Monday, May 30, 2011

The 5 Year Report

Jackson turns 5 on June 15th, but we'll be moving to Colorado only a couple days after his birthday, so we got him into the doctor for his 5 year check up early. He was VERY nervous about his shots. He came to Anora's 1 month check up and even asked Dr. Macias if they were going to hurt. The doctor was so great at explaining what the shots would be like, but Jackson still worried.

Jackson had his check up first while I nursed Anora. He's 60% for weight and 25% for height which the Dr. said was perfectly fine. His eye sight is 20/25 in both eyes, which means that the ptosis in his left eye is not affecting his vision at all. My favorite part of the older check ups are when the Dr. asks questions to determine cognitive development. Jackson's answers got a few smirks from the Dr. because he's a pretty sharp kid. Overall, Jackson is right on track and is a healthy growing boy!!

When I write these posts I ask myself, "What do I want to remember about Jackson as a 5 year old?" Hmmmm...

Jackson is such a sensitive and compassionate boy. He has a gift for making others feel loved. Whether he's doting on his sister or verbally praising his brother or shouting "I love you!" to the friendly cashier at the grocery store as we leave. He's quite the gift giver too (even if it is a rock wrapped in tape) because he loves to make people smile.

Sometimes his sensitivity can cause him to over react at times and worry on occasion, but for the most part he's still pretty logical and we can reason our way through those tough moments with him. However, those same reasoning skills can get him into trouble when he becomes argumentative with Colin, me or even Micah.

Jackson is a learner by nature (he takes after his dad and mom). I'm sure most kids his age are, but he has a hunger for knowledge beyond the typical "whys" at this age and retains what he learns as well. He has a gift for memorizing and has memorized quite a bit of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and several Bible verses. Not only does he have them memorized, but he continually surprises me with the theological questions and discussions he has with Colin over them.

Jackson has also picked up on reading and writing quite a bit this year and loves to read simple stories to Micah and Anora at bedtime (the Bob Books are great for this.) Although (like me) he tends to be a perfectionist and doesn't want to try something new unless he knows he can do it well the first time. (Both of my boys seem to have this trait.) Our household mantra is "always, always, do your best." It doesn't matter if you get it right. It matters if you try and do your best. With this constant reminder, Jackson has been more and more willing to push himself out of his comfort zones.

Finally, Jackson is imaginative and creative. He loves to pretend. He loves to create. His favorite toys are his project box (which consists of empty toilet paper rolls and the like and his own roll of masking tape) and the dress up box. When he can't find a costume he needs in the dress up box, he makes his own out of the project box. He's constantly making projects (i.e. puppets, swords, rockets, new inventions, etc.) I have to admit that sometimes it drives me NUTS to have all of the project "mess" around the house, but I'm trying to be better at not viewing it that way and Jackson is trying to be better at not leaving his projects all over the floor.

It's exciting to chronicle who Jackson is growing up to become. I often day dream about what kind of man he will be. What he will choose for a career. How he will treat his wife. How he will interact with his children. How he will serve our God.

What a gift the Lord has given me to watch my children grow in every aspect of life.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Anora: One Month

Anora's one month check up went well. Despite the fact that plans changed at the last minute and I ended up taking all of the kids with me to the appointment. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal if it was a 10 minute drive to the office, but it's a 45 minute drive so we ended up making an afternoon of it. Anyway, that's a later post perhaps.

9lb 5oz (50% - I'm not used to an average sized kid at this age)
21 1/2 inches (70%)
37cm HC (50%)

Dr. Macias said that everything looks great. I asked about vitamin D and iron supplements for her and he said I didn't need to start those right now. I let him know that she slept 6 hours a couple of times at night and he said that she's gaining weight just fine and to let her sleep as long as she'd like at night, but continue 3 hour feedings during the day.

Anora has been fairly easy so far. She fell into a sleep, eat, awake routine pretty naturally which is great! She prefers to sleep on her side and she likes to fall asleep with her pacifier, but spits it out when she's almost asleep most of the time.

From day one she was a great eater and I hardly had any latching issues with her. As a result, she went longer between feedings right away (2 1/2 - 3hrs during the day and 3 1/2 - 4 1/2hours at night). That was great EXCEPT it made my engorgement period more difficult and I ended up with Mastitis. NOT FUN! If you don't know what that is, it's a breast infection caused by clogged milk ducts and the symptoms are high fevers, some breast pain (some women have pain while nursing, but I didn't) and flu-like symptoms (body aches, headache, etc.) Once I was on the antibiotic for 24 hours I was 100% better.

Last night (at 5 weeks old) she slept 6 hours (this is her 3rd time doing that) between feedings. Luckily her last feeding was at 9:30pm and I pretty much went to sleep right after I fed her. Yay for a good night's sleep!

Her naps during the day were not the greatest at first, but then we figured out that dairy was making her gassy so I cut down on cheeses and switched to almond milk for awhile. In a couple of weeks I'll slowly bring it back into my diet and see what happens. We also started giving her Gripe Water at night and Mylicon gas drops during the day which seemed to help a lot.

We also figured out that she does not like to be cold. I put her in a onesie, pants, socks, night gown (with little mittens over the hands) a sleepsack AND swaddle her in a blanket at night. Part of that is because I like the room a little cold while I sleep and she still sleeps in the room with us (well, sort of ... she's in our emptied out walk-in closet).

Anora is such a sweet baby. I wouldn't say that she's laid back because she definitely has to speak up if she wants something with two other little boys in house vying for my attention. Half of the time I have to wake her up for her day time feedings and half of the time she wakes up on her own. Usually she fusses herself to sleep and/or I have to put her pacifier back in a zillion times.

She's pretty easy to console when she's upset with the exception of a few times she's woken up almost in a panic in her car seat (I hope she out grows that). Jackson has mastered the "shh-shh-shh" technique, although he thinks if he does it louder it will work better. HA. He's also a HUGE help with her in the car. Micah just thinks the car seat is a toy he can play with.

Anora is smiling more, but it's not predictable or easily coaxed yet. She's also started to make some vocal coos just this week. I LOVE that stage and can't wait for her to verbalize more. I'm sure we will since her awake time during the day is getting longer each day. She's usually awake for about an hour and a half to two hours in her 3 hour feeding schedule.

She handles the attention the boys give her very well. She lets Jackson touch her hands and head without a fuss and he does it a lot. Both boys are pretty good at helping me burp her and they can usually get one out better than I can. Overall nursing her has been easier than Micah because at the time Jackson had no one else to play with and now Micah and Jackson can go off and play with each other while I feed Anora. I LOVE the fact that they play so well together.

Emotionally going from 2 to 3 has been easier than from 1 to 2 so far. Logistically I'm able to handle the scheduling of 2 to 3 better than 1 to 2 AT HOME, but when we go places it's much more difficult going from 2 to 3 than it was 1 to 2. I TRIED to take all three kids to church by myself yesterday ... WHAT WAS I THINKING?!! Next time I need to make sure I ask church family to help me with the boys (especially if I have to feed Anora in the middle of the service).

Overall, Anora has been such a delight! I'm so excited to see what kind of little girl and woman she will become.