Wednesday, October 22, 2014

5 and 6 months



Jack-buddy,

You turned 5 months old in September, and it became our worst month so far in the health department as a family of 5, so we just hunkered down until it was all over. Not even sure we're there yet, but today feels okay, so I'm going to tell you how awesome you are before someone else gets sick. (Edit - started this post a couple weeks ago. Such is life....)

I had mastitis at the start of the month (September), probably due to a combination of things, one of which is the fact that you like to pinch and squeeze and hold your milk source like a bottle (oh, the irony), causing a clogged duct that couldn't ever clear. I thought I was dying.

Then we all got colds, except Daddy and (mostly) Eleanor. You poor little thing, coughing and sniffly and feverish.

After that, you had pink eye, given to you lovingly by your big sister Avery.

You then decided to return to a cold, while I simultaneously had a virus. In between all of this, Avery had an ear infection, Eleanor got a cold, and now so does Daddy. I give up.

In spite of all of this, you have been a trooper. You've remained your happy little self and are so blessedly easy-going. I don't take this for granted, and on my very worst of days (which are frequent this week), all I have to do is pick you up and snuggle you for awhile, and I feel better.

I honestly cannot even remember what you did during the month of August, your 5th month, but I'm sure it was lots of smiling and cooing and rolling, trying to get those toys. Avery started school at the end of it, and we haven't had to adjust your schedule too much for naps.

You've consistently been napping around 8 or 9 am and again by 12:30, and you've added a third short nap back in after we pick Avery up from school.

You are working on getting your knees under you (I'm not ready!) and you love to practice sitting. You have pretty good balance and can correct yourself when you start to topple over, at least some of the time. You dislike the bumbo, probably because of your awesome chub, but you love to sit with the boppy behind you while you try and grab things.

In the past two months, we've celebrated your baptism, traveled to Houston to meet your new cousin Davey, celebrated cousin Miles' baptism, enjoyed a visit with Mr. Ben and Mrs. Katie (who came from NYC to meet you!), played at the "beach", and finished out the girls' summer dance classes. We also went on our first family camping trip, where you slept in the pack n play or next to me and were such a trooper for us messing with your schedule big time.

You are back up in the night once or twice, which is exhausting. You can sleep 12-13 hours, but you won't. You still seem hungrier than the girls were, so I attribute it to that (plus being sick doesn't help). Hopefully you'll be back to longer stretches soon.

You don't have stranger anxiety yet, and hopefully you won't. You're happy to play in the nursery and be held by anyone. I'm still your favorite person, so I'm enjoying this for as long as it lasts.

You have a growing interest in what other people are holding, especially cups. You love to reach for our coffee mugs. You track the path of our forks to our mouths. Solid foods are just around the corner, but I'm not in any rush to start this!

Your six-month stats:
17 lbs 14 oz (50-75%)
28ish inches (75%) ??
and a 90th percentile head circumference










Saturday, September 20, 2014

Laying Low

I have so many things I want to talk about, like Jack turning 5 months and Eleanor turning 3! But, after the colds left, we've now been hit with pink eye and I feel an ear infection approaching for Avery, and I spend all my spare time doing laundry, so it looks like it's a season of stepping back and focusing on us and getting well. I'll update soon enough.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Kindergarten!

Avery started kindergarten last week, to which I am only just now writing about thanks to the illness that would never end. Apparently kindergarten also ushered in the world's worst cold to our family. Thank you, School. You're on my list.

Her school is charming and they get to wear the cutest uniforms, and you'll have to text me to ask where she's going because of Internet safety, y'all, but trust me, we love it, all one week plus one day that she made it. Yes, she missed almost the entire second week of kindergarten thanks to fever. She went on Friday, making it every adult's dream week (minus the cold), because then she hopped right into a fun weekend.

I'm also awesome at school. She wasn't late once. I cooked a hot breakfast every day. I was up before 6. Lunches were packed the night before. Notes were written. (My friend Erin told me how to do it all.) She even got a napkin every day. I rock at kindergarten. And with that, there goes all of my momentum and motivation, and we can coast the rest of the year, right? Her desk is the very last desk by the door, so I'm thinking she could just sneak in and no one would notice. Kidding. That stresses me out even thinking about it. Of course she'll be on time, and it's because Luke is doing drop-off on his way to work. The littles and I do school pick-up in the afternoons, and I'm learning the pick-up line is a true science. Being two minutes later than the day before can mean you're twenty cars further back than you wanted to be.

I did drop-off the first morning, though, and we all walked her into the gym where they have a morning assembly and line up with their classes. We then walked her to her classroom where we could get her settled in her new desk and stay to listen for storytime. Eleanor decided to join the class for that, and I had to bribe her off the rug with the promise of a snack. I wasn't sad at all until we were sitting in the car and I was telling her how excited I was for her - and then I had to catch myself, check those tears, so that she wouldn't feel like she had to be sad.

