Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Graham is two months old!

Yay! I'm two months old!
     Again, my monthly post about Graham is late. I'm sensing a trend here. Life is still pretty busy. We're working on a routine, but some days are better than others. 

At two months old, Graham was:
Weight: 11 pounds, 15 ounces (half a pound more than Owen at that age, for those who might be wondering); 52nd percentile
Height: 23 inches long (.7 inches shorter than Owen at one month); 48th percentile
Head circumference: 35.5 cm

    He had his two-month doctor's appointment last week. The doctor was impressed with him and said he was doing really well. And he also enjoyed listening to Graham coo at my while we were talking about him. Graham received three vaccinations and one oral medication for Rotavirus. He did well with the vaccinations and didn't cry for very long. 

       Graham basically eats every 2.5 to three hours like clockwork. He eats about four ounces at every feeding. He gets really mad if you try to burp him before he's had a couple ounces as if we regularly starve him. Graham spits up a lot still, but not every time we feed him. Hopefully it will eventually get better. We talked to the doctor about reflux, but he recommended that I give up dairy products to see if that makes a difference. It seems to have helped him some, but he still has tummy troubles from time to time. 
       I am still pumping breastmilk for him and haven't had to supplement with formula. I pump about four times a day now and am still storing milk in the freezer. 

Graham is a pretty good sleeper. He still catnaps off and on throughout the day and his only long nap time is in the afternoon about the same time Owen refuses to nap  naps. At night he generally falls asleep sometime between nine and eleven and will sleep until about 2:30 in the morning when he typically wakes up to eat. He then goes back to sleep and wakes up sometime between 4 and 5 to eat again. He went for as long as five hours of sleep this past month, which was great. I wake up with him most often in the night, but Tim will help every so often. Graham sleeps in the Fisher Price Rock and Play just outside our bedroom door because I have trouble falling asleep if I can hear his little sleepy snores and snorts. He sleeps swaddled with a pacifier (which he spits out after falling asleep) and our white noise machine playing the sound of rain. He has a soft fleece blanket that he also likes to sleep with around his face (mostly during the day when I can watch him). It seems to make him feel all warm and secure and he can sleep unswaddled when I do that. 
      Graham is still pretty fussy in the evenings and getting him to go to sleep at night is still a challenge most nights. He really likes being held upright or being rocked in the dark in our room until he falls asleep. We need to start a nighttime routine with him, but its hard since we also have to take care of Owen. It will be easier once they can bathe together. 

Other Things I Want to Remember: 
      Graham  wears size 0-3 month clothing. He size one diapers when he isn't in cloth. We are pretty much in cloth full time now though and even traveled with it for the first time last month. 
      He has a pretty good amount of hair still, though it is rubbing thin on the back on his hard a little. It has lightened some and is almost blondish in some places around his face. His eyes are still dark blue, but unlike Owen's at that age, he doesn't have a dark brown ring around his iris or pupil to make it seem like they may turn brown. Who knows though? As he is getting older, he is starting to look more and more like Owen to me. There are subtle differences of course, but they are definitely going to look like brothers. 
       My favorite thing about Graham is how talkative he is. He coos a lot and "talks" to us. And while he's doing that, he smiles a ton. It is so sweet. He also loves looking at our faces while we are talking to him. You can tell that he recognizes our faces. He also loves to watch his big brother. Graham enjoys playing peek-a-boo and smiles really big when I pop back out from whatever I'm hiding my face behind. 
       Graham frequently has gassy smiles, but I also think we've seen some real ones. He has the cutest smile thanks to the dimple in his right cheek. My favorite smile is one he gives when he is wide awake and I'm wanting to go back to sleep in the mornings. It's like, "Hey, you're up! Great! Let's hang out!" 
      He enjoys music and really loves when I sing to him.
      He likes being on his playmat for limited amounts of time and enjoys looking at the toys hanging overhead and in the mirror. He does well at tummy time and can hold his head up really well. 
       He is super strong and can hold his head up and look around. He also likes sitting up and standing up on our laps. 
      Car rides are calming and he typically falls asleep in his carseat. We made our first road trip with him last month and he did really well. He cried some, but I was able to quiet him fairly quickly and he slept most of the way. 
       He loves being in the Moby Wrap and the Beco carrier. 
       He likes feeling secure and is startled by loud noises. 
       He likes bathtime a lot more now. I tend to bathe him in the kitchen sink because it's a good level for me and it makes it easier. Bathtime tends to be quick before he gets upset.
       I have been trying to get him on a schedule like I did with Owen at this age, but I haven't been that successful yet. The plan is to have him eat, then play, and then sleep in three hour increments, but he typically wakes up early from naps instead of sleeping until he needs to be fed again.  I think that he will begin sleeping for longer stints in the night once he starts napping more regularly during the day. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Citrus Lane review (30 month old and one month old boxes)

