7 Weeks Postpartum Visit

I was scheduled to go in for a 6-week visit, but due to recent car issues, I had to reschedule my appointment. So Gelato and I went today.

First of all, my OB’s office has not changed. They called me back an HOUR past my appointment time. PTL this was my very last appointment with them. I am sick and tired of waiting in the waiting room so much. (They could really use a sprucing, too. The wallpaper is soft peach, seafoam green, and cream. Like my mom’s living room… when I was five. That’s 1990, folks. The art on the walls is faux Monet-style waterlily art prints. The whole thing is just a washed-out pastel blah. )

Aside from the interminable wait times and the drab decor, today’s visit was fine.

I had to bring Gelato with me since I still haven’t pumped any milk to start getting him to take a bottle every once in a while*. He was kind of fussy, but nothing a little walking around and letting him lie on the ground (on a blanket!) for a while couldn’t cure. He was also very chatty with the nurse. She was quite taken with him. I think she wanted to keep him. 🙂

*I promised myself I would do that this time around so I wasn’t so tied to the baby… but I just plain don’t feel like it. I have to scald all the milk that I pump before freezing it because I have extra lipase in my milk. Basically, it breaks down the milk proteins faster than it should and so my milk ends up tasting like soap and smelling like a rusty can. It’s not “spoiled” per se, but really… what baby wants to drink that?! So instead of pumping, then scalding, then cooling, then freezing, I just don’t. But I really need to. Maybe I’ll start doing that this weekend. It’ll be much easier when Jonathan’s around to Hula-wrangle.

All was fine with the exam. I have been cleared for all activities. I told Hula Girl that she and I will go outside this weekend and pull out all the weeds that have sprung up in the front of the house, around the mailbox, and in our pumpkin patch. Actually, I will be pulling all the weeds while she plays nearby. The weeds have WICKED burrs that are the size of marbles. No joke. And yes, we’ve been too busy to pull them, so yes, we’ve ended up with a few in our house. As a rule, we don’t wear shoes in our home, but still… these crazy stickers get tracked in and when they get stepped on, massive tears flow freely.

And the biggest news: my weight loss! I am back down to 6 pounds less than my 6-weeks-pregnant weight. I can zip my size 0/1 jeans, though not comfortably. This probably means that I still need to lose about 10 pounds to be at my ideal weight. But the goal is a lot closer than it was at this point in my postpartum period with Hula Girl. I blame the elimination diet. And the toddler.

Well, there ya go. All is well. Except now Gelato’s been awake (aside from a 20-minute car nap) for three hours straight. Thank you, OB-Who-Can’t-Keep-Track-Of-Time. Hey, you win some, you lose some, right?

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Prayers are Powerful…

…in more than one way.

Just want to share a quick anecdote about my children.

As you all know, Gelato has been really really struggling with 45-minute naps. Meaning, he is not sleeping through his transitions, which makes it really difficult for all of us when I need to go assist him to get back to sleep but his sister is desperate for me to push her five more minutes on the swing. I then feel like I can’t spend the full 7 minutes I need to spend with him (really, that’s all it takes to put him back to sleep, seven whopping minutes) and I rush it so he doesn’t get fully settled, and I end up sprinting up and down the staircase, likely leaving both of my offspring extremely confused (“Why won’t Mommy just stay with me?”) for the next half-hour while I try to parent both at once.

Needless to say, it has been my constant prayer that Gelato will learn to sleep through his transitions. Hula Girl has witnessed me, on several occasions, drop everything and say a prayer out loud, usually along the lines of, “Lord, please just help Gelato go back to sleep!”

Today when Gelato woke at his transition in his first nap, Hula Girl was on the potty. I heard her finish up, then she started back toward the kitchen. Then she stopped and I heard, “Yoad, peese hewp [Gelato] go back to yeep. Thank you, Yoad. Amen.”

My heart was overtaken with awe and the realization that what I am modeling daily really really does become her habit. What a great reminder to stay the course with grace, integrity, and above all, reliance on God.

Y’all should see her fold her little hands and bow her sweet-smelling head at the dinner table every night. Even while she’s peeking and occasionally unfolding her hands to “sneak” a bite of her favorite dish, she’s so innocent and precious. Sigh.

Yowza, Today was Bad.

I rescind my optimism from last night. That’s because Gelato has repealed his offer to become more stabilized.

