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.