Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What the heck?

Spring?!?  I'm really tired of this crappy cold weather!  It's almost April.  That's enough with the snowy forecasts!

I want to take my daughter out for walks and such, but it's too cold.  Now, we just hang out with the space heater.

Speaking of cold, I think the temperature of the room really affects how well Kayla sleeps.  Last night, we didn't have the space heater in the room and she woke up every three hours...which she has rarely done before.  She did fall asleep at 7 pm last night though so although I fed her I think 3 times last night, she slept well and we finally got out of bed at about 8:45 this morning.

I can't talk much about my cloth diapering quite yet because I would really like a diaper pail so I have somewhere to dispose of the stinky things instead of just leaving them to permeate the house.  So far, I have 6 Bum Genius 4.0 one size pocket diapers and 2 Flip hybrid covers with four cloth inserts and a pack of disposable inserts.  If anyone that reads my blog cloth diapers, do you have a kind that you have really liked?  The one time I tried a couple, I was afraid I would have to change her constantly as she was fussy, and I couldn't tell if it was because she was wet or just fussy.  I really want to try again though so next purchase will hopefully be a diaper pail.  (I'd also like a snap and go stroller for our road trip but we'll see.)

Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Earlier Bedtime?

For the past couple weeks since we've been living in Maryland, Kayla has started to get pretty fussy (almost inconsolably) around 7 pm every night.  I started thinking that maybe she needs to go to bed earlier and I may have to wake up 2 times to feed her at night instead of 1.  I mentioned it to a few friends and Justin and we decided we should give it a try for a week and see what happens.

I started reading a book by a pediatrician called Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child in hopes that it would help me a little bit with suggestions for solving potential problems or avoiding those problems in the first place.  I only have read about a chapter but it has some solid information in it.  Justin thinks I'm reading too much but it's really the only book I've read on sleep and it's not like I'm going to treat it like the Bible... :)  Anyways, I really don't think Kayla has been sleeping enough for her age, and therefore has been a lot more cranky recently.

So on Friday night, we decided to attempt the earlier bedtime.  Kayla fell asleep really easily at 6 pm but only for an hour.  Then when I fed her and tried to put her back to sleep after that at about 7:30, things went VERY quickly downhill.  She cried for about 2.5 hours while we desperately tried to get her to sleep.  I finally had to feed her again at 10 pm and she finally went to sleep at about 11 or 11:30 and slept through until 6:30 am in our bed.  This sounds glorious on paper, but 7 hours of nighttime sleep for a newborn means really cranky baby all day the next day.

And boy was she cranky.  We tried to get her to nap pretty regularly about an hour or hour and a half after each feeding on Saturday.  The naps were short but pretty frequent.  The main problem is, she will ONLY sleep right next to you or on you right now.  I hope this stops soon.  Last night (Saturday) she took a nap from about 6-7 pm and then we put her to bed at about 8 or 8:30 in the Pack N Play.  At around 9:30 or so she woke up and cried.  Justin went up to check on her and put her back to sleep.  When I came up at around 10, she woke up again crying.  I tried to feed her but she wasn't really having it.  In fact, she started SCREAMING crying.  I changed her diaper (and cried because literally she was screaming at me - it's really hard to hear your daughter do that when you are just changing her diaper).  We swaddled her and put her in the bed between us and she fell asleep...until 4:15 when I fed her and put her right back to sleep.  And she slept until around 7:15 this morning.

Today, she really has been pretty good.  Not to fussy, just pretty alert and playful.  Took a few naps, none longer than about an hour though.  I think her getting more sleep is helping with her temperament a lot during the day.  My main concern now is that she will only sleep when she is cuddling on or near someone.  The author of my sleep book stresses how important the right amount of "good" sleep is for babies, which I really do understand and believe.  My question now is what is more important, proper sleep or trying to get her to sleep on her own in the Pack N Play and not rely on someone being there?

Oh the joys of having a child! :)  My next post will be about my cloth diapering exploration!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy 2 Month Birthday Kayla Marie!

