Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 2008

  • my girls: a photo blog

    Current mood:happy
    I've been having fun taking pictures of my girls.  Thought I'd share their beauty!

  • updates

    Current mood:cheerful
    Things are settling down around here.....for the most part.  We still have an infant and a very active toddler so it's not like things are ever really mellow.  A few changes have been going on.....We moved Maddie into her new room and transitioned into her big girl bunk beds.  It went so well I still can't believe it!  She sleeps in there for her naps and bedtime and hasn't even gotten outta bed to play around.  She also doesn't try and climb the ladder to get to the top bunk.  I don't know how long that will last, but if we just ignore the fact that there is a ladder maybe she won't realize that it's there.  I can't believe what a big girl Maddie is turning into.  She doesn't even look like a baby anymore, and as of a month ago when my parents were here, she still had the baby cheeks and chubby legs.....I think she has grown like 2 inches taller because she is so tall and lean looking and her baby face is replaced by a young girls face.  Ah, sigh, she's growing up before my very eyes.

    Charlotte is doing much better.  She still has her fussy time of the day which is the evening, and she still cries before she poops, but it doesn't last as long and it isn't nearly as loud and painful sounding.  I've always read and been told that breastfed babies can't get constipated, but our doctor told us that up until 1979 it was reccomended that breastfed babies be given up to 6 ounces of water a day to combat constipation.  I don't know if that is the truth, but it has been true for us.  Maybe it just depends on the baby, but we've been giving Charlotte about 2.5 ounces of water a day and at first playdough looking poop came out which is what was clogging things up, and since then things are running smoothly, on the days we don't get around to giving her the water, she has a much harder time getting stuff out.  Okay, enough about poop!  lol  Another interesting behavioral
    change is that for the past 2 weeks or so, Charlotte has been sleeping from 9:00 at night until 6:00 in the morning without waking up to nurse.  Now this may be a fluke, but it has been enjoyable to get 8-9 hours of straight sleep at night.  She has also been napping during the day really well and most of the time will let me put her down in her bed to nap which is very different from when Maddie was this age.  I feel like we are doing a lot better this time around, like we worked out all the kinks with Maddie and are not making the same mistakes with Charlotte.  I remember holding Maddie and rocking her for all of her naps for the first 3 or so months, and that made it really hard to get her into her crib for naps when we were ready for that step.  I pretty much soothe Charlotte to sleep and put her down right away so that she gets used to sleeping stationary and on her own, plus it's impossible to sit and rock with her all day when I have Maddie around to play with and feed, and get down for naps etc.  The second child just has to be dealt with differently.  But we're all figuring out how this whole process works and learning how to be a family of 4.  I'm a creature of habit and I look forward to the days when our life can get back into a normal type of schedule, but for at least a couple more months we are flying by the seats of our pants.

    There have been requests (Rachel) for me to post pictures of Maddie's new room so here goes:

  • Oh-so-tired

    Current mood:cranky
    I am currently tired and cranky.  I got 3 hours of sleep last night.  I put 50% of the blame on Charlotte for waking up and not wanting to go back to sleep, 40% is my fault because I couldn't get to sleep once Charlotte finally did fall asleep, and 10% goes to Dan who right as I was finally falling asleep woke me up while he was getting ready for work.  Maddie was as always an angel all night!  lol  My eyes ache, I'm really sweaty even though the air is on and I have a headache.  So far not such a great day and I'm already waiting for it to be over so that I can go to sleep!  Only about 12 more hours to go.  Boo

