Saturday, February 23, 2013

One Month Update

Today is Lena's one month birthday!

I could not get her to look at the camera.

And then I couldn't get her to sit there without crying unless she had her binky in her mouth!
Miss Lena is still sleeping well at night. The past few nights she's done a 5 hour stretch followed by a 3 hour stretch and then a 2 hour stretch. She eats in about 5-10 minutes and usually goes right back to sleep. This week I had a really bad cough, so I spent most nights on the couch so Justin could sleep. I brought Lena out into the living room with me and let her sleep in the swing all night, so she's getting a little addicted to it. The past few nights she hasn't been thrilled with sleeping in her stationary Rock n' Play.

During the day she's still eating every 2 hours. I feel like Lucy was going 3 hours between feeds by this age, but Lena is like clockwork. She starts crying at almost exactly 2 hours. And she pretty much just sleeps when she's not eating. She has very little awake time. When she does, I try to play games with her (patty-cake, so big, etc.) or sing songs or talk to her, but she just grunts and squirms and cries until I lay her down on my chest. She just likes to snuggle. No playing. No talking. Haha.

I told Justin I think she has more of his personality than Lucy did. Lena is much less social. She doesn't coo or talk to me - which I know Lucy did at this age. And we've still only gotten a couple smiles out of her. I'm trying not to worry about it and just telling myself that she's going to be different than Lucy!

Lena had a couple nights of major fussiness where I started to worry she was getting colic. But apparently it was just gas or a belly ache or something, because she's been an angel since then! Whew! I was a very colicky baby so I was worried it was payback. Haha.

She loves her swing, loves to snuggle, and is obsessed with her binky. She thinks she needs it in her mouth at all times. She hates getting dressed, hates being naked, tolerates the bath, but likes having her hair washed. She likes laying on her back looking at Elmo, but hates tummy time. She's a major grunter. She sounds like a little piglet. Haha.

Most of the time she's a sweet, easy going baby and we love her so much!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Friday 7

You're getting this special edition of the Saturday 7 a day early because tomorrow is going to be Lena's 1 Month Update - and I'm going to be gone most of the day and won't have time to write 2 blog entries! Enjoy.

1. Lucy has been on nap strike all week. I really hope it's just a phase and she's not giving up her nap!! I am not ready for that! Haha.

2. I've been trying to drink more water lately. I think breastfeeding sucks all my hydration. I've always had dry skin, but now I have it in new places - for instance, my back is completely scaly and itchy. I thought it was some kind of rash at first, but have concluded it's just dry skin. Yesterday I drank 23 oz. of water, and it was very difficult for me. I hate it!

3. I finished seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey. Now I need to get my hands on 3. Anyone care to share? Although I'm not sure I want to get into it as outraged as everyone seemed to be over the finale! (No spoilers, please. I know someone dies, but I don't know who!)

4. I came across a recipe for "lactation cookies" this week. They're cookies that are supposed to boost your milk supply. Two of the main ingredients are oatmeal and flax. Incidentally, those are two of the main ingredients in those no-bake energy bites I was eating tons of when Lena was first born! No wonder I was having such over-production issues! Lol.

5. Lena's best friend was born this week. One of my best friends, Kelly, and I were pregnant at the same time. She was due exactly 4 weeks after me, and her baby was born on her due date as well, so our girls are exactly 4 weeks apart! Oddly enough, she has an older daughter who's 5 weeks older than Lucy as well. Lucy and Presley are best friends, and Lena and Harper will be best friends. I love it so much!
Harper was 6 lbs, 2 oz. and I'm sure Lena is at least 9 lbs by now. Amazing how quickly my perception can change! Lena looks so huge!!

6-7. Ok, here's the big news. I saved it for last and am giving it two points because it's going to be long! We are moving in with my parents . . . in one week. Oh boy. We've been planning on it for a long time. We asked them just before Christmas, but planned on putting our house up for sale after Lena was born and I had time to recover a little bit. We were just starting to think about getting it ready to list, when my sister texted me that her sister-in-law was looking for a place to rent. It was all very tentative - they had put an offer in on a house and weren't sure they wanted to rent from us, so I didn't worry about it too much. Then yesterday, Niki texted me that their offer was not accepted and they need to move pronto - as in, one week. I have to pack up this entire house in one week. I am so overwhelmed!! We're not going to fit everything we own in my parents' house, so I have to sort stuff to take with us, stuff to put in storage, stuff to sell, stuff to throw away, etc. I worked on it for 2 hours today and got one closet and the bathroom done. Ugh.

