Thursday, November 29, 2012

Baby Pippa - Two Months

It's a tad (and by a tad, I mean a lot) late, but here is Pippa's two month update.

The Stats:  11 pounds 9 ounces and 22.75 inches tall.  Has anyone else noticed that they way the measure babies is totally arbitrary?  They put a mark at the feet and one at the head and measure that and call it good.  It's so un-scientific and inaccurate.  The babies' legs are rarely straight and they are all wiggly.

This is the same dress that my sister M was blessed in.

Nicknames:  Baby, Blue Eyes, Sweetheart, Gorgeous, Friar Tuck (it's her current hairstyle)

Likes:  looking to the left all the time, looking at the lights, sleeping almost all the way rolled to her left (we thought this was over, but it's back), eating, being jiggled, being carried on her tummy over my arm

Sleeping semi on her side:

Baby's first "I love you."  Okay, really her second - there was one from her first week.  But this photo is much better.  She already had her thumb and pointer finger out and I gently uncurled her pinky to complete the I love you.  So cute!

Dislikes:  having her hair washed, having her clothes changed (you can tell from these first two that bathtime is definitely not part of the bedtime routine around here!)

Favorite Baby Gear:  My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow  We have a Boppy as well and I like the My Breast Friend much better.  The My Breast Friend has a back support and goes all the way around you and attaches with a buckle.  This is great because I can put it on and it stays in place while I pick up baby.  Then I'm ready to feed her and don't have to get anything else adjusted.  Because it goes all the way around me and has an adjustable buckle I can keep it close to me so baby doesn't slide between me and the pillow while I'm feeding her.  It also has little raised parts on both sides for baby's head to rest on while feeding.  It's still short (it doesn't come as high up close to my boobs nearly as much as I would like) and is meant for ladies with short torsos, but I still like it better than the Boppy and the Luna Bosom Baby pillow I have tried.

Summer Infant Swaddleme.  We tried the woombie and it was okay.  It's definitely meant for brand new newborns, and Pippa was getting too big for it.  We bought the Swaddleme in medium and it is great!  It's a swaddle with velcro to keep it secure.  Pippa can still get her hands out sometimes, but it makes swaddling much easier.  If Pippa is swaddled well she sleeps well, so it is in the best interest of everyone to make sure she is swaddled well.

BumGenius 4.0 Cloth Diapers:  We started using cloth diapers October 15th.  I'll do a separate post about this sometime, but suffice it to say, cloth diapering is going well.

This is the same outfit she wore home from the hospital (as seen at the bottom of this post), but now it barely fits!

Baby Feeding Log App for iPhone.  There are so many apps to keep track of when your baby eats and for how long and how many dirty diapers and so on and so on.  Most of them are pretty involved and have charts and a gazillion categories.  I wanted something simple: just when / how long / what side for baby's eating and diapers.  This app is perfectly simple.  It has three categories:  feedings (left, right, or bottle and a timer), diapers (wet, dirty, or both and records the time), and sleep (a timer).   I think if you're tracking much more than what this app has you're over thinking this baby business.  I have never tracked sleep, and I don't track diapers anymore, but I still use the feeding portion every single time Pippa eats.

Biggest Achievements:  First absolute social smile Saturday October 6th to T just as conference ended.  Pippa gave him multiple smiles when he got close and said hello.  We love her big gummy smiles!

At the end of your 4th week you started making spit bubbles.  I've heard that's the first thing that babies do that shows they are aware of their bodies.  It's pretty adorable.

10/05 going into 10/06 and the night before that you slept in two 5 hour stretches.  If only I could do the same!  You actually only woke up because I woke you up to eat.  I still wake up to your grunting and you slept so long that with every grunt I thought "Surely, this is her waking up!"

Biggest Challenges:  Still me sleeping.  My boobs are still super sore and I can't get comfortable.  I'll wake up to feed Pippa then still be awake for another hour or two or three because my boobs just make it impossible to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Being a single parent for a few days while T was out of town.  So glad I don't have to do that full time. I actually had one of my visiting teachers come over and watch Pippa for a few hours while I slept (or tried to sleep - again with the boob problem).

