Monday, November 28, 2011

4 months

Baby S is 4 months. I'm still not sure how it is possible for time to move sooooo rapidly yet so slowly at the same time, but it has. Her appointment went well-ish. Meaning, I still definitely like her doctor. However, I really need to lower my expectations of pediatricians and their knowledge of nursing and related topics. Because I always go in expecting something definitive and always leave with the vague nonsense of "well, we just don't fully know how her digestion process will mature" and "well, I am supposed to tell you that breast is best but if it were me, I'd couldn't live on that diet."


I totally get it. But yet, I wanted more of a plan or idea from her on how to handle the MSPI situation. Basically, she handed me a sample of Alimen.tum and told me that I have done amazingly well to make it this far and few mothers she knows have done the same. So that's where we are. I could fill you with the details of all my recent personal health issues, the fact that my poor body has been declining weekly as I go along without milk and soy in my diet. The fact that I achieved the worst, MOST PAINFUL blocked duct of all time on Thanksgiving DAY. The fact that going anywhere outside of the house to eat is terrifying and 1/2 of the time results in a fussy baby with awful green diapers.

So there's that.

I'm still striving toward 6 months but at the rate I'm going, I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't make it. For some reason, I am unwilling to just CALL IT and go with formula, but at the same time I know that 8 more months of this is not likely best for me. I have to be real. And as much as I think nursing is the bee's knees and I love everything about it and the idea of NOT nursing my baby is kinda stomach turning, I think we've reached an impasse.

Otherwise? She's doing wonderfully. She was 13 lbs, 10 ozs and 25.5" long. She's slowed some on the growth charts but still in approved percentile ranges for everything. Her weight to height ratio is still extremely low, but the doctor isn't worried about it and feels it just indicates her build will always be long and lean. (Here's hoping for her sake.) She also gave me the go ahead to start solids if we're ready. With the food intolerance issue she recommended going very slowly with new food introduction, which is fine. I wasn't really thinking I would mess with it at all until closer to 6 months, but baby S has taken a HUGE interest in our food as of late. She STARES at everything everyone is eating and she is already open wide and eager when I put up the spoon of preva.cid to her mouth each day. So maybe rice cereal this week. We'll see.

She's still the most adorable little baby who just cannot stop smiling and loves to watch her big sister play. Toys are becoming more interesting to her, she's really playing WITH the toys on the gymini like crazy now and loves shoving anything she can grasp well in to her mouth. She's not rolled over again recently, but I'm good with that. She's content to just sit on a blanket or in her bouncy chair for pretty decent stretches while life goes on around her. That child is completely the joy of my heart. I can think of nothing I love more of the baby experience with her than the wee hours of the morning when I bring her to bed to snuggle. I honestly don't mind the 6:30 AM wakeup when she'll come right back to sleep with me.

We're still having sleep issues galore. She wakes up at least twice a night insisting on food. The times are always sporadic, never habitual-seeming, so right now I'm just going with it and feeding her if I can not get her to settle. She always goes right back to sleep after nursing. Maybe growth spurt, maybe regression... her pediatrician swore she saw teeth coming in, though it still seems a bit early for that to me. Who knows. I realized this go around I don't necessarily need to figure every little baby inconsistency out with an explanation for every behavior. She's a baby, she's not sleeping much. The end. I have deemed myself with a case of "functioning exhaustion." I sat down on the sofa Saturday night and closed my eyes for just one second and I was out like a light. Someone woke me up 20 minutes later, but hey. Any sleep right now is good sleep. Thank GOD for coffee and hot showers.

The holiday was terribly hectic. Sadly, we both realized AFTERWARDS we agreed to TOO many things and events and wound up smooth worn out by last night and really wishing we had at least another day or two to just veg before the work week. Though I'm thankful we had so many wonderful people to see and the ability to get out and enjoy the season. Little L's room got painted, though, glad that's done. (pictures soon!) I finally got my trees decorated and we did a boat load of Christmas shopping. I really love this time of year, even if it is chaotic and always wears you out no matter how hard you try to just take it easy.

