Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thomas Update: 1 Month

So your one month birthday has came and gone, and you are officially five weeks old now!  We have spent a majority of the last month curled up together in my new recliner napping, nursing, and just snuggling.  Some days I have a lot of motivation to get other things done, but lately I've just been trying to focus on soaking you up.  I keep telling myself you may be my last, and I don't want this newborn phase to pass with me worried about cleaning and laundry and cooking.  But since those things need done, I'm trying to be very efficient, and accepting help when offered.

Your brothers still love you as much as the day you came.  They check on you before greeting me when we pick them up at school or the bus stop.  They attend to any needs you may have.  And they frequently wake you up.  Luckily, you can still fall back asleep easily.  It took me about two weeks to start calling you by your name properly... for some reason I just couldn't stop calling you Eli (whom I keep mistakenly calling Theo now).  I am often anxious when out and about with you because I feel like I'm forgetting one of the three of you boys.  Having your brothers both start school this month has made it a very hectic month.  And you got to meet 2 grandmas, 1 grandpa, 2 aunts, 2 cousins, your church family, my MOPS moms, and have been to both of your brother's schools. 

One Month
In terms of monthly growth/milestones:

Weight:  10 pounds 2 ounces (58%-ile)
Length:  22 3/4 inches (94%-ile).  You may be our first long and lean one, we'll have to see.
Size:  I want to keep the newborn things on you forever, but have been moving you into more 0-3 clothes and size 1 diapers once the newborn size ran out.
Feeding:  I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to nursing you, just because it is such a huge commitment and kind of ties me down.  But, we've been blessed by a great nursing relationship.  Compared to your big brothers, you don't nurse nearly as often.  Only every 3-4 hours, going even longer at night.  I even wake you up often when it's time to nurse, rather than waiting on you to fuss.  We are pretty in tune with each other, and it's a pretty beautiful thing.  I have had to pump just a few times when I was too full for you to latch, but that's been the only problem.  You haven't tried taking a bottle yet.  You definitely are a burper, and get uncomfortable if I forget to burp you.
Sleeping:  Like your brothers, your first month was filled with lots of slumber (jaundice will do that to you).  You don't really nap yet, you mainly wake up to eat and then go back to sleep.  You're favorite time to be awake is in the evening when I'm trying to make dinner.  When you're rare awake times come we try to play with you:  reading black and white books, making lots of faces at you, and working on getting you to track.  By the end of your first month we were getting a few smiles from you.  During the day you typically sleep in a lttle rocking sleeper your Aunt Megan brought, and then in your bassinnet/beside me at night.  You've also slept plenty in your car seat and in the evenings in your swing.  Your favorite place to sleep though, is definitely in my arms (I blame you for any typos here).  I've got four different slings/carriers, but I've never been extremely comfortable baby wearing, so we're going to keep trying the different holds out and see which one I find most agreeable to us.
Likes:  Swaddling (though you want your arms out already-I call you "Thomas Packet" when you are all bundled, your dad hates that nickname), warm baths, and being held (luckily your brothers love holding you so mama can take a break sometimes)
Dislikes:  hiccups (so frequent), spitting up (luckily you only do when I let you eat too long), when your brothers swing/rock you too hard, and being cold
Health:  Your brothers brought home lots of coughs the second week of school, and we can't get them to stop sharing their germs with you.  So, you're a bit stuffed up.  And, you still seem to have lingering breastmilk jaundice, but your blood levels were never high enough to need treated.  I think this is part of the reason for your continued sleepiness.

1 Week to 4 Weeks

In other news:
Your eyes are still a beautiful blue.
You have been extremely clean.  Outfits last a full day, very few diaper mishaps, limited spit up-it's amazing! (knock on wood)
You are so similar in look and personality to Elijah, you even mew like a tiny goat like he did.
Your c-section was the easiest for mama to recover from.

Hoping for a great second month to come!  We've got some big plans for October, one of mama's favorite months!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Three Year Old Train Birthday Cake

And because my hubby did such a good job with this cake, it is getting it's own post.

