Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bedtime Reflections

There is something really magical about Alison's bedtime. After a busy day of playing, meal making, and cleaning, I look forward to tip-toeing up to her room and snuggling in the rocking chair. The older she gets the more I enjoy nursing and that's no exception at bedtime. We both relax and she holds my hand and she settles in for the night. Sometimes it's hard to contain my smile - there is nothing like being needed and holding her close. The darkness also gives me time to reflect and give thanks for all of the wonderful things in my life, especially my girl, my husband, and our health. I give her an extra squeeze when I imagine what life will be like a year, five, ten years from now. While she finishes her meal and drifts off to sleep, I try to stop and take a mental "photograph" of the moment. All too soon, my sweet girl will be too big for my lap and want to sleep on her own and the memories of these precious nights will be all I'll have.

My sleeping beauty

Friday, February 22, 2013

One Mobile Peach!!

I know I posted yesterday that Alison learned to roll over, but it seems as though she's already mastered her new skill and is using it to move about the room! I'm in trouble, friends. My girl is officially MOBILE! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back to Tummy!!

She did it! Got another first on film - woohoo!! Technically this is the second time she did it but the video of the first time was only once she got up and then when she rolled back onto her back - still!! I'm one PROUD momma!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Its a Miracle!

My beautiful girl slept in her own room all night for the first time last night (tear!!) it may have been just the ticket we needed to get passed the dreaded four month sleep regression. We put her down around 7 , she woke up at midnight and slept straight through to 645! She hadn't slept this well since she started this regression at 15 weeks (5 weeks ago).

Now if I could only get her to cooperate for naps...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Some of my favorite pictures from the last month
Making me Happy: My amazing husband. Our sweet girl has regressed back to some not so fun habits (mainly her preference to sleep on someone) and he has done more than his share to make the regression easier on me. Alison has gotten SO heavy (at least 15 lbs) and it has become increasingly difficult to rock her to sleep and put her down in the crib without disturbing her and, thus, waking her up. Anyhow, he's gotten pretty good at putting her down at night to save me from my anxiety.  I'm reminded everyday what a wonderful husband I have and what an amazing father Alison has.

Excited For: Alison has been getting bigger and bigger(much to my dismay!) and I can't wait for spring to arrive so we can finally get out of this house and explore the world together more. I just love how curious she is about everything around her and I know that the older she gets the more that curiosity will grow. We have a free years pass for the Children's Museum I used to work at and it'll be so great once we can go. Also, I look forward to going to some story times at the local library - it'll be neat to see how she reacts. I'm hoping to go next week for the first time!

Thinking About: About two weeks ago I was told that the bench my father wanted that will act as a tombstone has been placed. We scattered his ashes at his parents gravesite and it was his wishes to have a bench placed there in his memory. There are no plans yet, but i am itching to go visit (it's just about 2 hours away) and make a trip out of it and see my mom, too while we're in town. Since Alison's birth we haven't been more than 30 minutes from the house and I know my mom is looking forward for us to visit for a change. 

Reading: I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't had time to read anything lately. I did just buy an iPad so maybe there will be more reading in my future soon. I've missed it and there are quite a few books I'd love to read! 

Watching: We just finished House of Cards on Netflix and it was fantastic! I love being able towpath an entire season of a show as quickly as I want without having to wait. It only took a few nights to make it through the entire season and now we can't wait for the next season to start (I've read they are just now filming it!!)
Now I've just started watching Downton Abbey and I finished the first season earlier today. I can definitely see what the fuss is about! I just love the costumes and the story lines. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Peach by any other name...

I briefly mentioned in my first post that my blog name,A Peachy Kind of Love, was inspired by my most-used nickname for my daughter, Peach. What I didn't really explain was why/how I landed on that nickname.

I can't say I ever recall this, but when I was a baby my dad apparently called me Peach. I know this because of a few greeting cards I still have from my first year of life addressed to Peach, in his handwriting. I don't think it was completely intentional but I definitely got her nickname from that discovery.

My Dad& I late 1986

For the one or two people who don't know me personally (hello!!), I will tell you that my father passed away of Gastric Cancer in October of 2011 and therefore never got to meet my girl or even know that I was to be  pregnant soon after his passing. It's been a rough road of ups and downs but I do miss him everyday and lament the fact that he will never get to hold my sweet,sweet girl.

