Sunday, November 24, 2013

fourth month and California

Remember how I said that going back to work was going to kick my butt? Well, it did. The lack of posting on this blog is one clear sign of it. Other signs include the condition of my home most days, the lack of reading and television I have been able to keep up with, and the lack of time I have had to talk to or hang out with friends. A working mom doesn't get to enjoy as many outside interests as others. This is my life right now, so I try not to mourn it. I try to make the most of it. There will be time for reading, watching, friending and blogging one day. I will steal a few minutes for these things when I can. For now, I have to spend most of my nights caring for Bridgette and Chris and, you guessed it, preparing for the next workday.

So, now I will attempt to remember back to almost two months ago to tell about Bridgette's fourth month! Her last doctor's appointment was her four month appointment on October 1. She was 24" long, 14 pounds and 1 oz. Her head was 40.75 cm. That's the 27th percentile for length and 65th percentile for weight according to her doctor.

Mom, why did you let them do that to me again?

As you can see from the photo above, Bridgette did not enjoy her four month immunizations. She cried for a few minutes, but I was able to calm her down before we even got to the car. The rest of the day she was a little fussy, but after an infant dose of Tylenol, she seemed to handle it really well. They said she took a long nap at day care that day.

Later on that week, during Chris' fall break, Bridgette took her first airplane ride to Los Angeles, California to meet her great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a wonderful trip, but it was quick. We left on a Thursday very early in the morning. We got back on Sunday late in the evening. This allowed me to go while only taking two vacation days. I had pretty much wiped out all my vacation time being on maternity leave this summer. Chris and I hadn't been out to California to see his family since the first year we were married, so it had been well over four years. It was really good to get to see everyone again.
Bath in grandma's sink is a tradition!

Guelito, Becky and Samantha checking B out!

Guelita and her great-grandbaby

Meeting Guelito

Green Oranges

Ruben with B!

Samantha with B

Happy to be in Cali!

Tina and Olivia

Chapped cheeks
I was really nervous about taking a baby on an airplane. I was worried about her ears hurting and about what I would do if she were to start crying. We brought ear plugs for the other passengers just in case she screamed, but we didn't need them! She did great! She fussed a little bit on the flight on the way there for just a couple of minutes like she often does when she gets tired and fights a nap, but she quickly gave in and fell asleep. It was such a long flight that I did end up having to nurse her on each trip. It was a direct flight both ways, thank goodness! I was worried that people would stare at me or that I would make people uncomfortable, but I don't think anyone even noticed us. I had my nursing cover, and I don't think anyone even looked our direction the entire time. Luckily, no one else was in our row of three. I took the window seat so we would have the most privacy possible. By then, Bridgette had gotten so fast at eating that it was a relatively quick thing. On the flight back, it was completely dark. We were in the very back of the plane, so we had quite a bit of privacy except from people getting up to use the bathroom. On that flight, I actually had to wake her up to feed her because she hadn't eaten in four or five hours. I was worried over nothing because she was a really good baby on the airplane.

By four months, Bridgette was still on a pretty good schedule due to daycare, and she continued to improve her sleep through the night.  
  • She was still waking somewhere around 4 or 5 a.m. to nurse and go back down to sleep (Did I mention I was still really, really hoping she'd completely drop this feeding?)
  • 6:30 a.m. nurse before we leave for work/day care
  • 9:30 a.m. bottle at day care
  • 12:30 p.m. I leave work to nurse at day care on my lunch break
  • 3:30 p.m. bottle at day care
  • Sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. nurse
  • After 6:30 p.m. or 7:00 she would fall asleep for the evening until I would wake her up to nurse one more time and get her ready for bed
  • Sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. nurse for the last time of the day
  • 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. get ready for bed, read with Daddy, bed for the night!
Some special memories for the fourth month were:
  • Meeting her great-grandparents, Guelito and Guelita and family in Cali!
  • Riding on an airplane!
  • Escaping out of her car seat at the great-grandparents while we were not watching her closely (We sat her in it to rest/nap, and she wiggled out. First, we were confused about why she was in the middle of the living room floor. Then, we were amazed at how she had gotten out by herself. We asked around to make sure no one had gotten her out and put her there. They hadn't. She was mobile! Yes, we are bad parents for leaving her unattended. We were technically still in the same room though. The house has an open floor plan!)
  • Got really interested in her surroundings at this point including motion, noises, etc.
  • Began to learn how to roll from back to belly
Sweet baby girl is growing so fast.

