Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Recently, as a consequence for a behavior infraction, Brennan was subjected to a loss of privileges, including playing with friends for a few days. He eagerly counted down the days until his punishment was over and he really wanted his friends to know when that would be. So, he got out some scratch paper and a pen and got to writing this letter. He wrote the first part, then said he wanted to tape it to the door so everyone could see it. I said, “Whoa, we can’t have everyone over on Tuesday.” So, he amended it, thus the second half of the letter. I thought it was sweet, so I let him decorate our door with it.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
All you suckers that had your kids close to together, I no longer envy you. Having your third with a 3 and 6 year old makes it SO much easier. Here’s a typical day for me:
Thanks to steady training, the boys know that they are to stay in their rooms when they wake up until gotten. They sleep in anyway, and then start playing, usually quite loudly and often destructively, but they play happily for a good long time until I wander in. Since Hollyn was born, that’s often not until 10am, but the boys don’t mind. When I go in, I give them a laundry basket of clothes to put away which they do within a matter of minutes, plus putting away the toys they’d gotten out that morning. They then come downstairs and Brennan gets them both breakfast. After breakfast when Brennan invariably asks to watch a movie or play a video game, I have him empty the dishwasher first. Brennan needs that incentive, but Asher LOVES emptying the dishwasher. He’ll do it voluntarily any time I suggest it. In the mean time during all this, I’ve been able to care for Hollyn and even pump without having to actually DO anything for the boys. Asher puts himself down at naptime. Yes! Brennan puts himself down for bedtime. Both boys can do their own bedtime prep, including brushing their teeth. And my favorite… recently we showed Brennan how to put Asher’s bedtime diaper on him, so now I don’t even have to do that!!!! Asher enjoys doing other jobs, including vacuuming – he’s claimed our stick-vac as his own and insists on pulling it out anytime I’m using the regular vacuum – and pulling the clean clothes out of the dryer into a laundry basket. The other day we pulled the stool up to the sink and he helped me load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. I love this age when they enjoy jobs . But the point is, the kids are both so very self-sufficient now. It makes taking the time for a new baby so much easier and I’m not drowning in stress trying to meet the needs of a bunch of little kids like I would be if they were all littler.
Last night because Asher had napped until 5:30 he was allowed to stay up later than Brennan. When Brian got home from Band, the three of us pulled out Yahtzee and played a game. I had SO much fun having that Asher-time (the kid is a HOOT to hang out with), and was impressed to learn some things about him. I had no idea Asher would pick up reading the dice so well. He recognized 1, 2, 3, and 4 on sight, or maybe counting in his head really fast, and for 5 and 6 he could count the dots. After the game Asher was writing on the back of the paper. Lately he’s wanted to write words so I’ve spelled them for him and sometimes described how to write the letter. Last night he wrote DAD and I was super impressed with how well he can write the letters. He did a mean S the other day, and last night wrote a great H, just because it’s his favorite. Asher also enjoys drawing the sun and is starting to draw people.
Also about Asher… he thinks age is an optional thing. He’s whatever age he decides to be. For example, when he wants to go to school like Brennan, he’ll tell me that he’s five now. Like, just now, he decided to become five, so it came to pass. He’ll often claim to be 4 when someone asks how old he is, but most of the time he’s sure he’s 3 and a half, which is not even true for another couple of months. That one though, there’s no convincing him otherwise. After all, Asher knows much better than we do, right? On Mother’s Day after the primary kids sang for us, Asher said “I want to go up and sing too.” I told him he’d have to wait until he was in primary, and he replied, VERY loudly, “but I’m bigger, I’m 3 and a half!”
Yesterday I was asking Asher about a bruise on his shin, wondering where he’d gotten it. He replied that he’d gotten it at the Dr’s office. I told him he hadn’t even been to the Dr in a long time. He sighed, as if I’m so naïve, and said, “First I was born, then I went to the Dr’s office, and he gave me this, then I came home.” I laughed and told him again that he hadn’t been to the Dr’s in a long time. He sighed again. “O.k. First I was born, then I went for a birthday party and I got this [bruise], then I came home.” Why a birthday party? Because Asher claims EVERYTHING is his that he received for his birthday. TV remotes, food, mail, other people’s things, everything. “I got this for my birthday.” It’s very cute.
Brennan is doing well in school. They’re studying animals right now, so his classroom has chicks ready to hatch next week, and fish, and water and land snails. It’s been very fun for all the kids. Brennan likes to tell me about past study topics like wood and fabric. I’m pretty sure he knows more about those two latter than I do. He’s been having a good time playing with his friends outside as the days get longer (although not necessarily drier). The other day I looked out our upstairs window and there was the neighborhood boys group (ages 5-6) and each kid was in a different costume. There was a firefighter, Supermario, someone in a suit coat and fedora hat, Spiderman, an Astronaut among others. I just love watching these neighbor kids playing together and meshing their imaginations.
