no sleep till.. never?

goodness, it’s been a ghastly week at the so household. penny woke up with a fever last thursday morning and has been sick ever since with progressively worse symptoms. she’s finally much better today, and as my mil and i marveled over penny recognizing and reciting numbers 0-9 on her duplo blocks it was hard to believe this little smartypants had been vomiting almost all day on saturday.

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encouraging her to drink water to get a urine sample

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a little wary of the other adults

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little miss sunshine

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penny didn’t have much of an appetite since she wasn’t feeling well but was in good spirits most of the time during her illness. on friday, i suspected she had a uti because she suddenly got out of her car and started crying as she crossed her legs. even though i took her to the doctor’s office that afternoon we couldn’t determine exactly what she had because she wouldn’t cooperate. she screamed and writhed when getting her ears and heart checked. (at least they ruled out an ear infection.) we were unsuccessful in trying to attach a urine bag to penny to collect a urine sample so we tried by placing cotton balls in her diaper and having her drink water but her diaper was still dry after 25 minutes.

i brought two urine bags and a cup home in an attempt to collect a sample but was unsuccessful yet again. both bags became detached and were crumpled up in the diaper. she didn’t have pain going to the bathroom and her urine didn’t have a funky odor so it most likely was not a uti. the pediatrician seemed to think penny just had contracted a virus anyway.

things took a turn for the worse on saturday. we walked in penny’s room that morning and discovered she had vomited sometime during the night. it had dried on the crib sheet and there were chunks – pardon me while i gag – of partially digested food in her hair! she didn’t even cry but just looked up at us as if she was going to get in trouble. i don’t know how she slept in all of that, and that really makes me sad for her! dennis thinks penny vomited before she even fell asleep friday night. i had gone out to meet up with friends for a paint night / baby sprinkle that night and dennis had put both kids to bed with help from his mom. he noted that penny sat up in her crib for a while before finally going to bed. she must have vomited and had not known what to do.

for her nap on saturday, penny took an awfully long time to fall asleep. when she finally did, she only slept for an hour and sat up again in her crib. when i went in her room to check on her, i found that she had vomited again! as for bedtime that night… that was a downright fiasco. she had a developed a cough that day, and that was not only keeping her up but it caused her to vomit three more times that night. again, we never would have known because penny never cried or called out for us. we watched the monitor like a hawk to observe her behavior. at one point when she sat up in her crib, she made a brushing motion with her hand. (she was probably trying to wipe the vomit off her sleep sack.)

the washer and dryer were basically going on all night as we washed her pajamas, crib sheets, stuffed animals, and blankets. the first time it happened, we washed her off, changed her, and put her to bed before she vomited again. the second time it occurred there weren’t any crib sheets left so we had to keep her up while we waited for one to dry. while we were keeping her distracted, she vomited on the kitchen floor! by this time, she knew something was wrong and was getting a little scared. when we finally put her to bed she started crying because she probably thought she was going to vomit again. i think she was associating her crib with these horrible episodes.

i laid out a comforter on the floor of penny’s bedroom and lied down on it while coaxing penny to join me. she wasn’t convinced and kept trying to have me read books to her. i finally pretended to sleep but she kept her distance though she did steal glances in my direction. then, i left the room saying “bye, good night” and came back to see that she had finally lied down. i joined her and gave her her blankie. she did not want the room to be in total darkness so i left her lamp on to provide a dim light. i also soothed her by placing my hand on her stomach. she was asleep within minutes and i quietly stole out of the room. we waited about a half hour before dennis went in to place her gently in her crib. at least ezra slept through it all! his last feeding had been around 8pm and he didn’t wake again to eat until 2am.

penny seems to be near 100% today. finally. she is no longer coughing and her appetite has somewhat returned. she also slept for almost 12 hours last night which shows that rest is essential to recovering. since she was feeling much better today, i was able to take her to the library in coventry for story time – perfect timing since the program started up again today. we were able to see karen and parker there and catch up with them as well.

