Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Zach is 4 months old!

Mr. Zacher-bee is 4 months old!  This is what he's up to these days:

  • He weighs 14 lbs 8 oz, which is in the 24th percentile!  That's a 20 percent jump from his appointment at 2 months old!  WHOA!
  • He measures 25.6 inches long, which is in the 63rd percentile!  That's a 2 percent jump from his last appointment, and it's the highest any of my kids have ever been on any chart!  (Except for maybe their birth weights...my kids are on the bigger side when they're born.)
  • Has a head in the 59th percentile.  That's a 21 percent jump from his last appointment!
  • Wears size 1 diapers, but needs to be moved up to size 2 at night.
  • Wears size 0-3 month clothes, but is just about ready to be moved up a size.
  • Is still doing great at nursing (and I even pump at the end of the day to get him an extra ounce or two for the next day).
  • Formula.  Where do I start?  Zachary had enough donor breast milk to last until he was about 3 months old, which was seriously awesome.  When we started running out, we slowly weaned him onto formula, and he did fine with the transition.  As soon as he was completely on Costco brand formula, he started having problems.  Increased spitting up, diarrhea, lots more mucus in his poops, eating slightly less, spitting up 2-3 hours after eating (which was a huge concern to me, since his tummy should be empty by that time and delayed gastric emptying has been the worst of Caleb's health problems), diaper rashes, and he even had two diapers with blood in them.  So we switched him to our GI's favorite, Gerber Goodstart Gentle.  Same symptoms, minus blood and diarrhea, plus his poop looked like curdled milk.  Normal for breast fed babies, not for formula fed babies.  So we switched him to soy and he started spitting up all day long.  One time I counted, and in two hours he spit up 9 times.  Literally every 10-15 minutes.  So we switched him to Alimentum, the most hypoallergenic formula you can get without a prescription, and he started eating less and less.  Over the weekend there were two feedings where he would only eat one ounce.  ONE OUNCE.  So I got serious about getting more donor milk for him, and he has already done better after just a day and a half!  In the last week (since switching him to soy, then alimentum) he has lost an ounce.  And suddenly he's reminding me way, way too much of his brothers and their refusal to eat as babies and their really poor weight gain (and often weight loss).  But now we've got a few weeks of donor milk on hand and I'm hoping he'll go right back to being my healthy son.  But if anyone knows of any donor milk available, let me know.
  • He is proficient at rolling onto his tummy, and has decided to be a tummy sleeper.  He still can't roll back onto his back, and he gets frustrated by being stuck on his tummy too long, but thankfully he has a few flippin' friends.  
  • He's a chatty baby, just like his brothers.  He gurgles with the g sound and cries with the n sound, but he's not exactly babbling yet.  He's also a great giggler.
  • He sleeps pretty much all night.  Usually we put him down around 10pm and he wakes up around 8AM.  I'd like to get him to bed a little sooner and sleeping in a little later, but he doesn't eat his last feeding until after his brothers are in bed, so that keeps him up a little late.  And when he wakes up in the morning, I bring him into bed with me and we snuggle for an hour or so while he eats and we sleep.  I actually really enjoy that time with him.  :)
  • Zach is super great to put to bed.  I literally lay him down, give him his lovey, turn on his mobile (which he loooooves to watch) and walk out.  Sometimes he wines a bit, but sometimes he doesn't.  He rarely cries, and if he does, it's pretty light-hearted and doesn't last more than a minute or two.  Only a few times have I needed to go comfort him.  I can always tell when his cry is sad enough that he needs me, so I really don't have that moral dilemma of "do I let him cry?  Does he need me?"  I read Twelve Hours' Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old and took what I liked from it, and I attribute that book (and his easy-going personality) to his great sleep habits.  I hope to blog about it at some point!
  • His nicknames are: Zach, Zacher, Zacher-bee, and Zachey-pants.  I probably call him Zacher more often than anything else.  It all started with Russell--he said one day we could call him Zacher (take off the "y" at the end) or Curry (take off the "Za" at the beginning).  We prefer Zacher.  ;)
  • Zacher has a seriously hard time staying sad if you talk to him.  He's just too good-natured to stay sad for long.
  • He's more than happy to spend an hour or two laying on the floor while life takes place around him, or lounging in his bouncy chair while everyone plays.
  • He's pretty darn good at grabbing things (like the toys hanging from the bar on his bouncy chair...or my hair).
  • Zach is a really big fan of chewing on his fists.  He's also a big fan on chewing on burp rags.
  • He doesn't use a binky much any more.  I still pop one in his mouth when he's too sad to patiently wait for me to mix his bottle, but it's more of a distraction than a source of comfort.  I can honestly say, I'm glad he's already pretty much weaned from it.  I just wouldn't know when and how to wean an older kid from one!
  • He loves to chew on his thumb, but rarely do I find him sucking on it.  He does often fall asleep with his thumb in his mouth, though.

