Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Aven Hope - 6 months

My baby girl is half a year old! This month was my favorite so far - things just seemed to click and she was SO SO HAPPY! Plus we had no sleep issues this month. A well rested baby = a well rested and happy momma.

6 month Stats:
Weight: 18 1/4 lbs - 88%
Length: - 28 inches - 95%
Head: - 17 inches - 75%

Hello, blue eyes!

Feeding - Nursing is still going strong, and I made it to my original "goal" of 6 months! I can't imagine stopping at this point and now hope to make it to one year. I had a dramatic dip in supply midway through the month that lasted a few days and it made me really sad as I thought I was done - made me realize how much I enjoy nursing and wasn't ready to stop. Turns out I was just dehydrated and it's all back to normal now. We're still doing five liquid feedings a day, though we may drop to four once we fully introduce solids. Now that she's 6 months we plan to do a combination of purees and Baby Led Weaning I think - she doesn't seem fully ready for BLW. Next month's post will be full of our adventures in solids, I'm sure!

So we have two nursing sessions and three bottles a day - she has two while I'm at work and I've been doing a pumped bottle before bed. She nurses in the morning and when I get home around 5:30 or 6 PM but I want her to take a full meal again at bedtime and a bottle seems to work better for that. She's taking 6-7 oz. bottles now  (downing them in 5 minutes!) and nurses for 7ish minutes per side. Again, this has to be in her nursery with nothing else going on or she gets distracted! She still goes between bottle and nursing so easily which is great. She is spitting up much less these days and doesn't need to burp midway through a bottle like she used to - she'll usually have one good burp when she's done (on her own, I don't have to pat her) and that's it!

Holds her own bottle! For a few seconds anyway :) **

We moved to size 3 diapers midway through the month and she's still mostly in 6 month clothing, some 9 month jammies and pants for length.

Awake time - Her max waketime seems to be 1.5ish hours during the day and 2-2.5 hours in the evening. We still try to get her down before she hits her wall, but once she's hit it she lets us know that it's time to nap! The newest thing this month is baby girl found her voice! She LOVES to squeal and screech and sing, exploring all the different ranges in her voice box. There's no better sound! She is also rolling all over the place - still mostly back to front, but has gone front to back a few times. Doesn't mind being on her tummy anymore and often puts her feet and hands up at the same time, like she's superbaby. She loves to stand and jump so her jumperoo is her favorite thing right now. And if you're holding her in your lap she'll jump up and down over and over again while squealing - it's the cutest thing! She is grabbing for toys now then puts them right in  her mouth. She's got quite the grasp! She loves her puppy Keely and her eyes follow wherever she goes. She also likes to pet (aka grab fur) her, and thankfully Keely girl is very patient.

Laughing at mommy in the jumperoo

Playing with Keely

Sleeping - This was the best month sleeping wise! After she got sick last month and was up every hour for two weeks, we had to start sleep training all over again once she was feeling better. Thankfully, she only cried a little bit then was right back on track with sleeping through the night once again! Right at the beginning of the month we started a new schedule where we took out the 4th catnap and started keeping her awake between the two evening feedings. At first, it was hard for her to stay happily awake but she quickly got used to it. She's now sleeping 11-12 hours a night, uninterrupted, which is amazing. Sometimes she'll cry out but only for a few moments then she quickly settles herself back down.

She's down to two big naps a day and one catnap. Her morning and afternoon nap are 2-2.5 hours and her evening nap is now a catnap lasting 30-45 minutes, but she's really been fighting that one lately. I still want her to take that one, otherwise she'd need to go to bed a few hours after her last nap which would put bedtime around 5:30 and I get home from work then! So the catnap is for her to get a little rest so she can be up and happy for a few hours in the evening. I know she'll drop it soon and we'll need to move bedtime even earlier, but not just yet.

