Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Moments of a 2 year old

This was also written in August:

 Reid turning 3 made me realize how much I have a preschooler and not a toddler!  So before I forget I want to document some precious moments:
He loves to sing.  A song he must of learned in nursery (at church) is:  "Row Row your boat, Gently down the street, Merrily Merrily life ... a ... dream"
He also taught us a song with a monkey and crocodile.  Too fun!

A quote (misquote) from Iron Giant movie is: "I TOLD YOU, I'LL COME BACK TOMORROW, NOW STAY, no following (waving finger at you), good"  Then walks away, if you chase it becomes a game.

Reid says this all time, but I never find out what the idea is:  "Mommy, I have a idea"

I'm glad he's a sweetheart, he snuggles with me and hugs me and kisses me.  Sometimes he likes to play a kissing game, where we kiss then as we back up, we open our mouths really big... this is called BIG kisses.

He gets this angry look - kinda reminds me of my nephew and that scene in Star Wars right after Anakin's mother dies where he makes the evil eyes.  Sometimes Reid even gives me the crazy eyes, where they go side to side.

Reid loves to play a chasing game where he says "chase me" or "you get me" or "Reid get you".  We just run in circles around the house and laugh and laugh.

The other night, when Matt was at some church meeting, I tied a blanket around my neck so I had a cape, and he called me Super Grover, we proceeded to run around the house for about 20 minutes with our arms in the air like we were flying. 

Funnny words - sanwiounch (sandwich), forkhead (forehead), seghettis (spaghetti)

While Reid is taking pictures, he'll instruct you to "Say Cheese, show a happy smile"

For his birthday we ate pizza and opened presents as a family.  Reid got a Big Thomas, a Buzz Lightyear rocketship, a toy computer, Cars puzzle, and 2 movies.

For a party, we did a combine party with one of his besties... she did a great job documenting it in this blog post.  It was a blast.  I actually felt like I got to have a blast at his party too!

One of the highlights for us was that we got floaties for Reid.  He loved being free in the pool!  He swam for about 3.5 hours that day.  Then he crashed on the couch before we could make it home.

Just to show some of Reid's personalities here are some fun photos of the last year:

Reid really got into puzzles in the last 6 months.  He loves to sit there and do them.  (although that is getting harder with a mobile little brother)

My friend generously gave us a bike that is too small for her son.  Reid immediately accepted it and asks constantly to ride Reid's bike.  We've only been out a few times, but he's getting better.  Unfortunately he still learning that backwards means brakes, not go backwards.  :)

BROTHERS!  Ever since Weston learned to crawl, Reid has decided he likes Weston.  He wants to play with him or get him involved in his latest plot.  Sometimes they don't get along, but overall they are good.  I love how much they love each other!

No more Baby #2: 1 year old means Toddler time

Weston was 1 year old at the end of August.  Here is the post I wrote back then, but never quite finished: 

I can hardly believe it.  It flew by so fast. Regardless, I have slacked a little on the posting, so I need to write these things down before I forget.

Crawling - 7 mo 4 wk old
    He figured out how to get up on his hands and knees, then slow would do a couple crawl steps, then one day, he went more and more, and was across the room.  It was over at that point.

Teeth - 1st tooth 9 months old, 3 weeks later 2nd tooth.  The top two took their sweet time, they came in just shy of 11 months old.

Stairs - at 10 months old Mommy broke her arm, so we started practicing stairs because carrying him down the stairs was hard and scary.  By 11.5 months he had it down, just not reliably.  Now he's a pro.

Walking - 11.5 months he was taking 2 or 3 steps then sitting down.  I thought for sure he wouldn't walk by 1 because this was taking forever.  Well, we went on vacation and 1 week before his birthday he walked across Grandma's kitchen, and just kept going all night.

Talking - at 11 months, his big brother taught him the word "uh-oh" because Weston always throws his food on the floor and Reid always says "uh-oh".  It was cute, but I know it will become a game lately.  He still plays the game of making the same noises as you do and you both repeat it over and over.  He has starting saying "mamamamama" when he comes to me, so I know it's coming, but personally, I'm trying to teach him to stay "dada"

Weston is an absolute crack up.  If you give him any individual attention, he laughs... so LOUD.  It makes church hard, because I have to play with him and give attention but NOT too much or the whole room will know.

