Saturday, March 31, 2012

Final Four, Baby!!!

Today got off to a rough start... We have trouble keeping Ayden on consistent EASY cycles during the weekends because they are always so jam packed. This makes for a fussy and unpredictable baby.

During the week it's easy because it's my job and it's easy for me to schedule my day around him. The weekends are a different story... David has plans, I have plans, our families have plans, etc. so it's just doesn't seem feasible for us to work around his 3 hour cycles. We always said that we'd work hard to have our baby conform to our life but it has definitely been more challenging than we thought.

As David and I were discussing this I mentioned that he is an equal part of our family now so that means he deserves, not more, but equal influence in how we plan our days. We are all miserable when he has fussy days; so I think it would be worth our while to sit down and map out the things we want to accomplish the next day and see how we can mesh it all together to keep Ayden at least somewhat happy while we conquer all of our to do's.

We also need to remember that he's still sooo young and that the needy infant stage is just a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things...

With all that said, Ayden's sleep/awake times have been switched all day because he missed his morning nap due to our car ride to take care of my family's pets (they are on vacation) and to visit David's parents. Poor guy just doesn't sleep deeply in the car. He'd fuss, fall asleep, wake up whenever we'd stop, rinse and repeat. By the time we got to the grandparent's house he was so distraught that he nursed to sleep (both out of comfort and hunger) and we've been off for the rest of the day.

We went for a bike ride while he slept. He woke when we got back so we all laid down in David's old room and he nursed back to sleep (yet again). We all slept there like 2 big spoons and one little for about an hour which felt amazing!

We ended the evening by cheering on our CATS in the Final Four game tonight!

We won!!
Our good friends came over to watch the game then have a back yard bon fire and campout (we bought new camping gear and are practicing camping with a baby)! Should be interesting and fun...

Ready to camp!!
(Don't mind the flash induced demon eyes...)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekend Night Owl

Last night we did a little better with preventing Ayden from getting overtired.  We had dinner an hour earlier so he got tired/hungry while we were eating instead of while we were cleaning up.  That was better because I can feed him while I eat, not while I clean up.  I hate waking up to a messy kitchen in the mornings so I always try to get it cleaned up before we all head up to bed.  The funny thing is, since he slept well in the Ergo during our walk and while we prepared dinner, he was ready for another awake time after he ate.  He hung out in the swing while David and I soaked in our jacuzzi tub and read Hunger Games to each other (yeah, we're a little late...).  He eventually fell asleep in the swing listening to the sounds of our voices. Since he was already in his nighttime diaper (I had put it on him before that last feeding during dinner just in case he fell asleep for the night), all I had to do was swaddle him, give him a "dream feed," which is when you sort of top a baby off without actually waking them, and put him to bed.  He slept for 5 hours, 4 hours and then an extra hour in our bed this morning while I browsed Pintrest (the cuteness pictured above).  It was a great night!  I think maybe the key is to just not let him get over tired as he tends to fall asleep before he gets a full feeding and that's what causes him to wake up so frequently.  I feel like I get a new theory about his sleep habits everyday but if I don't constantly reflect/troubleshoot, I'll never find answers or make progress, right?

Somebody slept in this morning...
My parents and sisters are vacationing together in Florida for Spring break next week so Ayden and I had made plans to go to my hometown to visit with them all before they left.  We wanted to head that way pretty early so I got up and got the day started while Ayden was still snoozing during that last hour.  When he woke up, I fed him again and then strapped him into the jogger for some exercise (3 days left to get in my 3 workouts!)  I got about a 20 minute run in and definitely got my heart rate up and broke a sweat.  It felt GOOD!  I still have a long way to go to get back to my pre pregnancy fitness level.

When we got back Ayden napped in his crib while I showered and got ready and then we headed to visit with the fam.
Ready to go!!
After visiting with everyone I headed to the dance studio to teach my Friday classes.  Ayden was SOOO good!  The fact that he's entertained by toys now makes a world of difference!  If he's rested and fed, he'll just hang out contentedly until he gets tired again.  Here he is dancing with one of my students:

Now it's time for the weekend which always makes me tired because I still like to stay up "late" (until 10 or 11) with David even though Ayden still goes to bed between 8 and 9.  Going to bed late and waking up early Friday and Saturday make me fit in with the walking dead by Sunday but I just can't seem to give it up.  That's what naps are for, right??


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back To Civilization

Happy Thursday!!
Today I ventured out of the house for the first time in days and let me tell you, I needed it!!!

