Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What's Charlie Wearing Wednesday

Summer is here! However short lived :)
Whale Romper - Carters, $5ish from Costco
Headband - won from Etsy shop Buds Buttons and Bows (The flowers snap on, so they're interchangable), but as far as I can tell the shop is no longer on Etsy.
Enjoy the blip of warm weather!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's Charlie Wearing Wednesday (Saturday)

Shirt - Circo, on sale at Target for $3
Skirt - Osh Kosh, shower gift
Tights - Trumpettetoo, Christmas gift from Meghan, which now actually fit :)
This week was full of friends and outings, to help distract Charlie from her hatred of weaning. The good news is, the last three days she's hardly put up a fight. And the reason for that is the cunning logic of my husband.
I had been forcing Charlie to take formula during the day, only nursing her in the middle of the night and wee hours of the morning. I was so discouraged and exhausted from the battle, and on a good day barely got her into the double digits with ounces of formula. Tim pointed out that our stubborn but brilliant child was probably just holding out for the middle of the night when she knew she'd get her way, and that it had to stop.
There was a half hour battle at 3:00 that morning, and I didn't get her back to bed until 5, but when I did she had three ounces of formula in her belly. She proceeded through the day to get to 16 ounces, an all time high. She went to bed at 7:30 and slept through till 6am. 18 ounces and virtually no arguing later she went to bed at 9:30 (we were celebrating Papa's birthday so we stayed out late). She woke up this morning at 5:45...awesome. An hour and 15 minutes later she went back to her bed with 5 ounces in her belly and not so much as a peep. She woke again at 8:45, drank three more ounces (8 already! Wow!), half a jar of apple pear oatmeal and played happily until 11 when I put her down for a nap.
I had no idea that changing that one nighttime habit would change the entire day so dramatically. It was so hard on both of us to constantly fight each other, and feedings could be a two hour process. I wish I had cut the middle of the night feeding weeks ago so we could have lived together peacefully and happily...but I'll be content with everything being wonderful now.
These pictures were intended to be done individually - one with a D, one with an A, so on, until Daddy was spelled out, but Charlie wasn't up for it. So, with crazy antics from a very helpful friend, we got these out smiles of her, so Charlie now has a Father's Day present for Tim. At least, once we pick up the print and a frame, make a card and wrap it all up.

Hope you all have a great weekend and happy Father's Day :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Made By Meghan's Mom Monday

Yesterday our friends Ryan and Meghan came over for pizza and games. Meghan's mom had just visited, which generally means gooey homemade cinnamon rolls for us :) This time she also sent along these little knitted shoes, made in the style of Robees, stretchy and adorable.

We had a great time eating LOTS of Papa Murphys (new Thai pizza...amazing), playing Settlers, making paper cranes for an upcoming wedding, and stuffing Charlie full of puffs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ten on Ten

(I don't think people usually explain their 10 on 10 pictures, but I feel like these look like they were all taken at the same time. I did take these one an hour for 10 hours, believe me. It was a crazy day.)

A lot of our day looked like this:
Reacting to having breakfast from a bottle (weaning is still not going well, ten days later.)
So violent was the reaction that I put her back to bed and tried again when she woke up. Sometimes switching to a sippy cup helps...unless it's upside down...

A little play time between grumpy spells. Here we are playing Keep Away (with the camera)

A much needed excursion. Papa took us for long trips to Target and IKEA, where naturally we dressed Charlie up like a goof ball.

Never too young for bling.

Entertaining the tired girl at IKEA while we enjoyed hot dogs and mochas.

Conked out after the drive home.

A walk around the yard to see how our plants are doing. (Not good, if you're wondering. This, and the lavender are the only things blooming.)

Night night, tired grumpo. Here's to a happier day tomorrow.
A sweet treat to finish out the day.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

(Revised) What's Charlie Wearing Wednesday...a month full

I somehow completely left a week behold the correct weekly sequence:

Yes, I'm way overdue on these...but I've had other things on my mind :)

Here we go:
Pink sweater- Circo, $6
Zebra tank onesie - Gap clearance, $2
Pants and socks - Carters, gifts
Romper - Carters, gift
Socks - Kid's Korner "gift"*

Sweater - Circo, $4

Top - Carters (came with a pink polka dot romper, but it wasn't warm enough) $7 from Costco

Pants - Carters, gift, came with a long sleeved onesie

These pictures were taken at friend Laura's house (except the last one which was taken during playtime. No chair pictures that day.

