Monthly Archives: November 2010

She Says… Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said

Yesterday was Owen’s 4 month visit with our pediatrician. Since we’ve gotten a few weeks of great eating under our belts I was excited to see how much weight he had gained and ask some questions about how much he is eating (a lot!) and discuss sleep, solid foods, etc.

Although he’s gained a FANTASTIC amount of weight since our last appointment, Owen is still a little guy in the grand scheme of things. He is 25″ long (50th %ile), weighs 13 lb 11 oz (22nd %ile) and has a head circumference of 41 cm (17th %ile). A little on the small side, but a big jump from where he was last month and the weeks that followed during our breastfeeding issues. Go Owen! His little body looks different too. There’s finally a bit of a belly and some adorable rolls on his legs. What a cutie pie.

The doc and I talked a lot about eating. The last few days Owen’s reflux seems to have returned, and she said that’s because he’s getting bigger and needed more meds. I was so relieved… I thought the meds just weren’t enough anymore, and I was dreading having to work through another medicine to test it out. No worries, though! She just increased his dosage of Prevacid, which is like magic and has changed his eating habits entirely. He can actually make it through an entire 7-8 ounce bottle now without flailing and choking and arching and crying. It’s a beautiful thing.

Given that he’s eating upwards of 35 ounces a day and shows a great interest in food (opening his mouth and moving his tongue when we’re eating, reaching his hands out for our cups and utensils, etc.), my pediatrician suggested that we start him on solid foods sooner rather than later. While many people believe that waiting to start food until 6 months cuts down on allergies and is “better”, I think it really depends on the baby. And my doctor and I agree that Owen may be trying to tell me he’s ready for something more than just milk. I am so excited to introduce him to the wonderful world of food out there! We may even start today.

The doc mentioned that once we fill Owen’s belly more during the day, he will probably stop waking up at night to eat as well. Phew! She suggested that I also start reducing the amount of milk he’s given at night to send his body the signal, little by little, that eating should be done during the day. She said given his weight and body mass, he should absolutely be able to go all night without eating. That’s just what I needed to hear! Now I KNOW I’m not starving my baby as we work toward sleep training in the next few weeks.

Owen also got his 4 month vaccinations. Two shots and one oral. Just like last time, he was a total trooper! He didn’t even cry through the whole first shot, just stared up at the nurse with a quizzical look on his face. Then when she did the second shot he let out one big wail, and then smiled through his teary eyes. What a sweetheart. I gave him the rest of the bottle he’d been working on and it seemed like he forgot all about those big, bad shots. Didn’t seem feverish or irritable for the rest of the day either. We’ll see how today goes.

So… now I’m off to do a little more research on food and maybe we’ll start today at lunch! I’m thinking avocado is a perfect first food (since I am going to try to stick to whole foods rather than boxed rice cereal for now). What was your baby’s first food? How did it go? Any tips for me?

She Says… 4 months

Baby boy,

You are 4 months old! Where did last month go? It was a flurry of happy days and short nights and lots and lots of new developments. I can’t believe it was just a month ago that I was making the sad decision to stop nursing. Since then we have gotten your eating issues totally under control and you are growing like a little weed. Seriously. You are eating more than your cousin Becca who is 9 months old! Perhaps you’re still making up for “lost time” when you weren’t eating so well; you’ve been tossing back over 35 ounces every day for the last month (mostly breastmilk, which makes me very proud!). My little peanut isn’t going to be a peanut for very long. I can’t wait to see how much you weigh at your doctor’s appointment tomorrow.

There are moments when I look at you and think that I know every little teeny tiny part of you, inside and out. As well as I know myself. And then there are moments when you completely surprise me and show me something about you that I never knew before. We can sit and stare at each other all day. You cooing and gurgling, me talking back. You smiling and laughing, me making silly faces and sounds so I can hear that little laugh again and again. I know someday you’ll be too old to be silly with your Mama, and in a few short weeks you’ll be spending a lot of time being silly at daycare, so I’m soaking up these precious one-on-one moments as best I can.

