Friday, July 30, 2010

Little Grown-Up

While I wasn't looking, Katy has been growing up.

She asks me to braid her hair in crazy positions and makes up games and rules and all kinds of crazy stuff. In swim lessons she moves her arms and legs the way you're supposed to. And she sounds so mature. (also notice baby sleeping noises in background) (Oh, and thanks, Kelsey, since I haven't said that yet and you get a mention in this video!)

video

Then the neighbors behind us have a backyard full of super-fun toys...for their GRANDkids. They generously invite our kids to play there quite often, and Katy's been working on mastering this skill all summer. (The first step is a baby seat, then they hang from the bar with a straight seat, then this. And the veterans hang from their knees, Lord help me.)

video

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Other updates:

-I am still battling the infection that just won't die. Antibiotic prescription #4 started today. Ugh.

-Katy started having quiet time downstairs in the playroom in order to facilitate earlier bedtime. She still falls asleep on the couch or the floor about half the time. I give up.

-We did a few days of potty training this week with David. He did great the first two days, and then the novelty wore off and we had a very messy third day. I'm taking a laid back approach, because I don't have the energy to push very hard right now. We'll keep working on it as he is interested.

-Luke is still doing well. He has sleepy days and wakeful days. Still tentative smiling. More fussing in the car seat. Sleeping well at night.

-Brian deserves a mention, doesn't he? He's working hard and talking me down off the ledge on a nightly basis. That's pretty much the way we roll.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Squeakiest Wheel

As we return home from swim lessons today, four items require my immediate attention (listed youngest to oldest):

A) The baby is crying because he's hungry. It's not a hysterical cry, but he's not happy.

Factors to consider: Also feeling guilty because he's been in the car seat for a while, although I held him at the pool.

Time to complete task: 20 minutes

B) David has a dirty diaper. I noticed it as I loaded him in the car, so it's been at least 15 minutes.

Factors to consider: He isn't complaining about it at all. But we've been struggling with some nasty diaper rash, which is of course made worse by leaving him in dirty diapers.

Time to complete task: 5 minutes

C) Katy is crying because she can't find her Blankie. She's looked in all the obvious places, so it's going to require parental assistance.

Factors to consider: She's in my face crying and whining and begging.

Time to complete: Undetermined. In the past anywhere from 2-30 minutes.

D) I have to pee. It's pretty urgent.

Factors to consider: Everything else seems worse when you have to pee.

Time to complete: 2 minutes.

So, in what order would you complete these tasks? Keep in mind the time factors, i.e. if I pee and change the diaper first, the baby and Katy are both crying at least 7 more minutes, etc.

Just curious...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stinker

I came down the stairs in the morning and laughed and said, "Katy, did you pour David some cereal?" When she denied it, David proclaimed, "I do myself!"

About an hour later, I found him rinsing a library book under the bathroom sink.

Friday, July 23, 2010

One Month (Yes, already!!)




Don't you hate it when your socks are too baggy?









I think he's starting to smile, but I'm the only one who sees it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Unrelated Thoughts...

Oh, what a difference 24 hours makes. After yesterday's semi-confident post, Luke had a fussy afternoon and a wakeful night, so now I'm feeling like I can't do this after all. Seriously, can I jinx myself that quickly? Ugh...

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And the Fall brochure that was supposed to come in the paper yesterday...didn't. (I know, cry me a river)

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Katy has two things that she says over and over again about Luke, and they crack me up. The first is that she calls him "Mr. Baby," which is actually so cute that I hope it sticks. Also, every single time she sees him with his eyes open, she proclaims, "Mommy! He has his eyes opened! He looks like a baby!" Huh? So apparently sleeping babies don't look like babies?

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Katy also informed me in a very serious manner that she wants to be a boy. When I asked her why, she gave three reasons:
1) They get to stand up to go potty.
2) They can go swimming without a shirt.
3) They don't have to brush their hair all the time. (She hates having her hair brushed. Ironically, that is one of my worst childhood memories, too, crying while my mom combed my hair. Which means I had a pretty sweet life.)

So I told her that there are lots of good things about being a girl. But when she asked, "Like what?" I had trouble communicating what came to mind. (How do you explain the bond of girlfriends, sisterhood, and the joy of being a mom?) All I could come up with was wearing dresses - lame.

