Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Molly at 12 months

My oh my! I can hardly believe you are 12 months old! It seems like just yesterday your daddy and I were overjoyed at our first sight of you in our arms.  You truly have fit right in to our family with such ease.  Your daddy and I tell everyone that we think going from one to two children is so much easier than zero to one.  Part of that is because we just know what to expect and our world is already geared around children, but the other part is because of you and your personality.  Your daddy and I joke all the time that if we knew every baby would be as easy as you, we would have several more very quickly. You are so laid back and easy going.  You rarely cry unless you are hungry or sleepy.  You are so content and calm-- especially if you are in our arms.  Molly you are one happy baby.  You smile often and your smile lights up a room.  You like to scrunch your nose up with your big toothy grin.  Speaking of teeth, you have 8 of them-- 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.

I am not sure of your measurements exactly.  I know you are roughly 24-25 pounds because we had to take you to the doctor recently due to an ear infection.  I'm not sure about your length, but you are very tall for your age!  You are wearing mostly 18 month clothes and even some 24 month things.  You wear a size 4 diaper and are wearing size 3 or 4 in shoes.  You have one pair that is a 3 and one that is a 4 so I'm not sure which is the "correct" size.

With the exception of a few random nights due to illness, you are sleeping great.  You usually go to sleep around 8 or 8:30 and sleep until 7 or 7:30.  Usually when you start waking up in the middle of the night, your daddy and I know that you are getting an ear infection.  You have literally had 6 ear infections since October, and we are pretty sure you have another one as I write this.  You will more than likely be getting tubes soon.

You absolutely love being outside and being in your stroller. It doesn't matter where we are you will ride in your stroller for hours.  Your big sister wasn't quite like that.  She always wanted to get out of the stroller and be on the go, but you are quite content to just ride.

You are a great eater and have quite the appetite! Your daddy and I joke that you eat almost as much as we do!  You love all of your veggies (green beans, peas, carrots, broccoli, potatoes), most fruits (bananas, apples, strawberries inconsistently, grapes), but most of all you love your meats (chicken, turkey, beef, steak).  We have to cut it up in to small pieces but you devour it.  You also love oatmeal and greek yogurt and eat one of the two for breakfast every morning. Cheerios and graham crackers have become your favorite snack and you also like to eat applesauce or the little pureed pouches for snacks.  You can now drink from a cup with a straw and you think you are so big when do.  You grin every single time you take a sip.  You mostly drink water, but we have given you a little juice at times.  You are still drinking about 3-4 bottles (6 ounces) each day. We did switch you over to whole milk and you had no problem at all.  We hope to decrease the bottles in the next couple of weeks but for now we aren't going to worry about it because you are still in a class at school with babies who are much younger than you that take bottles, and we think it would be too hard for you to go without a bottle at school.  We plan to work on that when school is out in May.

We have recently discovered your love for stuffed animals.  Specifically you have a soft giraffe that if we hold it up to you, you grab it and immediately squeeze it and rub your head on it.  You love to cuddle it as we rock you to sleep and you rub on its fur.  It's pretty cute.

You have absolutely no desire to walk at this point.  You will pull up on furniture and cruise around it, but that's it.  If we even try to stand you up by yourself, you make your legs turn to jello and you collapse on the floor.  You will walk as long as one of us is holding both of your hands.  If we try to take one hand away, you will turn and look and reach for the other hand before taking a step.  Part of me truly doesn't mind a bit because you still seem like a baby crawling around and walking is just one more step of you becoming less like a baby and more like a toddler.

You don't have too many words at this point.  You say "da" for daddy all the time and you recently started saying "uh oh" when you drop something.  You have said "ma" a few times but it's really inconsistent.  We laugh all the time because we often say "Molly say mmmmma" and you say "da" and then laugh.  You also love to clap which is absolutely adorable and you have started doing a little backwards wave with your fingers.

You have such a  bashful personality. You don't want to try anything new without me or daddy being there with you and you look at us to make sure that its ok.  For example, Nana was trying to get you to reach into a bag to pull out a snack for you.  You would put your hand to the bag then look at me and pull your hand back really fast and put your face in to my chest as if you were too embarrassed to get it yourself. You also have such a tender spirit.  The other day you kept dropping your sippy cup off the table on purpose (its your new game that you love to play :)) so that we would pick it up.  Your daddy said "Molly no no" in a sort of firm tone and you lost it.  You let out the biggest cry and then couldn't recover until we picked you up and bounced you and told you that you weren't in trouble.

Molly you truly are such a gift to our family.  I can't even imagine what life would be like without you and I am so thankful every day and every minute that God sent you to us. You truly make my heart swell with joy and pride, and  I feel so honored to be your mother.

Molly at 9 Months

 ** Disclaimer:  Though these are being posted way late, I did actually write them on time and saved them in "draft" form because I had hoped to go back and add pictures later.  Clearly, I haven't done that yet.. maybe I'll get around to it soon, but if not, at least I have all the details posted.

Gosh, time really seems to be getting away from me these days! With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays,  I actually completely forgot to even take pictures of you at 8 months... oops!

You have changed so much over the last few months.  You can now sit up, crawl, and pull up to stand-- and you do all of that often!  We can't leave you unattended for a second anymore! The otherr day, I left you back in your room playing with a toy while I ran to the laundry room for less than two minutes.  When I came out of the laundry room, you had crawled all the way from the back of the house to the living room and you were standing up at Mary Hyatt's doll house "playing" with the pieces in it.    Your daddy and I think you may walk earlier like your sisterr did, but we will see.  Secretly, I'm kind of hoping that you don't--because that is just one more milestone that means you are growing out of the "baby" stage.

Over the past month, you have started eating people food and you LOVE it! Anything that you can pick up and put in your mouth by yourself is a big hit.  So far you have had lima beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and bananas and you love it all.  You still eat between 5-6 bottles a day with at least 6 ounces in each bottle.  You make your daddy and I laugh because if you even see a bottle, you start grinning and kicking with excitement and if we don't give it to you within 30 seconds, you start to whine.

Sleeping has been hit or miss lately. You were doing so well for a while but over the last couple of weeks you have started waking up once in the middle of the night.  It isn't consistent--some nights you still sleep all the way through, but some times you don't.

Bath time is your favorite part of the day.  You would stay in the bath tub for hours if we let you.  In the last month, you have started splashing like crazy.  You make a big mess, but your smiles and giggles make it work it!

You also love books.  Sadly, being the second child, I don't feel like I have as much time to sit and read to you like I did with MH at this age.  The other day when I pulled out a book I was shocked at how attentive you were to it.  You LOVE the touch and feel books and if I touch something, you will touch it.  You follow my finger with your eyes and look at every little thing that I point to and label as if you are really taking it all in.  I'm trying to get better about "reading" books to you daily.

You are still head over heels for your big sister and she is totally obsessed with you.  You have started to get a little frustrated at times with all of the loving and smothering that MH does to you, but for the most part, she is the one that makes you smile and giggle the most.

You have a mouth full of teeth! You now have 8 teeth which totally shocks us since Mary Hyatt barely even had one at this point!  You are a growing girl and weigh 22 pounds. :)  You have started wearing 12 and 18 month clothes.

I can't believe that in just 3 short months we will be celebrating your first birthday! It makes me so sad to see this year go by so quickly, but at the same time I am so thankful for you and the joy you continue to bring to our family.  We love you baby Molly!

Molly at 5 Months

 ** Disclaimer:  Though these are being posted way late, I did actually write them on time and saved them in "draft" form because I had hoped to go back and add pictures later.  Clearly, I haven't done that yet.. maybe I'll get around to it soon, but if not, at least I have all the details posted.

I can't believe you are already 5 months old! It seems like you were just born yesterday!  Time seems to be slipping away from us far quicker than I would like for it to be.  You have grown and changed so much over the last couple of months.

You are becoming so much more alert and aware of things around you.  You now reach for things all the time.  If it's in your line of sight, your hands are reaching for it, and pretty much everything goes right in your mouth.  You gnaw and chew on everything, including your hands, and you drool a lot!  You already have two teeth on the bottom! It shocked your daddy and I when we first saw them poking through around your 4 month birthday, because your big sister didn't get her first tooth until she was closer to a year old!  

I'm not sure how much you weigh, but I would guess somewhere between 16-18 pounds. You are a big baby girl! I'm not sure of your height either, but you are very long for your age.  You are wearing some 9 month clothes and pajamas just because of length! You can still wear some of your 3-6 month bubbles and things where length doesn't matter as much.  I sure love your chunky little legs and baby rolls and you get many kisses on them a day!

