Friday, August 1, 2014

Out and About


Helena and I have had an extremely busy week.  We've had an adventure every day this week, and for the most part, Helena was a rock star!
My friend/cousin Kari arrived from Albuquerque Monday evening to meet Helena for the first time!  Kari got here just in time to help put Helena down for bed.  I think Kari provided the magic touch, as each night she was here Helena slept through the night!!!
Our fun started Tuesday afternoon with a trip to Ikea.  My hope was for Helena to sleep during the shopping trip, but there was just too much to look at.  She did take a little nap on the drive down, but that was it.  During our trip I found comfort in a makeshift bedroom to feed Helena, while Kari continued shopping.  I then topped her off before we left.  After shopping we were going to head to Chris' work to have dinner with him, but unfortunately with a crying baby, bad traffic, and super rainy weather, we didn't make it very far.  We ended up pulling over into a shopping center to feed Helena and try to calm her down.  Once the rain let up a little we decided to head to Park Meadows to try and put her to sleep, calm me down, and get some food.  She did fall asleep walking around the mall, and at that moment I decided regardless of the situation I needed to get my baby girl home.  So we headed out to the car to find it raining again, and to start what I knew would be an hour plus car ride.  Helena slept until traffic got bad and was to a complete stop on the freeway.  It took us about 30 minutes to go 2.5 miles.  Once we got through the bad traffic and the car was moving again she feel back asleep.  But that 30 minutes of her fussing was horrific for me.  I was on the verge of tears.  I knew she was tired and I knew that she had been out of "element" for too long.  We got home after the start of her bedtime routine, so once we got home she was fed and put immediately to sleep!

Wednesday was much more relaxed.  Our only outing was to get pedicures!  I was nervous about this though.  Going to spa with a unpredictable 2 and half month old...who knows what will happen?!  But she was amazing!  She stayed nice and calm in her car seat during the whole thing!  For the most part I think Helena likes to be out and about.  She bored with our house and knows what to expect.  Going out in public she has new things to look at and experience.  The timing for the pedicure was perfect.  She was entertained just long enough for Kari and I to relax and get our toes did!  Once our toes were done I fed her before heading to a casual lunch then home.

Yesterday was another shopping day!  We left for breakfast, and then headed to Colorado Mills.  Again for the most part she was good, but I definitely think sometimes she's over stimulated.  She truly doesn't want to miss a thing, and when I know she is tired this is tricky.  But thankfully she did sleep some before we headed home.

I value my relationship with Kari so much, and it was such a great visit!  I truly appreciate our time together, and the fact that she traveled to meet Helena and spend time with me, while leaving her loving husband and 2 boys at home means so much to me!
Overall it was a great trip!

Monday, July 21, 2014

another random post





my latest obsession is taking pictures of Helena while she is asleep.
i don't think i've ever seen something so
angelic.

***

i'm officially calling it:
Helena is OFF of the nipple shield. 
we have yet to nurse in public, but i'm pretty sure we've jumped over that hurdle!
i'm so thankful.
i remember thinking she would NEVER nurse.  then when she latched with the nipple shield i was so incredibly happy, and thought she would NEVER latch without it.  and now here we are 10 weeks later, and we're finally where i wanted to be!  all my friends said it would get easier, and they were RIGHT!  i'm so thankful for being persistent, even though there were numerous times i wanted to stop trying and just give her formula.  or times i would think "i can't do this.  it has to be one or the other." 
i have a pretty good system in place with pumping; getting milk to freeze and to feed (she usually gets a bottle in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, if not both), so hopefully soon we'll be able to put the formula away, and she'll just be eating breast milk!
i've started taking the herbal supplement more milk special blend by motherlove.  it has definitely helped.  my milk supply still isn't quite where i want it to be, but i'm getting more than what i was, and that's a huge improvement, and is helping with the elimination of formula!

***

baby girl has bows!
thanks to grandma sweat!
it's the cutest little thing you ever  did see!
***

i've been in denial for way too long, but i've finally started the daycare search.
we'll be checking out 2 places this week.
i need something in place by 9/15.
the biggest problem is i only need 3 hours of care in the afternoon twice a week.  not even part time.  i really don't want to pay for more than what we need.
any ideas?, suggestions?, recommendations?  ...send 'em my way please!

