Thoughts on the Aftermath of Having a Lazy Eater

Remember this adventure that led to this madness?
Papillon is almost 6 months old, and I am still very self conscious about it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with her now.
She is not even small for her age.
She is in fact, quite average. 50th percentile for weight last time we went.

But when I go out, people ask for her age, I tell them and they undoubtedly respond with something like "Aww, she is such a pipsqueak/little thing/peanut". To which I instinctively (and a little defensively) respond, "Yes, she is small for her age, but she's happy".

Why do I do that? She may not be big, but she is not small. And that random stranger in the grocery store was likely not actually commenting on her size relative to other babies of a similar age, nor were they insinuating that she is not happy or healthy; rather, odds are, they were just politely doting on her cuteness.

But I defend her size.

She used to be mistaken for a preemie.
And somehow I couldn't ever just respond to that with a simple "no she's not". It was always "No, she actually started out at 9+lbs, she just didn't grow very fast at first, in fact, she slept so much she shrunk for the first month, but she is growing now". I'd get halfway through that long explanation before it occurs to me they don't need to know all that; but by then its too late.

I thought when Papillon started to grow that I would just move on. Start afresh with new, this time successful, parenting. But, I haven't. My parenting is still very significantly influenced by those first weeks. In ways like...

I get nervous when I don't have a freezer full of breastmilk.
I feel like everyone else's baby started smaller than mine, but very quickly surpasses her in weight, even those 3 months younger than she.
I try and be happy about other's baby's weight gain, but find I am mostly just jealous.
I am hesitant to let Papillon sleep 10-12 hours at night for fear of a sudden drop in milk supply.

When other parents talk about their child's impressive weight gain, they often say it (not necessarily intentionally) as though it is some accomplishment. For older kids its "My child is an honor student / plays baseball / dances ballet / etc" For babies its weight gain. Their baby gained X-impressive-#-of-lbs in Y-minuscule-amount-of-time; and if that is the parenting accomplishment of baby-dom, then I totally fail.

But, the good news is, I think I am finally moving on. I have decided that my successes may look different than other parents' success, but, dagnabit, I have succeeded.

I succeeded in delivering a 9lb 3oz baby without drugs and in less than 5 pushes.
I successfully got through 2 weeks where I literally nursed/pumped for 10-12 hours in a 24 hour period; a period of two weeks in which I never got more than 2 hours of sleep in a row.
I am succeeing in exclusively breastfeeding my baby, after only supplementing for a few days, and after wanting to give up every day for more than a month
I succeeded in flying across the country with a 4 month old, and I hate flying.
I have succeeded in keeping my sanity on long days when there is not one to talk to but my drooling baby and howling dog.
I successfully grocery shop with my baby
I successfully keep my child clothed and fed and rested and healthy every day.

I do my best not to be critical of other parents, parenting styles, etc. But, when I find myself getting defensive about Papillon's size, I have to remember not to be critical of my own parenting.
To paraphrase my favorite parenting philosophy ever (which I think I am paraphrasing from this blog, but now I can't find it, so I may be wrong): "Don't judge, cause we (parents) are all trying are d*mn best".

I am trying my best, and, by the grace of God, I am succeeding.

And if you are a parent and your child is loved and you are trying your best, details don't matter because you too are succeeding.

Puppy Neglect

Sometimes because of the fantastic cuteness that is Papillon, poor Marge can start to feel a bit neglected. When she feels neglected, she develops weird ticks. At the moment she is afraid of the backyard, which is obnoxious like whoa.

Less obnoxious is the pitiful act that she breaks out.
It can be heart wrenching. Watch.

Here is Marge, being all "Don't mind me, I am clearly not loved, seeing as how I don't even have a blanket to sleep on (she does actually) I will just make do with this frightfully tiny and uncomfortable pile of blankets that are not mine"

"I won't be in anyone's way, and I will even keep my unwanted tail off your freshly vacuumed carpet"

"I won't even annoy you with eye contact. Just go on, pretend I am not here like you always do"

We still love you Marge.
At least, Papillon does.
So I guess you can stay.

Christmas in Pictures

Papillon had a wonderful first Christmas full of traveling and toys, family and fun times and even a few flurries.

We will just summarize the week with a few pictures:

Papillon and myself about to open a present.

Sitting up nicely. The boppy is really just a precaution at this point.

Some Christmas loving.

The tissue paper was by far the best part of the presents.

Though the fluffy stuffed bear that tickles your face is also super fun.

Papillon asked for wooden toys for Christmas and she got some sweet wooden stacking blocks. Clearly she loves them.

