4 Months

Where has the time gone? Have we seriously had Adeline in our lives for a third of the year? It doesn’t seem possible!

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The weeks are definitely starting to blur together. I always thought it was funny when moms with babies didn’t know how many weeks old the baby was, but now I totally understand. You go from counting weeks of pregnancy to counting the weeks of a newborns life- but the time just passes so quickly that it just becomes easier to refer to age in months. I don’t really think of Adeline as a newborn anymore. She is interacting with her world more and more, and she is less dependent on us.

Flexibility and the Importance of Sleep

This fourth month of life definitely taught us about flexibility and sleep. I flipped through Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child and the one message that I took away was:

Sleep is a NEED for a baby just like food is a NEED for a baby.

I try plan for Adeline’s feedings- I make sure I’m wearing something that I can nurse in, I try to anticipate when she’s going to eat and we find somewhere quiet to sit. HSHHC (how’s that for an acronym?) showed me the importance of preparing for Adeline’s sleep needs too. We start to lower the volume and lights (turning off the TV, getting out of crowded spaces, etc). We “set the mood” by humming and singing to her. We turn on the fan in her room. We rock and sway for a few minutes before laying her down. I try to anticipate when she will be tired (usually 1-2 hours after she wakes up), and I attempt to plan our activities around her naps.

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I think this month has just really shown me that I need to RESPECT her nap times. If I do my best to allow her the sleep that she needs, we are usually rewarded with a rested, happy baby. It kind of seems silly that we cancel plans at the last minute sometimes just because she’s fast asleep, but we’re learning that the consequences of shortening a nap usually aren’t worth getting somewhere exactly on time. I first saw the book mentioned on Healthy Tipping Point, and here is one of her many posts about “sleep training” her son.

Five Minute Rule

I didn’t take much else from reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. There were a few “methods” for letting baby cry, not letting baby cry etc. as he or she falls asleep. We kind of established our own routine, which would be labeled as “Controlled Comfort” in the book. If Adeline is fussy after we put her down to bed (for a nap or for bedtime), we give her 5 minutes to fuss, and then she’s usually ready to take a pacifier to pass out. Sometimes she’ll just kind of “cry” herself to sleep too. If a pacifier replacement doesn’t work, we’ll try picking her up after another 5 minutes, we try for a burp, and then lay her down again. There have been very few times where the “5 minutes” rule hasn’t worked- and those times have been when she’s WAY overtired because we missed her window for getting her to sleep. I’ve nursed her down a few times when she’s just been inconsolable, but putting her down has gotten easier.

New Things

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Movement– The girl loves to move! Sometimes she get’s this very determined look on her face before she flails her arms and legs. We lay her down in her pack ‘n play long ways and a few times, she has rotated a full 90 degrees.

Tummy Time– she doesn’t hate it anymore! She tries to pull her legs up under herself. Sometimes it appears like she’s trying to roll over, she’ll do her same frantic kicking when she’s on her belly and she’s almost gotten to her side a few times. I’m not too sad that she’s not rolling yet, I like being able to leave her in one place 🙂

Sitting– Adeline LOVES to sit up. In her Bumpo, on your lap and she even tries to sit up when she’s in her car seat or in her bouncy chair. Girl has some strong abs! I think she knows what “sit up” means. You can ask her if she wants to sit up, and she gets excited and flails in the same way each time. She likes to try to lick her toes when she’s sitting.

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Giggles– we’ve gotten a FEW giggles from her by kissing her neck near her ear! Here’s a video of the second giggle that she ever did! I try to do ridiculously funny things each day to try to get a few giggles, but so far, I think she’s just embarrassed by me.

Food– Adeline has started to watch when we’re eating. I usually eat my breakfast when she is nursing in the morning, and she is definitely watching the spoon move from the bowl to my mouth. We’ve let her slobber on a few hunks of banana- she doesn’t quite know what to do with it, but it’s pretty fun to watch her try to do something with it. I’m not planning on intentionally introducing solids as an addition to breastmilk for a while, but we’re totally cool with letting her taste things. I’ve reserved a copy of Baby Led Weaning (one method of introducing solids to babies) to flip through. My friend Ashley used BLW with her daughter Lydia, and I know Brittany at A Healthy Slice introduced her daughter Haley to solids using BLW too! Whenever we do start solids, I’ll be sure to post our thoughts on all “introduction” methods- purees, BLW, “cereals”, etc!

