Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

After trick-or-treating at my office, Sarah Graves came home and Daddy took her out in the neighborhood!

Our little pumpkin on his first Halloween!

Our sweet Minnie Mouse really understands the idea of trick-or-treating and the joy of all that candy!

Since it is pretty cold here, I stayed home with Charlie while Aaron and SG went around the neighborhood.  She has quite the haul of candy!  

Letter Month Two

Dear Charlie,

Two months old and your bright smile lights up my world.  There is no greater feeling than seeing you break into a huge smile when I come into your line of sight.  You are cooing and starting to make all the cute baby noises.  You will even have "conversations" where you coo and wait for me to say something before you coo again.  It is just so sweet.
You are really your own person, just like I knew you would be.  You are soothed by being rocked and held close, but you do not like the swing.  The bouncy seat is a spot you like to be, especially if daddy will bounce it while it vibrates.  That's daddy's secret to help you calm down and fall asleep.
You are growing very quickly.  You wear a size six month clothes and have grown three inches since you were born.  It just amazes me and I have to say that I love the cute rolls on your thighs and arms and the dimples on your knees and elbows.  They are just precious; not to mention that I take a lot of pride knowing you are getting plenty to eat!
You still sleep most nights right next to me.  I try to put you in the center of the bed, but you just wiggle your way back close to me.  I love seeing your fuzzy little head next to me, so we'll just stay close like that for  a while.  Your daytime sleep is done best when I carry you in the Ergo.  You snuggle your head against me and seem quite content to sleep for two or three hours.  I love being able to look down and sniff your little head.  It is an intoxicating scent.
You are such a joy to us.  You were loved before we saw you, but having you in our family has brought so much more love to us all.  Your sissy loves to see you in the morning and we all love to give you kisses and see your sweet smile.  I hope you are always as joyful as you are now.  I am so grateful to know the joy of having you.

Love,
Momma

Fall Jonquil Festival

Saturday we went to the fall Jonquil Festival.  It was a cold, blustery day, but we had a great time.  Sarah Graves loved the kids area, of course.  

She was so excited to do the sand art.  I am so scared that she is going to open or break it and spill sand everywhere!

 The dragon slide was a double slide where you ran to the other side and and climbed up to slide again. She LOVED it!

This bungee jumping activity caught her eye and after asking several times, daddy gave in and let her do it.  He was worried that she was too small, but I found out you only had to be 20 pounds to do it.  Next time, we'll let Charlie try it out :) !


She didn't have enough strength to get going very high, so the guy would come and give her a little help.  

I think she had a good time on it!  She didn't ask to do it again, but she never asked to get off either.  

The shark slide is always a favorite for her!  

Charlie stayed snuggled and warm sleeping in the Ergo while we walked around and looked at everything.  We even signed up with a new bank while we were there!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Baby Sleep

I recently came across these posts on my new favorite parenting sites and found them both to be very useful and a bit comforting.  This article describes what is and is not a baby sleep issue.  I like that one of the critical things is if everyone in the household is feeling well and happy with the sleep setup.  Right now, Charlie sleeps most of the time in our bed with us.  It makes it easier to nurse him as he wakes up during the night and he sleeps better snuggled up to momma.  Right now this is working for us and I don't plan to change it.  I am trying to give him opportunities to fall asleep on his own and sleep on his own when he wants to.  This is really different from how I approached things with Sarah Graves because I was really focused on her sleeping in the crib and expected that she should sleep through the night.
This piece focuses on when babies sleep through the night, which is usually between the ages of two and three.  At first I thought that was crazy, but then it occurred to me that SG still wakes during the night and talks for a while or tries to read a book in the dark before falling back to sleep.  So it seems to me, that the goal may not be getting baby to sleep through the night, but teaching them how to fall back to sleep on their own.  I wasn't really able to do that for Sarah Graves until she was eight months old and we reached the point that me getting up every hour or so just wasn't working for us anymore.  At that point I was ready to make a change.  That may be how it works out for Charlie as well.

