Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy 6 months Christian!! (picture explosion!)

My little guy is 6 months old today!!  To remind myself how time flies, here is a look back at the last 6 months and all of his firsts.

First minutes, and first words of comfort from Mommy.

First hour
First Katie kiss

First photo shoot

First trip to the pool (for Katie's swim team practice at 4 days old)

First tummy time

1 Month
First bath

First time contemplating the mysteries of the universe.

First stroller ride with sissy at the helm.

2 Months 
First smiles

First geek picture

First sleepy looks

3 Months

First pass out on the floor giving Mommy a blessed break from the screaming (pre milk-free)

4 Months

First play times sitting up

First plane trip (Raleigh to Phoenix for Uncle Dave's wedding!)

5 Months

First solids

First Halloween costume (puppy dog)

6 Months
First tuxedo!
First book!


My talkative baby

The new sounds Christian is making. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

I am so blessed

Today was one of those days that made me throw open the windows, drink in the smell of fresh air, and thank God for all of the blessings in my life.  The weather this week has been beautiful, 70s during the day and cool at night and it looks to be absolutely perfect for the weekend with nary a rain cloud in sight.

Christian is starting to have a regular sleep schedule during the day and for the last TWO DAYS has taken 2 2-hour naps.  We have had 2 almost completely cry free days.  Considering that I spent 4-6 hours a day holding him while he cried, screamed, and spat-up, for MONTHS, this is a time to truly savor.   He found his voice a couple weeks ago and likes to talk a lot.  I wonder if he'll try to keep up with Katie. :)

I am so glad that I took this year off and I am so blessed that we were able to allow me that freedom.  We are finally getting to spend time as a family and participate more in our community.  Katie had a play date today with a neighbor girl and they had a great time playing house in the playroom and then drawing with chalk on our driveway in the glorious fall weather.

Tomorrow we are going to meet friends at the gym, then the pumpkin patch to play.  Then we are coming back to our neighborhood for a Halloween parade and cookout where we will meet up again with the girl Katie played with today and her family.

On Sunday we get to worship with friends and then Katie gets a chance to learn and love music in the church children's choir.

I didn't manage to get any pictures of Katie today but here are a few of Christian in all his post-colic cuteness.

I am so blessed!!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

First Solids!

Christian had his first solid foods last Sunday October 2nd.  Overall, he took to them well.  He is already asserting himself in that HE wants to put the spoon in his mouth.  He's not really sure what to do with it after that though...
Cool!  Something new!

Hmmm, interesting...Now what do I do with it?
Num num num...
Since the first solids I have been trying to feed him a few bites once a day or so (although it has turned out to be more like every other day).  He hasn't really figured out what to do with it yet so I'm just giving him 6-10 bites each time until he gets more used to the spoon and chewing and swallowing thicker substances.  For now, eating is an experience, not a source of nutrition. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sooooo tired...

Actually, I'm not talking about me. :)  My daughter is the MOST ENERGETIC CHILD I KNOW.  She is the kind of child who gets hyper when she's tired.  My mother commented once that Katie wasn't tired when I was trying to put her to bed.  The truth is, Katie has not been tired for FIVE YEARS.  As a baby, she could only go to sleep when there was nothing else to do.  I couldn't rock her to sleep, or hold her or even be in the room.  She wouldn't sleep in the car seat (at least, not long enough), or in the pack and play downstairs or out shopping or anything.  I had to put her in her bed, close the drapes, turn on the music and leave the room.  If I did that, she would move around and fuss for 5 minutes (the equivalent of turning around 3 times and then flopping down) and then she would crash and sleep.  She slept through the night early and, after she was 3-4 months old, she slept two hour naps twice a day.  Like clockwork.

But she's never tired.  She never rubs her eyes, or droops sleepily or plays until the battery finally winds down.

Until now.

Katie is tracked out this week and I sent her to a gymnastics camp that I purchased on Living Social for a steal.  $80 for 5 days 9-3.  When I picked her up yesterday on day two of camp, I wish I had had a camera and been thinking about taking a picture.  Half of her hair was falling limply around her face having given up on the ponytail I so carefully put in that morning.  Her face was haggard and unsmiling and her feet barely lifted off the floor as she walked.  She didn't look like she could pick her feet up off the floor.  I finally found something that completely, totally tuckered her out.

It's good to know that the Energizer Bunny does, eventually, run down. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

So how ARE you doing, really?

So, my new year's resolution to write more on my blog (new school year) is not faring so well, but, as always, I have a very good excuse.  I had hoped by this point, to have Christian on a more predictable schedule but that remains a lofty, seemingly unattainable, goal.

