Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eli's 7th Month: 3.14.12 - 4.14.12

Can't believe my baby boy is 7 months old!  I wish I could freeze time!  Lord, since I can't will you allow me to vividly remember these precious and oh so fun months forever?


My 7 month old wiggly worm!

Eli's First St. Patty's Day!

It is fun to think that Baby E has some Irish blood in him!  His Oma's (Mike's mom) maiden name is O'Shaughnessy.  The closest he gets to being Irish on his mommy's side is McClard which is Scottish and Angell which is Welsh.  Stephens is English.

You can see that a lot of Eli's ancestors came from the same region of the world -- Ireland, Scottland, Wales and England.




















But on St. Patrick's day we will celebrate his Irish heritage.  Unfortunately, we were on the road to Wichita during LS's DT St Patrick's Day Parade.  We have been so blessed to live in a community that is so family friendly and provides so much for families to do.  However, on St. Patrick's Day we all dressed in green and gave eachother lots of Irish kisses!  Mike's Oma and Opa O'Shaughnessy sent him a few St. Patrick's Day treats too!

Eli opening his St. Patrick's day package from Oma O and Opa O.


Eli's First Easter

We went to my parents church for Easter.  My dad gave the sermon -- I'm so proud of him.  After church we headed to their house for an egg hunt and Easter dinner.  My sis, her husband and my precious neice Kate came over too.  It was the first holiday we celebrated with both cousins!  What a joy for my parents!  The highlight of my day though was listening to Mike tell Eli the easter story.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I know Mike's greatest desire for Eli is to know and serve the Lord.  :)


After church at gma's for an egg hunt!


Cutest Bunny I've ever seen!


Eli's first trip to the Zoo

My mom, Eli and I went to the zoo during my SB.  It was a hot day but we had fun.  Eli enjoyed looking at the monkeys.  He was a little scared of the loud noises they were making though.  He also liked the pretty colorful birds, polar bear, elephants, deer, and goats!  The goats even tried to nibble on his toes! 



Eli's first look at a polar bear!!!

Eli's Likes:

Fun in the Sun!



Eli mowing the grass with mama...love my moby wrap -- thanks Meryl!


Flowers and blooms


Spring time is here and it makes me so happy!  Eli smiles every time he sees flowers!

Toys



Kate :) (I especially like stealing her mam paci from her.)





Can you tell Eli is mine and Kate is Libby's?

Hey, where did your paci go -- I want it!


Friends

Eli and his friends -- Cole, Levi, Quinn and Nolan

Being carried around by "Dada" in the front pack!



Snuggles in bed



Pears, carrots, sweet potato, peaches (not at first), squash and oatmeal/cereal -- he is good eater but that doesn't surprise me knowing myself and Mike!



Eli's Dislikes:

Bananas, green beans, peas

Being set down when I want to be held

Mommy leaving the room

Eli's 7th Month Milestones:

Eli is pulling up on everything!  The couch, the crib, the play pen, and mommy and daddy to!

Finally using the sippy cup to drink water and not just chew it.  :)

Eli can get into a sittting position from a crawling position.

Baby push ups/plank

On 4/14/2012 Eli crawled for the first time!

My resignation

After 5 wonderful years of teaching, I have resigned and will become a SAHM.  Growing up I always pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom.  I'm not sure why because my mother worked.  However, once Eli was born and I was with him 24/7 and exhausted and worn out it felt kind of nice to return to work, almost like a break -- weird to think of work as a break, huh?  As Eli has grown and developed he can do so much more and is waay fun and it was hard for me to think of not being around during his daily routine to teach him, comfort him, encourage him and love him.  The day I resigned my school did an activity in which students wrote to teachers that they appreciated.  I got some really neat letters and one student who I had the previous year wrote to me to tell me that the year before she struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts and that because of my class she received the encouragement she needed to get better.  Wow!  This completely validated my 5 years in teaching.  Reminds me of the quote "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."  -Henry E. Adams. I hope that I've left a legacy with my 750 students -- one of caring for others and dreaming big.  I feel SO blessed to have taught so many students in my 5 short years and I hope someday to return to the profession that I LOVE so much.  For now, I will continuing teaching -- only to an audience of one -- the cutest, most lovable boy I've ever encountered.  I know this new experience will be even more challenging and rewarding than I can even imagine.  I'm up for the challenge and look forward to every moment I get to spend with Eli and my future children.

