Wednesday, August 29, 2012

2 Months!


 (Our little lady sure does talk a lot now - a video of her jabbering if you're interested!  Hang in there, it gets good after about a minute.)

As I sit down to write this, as with any other time I try to blog, I think of how I could be laying on the couch, mindlessly wasting my time looking at Instagram (I'm allisonpants if you're on there) or napping while Lemon is napping and swinging.  But, here I am, trying to keep up these blog posts because I KNOW I will want to have them later.  And, I know you are on the edge of your seats wanting to hear how Lemon is - right?!  ;)

I cannot believe that 2 months ago this baby was in my stomach, 2 months as of Monday (do you go by days or dates?).  Time has flown by and I am becoming more of a "mom" as the days go by.  I thought that while writing about Lemon, I should also put things here that I might want to remember, about myself, in case I want to do this again (have another).  So, here are some things I never thought I would do but am doing as a mother:

  • Being able to sleep only a couple of hours at a time and be ok with that. 
  • Being able to function normally on so little sleep.
  • Not wanting to stay home alone while Ian and Lemon go on a walk, for fear I might miss something neat or that I will have nothing to do.  I used to love being home by myself and having nothing to do!
  • Jumping off the couch to blog (ha!), clean, do laundry or the dishes, or get things ready for the night time craziness while she's napping.  Anyone that knows me knows I used to be a PRO at relaxing and now, I can't seem to just sit and relax.  I always wondered where I would find the energy to get up and do things (or chase around a toddler), when I had a baby, and it just comes - part of being a mom I guess.
  • Sleeping apart from my husband every night.  Ian and I slept apart when Lemon first came home so that we could both get sleep - one of us would watch her while the other one slept without being disturbed by baby, at least for a couple of hours (for me, until she got hungry).  Now, Ian has been sleeping on the floor in the living room (he has a bad back and the couch is too soft) since last week because ever since the baby came, he has started snoring.  And, it keeps me up with what little sleep I already get.  I would let him, the working man, have the bed but he doesn't wake up when the baby cries (hard sleeper) so I get to be in there with her.  I am so mean but he is oh so nice to me.  :)
  • Being out and worrying constantly about someone else.  I used to worry about me but now I worry about Lemon - where to feed her, where to change her, will she be fussy, etc.  It's craziness being a mom, people just don't realize.  Our brains are always two steps ahead and it's exhausting!  Or being out without her - that's a whole other story!
  • Wanting to be home with my baby more than anything else.  I had these illusions, before Lemon came, that I would take her this place and that place and we would run all over town together - and some days/weeks we DO do this.  But, my favorite place to be, and hers too, is at home where her schedule is set and she is comfortable.  She sure takes after her mama.
  • Wanting to hold the baby all the time.  This is another thing I thought I would be better at, before baby, but now that she's here it's hard to give her up to other people.  I do it, and I've never mentioned this to anyone before now, but I like having her all to myself.
  • Spending a whole night centering around a 2 month old's bedtime.  Yep, we have wasted almost 5 hours trying to put her to bed some nights - 5 hours.  I had no idea that after broken sleep, an adventurous day and entertaining/worrying about a baby all day that I'd have the energy to do a bedtime routine and then struggle with a baby that KEEPS WAKING UP - it's amazing.  More on this later.
  • Sticking with something that has been incredibly hard for no apparent reason at all, just because, because I want the bonding and the fun that eventually comes (so everyone says) - and of course I'm talking about nursing.  More on this later too.
Now, on to Lemon.  This past month has been a whirlwind and we are loving her just more and more each day.  It's so awesome to see babies go from squishy little newborns (whom I kinda miss!) to actual babies right before your eyes.  Gone are the days of growly newborn noises, now we are getting the coos and ahhs that come from a real life baby.  Smiles are all over the place now (and I read that they are real smiles, not just reflexes, when they do it with their eyes too) and we think she has even started the beginnings of a laugh (opens her mouth wide, smiles with her whole face and makes a loud HA noise!).  It is the MOST incredible thing, knowing she hears us, knowing she sees us and knowing that she is trying to communicate back.  I find myself saying things like - I can't wait until she does this, or this - but then have to stop myself and remember to enjoy each moment, each phase of her life (more on this in my next blog post, stay tuned).  It's hard to not want more and to stay in the present, so hard.

