Thursday, September 27, 2012

23 months and holding...

It's like when people are about to turn 30... and they say, no, I'm 29 and holding... that's how I feel about my baby girl turning two next month. So, as she hits 23 months today, I'm going to pretend that I don't know 2 years is right around the corner... and hold on to this month of still calling her a "something-month-old" instead of "something-year-old" as long as I can.

Our little princess is just growing and learning and amazing us every day. (I feel like if I take a look back at previous blog posts, this is a common theme I keep repeating, but it's so true!) She loves to sing. She sings her ABC's, which usually sounds like this:
"ABCDEEEF Jew, mumbling, P, mumbling, WXYZ. Now know my ABC's, next time sing with me, and mommy and dada and brooooo!"
She also loves singing Happy Birthday To You... and has lately started saying "Happy birthday to Alli Ru!" during the part where you say the birthday person's name... it's so adorable but I don't like it. It reminds me that her birthday is fast approaching!
She sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Old MacDonald Had A Farm, and a few others that we can't really tell what they are. I think one may be her own made up song, because I catch a lot of "dada, doggy, bro, mama, Alli!" during it. I don't know many songs that have all of our names in it. :)

She really loves playing with Aiden more these days too. She has realized that he thinks she is just amazing, and she loves to milk that for all it's worth. He laughs at things she does, so she does them over and over, and she always wants to play with whatever he's playing with. Thankfully, he's very tolerant of that right now, and is content with just staring at her playing with the toys. I can just imagine how it'll go down when he's bigger than her (which I swear won't be far from now!), and he's stealing her toys. Oh boy.

The potty training is going just wonderfully. We are basically trained, except at night. She still wears a pull-up to bed, but I'd say about 75% of the time, it's dry when she wakes up and the first thing she does each morning is run to the potty. She comes home from school in the same clothes, and her name is always full of successful potty trips on their potty board. She has formed a new pooping regimen which usually occurs only when I'm home and right before bed. So she will be laying in bed and say potty!! while I'm lying there with her... and I think she's just lying so she can just get out of going to sleep. But, I take her every single time she says it, and lately, the last time she says it, it turns out to be a poop. Oh the joys of blogging about poop. :)

So, as the big TWO approaches, I'm trying to prepare myself for the fact that we'll have a half year old baby and a two year old toddler. What?!

Aiden adoring his big sis Alli

My 23 month old <3

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, too!

It's becoming more and more apparent to us that we have an almost two year old living with us these days. The temper tantrums, the switch from angel to demon in less than two seconds, the stomping of the feet, the mine mine mine mentality... it's like it all happened overnight. Alli is definitely becoming her own little person... and with that, comes its challenges. I know she gets frustrated when she says things, over and over again, and we just can't quite figure it out. Most of the time, we know what she's saying, singing about, etc... but when we can't quite get it, she let's us know how frustrating that is for her. It's been even more difficult to try and explain to her that some things are Aiden's. (HA!) We have been giving him baby food quite a bit, but every time we do, she thinks she needs some too. Thankfully, she's never wanted his bottles, but when it comes to food, she thinks all of his food is "applesauce!!"... one of her all time faves. So, we had been giving her a bite just to keep her quiet, but we are trying not to anymore. She needs to learn that that's his, not hers. I also went and got a few more baby toys for Aiden, including his own Scout doll that sings his name and his favorite foods... the boy version of her same exact Violet doll that she's slept with since she was a baby. Well apparently, it doesn't matter that she has one that's almost identical. She heard his singing to him and her ears perked up. We quickly explained it was Aiden's, and made sure she knew where hers was and that it was the exact same thing. I can tell she's just loving exploring all the things that Aiden's exploring these days.. when he grabs at a toy, she's right there grabbing it with him. When he squeaks or laughs or makes a noise, she mimics him and they laugh together. It melts my heart to see them interacting like this already... and I can't wait until the day he starts really moving around... I can just imagine that Alli will freak out! I don't think she's even thought about the fact that one day, Aiden will be able to get up and play with her. I definitely don't wish their childhood away, but I can't wait to see them grow up together. <3

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mr. Smiles is 5 months old!

