Wednesday, February 16, 2011

4 Month Update

It happened! Allie outweighs Harper! I couldn't believe it because she does still look bigger than Allie, but Allie's got her by 3 ounces.  The big sister is finally bigger!

Harper Brooks
Harper becomes more expressive and excited each day.  When she laughs, she opens her mouth wide and shows her toothless gums and lets out a short screech.  She gets especially tickled when we play patty cake and she "rolls it." She loves to smile at people and scrunches her chin down in almost a shy manner when she smiles. Most of the time she lays around peacefully, taking the world in.  And this girl can sleep! I put her down at 7pm, sometimes with no protest and sometimes she will cry for 3 or 4 minutes and then she is out for the night until around 7:30am! She is usually the first one up from naps, so she does get extra time in the Ergo baby carrier (thanks Mark and Carolyn!) while we get stuff done and wait for Allie to wake up.

Yesterday, at her 4 month check-up, she weighed 12 pounds 9 ounces (26th %ile), had a head circumference of 40 cm (37th %ile), and was 24.2 inches long(50th %ile). Dr. Chugani congratulated her on the use of her arms to pick up that neck and chin when she is on her tummy and said she was growing beautifully.  It is hilarious when I put her down on her stomach and she arches that back and lifts her head to look around at the world.

Alloway Dayton
Allie is the energizer bunny, kicking those legs, ninja chopping, and lighting up the room with her smiles.  She smiles so big that she has to scrunch up her eyes and often gurgles with those big smiles. Her favorite songs are the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory."  She is on the move and I have to put her at the far end of the crib because she makes her way all the way to the top all by kicking those legs.  For an hour each day, she dons a colorful eye patch to strengthen up her right eye muscles.  It doesn't seem to bother her at all and it absolutely enthralls Harper.  She takes wonderfully long naps during the day and is still figuring out nighttime sleep.  Most nights it takes her a little longer than Harper to get settled into her crib, but she is usually out by 7:20 and wakes up one or two times to eat before 7am.  Last night she did sleep the entire night, but I'm not letting myself get too excited because it was probably from the two shots.

Yesterday, she weighed 12 pounds 12 ounces (30th %ile), had a head circumference of 41 cm (52nd %ile), and was 24 inches long (40th%ile).  Dr. Chugani was impressed with her movement using those legs and hopes she will start using her arms to help her scoot along.

I am such a blessed mother to have such easy and delightful daughters.  Both girls take luxuriously long morning naps, which afford me time to cook, make grocery lists, and create some order around the house. They go 4 hours between the first and second feedings, and then three hours between feedings for the rest of the day.  Every day we get closer to a four-hour schedule.  When they get fussy, an easy solution is to pop them into the stroller and hit the park.  They usually fall right asleep as soon as we are down the elevator, and when they are awake in the stroller they hardly ever make a peep.  We are still figuring out afternoon naps (with help from this book), but we follow the general pattern of "Eat, Wake, Sleep" (from Baby Wise)   It is easier on me to get out with them on a walk or grocery shopping for one of the nap cycles, and I'm so thankful that I can walk to Trader Joe's and Publix because loading and unloading two babies from the car can be an ordeal. There are trying moments of crying most days and bedtime sometimes raises my blood pressure, but overall, life is great with these ladies. We thank the Lord for Allie and Harper daily.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Restaurants on my Birthday

On Tuesday, I celebrated my first birthday as a mama. Michael stole the monitor from beside my head when he woke up and I was awoken by freshly diapered babies and warm "Meat-Mo."  "Meat-Mo" is what I screamed over and over as a toddler each morning until my mom shoved a spoonful of oatmeal into my mouth.  Michael and I have recently discovered steel-cut oats and love them, so this was a great treat.  Michael also split from work to meet me for lunch at Pasta Da Pulcinella.  It was fun to discover this little yellow house that serves delicious Italian not far from our house. I highly recommend the buckwheat pasta with sauteed rapini and I'm no champagne connoisseur, but really liked the Cavit Lunetta Prosecco. I'll look for a bottle next time I need some cheap bubbly.

After Italian for lunch, we hired a babysitter and had French for dinner at Atmosphere. It was very French and delicious if you like French food (lots of butter and sauce).  I was disappointed that there was no birthday perk, like a free dessert. Come on! We reminisced about our travels to France and elsewhere pre-blueberries and threw around ideas for our five year anniversary trip in June.   Our trips from here on will be a bit abbreviated because of our blueberries and no long transitions between jobs.  Here is a blueberry with a French onesie from her Aunt Lauren who is teaching in Aix en Provence:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Covenant Children

This past Sunday, Allie and Harper were baptized at our church, Atlanta Westside.  If you have 12 minutes, you can see the baptism here:

Our pastor, Walter Henegar, did email us to apologize for leaving out the vows.  They are beautiful and we want to be reminded of our promises as we raise our blueberries, so I will post them here:

1.    Do you acknowledge Allie and Harper's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
2.    Do you claim God’s covenant promises on Allie and Harper's behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, as you do for your own?
3.    Do you now unreservedly dedicate Allie and Harper to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before them a godly example, that you will pray with and for them, that you will teach them the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

Walter chose these verses and wrote these prayers for each girl:
1 John 3:20 For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.

"My prayer for you, Allie, is that God will protect you from the great burden of a condemning conscience, and replace it with a supernatural awareness of his immeasurable love for us through Jesus -- that you may help relieve others and remind them of this same redeeming love.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

"My prayer for you, Harper, is that you will know, from the earliest possible age, that your righteousness cannot save you, but his own mercy can -- that you find freedom in this fact, and so lead others to rest in it with you."

Covenant Children!
Allie wore the Christening gown that was first worn by her great, great grandmother, Mary Katherine Faucette Huffaker (my namesake) in 1906.  It was later worn by my aunts, cousins, Tyler, and me.  We had a gown made for Harper with her name and birth date monogrammed on it.  

It was a joyous occasion and we celebrated afterwards with a luncheon at our condo.  The weather could not have been more pleasant and I wish we had gotten a picture of all the family who joined us.