November 20, 2018

arden rae - ten months

I've had intentions of getting a nine month post put together, as well as adding the photos and publishing Arden's birth story, but here we are at just over ten months and neither has happened.  So I'll put the birth story on hold yet again and back date the nine months photos another day.  TEN MONTHS OLD!

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Knowing that Arden is my last baby has allowed me to relish in every bit of her tininess and just enjoy the stage she is in without really wishing it away.  On the flip side, it makes the passing of time tug at my heartstrings so much more.  I can't believe how far away her newborn days seem.  And then I look at Ryann and can hardly believe that she ever was a baby and did I miss it all?  These days are so fleeting and it chokes me up more than I care to admit.  I understand all those sappy old ladies in the grocery store.  It's not realistic to enjoy every single damn moment with your kiddos, but you have to absolutely cherish what you can because these moments are gone in a flash.

wipes my tears

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Arden!  Sweet girl is growing and changing so much and becoming more and more fun every day.  New challenges of course but so fun.  At her nine month appointment she weighed in at 14 pounds 8 ounces (3rd percentile) and was 26.5 inches long (11th percentile!).  While she is still a tiny little thing the pediatrician felt comfortable no longer having regular weight checks.  She has continued to grow at a slow but mostly steady rate since 4.5 months so I'm just going to enjoy her looking like a tiny little baby for as long as I can.  I tried to weigh her on my scale on Monday (the 12th) and my best guess is 15 pounds 2 ounces or so.  I'll be thrilled if she hits 16 pounds by the time she turns one.

The only other points of conversation at her appointment included constipation (a serving of prunes every other day still can't keep the kid regular) as well as her gross motor skills.  Arden has been much much slower to become mobile than the other girls which had (has, let's be real) me a bit worried.  But just like her growth, her progress in that department, while slow, has been steady.  She is now army crawling all over the place and loves to explore.  She also really enjoys pulling up on things, but doesn't get herself into a seated position on her own yet, therefore she often doesn't realize many opportunities to try.  She is thrilled when I offer her my hands to pull up with.  And recently she has started to enjoy 'walking' while holding my hands.  It is awkward and I can't say she completely grasps the concept just yet, but she has fun doing it!

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While she still does fairly well being toted from activity to activity, Arden isn't quite as content to just sit in my lap or be held anymore.  The desire to crawl gets her every time.  Most recently when she was at dance with Elsie, Thea and I, I wound up letting her crawl on the floor of the small mall the studio is located in.  Her sleeper was so gross and dirty by the time we left but she just was not at all happy when I was trying to hold her.

Arden's sleeping and nursing schedule has pretty much remained the same the last couple of months, though I think we are the verge of a change.  She goes to bed around 8pm, has been waking about 4:45am to nurse, and then up for the day around 7:30.  She takes two naps, at roughly 9:30am and 2:00pm, each lasting about 90 minutes, give or take.  The afternoon nap is usually the longer of the two.  In between all that sleeping she nurses about five times and eats lunch and dinner.  Arden still very much loves purees as long as they aren't a straight green vegetable.  She has also been doing fairly well with table foods.  The only thing she has truly turned her nose up at are eggs.  Why do none of my children like eggs?!?  I'd be happy to scramble some nearly every morning if someone else would eat them.  Spaghetti is a very clear favorite.  Well the noodles anyway.  She ate some meatball if I put it in her mouth, but steered clear of it when picking food up off her own tray.  She also seems to really like carrots.

We have had one instance where after eating some cinnamon and brown sugar bread, little red spots popped up around her mouth.  Nothing drastic or too concerning, but I did notice.  And cinnamon is possibly a cause of a similar reaction in Elsie.  So who knows, maybe I have kids with a cinnamon allergy?  It's strange.  Otherwise no real ill reactions to any foods including strawberries and peanut butter so that's good.  We've started offering her a straw cup with water in it, but she mostly just plays with it and throws it on the floor.  I know she has managed to get water out of it a time or two, but not very much.  I'm looking forward to offering her the full blown Thanksgiving meal.  Her third tooth just starting popping through maybe ten days ago? But it isn't visible unless you're really looking.