Fall Festival

Sarah Graves' school is really working to build a sense of community and I love it!  Yesterday was Fall Festival, which ended a week of fun Halloween themed activities for the kids.  




The kids paraded around Home Depot's Main Street, through the cafeterias, and back to their school.  It was adorable to see them all dressed up in their costumes.  The babies in cribs were precious!


Later in the afternoon it was time for Mr. Greg to come and do a music concert on the playground for the kids and their parents.  We wiggled and waved to his music and enjoyed the gorgeous weather we had.  


After the music, it was time for mini train rides and playing on the tumble bus.  


She was excited to get on the train with her friend Sidney and Sidney's dad.  

Daddy came after work and played with her too!  She LOVED the mini train rides!I think we rode it five times.  



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Check-Up

I only just found out that the pediatrician has started doing a well visit at 30 months.  We are a little past that, so I took Sarah Graves for hers yesterday.  She seems to be right about the middle for growth, 31 pounds and 6 ounces (58th percentile) and 37 inches tall (60th percentile).
Overall, the pediatrician said she is doing great.  She got shy and didn't want to show off her verbal skills like I would have hoped, but she talked a little.  Of course, she was happy to demonstrate over and over again what a climber she is!
The pediatrician checked her lungs and ears and said all was clear with those.  She agreed that the singulair and nasonex seemed like good choices to try and keep her clear more often.  She also mentioned that if we are using the albuterol frequently, we should come back for a steroid inhaler.
The pediatrician and I discussed it and she felt it would be best to give Sarah Graves her final Hib vaccine as that one protects against some of the bacteria that cause ear infections and such and it would be helpful to Charlie for her to build her immunity to those things.  She was a rockstar and barely even flinched when the nurse did it.  The pediatrician brought her Hello Kitty stickers and she got to pick a prize from the treasure chest.  We are a little off course with her vaccine schedule because we skipped the chicken pox vaccine and we need to get caught up with the last polio and first Hepatitis A.  I think that with Charlie going in so frequent in the next few months that I can probably get SG a little more caught up so that she is back on schedule.  I just don't want her to get a bunch of things at once and overwhelm her immune system.  
Mom went with me to take them both and I am glad that I had help!  It is hard work to have an appointment for both of them at the same time.

Check-Up

Charlie went for his two month check-up yesterday and he weighs in at 14 pounds and 7 ounces (93rd percentile), 24 inches tall (91st percentile), and head circumference is 15 3/4 (80th percentile).  No wonder he is outgrowing his 6 month size clothing!  The pediatrician said that he is doing perfect.  He has rolls in all the right places, he makes eye contact, smiles, and coos just like a two month old should!
At this appointment he received the DTap vaccine and oral rotavirus.  He cried for just a second after the shot and hasn't seemed bothered by it since.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Fall!

The leaves are really turning here and Sarah Graves can't wait for Halloween next week!  Here are some pictures of them in their pumpkin outfits.





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First Bottle

While watching the game on Saturday, Aaron gave Charlie his first bottle.  It seemed right that his Daddy would give him a bottle while they watched the game together!
Most people know that I do not use bottles when I am able to feed my babies myself, but we do have to get him comfortable with the bottle before I go back to work.  So, it's only fair that Daddy gets to have some of the fun of feeding and not always changing diapers!  I am a lot more relaxed than I was with Sarah Graves and a lot more confident that he can have a bottle and will still want to nurse again.  In fact, he wanted to nurse again just a few hours later!  Juggling two small children can be tough, but I love having some of the wisdom from having done this before.

