What We've Learned In 17 & 18 Months

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Today dear Ladybug, you are eighteen months old. I didn't post an update on you last month, because I decided that I would combine 17 and 18 months and that until you are two years old, this is likely the last monthly update I will make.  You are anything but a little baby anymore.  In fact, your pacifiers have all disappeared this week.  You are such a big girl, and seem to be thriving in the bigger kids' class at church.    You were sort of promoted a couple of weeks ago.  Thankfully, you seem to be getting over your saran wrap issues a little bit too.  Let me tell you a little more about you:

  • You love your babydolls.  You have made Dory's bed into your babydolls' bed and spend a lot of time there taking care of them.
  • You seem to almost skip when running now.  
  • I have started putting you in slip-on diapers, because it's easier with your busy little legs.  Also, they seem to fit better now that you're running al over creation.  In the next couple of months we will start trying to use a potty, because you are such a big girl!
  • You have the cutest, funniest little dances you do when listening to music you love.
  • You have started to change your taste in music.  Rather than hip hop from the nineties, you are enjoying more indie and adult contemporary music.  Your favorite song to sing now is "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" by She and Him.
  • You are a very picky eater at meals.
  • You know several colors, your letters up to "E," and can count to 10 with a little prodding.
  • You have started playing with Hot Wheels cars.
  • You love wearing pretty clothes and having your hair fixed.  That said, you rarely leave bows in your hair for long.

  • You love swimming and seem to be a natural.
  • Your vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds every week.
  • You caught your first fish!
  • You are a blessing, and I'm so very thankful you're in my life.

What We've Learned in Twelve Months

Friday, February 15, 2013

I wrote a post a couple of days ago about Ladybug turning the big 1.  It was a broad post about the entire years.  This post is just to highlight the many things that have changed in just the past month.

  • You love to eat Hershey's bars.  I'll let you have a couple of squares in the afternoon, after your nap.
  • You are almost walking on your own!  One day you just decided to pull up to your V-Tech walker and just started pushing it down the living room.  You're cruising all over the place.
  • You love The Chica Show, and Daddy got you a Chica doll for your birthday that you're in love with.
  • You've actually started watching real Sesame Street and not just Play With Me Sesame on Sprout.  So, I added it to our DVR list.  When we have the time, we'll watch it.
  • I love the way you brush your hair while I brush mine.
  • You love playing with your Little People you got for Christmas.
  • You've started calling Dory "DD."
  • Lucy is well, "Lucy."
  • You're always singing.
  • I love the way you use me as a walker by grabbing on to the back of my legs and walk along with me.
  • If there's a good song playing, you'll start dancing.  I love watching you shake your little booty.
  • You are super talkative and say all sorts of things.  Occasionally we understand what you're staying.
  • You are obsessed with stuffed animals.
  • You love to read and be read to.
  • I've learned how often I tell you, "Okay," and "Thank you," because you're now saying them.  You're also pointing your finger at me when you tell me, "No!" because I do that too.
  • You are loved everywhere you go.  Really, you're much more social a person than either your dad or me.  It's kind of nice going somewhere like church, and being known as "Ladybug's Mom and Dad."

