Friday, October 11, 2013

Hannah: 37 Months


This stage is a fun one!  You are knee deep in the pretend play stage and I love it.  You got dress up clothes for your birthday and your favorite is the pink waitress costume.  You are the cutest waitress I have ever seen.

While I love most everything about this age, I do not like the pooping struggles we have been dealing with around here.  You refuse to even try to poop on the potty, always saying, "I won't".  You only go every 2-3 days or longer and only in your diaper (at night or nap) or even rarely in your panties. 

You still walk on your tippy toes 24/7.

We spent a week in Panama City at Grandma and Grandpa Vaccaro's house (March 23-30).  You absolutely loved the jumpy pillow at Pier Park and the beach. 

You are such a funny little girl.  Just the other night you were laying in bed with Daddy and you asked him to tickle you.  You stuck your arms up over your head and said, "I have my arms open and stuff."  HAHA

We had your 3 year well check-up this month (late) and you did GREAT!  I give all the credit to your favorite TV show, Daniel Tiger.  Thank you very much for having a doctor visit episode Daniel!

Riding a tricycle can be added to your can do list this month, although you still need lots of help.  You can also walk up the stairs alternating feet very well now.  However, going down you always lead with your left foot.  These were skills we were told to work with you on at the physical therapy evaluation we had a few months ago.  Unfortunately you are still walking on your tippy toes 24/7, so we will need to start some sort of physical therapy soon.

37 Month Stats
- Favorite foods: carbs, broccoli, candy ("special treats"), meatballs, peas, plain yogurt, cereal bars ("Kashi bars"), frozen blueberries, carrots, hummus, beans, cheese
- Least favorite foods: strawberry yogurt, strawberries
- Favorite TV show: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Friday, March 22, 2013

Emma: 9 Months

Sweet little squishy,

I am thrilled to say that you are FINALLY feeling better!  You were sick for nearly your entire 8th month of life, so this was a welcomed change.  You are back to napping pretty well (2x per day) but nights have continued to be a struggle.  We started letting you cry it out a little in the middle of the night this month.  The first night we started you woke at 3am and I nursed you for a very short feed and you went right back to sleep.  Then you woke at 5am and Daddy tried to rock you back to sleep and changed your very wet diaper.  That didn't work so we let you cry for 15 minutes or so, which was SO hard to listen to!  I decided to give you a small bottle of pumped milk (in hopes of breaking the nursing for comfort habit) and you drank only a little bit of it.  I put you back down and you cried for about 10 more minutes before falling back to sleep around 6:15am.  It was so hard hearing you cry and knowing that if I nursed you, you would fall back to sleep peacefully.  However, this was one of those moments where I had to focus on the bigger picture and choose the harder option.  The following night we decided it was time to drop to only one middle of the night feeding.  It was a tough night with some crying, gas drops and a bottle of water, but you did it!  On the third night you woke only one time to eat and slept the rest of the night peacefully!  AMAZING!  Unfortunately this was not the end of 2 middle of the night feedings forever as you still had a few nights where you needed 2 feedings, but this was definitely a turning point.  Last night you made it the whole night with no feedings for the first time in your life!  You still woke up once, but I just held you for a few minutes and you went right back to sleep.  Huge progress!

At the beginning of this month we started giving you only finger foods and squeezy pouches of baby food.  You LOVE feeding yourself and eat much more when you can do it all yourself.  The only bummer with this new found freedom is how messy you get, often requiring a bath after mealtime.  Some of your favorites are sweet potatoes, green beans, mango, any carb, peas, and blueberries (not your favorite, but this was your first month ever trying them).  You have a horrible habit of throwing your sippy cup of water onto the floor after every single sip.  This creates a fun game of go fetch with mommy at every meal, which you seem to enjoy.  Stinker!  :-)

Your second tooth broke through this month (bottom left), which explains why you are chewing and sucking on everything these days  You learned how to climb up several steps with no help, have been cruising along the furniture, finally started crawling on your hands and knees, and scoot everywhere on your bottom.  You are a mover!  You are absolutely obsessed with the tv cabinet - always opening the sliding doors and pulling things out.  You started saying the "p" sound this month and have been very noisy the past few days.  I'm guessing that you will be getting another tooth soon, based on how fussy you have been the past couple days.

