Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Movie Date

I LOVE having Brittlynn here, but I do also miss the fun times Kye and I had prior to her birth. We did SO much together, especially during the end of my pregnancy. I got pretty spoiled with my "Kye time" ;) As a nursing mother, I am pretty tied down to the house right now and it was SO great that Kye and I got to go out and do something fun just the two of us.

When I first heard that Beauty and the Beast was coming out in 3D I knew it'd be a fun thing for us to do together. We didn't go see Lion King when it was out because I worried the daddy dying part would be extra scary on a big screen. But Beauty and the Beast is pretty mild so I thought it'd be perfect for his age! We went on a Sunday afternoon so Zach could keep Brittlynn. We left at 4:45 and I pumped before leaving so Zach could give her a bottle when it was time to eat then I was home before the next feeding. It all worked out super smooth!

He kept thinking we were going to Disney World! I told him we were going to see Beauty and the Beast on a big tv, like a show, and he remember the Beauty and the Beast show we saw at Hollywood Studios and got super pumped. He even wanted to wear his Disney shirt!
Ready for our night out on the town!
Lookin' gangsta


Having that time together was really special for me. It made me remember back to babysitting Madeline and Candler in college. I wasn't a parent. I didn't have to discipline. We joked around non-stop and just focused on having FUN. I treated this afternoon with Kye like that. I put away my "Mommy hat" and instead pretended to be his babysitter. We had a BLAST!!!!!! We were laughing the whole time and just being silly. He was mega pumped to get to eat dinner at the theater (I packed us both peanut butter crackers), so much so that I was worried he'd rat us out to the people that worked there :)

We saw it in 3D so of course I have to get a pic of us in the glasses ;) I accidentally had Kye's and he had mine!
Even the previews were in 3D which was neat. But honestly, by the time the previews ended, I was already over the whole 3D thing. It's cool for like 5 minutes then you get used to it and don't even notice it anymore. Personally, I think it's a fad that will die out pretty quickly, but we'll see. We both enjoyed the movie...Kye got scared at a few parts with the beast. I'd ask him if he wanted to leave and he'd say, "no ma'am just hold my hand." Gladly! I think he was more scared of the shark in the Nemo preview than he was of the beast in the whole movie. Even though he loves Nemo, I'm not sure if we'll go to that or not??? We'll see when the time comes. When it was over he didn't want to leave and kept talking about the princess.

We had some time before I had to be back to nurse Brittlynn and I didn't want our quality time to end so I called Zach and he said it was okay if we got ice cream. I tried to take him to The Mixx as I want to give them as much business as possible since they are owned by Christians...but it was closed. So we went to their competitor. It was still good and Kye was PUMPED! He was dancing around the place singing about how he was going to get pink ice cream. They didn't have anything pink but I don't think he really knows what color pink is so he was fine with what he got. The three m&ms and two cookie pieces I put in for him were a bigger hit than the ice cream itself ;) We laughed and laughed together and talked about the movie, about Disney World, about his birthday party, about school and about Brittlynn. I asked him how he liked being a big brother and if he loved his sister. He honestly have never ONCE said a bad thing about her and he only talks about how cute she is and how much he loves her. That makes me so happy!

Ice cream high ;)
It was a WONDERFUL evening together and I hope we can do more things like this in the future. I really want someone to babysit Britt sometime soon (hint hint grandparents!) so Zach and I can take Kye out for a fun time just the three of us. Heck, I want someone to babysit both kids so Zach and I can have a MUCH needed date night! ;) I know with time we'll be able to do all of those things!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week Five Summary

Brittlynn's fifth week of life was from January 3rd - January 9th. Here is what she was up to during this week (and it's a LOT):

Sleep: Whew. Week five was MEGA tough. I wanted to cry. I think I did cry. She just would not sleep during the day. Literally. Like the longest stretch she got of solid daytime sleep was 20 minutes. It wore me out! I knew the reason doing shh-pat wasn't working was that I wasn't doing it long enough. I'd "shh" and pat until she was asleep then leave. Hogg (in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems) even says if you don't do it long enough the baby won't go into a deep sleep. Well sorry Hogg but I have a toddler to attend to and I can't be sitting by a crib for 40 minutes at a time!!!

