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 · 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 · Leo

a day in the life

I thought it would be fun to do a quick day in the life post of our family.  I go back to work in about a week and a half, so this will all change then, but the bones of the day will likely remain the same.

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Here’s what a typical day mostly looks like:

5:am: I run on the treadmill.  Most days I’m running for 25-35 minutes.  Leo’s light automatically turns on at 5am and he’s allowed to get out of bed then and play.  At 5:30 Dave gets back from his run (crazy man has been running outside this whole winter in snow and subzero temps!) and gets Leo up, dressed, and they go downstairs for boys’ breakfast together.

5:30am-7am: I get off the treadmill and jump right in the shower.  Then I run downstairs and grab some fast breakfast.  Lately I’ve been digging cereal and homemade granola with almond milk, but sometimes steel cut oats or cornbread and eggs.  I also try to unload the dishwasher from the night before (Leo often helps) and often sit and play trains or cars with Leo for a bit before Kate stirs.

7am: Kate wakes up.  Sometimes it’s a little before 7, sometimes a little after, but this is about the time she’s up for the day.  Leo always wants to see her in the morning and then we listen to a kids’ music CD while I feed her.  She’s taking about 20 minutes to eat now, sometimes a little more.  Afterwards  I lay her on the bed and Leo typically crawls around, wanting to say hello and love on her.  Then I carry her (either in a sling or in my arms) and we make the bed, open curtains, sit and play trains with Leo, etc.

8:15am: I put on a show for Leo and sit and pump.  I’ve learned my lesson and put a show on for him so he’s occupied, because there might not be anything worse than an overactive toddler climbing all over you while you’re hooked up (and hands occupied) to a breastpump.  Seriously.  I try to pump for 15 minutes and it generally ends either with Kate crying on her playmat or starting to fall asleep there.

8:30am: Kate goes down for a nap.  She goes down pretty easily now and looooves to have her bum patted!  Sometimes she’ll go down as early as 8, if she was up before 7 or just is having a sleepy day.  If we’re headed out for the morning I try to time it with her nap, so we might leave about this time for the store or a playdate, etc.  If we’re staying home I play with Leo, start laundry, maybe sweeper or clean a bathroom.

9am: Kate tends to wake up midway through her naps, about an hour before she should really be up.  We’ve been working with her to cut this out and it’s getting better, although she typically still cries for 10 or so minutes before settling down again.  I go in every couple of minutes and pat her bum or give her the pacifier.

10am: Kate is up and feeds.  Afterwards we play with Leo a bit.  At 10:45 I have him start cleaning up his toys.

11am: Lunch.  Leo’s favorite right now is hummus – he eats it straight up with a spoon.  He’s also digging carrots and bell peppers, as well as his old favorites of cheese, hardboiled eggs, and noodles.  I grab lunch, too.

11:30am: Kate goes down for a nap.

11:45am: Get Leo ready for his nap and put him down.  He generally talks/plays in his bed for up to 30 minutes before falling asleep.  Although sometimes he doesn’t sleep at all and talks/plays in his bed for the entire two hours.

12pm: Kate wakes up, fights.  If she doesn’t fight too long I’ll get some downtime to chill or to prep dinner or walk on the treadmill.

1pm: Kate is up and feeds.

2pm: Leo’s clock turns green and he’s allowed to get out of bed and play (if he’s woken up already or if he never went to sleep).

2:15pm: I pump.  Afterwards I put the milk in the freezer and then get Leo up if he’s awake.  Once I start work I will probably drop this pumping since I have a decent stash built up and pumping feels like it takes a lot of time (even though it’s only 15 minutes).

2:30pm: If Dave is working at home, he’ll take Leo for the rest of the afternoon so he can get time with him and also to give me a break.  They often go to the Train Museum, the library, the store, etc.  If Dave is working outside the house, Leo and I play or do a project, like baking or making dinner.  He loves to help in the kitchen – dumping ingredients, mixing.  His imagination is really starting to take off and he’ll sometimes play for a good hour or so on his own in a pretend game – often pulling couch cushions on the floor and making a “jungle” and using an afghan as a waterfall.  It’s really fun to listen in on and to see!  It’s also really helpful that he’s able to play on his own for an extended time (he used to be really good at this but then went through a period of time where he really wanted us to play with him all the time).

3pm: Kate wakes up and fights.

4pm: Kate is up and feeds.

5pm: Dinner!  Kate sits in the bouncy chair on the dining room table.  Generally she starts getting antsy about halfway through our meal and Dave or I sit her on our lap while we eat.  After dinner Dave takes Kate while I clean up the kitchen.  He and Leo go around the house closing curtains, picking up toys, getting Leo’s bath ready.  I enjoy the time to really focus on a task without either kid.  Even though it’s washing dishes and wiping down counters and putting away leftovers it seriously is one of my favorite parts of the day!

5:45pm: Kate goes down for a short nap.  She generally only sleeps about 20 minutes or so and then wakes up to feed.  If I try to feed her before this nap she’s an overtired mess and it doesn’t work.

6:10pm(ish): Kate wakes up.  I change her diaper in the dark and get her ready for bed (generally a onesie and a fleecey sleep sack).  Then I nurse her in the dark and try to get her to feed for longer than normal.  She falls asleep during this feeding, which is totally fine by me.  She’s generally down shortly before 7pm and then I jump in the bathroom to get ready for bed.

7pm: Dave and I go to bed.  Yes.  We go to bed crazy crazy early, we know!

The nighttime is a bit of a gamble, as Kate hasn’t been sleeping as well as she used to.  Right now she often wakes up around 9pm and I go in and put her pacifier in and then go back to bed.  At 11pm she’ll wake up again and I feed her.  Then she often wakes up again around 1:30 or 2 and I do the pacifier again.  Then up at 3:30 or 4 to nurse.  Generally if she wakes up at 3:30am or after I’ll stay up for the morning.  I’m really hoping that she starts to stretch out at night again and obviously we might have to do some letting her cry if the pacifier thing continues, too.

3am: Dave gets up for the day.

4:45am: Dave leaves for his run.

5am: Leo’s light turns on, I start running on the treadmill, and the day begins again!

Leo

from the mouth of Leo, part 3

(As I’m changing his diaper) “I have the toots. You can touch them. I can’t touch them. They’re too far away to touch.”

(Throwing himself down on the kitchen floor) “I want to get new ouchies!”

(Watching women’s ice skating on TV) “That girl has no pants!”

(Pointing to his belly button) “My belly hurts. I can’t open the door to fix it!”

elevator for radiator