Monday, December 31, 2012

C's eleventh month

Our sweet baby turned eleven months old in November. During this month she experienced the first snow of the season, her first Halloween and her first Thanksgiving. There's more about those in my last post. 

Around November 10th she started having discharge coming from her right eye. I took her to the pediatrician, who said she would call in a prescription. I asked something like, "So it isn't pinkeye?" And she said it was. (Kind of weird but similar to what she did in February, when the bronchiolitis diagnosis was on paper but she didn't say it out loud.) The white of her eye wasn't pink; the only problem was the discharge and it was only one eye. When we were almost back to our pharmacy I decided to pull over and call a friend of mine. She has four and a half kids and is into natural stuff like herbs and I was curious about what she would say. Sure enough, they had had pinkeye before. She actually had a homeopathic treatment (tiny things that dissolve on the tongue) in her purse still and drove it right to my home, saving me the pharmacy copay. I gave C one dissolvable thing three times a day, I think, and I used a dropper to put some of my breast milk in her eye because that's supposed to help, too. She was probably all better within three days.

Some of the things C likes at this age:
  • being outside and look at everything there is to see, including snow
  • taking her sock off (or both of them) and holding it and looking proud of herself
  • sucking her thumb and sometimes touching her hair with the other hand
  • sitting up in the crib when she wakes up
  • scooting her bum/legs to get around
  • watching and especially getting playtime with her sisters -- First Girl makes her laugh so hard sometimes!
The foods I introduced C to in her 11th month were millet, kiwi, black beans, rolled oats, ground almonds, asparagus, and cherries.

I said in the 9th month and 10th month posts that her growth had slowed down. Well, when we were at First Girl's 6-year well check on November 28th I put Third Girl on the scale and saw that she weighed over 16 pounds. That means she gained over half a pound in a month. Yay!

She has at least two naps a day. Unfortunately for Mom and Dad, some time probably after she turned nine months old, she began waking up during the night some nights, which means she ends up in our bed for a few hours and we don't sleep as well. I don't know what it is -- why she wakes up. She's not pulling herself all the way up to standing yet, so she isn't waking up and doing that and then feeling stuck, ya know? It's really not too bad, though. She falls asleep once she has me.

The photos we took during her 11th month and on the monthday are {HERE}. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

October and November {2012}

:: General Conference ::

Often my husband has not been able to watch it with me because drill weekend often happens the same weekend. It was wonderful that this October's LDS general conference he didn't have drill. During at least one session the girls quietly colored. These and other photos we took this fall are {HERE}.

:: Halloween activities ::

On September 27 my friend Laura L. and I had fun taking our kids to see the witches. I put my baby in a pumpkin and took pictures.

A couple of weeks later I helped the PTA do vision screening, which overlapped with the parent craft activity, but I was able to do both. I painted two little wooden pumpkins, cut and glued on the scrapbook paper, then finished assembling the parts at home.

I also made a wreath for Halloween. I like that it's unique. It's not any of the styles I saw on Pinterest. I tied orange, black, green, and purple fabric scraps around a $1 D.I. wreath and hung it on our front door with clear jewelry elastic (and a piece of packaging tape on the inside of the door). After I had taken it down I accidentally came across the other part I had wanted, so I and added it: silver chipboard letters to spell "BOO." I hot glued these on and decorated the borders of each letter with a black permanent marker.

The most important part of Halloween is the costumes! Like my friend Anne, this year I didn't get the natural light photo I wanted of all of us in our Halloween costumes. I don't know if I ever have; maybe next year. It was just the kids who dressed up this year. They were the three little kittens who lost their mittens. The tails were the challenging part to make; I only made one. I thought that soon after Halloween I'd make two more tails, get the better white clothes (which my husband had moved and I couldn't find them) on the kids, and take a picture outside. Now that it's been so long and there's snow on the ground and I keep forgetting-slash-having-other-things-I-need-to-do, I probably won't.

