Thursday, December 29, 2011

6 Weeks

6 Weeks old!

Amelia is growing like a weed! On Friday we had a check up at the doctor's office and found out she already weighs 9 pounds 15 ounces! Up over two pounds from her birth weight, unbelievable! We also found out at the doctor that Amelia has a touch of thrush and possibly fun but we are taking care of it and it could be an explanation to the crazy sleep schedule we were having. No newborn sleeps perfectly but we were in a bit of a tailspin there for a few days. We are doing MUCH better now...even got a 5 hour stretch on Christmas Eve night! Amelia must have wanted Santa to bring her lots of presents or something! Ha! Hopefully it continues!

As I said in my last post the Wagner's are in town to celebrate Christmas. Aunt Abby arrived on Friday and we did our usual Wagner Christmas tradition of presents and appetizers on Christmas Eve night. Everyone had a great time and we all received some incredible gifts. Grandma and Grandpa Wagner gave Amelia her first savings bond! Its never to early to start saving for college!  On Christmas day my mom came over and we did our presents and had an incredible meal and played monopoly! Eric complained as usual (he hates monopoly because it takes 100 years to play...) but we had a great time! :) Amelia got an AWESOME activity gym that we can't wait to use for lots of tummy time from Grandma Fessler!

Aunt Abby let Amelia open her baptism gift a little early. Its a beautiful print from Etsy that will go perfectly on her picture wall. Its an incredible quote and the perfect gift.

(yes that is me in the reflection...a master photographer I am not...and the bear on the right is Morferd...Eric's childhood bear the Wagner's brought for Amelia )

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

5 Weeks

5 weeks old already!

Time is flying, I cannot believe Amelia is already 5 weeks old. Thursday is another special day... it's Grandma Fessler's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! 

Well we had a HUGE milestone this week...mommy and daddy had their first night out without Amelia. Grandma Fessler babysat and we went out to eat for my birthday at Two Samuels (yum!) and even met up with Kelly and Jay for a few drinks at our favorite pre baby bar Main St Pub. I didn't go too crazy but I did have my first shot in about a year! Jay FORCED me to take a Jager was not as good as I remember it, LOL!

On Saturday we went to Hudson Harvey's 3rd birthday party at Pump it up. Although Amelia is WAY too young to get anything out of a place like that we thought it was awesome and is absolutely something we will consider for future birthdays. Great job Kelly and Jay on a wonderful party and Happy Birthday Hudson!

The Sleep battles.... Things actually got worse before they got better, we had a few ROUGH days and nights and I really thought I was going to lose it. But then things got better! Don't get me wrong, it could still be better, LOL, but progress is progress! The last few nights she has slept a little longer and has pretty much gone right back to bed after waking up to eat. I'm still exhausted and I really need to work on napping during the day but I will take what I can get!

Amelia is more awake and more alert every day. She also seems like she could roll over at any moment. I know all parents think their child is advanced but it seems like her neck is so strong and she will be doing things before we know it!

On Thursday Grandma and Grandpa Wagner got in town for Christmas! They brought yummy treats, loads of presents and lots of love! They say Amelia has grown so much and although I know its true its hard to see how much when you see her everyday.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

4 weeks/1 month

(counting a baby's age is confusing...just like pregnancy, LOL!)

Amelia turned 4 weeks on Thursday (my 29th birthday!) and 1 month on Saturday!

We had a big milestone this week, Amelia had her first bottle on Friday December 9th! We wanted to start giving her one bottle a day so she will take the bottle when she goes to daycare at my mom's when I go back to work. (sadface) Daddy gave her the bottle and she took it like a champ! If only she would take the paci then we would be set! It kind of funny because I NEVER thought I would be upset that my child would not take a pacifier but when they are too little to self sooth themselves it would be really nice to have the option of a pacifier! I have heard that some kids will take it when they get a little older so we will keep trying for now.

Unfortunately we are still having sleep issues. Amelia doesn't seem to want to nap during the day and is sleeping for super short stints during the night which is really tough on me! Eric helps as much as he can but his 5 AM wake up call comes pretty early! I thought maybe this wasn't going to be a problem for us because she had gotten up to about 5.5 hours straight but then things just went downhill. I'm lucky if I get a 3 hour chunk of sleep at this point! Another problem we are having is that she doesn't always want to go right back to sleep after she wakes up and eats...and she HATES the swaddle so she fights to get out of it. We are going to keep swaddling because I know it helps her sleep longer when she isn't startling herself with her flailing arms! Wish us luck for better sleep.

On a good note I am absolutely sure she knows my voice! One morning when she was fussy and waking up but her eyes weren't open yet I started talking to her and you could just tell she knew it was me and it comforted her! It absolutely MELTED my heart! I love that little girl more than I could ever imagine...even if she never lets me sleep!