So we are still swaddling and I can't see stopping anytime soon...she is rolling all over the place now but still hasn't rolled over in her swaddle, so I'm not willing to mess with a good thing! This girl LOVES being swaddled and will coo and get a HUGE grin on her face when I wrap her up. I had this 6 month mark in my mind about having to stop and was starting to get stressed about it but came to the realization that if that's what she needs to sleep, so be it. She'll let me know when she's ready to drop it! That being said, she outgrew all her sleepsacks by length so we're using the Miracle Blanket adjusted for her length (sometimes with an A&A blanket over for warmth).

So happy in her swaddle!

Temperament -  I am just continually in awe of how blessed we are by our sweet little baby (and slightly afraid that if we have more they'll be terrors!). She is such a happy, content little girl! We went out to lunch and dinner a few times this month and brought her along, and she was happy just to sit and chew on her toys. We also got our taxes done and refied our house so had to bring her along on those evening appointments, and both times people commented on how good she was, just sitting there chewing on Sophie. Many mornings this month she woke on her own just happy as can be - squealing in her crib for up to a half hour before I go and get her. She only really gets fussy when we've pushed her past her wall and she needs sleep. Teething was in full force this month and it didn't really seem to affect her that much! It only affected one night's sleep and a few naps here and there, but nowhere near as bad as I was anticipating. She is much more generous with her beautiful smiles this month, flashing them all the time. She is also so snuggly, which we LOVE! I know babies that are so busy and always moving and don't want to stop and snuggle, and I am so glad that Aven likes to snuggle. In the morning she'll rest her little head on my shoulder, and in the evenings she'll just sit happily on our lap. She continues to make the funniest faces and expressions - I could stare at her little face all day. :)

Funny little bald hippo!

Outings/Firsts/Other -  We started this month out by getting our precious little angel dedicated at our church. It was a nice ceremony then we had our parents, Brian/Naomi and kids, and my best friend Betsy and her husband and little boy. Aven was awake for like 5 hours straight but didn't fuss once! She did so good! We also went to a dinner party at my cousins house and put her to bed in her pack and play there and she fell fast asleep. Tyge and I got to hang out longer and enjoy ourselves while she was sleeping away, then we transferred her to her crib once we were home. She also went to her first high school basketball game (Tyge's cousin) and was very wary of all the loud noises (I thought she was gonna lose it the first time the buzzer went off!), but didn't shed a tear and did well. We've also started taking her on more errands and out of the house a bit more, and she seems to like it!

At the basketball game with Auntie Jill

First Valentine's Day

The biggest first this month is that little girl got her first tooth - no, teeth! She cut her bottom two at the same time. I first noticed them early last week and still can't believe it - she's too little to have teeth! Like I said, it didn't really affect her sleep or temperament that much, so I pray that the rest of teething is this easy. When she does get irritable, to help ease the pain we're giving her Hyland's Teething Tablets, using ice cubes and frozen bananas in the mesh feeder for gnawing, and rubbing diluted clove oil on her gums.

Look at those toothers!

As for me: Ooooh what wonders a good stretch of sleep will do. I feel so much more rested and alert and not as cranky! I'll admit I have been struggling with anxiety a bit and my need to control things - something I'm not very good at relaxing about. Still a work in progress. :) Thankfully this month hasn't been to busy commitment -wise, so it's been really nice to have evenings and weekends at home with my little one. Speaking of commitments, I stepped down from serving on the worship team at church for a little bit. It was a really hard decision, as that's something I wanted to do forever and LOVE doing, but serving this month was more stressful than normal. I've been back a few months since she's been born, but this month it hit me how much of my weekend singing takes up and with me working during the week, my weekend time with her is so precious. Plus, with still nursing it's hard to plan pumping sessions while I'm gone a good chunk of the day. My worship director so graciously and kindly gave me from April through the summer off, and even though I only served once a month, that's one more weekend free with Aven and Tyge. That being said, I can't wait to rejoin come September (when she's a year old and most likely done nursing)!
Taking a catnap with my sweet baby
Schedule - 22 weeks was a day after her 5 month birthday and she started sleeping through the night again after being sick. The first week of the month we kept the same schedule as last month, but around 23 weeks we noticed she was able to stay up longer in the evenings and didn't seem to need her 4th catnap anymore (which made me sad to lose that snuggly time of her sleeping in my arms). So we tried a few nights with this schedule and have been using it ever since:
  • 7:15-7:30 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 9:00 AM - Nap
  • 11:30 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 1:00 PM - Nap
  • 3:00 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 4:30 or 5:00 PM - Catnap
  • 5:30 or 6:00 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 7:30 or 8:00 PM (2 hours after she got up from her catnap) - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually asleep by 8:15
  • And she usually makes it until morning without a peep!
Enough pictures until next month, Mom :)
**A few of these pics were snapped by our awesome nanny Stephanie, so I can't take credit for them all. Her sending me these pics often gets me through the workday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Day Love Story - Part 2

