Colette is 6 Months Old!


(4.5 months adjusted)
It's weird to think Colette is six months old, but has been home for just over two months. Luckily, we've settled in so well that it does feel like she's been part of our life at home for much longer. We've gotten into a better daytime routine, she's sleeping longer at night, eating a bit better and doing new things every day.



EAT:
  • We’re now up to 8oz full-fat breastmilk per day and the rest of her feeds consist of skimmed breastmilk with Monogen powder (she’ll finally take it this way!). 
  • Still taking around 24oz/day; graduated to the level 2 nipple 
  • Stressed me out when for a week she wouldn’t drink more than 18 or 19oz/day… but then had her best weight gain yet! 
  • She likes sitting at the table with us during dinner and we’re going to give her the first taste of solids this weekend! 
  • Only has to take Vitamin D daily and her inhaler twice a day. Finally got off the med for her liver and a multi-vitamin.
Overall, her eating still stresses me out a bit. She's gaining weight fine, actually, really well, but since her weight is monitored so closely, I'm tracking everything so precisely and it's hard to trust that she's just had enough. The dietitian told me at the last appointment that we'll need to get her up by a few ounces each day in order to maintain her growth pattern. That seems like it will be a challenge, but she is growing really well. They track her so closely so they can catch any drop-off or growth plateau. Failure-to-thrive is common with babies/kids with her condition and while that doesn't seem to be any risk, they still track growth very closely.



SLEEP:
  • Naps 3x a day including a solid 2-hour nap in the afternoon 
  • ‘Sleeps’ through the night 7pm-7am – gets a dream feed at 10pm and still stirs and requires some patting or a paci…hoping to get her sleeping more soundly through the night soon. 
  • Prefers to sleep on her side cuddled up with her wubanub. A couple of pats on her bum, and she’s out. Lately, she's been sleeping on her tummy  more, which made me a bit nervous as she can't roll from front to back, only back to front, but the pediatrician confirmed that if she gets on to her tummy herself, then it's fine to leave her.
  • Once she can roll from front to back and is able to get her paci back in her mouth, I think I'll be ready to sleep train her if she's still waking up at night. 


She prefers to roll to her right... even if she doesn't have much space in that direction!


PLAY:
  • Rolls from back to front, pushes up on her hands when on her tummy and is getting stronger when sitting, but not sitting on her own quite yet. 
  • Getting more interested in toys and putting things in her mouth. 
  • Making all kinds of new sounds, ‘blowing bubbles’ and likes to blow back into the bottle when she doesn’t want to drink. 
  • Favorite toys - she likes her new doll rattle that I keep in the stroller, seems to be getting more interested in books, especially the crinkly ones or the finger puppet ones from Dedee. While she is putting more in her mouth, she hasn't seemed to settle on a teether for too longer (and we have many!)
  • I just moved the Mamaroo out as she's over that, and I moved in a jumperoo I borrowed from a friend. She can stand in it, but I think it's a bit early, definitely nothing like when we put the boys in the jumperoos at 6 months and they just went crazy. Developmentally, while she is hitting a lot of milestones for her chronological 6-month age, there are other areas that she acts more like her adjusted age of 4.5 months.

already getting into the boys' toys!
HEALTH: Unfortunately she got the boys' cough several weeks ago, and seems to be at the tail end of it, so hoping it totally goes away soon. The good news is, she weathered it well and didn't show any distress. We did get a chest x-ray at one point, as there was once that I noticed some minor retractions. They saw a little air accumulation so I gave her a different inhaler for a week and had a follow-up x-ray that looked improved, though still the same as when we left the NICU (which is a good thing, no one is expecting it to look any better but as long as it's not getting worse, that's the main thing). Any time she's sick though, we need to stop increasing the breastmilk, which means we haven't been able to increase in almost 2 weeks. At 2oz per week, that's a bummer to be a whole bottle behind and I worry a bit about when we'll be able to get up to all full-fat breastmilk as I expect she'll continue to get sick this winter. More important than how long it takes, is that her body can continue to tolerate it and I understand that they want her body to be at its baseline when any changes are made.

