6 months, for George

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Georgie.


Dear Georgie,

Yes, we call you Georgie, even though I never really wanted to- that’s what we’ve started calling you. Dear sweet six month old Georgie, you continue to be the smiley-est baby in the world. During the last month you went on your first trip on an airplane, you’ve started scooting all over the floor in an army crawl/inchworm sort of way, and you’ve started eating solid foods and even a little bit of formula from time to time.

You still do not sleep through the night. I am not holding my breath, assuming that will happen anytime soon. But someday, it would be nice to have more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep at a time. Just someday.

You love anything that makes a crinkly paper-crumbling sound. You adore your big brother and you wake him up every morning for school by crawling around his bed. He loves to get really close to you and snuggle you. It’s very sweet.

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Simon “snuggling”

A few times you’ve given us “kisses” – -giant open mouthed drooling slobber kisses that I love. You’ve only just started eating food but so far cereal and pears are tolerable. You are NOT a fan of peaches. We’ve switched you over into your big kid carseat instead of the one we have to haul around, because you have gotten SO heavy it was too difficult to carry you everywhere with it.

I so enjoy you, Baby George. I love spending time with you and watching you do new things all the time. You want to go-go-go it seems, you want to keep up with your big brother and he makes you laugh like no one else can. We spend a lot of time at the park. Simon wants to play sports and we take you in the stroller. You are a relatively easy baby. You are sweet and everyone comments on your smile, your dimple, and your blue eyes.

I love you so much. We’ve made it half a year already and I just can’t believe it. I love rocking you, kissing you, nursing you, hugging you, strolling with you, all of it. You’re my last baby and I’m reminding myself all the time that this will fly by and soon you’ll be racing me to the doors of preschool and Kindergarten just like your brother. I’m in absolutely no hurry for that to happen.

XO My heart,
Mama

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Swimming HHI 2014

Back from vacation and Father’s Day Weekend

We’re back from our vacation in Hilton Head and it went about as smoothly and was as relaxing as possible considering we had four kids ages four and under along with us. The weather was perfect, traveling wasn’t as bad as we expected (Gabe drove with Simon, I flew with George), and the kids were all pretty well behaved in general. Gabe got some beautiful pictures with his camera, so there aren’t many good ones of him on vacation, but I did find a few and posted them below. It was hard to come back after such a great relaxing time. Simon had a ball, and George did really well. I can’t wait to go back again!

We also had a great Father’s Day weekend. The weather was beautiful and we spent most of the weekend outside at the park playing tennis, baseball and laying on blankets looking at the sky. We also managed to go to a festival in town, hauling the babies along with us like a group of gypsies. It was a lovely good time.

Gabe got two pies for father’s day, along with a handmade construction paper tie, a pair of shoes that didn’t fit, and a book he’s been looking to read. I also made a pretty yummy dinner and the children were moderately behaved.

We ended the evening on Sunday with an episode from season two of Orange is the New Black after pulling a splinter out of Simon’s toe as he screamed bloody murder. Ah, parenthood.

Words can’t quite describe how much I love this dude.

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After dinner with the whole family. Hilton Head Island, 2014

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Flying a kit on the beach, Gabe, my dad and Landry (niece) and Brett (brother) and Brenden (nephew). Hilton Head Island, 2014

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George looking frightened. Hilton Head Island, 2014.

Wrapping up the weekend

Well, it was unseasonably chilly for mid-May here this weekend, rainy on Saturday too. But I was thrilled with the stuff we did manage to get done. Both of the boys have nasty colds, so George isn’t sleeping great and Simon is a little extra whiny, but I’m thankful they’re colds and nothing worse.

Simon is signed up for t-ball, and had his first practice Friday night. He loves it.

Gabe and I watched a movie that was pretty ridiculous. I did some cooking, grocery shopping and meal prepping for the week, which always makes me feel a little bit better when I have somewhat of a plan for the weekly meals. Saturday night we had meatloaf and tonight we had burgers and corn on the cob and watermelon- a perfect ALMOST summer meal.

Saturday we had our first family photos taken by a real photographer. My one big regret is that I didn’t have a photographer at our wedding. And even though Gabe protests at us having “such a fancy camera” and then going to have someone else take our pictures- within a half hour we had over 80 images to choose from and we narrowed them down to 20. It was a quick and painless outing, not at all what I expected. There were lots of toys for Simon to play with and the actual photo shoot went really quickly. It was paring down to 20 images that was tough. AND originally I was only going to get 15! The photographer we went to did such a good job. We’ll definitely be going back.

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George- 5 months old.

