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Anastasia's first year (2005)

Eating & Reflux (year 2, 2006)

Back to Sleep! (2007)

And Zane, Too (2008)

Allergies & Getting Big (2009)

Starting School (2010)

It's All Good (2011)

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June 2009


June 3, 2009

Today, Zane slept through his daddy's lunchtime visit. When I got him out of his crib about ten minutes after hubby left, he said, "Wha Dada?"

I kid you not.

He says "Hi, Dada" quite a bit, and for the past two days, he's been talking with his mouth shut, just like Anastasia used to do. Yesterday, when grandma was visiting, it sounded like he was saying (with his mouth shut), "gran'ma."

"Okay, Mom. I'm smiling!"

This all brings up funny memories for us. Anastasia's first word was "gran'pa." Then, shortly after wowing us with that and a few other words, she starting talking with her mouth closed and never said any other word but "button" until her second birthday. (And how did we get her to speak on her second birthday? We sat her down and told her she had to talk when she turned two. So she said, "What's that?" on the day of her birthday, then stopped talking again. So we told her she had to talk every day from now on...and she did! Her Early Intervention worker was so blown away, she shared that story at a convention. The speech therapists all thought she was pulling their leg.)

"I'm just trying to make Zane smile, Mommy!"

Anastasia's potty training is still going well. She still has accidents, and never asks to use the potty, but most of the time she pees on the toilet. She's only had one other BM since having one on the potty. It was in the middle of the night, in her diaper. I wonder if she'd been holding it in, not wanting to use the potty, because she never poops after she goes to bed...


June 6, 2009

Anastasia is regressing on her potty training. Two days in a row she used the potty every time...then everything fell apart and I was lucky to get her to go on the toilet once a day. It was clear she just didn't want to bother. She even pooped in her Pull Ups again. So yesterday, I put her in panties. She knew exactly what I was up to and refused to put them on until I threatened discipline. Then she peed in her pants twice, apologized, and used the potty the next time.

I'm putting her in panties again today. We'll see how it goes. (I never would have used Pull Ups in the first place, except that she requested them.)

Yes. She is 3 1/2 and he is not quite 8 months...

Zane continues to shock us. Yesterday he said, "I luh Dada." And when Anastasia was crying (because it was nap time and she didn't want to lie down), he looked at her and cried, "Ana!"


June 7, 2009

Zane used his high chair for the first time this morning. As his daddy lifted him into it, his whole body wiggled in excitement. But once he was sitting in it, he sobered. He almost seemed afraid he was going to fall. Or maybe he expected it to do something. At least he enjoyed his high chair toy.

I offered him some of those melt-in-your-mouth puff treat things for babies, and while he didn't choke on them, he seemed perplexed I'd put them in his mouth. He didn't really get that he was supposed to pick them up and eat them. No matter, he ate his solids happily in his high chair...then refused to drink his bottle in it. (He fussed until I put him in his bouncy seat, then gulped down his bottle.)

I don't think I've mentioned that Zane is now rolling everywhere. He rolls all around the living room, dining room, and kitchen, playing with various toys. His favorites are Miss A.'s "Little People" things.

I still have all of Anastasia's old board books, too, and he enjoys them, but a few weeks ago I bought him a "touch and feel" book about tractors. His whole body wiggled and it is still  -  by far - his favorite book.

Zane's still talking, too. This morning, when hubby got him out of his crib (so I could try to sleep in), the babe reportedly looked all around and then said, "Wha Mama?" Later, while he was sitting beside me, he said, "I luh you." I almost didn't believe my ears, but later he said it to my hubby, too.

It's a good thing he's a big boy, because it would be sort of freaky to see a typical not-quite-8-month-old talking like this.

Anastasia's pretty excited about his speaking abilities, too, and they are beginning to genuinely play together. They do a sort of extremely gentle wrestling that makes them both giggle up a storm...I love it!

Miss A. wore panties all day yesterday and never had an accident, so I'm hopeful this is the new trend. She's so strong willed! The other day, Zane got over tired, and when I placed him in his crib for a nap, he cried a lot. Anastasia kept saying she wanted to go comfort him. I explained he was tired and needed to be left alone, even though it was hard to hear him cry. She said, "No, Mommy. He needs me to play with him," and began heading for his door. "I am the mommy!" I said. I never imagined I'd have to remind my child of this!


