Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Benjamin and Asher: 2 years, 11 months

Benjamin is saying "cheese."  Charlotte looks unsure of things.

My babies are almost 3!  They are pretty typical children at this point- I don't feel like they are toddlers anymore; they are growing into little boys.  They seem tall, and their faces are thinner, so that they really don't look like babies anymore.

They are enjoying testing the limits.  We have been doing time-outs as our main form of discipline, but it doesn't work too well.  If they choose to get up from time out, which they often do, there isn't much we can do to keep them in it, because there are 2 other children who need attending to.  At times they are easily redirected, and we can figure out what's bothering them and change the situation so that the undesired behaviors stop.  Other times they are just tired or crabby and no amount of talking or change of scenery will help. For me, nap time is the worst- if they don't nap and just get increasingly agitated because they are tired but refuse to sleep, I flip my lid.  Benjamin is really the worst around nap time- he almost never naps at home when I am here.  And mommy is not ready to lose that quiet time!  In any case, I have a book on order from the library about disciplining the strong-willed child, so I hope that it gives some helpful hints.  I don't believe in spanking- I just don't think it is effective and I think it would be more about my relieving my anger in a physical way than it would be about discipline or changing their behavior.

The most remarkable recent change, to me, is in the sophistication of their thinking.  I don't mean we are sitting around and talking about abstract concepts like religion, but just that I can see them make connections between things that I didn't know they thought about.  For example, Asher is good about talking about his feelings- he will get excited and tell me what things make him happy (seeing his friends, baking cookies, getting a present, getting hugs).  He can also say when something makes him sad (Benjamin poking him in the eye).  But the other day he told Eric he feels shy, and then said that he feels shy all the time.  In a way, this breaks my heart- he is a beautiful, lovable little boy who gets along well with all his friends and family members.  But I am also pleased that he is sensitive to his feelings and able to communicate about them.  I've noticed Benjamin making connections between things- we were in the car and talking about things in the sky, and he was able to name things that flew in the sky, like a helicopter and a plane.  They can categorize and make associations- an apple is round like the moon when it's full.  I am not sure how long these thoughts have been in their heads, since it is just in recent months that their vocabularies and abilities to talk have made it possible for them to communicate thoughts like this.  It is a pleasure for me to hear them think and learn.
Every night is a sleepover when your brother is your best friend

Right now, Asher loves to be helpful.  He helps with Charlotte, he helps unload the dishwasher, do the laundry, make coffee, and bake.  We encourage all the help!  Sometimes it is actually helpful, and sometimes there are coffee grounds all over the counter- but it is wonderful that he wants to do it.

Both boys are increasingly picky with food.  It drives me nuts.  You never know what they are going to eat, and what they will reject.  They will ask for something for breakfast, and 5 minutes later, when you give it to them, they don't want to eat it.  Tons of wasted food, and being a Jewish mommy, I worry that they are not eating enough and will waste away.  They are both very skinny, and you can see every vertebra in Benjamin's back.  I just wish they would eat with more consistency.

They do so much that makes me happy and proud as a parent- they love to read books and be read to, they play independently and with each other, they make friends with their peers and interact well with adults.  Most days I am a proud and pleased mommy.  And then there are days where there isn't enough chocolate ice cream in the world to help calm my frazzled nerves!  I guess that's life with 2 almost 3-year-olds (and a baby!).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Charlotte: 2 months old

Charlotte is 2 months old!  First, some pictures from the past few days: 
Big brothers playing with their little sister
Not in love with the Bumbo
Mommy with her two guys!
Asher in his monkey costume at meema's house 
Purim celebration at school.  Thy are in the middle, in front of the woman in blue.  They didn't smile once.
Tummy time

Now, Charlotte's 2-month update:
Height and Weight: Height: 23.5" (although they said 24" when I was there).  Weight: 13 lbs. Both are in the 83rd percentile.
Clothing size: Mostly 3 months, and a few 3-6 month clothes.  She is wearing Size 2 diapers but I really feel like a size 3 would also work.
Milestones: Charlotte smiles, holds her head up well, and makes little coos and gurgles.  She seems very social- she gets upset when she knows she is alone in a room.
Outings and Adventures: Charlotte has had dinner out in Philadelphia with the grown ups for my mom's birthday, a girls' night out with me, a 1st birthday party for her friend Max, to the mall a few times, Costco, and various friends' houses for play group and play dates.
Routine/Schedule: Charlotte is definitely awake more and more of the time.  She plays on her play mat a lot, and is fascinated by the lights.  We don't have much of a daytime schedule these days, because we base our lives around the boys.  She is definitely getting more picky about where she sleeps, but will fall asleep in the car pretty easily.  She will usually take one very good, long nap during the day, and then lots of little cat naps here and there.  Bedtime is at 9- we go upstairs, she gets in her pajamas and swaddled, then we nurse, and hopefully she goes right to sleep.  I would guess that she is asleep by 10 most nights.  She's been sleeping well- often through until 5 or 6 o'clock.  I would say that most nights, she only wakes up once to eat.  After her first wake-up, she wakes up 3 hours later on the dot.
Favorite food: breast milk
Favorite person: mommy, but she seems to like Asher a lot, too.  She will calm down quickly if he comes to talk to her, and loves to see his face- she always smiles at him.
Favorite book: Lately she has heard "Bunny Cakes" every night for weeks, so she must like that the best.
Other big news or highlights of the month: Yesterday she turned 2 months, and we had cake with great-grandma Sonia for Sonia's 88th birthday.  At Charlotte's doctor appointment today, she got an A+!  She looks beautiful and healthy, with a strong neck and grip.  She got her 2 month shots today, and has handled them really well.  It broke my heart to hear her cry, but she quieted down quickly with some hugs and kisses.  She got compliments all around on her beauty!

