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Reese's
Birth Story
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Welcome to Reese's Web Page.  Reese was born on June 20th, 2007.  More details about her maternity story can be found in the links above.  This page is for Reese's updates, which we will do as often as possible! 




June 20th, 2008
Happy Birthday Reese!  I counted down all day yesterday.  Wow, 24 hours until her birthday.  12 hours.  6 hours! (Yes, I was up at midnight!) And now here she is, 1 year old.  Her photo album is filled.  Her baby book is complete. Her party is ready to go.  I took several spare moments to nurse her to sleep and just hold her and stare, stroke her cheek and remember.  I don't mean to be maudlin, but I really wanted her pregnancy to go slow, for her first year to take its sweet time in passing by.  And yet time moved forward without my permission.  She choose to hurry things along by crawling and walking early.  By trying to keep up with her siblings.  And I shed tears of sadness that my sweet baby girl is no longer that sleepy little infant, but that precocious toddler beginning to test the world and its wonders.  But I can't take that away from her.  I can't wish myself back to her beginning, because what a wonderful stage this is for her as well! Watching the light in her eyes as she curiously explores and understands new things.  Her smile increase as she tries and accomplishes something new.  This day ends a special blog for a special baby. But with the ending of things, comes the beginnings of others. This isn't really good-bye.  She will be welcomed onto our regular webpage.  We love you Reese.  You've been a magnificent and delightful addition to our family.  With all our hearts, Mommy, Daddy, Zach, Gabby, Ethan, Alisa, and Dylan.  June 20, 2008 (Top)


June 9th, 2008
My second to last post on Reese's separate blog.  She is definitely ready to join the rest of the family on our regular blog.  She is no longer the 'new little baby', but is moving on to the precocious toddler stage.  As you can see by the photo, Reese loves to climb.  She doesn't love to fall so much, but that sometimes goes with the climbing.  A Mother wishes they would learn this a lot sooner, but the best we can do is be there as often as we can to catch them, and pray for the times we can't.  I suppose this holds true until the day we 'stop' being mothers.

Reese has been a real treat lately, in the sleeping department.  She has been sleeping through the night for about a month now.  Her older brother Dylan wakes up more often with foot cramps or growing pains or something! This means that Reese has been our best sleeper.  She started at about 6-7 weeks, stopped at about 5 months only sleeping through the night a few times a week, stopped completely from 6 months to 9 months, then started up again slowly, and is completely now.  I feel spoiled!

Reese has a bit of a cold right now, but it doesn't seem to bother her too much.  She's not eating much.  She has had a few tastes of Dylan's milk, and seems to like it, so introducing dairy won't be a problem.  The kids are excited to have whole milk in the house again (I stick to skim when I don't have a 1-year old!)

We are slowly getting ready for Reese's birthday party.  It's not going to be a HUGE to-do.  The biggest part being food, of course.  But with the basement being finished, we have a half a house to move into it's proper spot, making things a bit hectic here.  If we have a nice day and a clean bathroom, I swear I'll be happy!  Reese has been taught to hold her finger up when we ask her "How old are you?" blows raspberries when we tell her to "blow" (we won't encourage that on her cake then!) and can sign 'Milk' (though we call it 'mookies'.) I just can't believe it's been a year, and my baby girl is a little girl now! (Top)

May 28th, 2008
I wrote too soon on the teeth thing.  Later on the day of my last entry (May 15th) Reese also got her right lateral incisor in.  She got her left lateral on the 23rd of May.  She is now up to 6 teeth, and we are all thankful that she had such an easy time teething!

Other then the teeth, there isn't  much to update for her.  She seemed to hit so many milestones early, that I have a nice lull in the "action".  She does love to be outside.  Sometimes she brings me her shoes and says "ba-ba" and waves bye-bye.  When Mark leaves in the morning she cries (or screams) as soon as he shuts the door, and begs to be picked up as soon as he comes home.  She certainly knows that he's the one to approach to get outside!

The blue-tongue picture was taken after she had a sucker. She loves sweets, and gets spoiled by them too often lately.  She's good with her vegetables too!  And she's been sleeping through the night for a couple of weeks every night. That is one milestone I am very happy to encourage! (Top)

May 15th, 2008
Wow, 5 weeks to go until I close this portion of the blog.  At 1 year Reese will join the regular family blog for her updates.  I may add to her weight chart for her 15, 18 and 24 month appointments, but for the rest of her info I will just update with everyone else.  A bittersweet moment for me, because she'll be a year and a toddler, but I won't have to update 2 pages either!  Reese got her third tooth, her upper left central incisor, on May 5th, and got her 4th tooth, her upper right central incisor, on May 15th (today!)  Her upper lateral incisors are very swollen and white, and her lower left lateral incisor is making it's best effort at an appearance as well.  Reese is becoming a little bit of a brute, as she loves to walk up to one of the kids, push them down, and then sit on their chests, tickle their tummy, or roll all over them.  She is inquisitive, has to be in everything and know everything, touch or taste everything, which is, I think, typical behavior for her age.  She can say "Gabby" (ga-ba) and consistently says "Da-da" as well. She screams and growls and is altogether cute! She blows raspberries and claps at herself when she is proud, and likes to dance and 'sing' to Enchanted still.  She loves to get into the somersault position, but I can't capture that on camera!  And she loves to be outside!  Her birthday party will be June 21st at around noon.  I will be sending out email or paper announcements in a couple of weeks.  Reese is a pro at walking in shoes now.  I've put some updated Spring pictures of all the kids HERE. (Top)

