Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Makes You Happy?

Our lives are full of stuff.  Some of it makes us happy, some makes us sad, some makes us anxious, and some of it just makes us exhausted.  Our homes are overtaken with stuff.  Our minds are boggled down with stuff.  Our relationships are bombarded with stuff.  It's time to clean out the closets (in our homes, in our minds, and in our relationships).  The "stuff" in and of itself is great.  What makes it not so great is when it starts to rule our lives and make us crazy.

In the weekly bible study group I attend, we have been talking about idols.  This has made me really examine my life in an attempt to pinpoint the idols of my heart.  What is it that I can't live without?  Well, if I am honest with myself and with you, I would say that I couldn't live without Brian, Hannah, and the rest of my family.  I also can't live without my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is my everything.  But is He enough?  What if, like Job, I lost all my loved ones?  Would I be okay?  The thought is excruciating.  Life without family doesn't sound like life to me.  But where is the line between something you love unconditionally and something that has become an idol? The following are a couple quotes that I think answer this question:
  • "Idols are not sinful things, but good and basic things elevated into being ultimate things.  We look to them for meaning in life, for covering our sense of insignificance, for developing a 'righteousness' or worth." - Tim Keller
  • "An idol is anything in our lives that occupies the place that should be occupied by God alone." - D.M. Lloyd-Jones
What if you lost all the "stuff" in your life?  Would you still be content?  What have you placed on an 'altar' in your life?  Is God in His rightful place or something else?   Is He enough?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Sick Little Girl

Hannah caught my cold! :-(  I feel so guilty!  Thankfully it doesn't seem to be bothering her (not nearly as much as it is me).  She has a stuffy nose, a cough and lots of sneezes.  Poor baby!  She slept most of the morning (during her normal playtime) and is now down for her normal afternoon nap.  She barely even fussed before falling fast asleep.  I'm glad she is getting lots of sleep, as I know there isn't much else that I can do to help her feel better.  I have been using the bulb syringe that we got from the hospital when she was born and that seems to help get some of the boogies out, so that's good.  Other than that, just lots of cuddling!  Thankfully she hasn't had a fever (at least not a noticeable one), so that makes me feel better.  I just hope she is 100% healthy soon!  Seeing my little girl sick breaks my heart!

On another note, I haven't been able to take any pictures for the last week because we left our camera charger at my in-laws house.  Boo!  It is in the mail today and should arrive tomorrow, so that's good.  It kills me to not be able to take pictures of my little peanut.  We missed her 10 week picture with her lambie.  UGH!  If you read my previous post about capturing memories, then you understand my frustration.  But hopefully the camera will be fully charged again for her 11 week picture tomorrow. :-)  And once it is fully charged, I will be sure to share some pics of the little peanut...she is changing so fast!

The Life of a Stay-at-Home Mom

Being a stay-at-home mom...aww, it's wonderful! haha  So often that's the impression you get when you talk to other stay-at-home moms.  But the truth is, it's not all roses and sugar plums!  I have only been a stay-at-home mom for a two and half months now and I've already seen how tough this job is.  People that say a stay-at-home mom doesn't work are idiots.  They obviously have never done the job.  I have had the experience of having a job outside the home (as a second grade teacher) so I know what I'm talking about.  I can compare the two jobs and speak from experience.  Here's a quick comparison of pros and cons...

