Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Levi: 4 Months

My little man is 1/3 of a way to a year! How is this possible??

He's such a happy, smiley baby. He loves attention and will smile pretty much anytime someone talks to him or plays with him.

I have to be sneaky with the camera, though, because he doesn't like to smile when he sees it. Haha.

He loves patty-cake (prefers doing it with his feet over his hands), so-big, and "this little piggy." He loves when I get his cheeks with his toes or when I "run" his legs. He loves it when Daddy blows raspberries on his belly or in his armpits. You never know what's going to make him giggle. Sometimes he giggles when I tickle him. Other times, he just gives me a blank stare. Haha. One night, he thought it was hilarious every time I yelped "ow!" when he kicked me. But I've tried it again since then and he wasn't amused. I spend a lot of time doing ridiculous things trying to get him to laugh because it is so adorable.

He also has an adorable pout face. I finally caught in on camera a couple weeks ago:

His new trick is sucking on his fingers. I'm nervous that he's going to start preferring them over his Binky. I may let my kids have their Binkies too long, but when I decide they need to be done, I can throw it in the trash and go cold turkey. You can't throw fingers in the trash. Look how cute he is when he sucks on them, though:

I took the newborn net out of his bath a couple weeks ago and he loves the freedom to kick and splash in the water.
And look at those fat rolls! He's porking out!
Scary monster!
He's finally starting to get better head control. He's much less bobbly than he used to be. He hates tummy time and either buries his face in the floor or pukes all over, so I try to put him in the Bumbo fairly often so he can work on head control and give his poor flat head a break.

As a result of the lack of tummy time, he doesn't even try to roll. If he was my first baby I might be worried. But as my third, I'm thankful that he stays where I put him and I don't have to worry about him rolling away. Haha.

He adores being outside. Sometimes if he's crying inconsolably and I don't know what else to do, I take him outside. 98% of the time, he calms right down.

We spend a lot of time rocking in the hammock.
He's getting faster. He's usually done in 10 minutes as long as he pays attention and doesn't stop to smile and chat with me. Haha. I also think he's starting to stretch out his feedings a little longer. There have been a few times recently that we've been out and about or I've been trying to make dinner or give the girls a bath right at the 3 hour mark, and he doesn't seem to mind waiting. It used to be that he'd start getting hangry at about 3 hours exactly. He started refusing to take a bottle this month. He did so well with it for a few months, but has suddenly decided he wants no part of it. Blurg.

We've had some sleep regression since last month's update. He slept through the night for a good two weeks, then all of a sudden stopped. At first, I thought he was just having a growth spurt, but that was three weeks ago and he's still getting up to eat in the night. He usually has his last feeding between 8 and 9, sleeps 'til 3:30-4:30, eats quickly and goes right back to sleep, then is up for the day around 7. And naps are becoming a little bit more predictable. He takes an hour or two nap in the morning in the swing. After his lunchtime feeding, I swaddle him and put him in the rock n' play where he has his long nap of the day - usually 3-4 hours. Then he does one more evening nap in the swing most nights.

He fights sleep hard. When he's in the swing, I constantly replace his Binky and put blankets/burp cloths/his lovey up by his face. He loves having something to burrow his face into. And if I'm trying to get him to sleep without the swing, I usually swaddle him, hold him in the cradle position and stick a blanket between him and me for him to burrow into. He screams and acts very mad for a while as I pace the house or rock in the hammock and then he'll suddenly stop and fall asleep. I put him in nursery for the first time on Sunday and got called out toward the end of the service because he was screaming so hard. The workers thought he must be hungry, but I knew that he was just tired and fighting sleep. As soon as I got him in that cradle position with a blanket by his face and jiggled him for a minute, he was out.

If he's not swaddled, he almost always sleeps with his arms up by his head like this. Lena did the exact same thing.
A quick word about routine for my records:
I try to do the Eat, Play, Sleep schedule. It doesn't always happen that way if we're busy and he misses a nap. I'm not neurotic about it, but for the most part, I prefer not to nurse him to sleep so he doesn't get addicted to that.

I weighed him a few days ago because he's looking so chunky, but he's still 12.2 lbs. I did finally put away all the newborn clothes, though. He's fitting pretty well in all his 3 month stuff. The shorts are still a little gappy, but the newborn shorts are too tight. And I think he's definitely filling out. He's got a pudgy little belly, thigh rolls, and a double chin.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Saturday 7

1. I'm trying to be intentional about doing at least one fun craft/activity with the girls a week. This week, we did Pinterest-inspired hospital play. I found this plaster stuff on amazon to make casts out of. Lena thought it was great. Lucy didn't appreciate the mess. We also got a bunch of supplies from Niki after Tayton's brain surgery debacle - cute little masks, alcohol wipes, and syringes full of saline water. The girls thought they were awesome.
Applying the cast 
Poor baby with two broken legs

2. One day, I had to run to Family Dollar for something and Lucy remembered that she still had some birthday money to spend. She got this $5 sprinkler which led to hours of entertainment - and glee:

I've been trying to soak in these moments. Winter lasts so long in Michigan and I dream of these fun, summer days. I love the little moments of running through the sprinkler or laying in the hammock or picking cherries.
Lena picks shirtless, because she eats as she goes and makes a mess. Lol.
3. I'm finally admitting that Lena is strong willed. I've been avoiding the label and telling myself I couldn't possibly have a strong-willed child because Justin and I are pretty amiable, easy-going people. But I can't deny it anymore. When a kid doesn't pee on the potty chair for 14 days, I think she qualifies as strong-willed. When she fights naptime for 2 solid hours, I think she's strong-willed. When I have to wrestle her like a wet seal in the bathtub, I think she's strong-willed. When she'd rather take the punishment than obey me, I think she's strong-willed. Sigh. It's been a hard week (month?). And she's giving up her nap. So I don't get much of a break from the strong-will. But the strong-willed ones are also so sweet sometimes! Look at this precious face:
So proud of herself.
4.We had another garage sale at Niki's house this week. We tried Thursday/Friday instead of Saturday this time and did much better. Finally! The girls loved being at Niki's all day for two days - cable TV, trampoline, new toys, candy galore, and friends to play with. Niki's sister-in-law came with her 3 girls as well, so they all had a blast. Garage sales sure do bring out interesting people. We greatly enjoyed the people watching. Why do old men like garage sales so much?

5. We had an interesting discussion at small group last Saturday about how God speaks to us in this day and age. I'm very wary of people who say, "God told me . . ." and I've been researching a little bit about listening prayer and determining that I don't really agree with it. At small group, we decided that the number one way God "speaks" to us is through the Bible. A few days later, I saw this on Pinterest and thought it summed it up so perfectly:

6. I forgot to tell you what we got Justin for father's day. I wanted to just put this on Levi:

But then I found this online and had it made with my kids' names:
So cute!
His real gift, however, is coming this week: He got the opportunity to go on a 10-day hiking/fishing trip in Wyoming (the state, for my MI friends). He only has to pay for gas and food on the road. Everything else is covered. He was wary at first of leaving me with 3 kids, but we finally decided that now is the time to do it - while we're living with my parents. So he's taking off on Wednesday. Pray for me. (And him - there are bears in Wyoming, y'all!!)

7. This week in pictures:
I wish I could figure out how to post videos. You should see how this kid kicks his legs in the bath. Haha.
I love watching Lucy read to Lena
See the band-aid? She wore it for like 24 hours. Haha.
My new favorite picture.
Captain Adorable getting his toes.

 Why can't I lose the baby weight? #emotionaleating

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The "Saturday" 7

My apologies for my tardiness. That garage sale yesterday whipped me.

1. Well, I waved the white flag and conceded defeat. I was bested by my 3 year old. I tried everything I could think of for 14 solid days and she never once peed on the potty chair. She got off the potty chair and ran away to pee on the floor 3 times. And that was when I realized I was done. I'm learning humility as my 3.5 year old refuses to submit to my will. #diapers4life

2. Since school got out, Lucy has randomly been staying up until 11:30 or midnight every night. We put her to bed by 8:30, but she stays awake up there playing and singing and listening to Odyssey or the radio. It is insane. Of course that means she sleeps in until 10:30 or 11:00 am! She's a teenager in a 6 year old's body!! I just got her a new alarm clock and set it for 8:40 am tomorrow. We'll see if she actually gets up. But we have got to get her on a normal schedule. I go to sleep before she does most nights!

