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TJ At 8 Months

Lot’s of new things experienced and memories made this month!

We started Baby Lead Weaning this past month. I didn’t think we would be able to until he hit 8 months since he needed to be 6 months adjusted but he was hitting all of the readiness markers and our pediatrician gave us the go ahead. So far he has tried and loves bananas, avocado, green beans, and egg. He was also introduced to deconstructed tacos, spaghetti, butter chicken, and Chief’s Master Breakfast. He also FINALLY got a taste of his toes and seems to enjoy snacking on them during diaper changes.

He is still drinking 4oz about 6-7 times a day. I mix 2 oz of formula with 2 oz of BM to each bottle. Just a few days ago I decided it was time to drop another pumping session and am now just pumping 2 times a day. My supply has drastically dropped but part of that I think was due to some recent stress. At the moment I am pumping about 15-18 ounces a day but I have a feeling it will keep dropping. I’m just trying to make it to 9 months pumping with enough frozen to give him 12oz/day until he is 13 months.

He is rolling from back to tummy in one smooth motion and spends hours rolling around his playard tasting all of his different toys. He hasn’t gotten on his hands and knees yet but that it’s too far away. He loves playing with toys and will grab for anything.

His favorites include bath time, afternoon cuddles, watching Parker and Caity run around, bottles, and toys of any kind.

He has really started noticing Henry and wanting to pet him. He will follow him around the room just like he does with Parker and Caity. He has also started holding his arms out when he wants to be picked up or transfers between Rob and I.

He has been sleeping great but always has to have a blanket to cuddle with. I think that’s partly because he was use to a swaddle for so long. His favorite is my blue blanket which giving up was a small price to pay for a full nights sleep! He is still in the pack n play in our room but we will be moving him to the crib once we are back home and settled.

TJ traveled for the first time outside of the STL area! Staying in our new camper, we traveled through Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey! He is such a fantastic traveler and so easy going. I was so grateful how easy he made the journey.

He got to meet his cousins for the first time and was really intrigued by Austin who is about 8 months older. He went to Jimmy’s for the first time but wasn’t old enough to enjoy his own ice cream. I may have given him a teeny tiny taste of my vanilla though 😉

Quick sibling snapshot at a farm we visited last weekend. The kiddos LOVED the animals and seeing Grandma and PopPop.

TJ Is 7 Months

Another month has gone by and I continue to fall in love with this little boy more and more each day. He has come so far and you wouldn’t even know he was a preemie watching him now.

He is now giggling on the regular, especially when his brother and sister are acting silly. He has become quite ticklish and loves tummy raspberries during diaper changes. He is such a happy boy and loves when you interact with him. Not only is he giggling but also making sure his voice is heard above his siblings. He enjoys chatting in his crib in the morning letting us know he is ready for first breakfast.

He LOVES jumping in his bouncer and get get really far off the ground now! He can pull himself around to get to all of the different toys. He has rolled from back to stomach a few times and can sit on his own for about 30 seconds. He had a second tooth pop through which explains some of his recent cranky moods. He is still wearing 3-6 month clothes which is a reminder of how small he still is.

This month I decided it was time to start adding some formula to his milk so I could drop from 4 to 3 pumps a day. I am still making between 23-27 ounces per day but want to keep building a stash so I could stop pumping soon and have enough to last us till a year. It hasn’t phased him a bit and was a huge weight off my shoulders. During World Breastfeeding Week I reached 671 total hours of pumping.

Other than that we have been sticking close to home since the COVID numbers seem to be increasing in our area. The relaxed family time at home has been nice. We have some exciting news coming up in the next few weeks which I can’t wait to share soon.

TJ’s 1/2 Birthday

This past month TJ turned into a little boy right before our eyes. I can’t believe he is 6 months old already. 2020 has been such an emotional roller coaster and I am sad only ONE of his 6 months has been normal. He spent his first month of life in the NICU followed by a month of normalcy then 4 months in quarantine with no end in sight.

We have reached the drunk octopus in a bar fight stage. He is such a wiggler and can throw a mean right hook if you aren’t careful. He loves grabbing and reaching for things including Robs beard and my hair.

