Monday, January 27, 2014

Harper Reese- 8 Months Old!

Harper is on the move this month. She can get anywhere she wants to go if she wants to be there badly enough!
(my favorite shot- taken randomly with my iPhone during her 8 month photo shoot)

She is scooting and worming herself all over the place. She also wants to pull up on everything (and pulled up on her own for the firs time today--- January 26th!) and is getting great at standing with assistance/support. She's starting to make more sounds too--- lots of "dada," "gah," "baaaa," you know, baby talk. She can also get into a seated position on her own. Before, she could sit perfectly on her own but had to be placed into sitting position. Now she just sits up by herself…which has been interesting when she wakes up in the middle of the night and the first thing she does is sit up and scream...

Watching her grow before our eyes has just been surreal. She is so responsive, interactive and interested now. She wants to grab, eat and touch everything. She responds to her name and is curious about the things we say and do. When she's on her play mat, there's a little wall where the stairs begin, and when she hears or front door open, she will lean forward to try to peak around the wall to see who's coming upstairs. 

She is eating all kinds of foods--- lots of veggies, fruits and even chicken! I'm going to do a separate post all about how I've been making baby food. My mom even made a ton of baby food with me when she was in town this past week. With her help, my freezer is stocked with baby food cubes! 

This upcoming month will be an adjustment for Harper (and for me) because she is starting a new daycare/school. This is the daycare we have been on the waiting list for since I was 21 weeks pregnant and we finally got the call that they had a spot for Harper in one of their infant classes. We are lucky it worked out the way it did, since if we were on the list much longer, they would have had to move us to the toddler waiting list and we would have been lower on that list than the infant list. Plus, toddler spots are more difficult to get because babies are moving up into those classes so spots don't become available often. This new daycare is really more of a preschool environment and they really focus on learning in addition to fun. We love Harper's current daycare teacher, but we really like the environment, learning and spaciousness of the new daycare more. Though it will be hard to leave her current class, we felt the transition would be easier now, versus Harper having to transition to a toddler class in her existing school and then having to do that transition all over again when she's older and more aware.  Hopefully she will love her new teachers and baby friends.

Harper got baptized this month which was very special! We planned her baptism so that it coincided with my mom's visit and she was so happy to be there. I'm so thankful that my mom and mine's relationship has really had the opportunity to heal and blossom since Harper was born. You can read more about that here.  My mom got to spend the entire week one-on-one with Harper and I know she enjoyed having that time to bond with her since she doesn't get to visit often. Thank God for FaceTime! We FaceTime several times a week! I think Harper recognized my mom right away since she sees her and hears her voice on FaceTime. We weren't sure if she would make the connection but it seems she did.
Here are Harper's 8 month updates:

Weight: Harper is about 19.5 pounds. I will find out her height and head measurements at her 9 month appointment. 

Health: This month is the first time Harper has ever been on antibiotics. She was sick over New Year's and had a very high fever and was just miserable. She has been battling a cold for what seems like months now. One Saturday a couple of weeks ago she woke up and one of her eyes looked really pink so we took her to the pediatrician. It wasn't pink eye, but the pedi suspected she might have a sinus infection since she had been battling a very stuffy and runny nose going on 2 months. She also developed a mucousy sounding cough, but she only coughed once in awhile.  She seems to be on the mend now. It was tough to see her so sick, but she's a trooper and has handled it better than I would. 

It doesn't surprise me that Harper has been sick since she goes to daycare and is exposed to lots of germs (and the babies all just pass illnesses to each other). I figure since she's exposed to germs so young, she might not get sick as much when she's in grade school. Here's to wishful thinking!

Sleep:  All over the place. One night she will go to sleep at around 7 and she will sleep through the night until 5 or 6 a.m. and one night she may wake up a few times crying and sleep until 4. I would say of 7 days, she has 4 good sleeps and 3 not so good ones. When she wakes up really early, we just bring her to bed for an hour or two until we all wake up together. I've heard that babies' sleep gets interrupted when they are sick and when they are learning new skills, so it makes sense. She does know how to put her own paci back in so many times she will wake up a let out a little cry but find her paci, pop it back in and go back to sleep.  We used to run right up to her nursery every time she let out a cry, but now we know better. I will let her whimper for a few minutes because I find that she will usually use her paci, self soothe, and put her head back down and go to sleep if she has a few minutes to resolve whatever woke her. If we go in there right away, she almost never goes back to sleep on her own (though sometimes just rubbing her back will do it, it depends how awake she is).
We lowered Harper's crib mattress this weekend since she learned to pull up on her own. It's all the way at the lowest level now and her crib feels like a little baby jail, haha!

