Monday, March 29, 2010

Colic Calm - the slayer of the gas!

There are certain things that you just don't want to run out of as a parent of an infant - diapers, formula, caffeine (for those late nights) and...Colic Calm. 

I know this will probably sound like an advertisement through testimonial but I can't help talk about the wonders of Colic Calm.  Colic is a word that has been used for a long time when it comes to babies.  It used to be (and, in a way, still is) a way to describe a baby who cries inconsolobly for hours on end, days on end.  But doctors are learning that, a lot of babies that were diagnosed as "colicky babies" are actually babies suffering from reflux or painful gas.  I believe this to be true about H.  She has had gas and reflux since birth, although MUCH better since breastfeeding stopped.

Since switching her to soy formula, I have tried many things to further help her immature digestive system feel even better.  The doc has her on Prevacid for her reflux, which seems to work wonders.  I switched her from Infamil formula to Similac to see if that helped improve her belly - and it did seem to.  I also decided to try a completely natural, FDA approved homeopathic supplement called Colic Calm.  It has natural ingredients that help gas build up, irregularity and tummy pains.  And is designed with infants in mind.

It is a strange color which could probably throw most parents off - a very dark green/black due to the vegetable charcoal that is included - and, when I mix it with her formula, it turns it a soft gray.  We also have to be careful when feeding her because the black vegetable charcoal could stain if left on a garment too long.  So I have bibs just for feeding her the Colic Calm bottles twice a day (morning bottle and night time bottle).

Anyway, I didn't  know if Colic Calm was making a difference or not.  I did notice that it helped her poop better and more productively with less strain (the soy formula was making her poops a bit more firm and hard to eliminate - won't she love this post later in life??).  But I wasn't sure about anything else.

Well, we ran out on Friday and the difference is undeniable!  She has woken up more often during the night, she has grumped more in the evenings before bed...there is just a change.  I desperately ordered more on Saturday but they won't receive the order until today - I hope they fill it today!  I even checked where they were located to try and determine when the CC would be at our doorstep.  They are in Long Beach, CA so hopefully that give us an advantage since we aren't across the country.  I was so desperate over the weekend that I posted on several message boards asking if there was anyone local that had an unopened bottle...no luck.  I even checked CraigsList.  No luck.  I cannot WAIT for our supply of CC to get here!  I am hoping it arrives before H and I head to Louisville on Thursday.

So, that leads me to my topic for tomorrow - H and I flying together (without Daddy) to Louisville for the first time.  If you have any tips, please leave them below.  I am also going to do some research online (what's new, right?).  I am excited and nervous at the same time.

So little H is growing tall and lean.  She loves playing skydive with Daddy - a new game where Daddy lifts her in the air - her natural reflexes has her arching her back in true skydiving fashion.  Daddy floats her around in the air and then tells her to pop her parachute.  Then he straightens her out and lands her on  her feet.  It is so cute and she just smiles the whole time.

She LOVES to stand (assisted, of course).  Her legs are SOOO strong.  T had her "walking" yesterday by holding her under her arms.  She would lean forward and then instinctually take a step forward.  It was pretty cool.

She is cooing and talking a lot now.  It is so sweet.  That's how she wakes up in the morning...cooing to her mobile over her crib.  She is still moving all over the crib when she sleeps and still lands in the same corner, bumping her head on the rail (or getting her feet stuck) - bumpers vs no bumpers...I am still on the fence.

I am really looking forward to my whole family meeting her over Easter weekend.  We will definitely miss Daddy but he will get to have some good quality, one-on-one time with Tay - which I believe Tay really needs (by the way, Ms. Tay finally got her ears pierced!).  It all works out perfect!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sleep positioner = FAIL

We are definitely on a mission today to find something similar to Colic Calm so that we don't have to order it online and wait for it to get here.  We ran out yesterday and we can kinda tell a difference, or so we think.  H got pretty cranky last night and was kicking her legs like her gas was bothering her.  She hasn't done that in a long while...since having Colic Calm twice a day - morning bottle and night time bottle.  You can only get Colic Calm online, not in stores.  But I have "heard" that you can get similar products with the same ingredients in stores such as Whole Foods.  So that will be our afternoon adventure (as well as lunch somewhere).

We tried to use the sleep positioner last night but that really frustrated her.  Like I have said many times, she is a routine girl and has a hard time with change (she must get that from her Momma).  So she was pretty grumpy about being stuck between the wedges.  We might try again tonight but I am thinking that this was another purchase that may be one we shouldn't have made.  We will see how tonight goes.

Today we are back on schedule.  I think, with Erin here yesterday, H didn't want to take her hearty naps because she didn't want to miss any fun with a new person in the house.  Today (right now, actually) she is taking her full naps at the right times.  I think it is super sweet that she had so much fun with Erin but I do think that she was cranky last night because she was off her schedule.  Just too much fun to be had!!  That's ok.  Once we removed the positioner last night, she slept really well until 6:30 this morning.  But she had squirmed herself around in the crib until she was in the same corner with her body against the railing.  Oh well.  We tried.

Friday, March 26, 2010

3 months!

