Charlotte Frances {5 months}

[I've had this drafted for almost a month but life got in the way and I'm just now posting for my own sake.]

Charlotte Frances, you are FIVE MONTHS OLD!

Weight: We went to the doctor last Monday (6/12) to have a heat rash on your neck checked out, and you weighed in at 14 lbs, 8 oz. You're our healthy growing girl!

Nicknames: Lovey, Little Love, Tootie Butt, Sunshine

Clothes: You are in all 3-6mos and 6mos clothing at this point. It made my mama heart a little weepy when you outgrew the 3 month sleepers that you started wearing in your newborn days, but buying cute new outfits for you has helped! Your wardrobe is without a doubt better than mine, and picking your outfit each day is one of my favorite things to do. Old Navy fits you well, but Gap, Janie and Jack, and Carters are a little roomy. 

Sleep: We're still working on finding a rhythm with our sleep, my girl. After tubby time, nursing and books around 8:30, you hang out in bed with me and Daddy while we watch a show, read, etc. You typically doze off (I'm 99% sure this is our downfall) and you're so darn cute we'd rather snuggle with you than move you. So you sleep for a couple of hours with me, and then when Daddy heads to bed (around 11:30), he'll move you to the pack n play. You usually wake up, I nurse you, you fall back asleep. Then you wake up around 1am or 3am, depending on the night, and sleep until 5:30ish when I feed you before I leave for work. 

I know that I'm selfishly probably making choices that are impeding on you developing good sleeping skills, but I miss you so much during the day that it's hard for me to not snuggle you as much as possible at night. Add to that the article that I recently read that said babies of working moms tend to wake up because they want to spend more time with mom, because they miss them during the day, and you have an emotional, hormonal first time mom who just wants to make you feel happy and safe. Ugh, #workingmomguilt over here.

Schedule: You have a pretty good routine down during the day, thank goodness. Your activity/awake times are definitely stretching out - you're interested in seeing and taking in everything going on around you! You fuss a tiny bit you're ready for a nap, but for the most part you are just the easiest baby and can nap great on the go if we need to be out and about running errands.

Health: You've developed a little heat rash under your neck from these icky warm, humid days, but aside from that you're in perfect health - we're so grateful for this.
Crying: You only cry if you're hungry, if you're overtired, or if you're done with something - being in the carseat, over an activity, etc. Even when you do cry it's the sweetest little sound and you're comforted very quickly. You've started to exhibit a bit of stranger awareness and have given a big pouty lip a few times when someone new has held you, but as long as I'm in sight, you're good.

Feeding: Still exclusively breastfeeding with the introduction of oatmeal with dinner a few times a week. You nurse before I leave in the morning around 5:30am, take two 4oz bottles during the day, nurse when I get home at 3:30pm, nurse between 6-7pm (around the time Daddy and I eat dinner), nurse after tubby time/before bed, and wake up at least once during the night to eat again.

You've always nursed like a champ and I find myself struggling to be at that point of introducing solids because I've so loved the bond that we've formed from breastfeeding that I'm afraid you'll start to wean yourself early. I know that's silly and sounds crazy but it is what it is and my mama heart feels a little weepy. We'll start baby led weaning in just a couple of weeks, and you're showing all of the signs of being ready, so I think it's just one of those times where I have to do what's best for you even if it's hard for me.

Likes: Your Wubby (lamb Wubbanub), snuggling your Aden + Anais loveys, music (Adele and Jack Johnson are two favorites), tubby time, going for walks, the Solly for snuggles when I'm trying to get things done around the house/cook, being outside, Facetiming Gigi and Papa, snuggling with Mama, mama's singing (You Are My Sunshine, I Love You Charlotte, Skinnamarink, Somewhere Over the Rainbow)
Dislikes: Being in your carseat for too long, staying in one position/doing one activity for too long, being cold
Milestones: On Tuesday, June 6, your 5 month birthday, you rolled over from back to tummy for the first time! Your little face looked totally surprised at first, and then once you got the hang of it, you were SO proud! You've also really focused in on grabbing/reaching for things, and once you have something in your grip, it's a challenge to get it away. You and I celebrated our first Mother's Day together - the first of many! You tried oatmeal this month and on our last attempt, you got the hang of it and Daddy couldn't spoon it to you fast enough! You also found your toes and your tongue this month and love to constantly grab onto your feet.
Faces and Places: You continue to be the best baby as we make our way across the South Shore for shopping and visiting restaurants! You're perfectly content to hang out with Mama at girls night, family get togethers and while being a lady who lunches. 