June 14, 2009

I've come to the conclusion that what I'm trying to do is crazy. Taking care of two kids virtually on my own, keeping house (sort of), working at home, being a wife...How can one person possibly do it all? And yet, I have no choice; I have to do it all.

I'm exhausted. All the time.

The good news is, Anastasia's potty training is going well. She's in panties unless she's in bed, and she's been using the potty consistently. Oh sure, she still has an accident every couple of days, where she doesn't quite make it to the potty - but she always apologizes. And yeah, I usually have to catch her about to have a BM and take her hand and lead her to the bathroom, but once she's on the toilet, she stays there. I'm thrilled!

I think it helps that she's off Miralax. She's had short runs without the drug before, and I always hope she'll never need it again, but we've always ended up going back to it. However, it makes it difficult, I think, to get to the potty in time.

Zane is doing great, too. His eating (and growing) has slowed down a bit, but I still haven't found a food he won't eat. He now eats all the typical baby food vegetables and fruits, oatmeal, rice cereal, and yogurt. However, he still usually refuses to drink his bottle in his high chair :)

I'm teaching him to say "bottle" (or, as it comes out of his mouth "baba") when he's hungry. Yes, lI'm iterally teaching him. When he cries and I think he might want food, I say, "Zane, you need to learn to tell me when you're hungry. Just say 'bottle,' and I'll know you're hungry and not sleepy." After two days of saying this, he's now begun to say "baba" when he's hungry. He's excited to communicate, and I'm thankful for any little thing that makes the day pass more easily.


June 17, 2009

Have I mentioned I resolved Zane's constipation problem? He was having super-hard poops and even adding prune juice to his bottles didn't help much. I noticed the problem seemed to begin when we started buying the Walmart brand of Gentlease formula for him. So I switched back to the Target version of the formula (which, incidentally, is now cheaper than the Walmart brand) and the problem disappeared. I'm sure he's glad :)

Speaking of poop, Anastasia continues to do well with her potty training. I think I see another trip to Chuck E. Cheese in our near future. She's been without an accident for four days in a row, and yesterday she even sat on the potty and went poop of her own accord. I'm still putting her in Pull Ups at night and at nap time, but she's been waking up dry. Yipee!

And now, for your amusement, two quick Anastasia-isms:

* As I was tucking her in a few nights ago: "Mommy, if Zane grows up big and strong, maybe I can marry him someday." (She's becoming fixated with getting married so she can have a baby...)


* Yesterday, at Anastasia's request, we made chocolate chip cookies. She's still not much help in the kitchen, but I let her pour the ingredients in the bowl and try to stir them. The whole time she was saying, "I don't mind eating hot cookies, Mommy. I don't mind at all." When I told her it was close to dinner time and she could have cookies for dessert, after she ate her healthy food, she said, "With my healthy food, Mommy."

Well, as the cookies cooled on a rack (which is just barely above her eye level), I guess she couldn't resist any long. I suddenly heard her say, "I'm going to eat this cookie all up!" (She can't bear not to talk about every detail in her life, you know.) I turned around and said, "Anastasia!"

She paused for a moment, realizing she'd given herself away, and ran into her room saying, "I'm pretend! I'm pretend!"

Trying not to laugh, I followed her in. She was sitting on her bed devouring her cookie as quickly as she could. "I can't let you get away with disobeying," I said. "What should be your punishment?" She thought a moment, gulped down a bite of cookie, and said, "You can't see my bottom."

I gave her a short time out and disappeared into another room so I could laugh.


June 22, 2009

I'm recovering from what I think is food poisoning, but I wanted to share a few photos of Anastasia on Father's Day. She was so excited to wish her daddy a good Father's Day and give him a picture she drew just for him. She even managed to keep his present a secret until she gave it to him. Then we were finally able see her young cousins, whom she hasn't seen since Christmas because they've been sick so often. She did a terrific job using the potty away from home, too. (Although she tried to poop, she couldn't seem to do it on grandma's toilet. Perhaps because I had to hold her so she wouldn't fall in :) So she used our potty as soon as we got home.)

