Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 12 Summary

We were in Hawaii during Tess's entire 11th week of life so this is picking up from when we got back home :) Tess turned 11 weeks old on Thursday October 16th and therefore her 12th week of life was from Oct 16th - Oct 22nd!

My Hawaiian baby! 
Hawaii: Tess did AWESOME while we were away. Her 2nd wonder week finished up the day before we left so she was a legit ANGEL for Mrs. Charlotte the whole week. Great naps, great night sleep, even great bottle eating! I was mildly jealous that Mrs. Charlotte had the benefit of enjoying Tess at her best ;) 

Nursing: Tess had NO issues getting right back to nursing when we got home. It's like we'd never been away :) Mrs. Charlotte said she didn't spit up hardly at all the whole week so I know her spitting up is due to my supply. I found by pumping for 5-6 minutes prior to her first feeding of the day that it helps minimize her spit up! 

Schedule: Tess remained on the 3.5/3 hour combo schedule this week. She nursed at 7, 10:30, 2, 5, 8 and 10:30

Sleep: She slept amazing for Mrs. Charlotte and for that I'm SO thankful. However, Mrs. Charlotte said Tess never cried when she laid her down for naps. This is a baby who ALWAYS cries when I lay her down so that told me that most likely Mrs. Charlotte was probably holding her too long and therefore she wasn't self soothing to sleep. Our first day back she cried MEGA HARD at each nap and I could just tell she'd forgotten how to settle herself to sleep. I ended up completely stopping any holding prior to naps. I just started swaddling her and laying her down to sleep. My goal was to get her back to putting herself to sleep without needing to be held! 

So now before naps I swaddle and sing to her then hold her while I turn off her light and turn on her fan then put her down fully awake. She seems to be happier about bedtime and much less fussy by doing this! She will grunt or "talk" but is happy until she falls asleep!

She had a bad day the first day we got home. I read somewhere that babies are like dogs: they don't miss you (or realize you are away) until you get home. So I think that's what was happening? Because she was very fussy and upset! But the day after, she went back to being normal. 

I started working on making her awake times longer this week. I tried 1 hour and 15 min and she yawned as I was putting her down so I took that as a good sign! 

Her third wonder week started on Oct 21st. This is the leap of "smooth transitions." Ironic name since  it's the leap where she stopped being able to transition in her dang sleep! haha! She started waking early in the mornings. Thankfully it was always in the 5 am hour. Zach and I debated if it was due to wonder week or if she was legit hungry. We were thinking maybe since she drank bottles for a full week that her stomach stretched some? 

Swaddle: This week swaddle issues began. If Tess ever is able to kick her leg(s) out of the swaddle then she wakes up (sidebar: I totally, 100% think Tess is a "sensitive" personality type. I mean most babies do NOT have issues if they kick out the swaddle right?!?!). I have been a big fan of the Miracle Blanket for a long time but am SUPER annoyed by how inconsistently it's made. Some of the ones I own are tighter fit than others. She kept kicking out and it'd wake her up so I started double swaddling her using two Miracle Blankets. I did one like normal then I took a second one and turned it backwards and did it. That way her legs couldn't escape! I decided to order a Woombie as I know they are impossible for the feet to break out of (more on that next post b/c it didn't arrive during this week). In the meantime I did my double swaddle technique and then Zach showed me how to make the Miracle Blanket super mega tight so I started doing that instead! 

Bald Spot: The BIG change in Tess from when we went on the trip was her hair loss. She wasn't balding AT ALL when we left. In just one week it went from great to this:






I was pretty bummed about the hair situation. I mean I expected it but I'd been trying SO hard to not let it happen! Thankfully her head is still very round so I'm not concerned about flatness. It's so funny how she has so much hair and then BAM! Bald spot! The hair growing in is SUPER light blond so I'm interested to see what color her hair ends up being!

Bumbo: The other big thing from this week was the Bumbo! I could tell Tess was ready for it as she had great head control this week. When I put her in the bouncer seat she started trying to "sit up" so I knew she could handle a little time in the Bumbo. I know there have been a lot of issues with the Bumbo chair...but I love it. And, yes, I sit right beside her the whole time. And, no, I don't put it up on the table or anything. Here's a ton of pics of her new seat:












More About Tess:

