Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letting Go

So, I've decided to let go of my worry for Aiden's growth. I'm handing it over to God and seeing how that goes. He's GROWING, albeit a little slower than the other two, so I know he's doing ok. I know I'm providing enough as I can hear him swallowing and he is like Colten when it comes to length of time at the breast and when I think back, the frequency of nursing sessions as well.
I think parents always wonder if we are doing our job correctly. I was talking to a good friend yesterday about my worries with breastfeeding vs formula feeding. I have such mixed feelings. Our formula fed child is (and always has been) big for his age. As in 95 percentile for both height and weight. He was rarely sick (at least until he hit Kindergarten and even then, it's not as much as it could be). His only thing was that he had frequent ear infections. The two breastfed children are smaller for their age, both have skin issues and both seem to have pretty bad seasonal allergies already. I started to worry that maybe I made them that way. Was the fact that they were breastfed cause the skin and allergy issues? Were they supposed to be bigger and is the fact that they aren't because they were/are lacking in some nutrient that I'm not providing because of a deficiency in my diet (even though I take prenatal vitamins)?
It's funny because I had a lot of guilt over not breastfeeding Austin. That guilt came back when I started nursing Colten and Austin would ask if I fed him that way and why not. Now I started worrying over whether breastfeeding was doing the job or not and debated about supplementing.
Yesterday, while talking to my friend, I came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter. They are going to be the people they are meant to be. God knows what path He has chosen them to be on. Will they hit a growth spurt and be big like their brother? Maybe...or maybe not. Will they forever battle the Spring pollen or have to use Aquaphor on their faces all year long? I don't know. But, I'm done worrying about it. Here ya go, God. I know you'll take good care of those worries. I know you'll take care of our family if we give you the chance.
(Oh, and thanks Laura for listening to my ridiculousness sometimes! )

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Half Year!

So, I'm a tad late. At least he's still 6 months old, right? :-) That, and since I was late, I can include his height and weight since his well baby was later as well!
Aiden is such a good baby! At least during the day! He naps well and is on a pretty good schedule. He does get a little messed up if we have to be out during his first nap, so I try not to do that.

Aiden still sleeps in our room with me. He isn't sleeping through the night and he was waking Colten up around 4am, who was hard to put back to sleep, so I just brought him back to our room. I hated doing that, but I didn't want TWO kids up at 4am, so it has been for the better! He HAD been sleeping through the night, but I think his night waking started out because we switched him to his room and that was different for him. Then, I think he went through a growth spurt since he was eating a LOT. Then he started teething!

Teething has been really hard on this little boy! He whimpers some nights and has a really hard time staying asleep those nights. Tylenol (and now Motrin) and Orajel have been our best friends on those nights. :-)

Aiden is sitting on his own pretty well now. He isn't crawling or pulling up or any of that crazy stuff that Colten and Austin were doing at this age! I am so thankful for that! Can you tell that he is our third? I am in no rush to have him mobile!

For the most part, Aiden is a pretty laid back baby, but when you make him mad, WATCH OUT! This kid has some lungs on him and he makes it known that he isn't happy! This usually happens around 10pm when he wakes up to eat before I go to bed. I have to change his diaper and he HATES it! He does this sometimes during the day as well and I've been on the phone with people during this and they always comment about how mad he sounds!

Aiden is finally eating solids a little better. He just had NO interest in them for a while and had some pretty bad tongue thrust and it made it really hard to feed him. Now, he opens his mouth for the next bite and eats pretty well. Because of his disinterest, he started on mostly sweeter foods and now I am going to go back and try green beans and peas. I tried peas the other day, but it was homemade and not as smooth as store bought so he didn't like the texture. We'll try store bought and see how he likes them that way. Other than that, he's had and liked Acorn Squash, Peaches and Apple. I'm going to add in avocado tomorrow since I tried it back when he wasn't wanting anything. It's such a good fruit with lots of good fat and essential vitamins that I really want him to eat it. He's eating his solids mostly at night with some solids in the mornings every once in a while (we just started that a week ago).

Aiden wears 6-9 month clothes at this point. He can wear a 12 month shirt since I don't mind them being long on him. I had to send back about 10 of our cloth diapers because of a defect, so I've had to use a lot more disposable diapers lately. He is in a size 2 in Luvs, but I think we'll be moving up to the 3s next time I need to buy them. Hopefully, we'll get our cloth diapers back from the manufacturer soon so I don't have to do that for a while!

