Friday, January 29, 2016

ten months

Size: Ezra is wearing size 4 diapers and 6-12 and 12-18 month clothes (mostly the 12-18 months ones ...hello, CHUB!) Uriah hit a weight plateau at this age and started thinning out, but I don't think Ezra has any plans to follow in her brother's footsteps. Comparing pictures, she's definitely chubbier than he was at this age. I didn't know that was possible! 

Eat: Ezra is still mostly nursing, 5-7 times a day, and eating solids 1-3 times a day. She is so interested in food and wants to sit at the table and eat if we are, even if she just ate and isn't really hungry. There's not much she doesn't like, though if it's nearing bed time she does get a little pickier. We haven't tried acidic fruits in awhile since they messed with her refluxes a few months back, so maybe we'll try some new things in the near future. Sweet potato, banana, pear and smoothies are her favorites, though she'll eat little pieces of anything off our plates! I've been making all her food like I did for Uriah, though finding the time is a little bit harder the second time around so her diet hasn't been as varied, but she (and her weight!) doesn't seem to mind! 

Teeth: Little miss has four teeth - her bottom two and the beginnings of her top two (they're well past breaking skin but still can't quiet be seen in her sweet smile) You'd never know based on her attitude, but she's got what looks like three teeth right on the cusp of coming in, too. Those top two teeth gave us all a little bit of hell, but, just like her brother, the rest don't seem to bother her too much. Thank goodness! (knock on wood!)

Sleep: Ezra is sleeping through the night (again!!) with the exception of the occasional 3-5 am waking, usually due to her brother sneaking out to join us in our bed a little too loudly. She can be rocked or cuddled back to sleep or to a drowsy enough state to lay her back down, but I've learned if I nurse her, she'll sleep in, so... It makes for a shorter 4 am waking for all of us ;) She wakes in the morning between 5:30-8 (which is a long span, yes, and all dependent on that middle of the night waking, or lack thereof) She takes her morning nap around 8 (assuming she slept through the night and got up at 6) and it is easily one of the best parts of my day. She crawls onto my lap clinging to her blankey and the three of us will read a few books before Uriah lets me rock her to sleep. It takes the light going off, throwing her blankey over my shoulder and about 3 rocks back and forth in the chair before her head gets heavy and her eyes shut. It's magical and I stay in there well past getting her to sleep just to stare at her sweet face. She typically naps for at least an hour and we're then out the door around 10. She might snooze in the car (or carrier or stroller) on our way home, but goes down for her afternoon nap around 12:30, after lunch. She'll usually give me another hour (plus) of sleep before she wakes up and gets to spend some one on one time with momma. The third evening nap is still come and go, some days more necessary than others, but more often than not she just ends up in the Ergo around 4 until dinner time and is as happy as a clam through bath time until bed time which ranges from 6:30-7:30.

Milestones: SHE SAYS "MOMMA!" Which she'd said before, but is now saying it more often and in the right context ;) She is also standing, all. the. time! and can lower herself down to the ground instead of plopping on her bum. The other day I caught her flipping pages in her book while standing...! So she's definitely becoming more balanced. It's so fun to see because Uriah learned to walk first, then stand and Ezra is doing it opposite. She's taken one step at a time and is desperate to walk, walking along the walls and with our finger, but I think we're still a month or so out from that. (UPDATE: I wrote all this a couple days ago, 1/26/16, three days after she turned 10 months, and today, 1/29/16, just before I (finally!) took these pictures, she stood up in the middle of the room with zero assistance and took three steps! She then proceeded to show off and took four steps two more times. I guess this walking thing is closer than we thought!) She waves (to everyone! it's so cute to watch her making friends form inside the stroller as we pass strangers on the street!), claps (about everything!), can show us "one" on her fingers, puts her hands on the side of her face when we say, "uh oh!", can show us how big she is when we say, "how big is Ezra?!" and can sign "all done", "more" (though that one usually translates as clapping) and "nurse" (we use the sign for "milk"). She is still saying "dada" and has her own version (really close to the real thing!) for "Uriah" and "doll". 

Likes: Ezra loves her boys - "dada" and "i-uh". She will follow them anywhere, smile and stare at them all day long and giggle at their silly tricks. She lights up when Stephen comes home and it melts my heart every single time. A daddy, son bond is one thing (an amazing thing!), but a daddy, daughter bond is a whole other ball game! She loves playing chase, hide and seek and jumping on the bed with Uriah. She loves her doll (thanks, Ashley!), the one girly toy we have in the whole house. She is always walking with her walker, reading books (she will be content to sit by the bookshelf flipping the pages of all her books for twenty plus minutes!) and playing with Uriah's superheroes. She loves the bath, being worn in the Ergo, anything outside and thinks standing on the couch is a huge privilege. She loves Uriah's cash register, the play kitchen utensils and emptying the (real) kitchen cabinets. Tickling, pretending to eat her toes or sniffing the back of her neck will get you a smile and a giggle every time! She is always babbling, smiling, content and happy. Always. Really! Everyone who sees her, knows her or spends any amount of time with her will tell me repeatedly how sweet and happy she is! 

