Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The trouble with having a girl is....

There are so many pretty accessories to buy! Oh dear, mommy is going to have to keep working just to pay for the hairbands, clothes and shoes.... Not to mention the camera lenses and extra memory on my computer!



Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our future ASU Kicker

Here is a video of Alex showing off her exceptional coordination. She's wearing her ASU outfit, displaying her allegiance already! :)

video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Alex's First Picnic

Rich had the day off yesterday, so we decided to escape the ridiculous Phoenix summer heat and take a day-trip to Prescott.  Alex slept through the car-ride up there and woke just in time for her first picnic!  We spread a blanket under some tall pine trees and ate lunch.  Alex had her favorite lunch item (milk, done medium-well) and we enjoyed the change of scenery for a bit.
Alex loves when we carry her in the Baby Bjorn Backpack!It ended up being a little hotter than we expected, so we wrapped up our picnic quickly and headed to downtown Prescott so we could hang out in the shady town square park.

She got a little fussy after awhile.  Here is Rich joining in on her screaming.

Overall, it was a wonderful day! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Newborn Photo Session

Here are the photos from Alex's first photoshoot, when she was 6 days old...(I forgot to post them earlier!)













Sunday, July 19, 2009

Smile!



This is the biggest smile from Alex that we have caught on film! She seems to be doing much better now that she has been taking her antacid medicine, so I'm hoping we have found the solution! Oh happy day! :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baby Sleep

Dare I say it? Alex has been sleeping through the night for almost a week now. We put her to sleep around 9 p.m., and she usually sleeps for 6-7 hours, at which point I wake up (usually with a mild panic attack because she hasn't made a peep for hours) to feed her. Even when I feed her, she is still sleeping! Then I put her back in her crib, and she sleeps until 7 a.m. It's awesome! Rich doesn't even have to get up for any of it--lucky guy!

I believe that a lot of it is just luck--you either get a good sleeper or you don't, but I also think we contribute to some of it. I have read (WAY TOO MANY) books on this baby sleep thing...The Baby Whisperer, Dr. Sears' Baby Book, Babywise, and The Happiest Baby on the Block. They all have slightly different ways of looking at it, but the few take-aways that I have gotten, and the things that we have tried are:

-A routine. Now I'm not talking a rigorous schedule of times that the baby must eat, sleep and live by, but some sort of structure to the day that helps her know what is coming. She eats first, then we play with her for a little while, and then when she starts to look sleepy, we get her to sleep. The thing that most of the books agree on is to avoid letting her fall asleep immediately after she eats, because then she will always need to eat in order to fall asleep (even though she may not be hungry, and then when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she won't be able to fall back asleep unless she is nursing). That has been the hardest part of it, because when she nurses, she starts to drift off immediately! But I keep trying to tickle her, sing to her, and otherwise annoy her so she stays awake during feedings. It seems to be working.

-Naps. It is so counter-intuitive, but the biggest take-away I have learned in the last month is that sleep promotes more sleep in babies. You would think that letting her nap a lot during the day would prevent her from sleeping at night, but it's not true. The caveat is that they are 'naps' and not long stretches of sleep. If I let her sleep for longer than a 2 hour stretch during the day, it will start to interrupt night-time sleep. And I try not to let her nap within 3 hours of bedtime, or that will interfere with night-time sleep too. The books say that when babies get "over-tired" they actually get so fussy and start to cry and wail and work themselves up so that they can't fall asleep. And the window between 'just a little sleepy' and 'overtired' is so fleeting! It's definitely true for Alex. After the 2nd yawn, I know that I better start trying to rock her and get her ready for naptime, or we are in for at least an hour of crying. But as long as I am reading her little patterns and responding in time, it has been working great!

I'm sure that she won't sleep well all the time, but we feel so lucky that she has been a good sleeper so far!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alex is 4 weeks old

Here is our sweet girl in her bouncer!

video

She has been having more moments of calm than before, but is still crying a good part of the day. We started the medicine last night, so hopefully it will help even more than the diet changes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My little screamer...

Thanks girls for the suggestions--nothing seems to be working, but we are still trying them...

We went to the pediatrician today and she thinks it might be reflux. So I am eliminating dairy from my diet (I guess lactose intolerance accompanies or aggravates reflux?) and we are switching to a hypoallergenic lactose-free formula. We are going to try an infant antacid later in the week if the formula changes haven't worked by then.