This time, three months ago, I was on an adrenaline rush in the hospital visiting with family who have stopped by my room to see H.  I know I say it a million times but that seems like a lifetime ago!  She has grown so much, become such an awesome little being.  Everyday is something new and exciting.  I now understand how parents always say that it allows you to look at things new and fresh.  Reaching out and grabbing something is common, everyday activity for all of us but it is no small feat for Ms H.  It takes intense concentration and, even then, sometimes doesn't pan out for her.  All the things that she still has to experience.  I am so excited for her...and for us.

So, last night's jammy trial didn't work as planned.  We put her to bed in jammies but her arms still have a mind of their own - and their minds never sleep!  She tried really hard and put herself back to sleep a couple of times but I could tell it was going to be a rough night for her.  She was SOO tired, everytime I picked her up she would instantly fall asleep (because I was holding her crazy arms).  So I decided that we would chance her rolling over again and just put her back in the Woombie.  I put her down for the last time in her Woombie at 11 PM and she didn't budge or make a peep until 6 AM.  I guess she is still too young (and still has too little control over her arms) to sleep in big girl jammies.  But that's ok.  Whatever works for her!

We also decided to take the bumpers BACK out after seeing that she scooted herself around until her face was merely inches from them.  I am sure she could still breathe but T and I couldn't until we knew that there was nothing in her crib that could cause any problems.  Our next step is to try a sleep positioner - T just left to go find one at BRU.  We are hoping that it will keep her in place so that she doesn't move around the crib and end up against the rails bumping her head or trapping her feet.

Today, Ms H spent time with Auntie Erin while I went to a lunch meeting (and had my nails done before that).  Erin is a professional nanny so it was very comforting knowing that H was in good hands!  T was still here but upstairs in his office working.  He was quite impressed with how quiet and perfect everything went.  I'm not surprised but I am very grateful!  It was such a peace of mind knowing that H was with Erin! 

I love being back in the event business, having meetings with adults and talking about other things other than diapers (although we did talk about our kids).  But, I must admit, I missed H tremendously!  I think it is because we are attached at the hip (quite literally) all day and all night everyday and every night.  She is my bestest buddy!  It feels very weird not to have her in the backseat or with me when I am out.  But it was a nice break and I love being a professional again.  It feels great to dress up, put on makeup and plan this event.  It makes me feel REAL again!

Below are H's 3 month pics...

Big stretch
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Happy to be 3 months!!
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But exhausting at the same time!
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just shy of her 3 months!

Tomorrow my little nugget will be 3 months old.  As I have mentioned before, most people talk about how it "flies" by but it definitely has felt like 3 months...if not more.  And, not in a bad way.  I just feel like we have been through a lot together, have learned about each other and have been in each other's life A LOT longer than that.  But, more reflection tomorrow when we celebrate her big 3 MO!

So, her sleeping arrangements have been set for quite a while now.  She has been in her crib for a month, passing out cold at 8 PM sharp and, over the past couple of weeks, has been sleeping until 2 or 3, eating and then sleeping until 6:30 or 7.  When we first put her in her crib, I left the crib bumpers (padded) on for fear that she would get her feet stuck between the bars.  Then, when I noticed how much she moves in her sleep, I took the bumpers off due to the overwhelming SIDS fear that I dwell on every night.  Not long after taking them out, and especially over the last couple of nights, I started noticing that she would hit her head against the railing and that her swaddled feet were getting stuck between the railings - both of which made her wake up and cry.

So, after chatting with T about it, we decided to put the bumpers back on.  H is a light sleeper in most cases so we felt that she would become aware if she couldn't breathe and would move her head. T even kinda "tested" it last night by bringing her face into his shirt a bit to see what she would do and, sure enough, she adjusted so that her nose was free.

The other concern we had was, because she is swaddled, what happens if she rolls over onto her stomach for the first time in the middle of the night?  Her arms and legs are pretty restricted in the Woombie.  I had a feeling that, if she did end up on her belly with her face in the mattress and no way to adjust, she would cry.  Well, at about 3 this morning, we heard a cry on the monitor that wasn't a typical hungry cry.  I went in there and, sure enough, our little nugget rolled over for the first time!  She was on her belly and definitely not too happy about it.  I'm sure it surprised and scared her!  When I saw her on her belly, I was both horrified and excited!  My first thought was to get her out and figure out if I should put her in jammies now that she can roll over (no more swaddle)...my second thought??  I need to remember this date and time for her baby book!

So, at 3 AM on March 25, H rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time and transitioned from swaddle to jammies like a big girl!

I was worried about putting her in jammies - afraid that her startle reflex would wake her continuously.  I guess we will see more what happens tonight but, she slept another 3.5 hours after being put in her jammies...arms over her head.  So we will see!

You know, it is such a strange time we live in.  I am so thankful for the amazing technology so that I can reconnect with old friends via FB, visit with my parents in person via Skype and keep a digital journal for my baby via Blogger.  But all this technology comes with a price.  Too much information!  We can "google" or "bing" anything which leads to too much information!  No matter what camp you are in on any issue, there is a ton of information in cyberspace to back up your position...and just as many to oppose it.

Being a first time Mom, I have set my keyboard ablaze researching everything from the best swaddle, what to do if they have a runny nose, how much playtime she should have, what milestones she should be reaching to how to prevent SIDS.  What Mom hasn't, right?

Well, our Moms didn't.  They couldn't.  They went by what their doctors suggested and what their maternal instincts commanded.  And, look at us, we all turned out fine...for the most part!  ;)  Isn't it funny how much things change?  Most of us were placed on our stomachs to sleep - doctors said it was safer in case baby were to spit up while they were sleeping.  They could choke on their own spit up.  Makes total sense to me!

