Sunday, November 25, 2012

Almost 5 months old!

Forgive the "drunk" eyes, but she's rockin a beanie I made!
Things were crazy for a while!  Not that life has calmed down all that much, but I feel like I have a little better handle on it now.  We've had job shifts, symphony started back up, and Mom had back surgery so she can't babysit alone for a couple more months and I need to help at her house a bunch.  We had a good Thanksgiving and now I'm working on getting both houses dressed up for Christmas a little bit at a time since Mom can't lift anything yet. 

1 month old: 10lb 1.5oz, 20in long
2 months old: 11lb 15.5oz, 24in long (yeah, we skipped over most of the 0-3 month size here lol)
3 months old: 14lbs, 25in long
4 months old: 15lbs 14.5oz, 25 7/8in long
5 months old: we'll find that out in a little over a week when she goes in for her next booster, but I think she grew long again in the last month.

She still makes this kissy face when she's sleep-stretching
As we can see, around the time of my last posting Amelia was having a HUGE growth spurt and basically skipped over most of her 0-3month size clothes and went into 3-6.  We're just now getting into 6-9 for most of it, but a few 3-6 still fit and some needs to be a 9.  Again with the huge discrepancy between brands.  Part of that is the extra fluff on her bum, but I'm happy to put her in a size up if it means I don't have to run to the store for diapers EVER.  There have been a lot of times when I was very glad to not have to borrow Mom's car, go to town, worry about whether we can afford them, wonder what size to get and what brand, and deal with the garbage.  It's much easier for me to just run a load of laundry when I'm down to 3-ish changes.

Around the middle of September she started
staring intently at her right fist.
As for development, she is currently at a bit of a plateau but I think she'll probably roll over, cut a tooth, and sit up on her own all on the same day.  She's been working on all of that very hard for a good month now and she's aaaaaaaaaaalmost there.  Her first smile (on purpose) came in August but her first belly laughs were in early October.  She's really ticklish sometimes and B can get huge laughs out of her.  I have videos of a lot of that but can't seem to upload them here, unfortunately.  She's become very vocal and likes to join in conversations and "sing" along, but of course she has no volume or pitch control yet.  It's rather hilarious.  She discovered her hands in mid-September and is now getting better every day controlling them.  She's drooling like a faucet and some days she's downright miserable until she gets a good gum massage and some tylenol, but I can't see a tooth coming through yet.  I wish it would hurry up, I think it's waking her up at night.  She still spits up a lot.  It was steadily getting better for a while there but it's getting bad again.  She's wearing a hazelwood necklace to theoretically help with that, but those do wear out, plus the extra saliva from teething probably makes matters worse.  Maybe I'll try an amber necklace next time to help with the teething and maybe the spitup will diminish again.  I've figured out that I have a strong milk ejection reflex, which she has to gulp to keep up with sometimes, so she swallows a lot of air.  Frequent smaller feedings help with that but burping more often doesn't do much, since the extra jostling pretty much guarantees a large spew.  She does much better if I watch for signs that she has a bubble and unlatch her, then keep her reclined for a little while.  Lately she's been sitting herself up after eating, which is fine if that's what she wants to do.  The bad spitups are usually an hour or so after eating, but they still won't put her on reflux meds.  I hope she just grows out of it soon.

Go go motor skills!  She's getting much better at
getting things to her mouth on the first try.
She was sleeping really well for a while.  For a whole week she slept through the night, but after that she was up every 2 hours again, then settled into getting up once for a month or so.  Now she'll sleep 4-6 hours at the beginning of the night, then be up every 2 hours after that.  She doesn't nap very well during the day despite my efforts.  Usually she'll sleep for 20-30 minutes max, then be fighting sleep an hour or 2 later so it takes forever to calm her down again so she can take another short nap.  She'll sleep for 2 hours down at Mom's house sometimes, and I'm not exactly sure what's so different down there but it works out fine when she gets a good nap there.  Some days we go down just to get a change of scenery and hope that she'll take a big nap so I can get a break and maybe get some work done.  I have music to compose and instruments to practice, not to mention trying to run my household and help with Mom's, then holiday stuff.  When I think I should get a job I have to remind myself that I'm going crazy trying to keep up as it is and kick myself.  

