Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just Over A Year ...

It's hard to believe that Mollie has been in our lives for over a year now. Yeah, she's only four months old, but we learned about her presence just over a year ago (July 28th, if I remember correctly).

It all started with this photo in the Banana Republic Outlet dressing room, a shocking realization that something was most definitely up.

Followed the next morning with an "Oh ... my ... God!"

I so wanted to tell Bryson in some weird, wacky, fun way that I was pregnant but I ended up blurting it out while in traffic near the corner of Kalamazoo and 28th. That spot still holds a special place in my heart, and I think of that moment every time I drive through that magical corner.

Our first glimpse of her beautiful face.

And my protruding belly the morning of the fall.

And then, in the flashiest of flashes, she was here, in my arms.

Doing amazing things like meeting her brother.

Who knew I'd have such a tiny baby after my 10 lbs. 10 oz. baby boy?!

Who knew that after positively swimming in her going home outfit (which I almost accidentally consigned the other day!!) ...

... that she would grow enough to be wearing 9 month clothing at only 4 months of age!

She hasn't liked her car seat from the get-go. But really, who can blame her?

She was truly a newborn baby, something I hadn't really experienced much with Baylor; right out of the oven he was bigger than some 3 month-olds.

But as she filled out ...

... and brought out her personality ...

... she's grown into the girl we know and love today.

Amalia, we love ya and we can't wait to see who you become in the months and years ahead!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Two Big Changes, One Little Girl

Yesterday was a big day for our Miss Mollie. Apart from rolling over three more times (yay!), she also had a couple big changes in her life.

The first? She had her first messy taste of rice cereal.

Here she is pre-feeding, looking all pretty and sweet.

She spit out most of what we gave her, unsure of how to swallow the bland gruel, but she seemed to improve a little by the end.

Baylor, seemingly unsure of how to deal with his little sister sitting in his high chair and getting loads of attention, acted out a little bit, but overall he was a very good boy.

The aftermath.

Still a happy little girl! Whew!

And so the morning pumping begins. I can't say I much enjoy the process, but I know it's good for my kiddo so I'm willing to do it. Plus, now that I have an electric pump, things go much quicker and my hands don't hurt afterwards. Gotta look on the bright side, right?

So, the second change?

Crying it out. Ughhhh.

After her appointment this past Monday, we realized it was time for her to learn to sleep on her own. It didn't work Monday night as she was in the throws of post-vaccination discomfort, and the nights after we only tried half-heartedly. But last night we got our acts together, buckled down, and let her cry. It was awful, but she seemed to get the hang of it at least a little bit. What'd we end up doing? Well, after a good deal of searching by my husband, we decided to try the Ferber method, as succinctly described here. Our pediatrician wanted us to just let her absolutely cry herself to sleep without going in there at all, but I just couldn't do that.

It worked well, though we did touch her a couple times during the night; once or twice to put in a binky, and once to change a thoroughly soaked diaper that was certainly keeping her up. And she still loved us in the morning! Ah woo hoo!

And she still wanted to take her morning nap near me, so I guess that's a good sign, right?

Yeah, it might not have been such a stellar idea to introduce so much at once, but she seemed to take it all in stride. We are so lucky to have a happy, healthy little lady! Wish us luck on the rest of sleep training!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Playing with Food

At one of our local shopping malls there is a play place where breakfast food looms large and begs to be played with. Ordinarily I view this area as a petri dish of germs and kid sweat, but I tried to overlook that the other day when my mom suggested Baylor get to play there.

Surprise, surprise ... he loved it!

I mean, shriek-at-the-top-of-his-lungs LOVED it!!!

The bacon - or "ribbon" as he called it - was probably his favorite.

But the eggs were certainly fun, too.

He didn't seem to recognize that the banana was, in fact, a banana, but he enjoyed it just the same.

And the big bowl of milk, cereal, and blueberries?

He scaled that without a problem.

Though the getting down part was a little rough.

"The edge has to be here somewhere, right?"

"Ah, found it! Ooh, but I may have tucked too early."

"Ah, I got it!"


He thought the breakfast sausages should have been a tunnel and didn't bother playing on them once he figured out they weren't.

Wedged in the banana.

More cereal ... and a kid curiously without a shirt. Hm ...

