Gelato-4 Month Update

Yep, they all said it would happen. The second child syndrome- Mom wasted all her energy on documenting and fawning over the first child’s “firsts” so the second child has no pictures, no dates, and no mementoes to prove he even existed apart from big sib. Well, Gelato, you are not the exception to the rule. Sure, I have some great shots of you throughout your life. But they’re basically all of you doing the exact same thing- lying on your back and looking up. You just do it so cute!

Plus, you haven’t really done much else yet. I am not going to make this a compare-you-to-your-sister post, but let me just remind the readers: by 4 months of age, Hula Girl was proficient at rolling both ways, grabbing on to toys, playing with her feet, and was well on her way to crawling and sitting up. Little Man, on the other hand, has rolled a grand total of maybe 10 times in his life (always front to back), can hold toys that are handed to him (actually, he did work for and grab onto a toy today during tummy time), doesn’t know his body exists beyond his hands and ears, and slumps over like a little ol’ grandpa any time we try to sit him vertical. 🙂

That’s not to say he’s not reaching age-appropriate milestones. We had his 4-month checkup yesterday and he actually tested at 5 months 3 weeks according to the pediatrician’s development “test”. I circled yes for everything up until “pushes body up with arms fully extended” and “swallows purees off a spoon”. Poor little guy. He hasn’t even had a chance to try purees- he never will! We’ll always have to circle no on that one! (We will be using Baby-Led Weaning again with him.)

Gelato is 16 pounds 4 ounces, up 4 ounces since I took him about a week ago. That means he’s actually on trajectory to double his birth weight by 6 months. Wowza. He’s in the 75th percentile for weight. He’s 25 inches long, in the 50th percentile, and his head is back up into the 50th percentile as well. Basically, he’s growing along his growth curves nicely.

He is healthy in every way. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chest, hips, skin. Check, check, check, check, check, check, check. The doctor noted that his top two teeth are definitely moving down through the gum; it’s only a matter of time until we see those little pearly whites. I will be sad, again, to see my baby get his first teeth. I just adore those gummy baby smiles so very much, and once they get teeth, it’s like they grow up SO much SO fast and the sweet infant days are gone forever. I think my heart just shed a tear in preparation for Gelato’s first tooth breaking through.

I really am hating having him grow up. It is flying by so fast, too fast. I remember just being so darn bored with Hula Girl because she couldn’t DO anything at this stage. But now that I have a toddler who does it all, I am rather enjoying the do-nothingness that comes with the infant stage. I am SO glad this boy isn’t light years ahead of his peers. Who needs to roll when Big Sister just fetches toys for you? Stay still, Little Man, there’s no rush.

I will, however, be glad to have a 12-hour sleeper sometime. I definitely took that for granted when Hula Girl was the only little munchkin boppin’ around the house. 12 whole hours to rest, relax, enjoy my husband, pig out on popcorn and ice cream (without having to share it or do “duck-under-the-kitchen-counter-while-she-sits-at-the-table-so-she-can’t-see-you-take-a-bite-of-that-cookie” maneuvers), and sleep.

This boy’s sleep is taking a LOOOOOONG time to iron itself out. But we’re getting there. Right now, we’re basically doing this schedule (within 30 minutes)

  • 6:30 wake, nurse, lay in Mommy and Daddy’s bed laughing and squealing and talking
  • 7:30 nap
  • 9:30 wake, nurse, independent playtime, possible sibling time, read books, some tummy time
  • 10:35 nap
  • 12:30 wake, nurse, tummy time, outside time (unless it’s FREEZING), lots of physical activities
  • 1:40 nap
  • 3:30 wake, nurse, sibling time, read books, hang out
  • 4:40 catnap
  • 5:20 wake, family time
  • 6:00 bath, lotion, jammies (all with Daddy)
  • 6:30 nurse
  • 6:45 bed
  • 10:00 dreamfeed (I take him out of his crib and nurse him without waking him)

SOMETIMES he has a middle-of-the-night feeding… other times he sleeps until our waketime in the morning. I can’t WAIT for this to get consistent.