We had Kayla's 2 month doctor's appointment yesterday, all the way in Virginia!  Here's a little recap:

Length: 23 inches

Weight: 10 lbs 9 oz

Head: 15.5 inches

The nurse practitioner seemed very impressed with her weight gain seeing as she is a solely breastfed baby.  She is still smaller on the weight side but consistent and growing so they aren't concerned.  And she is still very long, and one nurse said she looks long waisted - although I'm not surprised considering me and my sisters!  I told the nurse that really the only question I had was about sleeping, as Kayla doesn't seem to be a really great sleeper, especially during the day.  The NP went on to answer, and everything she said was EXACTLY describing Kayla, which I thought was amazing because I was afraid she was abnormal but turns out everything she is doing seems to be pretty typical of 2 month olds.  Some examples of these things are really short spurts of naps during the day, a little bit fussy while awake, likes to fall asleep on you, still waking up to feed in the middle of the night, and not really on a schedule yet.

Then she checked Kayla out, and yet again is SO impressed with her strength.  She put her on her stomach and Kayla immediately proper up on her elbows and lifted her head.  Theresa (the NP) said I should put toys in front of her while on her tummy so she can look up at them.  I guess I need to go get some toys!  They weren't really high up on my list of necessities immediately, but I'm excited to need them now!  So suggestions are welcome!  She said Kayla looked great and everything seems to be going very well!  And then came the dagger to the heart...

2 month shots.  I knew it was going to be difficult for me, but it was even worse.  She got a vaccine by mouth first and that was ok.  Then she needed two shots, one in each thigh.  The first one went it and she screamed (like I've heard before).  After about 2 seconds, she got silent.  Not silent like she was ok with it, silent like she was crying so hard she couldn't breathe.  Then after a few seconds of silence, out came a high pitched scream I have never heard her make.  The nurse was great and it went quickly, but it's a shot to the heart to watch your little one like that.  Dad comforted her a little bit and then I nursed her a bit to comfort her.  I've never not wanted to put her down so badly.  Needless to say, she was a champ and slept the whole way home and through a trip to the store for infant tylenol incase she spiked a fever.

Other notable 2 month achievements:
  • Bye, bye baby acne!
  • I fit into some 3-6 month outfits
  • I easily fall asleep on Mom's shoulder and sometimes in my swing/on my activity mat
  • Often times at bed time, I wake up after mom or dad puts me down but I can almost always put myself to sleep
  • Congestion is significantly less
  • Some days, I hardly spit up at all! (except literally all over mom twice at the doctors)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Things I love...

about Kayla.  She and I had a hard week, but after having a talk with a friend, I decided I needed to look at the whole situation differently.  I am enjoying every moment I get to spend with her, even when it's 1 or 2 in the morning, and I am realizing how many things about her I just love.  So I thought I would make a list...
  1. How crazy her hair is.
  2. How she smiles with her whole face and her eyes squint up a little bit.
  3. The noises she makes when trying to poop
  4. The hilarious faces she makes, like puckering her lips right before bed time every night
  5. The way she smiles when she is falling asleep, even if she is sucking on her pacifier
  6. The way she "talks" to me
  7. How she gently places her hand right next to her face on my boob when I'm feeding her
  8. How she loves to "stand up"
  9. That she loves to watch T.V. (even all the sports with Daddy)
  10. How she becomes like a limp noodle when falling asleep
  11. How she almost always falls asleep when I'm burping her sitting up
  12. How much she loves being naked
  13. How content she looks in the bath
  14. How I FINALLY found a position that seems to almost always calm her down/put her to sleep.  It is laying over my shoulder getting her butt patted.
  15. How she is the BEST cuddler
  16. How she wrinkles her forehead when she is trying to look up
  17. How proud she makes me when people tell me how cute she is, how alert she is, how great it is she is following people with her eyes, how strong she is
  18. How her arms go all crazy when she is really happy/laughing like she is rapping
  19. How she can always find me when she hears my voice across the room
  20. Her feet
  21. How she holds my hand
  22. That she loves kicking her legs so much she can't keep clothing on
  23. How she opens her mouth to suck whenever you bring her towards your face, therefore her open-mouthed kisses
  24. How, even when she is exhausted, she fights to keep her eyelids open because, like her mommy, she hates to miss out on anything
  25. FINALLY, and honestly I think my favorite thing about Kayla, is that she ALWAYS crosses her little ankles, no matter what she is doing - feeding, standing, laying on her stomach, sitting and talking to me, anything!

She sometimes tests my patience, but when she is older, I am going to thank her for teaching me how to be TRULY patient, how to go with the flow, and how to love every single inch of someone unconditionally.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Eyes are Smiling!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I personally think every day is a wonderful day to celebrate being Irish.  There are so many great Irish proverbs, here is a really nice one my Mom's cousin posted today (and I stole from her...)

May God grant you always...a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you, laughter to cheer you, faithful friends near you and wherever you pray, Heaven to hear you.

