Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Month Update

Spring has sprung!  Despite one snow day in April (yuck!) this past month has been full of beautiful weather.  And we've been soaking it up!  Mark has been working- all. the. time. (gotta love farming!) so Stella and I have been heading to town more often to enjoy walks and playtime with cousins Ryder and Parker!  When we don't feel like leaving home, I put her in the Baby Bjorn and we walk around the farm with Kaiser. 

Excited for baseball and warm weather!

My little bear and I enjoying some fresh air.

This picture cracks me up.  Just relaxing after a walk.
Other than getting plenty of fresh air, this has been a pretty low-key month.  We did go to cousin Brayden's birthday party, and of course celebrated Easter!  I'm trying to get Stella out and about more.  Now that it's nice out it's time to teach her how to cope with days when we aren't able to follow her routine.  I'm so thankful we have a great routine established at home, but I think it's equally important to teach your kids to be adaptable! 

Learning how to function without her daily routine when we're out and about is hard work!
Yes, we now have chicks!  Plenty of farm fresh eggs in our future.

The Routine:
Stella is still taking 6 oz of formula every 3 hours (5 feedings per day).  I tried to up it to 7 oz, but she just spit it all up.  We had to give up the mid-feeding burp session...all she did was scream for her bottle since she knew there was more in there!  She also recognizes the bottle...if I prepare it and walk by her to put it down, she starts crying!  Smart babe.  We virtually eliminated spit-ups by letting her sit for a minute or two after a feeding before burping her.  She used to spit up a lot at burps, but not anymore!  She still does when she's laying down and gets excited...no big deal!  Stella is still sleeping in her bassinet in our room.  I absolutely love hearing her little coos during the night.  She also raises both her legs and slams them down hard when she's putting herself back to sleep.  It's adorable!  I know the 6 month mark will bring great changes.  In the next few weeks I'm looking to start baby food, spring clean, move Stella to her crib, and start (loosely) scheduled naps in her crib.  But for now I'm just enjoying the last nights of her sleeping right next to me.  And for the great news...drum roll please...she's back in her cloth diapers!  After much procrastinating I decided to give it a go at the beginning of April.  We've only had 1 leak all month!  It happened after one diaper was pretty dry, so the next one she soaked right through.  I do have a double liner to insert, just haven't done it yet since she's only had one leak.  I still do disposables at night, she actually wears a size 3 overnight diaper (that's the smallest I've found overnights in, and even though she's still in a size 2 (since week 18), the 3 works fine for overnight).  Since she sleeps 12-13 hours at night, I can't see cloth working that long without loading it with liners.  That just seems uncomfortable.  I've heard switching between cloth and disposable causes a rash, but we have had no problems with this.  I also currently use disposables when we're on the go.  I do hope to eliminate this soon, that's my next project!  Looking to go strictly cloth, other than overnight.  I am so relieved...where there's a will there's a way!!

Mommy's helpers while I stuff cloth diapers!
 A few of Stella's favorite things:  
  • Meeting lots of milestones this month!  She is staying close to the "typical development schedule," slightly ahead in some areas and behind in others.  I don't sweat it if she's behind, we just work at it a little and keep it fun.  This month Stella REALLY started reaching for toys, raising her chest off the mat at Tummy Time, keeping her head level when pulled to a sitting position, and rolling over from her back to her side.  She can't quite get past that arm yet, but she loves to try!  (17 weeks)
  • Making all kinds of weird noises!  She is constantly babbling, clicking her tongue, smacking her lips, blowing bubbles, making razzing noises...she is one loud baby!  And we love it.  (really picked up at 20 weeks)
  • Getting more proficient with her hands.  She likes holding the book at story time, trying to hold her bottle, and our favorite-reaching out and touching mommy and daddy's faces!  She can also pull the musical toys on her chair and mat now on her own as well as push all the buttons on her music toys.  She loves music!  It's so fun watching her explore and learn.  (18-21 weeks)
  • Bath time!  No matter how much she's fussing at night (and unfortunately that has picked back up) she gets happy when we put her in the tub.  She even smiles now in there and has learned how to kick her legs and splash around!  I think she's going to be a pool baby this summer!

Rolling over from back to side, but can't quite get all the way over yet.

