Monday, June 30, 2008

An Explosive Weekend Update

As weekends go, this past one was pretty great. I for one learned a LOT about my husband and daughter... apparently Jay is a closet pyromaniac and Addison went from two to a teenager overnight. We also had a lot of fun, so bear with the myriad of pictures!

Saturday, Addi and Jay ran to the store and returned with a new sandbox, sand toys, and swimming pool, so he was pretty much dad of the year. Then, Addi, Sami and I met my friend Becky for lunch, where I found out the trick to getting a rebellious two year old to behave in a restaurant is to threaten her with the waitress. I told her to sit down... she ignored me... then I told her the waitress was going to yell at her and she sat down so fast, you would have thought her butt was on fire. After trying that trick out a few more times I am tempted to eat every meal from here on out at Old Chicago.

Saturday night, we had some friends over for dinner, and in preparation Addi insisted on dressing herself. In big girl panties. And putting her potty in the kitchen. YUM. Then, when I insisted she actually get dressed, she picked out a crazy outfit but at least it included pants. She got very independent this weekend, insisting she do everything herself. She also mastered opening the fridge door, which I found out when she carried a gallon of milk upstairs. Never a dull moment!

The fashion victim herself

Unfortunately, that was short-lived. The next time she went potty she escaped pants-less to her swing set (GIRL IS FAST!!!), but when she figured out going down the slide was virtually impossible naked she quickly got dressed,

Pants-less wonder

After dinner and bedtime, Jay and Justin disappeared to the garage and came back with a few fireworks which they said NEEDED to be set off. I expected a few bottle rockets so didn't say anything... and THIS is what we saw:

Guess who brought back fireworks from Indiana??? They were HUGE... and we have 65 more just like it in our garage for our 5th of July party. I hope we don't get arrested.

The master firemen at work

Sam watching the fireworks... she looks like she is dancing!
On Sunday, Jay and the girls and I headed to Wildlife Prairie State Park. It was such a nice day out so we spent a few hours walking around, checking out the animals. Addi had a great time... Sam of course soaked in the whole experience and has been begging to go back ever since.
Addi and the donkeys... she went right up and petted them!

We ended the day on a train ride around the park. A great end to a great weekend!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'....

... guess who started rollin'?

During tummy time yesterday, Samantha rolled over, twice! What's up for tomorrow, jogging?

First, she started by sucking on her arm...

Then, she needed to check out the place...

And then BOOM, she was on her back!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We Live in a Changing World... of Diapers

That's pretty much my life these days. With two girls in diapers and Pullups, I am constantly changing a diaper, emptying the diaper genie, filling the wipes container, or reading about how to potty train Addi. Basically, my life is now all about poop and pee.

Addi is still on the fence with potty training, but one thing has changed... now, instead of blaming Coco or Elmo for her poopy pants, she blames Samantha. Smart kid.

I am still attempting to snap a picture of Samantha smiling... above was my latest attempt. In the process I caught her sneezing, which for some reason is the freakin' cutest thing ever. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Storytime PSA

As I have mentioned on several occasions, one of the toughest parts of being a parent (for me) is trying to teach Addi right from wrong. It's such a hard job, and anyone and everyone has an opinion on how to stop her from hitting, biting, yelling, lying, etc. Finding the right approach that will work for your kids is pretty tough... Just walk through Walmart on a Saturday afternoon and you can see examples of parenting gone bad on any given aisle.

Basically, I am always looking for ideas to ensure my girls don't hold up a liquor store one day. So, when I got invited to an Usborne book party and saw a set of books with the description "Cautionary tales for children everywhere to warn of the perils of behaving badly and not doing what you're told," you can bet I snatched those bad boys up faster than you can say "time out". Addi loves to read each night before bed, so I excitedly waited for these illustrated life lessons to hit my mailbox, knowing that she would be a better person because of them.

And then they showed up. Wow.

