Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Moving

Dear bloggy peeps.

Guess what?  We're moving.  To GERMANY!

It's a transfer for T's company.  They formally asked at the end of last week and yesterday T told them yes.  They want us there ASAP so we'll be leaving in about two weeks!  Yikes!

Munich for 18 months, here we come!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baby Pippa - Four Months

Happy four months, beautiful!  As usual here are a TON of photos in no particular order.  Yes, it would make more sense to put the appropriate photos next to the appropriate sections, but that takes way more time than I have right now.  It's better to just get this out and have something than to wait until it is perfect.

Also, it's kind of confusing how I'm doing Pippa's monthly updates... the first photo (in the rocking chair) is taken on her four month birthday.  All of the photos and updates in this post are things that happened between her three month birthday and four month birthday.

Here's Pippa on her four month birthday!


And the outtakes - the bow is a built in toy!


This ball is the easiest thing for Pippa to grab and hold on to.  And balance on her tummy.  Okay, maybe I did that last one for her.

The Stats:  (Her four month appointment was actually one week late)  Pippa is 25.5 inches tall (90th percentile), 14 pounds 10 ounces (60th percentile), and has a head circumference of 15. 75 inches (50th percentile).  Good job growing, baby girl!


Nicknames:
Chunk-a-lunk
Honey (used only by T)
Z-bear (which I think is my new favorite!)
My little tap dancer (the way and how fast she moves her feet when she is awake in the crib)
Along with the usual baby girl, sweetheart, blue eyes, baby girl, gorgeous, and beautiful.

Looks like she is dancing while playing the maracas here!  Plus check out her perfectly round kissable cheeks!  And her friar tuck hair!

There are some pretty great facial expressions in this video.
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Likes: Splashing in the tub.  She definitely figured out how to splash this month and we both get pretty soaked when we give her a bath.

Love those cheeks and that double chin!

Crunching the wings of the parrot in her jungle gym - they make a crinkly sound that she likes.


Standing on mom's stomach and smiling.


Cooing.  Sometimes she sounds exactly like Chewbacca but in baby form.  It's totally adorable.

Drying off after a bath.  Sometimes she still cries when we wash her hair, but overall bath time is much improved.

Making eye contact with mom in the mirror then smiling.

LOVE this picture of Pippa.  T makes this exact same expression.  

Dislikes:  Going down for a nap.


Favorite Baby Gear:  Definitely the jungle gym.  This month Pippa really started grabbing and batting at the toys in her jungle gym on purpose. She especially likes the crunchy wings on the parrot.  We did take the music attachment thing out.  It's hard so we couldn't lie Pippa on that spot, plus we never put the batteries in because we didn't want to listen to terrible music endlessly.

We also really love our Baby K'tan now that Pippa is big enough and has enough head control to face out (she really wouldn't tolerate it at all when she had to face in).  And now that she doesn't fight getting in to it, it is quite easy for me to put her in it by myself.  A few times when Pippa has just been hysterical and nothing will calm her (not even the boob, this has only happened like twice!) she has calmed down when I put her in the K'tan and walked around with her.  Pippa and I like it so much that carrying her around in the K'tan is part of her bedtime routine.

A bit of scheming hands

Our other favorite item this month is the Nosefrida.  Pippa got her first cold this month and just had such a runny / stuffy nose.  Sometimes she would sneeze and get two logs of boogies out onto her upper lip and those were easy to get.  But most of the time those boogies did not want to come out.  The Nosefrida got WAY more boogies out of her little nose than the traditional bulb snot sucker.  Sometimes it is a bit hard to wash, but it is worth it.

Pippa and T's mom

Biggest Achievements:  All of a sudden one day Pippa was okay with tummy time!  She used to really dislike tummy time and would start fussing almost as soon as we put her down.  And literally one day she liked it and stayed happily on her tummy for 7 minutes and it hasn't been a problem since!  This photo is actually from that day.  I texted it to T and said, "Tummy time like a champ!"

