November 21, 2012

Thankful.

I’m thankful for so much every year - our families and friends, our jobs, our home….but this year, more than anything, I’m thankful that I was able to carry L past her due date despite pre-term labor.  I’m thankful that I had a safe delivery with no complications.   I’m thankful that our little girl is growing and thriving and becoming more and more wonderful every day. 

This past year has given us so much to be thankful for – and Thanksgiving is the perfect chance to reflect on all of it.  I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Photo by Anni Cee Photographie

October 9, 2012

Poor Baby. (seriously.)

I try to keep things upbeat on the blog, but I just need to vent for a moment.  I’m supposed to be writing L’s 7 month update post, but that will have to wait a bit.  My poor baby has been through the wringer.

Over the last three weeks, L has had the following:

1.  A bad cold, complete with congestion, cough and a runny nose that has lasted three whole weeks, and through all of the other crap listed below.

2.  Two new teeth.  Both of her bottom teeth are now through, which led to some fussy days and nights, congestion andddd…..

3.  Her first diaper rash.  ‘Nuff said.

4.  A flu shot.  She got this during her cold, but the Dr. said it was okay as long as she wasn’t running a fever.  It made her achy and a bit fussy.  In retrospect, she probably felt like garbage, coupled with the cold.

5.  Pink eye.  We got a call last Thursday from daycare that she had pink eye.  We called the doctor, and started administering drops.  Babies hate eye drops, in case you were wondering.

6.  A high fever.  From Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon L was battling a fever ranging from 101 (relatively low, but still feverish) to 104.2  (scary high).  We took a trip to Urgent Care, where the pediatrician on call said  that “Fevers are good!  They mean the body is fighting infection!”  which I agree with, but she should have maybe also taken into consideration that L had been fighting a cold for 3 weeks and the fever might indicate some type of infection.  She also neglected to tell us at what point we needed to start worrying.  A late night call to our pediatrician’s nurse line was more helpful, wherein I learned that the “breaking point” for a fever with a baby over 6 months is 105 – at that point, you go directly to the ER.  Thank God it didn’t get to that point. 

And, after all of that….

6.  A sinus infection.  Yes, ’tis true – if you baby battles all of the above plus a cold for 3 weeks, it might end up in a sinus infection. (Hear that, Urgent Care pediatrician?!  It’s not “just a cold!”)  It did for L.   Hubs took her to the pediatrician yesterday and she was put on antibiotics to help clear her congestion.  Poor baby only wants to be able to eat and sleep.

So yes…we’ve had a rough few weeks around here.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the antibiotics help and she’s feeling much better very soon.  Parenthood is hard at times, but not being able to help your sick baby feel better is pretty much the worst.

September 4, 2012

Six Months!

A half a year old already?  How is that even possible?  Time is already going by too quickly. 

L’s 6 month stats:

Weight: 17 pounds, 10 ounces (80th percentile)
Length:  27.5 inches (95th percentile)
Bottles & ounces per day: still 5/6  bottles, only a few ounces in the morning and usually 7 oz. for your later feedings
Diaper size: Size 3 in Pampers Baby Dry during the day, size 4 in Pampers Baby Dry for overnight – considering switching to all size 4′s very soon, though
Clothing size: 9 months or 6-12 months

Loves:  
 Veggies!  You’ve tried lots of different veggies so far and have loved all of them – your favorites being carrots and peas.  You also have started to love spending time in your jumperoo this month – you’d probably spend over an hour in there if we let you!  Also, you’ve started grabbing people’s faces and squeezing different facial parts (your favorites being the nose and cheeks) and get a big kick out of it.  Playing peek-a-boo with Daddy at dinnertime is a favorite game of yours, too. 

Hates: Fruits, in general.  Your pediatrician is thrilled about your veggie preference, of course.  You’re also not a huge fan of bread.  I’ve tried giving you big chunks to gnaw on when we’ve been eating dinner, and you act like I’m giving you something toxic and are quite offended.  You’re rarely content to spend much time laying on your back and playing anymore - you prefer the Bumbo or any other means of sitting up.  This has been slightly problematic when I’m trying to change your diaper!

Things of Note & Milestones: 
 This month was a big month – not just because you turned six months old (which is huge!) but also because we stopped swaddling you.  Yes, we swaddled you up until you were 5 1/2 months old – until that point it was working perfectly!  I started noticing, however, that you were waking up in the middle of the night and trying to get your hands into your mouth.  So, one evening, we stopped swaddling cold turkey (and fretted about whether or not we were doing the right thing).  Turns out, you love sleeping on your left side, and almost every time we lay you down to sleep at night, you immediately turn onto your left side and snuggle with your lovey. 

