Thursday, September 8, 2011

Can Do Attitude

Today's post is going to be a double-post.  First of all, I wanted to write my blogs about what I've discovered after having a baby with some regularity, predictability, etc.  So, I designated Thursday for these posts (unless something else comes up).  However, today is also a special day.  It is September 8th and Gordon Lee is 2 months old today.  Today's post will cover something I've learned and a few things about Gordon Lee on his 2 month birthday.


I remember working out at the YMCA with my dad a couple of years ago.  I had been lifting (what I felt) was a good amount of weight.  I was on a leg extension machine lifting two 45 lb plates on each side.  I felt pretty tired.  At this point, my father came over and added two more 45 lb plates.  WHAT?!? 180 pounds? You have got to be kidding me! "I can't do that!" I told him.  He reassured me that I could and to at least try a few repetitions.  Well, after lifting quite a few times (I no longer remember how many), I realized that I very well could do it! After this fact, he told me that sometimes you think you've reached your limit just because your mind thinks so when really you haven't.  


I won't forget this lesson because it has carried over to so many other areas of my life.  I am going to stop holding my breath for some elusive future when things are going to get "easier." During Gordon Lee's first week or so, I remember asking my mom, "Please tell me it gets easier." I'd been so sleep deprived due to the fact that I hadn't slept in over 24 hours after he was born.  Then, he needed to eat every 1-2 hours.  And I remember thinking, When in the world am I going to get any sleep? It just seemed like an uphill struggle that had no end.  


I knew it would get easier, but I spent my days just waiting for the next week, the next day, the next month when things would stop being so crazy.  Plain and simple.  They haven't.  Some days are easier than others.  But my baby still wants to eat basically every hour.  He is "supposed" to be able to space feedings out 3-4 hours at this point.  But, unfortunately, babies don't read the books on what they are supposed to do.  So, every hour it is (except at night when he goes 3-4 hours).  Then, he often cluster feeds from 6-10 pm meaning he eats every 30 minutes.  Yes, that is a lot of eating.  But it just goes right through him!  


I know a lot of people expecting babies right now, and I am not trying to make it seem bad.  Having a baby is a wonderful thing; it just isn't easy.  Basically, what I'm trying to say is when you think you can't to it, you can! There have been days when Gordon Lee is wonderfully peaceful and then there are other days when it seems all he ever does is cry, eat, and sleep.  I have thought I couldn't do it, but the truth is, I can.  If I keep waiting for it to get easier, then I am missing out on the time that I have with him now, which I know is so short!


Now for PART 2
Gordon Lee is 2 months old today! As now now, here are a few of the things he is doing.
smiling...as I have hundreds of pictures of this because I can't get enough of it!
laughing...he actually doesn't laugh that often but he will let out a few chuckles every now and then.  It is super cute when he does.

video
Fixating on objects more.   It used to be that he could only stand a few minutes (if even that long) laying down on his little playmat before he started screaming like he was in a torture chamber.  Now, he actually takes notice of the things there and will lie there for much longer.  However, he still has a lot of times when he wants nothing to do with it.  In the video, he is having a moment when he can't get enough of his star that lights up and plays music for him.

He also interacts quite a bit.  If I say things like "Hi," "Hi, Gordon Lee," "I love you" or "Good Morning," he often responds with a coo or a little happy noise.

It really is fun to watch him grow and develop.  Babies change so fast.  It sometimes seems like there is something new every day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home


I am planning on making a trip home starting Monday while my husband goes to training in South Carolina.  I should arrive there on Tuesday and stay for about 2 weeks.  For those of you at "home," I'd love to meet up if you are available.  It will be nice to be able to get of the house more.  It's hard for Lee and myself here because he works very long hours.  He is very kind to watch the baby for a little while when he gets home every day so that I can work out.  But I hate to have him watch the baby too much on his own because he works 12+ hours (sometimes 24 hours) and I feel he needs a chance to relax. Even though I feel run-down sometimes with the baby, I at least do have the opportunity to lay down and nap when I feel like it.  


During the day, when I want to go out, I always go with a baby in tow.  It's a lot tricker than it seems.  I have to decide if I should take the stroller, or put the carseat in a cart.  Gordon Lee's carseat is too big to sit in the upper part of the cart, so he has to take up the whole cart.  I could take him out of his carseat and wear him around as I shop, but that's extra time and guaranteed crying for him.  The tear-free way is to leave him in his carseat.  Usually I put the carseat into his stroller and grab a basket to pick up a few things.  Sometimes, when I go to Target, I put him in the cart.  But I still can't pick up anything big because it's not like I'm going to put something on top of him. lol  I never would have imagined that shopping with a baby would take so much "figuring out."


