Life A.D.–6 Months

My baby is half a year old.

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GASP!

How could this have happened? Who is responsible for the time going by so quickly? I want names!

I guess I just have to accept it. My girls are going to keep growing up and there ain’t nothin’ I can do about it.

In terms of milestones and progressions, not a whole lot has happened since last month.  Cora continues to observe everything and especially watches her big sister very closely.

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Poor thing got another ear infection last week, this time in both ears. It’s her second one in a month. One or 2 more and we’ll probably have to start talking about tubes. This is all new territory for us as Isabella didn’t have an ear infection until just this year.  Cora wasn’t showing any typical signs of it either – no ear tugging or fussiness or loss of appetite. We only figured it out because she was getting a lot of mucus in her eyes.

Yesterday she broke out in a rash. Started in her diaper area so I thought it was just diaper rash. By mid afternoon it had spread all over. Lucky for us we were already going to the doctor for her well check appointment. Turns our she is allergic to Penacillin and thus broke out in hives. Both CJ and I are allergic so it only makes sense that one of the girls would be. Poor Cora seems to be getting the lion’s share of the bad genes!

She doesn’t seem bothered by any of it though so that’s a blessing.

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Here is the report from her well check visit!

She is 13 pounds 15 ounces and 28″ tall. She’s average on height but tiny for weight. We got the go ahead to start baby foods (though she’s been on cereal for a month or so already). She’s also been approved to move to a convertible car seat whenever we’re ready. That’s what Isabella is in now. So when we move Cora up, we’ll upgrade Isabella to a booster and be DONE with the infant car seat altogether! Hip hip hurray!

(As a side note, Isabella also had her well check visit yesterday and passed with flying colors. The only thing was that we discovered she has ringworm. I had noticed a little circular shaped red spot on her chest and it wouldn’t go away with Hydrocortisone cream. Now we know why. Doctor said some times kids get it from cats. We don’t have any cats. However we do have cats that roam the neighborhood so doc suspects one of them may have pooped, got some of the feces on it’s fur or in it’s paws and then carried it in to Isabella’s sandbox. Could also have been from pre-school if another kid was infected and didn’t tell the school so who knows.)

As for me, well, I’m almost  back to my pre-pregnancy weight! I can wear most of my old clothes now which feels great.

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I had a fun discovery today. First, take a little walk with me down memory lane. Remember when I fainted at The Annex 3 years ago? Well one thing I never shared was that when I fainted, my bowels relaxed and emptied themselves. Yes, I pooped my pants. I didn’t realize it until I was in the ambulance. The EMT told me that was totally normal but still I was mortified. So when I got to the hospital, they gave me some scrubs to wear. And they were Men’s Size Large. I obviously had to wear them home and have kept them all these years because, well, they’re darn comfortable. But they’re huge on me.

When I went to the hospital to have Cora, I took them along to wear after giving birth. I was horrified to discover the day after delivery that they did not fit. They were too small. Men’s size large scrubs were too small for my post-baby body.

I took them out today and take a look!

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Too big!

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THAT felt good!

I still have another 7 pounds to go to hit my goal weight. And the kicker? I actually believe I can do it! In years past I’ve tried and failed to lose that little bit of weight and told myself it just wasn’t possible. Now I know that it is. I CAN do it and I WILL do it.

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What can I say – life is good.

 

Want to read more? Check out these!

Life A.D. – 4 months | Fat Talk | Little Things

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Life A.D.–5 Months

5 months isn’t sexy. It isn’t flashy. It doesn’t get a lot of attention like it’s friends 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. But it’s actually fairly important.

There is a lot that happens between months 4-6 of a babies development yet you really don’t hear much about that middle number 5.

We have seen a big difference in Cora in the last 30 days.

She’s showing her personality more every day (here she is getting angry when she couldn’t figure out how to roll over).

She’s a bit like her mama this way…

But she soon figured it out…

Wow that was easy

She can hold her head up very steadily all on her own and she’s sitting up, with some assistance.

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She can do little baby “V-ups” (where she lifts her head, neck, shoulders and feet off the ground).

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She’s having fun sticking her tongue out.

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She’s even  grown enough to start wearing size 6 month clothes.

She’s very attentive, watching everything we do. And she wants to be included. If we’re at the table eating dinner and she’s in her swing, she will squawk until we bring her over to join us. If we have her on the floor of the playroom for exercise time while we play, she will crane her neck to see what we are doing at all times.