It was on this day last year that we announced our pregnancy with this little Love Story! It was so fun to finally let all our friends and family in our big news and to share in our joy with everyone on the biggest "love" day of the year.

This Valentine's Day tops that however, as we have our sweet little love here in our arms! We had a fun little red themed photo shoot last weekend...I can't believe how big she is already getting!

The End :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Aven's Dedication

Last weekend was a special event - we had our sweet baby girl dedicated!

Now I grew up Catholic and was baptized as a baby, but was also baptized again as an adult after (re)committing my life to Jesus. I want Aven to grow up and make her own decision to follow the Lord and show her commitment through baptism when she decides she is ready. That being said, we still wanted to participate in an infant dedication, which our church describes as "the act of giving back to God the gift he has given you as parents. It is an act of worship, thanksgiving, dependence, trust, and commitment." We also wanted to publicly covenant to raise Aven children by modeling Godly principles with the desire that one day, she will receive Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.

We invited the Grandparents, Brian, Naomi, JJ, & Lark, and my best friend Besty, her husband Eric, and son Levi. We kept it to a small group of family (and my best friend) who will be Aven's spiritual mentors throughout her life and support her in her faith as she grows. Since our church is a mega-church, they had a separate service on Saturday night for the babies and their families - 6 total were dedicated. It was a short service, beginning with a slideshow of the babies, then the parents and babies came to the stage where the children's pastor read their names and meanings as well as the life verse the parents had picked out. She prayed for each child, then the guests prayed over the children as well, and that was it! Short and sweet. :) We then had everyone over for dinner and cake to celebrate with us. We are so blessed to have family and friends to help guide us as we parent our little girl and she is so blessed to have such amazing people in her life who care for and love her.

The verse we picked for Aven was Psalm 25:5 - Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. (Yes, I picked a verse with HOPE in it, as that's her middle name!)

Watching herself in the slideshow
Proud parents
The children's pastor praying over her
With Mom and Dad
The whole crew!
A little cake celebration after - too bad she couldn't have any!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aven Hope - 5 months

Whoa, we're at 5 months - almost a half a year old! January was by FAR the fastest month...it seriously flew by. Here's what we've been up to in her fourth month of life:


Feeding - Little Hippo (Hippies, Punkin, Chunkin, Punkies, Punky Doodle, Pumpkin Butternut Squash Face, Aven Hopies, Hopie the Hippo, Hippy Doodle Nug, Nugget - she has several nicknames) is still a great eater! We're doing 5 liquid feedings a day and haven't introduced solids on a consistent basis yet. I did buy a box of Earth's Best rice cereal and on a whim one evening tried giving some to her mixed with breastmilk. She didn't seem to love or hate it, was just so-so about the whole experience. We plan to wait until 6 months to do regular solid feedings and I'm toying with the idea of doing Baby Led Weaning, or a combo of purees and BLW - we'll see. She does sit at her high chair while we eat dinner and plays with her toys and smiles at us. I love family meal time!

This is new...
Not so bad...
But I think I like my milk better!

Nursing is still going well, though it has to be done in her nursery with no other distractions (ie Dad, Keely) around or she won't eat well. She is so interested in the world around her! Still going between the bottle and nursing juts fine - I'm lucky!

She's still in size 2 diapers and mainly 6 month clothing now - some of the 3-6 month still fits.

