Corbin Travis: 5 Months

2 Sep

Mister Man is 5 months old! IMG_9611 (Large)IMG_9686 (Large)He turned 5 months on August 22, so I’m late on this update like usual. It just takes so much time to write the post, download photos from Google, upload them to WordPress, and then proof everything. I’ve also started uploading all the photos from these posts to Walmart Photo Center, so that I can easily print physical copies 3-4 times a year. One of my BHAGs for the next year is to get all my digital photos of the kids (from the past 5.5 years) printed and in physical albums.

Size

Little Bud goes back to the doctor at 6 months, so I’ll know weight and height then, but he has officially graduated to mostly 9-month clothes, and size 4 diapers. I also bought him a cute winter hat, and it was supposed to be for 9-16 months (Chinese sizing…), and it just barely fit him now, so back it went. I’m trying to stop buying clothing from China anyway.IMG_9298 (Large)IMG_9284 (Large)Sleeping

Right around 4 months, Corbin had a few really rough nights, and reading that the 4-month sleep regression could last weeks made me panic. But after a few nights, he more or less went back to normal for about a week. After that week, he once again started waking up every 2-3 hours, and he was also really hard to get down at bedtime–I’d nurse him, get him to sleep, and put him down like normal, and he’d wake up 15 minutes later. He did that several times before he’d stay down for the night.

We thought maybe he was sick of sleeping in his Rock n Play, so we set up his crib and laid him in it awake. The very first time, he rolled around for 20-30 minutes and then fell asleep on his own. I was blown away (Emma traumatized us with her sleeping habits). He doesn’t always like his crib, but every once in a while, it comes in really handy. He can also now get himself back to sleep during the night by sucking on his thumb. It is THE cutest thing ever. Also slightly related to this, he has ditched the swaddle and graduated to the sleepsack.IMG_9351 (Large)Overall, he still usually goes to bed around 7:30/8 PM, and wakes up once between 3 and 5 AM. Whether or not he goes back to sleep after he eats depends on the day. Sometimes he’s just wide awake, and is really hard to get back to sleep. Other times, he goes right back to sleep from nursing, and I can put him right back down without bouncing him at all. (The way I usually get him to sleep is I nurse him and then bounce him on the exercise ball for 10 minutes to get him down.)

Corbin does not like taking naps in his carseat or the baby carrier. He can make do for a nap here or there, but I really try to limit the amount of naps he has to take “on the go” because the boy needs his naps, and he wants them at home, in his bed. Same for bedtime. With Annabelle, we could be flexible because she was such an easygoing baby and would sleep anywhere, but Corbin wants to be home, in his bed, for bedtime.IMG_9353 (Large)Eating

Little Bud is still super distracted while nursing, so I have gotten into the (not-so-great) habit of nursing him right before he goes to sleep. I would prefer to nurse him right when he wakes up, so that he doesn’t get into the habit of nursing to sleep, but it usually just results in him nursing for 2-3 minutes per side, and me needing to nurse him before his nap anyway.

Corbin has eaten rice cereal three times so far, and seems to really like it. I think it might help him to sleep better at night too (based on one night where he didn’t wake up at all), so I’m going to start feeding him some every night at dinnertime. We’ll see! Then at 6 months, we’ll venture into banana and avocado.

I’m still pumping at work. I try to pump three times each day, but sometimes I only pump twice, one because I really dislike it, and two because I run out of time. I usually get 5-6 oz from a session.IMG_9369 (Large)IMG_9318 (Large)Development

Corbin is changing so fast these days! He can now roll both ways (back to belly, belly to back) but rarely chooses to. It’s almost like he’s forgotten that he knows how. He’ll roll over onto his side to look at or reach something, but if he starts tilting a little too far, he’ll quick roll onto his back because heaven forbid he make it all the way to his tummy. He still isn’t the biggest fan of tummy time, and will tolerate it only in small doses (5 minutes or so).

Corbin has discovered his feet, and started sucking on his toes. He also discovered his voice, and is very vocal now. He gets progressively louder the more tired he is (so he squawks a lot right before naps). He also talks a lot when he gets excited. He has also started to really enjoy the jumperoo, and actually move around a bit (at first, he would just stand there doing nothing).IMG_9432 (Large)Corbin LOVES facing out in the Baby Bjorn and kicks his little legs in excitement. (But sad day–I just discovered yesterday that he no longer fits in the Baby Bjorn. That seriously happened overnight. One day he fit. The next day he didn’t.) He does pretty well on stroller rides too, and we’ve started taking family walks with him in the stroller and the girls on their bikes.