Here are some photos of my little O'Cutie Pie in multiple Irish outfits.  (Thanks to Granny Markowski, Grammy and Grampy Hales and her future BFFs parents Christy and Jeff :) )

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Environment

Having a baby in a new environment sucks.  (No offense Aunt Meg, we love being with you and Samson, but it you could have moving into our apartment it would have been easier with Kayla. :) )  She is hardly sleeping during the day, and really not sleeping as well as normal at night.  This combination is leading to her being over tired and not being able to sleep EVEN MORE!  So frustrating.

She also has developed more of a screaming cry, which is really hard to hear and it's damn near impossible to settle her down.  Today has been marginally better.  Tomorrow we are taking a trip back to VA to go to my work for me to fill out some paper work and then hopefully to go to baby and me yoga.  I am praying this works out relatively smoothly.  Walking Samson with Kayla in tow is kinda a struggle.  I am going to try to walk him with Kayla in my Moby wrap, I think that might go more smoothly.  And it's darn frigid in Aunt Meg's house.  (Seriously, sorry Meg I just need to vent.)

Kayla is quickly outgrowing the laundry basket but is still not quite ready to sleep without a swaddle, so I think we might be back to trying to have her sleep in the pack n play (which worked OK last time we tried but she doesn't sleep quite as long as normal.)  As I write this, she is sleeping in the pack n play, swaddle for a nap that I'm praying is longer than 30 minutes, which is the average napping time for the past 3 days.  I am also using our monitors for the first time since I am on a different floor in the house as she is.  I have a little anxiety about her not being right next to me so I can see that she is still breathing/alive, but I have to start somewhere.

Basically, I seriously need this week to be over.  The other night (after Kayla only slept for 2.5-3 hours before waking up) I literally laid in the extra room and cried, just because I really need it, while Justin and Kayla went back to sleep.  *Sigh*

I really love her, but I also really need some sleep...

Monday, March 14, 2011

7 weeks old and Moving weekend!

Kayla turned 7 weeks old on Saturday.  The time is seriously flying.  We also moved most of our stuff to Aunt Meg's house on Saturday.  We purchased a pod for a large portion of our furniture so that when/if we decide to move later on it will be much easier.  I am so thankful we have so many wonderful friends and family to help us out so that I could help when I could and take care of Kayla.  We are successfully moved in, in large part.  Just a little bit of organizing to do.  It's amazing to see how much crap you have stored in so little space when you move.

On Sunday, Meg, Kayla and I met Miranda for lunch.  It was (as always) nice to get out of the house.  It was also very nice to see Miranda.  It's fun for me to talk to her because she already has two really adorable little girls and a little guy on the way.  All in all it was a busy weekend, but we are happy to be here with Aunt Meg and Samson.  Hopefully Justin's commute to and from work won't be too far so good.

Some Kayla info for this week:

Still not much of a set schedule...however she does seem to eat at more regular intervals and I have been trying to do an eat, play, sleep schedule during the day.  Usually the "sleep" portion isn't too long.  She eats around 7, 10, 1, 4:30, 6:30, 8:30 and then once in the middle of the night.  She is still sleeping anywhere from 5-7 hours, and I can't seem to figure out what makes it more like 7 instead of 5 :).  She is still so smiley.  My favorite part of lunch with Miranda yesterday was when Miranda said, "She's so cute.  She smiles with her whole face!"  Because it is so true.  It makes my heart melt because she just looks SO happy!

We will see how walking Samson with a stroller goes.  Aunt Meg did it a couple of times yesterday, I had to teach her how to use the stroller...but that's understandable :).  I think she figured out the tricks so we will see.  Happy Monday!

We got our photos from Rachel back and they are so cute.  I'll be posting them all (260) on my SmugMug page soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

6 week...

post partum appointment for mom!  It was yesterday.  And it went really well.

I saw Donna, who is the midwife I saw my last visit before Kayla was born.  She is the one that stripped my membranes.  She told me that Patrice actually sent her a text telling her when Kayla was born since she has stripped them 3 days prior.  She told me that my stitches were fully healed and everything looked great.  I'm still having a very small amount of pain but she said that was normal and may be from some swelling.  She asked me a bunch of questions about the day Kayla was born and her stats and everything.  Asked me if I had felt any post-partum depression.  I told her that only for the first two weeks.  She said that's totally normal and they call that post-partum blues.  Here were the important things I found out:

1. We can have sex again...maybe this is TMI but it's nice to know as we DO want more children eventually.

2. Good news: I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Bad news: I didn't really like that weight anyways so my goal is to lose about 15-20 lbs...maybe just tone everything up.  Now to figure out how to do it.