It doesn't seem to just be the witching hour, because it starts usually around 9 or 10 a.m. and continues until bedtime. And it doesn't necessarily follow feeds, although sometimes it does. She simply cries 90% of her waking hours. She has still been sleeping well at night, but I'm convinced that is because she has exhausted herself from all the screaming she does during the day. The bouncer or swing don't help, but she does like being bounced by us (physically). Which doesn't make much sense, because the swing mimics the same motion that we make when we bounce her, but she is only consoled if we are the ones doing it. She spits up, arches her back sometimes, and seems to do worse if she has had more formula then breastmilk. I think the sleeping-through-the night also might be happening because I don't supplement with formula at night time (I breastfeed solely from about 9 p.m. until 9 a.m. the next morning). Right now, I'm wondering if it is colic or reflux.

The one good thing is that she is growing wonderfully! Today she weighed 9 lbs 6 oz--almost up 3 lbs since birth, and she is only 3 1/2 weeks old!

Poor thing, it is so sad to hear this little angel scream. She has started losing her voice today! Here's hoping for a miracle this week...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

3 week update

I can't believe it, but it has been 3 weeks since Alex was born!! Time is flying by so quickly.

In the last week, Alex has gotten even better at sleeping. For the last two nights, she has only woken up once to eat, and then immediately went back to sleep again! Are we lucky, blessed, or is it going to be short-lived? Who knows, but we are loving it while it lasts!

During the day, we have had a little bit more of a challenge though. We aren't sure if she is having tummy troubles or just typical baby fussiness, but she is crying almost all the time when she isn't sleeping or eating. I am still nursing her, but she also gets supplemented with bottles, so we switched formulas to see if that would help and have gotten some medicine drops for gas. It seems to have helped a little, but the poor thing is still not the happy contented baby that we had for the first 2 weeks. It is so sad to hear her crying, escalating into full screams, and not knowing why she is so upset! Rich and I have both found ways to console her (bouncing and swaying her seems to help) but it is tough to keep bouncing a baby for hours just to keep the screams at bay. Any parents with advice??

On Tuesday this week, Rich and I went on our first post-baby date night. My mom came over to babysit, and we left the house around 5 pm to go to dinner. Then we went to see the play "Wicked". It started at 7:30, and I absolutely loved the first half! But at 9:00, during intermission, I couldn't handle it anymore and asked Rich to take me home. I missed Alex so much!!! I knew she was in great hands with my mom, but it was just too long to be away from her so soon. We'll have to go see the play again someday, because the part we saw was just awesome! I think for the next date night that we plan, we'll stick to something a little shorter and closer to home. I need to ease my way into it. It's hard to believe that our life has changed so much in just 3 short weeks!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Success stories

From Day 1, Alex has had her nights and days switched. She sleeps all day and is alert and ready to party at night. It makes sense, because that was her pattern in the womb. As much as we love her, we prefer to get our sleep during the night! So this week, I started researching how to switch her internal clock, and I don't want to declare success just yet, but at the very least, I will say we are making headway. During the day, we make sure to talk in normal tones, keep the house bright and engage the baby by talking to her and not letting her sleep for longer than 90 minutes at a time. Also, I make sure she eats at least every 2 hours, so she gets most of her calories during the day (instead of her preferred way of getting them all at night!) Then when night-time comes around, we have been doing the same ritual: bathing her, changing into pjs, swaddling her and giving her several "cluster feeds" together. Then we rock her, turn off all the lights, lower our voices, etc... Each night has been successively better, and last night was just plain wonderful! We put her to sleep at 8, and she woke every 3 hours to feed for about 30 minutes, but then she went right back down each time. This morning, at 7 am, Rich and I looked at each other (while Alex was still asleep) and we were beaming ear to ear like the proudest parents you've ever seen. Who knows, it could be just a fluke, but at least we got a few nights of catch-up on sleep!

Also, we had our 2 week check-up and were so excited to find that Alex is now 8 lbs!!! The doctor was beyond thrilled, and said that they are just happy when babies regain their birth weight by the 2 week visit. Our little girl regained her birth weight, plus another 1 and a half pounds! Wow! I have been so worried that I wasn't producing enough milk for her, and we have been supplementing with formula bottles after some of her breastfeeding sessions. Now, I feel a little relieved to know she is getting plenty of nourishment.