Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Girls' Night In

Aaron attends a class at church on Wednesday nights, so we had girls' night in tonight.  I took both girls on a walk and then gave Sarah Graves a bath before bed.  I am getting pretty good at pushing the stroller and walking Lucy by myself. 
Here is a picture of baby girl after her bath

I think she might be the cutest thing ever!

Yesterday

Yesterday proved to be a tough day on me and Sarah Graves.  I'm not exactly sure how we got so messed up, but once we did, I never could get us back on track.  I woke her up from a morning nap to go somewhere (okay, so this might be where I messed up) and she let me know how much she appreciated it by crying for about 30 minutes in the car!  The rest of the day proceeded with her nursing and me trying to get her to take a nap to have her sleep for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time.  She just fought sleep and was so unhappy from it.  My heart breaks when she just cries and nothing you try makes her feel better.  My one sure fire way to console her is to let her nurse.  She pretty much never refuses to nurse and it seems to help her calm down.  One of my big concerns when I go back to work is how Mom will console her on these rough days because she doesn't seem to be soothed by the bottle like she is by nursing. 
The two enjoyable times in our day were going for a walk in the evening with Aaron and Lucy, and taking a bath.  She kicked her feet and looked all around while she rode in the stroller.  She splashed and got so excited in the bath.  I was glad she had these two fun times in what was otherwise a miserable day for her. 
The bath followed by a long nursing seemed to relax her.  I put her in her crib at 8 o'clock and she layed there and occasionally fussed a little for her pacifier until she fell asleep at 8:45.  Fortunately, she slept until she woke to eat at 2 AM, then slept until she ate at 6:30, and slept until she ate at 8:30.  She needed the sleep desperately!
Today I am trying to be sure that she gets plenty of sleep so that we avoid the overtired state.  It's really hard when she tends to fight sleep like she does.  Unfortunately, this is a part of myself that I see in her.  I fight sleep until I can't go any further.   

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Not Me Monday


Okay, so technically it's Tuesday, but here is my first Not Me! Monday.  If you want to check out the original Not Me! Monday you can at http://www.mycharmingkids.net/
I think Not Me! Mondays are a great way to get rid of the guilt or confess the silly things that happened during the week.  Here goes!
I would never forget to bring up the clean diapers, and I would never end up with a naked baby on the changing table.  No, not me!  I would never stand there debating whether I should lay her in the crib and risking dirtying it up, think of carrying her downstairs with me naked, or finally after debating these options get the idea to grab an extra diaper insert to catch whatever may happen while we ran downstairs to get the clean diaper.  No, not me!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Landfills

I saw a spot on Good Morning America on Friday comparing different diapering options.  Now I am not a huge environmentalist or anything, but I couldn't help but be shocked when they said that it takes 500 years for a regular disposable diaper to break down in a landfill.  Considering that the average baby will use between 5,000 and 8,000 diapers resulting in about 18 billion diapers in landfills each year, I was blown away.  Hearing that made me feel even more certain that my choice to use cloth diapers on Sarah Graves is a good one.  Plus, some of these cloth diapers are just adorable! 

Engagement Party

Last night we went to an engagement party for my good friend Sarah and her fiance, Pradeep.  It was a lovely party with delicious food!  Her parents did an awesome job hosting.  I haven't hung out with Sarah much since the arrival of Sarah Graves and it felt good to catch up with her a bit.
Her parents and extended family welcomed Sarah Graves at the party and I think she had a great time.  She enjoyed being held and talked to by so many people. 

Yep, that's my baby girl being held by Sarah's grandfather!  He asked to hold her and she was quite content with him!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baby Shot!