I swear I'll be back with pictures and more fun chatter next time. Love to all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Latest and greatest

Friday night I was supposed to attend a huge, fancy grand opening of a swanky new hotel my company developed. I was actually excited all week to have a legit excuse to need a babysitter for a cool event and drag my husband with me for a work event-turned-date. The week was crazy, I didn't even think about what I was going to wear until an hour before we were supposed to leave and... well, you know. I tried on every single article of non-casual clothing in my closet and nothing fit. Because, I mean, I am still only 4 months post partum and although I've lost all the baby weight (courtesy of my MSPI imposed diet), my body is still weird and lumpy and everything I own that isn't jeans and a tshirt is a size-too-small for weird, lumpy post baby body. So I looked like a stuffed sausage in everything and I wound up sitting in a huge pile of clothes and fancy heels on my closet floor in tears. And just like that, we decided not to go at all. LAME.

I moved baby S to her room at night and its going ok. She's definitely sleeping longer in the morning because our commotion isn't waking her. She's still waking once or twice at night but I think its a combination of things and I'm not really worried about it. There's the whole 4 month sleep regression, a growth spurt, early signs of teething and a major developmental leap going on up in this house right now. Also? She's started laughing... like real, adorable, rock-my-world baby laughter. I'm not sure I could be wrapped any tighter around that little girl's pinkie finger right now.

Little L is a mixture of AWESOME days and AWFUL days. Heck, it is sometimes changing from hour to hour around here. But I'm dealing. She's my girl and I'll take the bad with the good any day. I'm glad for the 2 days a week she's in "school" and I'm so proud of how much she's learned in the past few months. I know she's teaching me more than I'm teaching her. Most heard phrases these days include "No, ma'am!", "Be a lady", "BE QUIET, MAMA" and "I love you more." You can surmise for yourself which ones make me want to come out of my skin and which ones make my heart melt.

The holidays are here. We are in the midst of a host of family drama, on both sides. So. While I am eager to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year, part of me wishes we could just lock down these 4 walls to contain just these 4 people. I've had a love/hate relationship with this aspect of the holidays ever since we got married, though, so at least I've come to expect that there will always be some unpleasant parts for me. I'm going to SAVOR the kid stuff, because I already anticipate that the look on Little L's face Christmas morning is going to trump any other junk that tries to bring me down.

I got a new stocking for baby S. We bought a new Christmas tree. We're going to shop for outdoor lights this weekend, right after we decorate the whole inside of the house with our new tree, garland, sparkly lights and candy canes. We're also painting Little L's room and bathroom tomorrow and I'm determined to find something cute to put on the wall over baby S's crib. So there's all that home-type stuff.

My post partum hair loss has started with ferocity. After 8 fistfuls of hair in the shower this morning alone, hair appointment to chop it all off tomorrow. That is the end of my hair story.

Baby S is 4 months on Saturday. Her appointment is next Tuesday. She looks very, VERY long and skinny to me. I am curious to hear her stats and discuss more the MSPI situation with her pedi. I keep telling myself I can do this and I keep finding myself not knowing what to eat and starving at the end of the day. I'm too tired to get creative with the cooking and there are like 3 takeout or ready to eat meal options for me so... I'm not eating properly right now for sure. Which I think is taking a hit on my overall health and my energy levels.

I really miss chocolate and cheese.

Love to all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

monday morning bits & pieces

* I am SO in love with my baby. I forgot the magical feeling of being utterly smitten with a new person in your life. Yes, they are awesome when they are first born and yes, I did love her a ton then. But as I get to know her personality and she interacts with more as the days pass, she becomes this awesome little human being that I cannot stop admiring. I feel like she just beams sunshine and joy 24/7. The child is radiant.

* I tried adding soy in to my diet a few times a couple weeks ago and while she didn't seem to have a HUGE reaction, she did act differently from her usual cheerful self. She also spit up all over me for the first time in months. I haven't tried again since. I think I've just conceded that I'd rather miss out on all my favorite holiday foods (mashed potatoes, stuffing, buttery corn, sweet potato casserole) this year than for one second risk her being in pain or unhappy. I will wait until 6 months in January to try again. I've made it almost 4 months nursing her and survived the MSPI diet. I'm pretty proud of that right now. If she has problems at 6 months, I'll likely spend a year of my life without any milk or soy proteins.

* I was quietly nursing her in bed at around 11:00 on Saturday night when I felt the bed MOVE. Then I realized the entire house was swaying a tiny bit and the monitor in Little L's room kicked on and I felt like I must have fallen asleep and been dreaming the whole thing because what the what? How could our house be moving? I didn't mention it to J because he was sleeping and I really thought I must have been losing my mind. I woke up the next day to see news of a 5.6 earthquake in Oklahoma. That was an aftershock I felt. IN TEXAS. AN EARTHQUAKE AFTERSHOCK. On a known fault line. Fancy that.

