Monday, January 16, 2017

Baby H: Nine Months of Patrick

He...

[+] I'll update his official stats after his upcoming doctor's appointment but I'm pretty sure he's already within half a pound of what Mark weighed at a year old! 

[+] is finally mobile and it's so interesting to see how different his "style" is compared to Mark. He is by no means a hands & knees type crawler, instead doing this funny army-crawl/drag himself across the ground move. He also learned to go from laying to sitting which has been interesting for naps and nighttime. A few times he's pulled himself up to standing but doesn't show any interest in taking steps yet. We're working with him with the walker toy and also with holding his hands to encourage some steps. 

[+] celebrated his first Christmas this month and it was so fun to get this experience with our second boy. He by no means "got it" like Mark is finally starting to but I'll cherish all these "firsts" forever regardless. 

[+] is seriously a horse when it comes to eating. For a while it seemed like we weren't giving him new things/more adult type foods I think because of his constipation issues and not wanting to make it worse. But now that we've resorted to more of a regimen of Miralax and different formula and he's going a bit more regularly, we've opened the flood gates for him and his food. And boy does it love it all. Recently he's tried... turkey lunch meat, pieces of tomatoes, whole pieces of toast, sausage filled lasagna, mini pancakes, pineapple and breakfast sausage. 

[+] doesn't really care too much to play with toys the same way Mark used to. Of course his favorite things to play with are the toys of Mark's he shouldn't have (i.e. puzzle pieces, Lincoln-logs, etc). He also isn't nearly as mouthy with everything like it seemed big brother was at this point. Who knows what that means about teeth I guess. He's also no nearly as paci-addicted either which could be a good thing.

[+] chats all day long and it's the sweetest sound. He's conquered a number of consonant sounds including da, ba, ga but of course, not ma yet! He also has the silliest growl that is so throaty it's hilarious. We're also working on sign language with him and so far the only thing that's "clicking" is that he gets super excited and almost dances when you say and sign "more". Seriously, this kid and food! 

[+] is officially on bottles all the time now. He gets 3 formula bottles a day and 1 breastmilk bottle because we're trying to get him on one bottle of breastmilk for as long as possible just like we did with Mark. He takes either 5 or 6oz depending on the time of day and it'll be interesting to see if this helps his early morning waking. 

[+] nicknames: Pat Pat, chunky monkey, baby bird

[+] likes: eating, pounding his hands on any surface, "chasing" his big brother

[+] dislikes: stopping eating, getting his face wiped, watching you leave the room

 I...

[+] am officially done nursing Pat and I am so sad about it. But an entirely different kind of sad that it was with Mark. I've loved nursing Pat and I'm really honestly going to miss it. Every day it was our special time together, time for me to relax and snuggle time, time for us to connect together. I know it was time because my supply just wasn't giving him what he needed anymore (and the 4-6am waking was proving that) but I'm still bummed it's over between us.

[+] will be pumping as much as I can in the next weeks to continue to put milk into the freezer for his once-a-day bottle because I know my milk is great for him. I do think some of my sadness from above is the idea of being connected to my pump all the time which isn't too bad when I'm gone during the day but is definitely more complicated when I'm at home. Feeding him a bottle then going to pump all while trying to play and be with both my boys. I think there's enough milk in the freezer right now to get him another month so I'm not too worried about it but I'm still going to give it my best effort.

[+] will be spending the next two weeks out of town (with the weekend between at home thank goodness!) as I complete my final audition rotation for residency programs and I can't even imagine how much I'm going to miss these boys of mine! The longest I've been away from any of them since Mark's been born has been two nights and I'll be doubling that this time around. Thankfully I'll be following this up with an entire month at home doing online classes so I'll get all the snuggles and play time and adventures I want but man, I didn't actually need absence to make my heart fonder for my guys.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Baby H: Eight Months of Patrick

He...

[+] weighs 19#10oz as of this morning. He is such a chunk and I can't believe how close the gap between him and Mark is getting. I can't wait to see if they basically end up the same size sooner rather than later.

[+] still only has his bottom two teeth but there are days I swear when I stick my finger in there I'm going to feel a new top one popping through. His gums are all sorts of swollen up there but so far nothing's come out yet.