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Most recently, Arden has been, I guess, startling us?  For fun.  She does this little growl with a sudden jerky motion and just laughs and laughs when I act like she scared me.  I think the entertainment is mutual, I have no problem playing along because her giggle is so sweet.  One day I took Ryann, Elsie and Arden to Target.  We were just walking along, Arden in the cart, and she looked at a random stranger and let out a big growly rawr.  The man was taken back at first, and then laughed.  I was surprised she clearly directed it at a stranger.

She also really enjoys when I make animal noises.  She gets a big grin on her face if I meow like a cat or bark like a dog.  I think she tries to meow but who the heck knows what she is doing.  I need to go through our books and pull out more that have animals in them because she'll only sit still for one if there are parts to touch or plenty of animal noises for me to make.  Arden does like to help me turn the pages, she uses just her little index finger to slip between the pages and flip it over.  So cute!

Arden hasn't said any words yet, but babbles up a storm.  She is beginning to point at things and show a bit of recognition of items when we ask her to locate them.  Just a bit.  She says mama and dada but not with any sort of meaning.  Mostly says mamamamamama when she is upset and da da da da on repeat.  Lately it sounds like she is saying 'yeeeah yeeeah yeeeah' a lot which can be rather entertaining.

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Another thing Arden has really picked up in the last couple of weeks is 'dancing'.  When we're playing music sometimes she'll go absolutely nuts.  Waving her arms, shaking her head, clapping her hands, just kind of bouncing all over the place.  She sometimes puts her play phone up to her ear, or rather just kind of holds it up against her head.  She loves pulling a pile of toys out of a container.  It doesn't really matter what toys or what container as long as she can dump it piece by piece all over the floor.  Recently we were in the playroom and she pulled several things off the shelf, moved on to the play kitchen and managed to open the cabinets and empty it's contents, and then crawled off to another space to explore.  Can't exactly say she is the clean one of the bunch any more.

We celebrated Arden's first Halloween in the past month.  She was dressed as a bunny to fit in with the girls' enchanted forest theme.  She left the ears on so I'll call it a win.  We didn't take her trick or treating, just left her home with my parents to pass out candy.  But she seemed to be getting a kick out of the kids coming up to the door.  Until she got overly tired of course.

Overall Arden is just a joy.  We have our moments, but mostly she is just an easy going happy baby and I am so incredibly grateful for that.

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Arden Rae I love you so very very much!  

September 17, 2018

arden rae - eight months

MAKE IT STOP.  I truly look forward to being in the big kid stage of life and seeing what our family can do without a baby and irrational toddlers in tow.  BUT, writing these posts make me teary.  Arden is such a sweet little baby and I simply can't soak her in enough.  Her precious little hands, her squishy little feet.  I'm trying to burn them into my mind forever.

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I was reading over last month's post to see what I needed to update for this month, and that already seems like ages ago!  Arden has changed so much in about five weeks, as has our schedule.  We're falling in to a routine and it shows in my stress levels.  Lol.

Arden had a fantastic weight gain at our last appointment.  For her little self anyway!  We saw the pediatrician on August 28th, and she weighed 13 pounds 10.7 ounces (2.7th percentile).  Nearly a pound of weight gain in four weeks, the most she has gained since she was two months old!  Since then she has stopped waking twice at night, and while she is loving solids, her digestive system is struggling to keep up.  Arden hasn't been miserably constipated, but you can tell she is trying to go and just can't.  So we haven't pushed too much food.  In my attempts to weigh her this morning, I got 14 pounds 4.8 ounces.  If I'm doing my math right she JUST maintained a half ounce per day gain, which is the minimum they want to see from her.  Fingers crossed we can keep it up.  She was also 25 inches long on the 28th, which is also 3rd percentile.

