Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Fun

On the 4th of July, we (Indiana, Casey and I had) a ton of fun at the Park Cities Parade and other festivities at Goar Park. Baby Gigi stayed home with Nana Cindy.
Petting the donkey. The other animals, including the baby pigs weren't as keen on being petted, and Indiana wasn't interested in animals that were playing hard-to-get. Mommy chased the piggy, though. Mommy likes piggies.

At the fire station, they had a target set up and let kids shoot the hose. Fun. There were booths giving away popcorn, snow cones, lemonade and ice cream, and a few games and bounce-houses.

But Indiana's favorite part, by far, was the parade. There were fire trucks, throwing candy. He LOVED it. It took him a few minutes to figure out how it worked...but then he was up there, running after the candy with the other kids, dancing to the music and waving his little flag. He was PRECIOUS. Watching him have so much fun made it fun for us. His joy is infectious.
They even gave the cute kid a Popsicle.

The next weekend, he stayed at Jack and Mamie's house.
They went out into the woods, had watermelon.
Even went to church and made friends. He loves the cute.
Back at home, he's "helped" make brownies. Oddly, he really doesn't care for the baked cookies or brownies nearly as much as the raw dough or batter. Or maybe that's not odd at all.
And he's gone to the pool with Daddy, lots. Love the big grin.
And "helped" Daddy put together a bookshelf. He so looks like the cat that ate the canary here. Loving it...but not sure that he's allowed. There wasn't a drill bit in there, so it was allowed.
Saying "cheese" at the top of the "mountain"--the steps of Dallas Hall at SMU, after a run with Daddy.

And still, loving trucks. He had his first official playdate this week, with a friend from school, Eli. Eli's mom picked him up from school and I met them with Giselle at Eli's house. Indiana apparently told them all about construction trucks along the way, and learned some finer points  about fire engines. It was nice, having some adult conversation time with Eli's mom who also has a newborn, and Eli and Indiana seemed to get along really well and didn't make too much of a mess. ;)
Playdate, success. 

In just a few a few years, he'll start school and have friends who live close-by, riding his bike all over...but for now, he's still small and needs help. Everyday, though, he shows more independence and more interest in doing things himself,  like wanting to "help" me make dinner. 
(AKA get in my way!!! while I make Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas...a double batch because they're so good that the leftover double batch didn't last 24 hours =( But he's still my sweet boy and wants kisses for his boo-boos and books read to him before going night-night. 

He's growing up, but not too fast, thankfully.

Friday, July 18, 2014

12 Weeks

Baby Girl is already twelve weeks old! Can't image life without her. She is so sweet. I love her sweet little head, so soft to the touch, so irresistible to kiss! And her little tummy, arms and legs are starting to round out, even more deliciously kissable.

12 week status update: She is still sleeping in Mommy & Daddy's room, in both the swing and the bassinet. Most nights, she'll have a longer stretch sleeping from dinnertime to 11-1, then a couple 2-3 hour stretches. She had one miraculous 7 hour stretch sleeping in the swing, but that was a one-time wonder, at least for now. But even if she doesn't sleep for super-long at a time yet, she almost always goes back to sleep after a 10-15 minute feeding. She eats about 10 times a day and is now wearing size 3 month clothes. Overall she's a very calm and happy baby. She does have fussy times, usually right around dinnertime, but she loves sleeping in the swing, and that almost always calms her down. She sleeps in Mamie or Mommy's arms sometimes too, because she's too sweet to set down. She likes it when I talk or sing to her. She smiles and coos and burbles.

Weeks 9-10:
 We like baths...very soothing.
 And being cozy and warm. I think I have a picture of Indiana in exactly this same pose. So sweet snuggled in a towel.
 Cute little skirt!
 Isn't she lovely? That creamy skin, bright blue eyes. She's a stunner.
But we make funny faces too. Since there's lots of pooping with all that eating. And her poops can be gas-powered and shoot up and out! I don't know if I should change diaper types/sizes, or if a few leaks are inevitable.
 There's nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby!