My Dad & I Summer 2011
I was actually due with her the same week of the first anniversary of his death. Throughout my pregnancy, I felt a strong connection with him, as if he was "watching over" and protecting me through her gestation. I'm not religious by any means - faithful, sure- but in many ways I feel more tied to my dad since his passing than I did while he was alive. I love, and have loved him all of my life - we just had a different relationship than I would have liked. Nevertheless, this is how Peach became Peach.

I had also thought I was going to keep our girls name a mystery to play up the whole peach thing but, in all honesty, I'm running out of pronouns. My girl is still my sweetest Peach, but from now on I will also call her by name- Alison. Again, not that any of you didn't know that already- just thought it was time to state the obvious :).

Alison got her real name in a much more organic way than she did her nickname. You see, my husband and I met five years ago because of an Alison - a song by Elvis Costello, now we are forever a family with our own little Alison.

When I was 21, I got my one and only tattoo - the line from the chorus of the song Alison, My Aim Is True, on my wrists. My husband and I were out with friends ( our friends were friends but we hadn't yet met) when someone asked me what my tattoo said. I was really impressed when he jumped in with the answer before I got the chance to respond. We spent the rest of the night discussing our shared love for Elvis Costello, Woody Allen, and sharing a few a lot of drinks. (Hey, it was St. Patrick's day weekend!!) it was the beginning to our little love story.

The night we met, 3-15-2008
(He's on the right I'm in the glasses on the left)

When it came time to pick a name for our daughter we had a list of names we liked and ended up choosing Alison not because of the connection but because we really like it. (Shane will tell you that, I  would say the connection helped influenced our choice).At any event, our Alison is totally an Alison and any other name we considered just wouldn't have sufficed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Week 19

It's been a few days since my last post but in my defense things have been pretty wild around here.

I know I've written countless posts about my girls sleep (and lack thereof) but really - at 4 1/2 months old (trying to) sleep is one of the main parts of her day.

Anyhow, the last few days have been particularly trying. Our girl only wants to sleep on us- a preference I thought she gave up back on week 15. We gave up swaddling because she is rolling in one direction and so close to going the other way, but it is nearly impossible to put her down to sleep without her screaming.

I swear I've tried it all. Her pediatrician said she's too old to be rocked to sleep and we should be working toward putting her down awake but drowsy. How is this possible?!? She yells like her leg is broken (I assure you it's not) the second we put her down after an abbreviated bedtime routine. I've tried singing lullabies, rubbing her belly, holding her hand, letting her fuss for a minute (we are not comfortable with letting her cry for extended periods at this age), letting her see me "sleep" in the rocking chair - none of it works. She is so so upset and just wants her mom. I promise were trying to put her downstream the first signs of sleepiness but by the time I give in some 45 minutes later, she has fallen apart and is SO exhausted I end up saying screw it - she can just sleep on me. Clearly my baby is boss.

It all came to a head two nights ago when even her night sleep was being disrupted heavily. She went down for the first leg of her sleep fine - but around midnight she woke up and didn't want to be put down - she was so tired but wouldn't sleep. We even thought it was possible that she was teething (she's not). Needless to say, yesterday I was pretty tired and thank goodness my husband was able to come home early to give me a break.

Last night she slept much better so maybe things are turning around. I haven't read the book, just blurbs about it online, but The Wonder Weeks claims there is a huge growth spurt around 19 weeks (peach turned 19 weeks Monday) that lasts from 15 weeks old to around 20. During this time their sleep gets wonky, they are more clingy, and a bit more fussy. I know it may be silly, but it's been putting my mind at ease to think this is just developmental and temporary. That we're not damaging progress by holding her more right now.I also find solace in those quiet moments with my babe in my arms thinking, soon enough, she won't want to be sleeping in my arms anymore and how foolish I may feel for wishing it away right now. I have been just watching her sleep and trying not to get to emotional when I think about how much I love her and how excited I am to watch her grow.

All I can do is keep trying to put her down awake but drowsy and not beat myself up when that attempt doesn't work. As another blog I read reminded me a few weeks ago, my baby is not a robot. I'll just continue to trust my heart, my intentions, and know that it'll all work out soon enough.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Few of Our Favorite Things

I thought I'd share with you all some of our essentials. There are quite a few but these are probably my "desert island" picks.