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We can finally use the 9 month and 6-12 month sized clothes without them looking totally ridiculous.  It is making me actually get her dressed more often, because there is a short window of time left that I can stick her in the summer stuff from that size.  Arden is still wearing a size two diaper, but I did stick a couple of size three's on her, and they aren't awful.  I tried to put her in a cute pair of 0-6 month Pediped shoes I had that were Elsie or Ryann's or something, but they look so clunky and ridiculous.  I'm thinking moccasins will be the only route we can go when the weather cools off.

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Arden generally nurses six times a day.  When she wakes in the morning, after her first nap, before and after her second nap, before bed, and once in the middle of the night.  She is up for the day between 6:45-7:15am, goes down for a nap around 9:30am, and then her second nap of the day is dependent on how long she slept for the first nap.  Usually her morning nap is 45 min to an hour, and the second nap is two hours, give or take.  Her and Thea's afternoon naps have been lining up for the most part and it is absolutely glorious.  Bed time is between 7:15 and 8pm, depending on how her naps were, what activities we have, and how irrational the other children are being.

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This girl is definitely showing food preferences already.  We started with avocado, and then worked our way through all the vegetables.  Over the last month we added in pears and prunes, and she most definitely loves pears most of all.  She now gags on pureed green beans and will not eat more than a few bites.  She has gotten the hang of getting puffs into her mouth most of the time, so I really want to incorporate some more whole foods this month.  Gotta add some more calorie dense foods to the mix!  She has had water in a sippy cup and it startles her every time.  I guess just because she is used to her liquid being warm?

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She is still pretty content just laying on the floor and playing with toys, with little interest in moving around.  But she is becoming more and more mobile.  She uses a combination of log rolling and the WEIRDEST crawl to get around the room.  It is so incredibly inefficient and looks like she is trying to swim.  But if she really wants something she can make it there!  She tries to get to her hands and knees and sort of rocks, but she just hangs out like she has no idea what to do.  She is fairly sturdy sitting up, but I don't think I'll feel comfortable just leaving her on a hard surface or anything until she is getting to the position on her own.  She'll make attempts to go from seated to laying down to get a toy, and it only ends well about a third of the time.  She does enjoy pulling to stand with my hands, but she isn't at all sturdy once she is up.

Arden cut her first two teeth over the last month!  It wasn't long after we switched her to the crib, so between those two things sleep was pretty brutal for a while.  And she was just down right sad sometimes.  Her top gums look a little puffy like another tooth might be thinking of coming in, but nothing to see there yet.

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Girlfriend is definitely a mamas girl.  If I hand her off to someone, she either cries, or watches me like a hawk to make sure I don't leave the room.  And then she pitches a little fit if I do.  She is constantly my accessory, being toted around on my hip.  To the point that honestly I sometimes forget that I am holding her.  She just hangs out, watching the world go by from the safety of my arms.

She likes when I sing to her, especially Itsy Bitsy Spider.  We try to read books on occasion, but she just gets pissed when I move her hands to turn the pages.  Toys that she can shake and make noise seem to be her favorites.  Her sisters are great fun until they try to make her 'cozy' with pillows and blankets, or take their toys out of her reach.  She gets a kick out of Daddy playing peek a boo, and hates when he takes her out of the shower.  Most of the time she is a champ in the car, and generally makes a decent dinner date.

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Arden girl, I love you something fierce.

August 25, 2018

arden rae - seven months

written August 16th

STOP GROWING!  Or rather, just stop getting older child, please?  Gah.  It is so incredibly fun to watch Arden grow and change and learn, but it kills me a little bit every day to know I'll never have another baby, I'll never be in this stage again.  I just love it so much!  Well most of it anyway.

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Arden is such a sweet, tiny little thing.  Our last weight check was August 1st, and she tipped the scales at 12 pounds 11 ounces.  Ha.  If I had to guess, based on the rate she has been gaining weight, I'd say she is at most 13 pounds 3 ounces.  Reality is the most she has ever gained is roughly three ounces a week, but her spit up has slowed down considerably in the last few weeks, and she has also been sleeping like crap, so I'm hopeful that maybe her gained picked up a little bit.  We're going to do one more weight check at the breastfeeding clinic around August 24th, and then we are following up with our pediatrician on August 28th to establish some sort of a 'game plan'.  Mostly, I'm over the constant weight checks, and she has managed to maintain the first percentile for about two months now, so I'm hopeful that if nothing else, we can feel comfortable with checking in once a month tops.  And decide if there is any testing we need to pursue or just go with she is a small kid!

