Friday, May 28, 2010

Big Girl, Big Bed

Last night, Amanda slept in the single bed that has been in her room for over a year now. Mike had tried a while back and she laid there for a while but then wanted to go back in her own bed. We really felt like we had enough to deal with and didn't want to put too much effort into moving her. She never tried to climb out. In fact, while I was pregnant, I move a stool next to her crib so she could climb in and out by herself. If we ever forgot to put up the crib rail after we tucked her in bed, she would freak out! There was screaming and crying until we came back up put the rail up.

Yesterday, I took a pool noodle, wrapped it in a small section of egg crate foam and then wrapped that with a sheet to hold it together. Then I tucked this roll under her fitted sheet. It's a similar concept as those things for co-sleeping only significantly cheaper. All the while Amanda was helping me and we were talking about how it was time for her to sleep in a big bed because she was a big girl. She practiced sleeping in her bed for a bit and then at nap time she happily climbed in her new bed and fell asleep without the usually capers of hiding under the sheets and banging on the crib sides. Bedtime went much the same except with minor drama when she woke up needing to go potty.

It's a good start to the big bed transition. We won't move either of the babies into the crib anytime soon because the closet situation is working just fine for right now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Overcoming Fear

My mom came to visit on Friday and spent some time helping Amanda get over her fear of bugs. They found a little friend who was willing to help.
My mom started out by letting this dragon fly rest on her shirt, shoulder and hand before offering it to Amanda. It appeared to be half-dead so it didn't fly off and Amanda carried it around for a long time before putting it into a plastic storage box.Amanda still gets a little panicky when she hears a bee buzzing but at least we're making some progress.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And She's Mobile!

Christiana is finally getting crawling figured out. She's a full five months behind Amanda, three months behind Tony but only a couple weeks behind Tyler. She still thinks the kitchen is too far from the living room, but she knows she can go a few feet and get whatever toy she is after. Each new stage brings new fun and new challenges.

Beach, Bunny and Babies

Yesterday's outing was to our friends who live on the lake. We could only stay a short time so I didn't bring the swim suits and because last year Amanda didn't like the water. I did pack a change of clothes just in case. Of course, she wanted to go right in.



Our friends also got a pet rabbit this spring so we visited him, too.
Christiana was interested in the water and enjoyed splashing around a bit. She was not stranger shy on this day and happily ate "o" cereal with our friend. She did cry, however, the minute we got to the van, the whole way there, the whole way to pick up our co-op food order, during the food pick up, and all the way home. Fun. Tony came with us. I felt bad for him, but he had his MP3 player so I think he just tuned her out.

Hopefully none of my followers have an aversion to feet because I think Christiana's are the cutest!!!
Tali is happy anywhere as long as somebody is holding her. She cried, too, as we were leaving, but quieted down pretty quickly.

All in all, is was a successful first visit and I know how to plan better for the next time.

Amanda and Christiana's matching shirts were hand-me downs from two different families that we got this week. They are so cute! Oh, yeah, I'm that kind of mom. My girls will be in matching outfits as often as possible. On Sunday, they all had the same pale purple undershirt and their dresses were all different but with purple in them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Three Months

This month Talitha has become so much more social. She smiles, coos and flaps her arms and legs whenever she catches sight of anybody. Mike can get some really cute giggles out of her. She is even beginning to interrupt nursing to smile or see what else is happening in the room.
She nurses really well and eats about every three to four hours during the day. Nights are still wildly unpredictable. Some nights she falls asleep at 8 pm and sleeps until 6 am. Other nights she feeds and fusses on and off until midnight and still gets up at 6 am. Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night, too. I wake up in the middle of the night to pump and sometimes she wakes up right after I've finished. At times like that, I worry about not having milk for her, but some how there's always enough to keep her satisfied.
Here she is laughing and smiling at Amanda.


I can hardly believe it's been three months already. I still can hardly believe that a year ago, by some miracle, this little girl was conceived. It's so crazy and unexpected and amazing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Buggy?

I realized I had forgotten to update the post about Food and Phobias, but Amanda is the one who is terrified of bugs. It began last fall when there were a lot of bees working on the mums by our sidewalk. Mike must have warned Amanda to be careful of the bees and she became very concerned about them. So, when Mike told Amanda that I was going to go pick up a buggy, she was not very excited about the idea.

