Friday, October 30, 2009

Some funny stats

From Linnea’s two-month appointment on Wednesday:

Height: 23 3/4 inches, 95%ile

Weight: 11 lb, 13 oz, 75%ile

Head size: don’t remember the exact measurement, but it was 25%ile! Baby girl has a little head!

Just thought that was funny.

Sweet dreams?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sleep (lack thereof and how to get more, including how to get Linnea to nap and go to bed earlier at night) and bedtime routines.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even thought of trying out a bedtime ritual if friends of mine with babies of a similar age hadn’t mentioned it. I didn’t know people did that with kids this young, and for me the jury’s still out on a bed “time” with an infant.

Ever since Linnea’s 2-wk check-up at the doctor’s, where we were told we could let her sleep as long as she would at night and didn’t need to wake her every 4 hours to eat, she had slept a good 5-8 hours at a time. I have to say, we were feeling pretty good about that one. Exhausted? Not me!

In early September she started being fussy for several hours at a time EVERY NIGHT, from about 6-9 or 10 pm. We thought it was gas or just that newborn nighttime fussiness, but were always able to get her down around 10 or 11. Again, she slept for a long stretch, and I hardly ever saw the hours of 1, 2 or 3am.

Well, entering into October that fussiness started to dissipate, but I didn’t really think about trying to put her down any earlier. Enter our trip to Texas, and sleeping was a nightmare. Linnea was up until 2 or 3 in the morning at the hotel, and didn’t sleep more than a couple hours at a time. It was exhausting. We came home and things have been spotty ever since, with bedtimes ranging from 11:30 to 2. Her sleep hasn’t been consistent anymore, either.

Last weekend when I mentioned a bedtime, I was referring to a ritual we’d do at the same time every night to get her to bed. What I think would work for us is to wash her face with a damp cloth (baths are too big a production to do every night, and unnecessary in my opinion—we do only 1-2 a week), change her diaper and put on some jammies (cute little gowns we’ve borrowed from a friend), and then keep the lighting low in her room while I feed her and rock her to sleep. Linnea has to be held upright for about 15 mins after eating because she has a bit of reflux, and that keeps her meals down better.

Based on what friends were doing, which was trying to get their little ones down around 7-8pm (like a toddler I guess), I tried that on Friday.  And it kind of worked…L went to sleep around 9 but got up to eat at 1, then 5, and then again at 6:20, and finally was up for the day a couple of hours later. What Tim and I gained in time together that evening (one of the reasons for attempting this early bedtime) I personally lost in sleep that night. (I no longer need his help for nighttime feedings and just let him sleep since he has to go to work). But I thought it would get better, so I tried it again the next night, and the next…but you know what, we were back to a bedtime of late evening, or even midnight. Linnea just would not go to sleep! In fact, she was playful and alert, and I am not comfortable putting her down to sleep when she’s completely awake and is just going to cry.

So…we’re kind of back to square one. I am keeping the bedtime cues, for the most part…the washcloth and jammies and lower lighting…but the timing is just not going to be fixed. One thing we’ve added is a humidifier to the room, which seems to help with her congestion in the morning and adds some comforting white noise for sleeping. Two nights ago we had her in her crib for the first time, but I was so anxious all night that I slept terribly, and she was up more than usual. New environment, I think. I was so tired yesterday and getting stressed out as evening approached that I chose to put her back in the bassinet in our room…and she slept from 1am (not a great start) until 7:30. That’s my girl!

I’d love for her to go to bed earlier, but I’ll take a long stretch at night and fun time for her and Tim to play in the evening instead.

[I did ask our pediatrician about sleep and bedtimes at Linnea’s two-month appointment on Wednesday, and she was pretty relaxed about it…she thought the routine was good but we didn’t need to watch the clock, and we could put her down awake if we wanted but it wasn’t essential, either. Everything I’ve read from the hospital and the American Academy of Pediatrics states you can’t spoil your baby for the first 6-12 months, including nursing/rocking them to sleep. That’s what works for us so, for the time being, I’m going with it!]

