Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday My Love!

Today is S’s 31st birthday.  She had yesterday off and has today off, so we are celebrating her birthday “weekend”.  Yesterday we went to the Austin Children’s Museum with Jude and one of his baby friends.  It was so much fun.  On Mondays from 9-12 they have the museum set up for just 3 and under.  It was really cool.  They played with blocks and toys and there was a sing-a-long and all sorts of neat stuff to look at.  Jude had so much fun that he played right though his nap time without getting cranky.  Some cute photos of our day:

Today is going to be super fun as well.  We are getting ready right now to go to the Alamo Draft House, which is this awesome chain of movie theaters here in Austin where you can sit and watch a movie while you order drinks and food and the waitresses bring it out for you.  And they serve beer and mixed drinks and really yummy food.  And as if that wasn’t good enough, to accommodate us new parents on Tuesdays before 2pm any movie is a “Baby Day” movie which means they turn the lights up a bit and turn the sound down on the movie and allow you to bring in your (hopefully not crying, though you won’t get kicked out for that) baby.  So we are going to go see Brave.  So excited.  This will be Jude’s first trip to the movies, so cross your fingers for us that he just sleeps on us or is entertained by the movie.
Off to celebrate!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

6 Months Old!

Wow, Jude is 6 months old today, or at least 24 weeks, which is the same thing to me, though not to the doctor’s office.  Some of Jude’s accomplishments/stats:
*Jude sleeps through the night!  But you already knew that :)
*He can sit up on his own for long periods of time
*He eats all sorts of different flavors of foods
*He is in size 3 diapers
*He sleeps on in his crib, even for naps
*He no longer uses a pacifier
*He is no longer swaddled at night
*He can play by himself for up to 15 minutes at a time
*His favorite thing to watch on TV is Yo Gabba Gabba (though he is limited to one episode a day a doesn’t watch anything else)
*He loves to jump and bounce
*He sleeps on his stomach
*He rolls easily from his stomach to his back and from his back to his stomach
*He has two teeth
*His hair has been cut 2 times now, once by me, once by a professional
*He has been to Wisconsin and Oklahoma and next month will travel to California
*He laughs, he smiles, he giggle, he “talks”, he babbles, he shrieks, he screams

He is all around an awesome baby and these have been the best 6 months and the fastest 6 month of my life.  Here he is in his 6 month glory this morning!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Can’t Believe It Worked

Our baby sleeps through the night now.  Holy cow, it’s so awesome!  Jude has now slept through the night the last 3 nights in a row, going to bed at 7pm and not getting up until 6:15 ish with hardly a peep in between and certainly no mommies having to go in and put him back to bed or even make him cry it out at all.  He just sleeps.  If you had asked me last week if this was even possible I would have told you no, and now here we are.  So dearest readers with little ones keeping you up at night, there is hope!    You will one day sleep! Sleep training works and I’m so glad we did it.  Oh and we also this week weaned Jude off of pacifiers, another thing I’m really happy about.  I so did not want to be having this fight when he was older and a friend of mine told me this weekend that his girlfriend’s kid is 3 years old and still needs a pacifier, and I just can’t imagine at that age how hard getting rid of the pacifier is going to be.  So, some pretty big wins for us this week in the parenting world.  So happy right now.  With 3 good nights of sleep under our belts and a smiling baby who no longer wakes up crying and screaming but instead wakes up cooing and chatting, life feels so very good.  Life is good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Explaining motherhood and 23 week pic

When I was pregnant, I had one of my employees say to me, “I cannot explain what being a mother does to you.  How hard and amazing it is and how much you will learn about yourself and at the same time become someone else.”  As I was pregnant, I read blogs and books and talked to anyone and everyone about being a mom and what I should know and expect and prepare for.  There is no person or book or anything that can prepare you for motherhood or explain it.  I will do my best to explain my experience with it now.  If you want to skip to the end, I will post some pics for your viewing pleasure. This is going to be a sappy post, so I would not hold it against you. ;)

Being a mother has changed me.  I feel very much that my title at work or accomplishments in school or anything mean very little to me now.  I am Jude’s mom and that is the only title I need.  I would do anything, sacrifice anything, endure anything for this little tiny being that has taken over my being in the best way.  I cannot explain how the first time you set eyes on your child, you just know, your life is changed and going to continue to change for a long time.