Aiden likes toys to go straight into his mouth. He's working on that 3rd bottom tooth and I can see it, it's just taking it's sweet time pushing through!


At his 6 month well baby appointment, they measured him at 26 inches and 15 lbs and 10 oz. At each of his well baby appointments, the doctors have expressed a little bit of concern over his growth curve for his weight. It's been 3 different doctors. This last one has me a little worried because I wonder if it was the same doctor if it would be more of a concern because he/she would see him every time. He's breastfed, so I know his growth isn't going to be the same as a formula fed baby. However, I had always heard that a baby is supposed to double his/her weight by 6 months and he didn't. In fact, he's about a pound off of that. Is that something to be concerned over? I didn't have to worry about that with Colten...I think I remember him being about 20 lbs by now! He was a chunker and Aiden just isn't. So, I'm hoping he starts gaining some weight with the addition of these solids. If I feel like he isn't, then I guess we'll head back to the doctor and see if it's an issue and go from there. I guess I'm just glad he isn't LOSING weight! :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Potty Training

Yep, it's that time again. We have a 2 year old and he is interested in the potty. He has gone quite a bit on his own and this started before he even turned 2. I had NOTHING to do with it. He just started wanting to sit there and suddenly things started happening! Great, right?
Weeeelllll, sure, if he would stay dry when putting something on him! He does great when he is naked. He goes to sit on the potty by himself and goes. He has even done this with #2 which was a HUGE surprise to me. However, when you put underwear on the kid, he thinks he can just go in them. I mean, 20 minutes after going on the potty he'll go in the underwear! I don't have pull ups, so it's not that. I use REAL underwear. Yes, we had LOTS of puddles on the floor and pee running down his legs.
Well, until he can figure this step out, I can at least prevent the pee running down his legs and the puddles on the floor.

These cloth trainers are AWESOME. They are from a company called Blueberry and they are a tad thicker than underwear since they have a waterproof layer hidden inside the fabric. They are easy to pull up and down and look just like underwear, which is good for Colten because that's what he wants to wear. It's also good because he FEELS wet instead of staying dry with our cloth diapers (they are made of micro-fleece so he doesn't really feel wet when he goes in them).
The good thing for Mommy is that I don't have to clean up puddles anymore! Sure, I have to wash the underwear, but that's nothing compared to scrubbing the carpet. I can put these on him when I really want him to try underwear on and not worry about the carpet. So, we are both happy!
They are a tad expensive, but with a credit at a cloth diaper store online, I got them for half off. Not bad! We have one other pair of cloth trainers and I like them, they just don't have the cool fabric choices and I think the elastic at the legs are a tad tight, but if we went up a size, the waist would be HUGE.

So, for now, potty training is for home only. We are out and about a lot because of speech and gymnastics, so it's not getting the attention that it needs. However, I think when he's ready, he'll get over that hurdle and just start staying dry in the underwear. I'm not pushing it, but am just encouraging it when we have time. It's a lot different than last time...a 2 year old is harder I think than a 3 1/2 year old! There's a lot more involved and with Colten not being as verbal, sometimes it's hard to know when he needs to go sit down on the potty.
It's pretty cute though and I know he's so proud of himself when he goes on the potty. We get so excited and he just beams from ear to ear. He's such a big boy now!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steals and Deals

