|Very serious eyebrows|
Height: 24 inches, give or take (so hard to measure a wiggly baby!)
Nicknames: Peanut (Peanut Head, Peanut Face, etc), Beast ( Drool Beast, Poo Beast, Sweet Beast, Silly Beast, etc), Sweetie Sweetie Banana, Brown Girl, Chai Masala, Little Tyrant... basically anything that comes to mind.
Amaliya likes: eating her hands, smiling at strangers, talking to us (lots of ahhhGOOOO's, baggghhhhhh's, and raspberries), being naked, bathtime, being carried in the Baby Hawk, taking walks, sitting in her high chair and watching us cook, being swaddled at night, eating (sometimes), having her gums cleaned (weirdo), sleeping, holding hands when riding in the car.
Amaliya dislikes: Getting dressed, being tired (the only time she screams like a banshee), eating (sometimes), having her hair combed and nails filed, not monopolizing our attention.
Feeding: Breastfeeding is going extremely well! My supply is well established, I'm able to pump enough for her to have 1-3 bottles a week while I'm out and 6-12oz left over to freeze, and I'm no longer sore at all. The reason I included eating in both the likes and dislikes above is because she and the breast have developed a contentious relationship. When she's really really hungry, like in the middle of the night, she latches on right away. But during the day she doesn't want to latch! She'll jerk her head around and bite at my nipple, grab handfuls of flesh (ouch!) and push herself away, and occasionally push herself away after she's latched; holy elastic nipples Batman, that hurts! I've tried only offering the breast when I know she's very hungry, which makes the act of feeding much easier, but then she only eats every 4 hours or so. After a day like this, she's up every 3 hours to eat at night, which makes me think she's not getting enough calories during the day. So. For now we'll continue to fight the good fight and hope she reverts back to the enthusiastic sucker she was a few weeks ago.
Sleeping: Amazing. She's absolutely done with life by 6pm every night, and spends 6-8pm sleeping off-and-on on either my husband or myself (though this last week she'll only sleep during this time if I'm wearing her; if not, she's screaming). At 8pm she gets changed, swaddled, fed, and put to bed where she sleeps for 6-7.5 hours straight, on average. I wake up to her fussing and spend about 20 minutes feeding her - by the end of 20 minutes she's already put herself back to sleep, and back in the crib she goes for another 2.5-3.5 hours. About once a week or so her sleep periods are shorter and she wakes up for a second time around 5ish, and if that happens I can nurse her back to sleep for another 1-1.5 hours. Generally, she gets about 11 hours a night with 1 or 2 wakings.
Napping is another story. She tends to need a lot of sleep during the day, but she won't nap for longer than 45 minutes in her crib (usually about 20) and that's after some serious feeding and holding. So, either I spend my entire day living from nap to nap, or I strap her into the Baby Hawk and let her get a solid 1.5-2.5 hour nap a couple times a day. Our days are infinitely better when this happens, but a) I'm worried about making this a habit (.... oops, too late); b) it's hell on my back and legs; and c) it still limits the things I can do during the day (like sit at the computer and work on my mountain of homework, because she tends to wake when I'm sitting). I'm just going with it right now, but in the next couple weeks I need to think about weaning her off the carrier naps. I don't want a situation where a frantically overtired baby spends the day screaming at her caregivers when I return to work.
|He's never looked sexier|
It helps that I really try to take time for myself. My half marathon training is going well (10 mile run last week!) and I leave Amaliya with her dad on Wednesday evenings and Friday and Sunday mornings for 1-3 hours at a time so I can get my runs in. School is beyond hectic (3 classes! I'm insane) but I just try to be super efficient and get work done after baby girl goes to bed at 8pm. My mom has also been wonderful and comes over on her days off so I can sneak off to a coffee shop and get a solid block of work done.
It's not easy and it's not always smooth sailing.... there have been a few evenings where I'm teary-eyed, exhausted and despairing, feeling like I'm on the verge of failing at everything. In moments like that, cliche as it may be, snuggling up to my baby and looking at her smiling face is enough to remind me that it doesn't matter if my grades suck, if my running flounders, if my choices aren't always healthy.... because the most important thing, I did right.
Seriously? I pinch myself every day. It's still hard to believe that this beautiful, healthy, independent-minded, smiley and talkative little girl is mine, that I made her. I kiss her chubs at least a million times a day and am consciously grateful for this little life that gives my life a new and greater purpose.