Ask Riley if she wants to go to the playground, and her big blue eyes get even bigger and bluer, and she rattles off "swing! slide! bridge! tunnel!", all her favorite playground parts. So how could you not take this little face to the playground???
Baby TOMS... yes please!
Mama is apparently just soooo funny!
And the little peanut? Where was he while big sister was having so much fun? Snuggled up nice and warm in his car seat under a bunch of blankets, just hanging out.
Jackson is 3 weeks old today!
What a joy this little man has been. We had a few rough growth spurt days, where he was eating all the time, and not sleeping well, but he seems to have settled back into his usual routine... whatever that means, at this point. I tried to actually keep track of what he did today, just for my own record's sake, although it's probably painfully boring to you so feel free to just skip over. His schedule today went like this (the night is all a blur so we'll start with when we got out of bed for the day):
7:15am wake and diaper change
7:30 feed- this takes about 45 minutes as we have to stop to burp, diaper change, tend to Ri bug, etc...
8:15- 9:00 awake time in swing, looking in mirror, playing with sister, cuddling with mama, etc...
9-10:30 SLEEP (in swing)
10:30 awake and feed and diaper change
11:30 feed again! (nursed to sleep)
11:45-1:30 ASLEEP (in bed with me while I napped too!)
1:30 diaper change and feed
2:00-3:30 ASLEEP (on couch)
3:45 diaper change and feed and diaper change
4:45 continue interrupted feed due to Riley getting into mischief...
5:20-7:00 ASLEEP (rocked to sleep then slept in swing while we ate dinner)
7:00 awake and feed and diaper change
8:00 ASLEEP (and still sleeping as I type this at 9:30 pm...)
He's got such a strong little neck, he'll hold his head up for ages when held upright. During tummy time he lifts his head and turns it from side to side. He's not totally thrilled to lay flat on his back, and prefers to sleep on his side or his tummy. If he must sleep on his back (like at night), he does so elevated in his rock 'n play, or sleeps in my arms, depending on his mood.
He stares intently at our faces and even flashes some occasional smiles. He likes looking at the mobile and mirror above his swing, we haven't quite gotten out his little baby gym as Riley sort of just takes it over, so we'll see what happens with that... His longest stretch of sleep has been 3.5 hours, but usually we only get 2 hour blocks at night.
He loves the moby wrap, and the car seat, and the swing. He's making cute little baby cooing noises now. He is the LOUDEST sleeper- much louder than Riley was, and I thought she was loud! He's starting to get a tiny bit of baby acne, and his skin is peeling a little on his face. He likes bath time, but prefers to be submerged rather than sit in his little baby bath hammock thing. He's gone from pooping 15 plus times a day to about half that,, thank goodness! He's still in all newborn clothes and diapers, and probably will be for a few more weeks. But he's out of his preemie clothes!!
He loves when I sing to him (or to Riley), and always falls asleep with a little rocking/bouncing and a song. We introduced him to the bottle a few days ago, and I wasn't sure he'd take it since he's not into the artificial nipples really, but he downed it! I only pumped about 40 mls for him since I didn't think he'd drink it, but he gulped it all down and demanded more. I plan on giving him 1-2 bottles of breast milk a week just to keep him used to drinking from a bottle.
He is starting to like his soothie paci a little more, but HATES the MAM ones that Riley loved so much (and still does). He almost always falls asleep after a feed (milk coma), but I usually wake him by burping or diaper change otherwise he wakes up after only 20-30 minutes and wants to eat more. If he really wants/needs sleep, he will sleep after I burp/change him anyway, but this way I wake him up, get more milk in him, and then he sleeps longer and goes longer in between feeds, usually, Not always. You can see in his schedule today that his wake time varied from 30 minutes to 2 hours... we just go with what he needs!
He had a few days of being very gassy and seeming like he was in pain, but I think that has mostly passed and he's much more settled. He never ever spits up, and literally just starting a few days ago have I been able to get burps out of him after feeds. Before that, didn't matter what I did, he wouldn't burp!
Happy 3 weeks my sweet little bubba!
My favorite photo of February for the Click it up a Notch photo contest. My little man, 11 days old. Definitely my favorite photo of him!
What a month this has been! There were some very big changes in Riley's life this past month, the biggest being the arrival of her new baby brother almost 3 weeks ago. Riley is such an amazing big sister! She's gentle, she's interested, she wants to hold him and touch him and give him a paci, she shares her toys with him and shows him all of her books and puzzles and stuffed animals. When she tries to give him his paci, she says, "Want it, baby?" (as she shoves it in his mouth) and if he cries she goes, "Don't cry baby!" or "You okay, baby?" or "Baby alright?" When she wakes in the morning, she asks for Jack Jack and wants to give him kisses. She loves to stroke his hair, and says "one more pet," because apparently she thinks she's petting him like a dog. Basically, she rocks as a big sister.
