Friday, September 21, 2012

How times have changed....

I never realized how busy you truly are with a baby and how that little time you get to yourself you use to catch up on your cleaning and sleeping (not blogging).

Times sure have changed. Our little one is no longer that little. She is actually 9 months old today. She is about 20lbs and 28" long. She is crawling like a mad women around, attempting to stand (but only being able to do it for 2 seconds at time), and is blabbling like crazy. She also already has 3 teeth (2 bottoms and 1 top). So like I said times sure have changed since I last blogged on here.  Even just look at her, she looks so much older!!

What have I learned in those 9 months so far...?
1. Teething tablets are like black magic. I don't understand what they do or how they do it, but they work (almost instantaneously)
2. Daycare is amazing for babies to develop socially as well as work on their attachment anxiety.
3. You can make baby food out of anything practically, and it is fun!! I have mixed the most random things (for example green peppers, bananas, and squash ....wah lah... a dinner a baby will love).
4. Crying it out, though a controversial issue when brought up among a group of moms, worked for us. She now easily sleeps 10+ hours a night (some nights even 12 hours) and only wakes up when she really needs something.
5. Target Up and Up brand Diapers are the best for multiple reasons: best priced, super absorbent, and fit well.
6. There is such thing as "too many toys", babies can become over stimulated and frustrated we have found. Also the more toys=the bigger mess.

Hopefully, I will get a chance to update again, sooner than 9 months from now. Until then :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

No Sew Baby Tutu

THese are the steps I take to make a No Sew Tutu. But let me start by saying, this I learned from Miss Britta Melby. She makes them for kids at her daycare and hers turn out way cuter than mine, but I'm learning...thanks to her! 

(I got 3 rolls of tulle. I have found that it's better to have too much tulle than too little) have yourself a cute tutu for a cute baby! No sewing required!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shop till she drops...

Everyone who knows me knows I LOVE to shop. We have a wedding coming up next weekend and I couldn't find a dress that fit me right so we, Chad, Elle, and I, decided to go shopping. We started our day meeting Jess at Zantigo for some lunch and then we were off to start at JCPenneys. I found lots of things to try on and actually ended up finding a great dress....but...then I needed off to the shoe department we went! While trying on different styles and sizes of shoes I look over and here is what I see...
Apparently Elle has as much interest in shopping as her dad does... She didn't even stay awake long enough for us to finish at the first store...luckily I had found a dress and shoes there so we didn't have to go anywhere else. But oh boy, what am I going to do with this little girl on Black will she keep up with us?!?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Must Have Baby Toy!!!

If someone asked me what was a must have toy for your baby...I would say "Wrist Rattles"!  We have given Ellery stuffed animals, but she doesn't show a whole lot of interest in them yet. Usually it's me making her hug the stuffed animals, or I will wrap her fingers around a regular rattle and she will either throw it across the room or hit herself in the head with it. Wrist Rattles though are great! They are little animal heads that simply velcro around the baby's wrists like bracelets, and when the baby wiggles or moves their arms they make the rattling noise. Elle LOVES them. When she gets really excited she goes crazy with her arms and makes tons of noise and it makes her laugh and laugh. If she is really moving her legs one day, it is nice because I can just hook them on her ankles.

The best part... they were only $3 at Walmart! So I suggest everyone that has a little one, go pick a set up!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

DIY Felt Flowers

My new hobby: making headbands for Ellery. 

It's soooo easy. Here is a step by step on how to make these felt flowers for a headband!

Either a growth spurt...or I jinxed myself...

So last night I was posting all about how great and effective our bedtime routine is. Elle has now been sleeping through the night for the past month I would say and its the best. Well last night... different story! She was up every couple hours...first at 10pm, then 1:30am, then 3am, then 6am and now she is wide awake at 8am.... So I think I either jinxed myself by saying how great it all was or she is going through her 3 month growth spurt.... I really hope it's just the growth spurt and it will only last a couple days max because I gave up coffee for Lent and boy I sure could use a coffee today!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Bedtime Routine That Works!

The 3 B's Bedtime works!

