Tuesday, July 1, 2014

8 Months

8 months!!! How can our precious GEM be 3/4 of the way to 1 year?

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I keep asking her to please slow down as I attempt to savor these moments but she continues to make advancements each day. John is predicting that she will walk earlier than any of our other children. I'd really prefer her to be like her big sister who sat contently playing on a blanket and waited until she was almost 18 months to walk. Not this little girl! She has become quite the explorer not ever wanting to sit still. Silly girl!

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Grace learned to crawl last month but has perfected it over the month to the point where she is moving fast on all fours. I decided that I was going to try training her to stay on a blanket as I did with our first children. Well, that takes more time than I have so at this point I need to just get a gate to restrict her. Grace will spot a guitar or anything else on the other side of the room and make a beeline for it. I always wonder what the point of toys are. It is rare to find her playing with a "real" toy. We are back to trying to keep the floor super clean which is almost impossible with Miss Eagle Eyes.

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And speaking of eyes -- Grace's eyes are changing faster than I recall with any of her siblings. It makes me wonder if they will go brown like Thomas's. Although I am hoping for green like my own. Our hazel-eyed children's eyes didn't turn until much later and I can't remember with my "chocolate-eyed" Thomas. But we definitely know she is not going to have blue eyes like her sister.

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Grace is what some of her siblings call "little tiger" as she has a low growl. This morning when she saw her Daddy she flashed a huge smile and growled at him. For awhile there I was wondering when she would start to make more noises. She does a silent laugh and it looks like a belly laugh but with no sound. That was so strange to me. And usually by now the sounds of "g" or "d" are a commonly heard. But wouldn't you know it just in this past week suddenly Grace has found her voice and sounds are abundant I even heard "da da".

Gracie's favorite toy is my hair. Yikes! This girl is always reaching out to grab it, twirl it, and suck on it. Personally I'd think the flavor not too tasty but apparently that doesn't matter to a baby. Here is our selfie at Bay Beach arm reached up to grab hold of hair.

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Sleep is something that Grace does not do well. It is getting much easier to calm her and get her to sleep than it had been. This month she will relax a bit easier and will fall asleep by rocking and singing her a song or saying "ssshhh....ssshhh....ssshhh". She nestles into some shoulders a little bit better than others but we all take turns. Fuzzy phone picture but you get the idea. I absolutely love watching her cuddle up with her brothers.

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Of course it would be wonderful to sit and rock her all day. I do enjoy strapping Gracie on when I need to get things done and what a sweet view I have. What a little beauty!

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Gracie is still not sleeping through the night which is funny since she did consistently two months ago but that stopped and now she has been waking once usually around 3 or 4 a.m. She is still in our room at night and we toss around having her in her crib in the room she shares but don't want Katie waking up. Grace is in her crib during naps or rather "catnaps". The mattress was not lowered and suddenly we found her kneeling in her crib so John immediately lowered it. Did you think that funny little Miss? :)

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I am still nursing Grace every 3 hours and I suppose time between would increase if I would start feeding her solids. My take on that is the longer I can go without the added job of spooning in food the better. She is thriving and has enough chub that I know she isn't lacking. I did start giving Grace a banana in a mesh feeder and she does enjoy that. I tried putting in a cooked carrot and she wanted nothing to do with that. I then tried dicing it up a bit and putting it in with the banana but she figured out that trick and threw it down. In this picture Gracie also had a bit of pink eye or something like it. It never did get really goopy. Mama's milk in the eye and it cleared up wonderfully and never seemed to bother her.

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And yet another accomplishment this month, she pulls herself up to STANDING!!! What? How can this be?

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Last milestone -- Grace now has 4 teeth! The bottom left was last week. Top right a few days later and the top left today. Can you see where it is swollen? What a sweet happy smile. No, Miss Grace isn't happy all the time although she does put on a good show. But we love our precious Gracie more than words can ever express.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

5 months

Our little GEM  is 17 pounds and is getting more rolls. The kids have fun talking about when Seppy was a baby and we called him the Michilin man. He had rolls unlike any of our other babies. Check him out at 4 months HERE. He got more as time went on.