You smile ALL the time and it truly melts my heart.  It doesn't take much for us to make you grin; and usually all your big sister has to do is walk in front of your face and you get the biggest smile on your face.  You adore your sister, and she feels the same.  Many mornings before school, Mary Hyatt begs to come see you, and if you are ever asleep when it's time for Mary Hyatt and I to leave, Mary Hyatt gets upset because she hasn't gotten to see you yet.  Whenever you are waking up from a nap and we hear you make your first sound, Mary Hyatt usually jumps up and begs me to let her go see you and get in your crib with you. 

You have such a content personality.  You are such an easy baby.  Your daddy and I comment frequently about how easy and good you are.  You rarely cry.  You typically only cry when you are really sleepy or are getting hungry.  You will lay on your play mat for over an hour without needing any attention from anybody.  You have done that since you were two months old.  As I mentioned above, your big sister can't get enough of you, but sometimes she can be a little rough with you.  We constantly have to remind her to be gentle because she will squeeze you, or get right in your face and smother you, or roll you around like a baby doll.  You are so laid back though that it rarely bothers you--but occasionally you do fuss for a minute about it. 

You are eating between 5-6 bottles a day with 6 ounces in each bottle.  You have started to notice your bottles now and if you ever see one you will start reaching your hands for it and turning your neck to keep your eyes on it.  If we walk away to where you can't see it, sometimes you will wimper for a second as if you are saying "I want my bottle!"   We have fed you some rice cereal and some banana baby food a handful of times.  We aren't consistently feeding it to you yet; but you do seem to like it ok, though you still prefer a bottle. You made a few funny faces the first few bites and haven't totally figured out how to work your tongue to keep it all in your mouth, but usually by the end of each feeding you are even better than when we started.  We will probably start feeding you some baby food consistently every day starting next month.  

Right after you turned 4 months old, you started going to daycare.  You have done a pretty great job adjusting, though you don't nap as well for them at school as you do when you are at home.  That usually means by the time I pick you up in the afternoons, you are worn out.  As the weeks have passed, your naps are getting a little better every now and then, so I imagine they will continue to improve.  When you are at home on the weekends, you still take about a 1-2 hour morning nap and usually a 2-3 hour afternoon nap.  Sometimes you also take a small cat nap in the evening after dinner, but before bedtime.  We usually start giving you a bath most nights around 7:30 and then feed you your last bottle around 8.  Lately, you have been waking up every night around 4:30, which isn't ideal but thankfully you go right back to sleep. We typically go in your room and put your pacifier in your mouth and roll you over on your belly, and then you will fall back to sleep until 6 or 6:30.  We still typically swaddle you when you go to sleep, but there have been a few nights where we didn't swaddle you and you did fine. 

You are such a joy to us Molly, and we can't imagine our lives without you.   You have just eased right in to our family as if you have always been here.  We are loving every minute of watching you grow and learn to do new things--but I sure wish I could stop time every now and then and keep you little for longer.  We love you baby girl!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Molly's Months One, Two, and Three

When we had Mary Hyatt, it seemed like the world stopped.  For a couple of months, we did our own thing and we slowly adjusted to life with a baby.  However, with a second baby, and older siblings to take care of, it's hard to let the world around you "stop."  Luckily, Molly is such an easy going and laidback baby.  She fit right in to our busy lifestyle like she had been here all along!

