The Cedella Report: Month 6

My little lady is officially 6 months old!!  Where in the world have the last six months gone?  On one hand I feel like I was just in the hospital two days ago and on the other it feels as if I have already spent forever with Cedella.  It feels as if she’s always been there, always been a part of me, before she was ever thought of, before she was created, she was there, a soul waiting for me to be her mother.  There are moments when I look at her and feel that she is so familiar.  Like I’m not getting to know her, but rather being reconnected to her.  Do all moms feel this way about their children?  I certainly hope so because this is the most amazing feeling yet.  Like our souls are forever meant to be mother and child.

Yea, there’s baby cleavage…but isn’t she delicious?

In this midst of all this love and awe Cedella has been miraculous in her development and growth.  Here’s her newest stats:
Weight: 16 lbs. 13 oz.  (Chunky Monkey has grown by nearly a pound this month!  75 percentile)
Height: 26 inches (An inch in a month!  And still in the 75 percentile)
Head:  Still a teeny pea head (25 percentile)

Milestones?  Well she is sitting up by herself with little to no wobbling over.  It’s quite fun to set her in the middle of her floor and let her play with the stacking rings or other taller toys.

She has gone from simply rolling over to army crawling and scooting across the floor.  Just a month ago we were thinking that she would be crawling in a few months.  Nope.  It’s gonna happen in the next week or two.  She can get her knees under her but then kind of freezes, gives up and slides her body across the floor, pulling with her hands.  If there is something just out of reach she tries REALLY hard to get it, she has long since given up waiting for us to retrieve something for her.

Laughing…you better believe it!  She giggles when tickled.  Belly laughs when her Mama or Dada does a silly dance.  Not to mention the crazy half-cough laugh when she is doing something she’s not supposed to do.

She has moved from just sweet potatoes and avocados to bananas, rice cereal and her current fav – watermelon!!  Ever since her Jiddo gave her a piece of watermelon she has been hooked.  Nom, nom, nom, nom!!  Nothing is more fun to Ella than smooshing banana all over her tray and face and clothes.  God forbid Mama helps her eat something.  She insists on grabbing the spoon from me and attempts to feed herself.  We are going to have to start eating our meals in the nude.  Both of us.  Cause I get covered in mashed up food too.  Going to make and freeze a big batch of food this week.  Thinking of making a couple of veggie mixes.  But ultimately my little Monk is still breastfeeding like a champ, to the point where she doesn’t really take a bottle at all.  But as she eats more and more solid foods, perhaps she’ll like the self-feeding factor of taking a bottle.  We will see how that goes…

Melon and Naners…her favorites.

The only problem with solid foods?  The diapers.  We are almost exclusively using GroBaby cloth diapers (cause they are just so easy and keep everything in).  But despite the ease of cleaning there are still those gas-mask diapers that we haven’t gotten used to.  We are still really looking for a nighttime diaper that doesn’t leak, but I have a feeling the non-leak nighttime diaper is like a unicorn.  Anybody have any suggestions?

In her super stylish GroBaby diaper

Bedtime is getting better, though the aforementioned party animal has her bouts of not wanting to go to sleep.  We haven’t been putting her in her crib at night cause it’s been WAY too hot and the only air conditioner is in our bedroom.  Thankfully she is beginning to sleep almost all night in her bassinet right next to the bed, only waking up once at night to eat.  Is it possible that by next month she’ll be an all-night sleeper?!  A Mama can dream can’t she?

What have we been doing this summer?  Trying to stay cool and spend as little money as possible!  But really we have had lots to do.  Every Tuesday we drive the hour and a half to Detroit to visit my old library where Grandma Linda (my mom) is the Children’s Librarian, for the Summer Reading Club.  Whether it’s craft day or a juggler or a magician, Ella loves seeing so many other kids and spending time with her Grandma and all my old co-workers.

Don’t worry she was just gumming it cause it was cold.

