April 28, 2016

Update: Seanin and Rhema

Our babies are changing so fast these days! I'm overwhelmed by a flood of adorability...

This is one cute, chunky li'l dude. We aren't sure where the bulk comes from, since it seems he barely eats enough molecules to fuel his happy self, but the boy is a tank, especially compared to Rhema the Lightweight. He really wants to wear underpants and is agreeable about going potty, even telling me he needs to go #1, but so far we have had only a couple of random poo successes. He will wear any underwear he can find, so I had to hide Lucan and Zaden's briefs to emphasize to Seanin that until he poos in the potty, undies are off limits! (I cleaned up quite enough poo messes in his bedroom already, thankyouverymuch, so while in theory it might work to put him in big-boy underwear, I refuse until he produces consistently IN the potty.) He is independent enough that I hope this training phase will be over sooner rather than later! He prefers to dress himself, providing us with endless amusement at his fashion choices, and since he changes clothes multiple times a day, we are often treated to a variety of looks.

Seanin loves coloring at the table while I do schoolwork with Lucan (and sometimes Zaden), although he often patters away to find his big brothers Tobin and Arden, distracting the big boys by wanting them to play with him (they usually oblige willingly). He thrives on attention (no surprise there) and is well on his way to earning his Spoiled Youngest Brother stripes. He feels things deeply--crocodile-tears deeply--and he isn't terribly discriminatory about who holds and comforts/cuddles him. As his mama, it's both gratifying and a bit smothering that one of his phrases when he is feeling distressed is, "Mommy, I need you! Sob, sob!" His verbal skills have exploded recently. I wish I could capture all of the fun little phrases and pronunciations of this phase. One that is unique to him is running words together when he is asking for something. I believe he tries to say, "Oh, could I please ____," but it comes out, "Oh-ki-pease ____."

He sucks his thumb when he's tired and asks to be put down for his nap every day after lunch. (We seriously hit the Nap Jackpot with this child.) Once laid in his crib, he pops his thumb in his mouth and strokes the silky tag on the snap-on crib sheet. Then he has to have about 19 blankets piled on him, tells the person putting him down (usually me but sometimes Charis) "I love you," and all is quiet for 3 hours. (Thank you, God!! You knew I'd need that bit of a sanity saver!)

Having hit 9 months now, our petitey-sweetie is a bit over 16 pounds, 27 inches. She started crawling almost a month ago, so we are having to be extra cautious now. I've slowly worked her into playpen time; she was a screaming mess the first few times I left her in her room in the playpen with toys, but now she fusses a minute or so after I close the door, then settles in and plays happily usually at least half an hour, which is enough time to get some table work done with Lucan and maybe Kenna. Then we (the youngest 5 plus myself) go up to the attic play room, move the trunk so that it blocks the stairs, verify there are no little anythings she could choke on, and do our core reading while Rhema and Seanin play. It's a routine that has worked fairly well, allowing me to keep an eye on her in a safe place. The only problem is when Zaden and Seanin fight over toys. Sigh.

We are finally in a more or less predictable routine with Rhema. Her sleeping-through-the-night skills have been hit and miss. It seemed she was finally getting to a consistent pattern when she learned to sit herself up...ever after that, she would wake, sit up, and cry, cry, cry until I nursed her and put her back to sleep. She simply WOULD NOT lie back down on her own. I don't even want to say it out loud, but the last 5 nights she has slept until the 4-5am time frame, and after nursing she sleeps another 3-4 hours. Since Ted's alarm goes off at 5, this has actually felt like sleeping through the night for us!! I can only hope and pray that this will be consistent! During the day she is awake about 2.5-3 hours, then naps maybe 1.5-2 hours. So I can count on a good morning nap and a good afternoon nap...unfortunately, at this time, that afternoon nap doesn't really overlap Seanin's nap much if any. Similar to Seanin's sucking his thumb when he's tired, Rhema has started sucking the first two fingers on her right hand when she's ready to sleep!

Rhema is eating well and seems to be enjoying new finger food opportunities (latest favorite: Daddy's pancakes). She moves her hands constantly, and it cracks us up how she uses her first two fingers to rake her food toward her. (Ted calls it "Grabby Sloth" fingers!) Her whole little self bursts with joy when a family member gives her attention; her legs kick, kick, kick, and her whole face lights up. Kenna especially loves to carry her around and hold her and also enjoys spoon-feeding her, which is a huge help. (It so reminds me of Charis with baby Lucan!) But there is no lack of willing volunteers when she wakes from her nap and I ask someone to go get her for me!

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