Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Big Reveal of Brady's Birthday Present from Nana and Dubby

Brady has the best Nana and Dubby in the world.  They love him and he adores them in return.  They are considerate in the fact that they ask what they should get for him for holidays and birthdays and are usually overly generous.  For his birthday, I recommended a few outdoor toys since things are starting to pile up in the house, so they got him an amazing climber for the backyard.  They ordered online for us to pick up in store here in Michigan.  Andy took my van to work one day so he could pick it up on the way home.  It was so large that the box wouldn't even fit in my van with the seats down, so they had to open the box and put all the pieces in my car.  

The idea was to put it together in the house for his birthday party, but it soon became apparent that it would have to be screwed together and then it wouldn't fit out any of our doors.  We put a sheet over all the pieces in the corner of our living room and since there's no furniture and only items we don't have a place for at the moment, Brady never even noticed it.  My dad and Andy were going to put it together during his nap after the party but it snowed, so they decided to hold off.  I realized this was a good idea anyway because Brady would want to play on it as soon as he saw it.

My dad has been here three times this month (pretty much ever other weekend since Izzie was born) and this was the first weekend of the three where it hadn't snowed or rained, so the ground wasn't soggy.  It also got into the mid-50s so it wouldn't be bad for Brady to go out and play on it.  They spent a good bit of yesterday afternoon putting it together.  When Brady came down from his nap, we showed him out the window.  He was so excited and said, "My daddy and Dubby put together my playground!"  It was getting dark, so we promised we'd play on it today.  He went out before and after nap to play on it.

I am really going to have a hard time keeping him inside on days that are too cold or rainy from now on.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Brady Goes Bowling

A lot of the posts this month have been about Izzie B because so much is going on with her, so I thought I'd write a post about Brady.  I belong to a few mom groups in the area and when they do things and we're available, we try to join them.  Back in January, the area schools were off in the middle of the week, so the local bowling alley offers a lunch and bowl special for kids.  It was $6 to bowl two games, and they got a hotdog and drink.  I remember bowling in Germany on Brady's actual second birthday, but he wasn't able to do it.  I thought he would have a blast, so we joined a really large group of kids and moms to go bowling.  

You can see in the picture above that they have these little ramp things so little kids don't have to try and throw a ball all the way down the lane.  If you think about it, the ball would likely never make it down because kids wouldn't be able to give it much momentum.  This way the kids could aim the ramp, then push their ball down it.  It was a big hit and Brady picked it up right away.

 His ball rolling down the lane (yep, there are bumpers too).  Can you just imagine how upset kids would get if the majority of their balls ended up the gutter?

The moms tried to put the kids together in lanes with other kids their age.  Brady was such a good boy sitting and waiting for the other two little boys in his lane to take their turns.

 He LOVED the ball return.  He also insisted on picking up the balls himself and getting them to the ramp.  Sometimes he'd pick it up wrong and it would hit the ground before he could get it to the ramp, but fortunately there were no smashed toes (and aren't they cute in tiny bowling shoes?).

Getting ready to roll the ball.  It took a long time to get three toddlers to bowl two games.  By the time we were done it was 3:30 and all the kids were about ready for nap time.

The score board.  Brady did pretty decent and scored one game in the mid-60s and another in the mid-70s.  They have family days on the weekends, so this might be a fun activity for us to do in the next month or so with Andy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pictures with the Easter Bunny 2013

 Every year (except last year in Europe), we've taken Brady to see the Easter bunny.  This year is the first time he's been able to grasp the concept and has been talking about all the treats the bunny is going to bring to put in his basket.  Initially, he was still thinking along the lines of Santa and talking about big items like cars, trains, helicopters, etc.  It took a while of talking and looking at Easter storybooks to figure out that the Easter bunny brings treats and smaller gifts.

We'd been talking about going to see the bunny for a while, so when today arrived, he was more than ready.  I was throwing dinner in the crock pot and he was at my heels, telling me he needed a bath before seeing the bunny.  We got to the mall where I changed Izzie into her dress.  The whole time, Brady kept going, "Izzie's a princess!" He's so sweet to her.  It was also my first time taking out the new double stroller I got for Christmas.  Brady was excited to sit on the stoop in the back, but only because the straps weren't adjusted for him in the sit down seat.  It'll be fixed before we take it out again.

There was absolutely no line to see the bunny which is always good when you're dealing with kids.  Brady was ecstatic and ran right up to him, talking about chocolate eggs.  Izzie was getting hungry, so she wasn't as pleased, but we managed to get a good picture anyway (at the top of the post).

Some people may think it's silly to take a three week old to see the Easter bunny, but we took Brady at five weeks (above), so we couldn't do it with him and not with her.

We met our friends the Reeses while we were at the mall and Brady was so excited to see Sam and Ainsley.  He hadn't seen them since the day before Izzie was born and like me, was starting to go a little stir crazy being in the house so much.  We all grabbed lunch (my mom was there too) while I fed Izzie.  We decided to let the kids run off some steam at the play area and hung out for a while chatting and Bethany got to hold Izzie.  They left and I had promised Brady a cookie if he was a good boy, so I ran and got some for all of us.  We then walked back through the mall and did a bit of light shopping (I managed to snag two full outfits for Izzie for only 99 cents apiece).  It was great to get out of the house for an extended period of time and the time flew by!  I will definitely be hitting the mall more often when my mom leaves as it entertains Brady.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Izzie B's First Real Bath

I had mentioned that Izzie B's umbilical stump had to be removed before it was ready, so we were waiting until it healed up completely before giving her a real bath.  The gunk coming out of it turned to blood and we realized it had scabbed over, but that every time she cried, she pushed her belly out and it kept breaking open, so it wasn't getting a chance to heal.  My mom suggested a band aid with neosporin on it to try and help.  Within three days, it was all healed up!  So, this past Monday, we were able to give her her first tub bath (she was getting sponge baths until that point).

I love how her eyes are closed as if she's getting a relaxing scalp massage at the salon.

Izzie is not nearly as calm a baby as Brady was, but she's not as bad as some babies who are really have colic.  She's not a fan of the swing, bouncer, or even being left in the boppy.  She prefers to be held (mostly by me) or in her rock and play sleeper.  She had cried during every sponge bath, but didn't make a peep during this whole bath.  Maybe she liked having the warm wet towel on her belly.

Friday, March 15, 2013

While Brady's Away, Izzie Will Play

Most days, Izzie wakes up sometime in the course of Brady's four hour afternoon nap.  Yesterday, Andy decided to have a little fun with her.  He got out some of Brady's toys and decided to play with her on them.  Above, you can see him trying to pose her like she's doing a slam dunk.

Brady is always trying to ride this firetruck, but we're always telling him he's too big and will break it.  Izzie doesn't weigh nearly as much as Brady (less than a quarter of his weight), so Andy decided to put her on it.

Next, it was time for the dump truck, which Brady also tries to ride.

She fit in it almost perfectly.

We were worried how Brady would react about his sister playing with his toys while he was sleeping.  We showed him and he thought it was hilarious.  He kept bringing her all of his toys to try and share with her.  He's such a great big brother.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Newborn Portraits - Izzie B

With Brady, we did the standard newborn pictures in the hospital where they took one picture of your baby, and then you chose a package of how many of that one shot you wanted.  At the hospital where Izzie was born, there was a photographer and the prices were outrageous! I decided before we left that it would be better to take her to Penney's where we get all of Brady's portraits done and we'd probably get a better deal and better pictures.  Plus it would be a nice way to incorporate Brady as the big brother.

This would be the closest in comparison of what we have of Brady in the hospital.  He was just in a sleeper and barely awake.

Brady is so in love with his little sister and is always talking about her and wanting to take care of her.

Holding hands.

Showing how much he loves his sister.

I'm not a huge fan of "naked" pictures, but the photographer wanted to take some between outfit changes.  A few turned out really cute.

I was not expecting to get in on the act, so I was lucky I was wearing a halfway decent top and had dried my hair.  I usually look really glassy eyed when not wearing my glasses, too, so we got lucky that I didn't.

Daddy got in on the act too, but just a few of his body parts. Holding her feet in his hand.  Aren't they so tiny?

A tiny hand holding his pinky.

I had big plans to go to Target a few days before my induction, but she came early so I never made it there.  I went after she was born and this dress stood out to me because of her hair color.  Had I gone before she was born, I would've never even bought it.  Funny how life works out like that sometimes.

My little angel.

She has been holding her head up since day one and this is the proof.

So peaceful.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

One Week Old - Izzie B

Today Izzie B is exactly one week old and today was her due date.  It's been a crazy week and I won't pretend like it was a walk in the park.  We weren't expecting to have her until mid-week, so Andy had planned on working Monday and Tuesday.  He was able to work out a deal to work at home, but on Wednesday had to go into the office for a full day.  That day was of course the day Brady decided to have a bunch of meltdowns.  I heard more screaming and crying from him that day than the last six months combined.  Thursday was supposed to be Andy's official first day "on vacation," and by 8AM work was calling him saying they needed him to do work.  He was sitting on his work computer, Izzie was crying, Brady was trying to get his attention, and honestly, I was crying too because I was just completely frustrated with the situation.  Thankfully, yesterday was completely work free.  He works from home Monday, then is "on vacation" Tuesday through Friday this coming week.

Brady has been great with Izzie.  He wants to be involved in every diaper change, lets us know when she's upset, and kisses her head.  While Andy was on the phone doing work and she was screaming for a diaper change, Brady got all of the diaper stuff ready and then came over to me and physically tried to take her from me to change her (I was having some issues, so not able to move around a lot and was pretty reliant on Andy for diaper changes).  His tantrums have been about him wanting us to do something for him when we are physically unable to, like when I'm nursing, etc.  My mom has been here to help out and would offer to do the things he wanted, but he would scream that he wanted mommy.  He's such a daddy's boy that hearing him scream for me broke my heart and I was almost in tears myself.

