I can't believe that Elizabeth is already 7 weeks old. Time has just flown by. So many changes have already come around in her. Her stomach is MUCH improved. She is still fussy and gassy. She gets 2-4 doses of gas medicine a day, and that usually makes her happy. On really bad days, she also gets Catnip and Fennel, which is an herbal remedy for digestion. I think she is really starting to like it because it calms her down very quickly. She doesn't complain about taking it. It tastes VERY strongly like black licorice. Specifically, those little black licorice log things that have that hard outer shell and are softer inside. I don't know what they are called. They come in red or black, and possibly more colors. I want to say good and plenty, but I'm pretty sure that's wrong. I HATE the black ones. I always avoided them like the plague. Luckily, my mom liked them, so we always gave them to her. The first few times I gave the Catnip and Fennel to Elizabeth, she balked. But now she licks it off and seems to enjoy it. Or at least she has to work for the next few minutes to get the taste out of her mouth, so she is quiet. I know that I can eat any kind of product containing milk, I can eat cheese, I can probably eat yogurt. I can drink small quantities of milk. I can eat some chocolate. I'm starting to think that I need to avoid caffeine. It seems the days that I have caffeine are the nights that she has problems. That makes sense. I usually have soda at lunch. I don't drink it later than that because then I can't sleep. I also know it takes roughly 12 hours to metabolize, and it's usually her 3am-ish feedings that go awry when I have soda. But nothing else seems to bother her now. I think her earlier problems must have been a combination of smaller things that avoiding dairy for a month really helped improve. I think I mentioned it in her birth story, but she swallowed a lot of fluid during birth and had to have her stomach suctioned twice. That may have injured her stomach valve. I know it has a name. I know I know it's name. I cannot think of it's name. The valve that keeps her tummy closed. Anyway, that injury, plus the dairy that obviously affects her despite the pediatrician assuring me that it makes no difference, plus caffeine, plus her obvious gas issues (as evidenced by her seriously explosive poops), all combined to make a cranky baby. (I swear, I clean more poop off this kid's stomach than I do her bum.) But we turned a corner at about a month. I reintroduced dairy and learned to limit my liquid milk consumption. I've learned to avoid the caffeine, which isn't really difficult since we are not keeping soda in the house and I only have it when we go out to eat, if then. I've learned to keep up with her gas medicine. She gets it first thing in the morning, usually at lunch and at dinner. And sometimes in between those feedings. Her stomach has also grown and matured and she spits less. She still spits more than the other two ever did, but it is noticeably less than before.
At her one month check up, she weighed in at a whopping 12 pounds, which puts her in the 100%. I just wish that for every pound she gained, I lost a pound. Or two. I think that would be fair. I'm tired of people (doctors, nurses, random strangers, magazines) telling me that breastfeeding would help me lose baby weight. Hasn't worked yet, doubt it will work this time. Alann and I are trying to eat better though. We need to get in shape for the zombie apocalypse. (Our 5k trail run we are doing in October.) She is a good eater and is becoming more tolerant of the other two constantly being in her face. She also has started not napping, which I know is actually a place problem, not a sleep problem. I've been putting her down for naps in the living room, which worked during her sleepy newborn phase when she would sleep through everything. But ever since she started "waking up" to the world around her, she will fall asleep for a nap and here comes one of the other two and they shake her bed or yell in her face and wake her up. They always seems so proud of themselves too. Like "mom, the baby was sleeping, but now she's awake! Aren't I helpful?" Yeah, not so much kids. So I need to find a new place for her. I can move her into the guest room, but then I would need a monitor, so I might as well just take her upstairs, where the monitor already is set up. I'm just worried that if she is upstairs during nap/quiet time, and Claire and Alex are upstairs, that they will go in and wake her up anyway. How can my house be so big and I still don't have a good place to nap a baby??
On her 5th Saturday with us, Ella definitely "woke up". She started noticing things. She started cooing. She started smiling. She definitely smiles now, specifically at people. Today we were eating dinner and she would coo, so I would look at her, and she would smile at me. It was pretty cute. She even smiles at her siblings, at least until they start shaking her swing or yelling at her. Then she cries. Or gets that horrified baby look on her face. That "are you going to eat me?" look. She's following things with her eyes now. I love this. Having a newborn is nice and all, especially since they sleep so much, but I much prefer the slightly older baby that actually interacts. At least until they turn 2 and start pulling all the books and toys off the shelves. Or 3 and start back-talking and telling their younger brother to do things that they will get in trouble for, or walking by and randomly hitting. Not that I have any of those problems. I guess my favorite age is about a month old to about 2 years old. That's when my kids usually start talking and getting demanding.
We are in a very difficult stage with Claire and Alex. Alex listens to Claire more than he listens to me. Claire listens to nobody but herself. They have lost almost all of their toys, I've moved their bedtime earlier, I've started taking away cups if they leave their bedroom after being tucked in. They have gone days without watching TV. Claire is specifically disregarding my rules. She really does walk by me and hit me when she is mad or she doesn't get her way. Alex just throws a major fit- screaming, crying, yelling, stomping. I'm really hoping this is just a phase. I knew it would get worse when Grandma left. I just didn't realize it would be so bad. There are days that I feel so utterly discouraged. I know part of that is postpartum hormones. I worry that I have postpartum depression. I wonder if the rhetoric is true- if you ask yourself if you are crazy, you aren't, because only sane people ask that. Is it the same with depression? I feel a lot like I felt the January after we moved here. Discouraged, upset, irritated a lot, tired all the time. Running seems to help. But I don't know if it's the physical punishment or the fact that I have 30 minutes ALONE- utterly alone. No one to bother me, except people walking dogs or driving by in cars. No incessant "mom, mom mom mom mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom". No one tugging at me or yelling at me or crying at me. I get to do what I want without interruption. I do feel a lot worse when I don't get that. I've even been tempted to up my running to daily instead of every other. But I don't know. We will just have to wait and see how it goes. We are settling into a schedule. Things will get better, especially once bible study and storytime start up again. Right now, we have no where to go and no one to see. We get bored with each other I think. Anyway, off to bed I go. Can't lose too much time when the baby timer is already ticking.