Saturday, May 28, 2011

Five Minute Friday (on Saturday morning)

See, I'm already not very good at keeping up with this!!!   As I mentioned in my previous Friday post we were going to the Vandewater's to see Lee, our bro in law.  He is home on leave from Afghanistan and is soon to go back in a few days, to return home for good in early July.  It was great to see him, like he  hadn't even been gone.  Whitney warmed up to him quickly and my little Ellie even let him hold her.  He keeps a blog, Operation Enduring Freedom 2011  that you should really check out, if you don't already.  It's an excellent inside perspective on a deployment.

I have been getting the girls out to the park a few times a week and Whitney is turning into little miss dare devil.  Its hard to help her play with a baby strapped to my chest!  She says the funniest things and I mean to write them down so I can remember it all and laugh about it again some day.  The other day we were driving and we were going by a church, she says.. "whoaaa, that's a big house!"   We were getting her in the bath and she was standing next to the tub fully clothed yet, and she says, "you can't wear clothes in the bath.  You can't wear clothes when you're naked!"

It's Memorial Day weekend and my parents are coming to visit.  Love it when they come to play with Whitney, and that my mom always brings me goodies to eat!  I don't do much baking around here, unless it's refridgerated cookie dough!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Girls at 3 Months

I have heard both- your girls look nothing alike and your girls look the same.  When Ellie was born my first reaction was that she looked just like Whitney.  It felt like I was holding a newborn Whitney all over again.  And then over the next few days I thought they looked nothing alike.  Now that Ellie is filling out, I think they look alike again, despite the different eye color, and Ellie will likely be a blonde.  The first four pictures are Whitney, the last four Ellie.  I don't know how to do them side by side, but if you know how, let me know (ahem...  Michele or Melissa!)  I make some chubby girls, huh!?!  Whitney cracks me up with how fat she was!

First Cereal

Whitney took these first three pics of Ellie, I think she did pretty good!

supported sitting

at the park

I have been eager to give Ellie cereal so I finally did last night and she did really good, and slept a little bit better last night!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ellison- 3 Months

Baby Ellie is now three months old.  She is getting stronger and more alert every day.  She coos and squeals and smiles a lot and is generally a pretty happy baby.  She is starting to get stranger danger, apparently my girls are not the type of babies that just goes to any one.  She does better with Wade than Whitney did, but Wade is also around a lot more than he was when Whitney was a baby.  She does pretty good on tummy time holding her head up and can sit in the bumbo for a good period of time now.  She is becomming a supported sitter and if you prop her up you can see her working to try to sit upright.  She tries to suck on her hands and fingers but can't yet keep her hands in her mouth.  She will occasionally take a pacifier, but generally does not care for them.

She sleeps pretty well.  She has given me 8 hrs a few times and then the next night she will go back to 5 hrs, which isn't so bad for a 3 month old, but it stinks when she goes to bed at 8/8:30.  I would love to put her to bed later, but she set her bed time so I just go with it. She wakes up for good in the morning between six and seven.   I don't set schedules for my babies, I let them sleep when they are tired and eat if they seem hungry.    She is getting a more predictable daytime sleep pattern and would probably be even more routine if we would stay home in the morning. 

We have gotten the eating problems worked out. She nurses at night and  I pump all day and she drinks from a bottle.  Most days I can keep up with her and if not she will take formula.  How lucky am I?  Hopefully she will continue to take formula because it is pretty nice taking a thermos of hot water when we go out to mix formula.  Figuring out how and where to pump isn't so much fun, but it's working so far.  We made it half way to my minimum goal of breastfeeding for six months, so if I can make it another three, I'm sure I can go a year.  I'm anxious to start cereal to see how she takes it.  Some days she seems like she could use some, and other days she barely finishes the milk I have pumped.  I can tell when she hits a growth spurt because she will poop every other day and eat like mad.

She is in size 1 diapers that are quickly getting too small.  She wears 3-6 month clothing that fits perfectly.  I give her about 6-7 weeks before she will probably be in 6-12.

She has had a couple of sessions of PT for her tortecollis, and the therapist said it is a pretty mild case, but she still holds her neck pretty crooked depending on her energy level.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Minute Fridays

I was blog hopping just now during nap time and came across this post that you just ramble on for five minutes.  I'll give it a shot and try to do it every friday as a recap of our week.  Don't hold me to it though, we'll just see!

