Nine Months With Natalie!

Monday, November 12, 2018


Nine months of this sweet babe, and I think this is my favorite age of hers so far! She's really developing quite the personality now, and has been so much fun to watch as she explores and learns more about her world every day. 

Natalie just had her 9 month check-up, and she weighs a little over 18 pounds and is 26.5 inches long. Short and stout like a little teapot! ;) So far she still has no teeth, but she's been working on them like crazy. I am fully prepared for her to wake up one morning with both bottom teeth popped through. She's been a little crabby for the past couple weeks, so I know shes hurting. Poor little thing. Other than that, though, she's completely healthy and growing beautifully.


As for milestones this month, Nat was upgraded to a big girl (but still rear facing, of course!) car seat, and she is very happy to be out of her cramped infant seat. Also, in last months update, I said she wasn't crawling yet, so she decided to show me and crawled for the first time about two hours after the post was live. Go figure, right?! About two weeks ago she started pulling herself up on absolutely everything as well, so needless to say she's been fun but exhausting! I'm constantly chasing her and getting her down from precarious places, but she cracks me up with her determination. Her little crawl is adorable; she stomps her hands as hard as she can and babbles everywhere she goes. She says "mama", "baba", "dada" and "dog". We are also working on clapping and waving, and she's starting to get the hang of them!



Natalie is completely off purees now, and has decided to eat whatever we eat. She feeds herself at every meal, and it's been so fun to let her try new things. Her favorites are noodles/pasta, chicken, cheese, broccoli, green beans, cheerios, and carrots. I plan on letting her try a few new things at Thanksgiving and I'm really excited about it!


The sleep department has been hit or miss the past few weeks. I finally got her in to a sleep sack and out of the Merlin's sleep suit because she was rolling over in it. Since being in a sleep sack, she's decided that she's a tummy sleeper, which she likes a lot better, but she's missing the cozy security of the sleep suit. That, along with her teething, has made for some sleepless nights, but I think (and hope!) it's getting better.  

 

As far as fun adventures go, this month we celebrated Natalie's first Halloween. We dressed her up as the sweetest little black cat, and she had so much fun getting pulled around in the wagon shaking her little pumpkin bucket while big sis trick-or-treated. (I can't wait 'til next year when she can join her!) 


A week after Halloween, we (finally!) moved in to our new house, so Natalie's little world has been kind of chaotic as we get settled in. She's a trooper, though, and has adjusted quite well. We more than doubled our square footage, so she's been having a blast crawling and exploring all over the place. A baby gate on the playroom entrance will be happening promptly. ;)

 
 I am so excited to spend next couple of months celebrating the rest of Peanut's first holidays! The fact that we will be celebrating her first birthday in just 3 short months is blowing my mind, and I want to soak in every moment. 

Mommy loves you, my Natty Lou!










Taking Care of Mama

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Over the summer, I posted on my Instagram that I was struggling with some postpartum anxiety/depression. It was really hard for me to recognize that the feelings I was going through were deeper than just day-to-day stress. I fought every single day to find my "happy", and looking back, it's no wonder. Along with the basic stress of taking care of both Baylee and Natalie, I was also (and still am!) adjusting to being a fire wife and therefore doing a bulk of the parenting on my own. On top of that, the loneliness of not getting to see or talk to Brian every day got to me. His shifts are often 72 to 96 hours, and that's a long time to have a four-year-old as my only source of conversation. As soon as I realized how bad it was getting, I knew I had to do something about it. I wasn't going to let anxiety win, and I wasn't going to let it affect me being the best mom that I possibly could be.


