Friday, February 27, 2015

5 on Friday!

I've missed out on 5 on Friday the past couple of weeks!

O     N     E

One of my favorite shows ended last night.

I actually don't have a ton of shows I just love.  I have some shows I will watch off and on, but few that I have rarely seen every episode of.  They are: Murder, She Wrote, The Office, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars,  hm...I don't know if there are any others.  I'm behind on Bones.  I never finished House.  I've taken an NCIS break.  So that's about it.

But Parks and Rec was one of those few shows that I just loved.  I have seen every episode (some multiple times).  And I have been sad about the series ending.

But the finale was perfect.  It may be my favorite finale ever.  

Any other Parks and Rec fans?

T     W     O

I'm still doing Weight Watchers.  This Sunday will mark 8 weeks on it, and I've lost about 15 pounds so far!  To be far, Weight Watchers is waaay easier when you are breastfeeding.  I get 14 extra points each day just because Gil is exclusively breastfeeding.

My current favorite meal is an egg and avocado sandwich.  I take a sandwich or bagel thin (3 pp) and smash up 1/4 of an avocado (2 pp) on one half.  I sprinkle a little salt over the avocado then add a sliced up hardboiled egg (2 pp).  I usually top it off with sliced cucumber or tomato.  It is amazing!

T     H     R     E     E

The best part about Weight Watchers is that you get splurge points.  I think they call them "Weekly Points," but splurge just sounds so much better.  It's what makes the diet do-able, in my opinion.  I can still go out with friends or go to a wedding or party and eat.  I just have to save my points for that.

I have been saving my points for tonight!  Some girls from church are going to my favorite restaurant in State College, Happy Valley Brewery.  They have the most amazing short rib nachos.  I think the other food is pretty good too, but I really just eat those nachos.  They are amazing!

Nachos, gin and tonics, and friends?  It should be a great night!

F     O     U     R

The boys and I fly down to Mississippi in 1 week from tomorrow.  Ahhh!  I have flown several times with just Jack, but this will be my first time to fly with both boys BY MYSELF!  I am more than a little nervous.

Being the planner I am, I have already been thinking out every aspect.  I have one layover (in Atlanta). I am going to check a bag (that fee will be well worth it to free up my hands!).  I am going to wear Gil in my Ergo and push Jack in the stroller (a Britax B Agile).  And I am, in the words of Blanche DuBois, going to depend on the kindness of strangers to help me get the stroller folded up at the gate.

I will have Jack's Kindle and some little happies from the Target dollar spot, plus plenty of snacks.  I just hope that Gilly boy will be sweet!

F     I     V     E

That being said, I'm going to Mississippi!  I can't wait!

I love going home for Christmas, but everything is always so busy.  I am ready to just have a relaxing two weeks in the South.  I plan on plenty of walks (because it will actually be warmish, or at least warmer than here), Sonic drinks, a few diet snow cones (darn you, diet), and maybe a little sushi.  Jack is just so ready to see his grandparents and great grandparents!

Bech will be on his lonesome for a little over a week and a half.  I know he will miss us, but he is thankful to have some uninterrupted time to spend in the studio getting ready for his thesis show (the opening in April 6th!).

He can spend all day at the studio, and I'll be sharing the kid load with my family and eating my snow cones...  so unfair, right?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gil at 5 Months

And yet again, I am late.  But these pictures are only a couple of days after he turned 5 months, so we are good!

Baby Gil is 5 months old!

Gil is still rocking the lower end of the weight chart.  He is 15 lbs (17%).  But he is a tall guy--26.5 inches (77%).  His head is 41 cm (11%).  And since he is staying steady in his weight percentile, we are done with weight checks!  Wooohooo!

He wears a mix of 3 to 6 month and 6 to 9 month clothes.  He isn't big enough to fill out the 6 to 9 month clothes but he is long enough for them.  And he is outgrowing some of the 3 to 6 month clothes length wise.  He is wearing size 2 diapers.

Sleep has gotten sooo much better.  We lay Gil down awake with his pacifier and lovey.  Sometimes he goes right to sleep and sometimes he fusses for maybe 10  minutes.  But we don't have to rock him to sleep then to do the tiptoe out of the room like our life depends on it routine.