She hopped in the car just beaming that first day. She loved all of it. PE! (Not my kid.) Recess! Reading! No math yet, but she hoped they would do it soon!

Day two - she climbed in wearily and said, "It's a sleepy day. We had to have recess twice."

By Friday, she was sobbing into her oatmeal because she was so tired and didn't understand why she had to go back AGAIN. The days are so long, and I really wish Texas did half-day kindergarten.

Week two started with the Labor Day holiday, and then she spent the next three days home sick. At least she was bummed that she was missing school, so I guess the first week didn't scar her too badly.

celebrating the night before with frozen yogurt 





Monday, August 04, 2014

4 Months

Another great month with Jack, exhausting at the start of it but ending as our best yet!





Stats:
16 lbs 1.2 oz (75th percentile)
26" (75th percentile)
(This makes him only 1/2 lb smaller than his 7 month old cousin Miles.)
  • moved to his crib in his own room
  • woke up twice a night for almost 3 weeks. I was exhausted. In the past week he's gone to sleeping 12 hours straight pretty consistently. Occasionally he'll wake around 5 or 6 to nurse and will go back down for a few more hours. 
  • usually naps for about 2 hours in the morning, and 3.5-4 hr naps in the afternoon now that he's in his crib. I usually have to wake him in the afternoons so that he will go to bed at a decent hour.
  • will sometimes fuss for a couple minutes before falling asleep (as opposed to Eleanor, who could scream for an hour if we let her). I can also just lay him down awake and shut the door and he'll drift off on his own. I'm not taking this for granted. 
  • loves to stand on our laps - he's so strong!!
  • coos and smiles while he's nursing, take frequent breaks to just tell me stories
  • is in 3-6 month clothes mostly. His 3 month pjs are snug, and some weeks I feel like I'm tossing clothes to the too-small bin on a daily basis.
  • adores his sisters. Every night at dinner he lays in his little rocker bed next to Avery and stare and smile at her. It's precious. 
  • still refuses the bottle, but we haven't tried very hard to make him take one. I really love nursing, but I'd also really love to go on a date.
  • my hair has been falling out in handfuls. Because of this, my hair is always in a ponytail.
  • eats every 3-4 hours during the day, and a little more frequently right before bedtime
  • loves taking a bath.
  • likes to be worn and will settle down into a catnap every single time. 
  • dressed like a cow for free Chick-fil-a...he was very popular with the employees
  • met his great-aunt Jen and great-uncle Dave this month, as well as my cousins, all visiting from Iowa.
  • rolled onto his side
  • found his thumb and I frequently find him sucking on it to calm himself or fall asleep
  • enjoys tummy time for longer periods of time
  • scoots scoots scoots when he's laying on a blanket or in his crib. For the past week he has done a 180 in bed, facing a different wall than when I put him to sleep.
  • often gets a foot caught between the crib bars
  • heard a song he liked when we were picking up some new baby toys for him, so that toy came home with us since it elicited a smile from him.
  • still starts naps and bedtime in a swaddle but we always find him completely undone. Tonight he went down with one arm free, so we'll see how that works before fully taking the swaddle away.
  • is the happiest, most smiley baby ever. People always comment on this, and it's such a treat to see him enjoying everything around him.






Saturday, July 19, 2014

(Super) Ballerinas

In an effort to make sure we get out of the house at least once a week this summer for something fun, I enrolled the girls in an 8-week dance class. Avery has been asking for an entire year to do ballet again, and I figured Eleanor would want to as well if big sis was.

There is just one other girl in Eleanor's class, and there are about 8 little girls in Avery's.

Avery took right to it, doing all the dance moves and she raves about it all week between classes. Eleanor, on the other hand, tentatively walked into the room and just stood there, arms crossed, for almost the entire class. She eventually followed the teacher around, and she held the props when given to her, but that girl did not wiggle or spin or even smile. Her teacher kindly suggested that we give it another week, and then maybe consider removing her from the class.



Week two - same thing. Arms crossed, no smiling. Until halfway through, when she decided to try a couple of the steps, and then, boom! She loved it! Every week brings more excitement and more action from Eleanor, so that now she gives me an unsure look at first before hopping right in and dancing. Maybe it's the confidence that comes from wearing her superman shirt and her superman cape to class? ADORABLE.



Eleanor - don't tell Avery, but I think you have more natural talent at this. You always have been my motor one.

 



See the cutie with the short red hair? She was in Avery's preschool class this past year. 




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lately

I haven't simply rambled on here in a long time, but I wanted to document our daily life now that we have Jack. People often ask me how the transition to three kids has gone, if we're getting sleep, do I love it, etc. The answer to those, in order: well enough, no, yes.