Social: Harper has had a couple of playdates and also sees all of her buddies three days a week at daycare. We laid low for a couple of weeks when she was really sick.


Diet: I am still exclusively pumping for Harper (read more about my pumping story here).  Hallelujah y'all, I finally got down to FOUR pumps per day!!! I could literally cry tears of joy. I thought my supply would plummet, but thankfully it has only gone down 2-3 ounces some days. Other days I'm pumping the exact same as when I was doing five pumping sessions a day. I know it doesn't seem like a big difference, but it really did make things easier for me to drop that one session. My freezer is so full of frozen milk that I may be able to wean from pumping at 10.5 months or so and start to use that stash for the remainder of her feedings until 12 months. That would be just lovely. 

As far as solids go, Harper is doing awesome!  I offer foods she doesn't seem to like over and over, as recommended, and she ends up loving them. She even laughs and gives all kinds of vocal feedback when she particularly loves something. Most of the time, it's like you can't shovel it in fast enough. LOL. She will actually protest if you are not on your game with baby food shoveling.

When my mom was here we made a TON of baby food and it's all divided up by type in the freezer now. We made sweet potatoes, chicken soup with carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.  Harper has also tried green beans recently. She loves apples so I make those all the time. I feed her two cubes at each meal (I microwave them and test the temperature with these spoons which turn white if the puree is to hot). I still mix Earth's Best organic baby oatmeal into her fruit puree for breakfast.

As I mentioned last month, I love making baby food and I love watching her expressions as she tries new things. We've even given her peeled apple slices and banana chunks to try eating on her own.  We didn't do baby led weaning, but I'm trying to give her some softer foods to hold and explore with supervision.

I also bought some of the Plum Organics pouches everyone seems to love to carry in Harper's diaper bag. We haven't tried them yet but I figure they will be good to have on hand for when we're on the go!

My mom told me that I was a great baby but a horrible eater. She said I would take an hour to finish a bottle and would spit all of my solids out. Haha. She was so happy to see Harper eating the way she does. 
she likes to eat her crib, too! nom nom nom...
Likes: Getting into a sitting position all on her own, putting everything in her mouth, eating books, scooting all over the place, pulling up (or trying to pull up) on everything, screeching enthusiastically, screeching when angry, eating, stroller rides, the swing at the park, her green sprouts stacking cups (go figure the $5 toy is the most loved), bath time (most days), pulling mommy's hair, waking up in the sitting position and screaming, smacking things with her hands, Lulu.
Harper just smiles with delight when she's in the swing at the park by our house!  We use an Itzy Ritzy highchair and cart cover when she's in it. I find the puffy filling of the seat cover helps to "fill out" the seat and gives her better support when she's in there since she doesn't fill out the bucket seat. The first time I ever put her in this swing, she immediately started to eat it, so it helps with that a little too, even if it doesn't cover the chains. If you want a swing cover that does, a friend of mine has this one  but I like the one we use since it can be used for highchairs, carts and swings.

Postpartum: I'm feeling good!  I feel like I've finally adjusted to our schedule and have our routines down really well. It took awhile to feel totally comfortable so I hope this new daycare doesn't shake things up too much, but I realize there will be a period of adjustment. 

I also feel a lot more confident about everything lately. I think every new mom questions everything in the beginning wondering if you're doing the right things and making the right choices and whether or not you're reading your baby's cues.  I'm in a place where I feel more comfortable now. Of course I still have moments of uncertainty like any first time mom, but more often than not, I'm able to tell myself I'm doing a good job.

Last month I shared my postpartum body update, and not much as changed. I'd like to be strong again and when I'm a year postpartum I'll start thinking about the next steps to getting some muscle back onto this body.  Right now, long walks to the park are just fine with me!


Clothes: Harper is growing out of a lot of her 6-12 and 9 month clothing and is increasingly wearing 12-18 month clothing. I would say 90% of her clothes are Baby Gap and they tend to run small and shrink in the wash. She does have a few 6-12 items that are still going strong though. I packed up most of her clothes already. I looked in her closet the other day and it was so much more bare than just a few months ago. Sometimes I can't believe she ever fit into those tiny onesies and sleepers when I look at them.
Baby Gear Love: Still way behind on these posts. I would say that lately she just loves to move around so much that it's been anything she can get her hands on. I do want to mention that we LOVE our Summer Infant color touch video baby monitor. We had MAJOR issues with the first one we had. It would literally move on its own as though it was possessed by demons. It's a touch screen and it would just move without anyone touching the screen.I read some reviews on amazon with others having the same problem. I contacted the company and they did send me a completely new monitor and took my old one back. So that was a good customer service experience and our new one works perfectly. You can literally see your baby breathing on the screen.

