On Wednesday we gave Lucy her first taste of rice cereal. Aside from a dab of ice cream on her tongue or a few crumbs of graham cracker crust this was her first foray into solids. At two weeks shy of 6 months this was a reasonable time to start and she was showing all the signs of readiness. However I was not ready! Even though I plan to nurse Lucy at least as long as her sisters which means we aren't even halfway through our nursing time, this changes things. For the past 6 months every ounce of her food has come from me--we're rarely apart more than a few minutes except for sleeping. (Not only is she breastmilk exclusive, since she's refused attempts at bottles she's exclusive to me, too!) And while there is a certain pressure associated with that, it's such a privilege to be able to provide for her in that way. When we first had Maddie that made me feel a bit trapped and nervous--what if I needed to be somewhere else, what if I was ill, what if I just didn't feel like being available at any given moment for over a year?! But I came to terms with it and now I actually embrace it. (There is the odd time it complicates things, but fortunately my life is such that it's pretty rare I can't have Lucy in tow. I'm still hoping she'll take some pumped milk at some point because I do have a few things I'd like to do...) This isn't meant to be some diatribe about how breastfeeding is the only way or a superior way. Not at all! But it happens to be the way that works for us and I'm grateful to God that after starting out with such a painful experience when I first had Maddie that I'm now successfully nursing our third baby. So, since it felt right in every other respect except from my sentimentality we ventured into the world of solids.
Here is Lucy right before we broke out the cereal. We weighed her and she was 18 pounds 6 oz. That means she is more than double her birth weight of 9 pounds 1 ounce. She was big at birth and clearly is still big! Looking at those rolls I think together we've done a pretty good job!
And here's Andy giving giving the rice cereal to her. Perhaps I shouldn't have been so sentimental since she wasn't such a fan even though I mixed it with breastmilk. In the last couple days we've mixed in a little applesauce and she's a little more interested. Still lots of spitting it out and playing with the spoon which means nursing is still going strong and hopefully will for the foreseeable future.
Lucy has major stranger anxiety. This has been going on for a couple of months believe it or not. I didn't think it was possible for a three month old to have such a strong preference for her mother, but she did (and does). My poor mom has been stuck with a hysterical Lucy on a few occasions when I had things with the other girls (Maddie's kindergarten screening for one--cue more sentimental tears from me!) I feel bad for anyone who has been stuck with her while she screams, but generally I'm able to be with her and kinda love when I see those chubby arms reaching for me when we've had to be apart. We're making progress in church nursery thanks to loving volunteers. I generally take her down just in time for the sermon and make it through most or sometimes all of it before I'm paged to retrieve a red-faced and tear-stained Lucy.
Sleeping is going pretty well. She naps pretty reliable in the morning for anywhere from 1-2+ hours. The afternoon either means one long-ish nap or two shorter ones. She generally goes down like a pro at 7pm but is no longer sleeping through until 5am and then back down till 7am. Now she often wakes up around 11pm and then usually will go back down until 5ish (and then back down again until 6:30), but sometimes she sneaks in another 2am feeding. I was going to sleep train recently but decided that she was nursing out of genuine hunger so I'll give her another month or two before I try and train her to go 10-12 hours straight.
Lucy is a happy girl! She giggles most for me and Maddie. Maddie is definitely her favorite person after mommy. And Maddie still completely adores Lucy. And I have to say that despite all my talk of Lucy's preference for me, she's pretty fond of her daddy, too! She is starting to play more--she happily spends a fair amount of time in the exersaucer in the morning while I get everyone fed and dressed and she enjoys grabbing, throwing and chewing toys while hanging out on the floor. She still enjoys the Ergo and I usually have her in it for shopping trips, walks, etc.
I think that's a pretty good update for now and certainly much longer a post than I planned on when I started. Hopefully I can spend some time this weekend catching up on posting since I have lots I want to document--our last day in Turks and Caicos, Nate's birthday party, Mother's Day and various around the house pictures. Oh, and Disney Day 7 2012 one of these days...