Friday, February 7, 2014

looking back

These are fun pictures that I just remembered that I had! I posted one of them with my post about a my baby shower last year. The first picture is from Carrie's shower that I think was three weeks before mine. These photos were both taken in April of last year. Brooke's baby was born on July 30. My baby was born on May 29. Carrie's baby was born on May 10. This was such a fun and exciting time!

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

sixth month

Bridgette hit the half a year mark the day after Thanksgiving. I was waiting until six months to do a couple of things. One of those things was introducing her to solid foods. Even though her pediatrician said I could start her on baby cereal and some level one fruits and vegetables around four months, I wanted to wait and go with the American Association of Pediatricians' current recommendation, which is to give them only breastmilk for the first six months of life. We did go with her doctor's advice about offering the same food for 3 or 4 days in a row before moving on to anything else. This just makes it easier to notice and pinpoint any food allergies. We have a couple of nieces with some  food allergies (one has life threatening food allergies), so that has made me decide to be extremely careful with Bridgette and introducing foods. So far she hasn't had any issues with food allergies.

By six months, Bridgette was sitting up on her own very well. She appeared to be interested in what we were eating. She even reached out for the food on our plates on occasion. We figured she had reached a stage where she was ready to learn about solid food.

Feeding Bridgette solids is something that Chris and I were very excited and eager to begin with her, but as most people say, it quickly became more of a chore and less of a "fun" experience after a couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy watching her expressions as she tries different foods for the first time. It's fun to try to read her face to see whether or not she likes a certain kind of food. On the other hand, it's a mess. It takes time. She tries to pull the spoon out of our hands. It doesn't all go in her mouth. Sometimes the baby food just ends up splattered across the feeding tray, her bib, the floor, her clothes, her hair, in the dog's mouth, and the list goes on. When it doesn't go in her mouth, I remind myself that this is just for learning. The goal here is teaching her how to eat food. We're getting her used to new textures. She doesn't need it for nutritional value at this point because "food before one is just for fun"- or for "not always fun" in my opinion!

Here are some photos of her trying some of her first few foods!
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The second thing we were waiting for Bridgette to turn six months old do was kicking her out of our room. From the time we brought her home from the hospital, she always slept in our room in the pack n' play. We had even had to drop down the bassinet attachment in it to let her sleep just in the play yard for a month or so because she had grown to over 15 pounds and became too heavy for it per manufacturer's warning label. At six months the risk of SIDS goes way down. One of the ways to reduce the risk is letting the baby sleep in your room- not in your bed, but in the same room. I guess the thought is that if they were to struggle in their sleep with breathing or something, you could hear it and help them to safety. I am not really sure, but by six months she hadn't been swaddled in months. She could roll completely over in both directions. She actually rolled over a lot to sleep on her stomach at this point. We had been letting her nap in her crib during the day and evening for about a month to get her used to the crib. We felt pretty safe with moving her into her own big girl crib for the night. We enjoyed finally being freed from have to hear every sound she made through the night! Honestly, I think the only reason we made it with her in our room as long as we did is because she's a relatively good sleeper at night. Once she went down for the night, you really couldn't disturb her very easily.

She had her six month well visit at the beginning of December just a couple of days after she turned six months. She had grown to be 16 pounds and 7 oz. She was 26" long. Her head was 42 cm. That's 55 percentile for weight, 51 percentile for length and 53 percentile for head circumference according to her doctor. She had two standard immunizations that day, and I opted to have a third one done on her. She was 6 months old, so she was eligible for the flu shot. I thought we should go ahead and have her take that one just because she's always around people. I wanted to protect her during flu season. We have a big family. She goes to a daycare. She's handled a lot at church.  She only had half a flu shot that day because they split it up the first time you get it- at least they do for babies- to help build immunity. Her doctor told me to bring her back in at the end of December for the other half of the flu shot.

She didn't care much for the shots. In fact, her face was so sad that I decided just to show her legs here. Don't worry, I offered her lots of love and comfort after the shots. She was back to her normal smiling self before we left the doctor's office.

