Thursday, October 30, 2008

Go Dawgs? 8 months in 2 days

Time for cuteness. Okay, I am NOT one of those people who dresses their baby is in their college Alma mater insignia left and right. Hey, if you are, more power to you, I'm just not that attached to the University of Georgia and I don't like to "brand" my child so much, nope--just not my particular style. HOWEVER, Aunt Collette hand knit this sweater without a pattern and well, it's pretty darn cute.

I remember the first time I was on campus with my pal Jon McKenna, we were actually in Athens for a mountain bike ride from the ATL and it went something like this...

JM: "Hey Cameron, stick your head out the window at those people and yell GO DAWGS and bark."

me: I am not barking at strangers out a car window.

JM: (sticks head out window) "GO DAWGS SICK 'EM WOOF WOOF WOOF!!"

me: slinking down in my seat, look-of-disbelief

strangers: hands in air, pumping fists, "WOOF WOOF WOOF"

The only UGA game I ever went to I was on the field photographing it for the Athens Banner-Herald. That was a joke, but for another blog post. Let's just say the editor said,

"I'll send you to games for features not sports, Cameron."

I mean who can pay attention to every first down, every play? it's exhausting and not to mention riddled with macho male shooters. You have to be the ULTIMATE fan to photograph football. Opinion mia.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Sleep update - baby sleep routine 7.5 months

I thought I'd give more details about my success after my Sleep Lady phone consultation. I'll outline his overall schedule and then some exciting developments!

6AM awake, hungry, nurses
8:30-8:45 - super baby food breakfast
9 or 9:30 first nap
10:15-11AM - wakes up, usually he's hungry and we nurse again
11-1PM- playtime, errands, etc.
1PM second nap
2:30-3PM awake, hungry, nurses,
5-6PM solid food snack/dinner usually nurses again
6:30 bath with Daddy, nurses in a room OTHER than his
7PM bedtime in crib
midnight snack - I feed him once and only once at night and I let him wake up which is usually between 11PM-1AM.
6AM awake. repeat. :)

I will mention it wasn't until between 5 and 6 months that his daytime sleep regulated. I worked really hard at 8 weeks to get his daytime sleep to be consistently in his crib. At first he napped after he was awake for 2 hours 3 hours and our schedule changed every day. It was nice when I started to notice a pattern and could put him down more regularly. It's GREAT to be able to count on nap time. Owen is happy all day and everyone comments on what a happy baby he is. I attribute it to his personality but really, its all about the SLEEP!

So I talked to the Sleep Lady last Wed. We have a call scheduled for this Thursday as a follow up. In our conversation it became clear that we needed a more consistent approach. She figured out that Owen is using Mommy and Daddy as his "baby tranquilizer" ... our mistakes include patting his butt until he fell asleep and rolling him over (from back to belly -- he sleeps on his belly but cries on his back), a very inconsistent response at night and the occasional nursing to nap or to sleep. I pretty much nursed him to sleep for 6 months. We also noticed that Owen does much better in the middle of the night if Matt goes in and comforts him. Owen knows that Matt doesn't have nursing capabilities, so this eliminates this as a possibility and he seems to fall asleep easier. Plus, we discussed that Owen probably only needs to nurse once each night IF THAT. I know people out there think their babies are hungry. If your baby is eating 1-3 minutes and falling back asleep, you are a sleep CRUTCH and you are not fostering your baby's ability to put himself back to sleep. We also discussed that Owen seems to fall asleep better if we leave the room rather than stay and linger shhhing him too long, etc. I realized we haven't been giving him much opportunity to fall asleep on his own. So our tactics included the following ideas:

1) We decided to move the last nursing of the night to either before the bath, in the bath or after the bath but in the bathroom. This way it separates the nursing from the sleep. After this we would continue our routine of changing him, reading stories and putting him down
2) no more rolling him over AT ALL and obviously no picking him up unless tantrum ensues. Instead standing by the crib shussshing him is encouraged.
3) no more patting his butt until he's sleeping, a little pat pat is fine but not consistent and regular pats-pat-pat in a rhythem. Again, we decided to shusshhhhh standing beside the crib, especially in the middle of the night.
4) Allow him to whimper and cry a bit (5 minutes worth) especially in the middle of the night when he wakes up but is only partially aroused. We are giving him a chance to get back to sleep and not arosing him further up by rushing to his side and stimulating him.
5) Each time we put him down to nap or to sleep, we all had to stick to our routine and rules and let him cry up to 10 minutes prior to going in to comfort him further (barring of course any screeching, howling, etc...) Most times he cries for less than 3 minutes, sometimes not at all.
6) Concentrate on longer daytime nursing sessions and offering him both breasts and NOT nursing more than once per night and only after 6AM in the morning.

