Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Time Again!?!

Wow!  This past year has absolutely FLOWN by ... and Alexander has actually turned 13 months already!  Today we went to the Children's Museum, and it's just so amazing to see how much more of a "big kid" he is...of course he's still my itty bitty (30 lb. and outgrowing his 24 month clothes) BABY!

Summer plans: NONE!  Well, I will visit my parents a couple times, but we are more the "stay-cation" type.  Trust me, Traveling with small children. is. not. relaxing.  Especially to a "control" freak like me.  There is plenty to do around here.  We plan on going to the library one day per week.  The kids will go to story time and then play afterwards.  Another day we will go to the free local movie theatre...FREE MOVIES!  Then of course there is the Indy Zoo and Children's Museum.  We will speckle that with some La Leche League meetings around the city, and of course, playdates.

Date plans: Since Alex was 10 months old, Josh and I have been going out every single week.  We go out to eat someplace, then maybe hit the grocery store.  Who knew that shopping solo (aka...w/o kiddos would be date material!)?!  So Josh and I plan to continue our weekly dates.  It's so important, especially with 2 kids now!  We also have zip.  zero.  zilch. 0. family in the area to pawn them off for free babysitting.  Luckily, we have a couple awesome high school girls in our neighborhood.  The best kind of sitters are those that (1) have their own phone so we don't have to leave one of our phones here since we haven't had a landline in about 5 years and (2) can get to and from our house without us having to go get them.  Actually, the even better kind of sitters are friends with kids who also have kids so (1) there is no cash exchanged, just a kid-watching swap!  Hey, anyone local want to set up a regular kid-watch swap?! and (2) they have kids themselves, which just speaks volumes in the awesome care that I know they'll give.

Summer Goals for Claire:  I put Alex down for a nap every day, and then I read her some special "big girl" books--whatever she picks.  Lately she's into Madeline which is a super cute book.  She can write all the letters in her name.  My goal is to get her writing her name with the letters in order C-L-A-I-R-E is pretty long for a 3 1/2 year old.  She had 12 kids in her 3/4s class this year.  Only 2 kids could write their names.  One has only 3 letters in her name, 2 of which are the same A-V-A, and the other kid is a "4" going on 5 soon...BUT I want her to be  My other big goal is to work with her on cutting.  I've totally slacked off in letting her "play" with scissors and cut.  She got a little "report card" and cutting was her weakest area.  My fault.  She snipped a new dress last summer.  I put the scissors up and haven't really given it a 2nd thought.  So, now I'm going to try to just let her cut at paper, so then she will be more accurate in cutting out shapes and lines, etc.  She also was marked down for not being able to "recognize" her own name.  I think that's a load of crap.  Guess what?  The paper had her name SPELLED WRONG!  So of course she's going to say that's not her name.  We will continue to work on letter sounds and pre-reading skills.  She knows a few sight words, so we're going to increase those.  I try to do some different flash cards with her once in awhile, but we both prefer stories and just picking out words/numbers from the books.

Summer Goals for Alex:  GETTING THAT BOY TO CRAWL!  He is totally strong enough.  He can do it with "help" but I think it's coming soon.  He loves baby signs!  So I plan on doing lots of more signs with him.  Yesterday we went into Walgreens, in the non-food section.  Then when I walked to get the jug of milk, he started signing "MORE"... I think he wanted a snack since there was food around...pretty amazing because he recognizes that without anyone saying words. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alexander's Low Tone

Babies are typically supposed to crawl by nine month, and Alexander wasn't.  So basically at his 9 month check-up, I asked for a referral for First Steps.  He wasn't even scooting fast at that point either.  He was evaluated by Indiana's program for developmental delays in the under 3 set.  Each state has a similar program, which is federally funded; they are just called different names elsewhere.  Here in Indiana, our program is called First Steps.  You can read more about the program on that site.  The evaluation is free.  If your child doesn't qualify, that's it.  However, you can have your child retested every 3 or 6 months (I can't remember which) to see if they then qualify.

There were 2 women that came and evaluated him: an OT (occupational therapist) and a PT.  They brought several toys and played with him for about an hour in our home to check for various things.  To qualify, the child needs to have a 25% delay in one area, or two 20% delays in different areas.  Alexander had a delay in Gross and in Fine Motor skills.  At his age he was still "palming" toys instead of using his finger tips to hold them, which would be a fine motor indicator.  They also checked his belly without clothes on (dipe still on), and could see he had low tone. 

Most people don't know very much about "low tone" so here is a link to read more about what it is, and some problems that can accompany it.  Basically, it means that he is a little floppy and loose.  :)  At 6 months he still couldn't sit like propped in a Boppy.  He can sit now, but I've seen a baby CRAWLING at 6 months before!  And ALL PTs will tell you that babies need to crawl before they walk.

