Friday, November 17, 2006

11/17/06 Gabriel's turn

Another surprisingly easy afternoon with all three kids. I think the big difference is not having contractors around, especially since Julian can take a nap upstairs (and he did today, for nearly four hours!). But also, we don't have to keep the family room clear, I don't constantly have to herd the boys downstairs, and I'm a lot more relaxed without the noise and lack of privacy.

Katrina slept much of the day, but when she was awake, she was utterly charming: making coo sounds, smiling and being absolutely adorable. Nights have been consistent for the last week or so: one wakeup around 3-4am, and going back to sleep pretty easily. Yay!

And she's 6 weeks old now, supposedly the peak of fussiness? She's the best now she's been in her short life. The turnaround started during Bonne Maman's visit. I will always prefer to believe that's no coincidence.

Thanks to my poor clock-watching, I'm aware that I nurse Katrina about every 3-1/2 hours, less than the 8 times a day recommended. And she doesn't nurse long, and lately has been squirming so much during nursing it's uncomfortable for me and I can't imagine she gets a whole lot. Yet her diapers tell a different story. Today I made a point of counting: five full-on poops, and soaked diapers inbetween. And every day I notice something else that indicates how fast she's growing, such as her feet hanging off the pillow I set her on to nurse. That is one efficient-sucking baby!

Thanks to baby and toddler naps, I had some nice time alone with Gabriel this afternoon. At one point, I left him to nurse Katrina, and when I returned, I found him asleep on an office chair! I picked him up to move him to the couch, and felt his face burning up. Oh no! 103.2 temperature. Poor kid. Gabriel is the world's best sick kid, doesn't complain or cry, he's just very lethargic. He had some dinner, some children's Motrin, and then straight to bed at 7:30.

At least we had some fun taking pictures during one of Katrina's many happy states today.

Lately I've been trying to scold the boys in a different tone first, saving the full-on strict angry tone for the 3rd or 4th round. I've been making a point of grabbing Gabriel, looking at him right in the face, and speaking very clearly to tell him what I expect. For instance, "Gabriel, I'm going to take care of Katrina now. I need you to be a big boy and not make Julian cry now, OK?" Then if I catch the boys throwing or some other exasperating behavior that they've been told not to do 1000 times, I tell them how disappointed I am, and that I'm sad that I'll have to put away whatever toy got thrown.

So far, I don't see that this approach is any less ineffective than getting mad at them right away!! And, it gives a little more impact to when I do raise my voice. I think I've been able to do this because they've been easier to deal with, and because without contractors around, there is less reason to constantly correct and remind them. Of course, I've given Julian a new "insult" for me, telling me that he's so "dip-appoy-med" in me.

Dave and I have been wondering if Gabriel is having some hearing trouble, since it seems he needs us to repeat things quite often. And that includes things he really does want to hear about. I've toyed with calling the pediatricians, but how can I call and ask, "My 4-year-old must have a hearing problem, he always ignores me!" Well, I may get my chance if he doesn't kick the fever tomorrow.


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