Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Neighborly Blessings

We have great neighbors. I think I've mentioned it before on here. Not only have I met some great friends in the neighborhood with young children, but the people on either side of us have been so generous over the past 2 years. They have given us countless hand-me-down toys for Ryan, tools for Adam, garage cabinets, clothes for Lucas, hours of help with home projects, and even a free hot tub!

This weekend was just further proof of how blessed we are. Two wonderful additions to our house, courtesy of our neighbors, and 100% free:

A beautiful built-in desk for our family room!

A piano!!

Two items that we have wanted but could not afford or justify spending money on. I can't decide which one excites me more! We have been so blessed.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Easy as E.A.S.Y.

Take a minute and step into my crazy brain, won't you? I'm a little paranoid about Lucas' sleep habits. You see, I don't want to repeat the mistakes I made with Ryan. I want this child to actually nap. And sleep in his own bed. And eventually sleep through the night. And I'm becoming obsessive about it.

I'm reading the Baby Whisperer's book right now, which outlines the EASY routine for babies.

Eat: For now, this is just breastfeeding.
Activity: Baby is awake and playing and/or somehow being stimulated.
Sleep: Baby is sleeping
You: Once baby is asleep, I get "you" time.

For Lucas this cycle should repeat throughout the day approximately every 3 hours.

Sounds easy, right?

Luckily Lucas is not a comfort nurser, so he doesn't usually fall asleep nursing. So we've mastered the "E" and the "A". The "S", however, is a bit more difficult. The Baby Whisperer suggests a few ways to get baby to sleep, such as swaddling and shushing him, and then putting him in his crib while he is still slightly awake. This encourages him to fall asleep on his own, thus developing the skill of soothing himself to sleep without me. Sounds like a great long-term goal, since Ryan still has not developed this skill.

I'm just having a hard time getting Lucas to fall asleep. I swaddle him. I shush him. I gently pat his back. I walk him. I rock him. I sing. I bounce. And when I finally lay him down, he immediately wakes up.

Perhaps he is a bit young to sleep on his own. Perhaps I'm becoming obsessive about this sleep thing. But can you blame me? I'm pretty sure Ryan will be sleeping with his Mommy and Daddy until he gets married. I don't want the same thing to happen with Lucas.

I'm afraid that if I don't teach Lucas the proper sleep habits NOW, he will be doomed to a napless childhood. Am I worrying prematurely? Am I expecting too much from a 2-month old?

It's okay, you can tell me I'm crazy. At what age did you get your baby on a good sleeping schedule?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

2-Year-Old Style

Ryan has developed a unique sense of style. Some days he refuses to leave the house without his one mitten. Other days he prefers to accessorize with his Daddy's belt.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tool Man

Growing up I loved watching the show "Home Improvement". Tim the Tool Man was the husband who had a lovely wife and 3 sons. For some reason I always identified with Jill the wife. Perhaps I subconsciously knew that someday I would end up married to a "Tool Man" with similar-minded sons.
Ryan is good with tools. Like kind of scarily good. He adores playing with Adam's tools in the garage, and he is constantly walking around "fixing" things for me.

Recently Ryan upgraded his tool knowledge to power tools. A power drill to be exact. (Don't worry, it was all safe and supervised.)
And he uses it properly with no hesitation. Definitely his Daddy's Boy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weighty Wednesday: Building Blocks

Another pound lost. Woohoo! My goal for week one was no desserts. When that week was up, all I wanted to do was eat sweets all the time. Obviously this won't help me lost weight. So I have decided that instead of setting an individual goal for each week and then disregarding that change the following week, I will instead build on my goals.So by making one small change each week, I will develop the building blocks of healthier eating and fitness, ultimately leading to my weight loss. Sounds so easy when I put it that way, right?

The truth is that the weight loss feels much harder this time. I am seeing a slow loss, so that's encouraging. It's just not as effortless as last time.



