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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Summary of Week 13

Tess's 13th week of life was from Thursday Oct 23rd through Wednesday October 29th. She was 12 weeks old during this week. 

Nursing: Bottle was a BIG issue on our beach trip. She simply refused. We realized she'd drink just enough to be satisfied (like 2 oz) and then quit. It was very, very difficult and frustrating for me. But it also forced me to figure out how to nurse her in situations where I typically wouldn't. I nursed her on the beach and in the car this week with ease! I am not anti-nursing in's just not something I'm personally comfortable doing so for me to do these things was a big deal! 

I am SO THANKFUL for my blog! I'm always glad to hear when it helps others...but I'm especially excited when it's helpful for me and this week it really was. With the bottle issues I went back and realized that BOTH Kye and Britt struggled with the bottle at this age! I think it must be a common thing? Of course they didn't straight up reject it like she did but they did struggle. It gave me hope that it's a situation that will improve!

I tried to give Tess a bottle while at home alone when kids were at school and she did the same thing where she just completely refused it. I ended up putting her down and waiting a few minutes then nursed her because I couldn't handle her being so upset and didn't want to battle with it. Mrs. Charlotte was so sweet and went to the store and bought us a ton of bottles to try! I've heard that a different bottle can make a big difference so I was ready to try anything and everything we could!

She had a couple times this week where she was fussy at the breast. Sometimes in the evenings for her 8:00 feeding we could NOT get her to calm down and eat. She was crying so SO hard that both Zach and I got concerned about it! It's not like her to reject nursing and it did worry me but I think it was due to her having a lot of sleep issues and just being overly tired?

Nursing got a lot quicker this week. Often she'll only take 15-20 min for her whole feeding. I also stopped using the Milkies this week while nursing as I wasn't getting as much in them anymore and it was just a pain to pour them into the bottles and clean them and store it all and everything!

Schedule: This week Tess's schedule stayed the same. She nursed at 7, 10:30, 2, 5, 8 and 10:30

A big goal for this week was to start extending her awake time lengths. Her naps were junky (much more on a that in a second) so I first tried making awake time shorter. When that didn't work, I decided to extend awake time. Why not just keep her awake which makes the naps shorter? I extended awake time length to one hour and 15 minutes during this week and it worked out well for her!

Sleep: Ugh. Prior to Hawaii she was a pretty great sleeper. After Hawaii? Whole new ball game. We entered the third wonder week and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it. I also think Tess started having 4 month old sleep regression issues early. 

Tess did NOT sleep well on our beach trip. We quickly realized the bassinet we were using for her was just too small. She was touching the sides of it and it would cause her to wake. We also were trying out the woombie swaddle and soon regretted that. Her ability to move her arms caused issues for her as well. And we were also dealing with trying to get her back able to self soothe after being held too long while we were in Hawaii. Part of our prepare for sleep ritual involved holding her for a few minutes prior to putting her in the crib for sleep. While we were gone she was held too long and not put down sleepy but awake and this resulted in her not being able to self soothe anymore to get herself to sleep at the starts of naps.

So we had a good bit of issues we were dealing with!!! Tess started having both nap issues as well as middle of the night wakings. With naps she woke 45 minutes into each nap. On the dot! She truly had the "45 minute intruder" and it was like clockwork. Nights were not at a set time but were very random and all over the place. Some nights she'd wake at 3 am, some at 5 am, some not at all. There was no real pattern to it which makes it much more difficult to trouble shoot!

While we were at the beach we knew there wasn't much we could do with the sleep issues. We held her to sleep a LOT to just be able to get through the trip and then I knew once we got home I'd be looking at a good while of hardcore sleep training!

Once home my first change was to stop holding her at all prior to sleep times. We swaddle, sing, turn off the lights, turn on the fan, and then just kiss her and lay her down full awake. This worked well and she would fall asleep very quickly at the start of naps. Having her fall asleep at the start of sleep time has never been a big issue for Tess! 

