Tuesday, March 31, 2009

shapes

Claire had a good ole time coloring her new "shapes book" with my watercolor crayons. She stuck with the activity for a really long time. ( printed out the book last night after I stumbled across it online.
We made the rain stick the other day. I was surprised that we finished it in one day.

I found something that inspires Emily to stay on her tummy for a good long tummy time... Colorful paper. She will crunch it with her hands and mouth it till I take it away and throw it out. I take it away before it disintegrates.

I took Claire to free play at My Gym today. It went pretty well. I made sure Emily had a nap right before we left and she was pretty happy in the car.

Starting on Sat, or maybe it was Fri... Emily's new extended napping pattern went out the window.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lists


Claire Likes:
1. Daddy
2. Playing "daddy's games"
3. riding on daddy's skateboard
4 taking a bath every evening
5. listening to Bible stories
6. going to My Gym with daddy
7. going to the little park
8. playing with "the kids"
9. going to Pan Pacific Park
10. Music class

busy Saturday
1. Green clean came we left
2. I walked to Starbucks (2 miles) for my Saturday morning retreat
3. Mark took Claire to My Gym
4. I bought wire for rain stick project
5. Mark took Claire to the park
6. I tried to put Emily to sleep so I could have a nap...no luck
7.I cooked a meal for baby Simone's family
8. I made salad for church luncheon
9. we took a walk as a family and got Indian take out.
10. I went to bed exhausted

busy Sunday
1. woke up and 5:30 spent time in bed with both girls
2. got up at 6:30
3. washed dishes
4. got Claire ready for church
5. got dressed
6. put Emily down for an early nap.
7. took Claire for a walk to buy additional salad ingredients
8. did more salad prep
9. went to church
10. enjoyed ice skating at Staples center
11. washed dishes and did laundry

Friday, March 27, 2009

good naps for both



Emily had two 90 minute naps again today. and Claire also had a 90-min nap that overlapped Emily's second nap. Last night was rough though. Emily wakened fewer times but stayed awake much longer than usual. (Maybe teething, but she wasn't fussy at all.) I think the night time will improve too soon. I took a bunch of photos of the girls outside today. It was fun! (See flickr for a small sampling.)

Emily is working on learning to sit up. She still needs support but she is getting the hang of it. She is also reaching out to grab things more and more. She seems to be enjoying tummy time for longer periods lately too.

Claire counted to 14 the other day as we were walking up the street. (After that came 16, 20!) Something she likes doing and saying is "One hand open, one hand closed. Two hands open. Clap." Still to most "How Many" questions her answer will be "2".

I have been trying some of Kelly's meal rules and it's working. I put a variety of things on her plate or in front of her in little dishes and she can eat whatever she wants that's set out. It she opts not to eat protein or veggie this meal they get offered again with no starchy option next meal. (We are currently out of crackers and breakfast cereal which are two of her favorites, so it is easy to refuse her.) I have been trying to a better variety of foods to her. She is usually interested in trying new things but may only take one small bite and not want any more. I am just glad she is interested. She is looking forward to trying some of the things that she has been allergic to after she turns three. We plan to start testing various foods. I'm a bit worried about this, but also eager to add foods to her diet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amazing naps


Emily had two 90 min naps Wednesday! Hip hip hooray! Wow, if she did this everyday I might be able to do the things I have written down in my mother's rule.

Claire on the other hand had no nap Tues. and a 30min nap in the car Wed. I think the days of regular naps for Claire may be coming to an end.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

happy mom


Thank you God!
After a frustrating begining with Emily... 40 mins to get to sleep then waking two hours later and 80 mins after that...At 9:00 I just bounced the Amby bed and she went right back to sleep. Yay! Then at 10:30 I tried this and she wouldn't soothe so I fed her then put her in the cosleeper. She woke up 20 mins later so I nursed her briefly then put her back in the Amby bed. By 11 she was sleeping soundly and slept till about 1:15 I nursed her then at 3 Claire woke up and came to me. I just put her back in bed and covered her up and she went right back to sleep. Whew! Emily slept through this but woke up around 3:30. Slept till 5:30 nursed and was awake at 6:20 as per her usual. She was talking and making lots of noise so Mark came in and got her and I got to sleep in. Claire came in at about 6:50 and climbed in bed with me and slept till 7:30 or so. All this to say that in one night of trying to adjust my way of doing things I saw progress towards a more normal night. I can cope with waking every two hours but not every hour or 45 mins. Just now Emily is taking a nap. She awoke at 45 mins and I heard her right away and swayed the Amby bed and she went right back to sleep. Hurray! It is usually very unlikely that I get her back to sleep after a short nap even though I try it as often as caring for Claire allows.

