Monday, May 31, 2010

Sweet Corn Days

My husband was out of town this week, so we ended up spending a lot of time with my family. With two very small kiddos I'll take all the help I can get.

Wednesday was particularly fun for the kids.

First, we played outside.

Every time Baylor walks by one of their landscape lights, he likes to touch it. Funny little man.

While dinner was being prepared, Baylor did a little drawing on himself and the paper.

Meanwhile, Mollie and Aunt Christine shared a few smiles.

Grandpa E eventually came home bearing presents from his coworker. Harry the Dirty Dog was one of the gifts ... it just happens to be one of Baylor's favorite books at my parents' house and now we'll have it at our house, too!

My mom made sweet corn for dinner, so Baylor had his first corn-on-the-cob experience. He was a little turned around at first.

But he eventually got the hang of it.

Raspberries make great finger hats!

After dinner and some more play time, Baylor got a bath in Oma's tubby!

Mollie looked on with her adorable crooked smile.

Then we went home and I got the kids to bed with relative success. Whew!

Bonding with Grandpa E

Remember this picture? Well, the other night my dad and Mollie bonded a bit just like he and Baylor did about a year and a half ago.

Thanks for being such an awesome grandpa, Dad!

Cool Mom Shoes

Ever since I had Baylor, my feet have been a little bigger than they were previously. Consequently, my already pathetic shoe collection shrank even more and I was left with very few shoes to wear on a consistent basis.

My sister's shoe collection, which I hope to post about sometime soon, has always been impressive, and she is the resident shoe-master of our family. So, who better to seek help from than the shoe guru herself? In true Christine-fashion, she didn't disappoint, helping me find these cool sneaks ... my new "cool mom" shoes.

They are from the company Simple, and they are wonderfully comfortable, something I require of all my shoes regardless of their application. One of my main criteria in these new shoes was that they be laceless, either slip-ons or velcro, and though these look like they have laces they actually have elastic to help keep them on. Because of this feature, I can wear them barefoot or with socks of varying thickness! Score!

I am so loving my new kicks ... my cool mom shoes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Setting the Table

Baylor likes to help set the table ... and apparently now he'll do it even when it's not meal time! First he got out a spoon. As he went to put it on the table, he said, "No, no," toddled over to the drawer where we keep the place mats, and took one out. After placing it on the table, he put the spoon down, then hurried over to get out a fork. He took that to the table and said, "No, no ... napkin?"

Now, he shouldn't have been getting out silverware to begin with, but I really wanted to see where this was going, so I gave him a napkin and grabbed my camera. I'm so glad I did.

He put the napkin on the table and then put the fork on top of that, just like I've shown him when we've set the table together.

Well, not just like it ... he soon realized the napkin should be folded (because I always do that) and gave it a shot.

That didn't end well though ... he ended up shredding the napkin when he couldn't get it folded. Oh well, we'll work on that later.

Here's how he got the flatware out ... those locks are workin' great, huh?

All told he took out about two spoons and six forks ...

... one of which fell under the table and needed retrieving.

Then he said, "Stab, stab, stab!"

And he promptly found out that forks are sharp.

Such a helper!

A Dip (And a Request)

While Mollie napped in the shade ...

Baylor went for his first dip of the year in his little pool!

Then he decided he wanted to go in the big pool ... you know, since he's a big boy and all. I must say, he's gotten a lot heavier since last year!

Sorry for the cleavage shot, but his smile is so cute I couldn't NOT post this picture.

He wanted to put his feet down and walk in the pool, but he's still not tall enough for that yet so we had to settle for the steps.

Man, my kiddo has a big noggin'! This is my sister's hat!

He had so much fun in the pool and has been asking to go in the "big pool" ever since.

I think swim lessons are in order ... anyone in the Grand Rapids area have any suggestions or recommendations?!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Months Old: The Stats and The Aftermath

Amalia had her two month well-baby check up yesterday and here are her stats:

Weight: 12 lbs. 6 oz. (85th percentile)
Height: 24 1/4" ("high" - off the charts)
Head Circumference: 15 1/2" (65th percentile)

She did well at her appointment, charming everyone with her cuteness and good-natured spirit. They gave her three shots and an oral vaccine and she even did well with those, only crying for a minute or two and then falling asleep.

Little did I know that was the calm before the storm.

We got home and she seemed to be doing okay. She fed a couple times and played on her playmat, though she was a bit fussy toward the end of the evening. I popped a binkie in her mouth and she calmed right down so I figured she was just hungry yet again.

