Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas

We headed up to Buffalo for Christmas this year. We ended up making it in one day, which was nice that we didn't have to stop at a hotel, but threw of Piper's schedule too. She did very well sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa's house and the pack n play. She has been a little sick with a cold too so maybe that helped her sleep at night. She managed to do three whole nights of sleeping 12 hours straight! We had a nice mellow Christmas up in the cold. Lots of hanging out and eating cookies and good food.

I just tested positive for celiac's disease (gluten intolerance) and so this trip might have been the last time I will get to eat my favorite lo mien and the last apple pancake from original pancake house too. :( I go see a specialist at the end of January to figure out what to do from here.

A couple days at home now before shipping out to Cali...should be a fun trip to see the family and friends too! Here is a couple pictures of Piper and then all the grandkids on Christmas:






We also had a few pictures taken of Piper a couple weeks ago. One of them (the first picture below) we used on our Christmas card. But here are a couple more of our darling daughter:





I absolutely love this close up of her:



This one we thought was too funny...we almost used it on the Christmas card, but couldn't bring ourselves to do it:




Lastly, I had a photo taken of me holding Piper's hand holding the necklace with my moms thumbprint. It is a beautiful photo and I have to share it too...


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their families and friends.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Relaxing Weekend

I felt for the first time this weekend that we were somewhat relaxed. Piper is really starting to get into a routine which is good and she goes down for naps and bed so much easier. This of course will all go out the window when we travel to NY and then CA I am sure. But it was nice just to kind of hang out this weekend.

Because of our schedule we opened up some xmas gifts we had for us from my dad and for Piper. She of course has no clue what is going on, but had fun with a few of her new presents and definitely enjoyed the wrapping paper.

Here are a few photos:







Wednesday, December 15, 2010

5 Month Stats

Piper turned 5 months old on Monday. Time just flies by it seems but at the same time moves slowly too (when was the last time I slept well...)

A few stats...
  • She weighs 13.5 lbs (50th percentile) and her height is the 75th percentile
  • We just moved into 6mo clothes
  • She was trying to learn how to crawl but has stopped that and is content just being on her belly and turning around in circles
  • She can kind of roll from belly to back but I still don't think it is intentional.
  • She can sit on her own for a little bit but is to fidgety to stay there and work on sitting. She almost immediately wants to go to her belly or grab her feet or go to the side.
  • Saturday we tried two new things-we had our first food of bananas and I cut out a feeding, so we are down to every 4 hours of feeding now- 4am, 8am, noon, 4pm, 7pm to bed. That 4am one has just kind of stuck there the past month and we tried different things to change it but nothing has worked yet. So I have a feeling it is there to stay and so I basically have been going to be between 8-9 so I can get a good nights sleep.
  • She pretty much holds her bottle all on her own now.
  • I am still breastfeeding but most of her feedings are with the bottle. Just turns out that way unless I am home with her all day, then most feedings are with me with the exception of the 8am feeding and the 7pm feeding. The 7pm is always with a bottle and depending on my timing in the morning, I might pump and give her a bottle rather than waiting for her to wake up.
  • She seemed to do well with eating the bananas and took to opening her mouth and everything really good.
  • She likes her sippy cup. Of course there is nothing in it, but I have started giving it to her just to learn how to hold it and she does pretty good and chews on the suction piece.
  • She is starting to nap better.
  • Her reflux seemed to flare up a little but the doctor changed her amount of medication and it seems ok again.
  • She constantly has her hands in her mouth and is chewing on her fingers. I keep think that she is teething and going to sprout some teeth soon, but still no such thing has happened.
Here are a few photos...

Piper loves the exersaucer:


Kelsey (9months) came over for a little visit:



Happy baby:



I tried to take a picture by myself of the two of us while EZ was out of town, but it was hard to get her to smile at the camera:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom

It has been almost 8 months since you passed away and I still miss you and think about you all the time. There is still so much sadness inside me and I hope with time I am able to turn that sadness into happiness of all the wonderful memories I have with you. Know that I will always love you and continue to tell Piper stories about you. Happy Birthday Mom.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Almost Done

Ahhhh....the semester is almost over. This has been a really hard one for me. I thought going back to work two days a week and staying home the other three days was going to be a great compromise. What it turned into was basically compacting almost a weeks worth of work into two days and then staying home with Piper the other three.

