Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Baby Luke at 3 Months

I really love having a baby around!  We're soaking in this time with Luke because I know it all passes so quickly.  He continues to be an incredibly loved little guy!  And the best baby ever :)  Because...


I think when it's your third baby you are allowed to brag about a good sleeper.  Especially when your middle child still frequently wakes up in the middle of the night. Luke officially sleeps through the night.  Like the WHOLE night.  This took us majorly by surprise because we'd never experienced anything similar until our other children were like walking.  Not exaggerating.  It's been happening for a solid two weeks.  Luke goes down in his crib at 7 or 7:30.  I wake him to nurse him before I go to bed (though I'm wondering if that's even necessary?) and put him down in his cradle by our bed.  Where he sleeps soundly until about 6:00 a.m.

And it doesn't stop there.  He then takes two solid 3 hour naps plus a few small cat naps.  We have been the parents who googled "does my baby sleep too much?" and also checked with our pediatrician, but Luke's 17 and 18 hour sleep days appear to be normal on all accounts as he is growing like a weed, happy as a lark, and very alert and interactive with us.

Growing like a weed

16 lbs 3 oz at the 3 month mark!  Jack was also 16 lbs 3 oz at the same age, though an inch longer.  Cora was our "tiny" baby at 16 lbs even, though it's worth noting that she started a full pound smaller at birth than our boys.  The perks are fat, happy, soft, squishy babies.  The cons are that you literally have to separate fat rolls to keep baby clean :)

16 lbs 3 oz

Baths, showers, and other water sources

Luke continues to love the water.  He's all smiles and relaxation in the bath and he also generally liked the pool while we were on vacation.

It's hard to pose a baby! With sweet cousin Billy at the beach

What else Luke likes

Besides the water, he likes Mommy, Daddy, eating, looking at or having conversations with Mommy and Daddy, being held upright, being sung to, sucking on his hands, and being put down on his belly to sleep in quiet places.  Which in all honesty is probably why he's such a great sleeper,  His life is one lived in a loud, jarring, slightly stressful environment that he probably just needs a break from after an hour or so.

He also must like to spit-up because he does it a lot.  But obviously he's keeping enough down!
Luke's first trip: Atlanta for a wedding

Some good chub :)

Sucking his thumb

What is up next

June has been a fun month for us with Vacation Bible School, a week at the beach with my family, and then two full weeks at home together before I go back to work.  These at home weeks are great at helping me see exactly what Luke's ideal routine is before I need to communicate that to someone else.  Luke will be going to the day care center at my work which seems incredibly ideal as he'll be close by me most days, minimizing the need to pump and allowing me and him to lay eyes on each other as needed :)
First time in swing!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Turning the page to 3

I love that this blog has become a holding place for our memories and a file cabinet of time.  We recently had our rental car broken into and laptops stolen.  :(  And the suckiest thing about it was that I lost many picture and video files from the past 3 years.  Luckily, so much has been shared here on the blog.  For Jack, we'll be able to say "check out all these sweet videos of you as a baby" (backed up on our hard drive) and for Cora, we'll luckily say "read about your early years on the blog."

I found myself getting sentimental last night as I thought about saying goodnight to my two year old little girl, knowing she'd be waking up as a three year old.  This time in life is passing so quickly!

I would so regret not capturing this moment in her life.  What a spit fire, vivacious, dramatic, expressive, "lives at the extremes," beautiful, smart little girl.

We are at the beach this week and we are getting some witnesses to Cora's extremes. I mean doesn't it suck when the birthday girl gets sent to time out before breakfast?

What is Cora like at just-today-three?

BEAUTIFUL.  I try to be mindful of telling her how beautiful she is because I think there are so many more important ways to define yourself. But I also can't help myself (nor can Jacob) because we just are wowed by her eyes, her curls, her soft sweet skin.  Just lovely.

CAPTIVATING. She has a whole book of facial expressions.  And gestures.  She is adorably emphatic, easily excited, and makes us laugh so often with the way she recounts events, asks questions, and even argues back.

SMART. She's very intuitive.  I'll never forget how at barely 2 she asked "why you frustrated Mommy?" She also knows how to push buttons and work situations. We're so in trouble with this one.