And I'm feeling a little bit emotional about leaving our house. It's absolutely a financial necessity. We've been underwater since my nanny job ended. I wasn't making enough watching kids in my home, and don't have any skills that would allow me to get a job that would pay enough to put 2 kids in daycare. So to my parents' house we go! It's definitely a blow to our ego. We've been married for 7 years and can't get our act together. But more than anything, I'm sad about leaving the house that Lucy has grown up in, and sad that Lena will never remember it. I tell myself it's no big deal - it's just a house. My girls will love growing up with their grandparents, it will be fun for me to raise them in my childhood home, and we'll definitely enjoy that pool all summer! I think it's just because it's so sudden. I'm panicking a little bit!

So prayers would be appreciated that I can get this house packed and that we'll have a smooth transition! You can pray for my emotional stability too. ;-)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Sunday 7

So sorry for the delay. I spent yesterday holding a cranky baby and feeling too lazy to think up 7 things to write about. So here you have it a day late.

1. We had a very busy week. I'm pretty sure I had something written on my calendar every day. I think I'm busier as a stay-at-home mom than I was when I was working! On Tuesday, I got an oil change, hung out at Niki's for a while, and we had a visit from Violet (the little girl I used to babysit) and her mom, Erin. Erin made the most adorable matching hats for Lucy and Lena. I've gotten so many compliments on them. Really need to work on getting a picture of them together. I'm glad people who have skills make stuff for my girls. They'd be out of luck otherwise. Haha.

2. We also got to visit with Justin's sister, Kaley, a couple days this week. She lives in Chicago and came up to meet Lena for the first time.
She and Justin's other sister, Stacey, brought Lucy and I pizza for lunch on Wednesday. It was so greasy and delicious. Lucy and I both enjoyed it immensely. :-)

3. I "threw out my back" on Tuesday. I put it in quotes because I'm not sure it was really that severe. I was feeling much better by Thursday, but for a couple days there I was in agony. I went to the chiropractor on Thursday. I've only been to a chiropractor once in my life - when I dislodged a rib carrying Lyla 3 years ago. I went to a new chiro this time. The whole experience kind of cracks me up. I went in with a sore back expecting a one-time adjustment and near-immediate relief. I came out with homework to assess my goals for my body and future chiropractic care - along with an appointment to come back the next day. He took x-rays, declared my spine curved and a vertebrate out of line, told me the vertebrate in question is connected to my kidneys, scolded me for drinking too much pop, and has me coming back three times a week to get all back in line. Sounds good to me! (Thank you, insurance!) But I'm not giving up my pop. ;-)

4. For the first time this week, Lucy started showing a few signs of jealousy. She missed her nap on Tuesday and was already melting down. Justin had to work late, I was trying to make dinner and juggle a fussy Lena, and Lucy stood at my feet crying, "Put Baby Sister down and hold me!" Not my favorite parenting day so far. She's been fine since then, though. Poor Lena gets smothered in Lucy kisses about 1500 times a day. And Lucy says, "Her soooo cute" at least that many times a day. She loves her so much.

5. We celebrated Valentine's Day this year by having Velveeta Shells n' Cheese and sparkling grape juice for dinner. We did that one year for Valentine's Day before we were married when we were poor college students. We're still poor, so the tradition has stuck. Lucy loved the Shells n' Cheese, and Lena screamed throughout the entire meal. Haha.

6. On Friday, we got our taxes done and got a bigger refund than we've ever gotten before. Thank you, Lord!! Niki was watching the girls, so I went back there to pick them up, and when we were ready to leave my van wouldn't start! The battery light has been going on and off for a couple days, but I figured it was just a fuse problem since it doesn't stay on consistently. Niki and I tried to jump it to no avail (mostly Niki - I just kind of stood there saying, "Are you sure you know what you're doing? This makes me very nervous!"). Eventually, we just pushed the van off to the side of the driveway, and I unloaded the girls back into the house and called the tow truck to come get it. He didn't make it there until 4:00, so the shop didn't have a chance to look at it before closing at 5. Hopefully it's nothing too major. I have big plans for that tax refund, and car repairs was not on the list!