The first one we read together was titled "Give that back, Jack!" Addi has trouble sharing, so this one seemed like a definite winner. Jack, like Addi, likes to take things from other kids, so I was very interested in seeing exactly HOW Addi would learn the joy of sharing.

Apparently, in this children's book, if you don't share, you get eaten by a snake. A LARGE snake.

I hoped this was a mistake, just a bedtime tale gone bad, so on to "Don't tell lies, Lucy" we went. And Lucy got swept off to sea by a tidal wave. Then, Billy the bully got taken into outer space by an alien. The tamest of them all was Graham, who was greedy.... he got carried off by pigs to live on a farm, which on some days doesn't sound like a bad place to send a two year old.

Addi, of course, LOVES these books. Each night she yells out "Billy!" or "Lucy!" and demands we read them to her. Needless to say, it's pretty difficult to tell her straight faced to behave or risk ending up like one of her storybook friends, so we are back to gentle persuasion and begging for good behavior. Although, if she had ever seen an episode of the X-Files, these books might actually work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Our Chubby Baby

This week Samantha had her one month check up at the doctor. She had a great report, is gaining weight like a champ, and was in perfect health (minus a small case of thrush). She weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, up from 7-11 at the last appointment. She also proved to be very strong, holding her head up and almost rolling over, so I'm sure I will blink and she'll be walking.
To us she looks like such a chubby baby... her clothes are finally beginning to fit, her face and body are filling out, and the size 1-2 diapers actually fit her now. But, for a little perspective, she weighted an ounce LESS than Addison did when she was born! For some reason that just astounds me.... it also makes me feel a bit better about how giant my belly got the first time!
Overall, Sam is doing great! She is smiling every now and then, awake more often, and last night she slept for five whole hours at one time. I see sleep in my future and it looks GREAT.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beware of the Quiet Child

As a parent, quiet time is very rare and a special treat - when you are 100% aware of what your kids are doing or where they are. If, like last night, they are inexplicably quiet for longer than a minute, your initial reaction may very well be "Wow! I can unload the dishwasher/pee in private/insert action here."

However, I am quickly learning that what your reaction SHOULD be is, "What is my kid doing wrong?"

See this bottle? It's like a hair miracle for a two-year-old... it smells good, it is in a fun, non-threatening package, and most importantly, it allows me to comb through Addi's hair with minimal screams.

What this is NOT is lotion. Which I found out when I investigated my very quiet child last night. I found her in her bathroom, rubbing this on every inch of her body. Arms, legs, feet.... Even the toilet seat now smells yummy because Addi was sure to "lotion" it up too. Unfortunately, it was hard to yell at her because it does resemble lotion in packaging and consistency, and since I personally put lotion on 100 times a day, it's easy to see where the confusion and desire to put this on came from.

Another important note: This "lotion" does not wash off easily. After 30 minutes in the tub, I finally had a clean, non-conditioned child. Oh, the parenting fun.

I guess I should just be grateful that she didn't lotion up the dog. Or her sister.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

As I mentioned before, Jay's sister Jill came to visit with her two kids to meet the baby and help out where she could. All we really did was relax and take in the Steamboat Festival downtown (which was a disappointment overall), then they left very early this morning to drop Megan off at Purdue. Jay had to work all weekend so right now he is napping on the couch with Samantha, Addi is napping in her room, the dogs are napping on the ground, and I am slaving away here. Oh what I do for this blog... I am so selfless. :)

Aunt Jill with baby Samantha... Addison was the photographer here

At the festival... Addi and Allie (mid-air behind Addi) enjoyed a few rides

The Pigtail Brigade, watching the rides...

And finally, Samantha, taking it all in.