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Does anyone else feel overwhelmed trying to keep your children's clothes clean? And not just washing loads of laundry, but cleaning countless stains out of their clothes? Not a single day goes by that they aren't spilling food & drink, smearing mud, missing with markers, etc. (not the mention the baby blow-outs) I've tried Oxi Clean, Shout gel, concentrated detergent. It's exhausting! What do you do to get stains out?

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Yesterday I took the kids to the library for a storytime because we haven't been in months. We had to bail out early and guess who was the problem? Not my newborn or even my two year old, but my eldest child. She had a total freakout because the librarian said there was a surprise at the end of a song. So I carried her crying on my hip, pushing the double stroller with the other hand to get out of there (and no other parent offered to help? just watched me struggle). I got her calmed down and they were starting craft, so I convinced her to go back in. Within 30 seconds of re-entry, he said the word "scary" and that was the end. Every once in a while, Katy's fears still rear their ugly head. You have to feel badly for her, she is sincerely completely terrified.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Four Weeks of Three

I hope this doesn't sound terribly self-centered, but you know what I've been reading lately? My own blog archives. Actually, I've been reading yours, too, if you've had a baby and written about it. It's one of the things I love about blogging - the ability to go back and use the reference to remember when things happened and how I was feeling about it. Also I'll remember that someone else wrote about XYZ that I'm now experiencing, and I'll go and look it up in their archives. Especially during this newborn phase, it's especially helpful. So far, here's what I've gleaned from the posts that were written when David was first born:

- I was definitely more stressed out and tired during David's first month than I have been with Luke.

- Luke is sleeping better than David was at this point (could explain first point). I'm almost embarrassed to say how well Luke is sleeping, and I KNOW IT WILL NOT LAST SO PLEASE DON'T PUNISH ME FOR SAYING IT OUT LOUD, but he's been doing 5-7 hour stretches for the past week or two. I know, it's freaking awesome.

- On the first day that Brian went back to work after David was born, I made reference to never being able to run errands again. This time, I went to the store for a few items on Brian's first day back. It was a bit of a juggling act, but we got it done.

- While Luke and David have been similar in weight and percentiles so far, David looked like a chunky monkey compared to Luke. Luke does not have that Pillsbury dough boy look that David had (oh, he was so squishy. I would still describe him as "solid.")

- I'm reminded that David was fairly content and laid back until about six weeks of age, including sleeping in his car seat. This acts as a reminder not to get TOO comfortable, because the fussies are comin'. Surely they're comin'.

Not to say that everything is easy and perfect right now. I'm certainly tired and have moments of freaking out. But SO FAR, we've been able to work Luke into the routine and continue chugging along. Brian's return to work has been fairly smooth, and we're getting out and doing some of our usual activities.

(OH! And a HUGE part of this is all the FOOD that people have provided. When I have to start cooking again, that will most likely send me over the edge. You know how I am about cooking.)

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One thing that's hard is that I feel like I'm saying, "Not right now...wait a minute...I'm busy at the moment" all the time. Hopefully none of the three of them will be scared for life because they didn't get enough maternal attention?

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This heat? Is going to be the end of me. Is there something hormonal that continues beyond pregnancy to cause heat to be more bothersome? Because I have a very low tolerance for the humidity and I dread going outside with the kids (especially with a baby in a sling - sweat fest!). Thank the Good Lord for AC. And it never occurred to me that having a baby in late June takes you out of the running for swimming for most of the summer.

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You know what I'm excited about today? The Fall brochure comes out for the community center. I am such a dork.

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I might be crazy, but I signed Katy up for another session of swim lessons. She did really well in the last session and loves it so much. I really want to encourage her in anything that she likes that is active (the reports of childhood obesity downright frighten me!). So for the next 2 weeks, we'll be at the pool every morning.

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In true 2 year old boy fashion: yesterday David spilled lemonade all over himself and the floor. While I was cleaning the floor, I sent him upstairs to get a clean shirt (I don't know what part of my brain thought this would be a successful mission). He went upstairs, removed his shorts and diaper, peed in his plastic potty, poured the pee on the floor, and then attempted to clean the bowl with the toilet brush before I found him.

