Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sleep at last!

Justin and I decided to make our own baby food, so we got a Baby Bullet, and we LOVE it.  We gave Louise sweet potatoes a couple of weeks ago and she thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was a little worried that she would refuse rice cereal after realizing that there are more flavors out there, but she still ate it.  Then when we got home from Napa on Monday we gave her apples!  She was SO excited.  She ate 2 whole jars and started on a third.  We decided to keep feeding her until she refused so that she would experience the sensation of being full (or stuffed, in this case) and learn to know when to stop.  The first time I think she was afraid she'd never get apples again, so she ate, and ate, and ate.  When we finally stopped we could tell she was in discomfort, because she would cry, but still open her mouth and reach for the spoon.  Poor dear. :)  Now she's getting better at communicating when she's done.  She gets so excited when we put her into the high chair because she knows what's coming.  I just love her so much!

I made up a schedule for us to help with naps and feeding times (because I'm a little OCD and love schedules and lists).  I combined The Sleep Lady's ideal 6  to 8 month-old sleep schedule and T. Berry Brazelton's ideal 6 to 8 month-old feeding schedule into one, along with a list of foods to introduce at this age.  I've been trying to follow it since we got home from Napa and Louise has been doing so well!  She's been taking longer naps, sleeping 12 hours at night (from 7 pm to 8 am) with only one awakening at 4:30 to eat, and is just so, so happy!  I'm so, so happy, as well! ;)  One of my favorite things is to go get her after her naps.  She is absolutely overjoyed to see us.  It's adorable.

Louise had her 6 month check-up yesterday, and is doing well.  She's super tiny, though.  She's in the 6% for weight, and 15% for height.  But Danny wasn't concerned, so we're not either.  Like Justin says, she's happy, healthy, and energetic and doesn't look skinny.  She's just very petite.  She got her mom's height and dad's build.  Lucky girl!

It seems that everyone is pregnant or having babies these days!  I'm so excited for them all.  I just love babies and being a parent is the very best job ever.  It's what humans were made for, it's the greatest joy known to man (and woman).  I just wish that everyone could be learning what I'm learning from Justin through his classes and the fellowship!  It's just so exciting!  There are so many amazing things about infants and children being discovered (moms have known most of it for centuries, the men and scientists are slowly coming around to it ;)  ).  You all should read Justin's daddy blog, Diary of a Domestic Superman, and I'll get him to post more after school ends next week.  He's certified to do NBO's (newborn behavioral observation) now, so if you have, or are having, a new baby and want to learn about their little personality and preferences, he'd love to assist you.  They're incredible.  He has to do a certain number by September, I think, so you'll be helping him out as well.

Life is amazing.  :)    

Friday, April 13, 2012

Almost 6 Months

The last week has been really rough.  Louise has always slept like a champ, but last Saturday she suddenly decided she wanted nothing to do with it.  We used to just put her in her crib at 7 when she was awake and she'd adjust and be asleep in a matter of minutes.  Her naps were the same way.  Saturday night she just screamed and screamed.  I was afraid it was her teeth, so I put Orajel on her gums and it didn't do anything.  I fed her, changed her, wrapped her in a blanket, unwrapped her, I tried EVERYTHING.  She finally fell asleep at 10, then was awake and crying from 2 to 4.  Sunday, Easter, her naps were the same.  The longest she slept was 25 minutes.  Normally, she gets around 16 hours of sleep per day and from Saturday to Monday she got 10 or 11.  I felt SO bad for her!  She was exhausted and grumpy.  On Monday Justin and I decided that it wasn't her teeth or anything, so it was time so do something about it.  I had heard about The Sleep Lady from Rachel's blog and bought the book in preparation for this day, so we started The Shuffle on Monday night.  Monday was pretty rough on all three of us.  Justin and I had NEVER let her cry like that.  It was so hard to sit right by her and not pick her up while she was crying.  The first night was 45 minutes, the second was 30, the third 15, and last night and tonight there was NO crying.  We're so proud of Louise.  She is such a champ.  You can tell she's relieved to be able to put herself to sleep, too.  And she wakes up so happy.  She still wakes up in the night, where she didn't before, but we're working on that, and getting better everyday.  I'm so thankful for The Sleep Lady.  I also made her a little mobile to hang over her crib to help her get to sleep.  She has always slept on her stomach, but now she rolls over (another reason for her sleep troubles last week) and wakes up.  The mobile has helped a ton.

