Thursday, December 11, 2014

Trying Dairy Again

Back in May, Miss A was very sick, which caused her to become lactose intolerant. After puking constantly for almost a month, her doctor explained that her body was stripped of all the bacteria and other things it needed to digest dairy, specifically lactose.

We've been extremely careful these past six months, giving her Lactaid and other substitutes we've found. We also found Lactaid pills that she can take when we wanted to spoil her with pizza or something else cheesy. We tried hard not to do this too often, as I really don't like giving her medicine when we can avoid it... but the poor kid loves pizza, and how can I say no to her big beautiful eyes?

She's been doing great with this routine. She knows "Chocolate makes me sick," and will tell everyone, all the time. She understands really well when we tell her she can't have something because it will make her sick, and usually doesn't throw too much of a fuss.

Last week, I was feeling seven kinds of sick. A head cold seriously got the best of me, and I fell asleep right after making dinner. I usually cook with Go Veggie cheese, but I didn't have any mozzarella on hand so I used regular cheese. I had planned to give Miss A a Lactaid pill, but was asleep when Jimmy fixed her plate. He'd assumed that I cooked with the Go Veggie like I usually do, and didn't give her medicine. She was fine!

We're still unsure of how much she ate, and I've read that heavily processed, and heavily cooked dairy is easier to process than just plain milk, which was good for this case. Either way, she ate it and didn't seem to have any repercussions. A few days later, we decided to test the waters again with some alfredo made with normal milk instead of Lactaid. She seemed to do just fine again. I know she didn't eat quite as much of this as she normally does, but again it was probably a good thing. Last night, we test the waters even farther: Little Caesar's pretzel pizza, with cheese sauce and cheese. If anything was going to do it over for her, this was it. She was a little gassy last night, but didn't seem to feel bad and didn't have any issues through the night.

I am going to take it easy with her over the weekend to make sure her system is keeping up. Next week she's got an appointment to discuss the "proper" way to reintroduce lactose after this long. I'm really excited that we might be closing this chapter. I'll probably still use veggie cheese when cooking just because a few extra veggies never hurt anyone, but it is so nice to know that I'm not going to hospitalize my child if she gets hold of a chocolate chip cookie.

God Bless ♥ V

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Our Baby through Toddler Sleeping Arrangements

I'm a firm believer that sleep is one of the most important things in the world. For real, it's more important than a lot of things in my life, definitely high on the list. That being said, since Miss A was a newborn, I've always made her quality of sleep a high priority. She's now creeping up on the 2 1/2 year old mark, and her sleep habits are still pretty fantastic.

I know that what has worked with us does not work with everyone, but it has worked great for our family. Here's a timeline of Miss A's sleeping arrangements from birth to now:

Birth-1 Week | We co-slept with Miss A propped up on a pillow between us for the first few nights at home, as well as when we were in the hospital. She was a pretty big baby (over 8 pounds) so she took up a decent amount of a normal sized pillow. After her sliding into us off the pillow a few times, we decided to put her in her bassinet right next to the bed.

For naps, I was sleeping every chance I could get so we would either sleep on the couch together or in the bed together. I would put her in her bassinet or on my husband's side of the bed if it was just the two of us.

1 Week- 3 Weeks| She stayed in her bassinet in our room for a few weeks. We would alternate whose lamp stayed on for a few hours during the night (Note to self, invest in a good night light for the next baby, this was a pain in the butt) so we could keep eyes on her. As I said before, she was a big and long baby, so she quickly outgrew the Moses basket we had. Around 3 weeks or so, we started putting her in her crib.

She would nap in her swing in the living room during the day, or in my arms on the couch.

3 Weeks- 6 Months | After the first few nights, this girl was a champ sleeping in her crib. I was a nervous wreck having her in her own room, but two monitors on each side of our bed, full volume, and the vibrating alert helped ease our fears. She would sleep longer and longer each week. Around three months she started waking only once at night, and around four months she was sleeping through the night (or at least until 5AM) consistently. By six months she was really solid with sleeping through the night until early in the morning.

She would nap either in her swing or in my lap for quite a while. The older she got, the less she liked to be held. She would sometimes fall asleep on her play mat on the floor too.

6 Months - 12 Months | Miss A was a sleeping queen. This child of mine would sleep for a solid 12 hours every night, 8:00-8:00 almost constantly. I always made our night time routine consistent. Oatmeal/food around 7:30, then a bath, then bottle and bed at 8:00. Very rarely would we break from this routine, and I definitely noticed when we did. She would put herself to sleep on her own. She'd let me rock her most nights if I wanted to, but didn't need it if I had school work or something else with a looming deadline.