But now tummy sleeping is forbidden and absolutely taboo!  Even for a nap!  You feel wrong admitting that your baby sleeps on their tummy for a nap because they are more comfortable or it helps relieve a gassy belly.  Of course they are supervised but I bet I wasn't supervised all night when I would sleep on my belly.  And I am here to talk about it now.

It is the same with breastfeeding.  It is such a common and preferred practice now, you feel like a complete failure and outcast if you prefer (or have to choose) formula.  But there were so many of us who were formula fed as babies (myself included) that grew up big, strong, smart and healthy.  It's just funny how times change, how fads develop and how clicky it all becomes.

Anyway, off on a tangent.  I was thinking about this because T and I were discussing what to do when we were putting her back down last night.  Should we lay her on her back and risk her reflexes waking her up or lay her on her tummy (with our motion sensor monitor on) and let her sleep that way.  I instantly felt wrong, scared and guilty for even considering laying her on her belly so we laid her on her back instead.  Like I said, she slept fine.  We will see what tonight brings.  I am sure I will google search some suggestions in the meantime....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The One Handed Typist Strikes Again!

H is laying on the boppy on my lap slowing drinking her lunch.  What a perfect time to test my one handed typing skills.

So I am finally going to say it...I have been hesitant to do this in fear that I will jinx things but...here goes.  H has been sleeping so incredibly well for about a week or so.  She is such a routine girl (like her Momma) and is totally ready for bath and bed by 7:15 or so.  By the time we bathe her, swaddle her and feed her, she is in the crib by 7:45 - 8.  Sometimes she is completely out and sometimes she is a little wiggly - but she is a PRO at putting herself to sleep.  No paci or anything!!

She sleeps soundly until 2 - 3 am when she will loudly grunt and fuss.  I let her fuss for a bit until I can tell it is winding up to a full blown cry.  I go in, feed her 4 oz and put her back down...she then sleeps until around 6:30 or 7.  I love it!!  And she seems to love it too!

I mention she is a routine girl.  She totally is!  Just the couple of times I have worked out here at home, they always seem to be no drama.  I put her bouncy facing my workout area so that I can interact with her (the best I can without breathing) while suffering!  She just smiles and coos...I think she thinks it's funny.  Maybe for her!!

She definitely naps about the same time each day, eats about the same time, gets her grump on pretty much the same time ( close to the bedtime routine)...it's pretty amazing how adaptable she is so young.

So, as usual, it has taken me most of the day to type this (obviously on and off).  This is the third feeding time that I am using to blog.  As is life for the one handed typist!

I cleaned out and organized H's dresser today.  Took out all the clothes that don't fit her to give back to those who let us borrow them.  The ones that were ours I am going to take to a consignment store tomorrow.

She is getting a lot better at grabbing items.  She tries so hard - her concentration is shown with grunts and bubble drool.  It is amazing watching her.  She tries so hard!  Like you can just see right through her head at all the wheels that are turning.

She's a mover and a shaker at night.  She scoots all over her crib.  In a way, it makes me glad that I removed the bumpers from the sides - I would hate for her face to get buried in it.  But, because there are no bumpers, she gets her legs (which are swaddled) stuck between the bars on the railing.  And I think she has bumped her head on the railing a couple of times.  I was thinking about getting a breathable bumper to help keep her legs in but that won't help the head cushioning.  I was also thinking about getting a sleep positioner but I am afraid she will squirm down and get her faced buried in that.  Not sure what my plan is right now.

Three more days until H is 3 months.  I guess the right thing to say is that it flew by but I really don't feel like it has.  But not in a bad way.  We have been through so much and have learned so much.  I feel like we've been together for a while!  I can't imagine life without her.  Wow, the world must have been a pretty sad and gray place before H arrived!  ;)

Ok, it literally took me all day to complete this post.  I just put H down about 15 minutes ago with NO drama...as usual!  Now it is just T and I with our nightly addictions of adult bev and Criminal Minds.  Truly, I think Criminal Minds is more of an addiction than our nightly beverage together!  T asked me the other night, "what comes on tonight?" And I had no idea.  We haven't watched regular TV in forever...not even regular programming on cable...all we know is Criminal Minds on AppleTV - we even have a subscription for the new season.  Each time a new show airs, it downloads instantly on our AppleTV!!  Gotta love it!  (I also have America's Next Top Model subscription for this season - T HATES that show).

Anyway, other than having an amazing amount of fun with H tonight before she went to bed...watching her grabbing at things...succeeding....being frustrated...she is just so awesome!!!  Other than that, you are up to date on the Hayden front.  She is in bed, swaddled in her Woombie, no positioner, no bumpers but definitely out like a light!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Girl's Day = Success

So, T had to go help his sister move into their apartment and I was left to watch the kids for the day.  I think he was concerned with the handful he was leaving me with and tried to set a timeframe that he could help so that he could help me.  But it turned out to be just fine!  I thought for sure a six year old and a two and a half month old would be a bit more than I could handle on my own but I guess I wasn't aware of what wonderful kids we have!  And they are wonderful!!

We started our day with a quick stop at Target for some toiletry and formula needs - Tay got a hula hoop and was quite the impressive hula hooper!!  It was interesting.  Where we would usually be very strict about doing the hula in Target (in other words, don't do it), I decided that, unless she was trying to steal something or kick someone in the shins, I was going to let a lot of things slide.  I wanted us all to have a fun time.  Not a time of picking on each other.

Our next stop was Bookmans.   Bookmans (for those of you who don't have one) is a resale book store.  I saw in the Tucson Weekly that they were going to have arts and crafts for kids today and thought that might be a fun activity for us to do.  I thought it was from 10 - 11 but I was wrong.  When we walked in, I asked the lady at the front counter where the arts and crafts set up was and she informed me that it started at 11.  Oh.  Oops.  You would think that this oversight would have left me flustered.  Not at all.  H, Tay and I went to the kids section and I read books that Tay picked out while feeding H her lunch bottle.  As usual, we attracted another little girl.  I don't know if she thought I worked there or what but she came over to hang out with us and listen to the stories we were reading.  And, as usual when it comes to other little germ infested rugrats, she started touching H on the head and offering to hold her if I needed someone to.  Umm.  Thanks.  I'm good.  And don't touch her again.  Um ok?

Anyway, she moved on when her dad (where was he anyway) came over and whisked her away with a stack of girly mags and science fiction books under one arm (ok, I might be kidding on one of those).  Tay and I decided to take H to the potty to clean up her stinky butt and allow Tay some time to empty herself as well.  When we came back out, we noticed that the craft area was set up.  I think Tay was the first to arrive.  It was a really neat little set up and she had a good time.  H did really well, not a peep out of her except small laughs when I paid her attention.  We will need to keep our eye out for more activities at the Bookmans.  It was a great "attention occupier."

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Hayden watching her big sis
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Losing interest
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What are you doing Mommy?
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Stupid flash
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That's better
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The garden sign that Tay made
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The butterflies she made (she will be the first to tell you that she was the only kid that got TWO butterflies!)
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After Bookmans, we headed to the most popular lunch destination there is for a six year old - McDonald's.  Although McDonald's makes me puke in my mouth, I felt it fitting for girls day to go there.  The old guy at the counter was a lot of fun and put Tay's name on the ticket to be called out when the order was ready.  She was such a big girl and helped me out since I had the honker of a stroller in there.  I just knew the stroller would be easier and "cleaner" than just taking the seat and having to sit it on the floor or something. 

We ate inside so that she could play on the obstacle course thing-y while she ate.  She would have a bite of chicken nugget (or whatever nugget it really is) and then run over to the big, plastic tube deal-y and play.  Hayden just sat by enjoying her first (and I am sure not the last) trip to McDonald's.  She watched intently at my mouth as I choked down a couple of fries and about two bites of the Big 'N Tasty.  It wasn't all that big and it really was far from tasty!

After about an hour of eat and play, we piled back into the truckster and headed to the local Marana park up the road from our house.  They were having a Founder's Day celebration that I heard was actually pretty cool. 

It certainly had a lot to offer!  There were bouncing castles and slides, booths, face painting, concerts/magical acts, all the usual festival fare - cotton candy, indian fry bread (equivalent to elephant ears back home), kettle corn, hot dogs, nachos, pizza, those kinds of healthy options.  We started in the bouncy castle area.  $10 for a bracelet for unlimited use on the bouncy things.  She only went on two.  And then she was done.  Well, sure it was $10 and I would have hoped it would have bought me more but, we really don't do this all the time so whatever!

Next we headed further into the park area.  She played on the moonkey bars and slide thing and then we headed out to find the cotton candy.  Succes was to be had by the big, portable outdoor stage area.  Of course, because of my background (and my sickness), I checked out the speaker system, the staging and the lighting.  It truly is a sickness, my friends.  At the cotton candy booth, we bought a bag of blue cotton and a water balloon "yoyo" thing.  Then I picked up some caramel kettle corn at the neighboring booth.

Us girls took our goodies to a spot on the lawn and copped a squat.  We listened to the band play the remainder of their set and just set quietly eating our snacks.  It was about at that time that I realized how wonderful these girls are!  H was asleep (later waking up gently to eat - no drama) and Tay was just being very cool and chilled.  We sat there, not really talking, just observing the going ons around us.  It was peaceful and enjoyable.  Tay is growing up so much and is becoming more and more of an awesome little lady. 

After feeding H and getting our fill of the snacks, we picked everything up and headed back to the center of the park.  Tay wanted to get her face painted.  A true mark that you have been at a festival!  The line was very long and very slow.  But I decided to wait in it with H to hold Tay's spot while she went off to play on the jungle gym.  It all worked out and, minus getting into stories about the lady and her kids behind me who were all UP in my business versus giving me my "personal" space, we headed home shortly after her face was adorned with a vine of roses.

Once we got home, we were all beat.  Even H.  So Tay kicked back with a movie while I started dinner.  I knew that T would be exhausted after a full day of moving heavy furniture and boxes so I made him his favorite spaghetti sauce which I combined with a three cheese tortellini.  The rest of the night was pretty uneventful and everyone fell asleep pretty early other than me.  I started this blog last night but got sidetracked when Tay wanted to cuddle with me.  She ended up falling asleep with her arm around me.  It was very sweet.  Especially when I reflected on her giving me a big hug when we got home and telling me that this was the best girls day ever.  Sure makes that measly $10 bracelet look like nothing!!  It was all worth it!

