Saturday, March 21, 2015

Not a baby post... Finalized Basement Bar area

Guess what? This post is not about the baby! I know, hard to believe. So I realized recently that I neglected to tell you all about our basement bar area. Like, I just never filled you in past installing the cabinets. That was pretty rude of me.

Anyway, this project was finished sometime around when I was still throwing up all the time (which was the first 3/4 of my pregnancy, so it doesn't really narrow anything down). But I think it was around a year ago. Anyway, we had a professional install the countertop, which is Quartz. My dad helped to install the faucet (I believe J also helped) and the fridge. My dad also installed the quarter round at the bottom. The bottom trim still isn't quite right. There's a little piece that is missing. I'm actually not entirely sure what to do to fix it because (a) it's a small area and (b) we don't have the old trim and cannot find matching trim. So... I'm considering either putting in some quarter round or adding a frame type of trim to the whole thing. My folks still have my miter saw at the moment, so it probably won't be done too soon. However, I think it still looks nice as is. It's a huge improvement from where we started.


And as a reminder of where we started... 

I hope you all feel better that I finally concluded that little project (I know I feel better).

I'm hoping to get back into doing more house projects. I went down and organized our basement this week. It made me miss doing some of this stuff. It's just so hard to balance work plus baby plus a semi-social life plus hobbies. My hobbies have really suffered. But I also realize L is only little for a while and I will get more time for hobbies again. I did do a painting of L's silhouette. Since it has his full name, I may not share it, but it was fun to paint again.

Hope you are all having a good weekend. Everyone but me is sleeping at the moment. So, I'm just blogging with the window open while watching March Madness... So nice.

Toodles!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

7 months

Hello there! L is now 7 months old! Crazy right? I feel like the last month went by pretty fast, but it was also a shorter month, so... whatever.

I thought I would fill you in on what we have been up to.

Stats:

Weight: around 20 pounds

Height: 27.25 inches (at 6 months)

Percentile: 77th for height and weight

Diaper size: currently in 3s, but my next order is for 4s. He's growing out of them like crazy.

Clothing size: He's still in 6-12 months, but it's getting pretty tight. 12 month size in Carter's seem to fit okay. Except pants. Carter's seems to be made for skinny babies, so Carter's pants are a problem for us. For his waist size, they are always too long. And it seems an assumption has been made about growth between 9 and 12 months. The legs in 12 months are really long, but the waist is not that much bigger. This has pretty much led to me abandoning Carter's for now because I can't get the pants above his thighs without a lot of difficulty. The clothes that fit him best right now are Hanna Anderson (size 70), but they are crazy expensive. Gap and Old Navy also seem to work pretty well. My most recent order was for 12-18 months, which I'm holding off on putting him in for now.

Milestones: Reaching and grabbing has really intensified in the past month. He's started lunging for objects he wants now. Just this morning, he was reaching for something and ended up on his tummy from sitting. He was not pleased. However, this seems to be predecessors of mobility. He still has not rolled back to tummy. I truly think he could because rolling him is quite easy, but I don't think he wants to do it. This morning, I finally saw him roll to the left instead of the right! I was super excited. J didn't really see why I was, but I thought it was cool that he could roll both directions. He can sit for as long as he wants. And rarely falls. He's getting better and better with eating off a spoon and recently figured out how to use a sippy cup. What really helped with that was finding one with a removable valve. I took out the valve so water could flow freely. It made a mess, but he figured out that water comes out. Now, he can use the normal ones pretty well.

Sleeping: Mostly been good. I've limited him to 3 naps a day, which has helped a lot with lengthening his naps. He's been waking up recently at night, but I think it's due to teething. Regardless, I'm tired. He's still loving his Zipadeezip. We moved into the mediums. And I have a sleepsack my mom made that I can use when the Zippy is in the wash.