What I What WE Have Learned In Ten Months

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Today Miss Ladybug, you are ten months old.  Here are some things that we've learned thus far:
  • You've been crawling for about a month and a half, and get around fairly well.  You pull up some, but don't show any hurry to stand up and walk, but that's ok. I'm not in any hurry for it to happen either.  
  • Right now, you like to follow me around the house, and I've learned that making you crawl laps is excellent exercise. 
  • You love reading books and being read to more than just about anything.
  • You enjoy watching airplanes as they take off and land near our house.
  • You loved the Lights of the Ozarks. 
  • You've started dunking your head under water during baths and blowing bubbles.
  • You enjoy Christmas music.
  • When you want one of us to read a book to you, you'll scoot it in front of you as you crawl toward us.  
  • Your favorite books right now are "B Is For Bear" and "Goodnight Moon."  Almost every day before your afternoon nap we also read a little from "The Secret Garden."
  • Sometimes to get you to sleep, I have to employ the use of a hair dryer.
  • You still don't like textured food much, but eat baby food like there's no tomorrow.
  • You share your finger foods with Dory.  Sometimes you just want to wave them in her face, but that never works.
  • It's very obvious that you understand so much of what we're saying now, because of the way you respond.
  • You say a lot, we just have to catch what you say and understand it, because you say it so quickly and don't repeat yourself much.
  • You love bath time and will cry when the water drains down the tub, and it's time to get dry and dressed.
  • You love pulling levers and studying how to take things apart.
  • You love pretty things and love being pretty even more.
  • Your hair is now long enough that it no longer sticks up much.  I sort of miss the mohawk, but it's nice being able to put barrettes in your hair now.
  • You still love watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Play With Me Sesame.  You also love watching the news, especially the weather.
  • You're more toddler now than baby.  I miss the little baby, but I'm loving the toddler so much!
  • Every day it is a blessing to be your Mama.

What I've Learned In Four Months

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tomorrow Firecracker turns four months old!  I'm too sleepy to think!!!
  • Learning to eat from a spoon is hard work.  Firecracker wants to eat like a big girl so badly.  She just has to learn to not thrust her tongue about once her cereal is in her mouth.
  • Baseball and softball are awesome.  They're just awesome, especially if you're an infant.
  • Bert and Ernie are now apparently claymation characters who go on adventures.  I wonder if Ernie lost his rubber ducky?  I guess those days when we wondered if anyone other than Big Bird would see Snuffleupagus are long over.  Yes, I'm that old.
  • Every night around six-thirty, we must go outside to play with the dogs.
  • Carter the  Monkey is a great friend.
  • Firecracker must sleep with her Lady on her right side and Lambie on her left.
  • Rolling over is best done when no one is watching.  

What I've Learned In Three Months

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Firecracker turned three months old yesterday.  She's already such a big girl compared to when she was born.  She's holding her head up like a pro and still hates tummy time.  Somehow she managed to roll over several times last Tuesday and pretty much refuses to do so anymore, stubborn child.  Raising her is very much a learning process for B and I both.  Here are a few things I've learned in the past quarter-year:
  • Huggies leak.  They may be the diapers that have the cut-out for the umbilical cord for newborns, but you might as well let your baby go commando if you put him or her in Huggies.  If you like holding your baby and feeling baby pee pee spread all over your clothes, put him or her in Huggies.  If someone gives you Huggies as a gift, be polite then take them back to Walmart or Target or wherever they may possibly have come from and exchange them for Pampers Swaddlers.  They're almost exactly the same price and don't leak.
  • Just as soon as you get a routine figured out, it will change.  It may be in little ways, but it will change.  Babies are constantly changing, so that means their needs are constantly changing too.
  • Pear Juice is wonderful if you have a cranky, constipated little monster.
  • Swaddle blankets are awesome.  Firecracker has never been swaddled at night, but that is.the.only.way she'll take a nap.  She actually seems to enjoy what I call, "Baby Burrito Time."  We like Summer SwaddleMe here.
  • Play mats are worth the money, and I'm hoping the jumparoo I ordered yesterday will be too.
  • Schedules are great but should be flexible.  At our house, we try to use a lenient EASY schedule.  Learning about EASY was one of the best things ever.  If there is a baby #2, we're starting him/her on EASY the day we come home from the hospital.
  • In our house, the bouncy seat is sort of known as the "baby toilet," because that's where Firecracker does most of her pooping.
  • Speaking of poop, we've learned to always be ready to throw the laundry around so you can soak anything tainted with poo in the washing machine for a while.
  • Dresses and shirts are cute and all, but they're totally impractical with a baby.  They just bunch up in the back in car seats, bouncy seats, and while being held.   Onsies are the way to go just for these reasons.
  • Enjoy every day, because the changes come far too quickly.