So mamas and grandmas, what has been your experience with getting your little one to bed? We are pretty lax about it for now, but I’d love to hear other perspectives!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

8 weeks, pumpkin patch, and new skills!

Linnea was 8 weeks last Friday, and I can’t believe how much she has grown!

Here are some new things she’s been up to:

  • Smiling and cooing a LOT, as evidenced by our video! It’s so fun to have her greet me with a smile when I see her, and for us to have actual play time during the day. I love having a “conversation” and knowing she is happily looking right at me! It certainly makes the long nights worth it!
  • Linnea is getting a lot better at holding her head up when she’s on her tummy. She’s stronger at lifting it from the right side to the left than from left to right, but we’re working on it. It’s hard work lifting up those cheeks!
  • Baby girl is G R O W I N G! Tim weighed her with himself on the scale (no more kitchen scale!) and thinks she’s about 12 pounds. Whew! (We have had to retire several outfits already!)
  • She’s opening up her fingers a lot more now (but still keeps her little hands in fists most of the time when we’re carrying her around). She even found her thumb to suck a few times, but mostly she’s still performing the I-can-get-my-whole-hand-in-my-mouth trick.
  • We are doing more regular eat-play-nap times during the day, which is fun and also emotionally reassuring for me. I like stability!
  • I think her hands look less like baby hands, and her face is looking more like that of a little girl than a little baby! Her eyelashes seem longer, and unfortunately she is losing some of that silky hair on top of her head. Linnea now has the hairline of a 40-year-old.

Play Time and Pumpkin Patch 008

Yesterday we made a trip out to a pumpkin patch with several of our friends, including baby Luke (13 weeks) and baby Beckett (1 month). We got just one pumpkin after making it to the patch an hour late—stop at the grocery store for cash, a quick sandwich and nursing pads (Sheesh!); stop on the side of the road to feed a screaming baby girl; pit stop in the farm parking lot to change a dirty diaper! By the end of our journey there Linnea had fallen asleep so she didn’t get to pick out her own pumpkin, but we got a photo anyway!

Last thing: We are starting to experiment with a bedtime routine. I won’t say much now as we’re still in the middle of it (I think I’ll chalk tonight up as FAIL), but after we went to TX her sleep has been way off and she’s not been going to bed until the wee hours of the morning. So far the routine is pretty basic, and last night went okay, but despite L going to bed earlier I got less sleep than when she’s in bed at 2am! Tonight she isn’t having any of it though, and I think my services are needed once more…Until later!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baby backtalk

We borrowed a little video camera from a friend. Caution: the following contains one super cute baby girl and her shamelessly doting mama!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jane and James’s wedding: Linnea’s first trip!

We had a great time in San Antonio with the whole Psiaki family for Jane and James’s wedding last weekend. Linnea was a super traveler, mostly just sleeping and eating (and occasionally dirtying a whole outfit) on the airplane. She didn’t sleep very well in the hotel at night, but she was a little peach the rest of the time when lots of family crowded around to meet her!

Congratulations to James and Jane!

Check out Facebook for more photos!Jane's wedding 122

(PS we were lame and didn’t go to the Alamo…Tim went to get a haircut and everyone else saw it then! Oh well.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

One month checkup

IMG00244 Linnea had her one month appointment today and everything is great! I took her by myself and she wasn’t too happy in the car, but warmed right up to the nurse and doctor once we got in there. She was smiling and cooing on the table…that is, until her second round of the Hep B vaccine at the end of the visit! I felt so sad for my poor girl because I know it hurt her, but I do believe in the benefit of vaccinations so I know it’s worth it in the long run.

Baby girl is growing! Linnea is now 10 lb 3 oz and 22 1/4 inches long. Before you say she’s an incredible little bean sprout, you should know that last visit (her two week) she was measuring 21 1/2 inches, and the nurse said that since it would have been impossible to grow that much in the first two weeks, she was likely 21 1/2 at birth and not just the 21 even we were told. Not too sure about that now that I think about it, because in three weeks she would have grown 3/4 inch to arrive at 22 1/4, but oh well.

