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