Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Isabelle: 5 Months!

Dear Belly,

Happy 5 Months!  I feel like I have so much to say about this past month, as you have made a drastic change and you are so happy now!  We've made it through the colicky stage and have moved onto a happy, healthy Izzy!  It's amazing!

Don't let this picture fool you.  You still generally hate tummy time ;)

You're so much fun now and you are full of smiles!  You laugh too, but those are a little bit harder to get.... unless you are Addy.  She can get you hysterically laughing!  Its so awesome to watch!

You've found your voice and you love to squawk and squeal!  And growl.  We have this book called "I Howl, I Growl" and I joke that its your theme book.  You are the biggest growler I know.  That's the tune of your sleepy song, growling.  It's how we know you're tired.  It's also how we know that you're awake in the morning.  You lay in your crib and growl until someone comes to get you.  It's so funny!

Big news from this month is that you have decided to start nursing!  Finally!  It was December 16th, and I tried in the morning like I always did.  Usually you would just scream and refuse.  This day, you nursed... So I tried again at the next feed and you did it again.  And the rest is history!  We nursed for most feedings except right before bed initially.  I would give you a bottle for that feed.  But eventually I got the courage up to nurse you before bed too and you've done great!  I was getting tired of warming a bottle, giving you the bottle, washing the bottle, getting you to bed, and then having to come downstairs and pump for 15 minutes.  And then wash that stuff.  So now, you are exclusively breastfed unless I am not here for some reason.  And it is AMAZING!

 Life is so much easier just with that change alone.  Feeding you is a breeze, and you have been eating quickly and efficiently!  I bought an infant scale to see how much you take in when you nurse.  So if I want to see how much you eat I weigh you before and after you eat.  And you have been taking 4-7 ounces per feeding!  Plus, you only eat for usually 4-5 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the second.  Yup, less than 10 minutes total and you're done.  Just like your sisters always were.  The amount of time that we have gotten back in our day is astounding!  Gone are the days of pumping for 15 minutes, then feeding you for at least 30 minutes, trying so hard just to get you to eat 3 ounces.  We walked, bounced, distracted...anything to get you to finish a 3 ounce bottle.  Then I would wash, dry and put away all of the pump parts and bottles.  We are done with all of those shenanigans and I could shout from the rooftops with joy!

Sometimes I look at you while you are nursing and I still can't believe that we made it happen.  You are relaxed and you just play with your hair while you eat, which is so sweet to watch.

You went in for your swallow study and it was determined that everything is totally normal!  No aspiration, no reflux!  Bye-bye Zantac.  So now you aren't on any meds at all :)

Ready for your swallow study in a little baby hospital gown :)  Daddy was able to take a break from work and come down to be with you, so that's him holding you.

This is how they wrapped you for your swallow study.  I was thinking, "Oh boy, she's gonna hate this!"  But you loved it!  You were chill as can be all wrapped up :)

Another huge piece of news is that you got your brace off!  Yay!  Finally, after 14 weeks, we got to get rid of that darn thing for good!  On December 22nd, we went to the orthopedic doctor and she threw it away right then and there.  Good riddance.  You have an appointment at 6 months for an X-ray to make sure everything is still growing as expected.  Fingers crossed!  Now we are on no meds, and have no brace!  Life is grand!

At the orthopedic doctor's office... brace free!

You are probably thinking, "I'll just eat this brace to be sure they never put it back on."

Stretching those legs in your first pair of pants!  You've had to live in leg warmers for the past 3.5 months because pants didn't fit over your brace.

It's amazing how much stronger you have gotten with your legs in just a few short weeks since getting your brace off.  When we first took it off you could only bear weight for 2-3 seconds before your legs buckled.  No you can stand with support for almost 30 seconds!  It's so awesome to see how happy you are to have your brace off.  You love being in your jumper and you get this huge smile and giggle like crazy while you're jumping around.

Sometimes you even jump so much that you zonk out!  Look at those chicken legs, ha ha!  They've beefed up so much since this picture was taken!

You've found your feet and you love to chew on your toes.  We term this new game, "Eat Feet."  It's a current favorite :)

We are officially done with occupational therapy now that you are eating so well.  Plus you have been gaining more weight, and I'm so hopeful that we'll see an increase in your percentile at your 6 month check-up.  That would make this mama's heart so happy!

You had an evaluation for physical therapy now that your brace is off, but it has been determined that you don't need it!  We will work with you a little bit at home, since you are a bit behind on rolling over.  You have rolled over from belly to back a few times, but not with any consistency.  Normally you just cry until someone puts you back on your back.  But I'm not really concerned because your sisters were the same way.  They were a little bit late on the rolling game too.  We'll also work on helping you sit up with support.  Strengthen that core!

Another great development is that you have started napping so much better!  We have a pretty consistent routine now of three naps a day and it has been great.  You usually start getting tired about 1.5-2 hours after waking up and then we put you for a nap.  Then I feed you when you wake up from your naps, we play, and you go back to bed after another 1.5-2 hours, etc.  Your first two naps are usually 1-1.5 hours long and your last nap is usually just a cat nap of about 30-45 minutes.

You have still been going to bed around 8 PM, and we've managed to stop getting up three times a night.  Thank goodness!  I'm trying to get you down to once a night.  So I'd say, half the time you get up twice and half the time once.  It's progress so I'll take it!

I can't even begin to tell you how happy this past month has been!  I'm so glad to be writing this post with all of these positive changes and developments!  I've been waiting for this day to come, this day when my baby is happy and healthy and we can all just really enjoy it.  And you really have been such a joy!  Just a glance in your direction and you flash us that big, gummy grin.  We've made it little lady!  We have a happy baby now, and a happy baby makes a happy family :)

Baby's 1st Christmas!

Baby's first ponytail!

Post-ponytail hair!

This outfit was Daddy's when he was a baby!

Santa sure does love you kiddo!

Christmas Day!

Post-bath baby elephant :)

This was the first time you scooted around in your crib and I found you somewhere other than where I layed you down.  You look so big!

Our littlest Penn State girl!

Can't forget those Steelers!

5 Month Photos:

I love you so very much and I'm over the moon excited for you Izzy Leigh!  Seeing you smile brings so much joy to my heart!  My happy baby girl.... finally!!