"Ribbon! Ribbon! Ribbon!"


We, of course, wet-wiped his hands once he got done playing, but he ended up licking the "milk" on one of his trips into the cereal bowl so I have a feeling if he gets sick it'll be from that. *sigh* Can't protect them from everything, right?

And now, I have a feeling, this will be a staple of our trips to the mall ... along with a ride up and down the elevator.

Roll Over! Roll Over!

Yup, she did it. This Tuesday my daughter rolled over for the first time! She was on her playmat watching me eat a York Peppermint Patty and the wrapper caught her eye. She swung her body around a bit to look at it, and after a couple tries she rolled onto her back! The instant it happened, she grinned from ear to ear. Then she started playing with the duck overhead.

I tried to get her to roll over again later, but this was as far as she got.

Still, she seems pretty satisfied with herself. As well she should be!

Congrats, little lady!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brought to You By The Number 4

When Baylor saw the 4 on his shirt today, he said, "Inspect 4". To most people this wouldn't make much sense, unless you've seen this episode of Sesame Street.

So we watched it this morning. Too cute!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Her Talking Face

When she talks she makes this face ...

It is, by far, one of my favorite faces she makes. Right up there with her smile.

Overnight Diapers That ACTUALLY Work!

Remember back in January when I wrote this? Yeah, I didn't know anything back then. Those diapers ended up leaking just like all the other diapers before them. Apparently my boy has a monster-sized bladder. (Yes, I know he'll be mortified if he ever finds out I wrote that.)

For months we have been searching for the perfect overnight diapers. A good friend suggested Huggies Overnights and swore her boy hadn't leaked from them once. Love you, Colleen, but they were no match for Baylor and his copious amounts of urine. He was soaked by morning and I did more laundry than I care to remember.

On the advice of my therapist, we decided to try big kid overnight diapers. Like for kids who are potty trained but still pee during the night on occasion. They don't even have baby sizes; they come in 2T-3T or 3T-4T. My mom, hero that she is, went to the store to buy some for him and, by George, they work! These are the kind she got. Funnily enough, though, she bought the girl ones on accident, so he's been wearing princess diapers every night for nearly the past week. But I don't care because he's only leaked once and it was only a little bit, not the whole-bed soaking we had become accustomed to. Obviously this won't work for smaller kids, but if you have a smaller toddler then perhaps his/her bladder is smaller too and will be easily accomodated by other brands and types of overnighters. For those of you with big kiddos, this is THE way to go!

So thank you to Leslie, should you ever read this, I am deeply in your debt for both your therapy skills and for suggesting these diapers!

Cloth Diapering Saga: How's It Going?

So, I started writing about this whole cloth diapering thing and then I stopped, huh? Well, it's pretty much because things are going well. I'm doing it. Can you believe it? Mollie is in them almost all the time, and we've had much success with her in cloth: almost no diaper rashes, few leaks, and a pretty easy time diapering the little lass.

Baylor, on the other hand, has been a bit more of a challenge. He has been in disposable diapers for so long that cloth feels weird to him, and he often balks at having a cloth diaper on his tushy - which can often lead to a wrestling session. He also leaks a bit more because he pees a lot more than his sister, and I still haven't made it to the store to buy more soaker pads for him. Plus, his shorts sometimes sneak into his diaper and soak up moisture in spite of my best efforts to keep this from happening.

Neither kid sleeps in cloth at night (too tough for me to diaper her in the dark and too much pee coming from him), so we still use disposables a bit. But we're into cloth and it is working well for us. I do a load of diapers about every two to three days, and though my laundry room now smells like poop (it's also where we change diapers and keep the dirty ones) I'm happy with this change.

So that's the update. If you have any questions feel free to ask! And have a wonderful day!

"On T.V.!"

As Baylor grows up and starts really expressing himself verbally, I'm starting to realize that we can't just let him watch whatever we watch on television anymore. Though we don't watch much television, mostly sports and the lineup on Thursday on NBC when we can, something that happened this weekend has shown me that the little man is absorbing what he watches. Whoa.

After a lovely meal out and some time playing with Oma and Grandpa E's toys, Baylor got to enjoy a little ice cream. The rest of us had some too, and Bryson decided to stick a cookie in his for good measure. Seeing what his daddy did, Baylor decided that would be a good idea for him, too!

