avocado, mango, fresh basil leaves, unsweetened almond milk - all go into mommy's blender and VOILA! Healthy baby food that Shepherd loves!
avocado, mango, fresh basil leaves, unsweetened almond milk - all go into mommy's blender and VOILA! Healthy baby food that Shepherd loves!
You can tell by the title that this may be a little bit of a strange post and there is some personal stuff in here that might be more than you want to know, but hang with me here for a moment.
After four babies, I feel like I could almost qualify to be a lactation consultant. I can tell you about positioning the baby, correct and incorrect latching, nipple care, how to tell if the baby is really eating or just using you as a pacifier, avoiding the engorgement discomfort, etc...
And still, I spent a good portion of the first week in excruciating pain (at least every time Shep latched on). Apparently sometimes it doesn't matter what you do, tender skin is no match for a voracious little eater.
I can see why some moms quit breastfeeding. Really. It is so hard to do something when you know it is going to physically hurt you. Knowing that it is good for the baby and having the experience to know that it is very temporary does help. But I confess that in the moments that Shepherd was drawing tears from my eyes while drawing out his dinner, that didn't feel like enough.
I'm beyond that point for the most part now and enjoying those times with Shepherd. I made it through the tough moments by meditating on something amazing.
From Phillipians 2 - Rather, He made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Jesus suffered for my sins and for the sins of everyone - and he suffered pain unimaginable, both physically and emotionally. Because of what He did, I will never have to know that kind of suffering.
But the thing is, He didn't have to. He obeyed the Father's will. He made himself nothing. He submitted himself to pain and suffering and death. He chose this path because of his unfailing love for me. And for you.
And so I spent those moments focusing on this truth. While I allowed myself to experience a little pain for the sake of the child I love, I pondered the great love which sent Jesus obediently to suffering more gravely and more undoing than I can ever know. And I found solace there - in the knowledge that any bit of suffering I do here now is immensely slight in comparison to that which I have been saved from and that the truly overwhelming love I feel for the child in my arms is far less than the love God has shown for me.
In that light, my pain was so small. And placing myself there for the sake of a child I love became a joyful act and an unexpected special reminder.
Shepherd Michael was born Monday morning and weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and measured 21 in. long.
I can't say enough good things about my docs or my hospital (Fairfax) - the entire experience was really good, just as it was when Amelia was born.
I'll write more later about what it is like to bring a fourth baby home. Reflecting for now, I'd definitely say that each pregnancy got harder but each C-section got easier. I'm feeling really well and also feeling really comfortable with Shepherd and all the things that go along with a new baby. It seems that experience does make a big difference. In some ways, there is a small feeling of victory, like "finally, I got this." But there is always something new to tackle with each child. Having a boy is wonderful, we are already so smitten by him. He came out looking like our kid - lots of dark hair, very round face and cheeks, Matt's feet; all things he has in common with his sisters. Strangely, he has a cute little cleft chin. We have absolutely no idea where that comes from.
He emerged screaming (not crying, screaming) and peeing everywhere! He continued to scream/cry (really, he's a screamer - he was furious about being born) for nearly an hour....but has been the most content baby ever since. He sleeps great, eats great, burps great - and has peed on his father at least once. We are both still working on the diapering technique which is so new to us.
We are happy to be home although our new baby is a little bit yellow. All of our kids have had some jaundice, though none of them have ever had to go under the lights. So, we've got extra appointments this weekend for Shepherd, which is a little annoying. His skin was so red for the first few days and then with the yellow, he kind of looked a bit like a sunset :) But he is absolutely gorgeous and I am so very grateful for him. Our family feels complete and we are just settling in to enjoy these early days.
Each pregnancy is a little different, just as each child is quite different. Even after four pregnancies, I have still had some new experiences this time around. Here are a couple that kind of surprised me:
- this kid is so heavy on my bladder that I can't tell by sensation when I'm finished peeing. Honestly, I just have to listen to know when I'm done. Ha!