May 1st, 2008
We finally got Reese in to her well child checkup.  We decided to just switch doctors instead of traveling to Glencoe.  Originally I hoped to do that  for the first year because I really liked our doctor and have used her for 6 years and three babies.  I felt a little sad and disloyal switching.  Though I know Dr. Olson really likes to work with the elderly, and I'll stick with her for my own care (wow, putting those two sentences together, which aren't supposed to be related, really makes me feel old!)


 Anyway, Reese is doing well.  I put her stats on her chart at the bottom. She is in the 90% for height, the 60th for weight, 80th for HC, and 40th for height vs. weight.  I knew she was smaller then Alisa, but when I checked on all the kids' records I discovered that her 10 month stats are smaller then their 9 month stats.  So she is my little peanut, though average among most children.  The one issue the doctor noticed was that when she put her hand up in front of one of Reese's eyes, Reese would move her head to the side to look around, where as most people just use their other eye to see.  She said this could be a vision problem in one eye, or just simply baby being so curious they don't want anything blocking their vision.  We'll have her checked out (see Alisa's update on our family blog) just in case. 

     


As far as other updates, Reese really doesn't crawl anymore.  She likes to walk, and she is getting fast!  In the last couple of weeks she has started pointing with her finger.  She likes to point at what she wants, and to 'beep' noses, and to 'Zjoot' which is the sound we say when we touch our pointer finger to hers.  She loves to watch American Idol with us and claps during all the performances.  She is cutting 4 teeth on top, the central left one being the closet to all the way through.  She still screams when she wants something, and is getting better at sleeping through the night again, maybe up to a few times a week. She loves the bath and fell in the other day, clothes and all, while Alisa and Dylan were being washed. (She leaned too far.)  She hates anything in her hair and hates having it brushed, though she loves to brush her teeth.  She still has massive stranger anxiety, but loves to talk and play with her family.  Since she is walking so well we got her a pair of shoes.  We video taped her taking her first steps in them and it was hilarious! (Top)   







April 10th, 2008
Here is a montage of milestones that I made of Reese.  See if you can spot the 5 year old trying to hog-tie herself in the background!  In the last few days, Reese has really taken to walking, preferring to do so over crawling.  She has a cold, and so hasn't slept well.  She likes to point a finger and 'beep' our noses, and has painfully begun to grab at my ear or hair while she nurses. If the video doesn't embed properly, the link is: (Top)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay-59RuSdEs




April 7th, 2008

Just a small update on our little Reese.  I'm still using this blog as a way to communicate with friends and family how she is growing during her first year, at which point she'll join the regular family blog.  But an added benefit is that I am ALSO using the blog as a bookmark, or sorts, until I can actually get to her baby book!  So, for my own information, she has recently started 'sharing' her food when you ask (by putting it in YOUR mouth.)  She has started throwing things that she isn't interested in (food, toys, books) or that she is rummaging through in her toy box to get what she does want.   The other day (Friday the 4th) we were watching Enchanted (again) and it got to the part of the movie that Giselle sings "How Does She Know?" and she crawled to the middle of the room, stood up and clapped and said "Yay!", and clapped so hard that she fell down again.  She is also choosing to walk instead of crawl more often, and getting much better at it. On the 5th she mastered drinking from a straw.  Her top 4 teeth are starting to descend, so it won't be long until she has some neighbors for her bottom two.  She also 'played ball' with Zachary by rolling him the ball yesterday, and also I caught her pointing at something she wanted. In short she is growing by leaps and bounds! The above picture is Reese's reaction to her first pickle. "Yuck!"  (Top)

April 1st, 2008
Reese had a terrific 1st Easter.  Friday night we dyed eggs, while she played with a wooden spoon and some bowls on the kitchen floor.  I made her a purple egg with her name on it, and let her hold it for a photo, but she quickly took the egg and tried to eat it, leaving a big purple stain on her mouth. (Which washed off, luckily enough!)  Saturday morning the Easter Bunny visited our house, but with so many older siblings, Reese didn't have the opportunity to hunt for any eggs or baskets, she was promptly brought right to them!  In her basket were some Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs (that went to Mark) a summer hat, tights, jelly beans (which she loves) M&M's (which she vomits) and some baby Puffs (cereal).  Her dress, as well as Gabby's and Alisabeth's all came from eBay.  They looked gorgeous, in my opinion!  We then went to Grandma Bonnie's house for Easter dinner, where Reese loved the ham and the potatoes, but most of all she loved the peas.  She could not get enough of them, and we all enjoyed watching.  Reese also had fun crawling up the stairs at Grandma's house.  All 4 flights!

