Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No More Bottles

This post is about a month overdue, but I feel the need to describe Jude's bottle journey. Bear with me during this blast from the past.

Jude always loved his bottles. In the early days of breastfeeding, he preferred the bottle to the breast, and this led us to supplement via tube-feeding rather than bottles. We tried giving him a bottle after a nursing session, but he quickly learned that the bottle was coming and didn't bother to make much of an effort at the breast. Once we switched to tube supplementation, he worked harder and this helped me increase my milk supply.

On the bright side, when I went back to work, it was easy to feed Jude. I would pump at work, Daddy would heat up the bottles, hand them to Jude, and he would finish an entire bottle in a matter of minutes. No stress, and (in retrospect, compared with Ada) this love of bottles made the transition back to work much easier for us.

Eventually, at about nine months of age, Jude lost interest in breastfeeding entirely and we switched to bottles of formula. Daddy started doing the middle-of-the-night feedings, and I finally got enough sleep. At about ten months of age, Jude no longer woke up in the night for a feeding, but he would instead drink two full bottles (12 ounces total) first thing in the morning!

Up until this point, we had always been heating up the bottles before offering them to Jude. I think it was August (just before Jude turned one) that we decided to try giving him cold bottles, since it was summer and we thought it might be refreshing. No problem. Jude still loved his bottles, and once again our lives got easier (no more carrying a thermos of hot water everywhere!). We never went back to warm milk for Jude.

After he turned one, we gradually switched him from formula to whole milk. I think it took about a month, but Jude never refused a bottle and didn't even seem to notice the difference. He would use cups for water, but would only drink his "MOKEY" from bottles. We didn't make an issue over it because bottles were easy and didn't make a mess like cups. We figured he would switch at some point, and didn't see a reason to do it immediately. At that point, Jude was drinking 5-6 bottles of milk a day, for 30+ ounces. That's a lot of milk, and he was always asking for more. One day, we let him drink as much as he wanted, and he drank about 55 ounces.

Our pediatrician suggested that we get Jude off of bottles before the new baby arrived, and we made some effort to make that happen. Unfortunately, Jude was not on board with this plan. There were times when he would get upset and the only way to calm him down was with a bottle. By the time Ada was born, he was down to three bottles a day, but we were stuck there and didn't really see how we were going to make the full transition to drinking with a cup. Over the summer, we tried to offer the cup more often, but there was a lot going on for Jude and we didn't want to make this transition time even more stressful by taking away his bottles.

The constant refrain of "JUDEY, MOKEY, BOTTLE, YEAH" (in the whiniest voice you can imagine) was getting on our nerves by the time we left to go to Alaska in August. We packed his bottles, but decided to try to take them away cold-turkey, starting with the plane trip. We only offered him milk from his sippy cup, and when he asked for a bottle we told him that we didn't have any. I thought that since everything was different anyway (different place, different routine) he might accept this more easily than he would if we were at home. And...it worked! At first, he asked for bottles at the times when he would have usually had one (before nap and bedtime) but after a few days he stopped asking. By the time we got home, he was pretty used to the new reality. I did run into the house and hide all of the bottles before we let him in, just so he wouldn't see them and be reminded of what he was missing. But even back at our house, he only asked for a bottle a few times, and without much conviction. He was weaned.

So, just before his second birthday is when Jude finally switched from the bottle to the cup. It's later than it should have been, according to most people, but at least it happened! I'm a little bit surprised at how easily he let go once we got tough about this. I guess the timing was right. I was curious about how Jude would react to seeing Ada drink from bottles, but since she refuses, it has mostly been a non-issue. We do have bottles of "ADA MOKEY" around the house sometimes, but Jude seems to recognize that they are not his and doesn't try to drink them (I thought he might). Even the empty bottles sitting on the drying rack in the kitchen don't seem to tempt him at this stage. He doesn't actually say "Bottles are for babies", but I get the feeling that this is how he sees them now. Our boy is growing up.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Little Things: Ada, Five Months

Ada is five months old today! Our girl is becoming more of a sweetheart every day. She has such a lovely personality. She's always smiling, laughing, and in general very happy, unless she gets hungry or tired.

Although she can roll, she doesn't do it very often. Usually she will stay put on either her back or tummy. She loves sitting up in the Bumbo and also in the corner of one of our couches. She's a very good "chore companion", content to sit and watch Daddy in the kitchen or Mommy doing laundry. She's doing a little bit of scooting around (for example spinning 90 degrees when placed on the floor) but doesn't seem to have the NEED to move yet. I'm sure that will come.

Ada is getting used to spending weekdays without Mommy. She drinks 7-8 ounces of milk from a sippy cup each day while I'm at work (this is how much I can pump each day, so it works out pretty well). She does usually have a fussy period during the day while I'm gone, lasting up to two hours. I think that if I were there and could nurse her, this wouldn't happen, but she needs to learn other ways of being soothed.