    So, I had written a really long blog the other day but when I went to post it, myspace freaked out and it was all lost.  I was really annoyed and vowed then that I wasn't going to blog for at least a week.....I don't know what the point of that was.....like myspace was going to feel punnished or something?  Whatever.  But the blog was basically about how life has been these past few weeks.  And to sum up a long blog.....things have been really hard.  Charlotte is a difficult baby and we have been trying many different things to make life a little easier.  She has HUGE digestive problems and acts as though she is constipated all the time.....gassy, cramping, fussy, long crying jags etc.  I won't go into all the details because there are a lot of them, but we are trying to flush her system out and adding 2-4 ounces of water a day along with her normal diet of breast milk.  So far things have been a lot better.  Less crying, no screaming, she seems to be having an easier time digesting and pooping, and she is sleeping a lot more because she isn't in pain.....in fact she is sleeping right now!  It has just been pretty bad up until this point and I felt horrible because Charlotte was just not a happy baby at all.....she would hardly ever smile because she was always in pain.  Since we've started the new plan, she smiles a lot, and has even started cooing.  She was officially 8 weeks yesterday and she weighed 14 pounds 3 ounces and is 24 inches long.  She is the exact weight that Maddie was at 8 weeks, and she is half an inch shorter.  She looks way chubbier to me than Maddie did at 8 weeks, but maybe the half inch makes a difference?  And she may be carrying the weight differently!  So, she is off the chart for her weight, in the 97th percentile for her length and 50th percentile for her head.....smaller head than Maddie.  So, she is growing well and hopefully we are on the right track with her belly.  I really like when she is a happy baby and I'm sure she likes it too!

    Maddie is doing well.  She has discovered highlighters and how much fun it is to write all over the house with them.  I've hid them, but she must have stashed one or two away somewhere because markings keep popping up.  It's a good thing though that highlighter comes off of everything really well!  She has marked the TV, our shredder, the dvd stands, the window sills in our den, her body, bookshelves and doorjams.  Fun stuff!  lol  She is starting to get into pretend play which is a lot of fun, she helps me cook when I am doing simple things that she can't get hurt with, and she has discovered spinning around and being dizzy.  It's a hoot to watch her spin and then fall over or run into things.  She thinks its hilarious!  She is still doing great in her big girl bed.  She doesn't even get out of it anymore when we put her to bed or down for a nap.  She goes right to bed and 99% of the time she won't get out of her bed until we go in to get her.  I really thought it was going to be more difficult than it has been, but she is handling the whole thing beautifully!  Which is good because I think I'm getting close to being ready to put Charlotte in the crib in the nursery so we'll need to work on moving Maddie to her new room as soon as we think she will be able to handle it.  We are also starting Maddie in preschool next week.  We found a Methodist preschool that has a morning program from 8:45-12:15 and during the summer she can go as many days as we want her to although it will probably only be 2 days, and during the school year she will be there two mornings a week, Monday and Wednesday.  I think that it will be a good outlet for her to be around other kids, to learn social skills and get her energy out, and it will be good for me because I can get more stuff done around the house or get groceries with only one kid, or go to the gym eventually, and spend time getting Charlotte on a napping schedule, cause as of right now it seems that everytime I get her to sleep, Maddie and her loud mouth wakes her up before I can get her down in her bed and it's making for a cranky Charlotte and a Mama thats tired of getting the baby to sleep over and over again! lol  Maddie really enjoyed herself when we went and checked the preschool out last week.  The other kids were fun, and they all ran around and chased each other which Maddie LOVES!

    Well, I better get going.  I need another cup of coffee and I want to get some things done around this house before Charlotte wakes up.  I hope everyone is having a great weekend......me, not so much, but next week Dan has 5 days off, so that will be good.  Ciao

  • big girl bed with training wheels

    Current mood:cheerful
    A couple of days ago Maddie learned a new trick.....climbing out of her crib!!  I put her down for a nap, and she never went to sleep.  I could hear her playing around in there and assumed she was playing with her blankets and pacis.  After an hour I went in there to get her up (she has quiet time even if she doesn't nap) and first noticed that her play tent was in her crib.....I wondered how it got in there, then I noticed that she was standing in front of me looking at her books......NOT in her crib! lol  So after some thought Dan and I decided to change her crib into a toddler bed (it can do that and then turn into a full size bed later) instead of trying to transition her directly into her big girl bunk beds in her new room.  She has been in her old nursery because she was still in the crib and Charlotte is in our room, and I wasn't really ready to move her.....that is until she discovered how to escape her crib! 

