Monday, August 22, 2011

smiles, soccer and struggles

What a whirlwind this first six weeks has been. We have had our ups and downs and many challenges, but overall both girls are doing well and that is all that matters. Cecilia will be 8 weeks old this week and she is growing like crazy! A few weeks ago she weighed in at a healthy 11 lbs. 4 oz. She is packing it on like a champ, just like her sister did during the first few months! I just love chubby cheeks and thighs and boy, she's got 'em!

Let's start with Cecilia's newest accomplishment...smiles! She has been showing off her latest trick daily for a few weeks now. Olivia tends to be able to get the best smiles out of her. More frequently now the smiles are accompanied by sweet little coos and I just love it! I am treasuring these moments since she has been a somewhat fussy baby the past few weeks (more on that in a bit). So when I see her little face light up my heart does as well. I am sure as the weeks pass her smiles and coos will turn into chatter, but there is nothing like seeing them for the first time.

Olivia is still very much in love with her sister. She has been very attentive and patient with Cece, which has been wonderful considering we have had some difficult days. Not once has Olivia complained about the crying or noise around the house. She has been very patient with her sister and I am grateful for that.

We are wrapping up our summer activities and getting back into the school routine once again. Olivia played soccer again this year through the parks department. She showed off her skills at the end of the season Soccer Showcase. She moved into a higher level soccer class this summer and started learning the skills needed to play an actual game. The soccer showcase gave her class the opportunity to play against another team and show off everything they learned.

She is still working to grasp all of the rules of the game and she needs to work on not being afraid to get in the middle of the all the action, but overall she did a great job. She played goalie for a short time during the game and successfully blocked a goal! She was very proud of herself and so were we. She learned a lot about being a team player this season and had a great time in the process.

So with all of the smiles and soccer going on lately we have definitely been experiencing some struggles as well. Cecilia's first three weeks were a dream. Eating and sleeping just as a newborn baby should...and then she woke up! She started becoming more alert during the day and with that the fussiness began. She continued to eat and sleep well both during the day and night, but would be quite fussy during the short time she was awake. Not hard core crying, just fussy. This continued and got progressively worse as the weeks passed. Finally I decided to take her to the doctor as a precautionary measure.

She is now being treated for acid reflux...the same condition her sister had at this age. Since starting the medicine she seems to be doing better. We have had a few rough days, but overall she seems to be improving a bit. The biggest struggle I am still dealing with is keeping Cecilia happy while she is awake. She does not care to lie on the floor or on her play mat. I put her in her swing but that only works for a brief period of time. Unfortunately I cannot sit on the couch and hold her all day long, as much as I would love to. What I am realizing is just how difficult the first few months can be with an infant. I absolutely love Cecilia to pieces but I at times I wish I could fast forward to the six month stage. Is that horrible to say?

Through all of the struggles I often stop to remind myself just how lucky I am to have two very healthy little girls. Olivia is the most caring, understanding and amazing little girl. I watch the way she talks to Cecilia and I see how much love she has for her sister. Cecilia, aside from dealing with some mild discomfort is thriving and that gives me peace. I realize that adjusting to life with two kids is going to raise many challenges. All I can say is that I am doing my best to adjust to being a Mom of two. I am by no means perfect, but I am doing the absolute best job I can. I have realized that it is a learning process all over again. What worked with Olivia does not necessarily always work for Cecilia. I guess for now I just take things day by day.

A few weeks ago Olivia, Todd and many of my family members met in Florida to attend my cousin's wedding. I chose not to attend the wedding as traveling to Florida in August with a newborn did not appeal to me. I was sad to miss the festivities but I knew I made the right decision. I am glad that Todd and Olivia were able to go because they had a wonderful time. Olivia had a blast at the wedding and spent the rest of her time at the beach. It was the perfect little end of the summer getaway for them.

I have much more to share but it will have to wait. My Aunt Sue just came for a visit so she could meet Cecilia and Olivia just started her fourth year of school. Many great pictures to come. Now I must rest!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

our first month

Our Cecilia is one month old already! It is amazing how quickly my days off of work are flying by. I can't really tell you what I do to fill up each day, but before I know it Todd is home from work, we are having dinner and getting the girls ready for bed. Having not done the whole baby thing in close to five years I have quickly been reminded just how much work they are and how challenging it can be to keep them happy throughout the day. But in four short weeks we have seen our tiny baby start to develop some chub on her cheeks and I believe we are the verge of smiles...I could not be happier!

