Wednesday, August 10, 2011

9 months, 2nd tooth, sleep re-training, crawling monkey

Wowee I think that's the longest I've ever gone without posting!!! I've been super pre-occupied with Elliott as I'm well aware that I will be going back to work in 4 months!! So every minute is definitely counting more when I know that I won't get to see him 12 hrs a day like I do now.

Gosh where do I start there has been so so much that has happened since the last post I may not remember it all.

To recap, we had to do some really hard sleep re-training because of his whole cold/separation anxiety period.  I knew it was too good to be true that my babe had slept through the night pretty much since he was 3 - 8 months! but somehow forgot how to amidst all the changes in the last little while. I am happy to report though, that for about a month now (knock on lots of wood), Elliott has been able to be put down and fall asleep on his own (no crying) and sleeps his reg 10-12 hrs a night. How'd we do it?  I'll tell you what method I followed in a bit. Got you hooked right?

So back to the recap. We tried everything, I mean everything to get him to go to sleep and stay asleep but all the 'nice' ways just weren't cutting it and I knew that it was important to find a solution right away because he was just becoming overtired and miserable. Neither my hubby nor I were getting any good straight sleep so we said enough is enough, we know our baby and he is a good sleeper so let's do this!  My DH googled some methods to try out and he showed me this site that had a step-by-step of the controlled crying method. Now I know some of you mama's are against letting your babe cry it out but this was really our last resort before we went mental. Trust me. 

So here's what we followed TO A TEE. The first night, Elliott cried for about an hour and a half. From the beginning, we went in every 5 mins, then 10 mins to pat him and tell him it's ok it's just bedtime, but stay no longer than 2 mins (we literally timed it on our phones and my hubby would wave at the door for me to come out.) We must gone in more than a dozen times and halfway through we heard him puke he was so upset. So we rushed in, cleaned him up, changed him, changed the sheets, and reassured him and started again.  He was mad as anything I'll tell ya.  But sure enough, he slowly calmed down, and then all of a sudden, silence, and blissful sleep overcame our tired out baby.  I felt horrible hearing him cry like that but I kept reminding myself that this was for his own good and that we were re-teaching him this very important skill that will benefit him million-fold down the road. 

We did the same method Day 2 and there was also vomit and crying and it took about the same time, an hour and a half to finally settle.  Now here's where it got interesting - Day 3 - E went down with a whimper and then settled himself into sleep as my hubby creeped out of his room.  I KNOW RIGHT?! We thought this must be a fluke but seriously, from that point on, he ate his solids, had a bottle, bedtime story (Goodnigh.t Moon) and into the crib with some eye rubbing and yawns.  

I'm not saying everyone should try this, do what's comfortable for you but if you are at your wit's end, you really have nothing to lose. But I have to say, you better be prepared to almost cry yourself, and have your partner there to support you because you really need to lean on each other. and stick to it. Don't waver and give in because consistency really is the key here. 

Here's the link to the site if you're interested (scroll down to the Controll.ed Crying section as there's a few methods on that site)

My well rested monkey

Elliott's second bottom tooth is out now and the teething pain was still as bad as the first but he seemed to get over the pain a few days quicker than the last. No top teeth yet but he continues to drool like a baby bulldog and bites and put anything and everything into his mouth.

Moving fast
About 3 weeks ago he went from a bum bum up in the air to a full on hand knee hand knee movement and I shrieked in excitement but then realized it was over for me. Gone are the days that I can put him beside me on the bed and cuddle, and gone are the days that I relax beside him or on the couch while he played on the activity mat.  He is become a super curious and inquisitive baby and I love watching him discover new things, whether it be different textures (grass, water, measuring cups, new foods) and I'm sure there is lots to look forward to but I want to freeze this moment in time because it is just so sweet.  Even if I am sweating every day chasing him around. He pulls himself up on a lot of things now, the coffee table, our headboard, the couches, just hasn't been able to pull to stand yet but I'm sure it's coming because he is SOLID on his legs. 


He is a bit on on the light side of the chart for weight, but the pediatrician says that he's growing right on track according to his own growth rate and there is nothing to worry about.  He weighed about 17 ish at his 9 month appt. We also swapped the order of his meals as he used to take a 5 oz bottle before his solids (mainly because he used to be so darn impatient) - so now we do solids and then the bottle and he still finishes it all. The idea is to get the most we could in him first with veggies, starches, fruits and calcium and so far it's working wonderfully.  I'm not overly concerned about his weight gain or slow gain as I know my hubby was a thin child by nature too (his family has CRAZY, I mean, CRAZY high metabolism - his sisters are all thin and gorge *jealous* ) so I'm sure Elliott has something of the same.  It's hard not to compare to other babies his age but I have to remember that as adults, we are all different shapes and sizes, and he is just the right size and on track for parents who are not 6 feet tall and big boned. 

Curious about everything!