   My October Citrus Lane boxes for Owen and Graham came while I was out of town last week, but I still wanted to share all the great products that we received. I have been really happy with our boxes over the last few months and these boxes were no exception. I will review baby brother's box at the end of the post. This month we received both a box for a 30-month-old toddler boy and a one-month-old baby boy. Though Citrus Lane has done away with themes for their monthly boxes, the ones this month all seemed to include items from bedtime and bathtime as well as musical instruments across the various age groups. 
       Here are the details on what we received in our box for our 30-month-old son:
  • Puppy Slide Whistle from Hohner Kids ($7.99): Owen has several musical instruments from Hohner Kids like a tambourine and a xylophone so this was a great addition to his collection. It took him a little bit to figure out how to use it, but now he has it down and he loves playing with it. It's definitely a fun instrument toy. 
  • Dreamz and Twinkles To Go from Cloud B ($18.95): Cloud B is one of my favorite brands for bedtime related products. We have the Sleep Sheep sound machine, a Sleep Sheep aromatherapy pillow, and the Twilight Turtle nightlight. This is a new product from the company and I am really excited about it. Its a more portable nightlight that will be easier to transport especially when we're traveling and visiting family. Owen loves his turtle nightlight and I know he will love this too. It might even be the perfect thing for when we move him into his big boy room and into his new bed. I may save it to give to him for Christmas. 
  • Bops chips from Good Boy Organics (?): These chips are gluten-free, organic and good stuff like that, but they taste like crap. Just being real. 
       The retail value of this box is a little more than $31.93, and is just a bit more than $10 over what I paid for it since I subscribe for six months at a time and get these boxes monthly for $21 rather than the $25 if you pay monthly. I didn't count the free digital subscription to Ladybug Magazine in my total because I probably won't redeem that. I prefer to keep Owen's technology time limited and would prefer to subscribe to the physical magazine over the digital one. The enclosed insert has a code to to get the magazine for $19.99, which is about $5 less than the yearly magazine subscription is normally. 

         And here is what came in baby brother's one-month-old box:

  • Elephant Shaker from Green Tones ($12): This is a super cute "instrument" for little babies. Obviously it will be a little while until Graham will be able to use it, but we can go ahead and add it to our instrument stash. The wood is very soft and smooth and isn't too loud or obnoxious. 
  • Odd Duck from Boon ($9.99): This is a repeat of an item we got back in June. There are four different styles of this duck and we got the exact same one. This wasn't too much of a bummer because I really love these ducks. They don't have holes in them so they don't get all moldy and filled with gunk like most bath toys. 
  • Gripe Water from Mommy's Bliss ($10.46): Graham has definitely been having some tummy troubles lately. I'm not sure whether this is helping or not though. Sometimes it seems like he's less gassy when I use it, but it also sort-of seems like he might spit up more after I give it to him. Not sure. Many people swear by it though. 
     The retail value of this box is about $38.44. That's a pretty good value for a box for babies and more than $17 over what I paid for the box by purchasing a multi-month discounted subscription. 

         If you would like to try Citrus Lane, you can use the code TAKEHALF to receive half off your first month in a month-by-month subscription (making your first month $12.50). Multi-month subscriptions are already discounted and there are currently no coupon codes for a discount on those. Though, if you sign up using a referral link, you will receive a $10 credit in your account. You can find my referral HERE if you wish to use it. I really love Citrus Lane and highly recommend it. I already can't wait for next month!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Owen is 2.5 years old!

      Owen turned 2.5 years old on October 1. I haven't done monthly updates in a while, but I thought I should do one at least every six months for him now. 