I thought of the three little kittens idea maybe a couple of months earlier and procrastinated getting the kids' costumes started. I ran out of time to make a costume for me. I was going to be a mama cat, with the mates to their mittens on a string around my neck or something

L is adorable. She always sings the song wrong: "Three little kittens, they lost their mittens and began to cwy and couldn't able to find them."

The kids and I went to our ward party the Friday before Halloween, and it included a trunk-or-treat. On Halloween day Shbogoo gave her class fruit leathers (instead of candy). We watched her school parade at the end of the school day. I let my girls play on the playground before we walked home, and then we headed over to the little party at our leasing office. All five of us spent some time at my mom's; my younger sister and her family came, too. The baby girls are always cute together. I really liked my niece and nephew's costumes. We didn't have our kids go trick-or-treating at all because we had accidentally left the kitten ears at home. For some reason it took us a while to realize this. My mom asked, "So what are their costumes?" It was fine that they didn't trick-or-treat. They had had plenty of candy and even cupcakes at the church, school, and leasing office.

:: Thanksgiving ::

We attended Thanksgiving meals with all of our parents this year. Actually, my husband was going to be able to come to half of them, but since he got sick he missed them all! Both he and the baby were sick Thanksgiving day, so I nursed her before going to Thanksgiving #2 (are you confused yet?), left her home with him, and nursed her right before and right after Thanksgiving #3. The first one (Wednesday night) and the fourth one (Friday at 4:00) he had to work and I of course took all three girls with me. Right now I only have photos of my mom's house and my dad and stepmom's house. The dinner on Wednesday night was the huge one, at my mother-in-law's roommate's parents' house. This was about 60 people, since they've been married a long time and have a lot of posterity. They're so nice to invite us. All four get-togethers were fantastic.

:: Other :: 

Shboogoo turned six and had a nature birthday party. She loves dinosaurs so I made sure to have a drawing of a brachiosaurus be part of the decorations. Probably our favorite part was the "cake": banana bread with a rainbow of top make of pieces of fruit, served with a little vanilla ice cream. Not a lot of friends came, and it was simple, but she kept hugging me and thanking me for making it such a fun party. I took a lot of pictures.

Among other things I don't have pictures of but that happened this October-November: two people I knew on my dad's side of the family (and one person whom I hadn't met) died of sad causes. I didn't know them real well, but I had known my cousin's husband Pete my whole life and I first met the other person -- their grandchildren's mom -- ten years ago. It was good to be able to see relatives at Pete's funeral, and to hear that he, a quiet man, had been living the gospel. That day I felt more grateful for my knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan of happiness for all of his children.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

C's tenth month

I'm going to try to play catch up on my blog this week . . . 

Our baby turned ten months old in October. Click {HERE} for some of the photos from her 10th month. We love the professional ones that my in-laws paid for! The photographer took plenty of their whole family plus some of only our little family, and the photo shoot was just a little bit before C's 10th monthday.

I mentioned that her hemoglobin was low. At the follow-up appointment at ten months old it had improved to 9, which was good. She also had the flu shot booster on that day. We were surprised that she had lost a few ounces in the previous month instead of gaining weight. But I was not worried. She eats and pees and poops. Her sisters were the same way: probably above 20th percentile for height and weight when they were two months old and for a while after that, and then they went below their own growth curve. They are now around 5th percentile for weight (which C has been) and slightly higher for height. If you know me, you know that I am small. Growing up I was almost always the shortest kid in the class, and normal weight for my height. Anyway, the pediatrician (who I started taking our kids to six years ago) told me to start adding some butter to C's food, which I am absolutely not going to do. Nobody needs butter.
Animal fats are composed of saturated fats, which are the most dangerous types of fat.  Consumption of saturated fats raises cholesterol levels and elevates the risk of heart disease and cancer. [from THIS blog post by Dr. Fuhrman's daughter]
I did increase the amount of good fat, to make sure she has a good amount of ground nuts and/or avocado each day.