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Flying– Yes, our daughter can fly. But not without a little help from daddy 😉 This is a wonderful “evening activity” that helps to minimize any evening fussiness! I don’t know if she’s loving the flying so much that she forgets about being cranky, or if she’s absolutely terrified about hovering horizontally 5+ feet off of the ground! Mommy is not good at helping her fly, I’ll blame it on lack of upper body strength and having small hands.IMG_20130127_162728

Dislikes

She’s not a happy baby when she misses a naps. Adeline doesn’t always like putting clothes on. I’m still convinced she was born in the wrong season, she loves naked time! And socks- she HATES socks. She’ll wear them during the day, but as soon as it’s time for a nap or for bed- it’s just easier to take them off so she doesn’t spend 5 minutes trying to kick them off!

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I’ll update her 4 month stats next week after her pediatrician appointment!

Is there anything else I’m missing?

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4 Months

3 Months Postpartum

I’m continuously amazed at the human body. God designed our bodies for carrying, birthing and nourishing a child. How weird is it that 3 months ago, there was a tiny human inside of me?!

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I feel good. I’ve fully healed “down there” (no more stitches!), and my 6 week postpartum checkup (FOREVER AGO) was A-OK! Since my 6 week checkup, I’ve started Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. My doc referred me to The Center for Pelvic Floor and Core Rehabilitation here in Cincinnati. I’ve only been a handful of times (scheduling is proving to be difficult), but I’m really glad that I decided to go. I put a sample of my exercises at the bottom of this post (skip it if you don’t want to read about female anatomy)

Exercise

Anyways, my pelvic floor is getting stronger, which is exciting because I’m starting Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp next week! I still have to be mindful of jumping exercises, but I’m excited to have a routine to follow! We’ve still been taking walks, though not as much since it got COLD outside. I’m making it a point to actually USE my gym membership now that it’s chilly.

Weight and Body

Here are a few comparison pictures (I’m also using the 3 month photos as my “beginning” place for Bootcamp“):

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And here are the differences in measurements:

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I’m definitely not complaining about any of those stats. Like I mentioned in Adeline’s 3 month post, she’s getting heavier (yippee!) but I need to build up some serious shoulder strength if I’m going to do lots of baby shoulder presses during playtime! Even though my stomach is flat, I still have trouble with core exercises such as side planks. I’m working on challenging the muscles, but I’m still being cautious enough to stop if something doesn’t feel right.

Thoughts and Emotions

I wrote about my feelings of losing my “old self” in my birthday post. I also wrote about our struggle with Adeline’s 12 week growth spurt. Aside from feeling stressed when I’m pulled in too many directions, I am feeling good. If you are expecting, or if you are a new mom, FIND MOM FRIENDS! Even if you are just a part of a forum on a baby website- it helps to have shared experiences with other women. It’s pretty fun to “talk” to some of my internet mom friends in the middle of the night via Twitter. It juts makes you feel good knowing that there are other women in the same boat as you Smile

Okay, so that’s the end of the post- if you want to read about specific pelvic floor exercises, read on…

Continue reading “3 Months Postpartum”

3 Months Postpartum

Another Birthday, Another Me?

Well, today is my 25th birthday. I have a few minutes to type while the babe is sleeping, and I wanted to try to capture my feelings on my quarter of a century birthday. There aren’t any pictures in this post (Adeline’s 3 month post is coming on Monday, get ready to be smothered with cute-ness), and please excuse my introspective ramblings…

I would never have imagined that I would have gotten married at 22 and that I would have a baby right before I turned 25. God works in some special ways, I can attest to that. This year has been full of ups and downs. The biggest surprise of this past year was definitely find out that we were expecting a baby, and the rest of the year was filled with preparing for the little one. In some ways, I kind of felt like this past year wasn’t really mine. I suppose part of that feeling comes from being pregnant for 40 weeks (aka a LONG time), and now, even though Adeline is here, I still don’t feel like my “old” self.

