This last month was filled with lots of activities and craziness, but if you know me you know that I wouldn't have it any other way.
We started out the month of october by going on a camping trip. It was super spontaneous, and really random for me to actually WANT to go out in to the woods for fun. But we called up our bestest friends Mark and Hope, and packed up the cars and headed north for a fun little weekend. The weather was a little fickle and even though we had clear blue skies on the drive up, almost immediately upon arriving at the campsite it began to rain. It rained steadily for a few hours, but we had brought along a canopy so we were able to stay dry and enjoy the weather. The boys were even able to get a fire going that kept us nice and warm all night! We enjoyed delicious dutch oven meals, fire popped popcorn and lots of snacks and candy. What else is camping for, if not to gorge yourself on all the tastiest of foods? We were so lucky that the rain stopped and the clouds disappeared just before the moon rose, so we were able to get a beautiful look at the stars. I'm not a huge fan of camping, but I do love star gazing. Once I was able to convince myself that we weren't going to eaten by bears (a fear of mine... dont' laugh), I really began to enjoy myself. I know that Alex enjoys camping so much, and I really would love it if it was a consistent part of my childrens life growing up. I know that Izzy had a blast, with all the new things to look at. She loved staring at the fire, and being all bundled up and snuggling with me and dad.
This month was also a tough one for me. Early in the month we took Izzy in for her 4 month check up. Everything seemed fine, but they weighed her and she had only gained 3 ounces since her 2 month check up. She had completely dropped off the charts and was in the .02 percentile for her weight. She was still perfect in height and head circumference (87th percentile!) but her sudden decline in weight concerned her doctor very much. We discussed in importance of calories at this stage, and decided that exclusively breastfeeding wasn't going to be quite enough calories for my little active baby. The dr. decided to have me pump exclusively for one week, and to add some premie formula to each bottle I pumped. This would serve two purposes; one, it would let us know how much I was actually producing so we could rule out supply issues. and two, it would add calories to each meal so that she could start gaining more weight. I left that apointment feeling like a huge mommy failure. How did I not know that my baby was practically starving? There were no signs to point to a malnourished baby. She sleeps 10 hours at night, is so so happy and giggly all the time, and was always happy after each feeding. I hated knowing that my breast milk was potentially harming my daughter. Well a week went by, and I pumped all I could and felt like a very unattractive cow, and we learned that my supply was not the issue at all, I was producing enough! It was such a relief. But the problem was that even after a week of adding the extra calories, she didn't even gain one ounce, and the dr. was hoping that she would gain at least 7-10! So frustrating. So we had to go and get some blood work done and get a rectal exam and a fecal fat test done, because now they were worried that there was something wrong with her gestational tract, or perhaps with her thyroid. Getting her blood drawn was terrible. She screamed and screamed, and they barely got any blood. I again felt like such a terrible mother. Where was my motherly instinct? Why didn't I have any clue that something bad was going on with her? I hated that she had to go through all of this, and I hoped that we would figure something out after all these tests were done. That was wishful thinking, as all the tests came back negative. I was relieved that nothing was terribly wrong, but also annoyed that she had to go through all of that, and we still were no closer to having any answers. At this point, we had decided that pumping was not conducive to my life style, so we switched to doing a full nursing session, and then the next feeding we would give a 5oz bottle of formula. This worked out so much better for our busy life. It sure is nice to have a bit more flexibility now that she takes some formula, but it broke my heart that something that I tried so hard to avoid was now being forced upon me. That being said, I would do whatever it takes to make sure that Izzy is healthy, it was just hard for me to accept. One fun aspect of all this was that we got the go ahead to start Isabel on oatmeal cereal and fruits and veggies. She absolutely LOVES eating. Her first bowl of oatmeal was just one huge party. She was smiling and grabbing at the spoon and holding her mouth open between bites and says "ahh-ahh!!" as if to say, "hurry up mom, you're going too slow!!". We love feeding her, and I haven't found a food yet that she doesn't like. Her favorite is probably pears. But she loves sweet potato, banana, green beans, applesauce, carrots and prunes! So after all the craziness and tests and stress, we figured that she just has a crazy fast metabolism and since she has always been small and then became so active, she was just using more calories that she was consuming. So with the addition of 2-3 formula bottles a day, plus 2-3 meals of oatmeal and fruit/veggie and still nursing 4 times a day, I can tell that she is starting to put on some weight. You can't see her ribs and spine like you could before, and her little thighs are getting so squishy and yummy. and she have officially grown out of everything newborn sized. She is wearing all 0-3 month sized clothing and even most of her 3-6 month clothes are starting to fit! It's nice to have some cute new outfits to put her in!
Some other fun things that happened this month were my moms birthday! I always teased her that I would make her a grandma before she turned 50! I made that happen, so I had to do something special for her BIG day! I had talked to my dad a few weeks before her birthday and suggested that we do a surprise party! I was incharge of all the planning and my dad just helped everything actually come together. It was so fun and I could totally rock being a party planner! Mom was SO surprised, I really don't think she had any idea!
We got to celebrate Izzy's first Halloween. We toyed with so many different family costume ideas, and had lots of cute potential ones. But all in all we decided that since Izzy isn't actually going trick or treating this year, we would rather not spend lots of money on matching costumes. Plus, my mom saved my first halloween costume, and I had it in storage. And since she was able to fit in it, I couldn't resist letting her dress up in the same costume I wore 23 years ago! She was the absolute cutest kitty cat ever. And in order so semi-match her I decided to do a little fun make up and be a mommy cheetah cat. We went to our little ward trunk-or-treat and had a blast showing her off.
Here is a picture of my grandpa holding me on my first halloween, and then a picture of her grandpa holding her on her first halloween! I love it so much!!
- The way you have started grabbing your toes and munching on them and it's just too cute for words.
- Izzy, you're daddy loves for so much. He tells me almost daily how much he loves being your dad, and I can't even believe how much I love it. You're dad loves cuddling with you, and feeding you, and even when he changes your diaper he doesn't complain! I got lucky to have such an amazing person by my side to parent you, and you my dear, really lucked out with the best daddy there is.
- You sleep 10-11 hours at night now! Every once in a while you will wake up around 5:30 to nurse and snuggle for about 25 minutes but then you go right back down. It's wonderful. I feel so blessed to have such a great sleeper.
- You basically laugh at everything. I can constantly make you smile, and you think everything is funny. I love your sense of humor.
- You love to drink from a straw. Grandma Deb will put a tiny bit of her drink in the end of a straw and hold on the end so that there is some suction, and then you love to suck on it and get a little treat!
- You have also started doing this hilarious little fake cough, and it kills me. It's so funny. It almost seems like you do it when you know that we aren't paying attention to you, and you want us to stop what we are doing and give you all our attention! It usually works ;)
- I didn't think it was possible, but you love baths even more it seems. you love it when we let you float on your back, with your ears in the water. I bet you love how it sounds. You also have learned how to kick your legs and splash the water. And of course you think it's hilarious!