Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Claire tried out her new umbrella and rain boots today with lots of puddle stomping. I started sorting through toys organizing the keepers and bagging up those to giveaway.I also emptied several bags full of things I took out of our car before the trip.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

first steps

Go Emily, Go!
Emily took her first steps (unassisted) on Dec. 26. With her grandmother, great grandmother and great aunt looking on she walked back and forth between uncle Steve and
I. Thanks for the Christmas present little Emily. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Jan and Steve's near Big Pine in the Owen's valley. The snow covered Eastern Sierra is breathtakingly beautiful.

Emily is also cutting her 8th tooth. No wonder she had such a hard time sleeping during our trip.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

vocab explosion

Papa asked for a list of the words Emily uses. The ones I can remember hearing her use in context - not just repeating are as follows:
where is it? (sign only)
milk (sign only)
wawa (water)
all done
no (nose)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

sweet sleep

Emily is sleeping through the night again. Two nights this week I had no interruptions from children during the night. This was very welcome since I've been fighting a cold. We moved Emily's crib to the den which will be her room until both girls are sleeping through the night on a regular basis at which point they will share Claire's room.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Emily walker toy

Emily is on the verge of walking (Claire gives commentary).

She still wants to hold two hands when I walk her around.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

little bit of news

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted anything on this blog. Partly its because the space bar on our old notebook computer only works about half the time making it very frustrating to type. We were away for about a week. First we went to Santa Barbara and Buellton to visit Mark's side of the family. The girls sure had a good time with their cousins and grandpa. The adventure included a day of sailing for Mark and the two older nephews and a trip to the zoo for the rest of us. Claire also had really good bonding time with her aunt Jill and wanted to be held by her lots. Next we went to Prescott to spend Thanksgiving with my family. We were having so much fun we didn't want to come back, but Emily's worsening sleep patterns dictated that we must.

Emily constantly wants to grab my fingers so I can help her walk around the house. She can now walk pushing her cart with no assistance so I think she will be walking on her own before long. (will try to post video soon.) She is coming up with new words all the time. The other day I was putting a bunch of shoes on a shelf and she picks one up and tries to put in on and says, "shoe." She also says sock, boom, mommy, daddy, poo-poo among other things.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Emily loves music and nursery rhymes. Emily says "row, row, row" when we sing Row,Row, Row Your Boat. She clicks her tongue like Claire and I do during Hickory Dickory Dock and says "down" at approximately the right place.

Emily likes to hold lots of things in one hand. It seems sometimes as if she is trying to see just how many things will fit in her tiny little fist. she also likes to carry something in her hand as she crawls along even if it is quite large like a purse.

She is very interested in paper and turning pages. The baby bug pages are just the right thickness for her to turn independently.

She is developing strong opinions and a firm agenda and will let us know when we are not following her plan. Her main goal for each day seems to be to spend as much time with someone walking her around as possible. (Try doing this with someone who is a mere 2 feet tall and you'll see why I am eager to avoid doing this for any length of time.

It is so interesting to see the differences in how our girls are developing. Their being together seems to reinforce learning certain thinga. They both learned to kiss last month, and we had tried to teach Claire by herself for over a year before that. Emily learned to drink from a straw the first time she tried it (today) while Claire tried it for a couple of months before she could do it. Emily is able to push small buttons on a phone or toy at 13 months that I'm sure took Claire much longer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

cat food stacker

Claire likes to :
stack cans of cat food whenever we bring home the 24 pack.
jump up and down
say rhymes and sing songs
ask questions
look at books
listen to stories
take a bath
wear costumes
go to play group

Emily likes to:
Open and close doors
pet the cat
walk while holding mom's hands
play with balls
eat crunchy foods
go outside
listen to music
click her tongue
play in the bath
repeat favorite words: mama, dada, baby
put on bracelets (or canning lid rings, etc.)

other news:

Sometime in October Emily grew two new teeth bringing the total to 6 teeth. She has another on the way.

We have an appointment with the pediatric cardiac surgeon at Children's Hospital this Wed. Nov 18. This will be his first time meeting Claire. It will be interesting to see what he recommends for Claire.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Claire is wearing a "mermaid" costume right now that she got along with a bagful from friends at church. She loves dressing up and changes from mermaid to princess to ballerina etc various times during the day. photos on flickr.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Froggy nurses

Claire is really interested in sewing. I picked up a couple craft kits at the 99c store to make felt hand puppets. She had a great time putting the plastic needle through all the pre-punched holes around the edge of each puppet. I was surprised at how long this captivated her attention. I would show her the next hole after each stitch otherwise she would want to plunge it in randomly. When we were done with the second puppet she wanted to do another one.

I've been using some activities from the book Teaching Montessori in the
Home: The Pre-school Years
and have picked up some learning games and toys from the thrift store and Lakeshore. It is always interesting to see which activities she gravitates towards. This week she was really interested in playing Cootie. This is a game where you roll a die and get to pick various body parts to create a "Cootie" bug. It is still a bit difficult for her to put the pieces in and take them out again when we clean up she is starting to pay more attention to the dots on the die and figure our which part to pick after she rolls.

Emily's favorite activity is having someone hold her hands so she can walk around. This is a real back breaker since she is so short. She also loves her stuffed animals and is very affectionate with them giving them hugs and kisses. Yesterday after her nap she nursed and when she was done she put her stuffed animal (a frog) up my shirt so he could have a turn.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

chit chat

New picts on flickr tagged october09.
Mark and Claire are at the zoo today.
There were several things I thought about adding to the blog during the week but now I can't think of them...
Emily's new word is "happy". She has a dozen words in her vocabulary now and three signs. It is so fun to communicate with her and see her express herself. She recently started handing things to others. She is very interested in music and usually will bounce or dance a bit when it goes on or when someone sings. She has had a little cold the past couple days but it hasn't slowed her down at all. She will crawl all over the house now from one room to the next.

Went to the NICU follow-up on Wed with both girls. We had to wait for an hour before it was our turn. UGH!!!!!! Emily is healthy and on track with all her skills. She is gaining weight... now 14 lbs 14 oz. Her height is now ahead of her weight on the curve. Claire had a melt down after spending 2 hours there and then being told she couldn't touch the therapists toys. Poor girl.

Claire has been asking the same several questions over and over and over.
"Is my hair long enough for braids?" "is Daddy's hair long enough for braids"
"Am I big enough to go up kids stairs?" (the ones at California Science CEnter are for 4 and up and lead to a loft.)
"Are you a boy or a girl?"
"Where are Jesus' clothes?"
"Do you have kids?"
I've taken to asking her the question or answering her in Spanish.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin fest

First a recipe. I've been doing this a lot for lunch lately
healthier "nachos"
microwave refried beans with grated cheese on top add diced tomatoes and eat with whole grain crackers. I dip in Ryvita Dark Rye crackers. Claire likes it with just beans and crackers.

