Friday, May 18, 2012

Two months old and other odds and ends

My little Louisa is two months old.  I can't believe how quickly the time goes by.  Her personality is coming out more.  She likes to laugh and smile.  She has one little dimple and she shows it off when she is happy.  Her most pleasant times are mid morning and late at night.  She likes to look in the mirror and often finds herself smiling at the pretty little girl who is smiling back at her.  She loves to be outside.  Good thing too because we spent a fair amount of time outside watching her brothers play soccer.  She especially likes to be packed around in her baby bjorn.  We frequently walk to Porter's school to walk home with him and she makes the trek in her baby bjorn.  She much prefers it to the stroller.  We also take walks almost daily.  Being outside can calm her down pretty quickly when she is upset.  She has also decided to like bath time.  I was worried because she didn't like them at first but now they are her favorite thing.  She has been learning to drink bottles (more about that in a minute) and the only way I could get her to drink them at first was if she was laying in the bath.  Finally, she likes singing.  Even with my limited skills, she loves me to sing to her.  She likes primary songs, songs from kindermusik, and songs from the musical Into the Woods.  I think she tries to sing along with me sometimes because she coos a lot during the songs.  She doesn't really like the radio though.  She is also my wiggliest child.  Dallin and Porter were both movers, Dallin especially, but Louisa even moves around a lot in her sleep.  She may end up being a sleep walker or something.  Because she is so wiggly, she isn't really much of a snuggler.  She certainly likes to be held, but she doesn't like to be held up against your shoulder or anything.  She prefers to be held facing outward while you walk around with her.  She also doesn't like to be held in her sleep.  She needs her space to wiggle around.

Louisa also has shown quite a stubborn streak. As I mentioned above, she is learning to eat from bottles. Even though it is the same milk she gets otherwise (because her bottles are just pumped milk, she has decided to hate formula), she won't drink the bottles without a fight. We have spent several days of almost non-stop crying while we offer her bottles every ten minutes or so. After an average of 2 hours of fighting, she will finally take the bottle but will only settle down for a short time. I hope this will get easier for her. I hate to think of her crying all day when I go back to work. She also doesn't seem to like to have anyone but me hold her.  I think I understand the meaning of saying you are being cruel to be kind.  I hate listening to her scream when we are trying to give her a bottle or when Joe is holding her (he is perfectly nice to her and even tries to hold her the same ways I do) and I just want to take her and give her what she wants but I know it is kinder to help her learn to take bottles now and to spend some time with her dad.

She is such a particular little girl, she reminds me a lot of Porter when he was a baby.  Porter was also kind of high strung and like things a certain way or it would upset him.   He also didn't like bottles and it was a big struggle to keep him to eat when I wasn't home. Both kids also hated to ride in the car, made very sad faces, and panic when someone other than me is going to hold them (it is kind of funny to see the face Louisa makes whenever Dallin goes to pick her up. Dallin always had this fake-looking smile when he didn't want anyone near him instead of a terrorized face).  It is also interesting to me that I suffered from post-partum depression with Porter and Louisa and not with Dallin.  I'm sure it is just coincidence but I wonder if my feelings rubbed off on them a little or the other way around.  My favorite similarity between Porter and Louisa though is that they both liked to "talk" to me.  I remember coming home from work when Porter was a baby and getting ready to feed him.  Even if he was very hungry, he would babble at me for a few minutes before he could eat.  I think he wanted to tell me about his day.  Louisa and I haven't spent much time apart yet but the times she has spent some time with Joe or when someone else was holding her and I take her back to eat, she does the same thing; she babbles at me for a little bit of time before she can eat.

On a wholly different note, being home has allowed me to spend a lot of time with Dallin.  He can be a very sweet little boy.  He really likes to be helpful and always wants something to do.  He loves his little sister and tries to take care of her.  He picks her up when she is crying, sings her songs, smiles at her and gives us reports on everything she is doing.  Dallin also seems to be struggling with things changing.  Dallin gets bored easily and is fairly needy.  He isn't very good at thinking of things to do by himself.  If I can't play with him and he can't find a friend to play with him, he is lost.  He was sleeping in a lot and lounging around in his pajamas, watching t.v. when I was first home.  He is getting better but he still seems to need a lot of attention.  He also has been acting extra naughty lately (though he has always felt inclined toward troublesome behavior). 