 (eventually we will throw a book in the mix and make it the 4 B's)

Every night we do the SAME THING, at the SAME TIME, in the SAME ORDER! We start at 8pm with giving Elle a bath. Some people told us not to do a bath every night because it can dry out her skin, but we have been keeping an eye on it and she hasn't really had any dry skin and if she starts to dry up, we will get out the lotion. :) After her bath, we relax on the couch with her bottle, she now has the routine down and after the bottle is gone, she cuddles up and usually will fall right asleep on my chest. Then we simply transfer her to her crib. It sounds really easy and honestly it is most nights! The only thing I would have done differently...I would have started this routine from the start...we didn't start this she was like 6 weeks old. I think if you start it instantly it will even be more effective...and let's be honest...anything that gives mom and dad more time to sleep the better! :)

Busy Busy Busy

Wow I haven't posted forever... I'm sure all my fans out there are dying HAHA I know no one actually reads this so its not the end of the world. I have just been soooo busy! I am back at work full time now, I'm also still in grad school, and Ellery is sleeping less and less everyday!

I am going to try to get back into posting more but this little girl is keeping me on my toes and any spare time I have I find myself asleep on the couch. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

1st Week Back @ Work

This week I had to go back to My maternity leave has officially ended. I still am in shock that it went by so fast. 
The first day was by far the hardest: dropping her off at daycare (with a bunch of strangers) and then trying to have a productive day isn't easy at all. I defiantly cried on my drive to work and then when I got to work I found one of Elle's pacifiers in my coat pocket, which made me miss her again. The day was slow, but after it was over, I sped home and picked her up at daycare. They said she had a good day and was very giggly so that made me feel better about sending her there. Each day got easier when it came to dropping her off in the mornings and picking her up everyday is the best. She is always so happy to see me and that makes my day. :) 

On Friday, Chad was off of work so it was a "daddy daycare" day. He got to spend the whole day with her and the best part...he surprised me by bringing her in for a visit at my work. It just made my day :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Oh Mastitis!

It's official, I have Mastitis. Mastitis is an infection in the boobies that women can get while breastfeeding/pumping. My doctor explained to me that it usually happens when you get a plugged milk duct and an infection builds up behind it. 

The reason I was concerned that "something" was wrong was because this past Saturday through Tuesday I had a fever ranging from 100°F all the way up to 104°F. I had the chills and sweats and my body ached. Also pumping was overly painful those few days. On Friday, I had my 6 week postpartum check up with Dr. Brandes, so I mentioned all this to her and she said it's mastitis. Luckily, she was able to prescribe antibiotics for it and said hopefully in a week all should be back to normal. Besides the antibiotics, she said breastfeeding and pumping through the infection will help clear it out of my system faster (and she reassured me that I don't need to worry about infecting the baby). 

I'm about halfway through my antibiotics, and my fever is completely gone now for a couple of days. I still hurt quite a bit but hopefully in the last few days of this antibiotic that will go away too. 

Oh mastitis I hope I never get you again!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Baby Tears=Worst Thing Ever!

Well they are here....Ellery's tears when she cries. :'( You know how I said catching her smiling is the best feeling ever, well seeing big, wet tears slide down the side of her face when she is crying is officially the worst feeling ever. It just makes her cries seem that much more real and it really shows how sad she is.

Last night (6 weeks 1 day old) was the first night I have seen these tears appear. She was crying because she was sooooo tired (she hadn't slept all day) and just couldn't seem to fall asleep. You could tell how frustrating it was for her and nothing seemed to calm her down. We were at the Mahdi's house just hanging out and she just started to cry. So we tried her nook, tried to feed her, tried to walk around their house with her, tried burping her, changed her...nothing seemed to help and actually with the more things we tried the more upset she got. Her face got all red, her body got all hot and sweaty and she just screamed at the top of her lungs! I felt bad because we couldn't figure out how to just get her to relax and sleep, but then I saw it. Under her little eye lashes, big tears started to gather, and then one rolled down the side of her pudgy cheek. :'( It broke my heart. Poor little girl.

Eventually she did calm down and instantly went to sleep but oh those tears broke my heart the rest of the night.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Transferring E to Her Own Room...

