Sunday, October 26, 2008

Five Weeks

***Sorry this post is soooo long. Blame Evie for taking a really good afternoon nap.***

Evie was five weeks old this past Friday. On Tuesday morning, at approximately one month old, J and I put her back in her Baby N@y Pink and Chocolate Floral one size diaper from Mutt@qin Baby and took some pictures:

This one was the best because of the attitude! I don't have a specific weight for her at 5 weeks, but look at her in the same diaper at 3 weeks and tell me she isn't growing like a weed! We now have a master plan to take her picture in this black microsuede chair in this diaper every month until she's two. Yes, this diaper is advertised to adjust and fit from 8-35 lbs. Yowzers. This is why Evie is officially out of newborn clothes, because her one size diapers are too fluffy to fit under them anymore!

(We might keep taking pictures of her in the chair for a lot longer than 2 years, if the chair survives that long, but I think we'll resist the urge to make her wear the diaper in the pictures beyond potty training. Ha ha.)

Speaking of diapers, cloth diapering is going well. I have finally figured out that my washing difficulties were caused by the difference between formula poo and breast milk poo. I hadn't realized they were so different and needed different treatment. Now we are good to go. E-mail me if you desire the gory details. We are officially choosing to go with one size fitted diapers for daytime and one-size pocket diapers for nighttime. I am getting rid of my prefolds except for the preemie size which are still used as burp cloths and the pretty dyed and embellished infant size prefolds which get used for things like this:

(i.e. protecting the boppy from spit up) Reason: they just aren't absorbent enough. We are happy with the absorbency of hemp, microfiber pocket inserts and bamboo diapers, but the cotton prefolds aren't cutting it at our house. If any of my readers desire 12 infant size unbleached prefolds for a bargain price, shoot me an e-mail. They make great burp cloths! We're using one size diapers, even though they're bulky on her right now, because they'll grow with her and we won't have to keep selling the old and buying new each time she grows into a bigger size.

Something else we've been loving for the past couple of weeks is Evie's wubbanub.

It's basically the S**thie pacifier that she loves with a be@nie baby sewn securely to the back. Most be@nie babies are ages 3+, but this pacifier is for ages 0-6 months and it is great. Evie loves to hold onto the froggie and we love that when she unlatches for whatever reason the pacifier doesn't roll onto the floor. The online reviews say that in a few weeks she'll even be able to put the pacifier back in her own mouth because the frog keeps it in the right place and position. It's also easy to spot across the room when we need a paci ASAP and easy to find in a dark room and replace in her mouth without turning on the lights and waking her all the way up. We also have the ducky version, which you can see in the car seat with her here:

Speaking of the car seat, this picture illustrates why we bought the swing we did. It has a seat that comes with it, pictured here, but it also works with any Gr@co car seat, so that if she falls asleep in the car we can bring her inside, latch the car seat into the swing base and keep her asleep for hours. Literally. One evening after we had her out for our wine club meeting she slept just like this, swinging, until 1:30 AM.

This week Evie has become more patient (sometimes) while waiting for us to fix her bottle. I've had success with putting her in her bouncy seat in the kitchen so that she can see me working. I think she's starting to catch on that what I'm doing is making her bottle, not procrastinating and torturing her empty tum. However, you can tell by the scowl on her face that she isn't completely happy with my expediency. Especially the whole stopping to take a picture thing. Evie is looking at the bottle I just finished making and thinking "GET IN MY BELLY!"

Making her bottle is about to get a lot easier because today we are exhausting the last of our frozen breast milk. We've gone through about 300 oz. of donated breast milk in the past month! At this point we aren't sure whether we'll be able to get much more donated without forking over huge shipping costs, but I'm OK with it because of something I read recently. Apparently, the cells in breast milk (i.e. antibodies) are killed by the freezing and thawing process. So, the number one reason I've been excited about feeding Evie breast milk is a big failure. She hasn't been getting many, if any, antibodies. However, she also hasn't been sick with the exception of one afternoon when her temperature was 99. So, oh well. I'm still happy about the breast milk she's gotten and extremely grateful to our wonderful milk mommies, but disappointed that working to supply her with more frozen breast milk through the winter isn't going to help her stay healthy for cold and flu season.

