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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3 Months!

Yesterday I had some time to kill before an appointment so I stopped in at my work to let the office ladies swarm Emily.  While there I naturally heard bits of things that, if i were working, would be managing, etc.  I had this huge feeling of dread, realizing Emily is three months old and I've been off work for nearly four months now and I have to go back there at the end of the year.  My job is stressful... How do I know I'm not the only one who feels it?  My back-up doesn't even say 'hi' to me when I visit there... He looks like he's aged ten years since December.  My work colleagues say he's ready to lose it and that his personality has totally changed.  Jesus.  I feel guilty for even visiting there and asking him how it's going.  Not like he really answers me anyway.  It makes me really sad and I really hope that he snaps out of it when I unload him of that position at the end of the year.

Why will I go back if it's so stressful?  Because finding a new job is daunting and like most people I find it easier to put up with the job I'm in rather than find a better one.  Plus I've put in 11+ years there, I'm out to everyone and they're fairly decent about most things like being late/absent due to a child being sick, etc.


Emily is three months old!  I weighed her the other day and she's already 14 lbs!  She's getting so big and strong that I can no longer see the little infant we brought home in January.  She started reaching out for things over Easter weekend.  Since then she has been trying to grab everything to put in her mouth, well, when her fists isn't occupying it.  She is a drool machine!  Her fingers or fist or fists are always near her mouth.  I've been feeling around but no sign of teeth yet.

In the past week or so she just seems so much older.  Even the way she looks at us seems more mature.  And this past weekend she discovered her voice so my days are now filled with shrieking to go along with the increased babbling. 


She is still sort of breast feeding.  Her breast milk to formula ratio has definitely slipped below 50%... most days it might even be below 25%.  She'll breast feed at night okay but during the day she turns her head away.  She's not stupid, she knows there's a bottle that delivers the goods more efficiently and way faster.  Sigh... it makes me sad but I'm slowly getting over it.  I'll tell you, I definitely wish I had budgeted formula into this year's plan because holy hell, she sure sucks it back!

Her favourite distractions are her mobiles (the one that lights up over her crib and the non-wind up one over her change station), her Baby Einstein activity mat and her vibrating chair with toys on her lap.  We finally broke down and got her a Bumbo chair and she looks hilarious in it.  She doesn't quite know what to make of it so she just sits there slightly slumped forward hanging onto the tray looking at us.

She has started sleeping a bit longer at night, sometimes up to three hours at a time.  The catch?  She sleeps in/on the crook of my arm.  Ow, my poor arm.  Sometimes I get lucky and can transfer her over a bit so she's sleeping on her own in the middle of our bed but unless she's in a super deep sleep, she starts kicking and thrashing around until she starts crying.  Baby steps, I guess...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter stuff

We took Emily to the pediatrician this afternoon after trying to clear up a rash on her torso for the past week and a half.  The pediatrician wasn't overly concerned and recommended an over-the-counter cream to help with it.  She basically just has really sensitive skin, even for a baby.  We already do a lot to minimize irritation but we're going to do a bit more like extra rinse cycles for her clothing and increasing the amount of times we apply lotion/cream to her skin every day.