He is slowly stretching out his night time sleep.  A good night is a dream feed at 10 or 10:30, a middle of the night feeding 4 1/2 or 5 hours later, and then he wakes up about 6 or 6:30.  So not amazing.  And I'm still exhausted (I haven't had a full night of sleep since September!).  But so so so much better than a month ago.

Gil has become so much fun lately.  When he is awake, he is smiley and happy.  He absolutely ADORES Jack.  Everything his big brother does makes him laugh.  I think both boys are loving sharing a room, which is pretty sweet.  

I think we are going to be getting some teeth in pretty soon.  He chews on everything near him, and the drool is out of control.  Jack got his first tooth this month, so we will see!

He likes to roll from his tummy to his back, but he hasn't tried to roll from his back to his stomach yet.  He can do the tripod, but I think we are still a little ways a way from sitting up unassisted.  

Likes:  cuddles, big brother Jack, chewing on everything, staring at his hands, grabbing his feet

Dislikes: eating for very long

Happy 5 Months, Baby Gil!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Five on Friday

My favorite post!

O     N     E

We have had a rough last couple of weeks.  After Gil was born, he was jaundiced for almost 3 months, because he wasn't hemolysing my blood (and he had a positive Coomb's test).  Please don't ask me what that means, because I don't totally know.  Anyway, in December, after 4 blood test to check his bilirubin levels, my pediatrician suggested we also test his liver function, just because we hadn't done that yet and his bili levels had been elevated for so long.

His liver enzyme levels came back high, but our doctor wasn't worried.  He just figured it was because of those bili levels and that the enzyme levels would go back down.  He told us to test again in January.

But in January, those levels had more than doubled!  So last Friday, Bech and I took Gil to a bigger hospital in Danville, about 1 hour and 15 minutes away.

The doctor there didn't seem too worried about Gil's levels, because he looks healthy and he is a really happy baby.  A lot of the things that could be wrong because of high levels would result in a jaundiced baby (and all of his jaundice is gone) with other signs that Gil doesn't have.

They drew a bunch more blood (arm draws on babies are officially the WORST) and we have a liver ultrasound test next week.  It may be that the enzymes just clear themselves up (and they have already gone down a little!) and that's that.  We can then just assume that Gil had some little virus that inflamed his liver and his body took care of it.  That is what we are hoping for, and that is what the doctor is thinking it is right now.

Here's sweet Gil after being poked, prodded, and having a ridiculous amount of blood drawn.  
This kid is a trooper!

T     W     O

Weight Watchers is still going well.  As of this past Sunday, my weigh in day, I have lost of 8 pounds in 4 weeks.   Not bad!

I am aware that things will get a little more difficult soon.  Right now I get 14 extra points a day because I am exclusively breastfeeding.  But Gil will be on to solids soon, and I will lose 7 of those extra points.  But I'm hoping it will get slightly warmer by then and maybe I can earn some activity points by walking.

T     H     R     E     E

Do any of y'all do swagbucks?  My sister got me started on it in November.  I earned some Amazon gift cards and used those for Christmas presents.

This year, I have gotten pretty serious about it.  Since the beginning of the year, I have earned almost $100.  I am trying to save up and pay for all of Christmas with it, as well as buy some airline miles.

In case you don't know what it is, you can sign up here, through my referral link. You get points by searching the web, filling out surveys, watching videos, etc.  I have earned so much by using the mobile app.  When I am home and connected to wifi, I just set my phone to run through the videos.  I make the daily goal each day, and I earn extra points each month for that.  

F     O     U     R

This is our outside view for right now!

There is so much snow!  And the temperature is staying so cold that it isn't melting.

I actually don't mind it too much.  I think snow is gorgeous, and our apartment is toasty warm inside.  We keep the kids bundled up really well.  The only not fun part is starting the car in the morning.  Today is was 12 degrees when we left the house!

F     I     V     E

While I don't mind the cold, I am still really excited about spring break.  Jack has a week off of school and we are headed back down south (thank you frequent flier miles!).