However, that 45 min intruder was (IS!) a BEAST! I took pages and pages of notes. I wrote down every little detail of every nap. I'm not going to bore you all with those details. Basically she woke every single nap exactly at the 45 min marker. And nothing I did from then on would help her get back to sleep. I tried doing cry it out for 15-20 min and then I'd go in and hold her to calm her down and then put her back down and let her cry again. Basically with that approach all that happened was she ended up only getting a 45 min nap and spent the rest of the nap crying!

I did switch back to the Miracle Blanket swaddle and it helped some. I think her hands were bothering her in the Woombie but yet she could still kick her feed out of the Miracle Blanket which wasn't good either so I ended up creating my own combo swaddle using them both. The Woombie to keep her legs in and the Miracle Blanket to keep her arms in! 

I've never been a big fan of the swing. Kye was a paci baby and I used that when he struggled with sleep. Britt responded super well to cry it out and would only fuss for a few minutes before going back to sleep on her own. With Tess I decided to start trying the swing. She would just CRY and CRY and wouldn't stop so cry it out wasn't working! I started to leave her swaddled and move her to the swing to finish naps (she'd wake at 45 min then I'd let her fuss for 15-20 min to give her the chance to fall back to sleep on her own, then I'd move her to swing if she didn't fall back to sleep during that time). Once she fell back to sleep I'd turn off the swing but just leave her there to finish the nap. It wasn't an ideal solution but my hope was, with time, she'd stop waking at 45 min and, therefore, stop needing the swing at all. 

too small bassinet!
Swing for end of nap
swaddleme in the car seat works AMAZING! she slept awesome during our driving times on the trip!
More About Tess:

  • Tess did AWESOME at the beach! She wasn't bothered by the sand or the water and even took two pretty great naps while out there :)
  • Tess has a very content personality. She is much, much more "go with the flow" than Britt was as a baby. The beach was evidence of this! She didn't fuss at all and even was late to eat and was just super chill about it all :) 
  • This wonder week was one where I could REALLY see the change in her. She started moving her hands with purpose and has much more control over them. She started putting them to my mouth a lot for me to kiss them :)
  • She also is just much more interested in the world around here. She smiles and talks a lot and makes many different sounds
  • My favorite thing about Tess (which I've said before and will probably continue to say in future posts!) is her HANDS! Girl has the sweetest hands and I hold them constantly
  • She sticks her tongue out a LOT and it's super adorable!
  • Tess's hair is getting much lighter
  • When she is laying down she tries to sit herself up
  • She is a very smiley baby and smiles all. the. time :)
  • One of my favorite times of the day is in the afternoon. I feed Tess and Kye gets up from his nap and Britt is still asleep. It's so cute to watch Kye with her and it makes me so thankful that we did half day school this year! Britt just isn't old enough yet to really be very interested in Tess so it's more fun to watch Kye with her at this point!
  • I dug out my sling and started wearing Tess a little. I've never been big into baby wearing. I'm pretty petite (5'1") and the slings and all are just SO HEAVY! I can wear her for 10 min or so before it gets to be annoying for me. Usually if I wear her it's during the morning rush of getting the kids out the door for school!
  • When I had Kye I did a really great job of making sure he had plenty of play time on his own. Independent playtime, time in the bouncer, etc. When I had Britt I held her a lot more and cuddled her a lot more because I knew how quickly the sweet baby stage would last. I'm trying to do a better balance with Tess. I have to stop myself from just holding her constantly! I don't want her to be as clingy as Britt is and I know a lot of Britt's "Mommy obsession" is due to me not being as hardcore with her independent time as a baby!
  • Overall Tess is probably the happiest baby we've had yet. She smiles all the time and has a very calm demeanor. However, she's also the most difficult baby we've had. Kye wasn't a good sleeper and he was a paci baby so I had to go in and out of his room constantly (so annoying!). Britt was an awesome sleeper! And Tess is a not-so-great sleeper like Kye but since she doesn't have the paci it's trickier to figure out what exactly to do to help her get through this rough sleep patch!

