Friday, May 30, 2008

My week in pictures

Katy has been so sweet lately, initiating lots of hugs and kisses. What did I do to deserve this?



This little guys is getting more interactive, it's fun to see. He's smiling more frequently and definitely recognizes mom and dad.


I bought Katy this Leap Frog DVD about the alphabet on deep deep discount (thanks, Maureen), and I plopped it in about a month ago because she's been interested in her letter puzzles and magnets. Well, after watching it maybe a dozen times, she knows all her letters and what sound they make. She can even find the letters of her name (and put them in order with help, of course). This blows my mind - she is such a sponge right now.
I feel sorry for my son. I feel like he doesn't get enough of my attention, and I'm always just doing for him what needs to be done (rather than spending extra time just playing with him and stimulating his development). I can already tell that he isn't doing things that Katy was doing at this age, but probably just because he doesn't get as much face time.

For her birthday, I got Katy a craft caddy which included some paints and brushes. She is in LOVE with painting right now. Her favorite part is rinsing out the brush.


Last night Katy had a bad dream and woke up screaming. Brian went down to get her (bless him), and when he walked into the room, she was " perched on the crib rail, legs dangling like Humpty Dumpty." He said she looked scared, like what do I do now? So....any suggestions for this one? I was really hoping to put off the Big Girl Bed for a little longer, just because I don't want to battle her getting out of bed when I'm still getting up at night with a little one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2 (yrs.) + 2 (mos.) = 1 (stressful well visit)

I thought it would be a really good idea to combine Katy's 2 year checkup with David's 2 month checkup. Just think of the savings in gasoline and waiting time!! I should've known by the nurse's wincing when I made the appointment that it was going to have it's challenges.


Of course, I knew Katy was going to freak out. If there is one person in this world that she is afraid of, it's Dr. B. She was afraid of him before she was afraid of anyone else. He's the ultimate Stranger. So in preparation, I got out a play doctor's kit and books from the library about visiting the doctor, and then I even googled Dr. B so that she could see his picture before we went. As soon as his face appeared on the screen, she got that nervous posture and starting saying, "no doctor, no doctor." But after reading books and listening to each other's heartbeat for a week, I thought she was ready.


It didn't make a hill of beans of difference.


This time she even panicked as soon as we entered the room with the nurse. They gave her a sucker (her first) which got her through the weighing and measuring. But as soon as Dr. B entered the room: panic. Thank goodness I had the wherewithall to bring her blanket and her father. We talked to the doctor over a lot of screaming, but we got through it.


And then I had forgotten about how upsetting it is to see them stick all those needles in your newborn and watch the newborn totally lose his mind because he has no idea why he hurts. Poor, poor baby. So hard to watch. And I had also forgotten about how they're pretty fussy for the next day or so, and how that's stressful to deal with, too. Not to mention all the hype about vaccines these days which makes you worry that you're even making the right choice in getting them. (Did anyone see that article in Time magazine this week? It was really interesting, definitely pro-vaccine, but brought up a lot of things I had never thought of before and made me feel better about all the stuff David would be getting this week).

But in the end, we're no worse for wear and the kids are healthy. What an incredible blessing.


But you don't care about all THAT. Just tell me how much those kids weigh!!


Okay, okay.




David:

Wt.: 13 pounds, 9 ounces - 55%'ile

Ht.: 24 inches - 80%'ile

HC: 15.75 inches - 55%'ile


(I was shocked that he was only 55%'ile for weight! And his 3-6 month outfits are already snug? Dr. B also commented on his broad shoulders. He called him Incredible Hulk.)




Katy:

Wt.: 24 pounds, 9 ounces - 25%'ile

Ht.: 32.25 inches - 25%'ile


(Proportionally still a peanut. I did this little calculation online today with this info to predict how tall she will be as an adult - it said she'd be 5' 1", and that there's a 90% chance that this is accurate within 1.7 inches. So it looks like she may end up even shorter than I am! Poor girl, I'll be teaching her to hem her pants before she's in junior high.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

weekends the way I like 'em


It was SUCH a nice weekend. A long one, first of all, and then the weather - oh, how we've so patiently waited for spring around here! All that waiting has paid off with this beautiful weekend.