Other good news both girls seem to be growing according to our home scale. Claire is 23.4 lbs. I thought she was still 22 lbs. I don't know how she grows with as little as she eats! I weighed Emily and I together then myself and subtracted. It looks like she is about 12.5 lbs. I thought she was 11.5 or 11 lbs!

Just for the record...
Emily used to fall asleep in her bed so I know it is possible. She also will fall asleep in my arms without nursing sometimes. She will take a pacifier for about 2 seconds and then spit it out. If you hold it for her she will gnaw it for a while but doesn't suck on it much. (She likes to suck on her fingers and thumbs though.)

Claire had a very successful quiet time today. She did 15 mins without a single minute added! I let her sit on the floor instead of the chair and she was very focused looking at several books with flaps that open.

Yesterday we did a new craft project from the Toddler's Busy Book we stuck tissue paper to tinfoil using baby oil as the "glue" then she did some watercolors. Later she tore more tissue and we glued it to the watercolor. This morning we had morning exercize...I put on music and we danced and stretched together and got out the scarves and ribbon hoop. now she is "reading" on her own. I think I need to do more planned activities like this. I wrote lesson plans for this whole week on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

bits


I'm almost too tired to post. Somehow we went from Emily nursing 3-4 times in the night to nursing so many times I lost count. She starts the night with a nice 3 or 3.5 hour stint and then wakes up constantly the rest of the night. She's been doing this for at least two weeks now and It has caught up with me. It took me 40 minutes to get her to sleep tonight.

In spite of my sleep deprivation I managed NOT to yell at Claire today.

We still practice "quiet time," but seem to have hit a plateau. It's been at least two weeks since we've gotten through an entire quiet time with no talking. I'm working on 15 minutes. She ends up doing more because every time she talks I add a minute to the timer. Is this the limit for a two-year-old? She'll be turning 3 in a couple months.

I am thankful that Mark is putting Claire to sleep tonight.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

video post

video

This is the same video as at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hudsonthego/3332717584/ but lower bandwidth, so should play smoothly on older machines. The original video was taken with the Flip video camera we received for Christmas from Vaughn. Some older friends and relatives are surprised we don't own a video camera to take videos of our kids. But I never liked long-form home video anyway, and today's solid-state devices are so convenient.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New photos


There are new photos on Flickr.
I am resolved to get Emily to nap and asleep at night by her falling asleep while not nursing. Her naps have become increasingly shorter and it is very difficult or nearly impossible to get her back to sleep. I had success with three out of four short naps today. She went to sleep very easily this evening. Yay! I have to go to bed early Claire was up twice during the night and Emily was awake countless times!

Thanks Mom for helping us out this week. It was nice to have a chaperon for field trips. I'm glad you made it back to Prescott safe and sound.

Dad's recent favorite kids books

Currently, my two favorite kids books are Ook the Book and Dream Boat. They both rhyme, which Claire is appreciating more and more. Ook has a great repetitive rhythm reminiscent of Dr. Suess, and contemporary illustrations (almost dissonant), while Dream Boat is in traditional verse with mellow illustrations.

Ook the Book: And Other Silly Rhymes

Dream Boat (Fisher-Price Little People Series) (out of print)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Zoo photos







I just uploaded these and couldn't resist posting them. We had such a good time watching the giraffes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Emily's doings


So what does Emily do these days?
She loves to suck on her fingers, thumb, or hand. She also puts toys in their mouth. She likes her cloth books. She can grab her knees and feet when lying on her back. She sometimes gets mad when she drops a toy or if it is taken from her. She doesn't lay on one spot anymore when you put her on the floor. She pivots around so that if her feet were pointing south at first they will be pointing west later. She adores Claire and laughs for her more than anyone else. She's getting better at sitting up with support. She rolls from tummy to back sometimes and from back to side frequently. She talks to herself in the mirror and reaches for the baby in the mirror and smiles.

She is getting over diaper rash...I think. I switched tactics (From zinc oxide ointment)and am using olive oil with a few drops of essential oils added (tea tree, calendula and sandalwood. I've been doing this for two or three days and it is almost gone. (I also make sure she has time to air out and use water and cloth instead of commercial wipes.)