Don't get me wrong, staying home with her has been nice. But it has also been exhausting. I have to try and squeeze work in on those days too when she is napping or playing or whatever and that has been difficult. If I had do do it over again I would have either just taken the semester off and maybe have felt less stress from work, or paid for an extra day of daycare and had a day each week to myself where I could get work or anything for that matter done.

I am so thankful that I had prepped my entire course before I had Piper. I don't think I would have survived otherwise. This way I really only had to do minimal stuff during the week plus grading and writing tests and worksheets and emails, ect.

On the other hand, I am teaching a brand new course next semester and I haven't done a single thing for it. And this isn't a course that has a textbook or anything, it is a course I created for what is called a first year seminar. I picked the topic of cryptography and coding and I have a semi book but that is about all. I basically have to create the entire course and I haven't done a thing. Yikes, I have some stuff to get done before Jan 10th.

Classes end today and my two finals to give are Friday and Monday. I am hoping to have my grades done by Tuesday and can start working on this new course-at least get a week or two prepped!

In other news, I am home all week by myself with Piper while EZ is at a conference. So far, so good. I decided to make one huge meal for myself Monday night and will eat leftovers the whole week. That makes my life just a bit easier. I also have lots of things planned this week on the days I am home with her-outings with friends or a work xmas party on Thurs, so that will make the days go by a little quicker. And thank heavens, that the last two nights by myself, she has slept very well, not waking up from 8-4:30/5am, and I am going to bed right after she goes down, so that has helped too. Alright...she is waking up from her nap so I better go!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week in Pictures

Piper has taken to going to bed really well and sleeping until about 4 or 5 in the morning and gets up to eat. I was bringing her to bed but wanted to break that habit so we set up a place in her room next to her crib where I can lay down and after I feed her I try to get her to go to sleep. If it works then I lay down there to be there when she wakes up (it is a very light sleep the last couple hours) to try and keep her asleep. If not, I lay down with her and let her sleep for a few more hours with me there. But she seems to be slowly pushing that wake up time a little later and later which is good. She is also starting to take better naps too. Slowly but surely things are coming together. Here is a few pictures from the week. We have become addicted to our feet: And then now putting the feet in our mouth: Happy Thanksgiving outfit with mama and dada: Wooooo Pig Sooie! Way to beat LSU!: Last but not least...she has found a new voice when she sees the kitties and likes to talk to them:
video

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks

A few things I am thankful for...

  • Patient Husband
  • Happy Daughter
  • Loving Family
  • Wonderful Friends
  • A job I love
  • Being healthy
  • Fall colors
  • Ice Cream
  • Starting to run again
  • Beautiful weather
  • Those that serve or have served for this country
  • Having spent 30 wonderful years with my mom
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ups and Downs

We have had our shares of ups and downs over the past few days. The in-laws were in town for a visit and had fun hanging out with Piper. She is either seriously teething or has so little bug-possibly an ear infection but with no fever. EZ was sick last week and now I am sick with some sort of cold and last night Piper went to bed and an hour later was screaming her head off, finally I got her back to sleep and she woke up a couple more times and then at 3:30 she was screaming her again. I am not sure how many days we should let her be cranky like she has been before I take her to the doctor to see if she possibly has an ear infection or something.

Another mother told me that everything shall pass, nothing usually lasts longer than a month and everyone can handle whatever it is for a month, right! She has become ridiculously upset and impatient when breastfeeding now too. I can start feeding her and she will only eat usually 5 min tops off one side and then the flow is either too slow or she is waiting for another let down and is to impatient so I have to switch sides and then usually can get her to go for awhile on side number 2. This is however opposite of what they tell you to do...let her drain one side and then go to the other. And she has starting chewing on me at the end...not pleasant. Each and every day I talk about how it is going to be my last day BF and I am going to switch to just pumping, but I find myself still doing it. :) We have started giving her more bottles during the day though.

