Monday, July 28, 2014

Lucy is Two Years Old!

Dear Lucy -

You have changed so much since I wrote about you at 20 months old! Mainly because you took on your most important role yet of big sister. But I'll back track a bit. From mid-March to mid-May our lives consisted of these things: being sick, getting ready for Bridget to be born, and working a ton. It wasn't necessarily the most fun moments of my life, but there was much anticipation for the month of May!

Around March, (after much hesitation, prayer, and thought) I told my boss that I would not be returning to work after Bridget was born. I had been working approx. 25-30 hours a week up to that point. After announcing my departure, things at work got busier since I was heavily involved in hiring and training my replacement. This meant that my hours increased to full time for the two months before Bridget was born. For you Lucy this meant full time daycare attendance. I didn't care for this at all because I felt like I didn't see you nearly enough! I only got to see you about 30 min. in the morning and 2-3 hours after work. To make matters worse you were such a grouch when you got home! You would scream and whine almost the entire 2-3 hours you were home in the evening. Finally one day, the daycare workers casually mentioned that you hadn't been napping (even though it had said on your take home sheets that you had been...) This explained not only the crabbiness at home, but also the occasional reports of you hitting friends and/or being "aloof" at daycare. One time before I had made the final decision to quit my job, you were sick and I took the afternoon off to take you to the doctor. However, the next day I couldn't take off since I had too much work to do and I had to take you with a dose of ibuprofen in your system. That day was horrible since I just hoped and prayed that you would be okay. It was this day that God used to show me that it was time to quit working and stay at home with you. It would take a lot of trusting in God for provision, but I felt at peace and ready to be home with you all the time - especially when you were sick and needed me the most.

Playing with cousin Wyatt
The preparation for Bridget's birth included a couple of crazy weekends. For example, on Easter weekend we got a Budget rental van, loaded up our guest bedroom furniture and drove it to Atlanta where we exchanged it for my old twin bed set that had been at Kristen's house and the outdoor playhouse that Gigi and Pops let us borrow. Another weekend, I had a baby shower for Bridget and your dad and Pops assembled a brand new swing set for you to play on (this was your early birthday gift from us). Yet another weekend included me and your dad painting your new big girl room lavender so that the nursery could be used by Bridget. Another weekend we spent running around town exchanging diapers and other baby items received from friends to make sure we had exactly what we needed for Bridget. You were a trooper through all of this and remained pretty much clueless about the big change coming your way.

First family photo!
On May 12th, you became a big sister. Your transition started early when we dropped you off at Christian and Tiane's house at around 4:00 am and expected you to be just fine. Ever since then we have worried a little less about you as you have suddenly become (or appeared to be) so big, brave, and able (in comparison to Bridget). You really love being a big sister. Ever since Bridget was born, your favorite toy to play with has been your baby dolls. The Ware's got you your first baby doll when you turned 1, and you only recently really started loving that doll and toting her around with you everywhere. You also had a few rag dolls that have become more popular. Also, you got two new dolls from Gigi and Pops - one the day Bridget was born (Anna from Frozen), and one on your 2nd birthday (with blonde hair and a pink dress).

Eating the hospital food
Your actual 2nd birthday was pretty low key. When Grandma and Grandpa Baareman were here, we had a little celebration for you. They got you a cake from Publix and gave you a bike! On your actual birthday - which was the Wednesday that Kristen and I drove all the kids to Atlanta, we had some chocolate cake and balloons. Then on the Saturday after your birthday, your daddy was there and we all went to the zoo then came home and had cookie cake and presents with Nana and Papa there too.

2nd Birthday Celebration with Grandma and Grandpa Baareman

New bike!

Feeding the birds with dad at Atlanta Zoo for 2nd Birthday

Cookie Cake!

