Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busy! Updates on the Kids...

It feels so busy around here! It feels like it's been awhile since I've written. We've been enjoying deer season at my folk's place - one more weekend to get our deer! Steve's been doing the hunting, I'm having fun visiting and tending to the kiddos. It's so fun to see Steven interact with his cousins!

On Night Sleeping:
I had hoped the sleeping-through-the-night was the new trend, unfortunately, it was the exception. She's back to waking often. I did find out the most likely culprit, however - teething. I'll have to look back at Steven's baby calendar, but if I recall correctly, I think he was closer to 6 months old when he popped his first teeth, not 4 months old! Hannah's a petite gal, too, smaller than he was, so I've contented myself with accepting the night nursing for awhile yet before trying again to back off. I'm just making sure to not nurse her more frequently than I do during the day.

On Naps:
Hannah takes her naps like clockwork and goes down fairly easy when we're at home and there's a fan nearby. She tends to fight her last nap of the day, sometimes not taking it altogether. When we're out, she'll go to sleep contendedly in my sling or carrier, but my back can only handle carrying her for a short while before I'm in pain, so I use this only when it's most convenient to do so. Either putting her in the sling, or snuggling her in my arms is our favorite way to get her nap in while at church. Once she's asleep, I'll often lay her down next to me, in order to spare my arms and back. Last Sunday, I did indulge in the church nursery and let the gals in there hold her and put her to sleep. They enjoyed that and Hannah slept beautifully.

On Obedience:
There's a few things that I can think of that Steven will do almost everytime I ask him to: throw something in the garbage (he particularly likes to throw away kleenex, as well as wipe his nose with it), empty the dryer, get into his high chair & go upstairs for a bath (although he has been slacking in his enthusiasm for this the past couple nights). He does fairly well with cleaning up his toys, with a major factor being how tired he is. He will play nicely with Hannah when he knows I'm watching; when I'm not watching, sometimes he likes to experiment with hitting or sitting on her. He went through this head-butting/hitting stage that lasted a few weeks. He's at the tail-end of it, it seems. He's rarely head-butting, although there's still some issues with pushing and hitting. The head-butting was the most frusterating, as he got us good a few times.

On Going to Bed:
He's doing fairly well with bedtime. He will cry if he's wet or poopy or just not tired. He loves to snuggle and give hugs and kisses.

On Naps:
He's taking shorter naps now, or sometimes none at all. He typically takes one nap a day, if that, after lunch time. Even if he doesn't sleep, he stays in his crib until naptime is over. As my kids get older, I hope to maintain a quiet time in the middle of the day.

On Talking:
Steven still doesn't say very many audible words on a consistent basis; however, lately I have noticed him talking more. One new word that comes to mind is "eat".


I'm so very much enjoying our kids, seeing their smiles and hearing their laughs are such blessings. I enjoy seeing them both learning and growing. The thought of them makes me want so much to be a good and Godly mother to them. Children are such wonderful blessings from the Lord; I'm so grateful for his goodness to us!


Hannah managed to wiggle herself right under the bassinet.

Two bottom front teeth! Already at 4 months you could see and feel them!
(it's harder to see in the picture, versus real life)

Diaper Covers - with velcro

These get mailed out tomorrow to a customer.
(2 Medium & 2 Small Diaper Covers, with Velcro)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emptying the Dryer...

Today, I asked Steven to empty the dryer, as I had to tend to Hannah. I left him in the laundry room with the dryer door open and a laundry basket. When I was done tending to Hannah, I was very pleased to find Steven emptying the last contents of the dryer into the laundry basket. Here's a recording of the next load - it was a large load and at the end, Steven got a little surprise - enjoy!

A Favorite Game...

Steven loves piling the stuffed animals up and then moving the pile, one animal at a time, to another spot. Today he wanted to be put in his chair, with the tray on. I piled him high with animals. He loved it.

At a friend's this weekend...

Tall Rocking Horse - Steven figured out how to climb up and down by himself.

He enjoyed playing the keyboard.

Rocking on the rocking horse.

Just Playing...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big Helper

Steve didn't get there in time to record Steven empty the dryer all by himself; I'll have to get that recorded one of these days, very cute.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I got a bunch of produce for basically free and needed to process it. I had mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots & some apples.
I froze some homemade cream of mushroom soup (left too much headroom, but better than not enough!) I found out in the nick of time that I couldn't put these in the pressure canner since they contained dairy - if I had, I would've had a big mess on my hands!

Cooking down the tomatoes; carrots in the pressure canner.