I find that I can’t get enough of Cora. I stare at her and think how beautiful she is. I snuggle and kiss her all the time. Making her smile is endlessly fun. I remember this phase with Isabella when she was that age too. I want Cora to progress but I don’t want her to grow up. I wish she could stay this sweet and happy forever.

Isabella has made some strides of her own in the last month. She’s now a pre-schooler!

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My biggest little one is in school now and it seems somewhat surreal. I didn’t cry when I dropped her off on the first day, and she didn’t either. She was excited and ready. But the moment was  not lost on me. Watching her standing in front of the school, waiting with the other kids to go inside, I was struck by how small she is.

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Not in terms of size but in terms of years. She seems so old to me most of the time because she’s the big kid in the house  that I forget she’s a tiny little person. She’s only 3 (she turns 4 in a couple weeks) and has a her whole life in front of her.

I have been extremely lucky to have the peace of mind knowing that my babies are in the trusted hands of CJ every day.

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Now one of those babies has been handed off to someone else. I completely trust our pre-school teachers and Isabella loves going there. Still, it can be a challenge to let go.

As for me, I’ve lost a total of 14 pounds so far and am pretty darn close to my pre-pregnancy size. I am able to get back in to many of my old clothes, and therefore give away some of the bigger sized ones. Let me tell you, that feels great.

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I didn’t get a chance to take a selfie and this is the most recent pic I have. Yes, that’s an astronaut.

I have 11 more pounds before I reach my goal weight. I originally set my goal at my pre-pregnancy weight but have since decided to shoot for losing a few pounds beyond that. Hey, why not? Losing with Weight Watchers has been surprisingly easy so it seems feasible now for me to get there.

Life for the Team Trader is good these days. Really good.  I am extremely grateful for what I have and don’t want to take a moment of it for granted. Ever.

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Catch up on more Team Trader action!

Life A.D. – 4 months | Little Things | Fat Talk

Life A.D.–4 months

Let’s start out with something guaranteed to make you smile.

THIS happens very regularly in our house these days and I LOVE it!

That laugh just cracks me up.

Cora has always been a very happy baby. She smiles easily and is just plain old content with her life, which makes me happy too.

There’s nothing better than coming home to her big gummy grin after a long day at work!

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Developmentally she is on schedule with most everything. She blows bubbles, “talks”, grabs at things, follows objects with her eyes, sits pretty well when supported and pushes the bottle away when done eating.

What she doesn’t do yet is hold her head steady, rollover or sit on her own. These are things that occur in babies anywhere between 4- 6 months so I’m not worried about it. It’s partly our fault, to be honest. We haven’t been super diligent with tummy time. I just forget to do it! Consequently Cora is not a big fan and when we do put her on her stomach, she tolerates it for only a few minutes and then starts screaming. She’ll get there though.

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She loves to play with her feet!

With rolling over, she’s trying to kick from back to front. She will get about 3/4 of the way there, get stuck and then flop back. It’s kind of funny to watch. One of these days she’s just going to flip on over and surprise us all! 

Cora had her 4 month well check appointment yesterday and did very well! Poor thing had to get 4 immunizations (one orally and 3 shots). Fortunately she was hungry so she sucked the oral one right down. She cried while the nurse was giving her the 3 shots but stopped almost as soon as I picked her up and gave her a bottle. Mental note: bring her slightly hungry from now on!

She clocked in at 12 pounds, 6.5 ounces and 25.5″ long. which means she’s grown almost 2 lbs.  and 2″ in 2 months. She’s long and skinny.

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Here she is on that same mat, just 1 week old.

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I’d say she’s grown a little bit!

By comparison, Isabella was 14 lbs 5 ounces and 26” tall at 4 months.  So Bella was a bit chunkier.

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Cora’s skin issues continue. We’ve been noticing a lot of redness and scaling in the areas where her skin rubs against itself (inside of the elbows, back of the knees, and ankles) and have tried everything to help it. Nothing really seems to work. The pediatrician said it’s eczema and recommended we take her to a dermatologist. She actually said it’s one of the worst cases of eczema she’s seen in a baby in a years.

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Poor Punk

I made an appointment and we’ll be taking her to the dermatologist next week. The cradle cap persists as well, which the doctor thinks is related to the eczema so hopefully the dermatologist can help us there too.

Another personality trait that we’ve noticed lately is that Cora knows us (CJ, Isabella and me) very well and wants nothing to do with anyone else at first . Stranger Danger! As soon as she realizes someone else is holding her, she freaks out. She does this even with her grandparents or people we see a lot. She will calm down after a while but man, those first few minutes are crazy!

