19 Weeks // Out of Steam

>> Wednesday, October 26, 2016

I felt like a super-mom a month or so ago. My life was incredibly well scheduled (as you can see in this day-in-the-life post). I'd wake up, have a bit of time to go running in the AM, get Ada ready + off to school, and then my day of glorious naps with time to work, clean the house, and re-charge would begin. Before bed, we'd have some alone time to chat and watch TV before sleeping with at least one good 5-7 hour stretch.

At 19 weeks? I haven't been able to run in the morning either because I didn't sleep much the night before or Eloise has woken up early. Nap duration is iffy, but I won't complain because at least she is napping relatively consistently (where's that wood to knock on?). Still, with not knowing how long the nap will last (and having it punctuated by crying), I get little done. I've shifted a lot of my writing to the weekends, but that means I now dread the weekends.

The daylight hours have dwindled considerably. I've been running during what should be family dinner time, rushing home so we can attempt to get into an earlier bedtime routine, and our relaxing nights are mostly going up and down the stairs every hour to settle baby to sleep. Night sleep is disrupted every 2-3 hours for nursing (we've tried calming without it to no avail). And this has been going on for a month. It's the sleep regression, right?

Ada had a regression of sorts, but it ironed out pretty quickly. Poor Eloise seems to be having a rough go. And I finally figured out why I'm so much more tired than I was when Ada was a baby! I could sleep in late with her. And now I'm getting a kid off to school in the early AM versus sleeping. Sigh. I'm really not complaining. It's just how things have been lately.

Some highlights from month 4:

  • Eloise weighs just shy of 12 pounds. She's tiny -- a full pound less than Ada at this age. She isn't really following her weight curve, so I'm concerned. The doctor thinks it has to do with her reflux, so we have increased her dose of Axid.
  • I believe she's 24 inches long, so she's doing great in that department with growth. Her head is also unremarkable in size, which is a great comfort to me. At 4 months is when we very first noticed that Ada's head was growing off the charts.
  • Eloise is babbling. It's adorable. She was very quiet and then one day just launched in with these coos. Her favorite time to chat is after breastfeeding.
  • Speaking of nursing, we've hit the distracted period. It's extremely frustrating, but I know it's because Eloise is noticing so much more about the world. We feed usually every 3-3.5 hours during the day. I have been able to get her to take full feeds by rocking and gently placing my hand on her head to cradle it.
  • Eloise's new favorite thing to do is grab her toes. She prefers her right side, but today I noticed she's doing the left as well. 
  • She has also started occasionally rolling from her back to her front. Honestly, though, her reflux is so bad, I rarely have her down on the ground flat.
  • I broke down and bought one of those Jumperoos. We had a doorway jumper with Ada. But in our new house, there isn't a doorway with molding on both sides, so we can't use it. Eloise is just starting to be big enough to use it. Exciting times!
  • Oh, and you might have gathered that we often call her "Ella" -- why? Stephen started singing her a song one day to Rihanna's Umbrella. "And your name is Ella, Ella, Ella -- wheeze, wheeze, wheeze. And I think you kind of smella, smella, Ella-wheeze." How awful are we?!

Questions I have since I'm quite rusty on this infant stuff:

Did you do formal sleep training? We didn't with Ada. She didn't really need it. (Don't hate me.) Even while sleeping in our room, I'd wake her to do a dream-feed around 10:30-11 PM and then she'd wake between 4-5AM. That was it. Eloise WAKES between 9:30-10:30 every single night and needs to eat. Then like 12-1, 3, 5-6, etc.

If so, what did you follow? I keep reading about the No-Cry Sleep Solution. Is this book worth taking my limited time to read right now? Or did you have success with any of the firmer methods? I think people usually wait till after six months, right?

How and when did you transition to the crib? Our sleep arrangement is embarrassing. Eloise's reflux is much worse than Ada's, so she is still napping in her swing and sleeping in a Rock 'n Play. I'd like to start getting her to sleep in her own room, as I feel like being in our room might actually be contributing to the night wakeups (Ada often runs into our room after nightmares, etc. and wakes her up).

When did you stop swaddling? With Ada, we had stopped sometime in month 3, but then we started again during the sleep regression. It got her sleeping well again, but I cannot remember how or when we stopped. Eloise is still swaddled, but I bought a Merlin Magic Sleepsuit in hopes it might ease the transition. Maybe do the sleepsuit AND crib at the same time. Is that a recipe for disaster? Or should we just go cold turkey. Should we wait until she's sleeping longer at night? 

