Thursday, June 28, 2007

peek a boo, the secret is out


Yesterday, Isabella started doing this with me when I was feeding her. While she was in her high chair, I was doing what I'm always doing when feeding her - getting her to eat while entertaining her. Oftentimes singing to her does the trick. She'll open her mouth and eat what I'm feeding her. At one point, I played peek a boo with her, cover my eyes and then revealing them. Sometimes I'd cover her eyes, saying "peek-a-boo," uncover them and then say, "I see you!" Well, she would cover her own eyes, at which I'd say, "peek a boo." As soon as she uncovered her eyes, I'd say, "I see you!"

Well, she performed this tonight for Troy, Manda, & Johnny! Repeatedly. Go baby!

Who needs a baby that can pull herself up, cruise along furniture, or walk, when you have baby who can actively play peek a boo with you. Yay!

Doing the daddy magic

For a week now, Troy's been putting Isabella down to sleep at night. What a wonderful husband and daddy. That's super fantastic for many reasons:

1. He's giving me some time to myself - it can take 20 to 30 minutes or so to get her to sleep.
2. She gets to hear him read her a story.
3. They get a special activity just the two of them.

I'm sure there are more benefits; I'm just too tired to think of them at the moment. I call Troy
putting Isabella to sleep, "doing the daddy magic," because it is!

who got sleep last night? not us, not us!

Isabella woke us up around 2:30 AM or so this morning. I kept hoping it was a momentary wimper and she'd go back to sleep. Nope, not at all. She was getting angrier and more frustrated by the moment.

I went and took a look at her. She was moving around her crib, crying in desperation. Picked her up. Usually that does the trick. Nope, still mad. Besides the fact that she's been sleeping overnight since December, sleeping until anywhere from 5:30 to 7:15 (more recently) in the morning, perhaps she's hungry. Maybe she's going on one of those growth spurts I'm not aware of at the moment. I really didn't want to do anything that would encourage her to wake up in the middle of the night on a continual basis, but something had to be done. So, I nursed her.

By this time, I was pretty awake, as much as a sleeping zombie who's been awaken by a crying baby can be. When she was seemingly done eating/drinking/nursing (whatever the proper verb is), I asked Troy if he'd mind putting her to sleep. What a trooper, that husband and daddy.

Well, I continued to hear crying for awhile. She was a very discontent little munchkin - screaming, screaming, screaming. I went into her room and asked Troy whether he thought she was cutting teeth. Yup. And, she was drooling all over the place. These days, she's not a drooler, unless she's teething. We wanted to lessen the pain she's experiencing, so we gave her some Infant Tylenol. I was hoping that would kick in in 20 minutes or less.
Poor Troy, he looked so zonked out. I took Isabella back. She and I went through her sleep routine, except I read "Goodnight Moon" to her four or five times and read "Bear Snores On" once. Then I put on some Yo Yo Ma on and put her in her crib. I gently laid a hand on her and sang to her for some twenty minutes. By this time she was calmer but not yet asleep.

I needed a drink of water, so I went to the kitchen to get some. From there, I heard the little munchkin crying again, louder with each cry. Great. I had not succeeded in getting her to sleep, and it was now nearing 4:15 or so in the morning. Still have a class in the morning to teach! I went into our bedroom to ask for Troy's help in getting her to sleep. I had to try and get some sleep.

After some twenty to thirty minutes, I heard no more crying. No more Troy either. Too tired, I finally conked out. In the morning, after I heard Isabella's wimper after 7 o'clock; I saw that Troy had laid in the twin bed in her room, and Isabella slept on top of him. Awwwwww. Troy couldn't have gotten deep sleep that way. But, it looked very, very sweet.

Oh, and, when Isabella was laughing, Troy caught sight of why she was so miserable. She's cutting two teeth, one in the top middle and one on the bottom. These are teeth #4 and 5.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My top ten list

Here is my list of ten baby necessities. Just my personal preferences. Please note that some of these items have to do with nursing, but that is no knock on mommies that don't breastfeed. These are in no particular order.

Lily's top ten list:

1. diapers (and wipes).

