I totally missed the four month post, as we were on the beach. It was worth it.
Mark was a big fan of the beach.
Four and five months blend together a lot anyway. Mark has started rolling first front to back, then back to front a week or so later. He now sleeps on his belly about half the time, even though he gets put down on his back every night. Speaking of sleeping, he finally moved out of our room at the end of August.
Look how big I am!
Lucky #3 got spoiled with 2 extra months in Mommy & Daddy’s room due in part to exhaustion and a chest cold. Mark has laryngomalacia, which is when the cartiledge in the larynx is soft and collapses over the airway during inhalation. Basically it means he’s a really noisy breather and he will most likely grow out of it. He’s already much quieter than he used to be, so we are confident that he will not need any medical intervention to correct the issue. When he had that chest cold, however, he would often gasp loudly for air if he got worked up when he was crying, so we kept him close by so we could keep that from happening.
The long hair has since been trimmed. It was out of control.
It’s very cool to watch Mark grow and learn how to do things. He now reaches for toys and grasps things like rattles, the mirror on his playmat, and Vicki’s hair. He can sit in the bumbo and once even managed to dive out of said bumbo. Mark likes the jumperoo and no longer needs a step beneath him to reach the ground. He loves to grab the toys dangling from the handle of his car seat. His disposition in the car has greatly improved, partly because he can now play and partly because the weather has cooled. If he starts crying, I can usually just blast the air in his face and he calms down. Poor little sweaty man.
Always a smile.
One of my favorite things about Mark is is his smile. If you smile at him, he smiles back. He’s just a happy guy. We practice sitting up, but when he smiles, he arches his back and loses his balance. The kid smiles with his entire body.
Stats from Mark’s four month appointment:
- Height: 2’2″ (76%)
- Weight: 13lb 12oz (17%)
- Head circumference: 43.2cm (66%)
Baby side eye
At five months, Mark:
- Wears size 3-6 and 6 month clothes. 6 month pjs and onesies, 3-6 month pants. As per usual, he’s long and skinny.
- Chatters a TON. We call it “blarghing” because that’s the best representation of the noise he makes.
- Adores his big brother and sister. He lights up when they come see him, grabs onto them when they hug him, and slimes them when they lean in for a kiss.
- Is teething like crazy, but no teeth yet. He tries to shove both fists in his mouth simultaneously and drools like a faucet.
Knuckle sandwich, anyone?
The Dude has an obsession. An obsession with trains. So when I went to make him a quilt, there was only one option.
CHOO CHOO! (Fabric is Scoot by Riley Blake.)
This fabric is perfection as it has a ton of trains, trucks, helicopters, wagons, backhoes, etc. I had to teach myself appliqué to make this, but the look on Luke’s face was worth it. He kept shouting out, “NAIN! Mommy, NAIN! Nain a-boose! Nain cah! Nain cah! Nain N-GIN!!!”
Quilted details for the track, connections between trains, and smoke coming out of the smokestack. (Quilting by http://www.citymausquilter.us/)
He asks to sleep with it every night. “Nain blanket, mommy?” That and 4-6 different train cars, obviously. My work here is done.
Handmade tag, signed <3 Mommy on the reverse side.
He may be middle-childed every now and again, but he’s the first one to have a quilt made by Mommy. So it all balances out.
To my shining star,
I would have written this yesterday, but I was busy. From the moment I opened my eyes to see yours inches from my nose to the moment we fell asleep holding hands, yesterday was full. Full of smiles and giggles, playing and snuggling, presents and candles and cupcakes. No time for writing, so it had to wait for today.
Playing on the beach in Chatham.
Four years ago you were born and made me a mommy. It seems like it’s been longer that we’ve known each other. You feel that way, too, and cried when you realized you weren’t at our wedding. Sorry, baby. Time is a funny thing.
Vicki, you are such a sweet and crazy girl. You’re the best big sister ever and love to teach Luke new songs and games you learned at school. You love to hold hands with Mark and give him toys so he doesn’t cry because “Marky crying gives [you] headaches.” You have no problems sharing me with your brothers, probably because personal space is a foreign concept to you.
How we eat breakfast most days.
You’re an old pro at preschool this year. You were so excited to go back and see all your friends and teachers. When I picked you up a few weeks ago, you proudly introduced me to every kid that walked by us. It about made me burst with happiness. Your listening skills have greatly improved, although we still need to do time outs occasionally – like when you dropped stickers in my coffee yesterday morning. Don’t mess with mama’s coffee, ok? It’s just not right.