Isabella is doing great and loves to make  her sister smile. She plays with her and gives her hugs and kisses. We still don’t let her hold the baby that much because Munchkin can still be rough sometimes. I can see now why younger siblings are often sturdier/tougher than the older ones!

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As for me, my weight loss progress continues along. I’ve lost a total of 9 pounds in 8 weeks.

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It’s slow but steady progress. I am really liking the Weight Watchers plan and the meetings. Both help me stay accountable and give me tools for success.

I’ve also changed up my workouts and began training with a friend again. We worked out together last year until I found out I was pregnant and then we put it on hold. Well we’ve picked up again. It’s only been a week so far but I think it’s just what I need to shake up my routine. Though I was working out every day before, I was getting kind of complacent and not pushing myself as hard as I could be. The change must be working because I lost 3 lbs. just this week!

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Time is flying by way too fast. Isabella starts pre-school next month, then she’ll be 4 and next thing you know, Cora will be 1 year! Yikes! I’m tryimg to hold on to every moment while I can and not take anything for granted!

Munch and Punk

Almost from the day Isabella was born I’ve been calling her Munchkin. I have no idea where it came from. I just said it one day and it stuck.

We used to laugh about her cry face because it would get all scrunched up and red when she was upset. So I jokingly changed “Munchkin” to “Scrunchkin” and that stuck too.

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In fact, I called her Munchkin (or Munch) so much that we worried she would think that were her real name! Then we started to wonder if she would get a complex thinking I was making fun of her size.

(Oh the silly little things we worry about as first time parents…)

Well here we are almost 4 years later and she has no confusions about her name. 

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And I still call her Munch/Scrunch all the time.

When I was pregnant with Cora, Isabella asked me if I was going to call the new baby Munchkin too. I assured her that no, Cora would get her own nickname. I had no idea what it  would be but I was adamant it would be unique and different. Munchkin is Isabella’s and with all the changes that were going to soon rock her world, I wanted to make sure she didn’t feel like she was losing her special name.

But I didn’t want to overthink it either and force a name that didn’t fit. So I kept the thought in my subconscious knowing that a name would come out on it’s own.

Then the big day arrived and the first time I was alone with our brand new baby girl, I instinctively started to say “Munchkin”.

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We didn’t have a name yet (took us almost 10 hours to come up with one) so I didn’t have anything else to go with. But not wanting to use THAT name, I quickly changed it to Pumpkin. It was close and sorta rhymed. It just come out! Later I switched and started saying Punkin.

Can you see where this is going?

Because I’m lazy and feel that it takes too much effort to say Punkin, I shortened it to Punk.

And it stuck.

Cora = Punk and I call her that more than her real name. Because, you know, it takes less energy to say a one syllable word than a 2 syllable one….

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For some reason I felt silly about calling my sweet precious baby girl “Punk” but yet I couldn’t think of anything else and it was already cemented in my  mind. So I would say it quietly, afraid that others would overhear and think I was strange. But after a while I got over that and just said it. Isabella asked me what it meant and now she says it sometimes too (although at first she thought I was saying “Pumk”).

I’m sure there will come a day when both girls will ask me to stop calling them those names, because it’s like so uncool. But I will always think of them as my Munch and Punk (which sounds like a good name for a children’s book or TV show. Don’t you dare steal it…copyright TTM, all rights reserved!).  

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Life A.D. – 3 Months | The Escape Artist | Time Flies…

Life A.D.–3 months

Can you believe this little peanut is already 3 months old?

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For some reason, 3 months feels like a big milestone to me. Maybe it’s because baby clothes are split out in 3 month increments (0-3, 3 mos., 6 mos., 9 mos., 12 mos., etc), so it means she’s reached the next level. Whatever the reason, my little girl is certainly growing!

She is a very happy and laid back baby. She smiles and talks all the time and it just makes me all happy and gooey inside!

Here are some of the changes we’ve seen since last month:

Grasping – she has a really strong grip and is grabbing more and more things lately. She almost always grabs ahold of one or 2 of our fingers during feeding. She particularly likes the thumbs.

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She also grabs at toys during mat time. In the beginning it was accidental – as if her hand was getting “caught” on the toy. Now it’s a little more purposeful. She’s not totally in control of her movements yet but getting closer everyday.

