Friday, December 13, 2013


Decorating our Christmas tree was so much easier this year without a Caleb sized bump in the way.  Now instead of knocking off ornaments with my belly, my little guy is on the move and doing his best to take them off on his own.

At eleven months old Caleb is truly one of the happiest babies I have ever met.  He smiles at everything and everyone.  He experiences very little separation anxiety and he rarely protests when he is passed around.  His personality is one that overflows with joy and each moment with him is full of smiles.

Some stats:
Height:  Right around 30 inches
Weight: around 20 pounds
Clothing:  all 12 months
Shoes:  0-6 months (another small footed guy)
Teeth:  still only two on the bottom
Hair:  not nearly as bald as his big brother was but it is still pretty thin and pretty blond

Sleeping:  Caleb is slowly transitioning from two naps to one.  If he naps in the morning it is from 10-11.  He still likes his morning nap but if we are out doing anything in the morning he skips it completely.  In the afternoon he sleeps from 1:00-4:00 (most days).  At night, he is down by 7:30 and up once, maybe twice.  He has started sleeping for 7-8-9 hour stretches which is amazing.  He likes to nurse before he goes to sleep but it is often followed by daddy snuggles to get him settled for the evening,  On nights Andrew is gone in the evening Caleb is awake a lot more because he wants his daddy.

Communication:  "dadada," "mama," and "buh" for Andrew, myself and Ben.  He also identifies balls with the "b" sound.  He babbles a lot and laughs even more.  He thinks that baths with his big brother are pretty much the best thing in the world.

Likes:  Everything Ben is doing so trucks, balls, books, trains, etc.  He loves to bang away on our piano.  he loves going for walks and runs in the stroller.  He loves when Ben climbs into his crib to hang out and bounce him up and down.  He is fascinated by the toilet--which is totally disgusting.  He loves our dogs and enjoys trying to climb on top of both of them.  The dog water is a huge draw and we keep having to move it higher and higher the taller he gets.  He enjoys emptying cupboards and banging away on pots and pans. He loves to bounce his butt up and down when he hears music.

Skills:  He pulls up on everything and runs around our house while pushing walkers.  He has stood on his own for a second or two and is thinking about walking but has yet to commit.  He sometimes walks on his knees instead of crawling.  He likes to stack things and has started sorting shapes.  He likes to try to color when Ben is coloring.  According to Andrew, his skills are cooing and being hilarious. He can zoom up our stairs and rolls a ball across the floor.  He also figured out how to climb in and out of the little rocking chair we had on the day before Thanksgiving.

Eating:  He continues to nurse 5 or so times a day and eats three big meals and a snack.  He eats whatever we put in front of him and whatever he sees on our plates that he wants.  He loves to steal sippy cups that his big brother leaves all over the house.

Highlights from the month:  Caleb met my side of the family when they came up for Thanksgiving.  His status as happiest baby in the world was confirmed by my sister-in-law who is a nurse practioner in a NICU.  He loved all of the attention (and food).  This month he saw his first snow and enjoys watching it out the window.  He tolerated getting our Christmas tree even though it was freezing and snowing.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 7: Body Pump

In February of 2012 I headed to Buffalo for two days of intense bodypump training.  I was way out of my league and way out of shape.  I came home so sore I couldn't sit on a couch without hurting.  A couple of months later, I started teaching at Darwin's Health Club, a local gym.  I taught until I was 37 weeks pregnant with Caleb and started back six weeks after he was born.  As a stay-at-home mom, getting out of the house a couple of times a week to lift weights is a welcome change.  I love learning new choreography, lifting weights and hanging out with members of the community that I would never have met.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ben and Caleb Part 2

Today Caleb is ten months old.  It is so hard to believe that in just two very very short months he will be a year.  While I remember life before Caleb, it is hard to imagine our family without him.

Stats:  (on October 24th)
Weight:  19 pounds 8 ounces (25%)
Height:  29 1/2 inches (80%)
Head Circumference:  18.5 inches (97%--shocking, I know)
Teeth:  still just 2
Clothing size:  12 months
Shoe size: 2-3
Personality: larger than life!

Caleb still nurses 5-6 times a day but he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES solid food.  He would rather eat solids than nurse so I think he may wean earlier than Ben.  He wants to eat whatever we are eating or cooking.  He devours his breakfast lunch and dinner every day.  He loves bread, pasta and meat.  He likes vegetables over fruit.  He enjoys water from a sippy cup (or whatever he can find in Ben's sippy cups that seem to be scattered all over our house).

Sleeping:  Most of the time he is up by 7, naps at 9:30 and 1:00 and is in bed by 6:30.  From 6:30 p.m.-7 a.m. it is anyone's guess.  He sleeps really well some nights and not so well others.  He goes to bed easily on his own in his crib.

Communication:  He babbles and laughs all of the time.  Rarely does he cry.  He will cry if he is really tired and his crib isn't nearby.  Other than that, a good way to see him cry is to have someone around him get hurt or feel sad.    For instance, a couple of weeks ago Ben fell over and not only did Ben burst into tears, but Caleb did the same.  Last night we were watching the Jimmy Kimmel Halloween candy clip and the kids were scooting around.  When Caleb heard the sound of the kids on the clip crying, he joined in the tear fest. (We turned the clip right off to keep the distress at a minimum.)

