Sunday, July 31, 2016

Levi: 5 Months



Our happy boy is 5 months old! I just re-read his 4 month entry, and not much has changed.

He's getting better at tummy time and holding his head up:
"How YOU doin'?"
He rolled from his belly to his back for the first time (other than those random times at the doctor's office) on Monday. He doesn't roll every time he's on his belly, but he's done it a few times now, so he's getting the hang of it.

Sleep continues to regress. Naps are about the same: morning nap in the swing (an hour or so). Long nap after lunch swaddled in the rock n' play (3ish hours). Evening nap in the swing (another hour). But nighttime sleep hasn't been great. He fights it so hard, and it takes forever to get him to sleep. Then, he usually wakes up after about 45 minutes. Sometimes we can get him right back to sleep. Sometimes he stays awake for a while. And he's been getting up twice at night again! Usually around 1 and 4. For the past week, he's woken up right around 6:45 every morning, but he just lays in his bed talking and playing happily for a while.

Nothing new on the breastfeeding front. I was wrong about him stretching out his feedings. He pretty consistently eats every 3 hours. We haven't started baby food yet. They recommend waiting 'til 6 months, and I'm all for waiting as long as I can. I hate doing baby food. It's so time consuming and messy. Plus, he's still such a shrimp, I want him to get all his nutrients from breastmilk as long as he can.

He's 13 lbs. and 24.5 inches (as of his appt. on the 19th. (2% and 7%) Although, he's getting chunky.
This is a terrible picture. Lol. But look at that double chin and leg rolls!

His new thing is tapping his hands against things. He's always patting my arm or his chest or anything that comes within reach. And he's perfected the fake cough. He gags himself a lot since he always has his fingers in his mouth, then he just keeps coughing and coughing.


He loves his sisters. Lucy makes him laugh more than anyone. I try to do the things she does, but he doesn't find me nearly as funny as her.



He likes to sleep with his lovey over his face.
Blurry because the swing was in motion.
He hates the pool.

But he loves the bath. A few times recently when it's been really hot and he's just miserable, I put him in a cool bath and he calms right down. Well, he's not actually calm - he kicks like crazy in the bath - but he's not upset anymore.

He's still on Zantac for reflux, and is still pretty pukey. But the meds take away the pain, so he's usually pretty happy and laid back. He's finally starting to become the 3rd child everyone promised me: go with the flow, easy, content. We love him so much.





Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Saturday 7

Not sure I'm going to get to 7 this week. I spent all of last week planning a bridal shower, and all of this week planning for VBS. Not much else has been going on.

1. I'm co-leading the preschool room this year. In years past, I've done it myself, but I'm not sure how committed I can be this year with Levi. He'll go to nursery, but I'm going to have to leave to feed him, and probably put him to sleep. He's a tricksty little hobbit. So I have another adult leader that will be helping me. I'm planning and organizing almost everything, but she'll probably carry out most of it. Just how I like it. :-) Although it's a lot of work to get it all ready. I go through phases while planning:
1. I got this. No big deal.
2. Wait. It's in 5 days? Oh man, I better get to work.
3. What did I sign up for? I'm never going to get it all ready! Maybe I'll just throw some play doh on the table and call it good.
4. I wish my kids would leave me alone so I could get some work done!
5. Oh, I got this. Ooh, and maybe I can add this . . . and this . . .

2. I've finally gotten with the times and started using Google Calendar. I love that it syncs with my phone, so I can access it anywhere. And I like the reminders. After one too many forgotten bills (and subsequent late fees), I added due dates for our credit cards and student loan payments with a reminder the day before it's due. And my type A(ish) personality really enjoys the color coding. I should've been a teacher . . .

3. One day this week, I had to run a bunch of errands with the kids. We stopped at Steak N' Shake for lunch and the girls were so mad that I wouldn't buy them shakes. Then, we went to Toys R' Us to get Lucy a backpack, and I wouldn't buy them one of those huge wooden swing sets (that are like thousands of dollars!). As I was buckling them back into the car (for the 500th time), Lucy said, "Mommy, are we poor?" Ugh. First, I asked her how she knew what "poor" even was, and she said, "From Bible stories at church." Ok, I guess that's acceptable. Haha. Then I explained to her that we aren't poor. Poor people don't have money for what they need - like food and shelter and vehicles. We have everything we need. We just can't buy anything we want all the time. And I was careful to point out that we get a lot of things that we want, too - like restaurant food and new backpacks and a house exploding with toys. #lifelessons

