Lily is doing great with giving up her pacifiers during the day. She has even stopped asking for them. However, she has replaced the paci habit with a new habit: nail biting. I'm not sure which habit is worse. She has chewed almost all of her nails down to the skin. Today she chewed them so much her finger started bleeding. When Lily sees blood she has a complete meltdown which involves screaming, crying, and body shakes. I think it sends her into a full-fledged panic attack. I've been reassured by the doctor that no one has died from a panic attack so it's not detrimental to her health if she goes hysterical - that's good to know. I guess the reward chart is working and helping us toward our ultimate goal, but I'm not exactly sure how to handle the nail biting now. Check back next week on our progress and hopefully I will have found a solution for stopping the nail biting.
Happy, smiley, talkey, and squirmy - that's my little Griffin! He is so full of life. His personality is vibrant and it shines through more each day. He is laid back, yet, energetic. He is getting a little more mobile the way he squirms and rolls his way around a room. He enjoys looking at toys and exploring them with his mouth. It's like he's trying to absorb everything in his environment. Just the other day I saw him roll over and stare intently out the back door window for what seemed like 10 minutes - maybe he'll be the contemplator in the family. Ha ha!!
He still enjoys watching Lily and Schaeffer as they play around him. I can tell that he's eager to get in the middle of the action. In about 2 more months I bet he will have it figured out. Watch out Lily and Schaeffer!
Just recently, Griffin has been sleeping in his crib in his own room. That transition hasn't gone so great. He has not been a terrific sleeper since birth so the transition from our room to his room just disturbed the little bit of sleep rhythm that we established. But he has outgrown his Moses basket that he loves so much. It was really cute watching him try to get comfortable in his basket because sometimes he'd throw his leg up over the side just to stretch out. I knew it was time to move to the crib.
Griffin is also a little communicator. He will make lots of noise and wave his arms up and down to get my attention. As soon as I turn to look at him, he grins really big as if to say "I got your attention, Mommy! Now talk to me and tell me how much you love me!" He's successfully mastering communication skills.
Okay, so maybe we aren't touring all the great parks across the nation, but we are trying to visit one park per week in and around Knoxville. Since the weather has gotten cooler, and we are still experiencing longer daylight, we've decided to do a picnic dinner in local parks once per week. This is week 3 of our tour, and we hope to visit either the new playground at the World's Fair Park or Island Home park on the river. We have visited Whitlow Park in Sequoyah Hills and West Hills Park. Whitlow is a tiny, quaint park in the heart of Sequoyah Hills tucked in between some cute "little" houses (little for Sequoyah Hills standards). And West Hills is a large, busy park surrounded by West Hills neighborhood, I-40, YMCA, West Towne Mall and some schools and churches.
Since adding Griffin to our family things are busier around the house, but other parts of our lives have slowed down. It's more challenging to leave the house with 3 kids aged 4 and under. And it has definitely gotten more difficult to eat out in restaurants. We've learned to take our time and be patient in everything we do - we really don't have a choice otherwise. The kids dance to the beat of their own drums and each one has a different rhythm. Our picnic in the park fits perfectly into our new lifestyle. The kids have the chance to run, climb, jump and explore. And BJ and I (and Griffin) have the chance to relax on a big quilt spread out on the grass.
We've started another reward chart with Lily. This time the reward is Spike the Ultra Dinosaur and it's to motivate her to give up her pacifiers during the day. She is still allowed to use them at nighttime. She's not allowed to bring the pacifiers out of her room. If she needs a "fix" during the day she can get on her bed and use her paci's. But I've even tried to help her from using them at all during the day. She will tell me that she really needs them so I try to find a good substitute. Yesterday she chewed two pieces of bubble gum and chomped on a raw carrot. So far today she has only asked for them once and I gave her a sliced apple. The crunchy stuff seems to work really great to get her past her craving. I sort of feel like I'm trying to break her from an addiction or something. BJ asked me yesterday if there was a Paci Patch. Sheesh! I wish! That would be way easier. My hope has been all along that she would be willing to give up her paci's before age 5. And so far we are on the right track. This is the first time she has been willing to consider giving them up for a reward. Spike is something she has wanted and begged for for a long time and it seems to be doing the trick, well at least for the first 2 days. But I think if she can stick with it the paci's could be 100% gone in 4 weeks or less.