2. onesies - i love, love, love onesies. whenever isabella is at home, that's all she wears. don't have to worry about a loose shirt constantly needing to be pulled down. only downside to onesies is that when little babies poop out of their diaper, which can be quite frequent in breastfed babies, the only way to get the onesie is over their precious little heads. this might involve pulling a soiled onesie (you can use your imagination) over their heads.

3. nursing bras - these make life much easier. i got a few bravado bras, and they suit me quite well. my only complaint about nursing bras, in general, is that they don't really support your breasts. oh well, at least they make nursing convenient.

4. nursing cover - my sister gave me a baby au lait nursing cover for Christmas.

it's different from what you find at target or other discount stores. a little plastic piece inserted at the top of the fabric allows you to see the baby without using either hand. isabella was already 3 months old when i got this cover. i sure wish i had it sooner. being confined to the house most of the day, everyday, due to nursing, was . . . depressing and difficult.

5. an electric breastpump - i had a medela advanced pump in style. got it on ebay. i'm sure something less fancy would have worked fine. but, having an electric pump sure beat hand pumps; hand pumps made my hand sore and they were difficult to coordinate.

6. Baby Bjorn - isabella loves being in the baby bjorn. in her colicky days, that was only way to semi-calm her down.

7. Infant Car Seat - The infant car seat is safer (than a convertible car seat) for infants. The downfall is that sometimes babies outgrow the infant car seat by ten months and another seat has to be purchased. Having a base, into which the car seat snaps, makes running errands and going places much easier than figuring out how to securely fasten the car seat in with a seatbelt each time. Graco makes one of the best and one of the most reasonably priced infant car seats.

Troy's mom and dad gave us a sweet traveling system as a gift. See my June 14, 2006 posting for more details.

8. Pack 'n Play - we love our Pack 'n Play. Isabella isn't the content-playing-in-the-Pack'n Play sort of gal. But, in her early months, that was her bed. Her crib was in her room, and we weren't about to disassemble it, to bring it into our room. To this day, we still use the changing table portion of the Pack 'n Play to change her diapers.

We have the Graco Pack 'n Play, Oxford Blues.

9. crib - I'm not making any backhanded comments on people who have chosen different paths for their little ones. Troy and I didn't want Isabella to sleep in our bed indefinitely. We knew we ultimately wanted her to sleep in her own space. Since May, she has been sleeping in her own bed, in her own room. The transition was tougher on me, probably, than anyone else. I really liked having Isabella so close by. But, this way, Troy and I have our own space. . .

10. bouncer or take-along swing - I am not entirely sure what to put down as my tenth item. Dear friends gave us a brand new one of each of these, a Fisher Price Oceans Wonder Take-Along Swing and a Fisher Price Oceans Wonder Bouncer. Lots of my friends swore by these as great for entertaining the baby. Isabella didn't really enjoy either one of these until she was older.

You're not supposed to use the bouncer once the baby can pull herself up. Although Isabella hasn't figured that out, yet; she seems to be a bit heavy for the bouncer.

We still put her in the swing. It's great for a short period of time, if you need to take care of some stuff and need to keep her safe. Isabella is not a sit-in-the-Pack-'n-Play kind of gal, so the swing is a better alternative for us. Ofcourse, one doesn't want to leave a baby unattended. Isabella can stop the swing from moving. And, I've spotted her playing with the buckles. No telling when she'll figure out how to unlatch herself.


I'm not in favor of gathering lots of baby gear, because it's a waste of money and space. Certainly I don't want to rob babies of learning, engaging with the world, or having fun. I'm definitely not ignoring stuff I'm glad we have: a tummy-time mat, books (can't have enough of those), and toys. But, this is my version of stuff we can't do without.

Oh, and by the way, speaking of gear, I love our high chair. We didn't get a space-saver - a booster seat, because we don't have any good chairs that can secure such a thing. The high chair makes feeding Isabella a lot easier and she can be entertained in the chair too! We got the Oceans Wonder Aquarium High Chair, pictured below:

Friday, June 22, 2007

Strawberries & bread; she seems to like those

Yesterday, I was snacking on some strawberries that Troy had washed for me. Isabella seemed quite interested. Since I wasn't eating anything unhealthy like candy, icecream, or the like, I tore off a little piece and gave it to her. She loved it!

