Saturday, July 30, 2011

lack of sleep? no problem.

I am dubiously proud to say that after net 3 hours of sleep, broken into two segments (not Andrew's fault), I am able to get up at 6:30am (Andrew's fault) and feel perfectly functional, moreso even than in college..

I feel like a mom.

So does that mean MIT was just sleep training for having a baby?

Friday, July 29, 2011

camping, colds, and sleep

Last weekend we did our second attempt at camping.  We drove up Geneva Creek, off of Guanella Pass Road.  It was a fun easy 4wd all the way up to just below the continental divide, topping out at about 12,000 ft.  We really really really wanted to camp up there in the "Geneva City" basin, but unfortunately, with the incredibly wet, snowy winter that the high country had this year, the mosquitoes were positively swarming, so we descended.

The lower part of the road was extremely busy with campers - even though this was dispersed camping - so we grabbed a wide spot in the road to camp.  Not our ideal situation, but it worked.  We took the three man tent this time, which was palatial in its accommodation.  We tried the suggestion of Terry and Tara, which was to swaddle him and have him sleep on the cushy changing pad.  This takes up a lot of room in the Jeep, but is a nice place for baby sleeping.

Dressed to combat mosquitoes and late afternoon sun.

Luxurious mattress

In the three-man tent

Chilly morning in camp.

Andrew didn't have the best night camping, but what we didn't realize at the time was that he was coming down with a cold.  He spent the following day pretty out of it, and we had a panicked night of constructing tents in the bedroom at home where he could sleep in the bouncy chair (semi-inclined) with the humidifier (which I wish we had a picture of).  This was followed by two nights of sleeping in the swing in the closed-up bathroom with the vaporizer running.  Then he graduated to sleeping in the crib with the mattress inclined by a pillow. This has worked surprisingly well.

I brought him back to my bed for a night, and neither of us had very good sleep.  So last night, I swaddled him up and put him down in the crib after reading Goodnight Moon, something I hope will become part of our bedtime routine:

He went down at 9pm and had three wakeups - 1:30am with a feeding, 3:30 am (just gave him the pacifier and rocked him back to sleep), and 4:45 am with a feeding.  I'm mostly confident we can get rid of that 3:30 break.  And then, though he was making noises from 6am on, he didn't get up until 7:15a.  So if you don't count the 3:30a wakeup, that's a 4.5 hour block followed by a 3-ish hour block and then a couple more hours before fully awake... I can handle this!  I got great sleep in spite of getting up to walk to the next room.

I think that for the time being, this means the end of co-sleeping for us.  We'll see what happens when I go back to work.  I've heard that the best sleeping arrangement is the one that gets everyone in the house the most sleep, and for one night at least, I think we all had a great night.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Could it possibly be...?

...sleeping through the night???

Around six weeks, Andrew's night sleep patterns had somewhat stabilized into two three-hour blocks followed by a couple hours of fitful dozing (if I was lucky and avoided the 4am party), so that was two wakeups.  I was just fine with that sleep schedule - it wasn't eight hours straight or anything, but I felt mostly rested and functional.  At that time, he started to move from eating every two hours during the day to every three.  Three hours seemed so much better for me - time to get things done - so I  was happy to help him stretch it.

We didn't consistently get to every-three-hour feeding until a couple weeks ago.  Around that time, he started waking up every two hours at night.  I tried to soothe him back to sleep without feeding, as suggested in the No-Cry Sleep Solution, but he wouldn't have it.  He wanted to eat - one side every two hours.  I was very discouraged.  This seemed like regression, not progress.  But I didn't really correlate the daytime feedings with the night feedings.

Then a couple days ago, I was reading a thread on BabyCenter and the majority of exclusively breastfed three-month-olds listed there seemed well on their way to sleeping through the night.  Many of them mentioned "tanking up" during the day.  A lightbulb went on.  So yesterday I spent the whole day on an every-two-hour schedule, feeding him well before he asked for it.  At breastfeeding support group, he *still* took 3.8 oz at the feeding!

