Monday, December 23, 2013

More Snow!

The girls were THRILLED to get more snow yesterday!  Amelia took a ruler outside and measured a total of 9" of snow on the ground, but it was light and powdery and drifted around a lot, so it was very hard to get an accurate measurement.  When we walked across the backyards to get to the neighbor's sledding hill, I had to pull Megan in the sled because the snow was too deep for her to easily walk.  It was up to her mid-thigh.  They tried to sled down our front walkway, but the snow was too deep for them to get a good track going.

They had a lot of fun anyway!

Then they had fun climbing and sliding down the snowdrift along the street.  They had a hard time getting back up it because it was so deep!

Of course, their favorite part of a new snowstorm?  Eating the snow!

They went outside again this afternoon, but they only lasted 10 minutes because it was only 7° outside and they got cold!  

I realized we didn't have a good photo of Ben with Nate, so I took a few this afternoon when Nate was happy.  Isn't this cute?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nathaniel is one month old!

In addition to today being the shortest day of the year (thank goodness), it is also Nathaniel's one month birthday!  Nathaniel enjoyed some tummy time this morning.  I had to act fast to get that tummy time photo, because he likes to roll over as soon as I put him down.

And look, is he about to smile?

Nope, looks like he's just getting fussy.

Oh, and did he finally fall asleep?

Nope, looks like he was getting fussy again!

Megan especially loves to interact with Nathaniel.  Today she wanted to help burp him:

And then she wanted to make a Megan sandwich.  Nathaniel was pretty blase about about being in a sandwich, but Megan thought it was hilarious!

Nathaniel is generally a pretty easy baby, and at one month, doesn't that generally relate to sleeping? We've been getting him to bed around 9 at night, and he generally will sleep until around 2am.  Then he'll wake up again around 5 or 5:30, and then again around 8.  After nursing, he's generally pretty easy to get back to sleep in the middle of the night.  During the day, however, he has been resisting sleeping in his crib.  I'll get him to sleep, then lay him down, and he'll sleep for 5 minutes and then wake up screaming.  I started using white noise (actually a soft rain sound) and that seems to help a lot.  But of course, he would still rather sleep while being held or carried.

He is smiling a little now, and holding his head up somewhat.  He has longer awake periods (maybe 1.5 hours) where he loves to look at his sisters.  He will turn his head to their voices sometimes.  He bats at toys, especially the Happy Apple, and resists tummy time by rolling over. 

And that's Nathaniel, in a nutshell!

Friday, December 20, 2013

December Miscellany

I think Megan has inherited Amelia's keen fashion sense:

That's right, she's wearing a red Snow White shirt with a pink skirt, purple leggings, Rudolph socks and to top it all off, a green flower barrette.  Amelia is wearing a shirt with little hearts, a jumper with little flowers, and tights with little stripes.  All in different colors.  I am just really excited that they get dressed all by themselves, and Amelia even helps Megan get her arms in her shirt.

Here is how the girls eat breakfast every morning:

Yes, they build forts with the cereal boxes.  Oh, and I told them they could pick out a treat at Costco the last time they went with me, and they asked for "Uncle Dan cereal", which is Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

We finally got some snow that stuck around on Monday - it has been too cold the last few weeks for snow!  It started snowing right before we left to pick up Amelia from school, and by the time we got home, there was an inch or two on the ground.  I let the girls play outside by themselves (!) while I stayed inside with the baby.  They figured out that they could sled down our front walkway, which is not a very steep hill at all, but steep enough for two little girls to have fun, I guess!  Thankfully, they stop before the sled runs into the street.


Poor Megan tripped over the stool in the bathroom on Sunday and split her chin on the bathtub.  When I took her to Urgent Care, they said she needed stitches, that the cut was too wide for glue.  She was very brave while she got her two stitches and didn't cry or fuss at all.  The doctor told me afterwards that she was a very unusual child because she was so well-behaved!  Megan is so stubborn and opinionated at home that I sometimes forget that she really is a nice, well-behaved child for the most part, so it is very nice to have a reminder of that.  We go to the doctor tomorrow to get the stitches out.  Then she and Amelia were goofing off in the living room on Tuesday and she ran into Dad's leg and now has a big purple bruise across the upper part of her nose.  The poor kid has had a hard week with facial injuries!

Nathaniel has been sleeping great at night (a 7 hour stretch last night!), but has become reluctant to sleep in his crib during the day.  He much prefers to sleep while being held, which is lovely and snuggly, but means I can't get very much done like playing My Little Ponies with Megan.  I am working on training him to sleep in his crib, but I fear it will be slow going.  He is showing interest in batting at toys in the bouncy seat and making the big red apple chime. 

He is also consistently rolling from his tummy to his back when his arms are under his head during tummy time, and Dad even saw him roll over today after his arms had been at his sides.  So I think he is legitimately rolling over!  Plus, he is starting to smile more when he is awake.  You can see the start of a smile in this photo:

Guess who else likes the bouncy seat?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Going to see Santa

Santa came to the coffee shop in our neighborhood over the weekend, so I took the kids there to see Santa for free.  Amelia and Megan were so excited to see Santa this year, and Amelia was even happy to sit on his lap.  Megan was content to sit with Mrs. Claus, who was super nice and did most of the talking (isn't that so stereotypical?)  They both said they had been very good this year, which is mostly true.  :)  Amelia asked for a rainbow unicorn dreamlite, since she really likes the butterfly dreamlite that Aunt B gave to Megan last year.  Megan asked for three My Little Ponies: Applejack, Rarity and Pinkie Pie.  Or possibly Rainbow Dash.  I guess I should check with her to make sure Santa gets the right ponies!