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After all of the winter months of a screaming baby when traveling in the van thinking Grace didn't like the carseat, we finally found the true problem. Grace was getting too warm and when so covered up would end up completely wet from sweat. I had a cover on the carseat and when she'd start screaming the boys would unzip it. It sure did lock in the heat. That wasn't enough so they took the light blanket off of her. That wasn't enough so they started taking the entire cover off. And then the screaming stopped. The only problem with this is that we have to completely cover her up again to go outside. Being dressed in fleece also doesn't work for her. Too warm. Warm weather please come quickly!

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Grace is sleeping well consistently going down to sleep by 10:30 p.m. and waking around 6 a.m. I feed her and she falls back asleep for another hour or two. Occasionally she will still wake at 4 or 5 a.m. instead. Napping is still not her strong point but it is hard to get a routine of naps when she eats every 3 hours. It will all come together in time.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

4 months

I always have the best intentions but life does not allow me to do "what I want" and for the most part, I am good with that. I started this post when Grace really was 4 months. For awhile I was hung up about not getting an "official" 4 month picture taken but I gave up on that and then I simply got behind.

Here are a few highlights now for my sake. Nothing very

I try to put Grace on her belly to play more often but she isn't thrilled with that idea. Here Pete and Missy try to convince her that it is fun.

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Grace is sleeping 7 hours at night and occasionally takes better naps during the day, as long as she is at home in her own bed. Forget it otherwise. It takes a lot of effort to get her to sleep. Here is Daddy beginning the process.
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I really was hoping she would find her thumb to suck on since those have been my most content babies. She found it once or twice but she didn't keep that up.

Grace does not want to lean back but is always trying to lean forward and can sit for a few moments before loosing her balance. She is jabbering a bit more but we are still waiting for that laugh. Right now she just gives us a wide open mouth silent grin.

Grace startles very easily for instance when we change her diaper opening the crinkly package for the wet wipes makes her jump. And when I took her to ladies retreat with me and my sister would cough Grace would flail her arms and be startled each time.

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This is Zippy's favorite thing to do -- "I want to hug her head!" Which means putting his cheek to Grace's head. He does this countless times in a day.

For anyone who cares about what diapers work best, we have found that Huggies are not worth it and the same thing with LUVS (although they were a bit better). I have had quite a bit of washing out clothes due in part to major leaking. Target brand is by far the best diaper we've ever used.
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Our little girl is getting more filled out each week it seems. The boys weighed her in at 16 lbs. I look back at her one month pictures when she had that newborn loose skin and that clueless look in her eyes and I can't believe how fast the days are flying. I want to relish every single moment but it is so hard when she is not my only responsibility. I am so thankful for the ability to capture moments in time to help bring back memories when they fade with time.





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3 Month Evaluation and Pictures

We took Grace for her 3 month evaluation at Children's hospital two weeks ago (if you wonder I back-dated this post). What a strange feeling to drive that familiar path again. So many memories come flooding back and looking at Gracie today I can hardly believe all that happened.

I am including 3 month pictures that I didn't have edited when I posted her last update. My Mom bought the bunny in the picture at the hospital this time. We would visit the gift shop on occasion when Grace was there and always were drawn to the super soft fluffy bunny. I wish I would have bought it earlier to take pictures with but now is better than never.

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Our visit was much like an ordinary well-baby visit with maybe a few more observations.

When we arrived Grace was asleep and I knew once she woke she'd be hungry. The doctor said not to worry she was usually able distract baby enough to get the info she needed. Grace woke, stretched and gave the doctor a sweet smile. But as soon as she was put down her screaming began. And each time the doctor picked her up she was content. I wish I would have had chance to feed her before the appointment as she wasn't exactly at her best. But I fed her while we talked and the doctor did get one more smile from her.

I didn't realize it but being that Grace was premature her age is adjusted and she isn't compared with a normal 3 month old. So based on that she is in the 85th percentile for weight, height, and head circumference.
13.5 pounds (7.5 at birth)
23 inches (19 in at birth)

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Grace is developmentally on track as far as the doctor could see at this stage. The only things she observed is that we should work with Grace on being on her belly. She definitely does not enjoy that position but then I didn't think many babies do. The other thing was that when Grace makes a fist to make sure her thumb is out instead of tucked as she does. That will help with grasping. If you look at the previous post where Grace is grasping for her toys she has her thumbs tucked. That is something I never took notice of and it makes me wonder at what age a baby typically un-tucks the thumb.

The highlight of our day was having Dr. Scott paged to come and see Grace. He was the doctor on-call when Grace came to Children's from St. Joseph's the Sunday we will never forget. We are forever grateful that he was there taking care of our precious girl along with all of the wonderful staff we worked with. He said this is his favorite part of the job. Seeing growing and healthy babies.

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Grace starting early with her roundhouse kick. :) 

Friday, February 14, 2014

3 Months

Three months old already! Amazing how quickly life can change in those few months. Thankful that our God doesn't change and is still on the throne and is in control!

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Grace you are doing well and are progressing as normal as far as I can tell. I love those sweet forehead wrinkles and your big eyes.

You now weigh 12.5 lbs. and have moved up to size 2 diapers since you leak too often with size 1. Clothes size varies but usually 3-6 months with some 6-9. You are filling out and getting a few rolls and chub in your cheeks. I guess the newborn days are behind us now.

Your personality is more demanding. You are not very content and can go from happy and laughing to screaming within a matter of seconds. So when you are hungry, there is no waiting. You are not an "easy baby" as people often ask but that's okay. It can't always be smooth sailing.

We now have you sleeping on your belly. Yes we know all about the "back to sleep" campaign but our babies sleep much more soundly on their bellies. And you can lift your head up and move from side to side to breathe just fine. All that to say you are sleeping better. At night you consistently sleep 5 hours which technically means through the night. So to bed by 11 p.m. waking around 4 a.m. I have always found that not letting my babies fall asleep during the day while nursing helps distinguish between night and day as at night you do fall asleep while nursing and then go to bed. Daytime napping is mainly frequent catnaps at this point.

For some reason you do not like to go shopping. I have no idea why but almost every time I walk into a store with you you give it maybe 5 minutes and then proceed to scream. It doesn't matter if you are in a car seat, in a carrier in front of me, or being held in my arms. One trip to Target I had to leave and go back later that day but you still screamed. Crazy! And people do not want to hear a crying baby let me tell you. I feel as if I am a first time Mom the looks and sometimes comments I get. Typically you are gassy which causes your screaming but why it happens consistently in stores is beyond me. Could you try to give me at least 20 minutes? Haha!

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You smile so much more these days which makes the rough patches all the more tolerable. And we love how your face lights up from ear to ear when we "talk" with you. You can't see it in these picture but you have a bit of a dimple in your right cheek which is just like your brother "Pete". Which made me look closely and realize that while they are identical "Re-Pete" does not have that same dimple.

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We are borrowing a swing from Aunt Sara and you tolerate it but you let us know when you've had enough. And the same is true for the bouncy seat. But you have started to notice the toys hanging on your bouncy seat and are starting to grab for them and just as you turned 3 months could also grasp hold.

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You love to be held and our arms is your favorite place to be. Your favorite position these days is a football hold across our arms. I only wish I had nothing else to do and could sit and enjoy you all day long. These days are flying by so fast already and I am having a hard time with that.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

2 Months

Our little GEM was 2 months old on the 1st of this new year! Every milestone causes us to reflect back and be ever so grateful.

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Little girl, you are growing and are up to 10.5 pounds and with my quick measuring around 22 inches long. (But since I didn't post this right away you are now up to 11.5 pounds). We used up the last newborn diapers which were getting quite tight but I didn't want to waste them so you are now in a size 1. And no more newborn clothes either. Even some of the 0-3 month size is a bit long at times.

