Anya Goes Both Ways

Filed under: baby's progress,news,video — by Lex on April 28th, 2007 @ 9:18 am

Anya is truly on a roll. (Speaking of which, Mmmmmm…. hot dogs.)

Anyway, today’s exciting news is a development of Anya’s from yesterday, when she rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time. This video shows a recreation of yesterday’s “first” enacted this morning.

We’re so proud! She’s been in serious training to reach this milestone. The babyproofing project will be started and completed this weekend!

Just came back from the doctor…

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor — by Lauren on April 23rd, 2007 @ 10:31 am

…and the results are in:  Anya weighs 17 lbs, 12 oz (75th percentile) and is 27 inches long (90th percentile).  The doctor says she’s healthy and thriving.  Hurray!

6 months update

Filed under: baby's progress,news,photos,thoughts,video — by Lauren on April 19th, 2007 @ 9:55 pm
6 Months Old!

It’s hard to believe it, but Anya is 6 months old today! As cliché as it sounds, where has the time gone? It really feels like she just got here, but if you look back at our posts from when we first brought her home and compare what she was like then to all of the things she can do now, it’s pretty amazing that she has grown so much in such a short time.

Anya continues to explore all of the things her body can do. She loves to shake things to see what kind of noises they’ll make. Tapping is another favorite for her, and she especially loves to bang on Lex’s computer (it’s very funny; we’ll get a video up of it soon). She grabs at everything; no plate of food is safe around her. Charlie is also a prime target. The other day she grabbed his tail and pulled out a fistful of hair. To his credit, Charlie didn’t even flinch, but if he sees her reaching for him now, he runs away. We’ve had to move Anya’s infant tub into the big tub instead of the counter or the floor because she discovered the joy of kicking her feet to splash, soaking Mommy or Daddy. She can sit for several minutes unsupported, but we have to stay close by or put pillows around her because she can topple over without any warning. Jumping is big for her, too, whether it’s in her Jumperoo or just in someone’s arms.

Anya is working on becoming more mobile. She still rolls from tummy to back like a champ, and is SO close to rolling from her back to her tummy – she just needs to swing her legs the rest of the way over and she’ll have it. She’s actually showing some interest in it now and gets a little frustrated when she wants something but can’t roll to get it. Most of the time, though, she ends up distracted by her feet and stops trying to roll to play with them instead. Anya will spend a little more time on her tummy now instead of immediately rolling over, and she’s been making some attempts to crawl, but since she’s not pushing up on her hands and knees yet, her efforts are pretty fruitless. She looks like she’s trying to swim on the floor, or she’ll pull one leg up to her chest, which ultimately causes her to flip over onto her back or spin around in a circle. We’re not in any hurry for her to crawl yet – baby-proofing our house is going to be a nightmare. Maybe we should just move!

Lex and I have both marveled recently at how Anya is becoming a real person. She is much more independent – she can play by herself for at least 10 minutes, if she’s in a good mood – and she certainly expresses her opinions when she likes or doesn’t like something. We love it when she giggles in delight over something (the song “Shaky, Shaky” by the Wiggles is a favorite of hers); we’re not as huge fans of the whining that ensues when she’s less than thrilled. She loves to cuddle and touch our faces, and when she comes in for a hug or lifts her arms to be picked up, I melt. She’s starting to babble consonants – we’re hearing some m’s and b’s, but mostly she’s whispering pa pa pa. There’s also been a blowing raspberries renaissance, especially since her tongue surgery.

Nursing and diapering Anya still present unique challenges for us. Much of the time when Anya eats, it is without incident. In fact, she will often refuse to nap and wait until it’s time to nurse to take a quick snooze. It’s particularly nice when she holds my hand, or gazes into my eyes and touches my face. Some of the time, however, I could have Anya arrested for parent abuse. As I said, she loves to tap, but during nursing she goes to town smacking me repeatedly on the chest. She also has a cute little move that involves squirming left to right with her whole body while having her mouth securely attached to my breast. And let’s not forget the ever-constant battle between me and Anya’s hands, which are determined to make their way into her mouth while she nurses. We’re still having many of the same diaper struggles we were having at 5 months, although she’s added two new tricks to the arsenal – lifting up her head and shoulders (like doing a sit-up), and sticking her hands into the diaper. I hand her something before taking the diaper off to keep her busy, usually the bottle of saline nose drops, which for some reason she finds very exciting.

Ahhh, sleeping…Well, she’s been in the crib since we came back from Tucson. The first three nights were pretty rough; one of us had to stand by the crib and make physical contact with her for about three hours total each night or she screamed. On Sunday we gave up and decided to try letting her cry herself to sleep (using the popular Ferber method). It’s been very traumatic for me, but it is working. The first night she cried for more than an hour, the second for 35 minutes, the third for 25, and last night just 15. Each night she’s been waking up less and going back to sleep more quickly as well. I wouldn’t recommend this technique to anyone except as a last resort, which is where we were. On a more positive note, she’s completely swaddle-free now, courtesy of our trip to Tucson. It was just too hot to swaddle her there. (see Lex’s post below for more sleep details)

The big news of the day is that Anya tried her first solid food today. Lex was very excited to be the first person to ever feed Anya solids. We went with rice cereal, mixed with a lot of breast milk. She did a great job and seemed to really enjoy it:

It’s been a great month for Anya. We won’t know how much she has grown physically until Monday, when she has her 6 months appointment. I’m estimating she’s at 27 ½ inches, and close to 18 lbs. We’ll be sure to post an update then.

Let Me Sleep On It

Filed under: baby's progress,thoughts — by Lex on @ 9:07 pm

Anya has not historically been a superb sleeper.

For a long time, Anya needed to be swaddled tightly to sleep. She didn’t “sleep through the night” by any stretch; she often requested two feedings during the night.

Eventually, at our pediatrician’s recommendation, we tried to segue away from swaddling. Anya was less enthusiastic than I was about the process. We swaddled her with two arms out (i.e., swaddled only the torso/leg region), and that didn’t really work well. After 10 or 12 days, we tried one arm out, which worked a little better. But usually, by early morning hours, she needed the full swaddle for those last few hours of sleep.

Whether she one arm out or two, Anya needed a lot of help falling asleep without the full swaddling. This generally involved holding down her various wanting-to-flail appendages. (Sometimes, this could remind me of an old Daffy Ducky cartoon. If you held down her left arm, the right would pop up. Switch to the right arm, and the left pops up. Hold down both, and up the legs would fly.) Anya required a full court press to fall asleep; any flailing appendage would quickly rouse/startle her, and she’d start to cry.

This was no good.

After much debate, as Anya neared the 6th-month mark, Lauren and I decided to try a modern, adapted version of the Ferber method. The process began this past Sunday night.

That first night, we decided we wouldn’t hold her down. We’d say goodnight and leave the room, and allow her to cry for five minutes before re-entering, reassuring her we loved her and that she was safe and that flailure was not an option… And then leave the room again. And inevitable, reset the five-minute timer as the crying restarted.

After about 90 minutes on Sunday night, Anya fell asleep. During the night, she had several rough spots that were (of course!) rough on us as well — just waking up, reminding your brain how to work a timer, and understanding how one must move his legs to maneuver from our room to Anya’s takes considerably effort at 3am.

And it goes without saying that listening to your precious baby cry without rushing to comfort her is mentally, emotionally, and aurally challenging for any loving parent. So I won’t say it.

The first night was tough, but Anya did eventually fall asleep, and she got a decent amount of sleep during the night. And she went from about 11pm to about 6am without nursing.

The second night, we upped the timer to 10 minutes. Anya fell asleep in 45 minutes or so, and slept a little better overall. There were still several bleary-eyed crying bouts during the night, and Anya actually convinced her sleep parents to feed her even earlier than the day before. But on the whole, it was an improvement from the first night.

Since then, we’ve been upping the time before we go in to console her when she’s crying, and we actually increase the intervals during the night — she starts at 20 minutes tonight, and then it’ll be 25 minutes after that.

Last night, she fell asleep in about 20 minutes, awoke once during the night, and didn’t need any consolation — falling asleep on her own within about 8 minutes. And she went from 11pm to 7am before nursing.

We were pleasantly amazed with last night’s progress. You hope and hope and hope when you attempt something like this that it’s going to work. The only thing more guilt-inducing than letting your baby cry, is letting her cry and then having the sleep training not work. But things are definitely improving.

Lauren is not a fan of this process at all. She agrees that it’s working, but wishes it hadn’t come to this — that we had been able to train her to have good sleeping habits some other way. For the most part, I agree with Lauren. But what’s reassuring to me is the fact that each morning, Anya greets us with big smiles, and she is her happy laughing self all day long.

It’s not true, but I like to tell myself she’s thanking us for helping her to master sleep instead of “babying” her in that department. Lauren, on the other hand, thinks Anya is trying to woo us with cooing so that we won’t send her to the Crib-Time Torture Chamber again. 😉

Crib notes #2

Filed under: baby's progress,thoughts — by Lauren on April 12th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

Big night tonight. Anya is going to spend her first night in her crib in her very own room. It was a little difficult to get her to go to sleep, but to be fair, her inner clock is all messed up from having been in a different time zone the past 10 days and from getting about half as much sleep last night as usual due to coming back to NJ on a red-eye flight.