The first month, Mary Hyatt was still in school.  Molly and I spent most of our days with me rocking her in the recliner and watchihng Family Feud or HGTV. :)   Nana would frequently come over and we would venture out on walks or to get lunch every now and then.  We met up with Katherine and Kit a few times as well, which was always a lot of fun for us mamas. 
In the afternoons, Mary Hyatt would come home from school and want to cuddle right up with us.
And in the evenings, if Molly got cranky, we often just took a walk down the street and that seemed to perk her right up.  She loved being outside!
When Molly was just 5 or 6 weeks, Daddy raced in the Dragon Boat races again this year.  Leland and Uncle Jack were in town and we walked out to Point Mallard to enjoy the races with Lovie, John, Sassy, and Meg. 
It was really hot, but both Molly and Mary Hyatt did great.  Ben's team won the races too, which was an added bonus!
Mary Hyatt loved swimming in the kiddie pool area and playing in the sand!
After bath snuggles are a regular occurence around here for these two!
Mothers Day with my girls... so lucky to have them and to be their mama! It is one of the greatest joys of my life!
We spent several nights out at the ball park watching Chase.  For the most part, Molly was typically very good out there, but on occasion, she would fuss; especially if the games were during the "witching hour" of the day. 
Nana and Tata took her away from the field and bounced in sync together to soothe her.  It worked like a charm because she fell right to sleep!
Mary Hyatt loves to help give Molly baths every night.  Initially Molly wasn't a fan of bath time, but after her umbilical cord fell off and her body was able to be submerged under the water, she began to love them.  Mary Hyatt is a great big helper and the best big sister.
Our typical night time routine consists of me reading a book with Mary Hyatt and then lying in bed with her for a few minutes.  Usually daddy is watching Molly or getting her ready for bed during this.  Occasionally Molly likes to join Mary Hyatt in bed for story time though.  Mary Hyatt just thinks its the greatest thing, and she often reminds me "When Molly gets bigger, she can sleep in my bed with me.  We can sleep together."
When Molly was 6 weeks old, Mary Hyatt had her dance recital.  We enjoyed watching big sister dance on the stage, and Molly did fantastic during the entire show!
Our good friends from Birmingham came to visit for memorial day and we all ventured out to Point Mallard for the hot air balloon festival.  It was a little crazy with 4 kids, 3 years old and under but the girls enjoyed watching the balloons light up!
Around 7 or 8 weeks, we fed Molly her first bottle.  Mary Hyatt was beaming that she got to help feed fer.  She had been asking us for weeks when Molly would be able to have a bottle. 
We continued to take several morning walks while sister was at school.
Daddy says he wants to introduce his girls to sports early.  He wants them to be very well versed in athletics--unlike their mama, who could care less, unless her favorite team is playing. 
Lots of loving from Pappy!
At 8 weeks, we took Molly to the beach for the first time!  Although traveling with a newborn isn't easy because of all of the stuff that they require, it was still a great trip. 
When we got back from the beach, we went to vacation bible school.  I didn't volunteer or help out this year but Molly and I did walk around and watch everybody. 
Although Molly rarely cries, there are moments when she decides to tell us that enough is enough! For instance, attempting pictures of the girls in their coordinating outfits was just not her idea of fun! ;)

And then, all of a sudden, Molly was two months old!!
She started being awake for longer periods and becoming more alert during the day, and she started sleeping through the night about 7 or 8 hour stretches. 
I cant remember her height or weight, but she was off the charts for both at her two month doctor appointment! The nurse could not believe how much she had grown!
With summer officially in full force, we spent many days at the pool.  I sure love a baby in a bonnet!
Mary Hyatt had her 4th birthday party.  She had requested a "Frozen" themed party.  We even had our very own Elsa attend the party.  It was a lot of fun!

More evenings at the pool! Molly had already outgrown her bathing suit so we borrowed a friends swim diaper one evening to let her get in the pool.  She didn't seem to mind the cool water!
The girls and daddy matched one day for church, so we coudln't resist a picture1
I don't get to do the bedtime routine often with Molly because I typically do bedtime with Mary Hyatt and Ben does it with Molly.  (Divide and conquer! haha)  But, one night Mary Hyatt spent the night at Lovies, so I couldn't resist snuggling our swaddled baby for a few extra minutes before putting her in the bassinet. 
Fun at the country club watching golf!
Morning smiles are the best!
We had a very low key Fourth of July this year.  It rained almost all weekend so we didn't get out to do much.  We did enjoy dinner over at Lovie and John's though and watched the fireworks.  Molly sure does love her big sister! She grins from ear to ear every time she sees her!
Around 10 weeks, we went out toe bankhead park and hiked around.
And then suddenly she was 3 months old!
Just for my records, around 8 weeks I stopped nursing and went to pumping exclusively.  Molly wasn't liking having to work for her milk and would get angry while nursing.  I started pumping so that I could a) know exactly how much she was eating and b)it was easier for her to drink from a bottle.  We continued to exclusively feed her breastmilk until she was 12 weeks old, and then we stated to introduce formula.  Around week 14 or 15, we completely switched to formula in anticipation for me going back to work. Molly has adjusted beautifully!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The First Few Weeks...At Home

We spent the first few days at home just trying to adjust to life with a newborn again.  Molly woke up about every 2 hours to eat, so as all new parents are, we were exhausted.  We did a lot of napping throughout the day.  Life with a newborn looks a little different though when there is an older sibling around.  Thankfully Mary Hyatt is old enough to entertain herself and she's very independent.  Poor thing rarely got her hair brushed though and walked around naked a lot of the time.  As long as she was happy, we didn't mind. :)

But after a couple of days we started to get the hang of everything.  Because tax day was right around the corner, Ben had to go back to work pretty quickly.  My mom came and helped me every day.  She helped cook, clean, run Mary Hyatt places and love on Molly.  Moms are the best.  I don't know what I would do without her. Thankfully, Mary Hyatt's school was still in session for 6 weeks so we kept her on her normal routine and sent her to school.  She didn't mind a bit.  She has always loved school. She did request to hold Molly every single morning though before she left.    
 We had a lot of visitors the first few days.  We were blessed beyond measures by our sunday school class bringing us dinner three days a week for the first couple of months.  It's amazing how little mundane tasks such as cooking dinner can seem almost impossible during the first few weeks of having a baby.  It was truly amazing to not have to worry about it while we recovered and adjusted.  

