Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jammin' in the Jungle/Annie's Room/Tu-tu Cute

About two weeks ago Annie really started showing an interest in her toys - bouncy seat, rattles, looking at books, and her play mat/gym (a gift from her Mama Rita and Papa Gene). Tummy time is at least bearable on her play mat.
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But she'd much rather be on her back, so happy there!
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I've been meaning to post this picture forever. Annie's Aunt Tessie made this to hang on her door. Love it! Aunt Tessie is the creative one of the family. She will have to teach Annie all about crafting when she gets bigger.
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Her Uncle Tyler sent this adorable tutu and hairbow (we love dress-up!)
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Lest you think she is always happy . . .
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Annie: Two Months

month 2

Two months old already, wow! I can't believe how much my little girl has grown this month. I think she is probably around nine pounds now. She has her two month check-up next week, so we'll get an exact weight then.

Annie usually sleeps from 8pm to 8am. I get her up at 10pm to nurse, then she wakes up around 1am and 5am. When she gets up in the morning she is so happy! We nurse, then have some smiling and talking time in my lap, then go for a walk with the dogs. When we get home she nurses again (Yes, we still nurse 8-10 times a day! I tell myself this stage will not last forever.) and then takes a short morning nap, usually an hour or less. When she wakes up we nurse again and then have some play time and do chores around the house. We nurse AGAIN and she goes down for a long afternoon nap, if I am lucky, two hours or more. That's when I finish up my household tasks and maybe get a little bit of time to myself. When she wakes up, we (are you sensing a pattern here?) nurse some more and then the Gent gets home from work. She plays with Daddy, then we all sit at the table and have dinner together. The past three weeks she has been sitting in her high chair (it reclines all the way back); she likes being part of the family. She just coos and smiles at us, so cute! After dinner she has some more Daddy time, which usually finishes with us all sitting on the front porch. Then Daddy gives her a bath and I nurse her and put her down for the night. There you go - Annie's day in a nutshell!

Annie is wearing size 1 diapers (we love Luvs - Pampers are too expensive, Huggies just don't fit her properly, Target brand are too big - if you have any coupons please send them our way!) and size 0-3 month clothes.

Our two month necessities have been:
high chair (allows the Gent and I to eat at the same time, no small feat!)
swing (if I need two hands for a few minutes, this keeps her happy for 15 minutes or so)
the front porch (if she gets fussy in the evening, she almost always calms down outside)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!

We were all up, fed, dressed, and at church by 8:30. I think that is pretty darn good! We even had time for a family photo. :)

Easter 7

Annie and her Easter basket (books and a cute outfit for Annie, and a chocolate bunny for mama). The little pink dress was mine when I was a baby.
Easter 1

We hosted our small group for a potluck dinner. Here are some photos of the set-up and my decorations
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Easter 3

Easter 2

Smiling for friends
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The aftermath
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Morning

Annie loves mornings. She wakes up around eight and nurses, then has her talking and smiling time with Mama. She lays on my lap against the boppy pillow and we have fun chatting and making faces. I took a little video this morning for the grandmas and great-grandmas, one of whom is complaining about the lack of Annie pictures in the last few updates. ;)

video

Monday, April 18, 2011

Part Two: Our Breastfeeding Success Story

I wrote that first post too early!

I thought we were on the road to success . . . and we were, but just past the beginning.

Annie was healthy and happy, but small. And only gaining 2-3 oz per week (she should be gaining 4-7 oz each week). After trying numerous breastfeeding management techniques at the direction of Annie's pediatrician and the lactation consultant but not seeing any difference in her growth pattern, when she was three weeks old we decided to start supplementing with a little formula (5 oz a day, given one oz at a time after five different breastfeeding sessions). We put her on a high calorie preemie formula to really pack the ounces on. :)

I also started taking fenugreek and pumping to increase my milk supply, so that when Annie went off the formula I would have enough milk for her.

And it worked. After two weeks of the extra formula, she was well on her weigh (pun intended). We spent the next week weaning off the formula, dropping an ounce every two days till she was back to 100% breastfeeding. Last week was our first full week off formula. At her weigh-in she was up to 8 lbs 5 oz - 6 1/2 oz in one week, HURRAY! So I am now tapering off the pumping and the fenugreek, and I've put away the notepad where I was keeping track of all her feedings and diapers. No more record-keeping, I'm just feeding on demand and watching my baby grow!

If you were counting, it took us seven weeks to finally get the hiccups worked out. But now I am so grateful I stuck with it. It is so much easier than mixing formula and washing bottles, and so much better for Annie. It is worth it when I look down at the sweet baby nestled in my arms while she nurses. And I love those chubby baby cheeks. Even if I am STILL having pain when she latches on. It is much better than it was the first week, so I keep telling myself this to shall pass.

