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Friday, October 31, 2014

Week Nine Summary

Tess's 9th week of life was from Thursday September 25 - Wednesday October 1st. She was 8 weeks old during this week!

Nursing: Since I weaned off the middle of the night feeding this week I noticed her spit up increase. ALL of my babies have been "happy spitters" and I for sure think it's due to my abundant supply. I think with the other two I dropped feedings SO fast and that made my supply issues worse b/c my body couldn't adjust to the dropped feedings. With Tess I plan to keep the dream feed longer than I did with the other two. I think it's more for MY benefit than hers! Cutting out the middle of the night feeding caused me to start feeling too full, leaking more, and caused her to start spitting up more. I tried pumping one day after the morning feeding and it helped minimize her spitting up the rest of the day. 

I stopped having ANY pain this week while nursing!!! Y'all. I had BAD pain and really thought it would last forever. It lasted 8 weeks. Which is a long time, don't get me wrong, but if I can push through it so can you! Don't give up when nursing gets WILL get easier!!! So glad I was able to start just 100% enjoying nursing her :)
Bottle feeding started to get tough this week (spoiler alert: bottle feeding has been a HUGE battle with this baby!!!). She would drink from it but it was just a struggle. On Saturday Zach did a bottle for her at 4 and she only drank 1.5 oz total. Then she was STARVING at the 7:00 feeding and nursed for 90 min! 

We took our first trip to the park as a family on Sunday and Zach did the bottle and she only ended up drinking 3 oz and then was HUNGRY the next feeding because that wasn't enough for her. 

I started to get very, very nervous about the bottle situation. Hawaii was only 2 weeks away and she HAD to be able to drink a bottle for Mrs. Charlotte! I ordered a Medela Calma Nipple as I've always used Medela bottles and thought maybe that nipple would help. On Wednesday we tried it for her 4:00 feeding. She drank 2 oz super fast but then took 90 minutes just to drink another 1.5 oz. We decided that the new nipple wasn't helping for sure!!!  At this age she should be drinking at least 4 oz per feeding :(

Still the same! Eating at 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 11. 

Her awake time length this week was right at 60 min. So that means she'd wake at 7 and then go down for nap at 8, etc. 


I did some more sleep journaling this week so be warned ;)

Wednesday night she woke at 5 am (so technically early Thur morning!) Zach gave her the paci three times and realized when we got her up at 6:55 that she'd had a MASSIVE poop diaper!

Thursday was a tough day. Didn't nap well at all. Maybe from the wonder week? She also broke out of the swaddle several times. She doesn't get her arms out...she gets the LEGS out and it totally messes up her sleep!

Thursday night did df at 11. She woke at 5:15 with the hiccups. Zach gave her the paci and held her for about 30 min and then she slept solid until 6:40

I found out this week that she does better for her naps when I just leave her rather than going in. She fusses a bit then goes back to sleep. Never hardcore cries. However at her last nap of the day she will NOT go back to sleep and just seemed wide awake. It's VERY normal for the last nap of the day to be the toughest! 

Friday night she slept until 5:45 and was broken completely out of the swaddle. Zach went in once (and I got up and pumped a little for comfort) and then she slept solid until 7:15! Yay!

Saturday we had a tough time with the bottle but then she nursed for a long time at her 7:00 feeding and then needed help going to sleep after the df? Which NEVER happens. BUT she sttn without a single peep! I had to wake her at 7:15!

On Sunday her naps were not good all day. The best nap she had was in the car seat at church! I started to treat her last nap as a true "cat nap" She would wake at 6 every time so I started getting her up at 6:20 and then bathing her early and feeding her early (6:45).

She sttn perfectly Sat, Sun, Mon and Tues nights! Def good to go for officially saying we have a baby who sleeps through the night!!!!!!!!

By mid-week her naps went back to solid as well. Her df also started getting quicker. I was able to be in the bed by 11:45! 

