The Lady Gray

A household chronicle


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6 Months

I’m not quite sure how, but my baby’s 6 month birthday has come and gone. It’s almost a miracle. We’ve all survived! The little tiny baby who was practically blind and could simply exist but not really do anything except for sneeze has turned into someone completely magical. She smiles, beams, laughs, giggles, coos, babbles, whines, has little fits when you take her toy away or is somehow displeased…

She is technically about 6.5 months now and has developed quite the personality. Here are some things I don’t want to forget:

  • She loves naked time. If she could be naked constantly she would be so happy. This is why I have baby pee on all the things!
  • She LOVES dinnertime. It’s when she gets to eat. I make her baby food by steaming stuff and pureeing it with breastmilk. So far she’s tried apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, peas,zucchini, and avocado. She likes all of it, but either the bananas or the avocado upset her tummy. Also apples seem to make her fussy so she doesn’t get those any more. Zucchini, peas, and sweet potatoes are particular favorites of hers.
  • Bath-time is a huge hit. She’s figured out how to splash, which is messy but fun!
  • She rolls around all the time. She can’t crawl, so she just helicopters around. She’s started trying to do some planks so I think crawling is coming soon. I don’t want her to start – I’m fine with her being partially mobile!
  • Starting to like books more – still mostly wants to eat them!
  • I’m working harder on some baby signs with her. We have a DVD and that’s the only tv that she watches.
  • She still loves the dog and the cat. The dog is her best bud and the cat tolerates her nobly.

Some things I’m not sure I want to remember:

  • Still not sleeping through the night. But, we very recently took the front panel off of her crib and pushed it up against our bed. I feel like it’s a good transition to her sleeping in her own space.
  • Separation anxiety has begun. It’s not always, but we have started to get some hollering if I walk out of the room or if she feels like I’m too far from her. It’s particularly nasty at night when she wants to sleep attached to me.
  • She vomited for the first time which was really sad!!
  • She desperately wants to sleep on her belly but has a very hard time falling asleep like that. It has led to a lot of frustrated crying throughout the night.
  • Her naps are still about 45 minutes tops. She needs minimum 3 of those a day, but 4-5 is better. If she gets less than 3 naps she is a hot mess by bedtime.

The doctor said she’s very “healthy” when referring to her recent weight gain. At her 6 month appointment she weighed 15 pounds 14 ounces and was 27 inches long. Quite the gain! I need more 9 month clothes for her and I’m going to have to start putting away more of her 6 month clothes. She can’t even fit in her 6 month jammies!

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The newer hairs growing in are lighter which makes me very sad. I want her to be a brunette like her mama!


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Untitled

It’s been a week since my best friend here broke up with me. Or since we broke up. I’m kind of inclined to say she broke up with me, since she unfriended me on Facebook. We had definitely been drifting apart for some time. I think there was some tension under the surface that we didn’t really see.

IT SUCKS. I was definitely in the wrong on some things. She definitely overreacted to some things. The whole thing could have been handled so much better by both of us. Especially by me. You can’t control other people, you can only control your reactions to them. I need to work on controlling my reactions.

There are lots of bad parts in losing a friendship. I value my friendships very highly, especially in this military lifestyle. Friendships that are made with other military spouses are like lifelines – you’re in a new place, isolated from family and childhood friends. I now have friends that live all over the country, and even though we may not speak very often, I still love them and value them because of what they were to me when we lived in the same place. One of the bad parts of losing this friendship is that we have so many mutual friends. So I can’t talk to them about it, because that wouldn’t be fair to them. Also, it makes me feel INCREDIBLY awkward. Then I have lots of anxiety because I feel so awkward. I’m spending a lot of time second guessing whether or not I’m a bad person, bad friend, annoying, etc…all of those things that you deal with when your social anxiety acts up. But the biggest reason that losing this friendship sucks is because she was my person here. The one who I shared my dumb inane details and thoughts with. Things like: Evie can’t fit in 6 month jammies anymore, because she’s too tall now. Or, I made these cookies today, they tasted awesome! Or, gosh, isn’t it weird how in February when it’s 60 degrees you’re out in shorts, but if it’s the end of April and it’s 60 degrees you think it’s freezing and you’re dressed in a sweater?

I want to fix it but I don’t know how. I’m not sure how to make it better, and even if I tried to make it better, how could it ever go back to the way it was? I have zero experience in this. I feel incredibly out of my element. I sure do hate the way this makes me feel…I’m spending all day walking around with a ball of anxiety in my belly. Writing this has made me feel a little bit better, I guess. In some ways blogs are just online journals. That’s kind of cool.