Another month has flown by. I can hardly believe Aiden is 5 months old. His infancy/baby days are nearly half over... he'll be on his way to a year old before we know it. We have had so much trouble with his reflux/spitting up issues throughout his five months... and unfortnuately, it hasn't really gotten a lot better. We stopped giving him the Zantac again, because truly, it didn't matter if we gave it or didn't give it, he was still spitting up the same amount. He has started eating (and eating and eating and eating) baby foods, and loving every minute of it. However, that now means he throws up foods sometimes too. Carrots, green beans, squash, etc. are all just plain awful looking compared to the milk vomit we're used to. (Sorry folks, baby stories and updates aren't always pretty!)

Anyway, despite his issues with reflux, he is such a happy boy. He smiles constantly. Whenever you smile at him or talk to him, he just wiggles all around and smiles the biggest smile back at you. It is just adorable. He loves playing in his jumperoo, reaching for his toys and putting everything in his mouth. Especially his hands! He has recently found his feet, and loves grabbing them and trying to stick them in his mouth too. He has rolled over from belly to back a few times now in his crib, and he wiggles and scoots his way around while laying on his back to get moving all over the place... but not consistently rolling yet. Of course, this worries me, but, I should probably just be glad he's not too mobile yet. The thought of chasing him and his crazy big sis just wears me out. Speaking of his big sis, he absolutely adores her. He could watch her all day... his eyes get so big and he loves when she talks to and kisses him. I think his all time favorite though is just being outside. The noises outside, whether it's just birds chirping, the lawnmower, Alli yelling and acting like a nut... he loves it all. And I love watching him learn and take it all in.

Happy 5 months buddy! It's hard to believe the next time I write a post like this about you... you'll be half a year old...!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Moments I'll forget

What a whirlwind the past couple weeks have been for me. Just three short weeks (or so) ago, Alli was still in diapers, Aiden was still eating 100% mommy milk, and I was working at the same place I had been for over five and a half years. And in that short amount of time... all that changed.

Aiden has taken to baby food, well, um, much like his big sister did... with reckless abandon. We've already taken in two loads worth of baby food for him and his daily sheet came home today indicating that he needs more. If this had been my first rodeo, I'd have thought his teachers were handing out his baby food to his classmates. But having been through this once before, I know that's not the case and he's eating every bit of it. I couldn't be happier for him too - I know how happy his sister was when we quit holding out on her and started giving her the good stuff. He still has about four 6oz bottles a day in between "meals", so he's still getting all the good nutrients and whatnot that his mother has slaved for hours to pump for him to have at school.

I couldn't be more proud of how quickly Alli has taken to her potty training. Those three days were slightly north of miserable... and I was on Aiden duty the majority of the time! Even though we sacrificed a long holiday weekend (and valuable time with Grandma C) to give it a try, I think it was well worth it in the end. After all, it was just one weekend... that's not much to give up in the grand scheme of things. But, I firmly believe that we laid the foundation for what has become a very easy couple of weeks following. Don't get me wrong - she still has an accident or two from time to time, but the overwhelming majority of her "releases" end up in the toilet. And I'm talking about the grown-up toilet too. The little potties really only lasted about a week or so. Once we took her to school (where all they have are grown-up toilets), she learned to use those instead and hasn't wanted to use the little potties ever since. She's even gotten to the point where I can sit her on the toilet and she can hold herself there while she does her business. Simply amazing...

Which got me to thinking... There are so many "firsts" in a child's life - the milestones that just about every child hits at some point sooner or later. The day they're born, their first tooth, first words, crawling and walking for the first time, first night sleeping in a big bed, first day without diapers. These are the moments we run for the camera or grab the video - to record those precious memories so we can relive them over and over in the future once said moment or action is mere commonplace. How many times have your parents pulled out the old Betamax tapes and forced you to watch your first Christmas? How about the first time you stood up on a pair of water skis while Uncle So-and-so recorded it from the dock?

But what about the "lasts"? The last time they use a pacifier, last nap on your chest in the middle of the afternoon, the last time they sleep with their favorite stuffed animal, last ride on their bike with training wheels. Why doesn't anyone have these moments recorded? These are the moments we tend to forget... When did Alli stop eating baby food? Crap, I can't remember... check the baby book, hopefully Mommy B wrote it down somewhere.

Because in all honesty, I'll never forget the day each of my children were born. Nor will I forget Alli's first steps. Or each child's first day of daycare - no way, pal... It would take a lobotomy to get those memories out of my head. It's the last times you forget about. Usually because it's weeks or even months before you realize it hasn't happened in a while. Before you know it, they haven't hugged you in a while - and you realize they're at the age where hugging Dad-E isn't cool anymore. I'm dreading that day more than my own death.

