Saturday, December 31, 2011

15 Weeks Old (written last Tuesday)

Drew is getting stronger and stronger. He does little baby sit ups which are pretty funny looking. On his back, he can arch his back up and push with his legs, getting ready to roll from back to tummy, but it may still be a while. On his tummy, he can push his arms straight, one at a time and lift his legs way off the ground and he is starting to do the "airplane." His abs are far surpassing mine, that's for sure.

Christmas festivities really messed up his schedule and those nights that I didn't tell you about him sleeping through are long gone. He has been waking at 2:30/3am again. I am contemplating sending Brian in for the old diaper change and put back down while he is off work this week. I am trying to gear myself up for it because I think it needs to be done before her turns 4 months old and his schedule has to be changed and extended again. I am still undecided as of now.

Drew is definitely figuring out the fuss for attention thing. Having lots of people around him over the week made this worse because everyone goes running to a fussing/noisy baby and showers him with attention. He grunts and hollers until someone pays attention to him, at which time he immediately smiles as big as he can. At home, I don't ignore him completely, but neither do I go running at his every whim. Usually, it is just a boredom thing, and if I move him somewhere new he is happy again. When we homeschool, I sit near him to try and keep him quieter only because the noise is distracting to my little students and I don't like to have to "yell" over him to be heard.

His new toy experience of the week is busting out the excersaucer. He didn't love it the first couple of times and kind of just sat there, but then he started grabbing for things and he likes it more now. He is getting better at grabbing things and always tries to get them in his mouth if it will reach.

He is settling into somewhat of a pattern with his naps, not a great pattern, but at least its a pattern. Patterns help me not to get too frustrated even when it isn't the schedule I wanted for him. He is taking two longer naps in the morning and midday, followed by two 45 minute naps in the late afternoon and evening. I think once we move to the four month/four hour schedule this may end up evening out since he will be dropping the last nap and extending waketimes. With his four naps and dreamfeed, he is nursing 6 times a day. That makes 7 times in a 24 hour period when he wakes at night.

Did I mention this kid can drool?

Drew has developed a touch of Excema in the last week. It started only on his cheeks, elbows, and knees. Since then it has spread to his neck, feet, and a little spot by his mouth. I was using Cetaphil, but I found Hannah's old tub of Aquafor and am going to start using that instead. It is greasier, like Vaseline.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Part 4

I didn't get as many pictures as I should have from Christmas evening at my aunt and uncle's house. After dinner we opened presents.

Genna wanted to show off one of her fancy hair bands she got, but it is hard to see in the picture. I should have snapped a picture of her trying to make skirts out of the left over tissue paper. What a princess!

Isaac got a cool car. His cheeks are flushed and I didn't know that, combined with his suddenly stuffy nose, was a sign of him getting sick since he frequently gets flushed cheeks and allergy-related stuffy noses too. The day after Christmas he came down with a fever and just felt rotten until that Tylenol kicked in.

Drew took two long morning/early afternoon naps and then had trouble napping in the late afternoon and evening in a different place. The result was him being jiggled to sleep by Godfather Brian during the gift opening.

The kids spent some super secret time with my aunt and cousins in the weeks before Christmas making Daddy and me some beautiful gifts. I was very proud of them all, especially Isaac, for keeping the secret. They each made me beautiful hand prints to hang on the wall. They each made Daddy really cute snowmen ornaments.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Part 3

The picture we took of Hannah putting the baby Jesus in his crib and Isaac putting the nativity Jesus in his manger didn't come out, but you can see the newborn King in his crib behind Hannah in this picture.

They opened presents that they put together, wrapped, and put under the tree themselves. Hannah gave her sister money and a bunch of nicknacks that she thought Genna would like. Genna was super grateful as you can see here.

Hannah also gave me money, a card, some art work, and other random things from her room. She gave all her birthday money away to Genna and me. She gave Godfather Brian and her dad a box of things too. It was very sweet of her to get in the spirit of giving. I remember my sister and I doing the same thing when we were little too.