Breastfeeding: We're weaning slowly. I'm down to feeding him from the source in the morning and pumping once at night. The transition from pumping 3x to 2x was no biggie, but getting down to just once was a little painful. I ended up alternating days with it (2x then 1x, etc), which helped. It may be a while before I cut out the night pumping, but I eventually will. I have time. Even with what I'm doing now, it's totally manageable. I'm sick of cleaning pump parts though.

Schedule: We finally have one! And it has made life so much easier! I love it. He naps 3x a day: 8:30, 12 and 3:30. He has a bottle at 11ish, 3ish and 7ish and then nurses at 7 am. Each of his bottles are between 6-7 oz, so I estimate he's getting between 24-28 oz/day. He eats breakfast and lunch after his morning and midday naps, and he has dinner with us around 6:15-6:30. Bedtime is 7:30 pm. He usually wakes around 6 am, but we don't really get up until 7. Sometimes, I bring him to bed with us for some morning cuddles. Or we give him the pacifier and let him chill (sometimes he falls back asleep). Recently, he's been waking once at night, but all we do is give him the pacifier. I have an app that charts his sleep (and everything else) and he averages around 14 hours/day (technically 13.7, but who's counting).

Last weekend, we had L baptized at our church. It was a really special weekend for us. Both J and my parents came. L wore an outfit my mom had made. He was so good for the service, except the loud music scared him.


Pictures from the past month:








Sunday, February 15, 2015

6 month update!

Okay... okay... It's been forever since my last update. L is now officially a half a year old! This time 6 months ago, we were in the hospital with our brand new baby boy. And now, he's peacefully asleep upstairs while J and I watch Harry Potter and drink hot toddys (man, it's cold out!). I seem to have some sort of cold at the moment, and I am just hoping L doesn't get it.

Let's see, I feel like quite a bit has happened since I last updated. L has developed quite a bit since I last wrote. Right before he turned 5 months old, he started rolling from tummy to back! It's been pretty cool. Although at this point, tummy time consists of me putting him on his tummy, he grabs a toy and rolls onto his back to play with it. I can't get him to do any substantial tummy time unless I block him from rolling (and then he cries). Oh well. He also only rolls to the right. He hasn't yet rolled back to tummy. Our pediatrician said it may take a while considering his "substantial mass." Haha. He's currently in the 77th percentile for both height and weight (27.25 inches and 19 pounds), and 98th percentile for head size. He has started grabbing and reaching with intention. He studies objects and toys, grasps them and hits them. He passes objects between his hands. He grabs his feet a lot. He has just started putting weight on his legs when he's held upright. Actually, he doesn't like this at all, but our pediatrician asked me to work on it with him. He blows raspberries, giggles a lot, and is getting more interactive every day. He sits up really well. Like, he can sit for 30 minutes plus on his own. He loves when I sing and dance.

Our nanny also started in early January and has been working out great. Our schedule is finally getting under control. I cut out his 4th nap and stretched out his wake times and he has been having one long nap a day (plus 2 short ones)! Yay! :) We transitioned him out of the swaddle and into the Zipadeezip and he has done really great. He loves his zippy and has slept really well. We are really blessed and lucky. We also started solids, which he is doing great with. He loves bananas. Like obsessed. But he's also doing well with peas, carrots, pears, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and avacado. We are currently doing 2 meals a day, but will increase to 3 soon. We made it to 6 months with breastfeeding! And... I may be about done. L's latch has always been bad, but lately it's gotten really quite painful. He's basically biting down on me all the time. Thankfully he doesn't have teeth. And he honestly seems to enjoy bottles. However, he is not a fan of formula. So, I'll probably work on weaning him soon-ish. Because I really don't want him to cut a tooth with his current latch. :( I'm really proud of us for making it this far, especially with the rough start that we had. I have a lot of mixed feelings about stopping... I feel a little guilty and I know I will miss it to some extent when/if we give it up. But, I think if we are to continue, I would need to go back to the lactation consultant and I'm just not sure it's something I feel that strongly about continuing... Plus, being a type A person, it somewhat drives me nuts that I don't really know how much he's getting. I don't know... we shall see. Every time I think I'm going to stop, I decide not to. I think I need to pray about it.