Anyway, here is a photo of our little daughter eating with grandma-she is learning how to hold her own bottle and does pretty well.




And last night after she was super cranky and we gave her teething drops she was like this: (EZ thought the drops were like baby marijuana):

video

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bad Habit?

Here are a few updates on miss APZ:

  • We were sleeping really well. Then we learned how to roll onto the belly and would wake up doing so. EZ and I put rolled up towels around her which helped for about a week until she would wake up because she was mad that she couldn't roll over onto her belly.
  • Now we are to the point where most nights she rolls onto her belly at night and most of the time puts her head down and stays asleep. Other nights we are up every hour or few hours going in to flip her over or calm her down for some reason she wakes up and just can't fall back asleep.
  • She still hasn't figured out how to roll back to her back from her belly. She just gets upset and tired of being on her belly and will start crying. She occasionally will roll back during the day but I don't think it is intentional. We try to get really excited and cheer for her when she does, but not sure she understands what that means.
  • She LOVES to sit up. EZ doesn't want to put her in the bumbo since some studies show that if babies can't really do it on their own then putting them in contraptions like the bumbo seat will have some developmentally issues with their spine. Same goes with the exersaucer before they can really stand and hold themselves up.
  • She does like to stand too (obviously with us holding her). She gets stronger and stronger every day with her legs.
  • She might be teething but we really aren't sure. Seems like she has been gnawing on things (her hands, rings, our hands, ect) for awhile now but nothing has happened yet. It does look like there are two white buds though on her bottom front that might pop out one day but who knows.
  • We are getting better and better with our hands and grabbing things. Still working at it, but she is getting the hang of looking for stuff and grabbing at what she wants and then bringing it to her mouth.
  • There are lots of smiles and giggles all day long which is very fun and refreshing
So here is our possible bad habit...On the nights she keeps waking up but isn't hungry and where we just go into her room and roll her over and try to get her back to sleep, eventually EZ and I are exhausted, so we have taken to bringing her to bed with us once we both can't take it anymore. This usually ends up happening around 4am. Some night it seems like she is hungry then, so I feed her, but other nights it just seems like she can't get comfortable and flails around. But for our sanity we need some rest, so I just curl up with her and try and settle her down and she eventually falls asleep. I hope this phase doesn't last long since I hope we aren't creating bad habits, but at some point you have to do what works right?

Here are a few photos from this past week.

Sitting up with mama:


I love to stand:



Fun Smiles:



Starting to really like the floor gym:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Book Update

It has been awhile since I posted about the books I have read, since the whole baby thing got in the way, so I thought I would comment about a few books I have read lately (as in the past 4 months).

I just finished Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortinson. It is a true story of a humanitarian building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past couple decades. I found the story inspiring but the actual book was rather slow. Still it is quite amazing to see how one person could affect some much change and that is very motivating.

Other recent books:

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chealier was the story of two women in the 1800's in England that were fossil finders in a time when it wasn't appropriate for women to do work of that kind. She did a good job setting the time in the novel and made it believable, but I found that the book was a bit slow too. It didn't really draw me in.

The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum is a nonfiction story of the birth of forensic science in the early 1900's. The story basically goes chronologically through how there was a race for scientists to try and figure out different chemicals used to kill people and how they could prove it with killers using different chemicals once one was proven in science. It was an interesting book and rather horrific in parts (like learning about radon before they knew how deadly it was).

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan was a historical fiction type book of the story of Frank Loyd Wright and his affair with Mamah Cheney. I didn't really care for the book and it seemed like it was extremely slow. It was beautifully written at times when talking about how much they were in love and not knowing that one of the people that worked for them in their house ended up killing her and her children was tragic and I couldn't believe it. FLW was extremely arrogant and that bothered me throughout the novel too.

