The past couple of weeks have been a little tough. As I wrote in my last post, I had mastitis and some sort of cold/bronchial thing going on. The mastitis I had lasted for quite a while this time. It lasted 6 days. In the past, it would only last 2-3 days, but I guess this case I had this time was just particularly worse. This was tough because it causes a lot of pain - especially during nursing, which is something I had to do multiple times a day and is the best way to get rid of mastitis. I've decided to stop pumping for a while. I didn't get mastitis until I started pumping once a day. I was pumping once after the morning feed to get rid of the excess milk I had and to start building up a supply. I would nurse Isla, and then go pump anywhere from 3 to 7 ounces right after. That's right.... 7... I always produce a lot of milk. Once Isla is sleeping through the night, (8 hours or more), I'll start pumping once a day again after that morning feed and just see how it goes.
I've also had a bit of the baby blues. I think when you're sick, hormonal, and operating on little sleep while watching such little ones, it's just the perfect storm for the blues to creep up a little. Don't worry... I've not been suicidal or crying all day, but just a little down. I will sit on the couch and hold Adia while doing her flash cards with her and I just think about how fast she's grown. I absolutely love love love watching Adia and Isla grow and each age is so fun, but it breaks my heart to think about how fast it all goes. I will be out to eat (a rare occurence, but it does happen from time to time) and I'll see a family with 2 teenage girls. I watch them and think about how I will blink and that will be Adia and Isla. I hear a certain song and I think about watching an older, aged, bald Micah dancing with Adia or Isla at their weddings. I watch Adia stirring her little play pot with her tiny play spoon and I think about how one day, that will be a real pot and a real spoon and a real stove. I look at Isla and I think about how in no time, she will be walking around here with Adia and I won't have a baby any more... I'll have 2 little girls who will grow up to be 2 big girls who will probably tell me how I embarrass them and who will argue with me over curfews and cell phones and boys they want to date. I just want to take a remote control and press the pause button for a while. I love my girls so much and I know how fast this time flies. A few other things have gotten me a little down too - like the lack of time I have to firm up this momma's body. Fortunately, Micah only has a little over a week left of school, so when he's out, I plan on getting out a little more and running... by myself... listening to big girl music and not Sesame Street. :)
Isla is not sleeping through the night yet. It's so easy to compare your kids. I have to remember that Isla is not Adia and that she will not do things exactly like Adia did. This week, I've been working on letting Isla cry it out for longer periods of time. Up until now, I've been letting her cry 5-10 minutes before going to soothe her. When Adia was this age, I could go and soothe her after about 5-10 minutes by just giving her a pacifier and she'd USUALLY fall back to sleep quickly. She had her nights/naps too where she didn't always go back to sleep so easily, but on most occasions, she did. She was also sleeping through the night some at this age. Isla thinks the soothing thing is just a fun game to play with Mommy. I was letting her cry for 5-10 minutes, then going in and patting her, shushing her, and giving her a pacifier. Well, the older she has gotten, the more she has decided that this is fun and why not do it all night? A few nights ago, I literally did this with her all but 2 hours of the night. I was worn out the next morning. So, I've decided now to let her cry it out for 20-30 minutes before soothing her. I know that sounds so harsh for a 2 month old, and believe me, I'm pretty sure it's harder for me than it is for her. Of course, I make sure she is not hungry, has a dry diaper, and isn't sick or uncomfortable. In other words, I only do this when I know all of her needs have been met. I do believe that it's so important that babies learn to self soothe. This is why Adia has been such a great sleeper. She learned to soothe herself at a young age and has been a very content, well-rested, and happy girl for a very long time. She slept great very young and I honestly believe it's because we taught her not to rely on us to soothe her for rest, but to soothe herself. Does this mean I never rock my babies or hold them? Absolutely not. I rock them both daily, but I don't use rocking as a sleep prop to get them to sleep throughout the night. So, I'm going to continue this extended cry it out thing with Isla this week and see how it goes. I believe the best things in life are not always easy to come by. If I want to get in awesome shape, it takes hard work, determination, and endurance. If I want to become a great pianist, it takes the same kind of attitude. I believe the same thing about teaching my babies to sleep. It's so so so hard laying there and listening to them cry. If you have not experienced this yet, then just wait... you can't fully understand until you experience it. However, I'd rather listen to them cry for the first few months of their lives or less rather than being up with them at night for what could possibly be years to come. I know parents who still sleep with ther 2 and 3 year olds. Nothing against those parents, but for me and my family, I choose self soothing. Ultimately though, you have to do what is best for your family and your baby and trust your gut.
