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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Six Year Old Stage

My oldest turns six today!  Since I wrote about all the things I love in the newborn stage, I feel I should also write about what I love in all these other stages that my kids are in...

I'll start with the six year old stage since it is her birthday today =)

Now... there may be some similarities in all six year olds, but I'll dedicate this post to what I love about my particular six year old...

Great Conversations...
First of all, I've got a talker!  Now, she was very talkative at a very young age and had quite a vocabulary before she even turned one.  However, at six she is much more expressive about her feelings and her insights on all situations have taken on a new level of sophistication.  I also love the wisdom she imparts.  Just the other day, I was making some comment on how tired I am because my newborn is waking me up pretty much every 1-2 hours at night.  "Well, mom, " she says with her hands on her hips.  "When I'm in school and the other two little ones are napping, you should go to your room and take a nap!"  Yes, I should!

Now, sometimes her chatter can get a bit exasperating... especially when it is during meal time and she is distracting the other kids from eating.  However, I love her energy and enthusiasm.  I love how her mind will go from topic to topic and she'll have boundless things to say about each and every topic.  I love how she can give me a detailed almost hour by hour description of everything that went on at school that day.  Her response is so different from my husband's typical guy response of "good" when I ask how his day went!

Physically More Independent...
My six year old is also now at a stage where she can do most things by herself.  Most mornings, she will get herself dressed and brush her own teeth.  Little things like this add up and can be physically draining especially with so many little ones, so it is huge that my oldest can do this for herself.  In fact, she can even help her younger sister get dressed and a few times I've seen her help with teeth brushing.  So my oldest is definitely at a stage now where she can actually be helpful with her brothers and sister... even if it is just entertaining them.  "I'm in training to be a babysitter," she said to me a couple of weeks ago.  With so many little siblings, she certainly is!

Fills My Emotional Cup...
Finally, my dear little girl is so sensitive and has such a tender heart.  On one hand, she is easily hurt and can become quite emotional at a drop of a hat.  At the same time, she has keen emotional insight and can often sense when I'm upset or hurt and offer a hug, a smile, an encouraging word that would warm my heart.  She cares deeply and loves with passion.  She thrives on verbal affirmation and gets ecstatic when receiving gifts.  We've had many heart to heart conversations and I'm sure there will be many more to come.  I love her innocent steadfast devotion to me and pray our relational bond will only grow stronger as the years go by and she is influenced more by her peers.

I love you so much, S.  It is hard to believe what a beautiful and amazing girl you are growing to be and I'm excited to share more precious moments with you!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Newborn Moments

I love this newborn period!  Savoring every precious moment... 

Soon I will miss these things and probably will only experience it again in small instants with someone else's newborn... or when I turn grandmother =)

I love watching...
  • the random facial expressions he makes... 
  • his mouth opening and closing in different configurations
  • the spurts of  rapid quick breathing
  • the way one arm and hand will wiggle out of his hospital white top when crying vigorously
  • his head turn from side to side trying to suck on anything around when hungry
I love smelling...
  • that newborn baby smell...
  • the hospital pacifier... haha - it actually smells like chocolate!
  • even the stinky diapers have a particular smell... not like the diapers later on when he starts solids
I love hearing...
  • the tiny grunts and snorts he make while he sleeps
  • the rhythmic slurp slurp gulp gulp during a good feed
  • that newborn cry that is so particular... not loud or whiny.. just the 'wah wah wah' announcing his presence
I love touching... 
  • his tiny teensy feet
  • the small tight clutch of his little hand around my finger
  • his smooth soft cheek against my cheek
  • his itty bitty nose cool against my nose
  • his fine sparse hair
Other random things I love and will miss...
  • being able to hold him in the crook of one arm all bundled up like a burrito
  • the little umbilical cord clip that will fall off soon
  • even that black tarry poop that sticks to everything and takes rigorous rubbing to come off
  • little tiny mittens and little tiny booties...
  • the newborn hospital cap
  • everything teensy weensy!
  • finally... knowing I can leave him in a bassinet and he'll pretty much be in the same position when I come back
So in love right now... treasuring... wanting it to last... making the most of every second...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Postpartum Hospital Stay

Strange as it may sound, I actually was really looking forward to my postpartum stay at the hospital after delivering #4.  I was actually hoping to deliver earlier in the day so that I'd have more time there.  Haha.  Now that I am back home, "reality" of balancing the whole newborn routine with 3 little kiddos along with all the management responsibilities of "mom" and "wife" kick in!  At least, I'll have 6 weeks before having to add on my "doctor" role =)

So what was it about the hospital that I was looking forward to?  Ohh... so much!  It may be different per hospital but at least the one I deliver at has great maternity and postpartum care.  The food in the cafeteria is pretty good as well.

Here are some things I'll miss about the experience (since this will be my last time):
  • Ordering room service and having food delivered to my bed anytime I want and as much as I want... 
  • Beeping the nursing station for any little thing... drink of water... pain meds... a back rub (j/k)
  • Electronic hospital bed to help get into sitting position or back down to lying position without having to use abdominal muscles
  • Television with cable (I don't ever watch at home... didn't really watch there either actually but just nice it's there in case I want to =b)
Then there's the stuff you get to wear:

  • Fuzzy wuzzy socks of varying colors with the non-slip grip on the bottom
  • Fancy smancy snap gowns for easy nursing access  
  • Large mesh throw-away underwear
But the #1 reason that I enjoy my postpartum stay the hospital...
  • 48 hrs of just "me" time... (well and new baby time) but at least a little get away from all the busy-ness of life...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When Are You Coming, Baby?

So I've reached 39 weeks and I'm officially on maternity leave!  My last shift at work landed on Halloween and my staff were very creative and funny.  They dressed up as me and caused quite the chuckle with our patients.

Reading one of my old posts that I wrote when I was in my third trimester of pregnancy kinda cracks me up...  Gotta start trying to induce my own labor with the list...

Okay, baby... any day, now.  This tired momma is getting too big and would like to meet you face to face =)