Friday, July 29, 2011

Naps...or lack thereof

 I've been having a harder and harder time getting Evie down for naps lately.  I know that this is most likely a "me" problem, not an "Evie" problem.  We did Ferber right around 6 months for nighttime sleep.  I don't think it worked the way it was supposed to.  Things kept coming up that made it impossible for us to stick to the routine, like ear infections, teething, me not wanting to let her cry anymore....  For a while, I felt like she had just been crying in her crib from the beginning of January to the middle of March.

I gave up.  In the meantime, our daycare person managed to start getting Evie to nap.  She let her cry, but never for more than 20 minutes.  It took a few weeks, but she was napping better.  She had never been a good napper before.  I will take most of the blame for that.  I didn't have a very good nap routine when I was home with her on my maternity leave.  Our first daycare provider never really got her into a routine either.  It's a really long, boring story, but in the end we left that daycare mostly because of the "nap problem."

Around Mid-June/early July, Evie finally started sleeping through the night.  We didn't do Ferber/CIO, it just sort of happened when I cut out her night time feeding.  I think she was just ready for it.  That was also when she started napping poorly.  I don't know if they are connected or not...but I really like sleeping all night after not sleeping all night for 11 months.  The naive side of me thinks that maybe she'll just start napping better when she's ready, but I know that probably not the case. 

I will admit that I still rock her to sleep before I put her down.  I feel like if I don't, it's the beginning of World War III, and the nap definitely won't happen then.  I've tried to let her cry it out, but it's never worked.  She works herself into a frenzy, and how could anyone sleep after that?  (I'm talking about 45 minutes of screaming/crying.  I had to vacuum to get myself through it.  I couldn't stand to listen to her.)  I'm really nervous about going back to school at the end of August.  I'm worried that our daycare person will have a horrible time with her, and Evie will suffer through crying most of the day while I'm gone.

Side note: I know many people would recommend a new daycare, but she does a great job overall.  She is very caring with Evie, but she takes care of three other kids as well, and Evie can't monopolize her time.  

Has anyone tried Ferber/CIO for naps?  What were your results?  Did your little one get themselves so worked up?  Any other tips??? 

Evie had her 12 month check up today and I talked to the pediatrician about it.  He gave some non-specific information, and basically said that she'll start napping better when I start "tough love,"  meaning I should let her cry.  I just don't know if I can do it.

On a high note, Evie no longer has a milk allergy!  The doctor removed the diagnosis because she eats cheese and yogurt without any problems. I also have her height and weight update.

Weight: 19 lbs. 3 oz. (a little on the small side.  She's my peanut!)

Height: 29 inches (right at the 50th percentile)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - A Year in Pictures

3 days old
First smiles - 6ish weeks old
Halloween - 3 months old
Thanksgiving - 4 months old
Christmas - 5 months old
Playing with the kitchen - 7ish months old
1st Brewer Game - 9 months old
Playing in the park - 10 1/2 months old
Being Goofy - Last week

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My boobs are worth what!?!?!?

By my estimates, somewhere between $1,800 and $2,880!!!

Because I'm slowly weaning Evie, I've been thinking about the money we've saved because I was able to  breastfeed for a year without having to supplement with formula. So, I sat down and crunched the numbers.  Evie was diagnosed with a milk allergy when she was a month old, and my pediatrician gave me a sample can of Similac Alimentum "just in case," so that's the brand I used to figure everything out.

Here is where things get a little math-y and technical:  on, a six pack of cans that would make 108 bottles costs about $120.  At the height of Evie's breastfeeding (from about 4 months to about 7 months), at daycare, she was eating three 6 ounce bottles each day, and I was nursing her 3 - 4 times at home.  I assume that she was probably eating as much when I nursed her, but I don't really have any way to know for sure.

This all means that from about December 1 to mid-February, she would have probably taken about 42 bottles a week, and we would have had to buy 4.6  of the $120 six packs of cans of formula.  Grand total - $600. (I'll round to 5.  You can't use 0.6 packs...)  I was amazed when I realized that was just for 2 and a half months!!!

