The Bumbo

We finally decided to get her the bumbo chair because she is so adamant about sitting up and being in an upright position and stuff. She loves to “stand” so she can bounce and hop and dance and pretend-run while we’re holding her up. She’s such a mover and a shaker. We got the bumbo in the mail today, and decided to test it out right away!

As you can see, she completely approves! She even gave us a thumbs up for it! She had all giggles and smiles for us, while she was in it. She thought it was the coolest thing that she was sitting up like a big girl, and we were all hovered over her. She’s the cutest little itty bitty thing too… she doesn’t even go up to my knees when she’s in the bumbo and it’s like this itty bitty miniature little person. So cute, I want to eat her up!

She’s wearing Daddy’s hat and she thought this was pretty awesome.

“Whoa, Mama, what’s this awesome thing I’m sitting on?!”

Does it get much cuter than this, hmm?! I think not! Her cute little feetsies were moving a mile a minute, and she was having so much fun. We decided to try out the little tray that came with it as well, and this is what happened:

She was absolutely amused that all her toys were within reach of her. Usually, she’s on her tummy or her back when she’s playing with these toys, or one of us has to hold her up. She was feeling pretty darn grown-uppy, being able to grab onto all her toys all by herself like this. This kept her busy for at least a good 20 minutes, straight!


Sleep, Itch, and Other Happenings

We have a pediatrician appointment to tackle her allergy situation in the end of December, so I’m really looking forward to that. While her skin is doing well and there have been really no big outbreaks, there have been little flares here and there, and I’m really getting tired of having to put medicated cream on her. I’m using Arbonne’s baby oil on her, and it seems to help keep her skin moist and soft, but then I put the cream on her on top of that to prevent any more breakouts (seems like when I don’t, she breaks out in a very mild, dry rash and it doesn’t seem related to the oil at all). Her legs are dry and her shoulders are dry, though no scaley-dry. Just not baby soft the way she used to be.

I believe her binky is giving her “rug burn”… she may be allergic to the plastic around the actual sucker. She has the Ronald McDonald look after she has a binky in her mouth for a while, but then the redness stays for a few hours. It completely clears up by every morning because of course she doesn’t sleep with her binky in her mouth. She goes to sleep with it in her mouth, but spits it back out after a few minutes of deep sleep. So the rest of the night, she’s sleeping clear without the binky. By morning, her face is nice and clear (usually). But throughout the day, because she takes naps with the binky, the redness returns. It’s quite annoying, really.

And she seems to still be itchy when the cream isn’t on, so I’m having to dab her with the cream on her legs and shoulders and face about twice a day. I really can’t wait to find out what we can do about this so that I can use more natural products on her.

Anyway, for the most part, it’s going good. I just don’t like our poor little Lily Bean having dry skin. I’m afraid of using any other baby lotion since her huge breakout with Burt’s Bees baby lotion last month.

As for sleep, Lily Bean’s been doing some weird stuff, though not as bizarre as Corbin’s (poor Mommy Erin!!) sleep behaviors. Almost daily now, for about 2 weeks, she’s been waking about twice a night, mostly at 2a or 3a and then again at about 5a or 6a, giggling and laughing and having a grand ol’ ball by herself. It startles me awake because all of a sudden, I hear through the monitor this bubbly little baby squeal and giggle. I check on her, and she sees my silhouette and she gets all excited and starts kicking and wiggling in excitement and starts talking to me. The first few nights this happened, I tried to reason with her. Can you imagine a sleepy mommy telling a 4-month-old baby, “Now, baby, what are you laughing at? Nothing can possibly be that funny at 3am in the morning!” She just gets so excited when I’m interacting with her at this time, and she thinks it’s play time. So then I would pick her up because I figure she’s already wide awake anyway. I would then nurse her in the rocking chair in her room and she would fall asleep, and then she would get put back down in her crib and I’d go back to bed. This would last about… oh, an hour or so.

Then I’d be WIDE AWAKE by that time, and wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep until an hour later. By then, she’d wake up an hour after I just fell asleep again to start the whole process over. I was getting so very tired because I had to work in the mornings. Nurse her, pump, do morning routine, clean her up, oil her up, cream her up, and then head off to work. All by 9am. So I was very exhausted for a few days.

Then it dawned on me — WHY on universe’s beautiful green earth am I PICKING her up and humoring her when she isn’t crying or cranky or demanding? So I thought I’d just try something and see what happens. For about a week now, it dawned on me to just stick her bedtime binky (in her crib) in her mouth whenever she woke up during these times giggling and laughing and playful, and then walk away out of the room. First couple of nights, I wasn’t sure if it would work. She seemed pretty darn wide awake. First few times, she would spit the binky back out and giggle to herself again. I would wait a few minutes, and then come back in to stick the binky back into her mouth. Then walk away. No interactions or anything. I’d lie in bed to hear what she was doing. More babble and gurgling through the binky, still in her mouth. Then… after a few minutes… complete silence.

