Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Madelyn's 5th Month


"Days are long but years are short."

I try to take a moment every day and just relish in Madelyn as she is right now.  I feel like as moms we get so caught up in what is coming next that we forget to treasure what we have right now.  Lately, I've been obsessing over solids - are we doing purees or BLW? or both?  to cereal or not to cereal?  rice or oatmeal?  how much caution do we give to food allergies since neither Nick or I have any?  But then I realized once we introduce solids we are that much closer to ending our breastfeeding relationship and that makes me sad.  So for now, I am going to love every moment of nursing this sweet baby girl, even if it means three times a night like it did last night.

I kept this mantra going for most of Madelyn's fifth month since month four seemed to fly by in a blur.  As a result, I feel like I fully appreciated everything March-April brought us.

Sleep - the 4 month wakeful period got us out of our routine as we were doing whatever it took to get some sleep around here.  This usually meant Madelyn fell asleep on her Daddy's knees and then would get transferred to the pack n play when we went to bed.  That only lasted an hour or so and she'd be up again.  I brought her into bed with us and would side lie nurse until we both fell back asleep.  Next time she woke up, we'd both flip over and she'd nurse from the other side.  Although we were sleeping, it wasn't the greatest sleep in the world.  Nick actually ended up on the couch a few times because I was so afraid of smothering her.  The last couple of weeks I decided we needed our sanity, I mean sleep restored so back to the routine it was.  Here's what we do, for those who want to know.  Anytime from 6:30-7pm (ish) I bring Madelyn into her room and turn on her Rock-a-bye Baby Journey CD.  I strip her down and put on her jammies.  After this, we hit the rocking chair and read 1-3 stories based on her level of tiredness.  We then head back over to the changing table and put her sleep sack on over her jammies.  Back to the rocker we go for her bedtime feeding.  She nurses on both sides and is usually pretty sleepy by the time she's done.  I then carry her into our room and lay her in the pack n play.  I turn on her seahorse and give her the wubbanub. 


During our "whatever works" phase - sleeping naked back in the Rock n Play.
 Now the first night we went back to the routine, it was a little rough.  Her little body forgot that pack n play meant sleep so we would give her the wubbanub and she'd be content for 5-10 minutes and then spit it out and start fussing.  Nick or I would head back in and replace the pacifier, turn back on the seahorse and she'd be good to go for another chunk of time.  It took 2-3 times of replacing the pacifier before she fell asleep.  Second night, only 1-2 times.  Now she's usually asleep before I even leave the room.  When she wakes up at night, I take her into her room and nurse her in the rocker rather than our bed.  I then lay her back down in her rock n play, turn on the seahorse and give her the wubbanub.

Naps are now in the pack n play as well but we skip the routine and I just lay her down once she starts rubbing her eyes.  I darken the room, turn on the seahorse and give her the wubbanub.

Vocals - this girl loves to yell.  She also loves to scream.  Not in an angry crying way but more in the shrill little voice that only little girls seem capable of.  It can break an eardrum but the smile she gives after is hilarious.  She's found her voice and is testing the waters to see exactly how loud she can be.  Miss. M has also started laughing, which means Nick and I have started doing whatever it takes to hear that gut giggle.  Oh how I love that sound!  I've been waiting to hear that sound.  I am pretty sure the only thing better than that will be the day her sweet little voice says Mama for the first time. 

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Not really vocals but it is still worth mentioning the drool.  Oh the drool!  No teeth have popped through yet but this girl goes through about a bib every two hours.  I never understood why baby clothes came with all these bibs - now I get it.  It would be nice if her bib matched her outfit but there's no way I could possibly have that many matching bibs.  The sad part is most of her pictures this month have that dang bib in them.  Oh well.

Movement - she is still rolling front to back but hasn't mastered back to front.  That dang arm!  She's gotten much better at front to back and will do it just about everytime she's on her belly.  I've started putting her in the boppy for some tummy time because I still want her working those chest and neck muscles but she keeps flipping if she's not somewhat restricted.  We are in a Baby & Me class and part of the routine is having the baby pull up using your fingers for support.  She has figured out the sequence and now tries to pull up anytime she's lying down and you put your fingers in her hand.  The little turkey is strong and has decided she's not stopping with pulling herself into a sitting position and has moved on to a standing position.



