Friday, August 10, 2018

Katherine -- 7 Months

Oh my Lovely Katherine,

I blew it.  I missed your 6 month post.  We were on vacation in Washington when you turned 6 months, so I didn't have ready access to a computer.  I told myself I'd write it when we got back.  And then that didn't happen either.  And here I am, a week late writing your 7 month post.  I am not quite sure how one extra kiddo (that's you, sweet cheeks ;)) has made it so my time flies by; but you have!  I was determined, though, not to let the whole month pass this time without writing a little something. And I'll do my very best not to let it happen again.  For the record, you did a great job traveling on the airplane and showed your Grandma and Grandpa in Washington what a sweet girl you are. Did I mention you had your first two teeth by the time you were 6 months?  Well, you did :).  The two front bottoms.

So you've mastered the whole sitting up by yourself thing.  You love to sit and play with your toys, and you'll actually sit quite contentedly doing so when you're in a happy mood.  Which is not in the evenings.  You love to eat "real" food and have tried many varieties of baby food.  You're a good eater.  You also love to feed yourself, so you enjoy Cheerios (which you sometimes don't manage to get in your mouth) and those rice rusk things.  Those are actually your faves, because they are big and you don't have to have those pesky fine motor skills.  But you really are doing well with those anyway, because you are great at picking up the Cheerios.  It's just a little tougher getting them into your mouth. You're great at grabbing:  hair, other peoples' food, toys you shouldn't have...  Ugh.  If it's even remotely within your reach, you go for it!

And, of course, everything goes in your mouth!  You learned how to click your tongue and sometimes you get into a kick of doing that repeatedly.  It's cute.  You've also started making the early talking sounds:  babababa, yayayaya

You continue to have the best laugh!  I wish I could write it's sound equivalent, but I can't.  Hopefully I'll manage to get it recorded.  Lynnaea still has the ability to make you laugh the most, and we are so grateful she is your big sister.  She's a phenomenal one.

You love bath-time and playing with toys.  Specifically Lynnaea's swimming pony.  You also like to suck on wet washcloths (so I have to bring two to the tub:  one for bathing and one for sucking on!).  You pretty much let me know how much you don't like when I take you out of the bath.

You've become a pretty terrible napper.  Some days you'll take one 2 hour nap and a couple of 45 minute ones.  Some days they are all about an hour.  Some days you'll have one hour-long nap and the rest are like 20 minutes.  So I never know how the day is going to go.  It drives me a little crazy, because I'm kind of a schedule-freak.  But I'm learning to just deal with it.  You pretty much always sleep through the night, so I can't really complain all that much!

You are a mama's girl.  You're happy with Daddy, but once you're tired, you want Mommy.  There are times you are absolutely inconsolable until I hold you, even if Daddy's been holding you and trying to calm you.  You're also my longest-nursing baby.  You pretty much are nursing just for comfort now, so we usually nurse just a couple times a day.  But when you're really upset or tired, that's what you want to do to fall asleep.  Probably a bad habit, but you know...  It'll all work out in the end.

You are a strong girl.  You are beginning to stand on your own while holding onto the couch in the play room.  And you laugh like you know this is a big accomplishment.  You are a smart too.  I love looking at your face as you are working things out.  And I love your blue eyes.  And how your smile lights up your face.  And just everything about you.  You are my sweet baby 3.  And I'll love you forever and ever.

Love Always,

Mommy



Friday, June 1, 2018

Katherine -- 5 Months

Dear Sweet Katherine,

Five months have surely flown by.  When I really stop and think of the fact that we are only 1 month from half a year, it really hits me how fast the time is going.  How fleeting these moments with you as a baby really are.  It makes me want to stop everything and just appreciate the now.  Which isn't really possible.  But I am trying to improve on that where I can, even though I'm rather bad at it. 

So what is the now with you, my Katherine?  Well, I'll tell you ;).

You are strong!  You can pretty much "stand" on laps while holding onto the person's hands.  You can even stand tall even when just being supported at the hips.  Your grip is powerful (just ask my scalp!) and you will grab anything within reach and shove it right into your mouth!  You're also starting to sit up on your own quite well, supported by pillows or the Boppy. 

You've found your toes, which are your favorite thing to reach for when you are sitting.  And yes, you even want to put those in your mouth!  It's always one of the cutest things.