These were all our book club books for the past 4 months that I got in. Granted I didn't actually read any of these but rather listened to them on tape, but that is what it is now as I don't have too much time to actually sit down and read. Next up is Eat, Pray, Love.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Meechigan

I headed up to MI for most of a week for fall break. Spent a couple days with my dad and then grandparents and then my sister and her family came down and she threw a post baby shower for me that my mom had wanted to throw before she passed away. I made the 12 hour drive up with Piper by myself and we survived. She did very well and only got upset the last 5 min of the trip. EZ flew up and drove home with me and the drive home didn't go nearly as well with screaming child the last 1 1/2 hours. It was wonderful to see everyone. Here are some photos of the week:


I headed to see my mom's gravesite which was difficult but nice at the same time:


Dad and Piper:


Amelia reading Piper a story (Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman)


Piper laughing with Papa


Family photo:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

3 Month Update

Little Miss P is 3 months old today. I still can't believe how quickly it has gone by already. Here are some stats...

She was sleeping through the night, 10-12 hours until a few days ago. In the last week we have encountered some serious meltdowns at night. It use to be that we could feed her and put her down and she would fall asleep. But in the past few days we have had some nights where it has been 1-2 hours of trying to get her down. Along with some serious screaming on some nights.

In addition, a few days ago she starting waking up in the middle of the night. This has been compounded with the fact that she also has learn to roll over onto her tummy, and really likes to roll onto her tummy, but then doesn't really like being there and can't get herself back to her back without a lot of effort. So this ends up causing her to wake up and work herself up. We can go in and put her back on her back and put the pacifier in her mouth and she could fall back asleep only to do it again 30 min later.

She really likes to be held sitting up. I really think this is because she has some form of reflux as she spits up A LOT all the time. What is strange though is that she only spits up if she breastfeeds and doesn't after the bottle. But the spit up comes up almost immediately in pure milk form or will come up 30min-2 hours later (multiple times) in curdled form (lovely).

Pooping is still pretty crazy. Lately it has been every 6 days, and a couple weeks ago she went 9 days between poops. I was a little paranoid after 9 days and was planning on calling the doctor but then she finally went. Apparently, this is normal for breastfed babies.

She seems to be growing lots and getting bigger and heavier and starting to get some fat on her, but she is still pretty lean. She smiles a lot and is really a happy baby. She has begun to giggle, but only every now and then and we can't seem to figure out how to make her keep giggling or to get her to start, but it is really funny when she does laugh.

As for me, I have lost all my baby weight plus a couple. I am running quite regularly now, 4-5 times a week, but only 3-4 miles so far. Or I run that far and add in some walking. After going to the psychiatrist, I had some blood work done and a lot of my levels relating to iron were really low, so I started taking an iron supplement. I went to see my general doctor the other day who did another work up and they are still low, so I am now on quadruple the amount of iron I was taking to see if that helps. I have always been borderline anemic, but the levels that I am at now are much lower now. I think this also played a huge factor in my PPD.

Here are some photos of our happy baby and a short video of the roll over (plus the bald spot on the back of her head!):







video

Sunday, October 10, 2010

PPD

Postpartum Depression (aka Post Piper Depression) is a something I have been meaning to post on but just haven't gotten around to it. Most women go through a form of PPD after they have a baby and while I don't think that mine was all that serious, I do want to at least share my story so that others who read my blog don't always think everything is always rainbows.

Around one month after Piper was born is about when things started to go downhill. I think the lack of sleep was the biggest contributor. I already have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, I always have. So getting up every few hours at night was really more like staying up all night long because by the time I would fall asleep, she would be up again. I also had some disattachment issues, where I didn't feel connected at all to her and I think staying home by myself was a hard adjustment for me. I would cry sometimes because I was tired, or because she was crying, or just because.

Then I just started crying all the time over my mom. Every time I thought about her I would cry, and I was starting to think about her all the time. I would see a picture of her and start to cry, I would think about what kind of mother I was crying all the time and not feeling connected and feel that I was failing my own mom in some way, which of course would cause me to cry some more.