We're still going strong with nursing.  I don't get why people said "good luck with that" when I told them I wanted to nurse and cloth diaper.  It's honestly easier and a TON cheaper.  I have some trouble pumping though, unfortunately.  She nurses so often during the day that I don't really have time to pump between feedings unless I want to constantly have either her or the pump attached to me all day, plus the fact that she doesn't nap that well.  I need to pump when I get home from work or rehearsal, but if it's been too long I only get the thin foremilk, which I can't feed her or it really upsets her stomach.  It's like a switch flips around 4 hours after the last feeding and I can't pump the cream out anymore.  It's bizarre and I've tried lots of stuff to fix that, but the only thing that really does is to pump more often.  I'm not sure how to get that done during rehearsal, since it would be smack in the middle of rehearsal that I'd need to do it and it's not exactly a good thing for me to leave rehearsal to attempt to use the manual pump, which I can't get much out with anyway.  Because of the pumping issue, she gets formula when I'm not home.  She tolerates it well and spits up less from bottles anyway, but I had to get over the guilt of that and just forgive myself.  I was stressing out too much over trying to pump as much as she needs while I'm gone and it was hurting my supply to have my stress level be that high, which made it even harder.  I have some milk frozen but that needs to be saved for the long concert weekends in Gillette so she's not strictly on formula all weekend.  She and B came with me last time but she became inconsolable at the hotel while I was in rehearsal and it ended up being an expensive weekend, so next time I'm going alone.  I hope it works out okay... I'm not looking forward to spending all weekend with the pump, but we'll get a lot more money out of my paycheck from that if it's just me going and Amy will probably be more comfortable at home than in a strange hotel, even if I'm not around.

Finally, at 4 months old, tummy time isn't torture!
A few minutes' worth, anyway.  I think she wants to
skip crawling entirely.
We started feeding Amy applesauce a couple of weeks ago.  :)  Mom and I sometimes get produce from Bountiful Baskets and one of those times we got a big box of apples.  We ate about half of them and the rest became applesauce.  Amelia, being the way she is, insists on being a part of dinnertime, so she's much happier getting a little applesauce than just watching everybody else eat.  It's not for nutrition, and as much as she loves it I don't let her have much at a time, and of course I'm getting "the talk" from the nurse/practitioner that we've been seeing for her shots about her not needing food yet.  I know she doesn't need solids, but she's showing all kinds of signs that tell me she's ready to eat at the dinner table with the family, so I'm letting her do it.  I'm going to try and get her appointments moved back to Dr. S after her next booster... the nurse is nice enough but she's said a lot of things that completely undermine my instincts and sense of what's right to do for my daughter.  For example, she can't possibly be teething until the tooth is ready to erupt.  How, then, do we explain the drooling, gnawing, and misery that comes and goes?  I realize I'm not a medical professional but I know when my baby's mouth hurts.

B's new job is working out much better.  Nuff said.  :)  I picked up a side job placing banner and floor ads in local grocery stores, which ends up being 15-20 hours a month or so but I can do it mostly on weekends when B's home so I don't have to get a babysitter or wait for Dad to be home.  I'm playing all 4 concerts in the Powder River Symphony this year and didn't play in the October concert in the Black Hills Symphony but I'm on horn for the one coming up next weekend, and possibly for the rest of the season since one of my fellow hornists is VERY pregnant and due shortly after the concert. :) I'm very happy for her and equally happy that I might get to stay in the horn section for a while instead of working on both horn and cello all the time.  I don't get a whole lot of practice time so it helps a lot to only need to practice one instrument.

Mom's back surgery went very well and has already removed several years' worth of pinched nerve pain, and I suspect that pain has been going on for 15 years or something so by the time she fully recovers from the surgery she'll be in less pain than she was 15 years ago.  Hooray for that!  At least we got the surgery done before Amelia becomes mobile, so we're not chasing her around the house just yet.

Hopefully the next update will be soon, since theoretically things should start to calm down in a little while.  By then, I'll probably have a scooter... yikes!