He has been sneaking off to play with friends and is getting worse and worse about it.  At least once a week, I have to send him to his room, take away his bike and scooter, and give him a lecture about going places without telling me.  I usually can find him after making a couple of calls or walking to a couple of neighbors' houses, but a couple of times he has had me worried.  He also lies as part of his wandering.  The first time I lost him, I had to drive around the neighborhood looking for him.  I looked for his bike and couldn't see it.  I knocked on a couple of doors and couldn't find him.  Finally, I tried his friend who is a girl.  He was at her house and had put his car in the garage.  He had also told her mom that I knew where he was and had permission to go to her house.  The next time, I knew where he had gone but had told him he couldn't leave because he had croup.  He ignored me and rode off on his bike.  I called the house where I knew he was headed and told the mom that Dallin was sick and should just be sent home.  When he got there, the mom told Dallin I had called and said he was too sick to play.  He accused me of lying and tried to persuade her that he could come in.  When he finally relented and came home, he denied having gone to anyone's house.  Yesterday, he and Porter were grounded from playing with friends because they had broken a bunch of the sprinkler heads in the yard.  Dallin decided that he didn't want to abide by that punishment.  He and I were going to go for a walk and I went inside to look for my keys.  I told him he could ride his scooter around the empty field by our house while I was inside.  I came out with Louisa and Dallin was gone.  Louisa and I walked around to his usual places and couldn't find him.  We got in the car then and drove around the neighborhood some more and branched out to looking at the skate park and Porter's school.  After about 1/2 hour of looking, I was starting to panic.  Finally, I saw him leaving another neighbor's house on his scooter with a friend.  I stopped them and got Dallin into the car.  I went to talk to the friend's mom and Dallin had told her that I had taken Louisa to the store, that Joe was on a bike ride, and that I told him to go to her house to be babysat (what does that say about me as a parent that she believed him?).  I asked him why he said that and he said that he wanted to play with his friend and didn't want his friend's mom to call me (knowing that he wasn't supposed to be playing with friends).  I sent him to his room, after giving him a ramped up version of the no-lying-no-sneaking-off-speech.  Dallin hid under his bed crying.  I thought maybe I had gotten through to him and went to talk to him.  It turns out that he was worried that I would tell Joe who might then refuse to take him swimming that night.  He felt no actual remorse or anything.  Ugh.  I don't really know what to do with him.  I can only hope that this is similar to the phase that Porter went through when he was 5 that also involved lying and other naughtiness and that Dallin will grow out of it eventually (as Porter sort of has done).

There has also been a beetle update from Dallin.  He was playing in a nearby cul de sac with some friends a couple of weeks ago.  I went to go find him and Porter to bring them home for dinner.  When I got there, Dallin showed me that the poisonous beetle was also wandering around the cul de sac.  He warned me to stay away and showed me how he had been riding his bike on the other side of the street to be safe.  He then admonished me not to squish the beetle though because it was "part of nature and we shouldn't kill things in nature."
Here are some pictures of our recent goings on.
This is Porter getting his medal at the Bee-A-Reader assembly at school.  I think his class got the most medals in the school (unfortunately I didn't hear or see everything that happened because right after this picture, Louisa pooped all over her and me.  After I finished cleaning her up and trying to clean me up, Dallin had to go to the bathroom urgently.  By the time he was done, the assembly was over).
This is Louisa in her Bumbo, at first she couldn't really hold her head up in it.
She learned to sit up better and enjoyed watching me pull weeds in the yard
Unfortunately, she soon discovered that weed-pulling was a longer process than she anticipated and no one had held her for several minutes.  She screamed like this until I picked her up and promised that I wouldn't do any more yard work.  I couldn't resist taking a picture though. 
Porter and Dallin played soccer again this spring.  Porter likes this picture because he looks like he is floating.  Stellar mom that I am, I got this picture of him right before he scored his team's first goal of the season.  Unfortunately, this was the only game his team scored in

Dallin also likes soccer, but seems to spend a lot of time biting his thumbnail while he is supposed to be playing.
Sometimes he really steps up and plays though.  This picture is also right before he scored his team's first goal of the season.  It is also his team's last game.
This is me on Mother's Day, now the mother of three.  Porter made me a book of different facial expressions.  Dallin got me some candy.  All of them got me a Coke.
Here's Louisa at exactly 2 months old, sort of smiling
This is her about twenty minutes later, after her diaper leaked onto her yellow dress and she had an outfit change.  This picture really shows off her wiggling.
Here she is, enduring her tummy play time

