Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Happened to Spring?

We seem to have skipped spring :o( Earlier this week it was in the 40's & 50's, and yesterday & today have been in the 90's!!! I am not amused! Though warm is nice, wasn't anywhere near ready for HOT yet thankyouverymuch!

Let's see . . . school . . . didn't really happen this week. We did Bible & Science on Monday (couldn't do history because we needed to go to the library to get our next book), and that was all that happened this week. Lots of not great nights for Lina and me, quite abit of acting out from the big girls . . . it was just an "off" week. Doubt we'll do too much this week either since the girls & I are leaving Thurs am to go to my parents (and dh will join us for HVA's (our high school) alumni weekend).

We DID start making our Ruby Dolls as part of Bible. I'd gotten the pattern before we started our study of Prov 31, but since we have lots of craft supplies around here, I bought just the pattern & figured I could use stuff we already had, and it took me till now to actually pull together all the pieces to start making it. Needless to say, the girls are thrilled with this new craft project LOL.

Today I finally got around to attempting a back carry with Little Bit. Since I only had ring slings & pouches when the big girls were tiny, this was my first time actually wearing a baby (under 9mo, which is when I got my Kozy for the big girls) on my back. Picture is horrible since I took it myself, but at least I documented it LOL. Put her on my back & went to put the laundry in and she was sound asleep by the time the laundry was going LOL. So I took advantage of having her on my back & unloaded some bulkier stuff from the back of the car (kept putting it off since it would be hard to do w/ her in a carrier on my front).

And then took her off my back & she kept sleeping for a little while, all snuggled up in the wrap on the floor. Awww . . .

The other thing for this week is that we are starting an allowance for the big girls, starting today. We'd planned to start when they turned 6, but were abit distracted right on/near their birthday, so we're finally getting around to it. We told them about it on Friday, they are very excited :) They will each receive $3 per week ($0.50 per year). Of that, they will pay tithe (10%), and also save some to be used for charity (once it's accumulated enough to do anything with). And divide the rest between savings & spending. Interestingly, when we told them about it, they seemed the most excited/intrigued by the charity aspect of it. They have big plans for their "charity money" LOL. When I go to the grocery store this afternoon I'll be getting some small cartons of milk or cream (or something) to use to make bank "houses" for them to save the various categories into.

And finally, Little Bit is ONE MONTH OLD today!! How did that happen? She's such a sweetie! More laid back than her sisters most of the time. Will just lay on a blanket and "talk". Has lots of smiles that I am convinced are not just gas (if so, it's very coincidental gas, since she regularly smiles right at her sisters or daddy or me). But she still has periods of gas pain when she just screams and nothing helps :o( I'm really hoping that she will outgrow that soon.

She makes the same "bird girl" face that A used to make. It's so fun to see that cute little face again! Though A alternates between thinking it's very cool that Little Bit does something like her & insisting that SHE is the only Bird Girl and we are not to call Little Bit that. L is jealous that she's the only non-bird girl LOL.

I dug around & found some of the newborn/early pictures of the big girls (which unfortunately aren't online at the moment). I find it absolutely fascinating that looking at the pictures, Little Bit looks like A, but not L (but we're not advertising that fact since I have a feeling it would upset L). What's fascinating about that is, of course, that I couldn't tell A&L apart as babies but now looking at their pictures they look nothing alike to me LOL.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Week

We've survived our first week as a family of 5 without my mom here to help.

Overall, it went well. We managed to "do school" at least a couple days (3, I think). We kept up with laundry, including diapers. We ate mostly leftovers or dh's cooking, but we ate, and I kept up with dishes for the most part.

Little Bit continues to have fussy periods where she won't nurse or sleep or . . . anything (appears to be gas, poor baby). But we've managed to adapt as needed. The night I knew dh would be gone at the girls' bedtime, I read them "bedtime stories" in the afternoon and told them that if she wasn't fussy at bedtime we'd do more stories, otherwise they could watch an extra tv show at "storytime" (she wasn't fussy, but they still chose the tv show LOL).