On Sunday, Brian's mom and her siblings (she's one of 6) gathered for a family reunion in northern Ohio. It was at a really nice park and we got to eat, play, and meet and greet with alot of Brian's cousins who I have never met. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it went, going up there for the day with the 2 little ones. It was the first day in her life, I believe, that Katy got absolutely no nap. She is such a stinker, she won't sleep in the car even if she is dead tired. But she was fine, I put her to bed an hour early and she seemed recovered today.


Papa John chills with our baby Buckeye




Grammy and her mom - Great Grandma G




Katy in her happy place - with Uncle Mark and her cousins



Great Grandma meets her latest great grandchild. She thinks that makes 16...



Brian's Uncle Jeff, Mom, Aunt Pam, Uncle Duane, and Grandma

David did well while we were at the party, enjoying being held and carried in the carrier. But alas, he has entered the world of crying in the car. Ugh. I think that may be the hardest thing about babies for me, when they cry in the car seat. If you're taking a long trip, and they are fed and dry, there is nothing you can do about it. Also, the middle seat in our van seats 2, so that's where we have the car seats, so there isn't even an option for me to sit next to him for damage control. It is agony.







Then today we went to the zoo with Aunt Mel and Pam & co. We renewed our membership (the one I got for Mother's Day last year) because we have so thoroughly enjoyed going to the zoo on a regular basis. Katy was SO excited when we told her we were going this morning. She has become obsessed with snakes for some reason, among other animals, so she talked non stop about all the things we would see. At one point we were walking along and Brian asked, "Do you like the zoo, Katy?" and she answered, "Yeah! It's fun!!" I have never heard her use the word fun before, but she couldn't help herself. She and Jack took advantage of the wagon we got for free recently, and Jack showed Katy the joys of a pony ride. It was awesome. David did fine the whole time we were there, once again, until we got in the car. We had to stop and nurse him on the way home. Ugh.








Also...for a weight watchers update - in three weeks, I've lost 8.5 pounds, which brings me back to my pre-pregnancy weight (I had gained almost 40 pounds total - yikes!). Now I need to lose another 20 which has been hanging around since I had Katy. The weight watchers program (or "dub dub" as we lovingly call it) is such a good one. It's easy to learn and follow, and I think it's overall very healthy. Brian has also lost 8 or 9 pounds, so hopefully we're on our way to feeling better. Of course, WW is easier to follow when you are nursing - you get so many extra points and burn so many calories even without exercise. Definitely a good time to lose weight.

I hope you had a good weekend, too!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

thanks

When you are fortunate enough to have so many grandparents like Katy does, you get a few toys here and there. All week Katy has been enjoying the novelty of birthday gifts, so I thought I'd show her gratitude through a few photos...


The pink sand from Oma & Opa is the hit of the neighborhood


So pretty in the princess nightgown from Pam & co.


Coloring is much easier with a table & chairs from Grandpa & Grandma Sue




After bath, storytime is much more comfy in her new chair from Grammy and Papa John

Enjoying double fisted DQ with Aunt Mel

She's constantly begging me to ride her new "bike" from cousins Abby, Stan, & Gabe

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just for the record...

If there ends up being 6 "Davids" in my son's kindergarten class, mine had NOTHING to do with American Idol.


First the hurricane puts a morbid association with one of my favorite girl names while I was pregnant with Katy, and now this...

Monday, May 19, 2008

2 years

My dearest Katy,

Two years ago today, my life changed forever. That's the day I met the most interesting little character I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I became your mom, a role that now defines much of my life. I was completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of you that day, and for that whole first year, really. But this past year has been so much different.


May 19th, 2006




This year has been such a joy with you. I could never have imagined what it would be like to know and love a toddler so deeply, but it is awesome. It has been so much fun to watch you change from a baby to a little girl in just 12 months. In this year, you have learned to talk in complete sentences, express emotions, walk up and down stairs, dance, sing, feed yourself, take your clothes off, and give the best hugs and kisses a mommy could ask for.