What I've Learned In Five Weeks

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Five Weeks

I'm a couple of days late with this, but Monday we were adjusting our routine (we're always having to adjust it for something it seems), and Tuesdays seem to be the one day out of the week Firecracker decides to be a fussy baby from Hades.  Thankfully all is usually well by bedtime.

Honestly, we're very blessed with Miss Firecracker.  She would sleep through the night if we could let her.  Thankfully her pediatrician said that once she hits two months we (Ican let her sleep through the night (I can't wait!), and I'll no longer have to wake the both of us up once every night for a feeding.

She's staying awake longer now, and starting to smile and coo more often.  She likes to change out of her jammies and either bathed or cleaned off in the mornings and relaxes at night when she's changed into that night's jammies.

During the day she spends time squirming around on a blanket, and often Lucy and Dory join her.  Dory is still very protective and obsessed with her girl.  Lucy is getting more comfortable around her.  She loves her, that's obvious by little things like the way she sleeps next to her swing (Firecracker sleeps in her swing right now) most nights when she's not in bed with us, but she's far more careful and less smothering about it.

She's about to grow out of her newborn sized clothes.  That makes me both proud and sad at the same time, kind of like how I cherish each moment I spend holding her, but my arms get so tired after a while.  These days are so tiring at times, but I know they won't last forever.  I'm sure that our parents feel like it was just the other day when they were holding us in their arms.

What I've Learned In One Month

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Yesterday Firecracker was four weeks old.  Today, depending on how you look at it, she'll be one whole month old!  One month.  It's hard to believe that it's already been a month.  All of my days have a tendency to run together lately, especially since I get up at least once a night with my little Marvin.

Marvin's short for Starvin' Marvin from the early days of South Park.  I call Firecracker that, because she believes herself to be starving several times a day even though she's now taking three ounces of formula every three hours.  I don't think it'll be long before she'll be moving on the four ounces.  Our girl definitely has a healthy appetite.

She's staying awake longer and longer these days.  Most of the time, she's in a fairly good mood, unless she's gone a day without pooping.  Then, I have to give her an ounce of pear juice to make the world a better place again.  The funny thing about making the world a better place is that it has to get really dirty before it can get better.  I'm talking so dirty that I hold her away from my body, take her upstairs, and rinse her off in the bathtub with my handheld shower messy.  After that though, everything's pretty much roses though - just hold your nose when you open any trash can with a lid in our house.

Marvin is starting to smile some, and coo and try to talk to us.  She has at least one moment of glee when I fasten a bib around her neck before bottle time.  Last night I swear I heard her giggle even though I know developmentally she's not supposed to be able to for a little while longer.

She's noticing toys and other things more now and reaches out to touch them.  She's obsessed with her Daddy's face when he hold her and likes messing with my hair.  I have to admit to tickling her with it some.

She made her longest trip anywhere fairly easily Saturday, when we went down to Greenwood to fix her grandparents' computer.  Before that, the greatest distance she had traveled was down to the Square in Fayetteville to visit our friends at the TV station.

I've started reading Anne of Green Gables to her.  I've chosen that particular book to read to her, because I love it, Anne and Firecracker both have red hair, and I also run out of things to say and sing to her at times, when I know she's just wanting to "talk" with me.

She's just about the sturdiest baby I've ever known and already holds her head up very well, especially when she's climbing my body when I'm trying to burp her.  Interestingly, she usually will burp for me when I ask her to.

Once she's had what I call her "bedtime" bottle, around 10 or 11 at night usually, she's not that difficult to put to bed.  In fact, I often still have to wake her in order for her to have her bottle in the wee sma's of the night.  Then, once she goes to sleep after that, she often will sleep until we wake her again, which she doesn't really appreciate.  I'm really thankful for the fact that thus far, I've been allowed to sleep at night for the most part.  Our worst two nights were her first and third nights home, and the first night's discomfort had a lot to do with the fact that I slept on the recliner because I my incision.