Corbin still gets lots of love from his sisters, in the form of a tent for his jumperoo, a bath in the bathroom sink, snuggles on the couch, medical attention, and jewelry. He loves the attention from them most of the time. Emma has made him cry several times by growling or yelling at him–she’s intending it to be playful but he doesn’t understand that.IMG_9596 (Large)IMG_9597 (Large)IMG_9471 (Large)IMG_9460 (Large)IMG_9440 (Large)IMG_9363 (Large)This month, he also took his first ride in Daddy’s pickup to the laundromat and bike shop:IMG_9463 (Large)Corbin also got to hang out in the garage while we painted a dresser and at the splash pad while the girls played:IMG_9332 (Large)IMG_9336 (Large)The last thing I’ll mention is how much I thoroughly enjoy cuddling with this little guy. I feel like with each progressive kid, I can enjoy them more, because I’m not as strung-out. IMG_9379 (Large)IMG_9681 (Large)One of Corbin’s other nicknames is Little Chubs. We just love this little guy so much!!

{9-Month Update} 2018 Focus: White Space

26 Aug

I haven’t sat down just to write in forever. This feels good.

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There is no margin in life with three kids. At least, not with three kids this young, or with us being the parents we are. I used to be flexible, spontaneous. I could adjust my plans, stretch my energies to accommodate doing something that might fall during naptime, push back bedtime, or replace my grocery shopping time. I’ve always been the one to overextend myself for good causes or fun experiences.

No more.

Now I live on the margin, and there is no extra. There have been several times since Corbin was born that I literally could not muster up the socially appropriate or polite response or action in a situation. One example: family was staying at our house overnight, and instead of making their beds for them, spending time with them after the kids went to bed, and making breakfast for them in the morning, I told them where the linens where, went to bed without saying goodnight, and said they were on their own for breakfast. Because I just can’t.

“I just can’t.” A phrase that has often echoed through my mind these past five months, justifying to myself why I cannot and will not, despite the responsibility I feel or expectations I imagine, go to x meeting, be involved in y cause, or overextend myself for z thing. A reforming commitaholic (reforming because this is ongoing), I have both loved to say yes to all sorts of things, and also felt the pressure of saying yes if I didn’t have a legitimately good reason to say no.

Now I don’t care about legitimacy. I don’t have the margin to.

When you’re a parent of young kids, the reality is that during certain seasons, your hands will be tied, and you will not have the time or energy to do many things that you would like to do. People without kids (I used to be guilty of this) do not understand this, or view having kids as a cop-out of other responsibilities and obligations. But parenting during the little years is consuming and demanding. (Then there are all the expectations that having kids in school entails, but I won’t get into that here.)

I spent last year chasing all manner of commitment other than loving my family well. I detailed all of that here. This year, I have said no. We have said no. We said no to getting a babysitter for a meeting that I “should have” been at with my husband. We said no to meeting once a month with a group from our church to talk about vision for our adult Bible community, though Travis loves discussing that sort of thing, because it was just one more thing on our calendars.

And then there are the other things I have said no to by simply not pursuing them. I didn’t plan a garage sale. No get-togethers or parties. Believe me, it hasn’t been easy. I’m pretty sure one of my spiritual gifts is hospitality—not that I do it well or have everything together, but I love it. I love planning events. LOVE IT. In high school, I planned a formal dance on New Year’s Eve at a hotel (with the help of my mom) just for fun. That was my kind of fun.

So I’ve had all sorts of ideas churning in my brain of people I’d like to have over, and events I’d like to plan, and sometimes I even get excited enough about it to almost ask Travis. But then I take a deep breath, and remind myself, Not this year. This year, I need to prioritize my family. I need to figure out how to do this well before I start taking on that.

We’ve made progress in figuring out our unique family balance (and it is unique, because it’s different for everyone. Some couples/families can handle a lot more busyness and separate-way-ness than we can, and vice versa). This summer, we’ve scheduled weekly hobby time for both me and Travis. Knowing that we have this time (at the same time every week) to do our own thing has really cut down on the number of arguments/tense discussions about hobbies and who gets time for what.

The key to making the hobby time work, however, is guarding that time from other commitments, which on weekends in the summer is very difficult to do. Guarding that time sometimes requires saying no to good, fun things, or leaving somewhere earlier than we might’ve otherwise. It also might involve being seen as socially rude, or inflexible. Obviously, there are exceptions, and we want our family routines to be filled with grace. But we also recognize that for them to be routines, they have to happen most of the time. So that’s what we’re shooting for.

One thing I have spent an inordinate amount of time doing this year is purging. Decluttering. I’ve been reading about minimalism a ton this year, and am convinced that having lots of stuff is robbing us of time that we could be spending doing other things. So even though it takes time upfront to purge, the effects it has on the rest of your life makes it worth it (just like you spend time working out to experience the benefits of being in shape throughout the rest of your day).

My main focus for the past couple of months has been our utility room. We have been holding on to all of the girls’ baby clothes with the idea that we would need/use them for foster care, but we have so. many. clothes. And we were given a ton of clothes for Corbin, so I’ve been sorting and organizing those, and donating what we don’t need, with the goal of freeing up some space. I’ve also been adding stuff to donation piles as I get a wild hair to organize a certain drawer or shelf.

