Saturday, June 21, 2014

Madeline and Molly: Four Months

Madeline and Molly,
You are FOUR MONTHS old today! Just like that one-third of your first year of life is in the books.  Wow! Now that we are out of the "fourth trimester" things really are getting easier, we are settling into a routine, and we are enjoying life as a family of five.  Y'all are really smiling and laughing a lot, and interacting with Carter, and it could not be a more fun time than to be your parents right now.  We love y'all! 

So we are finally starting to feel like we've "got this" when it comes to parenting twins and a toddler.  I'll admit, some days are a HOT MESS with lots of tears from everyone.  But for the most part we feel like whatever we are doing is working and we have three pretty happy kids (and two happy parents.)  Y'all are eating, playing and sleeping like champs.  It is truly remarkable how different this newborn stage has been when compared to the first four months with your brother.  Even though there is two of you, it's still easier than he is or ever was.  Please keep it up!

Our day pretty much looks like this: Molly wakes up somewhere between 4:00am - 6:00am and we bottle feed you and put you right back to bed.  Molly wakes up again around 9:00ish and I tandem nurse you and y'all hang out in your swings for awhile.  If you don't fall asleep we will do some tummy time and lay around on your activity mat.  You eat again around 12:00ish, hang out in your bouncers, more tummy time, and down for your long nap around 1:00pm.  This time y'all will sleep as long as I let you, and I typically wake you up around 4:00pm.  By then Daddy is home and I either go run errands with y'all or Carter Man.  We try to keep y'all awake but you usually sneak in a cat nap while we are eating dinner.  I nurse y'all for the last time at 7:00 and put you to bed around 7:30pm.  

Madeline Kate, 
You and Molly have changed places and you are now our temperamental baby.  You want to be rocked to sleep, you want to take your time eating, and God forbid we make you lay on your stomach.  You fuss if we aren't holding you, if you are too tired, if you are not tired, and for no reason at all.  You cry is still more like a whimper, and you almost always make the most pitiful face and stick that bottom lip out when you cry.  It's heartbreaking to watch! You cry like we hurt your feelings and so we usually rush in and try to calm you down so you will be happy again.

Speaking of being happy, you are generous with your smiles.  You smile at ANYONE for ANYTHING! You are not as talkative, but when you are happy you completely light up the room.  You definitely favor your Daddy and when he's home you are all about being in his arms.  He makes you smile the biggest and laugh the loudest.  I just love watching the two of you together.  

And although we ragged on you this month for being so temperamental, you still show a great deal of contentment (when you are being held.)  And even though you want to be rocked to sleep, you will sleep forever.  You are never the one to wake up from your nap or at night early.  We are 100% on Molly's schedule and you are just along for the ride.  If it weren't for Molly you would probably still be sleeping all day and all night! 

We love you sister bear, Maddy Kate, Mads Pads.  To the moon and back.  

Molly Ann, 
What a difference a month can make! You have been cool as a cucumber this month, just content as can be.  You are rarely upset, but when you are, watch out! Unlike your sister you can make a racket when you cry.  It's so easy to tell your cries apart because you just sound mad the entire time.  Thankfully we don't hear your cries all that often! You are happy to just sit and observe, and don't ask too much of us except for food and clean clothes and diapers.  Poor thing, between your brother and your sister you were rarely held this month! I promise to make up for it soon.

You are thisclose to rolling over to your stomach.  And once you master that I'm afraid you will never roll back.  You love to be on your belly and will be a stomach sleeper just as soon as we put you in your crib.  I'm thinking you will probably sleep just like your brother, on  your stomach with your hiney in the air.  You still love your paci, love to eat and can fall asleep instantly no matter where you are.  You take a little bit more work to lure your smiles out, but talk all day long.  Sometimes you even sing for us! I love listening to your little voice and can't wait until you and your sister blabber back and forth to each other.  

We love you sister bear, Molly Ann, Molls Balls.  To the moon and back.

Madeline 4 month Stats
Weight: 10 lb 12 oz (3%ile)  
Length: 23.2 in (13%ile)
Eating: nursing 4 times a day with one bottle overnight.  Typically 9am, 12pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 5am
Bedtime: around 7:45pm
Awake: around 9:00am
Naps: 10:00am, 1:00pm and a catnap around 5:30pm
Diapers: size 1 Huggies
Clothes: newborn
Favorites: being held, your Daddy, smiling
Development: bearing weight on legs, swatting at toys above you, can sometimes grasp a toy, constantly playing with your tongue, can hold your body up with your arms when on belly
5/26- first visit to the grocery store solo with all 3
5/28- first trip to Mama Jo's
5/29- first 7-hour stretch of sleep at night
5/30- first sick visit
6/15- got baptized

Molly 4 month Stats
Weight: 10 lb 1 oz (1%ile)  
Length: 22 in (<1 ile="" span="">
Eating: nursing 4 times a day with one bottle overnight.  Typically 9am, 12pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 5am
Bedtime: around 7:45pm
Awake: around 9:00am
Naps: 10:00am, 1:00pm and a catnap around 5:30pm
Diapers: size 1 Huggies
Clothes: newborn
Favorites: baths, tummy time, your paci, being talked to 
Development: bearing weight on legs, sucking on your hands/fingers, can hold your body up with your arms when on belly
5/26- first visit to the grocery store solo with all 3
5/28- first trip to Mama Jo's
5/29- first 7-hour stretch of sleep at night
5/30- first sick visit
6/3- first fever
6/15- got baptized

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oh TWOdles! Carter is 2!

I just can't even believe that our baby boy is TWO! Happy birthday, Carter Man!

Carter had such a great birthday and party last year, and we had so much fun planning and executing everything at our house.  I knew with the girls being bitty babies that a party at our home this year was just not in the cards.  Our kitchen was covered in bottle and pump parts, our living room is full of swings and bouncers, and I didn't want all the germs brought into our house.  So we booked a party at the Little Gym knowing Carter (and friends) would have a blast running out all of their energy playing and jumping all day.

We had a 3:30 party time and got there about 3:00 to get decorations and favors set out.  TLG staff did everything for me, I just brought the banner, "two" poster, cupcakes, favors and table decor.  It took them all of 10 minutes to get everything set up! So easy!

I love these pictures of Carter watching his guests arrive.  We didn't tell him about the party beforehand, so he was in Heaven seeing all of his favorite people all in the same room together.  Madeline and Molly spent the entire party being held and loved on by everyone.

TLG staff spent about an hour and 15 minutes playing with the kids doing all sorts of fun activities.  Carters favorite things at gym is balls and bubbles and the same held true at his party.  He also loved the parachute and blow-up mat.  We tried for a group picture but it was pretty much a fail!

Towards the end we moved to the party room for pizza and cupcakes.  Carter was pretty stunned when we sang happy birthday to him; I don't think he knew what to think! When we were done and he had blown out his candle and asked for "more" so I'm guessing he liked it! And, of course, he loved his cupcake!

We opened presents at home with just the grandparents, which ended up working out great since Carter was pretty spent after the party.  We actually saved some of the presents for the next day, his actual birthday, since he showed such little interest in sitting still and opening everything up.  All he wanted was to take a bath and go to bed! But he loved having all of his grandparents at his house all to himself.

 Happy birthday, sweet boy! We love you to the moon and back! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Carter: 24 Months

Carter Man, 
You are TWENTY-FOUR months old! TWO YEARS! How have you been here for two years already?!? It's so hard to believe that we've already been parents for two entire years.  It's true what they say about your whole world changing when you have a baby, and you have changed our world in the best possible way.  I thought I loved your Daddy before we came along, and now I love him in a completely new way.  And you, my dear, have shown us an entirely new type of love.  Having a child is the best kind of love.

You are at such a fun, but challenging age right now.  You are on top of the world most of the day.  Everything is SO FUN and SO NEW and SO EXCITING, except when it's not and then we hit rock bottom.  I don't know where you get all this energy from (that's a lie, you get it from your Daddy) but you are on the GO all day.  We still rarely get a moment where you will sit and focus on an activity for awhile, but that's okay with us.  Throughout my entire pregnancy with you I prayed that you would be just like your daddy, and that's exactly what we got.  If you are a crazy man now and end up like him later than you will lead a great life.  And will be lots of fun in the meantime.  :)

Your favorite things at age 2 include: tractors, Mickey Mouse, playing outside, riding in the car, milk, playing at Nana & PawPaws, visiting daddy at work, playing on the iPad, stacking blocks, throwing balls, and anything with wheels.  If you could talk and I asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up your answer would be a tractor driver or a lawn mower.  When we are out running errands you point out every.single.tractor. you see along the way.  Some days when we need to get out of the house I will load us all up in the car and park somewhere where you can sit and watch the tractors work.  Daddy has also started taking you to work with him so you can watch the tractors at the school parking lot.  You always have a tractor in at least one of your hands at a time.  At breakfast you load your cheerios into the bucket of a front-loader and eat from there.  You have certain tractors you like to take with you in the car and certain ones for the bathtub.  You are tractor obsessed! 

