Tuesday, November 4, 2014

5 Months


Another month has flown by, and our girl just keeps getting squishier, happier, and more fun with each passing week! 

Here are some fun facts from her fifth month:

Sleeping:
Lydia's doing great sleeping lately. Most nights I put her to bed around 7:30 PM and she's up around 7:30 AM. She's still hit or miss on naps - some days line up perfectly and she takes two really long naps and a cat nap, some days she takes short little cat naps all day long, and some days she takes one long and two short...it's totally unpredictable and I'm OK with that. Honestly, a lot of the unpredictability probably falls on me - if I were to lock us inside and be consistent with her day time schedule she might sleep better. But that's just not possible when she has a busy big bro and a mom who is an extrovert ;) 

She takes three naps per day, and is still swaddled for naps and nights. We stopped swaddling with William when he was around 4 months old so I recently thought I'd try leaving Lydia out of the swaddle for bedtime one night. Not a good idea! I had to go back in and swaddle her back up. Girlfriend likes her tight swaddle! We'll try again in a few more weeks...



 Eating:
Last week we had a doctor's appointment and Lydia weighed in at a whopping 17 lbs 11 oz. She has more than doubled her birth weight, and is starting to eye our food. She got especially drooly this week when she saw my banana at breakfast, so we plan to start introducing some solid foods at the end of this month. I definitely think she's ready, but we've been instructed to take things slow since she does have some food allergies. Because of this, I'll be making everything from scratch for her. I'm really excited to see how she takes to eating solid food.


Milestones:
This month, Lydia has gotten very vocal! She squeals, coos, "talks", and has learned how to laugh...and y'all...her laugh...it's the sweetest, purest sound I have ever heard. It's very subtle and quiet, almost music-like, and it bubbles up from her sweet tummy, spreads throughout her entire face, until her mouth bursts completely open with a huge grin and the sweet laughter comes oozing out. I could listen to her laugh all. day. long. 

Just tonight, I had both kids in William's crib and William discovered that if he jumped on his bed it made Lydia laugh so of course he wanted to do it over and over again. It is so sweet to see her smile up at him and think he's just the funniest thing ever. 



Favorite Features:
We love Lydia's beautiful red hair. And it's getting longer and prettier each week! She also has the sweetest little red eyelashes that are a mile long and curl on the ends. I can't wait until we can do ponytails, pigtails, braids, and all sorts of fun hairstyles. :) 


Life with Big Brother:
Now that Lydia is becoming a lot more interactive, William seems really interested in her. He likes to say "Baby roll over, Mommy!!" every time she rolls to her tummy. And he loves getting her toys to play with (he'll quickly stop me if I'm trying to give her a toy and say "she not like dat one, she like dis one!" while he hands me something HE likes). He loves throwing her dirty diapers in the trash can, and covering her up with blankets. And! He even let her hold his beloved Bear for about 10 seconds one day until he noticed she was chewing on it, and he promptly took him back. ;) It's so fun to watch him with her lately. He definitely still gets a little territorial and jealous at times, but for the most part he's gotten adjusted to the idea that she's around for good. 

Our sweet, beautiful girl - we pray you never lose that magnetic smile and content, happy, joyful spirit. We love you through and through!






Friday, September 26, 2014

Morning Busyness - Summer Edition

In an effort to slow down and notice more, I've been trying to be intentional and document some of the normal bits and pieces of my day as a SAHM. Taking more photos of the everyday-this-is-not-that-glamorous-but-it's-real-life moments that make up memories, laughs, cries, tantrums, play, and learning. 

These were some of those moments...


Get ready for a William overload! I realized it has been far too long since I sat down and documented some fun things me and my sweet boy have been doing lately. It's hard to believe William is almost 2.5 years old! This summer has flown by, his speech has exploded, and he surprises us more and more each day with this dynamic sense of humor (which I'm certain he gets from his dad!). 


We spent a lot of time swimming this summer! This boy is like a fish and loves being in the water. I had high hopes of taking advantage of our local wading pool this summer, but it isn't very shaded so we realized after the first visit it wasn't a realistic activity with a newborn baby. So, we invested in a plastic kiddie pool and it became the biggest outdoor hit! 



