Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Big boy...

I sure do love my big boy.  He is dressing himself and doing most of his self care himself.  Although he puts his shirt on backwards every other day, I am so proud of him.  He also helps out around the house so much.  The other day I took the trash out and he said, "I'll put new trash bags in for you mom."  He helps me clean the floors and dust...
He is such a great big brother!  He loves Emaline and is so patient and sweet to her.  He is such a snuggle bug, and he gives the best hugs and kisses.
His favorite things to do right now are to play pretend, play cars, and play outside with Jack. 
He goes to music class once a week, too!  He really enjoys it!  He participates, sings, plays instruments...it's so fun to watch.  He makes me proud by how well behaved he is.
He's not always well behaved!!  He has been testing us a lot lately!  Saying "no", not listening...I'm sure normal toddler things.  I always wish for more patience because all in all he is such a wonderful boy and we love him sooooo much!
 My sleeping angel!  This shot actually woke him up!

 Here, he is pretending to be a "grass cutter man"  I told him to pose and I would take a picture of him to put on a business card for him.  Funny!

 How funny is he!?  Yes, he dressed himself.
 Making pretzels with me!

 This moth let Gavin come right up to him.

When Gavin went to catch the moth, it flew into his sleeve!  

5 months old

I can't believe my little girl is already 5 months old!  She gets more and more beautiful every day!  She is really starting to develop quite the personality!  She is pretty mellow and content, unless she is hurting.  She's been dealing with her teeth lately, and has been pretty grouchy at times...understandably.  She is so active and always moving, except when she's sleeping.  It is really difficult to feed, bathe, dress, or diaper her.  She is constantly trying to roll over.  She kicks her legs and flails her arms.  You can tell she just wants get up and run around with her brother.  She tries really hard to grab things, and most times succeeds.  The other day, I had a bowl of cereal on the counter, and she grabbed it, spilling it everywhere!

She loves her toes!

She is sitting up for up to 30 seconds by herself! 

She is a daddy's girl, and he is so wrapped around her finger.  Dada makes her smile and giggle like no one else can. 

She is still really comfortable with Grandma, but is starting to open up to other people...especially GiGi, Aunt Michelle and Uncle Leonard.

She is copying things we do...like raspberries.  And I could swear she says "HI" in the same high pitch tone in which we talk to her.  She growls and grunts and squeals and squeaks.  She is trying to make her voice heard as the tiniest Marchand. 

She is a precious member of our family, and we all love her so much!


A boy and his dog...

Only a few short months ago, Jack and Gavin didn't pay too much attention to each another.  But, since Hurricane Issac and our evacuation, they have been pretty inseperable.  It seems like as long as Jack is around, Gavin feels safe and is content.  Gavin brings Jack everywhere with him...outside, up in the game room, in his room (on his bed!) He's very protective of his furry brother.  If I fuss at Jack, he tries to stick up for him.

I think Jack (sometimes) enjoys the attention.  We taught Gavin hand signals and commands, and Jack listens.  Jack acts indifferent and even put out sometimes, but when Gavin walks down the stairs in the morning, he wags his tail and waits for him.  If Gavin goes outside without him, Jack paces by the back door until he can go, too. 

They really are cute together, and I'm so happy they have each other.  Jack was the first to make Gavin laugh, and he continues to make him laugh everyday!

Monday, October 29, 2012

New house.

We have a new house.  On 75 Piper Lane in Mandeville, LA.  I love this house, and I think everyone is so happy here.  It needs some work, but it's perfect for us, and we will put our touches on it...eventually.  There were a few things that sold me on this house.  I love that it's on a cul de sac in a very small, quiet neighborhood. Although the kitchen needs updating, I love the lay out and the huge bench seat by the big bay window.  I imagined family and friends sitting on that bench while I cooked.  Gary has his own separate space above the garage for his office.  I love the openness of it!  I could go on and on!  It seems to get better every day.  Not only is the house great, we love the area.  My mom told me I can't say, "Yes, it's right down the street" anymore.  We have everything we need so close.  All of my favorite stores are down the street, and we have 3 grocery stores within 5 minutes of our house.  We love the neighborhood.  There are a bunch of kids moving into the neighborhood, and our neighbors are great and friendly. There is a pond in the back of the neighborhood with ducks!  We have ducks!  It's really a great life for us, and I can see our future here.  I can see our kids growing up here and growing old with Gary here. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012



I've decided to give up breastfeeding (again).  I've gone back and forth over the last month and every time I think I'm giving up, I end up trying again. 

Emaline and I have never been very good at this nursing thing, but it worked.  I was able to meet all of her needs as painful as it was, literally and figuratively.  Then, I got sick.  I got strep throat and had 102 + degree fever.  I was achy and cold all the time.  I didn't think I could take the pain of nursing her, not to mention I didn't want to be that close to her and get her sick.  So, I pumped and someone else fed her, most of the time.  Then, we had a series of stressful and/or busy events...evacuation for hurricane Issac, packing and moving, vacation.  My supply just couldn't keep up with a growing baby.  I had to supplement with formula while we were evacuated for Issac, and I cried a lot about that.  I wanted to nurse her for at least 6 months, if not a year.  But still, I kept trying.  And my milk supply keeps fading.  I've tried Fenugreek (which makes you smell like maple syrup), eating oatmeal, drinking beer, chugging water, etc...none of it working.  The only thing I could have done was pump after every time I nursed her, but I didn't want to do that.  I didn't want to take the additional 10-20 minutes after every feeding to do it.  I don't want to nurse her, offer her formula because I'm not filling her up and THEN pump for 20 minutes.  I could have, but I didn't.  I have an active 3 1/2 year old and a 4 month old to take care of all day.

I'm trying to make myself feel better about this decision, and I think about how free it will make me.  Free to eat and drink whatever I want.  Free to wear whatever I want without thinking about accessing a boob during the day.  Free from the pump and "my goat".  Free to let other people feed her so I can have a break and other people can bond with her.  I am not free of guilt.  Even the formula bottle gives you crap about not nursing..."Breast milk is best, but if you can't nurse because you are inadequate, we have a formula right for you".  Ok, I paraphrased that.  Ugh.  I feel guilty about her poop, too.  She's been a little constipated with the formula.  And it's starting to stink.  No more sweet yellow seedy poop.  She hasn't been sick yet, but I worry about her exposure to sickness without my antibodies to help protect her.  She's been around some pretty gross germs and has never gotten sick. 

There is something very special about nursing your child.  It is connection that only you have as a mother.  And although I'm not all hippy sentimental about it, I am emotionally connected.  I get upset when I see anything related to nursing her...the pillow I use, the pump accessories, the hideous bras I wear. 

I am making barely enough to feed her in the mornings.  I'll continue to do that until I can't, I guess.  I know this is a bump in the road and only a small fraction of the ways I can bond and take care of her.  I know my sadness will subside, but right now it's hard.  Am I crying right now?  You betcha!