Thursday, June 9, 2016

Brooke and Harrison's Birthday Weekend

A few weeks ago Harrison and Brooke celebrated their 4th birthday. As much as I wanted to plan a big themed birthday bash for them, I knew the timing was against me. I decided to let them plan their own party, which may have been the best idea ever.


When I asked Brooke what she wanted to do for her birthday party, she told me she wanted to have a party at the restaurant with slides. Harrison said he wanted a bounce house party like last year. We settled on a play date on Saturday at the BK Lounge, and a party at our house on Sunday.



Saturday morning H and B had their dance pictures. After pictures were done, we picked up their bestie and were off to the Burger King play place. I've never seen 3 kids so excited about getting to play at BK. Until we got there and there was a set of triplet boys who were even more excited. They played and played, and barely ate their lunch. Brooke still talks about how great it was, so I think they had fun.


For their party on Sunday, I let them plan everything. The decor, the menu, which bounce house they wanted, who to invite. They had so much fun in the party aisles at Target picking out balloons, plates, and party hats. When I asked them what they wanted to eat they said mac and cheese, pancakes, and yogurt. The menu evolved into pancakes for breakfast and a spread of favorites for their party. Panera mac and cheese was the star of the show though. 




It was a little chilly, so the bounce house didn't get used nearly as much as last year. Plus, there were new toys to play with. Regardless, all of the kids had fun and were tired by the end of the day. We did Little Golden Books as party favors, because kid libraries can never be too big. Or at least that what I keep telling myself each time I buy the kids a new book. 


Their actual birthday was on Monday and Robbie had the day off. We loaded up all 4 kids in the van and headed to Indy. We spent the whole day at The Children's Museum, and somehow it went miraculously well. Almost zero tears from anyone. Until the ride home, and then Scarlett let us know she was not happy being stuck in the van.


Tuesday wrapped up the birthday celebration. They received Toys R Us gift cards, so we went to the mall to spend them. While we were there, H and B reminded me that I told them we would do Build a Bear for their birthday. Darn you kids and your stellar memory! ;) New toys, new bears, lunch at Red Robin, and Blondie's Cookies to round out the day. 

I had so much fun celebrating their 4th birthday, and I know they did too. Even though they've only been 4 for a few weeks, there's a whole lot of "when I was 3" or "when I turn 5" talk going on. One day at a time kiddos. If the last 4 years have taught me anything, it's that 5 will be here before we know it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Scarlett and Clark - 5 Months

Scarlett and Clark turned 5 months over the weekend. They were lucky enough to get to celebrate their monthly birthday at the lake. They were unlucky enough to come down with a cold the day after. They're back to their normal happy selves after a few days of fevers and congestion. They still have a lingering cough, but they're no worse for wear.


If you read their 4 month update, I talked about how they were not doing great in the sleep department and how we were going to start being more strict about night wakings. Well, yeah, we're no more strict now than we were a month ago. They both still sleep in rock and plays next to our bed and come into bed to nurse a few time per night. I know that it will benefit all of us if we do some light sleep training, but I have been hesitant to do it. I've been putting it off while we get Scarlett's tummy issues under control. 


The good news is I think we're on the right track with her. After 5 weeks of dairy and soy free for me, she was still having issues. We got her on Zantac which seems to be helping quite a bit, when we can get her to swallow it. S and C are both taking probiotics once a day too. We used BioGaia with H and B and are using them again with S and C. We still have blow out city with both babies on a daily basis, so we're by no means out of the woods when it comes to digestive issues. We are better off than we were a month ago though, so we'll take small wins where we can get them.


I had, and still have, every intent of doing baby led weaning and mostly skipping purees. I had zero interest in doing rice cereal, but in hopes of eliminating the multiple daily wardobe changes, we decided to give it a go. The verdict? We now have blowouts that smell like rice ceral. They seem to enjoy it though, so we're sticking with it at least for a little while. We have also done teething crackers, which they really like.



