Category Archives: Josiah

8 months & 9 months

At the beginning of 7 months, Joey was rolling and spinning, and still tipping when he sat.

NOW, just two short months later, as we close out on being 8 months – he is EVERYWHERE. He crawls (fast), pulls himself to standing, likes to play while sitting on his knees, will take a few steps along furniture, loves playing – he is busy, busy, busy!

The night before Halloween (7 months and a week and a half) I thought he scooted himself forward across the bathroom floor. I wasn’t sure, and didn’t really believe it since he never went backwards and so many babies I’ve known have gone backwards before forwards, but Halloween night while we were waiting for trick-or-treaters he followed me (and my newspaper, which is what he really wanted) all around the living room! And he hasn’t stopped since! Just after he turned 8 months he figured out how to pull himself up and now he doesn’t want to do anything but stand. He’s getting more and more steady, and is very comfortable letting go with one hand. He is persistent and determined – if there’s something he wants, he will find a way to get it. He doesn’t often get frustrated, just keeps working at it. I know this is all very developmentally normal, but I am just so proud of him. He is so big.

(8 months on the left, 9 months on the right)

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Oh, and ps: the dogs are going on a diet. It’s called “you have 10 seconds to eat before mom takes your bowl away because Joey is playing in your food.” πŸ˜‰

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BLW: The Beginning

I first heard about Baby Led Weaning (BLW) a couple years ago and thought it was pretty neat. The more I read about it, the more I knew it was for us. No cereal, no purΓ©es, just food. Completely on Joey’s time and Joey’s terms. I love that the emphasis and pressure is taken off of food. He’s still nutritionally getting everything he needs from breast milk, and with BLW he’s really getting to just have fun and explore.

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And he loved the exploration!

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It was not only a sensory experience for his mouth, but for his hands too. He’s getting to work on his fine motor skills to pick up each piece. He loved squishing them!

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We chose avocado as his first food because it’s a great healthy fat and something easy to pick up and gum.

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He enjoyed the social aspect of being at the table with us, and was constantly looking to Andy to make sure it was ok.

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He didn’t eat much of it, although he did enjoy sucking it off his fingers. When he got a chunk in his mouth he wasn’t quite sure what to think, and moved it all around before gagging it out.

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We’ll continue to go at his pace and let him explore, but I think it’s safe to say this was a fun introduction to food!

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Fall Fun

Earlier this fall we visited a pumpkin patch with our friends Ally and Rylee. The kids were too little this year to enjoy most of it, but they loved looking at the animals and we loved taking their pictures! We got to go on a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick our own pumpkin that we later carved (Joey slept through that whole part, so I picked the pumpkin for him ;)).

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We also spent a day out at the apple orchard as a family! We went on a hayride and picked our own apples, had some cider and roasted some s’mores… and Joey’s favorite part was the leaves. Lol.

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Time to dig in to the pumpkin! Joey enjoyed feeling the outside and squishing some of the insides when we got him a bit, but didn’t really want to stick his arm in on his own. He did enjoy showing the puppies what he was doing. πŸ™‚

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We enjoyed some time with Joey’s great-grandparents when they stopped by on their way to Arizona!

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And of course we’re gearing up for our little monkey’s first Halloween! Happy Fall!

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7 months

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We’ll call this the month of the roll. Because this boy rolls everywhere! Β He’s not crawling or even really scooting, but he can get where he wants to go by rolling and spinning!

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He loves his toes! They are his teething toy of choice.
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Β 

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He’s sitting up so much stronger now, doesn’t even need to have his hands down (but of course wouldn’t pick them up when I wanted to take a picture!). He still forgets to balance sometimes and tips over, but he doesn’t mind too much because then he can continue rolling all around.

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I feel like he’s grown up a lot this month. Maybe it’s the jeans, or maybe just because he’s in the second half of his first year, but he seems so big now!

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He is still chewing/sucking on anything and everything he can get in his mouth. We are loving our Chewbeads! And he totally crossed his fingers like that all on his own and then shot me that look. Love his expressive eyebrows.

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Why We Wear #IBW2013

Happy International Babywearing Week!

As this week celebrating babywearing comes to a close, I just wanted to share what babywearing has done for us and why we choose to do it!

Making up for lost time They often say the first 3 months after birth are the “fourth trimester”. Babies need lots of touch and skin to skin time as they adjust to the outside world after 9 warm months on the inside. Well, on top of that, Joey spent 3/4 of his third trimester on the outside… in a plastic box with minimal touch no less! I think this definitely contributed to his “high-needs”ness. He has a high need for touch. Way more so than any other baby I’ve cared for. Babywearing allows him to be close to my heart – right where he wants to be. It also allows daddy those moments with him too!