Then, as Troy was making himself a tuna sandwich, I asked him for a small piece of bread. Gave her tiny pieces at a time. She liked that, too.

Am going to slowly introduce real people food (as opposed to baby food). She still seems to like regular bananas. We shall see what else she likes!

At her 9-month visit this past Wednesday, her pediatrician said it was okay to give her meat. I don't want to give her babyfood meat at this point. But, I may try giving her some of what we eat sometime.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

my attendance at La Leche League meeting yesterday

Went to La Leche League meeting for the first time in quite awhile, yesterday night. Quite a few mommies and babies were there, including one little one still hooked up to oxygen. Two mommies had babies that were each three months old, only a few days apart. Both have returned to work. One in particular was worried about milk production. With her baby in day care, she's trying to pump as often as possible, but she's constantly on her feet, moving back and forth, leaving very little to no time for pumping. One of the facilitators encouraged her to squeeze in some more pumping sessions, such as right before she nurses first thing in the morning. Contra what people think, pumping immediately before nursing does not leave insufficient amounts of milk for a baby. Then I added my two cents worth.

After telling what a good job and a good mommy she's been, I reminded her, especially given how busy she is, how vital drinking liquids, sleeping well, and eating more affects breast milk supply. She admitted to not eating like she should. I hope she found my words to be a source of positive motivation.

Isabella's 9 month checkup

Yesterday, Isabella turned 9 months old. Her 9 month checkup was this morning, with Dr. Martin Garza.

Her stats.:
18 pounds, 13 ounces.
27 inches long.
head circumference (she hated having this done): 19 inches.

In general, Dr. Garza thinks that Isabella is coming along well. Her head is still growing "rapidly," but we've gotten a CT-scan of her head, so he wasn't worried. Hello, both of her parents were present today; didn't he see the size of our heads?

No shots today. But, she had some blood drawn to check for anemia. She screamed bloody murder.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Teaching baby not to bite while nursing

Isabella has four teeth now, two on top and two on bottom. She's 9 months old today. She's trying to figure out how her new teeth work, and unfortunately, some of those experimental times occur when I'm nursing her.

Wow, those crunches REALLY hurt. But, that's not good enough reason to end the nursing altogether.

When she does bite down, I unlatch her, put my index finger on her lips, and say, "no." The "no" isn't suppose to be angry or loud; otherwise she might become afraid of nursing, by associating loud, scary voices with the breast. From what I've read, Isabella may not understand the concept of "no," but if I'm consistent, and every time "no" is followed by the milk going away, she will learn that Mommy's breast is not a place where she can chomp.

Though I haven't had much time to observe whether this is working entirely, so far, she's doing pretty well. She doesn't bite in the early morning nursing or the last nursing. And, in the last day or so, she's gotten much better about not biting at all when nursing. Yay! I'm optimistic that very soon, she'll comply with not biting at all when nursing.

Lecithin, the wonder drug for preventing recurring problems with clogged ducts

As a nursing mom who has had many instances of clogged ducts issues, I'm so glad that my sister recommended I take Lecithin gel tablets. Since that time, I haven't had any clogged ducts issues. Another friend, after having mastitis twice, was recommended by her doctor to take Lecithin, in addition to some other supplements.

This is by no means medical advice to you people reading this. I'm simply saying that from my own experience, I am ever thankful for Lecithin. Taking Lecithin doesn't do away with engourgement issues, but it has taken away clogged duct issues. For awhile clogged ducts was the bain of my existence. It made nursing painful, especially on one breast. Made me think twice about continuing to breastfeed. Don't get me wrong, neither mastitis or clogged ducts were going shake me from my commitment to breastfeed our daughter. I'm just saying it was uncomfortable and excruciatingly painful (when I had mastitis).

