Monday, May 31, 2010

Two Months

I am just amazed what a difference a month makes in the life of an baby. Especially the 1st few. I know a lot of people who really dislike the newborn phase and for good reason with the crying and sleepless nights. Maybe it's only because I have uber-easy kiddos, compared to most newborns, but despite the last 8.5 weeks being a challenge to my mommy skills, I can honestly say I love this stage. I love (and hate) how quickly they change and not only what a difference a month or a day make, but sometimes just a few hours produce noticeable change. I read the other day that babies produce growth hormones more in their sleep than when awake. So when they look like they've grown overnight, they have! The other day McKenna woke up from a nap and her hair was visibly longer. That just astounds me. And that's just such an inconsequential example compared to the other changes I see daily. She is definitely becoming more of a "baby" now and less of an infant/newborn. It's so fun too see and I feel so blessed I get to witness it! (Thank you Brian for working so hard that I get to stay home with our children! I know it's not easy. You're wonderful!)

New this month...

Gosh where to even begin! My favorite of course!

Smiles, smiles, smiles! Oh I love this little girl's smile! It is so very sweet! I can tell she's still thinking hard about them and she doesn't just give them up easily. Not that she's too serious or cranky otherwise but it's almost like she's a little insecure about it yet. As if she's thinking, "If I smile, I'm not sure this lady will smile back!" So she starts with a little feeler smile and then that will bloom into a bigger, less reserved one. It cracks me up when she decides to practice her smiling when she's supposed to be eating, cuz you can't do both at once! She mostly only smiles for me, but she has smiled a few times for others too and is doing so more and more everyday. I feel like Austin had a silly, uninhibited smile, even from the beginning so it will be interesting to see if she will have a more reserved personality than he does.

McKenna is incredibly attached to me. She will fuss for just about anyone else, including Brian. I know that's still pretty normal at this stage, but I'm sure it's also influenced by her being the second child. When Brian is home, we go with the man-on-man defense. He is wonderfully feeding, entertaining or corralling Austin, while I'm feeding McKenna. Because of this, Brian doesn't get to hold her very often. Even when he does, the evenings are more likely to be her fussing time, so it can be a short-lived holding. So all that to say, she doesn't get much "practice" being held by others. We're gonna have to keep working on this cuz it would be nice to be able to leave her with Brian or a sitter from time to time! I could really use some time for a pedicure!

She had her 2 month appointment today. She's 23" long (75%) and 10lbs 8oz (50%). Unfortunately she only gained 4oz in the last 3 weeks, which is about 1/2 of what they'd like to see. She was 60% for weight at her last appointment and dropping 10% isn't good. But she's thankfully eating well thanks for the Zantac (Hallelujah!!) so I'm not too worried about it.

Still a wonderful sleeper! I am so thankful but also feel guilty! We have settled into a pretty good routine/schedule. I hesitate to call it a schedule, cuz that sounds like I dictate what happens. The only time I intervene is if we have some place we need to be at a time she would need to eat. Other than that I try to follow her cues. I have encouraged the eat-wake-sleep cycle that BabyWise teaches. We did that with Austin and I really feel that it contributed to some good sleep habits cuz it helps them learn to fall asleep on their own - without having to be nursed to sleep. It is interesting to me that while her routine started out different from Austin's, it's starting to resemble his more and more. And not that you all care the details, I wanna record them anyway, so I remember!

7:00 wake, eat, sometimes go right back down, otherwise she's up for about 1 hour and sleeps again.
10:00 wake, eat, up for 1.5, then down again. Sometimes up for less, because we are going somewhere and she zonks out completely in the car.
1:00 wake, eat, up for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour, depending on what we're doing. Bath time usually falls in here, cuz I have to have all the dishes done to give her a bath. That keeps her up a little longer. Sleeps until 5 or sometimes 6.
5:00 wake, eat, up until 8ish usually. Sometimes takes a snooze in here. This is her fussiest time but is pretty much only fussy if the previous 3 naps didn't go well. Like if the got interrupted by an appointment or an errand or something.
8:00 eat again, sleep around 9:00. 8:00 is Austin's bedtime, so I put her down on the couch or our bed until he's good and asleep and then move her.
11:00 Will occasionally wake for a nightcap. She didn't used to but is starting to do so more and more. It's weird to me that whether she does or not barely affects what time she wakes in the middle of the night. If she doesn't eat then, she's up a 3:00, if she does, then maybe 4:00. Sometimes, she'll go as late as 5:00, but that's rare.
Night feeding: Up just as long as it takes to eat and get a fresh diaper. With getting her back to sleep, I'm up about one hour. With Austin, I was only up for 20 minutes or so by this point, because he ate so much faster, was usually pretty dry and went back to sleep on his own when you laid him down. Because I don't want her waking Austin, I make sure she's really out before I put her down. If he's woken up in the morning, he doesn't go back to sleep.