He's recently started to squeal and yell randomly.  Sometimes it's out of excitement and sometimes just being whiny.  I am starting to realize that the next steps of teaching are to be manners and right and wrong. So far the words 'no no' bring a smile to his face more than I would like it to.  I'm sure we'll get there soon :) 

Watching us eat at Ribfest

My hubby and I celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary next week -I still can't believe that within those 5 years we moved twice, lost 3 babies, and have one now.  There have been lots of ups and our share of downs but 5 years is a milestone of great importance to us as I'm sure with a lot of married couples out there.  I am looking forward to what the next chapter looks like now that we have sorta gotten the hang of this whole 'being parents' thing.  Scared to death about trying for #2. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Colds, Separation Anxiety and Army Crawl

Well it's been one heck of a week and a bit, to say the least. E got his first real, full-blown cold and boy, it was not pretty.  I felt so bad for him, as he would snort and try to breathe through the thick mucus plugged up in his wittle nose and he would scream his way through me trying to help him 'un-plug' it.  I bought a really useful nose pump called Hy.dras.ense for babies. Basically you control the sucking pressure, no don't worry, there is a filter in the pump so you won't accidentally snort in some boogie monsters.  The tricky part is, getting him to hold still! By the 4th day, he had simply given up fighting me and I was able to help him without getting my eye gouged out. 

During his off-week while being sick (and still a bit now), he developed a new thing: separation anxiety. It may be just that he wasn't feeling well so was super clingy and needy, but every time I went to put him down for a nap and walked away he would scream bloody murder but would fall asleep in my arms as soon as I picked him up. There are a few times when I've put him down on the blankie to play while I fix his bottle in the kitchen and he cries like I'm never going to come back for him. We are slowly but surely getting back to our 'routine' but man, this cold threw us for a loop. Thankfully he did not get a temperature and Tyle.nol cold for babies saved our butts.

But in other exciting news! My 8 month old munchkin is starting to show signs that crawling is just around the corner!  He first started by sticking his bum in the air and sort of stuck, but in the past few days, he has been pushing up on his forearms and sort of dragging his bottom half forward. He can also go around in circles just using his upper body - it's quite the sight LOL. 

Here is a video I took of his first attempts. I'm such a proud mama! 

Friday, June 17, 2011

3 Mouseketeers

Playdates are hilarious. Especially this one :) Happy Weekend!

New Blog Header Woo!

Thanks to the talented Ella over at Baby Love, I got something new and pretty on my blog! Like it?  :)))

This might just be the shortest point on record, but just had to share! 

We're heading to our first Mom-to-mom sale tomorrow, hoping to snatch up some 'next steps' items like: baby gates, baby proofing schtuffs, and maybe some books. If you've never heard of mom-to-mom sales, basically (I've heard) they're like giant garage sales of gently used baby items. Hope we score some good stuff because it opens at 8 am and we intend to be there by then! 

Then, off to the Me.tro T oronto Zoo with some good friends and their 9 month old - fun times this weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Baby Steps towards Baby Led Weaning

We first started E on rice cereal. Then it progressed to sweet potato, butternut squash, peas, bananas, apples and pears. It was/is A LOT prep work to puree and pack and freeze all of his solids and although it's hilarious trying to feed him while he has a vice grip with his feet on my hands (prior to us getting him a high chair) - I'm starting to lean more and more towards Baby Led Weaning.  So I started giving him a banana, cut in half, with 3/4 of the peel still on so he could hold it. And guess what? He LOVED it! I've been trying out different things to see how he reacts to it: cucumber, tomato, carrot - and I'm really looking forward to all the new foods he will be able to feed himself. There's a great post by Baby Love's Ella on BLW- check it out!! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Teething Woes

So for the past 3 nights, Elliott has been waking up screaming in the middle of the night, although super groggy when we go to comfort him. Our daytime routine is also a bit off because of the waking up at night but I really really hope this whole teething thing blows over soon. I forgot how it felt to be zombie like in the wee hours. I don't like it one bit but I do feel so bad for the little guy. My pediatrician told me to hold off on and pain meds if we could, so that he can 'get used' to teething instead of numb and dull it. I'll see how long we can do that for, so far, just cold washcloths for him to bite on and cold teething rings. 
What non-medicinal ways did you use to help your babe through this?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh, you're so lucky

I'll explain the title in just a sec ;)

Firstly, I must apologize! I have been so bad at blogging and commenting - wow a whole month! Spring has definitely "sprung" here, with lots and lots and lots of rain! Today is finally a sunny day and I can see my gorgeous tulips standing tall and colourful. I still remember my younger sister on her hands and knees planting them for me last fall while I was way too preggo to bend down, but I really, really, really wanted pretty tulips :). So I just pointed and bossed her around LOL. My sister rocks! :) 

Elliott has been doing great - he is 7 months! He's babbling (sorta more like uh uh uh, mummmmhmm), screaming in excitement and can sit up for about 20 minutes before getting a bit tipsy - I find that if I give hims this ball toy that lights up he will be able to sit much longer as he's trying to figure out how to play with it and make it play a tune.  

Life has been great with my ever changing baby. Every day there is something new or funny that I can't wait to share with my hubby when he gets home from work and we have a good laugh about it after.  I can already tell that Elliott has a big personality. Very head strong and passionate (I'd like to think a combo of both of us) and a wee bit impatient sometimes (I think that would be from me lol) He loves looking at my face and touching my eyes, nose, cheeks and of course, he loves to pull on mommy's hair haha! 