I must say, I was pretty proud of myself and my ability to juggle a six year old and a two and a half month old by myself at multiple locations for an entire day.  But it really wasn't a drama at all and, actually, quite enjoyable!  Maybe it is my patience that has slowly built up over time with having Tay around since she was little.  Or maybe it was just one of those lucky days.  Or maybe, and I think this is to be true, these girls are the best out there and I am lucky enough to have them in my life.  I think that is it, truth be told.

The remaining pics from our day:
Pics taken by Tay
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Yep, she took that one of herself!

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I took these
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A super nice family took this one of us
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Exhaustion kicks in!
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Girls' Day = SUCCESS!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hayden celebrated the new look of her blog with her purple outfit.  It actually wasn't planned that way but I had to take a pic!  Plus I love her skirt...Old Navy ROCKS!  But, know that their clothes run small.

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Ok, try commenting again...I messed with more settings. 

BY THE WAY...

try commenting on my blog now...I changed the settings and want to see if you can post comments now...

Happy St Paddy's Day late and welcome to spring!  I mean, I know the official start of spring isn't until tomorrow but I have always felt like St. Paddy's Day marked the beginning of spring and all the fun spring brings with it!  Especially in Louisville with Derby Festival, Derby, etc.  Here in Tucson?  Eh, everything is pretty much the same.  We have gone from 50 degree temps to 80 degree temps overnight.  "Seasons" don't exist in the desert.  It goes from winter to summer to hell then back to summer and then winter. 

But, with everything in bloom and the temps warming up, we have been taking frequent walks to the different parks around our neighborhood.  Here's H and I geared up and ready for our walk...

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Wow!  You can tell I need to get my hair done soon!  Yikes!  Speaking of hair...I am trying to decide if I am going to grow my hair longer or if I want to do the stereotypical MOM cut.  You know, it always seems that, when women have babies, they instantly cut their hair.  I honestly can see why!  I barely have time to pee - there's no time to fix hair!!  Of course, with short hair (at least on me), if I don't fix it, it won't look right.  And, with short hair, there isn't the easy option of the headband/ponytail combo that is so popular with me!  So I am still trying to decide.  Any suggestions?

Hayden is growing like a weed and is becoming such a little person!  She has always had her own distinct personality but it is just evolving everyday.  The wheels in her brain are spinning and you can see her observing more, learning more and discovering more.  Her neck is getting stronger - she can hold her head up by herself pretty well!  She LOVES sitting up (with our support, of course) and she also loves standing up (with our help).  Her little legs are very strong!

The other new development is that she is starting to grab at things.  It started with the boppy pillow.  I use it to feed her because a) I feel it is more comfortable for her and b) it frees up a hand for me to work on the computer!  The cover of my boppy has a print that has dragonflies.  She tried to grab the dragonflies.  Since then, she grabbed the nipple of her bottle that was sitting on the computer.  I wondered if that was a sign that she wanted more to eat...and it did!!  I fixed her another 2 oz and she drank it.  She is so smart!!

Since then she has been grabbing at more things.  She is still trying so hard to get her feet.  She gets so frustrated when she can't get to them.  I will be excited when she finally gets a handle on them and gets them to her mouth - which I believe is the ultimate goal.

The most exciting development is her laugh!!  She was in her swing in the kitchen one night last week.  I sat on the floor in front of the swing and "got" her feet with kisses when she would swing my way.  Then, out of nowhere, a laugh.  A REAL laugh!  T and I instantly looked at each other with amazement!  We couldn't believe she laughed for the first time...and we were both their to experience it together.  It was a wonderful moment.

I was wondering if we would hear her laugh again or if it was a one time deal that may not happen again for a few more months.  Not the case!  She has laughed several times since including last night.  It is such an amazing sound. 

So a lot of new developments in a very little bit of time.  I can't believe how things change so quickly - that's why I am enjoying every minute of it!  We are excited about our trip to Louisville in a couple of weeks!  Amazingly, I am not too worried about flying solo with her in tow.  I feel like she and I know each other pretty well now.  I am no longer worried about not knowing what she wants or needs.  I can read her very well now.  The only thing I am a little worried (that's not really the right word for it) about is the time difference and our schedules.  But, we can only do what we can do.  As usual, I will take her lead on everything.

That's all for now.  I leave you with some pics...

H in her woombie
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Napping in her denim mini (that made it's way up her belly during her nap)
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Sham-rocker with monkey moo
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Showing belly
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Being her adorable self!  =P
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Showing belly...
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

As you all know, Hayden has had a time with gas and reflux (I am sure she will love that I posted this in my blog when she is 16!).  I have made it a MISSION to find a way to make her more comfortable so that she doesn't have to deal with the pain anymore.  There has to be a way.  Dr E (her pediatrician) kept saying that, if nothing else works, it will just pass.  But I couldn't just wait around and let her suffer if there were other things that could help.  So I took it upon my google-self to look for possible solutions.  While I was at it, I looked for something that might help her sleep more comfortably through the night.  The following talks about products we have tried, products I have ordered and products I feel have worked...

