Thursday, November 22, 2012

Emma: 5 Months

Oh Squishy,

You are just so squishy that I can't help but call you that all the time!  You are sleeping now and I miss your little squishy face.  You are such a sweet little girl, so laid back and smiley.  Every time I get you out of your crib you give me the biggest smile...every single time!  Love that!!  You have also started the cutest thing - touching my face when I am holding you.  You reach up and put your little hand on my cheek with the biggest smile on your face.  It's like you are trying to tell me how much you love me.  Baby girl, you sure do know the way to melt my heart. 

You generally go down for naps and bedtime very easily now (with just 2-3 paci reinsertions) and with rarely any crying.  I often look on the video monitor a few minutes before the end of a nap and find that you are already awake, just rolling around (silently).  You truly are such a chill baby!  I LOVE this age!  If we could only get you to stop waking those 4-5 times through the night for a paci reinsertion. :-)

You are rolling all over the place these days and moving all across the room just by rolling.  You are very content with rolling and don't really have much of a desire to sit up yet.  You can sit up with the boppy behind you for support but you quickly fold forward, reaching for something in front of you and then end up on your belly, rolling around again. :-)

This was a big month in your life.  You had your first taste of table food this month.  We started with rice cereal on October 27 and you LOVED it!  We then introduced avocado, which you were not a huge fan of.  We tried it for a few days but you continued to spit it out, so we stopped and moved on to sweet potatoes.  You loved those!  Unfortunately you started pooping a lot less so I was worried about you getting constipated (like your sister did when she was this age) so I backed off the solids completely by the end of the month.  We will start again soon with oatmeal cereal instead of the rice, as I think that is probably what is causing the problem.  We also gave you a sippy cup of water for the first time this month.  You only tried that a few times and were mostly just using it as a chew toy, but when a little water would get in your mouth, you seemed to like it.

Not only was this month filled with fun firsts, but it was also filled with some drama.  The first mishap was Halloween night.  We went trick-or-treating with some good friends and you were a champ most of the night, but by the last hour or so you were starting to get pretty fussy (for you).  Since you rarely get upset, it is always surprising when you start getting fussy.  I just chalked it up to you being overtired from being out past your normal bedtime.  I put you to bed as soon as we came home and you fell asleep without any trouble.  But at 10:30pm everything went down hill.  You were wide awake and fussy.  Feedings, rocking, singing, gas drops, or the paci didn't put you back to sleep and I was at a complete loss as to what was going on.  You never were hysterical, just wide awake and agitated.  You were awake until 5am when you finally nodded off.  It was our worst night yet.  Not fun!  The next day you were still fairly agitated and not sleeping well.  When I was changing you out of your pajamas, I took off your socks and discovered the cause of all the fussing....there was a hair wrapped tightly around 3 of your tiny toes on your right foot.  Your toes were starting to turn purple and the hair was cutting into your skin.  I felt so bad and cried hysterically for a full 30 minutes, repeatedly telling you how sorry I was!  I was so scared for your little toes and probably would have taken you to the doctor if my parents (MeMaw and PaPaw) hadn't been here to assure me that you were okay.  I just felt so bad for being frustrated with you the night before for not sleeping and was upset with myself for not finding the hair sooner!  Since that incident I have been checking your toes and fingers very often!

The other drama of the month was your first trip to the ER and admittance to the hospital on November 14.  YIKES!  It is such a long story, but I will try to just give the highlights.  Daddy was out of town for a business trip so I was on my own with you and your sister.  All day you had sounded congested with rattly breathing, but were eating well and happy, with no fever.  So I decided to not take you into the doctor's office, for fear of wasting everyone's time.  I put you to bed and everything was fine until you woke up at 11pm, struggling to breath.  I held you for an hour trying to get you back to sleep.  I took you into the bathroom with hot water on in the shower (steam) to try to clear your congestion....that didn't work.  Then I tried cool air instead...nope.  Tried the humidifier (which had been running in your room all night already)...nope.  I was out of options and could see your little chest sinking in further with every breath.  I knew you weren't doing well.  I ended up calling a friend to come to the house and stay with Hannah while I took you to the ER.  After a breathing treatment and an oral steroid (and a Tylenol suppository for your 102 fever), the doctor was still not seeing enough progress, so they admitted us for overnight observation.  You were diagnosed with croup which really is not a big deal, but since you are still so little they were being extra cautious.  I held you in my arms the entire night and the following day because anytime I tried to lay you down, you were a mess.  I didn't mind all the extra snuggles though.  I stayed up all night and day (38 hours in total) just to be sure you were okay.  Overall it was probably an unnecessary trip to the ER, but when it comes to you and your sister, I will always air on the side of caution.

We finished out this crazy month with a trip to MeMaw and PaPaw's house in Florida.  It was your first trip to their house and your longest car ride yet (7.5 hours).  You did great!  You slept most of the way down and back and only had one minor meltdown when we were just 5 minutes away from MeMaw and PaPaw's house on the way down.  The highlight of the trip was your first Thanksgiving, when you met two of your great-grandmas...Maga (Great-Grandma Hunsinger) and Great-Grandma Schaefer.