Here goes...It's a rainy friday with not much to do.  There was a lull in the rain this morning so I took the girls out to garage sales.  It has sort of become my new obsession.  I wish we lived in DSM where I could hit some serious garage sales in the super nice parts of town.  I have realized I have become a garage sale snob.  I check out craigslist to see what they are selling, and if they list name brand kids clothes I am totally there.  I also get really excited when they are in new subdivisions.  You know they are young couples unloading their baby/kids stuff.  I do drive by garage sales.  If the house looks yucky from the outside or they don't have good presentation from the street, I don't stop.  Sometimes if Wade is with me he makes me stop so he will get out and look and within a minute he's back with nothing.  He needs to trust my instincts if they are good sales or not!  We're on a mission for kids clothes/shoes and we have limited time with an infant!

Tomorrow we are headed to the Vandewater's.  Lee (BIL) is home on leave and we are looking forward to seeing him and it's always fun to get the kids together to play!

time's up!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Through the eyes of a child

Most of you probably found these pictures super boring, but Whitney took them, so I think they are cute!  I used to have the camera as off limits, but she is pretty careful with it and figured out how to take pictures, so if she has something to do that keeps her content and occupied, what the heck?!?

Another funny thing yesterday, she noticed a plane in the sky and you know how they leave a vapor trail, she looked at it and said, "plane drawing".  Yeah, I guess the plane is drawing!  Simple minds!

Blank Park Zoo

Monday we went to visit the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines.  The wind was a little chilly for Ellie, but other than that it was great weather wise.  This year we got a membership, thanks to my SIL for finding a super discounted rate on Groupon.  So if any one wants to go with us this year, we can take two guests each time we go!  There are a few exhibits under contruction, so hopefully by the end of the summer everything will be complete.  We were there for three hours and barely got everything in, so once everything is done I'm not sure we will see it all.

the big worm

good thing mommy was prepared, because she got herself all wet at the hippo fountain and we had to change shirts!

 In the kid's area.  You can feed the animals here.  They don't have free range goats any more like they did when I was a kid, but I guess it's safer this way.  Whitney wasn't sure about having animals eat out of her hand.

Going to the zoo with a 12 week old wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  After riding in her car seat she didn't exactly want to sit in the stroller.   We have discovered that you never have both your kids in your double stroller at the same time.  Hopefully as Ellie continues to grow our summer activities will get easier.  It will be nice when she can sit up in her stroller and cruise around.  But, the Bjorn works too!

Parakeet feeding is new to the zoo.  Whitney liked it.

Whtiney is little miss independent now.  She doesn't want to hang on to hand rails any more, she has to walk up and down steps like a big person now.  She tries to dress herself in the morning, which is super frustrating when you are in a hurry.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

TV Isn't so Bad

No more than two hours of tv a day.  That is what is recommended for a toddler.  Well, I can tell you that right now Whitney watches a lot more than that.  TV is my baby sitter.  I turn it on first thing in the morning.  It's how I get us breakfast, something to drink, pump and then feed Ellie, do diaper changes and dress them for the day.  It's how I get us out of the house without a toddler yapping at my heels, "ready to go?"  over and over again.  It's how I get anything done when Whitney doesn't want to independent play.  I do get us out of the house often, even more so now that the weather is cooperating.  We go to Wal-Mart at least once a week, to the library once a week, go on walks, go to the park and playing outside of the house as often as possible.  I do turn the tv off in the afternoon and won't turn it back on unless I really need my "baby sitter".

All that being said, cartoons are very educational now.  Especially the ones on PBS and Nick Jr.  Whitney has learned numerous vocabulary words and concepts from the shows she watches.  Here's the big one.... she can count to 11.  ELEVEN!!  Wade and I had to idea she could do that!!  The other night Wade told me she counted to 10.  Then later that night she was counting my nail polish and went right to 11, without any help or guidance.  Totally playing by herself and counting away!  She does skip the number three, but who cares.  Once she gets to 11 she goes back to 8.  I think Umi Zoomi on Nick Jr probably taught her how to count, because when I count with her I usually only go to five, because that is what I figure a 2 year old brain can handle.  She always says this word that Wade and I can't figure out.  I think she is saying something in Spanish she probably learned off Dora.

So, if TV can teach her shapes, numbers, colors, emotions, etc.while I'm busy with Ellie or the house, then I'm all for it!!! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

I had an absolutely wonderful Mother's Day.  It was my third Mother's Day and I am now blessed with two beautiful girls.  I was able to sleep in (thanks Ellie!)  have my cappucino brought to me and bed with cinnamon rolls waiting for me when I got up.  We went to Best Buy to get me a little netbook and then off to a park for a picnic.  It doesn't end there!  I took Whitney to Target which is almost as good as going by myself and then came home to t-bones for dinner with brownies for desert!  I'm still not done!  Wade vacummed  and did laundry all day.  I wish Mother's Day would be every day!!

