Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Life with Elise: Week 3

Written Saturday, April 11th.

After this week I'll switch to monthly updates, starting with one month next week.  I can't believe Elise is already almost a month old.  It's funny how the weeks tend to drag on when you're pregnant and looking forward to a milestone, such as full term, but then once the baby arrives each week goes by so quickly that you wish you could slow time down!  At this point I feel like Elise is changing so much each week and I have so much that I want to document that I went ahead and kept doing weekly updates.

Elise is still the sweetest little girl and LOVES to be held!  She's perfectly content in the baby carrier and other than feeding could spend all day long in it!  I love snuggling her so it works great for me.  When I take Carter to a playdate, storytime, or other activity I feed Elise before we leave and then put her in the carrier while we are there.  People have commented on how content she is in it.  When we're at home I give her some time on her activity gym (she loves the hanging toys, especially the ones that make noise), in her bouncer, or in her swing.  When Carter goes down for his nap Elise is typically awake for the first part of his nap so I play with her and when she falls asleep I lay her on my chest while I work on the computer.  We have a few books with just black and white pictures and she loves them.  We'll read those or look at high contrast cards for a little bit when she's awake.  Carter also likes to read to Elise when she's awake and will point out different things in books and tell her, "Airplane, Issy Eese," or "Digger, Issy Eese".  It is the sweetest!

Sister is becoming more alert and has longer wakeful periods during the day.  Normally she has a 2 hour stretch sometime in the morning either from 8-10 or 9-11 or any variation of those times, then she'll be awake for a while around 1:00 when Carter goes down for his nap.  That's a shorter play time, usually only lasting about 45 minutes to an hour.  Then she's usually awake again around 4 or 5 for about an hour and again around 8 or 9 for an hour or so.  Some days she is awake and asleep like clockwork at these times.  Other days she skips an awake segment, it just depends.  She's not on much of a schedule yet, but she's fairly predictable for me which is nice.  I can typically count on her eating around 9 and being asleep again around 10 or 11 which works great when we have a morning playdate or storytime to attend!  She eats every 2-3 hours. She goes for longer stretches between feedings during the day, sometimes up to 3 hours. At night her feedings are closer together, usually 2 hours apart but sometimes just an hour and a half.

We were having trouble in the evening.  When I was ready for bed she was wanting to cluster feed and I wasn't going to bed until midnight some nights which was exhausting.  She's toned down the cluster feeding a little bit and I've started waking her up around 9:00 to eat if she's still sleeping that way if she wants to cluster feed she'll be done sooner.  In the middle of the night there were a few times where she would finish eating and the moment I laid her down she'd be crying to eat again.  I'd pick her back up to nurse and she wouldn't really do much.  One night she was doing exactly that and I noticed she was letting the milk run out of her mouth all over the bed.  That's when I realized she wasn't hungry, she just wanted to suck for comfort.  I gave her a pacifier and she passed out.  We've given her a pacifier to help her fall asleep in the middle of the night probably 3 times since.  Sometimes she spits it out and doesn't want it, but other times she sucks it like crazy!  Thankfully her nose must be opening up more because she's not nearly as snorty as she was and hasn't been having the trouble of breathing and eating at the same time like she had before.

We had some more firsts this week.  We had our first playdate with a friend coming over to visit our house on Monday.  My friend, Kristie, came over with her son.  Kristie spent most of the time holding Elise and was in awe with how hard she slept.  I think she had forgotten how newborns can sleep anywhere and through most anything!  She also had her first trip to the aquarium over the weekend.  I was so excited that she woke up while we were in the aquarium so I pulled her out of the stroller so she could see the animals.  I was shocked that she actually looked at the animals and tracked them as they moved in their tanks.  Her favorite animals seemed to be the turtles, the jellyfish, and the sting rays.  She was also in her first race, the Aquarium Run one mile fun run.  I pushed her and Carter in the double stroller.
Elise watching the jelly fish at the aquarium.

