Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Myles Monthly: 5

As you may know, I didn't decide to start my blog until my son Myles was about 8 months old. And well... now he is 15 months old! So I am focusing on getting caught up with monthly updates and monthly favorites, so I can get, and hopefully stay, up to date. 

  December 15th- January 14th, 2013


Statistics:
Born: 7 lbs 6 oz and 19.5 inches
Five Months: No doctors appointments this month, but by estimation 
17 lbs and 26.5 inches
The many smiles of Myles :)

Outings

I'm going to do "outings" first this month because we had some big things happen that effected all the other categories, so it will make more sense this way. 
  •  First, we moved. I had been dreading moving for a while, but we couldn't put it off anymore. We were currently in the third house we rented together and were ready to buy a house. Ideally, we should have looked, bought, and moved before Myles was born, but I mean, do I do anything the easy way? After Myles was born we started looking at houses. And by we, I really mean Mark, and I just tagged along. I know buying a house is supposed to be fun and exciting, but it was just all too much for me to handle on top of caring for a newborn (especially one that didn't sleep). After lots and lots of looking, we found two that we actually liked, but they both had something that the lenders would not accept. At that point, we pretty much gave up and decided it wasn't the right time to buy. However, we also didn't want to keep throwing away our money on rent, so we moved into the duplex that Mark owns. It had just went vacant and Mark didn't want to rent it out anymore (too many hassles and he wanted to put it on the market). So we moved in with the intention of not staying long. We kept many things in boxes and sold a lot of furniture. 
  • We really didn't pack anything until the day we planned to move everything, so it was a very interesting day. Moving with a baby is quite a bit more complicated than moving sans. I packed a day bag for Myles and escaped to my parents for the day. I was beyond stressed and really didn't want to have to move and unpack and situate all in one day. It didn't help that we went from a fairly big house to the tinniest upstairs apartment. We had way too much stuff to fit comfortably in the new place and my claustrophobia was in full-force. That night my parents helped me set up the nursery as best as we could (i.e. put the crib together) so Myles had a place to 'sleep' and the rest of the week went a little something like.... me=running in a hamster wheel. Honestly, it didn't seem to affect Myles at all; his routine stayed the same and he didn't have any major break downs.. me, on the other hand, well I was a whole lot of a hot mess.
  • Myles also had his first Christmas this month. Since we had just moved, we didn't get to set up a tree or even decorate. We did go to our families to celebrate, but it just wasn't what I had always envisioned for his 1st Christmas, so I am going to be considering this year as Myles' first real Christmas (Santa, decorations, trees, traditions, and all)! He had no idea what was going on except that a lot of people were giving him tons of love, affection, and attention. My mother decided to dress up her grandson (seeing a theme... remember the Thanksgiving photo session) as a little elf.
  • Christmas Eve was spent at my dad's (I don't have any pictures) and then Christmas Day, Myles put on his Sundays' best (cutest little man tie) and headed to my parents. He was the center of attention, per usual, and he got some really fun gifts (Mickey and Nemo!). And daddy got a picture frame of "Myles and Daddy Firsts" that still makes me tear up now. 




Loving on his Nemo :)
  • Myles also went on his first vacation! This brought a lot of 'firsts' for Myles: first road trip, first time out of state, first time sleeping in a hotel, first time swimming, and so much more! We took an overnight trip to stay at the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. It takes us about 2 1/2 hours to get there. I was not looking forward to this trip as Myles had a very short limit to his car seat rides; about 45 minutes. I tried to plan it out so that he would be ready for his first nap about 30 minutes into the ride. Of course, Myles laughed at my planning and did not sleep for the entire time in the car! Ever since we got his nap schedule down, he never stayed up longer than 2 hours, so this was very out of character. I was also hoping he would take a nap so that he would be rested for swimming right when we got there. It was very clear he knew something was going on and he didn't want to miss out on anything. He was wide-eyed and inquisitive the whole ride. I guess he was just super excited about our vacation!
  • I've been to Wisconsin Dells dozens of times since I was little, but have never stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge before. The indoor water park there is awesome! They have 4 different sections featuring slides, play areas for all ages, a wave pool, lazy river, baby pool, hot tubs... everything you could want in a water park and it's inside! It was crazy swimming inside, while looking outside to mounds of snow and ice! This was Myles' first time in a pool. It seemed to be a bit overwhelming for him but he definitely liked it. He couldn't do much but sit in the baby pool, but that was fine by him. He also did a lot of people watching, which he loves! He finally took a nap on grandpa poolside, while us big kids took to some rides :)
  • After a full day of swimming, I laid down for a bit while the rest of the fam went exploring. There was a cute story time theater, a little mascot action, and a pretty awesome arcade (from the pictures, at least...haha)


  • The only negative of the trip was the sleeping situation. All 7 of us slept in the same room; 3 different beds, but it was just one big room. I brought the Rock 'N Play Sleeper, but I never put him in it because he was waking up like every 30 minutes. I never fell asleep, not even for a minute. I just kept staring at the clock and trying to keep Myles quite so he wouldn't wake everyone else up. Add to that the snoring chorus of 4 men and I can say that without a doubt it was our worst night of 'sleep' ever. A beyond exhausted mommy and a cranky pants baby did not make for a very chill ride home either. He was fussy for about 1 1/2 hours until I finally got him to take about a 45-minute nap. After that ride home, I swore off road-trips for an indefinite amount of time! But we had fun at the water park and I can't wait to take him again in a couple weeks when we go home! (We are staying in town this year!)

  Health 

We actually had a pretty good 5th month as far as health goes. No doctor visits or weird new habits (that I tend to freak out about). He did get his first stuffy nose though. It only took one night of being in the new place for him to wake up with a stuffy nose. The apartment is quite old and the air circulation was very poor. The heat wasn't working the greatest either. So at night we would have a heater and humidifier going. It didn't seem to really bother him. You could tell he was stuffed-up when he nursed and had a hard time breathing out of his nose, but other than that he really didn't act upset about it. It cleared up in about two weeks, but I still kept the humidifier going so that air wouldn't be too dry. 

His teething continued on in full-force. We had no teeth yet, but EVERYTHING was still going straight to the mouth. We got him the infamous Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether for Christmas. I was hoping for it to be the Holy Grail of teethers, but he really did not care for it at all. He did end up really taking a liking to it, but I think it was just too big for him to maneuver into his mouth at first. He was more about variety; he would pick something up, chew on it for a bit, get bored, then move on to the next item.

And to my delight, blow-outs came back in full-force this month! The size 3 diapers were just not holding it all in! They didn't go high enough up his back to keep it all contained. His poop was constantly spewing out of the diaper and up his back... yuk! I decided to move him up to the size 4 diapers even though he wasn't heavy enough yet. It helped tremendously! They went way higher up his back and held his blow-outs to a minimum.


Eating
Breastfeeding was still going well. The throwing up once a day (from months Three and Four) stopped and he was feeding a little bit longer at a time. I continued to offer a feeding about every hour. He would usually feed for about 4-5 minutes on one side, and then I would try to get him to do the same on the other side. Because he was still feeding so often (and not taking a bottle), we didn't go out much. Plus, it was winter and freezing and driving was dangerous and I had to clean the car off and the possibility of slipping on the ice and trying to keep Myles from getting sick and warming the car up and living in an upstairs apartment and COLD... can you tell I am not a fan of winter in the Midwest! Needless to say, we were home most days, so feeding often wasn't really much of an inconvenience to me. I probably would have gone out more, if I wasn't so uncomfortable with feeding him in public. It didn't so much bother me, but I always felt people starring or acting weird about it. So I pretty much avoided it altogether by just staying home.   

This month we tried really hard to get Myles to take a bottle again. I bought several bottles in an attempt to find one he would eat from. We tried the Tommee Tippee BottleTommee Tippee Closer to Nature First Sips Weaning Cup, The First Years Breastflow Bottle, Playtex Drop Ins Nurser, and NUK Orthodontic Latex Nipples. He didn't care for any of them; none of them worked any better than another either. He just was determined to not drink from a bottle ever again. And well... I guess I didn't have the patience or strength to make it happen. We tried all sorts of ways to get him to take it: me feeding him, Mark feeding him with me around and without me around, in a chair/swing, sitting up, laying down, facing out, hungry, not hungry, warm milk, cold milk, formula, and on and on. I tried everything I read that others said worked for them. I also tried all the suggestions that the LC gave me. I pumped fresh milk for him too (at first we were just using the rest of the milk I had stored in the freezer.) This is when I found out that I could no longer pump any milk. I would get a few drops here and there, but that was it. That made me think that Myles wasn't getting enough milk and maybe that was why he wasn't sleeping at all through the night. But during the day, he would only nurse for a couple minutes at a time, so I could only assume that he was getting enough. Still, that is why I started offering him the breast so often. I didn't want to start solids or cereal yet, but I NEEDED him to sleep better at night.... Speaking of the devil...

Sleeping 

This month I reached my breaking point with the sleep exhaustion. All of my relationships were suffering because of my lack of sleep. I was an emotional wreck and very miserable. I couldn't even enjoy the holidays as I wished that I could have. I remember very well the night that I had a complete breakdown. It was the night after New Years and I had laid down after finally getting Myles to go to sleep. Of course, he did his usual 'nap' and woke up 30 minutes later. I picked him up and nursed him, and when I thought he was asleep, I laid him back down in his crib. I guess I had moved him too much and he woke back up the instant I set him down. This was becoming more and more the routine every night. It was getting harder and harder to keep him asleep after I laid him back down. The more aware he was becoming, the harder it was to get him to sleep. He had done this many times before, but I guess that night was just the breaking point for me. I started crying and ran into the bathroom to have a freak out moment. 

Here's the thing about me: I'm not one to ask for help. I don't mind asking for help with little things here and there like opening a jar or giving me a ride, but big things requiring commitment, I tend to shy away from asking. It has been my biggest lesson learned since becoming a mom. If I went back and did it all over again, I would ask for help a lot more. Point being, I never asked Mark for help with Myles' sleep. I just sucked it up and dredged my way through it. I stupidly waited until I was about 3 seconds away from admitting myself to let anyone help me. Even then, I didn't even ask, Mark just decided that something needed to be done.
Even before this, I started doing some research on nighttime nursing weaning. Honestly, there wasn't much help out there besides 'make nursing sessions shorter and shorter until they stop the feeding altogether' and 'introduce a different soothing technique.' The issue I faced wasn't the nighttime feedings, as much as it was the nursing to sleep. It became the only way he fell asleep and if I moved him afterwards, he would wake back up and I'd have to start the whole process again. I tried a sound machine: mother's heartbeat, ocean, rain; none of them made a difference. I even tried to introduce a little stuffed animal as a soother.  We were in way too deep for a fix that easy. After many hours of reading the same thing over and over again, I finally found a blog of a women who had been in my situation. Unfortunately, she didn't have a miracle solution for me :( but she did have a little suggestion that I thought would be worth a try.
Basically, what she said was to nurse as usual but right before they doze off, take the nipple out of their mouth. If they wake up, try shushing and rocking to get them back asleep first. If that doesn't work, start nursing again. Keep doing this until they fall and stay asleep off of your breast. You can also try shutting their mouth once they are off the nipple by pushing up on their chin. That way they aren't still rooting around. I didn't start this with 100% commitment, but I did try it before naps and for a couple of our many feedings each night, and I did see some progress. It definitely didn't fix all our problems instantly, but it honestly did help. After a while, sometimes he would get off the nipple himself before he fell asleep and the time he nursed shorten too. 

