Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tis the Season!!

Currently sitting in my Dad's recliner, Sam is napping upstairs in my brother's room where we have been sleeping the past week, and James is in NC for a few days. He'll be back up here tomorrow. I love love LOVE this time of year! And it's just so much more fun with a baby to spoil and teach all the traditions to!

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day :) Sam didn't really nap all day, but was a pretty cheerful baby anyway! I let him gnaw on some carrot sticks so that he felt part of the day. He loved it! He is lunging more and more at our food, the other day he basically threw himself at a bowl of pasta I had. It made a mess! Next week, when we get back to NC, we'll be starting our BLW journey and I can't wait! I'll be sure to post how it goes, with pictures too :)

Sam's sleep continues to be great! His naps have been all over the place since we've been up in PA since we've been so busy. Napping in his car seat, the stroller, the Moby wrap, in my arms on the recliner, wherever he can! His nights have been awesome though! I'm up to give him a binky 1-2 times a night, which really isn't too bad since I wake frequently to check on him anyway. He's been waking up between 6 and 7, but then after entertaining himself for 15 minutes or so, goes back to sleep til almost 9!! I don't even know what to do with that! My allergies are giving me hell, otherwise I would be so ridiculously rested! Hopefully he'll keep this up when we're at home and I can get some awesome sleep in my own bed!

Yesterday I think Sam was playing catch up for all the days of missed naps. He woke up around 8:45, and was back down for a nap around 10:30. I woke him up at 12:30 and then he had to just have catnaps the rest of the afternoon as we were running errands, but he managed an hour long 'catnap'! Then he fell asleep sitting with me around 6:30, so I took him upstairs, put his pjs on, nursed him, and put him to bed. He slept (with 1 wake up for a binky) til 8:45! And went down for this nap around 10:30. It's almost 11:30 now and he's still sleeping away! Catching up for the naps he skipped recently, or going through a growth spurt. Either way, it's nice!

Today, after Sam gets up and we both have lunch, my mom and I are taking him to the mall to have his picture taken with Santa :) James is kind of bummed to be missing out on that, but I still want to take him to the Annapolis mall Santa, and the Jacksonville mall Santa as well! Maybe I'm a little crazy, but I really love Christmas!

My theme for Christmas gifts this year? Pinterest! I am so obsessed with that website! I'm getting such awesome ideas from it for homeade gifts. Not to mention all kinds of ideas for homeade cleaners, and all kinds of home decor ideas. I have so many projects for after Christmas. I want to start making everything homeade as I possibly can. Food, cleaners, decorations, anything I can! I'm excited to start all of that, but with all the travelling we're doing this holiday season, I figured it would be best to start in January.

Talking about Pinterest makes me realize I haven't actually visited the site in a few days, so I'm off to do that now! :) Yay pinning!

Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm a little scared to jinx anything by saying this... but I THINK our sleep situation has been resolved! Our daily routine now looks something like this:

9:30 (ish)- Change Sam's diaper, give him a binky, lay him in his crib on his tummy, pat his butt for a little while, leave the room. Go get him about 2 hours later.

2:30 (ish)- Same as above, except it often doesn't last quite 2 hours, but I'm not stressing.

7:30- Nurse Sam in the rocker

8 (ish)- Lay him in his crib on his side.

7:30 (ish)- Go in and say good morning to his smiling face!!!!

Some nights I do have to go in and give him a binky once or twice, but some nights I don't go in at all. And when I do go in, he just needs the binky, not even any patting or shushing.

It's AMAZING to feel rested! Not to mention, knowing he'll nap somewhat consistently has been so great for my sanity! Even on days where I don't accomplish much, it's just nice to get a break twice a day! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my little boy, but a Mama needs a break sometimes! There's only so many times in a day you can wipe slobber off your arm/face/shirt/ear/hands/etc... and sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider"!

