Friday, August 30, 2013

sam & suzy: 21 weeks

This week I came to the realization that we never upgraded Sam to a level 2 nipple for his bottles. Gosh, I remember it being such a big deal for me when he was a couple weeks old that "He MUST have the level 1, slow flow! Don't give him anything else!!" Funny how easily you forget things and how things don't seem as desperate or dire as in those first few weeks.

We finally started using our glass LifeFactory bottles. Prekid they seemed awesome. Screw plastic! Ha ha, what a newbie! Ok they are still cool...but a bit on the heavy side and it won't fit in our bottle steamer. But the great thing about them is you can change the tops as your baby grows. So when he gets older, he can use it as a sippy. I'm even using the small bottle for myself to bring liquids to work.

I also got a cabinet all set up for him in the kitchen. I have his Baby Bullet, containers, extra bottles and such all neatly organized in there. And I brought down sippy cups and other big boy food stuffs to put in there because I know I'm going to forget all that! I can't believe he's going to start using sippy cups soon!

He sure is chatty lately! I think he likes to see how high pitched he can make his squeals. Ouch, my ears! It's funny because he was totally into blowing raspberries all the time a few weeks ago and I try to get him to do it now, but he's only into squealing.

I still can't tell if he's teething for not. We got an amber necklace, which I put on after daycare said he was fussy all day and not taking naps. Next day, with it on, they said we was much better. Was it related?

I think it's a common misconception is that postpartum hormonal issues last just a bit after giving birth. While I didn't get postpartum depression, I do have bouts of ups and downs even almost 5 months later. Like last night, I starting crying almost out of the blue over not being able to solely breast feed Sam. Um, I thought I came to terms with that and was in a happy place because I still could breast feed him! Fun times!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep

We never really had a problem with Sam sleeping. Granted he did wake up about 1 -2 times a night, but he is a baby afterall. I knew we'd have to move him into nursery and I'd like to get him sleeping well established and understood.

I checked out Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep. I loved Happiest Baby on the Block, so I thought I'd see what he has to say about sleep.

This book was great! I learned a lot. About baby sleep cycles, how long typical babies sleep, what to do to start getting your baby to sleep longer and how to get them to fall and stay asleep better and understand the reasoning. The second half of the book focuses on when they are a toddler, which I will get again and read before then, but now there's no point.

The book focuses one 3 main things to help your baby sleep better:

- Routine

- White Noise

- Wake and Sleep technique

Routine: We actually have a decent routine with Sam and he's pretty tired consistently at around 7:30 - 8. If he's not hungry before 8, I'll read him a book, then we go upstairs and I breast feed and give him a bottle in our room with no lights on (it's still a bit light out) and turn on the white noise machine. He usually falls asleep pretty quickly.

White Noise: Silly of us not to have used this any sooner! Sam sleeps so much more soundly. He barely fidgets when I put him down in the pack and play. Rob and I feel we sleep better too! It works great with his naps too. Also, when we do move him into the nursery, he'll be used to falling asleep with it on.

Wake and Sleep: Ok, this one is a little tricky, but it's something we gotta do. When they falls asleep in your arms and you place them in down, you are to wake them up a bit. Not like full on awake, just get their eyes to open. At that point they are tired enough to get themselves back to sleep. It works most of the time, which is great! And if he really wakes up, I simply hold him and offer him a paci.

A couple other things I've used from the book is giving him no bottle at night. I just breast feed him, which is nowhere near a full bottle, but it's been enough. We just give him extra during the evening. I tried the dream feed one night, feeding him before he wakes up, but I didn't find he slept any longer. The point is to ween him off of needing to eat at night. I think him being 4 months helps as well, he's no long a newborn.

And so how does Sam sleep now since I've read the book? Much better! He's only been waking up once. Although last night and Saturday he did wake up a couple of times, but he falls back asleep much quicker. He naps better too on the weekend. Like we put him to nap, not wait for him to fall asleep. This was the first weekend he's taken all his naps upstairs, sweet. So a typical night is bedtime at 8, asleep by 8:30ish, waking up around 12, breastfeed and back asleep within an hour and then up for the day at around 5:30 - 6.

So yeah.

Friday, August 23, 2013

sam & suzy: 20 weeks

stop shoving food in my mouth!

Sleeping in the Pack and Play has been working really well! I couldn't be more happy and proud of Sam for sleeping so good in it. I started using the white noise machine our room and I think that helps tremendously! I checked out Harvey Karp's The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep and am loving it (just like his other books). I'll write a book review on it next week. But man, there are some useful stuff in there that I'm already starting to implement with Sam.