[+] is still battling the constipation game and we're trying to get a handle on it. After trying more diet related changes with really no improvement we've gone to the "bigger guns" as they say. He gets daily Miralax in either a bottle or mixed into his pureed food and we picked up an infant probiotic with vitamin D. We've switched up the formula he gets (even if it's just one bottle a day we'll try anything). He also gets lower fat yogurt for the probiotic effect but decreased fat content to hopefully not block him up as much. We offer him prune juice daily and are still avoiding the big constipating foods but basically can't just feed him straight prunes all day every day so we've been a bit more lax on his food choices.

[+] absolutely loves food, speaking of eating. Seriously if he cries and you feed him something he's happy as a clam. Lately he's eating purees, baby puffs, teething biscuits, halved blueberries, pieces of bread, noodles, squished avocado, bites of cheddar biscuits, greek yogurt, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, french fries and basically everything he can get his hands on.

[+] isn't mobile yet but I think he's getting closer. He hates being on his back at all unless he's getting over the top excitement and play from one of us. He sits playing with toys and can successfully get from sitting to laying if he tries to reach for something. He also "crawls" fairly well into our laps and over our legs but I think it's because something is helping him hold his belly up. Ha! He's also much more content standing with us, even next to furniture, so hopefully we're making some gross motor progress soon.

[+] just switched from three naps to two after what seemed like a daily struggle to get him down especially for his first nap of the day. We're actually really pleased with this schedule change because it seems like he's sleeping better and now his afternoon nap overlaps with Mark's which is a huge plus. This also means he eats five instead of six times a day either nursing or bottles.

[+] has learned to blow raspberries and it's the cutest thing ever. Fairly consistently if you blow them at him he returns them back at you. In all honesty we haven't been very good at "teaching him" things like waving hi or sign language etc etc (life with two kids problems!) so it's nice to see him picking up on stuff regardless. He also lifts his little arms up if he's sitting on the floor and you ask him "Uppie Pat?"

[+] nicknames: Pat Pat, little love, buddy, chunky

[+] likes: eating, his big brother, Ollie, momma, his Zutano booties

[+] dislikes: getting into his carseat, putting on his sleep sac, being constipated

I...

[+] am still nursing Pat and the fact that I can say that is extremely rewarding. At this point with Mark he was getting mostly bottles of formula and I had officially thrown in the towel at this point. While I have a sneaking suspicion our time might be dwindling (i.e. decreasing supply) I'm so much more at piece with it. I'm hoping to give it my best effort in the next few weeks to get the supply up a bit but actually found myself thinking the first of the year might be a good time to switch exclusively to bottles and just pump as much as I can without the stress of it. Well see what happens because I still really love nursing him which is entirely different than with Mark but it feels good to be at this place.

[+] have completed all my residency interview travel and I'm both thrilled and scared at the same time. The novelty of traveling wore off relatively quickly and selling yourself on basically the most important "job interview" of your life gets extremely exhausting after a while. Now comes the daunting task of actually figuring out where I want to end up and hoping I match even somewhere (!!!) so keep your fingers crossed for me in the coming months.

[+] get so much joy being this boy's momma! He open mouth kisses me on an hourly basis when we're home playing. He literally throws himself from J's arms toward me or cries and whines until I pick him up when I get home from work. He snuggles into the nape of my neck and sometimes just wants to sit snuggled in my lap staring up at me. He is the mommas-boy I always dreamed of.

[+] am thrilled that I have changed my schedule and officially get two weeks at home with my boys around Christmas. Yesterday was my last day of my rotation and I won't go back until after the new year. Granted the month of January is set to be one of the most demanding I've had since Pat's been born but with how much I love Christmas time and this season of the year I couldn't have asked for anything better. Bring on the festivities and the Christmas music and the cookie baking and the holiday cheer!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Card 2016

Merriest of Christmas from the Hollands. 
It's been another fantastic year and as the years pass by I'm so thankful to have these cards to look back on of years past. The memories they hold, the significant events of the year, the changes our family has gone through and how much better my life gets with each stage. 

May your holidays be full of cheer and merriment! From our family to ours. 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Baby H: Seven Months of Patrick

He...

[+] weighs 18#13oz according to our scale at home. He's so chubby and snuggly!

[+] keeps having issues with constipation relate to his solid foods we think and I'm not quite sure what to do about it. He gets all sort of backed up, grunting and crying when he tries to poo, sometimes getting a little ball of solid stuff out that I can tell is uncomfortable for him. We end up basically switching him to eating entirely prunes for a few days and he let's it all loose but then we end up in the same position again a week or so later. I'm not sure if there's something we're giving him too much of (sweet potatoes? squash? applesauce?) or if we just need to incorporate more of the good-pooping foods on a regular basis but I just feel so bad for him.