Along with that technique, we started some sleep training. And by we I really mean Mark. I couldn't stand the thought of hearing Myles cry, but I got to the point that I didn't know what else to do. We hooked up the baby monitor and Mark would take the first shift. It worked out because he usually stayed up later and I wanted to lay down right away. Our doctor had told us that at 5 months he should be able to sleep at least 4-6 hours at a time. We did 4 hours at first. If he woke up before the 4 hours was up Mark would let him be and see if he would go back to sleep on his own. We decided that we wouldn't let him cry for more than 10 minutes before going to get him. It was very sporadic at first, but over time, his sleep definitely improved. Some nights, he would wake once, cry for 3 minutes, and fall back asleep. Other nights, he would sleep all the way through the four hours. He still had nights when he would wake up within an hour and not stop crying until I nursed him, though. From night to night, I wasn't sure we were making any progress, but after a couple months of sticking to it, he started to sleep for longer periods more consistently and the wake ups lessened.
We also still continued to swaddle this month. I did have to purchase an upgraded model though because he was always getting out of the ones we had and throwing a fit with his arms and legs. When I found out about the Miracle Blanket, I bought it right away. This thing is no joke; if you have a Houdini like me, it keeps them all wrapped up no doubts! We did start weaning the swaddling this month though. I stopped swaddling at naps and at night time we would let one arm be out, switching it every night. We did this for about three weeks until we switched to the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit (more on that in month seven!)

Milestones

Myles found his feet: I had been trying to show Myles his feet for a long time. I think it's just so cute when babies play with their feet, and it's even better when they get a little taste of the toes. Every morning I would get Myles undressed from his jammies, change his diaper, and then let him play with his feet. It kept him entertained for 10ish minutes usually. It wasn't long after his hands found his feet that they ended up in his mouth. Best baby skill of all time :)

Rolling over: This month Myles became a rolling professional. He got really good at going from his back to his tummy by kicking his legs up and pushing them down while he twisted his torso. Sometimes he would roll all the way across the living room floor. 

 
Assisted sitting: Myles started doing a little assisted sitting. He would sit with the boppy pillow behind him or leaning forward with his hands on the floor holding him up. He wasn't at all stable though and would fall back within seconds. We still practiced everyday and he did it stronger.

Scooting: Myles also started doing a little butt scooting. He really only did this a couple times and it was only if he was on the table like in the video. He would lean forward and put his hands down, then bring his feet in and push his butt back. I never wanted to let go of him though because his back was not strong enough yet and he would fallen back.
 

First time swimming: When we went on vacation to the Great Wolf Lodge, Myles went swimming for the first time (read: sat in the kiddie pool). Lately, he had been having lots of fun splashing and kicking around in the tub, so I just knew he would love going in the big 'tub.' Although there wasn't much he could do, he had fun just hanging in the pool for a bit. 

First swim lesson: After we got back from vacation, I began researching swimming for babies. I found a place in our town that started at 4 months. I was also looking for something to get us out of the house; an activity we could all do together. We went for our first trial class right before Myles turned 5 months. I figured it would be best for Mark to go in with him and I would dress him and such after. He didn't cry at all and was very attentive. He did swallow a little bit of water, and threw up some sweet potatoes :( But it didn't stop him from having the time of his life :) It's a really great class that gets little ones acclimated to the water. They sing songs and do fun activities all while teaching them beginner skills and pool safety. I think Myles taking these classes really fostered his physical development. I highly recommend swimming classes with your little ones!