Potentially related to breaking the swaddle:  you’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to eat lately (usually between 3-5 AM) and you’ve been eating almost an entire bottle each time.  I’m more than happy to feed you if you’re hungry, and it seems like you are, so we’ll just chalk this one up to a growth spurt.  You wake up other times during the night and calm yourself back down to fall back asleep, so I know you can soothe yourself to sleep if you need to – it’s the times that you’re hungry that you start squawking a little bit louder and more incessantly we know it’s time for a bottle.

You’re very close to sitting independently - your pediatrician said she suspected that within the next 2-3 weeks you’ll have mastered it.  You’ve also started figuring out object permanence, and will look (and sometimes try quite hard!) to pick up objects that you’ve dropped while playing.   You’re also becoming quite vocal, and have started babbling “ma-ma-ma, ba-ba-ba, and da-da-da” – and when you’re tired and ready for bed is usually when you babble the most. 

I can hardly believe you’re already six months old!  I thank God every day that we have you and we can’t imagine our lives without you.

I love you so much, sweet pea.

August 6, 2012

Five Months!

 

Thank you to everyone for your supportive and insightful comments on my last post – your comments mean a lot to me, and it’s comforting knowing I’m not alone.

_ _ _

I can hardly believe that we’re up to this point…but L turned five months old recently!  Time is flying!

L’s 5 month stats:

Weight: 16 pounds, 1 ounce (76th percentile)
Length:  unknown, since we didn’t have a doctor’s appointment this month
Bottles & ounces per day:5/6  bottles, usually 4 oz in the morning and 6-7 oz. for your later feedings
Diaper size: Size 3′s in Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive during the day, size 3′s in Pampers baby dry for overnight – switching to all baby dry all the time, though, since the size 3 Swaddlers have a funky smell.
Clothing size: 6 months, but moving up to 9 months quite quickly

Loves:   Mortimer the Moose, going for walks in the morning on the weekends, standing up on my lap and testing out your leg strength, rice cereal (the plain-Jane Gerber kind…none of that “fancy” organic brown rice with DHA stuff, as you gagged when I gave it to you), your taggies toy on your car seat, “petting” our dogs & cat any chance you get…and by “petting” I mean pulling out handfuls of their fur.

Hates: Brown rice cereal, as described above….and apples/applesauce – you gagged when we gave you this, but it was actually more than just gagging…you did a whole body shudder when you attempted to swallow it, then looked at me like I was trying to feed you the most vile thing on the planet.  Back to plain rice cereal for you, my dear!

Things of Note & Milestones:  We celebrated daddy’s birthday and you helped me by “signing” a card for him when I gave you a marker and let you go to town (note to self: buy crayons).  Also, you started eating your rice cereal in a high chair like a big girl – and you even open your mouth when you want another bite!  You’re getting more and more vocal and have started to protest if we take you away from something you enjoy. 

You’ve discovered your feet!  Just within the past few days you’ve noticed your feet when I’m changing your diaper – you love to pull on them and wiggle around on the changing table.  Which brings me to my next point: you’re rarely content to sit still or sit on my lap anymore – you want to be moving around!  You’ve started scooting around while on your back (although, to be fair, you’ve been doing this since your newborn days in your crib) but now instead of just moving vertically, you can move clockwise/counter-clockwise.  You’re a girl on the go!

I love you so much, sweet pea.

August 2, 2012

the treadmill.

Initially I posted this, then chickened out and marked it as “private.”  The urging of some friends gave me the boost of confidence I needed to  re-publish it for all to see.  I hope some other women out there can relate to it.
_ _ _

Every morning at 5:20 sharp, my treadmill starts.   Left, right…left, right.  One foot in front of the other.  The hum of the treadmill belt is deafening.

Finally, sometime between 7:00 and 7:30 PM, the hum starts to quiet.  Slowly, the belt slows to a halt.   For now, my journey is complete.  If I’m lucky, I’m on the treadmill on a Friday – that way, when I hop off, I have respite for two glorious days.  If I’m not so lucky, I’m on the treadmill on a Monday and still have four more days to go.
_ _ _

I get less than an hour to spend with L in the morning before we drop her off at daycare.  In the evening, I get an hour and forty-five minutes with her before she goes to bed.  Two hours and forty-five minutes of time with my daughter during a 24 hour period.  This kills me.  It’s not enough.

We’ve looked at the budget and tried to cut back – we’ve called our cell phone providers to negotiate a lower rate, refinanced our mortgage, considered selling our car (not financially feasible right now).  We’ve gone over and over it in our heads and on paper, but we can’t make it work right now on just one income. It’s not enough.

