Christ is risen! It’s a good day!
Christ is risen! It’s a good day!
Teddy is getting big! He’s just as round and jolly as he ever has been and is aware enough to interact with the rest of the family, including the newly discovered kitties!
In spite of all the tummy time he’s had this month, Teddy STILL refuses to roll over. By the way he twists around when he’s on his back, it looks like he might roll back-to-front before front-to-back. We’re still working on it and tummy time is a highlight of Ben’s day, even if Teddy isn’t too thrilled. Teddy’s hand-eye coordination has improved tremendously and he can usually get whatever it is that he is holding into his mouth without missing. Just last week he started trying to snatch food away from me so he’ll be starting solids super soon. We’re going to try modified baby led weaning with him like we did with Ben and adjust as necessary for his skills and interests. First foods will be banana and avocado!
Teddy’s 6 month appointment isn’t until nearly the end of the month but I’m fairly certain his growth has slowed down quite a bit. He still wears a lot of 3 month pants since his legs are so short and has plenty of room in 3/6 month and 6 month onesies. Size 2 diapers are getting tight because his little chunk legs so we’ll be moving on up to 3s very soon. In addition to not growing as fast, Teddy has slowly started to sleep longer and better at night (mommy is thankful).
The last month has flown by for all of us. We wrapped up our Florida trip with a (cold) beach day in Bradenton and drove home over Saturday and Sunday. Teddy did much better on the way home than he did on the way to Florida. We got in a good rhythm during the road trip of drive time with a movie, lunch for everyone at a restaurant with a play area, diaper changes, “quiet time” in the van with only music playing (both boys always slept well without a movie), afternoon break for Teddy’s sake, and perhaps another movie before dinner. Ben thoroughly enjoyed his long-promised pj day on our first full day home.
We got home to our freshly painted dining room and kitchen and seeing how clean it looked was worth every second of extra preparation before leaving! We installed new light fixtures, light switches, vent covers, and outlets and framed and hung new art. Little by little, we’re starting to feel more at home.
Last week, Brian and I flew to San Diego with Teddy to attend WordCamp San Diego. Teddy did marginally well on the flight there. We were in the air when he thought he should be going to bed, which didn’t go over too well with him. He cried for almost an hour on the plane and fussed in the car almost all the way to our friends’ house but that was far from the worst case scenario.
The WordCamp itself was really well run and the speakers I got a chance to hear were knowledgable and interesting to listen to. Teddy behaved angelically for both days of the event. Many attendees remarked that they didn’t hear him make any noise at all! He happily played in my lap and slept in the sling when he was tired. Teddy surprised us by adjusting to the three hour time difference pretty quickly and not waking up at 4 AM a single time all week!
We had a chance to see Disneyland for a few hours one day and now we know that we’ll be headed back to southern California as a family. The best description of Disneyland as a frequent Disney World guest is that it’s like visiting somewhere in a dream that you’ve been in real life; it has a lot of the same parts but nothing is where you expect it to be. One thing that California Adventure has that Disney World does not is Cars Land, which is probably the most immersive and detailed area of a Disney property that I’ve ever seen. Radiator Springs Racers, the star attraction in Cars Land, was incredibly well made. I could have ridden it all day!
We don’t have any more family travel plans on the calendar until June (except a short trip for Brian to Vegas in early May) so we’re going to soak in all the at-home fun we can! The weather is warming up and flowers are starting to poke out of the gray landscaping so we’ll be taking long walks and playing hide and seek in the backyard before we know it.
Happy 5 months to you, Chunks!
We’ve been traveling for almost two weeks now and I’ve been asked almost every day if Teddy is as happy as he seems. Yes, he really is. He smiles and loves to cuddle, is super ticklish, and can’t get enough of his people, especially Ben. The only things that really set him off and make him mad are being left alone, waking up from a nap while still in his car seat, and not being properly tucked into bed promptly at 7 pm (driving in the car at bed time is all sorts of nope for this kid). He hasn’t made road tripping easy but if we don’t start now, he’ll never learn anything else.
