Tuesday, November 10, 2015

July to November - Busy Busy Busy

When last I posted LO had just turned 5 and LT was 7 months. LO is still 5, but LT is now 11 months.

What has happened in between?

-LO is enjoying Kindergarten. I met with her teacher last week for the Fall conference and the report was glowing (apart from a behavior issue appearing at both home and school for which time is likely the only resolution). She's currently displaying both DH's aptitude for numbers and my reading ability. Though the latter is something she prefers to display on her own terms and not upon request. 

-I had a birthday. It was exactly the kind of day I wanted and I received the things I had requested plus some extras. It was good in a very low key and non-expansive way.

-LT still has issues with stomach acid flushing back into her throat when she lays flat so continues on twice daily medication for that. She's usually compliant about taking it - I'm sure the strong sweet cherry flavor helps with that! At her 9 month appointment she was in the 90th percentile for both height and weight so it's not affecting her growth! She currently ranges between 12 and 18 month clothes, depending on how they are cut. Despite the 5 month different in their arrivals, LO's wardrobe has only needed minimal supplementation and/or updating to work.

-LT recently upgraded from taking one or two steps on her own with encouragement to walking short distances for her own purposes. She still favors crawling for speed, and puts on the after burners when she's trying to get away from us. With all the work she's been doing on walking, her language skills are not as advanced. Most sounds start with a B - it's a very versatile phonic! - volume and tone also serve to express her points, whatever they might be.

-We've been to the beach (aka parenting in an alternate location), LT and I joined friends at the local zoo, and to two different pumpkin patches. The last activity, included once as a family, and once as a Kindergarten field trip on a cold and damp overcast day. It was not the magical experience it could have been.

-LT is a good eater and enjoys many solid foods. Her tooth count stands at 6 - 4 up and 2 down. She continues to nurse enthusiastically and has started the (not so) charming activity of grabbing at the front of my shirt when she would like a drink. LO is also teething, 2 of her front adult teeth have come in without the baby teeth of the same location departing her mouth. Their eruption and consequent moving of the baby teeth is causing LO pain as she uses those teeth for eating. Two of her six year molars have also arrived. They have been much less problematic.

That's all for now, must go get LO from Kindergarten.

Monday, July 20, 2015

5 Years

Can you believe LO turned 5 ten days ago? Me neither!

It seems like it was both forever and not that long ago that I was despairing that IVF was never going to work. And yet, here I am with a 5 year old and a 7 month old.

LO is starting kindergarten in the fall; we chose to keep her in the private kindergarten at the preschool she's been attending to allow her a bit longer in a smaller class of 12-16 instead of 26-28 in the local public school. Come September she will move from the pre-K class to the kindergarten class - a change in building and schedule. Instead of dropping her off any time before 9, drop off will be at 9, and pickup will move from 12:30-1 to some time between 3 and 4 (I need to look that up). It will be interesting to see how she reacts to the longer days. And by interesting I mostly mean that I think it's going to be a rough transition.

I've had LO in swimming lessons since April. She had a couple months of once weekly private lessons followed by two sessions of 3x a week group lessons. The first focused on familiarity with the freestyle stroke, water safety and fun things like how to dive to retrieve things from the bottom of the pool. The group lessons have been more intensive on freestyle stroke, breathing and endurance. Next year we plan to join the neighborhood pool so she can/will be on the swim team.

There has been a huge increase in attitude and sass over the past few months. I am not a fan. Things like repeating what we've said in a bratty voice, blowing small raspberries when we ask her to do things, blatant disobedience in doing exactly what we've just told her specifically not to do. Boundary pushing at its finest, and no shame in being reprimanded for her negative actions or pride in being praised for the good ones. It's exasperating!

But then she'll do something helpful without being asked like pick up a toy LT's thrown or clear her plate and cup after dinner and it gives me hope that something is getting through even if we don't always see it.

