Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Willis Christmas

Our Christmas vacation started on the Friday before Christmas.  Steve wasn't able to get off early as we hoped.  I wanted to be on the road as soon as possible, so I had everything packed and in the car when he pulled in the driveway.  I fed Bean, loaded her up and off we were!

All of my siblings came over on Saturday for our family Christmas.  My brother-in-law had injured his back the day before and couldn't move around much; and my sister-in-law was 9 months pregnant and not feeling the greatest (She wasn't even sure if they would come. Then when they came, how long they would stay. She ended up having little Oliver on Christmas Eve!).  So we tried to keep things low-key and simple -  haha, yeah right!  We had just snacky sort of foods and just munched all day and enjoyed laughter all day.  We all opened our Christmas gifts, and it was sheer mayhem as usual.  

We had a great time and it went by way too quickly as usual.  I failed at taking pictures, but have a few to share:

(Everyone fought over who needed to hold Bean, especially little Gabbie.  I think she held her the most!  While my sister Amber and mom were talking on the couch, little Gabbie snuck in between them to hold onto Bean's hand.  Too cute!)

(Bean got all dolled up for Ahm to show her off at church.  I had on a green Christmas dress, too, but forgot to get a picture before I changed.  This will just have to suffice!)

(It's very rare for all of us to be able to get together, let alone coordinate a picture together.  This could work as our current family photo, except now we have Oliver!  So many new babies in the family!)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2 Months ?!

(How in the world is this sweet little girl already 2 months old?  Okay, as I sit and write this blog, she is actually 2.5 months.  I had every intention of writing this post before Christmas break, but it didn't happen.  However, the above picture was taken when she was 2 months old!  That should count for something, right?)

This past month has sure flown by!  Days seem to go pretty quick when you are living in the "3 hour cycle". Bean now takes about 30 minutes to eat.  On a good day, she burps quickly and then "plays" for about 30 minutes before falling asleep.  Play usually consists of being propped up on the Boppy staring at Momma.  I usually make lots of faces (which makes her laugh) or shake toys in front of her.  Sometimes she just observes the room happily.  On more high maintenance days, she refuses to burp which results in her tummy hurting and she just wants held.  I generally give into her and just hold her, but sometimes her high maintenance days fall on the days I'm trying to get a bunch of stuff done.  Then she just "hangs out" with me in the carrier while I work.  

I don't have Bean on any schedule.  I let her decide what she wants and feed her on demand.  There is a sort of routine from day to day in that she sleeps a lot in the morning/afternoon and has a chunk of awake time in the evening.  But as far as when those naps actually happen are up to her.  About an hour after she eats, she is usually pretty sleepy and ready to nap.  I can always tell when she's tired by her eyes.  Once I put her pacifier in her mouth, her eyelids begin to close and her eyes shift back and forth.  She falls asleep in my arms (usually I can just sit and sort of rock her, sometimes I have to stand and bounce her) and then I either put her in her crib or in her swing.  She sleeps better with movement (and even better when someone holds her) so usually her swing wins out. When she wakes up from a nap, she is usually hungry and ready to eat.  She nurses anywhere between 2hr15min - 4 hours during the day.  

Bean is almost sleeping through the night.  She usually just gets up once at night, somewhere between 3-5am, but then goes back to sleep until 8-9am.  Randomly, she will have a night in which she sleeps through the night.  I'm so used to sleeping in chunks at a time, that I usually wake up before her, and just lay in bed having to convince myself to not go in her room to check on her and wake her up to eat for my convenience.  Most times I end up falling back asleep until I hear her stir or cry on the monitor.  Steve, of course, is still sleeping through the night ;-).

(Sucking her thumb during "play" time while leaning against the Boppy. When she starts sucking her thumb, I know she is either hungry or getting tired.  In this case it was getting tired.)

A big accomplishment for Bean this month is that she has mastered sucking her thumb!  She is able to find her thumb, put it in her mouth, and appease herself for a short while.  Her thumb hasn't replaced her love of her pacifier, but it helps that she can try to soothe herself when no one is able to get a pacifier to her.  Sometimes, she just sucks on all her fingers/fist instead of just her thumb.  Whatever makes you happy baby girl!