- I'm not able to eat as much at one time anymore because there isn't much room. The other night, the baby squished upward so much that I actually had a separate little bulge between my rib cage where my stomach was sticking out and I really thought for a moment that I might throw up. He still makes me a bit nauseated sometimes when he stretches so hard upwards like that.
Listening to Ami today, I've been fascinated again by the development of speech in babies/children. It is so neat to see them absorb so much and then begin to produce words. It is clear that they understand so very much before they are able to speak about it - but it seems like when they finally start to make words for themselves, things just take off. These are the words Ami uses right now, at least the ones I can remember. Each of our girls have been different - Hope was speaking clearly in series of full sentences by the time she was two - it is funny to go back now and watch videos and see such a small person talking! Maddie took more time, but certainly has had no problem. Ami has always been a really great communicator - she could make her desires known well before she started speaking. I think she's a bit of a go-getter. But now that the words are coming, they just seem to be multiplying rapidly. That might be my favorite part, just seeing how when something clicks in the brain for little ones they seem so rapid and unstoppable. Once a kid is talking well, it becomes so difficult to remember a time when they didn't. Even though I'm enjoying Ami's expanding vocabulary, I'm also taking in all of the adorable expressive babbling, the pointing, taking me by hand to show me something, turning my face to look at her while she babbles, etc... This is such a precious stage!
A couple of women have started a support group here in Reston - I think it is a great idea! I'm posting the information in case you or someone you know might benefit from this. I've been very lucky to not have experienced any depression with the births of my children so far, but have known plenty of women who have and I'm grateful that there is a now resource in our town.
Ami is on her way to moving into her big girl bed. We decided to go ahead and move her out of the crib so that the new baby can use it when it is time. Hope and Maddie have shared a room for a few years now and Ami will make 3. The girls love sharing a room and basically it is just a "bunk room" for sleeping and maybe reading or having a private moment during the day. The bedroom next door is the play room with all of the toys. Ami is currently in a small nursery room which will become the baby boy's room.
I always hear a lot of questions about when to move the baby out of the crib, whether to use a toddler bed, etc... There are a lot of ways to go about that, so I'm not saying our way is the right way. I just thought I'd share with you what we have done in case you are wondering how we made it work.
Maddie was born the day before Hope's 2nd birthday. Hope had already been sleeping in a twin bed for a couple of months by then with no problem. We decided to forgo the in-between toddler bed b/c we already had a twin bed and it didn't make much sense to purchase a new toddler bed and mattress. We had moved into this house in the spring. At that time, we set up Hope's nursery where she was sleeping in the crib. But, in expectation of the new baby, we also set up her "big girl" room with the twin bed. She basically had two rooms and enjoyed sitting on and playing on the twin bed. I began to have her nap in the twin bed while she still slept at night in the crib. She already had an affection for the twin bed and was a good sleeper, so she took to this easily. Then one night, I simply asked her "do you want to sleep in your crib or the big girl bed?" and she picked the twin bed. She slept there for naps and night time ever since. She was only 1 1/2 or so at the time, so if you are wondering whether it is possible to make this transition early - the answer is yes, it is possible. (BTW - our twin, which could be converted into a loft, had wooden guard rails all the way around, so that was helpful too).
Maddie was a little older when we moved her because we wondered how different sleep patterns would come into play with the sisters sharing a room. I honestly can't remember all the details of how we did it with her - but we did move her directly into a twin bed (we lofted Hope's and slid Maddie's underneath like bunks). We used one of those sleep guard rails you can buy at Target or wherever. She was probably about 2 at the time and the girls are very close, prefer to share a room, and really miss each other if one isn't there.