Today we went to the pumpkin festival at CalPoly Pomona.
It was great! Claire got to ride a pony for the first time ever. She and I went on a big slide and we all went to the petting zoo (Too bad Emily was asleep for this.) Claire selected a pumpkin and spaghetti squash and butternut squash to bring home. Yum. (sorry, no photos-- we forgot the camera.)

Notes on what to take when you spend the day out on a hot day.
1. water for everyone incl. sippy cups for both girls
2. hats for everyone and sunscreen
3. back-up food for Claire
4. ergo pack and stroller
5. diapers and wipes
6. cash
7. one or two small toys
8. hand cleaner

By "take" I mean have these items packed and on your person after you park the car at the event. Unbeknownst to us, the parking for the pumpkin patch was a 1 mile shuttle-ride away from the event itself. Also, the weather turned out to be a bit different than it seemed. We weren't the only ones sweating it on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

pre-school violence

Yesterday Claire witnessed two girls hitting and kicking each other and today she got whacked in the head by a younger boy at the park. She cried and cried. She was in shock because she only touched his shoe and he hit her in the head 3 times. I hope she doesn't start lashing out at others after this. It has been a while since she has has anyone intentionally hurt her and last time she did respond by copying the behavior.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Emily has figured out how to do a little "cruising" (walking along a piece of furniture.)
Yesterday she learned to say "Hi". We went to playgroup yesterday and she said Hi to several moms. She really loves being around lots of people. She also loves playing in the sand. She also enjoys transferring items from one location to another.

Claire played with the other kids her age at playgroup for the first time yesterday. Hurray!
I tried to upload photos to flickr recently with no luck. I'll try again soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More about Emily

Emily is using a little bit of sign language but it is sometimes confusing because bye-bye and milk look just about the same with her. She is able to get from laying to crawling position to sitting and back to crawling/laying now.
She loves to pull up to standing position and will even bend down to pick something up and stand up again while holding on with one hand. Her fine motor skills seem to be improving all the time too. She is very interested in opening velcro tabs, picking up puzzle pieces by their little knobs, turning pages and opening flaps in books. Emily's looks are changing with her two front teeth growing bigger. Her fuzzy hair is starting to come in a little thicker now too.

I'm feeling a bit better today. But Emily is not quite herself. thankfully she had a 2.5 hour morning nap and is pretty cheerful at the moment. Mark stayed home to take care of our energetic Claire since I am low on energy.

I just got done reading F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. I don't recommend it. too depressing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Emily crawls

Emily is crawling now. I tried unsuccessfully to video her crawling today...maybe tomorrow. She doesn't enjoy it much yet because it is still a lot of work.

Emily and I are both under the weather... cold or sinus infection or the like.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Claire's health

Claire is feeling much better today, just a bit congested and she napped longer than usual but she was pretty perky. I always dread when Claire gets sick because we never know if it is going to turn into pneumonia of a bad bronchitis like it tendds to for her. She seems to be developing asthma. Most of the time when she gets sick it goes straight to the lungs. She gets wheasy and coughs a lot at random times.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

About Claire

The past few weeks Claire had been driving me crazy with getting into things and making messes and refusing to help clean up.
Since we started doing "preschool activities" she has been much more cooperative about cleaning up and less likely to get into things. I also made a messy tray one day so she could experience gooey stuff in a contained environment and I gave her her own roll of toilet paper to unroll and shred when she was done playing with it, we stuffed it into a mesh onion bag to make a ball.

Claire woke up sick this morning with a fever and cough and later vomiting. Please pray for her.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

stringing pasta

Just to clarify... the crib is not in Claire's room. I moved it to the middle bedroom where Emily has always slept. It is taking Emily longer to fall asleep but so far she is still sleeping all night.

Claire has had a good time stringing pasta the past couple days. She is more interested in this activity than
I though she would be and this is before I've had a chance to dye it different colors.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New bed and new words

Emily is sleeping in the full sized crib for the first time tonight. This is because she learned to stand up in the co-sleeper and it is no longer safe for her to use it.
she learned this trick a few nights ago and spent the past two nights on a small mattress on the floor because I had to get the crib ready. It took Emily a while to settle down and goto sleep. Hopefully she will get used to it soon.
Emily is also saying a few more words and is understanding a lot more of what
I say. In addition to "mama", and "num num", she says "bye bye" spontaneously and appropriately. She like to say "uh-oh" but I don't know if she knows what it means, she will sometimes say "baby" or "bebe", and she says "ball". I have heard her say "hi" a few times but she won't do it on demand. She will follow some commands sometimes like shake shake-- for a rattle or other noise maker, wave, and clap.
It is so much fun to see her develop and communicate.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

new teeth

As of Sunday Emily has 4 teeth. The two top front teeth came it without too much fuss.

Both girls have been waking at night several time a week the past couple of weeks. and on top of that I haven't been sleeping well because I have a lower back ache--only at night. This morning I got up at 6 AM and did 30 minutes of Pilates with a video and hope it will help my sleep. This was not too long after Claire came in and Mark had to put her back to bed, so he didn't sleep well either.

Claire has been talking about school lately so yesterday we started doing some pre-school activities at home. Stringing beads, matching colors, making playdough numbers, playing catch...

Mark and I enjoyed reading aloud to each other a children's book entitled Lunch Money about a 6th grader who is obsessed with earning money and starts a comic business. He makes some important discoveries about himself and about life along the way.

Friday, September 04, 2009

the girls

The girls are playing side by side in the dining room play area so I decided to blog. Of course this means Claire is now pestering me to sit on my lap and look at baby Luke's blog.

Emily can now pivot 360 degrees either sitting or lying on her tummy. Still no crawling. Her hip muscles seem to be very tight. She doesn't like to get into crawling position. We have been trying yo help her by putting her on her tummy over our leg or over a small ball. She is teething again. Working on the top two front teeth and it a little fussy and not sleeping as well as usual. Emily is getting quite good at throwing things... this is mostly tossing aside things she is finished with.
She has developed some new interests. She is particularly interested in balls of all sizes and playing peek-a-boo especially if someone puts a cloth on her head and she pulls it down. Emily also loves dolls and has for some time. She really perks up and listnes and kicks her feet or moves her hands to the rhythm when we play music too. She learned how to clap just recently. Very cute.