7. I've really been getting into Downton Abbey. I'm on season 2 now, and loving it. Although then the dilemma arises every afternoon while the girls are sleeping: watch my show or nap with them? I've really been missing sleeping through the night lately. I am just exhausted all the time. It doesn't help that I have another stupid cold. Between feeding Lena and being up coughing last night, I don't think I got more than a couple hours of sleep. Ugh. I don't remember being so tired with Lucy, but with her, I slept every time she did and we usually didn't get out of bed 'til 11:00 every morning. No such luck this time around!

So sorry to all my faithful readers who have been waiting with bated breath for this entry. I hope it meets all your expectations. :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

3 Week Update

Lena Beana is 3 weeks old today!

She's been kind of fussy the past few days. For the most part, if she's not sleeping or eating, she's crying - unless she's being held/jiggled. I told Justin that originally I was worried that she's getting colicky, but then I decided she's just getting spoiled. Haha. I know, I know. A 3 week old can't be spoiled. Although it sure is amazing how she can be screaming one second and silences as soon as I pick her up.

Milestones
She continues to roll over anytime I put her on her belly. And I'm pretty sure she legitimately smiled at me for the first time today. She did it twice at two totally different times. Love it. Makes the lack of sleep and constant nursing totally worth it.

Routine
We've started to go to bed a little earlier at night now that Justin isn't home to wake up with Lucy. I usually feed Lena between 9:30 and 10:30 and try to go to bed soon afterward. She sleeps for 4 hours pretty much like clockwork, wakes up to eat, then usually goes right back to sleep. 3 hours later she's up again to eat, but doesn't always go back to sleep so easily. I usually spend a good half hour leaning over my bed replacing her binky and rocking her Rock n' Play until she stops grunting and goes to sleep. Then 2 hours later she's up again. If I'm lucky, she goes back to sleep after eating and Lucy isn't up yet. But usually we're up for the day at that point.

During the day, she nurses about every 2 hours and sleeps in between. She still has very little awake time. I feel like Lucy slept less at this point. Maybe not. I'm very fortunate that she almost always takes a good long nap from like 1:00-5:00 - the same time Lucy is sleeping. So I can usually catch a nap with them.

Recovery
Until last night I was doing a lot better. I felt like my back was slowly on the mend and I was able to start doing a little bit more around the house/with the girls. But then last night I was laying Lena down on the playmat when all of the sudden I felt this intense shooting pain in my back. I don't know if that's what it's called to "throw out your back," but it took my breath away and left me writhing on the floor. Justin was working late, Lena was crying on the playmat and I was just laying there trying to breathe while Lucy patted me saying, "It's ok, Mommy!" Ugh. I actually took a Vicodin this morning just so I could get out of bed. I have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow morning. I reeeeally hope he can help me!

Breastfeeding
It's going much better. She's barely hurting me at all anymore. And she's getting much more efficient. She usually nurses in about 10 minutes, and often only eats off one side - especially in the middle of the night when she sleeps longer and I get fuller.

I do think she's had some painful gas lately, so I've been experimenting a little bit with what I drink. I gave up Dr Pepper for a day, but it didn't seem to make a difference and just gave me a headache. I know it probably takes longer than a day to work its way out of my system, but more people suggested giving up milk. That's easier for me to do anyway. Haha. So I haven't had milk in a couple days and I honestly think it might be helping a little bit. She's sleeping better and not having as much gas. We'll see.

Overall, things are going well. I'm starting to miss sleeping through the night, but I'm enjoying the snuggle time and can't wait to start seeing more smiles. I love the cuddly little newborn stage and am trying to soak it all up . . . and not worry about spoiling her. :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. I survived my first week home alone with both girls! It really wasn't that big of a deal. I nannied for 18 month old triplets, and when I went back to work after having Lucy I had a 4 year old, 2 year old, and an infant. So my 2.5 year old and newborn were a piece of cake. :-) The girls were good to me, I got some sleep, and we're still having people bring us meals so I didn't even have to worry about cooking! I did have a little bit of anxiety, but it didn't show up most evenings 'til Justin got home, so it wasn't too debilitating.

2. On Sunday, Justin's mom gave Lucy and Lena a bunch of clothes. One of the things for Lucy was a purple poncho/shawl type thing. As soon as she saw it, Lucy put it on and took off running down the hall yelling, "Super heroes to the rescue!" She thinks it's a cape. Haha.

