Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sleep training

We're trying to train James to sleep "through the night" now that he is 12 lbs and 10 weeks old and capable of it (by sleep through the night I mean t least 5 hours in a row). I am completely against the CIO (cry it out) method of training kids to sleep. So I found this book at the library that is called the lull-a-baby plan and has you put the baby down "sleepy awake" in their crib and they learn to fall asleep in the crib on their own. The logic behind this is that they can learn to self-soothe, so in the middle of the night when they wake up naturally in between sleep cycles they can put themselves back to sleep.

Well... last night we started the plan. It worked at first... I put him down after his bath at 8:30, he woke up fussing at 9pm, I went into his room, sat by his crib, and talked softly to him till he fell asleep. Then at 1am he woke up. And I mean WOKE UP. This was no "in between sleep cycles" thing, he was really, truly hungry and fully awake. He was trying to gnaw his hand off in hunger, and I figured since it had been 5 hours since he ate it was ok to feed him. So I did, and 20 minutes later he fell asleep in his crib, just like that (hooray!).

THEN, the stupid baby monitor I have wasn't plugged in next to my bed, and although it was fully charged when I went to bed at 1:30am, I awoke to the cat crying in the hall alerting me to the wailing baby in the next room (maybe we should rename him Lassie...). Panicked, I ran into the nursery and scooped up James... it was 5:45am and he normally gets up at 4am. Who knows how long he was crying in there all alone? Stupid monitor... why didn't it beep or something to let me know it was dying?? I am a light sleeper, I would have heard it. Grr...

So anyway, tonight is night #2...we'll see how it goes...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

As promised...

James's 2nd month video. He doesn't do much yet, but we still find him fascinating. :-) It's a bit long, so bust out the popcorn!

Oh, and tonight is James's first night in his own crib and own room. It has finally gotten cool enough that he can sleep without air conditioning safely. We'll see if he (or we or all of us) sleeps better with this arrangement. As it is, I know I wake him up sometimes getting in and out of bed. Maybe he'll sleep longer this way?

He's also sleeping in a sleep sack instead of a swaddle for the first time since I've noticed he tries to get his arms out of the swaddle every night. It was making me nervous to have so many loose covers (of his own making) in the crib, so we're trying to forgo swaddling for his own safety. Our doctor reminded us that he is entering the period of time when he is at the most risk of SIDS, so we are trying to be as careful as possible.

Off to bed, with my video baby monitor turned up as loud as possible and my heart in the next room...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

10 weeks old!!

James is 10 weeks old today! Such a big little man!

New developments include James being a LOT more vocal, smiling more, being able to hold his head up 90% of the time, pushing up on his arms when on his tummy, and sleeping 4.5-5 hour stretches at night.

I'm still working on the 2 month video, but here is a link to the "Third month" album, as promised!

James Third Month

Friday, August 27, 2010

Immunizations... ouch!

Poor James got his first round of immunizations yesterday at his 2-month check up. As a result, he has been CRANKY ever since. I had to give him some tylenol yesterday because he was screaming (pain cry screaming) for 30 min or so 4 hours after the shots. He calmed down after that and slept most of the rest of the day. But MAN is he cranky. He has no patience for anything right now, which is a departure from his usual happy-go-lucky self.

The 2-month check up went well. James is 12 pounds now! He's in the 50th percentile for weight and 25th percentile for head circumference and length. I think his length was like 22 3/4 inches, but I'd have to look it up to be sure. The doctor said he looks great, really healthy and happy. He even smiled for her a bit. She also said that the next two months are the "golden months" as he is happy most of the time and calms down easily. We're looking forward to it!

I have been having what my mom calls "mother guilt," first from reading about how you shouldn't watch tv while nursing but should be bonding with you baby. Well, I bond with him plenty between feeding sessions, but he doesn't really look at me while nursing and I would get a crick in my neck if I tried to look at him the whole time. So... I asked some fellow mommies in my birth club on Baby Center and they all confirmed that they ALL read/check e-mail.watch tv while nursing. It's how we stay awake and get things done!

The second thing I feel guilty about is pumping and bottle feeding him so much. The doctor caused this one, by asking, "So you're pretty much nursing him all the time now, right?" after I had talked about my initial nursing problems. So now I am trying to nurse him as much as possible since our latch probs are mostly resolved.... and my supply is adjusting down accordingly, causing some painful moments (I was pumping more than he needs and now I have a huge stash in my freezer). Oh well...

