Saturday, December 30, 2006

Time Flies When it's "Vacation"

Is it Saturday night again? Already? Where did this week go? Was Christmas really 6 days ago? And 2007 is really in 2 days?

It's funny, this past week. Being a stay at home mom, the weeks are really all the same now. As are the weekends (especially if Joel isn't home). Usually weeks around holidays when I normally would have been off from teaching are so normal, so ordinary, they can be slightly depressing. Not much breaks my months anymore. There really aren't too many ways you can mix up feeding babies, dressing babies, napping babies, playing with babies, grocery shopping, cleaning, and doing it all again the next day. But this week I got a sense of it being a holiday again. It was wonderful. Padyn was off of school, I didn't tutor, we didn't have playgroup or Tuesday night at church or bible study. I wasn't scheduled and I could go where we wanted, when we wanted. We could stay home all morning for Kate to take 2 good naps. Padyn could play leisurely with her toys without us having to rush off somewhere else in five minutes. I could sit down and play a game with Padyn. I feel like that never happens. What do I do with my time?

While I still didn't exactly feel like I was on vacation (because, really, how can you feel that way with two small children that need your constant attention and supervision?), I did experience that special feeling where you know something is somehow different and you really want it to last but it is over way too quickly. It's a glimpse into what life will be like a in few years when the girls are in school full time. This week between Christmas and New Years will once again be special. I will once again look forward to it.

It's nice to have a glimpse into the future once in a while. It makes that waiting that much more tolerable.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Kate's Maturing Palette

I haven't written much about Kate's dietary issues because, well, I was just hoping it would all eventually fall into place and the girl would eat baby food and table food like a, well, regular baby. I really wasn't surprised when at her first introduction to solids at 6 months of age, she didn't want it. Padyn was never a fan of rice cereal either, so it wasn't a big shocker. What was a shocker was the fact that it took her a MONTH to actually swallow food of any kind. You remember the pictures from when she finally ate and seemed to enjoy prunes. There's been more since, but the only thing I can get her to eat consistently is sweet potatoes. Mind you, not homemade ones. She refuses to touch those. Really. She clamps her mouth shut and turns her face away from me. They must be out of a jar. And she seems to prefer the Gerber Stage 2 Sweet Potatoes to the Earth's Best Sweet Potatoes. Why? No clue. Same ingredients. Both organic. So now, everything gets mixed with sweet potatoes. Apples & Plums with Sweet Potatoes. Pears with Sweet Potatoes. Roasted Turkey Dinner with Sweet Potatoes. The only things she'll eat without the help of sweet potatoes is banana (jarred) and yogurt (introduced to her last week.)

Then there's been the table food issue. This child seems to have an extraordinarily sensitive gag reflex because if she puts anything bigger than a quartered Cheerio in her mouth she gags. Then chokes. Then vomits EVERYTHING that she's previously eaten. I've just gotten used to the fact that her highchair will always smell of puke. No, not fun, but what can you do? I've scrubbed and scrubbed, but it's hiding somewhere that I can't get to. Anyway, that's only if she'll put table food in her mouth, which she won't unless it's Cheerios or Saltine crackers. Pasta? No. Bread? Forget about it. Banana? I'll take mine for a jar, thank you.

But today we had a break through. I decided it was time to try cereal again. This time I used oatmeal, which she had previously turned her nose up at. I mixed in a little formula and some baby food banana. And she ate it. Willingly. Many many spoonfuls. I was so proud. Not that this is a turning point or anything. We still have to get past the gagging issue. But still. One step at a time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Baby Stockings and Other Photos From Christmas Day

The first thing Padyn found Christmas morning was her "Little People House." She was pretty darn excited about it. She's been playing with it mostly nonstop since yesterday. I love that she is at the age where she can anticipate and be excited about Christmas. We do keep trying to remind her, though, of what the most important present ever is. Occasionally she gets the answer right. There was a point yesterday, though, that she was pretty sure the Little People House was better than Jesus. We'll keep working on that. Doesn't it look like Kate is in the stocking?
Yogi Dog doesn't look quite as happy as Padyn and Papa.
Katelyn wanted to open the presents that weren't for her more than the ones that were for her. Really, she probably just wanted to eat the paper.
Look! A picture of Kate with Papa were she isn't crying! By noon, Padyn was all tuckered out. Little did she realize in a few hours she was going to be at her Grammy's where Present Marathon 2006 was going to occur. If she had know, she might have taken a real nap.

