Friday, May 29, 2009

Four Years!!!

I've been married for 4 years!!! Wow!
Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary. We got married in the San Diego Temple on May 28'th, 2005. Hard to believe it's really been that long!
Here we were 4 years ago, taking cute engagement pictures for our wedding announcements:

I love those pictures! And I love you, Stephen! Thank you so much for 4 amazing years, full of adventures and new experiences. I can't wait to experience even more with you!

I love taking trips for our anniversary, at least when we don't have a new baby in the house. For our 1-year anniversary we drove from Utah to San Francisco, Oregon, and Seattle. Second year we had brand new baby Kirsten. Third year we took a weekend trip to Portland. This year, another new baby. We didn't do much to celebrate yet, and we didn't even get to go out to dinner, but my mom will be in town next week and we'll get to celebrate it and go out by ourselves. I'm totally looking forward to it!
I wish I could re-live our wedding day. It was so beautiful!

Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, May 25, 2009

True Reality

For the past month, my days have been very much the same as any other day. Of course there are small differences, but the seemingly endless repetition of feeding baby, rocking baby, holding baby, feeding toddler, entertaining toddler, changing lots of diapers has my life feeling very Groundhog Day-ish. I guess that's pretty much the life of a mom of young kids. And I love my life. . . I really do. But I've got to admit that some variety is nice!
At least I can live vicariously through the lives of others thanks to one very addicting thing known as Reality TV. At the risk of sounding really pathetic and letting you all know how very into these shows I am, here are all the shows that have made my 3 am feedings and late nights more interesting lately (even though most of them are over now. . . it's a very sad thing!):

*American Idol- Of course we all love this show! I didn't start watching it until Season 4, and I've never looked back. I loved this season's finale, and I was happy with either Kris or Adam winning because they're both so awesome and talented in different ways. Adam was more interesting, more dynamic, and more technically talented in my opinion and I've loved so many of his performances. But I also loved Kris' musical ability and his original take on the songs. There was something really great about the clean-cut, married college guy taking the title.
Confession: During every season of American Idol, I download my favorite performances on Limewire and end up making a CD of the songs. Or two. Or three CD's. Anybody else do this besides me? Anyone???

*So You Think You Can Dance- My favorite summer show by far started up again, and I'm totally psyched about it! I can't wait to watch all the entertaining and amazing dance numbers, and find out who the top 20 dancers will be.
Confession: I really really wish I could dance like the dancers on the show. And I'm excited for my kids to be old enough to take dance lessons so that maybe one of them can be that good someday!

*Survivor- Nobody really blogs about this show, but I totally looked forward to Thursday nights because of the Office and Survivor. This season was awesome, and I was thrilled that J.T. won! He was the nicest guy in the world and I don't think anyone could help but love him.
Confession: I think J.T. was not only the most likeable Survivor winner ever, but also by far the cutest. SO cute!!!

*Dancing With the Stars- Shawn won! She was the one I thought would win, even though Melissa and Gilles were both great. I figured Shawn had a bigger fan base and more people who knew who she was from the beginning of the show. And she deserved it! It was a really good season!
Confession: The co-host, Samantha Harris, is really not good at hosting. She messes up quite often and I'm surprised she still has a job doing it! She bugs me!

*America's Next Top Model- The show kind of bugs me, because Tyra Banks is annoying and a lot of the models are too. But it's still good entertainment and I just can't help but watch it.
Confession: I think being photogenic and being beautiful and totally different things. And photogenic people are lucky!

*The Biggest Loser- It's way too full of sappy, sentimental, over-dramatized "moments", but the show really is inspirational and I love to see the transformations over the entire season. It's amazing how good those people can end up looking and how much weight they really lose! I was shocked that Helen won, because I thought for sure it would be between Mike and Tara. My favorite guy the entire season though was Felipe, he was just so fun and full of life.
Confession: My least favorite parts of the show are the extremely obvious little commercial-plugs for different products. Everyone turns into a horrible actor when they have to do these and it looks totally fake!

*Amazing Race- Which reality show would I just die to be on? Amazing Race of course! Nothing like getting to travel around the world and have amazing experiences for free. Those people are so lucky, it just kills me! I was happy that the brother/sister team won this season, because I liked them a lot.
Confession: I want to be on this show!!!

