Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Because


The Answer to Rodeo Arm?

Since some of you thought that duct taping her arms down was a little harsh, Mom went in search of other alternatives.  She came up with one that actually sounds pretty awesome.  It's a product called woombie.  It is basically a sack that zips up and is made of stretchy fabric so that it fits snug around them, allows them to move their arms a little bit, and prevents them from startling themselves.  I just placed our order. 
Their sizing options are quite funny.  You can get a preemie, newborn, big baby, or mega baby.  We went with the big baby option. 
I'll let you know how this works!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Morning Time with Daddy

Sarah Graves is so chatty in the morning.  It's my favorite time with her!

Rodeo Arm

I can't remember if I have posted about Sarah Graves' rodeo arm before.  She likes to have one arm out of a blanket or her swaddle me at all times and she will just flail it around like the bull riders at the rodeo, hence we call it her rodeo arm.  The problem with her rodeo arm is that sometimes while flailing it around she touches her face and this causes her to wake herself up.  We thought we had the problem of rodeo arm fixed with the swaddle me; it holds both arms down at her side nice and snug and she can't flail them around. 
Our little Houdini is now strong enough to get her arm out of the swaddle me.  I would love to know how she does it and how long she works to get it out.  She has started waking up a few times during the night and that arm seems to be the culprit.  Now we are left wondering if it is considered child abuse to use duct tape on your baby :)

No More Diaper Rash?

When Sarah Graves first came home we started struggling with diaper rash.  Her bottom would start looking a little pink, I would put some diaper rash cream on it, and by the next diaper change it looked red and irritated.  I would be vigilant with the diaper rash cream and it would clear up in a day or so and we would start the whole process over. 
Then, we started using the cloth diapers.  I am probably going to jinx it, but since we started using the cloth diapers, we have had almost no diaper rash.  I don't feel like I change her any more frequently than I did before and I still don't do a diaper change during the night.  I haven't heard of anyone describing reduction of diaper rash as a benefit of cloth diapering, but maybe it is. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Shot!

Tonight's menu was breast milk with a side of fist.  Yummy! 
She enjoys sitting in the highchair and batting at her toys.  She has a rattle that she is working on grasping with her hand, but doesn't quite have it yet. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Wild Woman

Well, at least the hair is quite wild!  Her cowlick in the back makes it stand up like that and no comb or brush will make it lay down.  It's her punk rocker do!

Fourth Trimester is Over

The first three months of a baby's life he/she is considered a newborn and this time is referred to as the fourth trimester.  It's the time needed for the baby to gain the maturity to be able to handle living outside the womb.  No, the idea isn't that she is now mature enough to live on her own, but that she is mature enough to do things like soothe herself, handle the stimulation in the world, and her senses are now more well-developed.  The colicky type behaviors are supposed to end at this time and most babies begin to enjoy the world more.  In other words, the end of the fourth trimester is what all the books encourage parents to hold on for when their newborns are inconsolable. 
When Sarah Graves was first born we used the techniques taught in Happiest Baby on the Block to soothe her.  This meant bouncing her so that her head jiggled, swaddling her, making a loud "sshhh" noise in her ear, and giving her lots of opportunities to suck.  At the time, it felt like we would be doing that forever.  Now I notice that I spend little time bouncing and swaying with her, she is only swaddled to go to sleep, she likes to hear your voice talking to her and she responds to it, and she often does not want the pacifier anymore.  Wow!  What a long way we have come! 
One other thing that I have noticed is that when she was in the womb she kept her feet crossed at the ankles all the time, which caused me great discomfort, and once she was born she continued to keep her feet crossed.  I notice now that when she is laying on the floor or nursing, she chooses to keep her legs stretched out and enjoys curling and uncurling her toes.  Funny how all of these changes happen so gradually that I can't tell you what day they happened, just that my baby girl is no longer a newborn.  Wiping the tear away from my eye now...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pediatrician

We went to the pediatrician yesterday for her shots.  This month she received the pneumococcal vaccine and the HIB vaccine.  She had two shots, one in each thigh and she was not happy about it!  When that lower lip curls out and she cries, it is just pitiful.  Luckily, she nursed and seemed to be fine after that. 
They did check her weight and she is up to 14 pounds and 4 ounces!  The pediatrician commented on how well she is growing. 
She was a little out of sorts yesterday afternoon and evening, but she slept well and woke up more like herself today.  We're glad about that!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Crunchy

So the other night I am looking at a website for cloth diapers and this is the conversation that Aaron and I had:
Me: I guess a lot of granola kind of people cloth diaper because these sites have a lot of natural products

Aaron: Sweetie, I think you are kind of crunchy.