Things get a little fuzzy when I try to figure out the total cost for 12 months.  I really have no idea how much Evie was eating before I went back to school around Thanksgiving.  After she really got into solids in mid-February, she wasn't taking as many bottles at daycare, and I really don't know how much she was getting when she was nursing.  To be generous, I assumed that prior to December 1 and after February 14, she ate as much as during those 12 weeks.  That's how I got $1800.  In reality, she most likely ate more than that both before and after.

If I assume that we would have had to spend $600 every 2.5 months, the total jumps to $2880!!!!!!

Now, don't get me wrong.  Breastfeeding has costs too.  I have a breast pump.  I bought milk storage bags several times.  I had to buy nursing pads for the first six weeks or so.  I bought a plethora of nursing tank tops and bras (which are never on sale, ever!  They don't have to be because you need them...I could rant for hours!).  My generous estimate for the total cost of breastfeeding supplies is no more than $600 (including the $280 breast pump). 

Saving money was not my motivation to breastfeed.  If we had formula fed, I'm sure we would have found better deals, and we would have been smarter about the money.  I love that I have been able to give my daughter something so natural and that we share something that is just between us.  I consider myself fortunate that breastfeeding worked for us.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday

Welcome Toddle Along Tuesday blog hoppers!!  Please feel free to look around and read all about my family, M, me, and our beautiful one year old baby girl, Evie (her birthday was Sunday!).  Also, make sure to leave your blog address in the comments because I love to follow back! 

If you'd like to sign up for the blog hop, head over to Growing Up Geeky or Our Growing Garden.  

I look forward to meeting more mommy bloggers!!

Evie's Birthday Party

Evie's birthday party was a smashing success!  Most of my family was able to be there.  My youngest sister, who lives four hours away, wasn't able to be here.  My parents and grandparents drove almost 3 hours to be here, and my sister and husband (who live nearby) were here.  M's whole family was here, including his oldest brother and his three kids.  They are currently Evie's only cousins, so I always like it when they get to hang out.

Evie received many wonderful gifts, but the standout was a laughing baby that my parents gave her.  It's incredibly annoying, but Evie is in love with it, so I'll overlook the obnoxiousness.  She ate cake, opened gifts,  played with the water table that my sister gave her, and took a long nap after everyone left.  I think it was a great first birthday!

Yay! Presents!!

Book from her aunt

Carriage with Lego people from aunt, uncle, and cousins

The beginning of the birthday cake.  She likes the icing, just like her mom!

The water table from her aunt

Family picture, taken by Evie's 5 year old cousin. 
I think it's that each of us has a completely different look on our face,
but this picture cracks me up!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How do you measure a year?

I'm not really into musicals.  To be honest, I've always found that song, "Seasons of Love" from Rent, a little annoying.  But lately, I've really been thinking about it.  It's been a crazy year.  Actually, a crazy ride that all started well over a year ago with an extra line on a home pregnancy test, and now look what we've got...a toddler.

 Mi hijita,
The moment you were born I looked at you and I thought, "You have your father's nose."  Yup, that's the first thing I thought.  Really sentimental, I know.  Then the nurse asked, "What's her name?"  You were laying on my chest.  I looked at you, and I cried when I told her your full name. 

You spent that first night away from us so that the doctors and nurses could help you breathe better.  The next night, you wouldn't let us put you down in the bassinet in our hospital room.  By 5 a.m., when you finally went to sleep, your dad and I laid you in between us on the hospital bed.  We cried, partially out of exhaustion, but mostly in awe of you. 

5 hours old
You have changed my and your dad's life in so many ways.  I don't think our house has ever had so much laughter.  I never thought I'd see your dad turn OFF a football game, but you have him wrapped around your finger.  The day after you were born he asked me, "Is it wrong that I just feel like buying her things?"  I'm sure he'll deny that when you start asking for a car and $600 prom dresses. 

You have changed more than I could ever put into words.  You seemed so helpless and fragile when you were born.  Now, I can barely keep up with you.  You crawl from wherever you are in the house to your bedroom to pull all of the books off of your shelves.  You could spend hours "reading" on the bedroom floor.  Daddy swings you upside down and you giggle hysterically. 