Anyways, after he qualified, we started on weekly PT sessions before his first birthday.  To strengthen his core, we bounce him on a giant exercise ball.  We put him in the 4 point crawling position and try to help him crawl.  However, he gets physically tired very quickly.  Another thing we do is try to practice up the stairs, as it's great to help learn the coordination of crawling. 

Our PT does not want him to WALK before he crawls and so we aren't practicing walking, although there is no real "harm" in it.  He seems to now have all the strength he physically needs to crawl, but it's a coordination thing.  Miss Nikki, the PT lady, also said it's very hard to get scooters, like Alex, to start crawling because he's so used to what he's fast at.

Anyways, I do his exercises with him in the morning when he first wakes up, and then after he wakes up from his naps in the late afternoon as then he is the most rested.

Claire also had low muscle tone and did First Steps, which is why I knew of the program.  Sometimes I wish I would have had Alexander evaluated even earlier, but it is what it is.  Claire's low tone was oral aversion...she had a tough time with mixed textures and eating in general until she was around 18 months old.  She was evaluated at 15 months after the doctor had labeled her failure to thrive (FTT).  She had weighed 24 lbs. at 9 months and at 15 months she was 23.  She was only nursing and not interested in solids foods offered to her.  She was also very gaggy and had problems moving her lips right to pull the foods off a spoon offered at evaluation time.

So because Alexander was eating WAY better than Claire did at that age, I though things might be ok, but low tone is very genetic.  Some people think that PT doesn't help, and that kids will develop when ready.  However, a type of therapy that is very readily acceptable is speech therapy.  If Alex had a speech delay, I wouldn't hesitate to put him in speech therapy.  I would say it is very common when we are out and about for people to comment on his scooting.  They either think it's really cute and novel, or they have none a scooter themselves and advise PT!

There is a strong link in the coordination with hand writing and the crawling motion.  Luckily we did catch this early though!  Miss Nikki is confident that he will crawl, although sometimes scooters may actually walk before they crawl.  Usually she likes to see them crawl a good 2 months before walking.  There is also issues with the HIPS.  A lot of people think that his knees might be hurt from scooting, but actually the tightness occurs in the hips and lower back muscles.

Alex also does a lot of W sitting...a big BIG no-no in the PT world.  W sitting is just what it sounds like...the baby/toddler sits with his legs in a W position vs. the more preferred straight legged pose.  The W pose is very bad on the knees...good thing Alex's are soft because he sits like that. all. the. time.  Claire did to, and I think it's pretty typical of when babies are first getting mobile anyways.  I try to tell him to put his legs straight, but I usually have to move his legs and tell him.

Also of interest, is that recurrent ear infections are an indicator listed on the First Steps paper work for Developmental Delays.  I'm sure having fluid in his ears from September through January wasn't very helpful as far as helping him learn to balance and such.

So if you want to be helpful rather than hurtful, read up on the topic and ask about "what new movements is he doing lately?" rather than "Is he walking yet?"  Nope...he's not crawling yet, either.  He has now pulled to standing on his own a total of 4 times in the past week!!!  All on different days. 

Alex also seems very vocal when moving his bowels, with lots of grunting and straining.  I do think this is related to his poor core muscles.  He has a much easier time going #2 when I put him on the Baby Bjorn potty.  That potty is supposedly the most "ergonomic" baby potty.  Claire thinks it's so funny he essentially poops in a bowl and has no recollection of pooping or peeing on it!

I even have had someone tell me that it's my "fault" for not working with him more on crawling.  Really?  That's like telling someone with vision or hearing loss that it's their fault. 

I was really cautious with starting solids with Alexander.  I was afraid he'd have the same oral aversions as Claire did.  But he is a magnificent eater!  He also popped out 4 teeth between month 6 and 7 which helped immensely with the biting of little bits of food.  He LOVES all food and is a great eater!  I have to cut him off most of the time.   When he was a little younger, sometimes I would over-do the feedings and he'd spit up later...his way of delayed self-regulation ;)

Well thanks for listening!  I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Busy Days!


6:30am - both kids wake up. ugh. I get them dressed. Well, I get Alex dressed. I put Alex in a cloth diaper! I still haven't tried an overnight with cloth, but I will soon. I know that tons of people do. I also dress myself. I shower at night as well as bathe the kids at night 99% of the time because it's so much easier! Claire dresses herself. I just check to make sure she matches and is wearing panties. I noticed a decrease in the panties in the wash and realized she had decided to boycott them for about a week. I'm not quite sure why. I guess they are easy to forget. I do brush her hair and teeth in the mornings.