Likes

  • Swimming: he clearly loved his swimming class. It was a perfect way for him to get practice with motor skills, interact with other babies, and spend quality time with his dada. Mark decided swimming class was going to be his thing with Myles. I did not object one bit! (I still had no energy and chlorine does a number on my skin).
  • Church: we had been going here and there since Myles was born, but we started being more consistent this month. I still was not comfortable with dropping him off at the daycare, so we just sat in the lounge area and watched on the TVs. They have a women only nursing room with TVs as well. It was very convenient to be able to feed Myles and not have to miss any of the service. Most of the time, he did really well. He liked seeing all the people and listening to the singing and sermons. 
With Aunt Jamie at church
  • Attention: With it being the holidays, we spent a lot of time with all sorts of family this month. Everyone wanted a piece of the little man and he soaked up every second of it! He got so much loving, cuddling, and affection he was in heaven. At this point, he was a huge people person; always loving being around lots of people and would let anyone hold him. He would take attention from anyone that would give it to him!
Dislikes
  • Eating from a bottle: As shared above, Myles still wanted nothing to do with the bottle. We tried everyday with absolutely no progress. Sometimes he would just play around with it, but if he was really hungry or was over it, he would get frustrated and mad.
  • Car rides: Still not loving car rides yet. Same as last month: if he was hungry, overtired, or it was dark out, he was not having it. I think he was over having to lay down in the bucket car seat. He hated not being able to see what was going on and/or being forced to lay down when he didn't want to. Unfortunately, he wasn't ready for the next step-up in car seats yet, so we just did our best at working around his best moods. 
  • Nighttime sleep: See sleep above ;)

And since we can't leave you on a negative note, here is some Myles cuteness:
Checking out the roller blade style :)
 
Come back to check out my favorites from months fives & six!

13 comments :

  1. Desiree @ Macke MonologuesNovember 27, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Oh my goodness, Myles 5th month was a BUSY one!!

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  2. He is adorable. My daughter did not sleep either. I was a broken down mess almost daily because of sleep deprivation. I feel your pain. I just joined the Bloglovin Blog Hop & am now following you.

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  3. Hi! I'm a new follower, and love your blog! Happy 5 months Myles, he has done so much in a month!! and scooting already!!! Would love it if you stopped by my blog too :)

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  4. Brittnei WashingtonDecember 1, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Oh my goodness! You have such an amazing detailed diary of what is going on with him each month! I so wish we were able to take advantage of swimming lessons early on. I might be able to this time around. At this one place near us it is free for babies up to 6 months old. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Countdown in Style! Don't forget to stop by Friday to see if you are featured! xo

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  5. Gotta love the holidays :) Everything is a 'first' in their a baby and you know we have to remember it all!

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  6. Thanks for the follow, I will definitely be returning the favor :) I honestly didn't know if he would ever sleep through the night at the rate we were going... I never want to go though that again.. I totally know that broken down mess feeling :( Hope you're getting sleep now!

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  7. Thanks for the love! I will definitely come check you out :) Yes month 5
    was a very busy one for sure, but I love that everything is a 'first'!

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  8. I know my detail is a little too much, but I want to remember as much as possible. I know one day my memory will fade, but that is what is so awesome about blogging! Thanks for always stopping by when I link up! You're an awesome host!

    And FREE.. heck ya! That's one of my most favorites words! You should totally do it; it is soo worth it. I take Myles to the Little Gym now, but I really want to get him back into swimming because of how good it is for them.

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  9. Beautiful family!
    Thanks for sharing!
    http://itzybellababy.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks so much! The little man has all the beauty and cuteness :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Elise Johansen HarveyDecember 3, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    What a cutie!!

    Elise @ Harvey Ever After

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  12. Awe.. thanks.. he definitely has my heart!

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  13. I've only gotten to 5 months and I am kind of over it haha. They take a long time for me to write and I don't have much time for blogging as it is, so I'm still really behind. But I know they are worth it, so I keep on keeping on. I have a good memory for certain things and pictures and FB helps a lot. I also wrote down stuff in a journal for the first couple months. And I also remember the sleeping so well because it was traumatizing! I don't think I will ever forget not sleeping for 6 months straight! :)

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