Wednesday, January 6, 2016

1/3 of a year old!

The fourth month is such a fun little stage of a baby's life! They're slowly becoming more aware of the world around them and their little personality begins to really show! Macey is definitely enjoying being a part of our family (oh, the smiles she gives her sister!!! SO sweet!) and is really workin' on her smiling game. Sister can melt your heart in a second with her cute little grin! We are loving her new-found awareness and are looking forward to the changes that I'm sure lie just around the corner!

Just for my personal reference, here's a sample schedule of a day in the life of Macey Doodle-Bug:
6:30 am - wake up, chug a 5 oz bottle
6:45 am - diaper change, get ready for school, play for a little bit
7:15 am - leave for daycare and she usually falls asleep on the way (or if we're at home, she goes back down for a nap around 7:30/7:45)
9:30 am - 5 oz bottle
11:00 am - nap? Her naps are rather inconsistent at daycare, but at home this is when she would usually go back down.
12:30 pm - 5 oz bottle
2:00 pm- nap
3:30 pm - 5 oz bottle
5:00 pm - mommy's back! She usually falls asleep again on the way home!
5:30 pm - get home and play "is Macey going to stay asleep or wake up" game. Sometimes she will sleep for 30-45 minutes, other times she just stays awake. This will hopefully be the first nap she drops! It is so inconvenient because this is right when we need to be making dinner, unpacking their bags, etc. 
6:30 pm - another 5 oz bottle
7ish - bath & bedtime routine (including LOTS of cream for her eczema!)
7:30 pm - time for bed! I usually rock her and sing some songs before putting her down. 

Eat = Macey still eats on a 3 hour routine and takes 5 oz each feeding and has 6 feedings a day. She is still getting mainly breast milk with the occasional formula to supplement. I am really proud of pumping for so long and I hope to be able to continue for at least 2 more months, if not longer. We are trying to get her to take one bottle of formula a day so that I am not stressing if I don't make quite enough for her each day. So far my supply has been more than enough, but sometimes she takes 7 feedings in a day and that's when I get behind. And, if I do want to end pumping, I want her to be adjusted to formula for a while so we don't bother her tummy. 

Our adventure in the next month will be starting solids! I'm actually pretty hesitant to go ahead and start, so it'll likely be a s l o w introduction! I'm planning on giving her just oatmeal/rice cereal until 5 months. No need to rush!

Oh, and man... I feel like she's going through a growth spurt every couple of weeks! I feel like Maleah's were more spaced out, but it seems like every time we turn around, Macey's hungry hungry hungry!

Activity = Macey Ellen is quite the wiggle worm! She is trying SO hard to roll from her back to her tummy. She'll get it! She has been practicing overnight as she turns herself around and around in the pack & play. She will seriously make a 360 turn during the night (I get up sometimes and check on her). It cracks me up how she can spin herself around while swaddled! Macey holds her head up quite well and likes to sit upright. She got an excersaucer for Christmas and, although she's still a little too small for it, we'll put her in there for 10-15 minutes at a time and she LOVES it. I can tell she's going to be a busy body. She LOVES toys and loves to play! She will sit and entertain herself for a long time in her bouncy seat!

Sleep = We had a little hiccup over the Christmas holidays with naps. Seems that rocking a baby to sleep really can affect their ability to take a good, solid nap! Since things were so crazy, I was holding her longer before her naps and when she would transition sleep cycles, she would wake up SCREAMING mad and could only be comforted if you rocked her. Then it turned from rocking her back to sleep to not being able to put her back down at all. This was fine for a few naps. But then it was EVERY single nap and it just wasn't working!!! So, we had to nap train her a little and she got back on track. At home, she usually naps in the swing or in her rocker and sometimes needs to be soothed in the middle of the nap, but she's gotten much better about going back to sleep and finishing the rest of her nap. Then she wakes up smiling and happy! 

We are trying to get her to sleep in the pack & play in our room so that we can eventually move her to her crib in the girls' room. She is actually doing really well sleeping in our room, but we're kinda ready to get our room back to ourselves! Plus, their room is literally right next to ours, so she won't be far away at all! Right now she tends to rouse around 2/3am and need to be comforted, so we're going to wait until she's really solidly sleeping through the night before we move her. Honestly, I'm kinda tempted to just put her crib in our room and share the room until she can have a room of her own. We'll see about that. ;) 

Life = We are somewhat adjusted to live with two kids. It's honestly been a really challenging phase. I mean, going from "none to one" is pretty tough, but at least you can get a little relief. If I was exhausted, Blake could take Maleah for a little while and let me nap. That's not the case anymore. We usually divide & conquer - we each take a child and do whatever they need. And then we pass out after bedtime! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Macey at 3 Months

How can it be that my little baby is 3 months old already!? This past month that I've been back to work has made time seem to fly by, that's for sure! Here's a little about Macey at this age... 

