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