Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dreams of pierced ears

I really don't feel like I've dreamed much sense Little Elvis arrived. I used to have wild dreams and remember them in pretty intricate detail. Bob was always impressed with that. But recently I haven't been dreaming, or not getting enough sleep to remember those dreams.

The other night I had a doozy, though.

I dreamed that one of my really nice uncles and my grandmother took Little Elvis to Wal-Mart and got his ear pierced! Twice! And then they took the studs out thinking I wouldn't notice the two holes in each ear.

I was pissed! I screamed at Bob for thinking the incident was funny. Then yelled at my mom for telling me to chill out.

I basically ran around yelling at everyone in the house -- telling them that he was MY baby and I did NOT want his ears pierced.

Then I woke up.

Let me just tell you that my uncle and grandmother would NEVER pierce Little Elvis' ears, even with my permission. And although Bob is pretty laid back, I can't imagine him finding that funny. And I won't even begin to consider what my mother would actually do if that happened.

Anyone else have nutty dreams like this?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Getting a sleeping baby to stay asleep

Bob is a rockstar at getting Little Elvis to sleep in the crib. I know we are supposed to put him down drowsy, but that's a whole lot easier said than done.

If we get him into a good sleep, and manage to not wake him up on the way to the crib, then he sleeps pretty well.

And when I say "we," I mean Bob. No matter how gentle and slow I am, Little Elvis wakes up crying the second I get him in the crib. Then we have to go through the whole cry it out thing, which we've reduced to 25 minutes -- 45 was just too long for all of us.

But when Bob lays him down, he stays asleep! He is pure magic! Now I wish some of his magic dust could rub off on me for the afternoon naps...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Little Elvis finds another thumb

Why should he be limited to just his own thumbs?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Why Little Elvis doesn't like sleep

I feel bad, because my last few posts haven't been bragging on our little guy. Little Elvis is doing new stuff everyday, and I'm sure these accomplishments are causing some of his sleep issues.

1. He's much more social. Little Elvis has the biggest, most adorable, (I know, I'm his mom, but Bob agrees with me on this.) most dimply smile I've ever seen. All I have to do is blow a raspberry or give him a grin and he breaks into his own. And he'll coo at me while doing it. Why sleep when you can communicate and spread such happiness?

2. Little Elvis is starting to roll over. He's not doing a complete 360 -- we're more at the 90 (did about a 175 once) -- but this whole rolling to his side is pretty fun for him. Bob and I make such a big deal about it that he knows this is a big accomplishment and I read that babies practice this trick in their sleep. I know he's attempted to sit up while sleeping on my lap so I think that's a possibility. He started working on this new trick a few weeks ago, and he's still polishing up his skills.

3. He's spotted his toes. He spied them a few weeks ago, but he's been folding himself in half pratically to touch them. They finally made it into his mouth Saturday afternoon! (My dad takes total credit for this, because he showed Little Elvis where his toes are.) This whole folding in half trick is cute, and I hope it isn't bad to let him do it.

4. His eyes are changing colors! Bob and I have been wondering for a while what color they will be. At the moment, they are grayish-greenish-brownish depending on the light. His eyelashes are getting darker and longer, just like his daddy's.

See why he's not sleeping?

Little Elvis sleeps in his crib!

After the hurt feelings (all of ours) of last night's cry it out session, Bob and I decided we'd try going in to calm our little guy every 5 minutes.

But first we had to calm him. He was mad at us and I was crying and Bob looked pretty stressed, so we decided to give him a bath. This lifted all of our spirits. Then Bob swayed with him for a while.

Then I fed him and he passed out cold at each breast.

We took him back to the crib, steeling ourselves for round 2, and he never woke up!

He slept for 3 and a half hours and then I went in and fed him and put him in the crib drowzy. Little Elvis was confused at first and took the pacifier and shushing very well. I left and he was quiet for about 5 minutes, then got a little fussy.

After 5 minutes I went in and soothed him, then left. He fussed for 5 more minutes and Bob went in. And right as I was about to head in after 5 minutes, he got quiet. I went in to check on him 30 minutes later and he was sleeping like a superstar, arms and legs splayed in every direction!

