Thursday, January 31, 2013

sixth month

Buns!  Six!  You are, by far, my favorite baby.  (It's ok.  Your sister knows she's my favorite big girl.)  You are just so full of smiles.  Even if you're misbehaving, those smiles just make me melt.  Love that you give them to me frequently.

Things are still good with you and your sister.  She buries you in things when given the opportunity.  I'm glad we never put you directly on the sand while on vacation.



Speaking of, you went on your first vacation this month.  I'll have to write more about that later but you were a pretty good boy.  You had your first flights (did great!) and used your passport for the first time. I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm so sorry about your passport photo.  Here, this one is cuter.


You didn't mind getting wet or getting sand on your toes.  The same could not be said about your sister during her first vacation last year.  The water was too wet to really spend much time in, though.  That's ok.  You still rocked some cute vacation wear.




You got to try solids for the first time this month.  We started with boring ol' rice cereal on the 20th.  Yo did great the first time and since then have been less enthusiastic.  We tried a little banana mixed in one time and we've tried sweet potatoes.  It seems like your sister has been slightly more successful at getting you to eat than your parents have.  Hey, whatever works.  I'm slightly frustrated but have been through this before.


Mama is also weaning you.  We made it to 6 months!  Yea!  And that is good enough for me.  We'll probably be done done within the week.

No real change with pooping.  We're moving you up a size in diapers since we were still having the diaper fails.  One funny thing is that you almost always pee when I put you in the bath.  That warm water gets you every time.  Maybe your sister did that, too, but it's easier to tell with you.


We've all been sick off and on.  Still.  You had a little pink eye but it resolved pretty quickly.  I'll be so glad when winter is over.  I know that's no guarantee but hopefully it will help us go more than a week without someone needing tissue.

We celebrated your sister's 2nd birthday last week.  You were so happy during both celebrations (even when she wasn't).  You also got to meet a few new people and they loved you.  Of course.

Mama had her first work trip this month, too.  Overnight!  You got to stay here with your sister and Daddy.  Mama was so looking forward to sleeping all night but ended up getting to bed late.  Boo.  Y'all did great here, though.  Very glad that these trips are few and far between these days.


You have gotten more chatty this month.  You don't say anything that sounds like a real word but lots of cooing and a little babbling.  It's very cute.  You start it right when you wake up.  You continue to love your feet and chewing on anything in sight.  You started sitting up a little bit. You're not that good at it yet but it's fun to see.  Still no teeth but Mama thinks that's just because you were being considerate of the breastfeeding.  You'll be free to get them here soon.  I think both of your front bottom ones are on the way.  You seem to be getting a bit more hair.  It may be a little more strawberry blonde rather than red.  I'm ok with that.  I think that would make for an easier life for you.  You have two super long strands of hair right on the top of your head.  They're not that noticeable but Mama should probably trim them.  Not sure I'm ready to, though.  We could use them as a comb-over.


No doctors appointment until Monday but you are definitely thinner than your sister was at this point.  I'll be excited to hear your stats.  You have developed anger and frustration when a toy gets taken away.  You still don't enjoy tummy time all that much.  You spend some time in the exersaucer.  You still rarely roll.  You did "helicopter" one of your feet the other day.  I'm interested to see if you do them both (along with your hands) like your sister did. *Update: You are 26.75" (61%) and 16 lb 8.7oz (31%). You've been sick so maybe that's why your weight is down. Concerns Mama, though.*


Finally, sleep.  Oh, Buns.  How I wish I had great things to report. Now that we've made it through the holidays and vacation, we're doing some sleep training.  Mama had to work on getting you to sleep in the co-sleeper (instead of with/on Mama).  Then I moved you to your room this week. You sleep about 4.5 hours, wake up to eat, rinse, repeat.  Which means Mama is up around 5:30.  That's too early, Buns.  Too early.  And there's no physical reason why you need to eat during the night.  Not anymore.  No, sir.  We're working on it, though.  I have faith you will sleep through the night.

Well, buddy, while I was writing all this your daycare called to tell me you were sick (fingers crossed it's minor and fast-moving). You had apparently thrown up on one of your teachers so much that she had to go home to change.  Thata boy.  If you're gonna do something, do it big.  Or...go big or go home.  You did both.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

celebrating

I have a list of posts I want to write.  Even though that could make me feel behind, I'm actually kind of glad since it means that there are exciting things happening AND I feel compelled to write.  Two topics should come before this one but it's a lot of fun.

