Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life has been full around here! Our March so far has been one of incredible family times just enjoying every day as a gift from God. I feel like we've done so many things, and each day has been so full, surely March must be almost over - and yet it's not halfway through!

Elyana is growing like a weed - really! In height/weight obviously, but most noticably in development (actual numbers next week)! Here's the gist, bullet-point style!
  • She now smiles multiple times a day, mostly and specifically at us! When she's done nursing and spending time with us, she will catch our faces in her vision and give us the biggest smile and start "ooh" and "ahh" noises. It melts our hearts!!! She will go on like this for up to 10 minutes, and we never get enough of it!
  • She holds her head up extremely well - and loves to look over my shoulder at everything that's going on (no more cradle-hold for her, not interesting enough). Jonathan even tried to see if she would like the bumbo seat and could sit in it, and sure enough she can! Just for a few minutes, but she is good at it.
  • She now hiccups only about once a day (as opposed to 3-4 times those first few weeks).
  • She also can get distracted when nursing with noises around her (as if there must be something exciting going on, so she tries to "look" around).
  • She really loves being naked! I mean, loves it! Changing the diaper and her outfit are sure to bring smiles and coos! And she loves baby powder on her bum!
  • She loves to be in the bath with just her head supported, so she can float and kick around. I call her my little mermaid. I cannot wait to get her a baby pool to get sun-warmed water to have her "swim" in with me in the summer.
  • She loves having books read to her and seeing the pictures. So far we've been reading the complete Beatrix Potter series, It's Time To Sleep (yep, Lisi, we both love this one, it's become her night-night book!), Brown Bear Brown Bear, Go Dog Go and Guess How Much I Love You. We are now remembering all of our favorites as kids and adding them to an wish list. So fun! I am eagerly awaiting the used book sale we have in our area come April.

I've got one picture below of Jonathan reading to her one of his favorites as a kid. And I realized I never linked to or posted some of the professional shots we got when Elyana was 10 days old... So I've got some of them on here, courtesy of Alicia McDonald.

Elyana has been an amazingly predictable eater. Every 3 hours in the day, and a 4 and 4 or either a 4 and 5 hour session at night. We have desired a schedule with her, and especially with my needing to start consistent work after 6 weeks, this seemed to be the time to start. So on this past Saturday we started seeing how she would do with a sleep-eat-wake schedule like On Becoming Baby Wise outlines. Sure enough, it was wonderful for us three. I have no desire for her to sleep through the night though!!! I look forward to and love our nighttime nursing sessions, as they are so cozy and peaceful with her all drowsy (just different than the daytime ones, when she's waking up to stay up and as I said, distracted at times). I would miss being apart from her for 8 hours! I know a lot of people have very strong anti-Babywise ideas, and I respect that, but both Jonathan and I have read both pros and cons and are just taking some of the BW ideas as a guideline for how Elyana's days will go. Believe me, if she wants to eat at a 2 hour timeframe rather than a 3 for a time during the day, I will let her! Or if I sense she needs some comfort-nursing, I will do that as well! I do not ignore hunger cues, and if they come earlier than I expect, I just feed her and assume she might be having a growth spurt. A schedule is meant to serve us 3, but not to dictate how our lives go. Especially with this being my first, I want to learn what her needs are (concerning sleep and eating) and then meet them and guide the schedule to that purpose.

Prior to starting the "schedule" I wouldn't put her in her crib during the day, because I was letting her fall asleep "here and there" which would result in an hour catnap at best! I was getting in very little anything (household chores, work, dinner) since when she is awake I hold her 95% of the time. Now giving us specific times of "This is playtime" and "This is naptime" has been so good! She never cries when she's put down to nap - which is always the same thing: swaddled in her crib with her white noise on. This gives me 1 1/2 hour sessions in the day where I know I can work or do household chores - what a relief and blessing this is to count on! It also lets me devote myself to her 100% when she's awake, because I know that is "our" time.


Herb of Grace said...

Sounds like you're doing an awesome job of being a mom! And Elyana sounds like such an easier contented baby. :)

Karen said...

Denise, we are right on board with you with Babywise. We agree that we use from the book, only what we feel works best. The eat-wake-sleep schedule is wonderful. Babies do not know how to regulate their sleeping and eating patterns, so parents must help a bit. And you are so right, if baby is hungry after just 2 hours, we'll feed, after all, there are growth spurts that come. Overall though, keeping Benen (as we did for Marilyn too) awake to get a full feeding EVERY feeding and keep him awake anywhere from just 15 min to a hour after eating, and then put him down in his bassinet for nap, and then wake him after 3 hours from his last feeding (if he hasn't waken up already) works wonders on helping him maintain a schedule so he pulls those 4-5 hour sleep stretches at night. By 2.5 months, Marilyn was sleeping through the night with this schedule. We'll see what Benen does. Usually it's between 7-15 weeks that a parent-directed child (combination/compromise with the clock, hunger cues, and parental assessment) will sleep through the night. Not always I guess, but the majority do. It helps to create a content baby.
I do know Babywise got some bad rep...and probably still does, but there are some good things in there. So we use what we think works well and leave the rest.
So glad the schedule is going well. Beautiful photos of Elyana. I love the one of the three of is a photo that is an answer to much prayer!

Here is a blog site for babywise mom:
(it may not all be in line with your philosophy, but it's a good resource to have)

enjoy your continued family time!

Peace & Blessings!

meghann said...

hey Denise!
she is sooooo pretty! love the pics!!!
great post...but please don't feel(and you may not) that you have to explain what you and jonathan have decided to do with schedualing. I was to caught up with what some people might think when we gave jake a routine. it really isn't about what others think:) you seem like you are doing great though!!!
...and by the way...Karen's blog address for babywise is and still is a WONDERFFUL resourceI STILL use fro somethings....check it out!!!!

Lindsay said...

LOVE the pictures!!
Totally a babywiser here!! Okay not totally, but all the way on the eat, sleep, wake schedule. It served our family both times, amazingly. So glad it's going well for you guys.

Ben Wilson said...

Big dog, little dog, red dog, blue dog,
GO DOGS GO!!!!!!
How I remenber those days and miss them. Thanks for posting I can at least relive them vicariously with you and JD and Elyana!!!

Love Dad

meghann said...

hey girl!!!!
to just fill you in.....seth fell off the counter while i was feeding him...trip to urgent care...then ER they did a CAT scan and everything from the fall was fine but the found something ''alarming''....had to do an MRI and thats when they found a not fully formed corpus collosum. whew...that in a nutshell:)
will you be in town soon? id love to see your little girlie!!!!

Carolyn said...

I'm glad Elyana is such a content baby for you and the schedule is working well. Some babies adapt well with that (but not all!). Wesley was a highly predictable every 3 hour eater.

Lorie C said...

Thanks for the update. LOVE, LOVE the pictures. Beautiful family. What a blessing! :-)

Susannah Forshey said...

Beautiful, beautiful girls! Thanks for posting these!