(I'm sure he was just exhausted, and we'll have more issues tonight, but I'm so proud of him!!)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Crying it out

Little Elvis is screaming his little heart out while I type this. My heart is breaking while I type this.

I finally broke down and called the doctor about his sleeping (or lack thereof) issues. She recommended that we go ahead and start putting him in his crib and letting him cry for 10 minute increments. At the end of the ten minutes we can go in and soothe, but not pick him up.

The first ten minutes were hard, and when I went in to soothe him and put his pacifier back in his mouth, he gripped my hand with his little fists. I made the mistake of looking into his sweet little eyes. They looked so hurt and sad. He just wanted to be cuddled and what did we do? We left him.

The second ten minutes were harder. His crying became more gutteral, and Bob soothed him this time.

I soothed the third time and although the doctor didn't think he would last crying for 40 minutes, it looks like he will.

This isn't about me, but I want nothing more than to pick up my little boy and hug him and try to quiet his cries. He must be so scared and worried. I know the doctor recommended this and I really like her, but I don't know if I can honestly do this for two weeks at every nap and bedtime.

For us, crying it out doesn't just apply to him. Thank God it's almost time to go pick him up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Little Elvis hates sleep

Seriously -- he won't sleep.

He's supposed to get about 14-15 hours of sleep a day and there's no way he gets that much. I don't want to venture a guess at the real amount because you will all think I am so awful, but it's not for lack of trying.

He apparently hates sleeping. He hates it when we make the room dark and try to rock him. Singing lullabies does seem to calm him some, but then he'll realize we're trying to get him to sleep and will start crying.

Last night we spent more than three hours trying to get him to go to sleep. Luckily for me, he did take a 3 hour nap during the day. That was really just luck -- he happened to fall asleep on the way back from the doctor's appointment and I left him in his car seat.

Today he slept for oh about 40 minutes total and trust me, I tried to get him to nap. We rocked, we glided, we sang, we sat quietly, I held him, I laid him down, I took him strolling (BIG mistake -- we walked for 30 minutes back to the house with him screaming and me crying.) I don't know what else to do.

I told the doctor he wasn't sleeping and wanted to feed every hour and a half to two hours. She said he needed to sleep more, but thought it was the trip to Mississippi that had thrown off his sleep schedule.

I know he needs sleep, but I honestly don't know what else to do. The poor little guy gets so tired and then he gets mad.

Any advice? I know sleep is important and seriously believe it's my fault he won't sleep. Please help!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Day 100 - Little Elvis is a little angel in church

My mom and I decided to try out "big church" with Little Elvis today. By big church I mean no hiding out in the crying room.

We took him into the sanctuary and sat with him on the pew. My mom held him and I sat at the ready with a bottle (I pumped a lot during out first trip away) a burp cloth and the hymnal.

It was a special children's service and they sang and played drums. None of the noises seemed to bother him too much, and he drank half his bottle and slept. It was very pleasant.

Still, when I'm by myself, I'll probably hang out in the crying room.

Day 99 - First trip away from Little Elvis

I am standing in a dark bathroom stall in my new peep-toe heels, with my dress -- which has ripped up the back -- half off, and my electric breast pump buzzing. The cord to plug in the pump is running under the door to my stall and I'm sure the other women are coming up with crazy scenarios for what I'm doing.

I am not happy.

This is my first real time away from Little Elvis, and it's been really hard.

We're at the wedding of one of Bob's friends. It's three hours from where we live, and apparently northern weddings are really long. (I'm southern, and have seriously never been to a sit-down dinner wedding where you mark on your RSVP chicken or fish. We do buffets.)

I've been stressing about the wedding for weeks. I spent the two weeks we were in Mississippi diligently trying to pump so Little Elvis would have enough food. Well, I ended up with 11 ounces. Seriously, that's all I had!! So my mom, who was really nice to fly back with me so she could watch him, had to resort to formula. (Thank God for all those free samples they kept sending us!)

The wedding was nice and the reception is fun, but I would honestly rather go home and see Little Elvis.

And my breasts hurt. The pumping isn't really relieving the pressure. It gives me 30 minute respites, but then they start throbbing again.

We brought an insulated lunch bag for me to carry the milk and my pump in. So I have to keep going to the bathroom with a lunch bag.

There I have to wriggle around to unzip my dress and then stand up in my heels (can't take them off and stand in a bathroom stall) which are cutting off the circulation to my middle toes as I attempt to pump. I also refuse to sit on a toilet seat in a stall while dressed. You never know what could happen, and I would have found a way to fall partially through and get my ripped dress soaked.

I missed the bridal processional, toasts and the father-daughter dance due to my pumping.

Now my dress is ripped -- guess I'm not quite back to my original size -- and I want to cry. I also called my mom to see how he was doing and I heard him getting fussy in the background (he was ready for his third serving of formula.)

To make matters worse, we are sitting at a table with a very cute 15 month old little girl. She and her parents seem to be having a good time and this makes me miss my little guy even more.

What a mess I got myself into with this. I should have let Bob go to the wedding by himself. He probably would have had more fun. He says he wouldn't though, so I should have worn flat shoes and a button front shirt with a skirt.

Do you guys have any first trip away horror stories?

Day 98 - Emotional day

We're heading back to DC today and I'm so thrilled to see Bob, but I already miss my dad (mom is flying with us.) I hate the feeling of being ripped that I've had since Little Elvis was born.

My whole life I wanted to get away from Mississippi and now that he's here I want so much to get back there and share him with my family.

My parents are so great with him and have so much fun with him and my grandparents had a big time with him as well. They just wanted to hug him and love him and admire him. My aunts, uncles and cousins also seemed to have a great time with him. My cousin who just graduated college even came for a visit, although he refused to hold Little Elvis.

It was so great being surrounded by so many people who love him. Up here it's just me and Bob for the most part. We don't really have family here, and don't know too many people, although I am trying to get involved with a mom's group.

On a much more positive note, the plane ride went pretty well -- he wanted to be fed during take off and landing. And he was so happy to see Bob. He just smiled and cooed and held Bob's fingers. It was really sweet and I would have pictures of it, had the camera battery not died.

Day 97 - First football game

Little Elvis attended his first football game this evening. It was the spring scrimmage at my dad's high school (he's the athletic director.)

We dressed him up and got his stroller ready and got to the game 20 minutes early. So we strolled our little guy around trying to avoid the glare of the sun.

He was happy and playing for those 20 minutes, but started getting antsy at kick off. Obviously he just wanted to be out there playing with the big boys.

We were standing under the clock, but I don't think we lasted 4 minutes into the game. Oh well. It was getting windy anyway.

We took pictures though. So when he's a big football star, they can show those pictures on SportsCenter and talk about fate.

Day 96 - No sleep for Little Elvis

Little Elvis hasn't slept much since we've been in Mississippi. He slept really well the first night and he slept well the night we were at the cabin, but other than that he hasn't slept much.

In fact, he's refusing to sleep. He gets tired and then upset when we try to rock him to sleep. It can take us up to two hours to get him to actually sleep and sometimes he'll wake up just 30 minutes later ready and raring to go.

I read that babies his age are supposed to sleep 14-15 hours. He definitely isn't getting anywhere near that. He seems fine, though. He's happy when he's not being forced to sleep. I think tomorrow I'm not going to spend most of the day trying to make the poor baby sleep. I will ask the doctor about this at his next appointment.

Do your babies get the recommended amount of sleep? If so, what are you doing? Please share!

Day 95 -- Sleeping in mom's old crib

My mom saved most things from my babyhood -- including my crib.

When we realized that Little Elvis was too big for the bassinet and car sleeper that we had borrowed, my dad and I put that crib together.

I had brought Little Elvis' tummy holder just so he would have something from home, so we put that in the crib as well.

We put a sleeping little boy into the crib and he immediately woke up and wanted to play. He wasn't angry at being in the crib, but instead of putting him in the mood to sleep, it put him in the mood to kick and coo.

We'll have to keep working at it I guess.

Day 94 -- Back and forth on the swing

Little Elvis isn't sure what he thinks of the swing.

We haven't put him in the one we bought him yet for a very good reason -- we keep forgetting to get batteries!

But my parents borrowed a swing from my aunt, so we've been trying it out. So far it's been hit or miss.

The first time we tried it, was also the first time he had met most of my family -- we're a loud bunch. So he was just out of sorts from the plane ride and the noise. At least that's what we thought.

We tried it again when he was tired and fighting sleep. That just made him even more cranky.

I tried it today right after a feeding and changing. He sat in it happily and played with the spinny lion mane and then fell asleep.

The next time he was fighting sleep, I tried the swing again -- no dice.

I guess it's just an issue of timing with the swing. Any advice on how to make him like it more?

Day 93 -- Happy Mother's Day!

It was a happy Mother's Day. I was seriously worried, though.

Little Elvis refused to sleep much last night. I kept telling him that Sunday was my special day and he should be nice, but he did not want to sleep.

Well, he made up for that today.

My mom and I went to church while my dad watched Little Elvis. He didn't get fussy!

We then took him to the local Gum Tree Festival, the flea market and to my mom's parents' house. (There was a stop in between for a feeding.)

He didn't cry, and only was a little fussy when we took him out of his stroller to show him to a friend of my father's at the flea market.

Bob also made me a special Mother's Day shirt with a picture of Little Elvis on it. I wore my shirt and my parents wore their Little Elvis shirts that we made them. I'm sure we looked like those families that wear matching outfits at theme parks, but we were proud of our little guy.

I hope you guys all had a happy Mother's Day.

Day 92 - Don't interrupt the feedings!

Some acquaintances of my mom's came by the cabin today, and Little Elvis had just started his feeding -- which can take a while.

We stayed in the guest bedroom with the door closed, but when it sounded like they were leaving, I decided to take him down so mom could show him off.

This was not the best idea. He was kind of stunned when I took him down to see them. Then he realized that I wasn't just changing locations and he wasn't going to get to finish his meal and he started crying.

I tried to soothe him, but he wasn't happy with me. So, back up we went. He literally ate for three more minutes and was completely satisfied.

We made our way back down and her company got to see a very happy little boy.

And I learned a very valuable lesson -- don't interrupt the feedings to show off the baby.

Day 91 - Long car trips may not be for us

We took Little Elvis up to the lake for the weekend. He loved the cooler weather, but got antsy in the car on the way up.

The drive was about an hour and a half and for the first 45 minutes to an hour he slept. Then he woke up and fussed for a bit. My mom made crazy noises and played with his toys, and this calmed him.

I think he's still just out of sorts. He had his first plane ride just a week ago. Come to think of it, he had a long car trip then as well (an hour and a half.) I guess he's just still getting acclimated to his new surroundings.

Have any of you taken long trips (we're spending two weeks in Mississippi) with your babies?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Day 90 - Running a marathon

Little Elvis likes, no LOVES, to kick. Bob and I have marveled for weeks at how he kicks his little feet whenever we lay him on his back. (He kicks at other times as well, but really goes to town when he's laying down.)

I figured this was normal baby behavior, although I've been joking that once he starts moving I'll be getting a whole lot of exercise in.

But every family member who has seen Little Elvis in action has marveled at his energy and his kicks.

Maybe it's been a while since they've been around babies this young, or maybe my jokes about him being a kicker for the Indianapolis Colts will come true.

Either way my dad, a former soccer coach, is thrilled.

Bob is a man in constant motion. He can't just sit and do nothing, (I can!) so I think Little Elvis just inherited his father's energy. My parents say he inherited my pension for fighting sleeping.

Day 89 - How do I choose?

We had more professional pictures of Little Elvis made -- this is an addictive habit. He did really well and I really liked the photographer (anyone who gushes about how beautiful he is is tops in my book.)

He posed really well and even created a couple of poses.

Then came the hard part, choosing which pictures I wanted and in what size. Honestly I wanted them all, they were all great in my opinion.

"Yes, he may have been blinking in that one, but look at how cute his eyelids are."

"Those spit bubbles make that picture even more adorable."

Ok, I didn't really get to say those two comments, because she got rid of the "bad" ones before I got to see them.