IMAGINATIVE. Oh Lordy!  Have you met Mimi and Da-da, her imaginary friends?  Sometimes Mimi is a mommy, sometimes a baby, and Cora also told us that it was Mimi who broke into our car and stole our computers... :)  This little girl is so happy with the simplest things - a stack of wash cloths, an assortment of rocks, even just dirt.

A JUXTAPOSITION. She can be loud; she can be shy.  She can be super cuddly and so sweet and downright mean a few minutes later.  I imagine a lot of this has to do with her age as she's just not sure how to handle some of her emotions.  Which leads us to:

IMPULSIVE.  A great example: This week, we told her it was time to get out of the pool. She didn't want to be done swimming.  So she just jumped back into the pool.  Without floaties.  Without anyone waiting to catch her.  Luckily Grammy hadn't gotten out yet and grabbed her.

CAN'T HANDLE BEING TOLD NO.  Ay-yi-yi  This one is killing us lately.  Cora gets SO easily offended if she is corrected.  I seriously worry she'll walk out into traffic because she almost compulsively does the thing you tell her not to, no matter how good and obvious your intentions are.

She's also killing us with her particular version of the whine.  It's a high pitched "Ehh!" when she's offended, wronged, annoyed, etc.  Her teachers loved her this year, but one of them spot on imitated this sound.

Sometimes these days I look at Cora and she just grabs my heart as I imagine that she's struggling some with the recent changes in our family.  She's at a challenging age and I think this must be a hard spot to be in with a little baby so easily attracting love and a big brother who is so proudly reaching new milestones of independence.

And then at other thoughts are less generous.

It's been so much fun to anticipate this birthday with Cora and I'm excited to share our birthday present with her tonight: an enamel "treasure box" with nine little drawers to hold her many treasures.  (I've seen these before at TJMaxx before and always wanted to have a reason to buy one!)  My family all contributed little treasures from their houses and she's going to love the pretty rocks, shells, old lockets, etc. that we filled it with.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's it like to go from 2 kids to 3?

What a whirlwind the last 10 weeks have been!  The first half of March went by so slowly waiting for baby and then suddenly it was May!  Life has certainly changed and I know it will keep on changing.

So, what's it like to go from 2 kids to 3?

My best answer is that I now feel like I'm never done.  With anything.  With laundry, with taking care of children, with any given task.  This is definitely a test for someone who likes to feel productive and to fully accomplish things.  ANY thing.

We got amazing help initially to the point that we only spent five nights alone with all three children in the first month. Right after our last help left, Jacob happened to be leaving as well - for four full days to Portland for the Craft Brewers Conference.  This actually turned out to be a blessing as I was able to prove to myself that I could indeed take care of all three.  After receiving so much help, I needed a confidence boost and to relearn where all three kids were at.  But what I saw in those four days is that this new gig is literally around the clock.

The daytime was full of many feedings, many outfit changes, many questions.  The evening was full of many baths, many books, much cleaning, much laundry.  Then when the big kids were actually asleep the baby's needs picked up. 2-3 night time feeds + the occasional big kid nightmare.  And then the day began again between 5 and 6 a.m.

Luckily by two months post-baby and with Daddy stationed back at home, it's no longer that crazy. (Or else I might have quit.)  Luke now goes to bed too and there are some predictable quiet hours between 8-10pm. He also has started sleeping better this last week...(!)

During the day, as you might guess, when there is a whole other person, it's less likely that all three children will be self-sufficient at the same time.  This makes it hard to get things done.

This month I've been taking advantage of the morning time as Jack and Cora are in school.  This is mostly when I accomplish things.  Some mornings Luke sleeps for a full three hour block; other mornings, his naps are interrupted and the morning passes without much happening.  I look at those mornings as productive too as one main thing I want to do these days is spend time with my sweet baby. And morning walks, baths, feeding, and rocking time mean calm, quiet moments together.

Afternoons sometimes work great. And other times they are not fun at all.

The best afternoons have me + all three kids on Cora's bed reading together after school.  This is followed by obedient big kids who spend 30 minutes in their beds reading or being quiet followed by 30 more minutes in their rooms playing. Baby of course would have nursed during books and gone straight down to nap. This is then followed by a well-rested, productive Mom who has put some thought into what the rest of the afternoon holds.  And in that one hour of quiet time, she would also have prepped dinner and had her needed downtime.