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in the blink of an eye

In the blink of an eye, my baby is 6 months old. I’ll do her 6 months post later after I do her 6 month photos.

Little Genevieve is a true joy. I maybe should have named her Joy instead, since she is the embodiment of joy. Last night she laughed, hysterically, for probably an hour put together. Her little face lights up all day, every day. She sees strangers, she grins. She sees people she knows, she grins. I have never seen such a happy, friendly, smiley baby. It takes a lot to get her down.

Now that I’ve talked about how happy she is, let me tell you how sad she was last night. For some reason, she could not stay asleep. For the first few hours after I put her down, she would wake up, crying. Every time I’d go in, comfort her, put her back to sleep. It was incredibly frustrating. I’d complain to Jake – this child will not stay asleep! Fuck, tonight will be terrible! Then I took a shower, and the baby woke up. Jake went in to comfort her, and she freaked. If she wakes up and it’s him instead of me, it’s over. Bless him, he stayed with her, trying, until I got out of the shower. She was pretty distraught by this point. I took over, held her small body in my arms, and nursed her to sleep. I continued to hold her, staring down at her round face made easy by sleep. Her body was heavy in my arms. I could tell that all she wanted was the comfort and safety of being held by me, her mother.

There’s something strange about motherhood. This tiny being takes, takes, takes from you. They take all day and all night. Just when you think there’s nothing left to give, they take more. And somehow you make do. You give when you thought there was nothing left. Your baby does something small and sweet and you think: okay, you can have everything. Everything and more that I have to offer. The way that Evie sank so deeply into my arms – that was her small gift to me, allowing me to dig deeper, give more. Every morning when she wakes up I sing “good morning, good morning, to you! to you! good morning, good morning, to you!” and her face lights up into the biggest smile possible. It gives me the jumpstart I need for the day – even when I’ve been up all night.

I just can’t even believe that my baby is 6 months old. It’s true what they say – the days are long but the weeks are short.


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5 Months

5 months! 5 months old! She’s now actually about 5.5 months because I’m a couple weeks late with this post. But, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks and things are settling down.  We were at my parents’ house for about a week and a half and the dog came with us. You can imagine all of the packing I had to do! Little G has shown so much growth this month – it’s crazy. She weighs over 15 pounds and she feels so solid when you hold her.

Things I don’t want to forget:

  • The belly laughs – so many belly laughs!
  • She heard the word Buzz for the first time and laughed hysterically. Just remembering that moment of us saying buzz, buzz, buzz and her laughing her butt off makes me smile.
  • She smiles all the time. Constantly.
  • On our trip she must have met 50 people. Some for the first time, some for the second or third. She smiled at every single one of them. She made them all feel special. She makes everyone feel like they are special by smiling and cooing at them. What a trip!
  • She has put on so much weight this month. She feels so solid! And she’s got chunky little legs now. But, she CLEARLY doesn’t need so much of my milk anymore because she’s pooping almost every day. For the first time in her LIFE! I don’t know what to do with all this crapola – I’m not set up for constant poops! I’ll be getting some more wet bags and covers ASAP.
  • Rolling over. So much rolling over! Once, and then again. Now you can’t put her on her back without her popping over immediately. It makes changing her diaper very interesting!
  • She is trying to get up on her knees now. I can only imagine how quickly she will crawl from there. The beginning of the end, my friends!! I am definitely not excited about baby proofing.
  • Her hair is all the way down now. Excuse me while I sob! It’s down way past her shoulders, too.
  • She loves her dog. She loves chickens. She loves being outside.
  • Poor bunny has terrible allergies. Hoping she feels better soon!


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4 Months

Here I am, roughly 2 weeks late, writing Evie’s 4 month update! There are so many things that are happening with her that I don’t want to forget! There are also things that I WOULD like to forget and I hope soon I will! Or else this child may be the only one ;).

*Edit! It’s been another week since I started this post. So, now I’m 3 weeks late!

4 months has been a bit trying for us.  She has learned so much and with every month comes more abilities and skills and joys. However, I think every month also comes with new trials and tribulations. These would be easier to deal with if we were both getting more rest at night. I have such hope that she will go back to sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night…hope reigns eternal, right?!

