Monday, October 29, 2012

Addy: 21 Months!

Dear Mommy's Big Girl,

You continue to be a wonderful big sister to little Emmy, and you love it when I call you a big girl!  You are so nurturing with Emma; you love to kiss and hug her, hold her, burp her, and dance and sing for her.  I know that soon enough you will provide endless hours of entertainment for your little sister, and I can't wait to see her interact with you.

Whenever Emmy cries (or makes any noise actually), you run to her and say, "It's OK Emmy." 

Whenever she sneezes (or coughs), you are the first to say, "Bless you Emmy."

Whenever you want to play, you dance around the living room and say, "Dance Emmy!

You love your little sister so much and it warms my heart every day :)

This past month the firefighters came to your school.  Your teachers told me that many of the kids were afraid of them, but you walked up to all four firefighters and shook their hands, saying "It's nice to meet you Addy".  Yup, you always include your name in there.  I corrected you at first, but it's so cute, so now we just let it go.  You love to "meet" Mommy and Daddy and anyone else that will shake your hand.

You have started stringing a few words together, and you'll say things like "I'm flying" when Daddy makes you fly through the air.  I can't believe how fast you are growing up right before my eyes.  All of our family members that came to NC this past month commented on how much more you are talking now.  It really is amazing!  You are also saying your ABC's, and you can count to ten!  Now, you might mash a few letters together in the ABC song, and you might skip some numbers when counting to ten, but you are learning fast!

I am so glad that we decided to enroll you in preschool, because I think you are getting a lot out of it.  You sing a clean up song that you learned in school whenever we ask you to pick up your toys.  I wish I could understand what you are singing, but all I can make out is "Clean up! Clean up!"  It sounds more like, "Clean bup! Clean bup!"  So cute :)  You also love all of your class mates and teachers, and hearing you say their names is so sweet.  I'm going to try to get a video of that soon.

You still love books and Daddy reads you one or two (or three!) every night before bed.  Your recent favorite is "Go Dog Go".  You get so excited and yell, "Go Go Doggy!"  You are learning some of the words to lots of your books and will say them along with Daddy while he reads.  You also will often sing along with Daddy when he sings to you before bed.  Twinkle Twinkle, Rock-a-Bye Baby, and Row Row Row Your Boat are your favorites.

Speaking of Daddy, you call him Daddy now, not Dada.  So now we are officially Mommy and Daddy in your book.  You have also started referring to your little sister as Emma, not Emmy.  I wish you still called her Emmy, because it's so cute to here your little voice utter that name.  You kind of intersperse both names right now, but I guess Mommy and Daddy do that too.

You still love the Fresh Beat Band and you request that we put it on the TV every day, multiple times a day.

Your new favorite thing to do is color!  We have some big crayons that Aunt Tina bought you and you love them.  If we are ever looking for something to do, coloring is a surefire way to make you happy!  Usually you tell me that you are coloring a castle or a truck with a ladder (which you remember from when the firemen came to your school).  Your two favorite crayons that you always pick out are the brown and the black.  Not much for color, huh?

You really love playing with older girls.  The neighbor girls love you and they often ask if you can come out and play with them.  You love Sophie, Jenna, and Megan.  The older girls at church love to play with you too, and you just eat up all of the attention!  I think that is one of the reasons that you love church so much.  You run around like crazy and they chase you around during the fellowship dinner before music class.  No wonder you are so tired on Wednesday nights when we get home!

You are a pretty good eater, and definitely a good snacker!  You love nothing more in life than a good snack...especially fruit snacks.  They are your new fave.

One my fears about bringing home your little sister was that you would end up waking up in the middle of the night when Emmy would cry.  And then we would have two crying children to contend with.  But, thank goodness, you are still an excellent night sleeper.  Still sleeping about 13-14 hours at night (7PM-8:30AM).  When you wake up in the morning you start your day with some singing in your crib before we come to get you.  I am usually feeding Emmy in Daisy's little room on the glider, and I hear your sweet little voice singing things like "Hello to Emmy.  So glad to see you!"  That is your favorite song from music class and you go through all of us (including Daisy) in your rendition of the song.  I love feeding Emma, listening to you singing away in your crib :)

We love that you are talking more and can really communicate with us now.  It makes life so much easier.  I have a feeling that you will do most of the talking for Emmy too, just as I did for Aunt Tina when she was little.  You already think you know what she needs!  When she cries you will look at me and say, "Hold", or "Burp", or "Rock".  You turn to me with a very concerned look like, "Come on Mom.  Get with it.  Emmy needs you."  It's hilarious!