Currently Arden is still in the 3-6 month clothing.  I keep hoping that she'll suddenly grow out of them, and I know she will eventually, but I've got more than a handful of rompers I purchased specifically for her that I doubt she'll ever get to wear.  Such a bummer.  And not that we have any shortage of clothes, but I like to buy some coordinating things, and I just never know what size to get for her if I'm looking forward.  She is also still in a size two diaper, and never wears shoes.  We did move from the extra small zipadee zip to just the small.  Progress!  Ha.

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Sleep got a little more interesting in the last two weeks.  Arden has finally figure out this whole rolling thing.  Which is great, except twice she managed to flip face down in the rock 'n play, so we were forced to make a quick switch to the crib.  I admit it has gone better than expected.  The first three nights bedtime was tough.  She would cry a fair amount when I laid her down, but really only the first two nights did I feel like she was truly upset.  Since then it has been more of a complaining cry.  The real bummer is that she just isn't sleeping as well.  She is waking up twice at night instead of just once.  And naps are usually 90 minutes tops, but generally just an hour.  So nothing horrible, but I had it so good before.  Ha.  She is also at the age where she is really on the verge of dropping that third nap.  Some days if her first two naps are longer we skip it, or if we're out and about and she doesn't fall asleep, a third nap just doesn't happen.  But she still shows some tired signs right about two hours after she last woke up.

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Between the changing up of naps and trying to incorporate solids and not losing any nursing sessions, I feel like the days are sort of a hot mess.  But hopefully we get it all figured out soon.  Arden is becoming more and more interested in solids and food in general.  So far she has tried avocado, pureed chicken (which she absolutely HATED), sweet potatoes, sweet peas and green beans.  She has also had puffs for about a week now.  The first couple of days trying those was rather comical.  Arden clearly liked them, opening her mouth wide and excitedly, but once the puff was in her mouth she just didn't know what to do with it and her faces were hilarious.  She is getting the hang of it though!  We need to add another meal, I'm just being lazy about it.  I very much look forward to being able to just give her little bits and pieces of our meals.  I'm just not quite comfortable with it yet.

Despite swearing I saw one starting to come in, Arden still doesn't have any teeth.  She drools like a maniac so I think they're coming, but really I have no idea.  The other three all got their first tooth between 7 and 8 months, so we've got to be close, right?  These girls are by no means carbon copies of each other, and Arden is veering furthest from our norm, but overall they have all been pretty similar as well.  She is just tiny and has little desire to move, probably because I carry her all the time, and if something is out of reach there is usually two or three sets of little hands willing to push a toy in her direction.

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Arden is getting stronger and better at sitting every day.  And thankfully since the rest of her growth motor skills haven't taken off yet, I might actually get one of those babies who just sits there and looks cute for a little bit.  All three older girls were crawling by seven months.  Arden is managing to scoot her body around here and there, and can sometimes figure out how to roll to get what she wants, but overall she stays put and I love it.  Now that the big girls are back in school I'm hoping to do some cleaning and purging, and hopefully by the time Arden really is on the move the playroom will be mostly safe.

Overall Arden is very easy going, but she is starting to be more and more of a mama's girl.  If she is tired she is anti strangers.  And she also throws the most ridiculous little fits if something isn't going her way.  Mainly if she drops a toy, a toy is out of reach, or something gets taken from her.  She tolerates a lot from her sisters, but they can definitely overwhelm her, and I foresee her being pretty vocal if they are bothering her.  At the moment they think it is no big deal if they take something from her, but girlfriend has a good grip, the hair pulling is going to happen.  I just know it.

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I just love you sweet little girl!