After going upstairs and getting both kids a bath, she and I settled in for our usual bedtime routine. Nursing was going well when I suddenly felt a sneeze coming on. Not wanting to have a sneeze stuck in my nose all night or rear its ugly head while I was trying to get her in her crib, I decided to let it out but stifle it as much as I could. Unfortunately, I am not very good at stifling sneezes and it came out pretty forcefully and scared my little girl half to death.

And that's when it started.

The crying. The I-am-SO-unhappy/I-may-be-dying cry that every mother dreads. Her mouth wide open with fitful screams emanating from her little body, I scooped her up to my shoulder and tried to bounce her back to calm. Usually this works, but last night she wasn't having any of it.

Not wanting to wake up Baylor, I scurried downstairs with her, popped a binkie in her mouth, and started scanning the information they'd given us about the vaccines she'd been given. Bryson grabbed the pediatrician's handbook and started looking in that for anything we could do to help her feel better. We finally decided to give her some acetaminophen when she awoke next, since the binkie had helped lull her to sleep.

Of course, we keep the meds in Baylor's room (since, for the longest time, he was the only child needing them), so I had to go all stealth and sneak into his room to get them without waking him up. And yes, I had the Mission: Impossible theme song playing in my head while I carried out my dangerous mission.

An hour later the binkie fell out and she started screaming again, so I rushed in there to console her. Of course, at this point - it being half past midnight and all - I forgot to give her the medicine and spent a little while fumbling for answers. When I finally did give her the medicine, she had no idea what to do with the sticky pink goo, so she cried even harder for a bit. I tried to nurse her, but she was having nothing of it and I ended up with a sticky boob and a crying child. Eventually she had cried hard enough to basically pass out from the exertion and fell asleep as I rocked her.

After placing her in her crib and holding her arms down so the startle reflex wouldn't wake her, she slept for about five or five-and-a-half hours and woke up in a pretty good mood. I've already had a few smiles from her today, so hopefully she's feeling much, much better. (Knock on wood!)

Just an FYI ... if your child gets a DTaP vaccine, it might not be a bad idea to give them some acetaminophen as a preemptive strike against the pain and fussiness that may lie ahead of you. We think that one was the culprit from all the information we were given.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Two Months Old: The Photo Edition

My little girl turned two months old on Saturday, so I decided to take a little time to snap some pictures of the lovely lady. I was planning on dressing her up all frilly and such, but she turned on the charm while she was still in her pajama onesie and some random pants so I took the pictures while the smiles were there. And boy were they abundant!

Little B was fascinated by the happenings and decided to take a moment and try to share a yellow ring with his sister.

Then it was back for more smiles and funny faces.

Don't worry, darling girl ... we won't put this picture in your First Year frame.

But this one, with the bright eyes, might be a winner.

Or this one.

I got sooooo many great pictures of her! She sure is a smiley one. Her two month doctor's appointment is today, so hopefully I'll be able to post her stats later on.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Boy Now

Family members have been asking me lately if I've posted all that Baylor can do, say, etc. on the blog. Truth is, I haven't because it feels like bragging, and that's not really something I like to do. But, since I have been neglectful in writing in his baby book about what he does now and because some of you may be genuinely curious about what he's like - particularly if you've never met him or haven't seen him in a long time, I thought I'd do a quick run-down of Baylor now.

He has a vocabulary of over 200 words; I have no idea how many words he can say, but it seems like it grows exponentially every day. Types of words he knows include: number 0 to 29, colors, the alphabet, animals and their noises, opposites (up/down, on/off, horizontal/vertical, etc.), foods, and things in his everyday life.

He has also started stringing words together; his first real two word combo was "red button" referring to the off button on our home phone. Though I have to say my favorite is his slurred version of "I love you."

He is a parrot; watch what you say around him because this kid will repeat ANYTHING. Thank goodness I have switched to saying "piffle" if I screw up on something or my kid would sound like a hardened truck driver by the time he's two.

He can count and seems to understand what that means, at least a little.

He can spell his first name. He did it spontaneously one day, much to the surprise of everyone in the room.

He is learning the states and the presidents thanks to a couple of kids place mats we have. For a couple days he was infatuated with "Maine" and would say it repeatedly. He knows we live in Michigan, and he can locate it on a map.

He knows which gears you go in when you drive, referring to them as "P" (park), "R" (reverse), "N" (neutral), and "D" (drive). We know he wants to go somewhere or is anticipating going somewhere when he starts through this list. He can also tell you what each letter stands for, though reverse is his particular favorite.

