Tamia’s Birthday Letter

A year old? Already?!

Where has the time gone? Tamia, my Mia.

Standing, walking, and talking!

Soon, I’ll look up to your stretched out hands asking for the keys *sniffs*

It has been amazing… watching you grow this past year, and I am looking forward to every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every waking [and sleeping that I can get] moment, both happy and sad, to come.

I want you to always know that I as your mother will always do my best to teach you right from wrong, guiding you in the right direction and steering you away from the wrong, to the best of my judgement.

Always know, that with God, all things are possible, as He is your strength, your rock. We will continue to pray, and as I grow stronger in my faith the man above, so will you, until you feel either able to establish a relationship on your own with him, or if [God forbid] you feel there can’t be one.

It is my job to teach and guide you. It is yours to continue to stay on that path.

There is still a lot you have to learn about this world [as do I] but, know that I will always be here to help you.

I pray that I continue to show you just as much love and support as I have always wanted.

I apologize for not figuring out what your cries meant. For the most part I got them down, although there were some I just couldn’t decipher. There may come a time where you look to me for answers and I just can’t give them to you. I leave you with this at the end of your first year: Be patient, be kind, and steadfast. Pray, meditate, and he will lead you.

Always remember that, Mama loves you. Always.

Happy First Birthday (Sept. 18, 2016)

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Thank God!!

Only one word to describe how felt, joy. We finally came to terms with having to hire a babysitter. At first, we were panicking. Because of our experiences as children being around them, and especially those we didn’t know. Kids can be mean and a lot of people claim to be babysitters and don’t carry out the task to the best of their abilities. Ideally, we’d like to keep her at home with us where we know she is safe. But life happens and you have to do, what you have to do.

On a leap of faith, thankfully a close friend of mine has experience and enjoys babysitting. She also has a son of her own and is such a sweetheart. We decided to try her out and allow her to babysit Tamia. I think everything works out with us only having one car to get to and from work, and it being 2-3 hours and only 3 days a week she would have to babysit before I get off. I will eventually work longer hours or want to leisurely do something, so we decided it is best if we ease her into this transition. She has been at home with one of us since she was born (with the exception of having mom or grandma babysit sometimes). 

She did well for her first day, actually better than being with a relative! She cried 15 minutes after being dropped off but did better than we thought! When I came to get her I was in awe seeing her interact with the other kids. Especially the little girl in the photo (they’re one month apart).

World Breastfeeding Week

This has been a long 11 months, since I gave birth to my daughter. In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I’d like to share with you my journey:

It started out rough as I could not get her to latch on in the hospital following her birth. The nurse thought she was being stubborn and just didn’t want to latch on. There were a few times of success but it wasn’t easy. I felt defeated at times because I had to feed her formula almost immediately in the hospital which I did not want to do, but I couldn’t starve her…

We later discovered at her pediatrician (at the time) that her tongue needed to be snipped on its underside, which was preventing its extension outward. Her tongue wouldn’t extended past her lips out of her mouth which eventually would have caused problems with opening her mouth for a bottle. Her dad and I decided to allow the minor no surgical procedure. It did bleed a little but almost instantly stopped and I was instructed to go ahead and nurse immediately after which calmed her down. I was brought to tears because I was finally able to feed my baby everything she needed…

I did continue to supplement with formula. While I was not able to nurse her, I pumped Every two to three hours to keep my supply going. As the months passed and when I was able to nurse of course, that diminished. 

Currently, I have I stopped pumping, and nursed during her snack times as she is currently on solids. At 11 months, I am still breastfeeding at night, as I am struggling to get her off the boob for night feedings. It’s a constant battle because that’s how I get her to sleep. And other ways have not worked for me (dad can sing and rock her to sleep but she doesn’t expect that from me). She won’t even sleep in the crib if I’m around. Her current pediatrician says one step at a time. I am currently trying to get her onto 2% milk by her birthday because, that is when I will plan to stop breastfeeding. For now I am going to reduce her nursing sessions to mayb just at night or once during the day and the night feedings. Giving her more 2%, I have hopes of weaning all together by next month. 