as for the other child, ezra has had a good routine going once i upped his milk intake. he never seemed to be fully satisfied after every feeding and would sometimes cry for a little bit. after researching online, i found that bottle-fed babies are drinking about 5~6 ounces per feeding at his age (he is 8 weeks today.) i had been giving ezra 3 oz. every 3 hours! no wonder he wasn’t satiated. i tried giving him 5oz and he drank it all without spitting up or being uncomfortable. after some experimenting, i found that ezra still wants to drink every 3 hours which caused his milk intake to shoot up during the day. i was worried i was overfeeding him but getting his calories in during the day helped him sleep longer at night – the ultimate goal!

we have been putting ezra down for the night around 8:30pm shortly after penny goes to bed. then he will have a good stretch before he needs to eat again, about 5-6 hours! i was feeling rather pleased with this improved schedule until last night. ezra would not fall asleep for longer than a half hour before he started crying. dennis and i took turns going in there to soothe him, rock him, change his diaper, and reswaddle. every time he fell asleep, he would wake up crying a short while later. we attributed his discomfort to gas but none of the measures we were using were working. finally at 5am, i decided to let him sleep on his belly to push the gas out… and that was it. he passed out and slept for two hours before waking up for his morning feed, and then taking a 2.5 hour nap.

anyway, both kiddos seem to be doing much better today – hallelujah! this depressing weather has been crippling our mood as well but it seems to be slowly turning around tomorrow. it’s hard to believe today’s high is in the 50s while next tuesday’s will be 90! we have another busy weekend ahead of us. saturday is a day trip to massachusetts to attend my cousin’s high school graduation party. (to be accurate, it’s my first cousin once removed – my first cousin’s son.) sunday is ethan’s first birthday so we will attend that as a family as well.

with everything going on, i haven’t been able to write a post on memorial day weekend. hoping i will soon. goal: before the month is over. 😦

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ez loves bath time just like penny

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smiling a lot more these days

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congrats on your new position!

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paint night for bomie and baby!

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watching high school musical 2

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first time using the activity mat

postpartum depression

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the first month of penny’s life was basically hell on earth. it’s quite harsh to word it like this but i don’t want to sugarcoat what i had endured during that time.

even though i was told by multiple lactation consultants that penny had a great latch, breastfeeding was incredibly painful. despite this, i kept on doing it hoping that the pain would subside. thing is, newborns nurse constantly and – tmi alert – my nipples never got the chance to heal so they were red, raw, cracked and bleeding. every time i breastfed penny tears would be streaming down my face and i’d be gritting my teeth. looking back, i still can’t believe i didn’t give up. my pride and obstinate nature were big factors in continuing this torturous deed but it took a great toll on me emotionally.

the pain of breastfeeding caused me so much anger and misery that it was hard to really enjoy motherhood initially. i knew that it wouldn’t be comfortable but i had no idea how much it would actually hurt. i dreaded breastfeeding so much i would cry in anticipation of the impending pain; and during breastfeeding, i would picture myself jumping out a window or hanging myself in a doorway! i was suffering so much i had thoughts of wanting to die. and still, i pressed on. many times i couldn’t take it anymore and would unlatch penny so she could bottle feed.

one particular lactation consultant advised me to take a break so i could heal mentally and physically. that meant i had to pump, and i pumped every. two. hours. even at night. this went on for a few weeks and i wanted to collapse from fatigue. i had white bumps underneath my eyes from lack of sleep and i was unbelievably hostile and irritable. to top it off, i got mastitis (twice), an infection of the breast tissue. the constant pumping and, quite possibly, bacteria entering my body through cracked and sore nipples took its toll.

although i had, and still have, a great support system i still felt helpless and alone. it was difficult to talk about my ordeal with anyone because i didn’t know anyone that shared my painful experience. or so i thought. when i posted about my breastfeeding struggles, i was amazed at the large amount of feedback i received from other mom friends about their own personal struggles. having these women respond to my story and offer words of encouragement and advice certainly helped in my being able to persevere and trying to maintain optimism and hope.

i found using a nipple shield greatly helped penny’s latch while also diminishing pain and discomfort. even though i seemed to have overcome the biggest source of  misery, i was still often unhappy. a lot had to do with being overwhelmed by a baby’s demands and being constantly tired. for the most part, penny has always been a great sleeper. i’m not counting the first few weeks of her life because newborns have to wake constantly to eat. they also have what is referred to as “the witching hour” – from roughly 6-11pm, babies can get inconsolable and refuse to sleep. growth spurts and developmental leaps are usually not fun and affect sleep as well.

whenever there was a hiccup to the schedule that i had for penny, i would freak out. i’m constantly researching articles on sleep and i had learned that “sleep begets sleep.” if penny ever woke up from a “disaster nap” (a nap that is less than 45 minutes), i would get upset because not only would it throw off the whole schedule but i’d worry about her being overtired and waking up at night. i drove myself crazy envisioning possible scenarios and found it tough to cope with unexpected situations. it got the point to where my anger and frustration would boil over and i would lose my cool at penny. how can you get mad at a baby? even worse, how can anyone yell at a baby?

the times i spent an hour rocking penny to sleep only to have her wake up the minute i put her down were usually because she was transitioning to fewer naps. i didn’t know it then and kept trying to figure out what was wrong. i would cry from being angry, tired, and hungry. sometimes i would yell at penny to go to sleep. after penny’s newborn stage, i was mostly alone all day with her and my dog. i was lonely and overwhelmed. i kept praying for patience and endurance, and i would have a good stretch where i felt happy. then something would throw me off and i’d start having a panic attack. often times i felt guilty for feeling angry or sad because penny actually is a good sleeper and such a happy baby. i was also often told that i “should be like this” and “not like this” so that made me feel even more terrible. i knew i had to act before it really started to affect my relationship with penny.

i scheduled an appointment with my ob to discuss the possibility of my having postpartum depression. we found that my type a personality makes it hard for me to be flexible and be able to go with the flow. i’m all about structure and schedules and the unpredictability of a baby basically threw my whole life off course. thankfully, it seems as if i have adjustment issues instead of postpartum depression but i still constantly have to keep working on remaining calm and being more relaxed. i’ve also been taking 25mg of zoloft before i go to bed to help take the edge off and sleep better at night. although penny sleeps 11-12 hours, any little noise that she makes rouses me from my light slumber and i’d lie awake thoughts running through my head, unable to sleep. zoloft doesn’t conk me out but i have a more restful sleep now.

with penny sleeping such long stretches and going to bed on her own, i’ve been feeling more rested and happy these days. i know anything can change… and i still have my bouts of freak-outs but my attitude has improved. dennis says he feels encouraged because he sees me smiling more than i had been before i had gone to see my ob.

parenthood is such a monumental and pivotal moment in our lives – it’s vital to have a support system. i also learned not to be afraid to ask for help and to also r e l a x without the baby. now i feel more comfortable about going out sans penny after having nervously done it the first few times. it wasn’t that i didn’t want to go out; i was afraid that penny’s schedule would get messed up because whoever watched her wouldn’t do it the way i did. even now i still struggle with micromanagement but i’m trying to be more easygoing. the vegas trip helped immensely because i got a much-needed getaway and i learned to “let go” since i wouldn’t be taking care of penny for 4 days.

this friday, dennis and i will be going to punta canta for 5 days for a wedding. i’m nervous again about leaving penny but much less so this time around. she’s on a great schedule and she loves my in-laws so i know she’ll do well. i just have to remember to relax and have fun.

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my friend, ben, came down from massachusetts to visit!

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i love having visitors. for a while, i struggled with staying in touch with people because i was so miserable and tired but human contact is so important. having visitors also breaks the monotony and helps the day go by quicker.

dennis could always tell if i had a visitor while he was at work because i’d be happier and smiling more than usual.

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our friend, john, came over yesterday to hang out 🙂

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goodbye to the merlin sleep suit. penny finally mastered rolling over in the suit so she can’t wear it anymore to bed. we were worried about transitioning her out of it but she’s still sleeping wonderfully! she’ll wake up at night because she’ll roll over onto her stomach but she falls back asleep, usually on her tummy.

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penny sleeps in a sleep sack now – still too young for blankets. dennis gets really worried about her sleeping on her stomach especially since her face was right up against the mattress last night. i reassured him that she would wake up if she can’t breathe. she has great arm strength as is evidenced two photos above but admittedly i get anxious too and stare at the monitor to make sure she’s breathing.

this post took a lot longer than i had thought it would. it’s nearly 9pm and i haven’t eaten dinner yet. still, i’m glad i finally was able to post about my struggles because it’s not something i feel like i should have to hide or be ashamed about. if my personal experience can spread awareness and encourage new and current moms, then this has been all worth it.

 

happy new year!

2 0 1 6.

a whole new year with penny. she’s growing up so, so quickly. her first birthday is in 4 months!

what?!? :O

the overzealous mom that i am, i started a pinterest board for her birthday when she was 3 months old adding ideas here and there… but now i really have to get the ball rolling. dennis and i settled on a theme – secret for now – and i need to start making decorations and deciding how i want to set everything up. my parents recently moved and generously offered us their home as the location. since the party will be held in boston it will be more convenient for my family and friends that live in mass to attend especially my 94-year-old grandmother who hasn’t been able to see penny in several months.

i’m hoping to work on the birthday projects little by little to ease the stress factor. *fingers crossed*

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korean tradition to eat ddeok-guk (떡국), or rice cake soup, for the new year

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she loves piggyback rides

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playing with her lion rattle

penny is continuing to sleep wonderfully on her own. she started leap #6 a few days ago so her naps have been back and forth from being short to long but she’s still doing great. (i.e no rocking and no going in to pop the pacifier back in her mouth.) sometimes she’ll play with the pacifier and fall asleep with it at her side.

the only thing that slightly worries us is her moving around in her crib. she isn’t crawling yet but she scoots on her back and often times spins 180 degrees so all we see is the back of her head on the baby monitor. she’s still in her merlin sleep suit which adds a little bit of weight so penny rolls onto her side and scoots around. she’ll kick the crib rails and play with the mesh bumpers then, eventually, fall asleep. i don’t know why but she also likes to sleep facing the crib’s sides. i’m not sure if it’s because she feels snug but i get worried that she’ll wake herself up because her head and feet are touching the rails. sometimes she does but she usually falls back asleep, thankfully.

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this is usually how she falls asleep nowadays

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how i found her after her nap

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look at her legs! she’s not sleeping here.. she fell asleep shortly afterwards

one of my next posts will be about homemade baby food and penny’s feeding schedule. she loves to eat solids now after having a rocky start. penny also can’t get enough of water. we limit her daily intake to 3 oz. and only during mealtimes to wash the food down, but she gets so excited when she sees her sippy cup! she picks up the cup and puts the spout in her mouth but can only drink it if it’s nearly full as she doesn’t yet know to tilt her head back to get the water to flow.

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practicing feeding herself yogurt

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yum!

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this sippy cup was $10 but totally worth it

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good eats, good sleep. these two things have contributed in my feeling much more energized and happy these days. what a great way to start off the new year!

 

 

penny’s first christmas

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penny in her playroom


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she loves yogurt!

’twas a very merry christmas!

i was so excited to celebrate our first christmas as a family because it’s such an important, and festive, holiday.

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playing with the gift the so grandparents got her


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one of her many gifts: a ball pit!


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thank you, jennie and kaylee, for the adorable headband!


