Sleep Methods

Given Olivia’s recent hatred of naps, sleep methods are becoming an increasingly large part of our lives. We’ve tried a lot, but I am ALWAYS looking for tips on how to make nap time easier.

We’ve tried putting her down in the same place where she sleeps at night. We still only get 40 minutes at the most (usually it’s about 30 minutes). To even get her to take a nap, it takes us about 20 minutes (at least) of walking, rocking, shushing, and snuggling. I don’t know what else to do. We know this works and it gets her about 40 minutes, which is enough that she’s not super crabby for a little while afterwards. Lately I’ve been trying to coincide her naps to follow immediately after she nurses. My logic is that it’s easier to take a longer nap with a full belly. If I put her in her bassinet, it still only lasts about 40 minutes. If I snuggle her next to me on the couch, she’ll sleep for quite a bit longer, but that also means that I’m basically pinned to the couch for 2 hours. I know that sounds like heaven, but when you have a baby glued to you all day and you can’t get anything done, it’s hard. Most days I LOVE when I can take a nap with her. But there are some days where I wish she would sleep in her bassinet for 2 hours and I could get some stuff done around the house.

Olivia sleeps fairly well at night. She was sleeping from about 10pm to 8am, but we haven’t fully rebounded from the four month sleep regression. Basically as soon as she turned 4 months, she started waking up again at 1am and 5am (which was a real kick in the teeth for me). I’ve been nursing her at 8pm every night for the past little bit and putting her down by 9:30 or so. She now sleeps until about 6 or 7, nurses, and then goes back down for a little bit. Night sleeping isn’t really a big problem for her right now. In fact, I kind of like when she gets up at 6 because it’s still dark enough that she can nurse and get back to sleep before it gets too bright outside. Basically she doesn’t need a morning nap because she sleeps until 10 or so anyways.

We’ve tried co-sleeping a little bit. Actually, I’VE tried c0-sleeping a little bit (Tyler’s too afraid he’ll roll over on her). I only ever bring her to bed with me if she goes back to bed after her morning feeding and doesn’t stay down. I always position myself in such a way that I could NEVER roll onto her. And, to be honest, I rarely fall back asleep, but she snuggles right in, gets warm against me, and falls back asleep so easily. It’s really the only way to avoid the morning nap.

It seems to work best if she can sleep until 10 or so (through any means necessary) and then takes a nap on me after her afternoon feeding. Not ideal, but it’s working for the time being.

We will also be transferring her to the crib soon. She’s started rolling over (and can go in both directions as of three days ago!), so it will be safe to put her in her crib in her room. I am SO nervous about this! I want our bedroom back (it’s so hard to not be able to go into your own bedroom after 8pm), but I’m also worried about her. We just got our woombie in the mail and hopefully that will help her, but still. Any suggestions on making the transition to the crib easier?

Do you have any tips for getting Olivia to nap? Things that work for you? We tried bouncing her on the bed while holding her in our arms and that worked for a few weeks, but then it seemed like she got wise to our tricks and started screaming as soon as we sat on the edge of the bed with her. Any tips would be lovely! We’ll try anything! I miss the days when she would fall asleep in her bouncer by herself. Sigh… my little bean is growing up!

What’s in a Name

Coming up with our daughter’s full name was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do. There were some names that I loved that Tyler didn’t and some that he liked that I didn’t. Then there were some that we both liked, but we knew someone with those names that completely ruined them for us. We had a lot of options for girls’ names, but not so many for boys’ names, so it’s a good thing that we had a daughter. Middle names were a problem for us too. We agonized over paying tribute to certain family members. I originally wanted to name her Olivia Maureen after my mother, but then my mother said that it was “cruel” to give a kid that name. Apparently my mother hated her name growing up and said she didn’t want me to “do that” to my child just to pay tribute to her.

Olivia, meaning “peace” or “of the olive tree,” came to us very easily. We had both always liked the name and we watch a show with a beautiful and smart character named Olivia in it. We also had no negative associations with the name.