Papillon met this Aunt for the first time over Christmas. They were instant friends.

Books are also Papillon's friend. She is a big fan.

More presents.

Presents for some one other than really did happen.

After some pre-Christmas Christmas with Mon Amour's family, we spent some Christmas time with my family. Here is Papillon and her Great-Nannie.

Great-Nannie was moved by the sentimental present...Papillon clearly was not.

Pictures of the grandchild make for great grandparent Christmas presents.

Poor Lilly pup did not get any presents, but we included her in the fun anyway.

More presents for Papillon!

Lots of new toys to chew on and she still chooses her fingers.

Practicing reading the French rhymes book so that he can read it to Papillon.

The fellas.

Investigating a sweet toy.

Papillon can't handle the enthusiasm sometimes.

Having fun with Grandpa

A Papillon-Sandwich

Good times with her Auntie.

Chillin with Nannie.

Practicing sitting in her high chair. She is quite skilled at it.

Showing me how ready she is for solid foods.
Soon, Papillon; very soon.

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve from Papillon!

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Free Books

I have told you about our free book addiction, yes?

Well, we stopped by the other day, under the pretense of dropping off books we no longer needed, but of course walked away with quite a nice pile of books to add to our collection.

I was super excited, because the kids book section must have been freshly restocked! Usually the books in the kids section are a little worn (for obvious reasons), but I scored some fabulous books, all in great condition!

Look at all those classics!
"I Spy" Books - yay!
Richard Scary - how can you go wrong.
Are you My Mother?

It was a good day at the free book store.

Movie Monday: Fake Cough and other such nonsense

Some adorable videos for your viewing pleasure.

First, some baby calisthenics. Excellent for wearing baby out before bed. Or perhaps it just winds her up....who knows.

Papillon is a huge fan of dogs. She beams at Marge any time Marge walks past. On this particular day, she found my parent's dog to be positively hilarious.

And, as promised, the fake coughing. We did not manage to get a great video of it - but these will give you the picture. Just multiply this cuteness by like 5, cause she would fake cough for a long time (just never when we had the camera out).

Thoughts on Baby Sleep

This is Papillon's new favorite way to sleep. Hands on her face.
It's adorable.
All baby sleep is adorable.
(Excepting that sleep that prevents them from eating enough food to survive off of. That sleep is not cute. It's scary. But we are beyond that now)

I didn't realize until Papillon came along, how much emphasis in the early days of parenting was placed on sleep. In my experience, when people meet your baby they ask two things (three, if they are not sure if its a boy or a girl). First: How old is he/she? And second, some form of: Does he/she sleep well?

I have found that what matters the most when answering this question are not the facts that you are stating, whether its 5 hours at night or 12. Rather, the important part is the spin.

For example...

"Papillon gets up as early as 6:45, naps 3 times a day for as little as 35 minutes each time, and then gets me out of bed at least once, sometimes 2 or 3 times a night"


"Papillon falls promptly to sleep around 8pm, gets up only once, sometimes twice, a night for a quick snack, falling right back to sleep afterwards. She gets up for the day around 7, and typically takes 3 naps ranging from 35 minutes to 2 hours."

Both could describe a typical day for Papillon. Only the first will likely elicit a response such as "Oh wow, I remember those days. You gotta sleep when you can!". And the second will have people concurring with your statement that she is a "good sleeper". I prefer giving the second response.

People also want to know, Does she sleep through the night?

I would say, Yes, she does, with a snack break here and there.
Some people would say No, officially I haven't slept 8, or even 7 hours at a stretch since she was born.

From time to time, I find myself worrying that Papillon's sleep habits are not as stellar as they could be. Usually, this is after I have met a baby who sleeps "better" than Papillon. And I think to myself, just a few days of "sleep training" and I could get 7 or 8 consecutive hours of sleep! Let's start tonight!
But then, I meet other babies, who are not letting their parents sleep at all; those parents look at me enviously, and I worry less and am thankful for my baby who sleeps as well as she does without being trained.

Now, do I think that its possible she sometimes gets up for a midnight snack just because she wants to see me? Yes.

Do I think that will need to stop at some point? Yes.

Will breaking that habit involve letting her cry in the middle of the night? Probably.

Am I opposed to sleep training? Nope. I just haven't felt like we have needed to with Papillon. We might still; and another baby with another temperament might warrant sleep training much earlier. Only time will tell.

Do I think Papillon is capable of making it through an 8 hour night without a snack at this point? Sure.