I am, however, going to go get a flu shot (and nag J to get one, too) so that we don't catch it and give it to her. I was supposed to get the shot yesterday but completely forgot about my appointment until five minutes after I was supposed to be there. The office is only five minutes away, so I could have been a few minutes late, except that I was still in my pajamas, J was out running errands and it would have taken 15 minutes to get Evie ready to go. So, I'll reschedule. I also didn't make it to baby yoga on Friday morning because my week as a single mom was he!!ish. I did ask for help from some local friends but ended up not getting any. By the end of the week I was just beyond exhausted and resorting to carb loading and caffeine highs to stay functional. It doesn't help that I was/am PMSing at the same time. PMS is especially hard on me right now because of the dread that accompanies it; some of my symptoms returned last cycle. The symptoms that led to my two laproscopic surgeries. Two years separated my first and second surgeries, with about a year of relief from my symptoms. This time I only got four months of symptom relief. I'm seriously considering just asking for a hysterectomy this time, although that might be the PMS talking. Argh.

Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow, the big day. From now on, October 27th will be celebrated as our "Forever Family Day," the day a judge awards us final custody and gives us permission to change Evie's last name to our own. We'll probably give her a present every year on this day, and celebrate with a fun family outing. She'll be able to brag about having "two birthdays" because she's adopted. Tomorrow we'll go to court at 3 pm and then take Evie with us out to dinner to celebrate. We'll continue the celebration next weekend, when all four grandparents will come to visit at once for Evie's baptism. It'll be a full house and I'm sure it will be funny to watch them all squabbling about who gets to hold Evie next. :) G will be at the baptism at our church next Sunday, and he's bringing along his parents and his teenage son. We're not sure whether or not R will be there, but we hope she is. After the service we'll take pictures all together and serve cupcakes. J's mom and I are making some with the M@gnolia Bakery recipe featured on Opr@h this past Friday. They are going to be delish. J's mom and I went shopping last weekend and bought Evie a traditional Christening gown. I'm sure the pictures will be as sweet as the cupcakes.

Speaking of pictures, I took Evie in to a department store portrait studio on Friday afternoon because we got coupons in the hospital for some free sitting fees and free 8x10s. I dressed her in her Christmas dress and some of the shots are adorable. I paid the extra $4.99 for them to send me an e-mail with proofs that I can post online, so when I get them I'll put them up here.

Anecdotes about this week:
  • Evie is smiling about once a day. I guess she has to save up the energy? On Thursday she saved it up and gave her big smile of the day to Rabbit. No fair! Every other time the smile has gone to me, J, my mom or J's mom. The photographer on Friday did manage to capture a partial smile and it turned out to be an adorable shot (I ordered it as an 8x10. That adorable.)

  • Evie has started noticing more of her bedroom mural and stares at it quite a bit when she's awake in her room, which is not very often. Most of her awake time in her room is on the changing table, so Rabbit is still her best friend.

  • A few times I've caught her staring at doorjambs as I walk with her from one room into another. The look on her face seems to convey that she feels as though she's passing through a portal into another world. It's very funny. On Thursday I spent about five minutes just swaying back and forth across the threshold leading from the entryway into the TV room and watching her eyes sway back and forth in wonder. Heehee.

  • Her neck control is getting better and better and she's started enjoying throwing her entire body backward or to the side with no notice. Freaks me out. Especially when I'm in the kitchen next to the basement stairs and she throws herself toward them. Note to self: must keep both hands on baby while standing up.

  • On a related note, I can't be the only new mom who's obsessed with morbid paranoia, right? I can't stop thinking about all of the various ways she can die: SIDS, viruses, falls, car wrecks, dog mauling, CO, bacteria in her bottles/formula/breast milk, baby snatchers, etc. It doesn't help that I hydroplaned while holding her on Wednesday because I didn't notice a puddle of water on the kitchen floor and I've almost tripped on our stairs while holding her a couple of times. We are clumsy people. Evie is doomed. Then my mom told me about hearing that sometimes the family dog will maul a baby to death even if they've never shown signs of violence before. Great. I was thinking about it this week and have a new understanding of women with PPD. I've always heard that moms with PPD picture themselves hurting their babies and now I realize that it's only a short leap of logic from the type of paranoia I have to the type of thoughts they have. The only difference is accident vs. purposeful and that's not a huge leap to make if you're depressed and feeling like a bad person. (Disclaimer: I'm not saying I'm depressed, people, I'm fine.) Anyhow, I think the reason I am having these paranoid thoughts is because Evie dying is the absolute worst possible thing that could ever happen to me/us. The paranoia must be a survival strategy to prevent that from happening? Before Evie was born I swore I wouldn't be "one of those overprotective new moms." Joke's on me.

  • This week she's started making vocalizations that aren't crying, but I also wouldn't call them "coos," "grunts," or "sighs." I'd say they are pre-babbling? They are cute.

  • We've given her three baths in the big bathtub, with me in the tub with her to hold and wash her. When I rinse her body, I submerge everything but her head and she wiggles around in obvious delight, although she still isn't smiling during bath time.

  • She still has some baby acne (you can see it in the second picture above) and also now has a rash on the back of her head, back of her neck and top of her back. Cradle cap, right? Even though it extends onto her back? Could she be allergic to the velcro on her bibs? It's not scaly like cradle cap, though. She has the scalies around her eyebrows because we try to wash her gently around her eyes and don't get them as clean, but no scales in her hair yet.

  • Her birthmark has grown in the past 2 weeks but is only about 0.25 cm in diameter and the pediatrician predicts it will be 1 cm diameter at its biggest, sometime in the next several months. It was about 1/8 cm when we first noticed it.

  • Evie is pretty consistently (knock on wood) sleeping at least one 5-6 hour stretch each night, but it's hard right now to predict when that stretch will begin. A couple of times we've missed it and have put her down to nap after dinner in her boppy, wearing daytime clothes (not warm enough for nighttime) and a daytime diaper (not absorbent enough for 6 hours) and then realized that we should have put her in a blanket sleeper and pocket diaper in her crib. Darn it! She'll teach us eventually.

This post is long enough, especially since I'll probably post tomorrow about our court experience. I'll leave you with another shot from last Tuesday, just because it makes me laugh:


  1. Hey sweetie! Look, I'm the first to comment. :-)

    First of all- Congrats and good luck on tomorrow! I meant to say this over the phone and forgot. Oops.

    Second- I also had those thoughts with Eric. Now when I am holding Eric and he tries to lunge toward a window, I think 'OMG, what if the window were OPEN and he fell out??!!" I don't think those thoughts ever go away.

    Third- About the rash.. what shampoo/ bodywash are you using? A lot of brands have fragrances and perfumes and this could make her sensitive, esp. if you are washing her hair/head first (Hyper-allergic friend talking). I use a brand with no dyes or perfumes for sensitive skin. Eric has never had a rash yet (knock on wood). We received a lot of "soothing bath" products, but after looking at the ingredients we decided to stay with what has worked. Let me know if changing bath stuff works! :-)

  2. +Jen, Hey girl! Funny you'd mention the bodywash because we use California Baby Super Sensitive wash (fragrance- dye- gluten- nut- everything-free) and it was recommended in this month's issue of Parents magazine as the best newborn bodywash. So, nope, it's not that, probably. When I saw that Parents was recommending the wash I use I started trying to remember how much I paid for it. :)

  3. I'd check with your pediatrician about the rash at your next appointment. It sounds more like seborrheic dermatitis or eczema. Both are easy to treat with topical creams and/or moisturizers. My daughter went through a bout of dermatitis; in her case it was exacerbated by a dairy allergy we hadn't yet figured out (she was on formula and breastmilk).

  4. Hi!!1

    Many, many congrats on this special day!

    Sorry, I've been so impossible to get in touch with. I appreciate you trying....perhaps we should wait until this cycle gets underway and I see where we just never stops! :-)

  5. I think those paranoid thoughts are normal -- I'm terrified as well. I especially obsess about SIDS at daycare a lot...and I still have 4-5 weeks of my maternity leave to go! Also how many baths do you give your baby per week? Just curious -- we don't bathe very often. Lastly, I cured baby acne by putting a couple drops of breastmilk on my baby's forehead and cheeks. It went away the next day. Just as idea.

  6. Congrats on tomorrow! And I love the idea of celebrating it each year. A friend of mine who adopted internationally celebrates their "Gotcha Day" in addition to the birthday...a wonderful tradition.

    And I agree that your thoughts and concerns are normal. Pre-baby days I was obsessive about returning shopping carts to the right place in parking it's all I can do to load my son into his carseat in the backseat and then hastily walk around to the driver door, without having a panic attack. No way am I taking the cart back. I get very fearful about car jacking/kidnappings.
    You will find those thoughts popping up at the oddest time. I was taking a bath with my little guy the other day and briefly mapped out in my head how I would handle a gunman suddenly busting into the Farfetched I know (I used to watch way too many dramatic movies) but being concerned for my son is my biggest priority so it shows up unexpectedly sometimes with unexpected scenarios.

    Can't wait to hear all about tomorrow...

  7. +intrepidgirl: When we were in the hospital with Lucy and the nurse was giving us our "new parent instructions" the night before we were supposed to take her home, she told us that babies need a bath every other day. So, we've been doing that pretty much but sometimes it's two days in a row if she gets particularly dirty (fountainous spit-up) or we go a bit longer if we can't find the time to fit in a bath on schedule.

    +t: haha!!! I am already way ahead on the paranoia about intruders. J travels so much that I have been plotting for years about my survival strategy for someone breaking into the house in the middle of the night. Sadly, Phoebe and Apollo are all bark and no bite.


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