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To share the world This one will continue to be a big one for me as he grows, but even now I love to share the world with him from his safe place. He’s not at knee-level, being forced at a crowd. He’s snuggled in my chest, and can look, explore, and observe at his own pace. He’s right near my face and I love chatting with him about the things we see and hear, even though he doesn’t say much back quite yet :).

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No germies I can’t tell you how many times when we first brought Joey home and I took him out in his car seat (like, to the doctor), people thought it was ok to reach in and touch my itty bitty preemie. I love that having him right up against my body, in our own private place, gives us a little barrier and some personal space. While I’m not all about keeping him completely in a bubble, we’d like to come through this first flu/RSV season with no sickness, and I’ll do what I can to protect him from that!

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Naps Oh, naps. Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby curled up on your chest or in that little space between your shoulder blades?

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More comfortable than holding Joey is a mover. It seems like he’s constantly kicking, flailing, bending, waving some part of his body. It can be hard to counterbalance all this movement. But when I wear him I think he feels less need to move, and it’s less taxing on my body when he does! Using ergonomic carriers distributes his weight well across my body and puts him in an optimal seat making it comfortable for both of us.

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Way easier to get around His car seat doesn’t take up the entire cart while I grocery shop (and I don’t have to lug that beast anywhere!). We don’t have to navigate narrow aisles or bumpy terrain. We can take on airports, downtown Chicago, stadiums and the apple orchard with ease.

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We like it Babywearing may not be for all babies or for all mamas (and daddies!), but it works for us. (And you might find the same if you give it a try!)

*pictured are a Moby Wrap, Ergobaby Options Carrier, Sakura Bloom ring sling, and standard canvas Tula*

6 months

Happy half birthday, buddy!

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Joey is now about 13.6 pounds and 25 inches long. Most doctors want breastfed babies to double their birth weight by 6 months – Joey is over 3.5 times his birth weight! He’s an overachiever. πŸ™‚

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What life is like now:
– He has learned a pterodactyl scream when he’s not happy with what you’re doing. Or sometimes just because he’s wants to hear his voice.
– But he also has BIG laughs when he’s happy.
– He loves reading books.
– Loves jumping in his jumper.
– Has decided he HATES taking a bath (after that being his favorite thing in the world until now!).
– Loves watching the puppies, petting them, pulling their fur, and sticking his tongue out to kiss them back.

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– He thinks snorting is the funniest noise he’s ever heard. He tries to imitate it but can’t quite figure it out yet.
– He FINALLY found his toes!

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– He loves scooting and rolling all around in his crib.

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– But still has no desire to roll from back to belly. He’s totally capable, just decides he’s content once he’s on his back.
– He still sucks his thumb, but only when he’s sleeping or going to sleep. Never in the car when he’s screaming. πŸ˜‰
– He grabs ev.er.y.thing. If it’s in his reach, it’s in his hand. And then in his mouth.
– He can sit on his own, but forgets he’s supposed to balance himself so topples over easily.

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He got sick for the first time this month and was just not himself at all for a couple weeks. A sure sign: he fell asleep in the car, let my carry him in in his seat, and continued to sleep in there in his bed for another hour. That is all unheard of in the world of Joey!

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He had his ophthalmology appointment this month and did great. Currently he’s about 4 points farsighted, which is on the high end of normal for his age. He’ll go back in a year and see how much he’s changed!

Joey got invited to his first birthday party this month! His little friend Paxton turned two and invited us to his party at Gymboree. It was fun!

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We also took our first trip to MN this month and Joey got to meet his BFFs!

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Cool dudes.

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Hanging out in the Tula!

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The first half of year one:

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Side by Side

Just for fun – some comparisons of how much Joey has grown! Hard to believe how much he’s changed in less than half a year.

First time in his car seat on homecoming day (5.5 weeks) and yesterday (5.5 months):

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Snuggled on my chest at 6 weeks and almost 6 months:

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First time in his It’s a Preemie Thing shirt at 6 weeks and last time I could squeeze him in at 5 months:

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In his swing on his due date (8.5 weeks) and at 5.5 months:

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First time in his Bumbo at 9 weeks, and a few days ago (5.5 months):

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First cloth diaper (9.5 weeks, almost 8lb) and this week (5.5 months, 13lb):

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First time in his bucket tub (I had to hold him up!) at 2.5 months, and still enjoying it at almost 6 months:

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And another just for fun – Joey at 5.5 months and ME at 6 months! This boy looks like his mama!