Will I ever sleep again? Just kidding! I know this phase is just a phase. That this season of life passes quickly. It's just to hard to remember all that when you're in the trenches. And with that . . . I hear a certain someone stirring. Time to get some of those precious baby snuggles.


Past Peak

>> Monday, October 24, 2016

This morning while Ada and I were waiting for the bus, we saw the most incredible rainbow. Many of the leaves have now fallen, but the colors looked amazing next to what's left of the fall foliage. Have you ever seen a rainbow in autumn? I hadn't. Definitely high up there on the experience list. I didn't snap a photo or anything. Some things just need to be experienced in the moment.

As the title suggests, we are now past the peak with all the leaves. Our backyard looked like this before the rainy, cold weekend. Now? Most of these leaves are waiting on the ground to be raked. But it's soggy outside, so I'll wait a while to even think about doing that sort of work.

In other news, the end of fall means the beginning of some home improvement stuff for us. Hooray! Stephen only has a couple weeks left of coaching until track starts in the spring. The outdoors will be calling us far less often when the cold and snow kick in. (Oh, please let there be snow this year. Please!)

And -- YES -- I know how trite shiplap walls have become. Or have been since like 2014. I know, I know. But guess what! We're installing them in our dining room right now (with the hope of extending to the living room by Christmas or so). I am immensely excited for this project. Our home is great for so many reasons, but it doesn't have much inherited character.

Here's the start:

Stephen went out and got everything at Home Depot, but I'm doing most of this project myself. The plywood "planks" are light enough for me to hold myself while I nail. And I'll have to let you know how it goes. So many tutorials instruct people to sand the planks impossibly smooth and to cover all the nail holes with putty.

When I look at the Gaines abode, I like their rustic look much better. Obviously what they have is original and well-worn. But I like to pretend. Plus, it'll be less work. That's always a plus.

See? Nobody was spacing those intricately with a nickel. Nope.

I'm sure shiplap will be the pine paneling of our time. In 40 years, it will look like the equivalent of this living room to all the younger folk. But I don't mind. I think it's fabulous. I can't wait to share the progress as we make our way through the first level.

Are you as obsessed with Fixer Upper as I am?

I know I've brought it up from time to time on this here blog. But the love is real. I bought the journal. I am buying the book. I am looking forward to my nursing sessions so I can catch up on last season. I even plotted a road trip to Waco, TX. I mean, we'll see on that last one. It's quite literally a day away (24 hour drive -- and I don't feel like flying after watching Sully. LOL!).

Hope you're having a great day. I'm off to finish some freelancing work before Eloise wakes from her first nap. More soon!


Remember Me?

>> Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ah, the seasons of life. Right? We were in a pretty good routine up until week 15 or so. Then we started to catch glimpses of the sleep regression. And it's been downhill since then. Eloise had her 4-month shots on Monday and spiked a 102 temperature -- along with having a cold already -- and I don't think I've had more than a couple hours of extremely segmented sleep in, well, almost a month.

I think about this space often, though. There's so much I want to share. But when it rains, it pours. I had planned to post today. Then? There was a freak utilities issue in our area that closed school. After I share this extremely brief update, I'm off to color with the big girl while the little girl (hopefully) naps. I also somehow have to finish up a freelance article in there. It will happen somehow. It has to!

Tough stuff aside, this time of year is my favorite. I say that so darned much, but it's true. Just looking around at the hillsides restores my soul. It helps bring me back to center. A backyard view like this isn't half bad either!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I dyed my hair purple . . . again. Life is just more fun with purple hair. What can I say? My latest tool of choice? Vidal Sassoon's box dye in London Lilac. (If you can find this at your local store, it's cheaper!)

I hope it never fades. Sigh.

Wow. I don't know where I'm going with any of this. Like I said, I just wanted to touch base. Things are crazy. I am hoping to get back to posting at least three days a week very soon. For now, I miss you guys! Follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (do you guys snap? It took me a long time to start!).

Last thing! I did most of my core grocery shopping for the month yesterday at Aldi.

I spent $155 and my jaw literally dropped when I heard the total. I got SO MUCH FOOD. Plus, they had all sorts of new products I cannot wait to incorporate into my meal planning. Hopefully I can get up some more thoughts on it soon.

Ciao for now!

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