I was completely open to trying medication, but I didn't want it to be my first source of relief. Instead, I decided to make a few changes. I have been going to bed shortly after the kids instead of staying awake, trying make healthier food choices at home, and moving my body every day (even if its just dancing around the house with Baylee!). I also added some other essential oils into my regime, and wow...what a difference it made. I am such a strong believer in the power of oils now. While all of this has not "fixed" me, I have definitely seen an improvement in my daily mood. I still have days that are worse than others, and the occasional anxiety attack here and there, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was in July. I am so grateful that I have had such a support system around me as well, I know if I'm having a bad day I can call or text one of my sisters or best friends, and Brian has been amazing through it all. Even after a sleepless night at the station, he tries his hardest to help me out with the kids and the house, and it has meant the world to me.

After going through all this, and then reading some other PPA/PPD stories, I started to think about how hard us new moms have it. I mean, think about it, you spend 9-10 months going to monthly, bi-monthly, and eventually weekly appointments while you are pregnant. At every appointment your healthcare provider not only checks on your baby, but asks how you're feeling and doing. Then, you have your baby, and after the length of your hospital visit you're kind of thrown to the wolves and left to figure it out on your own. Six weeks later, you get another quick visit, and then you're completely released from care. Baby, on the other hand, gets seen monthly for a while, and then just about every other month for the rest of their first year to make sure everything is going well with their health and development. That got me thinking, why don't the mothers receive the same care? The changes that the human body go through after birthing a baby are phenomenal, and I know that after each of my girls, having more consistent doctor visits to check on my mental and physical health during that first year would have made a world of difference. I realize that you can seek further care if you sense something isn't right, but what about an instance like my case where it was late onset (Natalie was already 4 months old when it started) and virtually unrecognizable. I spent and entire month thinking I was just really stressed out before it clicked that I was experiencing true PPA/PPD.   

I know my little blog won't be able to change the way our healthcare system works, but I thought I would post this as food for thought, and as a reminder to check on the new mamas around you. Ask how they are doing and see if they need any help. If they say they're fine and decline the offer, maybe insist a little. ;) My best friend and her husband recently came up to my house on a day that Brian got recalled to the station (as he was just about to walk out the door too!) even though I told her to not worry about it, and it rejuvenated me. Just a few hours of adult contact, some help with the kids, and a solo trip to Target changed my entire outlook on the day. My point is that a lot of us are too polite/proud to accept help at first, so insisting a little is okay. The mama you're helping will probably feel more relieved than she could ever explain.


I know this was long, so thank you so much for reading if you have gotten this far! If you have any thoughts on the matter, please leave them in the comments, I would love to read what some of you think! 

Halloween 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Halloween 2018 was a complete success (well up until 9:00pm when Natalie decided to spend the next six hours screaming her head off but that's another story...) We went to my cousins' house and they hosted a little Halloween party complete with chili, cornbread, and all the yummy desserts you could imagine! They have kids who are 3, almost 2, and 8 months (5 days younger than Nat!) and my sister-in-law brought my two nieces over as well, so the kiddos had the best time playing all together before it was time to trick-or-treat! 




Baylee and I made the monster mash brownies, and they were a complete hit!  

Originally, my girls were supposed to be Bambi and Flower the Skunk, but late in September I put "Hocus Pocus" on for Baylee and she was obsessed. As soon as the movie was over, she said "I want to be Dani for Halloween and I want sissy to be Binx!" which was followed by immediate costume orders going through on Amazon, because I wasn't going to deny her a couple of my dream costumes. ;) Brian and I decided to be Allison and Max, & let me tell you...most comfortable Halloween ever! 


Natalie crawling around in her little cat costume was priceless, and probably my favorite part of the whole night! 


Once it started to get dark, we loaded up kids and their pumpkin buckets in a couple of wagons and started the trick-or-treating. They all filled their buckets to the brim and had the best time. Everyone was really well behaved, and made it so much fun! And can we take a moment to appreciate the two 8-month-olds in the wagon? Heart eyes.




Now, I'm spending today trying to figure out if there is such thing as enough coffee to survive a baby being awake until 3:00am and then a 6:30am 4-year-old alarm clock. Tomorrow, though, the holiday season is officially beginning in the Tibbetts house! Falalalalalalalala!