Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Grace had a great first Halloween! First we went to the doctor's for my 6 week check up, then we headed to the hospital to see Auntie and Jacob, and then we went to Grandma and Papa's house for some trick or treating!


Miss Lily enjoying some family time on the bed



Our girls



Miss Grace and I



Jackson the pirate



Jackson and Jacob



Grace sitting like a big girl



Grace all dressed up!



Grace and her cousins



Grace snuggling with Mommy while trick or treating




One tired Giraffe!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jacob Daniel Brennan

Our new nephew Jacob is here and I must say he's absolutely beautiful! We are so happy for all the Brennan's!

Here's the whole family:
Jackson with his baby brother

Uncle Cole and Jacob

The Brennan Boys




Jacob and Grace











Cole, me, Grace, and Jacob

Me and Jacob

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Comparing Cousins

Just comparing some pictures of Jackson as a baby with Miss Grace




















Monday, October 27, 2008

For me

I found this post on kellymom.com, which is a great breastfeeding website, and thought I need to place this somewhere so I can read it over and over again..so this is for me, but maybe it can help you to.

"I am never on Kellymom at 4:30 in the morning but since nursing my DD back down I have found myself awake thinking about Apple and all the other desperate moms of wakeful babies who may well be awake now too.? So to get back to sleep, I've decided to write a rambling sleep diatribe.? I am the mother of a baby whose sleep was abysmal pretty much the whole first year ? naps, nights, you name it.? I rocked, paced, bounced, nursed, reordered the day, reordered my life, so the frustration, the anger, the struggle, the exhaustion, the desperation has been my own.? I will also say that I don?t know anything about regular babies and sleep.? I only know from the inside about wakeful, nonsleeping babies.? This is the voice from the future for you as my DD is now 18 months ? my perspective is different now than from where I stood a year ago.You are horrified that the sleep is as bad as it is.? You are terrified that it could get worse, or not get better.? You know that there are bumps ahead in the road, even if you had a good sleeper ? there are teeth, mobility developments, night terrors, language, illnesses, and more looming in both your paths.? You imagine that to feel like you do now and to have a baby who sleeps, or not, as it does now, is how you will feel in 2, 3, 6, 9 months more.? It overwhelms you.? You don?t know many or any other moms who have sleep issues such as you and your little one have.? You have few places to go with the enormity of your feelings and get validity that it A) sucks and B) hasn?t been caused by either your omission or commission.? God help you if you are a working mom or a single parent with one of these children.I want to address the concept of teaching a baby to sleep.? I know you read all these books and articles in the baby magazines that assert you can and should teach a baby to sleep.? Step back from that for a minute.? What does that actually mean ? to teach?? Yes, I know, leave them alone, put them down sleepy, blah blah blah, I?ve read all that advice.? Teach.? I?m asking you to think critically about what that means.? How do you teach anything?? Is sleep a skill?? Before you say yes, think about it.? Is it?? Is hunger?? Is something so hardwired into the human biology a skill?? I don?t really see how the answer could possibly be yes.? How do you teach a biological drive to develop?? How did you teach your child to know it was hungry?? Did you know your newborn was born without binocular vision?? Did you know you were?? Who taught you to coordinate your eyes to see an image together? as one instead of as two, like a horse?? Did you teach your child how to do that?? Would you know how to stop looking at the world that way now and go back to monocular vision?? It is no different with sleep.Sleep through the night.? Through the night.? Through.? The night.? That?s your goal, yes?? You have a second goal too, right (maybe it?s the more important one for you even)?? Take a nap.? A real baby nap.? An hour.? Two.? Three.? Add on these two goals: Go to sleep.? Stay asleep.? How are you going to get there?? Is it all at once?? Is it gradual?? What is enough to make you happier, better rested?? Don?t say the whole night.? It isn?t true.? It isn?t.? You need a little better to keep the hope that eventually it will get totally better.? So what is a little?? A 40 minute nap, 3 hours of sleep at night?? Step down the goal, break it into its finest parts.? You want to win the Triple Crown when your horse isn?t even running in the Kentucky Derby.? Be realistic, don?t be desperate in this stage, because the desperation will mislead you.? Your sleep deprived brain will keep you from thinking rationally and honestly.? Get someone, your husband, a friend, your mom, to help you identify the tiniest, reachable goal to give you back some hope that it will get better.? Then have them help you get a sense of humor.? You need the sense of humor. I cannot guarantee that you will have an angelic sleeper in 3 months, or even in 6,? but I can guarantee you with the certainty that someone living in the middle of the desert can probably cross ?lose house to flooding? off the worry list, that your child will be sleeping better within the coming year.? And it will probably happen gradually.? You might not even notice initially that it is getting better.? But it will.? If nothing else, all babies will outgrow the need for 4 naps a day within the first year.? I hated naptime.? At 11 months my daughter was down to 1 nap a day (yes, I did help her make the transition ? she was ready, I just helped with the timing).? These wacky parents would say to me, ?oh it?s so sad when they give up the second nap,? and I would think h*ll no, I?m in heaven, thank God I only have to deal with one nap a day.? It was a relief only you moms of wakeful babies can know.? And the nap stretched into an hour long nap.? And then 2 hours.? And then back down to 1, and then back to 2. And here?s the most critical thing:? All the bad feelings you have, all the intensity, all the rage, the hatred, the fatigue, will diminish, maybe disappear.? Your child might still get up once or twice a night at 18 months, but you will not feel about it the way you do now.? You won?t.? I hadn?t thought about this last year, I didn?t know there would be the analogy, but I was thinking about it last night so I?ll share a story with you:? ?A few years ago now, when I was in my 20?s, my first husband died.? We had been married less than 3 years.? I can remember viscerally how I felt the night he died, lying in bed in too much pain to sleep and too much pain to stay awake.? It was physical.? The earliest hit of such grief and loss is visceral.? It sears.? Drawing breath burns your lungs and you feel like not just your soul but your body has been ripped open with a jagged knife.? I lay there asking myself over and over and over how could I live the next 60 years like this?? How could I survive living with this grief, this pain for so long?? How could it be?? I didn?t know then, I couldn?t, but grief changes over time.? It becomes less physical.? It becomes less painful all around.? Do I still grieve? Yes.? Will I for the rest of my life? Yes, but not like I did in the early days.? It is an entirely different experience now.And so it is with the sleeplessness.? Except, you aren?t only waiting for the feelings you have now about the sleep to be mollified.? Eventually your child will actually sleep better.? Or your son/daughter will leave for college.It?s hard to relax about the sleep.? Really, you can?t.? But don?t mistake that for a need to ?fix? the baby.? Put your singularity of purpose to good use.? Read the Science of Parenting, learn about your baby?s still maturing nervous system, understand what happens to your baby nuerochemically when faced with bouts of crying.? Then devise a plan to help you COPE, otherwise you?re bound for frustration:? You?ll just be the grandmother who gets cold so she asks her granddaughter to put on a sweater.? And find your sense of humor.Now I can go back to bed! "