This all lead me to go see a psychiatrist. I cried through an hour session with her. Where afterwards she gave prescribed some medication for depression as well as some sleeping medication. This was right around 6 weeks postpartum. The depression medication though made me sick so I stopped taking it after a couple days. But the sleep medication was amazing. This was right about the time that Piper started waking up maybe 1-2 times a night, so EZ was taking one of the feedings and I was now getting sleep.

I would say about a week after visiting the psychiatrist, I was feeling better. I had stopped taking the medication for the PPD and was then just taking the sleeping medication. I still have the sleeping pills and I take them now only every now and then when I feel like I really need it.

All being said, I did have a rough few weeks mentally, emotionally, physically. I also really think the lack of sleep played a huge role. After I started sleeping more and feeling better, Piper also started being a little more engaging too and smiling which helped. I can honestly say now that I don't have any feelings of disattachment anymore which makes me feel good.

I know that from my experience this is really nothing compared to other moms who experience PPD sometimes for months and months. But I do feel like at least sharing my story so that others who read this (who haven't gone through pregnancy) have something to look at and realize that it is what it is and feel that if they need help, not be afraid to ask for it. Or just to know that while a lot of times, people says they are doing fine, behind closed doors they could be falling apart and just not want others to see.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Being Mindful

Thanks to my friend Jo for this video. Hopefully it helps everyone that views it in some way.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pictures

Here are some recent photos:

We are smiling lots and lots now:

We headed up to the mountains with some friends...here is Piper's buddy Claire who is 7 months old:


We really enjoy sitting up and facing out to see everything:


One of my best friends came for a visit for the weekend and she had lots of fun taking photos of Miss P:

Here is a little video of some smiles and giggles:

video

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Work and Day Care

So I am back at work and things seem to be going alright. Piper is in her second week at day care. By day care, I mean I drop her off at someones house two days a week. She seems to be enjoying her days as her nanny hasn't seen her cry yet, except for when I pick her up. :( The last two days I have gone to get her, when I pick her up and take her from Jaime, she has cried. Kind of depressing.

She is all smiles and giggles with me in the morning though and the last two nights she has slept for almost 12 hours each night. I am not sure what she is doing, but we did switch to putting her in a gown and swaddling and I think with the gown around her feet she can get out of the swaddle as easily. Both nights she has gotten her arms out, but the rest of the swaddle stays around her. She doesn't nap much during the day and we are usually lucky now if she takes one good 2 hour nap. Usually it is a lot of cat napping 30min here and there. But I can't complain because she is great at night. Usually we have just one middle of the night feeding halfway through, so it isn't bad now.

We finally got the baby jogger rigged up with the car seat adapter and I tried it out yesterday morning for the first time. I went to take pictures only to find that the camera battery was dead. She seemed to enjoy the wind blowing across her and the steady running and took a little nap during the run. I managed to run most of the time, walking up a few of the bigger hills in the neighborhood. Just have to get use to pushing an extra 50lbs for now until she can ride in it without the car seat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

We received a spaghetti squash in our CSA last week. We have both never had one before so I went searching for a recipe to make.

Here is what I ended up making: Recipie

I swapped out the olives for zucchini since EZ doesn't like olives and we got zucchini in the csa too. And it was sooo good! Really easy to make too! I did cook the squash longer and cooked it in a baking dish cut in half with a little water in the dish and it turned out great.

Spaghetti squash is an interesting veggie...it totally seems like a cross between spaghetti and has a hint of squash flavor. We both really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Look what I can do!

Piper is becoming smarter by the minute...only if we get her to hold on though!

video

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Piper Update

Here are some recent photos of our dear daughter:

We put on our Arkansas onesie for the game opener last weekend...its a little big but that just means it should last the season:



But we fell asleep before the game even began:



Tummy time is getting better:





I enjoy sitting up:




Napping away:



We start our nights swaddled tight and having our head face the near side of the crib, and usually wake up completely unswaddled and turned around 180 degrees:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Liquid Gold

I started back at work last week and so I have had to start pumping at work now. I have only been at work 3 days and of those 3 days, 2 of them have been mini fiascoes! Last Thursday I was pumping and in the process of switching one container to another spillage...5 oz of liquid gold onto the floor of my office. Yeah. Then yesterday I was trying out these pump and save bags where you pump right into a bag you put into the freezer. Well the bag wasn't quite open enough and as the milk was going in it could and built up back into the pumping tubes and started cycling through the tubing. Good job LZ!