Claire is still interested in trying on any shoes she sees that belong to someone else. She is also having fun painting with a brush...before she always chose to use her fingers even when she had brushes to work with. She has shown more interest in making collages too. Claire is quite itchy with this hot weather. I think she feels itchy when she sweats.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Everyone is back to good health. However, Mark and I have been feeling exhausted with the hot weather.
Emily learned to pull herself up from sitting to standing and wants to stand all the time now. She still isn't crawling and it is difficult to get her to spend much time on her tummy so that she can figure out the crawling. We put her on her stomach and she rolls right over.

Claire is trying my patience these days. We are trying to get her to use a regular glass or cup at home for drinking and only use the cups with the lids and straw when we go places. About three times a day she will whine incessantly about wanting milk in a sippy cup. (We try creative things like putting it in a tea cup or a measuring cup.) Thankfully she does drink from it, but the whining gets old.

Claire always asks for bedtime stories, specifically, "stories about when Daddy was a little boy." When his childhood times in Arcata are mentioned, she always says, "I want to go to Arcata with Daddy."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

sick again

Clarie has bronchitis and Emily has a cold. This is the third time in the past 6 months that Claire has had an illness which affected her breathing. This time the doctor sent home a nebulizer machine and prescribed a bronchiodilator (Albuterol) and a steroid to use several times a day. This is much more than she had the past two times but the cause was thought to be bacterial before and she received antibiotics whereas this time it is thought to be viral. Thankfully, Claire has been pretty cooperative with the treatment and was feeling better today. She was fairly energetic although she was definately more needy than usual. Her daddy did an excellent job taking care of her and reading lots of books with her.

Friday, August 21, 2009

shoes and kisses

Claire is very interested in trying on shoes these days. Every time we go to eht park or to playgroup, Claire tries on all the shoes she sees. At home she tries on mom and dad's shoes. She even tries to put on doll shoes. She also tries to put on the doll clothes :)

Emily is perfecting the art of kissing. Whenever she sees our cat she makes kissing sounds to him. Yesterday she kissed the cat in her cloth book that Nanu made. She also kissed the teddy bear in a story I was reading to her. So sweet. Yesterday we were watching videos of baby Luke and each time a new one started Emily made a kissy sound.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Marmoleum II

I managed to scrub the new floor and put two coats of polish on this evening. We still need to nail down the quarter round edging which I painted and Mark cut to size. I can't wait to put all our furniture back in place and put things away the chaos is getting to me.

We enjoyed our time with Nanna and Poppa yesterday and this morning and hope to see them one more time before they head back to OK. We had two tea parties yesterday!

Mark and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary with take out from California Pizza Kitchen (which we ate by candlelight) including two wonderful deserts. Then we spent some time reading aloud to one another.

The girls are doing well. Claire took a spill this morning and has a welt on her forehead but seems to be fine otherwise. Initially I iced it then later I put some Arnica gel on it so hopefully it won't bruise too much.

Monday, August 17, 2009

holding the kids

I love to hold my daughters, and they love to be held. It is music to my ears when Claire says, "Please hold me, Daddy." Often she says this halfway through dinner time when she is getting tired.

Claire also sometimes asks to be comforted, or for me to wipe the tears from her eyes. Her honesty is a treasure, and I hope to be worthy of her trust forever.

Sometimes I try to remember back to when I was a little kid, but there are only a few times I remember being held. Once was when I was afraid of fireworks on the 4th of July.

From 109canon

Sunday, August 16, 2009


We finally finished installing linoleum tiles in our kitchen. I say "finally" because we started the project last Thursday when my folks were here helping us. We just finished adhering the last edge piece. I spent most of my free time this week cutting tiles and am so glad to be done. Now we have to thoroughly clean it and put on several layers of polish and add the 1/4 round at the edge.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First words and other firsts

As of today Emily is 10 months adjusted age (relative to her original due date of October 15).
Emily is communicating more and more. Besides saying "mama" she now says "num num" to refer to food/eating. She squeals and laughs at the cat.

She put her toes in her mouth for the first time this week. She is starting to take sips from the sippy cup. She is able to manage an entire rye cracker instead of having it broken into little bits. She fed me a few bites of her cracker today for the first time. So sweet. She had so much fun sharing with me. She waves bye bye on command now and spontaneously waved at someone who was passing by as we took our walk this morning.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


One of our struggles with Claire has been over hair washing...more specifically rinsing her hair. We Got a new rinsing cup with a rubber edge that she got to pick out at Target and now she loves having her hair rinsed. I think part of this new joy is because of swim lessons and getting used to having her face and hair wet in the pool.

Claire has new found enthusiasm for sea animals after a conversation about them at my gym this morning. I also picked up a jug of foam bath alphabet letters that has sea animals in it. Claire couldn't get enough of exclaiming about each animal in the tub this evening. "I have a sea turtle swimming in my bath. The turtle is climbing up the wall..."

We look forward to a brief visit with Nanna and Poppa next week. Claire wants them to visit "right now".

I've been enjoying reading the book Holiness for Housewives during Claire's quiet times lately. I also have been fascinated by John Moschos The Spiritual Meadow which I read before bed.

Emily has been enjoying some regular food these days including chomping on a whole banana, eating rye crackers, small morsels of sardines, and taking bites of fresh peach.

Emily seems to be quite a sharp girl. She likes to take blocks or other toys out of a box and put them in the box. She is also able to take things out of one container and transfer them to another container.

I have modifies Emily's night-time routine to include sitting on the bed and reading a story with Claire. I think Claire had really appreciated this and it makes it easier for her to wait till I'm done putting Emily down.

I've been trying yo sneak more veggies into Claire's food again because she is refusing to eat most of the plain ones offered to her. Yesterday I gave her rice with pureed carrot and summer squash over it garnished with raisins and said it was her special curry sauce. She gobbles it up. Today she ate some ground turkey mixed with onions, potatoes and avocado.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Birthday girl

Emily had a very happy birthday. We celebrated with a family party on Saturday. Emily enjoyed playing with her new toys and books and crinkling the wrapping paper. She also enjoyed playing with and eating some cupcake. She and her sister wore their matching outfits from Nanna on Emily's birthday. Pictures to follow.

Emily's second tooth came through on her birthday. It didn't seem to trouble her too much. Except that she was unwilling to take an afternoon nap...But this may have been due to the excitement of having relatives to entertain. Emily is a very social girl and has been very interested in interacting with her grandparents and great grandma as well and my brother and his family. She is becoming quite attached to Papa.

Emily had developed her own pre-crawling motion. I call it the inchworm. She starts with her head down and pushes with her legs until she flops forward then raises up onto her hands and lifts her head up.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


I had forgotten that swimming lessons can be quite emotional. Claire had her first official lessons this weekend and she went into it so enthusiastically. But the second time I handed her over to the teacher she protested, and the third time her fingers were actually difficult to pry off me. And it wasn't just the kids; speaking for myself, I got a bit of a lump in my throat just watching them. The sight of a small child learning to do something difficult is a joy in itself, but in this intense situation especially--in a certain sense their life is on the line (safety precautions notwithstanding). The other thought that occurred to me as I watched the row of children (of 3 different races) is how empowering it is learning to swim and float in water--an environment that many people fear.

There are only 8 kids per class. Sometimes when a child completes a task, the onlooking parents spontaneously break into applause. I encouraged Claire to join in as a distraction. I also narrated a bit ("Look at that boy about to jump in--so fun!") and prompted her to give a shout out of "Bravo!" It is so cute to see her cheering on her fellow students despite her own teary eyes.

To gently guide your child through the tears and beyond into a fundamental skill is a profound experience. Later in the evening I asked Claire about the swimming lesson, "What do you think about the teacher?"
"He's nice."
"What about the class, is it hard to learn how to swim?"
"No, its easy."
Not the answers I expected.

The class is 5 sessions, so the next 2 are next weekend, and then a final one the weekend after that. I'm so proud of her and can't wait to show off her swimming without goggles or water wings.

Monday, August 03, 2009

New things

Emily is constantly learning new things.
She can now take her socks off and open the tabs on her diapers (Cloth and paper)
She is getting too mobile to sleep on our big bed so she is back in the co-sleeper until she learns how to pull up to a sitting position. She can stand and play holding onto the laundry bin or music table. She is starting to enjoy taking toys out and putting them into a container. She likes playing in the sand (Especially in order to find bits of leaves and try to put them in her mouth before I take them away). She likes clapping and is trying to clap but she does it with one fist closed. Most nights she sleeps from about 6:15pm to 6:15 am (And I don't hear a peep during the whole 12 hours). This gets compromised sometimes on Sundays because she doesn't get her regularly scheduled naps. She is teething again and yesterday she only got one 45 min nap and got to sleep later than usual... this morning she awoke at 5:30. She had two 45 minute naps today and went to bed at 6:00 sharp. It is so interesting that when she goes to sleep late she wakes up earlier instead of sleeping in. I've read that this is common for babies. I tried without success to get her to take a third nap this afternoon. She is used to having only two naps.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Juggling.... a loosing battle?
I've been trying to figure out a daily schedule for us and somehow I can't seen to keep on top of everything. I let my morning exercise slide the past two weeks and tried to focus more on organizing and laundry and other chores. By the end of the day when the girls were asleep I didn't have the motivation or energy to do evening chores-- kitchen clean up etc. I've felt very sluggish and tired in the evenings partly because I had a couple of bad nights sleep in a row. I think it is also from lack of exercise.

So this morning I started exercising again. Even though we went to bed too late last night I still feel fine at 3pm. Mark and I have a date tonight to see Harry Potter. Hopefully I won't be dragging then. I think I will have more energy to finish chores in the evening and then be able to start the next day with the house in order if I can keep up with the morning exercises.

I am falling more and more in love with Emily all the time. She is so sweet and happy and curious. She wants to explore everything and is trying to figure out how to crawl. She is able to move several feet by rolling and scooting.

Upcoming events:
Claire has her first swim lesson tomorrow.
Claire has an eval by a physical therapist from the Egoscue method next week.
I plan to take her to the pediatrician about frequent wheeziness and coughing.
Emily's first birthday is next Friday.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

cute baby videos

Emily is cute...

The first video was in Arizona. The babbling in the background is actually her older sister.

Second video in California this morning.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

sing of summer

The air conditioner is singing baritone in the window behind me as I type and its after 8 and still 79 degrees at the other end of the house where we adults sleep. The kids room has its own air conditioner keeping it a cool 74°F.

Yesterday it was also hot, so while Jen and Emily were at the Mom's Book Group, it was "Date With Daddy Saturday" during which Claire and I swam in the inflatable pool in the back yard. I noticed Claire singing for the first time. Just the first line of "Old MacDonald had a Farm", then she'd revert to Sprechstimme for the next line. Just floating aimlessly in a warm pool brings out interesting conversation. Claire reached out and touched my back and said, "Thank you, God, for Daddy's back." The girls had been praying for my back last week since I was in such pain after the drive back from Arizona. Then I noticed that my back was indeed feeling better. The prayers of the righteous [innocent] availeth much...

Thankfully, we have been able to keep away most commercial advertisement from our Daughters. But some merchandise is just so ubiquitous, and anyway, "Dora The Explorer" seems innocent enough. She has recently had pull- ups with Dora on them. Which leads to my next anecdote...
Placating the kids is sometimes quite a challenge. Quick-thinking skills are quite in demand. For example last month I was sent to the store to get "pull-ups" which are like stretchy diapers supposedly geared towards helping with potty-training. So I grab the first ones on the shelf which covered the appropriate size by weight. Getting them home, we open them and Claire wants to try one right away. Jen says to me, "but you got blue for boys!" and indeed there was a cartoon car pictured prominently bordered in blue. But instantly switching gears, she turned to Claire and said, "Look, its Dora's car!" (Claire was first exposed to Dora at the gym where she had therapy because they had a Dora doll there. She has never seen the show.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Claire is so excited about learning to play catch. She likes to use the small volleyball that came with our portable badminton set and stands about 2-3 feet from the person she's throwing to.

Claire is working on learning to share toys.

Claire and Emily are both loving our new backyard pool. hygt565b btfrf (That last bit was Emily typing.)Pictures soon....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Tooth

Emily's first tooth appeared on July 11th. She had a little fussiness and lack of naps but didn't seem to have too much trouble with it. I think she is working on number 2 now.
Both girls went to the cardiologist today. Emily had two small holes on hear heart and one of them has healed up. The other is very small and not problematic.. The doctor wants Claire to have surgery in the next year... maybe in the fall. He is going to consult with the surgeons at Children's hospital.

Emily also went to NICU follow up today and she is doing well for her adjusted age. She is ahead on fine motor skills and on target for the rest. They suggested having her stand and play more often. We have a music table that she likes. She stood at if on her own for quite a while this afternoon before she lunged into my arms.

Emily is still sleeping really well at night usually she wakes up once and re-settles herself. She hasn't been napping much unless I take walks with her in the pack.

Claire has been sleeping through the night most nights though last night she woke up wheezing and coughing at about 4 am. I gave her some medicine and rocked with her until it took effect.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Emily's main method of locomotion is rolling. She occasionally scoots by laying on her back lifting her tush and pushing with her feet. She has also on occasion scooted forward on her tummy if she is on a slick surface.
Her current favorite thing to say is "Ba". She likes to say it ad have it repeated every time she says it. What a fun game!

Claire has been going without tights for almost a week now. She has a few scratch marks but is doing really well considering her extreme itchiness of the past. She is glad to be rid of her tights. She has also been wearing short sleeves for over a month and doing well controlling her scratching. Thanks be to God.

We are enjoying time with my family and celebrated my grandma's birthday last night.
Love to Grammy in Oklahoma who is also celebrating a birthday this week.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Emily sleeps

Emily continues to get through the night without any help from mom. She wakes up 1-3 times for a minute or so and re-settles herself. She is taking a 2 hour nap and a shorter nap most days. Three cheers for Emily.

Claire is learning to say, "May I please" instead of "I want" and learning to accept when the answer is "No." I am also intentionally giving her lots of opportunities to practice patience. I realized that she is constantly interrupting me and I hardly get anything done so Claire is learning to wait for what she wants and ask again later.

My morning schedule has gone out the window. I have to figure out what to do all over again. Emily has been sleeping till 7:15-7:40. And I wake up with lot's of milk and uncomfortable. So for now I have to either wake her up a little earlier or do some pumping until my body adjusts. Also I was exercising first thing in the morning before Mark leaves for work but that went out the window until today when I resumed. I did go on Saturday for a long walk at the wetlands at Huntington beach with church friends carrying Claire in the Ergo about a quarter of the way. None of this has amounted to any weight loss.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

I got a full night's sleep last night! Emily slept from 10:15-7:15 without making a peep. Before that she slept from 7:30pm to about 9:40 pm. Whoopie! Yahoo! It feels so good to get a full night's sleep.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

little update

We got the girls to bed a little earlier than we have been recently and had time to do a little gardening while it was still light. I dug up a forest of weeds in my gasrden to make rook for zucchini and herbs.

I have started doing 10-15 minutes of exercise when I first get up in the morning.

I took the girls to the beach with Katie and Luke today. Emily rode on my back while Claire and I waded in the waves.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

8 months

8 months (Adjusted age.)
Emily loves Claire. She thinks Claire is THE funniest person alive. She was laughing hearty laughs just because Claire was peeking at her through the side of the swing today. Emily also loves Cheerios. She likes being in the Ergo pack. She likes sitting up and standing up. She likes music. She likes the rhyme "To Market, To Market to buy a fat pig..." especially when you jiggle her on your lap. She likes pat-a-cake with her feet. She likes chewing on toys and other objects. She loves to splash in the bath.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Claire is growing too. She is 35.5 inches with shoes on and 24 lbs fully clothed.

Emily can sit for about two minutes now before she topples over. Emily has been taking some 45-120 minute naps lately. I've been trying to get her to sleep other ways besides nursing her till she falls asleep. One night she had a 4 hour stretch.

I had a hard time getting to sleep last night because there was a sad turn of events in the book Mark and I reading aloud to each other. (Bridge to Terabithia) I had a hard time not thinking about it or busying myself thinking of other things to avoid thinking about it then Emily woke up.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Emily sits

Emily is 12 lbs 5 oz. She is officially in size 2 diapers and 3-6 month PJ's. She has been playing with her feet a lot lately and can sit up unassisted for almost a minute. She likes to be on her feet too.

We're all starting to feel better.

Friday, June 12, 2009

update on illness

We went to the doctor for a re-check today. Claire's lungs sounded clear so she was diagnosed with bronchitis and Not pneumonia. She continues oral antibiotics. She is energetic but a little clingy and continues to cough and have a runny nose. The rest of us are stuffy nosed and tired.
I didn't nap an much as I'd have liked because I had to put both girls to sleep twice during nap time and then I had a sore throat and couldn't get back to sleep

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The Hudsons are plagued with sickness again. What looks for the rest of us like a cold goes straight to Claire's lungs. She went in for a breathing treatment and antibiotic today. Hopefully she wont be as sick as she was last month. All of us are showing some symptoms. So much for making progress on the sleep issue...

I have a question about toys... Do your kids play independently with their toys? There are very few toys that Claire will pick up without encouragement and play with on her own. She will pretend with her dollies, play with her tea set and pots and pans, push a few buttons on her music table, put on some dress-up clothes that's about it. The rest of toys she will only play with if someone is playing with her and they usually have to suggest a particular toy. She spends a lot of time looking at books (and being read to). Today she recited from the beginning of Peter Rabbit. "Old Mother Rabbit said, 'You may go down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGreggor's garden.'" She also has been reciting a lot of nursery rhymes in their entirety. Some of which I didn't know she knew. Today it was "Baa Baa Black Sheep". Some activities she requests are finger painting, play-dough, making muffins for Daddy and perpetually wants to go for a walk, see the kids and go to the park. so anyway back to toys. Any toy that requires any dexterity or practice is automatically out. She will stack blocks only when prompted. Same with lacing cards, shape sorter, stacking rings, pounding "nails" and other play tools, stringing beads is out because she still has to be supervised because she puts them in her mouth, She will occasionally play with her picture dominoes, farm animals, musical instruments and wooden snake pull toy.

Monday, June 08, 2009


(written on Monday)I'm starting to develop theories about when and why Emily has a good night's sleep or not. Last night she did not. It was the worst in recent memory. She didn't nap much yesterday since we were at church most of the day and inevitably her naps get interrupted there.

(Written Wed)
Well since none of my theories are panning out I won't bother finishing the previous post. Emily had another lousy night followed by a slightly better night. The good news is that she had good naps in the car yesterday and good naps at home today.

Let's see if I can remember some Claire quotes...
She was looking at a book in which a momma duck kisses her duckling and she said. "It was a wet kiss." A little while later she said, "I sure do love my daddy. He's nice to me."

I am really struggling with what to do with Claire while putting Emily to sleep. Since visiting grandparents have all gone back home it has been a challenge again. I had her pretty well trained to sit by my closet and look at books or play quietly till Emily was asleep. Now she's in a phase of constantly testing me... probably because I've been extra grumpy with being sleep deprived. She will sometimes start out reading books quietly but then come over and pester me so I end up buckling her into her high chair in the kitchen. During this transfer Emily cries and so I have to begin the soothings to sleep again.

Okay I will say something about my theories. I think the disruption of the weekend interrupts any progress we make during the week. I also have noticed that having house guests and traveling (especially travel) messes up our sleep routines. In December before our big Oklahoma trip I had Emily going to sleep on her own in the co-sleeper and sleeping for 5-7 hours. I've never been able to return to this. I thought we were making some progress recently but then everyone got sick...

If you're wondering why I harp on this issue so much it's because I am not the person I want to be when my sleep is interrupted every 45 minutes during the night or I am kept up for an hour and a half during the night in addition to other interruptions. I suppose this is why God keeps allowing me to experience this over and over these 3 years now. I've been drinking coffee lately to perk me up a bit but I think it is causing Emily to have a rash on her legs so I am giving it up.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Emily had a couple 4 hour stints of sleep last night or the first time in months. Hooray! In between she had long wake full periods though.

I went to our monthly mom's group today down in Orange County. Emily slept in the car both ways and was happy throughout. I really enjoyed the discussion and enjoyed getting to know the other mom's better. Many of us struggle with similar things which I found very comforting.

I am so thankful to God that Emily has learned to sleep in the car. She will cry when I first put her in her car seat but as soon as we start driving she mellows out and is happy. It was so stressful when every trip was a big cry-fest.

Mark and his dad took out the bird of Paradise plants to the north of our house which were ruining our neighbor's driveway. Mr. Lopez asked us to remove them because the roots are lifting up the edge of the cement. Whew! That was a lot of work.

Friday, June 05, 2009


Lately Emily has been taking two 30-40 minute naps each day. On Wednesday Emily had two naps. One was 20 minutes and the second one was 10 minutes. I tried to get her back to sleep each time and tried to get her to nap several other times without success. Wednesday she took two naps in the car. One of which was over an hour. Today she napped and hour and 50 minutes in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. Wow! I am daydreaming about what life would be like if Emily took a two hour nap every day! I remember there was a month or so of 2 hour naps during Claire's life so far. It was really nice.

Emily can sit on her own for 10 seconds or so at a time. She first did this at the Jones' house on Monday while playing with one of Luke's toys. She can also stand for a few seconds at the music table without being held onto. Thanks for loaning it to her. It continues to inspire her.

Grandpa is visiting this weekend. He helped us with some major pruning tasks in the front yard. And he fixed our front gate which would barely open. Not sure what happened to it but it works really well now. Mark and his dad are at the Greek Theater hearing Garrison Keillor tonight.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A fun week

We had such a fun week with Mom and Martin. Claire hardly let Nanna out of her sight the whole week. I think Claire is her biggest fan! They played with dollies and changes their clothes and had doll tea party's with Claire's new tin tea set. They read lots and lots of books of course. We had fun doing gardening and appreciate of all the extra hands which made the work go quickly. Claire had fun helping put leaves in the greeen waste bin. Our front yard look fabulous! Emily loved sitting on Martin's lap and they had a good time entertain each other. Emily is becoming more and more communicative and likes to play little games like "I'll do a raspberry and smile and then you do it." I got to do a few small sewing and mending projects and go to the dentist to have a filling repaired and do a little shopping for Beth's baby.

Today we went on a day hike with people from church. It was beautiful and both girls were happy and really enjoyed being out in nature. We had to wade across a river 4 times (I was scared the first time but then got used to it and had fun with it.) and when we stopped for lunch Claire and Aidan went in the water just for fun. We are very tired but very blessed to be out in nature and bask in the wonder of God's creation. It sprinkled on us briefly a few times but was warm and sunny and breezy most of the day... perfect hiking weather. We hiked about 5 hours. It didn't seem long till about the last hour.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We had a breakfast birthday party for Claire today with coffee cake and lots of presents. I'm glad we opened presents this morning because once she saw presents in Nanna's car the other day she has been lobbying to open them. She had a great time opening and playing with presents this morning and now both girls are napping and I'm having lunch. We enjoyed a trip to the LA Zoo on Monday and got an annual pass.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Time for food


Emily started eating food this week. She really seemed to enjoy the avocado I gave her.

Emily likes:
having something new in her hands and exploring it in a variety of ways.
sometimes likes a stroller ride but prefers a nap in the pack.
being able to roll and scoot around on the slippery floor to reach interesting objects. (She scooted backwards using her arms for the first time today.)
six little ducks song
music class
watching her sister

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Walking on Aspen Acres Dr. I hear the sound of my footsteps, my breathing and my baby's breathing. I hear the chirping and twittering of some small birds and the chee-chee-chee-tut-tut-tut-tut song of another bird. I hear a dog bark once in the distance. I am enjoying the relative silence. The lack of traffic and airplanes and helicopters and incessant ice cream trucks and car alarms and loud music. It sure is good to get out of the city.

We returned from a mostly blissful long weekend in Prescott AZ. The main snafu was that Emily and I were up at 4 am every day. Thankfully I was able to go back to bed for a snooze around 6. We enjoyed time with family and a garden tour.

Claire keeps saying, "Let's go back to Nanu's house".

We look forward to a visit from Mark's mom next week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Claire has gotten her appetite back and has been eating a bit more than usual so I think she's putting on weight.
I got Emily to sleep in the Amby bed tonight for the first time in weeks. I started really early before she was cranky. Now she knows how to make it bounce so I just let her kick her legs and bounce herself for a while then I sneaked in and squatted where she couldn't see me and continued to bounce the bed till she quieted down completely and went to sleep. She has been sleeping ever since. I am so weary of the waking every 10-20 minutes from 6:30pm to 10pm routine. UGH! It has been nice not to have that battle tonight.

Emily and I still have a little residual cough. Mark has had a mild cold since Friday. Today he's feeling better.

Our house is in shambles after Mark bought two new shelves for the living room/dining room and we've been sick and all my evening free time was taken up by Emily's lack of sleep... It is overwhelming, I don;t even know where to start.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday evening post

Well, I bought some things to make mothers day crafts for the grandmas but since we were all sick this week, we didn't delve into them yet. Good things come to those who wait :)

Emily who used to fall asleep so sweetly and easily now takes about an hour to get to sleep at night. She won't fall asleep in her bed and she has a hard time staying asleep and will not self soothe is she awakens. I hope we can get back on teh track we were on previously because this is very frustrating. Thankfully Claire has been surprisingly patient with this recently.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 08, 2009

finally feeling better

We are all feeling better today. Claire is going on an outing to the museum with Linda today. She is very happy to be out and about again. We are all coughing a little bit still but all other symptoms seem to have subsided. Now Emily seems to be teething. She wants to be constantly chewing on something. She likes it when I massage her gums.

Claire slept all night long the past two nights. She put herself down for a morning nap the past three mornings. Each time I have put Emily down for a nap and hoped in bed myself to try to catch up on much-needed sleep. Emily's sleep last night started out on the same track as the previous night waking every 10-40 mins, until Mark put her to sleep in the Amby bed around 9 and she slept till 2. She didn't sleep much between 3 and 5 but then slept from 5-8.

I am so thankful to be feeling better.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

enduring classic board books

Claire's all-time favorite from the Top 10 Board Book List is Good Night, Gorilla.

She often refers to herself as a gorilla and me (dad) as the zookeeper: "The gorilla is being held by the zookeeper," or, "The zookeeper has a mustache."

In second place is the Big Red Barn, but all the others are quite distant runners-up. A new favorite of mine is Each Peach Pear Plum by the Ahlberg team. Each Peach, in common with Gorilla, is illustrated by the author, which seems to give it that certain extra special touch.

still sick

I got very little sleep last night due to Emily waking every 20-60 minutes. Emily just took a 90 minute nap and seems a bit more chipper. I am a wreck. will this ever end? each hour feels like an eternity

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wednesday Progress

Claire is feeling much better. She still has a cough and very little appetite but was energetic and not so clingy. Mark returned to work today. Claire's regular babysitter was here this afternoon so that was a big help. Emily and I are still under the weather. Emily is having a hard time napping and sleeping with her stuffy nose and coughing. Claire is not yet back to sleeping all night long. I'm going to bed early. good night. Claire lost 2 pounds during her illness. Please pray that her appetite returns and that she gains the weight back.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

resting up

Claire went back to the doctor today and they said her lungs sound clear. She is still coughing a lot and her fever returned this afternoon as it did yesterday afternoon she slept 3-4 hours both yesterday afternoon and today.
I kept Emily home so she could sleep since her symptoms are unchanged since yesterday. We both had a nap while they were gone. We are both very sneezy today. I'm thankful that I don't feel any worse. Although I'm not feeling better yet, I have a little bit of energy for some basic chores in addition to caring for Emily. Mark has been doing an amazing job nursing Claire non-stop the past 4 days. You are my hero, Markos.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dr. Visit

So, it turns out Claire has pneumonia (left lower lobe of lung). They gave her an antibiotic shot and nebulizer treatment at the pediatrician's office and we have to go back tomorrow for them to check her progress. They will re-check Emily as well. They also gave us some Albuterol syrup to help open up her bronchial tubes. Mark and I have been trying for the past two hours to get Emily to nap without success. He decided to take her for a walk. I still have a sore throat and head and neck ache. The doctor visit was very tiring for me.

3 sick

Emily and I are sick too and Claire is still not 100%. she coughed a lot during the night which kept me from sleeping. Emily, however slept 9 hours straight.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Claire sick again

Claire has been under the weather the past few days. She seems to be feeling better this afternoon but still not 100%. She has a cough and fever off and on. I have a bit of a scratchy throat. I hope I'm not going to catch it.

Emily can sit unassisted for about 5 seconds. And now she rolls both front to back and back to front.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Update on the girls

Emily is moving and grooving.
She can roll both from tummy to back and back to tummy and she likes to squirm and wiggle her way when she is on the bed or floor.
She thinks everything in my hand belongs to her and should be grabbed and then make its way into her mouth. If I let her have something she gets mad if I take it back. If I trade her for something more interesting she is okay with the trade.
When she is happy she babbles la-da-ba but when she is mad or sad she says "ma" or "mem." She h=can hold onto something for long periods of time. Yesterday we went to the farmer's market and she held onto a red hair scrunchi the almost the entire time we were shopping. She dropped it twice and each time she fussed. She doesn't like me to leave the room and will fuss when I put her down. And cry when I leave the room even if she can still hear me. She sometimes cries when strangers talk to her especially if she is sitting in the stroller.

Claire seems to be on a growth spurt. She is up to 24 lbs, size 6 shoes, size 2T/3T pants, shirts and dresses. (Some pants are too big around the waist or a bit long.) I just bought her a handful of cute dresses for summer at the thrift store. Claire loves to pretend. She pretends that she is the mail man. She says that she is a chick and I am mother hen. She recites the alphabet when we are taking walks and she sees letters on the pavement. She loves the park. She isn't afraid of the slide anymore. She spontaneously uses a word or two in Spanish most days. (Hola, hasta luego, feria, agua, tortuga.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

new phase

Emily has entered into a new phase. She has become difficult to get to sleep. She hates being put in her bed. She cries the second I put her down. The two places she seems to want to sleep is in the Ergo or laying in bed nursing. But she will not nurse to sleep at night. She nurses and then looks around wide awake and starts making noises eventually fusses. Mark has had to take over the past two nights because I couldn't get her to sleep. This is especially difficult for Claire because she usually has my undivided attention for dinner and preparations for bed during this time then she spends a little time with her dad when he gets home.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

activities for really little kids

I am revisiting some books my mom and grandma got for me when Claire was a baby. One is called Baby Days: Activities, Ideas, and Games for Enjoying Daily Life with a Child Under Three by Barbara Rowley. Another is called Attention Games: 101 Fun, Easy Games That Help Kids Learn To Focus by Barbara Sher, and the third book is in the car--I forget the title but Claire loves looking at it because of the full color photos on each page.
Baby days is jam packed with ideas about what to do during each part of the day and includes a rationale for each activity. Many of the ideas work for a wide range of ages. For example: "Smell, see Hear and Touch" take your baby on a magical sensory tour. Suggested ages: birth to 9 months and beyond. prep time: none; messiness quotient: none. Why try it? Stimulating the senses helps baby brains grow, plus it gives you something to talk about-which is handy when conversations are still one sided. How to do it: put your baby in a front-carrier or hold him in your arms and take him on a sensory exploration of his world..."
It goes on to make lots of suggestions. One thing Claire still loves from this is smelling the cinnamon. I show Emily the flowers in the front yard and name each one as she grabs them. Tree hugging is a favorite part of this activity for both girls. You can tap on various things in the house or outdoors and listen to the sound they make and talk about everything you see, hear, touch smell.
Mark picked up a similar book for me today at the library book sale: Child's Play 200 instant crafts and activities for preschoolers (from 1989 so may be hard to find) by Leslie Hamilton.

On Friday, Claire said she wanted to do a craft project so I got out some materials and she played with the rick-rack pretending it was a bandage for her stuffed seal for a good long while then played with the glue. Thus ended the craft project for the day.