*Celebrity Apprentice- Watching this show was kind of like watching a train wreck. . . totally awful, but you can't help but keep watching! I figured Joan Rivers would win from the beginning, and I was right. She was really mean, but most people seemed to love her anyway. My favorite task of the season was watching them run suites at a hotel and have to serve people when they're so used to being waited on hand and foot themselves.
Confession: Donald Trump's decor in his house is the gaudiest and ugliest I've ever seen. It's like taking a tour of Versailles in France. I'm sure it was great for King Louis in the fourteenth century, but now?? Ugh!

*The Bachelorette- I was so excited that this show started last week! Jillian is so cute and fun and I can't wait to see who she chooses and what happens. I know none of these relationships work out, but it's just so darn fun to watch anyway. I already picked out my two favorite guys, in the very first show. . . Jake the cute pilot, and Kiptyn (or whatever that weird name was) from San Diego. They seem the very cutest and most sincere to me right from the start, but we'll see what happens! Who are your favorites, if you watch??
Confession: I like The Bachelorette seasons better than The Bachelor seasons. I'm not sure why!

I've probably forgotten some shows, but that's a good enough list for now and I'm sure lots of you are shaking your heads and thinking I should get a life. But I'm excited for Project Runway and Top Chef to come back too!
So who joins me in my Reality TV obesession? I know I'm not alone! Give me some comments!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Products!

Sometimes I wonder how mothers used to survive caring for a newborn, back in the days before disposable diapers, pacifiers, and car seats that snap right into the strollers. I guess they just didn't know what they were missing! I know I could survive it if I absolutely had to, but here's a list of some of the newborn baby products I'm glad I don't have to live without:

1. Pampers Swaddlers- We loved these diapers when Kirsten was a newborn (she's moved onto Pampers Cruisers now and we still like those), but there's a new feature the Swaddlers have now that's really awesome. There's now a yellow stripe that goes down the front of the diaper, and it turns green when the diaper gets wet. So you can find out if your baby has wet the diaper just by looking at the outside of the diaper. Totally genius!2. Carter's newborn sleepers, the kind where the bottom of the sleeves fold over to cover their hands. It's so nice to be able to prevent the face scratches from those tiny little fingernails. The hand mitts you can buy to cover their hands up always seem to fall off, so I love the fold-over sleeves that can't possibly come off.

3. The Diaper Genie II- Say what you will about having to buy the refills for them, I think it's totally worth it to have a diaper pail that actually does cover the odor completely. I never smell the diapers after they're stuffed in here!
4. Avent bottles- They're the best kind we've found! Both babies have liked them from the very first time we tried them, and both babies also took to the Avent pacifiers right away.
5. Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe wraps- These really do make swaddling so easy! I was always frustrated when I tried to swaddle babies in a regular receiving blanket, since it's just so easy for them to wriggle themselves free. These wraps have velcro in all the right places, and they're totally a handy thing to have.
6. A baby bathtub with a mesh sling inside it. Newborns are so slippery when they're wet, and it gives me peace of mind to have that little sling inside the tub for them to lay in while they're bathed.

7. This isn't so much a baby product, but I just love onesies from Baby Gap. They're SO soft, and I love finding them on sale for $2 each sometimes! There's just no better deal than that!
8. A bouncy seat- This is the one we have, and both our babies have seemed to like it better than their swing. They can sleep in it without the toy bar, or be entertained by the lights and music.
The next baby product I'm searching for is newborn socks that actually stay on tiny little feet. Has anybody found any? What newborn products are you glad you don't have to live without?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturdays At the Park

These days, it's hard not to feel like a prisoner in my own home. It's a daunting task to take a newborn and a toddler out at the same time by myself, especially since the toddler is prone to bolting and running off without any warning. So when the weekend comes around and Stephen's here to help, Kirsten and I are both anxious to head out. . . somewhere. . . ANYWHERE!! Just get me out of the house!!!
Since the weather has been so beautiful lately, we've been going to some of the local parks. Kirsten has a blast at the playground!
Kirsten's always obsessed with those sunglasses. She looked so funny when she put Stephen's sunglasses on upside down. She had no idea!
Love this picture!
This park right on a lake was so gorgeous. I know it looks like we're on vacation, but this is really what it looks like where we live! We are lucky!
Kirsten was discovering one of the joys of toddlerhood. . . eating the sand. I kept telling her not to eat it because it was yucky, so she would turn her back to me and eat it anyway. She thought that if she couldn't see me then I couldn't see her. She's a little sneak already!
Kirsten is definitely the happiest when she's running around and exploring. No books or dolls for this one! She wants to explore the world!
She couldn't figure out how to blow the dandelion. See all that sand on her face? Yum!