This month you made lots of new friends! You joined Mama, Aunt Katie and Aunt Jeannette for dinner at The Fours - we can't wait for your BFF Rose to join our little girls club next month! You also met great aunts, uncles and second cousins PLUS your other great grandmother (Nana) on Daddy's side of the family. You're a lucky little girl to have two great grandmothers alive and active in your life, sweet girl! And you met your sweet cousin Addy over Memorial Day weekend - we can't wait to watch you girls (and Shirley, very soon!) grow up together!

Postpartum: Down 10 pounds on WW, and I finally recharged my Fitbit to actually get to stepping again. We're looking into either a treadmill or Peloton bike for the basement because let's face it - with my work schedule, getting to the gym before work is impossible, and walking in the neighborhood after work can only do so much!

Molly: You and Molly have really taken an interest in each other these last few weeks and it's the sweetest thing. You constantly follow her with your eyes and when she sits next to us, you immediately reach out to touch her fur. She's been so wonderful and gentle with you - we're so lucky that the two of you have done so well together! 

Things I Want to Remember: You always want a lovey or a blanket by your cheek when you sleep. You love to watch yourself in the mirror and immediately smile and bounce in my arms when you see your reflection. You light up when Daddy walks in the room. You've started squealing and look so pleased with yourself when you hear the sound of your voice. You've also started a little fake cough to get my attention - as soon as I turn to you, you grin the biggest, sweetest grin. You love hearing me sing to you and pay such close attention when we read books - these are my favorite times with you, when we're snuggling and you seem so happy and content. We sing "I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon..." song every day before I leave for work - in my mind, that files away somewhere in your sweet little head to know that Mama will be back for snuggles so soon. As you fall asleep for both naps and nighttime, you always reach out for me and as soon as you land on my finger or shirt or whatever is closest to you, you immediately relax and drift off.

Sweet Charlotte, you are the happiest, sweetest baby girl and we feel so lucky to have been chosen as your Mama and Daddy. You change and grow and do something new every single day and while it's always a little difficult for Mama to see you changing and growing away from the newborn days, I also can't wait to see your personality continue to develop and to know the amazing little person that you're going to be. I tell you every morning that I hope you're always as happy as you are right now - your smiles are my world! 

Hugs and kisses to the moon and back! 
Love, Mama

You and your future buddy, Matthew! 
Matthew's uncle and your daddy have been best friends since first grade.

Mother's Day brunch at The Tinker's Son.

Me and my best girl

Afternoons with Daddy while he works from home

Oatmeal time!

Aunt Katie, Aunt Jeannette and soon-to-be baby Rose!

Four generations - you, your Daddy, your Poppy, and Nana King

Your first trip of many to the golf store with Daddy - your smile made his day!

Super Mom! You and cousin Addy spent the day with me and your Auntie Kay while the daddies played golf.

Packed up and ready for a walk in the sunshine

Poppy and Grampa with their granddaughters

Love our sweet little family

Daddy is SO funny!

Your belly laughs are the best sound in the world!

Oatmeal - Try #3 was a huge success!

Charlotte Frances {4 Months}

Charlotte Frances, you are FOUR months old! 

Weight: You blew me and your daddy out of the water at your 4 month appointment last week (Thursday, May 11) when I placed you on the scale and you clocked in at 13lbs, 10oz! Girlfriend - I'm wondering if all of the fussiness recently has been a growth spurt because you gained over 1 1/2 pounds since your last visit (and grew 2 inches). 

