Author Archives: jhottinger

Months 8 and 9

I’m trying to keep up, but I guess I’m not doing a great job at it nowadays!  Maybe now that I’m more settled and in a routine I will be able to keep up with the monthly updates…guess we’ll see.  Here is the latest:

  • We officially sold our home in Bella Vista and are once again Fayetteville residents!  Yay!  I cannot tell you what a relief it is to be out of the old house and back into a town I view as ‘home.’ The packing and moving process was HORRIBLE with a baby, but we managed through it and now we are all set-up in our rental while we continue to look for our next house to buy.  I’ll be honest- I haven’t spent a lot of time recently looking at homes…it’s just hasn’t been a priority when there has been so much other stuff going on.  Hopefully that will change soon.  Want to know one of the best things about our new rental?  We are literally within 5-10 minutes from several good good friends…and I love it.  I love my friends in Rogers/Bentonville/Bella Vista, don’t get me wrong, but here we have more friends who are not only closer, but more willing to come over AND less busy on a regular basis.  It’s nice and something I didn’t realize I needed so badly.
  • Work is going well, except for the craziness that is the beef/brisket market right now.  It’s killing my costs and causing me lots of headaches.  I am getting a lot more work done nowadays, though, because I have put Finley in a Mother’s Day Out program a couple of days of week.  2 days most weeks…sometimes 3 days if I have a lot going on.  I cried the first couple of days, but now I’m feeling better about it.  Fin doesn’t seem to mind it and I get soooo much done while she’s there…it had to be done.  I was falling behind and didn’t have anyone to help me with her at home anymore so it is what it is and I’m ok with it now.  It’s been an adjustment, but I think that both Finley and myself have done well with it.
  • I’m feeling decent postpartum, but my hormones are still out-of-whack and I still want to eat everything I see all the time because of the breastfeeding.  I thought I’d lose all kinds of weight while I was breastfeeding, but instead I want to eat all the time and I’ve slowly been putting weight back ON instead of losing more.  It’s annoying, but I’m about to start working on slowly (like over the course of a couple of months) weaning Fin so at least I know after that I can really focus on myself for a bit and get back where I want/need to be.
  • My plan for weaning being developed…I don’t know exactly what I want to do because I’m really have mixed feelings about the whole weaning thing.  On one hand, I love that I’m still nursing Fin and giving her all that liquid gold…and I LOVE LOVE the snuggles and sweet time I get with her while breastfeeding (because face it, I have a wild child and if she wasn’t nursing I’d never get snuggles)…but on the other hand I’m really ready to start working on myself and ready to get my hormones back in balance.  I’d probably stretch out nursing past 1, except I have a vacation planned for late Jan right after Fin’s bday…and I want to have her weaned before I leave so that it’s not a shock for her while I’m gone…and so I don’t to pump/worry about it while I’m gone.  So I have a date.  I’m thinking that within the next couple of weeks I’ll cut out a daytime feeding and give her formula mixed with bm instead…and then after a week I’ll cut out the other daytime feeding…then the morning…then eventually the night…til I’m all done.  I think.  I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of Finley, that baby girl is growing like a weed.  I’m always shocked when I look back at the previous update and realize how much more she’s doing than just a month or two ago!

In September (month 8), she began really crawling like a champ (fast…and determined, unlike months 6/7 where it was more of an army crawl or slow crawl) and saying mom/momma all the time.  She definitely knows her momma, lol.  She also continued right along with being a good eater, eating pretty much anything we put in front of her.  Finley also started waving bye-bye and clapping on her own during month 8.  She had two of her bottom teeth (center) pop through right at the end of month 7, and that’s all she still has to date.

In October (month 9), Fins started saying Dada and Bye-Bye and I think I’ve heard dog, but not 100% on that one.  She also started playing peek-a-boo this month…on her own (as in holds a blanket over head and all).  It’s adorable.  Fin has decided she GREATLY prefers ‘real’ food to baby food, so we give her purees, but we also give her bits and pieces of whatever we eat as well. So far her favorite has been pork chops/gravy with mashed potatoes and green beans.  She loves chewing and smacks her lips all the time, lol.  Fin can now walk behind toys…and quickly!  Fin also started taking a big-girl bath this month, with no hamper in the tub with her…just her on a bath-mat in the tub!  She loves it so much more, which makes it better.  Since Fin started Mothers-Day-Out this month, she also got her first cold (booo), followed by her first ear infection (booo again).  We had a rough couple of weeks, but she’s doing much better now and we’re all happier because of that.

Fin 8 months stank face

month 8 and month 9

9 months spitting

What are the stats and what does the doctor say?

We had Fin’s 9 month check-up near the end of October.  She weighed in at 18.12 and was 28.15 inches high.  Very average- 50-something percentile for both.  Her iron levels came back low (I guess that is very common with breastfed babies), so we’ve been giving her iron drops and increasing her meat intake.  She gets retested next week and they’ll see if it’s higher- if not, she’ll have to do a blood draw and we’ll go from there.  Fin also got her flu shot at that appointment- she handled it well and gets her booster next week.  Doc said she looks great and is right on track developmentally.

What is Fin eating?

I’m still breastfeeding….about 4-5 times a day. She gets baby food and/or cereal 2-3 times a day and ‘real food’ at dinner when Mom and Dad are eating. Fin LOVES guacamole, pork chops, spaghetti and puffs.  She’s a good eater so far.

When does she sleep?

She’s been sleeping well since she got over being sick.  I put her down about 7:30pm and she sleeps until 5 or 6.  I nurse her at 5 or 6, then she’s back down til about 7:30am.  She is still taking two naps a day- one late morning (around 10) and one late afternoon (around 4).  Sometimes she’ll sleep great (1.5 hours…or if she’s laying on daddy she’ll sleep 2-3 hours!), and sometimes it’s more like 45 minutes.

What do your routines look like?

We are in the process of dropping a nap so the routine is tweaking as we speak. It’s mostly like this:

  • Wake for the day around 7:30 and nurse and then change diaper/get dressed
  • Finley will bounce her in bouncer for about 30 minutes while I eat breakfast/get her breakfast ready
  • Around 8:15 I put Finley down on the floor with her toys and she’ll crawl around while I do some work
  • Breakfast for Fin (cereal/fruit) is around 9, followed by more playtime
  • 9:45/10- goes down for a nap and sleeps til 11 or 11:30
  • I nurse her when she gets up, then playtime
  • 12:30- lunch, followed by playtime
  • 3:30/4- down for a nap.  Sometimes I nurse her before nap, sometimes after…depends on how well she ate lunch and how tired she is
  • Dinner at 6pm- veggies and cereal (and maybe some adult food depending on what we are eating)
  • Bath at 7pm
  • Nurse/Bedtime around 7:30

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

9-12 month clothing and still doing cloth diapers (one size).

What are some things you love?

Mommy is your favorite thing ever…followed by your stuffed dog/husky and your lovies.  You are very sweet with them..carry them around/lay on them/kiss them…it’s very sweet. You love crawling around….you love standing on anything…you love to ‘rough house’….you love the outdoors….you love drinking water from cups/sippy cups…ou love to be tickled…you like to go places and be out and about….you like to have mommy crawl around and chase you…you like to play peekaboo…you are busy busy!

What are some things you don’t like?

You don’t like mommy to walk through the room and not talk to you. You don’t like ANYTHING when you are really sleepy. You don’t like taking medicine.  You don’t like getting back in your car seat after a quick errand.

What are some thing you can do?

You are so so so talented! You can sit…crawl…pull up…cruise….give kisses….play peek-a-boo..walk behind your elephant…give yourself a bottle…give a high 5 (although you only seem to do this for Daddy)…put yourself to sleep….I know I’m forgetting stuff!

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

Let’s see…we have a trip to Russellville in a couple of weeks for Thanksgiving, which will be nice.  Mommy has a trip to Dallas without Fin/Daddy in December…and she’s both excited and nervous to be gone for 3 whole nights.  I think that’s about it.  =)

 

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Months 5-7

Well…let’s just call a spade a spade and say that I SUCK at blogging now that I’m a mommy!  It’s not that I don’t think about it at times, because I do, it’s just that I have WAY too much on my plate right now to make this a priority.  I really hope I can do better, but I’m not going to make any promises.  Life is very busy right now and I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.  I suppose you may be interested in a few updates?

On the house front, we’ve made HUGE progress and are currently under contract to have someone buy our home!  The last several months have been difficult with the house- trying to keep it clean for showings/having to leave the house with the baby and two dogs anytime someone wants to see the house/having repairs done/looking for a new home/etc.  This added a LOT of stress and work to my plate, but now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.  We close on the house on October 10th- I can’t wait!  I’m actually going to Fayetteville tomorrow to look at several houses (some to buy/some to rent), so we’ll see what I think.  At this point, we are thinking we will have to rent for a few months while we find the perfect home to buy.  I hate to move twice, but I also don’t want to rush into anything…so we’ll see.  Either way, very excited.

On the work front, things are going well (business/number-wise) and I actually have four new items hitting 2,500 Wal-Mart stores this week/next week.  Business is good, but the stress of trying to keep up with everything (while being home with Fin) is really starting to take a toll on me.  I’m use to being on top of everything…and knowing my business by heart…and always having the answers….and now I feel like I”m falling behind.  I have a friend coming twice a week to help with Fin while I work (she’s amazing and Fin loves her and this has literally saved my sanity), but I’m hoping when I get to Fayetteville I can find someone else to come another couple of afternoons a week or something.  I really need at least 20 hours of non-baby time to dedicate to work if I can.  Or maybe 16 hours…somewhere along there.  Definitely not 8.  The short of it is that I need more help and I believe that after we get moved I’ll figure it out.  Until then, it’s lots of late night and weekend work I suppose.

On the home front….well…besides the selling of the house and things related to that….and work and things related to that…it’s all about Finley Claire!  OMG she’s a hot mess.  You guys, seriously…this girl is live wire (as her Gram says)!  You know that precious bundle of joy you envision just cuddling with and staring into her eyes and talking to?  That little baby you peacefully bath and then rub lotion all over and snuggle goodnight to?  That sweet angel that just nurses and looks at you with total love and adoration?  Well…send her my way, cause I didn’t get any of that shit!  LOL!  This girl is busy busy busy….the most active baby I’ve ever been around, by far.  You’d think I smoked crack or at least drank caffeine (for the record, I don’t)!  Where do I even start?  I guess I’ll do the main milestones since I last caught you up and go from there:

  • At 5 months, Finley started sitting up on her own.  At 5 1/2 months we started her off on rice cereal once a day since she was staring at our food all of the time.  She immediately LOVED it!  Also at 5 1/2 months she started the army crawl/scoot.  It wasn’t really a crawl because her belly never left the floor, but she’d use her arms to pull and her feet to push and she’d get across the room like that.  Before 6 months old, we tried several foods very gradually (introduced one new thing ever 4 days as per doctor’s orders)- green beans, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots and squash were introduced by 6 months.
  • 5 months close up model 5 months great smile
  • At 6 months old, we started Fin on oatmeal cereal instead of rice cereal…this immediately helped her have bowel movements more regularly (everyday now).  We also introduced the following foods: spinach, avocado, apples, prunes, potatoes, peaches, pumpkin, broccoli and blueberries.  Finley started using sippy cup around this age too, just with meals (and just with water).  She hasn’t figured out how to tip it back and drink out of it on her own, but she does well if you hold it for her.  It was right after her 6 month bday that she started pulling herself up.  At first she’d just pull up on this activity cube that we have, but shortly after that she started pulling up on a few other things.  This caused us to have to change bathtime, because once she could pull up, all she wanted to do in the baby bathtub was pull herself up and stand.  So we ditched the baby bathtub and now she’s in a hamper in the big bathtub and likes that a lot more.  She still stands up, but it’s less dangerous.  =)  The day before she turned  6 months she started crawling ‘regularly,’ and has just gotten faster and faster…and she also figured out how to go from sitting to crawling and then back to sitting.  Month 6 was big month for Fin- her gaining some independence and mobility has really made her a happy baby.
  • 6 months close up 6 months eating dog
  • We are currently in month 7 and have added the following foods so far this month: corn, pears, zucchini, bananas, chicken and cherries.  Finley is a crawling machine, getting from one room to another in no time flat.  She follows me everywhere and is in to everything.  She pulls up on anything she can get ahold of (chairs/your legs/couch/walls/dogs), and has even just stood up (no hands) twice that I’ve seen (she didn’t stay up for long, but she’s already testing it).  She’s very vocal, but not saying any words at this point.  She likes to play and explore and she likes to put anything/everything in her mouth.  She’s a very funny, happy girl…as long as she’s getting what she wants.  She’s a bit of a diva, which I hope goes away.  Example- she won’t eat her veggies unless they are heated.  Like straight up refuses/spits them out/chokes.  No joke.  In other big news this month, tonight I saw her FIRST TOOTH!  I’m pretty sure it popped through yesterday (I told Chris I saw it but he didn’t see it)…and it sure does explain the bad sleeping last week and the horrible diaper rash she got all of a sudden a couple of days go.  I can tell she’s feeling better now, thankfully.  I was happy to see the tooth and know there was a reason she’d been ‘off’….but it also made me kinda sad to see that she’s this big already.  Time is flying.
  • Fin on play box 7 months close up 7 months with Suka

What are the stats and what does the doctor say?

We haven’t been to the doctor since Fin’s 4 month shots (and don’t go back til 9 months), so no idea on her stats.  I’m guessing she’s around 19ish lbs, but just a guess.  She’s healthy as a horse…knock on wood….this girl hasn’t been sick a day of her life.  Makes me feel good that I’ve continued to breastfeed and that I’m able to have her home right now.  That can change any day, so counting my blessings so far (some days not much of a blessing, lol)

What is Fin eating?

I’m still breastfeeding….about 4-5 times a day.  She gets baby food and/or cereal 2-3 times a day and ‘real food’ at dinner when Mom and Dad are eating.  Fin LOVES her some corn on the cob and apple slices ! I love watching her eat/try new things.  So far she’s eaten everything we’ve given her except for avocado

When does she sleep?

Sleep was off for a couple of weeks, but I think we are back to normal now.  For the past several days she’s gone down between 7:30 – 8 and then gotten up around 5:30 or 6 to nurse (and goes right back to sleep) and then up for the day around 7 or 7:30.  I love this schedule and will be happy for her to do it as long as she needs to…so much better than nursing her around midnight as well!  We’ve always rocked Finley to sleep at night (and for all naps), and about a week ago we decided to stop (because she’d been getting up at night and having to be rocked back to sleep) and do some sleep training so that she can soothe herself.  We did the CIO (cry it out) method where you put her down awake…wait 3 minutes and then go in and soothe her (without picking her up)…leave and wait 5 minutes and go back in and soothe if needed….leave and wait 10 minutes and go back in and soothe if needed….and it worked wonderfully.  Night one it only took her 30 minutes to put herself to sleep.  Night two it was 15 minutes.  Night three it was less than 5 and every night since then has been less than 5 AND she’s not getting us up at night.  It’s been great.

What do your routines look like?

We are in the process of dropping a nap so the routine is tweaking as we speak.  It’s mostly like this:

  • Wake for the day around 7:30 and nurse and then change diaper/get dressed
  • Finley will bounce her in bouncer for about 30 minutes while I eat breakfast/get her breakfast ready
  • Around 8:15 I put Finley down on the floor with her toys and she’ll crawl around while I do some work
  • Breakfast for Fin (cereal/fruit) is around 9, followed by more playtime
  • 9:45/10- goes down for a nap and sleeps til 11 or 11:30
  • playtime following nap
  • 12:30- lunch (veggies)
  • Afternoon is what is changing right now. At this point I am trying to keep Fin awake til around 3, which can be difficult.  She use to go down around 1 and then again around 4, but now she doesn’t need both naps so going down around 3 would be idea….we are transitioning now.  If I can get her to play after lunch til 3, then she’d nap at 3 and get up at 4 or 4:30 and play some more
  • Nurse at 5pm, then play
  • Dinner at 6pm- veggies and cereal (and maybe some adult food depending on what we are eating)
  • Bath at 7pm
  • Nurse/Bedtime around 7:30/7:45

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

6-9 month clothing and still doing cloth diapers (one size).  We had to use disposables for 2 days while you had a bad rash (they were size 2) and we HATE them.  You never have blowouts/leaks when we do cloth, and we had issues every day in disposables.

What are some things you love?

You probably love your mommy more than anything…you have been very attached lately, and if I leave the room or run an errand you are SO excited when I come back.  It’s very sweet.  You love crawling around….you love standing on anything…you love to ‘rough house’….you love the outdoors….you love drinking water from cups/sippy cups….you love this little microphone stand-up toy that your Aunt LeLe passed on to you….you love mommy carrying you around in the Ergo…you love to help vaccum…you love to be tickled…you like to go places and be out and about….you are a happy baby!

What are some things you don’t like?

You don’t like mommy to walk through the room and not talk to you.  You don’t like ANYTHING when you are really sleepy.  You don’t like cold food.  You don’t like it when I won’t pick you up if I have my hands full.

What are some thing you can do?

You are so so so talented!  You can sit…crawl…pull up…cruise….give kisses….play peek-a-boo..knock over towers….I know I’m forgetting stuff!

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

I’m having my first weekend away from Fin at the end of the month.  I’m super excited to go to Dallas and see one of my best friends, but I’m super anxious to be away for two full days.  It’ll be challenging.  I know I’ll be ok, I just hope she does well for my in-laws while we are gone.  At least they are coming to stay at our house and keep her on routine, so that should help.  We’ll also be moving within the next month, which I’m looking forward to being in a new place, but dreading the moving part.  I’m also hoping to do better at keeping up the blogging after we get moved…it’s important to me to keep track of everything Fin is doing!

Fin on play box 2

 

Categories: Baby, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

4 Months?!? How did that happen?

As I see my little tit-sucker napping in the baby monitor, I’m in awe.  How is it that she’s already 4 months old?  How is it possible that a third of a year has passed us by since she joined us?  Where is the time going?  I have days where I think 6pm (when hubby gets home) will never get here….and then I have weeks that fly by in the blink of an eye.  It’s overwhelming if I think too much about it…I hate the thought of Fin growing up too fast!

We have had a very eventful last month or so.   A few things:

  • We took a trip to Eastern TX/Dallas for over a week (with the baby, of course).  Traveling with a baby is tough!  First of all, we drive any long distances (more than 3 hours) at night so that Finley will sleep.  This works well, except that we are tired and end up unpacking into hotels in the middle of the night.  Fun.  Secondly, having a baby in a hotel room for any amount of time really isn’t that fun.  You have to be quiet after bedtime…you rush to quiet her any time she fusses….you know there are nasty germs everywhere…I could go on and on.  Luckily, Finley did great and slept well and behaved herself while we were there.  She was a little needy…and gassy (probably from me having to eat out every meal)..but she did better than we expected for sure.  When we got home, though, she was awful!  It took a full 3 days to get her back on track with her sleeping/napping/etc….it was rough. Makes me want to keep her home!
  • I had my first Mother’s Day!  Chris totally surprised me and bought me a beautiful garnet (Fin’s birthstone) necklace for Mother’s Day.  He’s really not much into buying jewelry (at all), so it was a big surprise.  I love it!
  • We put our house up on the market…and we have had a bazillion showings so far (but no offers…boooo).  I’m so happy to have it listed, but MAN it’s tough working from home with a baby and two dogs and having to clean up and clear out any time a showing gets scheduled (which lately is every day).  It’s exhausting.  Hopefully this baby will sell fast!

That’s the main stuff.  In fact, it’s all I can think of right now. I need to start writing down post-its when I think of stuff I want to blog, because by the time I actually have any time to do it I’m rushed and just trying to remember whatever I can!

Before I get to the monthly update on Fin, just wanted to put it out there for you all to please send me your good vibes/prayers/energy/whatever.  I’m completely overwhelmed with at the moment and don’t really see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Working from home with a baby is really hard, and the help I thought I’d have just hasn’t been around.  And that’s ok, but I need to move on to Plan B because between work, Finley, keeping the house up for showings and having to come and go every day I don’t have anything left to give.  I’m exhausted and trying to hold on here, people!  I think one answer is to find someone who can come over a couple of days a week and watch Finely for me while I work.  I’ve registered on Care.Com to try to find someone, but if you know of anyone (or are someone) who may be interested, please let me know!  I’d even take her to someone else’s house if needed, I just don’t want her in a daycare at this time (not that there is anything wrong with that, I’m just not ready for that yet).  So….let me know if you know anyone.  And pray this house sells quickly, that would help too.

And now..without further adui….the 4 month update:

 

Fin 4 month close-up

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?

At your 4 month appointment you weighed 13lbs and 14 oz (56th percentile) and were 25 3/4 inches long (94th percentile).  I’m still in shock that you are lean and mean and not a fat baby!  I mean come on, you started off over 9 lbs, so I just assumed you would continue to fatten up!  I was wrong, though, and it appears for now that you take after your daddy (a good thing when it comes to body type for sure).  Doctor said you are perfect.

What are you eating?

You are still a breastfed baby, and you have gotten to be quite the efficient feeder.  You use to feed for 15-20 minutes, and now you are done in 7-14 on average.  You get in and out quickly most of the time, although at night you prefer to be lazy and take your time (which I don’t mind).  You recently tried some cereal for the first time, but you weren’t too impressed.  That’s ok with me- we’re not in a rush to get you on solids (makes it way easier on momma since I have your food on tap AND don’t have to wash real-food diapers yet).

When do you eat and sleep?

During the day you eat every 3ish hours (I generally sit in the recliner, although I’ve had to nurse in the car, in a restroom, in a food court, etc), and at night you usually wake up once (between 3am and 6am) to eat as well.  You nap (if we are home) in your crib..usually 3-4 times a day.

What do your routines look like?

Eat, Play, Sleep (per BabyWise) is still what we are trying to follow.  A typical day looks like this:

  • Wake up around 6am and eat and go right back to sleep
  • Wake up around 9am and eat.  Play on the floor/in the bouncy seat til around 10:30 or 11 and then take a 1-1.5 hour nap
  • Wake up at noon and eat.  Run errands/take a walk/back in the bouncer til around 2, then a nap for an hour
  • Wake up at 3 and eat…then more play time and another 30-45 minute nap
  • Wake up at 6 and eat.  Then we hang with daddy…take a bath…maybe a walk if we didn’t earlier (mommy is trying to get some exercise, obviously)…read some books, etc.  Little catnap after this until you wake up
  • Last feeding of the day is around 9pm…then straight back to bed.  Finley sometimes wakes up around 12 or 1 (if she didn’t eat well or has gas or something) to eat again, then straight back to sleep

This schedule isn’t terrible for her age AT ALL, but if you have her 24/7 and are also trying to work it’s exhausting.

 What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

Onesies and shirts and dresses are all 3 months or 3-6 months, but pants (because of her cloth diaper ghetto-booty) and one piece outfits with legs on them (because of her height) have to be 6 months.  I actually REALLY need to go through her closet this weekend and pack up all of the ‘too small’ stuff that is still in there (kinda makes me sad).  As for diapers, all of the cloth diapers we have are one size (fit from now until she’s out of diapers since they adjust).  If she needs a disposable on, she’s in a 2.

What are some things you love?

