Saturday, October 27, 2012

A possible career

So, sometimes I sing to Pippa.  Mostly I sing "You Are My Sunshine" and "Edelweiss" because until I had a baby, I didn't realize that I only know 60% of the words to most songs but I do know the all the words to those two songs.  At least all the words to the first verse.  

ANYWAY, I've been making up lyrics.  Yesterday I was singing one to Pippa to the tune of "Frere Jacques."  Here's how it went:

How big is Pippa?
How big is Pippa?
So very big.
So very big.
Bigger than a...

in a split second I realized I had nowhere to go with that so I just said the first things that came into my head...

Bigger than an anthill,
Bigger than an ice cube.
Yes she is.
Yes she is.

I'm pretty sure I have a future as a singer-songwriter.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I just checked on baby while she is napping and did a fist pump when I ran my finger under her nose and she was still breathing.  What?  I'm not surprised that she's still breathing or that I've kept her alive, so where did the fist pump come from???  Maybe I'm just taking victories where I can get them.

I'm still terrified that I will drop baby Pippa while I'm carrying her.  Especially on the tile in the kitchen.  

We still have our 4th of July / Labor Day decorations up.  

I'm currently wearing maternity pants.

I'm drinking more Gatorade than I ever did when I played sports. 
Check out our new morsel of goodness to the left.

Monday, October 15, 2012

We started this today:
 Those are a bunch of cloth diapers, if you couldn't tell.

This kind of sums up how we feel about it:
That's excited and nervous and not really sure what we're doing, if you couldn't tell. (The blue thing baby is lying on is our cooshee changer that we absolutely love - see Pippa's one month post under favorite gear.)

They aren't too much bigger than a disposable diaper.  I don't think you can really tell Pippa is wearing cloth in this picture.  Well, obviously, she's wearing cloth.  This isn't the Emperor's New Clothes or some such thing.  I meant a cloth diaper. 
We'll let you know how things are going with the whole cloth diapering business in a few weeks.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Pippa - One Month

*This is pretty detailed so we don't forget how it was.  Thank goodness for iPhones, because 99% of these photos are from our phones!

Baby Pippa has been here for one month!  Crazy talk!  I'm not saying it has been easy, but it has definitely not been as hard as I thought it would be.  She is just so sweet and really, a good baby.

The Stats:  8 pounds 15 oz and 22 inches (at birth she was 7 pounds 2 oz and 19 inches)

Nicknames:  Blue Eyes, Sweetheart, Baby Girl, B'Girl, Gruntasaurus, Little Miss Grunty (we seriously had no idea that babies were so grunty!), Miss Pippa, P, Beautiful, Gorgeous, Girlfriend, Little Baby Burrito (when she is all swaddled up)

Likes:  baths, nursing, looking out the window, being softly jostled about, sticking out her tongue, sucking on mine or T's pinky (seriously, Girlfriend loves to suck! So glad we started giving her our pinky at two weeks.  As a side note, she can't keep the pacifier in her mouth at all.)

Dislikes: waking up, going to sleep (though once we get her there, she is a pretty good sleeper)

Our favorite baby gear:  The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD.  We really do think that part of the reason Pippa is such a good baby is because we use the techniques from this DVD to calm her.  The DVD is only 40 minutes long and shows you exactly how to do the 5 S's to calm your newborn.  It is seriously amazing and it seriously works.  Pretty sure this  and the cooshee changer are the only baby gifts I will ever give from here on out.  

Cooshee Changer.  It's the piece of soft foam where we change baby instead of a traditional changer.  It is warm, smooth, waterproof, antibacterial, and easily wipes clean with a baby wipe when there are accidents.  And there have been so many accidents.  It's kind of pricey, but it had already paid for itself by the first week.  (Even if Amazon says it is out of stock go to the Baby Smart website and call the customer service number to order one and get it within two weeks.)

Homedics Sound Machine.  This white noise machine is awesome to help Baby Pippa sleep and somewhat helps me ignore the sounds she makes while she is sleeping.

Biggest Achievements: Gaining all that weight!  She has been making and mainlining eye contact for a few weeks.  Also, she follows voices and will turn her head which ever way you are.  Her first social smiles?  It's early for that (a few days before she was one month old) and it might have just been gas, but we're going with those smiles were intentional.  First, I was holding her up and I would kiss her then pull away, kiss her and pull away.  I did it four times and each time I pulled away she would smile.  Second she was in the bath and Tyler ran the washcloth over her forehead and she smiled SO big.