[+] Because of the constipation issues we've still only given him fruits and veggies but I'd love to start introducing the other goodies too... eggs, peanut butter, yogurts, etc. He also has no interest in feeding himself off his highchair. So far we've tried zucchini rounds, puffs and the mesh-feeder with pear inside and he just plays and throws it. Maybe we need to try something more enticing?

[+] goes to bed around 7/7:30pm and gets a feed from me around 10/10:30pm before I head to bed. He usually sleeps until around 5am (sometimes earlier/later) where he'll nurse again and is pretty good about making it till the morning then. Every once in a while he fusses earlier than we want to "start our day" and we try to just let him be in his crib but sometimes one of us ends up going into his room with him. He's by far not as good of a sleeper as Mark was at this stage but thankfully it's nothing horrible.

[+] is still nursing from me when I'm home and then getting bottles when I'm gone obviously. We've started giving him one bottle of formula throughout the day to help him get used to it and to extend the breast milk I pump for longer. So far he's doing great with it so we're sticking to this plan.

[+] absolutely loves sitting and either watching everything around him or playing with toys in front of him. He's not too fond of laying but we're trying to push it more and more in hopes we get some mobility soon. He isn't really motivated to crawl for anything in particular so his biggest "attempts" come when he's just really mad. He hasn't coordinated his arms and his legs yet, pulling up his knees while pushing the side of his head across the floor and then separately using his arms to lift his noggin with his legs straight out. I almost wonder if he'll end up a butt-scooter instead of crawling?

[+] nicknames: Pat Pat, Chunky Monkey, Fat Pat, snuggle-bug

[+] likes: dill pickles (just like big brother at this age!), the walker toy, observing everyone

[+] dislikes: pooping, sleeping/laying on his back, learning to crawl
I...

[+] absolutely love being this boys momma. I'm not sure if it's the "second time confidence" or that Patrick's such a different baby but I've always felt more connected to him. Mark was a tough cookie for a long time and has never been a cuddly kid and for whatever reason, I never had the momma-son bond with him I had hoped for. Yes I love him to pieces and cherish our moments together but it's just so different with Pat and I absolutely love it. I love being the one he calms with, love having him snuggle with me, love the bond him and I have always had.

[+] am ready to not be so exhausted all the time. Most nights I get around 7hrs which isn't horrible but goodness gracious I'm still so stinking tired all the time. I typically fall asleep in the evening around 9pm just laying on the couch watching TV and many nights my alarm to feed him at 10:30pm goes off, I silence it and literally have no memory of doing so. I don't know what's wrong with me sometimes.

[+] am officially back to my pre-Patrick weight which on one hand is awesome but on the other hand my body just feels so different still that it seems like I have a long way to go still. I know a huge part of that is that I've had no "toning" routine really since being pregnant with Mark (yes I know how bad that is!). I can bet that some body weight exercises with some ab work would make a big difference for me but really, (see last point above!) that's the last thing on my mind.

And how about a little comparison shall we.
I present the Holland Boys. Both 7 months old wearing the same onesie.
One things for certain, Pat needs some hair!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mark Turns Two

Somehow our boy is TWO years old already! 
He... 

[+] weighs 29lbs (59%) and is 34.5in tall (52%). We are thrilled that he's caught up in height since he was such a shorty for so long and now there are days where he seems exceptionally long and lanky. He's really starting to lose his "baby body" and is more and more like a kid every day.

[+] wears all things 2T except for pajamas which he's in 3T for. He's still in size 4 diapers and his current shoes are size 7 but they're quickly getting too small.

[+] has sort of been working on using the potty but we aren't pushing it. We ask him if he wants to go throughout the day and sometimes he says yes and sometimes no. He's really good about peeing when we set him on it and gets two gummy bears when he does. He knows when he's going poop but always says no when we tell him to sit on the potty during that time. Sometimes we'll take his poopy diaper to the toilet and put the poop in so he can see where it's "supposed" to go but I don't really think he's getting it yet. They say boys are harder to potty train, he's just over two and we've got Pat to change still anyways so we're in no hurry.

[+] is going to eat us out of house and home in no time flat! This kid can seriously put some food down. He'll eat... An entire turkey sandwich on regular size bread. A six count nugget meal from Chick Fil A. Two hotdogs and a massive serving of fruit. The whole portion of mac n cheese with yogurt kids meal from Panera. And then there are times where we fight for him to take a single bite which proves toddlers really do rule the world.

