Monday, April 21, 2014

Full Plate

Hope all had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Wow... everyday I feel like I'm playing catchup... who has time to blog?

My oldest is in the swing of elementary school. Conversations about friends and school and life has gotten so much more in depth lately. What a tremendous privilege and responsibility to guide her during this precious stage of growth and maturity.

My second is largely over her terribly independent and defiant stage and is back to being sweet and huggable. When the two of girls are together, they are non-stop chattering away. Every now and then we have to step in and sort out hurt feelings.

Big brother E is pretty hilarious with the things he says these days. He totally likes to copy his sisters. He seems to admire and follow along with the oldest but battles fiercely with the second. He seems to always be banging on something with this toy or that... and fighting imaginary bad guys. Of all my kids, this kid is accident prone! Scraped knee here... banged up head there... cut lip... oh I'm just waiting for the stitches and broken bones!

Little L is my cute cuddly little man who has developed quite the chuckle. Poop has gotten more smelly as we've introduced real foods into his diet. Only issue is sleep, little buddy... mommy needs sleep!

Juggling when this one eats and that one needs to sit on the potty... this one has a sore thumb... that one needs homework help... I'm blogging here but I still need to make the lunches for tomorrow... print out pictures for another's homework project... piles and piles of laundry... figure out when my helpers need to come help... Ack! My plate is just full right now... but it's a good full.

Monday, March 17, 2014

4 Months Old

L is four months old.  The time is flying by.  I am so in love with my little meaty cutie patootie!
Every time, I get him in the morning, he breaks into a huge smile for me.  Sometimes, if he has been crying, he will smile with tears still glistening in his eyes.  He definitely loves attention and is so easily consoled.  Just smile at him.  Before a bath, when I pull on the sleeves to take his arm out of his clothes, he cackles out loud.  Often, I hear him cooing to himself and blowing raspberries.  He has discovered his hands and loves to suck voraciously.  He has excellent head control and can lift his head pretty high during tummy time.  The newborn baby swaddle no longer holds him, his two arms usually break lose.  He can turn 360 degrees if placed on a mat and it is probably just a matter of time before he starts rolling over.
Sleep pattern has improved some at night but we’re still waking up once or twice.  I expect him to sleep through the night by 6 months because my third started sleeping through the night by 9 months, my second by 12 months, while my first took 15 months!   Eventually, they all learn to sleep all night… at least most kids do with a few set backs.
We’ll probably introduce rice cereal and oatmeal soon.  However, I’m not looking forward to smelly poop that comes with introduction of real food…
Of all my kids, this one has definitely been the most mellow.  He is fairly low maintenance… and the best napper of them all.  Maybe he learned to be this way with all the chaos and physical and emotional demands of his older siblings… but surely it must also be his personality.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Babies and Sound Machines

Long time no blog!  ...or facebook for that matter.  Life has been busy as usual but I've just been crashing at night. 

Speaking of sleep... there has been recent news regarding the use of sound machines and whether it is harmful to baby’s hearing.  The theory is that the noise level may be too loud for infants because they are more sensitive to sound due to their smaller ear canals.  So there is potential harm to the child's hearing if there is prolonged exposure.

Now, we have a sound machine in each of our kids’ rooms and even bring it with us when we travel!  We’ve found that sound machines do help with the quality of our kids’ sleep and sleep is highly treasured in this household.  So what to do with this new information?

I like Dr Karp's response to this recent news.  To boil it all down, these are the take away points I came away with:

  • Make sure sound machine is not too close to baby’s ears… as far away as possible
  • Make sure the volume is not cranked up.. maybe make it as soft as possible
  • Use the machine for as short duration as possible... some say turn off after kid is asleep

Bottom line... use with caution and if not really noticing a significant difference in kids’ sleep, may be time to put it away.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

3 Month Stage

L is out of the newborn stage!  I'm mourning each stage as it passes now since I know he is my last...

So at 3 months, L is much more alert and aware of his surroundings than before.  He has gotten the social smile down pat.  If you so much as catches his eye even for a second, he will break out into a huge smile and start cooing.  It melts my heart every time, and I end up spending the next few minutes just cooing back and smothering him with kisses.

He is also much stronger now and is breaking out of the newborn swaddle wrap.  The wrap works so well in keeping their arms from flailing all over the place.  Now, he likes to stretch and suck on his hands when given the opportunity.

That football hold where I could just hold the baby with the crook of one arm... no more... getting bigger and heavier and longer...

Stool still smells relatively "not stinky" at this stage since diet still consists of only breastmilk... no solid foods yet.  Once solids get introduced is when the poop starts smelling like real poop!

So other than a lot of kicking in the air and arms flailing, there is still fairly minimal movement.  No danger yet of finding baby in a different place after putting him down.  However, one should never leave baby unattended... especially on high surfaces.  Any day now, he may roll over!  My oldest first rolled at 4 months so gotta be on the watch for it.

Now is also the time to transition from sleeping most of the day to developing a more scheduled sleep pattern.  Eventually, we'll fall into one morning nap, one afternoon nap, maybe a short late afternoon nap, and then a 12 hour night stretch from 7p to 7a... hopefully soon??  We'll see...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two and a half Toddler Stage

Stealing a quick moment to blog!  At this rate.. I'm posting once a month...

So what to write about... I've been meaning to write a little blurb about my two and a half year old since I've already written one for the newborn and my two older girls.