3. We had a WIC appointment yesterday. Lena is 8 lbs, 9 oz. I got scolded that she hasn't reached her birth weight yet, and was offered a dietitian for her. Really? She's exclusively breastfed. There's not really much to her diet! I politely declined.

Also, according to their scale, I'm down 24 lbs. Woot! I was offered a dietitian too because I drink too much pop and don't eat enough vegetables. I told the nurse that my sister is going to school for dietetics and I get enough grief from her. I don't need a dietitian on my case too. Haha.

4. I have to record here that Lena rolled over from belly to back on Monday at 12 days old. She did it 4 times in a row, but I still think it was just luck and the effects of gravity on her big head. Haha.

5. We had a big snowstorm this week. On Thursday, Justin couldn't get up our driveway after work. He snowblowed at 6:00, then again at 10:00 pm. Friday morning, he got up an hour earlier than usual to snowblow one more time before leaving for work. So crazy. I'd say we got a good foot of snow. So thankful Justin takes care of the driveway. I saw a lot of my facebook friends write about shoveling. I couldn't do that if my life depended on it. Haha.

6. I started watching Downton Abbey this week. Pretty much everyone I know is obsessed with it. I like it so far, but I'm honestly surprised by how much people love it. It's not that good. Maybe it will get better. I'm only on like the 5th episode. I have to watch it with the captions on because I'm so bad at deciphering accents. Haha. Lame.

7. In the past two days, Lena has suddenly become a massive puker. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I've eaten that could have caused it, but I can't think of anything. Just now, she was laying on her playmat when all of the sudden she spewed a huge portion of what she'd just eaten allll over. I cleaned her up, changed her pukey clothes, and sat down on the couch. 5 minutes later she did it again! Ugh. We have a friend whose newborn had pyloric stenosis, so I'm totally paranoid about that. Hopefully it was just something I ate and will clear out of her system soon. (And hopefully I don't keep eating whatever it was and causing more problems!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2 Week Update

I almost didn't get this up in time! Whew!

Things are still going well. Lena continues to be an amazingly easy baby. (Although I just read in one of my mom emails that colic can start in week 2, so I'm still waiting for something awful like that to show up. Haha.) I just went back and read my 2 week update with Lucy and was amazed to see how similar things are.

I'm going to frame this the same way I did that one a few years ago.

Milestones
Lena's umbilical cord fell off on day 9, although it has continued to bleed since then. I was happy to give her a bath so soon. Lucy was too. She loves to help me give her baths.

She rolled from her belly to back at 12 days old! I was doing tummy time with her and she immediately flipped herself onto her back. I figured it was just a fluke and turned her back on her tummy. She lifted up that heavy head, leaned to the side and used gravity to flip herself back over! She did it 4 times total that day and once again yesterday. This kid is going to have a major bald spot if she never does tummy time!

Routine
We all know how important my routines are to me. I've actually been a little bit more laid back with Lena than I was with Lucy. Or Lena just fell into a routine of her own more easily. She generally does her last feeding between 10:30 and 11:30 and we go to bed shortly thereafter. She's up about 5 hours later to eat, then again usually 3 hours after that. If I'm lucky and Lucy's not awake yet, I try to get Lena to go back to sleep - even if it means sleeping on my chest in bed. But usually we get up after the 2nd feeding because Lucy's awake. Although I've had a few sweet mornings cuddling in bed with both girls for a while. Love that.

Throughout the day, Lena's nursing every 2-3 hours and spending most of her time sleeping in between. She usually sleeps in the swing, though sometimes I turn it off after she falls asleep so she doesn't get too addicted to that swinging motion!

She's actually been awake a little bit more the past few days, so we broke out the play mat and have had fun reading books and watching Lucy do ballet. Haha.

Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has greatly improved since last week! The painful fullness/engorgement is much better unless she goes longer than 3 hours without eating. My nipples are still pretty sore but they're not cracked or bleeding. I'm still taking ibuprofen to help with the pain. That awful latch pain is almost gone. I still don't think she's latching totally correctly on the left side, but we're working on it and it's getting better. The worst part is the leaking! I never leaked with Lucy, so I'm totally out of my element. I go through more outfits in a day than Lena does! I started this entry just as she was waking up, so she was sitting next to me fussing. It wasn't long before I realized I had totally soaked through my nursing tank top and t-shirt! This happens multiple times throughout the day despite doubling up on breast pads! Gross.