Friday, April 24, 2009


conversation with Claire:
Claire: Those are new panties.
Jen: Nope. These are old panties.
Claire: You need to get new ones at the dentist.
Jen: (laughing) That is very quotable. mommy needs to get new panties at the dentist.
Claire: No at the thrift store.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Since we are having sweltering summer weather here, Emily is learning to sleep without being swaddled. I end up swaddling her around 5:00 am so that she will go back to sleep, otherwise she seems to think it's time to get up.
Claire has slept all night long the past several nights! Whew! We are helping her to learn to go to sleep without one of us in the room with her.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christ is risen!

The long awaited Pascha has arrived and today we celebrate whole-heartedly. Mark and Claire are celebrating this morning by sleeping in. Emily is very close to being able to roll onto her tummy. She just needs a tiny nudge once she gets part way over.
I finally got to do some cooking yesterday. I made cream of chayote soup and sauted zucchini with fresh garlic. I also made some citrus/pineapple popsicles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Claire bounces back

By yesterday at bedtime Claire already seemed much better and she slept 11 hours instead of her usual 9.5. She awoke this morning feeling fine and asking right away for breakfast which is rare for her. We ended up taking an impromptu visit to the rose gardens and California science center before music class at 1:00. It was quite a whirlwind of a day. Both girls slept in the car after music class. I didn't sleep well last night. I kept waking up countless times feeling uncomfy. I think it was because I didn't get any exercise yesterday.

Claire quote:
we walk into the bathroom this evening at bath time...
"B like bath, B like bath /b/b/b/." (I've never told her that bath starts with B. She's starting to figure these things out on her own.)

At the science center there are two discovery rooms each with a special toddler area for kids under 3. Claire dug it. Claire also loved the roses and the gigantic magnolia trees along Exposition Blvd.

My African violets are starting to recover from being plucked by Claire. They are now on a high shelf where she can't reach them.

I have a refrigerator full of veggies but I don't feel like cooking. I've been living on leftover bean soup, open faced grilled cheese and peanut butter on crackers the past two days. Today I made myself eat an orange and some salad to round this out a bit.

P.S. by Mark: Last year we changed car insurance to save money. But we are thinking about doing it again...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Claire sick

Claire is under the weather today. Not sure what she's got. She is very tired and just wants to be held. She's not hungry and doesn't have much energy. She has a low fever.
Hope it passes quickly.

Friday, April 10, 2009

short post

Claire went to the natural history museum with Linda M. today and I tried to get a nap with Emily... only 20 minutes and Emily was clingy the rest of the afternoon. She seems to be teething. I didn't get much done.

I'm tired and can't think what else to write...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

NICU follow up

Emily's NICU follow up today went really well. Emily weighs 11 lbs 3 oz. The Doctor, nurse and therapist who assessed her all think she looks great. (Albeit small for her age.) Her adjusted age will be 6 months in one week since her due date was Oct 15. The therapist said that she is doing everything she should be at this age. I was a bit worried because she isn't sitting on her own or rolling from back to tummy but she said in a month from now she should be doing these things.

Emily napped really well today. She had two 90 minute naps and she went to sleep really easily tonight.

Claire helped me make zucchini muffins for her dad during Emily's morning nap. She also "helped" wash dishes and had a "good old, old time"

Earlier in the morning she had a reaction to something she ate (A pastry item from the Mexican bakery which we later deduced must've had egg in it.) She lost the entire contents of her stomach but felt much better afterwards and was fine the rest of the day.

we heard much more babbling today from Emily.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Thank you God

Claire says, "thank you God for sun and flowers and water. Thank you for Mommy and Daddy." She says these little prayers spontaneously three or four times today.
It gives my hope that in pite of my lack of patience and inability to keep my cool when Claire frustrates and annoys me that with God's grace we are training her up in the way she should go. Claire and I had some good bonding time over the weekend and some today while Emily slept.

I say "thank you God" too! My gums are feeling much better after beginning my new regimen on Sunday evening. There is Myrrh and clove oil and spearmint oil in the tooth paste and mouthwash and no Sodium Laurel Sulfate or alcohol in either. I didn't realize how worn out my old toothbrush was. The new one feels a lot different. (I'm talking about the tip for the ultrasonic toothbrush which I had gotten lazy about using.) I didn't rad your comments about the salt water till today but I'll try that too.

Last night Claire slept all night long for the first time in about a week.

Emily's eye doctor visit went well. Both girls were well behaved but Emily was past ready for her nap by the time we left. Thankfully she quickly fell asleep in the car on the way home. Eve doctor says her eyes look good. She's a bit far sighted is all.

Tomorrow I look forward to taking Emily to to NICU follow up clinic while a friend watches Claire till her regular babysitter comes.

Today Emily was making a bunch of consonant sounds. Especially right before bed. naanana. I caught very few on video this morning but I though you'd like to see Emily in action there are 3 new videos on Flickr.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I'm a bit worried about my teeth and gums. My gums started feeling swollen several days ago. I got a new tooth brush, natural tooth paste and natural mouthwash and am using Mark's EcoDent floss. I am also brushing 3 times a day instead of my lazy once a day that I fell into after having Claire. The gums are starting to feel a bit better. I hav ea dentist appt for Friday Apr 17.

I took both girls with me to my Dr. appt today. All went pretty well. I just strapped both of them into the stroller during the exam. We also have two more appts this week. Emily's eye doctor tomorrow and NICU follow up clinic on Wed. I am taking both girls tomorrow and only Emily on Wed. Whew! I am exhausted after today especially since it was about 85 degrees today.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Happy traveler

Emily was a champ in the car today running errands with me. Hooray! She even took a short nap in the car, and one in the sling. She has been eating every 2.75 or 3 hours most of the day and a bit more frequently towards the end of the day. I'm trying to mellow out about the lack of long naps. One improvement with the naps is that she is going to sleep in her bed most of the time instead of at the breast. She is having some 3 hour stints of sleep during the night. If Claire would resume sleeping through the night on a regular basis I would feel well rested. Gotta go to bed it's 9:20!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Emily likes

Emily likes:
being held
being outside
being undressed
her sister
sleeping in the Ergo carrier
watching people eat
grabbing things and putting them in her mouth
babies and children

P.S. there are new photos on Flickr

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

still obsessed with sleep issue

9 or 9.5 hours
that's how long Claire has been sleeping at night.
That gives Mark and I an hour and a half at best to do any chores personal heigine and get ready for bed. Sometimes this includes eating dinner.
I've been trying to get Claire to bed earlier to see if this helps but results have been- either we spend lots more time trying to put her to bed or she goes to sleep earlier and wakes up earlier.

I'm getting the name of my friend's daughter's Chiropractor today. She said her daughter started sleeping much better after one visit

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


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


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 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


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

This is the same video as at 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


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! 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.

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


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.