Look at that belly! Love her rolls! And her sparse hair...being my daughter, I'm shocked she doesn't have more!

Awake time - She's doing around 1.5 hours of awake time, then starts to hit her wall. This month she started sitting up less supported - she can tripod sit using her hands as support if we let go. She's only faceplanted a FEW times. ;) She also still LOVES standing and will enthusiasticly jump up and down (while supported) on her chubby little legs. We put her in both her doorway jumper and her exersaucer thing and she really enjoys both. She doesn't hate tummy time anymore and can do mini pushups while on her tummy - her head and neck are so strong! The big news this month is that she finally rolled over! She went back to tummy for the first time close to 5 months - I missed it and was at work, but sweet Stephanie took pictures. I did get to see her do it a few days later, and she rolls every so often but prefers to be on her back. She also found her toes the end of January and can't keep them out of her hands and mouth! She started grabbing for things she wants now and has a great grip - including on hair, earrings, anything. And everything she grabs goes instantly into her mouth! We are bathing her 1-2 times a week, usually one weeknight or a weekend morning - it's not really part of our bedtime routine yet. We used the kitchen sink a few times this month and she liked that! She's also getting more aware of Keely and loves to watch her wherever she goes - they are already best buddies.

Oh, hi Keely!

Getting better with tummy time!

Found my toes and haven't let go of them since...
This is a tame version of her aggressive eating face - she does this anytime she puts something in her mouth and we find it hilarious!

Tummy time with Keely

Wide eyed in the exersaucer

Hanging out in the jumperoo

Sleeping - This month started out fantastic, then got horrible. After me being home for 2 weeks over Christmas she settled into her new routine of going to bed a bit earlier and dropping a feeding and a nap. She was sleeping through the night pretty consistently and taking 3 solid naps plus one catnap a day from weeks 17-21, then it all changed when we went up North to visit Tyge's parents in late January.

We brought her pack 'n play (she's too big for the rock 'n play) and knew it'd be hard for her to fall asleep somewhere new for the first night or so. She was up every few hours every night there, then we discovered she was sick upon returning home. For two weeks after we got home she was up. every. single. hour. at night - it was brutal. We had just gotten used to her sleeping through again since my return to work, so this was a major downturn for everyone! She'd wake up and couldn't breathe so would cry, and we'd go get and rock and comfort her and she'd go back down after a few minutes. It was so frustrating because by the time I was falling back asleep, she was up again! Tyge and I took turns getting her as she was obviously sick so there was nothing we could do but comfort her when she cried. I did feed her a few times when she'd cry out middle of the night, but mostly she just wanted to be sat upright to breathe and rocked back to sleep...

She's still a good napper (before our trip) but needs to be at home in her crib to get a good solid nap in - gone are the days where I can bring her anywhere and she'll nap!

And even though she starting rolling over this month, we are swaddling for both night and naptime. I tried a one arm out swaddle and it did NOT go well! She is normally a great self soother but it took her almost 45 minutes to settle herself (not crying, just fussing and waving her little arm around!) unswaddled, which ruined her whole nap. She hasn't attempted rolling over swaddled yet and we had a video monitor so can see if she did. Her head strength is much better these days so she would be able to lift it up and breathe in the few seconds it would take us to go flip her over, should that happen. Our ped said we'd need to look at dropping the swaddle around 6 months, so I'm not too concerned just yet.

Love that little smirk!

Temperament -  She is getting more and more generous with her gorgeous smiles! Still such a happy little girl the first half of the month, then she got another bad cold that lasted 2 weeks and totally threw her off. It was so sad to see her so sick and stuffy and miserable, and there was really little we could do. Humidifier, snot sucking, and lots of cuddles seemed to be the only things that helped! Thankfully she's starting to feel much better and back to her sweet little self. Sick or not though, it is so fun to see her little personality begin to develop. She makes the funniest faces and loves to giggle. She is ticklish, that's for sure! She is so content to just sit in your lap and make faces, read a book, or just sit. All of these toys we/others bought her aren't getting much use yet haha!