I stopped by hobby lobby to get some crafty stuff, checked The Goodwill for large picture frames and hand weights (with no luck), then swung by the mall and the bank.

Though last night was a little rough and I didn't get a nap again today, I still feel SOOO much better than I have the past couple of days. Turns out, people actually need a good dose of civilization once and a while...

Ayden on the other hand had plenty of naps. One of which was accidental (my favorite kind. It's so cute when he falls asleep so quietly and contentedly).
He rolled on his side by himself and fell asleep <3
In the stroller at the mall
When we got home from running our errands, he was ready to eat. I just sat and savored the moment. His little fingers and little toes still amaze me. We made him... He grew from scratch in my belly and now he's here to share the rest of our lives with us. So amazing!!

We had some playtime after he ate and when he was ready to sleep again I decided to give my Moby wraps a break and sported the Ergo for our evening walk.

On our way out the door we had a package from Amazon waiting on our stoop containing these bad boys:

I see some more sleep training in our near future.  Someday I will get at least 6 hours straight again.  Hopefully sooner rather than later ;).

What's your favorite mommy outing?  Our local bookstore has baby and me story time on Thursday mornings.  I'm going to start taking Ayden, maybe I can meet some mommy friends!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Making Changes

Today's dose of cuteness!!
So... we had gone back to 3 hour or less sleep sessions for the past few nights. I figured he was probably gearing up for a growth spurt (because my midwife had warned us that they pop up every 3 weeks and he turned 9 weeks on Saturday) and trying to either increase my supply, take in more calories or both.  Then last night, he slept two 4 hour sessions which was amazing after what he had been doing and then slept for most of the day today.

Our little mouth breather :)
I hope tonight is just as good!

Little Miss was back today.  I've been trying to have activities ready that will keep her independently occupied while I am nursing Ayden.  She wants to be in my lap too and I just can't give up that special time to focus on him.  It's a part of why I love breastfeeding so much.  It ensures that no matter where we are, what we're doing or who might be holding him, we get reunited for some special Ayden and Mommy time at least every 3 hours. 

Taking pom poms in and out of an empty tissue box

Had to include this pic for a laugh...  Her (comfy?) nap in the stroller.
Here's what Ayden and I did while Little Miss napped:

Oh, I can barely stand the cuteness!!!

For the past couple of weeks, every night around 8/8:30 Ayden gets sleepy and fussy.  Turns out, that's right when we are trying to prepare/eat dinner.  After tonight's stressful episode of trying to comfort him to sleep and help cook dinner at the same time I finally  thought to do some problem solving reflection on the situation.  I called David into Ayden's room while I was getting our crying, over-tired baby ready for bed and told him that I thought we were going to have to make some changes to our evening routine.  We either need to have dinner around 7/7:30 or earlier (like normal people) so we're ready to put him to bed before he gets over tired, or we need to put Ayden to bed and have dinner after.  Option #1 has my vote because that will probably mean more sleep for me which I so desperately crave these days.  David agreed that we needed to make some changes so we'll see how long it takes us to shift our routine... We both tend to be creatures of habit. Wish us luck!!

Good Night!
What was the biggest change you had to make in your routine after having a baby?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Did I Do Today??

Do you ever have those days where you get to the end and, though you were busy all day, you feel like you didn't accomplish a single thing? Well, today was one of those days for me...

Ayden had kind of an off day... He was a bit whiney and wanted to be held all day. I wear him a lot as it is but a gal has to give her back a break and use the bathroom once in a while (he doesn't like for me to sit while he's in the wrap so that makes using the restroom a bit tricky)...

I did manage to give him a bath which he always loves:

and I always remind myself that feeding him throughout the day is a VERY big and important accomplishment in and of itself.

I also managed to take a shower and get ready while Ayden napped in his swing. Again, a pretty big accomplishment.
I tried to fix the angle of his head but he would purposefully put it back in this position...
If he's comfy, why not just leave him alone?
During his late afternoon feeding I decided to grab paper and pen so I could reflect on my day and write down the things I did accomplish instead of thinking about all the things still left to be done.

It turned out to be a nice sized list! I'm so glad I took the time to write it out because the visual made me feel so much better about the day.

I think the way I felt has a lot to do with me watching Little Miss again. Going from having 5 weekdays to fit in being a good mommy, the house work and my hobbies/me time to 3 (soon to be 2) is a lot of pressure and is going to take some adjustment time. I just need to remember to take it one day at a time and also remind myself that my to do's aren't going anywhere so I'll get to them whenever I can find the time (much easier said than done).

