Monday, December 11, 2017

This & That

We have been trying to settle into life with a back-to-work mommy and a hurt daddy.  Luckily, the kids have been taking it all in stride!

Eric is by far the littlest in his class.  And being the only non-mobile baby is tough y'all!

He continues to love our daily "lunch dates."

Miss Olivia has been losing teeth like its her job.  This past Sunday was a two-for-one when mommy pulled out the top tooth in the morning and daddy pulled the bottom one before bed!

On Saturday morning I was organizing Eric's room (out with the 3 month clothes, in with the 6 month ones!) while the kids were playing on the floor.  In the spirit of true feminism and equal opportunity, I heard Olivia told Eric "Eric, you're a boy. You need to learn about trucks!"  (we have some work to do, clearly..)

And building a gingerbread house.  And by "building" I really mean eating all the candy/icing.  I don't even have a "finished product" picture because literally this is the best it got.  Once she realized these little balls were gumballs, it was basically all downhill for the house.

And on Sunday we went to Breakfast with Santa (and the Stephensons) at Westside.  

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow Day!

This week was a hard one.  Hardest one we've had in a while.  Matt tore his ACL really badly and had surgery on Monday.  He was sick and sad and in a lot of pain.  It was just a high-stress week at our house and hard on all of us to see poor Matt feeling so badly.   

So when we woke up on Friday morning to snow, I felt like it was just the boost we needed to get through to the weekend.  Especially for Olivia who has unfortunately borne the brunt of short fuses, a nervous mamma, and sick daddy this week.  She has been SUCH a trooper and a huge help to us.  She has been wishing for snow for a year now, and was SO excited to come out Friday morning and see our house covered in it!

There was enough snow on the cars for a snowman!

This is probably a once in 20 year event, but I'm glad she got to see snow!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

6 Months with Eric

This post is one I have been dreading basically since before Eric was born.  Although I was able to negotiate an amazing 6 month maternity leave that was gracious and generous - leaving my babies is never something I look forward to.  While I tried my best to savor every moment of it, this 6 month deadline loomed over me.

Physically, Eric is doing great.  He can roll over both ways, he can sit unassisted, and he still loves the jumperoo and the walker.

Being able to sit has been a great thing because I can leave him for a minute or 2 and he will happily play with the toys around him.

Obviously the biggest news this time is that he started day care at CHES.  Of course it was easier this time since we had been through it before.  The teachers were all new but they are all very nice and welcoming.   My plan was for him to start at school about 2 weeks before I went back to work.  But, things don't always work out as planned, so I ended up starting a little early.  Here is our "first day" picture:

He looks a little happier than poor O on her first day away from mamma.

Socially, it took him about 2 weeks to settle in to daycare and the teachers.  Of course at the beginning there were lots of tears (from both mamma and baby!) but now he just sits and plays happily when I leave him.

The only bad news is his extreme dislike and refusal to take a bottle.  This stubborn little baby will go 6 hours without drinking a drop of milk.  We have tried it all -different bottles, different temperatures, fresh milk, frozen milk, different caregivers, different positions.  NOTHING.  He is strong-willed apparently.  So he is like a little bear - he nurses all night like a newborn baby - eating every 1.5-2 hours.  And stores up so that he can refuse the bottle all day.  He also refuses most solid foods.  He has tolerated a few bites of banana a few times but he certainly doesn't seem to enjoy food like his parents & sister.

Everyone assures me that it will come.  I'm hoping that being at day care and seeing the other babies will motivate a little Dean competitive spirit in him!  At the very least, I know that he is in good hands.  This was his welcome post on the class blog:

In addition to being particular about food, he is very particular about being restrained in any way.  Since he was born, he has hated his carseat or getting his diaper changed.  Recently, we have had to give him medicine for his ear infections.  I can't really describe the spitting, writhing, crying mess that he is.  It literally takes both Matt and I to restrain him and forcibly open his mouth to get the medicine in.  Then we shove his beloved paci in so that he will swallow the medicine.  At his 6-month appointment the nurse tried to give him an oral vaccine.  He wailed so loudly that the doctor came in to see what the problem was.  This is a picture before any of that started -- when Matt and the nurse were just trying to get him to stay still so they could measure how long he is.  Very opinionated, these children of mine.

