My sweet little Golden girl.
This baby, you guys.
This baby of mine is the most precious little thing.
I was telling Brady over dinner tonight, “I have never been so loved or so wanted by anyone in my whole life as I am from Grae.”
She is such a tender mama’s girl.  Always wants me in her sight, always wants me to hold her, always fussing to get back to me.
She is my best nurser – ten fold! She would nurse all the day and all the night if she could.
She is constantly motor-boating me, sticking her hands in my bra, pulling on my shirt.
I swear, she’s addicted to me.  It’s okay though, because I’m addicted to her right back.
Grae is a tricky little thing these days!
She can wave “hi” and “buh-bye” and will almost always do it on demand.
She love playing pat-a-cake, but can’t quite do it herself yet.
She finally got two little teefers come through on the bottom after a loooong week of almost no sleep for anyone.  I was so excited to have a break from teething for a minute to catch up on snoozing and then the tops started coming through.  One top tooth broke through while we were in California last week and the next one just came through today.  Four teeth!  My earliest teether so far.
She’s only had teeth for a couple days and I’ve already been bitten more than I’d like to admit.  Oy! First experience with this.  My other girls had weaned by the time those toppers came in.
Her hair is also starting to pile right in.  I can’t tell for sure, but I’m almost positive it’s darker than my other two at this age.  For sure darker and thicker than Stella’s.
She also has my wonky hairline in the back.  Swoon!
I love this baby bird stage!
She can say mama, dada, baba, hi, buh-bye.  She is painfully close to saying “auntie” and will try to mimic you by saying “aaaaa”
She loves her sisters and lights right up when she spots them – especially in the morning.
It’s gotten trickier on the days that one of the big girls get into my bed during the night because if Grae spots them, she’ll try to talk to them and wake them up and thinks it’s time to play.
She is still just a teensy thing.  She’s not quite clearing 14 lbs yet.  She would easily still fit in her 0-3 stuff, but she is long and so everything is cropped too short on her.  If it’s long enough, it just hangs on her.  I will tell you this is the first time I’ve ever had this problem. 😉 😉
She saw the heart specialist a couple weeks ago.  Her pediatrician found a murmur at 2 months that didn’t resolve and started sounding “more violent”.  After a long few hours of testing (EKG and echo) they found she has a condition called supravalvor pulminary stenosis.  It’s a very rare condition but is just a thinning in her valve.  It’s why her murmur was sounding worse because instead of the blood flowing through it evenly, it’s spraying through it like a hose that’s pinched together.  At this time, it’s not worrisome which I knew before we went in.  However, because it is quite rare and it is typically found in babies with other genetic disorders, we will be referred to a geneticist, but only to rule out a few options.  We have no family history of anything concerning which is a great sign for her condition.  Right now, we’re keeping an eye on it.  1/3 get better, 1/3 stay the same and 1/3 get worse in the first year so we’ll see where she falls and we’ll determine the right plan for her at that time.  Because of this condition she is deemed a “heart baby” and even though she’s quite small compared to the regular babies, she is doing great size-wise for a heart babe.
Through all of this, it seems so stressful to recount, but I honestly haven’t been the slightest bit worried over it.  It’s so amazing what our instincts are capable of.  We mamas just simply know when our babies are fine and I have peace of that in my mama heart.
She is finally eating solids!
After try after unsuccessful try of giving her baby food, I finally realized she hates baby food.  No, she’d rather just have pieces of what we’re eating, thank you very much.
Baby lead weaning has been more her style and that’s just fine with us.
Just for my own record: I really wanted to wait until she was ready to start solids, and not just start when the doctor told us to.  We waited for signs like her being interested in what we were eating, and also TEETH which was the major indicator.  I have learned that if babies don’t have teeth, they also do not have the enzymes in their tummies to break down food.  So no teeth, no food is a great rule of thumb.  As soon as those teeth came through, her readiness for food really excelled.  At 6 months (before teeth were in) we tried a bite of food, she gagged and gagged which is also a great sign she is NOT ready for food.  A few weeks went by and we tried again, same situation – another couple of weeks went by before we tried again – still a no-go.  Finally her teeth came in and on a whim Brady fed her a mashed up pinto bean one day at dinner.  She munched it right down and wanted more! She ate a whole little bowl of beans that day and has been quite enthused about eating every since.
So far she has been enjoying pieces of avocado, bananas, beans, bread, and her favorite is butternut squash. (this is her first real week on food) Our primary focus is still on nursing and will be until after she turns 1 (or so).  This means that I’m not cutting back feedings and replacing them with food until that time (or sooner if need be).
**disclaimer that this is not a recommendation on how to feed your baby, just what has worked for us this time around.**
I must say, I am thrilled that this season has arrived.  She is much more easy to cook with/school with when I can put her in her chair and let her munch on some snacks. (before this, I was her only snack!)
As always, her big sisters are just cheering her right along.  They are thrilled about this new found trick of eating.
I’ve mentioned she is definitely a mama’s girl and doesn’t love to be held by anyone else – especially if I’m in her sight.  She’ll tolerate just a few others like daddy, grandma and auntie.
I think I’ve mentioned this before but it still just amazes me so much how she loves my sister, Ali (auntie).  She sees her only ever 6 or 8 weeks, but each time she seems to connect right to her and loves her more than I’ve seen her love anyone else besides me.  It absolutely MELTS MY HEART into a puddle.  There is just something familiar and she just knows on some level that she is her auntie.  It’s the most precious thing ever!
She has slept through the night a total of 3 times in her life so far and there has been no rhyme or reason to why.
Most nights she is in bed by about 7:30 and up by 2 or 3 to get back in our bed where she nurses the rest of the night til morning, pretty much.
Through these weeks of teething, she has not napped almost at all during the day and has been up earlier and earlier to get in our bed and has been more and more restless through the night.
I swear 2 or 3 weeks went by that I hadn’t slept more than an hour at a time.
LUCKILY right now, her misery has slowed way down and she is finally napping a couple hours at a time during the day and at least giving me that first long stretch in the night.
It is truly amazing what a little extra sleep can do for a lady, and it is also simply miraculous on how little sleep a mom can survive on.  Those two things are just blowing my mind as of late.
So, a good sleeper is still not even at all on the list of what I would refer to my baby as, but such is life!  Not all of us have good sleepers and that is the reality. (Are you reading this first time mom?? There is NOTHING wrong with your baby!!)
One very interesting thing I have learned about having 3 kids is that the more I have, the more I can handle.  And I don’t just mean this in the obvious sense, that of course I’m feeding and caring for 3 now, but just that my stress level can handle so much more than it used to.  There is just not very much that makes me want to flip my lid, or stress me out to the level they used to before.  This doesn’t mean I don’t feel unbelievably overwhelmed at times or have melt downs, I very much still do, but there is just a sense of calmness that has come to me being a seasoned mother of three.  It’s starting to make sense how people have more children.  I have come to believe that God blesses us with more patience, understanding and ability as he blesses our family with more children.  This is my testimony, y’all.  God is so good.
I’m not quite sure if Grae has been my hardest baby – I think I need some more perspective to decide, but I know for certain she hasn’t been my easiest.
But do you know what?  I don’t love her a smidge less or a smidge more if she was easier or harder.
She is simply mine, in all her glory and confusion, in all her ups and downs.
She is a piece of my heart and I am blessed beyond measure to be the one she calls mama.
I love you, my sweet Grae Golden.