DH has really stepped up on doing things for and with LO since LT was born. He takes care of breakfast and getting her dressed if I've set out her clothes the night before, and I've recently stepped back from bedtime in an attempt to get LT to bed earlier. I miss singing LO to sleep but it's really going much smoother to divide and conquer since they both go to bed around the same time.  Unfortunately since most of my time is wrapped up with LT during the day thanks to her continued lack of napping anywhere but on me and now crawling everywhere I feel like most of the time I spend with LO is filled with my fussing at her for one thing or another which makes it much harder for me to see the good things going on. Attention one way or another, I'd prefer to give it for good stuff though, and try to recognize it when I see it.

We had two parties for LO - one for family, at home, and the second for friends at Monkey Joe's (a indoor facility similar to Chuck E Cheese except with lots of inflated bounce structures instead of games). For the family party I made a strawberry cake per LO's request instead of the usual carrot cake. The icing alone takes a pound of butter, but is the perfect accompaniment to the cake. The friends party was the biggest yet with over a dozen attendees. Not sure if it was the location or my managing to get the invites out six weeks in advance which helped! Everyone seemed to have a good time, even the boy who lost his shit at having to leave. Whoops!

Monday, July 13, 2015

7 Months R2D2

In the past month LT (aka R2D2) has mastered sitting up without using her hands for support when placed in a seated position, continued to teethe, transferred to sleeping in the crib, and started to crawl. Not army crawl, but honest to God hands and knees belly off the floor movement. Still no gates up yet, but I am grateful that our family room is a step down so she can move around to her little hearts content in there. Even if it does mean she consistently beelines for the back issues of some magazines I need to relocate.

The crib sleeping is thanks to my enduring several mostly sleepless nights during our family "vacation" at the in-laws beach house before the 4th of July. No room for the rock & play in the car so had to use the pack & play left there from LO's younger days. It sucked, but was better to do it when I didn't need to keep up a normal schedule & DH was there to take point on LO's needs.

A side effect of her sleeping flat in the crib is having to restart the reflux medication. Realized after about a week or so that she was waking up coughing & crying, and arching when crying again. I got her back on the medicine and that has stopped. Glad there is a way to help her but hoping she grows out of it soon!

The two front top teeth have been threatening to come through since shortly after the bottom two emerged but threatening is all they've done. Poor girl. I do believe she'd chew on anything she can fit in her mouth in an attempt to feel better.

She continues to grow; 9 month clothing is starting to get snug and I'm subbing in some 12mo things. On Saturday she wore the 12mo dress LO wore for her first birthday to LO's 5th birthday party. It was only slightly large! Her hair has been coming in slowly, very blonde and much straighter than LO's, and it looks like there may be a slight widow's peak developing in the front. From a distance she still looks bald!

Like her sister, she's a huge fan of food. The only thing she's not really appeared to like are plain green beans - and I can't blame her for that, since they have a bitter edge to me. I've been much slacker about waiting between introducing new foods this time around. Neither DH nor I have any allergies (well, I react to kiwi but not significantly so I just avoid it for the girls), and LO has had no issues with anything so far so there doesn't seem to be need for much caution. Unlike last time, I have made very little of my own baby food - she will only nap on me, and will not transfer elsewhere so nap time is much less productive than I had anticipated. But food equals growth, which leads to the next point...

Growth & wanting to be carried all. the. time. has lead to a diagnosis of De Quervain's Tendinosis on my left hand. My dominant hand. My carrying hand. It's not horrible so far, I'm managing it with a hand brace, ibuprofen & icing, but not doing as much of the latter two as I should to prevent it degenerating further. 

R2D2 really loves playing in the pool - she kicks and splashes and acts like she wants you to let her go so she can try to swim properly. I keep telling her she has to wait until she masters not breathing in the water when she goes under, this displeases her. She also initiates peek-a-boo with available materials, loves grabbing at the cats (they are less a fan of this), things that crinkle, playing in the exersaucer & doorway jumper, and food. She's also had a couple of temper tantrums when non-toys have been removed from her attention - the kind where the air starts getting sucked in, she starts turning red, and you know a massive wail is coming. Those are fun! Not really.


