Tuesday, May 21, 2013

6 Months

Health and Growth
Despite having a fair amount of congestion at times, Owen has been really happy this past month. I'm not sure if he's had a cold but he hasn't needed any medications. Once we worked out the eating issue at the beginning of the month (see 5 month post), he became much happier and a little chunkier as well. I just love seeing a few fat rolls on his thighs!

Sitting up! It happened rather suddenly and 5 days before he hit the 6 month mark. We were sitting on the floor, he was in front of me with his back resting against my tummy, and all of the sudden he sat forward. He proceeded to sit unassisted for about a minute before he lost his balance. We now try to let him have some upright playtime every day. I usually prefer to put the boppy on the floor with him so that there is a cushion for his head. When he goes, it's always head first.

The day he started sitting
Owen is also figuring out how to get to things. He can't crawl (thank goodness!), but he's figured out how to squirm his way across the floor towards things. At times, I think he gets frustrated that it takes so long. He doesn't know it, but he wishes he could crawl.

Fantastic. He is completely settled with two naps each day and a good 11-12 hours at night. His nightime sleep has increased slightly because we've found that more often than not he requires an earlier bedtime. We used to put him down at 8 but now he will go down as early as 7. We've also learned that he will sleep fairly well other places as well. He has napped well in the church nursery, the pack n play, and the floor at Patrick's parents. If it's nap time, then he wants to fall asleep and apparently doesn't care that much about where as long as he can be flat on his tummy. Hope he keeps it up.

Favorite sleeping position...Knees up under himself with feet out of the footed sleeper.
We have dropped to 5 feedings. This actually didn't happen until the day after he turned 6 months, but I'll go ahead and report on it here. I've been wanting him to drop his last feeding of the day for a while now so I would pump and then only offer a certain number of ounces. This way, we could gradually decrease the number of ounces he would get and hopefully encourage him to take more during the day. The night we dropped it we were staying in a hotel room. Owen was asleep in the pack n play and I just didn't want to fool with pumping. Plus, I didn't want to clean pump parts, pack the milk, and figure out how to keep it cold the next day while traveling.

He did great without it. Owen had only been taking 1.5 ounces anyway so I was fairly confident that it wouldn't be a big deal. I actually still pump during that time now that we are home because I want to ensure that I keep my supply up. I already felt worried that we were only getting in 6 sessions a day since they say you need at least 7 to maintain a milk supply. I haven't noticed anything but I don't want to risk it with just 5. So now I pump before I go to bed and get to freeze that milk for a rainy day. I guess the nice thing about that is that when my supply does drop off we will still have a little milk to give him that's completely free (well, minus the cost of freezer bags).

We've also temporarily increased his cereal to 3 times a day. Later this month we will be introducing fruits and veggies. We've started already with bananas and they are a hit. I actually just mashed up a banana that we had here when we got home from our trip. They were on the verge of being over ripe so I went ahead and mashed them all and put it in the freezer. I'm not planning on making all of his baby food, but I'm not opposed to making some every now and then. In this situation, it just seemed to make sense. Why let the food go to waste?

With the sleeping and eating changes our days usually look like this.

7:30- wake, nurse, cereal
9:30- nap (this nap is a little later than it used to be)
11:30- wake, nurse, cereal
1:30- nap
3:30- wake, nurse
5:00- nurse, cereal
7:00- nurse, bedtime (usually by 7:30)

Besides sitting, Owen loves his jumper, his swing, going places in the car, stroller rides, and splashing around in the tub. He has also started becoming a little ticklish at times which is hilarious. It is fun to watch his personality emerge.

Meeting Lulu
Playing with Daddy
Going for a walk

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Green Earth

We've painted the house! I've been wanting to kiss the barn red goodbye since the day we closed.

The color is called Green Earth (Sherwin Williams). The front door is called Red Bay (also SW). We started this whole process the week after I brought Owen home from the hospital and we officially finished at the end of April.