She's usually pretty flexible on eating times. If we're stuck in traffic or something, she only gets upset if she's overdue an hour or so. But she's not flexible on sleep. When she's tired, I have to get her down quick or else she gets really agitated and then has a hard time going to sleep. And then the rest of the day is rough.

McKenna is hitting all her milestones good! She's tracking well for her age. She LOVES her mobile. Gets a huge smile on her face as soon as I set her up under it. She's following them around in a circle pretty well! And she makes great eye contact and will follow your face/eyes well. It's so fun to see these little social steps develop.

She has the shriekiest cry when she's really upset. Sooo drama! =D After her vaccines on Thursday, she cried for another 5-10 minutes. She calmed down for a minute right afterward and then let loose! It's like she gets upset just remembering how awful it was! (Becca, reminds me of a Friends episode)

Such a snuggler! Austin wasn't much of a snuggler, so I am loving this! She loves to be upright on my chest/shoulder. If she's having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep for her naps on our bed, I'll often lay down next to her until she goes out. If I put my head near her's, she will more her head until it's touching mine. If I move, she tries to move so she's touching again.

She's still liking being swaddled. By this time, Austin hated having his legs swaddled and I could really only swaddle him after he was asleep. We've discovered the trick to calming her down when she's tired is to wrap her up quickly! She fights it a little but her eyes roll back pretty darn quick and then she's out!

Her hair is growing so quickly! Still crossing my fingers she won't have a little old man hairline for months. It's looking like she could be in the clear!!

Her eyes are very blue still. I want to say that by this time, Austin's had started turning more grey, so I'm crossing my fingers that her's might stay blue. Brian has such beautiful blue eyes - I have always hoped that one of our children would get them! But if not, I'll settle for the eyelashes! Which I'm pretty sure she got too!

She's definitely a binkie girl. She pretty much needs it to fall asleep unless she in the car. As soon as she's mostly out though, she spits it out and stays asleep without it. I don't know if she just never wakes up once she's down at night or if when she does wake up, she doesn't need it. Either way, we haven't had more than a few binkie wars - where I'm sticking it back in for her every few minutes!

Okay, I didn't realize how long my list was getting! That's a lot of info, and prolly pretty random info for most of you, for a kid who's life consists of so few activities. But I'm constantly wishing I could remember specifics of Austin's infancy as we're going through the steps with McKenna. I don't want to be wishing the same thing again later. Plus, everyday is such a joy! Albeit, a crazy busy joy, ( one told me how "go, go, go" my life would be with 2 under 2! Or I didn't pay attention when they did) but a joy, nonetheless. And savoring life to me is also savoring all the minute details!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This was my 2nd official Mother's Day but really it was the 3rd one that counts. I was pregnant with Austin 3 years ago and while I didn't get to hold him in my arms that Mother's Day, I still was holding him and in my heart it counts! Each Mother's Day has been better and sweeter than the last though. It might be because I got to celebrate being a mommy to another kidlet, but I have a feeling that every Mother's Day is going to be more wonderful because I get to look back on another year of joy.

I know Mother's Day is more or less a fabricated holiday for Hallmark to boost some revenues, but that doesn't matter to me. Sure, it's nice to be appreciated, but I view it more as a day for me to celebrate my blessings! The night before, I went to bed with the anticipation of a 5 year old on Christmas Eve. And that's not just in anticipation of what present Brian the kids got me this year. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic to the point of pure giddiness over my new camera! I seriously thought I was getting an iPod Nano to replace the one that was stolen from my car. But truly my kids are present enough! And the joy I get from being their mommy trumps everything else! Gosh, I love this day!