Thursday we go back to the pediatrician to check her weight.  Hopefully she's gaining the appropriate amount now.  Then we won't have to go back there until her two-months shots.  I can't wait to see the milestones she hits after another month!

What I've Learned In Three Weeks: Enough Time To Form a Habit

Monday, February 27, 2012

Enough Time To Form A Habit (Three Weeks) 

Wearing her Old Navy jeans & Strawberry Shortcake onsie.
Today, my Dad would have been sixty-six years old.  It's hard to believe that he's been gone for over twenty-one years.  He would have loved his new granddaughter.  She seems to have my nose, which is his nose.  Sadly, that means it's a bit crooked and turns to the right. Every day she looks a little like one person or another.  She's very much a mixture of all her DNA.  I can't wait to see what she'll look like when she grows up, even though I'm not in a hurry for her to no longer be small enough to curl up on one arm.

They say that it takes twenty-one days or three weeks to form a habit.  I guess that's true, because after three weeks, living with Firecracker is seeming more natural and common rather than this new, novel thing.  Even the new has worn off on the dogs.  Dory only checks on Firecracker almost every time she comes into the same room with her now, instead of every single time.  What have we learned in three weeks?
  • We are finally establishing at least a bit of a routine.  Every morning we wake up around seven for a bottle, then we're ready to be either bathed or sponged off, and changed into our clean clothes for the day and a fresh diaper.  After that, she likes to hang out in her crib for a while, listening to the radio or iPod, talking to Stuffed Lucy and Dory until she falls asleep again, while I shower.  We read books and just hang out in our room until our next bottle around ten.  We eventually come downstairs and hang out off and on in between bottles, naps, tummy time, etc.  I do housework when I can too.  We have a tendency to get fussy in the evening when it gets close to bedtime, but usually after our 10-11 pm bottle, we're out for the night.
  • She's a very good girl for the most part, but she has a tendency to only poop every four or so days, and by the last day she can be a nightmare, so her pediatrician has her taking an ounce of pear juice every other day.  She LOVES it, and it makes her much more pleasant.
  • Her hair sticks straight up after it's been washed.  I love it that way right now, though it tickles when she's cuddled up against me.
  • B and I have decided that we need a baby carrier.  I think I'll be heading to Target this week to buy a Baby Bjorn.  We don't mind holding her a lot, but it would be nice to be able to do other things as well.

What I've Learned In Two Weeks

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Living With Firecracker: Two Weeks and One Day 

I can't believe that two weeks and a day ago, I was in the OR at Willow Creek having my C-section and meeting Miss Firecracker.  Two weeks.  It seems like it was yesterday, yet hasn't she always been here?  Astonishingly enough, I'm getting enough or close to enough sleep.  Once L finally goes to sleep for the night, she's pretty much out for the night.  In fact, today when I took her to the pediatrician, he told me to start making her wake up at night to take her bottles, because she has lost an ounce and a half since last Monday.

Honestly, I was sure she would have gained back her birth weight by now, because eating is not an issue with our girl.  She loves it and doesn't spit up much at all, really.   We had already started giving her three ounces of formula occasionally, instead of two per feeding, because a few times a day, she just can't seem to get enough to eat.  Now we're going to make her take a bottle every three rather than four hours though, because she reallyisn't getting enough.

After all of this, and because she's having very little problems with gas or spitting up, I'm very glad I decided to bottle feed her rather than breast.  I know that I couldn't keep up with her demand, especially since she has a sixth sense and starts screaming almost every time I try to sit down and eat a meal.

I went into the hospital weighing roughly 150 lbs, having gained between forty and forty-five pounds during my pregnancy.  Between running myself ragged and not getting to eat as regularly as I would like, I'm already down to 127.  I hope to get down to 110, but not via the new mom unintentional anorexia diet.  Even though my appetite without Miss Piggy is nowhere as huge, I still like my food - a lot.

