Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Elijah: 7 Months



Dear Elijah, 

I don't think this age could be any more fun. You are such a happy, loving, silly boy and I love every second I get to spend with you. You think your daddy and I are just the funniest people around. We regularly make you laugh and your laugh cracks us up! Everyone says you are the happiest baby they know. If I ever try to take a picture of you fussing, you start smiling as soon as you see my phone come out. What a little ham you are! Though you pretty much love everyone and are happy to make new friends everywhere we go, you are quite the mama's boy. I love that being in Mama's arms is your favorite place to be!


Weight: 20 pounds 11 ounces 
Height: 28 inches
Clothes: Pants and PJs are 18 months. Most onesies and shirts you still fit in 12 months. 
Diapers: Same old. We use two inserts at night and most nights that lasts all night!
Sleep: I certainly wouldn't say you are the best sleeper around. You usually take about 3 1 hour naps throughout the day, give or take 45 minutes! For the last couple of week you have been waking up when I wake up, then keeping yourself entertained while I get ready for work, eating before I leave and then falling asleep. Then you play (and eat a little) until I come home at lunch, eat, and then fall asleep again. Around 7:00ish, you usually eat again and fall asleep. Sometimes you wake up every 2-4 hours the rest of the night or sometimes it is every 1-3 hours. You sleep in your Zippy and we have learned sleep is even less successful without it! When you wake up at night you only want me. Daddy tries to help, but usually it just makes you cry more. During the day you are THRILLED to see Daddy; but at night you just want Mama and to go back to sleep quickly.
Eating: I know when you want to nurse because you dive at me and give me kisses on my cheek. You love to eat milk on a spoon with Amanda during the day. Sometimes you take a little in the Latch sippy cup or the one with the weighted straw, but you LOVE to eat on a spoon. She says that you also like to "help" by holding the spoon yourself. Eating in public continues to be a big struggle. You are SO busy and SO interested in everything, that even when you are hungry, you won't settle down to eat. I have to plan most of our outtings around eating schedules so we can be home for a good meal. You still LOVE to put food in your mouth, but I think the only thing you have actually ingested is banana and a little avocado. I constantly remind myself that we need to let you learn to eat just like we let you learn to sit and crawl, at your own pace. You have quite the gag reflex and when food gets to the back of your throat....up it goes! It gets a little messy.
Likes: Shadows (when I turn my phone flashlight on to see in the morning you LOVE to stare at the shadows), crawling to get where you want, sitting up all on your own, putting all kinds of food in your mouth, blowing raspberries to be silly (and to show when you don't want something), smacking your lips (sometimes it means you are hungry), and especially when we are silly with you! You love to drink water from our cups and will stare at them and yell until we share with you. 
Dislikes: When we mess with your face (snot suck, lotion on cheeks, check teeth). 
Health: You finally cut your first tooth! I noticed the day after your 7 month birthday. You DO NOT like me touching it or trying to see it. Before that, you loved when I rubbed your gums. You had your first ear infection this month and you handled it like a champ! You had fluid and we tried homepathic remedies and the chiropractor. We went back a week later (the day after Thanksgiving) and it was infected. At first you loved the antibiotics. Then you blew raspberries when we tried to give them to you. Then the last day you loved them again! You didn't nurse at your shots this month because you were too busy, but you barely cried. You are a champ!
Communicating: You love to yell and squeal to get your point across. It sounds like you say Mama sometimes when you are crying when Daddy gets you at night or when you don't want your snot sucked, but it isn't intentional yet. You are very observant and look all around and take in everything. We have been practicing waving, and one time you half raised your hand, but mostly you think we are crazy for doing a lot of emphatic waving during hi and goodbye. 
New Tricks: You officially crawled on 12/1! You had been up rocking for some time, but then you just did it! You often still revert to army crawling because you are comfortable with that, but you can crawl! The same night you also started getting into and down from sitting with ease. Sometimes you move across the room by doing that over and over. 
Firsts: Tooth! Thanksgiving! Crawling! Sitting!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Elijah: 6 Months