Then this morning I head out to the deep freezer to transfer said bag I used yesterday at work plus the bags I had in the freezer in the kitchen and I open up the freezer and it smells rancid. What in the world...somehow it lost power and all my breastmilk I had been pumping for the past 2 months is spoiled. It is everywhere. This stuff is liquid gold and the fact that I had made it this far after my "I hate breastfeeding" post is a miracle. I am completely bummed that I lost almost 200 oz of it. I want to stop breastfeeding as soon as possible (yes I am one of those) and my stash was my crutch to be able to continue longer as I kept going. Wonderful!

I called EZ who was really apologetic...all that work for nothing, he said he would look into an alarm for the deep freezer so it won't happen again.

Time to go eat some ice cream or something (yes it is the middle of the day) to lift my spirits! :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Poop

According to EZ, our daughter doesn't poop.

So APZ has some erratic pooping schedules as babies do, but we had gotten on a pretty regular every other day poop deal. I went back to work this past week and EZ stayed home with our darling angel and of course her pooping schedule was MWF not the TTh he was home. Well he had a three day weekend and so our scheduled day was Sunday for our next adventure and what do we have...no poop. And what about Monday, nope, still nothing. Now we are going on 4 days and what person would be comfortable after 4 days of not pooping...so little miss APZ has been a bit fussy. So fussy I was up with her at 4 this morning and we were up and down from 4 on.

So at 7:15 I sit down to feed her again before I need to go to work and EZ heads off to work. Literally the minute he walked out the door after saying goodbye, bam! Oh my sweet daughter, your dad is missing out here! One of these days you need to grace him with the biggest present possible as you have done for me so many times!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

OBX

We headed to the Outerbanks for a quick weekend trip to meet EZ's brother and their family there. They had rented a house in Salvo for the week and graciously let us come and stay with them for a couple days. We could have forgoed the trip and they could have driven out to see us on their way back to NY but we took them up on the chance to get away for the weekend.

This was our first trip with APZ, and geez, we need a lot more crap to bring her along. Not just the packnplay but all the other essentials-diapers and wipes and pump stuff and clothes for every occasion, the stroller, borrowed a pop up tent for the beach for her, just about everything under the sun.

We had a great plan. She has started somewhat of a pattern at night waking up for a middle of the night feed, anywhere from 1-3 and then again around 5am. Our plan was to be packed and then when she got up at 5, feed her and head out. We went to bed at our usual 9pm at night and then the unimaginable happened. By 5am she hadn't woken up at all. What do we do?? It has been 8 hours already...so we got up and ate breakfast and packed the car. Still she slept. At 6am, I woke her up and changed her and started to feed her but she was pretty much dead asleep. It took 30 min to feed her when it normally takes about 15. In the car, more sleeping. Woke up briefly to eat and then back to sleep.

We made it to the OBX and hung out for a little and she was actually awake for a couple hours and then fell back asleep. After another feeding, she fell back asleep at 3:30 that afternoon. And she slept, and slept, and slept...until 11:00pm. I kept asking EZ if we should wake her...is something wrong, but he said, she obviously needs sleep, so we let her sleep. She went back to bed too and slept until the morning. In a period of 36 hours, we probably had only 4-5 waking hours. It was truly bizarre and what I am attributing to a growth spurt (she had been feeding a lot preceding this). Now we are back on our being awake all morning and sleeping in the afternoon for our nap.

It was our first trip to the OBX and it was beautiful weather and EZ had fun in the ocean while I hung out with Piper under the tent. Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Our 3 nieces with Piper:



At the lighthouse:


And a couple photos of her many faces: