Monday, April 21, 2014

Visiting with Goats

Today I tried to convince Eric to move to the country to become a farmer with me. I argued that it could be a small farm with just one or two sheep and some chickens.  We'd live off the fat of the land (I've been teaching Of Mice and Men too long.) by making our own cheese and canning vegetables!  I could knit sweaters, and he could brew beer.  The kids would have dirt under their fingernails and milk the cow before breakfast.  

Eric, who claims he never even saw a cow in real life until he was in college, could not be convinced. 

 It's probably just as well because I'm wary of gardening in my own yard due to snakes and critters.  Plus, I get squeamish around raw chicken from the supermarket, so I suppose butchering one myself is out of the question.

But just look at how cute these lambs are!  I just wanna squeeze them...

We visited Drumlin Farm with the girls today.  The weather was glorious, and we wandered the farm and trails for hours.  

Madeline loved running over the hills and climbing on rocks.  She's become much braver around the big animals.  She was more afraid of the flies than these gigantic cows.  

If you live in the greater Boston area, a visit to Drumlin Farm is well worth it.  Maybe you'll be willing to raise some sheep with me.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Vivi celebrated her first Easter this weekend.  Although, I think big sister enjoyed the holiday more.  Vivi spent the weekend either crying, sleeping, or looking at us in confusion.  Basically, it was just another day in the life of a baby. 

Madeline, on the other hand, is now old enough to enjoy the festivities.  Having kids makes the holidays so much fun!

We dyed Easter eggs and made paper bunny ears on Friday afternoon.  

On Saturday night, the Easter Bunny visited our house.  He filled the girls' baskets!  (Vivi can't eat her chocolate, so I'll have to help her.  So sad.)

He also did something funny to our eggs, and then hid them around the living room.  

Madeline thinks that Easter Bunny is pretty funny.  

We met my family for brunch in the morning.  I ate all the food.  

There was an egg hunt for the kiddos at noon.  Maddie found three eggs filled with candy.

When we got home, she raided the candy from her Easter basket.  I let her eat A LOT of candy.  It is a special occasion after all.  By dinner, she had a tummy ache, and I felt like a bad parent.  

Maddie got a kite in her basket, so we took it for a test flight.  

There wasn't enough wind to get it soaring, but we had fun anyhow. 

Eric's on vacation for the rest of the week.  I'm so excited.  

Hope your Easter was as hopping as ours!  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vivi: Seventeen Weeks

It amazes me how quickly babies change once they get through those first three months.  Vivi is suddenly much less like a loaf of bread and much more like a human.  

She's falling into a predictable routine now.  I know that at 8:30 am and 1 pm she will be ready for a good nap.  Granted those naps are still taking place in her swing instead of her crib...but we'll tackle that problem soon now that she's actually following a pattern.

Bedtime is still a challenge, but we're making progress in that area too. She loses her temper big time when we lay her down for bed.  I don't think her tummy is bothering her anymore, (although sometimes it is) but I think she's associating being on her back with her reflux.  No wonder she hates it.  

She's getting better at self soothing.  We let her cry for five minutes before picking her up to calm her. Last night she cooed to herself for twenty minutes without crying.  

The only problem now is that by the time she calms down enough to fall asleep, it's been two hours since her last feeding, and she's ready to eat again.  

On the other hand, she's sleeping for great stretches.  She slept twelve hours straight last Sunday.  I woke up on Monday morning in a panic when I realized that Vivi hadn't woken up all night.  Most nights she still wakes up to eat around 2:30 in the morning, but I'll take it!  We've come a long way from nursing every two hours all night long!

Vivi's personality still seems to be a combination of sweet, serious, and ambitious.  She's not as easy to get a laugh out of as Madeline was.  When she does laugh, it's a mixture of glee and irritation.  "Ha-ha, Mumma, you're tickling my chin!  Now, quit it!"

Eric tried to get her to laugh this afternoon and instead frightened her.  She screamed loud! 

She rolled over for the second time this week.  She made it look so easy too.  I keep waiting for her to do it again, but she'd rather hang out on her side.  

Vivi is becoming less stranger shy.  Hooray!  But she's definitely a Mumma's girl.  She cried when I left the room to get coffee this morning, but beamed when I came back in.  She's using me for the milk.  

We still haven't had any major bottle success.  Womp.  

But best of all, she had her physical this week, and she's doing great!  Twelve pounds!  She's still 18th percentile, but she's starting to swing back up a bit.  And as long as she doesn't keep falling, we're good!  

Eric is on vacation next week.  We're looking forward to snuggling Dada, celebrating Vivi's first Easter, and visiting New York!  Hooray Spring!  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Parenting, Currently

I'm attempting to nurse Vivi before putting her down for her afternoon nap, but someone is making the process difficult.  

If only I could get big sister to understand that if she lets Vivi nap then she has Mumma all to herself.  

A few minutes ago I told her she couldn't play with the iPad.  But since she knows I'm trapped under the baby, she pulled her red bouncy horse over to the bookshelves to try and reach it anyway. (See him guiltily peaking out behind her? I realize M looks guilty in the picture too, but she was not.  She was hiding from a pretend monster.) 

