Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pieces of April

With April came new opportunities to get reacquainted with life outside of our home.  We are still adjusting to our new family of six.

Sleeping babies might just be one of the sweetest things EVER.  And in case I ever complained that Brooklyn wouldn't sleep, here are some pictures to prove the opposite.  I finally forced her to be swaddled, and it made a huge difference in sleep for both of us.
We still watch lots of shows around here.  And sometimes mom is desperate enough to allow snacks in the living room.
Our bikes got a lot of use this month.  This bike is actually one my Grandma Christensen gave me.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before.  It's a classic cruiser.  My Grandpa gave it to her a long time ago.  Daniel replaced the tires, but I would still like to spruce it up a little.
Lunchtime picnics.  Emersen's school started doing "Mileage Club" where the kids run around the path right behind our house on Fridays during lunch recess.  We like to watch for her and cheer her on while we eat.
I had to dig up an old photo of Emersen so that I could compare the two girls wearing the same outfit.
Sweet sisters
At the beginning of the month, Emersen had three early release days for parent-teacher conferences, followed by a week of spring break.  This was the first time I had all four kids all day.  I tried to keep my expectations low.  Daniel also had to go to a storage expo in Vegas for a couple days that week, which wasn't the best timing.  But we managed!  Our Spring Break wish list and some of our activities:
Some screen time while mom fed the baby...
Read-a-thon in the fort...
...and evening walks to the playground.
Bentley was really into wearing gloves this month.
Stanford is getting much more interested in reading books instead of just turning pages.
Morning snuggles.
I finally got a chance to leave the baby home long enough to see "Cinderella" with Emersen.  It was so delightful.
My date with Bentley this month was making banana bread and playing on the wii during naptime.  It doesn't take much to please him!

Stanford is still our family ham.
I got this poster for Daniel's office for his birthday and finally framed it.
I am really going to miss this someday.  Probably sooner than later too.
Brooklyn slept for six straight hours!  We're getting there!
Just chillin'
Another sleeping baby

Emersen's report card was shining, of course.  I was told that she is the most advanced reader in the Kindergarten advanced reading group.  She is a good example to others.
For "Take Your Child to Work Day" (which is apparently a big deal around here), Emersen accompanied her dad to his construction site.  She loved spending the day with him.
She got a little too excited to pull her big front tooth out, and it wasn't quite ready.  She was too embarrassed to go to school the next day.  After a couple more days, the tooth was barely hanging on, but after all the previous drama, she wouldn't let anyone touch it.  It finally fell out on its own during recess about a week later.
Growing up!
Bentley's baseball league had a big "Parade of Teams" party the night before their first game.  There were bounce houses, food, face painting, and competitions.  These little guys were all pretty cute.  There was a shortage of tee ball coaches, so we didn't find out what team he was on until a week before the first game.  He only made it to one practice before that.  He has been having a great time playing.  They have two games a week.

Emersen also started her soccer games this month, and is doing awesome.  They play one game every Saturday and have one practice during the week.

Stanford has finally started giving Brooklyn a little bit of attention.  He has been pretty apathetic until now.  He especially likes playing Peek-a-Boo with her.

This month I also went to two baby showers for girls in my ward.  There are lots of new babies!
My postpartum checkup went just fine too.  It's been a pretty easy recovery.  Now if only I could get a little more sleep...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tractor Park

Where's all that Portland rain we've heard about???  We have had such amazing Spring weather, so we try to enjoy it as much as possible.  Daniel and the kids discovered this little tractor park at the end of a hike and took me back to see it.

So much beauty here!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Portland Outing

Daniel was at a storage expo in Vegas for a couple days, so when he got back, we took a family day in Portland.  We went to the /children's Museum first.

We stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts.
I loved their glittery brick building.

Then we found a little park where the kids could play while I fed Brooklyn.
Stanford ended up falling in this creek and got to ride home in just his diaper.
It was fun to explore a little more of this area.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The First Month

Wow, how this first month has just flown by!  This sweet little thing has stolen all of our hearts.  The kids (excepting Stanford who doesn't acknowledge her existence) adore her, and I'm just trying to enjoy every sweet moment with her.

I'll admit this adjustment has been more difficult than last time.  It's probably because my two oldest children actually have lives now, and we can't just sit at home all day like we did before.  I'm finding myself stretched to capacity most days.  But the kids are really great helpers, and I have such a wonderful husband who is always beyond willing to help me.

She has been a pretty good nurser from the beginning.  Breastfeeding has never been a piece of cake for me, for some reason.  A couple days after we left the hospital, we returned for a follow-up with a lactation consultant.  This is just routine here.  The consultant was AMAZING and so helpful.  She answered all my questions and more and made me feel like I could do this.  She weighed Brooklyn before and after I nursed her and helped me through it all.  She said that Brooklyn was slightly tongue-tied and gave me some tips for that.  I went to the breastfeeding support group later that week with more questions and again left feeling very encouraged.

She does spit up a lot all the time.  It's like Emersen all over again.  I have to stay prepared with a burp cloth.  I also bought a bunch more bibs and have to change her clothes several times a day.  At first I wondered if it was a food sensitivity or acid reflux (which Emersen had), but she doesn't seem uncomfortable about it.  She isn't colicky like Emersen was.  So I guess she's just a "happy spitter."

At Brooklyn's two-week checkup, she weighed 7 lbs. 7 oz. (26%) and was 21 inches long (86%).  She is perfectly healthy!

Her umbilical cord fell off during that second week.  Bentley was happy about that.  He kept asking me to take it off.  He didn't like it.

She will really only sleep when held.  I'm lucky if I can lay her down after she's asleep.  I'm trying to enjoy all the snuggling, but it is hard to get any good sleep myself.  She doesn't seem to like the swing, the carseat, or being swaddled.  All of my other kids loved those things, so it's been hard to figure out how to soothe Brooklyn, other than holding her.  I am glad I invested in a wrap this time, because I have been doing a lot of baby wearing these days!  It also seemed to take her longer to get her days and nights straightened out.

Daniel and I have a nightly routine to help me get some sleep.  I feed her at about 10 p.m., then head straight to bed.  Daniel takes over and stays/sleeps with her until she wakes up between 1 and 3 a.m.  Sometimes she is wide awake after eating for a while, so he just turns on a movie with her.  He then lightly swaddles her and puts her to sleep on the pouf right next to him on the sofa.  He brings her to me when she wakes up.  After a little while, I was so used to this routine that I would wake up as soon as walked in my bedroom.  I roll out of bed, take a drink of water, grab my nexus, and sit down in the rocker to feed her.  I usually read or browse on my nexus while she eats.  Daniel goes back to bed while I feed her.  After she's done eating, I try to put her down in the portable crib in our room (usually unsuccessfully).  I end up getting up and down many times trying to soothe/rock her to sleep.  Sometimes I give up and just try to sleep while holding her in the chair.  Sometimes I just bring her into bed with me.  I don't get very good sleep the rest of the night.  She'll wake up again to eat in the early morning between 5 and 7 a.m.  I told Daniel that our whole routine is starting to feel like the movie "Groundhog Day."  It's the same thing night after night.  I have to keep telling myself that it WILL get better.