You’ve gone back and forth on sleeping this month. Some good nights and some not so good. But one thing is for sure — as the number of wake-ups each night dwindles, the more I appreciate seeing your little face in the dark. Even when I don’t want to get out from under my warm covers, you change my mind entirely when I see your little eyes smiling at me in the dark. And while I would really, really like to remember what 6+ hours of sleep feels like, I can’t help but love breathing in your milk breath and rocking with you while you eat sleepily at night. And getting you up in the morning just might be my very favorite moment of all. As soon as I peek my face over the top of the crib, you open your mouth into the biggest crooked smile I’ve ever seen, and your little eyes dance. I pick you up and snuggle you, all warm and cozy in your sleep sack. Mmmm.

You’ve learned how to rock yourself onto your side and you’re very close to rolling all the way over. My strong little man. You LOVE to stand. You would stand all the time if you could. You don’t seem to have time or patience for sitting or laying down anymore. Your legs are so strong that sometimes I feel like if I let you go, you’d go running across the floor. We joke about you never learning how to sit because you always want to stand. I hope that’s not the case :)

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, my little one, but you’re going bald. Your signature style, your defining feature, your rockstar fauxhawk is almost gone. At first Daddy and I were nervous, wondering if you’d still be the most adorable baby in the world even without your awesome hair. The verdict? You totally are. I daresay you’re even cuter than before. You have some new fuzzy hair growing in already, so I don’t think you’ll be bald for long. Thank goodness for hat season, eh?

My tiny man, you’re such a joy. Every day is better than the one before. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

I love you so, so, so much.
Mama

She Says… A Lot To Be Thankful For

One year ago today, this happened:

[Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bDkUKGjCyo%5D

On that day, our lives changed forever. The thing that we wanted more than anything else in the world became real. And every day since then has been a blessing. One day we were entrenched in infertility research and seeing doctors and trying treatments… and the next day we were planning a nursery. Pretty amazing the difference a day makes. This year, more than ever before, it seems, we have a lot to be thankful for.

See what I mean?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

She Says… Travelin’ Man

It was only two weeks ago that Owen took his first flight (and I had my first foray into traveling alone with the little guy). And we’re off again! Flying the friendly skies again to go back to Philly/Delaware to see my family for Thanksgiving. Even though we saw them not long ago, I’m so excited to go back! My three siblings and I are very close and have always loved spending time together, but there’s something about visiting with Owen that makes it even more special. My sister has two little girls and my sister-in-law is due with her first on Christmas Eve, so we’re quickly building a group of little munchkin cousins who will [hopefully] grow up like peas in a pod. We’re even renting a big beach house on the Cape this summer that we plan to make an annual event to get the extended family together. What lucky kiddos.

Anyway, that means that today is a flurry of packing suitcases and prepping bottles and getting through security lines and (fingers crossed!) avoiding the pre-Thanksgiving craziness. And Wednesday will be spent handing babies around and catching up, so we probably won’t be able to post.

Thursday, however, is a pretty special day in our lives as a family of three, so we’ll probably be back then. In the meantime, I will leave you with some cute pictures from our weekend hanging out with some of Benjamin’s college friends and their babes.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

She Says… The Little Baby Who Lived In His Shoes

Last Thursday Benjamin and I had the opportunity to attend the launch party for Boston Parent Bloggers, a group designed to connect Boston area bloggers. The party was held at Barefoot Books, an independent children’s book publisher with an absolutely adorable flagship retail store in Concord. The minute we set foot in the store, I never wanted to leave! The store is beautifully designed with bright colors everywhere, and there are areas for all kinds of activities for kids like arts and crafts, yoga, storytime, etc.

The Boston Parent Blogger event was a blast! The group has nearly 100 members — I had no idea there were so many people so close to me doing the very same thing that I do every day. It was difficult to meet everyone, and since Benjamin and I were both there, we didn’t do an excellent job of branching out and talking to lots of new people. We probably would have been more social if we went alone… but we also used the night as one of our only “date nights” that we’ve had since Owen was born, so we wanted to attend together. Still, we connected with some awesome new friends and I can’t wait to dive in to read their blogs. In all that free time I have with a 4 month old. Hmmm.

Anyway, amidst meeting new people there were some fun activities at the event as well. Mainly, an incredible raffle! We got raffle tickets when we checked in and could submit them to win some really great prizes. One was even a stroller or car seat from Britax!!! Believe me, I put the majority of our tickets in there. But alas, we didn’t win that. We DID, however, win the cutest pair of shoes I’ve ever seen.

