Friday, August 31, 2012

New Beginnings... Take Two!

As I previously mentioned, we had a lot of firsts and new experiences start this week. Yesterday, Dad-E took The A Team to daycare as usual, worked all day, and picked them up. When he went to pick them up, Ms. Denver, one of Aiden's teachers, asked him if Aiden was rolling over yet. Dad-E mentioned that he's gotten close a few times, but has yet to make it all the way over. Ms. Denver kind of gave him the side eye, with a sheepish grin. Dad-E knew right then that he must have rolled over for them at school. So, of course, he asked... and she said he had, three different times! I was so proud of him and hearing this news was just wonderful. Another milestone reached. Dad-E saw him roll over this morning at 3am... he decided to roll on his back, then remembered he doesn't like sleeping on his back, so he started crying. He went in and saw him smiling up at him... which brought back so many memories of when Alli first discovered she could do this trick as well. Once he rolled A-Man back onto his stomach, he fell right back to sleep. Of course, a part of me is definitely sad that Aiden's first time rolling over was at daycare, instead of being with me, but I'm just so proud of the little man... and how fast he's growing up right before our eyes.

Soon he'll be crawling to keep up with big sis!
The second part of "new beginnings take two" starts first thing tomorrow morning. Alli's Potty Training Adventure! Stay tuned for my detailed report... coming soon!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Twenty-Two Months

I don't even know where to begin posting about Alli and all the things she does these days. So, instead of trying to make it into some witty long blog post, I'm going to take the easy way out and just make a list. I'm sure there will be things I forget, so this way, I can come back and add things as I remember them!
  • Alli counts to fourteen now. Very quickly. If you ask her to count, she's off to the races... one, two, three... etc. Sometimes you have to help her with a few, or she'll just skip right to ten.
  • She loves to sing. When you ask her to sing, she'll sing the ABC's, which for now, all she really know's is "A, B, C, D (skip E), F, Jew." That's what it sounds like, and that's where she stops. But she sings it in the ABC's tone and it's just adorable. She also loves singing her favorite, "That's Elmo's Song!!!!!!" (Or maybe not singing, more like yelling.)
  • She's such a parrot. You better watch out, because whatever you say, she'll say.
  • She absolutely loves her doggy. Which she says almost like "daddy", but daddy's name is "da da" and doggy's name is "daddy". I know, it's confusing, but we're trying. She tells Scarlett to "sit down!" (she must hear that a lot at school), and "shake". She loves when Scarlett actually listens to her, and I do too. It's like Scarlett understands that Alli is her tiny master, too.
  • Alli loves any and all food. She wants anything you are eating or drinking. She'll come right up, plop down in your lap and say "bite please!" It's too cute to say no. So, I'm sure I'm losing weight as my 22 month old is eating most of my food these days. Oh, and when we were trying out rice cereal with BM for Aiden, she just had to have a bite too. I can't imagine what it'll be like when he starts on more baby foods and she wants to try all of those too. I can see fights over food in our near future...
  • She loves her new big girl bed. It's obviously still the same "crib" with no side rail, just a toddler rail at the top part, but she loves climbing into bed herself, and a couple mornings now she's gotten out of bed and ran down the hallway. The first time, we didn't have the gate closed. We heard her about halfway down the stairs say, "hi guys!" Next time, we learned, and she yelled from the gate. It's like we have a little grown up! But she's so great about staying in bed at night. It's like it didn't even phase her.
  • She has become very interested in the potty. Which is why we're going ahead with trialing the 3 day potty training method this weekend. She says "bye bye pee-pee's!" and "poo-poo's" while waving to the toilet or to the bathroom, and always wants to go in when we're going and say bye bye as we flush. We also got Elmo's Potty Time DVD and she loves it. (What Elmo video doesn't she love though?) It's a really funny video that Eric and I are quite entertained with too.
  • Alli adores her baby bro, and I think she's really wanting him to start playing with her. It won't be long! She will watch him wiggle around on the ground and reach for toys, and she just laughs and laughs at him. She tries to get his attention by saying, "bro!! bro!!!", and when he doesn't look at her, she gets discouraged and tries to shove her face in his face.
  • She knows all of her colors and has for awhile now. But it still surprises me how great she is at just rattling them all off like it's not big deal.
OK, as I think of more things, I'll add them here... but for now, just know that we're amazed at this little girl and how much she knows, how far she's come, and the fact that she's almost TWO! My goodness... where did the time go?