In progress shot, notice the windows covered with plastic!
We also painted and stained the deck. Don't ask me these colors. My newly postpartum brain really struggled figuring out what to do with the deck. What you see is actually plan B because my original plan was to simply stain the whole deck a fairly natural looking color. Well, let's just say that I didn't realize what a semi-solid stain was (they should just call it paint) and I picked a terrible color on the first try. It was yellow. Like pickled yellow... When Patrick got home from a trip with the youth and asked me what I thought about it, I cried. I thought I had ruined our brand new deck. It was so bad that I refused to even take a picture for documentation purposes. Just trust me, the finished product is way better!

Luckily, we are happy with the way it looks now. I kind of wish that the decking wasn't going to show so much dirt (we had to go darker to cover up the yellow from the first attempt), but it hasn't been as bad as I had originally thought.

We also took the opportunity to change out light fixtures on the house while we were at it. I think it is a subtle way to update the outside of the house.

Under the deck got new fixtures as well. Please excuse the pollen.

New fixtures by the front door too.

My main request when we decided to build the deck was that it have a gate. I knew that we are months away from having a little one that will be into everything and so I wanted it to be safer.

At this point, we are thrilled that it's finished. I'm looking forward to furnishing the area and using it like a second living room. Owen already feels right at home out there.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5 Months

My little man is growing up too fast! Once again, I'm a few weeks late on this update. I'm going to keep it a little shorter.

Health and Growth
Owen was a little over 14 pounds when we went to have his kidneys checked again. His kidneys aren't any better but they're not any worse either. As long as there is no trouble (like frequent kidney infections) then we will stop monitoring his kidneys when he is a year old and then maybe do one more check on them via ultrasound when he is preschool age. My guess is that nothing is going to change with them.

Babbling, grabbing toys, rolling around, giggling, coughing, sucking his fingers and thumb, open mouth kisses, refusing the pacifier, drooling (a ton), head control, and loves standing (with assistance).

Naps have become really regular this month but his nighttime sleep wasn't quite as good as it's been in the past. At the beginning of this month he was sleeping like a champ with three naps a day, and 11 hours of sleep at night.

We began working on getting him to drop his late night feeding (the one that usually falls between 9:30 and 10:30) because he's been sleeping so well and didn't seem to really need the feeding. Well, about a week into the weaning process he began to wake up at really odd hours and act hungry. There was one night that I was up with him from 2am-6am. I couldn't tell you the last time we'd had a night like that. Initially, I assumed it was just a growth spurt and decided we would roll with it for a few days and halt any effort to drop a feeding. After a week of waiting things were getting worse. He was still napping great but that was it. At night he would fight going to sleep. He would scream when you walked him into his bedroom. He was waking up to eat at least twice in the middle of the night (and acting as if I'd never fed him a day in his life). Plus, he would also want to play. I'd be trying to rock him to sleep only to be met with a squirming baby that kept smiling up at me. There were many nights that he ended up in the bed with us.

I was kind of stumped but then after doing some research and talking with my mom I realized that we were probably dealing with a combination of things. First, he was getting too much daytime sleep. Second, he was hungry.

The first thing was easy to fix. We cut out his third nap completely. It definitely helped. He quit fighting going to sleep and he no longer wanted to play at night. However, he was still waking up really hungry.

I checked my milk supply but there was no difference. I still pump about 27 ounces on the days that I'm away from him. At that point, I realized that it was probably time to start him on some rice cereal. I had planned to wait until he was 6 months old to start but every child is different. I firmly believe that he needed it. After two days of giving him rice cereal he was sleeping through the night again. Problem solved. We now have a happy baby that takes two naps a day and sleeps 11-12 hours at night.

Rice cereal hasn't changed the number of nursing sessions in a day (or number of bottles when I'm at work). He eats 6 times a day. It looks a little like the following.

7:30- wake, nurse, cereal
9:00- nap
11:30- wake, nurse
1:30- nap
3:30- wake, nurse
5:30- nurse, cereal
7:30- nurse, bedtime
10:00- bottle (so that we can help wean him)

He loves getting to eat rice cereal and gladly accepted it from day 1. There are some mornings that he doesn't really want to eat very much in the morning but he always gobbles up every bite in the evening. He takes 2-3 tablespoons in the morning and about a 1/4 cup in the afternoon.

He loves rolling around on the floor among his toys, swinging, spinning around in his doorway jumper, sitting in his bumbo chair, and standing anywhere he can.