The result?  Last night he slept from 9:40pm-3:40am - a six hour block.  That, my friends, is considered Sleeping Through The Night.  He stirred a bit at 12:30a and 2a, but by the time I got ready to feed him (like, ten seconds), he was already back to sleep and wouldn't even open his mouth.  AHHHHH!  I feel like a new person!

Now, the time after 4am was a little fitful.  It was very dry last night, and Andrew was struggling with congestion.  I gave him saline nose drops when he was awake at 3:45a, but they didn't help too much.  Plus I was too excited to sleep much after that.  The 4am party was thrown by mama last night! We got up for the day at 6:15a, with a very happy baby and a very happy mama.

I'm certainly happy to aim to feed him every two hours, knowing that I have an hour or so buffer until he gets really super hungry.  That's probably better than taking it to the limit of the three hours anyway- I'll probably panic less this way.  I know that all this is probably going to change - we've got return to work and the 4 month sleep regression coming up.  But dangit, I'll take my six hour stretch while it lasts!

Now tonight, we'll see if this is repeatable!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fun with hanging things

Andrew is 12 weeks old today.  He weighs 14lb, 10.4oz, and is gaining at the ridiculous rate of 1.77oz/day.  And the second derivative shows no signs of going negative - maybe he really will be the size of a 747 by the time he's 3 years old!

I got a little excited when I posted my fascination with Andrew's desire to reach hangy things this morning.  We worked on this skill all morning.  He was able to grab the Hippo and the Monkey rings on his bouncer chair.  I missed that moment, but here he is swatting at both of them:

Then we played with the baby gym.  In the middle, there hangs a ladybug with a ring that plays music when you pull the ring.  Andrew has been able to grasp the ring all this week, but hasn't gotten the knack or the grip strength to pull on it and start the music.  At least he hadn't until today.

Hand in the ring

Action shot: swinging elephant in the foreground, batting the ladybug in the back

Hi Mom.

He got a good grip on that ring.

Once he got the music to start a couple of times, he pulled the ring over and over and over, starting the next song before the previous one had finished.  I'm not sure if he really understood the cause-and-effect of the music starting, but he sure seemed to enjoy it.  And he did this all by himself, with no interaction from me!  I'm so impressed!

While all this was going on, this handsome young gentleman came to hang out in the patch of shady cool grass next to our shed:

And now for your viewing pleasure, more pics of Andrew, aged 12 weeks.

Yeah, he's totally a Simpkins


He's getting frustrated with sitting in the swing, because he tries to swat the animals on the mobile, but can't reach them.  He'd much prefer to be in his baby gym with five different toys to bang around.  Also he's almost got the hang of pulling the ring that starts the music -- he has done it by accident.  Almost there.

Maybe tomorrow.  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Handsome hair

This post is brought to you by the post-bath handsome hair.

The camera really really does not do it justice.

Monday, July 18, 2011

the state of the union

Here's a round robin update on how we're doing here.

Breastfeeding: I'm shocked at how much more efficient Andrew is lately (10 minutes each side, 13 if he's dawdling) and shocked also at how much I miss when he would lollygag for 30 minutes on each side.  We have continued to go to a breastfeeding support group sponsored by our lactation consultant, which has been awesome for us, and for me to socialize with other new moms.

Sleep: Andrew defies all conventional wisdom on baby sleep.  He only needs 9-10ish hours a day, including naps.  He rarely takes long naps, mostly just cat naps - except for today, because we apparently wore him out on the weekend.  If he goes to bed before about 9:30pm, he wants to get up for the day (or at least throw a party) around 330-4am.  I thought babies were supposed to need a lot of sleep!  I'm working on letting go of the idea that "what the books say" doesn't necessarily apply to us, and things are getting much easier for us.  We co-sleep at night for the most part.  Once he started to be able to sleep by himself in the crib, I started putting him down there for the first 3-hour segment and then bringing him in to sleep with me, so that I could get some more restful sleep myself.  The problem I had with that is that I would put him down and then stay up to get things done or just spend time with my Travis, and i ended up more exhausted than before.  So we are back to full time co-sleeping, and he goes to bed when I do between 9:30 and 10:30.