Today I spent some time packing up the wee baby things from NB to 3-6mo to take over to a friend of mine from college who is expecting girl/boy twins in August. (side note: she used the same RE office I did for LO, but the other RE was her primary.) Unusually for me I was falling into the 'give all the things, get them out of my house' rubric vs. my usual pack-rat tendency. Guess that means we are really and truely done. Which, also, is sad. In a way.

Gotta run, baby cries for a top-up before longer term sleep.

Friday, June 19, 2015

6 months - ouch!

My aching back, and arms, & shoulders.

Dear God, this child always wanting to be held or carried is breaking me!

At the 6 month appt LT was 26.5" and 17.5lbs. Length, height & head circumference all placed her right around the 75th percentile.

Sleep is better-ish...I generally get about 2 good nights where she sleeps on her own with one or two brief wakings and then one night where she will not settle unless I pull her into bed with me and let her nurse to her tummy's content. Confession: she's still sleeping in the rock &play since I haven't been brave or well rested enough to make the transition back to the crib. I'm sure that will be coming soon. Wish me luck!

Naps, however, are a crap shoot. The first happens between 2-3 hours after waking, after that it depends on the day and what else is going on. Oh, and that thing about 2nd kids sleeping through anything? It's a big fat lie!!! LO was a much better napper - in terms of location and duration. LT still only naps on my lap or in her car seat & transitions do. not. happen. ever. I'm betting that is related to her lack of crib sleeping at night.

At 6 months and 10 days LT broke through her first tooth.  The second popped through 2 days later. Many others are lined up...yikes!

I started solids the weekend after LT hit 6 months. Tonight she finished off a 3.5 ounce pouch and was whining for more. Off to see if Amazon sells them cheaper!


Monday, May 11, 2015

5 Months (LT)

Bullets b/c taking advantage of happy baby in exersaucer...
  • Exersaucer: Didn't have one for LO, though we used one lent to the owners when I went into the office to work. We got one for LT a month ago and it was not a hit, but now she will happily spend 5-10 minutes in it, and we're about to need to bump up the legs to the middle height. Right now her favorite part are the tags on a fabric section. What's with babies & tags?!
  • Weight: Rough weighed LT on Sunday and she clocked in at right around 17 pounds. I knew she was a chunk but that is some serious heft.
  • Size: And explains with her length why she's comfortably into 9 month clothing already.
  • Food: Still getting just breast milk and that 4oz bottle of formula before bed.
  • Sleep: She's hit a sleep regression recently to my dismay. The 5-6 hour stretches I had been counting on to keep my own sleep levels healthy have been replaced by 2-3 hour stretches with brief wakings for a quick snack in-between. 
  • Coffee: = my new best friend. We're.like.this. The local starbucks now knows my order & has a nickname for me. I also signed up for auto-reload on the Starbucks card. La la la la, I don't want to know how much I'm spending to be able to function!
  • I splurged on an Ergo (well, as much of a splurge as using accumulated gift cards for most of it can be) because the Bjorn was killing my back. Why didn't I spend this money sooner?! So easy to get on, LT is usually happy in it, my back doesn't kill me after 10 minutes, easy to grocery shops and do other errands in vs. using the bucket when LT is awake. Am now a convert!
  • LO alternates between being extremely helpful without prompting and throwing huge pissy tantrums at being asked to do the simplest of things. I am assured that at 5yr 2wk there will be a massive improvement.  I really hope so because DH and I are about done with her lack of respect and blatant disobedience. Usually at times when we have our hands full dealing with Regan and she knows she can get away with it. Too smart for her own good, that one!
  • Whoops, time's up. Hope your Mother's Day was better than your expectations.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

19.5 weeks (Little Two)

So, in the past month, Little Two has rolled over many more times, able to go both tummy to back, and back to tummy, but only one at a time before she gets upset.

At her 4 month appointment she was just over 25" and 13 1/2 pounds.