I had a long list of questions for the doctor, ranging from tips for flying on the plane next week to whether the size of her belly was normal, hehe. I love our doctor because she’s so friendly and has a great bedside manner, and she always takes the time to answer every one of my questions. I’m so thankful for this continuation of great care with a pleasant pediatrician!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Day, by Linnea Psiaki

Today I started out by giving my Mommy and Daddy what they consider a great gift, which was sleeping from 11pm to 6am last night! They complain about me being tough to get to bed, but really, I think I make up for it in sleeping through the night like a big kid!

Mommy and I had a really fun day. First, we drove Daddy to work for the first time and went to do some errands. Mommy wasn't so sure how it would all work out, but I showed her that I can be fun to take on errands! We went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a wedding gift for some of Mommy and Daddy’s friends, and Mommy brought along all my gear: the car seat, stroller and diaper bag. I was pretty sure she was happy with me because I didn’t cry in my car seat until we got in the store and were waiting for the registry to print. But then I got kind of upset, and who can blame me? I just wanted to be held. So Mommy picked me up and we walked around the store looking for the registry items. Nobody asked Mommy if I was a boy, which made me happy, because for some reason Mommy dressed me in yellow and brought along a blue blanket for the car seat.

Mommy is pretty good at pushing the stroller with one hand, so she put the gifts in the car seat on the stroller and it was like a little shopping cart. I only spit up on her a couple of times, but I think she’s okay with that.

Next we went to Target, and I think I fell asleep. I started to wake up once, toward the end of the trip, and Mommy thought we’d better hurry up and leave, even though we hadn’t gotten everything on her list. Well, she should have had a little more faith in me, because I was just trying to tell her hi before I went back to sleep.

I think we made a stop for gas on the way home, but I couldn’t tell you for sure because I was still sleeping! That car seat isn’t half bad after all.

Well, by the time we got home I wanted to eat. Even though I can’t walk yet, I need to eat often because I am growing fast! Daddy weighed me the other day and I was over 10 pounds. Mommy says I’m her little weight and her arms will get back in shape soon because I always want her to carry me around. Well, wouldn’t you? I don’t get to see anything otherwise!

This afternoon I was kind of upset. Mommy wasn’t sure what was wrong, and neither was I, to tell you the truth, but she changed me out of that heavy fleecy outfit, changed my diaper, and eventually gave me some Mylicon, which I like because it tastes sweet. I tell you what, all that crying just tired me out, and before Mommy could even call Daddy or one of her friends to get their opinion on what to do, I was asleep again! It sure has been a tiring day.

The best thing about that nap was that Mommy held me the entire time. I like it when she does that; I get lonely sometimes if she puts me down in my bassinet or crib. It’s so nice to be warm and cozy right next to her! I know Mommy would sometimes like to get some things done when I’m asleep, but really, aren’t I cuter than the laundry?

Guess what: we went out again after that! I was hungry again after my nap, and then went back to sleep. Being a baby is hard work! So Mommy and I went for a walk down to Starbucks with the stroller. Mommy said she thinks the City of Kirkland needs to do a better job of taking care of its sidewalks, because they are all cracked with huge ruts between the cement squares, and there are no sidewalks at all in some places. Some workmen were blocking off the sidewalk on both sides of the street on the way downtown, so we had to go back up the hill and take another road down. We went into Starbucks and Mommy got her favorite drink, a nonfat hazelnut latte. She gets them decaf because she already thinks I keep her up too late at night as it is. Silly Mommy! I just have a lot to tell you at night!

We came back home and I stayed asleep the entire time. It wasn’t too cold out, and I was having some fun dreams—Mommy could tell because I kept moving my head around. A nice lady said I was cute when were in the lobby at home getting the mail, and she said she really liked my name. I like it when people say that—who doesn’t like a compliment?

Getting the mail was fun, because there was a card for me from Daddy’s aunt and a present from Daddy’s office! It has a blanket and a little Microsoft onesie, and some other fun things! I can’t wait to try them out.

Well, that’s all for now…I’m still sleeping, and Mommy hopes Daddy doesn’t have to work too late tonight so he can come play with me. She thinks she’s going to make dinner and has pork chops thawing in the sink…we’ll see if I let her get very far!