Favorite Things:  He is ball obsessed, which makes Andrew incredibly happy.  He is also Ben obsessed.  Anything and everything Ben is doing, Caleb also wants to be doing.  I feel a little bad for Ben sometimes because as he would say, "Caleb is always in my business!"  He enjoys listening to books but doesn't really sit still for very long.

Skills:  He pulls himself up on everything and is walking holding onto hands or push toys.  He moves along furniture and is getting a little more daring as he tries to let go.  He claps his hands, gives high-fives, and reaches his arms up to show he is "SO BIG!"  He likes to turn pages in books, rolls cars back and forth and chase after balls.  He gives really sweet, really wet open mouthed kisses.

His personality is all sunshine.  I love getting him out of his crib in the morning because I am always met with a huge smile.  He is a little snuggler and I like to think he brings joy to others with his big grin.

Days 5 and 6: Ben and Caleb Part 1

I always knew that I would love my kids, but I didn't really realize how deep that love would be until I held each in my arm.  I could easily post a thing each day about both Ben and Caleb that I am thankful for but will try to reign it in a bit.

We'll start with Ben:
At almost 33 months old (or nearly 3!) he is a joy every single day.  From the moment he explodes into our room asking, "Is it daylight?" to the end of the day when he wants, "Just one more snuggle," my heart feels so full it could burst.  Over this past year we've watched him go from only child to big brother and even though at times he has some not so nice moments, he is developing into a very caring sibling.

Ben is an incredibly thoughtful, smart and kind little guy.  I know, I know, every parent thinks that his/her child is bright and we do as well.  He can sit for hours "reading" to himself.  He knows the street on which he lives and the names of the streets where his buddies live.  He loves when people come over, especially his Heather and Kevin.  He loves to sing songs, he remembers everything we say and do.  He takes care of Caleb by moving the dog water out of Caleb's way, taking crayons out of his hands and feeding him food off of his plate.  (He also does his fair share of taking toys, knocking over and generally trying to teach Caleb that Ben is the boss).

Every single day he learns something new.  It is fun (and a bit tiring at times) to answer the endless series of toddler questions as he discovers the world around him.  The other night he asked Andrew what salvation is, which led to a long conversation.  His imagination is continuing to develop as he builds houses with blocks, fireplaces with cardboard boxes and construction sites with whatever he can scrounge up. He loves to do puzzles and play with playdough.  He is my right hand man in the kitchen and can tell you what each mixer attachment is used for.

He is such a fun little guy to hang out with each and every day.  He has his challenging moments (ask me sometime about what happened before we went to Dayton) but overall we couldn't be happier with how he is growing.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: Sleep

My babies don't sleep through the night at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 week or even 20.  I tried everything to get Ben to sleep when he was little:  cry it out, shorter naps, longer naps, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep, wearing in a carrier all day so he didn't need to be snuggled all night, on and on and on...if someone said to me, "Have you tried...?"  I probably had.

Eventually, at around 15 months, Ben started sleeping though the night and didn't look back.  When Caleb was born I was prepared again to not sleep, but even though I was prepared didn't make it any easier.  I dug in my heels in and got ready for the long haul.  For the first few months of his life he did short stretches that eventually became longer stretches.  Right around six months he slept through the night for about a week straight.  Then we went on vacation in August.  He hasn't slept through again.

Typically he wakes up two or three times for about fifteen minutes for a quick snack.  He wakes up, fusses, eats and settles in for another stretch.  During the day he is on a really consistent sleep schedule, he falls asleep on his own and wakes up cheerful.

Last week however, was awful.  Really, really awful.  Throw the baby monitor across the room awful.  He wanted to be up, playing.   I wanted to be in bed snoring.  He was winning and I was very, very, very tired.  After three nights of not sleeping, I thought I was going to fall over from exhaustion (or at the very least punch my husband.)

But then, he slept.  Long, long, long stretches.  Only one wake-up.  ONE.

Last night he slept again andon this fourth day of November I am so thankful for sleep.  I am thankful for a Monday where I was able to stay awake all day without giving in and taking a nap.  I am thankful for every precious second where I get to snuggle into my pillow and close my eyes.  Tonight he might be up a lot again, who knows?  At least I can continue to take comfort in the fact that Ben is now an awesome sleeper and one day Caleb will be too.

Day 3: My Potty Trained Toddler

I started potty training with Ben at the end of April. I wanted it to happen in three days, but it didn't.  We had some good weeks, some awful days and some in between.  He had accidents all over Fredonia:  at the playground, at grandmom's house and his shining moment at the library during story time all over some cushions.  We started with a potty timer every twenty minutes.  Eventually he got the hang of it and started telling me so of course I got lazy and quit reminding him (and accidents started again).  Now with confidence I can say he is totally potty trained.  Ever since the summer, accidents are few and far between, he lets me know when he has to go and having one child in diapers is a HUGE blessing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2: Free Saturdays

Starting with the last weekend in September, either all or one of us was gone every weekend.  It was incredibly fun and incredibly exhausting.  We went to Dayton to visit Dan, Hilary and Lauren, I went to Houghton for my TEN year college reunion, Andrew went to Deerfoot for work weekend and we both went to Houghton for a 15.5 mile trail run.  Between weekends away, small group, night court and life in general we were all a little exhausted.