Vicki, you’re so independent and confident in yourself. You’re not afraid to challenge anyone when you think they’re wrong and you’re correct. I remember one day you wanted to color on your whiteboard with crayons and Daddy told you that we don’t use crayons on whiteboards. You insisted, over and over, that these were special crayons, and you were right. We are so proud that you stand up for yourself. Remember to always do that.
MOM! No more pictures!
You make us laugh every day and say Lucas is your best friend. You always want to hold my hand and sit next to me on the couch. You invent concoctions with your food and never eat them. You set Luke up to get in trouble and then sit with him in time out. You sneak into our bed in the middle of the light like a snuggle ninja. You carry around all of your possessions in backpacks, purses, your pockets, and your arms – random things like old keys and my honor society charm from college. You emphatically state that you “ba-hate zucchini!” but eat broccoli raw. Every night at bedtime, you tell me “goodnight, my darling flower princess key crown wand” – the nickname you made up for me – after you tell me you love me better than Christmas trees, water parks, and jungle gyms. Best compliments ever.
My sweet girl, I love you better than Christmas trees, water parks, and jungle gyms. You are my favorite Victoria.
Love & kisses,
So excited for her first day!
This year was pretty smooth. Everything was the same – same preschool, same teacher, same friends. Nothing to really be nervous about, but there were a few moments of nerves anyway. Yesterday, over grilled cheese and tomato soup, I told Vicki I’m really going to miss her while she’s at school. She got a little choked up and said, “I’m really going to miss you, too, mommy.”
Those shoes? Rainbow stars. Obviously.
Of course, this morning is the only day this week that she slept past 7am, so I had to go in and haul her out of bed. She later told me that she was so excited about school that she couldn’t sleep last night.
Look, I'm holding the sign, too! Wait, why are you guys laughing?
Poor Luke wanted to go to school so badly, too. When we went to orientation last week, he was so excited. “Schoo! Plee! Dudas! Too?” Buddy was disappointed today when I drove off with Vicki and he didn’t get to come. Next year, dude.
Vicki was done with pictures...
until Cory told her she'd get ice cream tonight if she smiled.
When I dropped Vicki off, I got an extra long hug, and then I hightailed it out of there before we both got emotional. No crying for anyone this year.
All the kids!
I promised her cake pops after school so we’re going to swing by Starbucks and have ourselves a few moments together. I’m so excited for her to learn and grow this year!
Still technically three months. For a few more days. I’m rolling with it. Not Goose, though. He still doesn’t roll. Not sure if this is because he doesn’t want to or because his tummy time is limited so I can make sure his older siblings don’t tackle him. They’re not trying to be mean, they just want to play with him like they play with each other.
Smiles for everyone!
Remember when I said Mark was stoic? I think he found his smile. Perhaps he just hadn’t gotten the hang of it yet, because now he smiles CONSTANTLY. He wakes up smiling, babbling, and cooing. He has totally found his voice and jabbers on all the time.
This picture. I cannot stop laughing.
I finally moved him to his own room this past week. He was a very spoiled little boy and got to sleep in our room for almost 2 months longer than the other two. I’ve been meaning to move him for a while, but then I got sick, and then he got sick, and then I wanted to finish up his room so I didn’t have to decorate it when he was already sleeping in there. Team Green strikes again.
I'm bigger (and hairier!) than the monkey!
This month, Mark got to experience babysitters! We left him before for a few hours but he always slept the entire time we were gone. Now he gets stuck at home with the other two when Mommy and Daddy go out on the town. (aka have dinner and a conversation, then putz around to make sure we get home after bedtime) Mark has had no issues taking bottles and he charms everyone he meets. He’s also now old enough to go to the gym playroom and every time I go back to pick them up, he’s being held. Such a ladies’ man.
He still does the froggy legs all the time. <3
His night sleep has been pretty good, save for a few off nights here and there. He usually gets up once to eat and then wakes up for the day around 5:30-6. There were a couple of nights where he slept through and that was amazing. I don’t really mind the once-a-night wakeups, it’s the thrice-a-night that kill me.
At three months, Marcus:
- Wears 6 month clothes. I waited too long to move him up and pretty much skipped the entire 3-6 month size. I blame summer and the lack of footie pjs and/or pants. Although 3 month pants are too short and 6 month pants are too big in the waist, so it’ll be babylegs for the foreseeable future.