Sharon, meaning “a fertile plain,” was my grandmother’s name. This was not originally going to be one of Olivia’s middle names, but after my grandmother passed suddenly in July, we chose this name instead of the other we had in mind. We both thought it a wonderful way to honour this wonderful woman.

And, Anne, meaning “He has favoured me.” Anne is both my middle name and Tyler’s mother’s middle name. It is also the middle name of one of my aunts and my grandmother on my father’s side. I think it goes very well with Sharon.

So, there you have it – Olivia Sharon Anne. The name of the most beautiful little girl in the entire world.

Olivia Sharon Anne

Olivia Sharon Anne

One Thing

One thing I will learn: How to better handle my stress. Sometimes I find things so overwhelming and I just turn into this giant stress ball. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who picks up the pieces, but this is definitely something I need to work on.

One place I will go: No idea. We don’t have any trips planned for the near future because of our gorgeous little girl. We may take a few day trips when Tyler takes his vacation in the summer, but we have nothing definite planned.

One physical habit I will break: Being inactive. About three years ago, I went hard core and lost 30lbs in about 2 months. When we moved, I totally lost my motivation and ended up gaining it all back, PLUS another 30lbs. It was ridiculous how much this move affected me. I will playing baseball again this coming year and I vow to take the dog for more walks with Olivia once the weather turns nice again. I also want to start working out again once I get Miss Olivia onto a more consistent schedule.

One physical habit I will cultivate: Same as above. I need to start getting back into shape.

One mental habit I will break: Over-analyzing EVERYTHING. Sometimes people have no hidden meanings behind their comments and I need to realize this.

One relationship I’ll repair: I don’t have any particular relationship that I think needs to be repaired, but I do vow to strengthen my relationships with my family and friends. I also need to figure out how to make time for some of my friends. Between Olivia and everything else happening in my life, sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time for some people.

One work habit I will change: Constantly checking my e-mail at home. If someone needs something right away, they will call. I need to learn not to bring my work home with me.

One thing I’ll throw out: All of our extra stuff! I have SO much clothing and I never wear most of it. I’ll donate it instead of throwing it out though!

A second thing I’ll throw out: Paper!! We have so much stuff filed away and we will never need most of it. I need to sort through our files and get rid of it.

One thing I’ll eat more often: Healthy,  home cooked food. It is so much easier to just order take-out, but it is so bad for us!

One thing I’ll eat less: Take-out. I eat way too much of it.

One thing I’ll drink more: Water.

One thing I’ll drink less: Pop. This is a huge vice for me. I don’t drink alcohol, so at least there’s that, but I need to find something else to drink instead of pop.

One resentment I’ll get over: I have a bit of a tumultuous relationship with a certain member of my family and I just want to let the past go and deal with the future. It’s so not worth it.

One person I’ll treat more respectfully: My husband. I find that I get very easily frustrated sometimes and he’s always the one having to pick me up. I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate everything he does for me.

One thing I’ll spend less money on: Food. I always buy stuff that looks good at the market and then I end up not eating it and we throw it out a week later.

One other change I’ll make in my finances: I want to start saving for our future. We already have our own house and two vehicles, but I want to be more prepared for other stuff that will inevitably come our way and I want to start an RESP for Olivia.

One thing I’ll spend less time doing: Complaining. It’s true that it doesn’t get you anywhere.

And a thing I’ll spend more time doing: Being present in the moment. I need to focus more on what’s right in front of me and less on what’s going on at work, etc.

Resolutions for 2013

1. GET ORGANIZED – I have 10,000 projects that I want to do around the house. I want to sort through our closets and drawers and cupboards and get rid of all the extra stuff we have. I probably have over 1000 pieces of clothing, but I literally wear the same 20 pieces over and over again. I made a huge list of EVERYTHING I want to get done, but Olivia takes priority for me and I would rather spend the entire day snuggling on the couch with her and get nothing done than not give her the attention that she deserves for a single second.

2. BLOG MORE OFTEN – My blog writing has been severely lacking since I had Olivia. I just haven’t had time to blog. But now that she’s sleeping earlier and getting up later (and not at all during the night!!), I’m going to make a conscious effort to blog at least once a week.