***

Helena is a rockstar while going out in public.  on saturday we had a nice long lunch with my cousin Brad that was in town.  she was awake and quiet most of the time in the restaurant.  i was so proud!

***

we'll be trying yoga again tomorrow!

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i'm so happy that Helena loves bath time.  i myself love the water, so i love that she loves it too!

***

in my mind Helena is slowly getting on a schedule, and i love her afternoon nap!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

all kinds of crazy ~ baby edition

baby and i had a great day, with a GIANT milestone!
today is the first day Helena ate withOUT
the nipple shield!
huge score for baby girl!

******

in addition to nursing we went to the bank and costco,
and hung out at my friend Sarah's house with her two
kiddos.
Helena was fantastic all day long.

******

and since it wasn't raining today we were able to go out on our normal evening walk.

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how cool is it that my wedding anniversary is 10/5
and my daughter's birthday is 5/10?!
 
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we attempted baby and me yoga on tuesday with my friend Andrea and her son Grayson.
it unfortunately wasn't successful.
Helena pretty much wanted to eat and fuss the whole time.
but i did learn some stretches and baby massage that i've been doing at home.
 
*******
 
sometimes when i'm watching TV and Helena is screaming bloody murder, i feel like she's loud enough that the people inside the TV can hear her, and i want to apologize to them.
 
******
 
per her great-grandmother's advice,
Helena wears socks everyday.
i'm impressed that we have yet to lose a sock at almost 10 weeks old!
 
******
 
i've started freezing my breast milk.
definitely feeling proud.
 
******
 
we're signing to Helena.
mainly we sign "milk" and "mommy loves Helena" and "daddy loves Helena".
we do that over and over and over again.
 
******
 
tomorrow is a pool day!
 
******

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Rough Few Days and a Date

My poor baby girl is sick.  She was of course, extra fussy after Friday's dosage of vaccines at the pediatricians office, but now she has a cough and runny nose, and is sneezing more than normal.  It's heartbreaking to see.  I really hope she gets better soon.  At almost 10pm last night I had Chris put together the little play pin thing to put in our room, so she could sleep with us.  I hated the idea of her being all the way in her room by herself.  So she slept next to me last night, and will probably sleep next to me again tonight.  Thanks to my friend Sarah and her awesome Boogie Blaster Kit that she put together for my baby shower, we had some remedies for Helena.  That was truly a lifesaver over the weekend, and today!  I hope it doesn't turn into anything worse, and thankfully she still has her appetite, and is getting even better at latching onto me!!!  

 In the middle of all of this Chris and I had a date night on Friday.  We planned this way back when I was still pregnant, and I remember thinking that when we go out on this date my little baby will be 2 months old, will I be able to leave my baby for a full night?, and enjoy myself?  Honestly, the answer is yes.  We left Helena with Grandma and Grandpa Sweat who were staying with us after their return from traveling through Northern New Mexico the week prior.  A massive rain/hail storm hit just as we were about to leave, and I thought I would interrupt our dinner plans, but thankfully it slowed down enough for us to leave.  It was definitely difficult leaving Helena, especially because she was so fussy and just drained from the day activities, but I knew she was in good and loving hands.  Plus, I knew it was important to take this opportunity while we had family in town to reconnect with my husband. 
Chris and I had an excellent dinner at a brand new steak place called Guard and Grace.  It was fantastic.  I had the snapper and truly enjoyed it.  We had awesome service, enjoyed a few drinks, and relaxed in a nice atmosphere.  After dinner we went to the Paramount Theater to see Bill Engvall.  He was hilarious!  Even better was there was no opening act.  He came on right at 8pm, did his 90 minute show, and we headed home.  It truly was a great date night with my husband!  I'm so thankful to have family to watch Helena so Chris and I can go out once in awhile.
Waiting to enter the venue

Grandma Sweat sent to this me while we were out to dinner.
 Saturday night was a rough one.  I was up with Helena 3 different times from about 2am - 7:30am.  It brought back feelings of having a newborn!  We've been so blessed to have a baby the mostly sleeps during the night, that being up with her so frequently brought me back to those first 4 weeks, a mere 5 weeks ago!  Crazy how that seems like a lifetime ago.
Sleeping in the middle of the night

Sleeping this morning, hopefully getting better
I called the pediatrician's office this morning, and she doesn't have any of the major symptoms that prompt needing to be seen by the doctor, so we'll just keep doing what we are doing, and pray she gets better quickly.
I hope she goes back to her happy baby self soon!
Any remedies or ideas on how to treat her?, I truly appreciate!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Two Months

hanging out with Denali




Helena had her two month doctor's visit today, and I can't believe my little girl is growing up. 