Crying: Harper doesn't tend to cry for extended periods of time, but she cries. She cries if she sees her bottle or her food bowl taken out of the microwave. It's like she thinks you're not going to give it to her. LOL. You'd think she was food deprived as a baby with how much she wants the food NOW.  She cries if she's tired. I don't classify her as a baby who cries a lot though. It's pretty minimal. She cries when she sees strangers sometimes. I'm talking full-on pouty lip, red-faced cry. Poor baby.


Milestones: Harper can pull up on her own (did that for the first time today after many attempts!), she scoots all over, can crawl backwards (still working on forward crawling), can get into a seated position on her own and is babbling more. She is also really good with her pincher grasp.
update: Harper started to crawl on January 29th, 2014, a couple of days after her 8 month birthday!
waving hello to you…

On Harper:
Dress- from Marshalls, bought when I was pregnant (not recent)
Headband ℅ Willow Crowns

Thanks for reading and hope you had a great weekend!

29 comments :

  1. These pictures are gorgeous! Harper is such a doll and her nursery is beautiful!
    I love reading these updates as my daughter is a few months older than Harper.
    Sophia also loves the swing at the park but let me just say that living in Canada, there are no swing activities at the moment with the crazy amounts of snow and the insane cold!
    Sara
    Life with Baby Sophia

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  2. Wow what a great post! So happy she's developing and growing like a champ! :) Yes, her sleeping will be interrupted during this period because her body is changing and she is learning a lot of new things...so sometimes that excitement can carry over to her sleeping time. Marli was doing great for a while and then btwn 6-8 months, she would sometimes wake up 2-3 times a night and it was terrible...but I knew it was because she was learning to crawl, sit up, stand, and now cruise :) You are doing just an awesome job!!! good luck at the new daycare! I need to start looking into one if you're saying the waiting list is THAT long. Ekk!
    Linh
    http://abeauitulrawr.com

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  3. I exclusively pumped with my little guy too! Every time I got to drop a pumping session I was so thrilled! From months 6 - 9 I managed to get away with 3 pumps a day then at 9 months stopped and had enough frozen to last us until 14 months. You will be SO happy when it's done. Life changing to have hat time back... But I'm glad I stuck with it! Great job!

    Amy www. Happilyhello.blogspot.com

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  4. She is growing up so fast! She is beautiful just like her mom :) I love her dress.

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  5. love reading about her and remembering what Ashlynn was like at that age and what I have to look forward to again with Kenley. It's funny how in a way you forget. You really have the best months ahead of you, I remember around 9-10months being like oh my god, I thought this was awesome before, but now it's really awesome and it just got better and better from there.

    I bet her sleep schedule is off too from hitting the pulling up milestone... maybe now that she can do it she'll start sleeping a little better for you (maybe also be more exhausted from doing it all day!!)

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  6. I remember when you showed that dress in a previous post last year! I can't believe how big she is! Time flies, but she looks so happy and healthy!

    P.S - I love that picture or Harper and your mom, so precious!

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  7. Oh, I just love Harper! She's getting prettier & prettier! :) Just you wait, V, right around 10 months I feel like they start changing by the second...it's unreal all the change and growth that takes place! Enjoy this time! :)

    xo
    Megan
    Hello Newlywed Life Blog

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  8. I love the dress. My mom works at Marshalls and I get most of my kids clothes there.(She gets 20% off once a month!) The bow is super cute. Harper looks so sweet in aqua and pink. My little girl will be One Feb 8th. Emily eats very well for me also. She will eat anything I give her.(which was not the case when my boys were babies.) My first son was very picky and had a lot of trouble adjusting to food textures. Which we later discovered is actually an early sign of autism. He is on the spectrum and is now almost 7. He has made tons of progress since his diagnosis and we are so proud of him! I am really glad to hear that Harper is developing on track! : ) You are an awesome mom. Love the homemade baby food -Stacy

    http://www.EmilyKateG.blogspot.com

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  9. Gorgeous! She looks like a living doll :) Such a beautiful baby!