Okay, that's really all for now. Happy Valentine's and President's Day! Stay warm, friends.

Bonus pics.




Saturday, January 10, 2015

Christmas re-cap

Hello! Happy New Year! I feel like I am slowing coming up for air after the Christmas break. L's first Christmas was... a little disappointing to be honest. I'm really glad he won't remember it. Christmas Eve, L started acting really fussy and wanted to nap all day long. Since I have already talked about the catnapping, you know that long naps are unusual. At around 2 pm, I decided to take his temperature, just in case. Yea, it was creeping up towards 102. At this point, I felt like a horrible parent for not checking it sooner. Luckily, I had packed both a thermometer and Infant Tylenol. We gave him Tylenol, called the pediatrician and waited it out. On the Tylenol, it started going down, thankfully, so we didn't end up going to the ER or Urgent Care. His fever broke that night... around the same time that mine started. I was so sick on Christmas Day, like couldn't pick up the baby sick, not able to move sick. It was awful. L was still fussy and J and my mom were starting to feel ill. My dad really came to the rescue here. He never caught what we had and was willing to walk L around the house for hours to calm him down. He also slept in the same room as L and co-slept with him in the morning so I could get more rest. My mom and I were about 12 hours offset, so she ended up holding L for naps Christmas Day and I did the day after (L was too sick to tolerate being put down for naps). My milk supply also plummeted and I was so thankful I had picked up some formula for the trip (it recovered after about 3 days). So, we never went to Christmas Eve service or to our friend's house for Christmas Day. Bummer. We were also too sick to go to my in-laws when we had planned on it, so that visit got cut short and we didn't end up seeing J's cousins. So, all in all, could have been better. I'm 80% sure we all had the flu. My in-laws also had the flu, so we were all just sort of sick and miserable. Last year, I was pregnant with L and threw up all of Christmas, so next year -- no more sickness at Christmas (New Years Resolution?)!

Prior to our Christmas, L had his 4 month checkup. He did better with shots this time around (yay). He was 16.88 lbs and 26 inches long, which puts him around the 80th percentile for things. After Christmas, J and I both had a week off to spend with L. It was really, really great! We went on some walks, played with him and let him nap in my arms and re-watched House of Cards on mute with captions during naps. He has started getting more interactive. Still no rolling, but he works pretty hard at it when on his tummy. He's growing hair! It's so cute and soft. I think the color is a blondish brown. Eyes are still hazel. He also has been laughing a lot more, which is great.

His sleep has gotten... interesting. We have good days/nights and bad days/nights. J has been really great and has let me sleep and handled some of the wakings. L gets so fussy when he doesn't sleep well (just like his mommy), and I feel so bad for him. I honestly am not sure how to help him more than I am because I am not ready for sleep training yet. I will say I have stopped responding as quickly and he has fussed himself back to sleep a few times.

There's so much more I could write here... so many more thoughts that I have swimming in my head. Most of it fellow moms would recognize. How God has shown me grace with the sleep regression. How He has given me enough sleep and strength to face each day (although I sometimes get cranky). How God is showing me the little blessings. For so long, I have been focused on how hard everything is and needing a break. It is hard, but God has been working in my heart to change my attitude and focus on the unique time that we are in. L won't be a baby forever and I am sure to look back on this time with fondness. And all of the smiles and giggles are just so amazing. I am so enjoying watching L develop and start grasping objects and understanding the world around him a little more. And there is something so precious about a baby sleeping in your arms (albeit less sweet at 3 am). God is still working on the pride in my heart. I see other babies achieve milestones that mine hasn't and I get... well... jealous. Am I doing something wrong? Is my baby not as good? But, that isn't fair to me and it certainly isn't fair to L. He will do things when he is ready. He is developmentally on track and is healthy, and I need to focus on his achievements as they are and not in comparison. It's a lesson I think I will learn over and over and over again as he grows. All we can do is love him and teach him in our own way. And try not to worry about the rest. Having a baby makes it quite plain how little control you actually have. And I need to learn over and over again just to roll with it. I get so hung up on doing the "right" thing instead of just enjoying playing with L.