Eating real food is so much fun, and so messy

You breastfed voraciously every 2 hours back then, now I can barely nurse you twice a day.  You love to eat what mommy and daddy are eating.  Strawberries, grapes, pasta, and tacos are some of you favorites, but you're willing to try anything once.  You haven't cared for peas or watermelon.  

When you were born, you cried so quietly I was afraid that I wouldn't hear you in the next room.  Now, you try to talk to us.  You've even got a few words that only Daddy and I can really understand.  You can say "mama" and "dada," and you have your own word for dog that sounds like "daaah."   You can understand us now too.  You love to put your arms above your head whenever Daddy asks, "How big is Evie?"

The "how big is Evie" pose
There is no way to truly measure the amount of change.  The whole world shifted the moment you were born.  You are sleeping now, and before I laid you down, I said the same thing I've said every night for the past year, "SueƱa con los angelitos, mi hijita.  I love you." 

Your mom

P.S.  I know I'm a little early.  Tomorrow is going to be a big day, and I wanted to make sure that I told you all of this before it got too crazy. 

Stats to come after Evie's 12 month appointment next Friday!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back to Reality

Our Vegas vacation was a blast!!  It was definitely some well-deserved rest and relaxation for M; he works so hard.  In his industry (beer distribution), a lot of the time that other people have off, especially holidays, are his busiest times.  Summer is non-stop for him, so it was good that he was able to take a break. We tried to live it up as much as we could.  We didn't lose too much money, and we had a lot of fun catching up with old friends. 

You can take the girls away from Wisconsin, but you can't take the cheap Wisconsin beer away from the girls!
We left Monday evening, and we got back to Wisconsin late last night.  Evie stayed with my in-laws (about an hour and a half from our house), so we stayed there last night so that we could be with her.  I missed her terribly.  I wanted my MIL to call me when she went to bed each night so that I could go out believing that she was soundly asleep and there were no problems.  Other than that, I told my MIL that I wasn't going to call so that I would just enjoy myself, and not worry about Evie.  That lasted about 12 hours....4 of which were on a plane. 

Of course, she did fine.  She had a hard time napping, but she slept through the night all 3 nights that we were gone.  That makes 5 nights in a row, a personal record for her!  I was really surprised at how many kids we saw in Vegas, especially how many were out VERY late...2 in the morning, or later. 

Today was back to reality.  Vacation is great, but the aftermath is always awful.  General Sin City recovery (requiring lots of sleep, water, and ibuprofen), unpacking, laundry, cleaning, and trying to get Evie off her no-nap schedule have all made today pretty hectic.  Plus, we're preparing for a big birthday party on Sunday!!  I love traveling, but it sure does feel good to be home!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vegas, Baby!!

Next month M and I will celebrate 10 years together.  I can't believe that it's been that long!!!  We've been married for almost 6 of those years...  And to think, when we met, I was only 19 and he was only 21....  It's crazy to me now how young we were.

To celebrate, we are heading to Las Vegas for a few days!  We are going with two other couples who are really good friends from college.  The two husbands were actually M's roommates when I met him.  Both of those couples have been together as long as we have, so we all kind of "grew up" in our 20s together.  We all also have kids under the age of 3, so it will be a nice chance for all of us to get away and let loose!

Evie is staying with my in-laws while we are gone, and I know she'll be fine.  I'm dreading leaving her, but I know that Grandma has all sorts of things planned.  They also live in the same town as M's brother, who has 3 kids.  Evie will probably get to spend quite a bit of time with her cousins, which will be good too.  (These are the things I've been telling myself so that I feel less bad/guilty about leaving for three days.)

So, if you stop by between now and Friday, I won't be here.  You can just picture me laying by the pool with a cold beverage nearby!! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

If I could do it all again

I feel like I could write a year's worth of posts related to Evie's first birthday.  I have always been a pretty reflective person...maybe it's the teacher in me.  I always think, "How could I do it differently?  How could I get a better result?"  Anytime I teach a new lesson, I mentally file away (or, when I'm feeling extra organized, I actually write down) how I could do it better next time. 

