Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Twelfth Week

Beginning of the Holidays...

My family celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday since my brother and his wife were taking a vacation later in the week.  Aidan was able to see his Uncle Chris (my brother) for the first time since he was born.  Aidan was quite amused by my brother's noise that I call Pepaw does a similar noise.

Aidan responds a lot to noise. Whether it's a big, gummy smile or trying to make the same noise, it's very entertaining to talk to him.

He also is grabbing and holding things.  He is still working on the hand/eye coordination, but he loves to hit at his toys and flings rattles.

When he is bottle fed, he likes to hold onto it so that you don't take it away before he finishes.  He will cry if you take it away before he finishes.  He eats 4 to 6 oz at each feeding, which seems like a lot, but he does skip a feeding or two by sleeping through the night.  This week, he went at least 8 hours between the night and first morning feeding. 

Baths really calm Aidan down.  I think with all the visiting he did this week with family, he was overstimulated and just needed a nice, calming environment.  On Thanksgiving, this happened...screaming that could not be soothed, way too soon to be hungry.  So my mom improvised and filled a tub with water and lined it with towels.  Instant calming.  He splashed around a lot and absolutely love it.  After the bath, he slept on the way home.  Now that he had the freedom of the large bath, he jumps around and splashes around in his bath at home.  Hmmm, I think we need a new bath because the one we have confines him too much.  If he wants to play and be happy, we can't let a bath stop him!  Especially when he goes down and stays down for the night.

I have one last week of maternity leave, and I'm sad to not spend my days with Aidan, but I am also excited to return to work.  I love my job and the challenges that come with it.  I wish I could have my cake and eat it, too but that's not physically possible.  So I'll try to be as efficient with my time as possible so that I can spend as much of it with Aidan.  I am not looking forward to waking up at 3 AM since I have become accustomed to going to bed at 11PM and waking up at 5AM.  I just need to adjust my schedule by 2 hours.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Eleventh Week

Grabbing, Holding, and Swinging

Grabbing hair
Holding toys
Swinging his arms

Grabbing his feet
Holding my fingers while falling asleep
Swinging to the side

Aidan loves to play on the play mat, looking at himself and swinging his arms at the monkey, and occasionally grabbing it.  He has put part of the toy in his mouth.  His arms go wild.  He also hits my chest sometimes while he is eating.  Funny kid.

He also loves his squeaky, brightly covered do our dogs.  We will have to be diligent if we want to keep the dogs from destroying Aidan's toys.  I sent my dad a video of Aidan smiling and playing when I squeaked one of his toys and it drove dad's dog nuts. 

He seems to pay more attention to the books when we read them to him.  He also takes longer to eat because he is either looking around, hitting me, or sleep snacking.  He definitely notices his environment more.

His morning nap is shorter, and he wants to play more.  However, the shorter morning naps means he needs to sleep longer in the afternoon.  He traded nap times on me!  Just when I think I have him figured it out, he throws a wrench into things.  He constantly challenges me, and I gladly accept it.

I was finally able to go to a hair appointment thanks to my mom watching Aidan while I went.  It was much needed, though Aidan does not seem as excited about it as I was.  He only wants to grab my hair and wrap his hand around it and pull!  Ouch....

Tummy time is becoming more enjoyable, and Aidan starts to turn towards his side, but then fusses and then screams in frustration since he cannot turn over yet.  When he is on his back, he likes to roll to the side.  He also enjoys playing on his changing pad...grabbing his feet, swinging his arms, and turning to the side.  The boy is moving...we have to watch him very closely now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spinach & Chicken Alfredo Bake

(For you, Chrissy)

When I worked at Fazoli's in high school, I despised having to try the Alfredo sauce to make sure its consistency and flavor were correct, though nothing was worse than having to taste the tea to determine if sugar had been added or not...Anyway, I love Italian food, and I always made a version of Fazoli's Pizza Baked Spaghetti.  Well, since I recently started making a chicken and spinach Alfredo dish, I decided to make it into a bake...What's the difference, you ask?  CHEESE!

Paula Dean:Butter::Diana:Cheese

If Paula Dean can add an extra stick of butter into to something, then I can add an extra cup or so of cheese to my recipes.  On to the recipe.

1 (16-ounce) package penne noodles
1 package of chopped spinach (I buy the frozen spinach)
2 (15-ounce) jars Alfredo sauce (I recommend Bertoulli's)
2 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs cooked chicken, cubed
2 T olive oil
Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cups mozzarella cheese

Cube the chicken, heat up the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium-high.  Sprinkle Italian seasoning on raw chicken and then cook in the pan until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. 
Heat the spinach (if frozen)

Add chicken and Alfredo sauce in a 13 x 9 backing dish.  Then add pasta and spinach.  Stir the ingredients until all is well coated with Alfredo.  Top with the mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Top with the fresh parley. 

