Saturday, December 1, 2012

Aven Hope - 3 months

Wow...I'll probably say this every month but I can't believe my little girl is already 3 months old! One quarter of a year! And I know the next three quarters will fly by in the blink of an eye. Here's what we've been up to the past month:

Feeding - Little Hippo is a good eater! We are still on a three hour schedule, and sometimes go 3 1/2 hours between feedings. She nurses really well and now does 10-15 minutes per side. There are times when she only wants 5 minutes or less and it worried me at first, but then she just eats more the next feeding. She is definitely more distracted and aware during feedings - no more needing to keep her awake! Leading up to going back to work, I started feeding her more bottles and she goes back and forth with no problem, which I am so thankful for. On a workday, she'll get 3 nursing sessions and three 4-5 oz. bottles. I'm pumping at work which so far is working out just fine!
I love her lil' baby gut!
Awake time - We are still following the Babywise method of "eat/play/sleep" and she does so well with it. Her max waketime is still only about an hour, sometimes a bit more, but she starts to get fussy around the 60 minute mark after being awake. Though her awake time is so much more fun this month! She is growing so fast and seems to have a new "trick" every day. I'm not sure if she's teething, but she has her hands in her mouth all.the.time. and is drooling a lot. She loves to suck on toys, especially Sophie the Giraffe! We now keep bibs on her most of the time due to the drooling. :) She is getting much better at tummy time and doesn't mind it as much - her head is so strong! She can now sit in the Bumbo chair and hold her head up without support. Her favorite thing to do these days is "stand" - she loves to bear weight on her chunky little legs and can stand with some support from us for a surprisingly long period of time. We tried her out in the doorway jumper thing but she's still too little and just slumps in the seat. Tyge is so excited for the day she can play in that - maybe next month!

Hands always near/in my mouth!
Hanging out with Sophie in the Bumbo
Tummy time with Dad
Standing! Look at those cute chunky thighs...
Sleeping - Getting much better! Right after our trip to SD, when she was a little over 8 weeks, we started sleep training. Basically, we started a more consistent bedtime and routine (diaper change, nurse, swaddle, lights out, sing Cuppycake song and rock) and had her learn how to self soothe. She only cried for 2 nights (I know, we are SO lucky!) and now we can lay her down in her crib drowsy but awake and she puts herself to sleep. Right at 10 weeks, she made it from 9 PM to 6 AM without waking, which was amazing! The next night she did 9:30 PM to 7 AM! And from every night on she went from 9:30 or 10 PM to 7 or 7:30 AM with NO PEEPS - it was incredible. And we'd usually wake her in the morning! She needs to get up at 7 AM on workdays for me so I can nurse and have time with her in the mornings, so we usually try to have her in bed by 9:30ish. I was worried that the change with me going back to work would mess up this amazing sleeping through the night, and I was right. Every night this past week she got up once at 3 or 4 AM to feed, but would go right back down after 10 minutes of eating. I know it was really early for her to be STTN anyway, but I'll take it whenever she does.

She is still a champion napper (3 naps + 2 catnaps a day and sleeping 1.5-2 hours in between feedings) but that also changed when I went to work, and she didn't nap well for Stephanie (our nanny). I know she's been getting up in the middle of the night because she's not sleeping as well during the day, but it'll just take time for her to get used to Stephanie and not me, and we'll be back on track! She does still nap in her swing and I want to transition her to her crib eventually but with me going back to work, I figured one change at a time was enough for now. :)

Daddy and his daughter...melts me heart! Her hair looks so red here :)

Temperament - Oh my goodness is she a happy little girl! During her awake time she we get so many good smiles out of her! She loves to talk and coo, and we caught her first giggle a week ago. I was tickling her teeny neck and she let out this adorable giggle! We haven't heard it since, but it was precious. She really only cries when she's overtired (so we try to get her down before that point) or has gas. Her reflux seems to be gone, though she still spits up a normal amount after some feedings. And she only goes #2 every other day or so now so when it's been awhile she can get a bit fussy until she goes. Usually when she's fussing, it's for a reason, and we know how to make it better. It's so nice to have the witching hour and fussiness somewhat behind us, and we are loving our sweet, snuggly, smiley little girl!

Just look at that grin!

Outings/Other -  We've been in town this month and have really been able to hang out at home without many commitments, which has been so nice. Aven celebrated her first two holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving) and I can't wait for her first Christmas! Tyge's folks were here for Thanksgiving and it was nice to spend some quality time with them and Brian and Naomi, as they don't get to see her too often. We also went to a baby shower for cousin Alison and her baby Saylor, and met a few friends/family for lunch this month. Knowing that I was returning to work soon though, I really just stayed at home with her!

She had her first cold around 11 weeks, which was so sad to see! She had such a stuffy nose and could barely breathe. We sat in the bathroom with a hot shower running for steam, put a dehumidifier in her room, and used saline spray in her nose with the snot sucker bulb. I also fed bottles for a few days as she had trouble nursing and breathing, poor little thing! I didn't mind the extra cuddles at all, though. :)

Decorating the tree!
Posing for Christmas card photos
As for me: The biggest change for me this month was going back to work, which I just posted about. We also decided this month to scratch the daycare option we had selected before she was born and look for a nanny, so I spent the last month of my maternity leave interviewing. I am so happy to say we found someone (Stephanie) who is just amazing! She is seriously a gift from God and I am so thankful for her. It makes my days at work so much better knowing that Aven is in her own home, with someone loving to care for her. She also texts me pictures to get me through the workday and keeps a log of her schedule, which will help as she grows and changes and I'm not with her 24/7 to notice. I haven't been working out at all and now that I'm back at work, have no idea when I'll do that! The baby weight number is gone, but I'm shaped very differently and still have 20 pounds to lose, as I was a bit over my target weight when I got pregnant. Surprisingly though, I'm not as hard on myself and it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I guess I realize what am amazing thing my body went through and am have a little more grace for myself than I did before. Nursing hasn't "melted the weight off" for me at all and I think I'm actually holding on to some because of it, but providing for her is more important to me than crash dieting and working out so hard that my supply drops. That being said, I COULD and SHOULD be watching what I'm eating a bit more. :) I'm not sleeping well at all lately...despite being really tired, I just can't seem to fall asleep when my head hits the pillow. I also sleep really lightly when I do fall asleep - I guess I'm waiting to hear her cry! If I do wake to nurse or hear her cry in the middle of the night, it takes me FOREVER to fall back asleep. Like over an hour. And now that I can't nap during her naps (being back at work) it makes for a long day, so hopefully I can learn to fall asleep better! I also haven't had much quality time for Tyge lately and know I'm paying way more attention to Aven than him, so will work on putting our marriage first this next month.
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 
  • And she usually makes it until morning without a peep! Some nights she cries out around 4 AM but if it's not her hunger cry (that's an obvious one!) I leave her be and she settles herself back down after 10 minutes. If she is hungry, we nurse on one side for 10 minutes and she goes right back down.
Life with our sweet Aven Hope gets better each day, and I am so blessed to be her Mommy!

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