For Chicken's birthday proper, we continued the tradition of getting together for dinner with her grandparents (and auntie this year).  Her grandmother made a great dinner and got mini bundt cakes (think old school cupcake-size) from a new bakery here.  Then presents!  Since she heard she was 2, she was grumpy pants that night.  She did enjoy her presents, though.  And the cake.  She even blew out her candles.





I have no idea why she decided to just bite right in instead of using utensils or even her hands.  What can I say?  She's 2.  Miles enjoyed himself as well.  I love that baby.


We celebrated with a bigger party on Saturday.  Since she loves them, it was a puppy party.  I had a lot of fun with the theme.  The invitations were really cute.  Here's part of them (cropped to hide our address):


We asked that folks bring supplies for a local no-kill animal shelter instead of the usual birthday gifts.  We got some of both since people are so generous.  Not a lot of decorating for the actual party.  Here's the front door.


I did order 2 dozen red balloons, picked them up, knocked over 3 orchid plants while trying to get them to the register, crammed them in the car, got them in the mud room, and then apparently let them leave out the back door before I got them where I wanted them.  Sigh.  I'm not going to tell you how I wanted to use them since I've been dying to do this for several parties now.  I'm getting closer.  I think the thing that bothers me most about this is that there were 2 big black plastic garbage bags each holding 12 red balloons.  So no one even got to enjoy seeing random red balloons flying around the area.  Sigh.  Again.

So we had a brown and red color scheme.  Love the crazy tulips!  The red punch on the left didn't turn out that red.  Oh, well.  And the favors and favor bags were my favorite.  Each bag was labeled as a "doggie bag" and thanked folks for a "howlin' good time."  Ok, maybe I enjoyed all the puns, too.  The kids got a puppy to adopt, a puppy blanket, a leash, and a bowl full of puppy chow.  Made everything but the actual puppies.



To continue the dog theme, we had a hot dog bar.  I made chili and Hubby grilled.  We included lots of toppings and some ideas for using some of the more unique options.  I also just rolled out brown paper for a large table runner.  I'm not gonna lie.  I love our new table and wanted to be able to see it.  That, and it's BIG.  Harder to find tablecloths for.  




Since I have not one but two small children, I farmed out or purchased most of the food.  I ordered cupcakes but added the dog bones (graham crackers).  I also just stamped and wrote right on the runner, labeling each food item with a picture of a dog "loves pupcakes!"  Or "pupcorn!"  Or "sticks!"  Those were chocolate covered pretzels.  



It was unseasonably warm so we all got to enjoy the house indoors and out.  I love this house for entertaining.  The girls found a slide behind the garage (that isn't attached to an actual swing set).  The men pulled it out and propped it up on the fence.  The little ones LOVED it.  Go figure.  And, yes, we had not one, not two, but FOUR blonde-haired, blue-eyed girls at this party.  (Buns and one fellow party-goer represented the boys.)


I think we all had fun, young and old alike.  It was nice to see everyone and actually get to visit a little bit.  Chicken told me that she had fun and enjoyed playing with everyone.  Success!  And, all things considered, I only had one stressed party-related freak out.  Also success.  I must say, though, that I'm glad my kids have birthdays 6 months apart.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

two years

Happy birthday, Chicken!  This second year has just flown by.  I think it's because of all the huge changes we've made.  They tend to keep a person busy.  It has been a great year for you, though.  I've told people that the first year is all about physical changes and the second is about cognitive ones.  It's been amazing to watch.


So what are you like at 731 days old?  You can walk, run, jump, walk backwards, climb stairs, dance, and march.  You have sadly weak abs (like Mommy) and are sometimes like a turtle when on your back.  You have gotten much taller and thinned out but we won't have official stats on this until next week when we have your doctor's appointment (but you're around 27 pounds).  Your hair is still blonde and is so long and you still have those great eye lashes.  You wear size 6 shoes or 7s with socks.  You have all but one of your teeth.  *Update: You are 34.5" tall (67th percentile) and 26 lb 14.4 oz (53rd percentile).*

You love accessories (bracelets!  neckos!  hats!  coats!  shoes!), your brother, the rest of your family, dogs, going on walks, reading, playing with blocks, puzzles, the iPad, water.  I love that you love books since I do and my mother did.  Your favorite ones right now are probably the 100 Words book, The Littlest Elf, and Mr. Brown's sounds book.  You also enjoy playing with your school friends and your cousin.  You are very outgoing, smart, funny, cute.  You pitch fits but Mommy's learning how to manage them a bit better.  Your favorite songs are "Old MacDonald" (by FAR), "Row Row Row Your Boat," and "Itsy Bitsy Spider."

You have been a big help with your brother.  You find his paci and give it to him when he's crying.  Lately, you've also taken to showing him things or explaining things to him.  You love to hug him or get down on the floor with him.  And he loves looking at you--he smiles and smiles.  But you're also a little jealous sometimes.  You seem to be a Mommy's girl right now.


At the beginning of the year you were a good eater but things have declined in that department.  You don't seem to eat as much and you're pickier.  You love cheese, cereal, raisins, bananas, popcorn, and gummies.  You want what you want when you want it.  That applies to pretty much everything, though.

We've introduced the potty.  You've had some successes but we're no where near being done potty training.  It's something I'm looking forward to us accomplishing this year, though.

You have gotten a little better at sleeping.  You only take one nap now, and you don't cry as much when we try to put you to bed.  You do wake up sometimes in the middle of the night, though. Sometimes you get back to sleep on your own and sometimes Daddy helps.  You're now in your toddler bed.  I thought it would be a more difficult transition but you did great.


The most exciting part of the year for me has been your language development.  It has exploded!  Just this morning I was talking to you and Daddy laughed.  He noticed that we were having an actual conversation.  Granted, it's not the most exciting content but, yes, you answer questions.  You know lots of colors, shapes, animals and the sounds they make, body parts (including ones like "chin" and "wrist").  You can count to 3 but sometimes it's "1, 3, 2."  You know that 2 > 1 but sometimes it means 2 and sometimes it means 100.  Anything >1 is "two."  You say "ABCDF now I know my A! B! Cs!" No "E."  Last night you brought me two bath toys and told me they were "2. S." and you were right.  You talk about Daisy eating the 2 balls of Play Dough and then getting sick (even though this happened months ago).  You've gone from calling me Mama to Mommy and on vacation you even tried Mom a few times. I told you I would not respond to that.


You bring joy.  To everyone.  People love you, Chicken.  Poor Granddad is wrapped around your little finger.  He calls you "Little Angel" and "Small Wonder."  The first one is accurate some of the time but the second one always is.  It has been an honor to be your Mommy.  I look at you sometimes now and see that you are, in fact, a small person.  That Daddy and I made.  And you live here.  With us.  It's hard to wrap my mind around but I'm so glad you're here.  So happy birthday, tiny dancer.  I hope year 3 is even better.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

life list: run an entire 5k

So I just added this to the list a few days ago.  Then, unexpectedly, the first opportunity of 2013 arose.  Weather wasn't the best (low 40s, rainy, windy, did I mention cold?) but it was nearby, on trails, and The Brother was doing it.  We abandoned our spouses and children and ran our first 5k of the year.  He's been running the entire thing for over a year now but it was my first time.  When I ran the one in December, I felt like I was getting close to accomplishing this goal but didn't expect it to be the very next run.  Woohoo!  My time was about 39:35.  Under 40!  We'll have several runs coming up as it gets a little warmer.  I guess my new goal should be to beat that time.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

goals, goals, goals

I should totally be working.  I haven't been motivated at the job for many days since I came back from maternity leave this time.  It's sad.  I'll get stuff done, though.  I promise.  Anyway, last year I wrote this post that including what Life List items I wanted to work on for the year.  It included:
  1. Have that second child.
  2. Find the perfect mac and cheese recipe.
  3. Make a baby quilt for that second child.
  4. And keep the beginnings of a good baby book for that same kid.
  5. To work on my posture.
Well, I accomplished numbers 1, 3, and 4.  I don't think I made mac and cheese once, and my posture is still poor.  But, come on.  Number 1 is kind of a biggie so I'm still considering it a successful year.  I also mentioned in that post that we were going to try to sell our house, buy a new one, and for me to change positions within my company.  Cross all 3 of those off the list.  So I'm a schlumpy, non-mac-and-cheese-makin' person.  Tiny, tiny unmet goals in the grand scheme of things.

In that post I also declared 2012 the year of balance.  Um, yeah.  I'm still not sure how to do that.  I'm declaring 2013 the year of balance again.  But I mean it this time.  BALANCE.  I'm going to really put some thought into what this means and what it will look like, how I'll know when I've achieved it.  I'll keep you posted.