4. I can't believe it's almost August. Summer is slipping away so quickly! Lucy's school actually starts before labor day, so it's now less than a month until the first day of school! I'm not ready yet! She's getting excited, but I'm already dreading the early mornings, and hauling all 3 kids to and from school every day this year. I'm also really sad that Lena is losing her playmate. The girls have played so nicely together this summer. Lena's not going to know what to do without Lucy! I really want to do a little bit of school with Lena. Hold me to that. I've been so lazy for the past year while I was pregnant/had a newborn. No more excuses!

5. Yesterday was Justin's and my 11th wedding anniversary. Wow. We're getting old. I still feel like high school was just 10 years ago. We didn't do anything too extravagant to celebrate this year. I can't leave Levi for longer than 3 hours, and we're trying to rein in our spending. So we just went to Red Robin (I bought a gift card at Meijer because there was an mperk for $5 off a $25 card . . . and then we forgot to pay with the gift card at the restaurant!!! I told you we're getting old . . .). We stuffed ourselves with amazing non-diet food and tons of Dr Pepper.

Levi came too so we wouldn't have to worry about rushing home. He loved the commotion at Red Robin and was so good while we ate.

Then we went to the mall to browse. I took my time looking at everything I wanted to at Barnes and Noble, then Justin looked at every fishing supply in Dick's Sporting Goods (while I sat in a camping chair and fed Levi). I also tried on a hundred dresses for my nephew's wedding next month, and was reminded anew why I'm supposed to be dieting. Ha. I was also reminded that I'm too old to be shopping at the mall on a Friday night. Too many teeny-boppers in their crop tops and leggings to make me feel old and frumpy! 

We capped the night off with McDonald's ice cream, then rolled ourselves home and changed into sweatpants. #truelove 

6. Not making it to 7. Here are the week's pictures:
Lucy sends snapchats to me - from my own phone. Haha.

I love Instagram filters . . . and that little hand on my face . . .
So much yes.
This is what I get for assuming Lena could handle eating ice cream in the car - alllll over her buckle, dress, legs, face, hair. 
I can't get a non-blurry pic of this kid. He's in constant motion.

5 Months yesterday! 5 month update is going to be late.


My attempt at a siblings photo. Lol.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Saturday 7

1. After writing my Saturday 7 last week, Justin and I left the kids with my parents and met our friends for a "Parents' Night Out." 3 of our couple friends also managed to get babysitters, and we all went out on the town together! We started at The Corner Bar for dinner, then we walked across the street to The Pump House for fro-yo and games.

After that, Justin and I ran home so I could feed Levi (who still won't take a bottle), then we went back to Paul and Missy's house to hang out in their air conditioned basement and do a little devotion. We are so blessed to have such fun, godly friends. (Also blessed by our awesome babysitters who make it possible for us to go out and have fun!)

2. All that fun started my downward spiral with the diet. I did order a salad at The Corner Bar, but I didn't hold back at The Pump House. And I drank a lot of pop. Then it was too hot to cook all week. And Justin's parents took us to Olive Garden for our anniversary (which is actually next week in case you were worried that you forgot to send us a card ;-)). I've eaten a lot of good food this week. I was about ready to throw in the towel on the diet, but I still don't fit in any of my clothes, I just found stretch marks on my bicep (and it's not from muscle!), and I've seen a few pictures of myself lately that remind me why I'm dieting. Haha. This is not me fishing for compliments. This is me reminding myself why it's worth it.

3. Levi had his "4 month" well-child appointment this week. He's actually almost 5 months, but that's when we could get in for the appointment. He's still growing on his own tiny growth curve. He's up to 13 lbs, which puts him in the 2nd percentile. And he was 24.5 inches, which is all the way up to 7th percentile! Haha. The doctor wasn't too worried about his weight gain/reflux. He's got some chub on him, and he's very happy most of the time, so it's not like he's under-nourished. He's just shrimpy! She was a little concerned about his motor skills, though. I mentioned that he doesn't even attempt to roll, doesn't really hold himself up in the Bumbo, and won't put weight on his legs if you try to stand him up. The dr. put Levi on his stomach to check his head control and he immediately flipped over onto his back. He did it again three more times while we were there. He has never rolled for me! And he hasn't since then! I guess he just wanted to show off for the doctor. So that reassured her a little bit that he can roll. But she did say his leg muscles are unusually tight. He still has the newborn reflex to pull his legs up to his body - which he shouldn't at this age. So I have to do some mild exercises with him a few times a day. It's not a big deal. He'll probably catch up eventually, he's just a little behind. I'm not too worried.