Very beginning of the month - Tyge calls her it waltermelon smile :)

This is one of her many faces - she sucks her little bottom lip in and makes this "mmmm" sound while looking up, then breaks into a HUGE grin. So cute!  

Tyge made up captions for this series - clockwise starting from top left: 1.) Hey Mom, guess what I just did?! 2.) Oh no - that wasn't a toot! 3.) Emergency! Change me! 4.) All better!

Outings/Firsts/Other -  We're still keeping a low key schedule, especially after the holidays. We did take a trip up North the end of January and while she was a great traveller, she didn't sleep well (at night) while there. I'm hoping this was due to the sickness and that we can take her overnight places without ruining sleep habits each time! Other than that, we didn't do much this month!

As for me: The beginning of the month was good but the end was not....lack of sleep just makes everything worse, I tell ya! Tyge and I started to get cranky at each other, I was sleep deprived and not doing as well at work, it's a spiral. Thankfully she's feeling better now and we're into a new month - it can only go up from here! Body wise, since being back at work and over the holidays I put on some of the baby weight I had pretty easily and initially lost, so that was frustrating. At this point though, I'm too tired to do anything about it. :) I admit, when I learned that she had rolled over for the first time and I missed it, I was upset and teared up a bit. Thankfully I got to see her do it soon thereafter and I realize that being a working mom does mean  possibly missing out on a few firsts, but in the grand scheme of her life not seeing the FIRST time she rolled over isn't that big of a deal. I just feel so blessed that our nanny is so loving and caring enough to document it for me! Speaking of, things are going amazing with her and we love having her in our home - Keely and Aven do too! It makes my workday go so much smoother knowing she is so well cared for in the comfort of our own home. Plus, I love being able to head straight home from work and not stop to pick her up anywhere!
Schedule - Like I said, we do the eat/play/sleep thing and have been settled into the routine below since 4 months. She was doing great with it until we went up North and it's took 2+ weeks to get her back on track once we were home, as she was sick.
  • 7:00 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 8:30 AM - Nap
  • 11:00 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 12:30 PM - Nap
  • 2:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 4:00 PM - Nap
  • 5:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 7:00 PM - Catnap in swing or in our arms while we watch TV
  • 8:30 PM - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually asleep by 9:00
  • Before being sick she'd make it all night, then the last half of the month she was up several times a night.

Our dear sweet Aven Hope!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Visit Up North

Since we had a 3 day weekend, we took Aven up North to stay at Baga and Maga's house for the second time in her little life! It was so nice to get away and visit family, and we really enjoyed our time there. Unfortunately, little miss did NOT do well with sleeping in a different environment and was up several times a night. Once we got home, she got full blown sick so we figured she caught a bug up there and was starting to get sick, which affected her sleep.
We only snapped a few pics while there, but they show how blessed Aven is to have so many people in her life who love her!
Eating cousin JJ's head

This picture is SO precious!

With her Great Grandpa Reuben and Great Grandma Ellen - her only living Great Grandma

With Uncle Brian, JJ, and Maga

Then this happened. A true badge of honor for a Dad! ;)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Aven Hope - 4 months

Little Miss is 4 months old! Honestly, I have to say that this past month was a harder one...the transition back to work was tough, coupled with some sleeping issues. Thankfully we seem to be back on track now as I've had the past 11 days of holiday break at home with her to spend some quality time and tweak the schedule a bit. Now I'll have to adjust AGAIN to being away from her, haha! Anyway, here's what we've been up to the past month:


Feeding - Little Hippo is still a good eater! For the first half of the past month we were on a 3 hour schedule (6 feedings), but are now on a combo 3-3.5 hour one (5 feedings). Nursing was different this month as she is now waaaay more aware of her surroundings and gets distracted quite easily. She'll eat steadily for 5 minutes, but then stop and smile at me, talks, look around. It's really cute but at the same time, I want her to eat a full meal! She is more efficient at eating now too, so it really only takes her 5-10 minutes per side to finish. She still goes back and forth between bottle and nursing very easily, so I am lucky! I am able to pump at work and do 2-3 sessions, averaging 15 oz. total, which is more than enough for her next day's meals. Now that we are doing 5 feedings a day, she'll get 3 nursing sessions and 2 bottles. She's now up to 6 oz. of breast milk in a bottle and sometimes does 7! I know we can think about rice cereal this month, but since it's not really nutritionally necessary and just something else to add to the plate (no pun intended!) I think we'll wait until 6 months to try.