But after donating a full carload of things to our local thrift store, I’m taking a break. I am stubborn and persistent, and have a really hard time stopping in the middle of something, so projects like this tend to be all-consuming. Even though I believe all the time spent doing this will be worth it, I need a break to focus on my family and relax.

It is seriously amazing how much stuff we accumulate. And this coming from a person who has done regular purging/decluttering my whole life. I didn’t have any bonus rooms filled with unused stuff, or closets ready to vomit the minute the door popped open. I regularly got rid of stuff I didn’t need, and my crap was organized.

But I still had too much. My kids had too much. My husband has too much (still working on with him to downsize his winter jacket and boot collection).

So I made us all capsule wardrobes out of the clothes we already owned. In my particular case, that involved getting rid of two boxes of clothing that I liked, and that fit me, because I just had too much. Now my closet is 55-60 things. I have loved the result. It takes me under five minutes to get dressed every day (no more trying on multiple outfits!), laundry feels much more manageable, and I still have plenty to wear. I did find myself getting a little tired of my options by the end of the second month, but it forced to me to wear a dress that I had been ignoring, so I kind of like that aspect.

I also purged our kids’ toys down to 20 per child. The toy purging has been an 18-month process. In the spring of 2017, I sold at a garage sale all the toys that the girls never playing with, even the ones given to us by family. Earlier this year, I once again donated all the toys that the girls never play with, and that Corbin won’t be interested in when he gets older (Frozen castle and play purse, anyone?).

But I was still picking up toys constantly, and even when everything was picked up, it seemed like there were toys everywhere. I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism online and came across the idea of having kids choose 20 toys and boxing up the rest on Erin Spain’s blog. I thought that idea was genius. It gives kids control of the decluttering process, while also being reasonable and a very easy-to-remember boundary.

I brought all our toys to the basement and laid them out so everything was visible. Things that were sets (like play dishes) counted as one item. Dolls and Barbies were each one item. I chose not to include the toys and activities that I either like them having (Duplos, puzzles, games, books), or that don’t contribute to messes (play shopping cart, baby stroller).

Once all the toys were spread out, the girls went through and chose 20. I reminded them several times to choose the toys that they loved, and not worry about what the other person chose, because they would still be sharing the toys in the end. And I have to say, they did not choose the toys I thought they would. Annabelle chose only one baby doll, and Emma chose none. Emma chose all her Barbies (I did expect that), but between the two of them, they chose all of their dress-up clothes and shoes, which they hardly ever wear (and the shoes are almost too small for Emma). (I also chose 10-15 of my favorite toys for Corbin once he starts sitting/crawling/walking.)

We just did this recently, so time will tell whether they will miss the things they didn’t choose. I am holding onto the toys that weren’t drafted, and allowing 1-to-1 exchanges until Halloween (and may encourage some exchanges, based on what I think would be better choices). Then the rest of the toys will be donated. So far, the girls have only made exchanges for two things—Big Purple Baby, and the baby bottles and accessories.

The idea behind purging their toys was to 1) Decrease the amount of time spent picking up toys throughout the day; and 2) Limit their toy options to a reasonable amount. The fact that they haven’t at all missed the majority of their toys proves to me that they weren’t really enjoying them anyway. They still have plenty of things to make messes with, so we do still spend time picking toys up, but it usually only takes about 15 minutes before bedtime to clean up inside.

One other area that Travis and I have been focusing on is our eating habits. For the month of August, we’ve been following the Paleo diet (no dairy, grains, or legumes) with four “cheats” per week. The best and most challenging thing about the Paleo diet is that it forces you to be intentional with what you’re eating. No more grabbing easy empty carbs. Instead of a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, now I eat breakfast sausage and a smoothie, or eggs with spinach, mushrooms, and bacon. For lunch, I’ve been loving spinach salads. And for dinner, we make a recipe out of one of Danielle Walker’s cookbooks (everything we’ve made has been amazing!).

Anyway, all of these things—boundaries, hobby time, capsule wardrobes, toy purging, healthy eating—have combined to make life feel less chaotic and more stable. We haven’t spent our summer flitting around to a thousand different things. Instead, we’ve stayed home and kept things low-key. We’ve had fun but also focused on maintaining a good balance – something I don’t think we’ve ever really had.

With fall coming, school starting, and all that goes along with that, things are going to start being a little more hectic than they have been this summer. But I really hope that the lessons we’ve learned so far this year will help us maintain this life balance, even with a fuller calendar.

Emma Grace: 5.25 Years

19 Aug

Emma turned FIVE back on April 7. My last update on her was at 4.75 years, so I’m horribly behind on this update. I can’t believe she’ll be starting kindergarten in just a few weeks!IMG_5194 (Large)IMG_5198 (Large)Size

Emma has grown a whole inch just since turning 5! (She insisted I mark it on our wall ruler.) At her 5-year well-child checkup, she weighed 42 lbs (61%) and was 3′ 8″ tall (81%). She is wearing 5T and XS (4/5) clothing (mostly just for length; she’s so thin that she can still fit in most 4T clothing), and size 11 shoes.IMG_7522IMG_7615Eating

Emma is still a really good eater. She almost always eats her whole dinner with little prompting, and likes a wide variety of food.