I look at the clock often during the day and wish that there were more hours in a day.  I wish that we lived closer to our jobs so that our commute wouldn’t take almost an hour each way every single day.  I wish that I could figure out a way to multi-task to fit more in during a 24 hour period.  I think about getting up earlier in the morning, or going to bed later at night.  I still know, deep down, that it’s not enough.
_ _ _

Despite our best efforts, sometimes it feels like we’re holding on by the skin of our teeth. 

I get angry that our society doesn’t seem to value the family unit and mothers anymore, and instead values the almighty dollar and the number of hours put in at the office. 

I get angry with politicians (regardless of political affiliation) who say that they’re going to change things but don’t - we’re still in a terrible economy with high unemployment, people afraid to lose their jobs because of how bad things are. 

I get angry because although we play by the rules and are responsible adults who are doing things by the book, we still feel sometimes like we’re scraping by.  I know things could be much, much worse (and I’m so thankful for everything that we have) but I also think that things also could be much, much better….not just for us, but for everyone

_ _ _

I know I’m not alone on the treadmill – millions of others are right there with me, plodding along each and every day.  There has to be a better way.  Left, right…left, right.  The hum of the treadmill belt is deafening.

July 13, 2012

A Day in the Life – 4 Months

5:20 AM: Alarm goes off for work.  Check email, scroll through Twitter for interesting updates.  Roll out of bed to shower & get ready for work.  Make coffee, empty the dishwasher, and get my own breakfast together.  Thank myself for having the foresight to pick out my outfit the night before so I don’t stand in front of my closet for 15 minutes (that I don’t have) trying to figure out what to wear.

6:15 AM: Wake L up for the morning.  Some days, she’s already wiggling around and kicking her legs in her crib.  Other days, she’s still sound asleep.    Today is a wiggly day!  Once we peer over the edge of her crib and make eye contact with her, she starts grinning.  I change her diaper, get her out of her PJ’s and into her clothes for daycare. 

6:30 AM: First bottle of the day in the glider in her room.  We still use the Boppy for arm support now that she’s a bit bigger/heavier.  Such a lifesaver.

6:45 AM: Pack L’s daycare bottles as well as breakfast for myself.  Get L in her car seat, give her an a&a swaddle blanket to chew on.  Pack everyone (and everything!) in the car and hit the road.  Hubs and I commute together, and it’s his day to drive.

7:10 AM: Arrive at daycare.  Sign her in, fill out her daily “tracking” sheet, put her bottles in the fridge.  Take her out of her car seat, give her a hug and a kiss, and tell her we’ll be back soon. 

7:30 AM – 4:00 PM: Work, work, work.

4:20 PM: Arrive at daycare to pick L up – best time of the day!  She’s just gotten done eating and is in a pretty good mood.  Grab her leftover bottle, put her in the car seat and head home.

4:50 PM: Arrive at home.   L has fallen asleep on our drive, so we keep her in her carseat and set her in her room with her white noise on to finish her catnap.  This gives us some time to go through the mail, rinse out bottles, change our clothes, and figure out what the plan is for dinner.

5:10 PM: Start making dinner. 

5:15 PM: Hubs gets L out of her car seat, as she’s woken up.  He changes her diaper, plays with her, and keeps her occupied and happy while I finish dinner.

5:30 PM: Dinnertime for the adults.  L sits her swing, content to chew on her Mortimer moose. 

5:45 PM: Dinnertime for the peanut.  She has about half of a bottle as an appetizer, then has her rice cereal. 

6:00 PM: Bath time!  One of L’s favorite times of the day.  We splash, I sing “Rubber Ducky” to her, and we enjoy some time together.

6:20 PM: Time to wind down for bed.  We change her diaper, get her in her jammies, and swaddle her.  Then, hubs finishes feeding her the last part of her bottle in the glider in her room.

6:45/7:00 PM: Hubs comes out from L’s room after she’s fallen asleep.  I’m usually making bottles for the next day at this point. 

7:15 PM – 9:00 PM:  Our downtime for the evening.  This is typically when we’ll do our web-surfing/catching up on TV/talking about our days and what we have on the docket for the next day.   Tonight, I’m working on a Peapod order and watching “American Ninja Warrior” with hubs. 

9:00 PM: Bedtime!  Since I get up at 5:20, I’m typically exhausted by 9:00 so we head into bed.  Hubs reads for a bit on his phone, but usually by the time he goes to sleep I’ve been sleeping for at least a half an hour.