It's not just toys and feet that you put in your mouth these days, though.  We are still nursing before bottles, and you've also started on solid foods!  You're not a super-big fan of this whole eating off a spoon thing, but you are getting better.  True, if Mommy was a little more consistent with you (as she was with your older siblings) you'd probably be a bit better at it by this point.  But you're learning, and it's all good.  So to this point, rice cereal and squash are your newest food experiences.  But you'd really prefer to stick to the bottle.  And when you're in a particularly grumpy mood, you're not hesitant to let me know about that!

You are so full of smiles (except when I try to catch them in a picture -- ha!) and you also have super cute giggles.  Your tummy is ticklish and so is your neck.  And there's nothing quite so sweet as your little feet turning inward toward each other, as though you are clapping them, and your toes grabbing each other.  It's my favorite!

You still enjoy bath time, and you really get upset when I take you out and put you on the diaper changing table to change you.  It's almost the only time you fuss on the diaper changing table.  Usually it's one of your happy places.  Outside is another one.  You love being outside looking at the world around you.  If you're tired, but fighting sleep, we take you out and walk around with you and you usually drift off without fussing.

Unlike your siblings, you have not really taken to a schedule.  I think this is more because you have older siblings who have play dates and activities and you simply learned that naps were 20 to 30 minutes long.  So you take about 4 or 5 short naps a day, though on occasion you'll sleep for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  You make up for it all though by being a good night sleeper.  You won't go to sleep before Lynnaea and Corbin do, so you're up until about 9:30.  But then it's just you and I in the glider for a bit, and I love that time.  I love the feel of your little baby body against mine as you sleep in the fetal position against me.  This won't happen much longer, really, so I am trying to really soak that all in.  And you sleep all night long (until at least 6:30).  

You're very intrigued by your reflection.  I can tell you're trying to figure out what the deal is as you look from yourself to me and then at the real me.  Your facial expression is pretty hilarious as you contemplate why there are two of "that Mommy lady."

There's so much I want to say, sweet Katherine.  But instead, I'm going to go pick you up from your swing where you are watching me and smiling and telling me it's time to get you.  I love you so very much.  You are such a beautiful blessing, and I'm grateful you are mine.

Love Always,

Mommy




Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Katherine -- 4 months

Dear Katherine,

How has 4 months passed so quickly!?!  I feel like it really has gone by fast, and that is likely because I am busier than ever.  Have I enjoyed the moments enough?  Have I taken the time to spend with you individually?  I fear often that I do not slow down often enough to just be with you.

You are such a sweet, generally mellow baby.  You tolerate being in your swing or the bumbo or in Corbin's crib staring at his mobile for long periods of time, and you are content.  In fact, with the mobile, you squeal happily!

You are a pretty decent traveler, even at this young age.  We took a weekend trip to Birmingham and you did great, both in the car and in our crazy adventures!  Plus you had no problem sleeping through the night in spite of a room shared with loud siblings and even louder adults!

Your smile is still contagious, and we all love to hear you laugh.  You have a very ticklish tummy, and give the most adorable tickles when I tickle you.  You are making lots of happy sounds these days, and it appears as though you are trying to sing along when we sing directly to you...  You love to be sung to.  You are definitely intense and observant, and you appear to listen intently to people who talk to (or around) you.  You are starting to enjoy putting things in your mouth and love chewing on my hands if you manage to get them into your mouth.

You have complete control over your head and neck, and your leg muscles are very strong.  You stand in my lap all the time (with support, of course).  You sit well in the bumbo and also hang out in the Johnny jumper thing (though you haven't quite realized its awesomeness for jumping yet ;)).

There are many moments I do want time to slow down so you won't grow up so fast.  Before I know it, you'll be starting Kindergarten, just as your sister is about to do.  I love our alone time, Katherine.  It is not frequent -- how could it be?  But we do get some snippets here and there.  Especially at night when I feed you in the glider and hold you for a few moments before laying you down to sleep.  I cherish those moments of feeling your little body on mine.  I cherish the feeling of those little hands grabbing my hair (eve though it hurts when you pull) and those happy eyes staring up at me from the changing table. 