He thinks it's funny to shake his head no at anything.  He loves to have your nose rubbed into him while you are shaking your head, then he tries to do it back.  It's a fun game.

Now that he's walking, he's rarely holding still.  He loves to just go around and around the house.

Weston loves to sit on big furniture.  He'll sit on a couch and kinda squish and wiggle into it.  Making sure it's all comfy for him.

He loves the dogs, and is quite fascinated with them.  Sometimes he gives them a little too much love.

He's an expert diaper changing escaper.

Weston loves Reid.  They often wrestle and play.  Sometimes Weston will choose to follow Reid over me.  He's learned how to drive trains on their tracks and make car noises from his brother.  "Waaa waaa waaa"  It's hard to type, but it is cute.

8 months old - loving bean burritos!  (gotta have a food pic)

The magic of Daddy's lap, days before his 1st tooth broke through (almost 9 months old)

Can you see the water splashes?  He loves it!  (10 months old)
10 months old - trying to get monkey out of crib

11 months old, sadly is not documented well, it was all I could do to survive being a mom of two small kids with a recovering broken arm!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WESTON!  We sure love him, and are so grateful that we get to have him in our family.  He brings so much laughter and joy to my life!

Not so sure

Checking it out

Mmmm... I could get into this

Yup, I'm a fan!

Doing what I do best!... making a mess!

The clean up!  It was surprisingly hard to get the cake to wash down the tub.  :)

Weight: 20lbs  (10-25%)
Length:  30in  (50%)
Head Circ: 46cm  (50%)
(same percentages as Reid)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Becoming a Better Me

So a couple months ago (a.k.a. almost 6)  Julie B. Beck came and spoke to the women of our church.  She has now been released as the leader of the women's organization of our church called the Relief Society.

 It was a challenge for me to attend.  I was struggling with myself a lot and I was going through the trials of figuring out that Weston wasn't getting enough food.  I look back now and realize that I think I was in some postpartum depression... not heavy, but a little.  But I'm grateful for friends who invited me to go with them and made feel like someone cared if I was there.

While there, Julie B Beck said some things that just rang out in my head and heart, and I realized I wanted to change.   Here is what I heard:
1) We are living the dream.  We believe that before this life we chose to come here... we wanted to come here to this earth to have these trials and experiences.  Thus we are living the dream and we need to love it!

2) In our church we get assignments of other women to go visit once a month and share a lesson by the leaders of our church.  It's kinda like have two people assigned to be your friend.  Which sounds lame until you are in desperate need of help and you automatically have two people who are happy and willing to help you, because you are their assignment.  I think its the greatest thing ever.  She told us to focus more on the needs of our women versus visiting them with a lesson.
For instance in my case, the women assigned to me helped get me meals and someone to help me clean my house the week I came home with a broken arm.  They didn't have to do the work, they just made sure my needs were taken care of.  I am so grateful for that.
But on the flip side, I need to be better at being in tune with the women I am assigned to need.  I have one amazing friend here who just manages to always be more thoughtful and know exactly what you need.  So as I was trying to be better at this, my thought was, what would she do... (kinda like what would Jesus do)... and an idea came to mind, so I did it.

3) Generous thoughts are never unwelcome.  No one is ever going to dislike someone being generous to them.  So we should never ignore a generous thought.  This is a big change for me.
Over the last few years we've had some different circumstances that made me and Matt take on too much.  Then we took a step back and needed to evaluate what we were giving to others because we could see it was affecting us individually and our marriage.  Looking back some of the problem was our attitude, some of it what the way it all happened.  Either way we were bitter and didn't want to reach out to others very much. 
Since we moved we agreed as a couple we wanted to be better people.  We've met some amazing people in this world that I think so highly of, and I would like to try to be more like them.  So as I listened to a horrendous story of Sister Beck's (we call each other brother and sister in our church) talking about packing up hungry small children in a car because she felt she needed to help another... I realized that there are times I have ignored those generous thoughts, thinking that surely being a young mother is a hard thing and I couldn't drop everything to go help.  But really, I should!  The Lord needs us to help one another and we need to listen in the moments that he prompts us to do it... regardless of the small children and their struggles.
 That right there made me realize that I could be generous.  I could help others.  Because I too have received help.