As Evie rapidly approaches her first birthday (only 8 more days!), I feel like I'm doing the same thing as a parent.  When I look back at some of the obstacles that we've faced in the past year, I question myself as to how I could have done it better.  Maybe if I hadn't held her through all of those naps on my maternity leave, we wouldn't have had our daycare drama in January.  (Our daycare provider (in-home, state certified) talked us into Ferber/CIO because Evie wouldn't nap for her.  We no longer use that daycare.)  Speaking of that, I wouldn't do something that I wasn't completely comfortable with. 

I think that the biggest thing that I would change is my own attitude.  Self-confidence has never been one of my strongest features.  I know that as Evie gets older, I'm going to need to stick to my guns more and more.  M and I will have to follow our own instincts and trust that we're doing the right thing, regardless of what anyone else says. 

Obviously, I can't go back and do it all again.  I can't blame myself for any mistakes either.  I just have to keep learning.  As Evie grows up, I suppose I'll grow up as a mommy too. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It took a little longer than I expected

While I was pregnant, I read all that I could about breastfeeding.  I wanted it to work SO badly.  I'm not really sure why...not many people in my family had breastfed.  My sister-in-law did, but she was rather discouraging about it.  In my reading, they referenced the "amazing bond breastfeeding creates between mother and child" so many times that I thought that it would all magically, instantly happen.

Well, there is What to Expect First Year, and then there is real life.  Breastfeeding is a hard, painful, stressful, frustrating, amazing job.  In the first couple of months, the painful/stressful part wore me down.  As the task grew easier, it was just something that we did.  I was just feeding my child, and I think I overlooked the bond that we created.  Only in the past month as we've begun weaning have I been able to truly see what breastfeeding has done for me and Evie.

One of my most precious memories is related to breastfeeding Evie.  It was the morning after she was born.  She was still in the NICU, but her breathing troubles had cleared up, and they allowed me to nurse her for the first time.  The nurse took us to a private family room, and helped me get comfortable.  She helped me get her to latch for the first time, and then she left the room to give us some privacy.  That first nursing session didn't last very long, neither one of us really knew what we were doing.  Evie unlatched, and I began talking to her.  She looked at me and she recognized my voice.  I started crying, and I held her close.  I think I tried to get her to latch a few more times, and I honestly don't remember how it all ended.

Lately, nursing has been challenging.  My little girl would rather explore the world than breastfeed.  It's bittersweet, but I will always have irreplaceable memories all of the quiet times when it was just two the of us. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Some Words Wednesday - Oh the styles!!

Evie was blessed to be born with a full head of hair.  (Also, I did not have any heartburn during my entire pregnancy...sorry old wives tale believers!!)

3 days old
2 weeks old
Daddy's best hairdressing to date...Evie at 4 weeks.
She lost it for a little while from about 4 - 6 months old, but since then, it's grown back with a vengeance.  I am one of "those moms" who loves to style her little girl's hair so her abundance of beautiful locks has been so much fun.  She cooperates most of the time, so I guess that means she likes it, right?!?!?

Au natural
Fun in the tub

Rocking the side pony (or, at least, attempting)
Her hair is beginning to get some crazy curls now that it's a little longer.  I guess only time will tell what it will really look like!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blog Hop - Toddle Along Tuesday

Welcome Toddle Along Tuesday Blog Hoppers!! 

Please take a look around and introduce yourself in the comments.  I love to follow back, so make sure to leave your blog address too!!  I'm always looking for more pages to read.  If you are just stopping by and would like to get your blog in on the action, head over to Growing Up Geeky or Our Growing Garden to link up. 

Judgy Wudgy was a bear...

Yes, I stole that title from Sex and the City.

I am a firm believer that every parent is just doing the best that he/she can.  No one is a super mom/dad.  But for some reason, it seems like new moms (I'm sure dads do it too, but moms sure are more vocal about it) always have an opinion about what other moms are doing right or wrong. 

I think that every mom has been the victim of this.  Last week, a mom gave me a strange look when I told her that Evie will be 1 at the end of the month.  She was holding her 9 month old daughter, who was much larger than Evie, and said, "You're kidding!  Don't you feed her?"  I know that she meant this as a joke, but part of me really wanted to say, "Oh, that's why she's only in the 30th percentile!!!  Of course, I'll start feeding right away!" 