Okay, enough gushing! I know you really just wanna see pics of me and my cute kiddos. Well, mostly just the cute kiddos right?!

Saturday we took our moms to Hoff's Hut for a wonderful lunch. Sunday we had a sweet day just the four of us. I had hoped to sleep in but both kids decided they loved me so much, they wanted to tell me early!! We went out for lunch Sunday at BJ's. I don't have any pics of Sunday, cuz the new camera hadn't come yet!

Austin hamming it up, laughing at Papa

My sweet McKenna in her cheery sunshine dress.

The three mommies

My beautiful family! The first pic of us as a foursome too.

Me and my ladybug

Three generations

A boy and his favorite Daddy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Believe It or Not...

This is a smile.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


It only sorta counted as a bonafide smile when my mom saw it. Everyone knows that it's not official until the momma sees it!

Then it really counted when I saw it.

But it's a confirmed, official, bonafide smile when it's captured on camera.

And it a pretty darn cute confirmed, official, bonafide smile, if you ask me!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pretty in Pink

I love looking at newborn photoshoots. Pictures of newbie babies sleeping so soundly in various cute props, or wrapped up in blankets as they slumber are just so sweet! I've always looked forward to having pictures of my babies like that.

My babies had other ideas in mind. They like to be awake for their newborn photoshoots. Wide awake. Which is so weird, since both of my children are epic sleepers!

Fortunately, wide awake makes for beautiful pictures too. As always, my friend Rebecca rocks! She simply and quickly snapped these during a playdate for the boys. Hopefully someday I can take pictures nearly as good!

For comparison, these are Austin's newborn pictures. He was about 2 weeks old. McKenna was about 3 weeks old.

Tummy Time

Austin wasn't quite sure what to think about McKenna's Tummy Time

But he liked showing her his own tummy time technique

I think they're going to be good buddies

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Great (Grandparents) Day

In recent posts, you may have noticed my mom wearing a neck brace. She's still all messed up from her trip down the stairs at Christmas. Up until a weeks ago, she wasn't even allowed to take it off to drive, which meant no driving since it's nearly impossible to look over your shoulder with a neck brace on.

Every week my mom goes out to Orange County to visit both sets of Grandparents. She takes her Dad to visit her mom, (She has Alzheimer's and is in a home) and helps him run errands. And then on the way home she visits with my dad's parents. Since she can't drive, she's had to rely on other people to get her out there. So I offered to be her chauffeur a few weeks ago and took the opportunity to introduce McKenna to all her maternal Great Grandparents in one day. It had been a while since they had been able to see Austin too, so they were more than happy to have us come visit!

We had a wonderful day!

We started out visiting my mom's parents.

Grandpa shared some of the chocolate he had brought for Grandma with Austin.

Grandpa and his two Great Grandbabies

Next we visited my dad's parents. My aunt, my cousin's wife and their little girl were all able to make it out for the visit too. Maddie is just a month younger than Austin. They had a good time playing together!

Maddie is one of the most beautiful little girls ever!

My Grandma is a bonafide baby whisperer. She can calm literally any baby. McKenna cried for everyone that day but her!

My Aunt Becky and the kiddos

My Grandpa doing his best to calm a tired McKenna

Favorite moment of the day - Trying to get a pic with the three great grandkids. The two girls decided to be a little drama, while Austin was just trying to figure out what their problem was!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


First I described Austin's age in days, then weeks, and then for the last 16 months or so, I described it in months. For the last month now, I find myself describing him in years, or more accurately, in half years. One and one half. That's not going to change for a while. Well at least a few more months. Then I suppose he'll be almost two. for a few months too. Since how I describe him to others hasn't changed now that he's 19 months old, it feels funny to write this post and take his Pooh picture. But I'm determined to keep doing it so that I remember what each month was really like. Otherwise, I'm afraid this second half of his second year will be nothing but a blur in my memory.

That's why I love making these lists! They record what I know will be lost in my mind! Especially since I started out with the memory capabilities of a goldfish and pregnancy and motherhood have certainly not helped in that area! By the time I'm done having and raising these kids, gosh, I'm going to be nothing more than a mentally challenged goldfish!