Some of the fondest memories I have of when Alli was a baby was when she used to fall asleep on my chest and nap for a little while. By the time I realized she hadn't done it in a while, it was over. Done. Never to happen again. She had gotten too big and was no longer comfortable sleeping on me... she preferred her cool sheets and flat bed over me. I had to wait over a year before I got to experience that feeling again - with Aiden. Out he came and I knew that for the next however many months I would have a little cuddle bug to fall asleep on me again. I was practically giddy with excitement over the mere thought of it. He'll still fall asleep on me when he's going to bed at night, and I cherish each night he does. Because I won't know which night will be the last time... probably until it's too late.

So for now I'll try my best to soak up every morning Alli sits on my lap watching TV while munching on her Cheerios (and whatever I'm eating). I'll try not to get frustrated when Aiden kicks water out of his whale tub all over the walls. "What's that Alli? You want me to read you one more book? OK, the laundry can wait..."

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Lil Hungry Man

There are updates on the lil A as well... he's starting to eat baby food... and loving it. He had been doing great with the rice cereal mixed with milk, and while my mom was here, we started giving him some fruits and veggies as well. It turns out, he's a lot like his sister in that we are yet to find something he doesn't like. He makes faces at some foods, like the green beans, but that doesn't stop him from eating it! He eats and eats, and makes whimpering noises in between bites if you don't get the spoon to his mouth fast enough. He kicks the tray on the chair too from getting so excited. It's hilarious! We are so happy that he's eating so well and seems to love all foods, and he sure loves to eat (let's hope and pray that both of the A's get their daddy's metabolism!).

I have been worried about the constant spitting up/throwing up/messes he still makes. The Zantac he's been on for months doesn't seem to do much. The ladies at day care recommended giving him gripe water throughout the day, so we have been doing that, but I still don't see much of a change. Our trips to the doctor about it have always been with the same result... it's something he'll grow out of and as long as he's gaining weight and not really bothered by the throwing up, he's fine. But the constant messes, laundry, etc. are no fun. And although he doesn't cry or fuss about throwing up, I can't imagine it feels good. When we try to have him do tummy time, it always results in mess, and then he's crying because his face is getting smeared in puke. (Yes, this is the exciting things I blog about... but... you asked for it!) We just feel awful for our little man and hope that he does grow out of it soon, and that it's not something more serious. You know me, the constant worry wart, and the pediatric nurse that knows and sees too much.

Despite all of that, he's still the most smiley and giggly baby we know. We just can't get enough of those baby giggles.

Eww green beans?!

Mr. Smiles

Hanging with dad

Our Little Gymnast (& more potty updates!)

We signed Alli up for her first "organized" sport (or disorganized... you should have seen the almost 2 year olds running around while poor Ms. Ashley was trying to keep all of their attention!)... gymnastics! Grandma C was down visiting for a week, so she got to come along and watch her first class. She will have classes every Saturday morning through the end of December. It was quite a sight to see... and I think next weekend, Eric will get to go with her to check it all out too! They did jumping exercises, played on the tumbling mats, played on the trampoline, went down slides, walked on the balance beam, and their favorite, jumped in the pit with all the foam blocks. She definitely had a lot of fun and of course, I think she's a natural. We even visited the bathroom twice during our class... with no accidents, and I think the other parents were quite impressed with Alli and her potty training. My mom heard them talking to their little girls, saying, "See? That girl is telling her mommy when she has to go potty!" She is doing amazing at potty training. I think that long weekend of being by her side and dedicated to only her and only potty training, really sunk in. It didn't work in 3 days, but it definitely laid the foundation. She is now asking to go to the potty each time, wants to visit the potty wherever we go, and has very few accidents. She's wearing underwear all day, and wears a pull-up at night... but most times, it's dry anyway. Once in awhile, she's been waking up at night and saying "potty!" So we get her up to the bathroom, and she goes! We honestly couldn't be more proud of her and how well she's doing.

Next weekend after gymnastics class in the morning, one of her friends from daycare is having her birthday party at The Little Gym... so that should be fun! A double dose of tumbling and getting all that energy out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Potty Training: Days Two & Three... (and four, etc. etc. etc.)

