Friday, August 30, 2013


I am taking a blog hiatus. It might be short, and this blog might become extinct. I have been doing a lot of self-reflection about my social media use and purposes. I'm just not sure what my purpose as a blogger is anymore so I'm saying goodbye until I can figure it out. Bye for now readers!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Some Thoughts on Sleep Training

Dealing with baby sleep habits is rough. You start out with a newborn who is able to sleep long stretches for a few days, but you are told to wake that baby up at least every three hours so it doesn't get jaundice or get in so deep of a sleep that it succumbs to SIDS. Then all of a sudden things change. That baby no longer wants to sleep. Ever. You start to regret every single time you woke up that baby when it was a newborn and kind of want to strangle all of the nurses and consultants *ahem breastfeeding class instructor* who told you to do so. You wonder if that is the reason why your child doesn't want to sleep anymore.

Then you try to read sleep books and any advice you can find just to get some dang sleep! And you suddenly realize you are a failure for rocking your baby to sleep, nursing baby to sleep, and for heaven's sake do NOT let your baby sleep in a swing...even if that is the only way she will nap. So you try to listen to the advice to make up for all the terrible decisions you have made as a parent in just a few short months. Apparently now your child will never be able to soothe themselves to sleep for the rest of her life because you have already been helping her fall asleep and therefore she is doomed to be an insomniac.

As you continue to search for answers, you keep seeing the phrase "drowsy, but awake." What the heck does a drowsy baby look like anyway? Pretty sure the baby goes from super content to overtired monster in about 5 seconds and since you aren't telepathic, you missed your prime opportunity to put your baby to bed and again are a failure. So I guess you can just try again at the next nap since you will have to once again bounce your baby to sleep. You get really really really sick of reading the phrase "drowsy, but awake" and kind of want to scream every time you try it and it doesn't work. Oh the other obnoxious phrase, "watch for the first signs of tiredness." You watch your baby like a freakin hawk to catch those tired signs but they don't come, or they come 15 minutes after she wakes up and you know she can't really be ready for another nap already...but sometimes you try anyways just to see and guess what...she really isn't ready for a nap!

Before having your baby, you tell yourself you will never ever let your baby cry it out. It's just too cruel. Then you decide maybe those people aren't crazy and you should try it and you do. Once. Maybe twice. And it sucks. Seriously sucks. You shut yourself in a room down the hallway and check back after a while to see if it worked. It didn't. Sometimes you let your baby cry it out because it's just easier than dealing with trying to get the baby to sleep but it never actually works.

When crying it out doesn't work and that whole "drowsy, but awake" thing still doesn't work, you kind of just accept that babies wake up in the night and you just get less sleep, and you are totally okay with helping your baby fall asleep because let's face it, it makes you feel special that you can soothe such a precious little miracle.

Even though you are super duper exhausted all the time, you still love your baby and decide that it's worth it to wake up with her, and know that somehow, someday, you may just get some well-deserved and needed sleep.

p.s. for those who don't reeeeally know me...this was meant to be humorous. :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Three Months!

I honestly feel like I just wrote Ellie's two month post. I'm not sure where to even start!

Ellie is getting to be so much fun! I keep thinking back to how hard and overwhelming those first couple weeks felt. I just couldn't see how things were going to get better! They definitely have though, and I just love having this precious little girl and I love watching her grow!

Ellie loves to suck! Quite the turn around from her early weeks. She won't last long without something in her mouth. The binky is still very handy and keeps her calm, but sometimes she would just rather suck on her fingers or her arm. She gets very into this, and makes very loud sucking noises. They are pretty funny. She has even given herself a hickey on her arm!

We took a trip to Boise last week for a mini family reunion. I was so nervous about the drive but she did really well. She slept most of the way and was very happy and playful when she was awake. While in Boise, Ellie laughed for the first time and she rolled over. Sadly, we have not been able to repeat the laugh. She is trying so hard to figure it out, but it's just not quite there yet. She has rolled over a couple more times, but sometimes I think it's more of a gravity pull than anything. Again, she is trying really hard to master this one, but she needs a little more time. I think she might get rolling over from her back to tummy down first. She puts in some serious effort on her back.