Dislikes: Miss Ezra still doesn't like laying down in the bathtub, but she doesn't mind the water poured all over her face...? She doesn't like it when Uriah cries and either ends up crying too or repeatedly coming over to check on him (aka, crawl all over him until he pushes her aside). She also dislikes Uriah taking a toy out of her hand. Ok, she hates it. And, well, I think that's it...! I told you - happy and content! She gets fussy, don't get me wrong - 4-5 is usually a rough hour around here, but her unhappiness is always easily fixed. 

Things I want to remember: Her perfectly chubby, soft cheeks that I could (and do!) kiss all day long! The smell and feel of her fuzzy little head on my cheek. The size and depth of her leg rolls and wrist creases. How she fits perfectly under the dining room table. Her big, truly happy, joyful smile that makes her eyes disappear. The way she breathes through her mouth or heavily breathes through her nose and has such a breathy laugh. The way she stands up and then claps at herself for standing up. The way she holds my hand to her face when she's nursing. The way she licks the glass door (!!) Her "doy, doy, doy" babbles and the way she is constantly blowing her lips at everyone and everything. In general, I want to remember her joy. She exudes so. much. JOY!

To me, ten months is officially almost a year. Miss Ezra, you are almost ONE! I know they say "the days are long but the years are short", but the days are short with you, sweet girl - I just can't get enough! You are such a light in our world - so beautiful and sweet and joyful and goofy...! Perfection, if there were such a thing. You are loved deeply, baby girl, and I hope you always feel that in our warm hugs, endless kisses and bed time prayers. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

it won't always be this way

I wish I could tell him that it won’t always be this way. 

She won't always think you hung the moon. She won't always want to do whatever you're doing, go wherever you go. She won't always look at you with awe and wonder, smile and laugh at every silly little thing you do. She won't always enjoy your singing.

She won't always want to play with your toys or being so willing to share her own. She won't always be this little, little enough for you to hold her or knock her over. 

No one will ever pay this much attention to you - think you’re this cool, this important, this exciting. 

One day she'll turn her cheek to your kisses, fold her arms at your hugs. She'll walk away with her toy, tattle to mom or send a punch right back. She'll roll her eyes at your stories and laugh at your dance moves. 

I wish I could tell you this, as you yell at her, "no!", push her aside or leave her behind. I wish I could make you see and feel her love and desire toward you, to be with you. She's just a baby. And it won't always be this way. 

But then I think maybe I need to know and understand this just as much as you do. 

It won't always be this way. 

You won't always follow me to the bathroom simply because you enjoy my company. You won't always ask so many questions or tell me so many stories. You won't always want to sit in my lap, fit in it, either. You won't always want to hold my hand or ride my back. You won't always fall asleep in my arms or request bedtime songs. You won't always think I'm funny or smart. You won't always cry when I drop you off at church. 

One day you will be embarrassed by my dance moves and public kisses. You'll discover Google and learn that maybe mom's not so smart and you'll stop asking questions. You'll talk more to your friends and shut the door on my face. You'll be too big for my lap. You will jump out the car at school with no need for an escort, without so much as a goodbye. 

I wish I could remember this as I ask you to wait, tell you, "not now". You're just a little boy. And it won't always be this way. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

you asked, I answered: life with two littles

Finally finalizing the last two posts in my "you asked, I answered" series because I'm here at Starbucks BY MYSELF. Just let that sink in for a minute, would 'ya?

Nice, huh? Stephen's been working outpatient for the month of January, meaning he gets home before Uriah goes to bed and has weekends off... Weekends OFF! So, here I am, by myself, finally getting around to that blogpost I promised when you asked on Instagram to describe my life with two littles and the transition to a family of four.

Gosh, where do I start? My experience has been totally skewed with the move that occurred when Ezra was three months old. I honestly think our adjustment would have gone much smoother differently had we been staying in the same house, in the same town, in the same job. But! That's life. And maybe it would have been worse. Though, honestly, it's hard to imagine that being possible...

In terms of introducing the big sibling to the new arrival, I was given really great advice on that matter and think we handled that situation best we could. Weeks before Ezra was born, we started putting things of hers out around the house. I didn't do it intentionally, I was just nesting and anxious and eager and wanted to see it all, clean it all and organize everything. Uriah took interest, though, and it started a lot of really great conversations. We let him sit in her carseat, practice rocking her rocker, "help" me fold her clean clothes, pick out a stuffed animal for her bed... I think it made him feel a part of the preparation and it gave him an opportunity to ask questions and for us to explain things - he started to get used to having her around before she was actually around.