Working outside the home (as a teacher) vs. Being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM)
  • Working outside the home meant I had a set schedule.  I woke up at 5:30am, got dressed, went to work, and came home by 5pm everyday.  Being a SAHM means I am at the mercy of my child.  Yes, we have a daily schedule, but Hannah doesn't always adhere to it. ;-)
  • Being a SAHM allows be to stay in my pajamas all day, if I want.  Working outside the home meant I had to shower before work, do my hair, and wear makeup.
  • Working outside the home allowed me to have a lunch break (even if it was only 30 minutes).  Being a SAHM means I don't eat lunch until Hannah goes down for her afternoon nap (somewhere around 2pm).  And that lunch is often interrupted by a crying baby.
  • Being a SAHM means I don't miss any part of Hannah's life.  Working outside the home now would mean that I would have to miss out so many things with Hannah.
  • Working outside the home gave me an opportunity to interact with adults and have friends I saw on a daily basis.  Being a SAHM means that I rarely see any adults, beside Brian and friends are few and far between.
  • Being a SAHM means I don't have the stress of a boss looking over my shoulder. Working outside the home meant I had to meet certain criteria and perform to someone else's standards.
  • Working outside the home meant I could go to work and then come home to relax.  Being a SAHM means I am never done with my job.  I don't have the luxury of leaving work at work.  I am on the clock 24/7.
There are many positives and negatives of being a SAHM.  Some days the negatives seem to win out, but most days the opposite is true. 

So why do I do it?  Why am I am SAHM?  I do it because God called me to be a mother and care for my children.  I do it because my family needs me to do it.  I do it because I feel that it is in Hannah's best interest for me to be at home with her.  I do it because if I didn't, I know I would regret it someday.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life Abundantly

We live a full life.  We have been blessed with so much!  My husband has a great job, we have a home in a safe neighborhood, we are able to buy the things that we need (food, gas, clothes, etc.),  I am able to stay home with Hannah...the list goes on and on.  We thank the Lord daily for His many blessings and are constantly in awe of how good He is to us.  However, all those things do not come freely.  We are very wise with our money and feel that whatever the Lord gives us, we should use it to the best of our ability.  Many people wonder how we are able to live with only one income.  It's not always easy.  We do have to make sacrifices, but to us, it is worth it.  Thanks to our frugal way of living we are both able to do what we love!

So, I thought I would share some of our money-saving strategies with you.
  1. Grocery Shopping - I rarely pay full-price for anything. I shop the sales and use coupons on top of that.  Yes, it does take extra time to plan out what I will buy, but we save over 50% every time we shop.  I get all my shopping lists from Southern Savers and plan my meals around what is on sale each week.  I also keep a running price list of the items I buy regularly.  That way I always know what the best price is and don't get sucked in by the "SALE" signs.  Our grocery bill is rarely over $60 per week and often WAY less! :-)  
  2. We eat dinner at home every night during the week.  Even if I don't have a meal fully planned (and believe me, these days I don't!) we still find something to eat in the house.  But we do eat out on Friday and Saturday nights (most of the time).  This gives me a much needed break from cooking and gets us out of the house! :-)  However, when we do eat out, we often use coupons.
  3. We don't have the latest and greatest gadgets.  This is hard in the society we live in.  We are bombarded with new gadgets and gizmos on a daily basis.  It is so easy to think, "I need that new ___.  If I don't get it I will not be fully satisfied."  We rarely buy new electronics and the ones we have were most likely gifts. ;-)  When we do finally decide to upgrade on of our electronics (cell phone, tv, dvd player, etc.) we do a TON of research and find the very best price available.  
  4. We save a lot of our earnings.  Thankfully I married a finance major, so I don't have to worry about balancing the check book or saving money in a ROTH IRA.  Because he is so great at doing these things, I stay out of his way and let him do his thing. :)  So I can't speak much about the actual investments, but what I do know is that he has the money automatically taken out of his paycheck so that we never even see it.  That way, we don't miss it!  We have learned to live on less because we see less.
Even though we are frugal with our money, we still leave room for fun and spontaneity.  We love to travel (well, I should say "loved"...not doing much traveling now that Hannah is here), we love good food, we like to shop, and we have the freedom to do those things.  Being frugal doesn't mean you have to live a boring life.  For us, it is just the opposite.  We are able to live a life filled with joy and peace because we are wise with what the Lord has given us.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sick! :-(