The second day of November however, was a Saturday.  A Saturday with endless possibilities.  The weather was dreary and cold, our schedule was pretty open and I'd planned our favorite dinner.  I started the morning with a short run followed by teaching Body Pump while Andrew hung with the little guys.  For the rest of the day we puttered around the house, cleaning, organizing, cooking and hanging out.  We ended the day with dinner with Andrew's parents at our house and as I spooned creamy risotto into my mouth I felt incredibly thankful for a Saturday to just be in our house as a family.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 1: Andrew

With eight years of marriage under our belts, my first thankfulness tribute post is in honor of Andrew.  As a father, he is an allstar, a hero, the tickle king, amazing story teller and gifted guitar player.  I love the way our boys' faces light up when he walks into the room.  I love when Ben tells his daddy to go to work so that he will come home.  I love when Caleb buries his head into Andrew's chest for a snuggle.  I love listening to Ben shout out the window, "I LOVE YOU DADDY!"  I love that last Saturday I offered to take Ben somewhere and Ben told me, "No mommy, it is a daddy day!" 

As a husband, he gives me time and space to exercise, empties the dish drainer, orders pizza when dinner doesn't get made (or is inedible) and even allows me to sleep in when he knows I really need it.  He is my helpmate in every part of our lives.  He works tirelessly so that I can stay home with the little guys.  He gives so much time to church and is truly an example of what it means to be a Christian father and husband.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel thankful for the gift I was given in a husband.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nine fast months

This time last October the countdown was on as I entered my third trimester.  Now the countdown is on to Caleb's first birthday which seems way too close.  For the last nine months we have been blessed with an easy going, smiley, cheerful little guy who adds so much more joy to our already blessed days.

Stats:  (We go the doctor next week so these are unofficial)
Weight: 20ish pounds
Height:  29? inches
Head Circumference:  Big
Shoe size:  tiny tiny 2
Clothing: 12 months
Teeth: 2

Eating:  We need to start with eating because it is a high point in Caleb's day.  He loves to eat. Everything.  Eggs, meatballs, squash, avocado, fruit, cheese, crackers, bread, pasta--basically anything that looks like food goes into Caleb's mouth.  He gets excited when he sees his high chair, grabs for everything you are eating, and kicks his legs when he hears the skillet hit the stove in the morning. He is determined to drink out of the sippy cups that Ben leaves scattered around our house.  He still nurses five or six times a day, mostly before naps and bed time because if real food is in sight that is what he wants.  We stuck with "baby led feeding" and it is a hit with our little guy. Andrew often feels like the only time that he sees Caleb awake is when he is in his high chair.

Sleeping:  I continue to take comfort in the fact that once Ben slept through the night he never looked back.  I am hoping that happens eventually with Caleb.  He is doing a lot better at night and is waking up twice most night after going to bed around 6:45.  I am trying to stretch his bedtime a little later in anticipation of daylight savings time.  He naps twice a day, morning and afternoon.  If we are home, his morning nap in his crib lasts for an hour and a half.  When we are touring the town, he naps in his stroller or baby carrier for about 45 minutes.  In the afternoon he sleeps for 2 1/2 hours most days from 1-3:30 or so.

Likes:  He loves to be in Ben's "business."  He follows his big brother around all the time.  He loves all things boy--books, trucks, balls, cars, animals, etc.  At the playground the swing is his second choice (putting wood chips or dirt in his mouth is his first.)  He likes playing with spoons, trying to eat crayons, dumping out the dog water and pulling books off the shelves.  He is into everything in a very pleasant, "I'm a busy baby" way.

Skills:  Caleb is a pro at standing by himself.  He has really good hand to mouth coordination.  His grip is incredibly strong and he is an excellent sitter.  He continues to clap for himself (and his brother)  with great enthusiasm.

I am going to try to update for 10 months on his tenth month birthday so we'll end here for today!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Eight Months

Before eight months turns into nine, it is time to blog! (Attentive readers will notice some Andrew Edits (TM), enjoy!)  

Stats--Weight—around 20 pounds;  Height--? ;Clothing—rapidly growing out of 9 months and transitioning to 12 months;  Teeth—2 on the bottom!  (The first one came in on September 1st, the second one on September 6th)

 Skills:  Caleb can pull himself up on objects and demonstrated this ability on September 2nd, in the bathtub—not the ideal place to test a new skill.  He rocks on all fours but still does not actually crawl.  Attempts at crawling end with Caleb face planting into the floor, a wall, or a piece of furniture.

Applause is saved (mostly) for Ben, especially when Ben sings to him.  He can lift the peek-a-boo flaps on books, roll cars on the floor with their wheels and charm anyone he meets.  He sits well unassisted and can now get to a sitting position by himself.

Communication:  Caleb (like his mommy) babbles like crazy. Unlike either of his parents, however, he is quite shy in public. At home, however, he likes to scream and laugh, and makes “dadada” and ”mamama” sounds. Unfortunately there isn’t really a connection to the actual person. Someday. He hasn’t experienced any separation anxiety which makes it really easy to leave him in the nursery at church.