  • He's pretty darn drooly, and chews on everything, but doesn't seem to be all that close to getting teeth.  Russ already had teeth by this age, so I check his gums often!
  • It is so easy to make this happy guy smile, but it's so hard to capture a smile on camera because he's just mesmerized by looking at gadgets and things such as cameras and phones.  
  • He's a HUGE fan of baths.  He never cries and just splashes and splashes.  He loves water in the bath or in the shower, and he has even been swimming once!  He was very relaxed in the pool.
  • He has great skin.  It's flawless!
  • Zacher is seriously a little ray of sunshine in my life.  When everything else feels so overwhelming or monotonous or unfulfilling, I just look at my little baby and his smiles fill me with joy.  His life is so simple.  His needs are so straightforward, and as long as they're met, he's happy.  Unlike slightly bigger kids, who often feel that life is unfair, Zach is happy just to be loved.  And he's so easy to love!  I never would have thought that life with three kids would be easier than it is with two, but with the amount of joy that Zachary brings into my life with his smiles and snuggles, it's much easier to face the day.  We love you, Zacher!
And now for about a billion pictures from the past two months, in order of most recent to oldest:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

School 2015

My boys are growing up!  *tear*

 Now that my big boys are in school (Caleb in half-days kindergarten and Russell in preschool 2x/week) this little guy and I get four hours a week with just the two of us!

[Also, you'll notice that our front door has undergone a transformation between Caleb's first day and Russell's first day.  You're looking at Minwax gel stain in Hickory.  It went on evenly, even though I didn't remove the old, patchy finish from the door.  It certainly brings out the lovely details and makes the entrance to our home feel much more clean and welcoming!]

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Doll

Meet Dolly.  She was born in December 2014 and joined our family in February 2015.  We were told that her mom was a golden retriever and her dad was a standard poodle and her estimated adult weight would be 50 pounds.  We picked this cross because golden retrievers are very smart, loyal, family dogs and standard poodles are extremely intelligent and tend to not shed (which was only a priority because our old dog Meggie was the world's harriest dog and I wanted a break from that).  Although she looks exactly like a golden/poodle should, as far as her facial features and hair quality, it's apparent that her sellers weren't exactly forthcoming.  Or possibly just plain lied.  At 8 months old, Dolly is exactly 10 pounds.  However, she is a great family dog, she is extremely intelligent, she doesn't shed a whole lot, and she's pretty darn adorable.  And we've decided that it's easier to have a 10-pound dog vs a 50-pound dog, anyway.  So we like her.  I'm guessing that her mom was actually a golden retriever and her dad was a miniature poodle.  Dolly was a runt, too, so that might contribute to her smaller stature.  Either way, she's a keeper!

And now, since it has taken me over 6 months to get around to introducing you to her, here are some pictures, in chronological order, for you to get to know her.  Enjoy!

 She really loves her boys!
 This is a favorite napping spot for her.

 Captain is bigger than her, even now that she's older.

 Dolly has wanted to be friends from the beginning, but Captain isn't a fan!  They have been caught playing together a few times recently, though.
 She loves going for car rides!  She even drove with us to Minnesota and back this summer, and did great!

 This is her favorite toy.  <3 p="">
 Her soft hair attracts snow!  That's gonna be fun when winter comes...not.


 She really does think she's a big dog!  She likes to fetch tennis balls, too.

 She's practicing great restraint by not going after Caleb's angry birds.  (She did great this time, but ended up chewing on them another day.  Tisk tisk.)

 She needed identification on her collar for our road trip to Minnesota.  This tag suits her perfectly and has our contact info on the back.

 Sundog again.

 They were both pretending to be polar bears in the zoo.

Dolly is extremely tolerant of the boys (one reason why I wanted to get a puppy and not an adult dog).  As you can see, she really loves them!  She house trained really early and really easily.  She rings a bell whenever she wants to go outside, which, let me tell you, is a genius idea.  The most useful command that she knows is "leave it."  She immediately drops those kid toys when I say it.  She is a fan of chewing on things she ought not to, but she does know the command "where is your toy?" and will find her own toy to chew on when I can tell she just needs something and the easiest chew toys to find are the ones my boys leave laying around.  Because of her chewing habit, she is kennel trained for night time and when we leave the house.  Her favorite things to chew on are stray socks.  She's also a fan of any diapers we leave laying around and baby binkies left within reach.  Thankfully she hasn't done much damage to either of those objects--she normally just moves a binky from one room to the other and doesn't chew on it, except for the one I found just yesterday.  Thank goodness those binkies are dishwasher safe!  She learned quickly that if she chews on human fingers, she doesn't get petted.  She's learning the same with licking.  She also likes to sneak to the basement to eat the cat's food, and always throws it up.  We now have a baby gate blocking the basement stairway.  She's a huge fan of getting brushed and kinda gets manic when I bring out the brush.  I have to trim the hair around her eyes or else she can't see.  She's the prettiest blond color with a darker golden streak down her back; freckles on her nose, belly, and the pads of her feet; and a white spot on her chest and tip of her tail that is very difficult to see.  We're all super big fans of her, and I can confidently say she's a big fan of us.  Welcome to the family, Little Doll!