Monday, October 26, 2009

The Sweetest Thing

I was telling Alyssa's birth story the other night to some friends and I had a memory that I had forgotten about. I wanted to write it down so that I don't forget about it again because I think it is just about the sweetest thing that my mom has ever said to me--not that there haven't been other sweet things, but this has stuck with me.

My mom was supposed to be with me for the birth of Alyssa--my only daughter, my last child, I wanted my mom in there. However, due to the speed of her birth, my mom didn't make it. She arrived about 10 minutes or so after Alyssa was born, around 10:00 or so. She stayed with us and hung out through my recovery time and through the move to the postpartum room. My mom has this intense fear of being over-present in our lives so she tends to go a little too far in the opposite direction and I wish she was around a bit more.

So I kept waiting for her to feel like she was intruding and say she was going home to get some sleep, it was after 1:00 in the morning by now. However, she stayed, and I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something like, "You don't have to stay if you don't want to, but you are welcome to." Her response was something that just struck me and I don't think I'll ever forget it. She replied,

"I'm not ready to go yet."

I don't know why I love her so much for saying those words, but it makes me tear up just thinking about it and picturing that night. It just reminded me how much Alyssa and I are connected to her and how much I want my daughter to grow up to be just like her. She is so strong and seems to need no one, but at that brief moment in time, I saw that she needs us, maybe not as much as we need her, but some, and that meant all the world to me.

B

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sleep

Okay, so those of you that know me know that when it comes to sleep, I am a bit of a fanatic. The one thing I cannot stand is an overtired child, especially my own. I find that this is when a lot of behavior problems occur and my children especially struggle when they are tired. Now, this doesn't mean that I won't occasionally skip a nap or stay out late for something special, but in general, I protect my kids sleep with my life.

When my children are napping, my house is generally quiet. There is often the general noise of a household, but I don't let the bigger kids play upstairs, I usually send them to the basement. Zachary often gets to watch a movie during Alyssa's naptime.

Today I am stressing out big time! I have repairmen here who I desperately need here. I have not had a washing machine for over a week and a half and they are here to fix it. However, I know that Alyssa is not going to get the nap she needs. Add on that I can feel a tooth getting ready to pop through, so she hasn't been sleeping as well, and I am preparing myself for one cranky child for the next couple of days. This makes me so sad because Alyssa has always been such a happy girl and I find myself just wanting to cuddle her so that she isn't so cranky. Well, that's not working so well. Did I forget to mention that she pulls up and is constantly letting go and standing on her own for 5-6 seconds at a time? This means that even cranky she wants down and wants me to sit by her while she does this and then cries when she falls.

Last night she was up three times crying. One time she cried for 10 minutes, but the other two times, it was a couple of cries and she went back to sleep. I know that this is not helping her situation either.

Ah, this too shall pass!
B

Friday, October 9, 2009

Alyssa Update-8 Months

Since our beautiful baby girl is going to be eight months old tomorrow, I think I will skip seven months and go right to eight. So much has happened these last few weeks, I don't even know where to start! I guess that the big milestone is crawling. The video that I posted below shows the progression over the last month of her getting to crawling. She has been crawling for about the last two weeks. Then just a few days ago, I found her like this:

She still can't pull up on the couch or things like that, but I know that it is not far away. Her crawling is very purposeful. She doesn't just crawl to explore, she only crawls if she thinks it will get her somewhere that she can stand up. I don't know if this means she will be a early walker or not, but she definitely knows what she wants. She often crawls to me and reaches for my hands so that she can pull up. She does it pretty easily with me compensating for her balance! You can also see in the video that she has started to bang toys together as well. Soon she'll be clapping! If you listen closely (not to me of course-yuck!) you can hear her babble some too. She likes the gutteral sounds--you'll hear guh, guh, guh.
She is a very good eater. She especially loves finger food. Here she is starting to hold her own sippy cup as well. She still has cereal for breakfast, yogurt for lunch, and fruits & vegetables for dinner. Someday she will start to grow hair, although she leaves hats on her head and lets me put cute headbands in, so I am hopeful that she will leave bows and barettes in as well!