SCORE!!!

I go in to check on her, and she had put herself back to sleep with the binky still in her mouth. So from cheerful awake to sleep in a matter of minutes. I tiptoed back to bed and half slept (since I was already wide awake by then.. ugh — my thyroid issues are making it really difficult for me to fall asleep well), only to be woken up again by her giggling and happy gurgles. I did the same thing, and score again! She put herself back to sleep with the binky in her mouth after only a few minutes.

So I did this for the next few nights, and by about 5 nights in a row, it came down to a science. She’d see me in the middle of the night after she wakes up laughing and giggling, open her mouth like a little baby bird because she knows the binky is coming, and I’d stick it in, give her a quick kiss, and walk out the room and back to bed. By the time I even get back to bed, there was already silence from her room and she had already fallen asleep.

So the last two nights, she has been waking up just once instead of twice in the middle of the night laughing out loud. Usually around 2 or 3a, and then she’d sleep till 9a. If we don’t count these brief one-minute wake-ups, she sleeps every night between 10 to 13 hours. Heaven. Absolute heaven.

Now, if only I can control how I fall back asleep. I’m not getting well-rested sleep, but it’s not Lily’s fault. It’s my post-natal thyroid issues. I’m usually either extremely wired, or extremely tired. Nothing really in between. I’m waiting for when my hormones go back to normal because this is really crazy.

With sleep training, we’ve been working on one thing in particular. We’re working on moving her bedtime a little earlier so that Dave and I can have some time to ourselves after she goes to bed. She takes about 3 naps during the day, each approximately 45 minutes to an hour long. Her last nap cannot surpass 6pm, 6:30pm at the absolute latest, because we want her to go to bed no later than 9:30pm. The overall long-term goal for now is 9pm.

So, everyday between 6pm and 9pm, she is completely wide awake (or so we hope). Sometimes she gets reaaallly tired, especially if she didn’t have very good naps during the day, and she’d want to fall asleep at 8pm. We don’t let her, simply because we know her system very well. If she falls asleep at 8pm now, she’ll wake up at 9pm and then stay up until 11pm or midnight. We have to do the sleep training really very slowly and progressively. We had worked it from midnight to 11pm to 10:30pm to 10pm to 9:30pm and now to 9pm. Eventually, we’ll want her to go down for her night time sleep at 8pm. We’ve been doing this for approximately 2 weeks now. It’s working out very well. Her bodily rhythm is getting the point. By bout 8pm, she starts getting a little cranky and yawning. By about 8:30pm, she starts yawning and rubbing her eyes more vigorously. By 8:45pm, you can see her eyelids getting veerrryy heavy (and it’s really quite cute). Then it’s cue for me to do her nightly routine, which includes oiling her up, creaming her up, changing her diaper and putting her into her overnight dipes, putting her mitts on, and zipping her up in her sleep sack. Then we go have a little cuddle with the lights off while I give her the last feeding for the night. She falls asleep with the bottle in her mouth, I pull it out, put her in the upright, burping position over my shoulder. She lets out a few burps while she continues to fall asleep. Daddy kisses her goodnight, I put her in her crib, still drowsy but not completely asleep yet, stick the bedtime binky in her mouth, kiss her goodnight, put her bedtime music on, and close the door.

Not a peep until 10 to 13 hours later (well, unless she’s waking up laughing and giggling, of course).

We hope this keeps up. She seems to be a go-with-the-flow kind of baby, with the few exceptions of crankiness and shyness around crowds (just like her parents, I would say). She’s a bit of an introvert and observer type, as far as we can see right now. She’s pretty easygoing for the most part, and we hope she continues to be this way — at least through adolescence! Ha! Knock on wood!!

It’s good though, because now that I’m working more hours and essentially going to work for about 6 hours a day, four days a week, I really need my sleep at night (Dave doesn’t wake up unless the house is burning down :P ), and it makes morning and bedtime routines that much easier.

I miss her while I’m at work. I miss her like I’m missing a limb. It’s absolutely horrible that mothers are forced to do this. I don’t understand the logic at all. I would much rather switch positions with Dave. I would much rather be stay-at-home mom. I can totally do that and love every single minute of it.

Over the weekend, I took her to the park to take some more outdoorsy photos of her. It was just me this time, as Dave decided to stay home… so it was kind of difficult to take photos of her on my own. I did get a few good shots, though, and she was as pleasant and easy-going and patient and tolerant with me as ever. Even had a bit of face plant into the dirt, and not a sour peep out of her. She was actually a little amused.


The Peekaboo Giggles

If only I can bottle these giggles in a jar, I would take it with me everywhere I go.