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This is Louisa Della. She was born on March 15 at 8:31 am. My little Montague boys have a sister now and we all feel lucky that she came to our family.
I had a planned c-section. It went pretty well, though it wasn't as easy as Dallin's c-section. I had a small panic attack before they started and Joe and the nurses tried their best to calm me. I did hear the nurses ask the anesthesiologist to give me something for anxiety though. He said there was nothing he could do until the baby was out. After she was out, he offered me something that would make me forget what had happened. By then, I was feeling less panicked though. I'm not sure why, but she was a bit stuck inside and had to be vaccumed out. She looked a little beat up afterward. She was still cute though. As the doctor took her out, she said, "oh she has the cutest little double chin and chubby cheeks." I asked about her hair color and they said she didn't have much but it looked like it was a reddish blonde. She was our biggest baby, weighing in at 8lbs, 6 oz.
After the surgery, I was pretty sick. I threw up for hours and had another small panic attack as the medicine was wearing off. For the first time, the hospital sent the baby with me out of the delivery room. When Porter and Dallin were born, they were taken somewhere for a couple of hours after they were born. I think Porter wasn't keeping his body temperature up so he had to go to the NICU briefly. I'm not sure where Dallin went. Anyway, Louisa was the first baby that I had with me right after she was born. I was too sick to take care of her so she and Joe shared some quality snuggling time. I think she remembered that time because she clearly preferred Joe for several days after she was born.
Louisa didn't have a name until the day that she left the hospital. I liked the name Louisa (after Louisa May Alcott) but I wasn't sure that Joe did. Also, we didn't know for sure what her middle name would be. Finally, Joe agreed that Louisa was a good name. I told him he could pick her middle name but didn't want the responsibility. I made a list of possible middle names and Porter and Dallin picked. Her middle name, Della, was Joe's grandma's name. Also, my dad's middle name was Dell, so it works for both sides of the family. We accidentally took the birth certificate papers home from the hospital though and Joe had to drive them back a couple of days later.
We have been getting used to having a baby around again. She likes to be held all the time. It is only in the last couple of days that she has been able to sleep without being held. I have healed up well but am still trying to figure out how to work around a baby. I feel lucky if I take a shower most days. Porter goes to school, so at least he has something to do, but I can't hardly get Dallin to do anything but sit around in his underwear watching tv. Joe's mom came to stay with us for about a week after Louisa was born. It was nice to have some extra help.
you can't really tell from the picture, but this is her at 2:00am. She still likes to be awake for several hours in the middle of the night. She is getting better but I can usually count on a two-hour stretch of wakefulness sometime between 1:00 and 4:00am. She spends most of that time eating. I call her piglet because she is always hungry. I have to give her bottles sometimes (though she doesn't like them very well and is very picky about the temperature of them) because she will eat for an hour straight and still be hungry.
She is very well loved though. There is no shortage of people to hold her. Sadly, right after she was born, Joe's grandpa died. He was a good man and had lived a full life but it was still sad to see him go. Joe's family all came into town for the funeral. Louisa and I didn't attend the funeral but Porter and Dallin went with Joe. Here is Louisa with Porter, Dallin, and their cousin Michayla. While here, Michayla gave us all some good news. She is going to be a big sister. Louisa won't be the youngest cousin for long (on either side, since my sister Ashley is also expecting a baby)
I just love this sweet little girl. I can't believe how fortunate we are that Heavenly Father sent her to our family. She charmed everyone at the hospital with how good-natured she was. She still seems to have a very sweet personality. She can sit very quietly and just look around. She likes to look at the living room lamp. She can also be very wiggly too. She is our wiggliest baby. Even in her sleep, some part of her is moving. She even wakes herself up with the wiggling. I think she must have interesting dreams because she makes a lot faces while she is asleep. She does have a bit of a temper though. If she isn't fed as soon as she is hungry, she starts to scream and doesn't relent. It has made for some unpleasant car rides. I have a feeling that Porter and Dallin are going to be subject to some severe scoldings as she gets older. It is a good thing that they are so in love with her and think everything she does is funny or adorable. They both want to hold her all the time and have tried to convince me to let her sleep with them.