Trying it all

Note: I apologize in advance if this post seems a little all over the place, my hormones make it hard to think straight!

OK, so I've been a terrible blogger, I know! I've been trying to get by with just posting pictures and saying as little as possible. Why, you may ask...it's simple, I'm lazy! I always, well, except for maybe an hour a day when I lay down and Daddy takes her, have Miss Grace in my arms. The task of trying to type with on hand is not appealing by any means. But today I am toughing it out and trying typing..yea!

So we are officially trying it all..and I mean ALL! Grace has become very colicky starting around 3 weeks, I tried to tough it out but I was going crazy. Grace was always crying, never sleeping, so there fore I was always crying and never sleeping. I started off trying a combination of Gripe water and mylicon to help with her gas pains. Grace seemed to get minor relief from this, but trying to get 5mL of Gripe water into a newborn is quite the difficult task, it fact I think I usually wore more of the gripe water than she swallowed!

Last Monday we finally called the pediatrician to get a prescription for Zantac..I could just tell by looking at Grace that she has reflux..she has those typical reflux glassy eyes and you could always hear her wet burps. So, Daddy toke her to see the doctor, while I tried to grab a nap. Since Gracie is breastfeeding and still refuses to be put down and Daddy's body just can't handle staying up at night, I usually sleep in the evening after dinner for maybe an hour, 2 if Grace can go without Mommy that long. That hour plus maybe another hour nap before Daddy goes to work is all the sleep I get..so that's a total of maybe 2-3 hours a day if lucky! Anyways, back to the doctor's...so Daddy and Grace went to see the doctor, she just wanted to make sure Grace didn't have any serious issues going on and happily wrote us a prescription for Zantac.

In the mean time, before going to the doctor's, I spent my days researching and ordering anything and everything that is suppose to help with colic. Before all this we tried everything we knew how to do, the 5S's (swaddling, swaying, shushing, sucking, side), the swing, the bouncy, the car seat, the car seat on the dryer, the car, the stroller, white noise, etc.. Some things worked for a few minutes, but no long term relief.

So, we started Grace on the Zantac and the first time I gave her the medicine she smiled, as to say Thank You, I knew then that we were on the right path. So she has been on the Zantac for a week know and I have noticed some relief, we also stopped using the gripe water, but continue to use the mylicon. We also started using Hyland's Homeopathic Colic Tablets, which are amazing! Yesterday I tried to shower, while Daddy took Grace, I was the target of a poop explosion...yuck! Well, once I got in the shower she started screaming, I knew she wasn't hungry or tired, so I gave her some of the Colic Tablets and within minutes she was our happy baby again, even Daddy was in shock how well the tablets worked.