Right before Bean's 2 month appointment, she woke up from a nap with a goopy green stuff coming out of one of her eyes.  I decided that this was a legit reason to call the doctor (even though she had an appointment set for 5 days later).  I ended up bringing her in and discovered that she was having some sinus issues.  She showed signs of lots of drainage down her throat and the consensus was that her sinuses were backing up and coming out her eye.  All I could do was help flush out her sinuses with a nasal spray and try to keep her nose clear (even though she really didn't have drainage out her nose).  

(Eye goopiness)

Bean was an absolute trooper at her appointment!  Her 2 month appointment marked the first of many shots to come.  She got 3 shots, 2 in one thigh & 1 in the other.  2 doctor's assistance did 2 of the shots at the same time to get it over as soon as possible.  Bean cried when she was pricked with the shots, but as soon as I lifted her up when they were done, she was smiling at the assistants.  She weighed in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 22.75" long.

Bean still is a very happy baby.  She smiles a ton and has the hints of a laughter.  Her favorite things to smile at are, of course, Momma & Daddy!  We make the silliest faces and noises to bring happiness to this little girl's face.  She now turns her head and looks in the direction of our voices and is tracking our movements.  She is growing very strong in her legs, arms, and neck!  She supports her own head now and only needs help when she is tired.  She loves to push off of things with our legs and we fear she will skip crawling and go straight to walking.  Slow down baby girl!  We aren't ready!

Bean is wearing 3 month clothing, but quickly going into 6 months (especially in sleepers!).  It was hard enough for me to pack away her newborn clothes, and am definitely not ready to do this with her 3 month clothing.  It seems like time is going way too quick.  I love seeing her growth in personality and look forward to getting to know her more, just not ready for her to loose all the babiness, yet.

(Such a happy baby!)

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Quiet House

Our house has sadly become much quieter than it once was.  Our little Ramses died on Tuesday (okay, I must confess, he could have died on Monday but I found him Tuesday night.  Although, I'm pretty sure I remember hearing him running Monday night).  I am so used to hearing the purr of his wheel, that I was caught off guard by the silence downstairs while I was putting Bean to bed.  I noticed that his food dish was empty and refilled it.  But while I was refilling it, I thought man, usually Ramses is up by now.  I rustled my hand around the food dish to see if that would stir anything.  Upon looking in his little blue house, I found him curled up and not moving.  I knew right away that there wouldn't be anymore movement form that furry cutie.  There had been so many signs lately that suddenly clicked in my head.

Just over the weekend when all of Steve's family was visiting, I had said that he was getting old.  His life expectancy was around 2 years and he had passed the 2 year mark a few months ago.  We knew he wouldn't be around for much longer.  His little personality had changed, and you could tell he wasn't as spry as he once was.

Ramses had always been this tiny ball of energy.  He would scale his cage, run around it like crazy, cower in fear when you're hand was in the cage, and would never, ever let you touch him.  And if you did get to sneak in a touch, he usually squeaked at you.  However, during his cage cleaning prior to Thanksgiving, he actually let me pick him up, hold him, and put him in his ball.  This was not a good sign for me; although, when I put his ball down, he ran all around the house as usual.  I just chalked it up to a fluke.

Then all the family came for Thanksgiving and we all noticed his schedule was messed up.  Again, I didn't think much of it, after all, there were many random days where he chose to run on his wheel during the day and not at night.  But he ran in his wheel during the day several times over the weekend.  Weird.

And the last bit of evidence that he wasn't acting right was that for the past week the wheel was being really quiet when he ran!  Usually, you can hear it thudding, but it hadn't been.  In fact, I didn't even realize he was running in it until I stopped and watched him.  Hindsight, I'm guessing he wasn't running with his normal energy, but was running slower and lighter than he used to.

Who would have thought that it would be hard to say goodbye to a little hamster?!  Even though he was just a little hamster, he was our little hamster.  And boy will we miss his crazy shenanigans.  The stories of his many escapes will always bring smiles and laughter to our faces.