Friday, September 20, 2013

family photos

My dear friend Joanna got back from her two year stint as a missionary and teacher in Africa in early June, a week or so after Bridgette was born.  She was kind enough to offer to take a few family photos during her short stay with her family in Bowling Green before returning to Louisville, Ky.  Joanna is a talented photographer.  These photos turned out beautiful. You can see more of her work on her personal blog, Only Snapshots.

Below is a sample of the photos that Joanna took for us.  Bridgette was about three weeks old when these were taken.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guess What?

Now that I have successfully freaked a couple of people out...

Guess what? This picture is exactly one year old today! What a joyful day it was to find out that we were expecting our first child. I bought a test on my way home from work that day as I suspected from charting the day or so before that I was probably pregnant. After I found out, I quickly made this sign and laid the test result on top of it hoping that Chris would find it on the bathroom counter top sometime after he got home from work that evening. Well...I wasn't exactly patient enough to wait until he found it on his own, so I made some stupid excuse to have him go to the upstairs bathroom pretty much immediately after he got home from work that day.  It was great to see his reaction because I had been careful to not tell him what I had been suspecting for the last couple of days. We went to dinner at Mellow Mushroom that night to celebrate!

Here's a picture of Chris the day he learned he'd be a father!

I guzzled more water that night and took a second test just to be sure before I went in to have blood work done at the doctor's office later that week. 

September 18th will always be remembered as a joyful day. We are so thankful for the Lord's blessing over our family!

Monday, September 16, 2013

third month

Bridgette is already three months old! That just sounds so big to me! I want her to slow down a little bit and stay my little baby.

I thought it was about time to write a little update on her third month. She is still as sweet as can be and is showing us more and more of her little personality. She loves to talk these days. She will scream, laugh and coo all in one conversation. I think she likes to hear herself talk.  This is such a fun age.

I went back to work the week she officially hit three months old, which was three weeks ago. It's been a smooth transition, but being a working mother of an infant is exhausting sometimes. Between packing her up each morning, getting to day care, working and squeezing in pumping sessions, I don't have much time to think. I have a system down now, so that has helped. Pray for me to keep up with everything. I feel exhausted a lot of the time.

Bridgette has been on a pretty consistent schedule with eating and sleeping over the last month and a half or so. She still takes mostly catnaps during the day. She usually squeezes in one good one though. Sometimes it's in the morning, and other times it's in the afternoon. She usually sleeps for at least a few minutes between each feeding. She's eating about 6 or 7 times per day. Most days she will eat 7 times, but on the rare occasion that she eats really well during her last feeding of the night (if I can get her good and awake), usually between 8:30 p.m, and 9:30 p.m., she will sleep through her 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. feeding and only get 6 feedings that day.

Though I had her on a pretty consistent feeding schedule when I was home with her, having her at day care has her on even more of a consistent schedule. It's basically the same as when she was home with me, but it starts about an hour earlier.

Here is what she's doing right now as far as feedings:
  • Sometime between 3:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. nurse and back down to sleep (Did I mention I'd be fine if she dropped this feeding?)
  • 6:30 a.m. nurse before we leave for work/day care
  • 9:30 a.m. bottle at day care
  • 12:30 p.m. I leave work to nurse at day care on my lunch break
  • 3:30 p.m. bottle at day care
  • Sometime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. nurse
  • After 6:30 p.m. she crashes for the evening until I wake her up to nurse one more time and get her ready for bed
  • Sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nurse for the last time of the day
  • 9:30 p.m. get ready for bed, read with Daddy, CRASH!
Some special memories from this month were:
  • Learning how to roll from tummy to back (about 2.5 months old) on the floor (before she could only do it on the bed).
  • Fussing during a feeding sometimes if you take away the bottle or breast for time to burp.
  • Exploding with spit up almost every time she burps and even up to two hours after eating.
  • Visiting Daddy at his work.
  • Starting at day care and getting moved to another one three weeks later because they had an opening at the one that's close to my work. So glad she finally got in to the day care that's closer! We've been on the waiting list at the new place since January. Today was her first day. It went well!
  • Discovering her hands. She loves to suck and chew on those hands!
  • Grabbing at toys hanging over her head with her hands AND FEET!
  • Smiling at faces like crazy!
  • Staring at fabric patterns.
  • Talking up a storm.
We haven't had any new growth checks this month. Her next weight and height check isn't until four months, but my guess is that she's around 13 pounds. I guess we'll find out if I am close in a about two weeks.