I got pretty ticked at good 'ole Hogg on Jan 3rd and reached a breaking point during this week (yes, it happens to us ALL!). I said screw it and just let her cry. An entire nap. She literally cried for an hour straight. Don't get me wrong, I didn't enjoy the hour. I was miserable but I was too frustrated to go in and help her sleep since nothing I did seemed to work. Not the swing. Not holding her. Not the paci. (Speaking of the paci...we only give it to her when she's hungry but it's not quite time to eat or halfway through her nap when we've tried everything else first to get her to sleep. We never do it at start of nap or at night...she is a horrible paci girl b/c she sucks it so hard it leaves a mark on her face and she spits it out then screams!) Nothing. I spent the whole hour texting my two babywise bffs (thanks Laura and Kelly!!!) and they helped me feel better, feel less alone, and gave some great advice. After the hour she did fall asleep but, obviously, I'm not recommending you just let your 5 week old scream for 60 minutes. I felt HORRIBLE guilt for doing that but at the same time I know it's normal to get to that breaking point! The rest of the day I pretty much ran in there and cuddled her anytime she even whimpered ;)

After that day I totally abandoned the shhh-pat method. We still do all the beginning of nap things that Hogg recommends. I set the stage by singing "you are my sunshine" while I swaddle her then I hold her upright until she goes limp and put her down then leave. She usually will "buck" a good bit and do three cycles of fussing then getting quiet before she totally goes limp before I put her down.

I also realized, thanks to Laura and Kelly, that she was going through a wonder week. I hadn't ever heard of the wonder weeks but omg what a blessing to know about them now!!! You can see a breakdown chart of them HERE and you can learn about them in detail (as well as sign up to receive an email whenever your baby hits a wonder week) HERE. Basically a wonder week is a time frame when your baby is going through developmental milestones. It's actually based on their due date and it's so funny because both times she's hit one (I'm writing this during her week 8 wonder week) she's started it around Friday and she was due on a Friday ;) It is SO exact and right on. And it's a HUGE blessing because instead of getting mad at her, or at myself, or freaking out I realized it was just a wonder week and she'd be fine once we got through it. The developmental leap she was making was that she was starting to show interest in the world around her and she wanted to take it all in rather than spend her time sleeping. When we'd be holding her, trying to get her to sleep, she'd be wide-eyed and would move her head all over to look around. She also rolled over for the first time the next week and when that I happened I KNEW her issues during week 5 had been developmental for sure!!!

The best way to deal with the Wonder Weeks is to recognize them and get through them anyway you can. For me, it was letting her fuss in the beginning of nap unless or until she got REALLY worked up then I'd just hold her and love on her until she was very sleepy or even asleep then put her down. I'd do the same thing over and over again throughout her nap.

While it was a tough week, it was a HUGE breakthrough week...

Gas: THIS was the breakthrough!!! We were so frustrated with Britt's lack of sleep...then Zach came out of her room during one of her naps and told me she had been screaming then he walked in to help her and she lifted her legs and let out a HUGE fart then fell right to sleep. Gas issues can cause a baby pain and I thought maybe that was what was going on. We started to hardcore burp her whenever she took a break on the breast, in between breasts, after eating, throughout her awake time, right before sleep time, during naps, basically all day. It made a HUGE difference!

Ways that we help her to release gas (and yes, I researched ideas) include:
  • patting her in an upward motion on her left side with her on our shoulder
  • doing the same thing while having her in a sitting position on our lap
  • same thing but laying her on the boppy
  • varying the positions repeatedly as the movement helps to get the gas to move
  • pumping her legs, bending them and pressing them to her chest and holding it
  • pumping her legs without holding it but pressing them and releasing them back quickly
  • pushing her legs to her chest and moving them in a circular motion
  • moving her legs like she is riding a bicycle
A combination of all of these really makes a difference. We also started giving her mylicon at every feeding prior to her eating as I read it better helps to prevent the gas from happening to begin with. I couldn't BELIEVE the difference in our child. Not only with her sleep, but with her overall personality! To be honest...I didn't really like her very much. I loved her but I felt like she was ALWAYS crying and fussing and just unhappy. Until we started revolving our lives around getting that gas out of her system. Oh my goodness! Seriously, if she isn't eating or sleeping she is SMILING and COOING! It's precious and I totally missed out on that cuteness due to her being in constant gas pain! Feel guilty much?!?! Basically our sweet baby girl spent her first month of life in pain :(

