Sunday, February 22, 2009

Where I Am...

Well, as I sit here and type, I am in a La Quinta right outside Nellis AFB. Which happens to be in Las Vegas, Nevada. I've never desired to visit this city, and just my small glimpse of the city and airport have let me know I am quite right in my ascertation of it. However, I did not come here to sightsee! Let me fill you in.

Back about 3 weeks ago, Jonathan was told he had to come out to ---Ha! I hear Revellie playing! It's been a long time since I've been on a base at 630am! --- Ahem, where was I? Oh, Jonathan was told he had to go spend 15 days in Nellis participating in Air Force air "war games" for lack of a better word. The vast area of Nevada is perfect for this, and he was sent to another base in Nevada last June for this same thing. We were really not happy with the separation, but of course we felt we could still muster 15 days pretty easily.

Then, only 5 days into his trip here, and he was told he was chosen to do a 100 day deployment, starting in March. We were expecting the April 70 day deployment, but this was telling us he'd have to go a month early and still stay until July. We were totally taken aback, and very upset. We do separations so terribly. So, not wanting to miss another day together, we hurredly booked a flight, hotel, and rental car to get Elyana and me out here. My sister Karen and her girls were visiting me and had to cut their visit short, and drove me to the airport (more on that another post, since it was so incredibly wonderful).

Even though I was so nervous about taking a 1-month old on a 4.5 hr plane ride, God was gracious and Elyana was amazing. She slept most of the plane ride, took a bottle I'd pumped, nursed, and then just happily looked around as I showed her the sites of the plane. I would have never, ever made it without my wonderful whole-cloth-wrap that my friend Karen gave me. It's the only way you can carry a baby, a carseat, a backpack, and a 50-lb suitcase, all without feeling overwhelmed! Pictures of that will follow for sure.

So for now, Jonathan and I are burrowed up in a hotel room 1/2 a mile from base, grabbing as much time as possible with each other. He still has to work, but all the rest of the time is ours. Praise God we are together! It's very bittersweet, knowing what's to come, but I'm just trying to enjoy every moment without thinking of the future.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bum Genius Diapers

I was impressed how many of you were intrigued by the cloth diapering. Today is an entire week of using them, and let me tell you I love them so far! Here are some thoughts:

- Every time I put them on my baby I feel like I'm putting something kind to her little bum. Because the diapers have a "pocket" where the microfiber liner goes (to absorb), it wicks the moisture away pretty instantly. So the diaper part, that's touching her, feels dry to the touch (really)! That's pretty good for her skin!

- The colors! Seriously, it's fun putting a new color on her each time. I definitely have my favorites - Buttercup and Clementine (creamy yellow and sunshiney-orange)! And I find I don't like Ribbit much (dark green). Haha. But really, since when did diapering become a fun piece of fashion?

- She only leaked one time, the first day, because I put her in a diaper with a newborn liner (which is smaller) rather than the regular sized one. I did this at night too when she goes longer between changings. Since then, no leaks ever!

- You guys all wonder about the smell. Basically, there's two schools of dirty cloth diapering storage: wet pail and dry pail. With a wet pail you have a pail of water (covered, hopefully) where you store the dirty diapers until it's time to wash. To me, that's eww, because the water would only cause to propogate the smell, kinda like leaving an unflushed toilet. A dry pail, you store the diapers in until wash time. It's actually not a pail (what I have), it's a bag, that's zippered, waterproof, and washable. So when you go to wash the diapers, you throw the bag in too.
I smell nothing, but I've washed almost every day. I only bought 12 diapers (they are pricey), and she goes through about 8 a day. My sister is here, and I asked her honest opinion. Also, her 4-year old has an extremely acute nose and she will tell me if she smells anything bad (seriously, we spent an entire meal at Red Lobster with her talking on and on and almost crying because of the smell in the cloth of the booth seat - um, who ever noticed that?)! Nope, no one smells anything!)

And in case you'd like, here is Elyana posing with a few. They are velcro (with snaps to adjust the size as she gets bigger, she's on the smallest now). The diapers have a one-year warranty so if the velcro did wear out, BG will replace it or the diaper for free!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life...