August 9, 2018

thea says

I'm so horrible about writing down the funny things that Thea says, and even more horrible about getting them up on the blog.  But here are a few!

one day when Thea had been running a fever and jumped in my bed
Me:  "Get your fever outta my bed."
Thea:  "My fever not in your bed.  It under my armpit."

Thea:  "I'm gonna get married.  I gonna get a new dress like you.  And you gonna get a new dress.  And... rambles things that I can't really understand so I just smile and nod"
Me:  "Oh that sounds like a blast."
Thea:  "Nah.  It a party."

at 9:22am when she had slept until 8am
Thea:  "Mom, I want to go to bed."
Me:  "You want to go to bed?  Already?"
Thea:  "Yeah.  Beds my favorite."  me too girl, me too

For the longest time, whenever we'd ask Thea to do something or try something that she didn't really want to do, she'd say "I'm no so sure about dat."

One day I was wearing a shirt that had a little twist in the front, and when I would bend over it kind of puffed out a bit.  While Thea was eating lunch, I walked to her and bent over to help her with something on her plate.  She looked up at me, and with a very confused face said, "Wait.  Where Baby Arden go???"  I replied "She is in the rock 'n play."  Thea looked at me again, gently put her hand on my shirt, and proceeded to push it back until she was able to to press her hand on my stomach.  Then she let out a little sigh, and still with slightly concerned eyes said "Oh.  Ok.  She in the rock n play."  Like she thought somehow Arden had gotten back in to my stomach.  Too funny sweet girl.  Too funny.

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July 25, 2018

arden rae - six months

Excuse me while I go cry in the corner.  Halfway through my last baby's first year.  I absolutely love watching her grow and I'm excited for a life with older kids (and maybe a little more sleep?) but the thought of her growing and never having another baby puts a lump in my throat.

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But I couldn't have asked for a better last baby.  Just look at that sweet little girl!  Arden loves to observe and take in the world around her.  She is generally a happy babe, and only gets upset when she is tired.  Last week Chris and I took her out to dinner with us, and after I nursed her she didn't make a peep the entire time.  Just sat in her car seat or my lap and watched us eat while waving a toy around.  She's a winner.  I can tell she is starting to pick up a touch of stranger danger, but for the most part she is willing to let anyone hold her.  A lot of the time Arden keeps a pretty stone cold face, but she has the funniest little smirk she gives out when someone is trying to get a smile out of her.  Like, "People, I think you're kind of funny, but I won't give you the satisfaction of a full on smile." I just love this kid to pieces.

Arden is still our pint size little babe.  At her six month well check she weighed in at 12lbs 5oz (1st percentile) and measured 24.5 inches long (4th percentile).  She has managed to maintain the 1st percentile for about six weeks now, so hopefully she's found her curve and will just be a small little kid.  No big deal.  But we're still not to a point that anyone is comfortable enough to let her go the full period between well checks, so we'll be back at the breastfeeding clinics for weight checks every few weeks.  Her head circumference was 42.5cm, which actually put it in the 56th percentile.  This is only funny to me because Thea's head was regularly on the small side, and apparently Arden's is large for her size, but they both look the same to me.  Haha.

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We're hoping that Arden's spit up will continue to lessen allowing her to hold on to more calories.  And that with the addition of some solid foods will help fatten her up.  So far we've only given her mashed avocado mixed with a little bit of breast milk.  The first few days she really didn't eat much of it, and was gagging a lot, but day four and five she actually began to open her mouth and want more and managed to put down nearly 1/8th of an avocado each day.  Surely that will start to help the weight gain a little bit!

Eczema continues to be our other biggest battle.  I feel like Arden is sticky A LOT, because we are trying to keep it from flaring, but with limited success.  If we miss an application or if I have Arden outside for a period of time it gets bad fast.  It is so frustrating.  I shouldn't complain, I know that other people deal with much worse.  It has just been difficult to get the other girls outside because I worry about Arden getting to hot or sweaty, and in general it is just annoying to always need to be putting stuff on her skin.  But in the grand scheme of life I guess I'll take a happy healthy girl with eczema over some of the alternatives.