For her pain (reflux and gas), we have tried Zantac (a generic version) that she took twice a day but that didn't seem to do much and she certainly didn't like the taste.  But, since it wasn't doing much to control her reflux, Dr E switched her to Prevacid Solutabs.  These are a little harder to administer but we have really gotten the hang of it.  AND not only does it work, she really likes the taste of it.  She laps it up when we put the syringe in her mouth.  She gets a half a tab twice a day.

For the gas, we have tried (and are still occasionally using) Mylicon drops.  I have started putting it in her formula for most feedings to help before it hurts.  And it seems to be working.  But T has a good point, how do I know what's working?  The reason he says that is because I have changed other things as well.  We have gone from Infamil Sobee (Soy formula) to Similac Infomil (Soy formula) to see if the change in brand would make a difference.  I do like the texture of the Similac better and it seems to mix better than Infamil. 

Along the same lines, I have started to premix the formula with water in a pitcher with a whisk versus shaking the bottles at the time of feedings.  I put the premixed versions in the fridge.  This is certainly a bigger pain in the butt but it definitely does eliminate the "bubble" factor which probably does contribute to her gas issues.

Further, I have added a bottle warmer to the mix.  I had been giving her room temperature bottles but, with the bottle warmer, she has the whole "warm milk" effect.  I have noticed that she drinks more and she drinks it more comfortably.  The only thing challenging about this new product is "getting to know it."  Even the directions tell you to play with the amount of water you put on the heating element until you find the right temperature for the amount in the bottle.  I am slowly figuring out what works for the amounts we typically use - although H seems to be eating more lately (maybe because she is less full of gas??). 

Today I received Colic Calm after ordering it online the other day.  I have heard REALLY great things about it - the weird thing is that it is BLACK in color and can stain!!  That's a real bummer.  But it is all natural and can't hurt (only help or do nothing at all).  The color kinda freaked me out when I dispensed it into the syringe.  But I added it to her formula tonight so we will see what happens.  It is supposed to really help with the gas, colic and reflux.  I don't know...only what I read.  So we will see.

Sleeping through the night??  Well, not yet.  She still wakes up through the night to eat.  But it was getting even worse where she was waking up because either she was having gas pains or she broke out of her swaddle.  We have a few kiddopotamus swaddles...the only one that half way works is the one I received at a shower or bought - can't remember which one.  Anyway, she is a little Houdini...she can get an arm or her legs out, which I'm sure feels cold PLUS makes her have the falling reflex that all babies have which then wakes her up. 

So, yep, google search D takes it upon myself to look for something better.  I ordered a Woombie.  It gives her the flexibility to move her arms a bit without escaping or having the startling "falling" reflex that wakes her up.  Product freak?  Maybe!  Determined Mom who needs a night of sleep - YES!!

Kiddopotamus:
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Woombie
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Look clausterphobic??  To me too!  But this is supposed to be heaven for babies...we shall see...

So we shall see how this all plays out.  It may be that her digestive system just matures and she just decides to sleep through the night and that none of the products contributed.  But I will tell myself that the products I ordered made the difference.  How else would I justify the money I have spent (out of my own "allowance")??  But she is totally worth it. 

I always heard that having a child is a love that you can't even explain.  A bigger love than you have ever known.  This is more true than I can describe.  I never thought I would be one who would have a baby and feel that way...but I do...beyond words.  And I couldn't be happier or more in love...

Pics for the close:
What?  You want to see my belly?
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Ok!
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Tummy time!  The TV holds her interest and makes her WANT to hold up her head.  She has really gotten great at holding her head up...all the time!  And she loves "standing" on my legs while I hold her under her arms.  She even grumps a little when I try to sit her down.  She wants to stand and hold up her own head.  I am so proud of what a big girl she is!
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Ready for our walk this evening - went to the park with T and Tay
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I'm ready Daddy!
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Beautiful big sis!!
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Matter Of Life and Death

Sad news today.  I found out a colleague of mine in the industry that I have worked with many times since moving to Tucson committed suicide late January.  I was shocked beyond shock to hear this news.  I instantly teared up and had so many questions.  I was told he closed his business (his company did scenic work and staging for corporate events) in December.  Was that why he did this?  What happened??

I haven't been able to shake the news all day.  I have never known anyone who committed suicide.  This was all new to me.  Backing up a bit, ever since having Ms. Hayden on December 26, I have been a lot more emotional when it comes to mortality.  Just seeing someone "die" on a fictional TV show will make my heart ache.  I don't know if it is left over hormones or the fact that Hayden has literally brought LIFE to me.

When you are young, you don't think about death - you laugh at death...you are immortal.  Then, as you get older and start having little aches and pains or the weight doesn't shed off of you as easily as it used to...or you just feel...old, you start lightly thinking about the far future.  You still feel like you have a long way to go and there is always someone "older" than you.  But then...at least for me...you have a baby.  A beautiful baby.  A new life.  And all of a sudden mortality becomes forefront in your mind.  I WANT to live a long time to watch her grow up.  I don't EVER want to die (although I know it is inevitable).  I want to cherish each day with her, watch her walk for the first time, cheer her on when we take the training wheels off, shed a tear and lose sleep when she drives for the first time, side eye her first boyfriend, help her pimp out her dorm room, take her out celebrating when she hits 21, cry and laugh out loud when she tells me she is marrying that awesome, handsome doctor, be there in the hospital as my Mom was to hold her baby...I want all of those things.  But no one knows what tomorrow brings so you have to live for today...and hope for tomorrow.