Week 3
Lbs Lost So Far: 2
Lbs Left to Lose: 23

Goals
One dessert per week: Giving up desserts completely just won't work for me. So I will be rewarding myself with one sweet treat per week. Last weekend Adam and I enjoyed a belated birthday dinner and I ate Zeppolis (Italian Donuts). Definitely worth the wait!
Eat more fruit: I've been doing really well with this one!
Drink More Water: I've also done well here, although I still need to drink more.
Take frequent walks: I went on a walk 4 or 5 days last week, so I met my goal! The weather is so nice that meeting this goal shouldn't be a problem.
Eat more vegetables: This is my new goal for the week. I usually eat just one vegetable a day at dinnertime, unless I eat a salad for lunch. I'm going to try to eat more like 2 or 3 servings a day. I just need to find ways to prepare them in advance or eat raw veggies that I can just grab and eat.
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Moo Wawa

I want to document a few things while they are still fresh in my mind. Ryan has been full of wonderful surprises lately!

1) On Saturday Adam got Ryan to fall asleep for a nap and he slept for 2 hours!!

2) When he woke up he was happy! He then proceeded to eat salmon for dinner.

3) On Sunday Ryan said his first 3-word phrase. "Moo Wawa Dad" = More Water Dad

4) On Monday I got both Ryan and Lucas down for an afternoon nap. A rare treat for all of us!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Firsts

One of the most enjoyable aspects of parenting is watching your children experience everything for the first time. Of course there are the obvious "firsts", such as first steps, first words, etc. But there are less obvious ones too.

Like watching your child taste a tart lemon on their tongue for the first time.

Or taking them to the beach for the first time to see the crashing waves.

Or watching the road in front of your house being paved for the first time.

Big trucks! So exciting!! Seriously, it was the highlight of our day, and possibly for the entire week.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

6 Week Fussies

Do all babies cry this much? I'm beginning to think I just birth fussy babies. Lucas had been pretty easy until he was about 5 weeks old. Over the past week and a half he has become really fussy. He cries. A lot. If he's not sleeping or nursing, he's probably crying. The evenings are absolutely the worst, when he is often inconsolable.

I call it the 6-week fussies because I remember Ryan's colic peaked at 6 weeks. He used to cry non stop most of the day at this age, and then it resolved itself somewhere between 2 and 3 months of age. I wouldn't say Lucas is colicky, but he is definitely a fussy baby these days, and I dread the evenings! The other night he wouldn't stop crying and I caught myself saying to him "Please stop crying Ryan!". Oops. Wrong son. I guess I got used to saying that a lot to Ryan!

So do all babies fuss and cry all the time at this age? Because Lucas is my 2nd baby to go through this, I do know there is a quiet light at the end of the wailing tunnel. I just hope we get there soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weighty Wednesday: Chugging Along

In retrospect, it probably wasn't too smart to declare a week of no desserts when my birthday was part of that week. I did good until Saturday night when I had a dessert, and then of course on Monday I didn't restrict myself at all. I eat whatever I want on my birthday! Other than those two days I met my goal of no desserts. I tried to eat more fruits but I wasn't as successful since Lucas and I were sick over the weekend. When your child is sick all plans for healthy eating tend to fly out the window. I probably averaged 1-2 servings of fruit before the weekend, but I know I can and should eat more.

Despite being sick over the weekend and then pigging out all day Monday, I did lose 1 pound this week.

Week 2
Lbs Lost So Far: 1
Lbs Left To Lose: 24

Goals: This week I intend to chug a lot more water. I am so focused on taking care of my 2 little boys that I often don't drink water until I am desperately thirsty. So that needs to change. In addition, I plan on getting out for a real walk at least 4 days this week. By "real" I mean that I will put Ryan in his stroller and wear Lucas in a baby carrier in order to actually break a sweat during my walks. If I let Ryan walk, we tend to just meander along, looking at sticks and bugs.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy 30

Today I turn 30. And today Ryan learned how to say "happy"!
video

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bitten

We have a little problem on our hands.

Ryan has been biting.

At first it was mainly directed towards Adam and I.

But now Lucas has fallen victim to Ryan's teeth and it's been pretty upsetting for all of us.

One of the issues I'm facing is that there is pretty much nowhere in our house that Lucas is safe from Ryan.

As a result I have to watch Ryan like a hawk. And be really firm and consistent with my discipline when he does act aggressive.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weighty Wednesday: Round 2

Weighty Wednesday is back! I am 5 weeks postpartum and I still have some weight to lose. So I'm starting my weekly weigh-ins again and I will be setting a goal for myself each week to help me stay on track.