While living in NW Arkansas, I was introduced to the wonderful world of consignment events. Basically, twice a year, there is a consignment sale where you can get GREAT deals on children's clothes, toys and gear. Not only that, but you can consign your own children's clothes, toys and gear to offset the amount that you spend buying new (to you) stuff. I was hooked.
While we do have 3 boys that can wear hand-me-downs, they are ROUGH on their clothes. Plus, Austin wore summer items year round, so there wasn't much left of those for Colten to wear. Then, along came the opposite season that the older boys were born in! So, while we have been able to pass down some things, there are other things that I have had to buy to get a son from one season to the other. Plus, Austin, being the oldest, is always needing new stuff because there isn't anyone handing stuff down to him. This gets EXPENSIVE!
When I learned we were moving to North Carolina, I think one of the first things I did was research to see if there were any consignment events in the area. Luckily, there was! I shopped only in back in the fall and got some great deals. This season, I consigned some things and got to shop earlier so I could get some GREAT deals!
First, the clothes:
Austin: He didn't get as much because at this age, things get worn longer because they aren't growing quite as fast. Plus, they are REALLY hard on their clothes, so it's harder to find good stuff that I think I want to pay for. Also, he's getting to the age where he wants to help pick out his own clothes, so I promised that he could pick out some shirts at Kohls at some point. He also got a Star Wars Lego shirt, but he was already wearing it when this picture was taken. I think he liked it, or something. :-)
Here's Colten's summer clothes: Colten has a few shirts already from Austin's old stuff. I was lucky to also get a couple of pairs of shoes for him since his sandals from last year are too small.
Aiden is going to be in 2 different sizes this summer, so he got a little bit more. He also got 3 pairs of shoes, one pair is for later in the summer/fall.
I also got this booster that Aiden is in. Isn't he so cute??? And so big!
I got a bath seat for Aiden as well. It's so much easier to put him in the bath tub now because he get upset about laying down to bathe, but he isn't balanced enough to sit really well on his own. My back was killing me to bathe him with his brothers since I was constantly holding him up. The bath seat isn't for me to just leave him, so don't worry about that. It's just better for him to play and better for my back so I don't have to lean over the tub as much! It attaches to the side of the tub, so it's also not going to tip over. :-) I like it and he LOVES it!
The last thing I bought was a double jogging stroller. It was the first thing I looked for. It had to have a front wheel that could turn. I plan on running in a neighborhood and there are lots of turns and I hate turning with a fixed wheel. So, there were two strollers and one had a fixed wheel and while I liked everything else about that stroller better, I had to pick the other one because it was the one with a rotating wheel. The boys love it and yes, I have already tested it out. I think it would have gone better if I was in better shape. :-) I guess that will come...just slowly.
While I didn't make as much as I spent, I also didn't have a lot to sell. We are 3rd time parents, so we don't have a bunch of baby gear that we could sell. We also didn't have as much spring/summer stuff we could sell that Aiden has grown out of. I'm expecting a better amount in the Fall...and this time, I think I'm going to weed out some toys!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just Some Thoughts

Just some random things I've been thinking about. I'm putting in some pictures of the boys when they got their new playground.
What is up with people thinking they can give non-baby food items to other people's babies? People, don't feed my baby junk...especially since you have NO idea if he's allergic to something. And let's not even talk about the choking hazard part of it all. Doritos are NOT for babies. Let's introduce him to the good foods first. He has his whole life to chow down on chips, do you really think he needs it at 6 months as well?
Of course, I've also heard other people having issues with this as well. It's not just me. Why is it that people want to see "how they react" and give them whatever they want? Does all common sense get thrown out the window when it comes to babies and new experiences?

Pink Eye is not fun. Especially when a two year old has it and just LOVES his little brother. However, we survived it. And Aiden never got it, so I'm pretty happy about that. Austin is back at school and we all got to go to a birthday party on Saturday, so that's a good thing. Now, giving a 2 year old eye drops 3-4 times a day is a different story. I'd rather not talk about that.

Do you think it's possible to just shovel out the contents of an entire house and start over? I feel like that's what I need to do at times. I feel like I am buried up to my ears in housework and organization that needs to be done. I just can't keep up with 3 boys, 2 dogs and a house all by myself. Spring is going to be bringing a yard that needs to be mowed too. Of course, I'm too cheap to hire someone to do a job that I am perfectly capable of doing myself. Especially when we have the size of yard that we have and I KNOW it will cost an arm and a leg to get it mowed for me. Yeah, way too cheap for that!

I LOVE our new playground. The boys have played on it everyday (when weather permits) and haven't tired of it yet. It's an awesome gift that we are so happy we were able to give them this year. We used to say that they probably would never have one this nice because we tend to move every 3-4 years. However, it's completely worth it. If we really wanted to, we could probably take it apart and move it with us. We'll have to see if we are up for that. :-)
The neighborhood kids all love it too. Good thing we have a tall fence and 2 dogs, otherwise I think I would look out there and see kids playing on it at all hours of the day. Most of the kids around here are afraid of our dogs though, so we don't have to worry about any of them coming in the yard without permission.