Her favorite place to be, where she talks and smiles the most, is on her changing pad.  She LOVES being naked and this is where she tells us everything she's been wanting to tell us all day.  (Except for the other night, at 11:30 when we were trying EVERYTHING to put her to sleep but she was up talking to who knows who in the swing, just swinging and squawking to someone while Ian and I prayed that she would just go to bed!)  She is totally on the verge of laughing, I know it and she currently does this cute noise when she yawns, kind of like an AH and then yawns (and scrunches her nose, which is my absolute fav!).  Speaking of - how in the heck to you get a 2 month old to bed and what is the trick to them sleeping through the night?!  She does it sometimes, she goes to bed early sometimes but sometimes she puts us through the ringer and most of the time we do the SAME THINGS at night - the same routine.  It's like hit or miss, and it's all up to her apparently.  I never thought it would be this tough to put a mini 10 pound baby to bed, but I guess it starts when they're young (I heard it's even harder with a 2 year old!)!  We try to wear her out, we try to let her nap, we take her for walks, we give her a bath, we give her naked time, we swaddle her, we rock her and we do the same things at the same time most nights and sometimes I get to sleep a long time and other times I don't.  I'm hoping this phase does not last long!  9:30-10pm has been her bedtime lately and this is tough with Ian waking up at 4:30am (he doesn't have to but likes to practice guitar).  Maybe as she gets older she will set an earlier schedule because we sure as heck can't do it for her (those are those 5 hour nights I mentioned before!).

Our 2 month appointment is on September 5th and I'm anxious to see how much she weighs and if she has grown in inches.  Last time we went she was 8 pounds, 12 ounces at 20 3/4 inches (at her one month).  I'm hoping for over 10 pounds this time and at least another inch, but she still looks pretty petite to me so who knows.  She also is due for some vaccines at this upcoming appointment and I will be alone, so not looking forward to that.  We also need to talk to the doctor about her acid reflux because the zantac they gave us doesn't seem to be helping at all.  I feel so bad for her, she spits up multiple times after eating and if you don't burp her every couple of minutes (which she HATES), it's even worse.  I looked up natural remedies the other day and looked into gripe water, something I may order to just try it out.  I feel so bad, no wonder she acts hungry all the time.  And when she's giving a bottle, and sucks it down super fast, she projectile vomits (she did this both Friday and Saturday nights) along with a really loud burp - it has happened like 5 times total and is super scary for me and for her.  I just want her food to stay in her tummy and for it to not hurt her.  She coughs in her sleep, makes loud gasping noises and just looks really uncomfortable after eating sometimes, it is just so sad.  I have also become really jelly of people who have babies who don't spit up as much, they can keep them in outfits all day, they don't smell like spit up and their babies keep their food in their tummies - so unfair.  Well, it looks like she just may have a sensitive stomach like her mama - ugh.  But then they say breast milk is the best antacid so keep feeding her but it's like a double edged sword.  So, we are still trucking along at this point, hoping it gets better with age.  Maybe next month I won't be writing about this at all!

Lemon is a super happy baby most of the time, she rarely is ever upset.  All day long, when she's home with me, she doesn't cry, not until around about 6 or 7pm when I feed her and she still acts hungry so we have to distract her and keep her busy.  She also cries when she has to get out of the bath with daddy because she gets cold and usually by that point it's 8pm and she's ready for food and sleep.  But that's about it, she is super alert, super smiley and just happy most of the time.  I know everyone says this and that it could change in a heartbeat, but I am enjoying my not fussy baby right now.  She is only fussy at night but since we've been taking her for a walk to get her out and looking at something new - she has been MUCH better.

I am also jelly of people who have babies that tell them they are done eating because Lemon never does.  She acts hungry ALL the time and just recently (like as of yesterday) she has pulled off the nipple when she's done (I think) or maybe just when she has to barf.  Most of the time she acts like she could eat at any time, unless she's sleeping, and it has been really confusing, and tough, for me.  At night I thought she was super hungry and not getting enough milk so most of the time I'd supplement with a bottle of pumped milk.  But, after our projectile nights last weekend, I thought I'd go back to trusting my instincts, like I did when she was first home, and just keep her busy until her next feeding.  I truly think she overeats, at night, but I am still not so sure, especially on those nights where we try to put her to bed and she just doesn't want to do it - is she still hungry?  It is a constant inner battle with me and I try to get out of my head and just go on when she last ate and tell myself, she can't be hungry, she JUST ate.  But then I wonder if she ate ENOUGH.  It's maddening, for reals.

