Monday, March 29, 2010

All Smiles

I remember those first few weeks I had Moira, nursing her in the middle of the night and begging her to smile. I needed something be it a giggle or smile or coo, to let me know that she appreciated me. Maybe it sounds completely selfish, but breastfeeding is not glamorous. It can be a royal pain in the ass at the beginning and early on puts the entire act of feeding the baby on the mother.
I know there are some moms out there who love (or at least claim to love) breastfeeding. So far, for me it has been relatively easy, both Mo and Maeve have taken to it, it's cheap, and requires little prep. Seriously, all I have to do it whip out the boob and meal is there. The first few months, I admit, I really don't like it. I was tempted to write hate, but that's not really true. I believe if I hated it I would have stopped.
Back to my confession about begging Mo to smile, I was going through some serious sleep deprivation at that point. I remember looking at Bryan sleeping blissfully while I burped her yet again and thoughts of pouncing on him and smothering him in the pillow entered my mind. I don't think that qualifies as post-partum depression. I looked at Mo and just said, out loud, please give me something! Within a few days she started smiling and for the most part, kept most of those smiles for me.

This time around, nursing in the middle of the night has not been as bad as before. Maybe it's because I knew what to expect, or maybe it was because for the first 8 weeks Bryan camped out in Mo's future big girl room. Either way, I never had those feelings with Maeve. Am I jaded this time? I don't think so. I think it's more the fact that life is so much crazier when you are a mom to two under two, then when you are a first time mom. Within the past two weeks, Maeve's little personality has really started to blossom. She is a really mellow kid unless she's hungry. She goes from zero to sixty in no time flat and expects to be fed immediately. She has a great disposition and is really laid back. What the best part of these few weeks, aside from longer periods of sleep swaddled in the pack and play, is her smile. She has this little smirk. almost a half smile where one side comes up and her eyes light up. Then there are those full own smiles that if you're lucky often are accompanied by cooing. Already, I think we have a little chatterbox on hand. Those smiles have also gotten under Bry's skin too. Now there's another little girl who can control her father with only her eyes and smile!

(Sorry for the sideways shots!)

Not only are those smiles adorable, but so are her yawns. I never thought I could love anyone as much as Mo, but when I had Maeve that love just expanded. God, am I lucky!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do you hear that?

Do you hear that?
Nothing, but the sound of a swing going back and forth.
Somehow, I have gotten Maeve and Mo to take a nap for an hour plus at the same time for the past 7 days!
Small victories friends, small victories.
Now if we could just get Maeve to sleep through the night, Mama would be a happy person!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring is in the Air!

Winter is technically not over until tomorrow, but we have been blessed with springlike weather the past three days and the next few days are due to be even nicer!
Check out the grass! It's so different from the summer and fall.

We have escaped the prison, I mean our house, for the beauty of our front yard. Mo has rediscovered the joys of chalk and our front walkway has become her masterpiece! She is obsessed with "rounds", her word for circles. She asks you to draw a "round", you reply, "Do you want me to draw a circle?" and she smiles and says "UH-HUH!" and then tells you which color.
I'd love to brag that most of the art is hers, but that would be a lie. Bry took to drawing a picture of a boat and sketch of Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba. Not to be outdone, I drew a picture of Brobee and Foofa.

Just getting out of the house, even though it's only our front yard has made such a difference. Maeve, meanwhile, enjoys the view of the yard from the confines of her bouncy seat, that is when she keeps her eyes open.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To Speak or Not to Speak?...That is the question!