He’s been slowing changing his sleep habits again to sleeping most of the night until 4 or 5 for a one-sided feeding and the other side around 7. I’m so thankful for longer stretches of sleep again! I’ve been going to bed crazy early this week since both boys are struggling with sharing a room with the whole family and am just barely getting enough sleep. Teddy has just started noticing that we eat by bringing food to our mouths but isn’t too interested in what it is we eat yet.
Teddy is very even tempered. Brian and I decided this weekend that if he had a spirit animal, it would be a manatee: Slow, round, just hanging out and in no hurry to get anywhere. He still hasn’t rolled over so we’re going to be focusing on that a lot more in the next few weeks. I’m sure he could but he has no motivation. He does love to play though. Mr T has gotten so much better at grabbing things in the past month that he now has favorite toys for play time. He likes the Taggies triangle most of all but a close second is a small bumble bee with crinkly wings.
He tolerates car rides but Teddy really enjoys the stroller and being worn in the Ergo. He spent a lot of nap time snoozing in the Ergo at Disney last week. He’s so much snugglier than Ben was (and is) that being worn is enjoyable for him instead of torture.
T Dawg is wearing size 2 diapers and some 3 month separates but I’ll be pulling out all the 3/6 and 6 month clothes after our road trip. Some of his 6 month sleepers are starting to get small already! His hair has really started to grow quickly too and has filled in the bald spots on the sides of his head and the back spot is shrinking a little. It’s super soft and a pale red color. We aren’t sure what kind of red it will be yet (mine was very orange as a kid but darkened with age) but the color is definitely there. I’m so glad we have at least one red head!
One of our favorite ways to travel for the last few years has been “workcationing” in vacation rental houses. We love the space that a full house or apartment offers, especially if it means that our now two year old can have his own room and we have reliable internet for Brian’s evening work hours. While a rental house can mean lots of good things for our family for the time we’re there, we’ve learned that there are some essential things we can bring from home that make our stay even more comfortable!
Dish soap and sponges: There is no guarantee that a rental house will provide anything to wash the dishes you dirty so I like to travel prepared with a small bottle of dish soap and a pack of sponges (both from the dollar store). I don’t feel bad throwing them away when the trip is over if I haven’t spent much money on them and not having to wash or transport a dirty wash cloth is great!
Paper towel: I don’t use much paper towel at home but we use it constantly when we’re traveling. Cleaning up kid messes, cooking messes, covering reheated food in the microwave.. the uses are many!
Tin foil: Similar to my love of paper towel, tin foil can be used to cover food in the fridge, reheat in the oven, cover gross pans while cooking, entertain a toddler, and more!
Inexpensive kids dishes: I don’t know about your kids but my 2 year old has not mastered the use of an open cup and regularly drops dishes on the floor, certain to break if they don’t belong to us (of course!). To make sure we had the basics along, I bought a Take N Toss multipack from Amazon prior to our Florida road trip. The cups aren’t as leak-proof as the sippy cups we use at home but they’re recyclable if we can’t (or don’t want to) wash them and Ben is much more comfortable with something to call his own.
Roll of toilet paper: Have you ever been on a trip and discovered that the toilet paper at your temporary residence is so thin that it’s nearly transparent? Or, in some cases, toilet paper isn’t even in the house?! I prevent those issues by bringing a roll of the good stuff from home to give us time to run to the store if necessary.
Pop-up hampers: This was a new idea for our current trip and I already L-O-V-E having hampers with us. I bought two small pop up hampers from Dollar Tree and keep one in the master bedroom and one where we get the boys ready for bed at night. Having dirty clothes flung here and there drives me crazy and having something to tote the clothes around in makes doing laundry so much easier.
Powdered laundry detergent: We use powdered detergent at home too but it’s especially nice for travel because you don’t need to think about it exploding in your luggage, it can travel through airport security if you fly, and my favorite variety, Charlie’s Soap, takes only 1 tablespoon per load and I can fit 10 loads worth in a pint size jar!
Basic childproofing gear: Ben is, shall we say, so mischievous and curious that he often endangers his own safety while exploring. Also, he can open doors and will get himself up in the morning without telling us. To make sure we could all sleep soundly, we brought a few spare doorknob covers from home, his bed rail, and a locking baby gate. I can’t say that bringing a gate or railing would work well on an airplane but for road trips, it’s easy to pack them flat under the other luggage in the car.