Little miss has had a couple more baths.  She seems to really enjoy the water.  Since I took baths with Carter toward the end of the pregnancy because I was so big and it was hard to bend over the bathtub, he's been requesting me to bathe with him and I have.  It makes it really easy because Ty will bring Elise in part way through our bath.  I hold her head up above the water and she floats really well.  She doesn't cry at all in the water and Carter loves watching her float.  He'll say, "Mommy, Issy Eese float!" and then he'll try to float in the water.

Carter is the sweetest big brother and I love that he wants to help with Elise.  One day he asked to brush her hair and he likes to wipe her bottom while I'm changing her diaper.  When I put her on her activity gym he always wants to get down with her.  He loves how she'll grasp onto his hand.  He'll say "Mommy look, Issy Eese holdeet Carter hand!"  He's always so proud that she wants to hold his hand.  He also enjoys watching her make faces and them mimicking them back at her.  He'll ask to hold her and is so careful with her when he's holding her.  His favorite is to lay down and have someone put her tummy down on his chest.  He'll wrap his arms around her hugging her tight.

This week was my first week home just me, Carter, and Elise.  In some ways it was easier than I expected and in some ways it was more difficult.  We had something scheduled every morning except for Friday, either a playdate or a doctor's appointment.  I was impressed with our ability to all be dressed and out the door in time.  We were only late once and it was because I had forgotten to get gas the day before and had to stop that morning on our way.  Getting out of the house was much easier than I had thought it would be.  What I hadn't thought about too much was the fact that with my mom here the first week and Ty still home the 2nd week I always had someone to get up with Carter when I'd had a particularly rough night of sleep.  With Ty back at work this week I was on my own after 7:30.  If Elise had been up a lot at night and I didn't sleep well, I was very tired and ended up with headaches that lasted all day long a few days.  We did enjoy lazy mornings reading books in bed before getting up.  Ty would bring Carter and our backpack of library books to bed with me when he left for work and I'd read to Carter and Elise for a while before we got up.  It was a nice transition for me and I loved the snuggle time with my sweeties!

My plan for exercising this week was to start off with a warm up walk and then do minute running/minute walking segments.  I took off during my first running segment on Monday and felt great so I ended up running quarter mile segments with 1/10th of a mile walk between.  The next day I threw in a half mile running segment and a few days later a 3/4 of a mile running segment.  It felt so good to be running again and I was pleasantly surprised that I was running 9:30 pace on average.  After Carter was born I was stuck at 10-10:30 pace for quite a while.  And this time I'm running with a double stroller rather than a single stroller!  On Saturday my mom and I were signed up for the fun run at the Aquarium Run where everyone else was signed up for the 5k.  We originally planned to walk it, but with how well my running segments were going we decided to run the whole way.  I was happy to be back up to running an entire mile and it was fun to be in the relaxed atmosphere of a fun run.  Carter is glad I'm back to running.  When I was doing the run/walking he would start yelling, "Mommy run!" during my walking segments between runs.  Elise is not a fan of the wind and on really windy days will cry during our runs.  I have to keep her cover pulled up so wind can't get in otherwise she's miserable.  I was excited to discover I can get my favorite jeans on, zipped up, and buttoned!  I have a little bit of a muffin top to work on, but I'm getting there!  Right now I'm down 18 pounds which means I still have 12 to go.
Ready for the start of the fun run.

Overall it was a great week.  I enjoyed going on outings with my precious babies as well as playing at home.  Snuggles with Elise make me so happy and I can't get enough!  It feels great to be running again.  I love watching Carter as a big brother and seeing how he interacts with Elise.  Their relationship is precious!  There were a few moments where both my babies were crying at once and it broke my heart, but those were few and far between thankfully!  The saddest for me was when I was nursing Elise and Carter fell down.  He wanted me to hold him, but if I put Elise down she screamed because she wasn't finished nursing.  Carter had to settle for standing by the chair while I rubbed his head.  He wasn't completely satisfied, but it worked!

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