Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lazy Hazy Crazy Summer Days

Gosh…what a beautiful summer we’ve been having lately! The weather has been just perfect…not too hot or humid…the days just seem to fly by…I apologize for the long posts lately…when I get a chance to write, I really let it all out, lol!!
Elena has been doing pretty good…we have our challenging moments but thankfully there’s a lot more fulfilling moments…I am so grateful for how often I laugh these days, really laugh…I can’t remember any time in my life that I’ve laughed more often than these last few weeks…the other day Elena did something funny, I laughed then she laugh which made me laugh harder which made her laugh harder…it was hilarious!
Switching to 3 hour feeds was easier than I thought it would be…but I wouldn’t say it was completely easy either…I do feel like we have a semblance of a schedule & routine now though. It’s amazing what a difference that one extra hour between feedings makes…we have time to do things & I am confident going out more…Elena is eating better & sleeping really well. She wakes & nurses about 9am, nurses again about noon & naps, nurses around 3pm & naps, nurses about 6pm…we’ve been taking nice long walks in the evening at about 7pm & by the time we get home, I give Elena her bath & that takes us to her 9pm feeding when she settles for the night. Fantastic…for a week…then this last week Elena woke up in the middle of the night 3 nights in a row. I’m not really complaining since she nursed & went right back to sleep…but since then, she’s not going to bed after her 9pm feeding anymore. She falls asleep but wakes up after 40 minutes & stays up until midnight but then goes down for the night…I guess the 12 hour sleeps were too good to last but I’m guessing that since she’s getting more consistent day time naps, she only needs the 9 hours at night…and 9 hours is pretty sweet so I’ll take it. The challenging part is the 20-40 minutes before she’s due to eat…she can get very cranky & fussy…not every time but often enough…I can usually distract her but I often just give in & feed her 10-15 minutes early.
The one thing that soothes Elena 90% of the time is if I sing to her…I’m not being humble or self deprecating when I say I can’t sing…I truly have no musical talent & am completely tone deaf! So am completely flattered that she loves my singing so much…my other singing issue is that I don’t remember most of the lyrics to kids songs so end up doing medleys of a bunch of songs, lol! Anyway, one of the songs she likes the most is “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”…easy for me since I know all the words ;) & I think Elena loves all my goofy animal noises (our Old MacDonald has monkeys & elephants on his farm!)…because of Elena’s love of this particular song, I remembered having a toy when I was a kid that I think many of us had, The See’n’Say where you pull the string & it makes the noise of the animal the arrow was pointing at…well lo & behold Fi.sher Pri.ce has made an updated version that I finally tracked down! Elena loves it!

I didn’t end up starting Elena on cereal just yet even though the Dr gave us the green light…I was so excited for her to start that I went out & bought bowls & spoons & Rice Cereal that I can add breast milk to…then I just didn’t feel confident that she was quite ready…I can’t really explain why, it was really more of a gut feeling but I’m just not sure she’s quite ready…she’s showing great interest in watching us eat & other signs she’s almost ready but the one thing that was catching me up was this tongue reflex thing…I don’t quite understand what I should be looking for. If anyone can describe this for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Now I will leave you with a few photos since I haven’t posted any in a while…
A Laughing Moment
The day we put her crib together...doesn't she look tiny in it?!?

Playing in her Exersaucer

Out for our evening walk

Monday, July 4, 2011

Everything I’ve Been Meaning to Mention

Elena is 4 months old today! Can you believe it? I can’t! She had her 4 month check up today…she’s 16 lbs 5 oz & 26 inches long…tall? She is doing fantastically. The Doctor noted that she is a big girl but doesn’t have any concerns & was pleased with how bright & interactive she was.

