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Fuss Face

My affectionate term for Jameson when he was being cranky was “fuss face” and I found myself using that for Coraline this week as well. I am pretty sure we went three or four days without a proper nap, with eyes closed at 15 or 30 minute intervals followed by crying and more crying. And the times she did sleep, I held my breath and felt my face muscles tense, listening for the monitor.

It was pretty much awful, and I am not sure whether Jameson did quite that much crying since we could stop him up with a pacifier. Which Coraline continues to refuse. Seriously, I was desperate and the evenings those days were nearly in tears by the time she went to sleep.

On the other hand, she is sleeping 8-9 hours at night before needing to eat, and doesn’t require any popping back in of pacifiers to fall back asleep. The swaddle never worked that well on Jameson and it had nearly been removed at this point. For Coraline, I think we will swaddle her until she can roll over, so I expect to get another couple months out of it. Is this the price I pay for good night’s rest, a sleepless baby during the day? Thankfully, since Monday she finally has had some good nap time in and is cheerful most of the day again. Here’s hoping we have gotten past the peak of fussiness or whatever was causing such angst in her!

There were a few times that she was friendly during our fussy period, and I worked on capturing them. I will do my best to forget the rest!

Friday night, my brother flew in to experience all the fun, and she got to meet him, the last of my immediate family. He came bearing gifts from Disney, so I now have a cute Minnie Mouse dress to put her in later this summer. I just need some ears…

I didn’t make him change any diapers or hold her for too long, but he was happy to help keep her happy swaddled in her swing after lunch on Sunday.

On Monday, Jameson woke up with crusted eyes and one swollen and red. I knew immediately that he had pink eye, so I spent the day with both of them, dreading her and lack of naps, and Jameson in a whiny mood. I was so very lucky in that she turned around her behavior and was great for me all day, napping first for an hour in the morning and then in her stroller for about three hours in the afternoon while I occupied Jameson outside. We went on a walk with his tricycle in the lead, and the rode around in the wagon on our street while she napped.

Brian had a birthday surprise for me waiting when I got in my car to go to the doctors (which she also slept through!): a new bluetooth stereo installed in my car! Already paired to my phone for easy Pandora streaming. I was so excited, it didn’t even matter when Coraline screamed the whole way home and Jameson couldn’t reach his orange juice sippy.

Monday night was Coraline’s first night sleeping in the crib. On a few occasions she has napped there, and it is very similar to the flat pack and play mattress, so I didn’t expect to have any difficulties except to get used to listening for the monitor again rather than her next to me.

Tuesday was my birthday,  and he stayed home again with us. Though he wasn’t nearly as good as he had been for me on Monday, it wasn’t so awful. I don’t think I am cut out to be a stay at home mom of young children, which I will try to remember when I go back to work in 5 more weeks because I know that I will feel differently when it comes down to it.

We had both children in bed and asleep by 7:30 on my birthday, and I indulged in two glasses of Brian’s homemade apple wine. I wandered around the beautiful outside with Brian while he finished laying our mulch, and then we went in, had a cupcake (or two, in my case), and watched a couple shows. Coraline slept until 4, as has been consistent the past few nights, but I have found when she finally wakes on her own it does take a while for her to go back to sleep. I was back in bed by 5:15 and up again at 6:45 with her, so the last half wasn’t nearly as pleasant (though it wasn’t my birthday anymore, so I suppose she knew that!).

Coraline seems to be in the process of finding her hands, and doing a lot more smiling now that we are past the fussy period. I love her chubby little cheeks and big wide mouthed smiles!

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6 Weeks Old

Though Coraline is wearing short sleeves in her 6 week picture, it really wasn’t warm enough for that on that Wednesday. However, on Friday the week prior, the weather was warm enough for being outside in short sleeves, well into the 70’s! While we still have cooler days, we have enough warm ones that I have enjoyed being outside with her on occasion.

It was also cloudy enough that I dared bring her out into the grass to get a photo of her on her handmade quilt from a good family friend. She also made a beautiful quilt for Jameson when he was a baby.

Coraline is wearing a bonnet that I wore when I was a baby. It fit her perfectly, though I imagine as the summer goes on we will also need to use a wide brimmed hat that covers her neck and provides more shade to her face since babies aren’t supposed to have sunscreen on until they are at least 6 months.

She currently has distinctly blue eyes, which I adore. Whereas with Jameson, I was never really sure what color they were depending on the light (blue, gray, greenish hazel?), hers are very blue. I expect they will fade to the same gray that Jameson has, since I don’t believe blue eyes run in the family (certainly not on my side anyway!)

Since then, she has slowly moved out of newborn stage into baby, sleeping less, becoming much more fussy, and getting more social. She doesn’t seem to smile as much as Jameson at this age, but is quickly catching up. I spent much of my time holding her this week and last, and she tolerated a lot less playtime on her own. I have read that fussiness peaks at 6-8 weeks, so I am just hoping that is true, since it has gotten worse since her 6 week photo.

Over the weekend, we went to Aunt Melissa’s brand new house! Brian helped move her in on Saturday before last, and we visited with Jameson and Coraline on Sunday. We also went to church on Sunday, or rather, just me and the kids. Brian stayed home and managed to finally get some of our outdoor projects and clean up underway. Coraline was okay, but needed fed midway through.

I managed to get her sleeping enough that I got photos of her feet and rings! Just like I did with Jameson.

She seems to enjoy the swing and Jameson little kid chair, but not the bouncer. We also tried the Bumbo seat, but she’s not really ready for it yet. (Jameson, however, as we’ve talked about is enjoying it!)

I love her in the kid chair and managed to get a few self portraits with her.

I love this one of us and the sunlight behind. She is getting so big and chubby, I do love her little rolls, though it is a new experience for us, keeping those clean!

And that is all I’ll say about 6 weeks. My mind is stuck on this seventh week, which we are finally approaching the end of in just a couple days. It hasn’t been a good one, I’ll say that. The photo above, taken at exactly 6 weeks, gives a hint of what’s to come. She finally passed out sitting up while I was out at lunch. Not taking a pacifier or bottle does tend to make things extra difficult during outings.

But looking back on these photos prior to that reminds me that everything is a phase which she will hopefully grow out of. Soon.

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Five weeks old! Coraline went from no expressions to some smiles this week.

She also got to meet Lisa and not-so-baby anymore Vivenne. We actually saw them twice this week, again when we went to the playground, though Coraline slept through that!

Over the weekend at one month old, she seemed to give us some first really focused smiles. Since then, I’ve seen about one a day. It’s always so wonderful to see that delighted reaction from them after caring for them without gratification so long.

Also note the baby acne began this week suddenly. It doesn’t seem too bad, but I also minimize it is pictures ;) you may be able to tell another photo where I did some editing on her tongue. She may have thrush, so we decided yesterday to to treat it as if she does. There are no other symptoms, and she’s had it for a couple weeks already with no change.

Jameson also seems to note that she’s gotten heavier. After putting her in his lap for a moment, he requested instead that she should sit next to him!

Brian’s childhood friend Hollie came to visit on Saturday with her three girls. Coraline slept while Jameson played Mr. potato head with the girls. He loved that they were willing to zoom him around in his bilibo; he event threw himself around in it after the game was over.

Sunday, my parents came up to visit, so our weekend was kept busy again!

Five weeks gone; next week, we will be halfway done with maternity leave and hopefully well into consistent spring weather!

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Sunday, my parents came up to visit so that Coraline could meet her Grandpa on my side of the family. He has been traveling for work so hasn’t been able to meet her previously. She was obviously an angel for the visit.

Jameson was a little trouble maker as usual and promptly covered grandpa’s leg in stickers.

Meemaw occupied him with the traditional trotty off to Boston poem (absolutely no irony intended with recent events). Jameson loves anything that gets him swung or tackled or just a little bit risky, so he kept asking for Meemaw do to ‘gain over and over.

It was nice outside so we had to show off Jameson’s new kite which he got in an Easter basket from his other grandma. We had already flown it a couple times, and Jameson in particular likes to try and pick it up when it falls. You can’t really trust him to hang onto the line by himself just yet!

