Month: May 2017

One year

Last week we celebrated Bea’s birthday, the safe arrival of my nephew (!), and MG’s kindergarten graduation all on the same day.  To conclude the celebratory high from the week, today is Sib’s birthday. One year old!

As if having one birthday for my girls last week wasn’t hard enough (on me), this week we get to have another one!  I’ve said it before, the first birthday is rough.  Knowing that this baby will be our last makes it even harder (emotionally).

But there have been so many good milestones this month, as well as the celebration cup overflowing. Much like the parenting descriptor for young children, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

One year ago today, at about 4:56pm EST (roughly one hour after she was born, as the first thirty or so minutes were filled with postpartum contractions while the remaining details of birth were wrapped up, to put it delicately), N and I kept looking at each other and saying, “what a good day” &  “what a red letter day”.  We could not stop affirming each other in how happy we were with our freshly grown family and the miracle of a healthy birth.

There is a certain high that comes over me after birth, when the anxiety, morning sickness, and discomfort sheds off of me like the discarded hospital gown.  That high carries me through the months of interrupted sleep, the woes of carrying around extra pounds, and the out-of-control feelings wrought by surging hormones.  And then we land at year one.

Somehow at this point, everything seems to have balanced itself out, tipping the scales towards the good side, and we are still so happy and so in love with our little Sib.

As far as newborn years seem to go, this year really was a pleasant one, and I wish I hadn’t paid attention to the consternation of the fear-mongering blogposts about third borns that wanted me to believe otherwise.  My only two complaints from it is somewhere around 4 months, she forgot how to sleep at night.

Thankfully, as of this month and a three day intensive Sleep Boot Camp, we have turned the corner! Now I lay her down at 7:30pm and she wakes up at 7:30am.  I still don’t feel well-rested (it will take me a while to recover from those interrupted 7 months), BUT I do now lay down without anxiety at night and that is a wonderful feeling. Sometime this month she also dropped her morning nap, so we are adjusting to that, but with summer arriving on its heels, a new schedule is warranted anyway.  One that will open up our mornings will be most appreciated.

And I think I have to take some credit for this bad sleep.  I didn’t brush up on my healthy sleep habits in this pregnancy, relying on my former knowledge and status of two well-sleeping children. PLUS the year of 2016 added to the mix, and I got us into some bad habits (like feeding her right before every nap).  Once we turned that around, a huge improvement was noticed.

My other complaint, which isn’t really a complaint, just a negative marker from this first year, was her sick bouts.  She didn’t get sick often, but when she did, it was INTENSE.  She still has some kind of vomiting issue that hasn’t been 100% resolved yet.  My ped thinks it’s some kind of immaturity that will get worked as she gets older.  It’s possibly related to food, maybe dairy or gluten.  But it doesn’t happen every time she has those foods, so a mystery to be solved another day.

There were two times we took her to the ER in the first year and the first being a very long stay.  Thankfully our girl made a full recovery both times and is a happy little thing now.

She is moving slowly but forcefully through her first year milestones.  Most noticeably this month, she’s been pulling up to a stand and can even balance holding on with just one hand. My gut stays it will be still some time until she is walking and she has not even attempted to climb the stairs.  Consequently, baby-proofing is going rather lazily, much like her new tricks, and I am a-ok with that.

This month has been the month of messes.  There is a kitchen drawer that holds all the plastic baby things: cups, bowls, and the like.  She will empty that drawer, move on to the drawer that has metal sheet pans and cake pans (which makes for a noisy dinner prep), then move on to the baby toy basket.  She’s also figured out how to open cabinets.  Not good for our game cabinet which feels like it has a 1,000 tiny pieces and takes 100 years to clean up properly.  As of yet, at least, she’s not a mouthy baby like Bea and doesn’t seem to put every little thing inside.

She loves to pull up on our coffee table, which is just the right height for her to see everything on it when properly standing, and narrow enough to access anything lying on it.  I had gotten in the habit of keeping our two tv remotes displayed on it for easy access.  She loves to throw them on the floor.  I’ve come to determine I can either leave them there for the remainder of the day where they will never be disturbed again, or I can pick them up each time, where they will be forcefully dropped promptly.  These are the battles I am fighting each day.

Messes also come in the form of meals.  Now that she is self-feeding, I find myself dutifully vacuuming the floor beneath her chair after every meal and snack.  I’ve never wished for a dog more.  She is slowly graduating away from pouches, and for that I’m most grateful.  But still a picky little one.  She is more apt to eat proteins: meats and eggs and beans.  She will not self-feed fruit, other than blueberries.  Veggies are a limited palette.  And she does not care for cheese in any form.  I was able to get her to start enjoying crackers this month so that is a win because they take a while to eat and she is quite demanding when hungry.

That being said, she is my medium-sized baby (despite her head start at birth), coming in at 20lbs to close out her first year.  Bea was 21 and MG 18, so she falls right in the middle.  As far as height is concerned, however, she is still losing the race on that one to the other two.