Christmas Gifts

"Padyn, what was the best thing you got for Christmas?"

"My paints, my ballerina book...(pauses to think)...what else did I get, Mommy?"

Really, I could have just gotten her two presents and she would have been happy? Two cheap presents, at that. You gotta love the priorities of a three year old.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

At Bedtime Tonight...

"Padyn, tomorrow is Christmas. Do you know what that means?"

"What, Mommy?"

"That it will be Jesus' birthday."

"And Jesus will come out of my heart?"

"No, honey. Jesus is always in our hearts."

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Photo Friday: Faves, Part 2

Yes, I know it's Saturday, but I didn't get to post yesterday, so what can you do?

In my attempt to look through every photo I've ever taken and post my favorites, today I'm continuing to post pictures of Padyn. I love these pictures, not because they are stellar quality photos, but because they show Padyn's progression during this time period. She was learning to do so much from 13 months on like opening presents, standing herself up on things, walking, drawing, wearing her hair in much fun. Here's a peek at 12-15 months...

November 2004. Padyn couldn't walk on her own yet, but she could walk with the aid of her new walker.

December 2004. Trying to get a photo to give to Daddy for Christmas. January 2005. In Hawaii, Padyn perfected her love of the pool.
January 2004. Padyn was learning how to say "Cheese" for the camera.

February 2005.

February 2005. Padyn discovered her love of stickers and the phone.

Next week...March-June.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Firsts for Katelyn

Today is a day to mark on my calender. Katelyn accomplished two things for the first time ever today, December 20, 2006.

First, at 8 months and 17 days, she pulled herself up to standing on multiple objects (that were not me...she's been doing that for a couple weeks). She managed to stand herself up on a toy, in her crib, on Padyn's little white chair and on the tub rim. I'm fearful of what is coming next.

Second, she peed on the rug. I know, I know...not as much of an accomplishment as the standing up thing. But still, a first none-the-less. It's just so hard to get her in her diaper these days before she crawls away. And that's just what happened.

Now if we could just get her to sleep through the night...

The Christmas Program...Or as Padyn called it, "The Show"

Yesterday, Padyn's preschool put on their annual Christmas Program. Just imagine the scene...about 150 kids, ages 2-5, standing on the choir steps in the front of a huge sanctuary. Singing. Dancing. Waving their arms in the air and stomping their feet. Did I mention the bells? Sound like a good time? Recipe for disaster? Total chaos? All the above, really. I don't think Padyn is quite ready for performing in front of large crowds. Don't get me wrong. There were times during the 45 minute program that she seemed to be enjoying herself. Like here for instance. With her tongue out. And there were some song parts that she seemed to know and was trying to sing and do the hand motions. But for most of the time? She preferred to watch everyone else.Or do the opposite of what the rest of the children were doing. Sit you say? No thank you. I'm more comfortable standing. What was that? It's time to stand and sing again? I think I'd rather rest here.

At least half of the performance she spent with her side or back to the audience.

And do you love how I dressed her in a pink sweater and pants while all the other little girls are wearing lovely Christmas dresses? Her pink fussy sweater was the envy of everyone, even her teacher. Plus, I knew if I put her in a dress, she'd be the kid who pulled it up over her head to show everyone her underwear. She's in the front row, people. You know she would have thought to do that if she could have.

