Sunday, May 29, 2016

Levi: 3 Months

He's really not as bald as these pictures make him look!
Senor Levi is 3 months old and he's finally starting to show some personality! He's smiling a lot and even giggling now and then! Lena never giggled, so I love hearing it from Levi. I think he's starting to recognize me and gets excited to see me. Such a great feeling. 

He loves cooing and talking - especially when I'm changing his diaper. We have many meaningful conversations on the floor in his changing spot. 

He's starting to show a tiny bit of interest in the toys on his playmat. I think he's intentionally batting at them now. 

As I've mentioned in my Saturday 7s, he's an amazing nighttime sleeper. His bedtime is not terribly consistent, but he generally has his last feeding around 8, falls asleep around 9, and sleeps 'til 6ish. I feed him and he almost always goes back to sleep for a couple more hours. Glorious!! During the day, he tends to be awake for about an hour at a time, then naps for an hour or two. I'm a sucker and I hold him until he falls asleep, then carefully transfer him to the swing. Sometimes he gets in cat-nappy moods and will only sleep longer than 10 minutes if I hold him. Which I sometimes do because . . . YOLO!

I'm still swaddling him at night, but not during the day. And at night he sleeps in the Rock N' Play. I'm probably going to keep him in it until he gets too big, and hopefully by then he'll have outgrown his reflux. (I didn't move Lena 'til 6 months and they seem to be on the same growth curve.)

Breastfeeding is going well. He's still eating every 3 hours during the day unless he takes a long nap. He eats in about 20 minutes. He just finished a two week dose of antibiotics for thrush and we're both feeling much better. It's finally painless and easy. Whew! 

I do think he's puking less. He's definitely still a spewer, but the volume and frequency has decreased. And I think he's happier for it. People ask me all the time if he's an easy baby. I'm not sure I'd go that far! Haha. He has his moments. Sometimes he'll be content for hours, sometimes he fusses for hours. You never know what you're going to get! Haha. But he very rarely screams in pain anymore. If he fusses, he usually has a reason for it. 

Size newborn hat is still too big.. (See! He doesn't have a huge head!)
I haven't weighed him very recently, but last I checked he was almost 11 pounds. Growing slowly but surely! I finally packed away the newborn sleepers. He's still wearing some newborn onesies, but 3 month onesies fit now too. 3 month shirts are a little big, 3 month pants are huge, 3 month shorts are gappy at the waist, but he still wears them because I'm not going to buy newborn at this point. Still in size one diapers, and probably will be for a while.
3 month shirt. Newborn pants.
I've decided part of the reason he's not gaining weight very fast is because he burns off his calories faster than he takes them in. He is constantly in motion. If he's not sleeping, he's kicking his legs or flailing his arms. People comment on it all the time. Haha. 

I just looked back at Lena's 3 month update. She had a major bald spot by this age. Levi's is hardly noticeable . . . but he had way less hair to begin with. I do think his head is getting a little flat, but the doctor wasn't concerned and I've been trying to be more diligent with tummy time. He doesn't mind being on his tummy, but he doesn't really lift up his head, he just lays it down and sucks on his hand. Haha. 

I love watching him grow, but sad to see the newborn phase slipping away. Just gotta keep having babies, I guess! ;-)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Saturday 7

1. I read a very interesting, very controversial book this week. I'm not even going to share the title with you because it was that controversial. Lol. But I did want to share these funny little blips from the end. A father is giving advice to his sons about how to be a good husband/father. I loved this part:
I am aware that you boys don't need much sleep. However, if you experienced a major operation every two to three years, having a twenty-pound "tumor" removed, and you had to lend your body to a dairy farmer, you'd need a little more rest, too. Allow your wife to sleep a little longer than you do . . .
Haha. Just call me Bessie and let me sleep! And then, a few paragraphs later was this gem:
Don't allow the brainless, subversive Sesame Street type propaganda to come into your house. Your children's thinking should be molded by the Word of God and Christian example, not by sex perverts and socialists. If you want to destroy your family, then get yourself a good TV and VCR to keep the kids company.
Lol. I'm obviously taking this book's suggestions with a grain of salt. I sure hope my kids don't become sex perverts and socialists because I let them watch Sesame Street propaganda!

