Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hank: Month 3

If I could title this past month I would call it: Happiest Baby On The Block OR Everybody Poops OR Thumbs Are For Suckers.

So I left off last month's update saying I received some advice from my doctor to get rid of the pacifier and see if it helped with Hank's sleep. I'm not going to lie I thought she was nuts. In fact I left the doctor sobbing thinking I was hopeless. Nevertheless, the next day I tested out her suggestion, and thought I'd give Hank 10 minutes of crying and then go get him if it didn't work. We started on his back, arms un-swaddled (so he could get his thumb if he wanted) but he was squirming around way too much. I knew he would never sleep that way. So I flipped him over and let him lay on his belly thinking I could stare at him in the video monitor the whole time, easing my SIDS fears. He cried. A lot. But almost exactly at the 10 minute mark, as I was going to go get him, he stopped, and completely passed out. He then continued to sleep the entire 2 hour nap completely on his own. WOW - I was amazed. I guess the doctor was right! That day Hank made it through all his naps crying only sometimes 3 or 5 minutes and settling himself in the middle of the nap. This was coming from a baby that had to be held almost his entire nap (which for a newborn is typically 6+ hours a day)!

Luckily, being a seasoned mom, I did not take this day for granted. I knew that it may not be for good and that it may just have been a blessing from God, giving me a little rest for one day. So the next day when my same crying technique didn't work, I didn't fret. I still tried every nap to get Hank to sleep on his own, but it didn't always work. As the month progressed Hank got better and better at soothing himself during nap time - at first he could sleep on his own about half of the time, he is now sleeping (and staying asleep) on his own about 80-90% of the time. He currently takes 3 naps a day for at least 2 hours (sometimes 3), sleeping on his belly, sucking away on his little thumb. It's precious. He also rarely cries himself to sleep anymore. I usually rock him and settle him in my arms (helping him find his thumb) and then by the time I lay him down he is nice and drowsy and passes out. He still typically stirs at about the 45min/1hr mark, but can usually get himself back to sleep.

Shortly after getting Hank's daytime sleep under control his night time sleep started getting really bad. At the beginning of the month he had still been sleeping in the swing next to our bed most of the night and would end up in bed or being rocked for part of the night. One morning after a bad night of sleep he woke up with a really goopy eye so I took him into the doctor to get it checked out. It turned out the eye goop was just drainage from a cold he had, but the doctor found an ear infection while we were there (no wonder he wasn't sleep well!) So we started Hank on amoxicillin.

That's where the poop start of my story comes in. Unfortunately, amoxicillin gives you diarrhea, so in Hank (who already had runny poops since he is breast fed) this came out as a blow out every single time he had a poop. And since he sleeps most of the day on his belly, these blow outs usually ended up going all over the front of him, his clothes and his sheets. I washed his bedding 7 days in a row one week. Ugh....

After a few days on the medicine, when we felt like Hank should be feeling better, and after continued bad night time sleep, I finally caved and let Hank sleep on his tummy one night. I know. I'm a terrible mother. But I was desperate, and Hank loved it. He slept for the first time on his own, not moving in a swing, and didn't need any soothing between feedings.

Hallelujah - we had a new baby on our hands!

Currently Hank typically has the following schedule:
7-7:30am Wake and Nurse
8:30am(ish) Nap for 2-3 hours
10:30am(ish) Wake and Nurse
11:30am(ish) Nap for 2-3 hours
2pm(ish) Wake and Nurse
3pm(ish) Nap for 2-3 hours
5:30pm(ish) Wake and Nurse
6:30pm(ish) Bedtime
9:30pm(ish) Dreamfeed
4:00am(ish) Dreamfeed

*Hank usually goes 3-3.5hours between feedings, that's why the schedule isn't exact every day, but he usually always eats around the same time. His longest stretch at night is typically 6 hours. He's gone 8 hours a couple times, so I'm hoping he is able to stretch the night out more soon!

He continues to be an extremely happy baby while he is awake and I honestly think he has now become an easier baby than Lucy. Because he can find his thumb on his own, he is great at self-soothing and sleeping (at this point with Lucy we were starting to get into some sleep troubles). The only time he cries is if we are in the car or on the go while he is trying to nap. He now does a good job falling asleep on his own in the car, but has a tough time staying asleep. This has led me to find a new love for staying home all day, knowing if Hank sleeps in his crib I will get an uninterrupted 2 hour nap, but if we are on the go I will need to carry him and he is not guaranteed to sleep (which makes him extremely cranky).

