26 October 2014

The mr. Y grows - 3 months old - Serious smiles

Y spent the last few weeks either very curiously, silently staring or producing sweet sweet smiles and baby babble. he is a little chunky and we love him.

 (serious stares)

 (sweet smiles)
(sister love)
(a clue about his future...this is exactly how his papa sleeps)

1. life:

-first cold. thanks to germ sharing at daycare, X brought home a small bug that Y caught at 6.5 weeks old, thankfully he only had minor congestion.

-at 7 weeks he slept a 6.5 hour block at night

-9 week nurse appt. he weighed 6 kg (13 lbs) and was 61 cm tall (24 inches) with a 40 cm head circumference (16 inches). he got an oral vaccine of rotateq, and all else was normal.

-at 10 weeks he slept an 8.5 hour block at night

-it seems that he only has trouble with lactose, not dairy in general. since his digestion seemed to be settling down, at around 9-10 weeks i re-tried some dairy items that were lactose-free and all has been fine. so, hooray, i can eat cheese again!

-3 month growth spurt. phew! that was a toughy, just as i remember with X. for more than a week, maybe two, it was constant nursing, and he slept lightly/was easily stirred awake.

-he is now wearing size 9 month clothing, and on to 12 month stuff!

-sleep pattern. he really doesnt have one, but if forced i would say: 45 minute nap in morning, ~1.5 hour nap in afternoon, ~45 minute nap before dinner. to sleep around 9p and then 3-5 hour sleep block initially, then up every 1.5 hours or so. wakes up at 8:30a.

-his digestion seems to be the thing still hampering his sleep, though its gotten much better since the early weeks. at least now its less gas that is waking him up and more that he needs to poop.

2. 'personality':
-from perhaps 5-9p is his most fussy period

-he can sleep by himself for most naps now, but still sleeps on me for the tail end of the night.

-around 6-7 weeks he began fussing to have us to put him down. he likes to have time to himself either laying down or in a chair without being touched. he quietly takes it all in.

-around 7-8 weeks he started wanting to be carried facing out to look at everything and thus no longer wants to be carried like a baby.

-one day i had to put him down not yet fully asleep to go to the bathroom. he started crying, but by the time i was finished in the bathroom he was quiet. he had put himself to sleep! NEVER once did that occur with X.

-he coos/'talks' a LOT! i dont remember X doing this so much. and i swear he has mimicked several of our sounds.

-he is drooling and making bubbles. he likes to bite things, and i can already see two bottom tooth buds moving their way up in his gums.

-he likes to stand, and can hold himself up really well.

-he seems very motivated to grow up super fast. he loves watching X dance and sing and he loves when she shows him things. he watches us eat like he is a seriously curious student.

-he has been unclenching his fists. i love when he rests his hands on my chest while nursing. we do make fun of his hands though, calling them cheesy barf hands because of how they smell.

-he has done some adorable early giggling.

-he is a sweaty kid. like father, like son.

-he will ride in his stroller now, in forward facing mode (so, neither kid liked the bassinet-mode of the stroller).

momma mentionables:
1. parenting priority/interest changes. ive been thinking about how much has changed in my life (including myself) since kids but im not ashamed of it. i dont feel like ive really lost myself or whatever, im just trying out and working on new roles, new experiences, finding new things to enjoy about life and this world.

pre-kid priorities/interests (no particular order): dave, friends/family, having get-togethers, nature, travel, exploring locally, food, art, movies/tv, reading, relaxing, work.

priorities/interests with 2 kids (no particular order): kids, dave, friends/family, tv (select shows), baking, reading (though the subject/content has changed), nature, work, travel, exploring locally.

though i do wish i could feel a bit more well-rounded, i know i can pick up more and more things as the years go on and the kids get older and require less attention. im sure new, surprising interests will come along too, and that will be great. for me, im continually surprised that this life with two kids feels more and more comfortable. im okay with interests and priorities shifting for now, because as is very clear to me, nothing is forever and change is happening every day. there is no reason to think i'll be on this child-centric path for the rest of my life. im just trying to make the most of this section of the journey.

2. the gifts people have sent for Y (and X!) have been so lovely and thoughtful. i am humbled by how many people care and wanted to send something for a second child. we are very grateful.

3. i bought a small stash of (7) bumgenius pocket diapers from a friend and started using them when he was 13 lbs. we still need to use disposables when we run out of cloth for the day, but its been very nice to have them around. they are much easier to manage that i expected (remember we had the diaper service for X), and we dont even have a dryer. i look forward to getting the rest of my friends cloth diaper stash soon.

4. just to note it, if we had had a girl her name would have been bennet rose.

5. im getting good at picking things up with my toes while carrying Y in the carrier.

6. oh the dreaded hair shedding is occurring!

7. i can fit into my regular pants again, though im definitely squishier than ever. perhaps i can tone up a tiny bit in the months to come.