Baby girl, you are absolutely precious.  You remain a serious baby with limited smiles and giggles, but when you do show us that gummy grin, it melts our hearts.  Your open-mouthed kisses are my favorite and your crazy hair that sticks straight up reminds me that you are still just a little baby, which I love. 

9 Month Stats
- Clothes: 9 & 12 Months
- Diaper: Size 3 during the day & size 4 at night
- Schedule:
7 or 7:30am - Wake, Nurse (5 min), Solids, Play
2 Hours after waking (9 or 10am) - Nap
1.5-2 hours later (11 or 12pm) - Wake, Nurse (4-5 min), Solids, Play
2-2.5 hours after waking (1 or 2pm) - Nap
1.5-2 hours later (3 or 3:30pm) - Wake, Nurse (4 min), Play
6pm - Solids, Bedtime Routine (bath as needed, pjs, diaper)
7pm - Nurse (3-5 min), Bed

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hannah: 3 YEARS OLD!

Happy 3rd Birthday to our "Little Peanut"!!

3 years is that possible?  This past year has FLOWN by!  Your third year of life was filled with so much excitement and so many changes!  The biggest of all was that you became a big sister.  And let me just say that I am so proud of you!  You are such a wonderful big sister!  Emma is blessed to call you "sissy".  I can't believe how big you seem this year compared to last.  There is a huge difference between 2 and 3 years old.  You are truly a little girl now, no longer a "baby".  I have so greatly enjoyed watching you grow this past year and look forward to many more years to come!!  You are such a sweetie, learning to explore your independence (this can be hard at times, but we know it is a necessary skill), loving, cuddly, happy, and full of energy. 

Here's what makes you YOU at THREE....

You are officially POTTY TRAINED!  I honestly didn't think I would be saying that for a LONG time.  We have struggled so much with potty training!  But at the beginning of this month, we tried again and succeeded!  The first few days were HARD...lots of screaming and tantrums and more holding episodes, but by day 4 things were much better!  Peeing is not an issue at all now (AMAZING!) but pooping is.  This doesn't bother or surprise me much as I have always heard this is a struggle when potty training.  Your issue is not that you are having accidents, but that you are holding it for several days saying you are "scared".  Breaks my heart.  You have resorted to pooping in your diaper in the middle of the night which is annoying because of the middle of the night wake up call, but honestly I'd rather you do that then hold it continuously.  I know you will figure it out eventually!

You can now identify nearly every letter of the alphabet (capital and lowercase), although there are some that still trick you up.  You also know every color and shape without a problem.  Your vocabulary is nearly on par with an adult and you are understandable 99% of the time.  You still have trouble pronouncing certain letter sounds correctly, but that is very normal for a 3 year old....and cute! :-)

You are such a wonderful big sister, always trying to help and make Emma happy.  You do all kinds of silly things in hopes of seeing Emma crack a smile...precious!  In the beginning of the month, Emma was very sick and you were just so incredibly sweet.  I spent several days taking care of Emma, meaning you got very little attention.  But you were such a champ and a wonderful helper.  I'm just so proud of the little lady you are becoming!

Your favorite activity is swinging on the swings in our backyard.  You are a bit obsessed!  The only downside is that you refuse to pump your legs and if we can't push you, you have a meltdown.  Not fun.  :-(  You also LOVE the show 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' on PBS. Your other favorite activity is being tickled. :-). Your still obsessed with the color pink, so that was the theme of your third birthday party. :). Pink everywhere!

One negative effect of turning 3 seems to be the whining and sass that come with this age.  I've always heard that 3 is worse than 2 and I definitely believe it.

