Monday, September 26, 2016

Josie's 4 Month Update

Today truly feels like the first day of fall.  The temperature has finally dropped from the humid 80's to the cool and breezy lower 70's.  I have the windows open and a gentle breeze is flowing through our house.  It gives me hope that a new season will bring some most welcome changes in our household.  Because to put it mildly, Spring and Summer plain sucked the wind right out of my sails.  It's been rough and unfortunately last month wasn't any better.  Thank God for my beautiful girls despite such tough times.
Sneaking outside for some playtime and bubbles!
What We've Been Up To:

This month we really didn't get out much.  It was a tough one.  We attempted a 5K, but it was rainy and Josie screamed almost the entire time, so we headed home right after the race.  She has decided on top of everything else that she is going to be terribly afraid of anyone other than Mark, me, and Stella.  It seems to be getting a tad better in the past week, but she screams when we have to send her to the Grandparents (only twice this past month because I feel bad asking anyone to watch her!) or when a stranger looks at her.  Stella never went through this, and it's hopefully a phase that will pass soon.  I love my baby but she's pretty high-maintenance and mama needs a BREAK sometimes!! 
Daddy and his girls. 

Last Sunday we finally managed to celebrate our 5 year anniversary (3 months late, but to get it done at all was an accomplishment this summer!)  We took the girls to Walnut Grove Pioneer Village in Iowa where we got married.  It's a cute old-fashioned town with a church and buildings set up as they were in the Pioneer days.  Mark and I fell in love with it and are so happy we got married there.  It was a beautiful day and since it was later in the year it wasn't very busy.  Stella had a few meltdowns (to be expected lately) but given the circumstances it was a great day.  The church was locked up but when we peaked inside Stella got upset because she thought the alter was the Carebear Castle and wanted to go see it haha!  We got a picture out front, something we plan to do every 5 years.

Stella enjoyed sitting in the train and swinging with mama and Josie, and she especially liked having ice cream in the parlor.  She didn't care for going in the buildings, confined spaces scare her right now.  So we just walked while Mark looked around :) 

We thought about having lunch at the Golf Course down the road where our rehearsal dinner was held but the girls were fussy so we headed back to the Quad Cities.  Maybe next time.  They were tearing down the building where our reception was held the very next day, so we drove by and I caught one last picture of it.  It was The Lodge, an old rustic hotel.  It really deteriorated in the last few years, so sad to see.  After that we stopped at Panera for lunch.  When they called names over the loud speaker Stella yelled "coffee light ice" like we were in the McDonalds drive through!  So hilarious!  (mama needs to lay off the iced coffee I think!)  We headed home after that so Mark could do some yard work and the girls could get to bed.  It was a fun day, just as I'd hoped.  I'm such a sucker for traditions.  Mark and I really hope things calm down this winter so we can take a quick relaxing vacation, just the two of us, to really celebrate our 5 year anniversary.  He's not a huge fan of vacations but I am, and I know it really is hard to get away with kids and a busy job.  So an every 5 year anniversary trip is a great compromise :)

The only other outings we did this month were separate so one of us could stay home with the kids.  Mark went to an antique tractor show one day and I went out for a delicious supper with my mom and sister to celebrate her birthday.  We planned on doing the zoo last week but it rained.  Such a rainy summer!  Hopefully this weekend we can go...

Josie loves watching Kaiser, and he tries to sneak in kisses for Josie when we're not looking!

The Routine:
We ended up pulling the AR medicine again.  I swore it was causing her constipation.  She went 3 or 4 days without pooping when I started it back up, and when I pulled it again she finally pooped!  But I was wrong.  She has been off the medicine for about a month and she is constipated again.  It's been about 4 days this time too.  I'm doing gas drops a few times a day and still nothing.  I did buy infant suppositories to have on hand, so might have to give her one tomorrow if she doesn't poop today.  Must just be something with her digestive system.  She does still have acid reflux, but I don't want to start the meds back up unless I have to.  She does spit-up a lot and often, but she isn't fussy so I want to avoid them for now.  She is taking 6oz about every 3 hours, so we are still doing ok.  Just have to change clothes (hers and mine!) a few times a day.

So the sleeping.  She has slept through the night since about 8 weeks, but a few weeks ago she started waking up multiple times a night.  She just was sleeping horribly.  Finally I asked Mark if he thought she outgrew her bassinet.  She always tried to turn sideways and I wondered if being contained was waking her up.  We had Stella in the bassinet until around 6 months I believe, but it never bothered her.  We lost a nephew to SIDS at 3 and a half months, so I am more paranoid of moving to the crib than most.  Especially since Josie started rolling over already!!  But she wasn't sleeping and neither were we, plus we do have the AngelCare monitor, so we decided to give it a try.  It was the answer!  Once we moved her to the crib she started sleeping from about 6:30pm until about 7:30 am, not waking up once!  And some mornings she even sleeps until 8:30am!  Such a blessing.  Naps are still another story...she won't take them ANYWHERE, except in the car or her bouncy chair if you are bouncing her.  I think she just doesn't want to miss out, she's a very alert baby.  It gets to be a LONG day when a 4 month old refuses to nap for 11 hours.  During Stella's nap I used to get so much done, and she still naps every afternoon so it's been hard for me to give up that chunk of time.  I am working on making better use of my mornings and evenings now that Josie sleeps so good at night, and will just set aside nap time for reading or computer work while I bounce her.  Adapt and adjust.  Story of a parent's life, right?

Last day in bassinet/first night in crib.  So tiny!
Every once and a while Josie will nap in the swing.  Heaven!