Bald spot :(
Typical tummy time routine!
Daddy took her upstairs to play in the play room

talking to her toys
Crazy hair...and happy baby!

Loves sticking that tongue out!

Postpartum Update: The bottle situation combined with her sleep issues really, really made it a tough week for me. I spend ALL my time being a mom and I work SO hard at it and it was frustrating to be trying so hard and not seeing fruits of that labor. I'm so thankful I'm behind in my blogging as I probably wouldn't have been writing this in a very positive way at the time I was actually living it. I had a GREAT time at the beach but was just frustrated with the bottle/sleep combo of issues! 

Sibling Comparisons: You can read about Kye's 13th week here! Bless him with that hair! ALL three of my kids have had the same bald spot in the back. It's so pitiful! I really see a lot of similarities in the way Tess and Kye look. I think she looks more like him than she does Britt at this age!

You can see Britt's week 13 summary here. It's crazy to me to see how much hair Britt had and then realize that Tess has even more. Our kids just keep getting hairier! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

This year we were pretty late going to the pumpkin patch! Zach had been traveling for work and we went to the beach so we literally went and got a pumpkin 4 days before Halloween! At least this year it didn't rot ;) 

With Tess's bottle issues we decided to go to the pumpkin patch before her 5:00 feeding. We parked in the parking lot and let the big kids sit on the floor of the van and watch a short letter factory movie while I nursed Tess in the car. Then we hopped out, got our pumpkins, and got back in time for her next nap! It all went really well and everyone was in a good mood for the pumpkin fun :)

For our family we pick out one BIG pumpkin to carve and then let each child have a tiny pumpkin to keep in their rooms. 

So thankful someone offered to take a family photo for us!!!

Small pumpkins :)
The patch we go to has some games set up which the kids enjoy so we tried not to rush them too much and let them have some fun!

I headed to the car early to change Tess's diaper and BAM! Blow out! It was her first time pooping since she had the blowout at the beach haha. I'm telling y'all...girl loves to poop at the most inconvenient of times! Thankfully I had a Steak and Shake hat in my car (you know how it is: RANDOM stuff can be found in a mother's van!) and I used that to store all the dirty stuff. It got allll over her cute little outfit too so she rode home in just a diaper!
The next afternoon Zach and the big kids handled the carving duties while I nursed Tess. They did a GREAT job and the pumpkin turned out really cool this year :)

Pirate Pumpkin!

I read a tip on Pinterest to cut off the bottom of the pumpkin rather than the top. Zach said it did make it WAY easier to clean out the guts! And supposedly it helps keep the pumpkin from rotting as quickly!

You can see our past Pumpkin Patch visits here:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Rest of Our Beach Trip

When we decided to book a beach getaway Zach was pretty hardcore about us staying for three nights. I suggested just staying two and I'm SO glad he insisted on the three. With three kids it's tough to travel and it was nice having two full days of vacation rather than just one full day!

On our last full day Zach stayed back with Tess during nap and the big kids and I went to the REAL Bagel World :) I enjoyed going to the one by the hotel but had to go back to visit the real deal. When Zach and I got married we had an entire weekend event and one of the events we had was actually at Bagel World :) Great memories! I used to ride bikes with my friends to go eat there all the time. I LOVE that it hasn't changed AT ALL over the years!!! 

Kye got a breakfast bagel!