The big girls continue to enjoy holding her. So I use those times to get dishes & laundry & such done. She's also somtimes happy to just hang out on a blanket on the floor, especially if her sisters will sit next to her & "talk" to her.

I find it absolutely amazing that she will randomly fall asleep being held (but not nursed) or just laying on the floor. I don't remember the big girls EVER doing that!) .

We also began part time Elimination Communication. I found the book, Diaper Free most helpful in figuring it all out. We aren't attempting it full time, but we are managing to "catch" some pees/poos each day, which is pretty cool. The big girls are less than thrilled with it because they like to help change diapers, but oh well . . .

In school, we're continuing to study the Prov 31 Woman for Bible. There are some rough patches, talkative L didn't like hearing that God wants us to listen more than we talk this week (we were learning about being an Attentive Woman). But we're working through things.

The history book this week wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped, so we only read it one day. We also only managed to do one day of science this week, making a nerve necklace. But that's ok.

We had some lovely spring weather that's sent the big girls outside to play quite abit too, woo-hoo!

Making Room for Baby

Meredith at Like Merchant Ships, posted about finding room for another baby in a small house, so I thought I'd share how we've made room for Little Bit in our small house.

Regardless of the size of our house, we'd have chosen to co-sleep, as we did with the big girls. With the girls, my dad built us a cosleeper that held a twin mattress, and that worked very well, and seemed the logical solution again. Since our room is small, the logical solution was to shift our bed slightly and build in the cosleeper to fit perfectly between our bed & the wall. This gives us a nice large bed surface for us, Little Bit, and when needed, the big girls.
Additionally, I used the space at the end of the co-sleeper to set up a "changing station" (changing mat, diapers, spray bottle to wet the cloth wipes) for quick night time diaper changes.

I used the space under the co-sleeper to store the bigger baby clothes, etc. I sorted everything (clothes, bibs, baby-proofing stuff, etc) into bins by size/age & then shoved the 12 mo bin all the way up under the head of the bed, then 6-9mo, then 3-6mo, so I can access stuff easily as I need it. At the foot of the bed I have a basket full of baby blankets & a small trash can that I use to put the wet/dirty diapers in during the night.

Closet space was something I wasn't sure about, our closet is already packed w/ our clothes & the girls' closet is also full. Then I had a brainstorm. The previous tenants had left a wire along one wall, just down from the ceiling, in our room. I'm not sure what they did with it, but we hadn't taken it down since it looked like that would require major patching the holes it would leave. So, I used it to hang the baby's cothes.
The rest of her clothes, I cleaned out one drawer of our dresser. And have a basket sitting on top of our dresser with her socks in it.

Finally, we needed a place for all the cloth diapers & such. Our bathroom has a little alcove of unused space beside the tub (w/ a door into the furnace room at the back). It occurred to me that the plastic cart we'd had in the girls' nursery might fit in that space, so we pulled it out of storage & it rolls into that space perfectly. It holds diapers, bath stuff, etc. A nail already on the wall in that space works to hold the diaper stacker mom made for the girls' nursery & the colors even coordinate well with our bathroom colors.
The take-along swing sits in front of the cart, so I have a place to put her when I shower.

I have a basket of diapering stuff in the family room for downstairs diaper changes & a bouncy seat in the family room that moves around the main floor as needed. There's also a small basket of baby toys (not needed yet, but was easier to put them there than have to find them again later) on the game shelf in the family room.

And that's how we've made room for baby.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up

We had a good week this past week. Did at least a little school most days, got somewhat back into the groove of using our chore clips . . . girls spent time outside . . . made cookies with Mama . . .

With Little Bit's cord no longer a concern, the girls have also started "helping" to change diapers. I'll admit to sometimes waiting till they're out of the room because it's so much easier to just do it myself LOL, but they don't do too bad and they're proud of themselves for helping.

I'm feeling much more "normal" now than I was a week (or even half a week) ago. Feeling like I can at least physically get back in gear for laundry, cleaning, cooking . . . etc. Though it remains to be seen how Little Bit does hanging out in the sling through all of that. My concern is that so far she sleeps whenever she's in a sling, and if she sleeps all day she's awake at night. So we'll have to figure out to schedule our days such that she's awake some of the time, which might mean scheduling time when she's out of the sling.

