Monday, November 23, 2015

Preslee is 19 Months Old

It's crazy how each month seems to fly by quicker and quicker!  I'd tell you it's because my hands are full, but I think it's rather that my heart is so full! Each day is filled with the mundane, and yet it's so special.  I really can't believe that these sweet little baby of mine is turning into a toddler more and more each day.  I mean, I'm just not ready to say she's a toddler & not a baby.  19 months has truly flown by & this sweet one brings a smile to our face & joy to our hearts every day! To say that you are our little clown may be an understatement!  Your personality truly does match your name, Preslee "Ray".... our little drop of golden sun!

My little ham, Preslee Ray:

- My favorite thing this month has been when you hold up your little finger & say, "Mmm back." You are telling me you'll "be right back."  It's so sweet when you hold up your finger, say "Mmm back," and run off to get something and then quickly come back a few minutes later.  It's the sweetest thing ever!
- Your "hole me" {hold me} request has lessened this month as opposed to last month.  But, you can guarantee when you make the request I am quick to oblige because I know time is fleeting where you will want me to hold you.
- I think you've settled into your big sister mode & it's "normal" now to have a new baby in the house for you.  You still love Chantzlyn so much and will still request to hold her (with Mommy's help, of course) and you love to give her kisses.  You smile so much while she is awake looking at you.  I can already see a bond developing between the two of you & that's priceless!
- Just because you've stepped up to the plate on your big sister duties does not however mean that you have slacked on your little sister duties.  You are busy trying to keep up with your big sisters and will quickly copy every single thing that they do.  You love to be right in the middle of whatever they are working on, and they are quick to get frustrated with you taking their toys or destroying their puzzles or towers.  You just want to be right where the action is.
- This month you have sat on the potty and "tee-teed" four times!  You haven't completely gotten the hang of controlling yourself, but you are definitely close to learning!  The M&M incentives surely help in the process too!
- You have such a fun personality!  You will do whatever it takes to get a smile or laugh {and I'm not so sure that's a good thing}!  You are a firecracker & so outgoing! There is no "shyness" about you.  You will run around the church building like you own the place.
- When you are disobeying us, we have found the best way to discipline you is to have you sit on your bed.  Typically just a threat of sitting on your bed will quickly change whatever behavior we are trying to fix.  The few times you have had to sit on your bed you have screamed the whole time- convinced that it is the worst thing in the world.  I'm thankful that this method of discipline has helped us train you in your behavior.
- Currently you are wearing size 18 month clothes and size 6 shoes.
- You are opinionated on what you want to eat & will quickly devour any carb or sugar placed in front of you.  Although you will eat vegetables, you sometimes will bypass them when other things are on your plate.  You get very mad if your sisters finish their food & get a treat and you do not.  Most of the times it does not convince you to finish your own food, but it does make you mad.  You do really great with soup!  I love that all protein & veggies are mixed right in and you get a good sampling!
- Any time you get to pick a piece of candy from the Halloween bowl you ALWAYS pick a Dum-dum sucker. :) Love how predictable you are!
- You are still napping once a day for about 2 hours and you are sleeping great at night.  The last few nights you have cried a few times in the middle of the night, but then go back to sleep.  Not sure if you are having nightmares or just need extra cuddles.
- You love to play babies, play with stickers, and pretend to cook us food to pretend eat.  I love your imagination!

My fun little Preslee Ray, I can't believe how big you are getting!  Your personality is as big as the sun!  You are spunky and sweet and sassy all rolled into one!  I love how you are so confident.  You are in whatever you are doing 100%! You love to put on a show and then glance over your shoulder to make sure you have an audience.  You are also so sweet.  You will cuddle up on my shoulder while I sing to you at night and you will genuinely show concern if your baby sister is crying {you will say, "ty?" as a question when she cries}.  My heart has so much love for you it can hardly contain itself.  It seems at times it might bust when I think of how much you mean to me.  I love you bigger than words can ever express sweet girl!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Chantzlyn is 1 Month Old

It almost seems impossible that a month has already passed with this sweet little angel baby of ours.  I just really can't believe that I am writing this post right now.  This month has truly been a whirl wind of love & my cup truly does runneth over.  It seems crazy that this is my last baby and I'm just trying to soak up every little cuddle and movement and baby sound and little looks.  With four girls time is just not standing still for us at all so I am taking every opportunity to take in all of the sweetness of my baby.  Here is a little bit about the last month, but I hope to write out her birth story and more detailed posts soon.  