Recovery
I was a little too optimistic in that last entry when I said I lost 25 lbs. That was according to my not-so-accurate scale. I weighed myself at Niki's and was only down 20 lbs. Bummer. I lost 32 lbs in 2 weeks after having Lucy. Granted, I was having so much anxiety that I wasn't eating, but you know . . .

My stomach is going down nicely. I've really noticed it's starting to look smaller in the past few days. I'm looking much less pregnant. Haha. My belly button is even going back in a little bit. Progress!

The back pain is still out of control, though. I don't feel like it's any better than it was a week ago. I really just need to suck it up and go to the chiropractor. I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Anxiety
I spoke too soon in that last entry about not having any anxiety. I don't know why it was different this time than with Lucy, but instead of having it from the get-go, I felt good for a while this time and now it's starting to hit me. The past three days around 5:30 I start to notice I have a stomach ache and I feel super weepy. It's so obviously hormonal because I can't even tell you exactly what I'm crying about. During the day, I look at these two beautiful girls and am overwhelmed with love and the feeling that this is what I've wanted all my life. By 6:00, though, I'm sick of entertaining Lucy and dreading feeding Lena again. I feel horrible even writing that, and believe me the guilt doesn't help the weepiness! I cry because I feel that way, then I cry harder because I feel guilty about feeling that way! Haha. I've been forcing myself to eat, though, and reminding myself that this isn't really me, and it's just going to take a while for my hormones to regulate.

I'm just really ready to be back to my normal self. For so long while I was pregnant I felt awful and just wanted the baby out of me so I could feel like myself again. But now I'm still sore and tired and emotional and it's driving me craaaaazy!!! Patience, patience. It's only been two weeks, right?

I don't want to end with the anxiety stuff because it's really not consuming me. Most of the time, I'm loving my new life. Lucy is still doing very well. She tells me all the time how cute Lena is and how much she loves her. She adores holding her and kissing her and helping with everything. We are so so blessed by our beautiful, healthy, happy girls!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. I have a new favorite snack. My cousin posted the recipe on facebook, then I saw it on pinterest. They're called No-Bake Energy Bites, and they're made with honey and ground flax so I feel like they're healthy. ;-) The recipe says they make 25, but mine must have been too big because it didn't make that many. I ate the entire batch in 2 days. Oops! Anyway, here's the recipe:

o                    1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
o                    2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (I omitted this because I didn't have any on hand)
o                    1/2 cup peanut butter
o                    1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
o                    1/2 cup chocolate chips 
o                    1/3 cup honey
o                    1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1" in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Makes about 20-25 balls.
2. When we went to the doctor this week, the nurse called Lena "Lenna" (short e). I knew her name would be less recognizable than Lucy's, but I'm surprised how many people don't know how to pronounce it. I'm sorry if I've doomed you to people saying your name wrong all your life, Little One! Just be glad I didn't give you a dog name. ;-)

In other name news, my old boss and the kids I used to nanny for came to visit yesterday. Beth told me that her grandma's name was Lena Kay. Isn't that bizarre?!

3. As of Wednesday (1 week postpartum), I'm down 25 pounds. Having a baby is the best weight loss plan ever. And it's a good thing because so many people have brought us amazing meals! My fridge is packed full. Kind of makes me want to have a baby every week! ;-)

4. Despite all my whining, there's one thing I miss about pregnancy: having that personal space heater inside of me. I have been sooooo cold since Lena was born. I just can't warm up!

5. I've been sleeping like a rock since we came home from the hospital. It is so unlike me. I lay down on my back and wake up in the exact same position hours later when Lena wakes up. I never even budge. Yesterday morning Justin said, "Did you hear me get up with Lucy 6 times last night?" I totally didn't! Never heard her crying, never heard Justin get up or come back to bed. What kind of mother am I??

6. Things have gotten a little better on the breastfeeding front since that last entry. I've been using Lanolin every feeding and it's really helping. And the toe-curling pain is down to about 5 seconds instead of 20. So the latch problems are improving too. Now if my milk supply would just regulate so I'm not in pain all the time, that'd be great!! Thanks for all the advice and encouragement!

7. Here's a random one to end with: Lucy doesn't know who Winnie the Pooh is, but she has a toothbrush with him on it. I told her his name, but she continually calls him Winnie the Pool. Haha. Love it.
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