We vacillated between a rocket cake and a train cake for a while, but as Elijah was turning increasingly back to trains we decided that would be the birthday cake idea for the year.  And, it was a rough one.  But, eventually my husband turned out this awesome (and tasty) train cake for our three-year-old.

He was pretty excited, and didn't even critique it for missing some features of an engine!!

We planned to go on a train ride for Eli's birthday at a local park again, but had no luck.  It rained on his birthday, and the train broke down right after we got to the park when we tried the following day.  He actually didn't cry over this, but he did cry on his birthday when he had to leave the model train exhibit that was we found set up in the local library as a back-up activity due to the rain.  Granted, he were pretty tired, but it's amazing how much he loves trains.

Elijah Update: #Beingatwoyearold

As you turned three, I didn't even know where to begin with an update.  So much has changed since this time last year when I struggled to drop you off for even an hour or two to go to a meeting or workout at the gym.  You were so attached to me, and barely spoke any words.  So.  Much.  Has.  Changed!

But rather than try and organize this in some kind of cohesive manner, I'm just going to leave it in the snippets that I've jotted down over the last month to remind me of you at three.  Because that's all I can manage with a newborn. One who you are constantly kissing (and coughing on), snuggling (and waking), and taking care of ("Oh No, Thomas made a noise!  Brother is coming!").  

And I'm throwing in a series of silly Instagram photos and a few others from over the year that I tagged #BeingATwoYearOld that will show your progression through the year.  

Looking back the last year has been a busy one for you. It has been full of: enthusiasm, potty training, art projects, visits to museums, love, finding bits of nature, trains, lots of silly hats, enjoying each season as it comes, dinosaurs, lots of sprinkles, rockets, and story times.  I have enjoyed your two-year-old self so much and hope you stay this amazing as a three-year-old.

You snuggle every morning.  You were always the first to say good morning to the baby while he was in my tummy.

I now realize the words you children hear from me, as you've picked many of the phrases up and use them yourself.  You repeatedly ask:  "How many times do me have to tell you?"  Whine: "Me legs hurt, me can't go up the stairs!" (from my c-section recovery and last weeks of being pregnant).  And declare:  "Me not know." (when you really do).  And you delay activities with phrases like:  "Maybe tomorrow", "in a minute," and "just a second."

Outside of fighting with your brother, or copying some of his behaviors, you almost never get in trouble.  And if you do something and we accidentally yell at you, it takes you a very long time to stop crying because you are extremely sensitive to that.

Sometimes you are a train.  Once a grasshopper.  But normally, just ELI or a Big Boy.  When you are these things we must call you that, and only that.  I slipped and called you baby a lot before your brother was born and you did not like it.

Your favorite shape is a heart.  Every time you see one, or make one (like out of your toast triangles in the morning) you say, "This heart says, me love you!"  I can't get enough of it.

You observe and notice so much more than your older brother.  You are always listening even when we think you're not, and you always see what is going on around you (we can't sneak a treat without you expecting a bite).

I was worried about starting pre-school because potty training wasn't happening so much.  Then all the sudden when we went on our three week trip to Indiana you went from 50% there to almost perfect!  We're still working on putting underwear and shorts back on after using the restroom (half the time you come out half nude), but I'll take it.

You introduce yourself to everyone now.  No one quite understands, but you tell everyone you are "Eli Robert (last name)".  I think you speak pretty clearly, but not everyone understands you.  You have recently started stuttering some, which I read is common at your age and you should outgrow it, but I'm a tad bit concerned and get sad watching you struggle.

You are very repetitive.  You will ask the same questions or make the same observations every time we read a book or walk by certain things in the neighborhood.  Some of these include:  pointing out the same spider webs everyday, asking why we cross each bridge we cross, and noticing the ducks that have fallen over in a neighbors yard.

You like to reread "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and "The Very Busy Spider" often.  You have carried a wasp to me, and let bees land on you.  I think you've got a future in entomology.

