Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For everyone not on Facebook...

video

Jim and I occasionally take video and post it. Here's my attempt to post a particularly cute one on the blog!

Did I mention my computer has been on the fritz now for months and I've been doing most of my blogging from my iPhone? Also the iPhone - for all it's wonderful features - does not interact well with Blogger. So if all you see on this post is text and no video you'll know why!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

2-month check-up

Here's the stats from our 2-month well check:

Weight: 13 lbs, 8 ounces (90th percentile)
Height: 23.5 inches (90th percentile)
Head circumference: 15.1 inches

Halle also received her first round of shots today. She was such a brave girl! We're a little sore and tired now, but no worse for the wear. Halle even was willing to still smile for the camera!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's a trade-off...

Halle has moved up to taking eight ounces per feeding. Great. Did I mention I'm still only pumping 4-6 ounces at a time? Thank God for those Enfamil coupons! (Speaking of, Jim discovered how much one of those little cans cost. I think he has a lot more respect for breastfeeding!)

However she did sleep until 6:30 this morning. No night feeding. And we are only 10.5 weeks old! We can do this!

Also we had our house sprayed for bugs today and the guys were able to remove the snake who has been living in our window-well for the past month. But then I went to the dentist and discovered I have two cavities - the first I've ever had. Like I said... it's a trade-off.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday night: Date-night!

Last night we decided to do our date night in. We made grilled chicken, sauté veggies, rice and grilled pineapple! Yum! It's so nice to have time together after Halle goes to bed.

Speaking of, we had to pinch ourselves when a) she went right to sleep, no paci or fussing and b) slept 8 hours before her next feeding!

She's been starting to stretch out her sleep at night. Thursday night (while I was at work) she slept 7 hours before her next feeding.

I thought 12 hours by 12 weeks was ambitious... but can it be done? We'll find out!

Cute sidenote: Halle has discovered the little animals on the toy bar for her bouncer. She is mesmerized by them! Right now she is jabbering away at them... Jim and I call them her "little friends"!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sleep training: one week later...

Ok, so technically it's been a week and one day since we started our new schedule.

And it. is. AWESOME!

Getting Halle on a consistent schedule was the best thing! Here are some current stats:

- Halle is now exclusively bottle-feeding and I am exclusively pumping. When I began doing this I realized I was not making enough milk for baby girl! Halle requires 5-7 ounces per feeding and I was barely making 3. Mommy is working on boosting her milk supply. In the meantime we've had to start supplementing with a little formula. Halle is a champ, and is taking both well! Bottle-feeding has allowed others (mainly Daddy) to be part of the feeding and bedtime routines. Which has given Mommy a lot of flexibility!

- Halle is sleeping a solid 6-hour stretch at night and only requires two small feedings to make it 12 hours in her crib.

- Halle goes down easily in her crib with minimal interventions from us. Everyday is different and we've had several occasions of difficulty getting her to fall asleep in her crib, but only after a disruption in her normal routine (i.e. moving Aunt Teea to college).

- Halle is a much happier baby on the schedule. She has set awake times where she is very playful and social and is only fussy when it's close to naptime! Jim and I are both enjoying getting to play and interact with her more.

- I am loving the new schedule. I feel like I have a lot more freedom because her feeding and sleeping times are predictable and set. We've been able to venture out of the house more. Jim and I have gotten more quality time together since the establishment of bedtime. And I have down-time during the day when she naps. All-in-all a BIG improvement! I even worked my first 12-hour shift since coming back from maternity leave. Instead of intense relief at being out of the house, I found that I actually missed my little girl. I also feel that Jim and I are more of a team now when it comes to parenting. We've been getting up together at night for her feeds and he is able to take care of her by himself without any difficulty. Rarely do I feel overwhelmed or alone since starting the new schedule, and my perspective on motherhood is improving. Things are looking up, my friends!

We are a happier baby, Mommy and family!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sleep Training 101

Welcome to Baby boot camp.

After much thought and prayer, I recently came to some conclusions. First, I don't like the person I am becoming. I told Jim the other day that I feel more like a feeding- and diaper-changing machine than a human being (specifically "Daja"). My entire life revolves around Halle's eating and sleeping (or lack thereof). Activities and relationships I used to participate in have either fallen away or I've lost my desire to participate completely. I don't believe God created me with my unique talents and desires to become someone who is shut-up in the house, either too exhausted or too afraid of how Halle will handle the new situation.