I'm sick.  Ugh!  It started on Friday night with a sore throat and is now a full-blown cold.  I have a fever, body aches, headache, REALLY stuffy nose, and still a scratchy throat.  I feel awful.  It seems that I get a cold twice a year (once in the Fall and once in the Spring).  I hate being sick!  Who doesn't, right?!  But this is my first time being sick since Hannah was born.  It's a whole different ball game now.  I am consumed with fear that she might catch my cold.  I can't imagine how awful it would be for her to get this sickness.  But I keep trying to remind myself that since I am breastfeeding, it is very unlikely that she will get sick.  Apparently when she nurses, she is taking in the antibodies my immune system is creating to fight off my illness.  So she is getting the antibodies before she even needs them...building up her immunity to my cold!  YEAH!  But I still find myself questioning every sneeze and feeling her forehead constantly for the slightest indication of a fever. 

The hardest part of being sick is having to take care of Hannah even though I feel like poo.  It is really tough!  There is no time to sit down and relax and try to recover.  I have to entertain her and tend to her needs before my own.  I guess this is what parenting is all about.

My parents came for an overnight stay last night.  They made a pit-stop on their journey to my brother's house in St. Louis.  They were here for less than 12 hours, but it was great to see them.  I hate that I felt so awful and wasn't much fun to be around, but thankfully we will get to see them again next weekend.  We are taking a trip to Boone, NC to stay in a cabin my parents rented.  My sister and her family will be there and this will be the first time they meet Hannah!  We can't wait.  Now I just have to work on feeling better before we head up there. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Capturing the Memories

Does anyone else get overwhelmed with trying to capture every memory?  Maybe it's a new mom/first-time parent thing?  But I feel like I can't put my camera down or step away from the baby book because I might forget to write something down.  The days go by so fast and Hannah is changing so much every day.  I always want to remember her just as she is now.  Since I can't slow down time, I feel like I need to capture it all!  What an overwhelming task!  Sometimes I feel like I can't even enjoy the here and now because I'm too busy trying to remember it...does that even make sense?

Maybe this all stems from my horrible long-term memory (and short-term for that matter).  For some reason I cannot remember much from my childhood or even my teenage years.  I barely remember even going to High School!  Yikes!  I guess in an attempt to not have the same thing happen to Hannah, I am overcompensating.

When I think about Hannah growing up, it makes me so sad.  I want her to always be my little baby.  As I picture her life flashing by, it breaks my heart!  SLOW DOWN!  I'm sure I am overreacting a bit, but you always hear how fast life goes when you have kids, so I just want to be sure to capture it all!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Losing the Baby Weight

This is me on the day I found out I was pregnant

Here I am on the night I went in to be induced...Wow!

Hannah is quickly approaching 3 months old (hard to believe!) and I am just beginning my quest to lose the baby weight.  During my pregnancy I gained an astonishing amount of weight (about 50 pounds).  I swore I would never be one of those pregnant ladies that gained that much weight...but low and behold, I was! haha  I determined that there is very little a woman can do to control her weight gain during pregnancy.  Even though I was extremely sick during the entire first trimester and some of the second, I still managed to gain that much weight.  So, to all those pregnant ladies out there, don't beat yourself up about your weight gain.  Now, I don't condone eating bon-bons all day, but a few indulgences won't be the end of you. ;-)  So, now that I have had 10 weeks or so to adjust to motherhood, it's time to get down to business.

Since I am still exclusively breastfeeding, I don't want to go too crazy.  I am still technically feeding 2 people.  ;-) Since having Hannah, I have lost about 40 pounds, so I only have 10 to go until I am at my pre-pregnancy weight.  However, I would ideally like to lose 15 more.  But it's not necessarily the number on the scale that I am concerned's more my overall appearance.  Those that know me know that my problem area has always been my thighs and bottom, while my stomach was always relatively flat.  Well, those days are long gone! haha  Now I have both problem areas to deal with.  (And let's not mention the stretchmarks....any suggestions for those would be greatly appreciated!)

