Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Taste of Springtime

Yesterday, we had a brief respite from the Januarys. While the rest of the country battled an ice storm, we had seventy degree weather. The girls also seemed to be turning the corner. We knew the weather wouldn't last (but hoped that the girls' health would), so we took advantage of it while we could. We had such a wonderful time playing outside, strolling after naptime, and lounging in the yard.

Well, the weather didn't last. We woke up to icky, rainy weather... and temperature that dropped as the day progressed. We spent two hours this morning driving to see Mops (it's her birthday today!) and the temperature dropped twenty degrees during our trip.

The girls' health was much the same, unfortunately.

Phoebe had been pretty irritable this morning, but traveled like a happy camper. But she woke up an hour early from her nap, clutching her ear. Nora's second nap was also short, and her breathing seemed labored and congested. Since both girls were getting yucky fast (and Nora had spiked a fever...again), we called our favorite Dr. Randy, and he squeezed us right in.

The January springtime sure didn't last long! Phoebe has a double ear infection, and he's concerned that Nora might have RSV. Both girls are on antibiotics, and Nora's taking an oral steroid... we might be bringing her back in tomorrow for a RSV swab, if she's not improved.

The good news is that we're with Mops and Pops, so extra hands abound for the next few days. We're sad that Daddy isn't here with us... but we're thrilled that he's having a productive work-time in the bathroom!

Do pray for our little girls... we're so sick of being sick! Either way, we're thankful for our short, sweet taste of Spring -- it was just the refresher we needed!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Neverending Party

It's a virus party around these parts, y'all.

We're going on a week and a half of someone being sick. Phoebe's mostly over her congestion and hasn't had a fever...but her cough is pretty nightmarish. And Nora hasn't thrown up in about 20 hours (although the nurse told me this is a weird stomach virus that could reappear without warning). However, Phoebe's had diarrhea once already today... so it appears that this is a neverending party of bodily fluids and germs.

I'm telling you. Steer clear.

The good news is that everyone is generally happy. Naps are still happening, the girls are sleeping well at night... God is so merciful! I know this could be so much worse than it is; I'm thankful that we're at least getting sleep.

Anyway, more will come later...when the party dies down a little bit!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Party All Night

Will someone please remind me that it was at four months that Phoebe finally had a consistent bedtime? This little party animal still likes to tease us at bedtime. But how can you be irritated at such a sweet little face? I certainly can't!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sick Days

Phoebe, Nora and I all started getting a little sniffle near the end of last week. Saturday, I was sure I'd be coming down with something vile... but fortunately, it seemed to disappear without much fanfare. Nora still has a date with the bulb syringe a couple of times a day, but other than that, she seems fine too.

Phoebs, on the other hand, seems to have just hit the nasty part of this bug. She started developing a cough Monday, but yesterday she started to spike a little temp and it sounded like she was wheezing. Verdict from the pediatrician was virus (of course), so we're just waiting it out... a week after the whole mess started.

Phoebe is pretty much on this manic cycle of crazy happy and crazy sad. We indulged in a full hour of Sesame Street today, in hopes that she would actually be still. (It worked.) Phoebe also indulged in a morning nap, something she hasn't done since 18 months. She was taking some quiet time in her crib, but telling me about some puppy in a book... and then pow. She starts snoring. You know that little girl is sick when she crashes like that!

When we went to the pediatrician yesterday, we were informed that Phoebe was not even on the growth chart for weight. She hasn't gained any weight since September...and she was in the seventh percentile then! Yikes!

And finally, to round out this most random post...

...Nora rolled over today! She's getting so big already!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Request For Help

Phoebe's starting to get some wild hair. It's been well on its way for a while... and I now think it's official. It's now long enough for me to put into pigtails or a ponytail, but she has super wispy, fine hair. She loves the idea of me putting her hair up, but I am so hair handicapped that I am completely unsuccessful in my attempts.

So PLEASE...those of you with little girls...I've seen those cute hairdo's you do on your girls! Help a sister out! How do you get a ponytail in, and then get it to stay in (if Phoebe will leave it well enough alone, of course)??

(Also... scroll down for a real update...cute pictures of the girls!)

Sweet Somethings

When Phoebe was little(r), Carolynn told me something about sunshine weeks and stormy weeks in development. I could be remembering this wrong (likely), but I think it had something to do with periods of predictable "fussiness" for little people. It's probably just one more way to rationalize unexplained fussy in kiddos, but no matter.

It IS true that some weeks are "stormier" than others. And honestly, this has been one of those weeks, at least with the girls. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with development... more likely the runny little noses and coughs they both have! Phoebe seems to have been extra sensitive these past few days, and Nora's had a harder time settling down at night. It makes for some long evenings, prying eyelids open (mine) and trying to contain frustration at, well, anything.

But honestly, in spite of our stormier evenings, we've had some really sweet days. I was just going through my most recent upload of pictures, and I realized that in spite of the storm there has been sunshine peeking through all along.

A few highlights:

Nora sporting a rockin' hairdo

Snug as a bug in the Moby... for over two hours

This is after two hours in the Moby...and after vacuuming the main rooms of the house. I promise she was comfortable!

Phoebe, our big helper, bathing Nora...she proceeded to pour the water on herself next

Phoebe's "getup" for dinner

Really, that's all of got. I have some exciting news coming soon (no, I'm not pregnant), and some other things marinating... but that will have to come another day!

Here's hoping you can find the sunshine in your storms!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Letting Go

Before Nora arrived, I had planned on being back to normal (whatever that means) by the first of the year. She'd be almost three months old, I rationalized... and therefore, I'd be able to do everything I was doing before she arrived, plus meeting her sweet little needs, without much difficulty.


So anyway, I'd planned on doing Christmas cards. In fact, we took the picture, made the card, the whole bit. I even addressed about half the envelopes! But about a week ago, I realized that I needed to let it go. I hadn't ordered the cards, nor had I bought postage. And it was the middle of January.

It had become this pride thing, you see. I was okay with them not going out before Christmas, and it was going to be a demonstration of humility to send them out after New Years. But then I became prideful about the stinkin' humility. Seriously. Like, I had to be humble and send them out so everyone could see how humble I was. Which is really pride.

Go figure. The Lord's sifting through a lot of pride with me these days.

Anyway, it's silly to make a perfectly good Christmas card go to waste... so here it is. Merry Christmas, everyone! (Or, as the case may be, Happy Martin Luther King day!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

What a Waste


I hate talking about diets with anybody, and I really hate the thought of putting this out there on the Internet. But in the interest of the public good, I feel like I have to tell you this.

I am, currently, trying to shed a few pounds of post-baby weight. Because evidently, I gain weight after babies are born. Nice. Anyway, I think carefully about every tiny morsel I eat right now, because I have discovered that it is next to impossible for me to actually lose weight -- even with diet and exercise.

Anyway. I picked up some Chick-fil-A on the way home from a friend's house today, because I thought it would be a fun Friday treat for Phoebe and me. I did the saintly thing and ordered a Chargrilled (260 calories, 3 grams of fat, 7 grams of fiber), a Diet DP, and planned to poach a few of Phoebe's french fries. Honestly, that meal right there is just fine!

Well, they do this evil thing. They throw in a sauce packet. It is delicious. Honey Roasted Barbecue Sauce. Friends, do NOT put this on your Chargrilled. This tiny, ketchup-sized packet has FIVE grams of fat! And 1/4 of the calories of an ENTIRE Chargrilled sandwich!

That delicious little packet was so not worth it.

Anyway, that's my public service of the day. Your waistline can thank me, while mine spends a few minutes cursing me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Phoebe at 22 Months

The other day, someone asked me how old Phoebe was. My response?

"Almost two."

Yikes! I can't believe we're almost to two! And yet, these are the most fun days yet; it literally gets better every day. Phoebe is such a delightful little person, and she really bounds through each day with so much energy and excitement.

It's literally impossible to capture all of the things Phoebe does in one little blog post. Instead, I think I'm just going to try and give an all-around snapshot.

  • has officially experienced a verbal explosion. She talks. All the time. All of that energy she's always had? Totally directed to talking a lot of the time. I literally cannot list all of her words... she repeats almost everything that we say if prompted, and most of the things we don't prompt. She also strings two and three words together: "ouch foot", "Mama hug", "Dada work"... etc.
  • loves to read, and is still really fascinated with print. She'll sit still for almost anything that interests her, even if it's long. We've started having some marathon storytimes here lately.
  • is demonstrating increasing awareness of spiritual things. She reminds us to pray before meals especially, and will say "amen" at the end of prayers. She also is really into carrying around a Bible, and I've found her sitting on little perches reading it during the day. We praise the Lord that He is already developing in her a love for His Word!
  • responds really well to boundaries. She has a scheduled "quiet time" in her crib every morning, and often will take one in the late afternoon, too. Her behavior after these times is noticeably better... it's a good break for her. We've also started blanket time for her, and I can't tell you the immediate change I noticed in her attention span. Phoebe is more content and more focused when she has physical boundaries (a blanket) that she can understand.
  • loves to pretend. She makes me pretend plates of food, pretends to change diapers, etc. It's becoming more obvious that she has a vivid imagination, and I love it.
  • is incredibly perceptive. She loves to point out things that are the same/matching... one of her favorite games is to find a picture in a book that matches the cover. Matching is definitely one of her favorite things to do!
  • loves Mamas and Babies. Anything that is big is a mama, and anything that is little is a baby: pairs of animals, different size shoes, and she even notices Mama and Baby letters. Occasionally, it will be Dada and Baby.
  • loves to listen to music, and for Mommy to sing. She listens to music during her quiet times, and we often listen while doing chores around the house. If anyone has recommendations for some good children's music, I'd love to hear them! (We already love Cedarmont Kids.)
  • falls more in love with Nora every day. She loves to dress like her (no surprise - she loves things that are the same) and loves to be with her. She tries to play with Nora often, and will shake toys, touch her body parts and name them, and pet her head. She also really likes to help change her diaper.
I'm cutting myself off here, because honestly... this is getting excessive. Life with Phoebe is wonderful. She challenges me all the time, and the Lord is really using her to grow me; I'm so thankful that He chose to use her! I can't imagine a more delightful firstborn to have in our house.

And that almost two thing? I think they're going to be terrific twos.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Life Happens

It's been a long stretch since I've written anything of substance. Daily, it's a battle to spin all the plates I need to spin...and to figure out which ones need to be set aside for a little while. Often, blogging is one of the first things that I set aside. (I'm sure that's no surprise to anyone, really.) But I've also been hesitant to write because, honestly, things have just been hard lately.
I really hate writing about hard things, especially here, because I like this blog to be a place where things are hopeful. But I feel like it would be dishonest of me not to share some of this, and to instead present only our sunnier days.

Anyway, it isn't any one thing that's been particularly hard. A few months ago, it was easy for me to name our challenges: hospitals, unexpected bills, new babies, etc. Now, it's just a something. It comes, it goes. Some days are harder than others. Whatever it is, I just haven't felt much like myself lately.

But God is good. He is present in the good times, the challenging times... and even better, He makes good out of our bad. It's encouraging to know that during days like these.

I'm hoping that now that this is all out in the open -- that it isn't always all sunshine and roses over here -- I'll be less hesitant to post around here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nora is 3 months old!

So I totally planned on returning to blogging WELL before today... but we've had quite the full New Year so far. So, while this is interesting only to me and the grandparents...I've got to do the traditional monthday post.

I've learned, in the last three months, that you really do forget all those great things that you learn the first time around. I can't tell you how many things I've had to re-learn this time around...and I'll probably have to re-learn next time, too!

Here are a few things Nora is up to these days. Nora is...
  • sleeping through the night, most all the time. (She started on Christmas Eve...what a great Christmas gift!) We typically feed her around 10:30, and then she will wake up around 7:30 the next morning. I am getting up with her about once a night to give her a paci; she'll typically go right back to sleep. (That said, last night I was up with her three different times.)
  • eating 3-4 ounces at a meal, every 3 hours.
  • still having some tummy troubles. Lately, she's been shrieky-fussy while eating, and we're starting to see some return of her reflux symptoms (which were managed beautifully with Zantac). We just changed her medicine today to a higher dose, so we're hoping that helps!
  • napping with relative predictability, even if it doesn't look quite the way I'd want it to. At least I know when she's only going to nap for 30 minutes, right?
  • about the happiest baby I've ever met. Seriously. She is so easygoing and sweet. She is pretty much content wherever she is, but still especially loves to be held. Or naked. Or in the bath.
  • easily excited, especially by bright colors and faces. She kicks and squeals with fervor.
  • extremely talkative. She is seldom quiet! Love it!
Also, I kept a pretty detailed notebook for Phoebe that detailed her daily schedule. Since I barely have time to think these days, I wanted to record her typical daily schedule here.

7:45 - Wake up, eat, tag along with Mommy and Phoebe to get dressed/clean up the kitchen/etc.
9:15 - Nap
10:00 - Wake up, Mommy usually tries to get her to go back to sleep...or at least stay in the crib until mealtime
10:45 - Eat, tag along some more, blanket time
12:15 - Nap
1:15 - Wake up, Mommy tries to get her to stay in the crib until mealtime... (notice a pattern?)
1:45 - Eat, special time with Mommy
3:15 - Nap (this is her best nap of the day, most days)
4:45 - Wake up and eat, tag along time, family time
6:15 - Catnap
7:00 - Wake up, family time (Bible, prayer, getting Phoebe in bed), bath
7:45 - Eat, try to get her to go to sleep
8:30 (if we're lucky!) - Bedtime
10:30 - Dream Feed

Bedtime is still a little bit of a struggle. She goes down great for naps, most of the time, but nighttime has always been harder. It dawned on me yesterday that we weren't doing much of a nighttime routine, so I'm trying to bring that in to her evening. Tonight, I rocked her and sang to her until she got drowsy; it was a little more successful, and a lot less stressful for me. We'll see!

Since this is officially a novel, I'm going to close up shop on the 3 Month Update. More to come soon, I promise! (And I mean it, too!)