Friday, June 28, 2013

Check-Up

Charlie had his nine month check-up with Dr. Maun a couple of weeks ago.  Overall, he is doing just great.  His weight is 21 pounds, 13 ounces (78th percentile), height is 29 inches (63rd percentile), and head circumference is 18 1/4 (84th percentile). 
He is hitting all of his milestones and happily showed off some of them for the nurse.  He is eating, playing, and dirtying diapers just the way they would expect.  The pediatrician continues to tell me that he is nursing so much at night because he is waiting for his time with me.  Perhaps she could dig the knife in my heart a bit more!  She means well and at least it sort of explains why he is taking little milk during the day and nursing like a pro at night. 
He had his DTaP vaccine and was scheduled for a rotavirus, but we are so off schedule that he passed the age range for it!  We are trying to get caught up from all those months when we stayed sick and didn't do shots. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Letter Month Ten


Dear Charlie,


Ten months old just doesn’t seem possible!  This time last year we were putting the final touches on your nursery and trying to imagine what our life would be like with you outside of me.  Here you are ten months old and growing every day and just bursting with life.  Your smile is infectious and you bring so much joy to all of us. 
While you may not look a lot like me, your love of meat tells me that you are definitely mine!  You love any kind of meat!  Steak, chicken, pork, fish, sausage, you love it all.  When you are feeding yourself meat, you drop none of it.  Fruits and veggies seem to be a different story.  One day you will like sweet potatoes a lot and the next day you aren’t interested.  It goes like that for carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, strawberries, bananas, cherries, and peaches, too.   Your enjoyment of food seems to be making you desire less milk, especially during the day from the bottle.  You seem to have dropped a feeding entirely and now only take a few ounces during the day.  You still want to nurse at night, so I don’t think you are weaning cold turkey, thank goodness!  I enjoy that snuggly time when you are sleeping and peacefully nursing.
Sleep is still a struggle for you.  You seem to be taking a morning nap most days, so that is some improvement.  The afternoon nap and the evening sleep are still more hit or miss.  Some days you are very tired and go down with little fuss and other nights it takes a long time of us working with you.  You still wake up quickly after falling asleep and need help to go back to sleep. 
As expected, your growth is starting to slow down a bit now.  You are wearing a size 12 or 18 month clothing most of the time.  You are just adorable in your swimsuit showing off your cute baby bod!  You will not leave a hat or sunglasses on no matter how bright it is.  You typically don’t wear shoes now that it is warm, but I think you wear a size 4 right now. 
You are pulling up on everything and able to cruise all around from thing to thing.  You are also climbing the stairs very eagerly.  You know how to come down on your belly, but are so delighted to climb up that you usually just keep right on going.  If you sneak off and start climbing without us seeing you, you get so tickled when we come over to you.  You start to giggle and can’t decide whether to keep going or come down!  I love seeing you trying to quickly make your way to a place you aren’t supposed to be!  You start crawling faster and faster and breathing heavy with excitement.  I almost hate to stop you, but it’s usually Lucy’s dog bowl that you are after and that’s just gross to play in.
You are learning so many cute tricks!  You wave hello and bye regularly now, except sometimes you refuse to tell us bye in the morning.  Maybe that is how you express your dislike for us going away from you.  You clap your hands and are so proud of yourself when you do it!  You also raise your arms when I ask you how big you are to say, “So big!”  Sissy loves to do that with you and to play pat-a-cake with you.  You are getting into peek-a-boo and will even cover your face with your hands sometimes to mimic us.  It is all just darling. 
You are amused and delighted by your sissy.  She loves you a lot too, but she is starting to grow impatient with you getting her things.  You are now pulling things of hers off the sofa and on to the floor to play with them yourself and she gets a little upset over that.  She sometimes takes her things back from you and that breaks your heart.  You guys will work it out as all siblings do. 
I fall in love with you all over again each day.  You look at me with those big, dark eyes and have such love in them.  You smile a sweet, toothy smile at me any time I walk by you.  You just bring such a joy with you that has to be experienced.  I feel so lucky that I get to have it every day.  Being a parent is hard work, but you bring so much happiness and enjoyment for life that it is so very worth all the work.  I feel lucky to have the job of being your momma. 
Love,
Momma







