Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from our little monkey! We got her some books and a watermelon hat (a knit hat that looks like the inside of a watermelon – seeds and all). Her big gift was one of those books where you record yourselves reading it to her. Now she has a book with our voices for as long as she wants it.

I even made her a Valentine. I figured that she would care more about a handmade one than a store bought one when she grew up. She even added her own personal touch to it by attempting to lick it, lol.

She keeps sucking on her bottom lip, so it looks like she's sad, but she really was happy!

She keeps sucking on her bottom lip, so it looks like she’s sad, but she really was happy!

LOVE!

LOVE!

 

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Four Months!

I know, I know. I’m horribly behind. Livi technically turned five months old last Saturday and here I am writing her four month post. I’ve spent most of the month playing with her and trying to teach her new things though, so I don’t think she’ll hold it against me!

Weight: 14lbs, 2.5oz

Height: 25 and 1/4 inches

Milestones: She has officially giggled and hasn’t stopped since the first one on December 14th! It is the most beautiful noise in the world! She is grabbing everything in sight and can’t keep her hands out of her mouth. She is grabbing her feet and loves to have kisses on her belly. She has rolled from front to back and back to front. She prefers to roll from back to front though. I don’t know why. We’ve hit a little blip with sleeping, but she’s still better than a lot of babies her age. She was sleeping from 10 to 8, but has been getting up sporadically at 2 and nurses again around 6:30 or so. She also HATES napping. Everyday is a fight. Even when we do manage to get her down, we can only get about 25-30 minutes out of her. Unless she’s napping on one of us. Then she’ll sleep for as long as you let her, but it means that you can’t do anything at all.

Here are some pictures from our four month photo session! I swear that I’ll get her five month post done this week though!

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This is what I had to work with! When she wasn’t flipping over mid-picture and trying so hard to take off, she was showing me her foot!

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My gorgeous girl!

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Look at those eyes and that faux-hawk!

4 Months!

4 Months!

 

Mommy Confessions – Part Three

There are a quite a few things that I never thought that I would do as a mother. Or things that just surprised the hell out of me.

– I have experienced so many gross things that I never thought I would. Just this week, my daughter has peed on me, pooped on me, and puked in my hair and in my mouth. Yuck!

– I sing songs to Olivia that are occasionally wildly inappropriate for someone her age, but I haven’t learned all the prerequisite nursery rhymes yet. Thus, she’s had several renditions of “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style.” She may even have been made to do the Gangnam style dance on occasion (we always replace “sexy lady” with “cutie baby” though).

– I feel like I live under house arrest. It is such a feat to run errands and visit people that I really do prefer to stay in. But I honestly feel like I’m chained to my house some days. Like I’m not allowed to leave or something.

– I’m still a bit upset that I didn’t get to hold my daughter first. I know that it was completely implausible given I was lying on an operating table with my arms tied down, but sometimes it still hits me that Tyler got to hold her before I did.

– I totally had a bout with postpartum depression. I didn’t want to admit it, but after breaking down for the umpteenth time, Tyler agreed with me that I definitely wasn’t myself. It didn’t help that I had recently lost my grandmother and am still having difficulty dealing with it 6 months later, but I just couldn’t get back to being myself. Some days I still don’t feel like I’m fully over it.

– I have a hard time letting other people hold Olivia. If I’m staying in the room, there’s no problem, but when people are holding her and I can’t see her? I lose it. My sister took her down a different aisle in Walmart one day and I was freaking out the entire time. I ran down my aisle to meet them at the opposite end of theirs so that I could see her again.

– I am getting sick of breastfeeding. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love it. I love the bonding experiences it has brought and I love the alone time it gives me and Olivia, but sometimes I really wish I was done with it so that Tyler could feed her and I could have 30 seconds to myself. Sometimes I feel like Olivia’s slave and I just want to feel like a normal person again. It feels like my life revolves around feedings – i.e., “Okay, we have 2 hours to run errands before we have to be back or else Olivia will be screaming in our faces for milk.” Her feeding schedule is totally how I measure time now.

– I am super jealous of the multitude of people I know who are pregnant right now. I really do wish I was pregnant again. But the idea of ¬†having to do this again with another baby and Olivia being 14 months old just seems insane. My sister and I are only 16 months apart and I can’t even begin to fathom how my parents did it. Especially when my mother only took 12 weeks off of work with each of us!

Are you guilty of any of these things or am I just crazy? Do you have any other “confessions?”

Mommy Confessions – Part Two

There are a quite a few things that I never thought that I would do as a mother. Or things that just surprised the hell out of me.

– I hate hearing parents swear in front of their kids. It just seems so… I don’t know… unneeded, I guess. That being said, I’m pretty sure I’ve dropped the F-bomb in front of Olivia 100 times. I can’t count how many times I’ve said “Holy Shit” when she pees on me or starts pooping while I’m changing her. I know I’ve “Oh F-” several times when she’s just started throwing up ridiculous amounts of milk all over herself and me. I’m really going to have start watching out for this as she gets bigger. The last thing I need is her first word to be the F-bomb.

