Thursday, May 27, 2010

this is such a fun age...


if i remember correctly....it wasn't that long ago that i was writing about what a challenge Parker had been for us.

and it seemed no sooner that i wrote that....that we had a reprieve. she suddenly became more well- behaved. the fits were fewer and further between. the whining was less. we all just seemed to be a little more on the happier side.

one day...as i was sitting on the couch feeding grace.....Parker was playing independently so well. i thought about how throughout her life i would find myself saying, "i love this stage! i love the things she is doing now! this is such a fun age!"

and i realized that it had been a while since i had said those words. and although this age is not without its challenges (as with any age, really)..... i also realized that this, too, was 'such a fun age.'

so i compiled a list of a few things that i love about Parker at this age that i don't want to forget:

  • i love hearing her sing in her off tune voice. and each day she gets more and more words correct to the song that she is singing.
  • i love how when we are reading her bedtime stories she will say things like..."but I want to go into the picture and touch Clifford {the big red dog}." or "I need that umbrella so that I can open it." or "I need to go into the picture so I can play in the rain with them." And then when I tell her that she can't go into the picture...she replies with, "Tomorrow. A-ter (after) my nap."....because as it were...we do a lot of things "after her nap."
  • i love how she can have a full conversation with me....and they actually make sense! (most of the time!)
  • i love how she is becoming more independent. not wanting help with putting her clothes or shoes on.
  • i love that she thought when we released the butterflies that they were going to go and find their mommy and daddy. She was really concerned about where they were!
  • i love cleaning up her kitchen set and putting everything in a place because I know how much fun it will be for her to pull everything out again (even though this doesn't really happen very often! :) and when i do this....i love seeing where she has put things and what she has 'made' (i.e. all of her little alphabet books are in the oven now....and her plastic easter eggs are in her muffin pan)
  • i love how when i tell her to do something, I say, "Yes M'am??" in a stern voice. And she replies, "Yes Man!" I don't correct her. I know she will learn the proper way to say it eventually.
  • just like when she says, "Please." Not so long ago it was "pwease." When did she figure it out? And it's bittersweet because I love that she has figured it out.....yet there is something sweet and innocent about her voice right now.
  • and how every time I hold her...or she lets me rock her in our recliner while watching TV....I try to covet these moments....realizing full well I know they will eventually get fewer and further between....until this little girl grows up and no longer wants to sit in my lap.
  • i love that she presses a button on Grace's toys to make them make music....then says, "Dance with me, Mommy (or Daddy)." And she keeps pushing them over and over again!
  • i love that i can ask her to go get me something...and she does! she is so helpful {at times} :).
  • i love how she always asks, "Mommy! What are you doing?" if she says it once, she says it a million times. seriously. within seconds of asking.... and us telling her what we are doing...she asks again. we then ask her, 'what do you think I am doing?" and she replies with what it is that we are doing. so she really already knows....but still feels compelled to ask!
  • i love how during bedtime story time last night she kept pointing to something and asking what it was. i kept telling her it was a leaf that the little chicken was using as a kite. she kept asking and asking. i was almost getting annoyed. She would not let us turn the page. finally.... I realized that there was a ladybug that I could not see due to her finger. i said, "oh! that's a ladybug." and all was well. we were then able to move on! :)
  • i love how after i read a book to her, she says, "My turn!" and then she reads it to me. I am constantly amazed at what she remembers....and how she even uses my voice intonation when she 'reads' it.
  • i love how intently she watches me take care of Grace so that she can, in turn, do the same for her Lovey. it's truly priceless.
  • i love her. and i love being her mother.

Grace's 4 month well-visit.



I took Grace to her 4 month check-up on Tuesday.

She has battle wounds to prove it. ;(


But the good news is....she is doing well. She's healthy! And when I say "healthy"....I do mean it in the literal senes....as she is health. However....I also mean it in the way that "she's healthy" as in "healthy!"