How precious are these?! Robeez makes gorgeous shoes for kids. I realize that shoes for a 4 month old are a little silly. It’s not like he’s walking anywhere. But honestly? They are super warm and super cute, so I’m not complaining! Owen wore them yesterday and they were a big hit.

Despite the fact that there were gift baskets and restaurant gift certificates and books and photography packages, etc. up for grabs, we also won $100 to Stride Rite. Ha! More shoes for my baby who doesn’t need shoes! Seriously, though, I’m pretty excited to get him some more Robeez. Maybe in a few months when the Moose boots have lost their sparkle. Or the weather changes.

My little baby is already taking after me.

When we left the event we were given not one but TWO swag bags full of things parent bloggers would love. You know, coupons, samples of baked goods, Lands’ End tote bags, story books, digital photo ornaments… it was HEAVEN for a free stuff lover like myself.

Benjamin and I had a blast on our date and came home to a sleeping baby. Hooray! He woke up right before I got in bed, but I was happy to have a little snuggle time and breathe in that sweet baby smell before bed.

He Says… Singing

Kate has a great voice.  We actually met because of her singing, because I recorded an album for her college a cappella group (think “Glee” minus the great costumes and dancing).  But other than her performances, you would rarely get an opportunity to hear Kate sing.  Take Kate to a karaoke bar and she will fight you tooth and nail if you try to get her on-stage.  (In fact, a karaoke disaster on our honeymoon has made that even more true.)  Very occasionally, if we’re in the car together I can catch her singing along to a song on the radio, but usually pretty quietly.  I, on the other hand, sing along with EVERY song on the radio.  And usually in falsetto.  I don’t know why.

But since Owen was born, Kate has had a new person to perform for, and now she is always singing.  At home, on walks, in restaurants, wherever, Kate is very often singing to Owen.  Sometimes it’s “Twinkle, Twinkle”, or Owen’s favorite song/rhyme, “The Noble Duke of York”, but other times it’s whatever’s on the radio or our ipod.  Clearly, Kate’s modesty about singing has gone away, but I do enjoy getting to hear her singing voice much more often now.

That’s all.  A short little post for Friday.  Have a great weekend!

She Says… A Must-Read

Not to belabor the sleep training debate, but I just came across the absolute best article on sleep training that I’ve ever read. I couldn’t agree more.

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE.

With all of that said, I decided to postpone sleep training with Owen until after Thanksgiving. The kid is eating more than I would ever think possible for his size (36 ounces yesterday?!), so apparently he needs it. Once he finishes this growing period, we’ll work together on a sleeping period.

I also stopped swaddling him, which is a blessing and a curse. He’s been really struggling against the swaddle for the last week or so… I think he wants to practice all of his new motor developments in his sleep. And he’s been rocking and rolling on his play mat so much that I think he might be close to rolling over, which would force us to stop the swaddle, so it’s an inevitable shift. Falling asleep at night has still been effortless, but he seems to get woken up more easily. He’s had a few extra wake-ups and I’ve gone in to rock him back to sleep. Now I’m trying to institute the “shhh/pat” method instead of always picking him up to help him understand the valuable skill of how to put himself to sleep. It works most of the time, but daytime naps without the swaddle are still a toss up. Sometimes he goes down with no rocking at all, and sometimes his little arms are flailing until I rock him all the way to sleep. He’ll figure it out, though, I’m sure.

Tonight someone else is going to put him to sleep while Benjamin and I go out to a Boston bloggers event, so we’ll see how that goes.

She Says… Cue Ball

What do this:

and this:

have in common?

The former is looking more like the latter every day. It’s true… our little guy’s defining feature — his rockstar fauxhawk — is slowly but very surely disappearing. His little hairs are everywhere (the bathtub, the changing table, his crib sheet, his play mat), except on his head.

I know it will grow back. And he is STILL the most adorable baby in the world. But I’m afraid he’s about to go through his very first awkward stage. Poor kid. Side note: When I went to see my mom two weeks ago, she said his hair/hairline/bald patches look JUST like mine did when I was a baby. So at least I know where he gets it from. And I have hair now, so that bodes well for his future.