2.  Levi has continued to sleep through the night amazingly well - between 10 and 12 hours a night! Incredible! The girls didn't do that until I forced them to (with CIO - go ahead and stone me) around a year. When it got hot this week, we put the window air conditioner in our room. The window is about 3 inches from Levi's Rock N' Play next to my bed, so we decided to move him (into the closet - haha). He really could probably go upstairs into the crib since he's sleeping so well, but I'm not ready to be that far away from him! I was actually a little sad that he moved away from my bedside! #sap

3. Speaking of sad . . . I finally buckled down and purged the 12 totes of girl clothes I had in the basement. While I'm not 100% ready to say Levi is going to be our last baby, it's really looking that way. As much as I'd like to I can't save all 12 totes of clothes just in case we have another girl someday. So this week, I tackled the monumental task of going through each tote individually.
It literally took me 2 whole days.
I only saved my favorites and a few staples from each size. I'm still saving 6 totes (lol), but 2 of them are for Lena to grow into. And the other 4 are for sentimental value. Haha. I actually started with the biggest sizes and worked my way down because it makes me so incredibly sad to get rid of the tiny newborn skirts and dresses. I put it off as long as I could. So if you're in the market for girl clothes size newborn - 3T, we're having a garage sale June 17-18. Come buy my memories . . . ;-)

4. Lucy is 6 years old, has seen 2 siblings grow in my belly and come into the world, and has never asked me how the baby got in my belly. Lena is 3 and asked me this week how Levi got in there. I told her that Jesus put him there. Haha. She was satisfied with that for now. A harder question for me to answer is this one, also from Lena: How does Jesus live in everyone's heart? How do you explain omnipresence to a 3 year old? I just tell her that he's amazing and can do anything he wants. Oy. #notatheologian

5. Here's a great article I read this week: Building a Home Your Kids Want to Come Home To. I thought it'd be cliche, but it actually had some very helpful, practical suggestions. One that resonated with me was this:
If I want my sixteen-year-old to talk to me about life, then I must listen to my fifth grader. . . at this stage I’m very, very tempted to stop listening: the stakes aren’t super high, the stories aren’t super interesting, I hear a lot about different kinds of pizza, jokes, and play by play description of each sporting event. But every time I start to tune out, I think of what I want in the future and tune back in.
I've never thought about that. Admittedly, I'm not always enthralled by Lucy's stories right now, but I'm working on really looking at her and listening so that she'll always feel that she can talk to me and I'll listen.

6. Lucy has one more day of school next week, and then she'll be a 1st grader!! I'm definitely not going to miss taking her to and from school 3 times a week this summer. I despise waking up Lena and Levi to make the 5 minute drive. But I know myself, and I know we'll need some structure over the next 3 months. I've already made a rough outline of activities to do during the week, and we're going to implement a new "earn your screen time" plan that the girls are going to hate. Haha. I'm a lazy parent and let them watch way too much TV. And they're lazy kids and don't ever have to do chores. We're going to rectify both of those dilemmas this summer. Pray for me.

For the fun activities, I'm thinking pool day once a week. We got rid of our pool, but Justin's grandparents have a beautiful, in-ground pool. They live kind of far from us, but I want my kids to have a relationship with them, and we all love the water. Plus, swimming is the only exercise Lucy ever gets. And on a diet of mac n' cheese and pizza, she's starting to need a little exercise now and then. I'm also going to try doing at least one craft project a week. The girls both love crafts, and I'm just too lazy to plan and execute them. We're going to go to Story Time at the library once a week. And I signed Lucy up for AR testing at school. She loves reading the AR books and taking comprehension tests during the school year, so we're going to keep at it all summer long!

7. Our week in pictures:
Scuba Dude looking cute in his summer outfit
Chilling at the park
I may have sent this snapchat to my arachnophobic sister. (That's not the toilet. It's a light fixture on the ceiling.)
And then, when my sisters were discussing their workouts and mile times in a group chat, I responded with this:
I never get sick of this. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Saturday 7

1. I had this thought recently: why are tiny houses trendy and hip when the original tiny house (mobile home) is considered white trash? (Sorry if you live in a mobile home. I think they're awesome.)

2. We had a strange week of sleep (which probably contributes to random thoughts such as the one above). Levi started sleeping through the night! But Lena stopped. I usually feed Levi for the last time between 8 and 10, then he sleeps 'til between 4 and 6. I call that sleeping through the night! Woohoo! Lena, however, has randomly been waking up around 1:00 and freaking out. She pulls out all her stalling tactics (I need my blanket on, turn my CD on, rub my back, I just wanted to tell you I love you), and when I've had enough and tell her to go back to sleep she screams bloody murder. A few times this week, I finally just turned off the monitor and went to sleep while she screamed. She can climb out of her crib, but she doesn't. And that is why she's still in the crib at 3 years old. Haha.