The owner of the place is always super awesome. He hooks people up constantly. I can't remember ever going there and not leaving with free food. He spoiled the kids and gave them a whole basket of brownies AND gave us an entire bag of bagels when we left!
Since he handed the bag to Britt she insisted that they were her bagels and she held the bag the whole way back to the room!
The original Bagel World is located in Satellite Beach which is the town where my parents lived when I was born, where my grandmother lived until she died, and where I lived with my mom and brother during my freshman year of high school. I didn't take the time to drive by all the homes that are special to me, but I did show the kids the house I lived in for that year of school. 
And on the way back we passed by the place where Zach and I got married! We got married on the beach in Cocoa Beach and had our reception inside the DoubleTree Hotel :)

While Tess finished her nap we let the big kids watch movies. The room was two separate bedrooms as well as a kitchen and living room but the walls were thin and the big kids were just too loud if we let them play! It was SO sweet seeing them cuddled up together :)

After Tess's nap we went to the beach again! This time I nursed her for her 10:30 feeding and we decided to stay down there until her next feeding time at 2. We had PLENTY of time to enjoy the beach! I nursed her in the room but then when we got to the beach I could tell she was still hungry acting so I worried that I'd rushed her too much. I topped her off at the beach then she was happy as could be!

Beach lovin' girl!

The BIG event of our beach trip was Kye boogie boarding. Kid fell in LOVE with it and was all about doing it by himself. I'm not sure who was more excited...Kye or Zach. He was a proud dad for sure! It made me a little nervous to see Kye paddling out into the ocean but we kept a constant eye on him and he did awesome! Future surfer like his Daddy? ;)

Tess also did wonderful during her whole awake time and when it came time for naps I went to change her diaper and BAM. Blow out. Tess is not a frequent pooper and almost every time she does poop it's MASSIVE. I was cracking up because Britt did the SAME thing on her first day at the beach!!!
It got all over her bathing suit and a blanket I had brought down to the beach with us. Zach went and rinsed it all in the ocean. I was thankful I brought a lot of wipes with us! I didn't have a change of clothes for her so she just went down for naps in a diaper :)
Swaddled feet sticking out!
This time around I busted out the paci. We would use it with Britt when trying to get her to nap on the go (or the few times she napped in our arms) so I wasn't worried about it becoming a habit for Tess. I wanted to do everything I could to insure a solid nap for her! She took awhile to fall asleep but we ended up having to wake her when it was time for her next feeding!
Our set up for our napping baby!

I checked on her pretty constantly. I was just so worried she'd wake up and be crying and I wouldn't hear her. But I also was able to enjoy the big kids and we had a GREAT time!!!!

Love the joy :) He had a BLAST!

Of course Britt had to give it a go too!

Beach dancing!

I had been really, really looking forward to this trip. Hearing Britt talk about it everyday for so long made me so excited to be at the beach again and to see her joy! It didn't disappoint. She had an amazing time and I loved seeing her so happy!!!

We ALL enjoyed our beach time and Oct is really a GREAT time to visit the beach! The weather was PERFECT. And it wasn't crowded at all! Maybe we can go again next fall break ;)
Originally we had planned to cook dinner on our last night. We brought stuff with us to cook but then realized that the kitchen was TINY. It just would have been a hassle to try to cook in that beast so Zach and the kids went and picked up dinner instead. We went with easy, cheap fast food and had a picnic in the courtyard of our hotel!

We hit the road the first thing the next morning so we could get back. It was a pretty exhausting trip. Tess had started having sleep regression issues (post to come!) and she just did NOT sleep well on this vacation. The big kids don't sleep too well when sharing a room so we were all just TIRED! It was worth it and we had a great time but it was also good to get back home and back to our regular routines!
When it was time for Tess's 10:30 feeding we stopped at a Burger King that had an AWESOME indoor playground. We did the bottle again. And omg. Zach tried everything to get her to eat and then I tried and I ended up totally crying about it all. She just kept refusing to drink it! We finally gave up and just left and headed home but we were frustrated with the bottle issue and with each other about it. I felt REALLY stressed. And really emotional. And just overwhelmed with the bottle issue. This could also fill an entire post ;) 

We had a wonderful, wonderful trip! Kye loved boogie boarding and eating bagels. Britt was in HEAVEN to be reunited with the beach. Tess loved her first time feeling sand and ocean water. And Zach and I enjoyed seeing our babies so happy and spending quality time with our sweet family!
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