Thursday, March 31, 2011

Four Month Check-up

Tuesday was Ellie's four month appointment. She got a couple more shots and a quick review by the pediatrician. I'm beginning to think I may look for a new ped. He finds a way to suggest prayer every visit. We always end up waiting for a long stretch either before we go back or once we're in a room. Last time, I had a question for the doctor and we began to think he'd forgotten about us. It took about 30 minutes to wait for him and about 30 seconds to ask the question and get the answer. When we ask questions though, he does take the time to answer, he just seems to jet through the exam. He rattles off the questions and barely seems to take in the answer. It's tempting to give him a nonsensical answer sometime just to see if he'd pick up on it. Otherwise, he's a nice guy.

The thing I'm learning about doctors is that perhaps I need to ask even more people's opinions and always interview more than one. What a pain. But, I suppose if I'm going to be picky.... As far as Ellie's stats go, she isn't as big as I thought. She's barely 10 lbs. 2 oz., which puts her in the 2nd percentile for the US. Her head is finally filling out her hats, some are too small now, but she's apparently in the 11th percentile. But, taking after her parents, her height is 25.25 inches, putting her in the 81st percentile. So, surprise surprise, she's already tall and skinny. We started transitioning to size 2 diapers (12-18 lbs.) a couple weeks ago, so I thought she was about 13 pounds. So, all my guesses are apparently way way off base. When P told me what percentile she was in, I was scared the ped would tell us to supplement. However, he didn't so apparently she looked healthy enough otherwise. She's wearing mostly 6 month clothes and a few 9 month onesies. She'll be transitioning to 9 month sleepers soon though because she's already maxing out the length. I'm finding that there are certain brands that seem more accurate for her sizing. Gerber runs small. Circo and Carter's are just about perfect. Dwell Studio, sold through Target, which I really like, is unfortunately sized for fat short babies. She's got a few short sleeve Dwell onesies that I'm not sure she'll wear because the weather is very slow to warm so far. And, I can't really find long sleeve onesies locally anymore.

We've been focusing a lot on sleep schedules and tummy time lately. I keep up with a few other mothers on FB whose kids are about the same age as Ellie. Many of them are already rolling, so it lit a fire under me to work with her. And, the ped has been mentioning sleep schedules since our 1 month appointment, so I've been trying to get naps sorted. I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. She does NOT like to nap in her crib. We've been trying modified cry-it-out, where you go in to soothe her every 5 minutes. I almost think it would be kinder to leave her for longer (like 20 minutes) and only go in to take her out. Going in every 5 minutes, especially during the day, seems to just give her false hope and make her more upset when you leave again. It's heartbreaking. We tried a morning and afternoon nap, and only succeeded in passing time unpleasantly and working Ellie into hysterical fits of crying twice. So, my new strategy is to keep trying the lie down awake maneuver at bedtime and just keep working on semi-regular naps any way I can get them during the day. So far, the swing, sleeping on me, the carseat–if we're driving around, and the Ergo carrier are the best bets. She slept an hour on me after trying for an hour to sleep in the crib. This afternoon, I only made it about 20 minutes before rescuing her to try napping in the Ergo. It took nearly that long to calm her down after each attempt. She slept almost 2 hours in the Ergo.

Those are our most pressing concerns at the moment. The child watch ladies at the Y seem to look forward to seeing her. Two or three of them have commented on what a good baby she is (so long as she's caught up on sleep). I've been working out 3 days a week and have seen some results. I've gone down a size (since I stopped wearing stretchy pants exclusively) and am now just about 13 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. I feel pretty good and have noticed the cardio getting easier. I even feel somewhat peppy leaving the Y, usually not on days I work with the trainer though. For me, the key has been tracking my food intake with It's been a real eye-opener to learn what foods are calorically loaded and just how much a serving is for a lot of things. As a result, I don't load up on cheese nearly as much as I used to. It's more a garnish now. And, I have cut back on huge breakfasts and sweets. I really caved in during the third trimester and started knocking back serious quantities of milkshakes and brownies. And, I'm trying to get my 8 glasses of water because suddenly, if I don't my skin gets drier. I think my milk supply decreases also, but I can't really quantify that.

