Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Guys Behind the Blog {November Edition}

Linking up with Betsy at Heavens to Betsy for her series, Guy Behind the Blog. I picked a great month to jump in since John is a huge sports fan! 

1. What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?
As a little kid, Baseball and Basketball. In high school I played Baseball, Basketball, Football and Golf.
Everything but soccer :)

2. If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?
My ideal Super Bowl would be Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. They would play in Santa Clara California in SB 50. I would root for my Panthers, but wouldn't mind seeing Peyton Manning winning and going out on top.

3. Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?
Summer. Curling! (and then he laughed out loud...) oh, no actually Golf because it is now a Summer Olympic Sport in 2016.

4. What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?
Wings with boatloads of Ranch!!!

5. Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?
Gah. Tough Question. I grew up a big fan of Ken Griffey Jr. because he was just a cool dude.  But, as I have gotten older it is probably Phil Mickelson because I'm a left-handed golfer and he is the greatest lefty of all-time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cora Lizzy - 2 years old!

Our sweet Coralie turned two on the 21st. I though it would be fun to document some of her fun, 2 year old self things.

- she loves to drink from water bottles, really whatever she sees us drinking from. I wouldn't recommend sharing with her though, the level of disgusting backwash is amazing!

- this time Last year she was mostly weaned from pacifiers but then she found one in a toy box. When Daddy is around she only gets them to sleep. With me, I'm not up to having that fight so she uses them at will. 

- she picks through her pacifiers and picks her favorite. She'll put the preferred paci in her mouth as she hands off her cast off to me.

- she doesn't like being in the littlest bit of a dirty diaper. She isn't verbal enough to potty train yet but she'll pat her dirty diaper and say "uhhhh, uhhhh" to us. For my Dad, she climbs up into his lap and sticks her hiney in his face!

- she is your average 2 year old with getting into stuff! Just this morning she used a case of water bottles as a step stool to pull leftover cupcakes off the counter & help herself to some for breakfast. 

- she loves music! She dances to some songs, but not all. She has one awesome head bob down! Her favorite is The theme song to Fresh Prince and will shake her car seat like crazy when she hears it!

- Barney is her favorite show! She has learned to navigate to it with our Fire Stick remote in Amazon Prime and Netflix! 

- Tex-Mex is still her favorite food! She's just like her mommy & the way to her heart is through yummy & spicy food! This kid eats chips and salsa like a pro!

- Dolly is her favorite toy and she plays so sweetly with her! 

We kept birthday celebrations simple this year. On her birthday we celebrated with pizza at CiCi's (one of her favorites) and cake and gifts at my Dad's house.

Her birthday cake, far from perfect, is actually a bit of a story in it's self. 
I came across the cake pan in my Dad's attic. My mom made dozens of birthday cakes for us in this Barney pan growing up. I loved sharing this memory with her!

Then over the weekend we visited with John's family and had a small celebration with them.
Coralie's Chipaw made several of her favorite foods: chicken nuggets, tator tots, chips and queso, beans for dinner. We had pie for dessert because John and I were rather tired of cake after she had cupcakes at school and cake for her birthday. It was a week full of sweets! 


Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Costumes 2015

This year I really tried to keep the girls Halloween costumes simple and easy for my sanity's sake.
Over the summer I was rummaging through a box of clothes my mom had saved from my brothers and I when I came across the costume I wore as an almost 2 year old. I was so excited to find that it is still in great shape! The elastic was still good & amazingly it wasn't faded  etc for being ahem about 24 years old! Icing on the cake was that it fit Cora!


We honestly weren't going to mess with dressing Ada up at all, we had a cute onesie & I figured I'd call that good enough. A friend offered to make her a crocheted wig so she could be Cora's dolly to "nurse back to health" & I couldn't resist the cuteness! 

I'm already brain storming sibling costumes for the girls to wear next year!

 photo Halloween Costume LinkUp_zpsyub1tcy4.jpg

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ada Mayme - 3 Months

Ada is healthy as a horse! She had a bit of allergies or maybe a slight cold through weeks 9 and 10 but she's doing great now. Looks like she has psoriasis just like Mommy and Cora, the allergies really made it flare up behind her ears.

Last time we had her at the doctor, she weighed in at about 15 lbs! She was 90% for all her measurements! She is a big girl!!

Thankfully, no actual teething so far, but she's very drooly. I remember Cora having that stage of all the drool too but this seems worse. As soon as I locate Cora's Amber Teething necklace I will put it on Ada to see if that will help some with it.

"Ada-May" seems to be the only consistent one.

Well, she kind of runs the gammot here. She can still fit in a very few of her 0-3 month outfits and a fair bit of her 3 month stuff but shes definitely moving into her 3-6 month clothes. She got to this size a lot quicker than I expected her too and we're probably going to have to do some shopping soon!