3.  I forgot to ask about exercise but I guess if I feel ok with it, I'm ok-ed to do it.  So soon enough, I'll be back on my bike and I'm thinking about going to baby and me yoga tomorrow.

This weekend we are moving in with Aunt Meg.  Should be fun.  Hopefully we can find some room for all of Kayla's things...Justin and I are hardly bringing anything but clothes.

I'm going to try to start taking more video of Kayla as she is VERY smiley and "talking" a lot especially after she eats.  I don't think I can put videos on my blog right now, but I'll try to upload them to my SmugMug page.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

6 weeks!

Kayla is 6 weeks old today!

We had our favorite photographer come over and take some photos of us and her today.  Hopefully we got some good ones because she was pretty fussy for a large portion of the time Rachel was here.  I think we got some good ones of her sleeping with a couple of props but we will see!

So, I've been thinking about what to blog about now that I can't gripe about pregnancy anymore.  I was thinking maybe discussing her milestones and things like that might be good but I can't really think of much.  Right now, all she does is sleep, eat and poop (and boy does she poop).

Her newest, and really first, milestone is we are getting some real smiles (or what the "experts call" social smiles.)  It is so awesome to see and makes all the crying fits worthwhile.  She now LOVES bath time.  She really hates getting out of the bath but we are working on that too, last night we drained the tub before we took her out and wrapped her in the hooded towel, she didn't seem to be screaming bloody murder like normal.  She has recently started blowing bubbles and "talking" more often.

A couple continued frustrations for me and Justin:

1.  It seems she is spitting up even more than normal.  It doesn't seem to cause her much distress, and I know I probably think it's a lot more than it is, but I'm unsure how she is getting any nutrition at all because it seems she is spitting up everything she is eating.

2.  There is still not even a semblance of a schedule.  I know I'd like to have some sort of predictability eventually but I'm becoming worried that is never going to happen.  Any advice from other moms on how they got their little ones on some sort of schedule would be greatly appreciated.  I still just try to feed her and put her down for a nap when I think she is hungry or sleepy respectively and try to play with her when she is alert.  We don't really have a set bed time and she sleeps anywhere from 4.5 to 7 hours a night depending on the night.  But the bedtime routine (no matter what time) is usually exactly the same.  I don't get it and I really hope it started to become more predictable soon.

Stay tuned for new professional photos :)  (I am going to right click protect them if I put them on my SmugMug site as a forewarning.)


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weekend with the Markowski's

My Mom and Dad were here this weekend.  Really they were in town for their big yearly Oscar party in DC, but they spent the majority of the weekend with us.  Kayla and I picked my mom up from the airport on Friday morning then went to meet some people at mom's old place of work, the vet clinic.  Kayla slept the whole time!

On Friday night, Meg, mom, dad, us and Christy and Jeff (friends of ours who came to meet Kayla) ordered some pizza and just hung out.   Christy and Jeff are having one of Kayla's best friends in just a few short weeks and we can't wait to meet her!

On Saturday, we hung out for most of the morning.  Mom, Meg and I went shopping.  Mom wanted to look for white pants for my parents trip to the middle east.  Three hours later, we had bought make-up, clothes for Kayla and white pants for Mom.  Justin and I took a trip to the George Mason men's volleyball game to introduce Kayla to some friends.  We drastically underestimated the amount of noise.  Kayla was looking extremely terrified so she and I missed most of the game.  But it was nice to see some friends!

Sunday, we ventured out to DC for brunch and to take a walk around the monuments.  Kayla was EXTREMELY fussy, and after a couple of hours, Justin and I took her home.  Turns out she kinda likes her swing though, especially if she is a little bit sleepy.

Monday was so much worse than Sunday.  She cried to eat (like screaming) it felt like every hour.  Thank God my mom was still here to help me out.  She took one long nap.  They she and I dropped off my mom at the airport to say goodbye.  We took her to Monday night volleyball league to introduce her to a few last volleyball friends.  She did pretty well for being there for 3 hours.

We tried to have her sleep in the Pack N Play instead of the laundry basket this weekend.  It wasn't a total failure, but I think she still has just a little bit too much room to roll side to side and get her hands out of the back to the laundry basket for now.

New photos on my smugmug page.