Monday, April 22, 2013

4 months old

4 months old!!!

Ellie bean is 4 months old!!!!  She weighs 15 lbs 7 oz, 25 inches long, and 16 inches around the head. 

All is good. She has to go back for that pre-cautionary ultrasound in 2 months and we've had to start her on allergy medicine. The daycare called one day and told us she had pink eye, turned out to be allergies. We all knew that was coming. It was only a matter of time. 

She's doing really well. She was rolling over a good bit and then just kind of stopped. Kind of like, I'm over it guys. I'm pretty sure she will never roll over from her back to her stomach. She's not even remotely interested. The daycare and the physical therapist said that she was about a month and a half to two months ahead on everything but the rolling over but that probably has something to do with her neck muscles. 

Yep, that's right. We've had a parent/teacher conference already. It was a little ridiculous. She's 4 months old, but I got to leave work early for it so whatever. They just went over how they track her milestones, how they will report it to us, etc. 

We started her on cereal last week. So far I think she likes it. The first night didn't go so well but we waited until she was WAY too tired. We learned our lesson. Now we do cereal, bath, then bottle. 

She is definitely teething so the sleeping through the night has kind of gone out the window right now. She whines in her sleep, never wakes up but you have to physically go in there and put your hand on her chest and ssshh her back to sleep. We are going to have to teach her to self soothe but I think I need to meet the neighbors first and buy them some ear plugs. I've been putting it off because I'm not looking forward to it. She's drooling all over the place, irritable and can't get enough things in her mouth. She's very aggressive about it too. I think we have a biter on our hands. She's also a fit thrower. How we ended up with a drama queen I don't know. She starts kicking and whining and throwing a fit when she doesn't get her way. That's a new development. 

She is also a very very curious little girl. It's becoming harder to feed her a bottle because she's constantly looking around and moving. The only time she is zoned in is when she's watching TV. We just took a 10 hr car ride. I swear she watched TV for half of it. I think that is crazy for a 4 month old. I was so torn about letting her watch so much of it but it was the only way she would forget about the car seat so we had to resort to it. 

That's all I know right now. Next month we are starting vegetables and then we will finally make our way to fruit. She's very very close to sitting up on her own. She does it for about 10 seconds and then falls over. So maybe the next time I post she will be doing some of that. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Big Day for Eleanor

This is an update to the 03/24 post.

On Tuesday, 03/26, Eleanor had a HUGE day. I thought I would post about it so I won't forget it. From now on I think I'll just blog about it and then a couple of days later she will do everything I'm concerned about!

First she had her ultrasound and she did great! Didn't cry, of course they had a TV over the bed playing Mickey Mouse, so they knew what they were doing! LOL. We have to go back in two months because there was a little bit of inflammation on her left side of something (didn't understand where it was) but the doctor didn't seem worried. He said it could've been due to her hydration level or reflux. Going back just for a precautionary thing. I'm going to talk to him more about it on her 4 month appointment in a couple of weeks.

Then the good stuff happened. She finally laughed. FINALLY. Her laugh is kind of a broken laugh and kind of like she is catching her breath.

She slept all night without a swaddle just in a sleep sack. I only had to get up at 4:00 to put a pacifier in her mouth but she never really even woke up. And she slept until 6:30 a.m.!!!! I had to wake her up. She has never slept that late or shall I say never slept that long of a time.

AND she did 5 minutes of tummy time but stopped crying at minute 5 and went another 5 minutes without crying. I almost filmed it because I couldn't believe it.

I'm not sure what got into her that day but it was a great day here in the Hawkins household.