Oh and another breakthrough? Often, when either James or I goes to check on Sam at various times throughout the evening before we go to bed, he is often sleeping peacefully on his back! He always wakes up on his tummy and clearly that's his preferred way of sleeping, but I love knowing that he'll sleep on his back without that stupid swaddle! AND it's such wonderful peace of mind knowing that he can flip back and forth in his sleep! I don't feel QUITE so worried about winning the worst mommy of the year award for letting him be a tummy sleeper. Our little boy really is growing up, it's hard to belive that in just a couple weeks he'll be 6 months old!

Speaking of his 6 month birthday, I'm still doing research on Baby Led Weaning. The more I read, the more excited I am to get started! Sam is started to show more and more interest in watching us eat, and often grabs at our food. He's also starting to sit up pretty well on his own, and is awesome at grabbing and picking things up. I think he's about ready! My BLW book recommends starting with a variety of foods so that baby can learn about different tastes and textures. I definitely want to start with some broccoli because it sounds like a great BLW food, it has it's own handle :) Probably also some avocado and sweet potato. It's crazy that he's so grown up now...

In other news... we went to Myrtle Beach last weekend and had a blast! The Marine Corps Ball was a good time, and Sam was a huge hit in his baby dress blues :) We also went to the aquarium and did some outlet shopping. This weekend James is in the field til Tuesday so it's just Sam and I at home. Then on Wednesday we head to PA for Thanksgiving! James has to leave on Saturday while Sam and I will stay for a while, he'll be back on Thursday though and we'll spend a little time in MD before going back up to PA for a Christmas brunch with his family. While in MD we're hopefully going to stop in on a couple of Nutcracker rehearsals. I'm excited to see my friends and some of my old students :)

A few pictures, (including some of the professional ones that we just got the other day! So excited to buy some frames and hang these suckers up!) and then I'm back to my 'Friends' marathon and ignoring the 4 loads of laundry that need folding... I tend to take a day 'off' when James leaves for the field hehe ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

236 Years! (And of course, more on sleep...)

First things first! Happy 236th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps! I'm proud everyday to be the wife of one of the Few and the Proud. Tomorrow morning we'll be heading down to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. The 2nd Tank Battalion's Marine Corps birthday ball is on Saturday. Sam and I will get dressed up (Sam has mini dress blues... I will definitely be posting pictures!) for the cocktail hour, and then heading back to up to the hotel room for bedtime while James attends the ceremony and dinner before joining us. Then on Sunday we're going to take advantage of some outlet shopping on our way home :) Very excited for our first little vacation as a family! We have gone on trips before; Sam and I have flown to PA together twice, and we all went camping together with James' extended family over Labor Day, but this is our first trip just the 3 of us. We're really looking forward to it!

So, now that all of that is out of the way, I can talk about our major sleep breakthrough! My last post, I talked about my conflicted feelings on letting Sam sleep on his tummy. After some research, and a lot of talking to other mommies, I've come to the conclusion that if he can roll to his tummy himself then why make him sleep in a way that's not comfortable for him. He seems to love sleeping on his tummy. Does it make me paranoid about SIDS? You bet. Am I figuring out ways to deal? I have to! I'm currently on the market for an Angelcare monitor. It has a sensor pad that goes underneath the mattress, and an alarm will go off if it detects no movement for 20 seconds or more. By movement, I don't just mean twitches and rolls and big movements like that, but even just the subtle rise and fall of Sam's chest as he breathes. It would grant me so much peace of mind! I'm just shopping around right now to find the best price. SO here's my usual recap of naps.... (listing them by actual name of day now since I can't remember what number day we're on)


Nap 1- Fell asleep on his own in his crib, on his tummy. Woke after about 45 minutes, fell back to sleep with some butt patting

Nap 2- More of the same


Nap 1- Same as Monday

Nap 2- didn't happen... we were at the local high school where I was hired as a dance choreographer for the colorguard, tryouts were this week. Sam slept a little in the car on the way home.