You really started to talk more around the time Bridget was born. We joke that that is because you realized you had to do something "big" or you would completely lose the spotlight! Well, I don't think you will ever lose the spotlight Lucy because you are always doing something new. Some of your favorite words and phrases are:

  • Water (you are OBSESSED with it) - sounds like "Wadi"
  • Baby Sissy (also OBSESSED). 
  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • No and Uh-huh (for yes) 
  • Blue's Clues (your new favorite TV show) - "Boo Coo"
  • TV - (I let you watch TV when I'm feeding Bridget....hopefully you won't get addicted!)
  • I pooped - "I poo"
  • Boo-Boo 
  • Bath  - "Baa"
  • Night Night - "Ni-Ni" - most frequently used in the phase "No Ni-Ni" when you aren't ready for bed
  • Bible 
  • Book - "Boo"
  • Outside - (also OBSESSED)
  • Shoes - "Shoo"  (associate shoes with going somewhere)
  • Go 
  • 1-2-3 (getting there with counting)
  • Ready - Set - Go (Not easy to understand yet, but we know what you are saying!)
  • I see, I see (when you want to see something)
  • See Baby? (when you want to show baby something - either Bridget or baby doll)
  • Eat/Eating (use this when you are hungry or when Bridget is eating)
  • Mole - funny enough you find moles really interesting
  • My boat - My bow (she says this when talking about the lake house)
  • Tube - for tube at the lake house 
  • Bow = buckle or hair bow  
  • Please - Mo Pee (you say "More Please" for "Please" since that is how you first learned it) 
You have also started string these small words together into really funny sentences like "No daddy no nigh nigh" when you don't want to go to bed. We normally ask you lots of question and you respond with "no" or an excited "uh-huh" (while nodding head) for us to understand what you want. It is really fun that you can talk more now so it's not so quiet around here anymore. Sometimes I'll play some music on my iPhone to liven things up when we are playing together. 

On the boat with Wyatt and Gigi
Helping dad with 4th of July Fireworks
The whole family on 4th of July
Birthday cake for Aunt Kristen
Playing Angry Birds with Pops
Her specialty: making Bridget smile!
  • WATER (drinking it, playing with it, swimming in it, you are a little obsessed. We had to limit your water intake recently because you were drinking so much we think it took away your appetite for regular food!)
  • Helping with baby sister (waking her up, putting her to bed, getting her bath, etc.)
  • Going places (church, play dates, errands, shopping, you love to get out of the house!)
  • Being outside (playing with your water table and baby pool especially)
  • Bath time, brushing teeth, reading stories in bed with mommy and daddy before bedtime. 
  • Helping (with laundry, wiping the floor, dusting, you name it!)
Biggest Challenges this month 
  • Hurting baby sister - most of the time by accident, but sometimes you think it is funny :( 
  • Eating full meals - you aren't really picky but sometimes you don't have much of an appetite at all except for milk, fruit, and cheese.... 
  • You want to do everything on your own, so when we have to do something for you, you can get frustrated. 
  • You are very needy in the car and are constantly wanting us to hand you this or that, and when we don't you get upset. 
First time in big girl bed
Helping take in the groceries
At Steed's Dairy Farm before Bridget was born

Right now we are mainly either spanking you and/or putting you in your room when you are blatantly disobedient or doing something that you KNOW is not allowed (hitting, throwing things, pushing, biting, hurting your sister, not laying correctly when we try to change your diaper on the floor, etc.) You are VERY tough and most spankings you don't even cry. Recently you also seem to care less about being in your room, so we may need to do something else like time out in the corner or something like that. It is still hard to tell exactly how much you understand and correlate a punishment to what you did wrong. We make sure to explain to you why you are being punished before, and to talk calmly about it afterwards. We are also trying to relate all punishments back to a reason "why" - either scripture or a practical reason why you should have obeyed us (cleanliness, safety, respect, etc.) We are currently going through "Growing Kids God's Way" with our Sunday School class and hope to learn some methods that way. I've also read a few books about toddlers that I'm hoping will give me some guidance on what type of behavior is acceptable or not.  

Lucy - we love you so much! We are so proud of the big sister that you have become to Bridget. You are such a fun little girl. You love life and are just in general so happy. We love your smile and giggle. It has been so much fun to see your personality, and likes and dislikes emerge more and more. You are starting to become pretty "Type-A" like me. You really like routine and everything in just the right place. We know that God has a special plan for you and that he made you just the way you are for his purpose. You brighten our day every day. Ever since I quit my job you have become my little buddy and I LOVE spending all day every day with you. 