Me: I don't really think of myself that way.

Aaron: It happened about the time you got pregnant and got into natural childbirth, breastfeeding, making baby wipes, cloth diapering, and who knows what's next.

Me: It must have been that DVD that YOU brought home, The Business of Being Born

Just Playing Around

You don't get the smiles without the nutty sing song talking. In other words, I am willing to expose my goofy self so that you can see that adorable grin!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Shot!

Sarah Graves has started to smile a lot more lately.  Here's a glimpse of that smile that delights us so.

Multitasking

When I started back to work I set up standing appointments on my Outlook calendar so that I would have set times to go and pump.  Yesterday just before my "appointment" a co-worker came by and asked me to review a report and look for an explanation for some of the findings.  I grabbed the report and went to my pumping place and I had exactly 30 minutes before a meeting.  Of course, both spots were being used, but I remembered someone mentioning another room in a different building.  I head over there and realize that I have no idea where this room might be and am embarrassed to stop any of the men I see passing and ask if they know where the lactation room is!  So, I remember that there is a unique one person bathroom (as opposed to the multi-stall ones found everywhere else) in that building and decide to head there.  At this point, I have used a lot of time running around and I need to get this done before I head into a meeting.  So, I find myself in this bathroom trying to set up my pump without touching anything else because it is a bathroom after all and then stand there balancing the pump on the edge of the sink while I highlight interesting things in this report I am reviewing.  And the books suggest that you set yourself up to pump in a relaxing place maybe with a cup of tea!  Ha!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Letter Month Three

Dear Sarah Graves,
In the past month you have changed and grown so much!  A big change for you has been that you will smile when I smile at you.  You will never know how much it delights me to walk to your crib to pick you up and you break out in a big grin.  That smile melts mine and Daddy's heart.
We celebrated your baptism at Easter in Baton Rouge.  Your family was there to celebrate with us and we had a wonderful time being with everyone.  You wore your gorgeous dress made by GG and had several pieces of special jewelry to wear that day.  The cermony was done just for you and felt so personal.  You seemed to really like Father Tim and didn't even cry when the water was poured on your head.  You were so happy during the ceremony, and afterward you enjoyed everyone holding you and talking to you at your party.  Aunt Lexie was there to officially become your godmother. 
The next day we celebrated Easter at Trinity and Aunt Lexie was there and proudly you showed you off.  You did look quite adorable in your Easter dress and bonnet that Mom made you.  We spent the day with family and again you seemed to enjoy everyone talking to you.   
After your baptism you began to change your sleep pattern.  You are now going to sleep earlier at night and seem to enjoy our bedtime routine. On nice evenings we go for a walk with Lucy; we come home and put you in the tub, which you love; rub you down with lotion so that you smell heavenly; then I nurse you while Daddy reads to you. After all that you are usually nodding off and go right to sleep around 8 o'clock. You will also enjoy a long afternoon nap if you can sleep in your crib with your swaddle me and paci.
You are getting so big that you can now enjoy being in your bumbo chair and your jumperoo.  You are batting your hands at the toys and watching the ones that light up and play music.  You get so excited and start to move your arms and legs.  It is just adorable! 
We went through some tough things this month, too.  You went for your first vaccine and I think it was more painful for me than for you.  Also, I went back to work this past week and that proved more difficult than I anticipated.  I love being with you and it was hard for me to give up being with you all day.  It's been even harder because you don't like to take the bottle, so I feel bad that you can't have what you really want.  The good part is that you are well taken care of and loved by Mom, and you are very happy to see me when Daddy brings you home.  I look forward to spending my evenings with you, Lucy, and Daddy. 

You bring so much joy to your Daddy and me.  I just don't feel whole when I'm not with you.  I love you so much!
Love,
Momma

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fun Saturday

Yesterday we loaded up all the baby gear and headed over to the Big Shanty festival in Kennesaw with Mom, Dad, and Jeanne'.  Of course, Sarah Graves was the best dressed of all of us! 
The weather was great and we had a great time.  Sarah Graves was a doll and really enjoyed Daddy and Pops pushing her around while the girls looked at stuff. 
My favorite find of the day was a seller who did hand and footprints in ceramic as a keepsake.  I think you can order from them at this etsy shop as well http://www.etsy.com/shop/pitterpatterprints.  I realized a few weeks ago that the hospital did not take or didn't give us Sarah Graves' footprint and I definitely wanted to remember her with a small foot.  This was a great way to capture her with a tiny hand and foot.  If only we had brought Lucy to take her paw print!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Supply