Her attitude changed quickly and she loves the biker buggy. I found it at the church rummage sale when I went to drop off items we had to donate. It belonged to a friend and fellow adoptive mother. Mike and I have gone out twice already while the boys babysat.*

This picture was taken before all the screaming began. Christiana was great the first time we took her out. She was a little wide-eyed but kept quiet for the ride. The second time, she began crying at the top of the first hill and didn't let up until we brought her home and put her to bed. Not before spreading her sunshine around the neighborhood, however. These were different neighbors than the ones who were treated to her screaming in the stroller last week.
After putting her to bed, Mike and I went out for a longer ride with Amanda. She had a great time and began singing Veggie Tales Lullabies to us. Mike bought her the CD awhile back and I recently taught her how to turn on the CD player. Now we listen to them almost non-stop during the day. They are great songs, lullabies, hymns and cute little songs, and they are easy to sing. Most children's CD are so high I can't sing along. The boys complain, but either they're playing on the CD player or Amanda is singing them so it makes no difference to me.
*Babysitting means they played video games while the little girl(s) slept. They have instructions to go get the little girls in case of an emergency, but other than that they don't really have to do anything with them.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Overheard

Two little girls at the park. Maybe 6 years old.

Girl #1: "This is my neighbor, Amanda."

Amanda: "[chatter]"

Girl #2: "What did she say?"

Girl #1: "I don't know."

Girl #2: "Oh, she must be speaking Mexican. Is she Mexican?"

Girl #1: "I don't know. Lets ask her mother. Is she Mexican?"

Me: "No, she's Vientnamese and African American."

Girl #2: "Is she Mexican too?" while pointing to Christiana, perhaps she didn't hear my answer.

Me: "No, she's African American."

Both girls: "African American? Wow!"

Girl #2: "Is that baby the same color as you?" pointing to Talitha under the nursing blanket.

Me: "Yes, Amanda and Christiana were adopted and Talitha...um...ah...wasn't."

...grew in my tummy? ...is my biological child? ...I gave birth to Talitha?

I should have just stopped at "Yes," and answered any more questions if they came. That's okay. I'm sure the topic will come up again now that I'm actually leaving the house with all three little girls.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"I" is for Ice Cream

But since we never have ice cream, this is how Amanda improvised. She took a cone-shaped baby bottle cover and put her apple on top. Pretty clever!

10 Months

Is it just me or does it seem like I'm always posting monthly updates? I think it's because I am. Tali's 3 month update will have to be done next week.

At 10 months, Christiana is getting very close to crawling. She can scoot herself around the living room by reaching and rolling and she often gets up and rocks on her hands and knees. Sometimes she can get herself into a sitting position from laying down but it looks like it's purely on accident. She is very vocal and chatters and squeals all the time. She and Amanda can be pretty noisy together. She is pretty aggressive and will grab toys from Amanda and laughs when Amanda screeches, "No!" That always makes Amanda laugh and so it becomes a game.

She is doing so much better with eating and is no longer satisfied with just breast milk. She is also drinking less breast milk because she seems too prefer eating. She still has some issues with texture and often gags on things like biter cookies and "o" shaped cereal.

Last week, I did really well at catching her before she had a bowel movement and getting her to the potty. This week she's been waking up with a dirty diaper again, but I just listen for her grunting and take the opportunities as they come.

She still has only four teeth, goes too bed around 6:30 pm and sleeps until I wake her around 7 am. She prefers to be worn and not pushed in the stroller during "Happy Hour."

"Happy Hour" is the time between about 4:30 until 6 pm when she really could use another nap, but I keep her up to make sure she has dinner before falling asleep at night. That's when I try to get them outside but it's a challenge. The worst part is all the crying as I'm trying to get everyone ready. By this time Tali's ready to go back to sleep, Christiana's clingy and Amanda is anxious to get outside and needs help getting ready. But it's so nice when we finally all get out in the fresh air.

Wearing the girls tandem is actually working out really well. Bending over while getting Christiana in and out of the stroller is harder on my back then wearing all that extra weight. The girls add about 35 lbs which is much better than listening to Christiana cry for two blocks in the stroller. Yesterday, when I went out, I wrapped Christiana first and then wrapped Tali's wrap right over Christiana instead of putting it under her. I was worried that it would be too tight over her, but it didn't seem to be an issue.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today's Workout

This is what today's work out looked like. Add a giant red and white golf umbrella and a toddler with a small black umbrella. It was raining today but I wasn't going to let that stop me from getting out. Amanda was so thrilled to be using an umbrella. She talked about it the whole way around the loop.

This is the first time I've used two wraps to carry the girls. I started by wrapping the front white wrap on me loosely with no baby in it. Then I wrapped Christiana on my back. I had to untie the front wrap in order to tie Christiana's in front. Then I slipped Tali in the front pocket, crossed the tails over her and tied them under Christiana's feet. It was like putting all that pregnancy weight back on only more evenly distributed and I wasn't nauseous. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Inspired

I've really been inspired by some of my blog and Facebook friends who often post about their grueling work out regimes. These vibrant and active women are making big changes in their lives and it's awesome to see. While you won't see me at the gym or jogging for miles, I have decided to make an effort to add some grueling workouts to my life. Namely, taking the girls to the park.

We've gone twice so far. Amanda was talking about swinging and that's what motivated me. However, the first time we went, I had to nurse Tali when we got there. Then a thunderstorm rolled in and we had to leave. The second time, Tali had been fed so we went straight to the swings. Amanda was in heaven.

Christiana loved the swings too. I was a little surprised because she can be a little sensitive about new things.

Since Tali had just been fed, I thought she would fall asleep nicely in the stroller. Um, no. Didn't happen.
She preferred to be snuggled up with mama. Then she fell asleep.


So, why would I consider this a grueling workout? Going to the park involves dressing three squirmy little people in layers of clothes, carrying everyone down the stairs and out to the car, buckling everybody in, driving for three minutes to the park, unloading the stroller, unloading everybody, babywearing somebody, pushing somebody in the stroller, lift a baby and a toddler into the swings, give pushes on the swings endlessly, push stroller through the wood chips, load everybody back in the van, buckle everybody in, load stroller, drive home, haul everyone back up the stairs either in two trips or by carrying a baby in carseat, diaper bag and another baby in my arms, change a diaper, put a baby in bed, hope she goes to sleep, then feed the other two dinner.

I'm doing all this rather quickly so as not to allow too much time to elapse between feeding time which leads to melt downs. The marathon continues until about 6:30-7pm when I finally get Christiana to bed. When I sit down to nurse Tali after all that I am hot, sweaty and exhausted. So, I would definitely call that a good workout. Wouldn't you?

Most days, I'm just going to aim for walking around the block. Wearing a baby while pushing a loaded double stroller through soft gravel is equally as grueling.

That's why I'm here!

Talitha is my maternal grandmother's 16th great grand child. Although, Grammy has seen Tali several times since she was born, I think this is the first time she has held her.
Shortly after my mom and grandma arrived yesterday, I was nursing Tali in my chair and my grandma kept asking if I was still feeding the baby.
When I finished, I asked her if she wanted to hold the baby. She responded, "I would love to! That's why I here, isn't it?" I felt terrible! I don't know why we never thought of having her hold the baby before. Hopefully we have had her hold the baby but I just didn't get pictures or remember.

The picture below is for Elisa who I know I have made terribly home sick with these photos of Grammy. Tali is enjoying the special toy that Elisa gave Amanda when she came home with us.


And finally, my mom enjoying Tali's new social smiling at everyone. Tali is my mom's 10th grandchild.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Making Progress

Thanks for your guesses! I'm waiting to publish the answer and comments until Joshy and Mariella have a chance to guess. They always have the funniest guesses.

Christiana is doing so much better with eating. She finally opens her mouth and swallows good bites instead of just slurping the food off the spoon. Her elimination habits have changed, too, so I've been able to "catch" her poo that last four or five mornings. Nice! I'm not going to try to keep her dry like I did with Amanda but if I can keep her clean that is a huge step. I've been using the Baby Bjorn little potty. Since she's not mobile, I can set her on the potty in the living room where we are playing or in the kitchen at my feet. She will stay put and play with the toys we hand to her or that she can reach.

Amanda's favorite toys right now are the cars and tracks that we've had since the boys were little. She was very anxious to have Christiana get up and "play tracks" with her this morning. I think it's great that she already enjoys Christiana as a playmate.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What in the World?

Update: Jodi is the winner! She was the first one the guess correctly! Although since I posted about it on Facebook before posting pictures here, my FB friends had a bit of an advantage. Silly me! Good thing there wasn't any prize at stake.

These are turkey feathers from the turkey Tony shot early Saturday morning. He went out early Friday and Saturday morning with a neighbor that we have done pet-sitting for. Tony took some great photos and I bumped up the color saturation.
Do you know what this is?