I jammed her in size one for as long as I could to finish out the open packages but we have officially moved her into size 2. I'm ready to put her in cloth, and she should officially start fitting into them. I need to spend some dedicated time repairing some of the diapers we have with loose elastic to have plenty of them. Since I'm the one that changes her diapers at Mothers Day Out (where I work) I am probably going to start having her in cloth there to save money and only do disposables for longer outings that I just don't want to deal with cloth.

She's nursing like a champ! Her latch isn't and never is particularly deep but she's clearly just fine & growing great. What isn't so fantastic is that we cannot get her to take a bottle. We've tried 4 different types and I just broke down and bought the highly recommended Medela Calma nipples that are supposed to be "Just like the breast" (and are almost $20/bottle!!!!) and she's rejecting those too. She also refuses pacifiers. :( We're continuing to work with her on the bottles because as of now I can't leave her at all (we tried and epically failed).

She sleeps so well! I'm so grateful! She is very particular about her 8:00 bedtime, is pretty fussy from 6:30 until she goes down for the night. She'll wake and nurse about Midnight (I'm still awake dealing with the house/school work etc) then she'll wake one more time some nights (I'm not sure what time exactly, between 2 & 4 am) but she will occasionally make it from midnight until about 6:30 am!

She's beginning to be awake more during the days, but I don't keep up with her sleeping/wake times exactly.

Fun things we did
Dinner with the whole family when Aunt M and Uncle B were in town visiting. We went to Yesterland Farms in Canton the first weekend in October to spend some family time with her Uncle Jacob and Aunt Stephanie. UNT Homecoming tailgating. Pumpkin patch trip with MDO (that there are no pictures of because she slept through the entire thing in her Ergo carrier). She's also tagged along with Mommy for a girls night at Auntie Lauren's house and for a Murder Mystery Dinner at Ms. Angela's house.

Her swing! It's about to be quite the issue that she has nearly outgrown all the swings! She likes hanging out in her highchair, it gives her head good support and she can see what we're all doing. She does enjoy her bumbo seat but doesn't have enough head strength to last very long. She's started enjoying her pink seahorse rattle and monkey lovey toy. She loves her big Sissy! She smiles and coos at her when Cora "plays" with her. She still loves being swaddled!

The carseat, riding in the car. This is getting a little better. We're about 50/50 on whether or not she'll have an epic meltdown on a trip to "town" for everyday errands. This is a huge improvement but we still have a long ways to go. My right arm muscles are literally stronger than left because I'll reach back and rock her carseat as I drive down the street trying to calm her. We're getting a convertible car seat to see if that will help matters some. Not a big fan of tummy time but she's getting better about that, no signs of rolling over yet.

What's New?
We're moving out of the infant stage and into baby. This is making mommys life a little easier! These 3 months have flown by!

Mommy & Postpartum 
I'm doing pretty well physically. I just went clothes shopping since it seems my weight loss after baby has plateaued. It's so nice to own clothes that fit, even if they aren't the size I'd like them to be.
Emotionally I'm doing pretty well. I'm very tired. She's sleeping well but being in training as a Doula and working to start that business from the ground up is very time consuming. When Ada is a bit older I'm going to have to work out some "office hours" a couple of days a week to do things but right now my "office hours" and study time is from about 10:00 pm until I can't stay awake any longer, usually between Midnight and 2:00 am. That on top of working 2 - 3 days a week, it just seems like I can't keep up.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Under Construction...

... Bear with me as I make some changes. I've been brainstorming and working on adjustments for the better part of a year but beyond taking my old template down, that's all I've accomplished. So, piece by piece I hope to have a new look up and going here soon.

You've probably noticed that I've already changed the name! Living & Learning was really never more than a placeholder. I couldn't think of a name but really wanted to start blogging so I just made-do with the first thing I could think of. Chronicles from the Peanut Gallery is a throw back to my childhood. As a kid my mom would refer to my brothers and I as the "Peanut Gallery". It usually went something like "I don't need to hear from the peanut gallery" or she'd be on the phone with my Dad and we would be chiming in the back ground with our thoughts on whatever we were hearing in the conversation and she'd say "I'm sure you hear the Peanut Gallery".

I still want my blog to follow the same style - kind of whatever strikes my fancy. I really hope that I can carve more time out to spend dedicated to blogging.

Thank you for reading and having patience with me while I get these changes made. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ada May - 3 & 4 Weeks Old

3 weeks on left, 4 weeks on right
Her belly button thing fell off in her 3rd week (2 & 1/2 weeks old) but it wasn't ready to. I guess it got snagged as I was putting her in the ring sling during a pterodactyl crying fit. We kept it clean & treated the icky with alcohol. I called her pediatrician about it concerned by its color and lack of healing 3 days after it came off on the day she turned 3 weeks old. They said to give it a week from when it came off & they were right (of course), at a week from coming off, almost 4 weeks old it was mostly healed & was totally healed up by 4.5 weeks old.