3. BE A BETTER WIFE AND MOTHER – Sometimes I feel like a total failure in these departments. Any wife or mother can attest that these feelings are completely normal, but I want to keep striving to be a better wife and mother.

4. LOSE WEIGHT – I make this resolution every year. Last year’s resolution to do this got completely derailed on January 1st when I found out I was pregnant. I’m already down 21lbs from my weight as of January 1, 2012, but I still have a long way to go (I have a very specific goal in mind, but I’m not comfortable sharing my starting weight at this point). I’m still trying to figure out how to diet and exercise properly while breastfeeding, so anyone with any advice on this subject, please please please chime in and give me any tips you have! It would be greatly appreciated!

Three Months!

I can’t believe that Olivia is already three months old. Technically, she’s a day away from being four months old, but again, I’d rather spend my time snuggling and playing with her than worrying about when posts should be written.

Weight: 13lbs, 0 oz

Height: 24 inches

Milestones: So freaking close to giggling. She had her first laugh at 3 months, 5 days, so technically she hadn’t when she was exactly 3 months, but it was still the most beautiful sound in the world. She also got really good at grabbing things and definitely found her hands. She is not far off from getting teeth and constantly has her hands in her mouth. She often tries to get both of them completely in there. She is still trying to roll over and gets about halfway there and then turns back to her back. She’s still sleeping really well, but regressed around 12 weeks when she had a growth spurt. She got up at midnight a few times to nurse, but then slept until 7:30 again. Those few days kicked my ass though. I was definitely spoiled with her sleeping through the night. She was constantly hungry and never wanted to be put down. She went back to her normal self after about 5 days though. She’s still the sweetest and most beautiful little girl that I’ve ever met though. She’s so smiley and calm and loves almost everyone (she doesn’t seem to like being held by people who smoke – she cries almost immediately and can only be soothed by me or Tyler).

Here are some pictures from our three month photo session!

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2012: Year In Review

Another year come and gone… 2012 seems to have been the fastest year yet.

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty good year. Not every day was an amazing day, but there was a lot of joy and wonderful moments.

The very first day of 2012 was an amazing day… That was the day we found out I was pregnant with Olivia. I don’t even know why we decided to take a test that day. I was late, but had some complications prior to that day and hadn’t really thought anything of it until we got to that date and decided to take a test. I didn’t really believe the first positive, so we took another and, low and behold, it too was positive.

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I also got a promotion and started a new position on January 16th. I love my job so much more now than I did in my old position. I’m a Program Manager now. The job is so much better (though there’s often a lot more crap to deal with) and I get daytime hours, which is so much more conducive to having a family.

In April, we found out that we were having a little girl! We couldn’t believe it. I initially thought she was a girl, but then had a dream at about 8 weeks that convinced me I was having a boy. I would have been ecstatic with either though!

Ultrasound - April 11, 2012 - 1

In July, we learned that my sister was pregnant and that our family would be growing even more. We also lost my wonderful grandmother in July. She was only 68, but had suffered from COPD for years. I miss her every single day. Sometimes I’m able to go on like everything is almost normal and then other days, it hits me like a ton of bricks. Just the other day I thought that I should give her a call to see if we could come over for a visit and it slammed me that I couldn’t do that ever again.

sarah and grandma

In August, my youngest sister got married and we soon found out that she was pregnant too! Now there will be four cousins within just over a 2 year period.

kelly and chris wedding

In September, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world. She is the sweetest, cutest, smartest little being I’ve ever laid eyes on and I wouldn’t give up a single moment with her for anything in this world. We also celebrated Tyler’s 27th Birthday and our 3rd Wedding Anniversary (I can’t believe it’s been 3 years already!).

Olivia Sharon Anne Doan

October to December were a complete whirlwind. Anyone who’s ever had a baby can attest that this is true. The days just seem to blend together and before you know it a month has gone by. My little girl had her first Hallowe’en and her first Christmas. I celebrated my 26th birthday and was super busy learning how to be a Mom.