Mermaid Jammie's - Carter's $10 from Costco (we don't really use them as Jammie's, cause they're stinking cute, so we call them day wear)

Dress (or jacket, I can't tell) - Carter's, free at consignment store with trade-in

Onesie - Carters, part of a $10 4 piece cow set from Costco

Tights - consignment store, $3

Boots - Old Navy $6

*story behind the socks - they may look like any old sock, but their kinda sorta a gift from my mom. Years ago she had bought two girl sleepers and a 4 pack of socks, I assume for a shower, but they wound up in a box in my parents room. When I found them last year, I asked dad if I could have them for Charlie. So, to Charlie they're her presents from "Ama".

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Improvements in sleeping, feeding and my mood

I feel like I've been talking a lot about my struggles lately. And, ladies, you have encouraged me so much. Hearing first hand about people with kids 14-18 months apart who love each other and dote on each other eased my mind a lot. And hearing from other mom's who were surprised with a pregnancy that they spent less time learning each detail of what was happening in their bellies, and more time worrying about how they would handle it help ease the guilt I was feeling for stressing over lack of money and lack of sleep, for "robbing" Charlie of only child time, for not trusting in what is clearly God's plan.

Thank you.

For those of you who prayed for my strength, sanity and patience, thank you. All of these things have been stretched to breaking this week as Charlie and I both struggle with weaning, and without a support system of prayer to help me spiritually and arms willing to help me physically, I don't think it would be going nearly as well.

So, thank you.

Things are getting dramatically easier, and this directly helps Charlie and I to be happier with each other. Let's start with sleep. Last I told you, we were on indefinite hiatus from CIO - or any sleep training, really. Tim was banished to the couch and Charlie somehow took over 90% of the bed. This was negatively affecting the sleep of all three of us, and Tim and I having any semblance of quality alone time.

The problem was, Charlie was physically coming to harm in her crib. She would have scrapes and broken skin all over her bald shiny head from the crib slats. We added a breathable bumper (she has a tendency to put her face against anything soft, so we weren't comfortable with a thick bumper) and it kept her limbs in place, but didn't protect her noggin. Eventually I realized we have a perfectly good, rarely used Pack and Play taking up real estate in our trunk. It's soft everywhere - no amount of violent thrashing can result in injury!

It was immediately put to use, and CIO has not failed. She cries for less than 15 minutes, just long enough for her to force herself into a too-small corner and flop onto her belly.
This has taken her independent sleep time from non-existent to anywhere from 5-7 hours, allowing Tim to move back into the bedroom for the majority of the night.

On to weaning...I thought the fight to feed her through bottles only (with the exception of bed time) would turn around on day three. Don't they say it takes three days to form a habit? Day three was the absolute worst. She only accepted a bottle strapped into the Baby Bjorn facing out, while I pranced around, and even then she would take a half an ounce at a time, the whole process taking over two hours. This pregnant lady does not have the energy to prance around with 15 extra pounds on her chest for two hours. It was exhausting, we both cried, I had to repeatedly hand her off to Tim or to Nana (Tim's mom) and go outside to calm down and work through my frustration by pulling weeds. Thankfully, there are plenty of those, so I never ran out.

Finally, yesterday, day 5, we had a breakthrough. She'd been in bed with me for several hours, and now and then attempted to nurse. She was clearly getting nothing, or next to, because there was much frantic sucking and no swallowing. I got her up, changed her, and we went downstairs for a bottle. I braced myself for battle, defiantly ignored the Bjorn that was lying in wait, and propped her against a pillow on the couch. I handed her the bottle cap to keep her hands occupied and too busy to push/throw the bottle away from her and worked it into her mouth. 15 peaceful minutes later the 4 ounces were drained. I was flabbergasted. She was rewarded with many many kisses and snuggles, and obscene amounts of peach mango puffs (which, by the way, are delicious.) This was followed up with half a jar of apple peach oatmeal yogurt (Earths Best breakfast blends, I love you), and more puffs. The she went for a brief nap-not on the couch!-in the pack and play, and then we had play time and I replicated the pillow propping and offered bottle number two. Badda boom, badda bing, taken with ease. Lather, rinse, repeat, three hours later I attempt bottle 3. No go. Proceed with the Bjorn bottle bounce, and two ounces were taken. I then passed her off to Nana, who somehow coaxed her to take the other two ounces. This was followed by dinner, also fed by Nana, who could see I was stressed out from the bottle situation, and more play.

