Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great at 8 months!

Elizabeth Rose is 8 months old now and is doing great!  She seems to be right on track developmentally now and she is still growing...yay!  Ella is so much more content these days. She only fusses when she is hungry, tired, wants to be held, or needs a poopy diaper changed...very typical.  Since I am usually holding her and she only poops once every 5 days now instead of 5 times a day (sorry if that is TMI), it is rare to hear her cry.  She has been teething off and on and she has a new tooth on top.  She "talks" all the time now and she has even signed her first word...milk (of course)!  I thought it was just a fluke since she is so young, but she has consistently been using the sign and staring right at the source of her milk when she signs so I know she understands.  Wow...babies are smart!

Ella is still nursing 6 times a day and she eats solids 2-3 times a day.  She likes oatmeal cereal and sweet potatoes the best, but she also eats rice cereal, avocado, bananas, and butternut squash (all pureed of course).  I am making my own baby food which I would highly recommend because it is easy, very cost effective (28 servings for $1-2 instead of $15-20 at the grocery store), and nutritious!  I know exactly what she is preservatives or dyes or sweeteners added.  We finally bought a high chair since feedings in the bouncy seat were just not working anymore :).  It is a "super space saver" chair (ooooh, aaaaaah) that attaches to one of our chairs.  She loves being at the table with us.

She is also trying a little water now although she likes to use the sippy cup more as a teether.

Ella practices standing up in her ExerSaucer.  She plays in there when I am making dinner or cleaning up in the kitchen sometimes and it works out really well.

She also likes to play the piano...babies love music!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My well-rounded child

Sophie loves to be very "girlie".  She loves the color pink, dresses up like a princess nearly every day, dances and twirls around the house get the idea.  Sophie also loves to "be a boy" as she puts it.  I certainly did not teach her that certain things are gender specific; however, she has really taken notice of the differences between me and Clint lately.  She sees Clint using his tools around the house and she wants to "project" with him.  She sees me putting on make up and she wants to try.  She sees Clint take off his shirt and she takes hers off too and declares that she wants to be a boy for the day!  She sees me baking and she jumps right in to help.  Clint takes her on wild Jeep rides and she wants to be wild like the boys!  She sees me nurse the baby and she nurses her baby dolls too.  She sees Clint playing sports and running around and climbing things outside and, of course, she wants to do what he is doing.  She tells me to stay in the house because it might get a little rough out there doing "boy" stuff.  "Boy" stuff is more dangerous and exciting to Sophie and she is always telling me not to worry! It is all too funny!  The great thing is that she enjoys it all.  Sophie is a very well-rounded child and we will continue to encourage her to try all long as they are not too dangerous :)! 

Clint is wondering if mommy is mad that he let Sophie climb on top of the Jeep...

Sophie:  "Don't worry mom...I won't fall!" (as she balances on the roll bar)
Mommy:  "Clint... don't let go of her or I'll ... "

I bought Sophie some play tools because Clint-y kept letting her use the real ones.  I know it is important for her to experience the real ones too while supervised, but mommy knows that when Clint-y gets focused on his projects, the supervision dwindles and Sophie alone with a saw, hammer, and nails is just not a super idea! (Can you see why I am earning the name "party-pooper" around the house!)

See...she is still having fun spending time with her "partner"!

Sporty Princess...the outfit says it all! 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Growth Report

We got another growth and development report yesterday for Ella.  Here are the stats...

Weight - 13 lbs. 1 oz.
Height - 25"
Head - 16"

She is still just below the growth chart for weight, but she is moving along her own curve and showing progress each time we take measurements so their is no reason to be concerned. Thank God for this good news!   Her reflux has become a little worse recently so we are increasing her medicine to try to calm things down; however, once the meds kick in we should see some more growth as well.

Ella is very observant and aware of all that is happening around her.  I think she gets a little frustrated at times that she can't make her body do what she wants it to do, but I know eventually she will have more strength to accomplish these things.  I am just so pleased with how far she has come!  She is really so sweet and so much fun to be around.  She makes us smile and we love her bunches!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shout out to Breastfeeding :)

I have to include this post about the benefits of breastfeeding that go well beyond nutrition and how my breast milk has recently protected our baby.