I think this is going to be much more difficult for me than for her. I’m not ready for her to move out of our room. Part of it comes from not wanting to have to actually get out of bed when she wakes up at night. It was very convenient to reach over to her in the Co-Sleeper and either soothe her back to sleep or pick her up to feed her. She’s still not sleeping through the night, and I can’t imagine why putting her in her own room would magically make her sleep longer. Part of me worries, too, that she’ll be frightened when she wakes up and is all alone, although I know that with time she will get used to that, and in fact NEEDS to learn how to handle being alone eventually. However, a bigger part of my reluctance comes from feeling sad about her not sleeping right next to me anymore. I love have Anya near me. I love the sound of her breathing, watching her dreaming, and just knowing she’s so close by. I’m sure it sounds crazy, but I am going to miss her, even though she’s just across the hall. I feel like she’s already growing up, and she’s still such a little baby. We always blog about how big she is, but in the crib she looks tiny to me.  I’m not ready for her to grow up yet.
Despite my feelings, I sincerely hope tonight goes smoothly. We’ll update soon.

Baby Time

Filed under: thoughts — by Lex on April 10th, 2007 @ 11:02 am

Anya makes every individual day take longer. Time spent with a baby can feel long — especially if that baby is a bit fussy!

But, she makes time as a whole go faster.

This is the oxymoron of parenthood. Long days, passing quickly.


Filed under: baby's progress,family,funny — by Lauren on April 8th, 2007 @ 1:33 am

Anya is going to have lots of firsts in her life, and some have been amazing…the first smile, first laugh, first time rolling over. Right now we’re enjoying her first trip to Tucson to visit Papa Ducky and Grammy. However, getting sick for the first time is not one we were looking forward to. Fortunately, all she has is a mild cold. She’s been sneezing up lot of gross clear snot and she sounds congested, but she hasn’t run a fever and she’s not at all cranky. In fact, she’s been her usual smiley self, except when I try to clean her face or use the aspirator to suction out her nose. Then, she cries. It’s amazing how much of a person she’s become in less than half a year – she’s really able to exert her free will now and therefore makes it extremely difficult for me to get even a few saline drops in her nose. She’ll turn her head every which way to avoid it.

The only other notable way the cold is affecting her is her ability to sleep. She wasn’t a champion napper or sleeper before, of course – she started waiting to nurse to nap instead of letting me put her down – but with the cold, she really can’t lie down comfortably. We started having her sleep in her car seat yesterday, and what a difference that made! She took a 90 minute nap in the morning and another 45 minute nap in the afternoon – these are records for Anya, the queen of the 10 minute nap (after 25 minutes of effort to get her to fall asleep in the first place). Lex and I tried to put her to sleep last night in the Pack and Play her grandparents had provided, but she was pretty unhappy, and as soon as we put her into the car seat she fell asleep. Of course, when she woke up at midnight to nurse, she ended up sleeping on my shoulder for the rest of the night (not too comfortable for me, but I managed to get some sleep). Lex took her around 6 am and she slept on his shoulder for a while as well while I enjoyed the luxury of sleeping lying down.

Today she took most of her naps in the car seat and is sleeping in it as I write this. She did take one nap in Lex’s arms this morning. I had taken a shower and was getting dressed when our 7-year-old niece Lior knocked on the door. She said she had a message from Lex for me, and when I asked what it was, she said “Lex said to tell you that Anya passed away.” Luckily I have enough sanity left to realize that was not what she meant, and she figured out she meant to say “passed out” and corrected herself. I went out to the living room and there was Anya, slumped against Lex’s chest, mouth open and drooling. She had fallen asleep while everyone was talking.  Having a cold really makes her tired!

Video: The tongue, the sitting up, and the cuteness

Filed under: baby's progress,video — by Lex on April 6th, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

April baby

Filed under: funny,news,photos — by Lauren on @ 1:33 am

I know I’m a total dork for doing it, but I entered a picture of Anya in Hudson Baby’s Baby of the Month contest for April.  I purchased a bunch of 6-9 months clothes from them through Amazon recently, and they started sending me weekly newsletters with discount offers.  I noticed their contest when I was checking out their website, and since the prize was a $25 gift certificate, I submitted the picture of Anya with her pre-surgery tongue sticking out (as seen in the previous post).

Turns out that even without the bias of being her mom, she’s pretty cute.  She won!

Tongue Tie-less Baby Update #2

Filed under: doctor,photos — by Lauren on April 5th, 2007 @ 12:53 am

Anya has discovered what her tongue can do at last.  She’s been sticking it out non-stop, especially when she smiles.  We have pictures!!!

Before …………………………………………………and after!
Tongue Tied Baby Not so Tongue Tied Baby