Learning how to use her hands.
Around the house:
  • Unfortunately I threw my back out again this month, and I've been having some pain around my incision again.  I decided enough was enough and it's time to take action!  I finally visited a chiropractor (which was amazing...more details on that in a future health & fitness post) and made an appointment with a different doctor clinic to get a second opinion on my C-section healing.  Summer is almost here and I don't intend to spend it hiding away in my house in pain!
  • This month has been hard since Mark has been working from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week.  It's stressful for him, and for me since I don't get a break from the baby.  On the hardest days I remind myself that Stella will never be this age again.  Every day she is a little older.  That is all it takes to let go of the stress.  I just take a deep breath when the fussing begins, hold her, kiss her, and study that ever-changing chubby little face. Because tomorrow it's going to look a little bit different and I don't want to miss a thing!
Can't ditch that crazy hair, but that's OK because we love it!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

4 Month Update

And another freezing, snowy month has gone by.  On the plus side, it allowed us plenty of snuggling time!  This is a pretty typical day for us this winter:
Laying around while mama gets some work done
Snuggle time with mama on the couch in the afternoon

Laying around with daddy at night
We also celebrated 2 "mini-holidays" this month:  Mardi Gras and St Patrick's Day! (OK, so they're not a really big deal, but I love finding cute outfits in the tubs of "cousin clothes" and playing dress up with Stella.  Gotta have a break from housework sometime!)
We took Stella to a benefit in town this month.  It was her first big outing, aside from family gatherings.  She did really well, lots of talking, and didn't fuss until 9:00!  Then it was time to take her to Grandmas so we could stay out a little later ;-)
Ready for my first outing with Daddy!

On March 13th we celebrated a special "anniversary"...one year ago on that day we found out we were going to be parents!  You can read all about that special day here.  My how far we've come!
We celebrated with a bottle of Stella Rosa wine...which is delicious and crazy since that was almost her exact name!

And our baby girl is GROWING!  This month she had her 4 month check-up at the doctor's.  Stella is a healthy 14 lb, 6 oz baby who is 23 1/2 inches long!  I didn't get percentiles this time, because after being an angel in the waiting room for an hour she was fussy by the time we got back to the room, plus she decided to pee all over her blanket while I took her to get weighed.  That was awesome.  She also got her 4 month shots a week after her doctor appointment.  I took her to the clinic myself (her shots ended up being covered by our insurance 100% there last time thankfully, and I even called to double check after the mess last time).  She cried hard during the shots (3 pokes and 1 orally) but was fine right after.  She did cry half the way home this time.  I didn't give any Tylenol this round, and she never got a fever.  She was really tired for about 3 days after the shots, and then fussy for the next 2, but by a week after the shots she is back to normal!  Growing girl is now in her 3-6 month clothes.  Despite being a little "cuda" eater, she is right on target with her clothing sizes.

The Routine:

This month I increased Stella's feedings.  She started taking 6 oz of formula every 3 hours, eating 5 times a day.  We also moved her up to the Enfamil Infant formula (she was previously taking the Enfamil Newborn, which only goes up to 3 months).  It was amazing what these switches did for her evening fussiness!  No more counting down until bedtime!  Stella is still sleeping about 12 hours a night.  I just did a post on her entire daily routine, you can read that hereBasically she started sleeping through the night at about 8 or 9 weeks...it started with 8-9 hours at a time and quickly progressed to 12 hours a night!  It is amazing and has done wonders for us all.  Check out that post if you want to see how we got her to sleep this wonderfully!

A few of Stella's favorite things:
  • Playing, Playing and more Playing!  This month I switched out her toys to prevent boredom.  I keep a bin in her nursery that she plays with on a blanket on the floor, and I also switched out the toys on the rings of her play mat.  Alternating playing in her seats (bouncy, bed, Bumbo) and on the floor keeps Stella entertained all day!
  • Screaming!  Her voice this month has progressed to happy screaming, all the time.  She has some lungs on her! (16 weeks old)
  • Tummy Time!  We can actually classify it as an official "favorite" this month!  All of the sudden, around 15 weeks old, she just started lifting her head SO HIGH!  She no longer fusses, and loves poking at the fish on her Tummy Time mat.  We also started using the Bumbo chair at 15 weeks old.
  • Blowing bubbles!  At 13 weeks this adorable habit started.  Although it can get messy, it's just too cute!
  • Stella's favorite way to break mommy and daddy's hearts is to stick her lower lip out before a big cry.  Don't know if I'll ever be able to capture a picture of it, but it is the saddest thing I've ever seen. (16 weeks)
    Loving Tummy Time!
    Started holding (and eating) toys at just 13 weeks!
    Little Bubbles
    So strong!
  Around the house:
  • This month I threw my back out, so I struggled a bit.  I was still able to take care of Stella but I was in quite a bit of pain doing so.  I even went as far as to call our insurance to see if chiropractors were covered (I've never been), but miraculously the pain went away about a week or two ago.  Such a relief! 
  • Stella and Kaiser are getting along beautifully.  At the beginning of the month she would cry really hard when he barked, but even that has stopped.  She loves to watch him and vice versa.  I am so happy to have such wonderful companions!
    Loves his baby!