Emily started grasping toys this week and will sometimes try to get them to her mouth to taste.  She is still working on getting her fingers/fist in her mouth to suck - usually she tries to stick both in at once which doesn't help the process.  We suspect she is going to be left hand dominant.
Sampling her toy keys
Since the snow is finally starting to melt around here and the sidewalks are clear (the sidewalks that neighbours refused to shovel all winter that were covered in ice) I have started taking walks with the stroller.  I was pleased to discover it only took 18 minutes to walk to the grocery store!  Em seems to like being outside looking at new things and hearing new noises.
We spent Easter with Emily's dads.  To prepare, I got out her children's bible to read a few stories.  In the end I decided the bible is much too violent for a child... good lord!
"Mommy, this story is not appropriate for my age..."
Jules roasted lamb for Easter Sunday dinner and made bread pudding for dessert.  We were teasing her about the bread pudding when she served it because she had made it the night before and then microwaved each serving before drizzing custard over it.  She wasn't aware that breaded items only need 20-30 seconds maximum in the microwave (she put them in for over a minute) so when she served them they were literally steaming.  When she looked around and saw we were pushing it around the plate and talking instead of eating it she was disappointed and said we didn't have to eat it if we didn't like it.  We all responded that it was very good but that we had all scalded our mouths on it and were now waiting for the steam to subside before trying more of it.  I think we got through 1/4 of the movie Lincoln before we could finally eat it. ;)
Easter outfit #1
Easter outfit #2
We're getting to the point where she fits all of her 3 month clothing now.  Now we're trying to find it all in her closet and put it in rotation while removing the clothing that doesn't fit.  It's sad to get rid of some of our favourite outfits for her but fun to find new things we had purchased but forgotten about (usually from a Carter's end of season sale). It is now apparent that we and family/friends purchased more 3 month clothing than any other size so for the next month or so she'll have a lot of outfits and then by the time she gets to needing 6 month clothing the rotation will be limited.  Clearly we didn't plan that out very well.  She's really starting to drool a lot and occasionally spits up and has leaked diapers so we're starting to need 1-2 clothing changes per day.  It would help if Jules and I would remember that she sometimes likes to pee as soon as we remove her diaper.  She's soaked herself and the change pad three days in a row now.

This second hand outfit makes her look like she's ready for Hogwarts
But she totally rocks it...
On Monday we visited Emily's dads at their home.  Usually on Mondays they visit us but since they had come on Sunday we decided to make the trek to their place for a change.  They live about 35 minutes away from us in a suburb on the other side of the city.  We had made a plan to try making homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs the night before so when we got there we got down to business.  
Emily insisted on supervising the process
Although the recipe was super easy and the preparation straight forward, it took quite a while to get them done because they would start to get warm immediately after taking them out of the freezer so they had to be ferried in and out of the freezer one by one.  Once they were covered in chocolate it was a lot easier to finish.  It couldn't have been too bad because the guys told us they made another batch the following day.  They were sooooooo good!  We made coffee and had our creme eggs while playing Balderdash (it was mine and Jules' first time playing).  We had a really great day. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sleep or lack thereof

First of all, thank you Stacey and Shannon for your awesome comments.  That has made both Jules and I feel a lot better regarding the mommy preference.  Seriously, thank you.

Also, Shannon, thank you so much for your coconut milk recommendation.  It's totally awesome and by far my favourite of the non-dairy substitutes out there.

Now on to my favourite topic - Emily's sleep pattern or lack thereof

Here's what I've noticed:

  • She can sleep 1.5 hrs at a time at night without needing to be soothed
  • She's always hungry when she wakes up at night.  For that reason I both breast feed and formula feed her at night to fill her up.
  • She will rarely sleep longer than 15 minutes at a time during the day without needing some sort of soothing to get her back to sleep (whether it is a quick rock, putting her soother back in or changing her diaper again)
  • She is the WORST at self soothing.  She'll be rubbing her eyes and tired as all heck but she just can't seem to drift off by herself.  I've left her for 5-10 minutes at a time to see if she can get the hang of putting herself to sleep but when she gets into the silent scary cry I feel terrible and can't do it anymore.
  • Occasionally she'll go for a three hour stretch in the afternoon or evening.  It's almost always at a time when I can't join her.
  • We currently don't have a bedtime routine established.  Between Jules working late most nights and Emily's need to be soothed by me and me alone, it leaves us doing everything late and before we know it it'll be 10 pm or later before we're going upstairs to start bedtime.  We really need to work on this but honestly it feels impossible sometimes. :(
As I type this, Emily is sleeping against my chest in the cuddly wrap.  This is after being awake for 99% of the time between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm.  She'd drift off in my arms or on the breast feeding pillow and then wake up after I put her down or within 10 minutes.  It is so damn hard sometimes.  Even in the cuddly wrap she fussed for about half an hour before finally falling into a deep enough sleep that I didn't have to be walking around bouncing her or patting her on the back.