P.S. She also got to FaceTime with her MimiSue and Pop for the first time because MimiSue finally figured out how to work the wireless feature on her phone that she bought just for that purpose :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In loving memory

I found out yesterday that my best friend from about 4 years old to 3rd grade died on Wednesday. I haven't spoken to her in about 10 years but it still hurts. We were best friends until my family moved from the coast and then we became pen pals (before the time of the internet). We stopped writing each other frequently around junior high age just due to life and both of ours being busy.
I remember when she was diagnosed with Lupus. It was right before we moved. I didn't understand what it was but my mom told me she was very sick. For 22 years she's been on so many different drugs, they took such a toll on her body. From what I can tell on her facebook page, she had a brain aneurism which lead to a massive stroke and it was just too hard to overcome. She's been in the hospital for awhile now and started to get better but then things got much worse.
I've never had someone, a friend at least, that I was extremely close to die. It's a strange feeling. Someone in my high school class died that my husband was childhood friends with but I was never really close to him so it didn't hit me like it hit him. I'm sure this won't be last as we all have to meet our maker but the first is always hard.
I keep replaying the few memories that I have in my head. We had a few "spend the night" parties. Me mainly at her house because she had cooler stuff and I had to share a room with my sister and she was sick so I'm assuming that had something to do with it too.
One of my favorite memories was at her birthday "spend the night" party, we rented Dirty Dancing and the VCR's had just started having the freeze buttons and slow motion buttons. They always had the newest technology first. They were the first people I knew who had one of those massive televisions that took up a whole wall. Anyway, we would freeze it on Patrick Swayze's butt and go in slow motion. LOL. First off, I thought she was rich because her VCR did that and secondly I wish there was video of us doing that. A room full of 7 or 8 year olds thinking we were doing something scandalous. LOL. She also had a trampoline and go karts. We had none of those things. The first time I was ever on the internet was at her house. She and her brother showed me and my sister Leslie what a chat room was. The first time Leslie and I were allowed to stay home alone, she came over and kept us company, we played yahtzee all day.
Even though we lost touch with each other she still holds a very important place in my childhood and will be forever missed. I'm glad she no longer has to fight, she's had some really tough battles through the years, she can rest now.
I hope and I know one day Ellie will have a best friend to share her special memories with. When I see them together it will remind me of Jessica.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I'm going through changes...

Long post, sorry. A lot to update.

In 3 days Ellie will be 14 weeks old. So much has happened since my last post. Things are moving at lightning speed. She's looking more and more like her Dad, or at least in my opinion.

I've gotten two full weeks of work down. I must say it is nice to be amongst adults again but I miss her every minute of the day. I used to go in to work and get really focused in and think it was the most important thing of the moment. Now, I stop and watch little videos I've taken of her. I've tried to take little 1 to 2 minute videos of her on my phone so if I miss her I can watch those during the day. I didn't take into account that they would make me tear up! So now I've got a box of Kleenex ready at my desk. This last week I've had to stay late a little bit and it's just killed me. I'm not missing anything but her sleeping but still. I'm sure as more weeks pass it will get better. 

Ellie is doing fantastic or at least I think fantastic. I'm trying hard not to compare her to other babies. She seems to be excelling at some things and a little behind on others. It doesn't help that I have SEVERAL people on facebook that all have babies either a month ahead of her or a month behind her. 

We've gotten into a routine so I guess that's good. We wake up around 5 am (I know, it sucks). She has a bottle and then she plays in her bouncy while I make and eat my breakfast. Then she watches her Baby Einstein while I finish getting dressed. She loves Baby Einstein. There are only two that are for her age right now, Baby Mozart and Baby Beethoven. She kicks and squeals and smiles. She especially likes when the babies come on and when there are flashing lights. Some mornings she's more into than others, but it buys me about 30 minutes to put my makeup on and do whatever else I need to do in the mornings. We DVR'd the new Winnie the Pooh, she seems to like that too but not near how she likes Einstein. She also is very captivated by Nemo but again it can't hold a candle to Einstein. 

Anyway we are out the door by 7 am and she's at daycare by 7:30. Jay picks her up by 4:30 and when she gets home she passes out. We wake her up by 7:30, play for an hour (or at least try to) and then bottle and bed. I try to read to her but by that time she's not having it. Maybe when she gets a little bit older. 

