Today we stopped by Palsie's to get some popcorn for me to take to our staff Christmas party. Lana got to pick 3 pieces of candy, and as usual, she picked taffy. She was eating in the kitchen after naptime....
Sleeping: OK, so just as soon as we taught Lana that she could only call us from her bed at night for “potty, throw up, or blood,” suddenly she has to go potty 25 times before going to sleep. Hmm. The trouble is, we’re waiting on an appointment with a pediatric urologist, so it really could be a manifestation of a physical problem. Maybe her bladder isn’t completely emptying or something similar. Ugh. So we can’t give her a limit on how many times she goes potty. My wise, wise husband finally came up with the solution. We close the hall door so that she can’t see out in the living room and told her to go potty whenever she needs to. She usually gets up 2-3 times to go, but she doesn’t call us at all. Speaking of sleep, here’s the funny part about having two: if one sleeps through the night, the other doesn’t. It’s just true. Our sweet Lana girl has started waking up in the night, crying her little heart out saying, “I just want you, Mommy!” No one besides Mommy will do in the middle of the night. When I am bone-weary and just want to scream when she wakes me up, I remind myself that there is soon coming a day when she might NOT want Mommy to come to her rescue. So I get up, and go in, and soak up those little arms wrapped tightly around my neck.
Eating: Lana’s teachers at preschool made a book with a page for each student. It has that child’s picture, and their answers to some fun questions. The book comes home with a different student each week, letting the parents learn about their child’s friends. Lana’s page says that her favorite food is broccoli – love that! I’m so grateful that she’s a good eater. In general, she refuses anything to drink except water or milk. She does like a good dessert, though! J
Talking: She’s been trying out difference voices the past month. Mostly it’s cute; sometimes I just remind her to “talk like Lana.” It’s so interesting to watch her develop her own idea of who she is, and what she wants to sound like. She’s doing lots of role playing, too, with her dolls in her dollhouse. She is so enjoying talking to Tucker...she loves to sing to him, read him books, tell him about what's going on. She is such a good big sister!
One of my favorite things that she does right now is mix up awake and asleep words. She’ll say that Tucker is “wide asleep” or that he’s “falling awake.” Oh, and here’s a not so cute conversation we had this afternoon after she dropped her bubble wand in the dirt:
Rachael: “Lana! That is not a wise thing to say. Where did you hear that?”
Lana: “You guys, Mommy. You and Daddy say that.”
Discipline: Wowzer. This month has ushered in the “Terrible Three’s” for sure at our house. This has totally, completely come in the form of pitching fits. And when I say pitching fits, I mean all-out holy-moly tantrums, with lots of screaming and kicking and saying “Don’t you touch me!” and running away from us. Unless you’ve been unfortunate enough to witness one of these doozies, I cannot even begin to describe to you how bad they’ve been. This has been so sad for me, and I’ve done more than my share of wallowing in sadness and guilt. “What happened to my little girl?” “What have I done wrong?” “How have I let this happen?” Thankfully, Dan has been consistently encouraging and dedicated to getting this behavior under control. At my women’s accountability meeting, I poured out my heart to my friends, weeping, sharing with them what was going on with my sweet girl. They so encouraged my heart, reassuring me that it is a phase, that I had to expect Lana to act out in some form or fashion. She has shown no jealousy toward Tucker himself; instead, it's coming out against us. Another friend reminded me that no matter how big of an adjustment this was for me, it was an even bigger adjustment for Lana.
So I’ve taken a deep breath, and sunk my teeth into James 1:20: “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” Getting frustrated and angry with Lana when she is acting out does not produce any good fruit in her.
Dan and I sat down and came up with 2 major things that we need to be committed to when disciplining Lana: (1) We will be calm and gentle at all times, and (2) We will be very, very, very consistent. We are already seeing some results – she has not had a major tantrum in the past week. It may not sound like much, but boy is it an improvement!
Playing: My sweet girl has found a new love: pennies. She could play with them all day long. She has a purse full of them, and she just loves to take them out, put them in buckets and cups, rearrange them, stack them up, put them in her piggy bank, take them out….the games are endless for her. She has not idea the real value of them…as a matter of fact, I found her throwing the dollar bills from her piggy bank into the trash because she said, “Paper is not money!” (I guess she usually sees us using our check card!)
Eat: Tucker is now eating about 6 ounces of formula 5 times a day. We’ve been putting cereal in his bottle to keep him from eating more than that. It seems to be constipating him some – we’ll talk to Dr. Dirk about that when we take him for his 2 month check-up later this week. He’s a bit of a fussy eater. He wants to be sitting a certain way, and he’s very distractible. The reflux medication has helped with his spitting up. We forgot to take them with us when we were in the mountains on vacation, and he was miserable. We won’t make that mistake again!