Nicknames: Lovie, Lovebug, Little Love, CC

Clothes: We haven't officially transitioned to any 3-6 month or 6 month sizes yet, but it's basically time. You're so long that the necks of your sleepers are starting to stretch a tiny bit. You're still comfortable in 3 months for Carters and 0-3 months for Gap and Cat and Jack, but I'm thinking Old Navy sizing runs smaller because all of your sweet ruffle-butt leggings... are now capris. You have a TON of cute spring/summer clothes that I need to make room for, so I told Daddy he has to sit with me this weekend while I pack away your newborn drawer (typing that made me teary, even though you haven't worn anything in that drawer for months now). Some of my favorite outfits of yours that I'll miss are your pink/purple/blue striped sleeper, your kitten and fox Gap sleepers, your bow pants and grey Gap sweater (one of the first outfits I bought when we found out you were a girl).

Sleep: It's been a rough few weeks, my dear. Still sleeping in the pack n play in our bedroom - the doctor said we can transition to your crib but I selfishly want to keep you close, especially when I'm away from you all day.

Also, I don't know if it's the beginning of teething, a growth spurt, the four month sleep regression... but you've started waking up at 1 am, sometimes 3ish, and 4:30am every night and when my day starts at 5am... that makes for a very early alarm clock. I think that the main problem is that you were an awesome sleeper when tightly swaddled, but now you're big enough where you can easily bust out of the swaddle, and you consistently startle yourself back awake, and then want to eat, and before we know it, an hour in the middle of the night has passed. I'm trying to stretch your dinner feeding and bedtime feedings further apart so you eat really well before you fall asleep - maybe that will help too? We just ordered a Magic Merlin Sleepsuit and are going to try it tonight, so fingers crossed that that works because we all need some sleep.

Schedule: You've stayed on a pretty consistent eat/activity/sleep routine with the nanny during the day, which is great. Once I get home at 3:30, I nurse you then we play - either on your rainforest activity mat, a walk with Molly, reading books, etc. You take a catnap around 5:30ish, then hang out with me in your Boppy lounger while I cook supper. Daddy gets home around 6, we eat dinner, he spends time with you while I get lunches and bottles prepped for the next day, and we all head upstairs around 7 so Daddy can study and you and I can have tubby time! You LOVE your bath so, so much, and it's one of my favorite times of the day with you. After bath, I nurse you and read books (Time for Bed, Madeleine, and On the Night You Were Born are in the regular rotation) and sing songs (You Are My Sunshine and Somewhere Over the Rainbow) until you fall asleep (usually pretty quickly). I (again, selfishly) snuggle you in our bed for awhile before I turn on your Sleep Sheep and settle you into the pack n play.

Weekends are pretty much the same, except I'm up for the day with you around 6:30/7 and we have our girltime catching up on the DVR with coffee while Daddy either sleeps or studies (come on, June 3 - we want our time with Daddy back!).

Health: You're in perfect health and we're so thankful. You're growing like a little weed, and are hitting all of your milestones on target, which is all that we can ask for. You had your first cold around Easter and a cough that lingered longer than I would have liked, but you seem to finally be over it, thank goodness!
Crying: You still only cry when you're either hungry or overtired, but when you cry these days there's some power behind it! You definitely let us know when you're unhappy about something. There have been a few times during the night where you wake up and cry and cry and are inconsolable - I'm pretty sure I've never felt as helpless as I did then. 

Feeding: You're nursing like a champ! We're still exclusively breastfeeding, which I love. My goal is to make it to one year with you, and so far we're doing great! I pump twice a day at work and you have that milk the next day. I nurse you before I leave in the morning, between 5:15 and 6, then you have two-4 oz bottles throughout the day with the nanny. I nurse you around 3:30, 6, and 9, then once or twice (small, quick feedings) during the night when you wake up. 

You've started watching us when we eat, which is just so neat to see. We got the thumbs up from Dr. Boutwell at your appointment yesterday to start with solids, so I of course ran out to Target for baby oatmeal while Daddy put together your highchair (overly optimistic first time parents for the win!). We mixed a tablespoon of the powder with a few tablespoons of breastmilk, FaceTimed the grandparents, and spooned in your first taste... which you promptly spit out. Not even spit out, moreso pushed out of your mouth with your tongue with a look of "I don't think so" on your face.