Oh that 1k that me, Rob, Sam and our friends were to race? Yeah, it was pouring rain and didn't run it! We quickly grabbed our shirts and went into the brewery for our beer, then we all went to another restaurant for some beers. What I bummer! I was really looking forward to it, but at least we had a good times with our friends.

This weekend I'm helping throw a joint baby shower for two of our neighbors. Fun times! And both are having girls, so lots of pink!

Things seemed to have settled with Sam again. Last couples weeks were kind of crappy for him, from a cold to runny poos, bad diaper rashes and just general fussiness. He's sleeping good. His bum is all normal. He's my happy little man!

I've been feeling pretty good! This cold is finally leaving and I haven't had a pounding headache from it since Sat. With that I sleep better, I'm in a better mood and it felt good exercise. Although can I have a free day? We've been so busy lately! I don't know when's the last weekend that we had no plans. While, it's super fun (yay we have a social life) I'd like to just lay low one day.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

shaping up: 4 months post baby

mmm, green.

Yay! I'm 128! That's about 2 pounds less since last month.

Last week Rob's parents were in town and I ate as best as I could. But there was birthday cake, carrot cake and pizza. Also, I've had this cold for almost 3 weeks now, making it hard to me to really push myself in my gym classes. I still managed to lose something and that's great.

I feel like I have a good thing going on right now. I've been making green smoothies each morning, great way to get a veggie serving in. I've been good about eating and drinking beer. And I am totally enjoying the gym! I love Zumba and the Saturday class just kicks my butt. Water workouts are fun too. I am always the youngest, but that's ok! I have yet to try their yoga class since we've just been so busy over the weekends. The weather is starting to cool down and that means running and walking the dogs more.

It makes me happy that I've finally gotten into this grove. I've also been letting myself just enjoy going to the gym and being away from Sam. I can't wait to see how next month will be.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sam's Firsts: Solid Food

Look who tried out some real food today! Sam's doctor suggested letting Sam experiment with some food. I was a bit surprised thinking it was too early, but she said that it's just to get a feel for it and taste different things. She suggested only veggies first, fruits are naturally easy to like and only one veggie at a time for three days and then we can try a new one.

Sam tried avocado as his first food. Mainly because I love avocados and that's a great excuse to buy one. So how did it go? Sam just really wasn't sure what to make of it. He's like, "Why do they keep shoving this thing in my mouth?" He did enjoy mushing it with his hands. Maybe I'll put a lot more down tomorrow to mush around.

What is this?


I don't know what to think of this.

Oh look! Mom has the camera! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sam & Suzy: 19 weeks

why haven't i put him in overalls sooner? too cute!

Last night we had Sam sleep in the pack n play after a couple weeks of him sleeping in the sleeper. Rob's mom has been watching him and saying that Sam hasn't been napping good and she thinks he's just not comfortable in the sleeper anymore. I totally agree. So no more sleeper! And Sam actually did pretty well. He woke up twice, which is ok since he did go to bed without a bottle. I woke up to him sleeping on his side, no no stay on your back boy!

Also, lately he's been fussy when falling asleep and wants nothing but me to put him to sleep and will scream otherwise. That's why I think he's teething and loving to chew on things. I did order an amber teething necklace. Can't wait to get it!

It finally happened!! Sam laughs now! I got him giggling the other day by going "Om nom nom" and kissing his neck*heartmelts*. Then the other day I was dancing silly for him while Rob had him standing up and dancing too. He loved it. It's the best thing ever when babies laugh! I love how happy this kid is.

Did you know that you can get a cold on top of another cold? I'm really trying to be healthy here I and keep getting beat down. Blarg! I took a sick day on Monday to get some much needed rest and try to get this cold under control. I watched Grey Gardens, omg these women are amazing in a sad way! I contemplated being Little Edie for Halloween, but no one will know who I am.

Regardless how I felt, I did go to another swim class and tomorrow I am going to do Zumba. Also, Rob and our friends have the OMB Copper Classic 1k race tomorrow!! I know, huge mileage there! But it's for charity and it's at a brewery and that's awesome! Hee hee, I am going to carry Sam in the Ergo, so it'll be his first race.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Guessing Game

airing out that bum and giving him crazy hair.
The past couple of days Sam has had a bad diaper rash, mainly from the runny poos he's had. Poor little guy is fussy, screaming from the sore bum and not sleeping well. So, I started playing the guessing game. What is causing the diaper rash?