Emily sometimes sleeps from 6:30 pm to 11:00pm in the Amby bed. She mostly has 30-50 minute naps. She is sensitive to noises, so even though she sleeps well in the Ergo when we take walks she is sometimes awakened by loud noises...Claire fussing, sirens etc. She slept for about 3 hours of our zoo trip. She woke up to nurse during that time.

I don't always know what to write about Emily. I am enamored of her. I like to sit and look at her. She likes to look at me too. She has such a sweet disposition.She is happy most of the time. She has sweet soft skin...but with a few dry patches. She has started to scratch her forehead while nursing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chrismation



Emily's Chrismation and party were lovely. Emily was very happy during the service and most of the party. We enjoyed visiting with everyone and were especially happy that our friend Will was in town for the occasion.

Today we went to the zoo. My mom accompanied us. We all loved watching the giraffes. It was especially fun because they were so close to us and so big. They seem quite intelligent and curious. Seeing the gibbons swinging all around their cage in ropes was a hit too.

Tomorrow we head to Redondo Beach to visit a friend from our Upland days.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Claire's favorite letters

Earlier this week, Claire said, "K is for Kate." I looked over, and she was holding one of those plastic refrigerator-magnet letters, and it indeed was a "K." Then she reached over to the fridge, picked off an "A" and announced it was for Andrew. Encouraging, her, I asked about the remaining letter which was a slam dunk: C for Claire. I wanted to continue, but there were no more letters on the fridge. (Later, I found a batch in the clothes hamper in the closet.) Another favorite letter is "U for Uncle" --most recently an 8-inch foam version from the interlocking floor tile set.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Yikes


Yikes! I was awake for three hours during the night with Claire who woke up cold and couldn't go back to sleep for more than 5 minutes at a time. After all that she wouldn't take a nap today. (in spite of me attempting to get her to sleep 3 times.) Our respite person was scheduled today and never showed up. No naps for me.
I am way too obsessed about sleep right now. I with I had never read the No Cry Sleep solution because we don't fit the averages and Emily falls into the "naps less than one hour" category most of the time. According to the author these naps don't count. Whatever!

Claire now asks for specific types of stories. "Tell me a story about a mosquito. Tell me a story about daddy. Tell me a story about a kitten."

I've been putting Emily to sleep in the Amby bed the past several nights but she wakes up after about 45 mins or an hour. I wonder if this is because of the time change and she thinks it is just another nap. She re settled without nursing but she didn't seem to want to stay in the Amby bed.

I only took Emily in the car once this week and she napped before we left so she only started crying right before we reached our destination, Claire's music class. She cried a bit just before we reached home too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby monologue

Claire: Chelsea has baby Jack in her tummy. He's doing something in there.
Jen: Yes he's growing and moving in there until it's time to come out.
Claire: I don't have baby Jack in my Tummy. My doll is in my tummy. She's doing something in there. She came out!

This morning she walked up to Emily and said, "I love you Emily-lemily-lem-lem."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sleep again

Yes. I go back to this topic again. Claire is now sleeping through the night with consistency. Emily has been waking frequently and has been difficult to get to sleep both for naps and bed. Thankfully Claire has been content to sit in my closet with the light on and door open and read books or play with the felt animals and book that the Reynolds family gave her. However sometimes she demands my attention and wakens her sister...very frustrating.

Emily adores her sister. She can be sitting in her swing in the kitchen ans see Claire walk into the room and suddenly she is all smiles or even starts to giggle. I had no idea they would hit it off so soon.

I am looking forward to the weekend. My parents and grandma and Mark's dad are coming into town for Emily's Chrismation.

Monday, March 09, 2009

5 feelings






I just remembered an activity Fr. John Downing taught us to do at his marriage seminars. He gave us a page with many little faces drawn to illustrate dozens of feelings. He also gave us a list of hundreds of feeling words. Then he asked us to pick 5 emotions we are feeling right now. I think I need to start doing this on a regular basis. Frustrated because my goals are consistently not attained and my schedule not followed. Exhausted in spite of having a nap today. Happy that Claire Emily and I all napped at the same time this afternoon. Glad to see Mark at the end of the day and to talk with my parents on the phone. Enamored of my little Emily who smiles at me so sweetly.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Day out


Emily has still not come to terms with car rides. It seems she fusses and then cries loudly more often than ever and hardly ever falls asleep in the car. Today after this began I managed to pull over on a side street and sway her car seat until she fell asleep. She slept though most of the remainder of our journey to Linda's daughter's baby shower. Emily was wide eyed and bushy tailed at the party I finally got her to take another short nap in the ERGO by taking a little walk. Claire says, "Baby Jack is in Chelsea's tummy." We all had a good time at the party and Claire was in kid heaven afterwards playing with the neighbor boy's toys... slide, wagon etc. Emily cried and fussed about half the way home then slept the rest of the way...well until Claire woke her up by fussing.

