Friday, August 30, 2013

Roasting Marshmallows

Nolan had a 'first' this vacation.  He roasted his first marshmallow.
We were all pretty concerned about the danger aspect of this experience but after he touched something warm he was really timid with the fire (which is a good thing).  HE roasted with the help of Nana and then ate it.  It was ooey gooey. 
 He seemed to really enjoy the gooeiness of it.
 But he didn't like having to wait to eat the marshmallow and had a few more straight out of the bag/raw.
 Regardless of how he prefers it, he enjoyed those marshmallows.  Next year we'll really blow his mind and make s'mores for him.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Four Month Stats

Emily is four months old, we finally got to the doctor for her checkup.  She is 25.75 inches long (89%) and 13 lbs, 10 ounces (32%).  She can roll over, from front to back and from back to front.  She can reach, grab, pull, hold onto toys.  She enjoys the exersaucer and she babbles a LOT.  She loves watching Nolan and seems to 'talk' most to him.    
Emily kept practicing her new skill of rolling onto her belly in her crib, while swaddled (and  then waking up crying) so we had to take her out of the swaddle which basically means she had to learn to sleep in a whole different way.  On the one hand, she sleeps on her belly now which is what we knew she'd prefer but on the other hand we took the pacifier away completely.  You can imagine all these changes resulted in some really hard nights and difficult days but she's getting the hang of things and just yesterday it took her 7 minutes to fall asleep for one nap and 4 for the other.  A huge improvement from 40 minutes of crying for a 40 minute nap.  She is exclusively nursing and currently takes 4 short naps throughout the day.  We'd like to eliminate the 'kitty' naps that she seems to need (and takes in the Ergo carrier) at noon and 6pm so we are also trying to extend the time between feedings and shift her to two longer naps and a catnap in the evening. 
 Emily also seems to have a bit of separation anxiety.  This would be a very early phase or just a result of the lots of changes she's been dealing with.  This makes it hard to get a break even though there are lots of willing arms to hold her.  It also makes me feel fearful of leaving her with a sitter.
Overall Emily is really pleasant and fun to be around and quite easy.  Except when she's screaming.  She's not easy then.  :)

UPDATE: I just got home from a (well deserved) night out and I guess I was right, I was called to come home early because Miss Emily wouldn't eat from a bottle. Hmmm... what can we do to fix this situation... 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Little Fish

Nolan has always enjoyed the water and swimming.  He seems frustrated that he can't swim on his own but still enjoys the water regardless.
Last year he swam out to the dock with Dad and a flotation device.  He jumped off it one day but the other days he wasn't all that interested.  This year it was a challenge to get him to come back to shore most days.  He asked everyone to swim out with him.  He LOVED jumping off the dock. 
 It was a lot of fun cheering for him and Gaga seemed very impressed by his courage and enthusiasm.  Nolan loved it.  Check out his expression in the picture below. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Playing with Gaga

It was so fun to see Nolan playing with Gaga this week.
Give Nolan a ball and a bat/club and he'll whack at it.  When he asked Gaga to pitch to him I think Nolan surprised us all by hitting nearly every ball pitched to him.  Really impressive. 
 And for sure this made Dave feel great too, to see Nolan playing on the beach the same way he grew up playing on that very same beach.  Some really nice memories were made.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Vacation

We went on vacation.  Whew, vacations are exhausting, packing and planning etc.  Nolan was a big help keeping an eye on Emily.  They did great in the car ride, considering it was 4 hours each way.  There were moments that were not ideal  but overall they were good in the car!
Emily liked to start the trip off right with a little sitting in the chair and some cool refreshments.   There were lots of big happenings on this trip.  It was relaxing to have some extra sets of hands, even if Emily wasn't the happiest camper when Dave and I both left the area/room.  But finally on the last day Nana got some nice snuggles from Emily.
 And Nolan could not decide what he was most excited to do.  He had a really really awesome trip to visit Nana and Gaga.  Really awesome.  Stay tuned for some fun filled photos.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Four Months Old