Do I worry that I might be spoiling her with midnight snuggles? Occasionally. But her middle of the night, half asleep snuggles spoil me too. I love them.

Over all though, I am not worried. She is only 5 months old. She gets enough sleep to make her happy. And I (usually) get enough sleep to function without a nap or caffeine.
Why worry about fixing something that doesn't seem to be broken?

Less Blogging

I started this blog back in October 2008. I started it because Mon Amour had started a graduate program and I found myself with lots of spare time.

2+ years, 1 new house, 1 new job, 1 new baby and lots of adventures later, I find myself with significantly less spare time.
Ironically, tonight Mon Amour finishes his last paper for his degree. Not all that interesting, I know; but it seemed odd how the timing of the start and end of his degree coincide so conveniently with the start and....slow down, of my blog.

Life with Papillon is wonderful to say the least. But, as is the nature of babies, she keeps me busy. Life in general is just busy. (Such is the nature of life, really.)

And starting in January I am going to start working part time again. Thankfully, I get to work from home in the evenings when Mon Amour can watch Papillon. We call that a huge blessing.
But we also call that a hugely busy schedule.

Which is why I am letting you know at the outset that blogging is going to decrease a bit....possibly even drastically.
Many apologies to those who have enjoyed daily doses of Papillon cuteness.

Not to fear though, blogging will not dry up altogether. There will still be cuteness posted (hopefully with some regularity) so do not go away.
And just to prove to you that there is hope for cute pictures to come.....look! cuteness:


5 Months

So I am a few days late with the 5 month post.
Papillon turned 5 months this past Friday.

Here she is with Snoopy.

She now weighs an even 14 lbs.

That means that over all, she is up 5 lbs from her birth weight. 5 lbs in 5 lbs. Not too shabby considering her slow start.
Papillon does have a friend, though, who is 2 months old, started at 7 lbs, and is already 14 lbs 2 oz. She's even 100% breastfed. Crazy.
However, being an averagely growing baby, we get a lot more life out of our clothes. Its funny though to see two babies the same size at such vastly different developmental milestones.

Papillon at 5 months....

....goes to bed at 8 ish. Gets up at 7 ish. Waking once or twice at night for a snack. I totally believe she could do the whole night without a snack if I made her. But, call me crazy, I still enjoy our quiet midnight snuggle times.

....typically takes 3 naps a day. Usually (hopefully) one long one (1.5 - 2 hours), and 2 short ones (45 ish minutes). longer naps in the sling as easily. At home she is usually quite exhausted by 8pm. And before when we would be out in the evening, she would sleep in the sling once it got past 8. But these days there is obviously too much to see and do. She will happily (mostly) stay up till 9 or 10 if there are people to watch and listen too.

...eats every 3 - 4 hours. Still 100% nursing. Solid foods to be introduced post-Christmas. Who wants to pack baby food for holiday travels if they dont have to?

....rolls over more often. Still mostly just from front to back.

....sits up quite securely with the help of the boppy.

....grabs at everything. Her little hand movements are the cutest. She picks something up and turns it over and over, concentrating on it very hard.

...wears all 3-6 month clothes. The 0-3s have finally officially been put away.

.....has hair that is growing like a weed. And it prefers to stick straight up.

....has discovered that fake coughing is fun. Its hillarious. This just started this past weekend. She will cough once, maybe for real, and then smile and keep coughing. I am trying very hard to capture it on video....and will post it as soon as I am successful.

Over all she is a very chill baby.
My mom friends from church tell me that if they could be guaranteed a baby like Papillon they would totally have another one. And I totally consider myself blessed, she really is a great baby....

...and adorable on top of that.

5 months is such a fun age.
I love it.

Sitting up

Papillon is growing up super fast.
Recently she has been really working on her sitting up skills.

She is super wobbly, but loves it.
She has even managed to sit up without the boppy for short periods of time.

She looks so much older when she is sitting up.

Fun Times

Papillon is rolling over like crazy these days. Still just from front to back, but it wont be long before she goes the other way.
From time to time though, she still enjoys a bit of fun tummy time.
So much fun!

Fun with a Crazy Uncle

Thanks to Thanksgiving, Papillon had a chance to spend a bit of quality time with her Crazy Uncle. (not the one that lives out west, the other one)

Initially she wasn't sure what to make of this crazy kid.
She tried to ignore his crazyness with her masterful blank stare.
Then he tried to get her to have some "school spirit" by putting this massive cap on her head.
Not a lot of enthusiasm there.
Oddly enough, she finally warmed up to him when he let her try on his shoes.
Apparently she was excited to know that her feet are not that big.