I've always known that we would do baby-led weaning with our kiddos, so with the pediatrician's blessing, we're working towards that closer to when you're six months old. In the meantime, we're going  to keep trying oatmeal every few days, just for kicks! 

Likes: Watching yourself in the mirror, chewing/sucking on your hands constantly, watching Mama dance for you (no shame in my mama game), seeing Molly, tubby time, snuggling, kicking whenever music is playing, going on walks both in your stroller and when I wear you in the Ergo, watching golf with your Daddy!
Dislikes: Being cold, laying down - you like to sit up and be a part of the action!, having your arms swaddled, the Solly (much to my dismay, although I'm going to do some Googling to see if there's another way that you can be positioned in the carry)
Milestones: You're SO CLOSE to rolling over - if you can just move your bottom arm, you'll be there. You have great control of your head/neck and are constantly checking things out. You've started reaching for and batting at things on your playmat/car seat, and when you get your hands on something, you hold on tight! You've also started holding your paci/Wub in your mouth, which is adorable.
Places You’ve Gone: You went on your second plane trip for your first trip to Baltimore! We flew down to your Poppy and Katka's (Brian's parents) condo for the weekend and had lots of fun with your cousins. You, Daddy and I went on lots of walks around the Inner Harbor, and we took you to your first baseball game at Camden Yards - the Red Sox vs. the Orioles! You also went to church for the first time on Easter and were on your best behavior - not a peep to be heard from you, sweet girl! You loved staring at the ceiling throughout Mass, and giving people around us your best smiles.

Visitors: Your Gigi saved the day and flew in to babysit you when our nanny was sick, so while it wasn't under the best circumstances, it was wonderful having her here with us for 10 days! 

Postpartum: I'm feeling good and finally, 4 months post-baby, am getting everything back under control. I joined WW and have already lost an encouraging amount of weight, and am taking baby steps towards working out again. I'm ready to feel totally like myself and confident again. I don't want to have a 2 year old and still be saying "Oh, I'm working on losing my last few baby weight pounds..." 

Molly: Just in the last couple of weeks have you really started to notice Molly, which is the most adorable thing ever. You follow her around the room with your eyes and giggle when she licks your foot or nuzzles you. She's been wonderful and gentle with you, which is everything we could have hoped for!

Things I Want to Remember: You've started nuzzling into my shoulder when you want to cuddle or are super sleepy, and it melts my heart every time. Going back to work has been so hard for me, but when I walk into the house at the end of the day, your entire face lights up and you give me a big, gummy smile - that smile just makes my day. You've also started to hold your little lovey blankets, which is the sweetest thing ever. You love to have a Wubby in your mouth while holding a lovey against your cheek. It's a lot going on but so, so sweet.

It is such a joy to see you growing and thriving, my girl! You're the light of our lives and we fall in love with you more and more each and every day. You have your Daddy wrapped around your finger and Mama would move mountains to make you happy - you've made everything in our world just kind of fall into place, and we can't remember what life was like without you. Mama admittedly struggled with seeing you grow out of the newborn phase, but someone along the way told me that God knew what he was doing when he made each new milestone so exciting, because you start to look forward to seeing what your baby is going to do next and don't focus as much on the tiny baby they once were, and it's so very true. It hits me in the feels when I look in the mirror and see how I can hold you on my hip and your long little legs stretch down my stomach, but then you smile at yourself in the mirror and squeal, and my heart skips a beat. I tell you every single day "I hope that you're always this happy," and I have a feeling that you will be.

To the moon and back, baby girl!

your little hands behind your head kill me!

snuggles with Molly while I fold clothes before bed

my boss lady!

Your second trip - flying down to Baltimore!

Snoozing through our Inner Harbor walk.

Your Poppy, Katka and cousins Colin, Evelyn and Meredith!

First baseball game!

The tiny holding hands - I'll cry the day this stops.

Your first time out to eat with Mama and Daddy! You were perfect and slept through the entire meal.

"Seriously, Mom? Another picture?"

Getting ready to try oatmeal for the first time!