She loved the ducks on the lake!
And of course she loved chasing the bubbles around. Stephen and I took turns running after Kirsten and staying on the blanket with Natalie. It was such a beautiful day!
So now you know why I look forward to the weekends so much. . . when the prisoners can finally be released from the house/jail/cage. Who else knows the feeling?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Feels Like Spring!

So it's finally feeling like spring in Seattle, now that it's almost summer. :) We've had some beautiful weather lately and it's going to be a gorgeous summer here. This picture of Kirsten just completely captures the spirit of springtime to me:
Kirsten's ready for summer to start! She loves watermelon.
She also loves ice cream, of course. It makes her so messy!
Natalie has really been sleeping better the last couple of days, and it's wonderful! We've been swaddling her at night and it helps her to sleep longer and not fuss so much when we set her down. I remember that Kirsten had to be swaddled every night for a good five months!
Sleeping babies just look so precious, don't they?
On a completely separate note. . . what does everyone think of the American Idol finale being Adam and Kris? I think it's great! I liked Danny too, but if I think back over the whole season, I've consistently liked Adam and Kris's song choices and performances the best every week. Danny's had some amazing weeks but some really boring weeks too. Adam and Kris are both so original and interesting and always do awesome things with their songs. So it should be a great finale! I think Adam will most likely win, but I wouldn't be shocked to see Kris win either.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday To Kirsten!

Yesterday, little Kirsten turned 2 years old!!!

We won't be having a party for her or really celebrating it until the first week of June, because family will be back in town. But I did get her the Little People Racin' Ramps Garage to play with. It took me forever to put that thing together yesterday! There were so many pieces that had to be snapped together, and one piece in particular that just would NOT snap! It probably took me an hour just to get that stubborn piece to finally pop into place. Kirsten loved "helping" me build it, and after I used the screwdriver she wanted to use it too. I love the look of intense concentration on her face as she sticks the screwdriver into the screw and tries to twist it. Not exactly the safest thing for her to play with, I know. . . but she was very entertained!
Here are a bunch of things that are unique/funny/and that I just plain love about Kirsten, the newest member of the terrible 2's brigade:

*She gets such a kick out of wearing sunglasses, putting them on, taking them off, and wants to wear them all the time. At the beach park we went to a couple of weeks ago, she stole Daddy's "glasses" and refused to give them back for quite awhile!

*She gets excited very easily! She loves to play chase games, hide and seek, peek-a-boo behind the blanket, and anything rough and tumble really. She laughs and squeals and just has the best time in the world! She's also a total daredevil and isn't scared to be tossed around in any and all positions.

*I love these pictures I got of her picking flowers at the park. I honestly did not plan her outfit to match the flowers, because I didn't know they would be there. It worked out great for the photos though!
*She counts to 10 in the cutest voice!
*She talks all the time, on and on, in full sentences that only she can understand. It's the funniest babbling, and I wish I could understand it all because I'd love to know the stories she's telling and all the things she wants to say to us.
*I also love that she's starting to put two or three understandable words together now. The other day I sneezed and she said, "Bless you Mommy!" She also says things like "Help, it's stuck," "Baby sleeping," "In the box," "All the pieces," and she loves to name all the foods on her plate when we give her meals. Her voice is just too cute!
*Bubbles make her deliriously happy. She loves to take baths with bubbles, and her favorite thing is when we blow bubbles outside and she can chase after them. I love the look of complete joy on her face whenever she sees bubbles!
*Her best friends are adults, and I don't know why but she still gets pretty scared of other little kids. She adores Grandpa, Grandma, and our friend Chance and asks for them all the time. Grandpa helped her feel the water and all the rocks at the beach park and she had a total ball doing it.
*During the day, she regularly brings me random things from the pantry that she thinks she wants to eat. It's pretty hilarious sometimes to see what she brings. Today she brought over the baking powder. Yesterday she brought a box of Kraft mac 'n cheese (which she doesn't even like) and said "Open", and earlier this week she brought me a can of peaches with a bowl. I was impressed that she knew the peaches were supposed to go in a bowl. She doesn't get upset when I tell her something's not a snack (like baking powder, yummy!), she just goes and gets something else.
*She loves it when we tickle her, attack her, make funny faces at her that she can imitate, and sing songs in different voices.