Starting about 1 week after Hannah was born, I started taking her on walks in the neighborhood.  I have not been as consistent as I would like, but at least it's a start.  I am not a gym person...tried to be for a little while, but it just isn't me.  Plus, now that I have Hannah in tow, the gym just won't work.  So, I am going to have to workout at home.  I have a Pilates dvd that I used to do a lot, so I am hoping to get back into that.  I also have the Jillian Michael's Wii game that is supposed to help, but I'm not really convinced.  I have an exercise ball and some light weights too.  Now all I need is the motivation!  Ugh...

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Grass Is Always Greener - Part 2

As I thought more about my post from the other day, I started to feel bad about it.  I didn't realize at the time how ungrateful it made me sound.  There was a time, not too long ago, that I would have given anything to be pregnant.  I remember saying that I would rather be barfing everyday than not, if that meant I was going to be a mother.  Then, I go and write a post saying how awful pregnancy and labor hypocritical!  If I had read a post like mine when we were trying to conceive, I would have been in tears!  My heart would have broken and I would have said, "Shut up!  At least you were able to get pregnant and have a baby!"  I distinctly remember thinking those things when I would hear other women complain about their pregnancies.  Then, I turned into one of those women I despised.

If you have ever gone through a time of waiting in your life (for a spouse, for a child, for a job, for a home, for a clean bill of health, etc.) then you can relate to what I am saying.  While in the midst of the waiting, you are desperate to get whatever it is you are waiting for.  You pray daily for that thing and wait as patiently as possible for your prayers to be answered.  The waiting is so hard and some days it feels like you just can't do it anymore.  You want to give up, but you know that you can't.  Then, when the Lord answers your prayers and blesses you with whatever it is you have been waiting for, you are overwhelmed with thankfulness.  All that waiting has finally payed off.

But then, you suddenly get so wrapped up in the moment and your new life (marriage, pregnancy, parenthood, a new career, a new house, your health, etc.) that you often forget what life was like before.  You forget the pain of the waiting and the hours of pleading with the Lord.  Our minds so easily forget.

Lord, forgive me for being so caught up in the moment (of pregnancy, of labor, of parenthood) and so easily forgetting what a blessing my pregnancy was.  I am so undeserving of the grace you give me.  The pain of waiting for our little miracle baby was excruciating.  How could I so easily forget that?  I had no right to complain during my pregnancy...I wanted that more than anything gave me exactly what I asked for.  My pregnancy was a blessing!  My labor (no matter how painful) was a blessing!  And Hannah is a blessing!  Let me not forget that.  Thank you for the endless blessings in my life...I am so unworthy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

World's Best Daddy

Everyone so often focuses on what a great job mom is doing with her new baby, but what about dad?  I understand that not all men are born to be dads, but my husband was!  Brian is an amazing father...Hannah is so blessed!  I knew Brian would be a great dad before I even became pregnant.  To be able to withstand 2 years of trying to conceive (okay, I realize that trying to conceive isn't too tough on a man! haha), to endure my horrible pregnancy (countless nights of me waking him up, asking him to get me something to eat or drink), to be by my side the entire time I labored naturally (he didn't sit down all day!), and now to be willing and eager to take care of Hannah whenever he can.  What more could I ask for?

In the hospital, when I was recovering, Brian changed every single diaper, swaddled Hannah every time, rocked her when she was fussy, took her back and forth to the nursery so I could attempt to sleep, and was my rock emotionally.  He did all that without one complaint!  I don't even remember him saying that he was tired (which, if you know Brian, is very unlike him).  I don't know how I could have managed without him!  I couldn't even get out of the bed without help (so much for a natural labor being so easy to bounce back from).

But even more important than all the physical stuff he does for me and Hannah, it is the love that I see in his eyes that gets me every time!  He is SO in love with his little girl.  He can't wait to get home from work just to spend a few hours with her.

I am so blessed and so thankful.  The Lord obviously hand-picked Brian to be my husband!  He knew what He was doing!

So, if you have a husband that is just as great as mine, go thank him.  He deserves it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Grass is Always Greener...Well, Sometimes!

Today I was reminiscing about my pregnancy.  I was thinking about how it felt to have Hannah inside me and to be oohed and ahhed over by friends, family, and strangers.  Then I started to remember how it felt to be pregnant...the nausea, the heartburn, the nausea, the exhaustion, the fear of an approaching labor, the nausea....and did I mention the nausea?!  UGH!  I don't miss that one bit.  I remember at the end of my pregnancy (40+ weeks) when I was SO ready to have Hannah.  I was still struggling with the emotions of what life would be like after she came, but ultimately I was ready to have my body back. (Little did I know that having my "body back" would never happen...can we say stretch marks, saggy skin, and a nursing baby!)  I remember talking to several moms who kept telling me to enjoy the quiet and the last few days of freedom before baby.  I remember thinking...whatever...get this baby out of me! haha  It can't be that bad with a baby!?  Well, looking back I really don't miss being pregnant at all.  There are definitely days that I miss being able to jump in the car and go shopping or out to lunch with a friend, without having to plan the outings around feedings and naps.  And I miss being able to relax whenever I want or being able to watch my favorite afternoon tv shows (Ellen anyone?!)  But ultimately I don't miss the actual pregnancy.  Yes, feeling her kick and hiccup was fun and exciting and dreaming about what she would look like was great.  But that's about it.  I don't miss the endless visits to the toilet where the vomit would splash in my face - everytime!  (I never did come up with a solution to that problem...well, I did figure out that the kitchen sink was a pretty good puke place too)  I don't miss having to sleep propped up on a bunch of pillows because of the horrible burning in my throat.  I don't miss waking up a billion times in the night to pee or just from the pain of horrible heartburn.  And most of all I don't miss the extreme pain of a natural labor!  OUCH! 

So, all that being said...I am SO happy that I endured the miseries of pregnancy in order to have Hannah in our lives.  But I'm not in any rush to do it again! ;-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Too little....too late!

It's 4:30pm and I have accomplished nothing with my day.  The life of a stay-at-home mom is a whirlwind.  Where does my day go?  One would think that with a newborn (well, 9 week old to be exact) you would have at least some time during the day to accomplish something...but one would be wrong. haha  The times that I do have to "myself" are usually not to "myself" at all.  The moment I sit down to read or check e-mail, the crying begins, or the dog needs to go out, or the doorbell rings, or the phone rings, or the washing machine beeps, or the dishwasher is finished, or I remember that I haven't planned anything for dinner...the list goes on.  When I finally manage to find a minute to sit down and "rest" I am exhausted!  Who has time to clean or cook a five-course meal?  Not me!

Here is what I have accomplished with my day so far...
  1. Fed Hannah 3 times (6am, 10am, and 1:30pm)
  2. Changed a bunch of diapers
  3. Dressed Hannah and myself
  4. Organized Hannah's closet..That was a major accomplishment for the day!
  5. Planned dinner (grilled chicken, nothing at all fancy)
  6. Spent some time in the Word (although it was interrupted several times by a crying baby)
  7. Talked to my mom on the phone for a few mintues
  8. Put the dog out (not even enough time to actually take her out...just hung her leash out the front door and let her roam around out there)
That's it!  Haven't touched the mountain of laundry or the pile of dishes.  Haven't picked up the mess that has acquired in the living room.  Haven't unpacked from our Mother's Day weekend trip (two weekends ago!).  Haven't even fed the poor dog yet!  Good grief....MUST feed the dog!

Enough procrastinating!  Hannah is sleeping (and should be for the next hour or so) so I must go get something accomplished with my day.  Maybe I will make a cup of coffee first!  :-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why we do Cry It Out...


Why do we let Hannah Cry It Out for naps and bedtime?  This is a question I found myself asking today, when she was having a very rough nap!  She has been doing SO well with naps and bedtime lately, that I just wasn't used to hearing her cry for so long anymore.  It started last night when she woke up early (3:30am instead of 6am) and then for her nap this afternoon, she has been really struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep.  In moments like this, I get very flustered and wonder why on earth am I doing this?  This is HARD!  So, in an effort to remind myself and to share with others, I decided to write this post about why we are doing the cry it out method....

Listening to my baby cry is one of the hardest things I have ever done!  But don't confuse hard with wrong.  Just because it's hard, doesn't mean it is wrong!  There are lots of things in life that are hard work, but in the long run cause great benefits!  For example, working out is hard work!  But in the long run we are better off for having worked out.  Cooking healthy meals is hard work, but in the long run it pays to eat healthy.  Pregnancy and labor are hard!!  (VERY hard!)  But the end result is miraculous and SO worth it!  Keeping a clean house is hard work too...but doesn't it feel good when it's done!?  The best things in life aren't easy...they are hard!!

Another reason we do the cry it out method is because of our faith.  We believe that as parents we are called to raise our children in a Godly manner and follow Christ's lead in our parenting.  God doesn't coddle us...yes, He loves us unconditionally, but that doesn't mean that He always gives us the easy road.  We face circumstances in life that are very difficult (illness, infertility, death of a loved one, financial struggles, etc.) but when we look back at those difficult times we see how God used them to make us stronger.  We realize that the bad experience brought us closer to God and taught us things we would never have learned otherwise.  God sets boundaries in our lives, just as we must do for our children.  He leads us in the right direction...He doesn't wait for us to tell Him what we need or what we want to do.  We have no idea what His plans are for our lives...we must rely on Him for guidance.  This is true for our relationship with the Lord and for our role as parents.

Although listening to my baby girl cry herself to sleep is extremely difficult, I know that in the long run it will pay off!  She will become a better sleeper, which will make her more alert during her awake time and feeding time, causing her to thrive and grow in a healthy manner.  We are teaching our baby to fall asleep on her own so that she can become independent someday.  We must teach her to do this at some point in her life, so why not now?

Parenting is not as easy task!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Months

Hannah is 2 months old today!  I sang her "Happy Birthday" but she was oblivious! haha  I can't believe how much she has grown.  Last night we tried putting her in her newborn sized pajamas, but they were way too small!  We hadn't tried her in the newborn clothes for a week or so, but prior to that they were fitting perfectly.  So she has officially moved out of newborn clothes and exclusively into 0-3 month clothes (although she has been wearing mostly 0-3 for several weeks now).  I don't look forward to the day that she can no longer wear 0-3 months.  :-(

We had a wonderful vacation to Panama City, FL!  We spent 5 days visiting Brian's parents and sister and enjoyed every moment.  Hannah did great with her schedule (I was very worried about that!) and did a great job during the 6 hour car ride.  We decided to leave on Tuesday night (May 4th) after Brian got home from work.  I fed Hannah at 5pm and we got in the car and left.  Her normal schedule is to stay awake from about 6pm-10pm so I sat in the back for the first part of the trip in an effort to play with her and keep her awake.  She did great!  She was a little fussy on and off, so the binky came in handy! ;-)  We stopped around 9pm to eat dinner (we were starved!) and feed Hannah.  After that feeding, I hoped she would go to sleep for the remainder of the ride, so I moved to the front so I wouldn't be a distraction for her.  Well, she wasn't interested in sleeping at all!  She was WIDE awake until the last hour or so of the ride, when she finally fell asleep.  (Rolling down the window seemed to help her...white noise I guess!?)  We pulled into Panama City really late...around midnight and thankfully Hannah went right back to sleep!!  For the rest of the trip her scheduled remained fairly consistent (with a few naps missed because we were out and about) and she slept through the night every night!!  So proud of her! :-)  We had a WONDERFUL time and were so happy to be able to get away for a few days!  I spent one of the days at the Spa with Julie, getting a facial and a pedicure.  It was amazing!  And another day I got a hair cut.  It had been over a year since my last one!  YIKES!  I am so glad that I went much easier! :-)

Mother's Day was wonderful!  Brian surprised me with charms for my Pandora bracelet that spell "MOM" sweet!!  It was such a special day, especially when I think back to last year.  Mother's Day was very tough last year, while we were struggling with infertility.  But I will never forget Brian coming home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me!  He was so sweet to realize that Mother's Day would be such a hard time for me.  But little did we know that just one month later we would find out that I was expecting!  Hard to believe that it has been almost a year since we found out!!

Now we are home, recovering from our vacation (we have the post-vacation blues...missing family a ton!) and Hannah is settling back in to her normal routine.

Before we left for Panama City, I took Hannah to the doctor because she had an eye infection (her eye was watering and then started gooping..yuck!)  She had to have medicated drops for 5 days and now it looks much better!  We also were prescribed Prevacid for her suspected heartburn.  We gave it to her for a few days, but then stopped because we just weren't sure that was the best thing for her.  It just doesn't seem right for a 7 or 8 week old to be on a daily medication?!  We will speak with the doctor about this at our next appointment (this coming Friday).  At that appointment she weighed 10 lbs 14 oz.  WOW!!  She was fully dressed though, so I feel like that number was a little inflated..but she is at least 10 lbs. now.  Getting SO big!  At her next appointment she is scheduled to get several vaccines, but we are still undecided about which ones we will get (if any).  I HATE making these decisions!  We are praying that God will give us the wisdom to do what is right, but we wish He would just lay out a list in front of us so we would be sure! haha

Here is an update on what Hannah is doing at 2 months:
- Lots of smiles!!  She melts our hearts with her HUGE grin!
- Cooing and "talking" up a storm.
- Sleeping through the night (7-8 hours every night, followed by a 3 hour nap and then another 3 hour afternoon nap!)
- Holding her head up VERY well!!  When on her tummy she can push up her head and chest and hold it upright for several minutes.  So strong!
- Rolling over from tummy to back.  She has been doing this for several weeks now, but for some reason it seems like she is doing it less these days.
- Trying to crawl...she is such a mover!!
- Tracks people and toys with no problem...even from a fairly far distance.
- She is wearing cloth diapers throughout the day (although not at night or during naps).  I am still undecided about them...I like that they are better for her and save us money in the long run, but the clean-up isn't very fun and they tend to! :-(  But I will definitely continue!  Even if she only wears cloth part-time, each disposable we don't use helps!
- She is still a good eater and has no issues latching on.  However, she has started to become fussy during and sometimes after a feeding.  We think this is due to GERD (reflux disease) and that is why she was prescribed Prevacid...but again, we aren't giving her the medication right now.  We'll see....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cry it Out Update

We have been going strong with sleep training at our house and things are getting SO much better!!  We are still putting Hannah down in her crib for 2 daytime naps (one is in the early morning, which she never cries for so we only have to do CIO for the afternoon one) and then again for bedtime.  She has yet to go down without any crying or fussing, but these days it's mostly just a couple minutes of fussing before falling asleep.  She very rarely hits those horribly high-pitched screams! haha  I am SO glad that we started her sleep training so early.  It has now been 20 days since we started and I just can't believe the progress we have made!  For those that care, here is a detailed update from where I last left off.  I have condensed the notes so it isn't so boring to read! :-)