3 Year Stats
Height - 39.5"
Shoe Size - 8.5 or 9
Clothes Size - 3T-5T (varies by brand)
Diaper Size - 6 overnights & 3T-4T pull-ups for nap time

Today, on your third birthday, I conducted your very first birthday interview which proved to be rather funny.  You didn't quite understand the concept and simply answered the questions with whatever first popped into your head. But isn't that what being 3 is all about anyway?  Here are some of my favorite answers:
- Favorite thing to eat for lunch? "Peas"
- Favorite outfit? "Lovie pants with the kitty cat shirt" (your pjs)
- Favorite game? "Matching game because I do really good and that makes me happy."
- Favorite song? "I Love You", "Lullaby" and "Goodnight Sweetheart" (your 3 bedtime songs)
- Best friend? "Emma" (melts my heart)
- Where do you like to eat? "Pamera" (Panera)
- What is Mommy's job? "Feed Emma and me"
- What does Daddy do at work? "Work, work"
- What makes you happy? "Mommy & Daddy"

Precious girl, YOU make us happy!  Your smile brightens up a whole room and your laughter is contagious.  We love you all the way to the moon and back...that's a lot of love!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Emma: 8 Months


We had a very rough month!  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  Your first year of life has been filled with sickness and this month was no exception.  :-(  You spent the entire month sick and nearly all of it on antibiotics.  YUCK!  As a self-proclaimed 'natural momma', I absolutely hate that you spent so many days this month on antibiotics (you are still taking them!).  Your latest runny nose started the day you turned 7 months old and turned into a very persistent double ear infection that has still not gone away.  All the congestion and pain has made for some very long days and nights.  You had one of your very worst nights this month - awake and fussy from 1:30pm-2:30am and then up for the day at 5am, followed by only 3 hours of sleep the day after.  I honestly don't know how you stayed awake that long.  I was EXHAUSTED!  Even a steady dose of Tylenol and Motrin didn't knock you out!  We suspect that it was the tiny dose of albuterol we gave you that afternoon to help with your wheezing, so you can guarantee that we will not be giving you that again anytime soon. 

You tried several new foods this month - mango (hated at first, but now you love it), carrots (not a fan of pureed, but loved when I gave you some diced ones), apple, and cheerios (loved).  You love feeding yourself!

Despite being so sick this month, you managed to accomplish lots of new feats - your first tooth popped through (bottom right), you started pulling yourself up in your crib (we had to move the crib mattress all the way down) and on your leapfrog table and on the couch, you officially dropped your third nap (now you nap 2 times per day for about 1.5-2 hours each), you continue to army crawl everywhere, you started doing what we call the machine gun laugh, and best of all you said your first word - MAMA!!!!!!  You have no idea how excited I am that this was your first word. :-)  Since Hannah's first word was "dada" I thought it was only fair that you say "mama" first.  :-)  You also started saying "ehmuh" over and over, which we translate to mean smart!

8 Month Stats
- Diapers: Size 3
- Clothes: 9 months
- Shoes: 2 or 3, but not sure since you never wear them
- Weight: 19 lbs
- Height: not sure

Your 8th month was really hard sweet girl, and I'm sorry for that!  It breaks my heart to see you in pain and so sick. :-(  I pray that the remaining months of your first year of life are full of healthy days!  And for everyone's sake, I pray that sleep finds its way back to our house very soon. We love you squishy, snot and all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hannah: 35 Months


Sickness, oh sickness. I am SO sick of sickness! You had yet another cold at the beginning of this month. I started something new this time - elderberry syrup and echinacea drops. I'm not sure if it worked or not, but it did seem to speed up the sickness, which is huge! I will definitely try it again next time you are sick, which I'm sure will be very soon!  This sickness was the final straw and the catalyst for a big decision....homeschooling!  We pulled the trigger and decided to take your out of preschool.  Homeschooling was something we had seriously considered but when enrollment began (January 2012) we decided to sign up at the very last minute.  With your little sister coming, I knew it was going to be a crazy time and I thought it would be a good break for both of us.  You loved school, but unfortunately your immune system did not!  You spent the entire time sick, from one cold to another.  Every time you got sick, your sister did to and it was just too much.  Since I had always been on the fence about preschool (especially two year old preschool) I knew it was time to pull you out.  It took you a few weeks to realize you weren't going back because you kept saying, "When I'm better I will go back to school."  But now when I ask you about school you say, "Mommy is my teacher" and you tell me that you would rather be home with me and Emmie.  Love that!  Here's to hoping the sicknesses will subside now that you are away from all the germs!