Of course, talking about this past year wouldn't be complete without mentioning the birth of your baby brother. You are the cutest little big sister. You truly love your brother without question, which is a pretty amazing feat for such a tiny person. You are also actually helpful! (sometimes) You bring me diapers, throw dirty ones away, and try to give David his pacifier when he is crying. (We're still working on that one.)

May 19th, 2007


It sounds cliche, but everyone loves you, Katy. Your personality really shines through, and everywhere we go people stop and comment on what a sweetheart you are. And you are so smart. You blow me away everyday with the things you know and understand. Since you're two, you also know how to use your noggin to your advantage, and you are such a stinker trying to get away with things.



As much as others love you, you seem to love other people as well. You get so excited to see your friends and family members. Above all, you are Daddy's girl. You and Daddy are two peas in a pod, so silly together. I love to see you two enjoying your time together, it is incredibly special.



May 19th, 2008


So I know this year is supposed to be the Terrible Twos, and I'm sure that there will be many challenges in the year ahead. But mostly I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll do next. You are an amazing little girl and I love every moment I get to spend with you.


Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.


Love you,
Mommy

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Party Fit for a Two Year Old



Yesterday, we celebrated Katy's first 2 years of life with family and friends at a park shelter with a nearby playground. I was debating between Elmo and Dora for a theme, but went with Dora, because I thought the decorations were cuter. One of the moms in my MOMS Club makes cakes professionally, so I had her make a Dora cake for us, and Katy loved it. We even had Dora tattoos for the kids (and adventurous adults).










I was nervous about 2 things: the weather and Katy's recent stranger anxiety. Both turned out fine. It was a little chilly and cloudy, but it didn't rain more than a sprinkle or two. And I practiced with Katy all week showing her pictures of everyone who would be at the party and talking about each of them so that she wouldn't be scared. She got a little quiet at some points when there was a lot of attention on her, but overall she had a really good time surrounded by people who love her.





David was an angel the whole time. He slept in the car seat for a good bit of the party, then he had a bottle (only his 2nd in his life) and fell back asleep in Grandpa's arms for the rest.




I think her favorite part was singing Happy Birthday. We've been practicing that part, too, and she just looked so excited while everyone sung, and clapped and said, "Yay!!!" when we were finished. She tried to blow out the candle, but to be honest, it was the wind that extinguished the flame.








To my surprise, I had trouble convincing her to open the presents. She opened a couple, then wanted to go back to the park and play. I tried a couple of times and then gave up. She was VERY interested in opening them at home later that night, and all day she's been playing with her new loot.



Katy has several "friends" who are very close to her in age. There were a total of 4 birthday parties this weekend, including Katy's, and we went to three of them. So Katy is now well versed in the ways of birthdays. When she woke up this morning, Brian could hear her singing "Happy Birthday" to herself over the monitor. I think she enjoyed herself, don't you?




Of course, tomorrow is the real birthday, so I'll post some sentiments about my baby girl turning 2 years old. I can't believe it. I really, really can't.

Friday, May 16, 2008

more than I can chew

This week I've been feeling like I've taken a big bite. A bigger bite than I can chew at the moment. It's not any single thing, just a culmination of things.

Of course, there's the obvious newborn and toddler combo. David has gotten more awake, aware, and fussy. Mostly he wants to be held while he is awake. This makes getting things done a challenge. And I like to carry him in the sling, but I'm having trouble with my back. It hurts alot. I went to get a massage and the therapist literally said, "This is CRAZY. You can't live like this," because I was so tight.

Then I know I don't mention it much, but I am still working for the pediatric therapy clinic that I used to work for as an OT. Throughout my pregnancy with David, I was doing about 4 hours a week from home, and it was perfect. I got it done while Katy was napping or after she went to bed. I took a few weeks off after he was born, but ever since I started up again, it's been REALLY busy. I think it's just temporary, but the last 2 weeks I've been doing 8 hours a week, and that's with 2 children who don't always nap at the same time and a baby that I don't put to bed until I'm ready to go to sleep for the night. So that's been a big stressor. It will be easier once David is on a regular schedule and they are both (hopefully) napping in the afternoon.