I asked him about Elena feeding every 1.5-2 hours & he said at this point she is able to go for longer, it’s just up to me to extend the length between feedings…he suggested if I hold her off for 15 minutes for each feeding, Elena will catch on & I can extend things to every 3 or 4 hours…of course she’ll fuss, cry & resist at first but in a day or 2 she’ll never know the difference. It seems a little simple to me & I know it’ll be a challenge holding out when Elena is screeching to be fed but I'll give it a try!
Oh & yes, I said screeching! It’s one of her new things…she has a happy squeal-screech & an angry high-pitched screech. She also giggles and laughs all the time, it’s hilarious! She’ll start laughing at the oddest times & at the weirdest things…I think she’s inherited my odd sense of humour. Elena has also found her feet & toes…typically, she puts them in her mouth every chance she gets. This has helped her in starting to roll over from back to front…she’s done it a few times by accident & can’t quite figure it out when she’s actually trying…& now when she’s on her tummy, she has no interest in trying to roll over since she’s figured out she can scoot forward if she tries hard enough & she’s more interested in trying to do that.
Every post I’ve done lately, there was always something else I’d meant to mention & forgot…so I’ve been trying to keep track & hopefully catch up…
Cloth Diapering
Elena has been in cloth diapers since birth…we’ve had our ups & downs with them but over all I am happy. I went with a diaper service ‘cause you know my lazy ass was going to be washing diapers!! At $23 a week, cost-wise I think it’s comparable to disposables…I get 70 diapers & I’ve never run out. I made a stupid mistake the 1st week…I had purchased Mother-Ease snap covers from them (also a good deal at 3 for $30) but they didn’t quite fit Elena when she was newborn…I also didn’t realize that the covers were a necessity so was frustrated that the diapers were “leaking” every time. Then I realized that was what the covers were for, duh!
Another small issue we had was Elena was getting some mild irritation on her toshy but we put a light layer of Sudocrem with each change & she’s good. If she gets a flare up, we just use disposables for a day & she’s back to good as gold. The only other times when Elena is in disposables is thru the night, since she’s in the diaper for 8-10 hours straight (sometimes 11 or 12), the cloth was too irritating. The disposables wick away the moisture 100% better. We also use disposables when we’re out for the day…bringing home dirty cloth diapers was a pain & kinda gross to me plus the disposables are a lot less bulky…surprisingly, the diaper pail for the cloth diapers is pretty odorless, I was a little worried it would be stinky & since Elena’s changing station is in our bedroom, I didn’t know how that would go…but the pail they provide has a charcoal odor barrier so it’s not bad at all.
Baby Food
Yes, my lazy ass is going to attempt to make Elena’s baby food…I’ve been told it’s not that involved & reading Gille’s posts about it & her great tips & suggestions, I think we can manage. I kept seeing the infomercials about the Baby Bullet & thought long & hard about getting one…then a very smooth salesman at a specialty store convinced me to purchase the full size Magic Bullet saying that it was better value since the Magic Bullet has a full size motor compared to the mini in the Baby Bullet plus you could do more at one time in the Magic Bullet & use it for a lot of other stuff too…& for that day only (note sarcasm here) they would throw in a “Baby Booster” kit that had individual food containers you could date (I’m picturing the ones like with the Baby Bullet) & a no-tip toddler bowl…all for the low low price of $120!! Yeah! I was hooked!! I happily skipped home with my fantastic deal only to find that the food containers were the same ones I could have purchased at the Dollar Store for a buck & the dating system? “Use a white board marker.” Yes, that is actually what the instructions said!! And since I’d been sucked into this purchase at a specialty store, when buyer’s remorse set in, returning it wasn’t an option since they very clearly stated at the checkout “NO REFUNDS, Store Credit Only”…what the hell am I going to do with a store credit at a specialty store that only sells infomercial products?!? Then, to rub salt in the wound, doesn’t Walmart have the Magic Bullet on sale 2 weeks later for $49.95!!!! Oy!!!
The Dr gave us the green light to start Elena on cereal…I’m glad for that as she seems ready…now I just have to buy cereal, spoons, baby bowls, a highchair…
Me Time
I don’t get a lot of me time…just me…away from Elena. My Mom is great & takes her for half an hour here & there when she’s home so I can get stuff done like laundry, dishes, a shower, dinner, etc…I’m asking her a lot more often lately to help Elena get more use to being away from me but to be honest, I don’t really want to be away from her. The days can be very long & I really crave a break sometimes but half an hour feels like enough for me.
The other day, my Mom looked after Elena for a few hours so I could run some errands at the mall. I had a nice afternoon & didn’t cry like I have in the past…it was easier going from store to store looking for what I wanted & sitting in the food court having lunch all while not having to worry about Elena or when she’d need to eat or where I would be able to. So I admit, it was a nice respite but I can’t shake the guilt of enjoying my time away from Elena. Being with Elena all day every day is very fulfilling…she amazes me continually & I love watching her learn & grow. She’s become such an easy going baby after those first couple of weeks of so much crying. I know it’s as good for Elena as it is for me for us to have some time apart. I’m telling you the god-honest truth when I say I don’t crave or desire time away from Elena but I do enjoy the time away & that’s what makes me feel guilty…
I’m so happy for the numerous BFPs going around lately!! Congratulations to Andrea, SurlyMama & Lorelei…also a big congrats to Rachel for becoming a licensed Foster Mom…and a welcome to the world to Chase, who couldn’t wait to meet his Mommy! If I missed anyone I’m sorry and congratulations to you as well!
Thank You!
A huge thank you for all your support & advice on my last post! It meant so very much to me & eased my mind...the advice offered by all of you wise women was very much appreciated.