She is a definite TV junkie. I try to limit it to 30 mins a day. But it's a huge shining light box so it's hard to keep her from looking at it. She seeks it out in every room now. Oh well. Hopefully we aren't damaging her too much :)

Other than Einstein her other favorite things to do are to sit up, put things in her mouth and be held. She continues to despise tummy time. We have to do 5 minute sessions and try to get 30 mins in per the physical therapist recommendation. Some days it happens, some it doesn't. The daycare is helping. I have them doing 15 mins a day and we try to get the other 15 mins here. I might have to up their time though. She only sleeps about 3 hours at the daycare so when she gets here she passes out. We have to wake her around 7 or 7:30 to get up and play for a little bit before bed. So it's been really hard to get our 15 mins in. 

She rolled over at daycare but hasn't done it for us yet. I'm sure we will see it but I've about decided that she might skip crawling and move right to walking. Just because she hates being on her stomach so much, but she loves sitting and standing up. 

We've moved her to her crib this week. She has done excellent. The first night, I didn't do so well. This weekend we started making her sleep with one arm out of the swaddle to try and transition her to no swaddle. It's gone okay. She's gotten the other arm out by 3 am both nights and woken up. I just go in put the passy in her mouth and put my hand on her chest and she falls right back asleep but she wakes up every hour with both arms out :( Maybe she will get better as she gets more used to it. The first night we did it was a bust. Her Dad (bless his heart), picked her up and when she wouldn't go back to sleep just put her in the swing and they both went back to sleep. I had to remind him that is not the point, we aren't teaching her to sleep in the swing, we are teaching her to get used to the crib! He said he wanted to go back to bed so that seemed like the best option, LOL. 

She hasn't laughed yet. We either have a very serious baby or this is something she just is behind on. Maybe we just aren't that funny? 

Most of the people reading this are family so I won't go into a long drawn out thing about this because they already know but we had a scare and had our first trip to the emergency room. She's fully recovered but UTI's are not anything to play with. I've made it 31 years without being in an ambulance. I can now say I've been in one. At least we were driving the speed limit without the lights on. We go for her renal sonogram on Tuesday and then hopefully we can put all of this behind us. 

We went to a house warming party last night for one of my co-workers. There were lots of other babies there ranging from 2 weeks old (I know, at 2 weeks I was not thinking about going to any kind of party) to 4 years old. There were two 4 month olds there. Ellie is so much taller and bigger boned then they are. I don't know if these were freakishly small babies or what. She is not fat at all, she's just big. One of them was having to wear one of those helmets. I just kept saying, we are blessed. I know those are just temporary but they are an added nuisance. 

Well that's all for now. Once we get her used to the crib and no swaddle I'm going to start working on putting her down and letting her fall asleep on her own. She doesn't do that now. She has to be rocked. We will get there though. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time Flies

Ellie is 9 weeks old as of yesterday. We are both doing pretty good.

So much has changed in this last month, even in this last week. I think it's only going to pick up the pace from here.

She giggled for the first time today. It was in her sleep. My heart melted a little. All I want now is for her to do it again. She's cried so much in the last 2 months it's a warm and welcome sound.

I'm starting prepare myself for going back to work. I REALLY don't want to go but there are some things in life in which we have no choice. In this matter I have no choice. Part of me wishes so badly that Jay had his "career job" now and was making a good salary so I could stay. Even then we would have to make sacrifices because of our student loan debt but I think I could make those.

I know that once the first couple of weeks pass this can only be a good thing. She's going to be playing with other kids, in a routine, there are no TVs, she's going to be on a curriculum-- I probably couldn't even do that. I'm going to be back amongst adults and in a routine as well. This is going to be good. Or at least that is what I'm telling myself. Every maternal instinct in me wants to be with her though and be in charge of her development and protect her but that is not a part of our story. It's just not in the cards unless I win the lottery.

We are working really really hard on a schedule. I don't know why because it's probably all going to change with the daycare situation. She still isn't sleeping through the night, which I believe that most babies this age aren't. I want to slap all of those women on the message boards who say that their babies don't cry and have been sleeping through the night since the beginning. Ugh. There were two nights in a row where she slept for 7 hours straight and I was the happiest person on the planet probably. She just tricked me with that. Her normal span is about a 5 hour and then she wakes and then another 2 or 3 hour span. She has such trouble with the startle reflex so she has to be swaddled and then when she is swaddled she wants out of it and squirms the whole night. If I put her in horizontal she usually always is vertical by the time I pick her up.