Weeks 11-12:
 Princess Piglet. So dreamy propped up on the Boppy.
 Sharing some cuddles with Daddy and brother.
 Getting some QT with Nana.
 And we've found our fingers. Slurping (loudly) is fun.
Sweet little girt just fell asleep on my shoulder. Love cuddling with her.
 This is a good position for chatting and singing. I get lots of smiles this way.
 Learning to use our hands in her cute little bubble dress.
 Squeaky clean!
 Sweet little yawn.
 Love that belly!!
Lots of cuddles from Mamie.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

For Sale: One 3-yr-old boy, potty-trained, will wake you up at the crack of dawn.

Little man has been quite the character this week. Yesterday, Casey overheard me asking, "What have you done?" At 5:45 am, mind you.
This must be what a mogwai looks like before it turns to a gremlin. 

Our son has always been an early riser. It's never been an issue though, as at school they taught him really well not to get up without permission from nap time and that carried over to home. Even when we moved him out of his crib into a toddler bed, he wouldn't get up without permission. Now his bedroom is upstairs, and he generally will play in his bed or room until we get up and then he'll call down and ask to come downstairs.

Until this week. It was started with the thunderstorms Tuesday night. He didn't want to go to bed and instead wanted to sleep in our bed. Verboten. No babies in the bed. We already have one child sleeping in our bedroom (in a bassinet). At 1 or 2 am, he's calling loudly for Daddy. Casey ended up going up there and sleeping in the guest bedroom for reassurance. So, when he comes down AGAIN in the wee hours, I escort him back upstairs and point him down the hall. At 7 am, I peak in and he is head-to-head, sleeping next to Daddy. Aw, adorable. Not really. Ugh. 

The next night, at midnight, he's calling for Mommy. He knows he's not supposed to come downstairs. So, he says, "I need to go pee-pee." Man, he is too smart. That one phrase, no matter what, will cause any adult to drop everything and cater to him. And he knows it. Crap. So I take him to the potty, but he doesn't go. I escort him back upstairs. An hour later, he's back. "I need to go pee-pee." I escort him straight upstairs to pee. Again, nothing. At 5 am. At least he pees then. Now, the baby woke up at 11 and 4 to by this time (or well before this time) I'm fed up.

So, we get a clock that has a red and green light for his bedroom give him strict instructions not to come down until it turns green. The next morning, he comes down at 5. That light ain't green. "I need to go pee-pee." I escort him back, he pees, and tell him to wait for the light. But I watch him through the video monitor. He stacks up some mats and gets the clock, plays with it for a while, and put it back. After a while, I come out, and he's on the floor by our bedroom door, peaking through the crack. Ugh!!! We go back up there moments before the light is set it go, plug it back in, so he can see it works. Then, we come downstairs.

And what do I see? Paper towels, strung across the kitchen like Christmas lights. What have you done? Well, it appears that after stacking mats to get at his clock, playing with it and returning it, he ventured downstairs, spilled a glass of water on the table, pushed a chair over to the counter to get a paper towel but doesn't rip it off...just pulls and pulls and pulls, like his own little streamer across the kitchen.

As a mother, I appreciate his problem-solving skills and realize that his heart is in the right place, but HIS BUTT SHOULD STILL BE IN BED!!!

This morning, I knew it was coming. Even with a pillow over my head, I could hear him from his spot laying prone on the floor facing bedroom door, loudly singing "Twinkle, Twinkle." Again, I escort him upstairs and explain he needs to wait for the light. He can play, "read" but must stay upstairs. He actually fell back asleep and then finally came down after the light went green at 6:31. AM. On a Sunday.

If he does it again, I'm putting him on Ebay.
Whether he likes it or not. Doesn't he look just like Tyrion Lannister, aka Peter Dinklage, when he's mad?

 "Chopping" greens, like Mommy.

Reading the funnies.  Aw, sweet.

Want him?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Potty Training Sucks

This post is all about the little man. I have posted lots about baby girl recently, but he's really been center stage the last two weeks as I decided it was time to potty train. 

He needs to be out of diapers by August for preschool and to move up to the next class at church. Seeing that he's 3 yrs 2 months, and hasn't shown ANY interest in the potty, it was time to put a fire under him.  I was waiting and hoping that he'd show more than a passing interest in being clean. Nope. Or using the potty. Eh. Or wanting to wear underwear. Not yet. Or just potty train himself. Whatev'. Or maybe the teachers at school would do it at school for me. Not happening. 

Crap. I'm his mom. Can't pass this buck.   
We go and buy a truck. Specifically a car carrier truck. (And a baby potty and a potty seat and a stool and undies and books for kids and adults about potty training.) Ready, set, go.