7:30 - I'm brushing Claire's teeth, and Alex decides to pull up on the side of the bathtub! COMPLETELY! TO STANDING! WITH BOTH FEET ON THE FLOOR! :) AND he managed to lower himself without hurting himself! YAY!

8 - Starbucks. It's a caffeine type of morning. And we have no milk. So Claire gets a lucky breakfast ;)

8:15 - Pick up dry cleaning. Why I am doing this with 2 kids? Because I love to torture myself.

8:30 - Go into Walgreens to buy milk. Why I am doing this with Claire? Because I love to stop 42 bajillion times while we walk to get the milk. They. always. put. the. milk. in. the. back. of. the. store. and. I. hate. that!

8:50 - In line for drop-off time at preschool! I check Claire's folder while we talk about the day, month, etc and what's on her calendar for that day.

9 - Doors open, cars move!

9:10 - I speed out of the parking lot with Glee.

9:20 - I lay down to nurse Alex to sleep because he's been up a few hours and is totally tired. I get back up for awhile and do some stuff around the house and talk to my older brother David on the phone for a bit.

11 - My alarm goes off to pick up Claire from school. Really? And Alex is still sleeping. He stays asleep in my arms until I put him into his cold carseat in the car.

11:10- Claire is in the car telling me all about how they got to play on the playground today. AND THERE WERE BEES! Ack! I don't want to hear that!

11:15 - Home and I put Alex in his SECOND cloth diaper for the day. I put the other ones in a 5 gallon bucket by the washer/dryer. It has a lid that snaps shut and only cost about $4 total. Diaper genies are a waste of money, apparently...although I do have one!

11:30 - We eat some leftovers for lunch. Alex is in a huge throwing stuff on the floor stage, and I SOOOO can't wait for this to be over.

11:45 - I quickly clean up lunch and sort 2 baskets of laundry on the dining room's perfect for folding!

NOON! Alex's PT time - Miss Nicki arrives and works with Alex on the ball first since he loves it. I play with Claire at my computer with some games so she won't bug distract interfere with Alex's physical therapy time. I am happy to give Miss Nicki a good report that Alex pulled up to standing this morning! We also go outside for a bit. They work on the slide/step combo we have while I try to get Claire to roll down the hill and run around the trees so she's not hogging the slide too much!

1 - Miss Nicki leaves and Claire and Alex have both been a little whiny so I decide to leave early for a dentist appt.

1:15 - Both the kids have fallen asleep in the car about the second I hit the exit ramp for the interstate. I punch the Cruise Control and drive 50 while semi trucks repeatedly creep up on my butt and then blare past me. REALLY! I only have a little ways to go and I am milking the smooth driving without stop lights.

1:45 - We arrive at our destination. I park in the shade and tip my seat back for a bit. :) I play on my phone. I love love love Scrabble on there! It's called WORDS WITH FRIENDS. Don't start. You'll get addicted. You've been warned.

2 - Kids wake up! We go to Once Upon a Child, which is on the way to the dentist! I score a double stroller that actually pushes and turns for a mere $40 with a 20% off coupon! I nurse Alex while Claire plays with their germy toys in the play area. I think I can see the germs crawling around. (No, that's my OCD.)

3 - Dentist appt. for Claire - I browse the trashy tabloid that poses as a magazine. You know it. It's called "PEOPLE" -- there are pictures of the Royal Wedding in there. SCORE! Claire is back there alone a good 30 minutes. I'm sure she's just sitting in a fancy chair watching some DISNEY movie for 29 of those minutes. I change Alex in the waiting room. DIAPER THREE! I'm proud of myself for remembering my "wet bag" so I don't even have to waste a plastic bag.

3:30 - I get called back to see the dentist for approximately 30 seconds in which he tells me that, yes, that spot in her tooth, is indeed a cavity, and that she'll have to actually COME BACK to get it filled. Awesome. It was totally worth reading PEOPLE for "FREE."

3:45 - Claire is still pulling trinkets and stickers and plastic crap out of the bag the dentist gave her. She wants me to look at every. single. one. REALLY? I thought you only got a prize if you had no cavities. Oh well. IT WAS ALL "FREE." And did I mention the first opening to get her tooth filled is at the end of June. WHAT? JUNE? Yup. (Aside: I have already thrown away 3/4 of the crap. Bad, Mommy! Dear Claire, It's called clutter-control/I don't want to end-up-on-an-episode-of-Hoarders-one-day.)