3. I forgot to share one of my favorite new recipes. After Levi was born my wonderful sister arranged for us to get meals delivered for a solid week. One of the meals came from our friend Amy. It was cheesy chicken and rice casserole with a crescent roll topping. And it was delicious. I finally got the recipe from her and made it myself. So easy and so yummy (but not real waistline-friendly. lol).

Amy's Chicken and Rice Casserole
Cook 2 cups of rice
Cook and shred chicken breasts
Mix the following:
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 pkg. Shredded cheese

Add cheese mixture to chicken
Layer rice on bottom of 9x13 pan
Cover with cheesy chicken mix
Top with crescent roll dough

Bake @ 350* for 30-40 min.

4. Lucy only has 3 more days of Kindergarten! Yesterday was Field Day. It was a gorgeous day, so I packed up the little L's and we went to watch. Lucy enjoyed the first couple of events, refused to do the 3 in the middle, and then was bribed to do the last one. Haha.
Tug of War
Water break with Addy
I was smart and brought an umbrella to shade Levi. Contrary to this picture's depiction, he actually really enjoyed it and loved being outside. Haha.

5. Today we went to "the cottage." It belongs to friends of Justin's parents, but they generously allow us to go up and enjoy it throughout the summer. Today, Justin helped put the dock in. The girls swam in the icy water. They all fished. And Levi and I chilled in the shade.

Levi's lake outfit. 
Lena's lake outfit. Haha.
6. Ok, here's this week's theological point: I came across this article this week. It's called "Jeremiah 29:11 is not about you!" I've always been a little annoyed with how people latch on to that verse, because I feel like it's taken out of context.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The author of the article argues that Jeremiah was writing to a specific people about a specific time - the Israelites in Babylonian captivity. God's promise for hope and a good future in 29:11 was specifically for them. Then I saw this on facebook:
Part of me feels validated by the article and thinks it's kind of ridiculous that people claim that verse for themselves. But then I worry that some of my other favorite Bible verses could also be taken out of context. I actually love the verse in Jeremiah that comes just 2 verses later. 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart."

I think what bothers me the most about the Jeremiah 29:11 crowd is that it tends to be used to propagate the prosperity gospel. People like to think God only has good for them and their future as a Christian should be rosy and light. No one is getting 2 Timothy 3:12 tattooed on themselves. Certainly, God's overall plan is good. He is good. His purposes are good. But the process is almost always painful.

7. Anyway . . . here are some pictures from this week:

Grandma wants updated pictures for her wall. This is the first one I snapped of Lucy:

And then there's Lena:
Levi wearing a big-boy outfit! 

Snuggles on the deck while the girls played outside.
More fun with snapchat.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Saturday 7 - lots of pictures!

Birthday Week! I have taught Lucy well, and she claimed more than one day to celebrate her birth. It was a blast.

1. Sunday rounded out our crazy weekend. The girls made me breakfast in bed and presented me with my mother's day present: this book. Lucy read it to me while I ate:

They added their handprints and signatures to the front of the book.
We had Levi dedicated at church:
Lucy refused to go on stage with us.
He wore an adorable outfit:

That evening, we celebrated Mother's Day and Lucy's birthday with my family.

And we discovered faceswap on snapchat . . .
My dad and Libby. I will never not laugh when I look at this picture. Lol.
Justin and me. I look good with a beard! 
We also got to see Tayton getting his blood thinner injections:
The girls were amazed that he didn't even cry!
2. On Monday, Levi had his 2 month well-child appt. He weighed in at 10 lbs exactly which only puts him in the 2nd percentile. Oy. He made it to 22.5" which is 13%. He had to get 3 terrible shots. Lena reminded him that Tater didn't cry when he had his shot, but Levi didn't care. Lol. The doctor is concerned about his slow weight gain and continued puking. She referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist, but I think I'm going to wait a while. I looked up Lena's 2 month stats. She was 10 lbs. 1 oz. and started out almost 2 pounds bigger than Levi! I think my kids are just small/slow gainers. I was the same way and look at me now! ;-)

3. Wednesday was the big birthday! I'm a mean mom and made Lucy go to school on her birthday, but I woke her up with this:

Breakfast in bed and one present.
Levi and Lena were still sleeping, so Lucy and I had a sweet talk about the day she was born and how excited we were to meet her.
She had a great day at school and Justin got home early from work so she could open the rest of her presents.

