McKenzie is 7 months old! It’s hard to believe seven months have passed already, but McKenzie is well into the second half of her first year! She is one amazing baby and is so darn loved.
It’s hard to know where to begin when covering 7 months of a life, especially when it’s the life of a baby. So much happens so quickly. And when you’re a sleep deprived parent, remembering things is difficult. Seriously if you tell me something and it doesn’t get written down, don’t expect me to remember it correctly. No matter how important it is. Chronic sleep deprivation is for real.
Funnily enough a lot of my sleep deprivation is from the boys, not McKenzie. McKenzie is seriously one of those dream babies that people have and then think babies are easy and decide to have a bunch more. If I hadn’t had the boys first, I would never have appreciated her as much as I do. The boys were adorable, but my goodness did they have all the issues (reflux, major spit up, gas pain, SVT, etc) in addition to the fact that there were two of them. McKenzie has been a breeze.
McKenzie quickly dropped nighttime feedings. In fact, by 6 weeks, she’d stopped them completely. She’d sleep from 7pm to 7am without waking once. No joke. She’d have stopped a week or so before that, but I was concerned it was too soon. It took me a few days of monitoring her and making sure she was ok before I just let her go. And not only did she stop feeding at night, but she wasn’t into her pacifier until about 3-4 months old, so she never woke up at night. Like, never. It was amazing and so weird. But amazing.
She did need a good bit of holding and bouncing around to fall asleep at bed/nap times, which was a challenge when you have two 3 years olds who are tearing your house apart while you’re away for 15-20 minutes. I’d try to time it so that they were busy and I’d listen out for them, but that was the hardest part. Honestly McKenzie was easy, but balancing her with the boys was and is still the hardest part.
Finally at about 4 months old, I did a smidge of sleep training with her. She was great at sleeping through the night but getting to sleep without a ton of holding is where she needed a little help. I hate to say that, because of course a baby would want to be held. And I love holding her. But when you’ve got two other kids who need you at night and your husband works 4 nights a week and it’s just you trying to get everyone fed and to bed, you gotta do what you gotta do so that all your kids are taken care of. She caught on super quickly and that was that. She gets to sleep really well these days.
She has times where her sleep isn’t fantastic. Like the 4 month sleep regression was a doozie for a few weeks and I was up 5-7 times a night (brutal). And then she got her first tooth about 3 weeks ago and for a week-ish prior to that, she was waking up once or twice at night, but only briefly. And she’s certainly had nights where she wakes, but all she needs is her pacifier and that’s it. I remember with the boys, they often needed to be held and comforted, so those wakings were longer. With her, it’s very brief.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t get woken up much at night. It’s almost a guarantee that Brooks will wake me up once a night to help change his pull up. For a while, he was getting up at night to go to the bathroom and he’d wake up in the morning with a dry pull up. But we moved about a month ago (life has been crazy busy as a result) and since then, he hasn’t been doing that. So he either ends up peeing through the pull up and needing a complete sheet change on his bed, or he needs help getting a dry pull up. Occasionally Ashton needs help with the same thing. So I’m typically up once or twice a night, but it’s rarely because of McKenzie.
So yea, McKenzie is a great sleeper. She’s also super chill and so happy and smiley. She is seriously a little ray of sunshine. It’s hard not to be happy and in a good mood when she’s around. She’s just precious. And my goodness does she love her brothers – and they love her. As soon as they walk into a room, she smiles. Loves loves them. And they are so good with her. They love on her and give her kisses and try to make her laugh. Watching the three of them together are some of the sweetest moments. I can’t wait to watch that relationship grow. You can tell when she watches them that she can’t wait to be able to get in there and play with them.
And my goodness does she have her daddy (and grandfather) wrapped around her adorable little fingers. He’s hooked, as he should be.
McKenzie also got to meet two of my best friends when she was 4 months old. I mentioned in this baby update that McKenzie was named after my friend Lauren (who’s middle name is McKenzie). Lauren has ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) and at the time of that post was in her third remission. Well, she found out in December that her cancer was back and in January was told that they hoped she’d have about 6 months to live. So naturally seeing Lauren and having McKenzie meet her was a priority. They met and it was wonderful and fortunately, Lauren is surpassing expectations and remains with us. She is one strong, amazing woman.
I also discovered that McKenzie had a lip tie when she was maybe 2 or 3 months old. There were some things I’d noticed about her eating habits and was fortunate to have seen some people talking about lip and tongue ties on Instagram and was able to figure it out. I’d been saying that she was just a “grazer” when it came to eating because she was always starting and stopping, but it turns out that’s a sign of a lip or tongue tie. She’d also go on and off the breast a lot while feeding, kind of make a clicking sound a lot and suck in air and end up with lots of burps, and she didn’t like the pacifier. There were a couple other things too, but it’s hard to remember. Anyhow, she was still gaining weight fine, but I felt like it might be best to fix it and make sure it didn’t end up causing issues. You could definitely tell the way she latched on with her upper lip that it was restricted. So anyhow, it was fixed when she was 4+ months old. We had to do the exercises for like a week and that was it. Never a problem since. And now she loves her pacifier and she’s still nursing. She does very well.