He is in the middle of a wonder week. I have definitely noticed it for the past week or so. He has been waking 45 minutes into his naps and has not fallen back asleep easily. This is common during this stage, but it’s hard on me when I am trying to keep things normal for Hula Girl while balancing his needs as well. It’s extra hard because Gelato will not fall back asleep with ANY kind of help- he will not be rocked to sleep, he will not sleep in his swing, he will not take a pacifier. So it’s either let him talk/play/cry in his crib until the next feeding time or get him up early and hope we can adjust somehow. We usually opt for the second choice  because I can’t emotionally hack it when I have to listen to him crying and Hula Girl whining (another post, coming later tonight).

Nursing is going well regardless of his crazy sleeping habits. If I am not sure he’ll be  hungry enough to eat in the morning (due to eating in the early hours, close to our waketime), I just have to get him as soon as he stirs and nurse him while he’s drowsy. Then he’ll eat.

Also, I am still doing a partial elimination diet. I tried introducing wheat and soy a couple months ago- that didn’t go too well. His arms and legs got some eczema. However, I’m not sure if it was diet related or if it was because we had just switched his soap and lotion (we switched back). Anyway, his skin is all cleared up again (has been for a month) and so I decided to try introducing something else. This time I tried dairy. I had lasagna (with rice noodles) on Sunday night, and so far things seem to be going fine! I’m going to eat some cheese again tonight and if he’s still doing okay by the end of the week, I’m going to get myself some yogurt this weekend so I can munch on that next week. If dairy goes smoothly, I will try the soy again. I will keep wheat for last. I am very excited to eat something terribly delicious again soon, though. Like cheesecake. Mmmmm.

Anyway, let me share something else with you. I may have written it somewhere in a previous post, but even if I have, it’s worth restating. My friend Jennie once posted on her blog something that her mom said. It was something like, “As a mom, you will love your daughter so deeply it will hurt and then some. But you will have a crush on your son.”

OH.MY.GOODNESS. It is so true. I have the biggest crush on this little guy. Perhaps it’s because he looks so much like his Daddy? Maybe it’s because he has the qualities I have always admired so much in others (mild-tempered, easygoing)? Maybe it’s because he’s just so darn sweet? I don’t know what it is. But I cannot tell you just how much happiness is squeezed into my heart whenever I’m with that baby boy. It doesn’t hurt- it just makes my heart feel glad. I am so thankful that God allowed me to feel that way about this child- what a blessing to rejoice SO MUCH in someone five or six times daily!

He really rounds out our family, and I think all of us have little crushes on him, even Hula Girl. Several times a day, I hear her saying, “I just YOVE [Gelato]!” Melt.

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Hula Girl, Age 2

Yep, she’s two. She’s at the age where people can ask her, “How old are you?” and she coyly buries her head in my shoulder/leg and grins a bit while answering, “Two!” She’ll even hold up two fingers if she knows the person well enough!

I have been amazed at the many small but meaningful changes that have happened in the past couple of weeks. I really like having an older toddler… and I am enjoying it more every day! Let’s get down to business:

Current Schedule:

7:45 up, get dressed, drink milk while cuddling and reading
8:15 breakfast
8:45 brush teeth, chore with Mama
9:00 get ready (sunscreen, potty, clothes, shoes)
9:15 go outside/head out in car to whatever activity (about three times a week)
10:15 small snack/come inside/activity
10:30 inside play (with me, without me, whatever)
11:30 drink milk while cuddling and reading
12:15 lunch
1:00 nap
3:30/4 up, snack, play
4:45 drink milk while cuddling and reading
5:00 independent playtime
5:30 Daddy’s home- play with Daddy
6:00 dinner
bedtime between 7:15 and 7:45, depending on nap quality

Sleeping:

Naps:
We had naps down to a science for several weeks… but then around 22.5 months, so in the middle of April, Hula Girl started having really weird sleep issues. She’d fall asleep for her nap just fine but wake an hour into it screaming for me. Or she’d take 30-45 minutes before her nap asking for anything and everything under the sun that she thought would keep me in her room. After about a week of nap shenanigans (I waited just to make sure this was a behavioral issue rather than illness), we buckled down. We introduced “sleep rules,” which I have posted about here (you can also read a more detailed discussion of her sleep challenges in that same post). We stuck to a rigid routine and let her deal with the rest. Just this last week (so about 2 months later), she started lengthening her naps again. Insert sigh of relief!

