It's been a little bit. I'm way behind on Charlotte's 9 month update...she turned 9 months two weeks ago. Might as well wait until she's 10 months now...here's a mini update on her...
Charlotte is about to walk. Seriously. Girl is determined. She can stand on her own just fine. I know her first steps are right around the corner. She can even stand from a squatting position and go back down. She cut her first tooth (bottom right middle) right after turning 9 months...which is about 2.5 months earlier than Eden's first tooth! She's just determined to do everything faster. She has become such a joy in the past couple months. She's still far needier and whinier than Eden, but she is an entirely different baby from the colicky screaming infant we had the first 4 months of her life. She's doing well on solids, though they are not a big part of her diet at all. We're seeing the naturopath for our whole family now. (Though we'll still go to the pediatrician for vaccinations and serious/urgent medical issues...yes, we will still vaccinate...just at our own pace!) Our ND assured me that I was doing everything right. Babies don't actually need solid foods or anything outside breastmilk for nutritional value until 12-18 months. Charlotte usually eats any time we eat...she just gets little bits and pieces of table foods - with the exception of anything high on the allergen list...so no wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, etc. Mostly just fruits and veggies, brown rice, quinoa, cooked beans or lentils, etc. She self-feeds. I'm not allowed to give her anything. I've tried to spoon feed her. She won't have it...little miss independent! So anyway. That's basically Charlotte in a nutshell. She's a talkative little thing these days too! And she's said "mama" a couple times...but I'm not sure it counts as her first word since I don't know that she's really associating it with me. Oh! Also, we had a breakthrough with sleep last night. She went to bed at 8pm in her own room (did I mention already that we moved her crib into the office?) until midnight. I fed her and put her back. She slept until 4am. I brought her to bed to nurse her, but she was being really restless and wouldn't fall back asleep, so I put her back in the crib. She slept again until 8am. People. Only waking up twice in a night? That is a freaking record!!! I felt like a new woman! And sleeping until 8?? Usually she's up around 6:30. Praise Jesus! Let's hope for a repeat! Guess the key is to putting her back in her room. Turns out she doesn't sleep well in our bed anymore. Eden got to that point too around 7 months. Hopeful for our sleep future...
Corey and I have been trying to go on more regular dates...every 2 or 3 weeks. (Previously, we were lucky to get 2 hours alone once every 4 months.) And we've been leaving the kids for a good 8-10 hours. Charlotte still refuses a bottle or sippy or anything. She'll only eat maybe 2 ounces the entire day, but she'll happily eat solids and doesn't complain or get too fussy...so the grandparents just fill her up on fruits and veggies. She will survive. It's not an everyday occurrence. The date times are much needed right now. Corey's work has been crazy. There used to be 3 people in his position. One quit and another got fired...and they have yet to fill the positions. So Corey is the only person doing all that work. He's been working weekends (he's sitting beside me on his work computer as I type) and late nights. He's usually gone by 6am and doesn't get home until 9pm or later. Sometimes he'll come home for dinner and to see the girls before bed but has to get back to working (at least he can work at home) after they are in bed. It's a bummer. But it's life. We're praying they fill the positions quickly!! He's salary and they don't believe in "comp time" at his company, so it's hard for him to put all this time in and sacrifice his family life without any reward. Pray for him if you would! He can't really just not do the work...they would lose the company's largest account if the work didn't get done.
I've finally determined all my food sensitivities/allergies/intolerances. I was in denial that it was possible for me to have an issue with gluten or wheat, so I basically just added that back into my diet. Turns out it was causing me a lot of confusion! I am NOT in fact allergic to chocolate (thank god)! I AM intolerant to gluten. It gives me headaches (sometimes migraines), muscle aches, is the cause of my Hoshimoto's and thyroid issues, seems to cause acne, etc. There may be more things it's affecting that I haven't realized yet because it hasn't been out of my diet long enough to clear up other issues. But it's probably the biggest issue for me, sadly. And it was also the one I was hoping to not have to give up! I've been living with headaches for years, so at least I know the cause now. It's not an easy thing to give up though. Thankfully, I have a lot of support from my in-laws since my mom-in-law has celiacs. She's been a HUGE help! I'm also allergic to dairy. Not just lactose intolerant. Allergic to the actual milk protein. So that's a bummer, but not the end of the world. I'll miss cheese and frozen yogurt and whipped cream. Thankfully, there are a LOT of alternatives for dairy. Cheese is the hardest to give up since there's not a good alternative for it. But that's life. And non-organic GMO soy. So those three things (gluten, dairy, GMO soy). Everything else seems to be fine now! I was having some false reactions to things until I got rid of the wheat.
It's been really hard to give up wheat. In all honesty, I've cheated on a weekly basis because it's just very inconvenient to be gluten free. No more sandwiches or quesadillas or frozen burritos (those easy go-to lunch meals when we have a busy day). I did, however, make this sandwich bread today (subbed plain unsweetened almond milk for the regular milk to make it dairy free)...and it's delicious! Like REALLY good. Even Corey loved it. Eden gobbled it up. Almost half the loaf is gone, and it's only been on our counter for about 4 hours! Granted, a 9x5 pan does not make a very large loaf. I will probably need to double or triple the recipe so we have enough bread each week. Corey said he was ok being gluten-free as long as the alternatives taste good, and this one got a thumb's up. It's just too hard for me to have wheat in the house and not eat it. I'll never overcome the issues and side effects of my intolerance (or get over these stupid thyroid issues) if I don't give it up for good, so it's a change that HAS to be made. It's going to mean a lot more homemade stuff, which is time consuming, but it also tastes so good when it's fresh out of your own oven. Not to mention the fact that your house smells wonderful all the time too. Eden has been enjoying helping me bake. I measure stuff out and let her dump it in the bowl and do the stirring. It's her new favorite activity. And she really likes helping wash the dishes afterward too. Such a big, helpful girl! Well...it actually probably takes me twice as long to get stuff done and is a lot messier, but at least she's enjoying herself. My hope is that she'll grow up enjoying and wanting to cook and bake and help in the kitchen. I want her to have a healthy relationship with the kitchen and the kitchen gadgets. Charlotte is soon to follow!
Poor Corey has also had to endure quite a few bombed dinners lately with my new diet. I'm having to make a lot of substitutions and it's all about trial and error. But he's a good sport. I try to have at least one part of the meal be something I know will turn out ok so there's at least SOMETHING to eat. I'm thankful for his good attitude about it all and his support in this process!
Ok, that's enough for tonight. I'm off to make one last sandwich on my yummy bread (deprived much?) and eat a little strawberry coconut ice cream before bed. You might start seeing me post some successful gluten-free/dairy-free recipes on here. I'm planning to make a hot chocolate cake tomorrow with homemade marshmallow frosting. Crossing my fingers it goes well!
Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!