One of our friends bought us a bug catching kit, and it has also been a fun activity. Most of the time, I end up catching the bugs and putting them into the container (something I never dreamed I'd enjoy, but when you're a mom of a boy, bugs are kinda cool!). William likes to add in rocks, grass and sticks for the bugs to eat. Oh! And our favorite pal, Bear came on our bug catching adventure this day. Bear is still quite the companion and is really starting to show his age lately. ;) 


The weather cooled off for a hot minute one random day so we ran outside and started up the fire pit. William had his first taste of roasted marshmallows. He described the roasted ones as being "dirty" and the unroasted ones as being "dee-wish-us!" ;)




The county fair came to town and it's always a huge hit. We didn't go last year because everyone got sick the morning of the fair, so we were determined to take the kiddos this year. Of course we chose the hottest day to go, but we managed to keep cool and have fun anyway. 



The highlight for everyone was the train museum. So neat! 


And William also rode his very first "roller coaster" ride with Daddy! He had a blast. 



Neither Nathan or I are very big on structured preschool...how does one even get a toddler to focus more than 5 minutes on an activity anyway?!?! But we do like to incorporate learning into our every day play. We've been having fun playing "Shape Hop" and other silly games using our sidewalk chalk. 


Basically, I just draw a bunch of shapes on the carport and William "hops" on the shape I call out. It has been a fun way to learn our shapes this summer!


Notice a theme with my photos? They're ALL outdoors! This boy would stay outside all day if I let him...we spend about 75% of our days outside, and sometimes even more if he insists on having a "picnic" for lunch. His all time favorite activity is probably scooping, shoveling, or "rolling" the rocks (he uses a paint roller) and dirt and putting them in buckets, dump trucks, piles, etc. It's an endless activity that can keep him busy for a long time!



We also went back to our favorite Apple Picking spot this year and picked lots of delicious winesap apples. 


Made plenty of messes getting creative with fingerpaints. 


Trying out our new fishing rod ;)


And when we're not busy playing, there's always work to do! William loves tinkering with Daddy's tools and fixing flat tires on his Cozy Coupe, or helping out with chores (his favorites include mowing the grass with Daddy, pulling weeds with Mommy, vacuuming, and unloading the dishwasher). 


Some of our favorite words/phrases he says right now include:

"I so excited!"
"Dee-wish-us" (Delicious)
"No Frank You" (No Thank You)
"I so proud of you!"
"Wittle" (little)
"I bought it at da Goodwill" (he thinks everything comes from the Goodwill, and usually thinks everything costs "twenty dowwers")

He's also quite the conversationalists and likes to insert himself into random conversations Nathan and I might be having. 

Parenting a two-year-old boy is one of the best workouts ever...it's lots of work, tons of fun, requires massive amounts of patience and braveness, but one of the most fun jobs I've ever had. There are very difficult days sometimes where it feels like all I do is discipline, correct, redirect, distract, etc. But there are also lots of days when I look out to see him doing something in the yard and have to stop and thank God for allowing me to be this boys Mommy. I am so blessed by him and definitely get a daily dose of laughter from parenting him! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Four Months



How are we possibly celebrating four months with our sweet Lydia already!??! Time has flown by wayyy too fast with this girl and we are loving every day with her. 

I cannot believe this always-smiling, always-content, happy, alert, and basically overall angel baby is the same one we brought home four months ago! Lydia and I had a rough start in the beginning as we worked through lots of troubleshooting to pinpoint the cause of her fussiness, tummy trouble and general discomfort. She never wanted to be put down (esp. on her back), cried inconsolably most of the day, and was always scrunching her legs up to her chest and arching her back in pain. Now I can hardly hold her because she squirms so much wanting to get down and kick those chubby legs and flail her arms and play. She is doing so much better! Praise the Lord for giving me discernment, wisdom and perseverance during these last four months as we worked tirelessly with doctors and pharmacists to get her feeling better. 

Some other fun facts from four months:

Sleeping:
We've pretty much got Lydia on three naps/day now. If she wakes up from her third nap too early she more than likely won't take a fourth nap so we just do an earlier bed time on those nights or else she gets fussy and tired before her regular bed time. Surprisingly, she doesn't wake any earlier in the night/morning to eat so I guess her body just needs the extra sleep. 

She averages anywhere from 6-9 hours at night before she wakes to eat, and then she nurses and goes right back down for another 3-6 hours. Our goal is for her to sleep 11-12 hours straight through without waking, and so far she's done it four times. Hopefully this continues to progress as she gets a little older!

At night time, she sleeps in her crib (with the mattress inclined), and she takes all of her naps in the Fisher Price Rock and Play (a lifesaver for any parent of a child with reflux!), although she is starting to outgrow it so we'll likely transition her to the crib for naps later this month. If we're out and about and nap time gets delayed, I just put her in the swing once we get home and she loves taking naps in that too. We purchased the Fisher Price Snuggabunny Swing and it has been a great purchase!