Nighttime:
Just when naps went wacko, so did nights. My daughter has always slept 12+ hours every night, since forever, barring times of sickness. Suddenly, we started having nights where she’d sleep anywhere from 9-11 hours. ONLY. She chats and sings and laughs with herself every night for about an hour, sometimes two. I know it’s developmental to do this at this age. She is verbal enough to process her entire day as she falls asleep… but really, two hours??? And then she started waking earlier and earlier in the mornings. I thought perhaps it was due to the earlier rising of the sun, so we went out and bought yet another layer of room darkening supplies. To no avail. Nothing has changed here, sorry to say. I am glad naps are lengthening out, but I’d like nights to do so, too!

Nutrition:

Milk:

Hula Girl has been fine with whole milk. We have cut down her intake to 15-18 oz each day, per pediatrician recommendation at her 18-month appointment. However, I have been researching (what?! me, researching!? do I even do anything else with my time?!) and I have decided it’s a good decision to switch her over to another type of milk. The visit to the pediatrician yesterday (even though it was TERRIBLE) really helped me make up my mind. That, and posting my query on my favorite online Mom’s group and receiving lots of feedback. So we’re going to sllooooooowwlllyyy introduce and transition Hula Girl to coconut milk. Slowly meaning, she had about a tablespoon of it on her cereal this morning, and we’ll do some more next Thursday. And then the following Wednesday, then the following Tuesday, etc. I just want to make sure that I catch any slight symptom she might show if she is allergic to coconut.

Eating:
Hula Girl has gotten more picky. That’s not to say that she won’t eat most things; I just mean that she has distinct preferences and rarely finishes any of her veggies or meat. She’s also starting to show preferences for some fruit. She won’t eat much cantaloupe any more. She eschews kiwi. But give that girl a watermelon, and she’ll be occupied for hours!

We’re also dealing with a bit of mealtime mania as she’s constantly begging to leave the table. She is not allowed to leave unless she’s been excused. However, she has turned this into, “May I be dood from table? Yes, you may.” She excuses herself and then feels upset when she’s in trouble for leaving the table! Haha! Our most common form of correction in this case is to end the meal when she leaves her chair. I definitely don’t like to do it, but I don’t show her how bad it makes me feel. I just give her a hug and comfort her when she screams, “[Hula Girl] want more!!!”

Medical:

Reflux:
No incidence of vomiting in the past couple months. Yay!

Constipation:
Nope, nothing here, either. She will occasionally miss a “session” but she’ll make up for it in volume the next time. TMI?

Eczema:
We have some spots here and there. Her knee-pits tend to get red and yucky frequently. It’s pretty hot here these days and she gets sweaty there.  But it’s nothing a good dose of hydrocortisone can’t fix in a jiffy. We continue our regimen of Aquaphor baby wash and Vanicream lotion every night. Wax on, wax off.

Blocked Tear Duct:
Hula Girl’s eyes are beautiful… even more so now that the left one isn’t leaking fluid year-round. The antibiotic/steroid ointment plus massage plus benadryl cleared it right up. And we’ve had no issues since!
Teething:
We’re still waiting on those 2-year molars. I haven’t seen any evidence of teething pains yet. We check her mouth frequently, though. Once the two-year molars are through, we’re done with teething!!! (Just in time to start teething all over again with Gelato!)