Overall, it was a decent weekend. Addi fell down a few times and got a fat lip and Jay had a very boring Father's Day, including a trip to the grocery store. Hope it was great for you all!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Memory Like an Elephant

Everyday when Addi gets home from the sitter, we have the exact same conversation. It goes something like this:

Me: Addi, how was your day?
Addi: Kims house (translation: I went to Kim's house today.)
Me: What did you do at Kim's house?
Addi: Cameron Rrrroarrrr! (translation: Cameron chased me around, pretending to be a dinosaur, growling.)
Me: Addi, Cameron wasn't at Kim's today. Did you read books or color today?
Addi: Caelen bite me on my tummy. Ow-ow!
Me: Addi, Caelen bit you in February. That was a long time ago. She wasn't at Kim's today either so I bet she didn't bite you today.
Addi: Yes, Caelen bite me! See? (lifts shirt, points)
Me: OK (defeated and giving up)

Somehow the kid can't remember not to hit, to tell us when she needs to go potty, or where she left her favorite toy, but she can't forget things that happened several months ago. Ugh.

Anyway, yesterday after we had our regular conversation, we helped Jay cook dinner. Addi helped by holding the baby outside and did a remarkably good job.

I had to take a picture of their feet.... I can't believe Addi was ever this small.

After dinner we attempted to get a picture of Sam's smile... It's pretty elusive but I've seen it a few times. This was immediately following the smile :)

And finally here is a picture of my dad's dog. He is basically my shadow... constantly underfoot and wants to be with the baby nonstop. Anytime I turn my head he licks her. Have I mentioned I'll be happy when he goes home?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

4 Weeks Ago Yesterday....

Samantha Jane was born! I was going to post that yesterday but mommy-hood got in the way. I've been trying to spend more time with just Addi to help fend off her tantrums... so far it's not really working but I'm hopeful!

Here are the girls right after we got home, Addi wanted me to take her picture and Sam of course jumped right in. Camera hog.

Then, I got out this baby toy for Addi and again Sam insisted on being in the picture. That kid loves to say cheese! Of course I am kidding (for those of you who think I have lost my mind) - but anytime we get anything baby-ish out, Addi insists it's for her. Ah, life with two.

Overall, life here is hectic but good... We are still dog-sitting for my dad's dog Rowdy, so that keeps things interesting. Rowdy is pretty much the opposite of Smokey, who has two speeds - turbo or sleep. Rowdy has to be ALL up in my business all the time, and will try to lick the baby anytime I turn my back. He also enjoys laying on the kitchen and patio tables and sitting in Addi's clubhouse at the top of her swingset. And unfortunately, I am not kidding. Rowdy will return to North Dakota next week when my dad gets back from Alaska, and as much fun as it is to have two dogs, a cat and two kids, I'll gladly go back to ignoring just two four-legged animals.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Night, Night, Sleep Tight (Fingers Crossed!!!)

After a trip to Sam's Club, a few meltdowns and several snacks, we got Addi into her jammies, read some stories, and had some cuddle time. She is so sweet at night, it's hard to believe that sometimes (to quote a good friend) I would gladly sell her for a quarter. Let's all cross our fingers that the Ralph Family has an uneventful night's sleep.
Oh, and birth announcements will be in the mail by Thursday, for those wondering. I just finished them and just need to get them in the envelopes. Night night!

"It's not fair..."

That phrase is what I swear Addison has running through her head at all times, now that she has a sister. She LOVES Samantha and wants to hold her constantly (although two minutes later it's "Get her off!"), and is extremely helpful when it comes to helping with Sam's needs. All in all, she is a rock star big sister.


3 a.m. is NOT the time to hold the baby. Or the time to start the "It's not fair" accusations. I would actually prefer to hold those off indefinitely but I know that's impossible. But NO, my desires are not taken into account here, at least not by the 2-year-old boss of the house.