Weight: 19 pounds 7.5 ounces 
Height: 26.75 inches
Clothes: 12 months for mostly everything. Pants are 12 or 18.
Diapers: Nothing new. But you are very smart because during diaper changes you put your feet in the air and then when its time to snap the new diaper you lay them down straight! You like to make diaper changes interesting by giving us a moving target most days. It isn't easy to change the diaper of a baby who keeps flipping on his tummy!
Sleep: You nap 2-3 times during the day most days. They range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. There is usually one longer nap and then other shorter ones. Some days you wake up every 20 minutes and need to be rocked back to sleep. Other times you are out the entire time! You pretty much only sleep on your side and stomach now. It made me really nervous at first, but I can't stop you! We put your down on your back and let you do what you want. At night, you sleep in the Pack N Play in our room. You suddenly made your bedtime about 7:00 at 5.5 months. You wake up usually 1-2 times to eat and then sleep in the Pack N Play from 10 until 1-2 usually and then lay next to me and eat and sleep. You usually wake up at 5:30 or 5:45 with me now. You just don't like to miss anything! With me you usually nurse yourself to sleep. I can't say that I don't love it as much as you do! After you are done eating, you lay your head on my shoulder and cuddle up and sleep. We know when you are tired because you rub your eyes and pull on your ear. 
Eating: You have been taking a few ounces in the sippy cup from Amanda throughout the day. There is one that is your favorite, Latch brand. You also sometimes have a boobsicle or breastmilk on a spoon. I know when you are really hungry because you like to dive against my chest and rub your face all over me. You are usually a good sport about it, but I know it means it is eating time!
Likes: army crawling EVERYWHERE and FAST, standing up while someone holds you (you are very strong!), grabbing your toes (especially during diaper changes) and pulling your socks off.
Dislikes: eating anywhere that isn't your bedroom (including Mama's classroom, downstairs, the car, or anywhere out in public. And you continue to think snot sucking is actual torture. 
Health: You still haven't cut any teeth even though it really seems like you are teething. The doctor said that your gums are definitely swollen. You had your first fever 2 weeks ago. You have been congested and you woke up on the 30th at midnight with a 101.4 fever. After lots of skin to skin and nursing, your fever was completely gone by 6:00 am. It was sad for me to see you sick! But I am grateful it was short-lived. You nursed during your 6 month shots and didn't even flinch! You passed your vision test and everything else was right on!
Oh! And this: Introducing food was so fun! You tried avocado and sweet potatoes the night before your 6 month birthday with Auntie Erin and Grandma and Grandpa over. You kept making faces and then trying again! We couldn't stop laughing!
New Tricks: When I get home from work, I usually say "hellllooo!" and then you start looking towards the door. As soon as you see me, you start army crawling like crazy right over to me. I love it! You are able to sit "with a spotter" because sometimes you tumble right over. If you see something you want, you beeline right for it. We need to get this house baby proofed!
Firsts: Eating! 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birthing Skirt

**I wrote this while pregnant and apparently never posted!

Ok, maybe I am a little crunchy granola.



But from the first time I heard about the idea of a birthing skirt, I loved it! Mainly, it sounds way more comfortable than a hospital gown. Comfort is very important to me. I have always said "If I have to go to the hospital for anything, bring me my own PJs!" After being in the hospital for just a few hours the other weekend, I realized I super hate the hospital gown. It would fit a small elephant! I wanted something that would be comfortable, would provide the hospital staff with the access they need, and would give me ease of movement during labor. Since we are trying a med-free birth, I need to be able to move around in different positions.

I started looking them up online. They START at $50! That seemed a little unnecessary. So I turned to DIY tutorials and was sorely disappointed. There aren't any really great ones out there! I did find out that seemed to make sense to me and went with it. I didn't need the skirt to be super awesome, just to hold up enough to serve this purpose!

I ended up following this tutorial. It was really good, except for a few confusing parts. I do better with pictures!

I spent about $6 on this stretchy knit fabric (with a coupon). It is 97% Polyester and 3% Spandex. The fabric made it possible to not hem it. The fabric should also work well with the...grossness...that comes with birth. Though I do not plan to keep it afterwards! When I asked my doctor about giving birth in something other than the hospital gown, she said she didn't care, as long as I knew it would get gross!

**Added after the fact**
I wore my birthing skirt with a nursing tank and robe during most of my labor. When it was time to push, I just decided to take the skirt off and push sans bottoms. It made it easier since I was pushing in so many different positions. 

1. I did use the recommended template for making the pattern from Crafter Hours.  I did not follow it exactly, because I didn't need it to be perfect. I just measured and then cut the fabric. I didn't actually make a pattern.

2. For the waistband, I didn't do the whole fold and curved sides thing. I just cut rectangles.







my loosely cut out pieces



All pinned together


waistband


All finished

Trying it On


Standing up straight-panel is hidden




Able to squat and still keep slightly covered, will be good for birthing ball







Oatmeal Lactation Smoothie Recipe

Many mamas like to bake lactation cookies to help keep up their milk supply. 

But...


So I figured out a way to use the same ingredients to help boost supply without the work of baking! 

I make an Oatmeal Lactation "Smoothie" every day for my breakfast.