 Moving to Wichita and then staying in KC :)

To make a VERY long story short:  Mike started looking a for a new job.  He found one in Witchita.  We sold our home.  We bought a home in Wichita.  Mike's former boss from Euronet (who left the company shortly before Mike did) offered him a job in KC.  We got out of our contract.  We bought a home in Lee's Summit.  Wanna know more?  Just ask me.  :)

Severly Sad Sleep: We've tried everything and now we are at the last straw...

CRYING IT OUT with the STEPHENS
Day One
The first time we let Eli cry it out was the night of 4/2.  It was not planned.  He went to bed peacefully at 7:30 and woke up at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30.  He woke up again at 1:30 and I nursed him -- however he cried when we tried to lay him back down.  Mike said he wanted to try to cry it out and so I obliged.  It was hard to listen to him scream but with in about 40 mins he was asleep.

Total cry = 40 mins

Day Two
4/3  I was out buying a video monitor and Eli fell asleep while Mike was rocking him.  Mike set him in his crib at 7ish.  Eli woke up and cried for only 10 mins and went back to sleep.  He woke up an hour later -- like always -- and I decided to go ahead and feed him since I wasn't here when he originally went down.  I nursed him and set him back down and he cried out once and went to sleep.  He woke up at 1:30 this is a VERY long strech for him and I nursed him and Mike set him back in his crib and he went straight to sleep.  He woke up at 4:30 and Mike convinced me not to go in and he cried for 1.5 hours and I had to feed him before I left for work so I went in only to find him knocking his head against the railing (he had arched his back enough times that he was at the end of his crib and when he would arch his back again his head would slip into the wooden railng).  This made me feel horrible; especially since he had a big red spot on his head.  I nursed him and he was back to sleep within 30 mins and slept until 9am.

Total cry = 1 hr 41 mins

Day Three
4/4  Eli was showing signs of being tired and I nursed him and he went down at 7:10.  When I set him in his crib he did wake up and cry for maybe 1 minute.  He slept for one hour and woke up (like usual).  We did not go in to comfort him we just let him cry and that he did (off and on) from 8:12 to 8:34 and then was asleep until a little after midnight.  I nursed him, Mike set him down and he woke up and let out a few cries looked around and closed his eyes until 5:00am.  I nursed him and he went right back down with his eyes open -- didn't cry and went to sleep until 6:40.  I will say this is going better than I expected but I am having HUGE anxiety.  I am not sleeping well because I fear he will wake up and cry and I won't be able to comfort him.  I know that, in the end, this will be best for all of us but it sure is hard!!!!

Total cry = 24 mins

Day Four
4/5 This day was pretty identical to the day before except he ate at 12:00 and 4:30 and I got lazy -- and, I kinda miss him in our room :(  -- and let him sleep with me until the morning -- he woke up a little before 7.  I hope this doesn't throw him off!