3. We've spent a few days lately at Justin's Grandma's pool. Lucy adores it, Lena likes it well enough, and Levi is not a fan. Haha. These pictures are from last weekend when it was 90 degrees.

And these are from this weekend when it was 90 degrees! We love summer!

Safety first!
4. Tuesday night we went out for dinner with my whole family to celebrate my little sister's college graduation. And Wednesday night, I went out for girls' night with my friends. (Levi refused to take a bottle for Justin again. Sigh.). There was a little miscommunication with my family, and a couple last minute plan-changes that resulted in me going to the same restaurant two nights in a row. Haha. I also went to my new favorite ice cream place the same two nights in a row. Have you heard of the Pump House? It's my newest obsession. I love that you have your choice of frozen yogurt (which tastes the same as ice cream to me!) and then as many toppings as you want. It's not priced by topping, but by weight. So I just get a little bit of ice cream, and lots of different toppings. It is so amazing.

5. Yesterday we had a garage sale at our house.

My dad spent alllll day Friday clearing out the barn and I spent alllll day pricing totes full of baby clothes. Niki came over Saturday morning with a van full of garage sale stuff, a box of donuts, and Biggby for everyone. It was a miserable humid 90 degree day. We started setting up at 7 am, closed down around 4:30, and had about 20 customers. Lol. Maybe more. But it sure didn't feel like it. Justin and I made a whopping $66. Definitely not worth all the work I did. I didn't get much money, but I sure did get a sunburn!
That's not a white tank top. It's my white skin against my lobster skin. Haha. 
I really tried to stay out of the sun, but apparently it found me. Oops! Because we're gluttons for punishment, we're going to try another sale this week - at Niki's house this time. Hopefully we'll get some more traffic! And people wanting baby girl clothes! Haha.

6. Today is Father's Day. I love how my girls get so into it. I took them to the store last week to pick out a card for Justin. Lucy read numerous cards, then finally said, "Can I just make him one so I can write what I want to say?" How precious is that? She made one from her and one from Levi since he can't write yet. Lena wasn't about to miss out on the fun, so she made one too. As per tradition, we made him breakfast in bed this morning and presented him with the cards/gifts.

"I just wantid to say in this vary special way i love u."
Lucy made up the phrase all by herself. I only helped her spell "special." Doesn't that just melt your heart?

We spent the afternoon with Justin's family at the pool where I happened to snap 3 amazing pictures of Justin with each kid:

And we got this special picture too:
4 Generations of VanderKodde men
And then, on the way home . . . we stopped at the Pump House again. Lol. Yes, I went 3 times in 5 days. I told you I'm obsessed! Really, I just wanted to introduce it to the girls. They weren't with us either of the other times we went and I knew they'd be as obsessed as I was. Haha. They each just got vanilla frozen yogurt, and then while Justin was tending to Levi and I was helping Lena, Lucy walked around the toppings bar and helped herself. Lol. I wish I would've gotten a picture of her final product. She was in her glories. And after every bite Lena took she said, "This is so good." I'd say it was a successful trip!

7. Because this post doesn't have enough pictures already, here are a few more from our week:
Libby and I were in charge of transporting 30 balloons in her Impala to my nephew's open house. 
The awesome candy buffet at the open house.
This was on Monday. The day I gave up on potty training. It was a rough day.
Terrible picture of Lucy showing off the chapter book she read all by herself!
I haven't pumped in a while. This is what I found when I got it out to pump before Girls' Night. Fortunately I saw it before I started!!!
I was trying to get a picture of Levi watching fishing videos with Daddy, but as soon as he saw me, he broke out in this adorable grin. 
Loving the Pump House. (Don't mind their post-pool hair.)

Sweet sleeper.
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