Monday, July 30, 2012

13 Weeks

(Somewhat sappy 3 month post to come in the next day or so...I'm all sapped out after writing Baby Girl's letter.)

How cool that 3 months and 13 weeks both fall on a Monday. It makes sense when I think about it, but it snuck up on me this time!

Let's see...this week hasn't been overly exciting, really. Baby Boy is starting to pull his legs up off the floor and is, consequently, rolling some onto his side. He still has no interest in rolling when on his belly--he gets angry really quickly. He is, however, having moments of actually pushing up with his arms and not always just arching his back to lift his head.

He continues to explore his voice and is making more high-pitched noises. If I'm out of the room I'm having a harder time determining if he's happy or sad.

Speaking of exploring, Baby Boy is still exploring everything with his mouth. If you don't want it drooled on, don't give it to him. This could be your fingers, toys, clothes, blankets...whatever.

He is also still really laid back. He slept in the stroller at the fair (without patting, rocking, or anything!) and also slept for a bit in his infant seat at dinner later in the day! He also got passed around at his sister's birthday party and even napped on his daddy during present-opening. He loves it when you get your face close to his quickly and rewards you with a great belly laugh sometimes.

Baby Boy is an incredibly efficient nurser, which is especially nice when you're feeding him in public. He takes about 5 minutes and only nurses on one side each session. He still nurses to sleep each night, although he is starting to fight it. I also frequently nurse him to sleep for naps just because I'm lazy. He could go to sleep with walking and bouncing or I could nurse him... It's nice to be the bearer of the "magic juice", as we call it.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Three years old

My sweet little girl,

You are three years old today. I have spent a lot of the day remembering that day three years ago: where we were, what we were doing, and what we were feeling. It was an overwhelming day--our lives changed in a shocking and amazing way when you entered this world. I wouldn't change a thing. Your daddy and I talk a lot about the fact that we were meant to have you--that baby in that moment. We waited longer than we wanted to for you, but knowing who we ended up with, we wouldn't change one thing.

This last year hasn't been as filled with physical development as the previous ones, but you've grown by bounds intellectually and emotionally and I truly couldn't be more proud. You're such a smart little girl and are able to communicate with us better than we'd ever thought a three year old could. That isn't to say that we haven't had any struggles--we have...oh, we have--but you're still so incredible. Our struggles have been recent and mighty--it's like we're paying the price for never experiencing the Terrible Twos--because you seem to have inherited your mommy's stubbornness. We butt heads from time to time, but in the end you're still my sweet girl who just wants to make Mommy and Daddy proud and happy.

You, my dear, love fiercely and wholly. You are always asking for "one more hug and kiss" before we go anywhere--even just to the bathroom! You adore your daddy and love to play with him.

Your little brother is your favorite person, it seems. People ask me all the time about how you are as a big sister and I'm always quick to tell them that you are a better big sister than I could've hoped for. You are helpful and always want Nicholas to be happy. He is the first person you want to see when you get home and love to kiss and hug him. You get a little rough sometimes, unintentionally--you just want to love on him as hard as you can. And sweetheart, he loves you too. Sometimes you're the only one who can make him smile.

The arrival of the baby rocked your world. For as much as you love him, you were feeling pretty jealous of the time and attention we needed to give him--especially mommy. Once we settled into our home as a family of four, things have improved. Mommy and Daddy set aside time just for you and that led to better behavior--thank goodness! We still have more tantrums and fights than we had before he arrived, but we work through it. Our favorite words that we've supplied you with to use when you're disappointed and want to cry are "that makes me a little sad".

I love you so much, you headstrong little girl. You have shy moments and outgoing times. You still love food, being outside, and books. You want to help mommy with everything and ask me to save chores for you to do. You help me cook, clean, and do laundry (your favorite is folding sheets and when we walk our ends together--it makes you giggle loudly every time).

Thank you, sweet girl, for choosing me as your mommy. I thank God that He chose us to raise you and watch you develop. I can't wait to see what your fourth year will bring.

My love always,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

12 Weeks

In just a few days my baby boy will be three months old.  I feel like the world is passing me by as I try to cling to every moment.  But that's for another post.