Love that little smirk

Look at those legs!

Weight - 15.5 lbs.
Length - 26 inches
Head - 14.5 inches

I had to pack away most of her 3 month clothes the other day *tear* as she's outgrowing them in length. She's in mostly 3-6 month clothing and a size 2 diaper now - just finishing up a pack of 1's then will move fully to 2's.

Awake time - We are still following the Babywise method of "eat/play/sleep" and she does so well with it. She can definitely stay awake longer now, but it's not the same every time. Sometimes she can make it 1.5 hours before hitting her wall, other times it's an hour and 10 minutes. There has also been a few times where she hasn't napped in between feedings so gone 3 hours being awake - that's not good and she gets fussy. Usually the magic number seems to be around 1.5 hours before she gets grumpy and it's time to swaddle. Her awake time is so much more fun this month - she is getting more and more alert and interactive! She LOVES to show off her beautiful smile and chat and coo along with it. She has the cutest little giggle, and loves to talk to us all the time. We got out her highchair and she'll sit in it while we eat and just hang out playing with her toys. She still loves Sophie the giraffe and will put any toy (or anything - burp cloths, mom's hair, etc) we give her right in her mouth. Speaking of mouth, she drools a lot so we have to keep a bib on most of the time! Little Miss got spoiled over Christmas and got some great new toys! She loves ones that light up and make sound, and will stay entertained by them for awhile. Since she loves standing so much we set out her jumperoo and though she doesn't quite get it yet, she'll enjoy it soon! She also likes to sit in her Bumbo chair, though her thighs are a bit chunky and she gets stuck out the way out. :) She tolerates tummy time much better this month and I think likes it now! She'll squeal and play with whatever is in front of her. She does well with tummy time but still hasn't shown any signs of rolling over either way, but that'll come. Maybe once we stop the swaddle she'll figure it out. :) 

Big little girl in her high chair!
Very serious in her Bumbo
Tummy time!
Getting stronger!

Sleeping - This was a rough month for sleeping...like I said in last month's update, at 10 weeks she started sleeping through the night for about 3 weeks, then I went back to work. And from 13 weeks until just this past week (17 weeks), she's been waking twice a night! I think it was for a few reasons...1.) The change with me going back to work and not being with her all day affected her, and I think she misses me so maybe wanted to see me more at night? 2.) She is more distracted during eating so may not fill up as much during the day, leaving her hungry at night. 3.) Teething? 4.) We were putting her to bed too late. Whatever the reason, she would wake at 2 or 3 AM then 5 or 6 AM, like clockwork. Some nights we just let he cry at the 2 or 3 AM one - my limit was 10 minutes. Normally she settled down before then, but if not one of us would go pick her up and rock her for a few minutes to get her back to sleep. Then at 5 or 6 AM I knew it was probably hunger, so I'd feed her from one side then put her back down, only to get her back up at 7 or 7:30 before I went to work. That second wakeup was really rough, because I get up at 6 AM to get myself ready so if she was up at 5, I was up for the day. (diaper change, nurse, swaddle, lights out, sing Cuppycake song and rock)

So once I was home for Holiday break, we started a new schedule for sleeping, basically taking away one catnap and moving her bedtime back an hour. It's worked really well for the past 10 days, praise the Lord! She's been sleeping through most nights with this new schedule so I think we're on to something.