So now we have Ami - who is not quite 1 1/2 yrs. yet. But, with the new baby coming in the fall, we've started to make some arrangements around the house. This included buying bunk beds. Now Hope sleeps on her loft (with space underneath for bookshelves and a little seat, etc...) and Maddie sleeps on the top bunk on the wall across from her. The bottom bunk is to be Ami's. Since it is all set up, I figured we'd go ahead and start working with Ami. Hope and Maddie are away at their grandparent's house this week, and I figured it was a good non-stressful time to start to work this out. So, I had Ami take her afternoon nap in there today. It did take her a few minutes to settle down - but being as how she was tired and had her blankie and is a good sleeper and easy to put down for naps in general - she eventually fell asleep and did very well. So she will continue to nap in there this week and eventually down the road here before too long, we'll give it a shot a night. So, again, it is possible to do this early if you need or want to.
Although, you may not want to. I know some parents find it more convenient to have a child stay in a crib longer where they are contained when they wake up (though some kids learn to get out anyway). I used to put a little pressure gate in the doorway of Hope's room at first because I didn't want her wandering (falling) down stairs in the morning or the middle of the night. One of my fondest memories is of her standing at the gate each morning calling in her little voice "mama! I wake up! mama! I wake up!" Also, once you have a good sleep routine on your hands, I understand why parents are really hesitant to do anything that might change that.
I have to say that we have moved very early on this on all three accounts. But I think that we are proof in a way that you don't have to follow some prescribed pattern of when and how and to what size bed. Just take care that the kids are safe and do what works for them and you.
Just thought that if you hadn't heard yet, you'd like to know that #4 is a boy! and...if you had heard, then you might be asking along with everyone else "Aren't you so excited?"
I keep getting that question. It's very understandable since we have had 3 girls. It seems like many of our friends and family are even more excited that we are having a boy than we are. The truth is that we really, really didn't care either way. We weren't trying for a boy or necessarily even hoping for one. We're just excited to be having another baby. So, when people ask us "aren't you SO excited?" - the answer is a definite yes! But it is exactly the same excited as if we had found out we were having a girl.
Still, now that we know it is a boy and my brain is starting to track down that path, I think I am growing more excited every day about having a son. It will definitely be different and new to us. I really can't wait to see what he will look like. Having some blue and other colors mixed in with all the pink around here will be a nice change too. Matt will finally get to play with some tools and trucks along with all the baby dolls and dress up, which I am sure he is looking forward to.
It's good. We are in fact, SO excited!
I am uber grateful that no one in my family has asthma or food allergies. As we have never had any history of such, I never delayed introducing food to my children (even at the recommendation of my pediatricians, which I'm not saying is a good thing). Peanut butter, eggs, and strawberries, etc... have been part of our kids' diets since about the time they started eating solid foods. Notwithstanding that some children really do have extremely serious food allergies or may be prone to them due to a family history - I was curious about some of the latest information that has popped up regarding this topic. Here are two recent ones:
Here is an article from The New York Times entitled "Doubt is Cast on Many Reports of Food Allergies".
the article states :
"A new report, commissioned by the federal government, finds the field is rife with poorly done studies, misdiagnoses and tests that can give misleading results."
" the true incidence of food allergies is only about 8 percent for children and less than 5 percent for adults, said Dr. Marc Riedl, an author of the new paper and an allergist and immunologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Yet about 30 percent of the population believe they have food allergies. And, Dr. Riedl said, about half the patients coming to his clinic because they had been told they had a food allergy did not really have one."
Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends waiting to introduce foods believed to be highly allergenic.
A recent Finnish study found that withholding eggs, oats, and wheat in particular might actually increase a child's risk of food allergies, while withholding potatoes, rye, meat, and fish may actually increase a child's risk of sensitivity to inhalant allergies (ie: seasonal pollen).
The news has been trickling out for a short while, but I spilled it via twitter/facebook today so even though I've been pretty lax here lately, I figured for those who were interested, I'd go ahead and start posting about this pregnancy a little bit. Since this is number four, I'm not sure what new things I'll have to say - but I know there are always curiosity questions and I'll just start by answering some of them for you.
HOW FAR ALONG ARE YOU? / WHEN ARE YOU DUE? I'm at 11 weeks tomorrow and the baby is due in the beginning of November.
WERE YOU GUYS TRYING FOR A BOY? no. We weren't trying at all. And, neither do we care if it is a girl or a boy, we would be equally excited.