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looks so much cuter with hair!

christmas is also my mom’s birthday. it’s rough having your birthday fall on the biggest holiday of the year and sharing it with jesus so we try to make it special for my mom. my parents came down for dinner on christmas eve, and we went out to eat with dennis’ parents as well. my mom is very selfless and doesn’t ask for much so i know she was overjoyed when we surprised her with a cake – strawberry cheesecake from vernon diner to be specific.

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i love you, mom! happy birthday ❤

taking advantage of being able to spend time with us, my mom practically held penny the entire time. she and my mil took turns feeding penny her bottle and butternut squash with pear.

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entertaining herself during dinner


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before we left for dinner

so much good happens in my life, and as every year draws to a close i wonder how next year can even possibly be on the same level, or even better, than this one. but every year has been better than the last.

2015 was no exception and is probably the most important year of my life since i became a mommy to a healthy, vivacious, happy, and beautiful baby girl. it’s hard to believe penny’s already 7.5 months. with each passing day, i’m in awe of what she knows and can do. for example, today she began saying “da da da.” she had been saying, “ba ba ba” for some time now but has been more vocal the past few days. she also has been screeching and yelling (while smiling) because she can.

penny also gave us a wonderful gift: sleeping on her own. we’ve been rocking penny to sleep since she was born. as she got heavier and heavier we have been wondering how long we would have to do this for. we knew we would have to start sleep training but i, in particular, was nervous about this daunting task. do we try the “cry it out” method? what do we do? it turns out we didn’t have to do anything except put her down.

when researching on sleep training i kept reading “put baby down ‘drowsy but awake'” and thought, “yeah, right.. penny will never sleep like that.” we were too afraid to risk it, and honestly penny probably wasn’t ready. until three days ago.

around 6 months, penny transitioned to a 2-nap day and her awake time has been slowly increasing. currently, penny’s on track to being on the 2-3-4 schedule. if you don’t know what that is, it means your baby’s awake period is 2 hours before first nap, 3 hours before second nap, and 4 hours before bedtime. for quite some time, penny’s awake time was 2 hours before each nap and then, maybe, 3 until bedtime. we have been slowly increasing the increments in her awake time while still following her sleepy cues.

we also noticed that if her second nap was a half hour and gave her a third nap, she wouldn’t fall asleep as easily for bedtime. therefore if she ever had a “disaster nap” for the second nap we would put her to bed a little earlier.

this website was so helpful in helping me figure out penny’s schedule. yes, all babies are different but the “sleep lady” was on point for penny’s needs. we don’t let penny sleep longer than 2 hours for any nap and we are mindful of her awake time.

back in november, penny was sleeping 10-hour stretches which were wonderful but also driving us crazy because she would be awake and ready to go at 4am. she would play for an hour or even more and finally end up falling asleep again. thankfully, she had learned how to self-soothe by then so she wasn’t crying for us but i would lie awake wondering if i would have to tend to her or not. on one of the nights penny would not fall asleep i told dennis to turn off the night light on the video monitor. we were skeptical, but it worked! with the room pitch-black, penny soon fell asleep! now we knew why she had had a hard time falling back asleep: as she became more aware of her surroundings, the night light distracted her and kept her from sleeping even though she was tired.

one of the other reasons for her early-morning wake-ups was that penny had started waking up around 6am or earlier so by the end of the day she would want to go to bed around 5:30! it was stressful trying to make her stay up until, at least, 6pm so she wouldn’t wake up so early the next day. (now that penny has a set schedule i see that she was trying to fully transition to 2 naps and we had to fiddle with her awake time.)

some days she slept even longer, until 5am, but then would not fall back asleep because.. face it, 11 hours straight is pretty dang good. that’s a well-rested baby. but again, with time, and with the increase in her awake time penny has been waking up after 6am and sleeping after 6pm.

