Friday, August 28, 2009

Grace's Point of View - 3 Months

Here is Grace's 3 month journal entry from her baby book - where in the world did 3 months go?

In Mommy’s opinion, I grew up a lot this month. I’m no longer considered a newborn, and I’m trying to prove it with all the things I’m learning! I am eating 6 times a day, every 3 to 3 ½ hours. Most days I go to sleep around 8pm, wake up for a “dreamfeed” around 10 o’clock, and then go straight to bed and sleep until 7 or 8 am. I do wake up at 5 or 6 am once every 3 or 4 days, but Mommy doesn’t mind since I sleep so well all the other times. Nursing is still going pretty well, though I struggle a lot with being gassy. This leads to me crying and pulling off a lot sometimes. Mommy is trying to figure out if it’s something she’s eating that’s making me so upset. She is going to start with cutting out dairy and see if that helps. We are going through gas drops like crazy ‘cause I get some after EVERY feeding. Also, I am not a fan of the bottle, especially if Daddy tries to give it to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Daddy, but I prefer my food to come from Mommy. Dad’s new trick is to sneak into my room as I’m waking up and reach the bottle over the side of the crib while he hides. It actually worked – silly Daddy! Our house was very quiet and lonely for a week this month ‘cause Bubba went to stay at Grammy’s house. I wanted to go too, but Mommy says I’m not old enough yet. I’ll get to go to Grammy Camp next summer! Oh, well. I did get to go visit her and Granddad when we all went up together, and that was so fun. I met Great Grandma Barrick and many of their friends from church.

Grammy took me shopping and bought me some pretty outfits that I will fit into very soon. As an added bonus, we got to stop at Aunt Kel & Justin's house in Dallas on the way home and I made friends with Lucy the Bulldog. We had lots of fun and I did much better on the car rides than Mommy & Daddy thought I would! The last week of the month was very exciting as we had two things to celebrate: Mommy turned 30 and my new cousin, Addison, was born. I can’t wait to meet Addison (we’ll get to visit her in the beginning of October). I think it is so special that I have a girl cousin so close to me in age. (I love my cousin, Gabriel, but I feel kind of left out 'cause he always plays with Ben!) I had a nurse’s visit on August 12th to catch up on my immunizations, and I weighed 10 pounds, 6 ounces. Another month, another pound! :)
Stay tuned for my 4 month adventures!
Gracie Belle

Grace's Milestones and Changes from this month:
Started cooing and babbling – 11 weeks
Held head up 90 degrees while on tummy – 12 weeks
Stopped swaddling – 13 weeks
Would wake up in my crib happy (sometimes) – 14 weeks
Started attending church nursery – 15 weeks
And, some pictures to document the month:

Weaning from my swaddle
Goodbye, swaddle.... hello, duck :)

Trying out my Exersaucer

Grammy introducing me to Great Grandma Barrick

Waiting for my dreamfeed

Helping Mommy clean and organize Bubba's room while he was away

Tummy Time!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jumping for My Love

It was almost time for bed and I asked Ben if he wanted to have a dance party. He was being so cute that I got the video camera out. (See below). However, I very quickly found out that the time between dinner and bed is not neccessarily the best time to crank up the Pointer Sisters and get our groove on.

Here is Ben showing off his moves (so far so good):

When the song was over, he asked to "see". So I plugged the camera into the computer and he crawled up into my chair. He was standing in the chair as I started to play the video and I glanced up at him to see if he liked it. He had the weirdest look on his face. Like he was chewing something. "Ben, what's in your mouth?" Then his eyes get real wide and, wait for it.... he PUKES! All over me... over and over... and all I could do was just sit there! (It was all landing right in my lap, and if I had tried to move him it would have left a trail between the desk and the bathroom!) Dance Party Foul, Ben! Poor form - seriously!

So I had to wait until he was done, then, BRIAN HELLLPPP! Brian came running out of our room, scooped Ben up and put him in his bathroom. Then he brought me a towel and I had to try to wrap the towel around me and waddle to the tub so I wouldn't "spill". Let me tell you, this is not in any parenting book I've ever read! I don't know how I didn't lose my dinner while I was sitting there being used as a waste can. I guess when we become Moms, we are endowed with some sort of super-human high tolerance for the likes of spit-up, poop, etc. Who knew?

Anyway, I'm all cleaned up, I've disinfected the bathroom, and I'm not (much) worse for the wear. Lesson learned - save the 80's Pop/R&B for a time other than after dinner. Was the video worth it? The jury's still out.

Later, as I was putting Ben to bed I asked him if he felt ok... he had recovered quite quickly, was bouncing around his bed getting ready for a story and said "yep!" I said, "Did your tummy hurt before you threw up?" He said, "No, it didn't." So I thought out loud, "Hmmm, that's kind of crazy." Ben replies, "Yep, Siwwy me!" From the mouths of babes - a three year old's perspective of throwing up all over Mommy - siwwy him.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Birthday Week!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear Gabi, Happy 30th Birthday to ME!

