Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Life with June Denson: Twelve Things for Twelve Weeks

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Well, life as we have always known it has changed... and in the absolute best way possible. How could a measly little blog post even attempt to tell all about our new life with little Miss June? There is so much to say...

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Motherhood has not exactly been easy, but my love for her makes it possible and turns this full time job into such a JOY. It has taken me a little while, but I'm getting to know her better everyday... her little routine she naturally falls into during the day, her different cries to tell me what she needs, when she wants to be held and when she is simply content to play independently. In an effort to organize my millions of thoughts that I could write down, I decided to list twelve little facts {with pictures of course} about June and explain them each.

1. She is so loved.

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Well that's an obvious one, I know. Aaron and I have been so amazed how you can love someone so much that you've only known for a few days/weeks/months! It is a different kind of love that we've never felt before and it is fierce and unconditional. She is our treasure and we cherish her so. We just can't help but hug and kiss her all the time. On the night she was born and it was just the three of us in the hospital room, with every little noise/face she made we would just look at each other and gush over her. We were giddy... and we still are! She makes my heart want to explode every single day.

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2. She is active and strong. 

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This little turkey has not stopped moving probably since the minute she grew arms and legs in the womb. I remember wondering if it was normal for a baby to move so much during pregnancy... and then she was born and hasn't stopped wiggling since. She runs in place when you lay her down, she was holding her head up on her own {when alert or hungry} at 2 weeks old and in an effort to get out of tummy time, she started rolling over from her tummy to her back at 3 weeks old. Where there's a will there's a way I guess... and Lord knows she's got a will. Ha! When you go to pick her up, her whole body tenses up like she's "helping" you. When she's hungry she gets abnormally strong and literally hangs on so tight to my arms and neck that I barely have to hold her! As Aaron's uncle said... she's a pistol!

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3. She loves to eat.

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I think this is true of most babies but... you know those baby books that talk about how you shouldn't let your newborn go more than 3 hours without eating so you should wake them up to eat? Well, my little piglet was STARVING every two hours {during growth spurts, every hour} and I think I could count on one hand the number of times I had to wake her up to eat. I remember telling a friend {who has 5 kids} how exhausted I was because June was such a vigorous little eater and may have even said that I felt like she was "sucking the life out of me" and without hesitation she said, "Wow, that's great that she is such a good eater!" And I thought, "Wait a minute... she's right. I could be stressing about failure to thrive... so I have every reason to be thankful for my exhaustion and her weight gain."  Talk about a perspective changer. My goal is to breastfeed June for at least one year.. but we're taking it one month at a time. I had a case of mastitis the first week and the pain during feedings was pretty close to excruciating for the first three weeks. However, it did get better slowly but surely... just like those veteran moms told me it would. Take heart new moms! 

4. She is social. 

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June will smile and "talk" to anyone but when she sees another baby or child she lights up. It's like she knows another "little person" when she sees them. Remember baby Harlan? He's not so little any June and Harlan are best buds just like their moms. She is sooooo happy when she wakes up in the mornings. I hear her in her nursery just talkin' and laughing' and occasionally she'll holler out just to see if anyone will come get her... and when you do, she smiles so big and then giggles... Talk about the best feeling in the world. She also looooves to see herself in the mirror... she talks and laughs and it is quite entertaining to watch.

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5. She is well traveled.

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In her twelve weeks of life, June has traveled to Mississippi several times, the huntin' camp, Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee. We have gone to see "Mimi and GrandStan" in Mississippi, a wedding in Destin, and we've accompanied Aaron on a couple of turkey hunting trips. Traveling with a newborn definitely made us take a more relaxed approach to travel. Which brings me to my next bullet...

6. She hates her carseat.

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You know those babies who need to get in their carseat and ride around in the car to fall asleep? Yeah, June is the opposite. I think it's the confining aspect of the carseat that she hates... and it can't be comfortable! She likes to be able to change positions when she sleeps and likes to be held when she's really tired so the carseat has been a struggle for us with all of the traveling we've been doing. I hear they grow out of it?? She's been doing a little better lately but she still doesn't like it.