24 October 2014

X files - 4.5 years old - These rules were made for testing, and that's just what she'll do...

on the whole, this summer and early fall with X was great, especially watching her become a big sister. she took to it WAAAY easier than i ever dared dream, and it made the new addition all the sweeter. she talks to him, shows him stuff, dances for him and he is totally enamoured. she has gotten more fun and creative and impressive and, true to form, more able to find ways to push our buttons.

obsessions: baby brother, being the 'velvet swimming cat', wanting to fly, tv show 'hoarders', swinging, playing with her friend sini

good picture books: the mermaid and the shoe, the berenstain bears and the bad dream, a camping spree with mr magee, down to the sea with mr magee, summer [low], milo and the mysterious island, christophers harvest time

good longer books: the alfie and annie rose storybook, the stories julian tells, wide wonderful world collection, the little mermaid and other fishy tales

magic tree house series: dinosaurs before dark (#1), mummies in the morning (#3), afternoon on the amazon (#6), dolphins at daybreak (#9)

good special interest books: d'aulaires book of trolls, outside-in, nightmares: poems to trouble your sleep

(outdoor action)
(outdoor zen)
(anywhere princess)
(her 'love baby')
(still getting a bit of alone time on our laps)

x-citing developments:
1. rules. even before Y came along X was testing and testing the rules. i suppose it could partly have been due to her uneasiness with upcoming/present change, trying to see what else in her world was changing, but man is it frustrating! her ears would be open, she was listening to us asking her not to do something and she would do it just to check our response. for everything. multiple times.

2. bonding time. since its now harder for me to guarantee a shower when i want/need it, it was an easy 'kill two birds with one stone' idea to let X start taking showers with me (the idea initially was at her request). it was messy to try and shower her alone anyway so this has been a nice alternative. i get to be clean regularly and she is learning how to wash herself properly (we work on her doing her own shampooing, conditioning, soaping). she also gets to talk to me, play games, and just be alone with me without interruption. a bit unusual perhaps, but its been good.

3. regress. not sure exactly if its regression per se, but X has been putting crap in her mouth again lately. markers, toys, fingers, etc. ugh.

4. personality.
-she is very affectionate (physically and verbally) with us and Y.

-with visitors and even while playing with friends, she has a hard time being patient (interrupting, etc) and has an even harder time when she cant direct the play. im sure this is typical, and it also likely foreshadows some struggles in playing with Y as he gets bigger too.

-behavior with friends...she has a little friend who doesnt really listen to anything her parents say. the friend also has lots of creative ways to get out of doing things she doesnt want to do. X of course has picked some of these ideas up and brought them home to try on. thankfully it seems like they arent permanent fixtures but it does make for some conversations about how to conduct yourself and be a good person. on to a new phase of parenting i guess.

-the kids at her daycare are really friendly and always call her over to play when she arrives. they say goodbye/hello to her and they always announce to her when i have arrived. lol.

-singing. now that she has a collection of song melodies memorized from various sources, she will make up her own lyrics to address the topic she wants to sing about. on the playground she sings about flying or adventuring, and at dinner one night, she sang 'let it go' with new lyrics to speak to hoarders, encouraging them: 'dont keep your sadness inside or you will get sick and have a dirty house. let it go! let it go! just let your feelings go...'

5. learning.
-she is really good with her finnish now. she can translate some things on TV or in print that we attempt to read her. she even plays in finnish sometimes, and, limitedly, we all speak together in finnish.

-reading. she can really read lots of smaller words now, in real life, not just books. she can also sound unknown words out, one day dave asked her the name of some bugs in her guide book, she read 'cat fle-ah' (cat flea), trying to sound out the word flea that she hadnt seen before, and she read 'ant ant' (an ant). and there are lots of other words i find that she can read that i didnt expect. one day, she had a friend over and they were looking at a library book together. X read some words out of it and her friend (who is 5.5 years old) said '[X], you can read!?'

momma mentionables:
1. with Ys initial newborn calm sleepiness, it was great to ease X into the first phase of sibling life. i know there will be other times that are more difficult, but things have been smooth between the two so far and thats more than i had hoped for. X likes to sit next to whoever is holding Y at the dinner table, and she loves to greet him first thing in the morning and hug him good night. and i have been able to give hugs and kisses to both without there being a problem.

2. when we had X we became parents, but it felt like an odd 'family'. as ive said, we would have been happy to go along and continue to make that family size (3) our own, make it feel less 'odd'. but, i found, as X got older (and more independent) there was more free time available for the adults, so, often, one of us would take a break while the other played with or helped her. it was disjointed. now with two, our time is filled full up with family and i feel more togetherness (and chaos to be sure). its busy, yes, but everyone is in the same boat. with one child we had all the responsibility and restrictions that come with life with a kid, without the feeling of fullness. again, we would have gotten better at finding things that added quality 'fullness' to a three person family, im sure of it, but with the two kids, its built in. however, im sure as they get older and more independent we will need to fill up again (not with more kids, but with fun adults-only things/hobbies this time!) to reach that full feeling again. and thats okay.

12 October 2014

Whipp visit

daves parents made the trip over to meet Y, play with X, and explore finland. i think everyone came away with nice memories.

for my part, it was nice to have more people at the dinner table each night. it meant i got to make some desserts, buy a few of the things at the grocery store i'd been waiting to try, and interact with more human beings than i regularly get to. having the guests be family who were very happy to be sharing their evenings with us, as well as stories of their day as tourists, was a shining bonus.

they were here for two weeks and we saw them most days, though not every day. the pace was nice for everyone. we are very lucky to have people who are willing to make the long journey over.

our weekday dinners: grandparents playing with X, adult chatting, and just generally 'being' together

weekend activities (typically only involving dave and X with the grandparents): eating at stockmann, eating nepalese food, visiting daves work, exploring the haltia nature center

(grandma and Y)
(grandpa and Y exchanging smiles)