Sunday, July 22, 2012

Emma: 4 Weeks/1 Month Old

Little Squishy,

Sweet Emma, you are one month old today!  Time is flying by!  I think that life is only going to get increasingly faster now that we have two littles in our family.  You are still in such a sleepy state and I'm loving it!  But the last few days you have started to wake up a bit more.  Unfortunately the night time is still your favorite time to be awake, but last night you did sleep for two 3.5-4 hour stretches, so things may be improving!  YEAH!  You are such a relaxed baby and rarely fuss (except when we put you in your crib...your least favorite place to sleep).  The past few weeks we have been working on getting you into a routine of eating, playing and then sleeping.  You have done very well with the eating part of the routine, but the sleeping hasn't been as good.  You don't mind sleeping, as long as it's in our arms or in your swing.  I've tried to be laid back about it all and just be happy that you are sleeping!  Hopefully you will eventually learn how to sleep in your bed during nap time, but for now I will just enjoy all the extra snuggles!!  Even though it is tough to get you to fall asleep for a nap, when you finally do you sleep like a champ for nearly 2 hours each nap!  This is the routine we aim for every day, but it definitely is VERY flexible and never happens exactly as planned.  I toyed around with several different schedules this past week, but this is the one that seems to work best for everyone.  I may eventually add in a dream feed around 10:30pm, but when I tried that this week it made for an awful night (lots of wakings).  I also tried cluster feeding (when you feed every two hours in the evening) a few days this week and that also seemed to make for a bad night's sleep.  So we will stick with the every 2.5-3 hour feedings and see how that works for now.

8am - Wake, Nurse, Play
9am - Nap
11am - Wake, Nurse, Play
12pm - Nap
2pm - Wake, Nurse, Play
3pm - Nap
5pm - Wake, Nurse, Play
6pm - Nap
7:30pm - Wake, Bedtime Routine, Nurse, Right to bed (around 8:30pm)
*You wake me up at least twice per night (around 1am and 5am)*

You are still only nursing on one side per feeding (for 8-10 minutes per feeding), but seem content and are definitely growing well, so I assume you are getting enough.  I know I am producing an excessive amount of milk though because even after she finishes nursing on one side, I am able to pump several ounces out.  When I have pumped instead of a nursed during a feeding time (when I am giving her a bottle instead) I am able to fill a 5oz bottle in under 7 minutes, from one side (using a manual pump!).  It's insane!  I give all the credit to nursing Hannah for so long (14 months) and my body just knowing what to do.  I am definitely thankful for such a great supply!

I'm fairly sure you hit a growth spurt this week because you had a few nights where you were insatiable.  I even gave you a 2oz bottle of formula for the first time the other night because nursing just didn't seem to be filling you up.  You gulped it down!  I then pumped 2oz just to be sure that my milk supply stayed up to speed with your eating.  Unfortunately the formula didn't help you sleep any longer than normal, but it did seem to fill up your tummy.  And I was glad to see that you would so easily take a bottle of just never know if formula might be needed some day down the road.

You are not a big fan of the pacifier, which Mommy doesn't like.  It's so funny because with Hannah I was so adamant about her not using a pacifier (which she LOVED) and now with you I just wish you would take it!  Oh how things change with a second baby. :-)

You have started spitting up less (since I finally realized you don't need to eat from both sides....too much milk!), but when you do spit up it almost always comes up through your nose.  Ouch!  The other night we were out to dinner at Chick-fil-a (your first visit) and I looked over at you in your car seat and saw that you were COVERED in spit up!  There was SO were soaked, your blanket was soaked and you were sitting in a puddle of spit up!  Disgusting!  But there you sat, just as chill as could be.  Oh my.  I calmly cleaned it all up and thankfully had a spare onesie in the diaper bag.  We didn't have an extra blanket though, so we covered you in paper napkins.  HAHA  Oh the adventures of life with a baby! 

This week you started to like bath time more, which is a nice change from the screaming you did before. We also noticed how raw the skin in your neck folds is, so we started putting aquaphor under there to help it heal.  Thankfully your skin is still free of any baby acne, but your eyes continue to water non-stop (just like Hannah's did when she was a baby).  I'm sure it is just a clogged tear-duct, but when we go to the doctor on Tuesday (7/24) I will be sure to mention it to her.

Mommy has been working very hard on getting you to smile, but you won't.  I think you are going to be a serious one. :-)  You are able to hold up your head briefly while on your tummy and can turn it from side to side.  You can also follow an object from side to side as we pass it in front of your face.