Genna gave Hannah a "Sister" snowman ornament that she picked out at the store and gave her 21 cents in a paper gift bag with tissue paper because "Hannah likes to make things out of bags and tissue paper." Cute, and it was all very appreciated!

Brian secretly bought gifts, not only for me, but for everyone. I now understand why he didn't tell me about all the kids' gifts he purchased. I think the next picture says it all.

Yes, a BB gun. For a three year old. "You'll shoot your eye out." Need I say more? It has been promised that it will be a highly supervised toy. The big kicker though is that Isaac didn't know what a BB gun was and asked his dad, "Do you shoot babies with it?" It took Hannah a few minutes to figure out that he misunderstood Daddy and thought he said "Baby gun." Whew! Hopefully, Drew will be spared now that we have clarified that it is a BB gun and stressed that you don't shoot anybody with it, including and especially babies.

Can you find the baby in the next picture? It's like Where's Waldo!

Hannah got a chess game with a story book that teaches the rules and strategies of the game, some more clothes for her American Girl Doll, some Barbies, and a big stack of books, mostly mysteries. Genna got a Rapunzel dress, a mini American Girl Doll, a Mother Mary Barbie, a bunch of books, and a much loved stuffed llama that she named Minnie. Isaac got a remote control car, more trains, playdough, and a Hot Wheels track. They all got Legos too. Drew received clothes, a stuffed duck, and some cute anchor hooks for his room.

Daddy was given a Soda Stream to make his bubbly water and a big tool box/organizer. I was the recipient of way more than I expected this year, new lamps for our bedroom, a new crockpot, and a hollow bench for our entryway to hold winter extras that clog up our coat closet.

We Skyped with my family while we opened their gifts.

I need to plan ahead better next year and not leave any cooking for the morning of Christmas next year because while all this was going on, I burned the cherries that were to go in my pie and had to start over. Plus, poor baby Drew got overly tired because I forgot all about his schedule in the chaos. Godfather Brian to the rescue!

We changed clothes, and we packed up the car and some lunches for the kids and headed to my aunt and uncle's house.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Part 2

This picture may put fear in the hearts of many, but, trust me, I wouldn't have done it if I thought she couldn't handle it.

Hannah has been begging to hold Drew while standing up. I told her that she is not ready for unsupervised standing and holding and definitely not picking up or putting down, but if I am close by and she promises to be careful and tell me if he is getting too heavy she can try it out. He is really heavy now, over a third of her total weight. She has been practicing, and I let her hold him for one picture. Genna is so jeaslous of this new privilege.

Genna wanted to at least hold him, so we sat her down. Don't you just love his tuxedo onesie!

She loves that baby brother!

So does Isaac. He needed in on the action too.

These pictures were all taken once we returned home after mass and before opening gifts. There are a lot of pictures so I am dividing up the posts. There is still Part 3 and Part 4 to come.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Part 1

The night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...I took pictures of the ridiculously over gifted tree. And this was before my procrastinator of a husband woke up early Christmas morning and wrapped and added all his presents.

I also set up this crib for baby Jesus similar to the one we saw in Rome that Hannah loved. She drew a picture of it and asked that we make one for our house. Last year, I didn't get around to it, so I was determined to make it happen this year. I set it up as a surprise for the kids. Here it is awaiting it's newborn King.

We got up and got ready for the Christmas mass. I kept them out of the room with the tree and the crib until after mass because we were in a hurry and I didn't want to rush putting Jesus in his crib. Here are my four superstar children all dressed up. The older three wore the same Christmas clothes as last year, but it turns out Isaac's pants were a bit short, and his shirt and vest were smallish too. I should have known since he is in mostly 4T now, but it wasn't too bad. You can't tell when he is just standing.

I love this picture! Drew slept through the mass and the pictures afterward.

