Monday, January 16, 2017

Fletcher Lately

Considering my last post about Fletcher was his 4 month update, we have a lot to catch up on. I felt like I was doing so well too. Until I went to publish the 5 month update...I couldn't add pictures then when I refreshed the webpage, I lost everything I had typed. Needless to say, I was a little tired and did not feel like re-writing that. So, here we are, almost 5.5 months behind.

I think it goes without saying, this will be a long one.

Our first big trip! We kicked off month 5 with our annual trip to Ocracoke with our closest friends. Every year the Boddie's host us at their house. We always have so much fun and make the best memories while we are there. Fletcher slept great despite being in the pack and play in the same room as us. He loved being on the beach and playing the water. Next year will be even more fun when we have more babies to add to the mix and Fletch will be a little older. I have PTSD from the trip home where our carseat-hating-son screamed bloody murder from the time we left the island until about the time we arrived home (its a 4 hour trip). Oy vey.
This month brought us lots of pool dates, first tastes of food (guacamole, plain avocados and banana), some "talking," smiles galore, drooling like life is a wet-t shirt contest, birthday party (my boss' son turned two), sitting up somewhat unsupported, and turned a slight corner on naptime.

Mama had her first weekend away for Hannah's Bachelorette trip in Folly Beach, SC. So dad was home alone with Fletcher for two nights! They both did amazing. Friends welcomed their babies (and Fletcher' bffs), Willow Boddie and Wade Landen!
Fletcher's six month birthday was also mine and Jared's third wedding anniversary! We celebrated with a dinner out to Sullivan's Steakhouse while my mom babysat Fletcher. This month brought us lots of babbling (like mama), a love for dad's music choices, sitting up unsupported, dad's work promotion, obsession with touching faces and pulling hair, almost crawling, and first NC State tailgate.

First plane ride! Fletcher, JuJu and I traveled to Arizona. We met my brothers there. Fletcher got to meet one of his namesakes, my grandfather, James Irwin, and lots of other aunts, uncles, cousins, and puppies. He did excellent on the plane and trip (even with the time change). We sure missed dad while we were there though!
This month brought us Fletcher's first NC State football game, 6 month shots and well check, baby led weaning attempts with food, trip to the pumpkin patch, met Uncle J and Aunt Susan who visited Raleigh from Texas, went to the fair, pushing/pulling himself to sitting and standing, army crawling, learned to wave thanks to JuJu, and finally started saying "Da-Da" after spending a week with mama in Arizona.

Fletcher's first trip to Tarkington Prairie, Texas for Thanksgiving with Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Charlie Rice. Did excellent on the plane ride there again. Didn't sleep very well while in Texas. Had so much fun seeing where his dad (sort of) grew up. He got to meet his great Nanny and Papa and more aunts, uncles, and cousins! Also rode (and hated) the tractor with Grandpa and went to the zoo with Grandma where he enjoyed watching the kids more than the animals.
on the day he actually turned 8 months old sitting in dad's rocking chair from when he was a boy
This month brought us Halloween (basic pumpkin), the election (Trump won), first taste of Dad's smoked pork, first busted lip at daycare, Friendsgiving at the Boddie river house, baths in the big boy tub, lots of sticking out of the tongue, blowing spit bubbles and raspberries, furniture walking, visit from Uncle Chinn, Cowboys beat the Redskins and NC State beat Carolina in football, tasted Whataburger ketchup, and said "mama" for the first time!

Fletcher's first Christmas and all the magical fun that came with the season. Like, pcking out a Christmas tree, decorating, meeting Santa, Christmas music, and spending Christmas eve and morning just the three of us. Will do a separate "First Christmas" post.
This month brought clapping, high-fives, visit from Aunt Meghan, "real" crawling (hands and knees), standing unsupported for a few seconds, hand foot and mouth rash, Uncle Michael came from San Francisco, visit from Aunt Elizabeth, and wagon rides galore!

six month well check weight
nine month well check weight
  • 6:30/7am: wake up, get dressed [unless its the weekend and we are in PJs until after morning nap] and have bottle (8 ounces)
  • 7:30-8:45/9am: play in room or living room, have breakfast or snack
  • 9-10/10:30am: morning nap
  • 10:30am: bottle (6-7 ounces)
  • 10:45-12:30pm: play, run errands, have lunch
  • 12:45-1:30/2pm: nap
  • 1:30/2pm: bottle (6-7 ounces)
  • 2-4pm: play, wagon ride, errands, have snack, go for walk
  • 4-4:30pm: might take a catnap and usually in the carrier
  • 4:30pm: bottle (6-7 ounces)
  • 5-6pm: play, watch mom and dad make dinner, have dance parties in the kitchen
  • 6:15/6:30pm: eat dinner [always at the table with mom and dad]
  • 6:45/7pm: start bath and bedtime routine, have bedtime bottle (8-9 ounces)
  • 7:15/7:30pm: in bed, sometimes passes out drinking the bottle and we get some rare snuggles
Monday-Friday he is at daycare, 7:50am-5:00pm, where he might nap 25-60 minutes all day. The kid has serious FOMO or just can't get comfortable there. He has always done well at night despite not sleeping at daycare so I really can't complain.
sleeping at daycare. shocker.
aka "what everyone cares about." I've said it before, and I am probably shooting myself in the foot, but we have a really great nighttime sleeper. Stress nighttime. Meaning, he is not a huge fan of naptime. We I have gotten in the horrible routine of rocking him to sleep for his morning and afternoon naps. We have tried, briefly, the cry it out for naptime but that has been so much more difficult for me than the nighttime cry it out. So, I take the 5-10 minutes, and rock him to sleep for his naps. It works just fine for us me. Now, nighttime is a totally different story. He sleeps 11-12 hours no problem. We can even put him down wide wake in his crib without an issue.
Read: Naps are the bane of my existence.