With this pregnancy I gained 49 pounds. During the first week after giving birth I lost 25 pounds. Over the next 4 weeks I lost only 4 pounds, for a total of 29 lost so far. That leaves me with 20 pregnancy pounds left to lost. I'd like to lose an additional 5 on top of that, so I'm setting a long-term goal of 25 pounds to lose. I hope to have it all off by the end of the year.

Last time the weight came off pretty easily. I can tell it's going to be a bit harder this time around. I just don't have as much time to focus on making healthy meals or exercising. But I'm going to try my hardest to take care of myself and fuel my body properly. I need all the energy I can get!


Week 1
Lbs Lost So Far: 0

Lbs Left to Lose: 25

Goals: My main goal this week is to replace desserts and added sugar with fruit. I'm heading to the grocery store today to stock up on all the fresh summer fruits. I'm hoping that as I incorporate more fruit into my diet my cravings for sugar will lessen.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Awake

Lucas has really become more alert. He is awake more often and has learned how to express himself quite well.
Unfortunately one of his most alert and expressive times is from 2am until 5am.

I need to figure out how to get his days and nights switched around. I'm going to try and force him to stay awake during the day more and see if that helps. It just goes against my Mommy instincts to wake a sleeping baby!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mealtime = Playtime

For Ryan, (and most 2-year old I would assume) eating food is just another form of playing. Meatballs are to be chewed and then spit out. Fruit pouches are to be squeezed out onto his shirt. And bowls of cereal are to be blown into and then thrown onto the floor.
video



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Improvise

There is so much extra thought involved in leaving the house with two little ones. There are the obvious things: diapers for both, extra wipes, sippy cup for toddler, snacks, extra clothes, stroller and baby carrier, etc.

But there are circumstances that you might not think of, such as how to get them in and out of the car. When you arrive home, do you carry the baby inside first, leaving your toddler unattended in the car? Or vice versa? Or do you wrestle both into the house at once?

Then there's the issue of going for a walk. Do you use a double stroller? Or wear the baby in a carrier and put the toddler in a single stroller? Or push the baby in the single stroller and make the toddler walk? What happens if a certain toddler decides they will absolutely not walk any further when you are multiple blocks from home and your arms and back give out after carrying the toddler for 3 blocks?

You improvise.
And pray the stroller doesn't collapse.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lucas: 1 Month

Lucas, you are one month old today! Time really does seem to be flying by with you and you are getting bigger each day. I can't believe how much you have already grown. Since birth (7 lbs, 8 oz), and then down to 6 lbs, 13 oz, you have grown back up to 10 pounds!
You are such a sweet little baby. For the first two weeks of your life you basically slept and nursed. Around that time you seemed to wake up to the world, becoming more alert and fussy during the day. You have periods now where you cry for what seems like no reason. You will be fed, changed, and rested, and you still cry even when rocked or walked around. In spite of that, I would still call you an easy baby.
You are a very efficient nurser! I remember Ryan liked to just "snack" for sometimes up to an hour at a time. You nurse on one side no longer than 15 minutes, and then you are often done. If you weren't gaining weight so well I'd be worried that you weren't getting enough milk! But when you are done nursing, there is nothing I can do to make you continue. If I try to nurse you again too soon, you let me know that you're not interested.

Nights are not too bad. I try to nurse you to sleep (swaddled) around 9 or 9:30pm. I put you in your bassinet and you will generally sleep until about 12:30. Then we get up and go into the nursery for a diaper change and another feeding. After that you will go back in your bassinet and sleep about 50% of the time. If that doesn't work, I often find that you just want to be held in order to fall back asleep. You don't like to be attached to me, nursing all night like your brother did. Instead you just like being close to me. Either way, whether in my arms or the bassinet, you generally don't want to nurse again until at least 4am. Like I said, you are an efficient eater!
On the day you turned 4 weeks old you gave me two very real smiles. I couldn't believe it! I smiled and said your name, and you looked at me and your whole face lit up. You have such a cute smile and it just melted my heart!

 Ryan calls you "B", and your Daddy has started calling you "Little B". I actually call you by your name, or sometimes "Lukey" or just "Baby".

Can't wait to see what next month brings! I love you little Lucas!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I See It

OK I guess I see it. A little bit.
Everyone has been telling me that there is a strong resemblance between Ryan and Lucas. So far I haven't really seen it. But when I compare certain pictures, I do catch glimpses of the same facial features and expressions.
 I kinda see it. Do you?