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Our year was absolutely amazing and it seems like 2013 will be even better. My little girl is turning into such a little person. She has such a personality and seems well on the way to getting teeth and learning to crawl. It terrifies me a little bit that she’ll be crawling soon and that she’ll be walking and talking sometime this year. I’m not even close to being ready to have a toddler. I’ve seen how quickly my niece grew from a baby to a toddler and I’m half terrified half excited to see Olivia do that. I have so many hopes and dreams for her, but I’m also terrified about all the crazy things that could happen to her in this crazy world.

So, here’s to 2013. I’m wishing you all a wonderful year full of happy moments and memories that last a lifetime.

Christmas Photos

We recently had our first family photo session! We had a photographer come to our house and take some pictures of us in front of our Christmas tree! Olivia looked so adorable, but was so sleepy after only a few photos!

Changed into the snowflake outfit!

Changed into the snowflake outfit!

Mommy and her little sleepy bug!

Mommy and her little sleepy bug!

Our Little Family!

Our Little Family!

Our Little Family!

Our Little Family!

Photo Collage!

Photo Collage!

Two Months!

Olivia is officially two months old already! Technically, she’s already two and a half months, but having a baby doesn’t exactly leave  you with time to meet deadlines, lol. I can’t believe how quickly the time is going! She’ll be crawling and walking before I know it!

Weight: 12lbs, 0.5oz

Height: 23 inches

Milestones: Constantly smiling! She’s trying REALLY hard to laugh, but just can’t quite get that little giggle out yet. She’s getting better at being on her tummy during “tummy time,” but still prefers to be on her belly while lying against my chest. She’s definitely found her hands and is constantly chewing on them. She LOVES to babble and coo at us and even tries to mimic me when I sing to her. She has some songs that she prefers over others (her current favourites are “My Girl” by The Temptations and “Danny’s Song”). She has also developed a VERY strong attachment to me – so much so that even Daddy sometimes can’t soothe her. Apparently it’s due to her learning about object permanence, but I like to think I’m her favourite, lol. She is getting SO CLOSE to rolling over too. She gets almost there and then rolls back. She also sleeps through the night now! She goes down around 10pm and sleeps until 6am. She then nurses and goes back down until 9-9:30. She’s starting to get a bit fussier, but still is a very calm and sweet baby. Her smiles and cuddles are the best part of my day!

Here are some pictures from our two month photo session!

My little bug!

She still loves bath time!

Getting bigger!

She has the most kissable little face!

Happy Hallowe’en!!

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Hallowe’en! Olivia was so calm and happy last night despite the dog going berserk every time a kid rang the doorbell. Anyways, see some pictures below of our little beauty on her first Hallowe’en!

Mommy and her little monster!

My sweetie pie!

Our Little Pumpkin!

One Month!

My little Olivia is officially one month old as of yesterday! (This post was written 3 weeks ago, but I had to wait to add the pictures and then forgot about it, lol). I can’t believe how quickly the time is going! It seems like just yesterday that I was in the hospital in labour or going into surgery. The memory of my labour is definitely fading a bit though. It doesn’t feel quite so traumatizing, lol.

Weight: 10lbs, 9oz

Height: 21.5 inches

Milestones: Starting to mimic facial expressions! It’s the cutest thing in the world when I smile at her and she tries to smile back. She’s also started reaching and grabbing for objects. She successfully reached for and grabbed her stuffed zebra during our photo session yesterday! Olivia has also started discovering her hands and feet. She’s finally realized that they’re attached to her and that she can control them! She also has her first nickname courtesy of cousin Jenny, who’s taken to calling her “Livi.”

Tyler and I are so blessed with this little baby. She is such a little sweetheart. She’s so calm and sweet. She only cries when she’s wet or hungry and even then it’s usually just the start of a little cry before we can change her or feed her. She’s doing so well with breastfeeding and sleeping. She’s usually only up about once a night now at about 4am for a feeding and is back to sleep within 45 minutes. She then sleeps until 7 or so, nurses for 45 minutes, and then goes back down until 9:30 or 10.

Here are some pictures from our one month photo session!

Olivia’s beautiful eyes!

 

One of Olivia’s little smirks!

 

All stretched out!

 

Olivia and Mommy!