I've never been one that likes to just sit inside and do nothing.  I don't "relax" very well. So after a few days of being cooped up inside, I needed to get out and get some fresh air.  We took the girls on a very short and very slow walk down the street.  I wasn't even remotely healed yet and didn't want to overdo it, but it sure felt nice to get a little fresh air.

 At 2 weeks old, I even attempted to take Molly to watch Chase play in a baseball game.  However, we only stayed about 10 minutes.  I was a nervous wreck having her out there at the ballfields and it was also very windy and I was afraid it was just too much for a newborn.  Nonetheless, it was still our first outing without Daddy (he was still working on the weekends! Tax season!) and it gave us a reason to get showered and dress and out of the house briefly.    Mary Hyatt was adorable and wanted to carry her baby "Emily" in her car seat just like me.  Such a little mama in training! :)

I spent a large part of my day snuggling with sweet Molly.  She is such an easy baby and rarely cries at all.  The first month she slept almost all day and night it seemed.  During the first few weeks, we did have a few evenings where she would get pretty fussy and it was hard to console her.  She required a lot of bouncing and often if we just walked outside, she would totally calm down.  

 The first week or two my mom often picked Mary Hyatt up from school, and if she couldn't, we had several friends that offered to bring her home which was nice.  I started going to pick her up when Molly was roughly 2 weeks old and though Molly often was fine, I will say that was one of the hardest parts about having a second baby compared to just having one. When we had Mary Hyatt, we didn't have any other commitments so we could let her sleep whenever and for as long as she wanted to.  With Molly, because Mary Hyatt had to be picked up by a certain time, I often had to wake Molly up to go get her.  I always hated waking her up. Not to mention getting her out of the car in her infant seat and carrying that heavy thing in and out of the daycare just to pick MH up wasn't too fun.  But we survived!

Friends and family spoiled MH with extra attention during the first few weeks as well.  Lovie took her to the mall (MHs request) one day for some one-on-one time.  Lovie said MH is quite the shopper! She walked around grabbing things and saying "Oh this is so cute." or "This would look good on you Lovie."
 I tried to meet up with Katherine and Kit a few times as well during the first few weeks.  Every time we got together, the girls were sleeping so we never got them out of their car sears. I am a firm believer of "Never wake a sleeping baby" if you can help it.   It was really fun having a friend to go through this same stage of life with.  Katherine and I texted numerous times all throughout the nighttime feedings.  It was nice to have someone to ask questions to for reassurance etc.  Even though this was our second baby, it had been so long since we had had a newborn that we had forgotten some things!

People have continuously asked us how it is going from one to two children.   Overall, Ben and I both agree that it has been WAY easier than we ever expected it to be. Going from zero to one child seemed so much harder to us than going from one to two children.  I think it's because when we had Mary Hyatt, our world completely changed and we didn't really have friends that had children.  This time we are already in "kid world" or "parent mode" so it really hasn't been much of an adjustment.  It probably helps that Molly is an extremely laidback and easy baby and Mary Hyatt is older and more independent.  Not to mention, it just seems much easier and we feel confident in knowing what and how to do things.
 Mary Hyatt adjusted beautifully the first several weeks as well.  We never saw one ounce of jealousy or regression.  She took a lot of pride in being the "big sister" and wanted to help with everything. I left Molly on the bed one day for a few minutes and when I came back in the room, I found MH lying up there with her reading a book.  I know these girls are going to be the best of friends.

 At three or four weeks old, we took Molly to church for the first time.  She wore Mary Hyatt's "coming home" dress and looked absolutely precious.
 I love being able to coordinate my girls outfits and MH truly is thrilled when they match.  She wanted to wear her pink dress just like Molly.
 Molly did fabulous in church.  She slept the entire time!
 And this is Molly another week when we were headed to church.
 I love bonnets!

Overall, the first month at home was very easy and enjoyable.  We couldn't have asked for anything to go any better, and we sure enjoyed getting to know our newest addition to the family!

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