* Baby sleeping. UGH. It isn't that I mind waking up to feed and snuggle her at any time of the night AT ALL. In fact, I love those moments. What is difficult is that she sleeps 8-9 hours without so much as a peep one night and then wakes up 4 times during the night the next. Literally. The inconsistency has me stumped. I'm ready to move her to the nursery as soon as she is sleeping though most nights. But seeing as how she cannot seem to make up her mind what she wants to do, she is still in our room for now. Trekking upstairs multiple times a night is just not in my plan right now.

* I've been trying to explain Christmas to Little L. She is thoroughly confused. We went to get a new tree (yes, it is early but they were on sale!) last week and she was WOWED by the display of trees, decorations, lights and the like. She obviously doesn't remember last year. She's been asking for us to take her "to Christmas" ever since. I've backed off talking about it, considering it is still almost 2 months away. I am so excited for it, I already have presents stashed all over the house.

* We bought this movie over the weekend to watch with Little L. She absolutely LOVES the first one. J took her to see it in the theater when it opened (the week baby S was born) and she seemed to like it and he said it was "okay." I was so NOT impressed. It was too complicated, too boring and too violent for my taste (for my almost 3 year old child). I had planned to save it for a Christmas gift, but I'm already sitting on 2 other movies right now as it is. I think it is really ridiculous we've spent that much money in MOVIES.

* We also bought Little L tickets to this for an early Christmas present. Yea. Seems like such a silly thing to do, but she'll LOVE it. We only sprung for 1 adult ticket, so daddy will take her. I had NO IDEA how expensive these kind of things really were. $30 alone in service fees to Ticket.master. That's just WRONG, it seems like they should give some kind of break for a children's event?

* Just over 2 weeks to Thanksgiving? Yow. It is going to be 2012 before we know it. Time kicks in to warp speed when you have children, it is absurd.

Love and blessings to all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Not a Hallo-weenie

Let me tell you, friends, I had a long and hard debate over Halloween and what I felt like the right thing to do was. After prayer and reading some helpful advice from various Christian sources, it occurred to me that whether we go to a church carnival, trunk or treat or trick or treating, we are ultimately acknowledging that the day has SOME kind of meaning to our kids. I personally cannot be the kind of person who just shuts all the doors and windows and pretends like the world isn't going on outside the walls of our house. Nor would I be the person who condemns and judges all the other parents for whatever decision they make regarding their kids on this particular day. I would rather face the fact head-on that there is a huge event happening on this day and take control of the way my daughters see/understand it and how they view "scary" things. I read a quote by one of my favorite authors, James.Dobson, that was along the lines of how this is the ONE TIME all year when all the neighbors kids will be ringing your doorbell. Why not embrace and channel the kind, neighborly Christian spirit and welcome them with GOOD candy? There may be other people whose intentions on this day are evil, mean or bad, but ours aren't.

We LOVE our church and a visit to the carnival last year was awesome... but also OVERWHELMING. Our fall carnival is the biggest community outreach we do every year. I believe there were 15,000 in attendance last year. Which is superb and the goal of any church, to reach the lost and show them love and open arms! But Little L was totally overloaded from the whole experience and with a 3 month old baby in addition to a toddler, there was just no way we could manage that this year. We are so excited to go back in a few years but until then, my husband and I agreed that we would be ok with trick or treating. SO LONG AS we are visiting friendly houses in the neighborhood we know and making sure to shield little eyes and minds from scary images and ideas.

We had never done this before, obviously, and I was so pleased to see SO MANY families from our neighborhood out in the action. We've lived here for almost 7 years and haven't really gotten to know many people until recently and I realize that I really live in one cool place with many wonderful neighbors. I need to get out there and be a mom everyone knows! Our kids will all go to school together someday (all too soon--sob!) and the more people we know, the less difficult that transition is going to be when the time comes.

Little L did GREAT. We only hit maybe 10 houses, but she caught on quickly and was soooooo precious. And, she even got a little bit of candy before bed! I am SO GLAD we went and I feel so thankful to have resolution over this particular topic.


Christmas is just around the corner. I already ordered Little L's big gift. I honestly don't know who is more excited over the whole holiday affair at this point, she or I.

Hope you all have a blessed week!