Sleep:  Pippa is a good little sleeper.  We've been trying out dreamfeeds and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.  We haven't decided if it's better to dreamfeed or just let Pippa sleep as long as she can.  (A dreamfeed is after baby has been asleep for a few hours at night you wake them up just enough to feed them in hopes that that will help them sleep a few hours longer.)

We have actually started co-sleeping.  It's something I really thought we would never do, but here we are.  We don't co-sleep anywhere near all night.  Pippa goes to bed around 7:30 but doesn't join us in bed until around 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning.  She's just so grunty around then and if you hold her she'll sleep, but the second you put her down she's grunty and waking up.  We still want to sleep, too (instead of holding her and rocking her) so we put her in bed with us until we get up for the day around 6:30.  So we're only co-sleeping for a max of two hours a night.  This is what it looks like:

We try to do it very carefully.  T scoots all the way to the edge of the bed.  I put Pippa in the middle of the bed with her head in the crook of my arm.  I push the blankets way down and we sleep.  The first 10 times we did that I barely slept, and I still just snooze off and on and don't really sleep.  We don't co-sleep every night, but sometimes it's a good way to get in one or two more hours of sleep.

Pippa does pretty well with naps.  She will usually nap for 1.5 hours once or twice and then 45 minutes or an hour once or twice.  She's still in the sleepy newborn phase and I sometimes I still have to wake her up to eat.  Sometimes it doesn't really work:


Watching her stretch out after I wake her up and unswaddle her is SO cute.  She does the   This is her typical waking up / stretching face.  It's hilarious.

Most of the time when Pippa is unswaddled after sleeping, her arms go straight up.  Here's some waking up stretching in action:

The pink thing Pippa is on is the My Breast Friend feeding pillow.  I think this is a hilarious face.

Eating:  Pippa is still a great eater.  It usually takes her about 20 minutes to eat and she usually only eats on one side.  I used to burp her sitting up but towards the end of the month I've started burping her over my shoulder to get in some faux tummy time and make her neck stronger.  I'm lucky because she doesn't spit up very often and when she does it's usually a little dribble out of her mouth.

While she is eating, Pippa keeps her hands totally still.  I think she's thinking, "The milk is flowing.  Don't.  Move."

She gives the best smiles after eating.  Like her mom, she's always much happier when she's fed.

The Superficial:  Pippa had baby acne that peaked around week 5.  She also had flaking skin on her eyebrows / forehead.   However, she never had cradle cap.

When Pippa was born she had about four blond eyelashes per eye.  She's grown a lot more eyelashes since then, and they are dark.  She gets it from T.

Hanging out in her jungle gym.

I love her little sleeping feet in this photo.

She lost most of her newborn hair at the start of the month.  It started with a bald patch above her right eye (I think her head was rubbing on the back of the rocking chair while I was rocking her and it just rubbed right off)  and now it has spread to everywhere except her friar tuck area.  Towards the end of the month had started growing new hair of an uncertain color.  Blonde, maybe?  Sometimes it looks blonde and sometimes it looks dark, but maybe that's just because she needs a shampoo...

Here you can see her friar tuck and the new stuff on top trying to make a mohawk.

For comparison this is what her hair looked like before.

This is her pouty lower lip face.  Sometimes it appears when she is waking up, but it always occurs when she is done eating in the night and I'm trying to get her to eat just a little more.

Pippa's eyes are still gorgeously blue.  This isn't the best photo of her, but this is pretty true to her eye color.

Visitors:  My friend M, who I met out here but just moved to Utah, was in town.   We met up at the mall for some hanging out.  I miss her!

Out and About:  Pippa had her first monument visit!  Actually, she visited Arlington Cemetery in her first month but there wasn't any photo proof.  T and I took Pippa on a mosey around the Lincoln monument and World War II Memorial.  We're teaching her young to be patriotic.

"America for the win!"  (With the reflecting pool and Washington Monument)

At the WWII Memorial

In front of the Lincoln Monument.
(This is how her head used to tilt all the time before my mom put the blanket around the headrest.  Doesn't it just look like she is going to wake up with a giant crik (spelling?) in her neck?  How do babies and toddlers stand that all the time?!)