This little girl gets funnier and funnier each and every month. Her current favorite things include: slides, swings, jumping, swimming class, Tangled (the movie), Talking Tom app on the ipad, watering the plants/playing with the hose, playing in dirt/rocks, and reading a million books. Thank goodness for her love of books, it has been a real savior during my hours of nursing baby brother! She just brings me book after book after book and we read them, and she asks to "show Jack Jack" and "read to Jack Jack," so we do that too.
See the baby sleeping in the back corner??
This month we've really seen an explosion in her language development. She's now talking in understandable sentences. She repeats pretty much everything we say, and learns tons of new words daily. She says some pretty funny things too. Some examples: when Mark walks into the bathroom, Riley very matter-of-factly states "Daddy go peepee." Or yelling "Go Daddy go!" when Mark was doing yard work and pushing a wheel barrow full of dirt. She finishes her milk and says "please refill mommy!" It is so much fun to listen to her talk like a real little person rather than a little baby!
Other things she loves: watching me put soap in the dishwasher and washing machine and then helping push all the buttons, shampooing her hair, "helping" daddy shave (i.e. playing in the sink while he shaves), and she sometimes loves brushing her teeth... I think her new light up tooth brush helped a bit.
She FINALLY seems to be sleeping well on a fairly regular basis. She stays in her bed the whole night (10-11 hours), although sometimes if she does wake up, Mark goes in there and sleeps with her until the morning just so she doesn't wake up Jackson (who is in our room). She loves her big girl bed! Her schedule has changed a bit since the arrival of baby brother, she's been going to bed about an hour later (8ish) and sleeping until 6 or 6:30, and now taking a 2-3 hour nap each day. I am LOVING the long midday nap, let me tell you. And she always wakes up SO happy, it's the best thing ever.
She knows all her letters, numbers 1-10, and has mastered her colors and shapes as well. She has a great understanding of counting and knowing when she has one or two or five of something. She loves pointing out what color everything is... She'll point to things and yell "green one!" or "blue one!" or tell me what color cup she wants for her milk that day. She has these foam shapes and she loves to sort them by shape, and tell me what color they all are. She especially loves circles, and always asks me to draw her one when we're doing art projects. She has discovered playdoh this month, and thinks it's one of the best things ever. Especially because you can make circles with it... and pentagons. She also likes pentagons. :) She knows a ridiculous number of animals, and she has started "reading" some of her favorite stories by finishing the sentences herself. She amazes us every day with how smart she is.
Her favorite foods include: peanut butter, hummus, oranges, fruit snacks, cheese, ham, spaghetti, baked beans, and ketchup (or tomato sauce, as it's called here... she just calls it "sauce"). She would eat it straight out of the bottle if we let her. She still drinks a ton of milk, and prefers milk over juice or water any day. In fact the only time she drinks juice is if Mark has a cup of juice, and then she wants to have a taste. The only vegetable she will eat is carrots.
What Riley does if you tel her to "say cheese!"
You may notice she's missing pants in many of her pictures. That's pretty common around here, she's not really that into pants, and often only wears them if it's cold or if we're going out. Who needs pants anyway?
She LOVES jumping.. on trampolines, bouncy houses, beds, couches... you name it. We haven't had any accidents yet, but there have definitely been some close calls (one that involved Jackson almost getting completely squished by the crazy jumping bean you see below).
She hardly sits still, and runs from room to room all day long, going from activity to activity. She's a busy little one, but I wouldn't have it any other way. She still stops every now and again to give me a huge hug and kiss, and I love love love it.
She's pretty much still the best little girl in the whole wide world. Happy 20 months, my baby bug!
Only this one had PONIES and BOUNCY HOUSES and WHEEL BARROW RIDES. Basically toddler heaven.
We went to this little fair/expo thing by Mark's parents' house, and Riley was loving it. She got a cart ride from a pony, although the whole time she was eying the bounce house, asking over and over for "jumping?" So after the pony ride was over, we headed over to the bounce house, and Riley got a whole one all to herself. Heaven, I tell you.
Other things we did but didn't get pictures of: saw a real fire truck (and fire men), had a tea party with some nice ladies, played with playdoh, got a balloon, saw a great dane... ran wild. I did get a picture of her crawling through the large inflatable tunnel though. :)
See, while I did actually have free hands thanks to my new moby wrap, it wasn't as easy to handle my massive camera while wearing my two week old as I thought. So I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked. But I did manage to get one photo of me and my babies!!!
My moby wrap, complete with fireman sticker just for Jackson. There's a bit of a learning curve to this wrap, but I actually really like it. I didn't wrap it tight enough so after about an hour Jackson had slipped down a bit, but he was still very secure.
When we got home, after nap, Riley "helped" daddy with some landscaping.