Our first 3 weeks of homeschooling were great.  I found a "curriculum" online that is bible based and I love it.  You have been excited about "doing school" every day and I have loved watching your eyes light up with excitement when you learn something new!  I think I am really going to love homeschooling!

Another big transition this month was to a full size bed.  You were getting way too big for your toddler bed, so we knew it was time.  We had recently purchased a new bedroom set for the guest room (finally upgrading from a full size bed to a queen) so we moved the old mattress into your room and converted your toddler bed into a full size.  We pushed one side up to the wall and have a guard rail on the other side, in hopes of encouraging you to stay in the bed.  So far you have done great with that.  You have gotten out a few times, but never left your room.  Let's hope that continues!  You look so big in a full size bed and definitely more comfortable!

The age of fears is upon us! You have suddenly started being afraid of everything - the potty, the stairs, sitting on something high (like the counter), anything or anyone touching one of your "boo-boos", pulling a shirt over your head, and more.  The potty fear is still very much an issue and you continue refusing to pee or poo on the potty.  The other day you did trick us into giving you a lollipop by saying you would poop on the potty while you ate it.  I'm willing to try anything to get you potty trained, so why not!?  5 minutes later and you came walking out to give me the stick and said, "I don't want to go potty."  Oy vey!  You kill me child!  You may very well end up being the oldest child in diapers.  However, we did tell you that when you turn 3, the potty fairy will be coming to take away all the diapers.  Can you tell we are getting desperate!?

We started using a chore chart this month.  You have two chores - feeding Bubbles and helping with laundry (pulling clothes out of the dryer, matching socks, putting clothes in the dryer, and "folding" washcloths).  You have really enjoyed helping out around the house and I have enjoyed the help!  Overtime we will add more chores to the chart.  Right now you are perfectly happy with a reward of putting another magnet sticker on the chart, but eventually I think we will have to figure out another incentive to keep you motivated.

Your sisterly love continued this month.  A few days ago Emma was playing with your baby doll stroller and pulled it down on top of herself, falling backwards onto the wood floor.  She was crying and upset when you ran over and grabbed the stroller and said, "Let's get this out of here so Emma doesn't get hurt.  I'm so sorry Emma."  Oh my big girl, you are just so sweet!  Emma is blessed to have such a great big sister!

Your favorite foods this month were pancakes with syrup, "kashi" bars (any cereal bar), apricots, sweet potatoes, cottage cheese, and shredded cheese.  Your favorite snack continued to be the Clif Bars and fruit snacks.

Silly, silly girl.  Your latest favorite saying is "Aka Whack".  Huh?!  I pray that you never lose your silliness!

Other 35 Months 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

I am so excited to begin this homeschooling journey with you and be able to watch you learn every single day.  I know just how fleeting these young years are and I will never be able to get these years back.  We may not decide to homeschool forever, but I know that I will absolutely never regret keeping you home this year!  We will just take it one year at a time.  I love you precious girl....oh, and can we stop this whole "mom" and "dad" business!  You are way too young to be using those names!  Let's stick with "Mommy" and "Daddy", okay?!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Emma: 7 Months


I absolutely love the first year of a baby's many firsts!  This month was no exception - first Christmas, first time eating finger foods, first allergy, first time trying banana and green beans and apricots and peaches and beans and chicken, first New Years, first time sitting in a highchair at a restaurant, and first time going from laying to sitting and back.  Yikes!  We had a big month!

