Sunday, March 31, 2013

What a difference a year makes!

Happy Easter to all! We experienced an absolutely beautiful, moving service at Rayne this morning. The message was "RISE" - no matter how low we might fall, the worst is never the end and there is always the chance to rise up. How blessed are those who know that love is the answer! How I wish I always remembered what I know and believe.

What a difference a year had made in our family!

You don't ever realize they are babies until you look back!!  Easter 2012

Easter 2013

Kissing pictures don't photograph well!

Such a lover!

Cora says, "Please stop the loving!"

And this is when we put the camera down!

Easter 2012/Easter 2013 

2 years post-surgery
3 years post-surgery

Saturday, March 23, 2013


I love the names Jack and Cora - good thing, right?  I love them for how well they suit their owners and what a compliment they are to each other (at least in my opinion).  Both a little old fashioned, short, similar letters, and by coincidence, very much like our names.  (I swear that wasn't planned.)  I actually have a great-uncle Jack and a great grandmother Cora, but that is also a coincidence.  We can't remember why we liked the name Jack, it was just the one we wanted.  And Cora occurred to me after seeing a street sign in New Orleans: Coralie.

This week's musings are on Jack again.  I love that I will have a record one day of what it was like to be his mother at different stages and what he was up to.  I'm so proud that he turned his behavior around this week!  After a rough day at school on Monday, I felt simultaneously like I was out of ideas and also very determined that we were going to SHUT THIS HITTING DOWN!  So Jack went straight to bed after he got home.  On the way home, I said "no books, no fun."  He asked, "Can I still have my bops?"  *DING, DING!*  *LIGHT BULB MOMENT!*  "Yes, Jack, you can have your bops today, but if you hit tomorrow, no bops."

As I tucked him in, I made my case again for why hitting is wrong.  And then I added, "You're a Landry, like Daddy, me, and Cora.  And Landrys don't hit!"  While he was sleeping, I printed up this picture:
We had already started a positive behavior system of calling out Jack's kind actions with plastic eggs (to be used for a scavenger hunt), so we made use of this on Tuesday morning and then said a prayer and sent him back to school.  Well, all of that, combined, worked!  He had a great day - absolutely no hitting and his teachers gave him lots of opportunities to be the helper, which he thrived on.  He got a big hug from me, praise from Daddy on the phone, and time on the playground after school.  Later that day, I said, "Jack, do Landrys hit?"  to which he responded "Goodness, no!"

I love this little boy :)
The rest of the week went really well and we had a fun NOLA day today as we did our scavenger hunt.  To be able to go to a Pure Barre class, the farmer's market, our church Easter egg hunt, and the local Fete Francaise all before 2pm and most within walking distance - this is an awesome city!

And because I have a penchant for remembering dates, today was extra special to spend with Jack because tomorrow it will be 3 years since his heart surgery.  He had such a good time this morning.  It's so easy to see him only as our willful, energetic 3 year old and forget that he was once our little baby.  3 years ago today was a scary day.  How nice it would have been to have a glimpse of what life would be like on the same day 3 years later!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

More Pictures and Being Tested

There is no doubt that Jack is testing us right now. I'm writing this down to help remind myself later that this too shall pass. I've noticed that behavior challenges tend to come and go. Since Jack turned two, we've had challenging periods which ebb into great periods and so forth. I haven't done much reading on child psychology, but everything I've experienced is telling me that these behaviors stem from a small person trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world. I feel that being consistent and loving is the right response. Some days I do better at this than others!

In short, the behavior of the moment is impulsive aggression. All can seem to be well and then Jack will hit or push. At first this seemed to be limited to those of us he's most comfortable with (me, Jacob, and Cora), but in the last two weeks, it has extended to his classmates, friends, and even, this past week, random children on the playground (!!). This particular behavior is hard for me, because, try as I might, I can't quite figure out what's motivating it. It would make more sense if he were provoked, having a bad day, or just not getting a lot of attention, but that's not usually the case. I've been trying to spend extra time with him the last few days and, while his behavior overall has improved, the impulsive hitting has not :(

After visits from Jacob's sister Sara and my mom and aunt, the idea was put out there that maybe this stems from Cora's increasing presence in the family. Now that she crawls, she is very much a part of life and requires more attention. I wonder whether the combination of me having been more busy lately + Cora requiring more attention have led him to be frustrated and this is how he is showing it. (I have a tendency to question what I'm doing to cause changes in behavior.) 