Receiving his first pair of boots
Eating the arm of his buddy Sawyer
Miss this girl every day!

A day in the life

I thought it might be fun to track a days worth of activities on the blog. Years from now when I begin to wonder what I did with myself with just one baby as I hear some moms say, I can look back and remember what it was like to have Owen as a five and a half month old. Owen has settled out into a nice little routine and, for the most part, it makes him predictable. I can usually anticipate his needs.

I chose to do this last Tuesday for a couple of reasons. First, I wasn't working and I had no major plans. This means I've got time to be ridiculously descriptive to the point where you are probably going to be thinking that I need a life. Just know that this is not a typical day. I'm really not one of those people that has to tell the world what I'm doing every second nor do I need your approval. You can actually stop reading right now if you'd like and I'll never know the difference. My second reason for choosing that day is that Patrick was out of town. This means that I was flying solo all day long (all week long actually).

Tuesday (4/30/13)

7:20am- I wake up and hear Owen beginning to stir. He normally wakes slowly so I figure I have time to make a cup of coffee. Patrick is out of town, so I use the Keurig for a single cup this morning. I'm back in the bedroom in no time. Owen isn't making any noise, but I figure he is awake. I open his door and sure enough he rolls over to smile at me and then give me a funny look because I'm holding a strange black object (the camera).

Booger nose
I change a diaper with the smallest amount of poop in it. I'm not impressed, Owen. This boy hasn't really pooped in two days and I'm just waiting for the blowout. I finish the diaper change on my squirming baby and retrieve a few boogers out of his nose. He's been waking up every morning with these things and it drives me crazy. I just can't leave them there.

Morning face
I carry him back to our bed to feed him as is our normal routine. I'm sad Patrick isn't there waiting to greet us. I miss him when he's gone which happens a lot this time of year. You'd think I'd get used to it but I'm not. I drink my coffee and catch up on instagram, facebook, and a few blogs while Owen finishes up. I switch sides and start to make plans for the day. What am I going to do to entertain myself this week? What project can I tackle? I usually get something done when Patrick leaves town. It distracts my brain from getting lonely.

8:00am- Owen is finished and I move us into the living room so that I can fix his cereal. I haven't put the highchair together yet (which I'm guessing I'll do today) because we've only been doing cereal for a week. So I put Owen in his cradle while I mix it up. He gobbles up 3 tablespoons and seems really happy about it.

8:30am- Owen and I went down to feed Hurley and let him outside for the day. Owen is now on the floor playing, HGTV is on in the background (I've found that noise helps when I'm home alone), and it's time for my breakfast. Yum... breakfast casserole.

I had left him in the middle of this mat.

Something about him reminds me of my baby pictures here.
I then retrieve the box from downstairs containing the high chair and begin that project. Owen begins to get fussy halfway through this process.

9:15am- I change Owen and put him down for a nap. There was zero fussing. I must have timed that just perfect today. I'm finished with the highchair by 9:30... Now what? I grab some water because I feel parched, start this blog post, and figure I'll work out once my tummy has settled from breakfast.

11:00am- Two sets of the Spartucus workout (found in men's health magazine) are just finishing up when I hear Owen waking up.

All that's required for a killer workout
I decide two will be enough for the day (I had planned on three) and grab some more water while I cool down. I don't hear Owen anymore... guess he fell back asleep? I see that I missed a call from Patrick and call him back. Two minutes into the conversation I hear Owen. I go get him while on the phone with Patrick so that they can "talk".

11:30am- I'm finished nursing Owen for the second time today. We talk for a minute. He is starting to babble with his tongue between his lips. Very cute but a little slobbery.

Then it's bath time. He splashed all over and giggled at his bath toys.

I give him some naked time on the living room floor once his bath is finished. He loves rolling around naked. Little stinker.

12:30pm- After playing in his chair for a little bit so that I could eat a little lunch, he is already fussy. Very odd. He usually doesn't go down until 1:30 and I was really wanting to go for a walk.

I pick him up and try to sooth him, but it's not really working. I take him outside for a quick walk around the house. He enjoys looking at things, but I can tell that he has that look. Oh well, guess I'll put him down then.