I'm hoping that by March 17, the politicians can come together and pass a bill that will keep the government operating temporarily. They have been basically arguing over budets since last Fall and if this bill doesn't pass, Brian and the rest of the military will be working without pay. Like my mother-in-law said..."they should stop being republicans and democrats and start being Americans." I'm praying that it gets resolved by the 17th, but definitely by April 1st. If it's hasn't been resolved, we will not be getting a paycheck. For us, we have a backup plan, but so many of our Soldiers and their families are literally living paycheck to paycheck and that is with the help of government programs like food stamps and WIC. Our military is already stressed as it is, let's not add no pay into this!

This happened before back in 1995, but the military was still payed back then. This time, the military is not exempt from it. Sure, once government funding is restored, we'll get backpay. That doesn't pay the bills that will be due on the 1st. I don't understand how they are letting this happen. I want to be grateful that my husband has a job and that he'll get paid (eventually) when there are so many others without jobs, but I don't see how these politicians can sleep at night knowing that our military could be putting their lives on the line FOR FREE. That they are being shot at, while their family tries to figure out how to keep the electricty on and the mortgage/rent paid when a paycheck wasn't issued. We'll see if this becomes a problem...and I pray that it won't. But it's still something that we have to plan for.


The unbelievable sights in Japan makes me sad. I tend to not watch the's just a habit that I've had to have since Brian first deployed at the beginning of the Iraq war. I get a lot of the news online and this is no different. I watched a bit that first morning. I haven't been able to watch a whole lot because as it's a lot for me to's just too much for our kids. They are almost always in sight of the TV and so, it stays off. It doesn't completely prevent me from seeing what is happening and the devestation that just seems to keep on growing.
I can't imagine the feeling of losing my grip on my child in the water. I can't imagine not knowing how family is doing or the agony of wondering if they are dead or alive. I can't even blog about it much because my heart hurts for these people and I lose the words that I want to say. I pray for the people of Japan. That's the best thing I can do at this point.


Colten and Aiden are getting some shots tomorrow. I know they'll both be ok. I wish I could follow my alternate schedule of vaccines for Aiden. Since Brian is deployed, I knew there would be some days where I needed the kids to be in daycare. The military has Child Development Centers (CDCs) that have "hourly care." You reserve a block of time for your children and drop them off and pick them up at the end of that time. Basically, since military moves around a lot, it's hard to find good babysitters that can provide occasional childcare during the day. The CDCs require kids to be up to date on their vaccines. There is NO flexibility. I can't delay ANY of them at all. If I want to use the childcare, shots have to be given and they keep very careful track of that. It was a hard choice for me. I truly felt that the delayed schedule was really good for Colten and I really wanted that for Aiden. But, a healthy, happy mom means happy kids. If I was stressed all the time and didn't have a break, it would have affected everyone. I think it's an ok trade-off. I still hate that I had to make that decision though. And I am reminded of that everytime he has to go in and get a TON of shots.
For those wanting an update on the kids:
Austin is doing great in school. He seems to be well-liked by pretty much everyone. A couple of girls like him a little more than just friends and he is pretty embarrassed by that. He has been seizure free since being put on his medication back in September. We are very thankful for that! He has increased his dose lately because the neurologist doesn't want him to grow out of his dosage. We think that his medicine affects his moods a bit and we saw more outbursts and mood swings with the increase, but I am hoping it's evening out now that his body has had time to get used to it. The behavior really hasn't crossed into school, though, so we are happy about that. Austin is looking forward to baseball season and warmer weather so he can play outside with his friends more.
Colten is a character. He makes me laugh so much. He's an awesome big brother and hugs and kisses on Aiden daily. Colten started speech therapy recently and is doing EXCELLENT! He goes twice a week and loves his therapist. He's saying a TON more words now. Colten listens so much better than Austin did at this age. Sure, he has his 2 year old moments, but I think you can reason with him a little better. Colten also seperates from me really easily. I drop him off at church nursery or hourly care and he just says bye to me and walks right in. He is just SO social! He knows NO stranger and I think that if I wasn't watching, he would just go home with someone else! Colten has also started gymnastics recently and has so much fun with that!
Aiden is 6 months old now! I can hardly believe that! He is, thankfully, not as mobile as Colten was at this age. He sure does love to smile, though! Everyone always comments on his cheeks and he just smiles away at them. Yep, another kid who knows no stranger! Aiden isn't sleeping through the night, though. That is something I am working on though. He does nap very well and has gotten a TON better in the car. He used to just scream through the whole car ride and now he just sits there. Sometimes he cries, but it's not anything we can't handle! Aiden recently started solid foods, but isn't as good at eating. He still had a lot of tongue thrust and just didn't quite get it when it came to eating from a spoon. He's getting better though and he really likes his acorn squash! He's going to start on other foods this week and I'm hoping he gets easier to feed soon! Aiden hasn't started any sports, but he's looking forward to watching his brothers do theirs!
Ok, now I'm going to bed. Hope you enjoyed the pictures...even if you didn't read a word I wrote!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Myrtle Beach