Baby Boy's twelfth week was a great one sleep-wise.  I was in the process of writing up a blog post about how much I fear I screw up my kids' sleeping (or our genetics just create bad sleepers...not sure which) when he started only waking once per night.  Wow.  He did it Sunday night.  I figured it was a fluke.  When he woke up at 2 a.m. Monday night I assumed I'd see him again in a couple of hours, but he slept until morning.  Then Tuesday night he only woke once at 4.  This continued until Friday night, no matter what we did during the day.  Some days he napped better than others.  Some days he took an evening nap and some days he didn't.  And yet he still slept well.  Then Friday through Monday nights (as in Monday, the day he turned 12 weeks) he woke up twice per night, which still wasn't horrible after waking 3-4 times per night prior to the improvement.  Last night he actually woke up three times, but he had an odd evening (didn't nap and then fell asleep eating, which means he didn't eat nearly as well and then was stirring most of the evening), so I'm hoping we'll be back to waking once or twice tonight.  Either way, my fears that I'd screwed him up have been quelled...for now.

I also wanted to document a birth mark that I discovered on Baby Boy.  He has a mole on the back of his left knee.  I don't know if it's been there since birth, but I discovered it around 10 weeks when I was checking out his rolls (which are DELICIOUS...except for the crud I found in one of them yesterday).

Baby Boy is just growing like crazy.  Baby Girl has her 3 year doctor appointment on August 10th, so I might ask that he be weighed then.  If not then, he has his urologist appointment on August 16th and then we'll have his 4 month appointment at the end of August.  He is getting big and is still such a happy little man. If he's fussy, it's always for a reason and is typically because he's tired.  He has the best smiles and gives them to just about everyone.  He also has a little chuckle that he'll emit sometimes that sounds like he's being polite when someone tries to make him laugh.  But then when he really gets laughing, you know it!  He loves to watch and listen to Mommy sing and loves it when Daddy does up/downs over him (he'll run in place and then drop like he's going to smoosh Baby Boy, which is apparently the most hilarious thing in the world).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meal Plan: 7/22 - 7/28/12

I just haven't been in the mood to eat real meals much recently since being dairy-free, on top of limiting my bean intake, so our meal plan is fairly uninspired. I also don't know when we'll have which meals--it all depends on what sounds good each night.

Now that I've sufficiently reduced your expectations...

Spaghetti and meatballs
Breakfast: pancake bites that I found on Pinterest, eggs, and hash browns
Sloppy Joes and tater tots
Beef and vegetable soup
Lazy man's cabbage rolls

Next Saturday is Baby Girl's third (OMG...SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?) birthday party and her big day is Sunday, so our weekend will be filled with party and the week will be spent getting prepared to convert our house into a Christmas wonderland.

Monday, July 16, 2012

11 Weeks

Friday night The Hubby and I took Baby Boy out to dinner with us at a local German restaurant and while the food was yummy, he was totally overwhelmed by the noise and alternated between fussing and looking around with big eyes. My favorite part of eating there is the cream puffs. I thought I'd try splitting one with The Hubby and see what happened. The good news is that Baby Boy didn't have gas pains. The bad news is that he spit up a lot the next day. It doesn't seem like he's ready for me to have dairy, but at least we know that he won't be uncomfortable and gassy if I have a little.

Saturday we took a trip to my in-laws' house to visit and pick up Baby Girl, who had been staying there since Wednesday evening. We had to make a stop to nurse in a cemetery, but he otherwise did pretty well. We took the Rock n Play with us, but actually used the Pack n Play that my mother-in-law set up for us. He'd never successfully napped anywhere but on us or in the Rock n Play, but he did great! He also slept in the Pack n Play overnight and did no worse than he'd done at home. He was an absolute charmer with The Hubby's family the entire time, as I thought he'd be.

The biggest development of the week is that Baby Boy slept 8:45 to 4:15 last night! We woke up and were both stunned when we saw what time it was. Wow!

I don't know if last night's sleep is related or not, but today he's being a bit crazy. He's crying more than normal, wanting to nurse (possibly because I pumped 4 ounces from the left side when he woke at 4:00, maybe because I pumped 2 ounces when he woke up for good, and possibly because he's just feeling off). I don't know what it is, but he's also extra tired, but not able to sleep for long. He won't let me lay him down or anything when he's awake, which is really unusual. It's got me frazzled since I'm supposed to be working from home an average of 1 hr 20 minutes per day and I can't get anything done.