Now, the only thing that makes me shudder when nursing is when Isabella bites me with those little sharp teeth of hers. And yes, I am handing that issue.

Here is some helpful reading on Lecithin: Lecithin treatment for recurrent plugged ducts.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Teething troubles


Poor, poor baby. She's been having lots of teething trouble lately. In fact, Thursday night, I broke down and gave her Infant Tylenol. She wasn't running a fever; I don't think. But, she was in so much pain. Usually I don't have any problems consoling her when I hold her, but that wasn't the case Thursday night.

Moments before I took this shot, she had both hands in her mouth. As soon as I flashed my camera in front of her, Isabella started smiling! You wouldn't know she wasn't in the greatest mood.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Diana & Isabella, and Maritza & Isabella

We went to Manda & Johnny's for bible study Friday night, less than half a day ago. Diana held Isabella for quite a bit. As much as I love, love, love our little munchkin, I was much relieved by the little break.

Isabella & Diana.

Maritza, Isabella, and Diana.

Maritza, Diana & Monte's daughter, has taken quite a liking to Isabella. In fact, Maritza would love to spend a night with us, and I doubt the reason is due to Troy and me. Anyways, Maritza was nuzzling with Isabella. So cute!

She has finally figured out how to make the "ma ma" sounds

FINALLY! Isabella has figured out how to make the "ma ma ma ma" sound. Today, well technically yesterday (Friday, June 15th), she said that off and on throughout the day. I know, I know, she won't know who is "da da da da" and who is "ma ma ma ma" for awhile yet, but we take what we can get!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

ear infections

This article came from, in particular Ear Infection Basics:

Ear Infection Basics

Article By:
Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.
View Biography
Your baby has reached the age when earaches and ear infections often begin. They may follow a cold. If your baby suddenly develops a fever, becomes very irritable, cries while swallowing, or pulls at her ear, an ear infection is likely. Here are a few ear infection basics:
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen can help ease the discomfort.
If you suspect that your baby has an earache, call your baby's health care provider.
Your baby's health care provider may prescribe antibiotics, but most ear infections are caused by viruses — in which case antibiotics generally aren't effective.
Have your baby's provider do an ear check two to three weeks after she's recovered to be sure the infection is gone completely.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Diarrhea of the mouth

I was speaking with one of my good friends by phone today, and I loved an expression she used, "diarrhea of the mouth," used in reference to people who say whatever is on their mind without filtering anything out or considering the feelings of others around them.

We were chatting about mommy/baby stuff. I was warned, while pregnant, that everyone and their mothers will have plenty of unsolicited advice to pass my way once the baby arrives. Though I have a pretty good imagination, I had no idea the frequency or magnitude of such unsolicited advice. Isabella was always on the growth chart (not off of it) but was smaller than many of her peers for awhile, especially when she was three to four months old. Those who knew that she was an entirely breastfed baby, would often explain or even exclaim, whenever she cried, "She must be hungry."

Yah sure, babies NEVER cry for any other reason, besides being hungry. They don't cry when they're tired, when they're bored, when they have a full diaper. . .

In hindsight, I wish I had said something like . . . we're trying a new experiment. We're seeing what a malnourished baby will look like. Will her skin be paler? Will her hair fall out? Will her hair turn bright red?

These people who tell everything on their minds about how one ought to be raising her babies are exhibiting diarrhea of the mouth. They don't care what the particular circumstances are, what experts actually say about the specific topics, or what the feelings of the receiving end are. They just wanted to be heard, however inaccurate or offensive the words spoken are. Okay, I'm done now.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

She's sticking her feet into her mouth

Twice today, I've seen her sticking a foot into her mouth. Wasn't fast enough to grab a camera and snap a picture of it happening. But it is!

Look out, she's crawling fast!

Took these pictures yesterday. She was in the study with Troy. Then I called out to her from the kitchen, and she started crawling towards me. She really didn't need a toy as an incentive, but I put one there anyways. Within minutes, she was in the kitchen. She found temporary distractions on the way, in the dining area; the folding chairs and folding table fascinated her.

I'm finding out what's not baby-proof in the home, as she explores her abode.