It took ALL weekend for Dianne and I to take the kids to the beach. We got to Myrtle Beach on Friday afternoon and about an hour and a half before we left on Sunday afternoon is when we finally had the time to take them. Kind of sad, huh!
In hindsight, we should have gotten up early on Saturday and taken the kids down to the beach for the sunrise. I was up for it and took the pictures in the previous post, but Colten wasn't up and Austin got up in the middle of the sunrise. He got to see it, but there wasn't anyway we were going to get down there in time.
We had planned on taking them down there on Saturday evening, but it looked like it was going to rain at any moment, so we took them to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner instead. We planned on getting up early for Sunday's sunrise. Fog messed those plans up, as it came in on Saturday night and only got thicker overnight. I got up and couldn't even SEE the ocean from our room.
Finally, after our last class and lunch that afternoon, we got the kids over to the beach! The middle of the day is NOT the best time to get pictures of people. There's almost always squinting and harsh shadows, but that was all we had to work with. I think the pictures turned out pretty good anyway and I KNOW my kid had a blast in the water. Austin was just disappointed that he couldn't get in fully because of the temperature.


He wasn't mad...that's the squinting I'm talking about coming into play here. He wasn't entirely sure of walking through the dry sand was kind of hard for him.


This is what was left of the fog from the night before/that morning.

It was still being burned away by the sun...which was still REALLY bright!



My three boys. I had envisioned this picture a little differently, but things don't always work out exactly...especially when kids are involved!

Love this picture! We got some of the boys and I, but I will save those for another post! :-)



I took some of Dianne and her kids that turned out really cute. I posted them on Facebook, so I won't be redundant and post them here too. We had a fun weekend and the trip to the beach capped it off pretty well!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Day

Tomorrow is a new day.
Each one of these means a day closer to being a whole family again. Yes, some days that's the thing that keeps me going!
Each sunrise means we get to start over. The day before is over. You get to work on your weaknesses becoming your strengths.
Didn't like how you acted yesterday? Today is the day to change that.
The days come and go, but we get to choose how they play out. I pray every night for God to give me patience and guidance for the next day. I know there are things that I do wrong as a parent and as a wife. I try and change that everyday. Some days I succeed and some days I fail...horribly!
But tomorrow is a new day...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Regrets

I went to Target on one of the days I had the kids in childcare for the day. The very last item I put into my cart was two bottles of bubbles. Crayola Colored Bubbles to be exact. I thought the boys would like them, but I was a bit skeptical that they'd be so colorful.
I got home with two of the kids, the third one got home shortly after and he is the one that found the colored bubbles. I wasn't prepared to let them play with them yet...I hadn't read the bottles (that ended up being FULL of warnings), but I figured if I let them out in the back with them, that nothing could be hurt.
When Colten first opened his bottle and pulled out the wand, I crossed my fingers and hoped that they truly were washable like the packaging had promised. I mean, it was like he was blowing bubbles with PAINT!

I was really worried about those white sleeves.
But, I just loved how colorful the bubbles were!!! And Colten loved it too! In Speech, he's working with his therapist using bubbles, so he was so happy to be playing with them in his own backyard!
Austin got green, of course!
He first started blowing them on the grass like his brother, but then started walking around and blowing them.
With big brother walking around blowing bubbles, little brother decided HE needed to walk around blowing bubbles as well! This included the deck area.
Remember, I didn't read those warning labels until after they started walking around. Then, I realized that they shouldn't be blowing those bubbles and letting them pop on the deck. All those dribbles and bubbles ended up staining the non-sealed wood...sorry Brian!
However, the look of joy on these boys faces took away any regrets that I may have had after finding out that the wood was now colored for good. In fact, I still have them sitting on the back of the sink in the kitchen, waiting for another nice day when the boys have played everything they possibly could and are now "bored."
At that time, I will send them out the front door to blow the staining colored bubbles in the cul-de-sac. :-)