Friday, October 28, 2011

Mirror fun

Kate has discovered the mirror near her change pad (installed back when this was baby Molly's room).

She usually explores it by herself, but Molly likes to hop in whenever I shoot a video of it. Gives it a whole new dimension. :)

First snow

I love the Internet. Last night I was checking my e-mail when I realized gmail had a snow background (it's set to reflect the weather where we live). So I lean over and open the blinds and, sure enough, our deck is covered in snow and pretty snowflakes are drifting down from the sky.

The snow was still on the ground this morning.

Wearing Halloween pants and shirt under the winter gear :)

First taste of snow of the season. Mmm, not bad.

In other excitement today, we put Molly's new car seat/booster in the car. We were going to wait until she was 4 and just put in a booster but it turns out she outgrew her convertible car seat already (she's actually 2 inches too tall for it, yikes!!!) That's fine because I like the idea of keeping her in a 5-point harness for a while longer. This one should last for a long, long time.

(In the background are the shirts I dyed this week. Fun fun!)

Also today, Kate finally ate her first spoonfuls of food. I'd kind of backed off introducing foods and trying to feed her last week because she gagged on everything and never really got much down.  I think she just wasn't ready. Then today she crawled across the floor into this toy, found an old Cheerio on it and ate it. (Yes, I was too busy taking pictures to intercept, oh well.)

She didn't gag or anything and we were about to eat lunch anyway so I mixed up some powdered rice cereal from the grocery store and gave her a spoonful as I was holding her. She went nuts for it! She ate spoonful after spoonful. It's the first time I've seen her actually suck food into her mouth, not just let it be scraped in. She had two spoons going at the same time.

I'm trying not to be offended that she didn't have this reaction four weeks ago to my homemade rice cereal. :)

Baby in new jammies. They're boyish, but I love them. They make me want to grab her and squeeze her.

Molly dressed herself and picked out Kate's clothes before school one day this week and I realized they were both wearing outfits from Oma. We had to get a picture of that.

Remember this one Anna? We are loving this hand-crocheted sweater. :)

Last weekend we checked out a farmer's market we'd never been to before because they had a special wool day. The sheep were cute and the vendors were nice but I really have no need for more wool right now. :) What was really fun was that the market was at an elementary school with a new playground.

Check out this three-story climbing structure!! Molly climbed a ladder to the second story and couldn't get down. She didn't even want to attempt the third level. Pretty cool, though.

Jumping off a rock on the way back to the car

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creeping along

Kate can really cover some distance now, if there's something she's after. She's not crawling yet, though, she's kind of pulling herself along with her elbows. It's kind of Halloween-y. You almost forget she's there then hear her snorting (she's got a cold) and squawking (she gets frustrated) and look down and there's this little bald critter dragging herself around the floor.

Oh, and just jotting this down before I forget. Molly nearly collided with the assistant teacher at pick-up today and it prompted some laughing and the teacher to tell me how much she enjoys the way Molly is all rough and tumble, just like her own kids. She said it's not just being physical, it's the way Molly is always looking around to see where the most action is and heading right for it. That was fun to hear. The image in my mind is still of school being overwhelming for her. It's good to hear that she's settled in and her personality is coming out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Warm and cozy

On a lighter note, Molly woke up this morning to a little surprise. I finally got around to sewing her dressing gown.

The outer fabric is a baby corduroy she picked out at a yard sale. The inner is a really soft, fluffy flannel in bright turquoise (the color's not right in the photo).

Here she is snuggling up in it, pretending to be asleep.

The 'hood (warning, long post)

Our neighbor Teddy stopped by to play this afternoon. I thought it went great. He was polite and didn't get into screaming matches with Molly at all. I happened to have just baked pumpkin bread so I was all June Cleaver offering the kids a fresh-from-the-oven snack. They played restaurant together, painted side by side. Molly was busy and happy while I cooked dinner. Perfect, right?

Turns out not.

After dinner, Molly tells us that Teddy (who's 5 now and in kindergarten) said he wouldn't be her friend anymore if she didn't trade tricycles with him. This sounds kinda lame when I type it but it really made my blood boil, I think because of how innocent Molly was about it. She clearly believed he meant it. I asked her what happened next. She said she traded tricycles, even though she didn't want to. She loves Teddy so much, even though they've always fought a lot. She never had a problem standing up to him in the days of grabbing toys and foot stomping and tantrums. This is new territory.