Milestones:

Locomotion:
Hula Girl is still a mover. And her skillz have improved greatly. I am no longer afraid of plopping down in a chair in the backyard while she clambers all over her climber/slide thing. She’s also really into going outside barefoot these days. What can I say? That’s pretty cool. She’s not weirded out about grass touching her feet, but she definitely prefers cement or the pebbles in her rock box. She complains that the grass is too cold sometimes. 🙂

Language:
Hula Girl is now pretty easy to understand all the time. At least for me and Jonathan. Her Ama really understands much of what is said, as well! However, she speaks so quickly that many people miss what she’s saying, and she has to repeat herself.  I try my hardest not to translate directly for her, but if someone’s really struggling to understand, I will find an indirect way to communicate her point. For example, she loves to tell Jonathan what she’s having for lunch when we talk to him at lunch. Within the span of two seconds she’ll say something like, “[Hula Girl] having mah-mah-no-nee and deese and bapes and mimeapple and dado Daddy.” So I will have to say, “Yes, [Hula Girl] is having all that, but I’m having the macaroni and cheese only. I am not having grapes, pineapple, or avocado.” I like to preserve her self-respect (yes, Hula Girl, it’s GOOD for you to communicate on your own)!

She’s also starting to be able to talk about things without knowing their names. For example, this morning we were in the backyard. She was over on her slide, and then she started walking behind the juniper trees, past the rock box, on the cement, and around the gardens. I asked her, “What are you doing?” She said, “[Hula Girl] watching daht.” I was like, “What’s that?” “Daht. ” So I looked and looked, and finally spotted “that”- a lizard. “Oh, you’re watching that lizard.” “Yes, [Hula Girl] watching daht eezeed.” I like the way she incorporated the word “lizard” without even flinching. As it should be with learning! 🙂

Other
Hula Girl is demonstrating so much empathy lately. She really does care about all people. If anyone is crying within earshot, she will immediately stop what she’s doing and make a sad face at me and say, “Baby boy dy-dee?” Then she’ll go over to the baby boy (or whomever) and say, “Okay, okay, baby boy, non dy-dee!” I have no idea where she came up with the idea that she should say, “Don’t crying!”… because we never say that when she’s crying. In fact, when she’s crying, we tell her, “It’s okay to cry!” But she really does want everyone to just be happy all the time. She gets very worried if someone is crying or hurt. I stubbed my toe in her room the other day, and she stood in her crib and said, “Yoddy, Mommy! Mommy eet?” I said, “It’s okay, I am hurt, but I will be okay!” She always feels the need to say sorry, even if it wasn’t her fault. I think she learned that because we tell her we feel sorry that she’s sad or hurt or whatever. Sweet Girl.

Oh, random- her weight is 27.5 pounds, and she’s 34.5 inches tall. That puts her in the 50-75th percentiles in both categories. I can’t recall what her head circumference was. Oops.

Monday Blue

I’m talking the color, not the mood.

Today is a great day so far! For me, at least. Hula Girl has had a rough day- I think she’s getting tooth #8 right now. She got tooth #7 last Monday, and when she got her first two teeth, they came about a week apart, so I’m figuring she’ll pop it through pretty soon here. In the meantime, we’re keeping the makers of cold teethers in business.

But back to the greatness! Blue. It’s a lovely color, right? I sure think so. Today has been filled with lots of blue things which have made me very happy.

Blue #1- The pool. Yup, we went swimming again. Hula Girl had on her life vest this time, which was really fun because she could float farther away from me. She got to kickin’ and splashin’ like Shamu. And I didn’t have to get it all in my eyes!