Brennan continues taking gymnastics. He’s pretty good at the actual events, particularly the balance beam and bars. The one hurdle for him is paying attention. He has SO much energy. While his teachers explain and instruct, he’s bouncing and dancing and wiggling. He tries to do everything really fast. During warmups, he rushes through trying to be first to touch the wall or whatever. My hope with putting him in gymnastics was that he would learn to think more about correct form. Brennan is a toe-walker so I thought not only would he be good at that aspect of gymnastics, he might also learn to walk regularly by thinking about how he’s walking. I know it hasn’t been very long (started in January), but it’s a little disappointing to not see any progress there. I’m not sure how long to give him, particularly since he’s wishy-washy in his desire to even do gymnastics at all. It’s frustrating for me to watch him not paying attention. I know he’s no different than other little boys with his wiggling and boundless energy, but this particular class has no other boys in it, so he stands out compared to the calmness of the girls he’s with. Brian and I were talking about the way Brennan treats each thing as a race and think he may be well (or at least better) suited for soccer. I’m not generally a believer of getting your kids into sports really early, but there are certain traits I would like Brennan to learn (like the focusing and doing something correctly-not just quickly-) that I think are learned well through certain sports or activities. It’s so hard to know what will work best for you child.
Hollyn will be 1 month old tomorrow. Man time is flying. At the grocery store the other day as people were cooing over her, I actually felt sad to answer that she was 4 weeks old. It was so much more fun to answer “2 weeks”. In just a couple more weeks no one will comment about how small she is or how young. No one will gush over her at all – or not as much at least. She’ll be just another baby instead of a sweet newborn. And not just for the attention of others, I will miss her cute newborn faces and tiny newborn feet. I love to play with her feet right now – they are just SO darling. She’s got these skinny newborn legs still too. I’m really sad to think about how quickly it’s all going to change.
I’ve learned something with Hollyn. It’s never too early to start sleep training. Maybe it’s her personality since she was always a good sleeper, but I’ve realized how capable she is of putting herself to sleep. She already stopped falling asleep while eating a while ago. Usually when that happens it gets sort of rough. You have to take the time to help your little one fall asleep. With Hollyn, it was getting harder and harder. Or at least taking longer and longer. She doesn’t cry a lot, but I would be spending all that time trying to get her to sleep with other demands being made of me. Finally I started just setting her down in her bed, supposedly for a minute. If she would start to cry, (and she doesn’t always – sometimes she just dozes off) she would be asleep by the time I was just about to pick her up. Things have been progressing fast. Say she naps for an hour and a half, then wakes up and cries. In the past, and with the boys, I would sigh and go and get him/her. Now, I think “I’ll give it a couple minutes and see what happens”. After a couple minutes of crying she goes back to sleep. Even though an hour and a half is a decent sized nap. After a week or so of this, Hollyn is almost never asleep when I put her down. If she’s been awake for 45min to an hour, I just bundle her up and lay her down on her bed. Sometimes with a pacifier, not always. When she starts to cry a couple minutes later, I wait for a minute and just when I start to think it’s not going to work, she’s out like a light. I’m pretty excited because we seem to be in a position to skip the whole “cry it out” sleep training. When she cries, now, it’s literally for a minute or two tops. Hopefully we’re bypassing the 30-60 minutes of crying to sleep that often happens later on. Incidentally, I love what I’m using for her bed. It’s this glider swing and how I wish with all my heart that I’d had this with the boys. You can carry it with your baby in it, it can rock any direction. So far we’ve just kept it in our room sitting on a chest, but the incline is perfect and Hollyn sleeps really well in it. I bought mine off craigslist to replace our swing which was a fine one, but I wanted something taking up less space and portable. If you can find one somewhere, I highly recommend it. I see a bunch of other small swings that look similar. I can’t vouch for them, but I can say that the bassinet was not a hit with the boys, even when I used towels to prop them up. Seats that are already inclined seem to work better for baby.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Hollyn’s doing well these days. Perking up for sure, and not sleeping quite as long sometimes. I was just complaining to Brian that she had a “rough” day today because she would only sleep for 1-2 hour increments. It’s funny because I remember complaining when Asher would only sleep for 5 minute increments. I suppose an hour or two is nothing to sneeze at, but I’m not used to it at all. I spent a lot of my day trying to get stuff done and feeling frustrated by having to occupy a newborn so much. Newborns are not all that easy to occupy after all. Anyway, she’s well, though less easy than previously.