Just like we've all been victims, we've all probably been guilty a few times too.  I will admit that I am not in any way a germ-a-phobe, and I chuckle to myself when I see a mom feverishly wiping down a shopping cart before she puts her kid in it.  She's probably thinking I'm pretty gross when I buckle Evie up, and just walk into the store...I guess we're even.

Sometimes I wish that I hadn't read anything while I was pregnant or since Evie was born.  I truly think that every parent eventually figures out what works for them and their child, and some of that reading/internet research/advice just gets in the way.  I've been working really hard to become more confident in my own abilities as a mom so that I'm not a victim to the judgy people out there.  And when I'm feeling especially judgy, I remind myself that we're all just trying to get by. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Breastfeeding Body Changes

This week's Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is "Body Changes" associated with breastfeeding.  For me, there have only been a few significant changes, but I think there will be more to come with weaning. 

First was the weight loss.  I was ASTONISHED at how quickly I lost my pregnancy weight, and then some.  I gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy, and I've lost 60 pounds since little miss was born.  I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight by the time Evie was 3 months old, and I lost the last 20 pounds by the time she was 6 months.  I didn't do much other than breast feed.  I went on a lot of walks on my maternity leave, and I also had to cut out dairy because of her milk allergy, but I wasn't actively trying to lose the weight.  Selfishly, I am nervous that I will gain it all back when I wean her, but I know that there are worse things that could happen.  And to be honest, I wasn't really unhappy with my pre-pregnancy weight.

I was very fortunate that AF didn't show her ugly face for quite a while.  I didn't get my first postpartum period until Evie was 8 months old.  I didn't miss it AT ALL!!  Now, every time she shows up my supply tanks.  She also has this really annoying habit of being COMPLETELY unpredictable.  

I had a hard time in the beginning adjusting to the idea that my body was not mine.  Obviously, I experienced this while pregnant too, but for some reason, it felt more noticeable when I began breastfeeding.  I think it was the idea of having another human, that I could actually see, latched to me practically 24/7.  Now that I'm beginning to wean, I am almost nostalgic for that time...Thanks, momnesia!  LOL.

Lastly is the boobies.  I was never an incredibly well endowed chica to start off, but as I'm beginning to cut down on feedings, I feel like the girls are shrinking by the day.  I know that some of this probably has to do with the weight loss too, but I'm getting a little worried.  I was a respectable B cup before, and I don't think that those bras are going to fit anymore.  I have joked (really joking, I would never actually do this) to M that we could use the money we saved breastfeeding so that I can get a boob job when I'm done.  Of course, he hasn't said anything about it, one way or the other.  ;)

Overall, most of the body changes that I have had due to breastfeeding have been positive, and I would never give up breastfeeding just to prevent the few negative changes.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 4th of July Parade

Our town has a big 4th of July Celebration each year. 

Evie "caught" some candy (Daddy caught it and let her hold it), but doesn't have enough teeth to eat it.  :(

Daddy was trying to teach her that the RED tractors are the good ones!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

For your viewing pleasure...(And Toddle Along Tuesday)

Well, this little one likes to pose for the camera too much for me to get a good video of her crawling.  Plus, she hasn't really crawled much since Saturday.  It's like she's proven that she can do it, now she doesn't care to do it anymore.  

This video shows her doing what she really likes to do!  She has been cruising up a storm lately, and really likes to walk with her dinosaur.

If you here for the Toddle Along Tuesday Blog Hop, please leave your website in the comments.  I love to follow back!!  If you want to get your blog in on the action, head over to Growing up Geeky and add your blog to the list.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It finally happened!!!!!!!

Evie is crawling!!!!!!!  For so long I thought that she was just going to be one of those kids that doesn't crawl, but earlier this afternoon she crawled across her bedroom several times.  She later crawled across the living room too.  She kept looking at the dog like, "Here I come!"  Keeka has no idea what she's in for!!  Of course, the second I had the camera out to record it, she quit.  I'll put up a video as soon as I can get one. 

She's been cruising so much lately that it seems kind of weird to me that she would start crawling now, but whatever!  Yippee!!!  Hold on......  Holy crap, this means we have some MAJOR baby proofing to do....