After church we leave her in the car seat and just put it in her crib so we can see her (she has the snuza on too to monitor her breathing!)
Still rocking the gloves ;)
I had a foot appointment this week and took Tess with me, assuming she'd nap her first nap in the car seat. Well. Car seat napping days are OVER. She didn't fall asleep in the car on the way there. Then I got there and she was crying. I used my car seat canopy for the first time and had the sleep sheep going and just rocked the car seat until she finally fell asleep. I guess the babysitting days have arrived for when I have appointments! While I was doing all of that an older lady came over to me and commented about how she remembered those days. Then she said that now she's caring for her husband who is in poor health and it's like caring for an infant again. Um. SO SAD. 

Other Stuff About Tess:
  • When changing her diaper we pat dry to help avoid diaper rash
  • She is SO smily and happy during her df!
  • She is the happiest baby and smiles SO BIG all the time. I love that gummy grin!
  • She started laughing this adorable
  • I love love love love the softness of her hair! I love to play with it while I nurse her. It's just so soft and sweet!
First golf cart ride. We lasted a few minutes then Zach got worried the battery was going to die so we turned around ;)
First playground visit!

I had her sad eyes when she hasn't slept well :(

Finally got some sister pics this week!

And, of course, I had to get some of her church outfit :) Britt wore this dress for our Christmas card pics when she was born! It was pretty tight on Tess (I didn't button it in the back) but it was cute :)

More pics of my sweet baby girl from this week!

Postpartum: I felt pretty frustrated this week with my weight loss. It's taking SO MUCH longer this time around. I started working out each night after her last feeding of the day. With my foot it's hard but I would either do the elliptical or do yoga (I found this great EASY Yoga For Weight Loss DVD!)

I also found if I nap too long before her dream feed that it makes it MEGA hard to get up for it. I started only letting myself get a 45 min nap and that allowed me to bounce out of bed and be nice and alert for the dream feeding!

Sibling Comparison: You can see Kye's week 9 summary here! He started spitting up more at this age too. Kye, so far, was my BIGGEST spitter. Hopefully Tess won't be as bad as her brother!

You can see Britt's week 9 summary here! SO crazy that she was wearing size 6 months clothes at this age!!! Tess is still barely in 3 month! I also can't believe I got mastitis at this point with Britt. SO thankful I haven't had it with Tess (at least not yet).  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Bond of Siblings

I am a "big picture" type person. I like to have long term goals and then focus on smaller goals in the present that all build to reach that larger goal in the future. 

It is easy to lose sight of the big picture of life when you have a new baby. Especially when it's your third baby. Life right now for me is filled with daily (sometimes hourly!) ups and downs. One minute everything will be running smoothly and the next I will feel like curling up in a ball and just calling it quits due to frustration and exhaustion. My goal often becomes to just get through the day rather than seeing that larger picture. 

Having three children has changed my life in ways I didn't expect. I knew we'd be "outnumbered" but I didn't fully grasp what that would come to mean. For me, so far, it means never feeling caught up. The house is never fully clean anymore. It may be picked up but still need vacuuming. The counters may be wiped down but the floor isn't swept. I'm also not fully ready for the day anymore. I may have on makeup but still be in pjs. Or be dressed but have my hair in a pony. Even in (brief) moments of rest I can't relax because I look around and see SO much I have to do. It can be exhausting. It can be draining. It can leave me at the end of the day feeling defeated. 

People so often say "you'll look back someday and miss this." And I agree. I'm sure I will. I don't think I will miss the messiness. Or the sleep training. Or the spit up. Or the toddler meal struggles. Or the sibling bickering. But I'm sure I will miss the sweet moments. The cuddles. The snuggles. The kisses. 

Yesterday was one of those days for me where I wasn't even sure I would be able to survive the day. I felt like throwing in the towel long before dinner time even arrived. Zach took the older kids to Bible Class at church so I had some quiet time while I was nursing. I decided to start catching up on episodes of Parenthood (I'm an entire season behind so don't tell me anything!) and it was an episode where one of the characters was dealing with separating from her husband. She was at home alone for the first time while her kids were visiting their dad for the weekend. In one scene her siblings each arrived at her house to offer comfort and to help distract her from her loneliness and pain. 

