Thursday, May 23, 2013

A busy spring

Things have been fairly insane around here lately.

Occasionally, I work out of the house.  It's the same office Dusty works for and I take the littlest girls with me.  I do video and photo editing, which I'm good at and I enjoy.  I create documentaries and promotional DVDs to help them with their cause.  The busiest time of the year for this is April through June.  Which coincides with March for Babies, Dusty's wrist surgery, the end of the year activities at Kaitlyn's school, pretty weather and you know, life in general.

This is how my days have been going lately: Nurse Charlotte at 5:45 AM, get in the shower by 6.  Be out, dressed with make-up and hair done by 6:45.  Wake Kaitlyn up and empty the dishwasher by 7.  Get Samantha dressed, Charlotte dressed and fed again, put laundry in the washer and fold/put away anything from the night before.  Be out the door by 8:30.  Get Kaitlyn to school by 8:45 (we've missed this a few times) and go straight to my office.  From about 9 to 3 work while entertaining Samantha, changing countless diapers, nursing, cleaning up spit up, returning emails and making up songs to sing.  Some days, I do this from home.  Leave to pick up Kaitlyn by 3:35 and run by the store on the way home every couple of days.  Go home, work on laundry and then take everyone outside to play while I work on weeds and getting the pool area pretty.  We cook dinner when Dusty gets home, we eat, we clean up, we have bath time, we force Samantha to go to bed, get Charlotte ready for bed and I work on eBay orders.  By midnight, we go to bed too.  Some days, it's so easy.  Some days, it's absolutely exhausting.  But, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.  Even if it means that I am seriously behind on writing and reading blogs.

Charlotte is doing great.  I tease Kaitlyn and Samantha that she's the easiest and best behaved most days.  She's pretty laid back and happy.  She's 5 months and just a doll.

Samantha is doing really well.  Her vocabulary impresses me each and every day.  She speaks in full sentences so clearly.  She has no problem expressing what she wants and or needs.  Or what she thinks she might want or need. 

Samantha is no where near potty training.  And it isn't for a lack of trying.  She just simply has no desire to go.  I leave her naked with the potty out and remind her every 5 minutes.  She'll sit on it and do nothing.  I'll put a diaper on her so we can leave the house and she'll pee as soon as it is on her.  She simply says she does not want to go on the potty.  She wants to go in her diaper.  I took her to the toy store and told her to pick out whatever she wanted.  I told her she could have the scooter, dolls and candy as soon as she went potty in the toilet.  She said no thank you.  Oh.  Ok then.  I'm not going to push it, but I'm going to continue to encourage it so hopefully one morning she'll wake up and be ready to do it. 

Samantha's sleep hasn't really improved and it has.  We've been using benadryl every night at the recommendation of her doctor.  I've tried weaning her off of it or skipping a night and she will stay up, ready to party, until well after 4 AM.  It used to be that we could just keep her in her room with the baby gate up and sleep, but she's too sneaky now, so we just don't sleep with her...  Yeah.  I don't care for that so much.  So, for now, we're going to stick with what works.  She is an entirely different person when she gets sleep.  She speaks more, she is happy, she started gaining weight and we seem to pass the constipation issues when she's rested.  And those things are important. 

Samantha is 2 1/2 now, we celebrated her half birthday earlier this month since she is obsessed with birthdays.  She knows all of her shapes, even the octagons, pentagons, rhombus and so on.  She knows her colors and recognizes her numbers and letters.  Her memory is fantastic and her ability to tell stories is impressive.  She is stubborn as can be though.  She loves team umizoomi and Dora.  She loves playing dress-up and pretending to be animals.  She is obsessed with babies.  She's growing so fast.

Kaitlyn just celebrated a half birthday as well and is now 8 1/2.  Her attitude is having more better days lately than bad days.  She is a drama queen and super sensitive some days, but other days she's incredibly helpful and a ton of fun.

