Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some fun, but not ALL fun

We had some fun in January, but the whole month was definitely not fun. We've been sick a lot, which is never fun.

We have had some fun playgroups with the cold weather. One day we went to the Children's Museum. My favorite room is the Shadow room and it has a butterfly wall. It's dark and quiet, which is a nice escape from the loud crazy museum.

Before taking the picture on the top left - Leland says to me, "I'm going to do a sad face this time." She's so dramatic sometimes.
Leland likes to put every clip we have in her hair. We do some silly things around the house when it's cold outside.

Lucy has weird sleeping patterns. She went through a kick of wanting to sleep on the floor. She now does not want to use a pillow. Notice the nice warm fleece blanket that I made her for Christmas is not on her, it's on the bed. She still refuses to use it. But, we are now officially binkie free. She hasn't asked for it for days now. We are now onto Leland sucking her thumb, she wears band aids on her thumbs during the day and, at night, I put socks over her hands. It's been working alright. She actually keeps the socks on all night.
I had the privilege of knocking out my sister Suzanne's top scores on all her Wii games. Fun times. Look at those boxing moves and my winning score in bowling. Tennis and the hula hoop game were me favorites. I've actually played some real sports this month too. We have a women's basketball league at church. It's been fun playing again and hanging out with the girls. I have not played competitively in probably 12 or 13 years. In one game, I got 3 fouls in the first quarter, but surprisingly did not foul out. I also scored 16 points that game. I also am assistant coach for the teenage girls basketball team. Neither team has won a game yet, but we still have fun.
Lucy likes to line up her toys. She even lines them up to watch a show with her. She cracks me up.
And the not so fun part of the month - being sick. It's always so sad when the baby is sick. Poor Charly was a coughing, feverish, snotty mess. Lucy and Leland were sick too, but Chuck and Charly definitely had it the worst. I was the last to get sick and luckily I didn't get the cough. Leland also got pinworms. Seriously gross. Only read about it if you are prepared to be disgusted. I'm sure she got it from school and sucking your thumb is one of the big ways of getting it. I felt really bad after discovering it, because she had been complaining about an itchy bum for days and I just kept telling her she needed to wipe better. She would wake up crying at night and I thought she was just being dramatic. So sad. After one magic pill, washing, sanitizing, and vacuuming our entire house hopefully we are rid of it.

We are finally on the up and up. Hopefully February will be all fun.


When my sister-in-laws were here, we made a ton of flower clips. I've never really been into putting bows in my girls hair, but I really like the look of the flowers. For Christmas, Leland got a few elastic headbands and these flowers clip onto them and it looks really cute in her hair.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Animals at Maymont

When we were at Maymont a few weeks ago, Chuck took a ton of pictures of some of the animals.

Sisters, Sisters

We had the pleasure of having 3 of Chuck's sisters visit for almost a week. Charise came with her new daughter, Savannah, and Tiffany brought Brooklyn. Mitzi came up from NC with her 3 kids Connor, Tara, and Zetta for a few nights. We had quite the house-full, but we all had so much fun hanging out, shopping together, making hair clips, touring Maymont and downtown Richmond, and staying up to the wee hours of the morning chatting.
The cousins all had such a great time together. They loved having a sleepover. It was crazy at bedtime and I think they went to bed after 10pm both nights all the older cousins were here. It just warms my heart when I watch my girls play with their cousins. I only have 5 cousins total and we only got together a few times a year growing up, so I think it's just awesome that my girls right now have 18 cousins. There is just something more special about a cousin that's different than a friend.
Chuck is such a wonderful uncle. He loves all of his nieces and nephews so much. The girls and I decided that we needed to make a late night run to Wal-Mart, so we left all the sleeping kids with Chuck. When we came home we found Chuck asleep on the couch with 2 babies in his arms and one on the floor. (middle picture below)

It was so wonderful to get to spend time with Savannah, our newest niece. She is such a cutie. We had fun playing with her hair, picking it out to a big puffy cotton ball.
On the way home from our late night shopping, there were snow flurries falling. Char was hilarious trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue. Char is a full-fledged total Southern Californian who, before the trip, asked me if it was going to be "shorts weather" since she only had one pair of pants.

During their visit we played only ONE game. Crazy!! A group of Gates siblings got together and only ONE game was played. We played Mysteries of the Abbey, which I think I've only played once before years ago. It's a little like Clue. I don't win games usually, especially ones like that, against Chuck. He had this whole complex system of figuring out the missing monk. I totally guessed after 2 wrong accusations from Char and Chuck. I WON and I was so excited. It was great!
Thanks for coming girls. We had such a wonderful time. I hope that Lani and Amy will get to visit soon with their kids too. We love you all.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The long story of Lucy saying bye-bye to her binky. Photo courtesy of Leland.