You say you want to be an astronaut when you grow up, and you spent a couple months obsessed with rockets.

You're getting obsessed with trains.  Making them out of all the dinner chairs, begging for the "big train book" nightly until we started letting you watch "Locomotive" on DVD daily (we are hogging the library edition, but may need to invest in our own), and pretending the Target cart is one and yelling "all aboard through out the entire store.  If we draw a train, it must have all of the correct features (cow catcher, smoke stack, engineer, etc). 

You like to kill bad guys.  Swords, guns, etc are still a favorite object of yours to draw, make out of legos or smartlinks or imagine.

I was afraid to cut your hair, for fear of it looking more brown than blonde, but the blonde is still holding out.  You shake your head furiously every time I brush your hair.

You want everything big.  Big lemonade!  Big toothpaste Big socks!  And I can't call you baby or little even, you are a BIG boy!

At drive-thrus, you make me put down your window so you can talk to the workers too.

You're still a shorty- 36 inches, 33 pounds.  You actually still fit in a lot of 24 month/2T clothes, but I'm hoping to get them all put away and move you into all 3T soon.

 And finally, a list of some of my favorite words/phrases you used as a two-year old:

"It turned on!"  Translation:  Something is alive.
"Autopilot"  Translation:  The child lock button on the windows in the car.
"Hit it Mama!"  Translation:  Say, "on your mark, get set, go!"
"Sleep Up!"  Translation:  Wake up.
"Unbuckle" or "Uncouple":  Translation:  Letting go when holdings hands with mama.
"These doors are magic!":  Translation:  These are automatics doors.

Theo Update: 5.5 and Starting School

Knowing you would officially turn five and a half just two days after your brother was scheduled to be born, I knew this update would be a little late.  But here it is:

So you have another little brother.  You turned five and a half on the day we brought him home, and you started school a week later!  For a kid that has always liked routine and daily expectations, it's been a lot for you to handle.  And a bit much for mama's post-partum emotions.

Of the two major changes, you definitely prefer your brother to school.  You adore your new little brother and are always wanting to hold him.  You talk about how "calm" he is, and how he is your favorite family member.

But school is hard.  I actually didn't cry on your first day of kindergarten (I already had after your kindergarten orientation the week prior), but I did when you started getting in trouble the second day of school (and the fourth) and started saying you didn't want to go back to school.  Not once in two years of pre-school did you resist going to school, so it was tough to hear you say these things.  I LOVED school.  Apparently, your father, did not, and you're taking after him.  You are in a mixed age kindergarten and first grade class room, and it is hard for you to follow directions immediately.  From anyone.  But, now that we're a couple weeks in you are doing a lot better.  Some days you still come home saying you didn't like school and you missed me, but other days you have some good things to tell me about your day. You seem to like art class.  You were excited about going to the school library (and getting your first "punch" on your behavior ticket).  You found out you can eat breakfast in the cafeteria and are getting good at going through the lunch line some days (I think the lunch ladies are going to be your favorite).  You have been getting strawberry milk as often as you can (which is $0.65 a carton!), and realized they have cookies for sale by the register.  You seem to have made a couple friends, though you refer to them as your "shoulder partner" and the "bad kid's shoulder partner" and can't seem to remember their names. And on the sixth day of school, all was made better when you said "you loved school" and reported that you didn't get in trouble that day (though you did "think about me" during DEAR time).

As you go into your second half of being five, I hope that you learn to love school, become a ferocious reader, still enjoy your baby brother and enjoy soccer season which is starting up.  I pray than you'll find other games to play than just capturing bad guys, and you'll pick friends who will be great influences on you (because you are easily influenced).  And I pray that your kind heart will shine through your "tough guy" exterior,.  Because I know it is still in there even if it has been getting covered up in layers of "boyness" lately.  (And I promise to finish reading "Wild Things" so I can understand you more as you are increasingly moving out of my zone of understanding as you enter your boyhood.)