Eat = Macey eats every 3 hours, but now she regularly takes 4 oz at a time. She has dropped her early morning (4-5am) feeding, so she takes 6 bottles a day (6:30a/9:30/12:30p/3:30/6:30/10)! She is still fed breast milk exclusively and I'm really proud of myself for making it this far with my trusty pump! 

Activity = We have a rolling baby! She rolled for the first time the day after she turned 12 weeks. It was SO fun to watch! I really didn't expect to have that same excitement with Macey as with Maleah. But I was SO excited and it made my heart so happy to watch her roll over for the first time! Macey is still a super happy and relaxed baby. She likes to see what's going on around her and loves to be held. And she loves watching mobiles! I don't ever remember Maleah being particularly interested in mobiles, but Macey loves one. I think Santa might bring her one for Christmas! One funny thing about Macey is that she likes movement... A LOT. If she is sleepy while we're driving, she will be calm while the car is in motion but if we get to a red light... my, oh my does she let me know she's not happy we have stopped! 

Sleep = Macey is sleeping through the night now. WOO HOO! She takes her last bottle around 10pm and goes until 6/6:30 before she is hungry again. She still rouses some around 4am, so we're working to help her stay asleep. Sometimes all it takes is a pacifier and sometimes it takes a little extra effort (like finding something safe for her to snuggle with!). We are working on crib training her since she's sleeping so well. Hopefully by Christmas/Near Years she'll be in her crib all night. We're just taking it slowly! Macey is not the best napper, but she does nap! It just isn't totally consistent - she might sleep for 45 minutes, wake up for half an hour, and drift back off to sleep. Who knows, haha. She's such a mellow baby that I just kinda let her do what she will! 

Other = Macey has had her first cold this past week. :( She was really fussy over the weekend and earlier in the week, but it seems to be subsiding and our happy baby is returning! 

Overall things are going really well! Macey is just the perfect addition to our family. She is usually very happy and content. When she does get fussy, it's pretty easy to figure out what's wrong and help her calm down. Maleah is doing really well as big sister. She loves Macey and is really proud of her. She likes talking to her and showing her toys and her things. She is starting to be okay with the boundaries we have set and the jealousy is subsiding some. I'm trying to incorporate the girls' routines as much as I can so that they are doing things together (like going to bed, for instance) instead of separately. 

I won't lie, though, working full-time on top of taking care of two kids has really been exhausting. Blake does just as much with them and around the house as I do and, yet, we still can't stay on top of our to-do lists! We are just kinda making it at this point... but we know things will get a little easier with time. I am learning to just do what absolutely NEEDS to get done and try to get to the rest when we have time. I think part of the stress is that I went back to work right as the busy holiday season was picking up. Once we are done with this weekend (our church's Christmas program), we will be able to relax a little more. Plus, Blake will be done with tutoring and can be home every night of the week! Yay! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Being a Mom of 2

On January 22, 2013, my world was ROCKED. Little baby Maleah was born and life as I knew it was changed forever. No one can ever prepare you for the process of going from a married couple to a couple of parents. No book, no anecdotal advice, no amount of watching friends do it... nope, nothing can prepare you for the way your life changes after your first child.

I remember struggling so badly with the 3-hour schedule. I felt like we were chained to this incessant wheel of feed-play-sleep. I remember resenting how long it took to get Maleah settled for bed - how am I going to spend an hour of my life every night getting this tiny person ready for bed?  I remember crying over lost sleep, crying over room-temperature cups of coffee, crying over her crying. 

I finally settled in to being a parent. All those things I found so difficult in the beginning slowly but surely just became part of who I am. And, no longer did I resent the bedtime routine... it actually became my favorite time of day. I don't miss the "freedom" I had before Maleah came along... and, frankly, during the times she's spending the night with a grandparent and we're able to do things kid-free, I'm really just counting down the hours until she's with us again. 

So when we found out we were expecting baby #2, I wasn't really sure how to prepare myself. How much more change would there be? How would I handle it? How would Blake and Maleah handle it? How could I stretch myself even more to care for another child? 

Honestly, the adjustment to two children has not been as difficult as I imagined. If Blake weren't as helpful as he is, I might be having a tougher time. But usually when things are hectic, we divide and conquer. We each take a kid and handle whatever needs to be handled. The hardest part, so far, about having two children is the heartache of not being able to be in two places at once. 

The other difficult adjustment has been helping Maleah transition to being a big sister. She has been the center of our world and, while we have tried not to spoil her, I know (as an only child, myself) that it's very different to suddenly have to wait... or to share... or to be told "no". She has adjusted fairly well, but also being almost-3 means she is changing in addition to the change of having a baby sister. 

The best part about being a mom of 2, though, is really simple. Snuggling both of them at once is like the greatest feeling ever. These two beautiful little girls didn't exist just a few years ago. Blake and I haven't even been married five years and, yet, we have these new people to call our own. It is such an amazing thing!

And who knows... maybe I'll eventually be writing about being a mom of 3. :)