Lucy has been our binky girl. We have tried to limit her binky time to when she is sleeping. Although recently she would find one during the day and would make it a game/fight to put it away. I once saw her climbing the shelves of the linen closet to try and reach a binky on the top shelf. I have felt a little guilty about taking away her source of comfort since her older sister will always have her thumb to bring her comfort. Everything I have read about binkies are "get rid of them before age 1". Since that is long gone, I knew this was going to be difficult. Chuck and I have a parenting motto that the hardest thing to do now, is usually what is best in the long run.

Last Friday, I had had enough. It was 10am and Lucy was claiming she was tired, talking through the binky in her mouth and a coi smile. I knew she was claiming the tiredness just to get her binky. I took it away and the fit started. flailing. screaming. tears. point of no return.

I found all the binkies in the house and said they are going in the trash. More crying and screaming pursued. I put Lucy in her room and held the door shut. She sat by the door with her fingers poking through the bottom saying through the sobs, "I all done now, open the door." But after a few minutes of being out of her room, she would ask for the binky, I would say they were in the trash and the screaming would start again. I tried to tell her she was a big girl now and didn't need the binky. Her reply was, "No, I'm a little baby!" This is also her reason for not wanting to sit on the potty and continue to wear diapers.

Finally after about an hour and a half of fit throwing, she fell asleep in my arms. She took her nap without a binky. Success!

That night I had basketball games to coach and play, so Chuck would be home with the girls. I told him that he could not ruin all the drama that we went through earlier in the day and give her a binky at bedtime. During the evening, they were playing superheroes and Lucy was pretending to be Dash from Incredibles. At some point she asked Chuck for her binky and he convinced her that superheros did not use a binky.

When I got home after 9pm Lucy was still awake and proceeded to cry for her binky. I read her stories, I cuddled her, I sang to her, I shut her in the bathroom for crying to loudly. Finally at about 10:30pm she finally fell asleep without her binky. Success!

Night # 3 sans binky, Sunday night. Lucy never even asked for her binky. Hopefully that continues. That first day was brutal, but I can't believe it only took 3 days. I still wish I would have done it earlier. Now onto getting Leland to stop sucking her thumb. I can't cut it off and throw it in the trash, so I might just rely on possible ridicule when she starts school to rid her of the habit.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

6 months old

I can't believe our baby is 6 months old. She brings so much joy to our family. She loves attention and gets quite frustrated to be in a room all by herself. She is fascinated by her sisters, especially Leland. It is so much fun to watch the older girls make Charly laugh big belly laughs. Charly is starting to look more and more like Leland did as a baby. She is starting to get stronger and finally is starting to enjoy tummy time. She hates to not be acknowledged when she hasn't seen you in a while. When she hears Chuck home from work, she will squawk until he comes to say hello and give her loves.
I have finally determined that she has some sort of milk allergy or intolerance. Ever since I have started a dairy free diet, she spits up less and is less fussy. The other night while I was out, Chuck gave her a bottle of breast milk from before I went dairy free and she spit up a ton and was fussy. So that confirmed my theory. She did have a few rashes on her face and backs of her legs that have cleared up since I went dairy free. It's hard to do. Really hard. Now that it's been a few weeks, I cheat every once in a while, like some bites of a frosty or something and boy do I, and poor Charly, pay for it. I need to be more diligent for her sake. I really do not want to have to buy hypo-allergenic formula, so I will try to breast feed as long as I can.

Charly also has a pooping problem. For the last 2 months, she poops every 7-10 days. Apparently it's common for breast fed babies, except for her fussiness and VERY VERY stinky gas as well. Her gas was so bad that Chuck bought more air fresheners for our house. I'm always a little embarrassed in public places or at church where others probably think it's me because no one would believe such a potent smell would come from such a little baby.

I started giving her prunes to avoid another suppository and it finally did it's magic. On her poop day after her 9 day stretch, I was so glad I was at home. It was a huge mess all over the inside of her onsie. Then the question is, do you take the onsie over the head and risk poop smearing on the back of the head or do you stretch the neck hole to go over the bum? Oh the joys of motherhood. I felt like we both needed a bath after I finally got her clean.

6 month stats
Height 26 inches
Weight 15 lbs (only 1/2 lb gain since 4 months. hopefully this dairy free thing will help her gain weight again.)
Head 16 1/2 inches

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Family

On New Year's Day, my mom, 2 sisters and their families came to our house to celebrate the start of a new year. We had a great time being together. We ate lunch, the cousins played and put on a little performance. We even got some family pictures which was surprisingly painless.

L to R: Andy and Suzanne, Todd and Christine, Chuck and Ashley

My mom and her 3 girls

The cousins.
Afton holding Charly, Leland, Emily, Leah holding Sarah, Nicholas, Lucy, Noah


Cousins performance

I like using the Picasa picture collages for our blog. If you want to see the collage larger, click on the picture. You can hold Ctrl and the + or - key to zoom in or out.