You are so much fun at this age Addy! A bit trying at times with the tantrums, but overall lots of fun!  Here are some of the pictures from your 21 Month Birthday: 

But let me preface them by saying that you weren't feeling very well that day.  You are getting more teeth (you currently have 14), you have a cold, and you had a fever that day.  So needless to say, you were kind of out of sorts.

These first few are pre-Tylenol:

Then we got a dose of Tylenol in you and poof!  Dance party!  Check out this video:


I told you it was time for dinner, and you were like a caged tiger trying to get out of the den and over to your high chair!

Dinner time!

And we ended the night playing on the IPad on Daddy's lap while Emmy slept in her swing :)

Happy 21 Months Big Girl!  We love you to the moon.... and back!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Emma: One Month!

Dear Emma Lemma,

I can't believe you are a month old already!  Where has the time gone???  You are no longer a newborn, but an infant now!  And you have outgrown your newborn clothes to prove it!  I already had to take all of your newborn clothes out of your drawers and put them in storage.  You didn't even have a chance to wear some of them!  You are such a big girl!

At your one month checkup:

Weight: 10 lbs, 3.5oz - 75th percentile
Length: 22 inches - 85th percentile
Head Circumference: 38 cm - 85th percentile

You still have that head full of dark hair and it is as wild as ever.  It sticks straight up on the top no matter what we do.  Aunt Tina says you need some product ;) 

You have beautiful blue eyes and Doctor Mike says he thinks they are going to stay blue!  I love the brown hair/blue eyes combo!

At this point you look nothing like your big sister, so we'll see if you end up like Aunt Tina and Mommy.  People are always surprised that we are sisters.

In general, you are a very good baby and you don't cry much at all.  This is surprising considering all that you have gone through in your first month of life.  Nothing major, but you've had it a little bit rough. 

It started off with clogged tear ducts.  Sometimes after your naps you could barely open your eyes because they were so crusty.  That is resolving, but last week your big sister so generously gave you her cold.  Yup, a month old and you have your first cold already.  That's what you get when you have a big sister I guess. 

And then to top it all off you somehow ended up with yeast in your mouth, belly, and diaper area.  So we have to give you oral nystatin four times a day, for ten days, and it makes you gag and often throw up :(  Also a nystatin cream to your diaper area three times a day.  Poor little lady!  No wonder you would get so fussy during and after your feedings.  Your mouth hurt, your belly hurt, and your diaper area hurt!  And considering all of that, I'm surprised you didn't cry more!  You are a tough cookie!

You are sleeping pretty normally for a newborn at this point.  But man, do you love the midnight hour!  It is your time to shine.  Wide awake and not at all interested in turning in for the night.  I often go to bed before that and Daddy stays up with you until I feed you again around 12-1AM.  But you are typically awake from 10PM-1AMish.  Not so bad right now because Daddy is still on paternity leave, so he doesn't mind staying up late with you.  Once he goes back to work it will be tougher on us, so let's get into a better routine OK?

I can't complain too much though, because you often give me a four hour stretch after your midnight rendezvous before you wake up again.  Sometimes even 5 hours!  Then I feed you and you usually fall back to sleep pretty quickly and sleep until 8-8:30.  That is the time that all four of us have been rising lately and it's been great! 

You are exclusively breastfeeding and doing well with it, despite the yeast ordeal.  Sometimes we have slight issues with proper latching because you have such a sensitive gag reflex.  But we're working on it, and all in all it's going well.  I hope to nurse you for a year, just as I did with Addy.  We'll see.

You have changed so much in your first month, and you are so much more alert and aware than you were a few short weeks ago.  You look right at us, and you have just started smiling at us too!  What a heart melting feeling for Mommy and Daddy!  Your little smiles are the sweetest!

I have not been able to blog as much as I'd like to (imagine that), so there were a lot of pictures to go through.  Believe it or not, this is the narrowed down version.  Here are some pictures from your first month of life:

Home from the hospital!

Snuggles with Grandma
Photo Shoot with Aunt Tina

Go PSU!!

Little lady :)

Story time with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa

First tub bath at almost three weeks old.  Big sis is there to help!

Snuggled up in your towel


Sleepy smiles :)

Hanging out in Addy's crib

Front yard family picnic on a beautiful autumn day!

First trip to church!

You are asleep.  Daddy is asleep.  Addy?  Not a chance.