I'm sharing this not to get pity thoughts or anything.  Mostly because this my journal for now and also because I want to let others know that this is hard, but we should try to help one another out and serve each other.  Because if we lighten others loads, our load will be lighten also, and we'll all make it together!  So starting in March of 2012 I vowed to be better, better to myself and to others.  I was going to stop feeling sorry for myself and starting looking at others and how I could help.  I'm still not perfect and still do not feel like I am very thoughtful all the time.  But I am trying, which is more than I was doing before.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Who Needs Sleep?

One night Reid woke up and came to my bed.  (don't remember where Matt was)  Well, he was up for a while and didn't go right to sleep, so he slept in.  When I woke up, this is what I saw.  We're ya reading?  Or was it just to bright?

 Weston is my snuggler, but I think I just wanted to document if he ever slept on his tummy.  But he always has his pacifier.

 I'm not sure how Reid wrangled UNDER the blanket with the cars perfectly balancing on the edge of the bed, on TOP of the blanket.

Love the foot crossed on the leg.

I'm loving learning how different and individual my kids are.  The number one obvious thing is Weston LOVES to snuggle stuffed animals, blankets, any soft thing.  And it is adorable!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Family Fun - TX style #2

In March we used his last extra day to go up to the Waco Zoo.  We haven't heard good things about Austin Zoo, so we wanted to check out Waco.

It's an easy drive.  We ate lunch in the car once I knew we were close.  We got there at about 11am, just as we were heading in, this couple asked if we have jumper cables.  We do, so Matt moved the car and tried to help.  To no avail their battery was D-E-A-D.  So Matt parked the car, and as he passed the guy gave him free passes and said they were gonna use them anyway.  Score for doing our good deed for the day!

Here's some of the fun we had:

The elephant came to say hello!

Close up view (yes there is glass there)

We wore this kid out

Loved this slide!  It went through the otters habitat.

Family Fun - TX style

Matt worked a lot of overtime at the end of the year... so he got a couple extra comp days he was supposed to take in first quarter.  Here's what we did in February:

We decided to check out the botanical gardens at the park here.  Well, not that exciting in February (maybe we should wait until the 2nd quarter of the year for this one), but Reid had a blast pushing a stroller around.
(I know, you are jealous of our 2.5 year old photographer!)

That afternoon we  went to a movie, Reid's FIRST in a movie theater : Arthur Christmas
We even brought Weston, he did good for most of it.  I even tried nursing him (with a cover) and that helped, but by the second half, he'd had it.  So I went out in the hall, let him spread out a little, he happier, but I wasn't.  So I went back in and sat on the floor in the back.  He was happy there with a little toddler girl playing.

The next day we slept in and were lazy.  After naps, we went to Kiddie Acres.  It's a fun little "amusement" park for kids.  Mostly just a few carnival rides, and a TRAIN.  Reid was in heaven!

The little flying planes

Reid insisted mommy ride too! hahaha!

Weston was less impressed with the train.

We weren't fancy, but we sure did relax and have fun!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Current Excuse (WARNING: pictures may disturb you)

You know, I'm not really sure where I've been. 
I have a list of posts that I need to do, like my baby growing up, my child's 3rd birthday, self-improvement ... etc.  But really, I'm not sure.  Some of it is swimming, some of it is summer fun, some of it is .. well, Diablo III.
And then there's always workout group which by the time I get the kids in the car, to the time I get them home out of the car, it's usually 2 hours, but who goes home after they sweat profusely?  NOT ME!  No no, I go to the grocery store and share that blessed smell with all.  Because, I'm a mom of TWO small children, and I am going to maximize my time out of the house!  Then we go home for lunch and nap time, while I do my house chores, then dinner is here before you know it!  And then I feel like my night is over.  Busy life of a mom.

Anyways, the other news... in case you haven't heard... I went on vacation to visit my brother and attend my family reunion.  While carrying Reid (now 3 years old) on my shoulders, I mis-stepped and took a fall.  While trying to brace myself and my child, I heard a crunch when my hand hit the pavement.  When I looked over, this is what I saw:

me at the ER... I'm in pain, don't look at my face, these are possibly the worst pictures of me EVER!

