Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mack Benjamin - Two Months

Mack was two months old August 25th. He went to Dr. Yaeger's and got shots - they were very quick and as soon as he got them he fell asleep. He was 22.5 inches long and 13lb even. We're not sure the weight is too accurate, he had just eaten and after being weighed had a big 'ol #2 diaper. It was a 7 wiper, so that's gotta be at least 5 oz. worth!

Mack is almost out of his colic but he is not afraid to let you know when he is unhappy. His fussiness goes straight to 11. He is eating about 4-5 oz. every 4 hours as you can see with his two chins! He smiles (although I have yet to capture it on camera) and "talks" a lot. He loves to be held by Mommy and rocked to sleep by Grammy and Grammy Kay. He loves to be sung to by Nonnie. He loves sleeping on his Papaw's shoulder.

He loves to cuddle in bed for a few minutes before Daddy leaves for work. He also loves his Daddy's beard. Mack would rather not admit it but he loves when Libby licks him.

He wasn't too happy about taking pictures:

Then he saw the stripes on the bumper

Then he wouldn't look towards us

With his hog

With Mommy And Daddy

Another Cute Bath Towel

You've seen the dog, now here's the same towel but with a horse.
These are too cute & Mack loves them. Thanks Mike & Crystal!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Breast of Intentions

Well, what can I say? I tried. I tried real hard. I nursed every hour most days. I ate a dairy-free diet. I took all kinds of herbal remedies to increase my milk supply. I contacted all kinds of help from my doctors office to people on the internet. I had the breast of intentions.

When I found out I was pregnant I knew for sure that I would breast feed as long as possible. In my mind that was 6 months to a year - not 6-8 weeks. In the end, it just wasn't meant to be.

I think having a C-Section I got a slow start anyways, it took 5 days for my milk to come in. Mack lost almost a pound in the hospital and I was forced to supplement with formula. Once we came home colic set in around week two and he was just never satisfied. I cut out dairy and that seemed to help but my supply was just too low.

We switched to formula about a week and a half ago and Mack is a much happier baby. He has gained some pounds and I think that has made the world of difference. Of course it's a super special formula and the cost is much higher than "normal" formula. Feel free to send me your Similac coupons!

Here's my big boy with a full tummy getting a bath:

Elmore Grandkids

Mack's cousins Matt and Andrew were in town visiting Grammy & Papaw. They recently moved to the ranch in Charlotte, Texas so their visits are even more special now that they are so far away!

Here's Matt holding Mack with Grant looking on

Papaw wanted a picture with all his grandkids - it was hard to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time!
From L to R: Grant, Mack, Papaw, Andrew, Grace and Matt on the floor

Mack's Play Mat and Play Mate

Libby loves to play with Mack (and his toys)

Mack's First Road Trip to ATX

We headed down to Austin to see Jon's brother, Zach, and his wife, Julie. They had James Anderson in January and we can't wait to see the boys grow up together.

Mack Loves His Nonnie

Monday, August 10, 2009

We Work All Day for This

How Mack ended up such a poor sleeper, I'll never know - he certainly didn't inherit that trait from his mom. You see, I have what is called a burrow. My best friend Heather brought this to my (and everyone else's) attention around the 9th grade. I sleep by burrowing under the covers, just barely sticking out my eyes and nose for fresh air. This sleep position maximizes the hours you are actually able to stay asleep - it's a pretty complex science. I have topped out at around 18 hours sleeping this way (of course that includes jet lag, but still).

Mack, though. Yikes. Maybe it's the colic or the gas or the fight he had against cow's milk (I think we are winning that battle) but he is not such a hot sleeper. I thought babies were supposed to sleep hours at a time. Mack tops out at about 45-1 hour each nap during the day. Once we hit the 2:30pm to 3:00pm mark all bets are off and he is wide awake (and everyone knows it).

2:30pm to about 8pm is his witching hour, when the colic is at its maximum ear shattering volume. Things that help him calm down are basically nursing (but I don't think he's ingesting any milk, just sucking) and running the vacuum. And yes, we will run it from 2:30pm - 8pm if we have to.

At 8pm, we do a warm bath (usually with bubbles) which he is starting to enjoy more and more. It soothes whatever is going on in that tummy of his and we follow this with a big bottle or a good nursing session.

Tonight Jon prepare a fabulous steak dinner (of course we had to eat in shifts) and then gave Mack the second half of his bottle. I think Mack was ready to fall asleep - he's never fallen asleep on his own. He usually has to be rocked or sit in the swing.