When I asked, she told me that her favorite foods are spaghetti, cheeseburgers, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, cheese, cereal, meatballs, and suckers. She also likes broccoli, yogurt, apples and applesauce, popcorn, deli meat, chips, Triscuits, graham crackers, and pretty much any kind of fruit.

Emma often doesn’t eat much for breakfast but eats a decent lunch and dinner. She often asks to go to McDonald’s and loves to drink pop when we let her (which is about once a month). She went through a phase of wanting to add food coloring to her milk and cereal, and she loves to put chocolate frosting and pink sprinkles on her waffles.

She also enjoys being independent and getting/making her own food (as much as she can). IMG_6581IMG_7298IMG_8022IMG_8613Sleeping

Emma is really a champ these days in the sleep department. She very rarely naps (and then it’s only when we’re in the car, usually in the late afternoon) but goes to bed around 7:30 every night. She wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30.

Our bedtime routine is to take a bath (2-3 times a week), put on pajamas, brush teeth, read 2-3 books, and then “do tick” (rubbing her back, legs, arms, and face, and sometimes feet). Emma likes “slow tick” which means moving your hands very slowly, and using a very light touch. I am not very good at slow tick (I’m too impatient), but Emma always wants me to put her to bed anyway.

Emma has a comforter and sheets on her twin bed, but prefers to sleep on top of the comforter, with her “Frozen blankie” and her “yellow blankie.” She used to wear exclusively nightgowns to bed, but now wears shorts/pants & t-shirt jammies (mostly because that’s what I bought her…nightgowns are surprisingly hard to find!).IMG_7020IMG_7335IMG_8859Development

Emma enjoyed going to preschool last school year. She’s known how to spell her own name since daycare the year before (and still insists that her first name is Emma K.), and now she knows how to spell Annabelle’s name too, from memory. She knows all of her letters (though still asks how to draw a few on occasion) and often asks how to spell words. The other day, she wrote up a list of rules for Annabelle, including No Spitting, No Making Messes and No Ruining Mommy’s Decorations.

Emma has also really grown in her drawing and coloring abilities. When coloring a picture, she is usually very meticulous (sometimes she just scribbles to get it done) and not only stays in the lines, but also uses a variety of colors, adding stripes, polka dots, eyelashes, earrings, and high heels.

She has also started drawing a lot of her own artwork. She loves drawing people. The other day, she drew Annabelle getting stung by a wasp (which actually happened). She even drew the tree that was behind Annabelle when she got stung. She has also drawn the Mickey Mouse gang using pictures from the Internet, princesses, mermaids, and her family. She also loves to use markers to draw makeup on her and Annabelle’s faces.IMG_7366 (Large)IMG_7975 (Large)IMG_9316 (Large)Besides her love for drawing, Emma’s favorite thing to do is play dolls and Barbies. Emma and Annabelle are pretty much constantly role-playing. Sometimes they pretend that one of them is the mommy, and one is the sister or baby. They call each other mommy so much that I either don’t respond when they say “mommy” within earshot of me, or I stop and ask, “Are you talking to me?” Other times, they pretend they’re both moms and need to feed, clothe, or put their babies down for a nap (using any number or variety of stuffed animals, dolls, or Barbies and leaving them spread out over the bathroom counter, floor, couches, and beds, tucked neatly under blankets).

And sometimes, they remove themselves from the story completely, and simply have the story unfold between Barbies. If there isn’t a doll or Barbie nearby, they’ll use their fork, french fry, or a bottle of soap. It’s so fun to watch their imaginations at work.IMG_7995 (Large)IMG_8206 (Large)Emma has finally started to ride her bike this summer (still with training wheels), but it still isn’t her favorite thing. I often catch her riding Annabelle’s bike, which is slightly smaller and lower to the ground.

Emma still LOVES the water, and is always the first one to go in and last one to get out when we go to the beach or pool. She has gotten a lot braver in the water, and now loves to float and kick around in the “deep water” wearing her PuddleJumper lifejacket. Back in February, we went to a waterpark that had a slide that ended in a chute and she went down that slide probably 50 times all by herself. She isn’t a fan of slides that end in a plunge pool though. She is still timid when it comes to boat rides, but loosens up once we’re out on the water.IMG_2291 (Large)IMG_8621 (Large)IMG_8622 (Large)IMG_8720 (Large)IMG_9087 (Large)This summer, Emma has often come up to me while playing outside and said, “Mommy, I’m hot. Can I have a freezy/popsicle?” This girls loves her sweets! The two things that she is most motivated by are watching iPad and getting candy (whereas Annabelle often says she doesn’t want dessert or iPad if it means she doesn’t have to do what I’m asking her to do).