Eric stayed home on my birthday to hang out with me and Amelia. We went to our FAVORITE breakfast/lunch spot Mon Amie. Its a newer restaurant in Spartanburg that specializes in Crepes! It is incredible. We did a little shopping afterwards and Amelia was a a trouper and pretty much slept the whole time! She does so well whenever we run errands and it ensures she gets a good nap in for the day!

We finally got Amelia's name up above her crib! We have had it forever but we didn't want to put it up before the birth since we weren't sharing the name and then we just got a little busy after she was born! With this up the nursery is essentially complete! I still have some pics to add in to the wall collage and there are a few other things I will add to the room over time but I am really happy with how it turned out! Right now we are basically only using it to store her clothes and for the occasional rock in her beautiful chair but its nice to know its ready for her when she needs it! Speaking of much as I do not want her to grow up too fast I will be so happy when she fits into all of her 0-3 clothes because I am getting tired of rotating the small collection of newborn outfits!

(kind of hard to see in the pic but the wall is green, her name is in white and the A is in purple)

One more pic of my sweet girl for good measure...

What I prepare for Baby!

Although I am fully aware that you can read a million books and do all the research in the world and never truly be "prepared" it certainly can't hurt to be educated. I didn't really get into reading books about pregnancy because I heard that most books were not too helpful and mostly scared woman! Ugh! I have however really delved into books on labor and delivery and on baby care in general. Here are a few and what I think of them so far!


1. The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy

This is a really cute book that takes a humorous approach to pregnancy. I don't know how much I actually learned from this book but it made me smile and I'm sure I gleaned a few tips!

Labor and Delivery:

This book was pretty much a giant advertisement for The Bradley Method for Natural Childbirth. Its main message was this: Take a Bradley Class. That being said, the middle portion of the book was actually kind of helpful, LOL. This book is intended for Husbands (or partners) to read to learn how to help prepare mom for labor and how to assist with the labor when the time comes. I read it because I knew if I made Eric read it and it was crap he would 1)never read another book I asked him to and 2)never let me forget it...and I didn't want either of those things to happen. Plus I figured I could get some tips since we are in no way planning on taking a Bradley Method Class. I have decided to only ask Eric to read the middle portion which includes exercises for before and during labor that Husband can assist with to make labor easier for mom and other tips along those lines. This book was worth the read but bear in mind that it is written by Robert Bradley... of the Bradley Method, so that's what its about!

This book is not what I expected to say the least! I would say it is far more informational than instructional. When you hear the word Lamaze I think you automatically think of the "hee hee" "hoo hoo" breathing to help a momma get through labor. Well this book didn't give any instructions, really just information. That is not to say I don't think its a helpful book its just not really a guide to a Lamaze birth...whatever that means. I do think it really educated me on various things such as the effects of pitocin. (I'm really hoping I don't have to be induced) There is just so much out there we don't know...I think before I got pregnant I just assumed I would do what everyone else does...pitocin, epidural, whatever! Although those things might least I will be able to make educated decisions when or if the time comes. I would recommend this book just because it is full of info but look to other books for actual methods for help during labor and delivery. 

This book is a follow up to the documentary "The Business of Being Born." I watched this doc before I even got pregnant and it really opened my eyes and made me realize I knew NOTHING about my birth options and the risks and rewards of all the decisions you could potentially make during labor. As I expected, a large part of this book seems to be a plea for the use of midwives, doulas and birthing centers. That aside, there is some useful information when it comes to medical interventions and how to advocate for the birth you want. I'm not overly impressed with this book. I would say pass on this one. 

I really enjoyed this book. I found it super informative and helpful. It is actually written for dads and doulas but I thought it would be helpful for me as well and it was. It gives a TON of information but also plenty of tips on managing labor. I plan to re-read the labor pain management chapter when we get a little I just have to get Eric to read it! I would recommend this book!

Baby Care:

There are so many strong emotional responses associated with this book. I had some friends tell me to steer clear as this book is the devil and others tell me it seriously changed their life and they thank god for it! I figured it would be worth the read but I went in with an open mind. Babywise essentially advocates for the Parent directed/scheduled feeding, as opposed to child directed feeding. Its like scheduling but still following baby hunger and sleep cues. I hope to implement some of the strategies in this book but I don't plan to follow it completely. 

I decided not to read this book cover to cover to use is it as a go to if I have a specific question (which I already have...several times!). So far I have found its answers helpful. 

This book gives a lot of GREAT information of babies and sleep and fussiness. I found it to be very informative and enlightening. The second half of this book discusses strategies for calming a fussy baby and for helping baby to sleep longer. (YAY!) So far we have used some of the methods in the book with success but it is still a work in progress. We also bought the DVD but have yet to watch it, hope to do that this weekend and then really start using the techniques. 