I swear, at this point I'd be glad if she had her nights and days mixed up because at least I'd get some decent naps SOMETIME during the day/night.


Monday, March 18, 2013

2 Months

Another month has flown by and now our little peanut is two months old!  

Some changes this month:

  • Increased neck strength!  She's amazing with her head control.
  • She follows us all around the room with her eyes.  The distance at which she can see has greatly improved.

  • She starts moving her arms and legs to music and movement.  She LOVES her Baby Einstein play gym (for 15 minutes at a time...that's usually her limit) because it has blinking lights and music.  She also loves when we dance in front of her and her giraffe mobile.

  • She has started to warm up to the baby swing.  Jules has gotten her to sleep in it for a couple hours at a time in the past week.
  • We figured out how to calm/soothe her when she gets super cranky and overtired.  Well, I have anyway... 
  • She has a case of mommyitis.  Nobody can calm her like I can.  She'll scream the house down for Jules and poor Jules will try everything she can think of to calm her down but there have been several times where she's had to bring her to me or wait until I've gotten home from an evening errand to have her soothed. :(  This really makes me sad and I totally understand Jules' frustration.  This morning she was at her wit's end as she was trying to let me get a few hours of sleep but Emily wouldn't stop crying.  I end up coming downstairs and as soon as I picked her up, she started calming down.  I brought her upstairs and she fell asleep in my arms within five minutes.  Although I'm so grateful that at least one of us can calm her, I feel so guilty. :(

  • She's begun experiencing constipation which I contribute to her being half formula fed.  Poor girl.  We've started adding a bit more water to her formula bottle and last night we resorted to using a baby suppository to help her go (it worked within 10 minutes!)
  • She's had baby acne for the last three weeks.  It seems like every day it is somewhere else on her face/neck/head.  It takes days for spots to go away but I found if I put breast milk on them they disappear overnight.  Jules wanted to try breast milk on one of her spots and sure enough it disappeared overnight.
This afternoon Emily had her 2 month vaccination appointment.  Two shots in one leg and one shot in the other.  I was a wreck beforehand because it kills me when we have to put saline drops in her nose and she screams murder so I knew this was going to be rough.  She did scream for about five minutes straight but I was finally able to calm her down and get her sleeping.  She was awake shortly after we got home though and was crying a lot over the course of the afternoon so I broke out the children's Tylenol and gave her a dose.  She went to sleep shortly there after and has been dozing on and off ever since.


Hopefully tonight isn't going to be too rough though I can't really imagine our nights getting much worse than they are.  As it is Emily only sleeps 1-2.5 hours at a time at night.  Her average is 1.5 hours at a time.  She doesn't like sleeping on her back unless she's laying between us in bed.  When she's in bed with us, I can't sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time because I'm worried one of us will roll into her or accidentally pull a blanket over her head or move a pillow over her face.  I can manage a more sound sleep if she's actually cradled in the crook of my arm but that position is only semi comfortable for so long before I have to move her.  She'll sleep over an hour at a time in her vibrating chair which I place at the side of the bed so I can quickly reach her when she starts crying.  I'm hoping we'll be able to get her sleeping in her crib by 4 months old.  In the meantime we're seriously considering getting a king sized bed.

Last but not least, her are her measurements from today:

Weight - 11 lbs, 6.25 oz (65th percentile)
Height - 22.5 in (60th percentile)
Head - 38.7 cm (50th percentile)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tonight Jules is graciously sleeping downstairs with Emily so I can get four or five hours of uninterrupted sleep as a thank you for the three nights of full time duty I had (she had important work stuff this week that required her to be well rested). I can tell that a) I'm definitely a mother now, and b) I don't remember how to just go to bed on my own anymore. I went upstairs and then realized we were almost out of baby wipes downstairs so I grabbed a new pack and brought it down. Back upstairs I went. Then I thought perhaps one or both of them might get cold in the night so I brought down a couple of blankets. Back upstairs I went. Then I decided to bring down a warmer sleeper for Emily. Back upstairs I went. Then I decided I should probably bring up the breast pump. Then my phone so I could read the news while I drifted off. Then a bottle of water.