Secondly, Halle is not a happy camper these days. My wonderful newborn has turned into a cranky baby and I've been too exhausted to deal with it properly. I've been developing bad habits with Halle out of desperation to get her to sleep. I want her to have the ability to sleep on her own and be a happy, sociable baby when she is awake. Frazzled Mommy definitely equals frazzled baby!

Finally, Jim and I need some structure back in our home and marriage where every moment together is not spent playing "Baby shuffle" so we can individually get sleep or run errands, etc. We've been blessed that our parents have willing to watch her and give us time out of the house together, but we are craving the ability to have alone-time together at home.

I was pouring out my problems to a dear friend the other day (which seems to be the only conversation I can contribute these days) and she suggested I put Halle on a schedule. I'm not sure why I haven't thought of this before! Currently I allow Halle to eat/sleep/play whenever she wants. This plan is obviously not working!

So here was a solution. I researched out different "baby-training" books and found one with excellent reviews. This book promises 12 hours sleep by 12 weeks of age. This I am not as optimistic about achieving, but I do appreciate how it sets up a day and night schedule and emphasizes teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own.

Needless to say, I bought the book (title of which I will share after my experience) and we are following the steps. And, in one day, we have already achieved several milestones including moving Halle to her crib, eating on a four-hour schedule, and only waking for two night feedings during the 12 hours she was in her crib!

This is already making a huge difference for our family. I feel empowered as a mother and hopeful, for the first time since we brought her home, that we will survive this. Halle is already sleeping more soundly, eating better, and much calmer during her awake hours. Jim and I have enjoyed quiet evening time together alone without having to leave the house.

We will keep you posted on our progress! In the meantime, we are looking forward to meeting our goals:

Happy, healthy baby.
Happy, healthy Mommy.
Happy, healthy family.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8 week stats...

At 8 weeks, we are...

- wearing 3-month sized outfits and 6-month sized jammies. Yes folks, we are a LONG baby! Halle's 2-month appointment is next week, so we'll get the "official" height and weight stats then.

- able to hold our head up steady for quite a while and able to stand on Mommy's lap with minimal support!

- also able to push off with our legs from a squatting to standing position with minimal support. We are a strong little girl!

- very alert and able to stay awake and socialize for longer periods of time.

- able to suck on ANYTHING. The inside of Mommy's arm has multiple bruises to prove that fact. We also recently discovered our fist. Mommy is looking forward to developing our ability to self-soothe!

- showering with Mommy. We gave up on the silly bathtub. Halle loves standing in the shower with Mommy but HATES her head under the sprayer.

- still hating the car, bouncer, swing... we pretty much want to be held all. the. time. Yay.

- eating like a champ. Every 2-3 hours still plus occasional supplementing during growth spurts.

- NOT sleeping like a champ. To all you parents out there whose children slept 6-8 hours at 8 weeks... I hate you. Halle ranges from sleeping between feeds (every 2-3 hours) to taking 15-20 minute cat-naps during her growth spurts. For days at a time. Yay.

- cooing, growling, smiling and trying to mimic Mommy and Daddy's every facial expression. Today I laughed at her and she tried so hard to mimic my laugh. It was a pretty good attempt even though no sound came out!

- the prettiest little girl ever! We love our wild red hair and ability to look good in any color.

8 weeks...

Halle is 8 weeks old today.

And I. am. EXHAUSTED.

Everyone else I know who's had a baby this year had written these cheery posts about THEIR babies sleeping through the night by 8-9 weeks. And, between the 13 of us at work and multiple friends and acquaintances who were expecting this year, that's a lot of babies.

Halle decided to stop sleeping altogether at eight weeks. Always different... and difficult!

Let's just say that in the past 31 hours, we've slept three. Add to that the fact that Jim has been out of town two of the past three weeks and I've been doing the up-straight-for-28 hours business alone. This mama is tired!

I never slept well in my pregnancy beyond the first trimester (in which I felt like Rip Van Winkle... I pretty much sleep-walked from the couch to the toilet for 12 weeks) so I figure in all I have not slept for 35 weeks. I'm pretty much starting to lose my mind from lack of sleep.

We have this wood plaque above our bed and in the past two days it has crossed my mind that if it were to fall on my head it would knock me unconscious... and I felt relief at the thought of being unaware of the incessant crying. I've also planned out my "escape route", or what I'd do if I could get in my car and leave town for a day. Or more.

Like I said, I'm losing it.

Here's to hoping for a little sleep soon!

(and yes, I will post the obligatory picture and 8-week stats later.)

(maybe.)