Nap 1- Fell asleep on his own in his crib, on his tummy. Slept straight through til I went to wake him 2 hours later :)

Nap 2- At tryouts again, took a catnap in the Moby wrap while I danced


Nap 1- Fell asleep on his own in his crib, on his tummy. Slept an hour, needed some butt patting, slept another hour and a half

Nap 2- not there yet... hopefully it will go well!
So I'd say tummy naps are going relatively well! The swing is gathering dust in the corner! Now, nighttime. After Monday's tummy naps, I still wasn't feeling comfortable enough to let him sleep all night on his tummy. So, after his last feeding, I swaddled him as usual. Since he has never made an attempt to roll while swaddled, only when he's managed to free his arms, I felt pretty comfortable doing this. I woke up sometime around 3 am with a sudden urge to go to Sam's room and check on him. And there he was, on his tummy, and completely swaddled! This made me very nervous! No hands to help lift his face off the mattress if needed! I was torn between letting him sleep since he looked so peaceful and his head was safely turned to the side, or pull his arms out and inevitabely wake him up and piss him off. I went back to bed and left him as is. I then proceeded to toss and turn for a good 45 minutes, went back to the nursery, and pulled out his arms. He didn't wake all the way up right then, but it definitely got him out of the deep sleep he had been in. He woke a little while later to nurse. After nursing, I kept him unswaddled and laid him in his crib on his side. He stayed asleep til about 7:30and woke all the way on his belly!

At this point, I knew it was time to quit the swaddle cold turkey. I didn't want him rolling while swaddled anymore. So when bedtime rolled around on Tuesday, I put him in a wearable blanket-type thing to keep him warm, but kept his little arms out. He nursed in the rocker as usual, and I set him down on his side in his crib. This was around 8. A little after 1 I heard him on the monitor, went in, gave him his binky and he went immediately back to sleep. We repeated this 2 more times around 4 and 6, but he never woke up all the way to nurse, I never had to get him out of his crib, and I was never out of bed longer than 5 minutes!! I consider that sleeping through the night! Last night? Same thing! I know now that he doesn't really need to eat in the night. Now if I can just get him to settle himself without me giving him his binky and patting his butt a couple times, we'll be all set! So that's our next task, and I can go for it full of energy since I've been getting so much sleep! :) So yay!

Next time, hopefully pictures from the ball!

Monday, November 7, 2011

More on sleep... and some pictures!

And the saga continues...

Let's do a re-cap (I don't remember exactly where I left off, so I'll go back to Friday, which was Day 5)

Day 5:

Nap 1- Fell asleep on his own. Slept 2 hours
Nap 2- Same


Day 6:

Nap 1- Fell asleep on his own. Woke after 45 minutes, suckered Daddy into rocking him for 40 minutes before laying him down again. Oh daddy...
Nap 2- Fell asleep on his own. Needed a little soothing after an hour (mainly just needed his binky replaced). Finished off the nap in his crib.

Day 7:

Nap 1- Fell asleep on his own, woke after 45-60 minutes-ish. I got him up because we needed to leave for our family photoshoot

Nap 1.5- Slept in the car. Lost his binky and I saw him use his fingers to self soothe before falling asleep! That's kind of a big deal!

Nap 2- Fell asleep on his own (eventually, after a good bit of playing) slept 2 hours.