Look at her stats:

weight: 14 lbs, 8 oz (80th percentile)
height: 26 1/4 inch (97th percentile)
head circumference: 42 cm (75th percentile)

I don't remember what Parker's exact numbers were at 4 months....but I do know that she was in the 92nd percentile for her height and in the 45th percentile for weight (almost a whole pound less than Grace is at 4 months!!)

And I know why she is bigger (well...maybe)....she eats a LOT more than Parker did! With Parker...at 4 months....she was already consistently sleeping from 8 at night until 7 in the morning. Grace, on the other hand....does not. So she is getting 1-2 extra feeding per day!

_________________________________

Ok. So. Naps.

I am in need of some input/advice/commenting/suggestions........

When is it that your babies started taking a good morning nap, a good afternoon nap, then maybe a catnap in the evening to hold them over until bedtime???

I know all babies are different. And when I talked to my pediatrician....she reminded me of that....and gave me some suggestions as far as getting her feedings to set times in the day....which we are now trying to do.....but not really much input on her naps. I am guessing that when we get her feedings down....her naps will follow??

I started out trying to make it to where she would eat.....then play...then nap. I have continued this...only....since she wasn't sleeping through the night....and her naps only lasting approximately 45-50 minutes.....then I got into the bad habit of feeding her almost every 2 and a half hours because if I waited until the 3 hour mark....she would have been up for too long and be overly tired....OR....if I went ahead and put her down when she was ready....then she would have gone down before she even ate....resulting in an even shorter nap. Does this make sense? I think I am even confusing myself.

So my thinking was that maybe if she got more calories during the day...that maybe she would sleep through the night? Obviously....this did not work. So why did I continue to do it for so long? I have no idea.

So for now...I am going to start waking her up at 7:30 (sometimes she doesn't make it that long...like this morning....she was up before 6:30)...and ONLY feeding her every 3 hours (like I probably should have been all along)...to 'train' her body to be hungry at those times. Is this when her naps will fall into place?? Am I completely overthinking this? I just think that she (and we) will all be happier if she weren't taking four 45 minute naps a day....and getting some better at night.

___________________________________

And now....to finish off with a little sweetness....









I was just talking to Geoff (and my sister, too, I think)...about how much Grace has changed over the past week since she first turned 4 months old. She is holding her toys for longer....and in the car....she really likes to play with one of those crinkly books. It's just amazing.

She is such a happy baby....smiling at almost anyone that smiles and talks to her. It still makes my heart sink and melt every time I walk up to her and she starts smiling and flapping her arms and kicking her legs. I love it. I don't think I'll ever grow tired of that!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Watch out....

....because....



...these....


....girls....


...are....


....TROUBLE!!!!

(This picture made me laugh so hard I cried!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Garden Culprit


Meet our garden culprit.

Well...he's not the actual one. But you get my point.

We finally planted our vegetable garden a little over a month ago. Since then....we really haven't done much with it. We've watered it. We've put out our coffee grounds to hopefully help with keeping some of the bugs away? Inspected the leaves for evidence of bugs. We've waited. Waited for them to GROW.

However, not much has happened....if anything.

About 2 weeks ago...Geoff found some rabbit "poo-poo" (as Geoff and Parker would say)....and Geoff actually wanted me to take and post pictures of this to show that this was 'why' we weren't getting our vegetables. I.....however..... opted out. :) (Aren't you glad I didn't listen?!)


This morning....Geoff and Parker were eating their cereal at the kitchen table..... and who did they see hopping along in our back yard???

A rabbit.

Acting like itowned the place.

Making his (or her) way to our garden.

After they spotted the rabbit...they moved to the dining room to look out that window because they could see the garden from there.

This rabbit worked its way from one end to the other...sniffing each and every plant!!

So we brought in reinforcements.


Added a little more organic fertilizer.....


And chicken wire.

I know these rabbits can be sneaky....and often outsmart us. But here's hoping for the best!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quilt Progress.

I had ordered the material for Parker's quilt about a month ago.

(I think it was a month ago. Time, to me, is all relative these days. Two days? Two weeks.? It really just all blends together. Will I ever get my 'normal' brain/memory back???