Love, Mom 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bridget is 2 Months Old!

Dear Bridget - I can't believe you are already two months old! I took you for your doctor's appointment today and wasn't super surprised that you weigh a lot for your age - 12 lbs, 15 oz (90%)! However I was surprised that you are also 90% in height (23.5 inches). Your head circumference is 75% at 15.5 inches. You are a big healthy girl! You do prefer laying on one side of your head and this is the only issue I discussed with your doctor. We have tried to force you to lay on the other side of your head when you play but she recommended getting a wedge for force you to sleep on your non-favored side as well, so I'll get one of those for you soon. You got your first batch of shots and screamed a lot after getting them, even feeding you right after didn't completely calm you down, but once I got you in your baby carrier you fell right asleep.

You are such a joy Bridget and I love being your mom. You hardly ever cry unless you are really hungry or tired or if you need to burp. I've gotten used to the no crying thing and now I wake up whenever I hear you grunting or trying to suck your hand - these are signs that you are hungry before you start your all out cry. I call you "sweet girl" and "precious girl" probably more than I call you by your name because you have such a sweet and content temperament like 95% of the time. For example, you don't even cry when I wake you up from sleeping, and you don't cry when you wake up in the baby carrier in the car. I'll just happen to look back at you and see that your eyes are open. You love to just look around and take in the world around you. It is so fun for me to see you discovering new things for the first time (like the outdoors or new spaces in our house). It is such a joy to get to do this adorable "baby phase" all over again! I"m so thankful.

You are getting really good at tummy time. I have found that it is harder to document your progress than with Lucy because she is very intrigued with cameras of all types. So most of the videos I try to take of you include Lucy trying to grab the camera from me lol. You spend most of your awake time on the piano mat and the Baby Einstein mat with most of the baby toys we have hanging from it. Your favorite toy is a little rolling plastic snail that has a big mirror on one side of it. You like to look at yourself in it and when you touch it it plays a song. Lucy loves getting down on the floor to play with you. I try to keep her from getting too close by making her stay off of the mat, but I'll admit I'm not 100% successful at keeping her away from you. She has inadvertently bopped you on various parts of your body but half of the time you don't even seem to mind. Her favorite thing is to lay right next to you with her head touching yours.

Recently you have started to smile at us a lot and coo and try to talk to us. It is the cutest thing ever! You mainly do this after eating. You first smiled around 6 weeks. You mainly smile when we get really close to your face and talk to you. You love smiling at Lucy too - it is the cutest thing ever. She mimics the high pitched voices that we use with you and normally says something like "Hi Baby Sissy!" or "See Baby Sissy? (while pointing at some sort of toy)" You still don't have much hair, so I've decided I need to invest in some more headbands! You get cuter and cuter every day and I just love your chubby cheeks, arms, and legs. You also are really active on the play mat now and really kick and bat away at all the hanging contraptions! I know you are tired when you cry laying down or in someone's arms - because you normally are such a happy baby. I then swaddle you and put you in your crib and normally you will cry about 5-10 minutes until you fall asleep. I'm hoping that this starts to dwindle down.

You really don't like the pacifier and most of the time when I try to stick it in your mouth you spit it right back out. You mainly suck on your fist. You are a really flexible baby and we are able to do so much with you. You nap really well in your car seat and most of the time you fall asleep if you are in it and we start driving. You also are pretty good at staying asleep even if I run errands and have to take your baby carrier in and out of the car, put it in and out of a shopping cart, etc. You also sleep well in a pack in play - which we used while we were at the lake house for the 4th of July. If you are really tired you can sleep through anything - including Lucy screaming at the top of her lungs and your dad's fireworks show that was on the other side of the wall from where you were sleeping! Your favorite place to fall asleep is in the baby swing that is in the kitchen. I barely used that thing with Lucy, but we sure have used it a TON with you. If I am being lazy and don't want to make you cry your 5-10 min. in your crib, I let you fall asleep in the swing and you don't cry one bit.