Overall, I have enjoyed our moments we have as I nurse her. I love when she caresses my breast and she glares at me as if it is the safest place in the word for her. We’ve recently shared a moment where I make her giggle while she is feeding which melts my heart and doesn’t help me with making the decision of weaning (laughs). I am looking forward to the next steps in her development as she gets bigger and am eager to see where else our journey takes us!

Should’ve Had a V8

Last night, I discovered— or should I say rediscovered my baby-handling skills. And have realized that I really underestimated myself…

My daughter will be 9 months tomorrow. For all the moms out there, sure you can remember when you first brought baby home from the hospital. It was so easy for them to just fall asleep(if there were no serious issues).. Effortless!Because primarily, that’s all baby ever did (eat, sleep, and poop). Simple! But then somewhere along the lines as baby started growing, baby became more alert and wanted to do everything but sleep. Every child is different, they have their own temperament. So you try everything you could think of to get baby to sleep, whatever works for her…
Breastfeeding did it all for me. When she had her first fever after her second round of shots, I gave her some Tylenol and popped a boob in her mouth, and in an instant, her temperature reduced to normal. If she is sleepy, I know breastmilk and that warm skin-to-skin contact would knock her out almost immediately. And while I loved breastfeeding (health benefits, reduced late nights), I knew I was depending on it. I knew because I went over the 6 month limit I gave myself. But you have to understand, holding my baby boo close to me and gazing in her eyes as she stares into mine. And her reaction after she takes a swig of my mother’s milk: hilarious! She actually smacks her lips and goes, “Aaaaah…” With a big ol’ smile. Sometimes we call it her liquor. She’ll fall over like a drunken teenager on a Friday night (laughs). That’s my baby. Here I go, I digress!It’s kicking me in the butt now, while I have no regrets going over my 6 month mark, I have and still struggle with a few things:

  1. Putting her to sleep. 
  2. Getting her to sleep through the night.
  3. Weaning (well maybe not so much)
  4. Getting her to sleep in her crib.

I gave her more food during the day, more sunlight, and even an extra bath to help get her into a routine to associate bath time with bedtime (she also sweats like her dad and has as much hair on her head as I do on mine which doesn’t help). And while she clearly shows signs of sleepiness, I don’t feel like I’ve been addressing it correctly. I think timing is everything with her. I’ve read so many articles on what to do, I even have What To Expect: The First Year  (a great book and go-to guide). These issues have become stressful, as I am cranky without my 8 hrs, and while dad takes over sometimes, I remember he can’t always as he works & is tired too. So yesterday, as I was putting Tamia to sleep, I knew it would be a struggle. She was hyper (trying to keep herself awake) and speaking in her gibberish baby language when I finally fed up said to myself, “I used to be good at this. I babysat all of the time, what am I not doing?” I began to wonder what I used to do to put a baby to sleep, and then it hit me… rocking.

I picked up her stretched out body (she wasn’t flailing, but she does this thing where she’ll kind of donkey kick her legs to keep herself awake), put her in cradle position, with my legs crossed, and began a rigorous rock. Of course she tried to fight it, but I stuck to my guns. She got a little cranky, but I was able to calm her nerves by singing to her (we’ve sang ABC’s and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star since she was born and she recognizes the melody— that of which I discovered were the same in both songs) she smiled and dropped her eyes. With a little more push and pull, she fell asleep. A deep one! As light of a sleeper she is, I was amazed. I was able to sleep until about 4 am. Thunderstorms, lighting, and a bad dream kept me up. She slept through the entire thing. 

I said to myself, “I knew I shouldn’t have let Terrence talk me out of putting a rocking chair on the baby shower wish list.” I could’ve came in handy. There was this episode of Grey’s Anatomy in maybe the second season where O’Malley is staying with Burke & Yang. Yang wanted him gone but didn’t know how to approach it. Meanwhile, she is taking a class with Cheif Webber when she questions his ability to perform a skill with his eyes closed…

You want to win? Always go back to the basics.

-Chief Webber, Grey’s Anatomy

Until Next Time,

T.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Such a magical day..

 I spent my time helping my baby to sleep better and cleaning, followed by receiving a few gifts accompanied with a few phone calls, a visit from my mom. 


 a stroll through Sandy Bottom Nature Park, & a trip to Cici’s Pizza. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m so blessed and thankful for receiving two more charms to add to my Pandora Bracelet:


Now I’m not materialistic, but this bracelet means a lot to me. It was the first time I received a not just expensive (not that price matters—it really doesn’t) but thoughtful gift (in a relationship). And even though we are no longer together, it makes me feel even more valued to still receive gifts. 