Apparently he used the line on her again when they were playing in the basement. He said he wouldn't be her friend anymore if she didn't knock down a tower. She didn't want to but she did it anyway. Grrrr!

After the initial shock of this wore off, Jim and I agreed that the answer basically is to convince Molly that Teddy is full of s**t and help her kindly tell him where to stick it if he threatens her again.

But the bigger issue here is how I'm really not liking the influence of the neighborhood kids on Molly lately.

Molly's been playing with a new crowd of kids (imitating everything they do, asking to go out every afternoon to see who drifts by, preferring to stand on the sidewalk watching them rather than ride her bike around the neighborhood with me). Sometimes they come over to our house. They seem so polite but then I get the vibe that they don't want me around. That's a big red flag for me now. Molly's still so sweet -- she'll come to me every five minutes or so to fill me in on what she's playing and to show me stuff. You can just see some of the older kids are not cool with this. Heck, even this afternoon Molly came up from the basement to say, "Teddy told me not to tell you something but I'm going to tell you anyway." I was almost too busy giving her kisses and high-fives about this to ask what the secret was. (They had gotten a Slinky stuck on the ride-on horse). Last week we had a little first grade girl over who was playing house with Molly on the deck and Molly came in to ask if it was OK if she peed next to her play kitchen under the deck, because that's what the little girl told her to do. I said no, it's not OK. She went right back out and told the girl that Mom said no. The girl was mortified and said, "Don't tell your mother!!!"

There have always been kids outside playing unsupervised in this neighborhood. Up until very recently I thought that was fantastic. It's that old fashioned kid-directed playing in the streets until the sun goes down, drifting from yard to yard, spontaneous hockey games, independent childhood stuff. Ever since I read Free-Range Kids I've been really proud of our neighborhood for that.

That was back in the days when Molly's neighborhood friends where the kids of moms I knew. Now kids are approaching Molly directly and in most cases I don't even know the parents. (And where the heck are they, anyway? Yes, I'll admit it, I'm that uptight mom.) Suddenly I'm not so hot on the idea of raising kids in a quaint little neighborhood. It makes me want to scoop up my little family and move far, far, far out to the country.

In the meantime we're saying no to a lot of little kids who come knocking on our door. I thought it was just the new crowd, but I don't like what happened this afternoon with Teddy, either. I think sometimes I forget that Molly's only 3. I thought that age differences were less of an issue as the kids get older but now I see why she's not the same socially as a 5-year-old. She may really like playing with older kids but that doesn't mean I have to let her.

Is it sad that I'm looking forward to snow and cold weather just so the neighborhood kids will stay in side and leave us alone?

Monday, October 17, 2011

More giggles

Here's one where you can see her face. This is from last night right before bedtime.

The giggles

I was doing dishes this morning when I realized Kate was laughing and laughing. This is what they were doing.

Kate has been very giggly lately. She gets especially giggly when she's tired and all you have to do is look at her and she giggles. I've got a lot of giggle videos recently.

Meanwhile, Molly has her own giggle moments. Twice in the past week she has, at a totally random moment, snickered to herself and said, "It's funny because Grandpa told me that BeauBeau's poop smells like flowers."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Kate talks!! She didn't talk and then, as of about 6 p.m. last night, she found her consonants. We were in the bathroom getting Molly ready for bed when Kate just blurted out "Dadadadada" and then a whole bunch of other stuff that sounded like words. So funny. One minute it's all "ahhhh, ahhh? ahhhha." and the next it's "Blawp bat dadadada." It's so weird to hear a real human-like voice coming out of this little critter who didn't have one before.

Kate had her 6-month check-up yesterday. All is well. She was very friendly with Dr. G and cried more about getting strapped into her car seat to leave than about the shots.

We've had three nights now of much better sleep. She's skipped the 10/11 p.m. waking for two nights now. One night she went 10 hours without eating! (Though not without waking). Last night I got two four-hour chunks of sleep. Ahhhhh!!! Excellent. I think I'm done messing with her sleep schedule now for a little while. I'm just going to keep doing the 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. feedings and consider it a compromise.

