Kate · Leo

Leo (4) and Kate (2)

I last posted about Molly at 6 (more like 7) months.  So here’s an update on our big kids, too!

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Leo is 4.5 now.  He’s in that strange middle place between toddler and big kid, where you can have a great conversation with him one minute and trust him with a big job and the next minute he’s throwing a fit on the floor, kicking his heels.  He started the year in preschool but quickly moved up to preK when we realized that was a much better fit for him.  He’s loving it and so are we!  He really likes the different “centers” with role play, but also is learning how to write letters and brings home lots of fun crafts and worksheets.  He’s also learned some attitude and eye rolls at school (yay…).  His current favorite show is Octonauts and he wants to be an ambulance driver when he grows up.  He is a master builder and comes up with really impressive train track layouts, often utilizing stacks of book to create cool bridges and ramps.  He loves to read, do puzzles, play with trains and cars, collects any and all stuffed animals, loves to flip upside down on the couch, and ask tons of questions.  His favorite food is fish (so he says) – I think because one of his favorite games right now is “bear cave” where he’s a giant bear.  That being said, we are having fish tonight to help satisfy his cravings!

Katie is just over 2 and has been talking up a storm since Christmas (we credit her cousins, especially 3 year old Astrid, for prompting her to talk).  She’s saying new words and phrases every day.  She adores Leo and also knows best how to annoy and tease him.  We’re getting closer to being ready to potty train – she knows now when she’s gone to the bathroom, although I don’t know how aware she is before it happens yet.  Still – progress!  She loves cats, books, rainbows, music (she is singing the majority of the time), jumping, doing sommersaults, and doing whatever Leo is doing.  She’s fearless and busy and determined and a little bit sneaky.  She loves crackers and cheese and fruit and getting to play in Leo’s room while he’s at school.  She still takes a nap and sleeps a solid 12-13 hours every night and barely ever wakes up.  Her mantras right now are “and me!” and “I know I know!” and she loves standing on the stepladder in the kitchen so she can see what’s happening on the counters.

Both love Molly and are so sweet with her.  That being said, they’re competitive with each other, so it’s probably only a matter of time until Molly is part of that mix, too!

Favorite books: Richard Scarry for both of them, also Trains and Tractors lift the flap books for Katie, Busy Bear books

Favorite toys: plasma cars and play kitchen, Cutie the Beauty Bunny and Katie’s Brown Kitty (Leo) and Pink Kitty, baby stroller, and little suitcase (Katie)

Favorite “treats”: m&ms (Leo), marshmallows (Katie).  Non-food wise they both love getting to play a Kindle game with Dave.

Dave · Kate · Leo

the state of things

It’s been about a month since I’ve posted, which is by far the longest I’ve ever gone.  The days have been busy, the hours short, and I either haven’t had time to blog or haven’t really wanted to say anything.  That paints a rather dire picture, but it’s really the opposite.  Our days are full of good things – a busy toddler, a growing baby, work, housework, new recipes, walks in the spring air, time at the park, running, and even small pockets for reading or just hanging out.  I’m doubtful I’ll be back here regularly for awhile – it’ll be sporadic at best – but here’s a few things that have been happening around here:

Leo: We’ve enrolled Leo in preschool for the fall!  We’re excited about this for him, mainly because he’s incredibly social and loves playmates.  The school is within walking distance of our house and we were really pleased with it at our visit.  We think he’s going to love it.  He’s incredibly excited about going, which has led to the next big thing: potty training.  We told Leo he couldn’t go to his new school until he was using the potty and about a week later he told us he was ready to wear underwear.  We jumped on that opportunity and, true to his word, he is ready for underwear!  For the most part it’s been a pretty easy transition.  He’s had few accidents, has used public toilets without fear, has put himself on the potty without our asking, and has even stayed dry through naps and the night (even though we still had him in a diaper)!  He has yet to poop on the potty, but we’re working on it.  We’re pretty confident that this, too, will be a matter of decision for him, but we’re trying to encourage that decision with multiple incentives (he loves fruit snacks so we upped the ante and bought Gushers – the ultimate fruit snack!), lots of praise, tons of conversations/songs about poop, and trying to watch him for signs of poop.  It’ll happen.

Kate: Kate’s nearing 6 months, which is just crazy.  She’s still incredibly happy and smiley and sweet during the day.  She takes a 45-90 minute morning nap, a 90-120 minute post-lunch nap, and a 45 minute late afternoon nap (although this one sometimes gets skipped depending on earlier naps and what’s going on).  She’s a bit of a wild animal at night, but we’ve been working to “break” her a bit.  Previously she was going every 3-4 hours at night still, which was wearing me out big time.  But with a little bit of letting her cry, we’ve moved to once a night.  She now eats at 7am, 10am, 2pm, 4pm, 6:30pm, 11pm (or whenever she wakes up).  We’ve had some really good nights lately, which gives us hope that we might be a bit “out of the woods.”  We started solid foods a few weeks ago but then had some poop issues, so we backed off.  We’ve started slowly introducing again – just last night – after Little Miss was throwing a fit at dinner time because we were eating and she was not (seriously, we tried everything and nothing made her happy… until Dave suggested maybe she was actually just wanting to eat, too).