Some quasi-achievements (because Pippa has only done them once and never repeated them):  Sleeping through the night.  On 12/15 Pippa slept from 9 p.m. straight through to 7:30 a.m.  However, I think she might have just been SO exhausted.    Also, I didn't sleep through the night!  I kept thinking she would wake up any time!

Early morning tummy time / snuggles

Here's how it happened:  I was nursing her to sleep but then I got a call from a good friend who I had moved away a few months earlier.  I really wanted to talk to her so I did.  And Pippa finished eating but my talking woke her up.  She was calm at first then was very NOT calm.  It took two hours to get her calm again then finally asleep.  This was the first time the K'tan calmed her when nothing else would.  After she had been calm for a while we swaddled her and put her to sleep and she stayed that way all night.

This photo is not when she slept all night. 

I do wonder a bit if our schedule hadn't been messed up by going to Iowa a few days later if Pippa would have repeated sleeping through the night.  But most of the time babies don't just suddenly sleep through the night.  They'll sleep through and then wake up the next two nights and then sleep through and so on.  Or so I've heard. Obviously, this is all new to me!

Pippa fell asleep while I was holding and walking with her.


Pippa's second quasi-achievement is rolling from tummy to back.  She did it three times in a row on 12/23 while in her jungle gym in our Iowa hotel room but hasn't done it since.


Biggest Challenge:  Getting Pippa down for naps.  She would fight it SO hard every time.  We would try to give her the jiggle on our knees and she would literally do a sit-up fighting it.  She has some great abs!  She would take four 30 minute naps a day which is no where near enough sleep.


We started trying to transition Pippa during naps.  She would wake up exactly 30 minutes after she fell asleep, so when she had been asleep for 25 minutes we would place a heavy hand on her chest and give her a little jiggle for 10 minutes to help transition her into her next sleep cycle.  The theory behind this was that after a week of helping her transition she would learn to do it on her own.  Well, we did it for a month.  She would transition about 40% of the time with our help, sleeping between an hour and an hour and a half.


The problem was that I was sitting on the edge of the bed reaching over the crib when I transitioned Pippa.  So my hips, neck, and arm were all at awkward angles.  It was ok at first then it became seriously uncomfortable.  To the point where my hip bother me at night and I can't sleep.


Sleep:  Lots to talk about here.  Here's the thing:  The first question everyone ALWAYS asks about baby is how is she sleeping.  And frankly I'm tired of that question.  She does okay but could be better. Like all babies.  I don't want to hear at what age your kids starting sleeping through the night.  I don't want to hear your horror stories about waking every hour all night.  I don't want to hear what technique you think works best.  Instead of asking about baby's sleep why can't people ask what my favorite thing is about Pippa right now?  That's so much happier!  So I'll share what's currently going on with Pippa's sleep (a lot) here but it's unlikely that this will be a category in future posts.

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The night Pippa turned four months she woke up around 6:20 a.m. and cooed up a storm in her crib for 10 minutes before she decided she wanted to be held.  It was completely adorable.  She's done it several times since then, too.  It's much easier to wake to a cooing baby than a crying baby.   And it's even more welcome when said cooing doesn't happen until 7:15 in the morning.


Working with Dad.  She's gotta start earning her keep.

At the start of Pippa's fourth month we decided to do the tiniest bit of sleep training.  And I mean the tiniest.  We started letting Pippa grunt it out.  In other words now we wait until she is actually crying before we go get her.  No one ever told us that newborns are noisy and grunty sleepers.  So when Pippa would grunt we would get her to prevent it from turning into crying.  Now we wait and sometimes she goes back to sleep (which is great!) and sometimes it turns to cries and we go get her.  Yeah, this is something we probably should have started doing a while ago and we just didn't know it.

She is so long!