We have had some beautiful sunrises this past week.  I was getting ready in the morning (at 7:20) and noticed that the light coming in through the blinds looked pink, so I peaked out the window and then ran to the front door to see this:

I didn't adjust the colors at all - this is what it really looked like.  I think it was the most spectacular sunrise I've ever seen (although, to be fair, I have slept through an awful lot of sunrises....)  We had another beautiful sunrise on Wednesday when Dad was here, but the photos of that one didn't turn out quite as impressive.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Welcome, Nathaniel!

This is a long overdue post to introduce you to Nathaniel; sorry it is late, I have been a little tired!  He was born on Thursday, November 21st at 3:35pm.   He weighed 7lbs 10oz, and was 20 inches long.  Just like the girls, his head was good sized, something like 90%.  The doctor had predicted that he would be a big baby, and she was surprised that he was average sized, just about the same size as the girls (Amelia was 7lb 8 oz, Megan was 7lb 6oz).  For a few minutes, he had an issue with his heartbeat decreasing when he wasn't being stimulated, but his apgars were 8 and 9, and within 10 minutes of being born, his heartbeat was normal and the doctors weren't concerned.  Here is his very first picture:

The hospital in Madison doesn't have a nursery, so he spent the entire two days in my room.  He was awake a fair amount of the time, so much so that the nurses had a hard time getting his newborn hearing test done (he was supposed to be sleeping soundly for that).  Everyone who came in the room said what a cute baby he was!  He has a fair amount of dark hair and very dark blue eyes.

Grandma and Grandpa brought the girls to the hospital to visit after school on Friday.  The girls were very excited to deliver the flowers that they had arranged themselves, and were also happy to see and hold the baby.  Amelia was wearing her new "Awesome Big Sister" shirt.

The girls (with help from Grandma and Grandpa) colored this beautiful welcome home banner for us.  The great big thing over the letter c in Welcome is a factory that Amelia designed to make wooden hearts and candy, and also includes a rework line!

Of course we had to lay Nathaniel in the doll cradle made by my great-great-grandfather.  He barely fit in it.  I remember when Becky and I put David in the doll cradle back when he was a baby, and his legs stuck out the end.  I wonder if Amelia is old enough that she will remember this when she is grown up?

The girls absolutely love their baby brother, especially Megan, who holds him so carefully on her lap and gives him lots of kisses.


Amelia wanted to take some pictures of the baby so that she could take them into school to show her friends, her teacher and Mrs. Armstrong (Becky tells me that she is a social worker, not a guidance counselor).  We printed out these photos for her to take in:


Megan thought it was very funny when Nathaniel tried to suck on her ear while we were trying to take a photo of the three kids together.  She looks dismayed in this photo, but now she looks back at this and laughs and laughs.  When she was holding him in her lap earlier this week, she was trying to get him to suck on her nose.  It is very hard to get photos of three kids together.

We were so fortunate to have Mom and Dad and Jeff and Jane come stay with us to help out over the last few weeks.  The girls loved having everyone around to play with them and read them books and drive them to and from school.  And I think everyone enjoyed having a chance to snuggle with a sweet sleeping baby:

Nathaniel also enjoys snuggling with Daddy, and watching football games with him, although he sleeps through most of them:

He has already figured out how to roll over when he is laid down on his blanket for tummy time, as long as his arms are propped up a little bit.  He has done this quite a few times, in protest of tummy time, I believe.  I will try to update with a video when I get one.

Nathaniel has a very expressive face for a newborn, so we get all kinds of funny faces in his photos.  He has given us a few smiles and even more smirks, but mostly when he is sleeping.


Q: What are we going to call him?
A: Ben calls him Nate, but so far, the girls are insistent that his name is Nathaniel (or NaFANiel as Megan says).  I mostly call him "the baby".  I think we will likely end up calling him Nate, but you can feel free to call him whatever you want.

Q: How is he sleeping?
A: Sometimes he sleeps great!  There have been a few nights already where he has slept five hours at a time.  Last night, however, he was up fussing from 8:30pm to 11:45pm, and then was back up again at 2am.  And 5am.  So I am a little tired today.

Q: Does he like bathtime?
A: No!  The girls were so excited to help give him his first bath, but they quickly decided that all the screaming was not very much fun, and Daddy could do it by himself (with help from Grandma).

Q: How much does he weigh now?
A: At birth: 7lb 10 oz
     At 4 days old: 7lb 8.8oz
     At 11 days old: 8lb 9 oz  (wow!)
     At 19 days old: 9lb 3 oz  (has gained 20% of his birth weight!  He is starting to get little fat rolls!)

Q: Who does he look like?
A: Very much like Ben!  Especially around the eyes and nose.  He has the same little wrinkle between his eyes that Ben has, and I think his eyes are the same shape.  Jeff and Jane are going to look for some baby photos of Ben so we can compare the two babies.  I think he also looks a lot like Megan when she was born.  Here is Megan in the first photo, and Nathaniel in the second and third photos.  These aren't the best comparisons, because Nathaniel doesn't have his worried scrunched-up nose face in his photo, but they really do look alike.

Q: He looks a little yellow?  Is that normal?
A: Yes, he has a touch of jaundice, but he is totally fine, and the doctor says it will go away on its own in the next few weeks.

Q: What size is he wearing?
A: He has already grown out of newborn diapers.  And he's grown out of some of Noah's newborn size clothes, too, with his long legs.  So he is wearing Pampers Swaddlers size 1 diapers and a combination of newborn and 3 month pajamas.  Ben dressed him in brown fleecy overalls the other day, and everyone was so surprised to see him in something other than sleepers!