He is tall enough to turn on and off almost all our light switches. *sigh*

He can tell you what most of the buttons on a remote control are, and he knows what the power button does. *sigh*

Like his mommy, he isn't a fan of most loud noises.

Also like his mommy, he watches television like a zombie, which is part of the reason why we watch so little of it at our house when it's just me and the kids. I wouldn't get a thing done and they'd be all sorts of neglected if I had the t.v. on with any regularity.

He likes to hide, and his current favorite spot seems to be under the desk in the kitchen.

He can tell you how to do the laundry. Usually he just points to things in the order they should be done, but one night during dinner we heard him say "clothes wash ... off/off ... blue ... bubbles ... shut" so now he can actually tell you how to do it without looking.

He currently has a fascination with doors big and little. Often we'll hear him say, "Big door, little door" and we know he's talking about one thing or another.

He seems to have no concept of how big his head is and bumps it quite often. You can see his latest owie in the middle of his forehead in the picture above.

When he gives hugs and kisses, he'll generally hug you to the right, hug you to the left, then plant a kiss right on your lips. He's apparently very European.

He likes to type on the computer in Microsoft Word. He'll ask you to change the font color and will do page after page of different letters and symbols. And sometimes he cracks up when he finds the "Enter" button and the pages scroll by quickly.

He likes to wash his hands and will tell you about it. After he had his accident, the first thing he asked to do when he stopped crying was to wash his hands (they were covered in sticky blood).

He eats just about everything; green peppers, onions, garlic ... nothing bothers him. He tends to refuse the first bite of almost everything (except fruit or other sweet things), but he loves just about everything. He struggles with cooked chicken sometimes, but he generally likes it. He absolutely refuses to eat only a couple things I can think of: eggs and mashed potatoes.

He also loves to feed himself. In addition, he wants to hold whole pieces of fruit, which is how he ended up eating a whole apple and the outside of an orange.

He loves the bath and asks for one every night.

He doesn't smile a whole lot, but he definitely enjoys things. We joke that his cheeks weigh his smile down, but I think he's just serious about having fun.

We're pretty sure he's a leftie.

He wants people to sing for him, but he's particular about which songs he wants to hear. Some of his favorites include: the MSU fight song, "Mellow Yellow" by Donovan, "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, the Alphabet song, "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison, and "Our House" by the Beatles.

He is totally into school buses right now. He asks to see them whenever we're out and likes to keep count of how many we've seen.

He knows what to do when we come to a traffic light depending on what color the light is: red = stop, green = go, yellow = whoa!

Because of the aforementioned love of things in and about cars and other vehicles, he talks almost nonstop while we are in the car. And he will repeat whatever he is saying until you have acknowledged him and keep up a conversation with him. It is both exhausting and utterly delightful (at least for me).

He still does sign language for certain words, namely "more", "all done", and "thank you", though now he says the words while signing them.

He says "all done" and signs it emphatically whenever something he doesn't like is going on. For instance, if one of his grandparents or Aunt Christine says they have to leave, he will say and sign "all done" with the saddest look on his face.

He knows what happy, sad, mad, and yawning faces look like and asks us to draw them whenever we have his crayons out. He'll also flash you the cheesiest happy face if you ask for it.

He loves digital clocks these days and basically counts all the minutes that pass during his meals. We have three clocks he can easily see in our kitchen (stove, microwave, and coffee pot) and he will announce when each has changed time and what the next time is going to be (i.e., "Twenty! Twenty-one!").

He is infatuated with answering machines, and while he isn't allowed to play with ours he loves to push the buttons at both grandparents' houses. If he sees an answering machine, he'll exclaim, "No messages!" and smile.

And if you ask him to "perform" any of the aforementioned skills he'll typically clam up, proving once again that he's no monkey.

I'm sure he does plenty more things, but right now I can't think of them. And I'm sure this is a long enough list already.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Little Lady

She's getting quite the personality and her smiles have been coming more freely these days. I just love it!

Oh, and she's super fun to dress! I know this might sound horrible, but it's like having a little doll to dress up! I loved dressing Baylor but little girl fashions are above and beyond anything out there for boys.

Ah, sweetness!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Upon discovering that my son adores banana-flavored cookies, my mom and sister took up the task of finding a good banana cookie recipe for him. The first one they found and tried was an absolute hit with adults and Baylor alike, so I thought I'd share it with you! Baylor asks for a "bana tut-tee" almost every day!

