I am very fortunate to work for a company that is very understanding of my situation as a working mom. On days like today when Melissa is on vacation but my office is open, I am always welcome to bring Eli with me. I have him set up today (thanks to my coworker, Carl) with his own laptop playing Baby Einstein. Every few hours he eats and takes a good nap in his stroller, that's when I can really get some work done!
Well, just when we thought we had the whole sleeping routine down, someone decided to mix it up and start flipping over if we didn't come running as soon as he started crying if he had trouble settling down. This led to hours of Eli getting restless in his sleep, rolling over (despite the sleep positioner that he would just roll over), waking himself up, crying, then one of us running in to flip him back over (since he hasn't learned how to do that yet). We spent a few nights doing this routine then thought that maybe that is just how he wants to sleep.
Payton and I were both worried at first when he would just lay face down because he didn't quite understand how to turn his head left or right. Our sleep was ruined by hours of checking the monitor every few minutes to see if he was still breathing or anytime that we heard even the slightest noise. I have to admit we were pretty miserable with worry and lack of sleep. Over the past few days, he has learned how to turn his head and is now sleeping on his stomache all night. We don't fight him to keep him on his back anymore and he seems pretty comfortable with that.
Payton sent me this picture the other night when
I was went to dinner with some friends. Little Bug
fast sleep with his butt up in the air!
I spoke to his pediatrician's office the other day and she said that we shouldn't worry ourselves or fight him to keep him on his back. If he can roll over (and now move his head side to side when on his stomach) he is developmentally mature enough to keep sleeping on his belly and be fine. She did however recommend that we remove the bumpers (which we did a few weeks ago already, sniff sniff). For the past 4 nights, he has gone to sleep before 8:00pm and slept on his stomach all night, only waking up once looking for his pacifier (he settles back to sleep as soon as you put it in his mouth). Melissa also said that he won't sleep in the swing at her house any more and prefers to nap in the crib on his belly, which is a huge move for him.
Eli celebrated his first Christmas in Plano with lots of festivities!
Eli really got into opening gifts. If I positioned his hand just right, he would grab onto the paper and rip the gift open. I think he really liked the colors on the paper, the sound of the paper ripping, and the silly response (all of the oohs and aahs from the adults) he got.
We visited Santa at a mall in Plano, The Shops at Willow Bend. We got there a little after they opened at 10:00 and there was already a looooong line. We ended up waiting and hour and a half with lots of other kids to see Santa. We were a little disappointed in the quality of the Santa (he was a little greasy) and his attitude (we were working to get Eli situated in his lap and Santa said "If you guys would move out of the way we might have a chance at getting a good picture") but hey, at least we got a good picture (which I seem to have misplaced, gasp!)!
Waiting in line to see Santa!
FIRST TRIP TO TYLER
On Christmas Eve Eve we headed to Tyler to visit Eli's great-grandparents, Granny and Papa, and see his cousins and great Aunt Angela and great Uncle Chris. We had a great time and Eli definitely didn't lack for attention. Everyone loved seeing him and couldn't believe how much he had grown. He is such a good traveler and slept the entire drive there and back.
Papa carving the turkey
Time to eat! Thanks P for the cheesy face!
Eli and his Great Aunt Angela
He's reaching for everything these days!
Eli turned 5 months old on Christmas Eve and since he had done so great with the rice cereal over the past few weeks, we decided to try some green beans on Christmas day. He took the first few bites (in the video below) then I think it actually hit him that it was something different from the rice cereal and he started gagging after every bite. He only ate a small portion of the container, but the next night and every night after, he has eaten the entire container. He is now eating a fruit and rice cereal for breakfast (his first fruit was bananas and he LOVED them) and a vegetable and rice cereal for dinner. He LOVES eating and after every bite, he opens his mouth wide for the next one. When we are finished, I have to do the sign for "all done" so that he will know "we're finished".
He is now doing a "solid" breakfast (fruit and rice cereal), a bottle at 11 and a bottle at 2, then a "solid" dinner (vegetable and rice cereal), and a bedtime bottle. He's got a great schedule going!
Eli has his first tooth! We first noticed it the Monday before Christmas. I just happened to stick my finger in his mouth after his bath because he is always looking for something to chew on. I felt it almost immediately, definitely different from the soft gums, it was a hard jagged little tooth. Over the past few days he has been a little cranky and very drooly, but overall, teething is not as terrible as I had imagined, and that precious little tooth makes it all worth it! Here he is the day we found the tooth...
Our hobbies these days include changing diapers, feeding Eli, entertaining Eli, and most enjoyably, trying to get Eli to laugh. Here is one of our successful attempts caught on camera, he sure does love his daddy!
We headed to the town of Carmine, TX, this weekend to visit Meme and Papa and see Aunt Lesley, Uncle Marc and the cousins (Taylor, Noah, Jesse, and Emily). We had a great time visiting with everyone and going to the Lane of Lights in Ledbetter. We also attended the Carmine Christmas Festival at the Carmine Dance Hall.
We always have such a great time in Carmine, it is so relaxing and peaceful out there. The weather was true Texas weather...75 on Saturday and 52 on Sunday, but it was sunny and absolutely beautiful both days.
The dogs always have a blast because they get to run free and do whatever they want all weekend. Maddie had a run-in with Meme's new cat, Spooks. Maddie is usually a feisty little you-know-what, but Meme's cat put her in her place with a few swats to the face. I don't think that they will be friends any time soon.
Here are a few pictures from the weekend...
Eli sleeping on the couch...
Playing with Daddy's face...
Relaxing on the front porch...
Sleeping on the couch, again...
Hanging out with Papa before heading back home to Austin.
I was attempting to feed Eli rice cereal again tonight and as I was sitting there, fighting to get the spoon in his mouth only to have him spit out whatever actually made it in, I was thinking about emailing some friends with kids to ask them what the trick was for getting infants to take rice cereal.
Then all of a sudden, I put the spoon up to Eli's mouth and he magically opened it, let me put the spoon in his mouth, and didn't immediately spit out the contents. We actually made it through the whole bowl of cereal (it was really small). Don't get me wrong, most of it ended up on the bib, but I think a little made it down the chute...we'll try again tomorrow, but here is a video of his reaction. And the only reason that I am laughing like an idiot is because it usually gets a good laugh out of Eli.
Baby boy has slept from 7:30pm to 7:00am the past 3 nights in a row...I hope I'm not jinxing us by being so excited...but it really is awesome! It just happened one night, I almost had a heart attack because I thought we had accidentally turned the monitor off and had missed him crying. I clawed over Payton in bed and looked at the monitor and there was my precious boy, fast asleep, looking like an angel (by the way, the video monitor is the best thing EVER - thanks Papa, Granny, and Aunt Angela!). Here is my big boy this morning, all rested, ready to go to Melissa's house and play with his friends:
In addition to being able to rollover onto his belly, Eli has had a few more first this past week:
FIRST TASTE OF RICE CEREAL
Aside from breastmilk and formula, little Eli hasn't had anything else in that big belly. On the advice of the pediatrician, we decided to start expirementing with solids, beginning with rice cereal. Eli has never met a bottle he didn't like, so I was pretty surprised when he didn't just immediately take to eating the rice cereal. More of it ended up on his clothes that in his mouth, but I guess I don't blame him, since it's totally new to him. We're going to try every other day until he gets used to the idea. We're doing every other day because he gets a bath every other day, and no way could we "feed" him without bathing him afterwards. Already can't believe how quickly he is growing up!
Already knows where the spoon goes...or maybe it's like everything else that ends up in his mouth these days!