But then, there was that time when she really got excited about being up there and jiggling those bells. It makes me think she might get into this performance thing after all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Apparently, Mittens Ain't Progress

It is REALLY cold here today. (You know, like 50 degrees. That's downright freezing for the Bay Area.) The girls and I met our friend Owen at the park this afternoon since we hadn't seen him in a week or so and we just had to get out of the house. Apparently, Padyn was cold because on the way home she asked for her mittens...

"Where are my mittens, Mommy?"

"I'm not sure. I washed them, so maybe they are in the laundry basket."

"How they get dirty?"

"Well, they just get dirty with you wearing them and rubbing them in the dirt. I'm sure we'll find them at home."

"You can't stop progress, Mommy."


Friday, December 15, 2006

Photo Friday-Our Tree

I know I promised favorite photos for Photo Friday over the next month or so, but things just seem to be working against me lately. My excuse today for being unable to fulfill the promise is that I am getting on an airplane in a few hours to go have Christmas at my mom's house. So, really. I just can't spend an hour looking through old photos. And I would put some of my favorites that my mom has taken, but her computer is totally busted.

So instead, here's a picture of our Christmas tree that Padyn and I decorated yesterday.
Have a great weekend.

I'm a Cowgirl!

For some reason, Padyn has been obsessed with being a cowgirl lately. How she knows what a cowgirl is, I'm not sure. She is even very clear on the fact that she is a cowgirl and not a cowboy. I'm sure this is somehow Coley's fault, but I just haven't figured out how yet.

So we were listening to a new Alison Krauss CD two nights ago and Padyn was dancing around like the dancing queen that she is. Daddy asked her if she liked this music. Her response?

"I sure do! YEE-HAW!"

And off she galloped on her pretend horse.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Comparison at Eight Months

Better late than never.

Seeing as how we were having Padyn's birthday party on Kate's 8 month birthday, then the 4th was Daddy's birthday, then on the 5th we got on an airplane to visit the W's, the girls' eight month comparison post somehow got forgotten. Well, here it is. A week or so late, but I'm sure no one but me noticed, right?

I couldn't find a picture of the girls where they were wearing the same outfit seeing as how Padyn turned 8 months old in July and Kate celebrated that month birthday in December. I tried to find pictures of them doing similar things, and that was difficult as well. At 8 months, Padyn was sitting like a champ, but not moving anywhere. In fact, at 8 1/2 months is when she really figured out the rolling around on the floor thing. Not that she wasn't rolling over before, it's just that she finally figured out that is was FUN to roll around, as evidenced by these photos. And look-she is on a blanket. I could still put her down on a blanket and she wouldn't go anywhere. Look, here's when she also just figured out how to push up on her arms. When did Kate do that? Earlier. That's all I know. Here's Kate on Dec. 3rd at P's party at the Little Gym. She looks much more mobile, doesn't she? Let me tell you, changing this kid's diaper is like being in a wrestling match.
Going back through all Padyn's 8-9 month photos and viewing the few I have of Katelyn, I see many differences. Padyn was still in her swing, she was eating table foods regularly, and in almost every picture she is sitting up. This right here is one of the only pictures I have of Katelyn sitting up right now. She just wants to be moving too badly to sit still for a photo.

What else can I tell you about Katelyn at 8 months? She loves putting any non-food item in her mouth (as demonstrated above). She particularly enjoys paper and Kleenex products. She doesn't like table food very much. I have to break her cheerios up for her or else she will gag, choke and puke everything she's eaten in the last hour. When I try to give her other small foods (crackers, pears, banana, avocado) she completely refused to put them in her mouth. I did manage to get her to eat small bits of Saltine crackers today. Maybe she just likes salty like her Mommy. She loves crawling around and pulling herself up on her knees, especially onto the laundry basket and the bottom stair. She hasn't managed to pull to her feet yet except when sitting on me, and she hasn't been able to get into a sitting position by herself.

She usually takes 2 naps a day, and still wants to have 5-7 liquid feedings a day, along with her 3 solid food feedings. (This, by the way, is my least favorite aspect of this age. I feel like your entire day revolves around them eating. Fortunately, she's quick when it comes to the liquids). Her favorite food is sweet potatoes and she strongly dislikes any green food.

