Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A new normal

Marissa has been in school for a few weeks now, and I think I've finally figured out a new normal for our days. It hasn't been as hard to adjust to (for me or Arianna) as I expected it to be. Roman takes nice long naps on a very regular schedule, so every morning from 10:30-12:30 I get to spend quality alone time with my middle child. It's actually quite wonderful, something I never would have predicted 11 months ago. Just before Roman was born, and for several months after, Arianna was a mess and very hard to appreciate and interact with. But she's such a lovely, sweet, thoughtful, imaginative, communicative person lately! She has ideas and opinions all her own and shares them all the time. She loves to ask "I cuddle you?" and "go upstairs, listen to songs, and jump?" and gets so excited when it's time to get Roman up from his nap.

Roman is standing up every chance he gets, and cruises all around the living room. He looks like sometimes he might forget to hold on to something, and I can't believe he'll be one in a little over two months! He has two bottom teeth, and his two top teeth are about halfway in. He's still so tiny, but looks like such a big boy when he's standing up grinning at me with all those teeth. After several weeks of waking VERY often at night, he's back to sleeping pretty good. He sometimes wakes once or twice, but goes right back to sleep after nursing. He still loves to nurse, and although I'm not going to wean him as soon as he turns one, I would really like to not nurse him as long as I nurse(d?) Arianna. We'll see how that goes...

Marissa is loving school still. She's made several friends, got invited to a birthday party (that she can't go to since we'll be busy), and discovered a friend that lives in our neighborhood. Somehow, miracle of miracles, she manages to finish all of her food for lunch every day. After months of taking over an hour to eat, we were very worried about that aspect of her day! Some days she comes home and wants to color or write at the table, and I can't imagine her wanting to after spending all day at school! She was sent home with a "baggy book" to read at home last night, and it was supposed to be independent reading - she did great! She's sounding out words she sees everywhere, and has a good grasp of reading already.

I'm almost finished sanding the beds for the girls. We got a set of (college dorm room) bunk beds that we'll bunk when the girls get (much) older, and I've been sanding them down to get rid of the grime and in preparation for painting them white. I'm excited to get them finished and set up their room. Arianna's been sleeping on the floor (or the Dora foam couch) for weeks now for some reason, she refuses to sleep on her mattress on the floor. Hopefully once they have cool new beds, she'll get over it!

Last week my hometown of Owego, NY was hit with massive flooding from the river that it's near. Entire first stories of houses were flooded, and it's going to take a long time for the area to be rebuilt, if they can even manage to do it in the first place. Such a hard time for everyone who lives there. I was so glad my Grandma and parents live high up on hills and weren't affected by flooding, just lost their power for a few days.

My sister has a boyfriend as of last night! I'm so excited for their relationship and how happy she seems to be.

Back in the day...

I just found a piece of paper where I had written all the words Marissa could say. There's no date on it, but I'm guessing it to be around 18-24 months or so. I thought I'd type it up because it's cute and I want to remember...

Rissa's Words
  • gotcha
  • jep = jump
  • wait
  • yo = yogurt or phone
  • pee-pee
  • poo
  • spoo = spoon
  • essie = sticker
  • shirt
  • da = socks
  • ca = crackers
  • sweatshirt
  • choo-choo
  • gentle
  • eyes
  • nose
  • mouth
  • toes
  • poe-poe = pillow
  • Mom! = Grandma (she imitated me saying "mom" to my mom)
  • Pah-pah = Grandpa
  • Jep! = Jeff
  • cheerio
  • da-da = hot dog
  • bah = bath
  • ch-ch = brush teeth
  • ap = Nap in a Lap book
  • Twinkle = asks to sing that song
  • "ga ga guy" = lyrics "like a diamond"
  • see = seat
  • boo-boo
  • nigh-nigh = night-night
  • awww = expression for a baby
  • ha = hat
  • duh = stuck
  • yusch = lunch
  • da = dinner
  • hee = asking to hold my hand to drag me somewhere
  • gate
  • cow
  • keys
  • clap

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'll never get back into this.

I can't believe it's September already! Marissa started Kindergarten last week and is loving it. I thought for sure there would be some tears or some rough days to start out (since she'd never been in a school setting before, and this is all day, every day!), but she loves it. Her teacher is wonderful, and she's already put Marissa in an "advanced" group for ABC knowledge (Marissa wasn't too happy about that, she says her own teacher is nicer than the "advanced" teacher. Lol.). It's so weird to be home with just the little ones. Arianna isn't a mess, but she asks to eat ALL. THE. TIME. I think it's because she's bored and I'm not interesting enough! I've really been trying to entertain her and do special things with her, but I also have to get stuff done sometimes, and Roman isn't nearly as exciting as Marissa was! The other day they played together in Roman's room for almost an hour while I did laundry and periodically checked in on them. It was so cute, and they'll have a great time as Roman grows older.