Genna fielded all the "What did Santa bring you?" questions responding, "We don't do Santa. St. Nicholas came on St. Nicholas' feast day. We just do presents from each other today after mass." She had to say her spiel at least five times. :)

Godfather Brian was here with us and was asked last minute to help with the mass and be the deacon. He said that while he was in the Sacristy, he was introduced as "the children's godfather" and that everyone had a story to tell about our kids.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I am getting ready for Christmas on the blog a little early because I am hoping to stay away from the computer for the next few days while I try to cook, get ready for the big day, and, most importantly, spend quality time with the family without school to get in the way. I often miss just having more time to just play with the kids since beginning homeschool.

My menus for the next few days, just for fun...

2nd Annual German Christmas Party (with friends)
German potato pancakes with applesauce
Cheese straws

Christmas Eve (with Hannah and Isaac's godfather and our immediate family)
Pumpkin pasta
Egg salad mini sandwiches
Zucchini Puffs
Cranberry Margaritas

Christmas Day (with my aunt, uncle, and cousins)
Brined and fried turkey (everyone's favorite, big hit at Thanksgiving)
Brown gravy
Mashed potatoes
Jellied cranberry sauce (kid's favorite cranberry sauce, just the canned kind)
Cherry pie (aunt's favorite pie)
7up salad (uncle's favorite and my mom's recipe)

We have entirely too many gifts under the tree, less than a dozen are from Brian and I. Most have arrived in the mail from family for the kids. Crazy! We are going to Mass first thing on Christmas morning and then will come back for the opening of presents. After that we head to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner and family fun. The kids have been working on a poem and a song to perform at my uncle's house. It will be so fun!

I'll be back after Christmas (if I can stay away!) with lots and lots more pictures and stories! Merry Christmas!

14 weeks

Drew rolled over twice this week from his tummy to his back. He is pushing up a bit and lifting up his legs to make himself rock from side to side. Most of the time his arm is in the way (which seems to always be the stumbling block for rolling) or he would be rolling all the time. His chubby-cuteness is irresistible to me. I wouldn't do anything all day but look at his cuteness and kiss his chubs if I could get away with it.

He is going to sleep on his own well, crying usually less than one minute. He does cry or fuss a bit during our bedtime routine, usually at the beginning of it when I am reading him a book. I just carry on, and he usually calms down and starts sucking on his fist at some point. He occasionally will close his eyes towards the end of the routine, but he wakes a bit when I lay him down and zip him up in his Woombie swaddle. As for the evenings, he is improving. He predictably wakes up and cries for 5-10 minutes about 45 minutes after bedtime and then goes back to sleep. He sometimes wakes up before I go get him for his dreamfeed right at 10pm, but if he does this he always has a dirty diaper then. He is still having days when he does mostly 45 minute naps, but he has catch up days as well. I think this will balance out with time, so I am not too worried about it. He seems to be happy most of the time to wake up and wait a bit to nurse if it is too early for another feeding. I usually don't wait more than 30 minutes, if that, so that we can stay on the sleep, eat, wake cycle. I admit I am a tiny bit superstitious about a baby's night time sleep. In my experience, the minute I tell someone that my baby is sleeping through the night, he invariably stops. So, what I will not do is say that Drew has slept through the night four times this week. I will not do it, so don't ask!

He is fast approaching the four month mark when schedules start to change. Ideally, we will move closer to a 4 hour schedule during the day, but we shall see. I am kind of nervous about this age since Isaac was doing so well until he hit that four month mark. (For Isaac, a lot happened that month too, and I am hoping it was all the chaos of dad leaving for a long trip, an overseas flight, and RSV that played a large part in that disruption.) Four months seems to be a dicey age all around though from what I have read. Genna started needing a little more guidance in her sleep training at that age, but I do not recall Hannah having any trouble at that age. Every child is different, and I thank God for that!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tube Fairy