I will enjoy the moments ahead too.  There will be days when you will make me laugh.  But I want so very much to really enjoy these moments too.  These moments where I can walk you to sleep on my shoulder for naps.  These moments where you are learning so much and growing so fast.  I love you, my precious Katherine.  Thank you for being the amazing baby you are.  You really are our perfect #3!

Love Always,

Mommy



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Where Are You Going, My Little One?

Time is such a fickle friend.  In so many ways.  The days are long in terms of just getting through.  But the years are short.  And the day -- just to spite the previous statement of them being long -- goes by quicker than I think, and I don't have enough time for all the things I need and want to do.  Such irony.  I'm sure it's just the stage of life in which I am living right now. 

I wish I had more time to record my thoughts about this.  But I don't.  This is a song title post, by the way.  If you're anything like my mom, grab a tissue.

But the gist is this:  Lynnaea starts kinder in the Fall.  And my heart is breaking just a bit already.  Especially when I really stop and think about it.  Today I started envisioning dropping her off at her first day and walking away.  Hoping she won't be too afraid.  Hoping she will find friends.  Hoping she will be a friend.  I started having emotions well up inside of me just thinking about it.

Was it really already so long ago that she was the same size and age as Katherine? 

I am trying to be the best mom I can be.  I want to be the kind of mom my sweet Lynnaea deserves.  Some days it is very, very hard.  But I love her fiercely and I know I will miss her so very much when she isn't here all day.  She's my helper, really, in these crazy days of 3 children.  Sometimes I don't fully realize just how much of a help she has been these past 3 months since Katherine has joined our family.  But every once in a while, I'm given the opportunity to see how much she has helped me -- and to realize just how much she has grown.

She currently loves all things unicorns.  So Saturday, when we went on our mommy-Lynnaea date (trying to do this once a month with both bigger kids now that Katherine has arrived), I bought her the unicorn lollipop, but she bought herself the stuffed unicorn with her own money. 

How grateful I am for my precious girl.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Katherine -- 3 Months

Dearest Katherine,

You are 3 months old today!  It's a small miracle that I'm managing to get this written today (or at the very least, started...  Who knows what will happen in the next five minutes ;)). 

Katherine, you are the perfect addition to this crazy family!  You are generally mellow and calm, tolerant and patient.  I often have to put you in your swing or your rock and play or in Corbin's crib (yes, he still sleeps in that) to look at his mobile while I get stuff done.  Because there is always something to do.  But you accept it and find things to stare at.  You're particularly fond of that mobile and will happily stare at it while "talking" to it for up to 15 minutes at a time.  You're just amazing! 

You are a champion sleeper, Katherine!  Though you still take a lot of shorter naps during the day (usually after being up for an hour to an hour and a half), you will usually go down between 9:30 and 10:30 at night and sleep until at least 6:30 the next morning.  Again, you are patient.  You wait for us to get Lynnaea and Corbin to sleep before going to sleep yourself with your last feeding of the night.  And that's a nice time for you and me, Katherine.  We go and sit in the dark room in the glider and you nurse and drink your bottle until you're asleep.  I am able to hold your sweet little sleeping body against my chest for a while before I lay you down, and I can whisper how much I love you. 

Because I do.  More than words can say.  You are my baby, just as Lynnaea and Corbin are.  Again I have learned that love grows.  There is always enough love. 

You are so strong, my precious girl.  You lift up your head really well and completely support it these days.  You'll sit in your Bumbo chair sometimes (though that's not your favorite thing yet) and look around at your world.  You can "stand" in my and Daddy's laps when we hold your hands.  Not for super-long periods of time, but for a decent amount.  Your legs are your main support.  And you love to do it and look into our faces.

You love being talked to and smiled at.  And you have a big, beautiful happy smile that crinkles your eyes into those happy smiley eyes I love so much.  And you're really starting to "talk"!!  You make some of the happiest sounds!  And even most of your fussy sounds (which aren't heard often) sound so cute I can't help but laugh.  You are generally only fussy when you get tired and are ready for a nap.  Then I put you on my shoulder, and we walk.  I'm pretty sure I've also heard the beginnings of laughter come out.  I'm so excited to hear those happy giggles!

Many people have commented to me that you look like Corbin (I totally agree) and that you're very alert and aware.  Many people commented the same on both of your siblings, so that doesn't really surprise me.  You definitely are, though.  I love watching you watch your surroundings.  True, with an older sister and brother, your surroundings are quite chaotic most of the time.  So I'm sure there's a lot to take in! 