A major highlight was having the chance to go down to grandpa's barn for the first time. She spotted his backhoe right away, and I suggested she ask her daddy for a ride, since just the day before she'd been saying she wanted to drive a backhoe (and a semi truck, and a lot of other heavy trucks and equipment) when she grew up. At that moment, Miss A. didn't think she wanted to ride in it, but my hubby scooped her up and gave her a ride anyway. She loved it so much, Grandpa gave her a ride in it a little later on. She even steered some and used the controls. She grinned almost the entire time.


Oh, and as an aside: As soon as I feel well again, I've got to go buy my 8 month old baby some 2T clothes. He's literally bursting out of his 18 month clothes. Zane is still little on the inside, but he's certainly not on the outside!


June 24, 2009

One of Anastasia's favorite things right now is reading on the potty. Well, a few days ago, I overheard her "reading" to herself in the bathroom:

"And the leper asked Jesus, 'Will you heal me?' And Jesus said to the leper, 'Yes, I will!'...But he's not really a leper. He's really a man."

After laughing out loud, I invaded Miss A.'s privacy to explain the difference between a leopard and a leper. (I thought I'd already explained what a leper was, but...)


June 25, 2009

Zane (8 months), wearing his first 2T clothes, laying next to Anastasia (4 in August).


June 26, 2009

You might think parents of preemies are naturally supportive of each other. Oddly, this often isn't the case.

Recently, I had an online conversation with another mom of a preemie born around the same time as Anastasia. She wasn't rude or inappropriate in the least, but our conversation did make me think about the strange cliques we tend to create.

Anastasia in her warming bed, in August 2005.

Most of the parents of preemies who email me through this website have just had their baby. They are scared out of their minds and want encouragement, advice, and hope. Over time, however, they stop writing.

I also belong to several groups of parents of preemies. Even back when Anastasia was in the NICU, I noticed parents of older preemies were either ignored or rudely shooed away. Yes, their experiences with prematurity were usually different, but parents of younger preemies tended to behave as though they weren't valid.

Now I notice many moms I used to type at have pulled away from me. Their children are still struggling with issues related to their prematurity, while Anastasia seems to thrive. (In truth, she does still have preemie-related issues, but they are mild compared to what some extreme preemies experience.)

A blogger and mom of a former preemie recently announced he was shutting down her blog because she was depressed about prematurity. She said it seemed more and more preemies were being born, and more were struggling with medical problems because of it.  I found this fascinating, because statistics say numbers are going down, and that more extreme preemies are thriving once they get past several years of "catching up." (And yes, it does usually take more than the two years pediatricians tell parents.)

I suppose it's human nature to cling to others who've gone through similar experiences as you, and to discount those who "haven't struggled as much." Sadly, not only does this leave certain parents of preemies out in the cold, without the support they should get from other parents, but it breeds an environment of despair. If the only preemies you're aware of are constantly struggling with developmental and medical issues, why wouldn't you believe the situation is dire? That prematurity only has terrible after-effects?

If you're a parent of a preemie, I encourage you to think on this issue. Reach out to other parents of preemies. Be open to hearing miracle stories, stories of hope, stories that yes, may initially leave you feeling your child is left behind, but in the long run will give you strength, encouragement, and hope that things can get better.

Because without hope, what is there?


June 28, 2009

We took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese again today. Early last week, Miss A. met her goal of going on the potty every time for a week. She had a blast and stayed dry even though we were out of the house most of the day. She finds it fascinating that "everyplace" has a potty. :)

There's not much news with Zane. He's still not sitting up...we think because he doesn't want to. He's strong, though. If he has something in his hand and doesn't want you to take it away, you can't (without risking hurting him). He's not talking much at all right now, but he is getting new teeth, and growing a lot.

A few days back, I bought Miss A. some pants and laughed because they are 3Ts and plenty big, while Zane fits just right in his 2Ts. I joke that by his first birthday, Zane will be as tall as Anastasia.


Anastasia was trying to hold Zane up so I could take a photo of them both, but she couldn't keep him from rolling over onto his tummy.