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Finally, I'd love some input on what to do about "quiet time" around here. I'm at the point where I really don't want Katy to sleep in the afternoons, because if she does, she's up until 10pm that night. But I would still like us to have some kind of break from one another (the girl never stops asking me questions). But if I send her to her room to play: she falls asleep. I've tried opening the curtains, giving her games to play, telling her not to go to sleep, etc. But most days (I guess because she's been so active in the mornings?), she falls asleep. Any suggestions? I'm not sure if getting her to have a quiet time downstairs will be enough for my sanity?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Boppy Love

I'm one of those people who finds it very difficult to nurse without a Boppy. Of course I can nurse without it if I have to (crouched on the toilet in the airport bathroom comes to mind - yuck). But when we went on a cruise a couple of years ago, I made room in my limited packing space for my Boppy pillow. For my eight month old, not my newborn. I guess you could say that I'm addicted.

So when my mom was here, we went to JoAnn's and I picked out fabric so she could make me two new Boppy covers (I have one upstairs and one down). They arrived in the mail yesterday and they make me so happy. They are so soft and clean and cute.

Luke gives a shout out to Oma. Thanks!


Ahhh...Boppy bliss...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who's Who

At first I thought he looked like David, but then I thought Katy. What do you think?


Luke




David


Katy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baby Mode

I've noticed that on this third baby, we've gotten into a routine so that we just slip into "baby mode" when a newborn enters the household. Not that baby mode has gotten easy: it is my belief that whether you have one kid or six kids, life is just a little tougher when there's a baby in the house (Erin says it more eloquently). But we've figured out the ways in which things goes most smoothly for us with the littles.



Baby Mode looks different for every family, but here's what it looks like in our house:



Out comes the Stuff: For being so little, there are so many large ticket items that take up semi-permanent residence in the house when a baby arrives. After a few months, I am counting down the days until the Stuff can be tucked back into the corner of the basement, because I get SO tired of tripping all over it. Our Stuff includes:
-Baby Swing
-Bouncy Seat
-Two nursing pillows (Boppy)
-Car seat/infant carrier
-Baby activity mat
-Bassinet
-Glider
-Baby Bathtub

And coming soon:
-Highchair
-Exersaucer
-Bumbo seat
-Doorway jumper


Shared sleeping space: Our routine includes keeping the baby sleeping in the bassinet in our bedroom for the first few months. This comes at a time when you are so desperate for the baby to sleep that you will do anything not to wake him up. So that leads to several weeks of whispering & hand motioning, getting dressed and brushing teeth in the semi-dark, and adhering to a strict "no flushing" rule when Jr. has his eyes closed. A new challenge for us this time is that Katy will burst into our bedroom (either in the middle of the night or in the morning), and proclaim at the top of her lungs, "I had a bad dream!" or "Good morning Mommy!" to which we shush her like a first grade teacher. Each time that we have made the transition to put the baby in his own sleeping space, it feels like a reclaiming of our bedroom.


Baby calls the shots: He may not know it, but Baby Luke is determining how and when the other four of us do anything, especially outside of the house. If we need to go anywhere, it revolves around his eating and sleeping and waking schedule. And if we go somewhere and he determines that we need to return home: we do. The rest of us may think that it's time for lunch, but if Luke requires attention, lunch waits.


Loss of Evening Free Time: When the kids are old enough that they are tucked in for the night by 8pm, both parents have a couple of hours to themselves to spend as they determine before hitting the hay. This time for me is so precious, whether I need to talk to Brian about something, catch up on *ahem* blogs, clean, or just relax, it's the only "off" time that we get. However, when there's a small baby in the house, the evening is gone. When they are very small, we don't put them to bed until we go to bed ourselves in order to get the longest stretch of sleep possible. In addition, my babies have been very awake, alert, and even fussy in the evenings hours. Right now Luke is most awake between 7-10pm, cluster feeding to prepare for the night and insisting on being held. Brian and I have learned to tag team a little bit during this hour so that at least one of us can get some things done, but the frequent feedings make it feel as though it's impossible to accomplish anything at all. I also tend to feel more and more anxious as the evening wears on, fearing that he will never go to sleep and we will be up all night.

Slower pace: This is my favorite part. Babies force us to slow down. We haven't had much of anything planned for this summer, and you know what? It's kinda nice. Brian and the kids are going to the pool, taking trips to the zoo, working in the yard, and watching neighbors and friends head to the beach. Traveling with small children can be so tiring that I'm thankful to take some time off and stay home. Of course...looking at the August calendar, we are managing to plan a few things that might make things seem a little crazy again, but I guess you can't stay in baby mode forever.

Friday, July 09, 2010

What kind of anniversary gift is made of wood?