He loves cooing and smiling, batting toys on his playmate, sitting and standing in our laps and of course sucking his thumb! I haven't notice a true belly laugh, but Ben says Hank has laughed... I guess I'm just a tough judge on what a "laugh" is. Hank likes to squeal in delight a lot though. He's also gotten better at holding up his neck while sitting in his bumbo or in our laps. This past month he had not yet rolled over, but he actually just did for the first time today, so I'm sure the next month will be full of new movements as he squirms around on the floor.

No doctor appointment this month, but I think Hank is around 15 pounds. I definitely think he's slowed down a ton in the weight department, he reminds me a lot more of Lucy in that way.

3 month pictures...

This was the best photo to compare with Lucy...

I definitely think they are starting to each get their own unique look now! Maybe I won't have two Ben clones on my hands...

Mean mugging big sis...

She decided to join us for the photo shoot..

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thankful on Mondays

I forgot to post last week... I'm behind already! Woops... oh well, I'll blame it on Ben being out of town last weekend (including Monday), it through my whole week off.

I'm thankful for...
1. Friends we could go visit while Ben was away- we headed up to West Lafayette and stayed the weekend with the Ravensberg's and got to visit with Katy and Brandon too!

2. A mom who joined us at the Children's Museum and brought us dinner while Ben was a way

3. A succesfully* potty trained little girl!!! (more to come on this)

*I'm not sure when you say your kid is officially "potty trained", as I'm expecting we'll still have lots of accidents as she learns, but she is officially in big girl undies, we said bye-bye to diapers, and she went all day today with no accidents... yay!

Lucy is thankful for...
I actually asked her last week, but just didn't write - she had said Mom, Dad, and Hank. That was similar enough to the previous week so I asked her again this week. She said...
1. JJ (Jadyn)
2. Jenni (my sister)... they both joined us for our "potty party"
3. I have to poop!!!

haha, that made me laugh, of course we immediately stopped what we were doing and ran to the potty.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

We had a fun day of making crafts, giving valentines, and baking cookies. Ben and I had a date night at home- I made steak for dinner and deep dish chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Plus of course a little champagne that we popped open after both kids were in bed. Somehow it worked out that both kids were in bed at 7:30pm (although I fed Hank once more before I went to sleep)... it was a good night!

I think I was more interested in coloring hearts than Lucy... oh well, maybe next year!

Flowers sent from Ben!

And I can't forget my littlest Valentine - It was hard to snag a picture of this guy because it seems all he does is sleep now, but I snagged a quick smile before laying him down in the afternoon...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thankful on Mondays

I have been inspired by my friend Tasha to write more about what I am thankful for. I realized that running on little sleep and taking care of two little ones can be extremely draining, and I don't want to go through this journey without taking a second to stop and remember all that I have to be thankful for.

I'm going to try write down three things I am thankful for every Monday (key word TRY!), and because I am trying to find ways to help share God's love for us with Lucy, I'm going to ask her to tell me three things she is thankful for. Right now, I think that will include the first three things she sees in the room (as you'll see later) but I can't wait to see how her answers change over the months and years.

My List:
1. What feels like a new baby - at around 10 weeks it felt like Hank turned a corner. He sleeps so well (and so much) now and rarely needs to be held for naps (maybe 20% of the time, versus about 90% of the time just a few weeks ago). He usually cries for a couple minutes when he lays down and then falls asleep and stays asleep on his own. Hallelujah! This is a major praise.

Here's a shot I took of him in our video monitor, sucking on his little thumb...

2. A husband that goes to work every day to provide for our family and allows me to stay home with our babies.

3. A hilarious (almost) 2 year old that makes me laugh out loud every day. Here she is holding her head up while writing a thank you card... it took her a second to figure out how she could hold her head with one hand, draw with another and keep the paper still. I loved watching the cogs in her head turn as she figured out how to make this all work!

Lucy's List
1. Mommy
2. Birdie - we watched a bird digging for worms in the backyard this morning. I am so thankful to be able to have a new appreciation for God's creation as I see it through Lucy's eyes.
3. Boppy Pillow - this reminds me of the scene from anchor man when Brick says "I love lamp"... haha, like I said, I think she was just saying things that came first to her mind. But let's be honest - boppy pillows are amazing, so this is a good one to add! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm A Little Teapot

Ok - I'm finally caught up on my blogging - hopefully my kids don't change or do anything cute over the next month so I don't have to blog about it :)

Yesterday I was trying to clean up Lucy's room while the kiddos played on the floor and as I was listening to Lucy singing (as she usually does throughout the day) I realized she sang the entire "I'm A Little Teapot" song! I quickly grabbed my camera and got her to sing it for me one more time... oh my goodness, I don't think there's anything more precious than this!

You have to listen closely, but if you follow along you'll hear each verse of the song...


