Daughters

Often I have moments with Charlotte and Caroline where I just cannot even believe that they are mine. Like, when did this happen and when did I grow up and when I did get so lucky?!? And two girls! Maybe because I grew up with two brothers I always assumed my sons would outnumber my daughters (if I had any daughters at all). I just pictured myself of a mother of boys. But this is not because I didn’t want many/any girls – I’ve always wished for at least one daughter. And if Caroline wasn’t a girl I’d never reveal this secret, but I really did hope she would be a girl. After having Charlotte I guess I just couldn’t have enough daughters. I love my two darling little girls! 

This is a pointless blog post, especially since there is no picture, but I was feeling this heavily today as the three of us were traipsing through town today. Me pushing Caroline in the stroller, Charlotte holding my “free” hand, the wind blowing our hair in all directions. Girls day out. 

 

(P.S. Sons are awesome, too, I’m sure. :)

We have a preschooler

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Charlotte’s first day of preschool at Kinderfarm is in the books!

This morning, after rushing around to get dressed, fed, sunscreened, and all packed up, I helped her into the van, kissed her head, and waved as it drove away. I watched her face in the window until she disappeared around the corner, and let out a few tears knowing that this is only the first time of so many that I’ll be letting her go. 

When she was dropped off at home this afternoon, I opened the van’s door to find her slumped over and sound asleep in the back. 

She had a wonderful day. 

Monday night time

For the first time probably all summer Charlotte was sound asleep before nine o’clock tonight. A skipped nap made for a crabbier afternoon, but we needed to get her used to falling asleep ealier because tomorrow is her first day of preschool!

She is going to Kinderfarm, which is exactly what it sounds like it is: a preschool on a farm. In addition to the usual preschool activities and routines in the classroom, kids also get to interact with animals and help with farm chores. There are ponies, chickens, goats, a llama or two, donkeys, rabbits, pigs, and a St. Bernard named Stella. Charlotte will be riding a little bus two days a week (okay, it’s a van but bus sounds more fun) to and from. Even though it’s a less than ten minute drive from our house, the ride service is the only way we could make it work with my work schedule.

Oh, and side note – I will be off work all trimester since my skin sucks royally right now, but more on that later I guess.

The time off and Charlotte’s time at Kinderfarm will allow Caroline and I to get some quality daughter bonding done. Second babies need their one-on-one time, too, and I am just going to eat it up. Oh but Caroline – what a mama’s girl. When she’s really upset, I’m the only person who can calm her down. I’m flattered she likes me so much, but it would be nice if she would let Chris comfort her once and awhile. Charlotte was nothing like this and probably would have allowed an evil clown to comfort away her tears. And, yes, I know: different babies different babies, but is it even possible never to compare your children? As a very experienced mother of two, I’m going to go ahead and say nope. 

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Look at that little smiler! All her smiles and conversations make my day! And to think I was worried those first six weeks that she would never be happy. 

She must be so happy during the day because she sleeping exceptionally well at night. She has always done pretty well during the middle of the night (she will go right back to sleep after eating/diaper changing), but for the past few weeks she has been consistently sleeping 7-11 straight hours. Yes, I did say 11. :)  Sure, she is still sleeping in a car seat on the floor of our room, but whatever works I say! Eventually we may try to transition her back into the bassinet we wasted $80 on, or we might just wait to move her into her crib. But I guess that means we’ll have to bring the crib upstairs from the basement and actually assemble it….Car seat it is! 

Getting her to sleep at night is the big challenge. Little Girl is a world class sleep-fighter who can snap herself out of any exhausted state the moment her little bum hits the bed. It’s a talent, really. I’m pretty impressed. Right now, in fact, she’s staring at me from her swing looking pretty relaxed, but I know she’s just waiting to make her move. Yep, here comes the whining. I now have about two minutes to finish this blog post. 

I’ll conclude with a picture. Everyone’s favorite part. 

I call her poonkin. It means pumpkin in my own invented mama language.

I call her poonkin. It means pumpkin in my own invented mama language.

 

 

Caroline’s 2 month photos

Well, what a difference a month makes! What a difference two weeks makes, actually. Last month on the 19th I managed to snap about ten photos before Caroline’s one minute of being awake without crying came to an end. I felt so bad for my baby who just never seemed happy, and Chris and I dreaded those witching hours at nights so much. 

And then two weeks ago, on her six week birthday to be exact, she just stopped all that crying. I believe I wrote here that it was the happiest day of her life at the time….and she just keeps getting happier! 

Proof:

I'm going to happily lie on this blanket as long as you need me to, Mama! Your welcome.

I’m going to happily lie on this blanket as long as you need me to, Mama! Your welcome.

At two months Caroline is cooing and smiling up a storm. She still loves the gallery wall of art above her changing table, and diaper changes are generally a really happy experience. :) She hates even the slightest wet diaper, and she lets us know this right away. It’s nice to know what is making your child ornery, but sheesh we are going through a lot of diapers very quickly! 

This is my birthday dance.

This is my birthday dance.