I'm hoping this startle reflex will go away soon because she's getting too big and strong for swaddling. Once that goes away we are in for some long nights! I have to say, and this is kind of cruel, but I'm going to be happy when Jay has to start helping with the night shifts. Right now he only handles about 2 on the weekends and that's it. He has no clue. Once I go back to work, it's going to be an equal opportunity night shift situation whether he likes it or not.

Another thing she is going through right now is only being quite when I'm holding her. I feel bad for Jay, it's so sad. He can barely hold her without her crying. I don't know why we've moved into this faze or how we get out of it. She will scream until she's handed to me and then shuts up. I'm sure she will have a faze when she only wants Daddy but right now this is exhausting and frustrating for me! My father came to visit and she was good for the most part but she had to be handed to me a couple of times.

We start physical therapy next Tuesday. She has torticollis. I think its going to be fine but she's going to HATE it at first. The first appointment is 1 to 2 hours long in her fussy time of the day so I'm looking forward to it...NOT. Jay is taking off and going with me so we can both watch and see what kind of stretches she's going to need to be doing. I'm not sure how involved this is going to be, I hope not too much. I'm not sure work is going to like me taking off more than once a week. I'm hoping we won't have to go back after the first visit but I'm sure that's just a pipe dream.

On my front of things I'm doing good. About two weeks ago my incision opened up on the edge which was pretty painful. It's on its way back to healing. You know they tell you not to do too much, they really mean it. Its not a joke. I had all of these glorious plans of getting into a workout routine and working off some of this weight while I was out of work and home with her. I don't think that working out is part of the c-section recovery plan as I've found out. LOL. Oh well, the plans will have to wait.

That's all I know right now. She now weighs basically 13 lbs, 23 and a half inches long and her head is 16 inches around, I think. She's a big baby. She has new hair coming in which is kind of a weird blonde/light brown/red looking hair. Her head is kind of odd right now because she has dark and light hair on it. It looks dark in most lights but in pics and in the sunlight you can see all of the different colors.

We are going home in two weekends and I can't wait for her to meet all of her Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I think her 5 aunts and 2 grandmothers are about to burst wanting to see her.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1 month report

Ellie turned 1 month yesterday. I can't believe we are at the 4 week mark!

We are learning more about each other each day. I can't wait until she starts laughing and playing. Right now she smiles on occasion, like a real smile..not a gas smile. It's the sweetest smile ever (I'm sure every parent says that). She likes this mirror that I bought her. It's bright colors with zebra print trim. She will stare at that for about 15 to 20 mins which I think is good for a newborn. She follows things for just a second and I have this book called white on black. Its a black book with white shapes, like a bottle or bird, she likes that too. I'm trying to read/or tell her a story every day and let her listen to music at least an hour a day instead of the TV. She's going to have a very diverse music knowledge. We go from Beyonce to Beach Boys to the Mamas and the Papas to The Beatles to Aretha Franklin.

There is this one song that I went through a span of listening to every single morning on the way to work and singing at the top of my lungs. It's Selena's, I could fall in love, I swear to you it calms her down. I don't know if she can recognize it from the womb or it's just a coincidence but one day she was screaming I would turn the song on and she would shut up! I tried to get it on tape but I suck at video recording, all I got was her being quite while it was on. It's probably all in my head but I think she remembers.

Since this weekend we've reverted back to our crying games. Poor thing. It's definitely gas related. She wakes up in the middle of a nap screaming and then falls back to sleep. Last night, she pooted, burped and sneezed at the same time, it was impressive. It scared her so much you would have thought we were torturing her. I'm sure it hurt a little too.

She stays hopped up on mylicon, mylanta or gripe water. We have a system down. It's mylicon for most occasions, if she's spitting up a good bit we give her the mylanta instead because it's suppose to coat her stomach and esophagus (we use this as a second choice because it has less mylicon in it, then just giving mylicon) and then at night before bed if she's really fussy we give her gripe water. It seems to calm her down a good bit. All of this is as needed, of course. I try not to give her too much. I don't know why it bothers me but it really disturbs me to have her take so much medicine but as my mother says, you want her to feel good not be in pain and if I have something that helps, I should use it.