So I've been keeping a log. His daytime sleep was easy to fix, he's already doing well with that, but I eliminated nursing at ALL prior to a nap and focused on the hour prior to his nap or when he has just woken up. It's hard sometimes to fix your nursing schedule but start by getting a consistent FIRST nursing session each day at the same time. This helps a lot.

The nighttime waking was amazing. The first night we just let him cry and whimper a little bit at times when we knew he wasn't hungry and really needed to keep sleeping (ie: 10PM, 3AM, 4AM, 5AM). Without changing anything but our attitudes, he put himself back to sleep! Many times in a minute or less. All it took was NOT rushing into the crib. If he didn't get back to sleep himself, Matt went in, NOT me because as soon as I go in, he freaks out and wants to nurse. Kudos to my awesome husband for really stepping it up and helping out with this.

It seems every night we have more success and Owen does seem to be going down easier and certainly has weened himself off the nursing to sleep he was so accustomed to. Now for the Grand Finale!....

Last night he slept from 7:30PM-11PM
11PM woke up and I went in and he nursed very well
4AM he wimpered for a minute, fell back asleep himself
6AM awake! SUCCESS!
(I was gone all day, noon-10PM, so this really was amazing when you consider he doesn't take a bottle but was drinking breastmilk from a small cup). I got nearly 7 hours of straight sleep and so did Owen. INCREDIBLE Progress.

Funny side note. If it's not one thing, it's another. He can now pull himself to stand up in his crib. So when you put him down for a nap, he stands up, and can't get back down. So we do have to return to his room and release him from the standing position and lay him down, but then we leave... (eventually he can sit himself down but not yet).

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sleep Lady and my birthday

Hi, it's my birthday tomorrow. Oct. 16, 1977!!! I'm going to be 31. I wanted to be in the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday (always a goal) but instead I was fat, errr, pregnant. Anyway, I've revised that goal to my 32nd birthday since that seems more realistic.

So, leave me a comment on my birthday. It will make my day. I love comments. It keeps me blogging out there, so if you read this thing, chime in for goodness sakes.

Also I talked to the Sleep Lady today, um, yes, the real live Kim West. It was so cool. I felt like a celebrity. Anyway, my 20 minutes on the phone just wasn't enough. I wanted to fly her out to Flagstaff to stay for a week in our guest room and fix Owen's sleep waking problem. Instead of that, we scheduled another phone consultation next week and I filled out a 9 page questionnaire about his sleep habits, etc. Yes, 9 pages. Oh, boy, oh boy, I'm going nip this thing in the bud, and even spend some cash on a Sleep Lady consultation. I can taste my heavenly sleep coming... oh la la. I'll cry the first time I sleep 8-10 hours. I really will. It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Bath time with Mommy - nursing in the bath

Daddy is in charge of baths (and dinner) so sometimes Mommy has to take a bath with Owen. I say WITH Owen, because somehow, somewhere along the way Matt and I got addicted to taking a bath with the baby. I realize that if we ever had another child we probably wouldn't get to enjoy this sweet luxury.

If you haven't tried it, you should.

Initially it seems like a hassle to get undressed just to sit in 5 inches of water with your baby for 15 minutes but it's worth it. Owen has been getting in the tub with either Matt or myself almost every night since he was 6 weeks. He loves it and he plays with his ducks, cups, washcloths, and laughs when we make his toys talk to him. I think (speaking as a former swim instructor) that it's also helping him learn about swim positions, water in the face, laying on his back, and much more that will help him avoid a fear of water.

I've discovered that Owen will nurse in the tub really well and it separates nursing from bed-time and allows him to go to bed drowsy but awake. It is pretty comforting as the Mommy, too. A warm skin-to-skin quiet time for us. I look down at him and I know he won't always want to nurse in the bath and that makes me love those little moments even more. In fact, I'm already starting to miss nursing and I'm planning on continuing into his first year...

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

NEW custom blog look!

Yippie! Baby Business, finally got a face lift, thanks to the fabulous Jennisa.

We even have cool signatures... check it out below -- cute eh?

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Where's the POOP? baby didn't poop for 5 days

Just wanted to make the note that Owen didn't poop from sometime on Friday until sometime on Tuesday. All was well, but I was worried.

Why? I asked myself did it take 4 days for waste to move through my son's intestines... answer? Just because.

Yes, it was delightful changing urine-filled cloth diapers for DAYS--BUT somehow these small blessings are plagued by the mommy thought

"Where's the poop?"

You have never worried about poop like you when you have a baby. Poop and sleep. Poop and sleep. Hot topics of conversation at playgroup.

So when Kate, (sister and part time nanny -- seriously don't get jealous, 10 hours a week) called from the landing of our house,

"POOP! He pooped." I knew we had reached a new plateau as sisters. We both RUSHED in to change this dirty diaper. The irony was thick. Just a few weeks ago I was dreading changing another poopy diaper and now, I couldn't wait to unsnap that Fuzzi Bunz

She got it. She was worried too... humm, I wonder if she woke up the night prior with a nightmare about poop? I know I did.