12:50pm- He got a little cranked up while going into his sleep sack, but just for a moment. I picked him up to console him and got that quiet, finger sucking, glazed over response. I kissed his forehead and put him back down. I think his eyes were closed before I made it out of the room.

I guess it's time for a shower. I decide not to dry my hair because it doesn't look like we'll be going anywhere. I throw a headband on. I spend a little more time on the internet and then a little time cleaning. I'm bored. Around 3:00 I decide to enjoy a second cup of coffee and splurge on a slice of coffee cake left over from Owen's baptism brunch. It's delicious.

3:30pm- Yes, he slept that long. I had been contemplating waking him up when I heard him start making noises. I guess he could sense it was time. During his long nap I decided a run to Lowes was in order. The amount of touch up work needing to be done around here is ridiculous. Owen eats for the third time today. After a quick diaper change (still no poop) we were out the door.

I think Owen likes taking trips to stores. He never seems to make much of a fuss about it. We bought a can of paint for touch ups and a sample can for the kitchen along with a few other odds and ends. On the way home I received an invitation to dinner with friends. Dinner out at 7:30 means it will be a late night for Owen. He was asleep by 7:15 last night. I decide to accept the offer anyway. One night won't kill him. I am regretting my decision not to dry my hair though. Oh well, I'm going to rock the wavy, headband look if it means I can enjoy a margarita with friends.

5:15pm- We are just pulling in from Lowes. I'm on the phone with my mom while unloading the car, changing Owen's diaper and then I feed him (session #4) because he seems to be ready. I tell my mom bye as we are finishing up. We've been giving Owen rice cereal after this feeding. I move him to his highchair (yay!) as I fix his cereal. He seemed to enjoy sitting up for his food. As I'm getting started, Jane (my mother-in-law) calls to check in. We chat for a little while as Owen finishes.

6:30pm- I have put Owen in his swing so that I can pump. I need a bottle to take with us to dinner. I only get 2 oz which isn't bad considering that it's been less than an hour since he last ate. However, it's not going to be enough. I decide to mix up 2oz of formula to take with me as well. I really don't want to thaw milk from my freezer stash.

As I'm finishing packing the diaper bag, I hear it. The poop I've been waiting on. I take Owen to the nursery and get him changed. Luckily, his clothes are still clean.

7:10pm- I'm trying to get Owen situated in his car seat but he's not happy. He begins to lose it big time. I know he's just tired but I need him to hang in there.

I decide I'd better go ahead and feed him in hopes that the ride in the car will put him to sleep. Maybe he'll just sleep through dinner? He takes the milk I've just pumped plus the formula. He's calm after that so we hit the road. He was asleep by the time we made it out of our neighborhood. Poor baby.

9:00pm- We are arriving home from dinner. I'm telling Patrick goodnight on the phone. Owen was awake the whole time we were at the restaurant. He was a happy camper though. I peek into the backseat and see that he is passed out. Too bad I'm going to have to wake him again. I kind of feel guilty about keeping him out so late, but I needed some hang out time with adults.

I carry Owen in and leave him in his seat in the nursery. I get ready for bed and feed Hurley. I hear Owen waking up. I decide to leave Hurley outside for a little while and get Owen situated. I change him, put his PJ's on, and get him into his sleep sack. We settle into the rocking chair for feeding number 6 of the day. He falls asleep on the first side so I switch him to the second. He falls asleep again after a couple of minutes so I put him to bed knowing that he'll probably wake up to eat in a couple of hours after he's gotten some rest. Darn... We've managed to go over two weeks without middle of the night feedings. Guess it's the price I pay for disrupting his routine.

I run back downstairs to retrieve Hurley and put him in his crate for the night. I grab water on my way back to our bedroom.

9:45pm- Goodnight.  

1:45am- There it is. I knew he'd be up hungry at some point. I even made sure to leave the boppy and a burp cloth in the rocking chair. I feed him on the right side only. He's asleep. I put him back in bed. At 2:00am I'm snuggling back into bed and kind of relieved it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I fell back asleep quickly. We both slept until 8:00.

And there it is. No, it's not exciting, but it's real life. One day I can look back and see what I did when it was just a day of me and the bug... Oh, and Hurley:)