Tummy time on the Boppy

She also found her feet this month. The second you set her on the changing table and strip her pants off, her feet her in her hands. I literally have to pry those toes away so I can change her diaper.


Look Mom! I've got feet!


Madelyn still loves her jumperoo.  Sad Mama moment, my big girl doesn't need the pillow underneath anymore.  Her toes now touch the floor on her own.  I'm pretty sure she likes having that solid surface and has started kicking her legs out each time she jumps as if she's dancing a jig.

Her playmat is also a favorite right now.  Madelyn loves reaching out for toys and has started putting together cause and effect.  She likes being the one to make things jingle and jangle.


She also loves being outside.  The weather finally broke this month and we've been taking her out on a pretty regular basis.  She gets crazy excited and starts flapping her arms and kicking her legs like a mad woman the second she feels the breeze.  I've also started running again and let me tell you, it is WAY harder pushing a stroller than running without one.  Wowza!

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Breastfeeding - Madelyn eats like a champ.  She eats for about 5-10 minutes on each side and is done.  That's it.  She definitely gets down to business.  At first, I thought something was wrong since everything I'd read said nursing sessions usually take 30-45 minutes but she continues to gain wait.  I've even pumped afterward and I get next to nothing so she's draining them pretty well.  I've also pumped a full boob and I usually get 4-5oz on each side so I know it isn't a supply issue.  I guess she can't be bothered with staying on the boob for long periods of time - this girl's got stuff to do.  She was taking a bottle pretty easily but in the last month or so has decided she'd rather not.  Unless she is ravishingly hungry, she'd prefer to wait to drink directly from the tap.  I don't usually have to leave her for longer than a few hours so it hasn't been an issue.  Plus, I know she will eat from a bottle if she has no other option.  It's just not her first choice.


So there ya have it.  Madelyn's fifth month in a nutshell.
Hamming it up for the camera!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Favorite Baby Items

So I hardly consider myself an expert in the area but in Miss. Madelyn's 5 months we have found a few items that are invaluable to us.  With all the babies just born and all those on the way, I figured a list would be a handy reference for anyone who cares.

Moby Wrap - if you want to get anything, and I mean anything from brushing your teeth to washing the dishes, done in the first months with a baby, the moby wrap is a necessity.  There is a lot of fabric to work with and it seems a bit overwhelming at first but once you get the hang on it, you can put it on in just a few seconds.  There are quite a few ways to wear it and I've been able to wear Madelyn and switch it up based on her many moods.  Check the website for the basics and you can always check youtube for some other options.  The few tips I can share are:

1. make sure you wrap the baby tightly.  If you are loosely wrapping, the baby will begin to sag and it defeats the whole purpose.

2. wrap the baby high on your chest.  I started by wrapping around my waist and was unable to get it as tight as I needed.  A good rule of thumb is you should be able to kiss the top of your babe's head while wearing her.

Nose Frida - now I just recently discovered this one.  After Miss. Madelyn came down with her first cold and realizing the bulb things do absolutely nothing except maybe catch a booger on the tip that you can pull out, I hit up google and kept searching until I found this little contraption.  The whole idea of sucking out the snot (literally) seems a little nasty (okay, a lot nasty) but you step into mommy mode and will do whatever it takes to get your little one breathing easier so bring on the snot sucker.  Once I tried it out, I discovered the snot doesn't come anywhere near your mouth and it is strangely gratifying to get it all out.

Wubbanub - I posted a little about this in Madelyn's month 4 synopsis but I thought it deserved another mention.  This kid loves her frog.  She has started pulling it out of her mouth and talking to it for a bit before shoving it back in.  She loves the independence of pulling her pacifier in and out whenever she wants and I love that I no longer have to constantly plug her back in.  Plus, it is amazing how quickly you lose those dang pacifiers in the crack of the carseat, rolling under the couch when she drops it, fumbling around for it in the dark.  The attached stuffed animal makes finding her bink a cinch, even in a sleep coma state.