(This was our first picture of Ramses when we got him in the fall of 2010! Oh how your craziness will be missed in this household.)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Catch-up

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we are getting super excited for Christmas. We are so excited about Christmas that I had all our Christmas decorations up 2 weeks before Thanksgiving!  I knew that if I didn't get the decorations up before Thanksgiving, they probably wouldn't make it up.

Even though technically, Halloween was Bean's first holiday, I'd have to say that Thanksgiving was more of her first holiday experience.  She got to celebrate 2 different Thanksgivings - one with my family in Indiana and the other with Steve's family at our own house in Ohio!  We are those crazy people who say, "Let's host our first Thanksgiving EVER all while having a 6 week old!"  As horrible as that idea sounds, everyone chipped in and helped the whole weekend, and it ended up being a great holiday!

We had Thanksgiving with my family the weekend before actual Thanksgiving.  This was Bean's first big car trip!  She was a champ.  She slept the whole time (except for a little 5 minute freakout - good thing I could reach back to her and pop that paci in her mouth!).  We had plans to stop halfway so that she could be fed and we would eat as well.  However, she chose to just keep sleeping, so mom & dad just stopped to grab food and keep heading down the highway.  With Bean's first trip to Indiana, there was of course, lots of people who stopped in to see her -- all her cousins, her great grandma, great uncle, great aunt, and of course all her aunts and uncles.  We had a packed weekend with lots of family!

The meal itself was sort of last minute planning, but we all pulled together and had a great dinner!  Not everyone can say they've eaten a turkey that was thawed in a swimming pool. . . but we can!  Don't worry, it was in a trash bag and not just swimming out in the pool all raw.  Although, we did have mom convinced that we skipped the brining process by just letting the pool's salt brine the turkey - tee hee :).

(Somehow changing a baby is quite the entertainment!)

(Mammie and her great grandbabies!)

(I had to throw this picture in.  Pretty soon Charlotte will be holding her baby brother!  She is going to be an awesome big sis.  She helped calm Lucie with very cute "shhh!  shhh! shhhh!")

Steve's family trickled in on Wednesday & Thursday for Thanksgiving.  We had quite the house full! Steve's parents, brother, grandparents, sister, brother-in-law & their dog came for the long weekend!  Only his parents, brother, and the dog actually stayed in the house (others went to a hotel).  In prepping for Thanksgiving, we took inventory of items around our house and soon realized we weren't prepared at all to host a holiday with so many people.  Our little glass kitchen table was in no way going to allow 9 people to dine around it and there wasn't enough seating in the living room, either.  Plus, one of our couches was in serious need of some TLC (the back support cracked and was being held together with duct tape, ad the cushions were not as springy as they once were).  After schlepping Bean around several different furniture stores, we settled on a couch and dining room set we found online.  Both purchases were big hits with the family and really provided the seating we needed!

(The new grey couch.  It is much firmer than our old white couch and is even a little taller than our brown couch.  You can see a version of the white couch this new one replaced here. Oh and check out that Christmas tree.  Man Christmas makes me happy!)

(New dining room set!  You can see our old little glass table here.  Now that little glass table is in our "sunroom".  With a new fancy table, we had to get new placemats, dishes, and pulled the trigger on some cloth napkins.  I am not one for cloth napkins, but they did the job with so many people here - that is until someone threw off the system by sitting in a different seat - ASHLEY!)

It was great having all the help while Steve's family was here.  His parents and brother really helped out a lot in raking all the rest of our leaves!  This year, Steve has had the sole responsibility of leaf raking.  He spent a couple Saturdays/Sundays keeping the front yard tidy, but the back yard was totally neglected.  All those leaves provided a nice activity for everyone, right?  I think they raked almost 40 bags of leaves - whoa baby!

(Steve working on piling up leaves in the front a few weeks ago.)

(I stole this picture from Trisha.  Thanks for all the work on the leaves!)

And here I'll leave you with some cuteness from our little Turkey:
(Happy Thanksgiving!)

(I posted this photo on Facebook, but I'll give a better explanation of it.  That is a homemade onesie and Bean's first craft - ha ha.  That turkey (on the onesie, not the baby) is made out of her feet prints!  Steve held her while I painted her feet and placed them on the onesie.  She was a champ and did great, resulting in one cute little outfit!)