I finally got a picture of this:

She does that pre-crawl rocking on her hands and knees now, and occasionally throws a knee forward. Not yet, baby. I have way more chores (ok, and Internet surfing) to do without a curious little critter wandering over with curious little fingers. She's so happy now to sit on the floor and examine objects. She gets bored with familiar toys, though. That's why at the end of the day the living room floor is cluttered with every baby toy we own plus half the kitchen utensils. :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sleep sleep sleep

We are profoundly exhausted in our house this week. Over the last month Kate's sleep has gotten gradually worse at night (flashback to baby Molly at 6 months, twitch twitch). I was responding by just nursing her every time she woke up but once she added an 11:30 feeding I couldn't do it anymore. I learned my lesson last time around that this extra feeding quickly becomes a habit that is so hard to break.

So, for the past week I've been trying to ever so gently nudge Kate back to having at least one longer stretch each night without nursing. We're making progress. She's now going 6 or 7 hours without nursing (and still having very wet diapers and getting plenty to eat, including at least two feedings between midnight and 6:30 a.m.). However she is not going 6 or 7 hours without waking up. She's still waking up crying about 4 hours after going down for the night. I hold her and pat her and talk to her, often in the dark basement so she won't wake everybody up. It usually takes at least 20 minutes to get her back to bed, whereas nursing was generally over in 10. It wakes me up A LOT more.

Last night was the worst yet. She woke up a little after 10 and didn't get back to sleep until 11. She seemed to be in pain whenever I tried to lay her down -- arching her back, crying, etc. -- so I really thought she had an ear infection. I got her in to see a nurse practitioner this morning and found out that, nope, she's in excellent health. So I don't know what's waking her up at night.

It's weird that this is so much like what Molly went through at this age. And it's bumming me out that I'm not any better at fixing it this time than last. I really thought I had some skills and that this time would be different. Who knows, maybe it will be. Molly didn't kick the frequent night nursing habit until she was 8 or 9 months old. I really, really hope I can get Kate settled sooner than that.

Meanwhile, stuff has been happening during the days that I'm vaguely aware of.

Tuesday morning as we were getting ready for school the sun came out in the middle of a heavy rain shower and we saw this rainbow over our neighbors' house. It was actually a double rainbow. Such a lovely way to start the school week.

I have almost no energy for hobbies right now, but what little time I do have has been devoted to forums on baby wearing. I've got a long strip of fabric that I hemmed into a woven wrap and I've been practicing tying it in various confusing and absurd ways. Why this is necessary, I don't know. I guess it makes me happy to think if everything on Earth disappeared except bed sheets I could still carry my baby around and have two hands free to push Molly on the swings.

Molly stayed for lunch bunch every day this week without me in the building (OK, I snuck in early on Thursday to hang with other moms, but she doesn't know that). This lunch thing caught me off guard, but now we're getting up to speed. We got Molly a bento box thing and this week she got out her cookbook and said she wanted to make the recipe for bagel faces. We ended up packing bagel faces all three days. One day she even ate it. :)

And while Molly was at school, Kate and I have been having a lovely time. When preschool is 4 hours long, that gives Kate plenty of time for a nap plus play and errands. Here she is in a grocery cart in the parking lot of Shaw's, all decked out in hand-knit woolens (handed down from Molly because I don't have the energy to knit anything anymore, but shhhh, don't tell).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First food

Kate seemed to know something was up this morning when we put her in the high chair at the breakfast table.

Then she saw the spoon coming and wasn't so sure.

She gagged a little bit on the rice cereal and spit most of it out. She liked the spoon, though.

I got her cleaned up and brought her out of the high chair onto my lap while I finished my breakfast. She reached for the little dish so I gave her a few more tiny spoonfuls of cereal and she ate it without trouble, and without much reaction.

Here she is later in the morning practicing sitting up. (She's able to hold herself up for much longer now and Molly's really good at catching her before she falls).

Kate's other big accomplishment is that yesterday she got herself up on her hands and knees. She holds herself up for a little while before falling on her belly. She just did it now as I was typing and she held it long enough for Molly to call me over but not quite long enough for the camera. We'll keep trying.

Happy half birthday, little baby!!!