How about you? Do you take advantage of vacation rentals when you travel? What is the first thing in your bag when packing for your stay?
Happy 1/3 year birthday, littlest boy!
Teddy is a chunky, happy boy who smiles at everyone. We’re feeling pretty established and content as a family of four and I only feel overwhelmed half the time that I have both of the boys by myself. Ben and Teddy are great but no two days are alike, which makes for a lot of guessing on my part. Thankfully, Ben’s molars are all in (YAAAAAY) so I don’t have that to contend with anymore.
We’ve completely failed at continuing to attempt bottles with Teddy so we may have missed our window of opportunity. It’s just too darn convenient for me to feed him directly from the source instead of having to pump/store/thaw/heat/feed/wash. This mama doesn’t have no time for that and honestly, the only reason we’d want to give him a bottle is for our upcoming trip to Florida. I’m not going to let the only occasion to use a bottle stress me out.
Teddy doesn’t see the pediatrician until the middle of the month but I’m already praying the shots go better this time around than at his 2 month appointment. Seeing him so upset and feel so crappy is hard when there’s so little I can do for him. As far as his current weight goes, I’m certain that he’ll far surpass Ben’s weight at 4 months (14 lb 3 oz) since when I weighed him a few weeks ago he was already at 14 lb.
Teddy is DEFINITELY heavier than Ben! He weight 15 lb 1 oz at his 4 month checkup. What surprised me, though, was that he is about an inch shorter than Ben (24.5″ instead of 25.5″). The result is a rolly polly, chunk of a baby! He has so many folds, rolls, and dimples and we love it! His head was 17″ (84th %) which is really close to Ben. I guess Teddy will be wearing toddler size hats on our trip to Florida!
We’re following the 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program for Teddy, just as we did for Ben, and it seems to be working just as well the second time around! Mr. T takes 3 naps every day, the first 90 minutes after he gets up in the morning (around 9:30-10ish), the second after lunch at the same time Ben naps (hooray for concurrent napping!), and the third around 4-4:30. Both boys go down for bed between 7 and 7:30 and Mommy can then collapse into a puddle on the couch. Teddy hit the 4 month sleep regression pretty hard in the last week and there are some nights where he starts waking me up hourly starting at 2 AM. Those are some long nights! I swaddled him and then put his small, swaddled self into a sleep sack last night and that was the best sleep I’ve gotten in ages. Maybe because he was warmer? Maybe because he couldn’t break out of the swaddle (which he totally needs, I’ve tried to go without)? Either way, I like being able to sleep from 11-5!
Teddy hasn’t rolled over or really shown much interest yet. I try to give him as much time on his tummy as possible but so far there really hasn’t been much sideways movement. He loves to play with toys in his bouncy seat more than the play gym on the floor. He especially loves being tickled, talk to, read to (another reader in the house!), playing pat-a-cake with his feet, being worn in one of the various carriers, and being involved in whatever new game Ben has dreamed up. He recently has started tracking us with his eyes as we walk around the house and looks around wildly if he can hear one of us but not see us.
Brian was gone for 6 days at Pressnomics at the end of January so I had both boys by myself and, as a bonus, a stomach bug! We were able to work it out that my parents picked up Ben for the day and the sister who we’ve hired to nanny for us weekly came over and hung out with Teddy at the house. Neither of the boys caught whatever I had though, which is wonderful. We have our annual Florida trip coming up in a few weeks so I need to get into high gear and pull out warm weather clothes, shoes, swim suits, toys, sunblock, etc for all of us. We’re also stripping the wallpaper out of our kitchen, dining room, and hall so the painter can come in while we’re gone and get the walls done without a 2 year old’s “help.” We’re going to be busy!
Now that life has settled down a little and we have a tenuous schedule again, I wanted to write another day in the life post, mostly for my own benefit. I get a kick out of looking back at these months and years down the road and reminisce about life with younger babies. I had high hopes that I’d remember to take enough photos throughout the day that it wouldn’t be all text but nope, that definitely didn’t happen.
4:15 AM: My day starts far earlier than I’d like when Teddy starts grunting in his bed next to mine. I had slept pretty deeply though so this wasn’t the worst wake up I’ve ever had. I feed the baby, put him back in his bed, and fall back asleep.