Her new foods during this month were whole wheat cereal (oops: I read later in my Disease-Proof Your Child book that wheat is on the list of foods that Dr. Fuhrman recommends waiting until at least the first birthday to introduce), ground walnuts, red potato, mango, tomato, and bok choy.

Have I talked about how she moves herself around in a circle? She does it a lot; I have it on video. She sits with her legs in front of her. scoots one to the right and then the other to the right, and rotates usually all the way around -- or just enough to be able to see her sisters or whatever. Later, the day after Thanksgiving, my dad asked if she always goes clockwise. I realized that it is always that direction. :) 

It's fun when she claps or gives me five. She touches my face and gently plays with or pulls on my hair while breastfeeding. I love that she wants me to pull her up to stand, with her facing me and her hands holding my thumbs. When I put her in font of something the right height and make her hold onto it, she stands there for a long time and even lets go with one hand for a second if she wants a toy. She gets basically in crawling or push-up position but stretches out her hand for an object instead of crawling.

She's pretty attached to me, but is fine with just Daddy or her grandparents. Our neighbor Paula babysat all our kids and C cried almost the whole time even though she had been around her without me before! I think she was tired that evening, too, though.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

C's ninth month

C's 9-month-day was in September. Photos of her on that day, plus other favorite photos from her ninth month, are here.

The new foods she tried during this month were: yams, zucchini, steel cut oats, blueberries, broccoli, and papaya. She loves to nurse, and she started to move her body to let me know that she wanted me to let her nurse. I guess it usually happens when I'm holding her and sit down. I feel her trying to lie down to be in the nursing position. By her ninth monthday I noticed that her smile is sometimes a cute squinty smile, probably mimicking me. You can kind of see it in one of the photos of her in the white floral dress.

At her 9-month appointment she weighed 15 lbs 10 oz -- barely less than Second Girl was at 9 months -- and this makes Third Girl in the 5%. She was 26 1/2 inches tall (16%) and her head was 99% again. The nurse tested C's hemoglobin level and found that it was pretty low. I haven't taken the time to find out what the numbers mean, but she was 6ish and should have been 11ish. So the pediatrician wrote a prescription for Tri-Vi-Sol, since the supplement I'd been giving C, called D-Vi-Sol, didn't have iron in it. I also started feeding C infant cereal twice a day, more often than I had been.

The only other information I can think of right now is that she can pick up small objects and transfer an object from one hand to the other. Her development is good. No crawling or pulling herself up, but she does somehow get from one place on the floor to another. She's a sweetie!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

September {2012}

Like the posts I created about June/July and August, this shows only some, not all, of our photos and activities for the month.

For us the most significant event in September was the beginning of our first child's public education. Kindergarten! She enjoyed the testing they did with her in August, and the kindergarten open house, and she was so excited to start. She had to wait longer than a lot of kids, since her birthday is November. Except for falling down and hurting her forehead on the first day of gym, she loves school. She loves to tell me about what they do and which girls are her favorite. We have this conversation while we walk home after her three-hour school day (it's two hours on short day). I've noticed -- maybe it changed as the newness of school wore off -- that she only tells me a few of the things they did. I often have to ask if I want to know. It's been good to make sure I read with her and her sisters for twenty minutes each day. Sadly, we hadn't been spending that much time on books. But I'm impressed by the words she knew how to read even before school began, and I'm impressed by her speed when she does it. My husband had the idea recently to have her read the first verse of our nightly Book of Mormon reading, after she watches one of us read it.
watching the other students
one of her fancy hairstyles for school

I participated in birth junkie stuff two days in a row. First, an Improving Birth National Rally for Change, with took place on Labor Day (get it?). One of my friends who was there was born on Labor Day, too.

The purpose of this annual event is to encourage all maternal health care providers to practice evidence-based care. You can click on Improving Birth's web site for more information, and also watch this 3-minute video I got from there. Did you know that in the United States the maternal mortality rate (number of women per 1000 who die of causes related to childbirth) has increased in the last twenty years or so?

