Tuesday, March 23, 2010

five months

Dear Joshua,

My chunky little five month old boy. Right now I’m watching you as you lay in the floor and arch your back as far as possible so that you can look up above your head at the singing ball toy someone gave you. You want to play with it so badly but you can’t quite figure out how to move your body around enough to get it. You have great head control but you still have this slight hesitation about flipping your lower body over so that you’re on your belly. I think you still think that you’ll fall.




Anyway, you’ve grown a ton. You’re wearing some size 12 – 18 month and some size 18 -24 month clothes and I STILL just cannot get over your fat rolls. They are delightful. Socks just will NOT stay on your feet, probably because you have no ankles to hold them on. Instead you have cankles.  And you know really, it wasn't that long ago that I was nine months pregnant and saying that about myself so I'm not just picking on you.

You still don’t have a tooth yet, but judging by the way you chew on your fingers and then burst into tears from the pain no less than five times a day I’d guess we’ll have one before too long. The doctor said we could start solid foods this month and so far you’ve had peaches, bananas, sweet potatoes, and green peas none of which you’ve been especially fond of. You do enjoy the cereal though.



Right now you’re suffering through your second double ear infection. It makes you sleep extremely poorly and congested enough that you don’t want to eat at all. You wake multiple times a night just trying to be able to breathe. You have snot pouring down your upper lip practically all day and you have coughing fits that make you easily mistaken for an old man. The solid foods may have made you constipated for a few weeks but the amoxicillin makes you poop about ten times a day.

But. BUT. Bless you child, because despite all of these crappy life changes you still have the sweetest temperament. It takes very little to make you laugh or smile and you squeal with delight very easily.

You can sit up for two or three minutes on your own before you topple over backwards or bend your waist all the way do that your nose is pressed against the floor. You've officially found your feet.  You love for someone to hold you up so you can stand.  You’ll come really close to reaching for people if they hold their hands out to pick you up and you move all around your crib throughout the night. It won’t be long at all before you’re all over the place in the blink of an eye.




We’ve finally gotten the bedtime thing down pat and you go to bed pretty easily these days. However, even at the beginning of the month you still weren’t sleeping all that great throughout the night. You’d go to bed around nine and wake up usually once each night to nurse and then you’re up for the day at seven. Most of the time you also wake up around 2 or 3 am as well even though you’re not hungry but at least then you’ll go back to sleep on your own. Now with the teething and ear infection (and who knows what else) you’re up every other hour. Mommy needs some sleep, boy! Can you work on that?

You take a bath with your sister every night and you love rubbing your belly when it’s wet. We let you go for a little swim in the water after you’re all clean and you seem to love it. I can’t wait to take you in the pool this summer.



You also love to watch Julianna in the car. It’s great that your carseat is rear facing because it lets you see her for the entire ride. We’re headed to the beach later this week so I hope that you’ll be good for us and if sister will entertain you the whole way, I can get a nap! Whheeeee! :)


Can't wait until next month, Sweet Boy!  I love you!

Love,
Mama


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Annual Survey Time! from the BlogHer Publishing Network

I wish I was going to BlogHer '10.  It's just too expensive for us right now.  However, if I were to win a ticket I would certainly not turn it down.  If you have a few minutes for a short survey, please click the link below and you'll be entered for a chance to win a free ticket to BlogHer yourself.  Thanks!







Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

the beloved nap

A couple of weeks ago we started letting Julianna skip naps on the weekends.  It just seemed to be easiest when she was only taking a nap about 4 days a week anyway and the other days she just played with books quietly in her bed.  Then as I was working with Joshua trying desperately to get a nap schedule going with him, I sort of let naptime for Jules slide on a weekday or two.  I told her she could either have quiet time playing nicely in her room or she could sit on the couch downstairs and watch TV.

Of course, this has turned in to an everyday thing now because it has worked out so well for all of us.  She enjoys not having to stay in her bed and she goes to bed easier at night.  We enjoy being able to put both kids to bed at the same time and have them wake up at the same time.  Also, I am thankful to not have to go upstairs and put her down for a nap and there's freedom to be more flexible with leaving the house in the middle of the day if necessary.  I can tell that her not napping will be especially nice as the weather warms up.

Julianna turns four in about a week and up until now it has been really important for me to uphold a nap/quiet time schedule.  I just didn't want to be one of those parents that made their kids adapt to their own wake/sleep habits because it was convenient.  I knew I wanted to teach my children to sleep at the appropriate times for a child their age and provide opportunities and the right environment for them to sleep when they became tired.  Julianna would get irritable in the evenings on days when she didn't have that time and we could just tell that she really wasn't ready to drop her nap.  When she started having quiet time in her bed without falling asleep I knew that the time was coming when she wouldn't need a nap at all and I think we've reached that point.

When she was a baby she started sleeping until about 6 am when she was about six weeks old.  We started letting her fuss/cry herself to sleep when she turned four months old.  It took her about four days of fussing and crying before her morning nap before she learned how to fall asleep on her own.  After that we could consistently put her down for a nap at almost the same time every day and she would go right to sleep and sleep for more than an hour and a half.  Bedtime was easy as well since we gave her a bottle of formula before bed every night from the very beginning.

We got quite a bit of criticism for letting her cry for those few naps, but I don't regret it in the least.  She has always been a great sleeper (I believe in part because of the sleep training that we did) and I am so grateful for that. 