– I absolutely cannot handle the sound of my daughter crying. I freak out and LOSE MY SHIT. I feel so bad for my husband. He tries so hard, but the second Olivia makes a squawk, I’m in there taking her like a dirty shirt. Probably not conducive to getting her down for a nap, but I just can’t handle it. Same thing when she lets out a squawk at night. I’m up and at her bassinet before you can count to 3.
– Olivia lives in sleepers. Yes, we have a million little outfits and I “dress” her whenever we go out in public, but if we’re staying home, you can bet your boots that she’s in a fleece sleeper. But I figure “What’s the point?,” right? We’re just hanging out and playing and nursing and sleeping. That’s most of our days at home. She’s comfier and it is so much easier to just pop a few buttons than to remove a pair of pants when I have to change her. Especially since taking off her pants means that Olivia now realizes she’s wearing socks, which means they HAVE to come off.

– Sometimes I tear up just looking at Olivia, especially when she’s sleeping in my arms. Sometimes even when she’s screaming in my face. I just love her to pieces. She’s the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen.

– I HATE getting advice from other people about my child. I know that you have multiple children and they seem to be completely fine, but you don’t know what works for MY child. She doesn’t like to be “rough housed” and I know this. Same thing goes with people telling me how she should be napping. Yes, I’m aware that it is not great that my kid takes naps on me, but when the only other option is her not napping at all, you can bet that I’d rather have her sleep on me.

– I have totally gone to the bathroom with my kid on my lap. Sometimes there are days where she screams the second I set her down and it’s just not worth the crying. So into the bathroom she comes with me.

– I am TERRIFIED of having a second kid. Don’t get me wrong, I want at least one more kid (hopefully two!), but the idea of having to do this again with a toddler running around FREAKS ME OUT. How do people do it?

Are you guilty of any of these things or am I just crazy? Do you have any other “confessions?”

Tune in tomorrow for more Mommy Confessions!

Mommy Confessions – Part One

There are a quite a few things that I never thought that I would do as a mother. Or things that just surprised the hell out of me. This post ended up being a lot longer than I expected, so I’ll break it up into a few parts.

– I have always considered myself a very modest person. I never wore a skimpy bathing suit or showed my stomach or anything at all like that. But when it comes to my baby being hungry, I have almost no modesty anymore. I really tried the first few weeks to keep everything under wraps when we were visiting my family (I still keep EVERYTHING completely covered in front of my husband’s family and my friends), but because I never covered Olivia when she was nursing at home, she really hates being covered while nursing unless she’s falling asleep. I used to not want anyone to see me nurse (other than Tyler of course), but both my sisters and my niece have now seen my boobs more times than I can count. My niece especially. She’s fascinated by the whole process and, even when I shut myself up in my parents bedroom to feed Olivia when we’re visiting, she is there like a dirty shirt asking me “What Livi doing?” over and over again. She’s also peeked under my nursing cover more times than I can count. I’ve given up trying to hide it. My one sister already has a little girl and is 37 weeks pregnant and my other is 32 weeks pregnant, so they’ll be in the same boat soon enough anyways.

– I always thought mothers cleaning their kids nose with their hands and using their spit to clean stuff off their kids faces was gross, but I totally do this all the time. I’d rather wipe Olivia’s nose with my hand and then wipe my hand onto a kleenex. She hates kleenex and tries to eat them whenever they get close. And I don’t want it dripping into her mouth. I also totally use my own spit to clean stuff off her cheeks sometimes. Yuck, I know. I also have one of those sucky aspirators where I use a hose to suck snot out of her nose (there’s a filter to stop it from reaching my mouth, but still).

– I now calculate time in relation to Olivia’s age. For example, “Oh, we haven’t seen you since Olivia was _____ weeks. It’s so great to see you!” or “I haven’t had a haircut since Olivia was 3 weeks old.”

– I sometimes talk through Olivia to get Tyler to do things. A huge example of this is “Daddy! I peed!” I have no problem changing diapers. I do it all day, lol. But sometimes I just want Tyler to come be with us.

– I have spent entire days never “talking” at all. By that I mean that I SING every single thing I say to her some days. Usually if we don’t see any other adults. I also speak “Motherese” – you know, the high-pitched sing song voice that all mothers have.

– I worry about Olivia CONSTANTLY. Is she sleeping too much? Not enough? I even check on her breathing several times a night. I worry about her rolling over and crawling and walking. I worry about her driving (yes, I know that’s still 16 years away). I worry about her going to University in a different city. I worry about her going downtown to clubs when she’s at school and drinking too much. I worry about her meeting the wrong boy and something happening to her. I worry about muggers and murderers and rapists and just random people that could hurt her. I should probably stop watching crime shows!