Speaking of bottles, it is all about nipple confusion over here when she takes more than one bottle in a day.  My mom took her for 7 hours one day, while I went swimming with Christine, and when Lemon came home she made me pay for leaving her.  She pretended she forgot how to nurse, she forgot how to suck, she woke me up almost every hour during the night and projectile vomited all over me from all of the bottles she got during the day.  She even gave me a frowny face when I came to pick her up - she was SO upset that I left her.  It took us a couple of days to recover and I was devastated, thinking that all of this work trying to nurse her was gone, just because I wanted a day to swim and relax with my bestie.  But, we got it back and are still going strong.  On Sunday we had one of THE BEST nursing days - a day like I think it is for people who are just good at nursing, and whose babies are good at it too.  She just sat on my boob, sleeping and sucking, twice - for hours twice during the day.  It was awesome and I felt the bonding.  Has she done this since?  Well every time she gets a bottle, from anyone if I am gone, she remembers that milk comes out fast (yes I have newborn nipples) so she gets mad when I try to nurse her afterwards and she has to wait.  She gets so fussy that I've started to actually walk and nurse, so that she has to stay attached because she's moving around.  It's like when she gets a bottle, she takes two steps back from the path of us moving forward into our nursing relationship.  So, I feel guilty leaving her, knowing she may get a bottle (even though I feed her RIGHT before I leave!) or giving her one myself (which I am not doing anymore) at night.  It is a constant struggle because I like that she CAN drink out of a bottle, and am lucky in that respect (because she'll have to in 2 months when I go back to school) but I hate giving her one because then it is more stressful for me and for her when I get back.  Will this change with age too?  I hope so.  Nursing is getting better, not painful, not frustrating (most of the time), we are learning patience and I'm not so worried about my supply (is the fenugreek helping?  I have no idea!), it's just now a question of bottle or not to bottle.  It's frustrating.

And, my husband says - just give her a bottle.  And my friends say - just give her a bottle.  But it's just so hard to explain to everyone that she gets confused and that if I "just give her a bottle" all of our hard work, together, stands still and we kind of have to relearn everything.  So it makes me not want to leave her and that's tough too because I sure like going to yoga.  This past week my bestie and I went to hot yoga at a new place that opened a short walk from my house.  It was AWESOME and just yesterday, while I was sweating like crazy, I had a moment of - "oh my gosh, I am back."  It was a moment of clarity, of me being me AND being a mother, at the same time, and it was glorious.  I was so happy and I truly believe that a happy mom equals a happy baby so I know it's good for both of us.  Plus, it is so close to our house that I only have to be gone an hour and have tried to work it so Lemon doesn't need a bottle while I'm gone, but she gets fussy without me and ends up getting one from whomever is watching her every time I'm gone.  That's the thing - she acts hungry when she's upset or tired, but she's not really hungry.  I think we all just have to know that a bottle is the last resort, and like my friend Ann said today - there has to be a list of things we check off first (or try to do so she is entertained) BEFORE offering her a bottle (is she wet or dirty, tired, bored, missing her mom, etc?).  I watch her do this at night, while I am trying to rock her to sleep, she acts ravenous but I know she's not hungry because she JUST ate and on most of those nights she sleeps for hours - something she wouldn't do if she were starving.  I am grateful for everyone that comes to babysit so that I can go to yoga, it is something that I missed and really do love (especially in the heat!) but I just wish I could bring my muffin with me so I can go whenever I want (I do miss that a bit - spontaneity).  I have joked about it with the owners and wonder if I keep going if they will let me.  I could just park her car seat right outside the window of the room and walk out if she wakes up - perfect plan - right?!  ;)

Lemon's new thing to do, as of last night, is kick like crazy.  She hates tummy time so naked time on her changing mat is where she kicks the most, but last night she kicked so much in her sleep in woke me up multiple times.  She gets fussy, happy, upset, whatever - she kicks.  We put her on her tummy tonight to see if she'd roll over, because her legs are so strong and kick like she wants to crawl (her arms just aren't there yet) and she was SO CLOSE to rolling - it was awesome!  She can hold her little head up now, mostly, and I just can't wait until she can sit up (there I go again, I guess I CAN wait).  We try to keep her at an angle though, when burping, changing or even sitting with her so we don't put pressure on her tummy.  She has a tuft of hair just at the top of her head and around the back and sides is pretty long too, but in the front she just has a bit.  She can wear headbands and bows and I hope that one day she has blonde curly hair that I can put a barrette in.  I put a bow on her every time we go somewhere so that she gets used to them and doesn't fight it later - isn't that the best part about having a girl?!  She smiles at her daddy when he goes crazy singing to her and jumping around during naked time, she coos and smiles at mommy when I talk to her and get her dressed in the morning and she is really alert during the day for about 2 hours at a time and then needs to nap.  She takes one long nap usually at around 2:30-3 and still goes to bed in the morning after waking up a 2nd (or 3rd) time and sleeps anywhere from 10-11.  She really is a good sleeper, even though she fights it at night.