I'm not holding my breath)

Anyway....I kept dragging my feet because I could not commit to a pattern...so iffy that I might not like it...that I'd regret what I made...blablablabla.

I really started to annoy myself.

So I buckled down...told myself to make a decision...that it was not the end of the world. If I didn't like it, then oh well. It would be practice, I'd learn, and Parker would still end up with a quilt...even if it didn't end up as her bedding.

And I can always make her a different one. Right?

I decided on this quilt...only I am making mine twin size (or so I hope), instead of queen size.

And as it turned out....it is coming together much faster than Grace's quilt. Grace's just had so many more pieces...which meant more sewing...more mistakes...more sewing.....more mistakes......etc, etc.

So this is my progress....

I began by cutting my pieces (I still need to cut the material for the borders)


Then made my layout....that ultimately changed a time or five....
Then I started piecing it together earlier in the week. Initially, I was so proud at how fast it had taken off. So impressed with 'how much faster' I had gotten.

Then I started to look closer...

My seams aren't really lined up as they should be.


I convinced myself that this problem was only in a few places. That it was all right.

Then I kept looking.

And found....

This.


And this.

Wowzers! And this.


Yep. Uh-huh. And this.

Oh wait! Here's one that is almost right! But this is one.

So I kind of let this get me down and haven't worked on it much since. But honestly....I haven't had time the past few days! If the girls nap together, I can usually get some done...but if they don't...then it's a wash, and I may try after they are in bed for the night. But if Parker gives me fits...it's either too late, or I'm way too tired (both mentally and physically) and I know that I will make even more mistakes..... so I don't even try!

So far...it's not coming out as cute as I had thought up in my head. But regardless...as I said earlier...she'll still have a quilt. I love sleeping and napping with quilts! To me...they aren't too hot or too cool.

Oh...and sweet Geoff. He tries to encourage me by saying things like..."It's ok, Marla. It still looks good. It's just........authentic!"

Riiiiiiggghhht! ;)

Authentic.

Hmmmmm?

I think he's still impressed that I'm even attempting to do this. He's ready for me to be done with both of the quilt tops, however, so that I can have them quilted and be actual quilts....finally!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grace @ 4 months



Grace Jean--

I cannot believe that you are 4 months old already. {And I am sure that I will say that exact thing every month from here on out, so just bear with me.}

It has been such a joy and blessing getting to know you. You really are such a good baby, and I just love you to pieces.

I think you are teething because a) you have your fingers and/or hands in your mouth 97.6% of the time that you are awake, and b) you drool so much that your bib is drenched in less than an hour and must be changed because it is soaking through to your clothes. On a positive note, however, I have not noticed you to be more fussy or waking up more in the night.

About waking up in the night. :) I put you to bed between 7 and 8 (usually closer to 7:30). You wake up around 2 am on most nights....I change you because 98.45% of the time you have a dirty diaper.....I feed you....put you back to bed. You then usually sleep until 6:30-7:30. IF you do not get up at 2am, you usually sleep until 4 and 5am....then still get up around 7:30. I'm still holding out hope that one day soon you will sleep straight until 7:30am. (A girl can dream, right?) But in all honesty- you are such a good baby, this really isn't that bad....and I know that it could definitely be a lot worse. So I'm not complaining. {Yet.} :)

Your napping. Hmmmm. It's like clockwork. Well....sorta. You still wake up after only being asleep for 50 minutes. I am thinking of timing you because I think it is almost exactly the same each day. For your first nap, I put you in your crib. By the time you are ready for your second nap, you are pretty tired...maybe even a little bit on the fussy side...so I put you in your swing. And usually....I will then get a 1.5 to 2.5 hour nap out of you. I would like for you to take all of your naps in your bed, but after trying to put you in your bed for 3 and a half months, I have decided that I'd rather you nap--period. Whether it be in your swing or not...... I just need you to nap. So this is what we'll do for now. I'll figure something out later about getting you in your bed for all of your naps. {I hope.}

You found your feet about 2 weeks ago. I love it. I tried to take some pictures, but I'm still trying to figure out my camera and so most of them are blurry and out of focus, so I won't include it here....but I'll be sure to keep them for you to see one day. It makes me giggle under my breath to see it. You seem so little to be going after your feet!