Tomorrow he turns 10 weeks old! I can't believe it, he's growing so fast. I will try to post some pics. I am also working on his 2-month video, hoping to get it done this weekend. But for now he's waking up from his catnap and I'm starving, so off I go...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2 months old, 9 weeks old, and first Mt Rainier Trip!

I apologize first for it being so long since my last post and second for grouping so many major events in one entry. But we've been away from the house for almost a week, and , as many of you know, being gone from the house for so long often makes for several days of unpacking upon return.

James turned 2 months old on the 19th, and 9 weeks old on the 21st. Here are pics to commemorate these events(The 9 week pic was actually taken a day before):

2 months

9 weeks

We went to Mt Rainier National Park this past week, a family summer tradition. We normally would camp, but we decided camping with a newborn was a no-go. So instead we stayed in the Paradise Inn for the first time, a historic inn from 1916. It was a 5-hour drive up there, but James did pretty well considering. We made many, many stops and had the car packed full with supplies and food for all involved.

Our first night there was mostly unpacking and getting settled. Our room was small but big enough for a pack n play, a changing station (on a desk) and a food station (on a dresser). We had a sink in our room but the showers and bathrooms were down the hall. As long as we had the sink to wash bottles in, etc, we were golden.

Our window is third from the right

The second day we took it easy. We went on a short hike to Myrtle Falls with James in the stroller and packed a lunch. We ended up needing to feed him a bottle on the way there, which wasn't the most enjoyable because there was no shade. But we made do.

Oh, and the hill was quite a hike...

But we made it!

We had our lunch in the shade of the new visitors center and then sat down for a game of scrabble in the hotel lobby with a view of the mountain. James slept and ate, did what he normally does at home. Then we were going to treat ourselves to a meal in the dining room, but decided instead to order it to go to eat in our room because it was WAY less stressful that way than worrying about taking care of James in a nice restaurant. We watched the The Crucible in our room on Eliot's laptop because we couldn't really go outside due to the massive amounts of mosquitoes. But I did hear the pianist play in the lobby for a bit, which was just lovely. Oh, and we took some family pics:

The next day after waking up, I took over care of James from Eliot (I do the 10pm to 5am shift, he does 5am to noon), I decided to put James in the Moby wrap and go for a walk outside because it was so lovely out and I wanted to see some flowers. So James and I went for a hike while Eliot took a nap. Here is some of what we saw:

The visitor's center

Indian paintbrush


Partridge Foot

Tatoosh Range

After our hike, we woke up Eliot, had some lunch, and then wandered outside once more with the whole family on a hike around the Nisqually Vista trail which overlooks the Nisqually glacier. It was not as crowded as it used to be since they demolished the old visitors center near where the trail begins. Here are some things we saw on our hike:

Rock with a hole in it that I've been in/on/near almost every year since I was little!

Marmot about the same size as James!

Nisqually glacier and river

That night was uneventful, we just relaxed a bit in our room. But later that night, while I was reading my book with the light on, I heard rustling on the floor in one of our bags. I sat up, woke up Eliot, and told him I thought there was a mouse in the room. Just then, I saw a mouse run under the pack n play(!!!). I screamed (quietly, didn't want to wake up James) and watched as the mouse squeezed under the door and ran away. We decided to put all the food in a zippered suit case and stuff a robe under the door to keep the mice at bay. Luckily they didn't eat any of our food.... but... ugh! *shudder*

The next day we woke up nice and early (or, rather, James woke us up nice and early) so we had lots of time to pack and hit the road around 11am. Unfortunately, even while we made good time, we hit Friday afternoon traffic in Portland around 3pm. After sitting on I-5 in traffic for 2 hours, I noticed the air coming out of the vents was was hot (and it was in the high 70s outside). We had been having problems with our a/c for awhile anyway, so I didn't think anything of it... till the car started losing power and the hood started steaming. I pulled off two lanes to the right to get the shoulder, and some idiot trying to beat the traffic and get to an exit almost creamed up as he was flying down the shoulder. Luckily we made it off the freeway before the car totally died.

I was pretty shaken up by the guy who almost hit us, but we didn't panic because Mom had gotten us AAA this year. So we called for a tow and waited an hour and a half while the "multi passenger" tow truck made it across town in rush hour to come get us (since we had an infant with a car seat we needed a special truck).

The guy who came to tow us was named James and was very nice. He took us to the Kia dealership, which had unfortunately JUST closed because it took so long to get there. So there was no one to drive us and our 100lbs of baby stuff anywhere. And so we set up camp in the Kia service center parking lot, waiting till my mom got off work so we could camp out at her house instead of the car (and she could drive us there).