Bake on 350 deg F for 10 minutes, then on 400 degrees until cheese is bubbly.  I like to brown my cheese just slightly, so leave in the oven until the cheese is how you like it.

The Tenth Week

Finding My Fingers and Eating a Fistful

A lot of my pictures look like these, or are in the process of looking like these.  Aidan has discovered his hands and keeps shoving his fingers and sometimes his whole fist in his mouth.  A couple of times he has caused himself to cough because he sticks his fingers so far in his mouth.  So now we have the wonderful spit covered hands to hit  you with! :)

Aidan had a relatively quiet week until Friday.  AJ took him on a trip to Brunson, SC to meet his great, great grandmother.  There were five generations present. 

On Saturday, we drove up to Lyman, SC to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday.  We greatly enjoyed seeing a lot of our college buddies we hadn't seen in a while. Can't wait to see them again...apparently, there's an open invitation to use their pool, just have to drive 2.5 hours.

Can I just say that I love his face in this picture with me?  I like to goof around in pictures, and maybe Aidan will one day do the same.  I know his smile was not intentional in this photo, but I love it.  I wish I had stuck out my tongue or done something goofy...

Aidan continues to sleep 7-9 hours at night.  One night, he had a massive blow out at 2AM.  I changed him, put him back in his crib, gave him his pacifier, and played the magic seahorse...he went back to sleep right away.  He has also woke up at 3:45 am, I change him, and then put him back to sleep without feeding him - no issues!  I feel so lucky that he seems to sleep so well.  In fact, I have enjoyed staying up when he goes to bed somewhere between 9-10 PM.

All About Mom

No TMI this week...

However, I have noticed that I get dizzier more easily than I did pre pregnancy.  I have spun Aidan around in one circle, and I have to sit down.  Before, if I was spun around 5+ times, I would get dizzy and have a hard time standing.  If I were a superhero, spinning me in circles would be my kryptonite.  Seriously, I get crazy dizzy where I have to lie on the floor for 5-10 minutes depending on how many times I was spun.  I also noticed that I get a little lightheaded when reading a book in the backseat of a vehicle.  This has never happened to me!  I always read on road trips with no issues.  I don't recall being extra dizzy while pregnant, but I can't remember being spun...of course, AJ didn't spin me while pregnant because we stopped horsing around due to concerns for the growing baby.

Working part time has been going well, too.  Aidan does most of his sleeping by 1PM, and whenever he's done with the long napping, I am done working.  Working also motivates me to get out of bed instead of sleeping when Aidan does. :) 

Time has flown by, and I realize I only have 3 more weeks with Aidan before returning to work.  I am excited to be back at work and interacting with adults, however, Aidan's happiest times are in the morning.  He loves to laugh and coo for almost an hour straight in the morning before he sleeps 2.5 hours.  He does this in the afternoon, but for 15-20 minutes only.  So I'll have to enjoy this time on the weekends - at least we are working 4 10's now, so I will have more weekend time with Aidan.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Ninth Week

Sleep Sweet, Baby Boy, Sleep...

Let's hope the sleep and time between feedings remains relatively constant for quite some time.  Aidan is average 8 hours between the nightly and morning feedings.  I no longer classify it as a fluke or hope.  Now to figure out to get him to sleep sooner after the last feeding...That still takes 30 minutes to an hour.

The "fall back" helped get Aidan to bed earlier.  Instead of a 10PM routine that seemed to last until 11 PM, we now try to put him to bed at 9PM.  This means bed, book, and boob are complete by 9 and we are trying to help Aidan soothe himself to sleep.  Some nights are easy.

More and more, I am able to capture Aidan smiling, whether it's a small grin or a big, whole mouth grin, he enjoys showing off his gums.  He was smiling a lot just in the morning, but now it's through out the day.  He is especially happy right after eating, and he will coo and smile at you for a long while before he wets himself and needs a change...then a nap usually follows.  It's just nice to see him smile more, especially since AJ isn't around in the mornings and wasn't see his smiles all that frequent.

My dad asked me if Aidan was like a Barbie doll that I dress, dad, I hated Barbie dolls when I was a kid, and I'm not a fan now.  However, I do enjoy picking out Aidan's outfits and even his diaper.  I get excited when he has a cute one on or one that matches his outfit.  I know dressing him up in what I want him to wear won't last forever, so I have to take advantage of it now.  Besides, who wears a one piece pajama with doggies all over it? Or frogs? Or bears?  Babies...because it's only cute when they're small.

So how about a cloth diaper with robots on it???

Aidan has his two month check up and first round of vaccinations on Thursday.  The picture to the right was on the way to the doctor's...happy baby.