We started her on rice cereal a couple of weeks ago (which also could have added to her troubles).  She quite likes it.  From the very first time we gave it to her she has been so good at swallowing.  We should have known she was ready because she's been reaching and trying to eat everything.  And whenever I hold her and drink from my canteen she needs to try it, too.  :)

 Louise is getting so close to both sitting up and crawling (another sleep interruption).  She can sit up on her own for almost a minute before falling over. 

 She kind of has the same expression in every picture, doesn't she?  This is a very typical look for her.

 Louise and Grandpa at Babylon Mills.
 Louise was very excited about seeing her cousin Stockton.

She is such a happy girl and we are cherishing every minute with her.  We love her SO stinkin much.    

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our little growler

Louise is 5 1/2 months.  This month has brought a few new challenges.  At 4 months I could see that she was starting to put herself on a bit of a schedule, whereas before it had always been really scattered and all over, so I decided to take it and run with it.  Bad idea.  As soon as I started putting her down for her naps at a regular time each day she stopped sleeping through the night (I figure it wasn't really putting her on a schedule that threw her off, it just happened to coincide with another development, for instance, she started teething).  After about a week of this I tried stopping putting her down at a regular time, but she still didn't sleep through the night.  We're getting better at it, though.  She goes down for 3 naps around the same time each day, most of them an hour and a half or longer (before she'd only take a couple of little 20 minute naps at random times).  I put her down for the night at 7 and she wakes up around midnight to eat, then USUALLY sleeps until 7 am.  Sometimes she wakes up a few times during the night, but I've been using the Sleep Lady method to get her back to sleep, which USUALLY works well (thanks, Rachel).  I also used to struggle with finding a routine since I don't bathe her at night, but we've got our own now.  I put her in pajamas, maybe do a little infant massage, feed her, read On the Night You Were Born (such a sweet book, thanks Margaret!), sing You Are My Sunshine and rock (Justin gave me a glider for my birthday), then put her in her crib while humming.  We also have a bedtime classical playlist playing during this to relax her.

Louise is making all sorts of developments.  She rolls over all the time now (another thing making bedtime more difficult), reaches and leans toward everything, and is really experimenting with her voice.  Last month she was squealing and screeching up a storm, but this month she's all about the growl.  It's so fun.  Tonight I was over at my grandma's around bedtime, and Louise let me know in her own little way that she was ready for bed.  She would rub her eyes, grab my face with both hands and growl, then yawn.  It was pretty adorable.  When she is on her stomach she can...push (?) herself around pretty well.  It's nowhere near a crawl, but she somehow manages to be in one spot, then another when we look away and back.  Her spitting up has lessened considerably.  We're down to one outfit per day, although it gets pretty soggy at times.  She loves giving kisses, and we love it, too!  She grabs either side of your face or your hair and ear, and rubs her open mouth around on your face.  Whenever I'm holding her she has a firm grip on the back of my hair - it's her little handle.

 My MIL Margaret made her this precious outfit.  

 Kevin Nugent, author of Your Baby Is Speaking To You.

 T. Berry Brazelton, author of Touchpoints.

 She got her toys on her arm all by herself.

 "Parents everywhere are going to freak." -- Justin

Cousin Scott, 7 months older

We have so thoroughly enjoyed every stage, but this one is very exciting.  She's always learning something new.  We are loving parenthood!

I guess I should give a quick update on how Justin and I are'm sure something is going on...  ;)  Justin's motorcycle is finally maybe going to work!  He's been doing a ton of work on it, taking it apart, making a mess and getting all dirty, then putting it back together again (it may have been a bit more technical than that...), and he finally finished and took it to the motorcycle guy to give it a physical before Justin jumps on to see if it works.  We're so excited.  Justin, because he gets his motorcycle back and actually working, me, because I've never gotten to ride on it.  Every time Justin was going to give me a ride it would break.
Justin is somehow managing to juggle work, school, church, and family, while spending most of his time with us and still excelling in the other aspects.  He's just amazing like that.  I'm so grateful for him and how wonderful and helpful he is.  Louise is getting the best daddy ever (next to mine, of course).  We found out he did not get accepted to the U of U (stupid heads).  So now we wait to hear from the University of Washington, then plan the rest of our lives from there. :)
Justin commented recently on how every mormon woman has a mommy blog, so he decided to start a daddy blog to have an output for all of the valuable parenting information he is learning in the Napa program.  Check it out to read about a special moment we had as parents.
I've become creative!  Ok, not really.  I've just discovered iScrapbook and it's made making cards and stuff really easy.  I recently threw a bridal shower for my friend Whitney, and thoroughly loved it, although it was a lot of work.  I somehow always choose the hard way to do things.

Our last Napa trip deserves a post all on its own.  I'm too tired tonight to post any more, goodnight. :)