The hardest part so far of parenting you has been your sleeping patterns. I realize now that I was very "on-the-ball" with getting Lucy on a sleep schedule. That combined with the fact that she seemed to fall pretty naturally into a predictable sleep pattern gave me some pretty high expectations for you. Perhaps this is my first learning experience about how the same amount of effort can create different results with different children! But anyways, try as I might, you love to be up the most in the late afternoon and evening. The downside of this is that we (me and your daddy) put Lucy down for bed at 8pm only to then play with you another 2 hours, then crash without any time for just the two of us. You really like to sleep the mornings away. I think it is a vicious cycle because you are tired in the morning from being up so much the night before. But we always let you stay up a lot in the evenings because we are afraid that after sleeping all morning, if you weren't up all evening then you won't sleep well at night. You are now 9 1/2 weeks old and I think (*crossing fingers*) that we have started to successfully transition you to a more normal schedule.

Here's the current schedule (I'm writing this down for my own benefit later on....):

  • 7:00 am: (Laura) Wake up Bridget to Eat, change diaper 
  • 7:00-8:30: Bridget play time 
  • 7:30: (Jason) Wake up Lucy, change diaper, brush teeth, get her dressed, start her watching PBS Kids and/or breakfast 
  • 8:15: Jason leaves! :(
  • 8:30-10:00: Bridget naps - most of the time Lucy and I run errands or go on play dates during this time. 
  • 10:00: Wake Bridget to eat - although sometimes she wakes up earlier on her own, in which case I sometimes feed her early, or make her wait until as close as 10:00 as possible to eat. 
  • 10:00-11:00 or 11:30: Bridget play time
  • 11:30-1:00 pm: Bridget nap time 
  • 12:00: Lucy's and my lunch time 
  • 1:00-3:00: Lucy nap time 
  • 1:00: Wake Bridget to eat. 
  • 1:00-2:00: Should be Bridget play time but most days she is really tired during this time, and since Lucy is also asleep I don't try too hard to keep Bridget awake! 
  • 2:00-4:00: Bridget nap time - if she has been tired during the 1:00-2:00 hour block as well, this is her SUPER LONG nap. Sometimes I leave her on a play mat in hopes that she will wake up and play on her own (which is what is happening while I'm writing this post) 
  • 3:00: Wake up Lucy from nap and Lucy's snack time
  • 4:00: Wake Bridget to eat
  • 4:00-5:30: Bridget play time 
  • 5:30-7:00: Bridget nap time
  • 7:00: Wake Bridget to eat
  • 7:00-8:30 or 9:00: Bridget last play time (ie - tire her out enough to sleep well that night!)
  • 8:00: Lucy's bed time routine (brush teeth, change to jammies, read Bible, pray together) 
  • 9:00ish: Bridget shows signs of being REALLY tired and we let her go to sleep. 
  • 10:00: Feed Bridget without waking her up "dream feed"  - don't change her diaper, leave her in swaddle 
  • 2:00am-ish: Bridget wakes up in the middle of the night to eat
  • 7:00: If we are lucky, wake Bridget to eat again. Sometimes she wakes up around 5:00 or 6:00am instead. If its 5, I normally put her back to bed. If it is 6:00 or later, I feed her and let her play in the Boppy on our bed while we still lay there half asleep. 
So that's my new life in a nutshell. Never a dull moment! 

Bridget - There is an aspect of "falling in love" with your new baby the moment you lay eyes on them - and of course this happened for me when you were born. However, I have felt that I have been gradually falling more and more in love with you with every day that I get to spend with you. The better I get to know you, the more I love you. The more memories we make together, the more special you are to me. You are absolutely precious and irreplaceable baby girl. I love you just the way God made you and consider you one of the biggest blessings in my life. I will never deserve to be your mom, but I sure am glad that God gives us things too wonderful for us to deserve. It has been really cool to experience being a mom of two. I have so much love for your sister and for you too, then on top of that is the amazing feeling of seeing the two of you develop a love for each other. It doesn't get any better than that! 

Love, Mom 


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