With the news of Don (the man I knew who just committed suicide), I have really tried to wrap my head around suicide.  Everyone says it is a selfish way to go.  And it does seem that way, right?  His daughter found him (the source I heard it from wasn't sure if he hung himself or shot himself).  She is an adult and married but, at that moment, did she feel like his five year old baby girl?  Why Daddy?  Why?  Is this how she felt?  I am sure she, as well as the rest of his family, must have questions...questions, guilt, excruciating pain, anger, more pain, more questions...what could we have done?  Maybe if I would have called him at such-and-such a time, maybe if I would have gone there, if only I knew he was so upset, so low.  What could I have done?  How could I have saved him?  And they will be asking these questions for the rest of their lives.  His daughter will relive that moment...for the rest of her life.

Although many say it is a selfish act (and I do agree), I don't think the one doing it looks at it that way.  I have never been inside someone's head who felt that was the only avenue to take.  However, I can only imagine that they aren't thinking about the hurt they will cause their family.  They may be thinking that they are hurting their family more by being around (so far from the truth, I'm sure).  They may be thinking that this is the only way to find peace...maybe in their own intensely "loud" minds. 

I hadn't talked to Don since probably 2008 when I left my last place of employment.  I remember my last conversation with him was about me leaving that place, how crappy they were to me and his response that I was really good at what I did and that we WILL work together again.  And here we are, a year and a half later, I have the same event we last worked on together.  I was going to email him in the next week to talk with him about a design for the staging.  I wanted to work with him again.  He didn't get the business last year.  I was ready to award it to him without a bid.  But now he is gone.  It is so hard for me to comprehend...or understand.

I have experienced depression in my life.  Many times.  I have been treated for depression - both through counseling and through medication.  I always called it my black hole.  At those times, I felt like I had fallen into a muddy, dark, cold hole and couldn't get back out.  And, my friends, there were times that that hole was deep.  So deep I was afraid I would never be able to climb out.  But I NEVER got to the point that I felt like off'ing myself was the way out of that hole.  I guess I always saw the light up at the top...no matter how dim.  I always knew there was a way out - I may need to be guided, I may need pills to grasp onto - but there was always a way out. 

My life has changed dramatically since then.  I am in such a happier place, I have so much to live for and don't want myself or my family to go anywhere!  The mud on my shoes and under my nails is a sure sign of where I have been...that muddy hole - a constant reminder that things were worse at one time.  And a gauge as to how things are so incredibly great now.  I made it.  I made it out of the hole with only soiled shoes.  I only wish others could have made it out.  If I could have just held my hand down there to help pull them out.  To let them know I understand...that I am here to talk...that I am here.  But I never, ever thought that, the hippy, low-key, down-to-earth, "no drama" scenic genius would need my help...my hand.  Where was I?

Thank you Hayden.  You have made this world an even better place.  I have the most wonderful family, friends, husband, step-daughter, pets and now this incredible little girl.  I have EVERYTHING to live for...and I plan to...for as long as nature will let me.   Granted I will continue to cover my gray hair and use any ointment possible to cover the wrinkles that are creeping across my face.  But I will live life fully...every second of every minute of every hour of every day.  For me, for my family and for Hayden.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

You know, it's always something.  Whether it is the theory that bubble baths can give babies urinary tract infections, babies playing in bouncies can cause them to be bowl legged, or that a baby who glances at TV could become autistic.  And then there is the biggy...SIDS.  And, of course the prime suspect of SIDS is a baby laying on their belly to sleep.  Supposedly it could create a pocket where a baby can breathe in too much carbon dioxide and then stop breathing.

But here is something to think about.  Most people my age and even 10 years younger than me (per my husband) slept on their bellies when they were babies.  Now that babies are not recommended to sleep on their bellies, we now must incorporate "tummy time" during the day to help them learn to lift their heads.  So what changed? 

Who knows but that is the way it always is...new up and coming scientists, pediatricians and research lead to new results that make the past look abusive.  How can we ever forgive our parents for laying us on our bellies to sleep - risking our lives in the process?  You know what?  They thought they were doing the right thing - the doctors at that time even confirmed that they were.  If the baby spit up during the night and they were on their backs, they could choke on their spit up and...well....stop breathing.

These days people are so obsessed with SIDS that motion detectors placed under the crib mattress is a huge business.  I admit that we have one and I admit that it does ease my mind.  It detects the slightest motion on the mattress.  You can literally watch the green light flash at each breath H makes.  There is so much controversy over side sleeping, cosleeping, crib bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc.  it is hard to keep up with it all.

I admit that I have been swept up in the SIDS craze.  I am certainly not saying that SIDS is anything to take lightly.  My sister in law and her husband knew someone who's baby died from SIDS at four months.  I honestly cannot imagine losing nugget now or ever.  So I have done everything I can to protect her from the dangers of SIDS.  We keep her room cool, her crib clear of anything other than a fitted sheet, and a motion AND audio monitor on any time she is in her crib.  I am constantly adjusting her swaddle so that it won't go over her face and I am always checking on her breathing - especially during naps.

But here's my admission.  During the day I do allow H to sleep on her stomach for her naps.  Of course I keep a very close eye on her and have all monitors up all the way.  But the fact is, she sleeps hella better on her stomach than she does on her back.  I swear, if I felt more comfortable to let her sleep on her belly at night, I think she would sleep all through the night with no interruption.  But I just can't get past the scare.  I just can't take the chance.

