Wednesday, September 18, 2013

10 Months

My sweet baby boy is growing up too fast. I can't believe I'll have a one year old in a couple of months. It just doesn't seem real.

Eating a lemon
Big bite
Lemon face
Health and Growth
This month kicked off with a trip to the beach with Patrick's parents. Unfortunately, Owen got sick while we were there and seemed to have an ear infection. It started one afternoon with a runny nose. Later, I noticed he was pulling at his right ear fairly frequently. He pulls at his ears on occasion anyway so I was trying to tell myself that it was nothing. However, when he wouldn't go down easily that night and then woke up three times in the middle of the night screaming, I was convinced. Every time I went in to get him he would be pulling at his ear. He would only fall asleep upright in my arms. I felt terrible for him. Patrick went out and bought tylenol and advil to help ease the pain and we made phone calls the next day to get antibiotics. Of course, our pediatrician wouldn't call anything in so it was Papa Harbin to the rescue.

When we returned home that Friday, I must admit that I was relieved. I was tired and ready for the comfort of my own bed. You know how there are those times that you need a vacation from your vacation. Well, that is how we both felt. I think we are due for a vacation without our little bug here pretty soon. Love him dearly, but he's just not relaxing yet!

We will be going for a well baby visit next week so I still have no accurate weight or height to report on right now. We are a little behind with his checkups due to schedule conflicts.

There really isn't much to report on this month. We introduced a sippy cup the week after we got home from the beach. He really didn't want anything to do with it the first couple of times he saw it. He would shake it and then throw it. If I tried to show him that there was water in there he choked. After about a week he was drinking from it some but I had to hold it for him. This past week he really figured it out. He now picks it up, tilts it back, and drinks all by himself. It's crazy how quickly a baby can learn something new.

I guess I should mention that breastfeeding is still going but I'm not pushing to keep it going or maintain a supply anymore. I stopped pumping before bed a couple months ago and decided that we will see where we end up. He still nurses 4 times a day but one of those times is usually just a "snack". The only time of day that he really wants to nurse, and by that I mean he will pitch a major fit if I don't feed him right away, is first thing in the morning. At this point I'm contemplating not even pumping at work. I haven't completely made up my mind though.

I'll start this section by saying that night time sleep is still awesome. He goes down easily around 7:30 or 8 and sleeps until anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30. It is an early wake up but I know that we shouldn't expect any different when he's going to bed at 7:30. I just feel like 11-12 hours is pretty great. What stinks is that I'm finding we are out past his regular bedtime at least twice during the week (Wednesdays and Thursdays) but he doesn't sleep any later the next morning to compensate. His internal clock is set to wake up with the sun. I don't really worry about it but it makes it hard when we start making plans on other nights during the week too because it means I have a sleep deprived baby by the end of it. It wouldn't be such an issue except that naps are becoming a joke.

Yep, naps have become a whole different animal lately. I never know if he is going to fall asleep immediately, fuss for a minute and then fall asleep, babble happily and drift off, or if he is going to scream like crazy and require that I go back in and comfort/rock him. Some days I'm successful in soothing my tired boy and some days I'm not and we just skip the nap and move on with our day. I'm trying to stay consistent with the time of day that I put him down as well as pay attention to his sleep cues but I still get different results. I have found that he has transitioned to later nap times, but he hasn't made this transition smoothly by any means. Hopefully I'll have a better report next month on this area of his sleep. It's a work in progress.

Our current routine:

Between 7:00 and 7:30 - wake, nurse, eat
9:30 or 10:00- nap
11:30- wake, nurse, eat

3:00 or later- nap
5:00- wake, nurse, eat, and then finger foods while we eat dinner
7:30 or 8- nurse, bed

As I mentioned last month, Owen is crawling. This has been an adventure for sure. He is into anything and everything. He is opening cabinets, drawers, and digging through his toy basket in the living room. It's fun to watch. He even managed to make an escape from Patrick the other day. Patrick said he went to the kitchen to wash a few dishes and realized that the living room was just a little to quiet. When he went to check on things, there was no Owen to be found. He began calling for him and walked down to the nursery. Still nothing... He was starting to get that sense of panic when he heard a tiny little squawk coming from our bedroom. He found our little guy hanging out in the closet eating our shoes. Tasty, I'm sure.

Owen has also started to pull up a lot and is beginning to creep around the living room using the furniture for balance. He even walks using his sit to stand walker at times. This has probably been the most significant transformation to watch. I guess it's about time to lower the crib the rest of the way. He's not very tall yet so I'm not too concerned but I have found him standing in it a few times lately.

About to watch his first Auburn game with Daddy!

Cute baby buddies at the park.
First time in a swing.
My schedule change
I love it. It has been so great being home during the week and it's definitely a pay raise. I feel even more balanced than I did when I was flexi which I didn't even think could be possible. I'm tired by the time Sunday comes around but it's not unbearable. Being off the rest of the week makes up for it. For some reason I feel like I see Patrick less though. I can't really figure out why I feel this way. I'm wondering if our fall schedule is just busier than I remember. It sure feels that way.

I only get two weekends off a year so that kind of stinks but I'm having a hard time imagining needing more than that. Wedding season will be hard but maybe I'll find some nice people that want to swap shifts with me. We'll just see how it all pans out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9 Months

We've been a little busy the past few months which is why this post is late. Patrick finished up his summer schedule, Owen got teeth, started crawling, and I switched to weekend night shift (every Friday and Saturday night). So let me try to fill in the gaps.

Health and Growth
He still fits in some 6 month stuff but it's a tight fit and only the outfits that seemed to have run big in the first place. It seems that 9 month stuff fits him really well. I think we were around 18 pounds at the start of this month (so really when he had just turned 8 months). He was really healthy except for the couple of days that his bottom two teeth were coming through. We got the first tooth around July 18th (hence, why I mentioned it in his 8 month post) and the second tooth came in just a week or so later. I keep thinking that we have two top teeth on their way but nothing yet. He was pretty grumpy about teeth but who can blame him? I'm sure that stuff hurts! There was one nap that he woke up from recently that I discovered bite marks all over his arms. He had even broken the skin in one area! I need to try and get a picture of them because it's pretty crazy.

He still loves food. Surprisingly, he still nurses too. He dropped a feeding this month so he now only nurses 4 times a day. I also stopped pumping before bed about the time that I transitioned to night shift. I just realized that if he is slowing down, I will too. I can definitely say that we will be finished by a year though. I just don't think I have it in me to go any longer. Thankfully, it isn't nearly as hard to keep up with his milk needs while working night shift. He eats solids after 3 of his nursing sessions and takes a little snack at some point in the afternoon. His new eating times look a little like the following.

7:00- wake, nurse, solids (oatmeal, fruit, yogurt)
9:30- nap
11:30- wake, nurse, solids (yellow veggie and fruit)
2:30- nap
4:30- wake, snack (puffs or cheerios with cheese)
5:30 or 6- nurse, solids (rice cereal, green veggie, fruit, finger foods like black beans and chicken)
7:30- nurse, bed
Sweet peas from his sweet daddy.

They are a hit.
New food staple of the month was cheerios. He's probably eating way too many but it's hard to resist when they occupy him so well. I find myself giving him extra handfuls so that I can get through whatever task is at hand. He also loves eating pieces of cheese. When he dropped one of his afternoon nursing sessions (halleluiah!), I introduced a snack time to get him to make it until dinner. Some nights it works better than others. It's just become an odd time of day. I'm trying to prepare our dinner in the middle of feeding him. We'll get there though!

Just chew on the bib if the food doesn't come fast enough!

Owen has been in some sort of nap transition lately. I think he is going to end up shortening his morning nap and taking his second nap later in the afternoon. There have been several days lately that he goes down for his morning nap at 10 but still only sleeps until 11:30. He then stays up until 3 and sleeps until 5. I'm totally fine with whatever he wants to do but I wish he'd just get consistent with it soon. I can tell that he is getting way more social. There are days he is soooo sleepy but he will fight going down because he doesn't want to miss anything.

Nighttime sleep is still the exact same. He goes down around 7:30 or 8 and sleeps until 7 or 7:30. There were a few weeks that he had days he was waking up at 6 or 6:30 but I think that was about the same time he was moving his nap times around. I've found that when one area of his sleep starts to shift, it all moves around a little until he settles back out. One thing I do know, this kid needs his sleep. He is a grump bunny without it!
Praise baby. How we wind down when fussy.
Sleeping in my arms on one of those "off" days.
Sleeping in the car.
This has been a  crazy month for motor development. He went from a baby that would only sit up if placed that way to a baby that will sit up on his own, crawl, pull up, wave, and clap his hands. I ended up lowering the crib while Patrick was in N. Ireland. All this activity happened so fast! I just have to say that the clapping is probably what kills me the most. It is just so stinking cute! I have decided that Owen is probably going to be a tactile learner like me. He has gotten really good at putting little various shaped blocks through this upright puzzle we have and of course, he claps for himself when he does it! From what I gather in talking with my mom, I was the exact same way as a baby. I would work puzzles and use a pincer grasp way before anybody else. She says that I was the neatest little eater because of it. Owen has also started to sign with us. We have started working on "more", "all done", and "milk". He is really good at the "more".

Our little crawler
Blurry pic, but he actually puts the shapes on the pegs
His other puzzle
Helping mommy keep the floors clean.
Thanks uncle Benjamin!
Silly boy.

My schedule change
So this has nothing to do with Owen being 9 months old but it deserves an explanation somewhere. About halfway through July, I received an e-mail from my nurse manager to all of the labor and delivery staff saying that there was a weekend night shift position available. I've thought about this particular schedule before and wondered if it would be a good fit for several reasons: 1) It's night shift so we wouldn't have to worry about childcare 2) It's only two nights a week but I would get paid for working three. 3) It is a benefited position and 4) Night shift pay.

After talking with my manager, she gave me a week to discuss the schedule change with Patrick and get back to her. I really thought that Patrick would shoot me down immediately which would have been fine. I was already feeling really balanced with my current job hours. I just wasn't making nearly what I used to make plus we were paying for childcare every Monday. We were making ends meet just fine but it was an adjustment. Also, I worked full time nights when I first started my job and it was rough. I wasn't the best at flip flopping back and forth. However, I wasn't a mom back then either. I think becoming a mom primes you for these crazy things. To my surprise, Patrick wanted to hear about this possible change. After a lot of discussions and prayer we decided to give it a try. As my mom said, "You never know unless you try it."

So I started working weekend night shift at the beginning of August. I'm pleased to report that so far I really like it. It is nice being off during the week. We don't fork out any money for childcare and the paycheck I'm getting is more than I've ever been paid before in all my time as a labor and delivery nurse. I'm so thankful that it is working out. It was definitely trial by fire. It just so happened that Patrick was due to be out of town the first three weekends of my new schedule. We have some awesome friends and family though and we made it through! Of course, it's not a perfect arrangement but nothing ever is. However, it's pretty dang close.

I guess that pretty much covers what went on between 8 and 9 months. Hard to believe I'll be needing to post a 10 month update in just a few short days!

Owen taking me for a walk the Friday morning before I was due for work that night! We had a good long talk about my new schedule and how he needed to be a good boy for all the different people that were going to take care of him.
Morning coffee on the back porch. Love these two boys.