In my catching up on our trip I forgot to post this week's babyshot.  Here's our little cutie this week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pumping

I have been pumping some in the mornings for a while now.  Sometimes my purpose is to have some milk saved up in case I need a bottle and often it is for my own comfort.  Now that Sarah Graves sleeps more during the night, I often wake up feeling very full and want to take the pressure off so to speak. 
Because I knew I planned to continue breastfeeding after I return to work, I purchased a double electric pump to make the task easier while I am at work.  When I picked out the pump, I underestimated how boring it would be to sit and hold these two things in place while I pumped.  It feels a bit like being a human milk cow.  So, I wanted to check into these crazy apparatus that you can use to make your pump hands free.  I can't help but laugh when I look at these women in the pictures and read how great life can be when you can go about your daily tasks while still pumping.  You have to admire the creativity that goes into these products, that or the level of desperation that women have experienced before coming up with these contraptions!  Anyway, you can look at one of these exciting numbers here.  As I was looking at this, I came across another site with a method that only requires two ponytail holders.  You can check out this method by going to her site.  I wish I had the creativity to come up with these ideas!
I decided to try out this ponytail holder idea and it actually worked pretty well!  It was certainly easy to setup.  I'm not sure you could really move around a lot or pick up a baby while pumping like this, but it would let you flip through a magazine or talk on the phone.  Definitely better than just sitting there. 

The Dog Next Door

From the time we moved in our neighbor next door has let their small dog use our yard as its toilet.  This has been an annoyance to Aaron and me, but we didn't want to make trouble by saying something.  In other words, we didn't like it, but we weren't bothered by it enough to speak up.  Lucy is incredibly bothered by this dog coming into her yard and I feel she is right to feel her territory is being infringed upon by this outsider.  Lucy barks, the hair on her back stands up, and she becomes very upset when this dog is in our yard.  Now that I am home, I have to hear Lucy get upset several times a day, and it makes me feel really bad to hear her so upset. 

Lucy has been really good with the baby and very understanding that she does not get as much of my attention anymore. So I try hard not to fuss at her for barking or wanting to see Sarah Graves.  I try to treat Lucy with the same compassion I would an older child who has a new baby at home.  Today, Sarah Graves was very fussy and it took me several tries before I got her to lay down for an afternoon nap.  Then, Lucy started barking so I went upstairs to see what the problem was and hoped to stop it before the baby woke up.  I looked out to see it was the neighbor's dog just as I heard Sarah Graves let out a cry.  At that moment I lost it and unlocked the back door and began yelling at the dog while I held Lucy.  I would have liked to let Lucy go, but I was afraid that would just cause more problems.  I screamed and screamed at the dog and it just looked at me not caring.  Finally, its owner called it in. 
Fortunately, Sarah Graves went back to sleep after the barking stopped.  As I was writing this post my doorbell rang (doesn't anyone know that my baby is sleeping?) and it was my neighbor coming over to see what the problem was.  I explained to her that her dog coming in my yard upsets my dog and that causes my baby to wake up, which I just can't allow.  She says that she understands (she doesn't have kids, so I'm not sure how well she gets this) and will keep her dog on a leash.  I let her know that I appreciated that.  Let's hope her dog will quit using my yard as a toilet! 

Cloth Diapering

SG slept in this morning so I have had time to research about cloth diapering.  The Smartipants are working great, but my wash routine is leaving some stains.  Here is the routine that I have been using: soak diapers in water with borax until ready to wash; wash them using a prewash, hot wash cycle, and extra rinse with Charlie's soap; and place inserts in dryer and hang outers to dry.  The stains aren't bad, but I want them to stay white. 
I haven't been able to find an answer to that, but I did find a neat blog devoted to cloth diapering called All About Cloth Diapers.  She reviews products, answers questions, and gives a 101 on cloth diapers.  I wish I had come across this when Mom and I were trying to figure out the cloth diapering thing! 
She did mention that diaper rash cream can cause issues for your diapers. I use this on Sarah Graves regularly as we struggle to keep from having diaper rash.  Maybe that's the issue with the stains?
She didn't cover stains on Smartipants specifically, so I am going to call the company today, but they are in California and I will have to do it later when they open.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Check-Up