Last Thursday Mark was playing peek-a-boo with her and he jumped out from behind the couch and she said "Da-da".  We looked at each other in surprise because generally my kids don't say anything near the word Da-da until they are weaned.  Now, true to form, it has not been repeated since.  We are officially back to Ma-ma.  But she does love when he comes home from work.  She immediately says "Hi" and starts waving and crawling to the door to be picked up.  The next day, Friday the 28th, I was in the kitchen working and she crawled over to me and stood up in the middle of the floor. My children don't usually do this until they are expert walkers, so it was a surprise to me.  She is doing it consistently, and is now an expert stander, and is still taking small steps in her walking.  Just not interested in improving that skill right now, I guess.  She also climbed on the couch (with a cushion off) and discovered strawberries.  Yum! On the not so fun side, she has learned to scream.  We always say "Tea is ready' when she starts.  We tell Dylan he taught her, which is likely very true! (Top)


March 18th, 2008
In the last two weeks, Reese has changed a lot, in my biased opinion, of course.  I wrote a bit on the regular blog about her adventures in walking.  She is not the pro she likes to think she is, however.  She will often let go of a piece of furniture and lunge towards something else, and her feet take a few steps and then get tangled up and she falls.  She is far braver then the other kids at this stage.  They would only let go if they felt secure.  She lets go if she things she can make it to Mama.  Speaking of Mama, I think she is intentionally saying "Mama", "Num", "Hi" (as she waves, it is TOO cute!) and "Bye-Bye (again, as she waves.)  Thus far there is no "Dada" though she has gotten as far as "Da".  As you can see in the picture to the left, she is also obsessed with the piano.  We place the ottoman in front of the bass half of the piano, so that her constant playing doesn't border on annoyance.  Yes, I suppose we could just put the cover down, but it is so cute and makes her so happy, and who can resist that?  I am also going to put on a picture of Reese eating a waffle, down below.  This was her first attempt at table food, and she likes it so much, she has decided to eliminate baby food from her diet.  So we've 'lost' the jarred food and gone straight to eating stir fry and other cut up veggies.  On nights that we have tacos or something similar just not baby friendly (especially baby with only 2 teeth friendly) we convince her that something from a jar is delicious, or make some spaghetti for her.

Reese is becoming a little more independent, playing on her own for longer stretches of time.  She has actually slept through the night again 3 times in a row, but the pay off is that we are losing her nap time.  That makes for a grumpy mommy sometimes, but thankfully Mark always gives me time for a long bubble bath.

Reese also likes dancing to music lately. She'll bounce whenever she hears the radio, or one of her toys that plays music.  She got a cute Baby Einstein toy in her stocking and she loves to dance to it, and it's actually how Mark gets her to sleep at night too.  I tried it and it didn't work for me! Of course, I can nurse in a pinch when she gets fussy, so perhaps I don't try hard enough! 

My last picture will be of bath time.  She loves the bath. Maybe I've already written this, but Zach wants to earn money for scout camp, and I've decided that he is old enough to baby sit.  So one of the things I let him do if I am running an errand to the store and Reese is inconsolable is allow her to stand by the bath tub and let the water run out at a trickle. For some reason that calms her. The mind of babes, I guess. And I was going to update something else, but Dylan started talking and I got distracted.  I may have to update here again when I remember. (Top)




March 4th, 2008
We've had some difficulty with Reese and her nap times lately.  That is to say, they've become nonexistent.  She falls asleep just fine, but whenever we go to lay her in her bed, she wakes up immediately.  I hope this is a phase she is going through, and not a forecast of things to come.  She doesn't sleep at night well anymore either.  For a while there we'd get at least a couple nights a week where she'd sleep through the night, but not anymore. 
So, you can see by the picture that Reese is getting better at standing on her own.  Doing it by choice, or simply by letting us drop a finger.  She takes steps too, though I wouldn't be comfortable calling her a 'walker' by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe by 9 or 10 months, which in my opinion is far too soon. I wish babies would keep just a little longer.
She has found some rhythm and loves to dance in time to music. She will give you '5' when you ask. She knows 'So Big', and 'Peekaboo' (with a blanket, not her hands) too.  Her little expression on her face in the picture will stick with me forever, because she makes it all the time breathing through her mouth.  She also wakes up by making an  "Oh" sound over and over before her eyes are open.  She started saying 'Mama' again after so long with Baba and still says 'Num' when eating a food she likes.  She is moving on to some stage 2 foods and table foods, though we are trying to keep her as organic as possible at this point.  She has won 2 photo contests on our online playgroup for June/July babies. She is starting to really enjoy toys, and I can see her mind working as she figures them out.  She has a visible thought process for sure!  We are in the process of looking for Easter dresses for her and the girls and not having an easy time of it! I think that's about all the updates for now.