WILL YOU FIND OUT IF IT IS A GIRL OR BOY? Yes, baby willing. We have found out with all of our kids. I like to name each child and pray for them by name before they are born. I love to welcome them into the lives of our family with a name prior to birth and enjoy the way this personally connects our other children in particular with their sibling even before they meet. We are of the mindset that finding out is always a surprise - whether on the day of the birth or on the day of the ultrasound, surprise! But, especially with this one, I am anxious to know as it will largely affect some of the arrangements in our house.
DID YOU ALWAYS PLAN TO HAVE A BIGGER FAMILY? I'm not sure. We always wanted more than one. They have come one at a time and we have eagerly wanted and welcomed each of them. We never set out with a number in mind particularly but are gratefully blessed!
WILL YOU HAVE ANY MORE KIDS? no. I have had to have c-sections to deliver each of my children - this will be my fourth and beyond that we aren't comfortable with the growing risks, therefore this will be my last pregnancy. We are also feeling content with the completion of our family at four birth children.
THE OTHER KIDS? Hope 6, Maddie 4, and Ami 1 - are all excited (well, Ami doesn't really know). Hope and Maddie will turn 7 and 5 the month following the baby's birth and there will be 20 months between Ami and the baby.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN FEELING? oh you know, not great. I didn't even know I was pregnant until I was about 6 wks along I think. I apparently got pregnant shortly before Ami was weaned. I had a cold early on and at the tail end of it spent a week with a yucky stomach - but I assumed it was the post-nasal drip or that the congestion was throwing off my equilibrium. After 7 days of tummy ick I realized I knew that feeling. (phew - no "I didn't know I was pregnant" tv show for me, dodged that bullet! :) That was the beginning of never-relenting nausea - though I haven't thrown up with any of my pregnancies. Then I caught a TERRIBLE cold which compounded to make me feel miserable. Luckily, the cold symptoms are almost all gone now and the nausea comes and goes instead of just staying. I'm counting down the days until the end of the first trimester since I usually feel great in the 2nd. Last time I couldn't eat Chipotle at all, this time thankfully I can but I cannot stand the smell of marinara sauce or bbq sauce. Smells are bothering me a LOT more this time.
Well, there you go - that's all I can think of for now - but if you want to ask anything, feel free to leave me a comment!
I walked into the front yard for just a few seconds. When I came in, I couldn't find Ami. Circling our very small downstairs, I realized there was only one place she could have gone. I found her upstairs, in Hope and Maddie's room, sucking on a pez candy.
I took the candy away.
What made this so funny to me was:
1. She hasn't really paid attention to the stairs before - hence the absence of a gate (now remedied). It's not like I'd ever caught her halfway up or anything - and yet she made it to the top in no time flat minus any falls or hesitation.
2. The room of all rooms that she chose to go into was Hope and Maddie's - no surprise, ALL the little tiny stuff is in there - it's a party for a baby!
3. Somehow, she managed to rummage through their shelf and find a pez dispenser which only had two candies in it. Then, she managed to open the dispenser, get out one of the candies, and put it in her mouth. All this - including climbing the stairs, in an extremely short amount of time.
4. She was clearly very proud of herself and also very fond of the candy - which, believe me, she truly tried to hide the fact that she had it in her mouth.
Here is the CNN report. It is always a sensitive thing to post about this topic these days and I want to be respectful of all parents and their desire to give the best care to their beloved children. But, the retraction of this study is significant I think for a couple of reasons.
One, it is a fairly big deal for a medical journal to "fully retract (a) paper from the published record."
Secondly, the influence of the Wakefield study has been fairly significant - I can attest to the many times I have run across its referral in my own research or witnessed its direct and also sometimes indirect influence. I read the Wakefield research years ago, this is not the first time it has been discredited. As far as I have been aware, it has not held much esteem among valid research for quite a while, you could argue that it never really did. Nevertheless, since it was published in 1998, the number of parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children has rapidly grown. I am not saying that this study is the sole catalyst for this, but it would be false to claim that it has not been a factor - the waves of this study, I feel, have been felt by many without really even being aware.
