Friday, November 30, 2012

Sheppard: Three Months

Sheppard turned three months old on November 30, 2012. In his third month, we started to settle into a more familiar routine. Sheppard would typically fall asleep between 8:20 and 8:45 PM and wake up between 6:30 and 7:30 AM. He sometimes still got up for night time feedings, but not always. He also started to take several good naps a day. His longest naps were in the morning and in the afternoon (1.0-2.5 hours) with some cat naps filling in the rest of the day. He certainly did not follow this routine like clockwork, but we were developing more of a sleeping pattern.

We did lots of things in November. Sheppard went with Grandma and me to go vote and the line was so long. I was glad so many people were out doing their civic duty, bla bla bla, but it took forever. Among normal day to day business, we spent the night at Grandma and Granddad's house several times, went to Daddy's basketball games at school,  spent a weekend in Houston, went out to eat several times, and we went down to Austin for Thanksgiving to see Mimi, Poppy, and the rest of my family. 

I was feeling more and more grateful to be able to spend time with Sheppard every day. I know many women need to go back to work between six and twelve weeks. At six weeks, Sheppard was capable of sleeping through the night, but he certainly didn't go eight hours every night. My hat goes off to women who skillfully balance motherhood and working after a six week maternity leave. Although Sheppy was a very good baby, I think I would have had regular breakdowns if I went back to work at six weeks. However, by twelve weeks, I could see how a mother could start her work day feeling "relatively" refreshed. Shep was typically sleeping through the night, and if I woke up tired it was usually because I went to bed too late (this was still an ongoing problem in the third month).

With nighttime feedings rearing their sleepy head less often, I was able to start getting things done! During Sheppard's morning nap, I tried to get some cleaning done around the house. It didn't happen every day, but I had a goal to clean a section a day, with general tidying elsewhere. This was less overwhelming for me than tackling a whole day of cleaning. Okay fine, it only lasted a few weeks before the stress of the holidays and preparing to move set in. Details, details.

We also started going on more "regular" walks and runs. Let me just say that my body was not what it once was. Yes, I could fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes and was only about two pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, but things were not the same. More curvy? Definitely. More flabby? Certainly. Glad to no longer be pregnant? Yes, yes, and yes. But, I was so very grateful for Sheppard. On November 8, Sheppard went  9 hours and 30 minutes between feedings. Around 8:30 pm, I read him a couple books, sang a few songs, and rocked him for a moment before putting him in his swing, still awake. He fell asleep within minutes without crying. When he woke up at 6am he was almost too exhausted to eat, poor guy.  After eating, he sprawled out on my chest with his head burrowed into me. It was moments like this that I could not handle how adorable he was. I found him absolutely irresistible and felt so lucky to be his mama.

At this point, we still had him sleep in our room, usually in his cradle swing. We decided the white noise machine was magic magic magic. That and the swing combined were lifesavers in those early months. However, on a few occasions he slept in Cory's sister's swing, which was more upright. After finding him laying on the rug in front of the swing, still nearly asleep, we realized we needed to strap him into the more upright swings. But, he did great in ours since it was more flat. It was a fairly frequent occurrence for Sheppy to kick his socks off at night (I quickly learned which socks I don't want for baby #2). As Cory quips, like mother, like son. Plus, Sheppard woke up with the best bed head. He was a sweaty little guy and sometimes his hair would get so skiwampus. Lady killer, I tell you.

He had a bit of a growth spurt at the end of the month (26th-28th) and he was a bit irritable for three days or so. I decided I would blame any fussiness on teething. Teeth can take forever to come in, right? I really did think he was, and I still think something was going on. Since I can't read his mind, I maybe project my own opinions on him.

He started sucking on his whole fist, smiling, laughing, and kicking like crazy. He still got the hiccups a lot, but he would relax and try to sleep. I loved how his tired eyes would roll back in his head as he fell asleep. At this point, I was still feeding on demand and I decided that if Sheppard would sleep through the night I wanted to load him up with milk during the day, even if that meant feeding him very frequently. Translation: he ate all day, everyday. I sometimes felt like a human milk machine. Sometimes, Shepman would get really fussy at his noon feeding. Other times, he would lose concentration, fill a freaking massive diaper, and then pick back up. Oh, don't mind me Little Man, you tear that bad boy up. I loved how his lips perpetually looked like he was wearing lip liner. I think it was from nursing, but the interior was a moister, lighter color than the outside rim of his lips.

Sometimes, he would smile while he was nursing. Man, was he addicted to milk. Despite this, he was a pretty skinny dude. We didn't have an appointment in his third month, but he was still long and lean, rocking the size one diapers, and wearing newborn and 0-3 month clothes.

Speaking of diapers, in November, we (mostly me) changed 257 diapers. We experienced about 8 blowouts/open air accidents. I kept track of all of Sheppy's nursing sessions and diapers in an app called BabyConnect. It gave an option to include comments. After one particularly bad blowout on a Sunday as we were leaving for church I wrote, "One human shouldn't be able to make that much poo." Seriously. Boom goes the dynamite. In November, Sheppard nursed for approximately 41 hours and 32 minutes on 296 occasions. They lasted an average of 8 minutes.

Still in love.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Newborn Pictures

After Sheppard was born I contemplated having some professional newborn pictures taken. However, my mom convinced me that I could probably take some myself. So, when Little Man was a couple weeks old we had a little white trash style photo shoot on Mom and Dad's bed. My impromptu studio may not have the perfect lighting, beautiful blankets, hats, and picturesque backdrops all flat and blurry behind baby that a professional studio has, but I was able to take as long as I needed to get pictures of him awake and asleep and in a good mood.

I have been editing a few pictures here and there over the last few weeks, exploring with Photoshop (levels, curves, retouching, actions, filters, etc.). Now that he is two months old, I'm finally finished. Here are the final results! Originals on the left and edited ones on the right. Next task, editing the next batch that I took and then working on his one and two month posts. Now that I'm escaping the newborn blur, I'm determined to document his life!