 




6-month stats:
Weight: 15lbs 11oz (41% based on chronological age)
Height: 26.5 inches (89% based on chronological age)
Size 3 diapers
Still in 3-6 month clothes but moving into 6-12 depending on the brand

Colette got another visit from Ma and got to meet Grandpa!



Colette:  Coco, Coco Bean, Coco Buns, Cokes, Bean, Beanie, Beanie Girl. Besides your poor cough, it's been a really good month! And I'm so proud of you for dealing with it as well as you have; such a strong girl! While it was fun to sort of go with the flow as far as feedings and naps, once I started tracking what you were doing, it became much easier to predict what your daily schedule would be and let's be honest, I'm a schedule kind of person. I think the fact you're six months old helps too, ready for longer naps, but it's been so great for you to get a solid afternoon nap in bed and gives me a bit more flexibility to get stuff done with the hope that I have a bit more time. Of course, there are still some things to work on with your sleep, but I'm gonna give you a bit more time developmentally before we tackle that. We had lots of doctors appointments this month, but other than that, we've been doing lots of nice walks through the Presidio, often with friends. We gotten to meet friends for lunch several times a week too, which is great since you nap at noon most days. We've had lots of fun family adventures, with you in the ergo. Anytime your brothers are around is a great time for you, but unfortunately lately I've been trying to keep them from getting too close to you since they're constantly sick. You were losing all your hair at this time last month (inconveniently right when we got the family photos done) but it’s growing in very nicely now. You were the cutest bat for Halloween (W&G chose your costume).  I'm enjoying you so much and am beyond grateful you're home with us, and that I get to be home with you. One day I was telling you, ‘are you my sweet girl?’ and William says, ‘No! She’s my sweet girl’. You are so loved by all of us!


G&W are 3 1/2!



And just like that, the Bs are 3 1/2! So much has happened since their birthday in April but it's still surprising that six months have flown by. They're definitely getting to be bigger kids by the day, capable of doing more and more on their own -- though not always wanting to.

October was a fun month with so much going on. I see that for years to come, October will be busy. There are tons of back-to-school activities and then everything for Halloween. We've had a party every weekend and still have several events before actual Halloween on Monday. They've loved wearing their costumes, doing fun Halloween projects at home with Jessica and Dedee, watching Halloween shows, listening to Halloween music and I even have them eating all my Trader Joe's pumpkin favorites. Pumpkin waffles with pumpkin butter is the current favorite.

We've been to the pumpkin patch, Lemos farm and apple picking and it was great to be able to bring Colette along in the wrap.

The boys are still enjoying school and are starting to mention other kids by name. Dave and I just went to their first parent-teacher conference and got an update on their progress. It sounds like they're both doing well and on track for their age with lots of developing new skills. William was described as a 'social butterfly' but it sounds like it took him a little while to really get comfortable with all the other kids, which was a little surprising. Miss Katherine said he loves to water the plants, always asks for a book to be read to them at snack time and likes to get carrots from the rooftop garden to snack on. George has also grown in the last two months and is much more comfortable exploring different areas without William. Currently he likes hanging out with Lyle, a little girl in his class, and the other day ran up to her, gave her a hug and told her he loves her :) He was noted as being 'advanced' in the category of 'Demonstrates a general understanding of school rules and expectations'. Sounds about right :) George is also known to be a great helper and often asks Miss Katherine what else he can help her with. We were told they're very kind, express themselves well, never fight (we asked about that one) and have excellent manners. We'll take it! We're so glad they seem to be very happy and learning lots of new things through play.