Well, so much going on here! Firstly, Elyana is back to being a little angel! I appreciate the comments, and just so you all know, both Jonathan and I really do know our daughter's cries and she really was just throwing a type of fit. I know she's young, but the thing is she almost never cries. Fusses? A little. But only for a reason. In fact, Jonathan's family had been here over 24 hours when they finally heard her actually cry (it was because she had the hiccups, which she dislikes). His mom made a comment that she was glad to hear her cry, just to know she would/could! :) We only put her down once all her needs (food, diaper, cuddling, warmth) were taken care of, and we knew she was crying about being held because as soon as Jonathan or I would get her, she'd stop instantly. We only did this 2-3 times anyway, and after my experience with the swaddling her, we made sure she had something to comfort her while she was fussing (using the 5 S's as a guide, as they fit Elyana to a "t"). Anyway, she's my little angel now. But we learned she loooooves white noise: hair dryer, shower, rain. It's adorable, and almost like a "switch" where as soon as she hears it, she perks up and looks all content! It makse my getting ready in the morning much easier!

The realy sad news? Jonathan left this morning! *tears up* These separationns are so very hard on us!!! Seriously, last night we decided to go out to dinner before he left, so we went Japanese for sushi (my first time in 9 months). And both of us were so upset about leaving each other, that we could not eat a thing and we felt really ill. We just packed it up and brought it home, and just spent the evening in one another's arms. We weren't much better this morning. And it's only 15 days apart!!! But we both agree we hope we always hate being separated so much. At least we'll have webcamming and phone calls! It made it hard on Jonathan too to say goodbye to his little girl as well...

So it's just baby and me for a few days, until my lovely sister Karen and her girls come visit!!! They'll be here Sunday or Monday, and I cannot wait. Her girls are beside themselves with excitement to meet little "Elyana Ruth" as they always call her. The like to listen to her coo or fuss when Karen and I talk on speaker phone. :) We had SUCH a great time last year when they visited, so that's my bright spot to look forward to!

And on a happy note, my Bum Genius diapers arrived! They are washing as we speak, so I can start Elyana on them later. I tried them on at the smallest setting (they have 3 settings, hence the one-size-fits-all) and they fit her pretty well. And the great thing? No huge baby butt! They fit almost as small as a disposable, so Elyana will still look cute in all her little outfits! I had to wait for her to outgrow the newborn size diapers, since she really needs to be about 9lbs to fit BG's. They come in the cutest colors too! I only bought 1 pink one, though, sticking to the more neutral colors (greens, blues, yellows) so if we have a boy I can use them too, and get my full investment out of them.

I had more to say, but I need to go put those diapers in the dryer! And kiss on my little girl!

---Update--- Oh yeah, I've got my first breast infection. I was slow in putting all the pieces together that that's what was going on. Pretty painful. Taking all the usual remedies (nursing as frequently as possible, pumping until empty, warm compress, warm bath, aspirin for pain relief). Any other advice is appreciated! (And I gave it to myself... I waited too long to nurse last night, as I was really distraught about Jonathan leaving and so I let the baby sleep too long. Lesson learned!)

Monday, February 09, 2009

Um, Nobody Told Me That!

I had no idea 3 week old babies threw tantrums... And that their little sin-nature could start that early. Seriously. I hate, hate, hate that!!! My true joy in these first few weeks was that it was all about loving and bonding with our baby... About meeting her needs. There was no place yet for scheduling, letting the baby cry it out, disciplining, or anything but LOVE.... I was sooooo happy and basking in that uniqueness. I knew that in too quick a time, we would be dealing with all that anyway... So imagine my surprise and dismay with today's discovery.

Ok, before I share I will say that last Thursday Jonathan & I were having some "us" time snuggling together, and put Elyana in her bouncy seat. She looked at us and began mad-crying. (Yes, mothers really can tell what their baby is crying for! I know her hungry, gassy, mad, hurt, uncomfortable, bored, and loney cries!) She did not like being left out! It was almost funny, because it was so obvious what she was doing. It took her only 5 minutes or less of crying and she quieted down. Of course then, lesson learned, we immediately picked her up and smothered her with love and kisses and snuggles!

But that was so quick and small and innocent.