Today is day 8, and before I talk about naps, I need to talk about what happened last night. For a while now, Sam has been able to roll from his back onto his belly. He gets better and better at it everyday, which makes me more and more nervous about having him swaddled at all! Well 2 nights ago, he woke once because he had gotten his arms out and when I went to fix it, it was clear that he had been rolling around since he was in a far corner of the crib, and facing a different direction. I re swaddled him and he went back to sleep. Last night, same thing. And then this morning, around 6:30, I heard him a little over the monitor and hurried to his room to give him a binky (he doesn't sleep with it at night, only naps) in hopes of getting a little more sleep and regulating his internal clock to the time change that happened on Sunday morning. When I went into his room he was on his belly, and mostly asleep. I think he had been there for a while. Against everything that was drilled into my head while I was pregnant (Back is best Back is best Back is best Back is best) I patted his butt for a minute, and let him sleep there. He stayed asleep for a whole extra hour! I did NOT go back to sleep because I was paranoid about him on his stomach and went in every few minutes to wake him. Now I was having an inner conflict. Do what was pounded into my brain and keep putting him on his back and continue this dreaded swaddle battle? Or let him roll to his tummy where he was clearly more comfortable?

Apparently, the risk for SIDS drops 20% once a baby can roll over on their own. This makes sense to me. I mean, I can't be in his room whenever he is sleeping, and flipping him over as soon as he snuggles in on his belly can I? I decided to try this as an experiment, I was looking forward to naptime.

Naptime came. I put him in a sleep sack, with his arms completely free, gave him his binky and a kiss, and laid him down (on his back). A few minutes later, I went in to check on him and he was on his stomach and only half awake. I patted his butt a few times and left the room. A few minutes later? Fast asleep. Asleep! Unswaddled! And asleep! It's been about 40 minutes now, so the next 5 minutes will be the true test!! And then I will be spending the rest of the day with my friend Google, researching older baby's sleep habits. In my mind, it makes the most sense to start him off on his back, and after that leave it up to him. He can roll, he can scoot, he can push all the way up on his hands, he can move his head wherever he wants. I feel like once he's able to put himself in this position it should be okay. But as I said, I will be visiting my friend google before deciding what to do tonight.

In other news... we had our family photoshoot on the beach yesterday. The photographer posted 3 pictures as a 'sneak peak' on her Facebook page last night, and I want to share those 3 pictures here. They are amazing! I can't wait to see the rest!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Chronicles of Naptime... and some musings on food

Not doing too bad! Here's our most recent updates:

Day 4:

Went to a La Leche League meeting in the morning during what is usually his first nap. He slept a little on my lap.

What would normally be nap 2- Went to sleep by himself in his crib around 1:50, I let him sleep all the way til 4:30! Great nap!

Day 5:

We're currently on nap 1... he went to sleep on his own in his crib at 9:30 and now at 10:45 is still sleeping away! Once we pass that 45 minute hump I know we're good! I think the dreary day helps, it's niiiice and dark in his room. I need to get actual curtains, what I do know is close the blinds and then cover with a quilt and some pillows to help it to stay nice and dark. On sunny days a good bit of light still manages to get in. Not today though! Today is a good day for sleep!

So anyway, besides all that. I want to talk about the La Leche League meeting I went to yesterday. It was AWESOME to be able to spend time with some other breastfeeding mothers! It's always great to spend time with other mommies, but especially if they are going through exactly what you're going through! I can't wait til the next meeting :)

During the meeting I asked about starting solids. Sam's Dr. said we can start trying cereal to help him get used to food, but to not worry about really feeding him a lot of different things til 6 or 7 months. I like this advice. I was afraid I was going to be encouraged to start him on 3 meals a day at 4 months, which I do not agree with. However, I've been hesitant to even start trying with cereal. Sam seems perfectly satisfied with breastmilk, and while he does show interest when we're eating, I don't think it's so much an interest in the food as it is an interest in just Mommy and Daddy in general. I made baked sweet potatoes the other night, cooled a little bit on my plate and James tried to give it to him, there was no interest whatsoever.

