Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hendrix is eating like a big boy

Hendrix started eating cereal and is now officially a big boy!

That first day that we tried it I really don't think he got it.  He seemed to like the taste of it okay, and even did some grunting in between bites if Daddy wasn't feeding it to him fast enough, but he had no idea what to do with his tongue.  It mostly just dribbled out of his mouth until Daddy realized that if he left the spoon in his mouth a little bit longer, then he could suck it off the spoon.  

He definitely is a messy eater.  He has had to bathe alot more frequently than usual because I don't like him going to bed with 'crusty' hair!

I love this adorable bib that his great aunt Phoebe made for him.....can you see his name being pulled by a dump truck?!?  So cute!

Just a few days into it, and he was already eating more like a pro.  Just a little practice can make a big difference.

Now to start on some veggies.....yum!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I loved you before I even met you

A year ago today, Bud and I found out we were going to be parents.

We had been trying for several months to get pregnant and were so elated to get the positive test(s)! We loved daydreaming about our little baby baum.  We talked about his or her future, read up on parenting, started financial planning, and pretty much smiled continually because our prayers had been answered!

I loved finding out from the ultrasound that we were going to have a little boy, and watching him do somersaults in my tummy that I couldn't even feel yet.  Pregnancy and birth are such an amazing miracle and I feel so privileged that I got to experience it.  I loved the process of deciding on a name and calling our baby by it throughout the rest of our pregnancy.  This helped us feel more connected to him, like we already knew him before he was even born.

I loved watching my tummy grow and being able to witness kicks and hiccups.  I loved the fact that perfect strangers could tell that I was a momma-to-be.  I even loved buying and wearing maternity clothes!  haha  (Going back to non-stretchy jeans is a rude awakening, let me tell you!)

I loved designing and preparing the nursery.  It was fun to pick out a theme and work on lots of do-it-yourself projects.   I enjoyed being thrifty and making bargain purchases.  I loved that my hubby wanted to be really involved in this whole process and helped me with the color selection and got just as excited about the choices as I did.  

I love the way that having a baby enriched the relationship that Bud and I have with each other in a way that I could never have dreamed of.  

I loved meeting you for the first time; seeing your precious face and touching your smooth little features.  You were so perfect and tiny, and I was so overwhelmed by my first glimpse of what a mother's love is all about.  It is so fierce and yet so gentle.  

I loved becoming a family of three!

I have loved watching you grow and thrive.  I have loved learning your cries; seeing you discover how to make faces, giggle, and laugh; watching you interact with your daddy; and seeing you become more and more curious about the world around you everyday. 

I love your sweet baby smell, your slobbery wet kisses, and your precious little snuggles.  I love thinking about you, playing with you, and praying for you.

I love being a mom.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Swaddle Story

Here is Hendrix at 5 days old.  In his first swaddle.  The nurse wrapped him up like this right after they took him out of the phototherapy booth and he calmly went fast asleep.  

At 8 days old, here we were introducing him to his crib for the first time.  This swaddle blanket was rather large on him then and I think that it was practically double wrapped around his whole body.  Hendrix was an amazing sleeper from the beginning.  We would just lay him down and swaddle him up and he would go to sleep.  We were waking him up every three hours to feed him that whole first two months since he had such an early start to the world. 

I continued the swaddling when I took him to work with me at 3 weeks old.  He transitioned well to the interruption in his schedule, and has since become a very easygoing little fella. 

In November, after his 2 month check-up we received the okay to let him sleep until he woke up and was hungry.  At this point he started going to bed around 10pm or so and would wake up once in the night to eat, and then go back to sleep until 6am or so.  This was an amazing change of pace for this Momma since I had been religiously feeding him every three hours up until that point.  I didn't know what it was like to sleep for more than little catnaps!  We were still swaddling him, and we actually started using more of a fuzzy blanket in his crib because he was really soothed by the soft feel around his face.  

In December he stopped being interested in soothing himself to sleep.  I thought this probably had to do with being around family during the holidays and holding him so much, so we started letting him fall asleep in our arms and then putting him down to sleep.  We could get him to fall asleep on his own sometimes, but if we did have to "rock" him to sleep, it was something that could happen in like 5 minutes or less.  As long as he had his blankets, he was fine with going to sleep.  He started going to bed earlier - like 7 pm and would sleep without the middle of the night feeding, waking up for the day around 5 or 6 am.  This is when I got spoiled!  :)

When he would wake up, it was usually with cooing and giggles, and I would go in his room to unwrap him from his swaddle.  He would just stretch his arms out and give a huge grin.  I started to love mornings just so that I could see this sweet face!

Just as we were settling into this routine, he turned 4 months old in early January and we went to the doctor for his well baby visit.  I would first like to say that I love his doctor.  She is really great.  But she did give me some news I did not love.  She said no more swaddling.  Just like that.  Like it wasn't going to be a big deal to take away the biggest constant in my son's life or at least in his sleeping habits.   She said that he would maybe have a tough time with the transition at first, but it shouldn't take long and he would adapt.  He is just too big and strong that she said the swaddle is a danger to him if he were to roll over and get tangled up in it and suffocate.  