We got a new recliner this week too. We'd had an old one we'd gotten (hand-me-down) from MIL when we got married but a few months ago the footrest on it broke, so while it worked as a chair, not so much as a recliner. With Little Bit's sleep and latch being such as it is right now (I need to try side-lying again, but at least last week, she didn't do well with it, so I've been sleeping on the sofa so I'm near the glider for nursing), I commented to dh that a recliner would make some nights (when even the jostling of moving from the glider to the sofa wakes Little Bit back up (WHY is that, when during the day she blissfully sleeps through kids running through here screaming &/or kids holding her and jiggling her around?) easier, and since he's been wanting a new recliner anyway, it didn't take much arm twisting LOL. We found one we liked, at a price that didn't seem too bad, at Sam's, so dh & my dad went & picked it up on Friday. Little Bit & I tested it for napping yesterday, it works well LOL.

Mom & Dad did an easter egg hunt for the girls yesterday. They hid something like 60 eggs (some hard boiled, most plastic) all over our front yard. The girls had a blast & A was sad that she'd have to wait a whole year to do it again (we suggested that we could re-hide empty plastic eggs, but she didn't think that sounded like as much fun LOL).

Dad put the cosleeper up this weekend, and I got sheets on it last night. So Little Bit now officially has a bed. Of course, I put the tinkerbell sheets on it (since when I got them, A was very adament that she does NOT like tinkerbell (when I was ordering them, my choices were purple w/ tinkrbell or pink w/ Belle/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty. I figured since the princess sheets didn't have Ariel anyway, A would like the tinkerbell ones better since they're her color, I was wrong) and we ended up getting her "snowflake" sheets instead, which is what she's used all winter. So . . . I figured this worked well, the tinkerbell sheets could be Little Bit's. But I was wrong again. A still considers the tinkerbell sheets hers, sigh. . . there are other solid color twin sheets in the cedar chest (where I store extra linens) so not a big deal to switch them, but caused abit of turmoil last night a bedtime when A saw the bed for the first time. She did agree that I could wait & change the sheets today, not do it last night. But other than that drama, I think the cosleeper will work out well. A is also sad because it's not exactly like the "white bed" that was her & L's co-sleeper (since we had a bigger bedroom in the old house, the cosleeper wasn't against a wall so it had it's own walls on 3 sides. This room is small enough that we're using the wall of the room as the main wall, and after having used the other co-sleeper I decided a wall at the foot isn't necessary, so this one only has a wall at the head of the bed. I think she felt a little better about it when I pointed out that, while it doesn't look the same, it DOES use the same wood as the white bed did, and the same matress (the "white bed" was so-named because it had a white sheet on it, but I'm not sure that sheet came w/ us, it might be in the box of extra linens at mom & dad's, not sure if A would think it was good or bad if I used "her" white bed sheet on Lina's bed anyway . . . sigh . . .

I did point out that as long as Little Bit's not sleeping on it (which isn't likely during the day, at least at this point, I'm more likely to just put her on a blanket on the floor or in the bouncy seat if she's napping not on me) A (or L, but A's more likely to want it) can use Little Bit's bed as a place to go when she's upset, and dh pointed out that even though there are bins of clothes under the bed, A can probably squeeze in beside them & use that as an alone place too. So A liked that, plus I got "her bench" (the cedar chest in the corner of our room) cleared off finally, so she has that option back as well.

Mom & Dad left yesterday afternoon, so now we're on our own. A had several mini-meltdowns throughout the day in anticipation of Mama leaving, but did ok when they actually left. And was sad, but not "melt-downy-y" at bedtime. L commented that "I've never gone to sleep without Mama here when I'm 6" but otherwise was ok with it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Little Bit

Little Bit is 10 days old already! How did that happen? While she certainly spends the majority of her days (and a good part of her nights) nursing and sleeping (and often both at the same time) she's having definite awake periods too. She's so alert and I SWEAR there are times when she really does smile (as opposed to gas) just seems abit too coincidental when she looks right AT her sisters or me and smiles then goes back to a more placid look. But who knows . . .

