Charlotte Frances {4 Months}

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!
Mama






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?"

Charlotte Frances {3 months}

Charlotte Frances, you are THREE MONTHS OLD! 


Weight: 11 pounds, 14 ounces as of Wednesday, March 29th

Nicknames: Little Love, Lovey, Lovebug, Tootie Butt (sorry girlfriend, but sometimes you have some serious toots!), and CC - that one is just for me.

Clothes: Wearing 3 months in Carters, 0-3 months in the Target/Carter's and Cat and Jack, 0-3 in Janie and Jack, and you're just starting to really fill out 0-3 in Old Navy and Baby Gap.

Sleep: You're still rocking a 9pm-5am sleep schedule and we couldn't love that more! You wake up once around 3am to nurse but I don't really even count it as "awake" - you make sweet little noises to show me you're awake (seriously, no crying!), I feed you, and you're back asleep in my arms within a few minutes. We've slowly started to introduce not swaddling your arms, but you still startle pretty easily and wake yourself up. If I lay you next to me for a nap on the couch or bed, once you're in a deep sleep you can sleep unswaddled no problem.

Schedule: Before maternity leave ended, our days looked a little like this: 
5 a.m: Awake to eat
5:30-7 a.m: Sleep
7-7:30 a.m: Eat 
7:30-9 a.m: Morning time with Mama! While I had my coffee and watched Good Morning America and Live with Kelly, we would read books, do tummy time, sing songs - this is one of my favorite times during the day with you. You're always so happy and smiley, and nothing warms my mama heart more than you looking at me and giving me a big grin, just because.
9-10 a.m. (ish): Sleep
10-10:30 a.m: Eat
10:30-11:30 a.m: Hang out while Mama gets ready. You're usually completely content to sit in your bouncer with me in the bathroom or bedroom with music playing on my phone (Adele is your favorite) or your Sleep Sheep playing ocean noises (which you think is the funniest thing ever).
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m: Lunch for both of us!
1:30-3:30 p.m: Nap for you, which is usually a good time for me to scoot out of the house and run errands, and the time that I use to prep dinner when we're home.
3:30-4 p.m: Eat
4-5:30 p.m: Play time - we listen to music, play on your rainforest mat, read books, go for walks, and then you hang in your mamaroo in the kitchen with me while I start supper!
5:30-6:30 p.m: Nap until Daddy's home! 
6:30 p.m: This is usually your semi-fussy time, so while I finish cooking, you usually have dancing time with Daddy while listening to Adele (I have so many videos of this and can cry if I start thinking about the two of you dancing your father/daughter dance at your wedding #crazymamapartyofone).
7-8:30 p.m: You usually have a quick snack here, and then hang on your lounger while we eat supper and try to watch a show or two on the DVR.
8:30 p.m: Tubby time! Right now we're in the season of Daddy studying for the CFA, so while he gets to work, I do bath/books/bed. You absolutely love your baths and your lotion/jammie routine, and then sitting with you to read stories in your rocker is one of the highlights of my day.
8:30-9:30 p.m: You usually hang with me in bed while I watch a show or read, then we move you to the pack 'n' play for the night, and you're off to sleep! 

Health: After having a watery, red left eye for several days, I took you in for an after hours appointment to be seen by your pediatrician. Of course as soon as we walked in the door, your eye was clear and there wasn't a hint of redness. Dr. Boutwell said it was likely a tiny clogged tear duct and just to gently massage the area between your eye and nose while nursing - I did, and that's seemed to help! Other than that, you've been in completely good health, which we're so thankful for!
Crying: You still only cry if you're hungry, need to be changed, or are startled, but you're easily and quickly soothed. When you DO get upset, you cry an angry, legitimate wail - no more tiny newborn whimpers.

Feeding: Still nursing like a champ! We're exclusively breastfeeding and I still can't believe how much I've enjoyed our little journey so far. I'd love to make it to one year - so far, so good! You have started to watch us when we eat, which is the cutest thing, and I can't wait to start baby led weaning with you once our pediatrician gives us the go-ahead.

Likes: Snuggling, naps on mommy's chest, bath time, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Adele with Daddy is still going strong, being propped up so you can see what's going on, being close to me.
Dislikes: Being cold, getting buckled into your carseat, losing sight of me, tummy time.
Milestones: You constantly smile and have really started to chatter. You've started to tilt yourself over the side during tummy time, but I think we're still a ways away from you fully rolling over on your own. You stick your little tongue out all of the time and have started to really kick your feet and wave your arms.
Places You’ve Gone: I soaked up the last month of my maternity leave by trying to get us out and about as much as possible. Lots of shopping trips, walks, coffee and lunch dates, and our first grocery trip together. Not only did Mama attempt Aldi for the first time, but I wore you in our Solly carrier for the shopping trip, and it was wonderful! I thought you'd fight me but once I got you snuggled in, you poked your little head out and just took everything in as we shopped, pooping out and falling asleep at the very end.
Visitors: You met your Aunt Candice and cousin Shirley for the first time! 

Postpartum: This last month was a struggle personally, with ALL of the feels about going back to work. I cried daily, especially over the last two weeks, and just couldn't fathom the thought of leaving you every day. Monday, April 3, did finally arrive and it was admittedly awful - I cried as I nursed you that morning, cried when we left for work, cried the entire drive to work, cried off and on at work all day, and cried when I got home and we sat down to nurse again. I felt calm for a solid hour that evening, after we'd had supper and you and I were snuggling while Daddy studied... and then I realized that I had to get up the next day and do it all over again. We're into week 2 and it honestly hasn't gotten easier, but I'm trying to make the best of it. There's just something very unnatural about leaving your tiny baby every day - I feel like I'm leaving my heart at home every day. 

Molly: You've recently started noticing that Molly is in the room, and it's the cutest thing. You sort of stare at her with big, wide eyes like you're thinking "What in the heck is THAT?"! Molly still does great with you in general - she always wants to be close to me, and sits at my feet while I nurse, behind me in the nursery when I'm changing you. If I lay you down on our bed, Molly likes to jump up and lay juuuust close enough so that her nose touches your feet, and it melts my heart every time!

Things I Want to Remember: When you're tired, I can lay you against my shoulder and you flip your head back and forth against me, trying to settle down. When you do settle, you nuzzle into my neck and it's about the best feeling in the world (teary as I'm typing that). Strangers constantly tell us how beautiful and dainty you look, "very much a little girl." If someone else is holding you and I walk into the room, you immediately turn your head to follow me/my voice - that melts my heart.

We are so head over heels in love with you, sweet Charlotte. You're a piece of our world that we didn't realize was missing until you arrived, and I just can't imagine what life would be like without you. It's such a joy to be your Mama, and I know your Daddy feels the exact same way. We can't wait to watch you grow and continue to figure out this big wide world.

To the moon and back,
Mama

Papa, Gigi and Charlotte before we flew back to Boston from Texas.






















 





Last Friday of maternity leave called for a coffee and bagel date with Daddy.

I bought this onesie months before our girl was born and was waiting for the perfect day for her to wear it. "Mommy's Everything," indeed!

Cousins!

Charlotte and DeeDee, her great grandmother on her Daddy's side.

The morning that I went back to work - where you lead, sweet girl.