Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who Needs Sleep?: When a Sick Baby Keeps You Up

Norah’s been sleeping through the night since the 2 month mark. In the book of babies, that makes us extremely lucky. Sometimes we forget that, though, and she keeps us up all night.
This past weekend was one of her "reminder lessons". On Friday night, she was fussy and wouldn't eat. She screamed when I changed her diaper, cried when I tried to play with her, and resisted bedtime like a cat to water. Where did our happy baby go? She'd clocked out, and angry baby had checked in.

Where did THIS happy baby go?
That night, she woke up screaming several times. We rocked her back to sleep. Then she woke up around 3 am and vomited everywhere. She also rolled around in it, so it was all over her. While hubby cleaned up the sheets, I cleaned the baby. A half hour later she was sleeping again and stayed that way until morning. Hallelujah!

On her first diaper change after waking, we found a bright red diaper rash that was bleeding, so off to the doctor we went. Upon examination, the doctor concluded that the antibiotic she was on for her ear infection last week proceeded to give her a fungal infection. We needed prescription ointment, stat.

Diaper changes for the rest of the weekend were awful. The rash stung, so using regular baby wipes was torture of the worst kind, keeping her from sleeping most of Saturday night. Luckily, we were able to give her some baby Motrin to get her through.

Sunday she was in better spirits, but mom and dad were beyond tired. With all of our weekend errands yet to be completed, we shipped Norah off to her grandparents' house where she spent the afternoon with Mom-mom, Poppy, Uncle Joey and Andrea.

So what do you do when the baby gets up over and over again? In the moment, you grin and bear it because there's nothing else to do. The next night, you go to sleep as soon as the baby goes down and hope for the best!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Friday - 1.25.13

Today we flashback to June 2012, when Norah was baptized. She was pretty well behaved, and even fell asleep during part of the ceremony.

There was a big (and when I say big, I really mean huge) party at the school gym next to the church afterwards.

The next day, I dressed her up for a "formal" photo to put in the thank you cards. 1,347,865 snaps later, this is the best I ended up with!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keeping Up With Baby: A Sample Routine at 10 Months

We all know that expression, "New Year, New You". Well, lately I've been feeling like it's more "New Day, New Obstacles" around here. I'm really enjoying all the fun changes that Norah is experiencing, but every once in a while, I just feel really overwhelmed.

At this point, Norah needs constant attention. So from the time I pick her up from daycare, until she goes to bed, me or my husband are with her. This makes it hard to make dinner, clean the house, exercise and do laundry (and keep up with all our TV shows - the DVR is just about to explode). I'm willing to forgo the cleaning, but this family does have to eat and leave the house with clean clothes.

Over the past few weeks, I've developed a routine that seems to be working somewhat (or at least until Norah decides to change her bedtime unexpectedly). I thought I'd share in case there are any other new moms out there struggling with this.

5:15 am - wake up before baby, brush teeth, change into workout gear
5:20 am - grab clothes from bedrooms and throw in a load of wash
5:25 am - feed cats, start workout dvd
5:50 am - switch clothes to dryer, eat breakfast
6:00 am - shower, dress and dry hair
6:45 am - dress Norah, pack bottles, take out clothes from the dryer so they don't wrinkle
7:20 am - drop Norah off at daycare, go to work
5:30 pm - pick Norah up from daycare
6:00 pm - let Norah play independently while I throw all the bottle parts and dishes into soapy water
6:10 pm - play with Norah until dad comes home
7:15 pm - cook dinner
7:45 pm - bottle, bath and bed for Norah
8:15 pm - put away laundry from the morning, clean for 15 minutes, prep bottles for next day
9:30 pm - read for at least 15 minutes, or until I fall asleep

It's a totally exhausting day from start to finish, but when the weekend comes, most of my cleaning and laundry is done, so it frees me up to spend some quality time with Norah and her dad. Here are a few tools I have found helpful in keeping to this schedule:

  1. Libman Freedom Spray Mop - this mop is a total time saver. There is basically a spray bottle that you can fill with any solution attached. When you want to mop, you just hit the sprayer and the solution squirts out onto the floor. The cloth is machine washable, so when you're done mopping for the day, you can just toss it in the wash.
  2. Rocktivity Music Skool Table - this is one of Norah's favorite toys. It keep her busy for ten minutes while I do some quick chores when we get home.
  3. Elfa Closet Organizers - We have an elfa closet in my room and Norah's. It makes picking out clothes in the morning really easy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby Book of the Week: Baby Listens

This week we're going old school with a Little Golden Book called Baby Listens. Switching gears like this is a little jarring. We went from one groovy cat to a baby who, by the looks of the illustrations, is living in the 1960s.

Overall, the book has a good concept. We follow baby through his day, where he encounters all kinds of objects that make sounds. My favorites are the teddy bear that falls down the stairs that goes bumpety bumpety and the whir of the blender.