Travis has been sleeping in the spare room since his paternity leave ended. This works out really well for us because he gets enough sleep for work, and then if Andrew does decide to throw a 4am party, he is freshly ready and able to entertain him, and I can get rest, and we both end up with a reasonable amount of sleep.

For naps Andrew will sleep in the crib in the nursery, in the cradle in the living room, or in the swing in the dining room.  I'm encouraged that after a rough start of needing to sleep on someone ALL THE TIME, he seems to be rather flexible in his sleep situation.  We swaddle him whenever he is sleeping by himself to help him not get distracted by his own hands.

Cloth diapering: we are also using and loving the BumGenius 3.0-4.0 one-size models.  I'm definitely loving the cloth diapers.  We do disposables on the road/for travel days and I can't wait to get him back into the cloth at the end of the day.  He has stopped pooping overnight, so I've been doubling the liners and he's been going all night on one diaper, which gets me even more sleep, because now when he stirs, I just roll over, start him feeding, and drift back off to sleep.  I don't even have to wake up.  Not bad.

Currently my biggest stress is going back to work.  I am in the throes of trying to determine what childcare is going to be and I'm completely freaking out about it.  I'm having visions of him being left in a crib to cry, and I have the same nightmare for a nanny as I do for a day care center.  He's pretty much the easiest baby in the world - never cries without a reason, always very easy to soothe - which is why leaving him to cry would be absolutely tragic.  I'm getting emotional just typing that.

On the positive side, some of my pregnancy pounds have melted off.  It's never been easy for me to lose or maintain a healthy weight, and so to see some of it slip off so easily is ridiculously exciting.  I attribute it some to breastfeeding, some to getting back to exercising, and a lot to cutting out dairy.  I may want to continue that diet even after Andrew is okay with it again!

That's my world right now.  Here are some pictures and highlights of this week:

Daddy gives a bottle of mama's milk.

Sitting up supported! Like a couch potato.

Grandpa and Andrew play on the baby gym.

My new friend, Maulee Brown

This beautiful girl pictured above followed Travis home from his morning walk the other day.  She's a pit bull. I have rarely seen a dog so obedient and well-behaved.  And so friendly and affectionate!  She hung out on our porch all morning and didn't seem to know how to get home even when I took her on a walk to the vicinity of her house and said, "go home!"  When her mom came to pick her up, she was grateful that she was found by people who were friendly to her - some in the neighborhood apparently don't appreciate her very much.  It was hard not to be friendly to such a wonderful dog!

It's gotten very warm again, so we decided to do Andrew's bath on the porch:
Bathtime still life.

Naked baby!

Tub with a view

After the bath, we went out to get some exercise and walked from Morrison to Quincy and Wadsworth (~7 miles) through Bear Creek Lake Park.  We pushed Andrew in the BOB.  It was quite the adventure.

We've had lots of storms.  With storms come rainbows. And internet outages.

We took Grandma and Grandpa off-roading.  First we drove over the (smooth) Boreas Pass Road.  Then we attempted Georgia Pass:

The family cradle now lives in Colorado.  Andrew broke it in with a three hour nap today.

Grandma got to give Andrew his bottle.  Andrew is still getting used to the bottle thing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

in the mail today...

Our boy has a PASSPORT!  :o)))

Monday, July 11, 2011

This n That

Puffy foot update: after reading the MRI, Doc says that the foot is simply filled with fluid, probably lymphatic.  There are no tumors, growths, or other weirdness.  All blood vessels look good.  They are confident that it's not going to hinder the development of the foot.  They are happy to "wait and see" if it resolves on its own before taking action.  Great news!

Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Mike were visiting this long weekend and one activity we did was to drive to the top of Mt. Evans.  Travis hopped out at Summit Lake (around 12,800') for a short hike to bag Mt. Spalding and then walk the ridge to Mt. Evans.  I got nervous about my stamina and the windy conditions and being away from Andrew, so I bailed on the hike.  I'm now even more motivated to get in shape and get some confidence back.