Today was a mess. Gelato has this really great/obnoxious tendency to not ever be hungry before 3 hours have passed between feedings. Great because, well, who wants to spend all day and all night feeding a baby who wants to nurse constantly? (BTDT with Hula Girl. She spit up on the t-shirt.) Obnoxious because I am shooting for an eat/wake/sleep pattern throughout his day, and when he eats for 7 minutes, tops, followed by a wake time of about 40 minutes, followed by a 45 minute nap, he ends up being awake around every 1.5 hours, and he refuses to eat that soon. So the pattern is gone! Sometimes I get him up and do a short wake time and then put him down for Nap Round Two. So then the pattern becomes eat/wake/sleep/wake/sleep/eat. Sometimes I can get him to fall back asleep for the rest of his nap and preserve the original pattern. But that takes work and time, my friends. I don’t have a lot of time. I am also a mommy of a two-year-old.

Hula Girl was actually really good all day long. She has not let me down in believing that she’s getting the hang of this “big sister” thing. She looooooooves her “edoo bahbah” very very much. So much, in fact, that she wants to kiss him and hug him and move his arms and feet around and pat him on the head while he’s nursing. All while screaming, “He’s moving! He’s nursing! He’s awake! His eyes are open!” All of which startle the moving/nursing/awake/wide-eyed child who then becomes a crying/not-nursing/shocked/eyes-squeezed-shut banshee. Delightful. Then we have the problem of him not taking a full feeding. And the cycle continues. But really, Hula Girl is learning how to be a sibling. It’s amazing to me that when I’m thinking about her, the old “only child” identity is super fuzzy in my mind. I can barely recall the two years we spent without Gelato in our lives. It’s almost like she was always a big sister and now her little brother has finally come to meet us. Isn’t that funny? Seven weeks is all it takes to knock out two years’ worth of programming in my brain.

Anyway, I am going to try some new things just to see how we can make this work. I’m going to try skipping his “dreamfeed” and just let him wake on his own in the night. Hopefully that will put his super early morning waking somewhere around 4ish, so I can get him up at 7 and have him take a full feeding to start the day. I just know that if I can rely on full feedings and get his wake times figured out, we can beat those pesky 45-minute naps he’s been having. I must have timed his first wake time just right this morning (35 minutes), because he actually took a 2-hour nap. Hula Girl and I used that time to have a lot of fun together- and the time flew! In fact, when he woke up I almost thought I had to go and resettle him because I thought the nap was another short one. Then I looked at the clock and realized how long it had been, and I almost jumped for joy! Of course, the rest of the day was a disaster… but we did have that one shining moment.

I apologize for the nitty gritty complainy post. But it’s good to get it out there.

Things are “Falling” into Place

This weekend was great! I feel like I’m nesting. I didn’t do any nesting when I was pregnant with Gelato, so I guess now’s as good a time as any. Better, in fact! It’s fall, for one, and therefore I can light my pumpkin spice candle and bask in the scent of autumn goodies all day long without feeling like it’s forced. And I feel better than ever since Gelato was born, so I will be able to actually keep up the tidiness, cleanliness, and accomplished-ness.

Here’s what I did this weekend: got all the laundry done; deep cleaned the whole house; took Hula Girl on a “girls’ shopping adventure” (gotta get those groceries!); got Gelato kind of on schedule again; read a lot of a new book from the library; watched Dance Moms, America’s Next Top Model, and Project Runway (what can I say? I like quality entertainment); and went with Jonathan to get the car. Woohoo! The only thing missing was that I did not get to do Hula Girl’s curtains. I have been wanting to sew her actual curtains to the blackout liners that are currently hanging in her room (yep, we’ve lived here over a year- I really need to get on this!), but I didn’t feel like busting out the ol’ machine. Guess that will have to be a later-this-week-or-maybe-next-month project.

This week we’re having several different dishes for dinner. Different in our house means anything that’s not been frozen for a month. So, no lasagna, no casseroles, no macaroni and cheese. Okay, we are having mac’n’cheese next Sunday night… but it’s comfort food! Anyway, some of the things on this week’s menu include turkey chili, creamy chicken penne, and manicotti. Of course, I won’t be able to actually eat any of these dishes… but at least Jonathan and Hula Girl will appreciate the change.

It dawned on me today as I was nursing Gelato that I haven’t wistfully thought back to the days of having only one child in a while. Having two kids is my new norm, and it feels pretty darn normal! We’ve made it through almost seven weeks now, and Hula Girl is starting to show signs that she’s not going to be messed up for life by the addition of a brother. Gelato is starting to show signs that he might actually sleep through a nap again someday, and maybe even continue to stretch out his nights! Jonathan is starting to show signs that he’s learning to balance work/family/gym (let’s hope he gets to go to the gym more than a couple times this week, for his sake). And I’m feeling just pretty optimistic about our little family’s future. As hard as it has been to add a second child to our family, I have been much more able to just enjoy him than I was with Hula Girl. A short nap or a quirky schedule doesn’t send me into a tailspin the way it did with her. Let’s be honest here- of course these things bother me, but I am much better equipped to just let it go and try again the next time. I have seen evidence that one faulty day is not going to ruin every part of my child’s future. 🙂

I think this weekend was just really good for me psychologically. I feel caught up. I feel organized(ish). I feel like I’ve struck on a healthy balance of control and go-with-the-flow. And now I have some extra time to plan fun activities with Hula Girl, my in-laws’ visit and the festivities surrounding that, and my Christmas decor. Yes, I like to plan my Christmas decor months in advance. I will be making a lot of new decorations this year. I had planned them for last year but was too sick with morning sickness to follow through.

YEE-HAW! Jonathan just brought in another box of fall decorations. I gotta go.

Insane Conversations, Husband Edition

Last night we went to get Gelato up for his dreamfeed at 10:30. Jonathan always changes Gelato’s diaper and then brings him over to me to nurse.

Jonathan [hands me Gelato]: Here you go.

Me: Um, why is his head all wet?

Jonathan: Really? His head is wet? Ah, dang! He must have peed on himself.

 

Water Pump needs Replacing…

… and that’s going to cost us a grand total of $1450. So, tack on $1000 from yesterday’s already-too-much-for-us repair charge and you’ve got yourself a great way to put us into debt!

I am feeling pretty downhearted and defeated today. The cost of the car alone is weighing pretty heavily. And then I am trying to deal with/figure out our hospital/physicians’ bills and insurance for Gelato’s birth. We have a secondary insurance that was supposed to cover anything done in a hospital by a hospital employee, but our primary insurance isn’t covering anything done by a physician (not a hospital employee) because the hospital and physicians’ offices all filed claims listing our secondary insurance. So now I have to get that straightened out. Or else we owe like $10,000 total. Heh. That’s not going to happen.

I was reading a mom’s devotional this morning talking about discouragement. The author mentions stuff about lifting up your head so you can receive encouragement from God. So that’s what I’ve been doing today. Literally. Every time I feel downcast or overwhelmed (which has been plenty of times!!!) I have actually looked up at the ceiling. So far, I have received encouragement in small doses… but large enough to help me handle each situation well enough that my kids don’t waste away. I think that’s my goal today: don’t let my family starve. Also: don’t let Gelato get diaper rash just because I don’t feel like changing him. 🙂 (Side note: how wonderful is it that Hula Girl is potty trained already?!? Because two in diapers would be absolutely horrendous right now. Just sayin’.) So yeah, small doses of encouragement have kept my children fed and clean.

This is the end of my diary entry for today. Another post to follow.

 

Kind of a Downer

As a general rule, I embrace fall and welcome any day that is not super hot and super sunny. But today just feels cold and yucky. Not even dreary. Dreary I could deal with. I suppose the weather is aided by our circumstances today-making me feel blah and discouraged is what the two of them have teamed up to do. Mission accomplished. Anyway, I am so ready for my in-laws’ visit in October, it’s ridiculous. I will have fully embraced fall by then and hopefully our circumstances will have changed a bit. Allow me to expand.

Hula Girl.

She went away and spent the weekend with my parents. She had a super good time.

But she’s getting her 2-year molars. I can see the one on the bottom right almost coming through the gum. Rumor in the mom group has it that the 2-year molars are awful. They ruin sleep, they ruin attitudes, they ruin routines. For instance, I just got up from the computer (literally, between these two sentences I took a break) and went to her room in the middle of her nap because she woke up crying about her nose being itchy. She’s been crying about this several times during sleep periods (yes, even in the middle of the night) and we’ve had to go in and remind her to use her handkerchief (tied to the crib rail so she can find it easily) to blow her nose. Yep, poor little girl has a runny nose constantly from those darn teeth.

Anyway, the short of the long of it is she’s building up a major sleep debt and it’s compounding significantly regardless of our best efforts to get her down for bed and naps early (or even on time!) these days. I just struggle to get her down when I am dealing with both kids at once. Which brings us to our next circumstantial issue:

Gelato.

He has not been on his normal schedule (substitute the word routine here if you so choose- I have a lot of friends who don’t think it’s wise to “schedule” a newborn-but they don’t exactly know how flexible my “schedule” can be) for the past twoish weeks. In fact, he’s been so off-schedule that I’m not even sure what a good schedule for him would look like. Especially because he’s so young and their optimal waketimes change so much in these early days.

Anyway, he had  a growth spurt at 4 weeks. Then he went through a wonder week at week 5, and then he hit a biiiiiiig growth spurt at 6 weeks. He nursed literally every 2 hours for several days straight. The 6-week growth spurt also ushered in an old enemy of mine: the 45-minute intruder. Hula Girl dealt with this for the first 20-21 weeks of her life. Short 45-minute naps. I could not get that girl back to sleep for the life of me… and that meant her feeding schedule was really wrong. So I am doing all the things I can possibly do to keep Gelato on an age-appropriate schedule while now dealing with the 45-minute intruder (at most naps, ugh) while juggling a toddler who can’t be left alone for 20-minute segments four times a day while I rock the baby back to sleep. Most moms suggest just moving the newborn to the swing and letting him finish his nap there. Sounds great, right!? Right. Gelato hates his swing. Other moms suggest using a pacifier and when he wakes, just briefly visit his room and pop it in so he can soothe back to sleep and finish the nap. Sounds great, right?! Right. Gelato hates his pacifier.

Ho-kay… what’s plan C? Working on it… I am not interested in leaving Gelato to cry it out mid-nap yet. BTDT, HATED every moment of it. My heart (and Hula Girl’s) can’t take the stress of listening to a crying baby for 45 minutes at a time, four times a day. Nope. Pretty much I’m just praying that God will allow Gelato to just stop having sleep transition issues altogether. If you would please also pray for us in this manner, I would really really appreciate it.

Car.

This weekend Jonathan and I decided to take a drive up into the mountains for our annual leaf-viewing adventure. The aspens are starting to turn, and the mountainsides look like they’re ablaze with beautiful yellows, oranges, and reds mixed in with the evergreens. Really, Colorado mountains in the fall are lovely. Since Hula Girl was with my parents, we only had Gelato and decided he’s little enough to have a day TOTALLY off his routine and we stuck him in his car seat and set off on our 3-hour adventure.

About two hours into our trip, on the descent, we heard a “ding!” We looked at the dash… and our engine temperature was all the way up in the “H” range- we were overheating. Jonathan found a place to pull over and we got out the manual and tried to get the car to cool down… it wouldn’t. And we had absolutely NO coolant in the…coolant holder thingie? (I’m kind of not up-to-snuff when it comes to my car knowledge, so terminology isn’t my thing… but I do know that no coolant=bad.) So we sat there. Then we got out and tried to use our cell phones. No luck. Finally Jonathan got through to our insurance company to call for roadside assistance. Apparently tow truck drivers aren’t allowed to carry coolant so they’d have had to tow us. Unfortunately, they’re also not allowed to carry car seats. So we would have to call family or friends to come pick us up. An hour and a half away from home. In the mountains. On Saturday afternoon.

Then these random folks pull over and let me tell you- I learned a lesson in humility. They were chain-smoking and had four children in the backseat of their Jeep, none of which was buckled in. But do you know what happened next? They booked it to the town that was a little over a mile away, bought coolant and water for our car, spent an hour and a half on the side of the road flushing our engine with coolant and water, and made sure our car was fine before they left. And we don’t even know their names. They would not tell us or even let us try to pay them back for the supplies. All they asked was that we pay it forward. Now that I think of it, that will be easier said than done. But we’ll make sure it happens.

Anyway, we get going again and the check engine light comes on so we pull over again. This time, we couldn’t even get hold of the insurance company and NO ONE stopped. We sat there for about 30 minutes trying to decide what to do. I finally got my phone to get enough signal to pull up a map and realized we were about 10 miles from the next town, and we knew we were going downhill. So we risked it and drove to where we could get a signal. We called my dad and he agreed with me when he thought the check engine light just needed to be reset after we were out of coolant. So we drove on to the next town, which was right by the highway. And we stopped for dinner. ‘Cuz we didn’t pack lunch OR dinner for our “3-hour adventure.” (Side note: thank goodness we only had Gelato with us. I can at least feed him anytime, anywhere. Hula Girl would have been hungry, my friends. And crabby.)

After dinner Jonathan noticed our car had a huge puddle under it… and no more coolant. G-reat. We contacted my parents’ across-the-street-neighbor, Dave, who knows everything about anything mechanical, and who kind of repairs cars for a living. He told us we could just keep adding water every 10 minutes and risk the drive home. We got to the auto shop, left the car in the lot and dropped off the key, and asked our across-the-street neighbor, Brett, to drive us home. We got home SEVEN hours after we left. That’s four more hours than we planned on. Ugh.

And we learned today that our car will cost about $450 to fix… as long as the only thing that’s wrong with it is what they think is wrong with it. See, they can’t keep coolant in it long enough to drive it and see what could be the issue. Nice. So, there’s another prayer request- pray that our car will be fixed with only $450… we can’t really afford that, let alone anything else. Which brings my to my next circumstance:

Money

We’ve always lived on less than most people. In fact, Jonathan makes just enough to put our family over the poverty line for a family of four. But we’ve learned to live small. Think about this- before Jonathan was out of grad school, we lived on my measly teacher’s salary for three years. Yowza. We don’t have a TV, so we don’t pay for service. We keep our house relatively warm in the summer and cool in the winter. We don’t have anything new or fancy. Our wedding/engagement rings are the most valuable things we own. So basically, we can’t afford anything that’s not budgeted.*

Jonathan has a wonderful chance to receive a scholarship repayment through the state of Colorado. He has to commit to 3 years of service in an underserved area or working with an underserved population. His current job qualifies him. If he gets the award, his student loans will be paid off in December… by the state! Considering Jonathan’s student loans are our second largest budget area (second only to rent), we could sure use that money elsewhere. Say, oh, to pay for Gelato’s delivery. Or for our car to get fixed. We also desperately need a new car since both of ours are not in the greatest condition and neither are really large enough for a family of four (when you factor in car seats, what sedan really IS large enough?).

So please pray with us that the Lord will provide a way for us to pay for the things we need to pay for, whether it be through this scholarship repayment program or some other means (hey, Jonathan’s boss, if you ever read this, we sure could do with a raise! 😉 ) .

*I want to clarify a few things before I start sounding like we’re destitute or foolish. First of all, we have no debt aside from Jonathan’s student loans. Secondly, we make very informed decisions before purchasing anything… including a new child (so to speak). So before anyone gets all “if-you-can’t-afford-stuff-why-did-you-have-another-kid?!”  on me, let me kindly remind you that we are aware that children cost a lot of money. We are also aware that we made a choice to have a child. On purpose. We asked God to give us the blessing of another child.** Because guess what. Our children are worth far more than any sum you could ever offer or imagine. And not just to us. To God. So when God chose to give us another sweet baby, we were overjoyed (and a heckuvalotta nervous). We can hack it financially, especially with the knowledge that Jonathan has nowhere to go but up in his career and I can always always always find a way to earn money if we really need it. Who has ever heard of a tutor? Yeah, okay. Like I said, we are not destitute or foolish. Just blessed beyond reason to have reaped an abundance of love.

**I also want to clarify that we are done having kids. We’re not going Duggar on ya.

 

 

 

Hangin’ in There

For those of you who knew me when Hula Girl was born and received a billion and one emails that were about ten pages long each, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for not kicking me in the rear end and telling me to suck it up. Because, really, although the transition from no children to one child is definitely a much larger shift than the transition from one child to two, I should have realized that one child is cake.* With icing.

*I do think that our experience with our first child was a slightly more difficult one than many people have- I did absolutely no research, neither of us had ever been around a lot of babies, and she had reflux. Reflux alone makes any normal baby issue get magnified about 100 times because you’re never sure if your baby is just acting fussy because of a growth spurt or mental leap or if she’s in pain and needs her dosage adjusted for the umpteenth time. Plus since she’s in pain, you can’t just leave her to fuss for a moment- fussing turns to screaming which turns to guilt since you know your baby’s in pain. And all the while you think you’re doing the right thing by nursing her every.single.flipping.time.she.”demands”. it. but you learn later on that nursing every 1-2 hours around the clock is likely aggravating her reflux instead of helping her feel better. Whoever said smaller more frequent meals was the way to go for reflux babies was not right in the head.

Anyway, I am still struggling through this crazy season. But I am able to keep perspective and realize that it really is just that: a season. A very short one at that. Gelato is going to be a newborn for just seven more weeks, bringing the grand total of newborn plus toddler days in my life to about ninety all together. That means three months. That is NOT a lot of time when you realize I will be turning 27 years old when he turns 3 months old, which means I will have spent just 1/108 of my life in this particular season. That’s nothing for me to complain about, now is it?

It is definitely the hardest season of my life by far. I will always remember this time fondly, because I am learning what Scripture means when it talks about being refined. It takes heat…and lots of it!… to purify precious metals. (As I typed the word “precious” just now, my mind went in three separate directions at once, which was a weird experience in itself. But weirder still, here are, in no particular order, my thoughts when I typed that word: “My precioussssssss,” “That was a really sad movie,” and “I am so glad God sees me as his precious child the way I see Hula Girl and Gelato as my precious children.” I think the third thought was the most appropriate, given the context, but you gotta forgive me a little Gollum.) Anyway, I am feeling the heat these days, and I put Gelato to bed every night SO looking forward to the few hours I am given to relax with Jonathan before I collapse into bed (only to get up out of bed every 3-5 hours after that).

I have been encouraged by several people, experienced Babywise moms included, to just let go of the schedule if it needs to be let go of in order to maintain Hula Girl’s and my sanity. I tried a little of that today… and I felt awesome afterward. Seriously, by the afternoon, when Gelato had taken a 2 hour 50 minute nap and a 2 hour 20 minute nap, I had completely forgotten that he spent the first segment of the day (between 6:30 and 11:15 a.m.) only sleeping 100 minutes TOTAL. Oh, and he nursed FOUR times during that segment of the day. FOUR. That’s half his daily nursings. In five hours. So, he’ll end up nursing about 10 times today. Yup, that’s the way the cookie crumbled today. Hula Girl loved it. She helped me change his diaper, she turned on the music in his bouncer for him, and she nursed Elmo. Lifted up her shirt, put Elmo on a supportive pillow, and nursed him. Then she burped him, swaddled him, and put him to sleep. I watched the whole thing silently, laughing to myself. Whenever she caught a glimpse of my face, she grinned and went back to what she was doing. I was in love with my little Mommy.

Anyway, that’s just a snapshot. We’re making it work. Tim Gunn would be so proud. Although he’d probably lay into me for my fashion choices these days- baggy sweatpants, t-shirts, and no accessories from the Lord & Taylor wall at all. Meh. (Oops, I just revealed my deep dark love for Project Runway. I can’t stand Heidi, but I love me some Tim.)

YAHOO! My dad is coming tomorrow to hang out with Hula Girl and then it’s the WEEKEND! Happy Early Friday, friends.

 

Hula Girl- 27 Months

Hula Girl is 27 months old, or two-and-a-quarter years old, today. Here’s some info about her:

Current Schedule:

7:45 out of crib, milk, get dressed (maybe)

8:00 go downstairs, play while breakfast is prepared

8:15/30ish breakfast, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

9:00ish play (usually outdoors)

10:00ish craft/art/project (coloring, play-dough, painting, etc.)

10:45ish roomtime

11:15ish play while lunch is prepared

11:45/12ish eat lunch, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing and pottying

1:00ish nap

3:30/45ish snack and low-key activities

4:45ish roomtime

5:30ish Daddy time

6:00 dinner, followed by hand-washing and teeth-brushing

6:30ish family time

7:00 bedtime routine (bath, potty, lotion, jammies, stories)

7:30 in bed

Eating

Hula Girl has NOT been the world’s best eater this month. She is still learning to stay in her seat at the table. She is also learning when it is and when it isn’t appropriate to just get up and leave the table, saying, “I need to go peepee and poopoo.” But every meal is interrupted by a potty break. Whatever. It is annoying when she then wanders all around, delaying her return to the table. We’re beginning to really crack down on the “only leave the table once during a meal” rule, and we have also started setting a timer because that girl will STALLLLLLLLLLLL. If she’s not done by the time the timer goes off, her food is removed and we declare the meal over. Cue tantrum. But hey, it can’t REALLY take 45 minutes to eat a quarter cup of peas.