After the wind died (it wasn’t a very windy day to begin with), Jameson and grandpa played basketball and Jameson learned the word “score!”

This photo seems to make him look much older.

We even managed to tire him out enough that he sat still for a photo! With his snack, of course. Coraline was likewise passed out. Love this photo of them and the grandkids!

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One Month

One month is past; presuming no plans change, this is the last time we get to experience a newborn. From here on, developmental milestones will put us further and further from the skinny little newborn baby which already seems distant.

Coraline is 9 pounds, 10 ounces at 1 month old, putting her in the 55% percentile, and 21 inches at the 35th percentile.

She has little rolls on her thighs and wrists, something we never really saw from Jameson much. She has a great set of lungs on her, being quite a bit louder than Mr. Jameson was.

We refer to her most often as “Baby Coraline” for Jameson’s benefit, but it is sticking. Sometimes I call her little lady or Miss Coraline. We will see how that changes as she grows!

She is just beginning to smile and occasionally coo (or otherwise make noises that aren’t grunts and cries), though for the most part she is still an eat-poo-sit-sleep baby. Sometimes just an eat-sleep baby in the afternoons. We have managed to set a bedtime for her already. She goes to bed very shortly after Jameson does on a typical night, usually by 8:30 at the latest, sometimes 9 if she is a little fussy or overtired. The benefit of there being two of us is that we can put them to bed at the same time, and so far that is working out really well to allow us some evening time to ourselves.

Coraline is sleeping the first half of the night upwards of 6 hours, and I am getting about 4 hours since I go to bed a couple hours later. She gets up between 1:30-3:30 and either goes right back to sleep (great nights!) or stays awake for an hour or so before going back to sleep (frustrating nights). However, I try to remember that she is sleeping exceptionally well for being so young yet and try to keep my patience on those nights. She then gets up for the morning between 6-7:30, and takes a morning nap just an hour or so later. She used to go right back asleep again, but now she seems to need some awake time before going back to sleep. I actually manage to shower every day, though I don’t always do my hair.

I find myself wondering what we did wrong with Jameson that it took me so long to get to a routine like this (or was it just that we didn’t know what we were doing!?)

Our only big issue and concern with her right now is her refusal of the bottle. We have tried many times and only managed to get an ounce in her with a little similac bottle that came in the mail. I am going to try a couple other types, though I am disappointed that she isn’t taking to the same ones Jameson did since I have so many of those now! I didn’t want to try too many, since she isn’t taking a pacifier either, it just seems to be general refusal of having things other than the boob in her mouth.

I want to make sure that in two months when she starts at daycare that she is comfortable, and thus far the only comforting things that will follow her to daycare is the swing, being swaddled, and hopefully a bottle that she likes, since otherwise she is refusing the pacifier.

She’s a joy to have and we feel already as if she has already been a part of our lives forever.

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Two Kids, One Mom

On Monday, we had our first nice day in a while, so I decided to be brave and keep Jameson out of school all day and had two kids by myself all day for the first time.

The morning went okay, I got Jameson up while Coraline was still content, but she quickly decided she wanted to eat, so I had to let her cry some while I got Jameson his breakfast. He was excellent though while I fed her, watching tv next to me and needing nothing. She didn’t really want to nap after that (or I couldn’t give her the time she needed to help get her to sleep), so I kept her awake until it was time to go to the playground!

We met friends Lisa and Vivienne at the playground mid morning, and they ran around the playground for an hour without pause except to swing. I had Coraline in the stroller, but I did bring my carrier in case I would need to follow Jameson closer. However, he was great at the playground and didn’t try to jump off of any high platforms. He particularly loved running up and down the ramps and the swing.

He also spied another little boy running around in the grass outside the playground, and of course he had to do the same.

I even managed to pack us a lunch! We ate there, while Vivienne slept in her mom’s arms. She passed out in the swing! Jameson asked to go play as soon as he was done, and he ran around for another 20 minutes or so before we headed home so I could make sure I fed Coraline before she got fussy. She slept the entire time.