She's an amazing sleeper and eater.  She had a really rough first night home (which Brady did too when he was first home) and there was a lot of screaming because she didn't want to be in her bed.  The only thing that made her happy was being in the bed with us.  We know it's a controversial topic and something we've only done a handful of times with Brady.  I have a large pregnancy pillow that surrounds me on both sides, so I've been nursing her on my side and then propping my arm on the pillow, so she's above me and I can't move with the pillow around me anyway.  She's a very still sleeper and only gets up once or twice a night to eat.  I've been in a lot of pain and even moving from side to side in bed has been excruciating.  It's gotten a lot better in the past two days, so last night I was able to get up after her feeding and put her in the pack n play.  She slept for two hours on her own in the pack n play! It's definitely progress.

She hardly ever cries and if she does its for a reason.  The biggest reason for crying is having her clothes or diaper changed.  She HATES to be naked, which Andy says he can live with ;)  We were at the doctor's office and he was examining her in her diaper and we told him she hates to be naked.  He covered her up with a blanket and she calmed down immediately.  Like most babies, she doesn't like to have a dirty diaper and some times we change her diaper and as soon as her clothes are back on, she needs changed again.  She's been keeping us on our toes.

When it comes to eating, she's a champ.  She latched right after birth in the hospital.  You don't get breastmilk for a few days after birth, so they aren't really getting anything, but them latching and attempting to nurse helps bring the supply in.  Brady would latch for five seconds, realize he wasn't getting anything, then pull away.  I had to pump to help increase my supply, and we ended up giving him a bottle of formula every other feeding, alternating with breastfeeding.  Izzie didn't get a bottle for a few days and we give it to her when she's had a full breastfeeding, but still seems hungry.  She's had maybe 6-7 bottles in the last week.

We've been at the doctors a few times this week.  Babies often lose 10% of their birth weight in the hospital.  Izzie was down to 7lbs 8oz (she was born at 7lbs 14oz) when we left the hospital, which was very close to 10% lost.  We had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday when she was three days old and she was down to 7lbs 6oz.  She also had a touch of jaundice, so we were sent to the hospital lab to get her bilirubin levels checked.  Above normal is 21 and she was at a 12.1.  We went back on Thursday for a weight check and to reevaluate the jaundice.  She was back up to 7lbs 8oz (still not at birth weight) and they decided she needed to have the levels rechecked again.  It was at a 13, so not serious enough to take any other measures than keep feeding her so she can expel the bilirubin.  Breastfed babies can have low levels of jaundice for months after birth.  We were concerned going in that day because her umbilical cord stump was looking like it was coming off early and we were noticing some puss underneath.  We covered it with a bandaid so the onesie wouldn't rub it off before we got to the doctor.  It was hanging by a thread when we got there and the doctor snipped the thread with sterile surgical scissors and said to let it heal naturally.  Most babies lose the stump weeks after birth (Brady was three weeks old when he lost his).

My sleeping babies.  We know Izzie looks more like Andy and Brady looks more like me, but we're trying to see if they look alike at all.  We're excited to see what color her eyes will be and if they'll look alike when she fills out a bit.

I said earlier that Brady has been great with Izzie and you can see how happy he is to be holding his sister.  Andy had so many nicknames for Brady and was worried he wouldn't come up with one for Izzie.  The one he has for her right now is Sissy B.

Hanging with little sister in his bed.

Yesterday, my friend Dunny came into town to visit for the weekend.  She will be one of Izzie's godmothers when she's baptized in the spring or summer.  Brady was so excited for her to come that he didn't go down for a nap until 3:30PM (he normally goes down around 1:30PM).  There was so much going on that he didn't end up in bed until 11PM (he normally goes down around 9:30PM).  We had him in the nursery so Dunny could have his bed and that must have disrupted his routine enough that he got up three times during the night (thankfully my mom is on Brady duty at night/morning).  He was up for the day before 7AM (he's usually up between 8AM and 9AM).  By 8AM we could hear him having meltdowns downstairs.  He was already exhausted by 10AM but refused to take an early nap.

Today, we were expecting Andy's dad and older brother, Chris, for a day visit.  They were expected to arrive at noon and we figured Brady would be even more of a terror by then.  Fortunately, he was happy to see his Pap, so he was good for a few more hours.  By the time they left at 3PM, he was definitely ready for bed.  It was very nice to have them come all this way (a 4.5 hour drive) for a quick visit.  They brought food for our fridge and gifts of clothes for Izzie B.  Buks sent with them a monogrammed sterling silver Noah's arc piggy bank, with her birth date engraved as well.  We are blessed to have such a generous family.

Pap and Uncle Chris with Izzie B.

Uncle Chris with Izzie B.  He held her for over an hour while she slept.

Uncle Chris with both his niece and nephew.

Three generations of Traps, with Izzie B being the only girl.

Our first official family portrait as a family of four.

I decided to do a few comparison shots of when Nana and Pap met their grandkids.  I thought that even though three years have gone by, neither of them have changed much.