He looks like a satisfied baby to me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Second Opinion

I posted several weeks ago that we took SG for allergy testing and while they recommended that she start the allergy shots, Aaron wasn't convinced that was the best course of action.  I was ready to go for it because I didn't know of any other alternatives.  He did some research and learned about another method of building immunity through allergy drops or sublingual immunotherapy.  This treatment is like allergy shots, but it is given in the form of drops placed under the tongue.  I started checking into it and thankfully we live in a big city and there happened to be a kids' ENT not too far from us that offers this method.
Yesterday we went for what I expected to be a consultation to get started with the allergy drops and instead, I got a big lesson in allergies.  The doctor explained that because SG is so young and has not had a long history of struggles with allergies she would like to try medicine first.  She also looked at the results of SG's allergy test and said that she does not feel SG had any strong, positive reactions.  She explained that as SG has more exposure to the grasses and trees she will likely develop stronger reactions and given Aaron's history of allergies, SG will likely need the immunotherapy at some point, but this probably wasn't the time.  Her logic was that kids who start immunotherapy before they have had extensive exposure end up needing multiple rounds of immunotherapy to build up their tolerance.  Her recommendation was that we try Singulair and Nasonex first and see how that does for her for a while.
Something else that she helped me understand is that allergic reactions can be manifested in the nose, ears, or lungs.  She said that because SG develops a cough that we've seen turn into bronchitis, her allergies likely manifest themselves in the lungs.  Other kids might come down with ear infections often, and some others will manifest in multiple places.  When we got the breathing machine and albuterol I didn't understand that we should use it as needed.  She helped me understand that if we start the breathing treatments at the first sign of her cough, we can probably keep it from getting so bad.  If we wait until she is coughing constantly until she throws up, it will probably take weeks of breathing treatments to clear it up.  Good to know.
I guess part of my job now is to keep track of when she develops symptoms, how long it took to clear it up with breathing treatments, and how long she stays clear before it comes back.  By keeping a history of her reactions we can see if our current course of treatment is keeping her well and track when we need to make a change.
By the time I'm done having babies and raising kids I'll just about have my medical degree!

Ballet Class


I had the chance to watch SG's ballet class.  It was a lot of cuteness!  She paid so much attention and followed the teacher so sweetly.  She is such a big girl and I am so proud of her.  





Monday, October 22, 2012

J-E-L-L-O

I had a great time with SG on Wednesday night while Aaron was at his class at church.  We played in the backyard taking Kate and Charlie to the beach.  We had to make sure to rub their sunscreen in, play in the "sand" with them, and take them in the waves!  There was also the fun of playing on her play set and pretending she was driving the bus to the park.
When we came in we made some J-ELLO chocolate pudding.  She loves to help cook and this was an easy one that she could help me make.  Ours didn't set up quite like it normally does; maybe because we used almond milk?  Anyway, she loved drinking it through a straw - messy face and all!
I am so grateful for fun times with her!  Sometimes it feels like all I do is coax her to get dressed, finish eating, be polite, etc., so it feels wonderful to just enjoy being with her.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Geaux Tigers!

 After our win against Texas A&M today, I thought I would post these pictures of Charlie and Sarah Graves in their LSU outfits.









Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lovie's Birthday

Lovie's birthday was actually Saturday, but we celebrated early since she was at the beach for her actual birthday.  Sarah Graves was so excited for Lovie's birthday.  I think mostly because she loves to talk about her own birthday and the party she has been planning for months!  
She wore her BOO shirt that Lovie made her.

She was very excited about Lovie's cake and insisted on finding candles to go on it!  She is going to make a great hostess.

I think Lovie enjoyed her evening with us and had a fun time celebrating.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday at the Park





Last Sunday we went to the park near our house and SG had a ball!  She found a little girl who was probably six to play chase with and although I don't think SG understands how to play chase, she had a great time doing her version of it!  She was fearless climbing up this rock climbing structure.  It was probably 6 feet tall and she could scale it pretty quick with a little help getting started at the bottom.  It's afternoons like this with her that remind me why I wanted to be a momma!



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Smiley Girl!

Not to be outdone, Sarah Graves offered up a couple of grins while we were out for dinner too!