The FIRST full day of us focusing on the gas...she had what I call her breakthrough day. She had her BEST sleep EVER for naps all day, I was even able to lay outside (yes, in early January I was laying out) for 15 min! And that night she slept from 11:30-5:30 which was AWESOME! SO proud of her and of Zach and I for figuring out that mystery gas!!!

Schedule: Her schedule was the same as Week Four.

Here are some more things she was up to this week:
  • I thought she had been done with the peeling skin, but her scalp started to peel this week and often looked like dandruff
  • The child grunts and moans constantly and reminds me of me!!! I am a bit of a moaner (especially during child birth...I get it from my Nana...and get ready because that means when I'm an old lady I'll be moaning nice and loud all through church services!) so she comes by it honest! Here is a video of her grunting when I pump her legs to release that gas. Here is another video of her making noises in her sleep.
  • I started to run our cool mist humidifier throughout all of her sleep periods and it REALLY helped her congestion (we even ordered her a hot pink one of her own!)
  • We took her to church for the first time! I skipped class that morning and fed her at home then she and I rushed to church. We were late, but only by 15 min which was better than Kye's first time at church ;) We tried to have her sleep in her car seat but she wasn't having it so Gramma got the special privilege of holding her the whole time!
  • Her awake times started getting longer, she would stay awake an hour to an hour and half each time (including feeding time) so it was WONDERFUL because I finally felt like we got to know her personality better
  • A couple times we've walked in to wake her up and have found her body totally moved in her bed. Like out of view of the video monitor. She'll still be swaddled but will be turned completely to the side?? (not on her side...she's still flat on her back) How is that possible???
  • Her nails are now hard enough to where it's easier to clip them with clippers than with my teeth
  • She lets out the CUTEST smile when she is falling into a deep sleep...precious!
Since she was awake longer, and she was so much happier...there are a LOT of pictures this week!!!
Lots of tummy time!
Britt and Sadie

She loves to be on her tummy

Here is a video of some of our sweet moments together, love those little sneezes!
No more cord!
Favorite activity is still bath time
Not only does she still have her hair...but it's becoming very crazy ;)


When Zach and I both looked at her on the video monitor we said she looks like Gary Busey!!!

Gary
Britt
Kye started back to school this week and I'm SO thankful for Mom, Zach and Mrs Charlotte. When I was pregnant I wrote them a long email talking about how important Brittlynn's schedule is and that is comes FIRST. Even before Kye going to school. I do not feel comfortable having Brittlynn nap in her car seat 6 times a week which is what she would have to do if I took him and picked him up every day. Once she gets on a four hour schedule it'll be easier because she should be able to make it to his school and home during her awake time so it won't mess up her naps, but right now it's just not possible. I asked them to please help me out and take Kye and pick him up for me as often as possible. My goal is to only have to pick him up once a week, twice if there is no other option. If it works out where no one can help me on a certain day then he'll have to miss school. That may sound crazy to some of you but I KNOW the schedule WORKS and it has to be top priority for our family during her first year of life. We have may have to make sacrifices but those sacrifices will benefit us all (yes, even Kye) in the long run!