Other things:
Baby is not a fan of tummy time.  We try to get it in, but mostly we do modified tummy time things like hold her over my shoulder and across my arm.  It's hard to get actual tummy time in because if we do it within an hour or two after she eats (when she is happiest) she spits up most of her meal.   But it doesn't work well to do it after she wakes up from a nap (about 2.5 or 3 hours after the previous feeding) because then she wants to eat.  We'll get there eventually I'm sure, but if you have tips on how to help a baby like tummy time, we are listening.  Pippa tolerates this sort of tummy time best.  I think it's because I'm soft so it doesn't hurt when her head falls down.

Here Pippa is at the start of the month not enjoying tummy time on the boppy.


Pippa has started grabbing things more.  Not grabbing with intent, but she's opening her fist more and likes grabbing onto whatever happens to be right there.

She's busted out of the swaddle here.

You can see she's still kinda newborn scrawny, but that her tummy is definitely bigger.  Good job growing, baby girl!

Here's a video showing off her bigger tummy.  I find it so cute!  But that might just be because I am her mom.

Pippa is doing better at taking a pacifier but still takes a pinky much better.

We tried to give Pippa a bottle.  You took it in your mouth but just like with the pacifier never started sucking.   To be honest, we haven't really tried to give you a bottle since then because it is just so much work to pump, store the milk, re-warm the milk, feed it to baby, then pump when baby is done with the bottle because baby didn't feed at the breast.  Plus once you give baby a bottle, you have to keep giving it to her consistently so she stays used to it.  I'm not going back to work so there's no real pressure to give baby a bottle.  Yes, that means I can't really be away from baby for more than about three hours during the day, but to me that is less of a deal than everything else I mentioned.

Pippa's used to tilt her head to the left every time she was in the carseat.  While I was taking my mom to the airport she did this with a swaddle blanket to keep Pippa's head straight.  Genius!  How did we not think of that!  Now we just leave the blanket there all the time.  This is the day we showed her off at T's work.

Pippa's been smiling in her sleep since the start and I still love it. smiling in your sleep.

Things I want to remember:
  • Beginning to coo this month.
  • When Pippa was exactly 7 weeks her pacifier came out and was resting on her hand while in the carseat.  She moved her hand and coincidentally put the pacifier back in her mouth.  She was a bit surprised.  
  • All the lint in your fingers from the woombie or  being swaddled.  Every time I fed you I would clean out between your fingers.  
  • She is SO long!
  • Gave her first high five on 10/21.  She was stretching and put out her wide open hand like she was begging for a high five.  So I gave her one.  
  • Pippa wore newborn clothes until she was 6 or 7 weeks.  Now she's in 0-3 month clothes. 
  • Pippa doesn't really cry or scream.  Instead she does these little intermittent yelps.  Like a short "Ahh!' pause for 5 or 10 seconds then another short "Ahh!"
  • When I carried her over my arm and also sometimes when we were tummy to tummy while Pippa was eating, I could feel the gas bubbles in her tummy.  It's kinda fun.  
How I'm doing:  Still pretty well.  There have been a few morning where I am just exhausted because I never got back to sleep after feeding Pippa.  And I'm sorry to say that I kind of took it out on T.  I'm trying to do better, but MAN!  it's hard to not be snappy about everything when you're tired.  I do try to nap when Pippa naps, but I still have the same problem with my boobs for sleeping so most of the time I just end up lying there.  Then I feel bad because if I wasn't going to sleep I really should have been doing something like the dishes or laundry.  Basically what I'm getting at is that I have started to accept a much lower standard of cleanliness for the house.  And I think that's okay.

I still kiss Pippa every time I pick her up, every time I put her down, every time I feed her, every time I burp her, every time I change her diaper, basically I kiss her every five minutes all day long because I just can't get enough.

I always knew my parents loved me crazy amounts, but now I am really starting to understand how much they love me.  Also, having Pippa and loving Pippa has made me love T so much more.  It's kind of a really beautiful thing how love multiplies.    

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Blessing day

* There is another new post beneath this post. *

T blessed Pippa on November 4th.  He did a great job and didn't let Pippa's crying throw him off.  I felt bad that Pippa was crying.  She is usually SUCH a good baby.  She was fussing a bit at church before it was time for T to bless her and I tried to feed her a bit, but she wasn't having it. C'est la vie.  It was still very special.

Now some photos!

T's Aunt S came up from southern Virginia.  It was so sweet of her to make the drive.  It was great that T and I both had one family member there to support us (my dad was also there).  (Not that our families don't love and support us, they just all live so far away!)

Outside the chapel.  It was COLD!

The three of us at home, inside where it was warm.  I don't think Pippa has figured out how to smile and pose for the camera yet...

Pippa's headband was made by one of my college besties E.  The dress is from T's dad's family.  Many babies have been blessed in this dress.  The name of the babies and the date they were blessed are embroidered around the bottom of the slip.  We are so glad that T's grandma let us use this dress for Pippa.

Oh, an interesting note:  When the bishop was announcing the baby blessing and the parents of the baby he called me by my mom's name and didn't even catch his mistake.  Oops!

Check out the other new post beneath this one!

Pippa's newborn photos

When Pippa was six days old we had her photo taken by Erin L. Scott.  Kinda pricey, but definitely worth it.  Get ready for a gazillion photos of our beautiful baby who has already changed so much.

Pippa was only awake for these first two photos.

We wanted photos of us with Pippa inspired (okay, pretty much straight up copied) by this photoshoot and Erin was happy to do it.  We did these photos first.

Seeing these two together makes my heart glow.

It was hard knowing what to wear to the shoot.  Not hard deciding what T and Pippa would wear.  Just hard deciding what I would wear.  Mostly because I had no idea what would fit me six days after giving birth.

Love these, but next time we'll get some with our eyes open!

This one is my favorite one of all three of us.

This is my favorite one of just me and Pippa.

I know it is popular to have the baby naked for their newborn photoshoot.  But T and I both didn't want that for Pippa.  Even though newborns are ridiculously soft and have cute tushys we both kinda think naked baby photos are weird and uncomfortable and we wanted her dressed.

This is my very favorite photo from our session.
The purple and white striped onesie was part of a gift from my visiting teacher and friend M.  Before she even gave it to us I was looking for a purple and white striped onesie specifically for her newborn photos!  The purple hair flower clip was made my college friend K.  I made the elastic headband in about one minute the morning of Pippa's newborn photoshoot.

T and I aren't fans of giant satellite sized bows or quirky hats for babies, so the ribbon bows my sister-in -law K made for us are perfect!

Even though Pippa has changed a lot, she still looks a lot like the photos above and below when she sleeps.

She used to do the lopsided lip a lot but doesn't at all anymore.  It makes me laugh how squished her face is in this photo.

Seriously, these photos are perfect.  It's exactly how I remember her the first few weeks.

After the family photos, Pippa in the onesie, and Pippa in the pink swaddle I thought we were done.  We got all the photos I wanted.  It had only taken like 40 minutes though and Erin told us she was planning on three and we should pick some more swaddles / poses.  So we did.

Pippa has T's mom's family's toes.  (Plus five if you followed that with only reading it once.)

I really love turquoise and butter yellow together.  They would make a great color scheme for a wedding.  Confession:  I have like six other weddings planned.  Oh, I'm marrying T in all of them, and the weddings are all very different.  Like a sunrise mountain top wedding, a tropical beach wedding, a super sleek, modern wedding, a barn wedding, a wedding at my favorite church in Iowa, a surprise wedding, and so on.  It's kind of ridiculous how many times I want to marry T and celebrate our love with a fabulous party.

T and I also didn't want any photos where baby's head was held up in her hands. (Sorry that wasn't a good description.  Hopefully you know the pose I am talking about.)  Erin was so fantastic about working with what we wanted.

After the first two minutes Pippa slept the entire time because 1) she was a newborn and they LOVE to sleep and 2) the studio was really warm.  Like 80 or 85 degrees warm.

This photo makes me laugh for some reason.  Maybe because she looks a bit like a middle aged man?

The hair accessories (turquoise flower, brown flower, purple flowers) in the last three "outfits" were all props from Erin.  She had a TON of wraps, hats, bows, blankets, and other props to choose from.  We chose to keep it very simple and clean because that's definitely our style.  Hopefully it's Pippa's style, too!

So there you go!  Like I said before, these photos were definitely worth the money we paid.  Hopefully we can do a newborn photoshoot for all of our babies.