As I enter into a new decade in my life, I can't help but reflect on the last one. A lot of great things happened in my 20's. I graduated from college, I met and married my best friend, I swam with whales and sea lions, I bought my first house, I had two amazing kiddos... the list goes on and on. But, regardless of how much I enjoyed the 20's, the 30's are here to stay (for a while, anyway!) So, I'm just gonna be excited about it - woo hoo - I'm 30!

Brian went out of his way to make this birthday a special one. I'm a HUGE fan of birthdays, which always made me feel a little silly, until I met Melissa. She introduced me to the concept of BIRTHDAY WEEK (which I think I always secretly tried to weasel out of my loved ones, though I never verbalized it). Thank you, Melissa, for validating my love of all things birthday. And thank you, Brian, for indulging me. You will be rewarded - your big day (week) is just around the corner!

So, what does birthday week look like, you ask? Well, the week started out with Brian being off with us on a Monday (it was the last day of the vacation time he took) so we had pictures taken of Gracie and went out to lunch. It was just a special treat to have him home with us an extra day. Brian also made the meal plan and grocery list for the week and we went shopping together (much nicer than going alone with the two kids). He cooked dinner that night and cleaned the kitchen. In fact, he released me from kitchen duty for the rest of the week... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

On Tuesday, after dinner, Brian loaded us up in the van and drove us to Freddy's where we shared the world's most perfect food: The Brownie Sundae! I don't know what was more fun, eating the Sundae, or watching Ben eat the Sundae. He matched us bite for bite and when it was all gone asked, "Can we get some more ice cream?" The child is a bottomless pit. Anyway, yay for brownie sundaes (without nuts - not an easy find). HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

On Wednesday, Brian took my van to get washed. This was a delightful surprise that I wouldn't have thought to ask for - but I was very grateful! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

On Thursday, I had to work most of the day. However, the wonderful women that I work with took me out for... wait for it... a brownie sundae after lunch! It was fun to sneak away from the office for a little bit! Thursday night was our turn in the rotation for date night (we trade off with our neighbors every other week) so Brian took me out on the town. First, we went to the Container Store, which is my own little piece of heaven here on Earth. I have just about had it with my tiny little pantry, so I wanted to look into an Elfa build (we've already done our closet, Ben's closet, the utility room, and the garage). I LOVE Elfa - but I have to say they failed me this time around. Essentially I would have to spend about $250 to get one more shelf than I already have. I was hoping to be able to do drawers or baskets or something, but the door opening is too small. Oh well, it was nice to say hello to all the containers. Then we went to Babies R Us to pick up a new bottle for Grace in the hopes that she will use it and stop screaming at Brian all day when I'm at work. (Isn't it weird how, once you become a parent, running errands WITHOUT the kids becomes a fun date night activity?) Our last stop was Cheesecake Factory. Yummy, yummy! That's all I have to say about that! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

That brings us to Friday - the big day! Grace decided she wanted to be the first to wish me happy birthday, so she woke up starving at 5am. (She does this once every 3 or 4 days now - the rest of the time she sleeps until 7:30 or 8). I went back to sleep after I fed her and slept in until 8:30. (Brian got up with Ben for me - thanks, Babe!). After I fed Grace again, the boys brought me a card and a present (a fun stamp with our address on it - look for it on our Christmas cards!). Then, we loaded up in the car and Brian took us to a little bakery called "Cupcake Couture" for a birthday cupcake. Once again, I think Ben had more fun than anybody. He picked out his own little mini cupcake from the platter, wolfed it down, and then tried to talk us out of our cupcakes. "But I'm sooooo hungry!" he says. I wasn't buying it. At noon, Missy came by to take me out to lunch (which I knew about) and a pedicure (which I did not know about). Thanks, Miss, you're such a blessing and an amazing friend! Aubrey, you will be thrilled to know that my toes would now pass inspection ;). When I got home from our girls outing, it was time for naps, so I enjoyed the quiet house for a little while. When Brian got up, he informed me that I needed to be ready to go at 5:20. What?! We're going out again? I thought last night was my birthday dinner. Nope - he had a baby-sitter all lined up and off we went. Once we were in the car, he said that I can never decide whether I want Cheesecake Factory or Pappadeaux's for my birthday, so because I'm turning 30 I get both! What a great husband! And the icing on the (birthday) cake was that he invited some of our friends to join us. We had a great dinner with Aaron & Liz, Caleb & Abby, and Seth & Melissa (my birthday week partner in crime). The food was great (did you know they have REAL whipped butter - hee hee), and we laughed a lot. It was the perfect end to a great week. If the rest of my 30's are half as great as this week was, I'll be a very blessed woman! Anyway - here we are dinner - thanks, guys, for sharing my special day with me!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Update on Grace

Our sweet Gracie Belle is growing and is a new baby almost every day! When she was born, she was 6 lbs, 11oz. At her 1 month visit she was 7 lbs, 15 oz, and most recently, at her 2 month visit, she was 9 lbs, 7 oz. She's not growing quite as fast as Ben did - he started out at 6lbs, 1 oz and was 11 lbs, 4 oz at 2 months - but I guess that's just because she's going to be a dainty girl! We weigh her at home on our scale (not sure how accurate that is) and we were excited last week when she finally made it over 10 pounds! She'll be 12 weeks this Friday... it makes me laugh to think that some of my friends brought home newborns that are the same size that she is now.

