She's 2 months old. 9 weeks today, WHAT. Tiny and huge all at the same time depending on who you ask, still such a baby but SUCH a big girl with new thoughts and skills every day.
Mainly this month, cheeks and smiles and blowouts.
Beck has been smiling intentionally and reliably since about 5 weeks, and WHAT A GIFT. Baby smiles! No bigger time suck, and no bigger reward, amirite? The cheek pudge definitely helps with the cuteness of the smiles, and I can't tell you how much time we've spent staring at that girl, cooing, and just going bokers when we get a real smile. Bonkers!
The smiling has been accompanied by an almost-sleep schedule, created by the little girl herself, and with that much longer periods of wake that don't involve eating, which is SO much fun. When she finishes napping and eating she'll be super bright-eyed and looking around and just will randomly coo and grin, which is the best ever. She has this super weird old fashioned ant toy (why does he have foolish pants? why?) that she adores, and even if she's considering having a meltdown this ant calms her right down and she just STARES. We call him Allister the ant. A quick Google tells me that Allister means Defender of Man, and isn't that just perfect? Jay thinks it's a super funny fixation and so now if I shake Allister HE stops what he's doing and stares, which is hilarious, as Jay tends to be.
As for sleep, the big news in the last month is that Beck transitioned herself to sleeping alone probably 80% of the time, and more than that at night. For the first month of her little life she really only liked to sleep with my boob in her mouth, which is like a walking SIDS ad, and I loved the snuggles but really didn't like the fear of suffocating her. Every night, though, I put her in her little pod next to our bed and somehow it just started sticking - this is where I sleep, I am not alone, and I will not die. GREAT NEWS. Most nights Beck goes to bed anywhere between 8 and 11, then sleeps for 5 or so hours, wakes up to eat for about an hour, then goes back to sleep for an hour or maybe more. Then she wakes up, eats again, and if the cards are on our side she takes a long morning nap - 2 hours or more if we get it right. So, not really a timing schedule in terms of when things happen, but the 1 long sleep stretch each night has happened really consistently for a few weeks now. The first few times it happened I woke up with massive hard itchy boobs and thought she was dead but HIGH FIVES SHE WASN'T. The long stretch of sleep also allows me to feel moderately human most days, and one bad night out of 5 is totally manageable compared to those first few weeks of catnapping and cosleeping and wondering what time of day it was all the time.
Even though the sleep schedule has gotten really good, being put to sleep is still something that we're working hard on. Beck likes to be held. When she's in someone's arms and not hungry she doesn't cry or even fuss, but if she's put down and not in a happy sleeping place we are in. for. it. Loud wails, choking screams, red face, the works. Girl does not kid around - she has a flair for the dramatic like her father and stubbornness like her mother. It's a really awful combination. The party line with getting kids to sleep is that you need to put them down awake but drowsy so they fall asleep on their own, otherwise they'll never sleep EVER and they'll NEVER learn to self-soothe and you know what? I call BS. I have a 9 week old that sleeps 5 hours at a time and then 2 more after that so if I walk around the house with her for 30 minutes to ensure she's really asleep, then so be it. Now, will I still be saying that when she's 9 months or something? I don't know. But, I don't know a single grownup that can't fall asleep unless someone is rocking them, so I really do believe that sleep things work themselves out one way or another. 12 weeks is about the earliest that sleep-training is recommended, so until then (and maybe a little after, TBD), we just try to watch her cues, and support her in her needs, which sounds so foolish but is true. If she looks super sleepy, I try to make her comfy and soothe her in ways I know she likes, and as a result she's getting better and better at sleeping long periods by herself.
In terms of location, the Rock N Play has still not worked for us. I have the box and will probably return it in another month or so if she still hasn't taken to it. She's still not a huge fan of her swing BUT will sit in it if she's having a happy-awake period. She won't fall asleep in it, though, which I find strange. The Leachco Podster is still what she sleeps in every single night and for lots of naps. I like how sturdy it is because I'm a bad parent and don't make Beck sleep on her back (she wouldn't for the first month so I gave up after the pediatrician admitted that "most babies hate it."), but I also don't want her to die of suffocation. SO, the pod is great because it supports Beck being kind of half on her side, just barely tilted one way, but keeps her head way elevated so she can breathe and puke without any issues.
Not puke, spitup, but you know what I mean.
We are about 10 diapers away from graduating this kid to size 1 diapers, and it's KILLING me. Why, I don't know. Babies grow, and babies NOT growing is a big issue. We actually should have probably already moved her up (I think she might be having more blowouts but I don't know if it's the diapers or just too much travel in weird positions or what), but when we put a size 1 diaper on her last week and realized that it wasn't massive on her I was all MY BABYYYYYYY NOOOOO YOU'RE SO BIIIGGGGGG. And so Jay opened a new package of newborn sized diapers to...make me happy? Prevent her from growing further? I don't know. I believe he did it with every good husband and father intention there is, and it made me smile a ton when it happened. Just so sweet. We have an official rule that Beck does not change her clothes unless there is poop or a LOT of spitup involved. This means that sometimes she'll wear the same outfit for 2 days, but then makes up for it in spades with 3 up-the-back poops in one day. What IS that? Is there any way to prevent them? It doesn't seem to be diaper size or brand, because when the poop gets to her neck there's no diaper for that. Yesterday after her 3rd outfit was ruined I just kept her naked in a diaper for 4 hours, which she loved, until she had a bath and got new PJs. 4 outfits in one day, we should all be so lucky to have someone help us with that many wardrobe changes, amirite?