And the little guy? Well, he did a lot of this:
Riley has been in her own "bed" in her own room since we moved back to NZ... But we were waiting on her real bed to get here, as well as some of her toys and books and clothes and other furniture, so her room was sort of a disaster zone. But last week the final missing piece of the room arrived (the headboard to her bed), and I was finally able to get her room all put together. And if I do say so myself, it turned out AMAZING. I absolutely love it, and I'm pretty sure she does too!
Now, this is not the layout I had originally planned for the room, but it turns out the bed is actually too big to go where I wanted it to go, so we had to improvise. And I had already decorated the walls for the originally planned layout, but oh well, I think it still works. So here's the view from the door...
And the bed!!!
Now, see the comforter is folded all the way down by the foot of the bed?... that's because she only wanted to have the soft cupcake blanket on her bed, not the comforter, so we compromised and it's staying at the foot of the bed for decoration. :) She hates sleeping with blankets over her anyway, so it would pretty much just be for show regardless. Silly girl. Too bad I put the cupcake blanket upside down, huh?
The wall letters were the same as in her previous room, I just added the pink stars to match her new room. She loves laying in her bed and going "R! I! L! E! Y!... Riley!"
This is her little reading corner, which was a happy accident as a result of the new room arrangement. Grandma bought her that seat, and she's got some favorite books that she can read whenever she wants. I'm thinking about putting a little bulletin board up in that empty space as a place for her to hang her artwork... we'll see.
More wall art above the bed... missing one picture, I haven't decided which one to print and hang in there, I'm thinking one of her and Jackson. The table was moved in form the lounge, and I just bought that cute little lamp a few weeks ago.
Then we have her book and toy wall... She has a LOT of books, and the ones up on the shelves are her special books, plus I just like the way they look!
And guess who slept in her own big girl bed all by herself for 11 hours straight last night... RI RI!!
Well friends, today is my due date! And instead of just now having a baby, I'm busy with my 2.5 week old and almost 20 month old! Our days are looking a little crazy these days, although I think I've mostly got it under control. Of course, the day is not without hiccups of course. I could show you a million pictures of precious sleeping, smiling babies, but that wouldn't really be the whole picture. But of course, what mom stops to run and grab the camera when her babies are hungry, sad or hurt and crying?? So happy sleepy baby photos will have to do...
Riley was such a high maintenance newborn (required being held at all times, pretty much), that I almost feel guilty about how easily Jackson has slept so far. Guilty because I don't rock him all the time and hold him all the time when he's sleeping like I did with Riley. Even if he's being "tough" to get to sleep, I just have to stick him in the swing, or even walk around with him for a few minutes. But more often than not, I can lay him down, pat his back a few times, and he's out. And he usually stays that way while Riley and I play and make all kinds of noise around him. He totally doesn't mind one bit...
Riley has been so funny lately, with a little bit of difficult added in there just to keep me on my toes. I am spending A LOT of time nursing Jackson lately, which means less time to be focused on her, and lots of time focused on baby. I try to keep Riley as involved as possible, which I think has been helping a lot. Every time Jackson needs a diaper change (which seems like all. day. long), she is my biggest helper. Brings out the changing pad, gives me way too many wipes, yells "stinky P.U. baby!" and then throws the diaper away for me (her fave part). Now if only changing HER diaper was so easy...
Riley has actually been overall REALLY good while I'm feeding Jackson, but she is starting to discover that I'm a little preoccupied, and that she can get into a bit of mischief while I'm feeding him. She also does some definite attention-seeking things... likes this:
Uhhh, yeah, that would be her pushing herself all the way under the chair until she got stuck, and yelled for me to help her because "i stuck!" This required unlatching the little milk monster, and rescuing her from under the chair, with a warning NOT to do that again.
Other sources of mischief? Literally turned away for TWO seconds to check on Jackson, and come back to this:
She's normally really good with pens, she knows not to use them on her hands/face/clothes... you should have seen the look on her face when I first saw her, such a sly little grin like, "uh oh, look what I did mommy..." But it's hard to get mad or even frustrated when she also does such wonderful things all day long. Things like taking care of her own little baby doll. Things like rocking Jackson in his swing when mama forgot to turn it on...
Jackson seems to have finished up his first growth spurt, thank goodness, because it was exhausting!! He got weighed today and he is up to 7 pounds, 6 ounces!! Riley's exact birth weight! At least that's definite proof that he's been going through a growth spurt, in exactly one week he gained over 14 ounces... almost a whole pound!