She is 5 1/2 weeks old now and I think its time she sleeps in her room (plus she makes so much random noise when sleeping next to us so we end up getting minimal sleep). Is there a specific way to comfortably move her to her own room or do you just put her in there one night and hope for the best?

That's what we started with. We put her in there one night, shut the door and went to bed...within minutes it was crying and screaming at the top of her lungs...I guess that's not the correct way to do it...

So the next day, we spent the day thinking what would make her feel like this wasn't such a big deal....first we put her mattress from the pack-n-play in her crib. She's been sleeping on that for weeks and it has her "smell" on it. It's gotta help right? Then I thought lets try to get a nap in that room. If anything it is a start. That afternoon she fell asleep in her swing and once we thought she was in a "deep sleep" we moved her. SUCCESS! She slept there for about and hour but like I said it was a start!

That night would be the real test though...At about 11pm we rocked her to sleep in her rocking chair and attempted the transfer. When we put her in her crib she instantly got fussy but we just stood there and rubbed/patted her on the side. Apparently that is the trick...instantly asleep! And besides waking up for her two feedings, she slept there till 9am!

Last night, being day 3 of this adventure was yet again a success. We did exactly the same thing as the night before. At 11pm, rocked her to sleep, and then put her crib (where I continued to rub/pat her on her side till she fell asleep.

Tonight...the pack and play gets put away! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First "REAL" Smile :)

When really little babies smile, people automatically say "it's gas". So when is a baby supposed to express a genuine, meaning-filled smile?

I found many websites and read many books where it talks about babies smile instantly after birth in their sleep, but these are called "reflex smiles". Although they say somewhere around your baby's 6th week of life they will express a "learned smile" (a smile as a reaction to something).

Today Ellery is almost 5 weeks old and I think we have now not only seen her "learned smile" but also caught it on camera. All day today she has been smiling at Chad and I. The smile is different than the type of smiles we see her doing in her sleep or that she  was originally doing.Today she really has been opening up her mouth wide to smile. Plus her eyes get really big and she seems to focus on whatever is in front of her., instead of just letting her eyes wander around the room. I hope these are "real" smiles we are seeing today and I really hope we see many more of them in the next couple days. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1 month old

Age: 1 month
Height: 22 inches
Weight: 10 lbs 1 oz

Oh my goodness she is a month old today. How is it that the last month of pregnancy goes by SO slow and yet the first month of my little girl's life just flew by?!? In this past month, she has gained 1 lb and 7oz already. She is still able to wear newborn sizes, but also able to fit into some of her 0-3 month sized clothes (especially her footie-pajamas because she is so long). 

Miss Ellery is still a great baby, cries very little, eats a lot and poops a ton! To celebrate her one month birthday, her Grandma Sue and I took her shopping for some new clothes :)

Her next doctor appointment is when she is 2 months and that is also when she will get her first round of shots. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Look What I Can Do With A Baby Carrier!!

The best invention ever for a mom that has tons to do and a new baby in her time: The Baby Carrier! It is amazing! As soon as a baby is 8lbs+ she can be carried in it (which for little Ellery was as soon as she was born).

Today I tried it out, and it was amazing the things I could get done all while still holding her. Here are just a few of the things I accomplished today with her:

#1 I did my hair, while holding her.

#2 I put my makeup on, while holding her.

#3 I vacuumed the house, while holding her.
I still plan on making dinner tonight while holding her and who knows what else I'll do yet today. :)

From one first time mom to any soon to be mammas out there. Here is my suggestion "If you don't have a baby carrier or don't know if you should get one... GET ONE!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tummy Time

Tummy time is the best! It gives babies a different view of the world around them and it is great way to help infants develop their muscles. Tummy time works on infants holding their heads up, strengthens their back muscles and gets them to work on moving their legs (encouraging  rolling and crawling motions).

We try to give Ellery tummy time a couple times a day. Usually she only has it for 5-10 minutes at a time, or until she gets overly frustrated. She tries so hard though...her legs are always a moving and she grunts and moans as she is attempting to move on her own.