She is still swaddled but is becoming more and more interested in her fingers lately. I'm hoping once we start working with her on crib naps we can also work with her on unswaddling and maybe she will self soothe with her thumb. (she still gags with any pacifier we offer)



 Eating:
At her four month check up yesterday, Lydia weighed 16 lbs 1 oz which means she has doubled her birth weight. She's in the 95th percentile for weight and she is 25 inches long (85th percentile). Her head circumference was also large (85th percentile). 

She nurses 5 times during the day (every 3 - 3.5 hours) and still wakes once to nurse during the night. 

With William, we started solid foods at 4 months but since Lydia has some food allergies we have been instructed to wait until 6 months with her. I'm totally fine with this since her weight is good and I want to keep my milk supply strong. Once we start solids, it will be a very slow process because we don't want her to have an allergic reaction to anything. We'll totally skip cereals and go straight to fruits and veggies, waiting at least 1 week between new foods. We'll also be avoiding all dairy, soy and egg products with her until at least one year. 

Honestly, starting solid foods is a lot of work so I'm glad we're putting it off :) It might mean she doesn't sleep through the night as quickly as William did, but I'm OK with that. She's very fast during her night time feedings and always goes right back to sleep. 



Milestones:
Lydia is doing so many fun new things lately! She blows raspberries, squeals, laughs, and loves sitting in her Bumbo seat while we read books to her. We also dusted off William's old exersaucer and put her in it today for the first time - her little feet barely touch the bottom, but she had so much fun playing with the rattles. She's become much more interested in toys that light up/play music, so we've added a few of those to her play mat and she enjoys smiling at them. She also loves looking at herself in the mirror. (typical girl, I guess. ha!) 



Favorite Features:
We love Lydia's sweet voice! Her coo's, laughs, giggles, squeals, and sweet noises are such a delight to listen to. She has one of the sweetest little voices ever! 

Life with Big Brother:
We've had a few more instance this month where William is less than gentle with his sister, but I think those types of things will continue for a long time since they are so close in age. We never let his roughness with her go unnoticed and are quick to make him apologize and use "gentle hands." For the most part, he does really well with her and is still a great helper when it comes to grabbing burp cloths, diapers, a toy, blanket, etc for me. One evening, he wanted to read her a book so I snapped this sweet photo of the two of them together. He enjoyed showing her the animals and teaching her all of their sounds. ;) 





Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three Months



Figured I'd better post Lydia's three month update before she turns four months! Better late than never, right? ;) 

One thing I've learned since adding another little one to our family is that things like this blog, and other "nonessentials" easily go to the wayside. Although some days I desperately miss the given three hour timeslot that I used to affectionately call my "me time" (aka William's nap time), I do so love spending part of William's nap time with my sweet Lydia girl. I arranged the kids' schedules so that William gets lots of one-on-one time with me in the morning during Lydia's longer naps and Lydia gets lots of one-on-one time with me during part of William's nap time. Then, in the early evening hours we're all together as a family of four when Daddy gets home from work. Right now, this is what works for our family and I have to say...things are really settling in around here. In fact, most days, I can't even remember what it was like to have only one child in the house. 

Here's a few updates from Lydia's third month...


Sleeping:
Lydia is still doing great at night. Total, she's slept through the night 3 times but it hasn't happened in a few weeks now. She still only gets up once, so I really can't/shouldn't complain, but there's always that glorious feeling when your baby sleeps through the night the very first time. You think, "This is it! No looking back! A full nights rest from here on out!" When really, experience has taught me that sleeping through the night is a total spiral progress...or at least it was for William and it seems to be the case with Lydia too. The time of night she wakes to eat is all over the board...some nights she sleeps from her bed time feeding (7:30 PM) until 4-5 AM, and some nights she wants to eat earlier around 1-2 AM. This tells me one thing - her wakings are not habitual and they're legitimately due to hunger. So I definitely don't mind getting up with her in the middle of the night. She's also very efficient during the middle of the night, and goes right back to sleep afterwards. 

Naps have also gotten a bit more predictable lately. Her best nap of the day is definitely her first morning nap (usually from 8:30-10:45). Then she usually takes another longer nap and two shorter naps. She's getting very close to dropping her cat nap before bed, which is always fun because that means she'll be joining us in the dining room while we eat dinner. 


