Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Evening Family Time


Nathan and I are trying to create a ritual of family time in the evenings. Here is baby doing tummy time while we listen to lullabies and sing together. Also, another picture of tummy time from this weekend. He is building strong neck muscles! video

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mama is Calm

Thanks to those who recommended the Mama Calm for treating anxiety. I had my first taste of it yesterday. It was very lovely to drink it in a hot tea form..... and I slept much better even after a rather harrowing evening (baby didn't get a proper afternoon nap and was pretty hysterical).

For anyone else interested, I bought my six week supply on Amazon for $15 including shipping.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

5 weeks


Luke has shown the most growth this week. He has become much more interactive. He now will spend up to 20 minutes looking at his mobile. He kicks and moves his arms about showing how much he enjoys it. He also coos at it and talks to it. We heard "agoo" from him. I remember that sound as the same sound from when I saw his cousin Clara her first Christmas. I posted a video below.

We spent a bit of the week at Grammy and Papa's house. He slept in a little papasan bouncy chair, showing that he does not need to swing anymore in order to sleep well. We do still swaddle him though because he will wake himself up if his arms are free.

I looked through Nathan and Bethany's baby books and noticed that they slept through the night (7:30pm-6:00am) at 5 weeks. So far Luke has not made it close to that long. I think that he could sleep longer because he does not usually wake up too hungry, but wakes up if he is uncomfortable or if he has broken out of his swaddle. I am trying to eat more mild foods to see if I can relieve some of his digestive pains. They may just be something that he has to grow out of.

Luke also loves bathtime and spends awhile in the water now. He likes when I wash his face because he can lick the water if it gets into his mouth.

This morning after mobile time, Luke looked at Daddy and smiled. So cute!

His stats: 11lbs 13oz, 22 and 1/2 inches long (a modest 5oz increase from last week)
video

Thursday, September 25, 2008

One Month and Pictures

Yesterday, Luke was one month old. We went to JC Penney's to get his picture taken with his cousin Paul. Our photographer was Stacey, who was also the photographer for our wedding. She is very talented and did a great job getting pictures of our little guy. Luke was somewhat cooperative. We took the strategy of getting him positioned while his pacifier was in his mouth (which kept him happy), and then pulling the pacifier right when she took the picture. He was so cute!

I will post a link to the pictures when I get it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cousins (both outside the womb this time)

Check out Bethany Jean's blog for pictures of Luke with his cousin Paul. Paul is about 13 months old. The last time they had pictures together, Luke was still in mommy's tummy.

Dental Bliss

Just a quick note:

I went to the dentist last night and was told that I have no cavities and that all my previous work still looks good. Hurray! That was unexpected.

Also, (unrelated) I think I am drinking about 2 gallons of water each day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

4 weeks

Luke turned 4 weeks old yesterday and celebrated the day with a 5 hour stretch of sleep. Amazing! Mommy is still working through her nighttime anxiety, but managed a total of six hours of sleep. Hurray!

Luke is doing so well. This week brought a lot of firsts.

1. Luke now talks to mommy and daddy on occasion, and his little voice is so sweet.
2. First trip away from home. We took him down to Grammy and Papa's this weekend. He enjoyed himself and had fun meeting Aunt Bethany Jean, Uncle Ben, and Paul.
3. We had tummy time and Luke showed off his ability to hold up his head.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Comfy Sleep on Daddy


He is so cute when he is sleeping. :)

Day 2 on the new plan

The schedule is still working. If Nathan and I were not such insomniacs now, we would have gotten a full nights rest. :) Oh well, at least baby was happier and slept better. Once he learns how to poo when he needs to, we will be in business. He loved the bath and bedtime routine in particular. We'll see how the rest of the day goes, but so far I have a much happier boy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Baby Expert Comes

I was talking with Nathan's mom a couple of days ago and she had suggested that we ask Kate, Nathan's cousin's wife to come and help his learn how to care for Luke. She has been a nanny and has taken care of infants before. She came last night and took a look at what we were doing and found ways for us to better help Luke get through the day and the night. It turns out that a lot of what we were missing was structure. I kept him on semi-regular feedings throughout the day, but I had not paid much attention to how much awake and sleep time he had. When we learned how to soothe him from the Happiest Baby on the Block, we learned how to quiet him and get him to sleep. We were missing how to keep him awake more during the day and interact properly with him.

Today we went to Baby's R Us to pick up a floor mat with hanging toys for him to look at and a couple of toys to hang from his stroller. He is an alert baby and I just needed to play with him more. He is not a new-newborn anymore who needs to sleep all day.

Kate also introduced the use of the exercise ball. Luke loves to bounce up and down. It also helps him get out more of his gas, which makes everyone happy.