- Still naps exclusively in the swing, with no plans to change that. If it ain’t broke…
- Has been introduced to the Bumbo and loves having a new perspective on the world. He will spend a good 15-20 minutes in there just looking around and watch Vicki & Luke play.
This is my new favorite picture in the history of ever.
I wrote this a few weeks back and took the pictures in June, but finally put them together tonight! Good thing, too, since he’ll be three months this week!
I say it all the time to people who ask – Mark is a really good baby.
Woohoo! 2 months!!
He hates being hot or being left alone (ie put down while I shower/pee/care for the other children), but other than that, he’s a happy kiddo. He is in love with his swing and takes epic naps in it almost every day. He’s most awake in the evenings once the other kids are in bed, and we play and do tummy time, then snuggle before I go to bed. He’s still sleeping in our room in the co sleeper, and sleeps swaddled for 4-6 hour stretches. Last week when we stayed in a hotel and he slept in bed with me, he slept for 8 hours straight. Really. Good. Baby.
This month, Mark has started to smile. He make a cute little baby noise (goo!) and then contort his face into a smile. It’s positively adorable. He’s mostly stoic, but when he smiles, he lights up the room.
A hint of a smile.
Mark loves to look at fun things like lights and ceiling fans. He doesn’t look at people much because he’s too busy looking at everything else! His eyes aren’t blue and they aren’t brown – they’re somewhere in between. Kind of grayish. I don’t know what color they will end up.
Why so serious?
One of his favorite things is a nice warm bath. I put the baby tub on my bathroom counter and he likes to look at himself in the mirror while I bathe him. He does not like it when I wash his hair in the sink and screams like I’m water boarding him. To be fair, one time I did get water in his nose so that was probably unpleasant.
Two little monkeys.
Mark does not like his car seat, but LOVES air conditioning. I have to blast it in the mini van to keep him happy (and close the vents over the other kids so they don’t get cold). And since he doesn’t like being hot, he enjoys the pool. I wear him in a water sling and dip his toes into the water.
At two months, Marcus:
- Weighs 10lbs, 6oz (26%)
- Is 23.75″ tall (85%)
- Has a head circumference of 39.7cm (50%)
- Wears 0-3 month clothes, almost exclusively onesies and rompers because it is so hot all the time.
- Likes: Mommy, boobs, Daddy, Vicki, Luke, A/C, the swing, clean diapers, baths.
- Dislikes: Heat, humidity, the car seat, when I can’t pick him up immediately, eating too fast and throwing up, when I take a shower.
Marcus is starting to develop a personality and interact with us! It’s getting a little more interesting!
Well, that escalated quickly. This time last year you were still a little guy, not even walking, just saying a few words. Now you’re a big brother, climbing everything, getting into all sorts of trouble, and with opinions on everything. This past year you’ve turned into such a person – and a really fun person at that.
Luke, you’re a really sweet little dude. You are quick to give hugs and say “sorry” when you make a mistake. You give really good kisses – sounds kinda awkward to say, but it’s true. Sometimes you get goofy and won’t stop kissing me while I sing you your lullabies, laughing the entire time. Your laughter is infectious, and music to my ears. I like to tickle you just to hear your giggles.
You love your brother and sister so much. Every morning, when you wake up at the crack of dawn, you ask for them first. “Dickie? Baby?” and you get excited when you see them. When Mark cries, you try to help and give him his binkie. Whenever you see me without Mark, you ask where he is and/or look down my shirt to see if I’m wearing him. Jealousy is something that has never even entered your mind.
At the playground, you try everything you see the other kids doing. You usually need help the first few times, but then you’ll do it by yourself. It’s enough to give me heart palpitations sometimes. You are fearless when it comes to climbing things, but don’t like the slides quite as much. At our playground at home, you sometimes like to climb up the rock wall and climb down the ladder instead of using the slide. You also like to climb on the back of our couch and tell yourself, “Get down!” Then you giggle. You’re quite the little jokester. Every morning I ask you what you want for breakfast and you reply, “Chicken, french fries?” just to make me laugh. It works, every time.
Luke, you’ve grown so much in the past year, but never so much as in the 36 hours when I was in the hospital having your brother. You have always tried to keep up with the big kids and lately, you succeed. You want to do everything your big sister and cousins do. You’re growing so fast and learning so much. I am so excited to see what you’ll do next and so proud to be your mommy.
I love you so very much, my dude.
Well, that went by fast.