i was pretty satisfied with penny’s progress until she threw me for a loop three nights ago. even though penny was tired, she would not sleep. i rocked her for 3 hours.. is that crazy or what?! every time i put her in the crib, her eyes would fly open. it was obvious she was ready to pass out because every time i picked her back up her eyes would immediately close. finally, out of frustration, exhaustion, and hunger i placed her in the crib around 9:40pm and walked downstairs.

as i ate a very late dinner and watched the monitor, penny fussed and played for ten minutes and then fell asleep. i couldn’t believe it. first of all, she had been on her side in the merlin suit and fell asleep like that! and second, there was no pacifier and no one to soothe her.. she just.. fell asleep.

thinking it was just a fluke and that she had just been exhausted from being up so long, dennis tried rocking her for her morning nap the next day. but, penny would wake up whenever he put her down. finally he came downstairs to see if she would fall asleep on her own AND SHE DID! penny has been telling us she’s ready to fall asleep by herself.. and we are ECSTATIC that we don’t have to rock her anymore.

sleep is such a beautiful, beautiful thing… and penny has been sleeping 11 straight hours without us having to tend to her. we still can’t believe it. of course, all will change when her teeth finally come in.. and the 8-month sleep regression is quickly approaching but we are SO enjoying this right now! and we are so proud that penny has been able to figure out how to sleep on her own. we are finally feeling more rested, and happier because of it too.

sweet dreams, penny.

weekend fun

think the worst of the sleep regression has subsided. I really don’t want to jinx it but the past few nights have been penny waking up at her “normal” hours – once a night. this is, of course, excluding last night.

penny had her 4-month vaccines on friday afternoon. i learned this after the fact but it’s advisable to schedule vaccines after 1:30pm so your baby can sleep through the discomfort at night. penny’s appt was at 2:30. she cried a little bit but stopped immediately when dennis picked her up. she was her usual self too just a little quiet. she also ended up sleeping fine that night, but her naps the next day were affected. it was obvious that she was exhausted but she took 4 half-hour naps on saturday. the short naps ended up disrupting her nighttime sleep as because she woke up at 11:40pm last night and it took two tries to put her down. (I finally succeeded at 12:20am.) Then, she woke up at 2:20am so dennis fed her, but she didn’t end up falling asleep until 4:30am!

a little out of it after the vaccines

a little out of it after the vaccines

we weren’t sure if we would be able to make it to church today on account of everyone being tired. but when i put penny down for her morning nap – knowing it’d last a half hour – we scrambled to get ready by taking turns showering, dressing, and getting penny’s diaper bag and other essentials ready to load into the car. lo and behold, penny woke up at the half-hour mark but we were able to go to church! anddddd she was so good today. we made sure to feed her (during service) and kept her preoccupied with toys and a stroller fan blowing on her. (it was really stuffy in the room.) she became a little fussy because she was tired but i changed her diaper in the bathroom and walked around with her in the hallway to give her a break, and fresh air. she was content and let my friend, grace, hold her while dennis and i ate lunch.

full belly = happy baby

full belly = happy baby

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now we’re home and watching the patriots! well, dennis was watching the patriots.. but he ended up taking a nap with yuri so currently i’m the only one awake in this house.

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this past weekend was dennis’ weekend off. he has a 3-day weekend every other weekend and i look forward to them (maybe as much as he does!) for family bonding time and, naturally, the assistance with penny. yesterday when penny struggled with her naps and we couldn’t catch a break, we tag-teamed by taking turns napping while the other fed, played, and put penny down for a nap.

there was a small farm fair near our neighborhood yesterday and after penny’s first nap we walked over to check it out. we ate hot dogs, checked out homemade crafts and wares, and brought home fresh microgreens from the greenhouse.

there were also two alpacas. one saw yuri and kept craning her neck around her own to take a better look at her 😀 it was hilarious. the alpaca even came closer to inspect yuri more carefully and yuri didn’t like it at all!