Tonight we used a bobby to help her during tummy time. I read online that a boppy pillow will angle babies at an angle that encourages them to use their neck muscles and lift their heads (and that should be the original focus of tummy time...they need to do that before they can crawl and roll). Well she apparently did not like her boppy tonight because she maneuvered herself right out of it. Here is the video I got of her tonight. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ellery's Weight Check

Because last week Ellery only gained .5 oz, Dr. Brandes wanted her to come in again in a week to get reweighed. If she wasn't gaining weight, we would have to talk about her diet and discuss possibly supplementing formula. If she does gain weight by the weigh in (at least .5oz a day is what Dr. Brandes wants her to gain) then all will be great and she can keep on her breast milk diet. 

Well.... at 2 weeks she weighed 8lbs 12.5oz... and now at 3 weeks she weighs 9lbs 7.5oz! She gained 12oz in 7 days! That is great the dr said: almost 2oz a day! We think that she is going through her "3 week growth spurt" because she has doubled her intake of milk and seems to always want to eat now. Last night at two different times she drank about 5oz of milk. Prior to this she was only drinking 2.5oz at a time. We definitely have a growing girl, with a growing belly. She looks so funny lately...her legs and arms and even chest are so skinny...but her belly is SO ROUND...and her face is really filling out. Such a chunky monkey...but such a cutie too :)

Well she better enjoy this time when everyone is wanting her to gain weight...because before she knows it she will be hit with the pressure of society wanting girls to lose weight...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baby Language

I saw this video today and it really intrigued me. It is a great video regarding babies and their language they are using to communicate with moms/dads to tell them what they need before they get to that loud hysterical cry. Apparently there are 5 key sounds or words babies are using to express their specific needs.
"Neh"      means "I'm hungry"
"Owh"     means "I'm sleepy"
"Heh"      means "I'm uncomfortable" (change positions or needing a diaper change)
"Eair"      means "I have lower gas" (legs will also tend to be pushed out while making this sound)
"Eh"        means "I need to burp"

According to this video, the key is to pay attention to the sounds the baby is making prior to the big cry. Once he/she starts to really cry it's harder to hear what they are asking for. Today I'm gonna try this theory out and try to really pay attention to Ellery's sounds prior to crying to see if I can get her exactly what she needs and not just run through the list of things it "could be" trying everything till she is happy again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shrinkx® Hips Ultra Compression Belt

It's here, now time to test it out and see if it really works like everyone claims it does. I'm talking about the Shrinx® Hip Belt. It is a wrap belt you wear under your jeans that supposedly works, slimming your hips, from the time you give birth to 8 weeks after. Apparently the box and all the websites I have seen about this say that during pregnancy and for 8 weeks after your body is releasing a hormone called "Relaxin".

"Relaxin" is a hormone that your body uses to loosen joints and ligaments. It is what helps your pelvic joints to loosen and widen, allowing the baby to be able to pass through the birth canal during delivery. This Shrinx® Hip Belt is supposed to provide constant pressure to guide your hips back to their prepregnancy position (hopefully even smaller).

So it came in the mail today and I instantly put it on. I made it as tight as I could. I can definitely feel constant pressure now on my hips, the question is will it actually change anything. I will keep you all posted, especially because I feel like everyone I know now is pregnant, or planning on getting pregnant soon.

So week one hip size: 40.25inches.
I will remeasure next Thrusday and see if any changes are being made. I assume it probably wont change that fast, but hopefully in a few weeks I see a few changes and I can get back in ALL of my old pre-pregnancy jeans (so far I can only get in to 1 of my pre-pregnancy jeans).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2 week check up...Hemangioma...

Today we had Ellery's 2 week doctor appointment:
Age: 2 weeks
Height: 21.25 inches
Weight: 8lbs 12.5oz (didn't really gain any weight)
Doctor Name: Dr. Brandes
Dr. Concerns: We are going to keep an eye on the hemangioma on the back of her neck. Today they actually did an ultrasound on it to get measurements and verify that is truly what is it. It was really scary taking your 14 day old baby in to get an ultrasound done. In the end they said they still think it is a hemangioma and the fact that you can move it means it isn't hooked on her spine. Dr Brandes even called Children's Hospital in St. Paul to get a second opinion on the ultrasound results and her own observations and they seemed to also agree that for now we will just continue to monitor it. (Chad and I took pictures of it so that we can have something to reference back to each time we check it.)
Dr. Advice: Start giving her 2.5-3 oz of breast milk at each feeding (we were giving her 2 oz) to see if that helps her gain weight. We will need to bring her back in next week, not for a full check up, just to get weighed and make sure she is gaining weight.