I suppose I never will be my “old” self again- I’m a mother now.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.  She never existed before.  The woman existed, but the mother, never.  A mother is something absolutely new.
-Rajneesh

As smooth as this transition to motherhood has been, and as much as I love my daughter- a part of me is still grieving the loss of the days as just being “me”. Life will never be the same as it was before Adeline came into the world, BUT, I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything in the world. I have a husband who loves and supports me (who makes me laugh, who comforts me when I cry, etc.) I have a beautiful, happy and healthy baby girl, and God has surrounded our family with the love of friends and family.

I think it’s pretty natural to get sentimental at this time of the year- as we say “goodbye” to the holiday season and start preparing for a “New Year, New You”. I’m taking some time today to look back on this past year and to say THANK YOU to God for bringing me through this journey. I’m waving goodbye to my “early twenties” with a smile. I’m constantly trying to give up my struggles, insecurities and anxieties about my past and my future to God so that I can be present in the now.

So, I’m entering into my 25th year as a “new” me. I’m embracing the changes that have come into my life. I’m a mom. But, I’m still a Child of God, a Wife, a Friend, a Daughter (and more).

Thank you so much for all of the texts, Facebook messages and in-person Happy Birthday wishes. Here’s to twenty-five FANTASTIC years, and cheers to many more!

Another Birthday, Another Me?

Workouts and Crafts

I can’t find my needle and thread…

I’m working on finishing up Adeline’s stocking to match the set of stockings that I made for us during Christmas 2010. I  never would have thought that just 2 years later, I’d be making a fifth stocking for our daughter! Crazy!

Anyways, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve been doing in my “down time” as a new mom. Aside from trying to stay on top of the laundry (and the massive amounts of dog hair that is always collecting in the corner), I’ve been finding outlets to have some “me” time.

Workouts

We started taking walks with Adeline when she was just a few days old. I’m pretty sure a grandma using a cane could have walked faster than me in those first few weeks, but it felt good to get some fresh air and to move without a ginormous belly.

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We kept on walking and I even threw in a couple of light weight lifting sessions before my 6 week post-partum appointment. I got “cleared” to resume normal activities at my checkup, and it’s been great to get into more of a rhythm with my workouts!
Adeline, Silas and I take a walk almost every day together. Sometimes we’re out for 30 minutes, sometimes we’ll be cruising around for about an hour. It’s a great way to put Adeline to sleep, and I know Silas appreciates the activity!

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I’ve been going to the gym every 2-3 days for a few weeks now, and I usually warm up and then lift weights (trying to build back some strength!) I’m loving using the workouts from Phase 1 of the LiveFit Training program. It’s nice to not have to come up with a workout!

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I did the 5-4-3-2-1 workout I saw on Pinterest on Sunday and I am still sore! I modified some of the moves because I’m not totally comfortable with jumping yet, but I worked up a great sweat!

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Cooking

I love spending time in the kitchen! I’m not quite back to the “creating recipes” phase, but I do like trying to get dinner on the table most nights! We just finished up our stash of freezer meals last week (8 weeks post partum- actually, I think there are a few enchiladas left in there), and Adeline has been taking a decent afternoon nap that lets me make some sort of dinner. Here’s what we’ve been chowing on lately:

  • Roasted sweet potatoes, protein (eggs, meat if we have some) and veggies
  • Lentil Soup (sauté onions, carrots & celery, add  seasoning (usually cumin, paprika- sometimes we throw in curry) water/broth and a can of diced tomatoes, add 1c. lentils and cook till veggies and lentils are tender).

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  • “Everything” soup- whatever random veggies we have in the fridge/freezer, broth, beans and rice (just simmered together)
  • Daniel cooks night (probably my favorite night of the week!)
  • DIY Nights: Usually leftovers from the night before paired with eggs and some frozen veggies

Crafts

I’m pretty happy that it is the Holiday season, I have a reason to make and give away homemade gifts! Here is Adeline’s stocking (in progress, I think that yellow blob is going to be a star):

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Daniel helped me to make these ornaments that we gave to the grandparents:

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(50 cent plaster ornament from Michael’s, pack of Paint Pens in “holiday colors”, and Modge Podge. We made Adeline’s handprint on a piece of paper and then glued it onto the decorated ornament with Modge Podge. Much less risky than trying to put the handprint directly on the ornament)

I’ve had a few other “creative” times, but now I can’t remember what I’ve made… oh well!