New Beginnings

This week and into this weekend has brought us and will bring us a lot of new beginnings. Alli turned 22 months old on Monday, and started in her new "beginners" class. This new class has a lot of her old buddies, Emma, Arianna, Anna Grace, Scarlett... but also several older kids. I think there's about 10 kids in the class, and Ms. Erica is the primary teacher. She is dubbed at the school as the "potty training queen", and that new adventure will begin next weekend. (Stay tuned for exciting posts about that I'm sure!) She was an absolute wreck when I dropped her off on Monday, which was awful for me. It doesn't get any easier, even when I know she's in wonderful hands at school. It's still heartbreaking to hear her cry as I walk away. The new class, new teachers, new kids... it was all just a lot for her to take in. She was totally fine when Eric took her in yesterday morning though. And speaking of Eric, he started his new job at MIL Corp. on Monday too. So far, so good. A lot of information, a lot of figuring things out with timing and driving there and all the adjustments that come along with a big life change like this, but we're trying to take it one day at a time. Aiden has been our giggling, smiling string bean, as usual. He is sooo long, we can't help but comment on it all the time. I looked back, and his stats (length and weight) are very similar to what Alli's were at six months. Last night, he slept from 7:30pm to 6am without a peep throughout the night. He has been doing wonderfully with sleeping, sometimes crying out once in the night but going right back to sleep, and last night he didn't wake up at all! He was so happy and refreshed all morning. He is great at putting himself to sleep too, which is a blessing. We put him down when he's just a little sleepy, but not asleep, and he'll lay there and eventually fall asleep on his own. It is just wonderful to see him grow and learn and play... he is doing more and more every day. We tried some rice cereal on a spoon for the first time with him too, and he did amazing with it. We couldn't get the spoon in his mouth fast enough. I can't wait for my mom to get here this weekend, to help with the potty training adventures, and to see lil A-Man again!

My A.R.M.'s <3

Yum Rice Cereal!!

Hehehe... love it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What a weekend - Part II

Yes, to celebrate Aiden hitting his 4-month birthday, we decided to torture him slightly by letting him "cry it out" at night. I'm joking about the torture part (even though it doesn't sound like it at 3am). All the parenting books say that by 4 months old, infants don't need to wake up at night to eat - they're just used to it. We went through the same thing with Alli when she hit 4 months old, so we knew what we were in for.

So Saturday night rolled around and Mommy B and I had our earplugs ready. Our real concern was that Aiden's crying would wake Alli up throughout the night... and the last thing we wanted was two exhausted children. Aiden woke up around midnight and cried for about 20 minutes or so, then went back to sleep. He then woke himself up again around 3am and cried for about 10-15 minutes, and again went back to sleep. 5:30am came around and we decided to finally get up and feed the kid. And naturally, he went back to sleep until almost 8am. We knew that this routine couldn't continue because it wouldn't work out on the weekdays, but we wanted to take it one step at a time.

Sunday night was more of the same. He made it a little longer before his first cry-fest, but still woke himself up a few times throughout the night to cry it out. Listening to your infant cry from across the hall is one of the most awful things a parent can ever go through. But we know that deep down in our hearts that it's all a means to an end - that will make everyone happier once the process is complete.

The good part about it was that on Sunday he seemed to fall into a better, more-regular nap schedule. We're trying to get him on the same 9-11am and 1-3pm routine Alli fell into when she was his age - just so his teachers can keep him on a schedule during the week and we can continue it on the weekends. Plus, if he can take a nap in the afternoons at the same time his sister does, that would be wonderful for Mommy B and I.

So needless to say, Mommy B and I are a little worn out from this weekend's festivities. But, there's no rest for the weary when you have two kids under the age of two. We know that we have to keep Aiden on this routine knowing that it'll all pay off in a few days, just like it did with Alli. And we know that Alli might get out of her bed more in the future, but she's doing well so far. We also started Aiden on rice cereal this morning, and he didn't seem to notice a difference. At least he didn't make me aware of any discomfort with it added to his bottle. My hope is that we can give him a full bottle with rice cereal added right before he goes to bed and it'll fill him up a little longer. Hopefully each night we can stretch him a little longer without feeding him until he's eventually sleeping all the way through the night without waking up at all.

What a weekend indeed.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What a weekend - Part I

Where to begin? So much went on this past weekend that it felt like a blur. Let's just get right to it, shall we?