You love to sit in your red chair and watch TV, but only for short periods of time.  Your favorites are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Super Why, and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  We've also let you start using the iPad and you love watching tractor videos on YouTube and shows on the PBS Kids app.  The only time we ever see you sit still is when you are watching TV or playing on the iPad. 

Daddy and I got really brave one day and took your paci away cold turkey.  At your end of the year preschool conference in April we decided you were likely picking up most of your sicknesses from school, mainly because you don't keep your paci in your mouth and drop it on the floor constantly.  We decided we wouldn't send a paci to school with you anymore to see how you did and your teachers reported back that you were just fine.  So in early May we rounded up all the pacis we could find at home and hid them from you.  You barely noticed and never asked for one either.  Molly takes the same kind of paci you did and you don't even put her paci in your mouth.  It's really amazing how easy of a transition that was, something we were not expecting to be easy at all.  I'm so glad we went cold turnkey and you adjusted so well.  

You still hate to eat and hate to nap.  You are truly the pickiest eater on the planet, making even me look like an adventurous eater.  You would be happy to live on cheerios and yogurt for the rest of your life.  You have stopped eating any sort of fruit or vegetable, and still refuse all meat.  I can barely get a grilled cheese or nutella sandwich in you these days.  I think right now you are just being stubborn and trying to control what you get by refusing almost everything, but I'm just hoping that you aren't starving most of the day.  I can't believe how little you eat and how much you weigh.  And your napping is almost as bad as your eating, although you will surprise us with a few "good" naps each week.  You really fight us going down for your naps most days, and usually sleep 1-2 hours.  After you wake up you are almost always a crank pot for the next two hours.  One of these days you will realize how nice naps really are!

Your communication has really taken off, so much so that you do not qualify for speech therapy anymore.  I'm both happy and sad about this as it was hard to fit in all of your ECI appointments during the week. But also you've come a long way with your talking so I'm sad to see Mrs. Michelle go.  You were really close to qualifying for services again.  So close, in fact, that the only reason you didn't qualify was because you can say "John Deere"...a two-word phrase that doesn't repeat.  Thus, no more speech therapy.  We love all of your new words and can't wait until you start stringing some phrases together.  

You still really enjoy having little sisters and spend a lot of your day concerned about where they are and what they are doing.  Your favorite thing is to watch them sleep on the monitor, and when you hear them crying you always put your hand to your ear so we know that you can hear them.  You continue to love on them TOO much; we still need daily (or every minute) reminders to love on them more gently.  You always point out their eyes, nose, ears and mouth and kiss them all over.  A few times you have crawled into their swing, bouncer and cribs with them and we have had to rush to their rescue.  Daddy and I try to always run and errand with just you everyday so you are still getting one-on-one time with us.  

We've established a really fun nighttime routine with just the three of us, and it's still my favorite time of day.  You never really fight us to go to bed (thankfully!) and are always happy to have me and Daddy in your room before you go to sleep.  We always read 3 books (Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, B is for Bulldozer, and one of your choosing) and then you and Daddy do some wrestling and hide-and-go-seek.  Then it's lot of kisses for Daddy as he leaves to go rock sisters while I do prayers and songs while you slow down.  Lately you have been asking for Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star before I leave the room.  You could sing those two songs all day long, and often sing them in the car while you are searching for tractors. 

We love you, Carter Man! It's been a wonderful two years and we are so excited about the years in front of us.  To the moon and back.  

24-Month Stats:
Weight: 30.2 pounds
Length: 33 inches
Eating: milk and water, cereal or oatmeal, PB&J or nutella sandwich, yogurt, fruit, smoothies, and a hodge podge of food at dinner 
Bedtime: around 7:30pm
Awake: around 7:00am
Nap: around 1:00 
Diapers: size 5 Huggies, size 6 overnights
Clothes: 2T
Shoes: 5.5 wide
Favorites: playing outside, anything with wheels, books, watching TV, bubbles, window watching, playing in the car or garage
Dislikes: meat, people leaving the room, being in the stroller, diaper changes, not being able to hold/touch/hug/kiss the girls when they are sleeping
Development: communicating verbally more
baby, ball, bed, block, blue, box, bubble, bucket, bug, button, bye, cheese, cooper, cracker, cup, dada, deer, diaper, dip, dirt, dog, door, duck, dump,  goggle, go go, hello, hey, hi, John Deere, knock knock, mama, mail, march, mickey, more, move, movie, mow, nana, nemo, night night, no, outside, paci, pawpaw, pete, please, spoon, star, stuck, thank you, that, tractor, truck, uh oh, up, water, yes, zip