This is a crazy fun age.  Lots of new words and discoveries!  This includes discovering the power to say "no" and not comply with mommy and daddy's every wish.  I find my toddler especially likes to exert his control during meal times.  Though this may be frustrating to say the least... it is supposed to be a phase.  For the most part, my boy is actually a pretty decent eater but for those of you out there who are struggling with getting the calories in, remember you can count total calories per day and not necessarily jam it all in during the usual breakfast, lunch, dinner times.  I actually wrote a previous blog on this topic when my second child was going through this stage.  You can click on the link here to read it.

So in addition to the power of saying "no" is the yearning for independence and doing everything by themselves.  This actually does crack me up most of the time, though there are moments when I just want to pull out my hair.  So here are a few examples... I'd put E on the booster seat at meal times...  he will climb back down and then climb back up himself.  Same thing with washing his hands... if I by accident place him on the step stool to wash his hands... he will climb back down the stool and climb back up it before he is willing to wash his hands... by himself.  He will try to put his shoes on for 5 minutes or so before giving up and asking for help.  If I help him before he asks me for help... sometimes we get the loose jelly melt down on the floor.  Sigh.  So getting to places on time requires factoring in extra 20 minutes or so to just get out the door dressed... then to the car... then into the carseat and then buckled!  Fun times...

My boy loves to copy his two older sisters in everything they say and do right now.  We're often trying to remind the older ones to be a good example so he can copy good things.  Unfortunately, most of the time he is copying them with things like... waving utensils madly in the air during meal times... screaming certain phrases and laughing hysterically... He even wants his hair in a ponytail!  Right now the thing to do in the car is to sing "let it go" and "love is an open door"... on the top of their lungs...

My toddler boy is certainly a little more active and accident prone than my girls at this same age.  This may be a personality thing and not just a gender thing... but E is totally into choo choo trains and such.  Already, he is wiggling out of my smooches and embraces.  In fact, the only way I get him to come over and give me a kiss is by getting my girls to do it first.  I'd call out, "who wants to give mommy a kiss?!"  My girls would usually run over and smother me with their hugs and kisses.  E will see them and run over, too.  Sigh... they grow too fast...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sleep Deprived Moms

Happy Belated New Year... and almost Chinese New Year!  It has been forever since I've blogged... all because I usually blog at night and I've been desperately trying to catch sleep whenever I can...

Slowly but surely, I will sleep through the night again!  We've improved to waking up only 2-3 times at night now... for a while there I was waking up every 1-2 hours.  Ah... the joys of sleep conditioning... I think I prefer that term over "training".

So anyways... just wanted to throw in a short blurb here about sleep deprivation and moms.  There are so many ways that lack of sleep adversely affects one's health.  Personally, I find myself more short tempered and irritable and more vulnerable to sickness.  Here is an interesting article by Web MD on Moms and Sleep Deprivation.  So on that note... good night! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Trying Three Year Old Stage

Today is my second daughter's four year old birthday.  I'm thrilled to be done with the three year old stage.  That was definitely a tough stage... much worse than two's in my opinion.  Here are some characteristics that describe my #2.

Fiercely Independent...
This is where the child wants to do everything by themselves.  Actually, this characteristic starts around age two.  However, when the almost two year old starts displaying this stubborn independence, it is funny at first and I can't help but laugh.  It cracks me up to watch my two year old get off the chair and back on again because he wants to get on by himself without help.  However, at three this independence takes on a new level of determination and defiance even.  It is no longer funny and I find it extremely frustrating at times.  At the end of the day, it is all part of normal development though each kid may display this with varying degrees of seriousness.  My little A was such an easy child until she hit this stage.  I love her fearless spirit but I hope we are seeing an end to the dragged out morning battles of picking out clothes.  Her quest for independence makes even the simple routine of teeth brushing into such an ordeal.  It is great that she knows what she wants but it has been a challenge trying to teach her that sometimes you get what you get!

Oh So Mischievous!
Perhaps it is a second child thing, but A is definitely my sneaky "let me see if I can get away with it" one!  In September, my husband and I went away for a short trip and when we came back, this is what I discovered under my bed covers!  None of the caregivers had a clue.

Further more, I had to discover this myself and then it is like pulling teeth to get this one to confess whereas my older daughter would have burst into tears and confessed the minute we walked into the house!  Other examples of fun discoveries include a stash of food from our basement refrigerator that Miss A hid in her princess tent which we did not uncover until two days later.  Unfortunately, we had to throw away quite an amount of groceries since most of it was perishable.  Now only a few days prior to this episode she led an egg smashing adventure with my two year old who was more than thrilled to follow her example.  My husband came downstairs to a site of giggling hysterical kids surrounded by broken eggshells and eggyolk all over our basement carpet!  That was so not fun to clean up.  So as a result, we now have a lock on that refrigerator.

But despite all this... it is hard to stay angry at this little one because she is just so cute, smiley, and hugable!  So another characteristic that stands out above the rest...

Loving and Full of Affection
A's love language is physical touch (which I got from The 5 Love Languages of Children... great book by the way, if you haven't read it).  I treasure her spontaneous declarations of "I love you, mommy" followed by a hug and a kiss.  She almost always has a smile on her face and it is such a delight to hear her gleeful giggle.  My favorite moment with her is cuddling before bedtime.
I love you so much, A!  Sometimes, I wish I can slow down time when I watch how fast you are growing and becoming so self-reliant.  However, I'm thankful that God blessed us with you... my sweet, cuddly, playful girl.
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