I mentioned before that I find pumping very tedious.  This is mostly because the whole time I am doing it I am wondering if I am getting enough, if I need to pump longer, etc.  Now that I am pumping 3 times a day while at work, this has turned into a bit of paranoia.  I seem to pump about 4 ounces each time.  Now I have no idea how much baby girl is used to getting, so I don't know if this is more than she needs, right on target, or possibly less.  I simply fear that it is less than she needs.  Because she is not fond of the bottle, she has been taking at most 2 ounces at a feeding. 
My paranoia was furthered when I spoke to another pumping mommy and she mentioned that her baby is 8 months old and she no longer is able to pump enough for her baby.  And you thought the horror stories and paranoia would go away once the baby was born
So, I decided to do what I always do and research the subject.  Have I mentioned how much I love the internet and all the information at my fingertips?  I found a great site, http://www.kellymom.com/, that gave some useful information about pumping and breastfeeding in general. I also found some helpful tips from other moms on how they increased their supply.  It seems that eating oatmeal is good, fenugreek is an herb that helps, and mother's tea can be helpful.  There were also a number of moms who claim that drinking milk everyday helped them and one claimed that milk with honey in it does the trick.  I used to eat oatmeal every day and then I started craving eggs when I got pregnant and haven't eaten much oatmeal since, but maybe it's time to go back to it.  I don't know if I want to add an herbal supplement just yet.  I hate to give into my paranoia so quickly!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The First Day Back

My first day back at work went better than I expected!  My big fear was that people would ask about the baby and I would go to crying.  This isn't that far fetched of a concern given how emotional I have been the last couple of weeks anticipating having to leave her.  My fear was unfounded and I enjoyed talking to everyone about my sweet girl.  I brought a digital picture frame loaded with pictures of her so that I could look at her and show her off to co-workers.  It was a pleasure to look over and see that sweet face. 
I am in tight with Sarah Graves' nanny :), so I called to check on her a few times.  If I could keep them on speaker phone all day, I would, but I'm thinking that would get tiresome for them!  I was delighted to hear that she was doing well and had a great day with Mom.  It seems the only part that she doesn't like is taking a bottle.  It seems that it's just not the same when it's not coming directly from Momma!
Today was my first day to really pump, a task that I find quite tedious.. I am really lucky that there is a lactation room setup to make it comfortable and convenient to continue breastfeeding once you are back at work.  In talking with co-workers I have figured out that I am a bit more crunchy than many of the women I work with (natural childbirth, cloth diapers, etc.), so I was surprised to realize that so many women go in there to pump.  I sort of felt like a smoker with a smoke break because that's how it is with pumping; you go downstairs, run into a fellow mom, exchange a little information about your baby, do your pumping, and get back to your desk.  Who knows, maybe I will meet some new mommy friends at work! 
I think she missed her time to nurse.  When I got home I gave her a chance and she just melted into me with her eyes closed and stayed there for quite some time.  I think it is such a relaxing thing for her and I am happy for her to continue it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to Work

Tomorrow I am headed back to work.  The decision for me to go back to work was made long before Sarah Graves arrived and we planned early on for my Mom to keep her during the day while Aaron and I work. 
I went to school a long time to get my Ph.D. and to be able to have the job that I have.  I work for a good company and work with some nice people.  It's just that a few weeks after she was born I started realizing what a hard thing it would be for me to leave her.  I haven't enjoyed being away from her since she arrived and I am quite selfish with wanting to be with her all the time.  Over the past few weeks my anxiety about leaving her and going back to work has continued and there have been more than a few tears shed over this. 
It's not that I don't think she will be well taken care of.  I know that she will be spoiled rotten by my parents.  I am so attached to her and feel like she is such a big part of me that I can't imagine being away from her all day and enjoying it.  I love nursing her and being the face that she sees when she wakes up from her nap. 
I just hope that one day she understands that me working was what made the most sense for us and that I would have loved to have had the chance to do both, be with her and continue my job. 