Anyway, it's even more fun to look back at these lists now that McKenna is here. I can't help but compare and contrast their personalities and how they've grown. I know I wouldn't be able to remember and do that if I hadn't written things down. I'm so thankful that I did!

New this month....

If I had to pick Austin's most favorite thing to do right now, it would indubitably be puzzles! He is soooo a boy after my own heart! He's been playing with two puzzles for months now, what we call the schizophrenic animal puzzle, (it seriously moos at the most random times!) and a big knob animal puzzle. He just in the last few months has truly figured out how to rotate the pieces and fit them into the spots. Before he would rub them over the spot and if it fell in, great! If not, he would assume it went in another spot and try it somewhere else. Now he knows where each piece goes and figures it out until it fits. So his growing skill and a lack of awareness of the letters of the alphabet led me to get him a small peg alphabet puzzle. I figured it would be way over his head for a while, but that would be a good thing as it would keep him occupied for weeks to come as he figured it out. took him about 2 days to figure it out. Seriously the only day that he couldn't do it was the very first day. He's had it 1.5 weeks now and he zips through it like it's nothing! He only knows a few letters by name when you ask him but he certainly knows where every single piece goes. The only hesitations are the pieces that fit in another hole and the "M" & the "W". Very teeny hesitations though. It's been so fun to see the progression over the last week and a half! And it's even more fun to see the pride in his face when he knows he just accomplished something pretty great. I hope he's a puzzle boy for a long time. One of my favorite hobbies is doing puzzles, especially doing them with my dad, so it would be such a thrill to get to enjoy that with Austin too!

This month was much better with tantrums. I think a lot of it had to do with McKenna's pending and then actual arrival. He's mostly only naughty now when he's bored. Unfortunately, with as long as it takes McKenna to eat, Austin is bored a lot! So I've been trying to think up ways to keep the poor boy occupied while I can't move. I'll take any and every idea you've got!!

Austin is definitely used to having McKenna around and is already being a great older brother. He's always asking about her if she's not in the room. When I put him in the car first and then go back in the house for her, he signs for her and/or points to her seat to make sure I don't forget her. He will bring her a pacifier (as long as he doesn't put it in his own mouth first) and her blanket when she's crying and once he actually put the pacifier in her mouth. He likes to help me burp her, but I'm not sure if that's cuz he likes to help or cuz he thinks it's funny to hit her!

He's trying to figure out jumping. I think it started with the dancing Easter chick my parents have that sings "If You're Happy & You Know It" that jumps up and down, cuz shortly after Easter I noticed him trying. Mostly it's just bouncing up and down but I think he's getting closer at least.

He FINALLY cut a front tooth on the right! His little smile has been lopsided for so long now. It's still quite lopsided since the tooth just cut, but at least there's a tooth! There is hope! Seriously, I was getting a little worried there.

At his 18 month appointment, he was 23 lbs 2oz (~15%), 33 1/4" (75%), and his head circ was 25%. I'm glad he's gaining a few weight percentiles again. Makes me know I'm feeding him right!

He says "Bye Dad!" He has officially spoken a sentence! It only consists of two words, but it counts! He's still adding words to his vocabulary every week and I think he's getting to be more understandable with the ones he's been saying for a while.

One thing that's not new new but is new for him recently is pushing cars around on the floor. He used to do this when he was crawling but not since he's been walking. Just in the last week or so he's started doing it again. I think it's partly because he saw my cousin's kids doing it last week. But I get the feeling he's doing it less of a mechanical way and more of a role playing way, which usually starts about this age.

Another favorite pastime/game - spinning around in circles. It started out as part of his "dancing" but I think he discovered he can make himself kinda dizzy. He has yet to crash hard, but I'm sure it's coming!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Test posts

I had so so so much fun planning McKenna's birthday party. For once, I knew exactly what I'd do for a theme! I love ladybugs! (Ladybug was my mom's nickname for me and I call McKenna that a lot. Well mostly I call her Peanut, but that doesn't make a good birthday theme, in my opinion!) I particularly like pink ones and they are becoming fairly popular these days, so I was able to find lots of cute decorations. And what I couldn't find, I just made! I actually planned ahead this time, so I wasn't frantically cutting out a birthday banner the night before.