The transition was hard, mind-boggling hard, the first 4-6 weeks. This was due in part to recovering physically, partly to lack of sleep, and partly due to Jack's tummy issues. He needed to be held more than my other babies because he hurt. We had a lot of help from the grandmas which was a huge blessing, but I was missing out on time with my girls because he was so needy. Honestly, I was glad to pass the girls off to Luke or the grandmas and just focus on feeling better and taking care of Jack. Mentally, that was all I could handle. I'm thankful that I was able to do that.

We turned a corner around 6 weeks, and I felt like a real person again instead of a zombie. We have hard days for sure, but the girls are getting along better, Jack is sleeping well (or was, til this past week), we make it to dance class and Bible study and church every week. We even all get to the grocery store together most weeks, though sometimes I go in the evening by myself - I swear, that's like a vacation. We've spent just about every Friday at the library picking out new books because Avery is reading now.

I love how Jack has rounded out our family and how he fits in so well. I'm thankful that he's an easy-going baby. It's great to sit back and watch the bond that the three kids are forming, even now when he's still so little.



Am I thankful that we had a boy this time? Yes, but not because he's the prized prince, the long-awaited son. I would have been just as tickled to have another girl. It's just been fun to see the differences (already) in what a boy brings to our family dynamics. Plus, he's just about the happiest baby ever, so of course I'm delighted.

What do we struggle with now? Keeping up with laundry. Oh goodness, despite my highly organized laundry sorting system installed before he was born, we simply cannot keep up with it. Clothes EVERYWHERE. The girls change outfits multiple times a day and then end it by running around in just underwear. I can't keep track of what's still clean and what's dirty, and it all usually ends up wadded up on the laundry room floor.

Potty-training. Oh the super-glamorous messy side of parenting. I was going to do a separate post on this, but there isn't much to say. She decided to start all on her own, she rarely has a pee accident and every day has a poop accident. Poop presents are starting to give her the incentive needed to put it in the potty, but it's not a sure thing yet. Glad we have a diaper sprayer - comes in handy for more than just diapers now. I don't even stress when we run errands or are in the car for awhile because she's doing so well with it.



We went out of town two weekends ago, and I'm STILL trying to recover from that trip. But look at these sweet sisters, camping out on the air mattress together instead of on the actual bed.



There is always a balance to strike in being honest and not complaining. The days are long and I dream of being alone and having no one touch me or need me, but I love all of this.






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

3 Months

Jack turned three months old on the 4th of July, which means this post is more than a week late and we were out of town. We don't return to the pediatrician until August, but we did go for just a shot this month and they did a quick weight check: 14 lbs 1 oz. Big guy! He's going to need a bigger carseat loooong before the girls did.



At 3 months old, Jack:

  • smiles and talks to us all day long
  • is still eating every 2-3 hours during the day
  • can sleep 9-10 hours straight at night, but not consistently yet
  • takes roughly 3 naps a day, if our schedule allows it since we are often running to Bible study or the grocery store or dance class; sometimes he has a short snooze in the evening too as he waits for me to get organized for his bedtime routine
  • aims for bedtime around 7 pm, but some nights it takes 45 minutes for him to drift off; he wants to nurse to sleep and I don't want him to be dependent on that, but he usually wins at night. It's easier to lay him down awake for naps.
  • tried a bottle again one night when I went out with a friend. This is only the second time I've left for at most two hours, and he HATES the bottle. He looks at you like you've betrayed him. 
  • met his new friend Virginia in Waco! She's a sweetie, and we all fell in love with her. Virginia is 2 months younger than Jack, and her older sisters are very close in age to both Avery and Eleanor. We drove in for the day, played at the children's museum, had lunch and then enjoyed the sunshine in their yard. 
  • enjoys the swing and very occasionally falls asleep in it
  • is still in our room at night, mostly because we don't have a baby monitor (update: purchased one and moved him two nights ago)
  • adores his big sisters and loves when they dote on him
  • spits up MUCH less than he did a month ago, for which we are very thankful. It appears that all of the issues we had in his first month with breathing, spitting up, projectile vomiting, etc have fully resolved themselves.
  • went to Dallas for a wedding and was the most perfect baby the entire weekend - this was probably because he was the only child for three days and loved all of the attention we could give him
  • met his Pappaw for the first time, who had been working in Nigeria and just returned home!
  • is in a size one diaper, though it's a bit snug (when we use disposables). We try and keep up with the cloth but some weeks we're just too tired or too far behind on regular laundry. 
  • still stares at me all day long, which makes me feel like the most adored mommy ever.
We love you to pieces little man!

And, some photos from my phone, because I left my camera at my mom's house....




Avery read him a story.


Miss Virginia!


instead of falling asleep, he wanted to talk. I think he frequently tells me I'm pretty.








twinsies

Dressing him like an old man is the best thing ever. 


first face-time experience with Avery and Nana

my glo-worm