We left the office.

And then we started the hardest, longest nights I have experienced since we brought him home.

Night One-
We didn't get him to settle down to sleep until about 10pm.  He laid in his bed pretty peacefully at first, but since he wasn't swaddled up, he thought it was just play time and he kicked and waved his arms and did lots of talking and cooing (we heard him downstairs through the monitor).  When he realized that we weren't going to come and get him the tears started and they escalated quickly.  I am not very good at letting my baby cry.  I admit it.  It breaks my heart.  But I tried, for a while, until he got so worked up that I knew there was no way he was going to fall asleep like that.  I picked him up and soothed him, calmed him down and then tried again.  After several unsuccessful routines of that (both daddy and I taking turns), I tried getting him to fall asleep in my arms first and then transporting him to his crib.  As soon as I would lay him down he would start flailing his arms around and wake himself up.  So I stayed in his room and  held his arms down by his side while he settled down and fell asleep.  As soon as I would take my hands away though, he would wake back up.  It was a disaster.  I was a disaster.  And finally after all that effort to get him to finally stay asleep - it would only last for about 20-40 minutes on average.  We did finally make it through the night, but everyone woke up exhausted and grumpy.      

Night Two-
In some ways I think this night was harder than the first was like Hendrix knew what was coming and he dreaded it all evening long.  And his little voice was hoarse from the crying the night before.  And I was so tired that I had less energy to pour into this endeavor, I even suggested to my hubby that maybe he wasn't ready for this yet and we should wait a bit.  My hubby was a strong rock for me during these nights as he kept reminding me that this was all out of love and it was simply because we want to keep our little peanut safe. It was pretty much the same routine as the night before, but everything took just a tiny bit longer.  At some point in the night I just held him for a bit when he fell asleep in my arms, because at least I knew he would get some rest.  Poor Hendrix was exhausted.

I was ready to give up.  I talked to my Mom about it and she encouraged me to do what we thought was best, but said that she had used blankets with all of us when we were little.  I heard from a lot of friends who swaddled their babies much longer than four months.  I heard from friends who even sleep their babies on their tummies.  I had told my hubby that I thought we should just swaddle him for night three so he can get a good nights rest and then we can try again another time.  And then, I spoke with a friend from our small group who told me that she had read with sleeping habits that usually night three is the breakthrough night.   I wanted to be consistent and not ruin all the "progress", if you can even call it that at this point, that we had made.  So I looked for a compromise.

Night Three-
We swaddled Hendrix from the chest down leaving his arms free.  This made him all snuggled up and warm (which I wondered if this could be a big part of why he was missing the swaddle.....I had been putting more layers on him but our old house gets pretty chilly upstairs at night) but because it was further down on his body it made it safer if he were to roll over (which he hasn't mastered rolling from his back to his tummy yet) since the blanket wouldn't be anywhere near his face.  It seemed like a fairly manageable compromise.  Another friend had suggested that it was easier to wean them off of a swaddle gradually than going 'cold turkey'.  Well we had tried 'cold turkey' and that was unproductive.  
He went to bed at 7:30pm and other than waking up a couple times because he had lost his paci, which simply requires a visit to his room to help him relocate it, he didn't get up until 5am when he was ready to eat.  

 I consider that our success story!  While I am not convinced that the journey is completely over yet, I am more optimistic that in time we will be able to remove the blankets entirely and still have a successful sleeper. 

Many thanks go out to everyone who encouraged me and gave me words of advice....and to anyone who is trying a difficult transition with their baby - don't be afraid to just take baby steps.  Sometimes that is just the right choice.

The next item on my mommy checklist is to take the bumpers out of his crib....... 

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hendrix's Aunt Kate came for a little visit this weekend, and they both had a lot of fun together!  

We made it to playgroup finally this month on Friday and Hendrix and Flora had some quality 'floor time' together. :)  He looks like such a big boy next to such a dainty lil' gal!  (miss Flora is nearly two months younger though.....)

And lastly, Hendrix and Abigail enjoyed some time together this afternoon.  They are the closest in age as Abigail is only 12 hours younger than Hendrix.  They seem to be growing at a fairly comparable rate; but they had a super hard coordinating schedules today.  In 6 hours, there were only about 20 minutes in which they were both awake at the same time!  At that rate he is not going to have much luck as a suitor.......

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Shots

Hendrix still doesn't like shots.  I have to say that this time was a lot better than last time, but he still was awfully pitiful and whiny.  I gave him a dose of tylenol before his appointment to prevent a really terrible screaming fit like last time and that seemed to help.  By the time Daddy got home from work he was almost back to his normal disposition.  He even splashed and laughed in a warm bath this evening before bed.  