Ayden had a lot to say and a lot of smiles for his daddy when he got home!

I just love seeing them together :).
David mowed the lawn while Ayden napped in the Moby (again) and then we decided to go for a run. It had only been about an hour and 45 minutes since Ayden had eaten last so we figured we would have at least 30 minutes to run (he's usually ready to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day). As it turns out that 2.5 to 3 hour timeline only works when Ayden is in charge. When we woke him from the Moby and put him in the stroller he started to cry immediately. We thought he would stop, even go back to sleep, once we got moving but he only became more frantic. Needless to say we turned around and headed home to feed him. As it turns out, Ayden is well aware of the sequence of events that should take place in his EASY cycles. Note taken.

My goal was to work out at least 3 days this week so surely out of the 5 that are left there's a chance I can still meet that goal...

Bonus: It's only 8:15 and I'm about to push publish for this post. There's another accomplishment for the list! :)

Until tomorrow...


Monday, March 26, 2012


Hey, hey, hey!
I decided to try to rock my hair in it's natural state this morning:

Don't mind the kiss face... I sent this picture to David to get his honest opinion of how it looked and knew a kiss would make him smile.  He's always been really great about being honest with me which definitely makes it mean more when he says something looks good.  He approved of the 'do today.  I used to wear my hair wavy all the time in high school and early college.  Then I purchased and fell in love with my Chi straightening iron and my poor waves went by the wayside.  Now when I wear it wavy I feel like it's frizzy and hate the way it feels on my neck.  

Spring and Summer always give me a renewed energy and with that comes the desire to set some goals and make some changes. Here are my new warm weather goals so far:
  1. Research some new hair products to help me rock my hair with confidence while wearing it au natural.  Not only will wearing it wavy more often save me time but it will be much healthier for it too. 
  2. Move exercise to the top of the priority list.  I've been working out here and there since about 5 weeks postpartum but now I'm ready to kick it up a notch.  I'm still being realistic, though.  With a 2 month old that can still be unpredictable at times and my new side kick, exhaustion, there's no way I can commit to daily exercise (beyond taking the dog for his morning walk) at this point in the game.  That being said, my goal is to exercise rigorously at least three times a week.  
  3. Find a way to get more sleep!! <-- self explanatory...
  4. Get and KEEP the house in order so I can stop wasting my time having to do large cleaning/organizing tasks.  If I could just keep it up I'd have so much more time to do the things I want to do (i.e. monthly video/photo montages of Ayden.)
I think four is good for now ;)...

It's so funny that Ayden seems to change his ways right after I write about him!  During his tummy time today he was repeatedly lifting his head to 45* and holding it there for long periods of time.  As I mentioned in his 2 month post, we haven't been worried because he has been gaining great head control when held upright.  He just hadn't been doing it when he was "supposed to."  Now that he is, we won't have any extra explaining to do at his pediatrician appointment that's coming up in a couple of weeks.

Polly (our cat) is overseeing Ayden's efforts.  She approves...

Little Miss was here today and she seems to have naturally fallen back into the routine we had going when I had her while I was pregnant.  She gets here around 9:30 and has a snack first thing.  Usually a banana... then we take Maverick for a walk.  She always falls asleep on the walk, usually before we make it all the way around the block and proceeds to have her morning nap for about 2 hours.  When she wakes up, she's ready for lunch and then we play until her mom comes to get her around 4:30.  Today I got lucky and Ayden was sleepy when we got back from our walk so I got him down for his second nap of the day and since they were both sleeping:

I got to sleep too!  I set the video monitor up on her, snuggled up next to Ayden on our bed and dozed off and on for about 45 minutes.  It was glorious!  I am hoping to make nap time for all a usual occurrence as it really helps me make it through the day with all of my patience and enthusiasm in tact.

Here was Ayden after his third nap of the day, which took place in the Moby:

Take note of the shoe socks! :)
He started to fuss so I took him out and laid him on the pack and play changing table while I took off the Moby and he went back to sleep.  It only lasted a few minutes but it sure was cute!  He was ready to eat and he's not one to sleep long with a hungry tummy!

Today was definitely the best so far with having both little ones.  Little Miss had a small bout of jealousy toward Ayden while I was playing with them both later in the day so I'll be working with her on sharing me.  Hopefully that won't escalate any further...  Other than that it was a fun day and I'm starting to re-adjust to the new demands of caring for an infant and a toddler.  More power to the mama's out there who have children this close in age...  I can't imagine doing it 24/7!