This morning at 3 a.m., Samantha was getting a bottle. So Addi (who had inexplicably woken up to a leaky Dora Pull Up) decided she also needed milk. As well as a snack. Then Samantha needed burped and rocked. And so did Addi. Then, Sam decided it was just too fun in our room and really didn't need to sleep. And because what sister gets Addi should have, she also didn't need to sleep - in fact, some cartoons would be nice. Some toys too, perhaps a plastic cash register that makes all kinds of great noises. And if she could hold the baby, that would please her as well.

Needless to say, I am tired. My poor husband had his alarm set for 3:45 and got to shut it off without having it go off, since he was already awake, so he is exhausted today. Addi finally gave up the fight at 5 a.m. and fell asleep, and Sam followed suit and also sacked out. Better luck tonight!

Monday, June 9, 2008

No time to blog

So, I have no time to blog, let alone think up witty, funny stories to talk about. I counted it up and I currently am feeding the baby or preparing to feed the baby for about 8 hours a day, which makes me feel better when I don't seem to have time to shower. I am working on starting a routine but 3.5 weeks after having a baby I am working on not falling asleep right now.

This weekend my brother, his wife Roxy, and their daughter Sabrina came to visit, then Sunday we relaxed and tried to fly Addi's kite. A pretty laid back weekend with a visit to the Peoria Chiefs game and watching the girls play with Sabrina's slip in slide. And can I say, I don't know how I ever thought that thing was fun as a kid... ouch!

The unsuccessful kite

In baby news, Samantha is quickly packing on the pounds and is more alert every day. She however does not have down the posing in front of the camera moves that Addi has mastered. Here is the only usable picture of her from a 10 minute photo shoot today. I still think she is gorgeous.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Good Doctor's Report

Someone should turn me into the Blog police... my last post talks about Sam's growing problems, I promise an update, and then I fall down on the job. Let's blame it on lack of sleep, OK?

Anyway, Sam and I (by the way, I do call her Sam, Sami, Samster and Samantha, so you are free to do the same!) made our umpteenth trip to the pediatrician for her follow up appointment. And, she finally gained weight! Hooray for Sam! The doc said as long as we continue what we are doing and make sure she is getting a certain number of ounces in a day, we should be on the right track. She has her one month appointment in a few weeks and that's when we will find out for certain everything is going OK. What a sigh of relief!

A side effect of all the eating is spitting up. Really, it's not too bad but it sure can turn a sweet-smelling baby into a not-so-sweet-smelling baby pretty quickly. Here is a picture of Addi assisting in Samantha's bath.... She did remarkably well (Addi, not Sam) - I fully expected her to try to dump water directly over her head like we do to her. But she was gentle as always.

In other Ralph news, this weekend we had a visit from the Pletcher family, cousin Alicia, and Jay's dad Steve and wife Carol. It was great to have additional hands around the house for a few hours, and most of the kids liked holding Sam (see Mara below). Addi apparently did NOT like other people holding "her baby".

I am off to the dentist - not sure why I thought a 6 month checkup 3 weeks after having a kid was a good idea but I don't always claim to be a genius. Lucky for me the girls are both still asleep so I can shower in peace. Although, I feel like sleeping like Sam below!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Two Week Checkup Scare

So, it's been a looooonnng weekend. On Wednesday, Samantha had her two week checkup and we were expecting it to be pretty uneventful. However, I was shocked to find out that instead of gaining the 1/2 to one ounce per day since her last visit, she actually had lost and was down quite a bit. We upped her feedings and took her back the next day to find that she had lost two ounces more, so we were pretty freaked out.

The doctor decided that from Thursday to Monday (tomorrow) we needed to feed her bottles instead of nursing her (to document exactly how much she took in) every two to three hours and come back Monday, and if her weight didn't increase dramatically, we might have to admit her to the hospital to get IV fluids, etc. started. We have been doing exactly what they told us and are crossing our fingers that it's working. I took her in Friday afternoon for a weight check and she was up 2 ounces, so we so far were on the right track.

After our appointment tomorrow we will hopefully have an improved update. Not a great weekend but it can always be worse.
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