Alyssa continues to be a very go with the flow kind of girl. However, my hubby has agreed to work from home Mondays and Fridays so that I don't have to wake her from her afternoon nap at 2:45 to go get all the boys. I also have a neighbor who is in 6th grade who comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays when she gets off the bus from middle school at 3:20 so that I don't have to wake her then either. Both situations have helped me be more at peace with everything. I was feeling so cruel constantly waking her up. This photo is from Wednesday when I have to wake her up twice, once for gymnastics in the morning and then to get everyone from school in the afternoon. I still swaddle her for naps and here I even took the swaddle off and she was still sleeping. She is so peaceful, I hate to have to wake her, even if it is just one day a week.

video


The video is about three minutes long. I tried to keep it short. I am hoping to post another video soon of Zachary making her laugh. It makes me laugh to watch it. I hope you get the same reaction.

Alyssa still loves her pacifier. We are getting better about not having to go in at night and give it to her, but we still do if we have to. I am already dreading th day that we have to take it away from her. She also still loves her little pink blanket. For those of you who know what I am talking about, we haven't lost it yet! I was given some fabric to make more, but just haven't called the right people yet.

All in all, I continue to be in disbelief at what a good baby she is. She is still a peanut, but developmentally is right where she needs to be. I said to my hubby the other day that it is all going too fast. She is no longer an infant, now she is just a baby. While is some respects, that's great, some parts of babyhood can't go fast enough, others I would like to linger around for a bit. It just seems like we are always in a rush. For example, on Wednesdays, her day literally goes like this: wake up, nurse, play while mommy dresses, high chair for breakfast, dress her, stroller, bed, car seat, maybe play for a little while, nurse, car seat, lunch, car seat, drop Zachary at school, car seat, bed, car seat, pick Zachary up, car seat, pick boys up, car seat, bottle, play a little, dinner, nurse, bed. For the most part, she just does it, but I always feel for her. I know that she will get her time, but I guess these are the pitfalls of being a youngest!

I love you Alyssa Diane!

B

Happy Birthday Zachary!

Well, here it is, a whole nother year has gone by. The little boy who at this time last year was my "baby," has now been replaced and has become a big boy four year old! Happy Birthday Zachary!

ZACHARY
Age: 4

Personality: Lovable, Happy, Independent, Stubborn-When you have your heart set on something, you have to get it, everyone else, beware!


Favorites:
Food: Anything that you consider a snack--even PB&J can be a snack if we eat it at a different time or away from the table, chocolate milk, ice cream, cake, peas, bananas, pasta, meatballs

These are pictures from Zachary's birthday dinner at the train restaurant. There are two sort of close to us-he really doesn't care which one we go to, so long as we go!
TV Shows: Dinosaur Train, Thomas, Sid the Science Kid

Movies: Awesome Trains, ABC Trains

Toys: Thomas trains, GeoTrax, Matchbox cars, Big Wheel

Games: Hi Ho Cherrio, The Number Game, I Spy

Dear Zachary,
You seem so grown up to me. I can hardly believe that you are four already. You have learned so many new things this year. You can count to 20 without skipping any numbers, you are starting to learn all the sounds that go with your letters, and you can almost ride your bike by yourself! You are as stubborn as your mom, so it's no wonder that we butt heads sometimes (er, often!). You continually surprise me at how fast you can learn something. You recently moved to a booster seat in the car and you can already buckle your own seat belt. You really didn't know hardly any letter sounds and now that you have been in school for a month you are not only learning them quickly, but you can remember them when I ask you about them. You are starting to have friends and it is a joy to watch you play with them. You can be so considerate in making sure that your friend has enough toys to play with (however, as long as they are not the ones you want!). You have a very special relationship with your brothers-I can tell you love them very much. I love how you always want to hug and kiss Alyssa before she goes to bed. I love to hear you say, "Good night! I love you!" She really loves you too. You have become the brother that can really make her laugh. You two will be very close as you grow up. You still love trains-not sure how long it will last, but for now other interests are few. I can't wait to see what happens in the next year--just know I'll be watching and loving you every minute of it!

Love,
Mommy
B