I've slowly been introducing new foods to him each week. For the record, he HATES butternut squash so I will have to find someway to mix it in with something else because I don't want it all to go to waste.  I love the Baby Cubes that stores the food neatly in its own tray and be stacked in the freezer or fridge.  Oh he also hates peas but I don't blame him.  I tasted it after I saw his expression and subsequent gagging reflex so my hubby asked me if I've tried it first?  So I tasted it and promptly made the same reaction as E.

May 7th, 2011 was our official last day of breastfeeding. I was very sad that it came to an end but I did what I thought was best for the both of us. You see, from the last time I posted about this, I had tried to keep E on the boob longer and more frequently but he would arch his back and refuse to nurse and just cry and was stressing the both of us out. I hated seeing him so upset and I didn't like how it was making me feel either. So I talked to my hubby, I talked to my mom, and also some mom girlfriends.  With their support, I finally came to the decision that it was time to stop forcing him and just go with 100% bottle. I wouldn't say I'm 'happy' about the decision but it is one that I am comfortable with and that I know now, that it was the right decision and time to do so.  E started to thrive again and we were both happy and back on track.  I know that a lot of you who are new mamas are still bf'ing and I am so, so proud of you. I know how tough and what a sacrifice it can be sometimes and whenever is the right time for you to wean, will be the right time.  I just hope that you all can understand that it really pained me to arrive at this decision as I thought I could go on longer. I hope you don't think I'm a bad mother! :(

Now as for the title of this post, it relates to sleep.  Ah, glorious sleep. Everytime someone IRL asks me, oh how is Elliott sleeping at night? They almost always follow my response by saying "oh, you're so lucky you have a baby that sleeps through the night!" 
I always correct them. 
We worked hard to get to this point, getting him staying asleep for 11-12 hours a night. 
There were nights of rocking, walking, bouncing on a ball.
Then there were long nights of crying, shushing, reassuring, and holding.
Then he started sleeping 6 hours. (2.5 months)
Then 7. (3 months)
Then 9. (3.5 months)
Then 11. (4 months + now)

There are still some nights (few, but still some) that he will suddenly wake up crying, but we've noticed that most of time, he will settle back to sleep. There are times (such as last night) that he couldn't calm himself down so we would have to hold him and pat him, and start the whole going to bed routine again.  So yes, I guess we are lucky. We are lucky that he took so well to sleep training early on and that it has stuck - for now. I can really see a difference between Elliott and other babies in our Mommy/Baby Fitness class that are not sleeping through the night.  They are more fussy, super needy, and can't focus for a long period of time.  I tried to tell them that they really need to start and commit to sleep training but they tell me that they can't stand hearing their baby cry. Even for 5 minutes.  Unfortunately, I think that if they can't do that, then they will still be getting up 5-6 times a night.  :(

On the homefront, relationship with hubby has been great as we continue to learn each day how to handle the situations that come at us with baby.  Taking a trip as a family really helped with that, whether we resisted it or not :) I really am glad that we have fallen into our roles as parents quite comfortably. I'm sure there will be lessons that we both learn along the way and he's been nothing but a great daddy to E.  We've been *ahem* "close" since E was about 2-3 months so I think it really helps to keep the intimacy there.  I haven't gone back on bc pills and I don't plan to so we are just using regular protection. We chatted recently about the timing of "planning" for the next one.  I say 'plan' rather liberally because we know that plans, well, they don't always pan out the way you had imagined.  I am a tad fearful of what will happen as we're trying for the 2nd baby but I know once again, it's in God's hands and we just need to go with whatever comes our way.  Don't worry though, we won't even be trying until end of this year or early next - depending on how things go. I think it will be very different the next time around. Having been through such a roller coaster ride to stay pregnant, I'm sure there is a little bit of toughness there that I have left. 

But I'm liking where I am now.  I am happy and gaining more confidence each day at being a mom and the only aches and pains I have are from working out hard the day before.  I hope all of you are well and happy.  I continue to think about and pray for all of you, especially those that are going through some bumps in the road. 

One more pic to leave you with from Mother's Day:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I keep meaning to post

But everytime I start, something comes up! 
I have a post in draft that I still have to finish but for now, here are some little guy turns 7 months tomorrow! ahhhhhh! 

Also, catching up on a lot of blogs - I apologize for the lack of comments but I will catch up! All of your sweet babies are growing up so fast as well - can you believe it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our First Family Vacation

We got back from Orlando this past Sunday and I'm already having major vacation withdrawal! 

The weather was beautiful, just gorgeous! Sunny and blue skies all week long and super warm.  Elliott was a great little traveller - I was a bit worried about our flight going there as it was SUPER early (6:30 am departure!) but he did fabulously.  I was most nervous when we were standing in a never-ending winding line at customs (just before you get to the part where you take off your shoes and go through the detector) - he woke up from sleeping just as we were about 10 people away from talking to the U.S Customs official and there is no where you can go.  Luckily for us, we just took off the blanket that was on his stroller so he could see us and he made it through just fine. 

Once we were on the plane, we bf'd because if he didn't have something to eat he would totally freak out. He was fine but I felt a tad awkward as those seats are tight as it is with one person, nevermind baby trying to suck at your nipple. Sorry for the straightforwardness but that's what it is. LOL. 

We also gave him .5 ml of aD.vil so that if there was any pain in his ears, it could help a little.Then, just as we were heading down the runway and we heard the engines rev up, we gave him a bottle so his ears wouldn't pop but after a few sucks - he fells asleep! We kept blowing on his face and shaking him so he would suck (which he did, to appease us I think hehe) and once we were at the max altitude, we just let him sleep.  Slept for almost an hour (it was only a 2 1/2 hr flight) and then woke up, ate a bit and played the rest of the time.  It was bliss.  Coming back home was a WHOLE other story.  He had missed his nap and would not fall asleep, and even worse, would NOT take a paci or bottle as we were descending. Instead, we had a wailing, screaming, squirming baby for a good 10 minutes.  I even whipped out my boob at one point (no cover) just to see if it would help calm him down. Nope.  Finally, I gave him to my hubby and he was able to pat him and calm him down - and then he just zonked out right on his shoulder.   I didn't even want to look at anybody because I could just imagine what they were thinking! I think one of the worst things (as a single person) was sitting next to a screaming baby with no where to go!  Oh well - we made it through and all is good :) 

The rest of the trip was great with the exceptions of a few meltdowns-vomit-in-car situations but looking back now it just made the trip that much more memorable :) My favorite moment was sitting on a beach chair at Daytona Beach with Elliott sleeping in my arms, watching the waves crash and kids laughing and playing.  We didn't do Disney as we want his first time to be one that he would truly appreciate and enjoy it.  I can't wait to see the look in his eyes when we get to tell him one day that we are taking him to meet Mickey! 

Thanks for your comments and feedback on my last post about drying up.  I have continued to put him at the breast as much as I can but alas, my supply is just not keeping up with his demand.  I am going to do it for as long as I can, but now that we're doing solids as well, I'm thinking our bf'ing time might end soon rather than later.  :( 

Oh! and Elliott turned 6 months - holy cow - 6 MONTHS! I think back to this time last year and I remember praying every month - please God, let us make it another month, and another, etc.  Now that I see how interactive he is, how curious he is about the world around him - the babbling and the laughing - I am so thankful that he is growing up so well and each month of his life outside of my tummy is a constant reminder of what a blessing he is! 

Here are a few pics from our trip! 


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Open wide!

Elliott has his first taste of solids this past Sunday. Just plain ol' rice cereal.  He LOVED it! We couldn't keep up fast enough with the spoon he was practically lunging at it and using his hand on our wrist to bring it to him faster. Oh man this kid is so funny.

We got the whole thing on video and it cracks me up every time I watch it.  I had put a baby food processor on my baby registry so I can't wait to start making some food for him down the road - hopefully he likes all kinds of food just as much as his mommy! :)

Drying up? Or big appetite?

My goal with breastfeeding was to do it as long as I could, and when we first started - I have to be honest - I didn't enjoy it.  The dryness, the pain, the twisting, the yanking - let's face it, it wasn't exactly the sweet gentle bonding time that I had envisioned. 

Then things got better little by little. E learned how to latch properly, he wasn't as frantic just before I put him on the breast as he was before, and when we had a good nursing session going, it was wonderful.  I even enjoyed those wee morning hours when it was just me and him, mother and son. Calm, quiet, peaceful.

But now it seems that I am either drying up and/or his appetite has increased to the point where I cannot keep up.  I have to admit, it's partly my fault as I haven't pumped in a long time and he's been eating from a bottle 3 times a day. So of course we would get to this point. Now that we're here though, I don't want to wean him off so quickly because I still like the convenience of being able to whip it out and not having to wait to warm a bottle.  Lately, before we give him a bottle, I will put him on the breast first, and then after his 'appetizer' we move onto the bottle. There is definitely not enough breastmilk to satisfy him - but I'm doing it so that I don't lose it completely. Our feeding goes like this: 1st feed - breast; 2nd-feed, breast and bottle, 3rd feed-breast and bottle;  4th feed - breast,  5th feed-bottle - 6th(last) feed-breast. With this 'system' of feeding, he still sleeps 11-12 hours each night.

So the question is, to help with keeping my milk, would Fenugre.ek or Ble.ssed Th.istle work in my situation or is it just at the beginning for mothers who need to get their milk production going? 

In other new news, we are going away to Orlando (!) for our first family vacation together and I am trying to get everything in order - I feel like there is so much to bring for just one tiny little baby!

Oh, and today is my birthday! I woke up this morning to my little guy laughing in his crib. Let's just say: Best Present. Ever. ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rollin' rollin' rollin'...

So I had been waiting for E to reach this milestone of rolling from back to tummy since it's around the 5-6 month marker for most babies but now that it's happened - it's totally freaking me out! 

Yesterday morning he woke up earlier than usual, around 6 am - so I fed him and put him back to bed, only to find him crying 20 mins later as he had rolled onto his tummy and was frustrated because he didn't know how to roll back.

So I know this will only be temporary until he learns and masters the "from-tummy-to-back" skill but I had a hard time falling asleep last night because I kept thinking he would cry any minute because he had flipped and didn't know what to do.  He woke up once around 5 am and I went to check in on him and he was yep, on his tummy. Rolled him back and he fussed quietly for a few minutes and then back to sleep.  He is still sleeping from 8pm to about 730-8am so I'm really hoping this whole rolling thing doesn't interfere too much with his awesome sleeping. 

We are trying to teach him to roll back so hopefully he gets it soon - but man, stressful times! I can't even imagine when he learns to crawl and push himself up....tell me this gets easier!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 months ~ and working on my fitness

My lil' man is 5 months already and I still can hardly believe it :) I am so so blessed to be his mommy and I thank God every day for sending us this happy, active, curious little boy. 

Some highlights of the past month so I don't forget: 

  • Caught on video: Elliott's first continuous laugh outburst (you know, those contagious baby laughs lol) when I asked my hubby to distract him while I was cutting his fingernails - my DH started waving his hands with a silly face and saying 'whohoohoo, whooohooo' over and over again and for some reason, it cracked him up, for like, 2 minutes straight lol
  • He hates sitting back in his bouncy chair now, he's always lunging forward and wanting to sit upright - although, I borrowed a Bumbo* from a friend and he doesn't seem to want to sit in it for too long
  • He started grabbing his toes and feet while lying on the changing table 
  • Still working on his grasping skills - he can usually grab his toys and shove them in his mouth but sometimes I see him getting frustrated and instead of grabbing the toy his fists are balled up and he basically uses his forearms to shove it into his mouth 
  • He's had the odd wake-up-fussing-turn-into-screaming-bloody-murder a few nights after sleeping for 2 hours or so - I would try to shush and re-assure and rock but would eventually have to nurse him back to sleep - hopefully this was an outlier and not a habit - happened a few times in the past week..for the most part, he is still sleeping 10-12 hours a night so I am praying that will stick
  • Every day E gives the biggest grin and laugh when Daddy comes in the door from work - melts Daddy's heart that's for sure ;) I smile too because then I get a break! well, if making dinner counts as a break LOL
  • We went to our first Mommy and BabyFitness class together last week! It was pretty intense and I loved working out with E and I really think he enjoyed it too - loved seeing other moms and their babies and especially the last half hour dedicated to the babies with songs, puppets, bubbles and parachute 
  • E loves it when I dance and make a fool out of myself in front of him
  • DH started putting E on a workout ball for his tummy time last week to help strengthen his arms and he loves it! We're noticing a difference in his upper body strength now
  • my wrist is still not doing so great - I'm pretty sure I have tendinitis but I haven't had time to go see a doctor so a wrist brace is helping somewhat - those darn heavy carseats and just repetitive baby lifting :(
  • OH almost forgot this - not that it's a highlight - well - neither is the previous bullet - but I got my period back last week.  I was a bit surprised it came back so soon and frankly, I could do without having to worry about that again but alas, no such luck. I guess it's time to think about birth control. huh. I don't want to go back on the pill so I need to see what other alternatives are out there - Any input would help! 
I met up with some of my co-workers today for a baby shower/lunch and the more they talked/vented about work, the more I felt like I really did not want to go back to work. or at least, back to that job. I'm really dreading it and every month that goes by I feel more anxious. I know I am really lucky to have 12 months for maternity leave. I really am. But I think that I will start looking at what other jobs in the same field are out there and see if it is worthwhile to make a change now that I have some time to think about it. 

Still catching up on some blogs but I think of you all often and I hope you are doing well!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring is in the air

and Elliott is approaching 5 months next week! Whaaat? How the heck did that happen already? It's been a while since I last posted so forgive me if this post is a bit random and scattered. 

Let's see, where to start? Elliott is such a happy baby, I really am so blessed that for the most part, all he does is jump up and down on my lap and shriek with happiness and babble endlessly. We have the best conversations during the day - sometimes I feel like he really understands everything I'm saying to him! 

Our daily routine is pretty much set now, and the whole napping thing has definitely improved although if I miss that "window" - then it is a whole other story.  I have gotten him used to going down for a nap while he is still awake (and in his crib), and he'll talk to himself for a bit, fuss and then usually fall asleep on his own.  Only on some occasions do I have to intervene and rock him a bit and put him down but we are trying hard to wean that out since we never have to do that at bedtime. Thankfully he is still sleeping like a champ at night - now he goes down just before 9pm and up the next morning at 9 am - but lately I've noticed a few times he would wake up in the middle of the night (3 am or 4 am) wanted to eat, then going back to bed until the usual wake up time. I'm hoping that it is just a growth spurt and nothing permanent - I know I'm spoiled with long sleep but I would like to keep it that way thankuverymuch!

At the last ped appointment, I told the doctor that I thought my little guy was showing signs of teething so she felt around his gums and confirmed that she could feel a tooth coming up on his bottom right side but she said it hasn't cut through the gums yet. Isn't it a bit early for teething?  He's been a drooling machine (we go through at least 5 bibs a day if not more) and loves shoving anything into his tiny mouth to gnaw on. 