Anyway, I am completely rambling at this point... there is more going on, so much more. But this is enough sharing for now.

Pictures!

Sitting in his high chair (no solids yet)

Happy in the bathtub!

New tummy time pillow for Christmas

Playing with new blocks

Sucking on the fist

He does this all day long... grabbing the feet. :) It's really cute!



Saturday, December 13, 2014

4 month update

Hey everyone! Where to begin? It's almost been 2 months since I last posted here. A lot has happened. First off, the schedule thing didn't really work out. I tried and I tried and L won. However, we are starting to settle into a routine, I guess. He usually does something consistently for a week then everything changes. He's a really great night sleeper. He goes down around 6:30 pm and wakes up around 7:30 am with one feeding somewhere in there, usually around 5 am. He's also a terrible napper. Like he will only nap 30-40 minutes at a time during the day. I have tried nearly everything to lengthen that but almost nothing will and the few times I have been successful, he didn't sleep at night, so... I deal with the cat naps for now. (Pro-tip: read about baby sleep before you have the baby). Also, I can't really hold him all nap anymore because my arm falls asleep. To say that he is heavy is an understatement. I haven't weighed him since he was 3 months, but he was 16 pounds then! I estimate he's around 18 pounds now. I do plan to let him CIO (cry it out) at some point because I am still rocking him to sleep and awake but drowsy just doesn't work for us. But, he's just too young now (I'm thinking 5-6 months). I've let him fuss, but he just escalates it and won't calm down unless I go in and rock him. We've had some luck with the swing. But, as long as he is sleeping at night, we don't really have a problem, yet... 

We had a rough month in there where L was fussy a lot. I don't know if we were doing anything wrong but I tried to get him to sleep and played with him, but he was just fussy. He is starting to grow out of that now, which is nice. In the past few weeks, he has become much more interactive: he babbles, blows spit bubbles, laughs out loud, and smiles a lot. He is more social than he is into the gross motor skills, but tummy time is going much better these days. He is not rolling over, but I'm seeing definite signs towards it. I practice rolling with him, and have him lay on his side and work out how to do the rest on his own. He sometimes gets frustrated with this, but is making a lot of progress. I'm not in a huge hurry for him to be mobile (we still swaddle him and that needs to stop first), but I do want to give him time to practice. He has also started arching his back a lot, which means I have to strap him into everything now because he could launch himself out of the swing or rock and play fairly easily. He also grabs his legs a lot now. He is super into assisted sitting, but not standing. I honestly don't blame him: he's super heavy for those little legs! I got him an exersaucer, but he's not really quite ready for it. He kind of just sits in it and bobbles his head. I have to be there with him the entire time so he doesn't smash his head into something. 

I've started back at work part time, which is awesome. I, personally, really needed it. One of the things I have realized is that being a stay at home mom is really not for me. I actually give SAHMs a lot of credit -- it is exhausting to do it day after day. I find I am a lot happier if I have some time away. And part time seems to be great for this. It still gives me one-on-one time with L and a chance to continue my bible study, but also an outlet and a chance to do technical work. This month, L has been with family and a babysitter, but we have a nanny starting next month. I think she will be a great fit for our family. We actually really liked the babysitter we used this past week as well. Perhaps I am strange, but I really don't mind leaving L. I have not been upset over it once. I think it's really healthy for us. 

Breastfeeding is still going well, and my plan is to make it to 6 months and then wean him gradually (and plan to be done by 8 months). This means I will have to wean him to formula. I'm okay with BFing, but I also kind of want to stop. He still has a shallow latch, so it hurts still. I hate pumping at work (or in general). We also have a bunch of out of town weddings this summer and I don't want to be pumping all weekend. And by 6 months, I feel like I will have done my duty. 