The shirt she's wearing in the picture is the one L made for her. My parents took L & A to their house after church yesterday & are bringing them (and my mom, for another week) back sometime today, so I decided to surprise L and have Little Bit be wearing her shirt.

I took her in the shower with me this morning for the first time (had to wait for her cord to fall off (which it did, Thursday, when she was exactly a week old), and then with the big girls wanting to hold her & such, just hadn't bothered. Plus w/ still trying to do baths once a day or so (to help w/ the post partum healing) I've been doing more baths than showers anyway, but this morning I was home alone with her, and figured she could use a bath/shower too, so thought we'd give the water wrap a try). She fussed when we first got in, but then cuddled down in the wrap & went back to sleep, didn't even fuss when I took her out of the wrap to wash all her nooks & crannies LOL. She also seemed to like laying nakey on a towel in the nice warm bathroom (we have a built in heater in the bathroom so it gets nice & toasty warm in there when we turn that on) while I got dressed.

Pictures of her are here.

My pregnancy journal is here.

Homeschool Wrap-Up

For obvious reasons, school has taken abit of a back burner these last couple weeks.

Of course, on the other hand, it's been a very EDUCATIONAL couple of weeks for the girls. They were with me throughout labor & delivery of Little Bit (I called her that off & on in utero, and it has kind of stuck, abit of irony since at 1 week, she was 9 lbs and her sisters were in the 11lb range at 3 months, but it makes as good a blog nickname as any, since her IRL nickname starts with L, same as big sister). Jen, our awesome midwife continued to answer their questions and keep them involved. DH laughed that even while she was coaching me to push Little Bit out, she was explaining it all to the girls. Since Little Bit has been home, they've learned about exciting things like Snappis and the umbilical cord stump and that babies nurse a LOT and holding babies CAREFULLY and . . . the list is endless.

Last weekend when Papa was here and the weather was nice they rediscovered their bats & balls, and learned abit of softball, and coerced Mama into pitching to them off and on during the week too.

Perhaps the "hit" of the birthday celebration last weekend was that, in wrapping the gifts, Mama emptied a couple wrapping paper rolls. The girls have spent countless hours turning those cardboard tubes into horses (and in L's case it is a horse/flag combo I think), and turning boxes into "carriages" to pull behind the horses . . .

We also pulled out the playdoh to entertain them on a rainy day & that has provided countless hours of entertainment as well, complete with spending most of Friday preparing "food" and otherwise planning for a "wedding" that took place that evening (A married "Luke", L played the roll of bridesmaid AND pastor, with a brief moment filling in for Luke when it came time to kiss the bride).

The girls also made t-shirts for Little Bit, which turned out very nicely. I have to say, the "artisic" thought that went into these, vs the "Big Sister" shirts they made last summer shows alot of growth on their part. Little Bit's wearing the shirt L made today so if she's ever not nursing I'll try to get a picture :).

For "bedtime" reading we're taking a break from the Anne of Green Gables series to read the Josephina American Girl books (since that's about where we are in history), Mama's willing to read longer than Mommy is, and if they didn't finish the series last week, they're most of the way through the last book anyway, which reminds me, I should go get the next Anne book from the library today.

Guess that's about it. We're going to TRY to get back into abit more of the chore/school routine this week before we're on our own w/o Mama. We'll see how it goes.

Homeschool Archive - Spring 2009

I have no idea how the winter 2009 archive has disappeared, but it has and I don't have the time, energy, or tech know-how to figure it out, so we'll just start a new one . . .

Week of June 1-5
Weeks of May 11-22
Weeks of April 27-May 8

Week of April 20-24
Week of Apr 13-17
Week of April 7-11

For the weeks of March 23-April 4

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kid Funny

This morning A was standing in front of the (not on) TV & noticed her reflection & started running in place and jumping & such. When Daddy asked what she was doing she said "I'm fast forwarding" LOL.