Still, I had to choose between a sweet smile or an adorable surprised look. I had to make had decisions like that for each pose -- it was worse than a visit to the eye doctor.

I questioned every decision and had to look to my mom for approval of them all, and she ended up walking away leaving me to decide for myself.

I hope I don't regret my choices. Is choosing pictures this difficult for anyone else?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Day 88 - Pictures, pictures

I've been taking lots of pictures and videos so Bob can see what's going on while we're here. Unfortunately I didn't bring my computer, so I can't put any of them on the web, or send them to Bob.

He has to wait to see how Little Elvis now grasps at rings on a bouncy seat and holds them. This is really cute and so fun to watch. I've gotten some video and pictures and tried to explain to Bob how talented and smart his baby is.

I feel really guilty that Bob can't be here to see Little Elvis meet family members and his cousins who are close to his age. Or when his great-grandmothers first held him.

I'm also not the best videographer or photographer. Hopefully Bob will be able to enjoy all these sweet moments when we're back home.

Day 87 - Growth spurt blues

My poor father, Little Elvis was apparently going through a growth spurt last night and cried everytime I handed him over to my father.

It didn't dawn on me that it was growth spurt time until the second time he did this.

I should have been clued in after our last walk. He fed for a really long time before that walk and got fussy with me when I tried to burp him or switch breasts.

After the walk, about an hour and a half after his huge meal, I had to feed him again. He slurped like he hadn't eaten in weeks and stared at me with tear-shining eyes.

When he finished that meal, which was also pretty long, I took him to my father. Ten minutes later my dad brought a wailing Little Elvis back. Again, I fed him and again he gave me that "How could you take so long to feed me?" stare. Again, I took him to my dad.

This time he cried the minute I handed him over. (It had been all of 5 minutes since he finished feeding.) We tried several different sleeping positions and burping, but I finally took him back to attempt to feed him and realized that he is 12 weeks and due for a growth spurt. We fed, he finally slept and I didn't move him.

Poor dad. I think the need for constant feeding is now over, so hopefully he'll get to spend lots of time with his happy grandson.

My poor dad. It defin

Day 86 - Little Elvis does not like walks

This is a new one. At home he seemed to really like his walks in the stroller. Sometimes they put him to sleep, but others he would stay awake and watch the world pass by.

He has not liked walks since we got to Mississippi. Maybe it's the stroller my parents got? It's bigger and much easier to push, so the ride isn't nearly as jerky.

Maybe it's the roads, which are in much better condition?

What about the temperature, which is warmer and more humid?

Who knows? We've attempted walks three times, and all have ended with us running across yards to try to get back to the house as quickly as possible as Little Elvis wailed in misery.

For the first walk it had been 2 hours since his last feeding, so we were pushing it. For the second, just one hour and he was in great spirits before we headed out. For the third one he had fed just an hour before and it was a whopper of a meal.

My dad said for the next one they would get all the walking stuff ready while I fed and we'd head out right after his meal. Maybe that will work...

Day 85 - Rough night

We didn't go to church this morning and it is all my fault.

Why, you ask? I ate a huge helping of broccoli last night. I had been told before that broccoli could give babies gas, but minute portions didn't seem to affect him, so I had a large one.

Little Elvis' tummy hurt all night long. We fretted until about 5:30 in the morning, when I took him to my parents so I could try to catch up on some sleep. One quick note, he did seem to be feeling better when I took him to them.

My mom brought him to me bleary eyed two hours later saying his tummy really hurt and he might be hungry again.

I feel really, really awful here because I had his gas medicine up with me, but thought the worst had passed. So, I inadvertently caused lots of suffering for Little Elvis and my parents.

After his morning feeding, he had a huge dirty diaper and was back to his happy and unpained usual self.

Day 84 - Too many people for one Little Elvis

Little Elvis' day of travel went so well, but he was a little stressed about meeting all of my family (actually just most of my family) all at once.

My parents invited relatives from both sides for a cook out so everyone could see him. He normally gets a diet of just mom and dad, so all of those people were quite a shock for his little system.

We went up for a feeding when just one set of my grandparents were here and came back to the whole family. He was shocked and cried for a bit as all of the new faces stared into his.