Biggest Challenges:  Figuring out night from day and sleep in general. Not for baby Pippa - she does really well, especially for a newborn.  I'm talking about sleep for me and T.  Mostly me for several reasons.  First, I'm the one who has to get up in the night to feed her.  Second, I'm paranoid that she's not breathing.  I'm already starting to get over it, but I still check her multiple times a night.  Third, every little grunty sleep noise she makes wakes me up and since her crib is right next to me I hear every single one.  Even over the white noise machine.  Fourth, it's hard for me to find a comfortable position to sleep in because my boobs are sore.  Sorry for the overshare. 

Another challenge was going off the nipple shield at two weeks.  We didn't have to use the shield as long as I thought we would, thanks to an excellent CNP / lactation consultant.  It didn't take as long as I thought it would to get completely off the shield either.  It was slightly stressful and it definitely took longer to get her latched without the shield at first (like five minutes) but after about three days it was no problem.

Sleep:  Pippa is a pretty good sleeper.  But then again, lots of newborns are because they are notorious sleepy heads.  In the hospital Pippa would take 45 to 55 minutes to eat and the whole time T and I would be tickling her feet, jaw, and chin trying to keep her awake.  Not to mention telling her literally the whole time, that she was doing such a good job.  For the whole first month I think she only woke up by herself twice because she was hungry and wanted to eat.  Other than that we had to wake her up every 2.5 to 3 hours to feed her.  And sometimes it took a long time and a lot of effort to wake her up.

Getting her to sleep the first two weeks was pretty easy.  Just swaddle her and jiggle her a bit and off she went.  The last two weeks of the month she definitely took longer to fall asleep.  It takes all 5 of the Happiest Baby on the Block S's for 30 to 45 minutes to get her into dreamland.  She only cries for the first few minutes and then is calm, but falling asleep doesn't come quickly.  But it's much easier to deal with a calm baby who won't fall asleep than a crying baby who won't fall asleep.  Once she is asleep, she does pretty well.  Unless she breaks out of her swaddle and her arms wake her up.  Even though we both feel like we can swaddle pretty well, it is hard to tell if she is swaddled well enough that she won't be able to bust out her arms after an hour.  Also, it's kinda hard to swaddle in the middle of the night in the dark when you are sleepy and baby is fussy.  In hopes of even better sleep for everyone we're going to try the woombie (a swaddle wrap) later this week. 

Here is T after he swaddled himself.

Eating:  Pippa really loves to nurse and I am so thankful for that.  At her two week appointment Pippa was 7 pounds 6 oz.  Which is by no means terrible at all considering her birth weight was 7 pounds 2 oz., but the CNP said they would like to see her gain weight just a bit faster.  So I started feeding her ever 2 hours and 40 minutes instead of every 3 hours and really tried to get her to eat more at each feeding.  It has definitely paid off and I hope we can both keep it up.

Awww... baby's first milk mustache.

At her one month appointment the CNP / lactation consultant said Pippa had gained enough weight that we don't need to wake her up every three hours at night to eat anymore.  The last few nights she has had a stretch of 4 to 5 hours of sleep followed by two 3 hour sleep stretches (with eating in between all of those, of course).  Basically, she's eating one less time in a day than she used to.  I hope she's still able to gain weight at the same pace. 

The Superficial:  This baby totally looks like me.  Proof:  This is me at about three weeks.

This is Pippa at about three weeks (I know it's dark, but it is the best representation).

Other ways Pippa is like me: she has multiple sneezes in a row and "talks" in her sleep.  Ways she is like T:  she gets crazy bed head and wrinkles her forehead just like T.  Pippa's hair is so soft and feather-y feeling.  I love touching it, but that totally makes it dirty faster.  She has T's mom's family's feet.  Which is to say that her second toe is longer than her big toe.  Her umbilical cord stump fell off on her 6th day and her belly button spot bled for a week (but it was nothing to worry about according to the doctors).  Pippa has the most gorgeous blue eyes.  I know that most babies start off with blue eyes and that the color can change for over a year, but her eyes are so beautiful that we can't but help hoping just a bit that they stay blue.

I love that she is holding T's finger that is holding the pacifier.  Also, is there anything cuter than a little tiny baby wearing a little tiny cardigan?!  I submit there is not!

Visitors:  Her first day home my visiting teacher and our home teachers stopped by.  Her second day home my other visiting teacher came by.  When Pippa was just over a week old, my mom came to help out for a week and we totally loved every minute she was here.  We wished she could have stayed longer, she was such a wonderful help.

Baby and Grandma both taking naps.

One of our couple friends from the ward stopped by when my mom was here.  My brother W, was out here on a business trip a few days after Pippa's due date and he got to see her twice.

Out and About: Pippa was so sleepy at the start of the month that she didn't care at all if she was in the car seat.  Now, she definitely has opinions about it and cries unless we are going adequately fast on an adequately bumpy road.  Pippa and I have gone to a breastfeeding support group every week (our first one was when she was three days old!).  When my mom was here we went grocery shopping.  My mom pushed Pippa around in the stroller and I did a mad dash for groceries.  We take T to and from work every weekday.  Our biggest and longest outing was to Arlington Cemetery with my brother W.  Except when I fed her, Pippa slept pretty much all four hours we were there.

The best view of the city from Arlington House.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Mom, I did remember to take a photo of me and W together at the airport just before he left, but it turned out awful.  Both of our eyes are closed and only a third of my face is in the photo.  So, no, I won't be sharing that one.

Our first Sunday back to church was at the four week mark and she slept the whole time except at the end when I had to feed her. 

My Favorite Moment: When my mom was here I left Pippa with her while I went to go pick up T from work.  I told my mom to start waking Pippa up at a specific time when we expected to be home (so I could feed her - this was in the early weeks when it took forever to get baby to wake up!)  It took us a bit longer than we expected to get home.  As we were walking down the hallway to our apartment we could hear Pippa crying.  I quickly got ready to feed Pippa and as soon as my mom handed her to me she calmed right down.  She totally knows who I am (and that I have the noms!).  It was sweet and surprising and almost made me cry. 

T's favorite thing: when she smiles. We know that she isn't doing it on purpose yet, but it still melts your heart when it happens.

Things I don't want to forget: 
  • The little sighs she makes when she's falling asleep.  
  • Her hilarious faces while she's stretching after we unswaddle her. 
  • Her little chin quiver when she's comfort sucking.  
  • Her sweet breath.  
  • The way her hair smells after her bath.  
  • How she pooped in the bath the first time we got her all the way in the water.  How she fell asleep in the bath her second time all the way in the water because she was so relaxed.  
  • The scary way she sometimes forgets to breathe while she's eating then takes a really big rapid breath in.  
  • She totally favors sleeping looking to her left.  
  • Her turbo latch when she is really hungry and the licking when she isn't so hungry.  
  • The first three weeks or so she would roll all the way over onto her left side (that has since stopped).  
  • Her crazy strong neck control, even at one week.  
  • The different positions she puts her hands into (saluting, pledging allegiance, looking for land, Tebow-ing, the "I'm getting aheadache," and woe is me).  
  • Her pirate eye (when her eyes are closed she'll slightly open one eye, look around quickly, then close that eye).  
  • Kissing her at least 50 times a day - no exaggeration.  
  • Sometimes when she's a bit fussy, she will calm right down if we just lie her down in the changer for five minutes. 
  • How incredibly soft she is and how incredibly tiny she is (Especially her little fingernails and bones that are all growth plate at this point.  Crazy to think that her little two inch femur will someday be two feet long!)  
  • The reverse baby / mamma panda action when I sneeze. 
  • How grunty(!) she is while sleeping and when eating.
  • T likes to put his finger in Pippa's mouth when she yawns.
  • Baby hiccups.  All the time.  She is quite the multi-tasker: she can have the hiccups, eat, and fall asleep all at the same time.

How I'm doing:  It is still the most surreal thing ever that I grew a baby, birthed a baby, and am keeping a baby alive.  Luckily, I haven't had any baby blues at all.  I feel like my hormones are mostly in check.  I have had four crying episodes:  Once when my milk came in and I was in so much pain I was sure it was mastitis.  Once when my mom was going to leave the next day and I wasn't sure I could do all this baby stuff all day alone.  And twice when baby was up in the night and wasn't falling asleep and I was tired so T finally took over so I could sleep but I couldn't sleep because my breasts were so sore and I couldn't get comfortable and it felt like I would never be able to sleep again.  Each time T was just amazing and held me and told me it would all be okay.  And of course he was right.

Really and truly, the first two weeks I didn't mind getting up in the night with Pippa at all.  I actually kind of liked it.  Just the two of us bonding in the night.  It was so sweet and I totally understand why some moms don't try to drop the night feeding.  Our baby is just so sweet and I love holding her while she sleeps and sometimes I totally get why people do this more than once.  Other times, even though we have a good baby, she is still a lot of work and I really wonder how people do this more than once.  Because if you do it more than once it usually means you have a toddler along with a newborn and I really don't see how you can handle both!  Every day I am more impressed with my mom and my sister who both handled not only newborn twins, but other older kids at the same time as well.  They are amazing!

Even though I wouldn't call myself a mom (kind of like how I still can't call T husband or myself a wife) I really like being one.  I've struggled with this whole career and "what am I doing with my life?" sort of business since high school.  But it would appear that I have fallen into the best career there is.  I'm SO happy / lucky / grateful that T's job pays enough that I can stay home with our sweet baby.