Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Few Things

This post is full of little bits and pieces of things I have been thinking about.  I hope you enjoy! 

Ella has started on solid foods this week.  We tried bananas first.  I decided that she doesn't need to start with rice cereal, but we will probably incorporate that into one of the first foods this month.  She is still unsure of what to do, and gagged a little bit.  Today she did much better and I actually think she was excited to be sitting at the table with everyone else!

Jack has watched me breastfeed Ella a lot.  So I guess it was no surprise when I pulled out a baby doll that he would try to feed the baby.  I finally decided to capture it on video!  It is too cute and I'm sure it will be extremely embarrassing when he is a teenager!

While we were visiting my family this past week, we made a trip to the zoo.  Last year my  mom bought us a yearly parking pass to the zoo, so I have tried to make it worth the cost by going every time I came up for a visit.  This time, we decided to make the trip in the morning.  I wanted to beat the heat of summer and also to make sure we were able to get a parking spot.  The night before I got everything ready that we would need, like snacks, clothes, and diapers.  We decided to wake up at 5:30 am and get the kids in the car while still dressed in their pajamas.  By 6:30 we were at the zoo, we fed and dressed the kiddos and were off to see some animals.  At this point there were very few people there.  Most were running through the zoo, but I read online that the mornings were the best time to see the wolves, horses, and pandas.  Exhibits and buildings did not open until ten, but I knew it would be cooler so more animals would be outside at this time.  We decided to stay until 9:30am, since it was starting to heat up and the kids were getting tired again for a morning nap.  However, we were able to have an unobstructed view of the pandas (I have never been to the zoo without the panda building being a mad house) and we saw the wolves (something I had never seen before).  So I think it was a great success and from now on, any summer trip to the zoo will start that early!  I know this might not be appealing for others, but since we are already early birds I was happy to bypass traffic and get there early.

We have cardinals that are nesting in our front bush.  Actually this is their second nest.  I read online that they have two broods a year and the first brood was nesting in another front yard bush.  I love that I can watch Jack play with his toys and also listen to the baby birds as they chirp.  I took a picture of the daddy (he was watching me since I was right next to the bush with the nest).

I found these pictures of Jack and Joe on my camera the other day...Joe is always taking random pictures and for whatever reason, this was my favorite of the bunch.  I think Jack decided to wake up his daddy!

Recently we took Jack out in the kayak at Summersville lake.  He loves and boat quickly became a new word in his vocabulary.  He loves riding with daddy the best, but I look forward to a few early mornings with him on the water this year!  I have included a video of his very first trip with Joe and also a picture where we let him sit in the boat by himself. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ella is 5 Months Old

I need to find more time this week.  Joe and I are working on projects all summer and since we just got home from visiting family last week, we are straight back to work.  So this might be a bit brief, but I will definitely get through the stats.

Nicknames:  Ella Bella and Little Miss Wiggles

Weight and Length:  We don't have another doctor's appointment until next month, but I believe she is about 15 pounds.  We just recently increased her bottles to 6 oz. at each feeding.  She usually eats right when she wakes up, also at 11am, and then 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm.  I also nurse at least five times too. Although most nights she sleeps through the night, sometimes she will wake up and I usually give her a bottle then, since I know she will sleep a little longer in the morning if I do that.

Temperament:  It seems to me that Ella is becoming a happy baby as she gets older.  She still lets us know when she is not happy, usually she will grunt or growl if she doesn't like what is going on, but for the most part she is a smiley baby.  Ella is very ready to learn how to crawl.  She can roll all over the floor and she can turn around in a circle, but she hasn't quite figured out the forward movement yet.  I am going to give it a month, since she moves all over the room.  I don't remember Jack ever being like this and it is so fun to see her explore the surroundings.  It makes her so happy too (unless she gets stuck somewhere and then she will growl).  In addition, she got a new toy, which not only keeps her busy for a very long time, but she gets so excited to play in it (Jack gets jealous and wants to use it too).

First Experiences:  When I knew that my mom was going to be making a trip to Canada, I asked her to pick up a jolly jumper, which can only be purchased there.  You can ship it to the United States, but the shipping costs are super expensive.  So luckily the timing was just right and we saw my parents the next week and we were able to pick it up.  She LOVES it.  I have yet to find a toy that keeps her interested and she loves that she can be in a standing position.  I enjoy seeing her smiling face too.  It has already come in handy, since we used it at my parents house this past week, then at the rest stop on the drive home and about three times since we have been home.  Maybe I'm the one that loves it....

Ella was also blessed in my church this month. I was so worried that she was going to scream bloody murder through the entire thing, because she is older and I figured she would be so aware that she might freak out!  Fortunately, she was quiet and the message was very sweet and special to me.  I was thankful to have so many family members there too.  And she was wearing my dress from when I was little and baptized as a Catholic! What a little cutie.

 Items/Toys That We Love:  Of course I have already been raving about it, but Ella loves her jolly jumper.  She is also a big fan of a little butterfly that is very tactile and makes lots of crinkly noises.  And since she is moving around so much lately, she is starting to grab at her brothers toys as he leaves them on the floor.

I'm looking forward to the next month, since we will be giving Ella food for the first time.  OMG time is going by so fast, and before I know it I will have a two year old and a one year old!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Parenting Ups and Downs

Things are going really well for our family as of late.  I am so excited for Joe to be home for summer break this year.  I feel like it has become much harder to be motivated to exercise with little ones around and I'm looking forward to more time to be able to get out on my own.  Maybe then I will finally lose this last bit of baby weight!  Here is a bit of an update on our little ones:

Parenting Ups:

1.  Jack has started to learn a few words. This has been super encouraging, since he has a little friend he plays with (a week younger than him) who knows at least 100 words.  Just hearing him try to sound things out and discovering that he is saying a few new words, just makes me so happy.  As of now Jack can say the following words: hi, bye bye, night night, Dada, mine, beep beep, and bike.

2.  Ella has started to sleep through the night.  I hope I am not jinxing myself, but for the last two weeks she has slept from 8pm until 5-6am.  I think I have had to wake up twice for a feeding at night.  This has been so great.  I am still waking up because of Jack, but it just feels nice to not have to train her to cry it out and learn to fall asleep.  I love that she is learning to self soothe!  Oh, and she always wakes up happy in the morning just calmly making noises in her crib.  Then she greets me with a big smile. 

Parenting Downs:
1.  Jack still does not sleep through the night.  He finally has his own toddler bed, and he will go to sleep there each night, but he wakes up around 1am every night and cries because he wants to be in bed with us.  At this point, it is a habit and we let him into our bed for the second half of the night.  I have a goal to eliminate this trip to our bed each night and also to have him stop using the pacifier for naps and bed.  I want to get this done during the summer...I'm just dreading the cry fest that we are going to experience when he learns to sleep through the night.  Maybe I will get rid of the pacifier first.  Ugh, it is already ripping at my heart strings.

 2.  Sometimes being a parent makes you fight with your spouse.  I hate that there are times when we argue about how much free time we each get or if we should just let Jack cry it out at night without any comfort.  Life would be easier if there was one perfect way to raise your kids.  A simple manual to point out how to make it work.  Yet we all know that it doesn't work that way and we are still figuring out our needs.  Thankfully I know that I married a man that is a great father and wants to make his children happy.  That will always make me smile!

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 ...