July 5, 2012

Four Months!

I’m deciding to do monthly updates because in looking back over all of my pregnancy posts, I realized how much I had already forgotten.  I don’t want to forget some of L’s milestones (no matter how small!) so monthly updates it is.  (Kind of kicking myself for not doing this sooner and being all ambivalent about things…but que sera sera.)

 L’s 4 month stats:

Weight: 14 pounds, 10 ounces (71st percentile)
Length: 26 1/4 inches (97th percentile)
Bottles & ounces per day: 5 / 6  bottles (if you’re being more of a snacker that day), usually 6-7 oz. per bottle
Diaper size: Size 2′s in Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive, but moving up to size 3 fairly quickly.  Also in  size 3′s in Pampers baby dry for overnight
Clothing size: 6 months in pretty much all brands
Loves:   Sophie the giraffe, Mortimer the moose, your purple hippo lovey up against your face while you’re sleeping, gnawing on a&a swaddle blankets in your car seat, laughing and smiling when mama sings while feeding you your dinner (favorite songs include Baby Beluga, Do-Re-Me/Doe a Deer, and Ain’t No Sunshine)
Hates: Being woken up early from a nap for any reason (including if you wake yourself up), tummy time, the NoseFrida

Things of Note & Milestones:  This month was one in which our whole world, as we knew it, was turned upside down.  I went back to work on your 3 month birthday, and it took us awhile to get our bearings.  We’re still working on getting the hang of things – you were sick for the first time (a bad, bad milestone) and the night before your baptism you woke up every single hour because you weren’t feeling well.  You rallied quickly and had a good week before falling ill a second time with a cold (that you’re still trying to kick).  Those darn daycare germs are the worst.

As I mentioned, you were baptized this month!  We had our families over for a dinner after the service and because you weren’t feeling well we kind of had to cut things short.  I understand – you were tired and needed your rest!  We also celebrated father’s day with daddy for the first time, which was really special.

You started laughing this month – it began as more of a “razzing” sound when something tickled your fancy, but just recently you started saying “ha!” and it’s the cutest thing ever.  You’re so close to rolling over I can practically taste it – you start kicking your feet and I think it’s going to happen, but then you get tired and decide to lay down instead.  Your head control continues to get better and better, and you want to be sitting up like a “big girl” most of the time now.  I can’t believe you’re 4 months already!  Love you *so* much.

In the pool for the first time!

June 18, 2012

Two.

To my Husband:

Last year, while at dinner celebrating our one year wedding anniversary, we discussed our hopes and dreams for the upcoming year.  In fact, we both wished for the very same thing that evening: a baby.  Little did we know that night, but I was pregnant – I just hadn’t found out yet.  Our wish was going to come true.

Our second year of marriage will always be in my memory as the year I was pregnant, and the year we became a family of three.  You were there throughout all of the ups and downs of my pregnancy – including bed rest.  I’ll never forget the look on your face the moment that L was born – it was one of the best moments of my life, and I’m sure it was one of yours, too.  Remembering what you looked like when you held her and talked to her for the first time still brings tears to my eyes.  It might be cliché, but it’s true: seeing your husband become a father makes you fall in love even more.

Sleep deprivation and the steep learning curve of having a newborn will test the mettle of any marriage, and working together as a team is essential now – there’s nobody I would rather work alongside.  Raising our daughter is going to be one of the biggest challenges that we’ll ever have, but I also know it will be one  of our greatest accomplishments.  Delighting with you in the milestones that L reaches (no matter how small!) is one of my greatest joys. 

In closing, I’m going to quote what I said to you last year, because I feel like it’s even more apropos this year:  “Every day. Together. For better or worse.  I love you and I’m so glad I get to walk by your side, every day, forever.” 

Happy anniversary!

All of my love, 
me

(photo courtesy MThree Studio)

June 11, 2012

Crossroads.

I know I haven’t blogged much lately, and it’s not because I don’t have much to say – on the contrary, I could regale you with tales of L puking down my shirt 5 minutes before I had to walk out the door this morning for work, or how I had a 102 degree fever on Friday with some sort of virus/infection from hell….or I could choose to be positive and tell you just how adorable L was last night when we were feeding her before bed. 

Instead, however, I’ve let my blog gather dust and sit in silence for one reason: I’m not sure how to blog about my life anymore.  You see, my life now includes another life – one that weighs roughly 13.5 pounds and is quite ticklish on the bottoms of her feet.  And when I think about blogging about her or our life together with hubs as a family, I stop myself.  I’m not sure how much of L’s life I want on the internet. 