Katie's infancy was very rough, for 3 months.  At three weeks, she stopped sleeping during the day except for small cat naps of 15 minutes or less.  That was just enough time for me to drift off on the couch before being summoned.  I didn't know how to set up a sleep routine with her.  From 3 weeks to 6 weeks was the hardest time ever since she wasn't sleeping through the night, she wasn't sleeping during the day, and I had no one around to help (Jim went back to work and all the family went home).  Those were very tough days for me.  At 6 weeks, it got much better when she started sleeping through the night but it was still difficult.  At 10 weeks, a friend gave me some advice on how to set up a sleep/nap routine with her and by 12 weeks she was a champion 2 hour twice a day napper.  Once I gave up nursing at 3.5 months, I felt completely liberated.  We could finally go places, do things, and rejoin the world.  (We were never very coordinated at nursing outside the house.)  After that, Katie was an easy baby who would talk when she woke up, not scream and cry.  She was happy when she was up and she took those clockwork 2 hour naps.  As long as I was home and she was in bed, I could count on those naps pretty much every day.

I knew the beginning would be hard with Christian as well but it has been much harder than I expected.  I really expected that it would be easier because I have so much more knowledge and experience than I did with Katie.  In some ways it has been easier.  I am more pragmatic about the problems and finding work around solutions than I was with Katie because I have tried some of them before and I am confident enough to try ANYTHING to see if it will work.  That has really helped because Christian could be referred to as a colicky baby.  He hasn't been diagnosed as colicky and he isn't completely inconsolable but I have found myself having to hold him, in some fashion, from about 12-6 each day, or listen to the screaming.  He has had really bad reflux that causes him to choke and gag, even while nursing.  He can spend hours some afternoons choking and spitting up on and off for hours.  I have even resorted to letting him watch TV with Katie when I really needed to do something and I needed him to stop fussing for a short time.  The reflux wakes him up from his naps after 20-45 minutes and then he is cranky because he is overtired.  If you feed him, it calms him but he might spit up more because his tummy is too full...We can't seem to win for losing some days.  I have watched a lot of Netflix as I can do the rock and sway for hours in front of the TV without going completely crazy.  Occasionally he has watched a bit of an episode of Charmed with me.  I'm working my way through season 3 now...

As I said, I am more pragmatic about parenting and fulfilling everybody's needs.  I do what I need to do to get done what needs to get done.  And I'm okay with that.

Christian has recently started turning a corner, I hope.  Yesterday and today his first nap was a full TWO HOURS long.  I wanted to cheer!  Today, his 2nd nap was short but I was able to soothe him back to sleep and he slept another full hour before waking up to eat again.  He also ROLLED for the first time!  Back to front going to the right.  He then got properly stuck but that was great! :)  I had asked the doc just last week if I should be concerned about the fact that he wasn't even showing interest in rolling.  The doc reassured me that his muscle development is just fine but that 18 LBS 2 OZS is a little much for a not quite 4-month-old to move just yet! :)  Not to worry, he is moving now, and showing real interest in toys and getting to them.

He is putting everything in his mouth, his favorite chew toy is human fingers, his or mine.  He is starting to fuss in the bouncy seat, although he is supposed to sit up after each meal to help with the reflux, but he seems to prefer being held or lying down.  Since he is becoming a little more mobile, he may feel confined in the seat.  He is also getting a bit heavy for that (need to check on the weight limit...), when he kicks he bounces a LOT. :)  I am encouraging sitting on his own and he held himself up for probably 30 seconds this afternoon before diving to the right.

His smile warms my heart and enchants everyone around him.  He loves to watch big Sissy dance and sing and she is getting better at entertaining him.  He looks at me like I hung the moon and that is the most amazing feeling.  He loves to hear me sing and will smile in response.  On occasion, it has even stopped the mid afternoon crying jag and put him to sleep.  (SCORE!)  I have taken a few good pictures (he is not especially interested in smiling at the long black nose when I point it at him so he has been tough to photograph) and I will endeavor to post them this weekend. His 4 month doctor visit is next week so official stats to come!

If you are my friend or family member and I have forgotten your birthday, the gift you brought, the thing you asked me to do or bring, or something else of extreme importance, please forgive me.  I'm doing my best to get the most important tasks accomplished and sometimes the most important ones don't get remembered long enough to get written down.  Please feel free to pester me as necessary if you need me to do something.  My brain and sanity will return, but it might be awhile. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Late flight

Katie sits at the controls of the B737-300 we took from KPHX to KRDU.
We had a fantastic time at Katie's uncle's wedding in Phoenix. Katie's energy level goes up when she's tired, and she demonstrated extraordinary energy at the reception! The next morning, she was awakened about 8:30 Phoenix time. She hadn't slept enough, and what with the 3 hour east time change coming, we didn't want her to nap (though she still needs to), nor was there any time she might have, except on the plane leaving Phoenix at 4:20 p.m. and arriving in Raleigh at 11:40.