Bedtime has taken a bit longer lately -- I think all the Halloween stuff might be getting to George as he's been requesting that we sleep downstairs with him. He also says he's scared of the dark and now requires we go into any room with him that's dark to turn on the lights. It seems to work when I say I'm going to go make their lunches, and then come back down and check on them, then I'll have to do something else, and say I'll come check but usually by that point they're asleep. They're doing so well with making their bed, going potty and sometimes taking off their pull-up in the morning. Dave is getting busier with work, so two days a week I'm on my own in the morning. I tell them that I'm going to leave breakfast out for them on the little table and that they can come upstairs, eat and then play when they're done but they shouldn't wake me up :) Not expecting this to work, I was so surprised when it did. G can't get his pull-up off by himself so he came in for that, but then out they went to do everything else on their own. We're also working on them getting themselves dressed. They get dressed while watching shows in the morning with Dad, and at least when I'm around, I will pause the show if they can't get dressed while watching. They're both capable of getting themselves dressed with just a little help here or there, but most days G especially doesn't want to so it can be quite a battle. They usually do pretty well at quiet time and even G has been napping most days recently so maybe he's growing.

We've gotten back on track with dinner and they're now eating what we're eating. Or I should say they're picking out bits of what we're eating and I'm fine with that. We're no longer pulling stuff out of the freezer so often. They got a 'manners' book at the library that G loved and there was a page about being polite at the table and if there's something in the dish you don't care for, then to push it to the side of your plate and continue eating the rest. They're getting better about doing this. Getting up and down from the table seems to be the biggest issue currently. W wants to climb all over Dave and if Colette is on the floor or in the Mamaroo, he constantly wants to go over and check on her. We just got a little high chair that can be pulled up to the table so she can sit with us and that's definitely helped.

In general, they still seem to be pretty picky, G more so, but I've started requiring that they choose a fruit at both breakfast and lunch and G is starting to get better at that -- W eats plenty of fruit. Veggies are a bust, though Jessica is making smoothies loaded with tons of veggies and they'll drink those, so at least they are getting the nutrition. Eventually they'll have to learn to eat a few veggies though. Meat continues to be the most successful dinner, though I tried to switch it up and made these delicious lamb burgers and they didn't like them (even though I called them hamburgers). Last week I served 'steak' that was lamb and they did eat that (or maybe just G did). In general, it seems like they eat fewer and fewer things so packing their lunch is getting harder. It's making me more diligent about the sweets or treats they get throughout the week so I'm trying to be more careful about that. October was so hard with all the parties and candy. Coming back to this half-finished post several weeks later, I now think they're just going through a phase where they're not as hungry. We've started packing only a sandwich and fruit for lunch (with the option to eat more when they get home) since they'd usually just pick at the snacks included. I'm trying to remember that it goes in waves and there are periods they eat more and then those that they don't. It always makes you worried that it will be the new norm though.

Imaginative play still rules here. Lots of playing in boxes, lots of garbage play. Lots of playing with the pillows and blankets, most recently getting all their tools out to build a tall building. They also still use their duplos quite a bite. They play pretty well together, I'd say they both have plenty of moments of tantrums, but they're not related to each other so much now and usually something we do like not give them what they want immediately, cut their waffle when they wanted it whole, make them get themselves dressed, etc. There's easily more crying from each of them separately than Colette. In general, there's most instances of them acting out, either separately or together -- G coloring on the couch with crayon, both of them taking all of their quiet time stuff out all over their room, pouring water out in the back of Jessica's car. Basically testing limits and doing things they normally don't. Usually the consequences fit the crime -- G can't have crayons at quiet time anymore, they don't get their water in her car, etc., which they of course throw a fit over.



