Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another month come and gone

Life continues to zoom into the next season.

Michael was gone for 8 days and I was alone with both girls. It was a loooong week. By the fourth or fifth day I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the rest of the week. I did make it, of course. But it was rough. There were typical toddler tantrums. A recently potty trained toddler who still has accidents for no rhyme or reason. A nursing baby who often wanted to eat right when Ellie needed to sit on the potty or go down for a nap. Ellie missed her Daddy and often asked for him during crying fits or at bedtime. I've decided that the bedtime routine night after night is the most difficult part of being spouse-less.

My sweet Hazel is definitely learning to be a patient second child. It's often necessary to put her down, even in the middle of nursing, to tend to Ellie, and most of the time she patiently waits for me to return. The most difficult times are when she's fed up and mad and lets me know by crying or screaming. The worst of these moments seemed to happen around bedtime, when Ellie was in the bath or had an accident needing clean up. Ah. To be a second child and have to share attention...
But, we made it through the week. Michael has another long stint of work stuff coming up in the Northwest but luckily we get to join him and visit friends and family in Oregon while he works.
Hazel is 11 weeks old. Today she weighed in at 12 lbs. 12 oz. She's in the 75th percentile for height and weight, whereas Ellie was always about 50th for weight and 90th for height. It's fun to see their differences. She's been sleeping through the night for weeks. I feel bad (and guilty for complaining about anything) when I talk to parents who have older babies (sometimes even toddlers) because Hazel eats and sleeps like a pro. I usually feed her around 7PM and put her down for the night by 7:30 or 8:00. I wake her up once at 10:00 before I go to bed to feed her again, then she sleeps straight through until I have to wake her up between 7:30-8:00AM. Yes, I'm a lucky, lucky mama. We thought Ellie did well at this age and Hazel has outshone her. If it's any consolation to those sleepless parents out there, Ellie has been waking up a bit in the night with nightmares or something (mostly while Michael was gone), and also wakes up earlier sometimes in the morning due to potty training.
In between the hectic moments I'm trying to soak up this stage of our lives. The new baby that's not-so-new anymore and growing like a weed. She gained two pounds this month and is already wearing 6 month clothes. The potty trained girl who will be turning two in a few weeks. Ellie is growing and changing and amazing me more every day. She knows and recognizes all of the capital letters of the alphabet. (H-Hazel, D-Daddy, M-Mommy, O-Oscar, C-Cookie, etc.) Her vocabulary surprises me literally every day as she busts out new words. She's funny, sweet, and endearing. She loves being an older sister and adores Hazel, always needing to know her baby sister's whereabouts.

It's a precious, precious time.

Photo Book: Sisters

I made this photo book and thought it was too fun not to share. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sometimes Mommy Needs to Chill Out

Ellie is doing really well. I'd say she's basically potty trained during the day, with only an occasional wet accident. She seems to have no issues going #2 and I couldn't be happier about that. She still wears diapers at naptime and bedtime but is just wearing undies during the day.

I am a little paranoid about accidents. I've found myself asking Ellie, "do you need to go potty?" much more than is probably needed, to the point that I think I'm obviously annoying her. She started throwing fits and crying when I try to "force" her to go if she doesn't need to, so I'm learning to back off and only ask occasionally. She obviously knows when she needs to go and is frustrated when I bug her too often. If that's not a clear sign that I'm a nagging mom, I don't know what is. This is a learning process for me too.

One of the most surprising parts about this is how rarely Ellie actually has to use the potty. I guess I assumed that when wearing a diaper a baby is just wetting it constantly. Now that we've trained Ellie she usually goes 2-3 hours no problem. Me asking her every 20 minutes is getting old for her and for me.

So, I'm working on waiting for her to tell me, although I still ask her when we hit the 2-3 hour mark. This morning she had an accident only a few minutes after sitting on the potty (with nothing to show for it). I'm not sure why that happened. I think because we were about to "exercise" (P90X on video) and she was very excited about it, but after that she came to me twice on her own to use the potty successfully, so I know she's still getting it. I have accepted the fact that there will be occasional accidents for awhile.

The best news is she has had zero accidents when we've gone out. She almost seems to do better when we're out. She has no issue sitting on toilets in public restrooms or at other people's houses. We went to a baseball game and she did great! Granted, I asked her about the potty and took her every half an hour, but she did go twice out of the five times I took her. Yes, I know I was paranoid, but the bathroom was far away and I have no idea how long she can hold it after realizing she needs to go. I'm sure I'll get better as I get more comfortable with her schedule and only going every couple of hours.

First family baseball game. Go Grizzlies!
And now to move on past the bathroom habits of Ellie.
Here's a glimpse of what our house looks like these days:
Hazel having tummy time while Ellie does puzzles next to her.
Ellie's reward for going #2 on the potty: watching "Monkey" aka Curious George on Daddy's I-pad.

Below: Ellie's baby often does the same activities that Hazel does. She goes potty, sits in the bouncer, sleeps in Hazel's bassinet, and even lays on the mat with Hazel.

And, a random video of Ellie.