He started blowing raspberries and bubbles in addition to his conversation like coos. He is all smiles now and we have started getting giggles here and there. Parker and Caity almost always seem to be able to get him to giggle, he just loves his brother.

He has been a bit crabby and drooling like crazy so it was no surprise that we learned he already has 1 tooth that has broken through with 2 more on the way. Ekkkk little chickelet chompers!!!

We’ve seen a huge jump in his gross motor skills as well. He will rock from side to side, roll tummy to back, reach for things, and push off with his legs to scoot towards something. His leg strength is also really impressive.

He made a big jump this month with a lot of his gear. We said goodbye to the playmat, swing, and infant bathtub!!!

We introduced him to the jumper and he loves spinning himself around to play with all of the different toys. It has kept him entertained for up to 30 minutes so far! He is still a little short and needs a shelf for his feet to hit the ground. My favorite is when I can work from the couch and they kids can entertain him from the pool, lol.

Another upgrade was replacing his indoor swing with an outdoor one on the kids play set which he was on when we heard his first giggles.

A favorite upgrade of mine is when they move from the infant tub to a laundry basket in the big bath tub! TJ just loves the water and can explore a lot more in this larger space. Now he just needs some toys!

He also had a few fun “firsts” this month including…

His first dip in the pool –

I know he doesn’t look amused here but I promise he loved it! The kids loved having him in the water and making him smile by going under and jumping up. Our stock tank pool is the perfect size for our family.

His first concert –

We went to see Brad Paisley live at a drive in concert. It was very organized and each car got 4 spots so it was easy to social distance. TJ loved the music and had no problem snoozing at the end.

Most importantly, he FINALLY got to meet his Uncle Tim who he is named after. I was so wonderful for Tim to finally be able to make the trip. My heart was so happy when Tim finally got to hold him.

TJ now knows what is bottle and milk looks like and he will grab for it. He still prefers holding our fingers over hold the bottle but we are working on that. He will also only drink it cold. Still 4 oz about 6 times a day and his biggest stretch is about 8pm-6am.

Since he is only 4 months adjusted we can’t start Baby Led Weaning yet which I was a little bummed about. Our Pedi gave the go ahead for frozen fruits and veggies in a mesh teether and then start at 7 months. He is reaching for and showing interest in everything that we are eating, I forgot how adorable that is. At his check up he weighed in at 16 pounds (18th%) and 26.5 inches (37th%).

Pumping is still happening although I did drop down to 4 sessions a day. Some exciting news, probably more for me than anyone else, I froze my 1,000 oz of BM! If we keep on this track I will be able to stop the end of August if I want him to get 1/2 and 1/2 until he is a year old. OR if I can keep up this supply I can stop at the end of October to get him 100% BM until he is a year.

I will go into a little more detail in a Sibling Snapshot I am working on BUT in the meantime, here is one of my favorite recent photos of all 3 kiddos. Parker and Caity just love their little brother and he just thinks they are they funniest people ever. Always smiling and watching them. They are so good with him and are always trying to help us with diaper changes, feeding, and keeping him happy.

TJ is 5 Months Old!

This little boy is growing up WAY too fast.

He now has more nooks and crannies than an english muffin, which makes this momma SO very happy. Exclusively pumping is going well in the sense I am producing more than what he needs each day and it seems to be helping him flourish. Most days are good but I occasionally have that one rough day where I think about the hours I spend pumping and washing parts everyday (roughly 3 1/2) and I get crabby. Right now I have 760 ounces saved and am on track for having enough to feed him until his 1st birthday by October 3rd. I am so grateful for Rob being home right now.

TJ seems to be falling into a rough schedule. He wakes between 5:30 and 6:30 for a morning bottle. Sometimes he dozes off after but that doesn’t last long. Then he plays on his playmat for a good half hour before drifting off in that very spot. We just go with it and will turn off the piano and put a blanket on him. He sleeps long enough to let us get everything washed and sanitized while scarfing down some breakfast. This month he did let us put him down ONCE for his morning nap which lasted 3 hours. After that we keep him engaged in his high chair, bouncer, or activity seat while we get school and work done. It’s usually a hot mess but we do our best. He takes an afternoon nap but most often wants to cuddle so Rob and I take turns cuddling and getting work done while the kids have quite time. Evenings he like to pack in the milk usually have 2 full bottles within 3 hours and is tucked into bed by 9ish.