FIRST REAL CHRISTMAS TREE
This is a first for Eli and a first for Payton and I. We purchased a REAL Christmas tree this year. The Sunday after Thanksgiving we "bundled up" (it was in the 60's), went to Starbucks and got gingerbread lattes, then went to the tree lot near our house to pick out our first tree. In less than 5 minutes, we had picked out a tree and were paying for it. I was shocked to hear that our grand total was $150, for a 7-8' Christmas tree? Well, I guess it's worth it, it's the kids first Christmas. We took it home (and just about broke Payton's back unloading it from the tree) and Eli watched in awe (and I think laughing at us on the inside) as we wrestled to get the tree in the stand and up straight.
We let Eli watch us get the tree set up, then put him down for bed, poured two glasses of wine, lit the fire, put on holiday music, and decorated the tree while our little boy was fast asleep. It was a great night! When Eli woke up the next morning, we plugged the tree in and watched his little face as he looked at it mesmerized by all of the lights. The past few nights, he has taken his 6:00pm nap in his bouncy seat pulled up in front of the tree.
Tree is loaded and ready to go!
Eli taking in the Christmas tree...
And putting on his very first ornament (I actually think he was
watching whatever was on the TV, but you get the idea)
Riding on Daddy's shoulders for the first time!
I must admit, it is the prettiest $150 tree ever, and it smells yummy!
FIRST KIDS MENU
We went to Kerbey Lane for breakfast on Sunday morning (I think this might be a new tradition). It was Payton's idea to go and I was so impressed by how good our little boy was. We had to wait about 25 minutes for a table and Eli was so good, just watching everyone in the waiting area.
When we sat down, I was so excited to see that they had given him a kids menu. I'm a dork and kept it for his baby book. We gave him a bottle while we ordered and drank coffee. By the time our food got there, he was ready for a nap, so I held him in his favorite position, stuck his pacifier in his mouth, and he was out. He slept the entire meal, and for another 2 hours. Such a good boy!
With a new baby, we are experiencing lots of firsts, every day we have something new! We spent Eli's first Thanksgiving in Houston at Payton's sister's house. While they all ended up sick with the same bug we had a few days before, we still enjoyed the first two days when everyone was well.
Oh MY GOSH! That's all I've got for the past week of sickness that has gone around our house...OH MY GOSH! What started out as a belly ache for Payton on Saturday afternoon turned into him getting really sick in the parking garage of the Domain while we were there for the tree lighting show. 4 hours later he was still throwing up and couldn't stop so I decided to take him to the urgent care center.
Thank goodness my parents were there to help with Eli, but while I was getting Bug ready for bed, my mom came in and she had just thrown up. I'll spare you all of the details of the night and the following few days, but what a nightmare. My parents left when we got home from the urgent care facility so that my mom could rest.
I was so tired the next day from taking care of Eli and Payton all night, so I called Payton's mom, Emily, to help with Eli while I rested. I woke up that Sunday afternoon and was sick as a dog! Emily took great care of Eli while Payton and I both rested on Monday. At around 1am on Monday night, Emily came in and said that she was sick. Seriously? This must be some cruel joke! Headache, chills, nausea, and stomache cramps. Same symptoms we had.
I drove Emily home on Tuesday morning and headed to work for a few hours and took Eli with me. We headed to Houston on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with Payton's family. By Friday, 6 more people that we had shared Thanksgiving with had the bug. All in all, I think we counted about 12 people who were infected, but Eli came out a winner, healthy as can be!
Eli turned 4 months old on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving.
Eli at 3 1/2 months
We had his 4 month appointment that same day and it went really well. Big boy is weighing in at 20lbs 7 ounces (95%), measuring 26" long (75%), and wearing 12 - 18 month clothing. He was so good at his appointment and took his shots like a champ, he didn't even notice! I was expecting the worst, but was pleasantly surprised when the nurse said she was all finished with the shots and he had barely flinched.
The doctor had some great suggestions for getting started with rice cereal over the next few weeks. Once Eli is good with the idea of a spoon and putting something in his belly other than milk, we'll move on to vegetables. I can't believe it is already time for solids! I know that there are differing opinions on when to start solids, but we really trust our pediatrician, so we're going with his plan for starting solids between 4 and 6 months.