6:15 AM: Again, Teddy? Teddy lets me know that he is awake by talking to himself and loudly filling his diaper. I pray that a diaper change and another meal will put him back to sleep for a little while. It does! I don’t want to move him back to his bed because he would surely wake up again so I settle myself next to him and doze off.
7:30 AM: Teddy is still sleeping but I can hear Ben shuffling around in his room. Ben knocks on his door when he is ready for us to get him up so I have time to check email and Twitter. Brian is gone at Pressnomics right now so I don’t have backup for mornings and evenings.
7:50 AM: Ben knocks and Teddy is still sleeping. I slide out of bed, leaving Teddy sound asleep and let Ben out of his room. I change a gross diaper and get his breakfast while cleaning up the kitchen and listening for Teddy.
8:00 AM: Ben requests to watch Toy Story 3 and since we don’t have any plans to leave the house today, a long movie isn’t going to throw off the day. He also wants some frozen veggies to snack on. Weird, yes, but my thought is that he likes how cold they are on his gums. We’re all ready for him to be done teething!
8:30 AM Teddy wakes up and goes to play in his activity gym while I drink a chai latte and start this post from the floor next to the baby. I also complete a few surveys since my computer is out and the boys are happy. Brian thinks the surveys are silly since they don’t amount to much cash flow but over the years, I’ve paid for my maternity wardrobe, got free gift cards for presents, and funded an iced coffee addiction without a cent coming out of our bank account. I redeemed enough points earlier this month to get $70 sent to me via Paypal for our Disney trip next month. Every dollar helps and $70 is a lot of dollars!
9:30 AM: My mom and youngest sister come over to play! I didn’t tell Ben and he is thrilled when he sees his Grammy’s van pull into the driveway. My youngest sister and Ben play really well together and Mom volunteers to snuggle the baby (hardship) so I can shower in peace.
12:30 PM: I tuck Teddy in bed for his nap. He falls asleep in about 3 minutes. I make chicken nuggets and sweet potato waffle fries for the kids for lunch while mom and I figure out details for our upcoming Disney trip. Mom asks Ben if he’d like to spend the night and the answer is a resounding YES from both of us. He hasn’t slept over at my parents’ house since Thanksgiving and he is very excited. I’m excited to just have the baby tonight and hopefully sleep in tomorrow.
1:00 PM: Ben goes down for his nap and I pack for his night at Grammy and Papa’s house. I sit down for my own lunch and figure out my plans for nap time. I put together some baja butternut squash soup in the crock pot to cook while I’m bringing Ben to my parents’ house later. I finish fleshing out my grocery list because I’m going to stop on my way home tonight. Grocery shopping with only one kid sounds like such a treat!
3:45 PM: Both boys are up from their naps. The first words out of Ben’s mouth were, “Go to Grammy’s house now!” He is totally ready. It takes a while to get this circus out the door though. I stop at our rental house on the way to pick up some mail that got delivered there instead of to the new house.
4:30 PM: At my parents’ house, Ben takes off like a shot to find his toys. Mom cuddles the baby (again) while I hunt down the rest of the bedding for the doll bed Mom returned to me last week. Ben has loved putting the babies to sleep and telling us all to shhhhh so I know he’ll appreciate having enough blankets to go around.
5:15 PM: Teddy and I give Ben kisses and leave to go grocery shopping. Shopping takes me at least three times as long because I decided to go to a different store than usual. I do find everything on my list though plus an extra special loaf of sourdough bread that was still warm from the oven.
6:45 PM: We arrive back home and Teddy is grumpy and exhausted. I feed, change, pajama, and swaddle him and put him in bed. He is asleep in no time. I puree the squash soup in the crock pot, slice the fresh bread I just bought, and collapse onto the couch for a few episodes of Iron Chef America.
10:00 PM: Bed time for me! It takes forever to get the kitchen cleaned up to my liking, toys put away, and get Teddy fed and changed again. I have the brilliant idea to see if Teddy would sleep better without a swaddle blanket so I don’t wrap him after he eats. He flails around for a while but seems to sleep ok. Maybe this will work?
11:50 PM: Going without the swaddle was a bad choice! I give up and swaddle him again. Teddy falls asleep immediately and so do I. Good night!