4 - We are driving home, and I stop at a local nursery to pick up some hanging baskets for my front porch. I know. I previously blogged that I wasn't going to do this again. BUT...I got a type of flower that is very drought resistant and doesn't need much water. Because I really don't feel like watering them twice a day when it's hot out! We walk around the nursery WAAAY too long. I look at all the cool trees and stuff I would love to get. Japanese Maples starting at $129. I want a birdbath! I want a fountain! I want a gazing ball on a little stand! I want a hummingbird feeder and bunches of plants that attract hummingbirds! And I have room for NOTHING with that double stroller that takes up the. entire.trunk. I didn't buy all that, by the's just fun to look! I got two hanging baskets. One sat next to me on the passenger seat. The other sat on the floorboard of the passenger seat. You really didn't believe me when I said that there was no room in my trunk? Well, I just may have to post a picture!

5 pm - We get home. Claire asks to play in the sprinkler since it's hot and sunny. WHY NOT!?! It's 76! AHAHA...the water was ICY cold. But she had fun, and it was fun! I blew some bubbles. Claire asks, "Why are the bubbles allowed to cross the street without you, Mommy." That just made me laugh! I put Alex in his suit mostly because I wanted to try it on him, but he just splashed in a little puddle that had formed. He wasn't interested in creeping closer. Some neighbors came over for a bit to chat and dance in the water too!

6ish - We put away the 42 bajillion toys we pulled out of the garage. I gave the kids a nice warm bath and tried out my new sprayer. I. LOVE. IT! Claire pees in the tub. I drain the water. She asks why. I said, well, would Mommy give Alex a bath in the peed in toilet? NO! So don't pee in the tub. I can't even remember the last time she did that. Josh gets home to start the grill!!! He has picked up steak! ROCK ON!

6:30ish - We eat a nice dinner!!! My hubbie can grill some good steaks! :) Claire eats some bites of steak. She asks repeatedly Where does steak come from? Cows. Where does bacon come from? Pigs. Where does hamburger come from? Cows. Where do chicken eggs come from? chickens! She does specify because of the dino eggs at the museum we see all the time. (All this and we've barely sat down.) Where do shrimps come from? Shrimp.

7 - I decide to take the kids on a quick walk to try the stroller out around the neighborhood. They go in their jammies. Awesome. :)

8 - We are back, and I brush their teeth. I nurse Alex to sleep while Claire hangs out with Daddy for a bit watching some cartoons. Then I lay down with Claire and nurse her to sleep too. <3 What a lovely way to end their days!

9 on - clean up the kitchen, pick up a little, play some WORDS, talk on the phone...get on Facebook, etc...

And what did you do today?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Call me crazy, but...

I wanna get a tattoo.  Actually I want to get 3 tattoos.   I don't actually have any tattoos now, but I've wanted to get one for a long time...probably since I was about 16.  I just have never gotten around to getting any.

My first one that I want to get is a heart on my wrist.  See this post for why.  I think I will get a red one with a black outline.  It will be small.  Maybe the size of a quarter. 

The second one that I'd like is something with my my kids' names and probably their birth dates in number format.  I'm thinking I'd like that on my upper arm.  I'm thinking my shoulder would be cool, but then I couldn't really see that, so that kind of art wouldn't be for me.  I want something I could see.

The other one that I'd like is the LLL logo.  This organization means a lot to me because I've met so many friends through it.  It's the image of a mother holding a baby.

Friday, April 22, 2011



I thought that I would share 10 things that I am doing differently than I was a year or two ago in regards to being GREEN...or saving our planet. 

1.  NOT buying flowers that have been grown in "hot houses" and need lots of watering.  Yes they look great, but they are HORRIBLE for the environment as far as getting them to grow and then watering them for the summer.  INSTEAD, I'm planting more bulb flowers and things that tolerate the dryness of summer, like I just planted some daises in the new flower bed in my front yard.  Plus these will come back every year.

2. REFUSING stuff.  I was reading some blogs about how the best way to reduce trash is not to bring it home in the first place, right...duh?!  Like at Kroger they always hand me a fistful of coupons.  I quickly look through them and then if I know that I won't use them (or someone I know that I can pass it to), I ask someone else in the store if they want them...because otherwise that's just paper that I'm throwing away...and it all adds up!

3.  PAYING MORE BILLS ONLINE.  This make sense.  It saves you the 44 cents for a stamp, plus the cost of a check, which is probably about 25 cents, depending.  But it also saves paper, especially if you have the bill emailed to you.  There is no paper being wasted then!

4.  USING FEWER PAPER TISSUES.  This was helped by my kids!  When we have running noses, now I prefer using a wash cloth on their noses or a soft burp rag (think prefold diaper).  Yes, I have to wash them, but it's like using cloth diapers.

5.  NOT BUYING GIFT WRAP.  Since Claire is 3 we do a lot of kid parties.  Instead of buying wrapping paper, I either reuse gift bags with not a lot of tissue paper or wrap the gift in pages from coloring books that Claire has colored.  This way I also don't have to feel bad throwing away something that she colored because there is no way I can save it all!

6.  NOT BUYING BIRTHDAY CARDS.  Everyone loves greeting cards, but not all kids parties need a $3.99 greeting card.  So I just fold some construction paper for Claire to color and write our own message.

7.  NOT WATERING OUR LAWN  We watered our lawn the first few years we lived here until I started thinking about how wasteful all the water was...then you just have to mow it and waste lawn mower gas.  Of course, in April, things are just greening up nicely, but we didn't water a single time last year, and I don't plan on it this year either!  If it dies, it dies!

8.  BREASTFEEDING  Yup.  We're still doing that here, even though Alexander turned one.  Haha.  Because do you know how PROCESSED milk is...why buy my kids milk, when I can just...duh...make it myself while I sleep!  So no weaning to cow's milk at the end of Alexander's 12th month.  And guess what...if you're wondering, yes, Claire is still nursing at 3 3/4 and couldn't be healthier.  She's not missed one day of school for being sick.  WOOT!

9.  RECYCLING  This is obvious, but some "oddball" things that I've recycled that shouldn't be thrown away include: clothes hangers to the dry cleaner as well as garment bags, they'll take any kind; batteries to battery drop spots; glasses and hearing aides to the Lion's Clubs drops; plastic bags to the grocery stores, although I try to avoid them in the first place by bringing my own reusable grocery bags (back to REFUSE!); then taking clothes and toys and books to the Goodwill or donating them directly to someone who I know will use/enjoy the items; paper and cardboard to the CGS bins by the Fairgrounds to recycle; and trying to avoid individually packaged things like single serving bottles of Gatorade which I used to buy all the time...if I don't buy them, I don't have to worry about recycling them!  I've also really cut back on buying juice because it's really just sugar water, and then I don't have those bottles to recycle.

10. NOT SHOWERING EVERYDAY! Because I'm lazy!  And our Grandparents bathed once/week and lived! :)  Think of all the water and soap that one saves!  Also, it's better for skin and hair anyways! 

So those are just a few things that I've been doing lately.  How about you?  

Alexander is ONE!

Your favorite toy for playing is: new cars you got for your birthday 

Your favorite toy for snuggling is:  Mommy!  You give real hugs now!

Your favorite food is:  lately chicken

Your favorite book is:  ones with shiny "mirror" pages

Your favorite activity is: Playing in Isa's garden at the children's museum with the blocks

Your favorite place to go is:  Scooting to the top of the stairs to throw toys between the baby gate rails so you can watch toys bounce down the steps!

Your best friend is: Mommy ;)

Something new that you're doing:  Have started physical therapy weekly, just starting last week with First Steps for your low tone in your core: hence the scooting and not crawling yet.  You love bouncing on the big exercise ball, but do not like the stairs yet. 

Something you've mastered:  Pulling up off the floor to a kneeling position

Something people say about you:  What blue eyes!  He has a lot of hair!

Something new that you're saying is: nom nom for food that is yummy and buy bye

Something new that you're signing is: MORE and ALL DONE

Some new Boo-boos: You like to open the drawer in the bottom of the oven, but manage to shut your hand in there a lot.

How many teeth:  7 now!  4 top middle and 3 got another this month!

Alexander 12 month stats: height 32.5 inches (95%); weight 27.2 (95%); head 19 inches (93%).



Friday, March 25, 2011

Alexander at 11 months

Your favorite toy for playing is:  outlets and toilet paper...well, real toys would have to be anything with wheels or balls

Your favorite toy for snuggling is:  the squishy blocks

Your favorite food is:  any kind of meat or marina sauce

Your favorite book is:  any of the crinkly ones or lift the flap ones

Your favorite activity is:  nursing, sleeping, getting into baby trouble like destroying mommy's fake plant or knocking over the floor lamps, getting worn in the sling by mommy, playing with Claire

Your favorite place to go is:  Mommy's Breastaurant.  Open 24/7/365
Your best friend is:  Mommy ;)

Something new that you're doing:  You started scooting at about 10 months.  You started scooting FAST at 10.5 months.  You started pushing up into sitting at 11 months.  You've started to pull yourself up to your knees at 11 m, 1 w. 

Something you've mastered:  Initiating games of Peek-a-boo or Pat-a-cake.  You like to softly bump heads, click your togue and wait for us to repeat it, as well as this "La la la" sound game you do by patting your mouth while open 

Something people say about you:  He is a big baby!  And the eye comments: He has beautiful blue eyes.  I could get lost in his eyes.  He has big eyes.  The girls are going to love him!  He's going to be a lady killer.

