Saturday, May 31, 2014

He CAN!!!

Pepper is not an athlete. I doubt he ever will be. He has always been very thin, has poor muscle tone, poor coordination, and a greater-than-normal fear of getting hurt. We got him his first bike when he was four. He jumped on it and was instsntly paralyzed by fear. The training wheels weren't firmly on the ground, and the slight wobble of the bike terrified Pepper. That bike stayed brand new in our garage until we adopted the girls, and then Sunny was more than happy to terrorize the neighborhood on it.

That bike birthday was four years ago now, and we haven't been able to coax Pepper onto a bike, even one with training wheels. He has tried a few times, but hasn't been able to get himself to even try to ride. He has burst into tears every time.

Fast forward to today. Pepper now has three seasons of cross country running experience. He has an official diagnosis of joint hyperlaxity (loose joints). We know that he has ADHD which makes him more emotionally volatile. He also has a year of karate under his belt (ha ha ha). These sporting activities, combined with a better understanding of his body and emotional functioning, have strengthened Pepper in every area of his life. I don't know what made him get his bike out today, but he did. He asked Matt to help him learn to ride. So Matt did the Daddy thing and spent an hour running alongside the bike.

The afternoon was not without frustration. It was not without tears and wailing. It was not without outbursts of anger ("My dumb legs just can't understand what to do!"). But it also was not without success. All it took was independently riding about 50 feet with Daddy running behind, and Pepper finally gained the confidence he needed. He did it! He rode his 2-wheeler with no training wheels! I held true to the promise I made him three years ago: When you ride your bike with no training wheels, I will buy you ice cream. Right after Pepper rode that beautiful stretch, I grabbed his hand and marched him across the street to the gas station, where he chose a Jolly Rancher push-up popsicle. Once the popsicle was gone, he went back outside to help Daddy do maintenance on the girls' bikes. A few minutes later, Matt noticed that Pepper was gone. He looked up, and there was Pepper, riding his bike down the sidewalk ALL BY HIMSELF! He came running inside, screaming with delight, to tell me what he had done! He proceeded to babble on and on about how much he loves riding a bike, and all the fun he's going to have now that he doesn't have to be afraid of the bike anymore.

So today I jump for joy and burst with pride and the accomplishment of my timid, scrawny, adorable son. This was a huge victory--and a major milestone--for him. I am so very proud of this boy!

Monday, May 19, 2014

One Month

You blink and it is gone! Time is so fleeting when you have a baby. Little Sweet Pea is now one month old.

At one month:
  • 7 pounds, 8 ounces
  • Wears size Newborn diapers
  • Wears size Newborn clothes
  • She's still a little peanut!
  • We're breastfeeding, and it's going great! I don't have an overabundance of milk this time (with my last pregnancy I could have fed 3 babies...), but I have enough for Sweet Pea.
  • She eats every 3 hours during the day.
  • One feeding takes 20-30 minutes.
  • Her last feeding of the day is at 10:30 p.m. 
  • She pretty consistently sleeps from 11:00-3:30, and then again from 4:00-8:00.
  • Yes, I'm blessed with a great sleeper!
  • She's not on a consistent nap schedule, and that's entirely my fault.
  • I've dealt with a hefty dose of the baby blues, and I haven't wanted to put her down. At all.
  • She sleeps most of the morning in my arms or in the Moby wrap. I'm not complaining!
  • She naps again in the afternoon, and in the early evening.
  • She has nice, long periods of being awake.
  • This baby is very interested in what's going on around her. She is always wide-eyed and alert.
  • She smiled for the first time at 10 days old. We've seen many smiles since then, but they have been isolated...usually just one smile, and then she can't seem to figure out how to do it again.
  • Yesterday she smiled at her Daddy. Over, and over, and over. And she smiled at me several times. The smiles are coming more easily.
  • Sweet Pea prefers Mommy to all others, though she's pretty comfortable with Daddy, too.
  • She is the most expressive for Daddy. Her whole body gets excited when he holds her. She arches her back, stretches out her arms, wiggles, and gets very intently focused on him.
  • She turns her head to the sound of his voice every time she hears him.
  • I've had to ban him from talking close to me when I'm nursing Sweet's tough on the Momma!
  • Sweet Pea is not too sure about her siblings. I took some photos of the kids holding her a few days ago. The only one she was comfortable with was Snapper. She was very relaxed in Snapper's arms, and was willing to stay there for a long time. She got very antsy and fussy when the other kids tried to hold her.
  • She has the sweetest disposition! She's such a content baby. As I type, she's asleep on my chest. When she wakes up, she'll just relax on my lap.
  • She enjoys being in her swing, and often naps there.
  • She likes her play mat, too. She generally likes being on her back.
  • Bath time is her favorite! She has a mesh bath seat that she loves to sit in while I pour warm water over her. 
  • She's a pacifier baby. We knew the day she was born that she had a strong sucking reflex. She loves her paci.
  • She does not like being in the car if it involves sitting at stoplights. She is fine when the car is moving, but she screams when we stop. This is the only thing she screams about.
  • She also does not like being cold. She doesn't scream, but she does fuss. I have a light blanket that goes everywhere with us.
  • She doesn't like having a poopy diaper, either. She lets us know when she needs a change.
  • We are blessed with a healthy, happy baby. Yes, so blessed! How I adore her!
Here are some favorite photos from her first month. As a reminder--I don't post pics of Bubbles, Piper, and Sunny for safety reasons. I have wonderful photos of them, too, that I wish I could share safely.