Wednesday, July 9, 2014

20 weeks! Still catching up...

Dear Scarlett,

Well I am still trying to catch up! You and your sister keep me a little busy these days, and so I am getting a bit behind on your letters. In good news, though, even though I stink about writing about all the fun we are having, we are STILL having so much fun that I cannot stand it. You and your sister are the best!

So, let's start with Saturday, the 14th. It was a hot day, and we decided to check one thing off our summer bucket list...strawberry picking! You spent most of the time just checking things out from the beco, but your sister had a blast. Grandma and Grandpa Mason kept one strawberry in each hand for her! I thought she was going to turn into a strawberry! Don't worry, Smoosh, I am sure you will be joining her next year!


After that, we went up to the lake to rinse Miss Ellie off. Dad and Ellie played in the water and you and I cuddled on the deck. You enjoyed the fresh air! You two snoozed a little in the car, then it was off to a couple graduation parties. You were quite the charmer as usual, giving your big, drooly grins to anyone who as holding you!

Sunday was Father's day, so we got the opportunity to celebrate the fact that you and Ellie have the BEST dad! I love watching him with you, he is just smitten over you girls! 


Monday we decided to hit the park. Of course your sister loved burning off some energy (and seeing a train even!) You were pretty content as usual and happy to be cuddled and talk to, and just take in everything around you. In the afternoon we played outside at home. Daddy moved my swing up by Ellie's playhouse so we can relax in that while Ellie is climbing and sliding. You two like cuddling in it together, too. 


Tuesday we decided to go strawberry picking AGAIN, since we pretty much had already polished off the strawberries we picked on Saturday. I guess Ellie takes after Mommy and Daddy in being strawberry monsters. There was a nice breeze so you snoozed in your carseat. I was able to pick some berries so that we actually have some to freeze, and your sister, of course was happy as a clam to eat more berries! 

After that, you guys headed back to Grandma's while I headed to the gym for practice. Grandma and Grandpa wore you guys out, because you both took great naps.


Wednesday you were up a bit early. No problem, that just means that I got some sweet cuddle time before your sister got up. You are so happy in the mornings, my little Squish! I love you. Your happy little smile starts my day off right!


We had some errands to run, then it was back home for nap time. Well, except storms rolled through and the power went out. Arg. Not good when we have a toddler who depends on her noise machines and a baby who depends on her swing. So suffice it to say it was a bit of a long afternoon for us all. 

Thursday we headed to the breastfeeding coalition meeting. We took Ellie too, which was quite an adventure. She wanted to be a good big sister and play with ALL of the babies. We got you weighed and you are still perfectly on track, hovering around that 50th percentile point at 14lbs 11oz. 

You also started playing with the exersaucer after I dug it out for you. You love it! Now if I could just get your sister to stop trying to climb in. She can climb in, but not out...which is pretty hysterical to us both....



Friday I ad to go to Chicago, so you spent the day with Grandma and Grandpa. I know that they love spending time with you and your sister, but I have to tell you. I miss you so much when I'm not with you. You two really are my sunshine. I was very glad to get home even after a LOOOOOONG day and cuddle with my favorite girlies.

So that is week 20, princess! More to come as I get back on track...

I love you, 
Mommy 








Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Catching up...19 weeks!

Dear Scarlett,

I'm chugging along, catching up with these posts. Wooohoooo! 

So when I left off in your 18 week post, we were on our way to Lansing for the cheer competition. Like I said, you were a trooper with the trip, even though you were in unfamiliar enironments and had your schedule thrown WAAAAAY off. We are so lucky that both you and your sister deal so well with all the craziness that is our lives.

On Saturday, Daddy and I were at the competition all day. You got to play with Grandma and Grandpa all day! You did stop by the competition a couple times so I could feed you. The pump doesn't agree with either of us these days. I can't get much out, and you don't really like to take bottles, so we try to avoid that whenever possible. You did get a couple of bottles that I had pumped previously, but those couple "live" feedings saved us both. 