Something that you're saying is:  Dada, Mama, Up Up (sounds like pop, pop), Bu-ble (for bubbles),  Car (for Claire)

Something Dad and I are proud of you for:  Not throwing too much food on the floor at meals ;)

Something surprising about you:  You are already busting out of the 24 month sizes.  I had your feet measured a couple weeks ago.  5 WIDE.  Uh-oh!  Size 5 diapers!

Some Boo-boos: You chipped your top front tooth on the fireplace

How many teeth:  2 bottom middle, and the 4 top ones.  You like getting your teeth brushed.

Sleep:  You sleep about 12 hours.  Usually 8 to 8ish.  You can survive with one nap/day, but usually do better with 2 shorter ones.  One from about 10-11 then another around 2-4 ish.  We aren't super strict with sleep.  Mommy nurses you to sleep, every time, of course. ;)  You stopped taking your binkies promptly at 6 months when you lost that sucking reflex

Hair:  You have had 3 hair cuts.  Wow.  Your hair grows fast and thick like Daddy's! 

We love you so much! You've grown so much in the past few months!  I can't wait to see how big you are at your 12 month appt in just 3 short weeks!


Mommy :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Claire at 3 1/2

Dear Claire,

You are 3 1/2 now. I can't believe how fast the time is flying.

Your favorite toy for playing is:  Your Barbie Dream house and Barbies

Your favorite toy for snuggling is:  Your night-night baby doll

Your favorite food is:  spaghetti or anything like it (lasanga, etc)

Your favorite book is:  Snow White or any Princess one or The Berenstain Bear books, which are totally fun to read!

Your favorite activity is:  Hopping on your new giant bouncy ball 

Your favorite place to go is:  Preschool! 

Your best friend is:  Tough call, you have so many friends, but I'm going to have to say Alexander at home.  Your best friend at preschool is Harper.  Your 2 neighborhood friends are Amelia and Christopher.

Something new that you're doing:  Making up silly lyrics to familiar songs without any prompting.  "The Wheels on the Bus" might be like "The dogs on the bus go Poop, Poop, Poop."  Or "Old McDonald had a baby with a wah, wah here..."

Something you've mastered:  Fully dressing yourself in matching outfits 99% of the time, including sock/shoes/coat!  Preschool certainly has made you want to get ready because you can't wait to get dressed and go! 

Something people say about you:  She is tall!  She has pretty eyes.  She looks just like you!  She talks very well.  How old is she?  She can't be 3 1/2! 

Something that you're saying is:  I'm jealous of Alex.  Can you hold me too?  Can you carry me up the stairs too? 

Something Dad and I are proud of you for:  Coming home from Preschool with a "good job stamp" every time! 

Something surprising about you:  You are shy at school and in new situations, but when you are with Mommy, you'd never know that! 

You like to make "cozy spots" which are piles of blankets and pillows and hide in them.  You also like to make your "jumping jack house" which is a big pile of blankets in Alex's room.  Then you like to run and jump into it!  Daddy and I got you a hoppy ball that you LOVE to jump on when Alex is jumping in his jumper.  You laugh at each other.  You love to love on Alex and you get jealous if we are with other small children who want to play with him.

We love you so much!  You've grown so much in the past few months!

Mommy :)

PS:  You may borrow my black high heels when you grow up, per your recent request, but I do hope you have a better sense of fashion than me.

PPS:  You also recently asked if you could live in this house when grow up.  I would love to let you live in this house when you grow up with your kids and then Daddy and I will get a house next to the Children's Museum, like you suggested.  However, the easiest solution, perhaps, is that you just get a place near the museum.  Perhaps you could work there?  Oooh!  Now that sounds fun! :)

Big Sis! Lil Bro!

Yay!  Spring is here!  I recently took Claire and Alexander for a photo shoot.  Here is one of the three of us together.  Josh opted not to come.  We'll have to do some family ones outside this summer, though.  Now, Click on this photo to make it full-sized and tell my eyes really look that tired!?! 

Today was 73 and sunny!  It was soooo great to sit outside on the patio and bask in the sunshine!  I painted all of Claire's toes and fingers different colors, and then did my own.  Alex had a blast scooting around on the patio and smacking it.  He also enjoyed sampling varies sizes of mulch bits, while Claire discovered she could eat the green onions and decided that she liked the "spicy plant!"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


So every week, we have this Schwan's man that comes to our door.  However, he is not always there at the same time or even day.  It's USUALLY sometime on Tuesday evenings, though.  Today the doorbell rings.  I hear the truck idling outside.  I have nothing on since I've just gotten out of the shower.  I put on my bathrobe.

This is a tall girl bathrobe.  I love it.  It's super soft and terry cloth.  It goes to the floor.  Floor-length bathrobes rock.  I have 3 different ones.  It has a thick collar and long sleeves.  Super warm!  Well, I run downstairs to answer the door in "just" my bathrobe. 

I open the door and it's the Schwan's guy who is about 70 and a tiny old man.  He's got a younger guy with him, who is maybe 50.  So I say "Hi" and tell the Schwan's man a couple things that I want to order as he punches them into his little hand held. 

Then Claire runs around the corner.  She's got wet hair and is wearing her footie jammies.  She is completely silent.  She holds my hand for a second quietly.  Then, out of her sweet little mouth, she very, VERY loudly says, "MOMMY!?  Why didn't you put your jammies on under your bathrobe?!  YOU'RE NAKED!!!"

I glare at her and say "SHH!"

She replies, "But Mom, we can't go outside naked, and you opened the door.  And you're naked.  I know you have your bathrobe on, but I saw you put it on and you forgot your jammies under it."

By this time I am completely red and laughing and the 2 guys are laughing.  Then I just said, "Well that completes my order.  I'll go get dressed while you get the food."  And I shut the door.

And that, my friends, is why I will never again be answering the door "naked" EVEN if I have a robe on which completely hides my nakedness.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Claire Funnies

Claire is always saying funny things.  She was helping me pick up one night.  She took Alex's toys away, and says, "You can just play with the floor, Alexander!"

She wanted to play by herself in the snow.  I told her she can't go out alone yet.  We don't have a fence, either.  Then she replies, "Mom I grew up to be a grown up kid!"

The news was on.  Claire goes, "This is a movie that Oma and Opa would like." (My parents!)

Claire was looking at a picture of bridesmaids with me at my wedding.  She goes, "Mommy, I like all the princessess at your wedding."  They were indeed wearing floor length gowns!!!   ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Awesomeness is ordering food from the Schwan's man, who normally never comes around on Saturday.  BUT was he smart, nobody wants to go out in this yucky snow and ice mess.  So I got a bunch of frozen goods from him without having to leave my front door today.  Everything from steak, chicken, frozen whole fruits and veggies, and of course, some ice cream.  :)

Awesomeness is ordering more diapers, wipes, and baby supplies from -- let me know if you want a discount code!

Awesomeness is not leaving the house for four days straight.  WOOT!  But I'm ready for this snow, and esp. layer of ice to melt!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alexander at 9 months

Dear Alexander,

I can't believe how fast you've grown and changed in the past 9 months!  You are such a big boy!  Your well-baby stats: 26.11 lb. -- 31 inches long. -- head 18 3/4 inches. All off the chart.  I think that you're actually a little taller than that because last time we went to your ENT appt, they measured you on a fancier scale, and you measured 32 inches! 
You are wearing 24 months sized clothes and size 5 diapers day and night.  Everyone wants to know how old you are when we are out and about and comments on how pretty your blue eyes are.  If I could get a nickel for each comment, I could start you a nice college fund.  Maybe I should start carrying around a little collection jar?
I think you are a high-needs sleeper, like I am, which is a good thing.  You still take 2 or 3 naps a day.  If we are home, then you'll take 2 longer naps.  One in the morning and one in the afternoon is the usual pattern, but if we are gone all day, you'll take 3 shortish naps (45 mins. or so on the go) and then need to go to bed at about 7.
Today, for example, you took a nap the entire time your big sister Claire was at school (sleeping basically about 9:15-10:45), which is a good nap.  Then you slept from 2 pm - 5:45 when I decided to wake you up so you could nurse before I had leave for about an hour tonight. 
It's not uncommon for you to take a 3 or 4 hour nap, sometimes waking up about 30-60 minutes into your nap to nurse, then you go back to sleep.
At night you usually sleep from about 8 or 9 to about midnight or 1 when you wake up to nurse again.  Then you wake up around 4 to nurse again, but then usually sleep until you wake up for the morning at around 7:30 or so.  I tell people that you sleep through the night if they ask, because since you go right back to sleep, I consider it good enough!
As far as words go, you are quite a chatterbox, like your sister and Mommy! :)  You say all sorts of sounds like Mama, Dada, Pa, Ba, Ca, and Mah.
I have really enjoyed getting back into baby signs, and Claire totally digs them too.  You sign more when eating by roughly clapping your hands together and touch your mouth area when you want a drink.  I'm excited to see you progress in your language skills!
You drink quite well out of an open cup and were never offered a bottle, mainly because Mommy is too lazy to pump.  I hold the cup for you and you lean in and just take a little sip.  I'm thinking we won't do sippy cups unless we are on the go.  The dentist really looks down on sippies and hands out literature on how/why these are so bad for little teeth to have slow access to sugary drinks like juice all day.  So it's sippy boobs or water from a cup for you!
You love peek-a-boo and hand clap games like patty cake!  Sister loves to play these with you and tickle you as well.  You enjoy reading books with Claire and I and love to slap the pages and gnaw on the corners.
You are a great eater and love to eat food.  You have loved absolutely everything I've ever given you, but seem especially excited about meat!   We aren't doing baby food, because we waited until about 6 months (about 5 1/2 ish really).  You were ready!
You displayed all the signs of readiness!  You are so eager for the food and feed yourself quite well.  You have a great pincher grasp and can pick up little pieces of cereal like Kix and Cheerios quite well.  You also like to pick up little bits of cooked hamburger meat.
Of course you enjoy smearing food around on your tray, but you also eat most of the baby sized portions that I give you.  I usually have to cut you off.  You could easily be a baby who weans too early because you enjoy eating food so much!
Since I want you to nurse till at least the WHO (World Health Organization)  recommendation of 24 months, I am going to watch this!  Of course, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink, so we'll see where time takes us!
You also had ear tubes.  It was labeled as Eustachian tube dysfunction.  They did a quick outpatient procedure and all went good and well!  It was like nothing had happened!  You basically were totally healthy until Sept. when fall set in and started off during your baptism with a double ear infection, which you basically could not get rid of.  The ENT basically described it as just "bad luck!" 
You have 4 teeth!  The 2 tops and the 2 bottoms.  You were grinding them all the time when they first came in, but I'm glad that stage is over.  You also bit Mommy a few times while nursing, but everyone knows I'm way too cheap to every buy formula!  Besides, I won't stop holding you because you bite/nibble on my arm/hands, which you have done too.  I see it the same way.
Moving?  You are a big boy!  And you like to move!  You have been sitting good for quite some time.  I used to lay you on your back to play on the floor, and you would always roll onto your tummy to play right away since you were about 8 weeks old! 
Now I sit you up without even putting any pillows around you anymore, and have been doing so for about the past month or so.  You love to watch your sister run and play.  She is generally very kind by bringing you baby toys, which she now shuns, unless it's something new and interesting.  You are very patient and tolerant of all the love and affection she showers on you.
You love your Daddy and said DADA before MAMA!  Of course, Daddy would come home from work every day and would hold you and say, "SAY DADA!"  So his hard work paid off!  You also love to feel Daddy's stratchy face and it reminds me of the page in PAT THE BUNNY. :)
Your favorite toy seems to be this little piano with beads on the top.  I think you like it because it moves, and makes noise and lights up! :) 
Sometimes when Claire is not in the back seat and you and I are running errands, you seem fussier!  I think you miss having her in the back seat with you! :)
Favorite foods?  I think you really like taco meat, bananas, yogurt, and anything sweet.  Claire has fed you an MnM and Captain Crunch bites.   LOL!
We had your blood drawn at your well-baby the day before yesterday, and they already called with the results.  You are allergic to nothing!  Not at all of the basic food and seasonal allergies screen!  YAY!
Your hemoglobin was great, which they check at the 9 month visit.  You love meat, so that's good.
So back to moving, you can twist a great bit now, and have an awesome reach.  You aren't crawling yet, but you can scoot very slowly while sitting on your butt.  You can roll both ways now, but prefer sitting, and have even pulled yourself up a couple times.  You rock back and forth a lot while sitting.  I call this your "Rock and Roll" and I know before long you'll be pushing up on all fours and doing this because right now you've pushed yourself up a few times, and are doing a great job getting moving.
You are a very laid back baby, and have no separation anxiety yet.  You let others hold you in group settings like at church. 
Anyways, that's all about you at 9 month!  We call you our little buddy boy and we love you so much! :)
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Hot Seat

Whoever invented heated seats?  It is a great idea.  However, by the time I notice that they are hot, it feels like my butt is burning off.  Random?  Not really...I went to the dentist today, and they had gotten new dental chairs...that are heated...and massage.  Wow.  Now I was impressed.

I had no cavities.  They also made me feel really old.  They said I had good healthy teeth and gums.  And that I probably would never have to have dentures.  Really?  DENTURES?  I'm 30.  That just made me feel old.

Yay!  No cavities!  The hygienist always says, "I see more plaque on three year olds."  She has clearly not tried regularly brushing  a 3 year old's teeth.  Clearly, children will be behave better at the dentist too!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tube Time

Well Alexander will be getting tubes this week.  I suppose an ENT with years of experience has more knowledge than me... 4 infections in 4 months plus continuing fluid is the issue.  We're having him tested for allergies, but it's more of an anatomy issue in his case.  Given Josh's 90% bilateral H.I. we don't want to dink around with Alex's hearing.