Up until this time, three bottles has been her limit. I knew that if I introduced one between 6:30 and 7, before she got too sleepy, I might have a tiny chance. She took the whole thing without batting an eye. As I took her upstairs to get her into PJ's she tossed most of it back out onto my shoulder, back and the stairs, but I still call it a win. I changed her, allowed her the one nursing period of the day (despite having just eaten, since I'm really producing almost nothing), and put her to bed. 15 minutes later I was alone with my thoughts.

Today has been a repeat of yesterday, she's been napping in her room for over an hour, giving me the rare opportunity to shower and type this up. We'll attempt a second bottle when she wakes, and I anticipate little resistance.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting me through this time of struggle, doubt and frustration. I am so grateful for the wisdom and encouragement you've given.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How to wean a resistant child...

This is less a how-to, and more a here's what I've attempted and how Charlie has foiled it all.

We gave Charlie her first bottle of expressed milk on Halloween, when she was just over a month old. Tim fed it to her, she happily accepted, and promptly threw it up. So much for that pumpkin costume...I only had a manual pump, so she took about one bottle a week, and once we switched to Dr. Brown's we didn't have any more spit up issues.
Then, around 4 months (the same time she gave up sleeping through the night) she rejected the bottle. Violently. She would rather throw herself to the floor than let that thing near her mouth. I tried...Nana tried...Tim tried...fits abounded. Bottles were left untouched, hours of pumping waisted as the milk was tossed down the drain. Thankfully we were in a position that didn't require she drink from a bottle. It was a convenience for the occasion I wanted wine, or to see a movie, but it wasn't really a necessity. So, we adapted, happily living a bottle free life.

Well. When we started going to a small group I started giving Charlie milk in sippy cups. (I'm not, in general, an in-public nurser type.) She handled this better, and would drink an ounce or two. Eventually I bought faster flow nipples, holding my breath that it wouldn't be wasted money, and tried the bottle again. Success! She would usually drink two ounces or so over the period of an hour (yes, we call that success around here.) But, this was only needed once every other week, so not a habitual thing.

Then I found out I was pregnant. I had no idea how much milk I was producing, I just knew Charlie was no longer willing to wait three hours between feedings. So, Tim and I decided to buy an electric pump so we could determine approximately how much milk I was making. It was not encouraging. I was able to pump about two ounces at a time...then a few weeks later, one ounce...then this week, half an ounce. Add to that me coming down with a UTI yesterday. My doctor said I could breast feed with the prescription, but the medication itself says not I'm compromising. We are doing formula for all but the first and last feedings (and the middle of the night, I can't imagine that battle.) I've read those are the hardest for the baby to drop, so we're going with that.

Getting her to take the formula...that's a trick. So far the most successful thing I've found is to strap her facing me into the Baby Bjorn, and offer the bottle from various angles (right, left, center, repeat) while 1) pacing the entire house in silence, 2) Dancing in front of the mirror. It's a good work out, because it takes about an hour for her to finally drain a 4 ounce bottle. This is usually met with initial acceptance, but an ounce into it she starts rubbing her face against my chest and gently crying until she reaches tantrum levels. Then the cycle repeats. The only thing stopping me from caving (besides being stubborn) is seeing the difference in both the length of her naps, and in the roundness of her belly. Sometimes her belly looked like someone who had recently lost a lot of weight, just wrinkly skin on top of a flat belly. Other times it was round like a baby belly should be. It worried me, but I read on mom forums about other babies that were her age and weight, so I tried not to read into it...but now I am concerned that her stomach shrunk to match my supply instead of my milk matching her need. But, she never ate much solids either (still doesn't)...about 2 ounces of fruit and cereal for breakfast and three ounces of veggies or fruit for dinner. So, honestly I'm not sure if she was getting enough milk from me or not, I just know that seeing how much she's now getting is making me feel better (even though she's still only taking about 8 ounces of formula, plus what she gets from me at the beginning and end of the day and through the night.) We're going to work that up as much as possible once she stops fighting so hard.

So, Mom's who've weaned...any tips on making this process easier on both of us?