1. Aden + Anais swaddling blankets. I have literally used these things for everything. Swaddling blankets, nursing cover, dirty clothes and breast pump parts container, tummy time blanket - you name it. These muslin blankets are ultra soft and definitely a must-have around here.
2. Tervis Tumbler. While this may not be a baby item per say it helped me more than any boppy has thus far. Not only does it keep me hydrated while breast feeding, but it also keeps my cold drinks cold and my coffee piping hot. This is essential when you don't get a lot of opportunities to visit the kitchen.
3. Moby Wrap. It's no secret how much I love our Moby wrap. It has gotten us through some rough napping periods and there is nothing like it when it comes to carrying your little one at the grocery store. Sure, it takes some serious getting used to, but before you know it, you'll be putting it on I under a minute, blindfolded. The closeness with your baby cannot be beat!
4. City Jogger - City Mini GT. one of our major splurges. This stroller has been nothing short of amazing and I cannot wait to use it even more this spring. Moving it around is a breeze and it folds up with just one hand (even my mom was amazed!) I just can't say enough about this great stroller.
5. Miracle Blanket. Although this item has been recently retired, I had to add it to my must haves. We just recently stopped swaddling since she can now roll over (only tummy to back still but I know back to tummy is coming shortly!) In those first few months not much wouldn't calm her down to rest but the miracle blanket did the trick and were sad to have to give it up.
6. White Noise. We've been using an app on my phone that gas white noise for about a month now and it has helped a lot with her sleeping. I keep meaning to download some white noise to an old iPod we have so that I can retain my phone during naps but I seem to keep forgetting. She can't sleep when it's too quiet which is good because I don't exactly have to tiptoe around.
7.Mamas & Papas Playmat & Gym. This was one item my husband was very vocal about wanting before the baby arrived. I'm not convinced that we couldn't have done without a cheaper model but our girl loves it all the same. Every few days ill change out the toys on the top bars and she will spend forever just laughing and chatting to her toys. Gives me enough time to brush my teeth and wash my face so for that reason alone it gets a gold star from me.
8. Baby Einstein Jumparoo. She was totally hesitant about this toy at a first but it's quickly become a staple in our day to day routine. When we come down the stairs in the morning, I can out her in the Jumparoo while I feed the dog, make coffee (and maybe a bagel) and she can entertain herself for a bit.

What about you - what are your "desert island" baby items??

I got the idea for this post from Here Comes Baby - Check em' out!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Few Notes on Breastfeeding...

Gotta love those little nursing hands

When I was pregnant and figuring out what would be important for our little family, I decided that breastfeeding would be a must. Not only is it free, (relatively) mess-free, and always available, BUT, like they say, breast is best. What is even more fantastic is that breastfeeding seems to be having a resurgence amongst new mothers. Nothing wrong with formula (truly- it serves its purpose!!) - but I will say all of the new mothers that I know (to my knowledge) wanted to breast feed for at least some time, whether they were successful or not.

When our little peach arrived I was so exhausted (I swear I'm working on that birth story!!!) but I knew I had to at least try to get her to latch. The hospital we delivered at is very breastfeeding friendly and advocates that the first hour of life be bonding time. Since she was delivered via emergency c-section this was altered a bit. When we finally were together, though, we made sure to do plenty of skin to skin and I attempted to breastfeed.

Now, its been over four months now so I wanted to note what I have learned in this process:

First and foremost, its not painless like some lactation consultants love to claim. Yes, in time it will become painless, but not right away. Oh my goodness - that initial toe-curling pain! Why do they tell mothers its not supposed to hurt? I can't help but feel that telling new moms this only makes them feel like something is wrong with them - that perhaps they should stop. Instead, when you talk to others you learn (Hallelujah!) that you aren't alone. Breastfeeding takes some getting used to!

Second, you just have to keep trying and give yourself a break. I was so hard on myself those first few days and I really, truly thought we were doomed. I supplied more than I'd like to admit, pumped like crazy, and, with toes curled, tried latching more and more as the days went by. Before Halloween, we had it - we were exclusively breastfeeding! If you had told me I'd be where I was on day 3 I wouldn't have believed you. Patience and determination are key.

Third, you will succeed in nursing if you have great supporters. Your spouse/partner, mainly, but other new moms, too. Be prepared to ignore the nay-sayers. I am very thankful I didn't have any, but I was prepared to shut down doubts if I had to. I read a few books on the matter. Shane and I even attended a breastfeeding class while our girl was still cooking. I was most fortunate, however, to have friends who had breastfed and could give me some of those real-life advice tidbits that I have since passed on to two new moms. Somethings don't really resonate in text - you have to experience them and/or learn from others' experiences.