Here's the x-ray:

After surgery here's what it looks like now.

1 month later, here is what my scars look like:

I promise to update more later, but that's it for now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baby 2: 6 and 7 months

6 Months
- This has been all about figuring how to sit up.  That's all he does now.  He rarely chooses to fall over and explore on his belly, unless he can't quite reach that toy that he wants.
- Reid and Weston play all the time!  I love it, it reminds me why I wanted more kids!  If Reid is running, spinning, riding a truck or anything... it cracks Weston up.  Occasionally they will play on the same toy... assuming Reid doesn't just steal it.  They often laugh at the dinner table.  Reid loves to help Weston bounce when he is in his bouncy seat or jumper, and while we worry that he is being too rough, Weston cracks up.  He will more happily sit on the ground as long as Reid is running around doing his thing, just as long as he can watch Reid.
Reid likes to play chase, and if you are carrying Weston and he can see Reid, he thinks it is a GREAT game too.
My favorite was the other day he grabbed Reid when he tried to walk away... he's got a strong grip!... so as not to lose his buddy.
- He is a vegetable boy, much like Reid (I wonder if he'll hate desserts like Reid does too).  Hates bananas, doesn't care much for peaches.  Carrots were a no on the first try, but we just tried them again and they are a yes!  We're gonna try green beans again.  I just got a baby food grinder from a friend, so I'll be trying table food real soon here.
- Weston still struggles with naps.  He is moving around more and has a lot more strength, so swaddling isn't work so much anymore.  So there is some crying at the beginning, we're working on it.  So far we've had a couple times he's cried more than an hour, by that time, its time to feed him again, so I just go get him.  I'm hoping he'll eventually learn to calm himself down.
- He sleeps about 10 hours at night, then eats and sleeps another 1.5-2.5 hours.
- Can fully roll around, but usually doesn't choose... I guess I don't put his toys far enough away.

(trial run of hair for our family photoshoot)

(Our family photoshoot, I think he's 6 months 1 week here)

7 Months  (well a little past)
Mobility?  Almost....
- fully sits up and then started leaning to a side to get toys
- which then moved to kinda leaning over one leg to reach a toy
- now he fully leans over one leg, with the back leg supporting with his knee then he can kinda sit back down, swing his legs around and has actually moved 4 ft.  I'm sure he could go more, but always get what he wants by then
Eating, he's a super eater! 
- He LOVES table food, he's had roll, french fries, spaghetti, stroganoff, tunafish, rice (with various sauces), quinoa salad, grapes, and a bunch of other things.  Hasn't rejected anything.
- Still will eat bottle vegetables with a little cereal, but only squash, peas, sweet potates or something that contains those (mixed veggies or carrots&peas)
- He eats cheerios or my cereal for breakfast, then I let him snack whatever we're eating for lunch (pot pie, PB&J sandwich, grapes, crackers, etc), then for dinner he gets as much jar food and cereal as he will eat, then its all table food after that
- He also loves to drink water from his sippy cup... its hard to get it away from him at times.
Growing up
- Matt has never been a baby person, but I am realizing 6+ months is my favorite age, they aren't causing too much trouble, but still have lots of personality
- He is SOOO ticklish, even his back!
- He has the cutest belly, that I just can't resist zberting it all the time!
- He loves to have conversations with us, he'll grunt or squak or yell, and if we do it back, he'll do it again, such a fun game!
- He loves big brother!  But big brother likes his space.  (Reid is finally learning about personal space)
- He takes two naps (see below) and sleeps ~12 hours at night, sometimes with a 6am feeding to finish out his rest

(waking up from a nap!  I love how happy he is!)

