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Katie's Parenting Journal

Entry 10 - January 10, 2009
20 Weeks Old - Love at First Bite

Katie and WillTime is flying by lately. I felt as if my pregnancy lasted a very long time in comparison to the first four months of Will's life. Even when things were really tough with nights of no sleep and days with a fussy newborn, the days seemed to slip by so fast. Now that Will is sleeping better at night and crying less during the day, it seems that every time I turn around, it's another week, another milestone.

In fact, as I write this, we are actually halfway through his fourth month already. He had his four month doctor's visit last week. We were a bit delayed due to holiday schedules and the snow. He is doing well, weighing in at 16 pounds, 1 and a half ounces and measuring at 26 inches. He is in the 70th percentile for all of his measurements, so he is well-proportioned and a healthy sized boy. After taking us through the list of feeding cues, the pediatrician said that Will was ready for solids if we were ready. Were we ready?! I had purchased the rice cereal two weeks earlier and had the little spoons and dishes washed and ready by the high chair for days. We were MORE than ready!

So, with video camera rolling, my husband sat down to give Will his first bite . . . and he loved it. Sure, more food still ends up on the bib than in the mouth, but each day, we get a little more to go down the chute. Some mornings, he eats a full portion. He is usually too tired at night to eat more than a few bites, but we're working on it. I've already learned that timing is everything in how well a solid feeding will go - or not go. I am trying to space his breast feedings out every four hours now, and so the solids are helping with that progression. I find that if I breastfeed him and then wait an hour before trying the solids, he is not so hungry that he gets frustrated but not so full that he doesn't care. We are going to introduce veggies first, peas this week! That should make for some interesting diapers!

Daddy and WillEating continues to go well. Naps are so-so. I can usually get him down fairly easily for naps, but getting him to stay down long enough to be rested is the challenge. He will sleep for 45 minutes, then wake up crying. If he wakes up crying, I know he hasn't had enough sleep. For his morning nap, I can usually soothe him back to sleep without picking him up from the crib, and get another half hour to 45 minutes out of him. For some reason, it's harder to soothe him back to sleep after the afternoon nap, so I usually still end up getting into bed with him for an hour or so.

The nighttime . . . hit or miss. We had a few great nights this week, with a nice bedtime of between 8 and 9 and only one wake up at around 4 AM. But there were a couple of horrendous nights when I lost track of how many times he woke up. I have been doing more reading about what is called the Four Month Sleep Regression and it seems pretty normal. Since he did have such a nice stretch of all night sleeping, I am pretty confident that he can regain that in time . . . fingers crossed anyway!

So, something that I haven't talked about much is that my maternity leave is quickly drawing to a close. I am due to go back to work in February. If you have been reading my journal entries from the beginning, you might remember that our plans have always been for me to quit my job and stay at home with our children. Strangely enough, now that the time is here to make that momentous change, I am getting cold feet. I do think that it's ultimately best for Will right now that I am home with him. But with our economy in the shape that it's in, it feels really scary to be giving up a solid job. I also think that my identity has changed so much in the past few months. I feel a bit selfish saying this, but there are times that I long for the old me. I got to get up every day, put on a crisp suit, head out the door, and worry just about myself. We weren't wealthy, but we could afford to splurge on going out to a nice dinner, buying ourselves treats here and there, and going to movies.

Happy WillNow everything is different. Of course, I wouldn't change it for the world. I love our life with Will, but it's as if my entire old self disappeared - at least on the outside. I wear suits now, but they are the sweat suit variety. While we have enougn money to be comfortable, we have to be very careful about extras and I have to coupon shop to make my grocery budget. I make a point of at least taking a shower every day, but hair and makeup are as hit and miss as his naps. I went to the store the other day in an outfit that I wouldn't have been caught dead in before. I stopped by a mirror to let Will play with his reflection and caught site of myself. I hardly recognized the girl staring back.

But one thing that I did notice about that girl in the mirror is hat she didn't have the worry lines around her eyes and mouth that she used to. And she was smiling, a big, genuine happy smile. So, maybe I had to trade in some things, but I do feel as if I am getting much more in return. It's scary to give up the security of my paycheck, but I do feel as if it is worth it in the long run. I can't imagine missing out on all of the fun days with Will. I can't fathom the idea of taking him to a daycare. We'll find a way to make it work.

~ Katie

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