He's on the 'smaller side' for babies his age, but when I think about it, Elliott was born 2 weeks early and also started at 5 lb 6oz so he had a lot of catching up to do - he is now 13.5 lbs.  I'm not bothered by his weight until my friends (who've also recently had babies) start commenting "oh he's so tiny" or "wow he's super lean" - it makes me feel like a bad mother and that I'm not feeding him well enough!  Most of the time I just bite my tongue and remind them that he was born early and was at least 2 - 3 lbs lighter at birth than their 'big' babies and just hope that they get the hint and shut up. Then I go home and vent to my hubby that I can't stand how they keep saying E is small when I think he has been doing great at gaining weight and his pediatrician still says he's doing great.  Am I being overly sensitive here? How else can I get my friends to stop making those comments? (and it's only the ones with babies) 

As for my weight, well, that's a whole other story.  I haven't been great at taking care of myself and well, it shows.  I still have the flabby pouch and at least 20 lbs to lose before my ideal weight, and given that I'm a small frame gal, every lb shows :(  I know that it will take a while to get off but I get frustrated when I look at pictures of myself and just feel uncomfortable in this body that is so foreign to me.  I signed E and myself up for a Mommy and Baby Fitness class starting next week - so if all goes well, I'll be on the right track to getting my body back! 

Right now hubby and I are looking into where we can go for a family vacation.  We want low key, but also love trips with activities where we can go and do stuff, vs. just lying around on a beach (plus I ain't getting into no swim suit just yet).  Any suggestions welcome - especially love to hear where you've been with your wee one at this age. 

My grandpa (mom's side) passed away last week at the age of 91.  I never knew him well as my grandparents all live in Hong Kong so I've only met them a total of 6 times in my life, but the sadness of his passing still hurts as it hurts to see my mom sad.  My parents are flying back for the funeral tomorrow, and will be there for 7 weeks.  I am a bit of a mess because ever since E was born, my mom has been around to help out and we hang out at least a few times a week, sometimes I'll even drop E off and go get some errands done.  Now that they will be gone for so long, I won't have that support that I'm so used to and frankly, I'm a bit scared to 'go it alone'.  I know I'm lucky to have family so close by, but because I've always had it, it will be the first time I will be 'on my own' without my mom here and I hope I can survive.  Hubby and I tousled around the idea of joining them in Hong Kong for a few weeks but the reality of bringing E on an international trip for our very first family trip seemed a bit too daunting of a task, and we are not brave enough yet to embark on a 15 hour flight with a complete time change that would throw us all off.  These upcoming weeks are going to be tough but I hope that I can keep busy by the new class I'm taking with E and hanging out with friends.  We still may end up taking vacation in April if we can find something that makes sense financially and fits what we are looking for. 

I will try to keep up with my posts more often as I miss writing and keeping up with you all! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Mommy Time"

It is so easy to get caught up in everything baby these days, sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and just shudder at the sight: spit up on various parts of my shirt (that I may or may not have been wearing for two days straight lol), hair a tad on the greasy side because I just wanted to crash the night before and not wash it before going to bed and sometimes the odd milk leak or two on my shirt during the tossing and turning at night (gee, I sound so lovely don't I lol) 

But I do have to admit, now that Elliott sleeps in pretty much most mornings until 8:30/9 am from the night before, I have gotten some much needed "me" time in the mornings before he wakes up - I'll throw on a little makeup and "do" my hair, and eat some breakfast while catching up on the morning news.  I've really come to enjoy my mornings to myself but the best part still is, when I hear Elliott wake up and call for me.  Literally, the boy sounds like he's saying 'eh' - eh moom! LOL 

I also love the once and awhile, on the weekends, I'll get a few hours of "me time" outside of grabbing groceries.  Last weekend, I went to Star.b.uc.ks and bought a tall decaf half sweet extra hot caramel.mach.iatto and just sat there (fer reals) and enjoyed every last sip of it, while chatting on the phone with my sister.  Afterwards did a bit of shopping and by the time I got home I was recharged and refreshed again.  It was just glorious. 

How do you spend your "me time?" ;) 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Napping woes

At this very moment, it has been 20 minutes since I put E down for a nap and he is still screaming at the top of his lungs.  I am feeling so so guilty for hearing him cry but I am trying to let him fall asleep on his own and break out of the rock to sleep that we unfortunately started doing every now and then.  It is SO hard and I don't know how else to help him sleep. I watched for his cues: the fussiness, rubbing eyes, and put him down during the 'window'...ugh this crying is killing me!

He doesn't do this at night thankfully, but it's the daytime naps that are always so tricky. I've tried the white noise and the blankets, but not really helping. I know the key is to be consistent but I can't stand hearing my baby cry - ughhhhh I feel like a terrible mom!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Happy (1ST) Chinese New Year E!

The outfit is way too big for him (my parents brought it back from Hong Kong a few months ago and it's more for a 1 year old but we couldn't resist!) 
Last year around this time we were just given the 'green light' to start trying again after a round of testing and a mandatory break. What a difference a year can make! Praise God!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Belated - Maternity pics

We recently got our maternity pics from our friend N who took them for us just a week before Elliott was born - she did such an amazing job and we were so blessed to have such a sunny October fall afternoon :) 

Hope you all are doing well - I am still catching up on blogs but I am thinking and praying for all of you often.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time, precious time

Hi ladies! 
Seriously - where is the time flying these days? Another blink of an eye and my baby boy is now 3 months old! We are doing great these days, he is cooing more each day and talks up a storm and last week even started to laugh! Well, I consider it a laugh but it kinda sounds like a baby terradactal. 