Our schedule this month started stretching out a little bit, with 60-90 minute wake times.  You were eating every 3-3.5 hours and napping for 1.5-2 hours after the first three feedings of the day.  We completely dropped the 4th nap and you are awake from around 4pm until bedtime at 7pm.  For the majority of the month you were nursing 1-2 times in the middle of the night, but by the end of the month you had a couple nights where I was able to hold you off until your first morning 11-12 hours with no feedings!  YEAH!  Hopefully this trend will continue.  You continue to be a speed eater, averaging just 5 minutes per feeding (one side only) and 30-40 minutes total for the day. 

5 Month Stats
- Diapers: Size 3
- Clothes: 6 & 9 months
- Shoes: Size 1 or 2
- Weight: 16 lbs. 5 oz.
- Height: 26"

Squishy, I sure do love you!  I love your laid back personality and the joy you exude to everyone around you.  I love that you are in no hurry to learn more skills because neither am I.  I want you to be my little baby forever!  Promise?  You are such a bright light in our lives and we love you more than you will ever know!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hannah: 32 Months

Hannah Banana,

Wow! What a crazy month we have had! We spent the month dealing with more sickness, celebrating Fall and Halloween, starting ballet lessons, voting in the presidential election, and just having fun!

This month started with yet another runny nose for you! :-(. I tried a natural cold remedy that I found online (1T honey mixed with 1t cinnamon four times per day) but I honestly didn't notice much difference. Thankfully you are not usually bothered by a cold and still have a ton of energy and are just as happy as can be. You did have to miss one day of school this month because of all the snot though. :-(. At the end of the month I also noticed a rash on hour cheeks, chest and arms. It lasted for just two days and didn't bother you at all, so not sure what it was....possibly fifths disease or a reaction to a new pair of pjs you wore. Who knows!? During Emma's 4 month check up I also mentioned to the doctor that you are still walking on your tippy toes. She checked the range of motion in your feet and referred us for a physical therapy evaluation at the local children's hospital. We will make that appointment soon.

We took our annual trip to Cagles Family Farm to take pictures in the pumpkin patch and kick off the Fall season. You spent most of the time on the bouncy pillow thing and we had to literally pull you off of it to head home. You would have jumped for hours if we had let you! You were also a big fan of the pumpkin bread we had there for snack. ;-). The next day we went to the pumpkin patch at the church behind our house. Since both you and your sister started melting down the day before at the farm, we weren't able to purchase pumpkins there, so we picked them out at the church. We picked a big one and two little ones (one for you and one for Emma).

I tried to plan several fun at home activities this month. The first was building a pillow tower, which gave you hours of fun. You loved climbing on it and falling off. Lots of giggles and smiles despite feeling sick that day. We also made a sock puppet which you were in love with for several days! You held me hostage for the entire first day saying, "Talk to Hannah" and showing the puppet all of your toys. You also surprised me this month when I realized that you know nearly all the letters of the alphabet now. It had been a while since I "tested" you on them and you knew all but 5 or 6.

Naps were hit or miss this month, with days of napping vs. days of not napping being 50/50. We also noticed a dramatic decrease in your appetite this month. You eat very little at every meal and waste so much food unless it is a "snack", which you seem to have no problem eating! The few foods that you did like this month were feta cheese, watermelon, "oakie milk" (oatmeal), salmon, grilled cheese, candy, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pasta, meatballs, and cheese in general. One of my favorite quotes from this month was after I had a very rough night with Emma and I told you I needed a nap. You said, "Lets go eat. It will make you feel better Mommy." Haha. More of your other favorite quotes this month were, "Mommy, how does your neck feel?" (I have been going to the chiropractor for a while now because of my chronic neck pain), "Oh yeah", and calling me "Momma". Your go-to prayer at bedtime is "Heavenly Father, thank you Jesus for this wonderful day. Thank you for protecting us and making me feel better. Amen."

Your favorite things this month were the moon (when you see it you get so excited and say "hi moon"), going to the "toy store" (any toy that has toys...but you are so good because you never ask us to buy anything and when it's time to go you simply put the toys back and walk away with no problem), your pink lovie (you carry it around everywhere with you in the house but we have a rule that it has to stay in the house or in the car), when mommy talks for Emma to you ("hi sissy"), the song "Children of The Lord", when daddy does "roll the baby" in the towel after a bath, and singing yourself to sleep at bedtime and nap time. One of your least favorite things this month was washing your hair at bath time because of your fear of getting water in your ears. :-(.

We celebrated Halloween in a few ways this year. Our first activity was trunk or treat at your school. You dressed as a princess in one of mommy's old ballet tutus and a cute! Next was your halloween party at school. When mommy got to the school for your party I saw your class walking down the hallway and you were the line leader for the day! So cute! Our final celebration was on halloween when we went trick or treating with your friend Anne in her neighborhood. You dressed up as Little Bea from your favorite bedtime story because my was way too cold for your princess costume that night! For the first few houses you were very timid but after you realized what was happening, you had a blast and didn't want to stop! You also had a major obsession with our neighbor's blow up pumpkin. You would ask several times each day to "see that man's pumpin" and always laughed at the witch that sticks out of it.