Eating:
I've officially reached what I like to call the "sweet spot" of nursing. She's still doing great nursing and we manage about 5 feeds per day, plus her middle of the night feed. She's nursing on average 15-20 mins (except at bed time and she likes to nurse longer then). At our last check in with the doctor, she weighed 14.5 lbs. Girlfriend likes to eat! I did get my first clogged duct this month which was no fun. It stuck around for about 48 hours, but thankfully it did not turn into mastitis. She still refuses bottles when we've offered them, and pacifiers, but she does seem very interested in her fingers lately. I'm excited for when we stop swaddling her for sleep...I'll be curious to see if she will be a thumb sucker! 

I'm still maintaining an MSPI diet (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance), and Lydia is doing SO much better. In fact, she's like a totally different baby from 6 weeks ago. I have been able to eat foods that contain soybean oil in them without her reacting, but I definitely have to stay away from all other soy and dairy products. It has been challenging, but I've become really astute at reading ingredient lists so it makes grocery shopping a bit easier. I'm also learning to love all of the dairy/soy free items available. 


Milestones:
Some of our favorite things this month are hearing Lydia almost giggle. We spend a good majority of her wake time trying desperately to get her to smile or laugh. Smiling comes naturally for her, but the giggling hasn't happened just yet. She'll inhale a big "squeak" and look as if she's just bursting to let a big belly laugh out, but I don't think she's quite figured out how yet ;) The biggest milestone this month has been the discovery of her hands. Lydia loves sucking on her fingers/fist or reaching out and grabbing toys. She also started kicking her legs more this month. I was trying to remember at what age we put William in his exersaucer because I have a feeling Lydia will really enjoy it too! 


Favorite Features:
I don't know where my children get their mile-long eyelashes but Lydia's are growing like weeds and are the prettiest little things. They curl up on the ends, and are light red. She's also got the prettiest blue eyes (for now). I hope they stay blue, but also know they might turn brown (William's were blue for about 9 months before turning brown). I also love watching her nurse. She curls up into this little ball next to me and just makes herself all cozy. When she's nursing, she also spreads her toes out and stretches them open and closed. It's so funny to watch her get so excited about eating :) 


Life with Big Brother:
I love seeing her "interact" with William. If he's in the room, her eyes are focused in on big brother and what he's doing, and she's smiling ear to ear. It's so sweet to see her admire him already. William is also very cute with her...he will say things like "She spits up!" and run and grab a burp cloth for me. Or he'll say "baby cryin! feed milk!" which totally cracks me up. 


Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Months


We're actually getting ready to celebrate 3 months of our sweet Lydia, so this post is a little belated. However, I really am trying to be intentional about documenting these updates (even if I'm a few weeks late!) because I love looking back on them and seeing how much my babies have grown. 

Where to start?!? Two months seems to have been our sweet spot. William seemed more settled into the idea of having "baby" around, I felt more and more like myself (and not some crazy hormonal, emotional, sleep deprived version of her), and Lydia seems to have picked up on a great little routine. 

Sleeping:
Sleeping started getting better and better this month. Lydia has given us 2 nights where she has gone 11 hours from her bedtime feed (7:30) until an early morning feed. Most nights, she averages 6-8 hours from bedtime until her middle of the night feeding (some nights are shorter), but she always only wakes once to eat and then goes right back to sleep. I can't complain!

Napping during the day has also gotten better this month. Lydia usually takes 3 longer naps and 1 cat nap before bed. We retired our old Fisher Price Aquarium swing that William loved so much and we splurged on a new Fisher Price Snugabunny swing for Lydia. She loves it. She either naps in her swing, or in her Rock and Play (another splurge we bought after we realized she prefers sleeping at an incline). When William was little, I was so concerned with using the swing so much because I didn't want to create sleep "props", but when the second child comes along you learn to be much more flexible with where they sleep - all that matters is that they're sleeping! ;)  



Eating:
Nursing is still going great! I am so happy we've made it almost three months with exclusively breast feeding. I'm not going to lie - we definitely had our challenges in the beginning. Everything from a tongue tie clip, cracked, sore and bleeding nipples, oversupply, reflux, MSPI, etc. We have pretty much dealt with it all! Fortunately, I have been working with a great Lactation Consultant and we visit with her once per week. She has been such a blessing! We are still working hard to pinpoint a few tummy issues Lydia is having, but I feel like we're on the right track. I'm currently on a no dairy, soy or egg diet to see if that helps and we're meeting with a new doctor Tuesday that I've heard great things about. I definitely couldn't have made it this far nursing without the amazing support of a local LC. And honestly, Lydia really seems to enjoy nursing so that makes it all worth it! 



Milestones:
It doesn't take much to get Lydia to start lighting up a room with her sweet smile. She is such a smiley little baby! This month she also learned to coo and seems very fascinated with her tongue. This month she also became more aware of her surroundings and gets easily distracted when we're nursing. :) Those pom-poms I hung above the glider in her nursery are a source of entertainment for her every time we sit down to nurse. She just looks up at them with such delight and smiles, coos, and "talks" to them as they spin around. 

