Monday, September 28, 2009

Sleeeeeep Habits

I learned how to nurse Hannah while laying down on my side which means more sleep for me at night--yay! We aren't professionals at it yet so it requires me to use a headlamp (which I shine at the ceiling, not at her) every time she unlatches so I can guide my nipple back into her mouth, but it's otherwise working quite well. She'll sleep in her Arms Reach Co-Sleeper for about 4-6 hours (7 on Friday night!!!!!), then I'll change her and bring her into bed with us. After making sure she's latched on and eating happily, I fall back asleep, and when she's finished, so does she. A couple hours later when she starts fussing and head butting my boob, I flip us over, flick on the headlamp, and help her get started on the other side. She'll sleep till 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. every morning. I've been trying to get up at 7:00 and get a few things done before she wakes up but I'm lacking motivation and don't pull myself up till 8:00 most days. Why do I need to motivate to get up at 7:00?? Because she has stopped napping!!!

Well, not completely, but she refuses to nap alone (wondering if this is my fault because she is getting used to sleeping half the night next to me??? (this is a rhetorical question and not one asking for judgement)). I've been laying her down in her crib to nap for a few weeks now, both to get her used to it and because that's where her video monitor is hooked up (this is a gadget that Eric just had to have, and I gotta admit, I love it). But these days, the second I put her down anywhere, her eyelids shoot open, her arms start waving furiously, and her chin and bottom lip begin to quiver. So I pick her back up and now she's awake...Right now she's napping in the Baby Hawk. That's because the scenario I just described happened when I tried to lay her down for her morning nap. Now, I'm a fan of attachment parenting, and I love snuggling her and carrying her around, but I get TIRED and my back gets SORE and my shoulder, the bad one, starts going CRAZY. Plus, when I'm wearing her on my chest, I gotta do squats every time I need to pick something up rather than just bending over. And YES, I've been complaining about how much I need to go back to the gym and YES I will do squats in my classes but NO I do not want to do squats every time I gotta get something out of a low cupboard.

The result? Very little gets done around the house. And by very little, I mean virtually nothing. The other result? She doesn't sleep soundly for a length of time (aka, she's not napping well) which means that by 6:00 p.m., she is MAD. The poor little booger by that point is overtired and exhausted so I'll try to appease her for a bit and will get her started on her nighttime routine around 6:45/7:00, but she doesn't want to go to sleep that early! No, no. She'll eat and pass out almost immediately but as soon as I transfer her to her bassinet, repeat the nap scene described above. So we eat some more, pass out again...lather, rinse, repeat. Until about 9:30/10:00. Then she's out for her 4-6 hour stint, and so am I because by then, I'm exhausted.

So I found some books I think will help...Mom sent me a CNN article on why spanking is bad which led me to a new website: Aha! with lots of useful information for kids of all ages. In the baby section, I found advice from Elizabeth Pantley whose No Cry books sound REALLY helpful. I'm specifically wishing for the No-Cry Nap Solution and No-Cry Sleep Solution (we'll deal with potty training and discipline later).

Naps are important for your child's health and growth. A nap refreshes a child so that she can maintain her energy for the rest of the day. Studies show that children who nap are more adaptable, have longer attention spans, and are less fussy than those don't nap. Does your child need a nap?

YES!!! My child has become an avid catnapper. According to Pantley, a newborn sleeps 16-18 hours daily, spread over 6-7 periods and a 3 month old needs 3 naps totally about 5-6 hours (combined with a total nighttime sleep of 10-11 hours). Her advice is to create a routine...I've got the bedtime routine down pat (not that it's helping), but the nap time routine is very difficult! Every day is different and brings different activities. Do I need to just say no to all activities and hole up in the house for a couple weeks with a stop watch until I get a routine set??