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In fact, I planned ahead really well this time! I was so proud of me!! I started making the cake Thursday, just in case things went badly like they did with Austin's cake! But it went so so smoothly that I really didn't have much to worry about. Auntie Suz was also there to help out and that allowed us to crank it out while also attending to all our kiddos at the same time!

I was so happy with how it turned out!
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After getting a lesson in using fondant from Auntie Robin when we made the cake for Auntie Suz's baby shower, I felt comfortable giving it a go for this cake! Just the ladybug covering (having a pink ladybug instead of a red one save me a ton of time! It's hard to make red, but pink is easy!) and polka dots are fondant though, cuz I wanted the cake to be yummy, not just cute and I'm not horribly fond of the taste of fondant.

And yummy it was! I think that was the yummiest cake I have ever had. And I'm not just saying that because I made it. The cake itself was "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" with chocolate filling, a recipe I got from Rebecca. It's almost too rich, if there could be such a thing! And the frosting was White Chocolate Cream Cheese and I swear it tasted like I spread cheesecake all over the cake. I probably gained 5 pounds making her cake, cuz I couldn't stop testing the frosting! The only bummer about the frosting is that it doesn't pipe well, so the grass was very problematic and didn't turn out very grass-like, but at that point of the process I was pretty tired and didn't care so much!

McKenna's smash cake was a little teddy bear, just like Austin's was. Both Brian and my 1st birthday cakes were the same bear, and I've kept that tradition going. That's why it doesn't go with the "theme". Auntie Suz decorated it and it came out adorable!

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The day of the party, we decorated with pink ladybugs everywhere! Plates, napkins, banners, pink balloons. I love me some pink!

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(By the way, if anyone is ever interested in custom banners, please let me know. I'm considering selling these!)

As much as I enjoy planning the party, it doesn't compare to actually celebrating my baby girl! It was a great day and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves! Especially my birthday girl, all dressed up in her new pink ladybug outfit!

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While we waited for the pizza to arrive, the kids played in the backyard. Once again, we borrowed a bouncer and the kids had fun hopping around. Austin didn't used to like bouncers very much, but he has started loving them!

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We set aside some little kid time, so that the birthday girl could experience her own bouncer, without the threat of being squished by a big kid. McKenna had never been in a bouncer before but she quickly got the point and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

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The kids also had a lot of fun in the little playhouse my parents have.
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Some pics of my other favorite kiddos!

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Then we all had a yummy lunch of pizza, potato salad, fruit, mac&cheese, and butterfly & flower shaped sandwiches. It was nice not to have to have someone manning the bbq for a change!

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I kept giggling at this scene! All adults sitting at the kiddie table with only one kid with them!
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Decorating sugar cookies was such a hit at Austin's 2nd birthday party, that I decided to do that again. The kids all gathered at the little table and decorated either flowers or butterflies. (Ladybug cookies are pretty much just ovals!) The kids were all very serious about their decorating and even more so about eating them!

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After cookies, we set up the pinata. How cute is the pink ladybug pinata?!

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The birthday girl got first pull
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The mad dash after Brooke pulled the right string. This picture cracks me up! You can see Austin peeking over the other kids. He could see precious lollipops just laying there, but for the life of him, could not figure out how to get to them! Poor kid!
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He finally got some assistance and all was right in his world!

Then it was time for McKenna to have some cake! I tried to use frosting that wouldn't harden as much as Austin's 1st smash cake did, but it still hardened somewhat overnight. So McKenna didn't get real into the smash part of the smash cake. Just like Austin she daintily picked at it and needed a little assistance figuring out that there was yummy sugary goodness there! But she once she did, she enjoyed it!

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And as always, my proper little lady!
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The final carnage
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By the time the cake was eaten, McKenna was pretty wiped out and we figured since she had no concept of what presents were anyway, we decided not to open them during the party and just call it a day! But another thanks to everyone for such wonderful gifts! She got some really cute toys and some really cute clothes!!

So we quickly got some photos with the birthday girl and then put her down for a nap!

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Happy Birthday sweet girl!
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