Anyway, just a random train of thought.

On another note...exciting night for T and I...H laughed for the first time!!  And we both saw it at the same time.  She was in her swing and I was "getting" her feet by kissing them when she would swing my way.  She chuckled.  And there was no denying it!!  We both looked at each other and became giddy!!  She actually laughed for the first time.  It was so incredible.  I am on a high.  I just loved every minute of it and I can't wait to hear that beautiful laugh again!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Isn't it funny how, at different stages in life, we spend our money on certain things?  Like, when I was a teenager, it was music, makeup and teen mags (oh, and a waterbed - my first big purchase with money I earned at a "real" job).  When I was in my early 20's, my money was spent on clothes and going out to nightclubs.  Late 20's, a house.  Early 30's, careerwear, hair, nails, groceries.  And now, here I am with a little Hayden Grace and, what do I spend money on?   Myself?  Hardly!  I walk into Target where I used to purchase more than I needed for me, my house and some miscellaneous, needless stuff for the car or the outside patio.  Now I walk in and head straight to "Hayden's" section to see what is on the racks.  And that is where my life is at right now.

This is even more evident in the most recent purchase I made...today...online.  So, I registered for a baby book but then couldn't stand waiting to look through one so I took it off my registry and just bought one at BRU.  It is cute...kind of blue, green and yellow (keeping with the neutral theme) with little animals and stuff on the front.  The inside is cute as well.  I thought I was in love.

But, it turns out, I loved the book but wasn't "in love" with it.  This is obviously the case since, when I saw this latest baby book, I couldn't walk away from the immediate attraction!!  I was totally in love and knew I had to have it.  There was no turning back.  No denying my feelings.  It was the real thing. 

And, as with any great love story, it comes with a price!  Oh and it was a bit hefty for a baby book.  Especially when you can get them a dime a dozen at any of your local Target, BRU or corner bookstore.  But this is no ordinary book.  It was the real thing.  I love it and couldn't be more comfortable spending the money on something that will be treasured for years to come by me, T, Hayden and Hayden's kids.  I see it as an investment...as with any relationship.

Here it is...
Of course, personalized with her name on the front
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Inside pages
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Closer look
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The 14 month calendar that you can put special milestones and accomplishments on
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It has already been mailed and is on the way!  I am really excited!  They had a bunch of other patterns but I was drawn to this one for some reason.  I think it looks classy and cool.  My own strange baby taste, I guess.  I love the ribbon that ties around the button on the front.  And it comes with all of the pages regular baby books have plus additional ones that you can order - I ordered two additional shower pages (since I had a total of three and it comes with one) and the sibling page for Tatum.  Have I mentioned that I am excited?

And, more things to be excited about:

I was awarded a bid to produce a great event in October!  It is an event I did when I was at A6 (jerks!) that I absolutely fell in love with.  The contact, who is also a close friend, invited me to bid on it this year since A6 has blown up into many little, fraudulent pieces (and they really screwed up the event last year).  I didn't think twice about it.  Yes, it certainly is quite a chunk to take on with everything else we have going on right now but I know I can do it and it will make me feel incredible to plan something again (along with my 20 year high school reunion!).  I'm excited to be working, using my brain, having meetings with adults, and contributing to our income!!  Makes me feel like "me" again!

Another exciting element...the nugget is sleeping pretty much through the night.  She still does her usual bedtime routine, getting in her crib by 8.  She sleeps until 2 or 3, wakes up to eat for 30 minutes, and then back asleep until 6 or 7!  This is awesome for a nugget her age.  I am a very proud Momma who is cautiously excited about this new development.  I know things can change as she changes...growth spurts are sure to put an end to our progress.  But, when you have a two month old and you are exhausted and overwhelmed, you take what you can get and celebrate along the way!

I am getting back to the gym and eating right...another exciting piece of the pie!  I am determined to get back into my 8's as soon as possible (realistically, before the reunion!).  Right now I probably wear 10's.  I have been wearing my maternity pants but they are really becoming WAY too big and drive me crazy by constantly heading south when I am walking.  I think I will have to break down and buy a handful of britches in size 10 that will get me through until the gym kicks my butt!  But I am determined and don't feel like it will take me all the way until October - but I am setting my goals low so that I pleasantly surprise myself!!

Along the lines of my body getting back into shape, my long, lost Aunt came knocking last night.  You know who I am talking about!  I haven't seen her in over a year and most women would be overjoyed at not seeing their aunt that long.  But I am glad that she is back.  It makes me feel back to "normal" and now I can jump back onto birth control and live a somewhat "normal" life again.  That probably doesn't make a lot of sense but it does to me.  I just want everything about me and my body to get back to pre-pregnancy state!  I am so glad my girls are - they were tortured long enough with the breastfeeding!

I am excited to be going home soon to Louisville - Easter weekend!  Hayden and my first trip together solo!  Or not solo!  Her first plane ride ever other than in utero!  My nerves are bundled tight about it but I think it will all be ok.  I have a plan and I know what I am going to pack to hopefully make the trip fun and painless for us both.  We will see...

I guess that's it for now.  I leave you with some pics that were on my phone that I finally downloaded to the computer today:

In the hospital
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Going home
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Other pics
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