She is trying to talk, but really all she can say is Dadda, and I don't really know yet if she connects the word with her Daddy. I keep trying to get her to say Momma, but she just looks at me, smiles and says, "Dadda!" The other day I pulled out a bottle and she said, "Babba." I don't know if she actually knows that she said the word for bottle, or if it was just coincidence, but that might go down as her first word connected to meaning.

By far Kate's favorite person is still Padyn. Padyn can make her laugh like no one else. Kate loves watching her big sister dance around and sing, and whatever Padyn is playing with, Kate wants it, too. She isn't so content to hang with her own toys anymore. More and more, she wants to crawl over and check out what Padyn has. You can imagine that this ticks Padyn off to no end. I have visions of screaming matches occurring in the next few months.

Sleeping at night is still not a stable activity. She usually wakes up twice, but I refuse to go in and feed her before 5am unless she didn't get her usual number of feedings the day before.

She's a super happy baby and everyone is amazed at her contentment. She's usually the only baby in the nursery at church who never cries (until I go in to get her). She is quick with a smile and loves being around people, especially other children. Her happiness and contentment make her a very likeable kid. It's really only when she's screaming at 3am that we aren't so happy with her. But then, who is happy when they are awaken at 3am?

Then, of course there is the fact that she still has no hair.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Still Teary Eyed

I was thinking about what to post today when I saw this on the Girls' Moma's blog. It was so wonderful to see these pictures, that I decided it would be far better for you to enjoy them than any drivel I might think up.

So go. Read it. Look at the pictures. I got the biggest kick out of it. It was definitely the highlight of my day.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Never EVER Thought There'd Be the Day...

Tonight I did something that just blows my mind. It's so random, I'm still having trouble believing I did it...

I bought my Christmas tree at the Self-Checkout counter in Home Depot.

What will be next?

The Things that Come Out of Her Mouth

Padyn has been in her prime lately. Randomness spills forth from her mouth hourly. I wish I had a tape recorder or a photographic memory so I could record it all. Alas, I have neither. So, here are some recent things that have crossed her lips.

These two were uttered in the same car ride to the airport on Saturday. I would have fallen over upon hearing them, except that would have been unsafe seeing as how I was driving the car.

"Mommy, are you going to be like me when you grow down?"

In a discussion we were having about a friend's son going to college...
"Mommy, when you go to college, who will babysit me?"

Another favorite question of hers these days is, "Mommy, how do you feel when God doesn't talk to you?"

She is also fond of, "I'm lost forever in space." She says it so dramatically. Really, I have no idea.

But her favorite question still is, "Where we going after my nap, Mommy?"

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Zoo Crew

Zoo happenings from today...

Being greeted by the peacocks upon arrival
Kate impersonating a pirate
All bundled up
Padyn and Coley admiring the monkeysLoving the jellyfish

Watching the walruses swim around
Coley and Jalyn checking out the kids' drawings on the way to the otters

Time flies

I know, I know. I've been MIA this week and right after I promised to post every weekday. But it's hard to post when you aren't at home, even when you are visiting the Blogging Queen. Since I managed to get all four girls in bed by myself tonight (two are not quite asleep yet, but they ARE in bed), I thought I'd take a moment to review what we've been doing this week. I know it's Photo Friday, but you're going to get text and photos today. Hopefully you looked at the photos on Flickr, but if not, here's a few highlights.

Padyn, Katelyn and I flew into Seattle Tuesday morning. Lisa, Coley and Jalyn met us at the airport. We picked up the rental car (need a van now with 4 children between us) and stopped for lunch (not a good idea to eat at Rainforest Cafe with tired toddlers and preschoolers). We headed back to the W homestead for naps, played all afternoon, and had an early bedtime due to the small quantity of napping that occured. Coley and Padyn slept in the same room for the first time that night. They did surprisingly well. I think it helped that they were super tired. (And right now, as I type this, they SHOULD be tired, but I can still hear them quietly talking, even though the light went out an hour ago. At least now they are staying in their beds.)