Owen is a pretty good eater and will eat pretty much anything that we ask him to. He does have his toddler moments where he suddenly doesn't want to eat a food that he normally loves, but he will be back to eating them again the next day. He sometimes takes forever to eat and we wind up sitting at the dining room table for centuries. His favorite foods are fruits like bananas and apples and turkey, cheese, and pepperoni sandwiches. He also loves string cheese sticks. 
      Owen prays before mealtime frequently. It is really cute and brings a smile to our faces as we listen to his precious prayers. Mostly he thanks God for "Mommy, Daddy, baby brother" and then he looks around for more ideas of things to thank God for including cars, pillows, the vacuum, and my all time favorite: the breast pump. And it ends, "In His name we pray. Amen."
Feeding himself is always a messy fun experience.


Owen is a great sleeper. He sleeps for a good 12 hours a night and naps once a day in the afternoon for an hour to two hours most days. He refuses to nap sometimes and is normally really grumpy and weepy in the evening because of it. He still sleeps in his crib because he has shown no interest in climbing out of it yet. We will move him to his big boy bed once we need to put Graham in the nursery. In the last few months Owen has taken to needing all three of his warm fleece blankets in bed with him at night. In the past few days, he has shown some fear of what might be in his closet. He also sometimes cries in the night because according to him, "I was crying because I wanted my mommy to come back." 


Owen loves being read to and will also spend tons of time looking through his books on his own. He has many of them memorized so it sounds like he's reading them himself. His room typically looks like a library exploded in it because of this. His favorite books at the moment are "The Lorax" and other Dr. Seuss books, "Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site," "Cleo's Alphabet Book," and pretty much any book with trains or animals. 
      Owen talks very well for a toddler his age and can string together sentences with many words. People constantly remark on how well he speaks for his age.
      Owen can easily recognize all the letters of the alphabet and is now learning the different sounds that each letter makes and what words begin with certain letters. He frequently asks, "What does a [insert letter here] start with?" which to him means, "What words start with the letter [insert letter]?" He is learning and remembering a lot of words and what letter they begin with. 
Reading can occupy Owen for long periods of time. 


Owen loves playing with all things that have wheels. He loves cars and has tons of them. He likes to talk about which cars belong to which family members and where they are driving to. Nine times out of ten, its to the grocery store to buy apples. He loves his Lightning McQueen ride-in car, but prefers to push it from behind around our yard or have us push him in it. He also likes riding in his wagon and exploring the yard. 
Pushing Daddy in it is also fun.  

Owen also loves putting together puzzles. He has moved on from the chunky wooden puzzles to jigsaw puzzles and puts his 12-piece puzzle together several times a day. 
He likes playing pretend food and enjoys feeding me imaginary foods and pretend cooking. He also really loves helping me cook in the kitchen. I let him sit up on the counter with me and he can help stir and measure. 
In this photo, Owen is helping my mom snap asparagus for dinner.

Owen likes building things with blocks and Legos, but neither hold his attention for very long. 
He loves music and dancing. We have dance parties several times a week. His favorite songs of the moment are "The Fox" by Ylvis and "Roar" by Katy Perry. He also loves singing along to my CDs in the car (we do not listen to kiddo music typically) and his favorite CD right now is Imagine Dragons "Night Visions." I love hearing his little voice singing in the backseat of the car. This summer, he loved watching "So You Think You Can Dance" with us sometimes and would request to watch "The People Who Dance."
I look at this photo and see glimpses of a teenage Owen. 

He is interested in all the baby paraphernalia and wants to sit in the bouncer seat or Rock and Play and lie down on the playmat. I also catch him trying to put his brother's pacifiers in his mouth since he doesn't remember ever using them himself and finds them fascinating. 
I can't lay Graham down on the play mat without Owen joining him. 

Owen, like most kiddos, loves TV and technology. We try to limit his exposure to both. He likes to play games on my Nook, including Monkey Preschool Lunchbox and a train game that teaches his about letters. He loves watching TV, but I try to limit it to one 30-minute episode a day (though he doesn't watch every day) unless we're having a rough day or baby brother needs some extra attention and I need to keep Owen occupied and contained. He still likes Thomas the Train, but his absolute favorite TV show is Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. After getting tired of watching and rewatching the same Thomas episodes, I let Owen watch several shows from PBS to find out what he liked best and Daniel was the winner. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is a great animated show based on the old show Mr Roger's Neighborhood and it teaches him lots of lessons like obeying his parents, waiting patiently, trying new foods, and not being afraid of the doctor. It has lots of cute little songs that we sing with Owen after watching the show and talk to him about what he learned.  
Owen really loves going to the park and playing on the playground. He likes running up and down ramps, swinging, and going down the slide. 
Owen enjoys helping me with chores around the house, like folding laundry and unloading the dishwasher. He also likes to help me with stuffing his cloth diapers and throwing them in the laundry basket. I am trying my best while he is young and doesn't see it as work to teach him to help around the house. For now, he thinks we're playing. 
I don't have the heart to tell him that this isn't exactly helpful. 