Kaitlyn is a week (or so) away from finishing the third grade.  She did great this year.  Her biggest obstacle was long division.  I don't know if it was more stressful for me or for her.  I swear, I was almost ready to hire a tutor, keep her in the third grade again or see if she had some ADHD issues it was so bad.  But, then it clicked.  It seriously could not have clicked any later to preserve my sanity.  Her biggest concern for next year is having one of her 4 best friends in her class.  We really just don't know if that'll happen since there are 5 4th grade classes, and they could all end up in different ones.  But, regardless, they will still have recess.

Cheer season is getting ready to start back up and she's excited to participate again.  She really wants to be a flyer, and I just don't think that's going to happen.  She's tall and while she isn't overweight even the teeniest bit, she's sturdy.  She's super muscular in her legs and loves playing soccer during recess.

My on the side, graphic design business is going amazing.  I'm starting to get too busy to keep taking as many orders as I have been.  The last few months I've seen a steady 20% increase in sales each and every month.  And, I've been fortunate to have a lot of repeat customers and a lot of referrals.  I love it.  I love creating invitations, party supplies, home decor and all of that jazz.  It truly does bring a lot of joy and it's a great way to use some of that creativity itching to get out without having to go through my fabric stash...

Here's hoping things slow down and stay good.  And that I have more time for writing.  But, really, I've been spending a lot of time being in the moment, instead of concentrating on photographing it or documenting it.  I think we've all had a lot more fun that way.

Charlotte is 5 months old

I know, I know.  She's actually 5 months and 4 days old.  But, things have been crazy busy and I have yet to discover how to add hours to every day, so.  That's where we are at...

I know,  I say it over and over again, but I do not know how she has gotten so big so fast.  I am constantly torn by being so excited for her to get bigger so that she can run around and play with the older girls (or at least defend herself against Samantha forcing pacifiers in her mouth and toys in her hands) and trying to figure out how to keep her teeny tiny for as long as possible.

Charlotte is such a happy baby.  She just has the biggest smile and warms up to people so quickly.  When she smiles, she crinkles her little nose and squints her eyes.  And half the time her smile involves a screech of happiness. 

She is rolling all over the place and at the beginning stages of crawling.  She crawls around in a circle and tries so hard to go forward crawling, but just hasn't mastered the hand/leg combo necessarily to get where she wants to go.  But, she can get from one side of the room to another in the time it takes you to grab something from the other room.

Charlotte is a spitter.  Easily as much and as often as the other girls.  Always at the worst possible moment and never we do changes it.  The only time she doesn't spit up is over night.  During the day it doesn't matter if you hold her still for an hour after her feeding, if you lay her flat, if you keep her upright, if she takes a nap, it will still come up all over you.  Even if you are not holding her, it seems to have a magnet that will have it follow you wherever you are.

She is a hand/thumb sucker, still likes her paci sometimes and is a great night time sleeper.  She isn't the best day time sleeper, but that's totally ok with me.  I will trade that for a good nights sleep any day of the week.    She loves for me to hold her, loves to be outside, hates the sun on her, and finds Samantha to be the funniest person in the world.  She loves to be free on her belly to explore, as long as she can still see you there. 

Charlotte is no where near sitting up.  Kaitlyn and Samantha both were at this age.  But, she is a lot more mobile than they were.

According to my measurements, Charlotte is measuring at 14 lbs and 10 oz and is 27 inches long.  She is so long.  It's crazy.  She still has all of her hair, which is incredible to me.  She wears 3-6 months in clothes still, but is getting too long.  She wears a size 2 in disposables and is still in the smallest snap rise in cloth.  We're currently doing both.  Mostly cloth, but disposable if we are going to be out of the house for more than a few hours.  She nurses every hour and a half still, but before bed time, she will nurse both sides and then drink a 4 oz bottle of formula.  With the formula she sleeps better at night, and I'm totally ok with that.

Our littlest princess is on her way to being 1 before we know it!