Total cry = around 25 mins

Day Five
4/6  I feel so bad because this day could contribute to a regression of this whole (painful) process.  Mike and I decided to drive down to Wichita to look for houses.  Eli had woken up a little before 7 and we left around 10; he was awake for around an hour in the car and then slept for over 2 hours which is pretty unheard of as a morning nap for Eli.  Then we had to keep him happy in the car off and on for a few hours while looking for houses -- which was no easy feat.  I also noticed he kept tugging at his right ear which made me think he might have an ear infection.  He took another 30 min nap in the afternoon.  Because he slept so much during the day I knew he wouldn't be ready to go to be at the usual 7:30 timeframe; which I was hoping for so we could leave around then and Eli would sleep the whole way home.  Even though Eli was awake we started home at around 7.  Eli was decent in the car until around 9.  We pulled over and I nursed him and he was tired.  We put him in the carseat and he cried fairly hard for 20 mins and then resigned and went to sleep.  When we got home it was 11 and Eli woke up (and seemed awake-awake) and we both agreed that he had been through enough today and we would just hand out and watch TV with the lights low until he was showing signs of being tired.  We started to watch TV and ofcouse Mike falls asleep almost immediately and I have to stay up with E.  I didn't mind though because I was worried he was sick with an ear infection.  After about an hour Eli nursed and went to sleep.  I tried to lay him down but he was crying before I could even get to the crib and when I did I waited a minute or so but he didn't let up.  Due to his ear and cruddy day I picked him back up snuggled him against me and he fell back to sleep.  I layed him down successfully.  He woke up about 30 mins later.  Mike wanted to let him cry but I didn't.  So he came to bed with us -- woke up twice through out the night (one time a little harder to get him down) but slept fairly well over all waking at 8ish.  I felt good about this decision because I thought he might be hurting.  However, it worries me that all the work we had down this week could be lost.  Alll those tears for nothing?  We will see.  I pray not. 

Total cry = 2 mins but didn't do the CIO for a variety of reasons.

Day Six
4/7  It has almost been a week.  Things are going well, I think.  Eli does not have an ear infection (took him to the doc).  He didn't have any real good naps today and was ready to sleep by 7:30.  He nursed and went straight down -- no coaxing whatsoever.  He woke back up at 8:43 and cried fairly hard to start, then off and on for around 13 mins.  He cries and then resigns to sleep but then wakes himself up with a startle and starts the process all over again.  It is hard to watch him on the monitor looks around with those tears but Mike and I have said a prayer everytime that the Lord would send his angels to him and comfort him.  He is acting normal during the days and doesn't have any resentment towards us.  I do feel like he may have a little more anxiety than normal about being left alone.  But, he has always been VERY needy.  I am still not getting much good sleep because of my anxiety over when he will wake and cry.  I am glad that I am getting up with him twice still.  Hopefully if he learns to sooth himself to sleep at first he will start to sleep longer and longer but I plan to drop the middle of the night feeding in 2-4 weeks.  The doc suggests I drop it now but I just can't. 

Total Cry = 13 mins

Day 7
4/8  Eli was off again today because of all of the Easter festivities.  He didn't sleep a lot today -- maybe 1.5 hours.  He was falling asleep at my parents house around 6:30 and if we were home I think he would have slept till morning (with wakings).  But when we put him in his carseat at 7ish he woke up and we didn't get him back down until 8:30.  I had tried nursing him to sleep several times but to no avail.  He finally fell asleep in Mike's arms and when Mike laid him down he only cried for 4 mins!  He didn't wake up an hour after he went to sleep for the 1st time in months!  He did wake up at 10:45 though - nursed back to sleep.  He woke up again at 2:45 - nursed back to sleep.  He woke up again at 5:30 cried a few times and went back to sleep on his own!!!  Yay!  At 6:20 I ran into his room because he was face down in his crib!  He was fine but it really scared me!  So I woke him up!  Darn it!

Total Cry = 5 mins

Day 8
4/9  Eli's babysitter let him cry during his am nap and he slept for 1.5 hours and then 40 mins for the afternoon nap. 

Day 9
4/10 Eli didn't get the best sleep during the day.  He wouldn't go down at the normal 7:30 time -- we kept trying and trying.  Finally at 8:30 he went down.  He was so tired but didn't want to go in his crib.  He cried for 25 mins -- off and on toward the end.  Woke at 2:45, nursed and went back to sleep until 6:30.  Not bad.  I feel like E is experiencing some anxiety at night.  He used to just nurse and with in minutes close his eyes and go to sleep.  Now he is wanting to stay awake.  I feel bad for him.  He hates his crib now.  I feel like he is kinda starting to regress.  This is hard.  I thought that by day 9 we would be in the clear -- guess not.