Then Sunday evening, I came down with a cold (possibly what David had?), and it was really kicking me in the pants. I had a low grade fever and was collapsing into bed at 9pm every night, which is really unusual for me as I am a night owl. As of yesterday I seem to have gotten over that, thankfully.

And of course, the most exciting thing going on this week is the preparation for Katy's 2nd birthday. I've been shopping and cooking and wrapping and reading books about birthdays to Katy so that she will understand what is going on. We're having a party for her tomorrow at a park, and then he actual birthday is Monday. I'm really stressed about whether or not it's going to rain. The forecast is calling for a chance, and we really don't have a great backup plan. I'm afraid we're going to have to decide between huddling under the shelter as the park or being stuffed into our living room. Hopefully by morning the "chance" will be smaller, I know that happens alot.

So I wanted to say thanks to all of you who participated in the Mother's Day survey, but now I have a follow-up. Since 79% of you think that putting dinner on the table is easier than keeping your house clean, I need your advice. There's no question about it, the single greatest challenge for me as a wife and mother is preparing meals for my family. It's just HARD, I'm not very good at it, and I struggle to find the time to become better. And lately, I've gotten into couponing, and we're also doing Weight Watchers, and of course I don't have much time for dinner prep with the 2 little ones. Sooo....I have another poll for you. Let me know what you think.

So in the midst of all of this craziness, I happened to catch one of those really sweet moments on camera. This is what makes it all worth it, and I find myself watching it again and again when they aren't this happy.





video

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom's Day

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day (whether you're a mother or not!). I don't know what the weather was like where you are, but here is was incredibly gorgeous on Saturday and incredibly miserable on Sunday. Luckily we had planned to visit a Metro Garden (sounds trendy, huh?) on Saturday to celebrate our first Mother's Day as a family of four. We had originally planned to have a picnic, but please, that's way too much work. We went to the park and stopped at Fazoli's on the way home. I got some really nice hanging baskets for the front porch and a coupon organizer (woot, woot!) for the occasion. Now that's my kind of Mother's Day.





After an initial freak out because someone looked at her (pretty standard these days), Katy loved it. This place had a boardwalk through the woods that was perfect for strollers, and Katy kept calling every stick in the woods a "snake" until I taught her the word "stick." Then we ran into a family that I know from work, so she ran around with their boys for a while and had a blast. David was really good, sleeping in the car seat or the Bjorn the whole time.





After church this morning we went to Costco to pick up a few things. While we were picking up $85 worth of diapers and wipes (I wish I were kidding), it seemed to get somewhat empty in the store. Then I heard one of the workers say, "It touched down just west of here, and it's headed this way. It should be here in about 20 minutes." I knew instantly that she was talking about a tornado. My first instinct was to get in car and drive the heck away from there, but then I looked at the front of the store and knew we'd never make it: there was a huge mob of people trying to pay and leave (aren't cell phones amazing? Everyone knew the tornado was headed right toward us). So I spent the next 20 minutes doing what I always do: panicking for no reason. By the time we got out of the store, the storm had passed over us and we hadn't even realized it. So that was a little Mother's Day excitement.





I have to admit, though, that I was a little overwhelmed by my children this weekend. Katy's stranger anxiety has gotten so bad that we decided not to attend a party we wanted to go to today, because it would inevitably be stressful. And David has really woken up the past few days. He heard the rumor about 6 weeks being the peak of fussiness and decided he didn't want to be an exception to that rule. He cries in the car, wants to be held all the time, and isn't sleeping nearly as well. But I know this is just a phase. It'll get better. I'm just tired. And that's what being a mom is all about.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

6 weeks



So far the little respiratory virus has stayed just that. No rushing to the ER, just some coughing and a little carrying on. I've noticed several people with colds this week, so I think he just picked something up. *shew*



A lot moms of young children say that they first 6 weeks with a new baby is the hardest. Well, here we are, 6 weeks into it, so can I look forward to a downhill slope? That remains to be seen, but even though the last 6 weeks have been challenging and tiring in some ways, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed them. I've mentioned before that this was not the case with Katy's newborn period, so that's a nice change this time around.



But here's the status on my 6 week old:


  • He likes to eat, just like his parents.


  • He wishes he were a tummy sleeper, but his mommy is too paranoid.