– I used to be someone who would not wear clothing with any stains on them. If I spilled something, I immediately changed. I don’t even care now. Most days my clothes are completely covered in slobber and spit-up and pee by 9am.

– I consider my day a success if I’ve brushed my teeth by noon. Sad, I know.

Are you guilty of any of these things or am I just crazy? Do you have any other “confessions?”

Tune in tomorrow for more Mommy Confessions!

Baby Giggles

I couldn’t help but post this little gem from our weekend. This beautiful little girl truly is the apple of my eye and that giggle could melt ice! Excuse my crappy video taking skills (this was taken on my phone) and my annoyingly loud laugh in the middle!

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!

Favourite Baby Products

We held my youngest sister’s baby shower today and as she was opening gifts, it made me realize how many products there are out there that I love and that I hate. Okay, maybe not hate, but stuff that we thought would be useful and it turned out to be completely useless.

Olivia LOVES her bright starts play mat. This wasn’t something that we bought right away. I’m not sure why, but we didn’t even put it on our registry. We went and bought one when Livi was only a few weeks old and she LOVES it. She will hold onto the monkey and look in the mirror for as long as I’ll let her (unless she’s tired and doesn’t want to be lying on her back).

playmatOlivia also used to love her bouncer. We didn’t originally buy one of these either because we had a really nice swing for her, but Tyler was told by a co-worker that they were really good, so we went out and got her one. She really enjoyed it when she was a newborn and would even fall asleep in it. We still use it everyday while I shower and such, but she much prefers to be on her playmat or in her bumbo chair now. She LOVES her bumbo now. She sits like a little adult and leans towards you when you talk to her. I love it!

bouncer

After test driving quite a few strollers, we finally decided on this one. It turns on a dime and takes corners really well. It fits her car seat and can be used until she’s much bigger. The only thing I wish is that the back panel was solid. It has a mesh panel for air flow, but it makes it much harder to take Olivia for walks in the winter because I’m afraid she’ll get too cold. Despite that though, I LOVE this stroller.

stroller

We also have a Medela breast pump that we got as a gift. We originally bought another brand and it NEVER worked. We then switched to Medela and it worked instantly. I find that it has a LOT of power, so be careful with the strength setting, but it definitely works well.

breast pumpWe also love our sterilizer. It’s not a conventional one, which is even better. You add a little bit of water to the bottom of the container, put bottles, soothers, etc. in it, microwave it for 5 minutes, and voila! Clean and sterilized bottles. It makes everything so much easier. It doesn’t seem like such a task to sterilize things.

sterilizer

We also love Avent brand soothers. We have quite a few different brands that we got as gifts (Nuk, Babylife, and some crazy brand that I’d never heard of). The Babylife ones were fine and we still use them in a pinch. I find that she sucks too hard on the Nuk ones and ends up with lines on her face in the outline of the pacifier. The Avent ones seem to fit her perfectly though. They’re more expensive than other brands, but they seem much more durable and Olivia really seems to prefer them.

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And last, but certainly not least, our sleep sheep. It makes naptime better (well, as good as naptime can be around here – Olivia is currently on a nap strike, but that’s a whole blog post in itself) and it works really well when we’re at my parents and trying to drown out ambient noise. We have the full size one for at home and the mini one that we keep attached to the car seat and baby bag.

sleep sheep

There are several other products that we use that I will blog about soon, but these are the main ones that we have found the most useful throughout the past 4 months.

Do you have any recommendations of things we may need over the coming months as Olivia learns to crawl and walk?

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

Missing my Baby Bump

This is one thing that I NEVER ever thought I would say. But as I hear my sisters (who are both expecting!) talk about their little ones kicking them and feeling them hiccup, I’m struck with the realization of how much I miss my baby bump.

Maybe it’s not the actual “bump” that I miss. Maybe it’s feeling Olivia kick inside of me or even just feeling her in there. I LOVED being pregnant (up until I was about 36 weeks when things got SUPER uncomfortable). There were some days when I hated being pregnant. I missed my normal clothes and sleeping on my stomach (I had the WORST time trying to find a position that I could sleep in). Most days though, I was fine. I didn’t have much morning sickness and I didn’t miss a single day of work other than when I had to come in a bit late or leave a bit early for appointments with my OB, which didn’t start until 32 weeks. If I didn’t have to have a c-section with subsequent pregnancies, I would totally be a surrogate. It’s possible for me to give birth naturally with the next one, but given I needed a c-section with Olivia because she was too big and the second babies are usually bigger than the first, I’m not holding my breath or pressing my luck.

I really miss feeling Olivia move around in there. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that she’s here. I was ready to have her in August, but had to wait until September 9th. But I do miss knowing that I was growing a beautiful little miracle inside of me and that I could completely protect her in there. Sometimes I even still subconsciously rub my belly like I did when I was pregnant.

Do you miss your baby bump? Did you like being pregnant or hate it with a passion (like my sister)?