I literally got giddy the other day as I realized what always opens during spring break...Miss Gussies!  You can see evidence of my snow cone love here.  I'm pretty sure eating a lot of snow cones will not work with Weight Watchers, but I plan on splurging on one or two fresh lemon sours.

I also plan on enjoying the warm weather!  We have been so bundled up here.  It will be nice to put the boys in some warmer clothes, because that probably won't happen in PA until maybe late April (but more likely May).  And Jack is so excited to get so see all of his grandparents!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  We have lots of plans--a party tonight for a friend, a hair cut tomorrow, and a girls night tomorrow, plus lots of job application filling out for Bech!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

In Praise of Sleep Training

Look, I know we all feel differently about sleep training, and just about everything else to do with mothering.

Ole Golly, in Harriet the Spy, said, "There are as many ways to live as there are people in the world."

That's about right with parenting.  There are as many ways to parent as there are mothers and children.

But I did want to share what we've been doing lately, in case it helps someone else!

With Jack, we were  Babywise followers.  I used for all of my problem shooting.    The main things we followed were:

- eat, play, sleep (basically, never using nursing or bottle feeding as a way to get your baby to sleep, except for, obviously, middle of the night feedings)

- teaching your child to self soothe, by laying him in the crib awake (and watching sleep cues very closely so that he was sleepy when that happened) and, sometimes, using cry it out

- getting your child on a schedule

Babywise gets a lot of grief because some parents think it means not feeding your baby when he's hungry.  But the book says that if your baby is hungry, even if it's not "time" to eat, feed him.  But you work on getting full feedings so that rarely happens (or at least for us).

Also, cry it out gets a lot of bad press too.  But you don't cry it out when your baby is hungry.  And you go in periodically to comfort your baby and let him know you are here, whether its by rubbing his head, back, or tummy, or sometimes by picking him up to help him calm down.

So anyway, back to Gil.  We have been loosely following Babywise with him.  It's so much harder with the second because I can't protect his naptimes in the same way.  Sometimes we have to be in the car during that time, and it can throw everything off.  Plus, I wasn't good about creating a bedtime routine.  Any book you read about infant sleep will always say to create a regular bedtime routine, so that your baby knows that it is time to go to sleep.

When we got back from Mississippi in early January, we both knew that it was time to do some serious sleep work.  And then the sleep regression hit and Gil started breaking out of his swaddle.  So we just decided to conquer all three things at once.  Tear off the bandaid one time, right?

Also, in the midst of the sleep regression, I took Gil in for his 4 month visit.  I was talking to my pediatrician about his sleep issues, and I told him that we still had Gil in our room because I didn't want his crying to disrupt Jack.  He said that I should put the boys together and Gil's crying wouldn't wake Jack.

I could hug that man right now.  Best advice EVER.  We moved Gil in that night and that has helped so much.  I don't think Gil has woken Jack up once!

We worked on a set routine and a set time, 7 p.m., just like Jack.  And we stopped rocking Gil until he was asleep and putting him down asleep.  The first night, Gil cried for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  I know, miserable, right?  But my sweet husband did that while I was at bible study, so I actually got to come home to a sleeping baby.  

He cried for a couple of other nights, but never that long.  I think the longest was 45 minutes?  And now we lay him down awake every single time.  Thank goodness!  Sometimes he will fuss for a few minutes, but he usually goes right to sleep.

And in the middle of the night, he wakes to eat then goes right back to bed.  We give him a pumped bottle at 10 or 10:30 every night as a dream feed.  He will sleep for about 4 hours (he's still not back up to his 5 hours pre sleep regression).  Most nights he will wake up twice after the dream feed to eat, although he is moving toward only waking up once.  I think he is ready, but I don't want to push him too much because he is so little!  But no more waking up in the middle of the night every hour or crying.  

Also, he is sleeping unswaddled in a little fleece sleep sack.  And I think he loves sleeping in the same room as his big brother.  Jack and Gil got a light up firefly for Christmas.  Jack turns it on at bedtime, and they both go to sleep looking at the stars.  It's pretty cute.

So anyway, that's what's been going on with sleep.  I am still fairly exhausted and would love a full night of sleep.  But, I am thankful for my 3 and 4 hour stretches again.  And I know that I will get sleep again someday!