She wears mostly 6 month clothes with a few 9 month outfits thrown in. I've started running into the issue with having a half-year offset on the girls for hand-me-downs: since LO was wearing 9 month clothes mostly in the winter there aren't many lighter weight outfits. So much for that savings!

Going through the tubs of clothes I've realized what a crappy job I did of sorting as I set things aside. The most frustrating thing so far was finding the 6mo sized bunting I knew I had and could have used during the colder months mixed in with some 12-18 month clothes. I also need to track down some of LO's summer hats, I hope I find them before summer ends! This time I'm actually labeling the tubs and putting the outgrown clothing in with the right sizes instead of just lumping them all together as I find them. It should make passing them along easier once I can bring myself to do so.

Still no progress on picking out a rocker for her room so I can stop using the bed for night feedings. Thought I had found a strong possibility but a full price out including the necessary ottoman caused the price to almost double from what I was anticipating and willing to pay. Back to looking I go.

I'm hoping LT will soon start to settle into a schedule in regards to sleep. Some nights she sleeps through a good 5-6+ hours, some she wakes every 3 hours, and some she wakes even more times than I want to attempt to remember.  The days are irregular also - some mornings she gives me a good 2 hour nap where I can transfer out of my lap into the swing, and some days she'll only doze on me and if I dare try and move her to the swing she'll scream like a banshee until I nurse her back into said doze. She remains not a fan of the car seat so I'm never sure if a car ride will be quiet or loud with indignant screams of protest about not being in my (tired) arms.

LT has discovered the joy that is petting (read as pulling the hell out of their fur for as long as they put up with it) the kitties. Oh, (and because my train of thought led from fur on hands to fur in mouth and then the logical exit of fur) she only poops once or twice a week. Quite a difference from LO who pooped much much more.  She's quite the efficient user of breast milk! Speaking of which, apart from her nightly 4oz bottle of formula before bed, LT remains almost completely breastfed.

At the 4mo appt the ped suggested I could start cereal if I wanted. My reaction? No, thank you! I'm happy to delay that mess until she starts grabbing the food on my plate. I've done the excited to start solids thing, and I'm now convinced it's not worth the extra effort until she shows interest.

So that's where things are with LT. Hope you are enjoying the spring!

Monday, March 23, 2015

15 Weeks - Meet Chatty Cathy

In the past couple of weeks Little Two has gotten very chatty. Nothing like real words, of course, but many repeated vocalizations; my favorite is one that has the same patterning as 'I love you.' And she will 'talk' back in a nonsense conversation when you engage her.

She has not repeated the roll from tummy to back of the other day. Boo!

This girl continues to be a snuggle-bug, happiest when sitting on my lap or being carried if I'm walking around. Unfortunately for my arms/neck/back the two carriers I've tried have not been popular. She also prefers to nap on me to any other location. It does make it difficult at times to get things done!

I am a bit concerned that she is tilting her head to one side, not for head shape but that the muscles of neck her are compensating for an issue. Will be addressing that with the ped. at her next appointment.

Nursing continues to be successful. I miss the weekly weigh-ins I was able to do with LO, because it was a trackable data, but LT maintains her chubby cheeks, wrists, and thighs while seemingly growing out of clothes before I've gotten them washed for a second wearing, so I think she's doing just fine there. I continue to give her a 4oz formula bottle at bedtime followed by a full nursing session so her tummy is nice and full and usually guarantees 5-6 hours of sleep. On the off nights it's more like a total of 3-4 for me. Blergh. In other news, my coffee addiction is in full swing.

LO is impatiently waiting for LT to get big enough to play with her. Apparently we adults having to do adult things and not play with her ALL. THE. TIME. is too boring for her or something. On the flip side, she has taught herself to do a cartwheel, without any gymnastics training/exposure at all. How crazy is that?!

I guess that's all there is here, LT actually transferred to the swing for a nap (all hail the Fisher Price Cradle & Swing) and I have a literal mountain of pots and pans awaiting my attention in the kitchen (see above regarding difficulty getting things done) which I may finally be able to get a handle on. Hah!)