into her mouth successfully.

Big people foods we tried this month (mostly just a bite or two) - sweet potato fries, broccoli cheddar soup, mashed potato, shredded cheese, pieces of cracker, a bite of ice cream (!) raspberry and strawberry yogurt. LOVED!

I would go straight to table foods but she gagged and threw up a piece of sweet potato and now I’m scared to give her big pieces of food ala Baby Led Weaning. I’m trying to be patient with her and hopefully milk/formula is all she needs right now.

Sleeping: She’s dropped 3rd nap for the most part and is now taking a morning and afternoon nap with a much earlier bedtime around 7-7:30. We still have the occasional off day (usually on the weekends) where she naps around 5 and then goes to bed later at like 8 or 8:30. That works for us because then we can go out for dinner or shopping with her if we want/need to. She has been sleeping through the night for a week and a half now. Loving our newfound evening free time but I do miss playing with her and spending time in the evenings. We are also doing much better at letting her fall asleep on her own and trying to give her a few minutes if we hear her on the monitor in the middle of the night. She usually goes back to sleep after fussing for a minute or so.

Talking: She babbles all the time and is saying lots of different syllables. Da-da is still her favorite word. She also is experimenting with pitch and volume! She is so loud sometimes!! Her favorite thing is screaming DA-DA!! She is starting to say ma-ma, ba-ba, ga-ga, etc...

Motion: Still just army crawling but does get up on her hands and knees and rocks forward. It’s only a matter of time before she is truly crawling. Every time I put her on the floor she does a little bit better!

Developmental milestones:

- Waves hi and bye, but waves towards herself most of the time (this morning she was waving at me when I went to get her out of her crib)
- Loves to bang things together or uses her toys to bang table tops or whatever like a drum
- Pincer grasp, can pick up small things like puffs
- Separation anxiety has already started! She freaks when there are a lot of people around and tends to cry if a man she hasnt seen in a while holds her. She just wants mommy or daddy but eventually warms up
- Starting to clap (albeit very uncoordinated-ly)
- Finally “razzing”, she never did this until month 6
- Can drink out of a straw!!
- More sophisticated hand movements and play
- Got from a crawling position to sitting once that I saw


We mostly just call her Lila, but the big nickname for her is Lila Bean! Like a lima bean :) So she gets called Bean a lot. Or we call her smiley, sleepy gus, grumpy gus... etc depending on her mood! We of course call her sweetie, sweetheart, baby girl, etc.. all the normal stuff.

Funnies, Firsts and Memories:

First Reds game! She loved it.

Started consistently "sleeping through the night" (Hallelujah!)

First time at the park. We put her in the baby swing and she laughed the entire time!!!!

Also, it was the first time someone called her a "he". She was wearing blue.. but it was a dress! Come on people!

One of my favorite memories this month wasn't really of Lila, but of Neil. We were talking before bed one night and laughing about something Lila did, and he just said (with emphasis) "I just LOVE her!" It was cute.

Lila loves crawling through/under things - last night she crawled completely under the dining room table and through two chairs. She's also crawled in between her pack and play and a chair squeezing through a tiny path. I love how adventurous she is!

Her favorite things to crawl towards are of course the forbidden things for babies - cords, the DVR, outlets, etc.. I try to baby proof as much as possible, but usually just pick her up and redirect her to a toy or something safe. Well earlier this month I was in the kitchen and could see her playing and then I looked away and then all I could see was little feet... I got closer and she was trying to grab the laptop cord but was looking over her shoulder to see if I was watching!!! We are gonna be in trouble!

Words to describe her: Funny, curious, HAPPY, impatient, flirt, physical, hyper

Future Predictions:

Lila is showing us so much personality lately, I thought it'd be fun to make some predictions about her development and what she might like in the future.

Lila at 1: I think she'll definitely be walking and already showing toddler behavior! Hopefully she's eating food and drinking from a cup by then. I also hope she has enough hair to make a ponytail on the top of her head, or at least something I can brush!