At any rate, he pooped. Finally. So don't worry if your baby hasn't pooped. Feel his belly, if it's hard, maybe call your doctor, but if he seems happy, he's probably just processing more slowly for whatever reason.

Back in my jeans

So, I'm back in my regular jeans. Don't ask me how. Sleepless night? I have no idea...I work out once a week, IF THAT. I do walk everywhere since we live downtown and that must do SOMEthing, but seriously let's not talk about the why, and how, let's just be grateful that my clothes fit (pants at least). Tops on the other hand are still in shock from the size of my chest. Eventually, I guess, that will go back to normal too??? Today, though, I'm just going to express to all you pregnant ladies out there-- IT GETS better. Eat healthy, drink water, walk a lot and hey, maybe it will work for you. I lost the first 30 pounds in like 8 weeks or something but the last 10 hung out until about 6 months. My tummy is in need of some sit-ups but hey, I'm not complaining. I seem to be able to eat ice cream everyday (ice cream is the 5th food group). Finding the energy to exercise is another story. With bad sleep it gets hard to get fired up about a 4 hour mountain bike ride, but I did manage one of those recently. So YEAH! Jeans... they've been fitting for about a month and THAT is exciting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Owen at 7 months and baby sleep at 7 months

Owen in his Halloween costume as a jacket on our morning walk.

Owen was 7 months 5 days ago on Oct. 1. He is crawling like you cannot believe. Today he actually put one hand in front of the other and move his little knees in the "classic crawl" style. It was sad to see his "worm" crawl go but this crawl is much more efficient. I have to upload video if I can catch him. He's really long and skinny. 95% for height and 15% for weight at 6 months. He eats anything we put in front of him. He has 6 teeth! Two bottom ones and the four middle top ones. We hope teething is done for awhile because it's been hard on his night wakings. He stands up on practically anything you put in front of him without holding him at all and he can pull himself up if you help him. He loves to stand. Ironically he doesn't sit that well (too skinny, we think). He sorta topples over but he manages in his high chair or even a restaurant high chair. He can reach out to anything he wants while he's crawling. He babbles and talks a lot and says mmmmm when you feed him. Kaibee cracks him up but he doesn't like it when she licks him. He hates if I touch his nose (gnarly boogers here in AZ), he likes to read the books that have little patches of fur. Owen loves to nurse in the bathtub. He sleeps regular predictable naps. 9AM, 1PM and usually a late afternoon 4-5PM. We are trying to give up the last nap to see if he can go down at 7PM and sleep till 6AM. He did that last night (with 4 interruptions and only 1 nursing)! Progress!

Sleep? HA. It's been bad since 5 months, up until that point he was doing really well (1-3 wakings a night). The worst it got recently, I think he awoke 12 times. I was a zombie. My goal is for him to give up nursing at night and shift all his feeding to the day time but I'd settle for one night nursing/waking. Something that's working for us is Daddy intervention. Matt goes in when he cries and soothes him by patting him and saying "shh shhh" but he doesn't pick him up. Owen doesn't expect nursing from Daddy, so he goes back to sleep. NOW, if I go in there, different story... Owen demands nursing by getting louder and louder and I suppose I could just let him cry but when I do that, he just wakes up again in another hour. A longer post on this when I have time. We went through a seriously challenging time recently with 1-2 poops in the middle of each night and Owen was inconsolable. His daytime sleep is AWESOME, though.

I am talking to the SLEEP LADY on the phone Oct. 15th. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited. I can't wait to ask her some great questions about my exact situation. My friend, Tamara and her baby Kiley, have had EXTREME success with the Good Night Sleep Tight Sleep LADY method. Her baby sleeps 10 hours a night uninterrupted and has for MONTHS. Don't get me started. YES, she is breastfeeding her. Oh and one night recently Kiley slept 12 hours. 7:30PM-7:30AM. No, I am not kidding. Olympic sleeper, that girl. How am I supposed to co-misearate (sp?) about the lack of sleep with a friend like that?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

motherhood thoughts....

I wrote this to a old friend in an email tonight and I thought it was something to post on the blog...

I am enjoying motherhood and life altering adjustments are always hard but worth it. It's definitely one of those adult encounters that forces you to become your best self and tries your patience by limiting your sleep. It's amazing what I can do on 5 hours of interrupted sleep now. There is something very special about bringing another life into this world, holding it at night while it gains nourishment from you and comforting it simply by your proximity.

Matt is an amazing Dad... he loves fatherhood and he loves our boy. We fell in love again (lots of adrenaline going post birth) the first nights that Owen was sleeping in his bassinet beside our bed. It was this incredible sense of accomplishment that we GREW this human being out of our own selves. Surreal and definitely amazing. I know you will enjoy the sweet sensitive part of becoming a parent. It is bittersweet for sure but more sweet than anything.