*She's already getting sneaky. When I tell her not to eat something or to stop putting it in her mouth (since she does it to everything. . . crayons, candles, chapstick, sand, you name it), she turns her back to me and does it anyway. She thinks I can't see her if she can't see me!

*Aren't those mountains in the background at the beach gorgeous? I just love the Pacific Northwest. . .

I'm so glad she had a Happy Birthday yesterday, even though she didn't really understand what a birthday was. I'll be looking forward to having a party for her in a few weeks! I love my little girl!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to Birth Weight!

We took Natalie to the doctor's for another weight check on Monday, and. . . she's finally back to her birth weight! She weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces, which is exactly what she weighed when she was born. Yay!!! It took her three weeks to get there, but at least she's back to it and we don't have to worry so much about her anymore. The doctor was really happy with her progress and said we don't have to take her back until her two month appointment.

We took the girls to the park on Saturday, and it was really nice to get out in the fresh air. I've been cooped up inside way too much lately! I really love this picture I took of Natalie at the park at three weeks old:
She's awake much more often now than she used to be. She used to fall asleep anywhere and everywhere, and now it's getting more difficult. She likes to be held all the time, to sleep on someone, and gets pretty fussy when we put her down. Nights are exhausting sometimes, as I try and try to get her to stay asleep in the bassinet. Stephen and I take shifts. . . he goes to bed around 9 pm while I stay downstairs with Natalie and I usually get him up between 3 and 4:30 am so I can get at least some sleep in my real bed.
The good news? It won't last forever. Sometimes in the middle of the night I just have to remind myself of that fact, over and over.

Here are some other pictures of Natalie from the park:

This is how she likes to eat. . . with her hands on her face, around the bottle. Sometimes it's really hard to get the bottle in her mouth, because her hands are in the way! And yes, those are her hands, we just try to keep them covered up as much as possible so she doesn't scratch her face up.
It's so funny the way her hair sticks straight up! Kirsten's hair was always longer and thicker, so it never stood on end like that.
A week ago, she was sleeping so great in her bouncy seat. Remember how to do that, Natalie? You can still do it, I know you can! I think she gets gas pains sometimes and it just really upsets her to be put down and not constantly held. She's so snuggly, and wants to be cuddled all the time.
Hooray for being back to birth weight! She gained 13 ounces in 1 week!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I'm sure everyone has noticed that I haven't been posting as much as usual lately, and you probably understand why. How do people find the time to blog when they have a newborn and a grumpy little toddler? I have no idea! So here is a quick update on how we're all doing in the Veater house:

*Natalie has been improving a lot! She now wakes up to eat on her own, seems really hungry a lot of the time, and is gaining weight. She will still take a couple weeks to get back up to her birth weight, but at least she's gaining and the doctor is happy with how things have been going with her. As of last Monday, she weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces, and we're taking her in for another weight check this Monday. It feels SO great not to be constantly worried about her, and to see her awake and alert more often and actually wanting to eat. I love it!

*She's getting better with her days and nights as well. She's usually awake and active throughout the evening, and then settles down for a longer stretch of sleep at around midnight. We're still sleepless in Seattle, but it's getting better. :)

*So now that Natalie is eating, she's suddenly become the easy one. Kirsten is not adjusting well to the new baby, and I feel so bad for her when she wants me to play with her and I can't because I'm taking care of Natalie. I keep thinking she'll just have to get used to it, but so far poor Kirsten is really whiny, grumpy, and bored. My little girl just needs someone who can play with her and devote all their attention to her! She still won't touch Natalie or show much interest in her. This is the closest I've gotten to getting a picture of the two of them together.
What should I do to help Kirsten? I feel like I'm being such a bad mommy to her!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Truth About Newborns

It's official. . . my babies do not like to eat.

Isn't that crazy??? All babies are born wanting to eat. . . at least, that's what I always thought. I went through all this with Kirsten already. . . she lost weight, didn't regain her birth weight fast enough, and I had to pump and try to get as much milk in her as we could. With Natalie, it's even worse! On breast milk, she just kept losing weight. She was born weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces, and at her 1 week doctor's visit she was down to 7 pounds 1 ounce. A whole pound less is a lot for such a little baby, and it has been stressful. She doesn't want to eat. . . she just wants to sleep!
Here's a rundown of why I feel so worried about Natalie all the time:

*She's on formula now, and she'll only take 1 ounce of it at a time. Sometimes she'll take a little more, but sometimes only half an ounce. Because she takes in such a small amount, we're supposed to feed her every hour and a half to two hours. Sometimes she wakes up hungry for it on her own, but the majority of the time we have to wake her up and force her to eat. Force-feeding a newborn a ton of times a day is hard!

*She has a really hyper-active gag reflex, and tends to spit up a lot of what she does eat. We have to keep her upright for a long time after each feeding, and we haven't been able to lay her down on her back very much at all. At her last weight check yesterday, the pediatrician recommended we add more powder to the formula to make it higher in calories. We tried that, and she was throwing up almost ALL of it. So last night we switched back to the regular formula, and she's been keeping it down much better. But it's still a constant struggle to get her to actually keep down what she does eat.

*The first day we put her on formula, she went a really long time with no wet diapers. She was also being really lethargic and sleeping constantly. At 3 am I called the on-call nurse at the doctor's, and the nurse was really worried and thought we should call 911 and have them take Natalie to the emergency room. She asked me a ton of questions about her and thankfully Natalie wet a diaper while I was on the phone with the nurse. So the nurse said we could wait and take her to our pediatrician in the morning, and then she ended up having several more wet diapers that morning. It was a scary night though, and I was so worried about her.

*Since we put her on formula, she's gained a little bit of weight back, but only a very small amount. As of yesterday, she weighed 7 pounds 2 and a half ounces. She'll go in for another weight check on Monday, and we are really hoping she'll gain a good amount over the weekend. She's been awake and alert more often, and seems to be doing better overall. I hope it continues!
All the blog posts I read from moms with newborns are so sweet and happy, full of only positive things and about how wonderful it is to have a beautiful new baby. But gosh. . . having a newborn is the hardest thing I've ever done. I think I forgot a little bit how difficult it was, and how exhausting it can be to worry so much about a fragile little baby. Kirsten is so easy now compared to a newborn. It's much easier to deal with the temperament of an almost-2-year-old than to feel the weight of the responsibility to keep a brand new baby alive and healthy. I know that other people have a challenging time with newborns too, but sometimes it feels like it's just me.

I have no idea why both of my babies don't want to eat, and can't gain weight on my breast milk. It's really frustrating, and I wish it didn't have to be this way. Natalie seemed to be latching on and sucking really well, and there was no way to know that she was losing weight until we saw the scale. It worries me to no end when I wake her up and she refuses the bottle, or takes only half an ounce of milk and then refuses to eat more. She's so sweet. . . I just want her to EAT!

Here are some pictures from her first sponge bath, one week ago. We had to wake her up for it, so she wasn't really too happy and started crying towards the end of the sponge bath.
At first she seemed to enjoy the warm water.
But she got more upset when we got her hair wet.
After the bath. . . all clean and wrapped up.
She was much happier after we got her dressed and put a blanket around her.
This is her grumpy face. . . the "don't wake me up and try to feed me" face. She does look pretty annoyed.
Sleeping SO peacefully.
I haven't gotten a picture of it, but I love watching her smile or laugh in her sleep. Her little smile is completely adorable.
I'm so grateful that we have Natalie, and of course everything we do is one hundred percent worth it. But gosh. . . nobody really tells you how hard this can be sometimes.