P.S. I found this website very helpful and reassuring while we were working through all these difficulties. This paragraph in particular was very reassuring, and in our case, was right on target: "The most important thing to consider when dealing with an infant who is not gaining weight is your baby's welfare. You need to work closely with his doctor, and monitor his weight carefully. It is often necessary to supplement with formula while you are working to increase your supply. Don't have the feeling that giving formula is the 'kiss of death' for breastfeeding. Often, supplementing with formula is just what you need to put weight on the baby quickly so that he can nurse more vigorously and effectively. Ask your doctor what formula he recommends, and get it into your baby however you can. If syringe- feeding, cup- feeding, tube -feeding at the breast or finger- feeding works for you, that's great. However, sometimes bottle-feeding is the most efficient way to get milk in a baby, and that is what takes priority over everything else. Many babies switch back and forth from breast to bottle with no problems, and if nipple confusion does develop, you can deal with it then. Once your baby is gaining weight appropriately, you can go back to nursing totally at the breast again. Don't be afraid to use a bottle or supplement with formula if that is what works for you and your baby."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Date Night

Honey babysat for Annie last Sunday night, so the Gent and I could go out for dinner sans baby. It was so nice to get out! We enjoyed an hour to ourselves and even found things to talk about other than Annie. Though of course we talked about her, too. :)

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Honey and Annie

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cutie Pie

Nana sent these cute little onesies. One says "High Maintenance" and the other says "My name is princess, what's yours?" Annie did some modeling for us this morning. Don't you love her tiny blue jeans? And that smile!

for Nana 1

for Nana

In other news, Annie can still fit in most of her newborn clothes, but she is also starting to wear size 0-3 month and size 1 diapers! Yay, our baby girl is growing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ouch

Coming clean here . . .

I gained 32 pounds during my pregnancy.

15 disappeared easily in the first week.

2 since then.

15 to go.

The six week postpartum recovery period is now over. Time to do more than walk and cut refined sugar from my eating plan.

Argh.

I can exercise for real now.

No more excuses.

So . . .

Monday I started Jillian's 30 Day Shred.

Oy.

It is intense but do-able, especially since it only lasts for 20 minutes. That is really all the time Annie gives me, anyway. :)

I packed up all my maternity clothes yesterday and hung my skinny clothes back up. Inspiration!

I figure I will have to lose about 10 more pounds to fit back into most of them. I know the last few pounds may not come off till I'm through breastfeeding.

We'll see how this goes . . .

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gardening Time

Last weekend the Gent and I decided to tackle the flowerbeds. We didn't want to do a lot, since we are just renting and will be moving the end of summer. But we did want to freshen things up a bit for spring and summer.

We filled pots on the front porch with begonias.
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Petunias by the porch steps, coming up from the sidewalk.
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The Gent transplanted monkey grass that was growing in random clumps in a backyard flowerbed to under this crape myrtle. Our lawn grass would not grow there. This is going to be much better than dirt. :)
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More petunias in the flowerbed by the driveway.
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This is where the random clumps of monkey grass used to be. We planted zinnia seeds and mulched it. Grow, zinnias, grow!
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These roses were already planted along the backyard fence. I pruned them in January and now they are blooming beautifully! We planted herbs in between the rose bushes and mulched this bed, too.
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Herbs for cooking, hopefully! We planted basil, rosemary, oregano, mint, and cilantro.
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Pretty roses!
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Friday, April 8, 2011

Six Weeks

Annie will be six weeks old tomorrow. She now weighs 7 lbs 14 1/2 oz and is back on 100% breastmilk. We are praying she continues to gain well and we don't have to go back to formula supplements. She has started smiling and interacting with us all the time now. She is also beginning to make sounds, so cute! I tried to get a photo of her smiling but she wasn't very cooperative. She did make lots of faces, though. And check out those chubby cheeks :)

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Contentment

New definition: Contentment is lying in bed, listening to the deep breathing of your husband next to you and your baby within arm's reach. It is four-thirty in the morning and for a few brief moments you aren't even tired. You just soak it in. (And remember this moment when the going gets rough. Because at some point in the next 24 hours it will.)

This is a good week so far. I am focusing on spending time with Annie. The other stuff gets done eventually, when she naps or when the Gent is home. But even for someone as likes-to-be-on-top-of-everything-all-the-time as me, I treasure slowing down and just enjoying these days with my girl.

Babies Don’t Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Annie Rolls Over!

video

This is not the best video in the world, but it gives you some idea. She rolled over once yesterday and three times already this morning, so I don't think it is just a fluke. Annie may be small, but she is strong (I like to think she takes after her mama). Of course we think she's the best baby ever, so we aren't surprised that she can roll over at five weeks. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beach Baby

I thought my Jergens Natural Glow lotion was the closest I was going to get to the beach for a while, but my mom and her sisters were headed to their annual sisters retreat and they invited Annie and me to come along. After getting everything packed up and actually making it to the beach, we are having a great time!

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beach 2

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P.S. Don't worry, she was only in the sun long enough to take her picture. I don't have her out for more than 30 minutes, and she stays under the umbrella or wrapped up in the sling or Moby and shaded from the sun.

P.P.S. I am wearing my bikini but it fits a bit differently than it used to. Definitely no pictures sans cover-up for a while!