What are your Spring/Summer goals??
Do you have children close in age?  What is the most challenging aspect for you?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Down On the Farm

Today was one of those days where by the end, you wonder where all the time went...

We woke up, played with Ayden, stuffed diapers, had coconut pancakes for breakfast, meal planned, and went to the grocery all before UK played in their Elite 8 game at 2:20.  

We're onto the Final Four!!  Go CATS!! :)

For some reason I always feel utterly exhausted on Sundays so while David watched the game, Ayden and I took a nap:

Ayden down, Mommy to go...

After the game we headed to our home town to visit with our parents.  I grew up on a farm and we've always toyed with the idea of one day building our own home out there.  We currently live in a cookie cutter neighborhood and a sense of calm always washes over us whenever we visit the farm.  The stars are brighter, the sunsets are prettier (mainly because they are framed by rolling farm land as apposed to chimneys and power lines) and the air seems fresher.  We both agree that it would be better to raise our children out there.  Plus, it'd be crazy to pass up free KY farmland, right??  Tonight, we took our jogging stroller and had a great visit with my dad while we walked around their garden (my mom was still in Cleveland for that dance competition).  

While Dad and David caught the end of a golfing tournament, Ayden and I played on the swing set that my parents got for all of their grandkids (Ayden is their 6th!).

After we were done getting our dose of farm fresh air and atmosphere, we headed to David's parent's house for a little visit.  We got home much later than anticipated (around 9:00). Ayden was way past turning into a pumpkin and we were starving!  Lucky for us we grilled the chicken for tonight's salads along with our shrimp and veggies last night so dinner was quick and easy.  Now we're snuggled in bed ready to tackle the nighttime routine.  Little Miss comes tomorrow, I'm hoping I can be rested enough to make it through the day!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Playing Games

We tried tummy time on the Boppy today.  

Someone thought it was very comfy...
(don't worry, his nose was clear of any obstructions and I never left his side...)

Ayden seems to like tummy time a little too much.  He snuggles in and just lays there making adorable sounds while he licks and sucks on whatever blanket or burp cloth might be under him.  Luckily he's doing a pretty good job holding his head up or I'd be a little worried!  

Since he seemed so comfy on his belly I decided to let him nap that way when I moved him to his crib.

Again, his nose was free from any obstructions and he was VERY well supervised.
He slept for TWO AND A HALF hours!!!!  So much for setting my watch to his 40 minute morning nap...  Obviously it wouldn't be realistic for me to let him nap this way every morning since during the week I take a shower/get ready during his morning nap and wouldn't be able to keep a good eye on him.  Since it is the weekend, I just hung out in his room and put away his laundry and packed up the newborn clothes that he's outgrown.  If I did leave the room I took the video monitor and watched it like a hawk.  We are definitely a "back to sleep" family but I had always heard that babies tend to sleep better on their stomachs and that is definitely true for our baby! Though I will NEVER be too relaxed about his life and will always be cautious about the dangers of suffocation, I do think that if the proper precautions are taken (making sure they are on a firm surface without bulky blankets, etc. around), babies can probably sleep on their tummies pretty safely.  But just because I feel that way, definitely doesn't mean we're going to start doing it regularly.

The only problem that I have found so far with our EASY cycles (that's the Baby Whisperer acronym for eat, activity, sleep, you), is finding the right time for tummy time.  If I lay him down right after he eats, when he's at his most alert and happiest, he's spitting up all over himself and everything.  If I wait for the spit up time to pass, he is a little more sleepy and serious and doesn't get a good workout in.  The little nap above was from our first tummy time of the day so for the rest of the day's tummy times I just gathered a pile of burp cloths and put him down about 15-20 minutes after each feeding.  There was definitely a lot of spit up but at least his little neck muscles got some sort of exercise!

David had some music related business to tend to today so my little love and I were on our own.  In honor of the musical fun David was getting into, I dressed Ayden in one of his guitar outfits.  

So cute!

We had so much fun together today!  I've really seen a positive shift in Ayden's demenor since we've settled into the EASY routine.  He is so happy, alert, and these days even playful, during his awake times.  Here's one of the new games that we play:

We really love how social he is becoming.  :)

We definitely missed David's company all day.  We usually spend Saturdays doing household projects or running errands together which makes for some quality family hang out time.  We were so glad to see him when he got home.  We ended the night grilling out some delicious shrimp and veggies and watching the beautiful sunset:

Ayden even gave David a few little giggles which have quickly become our most favorite sound in the world!  

All and all it was a great day!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Big Boy

How do you make it stop?!?  Ayden is growing up so fast!  I have a lot of pictures and video from our day today.