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Simon, 4 years old.

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The whole fam damily

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my sweeties.

Then today Gabe took Simon to go get a REAL tball tee and bat, so George and I went on a walk and grocery shopping. I managed to squeeze in a hair cut and some outside time, so all in all it was a great weekend. Looking forward to a long weekend next weekend, then preschool graduation, then a vacation shortly after that!

5 months, for George

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Dear George,

I know I know I know I know, the thing that I swore would never happen has happened. I skipped your 4th month letter, even though I swore to myself I wouldn’t let time get away from me, it did and I’m sorry. I wish I would’ve documented all the times that I thought to myself “I NEED TO WRITE GEORGE HIS 4TH MONTH LETTER” but I couldn’t. And I couldn’t because I was probably holding you, feeding you, or attempting to sleep myself. The basic rundown of month 3 to 4 was, you spend many many nights needing held while we slept. You wanted to only sleep on top of me, in bed. This was fine, except that it was difficult for me to sleep with a person laying on top of me who is very small, though somewhat noisy, and hungry about every two hours.

HOPEFULLY we’ve gotten past that phase and I welcome with open arms Month 5 to 6, where you have suddenly become the happiest baby on the planet.

 

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For the first time in your LIFE you wake up talking instead of crying/screaming. You smile at everyone you see, and your dimple gets compliments from everyone. Your eyes squeeze into little slits when you smile like a baby Buddha statue and you make so many people happy, including us, your family.

You still love to watch your big brother do anything, and he still very much loves you. He will get close to you at the end of the day when you go to pick him up at preschool and he will tell you “Don’t worry George, your big brother is here.” You love to take baths together and you lay in bed together at bedtime when we listen to stories or read books in bed.

You’ve found your toes, and just today put one foot in your mouth. You are chewing on your fingers and thumbs constantly, and we’re wondering if you’ll ever figure out which one you like best and stick with it, since you still don’t like a pacifier. Or, maybe you’ll just chew on all of your fingers for a while, who knows. You seem to march to the beat of your own drummer, which is just fine by me.

The weather has finally turned and with it, you have become a slightly more manageable baby and such a meaningful part of our family. We love you so much and it’s already hard to imagine our lives without you in it. You are the perfect little addition and we just love you to pieces.

At your 4 month appointment you weighed over 18 pounds and you were in the 100th percentile for head circumference (that’s a big brain in there!) and 90th for height and weight. You look pretty proportionate to me. Your skin is so soft and your hair is starting to get sorta fluffy. It’s still a brownish red, less blonde than your brother’s, but I think time will tell whether or not that changes.

In a few short weeks you and I will be going on an airplane right to South Carolina, while Daddy and Simon drive down. We were all going to drive together but on the way home from grandma and grandpa’s house after Easter, you screamed for two straight hours and something in my brain broke listening to you cry and being unable to do anything about it because I was driving. So I decided we would fly. I am excited for the vacation and a little nervous wondering how much relaxing we’ll get in, but we’re going to have a great time I’m sure!

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Your dad and brother informed me that you do NOT like arts and crafts, since you were an unwilling participant in an adorable Mothers Day craft with them. I love it though- three handprints of my three boys. I hung it in the kitchen. We had a nice Easter and Mothers’ Day- great weather for both occasions.

You add so much more love and laughter to our family. I constantly find myself in awe of how lucky I am to have you and your brother as my babies. I know this is all going super fast- almost half a year has gone by since your birth?! So let’s slow it down some so we can enjoy your pudgy rolls and gigantic smiles just a little bit longer before you start with the attitude your brother has acquired since going to preschool. I kid, I kid.

I love you little dude. So much more than you’ll ever know.

XO

Mom

3 months, for George

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1, 2, and 3 months old.

Dear George,

Well, we made it! We’ve rounded that corner from newborn we-have-no-idea-what’s-wrong-with-you stage to “Hey look, he’s smiling at us!” and “I’m pretty sure this cry means ____.” You are a very very very smiley baby. At just three months old, you’ve started to chuckle and it’s hilarious. You love to watch your brother do anything, and you love taking baths together. Simon adores you and we are always catching him talking to you sweetly when we’re not around, or telling you “It’s okay- your brother is here” when you are crying in the car. For some reason this month he started calling you Joe instead of George. Odd, but funny. It is very cool to watch you guys grow up. Simon asked if you can have bunk beds someday (he called the top bunk). I told him he may change his mind about sharing a bedroom when he gets older, but it’s definitely something we can talk about down the road.