I think I've finally spent all my birthday money! I'm so indecisive that I've bought and returned things since my first big shopping trip (alone, with Roman) back in June. I got some awesome pieces and really feel like I used the money well. The clearance racks were my friends!

Since my last post, we spent two weeks in NY visiting my parents, sister, and grandma, and my other grandparents, my brother, and aunt and uncle also came to visit so they could see us. It was a crazy chaotic two weeks! Dan stayed with us for the first weekend, then he had to be back for work. They took some time off work to spend it with us, we spent a lot of time at the pool, and I think I can safely say that we completely wore my parents out over the course of the two weeks! The first weekend (thankfully when Dan was still there), we ended up taking Roman to the ER because he woke up at 2am coughing, croupy, and having a hard time breathing. I think if it had been either of the girls (as babies) we might have waited it out longer, but since Roman was a preemie and had breathing issues in the NICU, we were extra paranoid. He calmed down a lot on the drive there (of course), but they still gave him a few days of steroids and a few days of an antibiotic. It cleared up quickly and he hasn't had any more issues since then. We knew it was a possibility because he and Arianna had been exposed to croup at church just before we left. Arianna had a fever for a day, and lost her voice for a few days, but he got it much worse.

Roman is still an awesome napper! He goes down without a peep whenever I know he's ready. It's wonderful. He hasn't been as great at bedtime though. Sometimes he's just not tired enough yet, but other times I know he's exhausted and he just fights it. It's so frustrating when he's so good at nap time and so opposite at bedtime! He had been sleeping almost through the night for a while (only up once usually), but that's suddenly gone and he's been up many, many times each night for a week or so. It's exhausting! And I'm having to get up earlier than normal anyways to get the girls up and ready so Marissa can go to school. I'm very glad her bus doesn't get here until 8:49 though, because I don't even have to wake her up earlier than normal. But I have to be ready before they are up, and that's the hard part. I have to meet her bus down the street a little every single day this year. And in the afternoon I have to have my picture ID in order to pick her up from the bus. It's kinda a pain, but I'm very glad for all the precautions they take to keep her safe!

Arianna is turning into Marissa lately - she never stops talking! I can still remember how we thought she'd need speech therapy because she seemed to be taking forever to develop her language. But she's grown exponentially since we were in NY - Dan noticed a HUGE difference in just the two short weeks he was away from her! She's using full sentences and all the same inflections and phrases Marissa uses. It's so stinking cute! And yet so exhausting! But I'm trying not to wish away all the talking since I'm so grateful she's finally at this point.

Roman is 9 months old and cruising around furniture. He sits, crawls, pulls up, rolls around - all like a pro. It's hard to believe he was ever less than 5 pounds and so fragile! He was 15lbs 9oz at his checkup. When we were in NY, he just learned to pull himself up to stand so we would hold his hands and let him walk around and EVERYTIME he would shriek like a pterodactyl because he was so excited! He's such a happy boy, and in true male form, he's happiest when he's playing with toy balls. He has two bottom teeth, and his two top teeth poked through last week. It's so weird to see his smile changing! He's still an awesome eater, and I could never get enough food in him in NY! I'm still making his baby food, and it's hard to keep up with him! I'm using the breastmilk storage containers from pumping in the NICU and they're perfect for freezing and portioning all his food. He's recently started eating some table food. He loves cheerios (duh), and can eat tiny pieces of ham and grapes. I always struggle finding appropriate things for this age though.

I've been spending all my brainpower lately on planning a family photo shoot. We're hoping a friend of ours will be able to take the pictures this month, and I've been working on coordinating outfits for all of us! It's such a pain, and I don't want to be all matchy-matchy, but I don't want it to look like we just happened to take pictures that day. Hopefully they'll turn out wonderful so we can use them for Christmas cards!
Well, that's about it for now. Marissa's bus comes at 4, although it's supposed to come at 3:48, so technically I need to head outside around 3:40. Sometimes the little ones are still sleeping and sometimes they wake up while I'm waiting on the front porch. I'm not looking forward to spending this much time outside in the middle of December! I may end up driving her and picking her up instead, since they have a drop-off/pick-up so I wouldn't need to unload the little ones.