1 Month Stats:
- Diapers: Size 1 (you seriously go through at least 10-15 diapers per day!!)
- Clothes: Newborn
- Shoes: Size 0
- Weight: 9lbs. 8oz.
- Height: 22 1/4"

We are so happy that you have joined our family and look forward to getting to know you better as time passes.  We love you little squishy (that's my nickname for you because you are just so scrumptious)!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Emma: 3 Weeks Old

Nursing: Emma is still doing well with nursing, but continues to only take one side per feeding.  It has been a lot of work to get her to nurse for even 10 minutes on the first side and she almost always refuses the second side altogether.  I have stopped trying to force the second side on her because when I do she almost always ends up projectile vomiting from simply being too full.  The only downside of nursing on one side per feeding is how lopsided I am throughout the day.  I know I could correct this problem by pumping on the side that she doesn't eat on, but I really don't need a massive freezer supply and don't want to continue producing such an excess.  My hope is that as she grows she will start to take more and that my body will also adjust to not needing to produce as much milk.  I know it's a good "problem" to have (overabundant milk supply) but it's still frustrating. 

Schedule: This week we started working on getting Emma on a more consistent schedule.  She is eating every 2.5-3 hours (usually 3 hours) around the clock and taking a 1-2 hour nap between each feeding.  While she is sleeping well during her naps, she refuses to fall asleep in her crib.  She took the majority of her naps in the swing this week.  I am trying not to worry about that since she is so little, but of course the rule follower in me worries that she will never be able to fall asleep in her crib, but I know better.  Right now our top priority is to get her to sleep during the appropriate times, next we will work on getting her to sleep in her bed and fall asleep on her own.  She is still so little!  Despite being such a great daytime sleeper, Emma struggled to sleep well during the nighttime.  Her most wide awake time seems to be after her 1-2am feeding.  This proved to be very exhausting this week.  On Wednesday night she was wide awake from 1:30-5am!  It was rough!  But then on Thursday night (last night) she did much better, sleeping for one 3 hours stretch, which was amazing!  We also have Brian's parents staying here for the weekend, so last night Grandma was able to do some middle of the night rocking, which allowed us to sleep a few solid hours.  As much as I love this tiny baby stage, I do look forward to the day where she sleeps soundly through the night.

Firsts: This week Emma went to her first playgroup.  This was also my first outing alone with the girls.  We managed to get to playgroup on time and home in one piece.  I fed Emma a bottle while we were there and she was wide awake the entire time.  It was so nice to get out and feel "normal" and Hannah really loved spending time with her friends!  This week was also Emma's first week sleeping in her own room at night.  She did pretty well, except for those middle of the night wide awake times.  But it has been nice to have our room back and not waking to every single tiny noise.

Mommy: This week was my first week on my own with both girls.  I was very nervous about doing it all on my own, but the first day went great!  Unfortunately, the rest of the week slowly went downhill, with Thursday being the toughest day of the week!  I was exhausted from so little sleep and both girls were fussy.  Hannah refused to play on her own, so I was unable to rest at all after being awake for the majority of the night (1:30-5am).  It was rough!  Thankfully Brian's parents came that afternoon, giving me a much needed break!  Despite some rough moments and sheer exhaustion, my emotions have been very stable this week and I feel like I have bounced back very quickly.  Physically I am nearly 100% and honestly think that I feel so good because I have been dealing with hyperemesis for the past 10 months and simply not having to deal with that makes everything else feel so much easier!  Being able to eat normally and not feel nauseous 24/7 is quite a luxury!  This week I packed away nearly all of my maternity clothes (ready to give away since I am DONE with pregnancy).  I didn't weigh myself this week, so not sure where I am as far as weight loss goes, but being able to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy pants is a good sign.

Brian's parents are here for the weekend, which is a nice break for us.  Grandma is helping with the middle of the night wakings, giving us a little extra sleep. It's hard to believe that Emma will be one month old so soon.  I really need to be better about taking pictures and videos because these moments are so fleeting!