Chris and I lucked out with such a good baby. Her last week at the first day care was last week. If they weren't so far out of the way I would have kept her there. They were wonderful to her.  The lead teacher kept telling me how sad she was that we were leaving so soon. She told me multiple times last week that she'd been working there for two years and had never had a baby as content as Bridgette. I guess we should be counting our blessings!

Monday, August 12, 2013

second month

Bridgette is growing up before our very eyes. At the end of July she went in for her two month doctor appointment. She was 11 pounds and 2 ounces and was already 22 and 1/4 inches long. Her head is large for her body at 38.3 centimeters. According to her pediatrician, that's somewhere around the 43rd percentile for weight, 36th for length and 50th for head circumference. The poor child did not enjoy getting her two month shots. Chris and I laughed a little at her intense reaction. Afterwards we realized that we are mean parents. She let out one of those cries that has no sound at first because it took her breath. Poor girl! Luckily she stopped crying after a little bit of coddling from her mom and dad.

Waiting on her shots. She had no idea what was about to happen to her!

A few hours after the shots I took her shorts off because her little legs were so sore. She screamed when I took her shorts off to change her diaper. She was a fussy baby that day.

Her personality is really starting to come out. She loves to talk and smile now. We have heard a few airy laughs, but no belly laughs yet. I can't wait until she starts to give us some of those! She will babble and smile at you after her feeding if she's good and awake.

In the last week or so she has learned to roll over from tummy to back, which is interesting since we saw her do this twice when she was three weeks old. She hadn't done it since. She's only been able to do it when she's on our bed, but I think she's getting close to being able to do it on the floor as well. We just need to keep giving her tummy time each day. She's starting to tolerate being on her tummy for longer each day. She still cries after a several minutes on her tummy, but she's liking it more as she gets stronger.

She has discovered her hands. She stares at them and loves to put them in her mouth, especially when she is just finished eating and wants to suck on something a little longer.

She has slept through the night off and on over the last few weeks. For a couple of weeks, she was going around 8 hours between feedings through the night. Then, she started backing up to 5-7 hours. She still doesn't like to take a late night feeding, so even when she goes quite a while between feedings, it still feels like she is waking in the middle of the night! She generally takes her last feeding around 8 or 9 p.m. The last few days she has wanted to get up sometime near the 3 a.m. hour to eat, but the week before she was making it closer to the 5 a.m. hour. Maybe she's hit another growth spurt. I am praying she gets back to that 8 hour stretch before I have to go back to work!

I am definitely enjoying this sweet time of being home with her. Chris has gone back to work, so the workload at home has picked up quite a bit for me. It's been an enjoyable and rewarding time. I can't believe she will be three months old in a couple of weeks, and I will be back at work. That adjustment is probably going to kick my butt! Pray for us as we make that transition in a couple of weeks!

Bridgette at the two month mark!

Monday, July 22, 2013

first month

As you can see I am still playing catch up with this blog whenever I am finding a few moments to post. Bridgette is nearing the two month mark, but before I write about her second month, I thought I should probably write about her first!

At one month Bridgette was already very strong! At around three weeks old, she got mad enough to roll over on two different occasions during tummy time. This hasn't been a consistent feat, but we were very impressed with her when we saw that newborn strength!

From the first month Bridgette was sleeping pretty well at night. She would usually go three or four hours between feedings. She went five hours a couple of times, but not consistently. I didn't let her go over three hours until she was three weeks old and I knew she was gaining weight well. She was already 8 lbs. and 15 oz. and 21 in. long at her three week doctor's appointment, so I wasn't too worried about her getting enough to eat. She has never liked to take a late night feeding at 10 or 11 p.m. just because that's when she likes to sleep. I think it's because she doesn't nap well during the day. Her daytime sleep often doesn't last longer than 30 to 45 minutes at a time. As the day goes on, her naps get longer and longer. Thankfully, I am able to feed her and put her right back down at night, but she's not a fast nurser. She usually takes 20 or 30 minutes to eat, but the middle of the night feedings are generally the shorter 20 minute feedings.