Speaking of which...4.5 months and ZERO formula for you. I feel so proud that neither your sister or you have ever had formula. And I feel incredibly fortunate that nursing has been so easy with both of you. The daughter of one of Daddy's co-workers who is just a couple weeks older than you had to get a feeding tube...and I just can't image how difficult that must be. I am so thankful that you both have (knock on wood) been incredibly healthy. 

You were awesome in the hotel again on Saturday night! Phew! What a relief! The last state competition when you were still an inside baby, your sister kept us up ALL night, so I am very thankful that we were all able to get some much needed rest. 

Sunday was more of the same. Everyone loved seeing you and meeting you. And although you were a little crabbier than normal, you still gave a ton of your super sweet smiles and charmed them all. 

Monday we all needed some down time from the long weekend, so we stayed around home. You and Ellie are spending a lot of time playing together. When I am holding you sometimes, especially in the morning, she demands "Baby, LAY DOWN!" She loves laying down and playing with you, and talking to you in her high-pitched baby voice. It is the sweetest thing. 



Speaking of sweetest thing, this is probably one of my favorite pictures of you two: 


Yes, you really are sucking her thumb. How is that for teamwork? You two will continue to be the dynamic duo as you grow up, I am sure!

Tuesday we ran a couple errands. Errands are getting a bit easier with the two of you, usually. Either that or I am getting immune to the chaos. Probably a little of both. Either way, I'll take any successful Target trip I can get!

Wednesday was more cuddle time, and getting back to normal from the crazy weekend. You are starting to get on more of a schedule, where you do 3-4 shorter naps a day. It is rare that I get the 2-3 hour naps I once got from you now. Oh well, at least there is always extra snuggle time to be had!




Thursday continue our lazy week of hanging around home. While we may not be going anywhere, we certainly still do a lot. We typically take 2-3 walks a day, plus play outside. Things can get a little crazy for sure!

Friday you got to spend some time with Grandma while I worked out. You were a very good girl and still love looking at that fan, especially when you are having your diaper changed!  I made it through the work out and even got to run a couple errands before you ladies were ready to come home and take a nap. 

When Daddy got home, however, the real fun started! You got to go for your first cobra ride! Daddy loved piling all five of us in the car and driving around the neighborhood. 






What else is new? Well you are really getting into toys. You are grabbing and holding onto all sorts of stuff. O-balls, soft toys, teethers...which also brings us to this teething possibility thing. You are a drooly mess and you want to chew on things CONSTANTLY. Therefore people are taking bets that you are teething. Which seems crazy to me, but I'll roll with it. I, of course, thought Ellie was teething at this stage (but admittedly not this much!) and those teeth didn't show up on her until 14 months. So either you really are the anti-Ellie and are going to be totally different, or you are a big faker!

So, Squish, that is 19 weeks. I love that you are interacting more with others and your environment, even if that means I need to stay on my toes with you a bit more. I love you to pieces and wouldn't change a single thing about you...well except maybe I'd slow down how fast time is going by and you are growing up!

I love you so much, Scarlett!
Mommy





Monday, June 23, 2014

Ellie-isms

Okay, so this kid is FUNNY. Daily she cracks me up with something she says. Here are a couple favorites from the past couple weeks:

-Ellie was slamming her palm down on her scrambled eggs yelling "HATCH, birdie, HATCH" Um, it is a little late for that now, Ellie

-"Brush teeth" CONSTANTLY. Oh, but only with her "Pony" toothbrush. And lots of "paste". And depending on the day, the pony is either Cody or Trigger, the two horses down the street.

-To Scalett: "No cry, baby! Shopping!" Apparently she is well versed at retail therapy.

-Ellie: "Momma, sing!" So I start the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
  "No. Different." So I try The Wheels on the Bus.
  "NO." Old MacDonald?
  "NOOOO" *puts hands over ears* "Different" "This This" points to stereo.
 Oh, okay. I didn't realize I lived with the not-yet-2-year-old version of Simon Cowell.

-Oh, and she is putting things together. "Baby eat boob". Oh please don't say that in public. Sigh.

-Another favorite with Scarlett: we were on a walk with Ellie walking and Scarlett in the beco. At one point Ellie started asking for "up, up!" So I picked her up. Baby on front, toddler on the hip, leash in the hand, it was quite a sight. But then Ellie grabbed Scarlett's hand and said "High FIE!" and high-fived her...then without missing a beat "KNUCLES" and 'bumped' her. Ha!

She is so stinking funny. I love her to pieces!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Catching up...18 weeks!

Dear Baby Scarlett,

It is time for me to play catch up on these letters and get to writing about your 18th week. We have been so busy that I've gotten a bit behind. The combo of you and your sister makes for very full hands for me most days. That, blended with a crazy schedule and me trying to spend time with you both in the "present" and you see why I am a little behind. No worries, I'll catch up slowly but surely!

So, let's start off when you were exactly 18 weeks and 1 day old. It was the very last weekend we would have "free" for awhile, so we decided to head up to the beach. Your sister loved to play in the the splash pad. You were content to watch her from your blanket. You are such a happy girl...I LOVE that about you!


We, of course, had to go get pizza. Between you and your sister, I think you managed to entertain the entire section of the restaurant that we were in. You both certainly have a way about you! One lady even stopped to tell us how blessed we were to have such amazing little girls. This woman didn't even know the half of it, but Daddy and I agree!

You also "officially" turned 4 months! I just can't believe it. You are losing a lot of your "newborn" look and turning into my cute little chunky monkey!


Monday was a little bit of a rough day. You had your 4 month doctor's appointment. Which...of course, meant more shots. I know they are necessary, but seeing my little Squish hurt is so heartbreaking. 



The good news is that you tolerated them WAY better than last time. No little whimpers, thank goodness! And everything else looks perfect. You were 13lbs 13oz (56th percentile) had a head circumference of 16 inches (41st percentile) and...get this, my supermodel...25.5 inches tall! Whoa! 90th percentile. Your sister wasn't even that tall at 6 months!

Speaking of your sister, Ellie came to the appointment too, and was very big on helping. She helped measure you, and sat by your head and gave you love while you got your shots. She is such a super big sister to you, and she hates to see you upset too. She loves to tell everyone very dramatically "OH NO! Baby CRY!"

Of course after the appointment, all any of us wanted to do was just cuddle up a storm. So, that is pretty much what we did for the rest of the day. I won't complain at all to days like that, little love!

Tuesday we had a much needed "down" day. We spent time around the house, and spend a LOT of time outside. Since your sister LOVES it outside, we spend a ton of time out there. You love to chill out on your blanket and just watch everything. I can just see that little brain taking everything in! Of course keeping you out of the sun is a trick, but we make it work.

By Wednesday, things were going a little crazy in our house. I was trying to prep for a weekend away with both of you, plus competition stuff. It was just crazy! You had a couple of rough nights with sleep, which turned me into a zombie. Overall, just not a great stretch of time, and I got VERY overwhelmed. I am so thankful that in times like that, your Daddy is such a rockstar and so good about helping out to make sure that everything gets done!

Of course, I can now totally identify when I get into crazy overwhelmed mode. I mean, life is busy, but when I stop taking time to look at this face? That is when things get bad. I have to keep reminding myself that everything else can wait. Laundry may never really get folded, and there may always be half a box worth of stray cheerios scattered around the living room, but THIS, THIS is what is important right here.


Thursday we ran some errands to prep for the weekend. You were amazing and happy to chill out in your carseat the entire time, which certainly made things easier on me!

Thursday night you got to meet your Aunt Stephanie! Yay! She was in town for a wedding, so we got pizza and ice cream with her. Even though she isn't much of a "baby person" you managed to charm her like you always do.


Friday it was off to Lansing for a cheer competition. This is the first one you've been at as an outside baby, and there were so many people waiting to meet you it was crazy. You were a doll on the long car ride, and went to bed pretty well in the hotel room. Of course, that MAY have something to do with the fact that we got the motor in your rock n play replaced. It had stopped vibrating you! Apparently you like to shake! Why didn't I think of that?



So, sweet girl, that was week 18. Crazy, and hectic and definitely overwhelming at times. But even in those crazy times, I can't help but realize how lucky I am. Like the lady at the restaurant said, I get to me the Mommy of 2 amazing little girls. I love seeing you learn and grow. And I love YOU so, SO much!

I love you Smoosh!
Mommy




Friday, June 20, 2014

Sigh...

...and the overwhelmed Mommy award goes to...ME! I am so behind with these. I have a bajillion drafts started. I will be plugging away on these in the next couple days, so stay tuned!

Friday, May 30, 2014

You are 16, going on 17...

Dear Baby Scarlett,

Well, you are not 16 weeks, you ARE actually 17 now. I've been so good at writing your letters and keeping on top of it. Then the last couple weeks happened. I've been a bit of a mess on a couple different fronts, and, well, last week's letter bit the dust.

To make up for it, though, this week's will be obnoxiously long and contain a bazillion pictures. Which, let's be honest, is most of the reason why anyone follows along with this blog. They wanna see pictures! So I will oblige.

Alright. Let's start at last Friday. Well, we went up to Grandma and Grandpa Mason's house. We went out to eat and then back to their place to let your sister run amok. You did great, even though it was WAY past bedtime. You gave Grandma and Grandpa sweet snuggles, as always.

Saturday we had our family "Mother's Day", which I already posted about. We got some amazing pics of you, pretty girl! You were kind of a crab during dinner, though, and only wanted to be held by Dad. You are SUCH a Daddy's girl. He can calm you down immediately, just by picking you up. I don't blame you, he is pretty cool.

Saturday night I was feeling REALLY icky as I overdid it at my bootcamp class Friday, so we stayed home in the morning, then I went to the gym in the afternoon, and you joined later. We had more Daddy drama! You were losing it at one point out in the waiting area. Daddy walked out and they told him you had a belly ache. He picked you up and you stopped crying immediately. Nope, you just were bored and wanted Dad. I don't really understand why people don't get that...babies cry, and babies will be babies. It is not like they are sick or hungry every time they cry. Sigh.

Monday we enjoyed the nice weather by hitting the park. I decided that we were going to do a week with no TV, so we hit a bunch of parks. I really worry about the amount of TV you are exposed to, especially because your sister had so little exposure to TV when she was small, and it has been shown to inhibit brain development and vocab skills. Hopefully this week will be a "reset" button for us all.


Anyway, we enjoyed checking out a new park. Your sister had a blast climbing and sliding. And you chilled with me in the shade and watched her!

Tuesday was another day and another park. We went to riverfront to walk and play! You were a doll, as usual and had fun looking around, taking it all in.

That night we decided to head to the park again with a picnic dinner. We had a nice little picnic and everyone enjoyed some much needed family time.

Wednesday we stuck close to home, but enjoyed some sprinkler time. Are you seeing a pattern here? We are outside. A LOT. Your sister loves it, and I have to say, you love stretching out on my new outdoor blanket and just taking in everything around you.

Thurs we headed out to the mall to do some shopping You were a good girl, and hammed it up! Between you and your sister, we sure do get lots of attention these days. I even got asked for the first time this week if you guys are twins! Ugh...no. Ellie is running and you are not even sitting up. I am sure I'll be getting that question more and more as you grow. Anyway, you found a hat that you liked, and proceeded to show off your ear-to-ear grin for everyone in the store. The cuteness? Oh. my. goodness.


Thursday night I had a little bit of a rough time (not related to you two!) so we headed up to the beach for some family play time. We stopped at our favorite sandwich shop and you two flirted with the other customers. Your Daddy and I really are in some serious trouble as you two get older! Then we hit the beach. Ellie had fun climbing and sliding on the playground equipment. And you even got to swing a little with me. Overall it was a great way to make an icky day much better!

Friday I had to deal with some work drama (icky) but you were very patient with me and put a big smile on my face when it was all over. You sure are good at that, Smoosh. I keep telling Daddy that Smoosh snuggles are like some kind of drug...definitely the best mood-enhancer there has ever been!

Saturday was the start of an awesome weekend! We were able to spend lots of time as a family and have lots of fun. Those are the BEST weekends! We started out with a trip to the Farmer's Market. Your sister was into everything, as usual, and you enjoyed looking around, seeing all the new things. Daddy and I picked up some of our favorite coffee...which we definitely need with you two crazy girls to try to keep up with! Then it was back home for naps while I ran to the gym, and then to top the day off, we went to Urban Swirl for some fro-yo. Of course, you had to just watch the chocolatey disaster, but I cannot wait until I have 2 hot fudgey messes on my hands!

Sunday after church we headed up to Grandma and Grandpa Mason's. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed some lake time.



All that fresh air did you in, though, because you zonked out on my chest. There is nothing better than a beautiful day being curled up with my Squish!


After that, you guys went to Grandma and Grandpa Zaher's while Daddy and I went to the gym. They had a lot of fun with you two, even when you got a little bit fussy. 

Monday was Memorial Day, and we were up early to be Daddy's little cheerleaders. He was doing a race called the Murph. He did a mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups and 300 squats followed by another mile run. Isn't that crazy? He finished it in under and hour. Now that is what I call SuperDad! And he even *kinda* had the strength left to pose for a picture with you two.


After a quick stop home for Daddy to shower, we hit the parade. The sun was shining, and you were...sleeping. That's right, you slept through most of your first parade. Sirens and all! Ellie had a lot of fun with her BFF Lily.


After naptime we trekked to Toys R Us. We finally gave in and got a playset for Ellie. The girl is a climbing/sliding monster, and we definitely needed a way for her to get some of her energy out. The good news is that she LOVES it, and so we've spent a lot of time outdoors since that point. 

 Tuesday you gave me a couple little scares. There were some abnormal things about you, and while none of them would concern me ALONE, put together I got a little concerned that my Smoosh wasn't feeling so well. First, you went about 7 hours overnight without wetting your diaper. Also, you were up at about 4am, and those kind of middle-of-the-night wake ups are VERY uncommon for you. Then, you spit up a couple times BIG TIME...and you are not normally a spitter. See how you worried me? So we just spent the day having lots of cuddle time. You kept a smile on your face through it all, even if you weren't feeling the greatest. 


Wednesday it seemed like you definitely felt better...except for the sleep thing! I fully admit that your amazing sleeping habits have spoiled the crap out of me. So you being up twice, 12:30-2 and then again at 4:30 made for a very rough night and tired Momma! It made for a tired Smoosh too, as you would zonk any time, any place after that!


And while being tired really does stink, seeing THIS smile makes it all worth it. Oh how I love you, little one!


I was really worried that the last couple nights of poor sleep were the introduction to the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. With Ellie, that phase was BRUTAL. Easily the hardest time in her infancy. I'm telling you, new moms need help at 4 months. That is when people should be arranging meals, etc. Everyone expects that you have it together, and it is like you hit a wall or something. BUT, I am happy to say, Thursday we were back to our good sleep patterns and so Daddy and I got at least a little bit of much-needed rest. 


Friday it was a gorgeous day, so we hit the zoo! I love doing fun activities with my favorite girls! Ellie got to play on the playground while we cuddled, and see the animals. She was really into the tiger this time! And the kangaroo exhibit as open, so we got to see them hop, hop, hop, although I think she was more excited about the stray bunny that ran across the grass! Go figure!




What else is going on these days? Well, since you are getting more and more aware and alert, you are loving your big brother. He likes you too, and keeps trying to share his toys with you. You know, by placing them over your head. Really, Smoosh, your autobiography needs to be titled "Survivor" or something similar. Because both of your siblings equate "sharing" with "smothering".


But Truff does love you, a lot. He loves to do tummy time with you, although he is a blanket hog and usually takes up most of your blanket space. You like looking at him, even more than your mirror!


And he even shares Daddy's lap with you. He doesn't mind getting nice and close, as you don't have the reflexes to pull his fur like, AHEM, someone we know...




You are also becoming a PRO roller. Still always back to front though. Then you typially get angry that you are on your belly. Silly girl. I assume you'll be rolling the other way soon, but not yet!

You and your sister? Stinking adorable. You IDOLIZE her already. You smile at her like crazy, and she is so good at getting you to stop crying.


Often times when I am in the bathroom getting ready, I'll put you down in your whale tub. Your sister is CONSTANTLY crawling in it with you, and sometimes singing to you "Row, Row, Row, DREEEEEEAM!" 




She is constantly telling you "I kiss you" and "I hug you" in the cutest little high-pitched voice. Oh, and she can say your name now too."Baby Scott". Not perfect, but we're getting there, and it melts my heart nonetheless. 


I love the way you both light up when you see each other and I pray that will always be the case. I want so badly for you two to become the best of friends and I promise that I will do absolutely anything I can to facilitate that!




One little mistake I did make this week: you and Ellie woke up about the same time, so I went and got you and then took you to Ellie's room and set you in her crib while I got her changed and read for breakfast. Uh, now Ellie expects to see you every time she wakes up. And after I change her she wants to be back in the crib so she can play with you. I love it! I hope you two are this inseparable always.




Of course, there are also sometimes issues. Ellie still has a little trouble with sharing and tries to take your toys. We're working on it. Oh, and we had a funny conversation with Ellie at dinner:

"Do you love Truffle?" "Yes"
"Do you love Daddy" "Yup!"
"Do you love Scarlett" "No!"
Hmmmm....I'll try again
"Do you love blueberries" "Um-hmmm"
"Do you love climbing" "Climbing...Yes!"
"Do you love Frozen" "Whooosh. Yay"
"Do you love Baby Scarlett" "NONONO"

I think she is fibbing. But that sister of yours sure is a stinker!

So, those are the happenings these past couple weeks. And while it has been crazy like usual, I remain so thankful for all those little moments that we get to steal where you give me sweet smiles, or look at me all milk-drunk and woozy before you fall asleep. Time is going much too fast for my liking, but I also just love seeing your personality emerge and you interact with others. You are such a special little girl, and I am so lucky that I get to be your Mommy!

I love you,
Mommy

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2 under 2...for real.

I thought I should take a minute and write a post about how 2 under 2 is actually going. Now that the post-partum dust has settled a bit, I feel like I can look at life objectively.

Life is crazy. I asked Ryan the other day if he felt like we were just treading water. He laughed at me, gave me a hug an said "nope we're sinking."

And we are. The reality is that we will never catch up with everything we want/need to do. But at this stage of our lives, we just need to be okay with that. And we can't let the craziness of life take away from our time and appreciation of our little ones.

Overall, though it is easier than I expected. Some of that is due to Scarlett being an amazing baby. The work is constant. Don't get me wrong. I expect some of the work load will go down once Scarlett gets out of the baby phase a little and I can just double whatever I make for lunch, for example, instead of having to make Ellie something and then sit down to feed Scarlett. There are definitely some days where I feel like all I can do is change diapers and feed babies. The trick to my sanity, though, is realizing that like anything else, this season too will pass.

I love the chaos. Yes, I wish that I could walk through my kitchen just once without stepping on the fridge magnets that Ellie constantly pulls down. But there is just something about craziness and chaos that screams FUN. And we have a LOT of fun here.

Evenings are by far the hardest. Nursing 2 little ones to sleep is time consuming. When you couple that with the fact that I can't really get much done until they go to bed, and I am trying to cram all my house to-dos into about an hour of time after a full day of craziness an an hour of running between two rooms nursing, rocking, bouncing, shushing. All I want to do at that time is sit down with wine. But that doesn't work so well when there are no clean utensils in the entire house!

I am such a list maker, and the one trick that I have learned, for my sanity, is that I MUST add the little things to my list. Otherwise, it is SO easy to look at the 1 or 2 things I got crossed off my list. So I put things on there like Tummy time with Scarlett or art project with Ellie. Otherwise I feel like I got nothing done as I walk back in to restart the drier for the third time since I just can't find time to fold those clothes.

Overall, though, I really like it. I love the spacing of the girls. It is completely nutso, but so much fun!