So now here we are, 2.5 weeks in, and I'd say we're doing alright. There have been tough moments. There have been way more funny/amazing/special ones. Like last night, when I decided to stick the two babies in the bath together again. Only this time, for some reason, I had the brilliant idea to try and feed Jack Jack right before bath time, figuring he would be all nice and calm in the bath since the night before we bathed him while he was hungry and he was NOT happy about it. Well, if you have a newborn, you should know that food goes in one end, and very quickly out the other... soooo needless to say bath time was cut short for both babies, and this mom spent a good 20 minutes rinsing toys, scrubbing the bath, and doing lots of laundry... Oh well, at least this little guy was happy right? (And Riley was none the wiser, thank goodness)
Also... coming soon... guess whose big girl room is almost all finished?? Bed has been set up, walls are decorated, reading corner is in place... now just waiting to install two shelves and then many pictures to come. It might just be the cutest little toddler room you've ever seen, and she LOVES it. All day today she would run in there and yell "NEW BED!!! Mommy coming??" and wait for me to come and see her on her new bed. Here's a little peek into her "reading corner" where she was playing her alphabet ipad game before bath...
The little man is two weeks old already!
Here's what he's up to in his little 2 week old life...
He is going on day 3 of his first growth spurt, which meant lots of eating, not lots of sleeping. Although, we did get one 4 hour stretch of sleep last night (followed by waking every hour for the rest of the night). He's becoming a lot more alert, and spending more and more time awake during the day. Now the real work of taking care of two babies begins!
He had his first cold (almost over it), and his first baths in the big tub. He takes baths with Riley and he normally loves it as long as the water is not too cold and he's not hungry, (which lately seems to be all the time!) He gets so calm after bath time, and usually goes right to sleep once he's all dressed and fed.
He loves looking at our faces, and doesn't seem to have any problems with tummy time (I only say that because Riley hated tummy time). He almost never spits up, but does get some gas/tummy pains after he eats sometimes. He prefers not to lie flat, and sleeps part of the night swaddled in his rock n play, and part of the night unswaddled in our bed. The paci is hit or miss.. today he refused it all day long, he only wanted the real deal!
He's been a trooper when it comes to his big sister for the most part. Putting up with her hands all over him, with her version of "gentle" touches, with toys being shoved in his face in her attempts to "show baby." No real injuries so far! Just lots of love! For about half an hour today Riley demanded to lay down with Jack Jack on his baby blanket. I stood back and watched with such happiness... and a little anxiety, as who knows what Riley would do at any moment :)
Happy 2 weeks Jack Jack!
2 weeks ago I gave birth to little Jackson James. His 2 week post is coming, but I didn't manage to get many pictures of him today, so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Instead I want to write a different kind of 2 week post. See, when Jack was born, I decided to give myself two weeks to recover mentally and physically. Two weeks to not worry about losing weight, or exercising, or going on outings, or cooking elaborate meals, or letting Riley watch too much TV, or the fact that she's eating yet another peanut butter sandwich as a meal. Two weeks before I would get my butt in gear and become a good parent/wife/housekeeper.
And now, two weeks is up. And I can say I'm ready to try and regain some sense of normalcy. Getting out of the house more, eating healthier, starting to get back into shape, spending more time reading and playing and less time watching Mickey and Tangled (which is a new fave, by the way). Tomorrow I will be weighing myself (gulp) and seeing how much weight I have to lose. I' cooking dinner and not leaving the dishes to pile up for days.
But most importantly... I'm spending time with my babies and soaking up the days when they are still so little. Although Riley has decided she thinks she wants to be a big girl, and is getting very interested in her potty. She has always liked to play with it, but she must have told me about ten times today she wanted to either "peepee" or "poopoo on potty," and she'd run into the bathroom and I'd taker her diaper off, and she'd sit down. She never actually went, but she was definitely thinking about it! And of course she would start to be interested in the potty right when we have a newborn in the house... definitely makes things a bit trickier for me, but I don't really think she's ready yet, so we'll see.
Today Jackson had his very first blow out diaper, which normally I probably wouldn't share as any sort of important milestone, except for the fact that it happened while Riley was holding him, which then meant I had TWO babies covered in poop. Once I got them both all cleaned up, I asked Riley if she could help me pick out some new clothes for her brother. Off she went, and came back with this...
The biggest girly onesie ever, plopped down right on his face. Followed up by some big sister smooches. Riley needed some new clothes too, especially since this was at 4pm and she was still in her pajamas (remember i was giving myself two weeks? That apparently includes dressing my babies...) Anyway, I decided to try this little ensemble on her:
Riley's Uncle Philip sent us this toddler-sized Ireland soccer kit, and I'm not sure if it was meant for her or Jackson, but it fits her pretty well so she can get some use out of it before Jack Jack is big enough to wear it. She thought the socks were AWESOME, which is weird since she never keeps socks on for more than about 10 seconds.
Anyway... two week Jackson update tomorrow, today he was less than thrilled with my few photo attempts, so maybe I'll get some more tomorrow. :)
Daddy's first cuddle with our sweet baby boy! You should have seen how thrilled he was, so glad I had my camera with me to capture this moment!