On Wednesday, the girls wanted to go see Santa. So, off to the mall we went. But the seeing Santa? That was literal. Forget about sitting on Santa's lap. They didn't even want to walk up to the fence to say hello. They wanted to sit in their strollers, eat their snacks, and watch other child telling Santa what they want for Christmas. Naps were better on Wednesday, so that made for a more harmonious afternoon of playing and an easy time of going to bed.

Thursday we stayed home all day and played because the Mommies and Daddy got to go out and have some fun. We took lots and LOTS of pictures of playtime. You'll have to go too Flickr to see them, but here are a few. The one at the top of the post is from Thursday as well. The babysitter arrived at 3pm, and the adults took off for the Deck the Hall Ball in the city. 8 bands in 7 hours. It was a great time, and we saw a couple really excellent bands, but thank God for ear plugs. We must be getting old.

Five hours of sleep is not quite enough to function on, but that didn't stop us. We went to the zoo today for a few hours. I'll put the photos on the next post since I'm having trouble posting them here. The zoo was fabulous today. It was cold, and no one was there and there were a bunch of animal keepers wandering around chatting it up with the kids. The girls had a fantastic time. They particularly enjoyed the small otter, the walruses, and the tiger. All the animals were very active today. Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was because we were there during feeding time. Either way, it was great.

John and Lisa went out tonight, so that's why I had all the girls to myself. They are all down, I'm now eating dinner and I am off to finish my Mike's Hard Limeade. We head home tomorrow. Padyn will be so sad to say goodbye to Coley. Hopefully it won't be another 9 months before they see each other.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Things I Learned Yesterday

Yesterday the girls and I flew up to Washington to visit Coley, Jalyn and their Moma and Daddy. I think we've finally recovered. Here are the lessons I've learned yesterday:

  • Padyn can climb in and out of the double stroller by herself.
  • On a non-busy morning, you can leave your car unattended at the airport departure curb for two minutes before someone tries to make you move.
  • The double stroller DOES fit through the security check-point X-Ray machine.
  • Kate is impossible to hold for two hours.
  • Padyn has no problem sitting still for two hours.
  • You should not take tired children to who might be frightened by animatronic jungle animals to eat at The Rainforest Cafe.
  • Thirty minutes naps are not long enough.
  • Kate enjoys pulling herself up on her knees.
  • A preschooler's love of the sink is universal.
  • Kate is a bear when her normal routine is messed with.
  • Four girls in a tub is too much for a cranky 8 month old.
  • Padyn doesn't like mint flavored toothpaste.
  • Padyn can sleep well in a room with another child.
  • Padyn and Coley really are very best friends.
Check out Flickr and this blog over the next couple days to see what we're up to.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Daddy's Birthday

"Padyn, it's Daddy's birthday today. What do you want to tell him for his birthday?"

"I going to miss him SOOOO much."

True Excitement

"Padyn, what are we doing tomorrow morning?"

"Going on a airpane."

"That's right. Who are we going to see?"

"COLEY!!!!" Followed by jumping and waving arms around.

I'm that excited, too, baby.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Photo Friday: Faves, Part 1

I decided for the next several weeks I am going to post my favorite photos for photo Friday. Since I have the most of Padyn, we're going to start with her and just do the first year of her life. This favorites series could take months, but at least it will give me something to post each week.

So, here it begins. Padyn, birth to 12 months. There are so so many, and I can't post them all, but here are some of Mommy's Favorites.

February 2004, 3 1/2 months old

April, 2004, 5 months old

May 2004, 6 months old

June 2004, 6 1/2 months old

July 2004, 7 1/2 months old

August 2004, 8 1/2 months old

September 2004, 10 months old October 2004, 11 months old (pictured with Liam) October 2004, 11 1/2 months old (Bella on left, Padyn on right)