I would love to get back to some house projects, but with my little cat napper, that hasn't been possible yet. Perhaps when we sleep train, he will start sleeping better for naps. That would be heavenly. Also, if anyone has any good advice for the cat napping problem, I'd love to know. 

Speaking of which, he's awake again... 

Bonus, pictures!

He stretches like crazy when he is released from the swaddle. 

I was burping him.

His going to the bathroom face -- cracks me up!

Tummy time!

Around 3 months

My mom made him this day gown. It would have been perfect for baptism, but we didn't get on the schedule in time...

Bath time

I love this photo



He loves being kissed on the cheeks.

Super happy in the morning.


Really enjoying his mobile.

There's more I forgot. I know there is. Babies are hard. Even easy babies are hard and a huge adjustment. But, we're taking it a day at a time. And doing the best we can. :) 

Monday, October 20, 2014

2 months and Baby Registry Advice

Hey everyone!

So, L had his 2 month checkup this week -- my baby was so brave getting all his shots! I nearly cried myself. Somehow it's heartbreaking to watch their little faces break and start crying and they don't understand why. Actually the worst part was how sore he was afterwards (he's actually still really fussy 4 days later, ugh). A little Tylenol and some sleep seemed to help. But, he's gaining immunity little by little! Unfortunately, he can't get a flu shot this year, so let's pray that he doesn't get exposed to that! He's in the 80-90th percentile for pretty much everything: 14 lbs 5 ounces, 23.75 inches long, and a 16 inch head (kid has a big head). Let's see: he's in size 2 diapers at this point and wears 6 month or 3 month clothing (depends on the brand). He's rather long, so I feel like he needs 6 month clothing for the length, but it's kind of baggy on him. We have been nailing down a consistent schedule, which is going pretty well, although there are frustrating days. Right now, our schedule is like this:

7 am - wakeup, eat and play
8/8:30 - nap
10/10:30 - feed and activity
11:30ish - nap
1:30 - feed and activity
3ish - nap
4:30 - feed and activity
5:30/6 - catnap (usually in swing or on one of us), typically 30-45 minutes long
7ish - bath and massage
7:30-8 - feed (I try to have him eat as much as he can and sometimes wait 20-30 minutes and try again to fill him up). Rocking, lullabies and cuddles.

You're probably thinking, "your 2 month old sleeps 11 hours?". Well... not exactly. But, that's the goal. For instance, this morning, he woke up at 5:30 am, and we played paci-pong for an hour and a half (that's where you give him the pacifier, rub his belly, leave, 3-15 minutes later he cries again and you repeat). However, getting him off schedule is not good, and he's not starving (he doesn't even eat that much in his morning feed). And some of those naps I have to hold him for part of the time. So, we're still working on it. For the record, the schedule is straight out of the book, "Moms on Call", which puts together age appropriate schedules for babies - toddlers. Their book was super helpful.

Anyway, I actually wanted to write to tell about the stuff that we've been using and what's been really useful. If any pregnant friends are reading, these are the things I would recommend registering for.

Feeding
This is mostly geared toward breastfeeding because that's what we've been doing (no judgement on how you feed your baby though).

Breast Pump - You can get this free through your insurance company. I went with the Medela Pump in Style Advanced and I really like it. The first few weeks I pumped so much that I ended up buying a second set of parts so that I didn't have to wash them every time.

Bottles - Honestly, the bottle that came with the breast pump worked pretty well for us. L didn't really have any reflux problems, so we didn't use anything special. I remember stressing about different bottles, but I don't think it really matters too much (unless you have reflux issues).

Nipple Shield - Just get one for the first few weeks. It can really save you.

Breast pads - So, I leak... a lot. I like the disposable Lansinoh ones.