I love how excited she got about everything!
Per her request, we went to McDonald's for dinner and Burger King for dessert. Lol. Expensive taste! (She got a coupon from her teacher for a free ice cream cone at BK.)
I love this girl.
4. To make up for having to go school on her birthday, I told her Thursday could be her "do what you want" day. She spent most of it watching Netflix and Youtube on her tablet. Haha. She had mac n' cheese for the 3rd day in a row. We played Guess Who. She got to skip rest time and give me an epic makeover. All the makings of a 6 year old's perfect day. :-)

5. And then yesterday was an exciting first for her: her first non-family sleepover. She got invited to a birthday party for a girl from our church and has been so unbelievably excited ever since she got the invitation 2 weeks ago. I, on the other hand, have been extremely anxious. Lol. Imagine that. I didn't have any qualms about her safety at the sleepover, but I was anxious that she'd be anxious! Did you read in her 6 year interview that one of her biggest fears is being away from mommy and daddy? I was so afraid all the girls would settle down to go to sleep and Lucy would lay there wide awake and crying and wanting to come home. Apparently, I overestimated my importance to her though. Lol. She did fine! Stayed all night without a problem and bounced back home full of tales about how much fun she had. Whew!

6. Today has been hard on me. Lena hardly slept all night. I finally brought her to bed with me at 4 am just as Levi was waking up. I went out the living room to feed him and just as he was finishing/drifting off to sleep he pooped. Grr. The worst. As I was changing him, I heard little footsteps and there was Lena - at 4:30 am, saying, "Whatcha doing, Mommy?"

Levi eventually dozed off, but Lena was wide awake, watching TV for the next three hours while I slept in bed next to her (and Justin was running the Riverbank Run!). Levi started fussing at 8 and I looked over to see Lena asleep on my pillow.

Such a strange morning. And it just threw me. The lack of sleep, my lack of control over Lena, the constant neediness of all my kids. I've been in a funk all day. I feel like I didn't even do anything. I sat in the chair next to the fire holding Levi while Lena climbed on me and I used every bit of strength I had not to scream, "Just stop touching me!!" I hate myself for feeling that way. I tell myself over and over that I'm going to miss this. That they'll never love me as much as they love me now. That I want them to grow up feeling loved and cherished and liked. But it doesn't help. I still want space and then I just feel guilty for wanting it. I came across this article on facebook tonight and found myself choking back tears.

But this letter isn’t a reminder to LOVE EVERY MINUTE  and LIVE IN THE MOMENT because one day it will all be gone. You get that. You’ve watched your tiny bundle turn into a toddler, you’ve packed away little onesies and big memories and I know you know your children are a precious gift from God. But honestly, there are some moments we don’t ever want to relive, there are some phases we won’t miss and there are some burdens of guilt we don’t need to carry.
You are normal. Yes, this season is beautiful and amazing. But it is equally hard. What you do in your boring, every day tantrum- filled life is important. You are molding, you are shaping. You are raising children who will eventually be able to wipe themselves. God willing.
It's the weirdest thing how I can mourn how quickly Lucy is growing up, marvel at how she can possibly be 6 years old, tear up at old pictures of her as a baby and wonder where the time went . . . and yet the days I'm in right now seem to drag by. You know, the whole: The years are short but the days are long paradox. I want to stop time when Levi is smiling and cooing and snuggled on my shoulder, when Lena wraps her arms around my neck in bed and says, "I love you so much, Mommy," when Lucy says things like "You can celebrate on my birthday, too, since you had to carry me in your belly for 9 months." But I'd like time to speed up when Lena's hanging on my leg begging me to hold her while Levi's screaming and puking and Lucy's shouting from the other room, "Get me some milk!!" This motherhood stuff is not for the faint of heart. And I'm afraid that this is the easy stage. How am I ever going to survive the teen years??

7. I actually had a couple more articles to share, but it's late, this is wicked long, and I'm too emotional right now. Haha. So as usual, we'll just end with a few more pictures of my precious children and my wonderful life . . .

Sleeping on Daddy
Enjoying a little taste of spring (well, two of us were. Levi was annoyed.)
I should start wearing more make-up!
Birthday girl!
Hammock time (do I have any pictures of Levi being happy outside? lol)
Seriously, Mom? A pink Bumbo? #thirdchildproblems
Looking adoringly at Daddy.
Smothered by love
Fishing in the rain with Daddy while Lucy was at her sleepover. Lena was sooo excited to go fishing with her new fishing pole, and totally undaunted by the pouring rain.
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