You love to stand up ALL.THE.TIME.  You love to bounce in your little bouncy chair/jumper thing (video on instagram if you are interested).  You love to grab stuff and put it directly into your mouth as far as you can.  You love to be man-handled and scared so that you laugh.  You love to roll from your belly to your back.  You love screens (phones/tvs/etc).  You love being outside (as long as you are not hot).  You love our dogs.  You love your lovies.  You love attention.

What are some things you don’t love?

You HATE diaper changes in the middle of the night.  You hate waiting on mommy to feed you once you decide you are hungry.  You don’t enjoy being held like a baby/cuddled unless you are really tired and ready to sleep.  You don’t like getting to your belly and not being able to flip over right away (sometimes you forget how to flip back over).  You hate getting out of the bathtub.  And you hate getting hot (like your parents).  TEETHING.  OMG we are in the midst of it….you are drooling non-stop….chewing on anything/everything…crabby…and restless.  Can’t wait for those teethers to pop through!

What can you do?

You have really progressed a lot this month.  You started rolling from belly to back at 8 weeks, and at 15 you started rolling from your back to your belly.  You are so proud of yourself!  As soon as you are put down on your back you flip over…it’s so funny.  You are so strong it’s ridiculous!  You are already trying to crawl and get your butt up in the air like you are going somewhere.  It’s comical.  You are really good at grabbing things now (and putting them right into your mouth), although sometimes I wish you were not (like when you get my hair or daddy’s beard).  You can converse if you are in the mood for it…we’ve talked back and forth for several minutes several different times…it’s so fun!

Who has visited and watched you?

We don’t really get many visitors, but we’ve done some visiting (you did meet your great Aunt/cousins in TX)….and only mom and dad have been watching you.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

June looks to be a pretty busy month. Besides the normal craziness of the week that we currently have, we also have an open house coming up….our 8 year anniversary…a weekend with some friends…Father’s Day…a trip to Russellville to see Gran and Pops….it’ll be a good one!

Fin 4 month grinFin 4 month chewing on dogFinley 4 months smiles and pulling dress Fin on diaper changing pad

Categories: Baby, Family, Friends, Kids, Love of my life, Teeth | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

What I needed the first 3 months…

I have a couple of blog readers who I KNOW are pregnant at the moment (and I’m so excited for you), so I’m putting together a list of the top things I have needed/used over the last three months.  These are only things that I highly recommend and would totally register for/buy again in a heartbeat.  These are in no particular order..I like them all!  And these are things that I believe to be necessary, as they were for me/Finley…

For feeding (note that Fin is solely a breast milk baby at this point):

  • The Medela Pump in Style breast pump.  I’m sure there are several great pumps, but this is the one I have…and I like it.  It’s a double-pump and has great suction.  I started pumping at 4 weeks and pumped daily to get my supply up…and now I hardly ever pump since I’m with Fin 95% of the time.
  • A ‘hands free’ pumping bra.  I’m sure any brand will do just fine, but it’s SO much better than holding the bottles for 20 minutes each time you pump!  Trust me!  You’ll want to be googling all kinds of baby stuff on your phone during this 20 minutes instead.  I promise.
  • Tommee Tippee bottles (make sure and get the 0-3 month bottles, as they have the ‘slow flow’ nipples that won’t get your baby use to a fast flow and make her only want bottles).  These bottles are pretty ‘breast like’ and Fin had zero problems taking the bottle and going back to the boob whenever.  Dr. Browns bottles are also suppose to be great, but they have a LOT of parts to wash, so keep that in mind.

For sleeping:

  • For the first 5ish weeks, Finley slept in the Rock n Play we got from target.  Picture below.  It’s light…it folds up…we travel with it (still…so much easier than the pack n play at this point)…you can carry it from room to room at home…it worked for us.  We also have a sweet pack and play, but before we could transition Finley from the rock n play to the pack n play I had to kick her out of my room because she was so noisy…so we just moved her to the crib in her room.

rock and play

  • Finley is quite the mover, so we HAVE to swaddle her to get her to sleep well…otherwise her hands are in her face and they wake her up.  That said, her middle name should be Houdini, because she can get out of pretty much any swaddle.  Seriously.  Because of her special escape abilities, we found two things that worked/work for us: 1).  The miracle blanket.  This thing was the first wrap we found that could keep Fin’s arms in….and it worked well until about 2.5 months (just a size thing, I think) and 2). The halo sleep sack with swaddle.  This is what we are using currently, and it’s UBER user friendly and can be used for quite a while

 

  • miracle blanket
  • Halo

For diapering

  • We used disposable diapers for the first 2.5 months.  We preferred the Pampers Swaddlers to all other kinds we tried (and I hear it’s different for boys vs girls and chubby babies vs skinny babies, etc).  We are now in cloth diapers and loving it..but that’s a whole other post in itself.

For hygiene

  • The Nosefrida.  I know, it totally looks gross and might be ‘too much’ for people to think about, but it works WAY better than the suction bulb thingy..and Finley doesn’t mind it half as much.  Plus…and maybe I’m gross…but I like to see if I’m getting anything out.  Yes, you put one end in your kid’s nose and the other in your mouth and you suck out the snot.  Don’t fear, though, there are filters to keep you from getting anything in your mouth.  Trust me…get one. You’ll thank me later.

nosefrida

  • We’ve been using Aveeno bath products and lotions….with no problems.  They don’t smell fancy or anything, but they work and don’t break her out…so that’s a win in my book.

For sanity

  • We have two monitors.  The first is the Motorola 3.5″ video monitor.  It’s amazing and we love it.  You can see/hear/talk to baby/play music/etc.  It has great range and the picture quality is very good.  Some people don’t want/need the video monitor, but I need it for my sanity and it’s so nice to see if Fin’s making noises in her sleep or ready to get up.  The second monitor we have is the BabySense Infant Movement Monitor.  This is the one that goes under the mattress and senses if there is no movement (including breathing) after like 15 seconds.  We went with this brand for two reasons- 1…great reviews…and 2…the Angelcare one that everyone raves about just had a recall.  Needless to say, we are happy with our choice.  We have never had a false alarm and it was super easy to set-up.  All I have to do is push a button on the panel (see bottom right of crib..white box) once Fin is in her crib and that’s it.  Whenever I go to pick her up, I push button again. Easy peasy….and SOOOOO much peace of mind.  Love this.

monitormonitor 1

     monitor 2

  • Also for sanity are my baby carriers.  I use the plural on that, as I have three of them.  A little much, I know, but different sizes and temperments call for different things….and seeing as I’m a work-from-home mom, I have to do whatever possible to keep this baby happy and let momma get some stuff done!  For the first month and half to two months, I used Maya ring sling.  This worked perfectly for us.  Finley still loves it, but I don’t use it as much nowadays.  Mostly, I use my Ergo.  I use it around the house…when we go grocery shopping…when we go on quick walks…when I’m going to be around a bunch of people and don’t want to play ‘pass the baby’…etc.  If Fin is in it for more than 20 minutes she passes out.  Every.single.time.  The third thing I have is the BabyBjorn that I got at Rhea Lana.  It was uber cheap or I wouldn’t have bought it.  I don’t use it often (there are lots of reviews on how you should have your infants hips in a carrier…and the Ergo is the way to go from what I read), but it’s easiest for Chris to use AND sometimes Fin is just fussy and wants to face out and move around…so it’s good for that.
  • The Fisher Price sit-me-up. Finley thinks she’s a big girl and likes to sit-up a lot.  This can be tiring on mom and dad, so we tried several different seats and what-not.  We tried swings…we have a MamaRoo and she likes it just ‘ok’…we have the Bumbo….and then we have the Fisher Price sit-me-up.  She loves it!  It’s much softer than the bumbo and has more ‘give’ in my mind.  Highly recommend

sit me up

Fin yawn in chair

 

  • Finally (and yes, this goes under sanity)…invest in several different infant gowns.  We have SOOOO many clothes for Fin, but for the first month and half she just lived in the same 5 gowns because they were easiest for changing diapers and getting on/off.  When you are up every few hours, you don’t want anything complicated!  I’d avoid leggings/buttons for as long as possible, at least at night.  =)
  • infant gown

That’s really all I can think of at the moment…I’m sure I’m forgetting something (and if so I’ll edit this and update the preggos I know), but this is a good start.  I’ll try to do this every few months and maybe start a “Fin’s Favorites” or something.  =)  Hope this helps someone!

Categories: Baby, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 months

I should probably wait to write this update since I’m in a really foul mood and all, but who knows when I’ll have another little bit of time to dedicate to this…so I might as well get it in while I can.  I’m not going to go into the whole story about why I’m sitting here crying at my desk, but let’s just say that I’ve OFFICIALLY learned that I can’t count on the two people (besides my hubby) in my life who I always thought I could count on most. It’s irritating and frustrating and all that, but mostly it’s just sad and disappointing.    I guess I always just expected my friends and family to be there for me…especially when I ask for help…and even more so when they say they will be…but obviously I’m wrong to have those expectations.  Chris just looked at me this afternoon and was like “are you surprised?”  I wasn’t.  Just sad.  But I won’t be again, because I won’t set myself up to be disappointed, at least with these two.  The flip side to this is that I have had several friends and family come out of the woodwork over the past few months- cooking meals/offering help/having us over/coming to visit/etc.  It’s been very surprising and I’ve learned a lot about the loving and giving nature of a select few.  It’s saved me, really….at least my sanity.  And it’s taught me that I’m not the bad guy for having expectations within my relationships…because some people will meet and even exceed them if you let them in.  I’m learning, trust me!

Things in our world are very, very crazy and busy at the moment.  Finley turned 3 months old yesterday, which blows my mind.  Isn’t she cute?

Fin 3 months leaning over laughing Finley 3 months great pic Finley 3 months laughing Finley 3 months pretty Finley 3 months squint eyes

We have also decided to list our house, which is totally exciting, yet totally stressful.  I wouldn’t stress over it too much, but there are a few things that need done before it goes up (May 1st) and it’s really hard to get said things done when I’m working, watching a 3 month old and going out of town every weekend.  Let’s just say that I have a LOT to do this week and I have no idea how I’m going to get it all done.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, because I need all the luck I can get!  The other stressful part of having the house up is that I’ll have to have the house uncluttered with baby stuff and be gone (remember that I work from home..with an infant and two dogs) whenever they show the house.  Ugh.  It’s gonna be a long few weeks if this thing doesn’t sell quickly!  Again, cross your fingers for us!

This past weekend we took our first big road trip with the baby, and she did great!  We went to Dallas for a wedding reception, and we had a great time.  Fin doesn’t generally do too well in the car, so we left out Thursday night around 8pm and drove straight through…and she slept the entire time.  When we got to the hotel we unpacked and I fed her and she went right back to sleep until 9am…she was perfect!  The reception/party was a lot of fun, and we got a lot of compliments on how well-behaved Finley was the whole time.  I said thanks, but I also let them know that it was just a good day and that she wasn’t always THAT good.  =)  I decided to drive us back Saturday night (10pm to 4 am) vs waiting til Sunday as well, and I’m glad I did…Fin and her drunk daddy slept the whole way home.  =)

My biggest news this month is a big deal to me- we finally paid off all of our debt.  For the first time in I don’t even KNOW how long (I’m guessing 10+ years), we are debt free.  I paid off my 4 runner this month, and we paid off the last of our private loan that we took out about a year ago to pay off credit card debt.  The only thing we owe on now is our house.  Crap…I guess that means we aren’t really debt free?  I don’t really count the house.  Is that fair?  LOL.  I can’t even explain to you the relief and freedom that I feel at this moment!  Whoo hoo!

Now for the monthly round-up…

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?

We have not been to the doctor or checked her stats since our 2 month appointment, so I have no idea.  She looks like she has ‘filled out’ some, so I’m guessing she’s around 12.5-13 lbs currently (just a guess).  She’s healthy and happy from all I can tell!

Fin in Dallas outside

What are you eating?

Finley is still exclusively breastfed at this point.  I’m still not doing dairy at this point, but I may start adding some back in here and there to see how she reacts to it.  There are two changes this month- 1) Fin seems to get distracted during some of her feeds.  She’ll be munching along, and then she’ll detach suddenly and turn her head (this does NOT feel good at all).  Then she’ll reattach and do the whole thing over again…and again…and again.  I’ve read about it online and this can be caused by a dozen different things (getting too much milk at once/not getting enough milk/curiosity to surroundings/tired/gassy/full), which sucks because who knows which one!  I generally just pick her up, try to burp her and then switch sides.  When she starts it up again on the other side, we’re done and cut her off for a while. Seems to be working ok.  2) Fin is eating a lot more efficiently, which means it takes much less time.  What use to be a 30 minute feeding on 1 side is now 15-20 minutes.  I like that.

When do you eat and sleep?

During the day Finley eats about every 3 hours. At night, it’s somewhere between 6 and 9 hours now (yay!).  Naps during the day (there are about 4 of them) range from about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the time. She naps and sleeps in her crib, swaddled, for the most part.  Sometimes I’ll let her nap near me on her belly (she loves that).

What do your routines look like?

We are still doing the Baby Wise method of eat-wake-sleep.  Our schedule has tweaked some…..

  • Wake at 7:30-8am and feed
  • Play (tummy time/lay around and kick/swing time/etc) for about an hour
  • Nap
  • 10:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 1:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 4:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 7:00- wake from nap and feed
  • Bath/Story time/etc
  • 9- feed and straight to bed
  • Only one nighttime feed now..usually sometime between 3 and 6

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

Clothing is mainly 3-6 months at this point, especially anything that covers her bum since we are doing cloth diapers.  Disposables are a size 2, but we’re not using those currently.  The cloth diapers are going well (details in a later post) and we currently have them snapped up to their smallest size.

Baby Bumble Bee Fin

What are some things you love?

This really depends on what time of day it is.  If we are talking about morning time (anytime before 1, actually), Fin enjoys laying down and kicking…sitting up in her little monkey chair…swinging…pretty much anything, as she’s in a great mood.  If it’s after 6, though, she mainly just likes eating and being carried around.  And bath time.  Newest love? Her glow-worm from Aunt Beth!  She fell in love with it on our trip to Dallas.  And a love anytime?  Outside time!  Sitting..strolling…walking in the Ergo…kicking on the patio…she loves it all.

Fin yawn in chair

What are some things you don’t love?

Diaper changes before you have eaten or in the middle of the night. Getting out of the bath tub. Getting lubed up after a bath. Having to wait to eat once you’ve decided you are hungry. Car rides if you don’t have someone in the back with you.

Finley on way to Bakers in car

What can you do?

Her newest talent is cooing and talking bath.  She’s quite the morning talker, and it’s totally adorable.  I’ve tried to get it on video, but every single time she sees the camera she deadpans and stops all activity.

Who has visited and watched you?

We haven’t had too many visitors lately, but that’s mainly because we’ve been busy.  We still haven’t had a babysitter to go out together, but we plan to in May for sure.

What are some of your nicknames?

Behind her back I call her ‘the titsucker’ a lot (awful, I know). I also call her Claire Bear…or boog…or diva.  And Fin, of course.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

A lot!  We are going to the Buffalo this weekend, so we’ll get lots of family time then.  We also have a trip to TX planned for May, and a couple of birthday parties.  Besides that, hopefully we’ll stay busy with showing the house!  Wish us luck!

Fin for easter

Categories: Baby, Family, Friends, Kids | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ten Weeks/2 Months

Fin 2 months smile and slobber

Holy hell I have a cute baby, don’t I?  Seriously.  I look at her in awe half of the time and am like “how the hell did this happen?”  I’m so in love.  I guess I should start this post off by admitting that I’m a horrible blogger now that I have a child.  I realize this, and I apologize.  I think of posts I want to write, but when I have a free moment to myself I find that cleaning..doing laundry…showering..eating…working…paying bills/etc all take priority.  I’m sure I’ll get better as my days get more predictable and Finely naps for longer periods of time, but for now I just suck.  Deal with it.

A fellow blogger (http://prettycuteovaries.wordpress.com/) is doing the below list for her newborn and I love it…so I’m stealing it for my updates.  Hope you don’t mind!

What are your stats and what does the doctor say?

At the two month checkup Finley weighed 11 lbs 4 oz (63rd percentile for her age) and was 23 3/4 in long (93rd percentile).  I was shocked that she didn’t weigh more with as much as she eats, but maybe she’ll chunk up soon (I hope so…love me a fat baby!).   I knew she was long, but I didn’t realize that she was like SUPER long for her age.  It’s really made her ‘slim up’ in a ways…and now she’s too long for almost all of her 0-3 month clothes (one-pieces)!  Fin got 3 shots at her appointment and did great (although she did scream for about a full minute).  Doctor said everything looks perfect and we don’t have to go back til her 4 month appt.

What are you eating?

Finley is exclusively breastfed at this point.  She likes momma’s booby juice (as my bff’s kids call it)..and I have plenty of it!  We had some issues with her getting pretty gassy and fussy, so I gave up dairy about a month ago and that seems to have helped (who really knows…could just be she’s getting older and her body is figuring things out finally).  I’m pumping milk at night some so that I have a little freedom, and Finley takes these bottles DOWN….loves them.  Let me just say- breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I’ve done.  It is JUST now over the past couple of weeks enjoyable to me.  It was really tough at first, but I’m so glad that I stuck through it and am able to provide the little nugget with what she needs.  As of now, I’m thinking I’ll probably exclusively breastfeed until at least 5-6 months.  When she starts solids we shall see…

When do you eat and sleep?

During the day Finley eats every 3 hours.  At night, it’s every 3-4 hours…and sometimes she’ll throw in a 4.5-5 hour stretch (not common yet).  Naps during the day (there are about 5 of them) range from about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the time.  She naps and sleeps in her crib, swaddled.  See below under routines for more details…

Fin asleep in crib

What do your routines look like?

We have joined the BabyWise (it’s a book…get it if you are expecting, you won’t regret it) philosophy of Eat-Play-Sleep.  I had been told to read the book by about 3 people….and after having a couple of rough weeks early on I decided that I’d give it a shot.  So glad I did!  Overall, the book taught me how to structure Finley’s eat/play/sleep routine to fit her age and our needs.  It’s constantly changing, but it’s a good guide on what to shoot for.  Here is our current schedule-

  • Wake at 7:30-8am and feed
  • Play (tummy time/lay around and kick/swing time/etc) for about an hour
  • Nap
  • 10:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 1:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 4:30- wake from nap and feed
  • Play
  • Nap
  • 7:00- wake from nap and feed
  • Bath/Story time/etc
  • 9- feed and straight to bed
  • Two nightime feeds…usually around 1 and 4 or 5

You may think I’m crazy for trying to be so regimented, but I need this for a couple of reasons.  1- this has taught Fin what to expect.  Seriously.  She use to fight us to go down for any/all naps, and now she just rolls into our arms to rock and closes her eyes (MOST of the time, she’s not perfect).  2-  since I’m working from home and have Fin here, I have to have an idea of when I can schedule conference calls/projects/etc.  So far this is working pretty well.  The next step will be to merge the night time feeds into just one….then we’ll start cutting out some of the cat naps.  We shall see….but for now I’m a Baby Wise Believer.

What size clothes and diapers are you wearing?

If it’s a one-piece with legs, Fin is in 3-6 months because of her length.  Otherwise, she can still wear 0-3.  She’s still in a size 1 diaper at this point.  We are actually starting cloth diapers next week (I’ve been waiting for her to get a little more meat on her bones, lol)…wish me luck!  I’ll post about it sometime soon…

What are some things you love?

Her favorite thing to do is to eat and lay on mommy.  She also has recently really started to enjoy laying down on the floor (or couch) and kicking her legs and looking around.  She loves her hands…always trying to put them in her mouth.  She’s started to enjoy the playmat on the ground as well, which is fun.  Fin also likes bathing with mommy…but not without.  And she LOVES being in the ERGO carrier.  When I’ve taken her to WM or Sam’s I’ve had her in it…and she just looks around at the lights and people and then passes out and sleeps the rest of the time.

Fin in the Ergo

Handsy Fin

What are some things you don’t love?

Diaper changes before you have eaten or in the middle of the night.  Getting out of the bath tub.  Getting lubed up after a bath.  Having to wait to eat once you’ve decided you are hungry.  Car rides if you don’t have someone in the back with you.

What can you do?

I have a very talented baby (of course, lol)- this girl can roll over from her belly to her back already!  She did it at 8 weeks and I thought it was a fluke…but then she would do it every time we put her on her belly, so I guess it’s gonna stick!  Finley is great at tummy time and can hold her whole upper body up.  She can giggle…bat her toys on the playmat…hold a blanket while nursing…cooo..smile…talk a little bit once engaged….more and more stuff every day!  I have tons of videos showcasing her talents on Instagram…feel free to follow me at jen.hottinger so you can see for yourself.  =)

Fin up on arms

Who has visited and watched you?

Our family has been really great about visiting and we’ve had a few friends that have made an effort to come out.  I’ve been a little disappointed with a few folks who haven’t made it out or put forth much effort, but oh well..things like having a baby really show you a lot about people I suppose.  Chris and I haven’t been out together yet, but I’m hoping we can do a date night soon and have Aunt Mickey babysit.

What are some of your nicknames?

Behind her back I call her ‘the titsucker’ a lot (awful, I know).  I also call her Claire Bear…or booger…or drama queen.

What are we looking forward to in the next month?

Everything.  Seriously…this past month has been the best ever of my life.  Fin is changing every single day and it’s just getting better and better and I’m enjoying things more and more.  At times I’m like “I can’t wait til Fin can do this,” and then I remember it’ll happen before I know it and I should just enjoy the moment.

Finley at grans Finley naked baby

Categories: Baby, Love of my life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Weeks 6 and 7

As of yesterday, Fin is 7 weeks old.  It’s so cliche to say, but time really does fly at this stage.  I don’t know if it’s because her looks change every single week or because she’s doing new things daily, but I feel like I blink and a week goes by.  It’s going too fast.  I always though I’d want to skip the whole first several months, just due to how needy and scary they can be, but now I realize how precious every stage must be and I’m so thankful and appreciative of every little thing.  So…what’s new with Finley and parenthood?

When Finley turned 6 weeks old (last Tuesday), I bit the bullet and moved her into her room/crib at night.  I’d been thinking about it for several days…just because of how noisy she is when she’s sleeping..and when I looked at the calendar and realized that Chris is going to be gone for a week very soon I figured there was no time like the present.  I was a little nervous at first, but the fact that we have a video monitor and a movement monitor made the logical part of my brain think “she’ll be fine, Jen….just relax.”  The video monitor is great, but it can be addictive.  I’ve taken to calling it Finivision because I watch it non-stop any time I hear a sound (and sometimes when I don’t).  I’m trying to get better with that.  So the camera (which we mounted up in the corner near her crib) has this little green light on it when it’s on, and I’ve noticed that when Finley wakes up sometimes she just stares at the light.  It IS the only light in the room at night, so I don’t blame her.  What’s weird about this, though, is that by her staring at that light she is also staring into the camera itself.  This can make for some pretty freaking scary pictures on the monitor!  Case in point:

Video monitor demon child

Now TELL me that wouldn’t scare the shit out of you out of a dead sleep if you looked at it!  Seriously creepy (for such a beautiful baby, of course).  You may also be curious what the movement monitor is…well…it’s peace of mind.  It’s a square tile that goes under the mattress that senses the slightest of movements (including breathing).  If the monitor is on and doesn’t detect any movement for 15 seconds then it sounds an alarm.  So far, we have not had any false alarms.  There have been times when Chris has picked Finley up out of her crib and forgotten to turn it off first (so it went off), but that’s it.  With her laying on her back and possibly spitting up, etc, this really makes me relax because I know she’s breathing without me having to watch her.  Totally not a necessary monitor, but totally worth it for the peace of mind it provides to me across the house at night when Fin is in her crib!