  • He loves to suck, and we are soooo thankful for the pacifier.


  • I think he is smiling at me. It's gradually looking more certain.


  • He has yet to have a bottle, which I'm starting to think may come back to bite me if he decides he doesn't like that option.


  • He's starting to make some vocalizations besides crying, and I forgot how cute that is.


  • Most of the time he fusses for a reason.


  • If he decides he's not tired, it's very difficult to get him to go to sleep. Especially at 3am.


  • There's something comforting about the position of his car seat - bless him.


I can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks will bring...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Now that cold and flu season is over...


...we can't get past being sick. This time it's David's turn. He has sounded congested for a day or so, but he always kind of sounds congested, so I wasn't sure it was anything of concern. But today he woke up with a wet cough, so I took him in. They think he has some respirartory virus, possibly RSV or bronchiolitis? It could end up just being mild, or it could get serious. They gave us a list of things to watch out for, and if we see them, we're supposed to go to the ER. It's probably fine, but seems scary, too. So if you wouldn't mind, say a prayer for my little man. I'm hoping it's just a mild virus that doesn't give us any trouble...


At least we know he's not starving.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Road Trip and the Return of Freaking Out



Yesterday was David's first trip out of our fine city, as we headed down to Cincinnati to visit Brian's family. We celebrated Mother's Day with his mom and our niece's birthday. Katy was absolutely beside herself, she had such a good time. That's one of the things that has surprised me about motherhood: I never knew how truly enjoyable it would be to watch your kids have fun. But she loves her cousins (and some family friends who were there as well), and there was face painting, a trampoline, a cozy coupe, and sidewalk chalk. Oh, and I didn't mention the cake. She was so excited she didn't even mind that she didn't get to open a single present.



Right after Brian and I got married, his brother and his wife and 3 girls moved to Cincy from Philly. It was such great timing, because we were starting our family and the kids love to see each other often. But alas, they are moving back to Philly in a few weeks. We are really sad that we won't get to see them as often, but we know they are really happy to be returning to a life they loved out east. So it's bittersweet...



I love visiting family when you have a baby, too, because I'm happy to have other arms that want to hold him. He's happy, they're happy, and I get a little break. It's a lovely arrangement.


Overall, the trip went well. I don't know if I mentioned that my wonderful in-laws got me a portable DVD player for Christmas, so Katy was absorbed in Dora the whole time. And David, bless his little heart, is a car seat sleeper. I didn't believe they existed when I had Katy, but apparently they do, at least for the first few weeks! So Brian and I even enjoyed some adult conversation on the trip down and back.


-----------------------


You may remember about 6 months ago that I was very concerned about some severe stranger anxiety from Katy. Well, for a while, it had tapered off and was fairly typical for her age. But in the past couple of weeks, it has reared it's ugly head again, and in full force. Here's what we know: She has complete freak-outs/melt-downs/tear-fests in the presence of many adult men that she doesn't know. Beards and dark complexions seems to enhance the problem, as well as men who approach her in any way, shape, or form, such as, "OH! What a cute little girl!" You may as well bring the check, because we're going home at that point.



It's gone a little bit beyond inconvenient to being slightly stressful, because you never know when it's going to happen. I was not anticipating yesterday that Brian's childhood friend who came with his wife and children who scare the heck out of her and cause a meltdown - even in the middle of so many people she knows and loves, while we were outside, and he didn't even approach her! Eventually she warmed up, but jeesh! What are we supposed to do? Not go anywhere or see anyone that Katy doesn't see on a weekly basis? And why is this flaring up again now? I guess maybe the whole New Baby thing could be a factor.



But on a funny note, Katy has started adding the word "Honey" to the end of many of her sentences (I didn't realize how often I call her this until she started doing it). She'll be coloring and ask, "Where's the crayons, honey?" or of course, "I wanna watch a video, honey. " Or my all time favorite, as she's going to bed, saying to Brian, "I need a tiss (kiss), honey." Priceless.


And as I'm completing this post, I'll make it a goal for this week: take some decent pictures of my son, for heaven's sake! Every time I download my pictures, I realize that I haven't taken any of him. Poor second child...