Sophie the Giraffe - I only bought Sophie because I scored an awesome deal.  We're talking an 8.00 deal.  Otherwise, there was no way I was spending 20.00 on a rubber giraffe.  To be honest, Sophie reminds me of a dog toy.  I'm pretty sure Ziggy agrees since he comes running every time Sophie squeaks.  I was a little disappointed that Madelyn showed no interest in Sophie until just recently.  After all, this was supposed to be some kind of miracle teether.  Well, April rolled around and Madelyn has a new favorite toy.  She loves noming on Sophie's face, ears, feet, you name it.  It has made car rides a lot easier since it seems to keep her occupied for awhile.  And like her frog, she enjoys sharing her tales with Sophie as well.

Soothe and Glow Seahorse - we started a bedtime routine with Madelyn about a month ago and a critical component of the routine is her seahorse.  The light is just enough that she can see her pacifier to put it back in her mouth if it falls out.  It plays for awhile and switches up between music and water sounds.  Madelyn nods off to sleep at night staring into the belly of her seahorse and I am a happy mama because I finally have a babe that can fall asleep on her own!


Rock n Play Sleeper - LOVE LOVE LOVE!  We used this constantly when Madelyn was born.  I love how easy it was to move from room to room.  Madelyn could fall asleep in the living room and we could move her to the bedroom when we went to bed without ever having to pick her up and shuffle her around.  I could pull it up close to my side of the bed and just reach down to pick her up and nurse her.  There is a slight incline which seems more comfortable than sleeping flat on her back.  Also, it is more constricted, aka cozy, than her crib which feels like a more natural progression coming out of tight quarters inside the womb.  She's too big to sleep in her Rock n Play but I still use it when I shower.  I bring Madelyn into the bathroom with me and she hangs out in her Rock n Play while I sing songs or talk to her.  Also, it folds mostly flat and can easily be stored under our bed.

Bumbo - Madelyn loves sitting in her bumbo.  Don't tell the bumbo manufacturer but we put Madelyn in it and set her right in the middle of the kitchen table while we eat dinner.  It keeps her a part of the family time and involved in what we are doing.  I also put her in it while I'm cooking so I can talk to her and get other things done.  It's easy to travel with and we usually bring it anytime we are headed to someone else's house.

So there you have it.  My favorite baby items thus far.  While this is hardly a complete list of all the useful baby items we have, it is definitely some of my top choices.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Madelyn's First Playdate

Madelyn had her first playdate last week.  Since there's been a string of baby girls being born, we all decided to get together and swap stories.  The ladies didn't do much playing but it was nice to bounce ideas off of one another and share war stories.  After the playdate, Madelyn and Piper went on their first shopping trip together to the Somerset Collection.  Jen and I went a little crazy in Gymboree but the girls will be decked this summer as a result.

Madelyn showing Morgan (or Ali? - I can't tell!) the joys of Sophie

L-R on couch - Madelyn, Morgan/Ali (again I can't tell), Molly, Benson (our sole male)
In the left bouncer is Katherine and Piper is on the right.

The newest babes Kate and Piper

Madelyn and Katherine
The last picture was taken a few weeks earlier when Madelyn and I went to visit Rachael and Miss. Katherine.  Katherine was born on 3/12/11 (Piper's due date) and is a tall beauty.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Siblings

I'm cleaning off the video camera, cell phone and camera to hopefully get all our pictures compiled in one place.  I'm also working on some new blog posts since I've been a little skimpy on the content lately and now I'll have some pictures to work with.  Stay tuned for my favorite baby products (so far) and what we did on Spring Break.  For now, here's a little sibling love...

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Scars that Run Deep: “All that Matters” after a Cesarean

Scars that Run Deep: “All that Matters” after a Cesarean

I posted earlier about my feelings regarding my c-section and will continue to use this space to process Madelyn's birth and my emotions surrounding it.  To friends and family, please know I am okay.  I'm just working through an event in my life and sharing with you the good, the bad and the ugly.

Anyway, this article was posted on my birth board and I found it was able to put into words what I have been trying to wrap my brain around.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yikes!

I love the pigtails!

When I take them out is something else entirely!