Today Sarah Graves had her 2 month well-baby check.  We went to Dr. Strauss at Kennesaw Pediatrics and really liked him and the nurse.  Sarah Graves now weighs 12 pounds and 14 ounces and she is 23 and a half inches tall.  She is really growing!  He checked out her heart, ears, throat, head shape, and reflexes.  All of which looked great.  He commented on how alert she is and said that I am doing a good job (that's always nice to hear).  She needs to continue having tummy time, should be allowed to sleep as long as she desires, and needs to continue the vitamin D supplement (400 IUs per day). 
I brought Dr. Sears' vaccine schedule with me and he was quite familiar with it.  He went over it with me and agreed that it is a fine schedule to use and had no problem with it.  That was a relief because we switched to this practice for the alternative vaccine schedule. 
Going by this vaccine schedule she received her first DTaP and Rotavirus vaccines.  The Rotavirus is given orally, so she only had one stick.  I had hoped to be able to nurse her when she got the shot, but the nurse felt it would be faster to lay her down and do it.  Sarah Graves was not a happy camper before and continued to scream for a good 10 minutes after!  I don't think it hurt that much, she was just angry.  Finally, I got her calmed down enough to nurse and then we were able to get her dressed and in her seat.  Even though she was the one screaming, I was the one in pain!  We may let Daddy do the next visit, which is in a month!
Here is Dr. Sears' recommended vaccine schedule:
• 2 months: DTaP, Rotavirus
• 3 months: Pc, HIB
• 4 months: DTaP, Rotavirus
• 5 months: Pc, HIB
• 6 months: DTaP, Rotavirus
• 7 months: Pc, HIB
• 9 months: Polio (IPV)
• 12 months: Mumps, Polio (IPV)
• 15 months: Pc, HIB
• 18 months: DTaP, Chickenpox
• 2 years: Rubella, Polio (IPV) (See 3rd UPDATE)
• 2 1/2 years: Hep B, Hep A (start Hep B at birth if any close relatives or caregivers have Hep B)
• 3 years: Hep B, Measles
• 3 1/2 years: Hep B, Hep A
• 4 years: DTaP, Polio (IPV)
• 5 years: MMR
• 6 years: Chickenpox
• 12 years: Tdap, HPV
• 12 years, 2 months: HPV
• 13 years: HPV, Meningococcal

Letter Month 2

Dear Sarah Graves,
You are 2 months old now and we are loving life with you in it. You continue to be such a sweet baby and everyone falls in love with you.
You are still a good eater and you are growing like a weed. At your 2 month check-up you weighed 12 pounds and 14 ounces and you have grown to be 23 and a half inches tall! In two months you have gained 4 pounds and 6 ounces and grew 2 and a half inches! No wonder you are outgrowing clothes so fast!  When you eat, you make so many noises from gulps to slurps.  I love knowing that you enjoy it as much as I do and that you are so satisfied from it.
This past month you have started to sleep a lot better. You are sleeping for 5-6 hours at a stretch at night and go right back to sleep after you eat a little. I am feeling so much more rested and I think you are much happier when you get a good night’s sleep. You have struggled with naps during the day, but you are getting there. You have learned to like the pacifier some and seem to really enjoy it when you are ready for sleep. I appreciate having one more thing to try when you aren’t happy!  You seem to like the MAM pacis the best!
We have been doing tummy time regularly and you completely shocked me while I was on the phone with Mom one afternoon when you rolled from your tummy to your back. I couldn’t believe it so I had you do it two more times just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Then, I wanted you to show Daddy and you did the next day, twice. I have been trying to capture it on video, but so far you aren’t cooperating! While on your tummy you enjoy seeing yourself in your mirror. You do a double take sometimes as if you are so surprised to see that baby girl again!This month I discovered that you really enjoy being stretched out in your big stroller. You move your arms and legs and just enjoy the freedom of lying down and cooing. It has made a world of difference when we go places like the grocery store.
You continue to be very social. We had your sip’n see here in Atlanta and introduced you to many of our friends here. Then, we took you on your first road trip, stayed in a hotel for the first time, and made the grand tour to meet friends and family in Baton Rouge. You seem to enjoy seeing the new faces and are not at all bothered by the change in your routine.
I left you for the first time with Mom while I went to a volunteer event.  I missed you very much!  So much so that I am reluctant to leave you unless I absolutely have to.  It just isn't as much fun if I don't have you with me.
You are such a wonderful baby.  You are so alert and just look into my eyes so deeply.  I feel so lucky to have the best baby and I did it on the first try!  I am so grateful to be your momma. 
Love,
Momma