I began to notice a few days ago that she had some mucous in her poop, which is a sign of a dairy allergy, so I have recently started on a dairy free diet. They say it takes up to 2 weeks for the casein to leave your body, so I'm hoping this will make her feel better. I'm also hoping that going dairy free will help my IBS and help with some weight loss, I've already lost all the baby weight and then some, but really need to lose a lot more. I know giving up ice cream and cheese will be hard, but if it makes her feel better it's so worth it!

We also have begun to receive all of our colic purchases in the mail, most of which seem to help a little bit.

Here she is sound asleep in her front carrier. I had a baby wrap, but she hates being held in the cradle position because it makes her reflux worse. The cradle position is the only position you can use the baby wrap in until they have good neck control, so the wrap is out for now. I popped her into the new carrier and she fell asleep and I had 2 hands again for the first time in a month! I didn't know what to do with myself!

Gracie has always hated swaddling, since the day she was born. She would always manage to get her hands loose and then her constant hand jerking always woke her up. So, I finally broke down and spent the $26 for a miracle blanket. I always thought $26 for a blanket was ridiculous. I thought I know how to swaddle, that was my job for a year and a half, this blanket must be a rip off boy was I wrong. Grace was always able to bust out of my swaddle, but not this blanket! I probably would pay double the price for this blanket, it really is a miracle! I wrap her up around 10p, feed her, and then she usually sleeps until 1am (which is usually her longest stretch of sleep). Granted you still can't put her down in the blanket, but at least now she will sleep for hours uninterrupted on me.



On occasion I am actually able to doze off with her as well!
So, I would say we are getting better. Grace's colic is developing more of a pattern and we have a few different options to help soothe her now. Granted they don't always work and we still have some awful nights, but overall we are getting there, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Eventually we'll have to work on getting her to sleep in her crib, but for now I'm okay with all the cuddling, if it means I get to sleep a little bit longer. I mean no ones ever met a 10 year old who still needs his mom to hold him so he can sleep, right?

As a side note we are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new nephew Jacob! My sister was put on hospital bed rest Wednesday due to high bp. Jacob has a c/s scheduled on Wednesday, but we're hoping he'll come before then! We can't wait to see Jackson as a big brother!
Here's a picture of my sister with her 2 pumpkins!

And a cute picture of Gracie with her cousin Jackson!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Videos

Here's a compilation of our videos of Grace over the past 5 weeks. Please ignore my silly mom voice.

video

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Pictures

Yeah! Miss Grace is finally smiling..mostly at Lily, but at least it's a smile! Man, just one smile makes all these sleepless nights worth while.









We made an unexpected trip to the doctor's today because Grace has been miserable and not sleeping. We have a prescription for Zantac for Grace, we'll see if it makes her feel any better. Oh, yeah, and she weighs 10 lbs 8 oz. Yes she gained 1 lb in 10 days.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

1 month

So, yesterday Miss Grace turned one month old. Where on earth did the month go? I can't believe how fast the days go. At her doctor's appointment on Friday Grace weighed 9 lbs 7 oz, yes she has gained 2 pounds in one month, I guess the breast milk is working!

Grace still will not sleep anywhere but on us. We are working on putting her down else where, but so far no progress has been made. Grace loves to eat and often does it all day long, which means that I do nothing all day long, since I'm stuck on the couch with her. I'm okay with all this though, I figure that it can't last forever and before we know it she will be crawling and hate being held, so I'm just trying to enjoy all the cuddle time now.
Grace has awful gas problems that make her very colicky, especially at night.We give her mylicon and gripe water around the clock and that seems to help a little, but she's still pretty miserable, we're hoping she'll eventually grow out of it.
Grace is a lot more alert these days. She loves sitting up and looking around the room and she loves staring at Lily. It seems like everyday her wakeful periods last a little but longer.
It still is so crazy that she's here, that I'm a mommy. At the same time, I can't imagine my life without her!




Saturday, October 11, 2008

Birth Announcement

So, I finally decided to order Grace's birth announcement. I was initially going to order this one from tinyprints but they wanted $75 for 25 of them.

So I decided to try to make my own, here's the final product:



I'm pretty happy with how they came out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Some pictures and videos

Here are a few recent videos and pictures of Miss Grace.







Just a video of us wide awake at 3 in the morning, she was awake and alert, so I decided to video tape it. Please ignore my silly baby talk
video

Grace has been working on trying to suck her thumb, she has not been successful, but managed to get her hand the other day.

video

As far as updates go, Grace is still sick, I am now sick, Grace is not sleeping, and our attempts to get her to sleep in her own bed are on hold until she is feeling better.