I picked Kye up one day during this week and it was the first time doing that. My plan is on the days I have to pick him up to run an errand before going to get him. I pumped and fed her a bottle at ToysRUs so I could use some coupons that would expire. Man, I forgot how tough it is to go places with a new baby!!! She ate at 10:00 then would not stay in her car seat. So I ended up pushing the stroller and carrying her at the same time which made life difficult. She wouldn't sleep at all in it. She'd nod off when I was driving but when I stopped she'd wake back up and cry. Not good!!! I literally had like 15 minutes to do my actual shopping before we had to leave to get Kye.

changing diaper at ToysRUs
She did finally fall asleep so I left her to sleep in the car seat until she woke up then I swaddled her and put her back to bed (it's what we do whenever she falls asleep in the car seat...better to let her sleep than wake her!)

Here is a video of her with her playmat
Kye kept wanting to feed her the bottle that came with her cabbage patch doll
he was so serious about it
focusing on objects, her developmental leap this week!


being bossy probably
Kye is SO great with her, here's a video of him showing her all of her (tooooo) many stuffed animals (note to anyone who ever may buy her a gift, please no more stuffed animals! books are best!)


me and my babies!

The way her schedule worked out this week she had awake time from 7-730 so we were able to spend time as a family before Kye went to bed. I'm SO thankful I got some pictures of this! We all would sit in the hallway and read a bedtime story together. Yes, the hallway. When that baby shows the slightest sign of being tired I like to be mega close to her room ;) It was a wonderful little family time together and it makes me look forward to the many years to come. Of course, her schedule didn't stay that way very long and it'll be changing so much that they probably won't get to read stories together again before bed until she's much older!

yes, I was there too ;)
I realized I never got a picture of the stork bite on the back of her head...it's still there as you can see
Something I remember that I LOVED doing with Kye was checking the mail each day. It was nice to go outside together and, since he was a spring baby, the weather was so pretty. Around here lately the weather has been LIKE spring weather even though it's winter! Since Britt started staying awake longer I would typically take her out to check the mail after her 1:00 feeding while Kye was napping. We'd get some quality together time in reading through it on the back or front porch.

my girl
I LOVE how much more alert and happy she is...I wish I could take pictures of how precious she is while she nurses...but you can tell she's just as sweet right after!

action shot of that constant baby laughter
Postpartum Update: Zach and I officially started Weight Watchers. At our first weigh in I have 10 lb to lose...yes I gained three pounds over the holiday. It was an emotional week as I dealt with her nap issues and I found that taking a shower helped me to feel SO much better. More alive ;) I started to fall into a good routine...Zach and I watch shows together during her 8 feeding at night and have our nightly snack then I go to bed at 9:30 for a nap before her 10:30 dream feed. It is TOUGH to wake back up but somehow I get through it. My bleeding is still going on...so annoying...but light enough for a thin pad. My new bridesmaid dress arrived for the wedding and the 8 fit in the chest perfectly so I have some options which is good! I know with Kye even when I lost weight, I held on to the chubby junk until after I stopped nursing then I got my body back so we'll see how this goes.

I left Brittlynn for the first time for an entire day this week. I drove up for the day for Hallie's service. Zach kept her and Kye the whole day and it was REALLY good for us both. I got a needed break and he got to live a day in the life of mommy and see everything I go through. Often times he'll call me while both kids are napping and want to talk and he doesn't get it why I rush to get off the phone...it's because that brief alone time is SO rare and I want to enjoy it for MYSELF! I called him that day when both kids were asleep and it clicked with him why I'm always in a rush, because he wanted that alone time too!

While it was one of the toughest weeks yet, it was also one of the best thanks to ALL the many breakthroughs. I felt like I was starting to finally get to know Brittlynn better. It sounds horrible to say that I didn't really like her in the beginning but that gas made her such a grump and it's been a blessing to finally know the REAL Brittlynn and see her sweet, wonderful personality shine though. That smile makes EVERY hardship worth it!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Britt ~ One Month Old!

Just like I did with Kye, I plan to post a monthly blog entry for Brittlynn and track her development using What to Expect the First Year. I am TERRIBLE at knowing developmental milestone stuff. Like seriously, I have no clue what kids should be doing when so this will help me see how she's doing and what I need to be working on with her. I planned to order monthly stickers for her from the same site I had my belly ones from during pregnancy but that seller when on a break because she had a baby too! So I bought these stickers from a new Etsy seller and you can purchase some of your own here!