Hotel Stay

While in Baton Rouge we stayed in a hotel and Sarah Graves did really well.  I brought her pack'n play for her to sleep in and she was fine.  Of course, we weren't exactly traveling light!  It takes a lot of stuff to keep this baby comfy.

Baby Shot!

We did take a baby shot last week.  She was dressed in her St. Patrick's Day outfit.  Who wouldn't feel the luck of the Irish with this little one in their life?

Dustin and Lorna's wedding

Aaron's best friend Dustin got married on Saturday evening and Aaron was the best man.  This was Sarah Graves' first time going to a wedding.  She had a ball and was the most beautiful baby there if I say so myself!  Dustin's godmother and grandmother both offered to take her home with them!
Here's a picture of our little family at the wedding.  We were so proud to show off our baby girl to many of our friends.
Aaron was the proud Pa Pa as he showed Sarah Graves off to his friends Jacob and Bill.
Dustin and Lorna took time out from the celebration to hold and check-out Sarah Graves.  We were so happy to share their day with them and to share our girl.
She was having a ball listening to the music and enjoying the wedding from her stroller!  She was absolutely adorable all dressed up in her best dress.  I love the ruffles on her panties and on her socks!

The Grand Tour

Sarah Graves' grand tour gave her a chance to meet many of the friends and family who already love her so.  I tried to get a picture of her with eveyone, but we missed a few.  We will get them next time! 
Here she is being loved on by Maw-Maw Yvonne
Here she is being rocked by GG
Sitting talking with Aunt Linda
We had a playdate and lunch at Aunt Tammy's where she met her cousins, Lynsey, Abby, Emily and Wyatt and she met Aunt Tammy and Jennifer.
She and Wyatt met for the first time out of the womb!  He is about 3 weeks older than Sarah Graves and such a cute little guy!  I wish that we lived closer so that these two could see each other more often.

Sarah Graves enjoyed all the attention and people talking to her.  Uncle Ronnie got on the floor to talk and play.
Uncle Steve walked her and talked to her.  She was enjoying every second of it!
Mallory was really sweet to her.
I was so excited for her to meet her godmother, Aunt Lexie.  They hit it off!
On Friday she was reunited with her Daddy when he flew in and we picked him up from the airport.  We sure did miss him!
He may not look it in this picture, but Ryan liked Sarah Graves, too.  He started off  calling her kitten, but decided he would call her Sarah Graves like us.  If only she could play Spiderman with him!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting There is Half the Fun!


Last week, Sarah Graves and I headed off on her first roadtrip! Mom and Pops came by and picked us up early Monday morning and we were off to Baton Rouge!


Pops came prepared for any crying that might take place along the way!

Mom and Sarah Graves had the same idea for how to pass the time!

Traveling with Sarah Graves meant that we took a few pitstops.  She was an excellent traveler on the way there.  She is such a good baby! 
I will do some other posts to show what we did all week!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Massage

After her bath Aaron gave her a baby massage and she seemed to realy enjoy it.  She looked up at him so sweetly and just wiggled her little body as he rubbed her down.  I think that we will make this a special Daddy and Sarah Graves activity.