I've been reading and apparently this fussiness is very common and usually peaks at 6 weeks. I sure hope hers does. The other night Jay asked me when I thought she would stop all of this crying stuff, I said, I don't know but I hope so soon. Then I was thinking, dude you are only dealing with it like 6 hours a day now, you don't even know the half of it and I'm pretty sure we are getting some kind of payback from when he was a baby! There are so many parents out there on blogs who are just as frustrated as we/I am. I take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone. You can hear the desperation in their blogs or posts. I feel their pain. It's so damn irritating and frustrating and then you get mad at yourself for being so irritated because she can't help it. It's a vicious cycle. It'll get better though, I know it will. At least she's not as bad as what they say Jay was like. That's a blessing.

She's eating about 25 to 30 ozs a day now. I think that's a lot for her age but she acts like we are starving her. Damn, formula is expensive! I think we are wasting a lot too. I've got to start watching what we are wasting.

She also is outgrowing the smallest of her clothes :( It's too soon. She's very long so the onesies with the footies are the ones that are getting the closest to being put up.

That's all I've got right now. Here's a picture of her yesterday. She was pretty grumpy so I didn't get many good shots. She always does the best when there is no flash!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Sweetest Thing

She's here!!

Sorry it's been awhile, I've been kind of busy. This will be long so settle in.

Eleanor Louise Hawkins made her debut on 12/18/12 at 5:32 p.m. via c-section. She's just beautiful. Everything that they say happens when your baby is born is not a happens. A whole chamber of my heart that I did not know existed has filled up with love. I didn't know you could love something so much. It's terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. To quote the song below, my heart is now ruined for the rest of all time.

What's in a name? 
Her name was finally revealed. I can't believe I didn't slip. Back in August, my sister Katie, text me and said that I should name her Eleanor and call her Norah. That's what started the Eleanor discussion. Jay didn't like it at first so I started calling her that just to mess with him. At that time he was DEAD SET on Margaret/Maggie. I have a first cousin named Margaret/Maggie and just couldn't do it. So Eleanor started to grow on him. It met all of our requirements, it was traditional, not in the top 25, had tons of possible nicknames, a Kardashian hadn't used it yet, it was a royal name (wasn't a requirement but that's where Jay wanted to start when we started looking) and it just happened to be the name of one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite Jane Austen movies- Sense and Sensibility, it was also a name in a Beatles song (something that I kept going to for reference because both of our fathers love the Beatles so much) . 
So when he decided that this was his favorite, I started having reservations, mainly because he wanted her nickname to be Ellie. That sounds way too much like Kelli. I can just see a lifetime of someone calling our names and the other going, "did you call me?". I really didn't want that but in the end he's the one thats going to have to answer that question the most so if he's okay with it, I guess I am. So we were still undecided until our last trip home. I was leaning towards it but just still didn't know. 
Then I guess what put me over the edge was a song. Music is such an important part of my life and I often turn to music for my answers. It was only fitting that a song led me to my conclusion. 

One of our favorite bands released their new album in late September/early October. After about a week or two of trying to convince me that Eleanor was the name. Jay had been listening to the new CD at work and came home one day and said there was a song on there that one of them had written for their daughter and her name was Eleanor and it was a sign. I just kind of wrote it off. Then on one of our trips home Jay played it for me. It was so beautiful, I knew it was time to give up and give in. It was a sign. This band is about one of 5 that we actually agree on and we pilgrimaged to Colorado for my 30th birthday to their concert. It had to be a sign. The universe was telling us to name her Eleanor. Below is a link to the song.