[+] has started singing songs both with us and on his own and hearing his little voice just melts my heart every single time. The songs on his list right now include... I Love You (from Barney), Humble & Kind, Ba Ba Black Sheep, You Are My Sunshine, Hi-Ho, Happy Birthday, ABC's.

[+] is still adjusting to his big brother roll but I think this is more a product of his age than his intent. Sometimes he can be so sweet to Pat - trying to make him laugh, telling him "night Pat Pat, goodnight" when he goes upstairs to nap, giving him toys and constantly talking to him. But then other times he still hits with intent, throws or steals toys, tries to knock him over or pull him off of furniture. We've implemented time-out (for these things as well as others) and try to really praise him when he's good. I know that as they get older they'll be the best of friends and we try to remember the moments of sweet instead of the bad.

[+] is just starting to be interested in watching TV/movies which I'm pretty proud of us for delaying it this long. And for now, it's still quite a treat for him when we do say yes. His top shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bubble Guppies and his favorite movies are Tarzan and The Lion King. Plus like any self-absorbed toddler, he loves watching videos of himself too.
 [+] got a strider bike for his birthday and we are so impressed with how quick he's learning to ride it. He started off really unsteady basically just walking with it between his legs. Now though he'll easily pick up some speed and "strides" a few steps before slowing himself down. We're happy the weathers been so nice here this fall and hope he can get some more practice before winter sets in.

[+] is giving us a little bit of worry on a medically-related issue after his two year well child check. I'm not quite sure I want to go into details about it, at least not yet, but it's requiring some imaging and visits to a peds specialist. We already know that one way or another our boy is going to be just fine, we're just hoping it's an easy process instead of a more complicated one.

[+] is still sleeping in his crib and I'm not sure when we're going to make any change to that. His sleep is so great right now that we almost don't want to rock the boat if we don't have to. He wears a sleep sac over his jammies and has never once tried to get out so it's not like we're pressed for change because of safety. We recently got him standard size pillow to sleep with and it's adorable to see him sleeping like a big kid on the video monitor. He also sleeps with his blue knit blanket, his lovie minky blanket, a bunny and his ducky.

[+] goes to bed around 8pm and wakes up between 7-7:30am although occasionally he sleeps till closer to 8am but not often. He still naps once around 1pm with his short naps being 1hr 15min and the long ones approaching 2.5hrs.

[+] is such a helper sometimes and it's so sweet to see this side of him. If we're playing outside he often finds a broom to help sweep up even if that means grabbing a handful of dirt from the pot to artificially make a mess. He also helps vacuum, dust and "mop" (aka swiffer) inside with Nani. Most days he feeds Ollie both times by getting his bowl out and dumping the scoop of food. Most of the time he'll help us get whatever item we ask for (his shoes, a paci for Pat, a piece of trash, etc). When I'm home in the mornings he also helps me make a cup of coffee in the Keurig. He knows I need one packet of sugar and then he opens the drawer, picks a k-cup, puts it in the holder and shuts it and then presses the correct button to make it brew.

[+] loves all things cars/trucks/buses and plays by driving them around on his road almost daily. He has a number of stuffed animals he loves including Simba, Elmo, Baby Bear, Billy and Clifford and he'll often feed them, put diapers on them and carry one around for a whole day. He's obsessed with his puffs (aka craft store pom poms) and in the most random of places we'll realize he has one clutched in his fist after hours. He sometimes likes to color with crayons and paint with both water colors and washable paints.

Things Mark Says... 
- "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, TRASH MAN COMING!!!!" - While yelling at the top of his lungs.
- If we talk about him growing - "grow stronger and smarter."
- While sitting at the table for dinner - "Daddy chewing. Mommy chewing. Pat Pat chewing. Marky chewing. EVERYBODY chewing."
- When we ask him what mommy does for work - "Doctor!". What daddy does for work - "Softball!"
- "Daddy loves money. Mommy loves daddy's money" - Yeah, really! 
- He sneezed twice so I told him bless you - "two bless yous momma."
- We made him some chicken nuggets in the microwave - "Jeepers, creepers! That's hot!"
- I was handing him pancakes as we were driving to the doctor's office - "Thank you mommy's hand!"
- When he burps or toots - "Excuse you, Daniel Boon."
- While reaching for one of us to pick him up - "Come here, mommy/daddy/etc, come here."
- He's recently started saying "where it is!!" (aka there) with so much enthusiasm when we're looking for something. 


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