Day One (of one million...argh!) Wednesday, June 4th.
Straight to underpants. My rational (and potty training book #1) is that it would help him be more aware of his needs. And it did. He did not like being wet. Me neither. Or the carpet and chairs being wet too.
Checking out the equipment. 

So, I hover around him, following him around with the baby potty, reading him books, playing with trucks, sitting on the potty for endless periods, or asking, urging and pleading with him to try to use the potty. I have M&M's ready to dole out for every attempt, which is the only reason he even bothers. Mostly, he just sits, toots and exclaims, "I did it!" No, baby, you didn't.

He has had four accidents, including one while sitting on the potty--peed straight onto the floor. After that, the commode was persona-non-Grata to him.  I eventually gave up and let him put a diaper back on when he asks. And, to put a cherry on it, he drives me batty begging for the car carrier, even though I explain that he gets it when he goes pee and poo in the potty. He ignores this and continues to whine and beg and even attempts to climb up and get it from on top of the fridge (and has an accident, meanwhile) until I hide it upstairs.

What.have.I.done?!? This is the black hole of parenting. There can be no escape. Child must be potty trained, so into the deep darkness we go.

Day 2-Thursday. We start the day by asking him if he wants to wear underwear, and he enthusiastically says yes, which was encouraging, and cute. No accidents all morning, but only  because he's holding it in. Four hours later, I give up, emotionally exhausted, and let him put the diaper back on. So, I read more toilet training books, websites. I post pitiful status updates on Facebook and a plea for prayer on Instagram. And since I only ever post pictures of my adorable kids or how fantastic a runner or cook I am, I must be desperate.

Day 3:  Friday. Casey gets him to pee outside in the backyard and into the urinal at the pool. Breakthrough!!! Much rejoicing. I quietly hope that Casey will take this over. He is obviously better at this than I am. He should be in charge.

Until I watch my child poop in the backyard. This has backfired, literally.  At least we have a pooper-scooper back there, but this is not a rabbit-hole that we want to fall down.

Day 4: I think the worst moment is when Casey and I look into the backyard, exactly one minute after he strenuously denied the need to go, to watch him squat and dump INTO his underpants.

Or maybe Saturday at the grocery store, when he has an accident, right as Giselle starts wailing, so I'm breastfeeding her in the car while Casey tries to clean him up. We manage to get the groceries home and eat Chinese food for dinner in defeat.

Day 5: Or maybe at church, after at least 3 different appeals to pee during the service, he lets loose in the crowded foyer after church. Casey uses every single napkin to wipe up the puddle on the floor.

Day 7: Indiana starts "Summer Camp" preschool two days a week. In the rush of the morning, Casey forgets to tell the teachers that he's potty training and in undies, so he had an accident,  and then he refuses his teacher's urging to use the potty and has another accident right as I'm picking him up. 

Day 9: The second day at school, they're better prepared, but he still refuses to go, "I can't!" so they leave him in his naptime pull-up. I don't blame them at all. Discussing it with his teacher, I hope to find company to my misery, but all the kids in his class are already potty trained except two that are partially potty trained. I do NOT like coming in last. Now I am completely determined that he will go in the potty.

Day 10: Friday, I hold him hostage in the bathroom while he screams "I can't!" trying to force his way out of of the room while I block the door with my body, begging him to try. It was ugly. I see him in therapy over this very moment later on, but I persist until I hear the baby crying. I fought the toddler, and the toddler won. He pees in the yard. I'm surprised the grass survives the onslaught. 

We ask his school to switch him from two days a week to four because Mommy can't handle the strain. (Did I mention I also have a newborn whom I nurse every 2.3 hours, including 3-5 times a night?!? Pity me, please.

Over the weekend, Casey mentions over dinner that we need to up the ante to get him to go in the potty. He's right. We start offering toys from a goodie bag that Nana Cindy brought to help with the potty training that I hadn't yet tried. He pees in the backyard into the baby potty,  but only because I shove the potty in the path of the stream. He gets a prize. Next time, he aims for the potty. OMG. OMG. This might work.

Day 12, Monday: It starts to work. Teachers discovers that little man prefers the urinal. He's game. No accidents. Another toy from the bag.