Eating:  Caleb LOVES to eat solid food.  We (aka Shelley) decided to do “baby-led weaning.” For Caleb, this means that he enthusiastically shoves anything we put in front of him in his mouth. He routinely eats half an avocado at a sitting. Like Ben, he is still nursing enthusiastically, and no less frequently than when he began eating solid food. Maybe "baby led weaning" is a bit of an overstatement.

Like the rest of the Brautigam clan, who are known for their "hanger" (hunger + anger), he wants to eat when we are eating and gets upset if he is left out.  He uses his pincer grasp to pick up bits of food (and everything else).  He is still nursing on demand, which is about every three-four hours.  He is a bit difficult to nurse during the day because he wants to see what is happening around him.  His big brother and dogs are very distracting.  He has had a little bit of water from his sippy cup and loves to play with sippy cups.

Sleeping:  Andrew cheerfully reminded me that Ben slept through the night at 14 moths so I only have six months to go before Caleb does.

(Personally, I think that's encouraging. Just 180 days until you sleep through the night, honey!)

At a year however, Andrew can take over night time duty. (This is news to me. Good thing I have custom earplugs.) At least this time around I know it will happen eventually. Caleb did sleep through the night a handful of times in July and I was really really really excited.

It didn’t last.

On a normal night he wakes up once or twice but we still (too frequently) have nights where he is awake every two-three hours.  He loves to nurse at night and I think it is because it is quiet and distraction free.

He takes two naps: one in the morning around 9:30 for 45 minutes and one in the afternoon from 1:15-3:30.  He is ready to go to bed by 6:30 and is up at 6:30.  We try to push his bedtime a little later so he isn’t up as early but the latest we can really make it is 7:15 or so.  He falls asleep totally by himself in his crib with his pacifier.

Loves:  Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben.  (unfortunately the feeling isn’t always mutual). In a nutshell, Caleb is a typical little brother, following Ben around adoringly and getting insulted for his trouble. This is unsurprising, given what I know of brothers. Hopefully he inherited a temper less severe than his Uncle Dwight's, who reportedly threw a pitchfork at one of his brothers in a fit of anger.

Pitchforks aside, he loves to be wherever his big brother is.  He enjoys his jumper, climbing all over the toys and pushing around balls.  He likes walks in the stroller and baby carrier.  At the park he LOVES the swings and watching the big kids.  He likes to try to put everything he sees in his mouth.  I nursed him on the playground one day last week to find that he nursed with a wood chip stuffed in his cheek.  He loves to listen to music and is incredibly interactive (wiggly) when he is read to.

He thinks our dogs are hilarious.  He likes to take baths with his big brother, especially since Ben thinks it is fun to wash him. Ben, actually, is totally enthusiastic about taking baths with anyone, including Chopper, who he invited into the tub last night. Chopper, regretfully, declined the invitation.

Life Lately:  We went on vacation with the Brautigam family during the first week of August.  Caleb discovered that sand was something else he could stuff into his mouth and he had a generally good time. We have spent a lot of the summer walking around Fredonia and taking playground tours.  We’ve enjoyed visits from Aunt Joanna and lazy days at home enjoying life.  Everyday we feel so blessed by our two adorable little guys.  Ben is growing so big and Caleb is a delight.  Their happy personalities fill our days with laughter and love.  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Six and a half months

Monday was Caleb's six month check up and I just want time to slow down.  Our chubby little newborn is suddenly this little boy who is trying to catch up to his big brother.  While I love the changes, I hate how quickly it all goes and am trying to savor every snuggle and smile.

Height:  27 1/2 inches (we think at his 4 month the height was a little optimistic)
Weight:  18 pounds (50th percentile)
Head Circumference:  18 1/4 inches (92nd percentile--I am sure you are all shocked that his head is huge)     Clothing:  9 months, hats--12-24 months                                                                                                        Skills:  This month was the month for moving,  Caleb rolls all over our house, can army crawl and is able to lift his round tummy off of the floor.  I can't expect him to be in the same place I left him anymore and we are re-baby proofing our house to keep little objects out of reach of little hands.  He knows his name and will look when he is called.  He grabs everything in site which causes his big brother a bit of stress.                                                                                                                                                                                          Eating:  Caleb still nurses on demand which during the day is roughly every 2 1/2 hours.  He started solid food a day shy of six months.  This time around I am totally skipping the pureed nonsense and doing "baby led weaning."  Basically that means that he feeds himself bits of food.  We started with avocado, moved to bananas, added in some sweet potatoes, and most recently peaches.  He loves to eat his solids!  I give them to him one meal a day but am going to add in a second shortly.  He gets finger sized pieces at the moment and shoves them into his little mouth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sleeping:  Sleeping is at best inconsistent.  He had a couple of really good weeks where he slept for 6-7 hours and woke up once.  We had a lot of family around which threw off his schedule and he went back to waking up more often but is once again settling into longer stretches.  Last night he actually slept all the way through the night.  I am not getting my hopes up.  His day typically starts around 6:30, he likes to nap around 9:30 and again at 1.  His morning nap, if we are home, will last an hour and a half.  Typically though we are out for a walk or run or playground and his nap is cut short to about 45 minutes.  In the afternoon he likes to sack out for 2-2 1/2 hours, which is awesome.  He likes to go to bed around 7:30.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Likes:  Ben is still an object of great interest, as are the dogs.  He has a hard time nursing if either are around because all he wants to do is watch them.  He likes anything he can get his hands on, especially his brother's toys.  He likes to be read to and talked to.  He loves the baby carrier and stroller  He doesn't really have a favorite toy because he is content to play with whatever is around.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Caleb is an incredibly happy, pleasant little boy. He rarely fusses or cries.  He does get upset when Ben takes toys from him or if Ben is upset.  He is truly a joy and if we were guaranteed that every child would be so easy we would probably have half a dozen more!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Five (and a half) months