Also losing the race is her hair growth…after the initial brown shock of it, it slowed, changed to copper, then to an ashy blonde.  Sometimes it curls and sticks straight up, other times it lays flat.  I still don’t really know what it is going to look like as it is the same cornsilk blonde MG’s was at this age, and now, six years later, hers is a dishwater color.

Despite my complaints above, she has been an easy baby.  Teeth have been a non-issue other than the pools and pools of drool.  Spit-up only surfaced around month seven when she would eat solids and then immediately go to her belly.  I don’t think she is our happiest baby (Bea wins that award), but I think she is definitely our giggliest.  It is very easy to pull a belly laugh out of her by force (tickle), or just by looking at her funny.  She is expressive in her entire face.

On the other hand, her cry is still a piercing newborn part-scream, part-holler.  We commented on it when she was first born and she has not ditched it yet.  She doesn’t use this technique often, but when she does, we all come running.  #thirdchildwins

If I had to guess, I think weaning will be a non-issue.  We are already down to twice a day, not because she is disinterested, but mostly because she isn’t really interested if I don’t offer.   One thing I will say about the third is that they are nothing if not flexible.  She has been going with our easy flow since day one.

Well to send off this year, I made a video, part of my tradition of the first birthday.  It has been bittersweet to reminisce but honestly, I am  thankful that year is behind us and we can look back wistfully but never relive it.  Raising Sibby has been a joy and I pray God grants us many more years together to enjoy.

-smk

Four Years

I can’t believe my sweet little angel baby is four years old!

Four seems like a big threshold.  This year Bea will be entering preschool (a milestone she CAN’T wait for, thanks to Big Sis), and suddenly there will be another adult added to the influences in her life.

Four is the age where my girls seem to come into their own with knowing what they want for presents.  MG asked for (and received) a palace pets castle at four (something Bea plays with all the time now).  Bea is asking for very specific presents this year with a Minnie mouse airplane at the top of her list.  She has also chosen her cake, chocolate with a Minnie mouse plastic garnish.  Yes, this is the year of the mouse for my little girl, but seeing as how fast those tastes change once school comes along, I am happy to indulge for now.

Three has been fun.  Her expression has exploded this year.  On her third birthday, she was stringing just a few words together at a time and spent a long time thinking before she would speak.  Now, her words can’t quite catch up to her brain as she often repeats a filler word “so, so, so, so…” while she attempts to get her thoughts out.

She has relished her time spent in “Bea school” this year and has been an excellent student.  She has learned to cut expertly, glue well, trace and recognize letters, and her coloring skills have improved.  Every single day she asks if we can do Beaschool as soon as I put Sib down for a morning nap.  I’ve also enjoyed my solo time with her as baby girl has been quite the distraction as of late, getting into and making messes when she’s awake.  It’s been nice to have the one on one time with my middle.

Some of her quirks include: she does not like to get her hands sticky/messy.  She will beg to wash them as soon as they touch any kind of food matter that leaves a residue (salt, grease, sugar, you name it). She will go the distance to eat a Rice Krispie treat, or a slice of banana bread with a spoon.  At the YMCA last week, they were having the kids paint their hands to make handprints on a sign and she outright refused, preferring instead to color and even then was peeved about the marker leaking onto her fingers.

Speaking of the YMCA, the ladies had mentioned that she seemed like an old soul.  Like she has an unshakeable confidence about her.  She is very sure of what she wants/doesn’t want, and never wavers. I think this is a very accurate description of our Bea.  I think come high school, she will be a force to be reckoned with because she will possess two compatible, but lethal traits: beauty and confidence.

She still loves her animal babies, the creepy ones with the big eyes and pacifiers.  She spends untold amounts of time every day changing their outfits and seeing to their comfort.  (she has two because she lost her prized one: Baby Bear, earlier this year.  While he was missing we replaced him with Baby Squirrel, and much to our surprise, Baby Bear resurfaced) One thing I find interesting about her is that she latches onto a toy for a day, usually something small like a shopkins or a piece of jewelry, like a ring.  She will carry this around all day in her hand.  Although I was hesitant at first, she begged to take these possessions with her into child watch and Sunday School.  She will take care of and remain close fisted around this possession the entire time.  She definitely seems to have some peculiarities about organization and her things.

Other than Baby Bear, her favorite toys are playsets (Minnie mouse camper, shopkins, dog park), and her purple watch.  She also seems to enjoy carrying around paper.  A folded notecard and especially the paper that comes inside the new toys (usually the one with instructions or the plastic ones that shows pictures of the toy in play).  Once again, she will carry the chosen thing around in her tight fist all day and grows concerned if it becomes improperly unfolded.

Bea is my first child that enjoys going out and seeing the world.  She never minds being dropped off for Sunday school or MOPS, and every day asks “so where are we going today?” She is the foil to her older sister, the homebody.  Every time we run an errand, even if it is to Costco or the bank, she says, “that was fun”.  She’s an easy one to entertain and always has been.

As sad as it is for me to watch my girls grow up, each birthday brings the potential for lots of new milestones and most importantly memories.  And that is something I will always look forward to.

Happy four years, Bitty Bea!  We love you so much!

-smk