Monkey, I am going to dwarf you by the time we finish this.
Mark already looks different. He’s bigger, growing out of his newborn pjs and chunking out in the cheeks. He’s less floppy, has more head control, and has more awake times than before. Cory told me last night to be careful because I might forget what a newborn feels like. He already doesn’t feel like a newborn anymore.
These pjs already don't fit.
He is happy most of the time. He likes being held a lot, so I wear him constantly, and he frequently falls asleep in the carrier. Mark gets annoyed if I put him down so I can shower or eat, and I usually consume my meals while wearing/holding/nursing him. Something about the smell of food makes him want to eat, too.
Mad because I am taking pictures instead of holding him.
Marcus adores his older siblings and they are crazy about him. Vicki is constantly asking to touch him or hold him, and whenever he’s awake she makes sure she’s in his line of sight so they can look at each other. Luke asks after him on the rare occasion he’s not with me and will give him the binky when he’s crying. My lap is frequently full of two or more children because the bigs keep climbing up to snuggle me and Marcus.
Side-eying the monkey.
Mark sleeps a lot of the day and only wakes up 1-2 times/night. We borrowed a co-sleeper (aka the bed sidecar) from a friend and he sleeps in that, tightly swaddled, half the night, then he ends up in bed with me. He eats well, but isn’t a big fan of the nursing cover. He dislikes the car seat when he gets hot and worked up and sweaty, but also falls asleep in the car sometimes so it can’t be that bad.
Please tell me this is almost over, Mama.
He is the loudest breather I have ever heard. He squeaks, snorts, snores, and honks constantly. It’s nice in the middle of the night because I don’t have to reach over to him to check if he’s breathing. It’s obvious. When we’re watching a movie on the couch, I have to put on subtitles because I can’t hear the dialogue over his breathing. It’s totally worth it for the snuggles.
Showing off his impressive lung capacity.
We don’t remember life without him and love our squishy little buddy.
Hello there! We are wading our way through the newborn stage of life once more. As challenging as it can be at times, there are a lot of things I really really love about babies when they’re this tiny. Since I’m lacking in sleep and this brain capacity, I’m going to just make a bulleted list.
- The way they smell.
- How soft their skin and hair is.
- The little noises they make. Mark is SO loud – he grunts and snores and it’s hilarious.
- How their legs tuck right up under their bums like a little tree frog.
Throwback! Vicki as a tree frog.
- The fact that lifting their heads is exhausting.
- How they sleep pretty much all the time.
- How portable they are.
Luke as a teeny tiny tagalong.
- How you can put them down, go pee, and come back and they’re in the same spot and haven’t opened the play doh/cut their own hair/tackled the cat.
- It’s so easy to feed them. Breast milk or formula, no worrying about a balanced meal or whether they’ll refuse the dinner they loved last week.
- How they cry for only a few reasons: hungry, tired, need a diaper, want to be held. Pretty easy solutions to all of those.
- They way they curl their faces into my neck and snuggle in.
- How adorable a swaddled baby is. Especially one that’s asleep.
Mark is snug as a bug in a rug.
Disclaimer: This is a birth story, with lots of details. Read at your own risk.
I expected baby #3 to come early. Vicki was born at 38w 2d. Luke was born at 37w 2d. I figured baby #3 would be somewhere in between those two. So after we passed 37 1/2 weeks, I started trying to kickstart labor. We took some long walks, ate some spicy food, etc, etc. I would get a bunch of contractions during the walks and then they would go away. It was frustrating, but I was trying really hard to be patient since I was still early.
On the morning of Monday, April 21, Cory and I took the kids on a 4 mile walk in an effort to get things going. I had a bunch of contractions throughout that continued when we got home. They were about 10 minutes apart. At lunchtime, we walked another 2 miles and the contractions picked up. I started timing them and they were about 5 minutes apart. We put the kids down for naps, I sat down for a few minutes, and… nothing. They completely left town.
The following day, I went about my business as usual. No contractions all day. So on Wednesday, we took another walk in the morning. I figured if nothing else, we were all getting some fresh air and enjoying the spring weather. When we returned home, Cory left for work, and I took a shower. I decided to do a Miles circuit in hopes that it would help the baby be in the best position for labor. My plan was to try and do one every day until I had the baby. It was relaxing, if a bit awkward at first.