Teaching Her to Read

Aaron and I both love to read and choose to quite often.  When I was early in the pregnancy we caught an infomercial on TV for the Your Baby Can Read program.  I was fascinated by it and described it to my Mom who watched the TV spot about it.  We sort of got busy with learning about childbirth and forgot about the reading program.  Then, we remembered it about a month ago and started doing more research on it.  It seems that the idea of teaching babies and very young children to read has been around for quite some time and in the 60's it was put into a formal program. 
Dr. Glen Doman is one of the founders of the program and has written books on ths.  He and his colleagues actually discovered that young children can learn to read easily while doing work with brain injured children.  You can learn more about his philosophy and products by going to this site.  Once Mom and I started reading about his program, we realized that we didn't need the pricey Your Baby Can Read program, we needed the book, "How to Teach Your Baby to Read" and a few basic supplies to start our own reading program. 
The basic premise of the program is that you start as early as possible (birth), make the words in very large print (5" tall), you show them to your child very quickly, and keep it fun.  We started showing Sarah Graves the words today and just like the book said she would, she was totally focused and seemed to enjoy it. 
It will take some time before we have any idea what she is learning, but I think she was soaking it in today.  I guess we will see what she is thinking when she starts talking or baby signing to us!  I'll write about our efforts to baby sign in another post.

Baby Shot!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Morning


When people talk about being a parent one of the sacrifices they mention is giving up sleeping in on the weekend.  Well, I am here to tell you that sleeping in is overrated when you have this little doll.  We spent a wonderful time cuddling and playing with her in our bed this morning. 

Herro!

All we can say is "herro!" from Kim Jong-Il!

Sitting in her Bumbo Chair

Actually, we have been calling it a "dumbo" chair after a friend's husband excitedly opened one as a gift, saw the elephant on the packaging, and proclaimed that they had received a dumbo chair!  LOL!
Forgive us, our hair was a little crazy and the drool was a little out of hand when I took this video.  It is so cute though to watch her develop the ability to hold herself up and to try to move her hand to grab an object!  So many things they have to work so hard to learn to do.  She gets more capable everyday.  What a gift to watch her grow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Shot!

Since I am behind in posting baby shots I thought I would put up 2 from this week.  

Easter

We celebrated Sarah Graves' first Easter by going to service at Trinity where her Aunt Lexie doted on her and held her the whole time!  Then, we went back to Maw Maw Bourgeois' house to have lunch and spend time with family.  Mom made her Easter dress and bonnet and I think she looked just adorable in them!

Maw Maw Yvonne with Sarah Graves
Mr. Dan and Beverly with Sarah Graves
Mr. Dan, Jeanne', and Aaron with Sarah Graves
Dad and Wyatt
Peyton - I love his gorgeous eyes!
Uncle Ronnie with Peyton
Aunt Tammy with Sarah Graves
Sarah Graves with her Easter basket.  Baby Sarry and Old McDonald hand puppets from Momma and Daddy, a new outfit from Maw Maw Yvonne, and a stuffed bunny, a book, and a keepsake bunny from Mom and Pops.  I think she had a pretty good first Easter!
Being able to spend time with family makes me wish that we lived closer so that we could do it more often.  I would love for Sarah Graves to grow up playing with her cousins the way that I did with mine.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baptism Part Three - Reception

After the baptism we came back to my Maw Maw Bourgeois' house for a reception.  I am so thankful to my family for helping me put together an event for my baby girl.  Both of my grandmothers worked to get things ready before we came to Baton Rouge; my cousin Eric put me in touch with a caterer for the food; and my Mom, Dad, and Jeanne' all helped me the day of the baptism to get everything else ready.  The dips, pastalaya, salad, and cake were very tasty. 


It was a lot of fun to be able to come back to the house and visit with everyone. Sarah Graves was like an angel and enjoyed all the attention and people holding her. We tried to get pictures with her and as many members of her family as we could. It's events like this that make me appreciate having a big, loving family.


Sarah Graves with Maw Maw Yvonne, Mom, and me
Sarah Graves with Grancy
Sarah Graves with Mammaw and Pappaw
Sarah Graves with her GG
Sarah Graves with Maw Maw Yvonne
Sarah Graves with Grandaddy
Sarah Graves with Mom
Sarah Graves with her cousin Brennan
Sarah Graves with Aunt Brenda
Sarah Graves with Chris and Uncle Ronnie
My family with Maw Maw Bourgeois
My family with Maw Maw Yvonne
Lynsey, Aunt Brenda, Wyatt, and Nikki
The kids: my Dad, Aunt Linda, Aunt Tammy, and Aunt Brenda
The grandkids: Eric, Zack, Lynsey, Jeanne', Andrea, me, and Nikki
The great grandkids: Fisher, Emily, Abby, Sarah Graves, Brennan, and Wyatt
Maw Maw Yvonne with Peyton
Mom with Wyatt
Dad with Peyton
Aaron and Grandaddy with Sarah Graves
Sarah Graves doing her favorite thing, laying down on the table where she can stretch out and talk to everyone. 

I wanted something to give to everyone to remember the day and Mom found this idea for a wrapper for a Hershey bar, so I made them.  I think they looked pretty sweet!