    So Dan took apart her crib and we introduced Maddie to her new bed.  She seemed to like the idea of being able to get in and out on her own, but I was really nervous that we were going to have a huge battle of her getting out of bed whenever she wanted to.  We put her to bed the first night and checked in on her about 10 minutes later and she was fast asleep in her toddler bed.  She slept the entire night and when we heard her the next morning we went in to get her and she was still sitting in her bed.  The next day for nap time Dan put her down and left the door open a crack to spy on her and she did get out of bed once, but Dan went in and told her it was nap time, put her back in bed and she proceeded to sleep for 3 hours.  That night she did the same thing and got out of bed once but we told her it was bedtime and she got back in and went right to sleep.  This morning she was up for about 15 minutes before we got in to get her up and she hadn't gotten out of her bed at all!  Nap time today she got out once and when she was redirected to get back in, she did and took a nice long nap.  Tonight for bedtime we put her down and she didn't get out of bed at all!!!!  What a big girl we have!  I think that this transition to a toddler bed has gone really well......we'll see if she tests her boundaries anymore, but Maddie is a good sleeper and always goes to bed easily and actually likes going to bed, so I don't think that we are going to have a hard time with her.  Our next step is to put her toddler bed into her new room and have her get used to sleeping in her new room, but in her familiar bed, and then once she has mastered that, we will move her to her big girl bed.  I can't believe how fast she is growing up.  She also sat on the toilet for the first time today.....no pee pee.....I think she is a bit afraid of the big toilet, but she is totally interested and we will soon have a potty her own size that she can start using.  Ahh, next thing I know she will be going off to kindergarten.  *tearing up*  I'm gonna giver her a big ol' squeeze tomorrow morning and try to memorize how she feels right now at 21 months. 

      I added this picture even though it's not totally in focus so that you could see Maddie's mullet.  She totally has one and I'm thinking about cutting the back a bit so it doesn't look so mulletish.  The top/front just isn't growing as fast as the back lol. 
  • All is quiet