Running: I didn’t run most of March because of injury and sickness.  I didn’t run most of April because I was too dang tired and I just didn’t feel like it.  I was pretty exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally, and running sounded like too much.  I needed something restorative instead of challenging.  Some days I walked.  A lot of days I slept in.  On days I ran I was getting about 6 hours of sleep in broken chunks, so sleeping in seemed like an obvious choice.  While it didn’t do anything to change my postpartum body, it was definitely the right choice at the time.  Since Kate has started sleeping better I’ve been running more.  Three changes have helped get me back out there: 1) a new route.  I’d been running my old route for the better part of 5 years and I was tiiiiiired of it.  I found a new route that is still well-lit and residential and – bonus – it’s extra miles.  2) I stopped caring about pace.  My preferred pace is always sub-9, but that’s just not happening right now.  Instead I’m just running whatever feels comfortable, which ends up being around 10:30 pace.  I’m fine with that, as pace isn’t (or shouldn’t be) my driving force for running.  And it’ll probably drop as I regain fitness anyway.  3) I’m listening to music or audio books while I run.  Normally I eschewed this since I run when it’s still fairly dark out, but lately I’ve been listening in one ear.  It’s helped to change it up for me and keeps my mind off “uggggh I feel out of shape.”

Dave and I: Here’s how I can best describe the transition from one kid to two: One kid (Leo) fit pretty easily into our already-existing lives.  We had to make a few adjustments but, for the most part, we could still do a lot of what we wanted, just with a kid along.  But with two kids it’s definitely more of us fitting in to their lives.  Our schedules and decisions revolve largely around the kids – what they need, if they can come, their schedule, etc.  I don’t think this is bad.  I think it’s totally necessary and will likely shift again and balance out as they get older.  However, it’s definitely meant some adjustment for Dave and I – adjusting our schedules, our energy, our expectations.  One thing that has been really good for us is carving out a 30 minute time slot in the day (for us 6:30am-7am) where we sit and talk.  We get Leo playing in his room or put on a show (Kate is still sleeping) and get some time to sit together and really talk.  It’s not long, but it’s enough for us to feel like we’re still married and still friends outside of kids and diapers and feedings and all that.  I’m so grateful Dave initiated this for us!

So that’s a general rundown on the state of things around here.  The days are flying by and we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity we have to be this family of four and to watch these babes of ours grow and change right in front of us.  What a gift (and before we paint too rosy a picture, yes, also sometimes an exhausting, frustrating, I’m going to hide in a closet for alone time “gift”)!

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Kate · running

friends and first stroller run

Saturday I was supposed to run the Nutri-Run 20K in Fort Wayne with Kimberly.  Because March has been a hard running month for me between my knees and a stomach bug, I just met up with Kimberly post-race for fro-yo and baby sharing.

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I can’t say I was sad I missed the race considering it was sleeting and super windy, but I am super proud of Kimberly for running it and having an awesome time.  She’s amazing and I love sharing life with her – talking about our toddler boys, running, and just “getting” each other.

Speaking of friends who “get” you, Sunday we got to have breakfast with our good friends Joel and Rachel. It was a bit of controlled chaos, with two carseats and three booster seats between us as we navigated eggs and conversation (plus one diaper issue and a spilled drink) but it was so good to see them face to face and catch up a little!

Sunday it was gloriously sunny and warm out, so it was time for Kate’s first stroller run!

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I’ve run 5 times in the month of March, so the run was a little painful, but it did feel really good to get out.  I managed 4 miles while my little beauty snoozed in front of me.  Talk about a supercute view!

It was also my first run with my Garmin Forerunner 10 – a Christmas present from Dave that I’ve been really excited to try out, but it’s been too cold to get outside with it!  I love the watch and it’s super simple, which is perfect.  I’m looking forward to a lot more runs with it!

Kate

kate: 4 months

When I went to title this post I actually wrote months instead of 4.  Nope!  Our baby girl is growing so fast!

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Kate likes: her bouncer and exer-saucer, watching Leo, eye contact and attention, mirrors, shoving hands/shirts/shoulders into her mouth, getting vaseline rubbed on her cheeks, diaper changes, walks outside.

Kate dislikes: laying on her back, the bumbo seat for more than 5 minutes, baths (although she tolerates them now instead of wailing), being alone.

Eat/sleep schedule: Right now Kate eats every 3 hours during the day (7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 6:30pm), with about 4oz. at each feeding (or that’s what she takes when I’m in the office).  She’s up around 12:30am and 4:30am to eat, although I’m still trying to get her to stretch to just one feeding.  She’s been falling asleep lately during night feedings, which makes me think she’s not really hungry.  During the day she naps for 1.5-2 hours in between each feeding.  This week we’re going back to the swaddle (haven’t used it since she was… 1 month?) to see if that could change anything.  Yesterday Kate took a full nap – no wake-ups! – for the first time since she was just a handful of weeks old.  Seriously.  It was the first back-to-the-swaddle sleep, so I was pretty stoked.  The rest of her naps she still woke up, but getting her back to sleep was easier, so I’m feeling hopeful about the swaddle.  Time will tell.  If it works, all my blog posts from here on out will be singing the praises of the swaddle.

Skillz: Kate can roll belly to back really easily.  She can get from back to side, but not quite over to belly yet.  She loves to laugh, especially when watching Leo jump.  We feel like Kate is really strong – she has amazing neck/chest strength and can hold her head and neck very steady.  She also holds herself upright to sit.  She can’t balance on her own but she doesn’t fold right over – she sits straight up with good posture.  She’s great at pulling toys to her mouth and also really good at pulling the pacifier out (although not so great at getting it back in).

Personality: I think it’s hard to tell personality this young, but we can see glimpses of who Kate might be.  She’s very social and chatty and loves to have attention on her.  After her last feeding at night I always expect her to be sleepy and want to go to bed, but 90% of the time she spends about 20 minutes grinning at me and talk talk talking!  While Kate definitely still has her opinions and a bit of a flair for the dramatics, she’s overall super happy and sweet.  As long as she’s sitting/standing, has people around to watch and who are making eye contact with her sometimes, she’s pretty good to go.  She has tons of huge smiles to share, all the time.  It’s so rewarding and wonderful!

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Nicknames: Short Stack, Sis-Kate (Leo’s invention), Baby Girl/Sweet Girl, Little Miss.

Adjusting: Overall, I think we’re through any adjustment period.  Leo, for his part, did amazing and never really stuttered.  Dave and I have had to adjust more with sleep and less time, but I think we’ve gotten the hang of it.  We tend to tag-team the kids as we need to – each take one or if one is needing a break, the other fields both.  Some days we definitely feel like we’re ships passing in the night, but I’m so glad we get to share the sea together.  And then there are other days – like Sunday – where we unexpectedly got quite a few good pockets of time together to just hang out and actually talk without Leo climbing over us or Kate crying.  It was awesome!  Mosie hasn’t really acknowledged Kate, but that’s to be expected!

Happy 1/3 birthday, Kate girl!  We love you!

Kate · Leo

bits and pieces

  • This website (thanks for the idea, Jill) has been a lot of fun for Leo.  This morning Leo and I got to watch polar bears jumping in and out of the water!  http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/
  • We spread a plastic covered picnic blanket down on the family room floor, gave Leo a plate and some play-doh, and he happily drove his cars in the “mud” while I worked.  This was Dave’s brilliant idea!

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  • We got out the bouncer chair for Kate.  I have a hard time believing she’s old enough for this, but she is very happy to sit up and look around, much moreso than her playmat.
  • My knees are still bothering me, which is sad and frustrating.  I miss running…and moving.

What’s new with you?

Kate

Kate: 3 months

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Personality: Kate continues to be super-smiley and happy.  She’s still a little opinionated and dramatic, but it’s definitely toned down and more manageable.  She’s pretty predictable schedule-wise.  She also wants to see the world and be held facing out or up on your shoulder.  She rarely puts her head down to snuggle and often holds herself upright, her little head peeking all around.

Schedule: Wake up at 7am and eat every 3 hours (7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm).  Nurse and go down for the night at 6pm.  Up generally around 11pm or 12am and then again around 4am.

Naps: Kate definitely struggles a bit with naps.  She wakes up after 45 or so minutes (one sleep cycle) smiley and ready to go.  We’ve tried different things but right now the easiest thing is to just get her up, let her hang out a bit, and then put her back down when she gets tired again (generally 20 or so minutes later).  Sometimes I can get her down faster if I walk her on the treadmill a bit.  Basically she hasn’t figured out how to transition sleep cycles during the day without waking up, but from what I’ve read online and talking to other moms, she’ll grow out of it around 4 or 5 months probably.

Likes: lots of attention, being held, sucking on her fingers, her playmat, watching Leo (she has serious adoring eyes and smiles for him!)

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Dislikes: her bouncer seat (unfortunate), being left alone for too long, being held on her back, the carseat (until she’s in the car), dirty diapers, cold air (sorry you were born in a polar vortex, little one).

Nicknames: Baby Goil (how Leo pronounces “girl”), Short Stack.

New skills: Laughing!  About two weeks ago I thought I heard Kate laugh but I was alone and could not get her to reproduce it (of course).  This past weekend she laughed watching Leo jump around and since then we’ve gotten her to laugh a few more times.  Can’t wait til it’s more regular!  She also is so close to rolling over from belly to back – she can get to her side but hasn’t figured out how to fully finish the flop.

 We can hardly believe it’s been three months already.  We are so grateful for the way Kate has added and changed our family.  Every day she brings us joy and softens our hearts (and okay, makes us tired, too).  Such a sweet girl!