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Sounds like Adeline is waking up from her nap (LOVE the cooing and squeaky sounds she is making), so I’m going to find that needle and thread so that I can finish her stocking during the next nap!

Workouts and Crafts

2 Months

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Two Month Stats: 
Adeline goes to the doctor in a few days for her two month checkup (with shots, boo) and I’ll update this post with how much she has grown! She’s filling out more (check out the difference in the newborn vs. 1 month vs. 2 month photos!!!), and she lays around with her limbs stretched out instead of being all smushed into a ball.

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All of her newborn clothes are packed up. ALL OF THEM. I cannot believe how fast she outgrew (in length) all of her tiny little outfits! We’re in 0-3month and 3 month clothes now, although some are still pretty big on her. I’m actually pretty glad that we’ve moved on to bigger sizes because she has a lot more “cold weather” clothing in the bigger sizes! We’re also getting into the swing of cloth diapering, but I plan to do another post on that sometime in the near future!

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Likes

Her changing pad (still!), eating, music (she kicks like crazy when one of her songs plays on her Pooh Bear bouncy seat). 

Watching mom and dad in the kitchen in her Pooh Bear bouncy seat.

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Stroller rides (we take Silas on a walk almost every day!)

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She loves baths, she loves being held while she falls asleep (I think all of the snuggles over our Thanksgiving visits spoiled her…) and she loves hearing mommy and daddy talk to her!

Dislikes

Napping, having a stuffy nose (baby girl got her first cold, sniff). She’s not a big fan of tummy time, although her head control is pretty good when she’s up on your shoulder! Here is what happens when you attempt to take a picture with a fussy baby: rapper baby-

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Struggles for Mom and Dad

Setting a “Schedule”

This second month has been kind of all over the place. We had the 5 week growth spurt that threw off our rhythm, and then we got back into a groove before Thanksgiving. I think we’re beginning to understand her needs a little bit better, and we are slowly learning how to adjust our schedules and expectations to do what will benefit Adeline the most.

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We were able to visit with some friends over our Thanksgiving break, but we made sure to leave early enough so that we could keep Adeline’s bedtime routine pretty normal (she was hanging out with her Grammy and Woody!) We still take her everywhere with us, but we just adjust our leaving time so that it coincides with nap time a little bit better!

The Elusive Nap

We’re still struggling with naptime a bit. We have pretty successfully gotten into the “BabyWise” plan (eat, play, sleep) with ~3 hours between feedings in the daytime. However, most of Adeline’s naps have been taken in the car (when I have an errand to run or when we’re going to visit friends) or in the stroller. She has no problem falling asleep in someone’s arms (or in the Baby Bjorn), but sometimes this momma just wants her hands free for a while! There have been numerous days where napping just doesn’t happen, and I don’t want to drive the baby around the block just to get her to snooze. Any tips for successful napping at home? 

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Adeline has definitely gotten over-tired on some days where napping just doesn’t happen (or when the naps are super short), and that makes bedtime a bit difficult. The girl can fight sleep for a long time! I know we’ll get the hang of napping sooner or later, but I just want to make sure she’s getting the sleep that she needs!

Final Thoughts

It is SO COOL to see Adeline become more interactive with her world. The gummy smiles we get in the morning and beginnings of coos make those few “rough” days TOTALLY worth it. I love talking to her and watching her face light up, and Daniel really likes watching her “ride her bike” when she hears music that she likes. We like showing her the “baby in the mirror” and think that it’s absolutely adorable when she smiles at herself. 

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We are pretty excited to share this Christmas season with Adeline. The lights on the tree are shining just a bit brighter, and the holiday songs on the radio sound so much sweeter. I think having Adeline around has already made this holiday season more special than the ones before!

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2 Months