The original recipe was found on, but I'm going to post it on here with the tweaks my sister made to it instead of just putting them as notes; I like what she did, and I think you will, too!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas
1 3/4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - she left these out since they were primarily for my son)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

3. Cream together the shortening and sugar; beat very well until light and fluffy. Add egg, banana, oatmeal, and nuts (if applicable). Mix well.

4. Add dry ingredients, mix well and drop by leveled cookie scoop on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Bake at 375 for fifteen minutes or until edges turn lightly brown. Cool on wire rack. Store in a closed container.

By leveling off the cookie scoop, you end up with nice little cookies for little hands. These cookies store well in the freezer and are incredibly moist both fresh and thawed-from-frozen.


Two Friends on His Shoulders

The little devil telling him to unravel the vacuum cleaner cord and try to plug it in.

And the little angel telling him to love and hug his sister.

I'll take 'em both. They're all him, you know?

Little Victories

When you're a parent, it's often the little victories that mean the most.

Baylor loves to carry around his water bottle, but every time he was finished with it he would drop it hastily on the ground like a marathon runner discarding a paper cup of water. We decided to try to teach him to set it down, so every time he would drop it we'd stop him, squat down, and show him how to set it down like he should. Just about every time he'd look at us as if we were just hilarious, such a silly notion that he'd do anything but chuck the bottle. He learned the word "set" in the process, but he kept throwing his water bottle.

And then, the other day ...

... he finally set it down! I had to take a picture of it. It was a proud moment for me, and I called my husband in to share in the glory of our son having learned something. He's a smart kid, knows numbers, letters, shapes, colors, etc., but this ... this was awesome.

Hard Lovin'

Baylor's blankie, lovingly knitted before his birth by my mom, has been a staple in his crib since he was probably nine months old. Blankie has been taking it on the chin, however, since teething started. Gaping wounds like this have become commonplace, challenging my sister and mom to fix them before they spell beloved blankie's end.

It's not as beautiful as it once was, now stitched together with varying colors of scrap yarn, puckered and pinched as he pulls the yarn out here and there to chew on, but boy is blankie loved.


They'll be two peas in a pod in no time ... I just know it.

Hanging On

I'm hanging on, hanging in there like my good froggy friend here (he was chilling in the shade on our shepherd's hook). Only one of my nights has been really rough, but every night I get shorted on my sleep. I know I have nothing to complain about; other mothers, I'm sure, get much less sleep than I've been getting. I have Miss Mollie to thank; she is a pretty good sleeper, often going for four- and five-hour stretches much like her brother did at her age. But I'm still behind and it's early in the morning when I feel it most.

Take last night, for instance. I was sitting there at 5:30 a.m. trying to feed my little girl, and I knew I had to do my best to stay awake if I wanted to get back in bed for a bit before I needed to get up.

"You have to stay awake," I told myself. "Ooh, maybe do some butt clenches to keep yourself awake! That way you won't fall asleep AND you'll get a workout. That'd be great ... ZZZZZZ."

"Ugh! Stay awake! You have to or you'll never ... ZZZZZZZ."

Several minutes later ...

"Okay, she's done eating. Bring her down to burp her. There ya go! Aww, isn't she cute? *yawn* Alright, pat, pat, pat on her back. Just stay awaaaaa ... ZZZZZZZ."

At that point I woke up with Mollie in my hands, head cocked to the side, sound asleep, and decided it was okay if I just put her back in bed. Then I stumbled back to bed and collapsed for another hour or so.

And like now, I should probably be napping, but I've instead chosen to work on the blog; it makes me feel more like myself, gives me an outlet for all the thoughts/feelings/experiences/etc. I have building up in me all day long, and lets the people I love know how we're doing. Not to mention the fact that after a good nap I often feel so sleepy-drunk I can barely function. Since I have two kids to take care of, that isn't the best way to be and feel, so I'm going to just rest here at my desk and let my mind flow free.

I should be making dinner or doing laundry or cleaning our house, but right now I just need to sit.

So how are you?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fun, Fun, Fun!

When you're little, fun is everywhere ...

Kicking a ball through the house.

Or bowling with your Oma.

Heck, even just wearing a new hat can be fun!

Balloons are always fun, no matter your age.

And a play mat can be fun even if you've passed the age limit.

Stopping a spinning toy with your head can be fun ... painful, but still fun.

And enjoying a teether with your grandpa can be hilarious good fun!

We like to have fun around here ... oh yes we do!