Lila at 5: I hope Lila at 5 will be a big sister! I think she will be very active whether its dance, t-ball or soccer. She is a very physical/energetic baby (always moving/kicking, very strong, and ahead of the curve developmentally) so I hope we can channel the energy into something organized!

Lila at 15: Oh lordy, I can't even think that far ahead! I hope she still lets mom and dad hug her, isn't too embarrassed by me and has a good group of friends. I have no clue who she'll be, but I can't wait to see!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weighty Wednesday

You would know I would make my first weight loss accountability post for right after my birthday weekend! All last week I stuck to my Weight Watchers points but then the weekend came, and I didn't track my points and I pretty much ate and drank whatever I wanted. And then Monday was my birthday - and how could I turn down the birthday brownie that Neil brought me? And broccoli soup from Panera sounds good... and I'll get the bread bowl, cause it's my birthday!!!

Yeah, I've got excuses out the wazoo. :)

So here is the recap. Wish it was better!

Weight this week: +1 lb

Workouts: Two. One bike ride, one long walk.


- Keep track of my points everyday (even the weekends!)

- Workout 3 times this week, at least one strength training

- Pack my lunch and plan dinners

- Eat more fruits and veggies!

I'm hoping to have a weight LOSS to report next Wednesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Weekend!

It was a fun weekend for the Miller family! Lots of family time, a date night, a baseball game, good food, great music, yummy beer and lots of time with Miss Lila. I cooled it on the Weight Watchers this weekend but I'm back at it today!

Friday night was pretty chill. I went to Once Upon a Child before I picked up Lila from daycare to get her a Reds onesie for the game on Sunday. Luckily they had a cute one that fits her perfectly for $1. Of course I walked out of there with far more than just the Reds shirt!

Neil got home around 7 on Friday night and we had Chick-fil-A and put Lila to bed. She seems to be loving her 7pm bedtime and has slept 12 hours straight a few times lately! I'm so proud of her and honestly can't believe she is sleeping that well. I know as soon as a tooth breaks through that'll be over, but I'm enjoying the sleep for now.

On Saturday morning my parents came to stay and take care of Lila for our date night in celebration of my birthday (which is today). We played a lot with Lila, caught up and went to Skyline for lunch. Lila cracked us up at lunch. The girl loves cheese! She also tried oyster crackers and baked potato. She also figured out how to drink out of my straw and had a little taste of iced tea. It's hilarious to me how eager she is to eat any food that is NOT baby food. She hardly opens her mouth for purees but if it's big people food, she is all about it!!

My Aunt Rhonda who was in town for training came by to visit in the afternoon. It was great to see her! It's been a few months since she's seen Lila, so there was a lot to catch up on.

Later in the afternoon Neil and I headed downtown for our date night. We left Lila in grandma and grand-dad's capable hands for the evening. Every year for my birthday we try to go to Oktoberfest in downtown Cincy. It is a blast and we love seeing the Klaberheads play on Fountain square. I love beer so that's a big plus too!! Neil and I ran into some friends, talked to the guys in the band, and ate brats and metts and apple strudel!

We found Brian...

And Tracey...

The only pic I took of the stage. Love my Klaberheads!

After Oktoberfest we ran over to Sy and Elizabeth's house to see Emmett and wish Sy a happy birthday as well. We usually do Birthday weekend together, so we had to go see them! We had cake and then headed off to the next part of the night...

Marc Broussard!!!

He's been a favorite since Neil and I saw him play in college like 8 years ago. He's an amazing musician with a soulful voice and awesome bluesy rock songs. We've seen him a few times live, and I was so exciting he was in Cincy for my birthday weekend! He did not disappoint. Neil and I got there about 15 minutes before he came on, which was perfect timing. We didn't care about the opening acts, only Marc!

If you don't know him, watch this video for a sample of his awesome soulful voice.

We had a blast singing along and dancing and watching Marc perform. It was an awesome night!! I loved spending time with Neil and it was truly like old times. I am grateful for my parents for watching Lila for the night! We so needed this.

We got home around midnight, I pumped and then we went to bed!