I asked her to sleep on the plane. I sang to her. She covered my mouth and told me to stop singing. Then she laid her head on my lap and begged me to sing again, promising to listen and rest. 3 bars into that song, she interrupted me, so I stopped, and she begged me to sing again. And so it went, with her changing positions, me singing, and her changing positions again. She was wired. Before long, she got to wailing. On the plane. For everyone to hear. Then she cried out, full volume, "I am NOT TIRED!" Several of our fellow travelers laughed, and that made me laugh.
I gave her my phone and she played with it peacefully until we had to put it away for landing, and she behaved just looking out the window until landing. We stopped at the cockpit for a quick tour on the way out.
On the way home, she was quite excited to report speed and speed limit as reported by the GPS and visible to her in the back seat. She's learned to read numbers reliably lately, and she loves to practice. Liz, who was driving, asked her to report the numbers silently. 30 seconds after the second request, Katie was sound asleep.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Preschool Graduation Song revisited

In case you didn't understand the words in the group song from graduation, here is Katie performing an encore at home, complete with the proper attitude.  Enjoy! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kindergarten addendum

Last night at dinner after her first day of Kindergarten (which she loved, by the way), Katie informed me that she didn't want me to just be at the bus stop and pick her up.  She wanted to just run home down the street.  Really?! I'm being banished from the bus stop on the first day of Kindergarten?!?  She was sad to learn that our school district requires that all Kindergarten and 1st graders have an adult pick them up at the bus stop every day.  If a known adult isn't there, they will return the student to the school and call the parents from there.  She's stuck with me for awhile, even though, "Other Kindergarten and 1st graders were just going to their houses!"

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's official...

I am the mother of a Kindergartner.

Leaving the house with her packed backpack.

Waiting at the bus stop.  We made it in time!

There she goes!  Her first bus ride off to a new adventure.

Good luck Baby Girl.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Preschool Graduation

Lest you think that I only have one child, let me brag on my other one for a little bit.  A few months ago, I realized, after my friends had posted about it, that I needed to register Katie for Kindergarten.  Kindergarten.  Like, real school.

Wow.  How did we get from here... here!?!

Attending Kindergarten orientation was surreal.  It just doesn't feel like this stage of her life could be over that fast!  Her teachers told her that they had to sing loudly so that the parents would cry.  I am here to admit that I balled the whole time.  Here are my favorite graduation memories:

Here is the video of my favorite graduation song ever.  It was hilarious and I still love hearing her sing it. :)

We forgot to take any family pics of Katie in the graduation robe while we were at school so we borrowed one of the robes and took some pics in our backyard.

How grown up she looks!  

Katie loves her little brother!

Me and my kiddos.

 A rare family picture.

 The girl I am truly sending off to Kindergarten...TOMORROW!  (Do you think we should warn the teachers...?)

Love you my special girl!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Newborn Photo Session

One thing I didn't do with Katie was newborn photos.  I just wasn't with it enough before and right after she was born to consider doing something like that.  The first professional pictures I have of her are from Sears in November when she was 6 months old.  I was LIVID about the photo session, although we did get a decent picture or two, it wasn't worth the time and money spent.  Fortunately, Jim loves to take pictures and Katie was very photogenic (still is!) so we do have lots of pictures that I like from when she was a baby.  Since the Sears fiasco I have been looking for a professional photographer/studio who could regularly take good pictures of my kids and my family.  So far, I've had very little luck. friend Laura Case has recently started her own photography business, Laura Case Photography.  Like me, she has searched in vain for an affordable and GOOD professional photographer to regularly photograph her twin boys and the family as a whole.  Her solution was to learn how to take awesome pictures herself!  I have watched her photography grow over the 5 years that I've known her (we met when our kids were 6 and 8 weeks old in a mom's group) and her photography is AMAZING!  I was thrilled when she asked to come take newborn photos of Christian.

I originally told Laura that I didn't feel like he was totally relaxed in any of the pictures.  When I went back and looked at the pics again, I realized that's not entirely true.  I think this is about as relaxed as he gets, however, outside of a food coma.

This is a more typical look for my son. He's a shoo in for Grumpy Old Men 3.

I'm so over this.  Are we done?

 "Num, num, num, know?"

 "What up dude?"

I can't wait until we get together again to do the whole family!