Ingredients: 

  • For Lactation
    • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
    • 2 TB Brewer's Yeast 
    • 2 TB Ground Flax Seed (flax seed must be ground or it doesn't do anything)
  • For protein and taste
    • 1 container of Greek Yogurt with fruit
  • Liquid (and it is a galactagogue)
    • Almond milk to fill the container (you could also use regular milk or another milk substitute)
Directions
  • Put dry ingredients and yogurt in a mason jar
  • Add milk to the top (if you want to drink it) or less if you want to eat it with a spoon
  • Put lid on.
  • Shake it up (you may need to stir a little once in a while)
  • Put in fridge overnight.
  • In the morning, drink!

Notes
  • You could blend this with fruit and vegetables if you wanted to make a real smoothie
  • You could add fruit or peanut butter for a different taste
  • You can skip the yogurt.
  • You could use chocolate almond milk 
  • Pretty much you can do whatever you want so it tastes good to you.
  • I bought a bunch of little containers and measure out the dry ingredients in them once a week. So the night before I just need to dump the dry ingredients in.

Where to shop: I get pretty much everything on Amazon!
Other things I do to boost supply
  • drink coconut water (at least one serving a day, usually two)
  • I recently started Mother's Milk Tea
  • occasionally add Brewer's Yeast and Flax Seed to a smoothie or other foods
  • drink over 100 ounces of water every day

Do you have any favorite lactation recipes?

Elijah: 5 Months




Dear Elijah, 

Wow. 5 months. I am typing this as I look at your on the video monitor wiggling around in your little starfish sleeper. I could cuddle you or watch you all day long and never get bored. You are adorable when you sleep, I could watch you forever. But you are so full of smiles and love when you are awake, I never want you to go to sleep! The amount I love you is incredible. Indescribable. There are no words. But how much you love me? I never imagined that in all my wildest dreams. When you come to visit me at work for lunch and you throw your arms around my neck, I could just melt into a little puddle. You seem too young to do that. But you do! All of my co-workers will attest to it! Last year on Pumpkin Day you were a tiny little grape and only our immediate family knew of our secret. This year you made Pumpkin Day the absolute best!

Weight: 18 pounds 13 ounces 
Height: 27.25 inches
Clothes: 12 months. Mommy jammed you into 9 months far too long. Some of your pants are even 18 months. We just have to roll them up.
Diapers: Most of your diapers are on the tallest rise. But we have lots of room to go in the waist still. 
Sleep: You nap the best for nanny Amanda. You enjoy playing with Grammy too much (and I think she you too much) to nap super well. Really the only time you are upset is when you are overtired. When you are overtired you pretend like you want to be awake and play and refuse to eat (even when you are hungry) because then you know you will fall asleep. It is hard to see you that upset! The Zipadeezip is going well. It allows you movement, but still some resistance. You have been rolling onto your side while sleeping occasionally and then staying there while sleeping. You continue to wake up 1-4 times a night. Sometimes after you wake up the first time you spend the rest of the night with mommy and other times (if I am awake enough) you go back in your cradle. 
Eating: You eat a boobsicle almost every day while I am at work now. You love those and also frozen breastmilk in the mesh feeder. You will also eat breastmilk on a spoon. You think sitting in your high chair eating all of those things is the COOLEST! You have been eating A LOT during the evenings, but that's OK. I love the cuddle time and I know you are making up for what you don't eat during the day. You love to nurse to sleep, and that's OK with me. When you are eating, your hands are always busy with my nursing necklace, my shirt, or strap. You have also experimented with a sippy cup a little. I have over 1,000 ounces of frozen milk since you don't take a bottle, but at least it is being used a little now! You have been spitting up a lot last couple weeks, but I read it can peak around 4-6 months. 
Likes: Eating mommy's face, hugs, eating fabric, putting everything in your mouth, being silly, eating in your high chair, being lifted over our heads, moving all around on the floor on your tummy, and squealing. 
Dislikes: Being tired. 
Health: We think you might be teething. You have had your hands in your mouth with lots of drool since 3 months. But in the last week or so we have noticed that you seem to be more agitated about it. You sometimes wake up crying for no reason and you love when I rub my fingers on your gums. You didn't want to nurse while getting your shots this month because you were too interested in the nurses. You cried a little more than usual, but you were still a champ. Just slept a lot when we got home!
Oh! And this: You have great hand control and can grab a toy (or my phone) with purpose and precisely. 
New Tricks: You move ALL around when you are on the floor by pushing and pulling while laying on your belly. You can sit with support and your core is getting stronger every day. 
Firsts: Pumpkin Day, eating off a spoon, finding your toes!