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  10. Wow. Harper is just beautiful and looks like she's so much fun :) I have a three month old daughter so these updates are wonderful for me to read. I have a lot to look forward to it seems.

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  11. Oh my goodness, she is growing so much. Beautiful girl too!
    Carolyn | BLOG

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  12. She is so precious! :) And kudos for the homemade baby food. It's so easy and cheap. My little one pretty much refuses jarred food, which I guess isn't the worst problem to have ;-)

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  13. she is just so beautiful, V. I love her little red hair!! What a doll. Every time I see pics of H with your mom, I am thankful that your relationship has gotten better. I'm sure it makes all of you happy to see her with your own daughter. ~Jenn

    www.twobytwomom.com

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  14. If you don't mind me asking. What times do you pump at now that you've reduced to 4 times a day? I'm looking to do the same but am not sure at what times I should try to pump and how long in between sessions I should go.

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    1. I usually pump at 5:30 or 6:00 am (for 30 mins) then again about 5 hours later and then spacing the sessions 5 or 6 hours apart after that.

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    2. thanks! can't wait to have some more free time with the reduced pumping schedule!

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  15. What a sweet update. Thank you for posting! I don't have any children, but I enjoy reading your experiences. My little sister has a 16-month-old daughter, and I like to remember when my niece was Harper's age. I went to visit my sister, BIL and niece in NJ when my niece was almost 8-months-old at the time. My sister warned me that my niece might cry when she first saw me because she cries when she sees "strangers". Sure enough, I walked into their house and my niece cried like I was an intruder. It took her a few hours, but she warmed up to me. My sister told me that my niece grew out of the Stranger Danger phase a couple months thereafter.

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  16. I have a 7 month old and everything you say is so true. they grow so fast! she is so much more alert lately.

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  17. I have been a silent follower of your blog for 2 years! You're posts are great and watching along as Harper grows has been incredibly fun. She is such an adorable little girl! I love all of her outfits and those cute chunky little legs :)

    http://whatagloriousday.blogspot.com/

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  18. suuuuuuuuuuuuuch a cute princess she is!!!! I love seeing her development and happy smiles. :D

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  19. She is so sweet! I can't believe she is 8 months old already.

    Thank you for sharing the story about your relationship with your mom. I can relate to the resentful feelings from the past.

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  20. I can assure you that all the sick time you are dealing with now will pay off in the future. My son Finnegan who is now 5, started daycare at 15 months and was sick for what seemed like 2 years straight. He never gets sick now and is a great sleeper! I just wanted to send some encouragement because it is such a hard thing to go through for all parties involved. It will get better soon and she will have a rock solid immune system before you know it.....and you will finally get some sleep again.

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  21. Veronika the first photo is gorgeous. I love the idea of having a wheel with number of months on her dress !
    http://piecesofmyworld-bydominika.blogspot.cz

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  22. I am loving her crib - where can i by a similar one?
    And Harper is beyond adorable in her little pink dress :)

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  23. What a great post! It must've taken you forever to compile! :) Harper just gets more beautiful every day! Isn't it crazy when they start fitting the things you bought so many moons ago, when you were pregnant? I realized we went through most of them already and it's astonishing!

    I know all the mamas above said 9-10 months was amazing. I will tell you - 8 months and K started getting to be so.much.fun. But she is non-stop these days and pictures are all a blur now. lol. Sleep SO hard month 9. But we're on the verge of walking and it's just amazing to watch her develop! All that to say - it's so fun to watch H grow!

    xx Viv

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  24. She is so adorable! I loved this post, so informative!!! My little one is 3 months and I always look forward to your monthly updates. I wanted to make a suggestion (if time permits) - if you could write a post on pumping at work and the process you go through. Doesn't have to be in so much detail :) but I think it would be very helpful for other working mommies that are returning to work and need to pump. I returned to work few weeks ago and I was so worried if I was doing the right thing with all of the parts (storing, cleaning, etc.). Or maybe you have a website to recommend so that I can triple check (more like 25th time check) that I'm doing everything correctly :).

    Lastly, your blog is very inspiring and motivating and I always look forward to your posts. You are doing a great job mama!

    Vea

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  25. what is your pumping shedule (times) now that you have gone down to 4 sessions a day? I am also exclusively pumping and still at 5 times a day. My Elle just turned 5 months so I was thinking of weaning down to 4 sessions when she turns 6 months.

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