You are such a blessing to me and our family (did I already say that?). I love being your mother and am looking forward to the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

And could you please do me a favor? Don't grow up too fast.

Thanks.

Love,
Mommy


(to see this better and bigger, you can click on the picture)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Parker's birth story.

I am getting ready to finally write out Grace's birth story and post it here on the blog....so I thought I'd go ahead and post Parker's as well.

I wrote out Parker's birth story when she was about 10 months old and put it in her scrapbook. I am so glad I wrote it then because...although so much of it is still such a vivid memory in my mind....there were little pieces to this story...that in essence....aren't that important to remember....but am glad I have it written down, nonetheless. So here it is. (I wrote it as if it were to Parker because thw scrapbook I made is for her!)

__________________________________________

September 15th, 2007, (your due date) came and went.

I was ready to have you!

On Tuesday, September 18th, 2007, at about 4:20am, I woke up. This was a pretty typical occurrence so I didn't think much of it at the time. I just laid there for a while like I always did, hoping that maybe I would go back to sleep.

But alas, I did not. Instead- I started having these little cramps. Didn't think much of that either, because I had been having these on and off for a while.

Then, I started noticing that they were coming about every 10 minutes. I got up, started timing them, and they were pretty consistent, but not too painful. We had attended birthing classes and from what they said (and the doctor), we didn't need to start heading to the hospital until my contractions were at lesast 5 minutes apart.

So to pass the time, I checked e-mail, did some last minute cleaning, and played Nintendo. And this wasn't just any Nintendo, it was the old one that I used to play with when I was a little girl. Your dad hooked it up for me a few weeks before you came so that I would have something to do when I couldn't sleep.


I still sent Daddy to work that day because I felt like it would be a while before you came. But by 8:15 am (which work had started only at 8am), I had already called him and told him he come on home because the contractions were getting closer to 5 minutes apart, however, they were still not very painful.

I wrote every single contraction down and how long it lasted. It makes me smile now to think back...knowing how excited and anxious I was to meet you. I wanted to be sure and have all the information I needed when I called the doctor. I even took it with me to the hospital in case the doctor wanted to see it--which he didn't.

We called all of the granparents, Aunt Sister, and a few friends to tell them that we thought, "We're going to have a baby today!"

When Daddy came home, we went for a walk up and down the street to hopefully speed things along.

Around 9:30 am or so, I decided to call the doctor to just see what he wanted me to do. I actually spoke with Dr. L and told him how my contractions were and he told us to come on in and we'd see how things were going.

I had contractions on the way to the hospital and they seemed to be getting a little stronger. But once I arrived to the doctor's office, they took me back to take my blood pressure--which was good. After that... I had to wait about 15 minutes before I saw the doctor. And, of course, it would happen at that time.... my contractions stopped for about 20 minutes. Since 4:20am they had not stopped, but now that I am here at the hospital, they were going to stop? I remember Dr. L walking by the little area where they take blood pressures and weights...and I guess from the look on my face....he stopped and said, "Did they stop on you?" He knew!

They finally took me to an exam room and the doctor checked me. I was only dilated to a 1 (at 39 weeks I was still not dilated at all!). He decided to send me triage to hook me up to the contraction monitor to check the frequency of my contractions, and if after 2 hours, we had made any progress.

The plan was....if I had progressed any in the 2 hours then I was in labor and they were going to admit me. If I made no progress, then I was in false and/or early labor, and they were going to send me home.

I remember sitting in that triage area...hooked up to the monitors...and almost in tears telling Geoff how I did not want him to send me home! (Take heed....be careful what you wish for!)

Well- during the 2 hours, I was having contractions that were 3 minutes apart, but I had made no progress! Nevertheless....he decided to admit me anyway since I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant.