McKenzie started solids around 5 months old. She started showing interest in food super early. We actually have a video of her at about 3 months old where I’m holding her and eating some cheesecake and every single bite I take, she tries so hard to get a taste. It’s hilarious. So I didn’t wait too long to start. And I had wanted to do a bit of a baby led weaning style this time. I knew with taking care of her and the boys that it’d be hard to feed her purees all the time when I need to feed them too, so it seemed like a good way to go. So we started small with some pieces of fruit in one of these silicone pop things and she loved chewing on it to get the juices out. We did some purees as well, but by 6 months, started moving towards doing some really soft chunks of things. Now, at just over 7 months, she mostly feeds herself. She does chunks of soft foods, mashed berries and fruit, strips of toast with soft cheeses and such, strips of pancakes and waffles, etc. I still feed her some things, like oatmeal, but she really loves food and especially loves feeding herself. Like, big time. She is seriously too funny. If someone around her is eating, she gets very upset if she doesn’t have something to munch on too. She cracks me up. Most of the time I have to cut her off because she’d just eat and eat and eat.
She went on her first beach trip at the beginning of May and loves water. And she’s spent plenty of time at the pool with her brothers. She’s big into splashing. She also loves bath time. I think she’s going to be a little fish, just like her brothers.
And just in the last week, she has been working SO hard on crawling. The boys didn’t crawl until they were 10 months old, so it’s amazing to watch her. I’d thought she’d start trying to crawl on her belly, but she’s actually starting from a sitting position and leaning forward onto her hands. She’s lifting her butt up and trying very hard to get both legs to move into position. She’s rocking back and forth and I really think it’ll happen soon. Every time you set her down, she works on it. She is determined.
She is a very aware and smart little baby. She blows me away all the time. She’s so curious and sweet and fun. Has the sweetest little laugh. And she’s cooing and “talking”. She is just a joy.
When we took these fancy photos of her a few weeks ago, she was still 6 months old and was not having it. I had been so excited to get some nice photos because she’s so happy and smiley and I was sure we’d get adorable photos. As luck would have it, she isn’t a big fan of the camera. And she mostly wants her mom these days (or daddy), so having someone else taking pictures wasn’t her favorite. Plus, a few days later her first tooth popped through. So all those things added up to a baby who was nearly impossible to get to smile. It was crazy. I’ve never seen her try so hard to not smile. So I’m sharing her monthly photos to prove that she’s smiley and happy, LOL!
As for mom (me), I’m doing just fine. More tired than ever and it’s not easy juggling all three kiddos, but I’m good. I had a little postpartum issue after the boys and haven’t had that at all this time around. Honestly one of the hardest parts is just that all the kids need my attention seemingly all the time and making sure everyone gets enough of it and feels loved and attended to is not easy. Most days I feel like I don’t do enough, even though I know I’m doing everything I can. The day starts at about 6:30 am these days with McKenzie and then by the time the boys are in bed and asleep it’s after 9pm. The days are long and I’m exhausted, but I love them all so much. I think some of this will improve with time, but of course every stage seems to bring new challenges (along with new fun things, of course).
The boys are also great. Healthy little 3 year olds with endless energy. Literally endless. They are so fun and so tiring all at the same time. And typical of 3 year olds, there’s a lot of them saying “no” and pushing boundaries, etc. No big surprises there. But they are at a great age in many ways and watching them together is truly something special. It’s adorable to hear their little conversations with each other. They truly are the BEST of friends – and sometimes the worst of enemies too. It’s awesome that they always have their best friend with them. If they are separated for more than like a minute, they always notice and go look for the other.
We had our first big visit to the ER with Brooks about a month or so ago. He was riding his balance bike (with his helmet) and he fell off. He managed to hit his head on the curb right above his eyebrow and it busted wide open. I was on my own with all three kiddos (we were on a walk) so fortunately a couple neighbors came out to help. We managed to get all the kids back to our house and I called some family for backup and got Brooks to the ER. The hubs met us there and Brooks ended up with 10 stitches. He took it like a champ though. After getting over the initial fall and seeing all the blood, he did great. I seriously think he fusses more over a skinned knee than he did over his big cut.
We recently put them into separate rooms after moving and they now have individual rooms that are joined by a jack and jill bathroom, so it’s a little like still being together. They didn’t mind going into new rooms with big beds at all, which surprised me, but otherwise they are inseparable.
And I guess that’s about it. Truly the big theme around here is exhaustion and never feeling like there’s enough time for anything. The brain is in a permanent fog and a quiet and undisturbed shower is a luxury. Do any parents of young children feel differently? If so, I need your secrets!
But aside from all that, life is great. We are incredibly fortunate to have our sweet kids. We love them so much and are loving watching them grow up. There’s so doubt that they are our biggest blessings and we couldn’t be more thankful.