Formula - I recommend having some on hand even if you plan on breastfeeding. If you've signed up for maternity stuff, you may have gotten samples in the mail. We have formula from the mail, my OB's office, and the hospital. We didn't have to buy any.

Pillow - My breast friend - love that thing. I can't get the boppy to work for me. I also use a towel to prop up his head to the right height.

Nursing Stool - I ended up buying the KidKraft one from Amazon, which really helped me get comfortable during nursing.


Burp cloths - Old school flat cloth diapers work great.

Diapering
Diapers - We love Pampers Swaddlers.

Changing Pad - I love our Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer. One of our friends recommended this to us (and actually bought it for us too), and it has been awesome. No changing covers to wash. It's easy to wipe down.

Diaper Pail - Diaper Dekor. I really like the way this works and it keeps the smells away really easily.

Wipes Holder - OXO Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser.

Sleep
Sleep sacks - I love the Halo ones with the swaddle arms. They work really well. Highly recommend. We used the woombie for the first few weeks and I liked it as well, but it's pretty tiny, so he outgrew it quickly. I also really like the miracle blanket. That thing is awesome for swaddling (which makes a huge difference for sleeping). I also use the Aden and Ani swaddle blankets for naptime. He can break out of my swaddle, so I'm not comfortable with him in them at night. (Actually he can break out of the Halo swaddle arms, which is downright impressive).

Pacifiers - The AAP recommends pacifiers as a protection against SIDS and it can also help with soothing for sleep. We have tried all the brands and L seems to like the MAM ones the best (every baby is different though). The soothies kind fell out of his mouth a lot (or gagged him). He liked the Nuk ones okay at first, but now he doesn't.

Crib - Ours is from the Land of Nod. I love it.

Crib mattress - We bought a highly rated one from Amazon (foam), but I can't remember which one now. Honestly, they should all meet standards and work fine.

PJs - We use PJs under the sleep sack. I like the footed zip up kind. Snapping a gazillion snaps at 3 AM is not fun. Zippers are your friend. (Carters makes great cotton zip up footed PJs).

White noise - So, we started out with the Sleep Sheep. Which is great and super cute. But... it only goes for 45 minutes. So, we ended up buying a plain white noise machine off Amazon (myBaby SoundSpa portable) so that it can go all night. It does help with reducing noise from other sources around the house (like all of our creaky boards).
Activity
Play gym - The Fischer Price Rainforest friends one is super popular. Mostly because it has lights. Babies love lights. We also have the Kick and Play Piano gym, which I think will become more popular when L is less obsessed with lights.

Tummy time - I use a boppy for propping him up during tummy time. This helps him to look up more than if he were flat on the floor. Still, tummy time isn't super popular.

Board books - He doesn't really get them yet, but whatever. I still read to him. I also have a Children's Bible I read from.

Boppy lounger - This thing is great. We have it on our kitchen table, and L can join us for meals.

Swing - We were loaned the Snugabunny swing, which works well. He doesn't spend a ton of time in the swing.

Rock and Play - We have the Rock and Play sleeper in our living room. He doesn't ever sleep in it really, but it's good for a place to put him so he can look around and stuff. Honestly, we would be fine without this, but it's nice to have a place to put him in that room and he's tired of being on the floor.

Car seat - We have the Chicco one. I like it. We also have the stroller frame for it. I don't have any other stroller yet because I haven't decided on what I want to use when he can sit up securely on his own.

Other
Nail clippers - I use the Piyo Piyo Baby Nail Scissors. I say "I" because I'm the only one with the guts to clip his nails. I really do like them and have yet to nick his fingers.

Nasal aspirator - We have the bulb type. People swear by the Nose Frieda. But it really grosses me out.

Portable changing pad - Definitely nice to have a diaper changing area outside of his bedroom, especially since we have multiple floors.

Bathtub - I would get one that fits in your sink so you don't have to bend into the tub when they're little.

Towels - I love the Pottery Barn kids ones. They are really soft and absorbent.

Books
Baby Wise - Worth reading, but slightly confusing and tedious.