Loves her toys

She is still a great napper and with our new schedule is down to 3 naps a day and sometimes one catnap in the evening. Around 14 weeks we moved all naps to her crib and that's worked out great! One Saturday I tried one nap in there and it went well, so we haven't looked back since. Because she is getting more distracted, the lights and Keely barking were inhibiting good sleep, so I think being in her room really helps. That being said, if we're NOT home during her nap, she's a lot less likely to do so. She used to sleep anywhere in her carseat or my arms, but now she's much more social and wants to be a part of whatever is going on, whether it's a Costco trip or being at someone else's house. For naps we do a shortened bedtime routine where I swaddle her in an A&A blanket, turn the lights off, rock for literally a minute, then put her down. She usually puts herself to sleep quickly. We rarely use the swing anymore, and if we do it's for her evening catnap before bed, if that's not in our arms. :) I think we may put it away soon...


Temperament -  She is still such a happy little girl! Rarely fusses unless she is overtired. Smiles all the time. Loves her puppy. Has the cutest little giggle and makes "mmmm" sounds often. She makes the most hilarious faces! She is ambivalent about baths - doesn't love them, doesn't hate them. We only give her about one a week for now. And her faces - oh my! She makes the most hilarious faces that crack Tyge and I up. She is still a drool factory and chews on anything and everything in front of her, but I don't think she's full blown teething just yet.

Such a ham!

Best buddies!
Chewing on Baga's hand

Outings/Firsts/Other -  With me being back at work, we've really pared down outside commitments as all I want to do is be home with her. :) We had her first Christmas which was more fun for us than her I think - she'll enjoy all the magic more in years to come!  We also had a play date with my friend Chelsea's son Jack who is 5 weeks older than Aven - I look forward to more of those to come! She started sitting in her high chair with us during dinner at the end of the month and does really well in there. We also got out her exersaucer after we put away the Christmas tree and she doesn't quiiiite know what to do with it yet, but will get there.

Future Mr. & Mrs?

As for me: Not gonna lie, this was probably the toughest month for me since she's been born. Going back to work was much harder than I thought and I'm still having a hard time adjusting to life as a working mom. I do miss her during the day, but I had prepared myself for that (and Stephanie sends pics!) so it's not so much that, but I'm just having a tough time getting it all done. Working all day I often feel like I'm not giving 100% because I'm thinking of her, then being at home I sometimes think about work and don't give her 100% so it's a weird balance that I've yet to figure out. When I walk in the door at 5:30 or so I have to change, put away the day's pumped milk, wash supplies, feed Aven, get dinner started (Tyge does this most nights, thank goodness!) - it all sounds piddly but it's a lot at the end of then day when all I want to do is snuggle my little girl. Again, once it becomes more of a routine it'll get MUCH easier but for now it's still a lot. And everything is amplified when you're sleep deprived, which we are.
Selfie snapped after our Christmas Card Photos - she looks terrified!
Schedule - Like I said, we do the eat/play/sleep thing and have been settled into the routine below since around 10 weeks:

  • 7:00 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 8:00 or 8:15 AM - Nap
  • 10:30 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 11:30 or 11:45 AM - Nap
  • 1:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 2:30 or 2:45 PM - Nap
  • 4:30 or 5 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 5:30 or 6 PM - Catnap in swing while we eat dinner, if she wakes she lays there quietly and stares at the tree :)
  • 7:30 PM - Nurse and less stimulating playtime
  • 8:30 PM - Doze in our arms or bunny swing
  • 9:30 PM - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually in crib by 10 or so
  • Starting at 13 weeks she'd get up 1-2 times (3 and 5 AM usually) and we'd either rock her, feed her, or let her self soothe depending on her cry.
And for the past 10 days (around 16 weeks) we've done this routine, which seems to work really well:
  • 8:00 AM - Wake up and nurse followed by playtime
  • 9:30 AM - Nap
  • 11:30 AM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 1:00 PM - Nap
  • 2:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 3:45 or 4:00 PM - Nap
  • 5:30 PM - Nurse/Feed and playtime
  • 7:00 PM - Catnap in swing or in our arms while we watch TV
  • 8:30 PM - Nurse followed by bedtime routine - usually asleep by 9:00
  • And she's been making it until morning without a peep!
We continue to be blessed each day by our sweet Aven Hope!