Precious baby Chantzlyn Hope,

-This past month as been a whirlwind and really the last week we have really been able to slow down and get you on a bit of a schedule.  The first two weeks it seemed like you really wanted to cluster feed a lot at night... once about every hour.  I really think it was because we were letting you sleep so much during the day that you just wanted to be held and cuddled at night and eating was a way to achieve that. :) I surely didn't mind the extra snuggles, but it made for one very tired Mommy during the day. The last week we have really been able to focus on getting you into a rhythm-- which I think you've really enjoyed too. You have been eating about every three hours during the day.  Sometimes closer to two and a half and sometimes closer to three and a half, but pretty much every three hours.  After you eat we try to really interact with you and have some good wake time, whether it's singing or taking a bath or letting your sisters get extra snuggles- it's been good to see your eyes open during the day more.  After a little wake time we are letting you nap for about an hour to two hours depending on how alert you've been for your awake time.  At night after your big sisters go to sleep we really work hard to play and interact to keep you awake.  We then have been giving you a nice warm lavender bath.  After the bath we rub calming lavender lotion on you and get you snuggled up in some nice fleece pajamas since it's been cooling down a lot at night.  Some sweet neighbors gave you a fun sound machine that projects a picture on the ceiling.  So after pajamas are on we've been laying you in bed for a little thirty minute to hour nap with the sound machine/projector on.  Sometimes you fuss for a minute or two, but mostly you just crash because you are tired.  I then wake you right before I get in bed and feed you.  At night you've gone about four hours without eating.  This past week I've been up about two times each night, and a few times it's been three times.  Really this past week you just have been eating in the middle of the night and falling right back asleep.  It's been a great week.
- Speaking of sleeping, we still haven't transitioned you into your crib in the room with your sisters.  To be honest it's been out of sheer laziness on my part.  Since I'm still getting up several times a night it just seems easier to keep you close at night.  So, you are sleeping in our pack and play bassinet and it has seemed to suit you just fine.
- And speaking of sleeping again... you do not like to be swaddled.  We figured that out the first week we brought you home.  In the hospital you would always wiggle your arms out of the blanket when someone held you, but we still swaddled you at the hospital and when we got home for a few days.  You seemed SUPER fussy every time we laid you down and I thought you might have been hungry, but eventually I thought maybe you didn't like to be swaddled.  I unsaddled you and you spread your arms out wide and fell right to sleep.  I learned that that was all you wanted.  You didn't want to be confined all tight in a blanket... you wanted to be able to stretch out and relax. Precious!  Love this tiny detail about you.  I don't know why, but it makes me smile.
- You are breastfeeding like a champ!  From day one you have latched on and been a pro.  You rarely spit up and if you do it's because you have eaten too much. You haven't had a bottle yet because there really hasn't been a need and I don't really want to pump. I'm sure your sisters would love to feed you though!
- We took you into the doctor when you were 6 days old and you were weighing in at six pounds and 5 ounces {12%} (when you were born you were 6lbs & 9oz & when we left the hospital you were 6lbs & 4oz), you were still measuring in at 19 & 1/2 inches long{40%}, your head circumference was 13 & 1/2 inches {46%} and your body mass index was 11.7.  You were a little jaundice, but not much.  The doctor was also a tiny bit concerned about your front fontanelle.  She thought it might be a little small, but she had another doctor look at it and they didn't think it was anything to be worried about, but just to watch it.  Your head sutures overlapped a bit during the birthing process and it made a small ridge on the top of your head. The doctors explained that those would move back to the correct position and possibly open up your fontanelle more.