I guess the trend is continuing and we are on the "half" monthly update of our little darling's life.  Every day with Caleb is a joy.  He is a happy, content little guy who smiles whenever you glance his way.  To say that he is easy going would be an understatement.  He is one of the most laid-back children I have ever encountered.

Weight:  around 17 lbs.
Height:  27 inches? --this is a total guess.
Teeth: 0 but it looks like he will get a couple in the next month or two
Clothing Size:  all 9 months
Hair:  very light short hair covers his entire head--he isn't quite the baldy that Ben was

Rolls-front to back (that happened last month), back to front: June 1st for the first time but now he does it all the time.  He grabs things with his hand and likes to put everything he can get into his mouth.  He loves to cover his face with a blanket or bib, but gets frustrated when he can't move it away.  He can sit up in the "tri-pod" position for a few seconds at a time.   He reaches for toys, books, his brother, his parents, his dogs, etc.  He loves to blow bubbles with his mouth and is figuring out all sorts of ways to move his lips.  He tracks objects with his eyes.

Recent Finds:  He found his toes this month and loves to grab them whenever he can and tries to shove them towards his mouth.

Sleep:  Not great but after our experience with #1, it could be a lot worse.  He naps in the morning from 9:15ish-10:00 and in the afternoon from 1:30-4:00 (with a nursing break in the middle).  He occasionally takes a late morning nap around 11 or a late evening nap around 6:30.  He likes to go to bed for the night at 7:15 and wakes up most mornings between 6:30 and 7:00.  We had a few really rough nights but lately he has started enjoying longer stretches of 5 and 6 hours.  He is only up for a few minutes to eat in the middle of the night which is tolerable.  (Andrew bought earplugs for those nights when I am up a lot and feeling very sleepy.)  He falls asleep on his own 95% of the time with a pacifier and his legs swaddled.  I should probably unswaddle him soon but his recent find (his toes) are incredibly distracting and make it hard for him sleep.  He sleeps on his side but is starting to roll onto his tummy to sack out--this too is distracting and I sometimes find him with his head held high and a huge grin on his face.  When he wakes in the middle of the night he often wakes up talking and not crying.  When I go in to feed him he is happily trying to kick out of his swaddle and is always ready with a big grin.  (Did I mention he is a happy child?)

Eating:  We still nurse on demand but for Caleb it tends to be every 2.5-3 hours during the day.  He CAN'T WAIT to eat solid food.  Every bite we take at meals he grabs for and wants us to shove in his mouth.  We might start solids at 6 months but I also might wait until he has his pincer grasp to feed himself.  He happily takes a bottle if I am not around.

Likes:  Ben is pretty high up on the list of things that Caleb loves.  If Ben is in the room, Caleb is watching.  He loves his exersauce, jumperoo, and playmat with a musical duck.  He enjoys his taggy blanket and little snuggly blanket.  He likes to grab rattles and a colorful turtle toy.  Another favorite is a set of colored keys.  He likes to listen to books when we read to Ben.

Communication:  He giggles, coos, laughs and screeches.

Highlights:  We celebrated our third Mother's Day and it was so wonderful to have my two sweet boys around.  We enjoyed a visit from Aunt Joanna, plenty of sunshine and our first runs in the double stroller.  Last weekend the boys and I enjoyed a visit to see some college friends.   Every day is a joy with both boys as we watch them grown and change together.  It is fun watching Ben learn how to be a big brother and Caleb stare adoringly at him.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

4 (and a half) months!

I was waiting for Caleb's 4 month appointment to post for this month but now that it has come and gone, it is time to update my little guy's growth.

Height: 26.5 inches (89th percentile)
Weight:  16 lbs. 3 oz (68th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17.5 inches (92nd percentile)
Clothing size: 6-9 months
Diapers: a combo of bumgenius 4.0, rumparoos, and that Ben is POTTY TRAINED (HOORAY!) we have our choice of diapers.  He does wear disposables at night most of he time.
Teeth:  none--but he is drooling and chewing on his fingers like crazy.

In case you are curious to compare him to Ben at the same age he is an inch and half longer and 3 oz. lighter.

Sleeping:  I think my babies just aren't great night sleepers and I am okay with that.  Certainly I am tired and I wish they did better at night but getting them to do so is beyond me.  There were a couple of days in a row in this past month where I saw every single hour on the clock.  We did recently move him into his crib and that seems to be helping some but he ends up in our room when he starts the waking every hour trend--a trend which is starting later and later.  