Sleeping

This is actually starting to get better. She is not staying awake for hourS on end… maybe only 30-60 minutes every night. And she’s starting to sleep closer to her wake-up time. We have had some middle-of-the-night screaming for Daddy episodes because she really doesn’t like the feeling of a wet diaper, or her nose was running and she needed a tissue. We tied a handkerchief to her crib rail, eliminating the runny nose thing, but we’re not exactly sure about the wet diaper thing. I actually think her night wakings are just due to the fact that Gelato is here, and his presence is more and more felt in our house as he gets older, less sleepy, and less predictable (growth spurt). Hula Girl has also had some struggles going to bed at night. Some evenings, it’s obvious that she’s just plain overtired, because she’ll scream to wear different jammies, but then refuse to take off the ones she’s wearing to put the other ones on. She just doesn’t know which way is up, and the best thing to do in that circumstance is to pray, kiss, and leave. She goes to sleep within five minutes. Poor girl. Naps, however, are golden.

Behavior

heh. Terrible twos? Yup, I think so. Not all the time. Only when her new molars are hurting her. We are just waiting and waiting for them to break through. We can see one right under the gum, and she’s drooling and chewing up a storm. But she’s obviously in pain from them sometimes. We’re also seeing some behavioral issues due to her extra freedom. She gets to roam a bit more freely than ever before when Mommy has to go running upstairs several times a day to get Gelato up, down, or resettled. I try to give her an activity to do that will keep her occupied (and the house untrashed), but I have frequently found her getting into things that she knows are off-limits. Thank goodness for toddler-proofing.

When I can spend plenty of one-on-one time with her in the morning and make it super positive, the rest of the day seems to go much more smoothly. When the mornings are rough (ie, brother isn’t going down for naps easily or he wakes unexpectedly and Mommy reacts in stress rather than grace), the whole day is grueling for both of us. I know that my own behavior directly influences hers, so I try my best to stay positive, stay forgiving, and keep in mind that she’s really only two and can’t be expected to act any older. ‘Cuz that just wouldn’t be fair.

Attitude

Sunny, chipper, happy-go-lucky, giddy, gleeful, no-flies-on-her. That is exactly the way I would describe my little Hula Girl. She loooooooves to sing, dance, laugh, play, create, joke, invent, explore, explain, hide, seek, chase, read, and snuggle. Her primary concern in the day is whether or not Mommy and Daddy are happy, too. She rarely has a moment where she feels grumpy or mad. She does not stay grumpy or mad longer than about twelve seconds. She takes correction with a smile and says, “Okay, Mommy! I won’t do that again!” She is unstoppably carefree and delightful… and it’s catching. Spend one hour with my little drop of joy, and you’ll feel lighter for a week. I adore this quality of hers.

When she DOES get upset or hurt, she is quite loud and everyone will know it. Make no mistake, she wears her heart of her sleeve. Gotta love that. However, I am aware that I need to be helping her determine when and how it is appropriate to tip her cards. I don’t want her heart getting smooshed.

Language

This.girl.never.shuts.up. Unless she’s sleeping. But if she’s awake, she’s talking. Constantly constantly constantly talking. Or singing. Even if there’s really nothing to say, she will be over there describing everything she’s doing, thinking, feeling, or remembering. She is constantly asking questions and working to hone her grammar. Yes, she consciously works to make sure her grammar is good. My two-and-a-quarter-year-old is working on learning the difference between “she” and “her” and she will say a sentence using one of the two and then look at me questioningly to make sure she got it right. And her pronunciation is amazing now. She only needs to work on /s/,/r/,/l/ and /k/. but she has every other sound down pat.

Here are some of the funny/sweet/amazingly thoughtful for a two-year-old things she’s said lately:

“Where is Uncle Jeremy….’s house?”

(Looking at the [decorative] old window we have hanging on our dining room wall) “Why can’t I see through that window?”

“[Gelato] is not hungry but he is crying. [Gelato] needs a fuzz!” (Apparently she knows that fuzzes comfort her, and she thinks they will comfort others as well!)

“Mommy, sing that ‘female deer’ song, please!”

“I want to snuggle in bed all day long!”