This past summer, I had written a post entitled Doubt where I disclosed my concerns regarding Mo and her speech or well, at the time, the lack of speech. I never really had put too much concern in the area until my mom made a comment in passing that made the proverbial wheels to start turning in my head. As the months have passed, I have continued to harbor some concerns as to what and how much she spoke.
My best friend Ash, has a son A who seriously at 2 sounded like a first grader. He spoke in complete sentences most of the time and had intonation and vocabulary that made him almost sound like a little adult. Mo's other good friend, G, is a little under two months older then she and has been putting two words together for sometime and affectionately calls Mo and I- Mojackie. I guess being around these two brought up my worry about Mo's speech.
She has really great receptive language, in that she can follow multi-step directions with ease, and really has no trouble with understanding or comprehension. Her expressive language, however is another story. I feel like I'm playing charades with her a lot of the day when she is trying to talk. She often only says the initial sound if the word has more then one syllable, leaving either Bry or I to list as many things in the genre that start with the letter. For example, if she's in her highchair eating and she asks for "sp", we'll rattle off "spaghetti", "spoon", "sparkly cup", etc... until she says "un-huh".
I started sign language with her when she was about 8 months old. Now, at almost two, she still uses a few of these signs appropriately throughout the day. Sometimes in isolation, sometimes as she speaks the words. She also has taken to creating her own signs for some words, like putting her open hand over her head like antlers for Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.
The concerns finally overwhelmed me enough to call early intervention services to schedule an evaluation. I had the number in my planner for a good 10 days before I actually called. I don't know what I was afraid of, because logically I knew if she did have a delay, the earlier she received services the higher the likelihood her issues could be resolved. I guess part of me was worried that if something was wrong, it was somehow an indication that I wasn't doinsg something right.
So, last week, I bit the bullet and called. I was surprised how quickly they were able to schedule an evaluation. After speaking to them on Wednesday, they came this past Monday at 8:30 am.
Lucky us, Mo woke up on Sunday with a runny nose and low grade fever, leaving me again to wonder if things would be skewed because of her illness. After dosing her with Motrin on Monday, she met with the speech therapist and occupational therapist and was pleasantly compliant. She interacted fairly well with them as she completed various tasks to assess her cognitive functioning, her gross and fine motor skills, her self-care, and what we were most worried about, her speech and language development. Prior to this assessment, Bry and I met with them to answer various questions about her everyday life and experiences. They informed us that by the end of the meeting we would know if Mo qualified for services and would have a detailed report indicating their findings. She needed to be either 33% below the norm in one area or 25% below the norm in two or more areas to qualify for services and....

she scored in the normal range for everything!
Well, not everything. She was on the lower end of norm for cognition which at this age is basically ATTENTION span. kid wanted to do things her own way? Why does this not surprise me? She also scored 4 months ahead of the norm for gross motor skills.
In the end, she's developing perfectly fine, and now I have the paperwork to support it.

She's not starting pre-school until 2011, so my worries can subside until then.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Wheels

The things one gets excited over when one is expecting another baby seems to vary person to person. I know plenty of people, who eagerly go on shopping sprees when they discover baby two will be the opposite gender, or spend hours perusing the Internet looking for new bedding and accessories for the second one's nursery.
Not me, it wasn't decorating a nursery again- we decided to keep the same gender neutral space, nor was it picking clothes or names. We had the clothes from Mo and the name was picked out for both a girl and a boy not soon after Mo was born. (That conversation went something like "If we ever have another girl, I think Maeve would be perfect to go with Mo. What do you think, Bry?" "Sounds good Jac".
So this pregnancy, I became obsessed with finding the best double stroller out there to meet our needs.
This time around we live in an actual neighborhood with old sidewalks that are buckling and have tree stumps growing around them. I really loved Moira's single stroller. We did spend a pretty penny on it, well not really because we had a bunch of gift certificates to Babies R Us and so we used them to buy it.
It worked wonderfully for us, keeping Mo comfortable during trips to the beach and the mall and the outlets.
This time though, we needed something with more support. I searched high and low. Went on message boards, and checked out sites reading reviews and then I found it....
The Bumbleride Indie Twin!

Finally just last Sunday we were able to take our beauty out for a ride and it's FABULOUS! I'm seriously in love with this new stroller. Besides it's adorable color, it pushes like a dream. I can't wait to push the girls around the zoo, boardwalk, mall, and our neighborhood in it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Birthday Suit!

Do you need a laugh?
Guess what I found this afternoon when I THOUGHT Mo was napping in her room?
Well she was still there, just completely stark naked!

I had put Mo down for her nap around 1 like usual. Sometimes she likes to sing or talk to herself before she falls asleep, and so I thought that was what was going on today. After about a half hour I heard her crying and yelling "Mom". I went up and found her completely naked standing in the crib saying "I pooped, I pooped".

She had taken ALL her clothes off and tossed them over the side of the crib and then had taken off the dirty diaper and was standing waiting for me, only her in her birthday suit and pigtails!

I guess I should be lucky that she is a little OCD like her daddy, because I have heard horror stories of kids removing their diapers. She kept everything in it's place (so to speak).

I did exhibit restraint on the mommy front. I was so tempted to leave her in the crib for a moment to grab the camera and capture that picture for all of eternity, but I held back. This will, however, make a great story someday, especially when she has a boy over.