Play time still consists of a lot of time on their play mat. Now that they are rolling over and enjoy tummy time, they will happily spend 30 minutes on the floor. The exersaucer and jumperoo see lots of action too. They are finally supporting themselves enough thst they don't need a blanket to help them hold their torso upright while bouncing around. The Bumbos are mostly used when we are outside. They like them, but not for extended periods of time. Their favorite is when Harrison and Brooke play with them. The big kids aren't exactly gentle, so playtime between the 4 of them is still somewhat limited. They got to go for their first ride in the big stroller last week. I think I was more excited than they were, but they did enjoy it.










Scarlett

  • is rolling over from back to belly and belly to back
  • has discovered the joys of sleeping on her side and stomach during nap time
  • is all about her feet, but hasn't figured out how to get them to her mouth yet
  • weighs 16.8 lbs
  • is wearing 6 month and 6-12 month clothing
  • is trying to sit up when in a reclined sitting position
  • is definitely teething, but no signs of actual teeth yet
  • is mostly bald, but has one 4" long hair on her head
  • falls asleep quickly as long as she has her hippo. Her naps rarely last longer than 30 minutes though, and she's very good at waking up her brother















Clark

  • thinks Jules is hilarious. He laughs whenever he catches sight of her
  • is rolling from back to belly
  • loves sleeping in. He very often falls back to sleep in the morning, and doesn't wake until after 9am
  • kicks his legs like crazy when he's trying to fall alseep. I'm not sure if he's trying to soothe himself or if he has a minor case of RLS
  • is so chill. He doesn't cry often, so if he starts wailing, we know he means business. 
  • can still squeeze in 6 month clothes, but is mostly in 9 month and 6-12 month clothes
  • weighs 18.2 lbs
  • constantly has his fingers in his mouth and is a drool machine. No teeth yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if they show up any day.












Both babies are so happy all of the time. They have the best personalities, and they light up our world. They love their big brother and sister even when a dirty foot is being put on their face for the 47th time in one day.  They humor me by smiling when I sing ridiculous made up songs. ("Oh, Put Your Jammies On" sung to the tune of "Laffy Taffy" is a definite favorite) Their faces light up when they see their daddy for a 3am diaper change. We are so lucky to have these happy little monkies in our lives. They may be a lot of work, but they sure do brighten our days.  Happy 5 months, Scarlett and Clark!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Scarlett and Clark - 4 Months

Scarlett and Clark turned 4 months yesterday! Our days with them have been flying by, and while it seems like they were newborns just yesterday, it also feels like they've always been a part of our family. It's hard to remember how easy our days were when there were just two kids in this house.


The babies have had some major changes over the last month. Sleep being a big one. We went from Clark sleeping through the night, to him waking every few hours. Scarlett's long stretch of sleep seems to be getting shorter and shorter. We stopped waking them both to eat since their sleep schedules were so different. That resulted in me waking up way more than I should be. One night I counted and I was up with one or the other of them 8 times throughout the night. Needless to say, I'm not game for that many wake ups, so we are getting back to some stricter sleeping arrangements.


They just started a new bedtime routine that doesn't involve nursing to sleep. I am trying to be better about not just pulling Scarlett into bed with me if she cries and won't take a paci. It's so darn easy to just pull her in bed though, so we aren't completely away from that. We have started to work away from the swaddle, which may be partly to blame for their less than stellar sleep. They are both currently rocking the one arm out swaddle. While Clark loves the ability to suck on his fingers, Scarlett isn't quite sure what to do with her arm a lot of the time.


Their naps have also seen a major makeover. Since they were born, they've always napped in the living room, usually in their swings. Harrison and Brooke are no good at being quiet, no surprise there, so swing naps have become problematic the older Scarlett and Clark get. They have been napping in their cribs for a week now, and it's going really well. Falling asleep is pretty easy for them, but making it past the first sleep cycle has been tough, especially for Scarlett. We've wound up with a bunch of 30 minute naps, and only a few lasting an hour or more. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get them to nap longer, I'm all ears.