So how are our nights going now?  Amazingly.  She has really transitioned better than I could have hoped for!  Our schedule so far has been something like this:

  • 7: feeding
  • 8- 9: nap
  • 9- 10: bath (every other night)/swaddle/relax time
  • 10: feeding
  • 11- put Finely into crib (sometimes fully asleep, other times half asleep)
  • Sometimes between 2:30 – 3:30 she’ll wake up and I’ll feed her and she’ll immediately go back to sleep
  • Sometimes between 7 and 8:30 she’ll wake up and I’ll feed her again

From there it varies….often she’ll nap again for another 2 hours after her morning feeding.  For the last two nights I’ve gotten a 3.5-4 hour stretch at first…and last night I got a 5.5 hour stretch!  She’s really doing great.  And the more we do this, the better I’m getting at not waking up to every little sound in the monitor. I’m working on it.  Now we really just need to work on a nap routine during the day!

Bath time has also gotten better since I’ve gotten the ok to bath and have just been having her join me.  I’ll take a super hot bath for about 20 minutes, then I’ll add some cool water and have Chris bring me Finley.  I’ll have her on my chest with a washcloth over her to keep her warm (or have her lay down on my legs so that she’s pretty much in the water mostly) and she’s really enjoying it!  I’ll probably do this until she can sit up on her own or until she starts to enjoy it on her own more.  So far this is the only thing that keeps her from crying during bath time….and in fact she loves it!  Last night was the best yet, as she just kept smiling and cooing at me most of the time.  Too damn cute.  I’m just happy she didn’t shit on me.

What else is new this week?  Hmmmm…I’d say that Finley has really turned over a new leaf as far as interaction goes.  Most people can get a smile from her when she’s happy…and she is THISCLOSE to talking back to me after a feeding.  You can see in her eyes that she’s trying…and her mouth is moving…but the sound just isn’t there quite yet (on purpose).  It’s adorable.  She smiles a lot with her eyes and it just melts my heart.  I try to capture it on film, but as soon as I get that camera or phone up, all she does is stare at it and focus in on that vs me.  Oh well.  One for the memory banks.

Fin is also enjoying laying on her back more, finally!  She’ll lay around and kick and kick and move around..and until this week she wouldn’t do that at all (didn’t like put down much, really).

Overall, my baby is also much happier this week.  She still has her bouts of gas that really get her worked up, but she’s generally pretty content.  She’s growing and changing so much, especially this past week.

As for me, I passed my 6 week check-up with flying colors.  Uterus looks good…vagina is still beautiful (thank you, c-section)…my scar is healing perfectly and I have no signs of postpartum.  I got the go-ahead for some late-night activity with the hubs, normal activity, work and hot baths.  We discussed birth control options, and I actually ended up getting on a very light pill.  I was planning on just using condoms for a while, but there is a newish pill out that doesn’t have progesterone and only works if you are breast feeding…and my doc said it wouldn’t affect fertility at all…so I’m trying that.  We shall see.  I still haven’t had a period or any bleeding- yay!

Ok, time is up (shocking).  Below are the adorable birth announcements we did, as well as a couple of pics…enjoy!

 

?????

Baby Love

 Car ride to Grans

Categories: Baby, C-Section | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

One month pictures- posting a little late

Finley 1 month pics take 1

Finley 1 month pics take 2

Finley 1 month pics take 3

Finley 1 month pics take 4

Finley 1 month pics take 5

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Week 4 and 5 / One month

Holy Hell does time fly!  Can you believe that my baby was a month old on the 21st?  It’s really shocking.  Parents have always told me to “enjoy every moment” and that “time goes too quickly with your kids”….and I suppose they were right.  I literally blinked my eyes and BAM…I have a one month old!

Weeks 4 and 5 were challenging for me.  First off, Finely has proven the lactation consultant correct and has continued to be a very eager eater.  We’ve had several days in the past week where all she wanted to do was cluster feed.  Instead of feeding every 3-4 hours, she was eating and WITHIN THE HOUR demanding to eat again.  I’d try anything/everything to calm her down/make her happy, but the only thing that would work was putting a boob in her mouth.  This was exhausting and got to be painful by the end of each afternoon.  On top of this, I started pumping a few times at night….so my breasts have gotten a good work-out to say the least.  I feel like a milk cow.

Secondly, I’m just not getting very much sleep.  Fin will sleep for 4 hours at a time a couple of times at night, but by the time I get up and around…feed her…get her back to sleep….pump….wash the pumping components…get myself back to sleep..etc, I’m only getting 2.5- maybe 3 hours each time.  I’m just not use to only getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night.  I’m sure I’ll get better and handling it- I have to!  And I know, I know…it could be much worse.

Third- Fin has just been fussy.  She’ll wake up and eat and be happy for 20-30 minutes…and then after that she’s just plain fussy.  She’ll scream and fuss until I either feed her or get her to go back to sleep.  I know she’s gassy because I can feel her tummy and feel the gas moving around….and she scrunches up her little body in pain when she is able to pass gas…but not sure if this is it or not.  We’ve tried gas drops and gripe water, but nothing is really helping. She’s been like this for about a week now and it’s so frustrating!  I can tell she’s hurting and I can’t do anything for her.  Our pediatrician isn’t worried about it…says it is normal…but I hate it.

And finally, my little nugget just isn’t traveling very well when it’s just me and her.  Without someone in the back seat, I feel like she gets scared and then she works herself up.  And by works herself up, I’m telling you…this girl will sweat through whatever she is wearing and scream til she spits up.  It’s pitiful!  A 45 minute drive the other day took me 2 hours because I had to stop so many times to calm her down.  It makes me feel awful and really makes me not want to go anywhere alone with her until she does better.  Poor girl.

The normal questions (although I’ve decided I’m going to do away with these or change them as many of them won’t really change much now):

1. Is your baby back up to birth weight?  Yes!  We had her 1 month appt on the 21st and she weighed 10 lbs and 3 oz.  Almost a pound up from birth weight and more than a pound up from her last appointment.  She’s also grown a half-inch and is 22 inches now.  This puts her in the 83% for height and 79% for weight.  It’s funny looking at her now, because I think she looks LESS chunky than when she was born.  Maybe the weight is just spreading out more or something?  Who knows.  She’s pretty perfect if you ask me.

2.  Are you breastfeeding/how often?  Yes- solely breastfeeding (she hasn’t had any formula).  I’ve started pumping a few times a day/night, just to build up some supply for when I need a break.  Chris gave Fin her first bottle and she scarfed it down in no time.  Since then she’s only had 2 more and she likes them just fine and goes back to the breast just fine as well.  I’m feeding less often this week, which is nice…about every 3 hours now, sometimes an extra feeding or two thrown in during the day.  Finley would probably go 5-6 hours at night if I’d let her, but I’ve been waking her after 4 so far.  Will probably start stretching that out this week.

3. How is momma’s recovery?  Have you lost weight?  Are you still bleeding?  Can you walk around and lift things?  I’m doing great- feel totally back to normal, actually.  Last time I weighed I was down 13 lbs from before I got pregnant, so happy with that.  Haven’t really been tracking it any more.  I’m sure I would lose a lot more weight if I’d stop eating so much during the day…I’ve been a little out of control!  I don’t know if it’s the breastfeeding making me hungry or just me being bored or what….need to get it in check.  I haven’t been bleeding for a couple of weeks now- yay!  I have my 6 week appointment this week, so hopefully I’ll be cleared to go back to normal on everything (lifting/exercising/taking baths/sex/etc)…

4.  Who is helping?  Is Dad around?  My mom has been coming over once a week for a few hours, and my hubby is still home on paternity leave.  I’m dreading him going back to work!