February 21st, 2007
It's hard for me to believe that I am 2/3 the way done with Reese's special 1st year blog!  Wasn't it yesterday that I was quickly taking my maternity photographs and then discovering I was in labor? And here it is, 8 months later.  Reese is such a sweetheart.  It's been almost a month since I last updated, and there has been some changes, but most have taken place in the last week.  On Thursday the 14th, Reese began to clap.  She mostly does it when we say 'Yay!'.  Two days later she began to wave 'Bye-bye'.  Yesterday, on her 8 month day, she began to get more brave about standing without help for a few seconds of her own choice, and standing longer when we encourage it by dropping our hands away from her.  She is getting better at walking while we hold on with one hand.  She is not joining the Zach-Gabby walking on the 8 month day club, however.   She enjoys solid foods more and more.  She is on all stage 1 foods. In the morning she  gets some rice cereal and fruit, in the evening it's rice cereal and vegetables, and during the day it's treats like plain cheerios or bread. She likes to say "Ba-ba" when she is happy and "Ma-ma" when she is sad. When she eats she occasionally says "Num". She likes to play with her toys, play the keys of the piano. Her hair is extremely long in the back, so it looks like a mullet, and long on top, but she hates to have it played with so mostly it just hangs in her eyes unless I fix it while she is sleeping in my arms.  She does not sleep through the night, and in fact seems to be getting worse.  But I recently decided that if I'm the one to stay away for an hour feeding her, Mark can be the one to go get her. After 12 years and 6 kids, you'd think I'd hit on that earlier, and parts of me feel guilty. (Obviously not enough to go back to status quo!) She is still very much a Mommy's girl, and still very much loved!

January 29th, 2008

Reese has another tooth!  Once again there were no symptoms other then a grumpy night on the 26th.  When she woke up on the 27th, there it was.  Really there isn't that much else to update, she seems to have gotten all her milestones in for a while. She sleeps through the night occasionally, and does seem to be on the verge of dropping one of her naps.  It is happening later and later in the afternoon, to the point where it is throwing her whole night off schedule.  She has disliked baths for a while, but last week discovered 'splashing' and loves that.  She still doesn't like anything besides oatmeal or rice cereal.  But really breast milk is supposed to be the mail nutritional source for the first year, so we're laid-back about that.

She is able to get down from her pulling up position now, thank goodness. (She would cry until she was helped down.)  When we go to get her from her crib, she is usually standing up or playing quietly. 

She is also getting a little better with her Daddy, and willing to part from Mom for awhile. (Yay to that too!) (Top)


January 21st, 2008

Our little sweetheart is changing so much everyday.  It's a busy time of updates for her baby book (and if I could in fact, find time to update it, I would be frantically filling in information!  As it is, I am really good about putting everything on her web page, so that some free day I'll be able to fill it all in accurately.  Reese turned 7 months old yesterday.  We don't have a well baby checkup for a while, so her height and weight are inaccurate at best. But she is around 20-21 pounds and  29 inches.  We can see her next tooth coming up, so it won't be long before she has 2 pearly whites.  Last night I was a bad mom and let her have a few tastes of ice cream.  I am thinking that as much as she enjoyed it, she woke up at about 1:00 AM screaming in pain, hunched over.  I could hear a lot of gas moving around in her stomach, and every time she burped she'd start hollering all over again.  I gave her some Mylecon, and she went back to sleep and slept soundly until after 8:00. 

Reese has gotten through her first stomach virus and her first cold like a trooper.  She hates to have her nose blown though, and the struggle of doing so always results in more tears, and of course, more *stuff* running down her lip.  She crawls really fast, and easily sits up on her own.  She occasionally kneels on her own, though not for long.  She has been pulling up for a while, but has become really proficient at it recently.  She still struggles to get down on her own though, and sometimes chooses to just fall to get there.  Ouch!  She also started cruising along furniture, and sometimes is brave enough to let go of one furniture to reach for another.  This doesn't always have good results.  As you can see, Reese also likes to crawl into her exersaucer, just like all the kids have.

She is our darling girl.  We love her dearly.  What an amazing addition she has been for us! (Top)


January 5th, 2008

Reese has had a busy 3 weeks since the last update.  She spent the Holidays in pretty Christmas dresses, and as such didn't really progress on her crawling.  This was definitely fine with us, as we had so much to do and so many things lying around.  After New Years, however, she is back into her cute outfits and has become proficient at crawling.  She even crawls to the couch and pulls up. (We take the cushion off to keep her more safe.  She tend to tumble fairly soon after pulling up and taking the cushion off keeps her down a little lower.)

On the 29th of December she had a pretty crabby day, and after having seen the lump on her gums, we knew that a tooth would be emerging soon.  Sure enough on the 31st it popped through all the way, and she has a nice pearly white (that she likes to bite down with...ouch!)

Reese also enjoyed a few bites of food on Christmas Eve.  Some mashed potatoes.  The following weekend we let her have a lick of pudding, and she tried some quick oats, but mostly just licked the breast milk I had added to cool it down and thin it a bit.  On January 1st we started her officially on rice cereal, and she loves it.  She eats it pretty chunky (boy did I used to start pretty runny with the other children!) and attacks it!  On New Years Eve we let her stay up with the other children (simply because we were making too much noise with our 'party' to let a baby sleep.)  So she watched the ball drop (Christmas pictures here) and then slept for 10 hours straight!

Christmas was fun for Reese.  She wasn't really in to any of her presents, nor ripping off paper.  She mostly just liked to observe the other kids in their fun, or play with bits of paper that were left on the floor.  Reese got a cup, a toothbrush, hair barrettes, some toys, bedding, an ornament, an outfit, and some money for Christmas.