Ada's sleep habits are still erratic. Last week, she slept through the night twice in a row, but then over the weekend she was up 4-5 times each night. At least we know she is capable of sleeping through the night! It will be nice when that happens a bit more consistently. Her naps are also fairly unpredictable, but she does usually nap for 2-3 hours at some point in the day, in two or three naps. She'll usually have one "long" nap and one or two shorter ones. But we never know which is which until they are over!

Ada is loving her rice cereal. We've been giving it to her about every other day, and other than the first night (when she didn't sleep well) she hasn't seemed to have any reaction to it. We're going to add some orange veggies next (sweet potato, squash, carrot) then move on to fruits. She is still nursing 7-8 times a day, for 15-25 minutes each time.

Here is a photo from a few days ago, with a classic Ada expression.

A family photo from last week. It's the best one we were able to get, although everyone is very serious!

Ada's hanging out with our neighbor, Anna.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sleep Training, Take Two

With a second baby, some things are easier and some things are harder. For example, breastfeeding is going well. Bottle feeding (while I'm at work) is not. But Ada is doing her best with a sippy cup, and seems to be getting enough to eat.

Ada is almost five months old, and sleep training should be well underway. This is one of the things I would have expected to be easier the second time. We've read the books and we have "sleep training experience" from Jude, but I'm finding that getting Ada on any kind of consistent sleep schedule is challenging. It's not that she doesn't sleep. She does...but not with any predictability with respect to go-to-sleep time or sleep duration. Sometimes she'll take a 2 hour morning nap, sometimes it's 30 minutes. Sometimes her afternoon nap starts at 2, sometimes it's 4. Sometimes she wakes up at 8:30 in the morning, sometimes at 6:30. Sometimes she's up once in the night, sometimes twice. Sometimes she's in bed for the night at 8pm, sometimes it's closer to 10. I don't know if we've ever had two days with the same sleep pattern. Also, we've had limited success with getting Ada to fall asleep on her own. Usually one or both of us ends up rocking or walking her to sleep. If she wakes up, we give her the opportunity to get back to sleep on her own, but it often doesn't work without some help.

I was reading back over Jude's five-month post over the weekend, and was somewhat surprised to remember that at this age, Jude was in bed every night by 7pm and we were looking for babysitters so that we could go out on the town. I can't imagine having that kind of confidence in our ability to get Ada down for the night at that hour, let alone the energy to want to leave the house!

So, what's the problem? I could blame the conflicts with Jude's schedule, or the noisy nursery, or a difference in Ada's "sleep personality". Or maybe it's a question of commitment. It's true that Jude was a better sleeper from the beginning (following in his Mom's footsteps of loving the multi-hour nap) while Ada seems to have her Dad's sleep proclivities (a 20 minute nap is often more than enough to leave her refreshed). But it's more than that. When Jude was a baby, we were able to decide to focus on his sleep schedule and make it a priority. We had the time for that, and few other pressing commitments. Now, there's preschool drop-off, and trips to the Zoo, and grocery shopping, and evening parties, and a million other things that get in the way of being home to allow Ada to sleep in her crib with any sort of regularity. So she's napping in the car seat, or in the baby carrier, or getting to bed late, or being woken up to suit someone else's schedule.

So far it's working out reasonably well. Ada naps most days, and sleeps well enough at night. We have days when we're tired, but also days when we get enough sleep. I think we're still in the "just getting by" phase where we do what we need to do to keep everyone as happy as possible. But I wonder if our haphazard approach to Ada's sleep needs is going to come back to bite us at some point. They say that lifetime sleep patterns are molded during these first months and years. Are we going to be able to "catch up" at some point and get her on an age-appropriate schedule, able to fall asleep without parental assistance? Or is this just something that we have to accept when it comes to raising the second child? The needs of the family are so much more complex this time around.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pirate Booty

We attended the Pirate Festival this weekend! Jude was suitably impressed by the weird people in full pirate regalia.

He was also impressed by the giant pirate ship, the marimba band, the balloon guy, and the inflatable bouncy castles. He was not impressed with the opportunity to hold the parrot. At least not after the first try - see below!

He was really, really not impressed by the super loud cannon fire. "Enough."

Nathan and Gryphon joined us for what is rapidly becoming a family tradition. Jude was very brave on the pirate ship slides, but he occasionally asked for help. Nathan was happy to provide it.

Check out this video of the action on Nathan's blog. Thanks, guys!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rice Cereal

With a little less fanfare than Jude's first meal, Ada had her first taste of "food" tonight. It was rice cereal, and she ate about 10 small bites. Some of the bites she swallowed, and a few she spit out, but I think she liked it.

You can hear Jude and Daddy in the background, making hamburgers for dinner.

A LOT - A poem by Jude

Jude attended summer camp at his school for a week in August. One day, he came home with his first poem...

Teacher Karen
in the sandbox
More cupcakes
a lot
1,2,3,4 A LOT!
raspberry with blueberry chocolate
my mommy's mouth - a lot!
making more cupcakes, A LOT!

by Jude on 8-11-10

The boy likes cupcakes!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who's Big?

