Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Karsten: Six Months

I was texting Karsten's birth mom yesterday and neither one of us could believe it has been 1/2 of a year since this sweet baby girl was born.  Today she turns six months old.  Excuse me for a minute while I go cry about the fact that we no longer have an infant.  Though if you'd talk to Kevin, he might still call her an infant since she sleeps like one.  I digress. And I exaggerate. Her sleep is getting better. At least it has been for the past few nights.

Regardless, our BABY is now six whole months old.  Here is what she's up to.

She is wearing Size 3 diapers.  They are probably a TAD big on her, but they work and she's growing so we're going with it.  She weighs around 16.5 pounds and just seems so teeny to me, but I know she is not.  Especially when I look back at her newborn pictures, I realize just how big she has gotten!

Karsten just started solids in the last week or so.  We played around with food a tad last month, but we've started consistently feeding her just lately. We started off with rice cereal.  She didn't get it.  She would immediately stick her tongue in front of her lips to block out the spoon.  We tried the rice cereal a few times and then moved on to oatmeal.  She is a much bigger fan of oatmeal.  She still hasn't completely mastered the concept of opening her mouth for the spoon and swallowing, but she's getting there.  And we THINK it has helped with her sleep.

Speaking of sleep, she was doing GREAT around 5.5 months old.  We would feed her and put her to bed at 8, and then feed her another bottle when we went to bed around 10:30.  And then she would sleep until 7am.  It was WONDEROUS!  I mean seriously.  Best sleep we've had in 5.5 months.  She was consistently sleeping this way too.  We were thrilled.  And then, she reverted back to newborn status.  Waking every 2 hours.  That one week of GOOD sleep was such a teaser!

I told Kevin that I thought she had hit a growth spurt.  We're hoping that is the case and that the great, fantastic, AMAZING sleep will be back soon.

For my own reference, here is her general schedule at 6 months old:
7am            Wake and Bottle.  Back to bed after she finishes.
9:30am       Wake
10am          Bottle and Oatmeal
11:45am     Nap
2pm            Bottle
3:45pm       Nap
5:30pm       Bottle and Oatmeal (maybe a short cat nap while the rest of us eat dinner if she needs it)
8:15pm       Bottle and Bed
** We typically give her another bottle around 10:30 or 11 before we go to bed to help her last til morning.

We have been making a conscious effort to get in more tummy time lately.  She has generally hated it, but is tolerating it more and more.  She is pushing up on her arms further each day, but isn't quite to the point of lifting her body or getting her legs up under her. So I'm hoping this means she's not too close to crawling.  Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to be delayed, but I'm definitely enjoying the non-mobile stage!

If you hold out your hands to her and say "give me both hands", she will grab your hands with both of hers.  This is something Diane has taught her and Karsten has it down!

This girl is a vocal little thing, for sure.  She is so stinking loud!  I will have her playing on a blanket in one room, and go to another room to do a few things.  The next thing I know, I'll hear her YELLING from all the way across the house. She almost sounds upset.  So I'll go check on her, and nope.  She's not crying. She's not upset. She's not fussing. She is just LOUD.

She is definitely a Mama's girl.  Kate can get the biggest smiles out of her, but I'm a close second.  Kevin gets frustrated sometimes because I'll be doing something to make her smile or laugh, and he'll do the exact same thing and she looks at him like he is crazy, but gives him no smiles.  Then I'll do it again and she'll bust out with a grin.  I tell him it's payback.  Kate was a Daddy's girl.

She loves, loves, LOVES to stand up in your lap and bounce.  Her little legs are so strong and she will bounce and jump on her own for such a long time.  This is one of the reasons we're encouraging the tummy time.  We want the kid to crawl first instead of going straight to walking!

She is cuddly and sweet, and I just love my nighttime snuggles more than I care to admit.  I am generally the one to give her the very last bottle of the day, and I stretch it out a lot longer than I need to.  I love when she stares up at me and runs her fingers through my hair.  She's not much of a hair puller (unless it is Kate's hair), but she does love to play with my hair.  And when she is tired, she loves to bury her head in crook of my neck.  Melts my heart.

Thank you, God, for bringing this baby girl into our lives.  Thank you for making us parents to another little girl. Thank you for her birth mother, who carried this child for 9 months and then chose US to be her family forever. Thank you for the relationships that we are building with Karsten's birth family, and that she will always be able to know who and where she comes from. Thank you for the love, laughter, joy, excitement and FUN that she has brought to us all over the last 6 months!  I am sure the next 6 months will fly by just as quickly!  Where is the pause button??? :)  We are so thankful and grateful for this special gift!

Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8

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