5.  How is the sleeping situation?  We’ve been making great progress on this, but still have a ways to go.  Finley will sleep 3-4 hours three times in a row at night.  We put her in her rock and play by my side of the bed for a few nights in a row and she slept like a champ.  Then, a couple of nights ago, I started putting her in the pack n play to get her use to the flat surface so that the crib transition wouldn’t be such a big jump.  She did great the first night, but last night she was NOT having it.  She’d be sound asleep and the minute I laid her down in the pack n play her eyes would open wide and she’d start fussing.  We’re working on it!  I’m really thinking we’re just going to bite the bullet and start putting her in her crib soon- next week at the latest.  I know it’ll be hard at first, but getting her out of my room will be good b/c I hear her every sound and it keeps me up a lot.

6.  Any baby milestones this week?  At 4 weeks Finley started smiling on purpose.  It melts my heart and makes me so so happy….

I owe you the 1 month pictures and some other updates, but this is the best I can do for today!

Sleepy Naked Baby Smiles Sleeping Smiles Serious Baby

 

 

 

Categories: Baby, Kids | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

The first three weeks

I cannot believe that it’s already been three weeks since Finley made her arrival- doesn’t seem possible!  I’m going to briefly describe each week of what I can remember, then I’ll get to some specific questions that I want to continue to update at least every other week in order to keep track of things.

WEEK 1- We spent half of the first week in the hospital (Fin arrived on Tuesday and we left on Friday cause we wanted an extra night with the nursery)…mainly just entertaining people who came to visit, breastfeeding and trying to get a little rest.  When we came home, my mom came with us and stayed three nights.  I didn’t plan on her coming (or ask her to), but she had planned on it and I couldn’t say no.  She helped out with cooking/cleaning and baby-holding, so it was nice for a couple of days.  Fin (like most babies) lost weight those first few days-  she was born at 9.4 and went down to 8.8 by Friday.  She was an ‘eager eater’ (according to the lactation consultant) from day one, so she was always wanting to nurse…at least every 3 hours, usually every 1.5-2 hours.  My milk came in on Saturday, although I wouldn’t have even noticed it if Finley hadn’t detached suddenly one time.  A lot of women warned me that my breasts would become hard and hurt and look totally different, but mine never did that.  Not sure if it is because I never had a chance to get engorged (since she’s been so attached to me since day one) or what, but I’ll take it.  We nursed a LOT those first few days home and Fin was sleeping in 2-3 hour increments.  She hates having her diaper changed

 

WEEK 2- Had our first peds appt that Monday, and Finley had gained 6 oz in three days (since check out on Friday).  WOW!  Maybe my milk is part half and half?  LOL.  Doc said she looked perfect and was gaining weight back on track and sent us on our way. I was disappointed with the lack of information that the doc provided (I was expecting some percentiles or some “don’t do this” or “make sure you do this”) and how short the appointment was, but happy for the good report.  Scheduled her 1 month follow-up for the 21st.  Chris and I got into a sort of schedule this week where he will stay in the living room each night with Fin while she sleeps (she’s a super loud sleeper and I’m still paranoid enough that if I’m in the room with her trying to sleep I can’t sleep at all) and then he sleeps during the day while I’m up with her.  We found that if she’s on our chests (on her belly), she’ll sleep 3-4 hours…but if we put her down on her back we’re good to get an hour.  She doesn’t like being on her back at all.  She’s doing better this week at diaper changes, so that’s good.  This week we had a few rough nights where she just wanted to use me as a pacifier to soothe herself.  Not sure if it was gas or a growth spurt or if she just wanted the comfort of sucking, but it was REALLY hard on me.  I was exhausted…my boobs hurt so bad every time she would latch…. and neither one of us were happy about the situation.  I started giving her some gas drops and Chris was able to start getting her to take a paci some, so that helped a lot.  After a couple of days it was better.  This week was also the week that my hormones went nuts. On several different occasions I would just start crying.  I wasn’t thinking about anything…I wasn’t sad…I wasn’t overwhelmed or stressed….I was just crying.  I think it worried Chris a bit, but it didn’t last long thankfully.

 

WEEK 3- The cord FINALLY fell off of her belly button (we had been putting alcohol at the base for a while to dry it out), so I was able to give Fin her first bath.  She didn’t love it…think she got too cold.  I bought a space heater the other day, though, so maybe next time will be better!  Finley is still an eating machine, and she quite a good sleeper.  The other night she slept for 6 hours straight..I woke up in a panic, convinced that Chris had fallen asleep holding her and something had happened.  My boobs were NOT happy about going 6 hours between feedings either….don’t want to do that again anytime soon.  Since then I’ve been setting my alarm for every 4 hours and waking her up if I need to.  Nursing got MUCH better this week.  Until earlier this week, every time Fin would latch I felt like she was stabbing my  nipple with a knife.  It was a brief pain, but it was excruciating.  One day this week I woke up and nursed and the pain just wasn’t there anymore…thank god.  I still get sore if she nurses a lot in one day, but nothing like before.  WHOO HOO!

 

I know I forgot a lot, but hopefully that helps someone out there know what to expect those first few days.  All I can say is that you need someone (hubby/mom/friend/etc) that can help you get some sleep and help with diaper changes/etc…especially if you are breastfeeding because you are going to feel like that is all you do.  Get food prepared ahead of time or have a meal train scheduled to help because that’s the last thing you’ll want to mess with!  Download a good app to track feeding/diapers.  Have some gas drops on hand at the house before you bring baby home.  Also have some stain remover, because the poop just keeps coming.

 

Questions to keep up with:

1. Is your baby back up to birth weight?  We weighed her at home (me weighing without her, then holding her) last night and she was 9.8…so yes.  She has an appointment next Friday and I’m curious what they will say she weighs…I’m guessing 10 lbs by then!
2.  Are you breastfeeding/how often?  Yes- solely breastfeeding (she hasn’t had any formula and I haven’t started pumping yet).  According to my app I feed about 4 hours a day (yikes), at an average of every 3ish hours.  She usually eats for 20-25 minutes on one breast and then I feed off the other the next time.
3. How is momma’s recovery?  Have you lost weight?  Are you still bleeding?  Can you walk around and lift things?  I’m doing awesome.  I stopped taking any pain pills 3 days after surgery and have been walking around since the morning after.  I’m still not suppose to lift anything heavier than Finley, but I know I could.  I feel great.  As far as weight, as of my appointment on Monday I am down 27 lbs.  I gained only 15 during pregnancy, so I’m actually 12 lbs lighter than I started out.  Weird, I know.  I’ll take it.  I’m still bleeding, but hardly at all.  I’ve only been wearing a panty liner for a couple of weeks now (thank god, I hate pads…make me feel gross).  All in all, I’m super happy with my recovery!  I go back on March 5th for my 6 week appointment…I know Chris is excited for that one, as I’ll hopefully get the ‘go ahead’ to go back to all physical activities.  =)
4.  Who is helping?  Is Dad around?  Chris is off work and is SOOOOO much help!  I’m loving every second of seeing him be a daddy.  He’s off until April if he wants, but I’m guessing he’ll be off a couple more weeks and then start going in a few days a week until we get into a good routine.
5.  How is the sleeping situation?  Finley sleeps great as long as she’s on top of mom or dad!  LOL.  If we have her on her belly on our chest she will sleep anywhere from 3-4 hours (she’d go longer at night if I didn’t wake her up).  We know this isn’t a permanent scenario, so going to start putting her in our room some next week and ease into it.  Wish us luck!

6.  Any baby milestones this week?  Well, Finley came out of the womb lifting her head, so that’s not new.  No major milestones I guess…looking forward to her smiling on purpose in a few weeks, though!

 

That’s all I have for now- have a good weekend all!

 

Finley annoyed look

Categories: Baby, C-Section, Kids, Love of my life | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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