I don't think we'll do too much sleep training with Pippa.  This is a pretty good article (read the whole thing or you'll get a skewed view) from the Deseret News about sleep training and baby brain development.  She's a decent sleeper and I think she'll sleep through the night when she's ready.  Of course we'll try to help her along, but we are not going to do cry it out.  I think cry it out is mean.  How would you feel if you woke up scared and lonely (from a nightmare, for example) and you knew there was someone there to comfort you but they refused to give you a hug because they didn't think you really needed one?  To quote the Deseret News article a study at the University of North Texas "looked at the question of helping a baby or letting him cry it out, she found that babies did, indeed, stop crying after a while. But measuring their cortisol levels, which indicates stress, showed they weren’t soothed; they’d just given up the notion that crying would bring help. Parents assumed the babies were no longer in distress; their own cortisol levels dropped."

Busting out of the swaddle like crazy!

Another quote from the Deseret News article that I really agree with: "“The assumption by cry-it-out advocates is babies should sleep through the night. Where do they get that idea? That is not what babies do. The basic premise is flawed.”


Pippa is our first baby and right now she does okay with night time sleep, so I've never felt the need to try anything extreme like cry it out.  I do know that I might see things differently if Pippa turns into a terrible sleeper or if the next baby is a terrible sleeper.

Blue / grey eyes

Pippa takes four short naps during the day and goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.  I dream feed her around 10 p.m. (if I don't dream feed her she'll wake around midnight).  Then she'll wake and eat around 2:30 and be back in the crib asleep after about 20 minutes.  Sometimes she'll wake / grunt around 4:30 a.m. and we'll pull her into bed with us.  She wakes for the day around 7:15 a.m.  I know, we're pretty lucky.

Usually I nurse Pippa to sleep at night (but never for naps).  Sometimes I will spend 30 or 40 minutes nursing her to sleep and she's asleep but the second I try to move her to the crib she wakes and won't be nursed back down.  It's not been pretty when that happens.

Seriously, how cute is this girl?!

On 12/2 Pippa totally broke out of her swaddle and slept through it.  Not out of the pink nap swaddle, which is pretty weak, but out of the green usually tight velcro night time swaddle.  She does that sometimes but always wakes her self up within 30 minutes of breaking out.  Pippa had one arm completely out and slept that way for four hours.

Towards the end of the month we started a bedtime and nap time routine.  Nap time's is very short and mostly involves singing "I love to see the temple" and swaddle and jiggle.  Bed time is reading two books, baby massage, Baby K'tan for 30 minutes in low light,  "I love to see the temple," and nursing to sleep.

Girlfriend loves to eat things.  Even innocent bunnies.  You can see she's already eaten a larger bunny and had it's fur made into a chair...

And that's all she wrote on the sleep subject.  Really, lets start asking what the best / favorite thing about the baby is instead of sleep.  The sleep question just stresses parents out and why would you want to do that?

Pippa pities the fool who tries to get past THIS bouncer!

Eating:  Pippa is still a great eater and is becoming more efficient.  She is usually done in about 15 minutes start to finish including burping and switching sides.

If Pippa were up on her side this is totally a model pose.

I rarely get burps out of her.  She usually burps herself later while she is playing, if at all.

Running her hands through her luscious hair.

While she eats Pippa's top hand almost always finds its way to her eyes and starts rubbing / scratching.  Even if she's not tired.

It's hard to tell when she's hungry.  Before we would just tap a few times on her lips and if she tried to eat our finger then she's hungry.  But now she wants everything in her mouth all the time.  So I'm still feeding her about every three hours and she seems okay with that.

Pippa fell asleep while I was walking around with her in the K'tan and talking on the phone.

The Superficial:  Pippa definitely has my mom's family's cheeks.  AKA my cheeks AKA big squishy gorgeous things.  I feel like she definitely grew some delicious baby chunkiness this month.

Doesn't this neck angle look so uncomfortable?  I wonder if babies ever get criks in their necks?...