Blue #2- Paint colors. Ahhhhhh, paint colors. Why, you ask? Wellllllll…. I am finally going to start my nightstands and headboard! Remember this post, where I put up pictures of those delightful little nightstands? I also called the headboard ugly. I am happy to announce that I am finally going to get down to business and get those little beauties done up right. My plan is to use white for the main body of the nightstands and the frame of the headboard, and then to use a robin’s egg blue, as seen in this post, for the accents. I will be painting a chevron pattern or stenciling an Ikkat pattern on the tops of the nightstands and in the panels of the headboard, adding robin’s egg blue glass or acrylic knobs and pulls, and putting some robin’s egg blue fabric behind the mesh screens of the nightstand doors. I’m leaning toward Ikat, like this design stenciled by the wonderful Cassie at Primitive and Proper (as featured on the DIY Club blog).

Blue #3- Blue moon. You know how they say that something good only happens “once in a blue moon?” Well, I had my blue moon moment this weekend. I am SO excited. I went in to this secondhand store here in my tiny little town, just to look around. I had never really gone in before, and I am SORRY I didn’t! This place is phenomenal. I am not kidding you. I have never before seen such a treasure trove of amazing antique furniture in beautiful condition, for such excellent prices. In fact, the prices were so good that I ended up buying this adorable dresser for only $75. I am eagerly awaiting its delivery as I type! I will be painting this little baby and I will likely try to sell it online as my first “upcycled” piece. I cannot wait to show you the transformation that will occur. In fact, be aware that in the next few days, I will be posting pictures of the dresser, things that are inspiring, and color schemes, so you can have some input in the final outcome. You, too, can be a winner! 

So, how’s your Monday going?

Oy, with the Poodles Already!

The title is a quotation from my favorite TV series, Gilmore Girls. They took the funniest words they could think of and combined them to make a phrase. Well, the phrase seems to fit today. Except, replace the word “poodles” with “TEETHING” and you’ll have a great idea of what’s going on around our neck of the woods.

Yes, teething. Apparently I am raising Hula Girl to be a sissy when it comes to pain and sickness. She just does not handle them well. I will give the girl a little bit of credit. She IS getting four teeth in at the same time. Four. All four top center teeth. I think they’re called the incisors? She already has the bottom two teeth, and has since Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why she’s decided to sprout four more today. It seems like they’ve been a long time coming and that they could stand to wait a few more weeks, until after our trip to California. But perhaps Hula Girl’s genetic disposition for tooth growth follows the “when it rains, it pours” idiom, and since she’s been so sick, it’s time for teeth!

Regardless of the reason for the timing, they’re here. Well, almost. I can see all four of them, just sitting there, right under her gums, waiting to pop out at any moment. In fact, the right center tooth has poked through- a smidge. Actually, less than a smidge. About a half of a half of a half of a millimeter is sticking through. That’s about an eighth of a millimeter of pure tooth. And an eighth of a millimeter of pure tooth equals a lot of pain for Hula Girl.

She’s been very good during her wake times. She’s played well, crawled happily, and pulled herself up heroically while grasping her teething ring and flailing it around like it’s some kind of prize she’s won. (Short anecdote: after briefly munching on her teething ring this morning, she decided to share it with me by whacking me on the nose with it repeatedly. This elicited peals of laughter from said whacker. Thank goodness her drooly little gums melted it a bit before the whacking commenced.)

However, sleep has been fitful at best since last night. She first cried out around 7:15, or 30 minutes after I put her down. Very strange timing, indeed. She then proceeded to moan in her sleep about five or six times during the night. (I only know because I was awake coughing-still!) Then she woke at 6:00 a.m., crying as if something was wrong. Of course, teething still didn’t occur to me at that point- I was thinking it must be a diaper issue related to the antibiotics. Jonathan dutifully got up and changed her… not poopy… diaper. He put her back down, but she was up at 6:45. I figured 15 minutes early wasn’t going to kill our schedule, and she most likely would make up the missed sleep during her first nap, as long as I got Tylenol in her first. She didn’t make up the sleep, but she did take a good nap.

Her second nap, however, just started… an hour and a half after Jonathan put her down. Those teeth.

Last night I watched the documentary Waiting for Superman and I realized I absolutely must get back into a classroom. It’s where I was meant to be. More on this topic later.

Would you rather go to the dentist or get a flu shot?

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