Things I don’t want to forget:

  • The laughs. The giggles. The belly laughs! She has discovered how hilarious Archer is. The best part is that because she loves it when he plays so much, that we are more likely to play with him with her, to please her. (Like a little dictator!)
  • She still doesn’t roll over. But, she does like to roll to one side and grab her feet. Especially during nakey time!
  • She loves her crib right now. Her room is always so warm so it’s perfect for her to have nakey time. I’ll put her in her crib, naked, with toys to entertain her while I take a shower or accomplish some other task.
  • Evie still doesn’t enjoy her current playmat. She likes to be on it for a few minutes and then gets furious that she can’t fit entire toys in her mouth. Reason takes no part of this – it’s pure emotion!
  • The doctor said she needs more tummy time. She apparently has a little flat spot on the back of her head. I’m not sure how, as she doesn’t spend much time on her back at all. I personally can’t find it myself, but I’ve taken to calling her little flat head…haha!
  • We’ve been working on the bedtime routine this month. She now has a pretty steady bedtime routine, of which I’m pretty proud! It starts at 6:30. 6:30 bath, lotion, nighttime diaper, jammies, story time with mommy and daddy, then nursing to sleep (or, nursing to right before sleep and then praying it works)
  • She was in a dress for the first time in her life this month. It’s the CUTEST thing in the world. I love it. I can’t wait until Spring and warmer weather when she can wear them more frequently!
  • Evie has appeared to have found her voice. She is incredibly chatty. She loves to sing us the song of her people! All the time. Also, she has a funny knack of laughing/talking at the WORST times. When someone shares bad news, the negative part of a story, etc etc, that is the time she will laugh.
  • Her hair is losing it’s fluff and no longer stands completely on end. I hate that. But, it’s growing so long and it’s this stunning chestnut color. In the sun, there are golden strands. I hope hope hope that it stays brunette!

She is so interactive now. I love that! I’m looking forward to what’s to come.


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Teen Mom Finale

Some thoughts on the Teen Mom OG Finale (and yes, I watch that show – it’s the one Teen Mom that I watch, because I’ve seen them grow up from 16 and pregnant on and I feel invested in seeing how their lives turn out – STOP JUDGING ME)
*Farrah is still awful, awful, awful. I feel bad that her baby daddy died and that she’s had a hard life, but dang, I feel like she needs to take some responsibility for the person she is today. She is spoiled, conceited, rude, etc. A 17,000 dollar ring looking cheap? Wanting at least a 60,000 dollar ring? Come one. Also, her pissy fit at the end was nuts. 
*I love Catelynn and Tyler and I totally relate to Catelynn’s struggle with anxiety. It totally sucks and the fear that you will always have to deal with it for the rest of your life is so real. I worry about that, too! Also, I know that Butch is trying really hard now that he’s out of prison…but April was right. She shouldn’t need to leave something early so Butch can be there. He was the one who abused her. He has to take responsibility for that.
*Maci is still my favorite! She is a great mom and it seems like she’s got a good thing going with Tyler. I’m just beyond amazed that Ryan finally stepped up to the plate! He’s doing a much better job of being a Dad and the fact that he put his relationship with Bentley above the relationship with his potential girlfriend is AWESOME!
*Amber has never been my favorite but I’m glad that she and Gary worked out a custody agreement…even if Gary only agreed to it because of the child support. (Really, that’s what it seems like!)
I started watching 16 and pregnant so many years ago. I don’t watch a lot of reality tv because it’s dumb – but I care about the original teen moms for some reason. I’m really not interested in teen mom 2 or 3 or 4 or however many there are. Anyways, it was a good finale and I’m excited to see the reunion.


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Improving Sleep

Well, January was a rough month in this household. Jake’s been in a class all month (ending soon, hallelujah!) and it’s been very labor intensive. Lots of busy work and homework and long days. He’s had something almost every weekend with his class, too. So, I’ve been doing this whole baby thing pretty much by myself. It’s been challenging. Evie hit her 3 month growth spurt in early January, and it was followed immediately by her 4 month sleep regression (early – probably having to do with her being 10 days late.) Throw in her beginning to teethe and WOW my month was awful!  She stopped sleeping. We were waking up some nights every single hour, some nights maybe every two or three hours. Some nights, every 20 minutes. I felt like I was dying. Then, just as I would get *this* close to having a nervous breakdown, blessedly she would give me a night of rest.

My therapist recommended this book to help:

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I’m loving it so far.  Right about when I started it, Evie’s sleep started getting back to normal.  But, I have been learning a lot about infant sleep and how to improve her sleep whenever possible.  Also, I’m really hopeful that it will help with our naps.  What I’ve learned so far about her sleep is that she has learned to sleep by sucking – she has a very strong sucking-to-sleep association. So I am starting to try to teach her to fall asleep on her own. It’s going pretty well so far and I am confident that with time and repetition she’ll get the hang of it.

And, I’m getting sleep again. THANK GOODNESS! I can start to function again!