We are trying to stick with and E-A-S-Y routine as much as possible. Their routine gets a little messed up on mornings when we run errands or go to the zoo or library. They both fall asleep easily in the van, so often they end up sleeping sooner than they should. They happily roll with the changes, and we're usually able to get back to the normal routine after their next nap.


Over the last month we began noticing Scarlett getting increasingly irritated during feeds. She would get painful gas and randomly cry out or have a hard time burping. She also had an eczema flare up that coincided with the timing of her tummy issues. Combing that with her constant blowouts, and we started to think maybe she has a milk allergy. I went back and forth on if I should cut out dairy, but I eventually decided to cut out all dairy and soy from my diet. We are going on almost 2 weeks of dietary changes, and we can see a huge difference in her. I've even noticed that Clark is less gassy during and after feeds. They both eat every three hours and are now nursing for shorter periods of time. I'm not sure if they've become more efficient or if we're just spending less time burping, but our nursing sessions are now about 15-20 minutes instead of 30-45.


This is what their schedule has looked like over the last couple weeks:

5am tandem nursing session
5:20am back to sleep
6:45am lay in bed for a milk top off
8:30am nurse and up for the day
10:00am nap time
11:00am nurse and then play
12:30pm nap time 
1:30pm nurse and then play
3:00pm nap time
4:00pm nurse and then play
5:30pm occasional cat nap
6:45pm bath time
7:00pm pajamas and final nursing session
8:00pm bed time
1am-5am occasional quick nursing session and then back to bed


Playtime still mostly consists of time on their ocean play mat. The love hanging out with their best friend, blue octopus. He tells great jokes and has a little fish friend they can hang onto. ;) They are both spending more time in the exersaucer and jumperoo, as well as their Bumbo seats. They each got a cloth Eric Carle book from the Easter bunny, and they have really taken to those. Their bouncy seats are permanently on our island, and they happily hang out there while we eat breakfast and lunch, or while I cook dinner or clean the kitchen. I decided to purchase their high chairs last month even though I know we won't be starting food for another couple months. I'm glad I bought them early, because they really enjoy sitting with us at dinner time.


Clark

Clark is still in size two diapers and is wearing 3-6 month and 6 month clothes. He can fit into 6-12 month clothes, but they're a little baggy. He weighs 17lbs (70th %) and is 25 1/4" long (70th %). He doesn't cry often, but when he does it is the saddest thing ever. He has a very high pitched wail of a scream. Painful gas and me raising my voice are guaranteed to result in him crying. I've learned pretty quickly not to yell at H and B if he's around. I think maybe he's just trying to keep them out of trouble. He is a very happy boy and he smiles and talks a lot. He has decided over the last month that tummy time really isn't that bad and he's getting pretty good at it. He has more hair than any of the other kids had at this age. It's super soft, mostly blonde, and I absolutely love rubbing it. His nicknames include C Dub, Chubby Man, and Meatball.













Scarlett

Little miss is wearing size 2 diapers and can still fit comfortably into 3 month clothes. Most of her things are 3-6 months, and there are a few 6 month items mixed in. She weighs 15lbs2oz (80th %) and is 24 1/2" long (60th %). She LOVES Harrison. She likes everyone, but he is her favorite and I think she might be his too. She has always been willing to take a paci, but she is now especially fond of her hippo Wubanub. She craves touch. She sleeps best when snuggled up against me, and my hand resting on her chest or letting her hold my hand is enough to soothe her back to sleep most of the time. Her face is so perfectly round that I sometimes think she doesn't look real, almost like a baby doll. She smiles and giggles all the time, and while she doesn't "talk" quite as much as her bother, she is still a chatterbox. Her nicknames include Scarlitto, Punky, and Little Miss (think Spin Doctors and imagine us singing it to her 10,000 times per day).











Happy 4 months, Scarlett and Clark. If the last month has taught us anything, it's that just when we think we have it all figured out, you two will throw us a curve ball, or two. I can't wait to see what changes the next month has in store for us.