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!


  1. A lovely post my love and you are beautiful and a great mother to Ellie :)

  2. You are back to your radiant self, Elena! You must be getting more sleep. You're just gorgeous! ;)

    You two know Ellie better than anyone, so go with your gut instinct when it comes to putting her down for sleep. Maybe try the self soothing thing more for naps instead of night time if she just won't settle down. You'll be able to go in repeatedly much easier if you're up already, or just napping yourself, plus you'll still get a better night's sleep using the cuddle til falling asleep method if she stays settled longer.

    Dim lights (when feeding and changing her during the night) and the sound machine are good. Patting her, your soothing voice and not picking her up are also great ideas. I played lullaby music for my kids when they were put to sleep at night. They seemed to enjoy it.

    You're doing great as parents!

  3. She sounds a lot like Riley with the sleeping, except he never went to sleep on his own until about 8 months. I noticed you said you trained her to fall asleep in your arms, which was (and sometimes still is) EXACTLY how I felt about Riley, but I've been reading a lot of blogs/stories/articles lately about how some babies (esp. high need ones) have trouble sleeping unless being held regardless of what the caregivers do. I just didn't want you to feel guilty or worry yourself sick that you "made" her that way, not that you are, but I sure did and realizing it has a lot to do with temperament and personality made me feel a lot better!

    We tried CIO too a couple of times, and, I agree, it's heartbreaking! After attempting it, I don't think I can ever do it again, so you have a partner if you decide the same thing. If you're looking for recommendations on sleep ideas, Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution book saved my sanity. The sleep techniques didn't work for Riley (so far, nothing has) but it was nice to know how many others out there have similar experiences! You're doing great!


  4. Thank you, all! It has gotten worse this week, but we're trying out some new techniques and trying to get a regular bedtime established, which I think will help a lot.

    Mi amor, thank you! I love you, and I'm so grateful for you.

    Thanks for your encouraging comments, Patty and Emily. I don't know how you did it for 8 months, Emily! Goodness, I'm hoping we can get something figured out soon. And yeah... I think we're done with CIO. It really is too heartbreaking, and with Ellie, she doesn't stop crying for the whole hour. If anything, she just gets more angry and cries harder.