For the past month, we have been fighting off colds, upper respiratory infections, double ear infections (sophie), flu, mystery viruses...the works in our house!  Last week was the worst.  I developed a high fever and after the third day of it, I went to the doctor.  It turns out that I had a sinus infection (from a lingering cold virus), bronchitis, and a pocket of pneumonia deep in my right lung!  I started antibiotics right away, but the fever and the extreme fatigue lasted for another two days.  I was MISERABLE, not able to get out of bed and I can not remember the last time I was that sick.  I am feeling much better today, but I get very weak around dinner time and I still have trouble taking a deep breath.  The cough will also probably linger for a while although I am no longer contagious:).  Anyway, here is the good part...

Elizabeth had only a couple of days during all of this mess last month where she sneezed and had a runny nose which didn't seem to bother her at all.  She has seen the pediatrician twice during this time for growth and development check ups and they have even commented on her good health despite the sickness going around!  One of the doctors we saw said, "this is a testament to breastfeeding and the protection it provides for a baby's health"! 

Here is a great article I found online about this incredible gift that breast milk provides for babies (I know this will be interesting to my fellow breastfeeding mommies, but I hope others will find it fascinating as well)!

Antibodies in Breast Milk

Breast milk is packed with antibodies that fight diseases and viruses as well protect the baby from short and long-term health problems.

©Brenda Lane

Antibodies abundant in breast milk!, T. Rolf
Breast milk has a unique ability to not only nourish the baby but provide antibodies that are crucial protection against disease and illness.

Even though breast milk is known for beingnutritionally-perfect,perhaps the most amazing characteristic about breast milk is its ability to fight off and protect babies from illness. In fact, some have said that the antibodies in breast milk make it more like human blood since they both contain white blood cells.

Here are just a few of the many antibodies contained in human breast milk and what they do to mobilize the baby's immune system:

Antibodies - White blood cells

  1. B lymphocytes- forms antibodies that target specific microbes
  2. Macrophages- destroy microbes in baby's stomach
  3. Neutrophils- may act to ingest bacteria in baby's digestive system
  4. T lymphocytes- kills infected cells and send out messages to mobilize other defenses; also produce compounds that activate baby's immune system

Antibodies - Other Molecules

  1. Antibodies of secretory IgA class- bind to harmful cells in baby's digestive system to prevent them from passing through the walls of the gut into the tissues of the baby's body
  2. Bifidus Factor- increases growth ofLactobacillus bifidus- which is a good bacteria
  3. Fatty Acids- destroys cell membranes around harmful cells to kill them
  4. Lactoferrin- Binds to iron which prevents harmful bacteria from using the iron to grow
  5. Mucins- attaches to bacteria and viruses to prevent them from clinging to mucousal tissues
  6. Oligosaccharides- adheres to bacteria and other harmful cells to prevent them from attaching to mucosal surfaces.

What we have in breast milk antibodies is a spectacular immune system enhancer for our babies! Remember even if you return to work, your baby can still benefit from your pumped breast milk in order to get all of the superiornutritionas well as antibodies.Formulacannot match it.

Read more: "Antibodies in Breast Milk: Breast milk is packed with antibodies that fight diseases and viruses as well protect the baby from short and long-term health problems." -

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Perfect Progress

We have really noticed that Ella has been making great progress in the last couple of weeks. She may not be meeting growth chart standards or hitting the age-appropriate developmental milestones, but she is making progress every day at what seems to be the perfect pace for her.  I like to think that she is marching to the beat of her own drum.  Here are some new pics of her progress...

This is her new game where she likes to make this sound with her lips back and forth with us. She thinks it is so funny and I know she feels proud of herself for figuring out a way to communicate with us and make us laugh! 

Two teeth!

She loves her oatmeal cereal, but she managed to take a break from eating to strike a pose for this picture (hmmm...that reminds me a lot of her big sis)!

I think she was saying to me, "Hey...why did you put that toy out of my reach?"  Well, it is all a part of my plan to encourage her to crawl and it is starting to work!

Notice the lifting of the bottom... she is starting to pull her knees up under herself in the attempt to move forward and crawl!

She is also using her feet to cute!

almost there...

"I've got it..."

"Oh no... I lost my balance...I'm doing the rollover to my back!"

"Ahhh, mommy to the rescue.  Now I can practice sitting up and I get to have my toy!"

In the last couple of days, she has been sitting all on her own without the assistance or protection of a pillow (a little scary for mommy), but she is doing great!  She can stay in this position for about 2 minutes at the most so far.

Sophie was actually getting nervous that her baby sister would fall over and hit her head so she decided to sit behind her to keep her safe.  What a protective big sis!  
Sophie's love for Ella is so sweet!