I'm still trying to find time to do some "mommy time". I haven't written thank you notes for gifts after Ellie was born. And, I'm getting to the point where I need to cut out some of my volunteer commitments. I'm a member of 3 groups and I may have to fall back to a bare minimum worker bee in at least one. I find I like staying home with P and little E evenings and weekends. We switch off shifts so each of us gets cuddle time and time to take care of personal projects like the vegetable garden, cooking, working in the woodshop, or doing pro bono design work. My office is a wreck since I only get to work on it in small snatches of time. The only thing I'm getting lots of is time to watch TV series on Netflix streaming. That and reading books is about all I can manage during the many hours I seem to spend each day nursing and holding a sleeping bebe. So, there are some good shows out there. Most, have been cancelled after only one or two seasons. Some of the ones I like are; Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, The Dollhouse, Pushing Daisies, Eureka, and show of the moment, Bones. I may be forgetting one or two...

Auntie C posted a few more pics from her camera of our Texas trip. You can see all of them here.

Here's a recent photo of Ellie eating her sock. I'll see if we can get some better photos this weekend. I have a couple videos also, but I'll have to post them on FB or maybe the photo gallery.
Ellie eating her foot. To date, it's her best party trick.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Texas Trip

Last week, we traveled to Texas to visit my family. We went to the Riverwalk in San Antonio since P REALLY REALLY wanted to go. He liked it, so I'm sure we'll be going back. I was just glad to get some good TexMex cheese enchiladas. Not these Mexican jobs up here. Unless the cheese is cheddar, it's just not the same. We also visited my grandmother up in Austin and ended the day standing in line for the iPad2 and hanging out with some old friends. Saturday, we hung out with my family and my Aunt D and picked up a summer wardrobe for P. Sunday, we headed back. It felt like a really short trip, but we squeezed a lot into it and it was long enough that I was really glad to get home. 

Ellie is growing. She has her 4 month appointment in a week and a half. I'm hoping to get her sleep schedule ironed out by then. I feel as though I've procrastinated my homework. I've been reading other blogs and forums trying to figure out what works for other moms. So far, it looks as though I'm not alone in my random "a la cart" style napping. However, from what I can tell, schedules are better in the long run. So, we've moved bed time up to 8:30 with the intention to get it to 8. She sleeps 7-8 hours most nights, followed by 2 1-1.5 hour naps to wake for good around 8. Today, I decided to try the 2-3-4 (named after the number of hours between sleep periods) schedule. I started trying for a nap around 9:45. She finally fell asleep in her crib around 10:30 (after a lot of fussing). I'm considering getting some darker curtains to go over her shades, but don't really want to make her light dependent. Following this schedule, her next nap should be around 2-2:30. If I can get her to nap for a couple hours, that will put her perfectly on schedule for an 8:30 bedtime. I expect I'll have to use the Ergo carrier. That's about the only way I can get a long nap out of her. Thank goodness our bedtime routine is down.

Ellie's hair is starting to grow. It's darkened some, but she's still blonde. She may end up a brunette though. P and I were both towheads into elementary school. Her eyelashes have just a bit of curl to them now. We've started using cloth diapers in earnest. But, in disposables we're moving up to a size 2. I have a pack of size 1's I need to send back to Amazon. Between that, and the fact that we've moved up to size 3-6 mos. in clothes, I'd estimate Ellie is around 13 pounds. She's holding up her neck well most of the time, so we don't have quite the problem getting milk stuck in her neck folds. She drools and bubbles like a fountain, so bibs are pretty much mandatory these days, although she does a pretty decent job mopping her own face if you give her a cloth diaper. 

We took our first walk yesterday with the stroller. The weather was cloudy in the 60's with a bit of wind. We may take the dogs next time. Today looks even prettier.
Mom, Dad and little e

Four generations at Great Grandma's house

Having dinner with friends at Jasper's in the Domain

Smiling for the paparazzi

In the plane flying to Texas

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Milestone: Napping in the Crib

Ellie is almost 14 weeks now (tomorrow) and took her first crib nap today. Up to now, she's only napped in arms, swings, bouncy seats, and carseats. She has always woken up the minute I try to lay her down. Always. So, I'm pretty stoked and hope she'll do an afternoon nap too. Once we get this trick down, maybe we can get on a nap schedule before our next doctor's appointment so I don't have to "disappoint" Dr. L.

Another good sign was that two nights ago, I was able to lay her down for the night semi-drowsy and she made her way to sleep on her own. I've started reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, but I'm hoping we can figure this out before I get to the end of it.

Also, I developed a cold Sunday afternoon and am hoping that it passes quickly. I've always been able to treat myself before and doing this without sudafed is definitely not for sissies.  I feel a little better than yesterday, so hopefully I'm on the road to recovery. Ellie has been eating and sleeping more than usual, so maybe she's trying to fight off infection too. So far, she doesn't share any of my symptoms. We are due to go to Texas soon and I really don't want to do it with a sick baby.