Maybe I'm so behind on my blogging because I keep taking too many pictures! In fact, maybe I'm so behind in life because I feel the urge to document every little thing going on right now... oh well! This face is just too irresistible, I can't help but get my camera out all the time. I'll clean the house later... :)

I mean seriously - who could resist that face?

And of course, you can never take too many sleepy baby pictures...

woops, busted!

Always all smiles after a good nap and a little milk...

Love that stare and those chubby cheeks...

But oh, how I love that smile so much more!

And look what he's found...

Hank's started noticing his fingers and toes lately...

And one last smile photo... seriously, people aren't going to believe that this guy cries with all the smiling pictures I take, but he really is my little extremist - super happy and super angry all within an hour!


I am absolutely loving having a toddler girl in our home right now. Lucy is so much fun to be around and makes us laugh constantly. Some things I am loving...

Having tea parties...

Her growing imagination...

I watched her walk around the family room, holding her toy phone in one hand, the other hand in her pocket and saying "oh, hi mimi, what's up?"... too cute

Her growing independence -on this day I let her make her own PB&J

I'm sure you can guess where most of the peanut butter and jelly ended up!

It may have been a mess, but I love letting her try new activities!

Building forts... (this is a favorite of Lucy's, especially on days we are trapped indoors)

Crazy nap hair...

Playing dress up... Lucy has gotten more picky about what she wants to wear lately, this sometimes leads to hodge podge outfits, but I don't mind. I'm definitely a mom that is going to choose her battles, and clothing is not something I am going to fight Lucy on! I actually helped influence this one - I just couldn't resist pulling out her birthday tu-tu for a little dress up time!

Diaper butt...

(hoping to be getting rid of these soon, we've been doing a lot of reading up on potty training lately, and getting Lucy excited about the potty, so hopefully we'll have more to share on that soon)

She loves reading, and I really do mean LOVES... we probably spend a good portion of our day reading books.

Her need to accessorize! Lucy loves putting on hats and head bands and gloves (although they only stay on for a short time). In the below picture I asked if she wanted to go out and get the mail with me - we had to put on her hat, gloves, and back pack before heading out. I couldn't resist grabbing a picture.

And we didn't change out her shoes, she decided to wear the new Dora slippers we got her. She loves wearing these around the house.

That's just a peak into our daily lives around here. I didn't get pictures of this, but Lucy is also loving playing hide and seek, chasing after each other, dancing and listening to music (as always), coloring and painting, taking care of her baby dolls, and helping me in the kitchen.

I'm almost caught up on my blog - we've been having so much fun around here, I've been trying to capture all the memories (while also not letting the camera get in the way of the fun!).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lucy and Hank

Another older video - just a little snippet of my two babies together...

Hank Video

These videos are probably like 3 weeks old, which in newborn terms is like a lifetime, but I am way behind on my posts, so I'm just now getting them up. I wanted to show how talkative and smiley Hank is, but these videos don't even capture it that well - he must have been camera shy! Oh well, I still want to remember all of his adorable mannerisms at this age...

This one shows a lot of Hank's movements - he is constantly kicking and swinging his arms... guess he's just an active little guy!

Hank: Month 2

I don't have much time these days, but as I've mentioned before it's important for me to remember these days, not only to look back fondly at my itty bitty baby, but also so I can remember what newborns are like once we have number 3 (potentially anyway!) So I'm going to try to be quick but detailed...

Nurse schedule: between 8 and 9am (ish), 11 and 12pm, 2 and 3pm, 5 and 6pm, 8 and 9pm (5-6 hour stretch here... on good nights), 2 and 3pm, 5 and 6am and then we start the day again! (basically every 3 hours, but sometimes he'll go 3.5 if he's sleeping long.)

Hank is a very predictable baby - he is awake for about an hour after he eats, then sleeps for 2 hours almost every single nap. The exception has been after the 6pm feeding when he goes "to bed"at 7pm and we try to do more of a "dream feed" at 9pm. While predictability is awesome, he has one predictable behavior that kind of stinks - every single nap (literally every one) he stirs at the 30-45min mark, takes a lot to get back to sleep, must be held for 30 min or so (if set down before he pops back up) and then can usually be set down for the last 30 min. Sleep has been a bit of an issue around here... No matter where Hank is - in the car seat, in the moby, in his swing, on his tummy, etc he always stirs at the 45 min mark. If I catch him in time, I can usually get him back to sleep much easier and almost "carry" him through that sleep transition, but if we're in the car or I'm unavailable he will scream and scream until someone holds him, pacis him and rocks him pretty intensely. Not fun.

So I'm taking the good with the bad - because of this predictability I work around Hank's mood. Hank is extremely happy after he eats and is awake, we try to get places right after he eats. And he will typically go down for a nap while we are out ok, we just need to get home (or I need to carry him) for the second half of his nap because he won't take the second part of his nap in the car seat.

