Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life Lately

I have to admit that this whole neglecting my blog thing is unintentional.  In fact, I hate it quite honestly.  I used to take pride in posting daily when Caleb was a baby, and I love all of the memories that I have captured through my posts.  However, life with 2 is a little different, and I find it hard to find the time to actually sit down and assemble a post. I mean as I type right now bundle is stirring in her swing, and I am quite sure that she is about to have a break down.  Posting when Caleb is awake is now impossible, because he has found a new love for the mouse, keyboard and computer, and God forbid you try to use either.  Therefore, I literally have two windows of time a day to post, nap and after Caleb goes to bed.  Nap time however, I well...nap, and after Caleb's bedtime I generally try to spend time with hubby. I am very thankful for all of you out there who still follow my one a week updated blog......oops I will be back in a bit bundle is sitting in my lap flopping around, and I just heard the binky hit the ground in lil mans room.......I will continue posting when I get a chance.....it may be next week.....

I am attempting with Caleb awake and Mckinlee in the boppy to continue posting. I have distracted Caleb with Word Girl, a snack and his new etch a sketch I bought him.  Lets see how this goes.  I don't fully know what all this post is going to include. I do not have a crafty, funny blog post written up in my mind, but at least it will include pictures....which will make the gparents happy. 

Last week when it was FLORIDA weather in Ky we ventured to many parks.  I took both babes to the park like a champ, we even had a picnic one day.  I will say it once again thank God for my moby wrap and ring sling, and thank the Lord bundle likes them...I just refused to let Caleb in my lap to play on the computer and he didn't melt down....it is a miracle. 







We also did a lot of cuddling, and getting used to the idea of the "potty".  Caleb grabs his diaper now when he poops, and the other night I asked him where his pee pee was and he pointed to the potty.  Wow.  I don't really know if I am ready for potty training. 


We have attended a lot of play groups.


We have also started floor, and tummy time play. Caleb likes to join in.

I have to admit life in pretty ordinary, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

PS I just finished a post with both my children awake.  YES!!!


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Monday, March 28, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

I am going to begin by praying that I do not jinx us by writing this post but...........

MCKINLEE HAS SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR 5 NIGHTS NOW!!!

Can I get a hallelujah chorus???  Yes, she is in fact following in her big bros footsteps, and is officially (cross my fingers) sleep trained by 7 weeks!!!! This has been my goal all along, because as I have stated previously on this blog I am all about some sleep training.  I feel it is best for all parties involved to have a full nights sleep, so that we can all stay healthy and feel refreshed.  I am a firm believer in the idea of teaching babies the life lesson of self soothing, and not starting habits that I will one day have to break (aside from the life saver of the binky, but that is another post).  I am not writing this post to brag about my amazing children, or to rub the fact that my baby is sleeping through the night in other moms faces.  I am basically writing this post for my own memory, just incase I need the information again one day a long long time down the road. 

I am obsessed with the Babywise Method, because it WORKS. 

 There are many mixed reviews on this method, but a lot of the prejudice against it in my mind is due to a lack of understanding the true values of the method.  Basically, the method is a combination of Parent direction methods that help both you and your baby establish a schedule.  The CIO method is explained and recommended throughout the book but it is not the wholistic idea behind the method.  With Caleb and Mckinlee, I have taken the basic ideas from this book, and worked them into a schedule that works for our family.  

The beginning advice of babywise it to get your newborn on a consistent Eat, Wake, Sleep schedule.  The book breaks this down into various weeks of age, and it helps you have realistic expectations for your new baby.  When Mckinlee first came home from the hospital for about the first two weeks I fed her on demand in order to establish my milk suppy and then at age two weeks I started implementing the babywise method of spacing feedings out to 2 1/2-3 hour intervals.  The basic rule is as soon as baby wakes from a nap feed them, and try to not let them fall asleep at the breast.  This is in order to help them understand that they do not need your breast (or bottle) in order to fall asleep.  After they eat the method suggests a wake period (sometimes easier said than done with a newborn, but you do what you can).  About 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before baby is due to eat again following the 2 1/2-3 hour eating schedule you lay them down for a nap.  (This can be where you implement the cio method if you so choose).  Mckinlee has actually been great in terms of laying down for a nap and bed.  She has cried two times for about 10 minutes total with me checking in every three minutes, and then she fell asleep on her own.  CIO works for us, and I do not feel as though I am damaging my child in any way, but to each their own. 

#1 rule in helping baby learn to sleep through the night is to establish a consistent morning feeding time every day.  This will help the babies body learn to wake at that time to eat.  We started with a 8 am established feeding time for the first 6 weeks.  Now that she is sleeping through the night our time is 6:30 am.  Always wake the baby at that time (give or take 30 minutes), in order to help establish their routine. 