Our days are spent eating, burping, playing, tummy time and napping. He's been a real champion sleeper (knock on wood) - in the last few weeks he's been going to sleep 11pm (our last feed starts around 10/10:30) and then he will wake anywhere from 7-9 am - and the last few days have been closer to 9 am and it's been AMAZING - I get to brush my teeth, do my business, eat some breakfast and drink some tea before he starts stirring.  I'm just bracing for him to start waking up early again as his next shot is next's hoping it won't affect him too much this time!

Napping during the day has been a challenge - this boy will not nap for more than 30 mins - unless we go out to the mall or when we're out - he can sleep for 2 hours in the stroller! Which makes my 'free time' in between feeds at home a bit strained. Most of the time I will have to hold him during the naps and then put him down - I am so scared even to sneeze and wake him up! 

The other day we were at my parent's house for dinner and we had him in the car seat next to us and while there was a lull in conversation, we all heard him say 'mommee'! He never said it again but I think I'll count that as his first word - even though he didn't know what he was saying I'd like to think that Mommy was it! 

I'm so glad that our lil' man loves to socialize.  He isn't clingy (yet) and loves attention and doesn't seem to mind being passed from person to person when we've been out at baby showers, dinners and get togethers.  Every day I still look at him and say a word of thanks for this beautiful blessing.  I can't wait to see what milestones the next month will unfold - he is growing up way too fast and I'm getting sad that he won't be my teeny tiny baby much longer! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The post I've been meaning to write - and some pics!

Happy New Year ladies!! 

I have been so bad at posting - I mean - I have a 2 month old baby already for crying out loud! Where did the time go?  Literally, in a blink of an eye, we have gone from teeny tiny helpless babe, to a less tiny, smiley, cooing babe. Elliott is 10 weeks now and it's still surreal to me sometimes when he's looking at me that he was growing inside of me from that tiny speck to this little person. He has been such a great baby (despite the fussy times), and I am so so thankful that he's now a part of our family.

So I have a lot to update on, as you can imagine - I want to be able to remember this journey because already, I'm starting to forget just how tough the first 2-3 weeks were. So grab a cup o'java and sit tight, here we go! 

The early weeks:

So you know how when you were still pregnant, people tell you "get your sleep now" and "your life will never be the same" - I really know now what that means. The first week of Elliott's life turned mine upside down and inside out. In a good way but also one that I don't think I was fully prepared for.  I think it might also have something to do with the fact that he came 2 weeks early and I was still working the day before he was born - so I really had no down-time to myself before the world as I knew it would never be the same. The first 2-3 weeks were both Exhilarating and Exhausting. My hubby and I were so excited to finally hold and cuddle our little man - but once Day 2 came around, it was like this precious, sleepy bundle of joy turned into a crying and feeding machine (and gradually pooping machine lol). My hubby luckily was able to be home the first two weeks with me while we both adjusted to Elliott - he even stayed up with me during those wee morning hours while I was trying to get the whole breastfeeding routine down pat. He would sit beside me in bed, reading this blog and/or just chatting with me to keep me awake.  Did I already say before how much I love this man?  We were both exhausted and sleep deprived those first two weeks and we gradually fell into a rhythm that felt most comfortable to us.


I was fortunate to have my milk come in on Day 3. The pain of engorgement in those early days were NOT fun but I found quick relief with frozen cabbage leaves and expressing some milk out with a pump.  Elliott was born with a short frenulum (the lil' stringy thing that attaches your tongue) and it was also near the tip of his tongue, which made it even more difficult for the poor lil' guy to get a good latch.  We struggled with latching for the first week, week and a half - and I thought I was going to lose it and give up on bf'ing altogether because each feeding would be him screaming and crying "I'm starving" and me crying "I'm trying".  We even thought we had to get that lil' thing snipped (per advice from our midwife, it might help with latching) but Elliott and I stuck it out. He had no problems latching onto the right breast but the left he was never able to get but he and I eventually figured it out and he was feeding from both sides probably near the end of week 3.  Those times that he couldn't get to the left side I would pump out the milk and store it. Don't get me wrong, things were not all so rosy and great, my nipples felt so raw and sore I didn't even want water to touch them in the shower. We would BF for 30-45 mins, sometimes taking an hour to complete a full feed and I would be exhausted because it didn't seem like an hour had gone by where it would all start over again. I would cry all the time and just feel like I couldn't give any more (tho through pumping, my milk supply was quite steady and bountiful) But my hubby and I had difficult decision to make: whether or not to supplement so it would take some of the feeding responsibility off of me.  He suggested that we introduce the bottle, with the breast milk and also formula.  I know, the big F word I cringed at. I wanted to say yes right away but a big part of me felt like a big fat failure.  Why is it that I couldn't get the energy to do this? All other mothers can BF and their babies are satisfied after a feeding but why was my baby ravishing for more after a very long feed?  He was afterall, sucking and gulping everything down so I knew he wasn't just nibbling or snack feeding. 

