Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ella is 4 Months Old

I am staying up late to complete this (late is past 9pm...I go to bed early these days) since I can't seem to find any time during the day.  Jack has been taking very short naps lately, so that time is usually taken up with cleaning.  So here I am now, in the quiet of our living room typing away.  Time really seems to be flying by and my little girl is not so little anymore, she sprouted a few extra pounds!  Here we go with the updates!

Nicknames:  Little Turtle, Ella Bella, Wiggle Worm
Weight: Ella has gained quite a bit since her last weight check.  She was 14 lb 3 oz. when she was weighed last week.  She has definitely become a chunky monkey.  I'm happy about that though, because she looks so cute and content.  Right now she eats about every four hours.  I breastfeed first and then give her a 5.5 oz bottle.

Temperament: I feel like she is becoming an easier baby.  She still has her moments, for example, she cried a lot on our drive back from Northern Virginia this past month.  It was rough.  She just wanted some company and since she was learning to move more, I think being stuck in the car seat did not make her happy.  We still haven't heard a full laugh yet, but she smiles and wiggles with excitement all the time.  Her favorite thing is to be held, so as long as she is in someones arms then she is quite content.  If I lay her down on a blanket to play with toys she will only last for a few minutes before she wants attention.  Usually it is because she has rolled over and can't quite make that full rotation and she doesn't like being stuck on her belly.

 My grandparents made a visit to finally meet Ella this past month.

First Experiences:  She has had quite the learning curve this month.  Ella learned how to roll over in both directions (tummy to back and back to tummy).  It is quite impressive that she has learned so early, however it wrecked a little havoc on our sleep patterns since she kept waking up trying to roll.  I would have to go back into the room and re swaddle her to sleep.  She is still being swaddled, although I usually take one arm out during nap time.  She just does better when she is wrapped up at this point.  Ella also learned how to make a new noise with her mouth, almost like she is blowing bubbles and cooing at the same time.  She does it all the time, especially if she is happy.  We also broke into her 3-6 month clothes. 

Ella seems to be grabbing at toys quite a bit and will now grab for things that are in my hands if I am also holding her.  I was trying to eat some ice cream tonight and she kept reaching for the spoon, maybe she is trying to tell me that I need to eat better.  I will have to watch her around hot things!  She especially loves to grab my hair.  I have officially decided that a high ponytail/bun is the best option at all times.  Today we also had a first when Jack decided to bring toys to Ella.  He has seen me giving her different types of rattles and today he was trying to hand them to her, but he didn't have much patience to wait for her to steady her hands onto each object.  It was still cute to seem their first playful interaction.
Who doesn't love a little baby cleavage?

While my parents were in town this past weekend we made a day trip to Hawk's Nest and took a ride on the aerial tram.  She loved it, well, she didn't cry, unlike her brother.  It was a fun experience and I will definitely have to do it again! Oh, Ella also got to meet her first cousin.  Joe's sister had her baby and we made a quick trip home to meet him.  It was amazing to me to see what four months difference could do with babies.

Items/Toys We Love: Let's see, the stroller has seen a lot of use lately.  We try to take a walk most days.  I think it makes Jack happy, but Ella enjoys the outside time as well.  I have also tried out the activity jumper and even though her feet don't touch the ground yet, she seems to like it.  Baby rattles are a big hit right now too, since she is trying to hold them.  I must admit I also really love her calming sounds stuffed animal that puts her to sleep every night.  I also bought black out curtains for her bedroom (it works wonders I tell you!). 

That's all I can think of for the moment.  On the bright side, I remembered to take lots of pictures and video of both children this month.  I will be posting a few more videos and such with Jack too.  Tonight he is sleeping in his toddler bed (we finally painted the frame)!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Parenting Ups and Downs

Right now we seem to be getting ourselves into a family routine.  Joe and I are learning to trade off our free time so that each of us can get some exercise and play time.  So since I have been having a good week, I thought I might be able to find some time to write on my blog.

Parenting Ups
1.  Yesterday Jack cried because he didn't want to take a nap.  Although that wasn't so much fun, after letting him cry it out, I gave him a hug and sat him in my lap for a short snuggle time.  He melted into my arms and actually fell asleep within a minute and I just kept thinking, I love my baby boy.  We are constantly thinking he is so big, because we now have Ella, but really he is just another baby and that little moment it was just him and I.  It was a great moment.

2. I love my little girl. This morning, as I sat on the couch, grumpy and tired after waking up at 5 am, I just looked at Ella.  She has the cutest cheeks and a button nose.  Her smile can make me so happy even when I am tired.  Her lips are so little and perfect.   Honestly, do they ever make a baby that doesn't just melt their momma's heart?  I just love her to pieces.

3.  Jack was awesome at music class and Ella was great too.  We go every week and almost every week there is an obstacle.  Last week Jack knocked over a curtain and seemed so uninterested.  The week before I was chasing him in circles or trying to balance two babies in my arms.  Sometimes I wonder if it is worth the effort to go.  Then today, it was like every thing clicked just right for our little family.  Ella watched  everything in wonder and my friend Harriet helped hold her a few times so I could spend a little one-on-one time with Jack.  And Jack was great.  He danced, or sat in my lap when he was asked to, and he loved playing with all the instruments.  It made me so proud!

Parenting Downs:

1.  We are still figuring out our sleeping situation.  Ella is starting to kick her way out of a swaddle, but if I leave her arms our then she wakes right up.  I'm not sure if I should keep her in a swaddle and go into the room every other hour to re wrap her up or if I should just endure a few rough, ROUGH days until she just learns to sleep that way?  Ugh, I just don't know what to do.

2.  Jack is hitting a lot.  All the time!  He hits when he doesn't get his way or just because he thinks it is fun?  I don't know what is causing it, but I hate it.  He will hit me during a diaper change, or hit Ella when she is on her play mat, or even hit the dog just because he wants to.  We have been using time outs, but it just feels like this is getting worse!  I hope it is just a phase and he will learn that we mean it when we ask him not to hit.  I try to protect Ella as much as possible, but he is fast and I feel terrible any time he gets her.  This is definitely a challenge for us right now.  Darn these terrible twos!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ella Makes Her Move

Ella is determined to get around and be just like her big brother.  The first step is learning how to roll, and she is doing that in this video.  She can also go from her tummy to her back, but she does not get it very often.  I figure in a month she will be rolling around the room to get to things!  We will just have to wait and see!

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...