That can obviously fall apart in about one hundred different ways. Like big kids needing to poop about 2 minutes after rest time begins.  Baby being woken by loud children.  Mommy having to negotiate with irrational 2.5 year old about how she must stay in her room even if she doesn't want to. Mommy starting a task and then being interrupted - six times. Lots of trips upstairs. And then a frazzled woman who sees that it's only 2:45 p.m. and "rest" is over.  We're working on those days.

With all that said, I definitely recommend three kids!  :) And I'm being serious!  Everyone loves Luke and we love watching everyone love him.  Sometimes the craziness forces Jack and Cora to get along and come up with great games which results in lots of laughter together. Life is always interesting lately and that is giving us the energy we need.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Who's Who?

Brand New Baby A (okay, this one is a little easy)

Brand New Baby B

Brand New Baby C
2 Month Old Baby A

2 Month Old Baby B

2 month old Baby C
What do you think?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Luke at 2 Months

There's been LOTS of growing going on over here.

Birth: 8 lbs, 7 oz

1 month: 11 lbs, 11 oz
2 months: 14 lbs 12 oz
So breastfeeding is obviously going well :)  He had his first bottle this month and didn't blink an eye.  This kid just likes eating.  And thanks to his hearty appetite, I'm continuing to be able to eat WHATEVER I want and lose weight.  I know it sounds annoying, but I'm choosing to fully enjoy this time of my life!


As he hits the two month mark, Luke still sleeps a lot throughout the day - some days it seems like most of the day.  We don't worry about naps except that we notice if he hasn't had a long sleep stretch then he probably wants one.  If he gets into a deep nap during the day, I do wake him to make sure he's eating at least every three hours because, well NIGHTS!

We have noticed that he's ready to check out for the day around the time the other kids are, so we now "put Luke to bed" as well.  He gets into his jammies and we lay him down somewhere quiet, usually in his own room.  During his day/evening naps, I often lay him down on his belly because that's how he gets the best sleep.  At night, we've always laid him on his side with his back against the side of the cradle.  Nights are still blurry, but not bad.  He usually eats twice (I think) but lights stay off, I usually don't even check the time, and we often fall back asleep together.  I try to change his diaper once in the night because he will wet through if I don't.  But there have been a few nights where the idea of sleeping on baby pee sounds more appealing than having to fully wake up to change a diaper :)

That's a smile at his mama there!
New and Notable

Baby Luke smiles!  He gave us his first smile just shy of 6 weeks.  For another week, we had to work HARD to get a smile, and it was only about one a day.  Then he entered the sweet phase of smiling ONLY at his mama.  When he catches glimpse of me, he always breaks out into a smile. There's pretty much nothing better. :)  Now he also smiles at his daddy and I think we've seen him smile at Jack.  Jack and Cora are probably a bit scary to him as they are so LOUD and pop into his view ALL OF A SUDDEN :)

Sibling Love

He's still the most popular sibling.  I've checked out Siblings Without Rivalry thanks to the Jack and Cora interactions as of late, but 99% of interactions with Luke are love-filled.  See evidence below:

In Other News

While still fitting into some 3 month clothes, Baby Luke is now rocking his 6 month wear.  Landry babies don't stay small for long!

He went to his first Jazz Fest!  He also has been making the rounds to Jack's baseball games where he stays snuggled on my chest as I perform my duties as dug-out mom.

While not the easiest month, we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for and WE ARE!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A week in numbers

I jotted down some numbers over the week to "measure" what I knew would be a crazy week!

  • 4 days (precisely 92 hours) as a single parent while Jacob went to the National Craft Brewers Conference in Portland
  • That would mean a 3:1 child to adult ratio
  • 4 kind friends who brought dinner!
  • 15 loads of laundry (!!) + 4 rounds of diaper washes (diaper washes = 3 cycles) totaling a grand 27 times I pressed "START" on our washer
  • Included in that laundry were 4 sets of bedding thanks to someone's pee (not mine)
  • 3 times that a child's poop went somewhere other than in a toilet or a diaper
  • Approximately 77 feedings (I didn't actually count but that's probably close)
  • 8 episodes of Mad Men Season 1 rewatched thanks to said feedings + laundry folding
  • 9:18a.m. - the time I got out of bed on Saturday morning after Jacob was back home
  • 8?? - about the number of times I was awakened by one of our children the night before
  • 1 lovely brunch out with ladies on Saturday morning
  • 1 wild, but fun crawfish boil with friends on Saturday evening
  • 20+ children running around at that crawfish boil (thus why it was wild)
  • 73 - today's temperature - I love spring time in New Orleans!! (when it's not raining!!)
  • 3 asleep, 1 on me :)