That  being said, I have been struck recently by how loved this baby is.  Especially with the recent Thanksgiving holiday.  Three years ago at Thanksgiving, I was recovering from a minor surgery to remove a fibroid they thought was causing my miscarriages.  Two years ago at Thanksgiving, we were preparing for our first round of IVF.  And one year ago at Thanksgiving, we told Olivia she was going to be a big sister.  This little one has gone from being a wish and a prayer, to a fully formed little being that is truly a dream-come-true.  He is a happy, excited little guy who has spent everyday of his life surrounded by the people who love him most and gets told constantly how loved he is.  

Matt tore his ACL last week and was pretty down about it for a few days.  But one night as we were talking about it he made the comment that its hard to be upset when you look at Eric and everything we went through to get him.  All the sadness, angst, worry and disappointments led to this amazing little baby who has perfectly completed our family.  I am biased I know, but couldn't agree more.  Poor Matt may not be able to help physically around the house much because of his knee, but he's getting pretty good at being the baby whisperer:

But this picture is pretty representative of the hugs and snuggles we all get daily from this little cuddle bug.  Eric is VERY cuddly.  He has always loved being held and ever since he was little, picking him up and giving him a little love has been super effective to get him back to sleep. he gets older, the ability to put him back in his crib is becoming more difficult.  When Olivia was little, she would cry if we left, but as long as were in there, she would lay down and fall asleep if we rubbed her back.  Not Eric.  If we are in the room, he will refuse to lay down and scoot his little body up against the crib, arms out trying to reach you and sobbing until you pick him up.  The minute you get him, he immediately rests his head on your shoulder and gets cozy.  

And, I can't not comment on Olivia.  She loves him so much.  She was so proud to take him to CHES on her week off during Thanksgiving and was very worried about him crying at school.  She will bring her toys downstairs and play next to him, telling him all about what she is doing.  One of her favorite things to do is take the ornaments off the tree and play with them.  One morning I was making breakfast and caught this: "Okay Eric. This is Elsa.  She's a ballerina but she's late for class.  Can you say "Oh no!"?)

Monday, December 4, 2017

November catch up

My attempts at better blogging clearly did not happen.  So here is a quick November recap!

Every year Kinkaid plays St. John's in a big football game at Rice Stadium.  Both schools make a big deal of it -- pep rallys, shirts, cheerleading outfits, a huge family tailgate, etc.  Until about 6 months ago she didn't even know what St. John's was.  Today she knows their school colors are red/black and she knows they are Kinkaid's biggest rival.  Accordingly, anything red or black can never be worn.  She had a mini meltdown at my parent's house recently bc she forgot and accidentally colored a picture of herself in a red dress.

Needless to say, between the excitement at school and the fact that I bought her this cheerleading uniform, she could NOT have been more excited for the game.  Unfortunately, she came down with a bad stomach bug that day and had to miss it.  We were so sad for her!

This little shark continues to be a happy, smiley guy...

Olivia's class made a thankful chain at school and were able to come up with a collective 235 things they were thankful for!

And in the spirit of being thankful, I found this note for me the day before Thanksgiving: "To my mom.  I couldn't have a better mom than you.  XOXO Olivia."  Cue all the tears...

Cuddly in matching PJs...

It takes a get a good picture of this baby.  At our holiday photo shoot, Matt was on stand-by in case he fell backwards, I was clapping and singing, and Olivia was waving a huge balloon.  This kid isn't doted on at all ;)

Fall finally hit Houston so we have been spending lots of time outside - also, dressing a baby boy is a lot more fun than I thought!  (Matt might disagree with my styling of him, but I love it...)

Of course lots to be thankful for this year - having Eric here made the day very special.  Though my favorite part was probably the 3 minutes captured here where both kids snuggled on the couch with me to watch the Macy's parade...

And we were happy to celebrate Thanksgiving with Popo & Tutu first, and then the Kaltenbachers and Grandpa (poor Mimi had to go out of town for a funeral)!


 And on Friday we continued the tradition of setting up the Christmas tree.  It was also Eric's 6-month birthday and he was happy to show off his latest skill -- sitting up unassisted!

Per usual, Olivia had very specific ideas about the tree and ornament placement.  I let her have free reign this year!

Every ornament is categorized and grouped togther

I think she did such a great job!  We were both so happy to curl up on Saturday night with the tree lit, a fire going and watch a movie!

And big sister lost her SECOND tooth!  Matt actually pulled this one out.  She begged him to do it all day, when he finally did she burst into tears because she was sad she was getting bigger...

 Poor little Eric got another ear infection, so he was super snuggly.  And luckily my firstborn wanted in on the snuggles too!

It was a fun November with our little dino and his big sister!  We are excited for some Christmas fun in December!