Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Confessions from a tired mama...

Okay, time be real and get real.

I am really struggling.

I need some encouragement from my "been there, done that" mommy friends.  Any tips, tricks or advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

I am struggling with the constant feeling that I am not giving my kids MY best.

Why?

1.)  My energy levels are low.  I want to be the mom that can keep up with her kids.  But, lately, I feel like I am in a fog. I try not to be too hard on myself, because I know I am not getting the best sleep -- waking to feed Ellie 2-3 times a night.  But, I NEED to feel more lively. I'd like to eat better,too.   Any suggestions on how to meal plan with health in mind but still on a modest budget?  Time is a factor.  Any advice on how to kick up my energy a notch?  What have you tried that works?


2.) I am feeling down on myself, specifically my appearance.  Last pregnancy the weight literally fell off but this time it is sticking around! I'd like to be able to work out but I am having trouble fitting it in my schedule.  Any suggestions???  I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old so it makes it difficult because their sleeping times vary day to day.  Also, my husband works a ton so when he is home we try to be together as a family.  I'd like to wake up, work out and get ready before my kids wake up -- IS THIS POSSIBLE?  If you do, tell me how you make it work!

3.)  I end up cleaning when I should be spending time with my kids.  I have systems in place to stay organized but, again, I am struggling to find to time to get everything I need to done.  By the time I get the kids in bed, I am exhausted and Mike has to get back to work.  The house is a mess and I don't feel like picking it up and I usually just end up falling asleep while watching TV.  So, the next morning, instead of having a peaceful morning with my kids, I am trying to get my house clean.  It seems like a never ending cycle...  How do my mama friends keep their houses clean?


My goal is to be ready for the day before my kids wake up so that I can focus on them!  If you can help me achieve this, please don't be shy and give me some advice!!!

Thanks in advance! Xo

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ellie's Third Month: 8.20 - 9.20

What a change, what a change, what a mighty good change!


From birth to month THREE!


Weekly pics of our cutie!  5 weeks fell in month 3!  Um, I just melt when I look at the middle picture!  She is so adorable!!! And, she is ALL mine!  Love her!




The start of Ellie's third month was really, really rough.  Lots of crying.  Constant colic.  Perpetually bouncing her all day every day.  Losing our minds.  Praying for patience.  Grasping the precious, precious moments of smiles few and far between.  Hugs and kisses through it all.  And, so, so many I'm so sorry's and I love you's.  Around Ellie's 10-10.5 week mark there seemed to be some sunshine through the rain.  We were having longer happy periods; we could actually set her down with out crying and she was letting us hold her (some) with out the yoga ball to assist.  Day by day Ellie became more and more content, I'd even say cheerful.  By her 3rd month birthday it was like she was a different child!  Needless to say, we are sending praises to Jesus.  Countless prayers have been answered and I am fairly confident in saying that Ellie is now like any other baby -- cries when she is hungry and tired or bored -- and peaceful the rest of the time!  She still vehemently hates the car seat but we have made so much progress that it seems like a pebble compared to the mountain we were facing.

Can I get an amen?

2 months 1 week
Ellie met some friends this week -- Augustino and Sophia (twins).  We practiced tummy time and enjoyed the sparse happy moments.

2 months 2 weeks
Oma, Oma O and Opa O were in town this week.  They came to meet our little bundle.  We had such a great time and everyone got lots of practice on the yoga ball.  One place baby Ellie is happy is in the bath -- just like brother!

Pics of Ellie, Eli and their grandparents -- whom they call Oma and Opa (German tradition).

I just loved these pictures!  I had to share!  She has such long (straight, but dark) eye lashes!  Lucky girl!  She is such a skinny little thing too!


2 months 3 weeks
Ellie was obsessed with sticking out her tongue this week!  It was hilarious!  This week we started to see a slight turn around in the crying department.  :) :)

2 months 4 weeks
Towards the end of the month, we saw lots more smiles!!!  She started to like tummy time because she can arch her back and place her arms under her chest to hold up her head.  Proud of my babe!

Ellie's Likes:

Being outside
Bath time with mommy and brother
Nursing, of course
Bouncing
Baby TV
Being worn -- for much longer periods of time compared to last month
Being whistled to, sung to, and talked to
Play Gym

Exersaucer
Johnny Jumper
Chewing on her fists
Toys

Watching Eli and Sammie some
Watching her mobile
Baby bjorn
Tummy time

Ellie's Dislikes:

Stillness
Car seat -- HATES it! Boo hoo hoo!
Pacifier -- will take but rarely

Ergo carrier -- she does not like to face in, I hope this changes cause I really like the carrier

Ellie's 2nd Month Milestones:

Starting to notice Eli and Sammie

Stands well while being held on our laps
Bats at and grasps toys

Can bring toys and blanket to her mouth
Follows objects and voices
Stats: at 13 weeks she was 11lbs 10.5oz (She gains a little under 3oz a day) Skinny Minnie!

Hold head up completely while on stomach.

Sleep:

Very similar to last month.  Sleeps well through out the night waking once or twice and goes right back down.  She takes very irregular naps but usually goes down 1-2 hours after waking in the morning.  Sometimes she takes long naps and sometimes short.  Usually, she will take at least one long nap a day.    (Unfortunately, next month her sleep begins to regress :( :( :( ...)

Breast Feeding and Tandem Nursing:

She is nursing for longer periods of time but still short compared to other nursing moms who nurse for 20 minutes per session.  She is more like 5-7, 10 at the very most.  She nurses often though, probably every hour when she is awake.  I am no longer tandem nursing.  Eli's last time was September 3rd.  We are all doing very well and I can honestly say it is nice to just be nursing one baby.  

Eli and Ellie: A Comparison

At this age they both:

have (had) hair the sticks up in back!
like(d) to face out while being held
like(d) to go from inside to outside
have (had) blue/gray eyes
take (took) prevacid for reflux


They are different

Ellie has a lot more hair and it is much darker.  Ellie was a lot chubbier but you can't tell by this picture!


What I've learned...

God doesn't give you more than you can handle.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Colic (frequent crying you can't stop) doesn't last forever, though when you are experiencing it -- it seems like it will never end.

I am Extremely Blessed because...

Ellie is a happy baby -- finally!

Stay tuned for an update on Eli's summer.

XOxo,

Ali