Next, if you can - get a lactation consultant. I am fortunate enough to have one who can even examine my daughter for all of her well visits. In fact, I just saw her this past week. She was so essential to my success in breastfeeding that I probably owe my next born to her (kidding!!).  She taught me to relax, keep trying, and that baby will follow my lead. I will probably continue to see her for a few more months (for well visits) just in case I have any questions. Nothing like a "one stop shop"!

Lastly, it has been so SO rewarding. There is no bonding quite like it. I absolutely love to nurse. I am so glad I stuck with it. I knew I would regret it if I gave it up and kept telling myself there are plenty of moms who would take all the pain just to nurse, but can't. Since my only issue was getting passed the pain I knew I had to suck it up. In my head I had to play some Eye of the Tiger or, perhaps the Rocky Theme and think of the day when it would be easy. One day, around week three, I woke up and voila! NO PAIN!

Hows that for a "milk drunk" look? 10/25/2012

My plan right now is to go for at least a year. Like I said in a previous post, I'll be student teaching next spring so I won't be around 24/7 to nurse, but she'll be 15 months when that starts. Hopefully I'll still be able to nurse her on occasion. I've been warned by a friend who completed her student teaching with an 8 month old that pumping will be nearly impossible - its what dried her up. Honestly it angers me that she (and likely I.. and other nursing moms) are not given adequate time (or space!) to pump. Breastfeeding should be encouraged - especially in Education!

Its been a long journey and I know with teething around the bend its only going to get trickier. For now, our biggest hurdle is keeping her on task - she's forever looking around the room at everything going on. We've had to start retreating to a dark space just to keep her concentration!

I will say this, I already dread the time when she is no longer breastfeeding. Sometimes I wish time could stand still - just a little.

I was inspired to write my thoughts on breastfeeding from a post on Love, Matt and Kara. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

4 month Stats

Peach with her favorite toy in January
  • Age: 4 months/ 18w 2d/ 128 days
  • Weight:14lb 11oz (between 50& 75 percentile)
  • Height: 25.5 in (between 75 & 90 percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 16 in. (between 25 & 50 percentile)
  • Hair Color:  Brown (starting to grow back!) 
  • Eye Color: Blue  
  • Diaper Size:  Size 2 (but we've had a few blowouts - time for size 3?)
  • Clothing Size:  6 months
  • Mommy's Favorite:  Her "kisses for mommy", Superman stretch, her smile, her laugh
  • Daddy's Favorite:  Bath time, singing songs, morning cuddles, her smile  
  • Favorite Toys By Month:
    • October= monkey rattle
    • November= giraffe music box stuffed animal
    • December= bumble bee toy
    • January =  knit doll
  • Sleep:  What a roller coaster ride her sleep patterns have been! This past month she went from sleeping on me in the Moby wrap, to sleeping swaddled in her pack-n-play to sleeping unswaddled in her crib! We've been battling the 4 month sleep regression (its getting better) and shes sleeping a 6 hour stretch (still not a lot :( ) followed by 2 hour naps, usually 2. Waking around 7 am. Naps were 40 minutes, 5 times a day - but she's made progress on those, too. Now she's sleeping 3 to 4 times a day for about an hour each. Still less than we'd like but its an improvement for sure! Another accomplishment? Waking up without crying. I can hear her waking up and "talking" in the monitor right now - happy as a clam. I've also noticed that she prefers to sleep on her side (although we still lay her down on her back).
  • Feeding:  Nursing for about 10 minutes every 3 hours, with a feeding (or two) in the middle of the night. Starting to take a bottle, too (hooray!!!) - now.. if only mom would take the time to pump.....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday! Giants vs. the Patriots. Thought I'd have a beer for the first time in awhile (well, except for the two a few nights before.. but seriously, I had cut the beer out in preparation for TTC) but wasn't sure if I was pregnant or not. It was the first month Shane and I decided to try to get pregnant and, although my husband was confident I was, I was confident I wasn't. To be sure, I went ahead and took a test anyway so I could enjoy my beer sans guilt. I could not believe my eyes - pregnant! The first time we tried (seriously.. first time - sorry mom you had to read that). Shane was in the office, working on the computer, and I couldn't wait to show him. According to him, I pretty much thrust the test at him and screamed with glee, in fact he'd tell you he wasn't sure what was going on at first. I think my yelps were inaudible. When he finally got what I was saying we hugged and kissed each other. We were going to be parents! I had just come back home from a visit to my moms and had told her Shane and I were going to start trying. I had NO idea I was actually pregnant (or else I wouldn't have had a drink with her) - once we tested a few more times to be sure, I called my mom up and told her the good news. At first she thought I knew all along but I assured her I didn't. Later that week we had lunch with Shane's mother and spilled the beans with her.