He likes to go to bed between 7 and 7:30 and will give a nice long stretch of 4-5 hours to start off his evening.  After that it is anyone's guess.  He thankfully isn't up for very long when he does wake up--15 minutes tops so that helps.  

During the day he naps twice in the morning and once in the afternoon.  There are a lot of days when it is one morning nap and one afternoon nap but that is if he sleeps in.  Our little guy (who is currently punching himself in the face while I am typing) is an early riser and when the clock hits 6 a.m. his eyes pop open.  His morning nap is his travelling nap which means it is typically in his stroller or baby carrier because the morning is prime playground time for his big brother.

He does fall asleep on his side totally on his own 95% of the time with a pacifier and for his afternoon nap and at night swaddled loosely.

Eating:  If he could talk he would tell you he is ready for solids.  He lunges for our plates, spoons, the table, etc.  The second we sit down to eat, he is also ready to partake.  He is still exclusively nursing for at least the next month and a half.  He is an efficient eater and does his job in about 5 minutes.  He is more interactive now when he eats and gives me big grins as he is chowing down.  

Skills:  He rolled over for the first time belly to back on May 16th.  I guess he decided it was time.  He found his feet and loves playing with his hands.  He can almost get back to belly but gets stuck so maybe in another month or so.  He can kick himself in a circle and do a tripod sit with his hands braced in front of him.  He grabs toys with determination and purpose and is figuring out that certain toys make music.  He can pull his pacifier out of his mouth and almost get it back in much to his great delight!

Communication:  He coos, chatters, laughs and occasionally screeches and rarely cries.  His smile is infectious and he smiles all the time.

Loves:  Pretty much everything.  He adores his big brother, his dogs and anyone that talks to him.  He likes to listen to books, music and his Ben singing to him.  He likes to snuggle soft objects like his taggy blanket from his Aunt Jo or his snuggly bear from his Great Aunt Amy.  He is fascinated by the wind blowing through the trees when we are outside.  He loves to go for walks and seems to tolerate runs with the stroller just fine.

Highlights from the Month:
We didn't really go anywhere but had a month of just hanging out at home.  We've taken a lot of walks and trips to the playground as a result of nice weather.  The biggest highlight of this month was watching Ben take a more active "big brother" role.  He will sing to Caleb, pretend to pick him up and is very concerned whenever we leave that I take Caleb with us.  Being a mom of two adorable little boys is a huge blessing and I look forward to watching these two grow up together.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Three Months

Three months in and already late with my blog post!  Oh well, having two kids has made me late for more than just blogging!  Caleb's third month of life was busy.  Andrew had a lot going on at work, we enjoyed visiting family in Dayton and celebrating my birthday.

Weight:  14lbs. 4 oz.
Height:  (When he wakes up I'll let you know)
Clothing:  all 3-6 months with a couple of 0-3 pants--his legs seems a little short
Diapers:  fuzzibunz during the day and disposables at night
Cradle Cap: UGH!  It showed up and is out in full force....yes, I have tried coconut oil, olive oil, dandruff shampoo and brushing it...nothing works.

Loves:  Caleb loves his bouncy seat, swing, bumbo, brother, dogs, ceiling fans, baths, nursing, sleeping...basically everything.  He adores his big brother and watches him like a hawk.  He is an incredibly easy going and happy child.  He smiles whenever anyone looks at him or if he sees something he finds amusing.  He loves to listen to books and doesn't mind when he is read to while we are reading to Ben.

Skills:  He is starting to hit things intentionally and grab at things around him.  He isn't a roller yet but I think that is because he is very content in whatever position he is in.    He looks when you call his name and he recognizes his parents.  He is a chatterbox and over the past couple of weeks he has added to the noise level in our house with cheerful squeals and giggles.

Nursing:  Caleb eats on demand which is typically every 2 1/2 hours.  He has days where he still cluster feeds in the afternoon and late evening but those are starting to fade.  He is an incredibly fast eater and nurses in less than five minutes most of the time.

Sleeping:  Part of me hoped that our second child would enjoy nighttime sleep more than Ben but as of yet, it is not the case.  I will continue to rest in the comfort of knowing that it will happen eventually and now Ben is an awesome sleeper.

During the day Caleb takes a 45ish minute morning nap two hours after he wakes up which is between 6:30 and 7:00.  He takes either two 45 minute afternoon naps or one long stretch of two hours which starts around 1-1:30--this is really nice for me because it is around Ben's nap time and I have a bit of quiet in the house.  He takes an early evening nap for 30 minutes around 6:30-7:00--although I feel like that one is starting fade.  He likes to be in bed by 8:00 and we try our best to get him there.

His morning nap I let him take downstairs around all of the noise but in the afternoon I swaddle him and put him in his cradle.  He falls asleep on his own with a pacifier in his mouth 90% of the time.  Occasionally he likes a snuggle before bed.  At night he wakes up three times (and sometimes  more, sometimes less).  Even though he is up a lot, his fast nursing makes it bearable as I am rarely awake for more than 10 minutes.

Week by week our month went like this:
March 6-12th--Caleb survived a family round of the stomach flu.  I felt bad for the little guy as I was sick and Andrew and I experienced our first stomach bug as a family.

