I am a wife and stay at home mom to two darling girls, Whitney and Ellison. We are an active duty Army family constantly on the move. we currently reside in Iowa closer to our families. Using the blog to document our lives and a few of my thoughts!
Ellison is a month old. This may for sure have been the fastest month of my life!! She is a pretty good baby with only the typical cries for food or attention. She still sleeps most of the day and is getting better at night too. She slept in her swing for the first month and I slept on the couch. Her sleep pattern was typically about 3hrs, then 2 hrs, then 2 more hours. These last two nights she did 4 hrs and 4.5 hrs for her first stretch. I hope I'm not jinxing it by telling everyone. I sure hope she is starting to sleep longer because this newborn business is wearing me out!! Monday night was her first full night in her crib. My goal (accomplished) was to get her in the crib by the time she was four weeks and to get myself back in bed. What I have figured out so far is that I can swaddle her and put her on her back first, then for the second stretch forget the swaddle and she is on her tummy, and for the third stretch of sleep I take her out to the couch and we catch some zzz's together.
Breastfeeding was a bit of a struggle that took some time and frustration to get figured out. She would get mad before I let down and then once my milk did start to flow she would gulp and swallow a lot of air and get even more mad. Sometimes she wants me as a pacifier and gets mad that milk does come out. So, it was pretty frustrating that I didn't know what she wanted. Sometimes she was mad there wasn't milk and other times mad that there was so I had no idea if she was hungry or full. I have started pumping more during the day and giving bottles so I know exactly how much she is eating. I also supplement with formula at times as well if she still seems hungry. Bottles seem to work well during the day if the breast isn't working and thankfully she is fine with breastfeeding at night, which saves me from having to prepare a bottle in the middle of the night. It was very discouraging at first to battle breastfeeding since it was such a breeze with Whitney. For a while there I was ready to give it up but I'm getting into the groove of pumping and I'm glad that she will take a bottle, whether it be breast milk or formula and I won't be so tied down to her and worry about when and where I can breastfeed in public.
Her belly button cord finally fell off after three weeks. I was beginning to think the thing would never come off!! Out of nowhere it seems she developed a rash from head to toe, literally. I switched out her bath lotion to Aveeno and rewashed everything in scent free detergent and dryer sheets. That has taken care of the bumps all over her body, now it is just on her face from her being against our clothing. We try to take special care not to put her directly on our shirts, but that's not always practical. So, I will have to wash all of our clothes in scent free as well, and be careful not to spray parfume or hairspray on clothes.
She is already turning into a mama's girl. Last night Wade was doing all her could to comfort her while I cleaned up the kitchen. He changed her diaper, tried to feed her, walked with her, put her in her swing, etc. nothing. I picked her up and started talking to her and she was instantly fine. She just wanted her mama! Funny how they care who is holding them at this early of an age.
With the warm weather yesterday afternoon we took the double stroller out to the lake for a test drive. Last fall I was itching to buy a double stroller. Why so soon, I don't know. Don't ask a pregnant lady why she does things when she does. The stroller is in good condition. It's a Graco Duo Glider that I bought from Craig's list for $60. This lady doesn't buy new any more!! However, we don't like that there are no cup holders for the kids or for us by the handle. So, we'll test it out and resell it or just hang on to it, because really, how often do I really use a stroller??? Whitney prefers to walk any way. Whitney thought this ride was pretty cool, and sat in it a little longer than she normally sits in her single stroller..... but still has to get out and investigate and monkey around.
This one decided to stay awake for the entire walk. She has yet to figure out how to keep a paci in her mouth so she was mildly fussy the whole way. Hopefully she will be my stroller baby, I need one of them to be!
I knew I would eat my words when I last said that so far being home with two kids was easy. It's not easy any more. My new mommy adrenaline has wore off and lack of sleep hits me on a daily basis. The days I can get a nap are great, it makes a world of difference in how I feel. I also need to work on my fluid intake. With breastfeeding and taking care of two and attempting to take care of the house too, I put drinking on the back burner and I pay for it at night. I wake up with killer headaches. Not sure if it is from getting sleep in two hour increments or dehydration. Yes, Ellie wakes up every two hours at night to eat. She can nap 3-4 hours during the day, but for some reason can only go two hours at night. Go figure! At least she stays sleepy at night and doesn't cry and fuss. She just wants to stretch, get a clean diaper and some milk.
On Monday night I developed mastitis. That was an experience. I thought it was a clogged milk duct until it very quickly felt like my boob was going to explode and I developed the chills and flu like symptoms. I kept nursing, broke a fever and felt better the next morning. I still went to the doctor and am now on antibiotics. I hope to never get that again!! Ellie seems to be a big eater. When she is awake she is constantly wanting to eat. Not sure if she has a bigger appetite or if my production is a little low, but we gave her formula last night and again this morning and she did pretty good with it. She didn't seem opposed to the taste. I was wanting to supplement with formula with this kid any way, so it may be best that we introduce it now while she doesn't know that formula tastes like fish water. I still plan on breastfeeding for a year and formula when necessary, probably once or twice a day. taking a nap with Whitney. (I guess Wade thinks it is cute to get pictures of us sleeping!) A few times, well quite a few times in the last two weeks I have let Whitney nap on the couch. Some days she just doesn't seem like she wants to nap so I get her to lay down by me and eventually she falls asleep. My two baby girls!! Whitney loves to give Ellie kisses and if Ellie crys she says " You okay baby?" Whitney has accepted me and Ellie as a package deal and rarely asks for me to put her down any more. Whitney has been watching an insane amount of tv while we have been home. I'm not proud of that, but what can I do. We made it out to the library once and it was a success. Hopefully soon I will venture out more, I feel so bad for Whitney being trapped inside so much.
And I have to finish by saying that Wade has done an incredible job with helping out with housework and taking care of Whitney. I surely would be dead by now if I was doing it alone!
Thursday morning, waiting to get discharged 2 days old. Even though they are so little, they still seem SO BIG to fit inside your belly!
Hanging out with Granpa Bissell. She looks a little orange, but at discharge she was below the jaundice level they are concerned about. On monday at her follow up she tested for no jaundice. They also weighed her and she is up to 7lbs 5oz already.
" What do you think about this new baby?"
Whitney doesn't play well with other toddlers, but she just LOVES her cousin Owen. It is so cute!
Ellison has been a really good baby so far (knock on wood)! I was pretty nervous about my parents leaving and taking care of two on my own, but so far so good. Whitney has been amazing. Far better than expected. She ignores me if I have the baby and has suddenly become a master of independent play. Who knew!?! She has seemed sad a few times and will sometimes ask me to put baby down. Her face just lights up when she realizes I'm not holding the baby and she runs to me for hugs. At least she is not angry at me or the baby. Hopefully those days do not come. Whitney also really loves her daddy's attention now, preferring him to me if I have Ellison. It hurts my feelings to be rejected by Whitney, or more that it makes me sad that she probably feels rejected by me, but it's great for Whitney and Wade to finally bond. Wade has been putting her to bed and getting up with her and she has been pretty good about it, getting better with it every day. Whitney likes to help with diaper changes and sponge baths. She has this natural instinct to be gentle with Ellison, as if she's afraid to touch her and hurt her. So far on this third day of being alone with two, I have to say it's been pretty easy. But, Ellison is in newborn sleepy stage, so ask me again in a couple of months if it's easy! I do have to say that I am thankful that Wade is around to help out. I can't imagine him on an Army schedule only home a few hours in the evening, or to be deployed for that matter!
caught in the act! Apparently you can't give a toddler a bag of pretzels and let them leave the room. Reminds me of the time I let her play with spaghetti noodles.