And on a third note, no matter where you stand in your own personal convictions about vaccinations - there is always something to be said about research and the necessity of validating any research through strict, ethical, and unbiased standards, the challenges of doing that, and the impact of research and study on our society.
"A whole lotta fun for the itty bitty ones" - the tag line.
go ahead - hit play. hit any key. or hold the key.
I'm not sure what I think about babies playing computer games, but I totally identify with the personal story of the creators of this site. And, I have to say, I do love the site. It is so cute and colorful and fun! There are a ton of games like the one here. I randomly chose this one because I couldn't decide which I liked best...maybe the music one? I don't know. And the whole point is that the tiny ones can play, because the only thing required is to hit any key. I have yet to put it to the test with Ami yet, though I'm pretty confident that she would really like it. I'm filing it away in my brain for that moment when I desperately need something.
You can download games for your own site, blog, or myspace: how cool is that!?!
go to Kneebouncers to check them all out!
Maddie has her puppy.
I think that silly baby has decided that I am her security blanket.
Attachment: case in point:
When Maddie, a thumbsucker, sees her puppy carried towards her, she automatically sticks her thumb in her mouth. When Ami, also a thumbsucker, sees me coming towards her, she sticks her thumb in her mouth.
Most kids who have a security blanket or whatever will at some point during the day see it lying there or seek it out and then will proceed to take a short moment for a quick cuddle before moving on to play again. Ami often seeks me out, climbs against me, sticks in her thumb and cuddles for just a second before returning to play.
When Hope or Maddie get hold of their security blanket or stuffed animal, they like to rub it against the side of their face, against their cheek and eye. Ami grabs my hand and rubs it against the side of her cheek and eye.
Hope and Maddie both want their things to go to sleep. Ami wants a hand. While she nurses, she rubs and plays with my hand incessantly. The surefire way for anyone to get her to lay down her head is to put a hand against her cheek. If we are out and she's riding in a stroller or cart and fussing - what does she want? not a pacifier. not a toy. not even necessarily out. She wants to hold a hand. I often find myself pulling the shopping cart alongside of me while I hold her hand (she's in the carseat in the big part of the basket) instead of pushing from the front. Holding hands is the best way to get her to fall asleep.
I guess the good thing is we'll never lose my hand and it is easily washed. The bad thing is it runs kind of contradictory to the whole self-soothing thing. Well, she's still so young. I'm hoping she'll grow fond of her own blanket or stuffed animal or just be okay. In the meantime - oh boy! I do LOVE those snuggles!
Everyone in my family has had a cold - nothing that has kept us down. In fact, other than a little added fatigue here and there, the most significant symptoms have been just tons of boogers. I have been staring at three of the most boogery little faces for a week now! I try to get them to blow and wipe - but there is only so much you can do.
Poor little Ami's nose is a bit raw from all the moisture and wiping. But her boogers are really the topic of this post. Because, what I want to know is why are baby boogers apparently so much more sticky than others?
First, you want to know how I have the knowledge/experience to compare boogers in the first place? One word - parent. And, I have noticed with each of my kids that as babies, the boogeys are waaaaaaay sticky! As in, if you happen to be somewhere and don't have a tissue handy and so you decide to wipe the giant booger hanging from the baby's nose with your hand to save yourself and others from staring at it all day (who does that? not me....um.....) then you are not likely to be able to just flick it away carelessly. I'm telling you these things are like glue! And if you should spare your hand from germs and instead use - oh say, the nearest burp cloth or baby blanket, well then be prepared for sticky, ickyness every time you touch it. And I've had a fair share of sticky baby boogers come to me via little faces rubbed against my own or my shoulder too - ick!
Thank goodness for tissues and baby wipes.
Am I the only one who has noticed this? I am a little obsessed with my kids having clean noses, I admit.