There is so much joy.  I cannot explain the first time he smiled at me and I knew it was just for me.  I would make my silly elephant noise 1,000 a day to get a squeal, smile or laugh.  He is over that noise, but I still do it because I remember the amazing things it made him do for months.  He smiles and laughs all the time now, but it still just fills me up and makes me unbelievably happy.  A baby sleeping in your arms with that “nothing could ever harm me” look.  When I wake up in the morning and he is just cooing and playing and enjoying some Jude time before the day starts.  When he finishes a bottle at night and he sighs and curls against me, ready to just sleep like that.  It takes all my willpower to put him back in his crib.

I sat for 15 minutes today and just watched him play.  He had the boppy around him and was playing with his dr. toy.  (the one with the beads you move around the wire)  He was moving them, pulling at the toy, shifting his weight around and went onto his stomach and side and back.  I was behind him and he did not even know I was there, but it was an amazing moment for me to just watch him work.

There is sadness.  I still get upset about the time when he was in the NICU.  I wish he could live in a bubble, so I would be sure he would not get hurt or worse ever.  I know that is insane, but the thought of ever loosing my little man is unbearable.  I hate when something hurts him or he falls over and gets upset.  Every time he cries, I fell anxious even when it is good for him.  He cried for literally 20 seconds tonight before falling asleep, but I have to keep busy.  It still eats me up even when it is good for him.  He also does not need me the same way he used too.  My little cuddly lump of a baby does not want to cuddle and be held other then when he needs to be comforted.  He wants to move and play and be independent as much as his non mobile self can be.  I love this new Jude, but also miss my cuddle little guy.

There is anger.  The other day, he would not nap (hence why we started sleep training).  I tried everything.  He screamed at me for an hour and finally I said, “okay, you win”.  He doesn’t speak English quite yet, so he didn’t know what I was saying and kept crying.  I got angry and yelled, “you got what you wanted, so shut up!”  It can be so frustrating some days when you had a long day at work and then you come home to a crazy baby.

There is euphoria.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  An example is he is mimicking things now.  I show him how to play with something and then he does it the best he can.  It is amazing, and daunting, to know that I am teaching a person to live one tiny motor, social, verbal, etc skill at a time.  Or when he sees you come thru the door and smiles so big he throws his body back with joy.

Being a mom is so much and I still sometimes just look at him and burst into tears because he is my little slice of everything.  I thought I knew love and now I know a whole different love.  I cannot explain motherhood to you any better than that little glimpse.  Here are some pics to reward you for listening to my sappy love note to my little man:)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cry it out = wimper a little

I am seriously against cry it out.  I was more upset about doing cry it out than Jude was.  I have fought doing it for 5.5 months now.  Jude’s sleeping is getting worse.  Some night he only wakes up 1-2 times and others 3-4 times and Liz has had it!  So, we (mostly Liz) bit the bullet and we did cry it out yesterday.  We did the check on him on intervals cry it out, not just the slam the door and leave him wailing one (Liz always likes to point out that there is no need to slam the door and I am just being dramatic when I say it that way, but that is how it feels to me).

He is trained to take naps in his swing, but he LOVES to sleep on his stomach, so that was starting to annoy him anyways.  He takes a pacifier for bed, but we also got rid of that.  We usually rock him to sleep, but we are not doing that anymore either.  Oh yeah, hard core sleep training here.

Liz started with his naps and put him down in his crib.  He lightly cried for a total of 5 minutes and slept 3 hours in 3 different naps.  We even had to wake him up from his last one because it was 5pm and he needed to be awake for a while before bed or he might have slept longer.  I guess Jude was just waiting for us grow up and put him in his crib!