(snuggling in his sleep with his monkey)

TRIALS - I am documenting these, not to complain, but because this was frustrating and I want to remember how I got through it with the next kids.
So around 5 months I was struggling with his nap schedule, and then he seemed really interest in table food, so we started solids.  That first week was awesome!  He slept so much better.  Then it slowly tapered off again.  And we continued to struggle with how many naps, sometimes 2, sometimes 4.. what?  I didn't know what to do. 
Also, he has started doing what all babies do, easy distraction from nursing.  He seriously would latch and unlatch without even sucking.  Look all around, and do that for a while, until he got fully frustrated and would start crying.  Yeah frustrating for me too, cuz then I was struggling with my let-down, which then made him have to keep trying to suck longer.... it was a downward spiral.
So around 6 months, I started wondering how much milk he was getting... I started pumping during the day and bottle feeding.  I even added in a pumping late at night before bed, and I started taking fenugreek, which is supposed to help your production.  Fenugreek helped a little, but I was still only getting 18oz at most for the day, and that just wasn't enough. 
Because I was doing all this, I was getting more and more stressed.  It felt like it was all just piling on top of each other.  So then after a couple times of being too stressed to even get let down, I lost it.... tears and all.  After a conversation with my hubby, we decided me being stressed out worse than forking out the money for formula. 
So I stopped the fenugreek and the extra pumping at night, and started supplementing Weston's meals.  He still nurses first thing in the morning (when i'm full), then for the 10am, 1-2pm feedings I add at least 2 oz of formula to the milk I pump (making sure it's at least 4 oz a feeding), plus whatever solids we feed him in between. For the 4-5pm feeding it just depends, cuz he gets dinner shortly after.  Then for bed time I nurse and then give him 4-6 oz of formula.
After doing this for a few days, he's napping peacefully at 10:30am and 2:30pm and the naps just keep getting longer!  Hallelujah!  I thought I was losing my mind!  He's been so much happier and less needy.  He does still very much have a bed time.  He wants to be drinking those bottles for bed by 8pm or he is NO fun!
We EVEN had someone watch the kids from 5pm-11pm and they said he was easy!  That was a first!  Thanks to good friends for a fun night out, and here's to figuring out that your baby really is hungry!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Baby 2: 5 months going on 9

Where?  Where did this last month go?  He is growing so fast, and loving life that I just can't believe we are at the end of January!

- Weston is constantly rolling from his back to his tummy.  He has rolled from tummy to back a few times, but I'm assuming those were on accident, cuz lately he'll just lay on the floor face first screaming.

- He LOVE LOVE LOVES to be hung upside down, especially if you kiss his cheek and squeeze his legs at the same time.
- He loves when mom, dad, and Reid pay attention to him. Some strangers he likes, some not so much.
- He is not a bath boy.  Reid loved baths, but Weston has decided he's ok with them, but not loving it yet.  (I wonder if this is cuz I rarely have time to sit and play with him in the bath like I did with Reid)
- He has been the happiest boy.  He got easier all of the sudden.  It seems like he is more content now that he can play with toys and maneuver things a little more.
- He has started that hard stage of dropping naps.  Sometimes he sleeps in between every feeding and sometimes he's not tired at all.  It is mostly hard cuz it makes my day less predictable.
- At the beginning of the month he got really congested, I think he might have allergies here.  Every time we went outside his eyes would water and his nose would just run.  Well, I couldn't give him anything, so we brought the stroller in his room and he slept in that for a week.  The significance of this is that he now sleeps in his car seat... in PUBLIC!  My non-social homebody is finally doing better with sleeping in public and being happier in his car seat.  Halleluhah!
- He's already starting to grow out of some of the 6months clothes.  Bring on the 9 month clothes... this younger brother is gonna be the tall one!
- He rocks himself.  No really, if you put him on your knee, he'll kick his legs forward, then throws his back towards you, then kicks his legs, and then shifts his weight.  It really is comical.  But he keeps him happy for long times, so there really are worse things, right?
- We started solids!  We were eating rolls and he grabbed my hand and put it in his mouth and kinda sucked on it.  He seemed happy, so I broke off a tiny piece and gave it to him.  Oh man, he wanted more!  Then after acting hungry a few afternoons, I broke down and finally started the cereal.  So far he's had a little roll, a few puffs (not quite ready for these, had to break them in half), and oatmeal cereal (with formula for flavor).  He is definitely interested and hasn't rejected anything yet.