Eli is such a sweet boy and has become so alert over the past few weeks. He watches Payton and I and our every move as we move around a room or make silly faces at him (sometimes I fear that he is going to grow up thinking that we're idiots because we get so silly with him). He hardly ever cries, unless he is tired, and that is usually just one little wail, then he's out like a light!
He rolled over onto his belly on Thanksgiving day at Aunt Lesley's house. He loves doing it and thinks it's funny, he usually starts "talking" once he is on his belly.
Bug rolled over in his crib
There he goes...
He LOVES his chew toy Sophie. I think that he might be teething, he has been drooling like a fool lately and everything that he can get his little hands on goes directly into his mouth (blankets, burp rags, fingers, hair). Because he doesn't cry often, when he does cry, there must be something wrong, and I'm assuming it is pain from teething, because a little pain reliever usually helps.
He LOVES to smile. You can get a smile out of him these days by just giving him a smile. In the mornings, 9 times out of 10 he wakes up in a great mood. I hear him moving around on the monitor and walk in to see him. As I peek over the crib, he is usually looking right up at me and starts smiling. We sing songs in the morning and I dance around as I put on my makeup or fix my hair and he just smiles and giggles at me.
He is enjoying his swing, exersaucer, and playmat. He's gotten so good at entertaining himself, and at night if he doesn't fall asleep during his last bottle, he puts himself to sleep.
He is eating every 4 hours, and sometimes I give him a bottle without him asking for it just to keep him on schedule - and the boy obviously never turns down a bottle!
Before we all got sick a few days ago, he had slept straight through from 7:30pm to 4:00am 5 nights in a row. His schedule got a little messed up with the excitement of everyone being sick, but he has done great the last few nights.
We are so in love with our little boy, I look forward to seeing him and loving all over him every day when I'm headed home from work, and I know that Payton feels the same! Looking forward to more milestones over the next few weeks.
I was so blessed to have a pretty flawless pregnancy. Aside from the bulging belly, I had no other real signs of pregnancy, minimal morning sickness, no swelling (even in the 90 degree weather), I gained 28 pounds and managed to go through my entire pregnancy only purchasing 4 pieces of maternity clothing (2 of which I never wore). Someone up above was watching out for me.
Maternity pictures with Payton's sister, Lesley
Around 28 weeks I had what was supposed to be my last ultrasound, and the nurse immediately told me that our little guy was breech, meaning his head was were his feet should be and his feet were where his head should be. Things were already pretty tight in my belly, so the chance of him flipping himself were pretty slim. We briefly contemplated a procedure where the doctor would manually turn him, but decided against it after talking to people who had gone through the experience (some saying the pain was worse than their actual labor). Unless he flipped on his own, we would have to schedule a c-section for the week of my due date.
July 16, 8 days before he arrived.
As my due date approached and we made final preparations for his arrival, we had one of our last doctor's appointments where it was confirmed that he was still "head-up" and our doctor suggested we go ahead and schedule the c-section. We didn't want to have control of deciding his birth date, so we asked her to choose a date for us, and so we had what we thought would be his birthday...Monday, July 26th...my doctor's first day back from vacation. We planned to have a cook out with our family and friends the Sunday before at our house, our last "big hoorah" before the big day...and my last decent meal for at least 48 hours. Eli wasn't quite satisfied with that plan and chose to come early...
The Friday before our scheduled c-section, Payton and I decided to head to the Domain for dinner at our favorite restaurant, North. This is also were we had lunch soon after we found out we were pregnant, for my birthday, and the day we found out we were having a boy. Before dinner, we decided to go and pick up Payton's new iPhone. With any new Apple product, you don't just "go and pick it up", you go and wait in line for hours, and that is exactly what we did. We stood in line for over 2 hours so that Payton could get his new iPhone 4, and finally sat down for dinner around 9:30pm.