Here are the kids, dressed up in their Easter clothes. As you can see, Louisa was hungry so she was mad for the pictures.
Here she is at one month old. Because of her piglet-y ways, she is growing so fast. She already looks so much older than the baby I gave birth too. She has the cutest little half smile that you can kind of see in this pictures. She seems to smile in response to being told that she is pretty (which she is). I think she looks a lot like Dallin. In fact, she looked so much like him when she was born, I kept accidentally calling her Dallin in the hospital. Her eyes look like the same color blue, her hair is the same color as Dallin's. She even has the same funny hairline that Dallin had. As she gets bigger, I can see a little of Porter in her too though. I think she may have the same nose as Porter.
Welcome to our family Louisa. We have looked forward to your arrival for a long time and you are everything we hoped you be.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Porter is 7

On Saturday, Porter turned 7. As it so happens, he also lost his 7th tooth that night and has been referring to it as his "birthday tooth."

Porter is my practical and logical child. We often call him "practical Porter." Whenever Dallin is telling some fantastical story or coming up with some hair-brained scheme, Porter usually explains to him (not so patiently) why his ideas are wrong. A couple of days ago, Dallin was saying that he wanted to buy a toy for himself. Porter said, "Dallin, you don't need to spend your own money, you just need to ask Santa and then it will be free." Dallin, who can't wait for anything kept insisting that he wanted to spend his own money to have the toy now and Porter kept telling him that he was being ridiculous, because if he asked Santa, then he would have the toy and all of his money. (Porter is full of advice and edicts for Dallin but Dallin usually doesn't appreciate Porter's wisdom). This morning, Porter had put his birthday tooth and one other recent loss under his pillow (well, not actually under his pillow. He put them under his body so he would feel if anyone tried to remove them. It was quite a hassle for the tooth fairy to try to figure out where those teeth were). The tooth fairy left him a note telling him that she was leaving an extra dollar for the birthday tooth. Porter was sure that it was from me because (1) I also have a red pen, (2) we have a small notebook with paper the same size that the tooth fairy used, and (3) the writing was pretty nice like mine.

Porter is also very shy. He is trying to be braver and I have noticed that when he is just among his peers, he can be fairly outgoing. Even members of his family don't realize that he can have extended conversations about things because he doesn't like to talk too much in front of people or even look people in the eye. When we went to visit Santa at the mall, Dallin talked his ear off, while Porter looked away, rubbing the fur on Santa's coat and just whispered what he wanted. As part of his shyness, Porter likes to keep secrets. There are lots of things that he tells me that he makes me promise not to tell Dad or Dallin.

Porter likes to be funny. He has been reading joke books and likes to tell us jokes all the time. For Halloween, he had a hard time deciding what he wanted to be because he thought he should be something funny, like a giant banana or a whoopie cushion because he is such a funny guy. I think when he is alone with his friends, he tries to be comedian of the bunch.

Porter also likes to save things. It is hard for him to make decisions about which toy to buy, which shirt to wear, etc. because he likes everything and wants to keep things around him. He saves his teeth instead of putting them under the pillow because he likes to play with them and show them off. He wouldn't put this most recent batch under his pillow until I had taken a picture of them so that he could remember them. When he lost the previous two teeth, he wanted to take them to school so that (1) he could show them to his friends and (2) he could pretend he lost them at school and get one of the tooth-holder necklaces that they give out at school to kids who lose their teeth at school. Unfortunately, both teeth got lost while they were being shown off (though one survived long enough to get the necklace) and he couldn't put them under his pillow.

Porter is also our little athlete. He likes to run, play soccer, and now play basketball. He also was pretty good at gymnastics but doesn't want to do it right now. I am going to try to coax him into taking it a little longer though. He also likes to swim but doesn't know how to very well. Since, Breann moved and hasn't been around to give them lessons anymore, I haven't found any swimming lessons for them. I will be more diligent this spring and summer though because Porter really wants to swim all the time.

Finally, Porter really likes to draw. He gets nervous about getting his pictures just right, so he likes to trace things whenever possible but we also make original art pieces. We signed him up for an art class this fall and he pretended not to want to go but he clearly really liked it. Whenever they were supposed to paint one picture, he would come home with 7. As part of his artistic side, Porter has learned how to make other crafts. He has learned how to make boondoggles and we bought him kits for those and he has learned to finger knit. He likes to try to make scarfs and necklaces for people. One of these days, I am going to have to find someone who can teach him how to knit or crochet for real.

I love my Porter. Happy Birthday to him

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dallin is 5

Dallin turned 5 on Sunday. It is hard for me to believe my little boy is so big. In my mind, he is still my baby. Nevertheless, he is still growing up. Even when I look at the things he could do a year ago, I am amazed at how fast he is growing up.
He can write his name and identify and write all of his letters. He wants me to teach him to read so I have been working with him a little. He is surprisingly fast. He always shocks us with how much he knows. He is good with numbers too. Sometimes he has to remind us that he can't do everything though. I will ask him what something says he and is quick to let me know that he can't read it yet.