That's it for now...there are more Baby Care books that I think look interesting but I can't decide if it is worth the money...any suggestions?

Monday, December 5, 2011

3 Weeks Old

Amelia is 3 weeks old today!

Time is flying and although I am really looking forward to the days when a smile is on purpose and we can actually play and read books I really don't want this time together to go by so fast! (especially since I have to go back to work!)

Things have really changed in the last week. Amelia is awake and alert A LOT more, in fact, some days instead of trying to keep her awake like we were in the first week we have a hard time getting her to nap during the day! She has also really found her voice and is crying A LOT more as well. I have done a lot of reading that 2-3 weeks can be a difficult time as babies typically go through a growth spurt and therefore want to eat SO MUCH MORE and cry a lot more. Most of my blogger friends seemed to feel like 3-4 weeks was a lot better so we are really looking forward to that. We have had quite a few rough nights, waking up every 2 hours (not totally uncommon at 2 weeks old) but then not going right back to sleep after a feeding. Sometimes we are up for 2 hours at a time in the middle of the night which is really hard on me. Amelia also has a really bad habit of dirtying her diaper right after I change her while she is eating...which means I have to change her again and use a wipe...which wakes her right up! I think we need to invest in a wipe warmer to make this work a little easier at night! We have had a great night here and there, she even slept for a 5 hour 20 minute stretch one night!

Although this week has been a little harder than the last two it is also INCREDIBLE to see her big (blue? hazel? brown?) eyes open and aware! She is smiling so much more (even if its not on purpose) and is super cuddly. She is also crazy strong! She can really hold her neck up and enjoys small spurts of tummy time!

This week my mom and I took Amelia out for her first shopping trip for 4 whole hours out of the house! She did great. She definitely got a little fussy after being in the infant seat for a long period of time, I took her out and held her for awhile in Target and then fed her in the car :) and that seemed to help!

We had a few visitors this week and some wonderful friends brought us dinner Sunday night. Thanks Zare family! Morgan Zare was just born a few short months ago but looks so much bigger and older than Amelia. Its crazy to think when they grow up they will seem the exact same age but right now they look worlds apart! I CANNOT believe my tiny baby will be so much bigger before we know it.

We put our first real Christmas tree up this year. I made Eric promise me that if we had to spend Christmas in South Carolina I at least needed a real tree! Two extra special ornaments will grace our tree this year from Grandma Fessler and Grandma and Grandpa Wagner!

Elle is doing really well with Amelia. We can tell she is a little jealous but she is very sweet to Amelia and hasn't been too crazy or acted out in any way. She does seem to think the Boppy is hers!

One more pic...because she is so stinkin cute! I would love to know what she is thinking here...probably why are you taking my picture again Mommy! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2 Weeks Old

Two weeks already, I can hardly believe it!

We celebrated Thanksgiving on the Friday after this year due to Eric's sister's flight schedule. I don't think Amelia knew what was going on but everyone enjoyed seeing her and spending the holiday with her. In fact, this was the first Thanksgiving in years that Fesslers and Wagners were at the same table. It was so nice to spend the holiday with family members from both sides! All we were missing was my dad and brother, wish they could have been here too!

On Saturday Amelia had her newborn photo shoot. IT WAS SO INCREDIBLY FUN. I seriously could do that everyday, I wish it was my job! Amelia looked so beautiful and did so well!!! (read...she didn't poo or pee on anything or anyone, LOL) I cannot wait to see how they turn out. Grandma Wagner joined us for the shoot, don't worry Grandma Fessler, you can come to the 3 month shoot! :)

Saturday night was the Wagner's last night so we went out to dinner...first time since Amelia's birth. She did great and slept the whole time and mommy got to enjoy her favorite seasonal local beer! We also took a whole lot of family photos! Abby left Monday after cooking us some yummy new vegan dishes....OMG Mama Peas Dough Balls are incredible...I'm still nibbling the leftover dough! (No eggs so its safe to eat raw in large quantities...but dangerous for my waistline!)

Tuesday marked Mommy and Amelia's first day home by ourselves. It was tough, time seemed to fly by but not in a good way. I didn't really get anything done but feeding Amelia, playing with Amelia (as much as one can play with a two week old) and getting Amelia to sleep. I tried to nap when she slept and was semi successful! We also had a few visitors over the next few days. Two of my very pregnant friends Amy and Allison each stopped by to meet Amelia. Amelia can't wait to meet her new friends, hurry up Baby Birch and Baby Pingley!

How am I doing? Great! My belly has gone WAY down and I'm feeling better every day. Still exhausted...more from lack of sleep at this point than labor!