Thursday, December 31, 2009

Week 7 (and a half): All hail baby whisperer!

This has been a big week! We had Scarlett's first Xmas eve at Tracy's, her first Xmas at Dan & Michelle's, and her first Turducken dinner (yes, a chicken stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey) all in one fell swoop. She stayed awake the entire time at Tracy's and seemed fascinated by all of the people and things going on. The next day, probably as a result, she slept almost the entire time with Paul's family. She was 50/50 at the Turducken dinner. Scarlett made out like a bandit with Christmas gifts. She got some fun new toys (including an inch worm and an American doll from Nonni, which we can give her again in five or six years!), some great clothes, and some cute stuffed animals. Thank you to everyone!

Scarlett's schedule has been increasingly erratic and Paul and I have been increasingly tired as a result. By chance, we happened to run into someone at the Turducken party who has two kids, both of whom they had sleeping through the night by 3 or 5 weeks of age! You can imagine how feverishly I began hitting him with questions as to how they accomplished that feat! It turns out that they swear by a book by Tracy Hogg, the Baby Whisperer. I'll try anything once, so we went out that night and picked it up. She advocates a routine that she calls the E.A.S.Y. method (eat, activity, sleep, time for You). At Scarlett's age, it means putting her on a 3-hour cycle during the day (e.g., 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm feeds, plus cluster feed at 6 and 8 pm) and at night, moving toward them sleeping through. You put the baby down to bed at 730 or 830 then do a sleep feed (feed while they are sleeping) at 11 PM then cross your fingers. If they wake up, only pick them up if they are CRYING. If they are just fussing, let them try to soothe themselves back to sleep.

We started trying this on Tuesday night (after a horrible day of her not sleeping for 7 hours straight!). The first night, she went to bed at 8 pm, we sleep fed her at 11 PM, and she slept until 1 AM. Back asleep at 2 AM and woke up at 5 AM. The book says that if they wake up, they probably aren't getting enough food during the day, so we have been trying to increase her intake. Last night she went to bed at 830 or so and didn't get up until 3 AM! Then she was back to sleep at 430 and slept until 7. It's getting better already! She doesn't like napping before 4 PM, so we have some trouble getting her down, but otherwise it is going really well and we like the predictability of it all. The other thing is that she is now sleeping in her CRIB! We miss having her snuggled up with us for naps, but we are definitely sleeping better and she probably is too. We'll keep at it... wish us luck!

Scarlett has officially outgrown her newborn clothes! She was 9 lbs 5.5 ounces as of today -- still a little small for 3 month pants but too long for newborn clothes. I'm excited about getting her into some of the cute outfits we have in the next size but sad that a phase is over. We love her being so little! She was having some problems spitting up every 5 minutes, but that has been much better today. Hopefully it was a fluke.

Today is New Year's Eve -- the last day of the decade! It has been a wild ride... especially the last 2 or 3 years. We're spending the evening working on the EASY routine, sipping champagne, and enjoying our new little family. Sounds like a great start to the next decade!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Week 6: Trying to get it together

This week was basically spent trying to start reclaiming some sort of normalcy. Scarlett's schedule has shifted further and further away from the ideal. We used to be able to more or less count on a four hour nap from 2-6 AM; her bewitching hour(s) have now reliably become 3-5:30 AM. We've started trying to transition her to an earlier schedule. I finally felt healed enough to get back on the treadmill in an effort to help with my sore back and weight. I found that strapping Scarlett into her carrier and walking forced her to sleep and me to add a little resistance. It definitely feels like it has been a while, but it also feels great to get some exercise again. We gave up on waiting for warm days for walking outside like we had been since we might have been waiting until April.

Scarlett's weight gan is still on track. She was up to 8 lbs 9 oz by the 6 week point and was 8 lbs 13 oz today (December 23rd). She is getting big and eating A LOT! I'm still having milk supply problems, but we've talked to the lactation consultant again and were armed with two or three more things to try. Scarlett starts daycare on January 4th (hold for break down...) so that will probably be the point at which we reevaluate the feeding situation. I definitely won't be able to keep up what I'm doing now once she goes to daycare and I go to work. It's a full-time job on its own!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Week 5: Nonni and other adventures

Scarlett hit the one month old mark this week and surpassed her birth weight! She is doing great and gaining weight every day. She is really filling out and is becoming very interactive. She cries more now just because she wants to be held and smiles a lot. Overall, she still cries very little and virtually never without a reason. She sleeps up to 6 1/2 hours at a time too! We think she may have a milk allergy so we switched to soy formula for her supplements. It seems to help. She doesn't spit it up as much and her congestion seems to have improved. I'm not positive that it is related, but I've seen message boards where other babies with congestion had it clear up after making the switch. The three pictures here are all of our newborn photos. Scarlett is on the left, I'm on the top right and Paul is on the bottom right. We think she looks like a combination of the two of us. Any differing opinions?

The biggest event this week was that my mom (Nonni) was here. She spent a few days with my uncle Ray, but otherwise she was with us for about 9 days. It was great! It was again very helpful to have an extra set of hands to help with laundry, dishes, and the supplemental feedings. Scarlett seemed to love her! She was very cuddly and hardly ever spit up. Paul went back to work while she was here so it was also comforting to have an extra pair of hands while I got used to being without Paul all day on a consistent basis. Now we just hope that they move back or at least come to visit again soon!

In other news, as of today (12/14/09) Scarlett is 8 lbs 3 ounces and finally starting to outgrow some newborn/preemie clothes. She has been gaining 1-2 ounces per day. She had her 1 month photos taken on Saturday. Julie Monticello (one of Paul's friends) is a photographer and came to the house to take some portraits in our own environment. We also got some family photos done. We'll share them once they are in! Scarlett stayed with a babysitter for the first time (Donna and Abigail) for a few hours while we went to Nicole's wedding reception. She did great -- basically slept the entire time! She also stayed alone with Nonni for a few hours while Paul and I slipped out for dinner. It is definitely hard to leave her at all, but I guess I need to start building up my tolerance for it a little bit! I have a feeling that maternity leave is going to be over before I know it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Week 4: Scarlett's BFF has arrived!!

Liam Alexander Moriarty (aka Scarlett's BFF/boyfriend) is finally here! He arrived today, December 6, 2009 (Jacy's 28th bday!) at 9:27 AM -- 7 lbs 5 ounces and 19.5 inches long. I may be biased, but I think he is absolutely adorable and looks a lot like his mommy! He is exactly 4 weeks and 19 minutes younger than Scarlett. His mommy went into labor around 2 AM on Saturday and gave her a little hell until he arrived this morning. All three of them are doing well though and hopefully soon they will get some sleep!

Scarlett had another busy week this week. She did a lot of eating and sleeping, but also got to meet her Nonni (my mom). Nonni arrived late Thursday night and the two immediately fell in love. Since then, Tracy and Alana, Paul's coworker Troy, Uncle Ray, Aunt Glenda, Dan, Ruth, Eve, John, and Rebekah have all come to visit. We also had Scarlett's first snow yesterday! On the weight front, Scarlett is just about back to her birth weight. Nonni bought an infant scale for us, so we're keeping pretty close tabs on it.

Scarlett is still sleeping well at night (anywhere from 4 to 6 1/2 hours straight), is hungry all of the time, and hardly ever fussy. We feel very lucky to have such a good baby!