Emma is still a determined little girl who knows what she wants and will not back down (that’s a nice way of saying stubborn). We are frequently at a loss at how to handle her tantrums and screaming fits (and it seems like they get really bad for a while, and then taper off), but she plays well with kids and is a good helper at school so ::shrugs shoulders::. I just pray that her passion and vision will translate into powerful leadership skills used for something constructive one day.

Emma is very curious about everything. She loves to watch Travis while he’s working on stuff, and has to touch and look at everything (drives me crazy!!! I often say “Why can’t you just leave things alone?!?”). She still loves making messes (though these days, they are the result of her active imagination and not usually just a dump-and-run kind of mess), and still frequently breaks/destroys things (like popping a balloon we just bought because she “didn’t want it anymore.”)

A few other things we’ve done since this past January:

  • FishingIMG_6582 (Large)IMG_6592 (Large)IMG_2301 (Large)
  • Bike ridesIMG_2306 (Large)
  • Outdoor funIMG_7656 (Large)IMG_7214 (Large)IMG_7361 (Large)IMG_8615 (Large)IMG_7897 (Large)IMG_7906 (Large)IMG_7908 (Large)IMG_7914 (Large)IMG_8373 (Large)
  • Cuddle with Little Guy Guy (Corbin)IMG_7480 (Large)IMG_7860 (Large)IMG_7870 (Large)IMG_8313 (Large)IMG_9260 (Large)
  • Photos of Emma at preschool this past school year:IMG_7545 (Large)IMG_8396 (Large)IMG_7547 (Large)IMG_8730 (Large)IMG_8212 (Large)IMG_8271 (Large)IMG_8272 (Large)
  • Other general shenanigans:IMG_6578 (Large)IMG_7012 (Large)IMG_7286 (Large)IMG_7915 (Large)IMG_9010 (Large)

Emma definitely keeps us guessing and makes life an adventure!

Corbin Travis: 4 Months

26 Jul

My baby boy is already 4 months old (on July 22)! I haven’t kept track of how many weeks he is — #thirdchild — but looking at a calendar, I see that he is 17 weeks old now.IMG_9240IMG_9234Corbin’s nicknames so far are Corb Man, Little Man, Mister Man, Little Guy Guy, and Little Bud.

Size

Corbin had his 4-month checkup on August 2 and now weighs 18 lbs (88%), is 25.25 inches long (42%), and has a head circumference of 17.32 inches (96%).

He’s still wearing 3-6 month, or 6-month clothing, and size 3 diapers.IMG_8979IMG_9043Sleeping

Corbin stays awake consistently for 90 minutes between naps. His naps range from 45 minutes (most often) to 2 hours (occasionally). He almost always goes down for the night between 6:30 and 7:30, and wakes up around 3-4 AM to nurse. He’s “up for the day” between 6:30 (most often) and 7:30 (occasionally).

BUT… the night before he turned 4 months, he started the 4-month sleep regression and was up every 2-3 hours. The next night was pretty much the same, and last night was only mildly better — he went to bed around 8 PM and woke up at 2, 4, and 7. So who knows what his sleep is going to look like going forward.

Corbin is still sleeping in his Rock n Play for naps and bedtime. Over this next month, I’m going to set Corbin’s crib up in his room, and have him start taking a few naps in the crib. We’re also going to start transitioning Corbin out of the swaddle… I just started swaddling him with one arm out. After we do that for a while, we’ll go to both arms out and the swaddle wrapped around his torso. And then we’ll be done!IMG_9029IMG_8923Eating

Probably the biggest change this past month has been Corbin’s nursing habits. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s gotten so used to taking a bottle, or if I’m just not producing as much milk, but he is really squirmy while nursing, and only nurses for 5 minutes or less per side. He has also started to be really distracted while nursing, often pulling off to look around.

When I pump at work, I usually get between 5-6 oz each session (pumping twice over 7 hours). I have no freezer milk left, so I have to start pumping every night before I go to bed, and I’m going to buy some formula to have on reserve for the days I work. Before Corbin was born, I said that I was totally fine with supplementing with formula, and that I wasn’t going to bend over backwards to continue nursing him. But now I’m like, “No, I’m not ready for this to be over yet!” So I’m going to try to keep it going as long as I can, but realize I might need to start supplementing on the days I work.IMG_9113IMG_9114Development

Corbin can now sit up in his Bumbo seat with very minimal head bobbing. I actually gave him his first haircut last week while he was sitting in it. (Giving an almost-4-month-old a haircut is tricky! But his hair was starting to look scraggly, and now he looks so dapper.) He was actually totally fine with getting his hair cut for a good 10-15 minutes; then he was over it.IMG_9107IMG_9049He can bring his hands to his mouth when he wants, and loves to suck on them. He can also reach for and grab dangling toys and bring them to his mouth. (A new skill in just the past couple of days! They change so fast!!) He also still loves his pacifier, and needs it to go to sleep. We give him his pacifier when he’s going down for a nap, in the carseat, or in the Baby Bjorn (when he’s tired).