We took Owen to his first movie in a movie theater in August and he had a great time. We took him to see Planes as a special treat before his brother was born. I definitely recommend going to an early matinee because there are tons of kids there and people don't mind if your kid talks a little. Though Owen was pretty quiet and sat through the entire thing in either Tim's or my lap. 
My handsome boys.

Owen became a big brother in August and is doing a great job adjusting. He loves his brother and wants to hold him or kiss him a lot. He also makes shushing noises when Graham cries or brings me his pacifier. 
Brotherly love is so sweet.

Other Things I Want to Remember:

Owen wears size 5 diapers when he is in disposables. He loves wearing cloth diapers and enjoys picking out which diaper he wants to wear next. Potty training is still not happening. Not while we have a newborn and Owen also still shows no interest in using the toilet or even telling me when he has used the bathroom in his diaper. 
He is wearing 18-24 month and size 2T clothing. Size 2T is still pretty big on him in most brands and I have to roll up the sleeves and pant legs, but I feel silly buying the smaller size in winter clothes since hopefully he will be able to wear the 2T size later in the winter. Baby Gap size 2T actually fits him the best of most of the brands I have tried out. 
He is wearing size 7.5 and size 8 shoes. 
We are working on obedience still (obviously this in an ongoing lesson). Lately when I ask him to do something that he doesn't want to do he will say, "Mommy, don't say [insert whatever I'm asking him to do.]" He doesn't really say "No" to things. For a little while there when he wanted to do something that he knows he shouldn't do he would ask us to leave the room. 
Isn't he such a handsome boy?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Graham is one month old!

       This post is a little late, but life with two under 2.5 is pretty crazy and busy. But I am getting the hang of it and while the dishes aren't always done right away and there is always a load of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, I have managed to keep both kids (and the husband) alive for over a month now. Yay! 
       Having two kids though makes time fly by even faster. I cannot believe that Graham is already more than a month old. He is growing and changing so fast and I know he'll be crawling and walking and talking in no time. But for now, here's what he's been up to...

At one month old, Graham was:

Weight: 9 pounds, 11 ounces (six ounces less than Owen at that age, for those who might be wondering) 
Height: 20.75 inches long (an inch shorter than Owen at one month)

       Graham has done a lot of losing and gaining weight since he was born. He got down to 7 pounds 9 ounces at his lowest weight after birth and was back up to 8 pounds 10 ounces at two weeks old. Now he is at 9 pounds and 11 ounces which is almost exactly on track for the one ounce a day the pediatrician wants him to gain. We had a lot of issues with Graham losing weight at the beginning and were having to go to the doctor every other day to have them check on him so I'm happy that his weight is going up and he's growing great. 

       Graham was also jaundiced after his birth and we had to check that. Another struggle we had during the first month was with a yeast rash. I am not exactly sure how it started, but it was on my nipples from breastfeeding and appeared as thrush in Graham's mouth. We took him to the doctor for his two week check-up and the doctor prescribed an oral antifungal medicine for his thrush. Then a week or two later after I had taken an antibiotic to get rid of it in me, his yeast infection reappeared as a really bad diaper rash. He is almost completely healed from that now after lots of baking soda baths, diaper free time, an antifungal cream, and Aquafor. 