Even more exciting, he actually tells me he need to go while in the pool, so we rush to the bathroom. He balks when faced with the potty, but I tell him it's okay if he pees on the floor. (The floor is ALWAYS wet in there...I think they just hose it out but it never really dries...ick.) Anyway, he does it!!! He makes his offering the the porcelain god and doesn't spill a drop. And, he's the one that initiated. He's getting it. He's getting it!

He goes three full days with NO accidents, either at school or at home. With the prizes from Nana's goodie bag, he's going in the potty, mostly the baby potty outside, but inside a little. But still no poop in the potty.

On Day 1, 000,000. No, really, on Day 14. He poops in the baby potty (with some persistence and quick positioning from mommy). Twice. I'm calling it a win.It's been two week. We all need a win.
 Car carrier!!! 

He plays with it for a full hour. We dance. We sing. High fives, text messages to Daddy and Nana.

Day 15, no accidents. The pressure is off. We are getting there.

We're far from finished. Nap dryness and night time dryness are hurdles that we do not yet have to face. And I know there will be accidents. But we're getting it. We've passed through the black hole and come out alive on the other side. 
I'm so proud of you, Big Boy. And I would be proud of you if you went to prom in a Depends.

But don't you dare.

Sweet Giselle is 8 Weeks Old!

At her check-up Tuesday, she weighed 9 lbs 8.5 oz and measured 21.75 inches, so she's in the 20th and 25th percentile. Small, perhaps, but she's gained two and a half pounds and nearly two inches in six weeks, and that is pretty impressive. She's a good eater, for sure. Her check-up went great,  and even though she got three shots, she barely cried at all.

I just had to switch out her clothes from newborn to the 0-3 month range, which makes me a little sad to retire some of the darling outfits, but there are surely lots more darling outfit to come. :-) Dressing a baby girl is surely a lot more fun than boy's clothes. Indiana does have some pretty funny jammies, like a superman costume with a cape included, and he loves that.
Also, we officially moved her to her bedroom for the night. I asked the doctor if he thought that was a good idea, and he said it was fine. I remember that Indiana slept longer once he was in his room, so I thought it was time to try it. I fed her at 6 pm and had to rock her for a little while and put her down to sleep at 7. She slept for a good three hours, then I nursed her again at 10, 2 am and 5, which is pretty decent for her. But after 5, she started fussing, I eventually brought her back into our room, nursed her again, and eventually Casey got up with her and put her in the swing. I think Casey was able to get more rest, and I know in the long run, Gigi and I will too.
As I was putting her to sleep, I read some of my old blog posts of when Indiana was this age, and realized that I am WAY behind in blogging about my sweet little girl. I want to preserve these moments and memories, best I can.  I don't want to spend a lot of time comparing them, but the experience of caring for a newborn is certainly easier this time. It's probably a combination of more experienced parents and an easier-tempered baby. Not that she doesn't have fussy times, generally, she cries very little. Either she's hungry, cold or tired, and it's getting easier to anticipate those needs. Her hardest time to settle down is the afternoon/evening, but swaddled, in the swing, with a paci, she almost always will settle down and sleep. But Casey and I have definitely started to make a dent in the carpet next to the swing. Lots of e-book reading there and during nursing sessions.

She's also hit the rolling milestone a few month early.

To you, baby: Giselle, you are a stunner! I love you, so much. When you nurse or sleep in my arms, I love stroking your perfect, sweet little head and ticking your little neck. I love kissing the soft skin of your cheeks, your temples, your neck, your little round tummy. I LOVE the pouty little face you make when you're done nursing: you stretch with your arms up by your face, arch your back and puff out your cheeks and lips. Oh, it melts my heart! You are so cute! I love your big, blue eyes, so bright and aware, looking around already, taking in the world. I so look forward to watching you grown.
 Oh, the pouty lips!!

And, as a special gift to Mommy on this day that you reach 8 weeks, you did your first 5 hour stretch between feedings, from 7:30 pm to 12:30 am, with one paci trip and one other feeding before 6:30 am. Thank you, my sweet. But even in the middle of the night, longing for sleep, I treasure being with you. I love looking down at your sweet little face cuddled in my arms. Never again will you be this little. This vulnerable.  This is need of me. But I will always love you. Always treasure you. Always take care of you. Always be your mama.