7. She loves to be bounced.

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I'm not sure if it's because I was in constant motion during the day while I was pregnant with her or what, but the child loooooves to be bounced. When she's fussy, being bounced is the only way to soothe her... although now she loves to suck on a "lovey". She could care less about being rocked {unfortunately} and she knows when you sit down! Needless to say, I get a good leg workout a couple times a day. She also doesn't like to be cradled like a baby and what is hilarious is that Aaron is the ONLY person she will let hold her that way {see above pic}... He can put her to sleep instantly if he adds a little bounce to his step... She also loves riding around like a papoose in my wrap. 

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8. She has acid reflux.

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Bless her heart... she is a spit up queen. I feel like she has a bib on 24/7 but it's easier to change out bibs than outfits you know? I noticed her starting to spit up around 1 week old and she hasn't stopped. Thankfully, it has not affected her weight gain but the acid part of the reflux has caused her quite a bit of pain. We started her on a small dose of Zantac daily and that has made all the difference for her. She still spits up the same amount but the pain is gone which makes June and my Momma heart feel better. She is now eating larger amounts every 4 hours during the day and I think that also helps because her tummy gets a little break instead of continuously digesting food with her previous every {2-3 hr} schedule.

9. She is a good sleeper.

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She loves to sleep with her hands by her face. In all of our ultrasound pictures, she had her hands there too. During those first several weeks I didn't think the every 2-3 hour night feedings would ever stretch out but we finally turned the corner {consistently} at around 9 weeks old. Now at 12 weeks, an ideal day {basically when we stay at home} she will take a 2-3 hour nap in the morning and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon with a little catnap in the evening so she can make it to her bedtime around 8:30. She then sleeps 12 hours with one feeding anytime around 3-5 am. That happens most days/nights but then we get a wild card night where she wants to wake up every 3-4 hours to eat and I assume it's due to a growth spurt so we roll with it. On days where we're blowing and going everywhere she doesn't nap as long unfortunately... and she is not a happy camper if she doesn't get a couple solid naps.  I know her sleep/wake patterns will be ever changing depending on the stage she's in but she's doing pretty good for now!

10. She has been ranging from about the 75th-85th percentile in height, weight and head circumference.

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This picture {above} cracks me up... It was June's first dr.'s appointment and she was only 5 days old. While I was signing in, there was a snotty nose 3 yr old trying to touch her and I could see Aaron trying his hardest to nicely and gently keep him away all the while fuming on the inside. After he got rid of the kid he positioned June between his legs so that no one could see/touch/breathe on her. It was hilarious... to me, not to him. Ha!

11. She loves to be outside.

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I think this is characteristic of all babies... and I think fresh air and good ole change of scenery does everyone good. She is so hot natured though... I guess she gets that from her daddy. We enjoy getting out of the house on pretty days and going for a walk/run in the stroller.

12.  She looks like both her momma and her daddy.

When we compare her to our baby pictures it is quite obvious that she looks like a mix of both of us. Her smile and facial expressions are identical to mine and her serious face looks just like Aaron did. She has Aaron's forehead, head shape, ear shape and feet for sure. She has my eyes and mouth and we're not sure about the nose just yet. Of course, it's all subject to change but it's fun to look and compare... and of course, every one has their own opinion of who she looks like and it's so fun to hear!

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These past twelve weeks have not been easy, but they have been so special and sweet. I have seen with my own eyes how quickly June has gone from a newborn to a "baby" and I am thankful that I have made an attempt to savor and enjoy every day. I cannot get over how quickly 12 weeks came and went.

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Tomorrow is my first day back to work and it makes me sick to leave her for 12+ hours. However, I am thankful to be leaving her with my Mom... they are going to have so much fun together! Thankfully I only work 3 days a week and yes, that is one of the many reasons I wanted to do nursing. However, being a wife to Aaron and a momma to June is my favorite job ever.

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Loving these two sure is fun.

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