I wish I would've discovered homemade baby wipes a long time ago! It would've saved me big bucks now that I'm diapering baby number 3. The recipe is readily available online when you Google "making your own baby wipes." After two batches I've come up with the recipe that I prefer. Here it is...
You will need: Bounty Extra Soft paper towels (or regular Bounty) 2 cups water 1 Tablespoon baby bath wash (up to 2 Tbls) 1 teaspoon Baby oil (up to 1 Tbls) 7- or 8-cup storage container (such as Ziploc disposable container, a left over gallon ice cream tub, or something similar with an air tight lid)
Using a sharp serated knife, cut the roll of Bounty paper towels in half. Bounty works the best because they don't fall apart when they soak up the solution, and I think Bounty Extra Soft is just a lot softer on sensitive baby bottoms. Place half the roll, cut side down, into the container. Boil 2 cups water, remove from heat, then add your baby bath wash and baby oil. Stir. Then pour the solution over the paper towels in the container. Put the lid on. After about 5 minutes, flip the container over and let it sit for about 10 minutes to let the solution thoroughly soak into the paper towels evenly. After the paper towels are good and saturated the cardboard roll should slide right out of the paper towels and it will pull the first towel up from the center. It's ready to use!
These wipes work great because the paper towels are thick, strong, and are nice and wet with the solution. You could even use all natural baby wash and something like safflower oil or coconut oil if you wanted a natural baby wipe. And some recipes say you can use 1 tsp alcohol, but I'm not sure why since it could burn if baby has a bit of a diaper rash. I figure the savings will be huge since a pack of generic wipes is about $1.44 and the homemade wipes cost no more than $0.50 per container if you use inexpensive wash and oil.
On Aug. 23 Griffin turned 4 months old. He is such a sweet, precious blessing to our family. I'm trying to savor every minute of his infancy since I know before too long he'll be acting just like little Mr. Temper-Tantrum and Miss. Sassy-Mouth. Griffin is smiling and laughing constantly. He loves to watch his big brother and sister. I know before long he'll be right in the middle of the action. He rolls from back to front and front to back very easily. He worms and wiggles his way around to get different places in the living room floor. No more can I leave him on the couch or bed to watch the action from up high. He enjoys sitting in his high chair (which reclines for his comfort) while we eat dinner. I think he likes being a part of the family and seeing what everyone is doing. When I hold him he cranes his neck around to see everything he can. This has caused me to be more careful when I carry him for fear he'll squirm right out of my arms. He is sleeping so-so. He doesn't nap very well during the day, but he sleeps 5-7 hours at night. I can't complain even though I'm very ready for him - and me - to sleep more like 8-10 hours at night. Griffin is a good eater. He still nurses like a champ every 3-4 hours. As of last Monday, he weighed 15 lbs 5 oz (75th percentile). His cheeks are out-of-control chubby! I LOVE them and can't help but kiss them a million times a day. His eyes are a very groovy brown and blue color, which sort of looks greenish at times. It's still hard to decide if they will be brown, blue or some shade in between. If someone were to ask me what color his eyes are, I'd have to say I really don't know. His favorite places to hang out are in the Bumbo seat, the bouncy seats, and he's loving his exer-saucer now that he's big enough. Griffin enjoys all the different toys we hand to him, and they all go straight into his mouth. But I honestly think his all time favorite thing is for his big sister to talk to him. He belly laughs whenever she comes near and his eyes follow her every move when she's within sight. Lily is doing great with him and loves to make him laugh. Such a precious sight! Schaeffer is doing great with Griffin, too. But he's still more interested in his trucks to pay much attention to baby brother. Both Lily and Schaeffer are very gentle and loving with Griffin. I'm a very lucky and blessed mommy!