Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3 Month Update

It's been a while since I visited my blog, this terrible winter finally did us in.  We've had quite the mess with our septic system...safe to say things have been a little crazy around here!  I am lucky enough to have an extremely smart husband who was able to fix the issue himself, which saved us between $1,500 and $2,000.  I am hoping to have him "guest blog" on how he did it, because if this winter sets the pace for years to come you might run into the same problem!!  Stella and I stayed in town with my mom while Mark got things taken care of at our house.  Anyways, the problem is fixed and the mess inside is finally cleaned up.  Now that we have our house back, it's time to get caught up on some blog posts.  Let's start by checking in with Miss Stella.

In case it isn't obvious in the above paragraph, the winter weather hasn't left us.  Not even close.  March came in like a LION!  This past weekend we had lots more snow and record-breaking cold temperatures.  Fun.  So, we have still been pretty much captive to our house/my mom's house.  We did manage a few outings...Stella attended her first Super Bowl party and bridal shower this month!  She also celebrated her first Valentine's Day.
Resting up before the Super Bowl

We hung around the house on Valentine's Day...I just can't stand going out that night for some reason.  Stella and I hid hearts around the house telling daddy why we love him.  She's so clever ;)  Daddy surprised us with beautiful flowers and a sweet card.  Nothing like splurging with homemade chocolate-strawberry oatmeal and my fruit punch Spark in a wine glass for breakfast!! We took our first "date night" the next night and went to a cute Italian restaurant in Peoria while my parents watched Stella at our house.  Great weekend.

Ok, now it's time for a confession before I jump into Stella's growth this past month.  I kept telling everyone how I would never have another winter baby.  My mind was made up.  But the more I sat around cooped up in the house with Stella, the more I got to thinking...I can't image doing this with a baby who just learned to crawl!  All Stella can-and wants-to do now is lay around, snuggle, and play.  By the time nice weather arrives she'll be able to do more.  Plus, let's face it ladies, you need the winter to lose the weight and hide under sweatshirts until you do!  So, I've decided October/early November might be the best time for a baby.  Until I change my mind again :-)

The Routine:

What routine?  Ha, kidding...kind of.  I still let Stella take the lead this month.  She ate 5 oz every 3 hours...sometimes wanting to eat a little more often.  I tried to be a little flexible with this, but not by much.  I'm not big on shoving a bottle in her mouth every time she cries.  Now, before you think I'm mean mommy, if nothing else works I feed her.  But I'm going to try first to see what's really the matter (if she isn't due for a feeding, of course).  We are still using disposable diapers, the whole septic issue pushed back trying cloth again a bit.  Soon!  Big changes are coming next month.  Stella has regulated herself to only pooping once a day, every day.  She also moved up to a size 1 in diapers at 10 weeks.  We are lucky they don't often leak at night (only twice so far), because they don't make overnight diapers until size 3 or 4 (I can't remember which).  I know most babies don't sleep through the night yet, and I don't intend to complain at all that ours does, but I sure wish they started overnight diapers earlier!   But I wouldn't trade that wish for Stella's sleeping habits for a second!  She naps usually once in the morning, a longer nap in the afternoon, and another quick one before bed.  We've been putting her to bed anywhere from 8:30-10:30.  I hope to tighten up that bedtime next month.  She sleeps every morning until 7-7:30!  9-11 hours a sleep each night?  Heaven!  This started at only 9 weeks old!  Not saying it will continue her entire first year, but I'll take each night I can!  I do plan to do a post on her "routine" and some tips and tricks we used to get her into this sleep pattern, so watch for that soon!  This month she has been extremely fussy in the evenings though.  Once 5:00 hits the countdown begins until bedtime!!
Loves to snuggle with animals and blankies at nap time!
A few of Stella's favorite things:
  •  Playtime!  Stella loves to track objects with her eyes, play with her own hands (at 12 weeks), imitate sounds and sticking out her tongue (at 10 weeks), and grabbing onto the rings on her play mat (at 11 weeks).  She also tends to spit up when she's laying down and gets overly excited (mostly when I'm talking to her).
  • Talking!  Around 12 weeks she really "found her voice".  She loves to laugh, talk, squeal, and make razzing noises.  I have so many videos of her carrying on, it's just too cute!  She also turns to find me when she hears my voice-love that!
  • Tummy time...not quite a "favorite" yet but getting much better!  She makes it longer without fussing and can lift her head up a bit.  She's also learning to bear weight on her legs when pulled to a standing position, something we work on each day after tummy time.  
  • We don't even offer her the pacifier anymore.  However, she is addicted to her thumb (and thankfully better about not poking herself in the eye while she sucks it!)  Some people ask me if I'm going to try to stop it and the answer is no.  She is frantic without sucking when sleeping, and she didn't like the paci anymore.  Using her thumb instead allows her to self-soothe and get herself to sleep.  I'm all for that.  I know it could become a problem someday...Mark had to have his thumb cut open and drained because it got infected as a baby from sucking it so much!  Takes after Daddy here ;-)  But that is rare, and should she suck her thumb when she's too old I have all the faith we'll be able to discipline her and stop it then.  We aren't afraid of discipline, that's why our dog is so well behaved!  Before you go call DCFS on us, know that we do it safely, lovingly, and effectively.  If your pets/children/students respect you, they won't want to disobey.  And the only way they will respect you is by loving them and taking care of them.  But hey, that's just my opinion...but I can confidently say it worked with our German Shepherd and every single class I've ever taught.  Moving on.
Grabbing onto everything now!

Sucking her thumb at nap time...always!

Around the house:
  •  Things just keep getting better!  Despite the weather, this month has been one of settling down, snuggling, and watching motherhood become second nature to me.  I no longer "think" so much about being a mother, I just "do".  And it feels good!
  • Mark and I have talked a lot about our "roles" within our marriage and family.  Being a stay-at-home mom is wonderful, I wouldn't change it for the world.  But it is still a "job".  And no matter how much you love your job you don't want to do it 24/7.  Contrary to what some people think, taking breaks from your job actually makes you BETTER at it!  So, even though the working spouse goes to work everyday, the SAHM really does too.  Only she never goes off duty.  Therefore, the working spouse should take a turn at the SAHM's job once and a while.  Mark agreed to watch Stella every Tuesday and Thursday evening.  No, not so I can go party...or even leave every time...just so I can have a break.  Get groceries.  Go browse CVS (hey, don't take much to make me happy!).  Sit in my room with the door shut and do absolutely nothing.  Whatever.  Just time to be me.  Knowing I have a few nights "off" a week relieved a lot of stress.  Missing Stella makes me more patient, relaxed, and capable as a mom when I am taking care of her.  I strongly encourage all SAHMs to do the same.  Don't neglect yourself.  If there's no man in the picture, ask family or a friend.  It's really worth it!
    Crazy hair!!  Dark and lots of it!
    Still crazy hair...but getting lighter!  Thinking she's going to have blue eyes like her dad!

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