Late night/middle of the night I basically took different ideas from babywise/my experience with Caleb to figure out what worked best for miss Mckinlee.  Between the hours of  7-bedtime lil miss is cranky and enjoys cluster feeding.  I personally do not want to sit for hours with her attached to me and snacking so this is what I did to help it. 
  • breastfeed her from both breasts before bath
  • After bath warm up 4 ounces of previously pumped milk and feed it to her in a bottle to make sure she has a full feeding.
  • Lay her down for bed, and allow her to self soothe. 
Early Week Middle of the Night feedings I fed from my breasts. As she started to get closer to the 6 week mark when I knew she would slowly stop needing a nighttime feeding I began feeding her from a bottle.  I started out with 3 ounces of previously pumped breast milk to feed her at her 3 am feeding.  Every three nights I would decrease the amount by 1/2 ounce in order to help her learn that she does not need a full feeding at this time.  I would then wake her at our established morning feeding time and breastfeed her.  Slowly but surely her need for the night feeding dwindled, and now if she grunts I just give her a binky and she is good to go until 6:30 am.  Baby, hubby, and I are all so much happier. 

So in conclusion
  • Try to establish a 2 1/2-3 hour feeding schedule during the day with your baby.
  • Feed as soon as they awake from a nap, and try to have some waketime, then lay them down for another nap.
  • If they sleep the full 3 hours wake them at that time to eat.
  • Provide full feeding at each feeding session to cut down on snacking.  lil miss loved to snack at first and that was a habit I had to break quickly. 
  • Provide full nighttime feeding before bed.
  • Lay them down drowsy but awake to learn to self soothe
  • Establish morning feeding time
  • Cut down nighttime feedings in order to teach them that they do not need food at this time.

I love a section of babywise that states...

"when your baby starts to sleep through the night, people will invariably say "you're just lucky", or "you;ve got a good baby".  Neither statement is true.  Your baby is sleeping through the night because you trained him or her to do so.  You can take the credit for your success." 



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Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

This past weekend my dad and sister came up for a visit.  It was the first time my dad had a chance to come visit since Mckinlee was born, and he was so anxious to get some cuddle time in.  When they arrived my dad cooked my all time favorite breakfast (biscuits and gravy), and then he sent Kat and I on a shopping spree for the babes.  I found some ADORABLE clothes for both (thanks daddy).  While we were gone he and hubby took care of the babies, and I think Mckinlee cuddled with her papaw almost the entire time. 

A funny story that I want to remember...

My dad has a deep voice and he was singing various songs to Mckinlee.  One song he sang had the verse "blue eyes crying in the rain", and every time he would sing that she would smile so big.  Also, anytime she started to fuss he would sing it and she would stop and smile. It was hilarious.  I tried after he left and it didn't work for me so I guess it is just Mckinlee/papaw thing. 

Caleb was in a bit of a mood the entire time they were here, but he started to cheer up a little towards the end of the trip.  Ohhh toddlers...your moods are so unpredictable. 




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Saturday, March 26, 2011

C A T S!!!!





Just for comparison sake..Caleb at 6-7 weeks



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something Magical

I have started to truly realize and embrace the beauty of the newborn stage of life.  It is so hard right after birth to really take all of it in.  Instead you focus on the sleep deprivation, the pain from after labor, the stress, the up and down emotions, and the worries of keeping your sweet precious alive.  Throw breast feeding into that mix and a toddler and that is a whole new post in itself.  However, life goes by so fast, and before you know it your emotions level out, breastfeeding is under control, and you gain more joy watching your toddler love on the baby than you ever thought possible.  Life starts to become "normal" again, and even though it is a new normal, you begin to feel as though you are back on track.  You don't have to spend all day every day cooped up in the house, and you actually gain the ability to take two under two out of the house like a champ.  In fact, you may just have it mastered (thank God for the moby wrap). That is when you can truly step back and take in the magical moments of the newborn stage.  Aww it is so bittersweet, and the love that you feel for that baby makes it seem as though your heart could just burst. 

I have said it a million times before, and I will say it a million more, but there is nothing like watching your baby grow and learn.  Your sweet precious goes from being this little newborn who is the most sleepy cuddle bug in the entire world, to a person before your very eyes.  Anyone who is a mom has been there, and I think would agree with me when I say that there is nothing like the first time your baby smiles at you.  Really truly smiles AT YOU.  They are so happy to see your face, and they do not care that you talk baby talk to them, and repeatedly say "I gooo" in hopes that they soon will mimic you.  All they care about is that you are mom, and that makes them happy enough.  That first smile is one for the record books.  It is a moment in time when all the pain, emotions, and stress from the newborn stage fall out the window, and you are frozen in time with you, your baby, and their smile. If I could only bottle that moment up to re-live it a thousand times. 

Yes, there is something magical about my sweet little newborn, and I am so thankful to God for giving her to me. 









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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Toddler Fun Thursday

I have really been using the internet as my source of all things entertain Caleb.  I have found some wonderful ideas on various sites, and it has been exciting to watch Caleb play and learn.  I think on Thursdays I am going to post on a few of the activities we have tried and loved.

Last night I tried the Cooking Pot Puzzle activity, and he loved it.  Here is how you play
  1. Place your pots and lids infront of your toddler.
  2. Show him how he can remove/replace the lid.
  3. Allow him to try.
Caleb LOVED this activity.  We even threw in some balls to add a little extra.  He loved moving the balls from one pot to another, and removing/replacing the lids.  We were able to talk about large/small, and name the different colors of the balls to add some extra learning.



 This is another great idea I found online.  Caleb will eat almost every bite of his food if I place it in a muffin pan.

 Bundle enjoyed the activities as well. 

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011