Pantley's solution for a cat napper? According to a PDF I downloaded from her website, one solution to help your baby sleep longer is to put him for a nap in a setting that will lull him back to sleep when he wakes between sleep cycles. Cycle-blender naps occur in cradle-swings, rocking cradles, or baby hammocks. Any of these can help cat-nappers extend their sleep time because when Baby begins to awaken the rhythmic motion can lull him back to sleep.

She has a swing; I guess we need to start using it....I also think I need to look for the nap and sleep solution books at the library.

And no, she didn't nap for the duration of this blog. I sat down in three different session before completing it, and the reason I was able to write this much in only three sessions is that Eric came home and asked if he could hold if he needs to ask!! I'm going to take advantage of having two hands and go clean out the cat litter box (and yes, that sounds exciting to me right now).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hannah Rises and Shines

I think I just got the Blogger video upload to work....maybe because this is only a 30 second video.

This is Hannah this morning just after waking, eating, and pooping (in that order).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Family Photo!

This was taken last weekend at Jess and Todd's wedding. It was such a a beautiful location and ceremony and day and...everything was just gorgeous!

Hannah was working on a meltdown so that's why she's in the football hold; it usually calms her for a bit and buys us a few minutes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Funny for You

Tummy Time!

I just realized I haven't posted these yet, and now they seem old even though they're from last week...I think. Or maybe the week before? All my days blur together...
I was telling my neighbor how difficult tummy time was because Hannah, who loves sleeping on her tummy, screams when placed on her tummy if she's wide awake. Amy suggested using the Boppy as a prop. Egggggcelent idea!! This placed at the foot of our bed in front of the Baby Einstein sign language video (which she is obviously too little to understand) bought me just enough time to fold a load of laundry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sleeping in...

This first one is my favorite. We slept in Friday morning and since the camera was in the room and since Hannah looked adorable snuggling up with her dad, I snapped a few.

Then Eric got up and I snapped one of her alone on the big bed because I just love how itty bitty she looks.

P.S. You'll notice I'm doing something I'm going to dub "cluster blogging." The pictures from last week were stacking up (figuratively of course, I haven't actually printed a picture in eons) and I wasn't finding the time to post them. Rather than have a ton in one blog, I decided to give each blog it's own theme so today has 3 separate posts. Also, I did not end up with extra catch up time today to do all of this, in case you're wondering. No, I just decided to multi-task. I am feeding Hannah and reaching over her to blog. Not very comfortable, but it seems to be the only way to get it done.

I've got some more cute pics too but I'll wait till at least tomorrow to upload them.

P.P.S. I started a new reading list off to the side. These are the books I have and have started (very rare for me, but I'm actually reading 3 at once). I ordered 3 more from Amazon (because the library didn't have them) that I will add when they come. I am also hoping to get my butt to the library (if these are even on the shelves--I haven't checked yet) and pick up The Baby Whisperer and Good Night, Sleep Tight by the Sleep Lady Kim West.

Cutie Patootie

Thanks to the Stanley's for providing this cute little number!

Cloth Dipes!

I have yet to get a decent cloth diaper pic, but here are a couple of un-decent (by "un-decent" I just mean "not properly illustrative") pics featuring Hannah in her green Bum Genius diaper. We stocked up and started using them a couple weeks ago. Although they are "one size fits all," they were a bit too big for her that first month--not that I'd have had the wherewithal to deal with them at that point anyway.

We're using them pretty regularly during the day now but I haven't yet been brave enough to make the switch during night time...And we also haven't made the switch when traveling (not sure how to transport the dirty diaper back home--in a plastic bag?? I'm guessing my mom can enlighten me on this as she used cloth diapers for me and the little bro...).
I also think it only fair to note that these diapers are totally cheating as far as cloth diapering goes because they are super duper easy and work pretty much like disposables except that you have to rinse the poo off, wash 'em, and reuse 'em. Of course, you pay a pretty penny for that kind of convenience ($17 a pop--we got 7 for $35 on Craig's List though), but I figure they're still cheaper than using disposables, especially since I can use 'em again for child number 2 (who is not even a thought in my mind at this time, I assure you).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tech Phobe Mommy Figures Out How to Post Video

Well, I didn't totally figure it out. Libby helped me set it up in youtube and from there I was trying to embed it but....not happening so you'll have to click.