4. Last night, Justin and the girls had a campout in our backyard. He told them a while ago that they'd do it this weekend, and of course it's been the hottest weekend of the year. But the girls were undeterred! They set up the tent, roasted marshmallows inside on our electric stove, and waited until dusk to go outside. Once the sun set, it was much more bearable outside. They brought the laptop into the tent to watch a movie, then went to sleep without incident! I didn't think Lena would last all night, and Justin said they did all end up on the air mattress with him, but no one came inside until 8:30 this morning! I love that they're making memories like this . . . and I love that Justin is willing to do it with them, because I'm not a fan of heat, sleeping on the ground, or being outside. Haha.

It was a late night for all of us, though, because Levi had no interest in going to sleep at a reasonable time.

5. I've had a bit of a parenting revelation recently. I'm super hard on myself about my kids' behavior. I feel like it's a failure on my part when they disobey. I need to be disciplining them better. I need to be more actively showing them grace so they don't want to disobey. I need to know what to do and how to do it every time they act up. And most of the time, I feel like I'm floundering. I have no idea what I'm doing, and I've convinced myself that parenting is hard because I'm doing it wrong. Until a few weeks ago, when I suddenly thought: Maybe it's hard because it's just hard. Kids are naughty. Sin is real - both theirs and mine. Yes, we need to be working on it constantly. Yes, I need to discipline and train. Yes, I need to be sacrificial when I don't want to be. But there's no perfect formula for perfect kids. I can't find an exact method that will suddenly eradicate whining or disobedience or picky eating (despite what Pinterest claims). And, another big thing for me is not comparing myself to other moms. I feel like parenting toddlers shouldn't be this hard. It wasn't this hard for my mom or sister. But I'm different than them. My kids are different than their kids. Just because I'm struggling doesn't mean I'm not cut out to be a mom. It just means I might have to do it differently than they did. Lena is going through this terrible whining phase. It's more than just a whiny voice, it's a terrible attitude. I don't know what to do with her. But instead of frantically searching for methods or berating myself for not having her under control, I'm doing the best I can. I'm being firm and consistent, and trying to be patient. She'll grow out of it soon, right?

6. Today was a first for me - my little sister and I threw a bridal shower for our soon-to-be niece. I can't remember if I've written this before . . . in our family, it's tradition that the aunts of the bride throw the family bridal shower. All my growing up years, that was my mom and her sisters. So when my nephew got engaged and we started thinking about the shower, I just assumed my mom and aunts would throw it . . . until it dawned on me that I'm the aunt! How am I old enough for this?? (Ty is only 9 years younger than me, and 3 years younger than Libby. My sisters and I are pretty spaced out.) Libby and I had fun scouring Pinterest and planning for the big day today. We're both broke, so we kept it pretty low key. And we got a ton of help from Niki, my mom, and a couple of our aunts who helped with the food. I was very happy with how it all turned out!
I was so proud of the "gifts" banner I made from twine, burlap, and letter stencils! (There were a lot more gifts. I just took pictures before everyone arrived.)
Picture banner with more twine and doilies.
Niki's handiwork!


My mom collects Ball jars, so we used a bunch of them to decorate with. And I found these flowers growing in our backyard.
That lemonade jar was a fail. It leaked so badly we ended up transferring the lemonade to a punch bowl. Haha.
We had a delicious meal of Aunt Bonnie's chicken salad on Aunt Claudia's rolls, veggies, cheese and crackers, and chips. And instead of an expensive cake, we stole a couple more Pinterest ideas for dessert:
Strawberry, marshmallow, brownie kebabs
Make Your Own Fruit Pizza Bar with my mom's famous sugar cookies, Niki's fruit pizza frosting, and a variety of fruits.
We had a great time! (And lots of leftovers . . . which doesn't bode well for my diet . . .)