Olivia continues to be enamoured with her little sister. She has already begun sharing with her too. The first thing she has decided to share...her germs! Olivia recently had a small summer cold and within days I noticed that Cecilia started developing a stuffy nose and watery eyes. Needless to say I was not pleased that my tiny baby has already had to deal with her first cold, but I guess that is life with multiple children. I thought that because I was nursing Cecilia, just like I nursed Olivia that she would be extra-immune from catching anything, especially at such a young age. I think I am a bit naive! It was a minor case of the sniffles and she is already over it.

Aside from growing Cecilia is not doing much else. As Olivia would say..."All babies do is eat, sleep and poop!" She is 100% correct. She has been eating like a champ, sleeping pretty well during the night and starting to be more alert during the day. She has become a bit more fussy than normal over the past week. Not sure why, but it can be hard to satisfy her when she is likes this. During this time I try just about everything until I figure out what is causing her to get so worked up. As I look back on the past week I believe that she usually becomes inconsolable when she is either hungry or tired. I should be able to curb the fussiness as I better learn her cues. Overall she is not a fussy baby. I am just trying to do my best to get her what she needs when she needs it so she is content.

I feel like we are on the verge of our first smiles. I have seen a smile here and there but I am not sure if she is responding to us or just has a bad case of gas! I can't wait until she starts to coo and interact with us more. Not that I am trying to rush this baby stage, but it is hard trying to find a way to keep Cecilia happy and occupied all day. There is only so much you can do with a 4 week old! The one thing I find myself doing the most is just staring at her beautiful face!

An important milestone for the girls recently was their first bath together. Olivia was dying to have a bath with her sister, and as soon as Cece's cord stub fell off we were able to fulfill her wish.

I think Olivia enjoyed the bath a bit more than her sister. She was content for a few minutes but by the end of the bath she was less than pleased.

I have a feeling the girls will have many duel baths together. Olivia may not be as interested in this activity as she gets older, but I have a feeling her sister many feel differently. This past week my Aunt Delia came for a visit. She lives in Bloomington and has been dying to get her hands on Cecilia since she was born. We have not seen her in almost a year so Olivia was excited to see her as well. She is super crafty and is always showering us with homemade gifts. Her forte is crochet and she makes beautiful stuff. She has made us blankets, hats and stuffed animals in the past. On this visit she gave the girls matching hats. They are adorable. As you can see in the picture, Cecilia's is still a tad big and Olivia's fits great when she has it on her head properly.

She also made Cecilia a stuffed bear. She did the same thing for Olivia when she was born and "Stuffy Bear" was her favorite until she flattened him with love. Cecilia's bear is bigger than she is right now, but one day he will make the perfect cuddle pal. She did not forget about Olivia's love of stuffed animals and presented her with an adorable floppy bunny. All of the gifts were so cute and so very thoughtful. It was a short visit with Aunt Delia, but I am glad she was able to make the trip.

Our lives have been all about baby lately. We have been trying to keep Olivia's life as normal as possible. I am trying to stay pretty close to home these days. It is just too darn hot out to do much of anything and it just seems easier to keep Cecilia in the comfort of her own home instead of dragging all around town. Todd and Olivia have been spending a ton of time at the pool and she has also been spending a lot of time with her Nana. With some help from my Mom, Todd and I have been able to take Olivia out and do a few things, just the 3 of us. I think that is important, especially since I have been devoting so much time to Cecilia lately. Olivia has still not shown one ounce of jealousy and that makes me so proud. She has handled this transition with such grace. She continues to enjoy her life to the fullest...which means she is often exhausted!

In the chaos of bringing home baby around the 4th of July Olivia still had the opportunity to enjoy some sparkler fun with her Dad. She is not a fan of fireworks, but is fearless when it comes to sparklers. She made me very nervous holding these sticks of fire but she was very safe, making sure to hold them far from her body. I love watching the look on her face when she is doing something she enjoys.

Life as a family of four is falling into place nicely. I am trying to enjoy every second because I know I will look back and wonder how the time passed so quickly. Taking care of a baby is challenging and often trying at times, but looking at her little face and realizing just how blessed we are makes all the long nights and the bouts of crying all worth it!