Just to catch up family and friends on how our little Amelia is growing:
She turned 8 mo. at the end of November - but she wears about 12 mo in clothing size. This is a little funny on two counts - one, my family is generally short so to have a baby who is kind of tall/long for her age is surprising. Also, the 12 mo. clothes fit her great in length, but she is also pretty slender so they tend to be a little too "fat" or "wide" for her which looks a little silly.
She has three teeth now, two front bottom and one front top. She eats like a champ! She can put away some food, that girl! and she loves those little baby puffs.
She can pull herself up to standing if she wants to and stands just great while holding onto something - but no attempts at cruising yet.
She gets soooooo mad if you take away something that she wants to keep, she has already thrown a true-blue honest-to-goodness temper tantrum. She also still searches out every little speck on the ground to eat.
She's a smiley happy girl and she loves her daddy - always smiling her coy smile at him and getting so excited when he comes in.
Here's the update on Ami. She has two teeth coming in front and center on the bottom. She's up on her knees doing that rocking thing that is the precursor to crawling. She also has some really annoying behaviors too like not helping at all when you hold her - as opposed to riding your hip and hugging your shoulder, she likes to straighten out her arms and legs and slightly arch her back forcing you to do ALL the work to keep her there while she just hangs loose. Also, she is apparently one of those babies that is going to search out every single teeny-tiny little speck on the carpet to digilently work at picking up and putting in her mouth.
But, something she does which I find absolutely adorable is this: when she wants a bite of food she opens up her mouth as big as she can and sticks out her tongue as far as she can - every time. She's also getting into the habit of doing this just before I nurse her now too which cracks me up every time.
Here is an article from Time about babies regarding language development and watching tv
Ami is finally on a good sleep schedule - I'm lovin' it! Her bedtime is 7:30 along with her sisters and she takes a morning nap at about 9 and an afternoon nap at 1:30 (sometimes she catnaps in between a little bit). I love, love, love, love it when I know I can just put the baby in her crib at the right time and she'll go to sleep.
Here is an interesting fact about Hope - she never stops moving. Even when she is just standing there, she's not just standing there. If she happens to watch a show on tv - she's no couch potato but still is climbing, rocking, squirming, fidgeting - she never stops going. And if you watch her, after a little while it is really quite comical. The same goes at bedtime - even though she's exhausted, she keeps going - talking, rolling, flailing, whatever. But, the moment she stops - then finally, she goes right to sleep.
When Maddie was a baby, I felt - how shall I put this - always a little moist. I am not exaggerating when I say that I changed my own clothes about 3 times EVERY DAY as well as changing the baby's clothes about TEN times every day. The kid had a knack for spitting up, and I'm not talking a little dribble of milk here. When the few cute burp cloths we had didn't suffice, I went to Target and bought a couple of stacks of cheap pink washcloths. We went through ALL the burp cloths and ALL the washcloths EVERY DAY! I tried everything including eliminating dairy from my diet, etc, etc...but the volcanic eruptions of milk persisted with no detriment or annoyance to Maddie until she grew out of it. I actually remember that first magical evening when Matt and I realized we were both wearing the same outfits we had put on that morning.
It is fun to discover how each of my children are uniquely made - they are all so different. I'm constantly trying to clue in to them as individuals so that I can do my best to parent each of them. Even at 3 months, Ami is starting to reveal little things about her own personality. Look how determined she is! Check out her little cross-eyed stare, and the pursed lips (she sucks on her own tongue when she is focused like this) - I can't help but cheer her on! (she did eventually get the toy) - oh, and sorry about that noise in the background, not sure what it is - must have had the dishwasher on or something.
We never had this problem, all of our girls were born with a ton of hair. Still, I find these baby bangs hilarious. I guess I'm not supposed to, obviously the inventor means business here and maybe some parents would really be into this - but I think bald babies are cute, even if unobservant people sometimes mistake your little girl for a baby boy. Is it just me or is it ridiculous for a small child to have an artificial hair piece? Something akin to those crazy pagent moms or not? What do you think?