So, I definitely look forward to just going to the store without having to worry about exactly how I am going to get in and out of there...or sticking my butt out of the side of the backseat while I fasten him in there.  I have never been so homesick as I am now.  Having time with the baby is great, but I do miss some independence every now and then.  The gym is actually a much-coveted time for me.  It is a little time when I don't have to worry about the baby and it actually provides me with one more thing--something I can control.  Soothing him sometimes feels like taking shots in the dark.  Sometimes something works and other times it doesn't.  But when I go to the gym, I know that if I do something a certain way, I will have the same result every time.  I never knew how refreshing that would be.


I am rambling now.  I never knew I would long for the comforts of home and family as much as I am.  And I am truly looking forward to feeling a little more care-free during the day.  Thank you, Mama and Papa!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sleep Update

Well, I've been trying different techniques to help Gordon Lee nap in his crib that I have gotten from The No Cry Sleep Solution.  I was really surprised by some of the things that make so much sense that I just had not even thought of.


During nap time now he sleeps with a darker curtain up, he has his white noise machine going, I bundle him, and I actually let him sleep with his head in the corner of the crib.  Granted, I wouldn't advise having the baby sleep that way unless under close supervision.  I check on him regularly.  Otherwise, I wouldn't let him sleep like that.  In the book, the author explains that many babies like to sleep with their head "lodged," which is why many of them prefer sleeping in a car seat, infant swing, etc.  I already knew he preferred his car seat.  But I had also noticed that when I lay down with him, he likes to nuzzle his head up in my armpit.  So, I thought facing the back of his head toward the corner of the crib might help this for the time being.  I didn't get this idea from the book, but I came up with it on my own.  This type of sleep preference is apparently one that they grow out of soon after 3 months.  I also wouldn't let him sleep like this at night.  It has seemed to help a lot.  He does still wake up in his crib more often than his carseat.  However, he tends to sleep better in this position while in the crib (below is a dark picture of what he looks like sleeping this way).  



As I had said in the last blog, he is really addicted to nursing himself to sleep.  The book touched on this topic quite a bit leaving me to realize many nursing mothers have the same dilemma.  Here's an excerpt from the book describing the situation I have been in, "I've worked with many mothers whose babies are so used to Mom's presence that Mom has to put herself to bed at 7:00 and stay there because her baby has built-in radar that won't allow her to leave him alone.  Mommy also has to take daytime naps whether she wants to or not!"  This is Gordon Lee to a T! He seems to "know" (even when sleeping soundly) when I walk away.  Just minutes after I head out, he often wakes up.  This is one major reason I want him to learn to nap in his crib because I want him to learn that he can go back to sleep without me being right there.


What's her advice for getting the baby to learn this? She writes, "If you want your baby to be able to fall asleep without your help, it is essential that you sometimes let your newborn baby suck until she is sleepy, but not totally asleep.  As often as you can remove the baby and let her finish falling asleep without something in her mouth.  When you do this, your baby may resist, root, and fuss.  It's perfectly OK to give it back and start over a few minutes later.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  If you do this often enough, she will eventually learn how to fall asleep without sucking." So, this is what I've been doing.  And I don't know how well it is working.  


Gordon Lee seemed to have more trouble falling asleep last night without nursing than ever before.  However, he is just now waking up from his 2nd nap of the day and during both naps, he did wake up briefly only to go back to sleep on his own without needing to nurse!  So, who knows? I guess only time will tell if we make progress.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Didn't Imagine It

I just wanted to post an update that I went to Gold's Gym on Saturday and I braved the free weights granted, there wasn't much to brave as only 3 guys were there. I picked up some 15 lb (bc they didn't have 12) dumbbells and did some bicep curls.  


As I was standing there between sets, I happened to glance up and see a giant sign of "free weight rules" tacked up above the mirror.  And, I kid you not, the very FIRST rule was "No grunting, yelling, or intimidating other members." I had to laugh to myself about this one! So, I wasn't imagining things; they really were intimidating.  I have belonged to a couple of different gyms and this is the first one where I have seen that rule. 


And, of course, not only was it a rule, but it was the first rule.  I'm sure they would not have put it up there if they had no reason to do it.  


But anyway, I think I'm going to try to go during the middle of the day as much as possible because it is nice and quiet with hardly anyone there.