Little Tidbits about Hollyn
Hollyn’s got some awesome muscle control. One of the first things our Dr. said upon her arrival was how great her muscles are. She does tummy-time pretty good and will last about 5 minutes before fussing about it. We call Hollyn our “one-eyed bandit” because since birth we’ve often seen her with just one eye open. It’s very cute. The other day when Brian wanted to help Hollyn go to sleep he set her in her carseat next to the running dishwasher. Apparently the sound knocked her right out . For a little while now Hollyn’s been rather consistent with her wake-up times at night. It seems like she always wakes up at 4 and 7am. The 7am time she wants to stay awake for a while. Um, is my 3 week old seriously on a schedule?
Some Fun with Asher
A couple weeks ago I was taking some pictures of the couch in case I was going to post it for sale. Brennan really wanted to be in them.
Monday, May 2, 2011
*written last week*
It’s so exciting to have little Hollyn with us. So far, she is being a VERY good baby. She has had some issues when it comes to nursing (see my Musings blog-if I ever get around to it), but otherwise being a perfect little Angel. Hollyn loves to sleep – so much so that I’m perhaps a little concerned. When she is awake though, she likes to look around and especially at my face. She is just so content and I love her! Now, she’s not even a week old yet, so we’ll have to see what happens, but here’s hoping she stays so relatively content.
Her birth story is funny to me because it is SO similar to Brennan’s, AND, she looks very much like him. It’s like we had a Brennan again! Asher is now quite the outlier in the family. (Black sheep?)
I’d been having prelabor symptoms for at least a week. I found that I could get contractions going about every 3-5 minutes apart by walking or pumping, but when I stopped the activity, the contractions eventually stopped. Finally, the evening before my due date my Dr. told me to get the contractions started, then meet him at the hospital where he could break my water for me. We were anxious to just get this done before my Dr. left a couple days later for a 2 week trip. Mom graciously watched the boys during my Dr.’s appointment at 3:15, and kept them until the next morning. In the mean time, Brian and I ate out for a “last supper” and enjoyed having a date. We then rested up (Hah. Like we could sleep at that point) for about an hour before taking off on a nice long walk. By the end of the walk I thought I was having pretty regular contractions (4 minutes apart) but they were often very mild and I was having trouble deciding if they were in fact contractions. With a hope for not embarrassing myself with a lack of contractions, we headed to the hospital. Interestingly, we almost hit deer - twice! – along the busy stretch of road. I hoped it wasn’t a bad omen. Anyway, we checked into the hospital and I felt silly because I didn’t really feel like I was in labor. (As opposed to with Asher where it turns out I was in active labor-8cm dilated and 15 minutes away from pushing him out!) My Dr. was waiting for me and broke my water shortly after I settled into the bed.
Then we waited for things to progress. I could feel that they were, slowly. Not long into it, Brian and I started hearing another woman yelling and moaning from another room in the ward. She was in serious pain. After an hour of that nice reminder of the joys of labor, I had made up my mind that I was probably going to go for that epidural. Not long after that, the contractions progressed to my “breaking point” and after what seemed like hours I finally did receive that blessed epidural. I had been dilated to a 6 I think at the check before it was administered. When the anesthesiologist left, the nurse immediately decided to check me again as she could see that my contractions were very strong. Surprised, she said, “Oh, you are fully dilated. I’ll go get your Dr.” Hollyn was so close to just sliding out, I only pushed about twice, plus a “slight push” once or twice. I had been told during the week previous that she was VERY low, so it wasn’t really very surprising that she just slid right out rather effortlessly. Brian got to catch her, which he was glad for. My nurse jokingly asked me if I thought the epidural was worth it since I didn’t have it very long before Hollyn came out. It was a resounding YES! Relief from even just one contraction would have still been worth it. Those things are KILLER! (For some reason the contractions with Asher never reached the same level as with Hollyn and Brennan – just Heavenly Father looking out for me I guess. However, consistent with all three labors is that my contractions get VERY close together. As in, the “break” lasts maybe 45 seconds. The nurses have always commented “Wow, she is just not getting a break!” with each. Also, the break is not really that anyway because I continue to be in very deep pain, only slightly less than the excruciating contractions themselves.)
Anyway, labor was 5 hours from the breaking of my water to delivery. Maybe 6 if you count from the too-mild-to-decide contractions during our walk. Not bad for being “induced” to some extent. She was 7 lb 8 oz and 20 inches long.
Hollyn will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. Things are going just swimmingly. She is quite the sleeper, going for an average of 3-4 hours at a time – often 5 at night. I’m still not getting up until after 9 or 9:30am since she’s asleep and the boys are happy to play in their room. (They often ask to keep playing instead of going downstairs for breakfast even then.) Since Hollyn wouldn’t nurse, I pump every couple hours which is a pretty dreaded chore, but much better than suffering through nursing even at it’s best, so I’m enjoying having a newborn like I never had before. I am SOOOO thankful that Hollyn is healthy and so far, easy.