Friday, November 1, 2013

Sisters: Getting to Know Each Other

We were understandably a little nervous about bringing home our new addition to our family.  We had no idea how Monica would react to Lauren, and what type of adjustment period to anticipate.

The great news is that Monica is absolutely crazy about her little sister.  

In fact, the second night we were home from the hospital, Monica showed up in our room at 4 a.m., just to make sure that Lauren was resting comfortably.  Luckily, Monica was very reasonable when we explained to her that it is very important that she stays in her own room at night, and that mommy and daddy would promise to take care of Lauren, as long as she would sleep all night in her big girl bed :)

But, Monica is a great helper during the day with Lauren.  When Lauren is sad and cries, Monica tries to cheer her up by bringing her toys, entertaining her with picnics, and reading stories to her, and hanging out on her playmat.

That said, while Lauren appreciates Monica's efforts, she definitely lets her know when she needs her space.

Monica also loves to hold Lauren snuggle her with lots of hugs and love.

This is one of my favorites - not because of the picture itself, but because of the story behind it.  Monica was whining and insisting that she get a turn to sit with Lauren.  But as soon as I sat her up next to her, Monica was mad that she was leaning on her.  Monica kept scooting away and, naturally, Lauren kept leaning, until the two of them ended up slumped all over each other.

Some dolls and stuffed animals to cheer up Lauren.

As a mom of two, one of my most favorite parts is when Monica and I are playing and we hear Lauren wake up from her nap.  As soon as Monica hears her make a peep over the monitor, she starts shouting, "Help her, help her!" and races for the stairs so we can go upstairs and get her from her crib.

That's not to say that parenting two isn't without it's challenges!  As Lauren becomes more mobile and is getting interested in toys, we've had plenty of opportunities to work on Monica's sharing skills.

As you can see below, Monica is streaking by to get to Lauren.  She is never far away when Lauren starts checking out a new toy!

We've worked out some strategies to handle this, though.  We ask Monica up front which toys she would like to share with Lauren, and then Monica gives them to her.

But it's generally pretty easy to convince the two of them to play nicely together.  We'll see how that changes over time when Lauren starts forming opinions of her own!

Most often, I just have to make sure they aren't mauling each other.  I never know what I'm going to find if I look away for even a second!

The hardest part is really also the sweetest part.  It's tough when they both need me at the same time.  Luckily, mommy usually has lots of hugs to go around for everyone!

Love these girls!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monica's 2nd birthday

Yes, her birthday was August 29th.  Yes, It's taken me over a month to write a post.  Yes, I'm behind.  Big surprise!  Life is busy!

Anyway, a week before her birthday, I told Monica that she had a big day coming up and we were going to be celebrating her birthday.  And her response was, "Cake!"

When she woke up on August 29th and JK and I said, "Happy birthday, Monica," she also replied with, "Cake!"  And so, naturally, we gave her cake for breakfast to begin her birthday celebration. I threw in a side helping of blueberries, so I could convince myself that there was some healthy component to the breakfast :)

Her next big birthday surprise was that we had finally - two years to the day, to be exact - re-finished the basement and turned it into a playroom.  A brand new slide and 500+ new Legos were waiting for her downstairs!

In lieu of a big birthday party, we decided to take Monica on a special adventure for her first time visiting the aquarium.  It was super hard to get any good photos of her, she was so excited that she hardly stopped moving the entire time we were there!

We did have a small get-together with immediate family to celebrate with swimming, pizza,  and cake and ice cream. 

And then we wrapped up the celebration with some fun with trains. 

It's hard to believe how grown up our little girl is, two years have gone by so fast! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Introducing Lauren Nicole

She is here!  And had been for over two months. LOL.  It's tough to blog with two kiddos!  But, it's becoming evident that it is so important to make the effort.  I can't even believe it's possible, but time is speeding by even MORE quickly now that we have two little ones!

 Lauren was born on June 18th, 2013, weighing 8lbs, 8ozs, and 19.5 inches long.  She is absolutely perfect.

Newborn pic the day after she was born :) 

A couple of shots of our little sleeping beauty during her first two weeks at home:

Enjoying her swing!  She takes many naps and her first stretch of night sleep in her swing.  She loves it just as much as her big sister did at this age!  It's tough to keep Monica out of the swing, but we're working on it :)

We found out very quickly that the world around us isn't going to stop just because we have a newborn, so we are on the go quite often with this little love.  Luckily, unlike her big sister, she LOVES infant car seat and going on car rides.

Wide-eyed and ready to start the day

She's just so sweet!

I just found this one when I was going through my phone looking for pictures.  I think we took this our second day home from the hospital, and I believe it's the only shot of our whole family since Lauren's been born.  I'll have to make it a priority to get some more pictures of the four of us!