After she ate, we watched some tv for a little while so Jameson could relax a bit since he skips naps at home. Coraline napped in her swing and I even got some photos edited!

Then we went back outside for more! By evening, I had Coraline strapped in the carrier and took Jameson on a walk in his stroller, a new umbrella stroller we got for him. He doesn’t get to ride in it much, and he enjoyed a nice walk. After dinner, we played a little with Lily outside before finally crashing.

Coraline was awake for most of the evening and loved being outside. She was great in the carrier though complained a bit toward the end of our walk. I couldn’t believe how smoothly the day went, though I have developed a new appreciation for those who do this day in and out everyday. As it was, I needed the tv to occupy Jameson so that I could do some things I needed to do; and I’m not sure how I would feel if I felt obligated to help educate Jameson. Luckily I spent the day just doing and having fun!

But really, it will have to be a nice day when I do it again. Jameson needs that outside time to blow off some energy!

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She’ll be a month old on Saturday when we’ll get to start the first of her monthly photos. Can you believe it!?

Coraline is turning out to be a very mellow baby pretty consistently (it doesn’t seem like it’s just a fluke of newborn-ness right now).

The only exception is when she gets tired. If you let her get over tired, it becomes pretty difficult to get her to go to sleep, and she usually needs to suck.

At the first sign of fussiness now, I will try her in another position in case she is bored, and if she doesn’t settle, I’ll begin swaying her to sleep. She really only gets fussy when she is tired or very hungry, and sometimes just bored. And even hunger she will grunt for a while as a warning before the all-out-yelling begins.

This week I really felt like I am understanding her wants and needs better and our days have run very smoothly recently. More smoothly, I think, than they did with Jameson.

Some differences, which make it really clear how different babies really can be:

  • Jameson always seemed bored, like he needed a lot of stimulation and activity. I was thankful for daycare for this reason; so far, Coraline doesn’t seem to need this same kind of stimulation. She likes to look at faces a lot, and observing the world around her seems enough, for now. I’m guessing she may smile sooner than he did, but we’ll see!
  • Coraline doesn’t take a pacifier (we’ve tried four), and has a big preference for breastfeeding. She had her first bottle which went well, but the two we gave her since then she hasn’t taken, which makes me nervous. The key seems to be that she is confusing us between when she is hungry and when she is overtired and just wants to suckle herself to sleep. Jameson was always a bit of a struggle with breastfeeding (especially at her age now), and took pacifiers and bottles easily.
  • She doesn’t seem to spit up as much as Jameson did.

  • Coraline is a very loud sleeper, grunting and whining a lot. She is fine though without vibration or a pacifier once asleep.
  • She likes the swing! Hurray for a baby who likes the swing!
  • Jameson pooped once every 5 days or so (this is a normal, though not very common, occurrence with breastfed babies). Coraline is of the much more common several-times-a-day pooper (though thankfully not often at night). Consequently, while he seemed frequently gassy, Coraline doesn’t often.
  • She likes to be on her belly. Jameson used to hate to be on his belly, unless he was completely and totally already asleep. She seems to find it comforting.

And similarities: Coraline and Jameson both seem to be pretty good sleepers at this age, getting up between one and two times a night, most often just once. They like to be swaddled too! And obviously, they look very similar, especially when I put her in some of the gender neutral sleepers (heck, even some of the boy outfits too!). She is more filled out than he was, but many features are similar.

She has good head control already, which I credit to being at a higher birth weight and overall more mass to support that head! It probably helps that she likes to be on her belly, so we put her in that position more, too.

This week she also started to coo every once in a while (maybe a couple times a day). I tried to get it on video, but once I brought the camera out, she sneezed and started crying. A sign of things to come?

Jameson continues to be an excellent big brother. Last night, she was crying on her playmat while Brian and I finished eating quickly. Jameson, already finished, got a book and went over to her, trying to read to her. It was very sweet; when it didn’t work, he yelled to us that she was crying.

Whenever she cries, he tells us that she needs a diaper change. He likes to say “ewww stinky” when we do change her diaper; meanwhile laughing with pride at his own accomplishments on the potty. Kids are funny!

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