       Graham basically eats every 2.5 to three hours like clockwork. He eats about three ounces at every feeding, but at a month old we began feeding him four ounces at a feeding. Graham seems to spit up a ton and we go through burp rags and clean outfits like crazy. I am constantly doing laundry because of this. 
       I breastfed for almost a week with Graham, but with his weight issues and the yeast infection which made it very painful for me and risked us passing the infection back and forth, I began pumping and have continued that like I did for Owen. I really enjoyed breastfeeding to begin with, but it quickly became frustrating and excruciatingly painful. I felt a lot of guilt initially from giving it up and tried meeting with a lactation consultant several times. Unfortunately, breastfeeding is difficult for me in general and Graham is what I would call a narcoleptic piranha (he tries to bite my nipples off and then falls asleep before getting anything to eat). Pumping is not ideal, but it is what I'm used to and I like knowing exactly how much Graham is eating (he only began gaining weight and his jaundice went away after I started pumping and bottlefeeding) and I like that Tim and our family members can feed him as well. And lucky for me, I have a great milk supply and have even begun freezing breastmilk. I have over 180 ounces in the freezer. I pump about five times a day to get between 30 and 40 ounces of breastmilk. 


Graham is a pretty good sleeper. He catnaps off and on throughout the day and his only long nap time is in the middle of the afternoon about the same time Owen naps (yay!) At night he generally falls asleep sometime between nine and eleven and will sleep for 2.5 to 3 hours before needing to be fed. Then he will sleep for another 2.5 to 3 before wanting to eat again. And then he will sleep for another 2.5 to 3 before needing to be fed again. His typical nightly wake-up times to eat are between 1 and 2, sometime around 4 and again at between six and seven. I wake up with him most often in the night, but Tim will help with a feeding every couple of nights and will sometimes on the weekend handle two feedings in a row to allow me to sleep more. Graham currently sleeps in the Fisher Price Rock and Play in our bedroom. He sleeps swaddled with a pacifier (which he spits out after falling asleep) and our white noise machine playing the sound of rain. He is a very noisy sleeper and is frequently grunting as he either tries to break out of the swaddle or use the bathroom. It makes it very difficult for me to sleep since I am basically attuned to any little sound he makes and will wake up or be unable to fall back asleep when he is making these noises. He also spits up a ton after eating in the night because he is straining so hard that he causes himself to spit up. 
      Graham is most fussy in the evenings. I wouldn't call it colic, but he does want to be held and he really fights going to sleep. We take turns holding him and rocking him and pretty much every other trick we know until he falls asleep. 

Other Things I Want to Remember: 

      Graham can wear size newborn and size 0-3 month clothing. He wears newborn and size one diapers when he isn't in cloth. We had to take a hiatus from cloth diapers while he had his yeast infection because the infection can contaminate the diapers and then the rash can reappear.  
      He has lots of hair. It has lightened some and is almost blondish in some places around his face. His eyes are dark blue and we are interested to see whether they will turn brown like Owen's and mine or remain blue like his Daddy's eyes.
       Graham frequently has gassy smiles and we cannot wait to see a real one. He smiles with one side of mouth and has a dimple in his right cheek. 
        Graham has been pretty fussy this month, though he has been through a lot with all of his issues so I can't really blame him. He is pretty fussy anytime he is awake and only has brief awake periods where he is content. He mostly wants to be held when he is awake and cries off and on if I try to put him down on his playmat or in his bouncer seat. He is definitely a momma's boy and seems to calm down quicker when I am holding him. He is also calmed by being swaddled, though he still puts up a fight against it. Car rides are calming and he typically falls asleep in his carseat. 
        Graham does not hate tummy time as much as his brother and is already really good at holding up his head. He is amazingly strong for such a little baby and is always trying to lift his head and look around and tries to stand up in his carrier and on our laps. He actually drives me crazy because he is always trying to push away from me in his carrier and I have to hold behind his head to make sure he doesn't lose head control and hurt himself. Eventually he falls asleep though. The Moby Wrap is still one of my favorite newborn must-haves and helps us calm Graham and get him to sleep.
        Graham hated his first bath and continues to dislike being bathed most of the time, but he is getting better. He tolerates it if I make it fast. 
        Like most babies, he is entranced by ceiling fans and lights.
        Big brother Owen is quite in love with him and enjoys getting to hold him and helping with diaper changes. He also wants to try to feed Graham his bottle and will try to help put his pacifier back in his mouth if he is crying. Owen tries to hug and kiss his brother a lot and I have to keep an eye on him to make sure he isn't accidentally hurting Graham. 
       Graham and Owen, like most siblings, are alike and different in many ways. I enjoy seeing the ways they are similar, but it seems like Graham is trying to make it known that he is his own person and has his own personality and likes and dislikes. I am excited to see more of these similarities and differences as Graham gets older.