Josh on the other hand, has been a little more difficult to sleep train than she was.  I don't know if it's because he's a boy or because he's breastfed or what, but I think more than likely it's a combination of a lot of things.  Mostly I think he has been harder to get to stay asleep for naps longer than forty minutes and get on a schedule because he is the second child.  We haven't had the luxury of being home every time he needed to sleep and I haven't stayed with the same routine to put him down.  Also, I haven't always been the one to put him down for each nap like I was with Jules.  And I developed a bedtime routine with Jules a lot earlier than I did with him so I think consistency has been the key for getting Josh to sleep.

Fortunately, we seemed to have reached the point where Josh will reliably take his three naps per day in his crib without fussing.  He goes to bed much easier at night and my stress level has significantly decreased with the additional one-on-one time I have with Jules and certainly with the additional independent time I have.

Do you think that now maybe I can work on a nap schedule for mommy?

What about your kids?  Do they nap well?  Are they on any kind of schedule?  Do they nap at all?



bumbo head

There's just something about this picture that I just adore.  It captures the essence of what evenings are like around here.  Having two kids has been a difficult adjustment, not being able to do anything remotely relaxing all day until 9pm, but I do think we're going to make it.  Yes, indeed.





Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recipe for a Good Start Contest

Ragú® and Molly Ringwald are promoting the Recipe for a Good Start Contest asking moms to share their recipes for a chance to win a $5,000 college scholarship. All you have to do is visit www.recipeforagoodstart.com, submit an original Ragú® recipe. Three first prize winners will be awarded a family trip to New York City where they will compete in a nationally televised Ragú® Recipe Challenge for the chance to win the ultimate prize of a $5,000 college scholarship.
 

Who doesn't want a chance to win a family trip to NYC? It's easy. Just visit the website and enter a recipe that uses Ragu.

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a Ragú® family package in exchange for this post. No monetary exchange took place.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prince Jules

My sister and brother-in-law came over Friday night to keep the kids while Jonathan and I went out to dinner for my birthday.  Julianna was BEYOND thrilled to have them over, especially Seth.  He will apparently take more abuse from her than we will.  Hmmm...  Anyway, here are a couple of the things she said to him while we were gone.

----

"I'm prince Jules!  Now take that sword and try to slice me open"
----


Julianna: OK, now you be the prince and I'll be the princess.
Seth: OK
Julianna: Here is your cape and your sword.  And here, take Lucy, this will be your parrot.
Seth: My parrot?  I thought pirates had parrots.
Julianna: They do
Seth: Well I'm a prince, not a pirate
Julianna: Just use it anyway

----

Monday, March 8, 2010

joshualove

Things I love about my baby boy:
  • the dimples on his knuckles
  • the smell of his clean hair
  • the way he puts the bottoms of his feet together when he's laying on his back
  • his cottage cheese butt cheeks
  • the face he makes when tasting peaches
  • the way his right ear always folds forward
  • the extra rolls of fat in the cracks of his diaper
  • the way he giggles when tickled
  • his infectious enthusiasm in the bath tub
  • how he cranes his neck to see his sister (or the TV whichever happens to be closest)
  • the fact that he'll always be mine



Thursday, March 4, 2010

meal planning worksheets

Did you see this?

I've been buying dollar notepads with the days of the week on them from Michael's for a couple years now, but this will work better and it's FREE! Awesome!

Thanks Money Saving Mom and FiveJs!



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

laughing baby

video

It takes very little to make this little boy laugh.

update on Josh

We went to Joshua's four-month doctor's visit on Monday and all is well, as expected.  The doctor told us that he was growing perfectly.  She checked on his physical development and seemed pleased.  She asked about his eating and sleeping patterns and seemed satisfied.  I talked to her about his 45 minute naps and how difficult it has been to break him of that and she said that some babies just don't nap longer than that at a time.  She seemed more interested in the fact that he usually only sleeps at night from about 9 or 9:30 to 4:30 before he wants to nurse again.  She said that she hoped starting him on solid foods would help that.  I agreed.

We gave him his first taste of rice cereal on Monday.  He impressed me so much.  I have never seen a baby so completely understand how to eat on their first try as he did.  He opened his mouth for the spoon and even turned his head in the direction of it a few times.  He was able to swallow it pretty well.  I think I made it a little too runny, but I'll get it figured out soon.

He got his shots and did OK with those.  The standard bottom lip pooched out and turned down as he screamed for about a minute.  I was able to comfort him easily until he remembered he was supposed to be in pain again and started screaming a bit more.  It was funny to see him go back immediately to smiling as I got him dressed though.

Monday evening and all day yesterday he ran a low temperature.  He's also cutting a bottom tooth or two because his gums are swollen and he's gnawing on everything so the temperature could also be partly due to that.  One time yesterday he bit down on his own finger and then screamed LOUDLY for a few seconds.

Our bedtime routine is helping get him down at night a lot more easily.  You can disagree with me if you want, but I firmly believe that having a firm bedtime and wake-time really helps.  Since I started waking him up at the same time every morning (7:30am) and putting him down at the same time every night (9pm) he has really been easier to get to sleep.  Yesterday he took an hour nap in the crib on his own in the morning.  I think this is great progress although it's slow going.  We'll get there someday soon, I hope.

Anyway, he's doing great.  Here are his four-month stats:

weight: 17 lbs 7 oz
length: 25 7/8 inches
head circumference: 16 3/4 inches

He's consistently staying in the 90th percentile for length and between the 90th and 97th percentile for weight.  His head is measuring around the 50th percentile.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

teething baby

Josh had his 4 month shots yesterday plus he's got sore, swollen gums from teething.  He's running a low temperature and for a normally very happy baby, he is fussing a lot.  Bless his adorable little heart.

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