I’ve gone back and made my swaddle video private.  I am afraid to type her full name on my blog because I don’t want her to be “Google-able.”  I’ve only posted a few pictures of her to Twitter since she’s been born.  I’m not sure what I’m afraid of, really…but I do know that when I read blogs where the author asks their readers to “please do not post any pictures of my baby to Pinterest!” it makes me feel sick to my stomach.  The thought of people pinning and re-pinning pictures of my baby alongside the latest crock pot mac ‘n cheese recipe?  No thank you.  (Admittedly, the pictures that I would be posting wouldn’t be Pinterest-worthy anyway, but people pin some crazy things.)

Perhaps it’s my mama bear instinct to protect her from people.  Perhaps it’s me grappling with something I have been since pregnancy – how much sharing is too much sharing?  On one hand, I love the sense of community that I’ve gained from blogging, and truly value the friendships I’ve made from blogging.  On the other hand, anyone in the entire world can read this blog and look at pictures of me and my family and my baby….and that makes me feel a little weirded out. 

Do I try to continue blogging without sharing pictures?  (boring.)  Do I make my blog private?  (kind of a pain.)  Do I start blogging at a different address as an anonymous blogger?  (ugh.)  Do I just suck it up, watermark my pictures, and try not worry about the random strangers on the internet or what L will think when she is old enough to realize that I’ve blogged her childhood?  (I’m not sure.)  Since I know I have an audience that includes mamas, mamas-to-be, and bloggers….what say you?  How are you handling being a mother and a blogger, or maintaining a sense of privacy as a blogger?

May 17, 2012

Double your swaddle…double your fun.

So, I know I haven’t blogged in forever, yadda yadda yadda….but a few of us mamas were talking about swaddling on Twitter –  Jessica and Colleen, specifically – and I volunteered to vlog how we do our version of the double swaddle / swaddle strap.  Evidently it was just the kick in the hind end that I needed to dust off the blog.  If you have no interest in swaddling or babies or anything of that nature, just skip this post because it will be of little interest to you.

So.  The swaddle.  As I mention in the video, hubs and I have spent quite a bit of money on swaddle supplies for our little Houdini baby.  We have:

  1. 4 Halo sleepsack swaddles – 1 fleece newborn size, 1 cotton newborn size, 2 cotton size small
  2. 1 Woombie (we also returned 1″Houdini Woombie – supposedly a “stronger” version of the Woombie but we couldn’t tell a difference between it and the original, so it went back to Amazon)
  3. 4 hand-me-down “First Years” swaddle blankets – these seem to be most like the Summer Infant swaddle blankets
  4. a package of Aden & Anais swaddle blankets
There are pros and cons to all of these – the A&A blankets worked perfectly for “Russian swaddling” for about a week (Google it if you don’t know what that is) but then L figured out how to get her arms out so that was a bust.  We tried using 2 A&A blankets – 1 swaddled Russian style, and then another on top of that swaddled “traditionally” but it was too hot.  The Woombie was perfect for her when she was still a tiny little peanut, but she is able to get her arms up by her face/chin in the Woombie and she needs her arms at her sides to keep from flailing herself awake.
We’ve had the most luck with the Halo sleepsack swaddles, hence why we have 4 of them – including a “back-up” swaddle at all times in case of an unfortunate diaper leak incident in the middle of the night.  Not that that’s happened  on a Sunday night when we were both exhausted or anything.   Ahem.
The Halo swaddles are great, but no matter how tightly I wrap the “wings” around her arms, she’s still able to wiggle them up and around to get them to her face.  (And before I get emails saying “maybe she doesn’t want to be swaddled!  That’s why she’s breaking out of them!  Let her sleep with her hands by her face!”  I will say that I’ve tried putting her down to sleep for naps unswaddled and it’s had disastrous results. DISASTROUS.)  So, I needed reinforcements with the Halo swaddle.

Admittedly, this version isn’t going to work very well once it gets hot here (we’re still using our furnace because it’s in the 40′s at night, so L isn’t at risk of overheating) but I’m using my noggin and trying to figure out a way to do it during the summer months, too.  Our parents think that using the “baby straightjacket” version of swaddling might be a bit extreme…but you can’t argue with results, and those results are SLEEP for us and for her, which is important.

SO!  The video.  I apologize in advance for the number of times I sniff during the video – if I do this in real life as much as I do during this video, I feel very sorry for my friends and family because it’s slightly out of control.  Also, pay no attention to my lack of makeup / messy hair –  it’s usually a choice between makeup or hair, not both….and evidently today it was neither.  Enough disclaimers.

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