Clothing Size: Newborn
Diaper Size: Newborn

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hannah: 28 Months Old

Big Sister Hannah,

You are a BIG SISTER now!!  What a month it has been!  Your little sister was born on June 22 and our lives changed completely.  The first week was rough.  You struggled to find your place in the family and make sense of what was happening.  It was so tough on all of us.  It broke my heart to see you so upset and out of sorts.  It certainly didn't help that Mommy was so hormonal after giving birth, but we had several good cries together.  At nap time one day you were being especially difficult.  I sat down in the chair in your room with you and had a little heart to heart.  I asked you what was wrong you said, "Emma".  I asked you if it was hard having Emma here now and you whimpered and said, "Yes."  BROKE MY HEART!  I know that in the long run having a sister will be such a blessing for you, but right now it's just a hard transition.  Thankfully after that first rough week, things have gotten a lot better and you have become the best big sister!  You LOVE Emma and love to hold her and sing to her and hold her hand.  It's precious!  In time you won't even remember a time before Emma was part of our family....nor will you want to! 

This month we have had family at our house nearly the whole time.  A few days before Emma was born MeMaw and PaPaw came to stay with us and then the day before Emma was born, Grandma and Grandpa came too.  We had a full house!  Then throughout the month MeMaw and PaPaw and Grandma and Grandpa took turns staying here to help us out.  You were spoiled rotten!  You became a bit on the demanding side and started to display some of the "terrible two's" traits.  Not fun!  However, with all the chaos that a new baby brings, we have cut you a lot of slack and tried to be understanding of this major transition.

Your sleep has remained the same this month - bedtime at 7:45 or 8pm and waking between 7-8am.  Naps continued to be hit or miss this month, with napping becoming non-existent at the end of the month.  We finally installed a video monitor in your bedroom which has been great.  We can now see what you are up to and have realized just how restless of a sleeper you are.  It has also shown us just how big you are and how it really is time to move you to a "big girl" bed....something mommy has been dreading!  At the end of this month we decided it was time to get a clock for your room that will light up green when nap time is over ("Ok to Wake" clock) to let you know it's okay to get up.  We are hopeful that this will help you sleep or at least rest during nap time.  We'll see!

This month we noticed just how OCD you are (just like your mommy).  You love to line your little people up in a circle, all facing the same way.  Then you lay them all down (to go "nigh-nigh") one by one...repeat.  It is a very tedious process, but you love it.  You do the same thing with your crayons.  First you dump them all out, then you do a little scribble on the paper with one, then line it up.  Repeat with each color until you have a perfect little line of crayons.  Sorry for passing that character trait on to you.  ;-)  Your imagination took off this month as well.  When you play with your dollhouse or little people or baby dolls you have a full conversation with them.  Recently you started to pretend that your playroom is a forest, complete with animals.  You say, "I see a tiger" or "I see a mommy elephant and a teeny tiny baby elephant.  I want to give that baby elephant a big big hug."  It is so fun to see your imagination growing!

Potty training continues to be put on hold, per your request.  When we ask you if you want to sit on the potty you always say, "No" and then "When I'm older I will".  It is hard to convince you that you are old enough right now!  At the end of the month I did manage to convince you to sit on the potty for about 5 minutes, but you didn't do anything.  Thankfully your extreme fear of poop has started to wane a bit.  You still always tell us that you don't want to see your poop (which baffles me because we have never shown you your poop!), but at least you now admit when you have pooped (unlike last month when you were denying that you pooped at all).  You constantly tell us that you are going to go poop and I always ask you if you want to go on the potty and you say, "No, in my diaper".  It's a bit frustrating that you are being so stubborn about not using the potty when I know you could do it easily, but I know it will happen in due time.

Your favorite foods this month were cottage cheese (this is what you asked for at every single meal!), cheese, cookies (every time we go to Publix or Costco), ice cream (frozen yogurt really), grilled cheese, and almond butter and jelly sandwiches.

You now know how to count to 13 and can show 1, 2, or 5 fingers when asked (3 and 4 are a bit harder to manipulate with your fingers).

Other 28 Month Stats:
- You weigh 31 pounds
- You wear size 2T (getting too small), 3T, or 4T clothes
- You wear a size 8 shoe
- You wear size 6 diapers, day and night

I am so proud of you Hannah!  You have transitioned to being a big sister so well and are so sweet to Emma!  She is lucky to have you as her big sister and I pray that you will be best friends always!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Emma: 2 Weeks Old

Nursing: Emma has been a great nurser since day 1, latching on without any problem. This week she started being less sleepy while nursing but also started eating less at each feeding. I have been working hard to get her to take full feedings throughout the day (20+ minutes per feeding) but it's been nearly impossible to get her to nurse for that long. She usually does great on the first side, nursing for 10 minutes without a problem. However, the second side is a different story. She will rarely nurse for longer than 4 minutes on the second side before refusing to continue. It's so hard because when she then starts acting hungry just an hour later, I start to doubt myself and wonder if I should feed her again or wait until the 2.5 or 3 hour mark for the next feeding. But then if I do feed her she often gets more fussy, making me think that it is upsetting her tummy to eat that frequently. So many questions in the early days...if only she could just tell me what she wants/needs! This week we stuck to a 2.5-3 hour routine around the clock and one night she actually slept an extra hour between two feedings, which was wonderful. I am hoping that she will soon begin stretching out the middle of the night feedings so I can get a little more quality sleep.