The next morning, Saturday, July 24th, at 8:00am, my water broke, over the toilet...how awesome is that? Not in public, or in the middle of the kitchen, while I was sitting on the toilet! I immediately called the nurse who said to head to the hospital. Because he was breech, it was important that I make it to the hospital as soon as possible so they could confirm I was in labor and schedule a c-section. Well, I hadn't washed my hair in a few days, so 2 hours later we arrived at the hospital...after I washed, dried, and curled my hair, put on makeup, and dropped the dogs off to be boarded. We called our family and told them we were headed to the hospital and everyone started to make their way to Austin.
Arriving at the hospital, the big day!
We arrived at North Austin Medical Center, checked in, and it was confirmed that I was in labor. We had ANOTHER ultrasound to confirm that booger was breech, and a c-section was immediately scheduled. Less than an hour later, I was walking myself into the operating room. I sat on the table while they got me all prepped, and again, less than 15 minutes later, Charles Eli Bridges was born. The first thing that I heard when he was born was "Wow, that's a big head, you're lucky you didn't have to deliver that head!". Payton saw him first and I saw a picture of him soon after. I can still remember the sound of that first cry, one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard! Because of my surgery, I wasn't able to hold him immediately, and was taken to the recovery room while Payton went with Eli to get his first bath and be with him while they ran the standard tests.
Our first family photo
In the recovery room, I was greeted by my dear friend, Cara, who had come to the hospital as soon as she heard the news. Next was Payton's stepfather, Calvin. My mother came soon after. The next few days are kind of a blur, but overall, we really enjoyed the time in the hospital with our newborn. The hospital was fabulous, as were the nurses. The food was great, our room was perfect (a nice big corner room), and we were almost sad to go home when it was time.
We stayed three nights in the hospital because of my c-section and during that time we had swarms of friends and family, including my mom, dad, and brother, Payton's step dad, mom, sister, niece, and nephew, my dad's parents, my aunt and cousin, my friends Cara, Alisa, Brandi and Chris, Lori, and Lindsey. Between visits from friends and family, taking care and learning about our new boy, there was little time for sleep, but we did manage a few hours every now and then. Payton stayed with me all three nights and kept me company during the day. It was such a blessing to have him around and such a blessing to have the support and love of all of our friends and family.
Payton, me, and Eli with my parents
When we were finally given the green light to head home the Tuesday after his birth, we had so many emotions running through our heads. The drive home was nerve wracking for me: he looked way too small in his carseat, like it just swallowed him up, all of the cars on the road just seemed to be buzzing by, and unless we were going 30 miles per hour, we were driving too fast!
We're finally home!
Our first few days were filled with more visitors, lots of emotions, and little sleep. Payton stayed home for the entire week and we would go for walks in the mornings and spend the rest of the day trying to keep up with Eli. When he would sleep, we would spend that time just staring at him, in awe of what we had created, and what had been in my stomache just a few days before.
Overall, I was so blessed to have a textbook pregnancy, a wonderful birth experience with some of the best doctors and nurses around, and so much love from those surrounding us. The entire experience was priceless and so beautiful!
A HUGE thank you to Payton for letting me have a girl's night last night. Payton picked up Eli from Melissa's house, entertained him, fed him, and put him down for bed last night so that I could have dinner with 4 of my favorite people. Payton helps a lot around the house, but it was great to be able to have a grown up night with friends and know that Eli was completely taken care of by his daddy. Payton sent me a text around 7:30 with this picture...
...and Eli slept until 4 this morning, for the second night in a row! Way to go buddy!
With everything going on in our lives over the last few months, Payton and I completely missed out on celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary. Not only did we not celebrate, but the actual day of our anniversary was a mess, so many different things went wrong for both of us during the day, the last thing we even thought about was celebrating anything.
Happy Anniversary Payton, love you, and I know we'll get to celebrate some day soon!