I started crying watching that scene. Of course I hope my children never experience the pains of divorce. But I know they will have tough times in life. They will have their hearts broken. Be disappointed. Make mistakes. And when that happens they will have siblings to be there for them. My tears flowed because in that simple moment I was reminded of my long term goal. 

When life is tough it's easy to think "OMG why did I sign up for three kids? What was I thinking?!?! Do I really want MORE?!?!" But then I saw that scene. Those siblings being there for each other. And my heart was filled with joy and happiness thinking about Zach and I someday being grandparents and watching our children as adults. Seeing them have their own relationships together that don't involve us. Whispering secrets. Sharing inside jokes. Being friends and being there for each other through thick and thin. 

In my own life this sibling bond is not something I have experienced and it makes my desire to give that gift to my children even stronger. As parents we naturally want more for our children than we had growing up. For my children I want them to know more love than I ever knew within my family. I want them to know they have people who will always be there for them. Will always stand up for them. Will always do all we can to protect them from the pains of the world. And it's not just about our children having Zach and I. It's about them having each other. 

I have always wanted a large family so that our kids would have lots of siblings. Yes, parenting many children is not easy. But I know that it will be so amazing to watch them grow up together. Last summer we went to the beach and visited our hotel pool for an afternoon. We saw four older age children all come to the pool together. They were laughing and playing games together. We talked to them and found out that they were all siblings. That was another "moment of clarity" for me.

Thinking about the tv show last night I see that as my longterm parenting goal. Seeing the children at the pool that day is a shorter term goal. This is the hard time of life in order to achieve those goals. In just a few years (which I'm sure will fly by quicker than I'd like!) my kids will be the ones playing at a hotel pool together. They will be the ones staying up late giggling in the hotel room bed. They will be friends and confidants and truly have fun together in a way that they just aren't able to yet at their young ages. 

Then one day they will grow up and have their own children. Zach and I will get to experience the special bond grandparents have and we will get to experience watching our children go through the tough early years of parenting. My prayer is that I can stay strong during MY tough parenting phase so that we can enjoy the blessings of seeing our children become amazing adults. 

Sometimes we all just need to be reminded of our "why" in life. I have always wanted lots of children and last night reminded me WHY. It recharged me and revitalized my love of parenting. The days are long. They are often very, very tough. But they will be so worth it! 

Once I started visualizing that long term goal I started to see things in a new way. How Kye helps Britt get her silverware for breakfast. The way he kisses on Tess and talks so sweetly to her. When Britt says she misses Kye while he is at school. The way Tess's face lights up and she has a huge grin anytime she sees her siblings. Those bonds are already there. They already share such love for each other. We have already blessed their lives so much by giving them the gift of siblings. 

Seeing that makes my heart full and the tough moments much easier to handle. My "big picture" isn't something that is far away in the distance. It's here and now and I'm truly living the dream I always have wanted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kye's 1st School Project: Fireman

It feels like I was just in school doing projects...and now I have a kid old enough to be doing them! Kye learned about community helpers in school and had to choose one to do a project about. He came home with the info and it said he had chosen fireman. Which didn't surprise me in the least :) 

Part of the project was to come to school dressed like the community helper they chose. We have TONS of costumes...but none that would work for a fireman. I tried to think of some inexpensive way to make him look "firemanish" and, duh, started searching Pinterest. When I saw the idea of turning a box into a firetruck I knew we had found a winner! First of all, it was a CHEAP idea. And second? I knew Zach and Kye would have a blast doing it together! 

Zach and I are in trouble when it comes to school projects for our guys have seen the way we go all out for birthday parties. We both tend to go a little overboard. Kye's firetruck turned out AWESOME! I dressed him in black pants and a red shirt. He wore a fireman hat we had and took Penny (my stuffed dalmation from childhood) with him because firemen have to have a dog ;) 
It even had a working steering wheel

And a fire hose in the back!

Britt wanted a picture with the fireman :)
Showing off the hose :)

Kye practiced and practiced for his speech about the fireman. He had to include certain things about his community helper in his presentation. Here's a video of what he said! I knew he'd do great and he ended up getting a perfect score! 
I know our days of project making are only beginning...I better start stocking up the craft supplies ;) 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week Eight Summary

Tess's 8th week of life was from Thursday September 18 - Wednesday September 24th. She was 7 weeks old during this week!