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Proud Mama

My heart is just swelling with pride today. First Steps came back out again today to see where Joey is at. She was shocked and impressed at how far he’s come even just since the last time she saw him. As she interacted with him and asked me questions, she determined that he is really exactly where he should be for his actual age. A very healthy 5.5 month old. She even said if she didn’t know and hadn’t heard his whole story, she’d never believe he was so premature and has bleeds in his brain. The developmental pediatrician had the same impression last week too.

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As his mom, this filled me up big time. My days and nights with him are hard and long. Most days suck every ounce of life out of me by the time I finally lay down for the night. He is incredible, and exhausting. He is perfect, and needy. Being his mom is the greatest gift, and the hardest challenge. And to know that my efforts with him are helping… It just makes it all worth it. And to see how far he’s come… I am so proud of him.

I have started putting together a scrapbook for him (side note: LOVE Project Life! more on that later). It is still hard to look at pictures from his first few days. I hold a heavy guilt knowing that it was my body that failed him. He was warm and comfortable in his perfect home, and my body failed him. I know it wasn’t my fault, nothing I did on purpose, but oh how I wish he could have stayed inside. I felt like I set him back, set him up for failure, and placed a burden in his life he would need to overcome. Well, you know what, this boy is an overcomer. It heals my heart to see him so whole. To see tiny miracles in him daily.

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5 months

This big boy is 5 months! He is around 12.5 pounds, 22.5 inches long.

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He has changed so much in the past month. He now laughs, rolls from belly to back, “talks” non-stop – he is so fun!

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Joey got to go for his first plane ride(s) this month when the two of us traveled to Chicago! We met up with 6 other girls I met through an infertility group about a year and a half ago. We’ve chatted almost daily for so long, gone through lots together, and it was so great to meet them in person! We enjoyed a day exploring around Navy Pier.

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We also started a fitness class called Burn Baby Burn this month. It is awesome! Joey stays with me in the class and the instructor utilizes the babies as weights for us! It’s a great chance to get out of the house, meet fun friends, and get some exercise!

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Happy 5 months, sweet boy!

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Human Milk for Human Babies


World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!

This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.

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This was published in a recent issue of Life & Style magazine.

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I’d love to share the REALITY of milk-sharing in 2013 and how it has brought life into my breast feeding relationship with Joey.

When Joey was born 9 weeks early, he was not able to breast feed right away. I didn’t even see him until he was 12 hours old, and didn’t take him out of the isolette until he was 6 days old. Due to the trauma of his delivery, his body basically shut down his digestive system in an effort to re-route all oxygen to his brain and heart. He got his first drops of breast milk through his feeding tube around the 6 day mark, I believe. This meant if I wanted to breast feed him eventually, if I wanted him to have breast milk, I had to start pumping. I knew all through my pregnancy (and actually long before I got pregnant) that I intended to breast feed. I knew those nutrients and antibodies are like none other when it comes to nourishing a growing baby. But then I had a preemie and it became even more important. Studies have been done on preemie milk and it has been found to he higher calorie, and vital in providing antibodies he didn’t store up on in the third trimester. Pumping was HARD work. It was not easy to be awake enough to pump every 2 hours, especially when recovering from a c-section. Sitting straight up was one of the most painful things those first few days, but I pressed on. I don’t think pumping ever got a ton easier – it was painful, draining (in more ways than one!), time-consuming, exhausting – but all that work was paving the way for us eventually being able to breast feed.

By the time Joey came home almost 6 weeks later I had around 1000 ounces of breast milk in our freezer. About halfway through his NICU stay we had to purchase a deep freezer because both our regular freezer at home and his space in the NICU freezer were overflowing.

The first couple weeks home, I continued to pump. By being consistent with my pumping, I had trained my body to make a LOT of milk, about 3 times what he was eating. I gave him a few bottles off and on as we worked on breast feeding, and after a couple weeks he was exclusively nursing.

This left me with a ton of milk we simply wouldn’t use. I worked HARD for that milk. I wanted to use it for something good. There is a hospital near here that does take donations, after you go through a process of becoming a donor. They then sell it to families for (from what I’ve heard) $2.50 per ounce.

Enter Human Milk 4 Human Babies. This organization strives to connect donor moms with babies in need. Each state has a page on Facebook where you can connect with families. Since my milk was from a preemie, I wanted to be able to bless another preemie family in need with it. I got connected to a mom with an adopted former preemie who has medical needs that leave him completely dependent on breast milk. Because he is adopted, his mom can’t produce breast milk for him, so he’s reliant on donations. When I told her I had around 1000 ounces for her, she told me it brought tear to her eyes. I was able to empty my freezer and hand deliver the milk. I loved the personal connection of it all! He has a story, he has a name, I have a picture – it means something to me.