Her schedule didn't change much from five months, but we did add solid foods once per day. This is what her schedule looked like around six months:
  • Sometime between 6:00 a.m. and 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
  • Sometime between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. offer solids (not every day, but we did if there was time!)
  • After 7:30 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 sixth month were:
  • Trying food for the first time! She loved her first food, sweet potatoes. Aside from bananas, it's probably her favorite so far. Her second food was squash, which was also tolerated. Some foods that she does not like are avocado or turkey. Who would like pureed turkey though, really?!
  • Sleeping all night in her big girl bed!
  • Learning how to jump in her Jumperoo, a big toy she sits in to jump and it has toys attached all the way around it. 
  • She learned how to get someone to bounce her- she would bounce when Grandma Lolo (Chris' stepmom, Lori) would bounce her up and down while holding her.
  • She loved hearing herself "talk."
  • She started learning how to sit up at five months, but at six months she could do it really well for long periods of time unassisted.
  • We visited Elizabethtown to see grandparents and her Aunt Niki who traveled in for Thanksgiving. We all rode in a caravan to Lexington from Elizabethtown to spend Thanksgiving with Lori's family, so she got to meet Grandma Masters, Lori's mom.
  • Looking at all the beautiful Christmas decorations and lights as they went up! Moving the advent calendar each day! I am not sure she cared so much about Christmas this year. Maybe she will next year! 

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Friday, January 3, 2014

fifth month

This is my last official day of Christmas break. These past three weeks have flown by! It's Friday. I go back on Monday, so the weekend is all I really have left.  One of my goals over break was to attempt to catch up on the posts about Bridgette on this blog. I know some of my family ganders at this and appreciates updates on our little one since we don't all live in the same town or even the same state as some of them!

I need to remember back to end of October/early November to be able to tell you about Bridgette at five months. Good thing I have kept up with her baby book better than this blog!

We didn't have a well doctor visit at five months, so I couldn't tell you how big she was exactly. My guess is that she was between 15 and 16 pounds during this time.

By five months, Bridgette was still on a pretty good schedule due to daycare, and she was finally sleeping in until after 6:00 a.m.! Woo! Hoo! No more 4 or 5 a.m. feedings! I know we had already come a long way from feeding every three hours through the night, but this stretch to me mean't that I finally got a full night's sleep! Praise the Lord. What a blessing this was for me! I could finally function more normally at work. This brought her down to only 6 feedings a day. I just had to increase her daycare bottles by an ounce or so to make sure she was still staying satisfied, getting enough milk. She was good to go!

This is what her schedule looked like around five months:
  • Sometime between 6:00 a.m. and 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 fifth month were:

  • She began to study and recognize faces. She would get really excited if she would recognize you and babble/smile. 
  • She started cracking up at people were cracking up at her. By this point, she was giving really good belly laughs! 
  • She spent her last month sleeping in the pack n play in our room! The risk for SIDS goes way down at 6 months, so we kept her close until then! We were ready to kick her butt out of our room at this point.
  • She mastered rolling from back to belly. She began learning at four months, but got very efficient at five months. She was finally able to really get her arm completely out of the way to accomplish this task.
  • She learned how to put her pacifier back into her mouth unassisted.
  • Began to practice sitting up unassisted for short periods of time before falling over.
  • She made several visits with grandparents in Elizabethtown and Henderson.
  • She had some adorable pictures taken with photographer Jenniel Harbert, and! (See below)
  • She enjoyed the WKU Homecoming parade and overnight visit from her Aunt Jamie, Uncle Kenny and cousins: Genevieve, Lola and Fiona.
  • She went as an adorable leopard (her Aunt Elizabeth's costume from when she was a baby nearly 17 years ago that Grandma Lolo let her borrow) to our friend's, the Bailey's Harvest Fest Halloween Party!   
Little witch dress my friend, Beth Ann gave me at my baby shower! So cute!

Bridgette with her daddy at the Halloween party! Yes, Chris did a repeat of his Die Hard Bruce Willis costume from last year. He is silly!

Photos by Jenneil Harbert:

This little girl is such a good baby! She really is a treasure to both her father and I!

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!