  • When we got home I couldn't get over how CHUBBY she looked and how light her hair had gotten! It is also growing so long and so much thicker! And her roots are for sure blonde so she may not be my Pocahontas baby for long!
  • Her nb dresses and 0-3 month onesies no longer fit, although the nb size sleepers still do!
  • She started playing with her tongue a lot this week
  • Whenever she's awake she puts her hands up to her mouth. My guess is she will be a thumb sucker because the angle she puts her hands seems like it'll be her thumb that she goes for
  • She started doing an adorable fake cough/sneeze sound!
  • She started having a lot more gas so I talked to Z about maybe taking her back to the chiropractor
  • Tess has CRAZY hair. I tried a system for getting it to lay down where when I bathed her I constantly pushed the hair forward. It kinda worked?
  • I know it's normal for babies to learn a skill and then stop doing it. I am a little worried that she's 11 weeks old and hasn't rolled over in awhile?
  • Her smile is HUGE and does an adorable open mouth gummy grin
  • My favorite time with her is right after she's done nursing. She sits in my lap and I cover her with kisses and we smile and giggle non stop
  • here's a video of her talking and cooing
  • She really likes her playmat and will smile and coo to all her toys
  • My favorite body part of Tess's is her hands. They are SO sweet and soft. I love, love, love to hold them and kiss on them while she's nursing. 
More pics from this week!

Kye helping me try to get a picture of that cute smile!




cuddling after nursing








Postpartum Update: I WISH I could say that going on vacation allowed me to feel refreshed and well rested but that was not the case! I was exhausted. The waking to pump. The traveling. The sickness. The single-mom life with Zach traveling. I was just WORE OUT. 

I have noticed that with Tess my skin has been SUPER clear. I remember with Britt having a lot of skin issues. Tess has very clear skin too and I wonder if that's connected?

Sibling Comparisons: Here is Kye's week 12 summary  I love the video of Kye's sneezing...child STILL always sneezes multiple times in a row :) I also don't think he looks anything like Tess? Can y'all believe that BALD head?!?!?

Here is Britt's week 12 summary Britt was SUCH a better sleeper than Tess. Tess is MUCH more like Kye. I blamed a lot of Kye's sleep issues on the paci and on my lack of baby wise knowledge but now I realize it was just him because his second little sister is just like him. I'm a little envious of myself when I read about Britt's great sleep and how well she responded to cry it out. I'm writing this when Tess is 16 weeks old and I'm still trying to figure out how to get her to sleep for a full nap! 

I think it's also interesting to read that during this week I felt like myself again after having Britt. I do remember many days breaking down crying. I wonder if I struggled with a touch of PPD then but didn't realize it? The hormones for sure took longer to chill out after Tess too!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Benefits of a Chair in Every Room

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest Day. Be sure to follow our group on Pinterest for tons of great resources! Our topic today is "intentional home layout." We all have reasons why we do everything we do...including decorating and organizing our homes!

For my post today I'm discussing why we intentionally have a chair in every room of our house. 
A chair in each room serves many purposes from a parenting perspective:

1. Bedtime Stories: Babywise talks about the importance of reading to your children as part of a bedtime routine...but to not read to them in their bed. The bed is for sleeping and by reading with your children in a place outside of their bed you illuminate the whole "just one more story" issue. We have a chair in each of our children's rooms so we are able to read to them in the chair rather than in their beds. 

2. Discipline: It is SO important to never discipline out of anger. But all parents get frustrated with their children. By having a chair in their rooms we are able to tell them to go sit in their chair to wait for their punishments. That allows both the parent and the child to calm down prior to the discipline action taking place. 

3. Isolation: I believe strongly in only disciplining my children for intentional disobedience. But what about when they pitch a fit? During those instances, I use isolation. If my two year old has a meltdown I tell her to go sit in her chair until she is calmed down and ready to rejoin the family. A chair in each room provides a place for them to sit and reflect and be away from the rest of us while they have that alone time.

4. Togetherness: I enjoy watching my children play and enjoy spending time with them. Having a chair in their rooms allows for me to sit in their room. When my babies first start independent playtime (at around 8 weeks old) I sit in the chair so I can see them but they can't see me. I'm able to be in the room, comfortably, but still teaching them to play independently!

5. Comfort: When I am sleep training my young babies, I like to use the chair to sit with them when needed. I try to avoid sleep props like the pacifier or swing and instead if my young baby is struggling to sleep I will hold them in their chair. As they get older I continue to use the chair for a place of comfort. If they get hurt, we will go cuddle in their chair. If they are clingy and just want some "Mommy time" we typically end up in their chair!

Not only is a chair a great way to decorate a room, but it also serves a purpose and is a great tool to use in parenting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Days Without Daddy

Fall is a very busy time for Zach. Most businesses have their open enrollment seasons at the end of the year and typically like to roll their Aflac stuff in at the same time. So it's a time when we miss Daddy but are thankful for the opportunity he has to provide for us! 