Next, bedtime.  No pacifier, no rocking to sleep.  Wake him up if he falls asleep while eating his bottle. Put him down while he is awake.  Okay, deep breaths!  I started his routine about 45 minutes before he should be down.  I turned down the lights and read him 4 books.  Then, it was bath time and he took a long bath with mom adding water so he could sit up in it (oh yeah, he can sit up pretty well on his own now!)  I had a mat set out for a baby massage (which he hated) so I got him dressed and fed him and he was too hyper to hold still and eat.  I sang him 3 songs, shushed him and put him down in his crib.  Then Liz let him cry out some of that energy for a few minutes and went in and he ate 5 oz and put him in his crib.   He cried for 13 minutes with 1 check on him (30 seconds of calm voice without touching) and he was asleep.

The second part of this training is getting him to not eat at night.  The book explains that we need to wake him up to eat at times he does not normally wake up to break the cycle.  So, we chose 11pm and 3am.  We woke him up at 11pm and Liz said that he probably thought it was a good dream until she tried to burp him and then he started crying.  She put him down like that and he was asleep in less than 1 minute.  He woke up at 2:30 am and Liz did the regular check ins until 3am when she fed him a bottle and fell asleep after 3 minutes of crying.

Now we take 1oz away from both bottles each night (he is 16.5 lbs and 5.5 months old so he does not need to eat or get a diaper changed at night at this point) until he does not have a bottle at night anymore.

I was shocked by how well this went.  It was like Jude said, “yeah moms, quit coddling me I am a big boy now!”  We got the book, (corrected.  this is the actual book) “The Sleep Easy Solution” by Jennifer waldburger and Jill Spivack* which is a lie in the title, but is like Ferber methods only an easier read.

I am not saying that from now on sleep is going to be easy.  I am sure there will be set backs just like his normal sleep, but he did it with grace the first night and here is hoping he does again moving forward!

On a fun note, he is getting baptized our family’s way by eating avocado for the first time tonight!  Welcome to the family little man, now you are one of us:)  Avocado is the only thing Liz says she would go to war for.  She calls it “green gold” and we would probably eat it with every meal if possible.  We love it just on a spoon, so we are hoping he does too!  I have enjoyed feeding him foods and he really likes it and is really good at taking it from a spoon now.  So very cute!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Broke Down House

Things around here keep breaking.  It’s making me crazy.  On Monday we spent almost 2K getting the hot water heater replaced.  It was all sorts of not up to code and they had to do a lot of work.  Ugh, that hurt.  Then yesterday I decided to start on our mountain of laundry only to find that the washing machine is broken also.  It won’t drain and none of the buttons will make it do anything.  So I’m waiting right now for the repair man to show up as we MUST GET LAUNDRY DONE.

Other than that, S and I have Oklahoma on the brain.  We have lots of friends and family there and I loved growing up there.  It has been our long term plan for many years now to move back and be close to family so that Jude can grow up having a close relationship with them.  But now we want that move to happen sooner than later.  So S is applying for jobs up there and we are just sitting back and waiting to see if anything comes of it.  And maybe nothing will come of it, it’s a hard to time to get a job, but it is worth a shot.  Another appealing thing about moving is the cost of living there is so much cheaper, not to mention that right now S commutes 2 hours everyday for work right now, which is so much time away from us and more than $400 a month in gas.

Some pictures from our vacation.
We didn’t mean to all wear green that day, it just happened.

Jude loved listening to his Uncle play music.

Happy at Grandmas!

We managed to get a few pictures of us all together.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

21 Weeks Photo

A bit behind on posting this one.  Vacation was great and it was awesme seeing all of the people we love in Oklahoma but feeling a bit drained from all of the driving.  The house is a mess, Jude has had a bit of a cold and, of course, while we were gone the hot water heater went out.  So, the weekly pic is the best I can do today as far as blogging!