March 13-19th--We enjoyed a wonderful evening at my mother-in-law's house as she made me a delicious birthday dinner and invited a few friends over.  Andrew made a scrumptious cheesecake.  Caleb spent an afternoon away from me as Andrew gave me some "mommy time" and told me to go shopping.

March 20-26th--I spent six days as a single mom while Andrew went to Ithaca for a trial academy. The boys and I managed but it isn't something any of us want to do very often.

March 27-April 6th--Caleb's first Easter egg hung, first Easter celebration, and first car trip to Dayton to visit Dan and Hilary.  He did an amazing job in the car and didn't cry hardly at all.  He slept through our visit to the Airforce Museum but enjoyed hanging out with his cousin on the floor.


We feel so blessed to have two wonderful boys and are enjoying our life with two littles.  Perhaps next month Caleb will roll...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Two Months

It seems pretty incredible that we have a two year old and a two month old.  March 6th crept up on me and it took me until lunchtime to remember that Caleb is already two months old!

Height/Weight TBA on March 15th--at his 1 month appointment he was 12 lbs. 2 oz. so I expect his weight to be in the 13-14 lb. range.

Clothing:  3-6 months with a couple 0-3 mixed in if he is wearing disposable diapers

Hair: reddish brown

Skills:  The skills department is still rather limited, unless you count being incredibly cute.  Caleb can roll onto his side but has made it from tummy to back or back to tummy.  He doesn't love his tummy time yet although he can hold his head right up and push up onto his elbows.  He started to smile and is becoming more and more interested in things around him.  He loves to watch his big brother.

Loves/Hates:  Like most newborns, Caleb enjoys being snuggled.  He is a pro at sleeping on someone's chest during the day.  He likes to be swaddled to fall asleep although I often find him with at least one arm free when he wakes up in the night.  I don't swaddle him for nap which he takes in various places in the house.  I want him to associate swaddling with nighttime sleep.  He enjoys his swing, bouncy seat, sling and Moby wrap. He tolerates taking a bath pretty well. He still does not enjoy his car seat but will fall asleep in it if we go for a long enough drive.  He does not like to have a dirty diaper at all.

Sleeping:  During the day Caleb wakes up around 7:30 and will stay awake for about 2 hours.  He takes a short morning nap of about 45 minutes and will stay awake for about an hour.  After that he it out for a long time.  Most days he naps from around 12-4:30.  I know that this seems incredibly long but I have stopped trying to get him to stay awake during this time.  I typically wake him halfway through to eat and he sacks out after his snack.  After his long nap he is awake again for another 2sih hours, takes a 30 minute siesta and then goes to bed between 8:30-9:30.  At night he has given me 5 hours in a row to start off his evening on numerous occasions but he still has nights where he is up every 3 hours.  He is all business in the middle of the night however, which is really nice because I am rarely awake for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Eating:  Caleb, like Ben is an enthusiastic nurser.  He noisily gobbles his milk and is often finished eating in less than 10 minutes.  At first I was worried he wasn't getting enough but as his rolls have multiplied I became convinced that he is just a fast eater.  Ben liked to spend at least 45 minutes nursing so this change is one that has taken some adjustment.  He still gulps fast when he is hungry which at times leads to a lot of air in his stomach and some enormous burps but he is getting better at slowing down.  He greedy gulping is part of the reason I wake him during his long day nap because when he goes for too long his stomach seems a bit upset.

What we are learning:    While both of our boys are incredibly happy babies, Caleb seems to be a little more independent than Ben was at this age.  Ben LOVED to nurse to sleep and snuggle all day long.  Caleb loves to snuggle but he also has moments where he simply wants to be left alone to sleep.  At night he goes to sleep with a plastic pacifier instead of a mommy pacifier.  He follows a eat, wake, sleep pattern a lot better than his brother did which I find funny since we haven't done anything differently with the two of them.  If I am going anywhere it takes me twice as long--at least-- to get out of the house.  I am learning how to manipulate the grocery cart with one kid in a wrap and the other int he cart and I am figuring out that I need  to plan out trips well in advance if I hope to get anywhere.

What we've been up to:  This month was pretty quiet as we continued to adjust to our new normal.  We went to Mom's group a couple of times, made it to church every Sunday and went for a couple of walks.  The weather is still pretty gross outside so our walks have been short.  I am hoping that Spring will come quickly so we can get out a lot more.  Highlights from the month included a visit from Joanna and a visit from Hilary and Lauren this month.  Caleb has enjoyed snuggles from his grandparents who live up the road as well as other friends who have stopped in to meet him.  All in all, Caleb's second month was pretty uneventful.  We love his chubby little face  and are excited to see how he grows and changes in the month to come.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Getting Older...(25 months)

Last month Ben turned two and we all enjoyed looking at his icy blue eyes as they looked happily at his train birthday cake.  He is getting so big and grown up.  As he continues in the journey through his second year of life, Ben's blog posts will focus more on the fun things he is doing each month.

Health:  Ben had his two year check up on February 15th.  At that check-up his growth stats are as follows:  weight--26 pounds and height 35.5 inches.  He is tall, skinny and very healthy.  He made it through two years of life without ever being on an antibiotic or going to the doctor for anything but well checks.  Hopefully he won't visit the doctor again until he turns 3.  

The Not-so-fun:  The last month or so Ben has started to test his boundaries.  It is true that our angelic little boy will do things that he is told not to do--shocking, I know.  It is probably a combination of him getting older along with the arrival of his little brother.  Two prime examples of this are mealtimes when he spits food out on the floor or when he dumps water out of the tub during his bath.  Andrew and I are both learning how to navigate this stage and a friend of ours with a toddler told us it, "is about time," that Ben is displaying some less than perfect behavior.  

The FUN!  Ben fills our days with laughter.  He talks all of the time and is using sentences with more than three words.  He uses adjectives to describe things and is trying to figure out how to use pronouns.  When we walk down stairs he will often say, "Carry you Ben?"  His language explosion is so much fun to witness and it reinforces our decision to keep TV watching limited to the occasional Youtube viewing of a garbage truck or train.  He loves books and picks up so many words/ideas from what he is reading.    Every few days I do send a few books on vacation (under the couch) because 200 pages of Curious George or 100 Nursery Rhymes get a little exhausting.  Yesterday we were looking for a toy and we found a few vacationing books and Ben exclaimed, "Books vacation all done!"  (as you can imagine the curious little monkey was back in the rotation).

Hanging out with Ben everyday is a joy as his laughter fills our house and his actions make his parents laugh.  One of my favorite Ben things is whenever he walks backwards it is accompanied by a, "beep, beep, beep," like a truck.  He loves to get dizzy to Bodypump music while I am learning new releases, he likes to crawl under things such as the dogs or our legs and calls them dog tunnels and leg tunnels.  He hangs out in the swing or bouncy seat occasionally which makes everyone laugh.  

With Caleb as a part of our lives and gross winter weather hanging on, we have been stuck in the house more than usual.  The result of this is a love of running errands or going on mommy or daddy dates.  He discovered the car carts at the grocery store and he happily makes car noises while we shop and if we bump the cart he appropriately accompanies the crash with a "BANG!"  He loves special treats from local bakeries.  He is anxious for the weather to clear up so he can go for runs with either Andrew and I and will climb in and out of the "hingle Bob" (single Bob stroller) in anticipation.  We are both waiting for Caleb to get bigger so we can try out the double.  
He is adjusting to having Caleb in the house and tries to be a big helper.  He says hi to Caleb when he sees him and is accepting the fact that Caleb gets to hang out in my lap--the minute my lap is free however, it is quickly filled with a toddler and a book.  We have tried hard to keep his routine as consistent as possible which has helped with the transition.  I treasure the quiet moments I have with him before bed or nap where he and I hang out, read books and sing songs.  He loves to be sung to and often makes requests such as, "Jesus loves Me,"  "Noah boat," "Splish Splash" and "Jesus Go."  (A few of those are Deerfoot songs that I've had to learn.)

We are loving life as a family of four and it is exciting to see Ben take on his role of the big brother. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

One month!

I thought time flew by when we had Ben but now with two little ones filling our lives it is ridiculous how quickly things pass.  Caleb turned one month yesterday.  In the last month we have learned our new normal.  Ben is adjusting, the dogs are adjusting and we are squeezing in sleep whenever we can!

Some stats...
Height:  TBA on February 15th.

Clothing size:  0-3 months with some 3-6 months.  Newborn clothes never even touched his chubby body.

Diapers:  size 1 disposables and cloth--although I will admit we aren't in cloth full-time as I am still adjusting to all of the laundry

Eyes:  Blue

Hair: dirty blond fuzz all over his head

Chub: rolls all over, including the back of his head

Sleeping:  Caleb likes to sleep...a lot!  He has settled into a schedule of waking up around 7 until about 9, taking a 45 minute nap, waking up and settling into a 4 hour marathon nap around 11.  I wake him us halfway through the marathon  nap and feed him.  He takes another evening nap and settles down for the night around 9.  Night time is still a bit of an adjustment but he "typically" gives us 4 hours straight before needing a snack.  He falls asleep on his own with a pacifier and is starting to enjoy swaddling.  Having a little one who is a good sleeper is pretty awesome!  He will fall asleep while being snuggled but there are times when he just wants to be put down with his pacifier to sleep.

Skills:  He can hold his head up and roll onto his side.  He likes to hang out in his bouncy seat and his swing.  (which I consider skills at this stage in our lives.) He tolerates time on his tummy.  He is starting to be more awake during the day.

Nursing:  He is a champion eater and guzzles his food quickly that he sometimes chugs a bit of air which give him Brautigam hiccups.  I let him nurse on-demand which is about every 2 1/2 hours--except for in the early evening where he likes to cluster feed.

Likes/dislikes:  His big  brother discovered he likes his pacifier which is wonderful.  He likes to be snuggled up in his sling and moby wrap.  He tolerates a bath but it isn't a highlight.  He hates his carseat.  We haven't tried out the stroller yet because it has been so cold. He loves to look at the animals over his changing table and seems to enjoy listening to us read to Ben.

Overall we've had a great first month with our new family of four.  Andrew and I wonder what we did before we had children but we are learning to enjoy our evenings of books, baths, and babies.