Tech phobe mommy didn't realize that video cannot be taken'll have to turn your computer on its side.

P.S. That's the Colbert show in the background.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On the subject of routines...

I've been googling various routine topics and came across The Baby Whisperer....what is it with these whispering people??? Anyway, I like what this article says (there's a link to a video interview there too if you don't like reading) and am thinking I'll see if the library has this book.

I ordered 3 other books from Amazon yesterday (I'd have picked them up at the library too but Enoch Pratt didn't have any of them). Look for their titles to appear in the right hand column when I get around to creating a new gadget with current reading titles.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Naked Time!

I've decided it's time to start establishing a bit of a routine. The easiest one to set up (and my favorite) was the night time routine. It starts with naked time (for Hannah). I strip her down and sit her on a pee pad on a bouncy chair in the bathroom. The reason we have naked time is so she can "air out" a bit. I forgot to mention this, but she had a little case of jock itch...weird, eh? Her netherlands got all red and irritated looking so I started gobbing on the diaper rash cream (we use three different kinds: Butt Paste, Burt's Bees, and the one by Jason) but it didn't seem to be doing much, if anything, the red got redder and it even started peeling...weird. It's been a while since I've seen diaper rash, but I had a sneaking suspicion that diaper rash did not cause the inner thighs to peel. So I showed it to the nurse practitioner when we were there last and she said it was a yeast infection and told us to apply Lotrimin twice a day for 14 days. Then she said not to be surprised but that I would find Lotrimin in the section where they keep stuff for athlete's foot and jock itch...Sure enough, the box had some statement about how effective it is on jock itch. So my baby girl had herself a case of jock itch.

I digress; back to naked time: I like for her to air out so she hangs out in the bouncy chair while I shower. Depending on Eric's homework load, he might join me in the shower. Once we're clean, we fill the tub and one of us grabs her and bathes with her. I've found that it is easier to wash her if I'm in the tub with her rather than attempting to lean over the tub. The other person (this process definitely works best when it's a tag team effort) gets dressed and stands by with her towel to receive her when she's clean. That person will dry her off and dress her while the other person dresses.

Once dressed, she gets swaddled and fed. I put her Sleep Sheep (thanks Shannon!!) on the ocean sounds setting and place it next to her while she's eating. When she's finished eating, I read to her. Right now I am only reading two books, both of which are night time specific: Good Night Moon and Night, Night Little Pookie. I wait till she's finished eating because I don't like to distract her while she's eating. Usually she's asleep by this time but I read to her anyway hoping she might sort of be listening. Then we put her in her bassinet! Night, night little Hannah!!

I'm still trying to figure out a routine for the rest of the day...I think we should wake around 7...and I think she should have an afternoon nap between 1-5 (that way she's ready for bed between 7-9, ideally closer to 7). Yesterday she slept from 3:30 to almost 7 so the whole routine was screwed because she screamed till nearly midnight...But tonight she went down easy peasy at 8:30 which left me time for a quick post before the season finale of True Blood! Woot, woot!
CORRECTION: I am amending this post the morning after because the "easy peasy" turned out to be a big fat lie. Right when True Blood was starting, the Banana began crying. We paused True Blood (woot, woot for a DVR) and went upstairs. I insisted on not bringing her down because I don't want her to eventually think that she can cry her way out of bedtime, so we snuggled in on the bed and I attempted to feed her again (she really only snacked a bit the first time, which is what she did this second time too), then I rocked her back to sleep, and we went downstairs and hit play. After about 20 minutes, she was awake and crying again. This time I gave in and asked Eric to bring her down. This time she ate a full meal on both sides and passed out in my lap without having to be rocked. And this time she stayed asleep, though by this time it was nearly 11:00. On the bright side, that's an hour earlier than the night before.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Last week my friends Brooke and Annie came over to meet Hannah and as I was showing them all we've done to the house (which is nearly complete now except for the kitchen), Annie asked if I went crazy trying to get things done before Hannah was born. The short I think things were so insane at that point, that it actually calmed me down a bit. There comes a time when insanity hits the roof and becomes zen-like. That was me during the last month of pregnancy. There was little I could do and I realized that and was okay with it. So I just did what I felt like doing (which was minimal since anytime I cleaned, a layer of drywall dust quickly covered things again). Annie said that that was strange since all the pregnant people she knew went into overdrive with "nesting". Considering we've been remodeling this entire house since December, I wouldn't say that I've shirked the typical nesting trait, only that I did way more over way longer of a period of time and therefore had no momentum left for the final push that many women talk about getting right before they go into labor. (And anyway, I didn't go into labor naturally anyway.)