Once she had regained and exceeded her birth weight, I stopped forcing her to wake up to take a late night 10 or 11 p.m. feeding. I decided I would rather just wake up at midnight, 1 or 2 in the morning to feed her whenever she woke up by herself. It just worked better for us. I got tired of trying to force her when she was too tired. It didn't seem to help with getting her to go longer through the night either. She still seemed to wake up around the same time for the next feeding. She always ate better when I let her wake up on her own to eat.

Her biggest accomplishment at one month old was finally getting the hang of breastfeeding. I was still having some pain while feeding her, so we visited the lactation consultant when she was almost four weeks old. The consultant helped me realize that she was latching on great (which is what I thought was going wrong), but that she was just having trouble with the flow of milk. Apparently, it was coming out too fast for her. She was choking and gagging on it. I had noticed the choking and gagging. Sometimes I would have to sit her up quickly for her to catch her breath again, and sadly, on more than one occasion, she shot milk through her nose. The consultant said I was getting pinched because she was biting down to try to slow down the flow. There's not a lot that I could do about it but try to understand why she was doing it. Her advice was to hold her tighter so she couldn't get a good bite, or take her off and put her back on, or use a breast shield for the first few minutes when the flow was the fastest, or pump for a few minutes before feeding her. She also recommended letting her suck on a hard pacifier. This was supposed to help train her to relax her jaw so she'd stop biting me. I tried just about everything for a couple of weeks. She had never had a pacifier until then. She loved the normal soft pacifier that we introduced her to until we could find a harder one, but she hated the hard one that we got her.  I don't blame her. I don't think I would want to suck on a hard pacifier either. We still gave it to her occasionally just to exercise that jaw, but we haven't bothered with it in a couple of weeks now.

We had a rough start, but she really started to get the hang of breastfeeding without pinching the crap out of me at around five weeks. She's doing better with it all the time. I think she's growing and that has helped a great deal. I do have to remember to burp her often because she guzzles and then spits up like crazy. That has been a work in progress. Thankfully her bite has lessened, so nursing her is much more comfortable. I am glad we stuck with it!

My heart is full. I am thankful for my sweet baby girl! Her first month with us was difficult and wonderful at the same time. God has given us a huge blessing in this little life. I am humbled to have been chosen to be her mother.

At around one month old she started giving us some of her first social smiles.

Bridgette at one month old.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Visit from Fifi!

Chris' mom got to come stay with us for the last week of June. Bridgette was turning the four week old mark during the visit, so she got to see her through some of her very first social smiles. It was great to see her since we rarely get the chance. Bridgette enjoyed spending the week with her Fifi! Instead of Grandma, she came up with the idea of being called Fifi since her name is Delfi. We will see if it sticks! Either way, Bridgette got lots of good loving from her!

Bridgette wasn't in the best of moods when we were trying to do our photo shoot!

friends and church baby shower

I intended to post about my last baby shower before Bridgette was born, but I didn't get around to it in time. My friend, Brooke took most of these pictures and hosted my baby shower with some friends and the folks from church in her lovely home at the end of April. My family is blessed to have so many friends minister to us with baby gifts. I love my friends and church family including those friends who have moved on to other cities!

I am holding my friend, Tabitha's cutie pie, Jack. Carrie is the smiling lady behind me.

Tabitha and Maria

My best friend from back home, Beth Ann and her baby girl, Teagan

My friend, Marissa's youngest daughter, Anna

Chloe holding Anna.

Chloe, Anna, Marissa and Bet- all traveled from out of town to come! Love you guys!

Let the gift opening begin!

My friend, Kaitlin made the beautiful fabric flower bouquets and bunting for Bridgette's room. It goes with the crib sheet and crib skirt that she and Brooke made for me! So pretty!

Bet made this beautiful baby blanket.

This adorable outfit was from Maria.

Maria's sister made another cute blanket. 

Another cute and colorful homemade blanket. This one is from Beth Ann.

I've already put Bridgette in this cute outfit from Tabitha a few times. I love the color.

Marissa made the two adorable burp cloths on the left and embroidered the other with a B! Cute!

Brooke- 25 weeks, Me- 35 weeks, Carrie-38 weeks

Dara came all the way from Nashville on a very rainy morning!

We are so blessed to have Bridgette here with us now! So thankful for all the lovely things people gave her!