I told her that if she touched it, I wouldn't let her play with it for an entire week.  That convinced her to go play with her toys in the other room for about two minutes.  Then she came back and used a drumstick to hammer a nail in the floor.  

Guess who is now not napping?  

*** Update***

Vivi eventually fell asleep, so I don't have to sell my children to the Gypsies afterall.

Now I've unleashed a wild Maddie Bear on the world to get some energy out.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Spring officially sprung in these parts last week. (We're supposed to get a dusting of snow tomorrow, but I'm in denial.)

It's amazing how some sunshine and open windows can affect one's outlook on life.  We're all much happier people when we can get outside.  

Madeline ran around the neighborhood with the boys on our street for hours over the weekend. Vivi was content watching the kids running past her. Nana and Pop visited, and we cooked burgers on the grill for the first time this season.  We've visited some playgrounds and taken long walks.  

Now I'm longing for summer.  Days at the beach, lounging on the lawn, eating Popsicles, and fresh tomatoes are calling to me.  Stay away, cold!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Vivi: Sixteen Weeks

It's time for another bunny picture...

Vivi's four-month physical is next week, and I'm very curious to see what she weighs.  She looks like she's gained a few pounds.  Her face is rounder.  She has a belly.  Yesterday morning she refused a feeding, but other than that, she's been eating so well.  Hooray!  

We have a lot of experience with stubborn girls in this family, but Vivi may actually be the queen.  First, there's the bottle thing.  I had some dental work done last week that kept me separated from my baby longer than usual.  It was the opportunity we needed to force Vivi to take a bottle.  After all, she wouldn't let herself starve...right?

Well, she just might.

Eric tried and tried and tried, but she would not take a bottle.  She waited us out, and when I got home, the little barracuda nursed herself silly.  

We're also having a hard time getting the child to sleep.  Once she falls asleep, she's been doing great.  She slept for a nine-hour stretch last night.  Thank the Baby Jesus!  However, it's taking us about four hours to put her down to sleep every night.  She cries in her crib.  She cries in our arms.  The other night she cried so hard that she pooped.  It wasn't even a Monday...her regular poop day.  And it's getting worse instead of better, which leads me to believe she's just messing with us. 

She does the same thing when I try to put her down for a nap, which I just do not have the time for.  This baby may be sleeping in her lamb swing until she goes off to college because it's the only way I can put her to sleep easily.

Madeline did the same thing, but the pacifier saved us from going completely insane.  Vivi won't take a pacifier though.  She plays with it...she will not suck on it.  Again, this child is stubborn.

However, I am pleased to report that we may have had a slight bottle breakthrough yesterday.  She kinda, sorta nibbled on it enough to drink an ounce.  Progress!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Second Time Around

Eric and I brought Madeline to her very first pediatrician's visit without any extra diapers.  We had a flashy new diaper bag filled with burp cloths, hand sanitizer, and a wipe caddy...just no diapers. About two minutes into our appointment, Maddie needed to be changed.   Luckily, the nurse was able to scrounge up a spare and was nice enough not to slap us across the faces with it.  Such was our complete and utter cluelessness as first-time parents.

Thankfully, like so many poor slobs before us, we managed to get through it without too much lasting damage to our child.  We learned how to change her diaper without having to change her entire outfit.  We learned how to get her slippery body wrapped in a towel after her bath without dropping her.  We learned how to function on very little sleep.  It wasn't easy, and there was a steep learning curve, but somehow we managed to turn that baby into a well-adjusted three year old.  

Thanks to all that experimentation at Madeline's expense, I was able to approach parenting much more confidently this time around.  Having a baby for the first time is an intense, traumatic experience where every wayward cry is cause for concern.  Now, I don't dwell on the color of Vivi's poop nearly as often.

Basically, I got this whole parenting gig down.  Ain't no baby gonna stand in my way!    

Except, the thing about babies is that no two babies are alike.  No, not even if they're from the same barrel of genes.  So while we have an arsenal of tricks and go-to methods we picked up from raising a Maddie Bear, they don't always work for a Vivi Bear  In many ways, it's like we're first timers all over again. 

For example, Vivi is sensitive to her surroundings in a way Madeline was not.  She's a light sleeper.  She hates baths and being naked in general.  She doesn't like being held by people who are not her parents.  She won't take a bottle or pacifier. And although I can't ask her why, I suspect it's because she doesn't like the feel of a rubber nipple.  These are all issues we never had to deal with when Madeline was a baby.  

Plus, raising a baby isn't as easy this time around because we also have an older child in the house.  I can't nap when Vivi does because Madeline needs juice, or a hug, or someone to play with, or a lesson on why it's not okay to stomp one's feet next to her little sister's head.  

So while there's a level of calmness that didn't exist for my first child, managing a second is in no way easier.  It's just hard in different ways.  

On one of our first outings as a family of four, we frantically threw shoes, scarves, blankets, and hats on the girls on our way out the door.  We made sure Madeline had toys and books to keep her busy in the car. I carefully packed enough diapers to last Vivi a week, and then checked to make sure I had everything I needed a second time.

It wasn't until we arrived at our destination that I realized I had forgotten the entire diaper bag on the dining room table.