It took them about 45 minutes to get my room ready, and during that time and they began to call your grandparents and some of our friends.

Shortly after getting in our room....a nurse came in and started my IV. Not long after (around 2:45pm)...the pitocin began being administered..... and by 3:15 pm, I was ready for the epidural! Soon after the pitocin began, but before the epidural, Dr. C came in and broke my water.

Around 5pm, I asked the nurse if I could roll over to my right side since I had been on my left side for a couple of hours. She said yes and began to help me. Before I even made it all the way to the right side, monitors began going off because your heart rated dropped below 60 beats per minute--normal range is between 110 and 160. They asked Gramma and Aunt Sister to leave the room. Only Daddy stayed, and the nurse asked for back-up and for the doctor to come immediately.

She flipped me back to my left side and quickly place an internal fetal monitor in order to watch you more closely. Nurses and the doctor came almost immediately.

After what seemed like and eternity, you were stabilized and I was confined to my left side for the remainder of the labor. They said that maybe your cord was wrapped around your neck and that when we went to the right side, you could have possibly been compressing it, thus not allowing you to receive enough blood.

This scared us pretty good (and that's really an understatement). And it was in hindsight that I realized maybe we should have just let them send us home earlier! It was a true lesson for me because I remember so much how I wanted to stay. I wanted to have you that day! And in the end...everything worked out, but it was still a valuable lesson learned in patience.




So by 6:30 pm, I was dilated to a 4. We were making some progress, but my body was not handling the pitocin well, in that, I would have 5 minute long contractions (as opposed to 60-90 seconds that they are supposed to be) that were hard on you. Your heart rate would stay in the low 100s when there wasn't a contraction, but dip into the 80s and 90s during the contractions.

At 9pm, the nurse checked me again and said that I was dilated to a 9 and almost 100% effaced. This meant that it was almost time! I remember in a fleeting thought, my stomach sank, and I thought, "I can't do this." And I say 'fleeting' because it was such a mini-thought....that was quickly followed by an overwhelming sense of calmness. I knew I could do it. And I was going to be able to finally meet you.

So the nurse began to get things prepared for your birth in the room, and at 9:30pm she checked me one more time. Only this time....she realized she had made a mistake and I was still only dilated to a 4!!!

The doctor came in...and she was not very happy. She told me then that she'd give me 30 more minutes to see if I made any more progress, and if not, then she wanted to do a c-section.

But by this point, we were still worried about you and your heart rate, and felt that nothing had changed in 3 hours, why would we think that anything would change in 30 more minutes? Ultimately- we just wanted you to arrive safe and sound.

So we decided to go ahead and have you by c-section.

The nurse anesthetist came in and began administering more drugs to numb the lower half of my body. And not long after...they were wheeling me into the OR.

You were born happy and haealthy at 10-:24pm, weighing 8lbs, 4oz, and 20.25 inches long. What a beautiful moment hearing your cry for the first time. We were so blessed the moment you came into our lives.




The first time Daddy held you...

Our first picture as a family of 3....

Parker Ann....you changed our lives forever....and definitely for the better.

Our caterpillar/butterfly activities.

I guess we really only did a few. But here they are...

We made a hand print butterfly (idea from here).


We also made a fingerprint caterpillar. I have these little square ink pads, and so she was able to open and manipulate them herself.

I lined up Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar book to remind her that we were making a caterpillar.



I did help her out initially getting her to put the dots in a semi-straight ine. Then I added the eyes and the antenaes.
Those black dots were added by her. Those are the caterpillar's legs!




We made egg carton caterpillars. (idea from here)
Let's not forget Grace! She likes to watch!

Then I printed out this "Life Cycle of a Butterfly" book and had her color it. I was a little worried that this might be too old for her...but she really liked it. The pages have a picture of each stage in the life cycle: the egg, the caterpillar, the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. She can 'read' it to us. (I printed this from www.enchantedlearning.com)



There are so many different ideas and crafts out there to do that it was hard to choose. There are a few more I'd like to still do with her...so maybe in the next couple of weeks!

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