Thursday, March 30, 2017

Greetings from Busytown

Oh, hi there. How you doing?

It's been busy around here.

R1 is 6 now and taking 1st grade by storm. She lucked out and ended up with the gifted and talented teacher when we transferred from the private Kindergarten to public school. This week she's been doing the testing to be in the G&T class next year. She keeps busy with various activities, swim team over the summer, and recently started an introduction to gymnastics class that she is enjoying. We are having some testing done to help figure out whether some ongoing issues she is having are limited to anxiety, or are something bigger. Either way having something to actively treat or explain why should help all of us, and her education as she moves forward.

R2 is 2 and started half day preschool two days a week at the beginning of February. She occasionally gets weepy about Mommy not being around, but otherwise enjoys her time and adores one of the teachers. She does her best to keep up with R1, and many times has more success than I anticipate. I finally weaned her the night after her second birthday. Cold turkey for naps, bedtime, and overnight. It was literally more painful for me to deal with the engorgement issues than to make the decision that it was time to stop, and R2 barely put up any resistance. Perhaps she was ready to move on as well. In any case, sleep for both of us has mostly improved since then.

We added a new cat to our house in February when she showed up on our back deck looking for food. For a free cat, the expenses have added up quickly, but she's very tolerant of the overly effusive expressions of adoration shown by both girls.

As for me, there's a never ending stream of laundry and the people and animals I live with expect to be fed on a regular basis, so keeping up with those things along with regular errands and doctor visits and such keeps me running around most days. My expectation that R2 starting preschool would give me some time to relax was quickly proven false, but I try to find quiet time when I can carve it out.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Quarterly-Ish Update

LT turned 1 in December. Since then she has learned to run, has sprouted more and more teeth, and had her first ear infection with antibiotics. Reflux remains an issue - though the Pediatric GI consult said that the final cut off is 18 months. After that, it's a concern. She wakes me up anywhere from 3-4AM for a top up feeding. Yes, she is still nursing, and I've been co-sleeping with her after that wake-up for months.

LO continues to enjoy Kindergarten, is reading like a champ, will happily occupy herself with a book or 3 without prompting. She is, however, starting to exhibit some anxiety/perfectionistic tendencies which need to be addressed before she moves out of the smaller, more personal class in her private kindergarten into public school. As LT gets bigger LO enjoys playing with her, though it also leads to more conflict!

I started Lexapro in the fall. With it I'm a much less volatile parent, though still feel overwhelmed with life on most days. It feels like a treadmill that's set fast enough that I'm just barely able to keep up and hang on, but not able to catch up much less get ahead. I'm sure continuous sleep deprivation is not helping one little bit.

Christmas was good.  Family came to us and both sets of Grandparents spent the night and were around for the events of the morning. There were no spectacular gifts but everyone seemed to be satisfied with what they received.

The past two weeks have been awful. Simply awful. Our dog died in her sleep on the 7th. She was 13.5, had exceeded life expectancy for her breed, and had had a good day without any indication that anything was wrong. Today (2/20) we had to put our younger cat down. We thought she was mourning the dog, but it turns out her kidneys had given up the ghost. Which leaves us with one cat, the neurotic one who will likely drive us to once again replace the lost cat before we are ready because of his inability to be happy as an only kitty.

And that's the news from here.

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' 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.