Second was an ICAN meeting (two of my ICAN friends had also been at the rally). We decided to include our families this time, not just the ladies. We ended up not talking much about what we usually talk about, but it was fun being at the park and meeting the husbands and kids.


my birthday. My sister and I and our kids played in the water at a park. I had invited a few friends but they weren't able to make it. Then my husband and I had a date (no photos): window shopping at a mall and laughing at silly gifts for sale, then eating dinner at Zupa's. He, my little sister, my visiting teacher and another friend in our ward gave me presents, and my parents gave me money.

fall leaves. We don't hike often enough, I decided. (I did narrow down the number of photos . . . lots of good ones!)

other September stuff:

Our new friend Lisa E. gave us this double stroller. Our kids are in the same school class, but the first words we spoke were when we passed at the entrance to our apartments. She said, "I have a double stroller we're not using. Do you want it?" It's great to have one again because baby C was sometimes sweaty in the carrier during our walk to/from the school. I like this seating better than the side-by-side double stroller we got rid of.

It was Family Day at my husband's unit. Since we weren't at a park this time, he actually got to teach the girls about what he does :) He showed us the equipment and trucks, and let the the kids take turns sitting in the driver's seat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

August {2012}

{How is this already the second half of October??}

August was my husband's second month of working a freight position full time. It's his "until I get a better-paying one" job, in addition to his three-evenings-a-week job and the Army Reserve. I probably mentioned before, but he is working 50+ hours a week (about 68 when it's drill week). August was also the month in which a railroad company paid for him to fly out for a panel interview for a manager trainee program. We felt like he was very well qualified because of his specific background in the military and his bachelor's degree. He thought he would get the job . . . but he didn't. However, he learned from the whole experience, and while on the short trip he got to go (with another job candidate from our state) to a cool museum:

It was my mom's birthday, and we went to a farmers market. My husband took this picture.

For about six weeks this summer our van was our only working vehicle, because the Civic needed an expensive repair. We decided to sell the Civic instead, nearly ten years after he bought it. It sold very quickly, and that was kind of a sad day. But the stereo had been stolen -- for the second time while we've lived here -- a few days earlier, and it was time to say goodbye to that car. We bought a PT Cruiser. Although the van needed two repairs in order to pass safety and emissions testing, and the Cruiser already needed a small repair (I don't remember what they needed), that total is still a few hundred dollars less than what it would have cost us to fix the Civic.

I didn't mind being at home more (grocery shopping was one of the few challenges). The girls and I couldn't do M__ Park Monday and F__ Park Friday anymore. Many days we walked to nearby playgrounds, or just walked to see the ducks, or ate lunch outside in our neighborhood. They love pretending and coloring in our fitness center while I use the treadmill. Oh, and we swam (the girls mostly sit on the steps) in our pool a few more times. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I love swimming for exercise, even though I doubt my strokes look very good and I'm still a slow swimmer. It's never felt as good as it did this year. We reorganized our dresser drawers and Shboogoo was excited about folding things "the new way" so we can see everything. Some days we cooked delicious new recipes I found online, like this Mexican bean and rice casserole. If we wanted to see friends, they were able to come to our place. And we're thankful that we were never down to zero working vehicles.
We like to make flowers out of fruit.

Here's a picture of my husband and me on a date in August. We're trying to go out together at least twice a month. We are also having regular meetings and writing down what we discuss in a notebook; it was his idea and it's been very helpful. We're more aware of things, and we're starting to actually budget!

Might as well include this here. He sent this photo to my phone one day, after asking a coworker how to write it in Spanish.

On August 29th, I had the baby in the actual seat part of a shopping cart, and let the other two kids sit in the part where you put whatever it is you're going to be buying. I wasn't looking at the kids and accidentally bumped the cart into the corner of a display. That made L fall right back out of the cart and hit the back of her head on the hard floor. She had been sitting on the edge, not down where she was supposed to be. She started bawling right away, and a bump formed. I took us straight to the closest emergency room. Daddy was working his part-time job but came over before we even got to see a doctor. The doctor said L seemed just fine; she didn't think there was any reason to do a CT scan.