Isaac had a routine follow-up appointment at the ENT on Monday. The girls had a play date, and, therefore, it was just the boys and me for the afternoon. Isaac had a great time! He loved his doctor, also named Isaac, loved seeing the inside of his ear on a big TV, and loved asking a million questions about how everything works. He was super cute when the doc asked if he could look in his ear. Isaac replied, "Yes, but if it hurts sometimes I might cry, but only sometimes...yeah." The doctor took out a tube that had been hanging out in the middle of one of his ears. Isaac was so brave and excited to take it home to show his sisters the gross wax covered tube. The doctor even told him he could try putting it under his pillow and see if the "tube fairy" would take it and leave him money. That's a funny idea. Isaac forgot to put it under his pillow, but the tube fairy came anyway and left a dollar at his spot at the breakfast table in the cup where the tube had been.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New hair

I got my hair highlighted for a change and a cute new cut too. I love it! Poor Drew had to wait along time on Mommy/food though since it took three hours to get it all done. He was a trooper for Daddy though. He looks tired in this picture. It was taken on Sunday after a morning of short naps.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nativity Play

Isaac was a shepherd boy with no lines. Hannah was an inn keeper and forgot her one line (To her credit they didn't get to practice more than an hour before the play, and I didn't know the lines were in an email attachment to practice before the day of the play. Oops!) Genna was one of the Magi, and she delivered her line really nicely.

Genna delivers her gift to the baby Jesus...

Isaac (the smallest shepherd) stands with the other shepherds so nicely. I was surprised that he could be still and quiet without being reminded.

The whole group

Our whole group (minus the wee one)

It was beautiful! We had snacks and desserts afterward.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

St. Nick

The Knights of Columbus had their annual Christmas party. I stayed home with Drew since it was going to be a late night and that is his more difficult time right now. Hannah did not want a picture with St. Nick, but Genna and Isaac did. They all had a fun night with Daddy, and I had a mostly peaceful evening at home with Drew Bug.

Friday, December 16, 2011

3 months

Technically, he was 3 months on Tuesday, but we have had a busy week with school, doctor appointments, and getting ready for Christmas.

Drew is 3 months old now. This milestone age seems to have brought on longer waketimes (increased from 1.25 to 1.5 hours at a time) and shorter naps which isn't supposed to happen. :) I am trying to figure out why suddenly (for the last week) more often than not his naps are 45 minutes in length when they used to be mostly 1.5-2 hours long. This started about 4 days after I dropped that 8th feeding so I tried nursing him 8 times again, but it did not appear to help nor be needed. So I am trying to figure it out, but maybe it is just a phase that will pass. Please, God let it be a phase that will pass sooner than later.

He is also more aware of and a bit more attached to me. It is nice when they are comforted by your mere voice or presence, but with that comes the awareness of when you are not there and when you are not paying attention to them. He watches me now if I leave the room and is not quite so happy just to be left on a blanket as he was before. He is much happier if I am sitting close by or talking to him. He's going to have to get over this because I have three other kids demanding my attention. He'll learn.

Another change is that my quiet child who I sometimes would forget about because he was so quiet has turned into a very noisy grunter over the last week or so. Wow, is it ever hard to teach the big kids over his grunting and "talking!" He is making all kinds of sounds now, but mostly grunts.

Brian got back this past weekend from his two week trip, and it actually took Drew a day or so to remember him and be comfortable with him again. I was surprised by this since he is still so young. I didn't think he would notice.

Still a big chunker and wearing 6 and 9 month clothing and moving into size 3 diapers due to several blowouts and more changes of clothes than I care to discuss.

His favorite toys of the week are blankets to chew on.

He is reminding me a little of Isaac these days. Check out this old post when Isaac was around the same age and compare it to this one of Drew.

Then compare this sleeping photo of Isaac to this one of Drew.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The biggest sister

holding the chubbiest baby brother ever after his bath!

Hannah recently gave all her money away. She decided after Mass a few weeks ago that she wanted to put all her money in the box at the back of the church for the poor. Her daddy and I were extremely impressed with this act of sacrifice.

Today after Mass, she tells me she has a great idea to help the poor. She says, "We can go to the poor people's houses and do their hair really fancy. I bet they would love that!" I couldn't help but chuckle at that one. At least she is thinking about the poor and how we can help them.