Nursing: It was SO exciting to be completely done with Tess's thrush meds. That junk was gross and I was happy to see it gone :)

The big nursing news this week was that I went and added up all my pumped milk....and had 212 oz stored! Which was plenty for Hawaii! I decided to stop doing the random pump session since I no longer needed the milk :) My body adjusted FINE to dropping that pump session! I didn't notice any discomfort or any issue with leaking or anything. 

My nipple pain also was WAY better this week. Which just further proved that thrush was my issue! I didn't have near as much pain while nursing. 
 laughing :)
 post nursing streeetch

 I love our cuddles and "talks" when she finishes nursing!


BIG NEWS THIS WEEK! Tess slept through the night for the first time! YAY!!!

Her schedule didn't change at all...still eating at 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 11


With her inconsistent night time wakings Zach and I decided to try to move the dream feed back to 11:00 and see if that helped push her for longer sleep at night. The second night that we did the df that late she slept until 4:40 which was getting closer and closer to 5! My goal was for her to start waking at 5 or later so I could stop offering a full feeding :)

On the 19th (Friday) she had a bad day of naps. Lots of fussing. She was due for a wonder week to start but it seemed like maybe she was starting it early? She was eating longer at her feedings which also suggested growth spurt. That night I was just completely and utterly WORN OUT. I told Zach I couldn't handle it and HAD to get some solid sleep. I asked him to please give her a bottle at the 11:00 feeding. I pumped at 10:15 and then went to bed. She ate 4.5 oz from the bottle and took about an hour to do it....then she slept through the night for the first time! I had to go wake her at 7:15!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!

The next day (Sat the 20th) had a wonderful day of sleep. She had a blow out massive diaper. Zach did the bottle again at 11:00 because we felt like if it worked once we should keep doing it! She only drank 3.5 oz that night (it was also a HUGE FSU I think that may have had something to do with her drinking less haha) and she woke at 4:30. Fussed and fussed so Zach gave her the paci twice. Our rule for motn wakings since she sttn was to offer the paci. If he offered it twice and she still woke again, then I'd feed her.

I went in and fed her at 5:30. I just fed her a little bit. Enough just to get her back to sleep and to make myself feel less engorged. 

That next day (Sunday the 21st) she had another flawless nap day! That night she drank a full 5 oz bottle at df and then woke at 5. I did the nursing "snack" again and it only took about 20 min total. But then she did wake again at 6 and the paci held her off until our desired wake time of 7. 

Monday (22nd) she again had a great day of naps! It made me think she'd be able to handle the 3.5 hour schedule change soon!

That night was my turn for the bottle. But y'all. I just hate the idea of pumping THEN feeding a bottle. No way. So I nursed her. She woke at 5. We did the paci and then I nursed her for a few minutes again and she slept until 7.

Tuesday night she only drank 3.5 oz from a bottle at her 7:00 feeding and then woke at 4 and we held her off until 5 when I did the snack again. 

Even though it was frustrating to have to nurse her in the night after she was a BIG change for me. I was able to sleep much longer stretches and I knew she was SO CLOSE to having solid sleep every night! 

 Morning waking up from sttn for the first time!!!
Here's a video of me waking her!

 I didn't have to hold her very much at all for naps this it made it more enjoyable during the times she did need to be held!
 She wakes up with these little red spots on her skin. They are always in different spots and always go away after she'd been awake for a bit!
Tummy Time: Continuing to do it at each awake time and I flip her over once she gets very fussy. She didn't roll over this week at all. But you can tell she'd getting stronger and stronger!

 baby jeggings are the best!

Siblings: It's nice that Tess is getting bigger and bigger and I have to worry less and less about Kye and Britt accidentally hurting her. They are sweet and gentle with her but they are also kids and can be a little bit rough! 

 Beautiful weather = outside family time!

skin to skin with big brother! 