Moms on Call - Concise, easy to read, clear advice --> love it!

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Highly recommend. Great book. That with the Moms on Call book is wonderful.

What to Expect in the First Year - Good reference book. Or you could sign up for the BabyCenter weekly emails. They are pretty much the same info.

Heading Home With Your Newborn - Good book if you want to skip the parenting classes. Has a lot of information.

Alright, Gotta wake the kid for his feeding! Until next time!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baby Update

Hey guys! It's been a while, I realize since I last updated the blog. L is almost 2 months old (on Wednesday)! Which means, we are officially past the 6 week post partum scariness, which is nice. I have more confidence that I can actually do this whole being a mom thing. That being said, I have had lots of help over the past 8 weeks. My mom was with us for 3 weeks after he was born, J's mom was here the week after and then for a day visit the week after that. My mom came again for a few days the following week, and I was up in PA with my parents 2 weeks ago. Traveling with a baby by myself was way more challenging than I had imagined. Last week was our first full week with just the 3 of us, and we made it through! We finally did get the hang of breastfeeding and I am now exclusively breastfeeding, which is nice. I know we should probably introduce bottles again soon so that he will transition to daycare okay, but I just don't want to because then I have to pump. I actually don't hate pumping, but I would miss nursing time. His latch is getting better as he gets bigger. It still sometimes hurts a lot, but there's a toughening up that happens. He also sometimes reverts to a shallow latch and then gets upset if I try to re-latch him. But, all of this is normal. I have been blessed with a good supply, and he is gaining weight like crazy. He's about 14 pounds at this point, so yea... It's actually getting hard to lift him, especially since he still has a somewhat floppy head. He can lift his head and does okay at tummy time (which isn't a popular activity), but sometimes he just decides he's done with holding his head and will let it droop.

L is a great baby. He has been sleeping through the night (defined as a 6 hour stretch) since about a month old, and he will do 8 hours some nights (which is totally awesome, even though it feels like my boobs might explode by the time he wakes up). I have been focusing this past week on getting him on a schedule, which has been slightly challenging. It sometimes feels like 2 steps forward, one step back. One of our challenges was getting him to nap in the crib. He sleeps in the crib well at night, but he was taking most of his naps in the carseat, carrier, or on me after nursing, which made getting anything done difficult. One of my friends gave me the book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which has been hugely helpful. I also started reading Baby Wise, which I didn't find as helpful. It laid out a similar scheduling plan, but was not flexible at all (after describing how it was flexible). We don't necessarily have a schedule the same time each day, but we are trying to follow the EASY approach she lays out (E-eat, A-activity, S-sleep, Y-you time). The cycle basically repeats itself every 2.5-3 hours during the day. The activity can be varied. For instance, this morning it was watch mommy eat breakfast, storytime from the children's Bible I have, and tummy time. However, this afternoon's activity was mostly trying to get him to calm down since he was trying to work out a poop and had lots of gas after eating. Getting him to nap in the crib was facilitated a lot by swaddling. He keeps punching himself in the face if he isn't swaddled. I've been putting him down to sleep awake, which took a few days to get him okay with that and lots of coming back to reassure him (this is not crying it out). What else? He likes a pacifier, which is great because he was using me as a human pacifier for a while. I've joined a nursing moms Bible Study, which is super nice. I'm also part of a new mom's group which organizes a lot of fun activities. I try to get out of the house pretty frequently, which helps.

L is socially smiling now, which is super awesome. The other morning (at like 4 AM) when J and I were in his room to see why L wasn't sleeping, he just looked up at us and started grinning away. Made the early wake up much less painful. :) I find I am praying much more these days. I think parenting makes you realize how much is totally out of your control. God has blessed us with a wonderful baby. And He has gotten me through some pretty hard days (I don't function well on little sleep). Anyway, that's what's going on in our neck of the woods: eating, burping, diapers, playtime, baths, and sleeping.

And now, a few pictures...