We got back home from Hawaii on a Thursday and Zach had to leave to go out of town that next day. He was gone all weekend and several days the following week. Y'all. It was HARD. Having him gone during the week is tough but over a weekend was even tougher. I wanted to have a fun time with the kids as they had been missing us so much while we were away! However, I'm limited with Tess nursing and taking so many naps each day. I was also exhausted. I didn't get much sleep in Hawaii (had to get up to pump through the night), didn't get much sleep on the overnight plane ride home, and was still getting over sickness. 

I started off REALLY in a good spot! I had some small, simple, fun things planned to make the big kids happy and I was NOT going to be bitter at Zach for being away. Yes, this trip of his included golf. So it was hard for me to stay positive ;) But I did a pretty good job of it! I sent him lots of pics of all of us and really felt like I handled his time away well. 

Kicked off the weekend with cinnamon rolls!!!

At the breakfast each morning in Hawaii they had boxes of cereal. My kids think "colored cereal" is like the coolest thing ever. We only ever eat Cheerios at home so they get PUMPED for Fruit Loops. I brought each of them a box of the colored cereal home from the trip and we used it to make snack necklaces :)



After watching Saving Mr. Banks on the plane I was dying to see Mary Poppins. I haven't seen it since I was a young girl and I totally had forgotten how straight up awesome it is. And watching Saving Mr. Banks only makes you love it more! The kids and I watched it together and all LOVED it. We spent the whole weekend singing all of the songs and we actually ended up watching it twice ;) Here's the kids dancing to the songs :)

After I fed Tess we went on a walk! It was a beautiful day and our neighborhood was having a community yard sale so we thought it'd be a good thing to check out. Tess was not a fan of the walk. She fussed most of the way but we kept on going ;) We went down our whole street and got to visit a few sales. Of course they were pretty picked over by 11:00! 
Each kid picked a prize ;)
Yes, Britt dressed herself haha




i used the double stroller so Britt and Tess could ride and then Kye walked along beside me. It worked out well!
Sending Daddy a pic of their treasures

Poor third kid came home empty handed ;)

Egg sandwiches for lunch!

Sending pics to Daddy to remind him we love him :)


A couple years ago I bought a cardboard house for Kye to decorate and I put it in a cabinet and totally forgot about it. Before Tess was born I found it and bought another house for Britt to have to decorate and then I saved them for a time when I'd need to entertain the older kids at home. This was the perfect opportunity! They had a great time coloring their houses and they spent hours playing with them. Um. It was AMAZING!



They tend to argue while playing together but instead they had a great game going and played SO happily! Britt, of course, was the "bad guy" trying to destroy Kye's city haha. 


Kye also did some note writing...he sure does love hot dogs ;)
On Sunday we didn't go to services. There was just no way I'd be able to get all three kids there solo! Instead we did our own little devo and Kye was awesome. He lead us in prayer (video), song (video), and even in sermon! His sermon portion was so long it took three videos to get it all in: 1, 2, and 3 :)

We had a lazy day at home and Kye did some great one-man-band entertaining for us :)

Tess missed her Daddy at bath time!
I'm SO thankful I froze a ton of food before Tess was born. I was functioning on such little sleep and it was great to have easy meals ready for us!
When Zach is out of town I often let the kids have a bath in our bath tub. It's a special treat that they LOVE and it allows me to take a shower too while they are in the bath! 
Can't forget Donald ;)
Kye has been playing games each night since he was around Britt's age...which means it's really time for Britt to start staying up a little later and playing games too! It CRAZY for me to think she's already old enough for this experience and I've been very impressed with Kye. I thought he'd be upset to share the game time with her but he's done really well! He has been super excited about having her play with us and loves explaining how to play the games to her. And he even cheers for her when she wins (which is rare haha). 
Zach didn't get home until late night Tuesday. I did AWESOME the first couple nights he was away. But by that last day I was a ZOMBIE. Like I was a mess of tears and emotions and just felt awful. I needed SLEEP so bad! Kye, of course, had a field trip that day that I had to attend with him. Thankfully I had a spare minute to run through McDonalds and get an iced coffee. I seriously do not know how single moms or military wives stay thin. I was running on fumes and eating pure crap! Times like those ALWAYS give me a fresh perspective on how blessed I am to have such a hands on husband. He's a legit helpful person to have at home and he is missed in MANY ways when he's away! 
I was so, so, so happy to have Zach home. I didn't need any gifts to go along with his return but he surprised me with THE sweetest card, some of my favorite seasonal candies, and some pretty flowers (which was a plant...that died within a week...we do not keep plants alive in our home haha). I for real cried when I read the card. I have been struggling with feeling low and feeling unappreciated and the card was so uplifting and encouraging and was a reminder that my sweet husband appreciates me and that my hard work doesn't go unnoticed :) 

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