We headed to the Reds game on Sunday afternoon. Lila didn't seem to want to nap that morning (she finally did get an hour long nap) so I was worried about how she'd do. Well, this girl always surprises me. She loved it!!

I was concerned she was too young for a game, but she did so well. She loves people so she enjoyed looking around and smiling at everyone. She was very popular. She was also very accessorized:

We met Rosie Red:

Sy and Elizabeth were at the game too. My mom had never met Emmett so we found them during the game. We cannot get a good pic of these babies together! They don't cooperate very well. :)

Well, the Reds lost but we had a great time. The weather was great and we had fun. Lila fell asleep in the baby Bjorn right after the game ended and continued to sleep in the car! After stopping for ice cream at UDF (and yes, Lila got a taste) we were home!! Lila was pooped and was in bed by 6:45pm.

Grand-dad and Lila at UDF!

I had a wonderful pre-birthday weekend. I'm so lucky to have such great family and friends in my life to celebrate with. It was fun being 27, but I know 28 will be fun too!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Playful Morning

To make up for lost time in the evening due to Lila's new early bedtime, I've been trying to get some good playtime in with her in the morning!

First we rolled around on the carpet...

Then we practiced our crawling...

She gets up on her knees and rocks and throws herself forward and then reverts back to the army crawl. She hasn't gotten the hang of alternating legs yet.

This is a bad blurry picture of her but I just love this onesie!

We also played with Lila's newest toy the VTech Sit to Stand Walker. She LOVES it! She of course can't walk with it yet, but loves sitting and playing with it, or in this case kneeling. She unfortunately fell straight backwards right after this pic was taken. She was fine, but I felt like a bad mommy. :( No more kneeling.

Her absolute favorite part of the walker toy is the phone! Looks like she's been observing daddy on the phone with DirecTv...

Or maybe it was the insurance company...

In other news... Lila is thrilled it's fall (60 degrees today) so she can wear all of her cute fall jackets and sweaters!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weight Update Wednesday

I used to be able to walk into a clothing store, buy a size medium without trying it on, and have a cute new top or cardigan that fit and flattered. Long gone are those days! I went to Old Navy the other day and after spending a half hour in the dressing room, I couldn't even find a t-shirt to buy! And don't get me started on pants and jeans.

I don't want to complain, but (sorry) I'm going to anyway. It sucks not having my old body or even one remotely close to what I used to have. I was far from perfect before, but right now I'm about 15 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight and 1 to 2 sizes from my previous size. I was very confident and secure with my weight and shape before. Now, I'm just not happy with where I am! I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter (I have a great marriage, wonderful daughter, my health, a great job, yadda yadda) but I'd really love to have my confidence and my personal style back! More of my old clothes fit me now than a few months ago, but I still have a very limited wardrobe. And since I can't really find many options that work in stores (and very little time to shop), I really need to do something about my clothing shortage and body image!

A couple months ago I signed up for Weight Watchers online and in the last month I've barely logged in and I haven't kept up with my points. I haven't gained any weight but I haven't lost any either! After my dressing room revelation I've decided to make a change.

My plan:

I will track my WW points every day for one month (my online subscription ends Oct 11).

I will make the best food choices I can including eating more fruits and veggies and less dessert.

I will workout at least 3 times per week.

I will post an update every Wednesday on my progress and goals for the next week.

I hope to lose 4-5 lbs by Oct 11 and be able to wear more of the clothes in my closet.

Let's see how this goes!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bedtime and naps and schedules, oh my!

I've been working on a couple blog posts, but can't seem to find the time to get them done! Maybe if Neil and I didn't watch 3 episodes of Prison Break on Netflix after Lila goes to sleep I'd be able to blog. :)

Speaking of sleep, little girlie has gone to bed at 7:30 for the last 4 nights. I realize I just jinxed myself by putting it in writing... but anyway, last night she only woke up at 11:30 which worked out great since we were still up! Then she woke up at 7:30am for the day. I guess tomorrow could be completely different, but I'm just happy we seem to be on a path to an earlier bedtime and a better more predictable schedule.