Now she is constantly crawling to things, putting them in her mouth or hitting them on the floor.  She's also  picked up getting into a sitting position on her own. She likes to play peek-a-boo and patty-cake, still loves her Mommy most of all, and is a sweet, smiling, afraid of strangers, sleeps through the night ever 10 or so days, kind of baby. (Top)


December 14th, 2007

Due to Dr. Olson's daughter having a baby, she took some time off so that Reese's 4 month well baby checkup took place at 5 months (Nov. 21st).  Reese did very well.  You can see her stats at the bottom of the page.  She also did well with her vaccinations.

If you read the family blog, you'll see that Reese started, tentatively, crawling today.  She is also going to be getting her two lower front teeth soon.  She loves to stand against furniture, and has a really good sense of balance.  When I was little a family friend used to balance my younger brother on his hand, and so I tried it with Reese too.  She loves it, giggles and smiles the whole time!  Reese stopped sleeping through the night at about Thanksgiving time too.  I am not surprised, as Dylan did it too.  I actually read an article about it called 'Sleep Regression' so apparently it's pretty common for babies around 4-6 months of age.  Reese usually squeals when she is happy, but I can get her to giggle by pretending I am a mad dog snarling and barking.  I did go too far though, and it scared her.  Her stranger anxiety is getting pretty bad.   Once I was asked to give a prayer at church and a lady offered to hold her.  When I was done Reese was stiff as a board with her arms held out, red faced, but so afraid that she couldn't even cry, until she was in my arms and then she let it all out.  She loves to sit in her exersaucer and just bounce and spin and play.  She likes to sit on the floor, but doesn't last long as she gets down on her stomach on purpose to play and *crawl*.  On Monday Dec. 10th I took her outside to play in the snow.  She was fine until I took off her mitten to let her touch it, and after that it was enough!  She is still solely on breast milk, but should be starting solids next week. When she nurses she insists on having one of her fingers in my mouth, or her whole fist! She is very ready, visually interested by the rest of us eating.

Reese will be getting a toothbrush, a sippy cup, and a couple of toys for Christmas.  We're excited to see how she reacts to wrapping paper.  The other kids were pretty shy about tackling it, so we'll se!  She is my sweetie, and we love her so much!  (TOP)



 

November 1st, 2007


Reese is doing very well.  Our Dr. is so full for patients, that she won't have her 4 month appointment until she is 5 months old.   We did a very un-scientific weigh-in for her and she appears to be approaching 17 pounds, and in the vicinity of 27 inches.  She is rolling around like crazy, sleeping through the night, and sitting fairly well, though she tends to become fascinated with her toes, and because so bends down and tries to capture them in her mouth.  She is definitely going to be one that we need to watch for putting things in her mouth as she gets older.  Right now anything she grabs goes to her mouth as it is; I can't image how it will be when she got her fine motor skills down.  She has a little cold right now, which manifests itself in the form of a runny nose, alternating with a plugged nose.  No fever, cough, etc., and no issues with nursing as it is so minor.  She seems to have lost her tolerance of a bottle.  She took one recently when she was starving, and it was freshly pumped, but refused one that had been frozen, so maybe that has something to do with it as well.  She loves to hear herself talk, squeal, whine, and I still often hear her on the monitor just cooing away, generally with a finger (or an attempt at an entire fist) in her mouth.  She still loves to stand, loves to kick when she is excited, is starting to realize that water splashes when she moves her arms in the bathtub, and while on her belly can lift not only her chest, but her upper stomach off the floor as well.  We can't tell if her hair is going to be light or dark.  The new stuff growing in seems to be a light brown, but it looks like it has highlights, just like the stuff when was born with.  She has been looking just like Alisabeth so much that it's hard to tell the two apart in photos.  But every once in a while I see a baby picture of Gabby that looks just like her too.


October 12th, 2007

    

It's been over 2 months since I last updated Reese's page, but for obvious reasons.  But two months out of a life that is only almost 4 months is pretty significant, in the grand scheme of things.  While living at the in-laws, I kept a journal of Reese's achievements so that when I had access to my computer, and for her baby book, I'd be able to add the information.  So although I didn't update in segments when she did new things, I have all the information and will add that now.  At 7 weeks of age Reese began to sleep through the night.  Yes, we put her on her tummy despite the 'back to sleep' campaign because she (like Dylan) had tummy issues and a slight umbilical hernia and it seemed to relieve them. Reese was given her name and blessing on August 25th, and you can find pictures HERE.  On 09-09-07 Zachary got Reese to squeal for the first time.  I was upstairs and heard her, and came rushing down to see what was wrong (she sounded like a squawking bird, so I thought something was wrong) only to find her smiling at him and Zach saying "Did you hear her laugh?"  at 8 weeks, when lying on her tummy, Reese would tuck her knees under her and scoot around, sometimes in circles on the floor.  Once she went half-way across the room!  That same week she started drooling and biting on her/our hands.  At her 2 month doctor's appointment,  she weighed in at almost 15 pounds and 25 inches.  Dr. Olson was once again amazed at the precociousness of one of my children, with how well she held her head (while being held and on her tummy) how she scooted, smiled, and 'talked' (not to mention how pretty she is!) (And if I sound like I am bragging, just be joyful with me, that we have a happy, healthy baby.) :-)  She did well with her shots, cried with the first 2, screamed for a couple of seconds with the 3rd, and needed motrin for 2 nights.  The first night I was carrying her and my arm bumped some hangers and she got really stiff with her arms spread out wide, and then 5 seconds later started hollering.  Not sure if that had anything to do with the shots, or if she was just scared by the clanging noise of the hangers.  At 10 weeks she began to notice her toes, and would try to reach them when lying on her back.  At 12 weeks she decided she loved to stand best, and still prefers that to anything else.  She also began to arch her back, or curl up in a sit-up, and sometimes nowadays her sit-up is so strong she gets her entire back off the floor and almost into a sitting position.  At 13 weeks we let her go into the exersaucer, in which she loves to spin and try to grab toys.  She also started to just stare at her hands that week, bring them together, grasp toys, and suck on fingers more vigorously and started to really coo and squeal a lot.  This morning was so cute, instead of waking to her cries, she just talked for about 15 minutes until I went and got her for her morning feeding.  At 14 weeks she took her talent of arching her back to scoot out of her carseat and her bouncy chair, and at 15 weeks she began to roll to her side.  On Oct. 4th she rolled all the way over (back to belly) when lying on the floor of our closet while Mark put away clothes.  I think it's the first time he saw something first.  So I made her do it again, and overnight she became a pro, getting her arms out of the way.  The next day she also rolled belly to back, and now struggles to do so, but not consistently.

And that, in a nut shell, is it.  I'll update again after 4 month appointment.

August 1st, 2007


My  little lady is 6 weeks old today.  She seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.  We unscientifically weighed her by having Gabby step on the scale, and then added Reese, and found the difference, which is somewhere between 12-13 pounds.  We'll find out how big she really is in 2 weeks at her 2 month appointment.  Reese is really sweet, and such a beauty to look at, but she is, in my opinion, a bit of a fussy baby.  She doesn't nurse as well as the others did.  Any time my milk lets down she gulps and gets upset and starts screaming, and then for the next 30 minutes we are trying to get all the air out that she swallows when crying.  She is still doing the small time period of screaming, but it is getting better. The funny thing is, if we turn on the vacuum, she quits and is quiet and alert as can be watching it, and as soon as we turn it off, BOOM! And Gabby is REALLY good at getting her to stop crying.  For some reason Reese likes the way Gabby holds her.  Mark and Zach are good at getting burps from her.  I can pat her back for an hour and then hand her over to one of them and 15 seconds later out it comes.  She gave us her first real social smiles on July 23rd.  She smiles for me the most, of course!  Ethan has gotten her good at taking a bottle.  I actually fed her a couple of ounces (which is a shock for me, it was the first time I'd fed one of my babies a bottle!) Now I just have to express enough milk so that I can go see Harry Potter #5.  I think she has finally completely lost her jaundice, and is now a nice, chubby, pink baby.  She so far has kept all her hair, though as her head gets bigger it seems to recede at the top.  Her eyes are still a jewel-blue color, though they do seem darker than the other kids, so maybe Zach will finally have a brown-eyed sibling?  Like Dylan, she confuses people as to who she looks like.  When I look at Gabby and Alisa's baby books, she looks like both of them in different pictures.  She'll be happy that she is her own little person!

We quickly moved on from the newborn clothes, and have now outgrown the 0-3 month clothes as well.  The 3-6 month clothes are supposed to fit until 18 pounds, and all the 6-9 month clothes I have are summer clothes.  So I'll be garage sale shopping for 6-9 and 12 month winter clothes for her, which will be fun.

Reese hates the baby swing, the bouncer, is too little for the exersaucer still, and really likes to be held, but only in certain positions.  She is a very particular little thing, isn't she.  I was telling the kids about a song from Gilbert and Sullivan called "I'm Called Little Buttercup" and sang the words.  They thought it was funny that there was a song all about Reese (Buttercup being one of her nicknames.)

And speaking of Reese, she is now awake and my free time is over! (Top)

July 19th, 2007



I couldn't decide if I should write on the day Reese turned 4 weeks, or on her one month anniversary, so I picked the day between.  We seem to be establishing a pattern of sorts.  Reese starts the day with a wide awake period, lasting 2-4 hours.  She then naps pretty much the late morning to early evening, waking only long enough to eat, fill a diaper (or a few) and then drift off to sleep again.  When evening comes, she has another wide awake period for 3-4 hours until she is off to bed for the night, where she only wakes to eat and burp.  One of the hours in the evening is a tough one, where Reese cries unless she is bounced up and down or if we are lucky, outside for a walk.  Which is a very similar pattern to Alisabeth.  Reese starts bedtime out on her tummy in the cradle, and then finishes the night in bed with Mark and myself.  She is still really grunty, and is on the verge of smiling.  As of now, we talk, sing, coo, or stroke her soft skin and she gives us a little "hey, if you think THAT's going to make me smile, you're going to have to work a lot harder lady!" smirk.  We love her to pieces!  Dylan keeps saying "Baby out!" which if I were cynical enough I could interpret to mean "Baby out?" meaning my stomach isn't shrinking fast enough for him, but I choose to think he's happy she is out.  I showed Dylan how milk sprays out when and he said "Wow! It's dripping!" :-) Alisa is just a little mommy, always ready to help change diapers, get clothes, give baths.  She told me she wants 14 children, and today wondered what her babies would look like.  I told her they'd look like her, and she said "No, all babies look different!" 

Two nights ago my allergies were horribly bad, so last night I took some allergy medicine.  I've tried to avoid it for about 10 years now, and haven't really needed it, but I just was miserable.  So I took some around 7:00 PM and by the time Mark and Zach came home from scouts I was feeling loopy and tired, and went to bed at 10:00.  Mark was a champ and stayed downstairs with Reese until she woke up, at around 12:00 midnight, so that I could sleep. She must have gotten some of the medicine in her, because she slept all evening (through her cranky time too!) and only ate a couple of times at night, and then slept until 8:30.  (The medicine must have worn off, she was up for almost 5 hours after that!)  I now understand why some parents choose to medicate their children with Benedryl at bedtime.  Though I don't agree, and wouldn't intentionally do it, I understand! (Top)

July 11th, 2007


Reese had her 3 week appointment today.  She is 10 pounds, 10 ounces and 22 inches.  Growing like a weed, I'd say.  She is losing the newborn 'sleeping all the time' and having what I think is a growth spurt because she now eats all the time.  It feels like I nurse her for 30 minutes, and 45 minutes later she is ready to eat again.  I am having so much fun playing around with the pictures we've taken of her (I think we printed out over 200 digital prints and developed 3 rolls of film...of course many are similar because I wanted to get more then one shot to get the best one.)  If you scroll down, or use the link above, you can see the birth announcement that I designed for her.  It isn't perfect, and I'd only had Photoshop for about 2 hours before I ran to get them printed, but I like it just fine!  Anyway, the doctor is amazed at how much she has grown.  She let me know that Hutchinson also ran her newspaper announcement without her first name, so I wrote to have that corrected too.   Her jaundice is going away pretty quickly now, and the doctor said she must have been pretty yellow.  I told her that it seemed that each of my kids have gotten more yellow and she said "Maybe you won't have 10!"  I laughed and said, "No, I better stop at 8" and she said "You weren't saying that 3 weeks ago!" and I told her I was so set on having a July baby that I was devastated to be in labor, didn't want to see the baby, didn't want to hold her (until they placed her on me and I fell in love instantly!) and she found that fascinating (and a good reason to always be ready for labor...BABY decides, not Mom!) :-)  Oh, and some days, like when I hear horrible stories about what birth mothers have done to their infants, I'm ready to adopt 20 more just to protect them, and other days I very happy to be 'done'.  And then sometimes I wonder if the reason I keep failing at going into labor in the 'right' month is because God knows it's the only way to get me to consider having another one of His children so that I can have it when I want it.  :-)

So Reese is very gassy this week, grunts a lot, sounds like some exotic animal when trying to poop, spits up a lot, and has to burp.  It's probably something that I am eating, like chocolate or maybe even dairy, though I don't get much of that)  but if she isn't burped very often when eating she'll spit up all over the place and I feel so bad for her.  But I have burping at night!  I don't mind nursing, but it takes more energy to sit up and burp.  I've always felt really good after having a baby, but at around 4-6 weeks I lose my adrenaline and I crash, and I can feel myself heading for that.  No sleep at night will do that to you, and certainly I survive! (Top)

July 4th-6th, 2007


Happy 4th of July!  As you can see from the above photo, we were prepared to have a July baby.  Reese is wearing her 'coming home from the hospital' outfit!  It's a good thing that we had a back-up outfit picked out too.  Reese had a wonderful 4th.  We started the day taking photographs (which is pretty much how we start out every day!)  We then headed to Grandma Bonnie's house so that Reese could meet her great-grandmas and the rest of us could have great food and light some 'big booms' (as Dylan calls them.)  Yesterday, the 3rd, I called Dr. Olson to see if she'd be in town (she only works at the Glencoe clinic on Wednesdays, and had the 4th off) for some reason on the 4th to see Reese for her 2 week appointment.  She said we could delay it for one week, but did suggest that I go to the hospital and get a bilirubin level check after I told her Reese was still jaundiced.  So I did, and her level was 12.9.  Apparently they want them under the bili-lights at a level of 15. I suspect that Reese had a higher level a couple of days prior, and probably should have had her checked out sooner.  Dr. Olson told me to make sure she gets indirect sun 2 times a day for 10 minutes, and to come recheck on Friday.  (Which we did, and her level was an 11.9 (the same level she was when we were discharged.)  Since the numbers were going down, I don't have to do anything further, besides making sure she isn't lethargic, getting more yellow, not eating, not having poopy diapers, etc.  She is definitely losing her yellow color quickly though.  While at the hospital on the 3rd, I asked if I could get a weight on her since I wouldn't be back for a week.  Reese is now 9 pounds, 13 oz.!  Growing like a week, and cute as a button!  My milk is in full force now, and so we are beginning the spit-up, gassy, grunt in your sleep all night phase (her, not me!)