Jack is at a great school (Waldorf School of New Orleans) and has really loving, patient teachers, so I'm so happy that he's getting a consistent, calm response there. I'm a lady that must have a plan, so I'm going to put into place some positive behavior incentives this week (thank you education background). I've never done anything organized like this with Jack, but I want to call out the moments when his sweet nature is shining out. Yesterday, I did a scavenger hunt with clues (hid in eggs) that led to a new book. My plan is that I'll let Jack earn plastic eggs all week for great behavior. He then knows that we'll do another scavenger hunt next weekend with Daddy. I have a habit of adding "the biggest ___ in the world" to whatever we're talking about to give it extra umph, so this is going to be "the biggest egg hunt in the world!" He earned an egg this morning because he was being very sweet to Cora, giving her kisses. 

Wish us luck and keep him in your prayers as I know it's been a rough few weeks for him too :(

 And now to the pictures:

 Recent Events

Pre-surgery belly
Post-surgery belly

Grammy visits!

 My Beautiful Boy

He has such a beautiful, sweet side - just want to see it more!!
This is not Jack posing; this is just Jack eating :)

 My Beautiful Girl

 In the Dollhouse

When Everyone is Getting Along
Playing in the "fire truck" - Jack is Fireman Sam, Cora is Fireman Elvis
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

9 Month Update


 If we were graphing Cora's sleep habits, they would be all over the place from birth to 7 weeks, then a consistent line from about 7 weeks - 7 months (!) and then a crazy pattern again from 7 months to now.  Oh well.  She used to be super easy to put down for naps (i.e. we just laid her down and walked out of the room) and only wake once between 7pm-6am.  Now it's an effort to get her down for most naps and she wakes 2-5 times nightly.

I think there are probably lots of reasons why, one of which is the fact that she's about to pop out her top two teeth (and maybe one incisor as well). I know that has to hurt!  Possibly as a result, she's nursing more (including a regular two feedings in the night).  I've read that when a baby teethes, they can be less interested in solids and more interested in nursing because it feels better.  This seems to be the case in the last two weeks.

Schedule (on a typical day)
  • Wakes to eat around 12 and 4; Jacob tries to get her back down, but many times it's only nursing that does the trick
  • Up between 5:30-6:30
  • Breakfast of fruit and oatmeal- I hand her a loaded spoon to feed herself and help direct her - she actually does a pretty good job
  • Morning nap about 2.5 hours after she wakes - for me, she usually goes right down and sleeps a good 1.5-2 hours; her sitter has had lots of trouble though; she makes multiple attempts, but some days Cora fights it until she just passes out late morning
  • After nap, she gets water in sippy cup or nurses depending on if I'm around
  • Lunch
  • Nurse and nap around 1:30 - these naps used to be 3 hours, but now are usually 2
  • Snuggles with Jack, walks, playtime in the doll house or downstairs
  • Dinner
  • Bath, Nurse, Bed by 7:00

  • Waves hi
  • Claps her hands when she's happy or when you say "yeah!"
  • Makes dada, baba, mama sounds and I believe she does associate some meaning with them even though she doesn't "name" us yet (as in she says the dada sound all the time but when she's crying in her bed, she'll say 'mama' until I come)
  • Bounces to the beat anytime there is music
  • Smiles all the time, including every time she sees Jack ("jack jack")

  • She loves chewing on Jack's cars and LEGOs.  He actually handles this well.  He is very concerned when she picks up something with wheels and always says immediately "Cora has something with wheels on it," to which we respond "Can you give her something that doesn't have wheels on it?"  He takes this seriously and switches out her toy.  When she's really up in his business, he sometimes asks us to "put Cora in her chair," but he never gets mad at her, so that's been nice!
  • She crawls all over the place and just recently pulled herself up to a standing position.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Picture Update!

I've had many moments of major over-stimulation this week!  It's my own fault in that I oftentimes get on the computer during my few moments of downtime rather than unplugging from the world.

The other cause of my over-stimulation is that this week has had lots of projects to accomplish but only small chunks of time in which to accomplish them.  This leaves me perpetually frustrated because I keep starting things and not finishing them.  I'm definitely craving a few hours alone so I can think and actually complete a task! 

So in an effort to not spend an hour on my blog (which I consider fun but which doesn't help my problem of not getting anything finished!), I thought I'd just share some recent photos this week! 


Morning snuggles, tickles, and wrestling

Bedtime ritual.  Jack would like 20 books, but we usually just read 1 or 2.

Jack and Cora reading together :)  Had to grab the camera!

Another "grab the camera" moment - Daddy and Cora talking.

Little Red Riding Hood is a full-on crawler now!

Cora in heaven - Jack's still asleep and she has unlimited access to his toys!