She definitely growing (see clothing...) in her 5th week (1 month 1 day) I had John weigh her on the bathroom scales & according to them she is 10 lbs exactly. I think that's pretty accurate, she's getting some cute little fat rolls ;) 

She doesn't look like a turtle as she roots around anymore so that name is gone. Her crying seems less and less as I'm recognizing her needs and likes/dislikes better so we haven't used her infamous pterodactyl name as often. Ada May seems to be the one sticking around!

We've started packing away the newborn things, except Target's brand which runs big. Honestly 0-3 is a little big on her but the NB was certainly too small (4 weeks).

At 4 weeks old she was blowing out of her diapers every poop. It was crazy messy & I was super frustrated (got to change perfectly clean sheets on our bed and clean & disinfect the couch all in one day!). On a whim I stuck her in a size 1 to see if they fit & they do! No more blowouts since. We are finishing up the last of the newborn size when I'm expecting only a wet diaper because with 2 in diapers right now I'm not going to waste a single one!! (Looking forward to Cora in cloth again soon, but that's just the one more thing that pushes my delicate balancing act of motherhood over right now, so disposable it is!)

Coming into the 3rd week I healed up & nursing finally got easy. Some residual soreness in the 3rd week as I healed but no new pain. At 4 weeks I still have to encourage a good latch for her, she doesn't willingly open wide but I'm not sore at all.

At 3 weeks she's doing better in bassinet. In her 4th week, she'll sleep there all night (between feelings of course, we're not sleeping through the night yet...) she's learned a frustrating trick though. She's swaddled up tight (my "burrito baby") and I keep a rolled up receiving blanket behind her to tilt her one way or the other so if she spits up she won't choke. Somehow she wiggles and squirms until she's flat on her back. No clue how she's doing this but it makes me nervous (woke up to her struggling with spit up & had to suction it out a few nights ago). At 3 weeks I started noticing that she fusses to be swaddled up for the night & goes to sleep earlier, about 10:30 - 11:00 each night. In her 4th week that was more like 9:30. She is waking for her first middle of the night feed about 12:45 am. Then again at 4ish and again at 6. If she seems to be gassy at all I'm giving her gas drops when I put her down for the night & that seems to help sleep go better.

Being swaddled, cuddles with Mommy, music, her swing, being carried in the ring sling.

Car rides, being still in the car, not being held, pacifiers.

What's New?
We had introduced the soothies paci in week 2. Well turns out she pretty much hates every paci. I still try giving it to her out of desperation but I always end up letting her suckle to pacify. 
She is doing great with head control & can lift it up and look around for short spurts of time. Now that her belly button is finally healed up, we will start regular sessions of tummy time. Her hair is looking more and more red! So far she doesn't seem to be loosing it, so fingers crossed it stays around!! 

Mommy & Postpartum
I am doing great. I actually have hit the ground running with my Doula business, have officially started that training & have gotten a new part time job! It was a very busy week 3 & 4! I will be keeping infants at a Mother's Day out program at a church in Denton 2 days a week. Cora & Ada get to go with me (free of charge - what a blessing!!) and this is certainly helping us out financially. I am sad that I won't be in my mom's Bible study this year - those ladies were my village last year! But I can't not do this, getting the job is a total God thing, a story for another day. 

Mommy & Daddy
We're working on getting back on track with house projects and such. Nothing major is going on yet but hopefully with cooler weather we will get some items marked off our list! We are enjoying the sweet time we have as a family of 4 and can't imagine life without Miss Ada Mayme in it!!!

Big Sister
Let me first say that Cora is a good big sis!! She loves Ada, gives her kisses, likes holding her and helping me however she can. This is still a huge adjustment for her and the new normal for her hasn't been established yet. She still isn't particularly fond of my attention being divided and as much as I try to give Cora special attention Ada needs a lot of my time and she *needs* it since we nurse & she physically needs me. Cora is having trouble remembering our rules about hitting and biting. Fortunately it's just me she's acting out on & it's only when I'm nursing Ada. We've introduced timeouts to her & she seems to get that it means she's in trouble. She's also not feeling well - she has developed an issue with her knee (more on that later) & is in pain and then she picked up a tummy bug while we were at the doctors office checking on the knee. This was her first tummy bug & it broke my heart seeing her sick & helpless like that. I also have a whole new level of love and awe for my mom after having cleaned up the epic mess that was & I can mark "being puked on" off the mommy list of been-there-done-that. 

Playdate with Angela's girls

Looking Forward to
Fall!! We're so ready to take the girls outside & not melt. Poor Cora loves playing outside and has only gotten to a handful of times since Ada was born, primarily because it's so stinking hot! 
I'm loving my tiny baby snuggles but with starting a new job, school, trying to get my doula business in gear so I can hopefully do that full time a year from now - I'm looking forward to us finding the new normal for our family of 4! I finally feel like I've got my bearings & am at least treading water as a mom of 2, some days are better than others I will admit, but I've even gotten brave enough to run some errands with both girls & just me! 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ada May - 2 Weeks Old

Ada is very healthy. She seems to be a bit gassy, but not as bad as I recall Cora being. We've started using some gas drops for her and that seems to help quite a bit.

At her 2 week appointment (which was actually at 2 weeks + 1 day) she was recorded to be at 8 lbs 8 ounces (65%) which is above her birth weight of 8 lbs 1 oz! Height was 21 inches (20 3/4 inches at newborn exam with Pediatrician) and 37 cm for her head (94%). At her 2 week appointment her umbilical stump was still attached but beginning to separate (recording for my knowledge because I never can remember when other new moms ask... it's such a sleep deprived time of life!)

As long as we're satisfied with how she is doing, we won't take her back to the Pediatrician until 2 months old. :)

"Squeekers" "Turtle" "Ada May" and most recently "pterodactyl" for the screeching sound she makes when she gets really worked up over something ;)

She's still in Newborn but has outgrown her Gerber brand NB size clothes. We actually ended up borrowing some NB clothes from a friend to get by until the next size.

NB sized diapers

She's nursing well! It's still occasionally painful but that is improving. She's latching better, for which I'm very grateful. Her eating pattern is slowly moving away from the newborn phase of constantly eating if awake to more of a 3 hour schedule.

*knock on wood* she really sleeps pretty well. I figured out that we have to use the velcro swaddles (many thanks to Angela for allowing us to borrow more of these too - yay for not needing to wash laundry every 2 days just to get the good swaddles clean!) to keep her tightly wrapped at night. As long as she is tightly wrapped, she'll sleep good 4 hour chunks of time! Right now she goes to sleep after a dream feed at midnight and stays asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning and wakes for another feed at 6 or 7 in the morning. If she is gassy though she squirms and squeeks and isn't comfortable in her bassinett and keeps me awake.

Fun things we did
Wednesday Newborn Photos

Thursday Daddy returned to work - Mommy survived with the rescue of Grandpa! That night John's Aunt & Uncle came to town and we all went out for dinner (and Mommy learned that eating out with 2 kids under 2 is stressful!)

Friday Mommy survived another day all by herself with the girls! With John's family still in town we went to his cousin's softball game and then out to Denny's for dessert afterwards (a less stressful time, restaurant choice is important!)

Saturday Jacob & Stephanie came to town to meet Miss Ada May. We spent the day at my Dad's house
Sunday Ada's first time at church! Lunch with the family at Grandpa's house!

Monday Ada joined Mommy on our first outting together alone to the Denton County Birth Network Meeting while Cora played with Daddy at home.

Tuesday Playdate with Miss Angela and her girls!

Her swing, being held by mommy (& seems to sense me leaving the room).

She is a bit fussier than we recall Cora being and isn't as easy to soothe. We gave in and started trying pacifiers. She really dislikes the paci we gave Cora so we have tried the soothies by Avent and while she isn't great at taking a paci, this is the one she prefers (that we've tried... I'm sure there's one out there she'd take but I don't love the idea of her being hooked to a pacifier like Cora is so I'm not busting my rump to find the perfect match.). I find it interesting that the soothies don't seem to affect her suck etc because they were the nail in the coffin for Cora's proper latch that led to breast shields.

Car rides, being still at any time, being held by anyone other than mommy (she tolerates Daddy, Cora and Grandpa but not a whole lot), bouncer (on both bounce or vibrate feature).

Mommy & Postpartum
I feel great! I have to remind myself that I just had a baby and I need to take care of myself and rest. This postpartum has been much easier than my last!

What's new?
We had given her a pacifier once with the newborn pictures & she took it fine. It was the same brand paci we used & found to work well with Cora (and didn't create latch issues). Well this week she's decided that those pacifiers gag her & won't take it (of course I'm desperate by the time I'm offering the paci, so that's frustrating) so, we've introduced soothies which she loves & I find highly ironic since they're the style of pacifier that caused all of Coras latch issues.

Big Sister
Cora is still doing great as a big sis! It was a surprise to her that Ada keeps coming home with us after we take her out of the house. She waves "bye" to her whenever we leave somewhere. She seems to feel the lack of undivided attention, when I'm giving Ada most of my attention by nursing Her or changing her etc- basically the all day, everyday sundries of tasks with a newborn Cora acts out a bit. Thursday she closed herself into our room where she can't open the door to get out. She knew good & well what she was doing since she was crying that she was closed off from me before she even got the door closed.