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Head Control – while not able to fully support her head just yet, her neck is getting stronger all the time. She used to flop over immediately upon sitting her up. Now she can balance pretty good!

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Tummy time is key for building up that strength but she hates it so we don’t do it as often as we probably should. We didn’t with Isabella either though and she turned out just fine. No head flopping issues there!

Hearing and eyesight – both of these are really good. She focuses on objects and can follow them all around. She hears noises and will look in the direction of them too. She’s not super sensitive to loud noises though. The fireworks over the 4th of July didn’t bother her, which I was grateful for.

Eating and sleeping – we’re making slow and steady progress on this front. She has finally started stretching out her nightly feedings from every 2 hours to every 3 or 4. We’re still not getting a full night’s sleep but it’s better. During the day she still wants to nosh every 2, which is fine. The more she eats during the day, the less she’ll need at night.

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Cradle Cap – both of our kids had bad cradle cap. Isabella’s lasted for over a year until we finally talked to a hair stylist that told us baby shampoo was probably the culprit. Who woulda thunk it!? We were buying shampoo specifically  made to be gentle on baby’s skin and it was causing her dandruff! So we switched to using good old Head and Shoulders, after doing an olive oil treatment and voila, it went away in a few weeks.

So with Cora, we started off right away with the treatments and dandruff shampoo and it’s gotten much better in the last month or so.

Here’s a pic of how she looked when it was at its worst –

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See all that scaly stuff at the top of her forehead? Yeah. It was that way all over. Looks gross but isn’t harmful at all.

It’s still there but is gradually getting  better. Admittedly, I’m not as good about doing the treatments as regularly as I should be. Who knew that treating and bathing 2 kids could be so hard?  Heck, if I wasn’t going to work every day, I’m not sure I’d be getting a daily shower!

Baby acne and skin conditions – Cora was born with baby acne, as you can see here, as she’s giving us the stink eye.

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It’s the little white dots all over her face.

But it’s now totally gone. The only skin issues are the cradle cap and just plain dry skin. Not sure why her skin is so dry given that we fully bathe her only about once a week (in the meantime we do little sponge baths on areas where spit up gathers, like the folds of her neck and face) and I put lotion on her everyday. The pediatrician suggested putting a layer of Hydrocortisone cream and then lotion on top of that. That didn’t seem to make much of a difference. The only thing I can think of is that the lotion we’re using, Aveeno for Babies, isn’t strong enough and we need something more petroleum based, like Aquafor.

As for me, I feel fully back to normal on all fronts. No more soreness or pain – thank God!

I’ve finally started to see some progress in the weight loss department too.

I’ve been on Weight Watchers for a month now and have lost almost 5 lbs. Doesn’t seem like a lot but I can tell a difference in my clothes. I traded in my maternity jeans for regular ones, in a size bigger than I used to wear, and bought some new shirts so that I could wear cute fashionable clothes that actually fit. Amazing what that can do for one’s spirits! 

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Don’t let this picture fool you – it looks like I have a flat tummy but I don’t. It’s the magic of wearing clothes in the right size…that are dark!

Here’s the side view:

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I’ve definitely made progress from where I was here.

I’m feeling much better about things than I was 4 weeks ago, that’s for sure. Still have 15 or so pounds to lose to get back in my pre-preggo clothes. I’ll get there eventually. I am really liking Weight Watchers so far. The plan makes a lot of sense to me and has been easy to follow. The meetings have been great too. Hearing other people’s trials and tips is beneficial. I actually look forward to them each week!

My return to work has gone very smoothly. Getting back in to the swing of things for me really wasn’t that hard. It helps that I had a week to work from home. It was also HUGE having CJ home and not having to leave the girls, and Cora in particular, with a daycare. I think that’s the hardest thing for most moms – putting your little tiny baby in to the hands of someone else.

CJ probably had the hardest adjustment. Having 2 at home is no picnic. I saw that during that time that I was still off work. He handles it like a champ though and does an amazing job with them. No the dishes aren’t always done when I get home and I don’t usually walk in to find dinner on the table, but I don’t expect that either. The important thing is for the girls to be happy, healthy, safe, and incredibly loved. There is no one that could do a better job of that for them than their dad.

Isabella, well she’s doing better with Cora every day. I think this quote from her pretty much sums it up. I asked her how she felt about the baby at first and she said, “I was kind of happy but the rest of me was mad.” I inquired as to why she was mad and she replied, “I didn’t want to be the invisible girl.”

How does she feel about her now? “I’m a little more happy and less mad.”

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