I cannot believe its been a year - and what a year it has been! I will always hold that day close to my heart.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Alone, once more?

Over the weekend we finally made a purchase that will take us into the next stage of Peach's sleep: blackout shades. Her room is south-facing (and coincidentally the brightest room in the house) and curtains just won't cut it if you plan on having her sleep a wink in it. Before this weekend, her crib was used maybe a half dozen times (perhaps on a very overcast day, or in those early weeks when light didn't wake her) and was more of a decoration than anything else. Instead, we have had her in our room, first at the foot of our bed, then at my side when she began waking less frequently, in a pack-n-play. We know she's not a fan of it (although she tolerates it) as she slams her legs down on the paper-thin mattress. It even sounds thin.

Anyhow, I was all ramped up to finally get our room back. No more whispering when we came in for the night, we could have more 'mom & dad time' without feeling strange (sorry, mom), and most importantly, my girl could finally use her crib that we bought all those months ago. All day Saturday and Sunday we laid her in her nap to crib (still swaddled - its hard to break!) and celebrated its success. Additionally, last night we decided it was time to let her sleep in there overnight - Gasp!

Like I said before, I was excited for this move. Even after I got her down (finally) and came down to watch some of the Superbowl with my husband I was happy about the transition. However, when it came time for us to go to bed, I couldn't help but whisper (even though its unnecessary) and when I looked into the empty pack-n-play I felt like crying - my baby was gone. Even my husband noted how empty the room felt.

Needless to say, I quickly declared that if/when she woke in the night, I'd be bringing her back in. Shane agreed. She woke up at 1 am (still getting through the 4 month sleep regression) and I was so happy to bring her back, I practically (sleep)skipped. I am still excited for her to sleep in her room and hope for the transition to be complete within a week - but for right now - I'm content with the baby steps.

Friday, February 1, 2013

4 months old!

Our Peach is growing!

Wow, it is so hard to believe it has been four months already (and still no birth story post to be found). Looking over these snapshots, I can see just how much she has changed over this last third of a year. Her hair may be just "peach fuzz" now but she is sprouting like a big girl. For her three month picture last month, we squeezed her into a three month outfit that she had just received for Christmas from her Grandma (it was small then!). Now, she's comfortably in six month clothing and looking too cute if I may say so.

Yesterday, we had a friend over whose daughter is just shy of eight weeks younger than our girl. Its amazing to see the difference between the two. Our little girl isn't so little next to her!

Best Pals 1-31-13

This past month has been SO much fun (and a lot of hard work!). She has rolled over, found her feet, began napping by herself, started squealing (and loudly, I should add), grabs toys, puts her hands together. and much more. We have our 4 month check up next Thursday and I am just so excited to see how much she's grown. My best guess is that she's just shy of 15 lbs and 26 inches or so.

Sleeping is still difficult around here. She prefers to be swaddled to sleep for naps, although she doesn't need or want a swaddle at bedtime. Putting her to bed zonked out vs. awake but sleepy is still our best bet. If we try the latter she howls and its just too much to bear. We will begin sleep training soon, though (I hope!).

Shane and I discussed solids and we're just not ready yet. I've read a lot of information about baby's "virgin gut" and I'm not convinced she's able to digest solids properly til six months or so. When the time comes, I'm toying with trying Baby Led Weaning, a method that had baby feeding herself from the get go (forget purees) and will definitely be skipping rice cereal no matter when we start feeding her (that stuff is just crap). Needless to say, I know she will be getting most of her calories from breast milk until her first birthday and when we start solids it will be for testing/trying and not as if she needs to eat solids.

I have to say the further from that newborn stage we get, the more fun with her I seem to be having. She has a definite sassy personality and I just can't wait for what will be in store this month.