Corbin loves facing out in the Baby Bjorn, so I put him in there whenever he’s awake and we’re outside (and sometimes when I need to make dinner). But he still prefers to lie on his back and kick his little legs while he’s awake, versus being held. Right around his 4-month birthday, he started rolling on to his side and can now spin himself around while on his back. One night while we were eating dinner, he spun himself around 180 degrees several times. Each time we looked over at him, his head was at the other end of his playmat! I have yet to see how he spins himself around though…IMG_9244Tummy time is still not a favorite activity, but a couple times, he has tolerated it for probably 3-4 minutes, and actually lifted his head up off the floor, so progress! I plan to do more tummy time with him now that he doesn’t absolutely hate it.IMG_9108I’ve taken him on a few short stroller rides (with him reclined in our jogging stroller), but the girls are the limiting factor there (they’d rather do other things instead of going on walks, though that’s changing now that they can both ride their bikes).

Corbin has started talking more, but in a very different way than either of the girls talked at this age. Instead of a loud and high-pitched cooing, he does more grunting, groaning, and blowing bubbles. #allboy It’s going to be really fun to see how he differs from the girls.

The girls still give Corbin a ton of attention, and for the most part, he loves it and tolerates it very well. Annabelle has only made him cry a few times.IMG_9236 As a parent, it’s nice to have other people to entertain the baby if I need to get something done. The other day, I was just finishing painting my toenails when Corbin woke up, and I sent Emma in to his room to entertain him while I finished. And she did…by putting makeup on his face to make him look beautiful. 😉IMG_9099A few milestones for Corbin this month were his first trip to the cabin on Lake Namakan (which also means first boat ride, since you can’t drive to the cabin), first time meeting all 4 of his cousins (on my side), and first time swimming in a pool (which he actually enjoyed!).IMG_8959IMG_8960IMG_8956IMG_2373IMG_2321IMG_8279And that’s Corbin at 4 months!IMG_9230

Annabelle Lyn: 3.25 Years

24 Jun

Annabelle was 3 years old on March 27, so instead of being horribly behind on a 3-year post, I’m choosing to be a little ahead of the game on a 3.25-year post. 😉IMG_8376IMG_7827IMG_7634IMG_7519Size

At Annabelle’s 3-year well-child checkup, she weighed 31 lbs (55%) and was 3′ 1″ tall (39%). She is wearing 3T clothes and size 7 shoes. She is also fully potty trained (more details below), so no more diapers!

Eating

Annabelle’s favorite foods recently have been yogurt, bagels, cheese, bacon, sandwich meat, veggie straws, pretzels, applesauce, and mandarin oranges. Her favorite treats are chocolate, Starburst, and gum.

Whenever she eats something that she is really enjoying, she goes “nom nom nom nom” in rhythm with her chewing.IMG_7805IMG_7819Annabelle typically front-loads her calories each day, in that she eats 27 snacks before lunch, then forces us to fight her for 5 bites of dinner. As long as I make sure her snacks are healthy, and as long as she continues to eat a variety of foods, I don’t really care. She’s growing, she’s healthy. That’s all that matters. I am, however, working with her on not screaming, “Mommmmm!!! I want a snack and a drink!!” every time she wants a snack. Because hearing that for 27 snacks, times 5 requests every 5 seconds for each snack, equals a LOT of screaming and Mommy losing her patience. I tell her that she needs to ask once, in a non-whiny, non-screamy voice, and then wait for Mommy to respond.

There have been a couple of times when Annabelle has asked Travis for a snack and he has asked her to try again (say please) but she doesn’t understand what he’s asking so she just keeps repeating her request in a different way.

“Daddy, I want some cherries!”

“Try again.”

“I want cherries.”

“Try again.”

“Give me some cherries.”

“Try again.”

“Can I have some cherries?”

“Try again.”

She got so frustrated after one of these encounters that she came crying to me. I told her “Annabelle, just say ‘Can I please have some cherries?'” She immediately stopped crying, laughed, and ran back to Travis to ask him again.IMG_7385IMG_7384IMG_7381Sleeping

I mentioned in my last update about Annabelle back in December, we had moved Annabelle back into her own room. She had been sharing a room with Emma, sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor, and we had been lying there with her until she fell asleep. Being in her own room helped Annabelle make progress with falling asleep on her own because we could leave while she was still awake, and she could flip flop around in her bed making as much noise as she wanted, and we didn’t have to worry about her keeping Emma up.

Then two things happened: We got Emma a twin bed for Christmas (freeing up her toddler bed for Annabelle) and we did 10 days of respite care for a little boy at the end of January. We had been planning to leave Annabelle in her own room until Corbin needed his room but instead, we moved Annabelle back into Emma’s room at the end of January.