“Don’t cry! I’ll burp you!”

(As she pulls up Jonathan’s shirt) “Do you have nipples? Let me see your nipples! Oh, Daddy! Nurse me, please!”

(As she points southwest) “That’s southwest!”

“Daddy, are we going on a father/daughter date?”

Caring

Ever the sensitive girl, Hula Girl has continued to show great compassion and caring toward everything. Her latest way of showing kindness is by burping things. She will walk around the house burping baby dolls, cell phones, combs, pillows, ponies, Mommy, and Gelato (when he is awake). She also loves to put her “baby”to bed every night before she gets out of the bath. She’ll go through her entire bedtime ritual with her baby, down to making sure the baby has heard her four sleep rules! Such a little Mommy.

Quirkiness

She still loves fuzzes…

She has an obsession with smelling things. Coffee, feet, ANYTHING in Mommy or Daddy’s hands, Gelato, Riley, flowers, rocks… you name it, she walks up to it and sniffs.

She still has a desperate need for socks on her feet.

She loves to choose her own clothing. Her favorite outfits include more than one skirt at a time, tights, crowns, butterfly wings, a hat, and anything teal. Oh, and if she’s wearing undies, they MUST match. (However, her socks do not have to match- each other OR the outfit.)

She does not like the lawn mower. She thinks it will eat her up, so she MUST be sitting on my lap while we watch Jonathan mow the lawn together.

Big Sister

In her newest role, Hula Girl excels. Never was a little brother loved and worried about the way Gelato is. Hula Girl absolutely adores him and constantly wants to be near him. Her least favorite part of the day is when I have to take him back upstairs and put him down for naps. Her favorite part of the day is when I ask her to hold/kiss/hug him. She complies with gentleness and glee! I can’t wait to see their relationship develop as they grow!

We love her. So very very much. She has done very well this month with all the changes in our family’s life and home. She makes us proud and glad to call her ours!

 

 

Five Year Anniversary


Today is Jonathan’s and my five-year anniversary. To celebrate, I thought I’d publish some pictures from that day along with the feelings and thoughts I was having when said pictures were taken. 

Before we get to the pictures, though, I’d like to fill you in on the first thing that came to my mind that day. I woke up, and checked to make sure Jonathan was out of the house (we were staying with my parents for the latter part of the summer before our wedding-in SEPARATE ROOMS, just want to clarify) so that he didn’t see me before the event. Then I wandered into the kitchen, found my mom, and said, “I’m getting married today. What am I going to have for breakfast? Cereal!

The way my mom tells it, I was totally freaked out, worried over every little thing so much that I was worried about what I was having for breakfast. However, just to set the record straight: I was hoping someone had thought to provide a nice pre-wedding breakfast. Instead I had cereal. And I’m sure it wasn’t tasty cereal like Lucky Charms. No, it was probably bland ol’ shredded wheat. Likely with peanut butter and honey. So that was kind of a downer. 

Ahem. On with the pictures!

Mom zipping up the dress! My thoughts: Thank goodness it still fits perfectly!

 

Ha putting on the garter (we should have done this BEFORE putting on the dress!) My thoughts: Well, this is awkward. But I’m glad Ha is the one doing it! My thoughts now: What kind of a face am I making!? And wow, that dressing room is MESSY!

My dad and I were making jokes about the weather, the attendance, and the fact that I was to be married. As it should be. My dad will never do anything in life without joking. 🙂

Jonathan and I wanted to have a foot-washing ceremony to show our desire to serve one another. Here I was thinking, “I hope the photographer doesn’t get a close-up of my feet.” I hate my feet.

And here, I was thinking, “Who decided to do this ceremony? It’s so hard to bend down really far in a wedding dress! I hope I don’t splash water on my dress and ruin it before pictures!” Side note- we still have that tub and use it to hold various winter articles such as scarves, gloves, hats, etc. It used to sit by our door to collect shoes. Multifunction!

We also decided to include a communion ceremony. We included our parents. I am not sure what I was thinking here, but after looking at Jonathan’s face, one might wonder if he thought I was drinking too slowly!

I was probably thinking something like, “Whoa, this ceremony is going faster than I thought it would!”

You know I was worried that we had to get this right. But I was also thinking about how weird it was to say, “I’m married!” I must have repeated it a thousand times in my head during that one kiss.

Happy anniversary, Jonathan! I love you!

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