Today? Well, we had some of Jonathan's family down the last 3 days. We had a wonderful time! They were enamored with their first grandbaby/niece, and appropriately so! But as it was, she was held so much that I think the only time at all she wasn't was her night-time sleep (9 hours with a nursing in-between). Please know, though, that this little girl gets held for hours by Jonathan and me anyway. Especially in the morning, when she gets up for the day, after my shower, I'll grab some coffee and a nutri-grain bar, and she usually is ready to nurse again. So I'll nurse her while reading my Bible, and then just hold her, sing to her, play with her, and cuddle pretty much the entire morning. It's not usually until lunch that I even bother trying to put her down. I adore her so much and am cherishing all the newborn time and maternity leave from my job! And in the evenings Jonathan will hold her to his chest for hours, humming or singing, playing too. But after this weekend, this morning she would not let me put her down at all (I had a stomach bug and had to). She did the mad-cry, even if I was next to her, talking to her, and touching her. *sighs* So I tried to let her cry and soothe herself and learn that she cannot always be held anymore. She did ok, but only once I swaddled her and put her in her carseat because I was going to meet Jonathan at base for lunch. (I swaddle her at night, but not during the day, so that she learns to use those hands/arms/legs.) After lunch, I nursed her, gave her a bath, and then cuddled/nursed skin-to-skin, so she got held all until Jonathan got home at 4. Then after he held her, we put her down, and she threw a fit! Once picked up, she stopped immediately, and looked into our faces happily. *sighs* This was a battle of wills! I cried, I was so unhappy hearing my baby fuss! But Jonathan and I knew we shouldn't give in. Seriously, I think she cried for 20 minutes (it felt that way anyway, maybe it was just 15). We watched on the video monitor, my heart breaking! She doesn't know how to soothe herself, so after that long, I asked Jonathan if I could go in and swaddle her because that would comfort her. He said yes, and within 3 minutes she stopped crying and calmed herself. She is now sleeping peacefully. My sweet Angel baby.

I hated every minute of that, and believe me she'll be held a lot this evening so she feels loved by us and cared for and content. But it really was a little battle-of-wills. I cannot believe it happens this early. Hopefully this is our last experience with this for a few weeks (months?) at least!!

(I don't know all my readers' positions on child training, but I am trying to be honest about our new journey into parenthood.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Elyana Udpate & Nursery Pictures!

I wanted to post from Elyana's 2 week appointment. She is growing well! She weighed in at 8lb, 6oz and was 21 1/8inches long (that's 1/2 inch from her birth length). It was a 16oz weight gain in 12 days (her 3 day appointment she was 7lb 6oz), and all they wanted to see was 1 oz a day. So that's wonderful! It was a great confirmation to me that breastfeeding is going well. Without feeding a bottle, you can never know exactly how much your child is eating. I could tell she was gaining weight, but without an actual number, you don't know if it's enough. And the pediatrician was wanting to encourage me in the breastfeeding, so she told me even though the next appointment would be when Elyana is 2 months, I could come by anytime to weigh her to make sure she was gaining well. I probably will take her up on it when I'm already in town for my 6-week postpartem appointment, just to make sure. She told me sometimes it's hard to tell when the babies are "long and lean" but that's healthy. So praise God!!!

I still love every single day of motherhood. I will have to share some more fun moments, but I'm pressed for time right now and there's something I need to share...

Nursery pictures! Now, the nursery isn't decorated much yet (Jonathan said "these walls are really bare") but I'm picky. I got 1 week old newborn pictures of Elyana done that I will be putting up there (at least one 11x14). And there are corner shelves we're going to put up. I also have beaded curtain holders I have to sew/put up. So it will get better soon. But my newest favorite thing about the room: Elyana's name hanging there! My dear, dear and talented friend Susi (and little Violet) painted these gorgeous letters and adorned them with purple gems, velvet, beads, fringe - in other words, completely over the top, just like parts of her room! The amazing thing? Susi never ever saw a picture of the nursery! All she heard was that I wanted to accent in "deep, dark eggplant purple". And she knew my penchant for all things shiny and sparkly for Baby Girl. So enjoy what pictures there are!



Here's the little one bundled up to go for a walk!

My mom said this Christmas outfit makes her look like a jailbird! :)

TOO Pretty!