He has taken his morning nap in his crib almost every morning this week.  It is always 40 minutes on the dot.  I could totally set my watch to it...

We gave the Bumbo seat a try today:

He did great! :)

A little head bob here and there but like I've said before, if you never challenge the muscles, how do they develop??

We went to visit David at work for lunch.  Not only did Ayden not cry when he got in his car seat but he was all smiles:

He was awake and content for most of the car ride (even at red lights!).  He fell asleep when we were almost there and woke up when we went in.  He gave David the biggest smile when he saw him and was even smiling at everyone who gathered around to say hi.  When we finished eating he rested some more while David and I chatted for the remainder of his lunch break.

He said our visit made his day <3
Ayden was hungry when we left and started crying.  Since it's a 20-25 minute car ride, I decided to pull off into a parking lot and nurse him.  It's a good thing because what would have been 20 minutes of screaming turned out to be 20 minutes of this:

and he stayed that way for TWO hours!!  He's definitely becoming a more sound sleeper... He slept until I got to the studio to teach my Friday classes.  The competitive lines (which include my assistant) were at a competition in Cleveland, OH so I was on my own.  That was all good for a couple of solo students who didn't attend the competition; but I was a little worried about having the pre-dance class (18 two year olds) and Ayden all on my own...  Luckily attendance was down and I fed Ayden during my class before them so he was content to play on the play mat for that half hour.
I created a barrier so I wouldn't have to worry about the little ones touching him with their little germy hands :)
After I made sure all of the little ones were safely reunited with their parents I came back in to find this:

Shew!  It seems like every day is jam packed with firsts these days...  I'm so happy and fortunate to be able to stay at home with my little love to witness it all!

<3 My Little Buddy <3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feeling Good

Guess who slept "through the night" again last night...

This guy!!
Ayden had a pretty fussy night last night and we ended up using the 5 S's to sooth him around 8:00.  When we went to bed at 9:30, I wanted to wake him up because he hadn't eaten since 7:00 or so and I was worried that he'd be ready to eat just an hour after I went to sleep... we all know how that makes me feel.  I changed his diaper and did everything I could to rouse him enough to eat and he just wouldn't stir... I don't think he has ever been that sound asleep.  David even asked me to double check that he was breathing (and I already knew that he was).  He ended up sleeping  until 1:30 which was five and a half hours!  Again, I only got 3 and a half since he decided to move his bedtime up to 8:00 but oh well...  Once I fed him and got him back to bed we both slept another 3 so there's 6 hours of broken sleep for me!  I'll take whatever I can get these days.

I woke up feeling very productive this morning.  I went downstairs, had breakfast, took care of the pets, pumped a little milk for our freezer stash, put Ayden down for his morning nap (40 minutes in his crib again!) then took a shower.  Ayden woke up while I was getting ready and was ready to eat so I fed him and finished getting ready.  When he was ready to nap again he got a little fussy as usual.  I laid him in his crib and started putting the Moby on and I swear he stopped fussing when he saw me get it out.  This is the second time this has happened.  Is it possible that he knows what it is/what it means?  Sometimes he'll fuss a little when he first gets in and will fight going to sleep; but both times that he stopped fussing to watch me put it on he snuggled right in, hung out awake for a bit then quietly dozed off like it had been what he had been wanting all along.  Maybe I'm wrong, though.  He could just like watching me wrestle all that fabric?  Either way, it's always fun when he hangs out awake in it for a while making his cute baby noises and looking around all wide eyed.  One of my favorite parts of baby wearing is showing him the world as I go about my business.

He's totally smiling in this picture :).
Once he did finally fall asleep, I decided to take advantage and nap myself.  I got about 30 minutes in (he got about an hour).  I love napping with him.  We don't usually co-sleep at night so daytime naps are when I can get that extra snuggle/bonding time.  I still have fond memories of napping with my mom when I was little.  I hope Ayden continues to like it for the next several years.

Just woke up and feeling rested!
That nap was just the ticket because I made it all the way to bedtime without feeling like the living dead!  When David got home we headed to a local Cross Fit establishment to check out the facility and membership details.  We still haven't decided if we are going to join...  When we got home we did the shoulders and arms P90X workout:

Then made marinated venison steaks with asparagus for dinner.  

My sous chef :)
I'm going to have to use the sling more now that it's getting so hot.!
Now we are all tucked in bed ready to sleep through the night again!  Maybe I can get  5 hours this time??  He's already been asleep for 20 minutes so I better hurry and get to sleep!