Sleeping: This week we still didn't start implementing a strict schedule, as we were focusing on full feedings instead. However, I did start to try to get Emma to nap more often in her crib. It was definitely hit or miss this week. There were more naps where she didn't sleep in her bed than did. She spent the majority of her naps asleep in someone's arms or in her swing. But the first goal is just to get her to sleep for her naps and then we will work on getting her to sleep in her bed. As far as nap times go that was also very hit or miss. While everything I have read in Babywise says to keep wake times very short in the early days, that didn't always work for Emma. There were several times where she ended up staying awake for the majority of the time between two feedings, refusing to fall asleep. I'm a little worried that I have another sleep fighter on my hands! Emma also seems to have her fussiest period around 5am. She usually wakes for a feeding around 4am but for the last few days she has not fallen back to sleep after that feeding without a lot of work for mommy and/or daddy. It's definitely not fun to try to soothe a fussy baby when you are so exhausted yourself! We are looking forward to this phase ending soon!

Firsts: This week was filled with milestones.  Emma celebrated her first Fourth of July and went to her first parade (right in our neighborhood).  Emma's umbilical cord stump fell off, which meant she could have her first real bath. She hated it! However, it was right before her next feeding and bedtime, so she was tired and hungry...a bad combo! This week also marked her first outing. We ventured out to Lenox mall as a family of 4, which proved to be a mistake. We only managed to get into one store before we had to head home for Emma's next feeding. But we were just glad to get out of the house. That night we also had our first date since Emma was born. My parents stayed home with the girls and we went out to dinner. We were only gone for about an hour but it was nice to get away for a little bit. Another first for Emma this week was her first dinner out. We went to Joey D's for dinner with Brian's parents. We fed Emma a bottle while we were out, which she ate well. She was content and sleepy for the rest of the meal. :). This week she also had her first full feedings from a bottle (filled with my milk). She had 3 or 4 different feedings from a bottle this week, which is more than Hannah probably ever had in her life. I have realized how much easier it is to pump and feed a bottle while out and about instead of nursing. I also realized how much faster Emma eats from a bottle, while nursing takes her so much longer! I'm definitely tempted to pump and feed her bottles full time, but I won't. I also really enjoy the closeness and convenience of nursing exclusively.

Mommy: This week I started to feel much more like myself. My recovery has truly been amazing! My emotions have been much more even this week, with only minor meltdowns happening in the middle of the night when I am so exhausted. My postpartum bleeding has mostly stopped at this point and my stomach pains are virtually gone. Things are still a little sore down there, but nothing too bad. I did not lose any more weight this week, so I still have about 14 pounds left to lose to get back to my prepregnancy weight. I did manage to fit into some of my prepregnancy shorts and shirts this week, which was so nice! I am slowly starting to weed out the maternity clothes from my closet! The weirdest thing is that I will never wear those clothes again. Definitely bittersweet!

Hannah: I am happy to say that Hannah had a much better week this week! She has adjusted so well to being a big sister (except for a few rough days in the first week) and truly adores Emma! She holds her hand every time we are in the car and loves to sing to her. Her favorite songs to sing to to Emma are both from Barney (her favorite show!) - "You can count on me, I'll always be around. I will cheer you up, when you're feeling down." and "I love you, you love me. We're a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won't you say you love me too.". She loves to hug and kiss her little sister and wants to hold her every time she sees her. She really is a great big sister!

My parents left on Tuesday morning and Brian's parents came on Tuesday afternoon. It was hard to say goodbye to my parents but having another set of family coming in to take their place was wonderful! Today Brian's parents left, so we are officially on our own for the first time as a family of four. Scary, but it's time. Thankfully Brian stayed home from work today and then we have the weekend to get adjusted as well. But on Monday I will be on my own for the first time with both girls. Ahhh!

Tonight will be Emma's first night in her own room. It has been nice having her right next to the bed for the middle of the night feedings, but it's time for us to move her into her room so we all get better sleep. We will see how it goes.

Clothing Size: Newborn
Diaper Size: Newborn