For naps, she would nap 2-3 times per day, again putting herself to sleep each time. She started napping exclusively in her crib just after six months because her weight exceeded the swing (Yay! for chunky babies). I was able to put her in her room awake, and she'd fall asleep within minutes.

Around six months she also started standing in her crib. I wasn't worried about her actually climbing out, but I didn't want to take any chances so I lowered it to the lowest setting which allowed us to keep her in her crib until almost 18 months.

12 Months - 17 Months | Miss A cut down to 1 nap shortly after 12 months, but it was a long nap. On a normal day, she'd wake up around 8:00AM, then nap around 10:00 or so until 1:30 or 2:00. She'd stay up until 8:00PM as always, and repeat the next day. She continued to put herself to sleep regularly and sleep through the night.

At 16 months she had a really severe diaper rash that wouldn't give, causing her to wake several times in the night in pain. We switched to cloth diapers, and after working out some night time kinks, she was back to sleeping 12 hours again.

We also introduced more blankets and pillows shortly after 12 months. She slept with a pillow pet instead of a normal pillow for quite a while, close to a year actually, but we finally hid it and gave her a regular pillow shortly before her second birthday.

17 Months - 2 1/2 Years | At 17 months, Miss A became a climber. I was really hoping to be able to wait until she was 18 months to convert her crib to a toddler bed, but it just wasn't going to happen. I figured that switching her a few weeks early would be better than letting her fall from the top of her crib.

We have a convertible crib that goes from crib to toddler bed, to day bed, to full size bed. So converting it was a relatively easy process.
The initial few days were pretty rough, especially since she could  open doors. We ended up using one of the door handle guards inside her room so she couldn't let herself out in the night. Once we did that, the adjustment went really quickly. She would wake up in the middle of the night on occasion, but for the most part, it was smooth sailing.

We used the rail for about 7 months to let her get used to having an open side, and prevent her from rolling out. After she started hanging from the rail, and climbing and jumping off of it, we took it off and piled a stuffed animal or five next to her bed for cushion if she rolled off in the night.

She now sleeps just fine without the rail or stuffed animals. She sleeps about 11 hours per night, along with a 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the day. Just recently, she's started telling us that she's "too big" for her bed and that she needs "a bed like Mommy's" or "Nana's" (the guest room has a queen size bed as well). While we don't plan on getting her a queen size bed, we are planning on upgrading her after Christmas. She won't be 2 1/2 until the end of January, but I feel confident that she will do fine in a twin bed. We're in the process of finding one that doesn't sit too high off the ground so she can get up and down easily. She does wake sometimes in the night to go to the bathroom on her own, and we don't want her falling or not being able to get back up.

I'll be sure to keep all of you updated with how that process goes! I'm sure that she will adjust just as quickly as she did to her toddler bed. If you have any other questions about our sleep habits and routines, please feel free to ask! We have been so blessed with a great sleeper, I can only hope that our future children will be the same.

God Bless ♥ V

Monday, December 01, 2014

Emotions about Moving

Moving is, to say the least, stressful. Before our move, I was just anxious and ready to get it over with. As we're coming up on the month marker (Wednesday!) of being in our new house, I can't help but feel like we aren't done yet. I'm still completely exhausted, both physically and mentally. Between all of the moving chaos and the holidays, I'm just so tired.

I hate what this move has done to my communication with my friends and family. I used to talk to my closest friends every single day, I'd talk to my mom every day, and my mother in law almost every day. Now, it just doesn't happen. Before I know it, I've gone days, even a week or more, without talking to the most important people in my life, and I hate it.

I know that this is a busy time of year as it is, but I really truly hate it. This is the time of year when I hold family and friends closest. Not being able to talk to them, whether it be lack of time, lack of energy, or a combination of the two, has really been weighing on my heart heavily these last few weeks.

Another big downer for me is that I've not worked in over a month. I'm going crazy. This need for productivity is driving me insane. I need a photo shoot, a mentoring session, something. I'm praying that 2105 will bring big things for my business, because these last few months of 2014 are proving torturous.

Lastly, I'm dying for some sense of normalcy. Our weeks are still full of the random moving errands, introduction appointments, and trying to find our way around town. We're still getting those last bills from the old house, on top of the new ones for this house. There are still boxes in more places than I'd like to admit.

I'm just so ready to put this whole move behind us and get back to a regular schedule. Miss A has been such a little trooper through it all. I'm so thankful for such a resilient child. Sickness has struck me pretty good today, so Frozen and popsicles on the couch it is.

Here's to hoping that the next few weeks allow for some relaxation before the craziness of holiday travel begins!

God Bless ♥ V