We quickly discovered that we couldn’t leave the room if both girls were still awake, because even if one was almost asleep, the other would keep talking and get them wound back up. Then they’d both stay awake for another couple of hours tearing their room apart, playing with toys, hiding under the bed, etc.

Travis likes to Divide & Conquer by putting one girl to bed in our room, but I don’t like doing that because momma wants her bed for watching a show before going to sleep. So when I put the girls to bed, I “tick” Emma (run her back, legs, arms, face) first, then while I rock and tick Annabelle, Emma usually falls asleep.

For the past couple of months, we’ve been having Annabelle skip her nap. The problem wasn’t that she was fighting her naps, but that she wouldn’t be sleepy until 9 at night. The first couple weeks with no nap, Annabelle would fall asleep at 5 PM (or earlier if we didn’t keep her moving) so we had to make dinner and get her pajamas on starting at 4:15. But now she’s good until 6 or 7. She usually sleeps through the night and gets up around 6:30 AM.IMG_8616IMG_7803IMG_7693Development

Annabelle is officially potty-trained! Like with Emma, daycare did most of the work. She had been wearing pull-ups to daycare for several months when they suggested she could start wearing underwear because she was doing really well staying dry. So after they suggested it a second time, we started sending her in undies.

Once Annabelle was staying dry in undies, we started trying to be more diligent at home about having her go potty every couple hours. She was all about the potty for a few weeks and then started fighting me on it, so I let it go. A month or so later, she started telling us she had to go potty and she even started pooping on the potty (with very little prompting on our part). So we had her start wearing undies at home too. Now she only wears diapers/pull-ups at night.

She still has occasional accidents (usually because she doesn’t make it to the toilet in time). Her reaction is the cutest — she looks down and covers her eyes in shame. It’s seriously adorable.IMG_7902IMG_8680IMG_7548IMG_7334Annabelle has started to recognize letters (especially letter A since her name starts with it). She has a longer attention span for coloring and actually does pretty well with staying in the lines.

She got a bike with training wheels and has learned how to pedal. She loves riding that around! She also loves swinging on a big-girl swing.

Annabelle is a curious mix of liking to get dirty and play in the mud, and not liking her hands being sticky after eating something messy. She and Emma waded in the river just a month or so after the ice went out, and she walked through the nasty muck to find an abandoned flipflop, but she hates it when Emma splashes her and accidentally sprays her with the garden hose.IMG_8007IMG_8612IMG_8614Annabelle loves to sing and knows the lyrics to several songs, including Rain Rain Go Away, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABC, Bingo, Old McDonald, and Jesus Loves Me.

She still loves playing with Emma, and their favorite activities these days almost always involve Barbies and their imaginations. Annabelle also loves her “pink blanket with flowers” and “big purple baby.”

When Annabelle wakes up in the morning, she will often open her bedroom door but then wait for me to come get her. If Travis tries to get her, she hides in the corner and whines for mommy. 🙄

Annabelle loves her baby brother but is often rough with him, and weirdly likes to play with his earlobes.IMG_8620img_8637DBF2132F-911C-4933-932A-112F5F29DCE5img_8323Things Annabelle often says:

  • “I want a snack and a drink.”
  • “I have a runny nose!”
  • “Emma’s not sharing with me!”
  • “Ticky ticky ticky” (complete with butt swagger)
  • “Bye bye poopy butt.”
  • “No, I’m the mom!”
  • “I have to go tee tee.” (potty)

Other things Annabelle likes:

  • Playing hockey
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sleeping on her stomach, with no blankets
  • Pretending to be the mom of her Barbies or babies
  • Holding my hand, sitting on my lap, being carried around, and cuddling

IMG_6325IMG_6494IMG_7222IMG_6227IMG_0875IMG_6133And that’s Annabelle at 3.25 years!

Corbin Travis: 3 Months

23 Jun

Corbin is already 3 months old (13 weeks)!

Wow, that went fast. Some people feel sad when the newborn stage is over, but I’m excited that he’s starting to interact with us, play with toys, and coo more. And since he wasn’t an easy newborn, I’m kinda breathing a sigh of relief that the first three months are over!Size

He won’t go back to the doctor until 4 months so no weight or height stats for ya, but Corbin has been in 6-month clothing for at least 3 weeks now. Even 6-month pants mostly fit him. He doesn’t have a bunch of rolls though–he’s just a solid little boy. He’s also in size 3 diapers now too. Size 2 still fits him technically but I’d rather not chance the blowouts (sometimes they even happen in size 3 because he saves up for days and then lets it rip).Eating/Sleeping

Corbin has stretched his awake time out to 75-90 minutes (including feeding time). That gives us a good 30-45 minutes to actually play and interact with him before he needs to nap, which is nice. Generally speaking, he goes to bed between 7 and 9 PM, and wakes up between 4 and 6 AM to nurse. If he wakes up more like 4 AM, he goes right back to sleep for another couple of hours. If he wakes up at 6 AM, he’s usually “up for the day” (aka up for an hour before he needs his first nap).