For example, we had a somewhat successful outing to the Children's Museum last week, I fed Hank we jumped in the car and once we got there I wrapped him up in the moby and carried him the whole time. This was great because Lucy and I didn't have to hear him cry in the car, and my hands were free to help her around the museum. And of course Hank loves being held, so he slept the whole time in the moby. I nursed him there. Unfortunately he fell asleep in the moby again after eating, but it was time to head home, so I had to take him out of being warm and snuggled up next to me and put him in the car seat so he cried the whole way home. Then of course it was time for Lucy to lay down, so I had to make a decision (as I'm sure all moms do with more than 1 kiddo) of which kid to tend to, so I left Hank screaming in the car seat while I laid Lucy down. A lot of people ask what he would do if I just left him for a bit to cry and this showed me that no matter how long you leave him during the second part of the nap, he is not going to settle unless someone is holding him. So we've done other outings (the mall playground, the library, the store, etc) and I just try to adapt and plan on Hank needing to be held the second half of his nap wherever we are! Planning is everything!

Night time sleep is about the same - except about 80% of the time Hank will do his first 5 hour stretch on his own (he is still swaddled in the swing at night, we've tried other arrangements but nothing helps him sleep as long as the swing). The rest of the night is hit or miss and I'd say he ends up sleeping with me about half the time.

Before learning and understanding this, or when we have to be places that don't allow me to follow Hank's schedule (i.e. a doctor's appointment in the middle of his nap), we had a lot of awful outings too! Again, I'll say the good with the bad here - about once a week I melt down and cry for most of the day because I feel like I just can't do this anymore. Holding Hank for about 50% of the day is sometimes very wearing (ok, it's exhausting all the time, but sometimes it's extra emotionally draining), and makes me feel like I can't be a great mom to Lucy or a great wife to Ben - a lot of days it feels like Hank is the only one getting my attention. As soon as I'm able to set him down, I want to do as much as possible hands free because those opportunities are so limited, but sometimes I need to just sit with my daughter or love on my husband and forget about all that needs to be done. One day in particular last week when I was trying to help Hank fall asleep on his own (we've been trying everything!) Lucy got permanent marker all over our bathroom and hallway walls... I wasn't mad at her at all, I was upset with myself for getting too consumed with one child so that I forgot about the other one... fortunately every day isn't like that and now the permanent marker that's leftover on the walls just makes me laugh!

So for right now we are learning to just survive. I'm trying to enjoy this time with my little baby boy, but I'm not going to lie, this past month has felt like one of the longest in my life. I'm counting down the days till he is 3 or 4 months old and can self soothe a little more and sleep on his own better.

Ok - enough with the bad, there are a lot of good things that come from this life right now. In particular I've felt God tell me just to REST in Him. As I mentioned, I hold Hank a lot of the day so I'm not able to do a lot. This frustrated me at first, but the book we are doing in my Bible study right now helped me realize that God may not be able to take away the neediness of my newborn, but he can give me peace and rest if I just sit and relax in his presence. Lucy has also been an absolute joy during this time, continuing to be a happy, easy-going toddler. We are so thankful for the blessing she is in our lives and are trying not to take for granted how awesome she is.

Our house went through about 3 sicknesses this past month, so most of the month we spent inside trying to recover (I definitely think we will shoot for our next child to be born in the spring or summer... having a newborn and a sick toddler while being sick yourself is not fun!), but the past two weeks we've all been healthy and have been able to get out and enjoy the warm weather we are randomly having right now.

Ok- this post is way out of control long, but here are a few other highlights: Hank talks and smiles all the time, he is such a happy baby! I think he just loves being verbal! When he's happy he lets you know it and when he's mad he lets you know it! He loves batting at toys on his play mat and is a really active little guy - he's constantly moving his arms and legs (reminds me of how active he was in my tummy). He's getting stronger at holding his neck up and doesn't seem to mind tummy time too much so we work on that a couple times a day.

Went to the doctor on Monday, Hank is slowing down a bit in growth, but he's still a pretty big guy! He got his first shots and like Lucy only cried while he was getting the shots and stopped once I held him (he did better than I did!)... of course he had been crying the ENTIRE 20minute drive on the way to the doctor, so maybe he had just run out of tears :)

Weight: 13 pounds, 12 ounces (78%)
Height: 24.2 inches (91%)
Head: 15.7 inches (72%)

She made some suggestions for us on the sleep front, so I'm sure I'll have more news/updates on how things are going in Hank's 3 month post.

Oh my goodness, this guy is too adorable for words!

and here's lucy at 2 months for comparison!

still looking pretty similar I think!

Such a smiley baby! It's hard to stay too frustrated when this face looks at me...