It's hard to believe that Adelyn has now been living outside the womb for longer than she was inside. She's reaching such a fun age. She's well beyond the helpless newborn stage, but not yet to the sassy toddler time. She's in a nice place where her personality is beginning to show and she's continually learning new things. She has started to army crawl and continues to roll to where she wants to be. She doesn't like to spend much time sitting. Instead, she will quickly transition to lying down so she can move around. Adelyn has been trying to push up onto her knees, but the bulky cloth diaper has made it difficult for her to completely master crawling on all fours. I'm sure it won't be much longer now before she figures out it. Though she has taken a liking to standing, so I wonder if perhaps she'll skip crawling and go straight to walking. This of course has made baby proofing necessary. With Legos and small doll accessories, we've been training our older two kids to keep small objects well out of her reach or quarantined in their own rooms.
We introduced solids just before she turned eight months old. We quickly discovered that she did not care to be spoon fed. Instead, she prefers finger foods that she can eat for herself. She already prefers independence. While it does make for messier mealtimes, it is nice that I don't have to try to feed her and myself at meals. It does mean that I have to be creative in preparing foods so she can eat them. For instance, instead of giving her applesauce, I sauté apples until they were soft enough for her to swallow. One of her favorite meals is what I call an Addie cake. I mix oatmeal, pumpkin, cinnamon and water together and make sort of a pancake that she can feed to herself. She consistently gets one meal of solids a day and sometimes two or three, depending on her napping and whether she is awake when we are eating. She continues to get most of her nutrition from breastfeeding and is still nursing four to five times a day.
Much to my surprise, she just had her first cold a few weeks ago. With older siblings, I assumed they would bring home germs and she would be sick sooner than this. Her first cold wasn't too bad, basically just a stuffy nose, but a week ago she experienced her first fever. It lasted a few days and the poor thing was miserable. Once she finally bounced back and her happy self returned, we realized just how bad she had been feeling. She is typically quick to smile and giggle, but she didn't feel like doing much of that while she was sick. Thankfully those laughs and grins have returned and she's once again a baby on a mission to explore the world around her instead of just wanting to cuddle in her mama's arms.
As for me, I'm happy to report that I'm back within a couple pounds of pre-Adelyn weight. It has been a slow, steady and frustrating journey, but I can now see progress. My core has lost a lot of strength and my stomach is not back to where it was before, but I am fitting into old jeans. That's motivation to keep moving forward. Since I'm breastfeeding, I haven't been able to jump back to the strenuous workouts that I'd like. I've had to pace myself and remind myself that my baby's nutrition is more important than a number on the scale. Before long, she will be weaned, I will have no more babies to breastfeed and then I can sweat until my heart's content without worrying about my milk supply. In the meantime, I need to be patient.
I recently wrote a blog post about how I have felt since Adelyn was born. I've felt as though I have been continually operating at-capacity, that I've been much busier than I had anticipated. Of course I knew that babies take time and attention, but so many had told me that transitioning from one to two kids was more difficult than two to three. What I didn't account for was how much the older two kids' school and play activities would impact the baby's and my own schedules. Before Adelyn was born, the only New Year's resolution I made was to not make any resolutions or set any goals for her first year of life. Instead of putting pressure on myself to achieve something, I needed to take a deep breath and just focus on getting through my first year as a mom of three kids. I thought I was giving myself a bit of a reprieve. I didn't realize how consumed I'd be by just the daily tasks for diapering, napping, cooking, cleaning, laundering, and don't forget a bit of time for working also.
There have been moments over these last nine months where I have felt overwhelmed by my task list&a list that pales in comparison to what I used to accomplish in a day or a week. In those moments, I have to remind myself that these days aren't about checking off items. They are about being interruptible enough that the laundry can wait if Adelyn needs a few extra cuddles. Even in those moments when I feel like all I've done that day was manage sleep schedules, I must remind myself that these days are fleeting. Soon enough I won't have a baby to rock or a toddler who wants me to rub her back as she drifts off to sleep. Sure the floors could stand to be mopped, but that can wait because the reality is that babies don't. After all, we are three-quarters of the way through Adelyn's babyhood. I don't want to miss a moment of the last quarter.