This was how his day started.  
He left with me for work still in his jammies because I had to wake him up to take him.  Yes, he slept in until 8:15 a.m. this morning (and I don't know how late he might have slept if I didn't wake him up!)  I hated having to wake him up to take him out in the sub-zero degree weather.....but he was all smiles in spite of that!

I am not sure what to expect from his sleeping habits in the near future though because his doctor put the kibosh on swaddling him.  I know.  It's terrible.  He loves being swaddled.  That is the only way he has slept since he was born.  Apparently since he is so big now, and he is able to roll it is no longer safe to keep swaddling.  Now we have to just lay him in his bed with no blankets at all, and he is supposed to just go to sleep?!?  I will let you all know how that transition goes......but we didn't start it tonight.  I thought the shots rocked his world enough.  We'll cross that bridge tomorrow.  or the next day.......

Here is some footage also from earlier today when he was playing on the floor.  He is so in love with his butterfly that it really cracks me up!

So his weight?  Fabulous!  

He is now 15 pounds 14 ounces; which is in the 63rd percentile, 25 inches long which is in the 45th percentile, and has a 42 cm head diameter which is in the 37th percentile. 

 All the numbers are great and the doctor was thrilled with his progress.  We still have a few pounds to go before he outgrows his infant seat carrier so I am going to try to put the transition to the stationary car seat off another month or so; it is just so much easier to bundle him up and also nice to be able to leave him sleeping in it while I take him into the store or on other errands.  

As for other milestones - the doctor was really pleased with his strength.  While laying on his tummy he pushes his head up really high, and while on his back he can support his own head if he is pulled up by the arms.  He has a firm grasp and does a great job of responding to being talked to - either with a smile or with talking of his own.  She said that he should start being more interested in the sitting position now, and the next big feat will be passing a toy from one hand to the other.

He just got a bumbo seat and seemed pretty interested in it when we tried it out. 

Until Mom took one too many pictures and he got bored....

Isn't that sad face just precious though?  lol

So I was excited about the bumbo seat because I thought it might be a really nice transportable highchair for me to take to work for him.  I was sort of hoping to get the okay to  start him on food at his appointment today; and while the doctor said that we do have her blessing if we really want to start him on cereal, she would rather that we wait until more like 5 or 5 1/2 months.  shoot. 

It is going so fast as it is though, it would be silly for me to wish the days away.  I will wait patiently. :)  Well, sort of.

Hendrix 3 months

So I finally learned how to post projects that I have worked on at Shutterfly, and thought you might enjoy this way of viewing his 3-month pictures.  I order a book like this each time he has his professional shots makes the decision of which pictures to print and frame just a little bit easier. ;)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our big Four-Month-Old

Hendrix turned 4 months old last week though his well baby visit isn't until this week.  I am curious to see how much weight he has gained and what the doctor thinks about where he is at with his developmental milestones.  

When he had to visit the doctor right before Christmas (because he had both conjunctivitis and an ear infection) he weighed 14 lbs 12 oz.  He seems to be growing and thriving from what I can see.  He is sleeping really well at night - like going for 10 or 11 hour stretches; but since he has started that routine, he has wanted to eat more often during the day.  I guess this is the trade off.  I'll take it. ;)

Hendrix is full of faces, and I am having fun trying to capture them all with my new camera.  He is awfully patient with me while I try to have my own "photo shoots". 

He is also very free with his smiles and laughs.  He can be tickled and responds happily to peek-a-boo.  He is happiest when he is naked, but this is really the wrong time of year in Iowa to remain clothes-less.  Instead, we just let him enjoy long diaper changes. :)

Hendrix has really started "playing with" and "interacting with" his toys more as of late.  He talks to them and grabs at them sometimes even grasping them in his fists (accidentally I think though).   He especially enjoys playing in this jumparoo-it's like an exersaucer, but he can bounce in it. 

My little dude must be short like his momma 'cause his toes don't quite touch the ground when he is sitting in it.  I guess if he is kind of leaning to one side his toes sort of graze the ground, but he doesn't really understand how to jump in it yet.  He wiggles his body to make it move though and he likes that.  He also really likes being in the upright position I think.   

Both standing and sitting are becoming popular ways to hang out. 

He is also getting to be more verbal with us.  He likes to coo and the "O" vowel he has got down solid.  He puckers his lips all up while he is saying it and he will go back and forth with us having a conversation.  
It cracks us up!

 He is our little man.

Tonight he rolled over for the first time!  I have been thinking that he is capable of rolling for a couple weeks now, but he has been pretty fickle about not wanting to play on his tummy these days.  Tonight he was laying on his back just kicking and arching his back so much that we thought we would see if he might give it a try.  We flipped him onto his tummy and then placed a book over to the side and tried to encourage him to get it.  He rolled like it was no big deal and we cheered so much I think it startled him!  

We tried to have him repeat the feat so i could record it, but he wasn't having it. 

He is just growing so fast, and is so much fun.  
I am glad that he enjoys snuggles with mommy and I cherish sleepy time every night.