You still love bath time.  You aren't splashing yet, but I'm sure that will come soon.  For now you just sit contentedly in your tub while I bathe you, and you watch me so intently as I talk about washing your hair and your sweet face -- and all your chubby baby fat rolls.  (Don't worry, you're a healthy baby and both Lynnaea and Corbin had those same baby fat rolls!)

You are definitely healthy!  You're about 15 pounds now and 23 1/2" long.  And at your 2-month check-up a little less than a month ago, your pediatrician said you're perfect and he wouldn't change a thing!  I agree -- you are amazingly perfect.

I love you, my precious baby. I don't even have the words to say how much.  Though my time is so divided, I'm grateful for the bits of time here and there that are just for you and me.  I'm grateful I can feel your little hands wrap around my fingers as you fall asleep at night.  Grateful I can hold you in my arms and watch you sleep your sweet sleep.  I love your cute little jiggly cheeks and your big toothless smile.  I love that, as I talk to you while you get a diaper change, you're always giving me the happiest smiles.  Sometimes I forget it, in the chaos of the every day, but I really am living the dream.  Time will pass and you will grow.  And I will forget the exact feel of your body asleep on mine and your fingers wrapped around mine.  So I am grateful for these moments I have and try so hard to cherish being in the moment to experience these wonderful joys of motherhood. 

Thank you, Katherine, for choosing me to be your mommy.  I'm so far from perfect and so far from the kind of mommy I hoped to be.  But I'm grateful every day I get to  be a mommy to you, to Lynnaea, and to Corbin. 

All my love,

Mommy



Friday, March 2, 2018

Katherine -- 2 Months

Dear Katherine,

You were born on the 31st.  Not all months have that day, so we are calling today, March 2nd, close enough ;).  You have grown so much in this past month, my sweet girl!

The most exciting news is that you have figured out sleep (at least, once you fall asleep...  But that's a detail for later.).  Once you fall asleep at night, you sleep a minimum of 5 1/2 hours, but usually it's 7 1/2.  And you've even done 8 1/2!!!  Mommy is a really big fan of this.

But, as I mentioned in that paragraph, we sometimes have a bear of a time getting you to go to sleep.  Which has been the case tonight :/...  You fight sleep like you wouldn't believe.  Much like your big sister, I have to take you in to a dark, quiet room to drink your last bottle for you to go to sleep.  And sometimes it's still a struggle.  This means you never go to bed before your older siblings, because one thing you will probably never know is a quiet house (except after they are in bed).

You are awake a lot more these days.  You love looking around and noticing your world.  I've gotten several comments on how alert you are.  Also comments about how well you hold up your head and how much you look like both Lynnaea and Corbin.  Most people say you look like Corbin, but there are some people who say Lynnaea.  Either way, you are clearly their sibling and they can't deny you!

Not that they would want to.  They love you.  Lynnaea loves to hold you and will squeal happily (and loudly) when she sees you every day.  Corbin loves you in his own way, which often includes getting right in your face and then getting in trouble for not being gentle enough.  But he also likes to hold you for about 30 seconds ;).

You love your baths and are always very calm during them.  You just stare at me while I bathe you.  Your sweet little squishy face is so adorable

And let me say this: you may be our 3rd baby, but you've given us plenty of firsts.  Including what can only be called "squirt gun poop."  Yeah, it's as fun as it sounds.  You are frequently surprising us mid-diaper change with extra poops.  And sometimes it squirts far enough to hit the edge of the diaper changing table :/.  Yuck.  We've had some massive clean-up days!

You are starting to be more content to be put in your swing or on your play mat for a bit during the day.  But overall you still want to be held.

You are precious and cute and I think you will be curious.  As #3 kiddo, you certainly don't get the immediate attention that Lynnaea got all the time.  But you do demand plenty of that attention and you certainly get it!  You are the smallest and it seems the smallest member of the family rules the roost!  We love you, sweet Katherine.  Every day we are grateful you are ours.

Love Always,

Mommy




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Katherine -- 1 Month

Dear Precious Katherine,

In many ways, this month has flown by.  Likely because there are two older siblings to help life stay busy!  In other ways, this month has been slow.  Likely because Mommy doesn't get much sleep ;).  But I have learned that life will return to "normal" (a new normal, of course, which includes you), and as I look at Corbin and Lynnaea, I am reminded that you will grow up all too quickly.  And so I am trying to enjoy these moments.