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Miss Arden is no longer the unicorn sleep champion, but I can't hate on it too much.  I was waking her to eat if she hadn't woken me by 4am, but now she generally wakes up by herself some time between 2 and 4am.  There still isn't any bit of a consistent schedule to her sleep habits as far as the clock is concerned, but that has more to do with us being on the go than it does her.  I also think she is starting to get her bottom teeth which might be contributing to some night waking.  She falls asleep on her own in the rock 'n play for naps, and will fall asleep on her own at night if she doesn't fall asleep nursing. 

We tried to switch over to the crib again, but she struggles to settle in there, and doesn't stay asleep, and just does a lot more crying.  She was able to fall asleep in the crib while she was swaddled, but then she was nearly rolling over.  And she doesn't settle in the zipadee zip in the crib.  By seven months though, I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and work through the tears.  I keep hoping that she'll start being more efficient at rolling and sleep on her belly and all will be well.  Just not the case yet.  At least she is sleeping in the zipadee zip in the rock 'n play?  Making a little bit of progress.  She is taking three naps a day, each of them between 1-2 hours.

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Arden can now sit up for short periods unassisted.  Really she can last several minutes if she doesn't get too distracted, but she isn't sturdy enough for me to just plop her down and trust her to stay upright.  She definitely prefers to be sitting though.  When on her back or doing tummy time her interest in being mobile is minimal.  She can roll belly to back, and back to belly, but very rarely does it.  I'm toeing the line between appreciating the fact that I don't think she'll be crawling any time soon, to being overly worried about her inability to move around.  But with a death trap of a home full of LOL dolls, hatchimals, little legos and other various choking hazards, we're just going to appreciate her inability to move.

She actually likes to be in a standing position now.  I was so worried because she didn't have any interest in supporting her weight on her legs, but that quickly changed.  When she is seated, I can help pull her up to standing position fairly easily, without her wobbling around too much.  She doesn't jump around in her jumper yet, but she is starting to bounce a little more.  We're going very slow and steady with this gross motor stuff.

Arden made her first trip to Omaha in the last month.  Maybe not as big of an adventure as Disney World or Georgia, but she is still doing a fair amount of traveling!  She was great in the car on the way there.  Slept for about half the drive, I nursed her, and then she just played with her toy for another hour or so without fussing at all.  We didn't fair quite as well on the way home, and she pretty upset for the last 25 minutes of the drive.  But overall I'd call it a success.  While in Omaha we visited family and made a stop at the zoo.  It was toasty but Arden did great, snoozed a bit in the stroller, and just looked around and did her baby thing.

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Arden, don't hate me when I smother you with hugs and kisses and try to keep you my tiny baby forever.  I love you so much.

June 22, 2018

arden rae - five months

written June 15th

One of these days I'll write something other than Arden's monthly posts not likely, but for now I'm dong my best to just keep up with those!

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Five months old and still as cute as ever!  Seriously.  Arden is so adorable and so sweet.  She is a pretty easy going baby, and is relatively quick to flash anyone and everyone a smile.  So far she doesn't care too much about who as holding her.  Though she does have a thing for just snuggling in with me.  If I'm standing of course.  Why do babies care if you're sitting or standing while they're being held?  Still baffles me.

At Arden's four month appointment our pediatrician asked for her to be seen at the breastfeeding clinic for a weight check when she was five months old.  That day she started to have bright green poop diapers, and when it continued for a week, he had us to go the clinic early.  The mystery green poop cleared up, but we've been going back weekly for weight checks to make sure Arden isn't falling off the growth charts.  The first week she lost an ounce, but has since gained seven.  At today's check she weighed in at 11 pounds 8 ounces, putting her in the 1st percentile.  She by no means looks underfed, and aside from the spitting up we can't really put a finger on why she isn't gaining weight, other than she needs more calories than she is currently getting.  So I'm not supposed to let her sleep through the night without feeding her.