It's hard to say whether or not Grace is an easy or hard baby. She's a homebody. She definitely does not prefer to be out and about. This makes things like church, grocery shopping, and going out to dinner a little challenging. On the other hand, she is a great sleeper. If we're home, she's very predictable. Wakes up at 7am, eats, plays, naps. Repeat 5 more times. She started sleeping through the night (10pm - 7am) consistently between 7 and 8 weeks. For this, I am eternally grateful!

One thing that she has really enjoyed is meeting new friends. She's normally not very happy laying on the floor (though that is changing a bit just this week), but if she has a little buddy with her, it's an entirely different story. In the first picture, she's practicing her dance moves with her bestie, Lyla. I loved to dance, and Lyla's Mommy is a dance team coach, so we think these girls are going to be getting their grooves on before we know it!

This is Grace's other best good friend (and potential husband), Grant. Grant's mommy is Melissa, and Melissa and I have synchronized uteruses. (Is that too much information... sorry). Anyway, Grant's big sister Emily is two days older than Ben, and Grace is 3 weeks older than Grant. So, we are perfectly matched up for play dates. Emily & Ben have been great friends for the past 18 months, and it looks like Grant and Grace are off to a pretty good start!

Lots of people have asked about how Ben has handled having a new sibling in the house, and I have to say that I couldn't be more proud of him. He obviously gets much less attention, and often has to wait to have his needs met, but for the most part, he has been very patient. I notice him getting restless and antsy sometimes because we haven't done as many outings since Grace has arrived, but I've never seen him take any of it out on his little sister. He brings me diapers and burp cloths and is very concerned about doing things himself (like going to the potty, getting water, picking out clothes.) Brian even taught him how to sort laundry! (Can you hear the Hallelujah chorus?!) Here are a couple pictures of Ben loving on his sister and playing with her on the floor:

Grace reserves lots of smiles for Ben, and she follows him around the room when she hears his voice... makes nursing her a bit challenging when she's so concerned with what her Bubba is doing.

OK, sorry for the super long post. I'm almost done, I promise! Just this week, Grace has started "talking". All you have to do is prop her up and start talking to her, and she really gets going. She oohs and aahs, and makes this crazy little squealing noise. It's pretty cute. She LOVES talking to Brian... when he holds her and makes faces at her, she will go on forever! I managed to get her new noises on video this morning - enjoy!

Translation, please

I am bilingual. I know English, and I know "Ben". One of my favorite things about raising kids is being privy to their little world and understanding things that "outsiders" don't. When Ben was learning to talk, he had tons of words, most of which were indistinguishable to anyone who didn't spend every day with him. If he said "bye" in a high pitched voice, he meant "bye". If he said it in a low, growling tone, he meant "bite". "Dugga-dugga-dugga" translated to the word "stuck", and "NNNNN-na" was what he called his best friend Tanner.

Over time, Ben's words have gotten much clearer, and from what his teachers at school and church tell me, he is incredibly verbal. The need for translation doesn't have as much to do with unrecognizable words as it does his phrasing. Here are some examples:

Simon Peter (Peter Pan)
Missa Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
Mountain Goat Store (Bass Pro Shop)
Cereal with the mushrooms in it (Lucky Charms)
Vitamin Gummy (Flintstone vitamin)
Prize Gummy (He means surprise gummy, which is what he calls starburst, skittles, etc - instrumental in potty training!)
Yum Yum (M&M - another potty training neccessity)
Juicy water (Juice cut with water)
Water water (Water without the juice in it)
Body (his bottom)
I'm gonna go in my foots (I'm going barefoot)
I'msorryIdidn'tmeanto (Oops, I got caught, and hopefully apologizing right away will keep me from getting a Time Out)

You get the idea - can you imagine him asking a baby-sitter for "the cereal with the mushrooms in it". I wonder what he would end up with.

Ben also can't say his "L's". He acts "siwwy", he "woves" me, he likes "Sea Whoad", "Bible Cwass" and "Baby Wyla". I don't know why, but I think this is the cutest thing (for now... I guess it won't be so cute when he's 16 and goes to apply for his "dwivers wicense"). I'm sure he'll get those "L's" under control by then! In the meantime, the funny things he says all day are made even funnier by his creative phrases and pronunciation.