Hanging out with Grandpa and big sister

Pumpkin patch
On top of the haystacks with Grandma and Grandpa

Ready for another PSU game!
With Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Hertzler

Grandma could've held you all day :)
As you can see, you have had lots of visitors come to see you!  Everyone loves you Emma Jane!
Here are the photos from your one month birthday:




We love you soooo much Emma Lemma!  You are the sweetest little thing and the perfect addition to our family :)  Happy One Month Birthday Little Lady!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October Self Portrait

Here we are, back in the newborn stage, where my life is completely consumed with nursing my baby.  I am only holding onto my sanity by the knowledge that this too, will fly by.  I barely remember nursing Addy, and less than a year ago I was still doing it! 
So I shall persevere.... 
....through the sleepless nights.
....through the pain and discomfort.
....through the constant annoyance at the fact that I am the ONLY one who can do this for her.
I shall persevere...
....because I want to provide my baby with the very best nutrition that I am capable of providing.
....because I want to share with her all of my antibodies to help her fight sickness.
....because research has proven that breastfed babies are less likely to end up with allergies, asthma, multiple GI diseases, respiratory infections, ear infections, and a whole host of other illnesses.
....because breast milk is always readily available (hello ball and chain), and doesn't require preparation.
....because breastfeeding lowers my risk of getting breast cancer.
....because I will (hopefully) return to my pre-pregnancy weight quicker.
....because once we get through the pain and feeding frequency of the newborn period, it will get much better.
 ....because breastfeeding is free.
...not because I enjoy it.  This sounds so dismal I know.  It's just that I read all of these things about how nursing your baby is such a bonding, happy, peaceful experience.  Ummm, yeah.  Not so much.  Nursing my newborn babies has been uncomfortable at best, and excruciatingly painful at worst.  It has come with cracks and infections (yes, both are as painful as they sound), much frustration, and multiple trips to lactation consultants.  It has come with the feeling that I can't ever leave the house for more than ten seconds, for fear that my baby might be hungry.
I found myself daydreaming the other day that I could say to Mike, "I nursed Addy, so this time it's your turn."  Ha ha.  If only.  But, this too shall pass, and in no time at all I will barely remember this all consuming thing in my life.  And one thing I know for sure is that I will never look back and regret it. 
So I shall persevere.
This is my self portrait, but it makes me laugh because it's not really a realistic portrayal of what I typically look like while nursing.  I do not usually have on makeup or jewelry.  I am not usually covered in my own home (but that would be a little weird to post for the world to see).  And last but not least...see that hint of a smile?  It's not usually there ;)
Ah, the life of a nursing mother.  Welcome to my October ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3 Weeks In

Emma has officially been here for three weeks now, and already I can't imagine it any other way.  She just fits right into our family.  It's funny how much easier the transition is with the second child.  You know what to expect, so it's not such a shock to the system.  Now granted, getting up for those middle of the night feeds is always a shock to the system, but we are even adjusting to that pretty well.  Everything is just falling into place. 

I think a lot of it has to do with my attitude this time around.  I feel almost nostalgic already.  It wasn't all that long ago that Addy was a newborn, and now she seems like such a big girl.  I think about how time really does fly by.  I am reminded of that every day, and it makes me rejoice in the everyday moments a little bit more than I was able to the first time. 

With your first baby everything seems so all consuming.  You can't really look beyond the here and now.  Every stage seems like it's going to last forever.  But with your second baby, all you have to do is look at your first child and you are reminded of how quickly it all flies by.  Knowing this makes it much easier to take the trying times in stride.  The times when she wants to eat every 45 minutes.  The times when it's one o clock in the morning and she won't go back to sleep.  The times when she spits up and/or poops all over her third outfit of the day and it's only 10AM.  Even these everyday newborn annoyances just aren't quite as annoying this time around.

And then there are the sweet times with a newborn.  I feel like I am trying to hold on tightly to all of these moments because Emma will most likely be our last baby, and that makes me sad.  So I find myself videotaping her little noises or her peaceful sleeping face.  Things that would be very boring for anyone else to watch.  But not for me.  I want to remember all of these precious little newborn moments. 

Baby Squeaks :)

So here is a glimpse into our house over the past three wonderful weeks:

Emmy's welcoming committee :)

Just got home

One day old :)

Snoozing in Uncle Ken's cradle

First PSU game... pretty pumped ;)

Big sister is ready!

Addy's favorite phrase is, "It's OK Emmy."

Snuggles with Daddy
Emma's first bath at home

The dogs are standing by in case we need any help.

Yikes!  This is what a two day post pregnancy body looks like.

Bath time is over.

Snug as a bug :)

Flowers and balloon from Aunt Tina

Playing outside on a gorgeous fall day :)
Addy video

Family photo :)
It's been a great few weeks filled with family, friends, people bringing us meals and treats, and Mike being home with us the whole time.  It's kind of like a little fantasy world for now.  I love nothing more than these simple days spent with my husband and two little girls.  People ask me all of the time how I am handling having two children under the age of two.  I tell them that we are rockin' it right now..... but ask me again in a few weeks when Mike goes back to work!