Clara: Clara has taken to life on Earth like a champ. She is pretty much a textbook baby: she follows the schedules (eat, play, sleep) the books say you are supposed to follow. She eats every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours at night. She is able to sleep on her own without touching a person. She has her days and nights sorted out, mostly (other than a 10pm-10am sleep schedule). She has the uncanny ability to fall asleep on her own, pretty much anywhere. If I had had her first, I might have been the kind of parent who told you exactly how to fix your baby with an air of confident authority. No, instead I am more and more convinced that infant sleep is mostly out of parents' control, and we really need to adapt to our individual children, instead of letting someone else make us feel bad for not doing what should be done. I'm also glad I had my bad sleeper first -- it makes this seem like a cakewalk!
She is still breastfeeding and gaining weight like nobody's business. I swear she's been smiling since she was two days old. She loves to do pushups and hold her head up. She's very alert and into looking around at everything.
Andrew: Andrew is such a big boy. At 14.5 months, he's constantly mistaken for a 2-2.5 year old. He's still not talking, but communication is definitely up. He is signing "more" and "all done" - actually he signs "more" for pretty much everything - points to things he wants, answers back conversationally in baby babble, and follows directions pretty well. We are also starting in the toddler tantrum stage - especially when he can't have what he wants. Here's hoping that this phase is related to not having language and that it will pass pretty quickly. He loves drumming with his drumsticks, climbing on playground equipment and stairs, and the mouse on the desktop computer. He makes goofy faces. He sings little ditties that he makes up.
He has 15 teeth (his upper left cuspid is the "last one" to come in), which means he's only lacking 2 year molars now, and his chewing ability has gotten a lot better. He likes eggs for breakfast, meat and cheese of all kinds, broccoli and brussels sprouts for vegetable, white and sweet potatoes. He is not a big fan of fruit, no matter how I try. He likes the applesauce packets that you squish into your mouth, and very occasionally I get him to take a few bites of banana. All in all, though, he's a very adventurous eater, and I'm pleased. He is still drinking 3 or 4 bottles of whole milk a day. It has slightly decreased and he drinks lots of water too.
His sleep is fairly stable, and rough nights only happen occasionally. He is an absolute champ as putting himself to sleep for naps and at night - I am so thrilled. Lately he's been resistant to me leaving the room, but his protests are very short, and he is able to get himself settled in very short order.
I probably owe an entire post to the progress Andrew's foot has made, but we'll just say for now that he's responding incredibly to the therapy. We can get his feet to be basically the same size now, although the right one will still puff back up if we don't compress it somehow - either with bandaging (his "special sock") or shoes.
He is very curious about and protective of his sister. He uses gentle touches most of the time but occasionally has to be reminded - he is a rambunctious toddler boy, after all. We haven't noticed any regression or emotional distress from becoming a big brother, so that's really good. I'm really trying to make sure he's getting a lot of attention.
Us: Speaking of Andrew getting attention, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the *only way* we have survived the past four weeks has been with the stellar help of both sets of grandparents. My mom was the last one to leave this past Thursday. Travis was at work at the time, and after Andrew decided to skip his nap, I only managed to make it through one hour of being alone with two kids before having a massive breakdown. So major thanks to the grandparents for being there, especially for Andrew, during this crazy transition time.
So yeah, us with two kids. As long as both of us are around, it's going great!! Two parents handling two kids is totally doable. I am working on trying to get to a place where I can handle them both on my own, and to be totally honest, I still can't see it. I'll get there, slowly. Someday. Somehow.
And now, pictures:
|Grandma Mary Ellen|
|Skin to skin time with Daddy|
|First Bath time!|
|Big Brother wants to help! (With Excedrin)|
|That wasn't so bad, was it?|
|Nap on a hot day|
|First ride in the double BOB|
|Miss Shanti and Baby John came to visit! (Not pictured: Annie and Gregory)|
|Bathtime with Grandpa Mike|
|Clara bakes cookies with Grandma Joyce|
|Hairs need trimmed!|
|New slide/climber in our outdoor area!|
|Bouncing on the ball - just like brother used to like|
|Gma Joyce helped us finally get Andrew's 1st birthday Time Capsule sealed - it got used as a drum, of course!|
|Hop on Pop is one of our *favorite* books - just like it was for mommy!|
|Napping in the 100-year-old family cradle|