makes me think of

makes me think of “the emperor’s new groove”, one of my favorite disney movies

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thursday was also our friend, john’s 30th birthday and we celebrated at sushi house, an all-you-can-eat sushi joint! he and my friend, alice, are set to wed next year and dennis is the best man 🙂

as usual, i was nervous about going out but penny ended up being fine (since we already put her down for the night). in my last post, i talked about socializing more and going out. it felt refreshing to catch up with friends and have “me” time.

happy birthday!

happy birthday!

although i don’t like to place penny on her back for too long because she’s in that position most of the time due to naps and bedtime, i have been laying her down on occasion to try and encourage her to roll from back to tummy.

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penny’s still napping (2 hours exactly so far) so i should take advantage and see if i can manage some shut-eye myself. hopefully the next time i post, penny’s sleep regression will have ended!

*edit – just as i saved this post, penny woke up, crying..but fell back asleep. Whew..

3 months and counting

sweet p is 3 months old! 

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sleepy eyes 🙂

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it’s quite the hassle trying to get these monthly photo shoots done since i do it by myself. i do it when she wakes up so she’s not as fussy and there is less danger of her spitting up on her clothes. as you can see, the polo dress is already getting to be too small for her even though the size is 3 months. this was her first time wearing it too!

now more than ever, she is grabbing, pulling, and pushing toys all the time now. she loves to lay in the boppy lounger and play with the toys that i hang on the arch above the pack and play. i try to rotate the toys so she won’t get bored. another thing i noticed is that penny is starting to put my hand in her mouth. whenever i hold penny, i usually have her in the sitting position facing outward so she can see everything. since my arm is across her chest for support, my hand is near her mouth and she leans forward to lick and nibble on it. her sensory awareness is definitely heightened and i love watching her explore, and also get entranced by different things.

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the other day, i looked down to check on penny and the arch had fallen on her! i probably didn’t secure it well enough and when she tugged on the toys, it fell over 😀 of course i had to take a picture first.IMG_0853

as she becomes more aware of her surroundings, penny is also getting easily distracted during feedings. sometimes the time spent nursing is doubled because she will constantly unlatch/relatch after gazing at an object. ever since she began focusing on objects, she has been staring at tall objects and anything on the ceiling such as lights and ceiling fans. i could walk by the kitchen while holding her and she will bend over backwards just to look at the pendant lights over the breakfast bar! it’s rather hilarious. since she likes looking at lights so much i turn them on and off for her.

gazing at the chandelier as always

gazing at the paper fans on the wall

she loves the chandeiler

she loves the chandelier

i may have mentioned in previous posts how penny dislikes doing tummy time. i have to catch her at the right time to do it. i have had penny do tummy time after a feeding (after she’s burped and played) but she still ended up spitting up a lot because of the pressure on her stomach. now i have her do tummy time as soon as she wakes up and it seems to be working out better. i also talk to her and encourage her to keep her motivated… having toys nearby helps too so she can focus on them.

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happy girl!

happy girl!

on monday, dennis and i took his mom and penny to the beach. we went to harkness memorial park which has a small beach area. since it was monday, there weren’t too many people there. the downside is that swimming is not allowed probably because it’s rocky near the shore, and it looked like there was a steep drop-off. people still waded in though to cool off since it was in the 90s that day.

penny has trouble napping on-the-go so i was anxious about the car ride (1 hr. 15 min. each way without traffic) and how she’d fare at the beach. since penny had been taking short naps lately, we got the car loaded and ready to go as soon as she went down for her first nap. little did we know she would nap for 3 hours! (we went to church together for the first time the day before so she still may have been tired from that.) dennis and i ended up sitting around waiting for her to wake up. maybe because of that lengthy nap, she was great during the entire trip! right when she woke up, i nursed her and we set off. dennis’ mom sat in the back with penny and kept her comfortable. she was quiet the whole day down save a few protests when we were stuck in traffic and she wanted the car to move.

at the beach, dennis pitched a tent we had bought specifically for little p so she could stay out of the sun. the tent also offers spf50 shade which gave us a peace of mind. the ideal window for her naptime had passed so she started getting a little fussy. dennis’ mom cradled her and penny ended up falling asleep in her arms. she took a catnap for a half hour while we sunbathed and ate lunch. when she woke up, i nursed her and applied baby-friendly sunblock so we could all explore the beach together.