Favorite Features:
Nathan and I frequently catch ourselves talking about how incredibly beautiful Lydia is. She's got her daddy's almond-shaped eyes and my eye color (for now), and her daddy's beautiful red hair and my button nose. And the rolls? They go on forever and I LOVE it. She's finally starting to get more wispy hair on top, but we have noticed the "bald" spot creeping in on the back of her head from sleeping on her back. This happened with William too at this age, and it's always so funny looking! I can't wait until she has a head full of red hair! How cute are red headed pigtails going to be?!?! 



Life with Big Brother:
William has definitely gotten more interested in "baby" (he has a hard time with L's, so instead of Lydia he still calls her baby). He asked to hold her for the first time this month, and he enjoys rocking her in her bouncy seat. He still has to be reminded on a daily basis to "be gentle" with her, but he's doing much better! Lydia smiles every time she hears him in the room, which I think is incredibly sweet. These two are going to be very good playmates this time next year! 

This particular day, I was taking photos of them with my cell phone and Lydia toppled over onto William. His response? "She's heavy!" ;) I couldn't stop laughing!



 Sweet girl - you've added so much joy to our home! You've made your mama realize how incredibly fast time flies and made me stop and soak up your smallness as much as I can. I am so thankful for you. Your sweet smiles light up our day!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2 Years

Although William has been 2-years-old for one month now, I couldn't let another week go by without sitting down and documenting some tidbits from his party and some facts about this fun stage I don't want to forget. 

Since we weren't sure when Lydia would arrive, Nathan and I planned to spend William's actual birthday as a family of four and keep it low-key, and then have a party with family/friends in mid-July after we'd settled in some. 

For some reason, William is obsessed with the Cracker Barrel billboards on the interstate and points them out to us when we drive anywhere. He emphatically yells "Cracker Buckle!!!!!" whenever he sees one. He had been doing this for months before his birthday, and we're not really sure why...he's maybe eaten at Cracker Barrel one time? When it got close to his birthday, Nathan and I decided what better way to celebrate than to take our sweet boy to the Cracker "Buckle" and let him have his pick from the menu. 

In true toddler fashion, William was quite the pill on his 2nd birthday - and even kicked and screamed his way into the car seat (even though we kept telling him "We're going to eat at Cracker Buckle. Yea!!"). But once we got there, he really enjoyed himself. He liked seeing all the signs hanging on the walls, the deer head above the fireplace, and of course shopping in the Cracker Barrel store. 


He was too busy coloring to smile for the camera ;)



After our lunch, we came home and surprised William with a blue cupcake. He knew exactly what to do!


I'd say he enjoyed himself ;)

He also got to open a few gifts, just from Mommy and Daddy


For his birthday party, we decided to host it at the nearby park. I knew William would love having his party outdoors, but in all honesty I planned it this way because I knew I wouldn't want to clean my house from top to bottom 7 weeks after having a baby. ;) 

We invited our Alabama family, our Nashville family, and one of William's BFF's. It was very low-key, and so nice to see so many people come out to celebrate William's birthday.

Lydia got to meet her Great Grandpa, Great Grandma, and Great Aunt





William was so cute and specific about his party details - he requested sandwiches, pretzels, fruit and cake. But not just ANY cake - he specifically requested vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting and orange stars. It must have been a good choice because all of his party-attendees raved about it. ;)

And now for the gushy stuff...

I really can't believe I'm even writing this post. It seems like just a few months ago we celebrated his first birthday. I have never seen a whole year fly by faster than it just did. I guess our move had something to do with it? Or my being pregnant? Who knows. But I hope they all don't go that quick. 

It also blows my mind to think that William just learned to walk a mere 8 months ago, and now he's running, skipping, saying 5-word sentences and planning his birthday party menu! I've so enjoyed watching his mind expand and seeing him go from a baby to a full blown toddler, but this phase also brings with it his strong will to be independent. It's bittersweet, but he's needing us less and less. 

I'm very proud of how brave he's become, how very rough and tough pure boy he is, how he likes to entertain his sister, how he longs to be by daddy's side every second, and how genuinely sweet he is to pray for his friends and family members each night, tell us he loves us, and say "I'm sorry" when he's done wrong. There's a big heart inside this little boy, and I'm so thankful that God blessed Nathan and I with the opportunity to help shape and mold him. We couldn't be more proud of you, William! We love you!