Sometimes I wonder if I’d enjoy going back to work part-time. Has the honeymoon period of being a stay-at-home mom worn off? I love being home with the boys but it is really hard most days and relatively thankless, even with as great of a husband as Brian. The boys never seem to thank me for cleaning up poop or scraping dried food bits off the dining room wall. Having two very small people dependent on me 24 hours of every day of the week makes it hard to measure personal accomplishments in any other units of measure than “two kids still alive and relatively clean” or “4 loads of laundry washed today.”
I know so many people who work in a field they love or, if they stay home with their kids, have a hobby that stretches and reenergizes them. I have yet to find a pastime that does the same for me and while I was a superb administrative assistant, that was not my life’s calling. I loved being around people and enjoyed having new stories to tell at the end of the day though. Staying at home with kids is as tiring as I expected but more lonely than anticipated.
Part of me says I keep revisiting this idea because we’ve been cooped up at home for one too many days during frigid weather over the past few weeks. Cabin fever is alive and well here in Michigan during the winter! Maybe I just need a change of pace? January is always a bit of a letdown after all the excitement of the Christmas season.
Part of me says I think of this often because, while many of the risks we took last summer for our family’s finances have paid off, not all have and due to that, we are in the process of dusting off skills we haven’t used in years and figuring out what thrift looks like for a family of 4. If I worked even just a little, that would help our budget’s bottom line.
Part of me says that while my job is to manage and stretch our family’s resources to the best of my ability, it is difficult to reconcile being the one who only spends money and never replaces it.
In short, I don’t know where this is heading. I used to think that by my upper 20s, I’d be all grown up and not need to make any big life changes or decisions. I’m starting to realize that there isn’t an “up” to grow to and that we should all continuously grow forward in one form or another but where is my personal forward leading?
As soon as I wrote that Teddy was easy to get to nap, I knew I was in trouble. Maybe you’ve experienced this too but generally, if you write and publish a blog post about how something is certain to happen, the thing you wrote about will change completely. I like to call this the Law in Internet Inevitability. As soon as I published the post about how Teddy sleeps so well and I can read his sleep cues so well, he totally changed his sleep patterns and has me guessing again.
Good thing he’s so cute!
For our family, 2015 will be defined by not only the things we want to accomplish but also by things we aren’t doing. This is the first year in many that we do not expect to add to our family. This is the first time in 4 years that we are not saving for another house. It’s likely we won’t accomplish all of these but having them written down will give me the satisfaction of checking them off one by one!
So how about you? Do you find goal writing as exciting and full of promise as I do?
Happy three months, baby Teddy! You are a joy and a much loved part of our family.
I feel like I could copy and paste my notes from Ben’s third month post for this one. The boys are so darn similar!
Three months is an off month for well-child checkups but when we weighed him last week before a bath, the scale reported 12 lbs 9.6 oz, very close to Ben’s 12 lbs 14 oz but I think we weighed Ben a week or so older than Teddy. Teddy loves to eat and usually is done in 10 minutes or less. His love for nursing shows in every single leg roll and hand dimple. He has been wearing 3 month clothes since just after he reached his two month milestone and is close to outgrowing the one piece outfits and pjs. I need to sift through the bin of 3/6 month clothes so Teddy isn’t left naked!
We’ve given Teddy a few bottles and while he protests every time, he still drinks it. I’d love to keep it an option for when we go to Disney in a few months but we’d have to up his intake quite a bit for him to last through an entire date night.
We have been putting Teddy down for bedtime right after Ben so we have evenings mostly child-free again. There are times that he is awake within an hour of being swaddled and laid in bed but at this age, it’s a start. I feed him when I go to bed and he sleeps for 8 more hours. Our kids are good sleepers so they take it out on us in other ways, like Ben’s tornado tendencies. We have yet to see what Teddy’s biggest challenge is.
Teddy is reaching for toys in the gym and holds his head up pretty steadily when we hold him upright. He smiles and talks and laughs at all 3 of us. He loves his big brother and Ben loves him right back. I can read his sleep cues better than I could ever read Ben so even though we don’t have a strict schedule at this point, I can tell when Teddy needs more sleep and put him down for naps before he gets overtired.