He was 13.3 lbs, 24.75", and head circumference of 15.75".

I brought a bottle of pumped milk to the appointment and fed it to Aidan right before vaccinations.  He drank 3 oz before the nurse came in, so he cried a little when I took it away.  She gave him an oral vaccination, then two shots in the right thigh and one in the left.  He cried after each shot, but as soon as I gave him the bottle back, he was okay.  In fact, he finished it, burped, and passed out in the car seat for his morning nap. 

I did not notice any extra fussiness or sleepiness as a result of the vaccinations.  We gave him two doses of Tylenol the first day one and one dose the following day, but we didn't feel he really needed it, which is why we gave him so little.

We took Aidan to visit some good friends of ours in Hampton, SC.  They recently welcomed baby Cadence into their family about 3.5 weeks ago.  We told Aidan that Cadence is one of his girlfriends...he'll see another one this coming Saturday.  Though the girls don't have to know he's visiting the other. :)

One last pic...

As always, there are more pictures at

All About Mom

Well, 9 weeks postpartum, down to 4 lbs within pre pregnancy weight, which means I lost more than 1/2 per week.  The 1/2 per week is recommended (maximum) for breastfeeding moms.  Oh well, just slightly more.  I don't work out to lose, I work out because I enjoy it and helps keep my sanity!

The raging Hemi is now a quiet, but "I'm still hanging out" (pun not intentional) Hemi.  Not bothersome at all, I just wish it would go away.

Other than that, no PP updates.  My hair has not started falling out, but I think that's due to me continuing to take the prenatal vitamin since I am BFing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Eighth Week

Sweet beautiful sleep

Aidan has been sleeping extremely well at night.  Several times this week he has gone 9 hours in between feedings while most times it was 8 hours.  He was waking up around 5 to 6 am, but he has now stretched that out to 7 to 8 am.  I was using him as an alarm clock to get up, but now I wake before Aidan.  So I have time to eat, brush my teeth, pee, feed the dogs, and clean up a little.

In other news, like most babies, Aidan hates tummy time.  It does seem that he stays on his stomach more each day, and it helps when I talk to him, and he can see me.   (Notice how cute he looks in his cloth diaper. :)  )

Aidan had a busy week.  He went to the zoo for the first time with 6 other kids (and another adult!!), and he missed out on the exciting gorilla eating and spitting up his food and the penguins being fed.  But ya know, watching the penguins being fed was my thing.  Though Aidan might enjoy it one day, too.

Aidan is quickly outgrowing his clothes.  I had to put away a lot of 0-3 and 3 month outfits because he was too long. :(

We had hoped to take Aidan out to our property and take pictures with him and AJ on the John Deere tractor in the onesie pictured on the left, however, it's too small for him.  Oh well, we do have a John Deere onesie and a tractor little boy is growing too fast.

Mom, Aidan and I visited my grandparents on Tybee Island while AJ was out of town working bear hunting season in the Upstate.  Aidan does very well on road trips, however, he did get hungry in a very sketchy area in rural SC...I swear drug deals were going on at a post office.
Anyway, Pepaw and Memaw greatly enjoyed the visit, and I swear he was trying to mimic Pepaw's Chewbaca noises when we arrived home.

This coming week, we have to take Aidan to his 2 month check up and first round of shots.  I'm not looking forward to it, but it's for his own good.  Let's hope the shots don't ruin his sleep/eat schedule because I am loving the continuous night time sleep - but who wouldn't?

All About Mom

So I skipped a week to update on me.  Just short on time to blog about it.  Anyway, it has been officially 301 days since I had an adult beverage.  Well, I finally moved past my guilt and poured myself half a glass of wine...and I only drank half of that before the guilt set in.  I had a bottle ready, so it's not like Aidan would receive any alcohol in my breast milk.  So this past week, I bought juice and champagne to make mimosa's.  I made myself brunch (sausage and french toast) and a mimosa - mostly juice, but this time I enjoyed the drink!  I missed the taste...

I also began working part time from home, which works best in the mornings when Aidan takes his 3-4 hour nap after waking up from sleeping all night.  I enjoy interacting with coworkers and being involved in my job.  I love Aidan, but I do miss the work I do.

I continue to work out, with a focus on cardio since it's a stress relief and I wasn't able to do high levels of cardio while pregnant.  I definitely missed the elliptical. My goal is to work out (whether cardio or weights) five times a week, and so far, I have met that goal.

I swear, each day, I anticipate Aunt Flo coming back.  I have read that exclusively breastfeeding can't prevent the monthly visitor from returning, however, I know plenty of women that this is NOT the case.  Each time my stomach isn't feeling so great, I think "ah crap, here she comes."  However, much to my delight, she is delaying her visit - probably until the most inconvenient time. Boo.