We had your first parent/teacher conference this month at school. It was surreal to be on the parent side of a conference! The teacher pointed out that you are very attached to your friend Hannah and that you really don't play with anyone else. That made me a little sad because I want you to be confident enough to be your own person and not be a follower! But I also realize that not everyone can be a leader or should be. We will just have to be very mindful of the friendships that you keep as you get older as you will likely be very influenced by others! Speaking of had a very hard time sharing with your friend, Anne this month. She came over for dinner one night with her parents and you spent more than half the night throwing a fit over every single thing she touched. I hope it was just a combination of you being tired from no nap that day and the time change, but whatever it was, I definitely did not like it!

One of mommy's dreams came true this month when you started ballet lessons! Mommy took dance lessons for 15 years and absolutely loved dancing, so when I found out that I was going to be a mommy to a little girl I was beyond excited to pass on my love of dancing. Your first class on on October 29. We went to the local ballet store to buy your first leotard, tights and ballet shoes and you were so excited to be a ballerina! Your first class was a success and you loved getting to dress up as Snow White (each week you will dress up as a different character from a story). You dressed up as Sleeping Beauty in your second class and learned first position.

You came with mommy when I voted in the presidential election and really liked it. However, the only reason you liked it was because it meant that you got to play on the playground at the church (our polling place) after I finished and they gave you an "I voted" sticker. ;-). When I told you that our candidate didn't win (the next day) you said, "Awww, maybe next time." :-)

Other 32 month stats:
-You wear 3T and 4T clothes (size 4-6 leotard and size small tights)
-You wear size 8.5 shoes (size 9 ballet shoes)
-You wear size 6 diapers

Hannah Banana, you make me laugh. I love your sense of humor and the joy you bring us is immeasurable! We love you more than you'll ever know!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Life with two!

Life has been so hectic that I haven't kept up with the blog except to write monthly summaries for the girls (very surprised I have been able to keep up with that even!). But I have a 30 minute window right now while both girls are in bed - not necessarily napping, but that's for another post! :-)

Emma is 4 months old now and Hannah is 2.5. It has been a crazy, but wonderful 4 months! Other than the first week or two of crazy postpartum hormones and Hannah's rocky transition to being a big sister, things have truly been wonderful. Yes, we are tired and no Emma is not sleeping through the night, but truly I am loving having two little girls! This is such a precious stage of life and I know just how fleeting it all is, so I am doing everything I can to enjoy each moment! (Of course don't ask me how I am liking it at 3am!).

Hannah truly is the best big sister, always wanting to play with Emma and giving her hugs and kisses galore. She loves to tell her to "make good choices during nap time" and "don't cry, okay?" If Emma is crying (VERY rare) Hannah is sure to try to help make her feel better by saying, "What's wrong Emma? It's okay!" She loves to make silly faces at her to try to get her to smile, which doesn't take much these days. It makes my heart smile when I see them interacting and look forward to watching their relationship grow!

Emma is such a joy! Is she the perfect textbook baby, no, but then again who has one of those?? But she really is so laid back and happy. She very rarely cries and if she does there is always a reason (hungry, tired, or in pain). She is on a fairly predictable schedule which makes discerning her cries that much easier too. She started out life very serious (it took us a long time to get her to smile!) but she has since made up for it by smiling all the time! She is so incredibly squishy and I just can't help but squeeze her (gently of course) every time I hold her...don't you want to squeeze her right now too!? While she does wake 1-2 times ever single night to eat I truly am okay with it and know that it will eventually end. It's funny how much more laid back I am this time around. I'm not sure if its because Emma is more laid back or because I know she is my last or what, but I can honestly say I am enjoying motherhood so much more these days!

I do think that my hyperemesis experience has helped in making the transition to two a little easier. After 10 months of feeling so sick, anything is easier than that! I used to be up all night feeling nauseous, so being up all night with a hungry baby is so much better! So despite how awful HG was, I am thankful that it has given me a greater appreciation of the little things!

Overall the transition has been a smooth one which I am so thankful for! My biggest fears going into having two babies were that I wouldn't love the second as much as or the same as the first....absolutely NOT the case! It can't even be explained, you just have to trust me...this will not be an issue! Another fear I had was that I was going to take away from the special bond I have with my oldest. This is also not true! While I do not have as much time to spend one on one with Hannah there are so many special memories we are forming as a family of four now instead. I still get my alone time with Hannah when Emma is napping (baby's sleep a lot in the first few months!) but when they are both awake things are a bit more hectic. But that's what life is about...the crazy times turn into the best memories!

Thank you Lord for blessing me with two beautiful girls (inside and out)! I am blessed to be their mother and I pray that You would remind me of that in the crazy times and in the times of quiet (as rare as they are)!