They're enjoying soccer class and doing much better at swim class since being separated and they love doing bike rides on the weekend with Dad. Art is the new thing around here. They do a lot of it at school (figuring out what to do with it all!) but they both really like doing art at home too -- water colors, drawing, etc. It's cool to see what they're capable of doing now. William especially is adding more details and some of them actually resemble whatever he says it is :)

George's first self portrait


William's first self portrait
 
Mom: It feels nice to be more settled in as a family of 5. As with babies, or kids in general, things are constantly changing so there are new challenges each week with Colette, but thankfully 'normal' baby stuff like sleep, eating, etc., and nothing more serious. It's always easier for me to be in a routine as it means I need to do less planning, and finally we're getting into that a bit with my mom so we'll have consistent days she'll help out and I can plan my workouts accordingly. Right now I'm getting in 3-4 a week which is fine, but as we get in the routine with my mom, I should be able to do another day or two. It has been nice to not have a routine with Colette, in fact, when someone asked how much she naps each day, I really had no idea. I keep track of most things, but am just starting to track her daytime sleep. Junior League has been really slow but it starting to get busier. There are been lots of events at the preschool, including several social events so we're starting to meet people there. I do feel like a lot of the moms have older kids who have been through Calvary so it seems like most of them know each other really well already which always makes it harder for me since I'm not outgoing. We have a moms night out for just our Owl room, so the 5 other moms in the boys' class so I'm hoping the smaller group will help get me connected and then go from there. I've been meeting up with friends, mostly other moms, several days a week for a walk, lunch, etc. which has been really nice. It definitely helps that Colette is sleeping through the night so I'm getting a bit more sleep and don't need a nap during the day.

Date night: Dave and I have been getting out several times a month for date night and it's been great! Though I have to mention the day we went out to brunch with the family after church and the stars aligned... the boys were so polite and well-behaved AND ate, Colette was great and even finished her bottle (never happens when we're out). It's one of those rare moments when you look at each other and think, wow, we've got this. Of course an hour later things can be a disaster again but it's nice to take a moment to appreciate when things are so great.

STATS:

William
weight: 32lb (30.5lbs 6 months ago)  - unofficially, can't remember when this was, but somewhat recently
height: 38.5 inches (36.5 inches 6 months ago)
shoe size: 9
clothes: finally comfortably in 3T

George
weight: 41 or 42lbs (39lbs 6 months ago) - unofficially
height: 41.5 inches (39.5 inches 6 months ago)
shoe size: 10
clothes: 4T and even some 5 stuff for pants -- the problem is the waist is tight and the legs are still a bit long in the 5s but unless it's pull-on/no-button pants, he really doesn't fit in 4T



To my boys...
We celebrated your half-birthday with chocolate cupcakes. I can't believe it's already been six months since your third birthday. Though the growth and development naturally slows a bit compared to the even younger years, you two really are growing up and especially with your time at preschool, I do see a long list of ways you've grown even in just the past couple of months. You each have plenty of moments of being sensitive (often in the morning or after quiet time if you've slept) but I have to say, that it's so nice to have little people now who can do so many things on their own. You both are so sweet with Colette and love her to pieces. It's so much fun to watch. You're already on your way to 4 and I know it will be here before we know it. Can't wait to see what you can do then!




W&G notes:
  • You both were very concerned when Miss Katherine went home sick from school with a headache
  • Would not stop talking about Harrison from your class being in Alabama
  • You loved when I did your long hair in 'man buns' right before we got your hair cut
  • After the GGMG fall fest this year, you both stopped and asked for us to take a photo of you, you remembered it was the same spot we took photos last year. Crazy!
  • Somehow you guys got the idea that you'll live in the white house kitty corner from us when you grow up, since obviously you won't live with your kids in our house :)


George:
You've become really clingy over the past month, complaining about sleeping downstairs, not going into any room by yourself and definitely not going downstairs or being left down there if we're upstairs. Surprisingly bedtime and quiettime has actually been okay -- I guess it's part of the routine enough for you, thankfully, but I do hope we can help you feel more comfortable doing stuff on your own. You used to have no problems going to the bathroom by yourself, now you require someone to come in with you so you're not alone. You still are very particular about rules, routines, etc. and deviating from that never goes well. You've become much sweeter with Colette this month. Before it was William taking the lead and you'd sort of follow behind with a quick kiss or poke, but now you initiate it and also like to be around her. With that said, you also do annoying stuff like mess with her playmat when you know you're not supposed to. You also have been correcting anyone who calls her Colette and saying, 'it's Coco Bean'. I can already tell that you'll have her back.