More About Tess:

She is MUCH more alert and able to focus on object this week. I would lay her on the floor on a blanket with a toy and she'd smile and "talk" to it and be totally content. One of my BIG goals with her is to not have her be so attached to me like Britt is. I think I spent too much time with Britt. After having a baby you realize how short the baby phase is and I just want to soak it up and enjoy every second. I became Britt's main entertainment source and I can't have that happening with Tess! I just feel guilty leaving her lying somewhere with a dang toy! But I'm trying to do better about it!

Ashley came to visit this week! Her daughter napped in our guest bedroom and Britt watched a movie and we were able to have some girl time while Tess nursed! It worked out great and we def need to do it again sometime!
With this scary virus stuff going around I really wanted to make sure to protect Tess the best way I could! I do a vitamin d drop every day but I also wanted to start her on a probiotic. I knew it'd help avoid us getting thrush again AND it'd help keep her immune system strong. The ONLY probiotic in liquid form I could find was the Gerber Soothe Colic Drops they aren't cheap but hopefully they are worth it!
Tess still enjoys bath time but started having some issues AFTER bath. She cried SUPER hard two nights this week after her bath was over. It was hard to get her to nurse because she was so upset and we had no clue why?!?!

Church this week went great! We are getting a good system down and got there right on time :) She looked so excited to be going :) And she slept great again during services!

Love filling out our attendance of 5!!!
  • Tess enjoys sitting and having me hold her hands and pulling her to the sitting position. Her head is now able to stay straight when we do this game!
  • I would hold her before naps to help her settle into sleep time but even with holding her as soon as I put her down she'd fuss a little bit prior to going to sleep. 
  • Her hair is getting thicker on top!
  • During naps I ignore her when she fusses and only go in if she hardcore cries. When I do go in though usually the nap is just DONE and she stays awake in my arms. 
  • Her hands still bother her. She is def proof that babies need swaddles! For church I put her mittens on her still because her hands would hit her and wake her up.
  • Her diaper is mega full in the mornings since she's sleeping longer!
  • Here's a video of Tess in independent playtime
  • She smiles pretty much constantly from the time she wakes up and also immediately after nursing. 
  • I sing "isty bitsy spider" a lot with my babies. Here's a video of me singing it with Tess!
  • Burping is much easier and she does it on her own without needing much from me!
  • When we do have to give her the paci in the middle of the night, she takes it super well! I bet she'd be an easy paci baby if we chose to go that route (which we won't!)
  • She still doesn't poop often. She had one BIG blowout Saturday but that was the only poop all week. 
  • Her nails are getting thicker and harder for me to bite down
  • She had her second wonder week this week. You can see what she experienced during this week here
  • Overall she's just a very happy and content baby. I pray #4 is exactly like her demeanor! 

TONS of pics of this sweet baby this week!

Here is a video of her "talking"
Here's another video of her talking

I love this :)

Every baby needs a fish hat, right? ;)

Postpartum Update: 

My bellefit zipper malfunctioned and they sent me a new one for free. Obviously the longer you wear them the more stretched out they get and so I expected to struggle getting the new one on. Um no issues! It went on easy for me :) Yay!

My challenge was off to a great start. I was already feeling better and lost 2.5 lbs in the first 3 days! You can see the products I use while nursing here!

Casey and I went shopping on Saturday and had the BEST time. It was EXACTLY what I needed! I have found with this baby that I NEED me time and we had a blast finding good deals. Of course we mostly bought stuff for the kids ;) But I did decide to buy myself some size large shirts and some shorts that FIT for Hawaii. I didn't want to go through my closet trying to pack for the trip and get depressed so we went to Old Navy and I found a few outfits on sale for me that fit me great and that I knew I'd feel confident in on the trip :) 
Another great week with my sweet girl :)
Sibling Comparisons: You can see Kye's 8 week summary here! It was a big week for Kye as he slept through the night for the first time (same age as Tess!) and he rolled over for the first time (much later than either of the girls did). I love how I talked about his multiple sneezes. It's something he still does and it's something that Tess also does just like her brother!

You can see Britt's 8 week summary here! Britt started waking motn this week which was tough on me. I also slept through her dream feed one night and decided she did still need it for awhile longer!

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