Wednesday night, Cory had a conference call, so I put both kids to bed by myself. Afterwards, I went downstairs and was playing on my computer, taking pictures off my phone, updating my software – boring stuff. I realized I was having contractions, starting around 9pm. I thought it was a little weird since I was sitting down the whole time. Cory ended his call and I told him what was going on. I decided to go to bed and get some sleep in case I turned out to be in labor. I was not enthused about the prospect of going into labor on no sleep.
I fell asleep around 10:30 and woke up an hour later to pee. After that, I couldn’t fall back to sleep because of the contractions. At 12:30, I woke up Cory and told him that I was still having contractions, but could no longer sleep through them. He suggested putting on a movie and trying to sleep more, anticipating a long labor like I had with Vicki and Luke. I turned on The Avengers and tried to get comfortable. By 1:00am, I was no longer able to lay down in bed. I gave up on the prospect of sleep and went downstairs.
At that point, I called my parents and asked them to start heading up to NH. They were coming to stay with the big kids while we were in the hospital. I turned the movie back on downstairs, but I kept having to pause it to go to the bathroom or have a contraction. I wasn’t really paying attention to it. At 2:00am, I headed back upstairs to wake Cory up and get in the shower. I was hoping it would help with the pain, and it. was. fabulous. I intended to stay in the shower until the hot water ran out, but by 2:30 the contractions were so intense that I decided to get out and call my doctor. I was Group B Strep positive, so I was to receive antibiotics during labor and I wanted to ask the doctor how soon I should come in so I could get them. She advised packing up the car and heading in shortly. Cory began gathering our things and I got dressed, helping him out in between contractions.
When I first stepped out of the shower, my legs were shaking. I wrote it off as being overtired. Then, after getting dressed, I brushed my teeth and threw up repeatedly into the sink. I immediately wondered if this was transition. Uh-oh. I called my parents to see how far away they were. An hour. Knowing I couldn’t last another hour, I told Cory to call our neighbor to come over and stay with the kids so we could go to the hospital. He arrived less than 10 minutes later, gave us quick hugs, and said, “Have fun.” To which I replied, “This is NOT FUN.”
At 3:11am, we drove away from our house. On the way to the hospital, I told Cory that if I was only 2-3cm, I was going to be pissed. I had three contractions in the 10 minute car ride and they were horrendous. Cory asked me if he should park the car or drop me off at the door, and I said to drop me off. We arrived at the hospital at 3:21am. As I was getting out of the car, another contraction hit. A triage nurse met me outside with a wheelchair, which I gladly accepted. Cory said he was going to move the car to the garage as he was parked in front of the ER. The nurse advised him to just pull it off to the side. This was very good advice.
Once inside, the triage nurse called upstairs to let L&D know I was there and to send someone down to walk up with me. In the meantime, an ER nurse came up to me and asked if this was my first baby. When I replied that it was my third, she immediately said, “You don’t want to have your baby in the ER. Let’s start walking upstairs.” She began to push me upstairs. I started having another contraction, and she asked me if I wanted to stop. I motioned NO, keep going! Shortly we reached the L&D unit.
At the registration desk, they asked me if I could sign the consent forms. I said no. They told me I had to sign them, so I quickly scribbled something that resembled my name. Then I walked down the hall to my room. Everyone kept asking if I felt like pushing, and I replied, “That would be very nice.” Once in the room, I took off my pants and climbed onto the bed to be checked. The nurse groped around in there for a moment before asking, “Did your water break?” When I said no, she said, “Oh that’s what I’m feeling. Your bag of waters. You’re complete. You can push whenever you’re ready.”
Music to my ears.
I knelt on the bed, facing the back. When the next contraction came, I was ready. I pushed and pushed and the midwife told me to reach down and feel the baby’s head. One more push and our baby was born. Cory shouted, “It’s a BOY!” The midwife wrapped him up and handed him to me, and I got to meet my beautiful second son, Marcus Ryan.
Meeting Marcus for the first time. <3
He was born at 3:39am, 18 minutes after we pulled up in front of the hospital and roughly 10 minutes after arriving in L&D. I pushed only 3 times over the course of one contraction. I needed just one stitch and an IV of pitocin to help slow my bleeding. He was absolutely perfect, with a head full of crazy dark hair, and took to nursing like a champion.
8lbs, 3oz and 22 inches long. Our biggest baby yet!
Despite not getting the antibiotics during labor, we were able to leave the hospital Friday morning and keep a close eye on him at home. He’s been welcomed with open arms and hearts full of love into our family. Two weeks later and we already can’t remember life without him.