 



G notes:
  • I had eaten one of my chocolate pomegranate seeds and you came upstairs and said, "what’s that smell? Did you have a chocolate bean??" (you did this again the other night when I kissed you goodnight, 'I smell chocolate'... I had just had a bite of a cookie)
  • You called up at quiet time, ‘I’ve been down here for so long, quiet time is over!’ but still stayed on the couch 
  • You talka about how you'll get a big bed when your an adult and W can sleep with you and there will be room for your toys
  • You got upset that Dad had Colette in the Bumbo seat on the coffee table as you knew the rules on the label about not having it on tables
  • During one bike ride with Dad, you kept complaining that W's helmet was hitting you, when Dad finally stopped, he saw W was sleeping with his head leaning forward against you.
  • You tested for allergies and you're only allergic to dust mites.  We have an air purifier in your room and got all the special casing for the bedding. After a week or two of allergy medicine at bedtime, we stopped it and it does seem like you're better (basically you kept waking up with a runny nose but then by the time you got home from school, you weren't sick at all).
  • I told you you'd have to get a magic shot so you don't get the flu and you asked if they’d put it in your stomach b/c you didn’t want it to block your food. I said it would probably be in your thigh and you said the knee would be better, further from your stomach
  • Your arm was red and splotchy for like 5 days after the flu shot
  • Your new things is always saying things like, 'you never...' or 'you always...' or 'I'll only do x if you do y'
  • We were asked to do self portraits at the preschool back to school night and since Dad wasn't there, I did one of me for W and one of dad for you. But you asked why Dad didn't have a beard... I totally forgot his beard, I guess I still don't think of him with a beard!
  • You fall asleep in the funniest positions, most often laying directly on your large hard flashlight. How is that comfortable??

William:
Though you certainly still have your lazy moments, you have been a much better helper lately and are more independent as well. You've been helping me in the kitchen and like to use your special knife to help cut stuff, and did a great job with the melon. George has been stubborn about getting dressed on his own, and while you sometimes put up a fight, you quickly give in and do it on your own. You continue to surprise me with your skills -- you did a somersault (which you've done before but only randomly and then didn't want to do it again), can hop on one foot and have started to write your name. You're very detailed in your drawings, with dark, short, concentrated strokes compared to George's big loops. You're such a sweet big brother and I love over hearing you say things to her like, 'how are you my love?', 'you look so pretty!'






W notes:
  • You wanted me to sleep in your bed one night so I said, 'but who would feed Colette'. Without missing a beat, you say, 'Priscilla', your old night nanny :) I had to text her and tell her that.
  • You got SO sad when you dropped a tiny bit off of your snow cone and almost convinced Dad to get you an entire new one
  • Dad was calling to me from downstairs and you shouted, 'she's hooked up!' because I was pumping
  • You keep asking if Colette can stay with us forever


First time on the rock wall, he did great!






Halloween 2016



This was such a fun age for Halloween. The boys really get it and were so excited and did really well trick-or-treating. Plus, Colette is big enough to be in a cute costume and out for a few photos, but still small enough that she slept through all the trick-or-treating :)

We had a month packed with various Halloween parties -- GGMG, SFPOM, the parade at their school, then two trips to the pumpkin patch. Though Dave and I both had doubts over George's ghost costume that looks like a French marshmallow, he still loves that costume so it was totally worth it. William didn't make it too long with his big mask/hat as it blocked his view so I'll definitely consider that for next year's costume.



It was so fun to see all the different costumes and I already told Dave that we definitely need to dress up next year. We'll see if the boys will be up for a family costume.

Lemos Farm






Calvary Parade




Nicasio Valley Pumpkin Patch



SFPOM Party


Trick or Treating