- Mucus from his cold just draining and making him go to the bathroom so much? Yeah, but he's pretty much over it and doesn't cough anymore.

- Teething? Well, he did enjoy chewing on his teething toy which he hasn't in the past and he's been drooling.

- The fenugreek I've been taking for boosting my milk? Hmmm, a bit of searching on the net and saying that babies can get runny poos from it. Of course I find this out after I took some (d'oh!), but have since stopped. Also, I am pumping and dumping today, suck.

And you know, it's probably all of this and maybe something else! Welcome to motherhood Suzy!

So now, how to treat it naturally as possible? Thankfully the Honest diapers he uses are good, but we have to hold off on the wipes because of the citric acid, which burns his bum. He's at grandma and grandpa's right now and she's washing his bum in the sink each time and letting it air out. Sam loves naked time! Which we should do more of even without any rashes. I also bathed him with some baking soda in the water. Then instead of lotion, I used coconut oil, which is super for the skin and the sore areas. I've also been using natural butt paste.

I hope with all of this, he'll be better soon! But it's just frustrating because Sam's uncomfortable and there's only so much you can do at one time. But time, is really the best remedy. And knowing that I'm not there all day to comfort him and help him get better bums me out. I love Rob's parents and daycare too, but I'm his mom..ya know?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sam & Suzy: 18 weeks

We went to a pool party last weekend, which was so much fun! Our first kid birthday party with Sam. Sam went into the pool for the first time too. He was totally chill and enjoying himself. Sam got to play with his buddy Levi too. Seriously, life is so much more fun with a kid and we've barely even begun!

Remember a few weeks ago I said Sam was close to laughing? Yeah....still nothing!!
Ok, I will get an occasional giggle. I can tickle him and he'll squeal sometimes. He'll find things funny and get the biggest smile, but nothing comes out. Right now he thinks it's funny to put his hands in my mouth. I did get one giggle out of that.

Sam also loves looking at hands. He loves it when I sing him Itsy Bity Spider. I think I'm going to start using some sign language. I know it's still way too early, but it'll help me learn some sign language and by the time he's old enough to try using it, he'll already be familiar with some of the signs. I'm actually quite excited to teach Sam some sign language and help him be able to communicate with us when he can't quite say the words.

This week has been rockin'! I started going to the gym/aquatic center. I took a water class, which was great, but a bit too easy for me. But I my body felt so much more limber (limber up!). I'm going to try the deep water one next. I did Zumba too, which was totally fun and a great workout. Also, I've been making smoothies for breakfast (kale, almond milk, banana, frozen blueberries and pineapple). It saves me time, fills me up and is so healthy! Rob's parents are here again for a week. So let's see if I can be good and not gain weight. *fingers crossed*

I will admit, it's hard for me to leave to go to the gym. I feel guilty being away from Sam during weekday evenings. Will he have fun with just Rob, will he be awake when I get home? I think most of this is hormone related (isn't everything?) I just need to remind myself that it's ok. It's actually good for me. I will not give in to mom guilt!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

4 month stats

Sam had his 4 month check up yesterday. He's doubled his weight! That's so crazy.

I can never remember his measurements from his last check up, so I thought making jotting it down on the blog will help me to remember.

Monday, August 5, 2013

4 Months

 Sam is 4 months today!

Here are my fav. photos from the past month:

Sam love bath time

he's a rock star at holding up his head

hanging out outside

he loves his pal Newton


at the farmer marker

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sam & Suzy: 17 weeks

Last Saturday we went out with our friends for some Post Ultramarathon celebration. Rob and the boys ran 31 miles!! Our friend's mom watched Sam and thier little boy, Levi, who is only 3 weeks older than Sam. It was the first time we left Sam with someone other than Rob's parents and during the evening. I was good, but I'll always miss Sam like crazy when I'm away from him. Also, I still have yet to have the energy to last the night hanging out with our friends. I felt so lame, but it was way past Suzy's bedtime!

We get to hang out again this weekend for a birthday party. We always make sure we get a picture of Sam and Levi side by side to show how much they've grown. Little buddies! I love it. I can't wait till they can start interacting and playing with each other.

Sam got his exersauser, which we ordered online because the ones at the consignment sale were not much cheaper and dirty. Good lord this boy loves it! When we first put him in, he looked at the starfish above him and he had the biggest grin. Then he proceeded to touch and move all the over toys around him like a pro. It brought me such joy to see him so happy!

Ha ha, though because it was close to bed time and it's a very stimulating toy, Sam only lasted 15 minutes before he started getting over stimulated and cry. Which he then fought so hard to fall asleep. Like screaming hard. Man, over stimulation is a bitch!

I got to join the local Aquatic Center. I'm super pumped! I wanted to do the Pure Barre classes, but when you add it up, it's a lot of money. So for at least $50 less a month than Pure Barre, I can take swim exercise classes, yoga, zumba and so much more. I'm going to check out a swim class on Saturday morning to see how it is. Ha ha, I gotta check if I fit into any of my bathing suits! And with the monthly fee over my head, well that's great motivation to keep going, heh.

I am on my third cold (as is Sam) since May. I can't tell if this last one from daycare of the office since my boss is sick too. It's frustrating because I'm the person who never got sick! I'd maybe get a slight cold every year. But what can I do when Sam's exposed to all that at daycare and he's breathing and coughing on me while I feed him? On the plus side, it's another thing to really motivate me to really take care of my body. Exercising, eating good!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

11 Things I Wish Every Parent Knew

Shutterbean shared this article, which I just love!

1. Growth and development are not a race. 

These days we’re in such a rush to grow up. In our mechanized, post-industrialized world of speed and efficiency, we've forgotten that life is a process of ripening. To get good fruit, you need to nourish strong roots. Pay attention to the ground that supports your child’s life: Go for a walk with your child, eat with your child, play together, tell him a story about your experience as a child. 

2. Creating family traditions encourages strong roots and a healthy life. 

This takes time and practice. Personal traditions are sacred because they promote exchanges that strengthen bonds of love and intimacy and build the kind of confidence that will carry your child through this world. 

3. We grow in cycles. 

There is a rhythm and pulse to each child’s life – sometimes fast and intense, sometimes slow and quiet. Just as each spring brings a renewed sense of appreciation for life, each stage of a child’s life is a time of new discovery and wonder. After all, learning is not just a process of accruing information. It's the process of transforming our ideas, and sometimes this requires forgetting in order to see with fresh eyes. Some children will take a step backward before making a giant leap forward. 

Growing in cycles means that we don’t get just one chance to learn something. The same lesson will offer itself up to us again and again as we pass through the seasons of our life. There is deep forgiveness in this way of understanding childhood, which I find takes the pressure off parents to “get it right” the first time.
4. Encouragement is not the same as indulgence. 

We are not in the business of raising little kings and queens. Kings don’t do well in our society. Recent studies have shown that indulgence actually weakens your child’s powers to survive, deflating motivation and diminishing feelings of success. 

Encouragement means putting courage in your child, not doing things for him. Create a supportive context that will open up a path without pushing your child down it. Unconditional love is the scaffolding that encourages your child to take chances, to experiment, and to fail without judgment. Sometimes being an encouraging presence in your child’s life means standing a little off in the background, there to offer a compassionate hand when circumstances call for it, but trusting in his innate ingenuity. 

There is spaciousness in encouragement. Indulgence, on the other hand, limits freedom by inflating a child’s sense of entitlement and reducing the patience needed to work through obstacles when he doesn't instantly get his way. Indulgence leads to small-minded thinking.

5. Pushing your buttons is a spiritual practice, and children are our spiritual teachers. 

You don’t need an expensive spiritual retreat to become enlightened. Your little sage-teacher is right in front of you, offering you true wisdom free of charge! 

Children watch our every move when they're little, studying our inconsistencies as they try to figure out this crazy world. And they will call you on it. When a child pushes your buttons, remember: they are your buttons, not hers. Take the time to listen to what your child is trying to teach you. One of the secrets of parenthood is our willingness to transform ourselves out of love for our child. When you're willing to look at your buttons, you open up a deeper self-awareness that is transformative for both you and your child. 
6. A symptom is the body’s way of letting us know something has to change. 

Good medicine asks what is the symptom trying to accomplish? rather than simply suppressing it. Our body has its own intelligence and yet so much of pharmaceutical advertising tries to convince us that there is something wrong with feeling symptoms. Much of my medical training was focused on stopping symptoms as if they were the problem. (This is like telling the body to shut up. It’s rude!) We don't trust the body’s intelligence. We think too much and tend to be afraid of feelings in our body. 

But children have taught me that a symptom like fever is actually not the problem. Whatever is causing the fever may be a problem, but the temperature is simply the body’s way of trying to deal with what’s happening. 

Take, for example, the child with a fever. What other symptoms does the child have? If he is playful, you may not need to suppress the fever. It means the body is trying to make metabolic heat to mobilize the immune system. To help it do this, you can give warm (not cold) fluids so it doesn’t dry out and nourishing foods like soups to fuel the fire.

7. Be prepared. 

The one phrase from the Eagle Scout motto that stuck with me since I was a boy was Be prepared. This is a state of readiness that can be fueled by confidence or fear. 

These days I practice what I call “preparatory medicine” rather than preventive medicine, so that getting sick is not seen as a failure. Being healthy does not mean never getting sick. Life is a journey of ups and downs and the growing child lives in a constant state of flux. A resilient immune system is one that learns how to get sick and get better. Living too clean a life robs us of the information necessary to be fully prepared to recover. 

Rather than living in fear of illness, there are natural ways we can support our children to recovery from illness quickly and efficiently: good nutrition, hydration, probiotics, rest and exercise. But the most important? Rather than focusing on how often your child gets sick, celebrate how often she gets better.
8. Healing takes time. 

The most alternative medicine I practice these days is taking time. As a society, we're addicted to quick fixes because we have no time to be sick anymore. As a doctor, I was trained as a kind of glorified fireman, looking to put out emergencies quickly and efficiently. 

In emergencies, strong medicine is often necessary to save lives but most health problems in childhood are not emergencies. In those instances it takes more than strong medicine to get better; it takes time. I realize that taking another day off from work because a child has been sent home from school with a runny nose can add real stress to our already stressful lives. But children have taught me that healing is a kind of developmental process that has its own stages too. 

When we don’t take time to recover, we rob our children of the necessary stages they need to learn from if they are to develop long-lasting health. When we take time to recover, illness becomes a journey of discovery, not just a destination; we begin to see our health and illness as two sides of the same coin. 

9. The secret of life is letting go. 

Life is a process of constantly giving way. Things pushed past their prime transform into something else. Just as spring gives way to summer, so is each stage of development a process of letting go. Crawling gives way to walking. Babbling gives way to speaking. Childhood gives way to adolescence. By breathing in, you breathe out. By eating, you poop. 

Each season, each stage, each little rhythm of our life is a matter of letting go. This allows us to get rid of what we don't need to make room in our lives for new information. Learning to let go is not always easy and each child has his own adaptive style and timing. Nature favors diversity. Remember to honor your child’s unique nature. This is what my book Fire Child Water Child is all about. 

Perhaps the most important way children teach me how to let go is in the way they play. Playing means letting go of our inhibitions; it frees us up and allows us not to take ourselves too seriously. 

10. Trust yourself: You're the expert on your child. 

One of the most important things I teach new parents is how to trust themselves. Nowhere is this more daunting than when a new baby comes into our life. We’re expected to know everything and yet we feel like we know nothing. But children have taught me that this knowing-nothing can be a real opportunity to open our powers of intuition. 

Mindful parenting begins by listening with an open heart to your child’s life without fear or panic. Studies have shown that a mother’s intuition is more powerful than any lab test in picking up problems. Unfortunately today we are flooded with so much scary information that it interferes with our ability to listen to our own intuition. (Just think of the arrogance of a doctor who acts like he knows your child better than you do!) 

Take a tip from your baby. Look into your baby’s eyes. Imagine what it feels like to be conscious of the world before you have language, before all those labels that scare us and divide things into good and bad, right and wrong. Babies have no enemies. This is seeing from the source. It is what Zen Buddhists call “beginner’s mind.” Watch closely how your baby breathes with his belly. This is Qigong breathing. Stop thinking for a moment and try breathing this way. You may just find the answers you need waiting for you there.

11. Take the long view. (Because it’s easy to get caught in the immediacy of a problem, especially at 2am.)

Having watched thousands of children grow into adulthood, what sometimes seems like a big deal at four-months old or 14-years old may be no more than a small bump in the road. Children have taught me how to take the long view of life. When we step back and see the big picture of our lives, we discover wisdom and compassion.

Super Summer Challenge July Update

going out all together and to the farmers market was a lot of points
It's been a while since I last did an update on the Super Summer Challenge. It's been pretty fun and a good way to motivate me to do stuff. Like I knew that if I walked the dogs a bit longer, I could get 50 points rather than just 25 for a short dog walk. I drink more water at work now because of the challenge, which is super.

I may not reach the full goal of 10,000 points. I did start a bit late and I will admit, Sam is a big factor and sometimes I just don't have time. It's certainly kept me motivated though and I almost wouldn't mind to continue to challenge myself.

Some fun highlight so far that got a lot of points:

- I joined the local Aquatics Center +500

- We went out as a family to the Farmers Market and walked the college campus with the stroller +100, +75 and +50

- We went out with friends last weekend and had some beer +75 and +25