She thanked me so many times and I told her it was me who should be saying thank you, too. Without pumping all that milk, I never would have had a milk supply to exclusively nurse Joey 6 weeks in. And the fact that I was able to pump enough to feed him AND provide for over a months worth of milk for another boy in need blessed MY life! All that time and effort wasn’t for nothing. I provided life-giving nutrition for two very special preemie boys. That’s something to be proud of and I definitely am.

So, yes Life & Style magazine, it is 2013. A time when we know human milk is best for human babies. And a time when we have the technology an resources to connect families in need with the amazing gift of breast milk through donations from moms like me.

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1000 oz on its way!

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World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today’s participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 5 with all the carnival links.)

  • An Unexpected Formula-Fed Attachment β€” Kyle (of JEDI Momster and) writing at Natural Parents Network, exclusively breastfed three healthy babies. So when she was pregnant with her fourth, she assumed she would have no breastfeeding troubles she could not overcome. Turns out, her fourth baby had his own ideas. Kyle shares her heartfelt thoughts on how she came to terms with the conclusion of her breastfeeding journey.
  • It Take a Village: Cross Nursing β€” Shannah at Breastfeeding Utah shares how cross-nursing helped her baby in their time of need, and how that experience inspired her to create a community of cross-nursing and milk-sharing women.
  • Random little influences and Large scale support communities lead to knowing better and doing better β€” amy at random mom shares how her ideas and successes involved with breastfeeding evolved with each of her children, how her first milk sharing experience completely floored her, and how small personal experiences combined with huge communities of online support were responsible for leading and educating her from point A to point D, and hopefully beyond.
  • Mikko’s weaning story β€” After five years of breastfeeding, Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how the nursing relationship with her firstborn came to a gentle end.
  • My Milk is Your Milk β€” Lola at What the Beep am I Doing? discusses her use of donor milk and hhow she paid the gift back to other families.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Celebrating Each Mother’s Journey β€” Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy lists her experiences and journey as a breastfeeding mother.
  • Working Mom Nursing Twins β€” Sadia at How Do You Do It? breastfed her twin daughters breastfed for 7 months. They made it through premature birth and NICU stays, her return to full-time work, her husband’s deployment to Iraq, and Baby J’s nursing strike.
  • So, You Wanna Milkshare? β€” Milk banks, informed community sharing and friends, oh my! So many ways to share the milky love; That Mama Gretchen is sharing her experience with each.
  • Milk Siblings: One Mama’s Milk Sharing Story (and Resources)Amber, guest posting at Code Name: Mama, shares how her views on milk sharing were influenced by her daughter receiving donor milk from a bank during a NICU stay, and how that inspired her to give her stash to a friend.
  • Humans Feeding Humans β€” Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares ideas on how we can celebrate all the different ways modern mommies feed their babies. While we are comfortable with the breastmilk-formula paradigm, she proposes that we expand our horizons and embrace all the different ways mamas feed their infants.
  • When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Go As Planned β€” MandyE of Twin Trials and Triumphs shares the challenges she faced in feeding her premature twins. She’s still learning to cope with things not having gone exactly as she’d always hoped.
  • Taking Back My Life By Giving Away My Milk β€” When Amanda Rose Adams‘s first child was born, he was tube fed, airlifted, ventilated, and nearly died twice. In the chaos of her son’s survival, pumping breast milk was physically and mentally soothing for Amanda. Before long her freezer was literally overflowing with milk – then she started giving it away.
  • The Tortoise and the Hare β€” Nona’s Nipples at The Touch of Life discusses why we care about breast milk and formula with everything inbetween.
  • Finding My Tribe of Women Through Milk Sharing β€” Mj, guest posting at San Diego Breastfeeding Center shares her journey breastfeeding with low milk supply and supplementing with donor milk using an at the breast supplemental nursing system. She shares the impact milk sharing has had on her life, her family, and how it saved her breastfeeding relationship.
  • Human Milk for Human Babies β€” Sam at Nelson’s Nest shares her perspective on milk-sharing after an unexpected premature delivery left her pumping in the hopes of breastfeeding her son one day. Sam’s milk was an amazing gift to the other preemie who received it, but the connection was a blessing in the donor mom’s life too!
  • Sister, I Honor You β€” A mother feeding her baby is a triumph and should be honored, not criticized. Before you judge or propagate your own cause, go find your sister. A post by Racher: Mama, CSW, at The Touch of Life.
  • Every Breastfeeding Journey Is Different, Every One Is Special β€” No two stories are alike, evidenced by That Mama Gretchen’s collaboration of a few dear mama’s reflections on their breastfeeding highs, lows and in betweens.
  • A Pumping Mom’s Journey β€” Shannah at Breastfeeding Utah shares about her journey pumping for her son, who was born at 29 weeks.