On top of Mt. Spalding

At the summit of Mt. Evans, we all climbed up the summit pile to the top.  I'm so proud of my parents for getting out there and braving the altitude.  Andrew came too, in the Ergo, for his first excursion above 14,000 ft.
Mt. Evans Summit: 14,264'

All bundled up for the windy weather

On Sunday evening, Grandma and Grandpa babysat Andrew so Mom and Dad could go on a date (putt-putt and BBQ).  Grandpa worked hard to give a fussy Andrew his bottle.  He didn't like it too much, but they got it done:

On the one hand, I'm glad that he prefers nursing to the bottle.  On the other hand, we definitely need to practice more with the bottle in preparation for going back to work.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Puffy foot: MRI at Children's

I have mentioned in passing before that Andrew was born with a puffy right foot.  He came out this way, which freaked the midwives out a little bit.  His foot hasn't really changed since then.  He's been examined by 4 doctors, including a pediatric orthopedic specialist, and many nurses who all have said the same thing: It has great circulation, all the proper reflexes are in place, the legs and footpads are symmetric, it doesn't seem to cause him pain, and he is able to stand on it/kick with it equally with the left foot.  We're not sure what is wrong, exactly, so we should just wait to see if it resolves on its own or if he grows out of it.

Our pediatrician originally surmised that it had fluid in there, as most swollen things do, then the ortho guy suggested that it was vascular - either blood vessels or lymphatic vessels that grew extras for whatever reason - and now we're back to thinking that it's fluid again.

Fascinatingly, it appears that Travis also had a puffy foot when he was born - his left.  His dad thought he remembered this, but we were able to confirm it in Ohio last week when we uncovered Travis's baby books and albums.  It turns out that Travis's mom wrote in a day planner *every single day for Travis's first four years of life.*  (Makes me feel like a slacker for keeping a mere blog.)  So here are a few entries from 1978 with regard to the foot:

Feb 6, 1978 (just over two months old): "We will go to Doctor's Hospital to get X-Rays taken of his left foot."

Feb 8: They saw the specialist, who recommended one of those orthopedic braces we all had with the bar between the shoes.  (This didn't have much to do with the foot, more with the "legs turning out."

Feb 18: They got the brace.  "Travis did good with his new shoes and bar on.  He did keep kicking them off - especially the left foot that is still swollen from birth."

March 6 (just over 3 months): They saw the specialist again.  "The swelling on his left foot is practically gone."

So Travis's seems to have resolved on its own.  Even more interesting, now we are hearing that there are family stories of a great-great-grandfather who had puffy ankles his whole life and a great uncle who had disproportionately large legs.  It's fascinating - this seems to be a genetic, inherited thing.

At any rate, Andrew's pediatrician decided it was time to take a look in there and see what's going on.  And because it appears to be a soft tissue thing, MRI was the tool of choice.  And because one needs to hold perfectly still for an MRI, and we have a squirmy worm, he had to be under general anesthesia for the procedure.

So yesterday, we, along with Grandma Joyce, headed over to The Children's Hospital for an MRI.

First they took his weight:

Then they took his history:

Took his blood pressure on his leg:

But he was so squirmy they needed to take it again on his arm:

 Then his pulse ox from his toe:

Then he flirted with Nurse Holly:

We met the anesthesiologist:

 He had to wait to eat because of the anesthesia, so when he started to get hungry, Grandma rocked and put him to sleep:

Then it was time to take him away.... and Mommy cried a little.  (God help me if he ever needs to have a serious procedure or surgery done.)

Grandma and I poked around the first floor of the hospital.  As hospitals go, Children's is a pretty fun place to hang out.  Then we sat in the cafeteria to wait for our pager to go off that he was in recovery.

He was still sleeping on the gurney when we got back, with his chin propped up and a nasal cannula helping him out with some oxygen:

This was the little face mask they used to give him nitrous - enough to relax him to get in the IV with the main anesthesia:

He slowly woke up and tried to nurse, though he was a little drunk and uncoordinated:

After a quick diaper change, we were good to go.

On the way home, as he woke up more, he realized he was super hungry, so Grandma soothed him by letting him give her finger a hickey until we stopped for a nursing break.  We finally made it home in spite of a monsoon that hit during rush hour and having to drive all the way across town.

Andrew was a champ and had a good evening and a good night in spite of the traumatic day.  We'll get the results of the scan soon...