Day 10
Eli again didn't get the best sleep during the day.  My mom is having a hard time letting him CIT.  He is taking short naps and then crying out but is still sleepy.  Around 7 Eli began to get a little fussy.  We tried for 1/2 hour to nurse him to sleep but you can really tell he is experiencing anxiety now.  BOO!  Seriously, WTFreak!  This is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard!  I HATE, HATE, HATE it!  We layed Eli down at 8:05 and he cried for 17mins and went to sleep.  He woke at 1:45 and went back to sleep until 5:30 and was wide awake (but still tired) and went back to bed with daddy an hour later.  I hope he doesn't have to start crying it out in the mornings!   On a side note, Eli likes to sleep on his side or stomach!  He is sooo cute!

Day 11
Hardest day yet.... :(  Eli fell asleep while nursing at 7pm.  I put him down and he cried for 45mins.  He also climbed into a stance and fell down and repeated the process I don't know how many times.  He was flailing about in his crib, thrashing and kicking.  It was horrible!  Mike and I kept asking ourselves if we should go in and get him but, in the end, I am glad we didn't.  He woke up at 12:00 nursed and went back in the crib -- cried once and went back to sleep until 6:30 am.  The middle of the night is getting better but beginning of the night is worse.  What am I doing wrong?!?!?!

Got lazy with my notes from here on out...

Day 12
Gma let him crying during his second nap b/c he had only slept for 45 mins all day and after 14 mins of crying he fell asleep.

4.13
Went to bed at 730.  Went down easy.

4.14
Went to bed late 9pm. Dad rocked him to sleep.  Woke at 245. And 530. Slept in bed till 744

4.15
Fell asleep nursing.  Cried went put in crib.  Start at 8:10 on and off for 40 mins :(

4.16
Laid down awake.  Cried 37 mins

4.17
Laid down asleep at 735 didn't wake up til 530.  Nursed slept til 9! BEST NIGHT SO FAR.... didn't last long..

4.18 down at 8 didn't wake up.  Mike accidentally woke him up at 1230.  Nursed cried till 105 Woke up to nurse at 530 back down till 805

4.19
Down at 750. Had to place hand on head.  Woke at 1030 messed around a little/fussed.  Woke at 12 nursed down cried for two mins.

This has been a CRAZY process.  We are now over three weeks into it and he still cries and cries if we set him in his crib to sleep when he is very tired but not yet asleep.  He wakes on average twice during the night and sleeps on average a total of 11 per night.  It is a lot better than 5-6 times per night.  If I could go back I would still do this and maybe even start it a little earlier -- even though it has been so emotional.  I continue to pray for him every day.  I hope soon he learns how to put himself to sleep. 


Morning after our first night of crying it out -- tired, but happy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Eli's 6th Month: 2.14.2012 - 3.14.2012

6 months!


What a difference a half a year can make!  You'll always be my baby no matter how big you get Eli!


What an exciting month this has been!  I can't believe my baby is already half way into his first year!  It seems like yesterday I was holding my 8lb 7oz brand new baby boy!  Time flies when you are in LOVE!  A co-worker told me when I returned to work 3 months ago that it just keeps getting better and better.  Her son is 16 and she says it is still getting better!  I hope I can say that when Eli is 16.  For now, I'll enjoy my 6 month old cutie!  For those of you who haven't seen Eli lately, he is SO cute -- I just can't stop kissing those cute little cheeks!

Mike took this photo shoot of Eli and I for St. Patty's day (he is wearing green if you can't tell!) He is such a happy, happy boy! We send cards to relatives for each holiday. It is a way that mommy keeps the memory of her grandmother, Pauline Bennett alive. She would send her a card for each holiday every year of her life -- that is a lot of cards. They meant so much to her from that time she was little, through college and even into her married life. Family is so important to us and we hope to tell Eli all about how amazing his great grandma Bennett was!