I've never put Isla on a real schedule per say, but she is definitely on a pretty solid routine. She eats every 3 hours during the day (sometimes 2.5 and occasionally 3.5). This morning, she ate at 8, had play time in her bouncy chair, and began her nap shortly after 9. I'll wake her again here in just a minute to feed her at 11, let her play, and then be down for a nap again around 12ish. We repeat this 3 hour schedule throughout the day. I'll wake her tonight at 11 to feed her and then put her to bed right after that. She has just started playing on her little playmat. It is sooooo cute. She coos and oohs and aaahs. She loves for me to lay down beside her on the mat and hit the little dangling toys with her. She smiles so big and coos as if it's the most fun thing she could ever experience. I adore it. Adia loved to be tight swaddled when she was little. We've been tight swaddling Isla, but I'm starting to think that she isn't liking it as much as she used to. If I tight swaddle her, she sleeps longer, but it takes her a little while longer to get to sleep. If I loosely swaddle her, she goes to sleep quicker, but she doesn't stay asleep as long. If I don't swaddle her at all, she sometimes goes to sleep quickly, but she wakes after a very short amount of time. I think I'm going to stop tight swaddling her and see how she does. I've also been reading about cluster feeding in the evenings. I think I'm going to try it tonight and see how it goes. The idea is starting at their evening feed (5 PM for Isla today), to then feed her every 2 hours until the dream feed. So, feed her at 5, 7, 9, and 11. This method suggests that if you do this, their bellies get more full at night and they can possible sleep longer during the night. I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes. I never did that with Adia, but I never needed to either. She was mostly sleeping through the night at this age anyways.
Adia has adjusted really well with little Isla. She has just started saying her name. Up until now, she just called her "Baby." She says a LOT these days. If Isla is crying, (or anyone else for that matter), Adia says, "Sad. She sad." When she makes a mess, she says, "Mess." This happens quite often. :) She still loves to point out her body parts and everyone else's as well. She has lately started adding an "s" to the end of most of her words. For example, I used to be "Mommy," but now, I'm, "Mommies." She doesn't do this with every word, but she does it with several. She knows a lot of her colors and shapes now. She knows pink, purple, red, yellow, black, brown, green, white, blue, circle, square, and heart. I love the way she says these words too. Purple is "purpoo," circle is "circa." She knows shirt, pants, socks, which she usually calls "sockies." She knows the difference between boys and girls. She will look at a book and find a boy and say, "boy," and will find a girl and say, "gull." It amazes me how quickly and how much she learns. She knows the difference between a duck and a chick, which I think is pretty good at this age. She looks at the pictures and says, "Ducky!" when she sees a duck. When she sees a baby chick, she says, "Kick!" She is far from being potty-trained, but she definitely has interest. She's gone pee pee in the potty now several times and she almost always tells me now when she needs her diaper changed. This definitely beats the smell test! She comes up to me and points at her diaper and either says, "Di-poo," meaning diaper, or, "Poo poo." She then lays down on the floor for me to change her. I rarely have to force her to change her diaper. She wants it changed.
Well, speaking of Adia, she has now shredded a magazine all over the couch and it's time for me to get Isla and feed her. I want to update this thing with a couple of recipes later, so I may get back on here in the next couple of days and do that. I made a homemade maple almond butter yesterday that turned out pretty good, so I'll put that recipe on here, a slow cooker pot roast recipe, and a pound cake recipe. So, check back later! Have a wonderful weekend and pray for this momma to get some much needed rest for a great Mother's Day present! Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies out there!