He quickly got over it and seemed fine letting all the women and one uncle hold him. When it got to be too much again, my dad took him back to their bedroom and they napped together.

Turns out my dad is really good at getting Little Elvis to sleep.

Day 83 - Little Elvis is an excellent traveler

My worries were for naught. Little Elvis was an angel -- seriously. I know I'm his mom, but he did really well.

He woke up with us at 4 a.m. and was happy during his feeding and changings and for the ride to the airport. He was asleep by the time Bob put him in the Snugli and he stayed that way until I boarded the plane.

Then the little guy woke up and just looked around for a while. He started getting fussy and although I had intended to save his bottle for take off, I gave it to him early. (It took them forever to decide to leave the gate.)

It took me several days of pumping to get up to 2 and 1/2 ounces, but I did it. I thought that wouldn't be enough, but as soon as he finished, he fell into a nice sleep and slept through take-off.

Little Elvis woke long enough during the flight for me to change his diaper and then fell right back to sleep for landing.

The nice man sitting beside me helped me load him back into the Snugli and all the people sitting around me heaved a sigh of relief as we got off the plane.

See what I mean about being an angel? I couldn't have choreographed better behavior.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Day 82 - Big trip nerves

Little Elvis and I head out to Mississippi early tomorrow morning, and I'm nervous. It's my first time flying with him, and I'll be by myself. The hour long wait before boarding currently has me most worried, although packing is quickly rising up the list.

I'm trying to pack just one big bag for check in (my mom took most of Little Elvis' clothes during her last visit) and a diaper bag -- for a 2 week trip! And since he's starting to sit up, the Bumbo needs to go with us (along with a foldable diaper changing thing, his medicines -- Baby Tylenol, Advil and gas medicines -- and baby first aid kit and shoes.)

Then there are the cameras and computer. I can't check those and they aren't fitting in the diaper bag, and how will I get the computer out of the bag when Little Elvis is Snugli-ed to my chest and I'm barefoot? (I hate taking off my shoes at the airport!)

The good news is that my breastfeeding cape has been made -- "I don't stare while you're eating" has won in the polls, although it was close. It's in the diaper bag, which is pretty much ready except for my change of shirt. I packed it tight though, so I will have to do some major digging to find anything.

In lieu of a stroller, I'm opting to just Snugli him around until we board the plane. My parents have a car seat and stroller waiting for him in Mississippi. This pretty much means I am going to try not to go to the bathroom and can't feed him until we're seated on the plane. It's a bear getting him and out of the Snugli and I'm not just going to hand him over to anyone.

So these are just some of my traveling with an infant worries. I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface. Any advice?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Day 81 - Fitting into pre-pregnancy jeans

I'm wearing my favorite pair of pre-pregnancy jeans while I'm writing this!

I'm down to 5 pounds, but I'm so glad they fit! I was worried about what to pack for the Mississippi trip. These are definitely going into the bag.

My body isn't like it was, but it feels great being so close!

Day 80 - Sitting up on his own!

Little Elvis is sitting up on his own! It happened late Monday night (well, around 9 p.m.)

For the past week, he's been very vocal about preferring to sit up when we hold him. He likes to sit with his back leaning up against one of our stomachs.

On Monday night he was leaning back against me, when he started pulling away from me and sitting up. It started with just his little head leaning forward, then he pulled away his whole torso!

Bob opened our Bumbo that he won in March, and we shot video of him sitting up like a big boy!

Supermom's cape

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I planned on making a breastfeeding cape and was soliciting suggestions for a cheeky saying to place on it. Well, here's the finished product, ready for wear and for use on the flight to Mississippi on Friday.

Little Elvis is under there feeding very happily, thank you very much.

Here's a closer look at the graphic:

This was a fun project as it gave me an excuse to use my serger a little bit. Bob had fun coming up with ideas for sayings and designing the graphics. Little Elvis had fun being a model (or so we think), so it turned out to be a fun family project.

So now the question is -- should I make more of these and try to sell them? Would this be a product you would find useful? And, if so, what should I call them? Bob suggested either "Baby Capes" or "Mother Covers," but we're still looking for a better name. Any ideas?