Sunday Stroll

Sunday afternoon, Aunt Nay came over to play with SG and Charlie.  She took SG and Kate out for a walk.  As Mommy, Sarah Graves pushed Kate's stroller.  Lucy got to go on the walk and they had a ball!  SG loved directing the play as they took care of Kate and another doll who was Kates friend, Annabelle.  They even took care to feed the babies, plan and host Kate's birthday (a daily event for Kate), and finally bathe and put the babies to bed.  Charlie hung out with them and mostly chewed on the pretend food!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Climber

This guy is a climber!  He can climb up the stairs completely on his own.  We let him do it, but we do stand a couple of steps back JUST IN CASE.  He knows how to come down too, but typically only comes down a step or two before he starts climbing up again!  



Pictures just don't do his cuteness justice!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday Breakfast

Sunday morning we celebrated Pops at breakfast.  We had a great time and enjoyed all being together.  


Monday, June 24, 2013

Pool Time!

We have been enjoying our swim club.  Sarah Graves loves the water and Charlie likes it pretty well, too!



Friday night, Lovie and Pops joined us!  We picked up dinner and ate it at the pool before our swim.  







So glad we have access to a pool somewhat close and can enjoy it regularly!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rockin' Birthday Bash!

On Sunday we went to our friend Boyd's fifth birthday.  It was a rockin' music themed party.  The kids started off by making drums out of Homer buckets, then they had a parade, dressed themselves up to perform as a garage band, had an Elvis impersonator, and finished it off playing in the sprinklers!  Charlie was there hanging out and taking it all in!  




Boyd's Dad, David, is my manager so several of my co-workers were there and we took the opportunity to pose with Elvis!  






Monday, June 17, 2013

Fun Fair

She thoroughly enjoyed Spirit Week and comes alive any time she hears this song!


Spirit Week Finale

SG LOVED Spirit Week!  She was excited to go each day and the finale showed us just how much she loved the music and the crafts.  She was also thrilled to get a t-shirt and even more so that it was green, her favorite color!
I remember feeling that same excitement after camp in the summer or after Happening.  You just loved it so much and people who weren't there don't know how good it felt. I hope she has that same joy many times more.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Getting Cozy!

These two had fun playing with the cozy coupe the other night!  Charlie pushed SG in it like she was queen of Mardi Gras and then she took a turn pushing him!  Love watching them play together.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Our Little Explorer

This boy is a fearless crawler!  He will work his way under anything!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Friend

My Uncle Ronnie and his wife, Chris were visiting last week and came over for dinner one evening.  Sarah Graves had such a good time playing with Mallory!  Mallory is 12 now and we met her when she was about Sarah Graves' age.  They look similar to one another and Sarah Graves reminds me a lot of Mallory at this age.  Mallory was talkative and had a spunky personality.  She referred to herself as Mall O ry.  She was really sweet to play in the basement all evening with SG and she played with Charlie during the day at Lovie and Pops'.  SG keeps talking about her "friend" and temporarily thinks her friend's name is Lauren!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gardening

Sarah Graves has been wanting to plant flowers and we just never find time to get to Home Depot to buy any.  Friday I decided that when I picked her up from school, we would go do that.  Of course, it was pouring when we got there and I didn't want to walk around getting wet while we picked out some flowers.  So, we bought seeds that were under the covered area and kept us dry!  We bought several kinds in hopes that something would take hold and grow for her.  We planted basil, lemon balm, zucchini, sunflowers, and some other type of flower.  The herbs will likely grow since we have good luck with those.  We'll see about the rest.  She liked doing it and it made her feel like a team to do it, which is the most important part!

First Date

I just saw that this never posted!  He took her to this event in February!

Aaron took Sarah Graves on her first date Saturday night.  Chick-Fil-A hosted a father-daughter date night and Aaron made reservations to take Sarah Graves.  She had a good time going with daddy and I think she felt pretty special getting her own flower and a chick-fil-a cow!  Fries and ice cream for dinner were right up her alley, too!
Hopefully, this is the start of a fun tradition for them.


Spirit Week!

Spirit Week is what our church calls Vacation Bible School.  I like to think they call it this because the kids are filled with the Holy Spirit.  I can't believe Sarah Graves is old enough to go!  She is in the Australia class and our friend Greg is in her class.  She didn't talk a lot about it yesterday, but it must have been fun because she jumped up and got ready to go today!
She was a little nervous yesterday, but she was brave when it was time for me to drop her off and she was very excited that Aunt Nay came to pick her up!
I hope that we hear more stories about what they do there as the week goes on!

Letter Month Nine

Dear Charlie,

Nine months old feels like a big milestone.  You have now been out in the world almost as long as you were inside of me!  You are staying very busy and the time is just flying by!  
You are growing so fast that I can hardly keep up!  You wear size 18 month clothing, which I sometimes can't believe!  You have two teeth on the bottom and are about to have one on top, too!  Even though you don't have a mouth full of teeth, you chew your food like you do.  Speaking of food, you seem to be a fan of that.  You will eat most things that we give you.  So far you have eaten any meat, fish, or shellfish that we give you; you especially enjoy yellow veggies; you really like foods like pizza and tortilla chips; you have tried a few different beans and eat those; and you eat scrambled eggs;.  On our recent trip to Shreveport, you enjoyed catfish, hushpuppies, fried shrimp, and twice baked potatoes and that was just at Ralph and Kackoo's!  You don't seem to be a fan of fruit though, but you kind of like pineapple.  You can feed yourself Cheerios and other small things and when you want more you slap your hand on the table and say, "aaah."  You also really enjoy drinking water whether it's from your cup or mine!  You are still a hearty nurser too.  The nighttime still seems to be your preferred time for nursing and that is definitely the most peaceful time to nurse you..  I would say that you nurse 7 to 8 times a day.  
Night nursing brings us to our biggest challenge with you, sleep.  You seem to be developing a desire for a morning nap around nine o'clock, but the length of that nap varies a lot.  Some days it is 20 minutes and others it is an hour and a half.  It is rare for you to sleep much longer than that without being held or riding in the car.  Night sleep is a struggle too.  You fight going to sleep and once asleep, you wake often.  Daddy can soothe you back to sleep better than I can, but you come to me to nurse and fall back asleep pretty quick.  We have moved our mattress to the floor now that you are so mobile and we worried you would fall out of the bed.  I guess we have accepted that you are our bed buddy for the time being and what a cute one you are! 
You are learning so many new things that I feel I can hardly keep up!  You can now sit yourself up and you have developed a traditional crawl; although you recognize that your old way is still faster!  You are pulling up all over the place, too!  You can pull up using just the wall now.  You are starting to cruise around a little, but you mostly crawl to the next spot.   You like any toy that you can chew on and seem to enjoy going from thing to thing.  You still like your paci and are quite adept at putting it in and out of your mouth as you desire.  We try to save it for sleep, but sometimes you need it when we are out and about, too.  Your sister just delights when she sees you!  She loves it now that you are able to play with her more and she is trying to teach you pat-a-cake.  Mostly, she just likes to see you and talk to you.  When she wakes up in the morning, she comes into our room and tells me, "I want to see that baby boy!"  She loves to see your cute baby toes, too!  Sometimes she wakes you up kissing on you and talking to you, but she does it out of love.  
You don't have any words yet, but you understand a lot.  If I ask you if you want to nurse, you lunge for it!  I'm pretty sure that you understand other things like saying bye bye or when I ask you to come to me.  We are showing you signs, but you haven't started doing them yet.  You will!  You "talk" a lot!  You babble all sorts of sounds and we can't wait to hear what you have to tell us.  I'm pretty sure there are big ideas going on inside you!  You are wary of new people.  You love for me, Lovie, or Daddy to hold you, but are cautious of new people.  You definitely get worried if I leave the room.  I prefer your company too, so I don't mind it!  Your hair is growing and getting thick and we have discovered that it gets a little curly in the humidity! We called you fuzzy head from the start and the curly adds to it.  
You giggle often and find the world amusing.  You also have such an easy smile.  When I walk in the room, you flash me a smile every time!  You look at us with sweet, trusting eyes that melt our hearts.  Words just can't tell you the kind of love that we have for you.  It gets us through long, sleepless nights and motivates us to get back to you as soon as we can.  I hope you feel how much you are loved by everyone.  It's remarkable what a little person can do to so many hearts!