P.S.  Every single blog pic this month is from my iphone -- I swear that is all we take pictures on any more -- thank God for technology!
Eli's Likes:

His Cousin Kate


Eli giving Kate a kiss.  Kate is like What is this boy doing to me?

Grandma's excersaucer


Gma and mommy went to the Just for Friends Consignment Sale on 2/18 and Gma got this steal for $15!  I love it because all my toys fit  around the edge!  Gma's house is filling up with baby toys now that she has two little, precious grandbabies!  :)

His spoon


I love my rubber spoon so much I can barely see straight!  :)

My sister Sam


Pound it!

Harley Davidson


Opa said, "I'm born to ride!"


Naps with Dad


This is a repeat from previous months -- but I sure do love my snuggly sleep with dad!

My friends at babysitters


Now that my cousin Kate is here and grandma watches her I Mondays -- I get to hang out with these cuties!  Mommy feels very blessed to have found my new babysitter because she is awesome!

My mesh feeder!


This contraption really helps when I am teething!  I especially like frozen mangos!

Twinkle, Twinkle and No More Monkeys and all things Baby Einstein


Daddy stuffs me in my pack in play in the mornings, turns on Baby Galileo and tries to get a few more minues of snooze.

Peek-a-boo and I'm gonna get you!

Smiling with his eyes!  Love this boy!

Chewing on my pacifiers (and everything else I can get into my mouth).

Being outside.


Mommy loves my little curl!

Eli's dislikes:

You guessed it -- the CAR SEAT!  We finally found something that helps though -- a car DVD player!  Thank the Lord for that!


Add caption

Not being able to reach a toy

Falling over from a sitting position (especially if he bumps his head)

Mommy or Daddy walking away

Teething!  Poor guy!


Eli is a fussy teether but a cold wash cloth helps!!


Eli's Milestones:

Standing while holding on to something



Sitting up like a champ! 


Eli loves that he doesn't have to stay in his car seat at restaurants anymore -- bring on the germ infested high chairs!

Getting into a crawl position and rocking!

Mike calls this Eli's referees position (wrestling stance).

Eli will take steps while you hold his hands -- it is so cute!

Baby Sign Language class:

Mike and I went to a baby sign language class together held by LS parents as teachers.  We learned a lot and have started signing -- eat, more, milk, dada, and mama

Wichita Weekend:

Mike and I headed south to Wichita, KS for the first weekend of my spring break.  It was nice to get away and check out a new city.  We stayed at the Drury Plaza Inn in DT Wichita.  It was a nice space.  Eli was fairly good on the car trip -- we bought a DVD player for the car that worked wonders on him!  He enjoyed observing all the new places and we all had fun eating out and splashing around in the hotel pool!


On our way to the hotel pool!
In the hotel lobby!

On our way back home, do I really have to sit in this car seat again???

6th Month Stats:

19lbs -- 74%
27.5 inches -- 82%
61% for head circumference
Eli met all of the social and physical 6th month markers -- Doc thinks he is a beautiful boy and so do we!

Sleep:

It is a sore subject right now and I'd rather not even get into it.  Lets just say that Eli continues to wake up, nurse, sometimes go back to bed, sometimes stay awak and want to play (in the middle of the night playing with your baby is NOT fun).  Lets also say that I AM JEALOUS of every mom with babies that sleep through the night at 6mo.  Lets say one more thing, I know it is my fault because I can't let him cry it out but I am an inch away from doing -- just trying to make it to 7 months to see if it gets any better.  Pray please.

What we are looking forward to next month?

Eli's first St. Patty's day (he has Irish blood on his daddy's side -- O'Shaughnessy)
Eli's first Easter
All the fun that comes with watching our baby grow, learn and explore the world around him!