3 quarts of carrots, 4 pints & 1 smaller jar of mushroom soup (these ones were NOT CREAM of mushroom), 3 pints of applesauce & almost 1 quart - which made it to the fridge, 8 pints of tomato sauce, 9 pints of carrots.

The applesauce and tomato sauce were canned in a hot water bath, the rest were canned in a pressure canner. This was the first time I used my pressure canner. I was slightly intimidated by it, but now I look forward to using it more. I have a bunch of potatoes I plan on canning, one of these days.

By the way, a word to the wise, don't start working on canning at 7:30pm, it takes a lot longer than one may think!

So what did Steven do while I was canning during the day?

Rearrange my cupboards

Play with anything he could reach on the counter

Spread his things around the livingroom randomly... sippy cup, flash cards, books, toys, etc.

Help sort my canning jars & lids while sitting in the box with them

And Hannah? Why, she was happy watching Steven.

More From Visiting for Deer Hunting

Great Uncle Mike from Alaska & Hannah

Auntie Corrie (due with baby #3 in mid-January) & Steven

Cousin Jordan, playing dress-up

Cousin Tanner

Visiting My Parents Place for Deer Hunting

Grandpa Engel & Hannah

Cousin Tanner (4 months older than Steven)

Grandpa Engel & Hannah

Steven & Cousin Tanner, buds

Grandpa Engel & Hannah

Cousin Jordan (mama hen) & Steven

Cutie Pie

Pics while waiting to go out...

Is THIS a smile?

Um, does she have to lean on me?

Kissing Hannah

Steven & Hannah

Steven: Uh, I was just...

Steven: her a hug, see?

(Steven's real motive, he likes to sit on Hannah.
Hannah never seems to mind, although I do.)

Steven helping me cook

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another Night...

So, for those of you interested, last night Hannah went 8 hours between feedings without waking, then nursed and slept for another 4 hours before waking. I hope this is the new trend.
(Now if only I can discipline myself to go to bed in a timely manner, I'll get some decent sleep. Speaking of which, good night!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hannah - More on Sleeping...

After writing about Hannah last night, it got me thinking about her sleeping at night. At her age she physically doesn't need to eat as often as she does throughout the night, so therefore she's doing it out of habit and comfort.

Last night, when she awoke 4 hours after her last feeding, instead of doing what is easiest (potty her, nurse her, lay her back down), I instead listened to her cry and realized she was making the tired cry, not the hungry cry (confirming my suspicions that she wasn't waking due to physical hunger, but more out of habit and comfort).

So, I changed her diaper and then laid her back down. As expected, she wasn't very thrilled about this change in schedule, and cried some as I patted and rubbed her back. It definitely took some patience as no one likes a crying baby in the middle of the night, especially when you know how to "fix" it.

However, my patience quickly paid off, as she was asleep within ten minutes. Typically, if I had nursed her, she would've been back asleep in about that time as well. Also, if I had nursed her, she would've woke again in about 3 hours. This time, she didn't wake for another 4 hours, giving us a total of 8 hours between feedings.

At first, it may seem backwards that feeding a baby less often will result in more sleep. However, a closer look reveals why. When a baby is eating out of habit and/or comfort instead of for physical nourishment, they become reliant upon eating in order to go back to sleep. Hence, they wake easily and expect to eat. When you teach your baby how to put themselves back to sleep without eating, they learn this and are able to sleep longer.

On a side note: I share this because I know I enjoy hearing other mother's stories and methods; we can learn so much from each other if we can listen with open ears. However, I am in no way saying that every mom should treat night sleep/nursing how I have, nor that all babies are the same. Many moms I know acknowledge that their baby's night nursing is for habit/comfort, and they prefer it that way. Parenting is made up of a whole lot of conscience decisions, based upon what we value. I'm thankful that God has placed babies in many different families and we can, by His grace, raise them how we deem best.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Carr Updates

On Moving About:
As of last week, Hannah is officially mobile! She can easily roll over multiple times to reach a destination, as well as twist and turn herself about, as well as inch herself along on her belly.

On Being a Sister:
She LOVES to watch Steven (even if he's trying to sit on her).

On ECing:
I'm very pleased with her pottying, as she's going 3-4 times/day in the potty. If I'm able to get to her right away when she awakes from a nap or sleeping, then she is often dry and goes in the potty (sometimes she is wet, but still goes in the potty when she wakes up). This should be enough to continue to develop her pottying muscles, as well as keep her awareness of these functions awake. Having two kiddos, I don't have time to be over-zealous. :)

On Sleep:
Hannah now typically has about a 4 or 4 1/2 hour stretch sometime in the night, otherwise she is waking about every 3 hours to eat (and go potty). As long as I have that 4 - 4 1/2 hour stretch, I'm doing good :). For awhile she was slipping a night in there every few days where she would wake more often than every three hours, which was difficult, as I knew she didn't need to eat, but I think we've pulled through that now - hopefully.