You’ve been rolling over from front to back for about a week now, and you are scoot scoot scooting around on your back attempting to roll over to your front. I have a feeling you are going to be a lot happier when you’re moving and mobile.  You’re starting to hold your head up a lot more, so we borrowed your cousin Brenden’s Bumbo seat to see what you thought. Just like anything else we set you in, you like it for a while and then want to change positions. We have so many different options of seating for you, it’s really ridiculous. But, you are usually pretty happy and contented so long as people are smiling at you and talking to you. You’re quite a charmer.

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George trying out the Bumbo seat

You still have reflux pretty bad, at times projectile vomiting everywhere and I just can’t figure out why… Sometimes it seems reflux related and other times it’s just a weird fluke that happens. I’m hoping that will all settle down once we can get some food into you. It seems like you puke the entire contents of your stomach RIGHT as we’re heading out the door in the morning for work. You don’t cry afterwards, you smile at us. It is so bizarre.

I strapped you in the BabyHawk carrier yesterday and today, and we bounced and walked around the neighborhood a bit. Just like the Bumbo, you’re okay with it for a while, then you’d prefer to sit in a different position. I’m going to try and capture pictures of me hauling you around in this thing, because you are growing so fast I know it’s a matter of time before you’re walking and talking and telling me what’s what. You’re already quite the talker, babbling and babbling like you have LOTS to say.

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“bumbled up” as Simon would say, on a walk.

People always tell me “He looks just like Gabe!” OR “He looks just like Simon!” And I believe them when they say you look like your dad. There’s definitely no denying that. And there are some similarities between you and Simon, sure. But you really look different to me, and you should be. You are two different people and we love you both oh-so-much.

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St. Patricks’ Day 2014 and 2010

You’re still nursing a little throughout the night, and growing like a weed. You wake up quite a bit at night still, but that MAY be because you’re still in our room. You sleep either in the swing or the rocking cradle or SOMETIMES in my bed, depending on what you need at that moment and how deliriously tired I am. You are about to hit the weight limit on the swing, I’m sure of it, since the straps barely fit around you when I attempt to buckle you in. Since you still don’t take a pacifier, I am the pacifier, so it makes for difficult evenings to put you to sleep if I’m not around. On Thursday night we had to go to the ER because I was scared I had appendicitis (Nope!) and Lisa had to put you to sleep. I think you fought her for an hour while she rocked and rocked you and forced the pacifier in your mouth before you finally caved and fell asleep. I felt bad, but also wondered how much longer I’ll be the one that puts you to sleep every night? I know this time goes fast. A friend told me “Remember it goes by so fast” and she’s right. I shouldn’t wish it away. Soon you’ll be telling me I’m a meanie, just like your brother does on occasion.

We love you very much, and are having so much fun watching you grow up and become your own person. I love your smiles and talks and sometimes you’ll even sing with me, it’s very cute. Be patient with me if I seem a little exhausted, and I’ll try to be patient with you as we muddle through the first few years.

I love you so so much more than you’ll ever know. XOXOX

Mommy

2 months, for George

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Dear George,

Hey Squishy. You turned two months old on February 13th, and I just can’t believe how fast time flies these days! My maternity leave ended and work began on February 17th. You went to the baby-sitter and it’s still a little early to determine how it’s going to work out. You see, dear sweet boy of mine- you do not like bottles. At all. You don’t like pacifiers, you don’t like bottles, you only like drinking straight “from the tap.” This is incredibly convenient for me, when I can be around you all the time. It is not convenient when I have to go to work, and you spend the day fussing at either your dad or the sitter, or anyone who isn’t lactating and ready to feed you.

So on one hand, this is heart-breaking and frustrating for everyone. People who love and care about you want to be able to watch you and see your sweet smiling face. However, when you get hungry, and fight the bottle like a person is waterboarding you, everyone loses, George- everyone.

On the other hand, nursing has been so easy this time around, I don’t really mind just hopping in the car with you to go somewhere because I don’t  have to pack bottles or anything, I can just feed you on the fly- wherever we go. It’s quite convenient. It’s a LITTLE inconvenient that you still like to eat every 2 hours- but that can’t last forever, can it?

You’ve been diagnosed with reflux, so we have to give you this DISGUSTING medicine that tastes like peppermint. You are pretty sure we’re trying to poison you everytime you take it. And by “take it” I mean, cough, sputter, choke and spit it back out at us. We are doing our best to get it in you. Depending on whether or not you swallow some of it, we do think it helps. When you don’t take it your spit up is more like vomit and it is projectile in that it lands across the room, Exorcist style. I’ve been told that I had a similar problem as an infant. Some people tell me “oh, yeah my kid did that too” and when I ask them when it stopped they say, “oh at about a year…”

Sigh.

So I hope it stops sooner than that! I also hope you start ot make life easier on everyone else who watches you. You and I have such a good time staring at each other. You like me to sing to you, or at least you enjoy smiling while I sing. You love to take a bath.  You seem to be more reserved than Simon was at your age. You smile but not as easily as Simon did. You’re very snuggly and sweet and since you are my last baby, I’m going to hold onto that as long as I can.

You have the cutest dimple and the prettiest mouth I’ve ever seen. You still have cradle cap and the end of baby acne, but you’re still perfect to me. You still sleep in our room on either a rock n play cradle or the swing, and instead of obsessing over the transition to your bedroom, I keep telling myself not to stress about it. Someday you’ll be too big for both of those things and you’ll have to lie flat on your back in a crib. It will happen eventually. Until then you can enjoy the obnoxious ocean waves on my sound machine and grunt me awake every two hours to snack while you are half asleep. The doctor says “Calorically he (you) doesn’t need to be eating that often at night”– probably because you weigh 14.6 lbs and are in the 92%ile for weight and height. But you seem hungry to me. And even if you’re just nursing for comfort, this nursing thing is ending in June so you might as well get it while you can, right?

I love you sweet boy. I am so glad you’re here. You’re the perfect cherry on top of this little family sundae of ours.

all my heart,

mommy

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Letter to Simon, 4 and a half

Since February 4th, I have been meaning to sit down and write a letter to Simon, but I have opened up my browser, made it as far as the dashboard of this web page, and fallen short on what to say. Instead of thinking and thinking and thinking, I’m just going to try to put it all out there right now, and hope it comes out okay.

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Dear Simon,

On February 4th you turned officially Four-and-a-Half. You are such a sweet and good boy. I feel like I’ve been repeatedly letting you down- over and over again, whether it’s space on my lap that you want, or just a few extra minutes at bedtime to snuggle, I feel like I’ve not been the mom you once knew.

A baby came and changed everything. I had the chance to take you out to Bob Evans, just you and me, before we went to a special school program for moms and preschoolers at your school for Valentine’s day. When you pointed at the lady with spiked hot pink striped hair and I snapped at you “DON’T POINT.” I realized from the look on your face that, even when the baby isn’t around, I am different. I am tired, I am probably short tempered. And Simon, I am sorry.

I’ve mentioned my concerns and my sadness about this to several people. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how sometimes you reach out for my hand and tell me, “I just want to BE with you,” or ask  me “will you snuggle wiff me?” RIGHT at the end of a day when I’m just aching to get the rest of the chores done and sit down by 9pm.  It breaks my heart. When we were driving in the car alone on the way to the restaurant, I had such a nice conversation with you and I thought to myself, “I miss this boy” even though you’re in front of me every day. I miss our time together that doesn’t seem like it happens often anymore. I am sorry.

I do try to give you more hugs and kisses and cuddles than usual. I try to talk about feelings. And I think that when you say “I just miss somebody” each time you start to cry these days, what you’re really missing is the way things used to be, before mom and dad were busy and tired and often more frustrated than they used to be.  And I’m sorry that you feel like you miss people who are right in front of you, but I also understand.

But a friend reminded me that “new life changes everything” and OH how that is true.  And though I am sorry for missing the time I used to have with you, and I am very sorry that the adjustment to living with an infant is so tiring and frustrating for a lot of people living in this house, and I am very NOT sorry for giving you what I think is probably the best gift you don’t even fully understand yet, a brother.

When I told my friend I felt terrible about forcing you to grow up too quickly, and how I need to remind myself that you’re “only four and a half” she said: asking your older kids to step up their game to make room for the gift of a sibling, don’t feel sorry for that. And I have two brothers, and one sister, and they are tremendous gifts in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. So I keep telling myself this, that for all of the change and the frustration and the hurt that we may be temporarily feeling about this gigantic adjustment, we just added new life. And the baby stuff, it’s temporary. George will grow, and you will get so much joy out of having him in your life, I just know it.

And when I am gone, and your dad is gone, you will have each other. And there is no greater gift than a sibling, I don’t think. And it is also a gift of relief to me, to know you have each other to lean on and love if I’m not here.

So I know that things will get better, little buddy. The baby will sleep more, I’ll sleep more, we’ll all be happier when the snow melts and moods improve and we can all get outside with strollers to the park and play a little more. I just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking all of these things, and my heart breaks a little bit to see you hurting. I will continue to try and mend it as often as I can.

All my heart,
mommy

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