We've been leaving Beck a little bit more with people, and thank goodness for 1. a good local support system and 2. a baby that doesn't howl all that much. I've only left her really screaming one time, with my sister so that I could go take a yoga class, and I felt TERRIBLE for the entire hour. Of course Beck calmed down after maybe 20 minutes, but I still felt awful for my sister - Beck, not so much. I don't mind when she cries if I think she's just being fussy, but I really hate it for other people - kids screaming is super unpleasant, and at this point there are times when I'm the only one that can calm her down (yay boobs), so I feel guilty taking her fav things with me and being all SMELL YA LATER KID MAMA'S GOTTA GO WORKOUT. But my jeans need me to work out so...
Beck still hasn't used her crib one single time, which we knew would happen but you know what happens in 9 weeks of not using a flat piece of furniture? You start to use said furniture like another table and just pile stuff in it. Seriously. The crib has really neatly organized piles of clothes for saving or giving away, and I imagine that might get worse before it gets better since we aren't really in a hurry to kick her out of our room. There are some nights when I'm sleeping really lightly and her grunting and wiggling kind of keeps me on the edge of sleep, but I'd still prefer that any day over her being a whole 20 feet away in her room. Plus, we end up nursing at least once, sometimes 2 or 3 times per night if she's in a mood, and I can't imagine not doing that in bed. I know that's a thing, to have the kid in their own room early on and go to them, but I'm tired enough without adding a single step to night feedings, so this works for us for the time being. I reach over, grab her, nurse kind of hunched over trying to stay awake, then wait for her to finish and go back to a deep sleep, plop her back in her pod, and get back to my snoozing.
Last weekend we went to Knoxville for my singing tournament, and it was just the biggest joy to have her with us at this event, one of about ten thousand Jay and I have done together at this point. Jay took Beck once we showed her off to a few people at the venue, then brought her back for me to nurse and I had some pumped milk for him. It was incredibly affirming to me what a great dad he is, because not once did I ask anything close to "are you ok?" He just knows what to do, and it makes my life a thousand times better that I can do my thing and he supports me in my work even when it means he has to be there JUST to parent. I know later on I'll leave them home alone for weekends and he'll do just as well, but I wasn't quite ready to leave Beck overnight. She was a champ in the car both ways (we basically get up around 6 when she does and then get in the car when she lets us know she's ready for a morning nap, and she conks out for 3 hours. It's amazing when we can time it right.) and was mostly pleasant the entire day with Jay and at the concert venue. The funny thing about inserting her into things that were already in our lives, is the "oh, now we're adding boobs and poop to this equation." I don't know how to describe it other than that, but on Saturday I was in this gorgeous conference room waiting for the judges to get back to deliberate, the same conference room I've been in for 3 years, and I was sitting there nursing and looking over some papers and then Beck pooped right under my hand and had a massive blowout and there we were. Boobs and poop inserted into regular life. That night we stuck her pod in the middle of us in the hotel bed (King! Awesome for cosleeping! Someone buy us one!), and I was exhausted as always after a big show but probably more so this year, and it was just great.
I can't say enough about Jay's dad abilities. I don't think there's a single thing that I can do better than him (I mean nursing, obviously, hush), and he's really engaged with her every time he's with her. He wears the Moby wrap when we go out with her in public, and we kind of have an understanding that since I do nights and most days he does outings and stuff like that when he's around. I try not to take advantage of it because I also think it's important that he has some times in his life that he isn't parenting or working, but mostly he does more than I do in terms of changing and snuggling and rocking when he's home with us. Me going back to work has equalized that a lot too - we're both tired most days, so we work as hard as we can on the stuff that has to happen (the basic chores, food, dog care) and try to relax together and keep Beck happy as a team. The milestone we're still working on is doing things alone just the two of us. Right now when we use people to watch Beck it's when we're working separately, so our next thing will be to go places together but without her, which will be fun but honestly isn't something we're craving yet. She's still so young and pretty easy in public, but I know that'll change fast when she's more alert, mobile, and, god help us, verbal. I'm going to create a babysitting signup sheet, family. Come and get it!
So there she is! Our big girl, who I call the leettleist girl in a really high pitched voice, who is totally a baby but also changes so much every day that she's starting to feel like a kid, which I guess means that when she's 2 I'll think of her as a teenager.
She's the best, is what I'm saying.