When looking at the illustrations for these two in particular, it's easy to see this was drawn decades ago. The baby watches the bear fall from atop a full staircase without a gate. Then he wanders into the kitchen to get up close and personal with the blender. If anything like that happened today, mothers the world around would be aghast! But then again, maybe it wasn't so bad. I mean, our parents survived, right?

As for mom and dad, we're both still plugging away at Books 4 and 5 in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Books Mentioned in This Post

Title: Baby Listens (Little Golden Book)
Author: Esther Wilkin
Illustrator: Eloise Wilkin
Pages: 24

Title: A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Pages: 976

Title: A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Pages: 1040
Get the whole Song of Ice and Fire series! Anyone reading anything fun to their little ones this week?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe: Vegetable Soup

We're really branching out over here when it comes to food. Since Norah showed such an affinity for table food, I decided we'd just hold our noses and jump right in!

Next up, soup! It's really the perfect table food. Everything is soft, so even if there's chunks that are a bit too big, they just mash up in her mouth anyway.

1 cup cooked pastina pasta
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
Florets from one head of broccoli
3 c vegetable broth

Pour broth into a medium sized pot and heat on medium. When boiling, add pasta and veggies. Let boil for two minutes, then simmer for at least a half hour to get the veggies nice and soft. When cooled, portion out and refrigerate or freeze for later use. This recipe makes about three 4 oz. servings.

Note: Some broths can be very high in sodium, so make sure you choose a reduced sodium broth (or make from scratch.)

Do you like cooking more than you like babies? Check out my recipe blog, The Kitchen Canister. This week I started a challenge of 52 50 weeks of cooking new recipes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Making the Leap to Table Food: Pancakes

For the last few weeks, I've been hesitant to give Norah "real" food. Partly because I didn't think she was ready, and partly because I was scared she'd choke. In the last week, she was getting very frustrated with someone feeding her with a spoon.

As much as I didn't want to, I tried giving her some chicken for dinner. I tore it up into the teeniest, tiniest bits to be positive she wouldn't choke. And what happened? She gobbled that stuff up like she'd been eating with her hands her whole life.

So that brings us to the next adventure. Now that I can't rely on a perfectly pureed meal anymore, what do I serve this child? I thought about what I eat for each meal and how to adapt it.

One thing we love to "treat" ourselves with is pancakes on Sunday morning. Surely pure carbs can't be good for a baby! I consulted my Baby Bullet recipe book and lo and behold, it included a recipe for "healthy" pancakes.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup milk - their recipe called for 3/4 cup, but I had to add some more to get it to pancake batter consistency
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 of a banana

Add ingredients to a blender and blend baby blend! Apply thin layer of cooking spray to a pan heated to medium. Spoon out silver dollar sized blobs onto the pan and cook about 2-3 minutes per side.

I gave Norah two for breakfast yesterday and she loved them, although she does need to work on eating a bit quicker. It took her almost an hour.

Next mission: LUNCH!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Flashback Friday - 1.11.13

It's supposed to be warm in New Jersey this week, so in honor of that, here's a pic of Norah soaking up the summer sun.

Originally Taken on 6.24.2012
Norah's Age: 14 weeks 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baby Book of the Week - Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons

This week we're reading a book Norah received for Christmas, Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons.

I must confess, that this book really cracks me up. The idea of a beatnik cat singing a song about how he keeps losing his buttons but doesn't care is a little bit refreshing when bombarded with books about how much mommy and daddy love their baby.

The illustrations in this book are very well done, too. Bright colors, but nothing too offensive. I have a feeling Norah will enjoy this book for a long time. It even includes some elementary math problems. As Pete loses each button, there's a page to show that 4 -1 = 3, 3 - 1 = 2, and so on.

Overall, I really enjoy reading this book to Norah.

And while we're talking about reading - what are mom and dad reading these days?

Right now, we're both reading books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Melissa is on the latest release, A Dance With Dragons. Jim is one book behind (but quickly catching up) with A Feast for Crows.

A Dance with Dragons is more entertaining than A Feast for Crows, now that I am used to reading about new characters. That was the one thing I found annoying with A Feast for Crows. People who had never been the focus in previous books were in the forefront and seemingly had no connection to the plot. Now that I've been reading the next book, I am starting to see how they fit in. It's an interesting style of writing, but not one I particularly like. Good thing for George R.R. Martin that the story as a whole is so engrossing that I am willing to look the other way!

Happy Reading!

Books Mentioned in This Post

Title: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Author: Eric Litwin
Illustrator: James Dean
Pages: 40
Read the whole Pete the Cat series!

Title: A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Pages: 976

Title: A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)
Author: George R.R. Martin
Pages: 1040
Get the whole Song of Ice and Fire series!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Milestone Alert - Nine Months (Better Late than Never!)

I know I'm about 3 weeks late and she's about to be ten months, but the holidays totally killed us!

This month she:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Flashback Friday: December Clip Show

Norah developed a lot over the last month. Every week was a new adventure. She went from crawling, to sitting, to pulling up to stand. Then she started zooming around on all fours like no one's business. I guess this means the next thing we have to look forward to is walking!