    Current mood:awake
    Both of my girls are sleeping right now which gives me a very rare moment to blog.  Yesterday was the 4th of July and also the 6 week mark of Charlotte joining our family.  Things have been going well….not always smooth sailing….there have been quite a few hairy and stressful moments but overall things are good.  I am still always tired it seems but I get to sleep in and take naps on Dan's days off which helps me recharge for the days that I don't have him around to help.  I've been trying really hard to keep up with the household chores along with juggling my two girls……I feel like I'm doing better now then I was before Charlotte……I've discovered that if you do a load of laundry every time you have enough clothes to warrant one, it is much easier than waiting until you have 8 loads to do and it's overwhelming and then not wanting to fold anything because there is just too much to deal with!  Baby steps.  My back is feeling so so much better.  I am down to seeing the chiropractor once a week instead of 3 times a week but honestly I feel like I did pre pregnancy.  I realized how much you can take something like your back and mobility for granted until you get hurt and don't have it anymore.  It's such a blessing to be able to walk!  Next week Dan registers for school which is super exciting but also scary because when he starts classes in August he will be working full time and going to school full time and I am going to be solo a lot.  I am going to need a lot of patience, so please start praying for me now!!  I can use all the good thoughts that I can get.
    Maddie has been really good this past week.  She is still a little tornado and can cause devastation throughout the house with her toys but she is listening a little better and we've only had 1 time out these last 2 weeks!  Maddie has been showing more and more interest in Charlotte.  She gives her a kiss goodnight every night and if Dan doesn't remember to hold her down to kiss the baby, Maddie will remind him.  She comes over while Charlotte is nursing and says baby and either pats her head or nuzzles against her head or back giving her lovin'.  She even helped me yesterday by putting the paci in Charlotte's mouth while she was in the swing and crying.  It's amazing how smart toddlers are…..Maddie knows that we like it when she is nice to the baby, or when she talks about the baby, so when Maddie is in trouble she now always goes over to the baby and says baby over and over again and rubs Charlotte's head trying to butter us up……it generally works really well because it's just to darn cute!  She still gets her discipline, but with a much calmer Mama who has a melting heart. lol  I can't believe how much Maddie has grown these last 6 weeks.  She is such a big girl now and I don't know how it happened!  The other night we made cup cakes together and she was totally into it and helped me pour the ingredients, and spoon the batter into the muffin tins and then she helped frost and sprinkle her own cup cake!  Yesterday we did fireworks for the first time.  We bought some and did them in the back yard once it got dark and Maddie LOVED them!  She got really excited each time one went off.  It will be fun when she is older and can participate more, she really wanted to hold the sparklers but she kept trying to grab the fire end which isn't so good! lol  She is in a big girl chair at the table instead of in a high chair which makes it really easy to get her up and down while holding the baby at the same time.  And her vocabulary is incredible…..although I don't know what other 21 month olds vocabulary is like……I might just be biased, but I do think she is advanced……the girl can count to 10 for goodness sakes!  We are getting really close to starting potty training because she is getting more interested in the process…..I think we'll buy a potty at the end of this month and see how it goes.  I look at pictures of her taken right before Charlotte was born and then pictures from this past week and she just seems so much less like a baby.  It's hard to believe that she is going to be 2 in a couple of months!  Yoikes.
    Charlotte is giving me a run for my money!!  In some ways she is easier than Maddie and in others she is harder.  I try not to compare them…..for my own sanity!  She is an overall fussier baby, and is hardly ever content…..unless she is eating or sleeping and even then she has been a fussy daytime sleeper.  She is also super gassy all the time….she was gassy the day she was born and my milk wasn't even in yet.  She just started smiling frequently about 3 days ago and even with that you have to catch her at a time where she isn't grumpy, which is rare.  I thought at first that she might have a dairy allergy but we pretty much ruled that out and now we think it might be tomatoes, so I have stopped eating them as of yesterday…..hopefully that is the culprit and makes a difference because I feel really bad that she is so gassy and uncomfortable all the time.  She also seems to have trouble pooping…..I'm not sure if it's an immature intestine or just something I'm eating, but the whole processing and ejecting of food seems to be difficult for her and I'd like to figure out how to make it easier for all our sakes!  Charlotte is totally easy with the night time sleeping and has been pretty much since the second week we were home from the hospital.  Once she is tired and ready for bed at night she goes to sleep, and in her own bed and for a good chunk of time.  Last night she was out for 6 ½ hours before waking up to nurse.  I remember having Maddie sleep in the papasan chair for a month and a half because she wouldn't sleep well at night and woke up constantly.  Charlotte is also huge!  I don't know her exact weight but I'll weigh her on Wednesday at the chiropractor…..but she's a big girl!  She is already getting into 3-6 month clothes and has almost outgrown (in length) a few outfits that Maddie wore for at least 3 weeks longer!  I feel like I'm only talking about the negatives, but Charlotte is a really sweet baby and when things are good they are really good.  She is a huge cuddle bug already and her smile is the best!  She is a good little eater, gets her business done and is on to better things.  She hated a paci at first but has mostly gotten used to one and will take it if she is really upset or really tired which is nice because it gives me a break.  And when all else fails, she will usually fall asleep in her swing which Maddie only ever did once!
    I try to remember that they are only little for such a short time and to really enjoy each stage, but I must say that I am looking forward to when Charlotte is 3-6 months old because I remember how much easier everything got with Maddie at that age.  She will start sleeping more at night which means uninterrupted sleep for me, and the crying for what seems to be no reason will subside and go away.  Her intestines will mature and it will be much easier for her to process food which means less gas and once she sits up on her own no more having to burp her or get barfed on!  So, I try and balance my feelings and make it through one day at a time, and when we are having a particularly horrible day I try and get through 15 minutes at a time and I thank the Lord that Maddie still naps 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours each day.  It's funny….when I had one kid it seemed really difficult but now that I have two, handling one is a breeze!  The things you learn!  I'm really happy to be a Mama of 2.  However difficult life is right this second, I am really looking forward to my girls being close in age and fostering a close relationship between them.  Maddie has the sister that I never had and I'm going to teach them to love and appreciate each other and hopefully not bicker over clothes!  Yeah right. lol

County McCounterson