I don't know if I have mentioned before that Ellie hates tummy time. I couldn't stand to see her bury her face in the blanket and just scream, so I kind of gave up practicing. Then I saw a picture of Hayley's amazing baby holding her head up and I decided it was time to get down to business. Mathew and I helped cheer her on while she was on her belly and after a couple sessions, she became a rockstar at it! She doesn't last for more than a few minutes before her head is buried and she is crying again, but there is major improvement and every session, she goes a little longer! (Thanks Hayley for motivating me to help my baby progress haha)

She has discovered her feet! She loves to look at them and grab on to them. Every time I lay her down to change her diaper, she lifts those feet up and grabs right on to them. She will also kick her legs like crazy during diaper changes. We are convinced she got Mathew's love for running. :) Along with loving her feet, she loves to stand up! This came partly because of her distaste for tummy time and my desire to decrease the pressure on the back of her head.

I started giving Ellie stuffed animals. She loves them! As soon as I put it in her hands, she will put it straight into her mouth to suck on it. It's adorable to see her try and fit her whole mouth around it. I'm also hoping to use the stuffed animal at night to help keep her calm without being swaddled in her Halo. I love that thing, but they only make them so big and I don't want to have to swaddle for much longer!

A few weeks ago, Ellie started "ohing." So cute! It makes me laugh whenever she does it. She shapes her mouth into a very defined "O" with super puckered lips. She loves to babble and talk.

We have been giving her a bath every night and she loves it. At first, it would instantly calm her and she would just enjoy sitting there. Now, however, she has discovered how to splash in the water. She will kick and kick and fling her arms in the water. I have a hard time getting her out because I know she is having so much fun.

Now to the part I am struggling with. She is not a good sleeper at all! Supposedly, she is supposed to be getting one long stretch in at night by now. She was lengthening it, but over the last week, she will only sleep for a few hours at a time. I have no idea what is wrong. I think we are going to switch the bath to mornings instead, because it seems to arouse her now more than calm her. We also had a projector thing that's a part of her sound machine above her crib going all night so we could see her, but we turned both the sound and projector off last night and things seemed a little better. I don't think she is old enough to let her cry it out yet, so we aren't going to do that for another month if things don't improve. I strongly agree with "Happiest Baby On the Block" when he says you can't spoil a newborn and hold her too much, so she will not be crying it out quite yet. I am trying to follow the instruction of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I'm just feeling a little lost because those methods aren't working yet. I think maybe she just isn't ready for some of the things we have been doing. We try to lay her down when she is awake but it doesn't work. And don't worry, I have done it often, not just once and given up. I am getting exhausted though, and really hoping things will start to improve.

She is also extremely clingy with napping lately. She won't let me put her down, so I have resorted to having her nap in the wrap. She takes excellent long naps in this, so it's very tempting to just keep doing it that way. The only thing keeping me is that I was really starting to enjoy having my hands free during nap time!

 This was taken after she got her shots. Poor thing. :(

She actually handled the shots surprisingly well, but was definitely miserable the next couple days.

Her 4th of July parade outfit. My mom and I got a little excited about the 4th and she might have had 3 outfits...having a girl might get a little expensive for me haha. Her shots were July 3rd so the 4th was not as fun as we were hoping.

Waiting for the fireworks. We decided to leave before they started.

We took her to the drive-in one night. Her face cracks me up in this picture.

She loves standing!

I'm not one to take pics of myself in the mirror very often, but I felt the need to document her clingyness. This was a week ago, but she will not nap any other way lately!

I had to throw this one in to brag about Mathew for a second. He worked SO hard this semester and he was a part of a project for Polaris. They designed a tool to improve the assembly of part of the engines of some of their motorcycles. They took first place in the engineering design competition and I couldn't be prouder.

Her first experience with a stuffed animal. Straight to the mouth.

So proud of him for graduating! Note her hand's location.

Did I mention she also loves to suck on her bottom lip?

She broke free of her Halo.

My beautiful sister Stephanie is such an amazing aunt to Ellie! She sang all sorts of songs to her while we were in Boise and snuggled her a lot. So glad Ellie will have her as an aunt!

We bought her a zebra in Boise. She loves how soft it is. This also had Stephanie singing a zebra safari song to her which has been stuck in my head for DAYS! I have a video of her singing it, but promised I wouldn't share it on the web. :)

This is how she feels about tummy time.

Couldn't help sucking on her fingers.