After Ami's birth, the usual heel prick was taken to run all of the various metabolic tests. One test came back abnormal - her carnitine levels were slightly low. Huh? Apparently, carnitine - present in nearly all cells of the body, is critical for energy production.
I know all the reasons why this is not such a good idea...nevertheless, I often just can't help myself. I've been known to do this with all three of my kids when they were tiny babies. The thing is, I just never really remember to cut Ami's nails until she's nursing and I feel their sharp tips graze against me. And even if I did remember, babies nails grow at twice the rate of our own and so I can barely keep up anyway. Since they are so paper thin and since the baby is otherwise engaged, it is just too easy to gently take hold of that little hand and clip her nails with my teeth.
This is for those of you who are interested, but especially for my family and friends who don't live close enough to see Ami regularly as she grows:
Now two months after Ami was born, here is what I'm thinking this third time around:
Our friend Dave had us over to do a baby photo shoot for Ami. These are a few (okay, a ton - but I couldn't help myself) of the rough shots. Obviously when they are finished all the black will be evened out so you only see skin and what not, but I just love all the funny expressions we got from Ami.
Amelia was four weeks old yesterday. I can't believe how quickly the time is passing. She's definitely grown and has started making those wonderful baby cooing sounds and staying awake for longer periods of time. I am really enjoying her - having a newborn again has been awesome, I love it! More specifically, I love her. Here are a few photos of Ami from this past week.
My sister recently sent a little lamb Pacimal to Ami. It's basically a smallish-slender stuffed animal with a detachable pacifier at the back of it's head - really, a terrific idea in my opinion. The idea is that it helps to position the baby's pacifier when they are newborns (so it doesn't fall out) and builds coordination over time as they learn to hold onto the stuffed animal and take the pacifier in and out of their mouths themselves. The thing I love the most about it is that when it is time to stop using a pacifier, you can simply snip off the attachment piece from the back of the toy's head and the child can retain their stuffed animal for security. The animal and the pacifiers are easily cleaned and replacements are available.
Here is a collage of our three girls as infants. Apparently our draw from the gene pool has been pretty consistent. Of course, now Maddie and Hope look more different, except that they both have blonde hair. I"m guessing that Ami will make it a perfect trio of blonde sisters. Can you tell who is who in these pictures? Or at least can you group the pictures of the same baby together? I'll post the collage again soon with the pics labeled.
We're back into the swing of things again - discovering how fun it can be to have a newborn (and, duh, how exhausting!) My favorite thing about each kid has been seeing how unique they are and learning about them as individuals as we go along. Here are some things I've learned about our sweet Amelia in the less than two weeks she has been out and among us:
Yes that's right - more poop! Because I also have a three and a five year old. And what I really want to know is when does the butt wiping truly end? Seriously, my girls both did great at potty training. They were trained at their second birthdays for night and day. Alas, a child who poops in the potty still cannot be left to their own devices. The fact of the matter is they have short arms and cannot properly reach behind themselves to do a good job.
So, now we have a newborn again. Which means lots of poopy diapers for a good while to come and another post on poop - hooray!
When you become a parent, suddenly poop takes on a much more significant or at least prominent role in your life. So I'm dedicating the next few short posts to the smelly stuff. This past week I've dealt with poop on three separate levels - but that's life with kids.
Warning: upon reading this post, you may find that your TMI profile of me is greatly enlarged.
Here are a few photos from yesterday. Ami is doing great - we're learning again how different each kid is and how to decipher her own unique ways and needs.
Well, here's your first look. I'll post more about our special addition soon, but I thought I'd at least toss out the stats and a picture (though these pics don't do justice to how adorable she is!) Doesn't she look a bit like an old lady in the second one? She's got some great old-woman and Yoda faces :)
Our nursery is nearly finally pulled back together and I love it. It a tiny, peaceful room with great sunlight - but most of all, I feel like it expresses something unique about us. Think more Anthropologie than Pottery Barn, more eclectic than catalog. Our personal touches make it feel more like the home we've made together and less like the "home" we've brought home from the store. I can't wait to bring Ami home and share it with her.