FREAKING FIGURES.  I finally get a relatively good sleeper and I can't just let her be!  She actually has been waking up on her own once a night probably five times a week, so I don't exactly set an alarm all the time.  If she falls off the charts I'll figure something else out, but for now I just do my best to make sure she has the opportunity to nurse six times a day, and eat as much guacamole as I can.  :)  Speaking of my relatively good sleeper, Arden still wins by a landslide at being able to put herself to sleep on occasion.  Today she has gone down for both naps completely awake, and fallen asleep on her own.  She is still swaddled in an Ollie and sleeping in the Rock n Play, but I'm telling myself that next week we're going to attempt the crib transition again.  I want to do that first, and then get her from the Ollie to a zipadee zip.  Arden is usually taking three naps a day, with one of them being 2-3 hours long, the others 40 minutes to an hour.  She goes to bed between 7:30 and 8pm, and is up for the day between 6 and 7am.

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Arden tends to favor quietly (or not so quietly) observing the world around her from the comfort of someone's lap over working on her gross motor skills.  On May 23rd she did manage to roll from back to belly for the first time.  She has done it maybe twice since then.  But usually she just lays around.  She has basically made zero attempts to roll from belly to back.  If I pull her to a standing position she is reluctant to bare weight on her legs, and often picks up the right one like a flamingo.  And she is nowhere close to sitting unsupported.  But she is definitely gaining better control of her arms and hands.  I love to watch her grab on to things, her little eyes get a bit wider, amazed that she actually made her arms work!  And though I'm sure she really isn't, there have a been a few times in the last couple of days where I swear she has waved.  I don't know that anyone ever waves at her, so I'm not sure why she'd be doing it.  But it has looked so much like a little wave!

With better control of her hands comes the ability to pull hair.  Man oh man, Elsie and Thea are quickly seeing what it is like to be on the receiving end of hair pulling!  Thea just loves to get right up in Arden's face, mostly kissing her and loving on her, but naturally Arden just grabs fist fulls of hair and holds on tight.  I am constantly reminding them that if you get in her face she WILL pull your hair.  Because it's there and why not.  Arden has also started pinching and scratching the back of my arms while I'm carrying her around or nursing her.  It hasn't gotten too bad yet, but it is in the near future, I can tell.

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The screeching still remains Arden's favorite form of vocalization, but in the last week or so she has started babbling consonants here and there and I love it.  Of course she sounds like she says dada sometimes.  Never mama.  Oh well.  The point is that she babbles and it is just the sweetest thing.  The big girls are already speculating on what her first word might be.  I'm sure you've still got several months to wait, sorry kiddos.

Arden had another big adventure this month, taking her first trip to Georgia!  All things considered she did relatively well and again tolerated a fair amount of missed naps and being toted from place to place often.  I was worried that she would hate the beach or it would be way too windy for her, but the weather was relatively calm while we were there.

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Baby girl, you are so loved.

May 17, 2018

arden - four months

Well that month definitely flew by.  Arden Rae is already four months old!

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Arden's four month well check was Monday, and it went, well enough.  She got two vaccines which she hated, but was soothed with just some snuggles, and the rotavirus oral vaccine, which I'm hoping she didn't spit up too much of.  But the main take away from this appointment was that the little miss is dropping on the growth charts.  Arden weighed in at 11lbs 7oz (4th percentile) and was 23.8 in long (21st) percentile.  I can't find her print out from our weight check that was done at like 10 days, but at 4 days old she was in the 29th percentile for weight, so in my head that isn't THAT far of a drop, even though I know it kind of is.

There are so many variables that are contributing to whether or not her slow weight gain is actually an issue.  She spits up.  All the time.  Right after a feeding.  An hour after a feeding.  As soon as she wakes up.  Hell, during a feeding.  But she isn't really upset about it so thus far it hasn't been an issue.  A laundry issue, and a we always smell like sour milk issue, but not seemingly a health issue.  She has also developed some eczema.  It was noticeable shortly after I finished my Whole30 (so reintroduced a variety of foods), but became awful when the weather warmed up and especially when we went to Disney World.  So that could be food sensitivity or intolerance, or simply environmental. But there is also the fact that my sister is only 4 foot 11.  Both Chris and I lean towards the short or average end.  It is possible that she'll just be small, or have a huge growth spurt somewhere along the lines.  So far, overall, she is still gaining weight and growing so we'll just keep on keeping on.