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angel <3

angel ❤

i was finally able to wear my new bikini

i was finally able to wear my new bikini

i had to purchase a new bikini because all the tops for the ones i have now are too small. never in my life did i think i’d wear a d/dd size. i actually could’ve gotten up a size because it started getting tighter once the milk started coming in o.o

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whenever we try to take a family photo, penny has her mouth open.. it never fails.

whenever we try to take a family photo, penny has her mouth open.. it never fails.

my loves

my loves

touching the ocean for the first time!

touching the ocean for the first time!

look at her pout, lol!

look at her pout, lol!

daddy & daughter

daddy & daughter

we left around 5 so we could make it back in time for penny’s bedtime. on the way we stopped to get fried clam rolls (dennis’ idea) and they were delicious. as soon as we got home, we did the bedtime routine and she was in bed by 7:40.. a little later than usual but it was also close to 6:30 by the time we got home. sure it’s nice to be out and about with your baby, but i believe it’s very important for babies to sleep especially if you’re trying to have them on a routine. plus, an overtired baby is not fun for anyone. if i can help it, i’m not going to be out with penny past 5 until she’s older.

look how tired she was!

look how tired she was!

the above picture was taken on sunday. i took penny to church for the first time and she was overwhelmed by all the attention. she came home and napped for 1.5 hours only waking because she was hungry. i nursed her on the couch and she passed out for another 1.5 hours. i didn’t dare move her so i sat there, trapped, and watched the pga championship. at least i was able to relax and watch tv.. something i never do when penny’s awake. we are trying to avoid screen time for penny until she’s, at least, 2 years old.

ready for church!

ready for church!

the adorable elephant dress is a gift from liz and andy when they vacationed in thailand.

going back to the importance of sleep… penny has strong reflexes which used to awaken her from sleep too early. she would wake up crying because she was still tired and we would have to put her down again.

after reading rave reviews on the magic merlin suit, we purchased one during her growth spurt. she ended up waking up every four hours because she was hungry but i don’t discredit the suit since she was going through her 12-week growth spurt. after that ended, she began sleeping 7+ hours again with the suit’s help.

looking at it, it seems too bulky and warm for the baby but as long as the ac is on and your baby is wearing minimal clothing, she’ll be fine. the fluffiness of the suit softens the baby’s reflexes to decrease the likelihood of her waking up. there were a few instances where penny definitely would’ve woken up because she let out soft cries and flailed her legs but the suit soothed her back to sleep.

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we purchased it in yellow since we may have a boy in the future and would want him to use it too

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if you google image the merlin suit, you will find many adorable babies wearing what looks like a snowsuit. it makes penny look like big hero 6. 🙂 initially, she didn’t like the suit because it was hard to put her arms through the sleeves. (be careful that you don’t pull on their arms.) we guide her arms in through the sleeves using her elbows and stick our hand in through the sleeves to make more room for her arm to go through.

now when we lay her on top of the suit, we give her a pacifier as we put her arms and legs inside it and zip her up. she only wears a light cotton undershirt and diapers while in the merlin suit. we also put her in it for every nap because there are days she’ll only take 30-45 minute naps. those though, i found, aren’t totally solved by the suit but at least she sleeps long stretches at night.

watching daddy vacuum in the finished basement

watching daddy vacuum in the finished basement

penny kept waking up so we kept her preoccupied while getting things done around the house. she loves the sounds of the vacuum, washer/dryer, and the blow dryer.

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look how cute and content she is 🙂