We’ve also done some swimming at Sabah and Basam’s pool (my aunt and uncle-in-law).  Ella got a special treat when our cousin Talia bought her a crazy little chicken floater that she loved.  She is an absolute natural swimmer and loves to get in the pool.  We have such a nice visit whenever we go there, eat like royalty and can’t wait to go this week!

This summer we’ve visited lots of friends, had lots of BBQ’s, been to quite a few birthday parties and we are just really enjoying our time.  Looking forward to all the new things she will be learning this month…



The Cedella Report: Month 4

My baby girl is 4 months old!!  What?!  When did that happen?  I was looking through pictures from when she was born and she was just so tiny, swimming in her newborn clothes and now she’s morphed into this incredible little being stretched out beyond her 3 month stuff already.

3 weeks old
She got a wonderfully glowing report from her Doc at her visit last week.  She gained one whole pound and an inch in 2 months to weigh a whopping 15 lbs and 25 inches long!  It didn’t seem like much growth numerically, but she’s still in the 75% group for both, and she just seems so much bigger.  She’s such a long baby (and that big ole diaper booty) that we’ve had to box up most of the 3 month pants and small diapers already.  Developmentally she is doing everything she should be doing and more.

She got her next set of shots, just the next in the series of the DTap/HIB combo.  Thankfully she did really well right after the shots, and only got fussy around bedtime.  After reading the hell out of the Dr. Sears’ Vaccination book we decided to just stick with these shots until she’s done with the series and not get anything else for her until she’s over 2 years old.  It was really stressful making these choices, especially after the whole mess in the media over non-vaccinated kids lately.  But in the end, we feel like she’s protected against hereditary illnesses that we had, at least better protected than without the vaccines.

What’s really great is that she’s starting to actually play and giggle and squeal all the time.  We got her this amazing (and inexpensive) bouncy seat in the shape of a pink car.  She really loves that thing!  The only issue?  It plays a zydeco version of Old Susannah over and over and over again, with honking in the middle of it all.  Over and over and over.  No on-off switch.  Just Old Susannah over and over again.  Are you getting the annoyance of this repetition yet?  Here’s Little Monk in her bouncy seat:

So at 4 months what is she up to?  Well aside from bouncing and kicking like crazy in her seat, rolling over like a champ and the aforementioned giggling, she is loving all nature of things in her mouth.  While we try to limit her to Sofie and various teething toys, if she can reach it, she will try to put it in her mouth.  To date this includes: the dog’s ear, any finger or knuckle that comes within ten inches, her puked-on burp cloth, her dirty diaper, her shoes, the baby sling, her tub toys, her diaper Snappis, a bread bag (bread still inside) and any other exposed flesh she can find.  Yes, this girl is definitely teething, though we have yet to feel a little nub of tooth coming forward.

Remarkably Cedella just continues to be the happiest and best baby she can be.  Our family and friends are always impressed by how quiet and smiley she is.  She’s so rarely fussy that when she became hysterical at my in-laws they freaked.  They thought for sure she was sick.  It was only a wet diaper and some teething pain, but in her 4 months of life, they had never heard her cry like that.  Thankfully, she is very easily soothed the second she has a nipple in her mouth.  Unfortunately that means that Mama is the one and only thing she wants when she’s that upset.  But she’s getting better at letting others calm her down.  She even lets her Grandmas rock her to sleep.

Napping on Teta Hilda

We took her to my cousin Chris’ wedding over the weekend and let’s just say she was the life of the party.  She took a disco nap during dinner on her Aunt Chris’s shoulder but other than that she wouldn’t eat or sleep throughout the entire wedding.  She danced her little behind off, got passed around to all the family and goo-gooed for anyone that would listen.  We left around 10:30 and she was still awake.  Thankfully we had a nice long trip home that she slept all the way through.  But in the words of my cousin Nancy “She’s such a trooper!”  Trooper indeed.    

Hangin’ with Grammy Linda

Aside from wanting needing me to nurse her to sleep, she also wants absolutely NOTHING to do with lying down by herself.  In the past couple of weeks she will not even let us put her down while she’s napping. The second her head hits the bassinet or couch, her eyes snap open, she sticks out her bottom lip and produces ginormous tears and whiny “mamamamamas” until we pick her up again.  Most days I have to hold her for about 10 minutes before I can set her down for a quick 20 minute disco nap.  Most nights I try to lie her down in her bassinet but not five minutes later she’s up with the whole sad baby routine and I pull her into bed with me.  I know, I know, this too shall pass.  But in the meanwhile let’s just say we have absolutely no use for birth control!!  Hoping this phase is sort lived so Michael and I can get back to our usual intimacy.  I miss that so much…

When does your sex life return?  Ever?  Granted, we don’t want to have another baby anytime soon, but I would like to have back the intimacy we’re lacking.  My poor husband is suffering and I’m either too exhausted or in too much pain for anything.  But worse?  I don’t even really want it. At this point I’d rather have a cupcake than an orgasm but it will change, right?  Right?  Hope it’s soon, I feel like a terrible wife because of it.  

What’s coming next?  Monk’s first camping trip is a week from Thursday with all the girls! Then?  We’re going back to Chicago as a family so that Michael and I can have a little alone time (thank you Auntie Jilnar and Uncle Andre).

After that?  I’m thinking about taking on the challenge of solids.  Doc mentioned that he would like us to try to stay exclusively breast fed until 6 months, but she’s reaching for my glass and fork or spoon anytime I eat, she just seems ready to try.  He says to start with veggies, then meats, then fruits, so she doesn’t get spoiled by the sweet stuff (wish I could do that!).  Though honestly, I am dreading the new diaper routine when we introduce food into the mix.  Anyone have any starting solids tips or cloth diaper washing tips for me, I’m all ears!  

Until the next time enjoy the pics…

Mother’s Day
Smiley Monkey
4 Months Old, oh my!

Trains, Cabs and Protest Marches…Part Deux

So there we were, taking in the protest, trying to learn how to say some Spanish protest phrases and in all reality waiting for a break in the march to cross the street.  When there was finally a pause in the action we hurried across the street and ran almost directly into our dear friend Sterling on the other corner!  A bit of back story:  Sterling is a great friend of Michael and me and was the officiant at our wedding, affectionately nickname Rev. Sterling of the Church of Life and Grooves.  He is the type of guy that always stands up for injustice and just oozes spirituality and compassion.  Sterling is the guy Michael leans on when he needs a bit of a boost, and his smile always cheers me up.  Unfortunately Sterling lives in Detroit and doesn’t have a car, so we haven’t seen him since we moved up to Lansing.  He was one of the first people to call us in the hospital after Cedella was born, but he hadn’t met her yet.  So not only did I get a much needed hug from a dear friend but Cedella got to meet her Uncle Sterling!!  What a blessing!  I would say coincidence but when something like that happens, Sterling would be the first to say it’s not coincidence, it’s the universe showing us we’re right where we’re supposed to be.

Later that night one of my closest friends’ Robyn picked up me and Cedella and took us to Greek Town for dinner.  We went to a beautiful restaurant with the front windows wide open, but unfortunately they seated us in the table in the absolute back of the place!  Oh well.  I would have preferred the window but perhaps they were trying to draw a less ‘family’ atmosphere on a Saturday night?  Cedella promptly started crying when our appetizers arrived so I guess they’ve had some experience with enough infants to know where to put us…close to the bathroom.  Regardless of our location Robyn and I always have a blast together, this dinner was no exception.  We totally gorged ourselves on saganaki and cucumber dip and chicken and scallops.  And though she is a totally skinny mini, Robyn didn’t even turn down splitting a yummy Greek pastry with me.  I would tell you what it is but I couldn’t pronounce it.  Turns out it’s the longest Greek word.  Loved having some one on one time with my girl!
Being Saturday night in Chicago, Jilnar had a concert to go to, but Andre entertained me until Cedella and I were WAY too exhausted to keep our eyes open anymore.  Another quiet night after another busy day!
Sunday morning I was up bright and early packing our stuff and collecting our things from all over the apartment.  Miss Diva sleep until almost 9:30 (10:30 Michigan time)!  Once we got everything together and got dressed and presentable we took a cab over to Wicker Park for brunch.  So here’s the deal with cabs.  I was all worried about putting her in a car or cab without the base to the car seat.  But doing a little Google searching I found this really helpful website that walks you through installing a car seat without the base.  It worked perfectly!  Thankfully this man was super patient and told us all about his 3 month old grandson.  For being in a cab in traffic on the Dan Ryan it was lovely. 
Pulled up to Lokal for their bottomless Mimosa brunch.  The place is full of hipsters and I proceed to make an ass out of myself trying to steer a ginormous stroller through a very crowded restaurant.  I couldn’t steer that thing to save my life, it ran into every single table I passed.  Too funny.  The menu was pretty standard brunch fare, but something called Nutella Banana Frites caught my eye.  They had me at Nutella.  Turns out it’s french toast stuffed with Nutella and Bananas, then deep fried and smothered with strawberry sauce.  It tasted like a carnival.  I mean that in a good way.  I almost pulled a Meg Ryan and faked it at the table.  Anyways…
Robyn met us at the restaurant and we walked around and shopped for a while.  Wicker Park has changed SO much since I lived there.  There’s all sorts of cute overpriced boutiques, trendy bars and even oldies but goodies like Ear Wax Cafe and US #1 have tripled in size.  Didn’t get a chance to go into my fav store Myopic Books, but I couldn’t have fit anymore books in our luggage anyways.  Window shopped Fluevog shoes and drooled for a bit.  Then bought a couple of things at Goorin Brothers, a cool hat shop full of cute hats for very little cash.  

Soon we were back in a cab and hurried to pick up our suitcase to make it to the train station on time.  Of course Cedella had a poop explosion as soon as we were getting on the elevator to catch a cab.  Thankfully there was time to go back into the apartment and change her before getting on the train.  We made it to the train station in literally the nick of time.  We got on about two minutes before the train pulled out of the station.  Everyone was all comfy and settled in and I didn’t think I would be able to find two seats open next to each other.  But a very nice woman noticed us and asked if I was looking for two seats together and offered to move to another spot.  What an angel!  I thanked her profusely and unloaded all of our stuff into the two seats.  Of all the inconsiderate people I dealt with in this trip, she made up for them all.  The train ride consisted of another trip to the bathroom, in which the nice MSU professors across from me offered to watch the baby (thanks but no thanks) and marathon breast feeding.  All Cedella wanted to do was look out of the window and nurse.  I think she nursed for two of the four and a half hours we were on the train!  What gives baby?  Oh well, she was comfortable, we reconnected after all the hustle and bustle and settled in to watch the sun go down outside of our window.  
The train rolled into the station at 9:30pm and when we got to the bottom of the stairs Michael was right there waiting to help us get off the train!  Turns out he missed us as much as we missed him.  It was a great weekend.  I proved to myself that I was more than capable of handling my child and all her stuff by myself for a weekend, and have a fun time doing it!  Can’t wait for the next adventure…

P.S. For those who were wondering…cloth diapers worked fantastic on this trip!  I had a large size wetbag I put in the outer pocket of my suitcase that I put all the dirty dipes in.  The Gro Baby system worked great because even if the covers got poopy I cleaned them out in the sink and let them dry overnight and could reuse them the next day.  I also LOVE the gDiaper bio inserts.  They’re slim in the diaper bag, hold tons of liquid and can be flushed in the toilet.  I used these during the day inside of the Gro Baby shell when we were out and about and was really happy with the ease of use and lack of mess.  And as always I had some Thirsties pockets for nighttime that never let us down.  Now that I know how easy it is, we will always travel with cloth.