Today has been the scariest day yet as a parent. After our dr appt and ultrasound we sat quietly by the phone for hours waiting for the dr to call with her results. The whole time obviously I was thinking the worst was what we were going to hear. But in the end, even without a 100% for sure answer, we did get reassured that for now its just something to keep an eye on and the dr didn't seem like we should be worried about it. But how could you not still be a little's our little girl and of course we want EVERYTHING about her to be perfect and healthy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Got Milk?

My boobs are bionic. Seriously no one in the world must produce more milk than I's crazy the amount I am getting. I have been pumping about every 4-5 hours now (every 3 hours was just getting to be too much and I know when I go back to work it is unrealistic to think I'll be able to pump that often). I usually get up only 1 time during the night to pump, and then pump again when I wake up and then a few times throughout the day and again once before bed. Last night, when I woke up for my middle of the night pump, I was able to pump 20 ounces between the two of them! If you don't know... that is a crazy amount. Then 5 hours later I got 12.5 ounces and then about 4 hours later I got 15 ounces. An average day Ellery is eating about 16-20 ounces of milk so all the rest is going in the freezer to save for when she needs to go to daycare. Well it sure is a great thing that we got another freezer because our little one is already filling up. Chad counted today and we have over 240 ounces already saved up... so like I said my boobs are bionic...Either that or I am part cow! Either way, the breast milk is great and healthy for Ellery, saving us tons of money and helping me burn tons of calories.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pampers vs Huggies

Just like clothes, I have come to realize that different brands of diapers fit babies differently. At the hospital they were using Pampers size 1 diapers and all seemed fine. They fit well and contained her pee and poop without any problems. When we got home the only size 1 diapers we had from gifts were big deal correct? WRONG! They were way too big on her. They would go up past her belly button and were not tight on her legs. Needless to say she had many "blowouts" in these diapers and we learned our lesson fast. We even had a few sample newborn sized Huggies diapers but those also didn't seem to hold anything in on Elle. Apparently at the moment she is just more of a Pampers girl but hopefully she will grow into these Huggies sized 1 diapers beacuse I have over 200 of them.... :\ I would hate for them all to go to waste. This just tells me, next time instead of stocking up on diapers when I'm pregnant, just take that extra cash and buy gift cards you can use at a later date to buy the specific diapers that fit the individual child themself...because I'm sure it will be different for everyone one.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Eye Opening Dangers of Co-Sleeping

This is some info that the public health nurse shared with me:
"More  babies die each year due to suffocation while co sleeping with their parents, than from SIDS"

I thought this sounded crazy because as parents and parents to be you hear all about SIDS and rarely anything about co-sleeping. It's also such a common and easy thing to do. Baby falls asleep in your arms, you are either really tired and just fall asleep or you don't want to risk moving the baby to the crib because he/she may wake up...

I found on many websites that more than 2x of babies are dying from suffocation rather than from the mystery diagnosis of SIDS. Not all of these suffocation deaths are from co sleeping, some are from bumpers in the crib, toys or blankets in cribs, or even babies sleeping on their stomach...but many of them are happening when co-sleeping. There have been many times co-sleeping has resulted in parents rolling over on top of their baby, bunching up blankets into their baby or pushing pillows into their baby. Obviously not doing these on purpose but still all could have been prevented.

SIDS is still something that Chad and I constantly worry about and do everything we can to help prevent it: put Ellery on her back when sleeping, use a firm mattress, keep the house at 70 degrees, give her a pacifier at night, etc. However even with doing all those things we still have a worry in the back of our heads of SIDS because there are so little things known to for sure cause it. But I know now after talking to the public health nurse, and doing some of my own research, I will no longer co-sleep with her. That is something I have full control over and I can't imagine putting her at risk like that.

Take this information or leave it, I'm not judging anyone who has co-slept with their little one, but it was defiantly an eye opener for me.