We have a couple posts in draft right now....highlights of these two sisters getting to know each other, as well as a post celebrating Monica's second birthday.  Lots of fun stuff going on here, so lots of updates to make in the upcoming weeks!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We're Ready

After months and months of procrastinating, I think we're finally ready for baby #2 to join us.  Good thing, because June 9th is only five days away!  JK has been in beast mode the past few weeks, painting, steam cleaning carpets, putting away and pulling stuff out of the attic, and assembling various pieces of baby gear.  

I've been cooking freezer meals, stalking supermarket sales to stock the pantry, doing laundry, and cleaning the house like a madwoman.

Monica has been helping by conducting quality control tests on all the baby equipment that has been unpacked and reassembled in the past few weeks:

She climbed into the crib all by herself in about two seconds flat!

Just a little big for the snug a bunny swing
This bassinet was soon filled to the brim with stuffed animals!

During the day, her and I have been keeping busy attending lots of play dates with friends and spending time outside in the yard.  On nights and weekends, the three of us have been going on picnics, hikes, and tons of walks around the neighborhood.  I'm trying to stay active as much as possible, while enjoying the great weather we've been having.
On another note, I'm super excited that Monica's been doing so well with independent play lately.  We had a huge breakthrough this week....she signed to me that she wanted to color, and just as I was turning around to tell her that we first needed to pick up her blocks, I saw that she had already cleaned them up!  All on her own, without me asking her!

So, she immediately received tons of praise, and, of course, coloring supplies.

Just for fun, one last pic of her and Daddy kicking off the swimming season!  This kiddo loves the water!

That's all for time I post, we'll be a family of four!!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Big Girl Bed Time

It has been several months since I've posted, a situation I fully plan to remedy by getting back to more regular posting! 

What's been going on since I last posted? 

1.  Monica is a full fledged little person now.  18 months old, and she definitely has a mind of her own.  We have been busy surviving the holidays, surviving our first illness-ridden winter, and surviving the scariness of joining our local MOMS Club group.  So, other than the holidays, our winter has been pretty busy between watching movies, wiping noses, and going to play dates. 

2.  In addition to all of that, we have other big news..... Monica is going to be a big sister!  Grub 2.0 is due in just three short months!

3.  In preparation for #2's arrival, Monica is being moved into a big girl bed so that #2 can have the crib.  We've decided to tackle this transition sooner than later, in hope that Monica will be comfortably settled in her big girl bed by the time #2 arrives in June.

How is that going, you may ask? be honest, I'm not sure.  We're just wrapping up the first week. The first few days went surprisingly well, with little issue, and then....I'm just not sure what happened!  She seems to think that she doesn't need to sleep at all during the day, and while she goes to bed without issue at night, she wakes up after several hours and is tough to settle down. 

So, it was 2:30pm, I was starving for my lunch, and she was showing no signs of settling down during the 45 minutes I spent attempting to cajole her into getting in her bed.  It was time to change tactics.  So, I told her good-bye and goodnight, and left the room.  I locked her gate behind me and went out of sight into my own room.  I had my phone for visual support, and the monitor was on, so I decided to just wait and see what happened.

Surprisingly, she didn't freak out or scream for me to come back into the room.  Instead, she took this opportunity to inspect every nook and cranny of her diaper pail.

Then she pulled out and inspected every toy in her toy basket, most of which she has not played with in three or more months.

I became hopeful when she actually started to climb into the bed.  Hooray, we're moving in the right direction!  She's sleepy and she's heading for bed on her own accord!

Alas, it was a cruel ruse, as she jumped right back out of the bed.  Then she went on a mission to tear her changing pad off of the dresser and throw it around the room. 
Then, things got quiet.  But she was in the small area of the room closest to the door, where the camera doesn't have visibility, so I wasn't sure what was happening.  And I couldn't approach the doorway for a peek, for fear that she'd see me and start crying.  After a good five minutes of quiet, I decided I would angle my phone around the door to try to see what she was doing.

It's hard to tell in the pic above, but the very faint shadow through the lattice of the gate is her!

I waited five more minutes and then snuck into the hallway.

Kiddo was fast asleep on the floor, using the changing pad as a pillow.  Little weirdo!

I didn't want to risk going into her room for a small blanket, and everything in our bedroom is for a king sized bed.  So I grabbed a bath towel to drape over her for warmth.
She slept there for two straight hours, I couldn't believe it!  After tiptoeing around and whispering all afternoon - I couldn't close the door with her sleeping against it - JK and I went up to wake her at nearly 5pm. 

JK and I talked a lot about what had changed during the week, and why she seemed to have a sudden aversion to the bed after a few good days of sleeping in it.  Temperatures dropped during the week, and he thinks she was cold with the bed next to the wall on the outside of the room.  I agreed, and before bedtime last night, we relocated the bed to the inside wall, where her crib used to be.  Miraculously, she slept through the night last night.  I'm hoping that solved the problem, and that we'll get back into a good bedtime routine in her bed - instead of on the floor or in our bed!