I hope the sleep progress continues--I was seriously about to write a blog entry about how much I fear I'm screwing up his sleep. I hope, though, that today is the end of the crankiness!

Meal Plan 7/16/12 - 7/22/12

Monday: Mom's Noodles and potatoes--my mom made us homemade noodles when Baby Boy was born for the freezer and we ate some last week. Since they're thawed, we need to eat them up!
Tuesday: Taco salad--this week wasn't a great meat sale week at the grocery, so we're pulling taco meat from the freezer that we prepared before Baby Boy was born, making taco bowls with tortillas in the oven, and serving with avocados.
Wednesday: Mojo Shrimp--this is a meal that friends made for us that we make whenever we want shrimp. Unfortunately, I can't find the recipe online. Maybe I'll type it up for the blog someday.
Thursday: Southwestern Veggie Stuffed Peppers--we are trying to use a bit less meat (although with me avoiding dairy and copious amounts of beans, this is proving difficult) and I found this on my favorite cooking blog. I think I've made it before and loved them!
Friday: Healthy Lazy Man Cabbage Rolls-- I've made these before, but can't find the recipe I used. Hopefully this is as good as the original!
Saturday: leftovers

Monday, July 9, 2012

10 Weeks

Ten weeks old and still a hoss :) Baby Boy is much more relaxed than his sister ever was. It is so fun to watch him play by himself and flirt with everyone he meets. He tolerates his car seat much better as well. We went to the zoo yesterday with The Hubby's family (parents and brother's family) and both kids did great! I nursed Baby Boy in the aquarium twice, which worked out well. He slept on the drive up and again in his car seat in the stroller. I also carried him and helped him sleep some. It was really hot and we were all very sweaty and cranky by the time we got home!

Baby Boy is definitely a lot more aware of the world around him. He has started to get scared by loud noises like his sister screaming, which isn't fun for anyone. He is also distracted when nursing by people and noises. I don't know if he needs to eat less often or is just more efficient, but during some sessions he's popping off and giggling at me after less than 5 minutes. It is adorable, but frustrating.

Another developmental change I've noticed over the last couple of weeks is that he wants to stand all the time. He can support his weight for a minute or more, just using us for balance. He loves being upright in general and is also trying to sit up from laying down. We've started using the Bumbo some. When he's tired, his head will fall back a bit, but otherwise he loves it. His chunky thighs don't fit so well already, though, so I don't know how long we'll be able to use it!

He has also been finding different tones to his voice. He's starting to get loud and use different pitches. It's so fun to listen to!

I doubt anyone reading really wants to know this, but Baby Boy's poop has gotten thicker and less frequent. Hopefully it doesn't lead to blowouts like we experienced with Baby Girl!

Last items of note pertain to sleep. I'm going to do a whole entry about sleep, but wanted to mention two things. We had one night with a 6 hour stretch and last night got another of just under 5 hours. They typically happen when he hasn't slept as much during the late afternoon and the long stretches have been through the evening and very early morning. The other thing is that we had a day with more normal napping--2 hour morning and afternoon naps and a short early evening nap (although they were all on someone). He didn't have a long stretch that night, so I'm not pushing for another day like that yet.

The important thing to know is that he's growing and changing. I see him every day, so sometimes it is hard to see the changes, but they are definitely happening!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meal Plan 7/8/12 - 7/14/12

I've been meal planning and cooking since Baby Boy was born but, to be honest, it has been pretty boring, so I haven't posted anything, especially since I'm still dairy-free. This week is a bit more interesting, so I'm trying to get back into the habit of posting. Plus it'll be good to write something other than posts about the baby :)

For starters, we had tilapia tonight. You see, I'm not a fish eater. At all. But I realized recently that I was depriving Baby Girl of a whole type of food because I don't like it. I found tilapia on sale this week and decided to give it a shot. You know what? It wasn't bad. Baby Girl had seconds, so we'll be having it again, even if it wasn't my favorite. I know it is good for me, too.