Mommy B had the day off on Friday, and I "worked from home" (the last one for a long time), so we decided it was time to put the toddler rail on Alli's bed - transforming it from a "crib" into a "big-girl bed". While Alli was at school, I took the front off Alli's crib and replaced it with a toddler rail that only runs halfway across the length of the bed and only goes up about 8 inches. This means that she is free to enter and exit the bed at any time she chooses. We figured that since she sleeps on a cot for her naps at school each day, this wouldn't be much of a change for her.

And thank goodness we were right. We walked her down to her room after her bath and she took one look at her crib and said "Bed!" It was like she could tell what we did to it and she knew what she was supposed to do. She climbed on up and snuggled into her Pooh Bear blanket as if she'd done it a thousand times. Mommy B and I left the room, and waited for the tell-tale signs of her exiting her bed and going to play with the toys we left in her room. No such noise. We checked on her about 20 minutes later and found her flopped over on her back with Pooh covering her face... just like always. Whew! That was easy...

Saturday afternoon presented us with our next challenge - nap time. She's usually tired at night, so falling asleep then is much smoother than nap time. But to keep things consistent, we walked her into her room for her afternoon nap and placed her in bed just like we always do, and closed the door behind us. We heard her talking for a little while, but nothing that would cause us to worry that she was getting into trouble. However, Mommy B went back into her room about 30 minutes later to a little bit of a surprise. She came back down and said "You have to come see this." I walked up stairs expecting the worst... There she was, in the middle of the bed, face-down and passed out (like normal) - but she was surrounded by ALL her stuffed animals! I looked at Mommy B and asked "Did you put them all in there?" She looked back and said, "Nope."

This means that Alli had climbed out of bed, went across the room and grabbed all her stuffed animals (probably 2-3 trips worth) and brought them back into bed with her. So not only did she bring them back into bed, but she them climbed back into bed and fell asleep - as if nothing had ever happened! It was one of those moments as a parent where you're not sure if you should laugh uncontrollably or beam with pride... because I think I did both. I laughed at the sight of her sleeping with all her stuffed animals surrounding her, and that she got out of bed just to go get them. But then I felt overwhelmed with pride that my little girl climbed back into bed and fell asleep without any one's help. She was just doing her own thing, as they say these days.

Saturday night came and went without any issue, as she fell asleep without even getting out of bed. Sunday afternoon and evening was more of the same - uneventful. This was such a relief to Mommy B and I, as we've heard horror stories of parents trying the toddler rail for the first time and it not going so well. We both understand that it's early still and there is plenty of time for her to get out and get into trouble - but we're off to a great start and are proud of our "big girl" and how independent she has become.

To celebrate Alli's accomplishments, on Sunday Mommy B changed her earrings (that she's had in since she was 5 months old) for some new ones that Grandma C sent down. She also painted Alli's toes for the first time ever! Of course, being the rough and tumble kid of mine that she is, she scraped some of it off when we went to the pool later that morning. Go figure. Alli has always adapted very well to everything we've thrown at her. Whether it's a new bedroom with a new crib, new schedule, new sibling, you name it - she's taken it in stride.

Thank goodness too, because we also started letting Aiden "cry it out" this weekend...

Aiden is 4 months old!

Our lil peanut turned four months old this weekend. I wanted to wait to post an update until we'd gone to his doctor's visit this morning. What a visit it was! Besides getting 3 shots, a medicine by mouth, and ticked off by the doctor looking in his ears and doing his full body assessment, we also talked a lot about our concerns related to his reflux. On top of that, we also have some new things to worry about. So, here's where we start. During his assessment, Dr. Kelly noticed he has some spots of eczema. No big deal, Alli had it too and it went away, or when she does get little flair ups once in awhile, we have some cream we put on and it's gone the next day or so. So, we got a refill on the cream, we'll use it on him as well, and she suggested we get Aveeno bath soap and lotions and put that lotion on him at least twice a day.

The reflux issue is still sticking around. It seemed to get better for a little while, but all in all, he still spits up quite a bit. However, it doesn't seem to bother him. He'll literally spit up while he's smiling. But, needless to say, it's hard on us to have vomit on every shoulder of every shirt we own... and we just can't wash the burp cloths fast enough. So, she added Prevacid, another anti-reflux medication, and she said it was really up to me if I wanted to start using it as well. With the Prevacid, it's a solu-tab type medication, which you mix with some milk and give to him 15 minutes before his first meal of the day. The Zantac will then be switched to around noon time and then before bedtime meal. She said some people see a difference with the Prevacid, and some don't. So, it's really up to us. If it doesn't seem to bother him, this is the height/age of spitting up/reflux issues... so we may just stick it out until he grows out of it. It'll be something Eric and I need to discuss further and see what we think. She does think that he may be having too much volume at a time since he's now eating 6 oz. with each feeding, and she mentioned adding rice cereal to his bottles or twice a day and see how he does with that as well. We'll see how it goes!

Dr. Kelly also seemed a little concerned about Aiden's head control and that it may not be where it should be. He isn't rolling over yet, and she thinks we need to work hard on more tummy time and getting his neck/back/head muscles stronger. She even mentioned a possible need for physical therapy if things don't get better... she wants me to keep an eye on him and see if I think he's improving with his head control and strength. Of course, this worries me and freaks me out... but hopefully we'll just work with him a lot and things will get better. I talked with one of my best friends about it already... and she thinks, as bad as it seems, it may be because he's the 2nd child and doesn't get as much attention as Alli got during this stage/age. When Alli was young, all we had to do was concentrate on her, push her to sit up in the Bumbo, etc... while the other one of us cooked dinner, etc. Now, we have to tag team... one paying attention to Alli, one making dinner, and a lot of times, Aiden may get the shaft of just hanging out in his bouncy chair while we're trying to get a million other things done too. That will change, now. I want my baby boy to be just as smart and strong as Alli.

On a happy note though, Aiden has to be the smiliest little man we've ever seen. He smiles and talks SO much. The talking has increased so much this past week or so... he just babbles all the time! He is so happy and content most of the time... although he has really found out how loud he can be and when he's mad about being tired or hungry, you'll know about it. He is happy to sit in the chair, chew on his hands, and watch his sister run around like a crazy person. He splashes and kicks in the bath... I was totally soaked after last night's bathtime adventures.

The Stats:
Weight: 14 lbs (31st percentile)
Height: 26 & 1/2 inches (93rd percentile)
Head: 16 & 1/2 inches (40th percentile)
Diaper Size: 1's
Clothing Size: 3-6 months, lots of 6 months now just because of his length!
Shoe Size: No shoes yet, just baby socks
Food: All mommy milk, up to about 6 oz. every 3 hours or so
Naps: He is starting to fall into the routine of 9-10:30am nap, then 1-3ish nap, and another quick snooze around 4:30-5ish
Sleep: Asleep for the night by 7ish, waking up a few times but we're doing the cry it out method right now... work in progress... up at 5:30-6ish
Teeth: 0
Sounds: Lots of cooing, babbling, ooo's and aaaa's, and giggling for daddy & Aunt Katie!
Play: Bouncy chair, attempting more and more tummy time, playing on the mat and swatting at toys, watching his sister... he's quite the observer.
Mommy & lil A

Superman practicing his tummy time!

Kisses from big sis <3

We Live Where You Vacation....

There are obvious perks to living in Charleston. We wouldn't be down here away from our families and friends if there weren't things that kept us happy here. One of those main things is the beach. We absolutely love being this close to the beach, taking weekends with the kiddos to the beach, and having "day-cations" of just Eric and I to the beach while the kiddos spend time with their friends at daycare.

Another positive of having the beach this close is having visitors! We obviously live in a vacation destination... and our family and friends come to visit quite often. One of Eric's old college roommate and groomsman, Dallas, and his future wife came to come visit a few weeks ago. It was so great to see them... and they actually love Charleston so much that they are getting married here next year (which is great for Eric since he's a groomsman as well, we won't have to travel for it!) My Uncle Tom came for a long weekend last week, which was great fun too. He got to meet Aiden for the first time, and see what a ham Alli has turned into. In a few more weeks, my mom will be coming back down for a week long trip. I'm so excited to have her see how much Aiden and Alli have both grown, and for her to get a chance to relax on the beach, too.

As much as I miss so many of my family members and friends up north, I'm glad we live in such a beautiful city close to the ocean. When are you planning your trip down to come see us??

Great Uncle Tom & Aiden

It's not vacation, it's just a Saturday...

Work hard, play harder.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Congratulations Aiden!

I know I'm going to jinx it as I type this, but congratulations are in order for my boy! Last night, Aiden slept completely through the night. Followers may recall the discussion I had when Alli first slept through the night and what the true definition of "sleeping through the night" really was. Is it 6 hours? 8 hours? 10? I'm sure that definition varies for each parent - which is why I typically give new parents the side-eye when they brag about how their newborn already sleeps through the night. Listen newbie, I got news for ya - if you have to get up (even once) to feed your child and are able to go back to sleep before you have to get yourself up for the day (and get your @$$ to work)... that's NOT considered sleeping through the night. At least not in my book, anyway.