She Says… Today

Today I will do my best to…

relax and enjoy every moment Owen is awake.

be thankful for the ones when he is sleeping.

 

That is all.

She Says… Early Morning Wake-up Call

So this morning I got an early morning wake-up call at 4:30am. And 5:30am. And 6:00am. And by wake-up call I mean Owen crying through the monitor.

Not the best way to start the day (especially at 4:30am), but unfortunately the way I’ve been starting my days since last Tuesday.

In this post last week I described how I’m trying out a sort of modified sleep training to get Owen back to waking up only once (like he used to do on his own). Basically I’m letting him wake up for the first time whenever he does naturally. The past week or so that has been around 12:45am. I feed him a nice, big 8oz bottle (of which he normally drinks about 7oz) and pop him right back in the crib. He falls asleep immediately. Then the plan is to not go to get him again until morning time, even if he cries. I thought it would be the easiest way to get him to remember how to just get up once and to combat this recent return to a 4:00am wake-up as well. Because at this point he’s eating more than enough between his daytime bottles and his midnight feeding (usually 32-34oz a day!), so he does NOT need to be eating again.

I’m not really sure what’s causing the 4:00am wake-up. When I HAVE gone in there to check on him (before I started this modified sleep training thing), nothing was awry. He did not pee/poop out of his diaper. He was not cold or warm. His swaddle/pajamas are fine. When I go to him in the morning, the crying immediately turns to smiles and he’s ready to play. Which leads me to believe that this 4:00am wake-up is purely social. Perfectly normal for his age/development, I know, but not a habit I’d like to ingrain.

One problem (which I plan to fix starting tonight) is that I’ve been leaving the monitor on, turned down as low as it will go, after the midnight feeding. I think this was my way of keeping a foot in the door, so to speak. I guess I felt like if he cried a certain way, I would know something was wrong, and I’d go in and check on him, even if it meant “screwing up” sleep training. I also kind of wanted to know when he was crying so I could keep a mental note of how many nights it took him to adopt the new schedule and how long he cried for (you know, gathering data for future sleep training). But really all it’s done is make me get less sleep (since I’m awake starting from 4:30am when I hear that first “a-WAH”), and frustrate me and make me doubt myself at 5:30am when he’s been crying on and off for an hour.

He’s a stubborn little dude.

  • 1st night: 10 minutes of crying at 4:30am and then he fell asleep
  • 2nd night: 15 minutes of crying at 5:30am and then he fell asleep
  • 3rd night: Perfection — no crying after the midnight feeding, woke up at 6:30am (Overly confident/naive me thinks, “AWESOME! We did it!”)
  • 4th night: 3:00am wake-up followed by nearly 1.5 hours of crying (on and off). Since it was at a weird time (3:00am instead of 4:00am), I thought maybe something was wrong, so I went in and checked on him. All smiles. I picked him up and patted him, got one little burp out of him and put him back in the crib. Ugh.
  • 5th night: 4:30am wake-up, 15-20 minutes of crying, then asleep. Up again at 5:30am, 15-20 minutes of crying, then asleep. Good progress?
  • 6th night: 4:30am wake-up, 15-20 minutes of crying, then back asleep. We’re getting somewhere…
  • Last night: 4:30am wake-up, 30 minutes of crying, 5:30am wake up, 30 minutes of crying. I got up at 6:00am and we started our day. Back to square one.

My goal is to wake up between 6:00am and 7:00am. Before 6:00am is too early for all of us, unless of course he decides to sleep through the night. Then I will happily get up at 5:30am! But if he’s still getting up once, I think 6:00am – 7:00am is reasonable. But the issue I had today is that 6:00am rolled around and he was in the midst of crying for 30 – 40 minutes. I don’t want him to think that I went in and got him because he cried for so long (thus training him to cry for 40 minutes and I’ll give up and come get him). But it was morning, and there was no guarantee that he was going to fall asleep again, so I could have been waiting a long time for that quiet period to go get him.

I thought sleep training was supposed to take only a few nights? Ha. Hahaha. No such luck. Thoughts on how to deal with this? Am I crazy to think that I can “train” him back to the schedule he once set for himself?