What else will I want to remember about her at 2 months?  She loves looking around at everything now, especially faces.  She liked the pictures in our bedroom (flowers) and the dots in our living room.  She thinks it's funny when daddy kisses her and when mommy puts her hair on her so that it tickles.  She really liked the singing and scarves at Mommy & Me yoga today for the very first time, and it was the first class (my 3rd) where mommy actually got to do some yoga.  My mom adores her and Ian's mom can't get enough of her.  My step-dad loves holding her, but seems never to get to, and all of my aunts and uncles say she looks just like my nani (grandma).  She really is a character and I try to send my dad pictures of her every week while he's still in Oregon (I can't wait for him to get home!).  Aunt Christie comes over every Monday to hang with us, and go places with me so I don't have to go alone, and Ian is a big help at night when he gets home from work.  I thought we would be sad without him but the days go by pretty face and I am actually enjoying my quality one on one time with my baby girl, we have a sort of schedule and we like just sitting around, being able to nurse for an hour if we want, without having anything else to do.

That's about it.  I have 2 months until I go back to school on Halloween and I am finding it hard to imagine leaving my muffin.  I took a picture of my classroom before I left and posted it on Instagram saying that I will be the mother of a 4 month old when I return - and that's just nuts to me.  I am the same person but a different person - someone I never thought I'd be, but I'm loving every minute of it.  Everyone has been so wonderful to us, coming over and loving seeing their muffin too, she truly has the best family.   

First, the fancy camera pics (we really need to use it more often but I forget!):

(Daddy used to make it home in time for "family nap time" but now she naps earlier in the day.  He misses it though.)

(She is still not interested in her play mat (just tries to eat everything and when she finds out it's not a boob she gets upset.  And hates tummy time so we don't really use this yet.)

(Sometimes when I walk out of the room and leave baby alone with daddy this is what I come back in to.)

(Grandma Patty gave Lemon this outfit and these shoes.  So, we put her in them and brought her over to their house and they loved it!  It was also her first time meeting her Aunt Kelly.)

(This month we put her in her tummy tub to try it out!  It is not that great for little ones, yet, because they can't hold their own head up so it's kind of hard to wash them.  But, with two people to help, she really seemed to like it!)

 (She was over it.)

 (Walking on the treadmill with daddy!)

(I took these the other day!  It was just so funny, her being so little in our big bed!)

(Fun while changing her!)

(I had to pee and she doesn't even roll yet so don't judge!)

And iPhone pics (these go in order from oldest to most recent of the past month):

(Found some baby sized shades at Buy Buy Baby - so cute!)

(Ian downloaded an app that has black, white and red pictures for newborns with music.  Here he is telling her what each picture is.)

(Sometimes daddies are in their undies singing to babies in the rocking chair.)

(On Ian's first week back to work we went and visited him, showing off the baby to everyone since we teach at the same school!)

(We went to lunch with our friends Ann and Ben and their daughter Ellie who is 3 weeks younger than Lemon.)

(Family nap time.)

(We took Lemon swimming for the first time on a really hot day when Ian's parent's pool was about 90 degrees and she was a bit over a month old.  She LOVED it!)

(Trying out her bumbo for the first time!  Yes, I am aware that there was a recall and have already received the safety harness.  Yes, I put her on the counter but didn't leave her there unattended!  I am not that dumb!)

(I suck at swaddling after daddy leaves for work.)

(When I picked her up from my mom's when she watched her for a whole day.  She was so so sad that I left her!  You don't think they know but they do!)

(My mom got a nap nanny so we had to try it out!)

 (Ian's exercise routine and naked time!)

(Funny baby face!)

(She still sleeps in her bouncer.  I know, I know I gotta make the transition but she sleeps so well, sometimes!)

(My triumphant return to hot yoga last week with my bestie.  Seriously, this was obvi an "after" pic!)

(She had her first stuffy nose for a whole day last week and it broke my heart.  My mom told me to put her in socks just in case her body temp was off while she wasn't feeling well so this is her swinging outfit from that day!)

(We got our house appraised so that we could refinance and combine our first and second mortgages and add Ian to the loan and title.  This was me waiting for the appraiser lady.)

 (Napping with daddy when she didn't feel well.)

(Just this week Lemon became interested in the TV.  The first movie she couldn't take her eyes off of was Real Steel and the next day we watched Sex and the City 2 together.  This is her TV face.)

 (This little lady loves to sleep in so sometimes I have to wake her up to go do things, and then this happens.)

(My husband's baby pics are on the top, I'm on the bottom left and Lemon is on the bottom right.  Does she look like us?)

(This is what happens when she has to get out of the tub, right before bed.  She cries and cries but her lamb helps!)

(At Mommy & Me yoga this past Tuesday!)