After months of worrying about not having Lila on a "schedule" and beating myself up over short naps and late bedtimes it seems like our little peanut is figuring out a schedule on her own. Believe me, I've read the books. I've read (parts of) BabyWise, Baby Whisperer, No-Cry Sleep Solution, and countless baby sleep posts on Babycenter. In the end, we didn't do any form of sleep training or scheduling with Lila. We also pretty much feed on demand (within reason - if more than 4 hours goes by I feed her) and haven't done anything special other than just doing what works for her and us.

Keep in mind I'm not knocking you if you do BW or sleep training or even cry it out, but it just doesn't work for us. Personally, I don't think I could ever do cry it out. I barely let Lila fuss it out! She's not a big crier so when she does cry I know something is wrong! Anyway, after worrying and fretting about Lila's schedule for months, I finally gave up. I figured she would eventually work it out on her own when she was ready. Well she is 6.5 months and at least for now, it seems like she has!

Lila's schedule yesterday (the last 4 days have been similar):

Woke on her own @ 7:30, breastfeed, play and get ready
8am out the door with Neil to daycare
9-11am nap then bottle (5 oz pumped milk) normally would have solids here but I forgot to pack them
1-3pm nap then bottle (5 oz formula or 1/2 BM 1/2 formula I don't remember)
5:15pm pick up from daycare
5:30pm breastfeed and solids (apples and oatmeal: breakfast for dinner, haha)
5:30-7ish PLAY with mommy and daddy!!
7:30pm pjs, bottle, bed (not sure of the routine since Neil did bedtime while I was at the grocery store)
11:30pm woke up briefly for a diaper change and quick feeding then up on her own around 7:30am

I typed this up not to brag about how awesome I am for getting my child on a schedule, but to show other moms what an unscheduled baby's "schedule" might look like!

If you look at Lila's day you'll see it pretty much mimics an "ideal" schedule for 6-month olds according to BabyWise, Baby Whisperer and the like... and I really didn't do anything structured to get us to this point. All I did was follow her sleep and hunger cues, try to roughly do a "sleep, eat, play" pattern and try not to get to hung up on pushing her into a schedule she wasn't ready for. Also, daycare has done a lot to get her to sleep better during the day!

So how did we get here... and where did we start? Here is how Lila's sleep has evolved over the last 6 months or so:

Newborn - 6 weeks: No schedule whatsoever during the day, usually slept from midnight to 6.

6 weeks - 3 months: 4 naps per day including a late evening one (7:30ish), mostly slept thru the night with a bedtime of 10:30pm

3 - 4 months: 3 naps per day (45 mins-1.5 hrs - often in my arms), waking 2-3 times per night, bedtime around 9:30pm

4 - 5 months: 3 crappy short naps per day (30-45 mins), waking once per night between 3-4am, bedtime between 8:30 and 9:30pm

5 - 6 months: one 2-hour morning nap, one 2-hour afternoon nap, usually a 5pm short nap, bedtime 8:30ish with one or two wake ups (not always to eat), wakes up on own at 7:30am

Currently: two 2-hour naps, bedtime at 7:30 (usually waking once) and up for day at 7:30am.

Keep in mind on the weekends or on vacation her schedule is pretty different! Her naps are often on the go and shorter and her bedtime is usually later. I like that she's pretty flexible and can adjust if we are away from home.

So again I'm not trying to be snarky or judgmental about moms who do sleep training or parent-led scheduling. I understand that you do what works for you and all babies and all moms are different.

I just wanted to give some encouragement to the moms out there who have babies that don't seem to want to conform to a schedule or who go to bed too late or who never sleep through the night. Don't be like me and spend your precious time with your newborn fretting about naps and schedules. I wish I would've stopped worrying about Lila's late bedtimes and enjoyed her more during those evening hours. I wish I would've picked her up and held her and snuggled her instead of patting and shushing her to extend her short naps. If sleep training doesn't feel right or natural to you, go with your instincts! At least for me and Lila, a pattern emerged pretty painlessly.

Now I just need to get myself to do something other than watch shows on Netflix during my newly available evening hours.. like clean my house or read a book or actually workout! Baby steps...