He is continuing to meet all of the milestones of a full term 5 month old and he just grew into 3-6 month cloths! He is trying to hold his bottle and while most of the time he swats it away he has found the right positions to hold it completely on his own a few times. I still love to hold him close and cuddle him while he eats. My favorite is when he holds on of my fingers and just watches me. It’s a look that I honestly wasn’t sure would ever happen back during our NICU experience.

He is starting to pay more attention to toys and grabbing them. He also likes to watch Henry when he walks by. And he thinks Caity and Parker are just the funniest people ever. They both melt every time he smiles at them. He has found his toes but can’t seem to catch them just yet. You can bet once he does they are gonna go right into his mouth. He also found Daddy’s beard and loves to yank on it when he isn’t getting his milk fast enough.

Four Months

And yet another month has just flown by. Hard to believe this little dude is FOUR months already.

We are still practicing social distancing and have been staying home except for the occasional car ride. While we are all getting a little cabin fever I think we are handling it pretty well. The biggest difference for me is not being home with TJ alone during the day. It’s been great to have extra hands but I haven’t been able to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Even though we have been staying home he was still able to experience a few “firsts” this month including his first fort, Zoom call, and thunderstorm which we enjoyed outside under the patio.

This was definitely a big leap month for Timothy. His sleeping and eating patterns were all over the place so I knew big things were going on up in that cute little head of his. I have been anxiously awaiting one of my favorite baby milestones, the smile, and boy did he make me wait. All month he was teasing with little smirks and an occasional smile followed a big fart. He came through at the last minute though and gave us a few full smiles right at the end.

I’ve also noticed this past month he has been more alert and responsive. He seems to be quite ticklish and responds to someone tickling his belly and feet <3. He has also started to intentionally move his head and arms where he wants. He doesn’t have quite enough coordination to grab things but he is close.

I know I mentioned this last month but I LOVE having Rob home to help with feeding TJ. We aren’t on a schedule yet but I have noticed he wants a top off around 7:30 and then gives us a good 4-5 hour stretch of sleep in his pack n play. He also seems to be taking a more defined morning and afternoon nap. Pumping is still going really well. Right now I am pumping between 30-40 oz a day depending on how many sessions I get in and how much water I drink. I was finally able to pump 10oz at one time which had been a goal of mine! I’ve come a long way from that first 3 mL session.

Naps are all over the place sometimes he lets us put him down, sometimes he will snooze in his swing, but mostly he loves when we cuddle on the couch. We are trying to role with the punches and tag team a bit so we can still get work done and help the kids with their school work.

TJ has rolled from tummy to back a few times so far. He is able to sit up in his highchair longer and we introduced a Bumbo seat which he enjoys for a few minutes at a time. He still loves kicking away on his play mat and swinging in the swing too. At his 4 month well visit the doctor was really pleased with his progress. He is up to 13 lbs 11.2 oz and 25 inches tall. He has pretty much caught up to a full term 4 month old which was amazing to hear.

I dug through Parker’s memory box and found some of my favorite outfits that TJ is just fitting into. One of them is hands down my FAVORITE outfit that I now have pictures of all 3 kiddos in <3

75% Complete

Well baby boy, I can’t believe we are 30 weeks through already!

Weight gain: The swelling kicked in a few weeks ago and I am up about 20 ponds. Yep, not a typo… I did so good for the first 21 weeks gaining nothing so I know it’s mostly water weight.

Miss anything: Feeling like myself… This has always been the hardest part of pregnancy for me. I can’t do nearly as much as I want or need in my mind.

Cravings: All about the sweet and salty these days. Ice cream and pretzel goldfish are what I reach for most often. If we are out then it’s a stop by Wendy’s for a chocolate Frosty and small fries to dip in it!

Favorite moments over the last few weeks: Hiccups. They are one of my top favorite pregnant things and he certainly gets them a lot. I’ve also loved watching the kids get excited for Christmas. Next year they are going to have a blast

Looking forward to: Tomorrow morning when the kids wake up. Also scheduling my 3D ultrasound and maternity photo shoot.