I am used to structure and am realizing that much of my anxiety comes from not having that anymore. (Also thank you all for the natural suggestions for anxiety. I am taking magnesium and omega 3's for starters and am trying to take a few minutes to relax in the evening while Nahtan plays with Luke) Kate's introduction of a schedule is just what I need. It is not a rigorous, strict schedule, but we do set benchmarks for how much nap time and awake time happens during the day. I have to write everything down so that I can see how things go day to day. I love this part of it. I love seeing what is happening and where we need to change things to make the day better. In the schedule we are also going to attempt a bedtime routine- a bath, nursing, and soothing to sleep.

I am definitely feeling more positive about everything and was so grateful for the help. Thank you Kate!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Relaxation help?

Any ideas on how to help with anxiety that don't involve drugs? I am having trouble calming down and especially taking naps. I spend a lot of Luke's nap time trying to relax, but not actually doing it, or getting any sleep. Just lloking for some advice from the experienced mothers. Thanks!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

3 weeks

Today marks three weeks of life for our little guy. I am amazed at how much he has grown and changed in that time. The first week was the sleepy week. He was just waking up from being born. This made us erroneously think that we had a quiet, easy-going baby. The second week was a difficult week because he began to be more alert and cry more and sleep less and I was home alone with him for four days. He was showing us that he has a more passionate personality.

During this past week, we had my mom here which was wonderful. I finally feel recovered from labor and do not get weak in the mornings. We took walks and got out of the house a bit more. We also ran errands and got his birth certificate (you have to do this on your own if the baby is not born in a hospital). We also finally watched the Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp and have learned new ways to soothe Luke when he cries. (All new parents must see this movie. He really understands babies.) These techniques are supposed to work for helping him to sleep better too, but so far they have only helped him be more calm during the day. Last night we were up between 11:30 and 1:30 and then again between 4am and 6am. The soothing helped him not cry, but he was wide awake.

Luke is constantly changing and it is hard to keep up. :) He is a very healthy boy and is gaining weight steadily. His skin is also becoming very soft and his hair is growing. His eyes are becoming more blue and his hair is still white-blonde. He now has chubby cheeks (such a good little sucker! :) ) and his arms and legs are really filling out. He only takes 15-20 minutes to nurse. I wish I had a scale to see how much he is growing. Our next Dr. visit is the six week check-up. He should be between 11 and 12 lbs.

For the nighttime routine, it still works best for me to begin sleeping at about 7pm, wake up to nurse, and then sleep more. He wakes up between 11 and 1, and then I feed him in bed and he co-sleeps for about an hour. Then I swaddle him and put him in his bouncy chair in his room. We have experimented with other plans, but these have only made us frustrated and lose sleep (i.e. last night). Depending on a lot of factors, we can usually get 6-7 hours over little chunks of time this way. Not bad for three weeks old.

I am still struggling with anxiety and some depression, but slowly the symptoms are lessening. I had some really good days this week since my mom was here and I felt more secure. Walking also helped and I will do that everyday this week. Being alone again with Luke this week will be challenging. Luckily we have such a network of family and friends that I am sure we will make it! We live in such a beautiful area and are very blessed with the cool beach air and beautiful trails right down the street. There are also some wooden wind chimes hanging out on our neighbor's patio that make a peaceful sound throughout the day.

One thing that I did not count on was how much I missed having time alone with Nathan. I understand that we will get more time together someday, but for now I do miss our evenings together. We are venturing together on a new path though, and there is no one I would rather walk down this road with.

Not Enough Hands


Baby Luke gets to ride in the laundry basket because mom ran out of hands.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Walking in the Wetlands




Today my mom and I took Luke for a walk in the Bolsa Chica Wetlands ( trail begins just down the street) using his fancy jogger stroller. He began the morning as Mr. Crankypants, but we were not going to have that. I put an insert in and had him in the laying down position because he is so little. He had a great time and really enjoyed the fresh air. Here are some pictures. Also, I am wearing pre-pregnancy clothes in the picture. :)

Tomorrow morning we send my mom on a plane home. We have had a great time and are all sad.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Taking Walks and Time With Mom

This week my mom has been visiting us (thank you Mom!!!) and we have been taking lots of walks. She has been encouraging me to get out at least once a day. I think walking combined with a better plan for the night has been really helping with my postpartum blues. They still hang around and make me anxious and feel overwhelmed, but it is lessening. Luke loves the more structured carrier. I had wanted him to like my Moby wrap (which is much stretchier and holds him much closer to me), but we are going with whatever works. :)

It has been nice to have my mom here. Mostly I have enjoyed just spending time with her. It has really been the most time that we have spent together since I was home on breaks during college. Today we went to see some model homes down the street from me and we watched Ever After, a chick flick that we used to watch together when I was still living at home. So comforting. :) Also, she is a good cook and has helped me to eat more. I never needed help with that before, but I keep being amazed with how much extra I need to keep up with feeding Luke. We have had chinese chicken and vegetables and yummy rice pudding with peaches in the morning.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Luke in Pictures









Here are a few pictures of Luke's new tricks. He has been lifting up his head since day 1, but here is our first good picture of it. Also, he has lots of new expressions. I like these pictures where you can see him wink and smile. Sometimes he put his hands above his head when he is stretching and waking up from a nap.

