Saturday, December 6, 2014

One month old Anna Kate

Anna Kate is now six weeks old! Hard to believe. Honestly, I'm ready to move on from this stage. I know, I know. I should be "cherishing" this time. My opinion is that the newborn days are best as an aunt or grandmother. All the cuddles and snuggles without any of the responsibility (or leaky breasts or sleepless nights that go on and on and on and on with no end in sight for weeks and weeks and weeks.) So, yeah, not particularly cherishing this "stage" right now. That's not to say that there aren't some beautiful moments that I'm soaking up whenever I can. I am. Like Emily's infatuation with her and Caleb asking to "kiss the baby head" and wanting to hug her every day multiple times a day. I love how peaceful she is when she's asleep with her mouth agape and how she is almost immediately calmed when I pick her up and hold her close. But, I can not live in this stage for much longer and so I'm thankful that I know that this too shall pass. My beautiful, needy newborn will grow up and smile at me soon. And laugh. And coo. And I can't wait. I read recently that "six weeks is the height of the awake, fussy stage." I concur.

I am thankful that Anna settles well. She doesn't have colic where she cries hours on end without any way to console her. No, I can always console her with milk or swaddling or wrapping her tight to me with the Moby. Thank goodness. Problem is, I CAN'T PUT HER DOWN! She prefers to be held and to rest on a warm body for most of her waking AND non-waking hours. This, my friends, is an issue. Because I have two other children and a husband and a house that desperately need me, too. Well, the house and hubby aren't all that desperate, but you know what I mean. Oh, and everyone wants to eat at least three times a day and there's groceries to buy and meals to make (or at least serve and clean-up even if it's not "made." ) Anna eats all day and night at least every three hours. Oh, and there's Christmas coming up, too. You know, that time of year that is insanely busy even if you don't have a newborn? Trying not to stress, but at this point, I only have a couple of gifts bought and I will have to start packing up soon. Obviously, going home to KY this year will not be easy.

This month we've tried a million ways to get Anna to sleep some on her own. We have tried the baby swing. We get a few happy awake moments out of this. She has maybe fallen asleep in it three times. We've tried Caleb's crib. This seems to be the best option. I try daily to let her nap in it as we will be transitioning her to this bed really soon. We've tried the pack n play with little success. We've tried swaddling and not swaddling. We've tried sleeping on her stomach. (I know, don't judge. Both of my other kids slept on their bellies after one month or so.) She sleeps on her stomach much better than her back, so maybe this will work better in time. We've tried swaddling her and propping her body up with the boppy or pillow. Sometimes, this works for a couple of hours. Most of the time, not very well. What works? Holding her. Rocking her. Wearing her. These are the only things that you can count on for having her sleep for more than a few minutes. The rest is just sheer luck because usually she wakes up as soon as you take her out of your arms. Jeremy and I have a little routine going where he will hold her after we get the big kids to sleep. Sometimes he will hold her from 8pm-11pm while he rests at the end of the night. Sometimes I can go to bed early. Most of the time, I have dishes or laundry to do or just want a few free moments to myself after a non-stop day. We each take a shift at night or early in the morning so that we can put together a few hours of solid sleep. It's rough.

Anna and me resting during our vacation to Bodega Bay (11/26/14)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Early days at home

We were blessed that both of the grandmothers were able to fly out to spend some time with us after Anna Kate was born. I don't think we quite realized how much they were helping until after they left! While they were here, they helped us get the big kids their breakfast and helped Emily get ready and off for school. Jeremy was able to get a shower and get ready for the day at that time. Since they left, I'm not sure if either of us have been able to be showered and completely ready for the day by 8am!

My mom came first and was here for about ten days right after Anna Kate was born. Obviously, we didn't get out much as I was recovering and nursing all the time. Mom had good quality time with the kids at the park, walking Emily to/from school, attending our church with Jeremy (Anna Kate and I rested at home), trick-or-treating, and many other every day special moments.

Nancy came when Anna was about three weeks old and stayed a week. By then, we were able to do a little more. We spent one day at the Bay Area Discovery Museum and another at Children's Fairyland. I went to church with Anna for the first time, but it was still probably too soon. Sure enough, I spent the whole time in the mother/baby room (aka the "cry" room aka the "nursing" room.) Both of their visits feel like a complete blur to me. The time passed so quickly! Here' a few photos of our early days with Anna Kate and the grandmothers.