Now I'm typing this out...


Why am I wasting this opportunity to sleep? I should be dreaming right now. Or not dreaming because I'm so tired.

Maybe I'm dreaming this blog post right now... A real one would probably have updates on Emily instead of rambling...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sleep, dairy and diapers

Babies are tricky little things to figure out sometimes.  For example today, Emily has cried almost every moment she wasn't either sleeping or eating.  However, last night was the first night we managed to get her to sleep somewhere not on our bed and not on us for three and a half hours straight.  The winning surface was her Fisher Price vibrating chair.  All she had one was her Fuzzibunz diaper and loosely wrapped in a blanket.  Needless to say we'll be trying to recreate the experience tonight.  I won't hold my breath though...

We switched over to the cloth diapers on Sunday now that she's finally big enough to fit them.  So far so good except now a lot of clothing is suddenly too small due to extreme fluffy bum.  We're using the Bummis prefolds during the day (she lets us know as soon as she wets) and the Fuzzibunz at night right now (so she won't let us know as soon as she wets).

I forgot to mention the other week that I started limiting my dairy in order to see if Em would stop squirming at the breast while feeding.  When I say limiting I mean I stopped drinking milk and eating cheese, yogurt and sour cream (the usual dairy in our home) but I haven't gone as far as limiting the dairy in processed foods (or eating Cadbury Mini Eggs because I'm addicted at the moment).  It took almost a week but sure enough Emily stopped squirming when feeding.  Then yesterday I had two lattes and now since last night she's been squirming at the breast again.  I guess that means I really am stuck using rice milk* in my coffee for the next few months.

*I tried rice milk, hemp milk, flax milk, almond milk and soya milk.  I HATE soya milk period and the almond, hemp and flax only in cereal.  The rice milk is the only one I can stand in coffee... barely.

Tomorrow I have my six week follow up appointment with my OB.  I'm not sure how useful the appointment will be but I imagine I'll mention I still have numbness and tenderness in my abdomen but my incision has healed very well.  He'll say take Advil and continue to take it easy and send me on my way.  Taking it easy... such a joke.  How do you take it easy when you get small interrupted periods of sleep at a time (unless your wife generously offers to take the baby for a few hours on the weekend or at night) so basically never getting restful *healing* sleep and then spending the weekdays carrying a baby around?  When I get out of bed in the morning, I stumble around like a baby foal learning to use my legs for the first time.  The stairs are the worst... I have to use the banister AND the wall and I wince in pain all the way as I stumble down.  I feel like I'm 90 years old for the first hour or so and then I'm okay.  The same thing happens when I get out of the car.  Knees, ankles, wrists, it all hurts.  I looked it up online and apparently having achy joints like this is common post pregnancy and can last up to a year.  I'm hoping once the sidewalks and roads are no longer skating rinks outside, I'll get walking around the neighbourhood to see if that'll help get rid of it.

Now that I'm able to lay on my stomach again without pain, I've booked a massage for next Monday.  I can't wait!!  I'm pretty sure it's going to be heaven and I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall asleep during it.  

Also in the next couple of weeks I'm going to book a pedicure and possibly a hair cut.  Jules asked what I wanted for my birthday coming up in mid-March and I listed off massage, pedicure and hair cut.  She offered a hotel room for a night but I immediately shot it down... that's not fair and it's too much money to spend for sleep.  I'll settle for a nice long nap on a Saturday.

Well, Emily is doing her 'I'm going to wake up in less than a minute' stretch routine right now so I better go grab the breast feeding pillow stat!