I didn't do a monthly sticker thing for Kye (did they have them back then?) but I like the idea that every month will be similar pictures. I'm not sure on a location for them all yet, I may change it up each month. We got her an ADORABLE chair for her room but it hadn't arrived in time for the one month ones so I may use that in the future, we'll see ;) The day she turned one month old (Jan 6th) I took about 10 minutes and snapped these pictures to go along with this blog entry! Enjoy!

This makes me laugh!

At one month old Brittlynn is doing everything a baby her age should be able to do including:
  • lift head briefly when on stomach on a flat surface
  • focus on a face

She can do everything a one month old will probably be able to do including:
  • respond to a bell in some way, such as startling, crying, quieting (She cries! I didn't ring a bell but the dogs barking or Zach clearing his throat causes that reaction so I'm sure it's the same thing)
a little smile for you!

She can do everything a baby her age may possibly be able to do including:
  • lift head 45 degrees when on stomach
  • vocalize in ways other than crying (she coos and makes a little laugh sound I LOVE IT!)
  • smile in response to your smile

She can do most of the things a one month old may be able to do including:
  • lift head 90 degrees when on stomach
  • hold head steady when upright
  • smile spontaneously
such a goober face ;)

The only thing she can't do yet is from the "may be able to" category and it's:
  • bringing both hands together
looks like she's trying to grab the camera

I enjoy reading the monthly chapters in the What to Expect the First Year book as they help answer any questions I may have and understand some things better about the stage my baby is in. This month mostly covered breastfeeding...which I feel I have down pat! It did cover some things I found interesting though too!
It mentioned the blister thing on her upper lip and it's known as "nursing blisters." It's from vigorous sucking (which she does do!!!). It will go away on it's own and doesn't cause her any discomfort.
I found the section on spitting up very insightful. Both of my kids were/are BIG pukers. Kye spit up so much that I invested in bibs to match all of his clothing. Brittlynn is following in his footsteps and spits up after every feeding. Like more than once. I have been debating the past couple days about calling her pediatrician about it...but I KNOW they will say she has GERD (reflux) because they said the same thing about Kye. I KNOW that reflux issues are very common, however, I also think it's over-diagnosed. I don't want my child on medication that she doesn't really need. She never arches her back or cries any kind of painful cry so I was hesitate to call the doctor.

This book says that most babies spit up. It's extremely common and, although it's messy and smelly, it's not usually a cause for concern. It's typically a laundry problem, not a health problem. It may be related to an immature sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach  and to excess mucus that needs to be cleared. It also may be coming up with a burp and sometimes a baby wisely spits up because she's eaten too much. If the spit up looks unchanged from when she drank the milk then it only went as far as the esophagus before coming back up. If it traveled own to the stomach before its return trip, it will look curdled and smell like sour milk. Hers is typically the curdled sour milk kind.

There is no cure for spitting up but some ways to help include:
  • don't feed her when she's crying
  • keep her as upright as possible while feeding and for awhile afterward
  • make sure she uses the right size of nipple when bottle feeding
  • tilt the bottle to minimize air
  • avoid bouncing her while eating or just afterward
  • when possible strap her into a baby seat or stroller for awhile after the feeding
  • burp her constantly during the meal
Most likely she'll continue to spit up until she is six months old. I feel confident, after reading this, that I do not need to call the doctor. She doesn't have the signs of GERD: she is gaining weight fine, doesn't have prolonged gagging or coughing, her vomit isn't brown or green and she doesn't shoot out the spit up two to three feet away. And she is a "happy spitter" meaning she doesn't seem in any discomfort so most likely she doesn't have anything medically wrong with her! Whew! :) It also said using a diaper wipe will help eliminate the odor when she spits up ;)

When she makes this face I TOTALLY see Kye!!!

 big yawn
It has been a wonderful first month, if you'd like to see what Kye was up to during his first month you can see his post HERE.  It's interesting that they both hit the same developmental milestones this month except the hands together thing!!! I don't think they really look alike at this age...do you???
 my favorite this month :)

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