Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1 month

Today marks 1 month since Silas Paul joined our family. When I was overdue and anxiously waiting for labour to start, my mom commented that before I knew it this baby would be one month old. She was right!

They've started giving new parents a DVD about crying when you leave the hospital with your newborn. There really isn't a whole lot of information in it that's new to me, but I did learn that the peak crying period for babies is between 2-6 weeks. So, we are right in the midst of it! It's reassuring to know that it can't really get any worse than this. Silas is a pretty good baby but there has been a lot more crying in the last week. Mostly as he struggles to get himself to sleep and stay sleeping. If I can persevere and get him to have his whole nap (instead of giving in and letting him wake early) he will take in a much better feed, be more content and be able to stay awake for longer. Of course, hearing him cry is easier said than done...

Catching a little cat nap by the window:

He continues to do quite well at night - giving me 4 hours minimum and sometimes 5 (one night almost 6!) The problem last week was that for the next half of the night he wanted to get up every hour or 2. I figured it was probably because he was sleepy and wasn't taking in a full feed in the middle of the night so I've started unwrapping him and sometimes changing him after his long stretch so that he'll nurse for longer. So far it seems to be working.

This kid loves the swing - thank goodness!

I'm really trying to be intentional with the older kids to give them their "mommy time". It's easy with Micah since him and I have time to ourselves when Keziah is sleeping. We often play Candy Land or work on activity books for part of that time. But it's a little more tricky with Keziah. The only time I have alone with her is when we've put Micah to bed (he still goes down before she does). So, I'm going to try to use that time to read books with her and give her some focused attention so she knows that Mama still loves her! She calls me Mama all the time now, and what's really cute about it is that she emphasizes the 2nd syllable instead of the first :)

I bought her these new jammies over the weekend and I LOVE them:

My creative juices have been flowing as I try to think of activities to keep everyone busy and happy these days:

We've also been enjoying some sunny spring weather!

I realized that I don't have a single picture of myself since I left the hospital a month ago. Erik never takes pictures. But Micah is a very willing photographer!

Keziah being a goof:

A little bit better:

On a side note, Erik came home with this little beauty the other night:

I am thrilled to have a 2nd TV for our bedroom - especially with hockey playoffs coinciding with shows like "The Biggest Loser"!

Also, if you can get a good look at the cabinets in our kitchen, Erik has been working hard to refinish them. They were an "early 90's" style when we moved in. Erik took off the doors and framed each one and repainted them. We just need to add some new hardware, but they already look so fresh and new! It really makes a big difference in our kitchen.

Anyway, I hear my youngest mewing for his milk so I'm off...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Do I Have to Have a Title?

Today marks the start of another week and it was a beautiful day - shorts and t-shirt worthy even!

So, it looks like Silas is going to be a spitter. In the last couple of days he's been having huge spit-ups after some of his feeds. It might just be a Toews boy thing. Micah was a huge puker too, while Keziah rarely spit up. I could confidently burp her on my shoulder without a burp cloth in place (which sometimes freaked out other parents who wouldn't dare burp their babies without having something to catch the fountain of spit-up...) I really got used to it, but now, after going through several outfits (his and mine), I realize I'm going to have to be more careful.

Naptime was getting to be a bit of a challenge with Silas in the last week. I found I was holding him and rocking him for a good chunk of the day so that he would fall asleep (or fall back asleep after waking too early from a nap). I am stubbornly sticking to our 3 hour schedule as best as I can (roughly 1 hour of being awake and 2 of napping). So, today I started letting him fuss a bit when I put him down for his naps. I had to go in several times today to settle him, but I already noticed by the end of the day that he was settling quicker and actually staying asleep for his whole nap. I heard him fussing a few moments ago after the 1 hour mark of his nap (when he usually thinks it's time to wake up), but he fell right back asleep without me having to go in there. So, hopefully this will continue! And as for nighttime sleep, he's given me a couple of 5 hour stretches which are the longest yet. So, we're going in the right direction!

My kids look so much alike as babies - especially Keziah & Silas - can you tell which one is which in these pictures?
Read to the end of this post for the answer...

This weekend it became quite evident that Keziah is becoming a daddy's girl. I know that a big reason is the fact that Mommy just doesn't have the same amount of time for her. But it's gotten to the point where, if Erik is around, she will not let me do ANYTHING for her. I tried to take her to the bathroom during the church service and she threw a fit! I made her come with me anyway, knowing that she had to go, and she flat out refused to sit on the potty. I knew there was no way I could make her pee. And sometimes you just have to choose your battles. It's been interesting to see this shift in her. Part of me feels an eensy bit hurt, while another part is kind of relieved that I'm off the hook for helping her when Erik is around :)

I love finding the kids in strange sleeping positions. Here they were the other night when we checked on them at 10:30...

And the other night when we headed to bed we were surprised to find this in the hallway:

Unfortunately we also noticed the strange lump in the back of her pull-up. Yep. Poop in the pants. So disgusting to clean up after spending the day cleaning tiny little newborn poops.

On Saturday we went up to Erik's job-site at Cultus Lake and met some of the family for a picnic lunch at Spring Bay:

We have been getting SO much food from people which has been wonderful! My freezer is still packed with meals from before and I've barely had to touch them. I won't have to make supper for weeks yet :) The only problem is that I'm so hungry. All. The. Time. I can't stop thinking about food and there is way too much yummy stuff to munch on throughout the day. I've been trying to go out walking (usually alone after Erik gets home from work) and/or do my 20 minute pilates video (which can turn into an hour - or remain unfinished - if the kids interrupt me enough times...) but I've still got a ways to go to be back to "normal". I've never had a baby this close to summer and I just don't have enough time to fit into my summer clothes! I may be wearing sweat pants until the end of August :P

And the answer to the trivia question is... Silas is on the left, Keziah is on the right. I think she looks just a touch more feminine than he does :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Catching Up

It's getting hard for me to keep up with the blog these days. I've got pictures piling up and no time to post them! So, here is my attempt to catch up a little bit...

Silas is over 2 weeks old now and I think we're adjusting quite well. I'm really enjoying most aspects of the baby phase - it's fun to have a newborn around again - but the hard part is the time it takes away from Micah and Keziah. I go through my days struggling with the inevitable "mommy guilt" - Am I giving them enough focused attention? Am I letting them get away with too much? Am I being too hard on them? Are they getting enough stimulation?

Keziah is definitely giving new meaning to the terrible twos - she can be extremely stubborn and particular about things. She's been spending quite a bit of time on the "naughty step" these days... And Micah is definitely needing more stimulation throughout the day. I think if preschool started right now he would be ready for it, but now we'll have to wait until September. I hear the words "I'm bored" several times throughout the day.

Micah has been a little rough with Silas a couple of times - I think as a way to get our attention. One day he decided to just pick him up all on his own. Good thing we were close by and stopped him before he got too far! And the other day Silas was in the baby swing and Micah decided to give him a BIG push. Silas toppled forward onto the floor but was surprisingly unharmed. The swing is very low to the ground and it was partly my fault for not buckling him in (though I don't think the buckle would've stopped him from toppling considering the angle Micah pushed him at!) Erik sent Micah to a time-out and disciplined him quite harshly. When his time-out was over and Erik went to talk to him about what happened, Micah started bawling. I think it finally sunk in that he could've really hurt Silas. It's probably good that he felt so guilty, but it was also heartbreaking to see him feeling so bad!

Keziah would probably smother Silas if I let her. Sometimes when I'm trying to feed him she's practically crawling on top of both of us so she can shower him with kisses. Everything he does elicits the same response from her: "He's so tute!"

The nights have been going alright so far. Silas is usually up twice to eat but generally sleeps straight through between feedings so I can't really complain. He had one night of waking only once and I keep hoping he will do it again but so far there have been no repeat performances :) The last few nights he's woken up at 2 am like clockwork (after sleeping a 4 hour stretch) but then wants to get up every 2 hours after that. I find sometimes that I start feeding him before my foggy brain can even compute how much time has elapsed from the last feed. So last night when he got up again after a 2 hour stretch I walked with him and sat in the rocker until he fell back to sleep. Hopefully we can get him out of that habit, though giving him a quick feed is awfully tempting so I can get straight back to sleep!

I am certain that Silas smiled at me the other day. I know it would be really early for him to do this at just 2 weeks, but Erik even thought he saw him smile. He gave us a few "smiling" looks" over the weekend, but no matter how much we coo over him now, we haven't seen that look for a few days...

I've been reflecting on how my parenting style has evolved from 1st baby to 3rd. With Micah I had absolutely no schedule. I fed him when he cried and had no game plan to get him to sleep through the night. With Keziah, I implemented more schedule and tried some different things before finding what worked for us. This time around I feel like I've finally figured it out. I kind of feel like Micah and Keziah were my practice babies, and this time I get to do it the "right" way from the start - ha ha.

Anyway, onto the Easter festivities... It was neat for us to talk with Micah about the Easter story this year and watch him start to grasp some of the concepts. I think his awareness of death and life relates a lot to his Uncle Nathan so when we explain that Jesus died but didn't stay dead, he seems to understand how extraordinary that is.

Easter didn't go by without a few treats, either. I made a little Easter egg hunt for the kids in the house. They loved it and we've had fun playing Easter egg hunt every day since! Thankfully the kids don't mind that the eggs no longer have candy in them - I guess they still like the thrill of the hunt! They also got to colour and decorate eggs and have another hunt at Grandma's house on Sunday.

Sorry Silas, no candy for you this year... Mommy has eaten enough for the both of us (thanks to my insatiable hunger!!)

Because of Micah's perpetual boredom and some really nice sunny weather, I finally ventured out to the park with all three kids yesterday. I've been putting it off, but it really was quite easy. In fact, it's probably easier now than it will be in a few months when Silas won't sleep just anywhere.

So, once he was fed, we headed down to Delair park. Silas slept the entire time...

Keziah's hair is finally getting longer. I'm not sure how long to let it get before I trim it... I think I'll wait a little bit longer.

Checking on her baby brother.

I used to convert my single stroller into a double, and now I've figured out that I can convert my double stroller into a triple! That is, as long as everyone is getting along and doesn't mind being a little squished...

Well, I'd better stop there - considering it's taken me 3 days to finally finish this post!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lunch at the Lake

Erik's been working with a friend at Cultus Lake doing a cabin renovation. On Wednesday us wives drove out with our kids so we could all have lunch together. Unfortunately the beautiful weather from earlier in the week was over and it was overcast and chilly, but the kids still had fun!

Rocks in his crocs.

A tickling feather.

Here are the kids with their new triplet friends. They all got to go on a boat ride after we ate lunch.

This picture is so cute - too bad the camera strap got in the way...

We're ready! Let's get going!!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Photo Shoot

Today I finally had the chance to get some good shots of Silas for his baby announcements. Since my sister Erin is too far away to take the actual pictures (check out her work on her photo blog), I figured the next best thing was to take my own and get her to format a birth announcement for me. Here are a few of my favourites...