Mommy is crazy.  And can't remember a lot from when Lynnaea and Corbin were babies.  As a result, I was trying to introduce you to the idea of a schedule after 2 weeks.  You pretty much put me in my place with your absolute refusal to be scheduled.  Ha!  So I looked back over the posts I wrote like this for your big brother and big sister and was reminded that you're still too young.  You are, however, pretty willing to go with the sleep-wake-eat-play-sleep schedule, so that's great.  It helps me know why you might be fussy at a given time.

Speaking of fussing, the truth is you're a pretty mellow baby.  You do fuss, but you're usually pretty easy to calm, and it's usually only because you are hungry or tired.  Or if you aren't being held and want to be (which is most of the time, though you are getting more tolerant of sleeping in your swing for a couple of naps each day).  And, like Corbin, you can certainly wind up with your screaming when you are upset and we don't fix it right away.  Oh how that kind of crying stresses Mommy out.  I try to keep those times to a minimum, but with an older brother and sister, there have been times where you've just had to cry while I tended to other issues.  Boo.

As there always seem to be with me, we had some struggles with breast-feeding.  But this time, they were different struggles:  you decided you didn't want to latch after realizing the bottle nipples were so much easier.  So I spent most of the month pumping to keep up my supply (and I sure dislike pumping!) and then feeding you breast-milk in the bottle.  But with some extra coaxing, this past weekend, we successfully got you to latch every feeding, and now you're a nursing pro!  Well, almost.  Sometimes it takes a few tries to latch correctly.  But we do it!  And I can pack away that breast pump.  Hooray!  I'm glad for the bonding time and closeness nursing provides.  I was actually really sad to not share that with you.  And I'm glad we have it back.  You're a trooper, my little miss.

We spend every night together in the computer room in the recliner.  We watch movies like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and 13 Going on 30 and Pride and Prejudice; and TV shows like Frasier.  And you are getting that same heat rash on your face that Corbin did as a result of sleeping skin to skin with me for hours every night.  Though you started out completely unpredictable (as newborns do), you are getting slightly more predictable:  you will usually sleep a 4 hour stretch from midnight to 4, and then another 2.5 to 3 hour stretch to about 7.  This is awesome, in my opinion.  Part of me is looking forward to full nights of uninterrupted sleep in my own bed; but there is still that part that is cherishing these nights of you sleeping on me.  They will become practically non-existent in the months and years ahead (I know from experience), so I'm trying not to rush it too much.  It's a strange feeling to be so torn about these things.

Like your big brother, you like baths.  You are a little unsure still, probably because you're so "free" without clothes on.  But you don't cry or fuss.  You just sit there while I bathe you.  You also are like both Lynnaea and Corbin in that you are a champ at holding up your head!!  And, interesting tidbit:  your umbilical cord stub took almost 3 weeks to fall off!  It was a healthy cord!

And unlike your siblings, you seem to enjoy helping us go through 2 to 3 diapers per diaper change (because you are notorious already for peeing and pooping mid-diaper change).  We go through lots of diapers this way.  You haven't had any blow-outs so far (that was Lynnaea's specialty, I guess ;)), but one thing we are learning is you have very sensitive skin.  You had a bad diaper rash/burn at 3 1/2 weeks old, and I was so sad and felt like such a failure as a result.  But we've got you healed up and use diaper cream every single time now, because I tried skipping it once you were clear-skinned again, and almost immediately you got red again (but not really bad like before). And that's with diaper changes every feeding!  So yep, you are our sensitive-skinned girl.

You are starting to smile.  You gave me one of your precious open-mouthed squinty-eyed smiles about a week ago.  And just today you've been practicing more and more with those smiles.  It's adorable.  You're awake more and more, and you're learning to tolerate (which will one day be enjoyment) your older siblings and the constant attention they want to shower on you.  They really do love you.

Well, my precious girl, I'm thankful for you.  I love you.  That's the one thing I want my babies to know the most, and I hope I tell them enough and SHOW them even more.  You are precious to me, my sweet girl.  And I'm looking so forward to watching you grow and learn, even if a part of my heart wants you to be little forever.

Love Always,

Mommy