As for the Life List items for 2013, let's shoot for these:
  1. Find the perfect coconut cream pie recipe.  My father-in-law and I might get fat, fat, fat since no one likes coconut.
  2. Finish the bulk of Baby #2s baby book.  Most of the book is everything that happens in the first year.  I've done an ok job so far but am a little behind already. (Wee! I think I've done this one!)
  3. Find the perfect mac and cheese recipe.  For real.
  4. Uh, yeah...
Non-Life List things:
  1. Add to the Life List.  Upon review, it seems that many things listed won't really be possible for awhile since we have these two little kids.  (Added 3--and completed 1--item(s) in January.)
  2. Eat lunch with someone one day a week.  This will be part of the whole balance thing.  My current job leaves me with even less socialization than before.  And I miss my friends. (maybe about 1/3 of the time?)
  3. Accomplish more on the house.  Geez, this is slow goin'.  I'd like to finish the kitchen and dining room.  And make some progress on the landscaping.  Really I'd like to do about 100 things but I'll try to be realistic.  (Kitchen and dining room done. Well, I'd like art in one place in the kitchen and to re-stain the table and chairs. But mostly done. Plus, all house trim painted (while we were on vacation--even better!).  Had foyer and front porch lights installed.  Front yard done for now plus work completed in 2 of the backyard beds.  Guest bath finished. Living room painted, started re-staining furniture, hung gallery wall, rearranged furniture. Ripped down the wallpaper in the kids' bath.)
  4. Throw really good birthday parties for the kids.  This helps with balance, too, oddly enough.  I like entertaining and I'm learning how to do it while having small kids.  And I like being creative so this is a fun way to do that.  (Successful party #1 and #2!   Oddly enough, party #1 was for a 2nd birthday and party #2 for a 1st.)
That's probably enough for now.  Perhaps after thinking about the balance thing, I'll come back and add more.  How about y'all?  Any goals?  Any tips on being more balanced?  I asked this last year, too, and only heard crickets chirping.  Or perhaps not responding to blogs keeps y'all balanced? 

*Update*

After more pondering, here are some additional items:
  • RUN a 5k.  Like, the whole thing.  Adding this to the Life List--thought it was already there actually.(Completed on January 5th. Take that, 2013.)
  • One fun outing a month with either the entire family or just me and one/both kid(s).  I know it seems like this should be easy to accomplish but it really isn't for me.  And I know that even a shopping outing can be fun for Chicken but I'd like it to be a little more memorable than that. (January--Playa del Carmen; February--SuperBowl party; March--bluebonnets, church Easter egg hunt, Opening Day, Yo Gabba Gabba; April--kite flying, zoo, Galveston; May--?, June--Family Reunion, July--fireworks!, August--?, September--Astros game, October--Haunted high school, pumpkin patch, Galveston, November--Armand Bayou, Disney on Ice, wedding, December--shopping, tree decorating, Nutcracker, Walk thru Bethleham)
  • Date night/excursion at least once a month with Hubby.  Again, should be easy but isn't.  I think we've had one (one!) since Buns was born.  I'd like at least one of these to be Dinner and a Marriage.  (Going to count our shopping and meandering in Playa for January, February--Dinner and a Marriage, March--dinner and shopping, April--dinner and movie, May--NY trip, June--Blue Man Group, July--dinner and shopping, August--dinner?, September--?, October--dinner in Galveston, November--wedding, December--Christmas parties)
  • While we're at it, I'd like to make it through the Marriage to the Max podcasts as well.  We've listened to 2 so far.  (Might I add that I think this is going to make the Hursts famous and I'm going to be able to say "I knew them when" and "He married us.") (We went to D&M in February and have listened to a few more podcasts. Also had brunch with half of the Hursts.)
Ok, that seems like more than enough. 

2012 reads

Slightly behind on the 2012 wrap-up this year but doing way better than last year apparently.  Go me.  Anyway, here's the reading list.

Read some of:

  • I know this much is true
  • And Baby Makes Three
  • Hans Anderson's Fairy Tales
  • Baby 411
And read all of:

9. About a Boy
8. The Paris Wife
7. Pregnancy Day by Day
6. Run Like a Mother
5. The Love List
4. Bossypants
3. Mockingjay
2. Catching Fire
1. The Hunger Games

Sad, sad list.  Shortest one ever.  But we did sell a house, buy a house, birth a baby, and keep not one but two kids alive for half the year.  Cutting myself some slack.  Really enjoyed what I read, though.  Loved the Hunger Games series.  Bossypants was funny.  Run Like a Mother, inspiring and motivational.  And really, really enjoyed The Paris Wife.  Made me want to read Hemingway to that may be on the list this year along with 50 Shades of Grey.  We're on vacation later this month so hopefully I'll get a little reading in then.  Woohoo!  Any book suggestions are welcome!