Height: 23.5 inches (90%)
Weight: 10 lbs 7 oz (50%)
Head: 15 inches (50%)

It's crazy to me that she weights what she was predicted to weight at birth, at two months of age.  She's definitely growing.  Her 3 month clothing is still a little big on her, but she's growing exactly how she should!  She's a little drooler, and drools like crazy.  The doctor said it could mean she's getting ready to teeth, or it couldn't, and used her own son as an example.  She said her son started drooling at 3 months, but didn't get his first tooth until 10 months.  So time will tell, but I'm definitely not ready for little girl to get teeth.  I'll be happy if she waits another 4 months.
Helena accidentally latched, and actually nursed some without the nipple shield last week.  The feeling and closeness brought me to tears.  By "accidentally" I mean, she ripped the nipple shield off of me, and just latched right back so fast without realizing it.  Now that I know she can feed without the shield, we're trying more and more without it.  But for the most part she still just plays with my nipple and doesn't really know what to do.  She eventually gets frustrated since she's hungry and I put back on the shield.  But it is definitely a step in the right direction.
I've started freezing my milk so that we have some supply for when I stop nursing/pumping.  I freeze a 5oz bag a day.
She's holding up her neck better and better, and getting stronger.  She's also found her "voice" for something other than crying.  Her little coo's and vocabulary is so much fun.
We've started signing to her.  We'll sign the ABC's, and "Daddy loves Helena", and "Mommy loves Helena".  And "milk" when she's hungry, along with "eat" and "more".  I'm excited for her to learn ASL.
We're enjoying our summer, and really like getting out of the house.  Most of the time we're saved by our afternoon walks, as that's usually the only time we leave the house.  Walking around the gravel path around Eastlake puts her right to sleep.
We're slowly getting a routine and although I can't hear a difference in her cry's I usually know what it is she's crying for.
I can't wait for what's next!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Day in the Life

I've decided to try and document my days with Helena.  My goal is to do this about once a month.
Here's what we did yesterday July 9, 2014.  All times are approximate.

5:30am - you woke up and fed.  I know I'm extremely lucky as you've only woken up a total of 4 or 5 times in the middle of the night over the past 5 weeks, but when you do wake up in the middle of the night, it just throws me off.  Thankfully you got some food and went right back to sleep.

8:30am - Dad got you as I was pumping, and fed you.

9am - You played in your little gym thing, and got the hiccups!
Happy Baby!

9:30am - You played and talked with Dad while I cooked breakfast.
9:50am - into the swing you go.
10am - sleeping baby
11am - awake, Dad changed you and dressed you for the day.  Then we played with you and you did some tummy time.  You've recently found your vocabulary and started "talking" other than crying and it's the cutest thing.  You definitely "coo" and I love it.  I also read to you.


 11:30am - you ate and then went back into the swing to fall asleep.
1pm - you woke up and ate some more.
1:30pm - You were fussy and we tried to entertain you.
 2pm - Dad left for work.  You went back into the swing and fell asleep.
 4pm - You woke up and I fed you.  We spent some time cuddling, playing, and "talking".
 5:30pm - I put you in the gym thing while I made dinner.  I made ground turkey for a Taco Bake just to find out that the tortilla's I have are all moldy.  So dinner was a big fail.  At this point you were getting fussy, so we drove to Sonic to get dinner.  You fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep long enough for me to eat dinner.
6:30pm - By this time you woke up and were fussy, so it was time to get out of the house for our daily walk.  We love getting out of the house, so our walk is something we always look forward to.
7pm - You hung out in the swing some more and took a little nap.
8pm - We started your bedtime routine.  Got you all swaddled up and fed.  You were asleep by 9pm.
Love a sleeping baby

2:30am - I woke up to pump.
4am - You woke up to eat.  And went right back asleep.
7am - Awake again to eat, and to fall back asleep.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our 4th



Helena's first time wearing a bow!
The best part of the our 4th of July was having Chris home all day! 
We attempted to go to the neighborhood park to watch fireworks, but unfortunately we didn't make it.

Hope your 4th was a festive one!