We had her 4 month check-up this month.  She got 3 shots and an oral vaccine.  Handled them like a champ!  She was 23" (4%, guess she's short like me) and 13 lbs 9.8 oz (36%).  So for being a big newborn she's kinda a peanut now.  In fact I just changed her clothes over to the 3-6 months last week as well as started her in size 2 diapers.  Maybe it's because she's so active and spits up so much I don't know.  Still in the healthy range so I'm not worried.  Just different because Stella was such a little chub!  Gotta say I miss those baby rolls :)

A Few of Josie's Favorite Things:
  • Again, attention!  She has the warmest, biggest baby smile I've ever seen.  She just lights up when mommy, daddy, and Stella talk to her and play with her.  She's not too vocal, but she does babble and squeal with delight in the late afternoons.
  • She loves to reach out and touch our faces.  She already shows preference for certain toys and looks for them after she drops them.  She's a smart baby!
  • She has already figured out how to push and pull her musical toys.  She plays much better on her mat now, but still prefers the Bumbo and her bouncy chair.
  • Rolling over!  She first did it at 3.5 months but we missed it.  We looked down and she was on her tummy on her mat!  But after doing it once we now can't keep her on her back.  I don't even have to do tummy time anymore, she does it herself!  She prefers it!  Still working on rolling from tummy to back though.
  • "Exercise" time with mama.  After Stella's developmental delays I like to keep an eye on Josie.  So far she is well above average.  She can already keep her head level when pulled to sitting and bear weight on her legs.  I prop her up with pillows and I don't think she's too far from sitting on her own!
  • Babywearing!  I invested in an Ergo baby carrier.  I never bought one with Stella, I tried the hand-me-down Bjorn from my sister-in-law and didn't really care for it.  This one was a tad pricey but SO worth it.  I did lots of research and this seemed the best.  Safer for babies, tons of positions to wear them in, and can be used from birth up to toddler.  Plus so easy to put on myself!  I have to use it when we go shopping or run errands.  She doesn't like to be cooped up in her seat in the cart.  It's so hard taking my girls out in public so splurging on the perfect carrier was one of the best decisions I've made!  Now I look forward to taking her out, she loves to be snuggled up against me taking the world in.  Hopefully helping her social anxiety too...
    Puppy always has to do what sister Josie is doing!
    Huge fan of the Bumbo...even fell asleep in it!
1st day rolling over!
Sisters and best friends!  Even both thumb suckers!!  Stella always shares puppy, her most prized toy.  She sure loves sister Josie!

Around the House:
  • Just like after I had Stella, my back was completely out of whack this month.  I could barely get out of bed in the mornings.  So we decided to break down and head to the chiropractor again.  He said I was really out of alignment but was able to straighten me out.  He also adjusted Mark's hip, which was giving him trouble when he took up running again.  Now that I am back in alignment I am really hoping I can start taking better care of myself.  I am hanging onto this baby weight for dear life once again.  The sickness, all Stella's therapy, and Josie's extreme colic have left me drained.  I love my girls but it'd be a lie if I said I wasn't overwhelmed with motherhood right now.  I am pouring from an empty cup though, so I know I must take better care of myself to be the mommy my girls need and deserve.  That is my number one priority this month.  Fall is my favorite time of year, so I know it will bring some new motivation and breathe life into me once again. 
  • Harvest is right around the corner, so Mark has been working to get things wrapped up around the yard.  Once harvest ends it seems winter approaches, and we haven't been ready the past few years.  This winter is rumored to be a bad one so we're starting early!
  • And miss Stella.  Poor Stella.  After my last post her cold took a turn for the worse and we ended up at the doctors.  She had a double ear infection.  Stella REFUSES medicine with a passion so he prescribed chewable amoxicilan.  Thankfully we could break them in half and hide them in Reece's peanut butter cup minis, so she got over that with the help of the medicine.  But she did miss a week  of daycare.  I'd like to say that was the end of it, but after about a week of being healthy she got sick again a few days ago.  Just seems to be a cold, and she is at daycare today, but she was coughing so we will see how this pans out.  Give this girl a damn break already!  I'm so angry.  She's been sick since July 4th.  ENOUGH. 
  • I still plan to do a post on Stella soon.  There is so much to update on.  I'm just trying really hard right now to grasp everything that's going on with her and make sense of it myself before I share her struggles.  So I will just say for now that we had her transition meeting at the end of August to decide the gameplan for Pre-K.  When she turns 3 she will be done with Early Intervention and move to public schooling.  We decided to put moving on hold until next summer.  I desperately wanted her in Annawan or Geneseo school district when she started school, so much that we even contemplated buying a place in town to move into while we wait for our dream country house.  But then we realized the timing is wrong.  We are so busy and stressed and harvest is here, so it would only make things worse.  I observed Stark County's Pre-K (we are in Bradford district but they don't do IEPs in Pre-K because it's so small, so they bus their IEP preschoolers to Start County Grade School in Wyoming).  I loved what I saw.  I think the teacher, aide, and program will be a great fit for Stella this year.  Truly an answered prayer, thanks be to God.  We will have the IEP meeting closer to her birthday.  She will go Monday-Friday afternoons, which is a lot and will take away her nap, but she is READY.  She will do great.  I'm just not ready to let her go yet, but it's for the best.  And we will still have lazy and relaxing mornings together, I'm thankful for that.
And that's a wrap for now.  I'm sorry every post seems so negative lately.  I do count my blessings and love my girls, and we are enjoying our time together.  Just been a challenging few months.  Praying fall brings the end to the sickness and some positive changes around here.  Going to do my best to make it happen!  Be back next month with a post on Josie's routine and her 5 month update!  Enjoy the best month ever :)