On our wedding day, my friend Maureen gave us a unique gift. She placed a greeting card on each table at the reception and instructed the guests to sign the card, giving us anniversary wishes for the table number where they were sitting. The people at table one wrote first anniversary wishes and the people at table eighteen wrote eighteenth anniversary wishes. She then collected the cards and puts one in the mail each year. I always forget that it's coming and it's a really nice surprise (sweet gift idea, huh?).

This week we received the card for our fifth anniversary (which is apparently the anniversary of wood?). On the one hand it doesn't seem like it's been five years, yet the life that I was leading as a single person seems so foreign to me at this point. I can't believe that as quickly as the first five years have gone - the next five will have passed before we know it. Sometimes I want to get through certain stages quickly, yet put on the brakes and enjoy where we are!

In this year's card, one person predicted that "Brian's a little grayer and the car seats fill the back seat." They're correct about the car seats, if they know our personalities, they would know that I'm the one going gray over it. Brian's a relaxed fellow.

Another friend said this: "Here's to five years of great memories...reflect and rejoice in that! We love you and pray that your marriage will continue to nurture and enrich your lives in the grace of God." As I read that, I paused to realize how easy it is to forget, in the midst of the car seats and the gray hair, how fortunate I have been to be married to such a wonderful husband and father. And that marriage should nurture and enrich our lives, if we are committed to working at it and enjoying it. So I pray that this year I will keep that as a priority on my mind and heart. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband of five years!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Week One(ish)


Looking at these pictures from this last week, one word comes to mind to describe our life right now: Full. Not in an overwhelming way, just blessed with three wonderful kiddos and generous family and friends. That's the way I like things, too. Full.



Enjoying a morning video before swim lesson.


The weather last week was downright pleasant. Highs in the upper 70's. So everyone has been outside a LOT. This week it's back up in the 90's and I feel like hibernating in the A/C.







My trip to the Urgent Care last Sunday wasn't the end of my infection, unfortunately. It came roaring back to make the week quite challenging and Mommy quite grumpy. It wasn't until Thursday morning that the culture revealed the proper antibiotic and I was on my way to feeling better by Friday.


My son has triangular toe nails. What gives?

But despite not feeling well, my mom and several other visitors still made the week enjoyable. We took the whole crew out to lunch for my birthday and sat on a beautiful patio. The theme for birthday gifts this year was Pampering, which is Oh So Appreciated. My mom, sister, and I got pedicures on Friday that took one and one half HOURS. I didn't know there were that many things you could do to your feet, but there are.


Said patio.


But now that I'm feeling better, things are going well overall. Luke is twelve days old, which I think is still the Honeymoon period, but so far he seems to be a contented baby. He doesn't cry much, sleeps a lot, eats well and doesn't spit up. Like I said: SO FAR. (please don't jinx me.)


My grandparents, two of my very favorite people, caught in the joy of little kids.



Nighttime sleep is, of course, always the hardest part. There were a couple of nights when Brian and I were high-fiving each other going, "We got one of THOSE babies!" But oh, too soon, too soon. He's doing well for his twelve days, usually doing a couple of 3 or 4 hour stretches. But the biggest struggle is that it takes 1-2 hours to get him back down after he wakes up. That's the worst, isn't it? In the middle of the night when all you want to do is sleep and the baby just WON'T?


She insists on socks. I don't do footwear on babies in the summer.
Katy practically gave Luke his first bath by herself, including dressing. He's like a doll that moves! Every four year old girl's dream. The obsession continues. David couldn't care less.



Like I said: contented. Did not even cry in the bathtub or while his sister took 15 minutes to snap his onesie.


Brian's brother and his family came through from Philly, which was great since we haven't seen them in six months. We let Katy stay up late to catch lightning bugs and do sparklers. She was in heaven. (I hope this makes up for the fact that we missed another year of fireworks. Maybe next year?)


The boys are catching up.



Oh! And guess who has become interested in the potty and proudly pees on command? Good timing, that boy. Good timing. We'll see if I can muster the energy to do a potty push or not, but for now it's nice that he wants to try.


You would think that lightning bugs were pure gold.


So now I'm going to bask in the glory that is paternity leave for the next week or two. Try to get some rest, try to stay cool, and try to enjoy summer for all it's worth. We got Katy's preschool paperwork in the mail and it reminded me that fall will be here before we know it. Happy Summer!