A few days before Annie's comment, my next door neighbor said I seemed a lot more calm since Hannah's birth. Eric agreed. While I'd love to accept some sort of award for "most natural" mama or something else pertaining to saint-dom, I'm pretty sure my calm has much less to do with the arrival of my screaming bundle of joy and more to do with the recent simplification of my life. The calm actually set in when I moved to Virginia Beach and began working part-time from home. I took up such activities as couch sitting and TV watching (rather than frantically and frenetically running from task to task, place to place, insanity to insanity). Those few months were a pretty grand time period. I suppose I slipped into the old Terri ways when I moved back up here in April and went back to work full time for the world's craziest boss. But now that Hannah is here, I'm back to being unemployed and I must say, it suits me well. I'm not saying motherhood is easy (by no means!!), but having only one focus is easier than having so many. Since the house is still in final finishing stages, I can't really clean much, and since I'm still bleeding (4 weeks later-helloooo! It can stop anytime now!), I can't go to the gym so really, the only thing I have to focus on is being a mom and while that's a pretty big thing, I'm so used to trying to do everything, that trying to only do one thing (albeit one very foreign thing) isn't too bad.

Mom-dom has gotten increasingly more challenging this past week and a half. Hannah has taken to screaming loudly and longly for no apparent reason. She did this in between gulps from the boob between the hours of 1 and 3 a.m. on Sunday night. I nearly cried with her
(it wouldn't be the first time), but I managed to hold it together. I alternated between burping her and feeding her (sometimes she would take the boob which brought immediate quiet and relief, other times she pushed me away and screamed louder). I threw in multiple "shhhhs" and pats on the back all to no avail. The screaming was so loud at some points that I laid her down on the bed beside me and just looked at her hopelessly, wishing I spoke "shriek-eese". Finally I gave up and did what I learned in The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. I swaddled her up tight, held her on her side, swayed her back and forth, and continued to shush her. She silenced almost immediately and was asleep not long after. The only reason I didn't choose this option sooner was that she hadn't eaten much at that feeding (too busy screaming) and I worried that without a full belly she'd be up screaming again in no time. She managed to stay asleep until 6 (although Eric's alarm woke me up at 5:15 and then again at 5:30. Since he was already up and in the bathroom during the 5:30 alarm, I had to turn on the light and search frantically for the off button all the while crossing my fingers that Hannah would sleep through it).
She's stirring on the couch beside me so I better wrap this up lest I end up in the midst of another screaming session...That top pic of her in the legwarmers is current. She's sitting beside me while I type and was sleeping away until a second ago. The next one down cracks me up. She's wearing her shirt that her Auntie Laura bought her at Red Tree. The shirts come in a little bag and you can't tell what they're going to say until you open them, but all are some form of "Mysterioso predicts I will be a..." Hannah got "Hog Calling Champion." Suuuuuueeeee!!
In addition to the other random pics from the last week is one of her napping with Eric on Sunday. He was studying (hence the notebook on his lap), but I suppose her nap was contagious...I can't judge him, I know how contagious her naps can be.