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Right now Arden is in 3-6 month or 6 month clothing and size two diapers.  We did put one 6 month sleeper from Carter's on her, that must be marked wrong or something, because it was almost ridiculously huge.  Still haven't really ventured into her wearing shoes.  And since it went from being winter to summer in a matter of minutes there isn't much of a reason to keep her feet covered, except for maybe sun protection.  But we have a pretty large pile of cute shoes so maybe I should throw some on just for kicks.  I have actually been putting her in real clothes most days (I should use the term real very lightly, I've been doing just one piece rompers.  Two piece outfits happen almost never) so it wouldn't be ridiculous to put on a pair of shoes.

We had a good run of Arden sleeping 10-11 hours at night, but in the last two weeks those nights are few and far between.  She still isn't a terrible sleeper by any means, usually only waking once in an 11-12 hour stretch, but I can tell we're going through some sleep changes.  I won't do any formal sleep training until six months, so I'm hoping we can hang on to decent sleep until that point.  We haven't transitioned out of the rock 'n play or the swaddle, so I'm guessing it is going to take some sleep training to make it happen.  Arden has mostly been taking three naps a day, sometimes four if a couple of them are pretty short.  Really she has no schedule and I just let her do her thing.  For the most part it is working well enough for us.  She is usually up for about max two hours before she is ready to sleep again.

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Arden still has yet to roll in either direction, but she does roll to her sides now.  And naturally she is rather adorable when she lays on her side.  She can get her head and sometimes her chest pretty high while doing tummy time, but for the most part she just gives up and rubs her face all over the floor.  Her head and neck are pretty strong, but overall I don't think she is as sturdy as the other girls were at this age.  She is gaining more and more control over her hands and arms and has been reaching out for toys, and starting to swat the ones on her play mats.  She has also been grabbing her toes which just makes babies seem so much older.

The sound track to my day now includes this really awesome high pitched screeching noise.  It is rather lovely.  Ha.  It can be cute, for sure, and was definitely funny the first day or so.  But occasionally I actually want to hear what the other girls are saying or try to have a conversation with someone and Arden is just LOUD! :)  Another habit she has picked up, is rubbing/scratching her head when she is tired or nursing.  We've been putting the little newborn mitts on her to keep her from completely destroying her face, but she has still managed to get a good slice in her scalp here and there.

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Her smile is so sweet, and she is fairly quick to give it out.  She intently watches her sisters move about the house, I'm sure trying to discern what on Earth they are doing most of the time.  They're crazy.  She likes to be carried facing out so she can see what is going on.  She smiles when I sing to her.  Bottles still aren't her thing.  Really she is just a content little baby, who hangs out and goes along for the ride.

Arden's big adventure this past month was to Disney World!  Go big or go home right?  She had her first airplane ride, first big trip, first time at Disney World, all before turning four months old.  I was worried that the trip would be miserable because she doesn't love being worn, but all things considered she did really well.  There was a fair amount of crying when she'd get tired and not really want to be in the carrier, and we had to stop several times to nurse, but she slept well at night and spent a good deal of time just hanging out.  She got to ride the Teacups, Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo, the Little Mermaid ride, A Nemo ride, Frozen Ever After, Jungle Cruise, go on a safari, probably a couple more I'm forgetting, and watched a few shows.  We never made it back into the park in the evenings because I always felt bad about strapping her in anymore, but ultimately we were very happy with how she (and the other girls!) handled the trip and the straight up exhaustion.  We'll definitely have to go back when Arden can enjoy it too.

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Best baby, I love you so.  Thanks for putting up with your crazy family, and being so easy going.