After a little research we decided we wanted to take the "baby led weaning" approach for introducing solids to Fletcher. You can read more about it here, but basically you wait until baby shows interest in food, can sit unsupported, and loses the tongue thrust primitive reflex. The idea is that baby eats whatever you are eating, thus eliminating the need to buy or make baby food. For Fletcher this happened at about 6 months. Initially it was a lot of playing with the food and "chewing" then spitting it out. Jared really enjoyed seeing the regurgitation. It was about 6.5 months that he actually started eating [and swallowing] the food. Now he eats 3 "meals' and 2 snacks a day. He still has five bottles a day but we have decreased the amount in each so he will be hungry for actual food.
We weren't really strict about what he could and couldn't have. We gave him whatever was on our plates and went with it. We try to stick with whole and somewhat healthy foods. I just knew I did not want to be spoon feeding him mushed up vegetables and meat. Current favorite foods: tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, dried snap peas, and cheese.

I have a love-hate relationship with pumping. I love that pumping has saved us so much money. I hate being tied to my pump for 30 minutes, three times each day. I love that I have been able to feed Fletcher breastmilk for 9 months and he has been given all those benefits. I hate having to wake up before Fletcher so I can pump his morning bottle. I love that pumping burns so many calories and I haven't really dieted to lose most of my baby-weight. I hate that pumping is just not really convenient and we have to schedule things around my pump schedule sometimes. I love that I trained my body early and only do it three times a day because I could not imagine doing it more. I hate pumping after Fletcher goes to bed because and the last thing I want to do is pump then clean bottles and pump parts for 30 minutes. I love how much money it has saved us. Yes, that one needed to be stressed again.
the most I ever produced in one session (22 ounces)
I had to start supplementing at the beginning of November. I had gotten a horrible stomach bug and my supply plummeted. We went through all the freezer stash and I just wasn't producing enough to feed him what he was consuming in a day. This was when he was taking five 8 ounce bottles. I felt like a massive failure and cried on Jared's shoulder repeatedly. It was a similar feeling I got when Fletcher wouldn't nurse anymore. I mean, I wasn't going to feed my baby poison, but it felt that way from some of the things I read about formula. Or what if he didn't like my milk anymore. So I reached out to some of my mom friends who I thought were exclusively breastmilk and found out that they too had to supplement. It made me feel so much better that I wasn't alone. I realized that he in fact wasn't going to die from taking a few ounces of formula a day. Moms, we are too hard on ourselves.

We have been so fortunate. I can not stress that enough. We have been blessed with a very healthy baby. Granted, he has had his fair share of daycare coughs and colds but never anything major. I mean, I guess you could count the hand foot and mouth as a pretty bad one. But, even that wasn't horrible. Aside from the rash, he was a trooper and it didn't seem to bother him. We did have a scare with peanut butter crackers just after turning 9 months. He broke out in hives and we had to give him some Benadryl. I am still not convinced he has a peanut allergy. We will be holding off on giving any peanut butter for a while though.

because people don't read this for my horrible grammar.

With Family
consists of mostly our trip to Arizona and to Texas
with two of his namesakes
Mimi and Pappi
celebrating Thanksgiving in October
Uncle Dale and Aunt Kathie
with cousin Charlie
with JuJu after meeting Santa!
uncles on Christmas
visit to Tarkington Prairie with Granma and Grandpa 
Uncle J and Aunt Susan
Aunt Mary Martha
cousins on Thanksgiving
Culbertson clan
 With Friends
lots of Summer and Fall activities

 With Dad
Mama's two favorite people

Football Season
we spent a lot of time at Carter Finley this Fall. Fletcher did so well at the tailgates and games!

In The Chairs
I have made it my mission to take a picture of Fletcher everyday. Most of the time the daily picture is snapped in one of these chairs in his room. I love to see how much he has changed through these. Yes, there are many more where these came from.

Each month keeps getting better with this sweet boy! I swear I say "this is my favorite age" every time he turns a month older. I can't remember what our lives were like before him. Wouldn't change this crazy fast moving life for anything.

Fletcher James, thank you for being the best thing ever.

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