So I brought all this up at the meeting yesterday and one of the leaders gave me a Baby Led Weaning book to borrow. Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is basically all about letting your baby set the pace as far as eating solid foods. And baby really does eat SOLID foods. With BLW you skip the baby cereals and purees, skip spoon feedings, and baby learns to eat actual food all by themselves. I've been interested in this since I first heard about it when I was pregnant. Obviously, this practice has been around LONG before baby food in jars and all that, it was only just recently even given a name. Around 6 months, or once baby can sit up mostly unsupported and can pick things up and put them into his mouth, you start putting 'sticks' of food onto the high chair tray. Bananas, avocado, sweet potatoes, broccoli. Mushy, but not completely smashed up. So baby can experiment and learn by picking the food up himself, looking at it, smelling it, and eventually putting it into his mouth and discovering, "Hey! This tastes good! And I'm doing that thing that Mommy and Daddy do a few times a day when they say, 'Mmmm yum' a lot. I think they call it eating? Whatever it is, I'm liking it!"

I talked to James about this last night, and read him a couple passages from the book I borrowed. He's all for it. So I think we're going to go the BLW route :) Sam will be 5 months on Monday. So he'll get another month or so of just nursing, which he is loving, and then we'll start giving him some finger food to see what he does with it! It's exciting how fast he's growing up! I can't believe he's already just about 5 months old. Time moves so incredibly quickly!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sleep Update

I feel like if I don't post this here, I'm going to forget how each day goes. And maybe I'll feel like we're making progress when I can see it written out in front of me. (Plus I feel like I can't quit because I made my intentions 'public', if I just write it out in any old notebook it's awfully easy to just 'lose' said notebook... it's happened before!)

I never got to finish saying how day 1 went, so we'll start there.

Day 1:

Nap 1- fell asleep on his own in his crib. Woke after 45 minutes, would not go back to sleep until I put him in his swing. Finished off his nap there.

Nap 2- refused to sleep at all in his crib. Took a 2 hour nap in his swing

So Day 1 wasn't so great.... but I was optimistic!

Day 2:

Nap 1- fell asleep in his crib, woke after 45 minutes, ended up in swing.

Nap 2- fell asleep in his crib, slept for 2 hours!!


Day 3:

Nap 1- same ole story... crib for 45 minutes, then swing

Nap 2- same thing again... crib 45, swing for the rest

Better than day 1, not as good as day 2.

If I could only get him past that yucky 45 minute mark consistently. Hmmm... may need to do a little reading. Perhaps when he gets moved to his swing and falls asleep I should go in and turn the swing off, so that he gets more used to sleeping without moving? I think I'll try that tomorrow. I just need to have faith that we will get there!!

So what else is going on in our lives right now? It can't all be sleep right? (Oh I just imagined a day of only sleep and nothing else... wouldn't that be heavenly right now!) Anyway... we're going to be pretty busy in the upcoming weeks! Tomorrow Sam and I are attending our first La Leche League Meeting. I'm excited to meet some more nursing mommies!! This weekend we're having family photos taken on the beach, which I am SUPER excited about! Next week I'll be attending colorguard tryouts at a local high school since I've been hired as their winterguard dance choreographer/instructor/coach-type person :) Excited to get back into something somewhat dance related! Then we'll be heading to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. Saturday is the Marine Corps Birthday Ball and Sunday we're doing some outlet shopping :) After that we'll hopefully have some days to unwind a bit, then James will be in the field for a few days, and then... TADA Thanksgiving!

Can I just say how incredibly INCREDIBLY excited I am for the holiday season this year?! Oh my goodness I can hardly contain myself!! I always love the holidays, but last year I was feeling a bit too miserable and newly pregnant to really enjoy them. They were still very nice, but not the best. This year, I have an appetite, I have energy, and I have an adorable little boy to introduce to all the magic that is the holiday season! I'm so excited for his first Christmas! Last year I laid on the couch for 3 days staring at a pile of Christmas ornaments before making a half hearted attempt at decorating the house, in between throwing up because, as it turned out, our holiday themed candles smelled nauseating to me! This year I'm ITCHING to dig out those decorations and make our home look aboslutely magical :) I've already started some Christmas shopping for Sam and for James, I'm just too excited!! :)

I'll end with a few pictures before going to wake up my little stinker so he can nurse :)