We're still trying to find a routine.  I thought we were about there, but now that we're having to amp up the feeding schedule, we're still going to have to work at it some.  Anything is worth her gaining weight and thriving though.

Things I Love About Firecracker 
  • I love that to calm her, I have to cuddle her close, and that's her preferred method to sleep.  I know that all too soon from now, she won't want me to hold her so closely or for so long.
  • I love that I can hold her little bottom, and remember feeling it before she was born sticking out by my rib cage after Dr. H told us that's what it was.  BTW, I'm very glad my doctor could tell the difference between a head and a butt.
  • I love that I can hold her feet, and that she wraps her toes around my fingers just like when we're holding her her hands.
  • I love (again) when I'm holding her and find her beautiful (still blue) eyes gazing back at me.

What I've Learned In One Week: Presenting The Firecracker

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What I've Learned In One Week:  Presenting The Firecracker

A week ago, I was spending Super Bowl Sunday packing bags, finishing last minute laundry, and attempting to relax before the scheduled big event on Monday morning.  I think I did a fairly decent job of relaxing too, considering the cornucopia of emotions coursing through my veins.  We glanced at the Super Bowl some that night, but didn't pay too much attention to it or the commercials.  I've had to be reminded that the Giants won several times, though I did enjoy listening to Madonna perform the halftime show.

B let me watch Downton Abbey after the Super Bowl for a change.  Usually he asks that I wait to watch when he's not around.  I vaguely remember watching it as well.  Then we went to bed and tried to get some sleep.  We knew it would be difficult to do, but we didn't know exactly how difficult that task would be.

Around two am (three and a half hours before we had to be at the hospital), I got up to go to the bathroom.  It happened so gradually that I didn't know what it was, but I spent the next hour going back and forth to the bathroom because even though we had already scheduled a cesarean, my water was breaking!!!

Lucy sensed something was wrong, woke up B, and had to go outside for a little diarrhea.  Then she laid down on me in bed, trying to take care of me.  By three, I was still in denial about being in labor, because the contractions were so light and sporadic, but got up to shower.  I then proceeded to shave my legs (as best I could), put on makeup, and straighten my hair for the day.  Yeah, I did that while in labor.  Lucy stuck to me like glue during this time.

We decided to leave early for the hospital, which is thankfully just a stone's throw from our house.  We went to the room where they were to prep me and they hooked me up to all the necessary monitors.  Yep, I was in labor, and my engineer husband thought it was "so cool" to be able to watch my contractions and how heavy they were.  I wasn't so impressed.

It seemed like forever (but wasn't really) before the anesthesiologist came in to talk to us, then Dr. Hinton came in to see us.  After that, it went pretty quickly.  The crew at Willow Creek is just awesome and I couldn't have been in better hands.  My spinal was done fairly painlessly, then Dr. H came in, they brought in B, and after a few minutes, they held this wide-eyed screaming, beautiful thing up for me to see.

B went over and cut her cord, then brought her for me to see all cleaned.  She was beautiful, and I had the privilege of watching Daddy fall in love at first sight.  Her screams were even beautiful, though they didn't last long.  Once she was swaddled up and in Daddy's arms, she was good.

The rest of the day is very much a blur.  Actually the next few days have been a blur of sorts.  Firecracker is a very good girl and mostly just cries when she has a reason.  While at the hospital, she would only cry when she was hungry, dirty, wet, or naked.  She has since kept me up all night one night, but we realized that was because she was cold.

Right now, I'm still so enamored with her and grateful for her health that I love hearing her banshee screams.  They're truly a blessing.  Everything about her is.  Monday afternoon or evening, I posted this on Facebook:  "Everyone, thank you for the prayers. Each one was felt and much appreciated. We're so thankful to God for this incredible blessing of a baby girl He has given us."  At the time, I didn't realize just how true this was.

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