November 29, 2008

The end of November

It's almost December already. I can't believe it. Before we know it, it will be 2009. Heck, at the rate things are going, before we know it, Audia will be going off to college!!


Thanksgiving was really nice. Good food, good company, and very relaxing. We took some family pictures and ate a ridiculous amount of food. I couldn't have asked for more.


My parents head back to MN today. It has been really nice having them here the past week and a half. Only two more weeks and I'll be heading out there to spend another two weeks with them. At the rate that Audia has been growing both mentally and physically, she'll be talking and running by Christmas. LOL. Ok, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration. But it sure feels like that's how fast she's growing. She's been pushing herself across her playmat with her feet for a couple of days now, and she's more and more vocal every day. I am constantly amazed at how aware she is of her surroundings; watching the pets walk across the living room, turning her head as far as she can to see the tv, looking from object to object on the kitchen counter (you can almost see those little wheels turning, trying to figure out what everything is!) and most recently, mimicking the raspberry noise I make at her when I'm changing her diaper! It is so funny how proud and excited you get over the littlest things when you become a parent.

I'm going to spend today gardening; by the time my flowers are blooming Audia will be 5 or 6 months old! Certainly old enough to appreciate the yummy scents and bright colors :-) And tomorrow will be spent baking gingerbread. mmmmmm.......

In closing, I've been doing a lot of research on, talking about, and thinking about sleep training lately. I found this online and thought it was pretty doggoned funny. Enjoy.

A Baby's Perspective on Sleep Training...

OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 6 months. The first few months were great--I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened.

Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night).
At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months.
Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep--they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.

It goes like this: Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.
Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3--every hour.

Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!
If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change.
If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it.

BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears (I hadn't eaten pears since lunch - what's up with that?) The dog said "woof" (I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.) Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn't matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.

P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, NO milk will come out! Trust me.

Author Unknown.

November 24, 2008

Busy Busy

It's been a while since my last update. My parents have been in town since Tuesday and will be here until Saturday.


We have been simultaneously busy and relaxing while they've been here; it's a much different experience from their dozens of previous visits out here. Previously we would go out and do things all day long, checking out new restaurants for dinner each night. Life with an infant is much more laid back; we're spending a lot more time relaxing at home. We have done a bit of shopping, visited my cousins on Saturday, and had a picnic at the park with Chris' siblings and their loved ones on Sunday.


Audia has been doing pretty well in these social situations; she is perfectly content to watch everyone and nap amongst the commotion as long as she's being held by Chris or me. It's when she starts getting passed around that she grows really fussy really fast. My mom thinks she's a "sensitive" baby. I think that she is only comfortable with what she knows. And who could blame her? 99% of her life has been spent with only Chris and I. It's not like we have friends and family in and out of our house all day long. The more time she spends with family, the more comfortable she'll become with them.


The first two nights my parents were here, she woke up twice a night, which worried me, but she's fallen back into her old pattern, thank goodness. She sleeps from between 8:30 and 9:30 until 4, eats, and then sleeps from 4:15 til 8 or 9.


She is becoming more and more alert and mature and interactive by the day; The little coos and squeaks that she makes at me just melt my heart. Chris says she is most definitely a girl (not that there was every any question!) because of how high pitched some of her little squeaks are. :-) She spends a lot more of her feeding time grinning up at me (which is both extremely adorable and frustrating; what used to be 10 minute feedings have turned into 15-20 minutes because she spends so much time smiling!) When she fusses now, she "talks" a lot more, which makes it hard not to laugh at her (hopefully she won't get a complex!). She's found her thumb a couple of times now, although she still hasn't locked in and started sucking on it. And she's still growing like a weed! I measured her today and she's 25 inches already. That's 3/4ths of an inch in two weeks! I just adore watching her grow; it feels like every day brings some new discovery :-)


We'll be having a quiet Thanksgiving this year, just the five of us. We've hosted Thanksgiving the past two years and while I will miss spending Turkey Day with the whole fam, I am looking forward to focusing on it being a relaxing day with my wonderful parents, amazing hubby, and adorable little love bug. Happy Turkey Day, everyone!

November 15, 2008

Interesting Article

Now, we don't typically sleep with Audia; she has a bassinette right next to our bed, and our bed is only a queen so there really isn't much room for her. Sometimes, when Chris gets up in the morning, I'll pull her into bed with me, but that's only if she wakes up again at 8 wanting to eat and I'm still wanting to sleep. She falls asleep at the boob and we'll sleep for another hour or two.
Anyway, point is we don't regularly co-sleep, and I don't think we ever will. But this article is very interesting and well-written, and I have to say I agree with a lot of what Mr. Wright says. Just thought I'd share it :-)

http://www.slate.com/id/2143241/

November 14, 2008

Lucky

I still can't believe how fast time seems to be going. I realize that I make some sort of comment about this in every other post, but seriously. It's the middle of November already!!! It seems like every day Audia is that much more aware and interactive and alert. Every day I'm tossing yet another outfit of hers into a box because she's outgrown it.

I feel so lucky. Lucky to have such a happy and healthy baby, who is pretty obvious about why she's fussing when she does, and rarely ever cries. Lucky to be able to spend so much of my time playing and smiling and laughing with Audia, watching her grow by the minute. Lucky to have such a loving and supportive husband, who is not only fine with, but happy to change diapers, clean up spit up, and rock her to sleep. Lucky to have Chris working from home 98% of the time, so if I want to run to the store or take a shower or bake cupcakes .....

Mmmmmm......cupcakes..........

he can watch our little sweetie. Lucky to only have to return to work for 2 hrs a day and not have to put her into daycare. Lucky to have friends who have babies around the same age to share such an amazing experience with.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too lucky. I believe in karma, so perhaps something good I've done has resulted in such luck, however then it wouldn't be luck. But I also believe in the universe's need for balance, which causes me to occasionally entertain the idea that for everything good that happens, something bad has to happen to balance it out. If this is the case, I hope that all of the bad is in my past......But I won't go there now.

Anyhoo, in other news, I've been researching various sleep training techniques and let me tell you; if I was any less self-confident, and/or if I had never taken any psychology courses, I would be SO LOST! It seems like for every pediatrician or child development specialist's opinion, there is someone with the exact OPPOSITE stance. There are as many different ideas of how to sleep train your child as there are fish in the ocean. The plus side of this is that it basically means that no one knows what the heck they're talking about and whatever I feel is best for my baby is probably "right". Good news is that Audia is still averaging a good 5-6 hours a night, (usually waking between 5 and 6 am; when the sun comes up) and this is usually followed by a 3-4 hour stretch. So we're getting good sleep.

November 11, 2008

Growth Chart

I've created a page to track Audia's growth here: www.ericacarlson.com/growthchart.htm

Enjoy!

November 10, 2008

2 Month Stats

So...drumroll, please!
Audia is 13lbs 11oz, 24.25 inches long, and in the 97th percentile for both! Doc says her head control is amazing, still, for her age. (we knew that, tho ;-)

She got two vaccines today and we'll be going in next week for the other two. We decided that we'd prefer that she doesn't get more than two vaccines at a time; the four doses that she could have gotten all at once today would be the equivalent of giving an average-sized adult 70 shots at once. No need to put her little system under so much stress if it can be avoided.

Doc also said it looks like she's getting the starts of curls in her hair....Uh oh!! Not that curly hair is a bad thing; I am entirely jealous of my curly-headed friends. But I don't know how to manage curly hair!! I've had stick straight hair my whole life! Hopefully I'll figure out how to manage her hair before she's in elementary school; I'd hate for her to be a laughing stock just because I'm challenged :-)

2 Months!

So Audia was 2 months on Saturday. I cannot believe how fast time flies, and yet I feel like I've been a mom all my life already. It's funny; my brother-in-law was talking a couple of weeks ago about how he thinks his calling in life may be politically related. So I was thinking about what my calling is, and I feel like it's to be a mom. Not because I think I am the best mom in the world or anything; I hope I'm doing a good job but truth be told I probably won't know what kind of job I'm doing until Audia's my age. But I feel like this is what I'm meant to do. I have never felt so fulfilled. Sure, there are times I'm not sure what I'm doing, but for the most part I feel confident. I always loved babysitting more than any "real" job I had, and I am frequently a care-taker in my friendships. Even Dr. Gavin told me in high school that he thought I should be a child psychologist. And he was one heck of a profiler. Anyhoo, that's a random tangent.
Audia has her 2 month appointment this afternoon. I am guessing she's hit the 13 lb mark already but we'll see. I got some super cute video of her talking to Chris on Saturday morning:
video
In other news, she slept for 7 hrs again on Saturday night! (and yes, she was wearing her magical PJ's) And then she slept for 5 hrs last night. I think it's pretty funny because I've been looking online for baby sleep advice and EVERYTHING I find has to do with getting a baby to sleep through the night. But that's not what I need advice on! I need naptime advice. And it's not easy to find, let me tell you. I should count my blessings, though. Obviously a lot of parents have a hard time getting their babies to sleep through the night!

Also, I think we may have figured out the secret to getting her to take a bottle. Chris woke her from a nap with a bottle on Saturday night and she drank the whole thing. So we'll test this theory that she needs to be woken up with it and see if that's the key.

Well, I think that's all that's new and exciting in our world; I'll post again after her appt with her stats :-)

November 5, 2008

Sleep

So, Audia slept another 5.5 hour stretch last night. She hasn't slept a full 7 hrs again yet, but since that night she's been sleeping one 5-6 hour stretch almost every night, which has been WONDERFUL. The next step will be getting her to sleep for more than 15 minutes in her bassinette during the day. She sleeps in it just fine at night, but during the day she prefers to nap on me. If I put her in it while she's 'awake but drowsy', she wakes right up and wants to play. If I put her in it while she's asleep, she doesn't last more than 15 minutes before she's screaming. This wasn't much of an issue for me while I was 'restricted' and couldn't do anything anyways, but now that my incision is healed and I can actually move around, it's becoming a bit of an inconvenience to have her with me every second that she's sleeping. And here's the ironic part: when she's awake, she's perfectly fine laying in her bassinette, just looking around and cooing to herself. What gives?? I've heard of sleep training for nighttime sleeping issues, but who knew you had to sleep train during the day?
Any moms out there with advice...I'm all ears!!

Chris and Audia watching the election:

November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

So it's election day! Chris and I did early voting, so we won't be joining the masses at the polls today. I am anxious to see the outcome of this election, but I am not as revved up as a lot of people are this year about voting. After Bush won in 2000 even though the popular vote was for Gore, it's sort of like what's the point in voting at all? That election showed that our individual votes basically mean jack squat. I feel like the majority of the US population don't understand this, but I am happy to see so many people interested in politics for once.


In honor of election day, I've created a little poll of my own. Now that Audia is looking a bit older, it is easier to compare her to baby photos we have of ourselves. But I still can't decide who she looks more like. So help us out! Who do you think she looks more like? (poll at the bottom of this post)
Chris

Audia
Erica