We started off this month with a bang - CHRISTMAS!  This was your very first Christmas and unfortunately you were sick. :-(  You spent a large part of the day sleeping, with a fever.  Poor baby.  We went back to the walk-in clinic on the day after Christmas and found out your ear infection is now in the other ear.  They upped your dose of amoxicillin (apparently it was too low before) and we were hopeful that that would finally get you feeling better.  To our surprise you broke out in a rash all over your body just two days later.  Back to the doctor we went - thank God for Saturday sick appointments.  They told us that you have an amoxicillin allergy and switched you to azythromicin to clear up the remaining ear infection.  :-(  So many medicines for such a little girl!  Thankfully after a few days of the new antibiotic you were feeling much better.  The bad news now is that you woke up today with ANOTHER runny nose!  I seriously don't know if we will make it through this winter. :-(

Eating continues to be a struggle.  You are just not a big eater - nursing or solids.  You nurse for a maximum of 5 minutes (one side only per feeding) and fuss every time we put you in the highchair to eat solids.  We did have a tiny break through this month when we introduced a few finger foods.  You really love feeding yourself!  I'm definitely looking forward to being able to give you all finger foods so you can be in control.  Come on little teeth! :-)  We are still not very consistent with feeding you solids, mainly because you just don't enjoy them.  So we typically only feed you 1-2 solid "meals" per day.  You are nursing every 3-4 hours during the day and 1 time in the night (sometimes 2).  We did have a couple (very rare) nights this month where you slept 11-11.5 hours straight!  AMAZING!  You nap 2 times per day now, officially dropping the third nap in the beginning of the month.  With only two naps now, we end up putting you to bed fairly early some nights because you just can't make it all the way to bedtime.  My favorite time of day with you is nap time because every time I put you down, I sing your song ("You are my Sunshine") and you put your little head on my shoulder.  Absolutely precious!  I hope you continue that for a long time.

I just can't believe how fast time is flying!  Just the other day we found you sitting up in your crib after nap time.  We had to move your mattress down to the middle height and we decided to take the bumper out of your crib.  You also started army crawling this month, making you officially mobile at not even 7 months old.  I think we will have our hands full with you. 

Your favorite sound right now is "bah, bah, bah".  You say it all the time.  I'm really hoping "mama" will be your first word (unlike your sister who said, "dada" first).  :-)  You do really well playing by yourself (or with Hannah nearby) and rarely fuss when I leave the room.  I'm so thankful that the separation anxiety phase has not hit yet.

7 Month Stats
- Diapers: Size 3
- Clothes: 6 & 9 months (mostly 9)
- Shoes: 1 or 2
- Weight: 17 lbs. 10 oz.
- Height: 27.5"

You are at such a fun age right now.  7 months=perfection.  But I know that I will say that again and again and every age.  The truth is squishy, we just love YOU!  No matter how big you get, we love you!  Do me a favor though...slow down just a little bit. :-)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hannah: 34 Months


Another month, come and gone.  Just 2 more months and you will be 3!!  Yikes!  This past month was a busy one - Christmas, PT & OT evaluations, and more sickness. 

Leading up to Christmas we were very busy with preparations.  Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Julie, and Uncle Chris all came for Christmas, so we had a lot to do to prepare.  In the midst of preparing, we were dealing with even more sickness (you and Emma).  We went back to the doctor on Dec. 22 and you were diagnosed with a sinus and eye infection.  You were put on amoxicillin for 10 days and a round of eye drops.  It was a nightmare trying to do the eye drops with you.  I don't blame you...they are definitely no fun.  We ended up only do two days of those before we just gave up.  Thankfully the amoxicillin cleared up both infections.  Just three days ago we went back to the doctor for a suspected yeast infection.  You kept complaining about your "girly parts" hurting.  They needed a urine sample, but since you are not potty trained, trying to attain one was impossible.  They stuck a bag on you in hopes of catching some, but you are WAY to smart for that.  There was no way you were going to pee into that.  You were hysterical about having it on you and wanted it off right away.  Amazingly I convinced you to keep it on for about an hour, but after that it was a wasted cause.  I started putting anti-fungal cream on you and thankfully that seemed to clear it up.  Who knows?!?!  In addition to your two doctor visits, we took you for two different evaluations as well.  On Dec. 19 we went for a physical therapy evaluation.  Our biggest concerns were your toe walking and severe resistance to potty training.  They gave us a few stretches to do with you and a plastic brush to use on your arms, legs and back to work on desensitizing your heightened senses.  Overall, they suggested an occupational therapy evaluation for slight sensory issues.  We did the occupational therapy evaluation on January 3.  It was essentially a complete waste of time.  You scored very well in every area, with just a few quirks that stood out.  But honestly, you are just a typical toddler...certain things scare you and you are more sensitive to certain things, but nothing concerning.  They did recommend a few months of therapy, but unfortunately it is not covered by our insurance, so we most likely will not do it.  Of course if we were really concerned we would do the therapy in a heart beat.  Our plan for now is to just keep an eye on things.