It seems to me that babies need to suck (or really want to) in order to fall asleep. There's a number of methods by which this can be met: breast, bottle, pacifier, thumb. I do not think it is necessary for babies to eat in order to fall asleep, however it's definitely the mom's perogative as to which method she chooses for her child. Steven had a "plug" (pacifier), Hannah has her thumb. As of right now, I much prefer the thumb. She always has it with her, it never gets lost or falls out, she can control it, etc. We'll see if I still prefer the thumb in 3 years :).

On Her Routine:
Hannah's general routine, for those of you interested, is as follows.
WAKE. She wakes up for the day between 7:30am and 9:00am. She goes potty/diaper change if needed.
EAT. Nurses.
ACTIVITY. Gets dressed for the day. She'll stay awake until it's nap time (normally 1 hour after nursing). During this time she'll often play on the floor with toys and watch Steven play.
SLEEP. Before her nap, I take her potty/change her diaper if needed, pat her back gently to make sure she doesn't have any burps, then lay her down on the Bonner Bed (co-sleeper next to my bed) and she gets her thumb and blanky and goes to sleep. I highly enjoy the satisfaction that comes when she goes to sleep quietly and contentedly on her own (which, by the way, does not happen every nap time.)
She'll repeat this basic routine, WAKE, EAT, ACTIVITY, SLEEP throughout the day, starting over roughly every 3 hours. She'll go to sleep for the night around 8 or 9pm. Throughout the night, she'll WAKE and be pottied, then EAT and go back to SLEEP. As I said above, she's been having a 4 - 4 1/2 hour stretch in there, otherwise she's waking about every 3 hours at night to potty/eat.

On Moving About:
He's enjoying going up the stairs in various ways: standing up while holding onto the railing, crawling up them, as well as going up sideways and almost lying on each step as he goes. He's still not a proficient climber (yes!) and often needs help getting onto furniture.

On Being a Brother:
He typically enjoys Hannah. He likes to give her kisses and hugs when he knows I'm looking. When he doesn't think I'm looking, he would like to experiment with slapping her on the head, sitting on her back or stomach, pushing her around on the floor, trying to roll her over multiple times, sitting and jumping on her, to name a few. These actions require my patience and loving discipline. For the most part, I don't think he's trying to hurt her, just trying out cause and effect.

On ECing:
This is the worst stretch so far on the ECing journey, as well as the longest lasting setback. Shortly after we moved, Steven started working on four new teeth and started doing poorly with ECing. He's still working on the last bit of those teeth, as well as fighting a cold and is still doing very poorly. He's dropped down to getting maybe two catches a week in the potty. During previous setbacks we seemed to still catch at least a couple a day. However, Steven is still very aware of the potty and when he needs to go. I do think he will get back on track once his teeth are in... time will tell.

On Sleep:
Steven still sleeps in his crib, however I've been thinking more of transitioning him to his toddler bed. Tonight he motioned that he wanted to sleep in the toddler bed (I've let him sleep there for naps at times), so I told him he could sleep there, but if he got out of bed he would have to sleep in his crib. If he stayed in the bed he could sleep there. I shut off his light, left the room and closed the door. Of course I was slightly nervous about him getting out of bed and moving around in the dark room, so I kept my ears peeled. A little while later, I thought I'd better check on him, doubting he was still in his bed. I opened the door and realized I should've done it more cautiously, as he was right where I left him. He lifted his head up, squinting eyes. I went in and told him he was doing good - reinterated what I said earlier about getting up, etc. Left the room. He did fine until a little while later, I think he was asleep and then awoke to go potty. After getting a new diaper and being laid back down. He decided to get up. So, into the crib he went. I think I'll keep doing this every night now. (I'd like to move Hannah to the crib soon, as she's moving all over the place.)

He'll typically take one nap a day - just after lunch time - and will sleep between 2-4 hours. His bedtime is between 7-8pm, depending upon how long nap time was (or if he took one).

Keeping busy with a couple classes at Puritan via long-distance and work. He recently took a trip with his brother to the BWCA and had a nice time camping in the cold.

I'm doing a diaper drive for New Hope Uganda. If you'd like to help, please check out my website: for details (click on the Diaper Drive page).

Have enjoyed an online diaper hunt. Check it out if you like cloth diapering.