Today allowed me to reflect on not just my duties as a mother, but the task that God has called upon me to carry out. Last year on this day, I couldn’t appreciate it. I didn’t feel like a mother because Tamia had not yet been born, so when I went to church with my mother and kept receiving wishes, I grew angry. I didn’t feel like a mother. Everything was new to me, I was scared I would fail, and kept being told everything would be alright when I was trying to rationalize that idea in my head on top of struggling from paycheck to paycheck and had withdrawn from my college courses, unsure if I’d go back in the fall. 

But as I’ve said before after introducing you all to Tamia, she’s been nothing more than a blessing. She’s been a motivator, a pick-me-up, my pride (for I don’t have many) and my joy in waking up everyday. 


I look forward to waking up. With a purpose, I strive to get things done in the most effective way possible for, she is my purpose. 

Here’s to a great Mother’s Day & many more to come with my little beauty.

Hope you mothers cherished yours.

XOXO🌻

Baby’s 6 Month Check Up

  
Tamia is 6 months now!! Time is flying. She is full of personality!

She is 19.4 pounds & 27.5 inches (I thought she’d be heavier, she sure feels that way!)

Mia’s Milestones 

Emotions 

  

Shaking her head “no” 

     She happens to do this when she’s excited. I thought something was wrong because I thought this would happen later on but no she’s right on track!

Grunting (the anger emotion)

      OK, so she’s been doing this one for months. Is she clearing her throat to speak? Well, for now I notice she does this when she’s agitated (laughs).

Hysterically laughing

Missing us when we leave the room

Physical

  

Rocking back & forth in crawling position

Rolling onto her belly 

Two bottom teeth are in

Standing with assistance

Food

  

Solid foods (she likes sweet peas, and pears)

  
Sleep schedule still not quite established 

Bottle feeding during the day, breast at night

Fever after having shots 

Falling asleep in my lap while watching tv

She’s talking to us now!!! 
Dada, mama, and nana are all we hear these days. 

  
She’s eating those toes!! (Been doing that for a month now..)

Baby’s 4 Month Update 

Tamia is growing.. & growing & growing. The only nursing position is lying on our sides belly-to-belly, because she’s so big!   

 

Weighing in at 17 lbs, 27 in!!!

Greedy

Tamia drained both boobs, and then spit it all back up on the bed sheets and her clothes a few seconds into burping her tonight! We had just been home an hour, and my mom said she fed her an hour before  we picked her up [laughs].

Baby Milestones

  

She loves sitting up, she’s been doing that for a while actually.

As far as rolling over, she rolls on her side so far. I hope to see a full roll over in the coming weeks.

The gibberish talking gets better and better! We heard her say Hi! I say that because whenever in said hi, she would say it right back. I even caught her on camera!

The sporadic giggles we’ve caught about three times now! The last one made me a little emotional (don’t judge me).

We’ve got to incorporate more tummy time. I’ve noticed she’s started to push up with her arms. The legs are still making the crawling motion, she just hasn’t tried lifting up on the legs. But baby is progressing!

She’s also started this growling noise which I suspect she gets from daddy. He’s kind of created a trademark of his own:
It’s weird and I wonder if other babies do this. (Please let me know) she growls when she’s excited or upset.

I suspect she is definitely teething. Lastnight, she nibbled the heck out of my fingers… Almost like she was trying to chew at them! Maybe I’ll get her some teething bites?

Baby Food

So I wanted to cook all of her meals for her but I have no extra time to these days. With that being said, I’ve decided on Beechnut & Gerber: Organic products for solid foods.

So she likes apples and mixed vegetables.  I tried chicken and chicken broth, which she likes but it only looked like she was sucking the broth and not actually eating the chicken which made a big mess (and smells horrible. It smelled like canned meat— which it technically is lol) so I’ll probably make the meat myself in that case. 

  
Dad and I were worried because we find her rubbing her eyes and nose that she may have allergies, but her new pediatrician says its normal and too soon to tell because her immune system hasn’t even set in yet. 

But all in all, Tamia is doing just fine!