- The other day I tried to show Reid how Weston can't sit up on his own by placing him on the floor... well, he proved me wrong and sat there for like 8 seconds before toppling over.   I've started doing this more, and he's getting better and better. 
- Weston very much knows my face.  He lights up when I walk into his view.  I am surprised how special it makes me feel each and every time.
- He loves to jump and bounce and rough house.  He loves to be tossed in the air, or swung by a leg and arm, or spun around... all crazy things that a baby can handle.
- Weston is grabbing and reaching for toys, and gets frustrated when they don't stay when he knocks them. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthdays of 2011

So this post is quite late... but I want to document it anyways.

October 2011 - Leann's birthday happened amidst a 7 week old infant, and brother's wedding and a trip to AZ, a baby shower for much awaited little nephew, Matt's insane work hours, and a baby's blessing.  So needless to say my birthday got a bit overshadowed.  My parents were still very kind and got me a ice cream cake (my favorite), and sang to me.  I enjoyed the moment and just let it pass as I didn't have much time to focus on that.

November 2011 - Matt kept trying to find out what I wanted to do/for my birthday, albeit a little late.  I finally decided what I wanted was a dinner out.  A really nice dinner.  No work, no kids, just us, and some incredibly delicious food that I didn't prepare.  And I wanted nice.... not so nice that the portions are teeny tiny and the food is prettier than me... but nice in that it was quality food with lots of flavor.  I LOVE going out to eat and since quitting work, we don't go out very much, so this is truly a treat for me.
However, this month Matt was getting calls for work at night and on the weekends.  I did not want my evening of relaxation to be ruined by work... so I told him to wait until work wasn't so crazy, so I could enjoy it.

Naturally I put my friend G up to the task of helping me pick a restaurant.  We discussed prices and food amounts and food tastes and such.  Finally landing on a choice of Mainstreet Grill.  She even offered the perfect set up.  Come to her house, feed the baby and then leave, so as to maximize the worry free time allotment when it comes to babies you aren't certain will take a bottle.

So now to picking a day.  We found one, early December...

December 2011 - We got to go on our date.  We dressed up for each other, we dropped off the kids and headed to our little getaway.  And let me tell you, it was HEAVEN!  It may have lasted only 1.5 hours, but it was perfect bliss for me!  The salad, oh the salad with bleu cheese and candied pecans, strawberries, and balsalmic vinegarette, the fried avocado for an appetizer, the steak and veggies prepared to perfection and with delicious seasonings, and then the ice cream sandwich that was seriously pure heaven, trust me this ain't no cheesy ice cream sandwich, we are talking pastries worthy of European origin on top and bottom, delicious cream ice cream rolled in candied nuts, drizzled with chocolate fudge yumminess... oh man, I'm drueling just remembering it.  I felt like my taste buds were doing that little dance from Ratatouille, where Remy is trying to explain flavors to his brother.  My mouth was singing.  I loved it!!!!  My birthday was a success.  (also need to thank my kind brother for helping pay the bill by giving us a gift card after they came to stay with us)

(G's kids love Weston while we were gone!  Can you blame them?  He was very loved that night)

Well, Matt's birthday is also December.  And he loves to celebrate on the day.  So we made plans with friends to bbq and put kids to bed and play games all night.  Matt still wanted to go out to eat... so we started searching.  Found a community magazine and checked out some restaurants in there.  Matt decided he wanted mexican food.  Sounded good to me.  So we found one, and decided to try and head out the night before his birthday.  No luck with babysitters, so we trekked the kids with us this time.  They were champs!  No complaining, just happy eating and smiles!  We enjoyed our dinners... good classic flavors for a good cheap price... I love mexican food!  I mentioned it was his birthday, so when it was time, out came the sombrero and the delicious dessert. 

The dessert was good, but the true entertainment was the hat.   This thing was so huge, the girl in the booth behind Matt, had to duck to not get hit by it.  It was awesome!
(If you look close, you can see her ducking)

 The next day Reid came down with a terrible fever.  Matt and I were still recovering from something as well.  So we cancelled our bbq, and stayed in.  I still made a cake, nothing extravagant as I don't know how to do sick kids and still do everything else, but it was a yummy cake.  (win for the recipe on the back of the Hersey's cocoa powder)  But considering all it was a good cake.  In spite of feeling terrible, Reid love singing Happy Birthday... he loved it so much, we did it again 3 days later for family home evening.... candles and all!  A little ridiculous, but when they are 2 and running fever, why not?

Happy Birthday to us!