Just look at that double chin - no doubt he is going to be big like his cousin James.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

July 25th - 1 Month Old

I realize this post comes two weeks late and in full disclosure, the pictures were taken at about 4 and a half weeks of age.

Mack (and Jon & I) made it to a month as a family! Not that we were anticipating breaking up or anything but it's still a milestone.

A lot of my friends tried to prepare me for motherhood by gently reminding me that the first few weeks are hard. It was so nice of them to lie to me. What they should have told me is the truth - that it will be life altering and agonizing - the epitome of hard. That your butt will hurt from sitting in the same spot on the couch nursing for hours on end. That you will forgo meals, showers, brushing of the teeth and hair for any small amount of sleep available. That you will cry when you baby cries when you can't calm him. The first few weeks really are hard.

The other day I began to wonder what exactly a "few" was - 4 weeks? 6 weeks? 8? gulp, 12?? See, Mack hasn't been happy unless he's nursing or sleeping. For those of you not in the know most babies are on a natural 3 hour schedule:
Eat - usually about 10 minutes on each side or maybe 15 total for a bottle
Play or look at you lovingly, maybe throw you up a smile or coo
Repeat 3 hours later from the beginning of the eating time.

Mack's schedule has been more like this:
Nurse for 45 minutes or so
Wail, spit out pacifer, nurse again until he falls asleep (about about 30-45 min)
Sleep for 35-40 minutes.

For those who can tell time, Mack has been on about a 2 hour schedule. That whole sleep when the baby sleeps thing is a lie! By the time he would fall asleep and I would eat and pee, he would be up again. There have literally been times when I have crawled into bed, closed my eyes and the crying started up. And yes, that is times plural. Not just one time where you could tell the story a month later and laugh about the perils of first time parenthood but times.

We concluded, after much input from the grandparents and google, that Mack was just colicky. There's a bit on the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning Show where people call in and tell the listening audience why it sucks to be them. I think Jon & I win because it sucks to be the parents of a colicky baby. If I owned a radio other than the one in my car I would listen to the show & call in during that time. Kidd Kraddick would have to end the bit for eternity because nothing sucks harder than having a colicky baby.

In addition to the crying, screaming, constant nursing (did I mention I have also had low supply issues, so he was also getting some formula), Mack wasn't doing so hot in the poopy diaper department. At first he was pooping like a pro (he IS a Burns) but around week 4 there was a long lull between poops. And then it got even longer. He finally pooped a small, green clay ball and according to all the mom message boards and google - that is not good.

I finally called the pediatrician, admitting defeat. When I explained our situation to the nurse she spoke these words to me: "That ain't good." Yikes - I should've called sooner. Turns out, the formula that Mack was getting about 30% of the day wasn't agreeing so well with his tummy. A switch to the hypoallergenic one (and pricier one) as well as trying to nurse as much as possible has made all the difference.

He's still fussy but not like before. Fussier than most 6 week old babies? Yes - but we'll take it. Not like we wouldn't take it if he just stayed super fussy for another 6 weeks, but still.

I can't believe we've already been parents for 6 whole weeks. So what have we learned? Basically that we know nothing. And that's okay. You learn as you go, I guess. Mack's not just any baby, he's our baby. So we will always do what is best for him, even if it takes trial and error. I think that's a great first lesson to learn as a parent - never ever give up.

Aunt Hannah, the Rangers Fan

My younger sister Hannah will probably be the one to teach Mack about most sports, mainly because Jon and his father and brothers curse too much while watching any competitive sport.

She's the biggest female sports fan I know. We're talking knows the games inside and out, pays attention to them, knows the players and stats. A true lover of the big three- baseball, football, basketball. Gentlemen, if you are single, you need to meet her. She's beautiful inside & out, she directs a high school drill team (free HS football games if you date her!) and she's an all around sports fan. If you are a stand up guy who has some morals and values contact me for a date. God doesn't make many girls like this - catch her while you can.

In the meantime, Mack will take her to the games.

Bathtime with Mack

Mack has gradually come to appreciate the bath, especially with his tummy and colic problems (more on that later). Grammy Kay (Jon's mom) particularly loves to bathe her grandsons (or just babies in general) - King James, who is 6 months, and now Mack Attack. Whenever Grammy Kay wants to come over I try to time it to bath time.

Here Mack is looking not so sure about the added bubbles. A few summers ago Jon and I renovated our kitchen and the best decision we made was putting in a huge farm house sink. We will not have to bend over to give baths for quite some time - hopefully.