I stuck it out for another few agonizing days during week 3 and then I decided that what was best for baby was also a mom who wasn't a walking zombie and that I decided to supplement with the bottle - both formula and expressed breast milk.  We had consulted with his pediatrician before going this route and because he was gaining weight wonderfully (he never lost any weight since he was born!) she told us that introducing the bottle would not cause any nipple confusion I was worried about.  So we went ahead. My hubby got to help with the feeds and things drastically improved on my end. I was still bf'ing at least 6 feeds so I didn't give it up completely and nowadays he will get 1-2 formula feeds a day and the rest would be from me.  I can say now, looking back, that was the best decision I made for us and I don't regret it although I do have random feelings of guilt every now and then because I had wanted to BF exclusively and put a lot of pressure on myself to do so. 

We are so lucky that Elliott took both the bottle and breast and went back and forth without a problem.  I was afraid he would prefer the bottle than boob but he hasn't seemed to notice and eats like a champ both ways. Whenever we are home, I will breastfeed - and the latter evening feeds will be bottle with daddy - which works out because I find that my milk supply in the evening is not as great as the morning/day feeds.

Whew, now that that piece is off my chest (no pun intended) - let's move on to sleeping.

At around 6 weeks, Elliott started sleeping through the night! And what I mean by that would be that we would put him down around 11:30 and he wouldn't wake me up for a feed until about 4:30/5 am.  That was a big accomplishment seeing that I never got more than 3 hours sleep in a row. 
Then at around 8-9 weeks, he went down around 11 pm and didn't wake until 5-6 am, and last week, until 7 am! Sleep had never felt more glorious.  I attribute our routine that was loosely based on the BabyWise principles (more on this later) and it was TOUGH but now it is so worth it. He is definitely more alert and awake during the day time and seems to go down for the night without a fuss and we count our blessings every day that he has fallen into this routine and has allowed us to be well rested during the night. 


I think it was worse for me than him.  I was just a wreck and I couldn't bear going into the room with him while the doctor performed the circumcision so my hubby went in to represent. This happened week 2 of his life. Poor lil' guy.  He healed withing 10 days but those days after the surgery his lil' wee wee was all swollen and red and purple - I cringed everytime I changed his dressing and diaper. Everything looks great now and I am glad we made the decision to have it done. Seeing your baby 'get hurt' is the worse feeling in the world and I felt so guilty for putting him through it but we felt that in the long run, it would be best for him - to prevent any infection and unnecessary surgery later on in his life.

On being BabyWise:
In the first few weeks I tried to follow this book as much I could.  To stick to the routine of feed, wake, sleep - but I found it so difficult to keep a newborn awake after a feed, I thought I had failed.  But then I realized that it wasn't a hard and fast rule and that eventually, on his own, he would stay awake a bit longer and then sometimes not.  I decided to put the book down and just go with my gut instinct on what was best for my baby.  When he needed to sleep, he would sleep, and when he needed to eat, he would wake up (and it would be every 2-3 hours anyway).  I do think that some of the BabyWise principles were a good guideline, but when I couldn't fit in 8 feedings like the book said and thought I was doing more damage than good, I started to realize that my baby was eating what he needed and if he needed more he would adjust his schedule.  He was also a lot smaller than most babies (born 5 lbs 9 ounces) so he was eating for his size. At his 2 1/2 week appointment he was already almost up to 7.5 lbs so I knew I was doing something right with him.   I do agree with the parental assessment and clock method - because sometimes it would be just a dirty diaper or gas and not really a true feed.  We also relied heavily on the Dunstan baby language to help decipher what Elliott wanted (as seen on Opra.h) and it has been bang on.  We can clearly hear his 'nehs' vs 'eh's so at least it helps us narrow down what he needed from us at the moment.  I still flip back to BabyWise now and then but looking back, I wish I wasn't so hard on myself when it wasn't working out the way that they laid out.  To each their own and every baby is different right!

Oh how he's changed!
Elliott is now getting bigger and stronger every day.  The first time he truly made eye contact with us and smiled filled my heart in a way I never felt before.  When he wakes up in the morning, he has stopped screaming and crying, he will now just coo and call for me and when I go into his room (oh yes - forgot to mention we moved him to his room/crib by week 2) - he greets me with a big grin on his face because he knows that I am going to feed him soon.  It's the best feeling in the world and I really cherish those quiet mornings with him. All in all, he is a dream baby.  Every day, every week we are noticing that he is growing and developing his curiuosity of the world around him. He is starting to really like his activity gym as he's starting to 'talk' to his hanging monkey and giraffe friends. I can't wait to see what the next month brings (he just started to find his hands yesterday).   

For me, I started to take him out around week 5 to visit friends and even to the mall (we observed the Asian tradition of staying indoors for the first month - with the exception of doctor appts) - and can I say that doing those 'regular' things just made me feel human again.  Not to mention a big confidence booster that I can handle getting him ready to go, carseat, stroller, winter clothing, feeding, etc by myself.  My mom has also been a great help. She came over almost every day around week 2/3 to help out - if not burping him, than cleaning the dishes piling up in the sink and just little things around the house.  Nowadays if I have to run some quick errands I can call her up and drop E off without hesitation (she is a 7 min drive away thankfully!).  

So I think that's an update and a half.  I apologize I haven't been blogging lately but now that we've gotten into this routine, I hope to be posting a lot more frequently.  I am still catching up on everyone's blogs so if you see random comments here and there on your old posts - that's me! 

Gotta run for the next feed...ciao! Oh, and here are a few pics of my lil' guy! 

day 1

 end of week 1

 Celebrating his 1 month