Though it won't work out for everyone, we had a brief window of time that Uriah got to come see me in the hospital before he went home to bed and Ezra made her entrance. The goodbye was hard, but he got to see me awake and well and it made her immediate entrance into our lives a lot more real for him, I think. Like, he could see that she was coming, not just that we left the house and came back with a baby, he knew where we were and what we were doing and where she came from. Sorta ;)

The next day, my parents brought Uriah to the hospital to meet Ezra. I was glad we had someone he knew really well and was comfortable with bring him. It made it more special for me (and for them to be a part of that!) but it made Uriah more at ease, too. When he came in the room, Ezra was in the bassinet - Stephen and I were waiting for him with open arms. That was something someone else told us to do to make him feel like she hadn't completely taken over. After hugs and kisses for us both (and reassuring him I was fine regardless of the needle in my arm) we asked if he wanted to meet Ezra. Gosh I was so eager for him to see her and hold her, but I tried so hard to do it on his terms. Luckily, he said yes, but had he said no, I would have pointed her out in the bassinet and just said, when you're ready she'd love to meet her big brother. Stephen held her as he sat on my lap and, another piece of advice we were given, she "gave him" a present. It was a dinosaur book and to this day when you ask who gave it to him he'll proudly say, "Ezra!" We let him flip through the book before we asked if he wanted to hold his baby sister. Again with the doing it on his terms - I always asked and never told or assumed or pressured him.

The rest of the hospital visit was just as dreamy and easy as their first meeting. He quickly learned that he got love and attention for being sweet to his baby sister so he gave her repeated kisses and hugs and asked to hold her multiple times. When it was time for him to go, Stephen went with him to put him down for a nap at the house. Time with just dad, away from baby talk, was good for him, I think, and it allowed us to ease him into it all.

(Though I wasn't thinking through it all this much as it was happening, this is how I see it unfolded as I look back.)

The last piece of advice that I got in reference to baby girls arrival was the coming home bit. "Lay her on the living room floor and live life with her." It went something like that. Uriah was sleeping when we got home, so we had a chance to unpack and settle in. He was excited to see us when he woke up - excited enough to overlook the baby laying on the living room floor. We let him look at her, touch her, ask questions about her until his attention changed and he gave up caring. Again, it was all on his terms.

I never asked him if he wanted to hold her after that first time in the hospital. I never asked him if he loved her or if he would give her a kiss. I would talk about how much we loved them both, how much she loved him, what a good big brother he was, how happy we were to have two babies... I was just trying to put all the love and good vibes out there for him to pick up on.

Ezra was two or three weeks old before Uriah asked to hold her on his own, and it was well worth the wait. The holdings, the kisses, the hugs... It all came and went, and that was ok with me. Balance. There is a lot of balance those first few weeks, months, even know, almost one year in.

In the first week she was born, I made sure to spend some time with Uriah outside the house. I think we just went to the grocery store, but it meant the world to him, and to me. I also made sure to get some time with just him while sister was sleeping or with dad each day. Sometimes it was just a few minutes, groggy in bed, and sometimes it was a solid hour playing card games on the living room floor. Balance.

Ezra was three months old when Uriah hit her for the first time. It was the day Stephen started residency and the day my mom flew back to Idaho. I could say it all went downhill from there, but really, every valley has a hill on the other side and even if the lows of parenting are low, the highs are just as high.

Uriah still hits Ezra. Or kicks her or knocks her down or drops the Bumbo on her head (!!!), but he also kisses her goodnight and asks to hold her in his lap and is constantly trying to make her laugh and shares his toys (occasionally) and gives her his Cheerios and... Their blooming relationship is worth all the sleepless nights and quarrels.

It's a learning process for everyone. Take your time. Find your groove, your balance. For the rest of it, there's grace. Give yourself lots and lots of grace.

Saturday, January 2, 2016


December has come and gone. It was such a magical month with Uriah - all the lights and music and Christmas hype... We worked our way through an advent calendar that lead to Christmas crafts all over all walls, too many treats, Christmas movies on repeat and stacks of Christmas books from the library. He was too young to understand much, if any, of Christmas last year, but this year he was such a fun age! And it's only going to get better, too! I loved the holiday season so much more through his eyes. I was worried that Stephen's schedule (he was getting one day off a week, was on call Christmas Eve and worked Christmas day) was really going to throw me for a loop, emotionally. This was our first Christmas away from family and I assumed the lack of normalcy was going to make it less, Christmas-y. Much to my surprise, though, it was as close as we could get to perfect. Maybe because this is our new normal and that's starting to feel normal...? Celebrating Christmas a day later turned out to be such a gift. While everyone else was back to busy - taking down their tree, returning gifts, after Christmas sale shopping, back to work - we got to share one extra day of Christmas magic. It was so simple and so quiet and so truly wonderful. Of course we missed our families, but it was such good timing for us to spend our first Christmas just the four of us in our own home - we needed that. We did have a special visitor the month of December, though - my dad came to celebrate his birthday with us! Having him here made the holidays feel a little more like the holidays. We took him to the beach, toured campus, drug him to Target, included him in art projects and Lego play... The kids love their Papa and I loved having him around to keep me company. The in-between parts of the month were filled with our usual errands, park dates, hospital visits and days spent playing in our jammies. It was a good month and a great way to end what had been a good, long, hard year. And now, on to January!