All Posts By

Daphne

Hayley

Can’t get enough

Baby Hayley is at the most delightful age and I cannot get enough of this baby.

At just 16 months, the selfie game is already strong in this one. I mean, this girl is front facing camera all the way. The moment she sees herself on the phone, she goes from Oh Look That’s Me to Let Me Ham It Up to Woah Okayy That’s A Fine Looking Baby all at once.

She’s also the only baby who enjoys having her photos taken. I’m not going to get ahead of myself but I’ve never seen a baby this good at taking direction on how to pose.

I’m like “Let’s start with happy face” and boom, done.

Taking it to something more demure like you’re a damsel.

Gorgeous, I love it! Okay, serious face, let’s go.

How about more feeling? We need to turn on the feels.” and she’s like “MORE FEELS? SAY NO MORE, MOM, I’VE GOT THIS!

Yeah okay, maybe dial back the feels. Do it like you’re thinking about something vaguely important.

:)

On this note, I used to feel like it was more important to be fully present in the moments and to really enjoy them while they were happening instead of obsessing about capturing them all down in photos. Which was great but as the kids got bigger, I found myself spending a lot of time looking back at all of the photos and then remembering all the amazing moments.

So now I’m feeling like I need more photos of everything. Give me all of the photos!!

//

In a few days, we’re going to do something we’ve never done before: go explore the world with 4 kids. We’ll be heading to New York + Niagara + Orlando with Truett, Kirsten, Finn and Theo for the next 3 weeks.

I gave a lot of thought to the possibility of bringing all 5 but after coming at it from every possible angle, this remains a puzzle I can’t seem to crack and it would be irresponsible to try. Knowing how mopey I’m going to be without my baby, the husband was all “Let’s just do it!! See, she’s such a good girl. It will be the craziest thing we’ve ever done but we’ll manage, don’t worry! At least we’ll all be together…” and I was like “YOU NEED TO STOP ME, you’re supposed to be the voice of reason!” This is exactly why I married this man.

We could probably survive it if everything went according to plan, but things rarely go according to plan and we would be completely out of our depth if we brought baby Hayley along so it is with great sadness that we’re leaving her behind.

As it is, traveling with all 4 kids would be would be madness enough but I’ve worked out a detailed plan that covers most contingencies. Hopefully. We’ll see how that goes.

**I’ll be posting on Instagram while we’re away, you can find me over here!

Hayley, Theo

Bedtime shenanigans

Theo and Hayley have the most adorable relationship.

With all the other kids, Theo is generally gruff and sort of overly robust for a 3-year-old but baby Hayley seems to bring out a completely different side of him. He’s like a different person when he’s around his baby sister, all gentle and affectionate and sweet to her. It’s very obvious that he’s got a soft spot for this one.

During bedtime some nights ago, these two were up to their usual madness, climbing everywhere and somersaulting all over the place. I had given up asking them to lie down and go to sleep because I knew how futile that was. Instead, I was curled up in my corner pretending to be asleep while trying not to actually fall asleep.

Eventually, Theo was exhausted enough to go to bed but baby Hayley was still all up in his business like “Hey, let’s play some more, kor kor!!” She sat on his head and stuck her fingers up his nostrils trying to make him wake up.

No no, baby Hayley! Kor kor is tired I need to sleep now,” Theo told her firmly, turning away to the side to make his intentions clear.

Did this baby listen? Of course not. She proceeded to yank his head back towards her with more force than babies are supposed to have and Theo was like “MOMMMM take this baby away she’s annoying me!!” That was my cue to intervene so I got up and carried the baby away to the other side of the bed, using my body to separate them.

After like 20 seconds of silence, Theo flipped back over and sighed dramatically in resignation. “Okay fine fine fine baby Hayley can sit on my tummy if she wants,” he said.

This is how these two babies eventually fell asleep.

Hayley

Almost all done

Ask me 9 years ago when I just had Truett and I’d tell you that breastfeeding and I just aren’t meant to be. I had zero technique, insufficient milk, boobs that refused to cooperate, and a baby who hated those boobs. I remember sitting on the bed struggling to feed this angry, screamy baby who would only calm down with a bottle of formula. I had decided then that I was not the breastfeeding sort because you don’t get to have everything you want and that’s ok.

9 years, 5 babies and too many hours of tears later, I’m here nursing baby Hayley, feeling grateful for an experience that I didn’t think I’d get to have.

And you know your relationship is on a whole new level when you go from “what is the least number of months I need to breastfeed this baby without having to deal with that overwhelming mom guilt?” to “how long can I nurse this baby before it starts to get a bit weird? Until she’s 5? 8? 10?

***

When Hayley was born, my breastfeeding goal was nine months – right around the same time I weaned Kirsten, Finn and Theo. All the other babies had transitioned really well at nine months and I was happy to give myself a pat on the back for a job well done. Besides, it was always a relief to have my boobs be all mine again, no more of this mi casa su casa all day open bar boob access arrangement kthxbye.

But when Hayley got to nine months, I knew that I was far from ready to wean this last baby.

Let’s get to 12 months before we decide,” I thought. After all, 12 months is the magic number recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics. What kind of mom would I be if I didn’t constantly strive to outdo myself? And more importantly, who am I to stand in the way of pediatrics and science? It was my job, no, my duty to provide this baby with all the nutrition she needed.

As baby Hayley’s first birthday drew near, I found myself dreading the 12-month mark because it also meant the end of something really special. Something that I’ve come to cherish so much more than I thought I would. I couldn’t do it. The thought of weaning this baby made me want to cry.

She’s not ready,” I told myself, knowing that I was the one who couldn’t let go. “A little longer. Maybe just another few more months.

13 months came and went. 14 months. Then 15. We’re closing in on 16 months and I think it’s finally time. I know she’s ready because she’s eating solids like a champ (she’s basically Theo-level kind of food enjoyment). And every time she spots Finn or Theo holding a bottle of milk while she’s nursing, she immediately unlatches and charges towards them, yelling “MILK, MIIIILLLLLK!!” She’ll gladly take a bottle till she’s full and once she’s done, she’ll pull at my shirt and demand for more milk but we all know that what she really wants is a human pacifier.

I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to wean this baby but at this point, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I feel like all these extra months of nursing has been a gift for this momma who had such a hard time letting go. I’d be happy to nurse this baby forever but this is already more than I had hoped for and for me now, it’s enough.

The process of weaning is easy enough – gradually reduce the number of feeds until you get to 0. We just went down to 2 feeds a day, soon it’ll be 1 and then sometime over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be all done.

This baby will crawl into my arms and settle in to her spot on my chest the way she’s done maybe two thousand times before. I’ll kiss the top of her head and inhale her delightful baby smell and play with her hair and feed her one last time before crying my eyes out.

I’ll miss this. I’ll miss this an awful lot.

***

Had a chat with this baby about what’s about to happen and I think this means she’s not on board with the plan.