As for her middle name. That wasn't decided on until the week of her birth. I've only truly known two grandmother type figures in my life. My great-grandmother, Nanny, who died when I was in the 6th grade, and Jay's grandmother, who I only knew for a short time but was so loving and special to me and obviously Jay. She was the kind of grandmother everyone who doesn't have one wishes they did, she reminded me of Nanny. One of my grandmothers died when I was very young and the other was not the grandmothering type. While I didn't spend a WHOLE lot of time with my Nanny, she was still all I've really had growing up. Well they both share the name Louise.   My great-grandmother's first name, Jay's grandmother's middle name. I really really wanted to use it but it had already been used by Jay's sister on our niece. We were so torn. Finally after combing the name book and not finding anything we liked as much and had as much meaning, we decided to ask Jay's sister. She gave us her blessing and now it's history. So Thank You Robyn, I wouldn't have been able to use it if you hadn't have said it was okay. 

Okay so now you know how we got to the name. 

She's a beautiful little girl. I'm sure I'm just a little biased. She looks like her Dad from the nose up and has my mouth and chin. I think her eyes are going to be blue. Jay thinks that they are turning Hazel like his. We shall see.

We are learning more about each other each day. She's been a little fussy but we are working through it. It gets better every day. The poor thing has such a problem with gas. We are doing everything possible for it but it's just not enough sometimes. She's pretty pleasant but she has about 2 or 3 hours a day when she's just fussy and there is nothing we can do to help her. Her birth weight was 8 lbs, as of last week she was already 9 lbs and I think she's gained some since then. She is VERY serious about eating. I would expect nothing less of my daugher. She's got a very long body and short legs, just like her Dad. The newborn clothes are starting to get a little too short for her. 

So far the biggest disappointment has been the feeding part. I wish I had been more educated and prepared for the breastfeeding part of it. I knew the bare minimum going in and should've armed myself with more knowledge. She started to refusing to breastfeed the night before we came home from the hospital. She would buck back and scream at the top of her lungs.  The nurses were frustrated just like I was. The pediatrician said she wasn't getting enough and to supplement with formula until my milk came in. Well, it never came in. Looking back and researching, there were some things I should have been doing to help it come in that I wasn't and didn't know about but it's too late now. She's eating around 25 to 28 oz a day now, even if I started back today I wouldn't be able to keep upI can't keep with that. I was only going to breastfeed for about 8 weeks but I still am disappointed that I didn't make it happen. At least she got about 3 days of the colostrum, though. I feel like I've let her down somehow.

I'm doing great. I have days that I think I can do more than I can and I regret it later. I've never dealt with healing a surgery wound before so I don't know quite how to act. I feel so bad when Jay has to do everything and quite frankly sometimes I just want it done my way (when I say this, I'm mainly referring to the loading of the dishwasher, I'm a little particular about it) :)

I've been pretty emotional. I'm sure it's the hormones and lack of sleep. I keep thinking, man I can't wait until we get back to normal and then I realize there is no old normal anymore. I knew this going in but it's really setting in now. Jay and I were in such a routine and rhythm now it's all been turned upside down. It's a good upside down but for someone who doesn't like change it's an adjustment and I find myself already nostalgic for being able to stop and do whatever I want. 

I also for whatever reason last week found myself nostalgic for being pregnant. There was a lot to hate about it but I missed her being there for some reason. When I was pregnant she only relied on me and no one else, now anyone can take care of her and I have to share her with the world.  It's a selfish thought,  I know. Everyone on the internet says it's just the hormones and this is normal. I haven't felt that way this week but it was something that I've been going through. 

Last but not least, I have a wonderful husband and best friend. Jay has been SO great. I realize that some women are not so lucky and for the life of me don't know how anyone can do this on their own. I have a new found respect for anyone who has. He took off two weeks to be with me, he has done almost everything around the house and all of our errand running. The sweetest thing he's done for us is slept with me on the couch for the first two weeks. She hasn't been going in her pack and play so it's been basically the swing or me for sleeping. So we've been living on the couch in the living room. Well Jay has a REAL problem with waking up. He can't, basically.  So because of this, up until this week he's been sleeping close so I won't have to get up and go physically shake him if I need him in the middle of the night. I think that is a sweet gesture. The second night here I was literally standing by him, with Ellie screaming in my arms, yelling his name and I had to shake him several times before he would wake up. It's crazy. The poor guy, he just can't help it. I'm glad one of us is a light sleeper!! 

Well I'll try to update more later. Gotta go try to catch some Z's while she is sleeping.