-We took you back into the doctor for your 2 week check up and the doctor thought your fontanelle was bigger and closer to normal since your ridge had gone down on your head some.  This was awesome news!  Your stats at your two week appointment: you were weighing in at 6lbs & 13oz {12%} which was SO good, length still at 19 & 1/2 inches, head circumference at 13 & 3/4" {44%} and your body mass index was at 12.6.  So you grew quit a bit in one month & I feel like you have done nothing but get bigger since then!
- You are still wearing your newborn clothes.  Your 0-3 month stuff is still too big, but I have a feeling that it won't be long until you are in that size.  I've noticed that your newborn stuff that used to be big on you is now fitting just right. :)
- You like your wubba-nub pacifier that Binky got you.  You are not attached to it, but it does provide some comfort when you get fussy at times.  We don't use it at all at night though.
- You have already celebrated your first holiday.... Halloween! It was fun to tote you around and show you off while your sisters got as much candy as possible!
-Your eyes are very blue right now.  I know most babies eyes are blue, but yours seem very bright compared to my other girls.
- Your hair looks very blond to me right now.  There have been moments where I've seen a small tint of red, but mostly it just looks blond.
-Yesterday when you were crying it looked like there was a little water that you produced in your right eye.  It was so sad to see a tiny hint of a tear.
- Over the last few days it seems that you are becoming more and more aware of your surroundings. I can tell you are trying to turn your head at times to see if you can tell what is going on.  Or, when I'm holding you and you hear your sisters you will sometimes try to turn your head to them.  It's so sweet.
- You are aware of your feet under you.  Many times I'll try to hold you and "stand" you, and you'll put a little pressure on your feet, but not much.  It's like you know that they are there, but have no idea what's going on.
- You also seem to have really started smiling so much more frequently the last week and a half.  It's mostly random, but there are so many times where I'm talking to you or singing to you and a smile comes out at almost a perfect time.  I am going to believe that you are smiling at me intentionally and it's not random. :) Your smile is so beautiful and it warms my heart every time.
- Daddy took you into get your 2nd PKU last weekend. It was sweet that he took you up to the hospital all by himself and the two of you got a little quality time and extra snuggles after the "poke."
- If I raise you a little above my head really slow and bring you down really slow your eyes will pop right open.  You are either going to love roller coasters or hate them when you get bigger.
- The past few days your neck has seemed to have gotten SO strong.  You are trying to hold it up and turn your head and look around. Today you pulled it right up and were just moving it around when you were having some tummy time.  It's crazy how strong you have gotten!

My darling little baby girl.... my how time flies. I can't believe that you are already a month old.  You are so special to us all.  You complete our family and our hearts are full of nothing but love for you.  You have lived up to your name and carried so much hope into this world already.  I look at you and my heart swells up with a love so deep that I can't explain it.  I know that we are blessed to call you our daughter and it is a treasure that I will never take for granted.  My heart fills with gratitude when I think how blessed I truly am that the Lord picked me to be your Mommy! I could sit and stare at you for hours because you are so beautiful.  Your little baby noises are like music to my ears and every little coo that you make is a reminder of life and hope.  Your three big sisters are completely smitten by you and it's so sweet to watch all of them love on you.... My prayer is that one day you'll all four be the best of friends.  You will have a such a special sister bond!  You are so loved by so many.... more than you will probably ever know or be able to understand.  Your tummy mommy checks in on you frequently and loves to hear reports on how you are growing.  She always sends extra hugs and kisses to you.  She loves you so much and we feel honored that she followed God's directing and brought you to us. Sweet girl you have already brought so much joy to our lives.  I love you more than words can express. 

Here are a few pictures throughout the last month in order from when we brought you home to today: