February 29, 2012

A is 9 months old!

Posted in Parenting tagged at 12:26 pm by lifebytheday

I’m not sure why 8 months freaked me out more than 9…maybe I have a thing about even numbers…but I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that he will be walking and talking too very soon!  We’re not just responsible for feeding and loving him, but soon will actually need to teach him and guide him and RAISE him!  So much more important (and scarier) than just having to keep him alive.

Not much new since my last update, except that he now can say hi!  Especially to the animals and the fish…hi, hi, hi!  It actually sounds more like heyy, lol…so cute.  He tried lentils this week…loved them…and also went swimming for the first time!  He was stone faced for almost the entire hour, but really seemed to like it, just taking it all in.  He was like, wow, this is one long bath time! 😉

Updates from the pedi:

  • Weight – 20 lb 13 oz (56%)
  • Length – 28.5 in (60%)
  • And head…98%!  Thanks to his daddy 😉

My little tank 🙂

 

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February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Posted in Parenting tagged at 2:08 pm by lifebytheday

A felt like reading and didn't want to wait for Mommy. 😉

 

"Hi baby!"

 

"mwah!!"

February 20, 2012

The S word

Posted in Parenting tagged at 9:38 am by lifebytheday

SLEEP.

(And sorry for the quiet posting week last week…the stomach virus of death came to our house in full force.  I don’t think that you really need to know the details, except that I actually considered taking a pregnancy test at the beginning of it.  How sick is it that a stomach bug can actually seem like a good thing for a few minutes?)

ANYWAYS.

Several of you mentioned being curious about our sleep struggles, so I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to our challenges with sleep training.  Especially after we just had one of those nights…you know, one where you have to remind yourself how much you love your child as you get out of bed for the eighteenth time in an hour?

A’s sleep has always been great…by two months, I think he was sleeping for 6 hour stretches, and by three or four months, that had stretched to 10-11.  So when we hit December (around six months old) and he got a terrible cold, I just blamed the poor sleep on that.  He got better just in time to head to Ireland for Christmas, but after having slept in his infant bouncer for a week and a half, and between the jet lag and time difference, I wasn’t expecting great sleep while we were there.  He also, as I’m sure you can imagine, was SPOILED ROTTEN, and never once had to fall asleep on his own.  There was always somebody who wanted to cuddle and rock him to sleep.  Then when we got back, I had my gall bladder surgery and lost my milk (more on that later) and had my mother and S taking care of him for a week.  So…all that to say that whatever routine we might have had was truly out the window by that point.

After a week of bad nights, and one particularly bad one where A was up from 11-2 and then hourly and completely unconsolable, I pressed BUY on Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby on my Kindle and started reading every second I got.  When he was an infant, our routine had generally been that we’d change him into his PJs, I’d nurse him, and S would sing and rock him to sleep.  It was a special time for the two of them, and a nice break for me, so I didn’t see any reason to change that.  What the book showed me though – which should have been blatantly obvious to begin with – was that if you rock the baby to sleep, then they expect to be rocked back to sleep every time they wake up during the night (which is basically every time they transition into a new sleep cycle)!

I had already done a few days of cry-it-out to get his naps on track (around five months – he had gotten to the point where he’d only sleep in his swing, and then only when being held, and then not even then!), so I knew how quickly that could make a difference.  So I immediately instituted a no rocking policy – harsh, I know.  That first night S had his pool league, so I was in charge of bedtime.  I did a modified cry-it-out (checking on him and giving him his pacifier after 5 minutes, 10, 15…) and he finally fell asleep after 50 minutes.  AND then slept for TWELVE HOURS!

So I considered that a total success, told S how we were doing things going forward and figured we were done.  That next night, S took him up to bed (we read books first, then he goes in his crib awake and gets music and white noise).  I was doing the dishes and realized they had been gone for a long time, so I ran up but A was already asleep in S’s arms.  I actually tried waking him up, but he was out cold, so we put him in his crib and hoped for the best.  No dice.

That night A was up at 11, 11:30, 12, 12:30…you get the picture.  By 1:30, S and I were screaming at each other because I knew that A was okay and wanted to let him cry, but S couldn’t hack it (HE had to go to work the next day…don’t get me started…).  So I finally caved and nursed him around 2 and then fumed my way through to the morning.  That morning I told S that if he couldn’t handle sleep training that he could go stay at my parents, that I wasn’t living like this for months and couldn’t handle fighting with him and the baby.  S realized I was serious and grumbled about maybe he’d just sleep in the basement.

So the next night I did bedtime and A was asleep in 15-20 minutes.  I think he woke up once for his pacifier, but then slept until around 4.  Which I also considered a success.  By the end of that week, A was going to sleep around 7(ish) and sleeping until 5(ish) and Mommy had won the battle.  Then last week I was super sick and lost my milk again (A got a touch of the bug too) and we started slowly creeping from 10 hours, to 9.5…down to 8…and then last night he was up from 2 to 3:30 and at 5:30 for the morning.  (He usually goes back to bed after his morning feed and wakes up between 6:30-7 for the day.)

I think it’s all related to him not getting enough calories during the day – we had a few challenges figuring out which formula worked, and I know that he lost a little weight from not feeling well himself – so I’m not going to get too freaked out about it yet.  My plan is just to keep pounding the water and the Fenugreek so that hopefully my milk goes back to normal and we can get him tanked up by the end of the day.

So I guess the moral of the story is that sleep training is a work in progress.  I think teaching kids limits and boundaries (even babies) is really important – equally as important as compassion and flexibility – and I think sleep training is the earliest way to set some boundaries.  I think that a well rested baby is happier and healthier, and a baby that sleeps makes for well rested parents, who have the energy to be more patient and engaging with the baby during the day.  And while I definitely don’t love hearing my little guy cry, I consider it a necessary evil (in moderation of course), right up there with vitamins and doctors appointments.

Any other tips out there from mamas who have had success sleep training?

February 15, 2012

My little man at eight months

Posted in Parenting at 8:00 am by lifebytheday

So in reality, A is already 8 1/2 months, but I have to put a stake in the ground somewhere!

  • He is finally crawling!  It started out as what can only be described as a zombie crawl (using one arm and dragging the other half of his body), but he’s starting to get the other side working too.
  • He LOVES the animals, especially our dog Bailey.  Now that he can move, he’ll catch sight of her and will start giggling and inching his way across the floor to her.  He starts laughing more and louder the closer he gets, culminating in a shrieking laugh when he manages to reach her and give her fur a good yank.  Luckily we have the sweetest dog on the planet and she’ll just walk away, which he thinks is also hysterical.
  • A’s favorite toys are the old school stacking rings and cups and the shape sorter, and also a fancy Vtech alphabet train that he got for Christmas.  He also loves books and reading which we’ve instituted before naps and bedtime.
  • His sleep had gotten so bad that I instituted hardcore sleep training a week ago (for both my child and my husband) and after only five days we were back to 10-11 hours straight (which we hadn’t seen since before Christmas)!  More on this later… 
  • My kid loves to eat.  Some favorites are butternut squash, carrots, bananas, and mango.  Also in the rotation are apples, pears, peas, green beans, and parsnip.  He has started using a sippy cup for water (since mid-Jan or so) and got to try Cheerios for the first time this week!  We took him out to eat last night (first time since he could sit in a high chair and eat with us) and he did great!  He just looked around at the lights and the people (nosy like his father!) and S and I took turns feeding him and eating our dinner.  It was really nice. 🙂
  • He’s officially in 12 month clothing.  My mom and I went to the Car.ter’s outlet on Saturday and I bought (what I hope will be) his complete spring and summer wardrobe!

Here’s another picture:

February 13, 2012

In a nutshell

Posted in Life, Parenting at 7:13 pm by lifebytheday

Okay, let’s see…the past eight months…  I really didn’t mean to let it go this long, but every time I had a minute to sit down and write a post I never knew where to begin!  So I guess I’ll backtrack a bit…

My maternity leave flew by in the blink of an eye (FYI, 12 weeks does NOT equal 3 months!) and before I knew it I was back at work.  My last two weeks of leave were full of Irish visitors (literally, the last group left the day before I started back!) and we just barely managed to squeeze in A’s christening.  My job (which deserves a post of its own) did not get any better once A arrived and I finally reached the point of misery where I was able to convince S that we needed to figure out a plan B.

So on November 1st I became a stay-at-home-mom/part-time freelancer and have loved every minute.  It hasn’t been easy – finding the work, and finding time to do it – but we’ve got a good schedule going now and it seems to be working out.  My mother comes over on Tuesdays and Thursdays and watches A so I can work (and even helps with my laundry and housework!) and I squeeze in my other hours while he’s napping on the other days.  It seems to be working out, although S is still really anxious about the long term.  Keeping our fingers crossed…

And in between then and now we took A on his first international flight (to visit his Irish family for Christmas), and I had gall bladder surgery in early January.

So now we’re just trying to catch up with other things that got put on the back burner…one of which is this blog!

A few weeks ago, I was trying to remember when something happened so I started poking through my blog archives and I realized how special it was to have my entire pregnancy documented.  It made me really sad that I hadn’t kept up with my blogging and had missed out on the record of Aidan as a newborn.  So I’m really going to try to make an effort to post more, mostly for my own posterity, but I know there will be plenty of stories to keep you all entertained. 😉

If anyone is even reading this, THANK YOU…I’ve missed you all.  If you’re up to it, drop me a note to say “hey!” and let me know if you have a blog that I should be following. 🙂

February 10, 2012

Eight months, in pictures

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:59 am by lifebytheday

I know I owe you guys some updates (and apologies!) but in the meantime, here’s a pictorial of my little guy over the past eight months.

One month (June)

Two months (July)

8 weeks

Three months (August)

Four months (September)

Five months (October)

Six months (November)

Seven months (December)

Eight months (January)