We put Aiden down at 7pm last night and didn't hear a peep from him until 5:30am this morning. That's 10 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sleep! Well, for him, at least.

Mommy B and I hit the sheets at around 9 - but only made it until 3am. We didn't know this when we purchased the house, but apparently there is an unwritten rule that the batteries in the smoke detectors only die between 2 and 3am. Even though they are all hard-wired together, when the battery dies it makes a loud, short chirp noise every minute. As of this morning, I have now successfully changed the batteries in all 7 smoke detectors in our house - and they all took place in the wee hours of the morning. The funny part was this last one was located in Alli's room - and she didn't even wake up when it started chirping. We didn't hear it either, and it wasn't until our faithful Golden jumped on our bed (which she never does when we're in it) shaking in fear of the high-pitched noise. The sound annoys the crap out of me, so I'm sure it was torture for her. So there I was at 3am - kitchen chair hauled upstairs so I could disconnect the smoke detector and take it down to replace the battery. Then Mommy B and I had the lovely task of trying to calm the dog down enough so we could go back to sleep. It's always something...

Anyway, 5:30am rolled around and Aiden finally started waking up. Mommy B fed him and I walked him around for a while to get his burps out. Believe it or not, he fell back asleep on me at 6 and stayed out until just after 7:15! This gave us time to get Alli up and ready for the day before they headed off to school and myself off to work (Mommy B had the day off). We actually had to wake him up so we could get him changed and in the car seat.

I don't know if last night was a fluke, or if we're onto something good here - but either way it was nice having the (briefly interrupted) sleep that we had. I'm so proud of my little man, he's grown up so much in the last two weeks! His head control is amazing, and he actually prefers to hold his head up rather than lie it on my shoulder now. He's also really close to rolling over. I just know it's going to happen really soon, I can tell he's been working on it while at school. And the kid smiles... all the time. Any time we look at him and smile while we talk to him, he smiles and coo's back at us. I don't remember Alli smiling this much when she was that age, but all I know is that this kid really seems to react to facial stimuli very easily.

Oh, and he's putting his big sister to shame in the eating department. When Alli started going to school, we took in 4-5 bottles, each with 3oz in them. After a few weeks we moved up to 4 bottles each with 4 oz in them. Aiden is already taking 4 bottles with 6oz each! And we've moved him up to the medium flow nipples at his teacher's suggestion. She said he'd been pulling on them so hard that not only would the nipple collapse, but the sides of the bottle were folding in. It's ironic because all his teachers would talk about was how much his big sister Alli loved to eat. Each one recalled their favorite stories about how Alli would just eat and eat and eat - well watch out y'all, here comes little brother (who may not be "little" for much longer if he keeps this up.) Good thing Aiden's 4-month doctor's appointment is coming up soon, because I think this guy is going to want (and need) some rice cereal added to his bottle STAT.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mr. Smiles

Aiden just literally melts my heart. I have missed him dearly since I've gone back to work (yes, of course I miss Alli too!), but I feel like my time home with Aiden truly flew by, a lot more so than with Alli. And, a lot of my time home with Aiden was just plain hard, and frustrating, and full of tears (from both of us!). So now that he's a truly happy baby, it makes me sad that I can't hang out with him all day. That's so typical. As soon as he gets "fun", happy, more playful and starting to do more things, it's time to go back to work. But, I definitely cherish all the moments, smiles and "conversations" I get to have with him when I get home, putting him to bed, and waking up that one time through the night. (Yes, he still wakes up at night, but, it's only once... and... I kind of enjoy the time together. That seems crazy when all I wanted before was just to get some sleep! Trust me, I still love my sleep, but, I do love hanging out with my boy too.)

He is just SO smiley, Eric & I can't get over it. We really don't remember Alli being as smiley, content and talkative as he is. He could literally sit in his chair and just smile and coo and squeak for the longest time. He loves to observe and watch us, watch his big sister run around like a crazy person, and he seems to just be "taking it all in." Sounds a lot like Eric when he was young, and he's still kind of like that as an adult. And speaking of him being like Eric... I really wish you all could see Eric's baby pictures. You'd be shocked at how much Aiden looks like Eric's baby pictures. It's almost creepy! No wonder I think Aiden is so adorable, I've always had a thing for his daddy too... and how adorable he's always been.