Wake: Tucker’s wake times are becoming longer, and he is definitely more alert. He is happiest in the morning, and sometimes can’t eat because he just can’t stop smiling and cooing at us. His little smiles go from ear to ear – they melt our heart. He likes his Baby Einstein mat, and hates tummy time. He enjoys his swing, but will quickly drift off to sleep in it. He loves the mobile in his crib and on his changing table. He also likes to look at the big painting on one of the walls in our living room. He’s really a very happy baby unless he’s hungry or tired.
Sleep: This is, by far, the hardest part for me of having a newbie. I just like to sleep. Uninterrupted. For long stretches of time. I’m nicer that way. That being said, I can’t complain one bit about how Tucker sleeps. At two months old, he’s already sleeping through the night.
No matter what time we feed him last (8 p.m. or 10 p.m.) he is sleeping through his middle of the night feeding, waking up around 4:30 and fussing for 3 or 4 minutes, going back to sleep by himself, and waking up between 5:30 and 6:00 to eat.
He doesn’t love to nap during the morning hours – he will rarely sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time. But in the afternoon, he will sleep for hours on end.
We read that around 8 weeks, newborns start losing the “need” to be swaddled and it starts becoming a sleep prop, and that we should start weaning him off of the swaddle. So last night, I swaddled him loosely to see what he would do. He woke up at 2 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep because just as he would drift off, his arm would jerk and he would hit himself in the face. Forget about it. I went in there and swaddled that little dude back up like a burrito, and he went right back to sleep. I’ll swaddle him until he goes to college if it means we can all sleep through the night.
Tucker had his appointment at Duke Dermatology this week for the doctors there to look at the abrasion on the back of his head.
Basically, when he was born, he had a wound on the back of his head about the size of a dime. It looked just like a wound that would have been caused by nodes put on his head to monitor him during delivery, except those nodes were never put on.
It scabbed over, and the scab came off, but then it again took on the look of a wound: red and peeling around the edges.
When it had not gone away by the time he was a month old, Tucker's pediatrician wanted to be sure that it was nothing wrong, so he referred us to Duke.
The dermatology team there looked at the spot and diagnosed it as "Aplasia cutis congenita." Wikipedia defines this as "a congenital focal absence of epidermis with or without evidence of other layers of the skin."
The Dermatology Online Journal defines this as "a rare anomaly presenting with absence of skin. The most common site is the scalp. No definite etiology is available. Heredity is proposed with not much evidence."
That whole heredity part at the end is kind of crazy to us, because Dan's younger sister Mackenzie has a spot that looks just like Tucker's in exactly the same spot on her scalp. Wild, huh? Sounds like evidence for heredity to me.
Anyway, everything is fine. He's just weird like his Aunt Kenzie. I hope he gets her sense of humor and good looks, too.
People ask quite frequently how Lana is adjusting to Tucker's arrival.
This prayer she prayed before breakfast is a perfect example of her heart toward her baby brother:
Dear God, thank you for this awesome day and thank you for our English muffins. They are so good. Thank you for Tucker waking up, God, cause I love him so much. God, you are such an awesome God! And thank you for sending my brother out of my mommy’s tummy. Amen.
I just left Tucker's room after feeding, rocking, and laying him down to sleep. I still have that sweet baby smell on my hands.
It's been a really tough weekend....so much so, that I texted my sister-in-law tonight and told her that I didn't think I was cut out for this. (This being motherhood.) She so kindly pointed out that it's a little too late for THAT revelation.
But that was just my feeling at the end of this awful, tear-filled, homesick, lonely, hate-the-cold-weather weekend.
So as I rocked my baby boy tonight, I confessed all my failures and shortcomings to my Father. Tears rolled down my face as I, once again, admitted to Him that I am desperate, weak, poor in spirit, and in need of rescue. I nearly sobbed as I asked for forgiveness for all the myriad of ways that I wronged my husband and my children over the past 3 days.
As I watched Tucker's eyes slowly close, I felt the Holy Spirit, my Comforter, come sit with me. And the words of that old hymn came flooding over me, so much so that I had to sing them out loud.
Every week or so, Lana & I go to the library so we can pick out books. We take this tote
to the library, fill it up, and then read them over and over until I can't bear it anymore and take her back to the library to replace them. I'm going to try to jot down some of her very favorites from time to time so I can remember...you know, the ones that she asks to read over and over, and begs not to have to return to the library.
Farmer Dale's Red Pick-up Truck by Lisa Wheeler
Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberly
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood