Monday, July 20, 2009

Back to Normal

This week has been all about getting back to normal, trying to once again get into some sort of routine. Last week me and my two girls visited my sister for a few days. We had a great time but of course after being away for any length of time our schedule was all out of whack. Samantha being so young still we did not have that regular of a routine to begin with but I made that the goal for this week.

Samantha is finally eating somewhat regularly - until the next growth spurt at least which will creep up right as we have gotten comfortable with this schedule. She is also sleeping really well at night and has been going to bed around 8:00 for a while now. In addition to getting on a regular feeding schedule I needed to get her on a regular bath schedule. With Gabrielle I always made sure she was bathed and slathered in lotion so she always had that sweet baby smell. I realized when I got home from my sister's, poor Samantha had not had a bath in a week!!

Gabrielle's schedule has not really changed too much for a while now except for our night time routine. We created a bad habit of not bathing her at a regular time every night which then led to not putting her to bed at a regular time every night which of course meant many nights of Gabrielle being up way too late. As of this week that has all changed. Every night bath time is at 7:30 and bedtime is always by 8:30. By the time we get through our whole bedtime routine - reading, tucking in, bedtime prayer, turning on the music and turning off the lights - then it is typically 9:00. She has been going to bed much easier this week and getting up at a more reasonable time each morning as well. She also has been in a much better mood - as good as can be expected for a two year old anyway.

For myself I was determined to finally after almost 3 months do something about this baby weight I'm still carrying. I have 15 lbs. to lose before I am at my pre-Samantha weight. Unfortunately I never lost the last 10 lbs. of Gabrielle weight and had also gained a few pounds between the two pregnancies. This all adds up to 30 lbs. to lose!! It is a bit overwhelming. I've never had this much weight to lose and I think the reason I waited so long to do anything about it is fear of failure. If I never tried to lose the weight then I could not fail at it, right? But now I'm tired of none of my clothes fitting and I'm really unhappy how I look in the clothes that do fit. Plus I know the added weight is not good on my health or energy level and with two young children I need all the energy I can get!

We can not afford a gym membership at the moment although I do hope in the fall we will be able to get a family membership to the Y but for now I need to find a way to exercise at home. I needed to find something easy to squeeze into my mornings and something I would commit to doing. We have digital cable and one of the channels we receive is the Exercise On-Demand. For anyone who might not know what On-Demand is, basically you can choose to watch any number of programs and movies for free at the press of a button as if you have this huge library of dvds. There are some movies that you have to pay for of course but there are many On-Demand channels of free programs and the Exercise channel is one of them. There are some really great workouts to choose from as well - anything from yoga to dancing to walking. There are even some family/kid workouts. On Monday I did a 10 minute dance workout, Tuesday a 20 minute/1 mile walking workout and yesterday a 30 minute/2 mile walking workout. My plan is to do the 30 minute/2 mile walking on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and a dance and a stretching workout on Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday or maybe the 1 mile walking workout on those days.

I know exercise is not going to be enough so I am trying to be more conscious of everything I am eating. I am adding more salads, veggies and fruit to my diet and cutting out the majority of the salty snacks and sweets I oh so love. I strongly dislike the word "diet" and refuse to be on a so called "diet" for the rest of my life. I simply want to eat healthier and be more aware of portion sizes and moderation. My goal is not to be unrealistically thin. I want to be at a healthy weight for my height, feel comfortable in my clothes, and feel more energetic.

The week has been going relatively smoothly but I will be packing up myself and the girls again in just over a week. We are going to my mom's for almost a full week for Gabrielle to go to Vacation Bible School at my mom's church. Hopefully we can stay relatively close to our routine while we are there. But I am definitely aware with young children it is next to impossible to strictly stay on a routine unless you are willing to give up having an actual life! There will always be growth spurts that change feeding and sleeping schedules, appointments and outings that interfere with naps and plans in the evening to disrupt bath and bed times. But what fun would it be if we never did anything different and even spontaneous all for the sake of staying on schedule!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I am NOT my sister!

Even at 2 months old Samantha is already letting me know - loud and clear - that she is not her big sister. Actually, when I think about it, from conception throughout my pregnancy and even in delivery it was a very different experience. Upon the news that I was expecting, my sister warned me that my second child would be the polar opposite of my first. Even though it is difficult for me to admit - she was right!

I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. In fact some of the differences have been wonderful. Samantha is a much better sleeper at night than Gabrielle was at this age and has been since day one. She does not require I rock her to sleep. Change her, feed her and lay her down - that's it. She started sleeping 8 hours a night at an earlier age than Gabrielle as well.

Samantha is a much more relaxed eater. Unlike her sister who chugged every bottle like it was her last meal and often choked as a result, Samantha takes her time, is in no hurry and easily burps afterward.

However, Gabrielle was a very easy going baby - very patient and quiet and simply put, easy. Samantha, well, easy isn't really the adjective I would use. She is the opposite of easy going and patient. When she wants something, she wants it now. She is the opposite of quiet. When she is not happy the whole neighborhood can probably hear her. But I will say she is equally loud with her coos and laughs as she is with her cries and screams so it is not always unhappy loudness. (There have been nights Ed and I have woken up to her babbling to her mobile animals.) In general Samantha demands more attention than Gabrielle ever did but then again Gabrielle did not have a two year old to compete with either.

Gabrielle loved her pacifier from the beginning. It always calmed her and she could sleep through anything and anywhere as long as she had her "paci". The second night in the hospital she was crying and crying and crying. The only thing that would soothe her was to suck on my little finger. It was probably 2:00 am when I called the nurse to ask for a pacifier. After all, I was exhausted and could not stay up all night just to let Gabrielle suck on my finger. To my surprise it was against hospital policy to pass out pacifiers. They did not even keep pacifiers on hand in the regular nursery. I guess the nurse could see desperation in my eyes because she quickly left and returned with a pacifier from the N.I.C.U. Upon handing the tiny pacifier to me she said "If anyone asks I did not give this to you." It was silly how big of a deal was made over a pacifier but I learned my lesson. I was sure to sterilize and pack my own pacifiers in my hospital bag for Samantha. But of course I was once again surprised the second night in the hospital. Samantha refused the pacifier!! I was determined to convince her that the pacifier is what she wanted. She got a little better about taking it once we got home but in the last couple of weeks she takes it less and less. We've gotten to the point that the only way Samantha will take a pacifier is for us to physically hold it in her mouth. Let's face it, if it requires that much work it pretty much defeats the purpose of the pacifier!

While there are some obvious differences between my girls, they do resemble one another and share some very sweet personality traits as well. For instance, Samantha is just as smiley and happy as her big sister was at this age.

Yes, my girls are definitely each their own persons and both will probably continue to remind me of this for many, many years to come.

Gabrielle at 2 months old. I have very few photos from the first
6 months where she does not have her pacifier.

Instead of a pacifier, Samantha loves her fingers.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Explanation of Blog Title

For anyone wondering, my blog title is referring to my two sweet girls - Gabrielle and Samantha. With a 2-1/2 year old and a 2 month old there are some days I just know I'm on the verge of losing my mind but regardless of those days or how many of those days I have, at the end of the day as I put my girls to bed I can't help but smile. They are truly little sunbeams that brighten up my days and my life. And there you go - the inspiration for my blog.

My First Blog Posting

It was only a few weeks ago I made the statement to a friend that my life was not "blog-worthy." I've been interested in creating this blog for some time now but haven't taken the time to do so and really just didn't know what I would even blog about. Here I am finally getting this thing going. I'm still not sure I have a great deal to blog about and very few people may find it interesting but maybe, if anything, it can be a way for my family and friends to stay up to date with my life.