    Chunking up :)

    End-of-week movie in Mommy/Daddy's bed prize for being good while Daddy was away

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Luke at 1 Month

Zoom. That was a quick four weeks!

Weight at 4 weeks: 11 lbs 11 oz!  Luke was 8 lbs 7 oz at birth and 7 lbs 12 oz at discharge. That makes a nice pound a week gain over the last month.

Feeding: The first few weeks of breastfeeding ain't no joke! The first two weeks were hard, mainly because Luke had a tendency of latching on and off repeatedly during a feeding leaving me sore. It took lights on and two hands to feed him as well which made feedings more tiring. By three weeks, we had mastered nursing while lying down which makes all the difference. Now I don't turn the lights on during the night and we both go back to sleep during/after (who knows?) a feeding.  If he falls into a sound sleep, he'll go 3 hours between feedings. Other times, he's eating every 1.5-2 hours. There is no set pattern yet. Half the time he is only eating on one side; the other half he gets both sides. I think life is dictating that just as much as he is right now!

Sleeping: He still sleeps most of the day with occasional awake/alert periods. He can get over tired which leads to lots of dozing until he ultimately crashes for a full 3 hour nap. His best nighttime stretch was 4 hours between feedings. That happened once... Usually he wakes every 2-3 hours at night.

Luke's Quirks: He grunts! A lot! Whenever he has gas or a burp, you know it because he works on getting it out with lots of noises and squirming. He also just vocalizes a lot. When we go on walks, he'll purr/growl/grunt the entire hour! He (or rather I) get looks!

Still popular! This guy is still the apple of everyone's eye. My favorite anecdote for this month: Jack and Cora were with me at church and I had put Luke's car seat in the hallway and had gone into the next room to get the older two. We all heard Luke let out a scream and Jack and Cora both stopped/dropped what they were doing and took off running toward their baby. It was really cute, but I was also calling, "Wait, let ME get Luke!"

They both ask to "snuggle" baby Luke at bedtime. I put him in their bed and they wrap him up in a hug. It's pretty sweet :)

When it's your third baby... I stubbornly waited until 5 weeks to give both Jack and Cora a pacifier as I was very determined not to do anything that might interfere with the success of our breastfeeding. Like Jack, Luke seems to LOVE to suck. As with Jack, we'd been letting him suck on our finger at moments when it was obvious he didn't need to eat. On my first day home alone with all three children (at 3.5 weeks), I caved to the pacifier as I was feeling better about our breastfeeding and, well, THREE children!  The child loves the pacifier, but I will say they are only sort of helpful at this age as they constantly fall out. Luckily, Jack is a great "bop" retriever/inserter and he loves to be able to help with Luke, so, win-win.

Nicknames: For a family that gives short names, we come up with a surprisingly large number of nicknames. Right now, what you hear around here is:
  • Handsome-Pansome (as in "hey handsome-pansome")
  • Chubs (I don't post the unflattering pictures, but this kid gained some serious poundage this month)
  • Bubby
  • Baby Boy and Baby Luke
What Luke loves: WATER - Luke loves his bath time and is easily soothed by water. When I shower, I put him on his bath seat on the floor and he's very chill.  I've also started putting him in the bath tub on his bath seat when I'm bathing Jack and Cora because he would be screaming if I just left him in a bouncy seat, but he's instantly calm when his feet are in the water.  I don't always bathe him, but hey, a baby's butt always needs to be cleaned off, so it seems purposeful.

What Luke does not love: Being put down. If he's awake, he's generally not happy for long out of someone's arms. I remember Cora would reliably be happy if you put her in her bouncy seat and bounced her. Not Luke. He will quickly start to cry if left alone but will instantly stop if you pick him up. And he prefers being held upright. That makes getting other things done hard!

Can't wait to see some smiles from this guy :)