I am still waiting for you to form a more consistent routine and I suppose I need to stop comparing you to the rest of your siblings in that regard. You still eat every 3 hours give or take and you enjoy taking your time. Napping is very sporadic with very few long periods of rest. You seem to wake often with gas, which seems to be the norm for most of our babies. At night my goal is to last feed you around 10:30 p.m. then you go down for the night. It varies as to when you wake but often by 2 a.m. then again at 6 a.m. which is really good. I still am totally out of it during the 2 a.m. feeding. I tried to stay awake by playing on my phone but yet I wake and my phone is next to me as if it fell out of my hand. I guess I am tired.

This is probably a "no no" but you sleep in the pack 'n' play with a boppy pillow propping you up. It started because your nose often sounds snuffly and you seem to be more content that way. But now you don't like to lay flat at all. We have a folded blanket supporting you and I imagine you feel more secure surrounded. You still are sleeping next to our bed so no worries.

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Unfortunately, your fussiness has increased  and as a typical baby it gets worse before it gets better. We started you on one of my favorite finds with Zippy which is Colic Calm to soothe your tummy trouble. Of course Zippy decided to dump the entire bottle out on our bed (contains black activated charcoal -- lovely) so we had to buy more. But really I need to get you back on probiotics to get to the root of the problem.

As always your Daddy has the magic touch when it comes to calming you. He scrunches up your legs so you are in a little ball against his chest while patting your back and whispering calming words in your ear. So sweet! He does not like to see you with any discomfort and is quick to take you back from anyone holding you who isn't able to calm you.

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Your smiles are increasing gradually but I have yet to capture one on camera. You are making new sounds each day and even your brother Zippy noticed and told me that you say "nnn-ga"

Children's hospital called to get you started in the follow-up program which means you will have an evaluation every six months beginning next month.

We enjoyed your first Christmas but you weren't exactly thrilled. It seems you really enjoy being at home best of all.

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Sisters <3

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We are so thankful and delighted to have you as part of our family Gracie!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

6 Weeks - brief update

I began my blog basically as a journal for myself and to share with family members and it fluctuates in the frequency of how often I post. Last month with all that happened with Grace I had the time and enjoyed daily updates. Lately, my time to write is minimal and I do miss it. There are so many things I do not want to forget. It seems baby Grace is changing each day and it will be a blink of an eye and she will be a toddler and on it goes. Kind of a sad thought at times but that is how life is.

The question everyone asks is if Grace is gaining weight and yes, she is. A friend loaned me her baby scale and we have been doing weekly weight checks which is so nice to do from the comfort of home. At 5 weeks she was 8# 8 oz. (about the size of many of mine at birth) and at 6 weeks she is 9# 8 oz. although this time with a onesie and diaper on. I hear comments that she looks so little but you know, babies are little and I adore that. It is so hard to remember seeing how fast they grow that it can seem our other children were never as small.

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As for sleep and eating it varies from day to day. She basically is eating every 3 hours and in that time period also has a time of sleep. Her awake times are increasing, especially in the morning and we enjoy seeing her bright eyes. At night it also varies. One night she gave us 5 hours of sleep so that John checked on her to make sure all was well. We also would do much better if I didn't fall asleep so often when feeding her. Oh the feeling of waking an hour later with a baby still in your arms wondering just exactly if you actually did feed her.

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I am having photographic fun with Grace. I love taking pictures of newborns and while I have had quite a few babies, my skills and camera quality have improved with time. I have so many ideas floating around in my head and I wish I had time to try them all. It is true that a newborn in the first couple of weeks is easiest to photograph as lately, Miss Grace isn't quite as cooperative. She is adorable even with her scrunched up crying face.

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I am working on her birth announcement to include with thank you notes, which I had hoped would be done already. With Zippy I had his ready before he was born and all I needed to add was the picture and print. Of course, we were thrown a curve ball this time. Here is one of my favorite ideas with lights for a backdrop which I will try again with her Christmas dress. Such fun!

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