Camping out in the parking lot

It turns out the car's engine cooling fan motor was kaput and after a $360 repair we were back on the road the next day. But we stayed on at "grandma's house" for an extra day so we could go to the Oregon Chorale kickoff party (the choir I sing with up in Portland). We had a great time showing James off and visiting with old friends. I even got some breastfeeding help from a soprano who is a pediatrician (thanks Nan!). It was a lovely evening finishing with some singing and an uneventful drive home.

Whew! So much stuff in just a few days. It's taken me two days to recover and get the house back in order. I still need to unpack my clothes (seems my stuff comes last these days) and do a bit of gardening, but overall we are glad we went on the trip.

Here are a few things we learned about traveling with a newborn:

Stick to the normal routine as much as possible. Bath time is still bath time no matter where your locale.

Allow for 2 hours to pack up everything before leaving.

Allow for 1.5 hours more to get places if it is a long trip.

Don't be afraid to feed the baby anywhere you happen to be.

Bring diaper laundry detergent even if you think you won't need it.

Always, ALWAYS carry a valid AAA card.

Use a "Pee pee tee pee" if you are changing a diaper next to a cold open window (the inside of the room was 80 degrees, while outside it was 40 degrees)

Just go out and do things, enjoy yourself. Don't be afraid to go exploring.

Leave the "baby stuff" in a car or room nearby and just go out with the baby. Sometimes you need to enjoy your child with out all their accessories dragging you down.

Find moments of peace together as a family.

For more pictures, please visit the "2nd Month" photo album (link below). I'll be starting a new album for his 3rd month soon.

James Second Month

Saturday, August 14, 2010

James is 8 weeks old!

James is 8 weeks old today! And since Eliot's been in Scotland and I've not had time to eat nor sleep without people coming to help, I'm going to make this short.

New developments:

-Holds head up on his own 80% of the time
-Recognizes Eliot and me and responds by smiling
-Occasionally sleeps 4-hour stretches
-Knows the difference between night and day (but still gets up at night)
-Bats at objects with his hands (which are still mostly closed fists)
-Tracks me with his eyes and head if I move around the room

And some pics for your enjoyment:

Meeting Great-Aunt Diane!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finding a voice

James has been more awake and alert in the daytime in the past week, and has also become more sociable and vocal. He makes adorable cooing/giggling noises and smiles when he recognizes us. All that is great... what is not so great is that as he discovers his voice, he is also learning to cry. WAY more than he used to. And now we have very little warning for when he is getting hungry... we used to have 20 minutes or so from when he started acting hungry to when he would cry. Not so anymore... he cries almost immediately when he needs anything, and it's LOUD.

So I dropped Eliot off at the airport for his flight to Scotland this morning, and James was chillin' in his carseat, cooing and smiling and happy. But halfway back home he started crying while I was driving and couldn't do anything about it. I tried putting on the radio, but it was all commercials. So I grabbed the only CD I could find within reach... a Michael Jackson mix. And wouldn't you know it, the second Billy Jean came on he was as happy as a clam and went right to sleep. After all the different kinds of music we've played for him, he likes good ol' MJ. Well. Ok, then. :-)

I'm just glad he is starting to get on a schedule. He has awake times around 9am, noon, and 6pm, which is when we do tummy time. He is getting closer to rolling over, but hasn't quite got it down yet. He is getting to be more aware of his hands, though, and will bat at objects. He's growing up!

It's feeding time at the zoo, gotta run!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

James is 7 weeks old!

Yesterday James hit the 7-week mark! My little boy is growing so fast! We celebrated by going to his FIRST Mariner's game! He had a ton of fun up until the 6th inning or so when we ran out of expressed milk in bottles and I couldn't nurse him (every time I could get him to latch, the crowd would cheer and he'd startle and unlatch... and the nursing lounge I tried to go to had a sign on it that said "occupied"). So he got really hungry and cranky and we decided to go to the car for a break. But other than that we all had a great time.

Here are some pics from James's first Mariner's game!

It was "Vampire Night" and the whole town of Forks had tickets in the upper deck, and Rob Pattinson ("Edward") gave the first pitch to the actress who played Alice in the Twilight movies. This is a pic of Rob.

They even gave us this certificate to commemorate his first Mariner's game!

We're so proud of our little baseball fan. We even get to take him to another one in September because this one was an impromptu trip. He did so well traveling in the car and only got cranky after the game because we couldn't feed him soon enough. But I think he liked it, based on all his smiles. :-)

Oh, and here is a bit of James "talking" to us as he does now. Sorry it's a bit blurry... we take what we can get!