Emily is four months old.  Wow.  She is a completely different girl from the baby I whimpered about three months ago.  She rarely screams anymore and all she needs is some goofing around from Nolan to give big smiles and laughs.  She has a single HA laugh which is awesome.  She seems really close to rolling from her back to her front.  She's been sleeping through the night* since our awful attempt at sleep training one month ago.  I put an asterisk because while I no longer feed her in the middle of the night, we get up between 1-4 times at night to reinsert the darn pacifier, though sometimes only once at 5am.  This binky-madness must end.  
 While I'm thrilled our wake-ups can conceivably be quick, I often end up being awake for an hour after each pacifier reinsert which means I'm not sleeping well.  And since her naps last only between 30-45 minutes in her crib unless I run in to hold her and get her back to sleep for another 30-45 minutes I'm not getting mid-day nap either so I'M TIRED.  (ok, enough about me, back to her)
 Emily has been swimming a few times and seems to enjoy that.  She has been everywhere in every kind of baby carrier I think has ever been created.  She LOVES to look around and watch what's going on, just like Nolan does/did.  But I see huge differences between Emily and what I think Nolan was doing at this time.  Emily seems gentler.  She seems to have softer movements, when (if I remember correctly) Nolan was bopping/swatting at the toys on the playmat, Emily reaches up slowly and holds it, turning it in her hand looking at it.  She seems a little bit dainty, her little hands seem so sweet and delicate compared to Nolan's big paws.  She seems to really enjoy looking at the trees when the wind blows and being outside.  If she's fussy in the evenings we sit outside and she sometimes calms down.
Oh, and she's discovered she has a tongue.  She sticks it out about as much as it's not sticking out which is just so funny!  She puts everything in her mouth, most often her hands but she's been putting toys in her mouth too.  She likes her toys too. She has one particular toy, a bug, that she really seems to prefer.  And she also seems to prefer/enjoy a little satin blanket that we use for in the car.  She's a sweet little girl, we're surprised at how easy she seems now.  She's figuring things out and so are we.  And the fact that her non-stop screaming has ceased is a plus. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Video Friday: More Golf

video
What a summer! Nolan's been at camp and Emily and I are just enjoying some downtime.  I know Nolan doesn't go to 'school' but it feels SO much like 'back to school' time.  We got Nolan a new backpack for preschool but I think he's forgotten about it.  We won't buy him any new clothes since he has a dresser full of fantastic clothes so really he doesn't need anything for school except a new pair of shoes but the air is cooler and dry (thank you mother nature!) and we're off to NH next week and then Gramma is visiting the week after and then pre-school starts!  

It's exciting and a little sad/crazy that Nolan is going to pre-school.  He's off to somewhere that I don't know what happens.  I need to rely on him to tell me what is going on and based on the story he told me about him getting bit (which it turns out was just pinched) I'm not sure we can rely on much he tells us.  At any rate, I'm excited and sad and nervous and amazed.  He's going to preschool.  Wow.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reading Time

Nolan thought it would be fun to read to Emily.  It was SO fun to see him.  He picked out the colors book.  
Nolan would ask her, "Emily, point to something yellow" and then she would and we would all cheer.   
She's brilliant!  And he's a great big brother.

Seriously though, it's amazing to watch the two of them together.  Despite all the 'behavior' we are dealing with right now with Nolan, he is really amazing with Emily.  He talks to her in a sweet little voice.  He gives her hugs and kisses.  She just LOVES watching him. She gives him tons of smiles and even some laughs.  So sweet.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just Golfing Around

Aside from the point that this is a putter, not bad form for a little guy.
And some good goofing-around. 
 I love my zoom lens, it allows me to get these silly pictures when he doesn't realize I'm getting them.  Such a goof.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not Often

It's not often I put the roof open on my car.  Nolan tends to complain about it so I keep the roof and cover closed.  On the (rare) occasion I get to use my car sans kids I open it and LOVE it.  On this day Nolan got to play the open roof and loved it!  Maybe I should keep it open more often!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Nighttime

We didn't do it with Nolan but for some reason we decided to do it with Emily.  We give her a bath every night.  It really does seem to help her prepare for bedtime and it also helps us break up the night.  Bedtime is chaos at our house but we are not sure how to improve it.  This works, although it's chaotic.
She seems to LOVE the bath.  Really enjoy it.  I can't wait until she can splash around more.  She's still in the little baby tub. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Video Friday: Tiger Mattatall

video
We've got a golfer on our hands.  This kid loves anything that involves whacking.  After watching golf with Dad most Sunday afternoons Nolan knows all the important steps to golf... like lining up your putt.  So here he is.  What's also great is he's undeterred if he misses the ball once or twice.  I really do love how much he is into sports and how much he picks up from watching.  You should also see his pitcher's wind-up!  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blueberry Picking at Rose's Berry Farm

Rose's Berry Farm is awesome.  Seriously, we got there about 830 and had no wait for breakfast of pancakes and waffles with fresh blueberry compote (but not the sweet sickly sticky kind).  Then we played on the playground for a bit.  Everything was still wet from the dew of the cool nights but that didn't stop Nolan and a little boy from playing together.
Then when the slides dried off a bit, they played on the slide.  It's brilliant really, it's a strip of slightly flexible plastic that is adhered to the hill.  It's fun to slide down it (I know personally, yes).    
 And a great way to kill some time and spend the morning at Rose's.  Really smart playground they built, tractor tires for a climbing tower, see saws, a little slide and then these huge slides with a pond and tons of chairs to sit and enjoy the shade.
 That's what Emily did.  She hung out on the grass while Nolan ran around.  Needless to say, everyone had a great nap!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Five Star Weekend

This weekend was AWESOME (wow, it's already Wednesday?!).  Dave took Friday off and we went to the beach.  Everyone had a really great time. Emily slept in the car both ways AND in the cabana.  Nolan did a great job playing in the sand and even made a friend.  We brought the kite too which was a huge hit on the beach.  He loved running around trying to get it to fly.  I LOVED playing in the sand with him at a beach that has shells and pebbles to decorate sand castles.  And I loved that Dave went swimming with Nolan.  Nolan was so excited to show off his new swimming skills.  That afternoon we went to the playground and ended up watching a way-too-competitive-for-Little-League baseball game.  There was a family having a picnic and that gave Dave an idea.

Saturday we got dressed and ready to hit the splash pad but then it started raining so we ditched that idea and went to Dinosaur State Park.  It was a nice little thing to do for the morning,  It's a teeny museum but enough excitement for us.  Saturday afternoon guess what we did???  WE HAD A PICNIC.  Dave packed up dinner- pulled chicken sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw and grapes and we headed to the playground.  Nolan was most excited about the picnic and forewent the playground playing for the picnic.  After we took a little walk and then headed home.

Sunday we went for breakfast and picked blueberries at a local farm which was awesome (more photos of this outing to come).  And Sunday night we... well, I think we rested.  Dave and I enjoyed a cocktail on the deck and Nolan played in the yard and I think some grilling was involved.

All in all it was a 5 star weekend.  Nolan had great behavior.  Emily was in good spirits.  We got stuff done, we had lots of fun and really I wish every weekend was like this one.  Jam Packed with great times.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Camera Shy

Emily has this fantastic cheeky smile that can light up a room but when the camera is out she won't do it.  She stares a the camera, stone faced until it is pointed away from her.  So getting pictures of her animated self is a bit of a challenge.  But I got one.  Seriously, how awesome are those cheeks?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Can He Fix It?

Yes, he can!  Nolan the plumber is on the job.  We have a minor leak in our basement.
It was so funny to see him peering into the cupboard like a plumber does.  He looked with the flashlight too, can't seem to find the leak. He'll study the plumber's every move, for sure.  This boy sure loves his toys.  I just love this kid. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh Second Child

Oh Sweetie, I'm sorry we didn't get a picture of you snoozing in your cabana on your very first trip to the beach.  It wasn't because I wasn't so excited about this milestone, but rather that when you do anything with two kids you have to plan a lot and bring a LOT of stuff.  The camera was one item I remembered in the middle of the night (no, not while I was up feeding you but while I was up wondering when you'd wake up for me to feed you).  

We had an awesome trip to Hammonasett Beach on Friday.  Dave took the day off so we could go. I don't know if I've EVER been to this beach but i twas lovely.  The beach was short (ideal for a family) with not too much sand between the entrance and the water.  The sand was rough but had lots of pebbles and shells and rocks (to decorate castles with).  Nolan had a great time, brought some sand toys, some trucks, his kite and football. All were perfect.  Emily ate well on the beach and took a little snooze.  Amazing.  What a wonderful day.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Some days good...

Some days are good.  Some days are not.  I guess that's where we are.  A few days ago I actually used the word 'easy' to describe Emily.  HA!  Who would have thought?  Perhaps that was just from my high of sleeping through the night for 3 days straight.  But we are back to middle of the night wake ups - those days seem to be harder.  I'm not sure if it's HER who is more needy or me who has less patience but she does seem to function better when she sleeps from 9-6.  We need to get back to that.  It was awesome.  Dave and I already started planning our life again.  But now we're back to nighttime wakeups with difficulty getting her back to sleep.  So my day started at 4:15 today.  And I got about 20 minutes of sleep between then and 630 when we decided Emily needs her first feeding of the day to get on track for our day.  

It's a balancing act, really, with the two of them.  Since she doesn't eat well in public, without the pillow and with a cover over her, I try to only feed her at home.  So I feed her at 6:30am, 10am (before we head out for the day), 1pm (immediately after Nolan goes into his room for a nap), 3:45-4pm right before we head out for the afternoon and before Nolan comes out of his room from nap, and then we push it as LATE as we can- 8 or even 8:30 to ensure she's HUNGRY and tired.  When it works, it's not bad.  However when she has days like yesterday when she didn't want to eat between 7:00am and 12:30 (even when I offered at 10 and 11:30am) and I had to force her on at 12:30, those days are awful.  Lots of screaming and crying, at least between the two of us.

So here's to hoping for better days and nights.  I keep telling her if she just naturally gets better at sleeping I'll protect her from another attempt at sleep training.  But I'm not sure if she's picking up what I'm putting down.