January 23, 2009


Audia has made quite a few big steps in the past few days! I am hoping it's just due to being in her 19th "wonder week". As much as I love seeing her grow before my eyes, I am NEVER going to be able to keep up with her if she keeps this up.....

1) She's drank out of a bottle twice in the past two days; A BIG step considering she has been totally refusing any type of artificial nipple for months now. She's only taking an ounce or two, but right now we'll take what we can get!

2) One of her Christmas presents from Grandma and Grandpa Halberg/Carlson arrived today, and she looks like SUCH a big girl in it!

3) In addition to this, she put herself to sleep on Wednesday night! She woke up around 1 for her usual middle-of-the-night feeding, fell asleep while eating, and much to my chagrin, woke up as soon as I put her back in her crib. I stood there for a minute, just watching her, and after a few minutes of rolling back and forth and sucking on her hand like she thought it was playtime, she suprised me by falling asleep! On her own! She hasn't done it since, but at least now we know that she can.

4) And, last but not least, today she started rolling from tummy to back! She's finally figured out how to roll all the way over (as you can see in the attached video). The only problem with this is that now she's rolling all over the floor, regardless of where the blankets we put down for her happen to be. I suppose eating cat hair isn't going to kill her, but I'll definitely be vacuuming mutliple times a week now......

January 21, 2009

I've got sunshine....

(No, the title of this blog is not me gloating, it's me singing the first three words to 'My Girl'. Get over it, Midwesterners!

I'll be honest. There is no real purpose of this blog; no rantings or funny stories. Mostly just random thoughts or musings. I'm just blogging to blog.

♪ I've found quite a few posts online about how breastfed babies frequently start to drop in the CDC growth charts around 4 months of age. Further research found this comparison between the CDC growth charts, which are based mostly on formula-fed babies and the WHO growth charts, which are based mostly on breastfed babies: http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/137/1/144
So, I'm now tracking her on both. www.ericacarlson.com/growthchart.htm

♪ Audia took two naps in her crib yesterday, both for an hour! Yay! Of course, getting her to bed last night was a bigger pain than it's been in months, and today she'll have nothing to do with napping in her crib. One step forward, two steps back. I'm still confident she'll let us know when she's ready.

♪ Bactine states on the bottle that it's "no sting" and even goes as far as to call itself "soothing infection protection". IT LIES! So, don't go pouring it liberally over a wound thinking it won't hurt. Cause it hurts a LOT.

January 18, 2009

Sleep Training*

For a while now, Chris and I have been trying to figure out the best time and best way to sleep train Audia. I've been doing research and reading on infant care and development since well before Audia was born, and the subject of sleep training is extremely common in all books and websites I've come across; so much so, that it is something I've simply come to think of as necessary at some point in every baby's life. I've even been questioning my gut instinct because these so-called "experts" make it sound like if your baby doesn't fall asleep on it's own and sleep through the night by the time she's x pounds or x months old, she will have a lifetime of problems. Even though in Japan (which has the lowest number of infant deaths due to SIDS), the vast majority of mothers nurse their babies to sleep (and cosleep with them) until they're 1-2 years old, and they grow up to be intelligent, well-rounded individuals. I feel like these books are written to make parents feel inadequate so that they go out and buy more books. Thank you, corporate America.

Anyway, point is that we've decided the whole sleep training thing, while some may find it useful and necessary and whatnot, is a bit overrated. I'll be damned if someone will make me feel like my gut instinct should come second to some stranger (whose kids, if they even have any, are individuals just like my daughter is an individual) and their school of thought on how my daughter should be raised. I found a blog online that really hit home with me; I don't think this woman is an expert, but she is a mother, and her opinion falls directly into step with mine. Check it out: http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006/01/qa_11weekold_an.html

Bottom line is, for all you mothers out there, YOU know your child better than anyone. Don't let anyone make you doubt your abilities as a mom. Educate yourself as much as possible, sure, but don't let what you learn come between your gut instinct and your babies needs. I, myself, am confident that Audia is going to be just fine, regardless of whether or not she learns to self-soothe in the next 2 or 4 or 12 months.

*Training a baby to sleep, not taking a train somewhere while you're sleeping. :-)

January 12, 2009

4 Month Checkup and Hazardous Soap

Well, Audia had her 4 month checkup today with Dr. W, and it went really well. Audia's now 26.5 inches tall and 16 lbs, 10 oz! She's in the 97th percentile for height and the 95th percentile for weight. Big girl! Doc says she's looking really healthy and strong. She had to get a couple of vaccinations, which she didn't like, but by the time we were leaving the building, she was all smiles again :-) She has a bit of eczema on her elbows, so Dr. W recommends that we hold off on introducing solids until she's 6 months because studies show that introducing solids earlier may be linked to skin sensitivity and allergies, especially in babies with already sensitive skin.

On that note, I found a website that is pretty darn interesting. This nonprofit organization created a database of over 40,000 products and their levels of toxicity based on their ingredients. They did this because the FDA doesn't require companies to test their own products for safety. The result? http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ You can do a search by product type or name to see how hazardous various beauty products are and why. Thanks to this site, we've switched from Johnson's baby wash (toxicity level of 5 out of 10) to Aveeno lightly scented baby wash (2 out of 10). Interestingly, Aveeno is actually distributed by Johnson and Johnson.

January 9, 2009

Four months!

Our little Audia turned 4 months old yesterday. It's crazy to think that just 17 weeks ago, we had this tiny, helpless little baby who slept most of the day away and barely interacted with us at all. At the time (no thanks to the lack of sleep we were getting), it seemed like she would be that way forever. But now, she is learning new things every day, and growing like a weed! I feel like I can barely keep up with her and she's not even crawling yet :-)

One of her new discoveries recently is her feet. She is constantly looking at and grabbing them.

Heck, she's grabbing at everything! Including our faces. She loves to grab noses....

Her balance is improving daily, as well. Now when she's being held, instead of just leaning against me and looking over my shoulder, she is actually pushing back with her arms and looking at my face, as well as turning half-way around in my arms to look forward when I'm walking around with her.

Audia also knows her name; she started responding to it while we were in Minnesota, but now she really seems to understand that when I call her name, I want her attention. And she always looks with a smile :-)

She's still not taking a bottle, but with the amount of weight I've been losing thanks to breastfeeding, I'm not going to complain just yet.....I've lost an additional 9 lbs in the past 3 weeks!

Her vocalization seems to be improving daily as well; She's babbling all the time, shreiking to get my attention (and boy, does it ever!) and has started laughing. The other day, she kept grabbing my hair and every time I would say "Audia, Ouch!" she would laugh at me. Then, later, when I was telling Chris about it, she started laughing again! I think she understands a lot more than I'm giving her credit for.....and apparantly she thinks it's quite amusing to cause me pain! LOL.

Her cold is slowly but surely on its way out, thankfully. She's still got a bit of the sniffles but we don't need to suction her nose even half as much as we were, thank goodness. She HATES having her boogers suctioned! The poor thing cries whenever I do it, which just breaks my heart. Hopefully she'll be over it by Monday, when we have her 4 month checkup.

January 5, 2009

New Friends and a Case of the Sniffles

Audia has her first cold. The poor dear has had a case of the sniffles since late last week, but today it's really turned into a full fledged cold. Since this morning she's been much more congested, needing saline drops and nose suctioning every couple of hours (I never knew such a small person could produce so much snot. Yuck!), she's been sleeping a lot more than usual, and she's running a slight fever (very slight...99.1). But, as she's been proving to us since she was born, she's one heck of a resiliant girl, and even with this cold, she's still her smiley self for the most part. Fussy or not, this girl loves to smile.

Our friends B and S came over last night with their daughter, E, who's 3 weeks younger than Audia. While they don't really interact much yet, it was fun to see them look at eachother; when one would fuss, the other would look at her as if to say "what the heck is making that noise?". It's also neat to see that E is pretty similar to Audia personality-wise. They are both pretty active, kicking and grabbing and squirming. I am sure they will have a blast chasing eachother around when they get older. It's nice to know that even when we move to MN, we'll still be able to see B,S, and E once a year; they head up to Wisconsin once a year, usually by way of Minneapolis. It's really nice to have friends to hang out with who are at the same place in life. There are some things that only other parents can truly understand. ;-)

January 2, 2009

MN Photos

I've posted photos from our visit to Minnesota at http://www.ericacarlson.com/ (click on the 'Audia Photos' link and then on the '3 to 4 Months' folder)

Below is a small sampling. Enjoy!

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

A year ago yesterday, a little plus sign changed our lives forever. It feels like AGES ago that we were just finding out we were pregnant; heck, it feels like AGES ago that I was going into labor, about to meet the new love of my life. It is astonishing how much can change in one short year. And it feels like the older I get, the faster the years go and the more that changes within those years. Before I know it, I'll be dying gray hairs.

The rest of our visit to Minnesnowta was nice. We enjoyed spending time with good friends and family. The snow bocce ball party was fun despite my not being able to play this year; I always enjoy seeing all of my MN friends so much, and it was fun to introduce Audia to everyone, even though she was exceptionally fussy due to what I believe is teething. She's been chewing on anything and everything she can get into her mouth and drooling like crazy, and I got my first tooth when I was four and a half months old, so I think it's a decent possibility. We've been doing the best we can to sooth her poor gums; some days are better than others. But I digress. The rest of our visit was nice, despite the cold I came down with. The flight back was MUCH better than the flight out there. Audia took normal naps, and thanks to Chris' ability to sheild us by holding up a blanket (as opposed to my throwing the blanket over my shoulder and her head), she ate normally too. No ear troubles on the way up or down, and she was easily entertained on the plane when she wasn't sleeping (thank goodness!) On a side note regarding the whole flying with baby thing, have any of you mothers out there noticed that your baby has what I lovingly refer to as "Poopsplotions" (combination of Poop and Explosion) on the decent? Audia's done this on both flights. Either it's coincidence or it has something to do with the pressure change.

As much as I enjoyed our two weeks in snowy marshmallow wonderland, I am so glad to be home. To walk out of the airport in a short sleeved shirt and not be uncomfortable was a wonderful feeling. And I think Audia is glad to be back too. Although I know she enjoyed spending time at grandma and grandpa's, she's been taking much longer naps since we returned (and she actually took her first 2 hour nap since she was about a month old! Yay!) and has been going to bed much more easily at night (aka I only have to bounce her for 10 mins instead of 30). I do think she has caught a bit of a cold, but as of now it is only some minor congestion and doesn't seem to be bothering her too much. Hopefully it stays minor.

It amazes me how much has changed in the two weeks we were gone; being away and then returning to some of the toys we weren't able to take with gives us a bit of a different perspective on how fast she really is growing. Toys that she used to just bat at she is now skillfully grabbing on the first try and putting in her mouth. She's outgrown the middle height setting on her exersaucer already, and we've now had to put it on the highest one. She bounces with much more force in her doorway jumper than she did before. And she now practically does push ups in her crib when she rolls onto her tummy. I wouldn't be suprised if she started crawling tomorrow with how crazy active she is on her belly; I can just see those little wheels turning in her head, wanting so badly to get up and move around on her own.

I think we may start trying to sleep train her next week. We'll see how the next few days go; my gut still says that we should be following her lead when it comes to how she naps and goes to bed at night (she is ONLY a quarter of a year old, after all) and the changes in her habits since we've returned to AZ lead me to believe that I am right in following my gut, but if she regresses at all and this is just a fluke, I think some sleep training will be needed. If nothing else, to help her learn how to fall asleep on her own. But there's still this part of me that thinks she'll do it on her own when she's ready. My logical mind and my gut instinct are on the outs over the whole sleep training thing. I wish they would just come to some sort of compromise already.......