Christmas was wonderful.  This was your first Christmas at home and it was so memorable!  We went to the Christmas Eve service at church and it was your first time sitting in the "big" church during a service.  You did great!  You loved all the singing and sat quietly during the sermon, thanks to lots of snacks. :-)  My favorite part of Christmas Eve was at our house when you sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.  I even got it on video. :-)  We tried our best to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas.  Seeing the look on your face when you came down and saw all the presents on Christmas morning was priceless!  Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa, our tree was overflowing!  Your favorite presents were the Bitty Baby crib, the mobi-go game system, and the Playmobile schoolhouse.  But truly I think you were just overwhelmed with all the people and presents. 

One of your newest fears is "the man".  Every night after we put you to bed, you scream until we come back in and then you smirk and say, "the man" as you point to your curtain rod.  We've started praying with you for Jesus to help you to not be afraid.  You also have a new fear of getting "stuck" in a shirt.  You only want mommy to dress and undress you because of this, but thankfully you are getting pretty good at doing it yourself, which helps ease your fear.  You can nearly undress yourself completely unassisted - socks, shoes, diaper, pants, and shirts.

Your favorite game right now is hide-and-seek.  You love playing with daddy, but you don't quite get the rules and concept of the game.  You are always the "seeker", even when you are supposed to be hiding. :-)  You are still in love with all your baby dolls.  You love to push them around in the stroller, "feed" them in Emma's highchair and change their diapers.  Such a good mommy!

Thanks to preschool, you can now put your jacket on all by yourself.  They taught you a cute rhyme to remember how to do it - "Tag at toes, arms in holes, flip it up and over your nose."  You are just getting so big!

You continue to amaze me with how great you are with Emma.  I overheard you talking to Emma just yesterday when she was fussing during lunchtime.  You said, "What's the matter sweet girl?  It's okay.  One day you will be big like me, Emmie."  So cute!  You just love Emma.  You love to make her laugh and smile.  You are even doing better with sharing with her, but this is definitely still that hardest part of being a big sister.  Sharing is hardest if Emma is playing with something pink.  You always take away all the pink toys because that is your favorite color.

Your favorite foods this month were yogurt in a tube ("Panera yogurt") but only the pink ones, grilled chicken, bread, plain pasta, frozen peas, broccoli (cooked or raw), oatmeal ("oakie milk"), mommy's baked chicken nuggets, shredded cheese, strawberry poky sticks, bean & cheese quesadilla, and candy canes.  Every day you want the same "snackie" after nap time - Welch's fruit snacks and a Clif Bar (chewy granola bars).  You are definitely a creature of habit....typical 2 year old!  Foods that you didn't like this month were (yes, shockingly there are a few things you won't eat) - blueberries, tomatoes, sauce, grapes, anything green (except you do like broccoli and peas), or skin on apples or potatoes. 

Other 34 Months 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
Welcome to 2013 sweet Hannah Grace.  I can't wait to see what this new year holds for you.  One thing I know for certain - our love for you will grow even deeper (how is that even possible!?)  We love you little peanut!!