Smartipants

I'm getting more granola everyday!  We have been using the cloth diapers, which happen to be called smartipants and it is going pretty well.  We haven't had any real issues with leaking even when we used them overnight.  I have also started using washcloths and this baby wipe solution instead of the store baby wipes.  I decided to try it because after using several types of baby wipes they all seemed a little dry to me.  One kind felt more like a dryer sheet than a moist towelette.  So, I looked online and found a recipe for making your own baby wipes or just the solution for them.  You can make your own baby wipes by using paper towels and saturating them with this solution.  I have been mixing up the solution and keeping it in a spray bottle on the changing table to spritz her bottom with and wipe it clean with the wash cloth.  I can spritz as many times as I need to to get the job done! 
The recipe for the solution is simple.  You boil 2 cups of water, add 2 T. of baby wash, 1 T of baby oil and stire it together.  I used lavender scented baby wash and baby oil so it has a nice scent.  She seems happy with it. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Big Girl Bath

I took this video about a month ago when we gave her her first bath in her baby bathtub on February 17. I have been slow to catch on to the process of editing the videos, but finally have it ready to post.
She is such an angel in the bathtub! I think she actually likes taking a bath. Could we have a swimmer in the making?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Who Stole Our Baby?

On Saturday we took Sarah Graves out to run some errands and she enjoyed being in her big stroller much more than sitting in her infant carrier.  She actually stayed in the stroller without crying for 2 hours!  She want ride in her carrier for more than 5 minutes without protesting. 
Then, we came home and she slept in her bouncy seat while we ate dinner and cleaned up the kitchen.  The bouncy seat is not her favorite so that was amazing.  I actually ate dinner using a knife and fork!
Later I layed her in the bouncy seat and she fell asleep.  She slept in it while we watched TV and everything.  Again, this is not usual for her.  Now I want to know who stole our baby?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Decision on Vaccines

Okay, we finally made a decision on the vaccine schedule issue and therefore the pediatrician to use. We have decided that we definitely want the alternative vaccine schedule and will use the one from Dr. Sears. I wish that we could continue seeing Dr. Fleming and have this alternative schedule, but that isn't possible. I made Sarah Graves' 2 month appointment with Dr. Strauss who is part of Kennesaw Pediatrics.
What made us choose the alternative schedule? Well, we went back and forth and couldn't make up our minds until finally I heard Dr. Oz speak about it on Oprah radio. Someone had written in with a question about vaccines and autism and he said that although there is no link between vaccines and autism, kids today get a lot more immunizations than ever before and we don't know how all of those shots may change and impact a fragile immune system causing some kids to have issues later. I have seen Dr. Oz a lot on Oprah and have liked his opinions before and hearing that made me feel certain that we can't be sure about the effects of multiple vaccines at one time, and I want to know that I tried my very best to make sure that she is healthy now and later in life.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Shot!

Today was the first day that I left Sarah Graves for any period of time.  T was her babysitter and she was very well behaved.  I had to volunteer for a few hours at the Nearly New thrift store that the Junior League of Atlanta operates.  I did pretty well and only called to check on her once.  It felt weird to be somewhere without her.  Sort of like when you leave your purse at home!
Here are some other cute pictures of T and Sarah Graves that we took recently. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend Aaron went to Florida for his friend Dustin's bachelor party, so Sarah Graves and I stayed with T and Pops for the weekend.  They spoiled both of us and we had a fun time.  Friday night they made shrimp po-boys for us and took turns walking a fussy Sarah Graves.  Then Saturday morning, we stood around her crib watching her enjoy some tummy time and she was completely enamored with her new mobile that Pops and I picked out for her.  While at their house we tried out the cloth diapers, Smartipants, and they worked really well, even overnight.
Saturday afternoon Aunt Nay joined us and we all went shopping at the outlets.  This baby enjoys a good shopping trip and really enjoyed having so many people to take turns pushing her in the stroller and parading her around the stores.  I enjoyed shopping for me at Ann Taylor for the first time in quite a while.  There is so much to choose from when it's not maternity!
On Sunday Sarah Graves woke up on the wrong side of the crib. She is usually quite pleasant in the mornings, but this was not the case on Sunday. Fortunately, there were several people around willing to hold her. She did drift off for a few minutes after breakfast.



In the afternoon we went out to a couple of stores and she proved herself to be quite the shopper again.  All fussiness was gone once we started shopping and she took a two hour nap!

She really had a fun time with Pops and enjoyed all the conversations that they shared together.
Aaron came back and she was all excited to see him and he was thrilled to see her!