Love,
Momma



Monday, June 10, 2013

Preschooler

A couple of weeks ago Sarah Graves made the transition to preschool.  Two of her friends from her early preschool class moved with her and she seems to be doing well.  She would still like for me to stay with her each day, but these teachers kindly pick her up and try to get her engaged in an activity. 
When she made the move, her paci stayed in her other classroom for the new babies coming in.  I think she had a tough time going to sleep the first few days, but her teacher rubbed her back and she was okay.  I was pleasantly surprised! 
She is working on all sorts of new skills in her new class, the biggest is learning to write her name!  She isn't there yet, but her letter and number recognition are making big strides.  She loves the idea of being able to write, so I'm sure it won't take her long!  They continue to practice Spanish in this class and the sprayground has just opened up for summer water play!  This class uses the big playground with a tall slide and she is excited to see her friends Annabelle and Kirthi from a different class on the playground.  She is also delighted to see her favorite teacher, Ms. Marlene, out on the playground most days!  Overall, I think she likes her class. 


Friday, June 7, 2013

Teething

This sweet boy is finally through the worst, but he is getting four top teeth all at the same time.  Over the weekend he ran fever, had a runny nose, and has drooled like crazy.  Poor love just wanted to be held and soothed through it.  I love that feeling when his body finally relaxes and sleep brings a reprieve from the discomfort.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thrush and Other Fun!

For several weeks I had a lot of discomfort when Charlie nursed, mostly on the left side.  At first I thought he had nursed too long at night and it was sore.  Then, it hurt to pump and I really didn't want him to nurse at all.  That's when I started googling.  I wanted to google something like, "nursing feels like being stabbed with a hot poker!" That's how it felt.  It was totally different than the pain of a clogged duct.  It felt like it was burning and anything touching it hurt.
I read about the saliva of teething babies bothering mom's skin, having a milk blister where milk gets trapped and dries causing a clog, and thrush was another possibility.  The descriptions for most of these said it would affect both sides, but for me it was really just the left.  I let it go for a day or two waiting for some more definitive symptom to identify the problem.  The area didn't really look any different.  It kept getting worse so I started googling again.  This time I found descriptions from moms who had just one side have thrush or who had it and their little one didn't.  One mom described it as nursing razor blades and I was sure that's what I had too!  It hurt that bad.
Treatment is often an anti-fungal called nystatin.  As I read more, it works about 30% of the time.  Um, I want better odds of nursing without pain than that and oh yeah, I want it better now.  Grapefruit seed extract and coconut oil are both good anti-fungals that have some success and aren't messy like gentian violet.  Oh yeah, and diet can help to kill off the yeast overgrowth causing the issue.
Now I have thought about the need to clean up my diet, but usually plan to do so when I finish that cupcake.  The pain was pretty bad, so I got on board with this.  The Candida Diet is limiting.  No dairy, no grains, no peanuts or cashews, no Coke Zero, no added sugar of any kind, no potatoes or starchy vegetables, no shellfish, no processed meats, etc.  You basically eliminate all foods with sugar, additives, or molds.  Boy, I love nursing this baby!
We headed off to Whole Foods to get the necessities and I dove in.  By day 3 I was feeling rotten.  I guess that's the result of the yeast dying off and releasing toxins.  I also noticed my milk supply dropped off a lot.  The pain was a lot less, but little milk - not exactly my plan.  More googling ensued and oh yes, there it is, "Nursing mothers should never eliminate all carbohydrates and sugars from their diet."  It turns out, I should keep eating some starchy vegetables, lower sugar fruits, and even some whole grains.
The last couple of days have been spent fighting to get milk production back up.  I had some placenta pills left and have been taking those.  I have also been drinking lots of water and trying to nurse Charlie more frequently.  I had nearly 4 gallons of pumped milk stored, so that has been keeping me going mentally.  Ugh, so not fun!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ballet Recital

Saturday was a busy day going to her first gymnastics class and then getting ready for her first ballet recital.
We weren't sure what to expect since this was her first time on stage, but her performance was just as darling as we hoped!  She got excited to see us in the beginning and came running toward us, so the M.C. led her back to her spot and she was terribly embarrassed.  My heart broke for her, but eventually she recovered and joined her friends dancing!  We are so proud of her for getting on stage and performing.







Tap is something that she just picked up in the last few weeks and let me tell you, that was a tapping kid on stage!  She really enjoyed it!






She was excited about the trophy and her bouquet, but not as much as she was about that cupcake they gave her!  She had to have some immediately!