His naps are usually about an hour long, with the exception of his late afternoon nap, which tends to be 2-3 hours long (from about 3-6). He still goes to bed at the normal time and sleeps through the night, so I guess it works for him!Corbin usually drinks 5-6 ounces from a bottle for a feeding, so I would assume he gets roughly the same amount nursing. He’s been a champ with the bottle (praise Jesus!), and has done really well with the nanny we hired. He is still taking his acid reflux meds. I didn’t give them to him for a day before his 2-month checkup and he seemed to be fussier, so we’re sticking with them for now.He still loves being swaddled, though he’s started to be able to get his hands out once he wakes up. He has been able to find and suck on his hands more too, so maybe we’re nearing the one-arm swaddle? I can’t imagine him giving up the swaddle altogether yet, because he loves it so much. When he’s ready for a nap, he wails like the world is ending. We swaddle him, sometimes give him a pacifier, and 85% of the time, he totally relaxes and is content to be carried around and bounced. Sometimes he’s still a little fussy (having a hard time settling down) but after only about 5 minutes, he starts getting sleepy. It still takes 15-20 minutes to get him to sleep though.

He fell asleep once in my arms unswaddled. The thing that makes him the fussiest is either not getting a good nap or getting woken up from a nap. Then he is a beast! But as long as he gets good naps (whether in the Bjorn or Rock n Play), he’s a pretty happy guy.Development

Corbin seems to be a pretty mellow baby so far. He does smile a fair amount, though not nearly as much as Emma and Annabelle did (though we were told by several people that Emma smiled more than the average baby). Emma and Annabelle were also considerably more vocal than Corbin has been, but maybe I’m remembering them at more like 4 months?

Since Corbin has distinct awake times now beyond just feeding, we can tell that he’s a pretty happy baby overall. His favorite thing is to lay on his back and kick his legs, whether on his playmat or in his bouncy seat. He has also sat in the Bumbo a few times, and seems to like that (we make sure to support his head if it bobs around too much but he has pretty good neck strength). He does not like tummy time though AT ALL. Seriously, 5-10 seconds and he’s done. Oh well.I put Corbin forward-facing in the Baby Bjorn yesterday for the first time and he seemed to really like it! That might start making it more possible for me to be outside with the girls while he’s awake. I also take him on very short stroller rides (to the mailbox and back). That’s usually his limit!

And that’s Corbin at 3 months!

Corbin Travis: 10 Weeks

3 Jun

Corbin was 10 weeks this past Thursday but just had his 2-month well-child checkup on Friday. (#thirdchild)

Size

Corbin is now 14 lbs 11 oz (87%) and 23.5 inches long (58%), with a head circumference of 16.13 inches (89%). He is 4 pounds bigger than Emma was at this age, and 2 pounds bigger than Annabelle.He is still mostly wearing 3-month clothes, though he does fit into his 6-month summer rompers, and 6-month onesies aren’t crazy big on him.

Corbin is still wearing size 2 diapers but once we use up all the ones we currently have, I think I’ll move him up to size 3.Eating/Sleeping

Corbin is still eating about every 2.5 hours during the day, but has lengthened his long nighttime stretch to 5-8 hours, which is awesome (now if only our girls would stop waking up for various reasons…). Most of the time, Corbin is down for his long stretch somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 PM, and wakes up to nurse between 3:30 and 5 AM. But he’s still unpredictable so every night is a little different.

Since my last update at 8 weeks, Corbin has mostly decided that naps longer than 45 minutes are overrated (though he napped well for my mother-in-law the days I was working… figures). He often wants to be held for naps, and still LOVES being swaddled. We started swaddling him even in his car seat (with his legs out for the harness)–now he does a LOT better in his car seat.Even though his naps are hit or miss these days, Corbin has thankfully become easier to get to sleep. He’s content to just be swaddled and held, and we can have him outside or rock him in the chair and he’ll eventually drift off to sleep (most of the time).

Corbin unfortunately isn’t always a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn (or even the Moby wrap). He will sometimes tolerate the Bjorn, as long as he has a pacifier or his thumb to suck on. Sometimes he just screams bloody murder until you take him out of it.He really likes sucking on a pacifier about 80% of the time (the other 20% he just pushes it around with his tongue).

Development

Corbin’s favorite thing to do while he’s awake is lay on his playmat, kicking his legs, batting at the toys, and watching the blinking star.

We’ve tried tummy time a few times but he lasts about a minute before screaming his head off, and we’ve had about all the crying we can handle right now, so I’m not going to push it.

He hasn’t started cooing or smiling much more than he had been doing at 8 weeks.

Last week was my first week back at work and Corbin did great for my MIL! We found a nanny for him so hopefully he’ll do well for her too. And that’s Corbin at 10 weeks!