He even tossed aside his spoon and started scooping his ice cream out with the cookie! Does this kid know how to party, or what?!

Then he did something perplexing. He asked for one of the tomatoes he helped my dad pick outside. And he promptly ate it, much like you'd eat an apple.

As the juices were dripping down his chin, he proclaimed, "On t.v.!" We all looked at each other and scratched our heads. And then it dawned on me.

Earlier in the day we had watched an episode of Sesame Street where Jimmy Fallon plays Wild Nature Survivor Guy. At one point during the episode, he tackles one of Leela's tomato plants and ravenously eats a tomato ... just like the little man did!

I'm thankful that this first real concrete instance of him learning something directly from television was something positive (he can eat all the tomatoes he wants as far as I'm concerned), but now I realize how much more cognizant I have to be about what he sees on the boob tube. The only television we actually sit down to watch together is Sesame Street, and we watch a maximum of one episode a day. I turn into a zombie when I watch television and I can see it happening in him as well, so I want to keep all that couch potato-ing to a minimum.

Anyhow, if you haven't seen Sesame Street in a while, check out one of my favorite segments here. I just love Murray and his little lamb! And his rap theme song is hilarious!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Asking for Help: Nap for Two

Hello! I need help, and after exhausting my own mind, the Internet, and a few other people, I'm turning to you.

Here's the dilemma ...

I don't know how to get my 4 month-old daughter upstairs to her crib to nap with my 22 month-0ld son around. When it was just the two of us, I could get him down no problem (and check on him as needed) because I had no one else in tow. But now he's in tow and she ends up sleeping on the main floor, behind a chair (for a little shade), in her bouncy seat; I leave all the lights off for most of the day, rain or shine, so she will have as close to darkness around her as I can get it.
Baylor won't walk up the stairs with me very easily, and I don't like focusing on her all the while worrying that he's going to fall down the stairs. When I leave him downstairs, he cries a bit and then tries to go upstairs on his own. He's tall for his age and can climb over and out of almost anything, and while he hasn't figured out how to climb out of his crib yet, he only tries when he's really pissed off and I don't want to give him cause to climb.

So how do you do it? How do you get the youngest kid down with the older one around (and awake)? Ultimately I'd like her to nap in her room in her crib; it's dark and quiet, and it's where she should be sleeping. But it's on the second floor, and the stairs are unguarded at the bottom.

Any help or ideas you could give me would be wonderful! Thank you so much!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Water, Water ... Everywhere!

As I was going through my pictures trying to come up with a post, I noticed that almost all of the ones I had of Baylor taken recently involved water. The kid is in love with water and with the summer being as hot as it is, I can't blame him.

He got some cool shades recently and was testing them out in the pool the other day. My mom also got him some awesome water wings, but he is more of a step-dweller these days so they are merely an aesthetic accessory.

Little B fell in love with the water wheels at the Gardens during a recent visit with my mom, so she bought one for her house. He LOVES it! Both outside ...

... and inside!

Just look at that concentration!

Since not every day can be a pool day and since I can't spend all my time up at the sink with him (much as I'd like to), we recently acquired a water table for the little man to enjoy at our house. The first night we had it, I took it away before he even got to use it because he was throwing food on the floor; I had warned him, okay? Yes, I am a bit of a hard-ass sometimes ... sue me.

In any case, he got to use it the next morning while I was nursing Mollie and, boy oh boy, did he have fun!

The first scoop of water he had intended for the water wheel ended up almost entirely on the floor. But he soldiered on, and had a blast. (And yes, he's very serious about his fun.)

Though blurry, I was able to capture one of his smiles during his first encounter with the new water table. He's such a sweetie!

He did his best to keep the water in the water table until the very end. My mom had arrived by then and I think he was ready to move on.

Tile becomes quite slick when wet, so we had to lay down some towels so he wouldn't slip and fall ... which he did three times before we realized the need for said towels. We probably won't play with this inside again anytime soon, but it was a fun experiment nonetheless.

Back outside for a little more water wheel fun, Little B got to enjoy some pool step time with Grandpa E this week. He is really perfecting his staring techniques these days.

And for some reason he laughed quite heartily after doing this:

No idea why. Regardless, though, water sure is fun!