I am still working on a birth announcement for her.  I got Adobe Photoshop Elements for my birthday, and I am waiting for that to come before I make up the announcement.  I have it designed, and the pictures picked out, but want to Photoshop them.  I have SO MANY photos of Reese that I want to 'fix' and then I can share them.  Should be next week some time.  Her announcement should appear in the Buffalo/Wright County newspapers soon, and is in the Glencoe paper this week. (Reese wasn't named for a day and a half, and the nurse came and took all the papers I signed while I was in the bath, and she said she'd add the information when we came up with a name, so her first name is missing, and I have contacted them to update the information.)

We are still working through our frozen meals, which has been a lifesaver.  We had 13 ready to go on our own, Bonnie brought 1, and the church provided 6.  That's 3 weeks of not having to shop or make lists (which is good because the money is going towards film development and other incidentals.) :-) (Top)


June 27th, 2007


Reese is 1 week old, and doing fabulous!  This is the first chance I have had to write about her emerging personality, her features, and how the rest of the family is reacting to having her around.  I knew during this pregnancy that Reese would be mild and peaceful, and she truly is.  The child loves to smile, rarely cries, and isn't fussy. Easy to burp, hiccups rarely. No colic, no feeding issues, just a joy to have around.  I was holding her and just staring (which I also did today with Dylan as I put him down for a nap.  Let me tell you there is very little I find more content and touching then holding one of my children's hands as they slip off into the Land of Nod) and said "Mark, don't you want to have another just like this?" to which he said "Let's end on a positive note, because we've proven that we can create ones like Dylan too!"  Now before I go any further, I have to say that Mark and I both feel extremely blessed to have Dylan in our lives.  He is a happy, creative, brilliant, precocious, child:  We just aren't used to the activity level that he creates.  I love every square inch of him and find his personality enchanting, I swear!

Anyway, the kids still argue over who gets to hold Reese.  We all love the little dimple in her cheek.  It reminds me of my sister Laurie's.  So cute!  I first noticed it the morning that I delivered her, after Mark went to get the kids, and instantly fell in love. Up to that point, I was simply angry that she was here too early. :-) Now that her hair has been washed several times, it is very dark, but has light highlights to it, it is long in back, and has some waviness to it.  All the kids have made their own unique sound when the grunt in their sleep.  Ethan's nickname is Bear because of it.  We called Dylan 'Chewie' after Chewbacca from Star Wars.  Well Reese sounds like a goose!  I can't decide if I should call her Goose or Smiley.  On the other hand a friend emailed me a congratulations and said her name sounds regal, so I am inclined to call her Lady Reese (as Gabby has always been Princess, and Alisa is Miss Lily.)

Reese's umbilical stump fell off on June 25th, at 5 days old.  She is our official winner for shortest time.  Gabby will always hold the record for longest at 7 weeks!  She is a little jaundiced, though not as much as I expected, because the kids seemed to be getting worse each time, but she is better than Dylan.  Could be the warm summer sun helping things along.  She sleeps a lot during the day, with maybe 1-2 time periods that she is awake and alert.  She eats a lot, and has a lot of diapers!  We've been having fun taking pictures of her, and worry about getting her into all her cute clothes before she out grows them.  Her baby photo album will resemble a fashion magazine.  I still need to get some portrait pictures and make up a birth announcement for friends/family whose email I do not have.  I have so much much I want/need to do that some days I feel overwhelmed, and others I stop and realize that more important than all the updates, the announcements, the outfits, I can find tranquility in living in the moment and enjoying it, instead of in the lens, the journal, etc.

As for myself, I am feeling really good.  I've lost 25 of my 35 pounds that I gained, which amazes me.  I think I must have had tons of water weight, because I was only down about 12 pounds when I got home from the hospital, but I was so swollen, and now my legs and fingers look slimmer and the other 13 pounds are gone.  Yay.  Too bad about the extra 40 from Dylan I never lost though, eh? Actually, now that I think about it, how was Reese so big, at 6 days early, and a 35 pound weight gain, and Dylan was almost the same weight, at 5 days early, with a 55 pound weight gain?  As far as labor and delivery, I wish that I was able to video it, wish I had gotten some labor pictures, and wish it was as tranquil and joyous as it was with Alisa, but all in all, I can't complain in hindsight, I 'm just so glad she is here, safe, healthy, and happy. I have told Mark that in order to keep my sanity while experiencing the baby blues, I tell myself that I can think about another baby in 4-5 years.  He seems amazed that I can even think about it, so I told him "Hey, you have your fantasies, and I have mine!"  (Top)

Growth Chart

Age
Weight
Length
       Head Circumference
Chest Circumference
Birth
8'11.2 oz.
20"
14"
14"
2 Weeks
9'13.4 oz.



3 Weeks
10'10 oz.
22"
14 1/4"

2 Months
14'13 3/4 oz.
24 3/4"
15 3/4"

5 Months
17'11.5 oz.
26.5"
17

10 Months
20'9.5 oz.
29 3/4"
18

12 Months
22'12 oz. (fully dressed) 31"
18 3/4 "

15 Months




18 Months





Birthday Party Invitation


Birth Announcement


Hospital Announcement