Friday, February 8, 2013

talking up a storm

So my boys have been very late to talk, but they are talking now!  Benjamin is harder to understand, and Asher talks more, but they are both saying some funny stuff.

This morning, Asher got in bed with Eric and me, and when I peeked over at him, he climbed over Eric to cuddle with me.  He said, "I like Mommy's boobs."  Hmm.  Thanks, Asher.  I said, "I like THIS Asher!" and tapped him in the forehead.  He then reached over and said, "I like THIS mommy!" and tapped me on the forehead.  He was just being sweet, silly, and funny.  Then we heard banging and I said, "It sounds like Benjamin's up!"  We waited for him to come in, which he did, and when he got to the side of the bed, carrying two big books and his blanket, I said, "good morning, Boo!" and he said, "I got a lot of stuff!"

Asher is listening and questioning.  I once told him to take his nap because he had bags under his eyes, and he went nuts!  "What's under my eyes, Mommy? What's under my eyes?"  How do you explain that expression?  The other day we were leaving Panera after lunch with our friends and I said, "Let's hit the road!"  Asher said, "No hitting, Mommy!" And I explained that it just meant we were going home.  For the next few days, Asher kept saying, "We hit the road!  We hit the road!"

I like that they can tell me what they want to eat, although I don't like when they don't eat what they specifically asked for.  Benjamin has been going through a phase of saying, "No like" to everything.  "No like pancakes.  No like eggs.  No like banana."  These are all things he DOES like, so it is extra frustrating.  Initially we tried to reason with him (hahaha) but found it a waste of time and energy, so now we just ignore his protests.

I love their voices and hearing them talk to me.  I love that they are sweet, funny, and loving.  A friend commented that she is snuggling her baby, who is 6 months old, as much as she can since she knows he won't want to snuggle soon.  She was telling me this as Benjamin climbed on to my lap and wrapped his arms around me for kisses- I told her not to worry, he might just snuggle forever!  I don't know if it is the fact that I am so physically affectionate with my children, but my boys are by far the must cuddly, snuggly children we know.  I get such pleasure from hugging and kissing them and smelling their little boy smell.  And now that they're talking, I know they like it, too.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

goodbye, childbearing

I had my 6 week post-partum visit at my OB on Wednesday morning.  That's it- I will never be pregnant again.  It is the official close to my childbearing.  The end to the year of infertility, a twin pregnancy, and a surprise and perfect second pregnancy.  No more OBs, no more hospital, no more ultrasound for a peek at my uterus.  I am so sad.  What a gift to be pregnant, to bear children, and to bring life into the world.  What a joy to feel the kicks and pushes and turns of a little being you haven't yet met inside of you.  What a miracle to watch perfect little bodies emerge from yours and join the world.

I feel so lucky to have three beautiful children.  I wish I could do this again and again, but I can't.  For one thing, I think both Eric and I feel that we should quit while we're ahead- 3 perfect children is more than most people get.  We are financially and emotionally strained with the 3 we now have. I can't imagine how the scales would tip if we added a 4th.

I will miss my OB, as crazy as that might sound.  I feel attached to him after him seeing me through my difficult first pregnancy, and then delivering all 3 of my children.  He only does obstetrics, so I have no reason to see him unless I'm pregnant.  He is a wonderful man who has also cared for many of my friends.

The 6 week visit also means that I have no more excuses for not exercising (other than fatigue and lack of time).  It's time to get back on the treadmill or jogging on the street.  I am still registered to run a 10 mile run the first weekend in May- but considering I haven't exercised since April of last year, I'm not sure if I'll make it.

I'm feeling very down about my post-partum body.  I don't have any clothes that fit. I think I have about 25 lbs to lose- and that's a lot.  I was very upset before going to work Wednesday because I couldn't get into anything and look halfway decent.  Then at work a client who has had multiple miscarriages said to me (not knowing the trouble I had getting dressed), "I don't care how much weight I gain or how bad I look, it wouldn't matter if it meant a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby."  Well.  Thank goodness someone put it in perspective for me- I have a beautiful and perfectly healthy baby girl- even if I don't lose weight til we are done nursing, it will be worth it.