So after waking up dry, she went four times in a row... pee after pee after pee... it was just amazing. The end. She's potty trained!


She had a few accidents here and there, I honestly can't keep track of everything. It was a pretty exhausting day. Even our "help" (grandma C) left for a little while to get out of the house/away from the madness! Ha! I was chasing Alli around, Eric was tending to lil man's every need, and we were doing our best to continue to ask her every 10 seconds to tell us when she had to use the potty. She again went #2 successfully in the potty, and there were definitely a lot fewer accidents than on Saturday. She went to bed Saturday night, and Eric and I went out in the convertible for a little relaxation time alone.

Monday morning she woke up soaked, which I figured would happen at some point, but she was a great sport about everything and even still went potty right when she woke up, too. She did a lot better and had a lot fewer accidents... and she kept saying "pee the potty!" I know things are starting to click for her, and she understands the need to go and get to the potty quickly when the feeling comes... but she can't quite get her underwear down on her own and sometimes it's just a little too long to wait, trying to get to the potty and take her underwear off all while holding it. We were so proud of all she'd accomplished, even though she still had her accidents. We know it's a work in progress. (And, just a note, the lady who wrote the "Potty Training in 3 Days at 22 months old" book is full of crap.) But, now that we've started, we aren't going back. We'll just continue on with persistence, patience, and good attitudes. And lots and lots more patience.

Today, she went to daycare for the first time in her big girl underwear. I talked to Ms. Erica, one of her teachers, and explained our weekend and told her how much we'd worked on things. One of the big things in their new "beginners" class is potty training. So, I figured it couldn't be too bad. We picked her up right after nap time, and she had went through two pairs of underwear and two pairs of shorts. (I had 4 pairs of shorts and 8 pairs of underwear in her bag, so that's not too bad!) Eric's going to talk with Ms. Erica a little more tomorrow morning and just make sure we're all on the same page with everything.

We couldn't be more proud of all she's accomplished, all before the age of two!, and we know there's still quite a ways to go. But she's really getting it! As Alli would say, "Bye Bye Pee-Pee's!!"

Monday, September 3, 2012

Let the Potty Training Begin... Day One

Well, well, well... here we are. Alli's a little over 22 months old... and I had a friend e-mail me a book that claims any child over the age of 22 months can be potty trained in 3 days by following her simple steps to a T. So, I checked out the calendar, saw I had a 3 day weekend this weekend, and with Dad-E's help, we could tag team this potty training thing. Then, my mom decided to come visit for the week too, so I thought, wonderful! Now we'll have even more help getting this potty thing down. I read the book about a billion times, and Friday night as we were going to bed, I was just plain excited. It was exciting putting Alli's last diaper on. I knew I was ready and prepared.

Day One (Saturday)
Alli woke up around 6:30, we ate breakfast, and took off her very last diaper. We put on big girl underwear (with Elmo on them, of course), and we then proceeded to "throw away" all of her remaining diapers. She took each one, one at a time, and threw them in the trash can... yelling "bye bye diapers!" Then, we went into the bathroom, talked about the potty and explained that she needs to tell me when she has to go potty, OK? I think I said this about 800 times this weekend. The book mentions how short a toddler's attention span is... how very true. We sat there drinking juice as I was on total Alli duty all weekend. Meaning, attached to her side. Watching her every move. And man, does the girl have moves. She moves and moves and moves and moves. I think I lost 10 lbs by following her around this weekend. Our first "release" came, and I rushed her to the potty. She finished going while sitting on the potty, panties soaked, but getting a few dribbles in there. She was so proud as I was jumping around excited. I thought, we can do this!! Little did I know, we were about to have 15 or more accidents before 10 am. I was just a little less excited, a little less patient, and a little more defeated with every accident. But, I stayed strong and continued to press on. She then made me the most proud she could... by going #2 in the potty... start to finish! She told us she had to go, got there, played around with a package of stickers, and then to my and her surprise, there it was! I had never been so proud to see poop in my life. And I've seen a lot of poop, I'm a nurse.

Nap time went wonderfully, she peed right before laying down, and woke up dry. She continued to have a few accidents but also a few times making it to the potty during the afternoon... followed by another poop successfully on the potty!! 2 for 2 for #2's! Anyway, bedtime went great too... she went right before bed, I got her up an hour after she laid down. She went again, and then right back to sleep. She woke up dry, to our great surprise, and it was off to start day two...