Photo is from Chelsea and Linda's visit at our house in Feb.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

laughter is the best medicine

Hearing Emily laugh at her sister made my day.

video video
This is what Emily does to entertain herself in the mornings.
(See more videos on Flickr.)

Stories


So the new bedtime drill for Claire is to tell her stories about our lives until she conks out. It's currently the one sure fire way to keep her laying quietly in her bed with out crying "pat me, pat me!" It has been fun to try to think up stories to tell that she'll be interested in and to think up enough details to drag it out a bit so she gets sleepy. She loves one about me camping and getting itchy mosquito bites and one about her dad diving into the river as a 5 year old.

The last two days were also challenging (5 of 7 is about right, Ma Torg.)
We got out the Amby bed to help with Emily's nap times. She napped in it fro her morning nap and it was easier to get her to sleep than usual. She napped about 50 mins. This is getting to be the norm for morning naps which used to be 30 mins. Thanks be to God. My plan for today was to get to the park and back by 12:00 so Claire could have a nap before music class. We didn't get back from the park till 12:45 with Emily asleep in the Ergo pack. The revised plan was wait till Emily woke up. Then get in the car and go hoping that Claire would get a nap on the way. It must've been at least 1:20 when we pulled away and traffic was thick and Emily got hungry and was screaming so I pulled over and nursed her. Claire fell asleep at 1:50 and class started at 2:00. I woke Claire up for class hoping she'd sleep on the way home. She was very well behaved in class and enjoyed herself immensely in spite of being tired. When we got back she asked to go play with Tony. (our neighbor) I said I wanted to clean up the kitchen first and get Emily to sleep in the sling. At this point she started to have a melt down but I assured her that we would indeed go see Tony. When we went out again about 40 mins later and I tried to explain 3 times before we left that we would walk to get Emily sleeping before going to Tony's she didn't respond so when I insisted on going the opposite direction from Tony's she threw a huge fit. After our walk we knocked on their door and Tony was asleep but his older sisters came out to play. Claire ate a good dinner and went to bed early so all's well that ends well.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What a day!


We were standing on the corner of Hoover and Venice on our way to Ollin Cafe when Claire suddenly realizes the park we usually go to is nearby. (We don't walk this way when we go to the park so I didn't know she knew.)

Claire: I want to go to the park instead, I don't want to go to the coffee shop.

Unfortunately this walk ended up being our undoing. Emily fell asleep on the way home but didn't stay asleep when I tried to put her down. Then Claire was a little late getting her lunch and by the time I wanted to put her to sleep for her nap, Emily was fussing and fussing. I decided to try to get Emily to sleep first. About this time and throughout the afternoon and evening Claire broke every rule in the book at least once. I don't know how many time outs she had. UGH!
I couldn't get either of them to sleep as much as I tried. I decided to pack everyone up for a long walk. First Emily slept in the "pack" then Claire slept in the stroller. Whew. Peace and quiet.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Talker



Claire: I just want to go into the water with Mommy.
Jen: Mommy isn't going into the water today.

Claire is making more and more complex sentences these days. It is not uncommon for her to use 8-10 words in a row. She is also beginning to understand sequence and storytelling. The other day she recounted the tale of Goldilocks to me with promptings. It went something like this:

Claire: Goldilocks went to the bears' house.
Me: Then what happened?
Claire: Goldilocks ate all the porridge.
Me: Then what?
Claire: Goldilocks went upstairs and went to sleep.
Me: Then what?
Claire: She woke up and jumped out the window.
Me: What happened next?
Claire: Goldilocks ran home.
Me: Did she ever go the bears' house again?
Claire: She didn't want to go back.

Claire has another cold.UGH! She is desperate to go to the park but I want to wait till she isn't contagious.

Emily is developing so sweetly. I just love her long eyelashes and her smooth skin and her cute little legs. I like the way she babbles to entertain herself while I'm making and eating breakfast. I love the way she stares up at me so lovingly. I love watching her nurse and watching her sleep (and cuddling with her.) Emily is such a blessing. I am grateful for her. (Photo courtesy of Linda Illuminardi)