Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sleep

A couple of weeks ago, breastfeeding was my biggest concern.  I had been having so many problems with a good latch and still using a nipple shield from the hospital.  I really wanted to give up because I was in so much pain still, two months in.  Thankfully, I went and saw a lactation consultant finally through Ellie's pediatrician, and within five minutes, all of my nursing problems were solved.  I don't even need to use a shield anymore to get Ellie latched on and there's no more pain at all.  I'm so thankful that that issue is resolved, and I'm thankful nursing works as well as it does now.  Now the only real issue is sleep...


I was really excited earlier this week when Ellie went down for a nap and then two different bedtimes fully awake and got herself to sleep.  I don't know if that was just a fluke but now she absolutely refuses to do the same thing again, and the only way she will take a nap is if I hold her or if she falls asleep in her swing. We're still working on getting her to bed at an earlier time, and establishing a good bedtime routine.  I really think she is sleep deprived and overtired and maybe that's why she hasn't been sleeping well either for her naps or at night.

Also gone are the six or seven hour stretches of sleep at night.  For the last two nights Ellie has woken up after only three or four hours.  I feel like we're way back to the days of the first few weeks coming home from the hospital.  Every time I tried putting her down for a nap yesterday, she just screamed at me.  After not getting anything done around the house, I finally just strapped her on me in the mei tai wrap and wore her around the house as I made dinner and cleaned.

The other day I came in our room to see Ellie licking the side of her little bed.  I thought it was a little strange, but since then it has become her biggest obsession.  And now for the last two days for all of her naps and going to sleep at night, I've found her with her head to the side and crying because she can't get to the same spot she loves to lick.  It really is the strangest thing, and it's keeping her from sleeping.  It's not just the bed she loves licking, it's everything now, and her hands are always in her mouth.  I guess this is the age babies' salivary glands really get going.   I'm hoping this is just a weird stage and we can establish some good sleep habits soon... it would be great if Ellie could fall asleep on her own in her own bed.  From day one, she has always cried when we put her down away from our arms.

It's interesting just seeing how much of Ellie's personality already.  She is very spirited, a little stubborn but incredibly sweet and curious with those she knows well.  I definitely think she will be a very strong-willed woman when she grows up!  :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Celebrating the Fourth and my 25th Birthday

So, it's been a while, again.  I feel like things are getting easier than my last post even.  Here is what's been going on for the last month:

Renae and Justin came down for a visit in early June so Justin could meet his little niece for the first time.  It was wonderful having them here for a few days and one night they even babysat Ellie while Israel and I went out on a date.


We are working on getting Ellie on more of a sleep routine.  We've been trying to get her to bed at an earlier time and sleeping in our room without us always there.  That is the biggest challenge right now.  Since we got into kind of a bad habit of her falling asleep in my arms after feeding her, she will not just go down for sleep unless she's in a deep sleep first.  I've been working on this with her naps, just putting her in her bed drowsy but still awake, turning on her white noise machine and leaving the room.  After fussing a few minutes, she will fall asleep usually for twenty or thirty minutes.  I'm hoping eventually she will sleep for longer stretches of time by herself.  The other night, after a recommendation from my pediatrician, I put Ellie down in her bed around 8, tired but still awake.  Before that, I gave her a bath, changed her and read her a book before I noticed the first few yawns.

I put her to bed and she did fuss for about five minutes but fell asleep.  She was asleep for almost an hour before she woke up crying.  I waited ten minutes before going in, patted her and talked to her a little bit before leaving the room again.  She kept crying and I continued to go in every ten minutes without picking her up.  My pediatrician told me to try this and after three nights, Ellie should be sleeping through the night by herself.  Ellie never stopped crying and after about forty minutes, I finally went in and picked her up.  It made me so sad to see her screaming for her life and she was sweaty from crying so much.  :(  I'm not sure how I feel about the cry it out method, especially after that night.  Before then, Ellie would usually sleep from 11:30 to 5:30 and then again from 6:30 to 9:30.  But after the other night, she wouldn't sleep until 2 a.m.  I don't think she knows how to self soothe and get herself back to sleep, since I basically trained her to fall asleep in my arms.  So, I'm really not sure what to do to get her to fall asleep on her own.  I want to check out a few books on this topic... but for you experienced moms, any tips for this first time mom??

Father's Day was extra special this year for Israel being a first time dad.  I made a special breakfast and we stayed in that night, ordered a pizza and watched the Heat game.  Israel is such a good dad to Ellie.  I love seeing him with her and the special relationship they have.  He's so tender and protective of her already.  I can only imagine what he'll be like when she's a teenager....


Israel's mom, Bertha, stayed with us for several days and also got to meet Ellie for the first time.  I'm glad she finally got to meet her Cuban grandma!  Bertha, my mom, Ellie and I made a trip to the Capitol one morning for a special ceremony for Israel's job.  It was fun to see my love in action!


We had fun taking Ellie out to different places and Bertha even got to celebrate the Fourth with us.  We went to Lawrence earlier in the afternoon to eat lunch and walk around, but unfortunately not very many places were open downtown.  Later that night, we went over to my parents' house and enjoyed an all American meal of barbeque chicken and steak, corn, green beans and salad.  All week fireworks were being set off in our neighborhood and I don't think Bertha's ever experienced a Fourth of July like this one.  We bought out own fireworks for that night and had our own show in my parents' driveway.




I turned 25 yesterday and had a wonderful birthday!  I used a gift certificate I had gotten from a friend at His and Her Salon and got my hair cut and styled.  It was nice to feel pampered for a little bit when I'm so busy taking care of another person I usually don't have much time these days for my hair.  Ellie and I went out to lunch with my mom and Bekah at Red Lobster, and later on, Israel took me out to Paisano's for dinner.



I decided I was going to wait until my birthday to get some kind of alcoholic drink at dinner.  So I planned ahead and had a couple bottles of pumped breast milk ready for Ellie later, and okay, I'm not an alcoholic, but I was excited to drink a little something because it's been ten months!  I was getting ready for our date at home and decided to just take my camera bag and leave the purse at home.  It was when Israel and I were seated at our table when I realized I had left my wallet behind.  I tried ordering something but the waitress asked for my ID and I told her I had forgotten it.  She told me that she couldn't serve me without seeing proof of my age, and I felt like I was 19 or something trying to order a drink.  I did get in a few sips of Israel's Blue Moon and it was quite tasty.  :)  It was a lovely birthday!