7. And now for the rest of the week in pictures:
Ice cream beard at Grandma's pool.
Modeling her super cute new headband from Marie and Mae Designs 
Posing next to Lena always makes me feel tan. Haha.
We got out the Jumperoo for the first time. Levi doesn't really jump, but he sways and enjoys hanging out in it..
A rare sighting of Lena in matching clothes with her hair styled!
Those eyes . . .
More in character for Lena . . .

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Saturday 7

1. Diet update. I've lost just over 2 lbs. It's encouraging to see the numbers going down, and despite my last blog entry, dieting itself hasn't been horrible. I miss snacking and drinking lots of Dr Pepper, but 1800 calories is pretty do-able. I'm a little worried about my milk supply, but I think that's more due to dehydration than lack of calories. If I can't drink Dr Pepper, I don't drink anything. Gotta work on that. 

2. While I'm on a health kick, I decided it's time to work on my kids' eating habits, too. Lucy is getting even pickier as she gets older. She's down to about 4 meals she'll eat: macaroni, hot dogs, pizza, and frozen waffles. And Lena is so influenced by Lucy that she says she doesn't want anything else either. So I told them we were going to have "try new things week" this week. I scoured Pinterest for kid-friendly meals they might possibly eat, and tried some out. Result? Big fat fail. Sigh. These are the things my kids refused to eat:
Turkey and cheese roll-ups and Annie's organic yogurt. (Lena ate a couple bites of her roll up and all her yogurt. Lucy refused both.)
Turkey wrapped string cheese, club crackers, yogurt/fruit squeeze pouches. (Lucy ate the crackers. Lena ate the string cheese. Neither of them liked the squeeze pouch!?!)
Pizza pinwheels with ranch, and grapes. (Lucy picked out the pepperoni. Lena ate her and Lucy's grapes.)
I wouldn't let them have anything else if they didn't like what I made, so they went hungry most of the week. I was feeling a little bad about that, though, so I decided to make them some smoothies. There's a lot of sugar in them, but right now, it's my only chance of getting any veggies into them. We had a smoothie most afternoons, and it was trial and error to find something the girls would drink. I tried different variations of  frozen go-gurts, handfuls of spinach, honey, peanut butter (Lucy didn't like it), sprinkles, red food coloring (to disguise the green flecks of spinach) vanilla Greek yogurt, lots of different kinds of fruit, vanilla extract, and those baby food pouch purees. (I used one that had broccoli in it, and it totally ruined the whole smoothie. Haha. Lesson learned.) The girls did pretty well. They guzzled a couple of my attempts, and refused a couple others.


3. On Wednesday, our local library was doing "Parent/Child" yoga in place of regular storytime. I used to go to a weekly yoga class, and the girls love doing Cosmic Kids Yoga from YouTube, so Lucy was all excited to go to a real yoga "class." She insisted that we all had to wear yoga pants. You better believe I wore the longest shirt I could find. Haha. It was just a half hour session - mostly warming up and stretching, with just a few different yoga poses. Lucy loved it. Lena tolerated it. Haha.
Lucy even let me put her hair in a bun.
4. This was one of my favorite weeks of the summer: fair week! I took the kids down to Sparta yesterday for Kids' Day and they had a blast with all the activities. I was shocked, both of the girls even went on the pony rides!


Lucy was brave and went on the kiddy roller coaster:

She's laughing in this picture. 



Carouselfie!
Major thanks to Niki for meeting me down there to help hold Levi and take pictures!

5. Today was the parade. Every year, we have a love/hate relationship with the parade. The girls want to go get candy, but they're terrified of the loud trucks.

This was Levi's first parade, and it appears that he's no exception:
He was terrified of the loud noises as well. 
 6. One night this week, I got the opportunity to go work in the back room of Once Upon a Child with my mom. I was gone for just over 4 hours, so Justin had to give Levi a bottle . . . and once again it was an epic fail. He tried fresh milk, frozen milk, size 1 nipples, size 2 nipples, varying degrees of warmth, even formula, but Levi would.not.take it. And consequently, he would.not.sleep. Justin was pacing with him in front of the TV when I got home at 12:30 in the morning. But we have big plans for date night tonight, so hopefully my mom will have better luck with the bottle! Stinkin' kids.

7. A few more pictures from our week:
Big sister taking care of the little sister at the carnival.

Levi's not great at sitting up in the Bumbo.
Before the parade got loud and scary.

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