Dallin is also pretty creative and funny. If you catch him at the right time, he will tell you stories about things that never happened (about what it was like when he was in my tummy or what happened when he was 7 and Porter was 2). My favorite part about him though is how expressive he is. He make such funny little faces and gets so worked up about everything that I can't help but laugh at him sometimes. Last night he told me that he wants a phone for Christmas. We have told the boys that they are not old enough to have their own phones right now. Dallin decided that he would tell Santa that he is 7 and Porter is 8. He kept giggling to himself, thinking about how he was going to trick Santa into bringing them phones (unfortunately, Santa knows how old they are and knows they are not allowed to have phones until they are at least 10). I have also related Dallin's dealings with the poisonous beetle on this blog. I think those stories illustrate how Dallin's mind works. He builds up weird or scary stories in his mind and then just builds on them for months. He never forgets things that are important to him (like looking out for poisonous beetles). By the way, when we were driving to Las Vegas, we saw a giant beetle outside of one of the gas stations. Dallin believed it was a rhino beetle (also, apparently poisonous) and had to be carried past it so that he could use the bathroom.

Dallin and I have had the chance to spend time alone together more this year because Porter is in school all day. I have learned that Dallin is fairly thoughtful. Whenever he gets a treat or something, he makes sure that we get one for Porter too. He also likes to be helpful. He likes to vaccum and clean the bathrooms. He gets tired of it easily though and after about 10 minutes of work, he claims that he needs to rest on the couch and watch a movie or something. (He doesn't tire when he doing something like riding his bike or playing something that he likes).

Dallin loves to play sports. He has been playing soccer for a while and really likes it. He also likes to go to the rec center with Joe or I and swim or play basketball. He likes to do gymnastics and wants to take karate.

Dallin also thinks he is very sneaky. For some reason, he doesn't want to flush the toilet or wash his hands and tries to convince us that he went into the bathroom for some other reason. He sets traps for us around the house and can't wait for someone to get caught in his snares. He sneaks candy and treats when he thinks no one is paying attention (including eating Porter's halloween candy, etc.).

Even though he can pretty naughty, we love Dallin and are glad to have him. He brings so much happiness and joy into our family.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the return of the beetle

Today I sent Porter and Dallin outside to ride their bikes while I mopped the kitchen floor. Dallin came in after a few minutes, upset. It seems he couldn't get his bike out of the garage because the beetle was waiting for him near his bike. This was not any beetle, but the poisonous beetle. The beetle who tried to bite Dallin months ago in the empty field near our house. The beetle who ate the extremities of the dead mice, also found in the empty field. Apparently this beetle is no longer content to pursue people and animals in the field. It has decided to come after Dallin personally. I don't know how long it has been making its way over here, but it was just waiting for its opportunity to bite Dallin (and probably eat his hands too). Luckily, Dallin saw it before it could get him and he decided to sacrifice me instead. I had to get his bike out for him. I assume that the beetle is still waiting for Dallin and will hope for another opportunity soon. I guess Dallin should sleep with one eye open because the beetle could show up anywhere.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

the answer

Okay, so nobody figured out my riddle but there were some guesses that correctly determined that the riddle precedes some kind of announcement. So here it is. Our family is expecting another baby, due in mid-March. The numbers all relate to the baby's position in our family.
3- the number of Montague children that will be in our immediately family
6- the number of grandchildren Joe's parents will then have
7- the number of grandchildren my parents will then have
15- the number of great grandchildren my Campbell grandparent will then have (sorry, the 12 was a typo, though I don't think it threw too many people off)
23- the number of great grandchildren Joe's Montague grandparents will now have
24- the number of great grandchildren my Nielson grandparents will now have

(I know there should be one more number for the number of Struthers great grandchildren. I don't know that number and neither does Joe though. He couldn't even tell me how many Struthers cousins he has so we couldn't even come close to guessing)

Friday, October 7, 2011

A riddle

I know am a poor excuse for a blogger. Most of the problems stem from the fact that Joe did something to our home computer and I am still not really sure on how to operate it and from the fact that Dallin, in a fit of rage, threw my camera and broke it beyond repair. We did finally buy a new one but I don't really know how to get the pictures off of it yet (see problem one). Anyway, this is not a post about my poor blogging efforts. This is about a riddle that I have made up on my very own. It goes like this:
What do these numbers have in common?

3, 6, 7, 12, 23, 24