Pippa has a little birth mark on her left eyelid / eyebrow.  It comes and goes and is more noticeable when she is tired or upset.

The first time I successfully got Pippa into the K'tan by myself. 

Pippa's clam hands are gone because she doesn't have her fists clenched all the time anymore.  But she still definitely has clam feet.  They make the worst noise when she rubs them together when she is fighting sleep or when she is rubbing them against the rocking chair when I feed her.  I try to always have socks on her to prevent this sound, but as you know babies love to kick off socks.

Yeah, we spend a lot of time in this rocking chair.  Good thing it's awesome!

Pippa is still wearing some 0-3 month clothes.  Which is surprising because she's not a smaller baby and she has a bigger backside than most babies because of the cloth diapers.

She's got enough hair to brush in an actual direction!

Pippa's eye are still trying to decide on a color.  They still look blue most days, but there have also been quite a few days where they look firmly grey like my mom's.

Pippa doesn't fall into a milk coma very often anymore, but it is so adorable when she does!

Pippa skin in her knee dimples is very dry and almost scaly.  But the rest of her skin is still ridiculously soft.  I don't know what it is about those knee dimples!  I've been putting lotion on the dry parts every day for a while and haven't noticed a difference.  But the dry spots are very small and the pediatrician isn't concerned and we aren't either.

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I really, REALLY love it when Pippa is sleeping and she moves her mouth like she is sucking.

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Visitors:  T's mom came to meet Pippa the first week in December.  We were so glad she came out!  A whole post about that coming up soon!


Out and About:  We all went to Iowa!  A whole post about that coming up soon, too!  It involves Pippa's first time in a taxi, first flight, first time sleeping somewhere other than her crib, first time meeting extended family, first snowstorm, and first time in a swimming pool.

My parents got to see Pippa again while we were in Iowa!

Other Things:  We took out the infant base cushion in Pippa's carseat this month.


This was Pippa's first Christmas and she even portrayed Baby Jesus in a manger scene for our ward party.  Christmas Day was very low key and we didn't get her anything - she has no idea what's going on and we saved the money instead!  We'll do the same next year, but let her open T's presents.  (She won't be opening mine because I like opening presents too much to share!  It's not so much about the presents for me as it is about the pretty wrapping and actually opening the presents and being surprised.)
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Pippa does this cute thing now where she brings her hands together and interlocks her fingers.  T says it looks like she is scheming and it is currently his favorite thing.

Wearing matching jeggings.  Baby girl, I promise you this is the only time in your life when I will dress us alike.  You can hold me to that.  


So... I'm out of things to say about Pippa in her fourth month but there are still photos left from the fourth month.  Apparently I need to be more picky about which photos to include here!  Who knew I had so many photos of Pippa swaddled asleep in her crib?!


Pippa's favorite way to explore is with her tongue.  We used to think she could stick her tongue out before we had her tongue tie clipped.  It goes out SO much further since then!

Yay, Christmas!  Also, I feel like I look really young here. 

Sleeping on T

This "kitty in her pocket" outfit from my Aunt P is one of our favorites (along with the orange striped outfit).  This is the last time she wore it because she is too long for it.

See how much leg she is showing because she is too long for it?

Pippa and I were both all tuckered out from trying to get Pippa to nap.

Everything about this photo is perfectly adorable!



This is what it looks like when we transition Pippa for a nap.

Love those cute ladybug feet!  Also, her incredibly high waisted pants make me giggle.

Blue eyes

Sleeping face palm


Pippa's little feet and her little legs in jeggings kill me!

Lots of baby holding and baby wearing go on around these parts.

My hair isn't wonky, that's a bow on the top of our Christmas tree!  But Pippa really was that tired.  I love it when she gets sleepy and leans her head back against my chest to rest / sleep.  Such a good feeling. 


And that's everything!  I'll try to be more prompt with Pippa's five month post!