Also, now that his umbilical cord is gone, we can give him baths. Here is a picture after his bath yesterday. Taking a bath really seems to help him calm down when he is having a rough evening, or if he is struggling with gas (which has been almost everyday). He is so cute!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our Expressive Wee One

As much as we wanted to use the co-sleeper, it just will not work for us. If we had a quiet baby who could sleep peacefully, the co-sleeper would be great. But that is not what we have. We have a baby who grunts, coos, squeaks and fidgets all night long (and all of this while sleeping). With the constant stream of noise, Nathan and I cannot sleep at all. So, its off to the big boy crib. He really doesn't mind the crib either and we sleep ten times better.

It makes me wonder if he is this loud now, how will he be when he is older??

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On a Brighter Note

After reading my posts lately, I think that there is a lot of negativity in them. Most of this is from the great feelings of inadequacy that I feel as a new mother and a bit of the postpartum blues. I thought that the helpless feelings that I experienced during labor would be all over once he was born, but I see now that that was an unrealistic expectation.

Here are a couple of positive notes. Just now I was feeding him in the side position so that we could catch a little cat nap together. I love nursing this way because I can see his precious little face and all of his beautiful blonde hair. He really is a sweet thing and I will treasure these moments. He is also obviously healthy and growing well. To hear that I have a healthy baby really makes me happy and realize that all the struggles are worthwhile.

Learning and Growing


With mommy home alone with little Luke for the past week, there wasn't much time for updates.

For the past few days we have been trying everything to get more sleep at night. One thing that will probably stick is that Nathan will take the late evening shift and I will take more of the early morning shift. Also, I think that we are going to be moving Luke into his crib earlier than we were expecting. He is such a loud sleeper that when he is in the same room, no one can sleep. He breathes heavy, squeaks, kicks his legs, etc... :) Anyways, the crib is the plan that we are trying for this week.

Luke's biggest nemesis has been gas. I have tried to be very careful about what I eat to not exasperate the problem, but his little intestines seem to have trouble anyways. Poor little guy. :( I find myself praying things I never thought I would pray for. "Lord, help little Luke to burp, fart, etc...)"

On Saturday my mom came again and is helping us to rest more. She is also trying to help him be a little more independent by placing him in the crib with his mobile to see how he will do. It is helping me to relax a little more- to know that I don't have to be attached to him all the time and that he does not have to be picked up the second he starts crying.

So, we are just working out the whole parenting thing and trying to figure out how to best take care of Luke. He is getting bigger everyday. His cheeks are changing the most, probably with all of the sucking that he does. :) We are also beginning to see him fill out in his legs. I think that in a few weeks, they may even be chubby.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sleepyheads and Off to the Family Doctor


We have discovered the Luke loves to fall asleep on my shoulder. Here is a picture from this morning. He kept us up from 1-3am so I thought I would try to get creative. I think that this will be helpful for getting more sleep since I can sleep too if I position myself right. Having a cooing newborn on your shoulder is a lovely way to spend the first hour of the morning.

This morning we also went to the Family Doctor for a well-baby checkup. Luke is now 9lbs, 1oz, a gain of 10 ounces in the last week. He also measured 21 inches long. The midwifery measured him at only 18 inches when he was born, but that seemed too little to us. We measured him at home ab out 20 inches last week. He is about in the 75th percentile. He was very healthy and had no more signs of jaundice.

The Doctor was very kind and was also accepting of our plan to vaccinate him on an alternative schedule. The vaccination decision was not easy, being that there are risks on both sides. We like Dr. Sears' Vaccination Book and the alternative vaccination schedule there. It is a very informative book listing all of the vaccinations and what is contained in them, what they treat, how serious the disease is etc... Luke will get most vaccinations on a modified schedule from the APA approach so that we reduce the amount of side effects. It seemed like a good middle-of-the-road approach.

Also, the umbilical cord fell of yesterday. Goodbye last remnant of the womb life.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fatigue

Please pray for Nathan and I as we are beginning to experience a lot of fatigue. Today is Nathan's first day back at work without anyone to help me at home. Last week we had relatives here. (Thank you!)

For me, the fatigue is probably more emotional than physical. I have had a hard time settling Luke down, He has been crying a lot and I can't figure out why sometimes. I wish that there I am sure that this is standard for newborns and for new parents, but please pray for us as we find our way. The hardest time is right around dinner as we face the long night ahead. I am sure that part of it is me adjusting to all of the postpartum hormones. Hormones! I had an easy time with them during pregnancy, but now now.

Nathan's mom suggested that his crankiness is probably due to a very busy past weekend, and that he became over-tired. Looking back, I can see how that is the case. What I am used to being able to handle and what he can handle are two different things. So, we will try to keep our little semi-routine and be more mindful of how little he is. :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bye, Bye Bestamar, Bestafar and Uncle Jacob




We loved having you!

Nine Months In, Nine Months Out


Luke likes his Moby Wrap. Mommy likes it too. It is nice to have two hands again. Thank you Herney family!