Caroline is still sleeping in her car seat on our bedroom floor for the first part of the night. When she wakes up she sleeps next to me after nursing until we get up together usually around 8 because Big Sister is up. Otherwise we’d both sleep in. :) Bed time has been so much easier, too! Those witching hours are now just a brief fussy time before she passes out for usually the next six hours. However, she has gifted us with a few seven, eight, even nine hour stretches of continuous sleep at night, and to that Chris and I say, thank you very much, little dear! 

I'm just practicing this look for my teenage years.

I’m just practicing this look for my teenage years.

I don’t have updated size stats since her appointment is on Thursday, but my guess is that she is easily over 13 pounds. She can still wear her three month outfits, but I am also dressing her in six month clothes. The little number she’s wearing in these pics is size 6 months, and look how well she fills it out. By the numbers (and clothing size) so far, Caroline is taller and heavier than Charlotte was at the same age. And I thought I could never have a baby bigger than Charlotte! 

Oh hi.

Oh hi.

Caroline and Charlotte definitely look like sisters. Even though their features are all a little different, when put together, those two look alike! 

I have a feeling this is the first of many pictures I'll get of only one kid looking at the camera! hehe

I have a feeling this is the first of many pictures I’ll get of only one kid looking at the camera! hehe

Happy 2 months, Caroline Therese! 

 

Update: Caroline’s appointment was yesterday morning. She cried through about two thirds of it. Can you blame her though, after having three shots and an oral immunization? Poor little bug. She is 13 pounds, 4 ounces and 24 inches long (which is just over two feet tall!). Based upon her numbers and Chris’s and my heights, the doctor predicted Caroline would grow up to be about 5’5″. We’ll see! 

Hi.

Mama hasn’t been able to catch a picture of my big smiles. I’m speedy! But she did catch me smirking. Aren’t I cute? I’m seven weeks old here, and I was probably smiling at the ceiling fan. Ceiling fans rock.

Caro7weeksmirk

 

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Headbands

Caroline is six weeks old today! And she had the happiest day of her life! (Verdict is still out for her night…) She had a long mid-day nap and spent more time than usual awake and content, which made for a much more pleasant day in the Doran household.

I put a headband and bow on her today, and Charlotte thought she looked soooo cute in her (Charlotte’s) headband. And she wanted to wear one, too…with a bow. I grabbed two, let her choose the color, then put it on her head so that it held back her hair. She touched her headband and stared at Caroline’s. I could see her little wheels turning and I knew what she was thinking. “I want to wear it low like her,” she said, pulling it down to her forehead. So she did. And we took pictures.

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Double drama

Double drama

A Tale of Two Bald Spots

I’ve been looking through Charlotte’s baby photos a lot recently, having fun remembering her tiny days and noticing the similarities and differences between her and Caroline.

I came across this picture I took when Charlotte was six weeks old. I felt it important to document this little bald patch she had on the back of her head from sleeping/lying on her back. (I was a much better documenter back then. Sorry, Caroline…)

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(Proof that Charlotte’s hair was dark at birth, too!)

And just yesterday I was noticing Caroline (who will be six weeks old tomorrow) has developed a bald spot of her own. But unlike Charlotte, my content little back sleeping I’ll-sit-happily-whereever-you’ll-place-me baby, Caroline has two bald spots, which indicate how she’s been spending her time slumbering.

 

Sure, I'll point it out for ya.

Sure, I’ll point it out for ya.

 

This picture tells a story of our days and nights these days. The brand new rocking bassinet we bought her has been moved out of our room because who needs it when your baby just ends up sleeping with you all night anyway? She really hates lying flat. It actually makes her gasp and choke a little bit so I’m assuming she has some acid reflux going on.

Our new bedtime “routine” is this: Nurse her to sleepiness around 9 or 10 pm. Place her in the car seat we bought off craigslist when Charlotte was born that we just use around the house and carry the baby in. Spend 10 – 60 minutes rocking the car seat, stuffing the pacifier back in her mouth, placing our hand on her chest, and shhh-ing until she falls asleep. When she wakes up hours later, she will come into bed with us to nurse and then fall asleep on my arm facing me until morning. So far this has worked three nights. It didn’t work at all last night, though, so maybe that means we need a new routine already. Ha! Sounds about right for life with a young infant.

Last night she needed to sleep with me the whole night. And it really is the sweetest thing in the world waking up to this face snoozing away right next to yours.

CaroFingerSleeper

(This pic is a few weeks old already; the pre-bald spot days.)

What’s not the sweetest thing: waking up to that snoozing face seventeen times every four hours. Once or twice would really do the trick.

As I’ve been writing this, Caroline has been fighting sleep in her car seat while I’ve been using my foot to rock it back and forth,back and forth, back and forth. I’ve looked down to catch her smiling at the window one moment and on the verge of tears the next. 

Charlotte has been in the room with us playing with her dinosaurs, cars, and racetrack. She is doing her best not to crash them right next to Caroline, jolting her out of her sleepy haze for the hundredth time, and I’ve been doing my best to be patient with Charlotte and remember that all this is an adjustment for her, too. 

Finally, Caroline is sleeping , and I can devote all my focus to giving Charlotte a bath and getting her ready for her own nap. We are all getting the hang of being a family of four, slowly but surely. 

 

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