Tuesday, November 23, 2010

8 Months Old!

I think I envisioned 8 months being a magical age.  Not sure why exactly, but for me, not so much!  The last month has been tough for many reasons.  And it seems to be getting tougher.  I find myself constantly asking for advice, none of which really helps.  I've adjusted her schedule a few times to try to figure out something that will work better, and it's all just a crapshoot.  It makes me feel like I'm missing something key, but that I can't figure out what it is.  I'm afraid to accept things how they are and just hope we move out of this stage, because I also fear I'm setting Kinsey up for failure for the near future.  For example, she is clingy and wants to be entertained constantly, or she will whine or cry.  If I pick her up, she is perfectly fine.  However, I can't hold her all day long, that's impossible--and that will set her up to need constant attention much longer than she should as she gets older.  So I struggle to maintain a balance to keep her from being bored but also let her work things out on her own without me going crazy listening in the meantime.

Starting out this post so negative brings me to another struggle.  Because we adopted Kinsey, I don't want to admit out loud that I'm not enjoying much of parenting right now.  It's just difficult at this stage.  I remember before we had Kinsey I had a hard time listening to other mothers complain about the difficulty of parenting, because I would be jealous and wish I could be the one with those difficulties.  Now that I'm there, I'm totally understanding how difficult it is no matter how thankful and blessed I am to have her in my life!  I'm also learning how much talking about my struggles can be cathartic while also gaining much needed emotional support from others.  One last struggle--finding friends who have felt this way.  Lately it seems that when I talk about what I'm having a hard time with, I can't find anyone who has gone through the same sort of things.  Yesterday I did seek one friend out and was able to connect a little bit in this area, so for that I'm thankful.  I'm looking forward to leaning on her for support in the next few months.

As for her development, Kinsey is of course crawling all over the place and pulling herself up like last month.  She has also learned how to get down from a standing position.  That was a milestone I never expected would be anything important, but it is!  Before she could do it she would pull herself up but then cry after a while cause she was stuck there.  Now she's up and down on her own so a little less required on my part.  Sometimes she will pull herself up, decide to get down, then as soon as she is down she wants to pull back up.  So she ends up doing squats over and over.  Too cute!

She also is eating three meals a day of solids, so we're down to just 3 bottles a day.  Sometimes feeding is easy and sometimes she is fussy throughout.  I can't figure it out.  Sometimes she grabs the spoon and shoves it in her mouth and sometimes she will just open her mouth and make it much easier on me!  She is starting the get the pincer grasp but not fully there yet.  She is able to pick up the puffs I give her and put most of them in her mouth.  I'm looking forward to the stage when I can give her pieces of food for her to feed herself.  She now has two teeth.

I threw the Baby Wise out the window and now she gets a bottle before her naps.  Sometimes she will sleep up to two hours, but mostly it is an hour and a half max.  I'd like her to nap longer because part of her fussiness I think is tiredness.  If she could sleep a half hour longer at each nap, I think she'd be better, but I have no idea how to help her do that.  And sometimes she will still take a third nap, but usually I will put her down for a third nap but then she won't go down, even though she's obviously tired.  She sleeps about 10 hours a night.

Clapping is definitely happening now.  Last month it had just started so I wasn't positive if it was on purpose, but it is.  Still super cute! 

As for happenings, David has been home helping to take care of Kinsey since he has been off work now that he is retired.  He is looking for a job very aggressively, and we're praying it will happen soon!  Having David home has been great for my own sleep, because I either get to sleep in or take longer naps.  I will miss that when he goes back to work.

Grammy was here over my birthday and got to spend lots of time with Kinsey.  She gave us some nice breaks and made her yummy home made applesauce.

We go to the park a lot.  Going outside helps her demeanor, and she loves to swing on the baby swings.  I'm grateful to live next to a park so I don't have to drive, I can just walk over there anytime!

Kinsey was a ladybug for Halloween.  We went to two parties, one at a friend's house and one at our babysitter's house.

My cousin watched her a couple weekends ago so David and I could go on a date night.  We went to Outback, it was very nice. 

We also started trying out a new church called Revolution.  It's a church plant that is about 2 or 3 years old.  I heard about it through MOPS and decided to check it out.  So far we like it.  Also, the nursery there is awesome.  The last two Saturdays we went, they had 3 workers in there for 4 babies.

All that said, I'm still grateful to have her in my life, I wouldn't trade her for the world, and I think she is super stinkin' cute!  But if you can relate to my struggle and have any advice or encouragement, comment away!

Here are the pictures from last month!


Aubrey said...

A few things...
Kinsey is just so adorable.

And hang in there!! I can definitely identify. Sometimes Judah sleeps well, sometimes he doesn't. And I often wonder if there is something to do to make it better. But you're right - I also feel like it's a crap shoot.

Judah will still entertain himself some, although he definitely requires much more than he used to. I just try to rotate him between things he enjoys - sit in the exersaucer, then play on the floor, then rotate toys, then let him stand and hold on to the table.

As for feeding, we rarely feed him with a spoon. I make rice and will mix some of the purees in, or steam peas. Then he feeds himself. Which basically means I am much less frustrated. it's definitely messy, but hey - don't you have a dog, too?? :)I also will mix purees with dry rice cereal or oatmeal and make chunks that he can sort of pick up. Also messy, but it works.

Judah still takes three naps. Usually one long one, and two that are shorter. We use a white noise machine, which I do think maybe helps him sleep a little longer. He also has a paci and a blanket he sleeps with. We still sometimes swaddle him. He is still having some waking at night, but is doing much better. Sadly, since my schedule changes I think that messes him up some.

I still nurse him 5 times/ day. i know formula is different, but maybe giving her one more bottle would help.

Good for you for throwing out Babywise. I'm not really a fan personally, and although I know it works for some people, it's just not for everyone. You have to do what you think is best.

Just because you waited for Kinsey doesn't mean that it's always going to be easy. Don't feel bad letting people know when you're having a hard time. It's the same way for me - it's definitely tough and although I'm thankful for him, I can still admit when I'm having a hard time.

you're a great mom. This was a great and very honest post. I hope things get a little easier soon. :)

TheBrookshires said...

I read your blog through my friend Rachel Church...and have followed you since before you adopted Kinsey.

Hope this advice doesn't come as unsolicited...but I went through the same thing with my little boy. He is 5 months old now...so a little younger than Kinsey...but we had the same sleep issues it seems you are now having.

Read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It is the ONLY book I read (and I read a lot!) that really worked for us. (I chunked babywise when jack was two months old...it just didn't work for him!).

Anyways...Jack, my little boy, is never awake for more than 2 hours between naps...usually closer to 1.5 or 1.75 hours. As soon as he starts to get fussy, I immediately put him down. 90% of the time he goes right to sleep. The rest...he just cries for a few minutes and I replace his paci, adjust his blankets, comfort him and leave and he will go to sleep.

Before I read HSHHC we were keeping him up until he fell asleep and it turns out he was fussy most of the time because he was so over-tired! There were days he literally only slept 45 minutes all day! That is hard for parents when you baby can't do anything on their own! HSHHC talks about putting them down before they are overtired. Once they pass the sleepy stage and get their "second wind" it is very hard to get them to sleep.

Hope you find the book helpful! He is pretty straight forward about letting the babies cry it out. Not sure what your feeling are about that...but within a week of implementing his tactics...I had a totally different child!