Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How much is too much?

Do you ever find yourself struggling to take it all in? Striving to remember it all? Cherish every moment? I do. Everyday. I want to be this awesome record keeper, who remembers every single thing that happens to her family. When someone asks me, when did {one of your children} start teething? Or start crawling? What did you and Hector do on your {third} anniversary? I want to be able to answer those questions.

Or how about, those cute things your kids say? What was going through their minds when they were 3 years old? These are the things, guys! I don't want to get out of this sweet, child-like phase of life, and not remember all the golden moments.

But the truth is, I can't. I have a terrible memory. Like, the worst. I think this speaks poorly for my future memory-keeping skills.. I know what runs in my family.. This is why I have to keep a very detailed planner on my person at all times. So I can stare at it for hours a week, hoping to grasp what's going on in my life. If our pediatrician didn't call 2 days before appointments, my children would probably never go. Is this normal?? I don't know. But I know how I'm combatting it.

And this is what I mean by, How much is too much?

Every day, I try to keep up with all this:
This is my favorite. I write five little lines a day. It can be what we did that day, something cute Cohen said or Liam did, the way I felt a certain day, rough times we faced, or something special that happened to us. Whatever it is, I write it down. And for every day, it gives you lines for 5 years worth of recordings. I've just started my second year, and it is so sweet to go back and read last years writing. Things I had already forgotten, but that come back as soon as I read them. 

This is a new one I just started this January. Mostly because Cohen wasn't old enough before. Like the above journal, it gives space to write for three years. Differently, though, this one gives a question for each day for you to ask your child. To engage them in conversation. To show them that you care what they think, that you're listening when they ramble. It's a sweet time for Cohen, I'm finding. When he sees me get it out, he smiles. He knows I'm about to ask him a personal question, that only he can answer. It has nothing to do with baby brother, unless he answers that way. It's questions like, "What are you excited about?" or "Describe a time when you were mad." or "What do you see out your window?" And he's still a tad bit young for it. But I just help him on questions he doesn't quite understand, or I re-word it into something easier. I'm so excited to see how his answers change as he gets older.

And Liam's baby book. I don't necessarily get this one out every day, but I should. That's how often this baby boy is changing. :) I try very hard to keep it updated. I love to look at Cohen's, so I know I will cherish these records. And call me crazy, but I think my boys will want to look at these when they are old enough. :)
From Hallmark

And this doesn't even cover daily devotionals!! I use (and LOVE, and recommend) Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I've never come across a more relevant devotional. Each day, it's as if the devo was written just for you. 

And our friend Leslie gave Cohen the Jesus Storybook Bible for Christmas. He really likes it. He asks to read it before bed. I've even caught him referencing it, since starting it. I drew him a rainbow the other day and he said, "Mom! Like God showed us!" I said, "Yes! It was a symbol of his promise that he would rescue us!" And he mentioned something the other day, about a tower. I said, "You mean like the tower of Babel?" He said, "Yea!!" :) Brings me joy to see him remembering Bible stories. 

So.. It may be too much, but it's exactly what I need to help me through the fleeting, yet rough months and years. 

AND, like I lightly mentioned.. I keep an Erin Condren life planner with me at all times. And I print our family pictures each year in a Blurb photo book. Keeps your pictures from being trapped on your hard drive and brings them out for all to see and enjoy--their original purpose, anyways!

I'll appreciate this paper trail one day. :)

Cohen at 3 years

Our big guy turned 3 years old yesterday. It's amazing to me that he's a little boy now. He's not even a toddler. He's a kid. I know we've had three years to adjust to the idea, but... he's just so grown, all of a sudden.

(resting in the recently-dug-out Bumbo seat for brother)

He's really a good boy. Sure we have our moments, when it's just him, me and baby here during the day. Tensions can run high. But that's mostly my fault. 

He loves his little brother. He will offer his paci back, if it falls out and Liam cries. He lays with him under the play gym, showing him how the toys rattle or play music, etc. He kisses him goodnight every night. If he walks into the living room and doesn't see him, he'll always ask, "Where's brudder?" :)

Cohen still loves his cars. And he has a ridiculous collection of them, too. We're gonna go a while without buying any. Promise.  But, he's branched out. He likes Nerf guns and monster trucks now, too. (big boy toys...)

He loves to play outside. Anything outside, he's there.

He's 90% potty trained! Still working on the nighttime. This is a huge victory, since we have a new one in diapers! (we haven't been for his 3 year checkup yet).

This year he wanted Chuck E. Cheese... and we're trying to move, so I didn't want to clean our small apartment. So we did it!

We did our own party at Chuck E. Cheese. And I must say, it's the way to go!
Their party was annoying.

Mama-made cake. :) It was rainbow inside!

Two of our five claimed tables. I did a light "Cars" theme.

Playing games with Pop! So glad they could come!

Uncle Josh and Cortney came!! Baby brother finally woke up, in time for pizza!

Birthday boy!

Miss Leslie and Daddy, with Colton! (Colton shares Cohen's birthday, but he's 1!)

Sweet pumpkin, getting Granna time!

All the daddies, with their boys! (Minus Cohen who was playing!)
Cory and Brooks, Tyler and Baker, Patrick and Colton, Hector and Liam

Josh and Cortney playing a racing game with Coco.

Pop was trying to "win tickets for Cohen"... yea.. :)

Maggie riding that weird bicycle ride... the kids love it for some reason.

Ugh.. Guess I didn't take a picture of the inside. :( It was beautiful and delicious. :)

A big thanks to Granna and Pop, Josh and Cortney, Leslie, Jackie, Patrick and Colton, Sallie, Tyler, Maggie, and Baker, Cory, Ashley and Brooks for coming out to celebrate our big 3 year old! He loves you all so much! (So do we!)

We are so, so lucky to be your parents, Cohen. You make us smile and laugh every day. We can't wait to watch you as you continue to grow and mature. It's amazing to watch. We pray the Lord watches over you and blesses and guides you. You are precious. You made us parents. We're so thankful for you. Happy birthday, Coconut!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Liam ~ 2 months old

Man, he's cute.

I wish I could say we're out of Colic Woods, but we're not. Almost each evening, I feel like I'm standing in quicksand, struggling to crawl out. He's eaten, his diaper is changed, he's not hot, he's maxed out scream time on his play mat, the swing doesn't help, the hair dryer makes him mad, he's clawing at his face with his little dagger nails that I can hardly trim because he clenches his fists so much... He looks at me with those wild, frantic, searching eyes.. And I want to cry, too, because I feel he's in some sort of pain that I just can't fix. It hurts my heart so bad to see him cry like this. It typically starts around 4 or 5 pm, and lasts until about midnight, when he finally gives out and goes to sleep. We just go back and forth, holding him until we can't handle it anymore.

It isn't every single night, but probably 5 out of 7 nights. And thankfully for my friend's or family's sanity, it hasn't been when he's around a lot of people. But sadly, for my credibility, I think that makes me look like a liar, or a whiner. No one but Hector and me have really seen him at the height of it. I guess my parents saw it over Christmas break.

And like everything I've read on colic, he's a great nurser. He gets plenty to eat, has a great suck and is obviously gaining weight nicely. Eating is a non-issue. I've given him formula a handful of times, because I've thought it would help, but in hindsight, I think he'd have been just fine without it.

He has turned into a co-sleeper.. He is most content when he's snuggled up next to me or Hector. Attachment parenting by default? haha. We won't continue this bed-sharing after the colic. But I know that for now, it's what he needs to feel safe and comforted.

New things we've tried? Sure. We bought a $20 bottle of Colic Calm. It's a black-colored gripe water. I think this helps a smidge. You can give it every 30 minutes x6 per day. We only ever gave 2-3 doses in a day. It causes black specks in the poop, beware. He liked the taste. At his 2 month appointment, I consulted with his pedi. She gave me a sample of Gerber Soothe drops for colic. It's a probiotic oil-type drop. He can have 5 drops a day. I haven't noticed a difference yet with this. I've given it 2 days in a row. Maybe like other probiotics, it will take a little while to kick in. I don't know if I mentioned simethicone drops last time or not, but we give those too. I think it helps him expel gas a little more, so at least he has less gas pains.

So, other than those measures, we wait. :) We wait for 3 or 4 months of age, when he'll be a little more calm (we pray!!).

Now, positives?

This boy is a TALKER! If you get up close to him, he will "oooo" and "gooo" and "cooo" your ear off! It's just charming. It melts away most frustration I'm feeling. And smiles.. oh, the smiles. That gummy grin is just to-die-for. The other night, he actually laughed at me! I was holding him around midnight, he was winding down. He had a paci in his mouth, but he looked at me, crinkled up his eyes and nose and gave me the biggest smile. Followed by a silent, exhaling laugh. Twice.

He's already wearing 3 month clothes.. 0-3 are getting a little snug! He is wearing some size 1-2 Pampers right now. Then we have a big box of gifted size 2's and little pack of gifted size 2's, then it's cloth for the boy! I don't want to waste all the diapers we were given, so that's why we are in disposables right now. He's gonna be too cute to handle when he has a fluffy butt! :)

Cohen was my assistant. Propping brother up, then jumping out of the picture when I said, "Now!" :)

"Oh, hi, Mom!"

Distracted by brother.

Distracted by window.

Starting to fall, losing interest/patience.

Happy 2 months, little Liam! We love you!!

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