Lately, Jude has taken to categorizing people and things. It's very interesting to observe the way his mind works. For example, everyone he knows falls into one of two categories, BIG and TINY.

Here are some examples:
Jude is BIG
Ada is TINY
Daddy is BIG
Mommy is TINY

You might be noticing a theme, so here are a few more:
Nini is BIG
Ama is TINY
Margaret is BIG
Annie is TINY (this makes her happy)

I'm not sure exactly what makes someone BIG or TINY, but once Jude has decided, he never changes his mind. Here is one clue as to what it means, though. Last night when we got in the car after Family Friday, Jude said "Mommy can't drive. Mommy is TINY. Daddy drives. Daddy is BIG."

And here are a few photos of our BIG boy from our day at the lake...

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The other day, we happened upon a sure fire way to make Ada laugh. Rip a piece of paper. It worked every time - until we tried it again the next day in front of an audience. But then we got a repeat a couple of days later, this time for the camera. This one isn't as hilarious as the first time, but it's pretty good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sitting Practice

Sitting Practice usually starts like this.

After a minute or three, we get to this position.

We're really a lot happier on our tummy.

I could stay like this for hours!

I've started doing some sitting practice with Ada. Jude didn't sit on his own until he was almost eight months old, but I think Ada is going to get there sooner. She does pretty well sitting on top of me or slightly supported. I tried the Boppy the other day, and it wasn't quite as successful. But it was very cute!

Check out Ada's BabyLegs! She looked really cute in them. Thanks to our friends and family who introduced us to the latest in Baby Fashion!

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Back To Work Update

I'm back at work this week. It's been an adjustment for all of us. Ada gets to spend a lot more time with her Dad, but she also has to drink from a cup for most of the day. Jude gets to watch more TV than usual, but he has less one-on-one time with his parents. Dad gets to set the agenda for each day (which he loves), but he also has to manage a crying baby when she's hungry and doesn't feel like drinking from a cup. I'm enjoying having some child-free time, but I don't get to take naps anymore.

Overall, though, things are going well. Ada is getting better at the cup and Daddy is getting into a rhythm as the primary childcare provider for two kids. Jude's school starts next week, which will provide a bit more structure to the week. Evenings are pretty hectic around our house. The baby wants to eat all the time, Jude is ... well he's just Jude, and both parents are tired from the day. By the time we get both kids to bed, we might have the energy to stay up for another half hour to talk or watch an episode of Lost, but usually at least one of us goes straight to bed.

I was planning to write that Ada is getting much better at sleeping. For the most part, she is asleep by around 9pm, wakes up sometime between 3-4 in the morning to nurse briefly (and goes back to sleep on her own), and then wakes for the day sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 AM. Last night was a bit of an anomaly, however, and she was up until pretty late (almost 10:30). I think she was hungry because she didn't take much milk while I was at work, and was too distracted to eat enough in the evening to make up the difference. Hopefully that was an unusual night, and not the start of a new pattern.

One other major change for Ada in the past few weeks is that she no longer hates the car. She does pretty well on short trips in the car seat, and has learned to fall asleep for longer trips. I wouldn't say that she enjoys the car especially, but at least she doesn't scream anymore. Now that I write this here, though, I'm sure we're in for some loud car rides...

Here are a few photos from the past week. Ada on our picnic blanket.

These two are thick as thieves.

Jude is much more interested in books than Ada at this point. She'd rather watch Jude or the rest of the room.

Jude and Daddy went blackberry picking last weekend. Then they made Jude's new specialty, BLACKBERRY BRUMBLE. Yum!
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Four Lindens

In addition to being the only female Cornett of her generation (so far) and the only great-granddaughter on the Henning side (so far), Ada has the distinction of carrying on a family tradition via her name. Her middle name, more specifically. Ada is the fourth generation in which the first daughter was given the middle name "Linden". In the photo below, we have the direct maternal line. Eleanor Linden (my grandmother), Margaret Linden (my mother), Patricia Linden (that's me!), and Ada Linden.

Of course, no one ever called me Patricia. I've been "Linden" since I was a baby, and dropped the "Patricia" on all of my legal documents after I got married and had to go through the process of changing my name anyway. But there was never really any question about what we would choose for our daughter's middle name. How could we be the ones to break this tradition?

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ada Rolls

Today was a big day for the Cornett family. Daddy and Jude took Ada up to Nini's house for the day, and she had her first significant stretch of time away from Mommy. She did ok drinking from the sippy cup. Over the course of six hours and three feedings, she drank about four ounces. Probably not as much as she would have taken if she were nursing, but not bad for her first try. I hear that she didn't cry the whole time she was awake. I've been hearing a lot of stories of babies who cried for days or weeks after Mom went back to work, before figuring out how to get food some other way, so I'm going to call this a success.

Ada also decided to roll over for the camera for the first time tonight. She's done it before, but it always seemed like an accident. Tonight, she did it over and over, and looked proud of herself afterwards.

Later on, she sat up (only slightly supported) for almost fifteen minutes. Our girl is growing up before our very eyes...