Also, this week Baby Girl is going to spend three nights with my husband's parents. The Hubby will meet his mom with Baby Girl on Wednesday evening and they'll have dinner. Then my mother-in-law will take her home with her (about an hour and 45 minutes away from home) until we come up to visit with Baby Boy on Saturday. That means that dinner Wednesday will be up in the air for me and then we will be without Baby Girl Thursday and Friday. She eats really well still so we aren't sure what we'll do to take advantage of her being gone, but we'll figure something out.

Sunday: tilapia, corn on the cob, rice
Monday: ribs, corn on the cob
Tuesday: noodles (homemade that my mom made and froze for us) and mashed potatoes
Wednesday: Out for The Hubby and Baby Girl, not sure what I'll do
Thursday: steak salad (planning on steak, lettuce, corn, bell peppers, avocado and green onion)
Friday: Out?
Saturday: at the in-laws' house

Monday, July 2, 2012

9 weeks

I'm not sure if a lot has changed in the last week or if I've just noticed a lot more! I was making my list before I sat down to write the actual entry and it is a long list this week!

We've noticed a sharp increase in the amount of drool Baby Boy is producing this week, especially when he's focusing on standing up. There also seems to be more when he's stuffy at night, which makes sense. I remember that Baby Girl started drooling somewhere around this time (maybe closer to 3 months?) and I was sure it would be teething. Ha! She didn't cut her first tooth until she was over 9 months old!

In the middle of last week, we could see that Baby Boy was starting to notice his hands. He isn't staring at them like I know a lot of babies do (Baby Girl never did), but he's finding ways to use them, like grabbing his rooster friend. I know he isn't doing it on purpose yet, but he's getting his hands moving and has gotten ahold of the tag a few times.

Also in the last week or two, he has starting laughing. It is AWESOME. His favorite things for me to do are to bounce him on my knee while singing William Tell Overture and to play "where's your tongue?" I stick my tongue out for him and cheer when he sticks his out. And come to think of it, he likes just about any song with the word "doo". Haha! I've been singing "I've Got You Babe", too, which makes him happy.

Baby Boy has also started noticing things that are further away--the TV and the light fixtures are favorites right now. I'm doing my best to keep him from staring at the TV. We don't keep our kids away from TV until the recommended 2 years, but seeing a two month old baby zone out while staring at the TV is a little creepy, if you ask me.

When he lays on his play mat, he's always moving and has started spinning in a circle. He does it by planting his feet and lifting his butt off the ground. I was pretty impressed when I saw him doing that! Now if we can just get him interested in rolling...

Lastly, Baby Boy had his two month checkup last Friday. He weighed a whopping 13 lbs 3 oz (greater than 90th percentile) and was 23 inches long, which is average. His head circumference was around the 75th percentile. In other words, he's growing consistently. The doctor mentioned that he assumes his growth will slow down when he starts to move between 4 and 6 months, which is exactly what happened to Baby Girl, although she went from average to being on the smaller side. And I think he complimented me on the quality of my breast milk :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Two months old

My sweet little boy,

Yesterday you turned two months old. I'm sure I'll be saying this for the rest of your life, but I can't believe that you've been part of our lives for two months. In some ways, it feels like you've always been here and in others it feels like it was just yesterday that you were born.

I'm working my first day of work since your birth on Tuesday and I'm so sad that our constant time together is coming to an end. These past two months with you have been some of the best time that I've had. It's funny--I know that I have spent some time every day crying, but you make me SO happy. I am more in love with you than I EVER could have imagined. Just looking into your beautiful brown eyes makes my heart do a little flip. When you smile at me (which is pretty much anytime you aren't sleeping), I melt.

You are so laid back, Mr. Man. I am pretty sure that it is your personality and not just because we're forcing you to be. You've been my first priority pretty much 24/7 since your birth while Daddy tends to your big sister, so you don't have to wait for much. But you'll lay and entertain yourself willingly (your best friends are the elephant and rooster that hang from your play gym--you tell them great stories!), hang out in your carseat, and just stare at the fan or light fixture. The only time you get fussy is when you're tired or maybe really hungry. Even when you're hungry you typically just gnaw on your hands for quite awhile before you start to squawk.

I hope you never outgrow your interest in snuggling or your happy, smiley ways. You truly are the best part of my day.

I love you, always and forever.