Grant and Brynna's Party

We had Grant and Brynna's birthday party this weekend.  Brynna turned two on April 22 and Grant is 5 today.  It was an absolutely beautiful day and all the kids had lots of fun playing together. 
Sam Whitney and Grant

Whtiney and Owen

Grandkids- Ellie, Grant, Owen, Brynna, Whitney and Grandma Cathy

Grant got a new bike, he was so excited!

and his first injurty from the bike  (Lee, Wade took this for you)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Whitney- 2 Years

Whitney turned two on May 1. I just love this age, her curiosity and imagination are just adorable. She blows me away with her memory and with what she says. Their innocence to this world and their acceptance to everything just melts my heart. How much longer will she turn to me and ask, "what's that, mommy?" as if I have the answer to everything. And she wants to know what EVERYTHING is. Turns out Wade was the same way at that age.

We had her two year appoitment today. No surprise that she still hates the doctor. She weighs 24lbs 11oz and is 33.25 inches. She is around 25% for her weight and50% for her height. She has been growing along the same percentiles for the past year. She is very healthy and smart for a two year old!
She is not any where near being potty trained. She has close to zero interest in the toilet and when I can get her to even sit on the toilet she doesn't let anything out. Not that I'm too upset about that with taking care of a newborn. She has constipation issues we need to work out before potty training can begin. Really, we have dealt with constipation with her since she was six months old. I tried to change her diet and I give her prune juice daily and it still didn't help. I was never truly worried about it because she still went, becasue she didn't know how not to go even if it hurt her at times, so she wasn't getting backed up. Well, about six months ago she gained control of her bodily functions and learned to hold it in. It has been a battle since. She is on daily Miralax until she learns that pooping doesn't hurt. She has been a lot more regular since being on Miralax and has had a better appetite too, so hopfully a better diet will also help. She loves to drink juice and milk and we have to withhold liquids to get her to eat.  Even as a baby drinking has been her comfort and the way she wanted to ease that feeling of hunger.  They doctor said it is fine for her to be on 1% milk and that might help with her constipation.  We drink 1% so that will be great not having to buy seperate milk.    It has been a long and frustrating battle.
She still sleeps about the same, she doesn't go to bed until 10, but will sleep until 7 and she will take a 1-2hr nap. It doesn't seem like much and 10 sounds late for a toddler, but it's what works for her and for us. Yes, we have tried to put her to bed earlier, she just wakes up at 4 in the morning and is ready to go. She also can't go without naps yet, we've tried that too to get her to bed earlier and sleeping longer at night.
She still loves Dora and George and to watch Peep and the Big Wide World on Youtube. She will ask for "Peep puter?"  She has adjusted well to being a big sister and loves to give Ellie kisses.   She hardly asks for me to put Ellie down.  If Ellie stays home with Daddy she always asks where Ellie is. She loves to cut, paint, play play doh, peel stickers, play doll house, read books (she has started to memorize easy books like Polar Bear Polar Bear what do you hear) play outside, ride in the car, go to the library, do puzzles and go to the park.
She is pretty well behaved and listens well, however, she is a toddler and has tantrums and annoying whining fits. She has days where she is in time out numerous times. I suppose she gets bored being trapped inside and wants to figure out what she can get away with.  She loves to get out in public but is super shy until she warms up to you.  IF she decides to venture away from me, say like at the library, she puts her arms up by her ears like she is hiding.
She has really taken to Wade since Ellie was born and hardly wants me to put her to bed. She is very set in her routine that she likes to lay in bed with me and sing songs and then she wants daddy to put her to bed, and she gets very upset if we try to do it differently.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Garage Sales

Garage sale season has started again!!! I used to hate garage sales, but once you have kids they become a necessity. For me any way. I certainly don't want to outfit Whitney and Ellie in all brand new clothes when they go through them so quickly, be it by growing or getting them stained. I hit the jackpot at one sale, loading up on some 2T clothing. I spent $49, and here's what I got...
5 pairs of shoes, 3 swimsuits, 2 pair of jeans, 1 winter vest, 7 summer shirts, 3 shorts, 2 summer rompers, 1 sweatpant/coat set, 2 dresses, 3 long sleeve shirts and pants and 1 halloween outfit for Ellie. Almost all of it is name brand too, Carters, GAP and Children's Place.

I don't clip coupons, heck, even if I do I forgot I have them and don't use them any way, and I don't make any money, so buying cheap clothes is the least I can do!

Reiman Gardens

This morning Whitney and I went to Reiman Gardens here in Ames with our friend Sarah and her daughter Devon. It was a gorgeous morning, perfect for checking out the gardens. They also have a butterfly room that was pretty cool too.