Day 6 - April 20, 2010
  • Nap - Hannah slept until 5:30pm, when I woke her up!! :-)
  • Bed - On and off crying for 26 minutes (but never longer than 10 minutes at a time).  Slept from 11:30pm-5am
Day 7 - April 21, 2010
  • Nap - On and off crying for 7 minutes. Slept from 2:30-5:15pm (I woke her up!)
  • Bed - On and off crying for 22 minutes (had to go in to comfort her once).  Slept from 11:30pm-3:30am (not a very good night)
Day 8 - April 22, 2010
  • Nap - We were out and about during nap time, so no nap in her crib 
  • Bed - On and off crying for 11 minutes. Slept from 11pm-5am
Day 9 - April 23, 2010 
  • Nap - Only 5 minutes of crying!!! Slept from 2pm-5:15pm (a huge accomplishment!)
  • Bed - Only 5 minutes of crying!!! Slept from 10pm-5am (WOW..this is getting a lot better!) 
Day 10 - April 24, 2010
  • Nap - On and off crying for 12 minutes.  Slept from 2:30-5:30pm (I woke her!)
  • Bed - Only 3 minutes of crying!!! Slept from 10:30pm-5:30am (Another GREAT night!!)
Day 11 - April 25, 2010
  • Nap - On and off crying for 20 minutes (woke up mid-nap and cried herself back to sleep...tough day!)  
  • Bed - On and off crying for 24 minutes (Had to go in one time to comfort her...I think she was too hot!  Then I ended up feeding her again....not a very good night) :-(  But I had to remind myself that sleep training has its good days and its bad...don't get discouraged!!
Day 12 - April 26, 2010
  • Nap - On and off crying for 9 minutes. (She woke up after being sound asleep for 35 minutes, and cried herself back to sleep).  Slept soundly from 4-6pm when I had to wake her up.
  • Bed - Only cried for 5 minutes!!  Slept from 11pm-6am (I woke her!)  A WONDERFUL night!!
Day 13 - April 27, 2010
  • Nap - Only cried for 1 minute!!!  Oh my goodness...could she really be learning?!  Slept from 1:30-5pm (I woke her!)
  • Bed - On and off crying for 16 minutes (This counts when she woke up after sleeping for 53 minutes and then cried herself back to sleep).  Slept soundly from 11pm-5:45am (I woke her!)
Day 14 - April 28, 2010
  • Nap - Only cried for 1 minute!!  AMAZING! Slept from 1:30-5pm (I woke her!)  We are on a roll!
  • Bed - Only cried for 2 minutes!!  Slept from 10pm-4:30am (could have used a little more sleep, but that's my fault for putting her down earlier than usual)
Day 15 - April 29, 2010
  • Nap - Only cried for 3 minutes!  Slept from 1:30-4:30pm
  • Bed - Only cried for 6 minutes!  Slept from 10:30pm-5:30am
Day 16 - April 30, 2010
  • Nap - Only cried for 5 minutes! Slept from 4pm-6:30pm
  • Bed - We were out really late and her sleep schedule was way off!  I didn't even keep track of her crying because I just didn't think it was fair to count this as a normal night.  She really only cried for a few minutes, but we ended up giving her a bottle of formula before putting her back down because she was all off!  Our fault completely! :-(
Day 17 - May 1, 2010
  • Nap - Only cried for 5 minutes!!  Slept from 2:30-5pm
  • Bed - Only cried for 5 minutes!!  Slept from 10pm-4:30am
Day 18 - May 2, 2010
  • Nap - On and off crying for 10 minutes (went in to comfort her once).  Slept from 2-5:30pm
  • Bed - On and off crying for 13 minutes (went in once because we forgot to put in her eyedrops...she has an eye!)  Slept from 10pm-4:30am
Day 19 - May 3, 2010
  • Nap - Only cried for 6 minutes.  Slept from 1:45-4pm and then I brought her downstairs to finish her nap in her swing
  • Bed - Only cried for 2 minutes!!  Slept from 9:30pm-4am (Again, we put her down earlier, so she woke up earlier!)
Day 20 - May 4, 2010
  • Nap - So far, she has only cried for 5 minutes and has now been sleeping for almost an hour...however, I hear her making some noises now, so we'll see if she cries herself back to sleep or not....

Overall, I am so thrilled with her progress!  Not only is the actual crying becoming less and less, but it is becoming less of a cry and more of a fuss.  Don't get me wrong, she still has her days, but for the most part sleeping is becoming less of an issue for us!!  I can't wait for the day to come that she doesn't cry at all...but that may never come.  I tend to think that fussing is her way of unwinding and soothing herself to sleep.  She has SO much energy that she wants to get out!  Maybe once she starts crawling the crying will stop altogether because she will have another outlet for releasing her energy?!  We'll see....