The next day L was a little different. She was not her happy self and did not have much of an appetite, so in the afternoon I took her to the pediatrician. He said, from the way she was acting (maybe I don't remember everything) she had a concussion and we needed to give her extra fluids. 

Then, when she was in bed about 9 p.m., she threw up. The next morning (August 31st) she threw up a little two times. I called the pediatrician again, who told us to go right to the ER. At the hospital they examined her and of course I had to explain several times what had happened. They did a CT scan to see if there was any internal bleeding. She was not afraid at all, just laid perfectly still during the CT scan. Daddy came up from work, and by the time he arrived we found out the results were good. The last doctor who saw L said he thought she did not have a concussion, and that the throwing up was not related to her fall, since she didn't throw up until over 24 hours after she fell. It was a 12-hour stomach bug, I guess. We're so glad she is fine!

Friday, September 7, 2012

C's eighth month

I found this Carter's outfit at Kid to Kid, and our friend Vanessa made the hair clip.
During C's eighth month she had an obsession for a little while with saying "Mama." She said it for the first time on July 24th in the swimming pool. Then after maybe a week of lots of mamama chatting -- mostly before I grabbed the video camera, of course -- she wouldn't do it at all. When she was probably almost eight months old she started to say it again, less frequently. Anyway, everything she does is adorable. I'm glad she loves me even if she doesn't know yet what "Mama" and "Dada" represent.

7 and a half months

Her most common "word" is a funny grunt. She blows raspberries, squeals, and sometimes mimics what she hears her sisters do as they play (these are sort of screams, if I remember right, but not unpleasant when they come from the baby). She's still extremely happy but cries a little more than she used to. Now as I'm writing this I wonder if I wasn't responding quickly enough when she just fussed.
(7 1/2 months old) In front of a leasing office where preschool friends Natalie and Rachel used to live. We played at the playground.
During this month she ate these foods for the first time: pears (from Nana's tree), peas, butternut squash, corn, plums (from Nana's tree), sweet potatoes, peaches (locally grown), and yellow squash (locally grown). I would guess that she usually nurses 5 or 6 times a day -- never at night because she sleeps about 10-11 hours.
She is not trying to crawl or pull herself up, so she will do those things later than our other two kids did. She's good at rolling over and/or rotating herself, whether we put her down on her tummy or her back. I don't think she rotates all the way around, but halfway sometimes. Often when I go to her crib I find her with her legs sticking out between the bars. I looked back at the blog, and I mentioned some of this in her sixth month post. However, back then she was still in the center area where I had laid her down on her back. Now she may end up near a corner, on her tummy, and with her head on the left when it was on the right.
Here's a random list of other things C does: 
  • She loves to hold onto her foot with both hands and put it in her mouth (but I'm not going to take the time to add a photo). 
  • When she's lying down and really happy to see me, she throws her legs down a few times.
  • She loves looking in mirrors -- probably because I smile and say, "Look at us! You and Mommy!"
  • She is a thumb sucker, and I think it's always the right thumb. When I give her a pacifier she holds it and chews the nipple.
  • When she sits with Daddy she likes to touch his arm, and she touches my face and hair a lot.
  • She's good at clapping -- we just have to hold her wrists and do it for her. It makes her laugh. She also laughs when someone plays peek-a-boo with her.
  • When I change her diaper she twists and tries to find something to get and play with.
  • For her baths, I sit her up now, and lay her back to rinse her hair. She loves water and usually does not like it when I take her out (I'm sure she feels cold before she's dried off). As soon as she's in the tub she splashes. At least half of the time I put her in at the beginning of the other girls' bath, and it's fun watching all three have fun in there.
  • I always turn on our musical soother at night, and she turns toward it and touches it.
I love this photo as much as the four at the top of this post.

You can click {here} to see her sister L at this age.